The Works of John Dryden, now first collected in eighteen volumes. Volume 10 by Dryden, John

THE

WORKS

OF

JOHN DRYDEN,

NOW FIRST COLLECTED

_IN EIGHTEEN VOLUMES_.

* * * * *

ILLUSTRATED

WITH NOTES,

HISTORICAL, CRITICAL, AND EXPLANATORY,

AND

A LIFE OF THE AUTHOR,

BY

WALTER SCOTT, ESQ.

* * * * *

VOL. X.

LONDON: PRINTED FOR WILLIAM MILLER, ALBEMARLE STREET, BY JAMES BALLANTYNE AND CO. EDINBURGH.

1808.

CONTENTS

OF

VOLUME TENTH.

PAGE.

Religio Laici, or a Layman's Faith, an Epistle, 1 Preface, 11

Threnodia Augustalis, a Funeral Pindaric Poem, sacred to the happy Memory of King Charles II. 53 Notes, 79

The Hind and the Panther, a Poem, in Three Parts, 85 Preface, 109 Notes on Part I. 139 Part II. 159 Notes on Part II. 185 Part III. 195 Notes on Part III. 240

Britannia Rediviva, a Poem on the Birth of the Prince, 283 Notes, 302

Prologues and Epilogues, 309

Mack-Flecknoe, a Satire against Thomas Shadwell, 425 Notes, 441

RELIGIO LAICI:

OR,

A LAYMAN'S FAITH.

AN EPISTLE.

_Ornari res ipsa negat; contenta doceri._

ARGUMENT.

TAKEN FROM THE AUTHOR'S MARGINAL NOTES.

Opinions of the several Sects of Philosophers concerning the _Summum bonum_.--System of Deism.--Of Revealed Religion.--Objection of the Deist.--Objection answered.--Digression to the Translator of Father Simon's Critical Edition of the Old Testament.--Of the Infallibility of Tradition in general.--Objection in behalf of Tradition, urged by Father Simon.--The Second Objection.--Answered.

RELIGIO LAICI.

The _Religio Laici_, according to Johnson, is almost the only work of Dryden which can be considered as a voluntary effusion. I do not see much ground for this assertion. Dryden was indeed obliged to write by the necessity of his circumstances; but the choice of the mode in which he was to labour was his own, as well in his Fables and other poems, as in that which follows. Nay, upon examination, the _Religio Laici_ appears, in a great measure, a controversial, and almost a political poem; and, being such, cannot be termed, with propriety, a voluntary effusion, any more than "The Medal," or "Absalom and Achitophel." It is evident, Dryden had his own times in consideration, and the effect which the poem was likely to produce upon them. Religious controversy had mingled deeply with the party politics of the reign of Charles II. Divided, as the nation was, into the three great sects of Churchmen, Papists, and Dissenters, their several creeds were examined by their antagonists with scrupulous malignity, and every hint extracted from them which could be turned to the disadvantage of those who professed them. To the Catholics, the dissenters objected their cruel intolerance and jesuitical practices; to the church of England, their servile dependence on the crown, and slavish doctrine of non-resistance. The Catholics, on the other hand, charged the reformed church of England with desertion from the original doctrines of Christianity, with denying the infallibility of general councils, and destroying the unity of the church; and against the fanatics, they objected their anti-monarchical tenets, the wild visions of their independent preachers, and their seditious cabals against the church and state. While the church of England was thus assailed by two foes, who did not at the same time spare each other, it probably occurred to Dryden, that he, who could explain her tenets by a plain and philosophical commentary, had a chance, not only of contributing to fix and regulate the faith of her professors, but of reconciling to her, as the middle course, the Catholics and the fanatics. The Duke of York and the Papists, on the one hand, were urging the king to the most desperate measures; on the other, the popular faction were just not in arms. The king, with the assistance and advice of Halifax, was trimming his course betwixt these outrageous and furious torrents. Whatever, therefore, at this important crisis, might act as a sedative on the inflamed spirits of all parties, and encourage them to abide with patience the events of futurity, was a main point in favour of the crown. A rational and philosophical view of the tenets of the national church, liberally expressed, and decorated with the ornaments of poetry, seemed calculated to produce this effect; and as I have no doubt, as well from the preface, as from passages in the poem, that Dryden had such a purpose in view, I have ventured to place the _Religio Laici_ among his historical and political poems.[1]

I would not, from what is above stated, be understood to mean, that Dryden wrote this poem merely with a view to politics, and that he was himself sceptical in the matters of which it treats.--On the contrary, I have no doubt, that it expresses, without disguise or reservation, what was then the author's serious and firm, though, as it unfortunately proved, not his unalterable religious opinion. The remarkable line in the "Hind and Panther," seems to refer to the state of his mind at this period; and this system of divinity was among the "new sparkles which his pride had struck forth," after he had abandoned the fanatical doctrines in which he was doubtless educated.[2] It is therefore probable, that, having formed for himself, on grounds which seemed to warrant it, a rational exposition of the national creed, he was willing to communicate it to the public at a period, when moderation of religious zeal was so essentially necessary to the repose of the nation.

Considered in this point of view, the _Religio Laici_ is one of the most admirable poems in the language. The argumentative part is conducted with singular skill, upon those topics which occasioned the principal animosity between the religious sects; and the deductions are drawn in favour of the church of England with so much apparent impartiality, that those who could not assent, had at least no title to be angry. The opinions of the various classes of free-thinkers are combated by an appeal to those feelings of the human mind, which always acknowledge an offended Deity, and to the various modes in which all ages and nations have shewn their sense of the necessity of an atonement by sacrifice and penance. Dryden, however, differs from most philosophers, who suppose this consciousness of guilt to be originally implanted in our bosoms: he, somewhat fantastically, argues, as if it were some remnants of the original faith revealed to Noah, and preserved by the posterity of Shem. The inadequacy of sacrifices and oblations, when compared with the crimes of those by whom they are made, and with the grandeur of the omnipotent Being, to whom they are offered, paves the way for the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ, the fundamental doctrine of the Christian religion. The fitness of this vicarious sacrifice to accomplish the redemption of man, and vindicate the justice and mercy of God; the obvious impossibility that the writings, or authors, by which it has been conveyed to us, should be less than inspired; the progress of the Christian faith itself, though militating against the corrupt dispositions of humanity, and graced with none of those attractions by which Mahomet, and other false prophets, bribed their followers, are then successively urged as evidences of the Christian religion. The poet then recurs to an objection, at which he had hinted in his preface. If the Christian religion is necessary to salvation, why is it not extended to all nations of the earth? And suppose we grant that the circumstance of the revealed religion having been formerly preached and embraced in great part of the world where it is now unknown, shall be sufficient to subject those regions to be judged by its laws, what is to become of the generations who have lived before the coming of the Messiah? what of the inhabitants of those countries on which the beams of the gospel have never shone? To these doubts, I hope most Christians will think our author returns a liberal, and not a presumptuous answer, in supposing that the heathen will be judged according to the light which it has pleased God to afford them; and that, infinitely less fortunate than us in the extent of their spiritual knowledge, they will only be called upon to answer for their conformity with the dictates of their own conscience. The authority of St Athanasius our author here sets aside, either because in the ardour of his dispute with Arius he carried his doctrine too far, or because his creed only has reference to the decision of a doctrinal question in the Christian church; and the anathema annexed applies not to the heathen world, but to those, who, having heard the orthodox faith preached, have wilfully chosen the heresy. Dryden next takes under review the work of Father Simon; and, after an eulogy on the author and translator, pronounces, that the former was not a bigotted Catholic, since he did not hesitate to challenge some of the traditions of the church of Rome. To these traditions, these "brushwood helps," with which the Catholics endeavoured to fence the doctrines of their church, our author proceeds, and throws them aside as liable to error and corruption. The pretensions of the church of Rome, by her pope and general councils, infallibly to determine the authenticity of church tradition, is the next proposition. To this the poet answers, that if they possess infallibility at all, it ought to go the length of restoring the canon, or correcting the corrupt copies of scripture; a reply which seems to concede to the Romans; as, without denying the grounds of their claim, it only asserts, that it is not sufficiently extended. Upon, the ground, however, that the plea of infallibility, by which the poet is obviously somewhat embarrassed, must be dismissed, as proving too much, the holy scriptures are referred to as the sole rule of faith; admitting such explanations as the church of England has given to the contested doctrines of Christianity. The unlettered Christian, we are told, does well to pursue, in simplicity, his path to heaven; the learned divine is to study well the sacred scriptures, with such assistance as the most early traditions of the church, especially those which are written, may, in doubtful points, afford him. It is in this argument chiefly, that there may be traced a sort of vacillation and uncertainty in our author's opinion, boding what afterwards took place--his acquiescence in the church authority of Rome. Nevertheless, having vaguely pronounced, that some traditions are to be received, and others rejected, he gives his opinion against the Roman see, which dictated to the laity the explications of doctrine as adopted by the church, and prohibited them to form their own opinion upon the text, or even to peruse the sacred volume which contains it. This Dryden contrasts with the opposite evil, of vulgar enthusiasts debasing scripture by their own absurd commentaries, and dividing into as many sects, as there are wayward opinions formed upon speculative doctrine. He concludes, that both extremes are to be avoided; that saving faith does not depend on nice disquisitions; yet, if inquisitive minds are hurried into such, the scripture, and the commentary of the fathers, are their only safe guides:

And after hearing what our church can say, If still our reason runs another way, That private reason 'tis more just to curb, Than by disputes the public peace disturb; For points obscure are of small use to learn, But common quiet is mankind's concern.

In considering Dryden's creed thus analyzed, I think it will appear, that the author, though still holding the doctrines of the church of England, had been biassed, in the course of his enquiry, by those of Rome. His wish for the possibility of an infallible guide,[3] expressed with almost indecent ardour, the difficulty, nay, it would seem, in his estimation, almost the impossibility, of discriminating between corrupted and authentic traditions, while the necessity of the latter to the interpretation of scripture is plainly admitted, appear, upon the whole, to have left the poet's mind in an unpleasing state of doubt, from which he rather escapes than is relieved. He who only acquiesces in the doctrines of his church, because the exercise of his private judgement may disturb the tranquillity of the state, can hardly be said to be in a state to give a reason for the faith that is in him.

The doctrine of the _Religio Laici_ is admirably adapted to the subject: though treating of the most abstruse doctrines of Christianity, it is as clear and perspicuous as the most humble prose, while it has all the elegance and effect which argument is capable of receiving from poetry. Johnson, usually sufficiently niggard of praise, has allowed, that this "is a composition of great excellence in its kind, in which the familiar is very properly diversified with the solemn, and the grave with the humorous; in which metre has neither weakened the force, nor clouded the perspicuity of argument; nor will it be easy to find another example, equally happy, of this middle kind of writing, which, though prosaic in some parts, rises to high poetry in others, and neither towers to the skies, nor creeps along the ground."[4] I cannot help remarking, that the style of the _Religio Laici_ has been imitated successfully by the late Mr Cowper in some of his pieces. Yet he has not been always able to maintain the resemblance, but often crawls where Dryden would have walked. The natural dignity of our author may be discovered in the lamest lines of the poem, whereas his imitator is often harsh and embarrassed. Both are occasionally prosaic; but in such passages Dryden's verse resembles good prose, and Cowper's that which is feeble and involved.

The name which Dryden has thought proper to affix to this declaration of his faith, seems to have been rather fashionable about that time. There is a treatise _de Religione Laici_, attached to the work of Lord Herbert of Cherburg, _De Veritate_, first published in 1633. But the most famous work, with a similar title, was the _Religio Medici_ of Thomas Browne, which was translated into Latin by Meryweather, and afterwards into French, Italian, Dutch, German, and most of the languages of Europe. In 1683, Charles Blount, of Staffordshire, son to Sir Henry Blount, published a short treatise, entitled, _Religio Laici_, which he inscribed to his "much honoured friend, John Dryden, Esq.;" whom he informed, in the epistle-dedicatory, "I have endeavoured that my discourse should only be a continuance of yours; and that, as you taught men how to believe, so I might instruct them how to live."[5]

It has been suggested, that the purpose of the _Religio Laici_ of Dryden was to bring the contending factions to sober and philosophical reflection on their differences in points of faith, and to abate, if possible, the acrimony with which they contended upon the most obscure subjects of polemical divinity. But to attempt, by an abstracted disquisition on the original cause of quarrel, to stop a controversy, in which all the angry passions had been roused, and which indeed was fast verging towards blows, is as vain an attempt, as it would be to turn the course of a river, swoln with a thousand tributary streams, by draining the original spring-head. From the cold reception of this poem, compared to those political and personal satires which preceded it, Dryden might learn the difference of interest, excited by productions which tended to fan party rage, and one which was designed to mitigate its ferocity. The _Religio Laici_, which first appeared in November 1682, neither attracted admiration nor censure; it was neither hailed by the acclamations of the one party, nor attacked by the indignant answers of the other. The public were, however, sufficiently interested in it to call for a renewal of the impression in the following year. This second edition, which had escaped even the researches of Mr Malone, is in the collection of my friend Mr Heber. It might probably have been again reprinted with advantage, but our author's change of faith must necessarily have rendered him unwilling to give a third edition. The same circumstance called the attention of his enemies towards this neglected poem, who, in many libels, upbraided him with the versatility of his religious opinions. The author of a pamphlet, called "The Revolter," was at the pains to print the tenets of the _Religio Laici_ concerning the Catholic controversy, in contrast with those which our author had adopted and expressed in the "Hind and Panther."[6] Another turned our author's own title against him, and published "_Religio Laici_, or a Layman's Faith touching the Supream and Infallible Guide of the Church, by J. R. a Convert of Mr Bayes. In Two Letters to a Friend in the Country. Licenced June the 1st, 1688." In both these pamphlets our author is treated with the grossest insolence and brutality.[7] Excepting these malignant criticisms, the _Religio Laici_ slept in obscurity after the second edition, and was not again published till after the author's death. Neither has it been since popular, although its pure spirit of Christianity should be acceptable to the religious, its moderation to the philosopher, and the excellence of the composition to all admirers of argumentative poetry.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 1: It was intimated by Dryden's enemies, that he chose this religious and grave subject with a view to smooth the way to his taking orders, and obtaining church preferment--See a quotation from the _Religio Laici_, by J. R. subjoined to these introductory remarks. But our author, in the preface to the "Fables," declares, that going into the church was never in his thoughts.]

[Footnote 2: The reader will find this opinion more fully expressed in the observations on Dryden's conversion to the Roman Catholic faith, given in the Life.]

[Footnote 3:

Such an omniscient church we wish indeed; 'Twere worth both Testaments, cast in the creed. ]

[Footnote 4: Johnson's Life of Dryden.]

[Footnote 5: Malone, Vol. III. p. 310.]

[Footnote 6: "The Revolter, a Tragi-Comedy, acted between the Hind and Panther and _Religio Laici_. London. 1687."]

[Footnote 7: As will appear from the following extracts:--"While he sat thus in his poetical throne, or rather acting upon the stage of fable and pagan mythology, and transfiguring into beasts almost all mankind, but Turks and infidels, that were out of his road, he never considered what a monster he was himself; a second Gorgon with three heads, for each of which he had a particular employment; with the one, to fawn upon the most infamous usurpers; with the other, at one time to lick the beneficent hands of his Protestant mother, and, bye and bye, to court the charity of his Catholic mamma; while, with the third, he barked and snarled, not only at his first deserted female parent, but also at all other differing sentiments and opinions, which his sovereign had so graciously and generously indulged."

But 'twas his wrath, because his native church Left his high expectations in the lurch.

* * * * *

He saw the play-wright laureate debauched By the times, vices which he himself reproached; And, by his grand reform stage-pit fools;, Judged his ability to manage souls. The comedy, to see him preach for aught, She knew might tragic prove to those he taught; By ill instructions to their loss beguiled, Or scorning precepts from a tongue defiled With stage obscenity---- For who could have refrained from sportive mirth, To hear the nation's poet, Bayes, hold forth? Or who would ever practice by the rule Of one they could not chuse but ridicule? The scandal was the greater, the more rare, An ordained play-wright in the house of prayer. While people only flock to hear him chime A rampant sermon forth in brilly rhime; Or else his gaping auditors he feasts With bold Isaiah's raptures, and Ezekiel's beasts. All this the church foresaw, nor could endure Polluted lips should handle things most pure.

_The Revolter_, p. 2.

But, to give the devil his due, I must needs own Mr Bayes has a most powerful and luxurious hand at satire, and may challenge all Christendom to match him; for indeed I never, in my slender province, met any that was worthy to compare to him, unless that unknown, but supposed worthy author, that writ to him upon his at last turning Roman Catholic; for Bayes, like the Vicar of Bray, in Henry VIII. Edward VI. Queen Mary, and Queen Elizabeth's times, was resolved to keep his place; (and the quoting an author to the purpose, is the same thing, the learned say, as if it was his own), and that will, I hope, excuse my putting them down here:--

"Thou mercenary renegade, thou slave, Thou ever changing still to be a knave; What sect, what error, wilt thou next disgrace? Thou art so _lude_, so scandalously base, That antichristian popery may be Ashamed of such a proselyte as thee; Not all thy rancour, or felonious spite, Which animates thy lumpish soul to write, Could ha' contrived a satire more severe, Or more _disgrace_ the cause thou wouldst prefer. Yet in thy favour, this must be confest, It suits with thy poetic genius best; There thou---- To truths disused, mayst entertain Thyself with stories, more fanciful and vain Than _e'er_ thy poetry could _ever_ fain; Or sing the lives of thy own fellow saints, 'Tis a large field, and thy assistance wants; Thence copy out new operas for the stage, And with their miracles direct the age. Such is thy faith, if faith thou hast indeed, For well we may suspect the poet's creed, Rebel to God, blasphemer o' the king, Oh tell whence could this strange compliance spring? So mayest thou prove to thy new gods as true, As thy old friend, the devil, has been to you. Yet conscience and religion's your pretence, But bread and drink the _methologick_ sense. Ah! how persuasive is the want of bread, Not reasons from strong box more strongly plead. A convert, thou! 'tis past all believing; 'Tis a damned scandal, of thy foes contriving; A jest of that malicious monstrous fame-- The honest layman's faith is still the same."

_Religio Laici, by J. R. a Convert of Mr Bayes._

In such coarse invective were Dryden's theological poems censured by persons, who, far from writing decent poetry, or even common sense, could neither spell, nor write tolerable grammar.]

THE

PREFACE.

A Poem, with so bold a title, and a name prefixed from which the handling of so serious a subject would not be expected, may reasonably oblige the author to say somewhat in defence, both of himself and of his undertaking. In the first place, if it be objected to me, that, being a layman, I ought not to have concerned myself with speculations, which belong to the profession of divinity; I could answer, that perhaps laymen, with equal advantages of parts and knowledge, are not the most incompetent judges of sacred things; but, in the due sense of my own weakness, and want of learning, I plead not this; I pretend not to make myself a judge of faith in others, but only to make a confession of my own. I lay no unhallowed hand upon the ark, but wait on it, with the reverence that becomes me, at a distance. In the next place, I will ingenuously confess, that the helps I have used in this small treatise, were many of them taken from the works of our own reverend divines of the church of England; so that the weapons with which I combat irreligion, are already consecrated; though I suppose they may be taken down as lawfully as the sword of Goliah was by David, when they are to be employed for the common cause against the enemies of piety. I intend not by this to entitle them to any of my errors, which yet I hope are only those of charity to mankind; and such as my own charity has caused me to commit, that of others may more easily excuse. Being naturally inclined to scepticism in philosophy, I have no reason to impose my opinions in a subject which is above it; but whatever they are, I submit them with all reverence to my mother church, accounting them no further mine, than as they are authorised, or at least uncondemned, by her. And, indeed, to secure myself on this side, I have used the necessary precaution of shewing this paper before it was published to a judicious and learned friend; a man indefatigably zealous in the service of the church and state, and whose writings have highly deserved of both. He was pleased to approve the body of the discourse, and I hope he is more my friend than to do it out of complaisance: It is true, he had too good a taste to like it all; and, amongst some other faults, recommended to my second view, what I have written, perhaps too boldly, on St Athanasius, which he advised me wholly to omit. I am sensible enough, that I had done more prudently to have followed his opinion; but then I could not have satisfied myself, that I had done honestly not to have written what was my own. It has always been my thought, that heathens, who never did, nor without miracle could, hear of the name of Christ, were yet in a possibility of salvation. Neither will it enter easily into my belief, that before the coming of our Saviour, the whole world, excepting only the Jewish nation, should lie under the inevitable necessity of everlasting punishment, for want of that revelation, which was confined to so small a spot of ground as that of Palestine. Among the sons of Noah, we read of one only who was accursed; and, if a blessing, in the ripeness of time, was reserved for Japhet, of whose progeny we are, it seems unaccountable to me, why so many generations of the same offspring, as preceded our Saviour in the flesh, should be all involved in one common condemnation, and yet that their posterity should be entitled to the hopes of salvation; as if a bill of exclusion had passed only on the fathers, which debarred not the sons from their succession: or, that so many ages had been delivered over to hell, and so many reserved for heaven, and that the devil had the first choice, and God the next. Truly I am apt to think, that the revealed religion, which was taught by Noah to all his sons, might continue for some ages in the whole posterity. That afterwards it was included wholly in the family of Shem, is manifest; but when the progenies of Cham and Japhet swarmed into colonies, and those colonies were subdivided into many others, in process of time their descendants lost, by little and little, the primitive and purer rites of divine worship, retaining only the notion of one deity; to which succeeding generations added others; for men took their degrees in those ages from conquerors to gods. Revelation being thus eclipsed to almost all mankind, the light of nature, as the next in dignity, was substituted; and that is it which St Paul concludes to be the rule of the heathens, and by which they are hereafter to be judged. If my supposition be true, then the consequence, which I have assumed in my poem, may be also true; namely, that Deism, or the principles of natural worship, are only faint remnants, or dying flames, of revealed religion, in the posterity of Noah; and that our modern philosophers, nay, and some of our philosophising divines, have too much exalted the faculties of our souls, when they have maintained, that, by their force, mankind has been able to find out, that there is one supreme agent, or intellectual being, which we call God; that praise and prayer are his due worship; and the rest of those deducements, which I am confident are the remote effects of revelation, and unattainable by our discourse, I mean as simply considered, and without the benefit of divine illumination. So that we have not lifted up ourselves to God, by the weak pinions of our reason, but he has been pleased to descend to us; and what Socrates said of him, what Plato writ, and the rest of the heathen philosophers of several nations, is all no more than the twilight of revelation, after the sun of it was set in the race of Noah. That there is something above us, some principle of motion, our reason can apprehend, though it cannot discover what it is by its own virtue: and, indeed, it is very improbable that we, who, by the strength of our faculties, cannot enter into the knowledge of any being, not so much as of our own, should be able to find out, by them, that supreme nature, which we cannot otherwise define, than by saying it is infinite; as if infinite were definable, or infinity a subject for our narrow understanding. They, who would prove religion by reason, do but weaken the cause which they endeavour to support: it is to take away the pillars from our faith, and to prop it only with a twig; it is to design a tower, like that of Babel, which, if it were possible, as it is not, to reach heaven, would come to nothing by the confusion of the workmen. For every man is building a several way; impotently conceited of his own model and his own materials, reason is always striving, and always at a loss; and of necessity it must so come to pass, while it is exercised about that which is not its proper object. Let us be content, at last, to know God by his own methods; at least, so much of him as he is pleased to reveal to us in the sacred Scriptures. To apprehend them to be the word of God is all our reason has to do; for all beyond it is the work of faith, which is the seal of heaven impressed upon our human understanding.

And now for what concerns the holy Bishop Athanasius, the preface of whose creed seems inconsistent with my opinion, which is, that heathens may possibly be saved. In the first place, I desire it may be considered, that it is the preface only, not the creed itself, which, till I am better informed, is of too hard a digestion for my charity.[8] It is not that I am ignorant, how many several texts of Scripture seemingly support that cause; but neither am I ignorant, how all those texts may receive a kinder, and more mollified interpretation. Every man, who is read in church history, knows that belief was drawn up after a long contestation with Arius, concerning the divinity of our blessed Saviour, and his being one substance with the Father; and that thus compiled, it was sent abroad among the Christian churches, as a kind of test, which, whosoever took, was looked on as an orthodox believer.[9] It is manifest from hence, that the heathen part of the empire was not concerned in it; for its business was not to distinguish betwixt Pagans and Christians, but betwixt heretics and true believers. This, well considered, takes off the heavy weight of censure, which I would willingly avoid from so venerable a man; for if this proportion, "whosoever will be saved," be restrained only to those to whom it was intended, and for whom it was composed, I mean the Christians; then the anathema reaches not the heathens, who had never heard of Christ, and were nothing interested in that dispute. After all, I am far from blaming even that prefatory addition to the creed, and as far from cavilling at the continuation of it in the liturgy of the church, where, on the days appointed, it is publicly read: for I suppose there is the same reason for it now, in opposition to the Socinians, as there was then against the Arians; the one being a heresy, which seems to have been refined out of the other; and with how much more plausibility of reason it combats our religion, with so much more caution it ought to be avoided: therefore, the prudence of our church is to be commended, which has interposed her authority for the recommendation of this creed. Yet to such as are grounded in the true belief, those explanatory creeds, the Nicene and this of Athanasius, might perhaps be spared; for what is supernatural will always be a mystery in spite of exposition; and, for my own part, the plain Apostles creed is most suitable to my weak understanding, as the simplest diet is the most easy of digestion.

I have dwelt longer on this subject than I intended, and longer than perhaps I ought; for, having laid down, as my foundation, that the Scripture is a rule; that in all things needful to salvation it is clear, sufficient, and ordained by God Almighty for that purpose; I have left myself no right to interpret obscure places, such as concern the possibility of eternal happiness to heathens; because whatsoever is obscure is concluded not necessary to be known.

But, by asserting the Scripture to be the canon of our faith, I have unavoidably created to myself two sorts of enemies; the papists, indeed, more directly, because they have kept the Scripture from us what they could, and have reserved to themselves a right of interpreting what they have delivered under the pretence of infallibility; and the fanatics, more collaterally, because they have assumed what amounts to an infallibility in the private spirit, and have distorted those texts of Scripture which are not necessary to salvation, to the damnable uses of sedition, disturbance, and destruction of the civil government. To begin with the papists, and to speak freely, I think them the less dangerous (at least in appearance) to our present state; for not only the penal laws are in force against them, and their number is contemptible, but also their peerage and commons are excluded from parliaments, and consequently those laws in no probability of being repealed. A general and uninterrupted plot of their clergy, ever since the Reformation, I suppose all protestants believe; for it is not reasonable to think, but that so many of their orders, as were outed from their fat possessions, would endeavour a re-entrance against those whom they account heretics.[10] As for the late design, Mr Coleman's letters, for aught I know, are the best evidence; and what they discover, without wire-drawing their sense, or malicious glosses, all men of reason conclude credible.[11] If there be any thing more than this required of me, I must believe it as well as I am able, in spite of the witnesses, and out of a decent conformity to the votes of parliament; for I suppose the fanatics will not allow the private spirit in this case. Here the infallibility is at least in one part of the government; and our understandings, as well as our wills, are represented. But, to return to the Roman Catholics, how can we be secure from the practice of jesuited papists in that religion? For not two or three of that order, as some of them would impose upon us, but almost the whole body of them, are of opinion, that their infallible master has a right over kings, not only in spirituals, but temporals. Not to name Mariana, Bellarmine, Emanuel Sa, Molina, Santarel, Simancha,[12] and at least twenty others of foreign countries, we can produce of our own nation, Campian, and Doleman or Parsons,[13] (besides many [who] are named whom I have not read,) who all of them attest this doctrine, that the pope can depose and give away the right of any sovereign prince, _si vel paulum deflexerit_, if he shall never so little warp; but if he once comes to be excommunicated, then the bond of obedience is taken off from subjects; and they may and ought to drive him, like another Nebuchadnezzar, _ex hominum Christianorum dominatu_, from exercising dominion over Christians; and to this they are bound by virtue of divine precept, and by all the ties of conscience, under no less penalty than damnation. If they answer me, (as a learned priest has lately written,) that this doctrine of the Jesuits is not _de fide_, and that consequently they are not obliged by it, they must pardon me, if I think they have said nothing to the purpose; for it is a maxim in their church, where points of faith are not decided, and that doctors are of contrary opinions, they may follow which part they please, but more safely the most received and most authorized. And their champion, Bellarmine, has told the world, in his Apology, that the king of England is a vassal to the pope, _ratione, directi dominii_,[14] and that he holds in villanage of his Roman landlord; which is no new claim put in for England: our chronicles are his authentic witnesses, that King John was deposed by the same plea, and Philip Augustus admitted tenant; and, which makes the more for Bellarmine, the French king was again ejected when our king submitted to the church, and the crown received under the sordid condition of a vassalage.

It is not sufficient for the more moderate and well-meaning papists, of which I doubt not there are many, to produce the evidences of their loyalty to the late king, and to declare their innocency in this plot. I will grant their behaviour in the first to have been as loyal and as brave as they desire; and will be willing to hold them excused as to the second, (I mean when it comes to my turn, and after my betters; for it is a madness to be sober alone, while the nation continues drunk:) but that saying of their father Cres.[15] is still running in my head,--that they may be dispensed with in their obedience to an heretic prince, while the necessity of the times shall oblige them to it; (for that, as another of them tells us, is only the effect of Christian prudence;) but when once they shall get power to shake him off, an heretic is no lawful king, and consequently to rise against him is no rebellion. I should be glad, therefore, that they would follow the advice which was charitably given them by a reverend prelate of our church, namely, that they would join in a public act of disowning and detesting those jesuitic principles, and subscribe to all doctrines which deny the pope's authority of deposing kings, and releasing subjects from their oath of allegiance; to which, I should think, they might easily be induced, if it be true, that this present pope has condemned the doctrine of king-killing; a thesis of the Jesuits, maintained, amongst others, _ex cathedra_, as they call it, or in open consistory.

Leaving them, therefore, in so fair a way, (if they please themselves,) of satisfying all reasonable men of their sincerity and good meaning to the government, I shall make bold to consider that other extreme of our religion, I mean the fanatics, or schismatics, of the English church. Since the Bible has been translated into our tongue, they have used it so, as if their business was not to be saved, but to be damned by its contents. If we consider only them, better had it been for the English nation, that it had still remained in the original Greek and Hebrew, or at least in the honest Latin of St Jerome, than that several texts in it should have been prevaricated to the destruction of that government, which put it into so ungrateful hands.

How many heresies the first translation of Tyndal[16] produced in few years, let my Lord Herbert's History of Henry the Eighth inform you; insomuch that, for the gross errors in it, and the great mischiefs it occasioned, a sentence passed on the first edition of the Bible, too shameful almost to be repeated.[17] After the short reign of Edward the Sixth, (who had continued to carry on the Reformation on other principles than it was begun,) every one knows, that not only the chief promoters of that work, but many others, whose consciences would not dispense with popery, were forced, for fear of persecution, to change climates; from whence returning at the beginning of Queen Elizabeth's reign, many of them, who had been in France, and at Geneva, brought back the rigid opinions and imperious discipline of Calvin, to graft upon our Reformation;[18] which, though they cunningly concealed at first, (as well knowing how nauseously that drug would go down in a lawful monarchy, which was prescribed for a rebellious commonwealth,) yet they always kept it in reserve; and were never wanting to themselves, either in court or parliament, when either they had any prospect of a numerous party of fanatic members in the one, or the encouragement of any favourite in the other, whose covetousness was gaping at the patrimony of the church. They who will consult the works of our venerable Hooker,[19] or the account of his life, or more particularly the letter written to him on this subject, by George Cranmer,[20] may see by what gradations they proceeded; from the dislike of cap and surplice, the very next step was admonitions to the parliament against the whole government ecclesiastical; then came out volumes in English and Latin in defence of their tenets; and immediately practices were set on foot to erect their discipline without authority. Those not succeeding, satire and railing was the next; and Martin Mar-prelate,[21] (the Marvel of those times,) was the first presbyterian scribbler, who sanctified libels and scurrility to the use of the good old cause: which was done, (says my author,) upon this account, that their serious treatises having been fully answered and refuted, they might compass by railing what they had lost by reasoning; and, when their cause was sunk in court and parliament, they might at least hedge in a stake amongst the rabble, for to their ignorance all things are wit which are abusive; but if church and state were made the theme, then the doctoral degree of wit was to be taken at Billingsgate; even the most saintlike of the party, though they durst not excuse this contempt and vilifying of the government, yet were pleased, and grinned at it with a pious smile, and called it a judgment of God against the hierarchy. Thus sectaries, we may see, were born with teeth, foul-mouthed, and scurrilous from their infancy; and if spiritual pride, venom, violence, contempt of superiors, and slander, had been the marks of orthodox belief, the presbytery, and the rest of our schismatics, which are their spawn, were always the most visible church in the Christian world.[22]

It is true, the government was too strong at that time for a rebellion; but, to shew what proficiency they had made in Calvin's school, even then their mouths watered at it; for two of their gifted brotherhood, Hacket and Coppinger, as the story tells us, got up in a pease-cart and harangued the people, to dispose them to an insurrection, and to establish their discipline by force;[23] so that, however it comes about, that now they celebrate Queen Elizabeth's birth-night, as that of their saint and patroness; yet then they were for doing the work of the Lord by arms against her;[24] and in all probability they wanted but a fanatic lord-mayor, and two sheriffs of their party, to have compassed it.[25]

Our venerable Hooker, after many admonitions which he had given them, towards the end of his preface, breaks out into this prophetic speech: "There is in every one of these considerations most just cause to fear, lest our hastiness to embrace a thing of so perilous consequence, (meaning the presbyterian discipline,) should cause posterity to feel those evils, which as yet are more easy for us to prevent, than they would be for them to remedy."

How fatally this Cassandra has foretold, we know too well by sad experience. The seeds were sown in the time of Queen Elizabeth; the bloody harvest ripened in the reign of King Charles the Martyr; and, because all the sheaves could not be carried off without shedding some of the loose grains, another crop is too like to follow; nay, I fear it is unavoidable, if the conventiclers be permitted still to scatter.

A man may be suffered to quote an adversary to our religion, when he speaks truth; and it is the observation of Maimbourg,[26] in his "History of Calvinism," that wherever that discipline was planted and embraced, rebellion, civil war, and misery, attended it. And how indeed should it happen otherwise? Reformation of church and state has always been the ground of our divisions in England. While we were papists, our Holy Father rid us, by pretending authority out of the Scriptures to depose princes; when we shook off his authority, the sectaries furnished themselves with the same weapons, and out of the same magazine, the Bible; so that the Scriptures, which are in themselves the greatest security of governors, as commanding express obedience to them, are now turned to their destruction; and never since the Reformation has there wanted a text of their interpreting to authorize a rebel. And it is to be noted by the way, that the doctrines of king-killing and deposing, which have been taken up only by the worst party of the Papists, the most frontless flatterers of the pope's authority, have been espoused, defended, and are still maintained, by the whole body of nonconformists and republicans. It is but dubbing themselves the people of God, which it is the interest of their preachers to tell them they are, and their own interest to believe, and after that, they cannot dip into the Bible, but one text or another will turn up for their purpose: if they are under persecution, as they call it, then that is a mark of their election; if they flourish, then God works miracles for their deliverance, and the saints are to possess the earth.

They may think themselves to be too roughly handled in this paper; but I, who know best how far I could have gone on this subject, must be bold to tell them, they are spared; though, at the same time, I am not ignorant, that they interpret the mildness of a writer to them, as they do the mercy of the government; in the one they think it fear, and conclude it weakness in the other. The best way for them to confute me is, as I before advised the Papists, to disclaim their principles, and renounce their practices. We shall all be glad to think them true Englishmen, when they obey the king; and true Protestants, when they conform to the church-discipline.

It remains that I acquaint the reader, that the verses were written for an ingenious young gentleman, my friend, upon his translation of "The Critical History of the Old Testament," composed by the learned father Simon:[27] the verses, therefore, are addressed to the translator of that work, and the style of them is, what it ought to be, epistolary.[28]

If any one be so lamentable a critic as to require the smoothness, the numbers, and the turn of heroic poetry in this poem, I must tell him, that if he has not read Horace, I have studied him, and hope the style of his epistles is not ill imitated here. The expressions of a poem, designed purely for instruction, ought to be plain and natural, and yet majestic; for here the poet is presumed to be a kind of lawgiver, and those three qualities, which I have named, are proper to the legislative style. The florid, elevated, and figurative way, is for the passions; for love and hatred, fear and anger, are begotten in the soul, by shewing their objects out of their true proportion, either greater than the life, or less; but instruction is to be given by shewing them what they naturally are. A man is to be cheated into passion, but to be reasoned into truth.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 8: "Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic faith.

"Which faith, except every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.]

[Footnote 9: The controversy between Athanasius and Arius long divided the Christian church. The former was patriarch of Alexandria, and the latter bishop of Nicomedia, in Asia. The dispute regarded the godhead of the Trinity. The doctrine of Arius, that God the Son was not co-existent, consequently, not equal in dignity with God the Father, was condemned by the grand general council of Nice, and he was banished. But he was afterwards recalled by the emperor; and his heresy spread so widely, that almost all the Christian world were at one time Arians. As a test of the true orthodox doctrine, Athanasius composed the creed which goes by his name. Being written expressly for this purpose, and for the exclusive use of the Christian world, Dryden argues, with great apparent justice, that the anathema with which it is fenced, has no relation to the heathens, and that we cannot, with charity, or even logically, argue from thence concerning their state in the next world.]

[Footnote 10: "It is certain, that the restless and enterprising spirit of the Catholic church, particularly of the Jesuits, merits attention, and is, in some degree, dangerous to every other communion. Such zeal of proselytism actuates that sect, that its missionaries have penetrated into every nation of the globe, and, in one sense, there is a Popish-plot perpetually carrying on against all states, Protestant, Pagan, and Mahometan."--HUME, Vol. VII. p. 72.]

[Footnote 11: The unfortunate Edward Coleman was secretary to the Duke of York, and in high favour with his master. With the intriguing spirit of a courtier, and the zeal of a Catholic, he had long carried on a correspondence with Father La Chaise, confessor to the king of France, with the Pope's nuncio, and with other Catholics abroad, for the purpose, as he himself states it, of "the conversion of three kingdoms, and by that, perhaps, the utter subduing of a pestilent heresy, which has a long time domineered over a great part of the northern world." It would seem, from these letters, that it was the purpose of the Catholics, to begin by obtaining, if possible, a toleration, or exemption from the penal laws; and then, while strengthening themselves by new converts, to await the succession of James, or the open declaration of Charles in favour of their religion. From various points it appears, that Coleman was a better Catholic than an Englishman; and would not have hesitated to sacrifice the interests of his country to France, if, by so doing, he could have brought her faith nearer to Rome. There were also indications of both the king's and duke's accessibility to foreign influence, which were fraught with consequences highly dangerous to the country. But, while the Catholics were availing themselves of these unworthy dispositions in the royal brothers, it was quite absurd to suppose, that they should have forfeited every prospect of success, by assassinating these very persons, upon whose lives their whole plan depended, to place upon the throne the Prince of Orange, the head of the Protestant League. Yet, although not the least trace is to be found in Coleman's letters of the murders, invasions, fires, and massacres, which Oates and Bedloe bore witness to, the real and imaginary conspiracy were identified by the general prepossession of the nation; and Coleman, who undoubtedly deserved death for his unlawful and treasonable trafficking with foreign interests against the religion and liberty of his country, actually suffered for a plot which was totally chimerical.]

[Footnote 12: These are all Jesuits and controversial writers.

Mariana maintains, that it is well for princes to believe, that if they become oppressive to their people, they may be killed, not only lawfully, but most commendably.--_Institut._ pp. 61, 64. In the 6th chapter of the same work, he calls the murder of Henry III. of France by Jaques Clement, "_insignem animi confidentiam--facinus memorabile--cæso rege, ingens sibi nomen fecit_."

Bellarmine declares roundly, that all heretics are to be cut off, unless they are the stronger party, and then the Catholics must remain quiet, and wait a fitter time.--_De Laicis_, Liber III. cap. 22.

Simancha affirms, "_propter Hæresin Regis, non solum Rex regno privatur, et a communione fidelium diris proscriptionibus separatur; sed et ejus filii a regni successione pelluntur_." Suarez expressly says, "_Regem excommunicatum impune deponi vel occidi quibuscunque posse_."--Suarez in Reg. Mag. Brit. Lib. 6. cap 6. § 24.

These are sufficient examples of the doctrine laid down in the text, which, I believe, is now as much detested by Roman Catholics as by those of other religions.]

[Footnote 13: Edmund Campian, and Robert Parsons, English Jesuits, in the year 1580, obtained a bull from the Pope, declaring, that the previous bull of Pius V., deposing and excommunicating Queen Elizabeth, did forever bind the heretics, but not the Catholics, till a favourable opportunity should occur of putting it into execution. Thus armed, they came into England, their native country, for the express purpose of proclaiming the pope's right to dethrone monarchs, and that Queen Elizabeth's subjects were freed from their allegiance. Campian was hanged for preaching this doctrine, A. D. 1581. Parsons, finding England too hot for him, fled beyond seas, and settled at Rome. He published many works, both in English and Latin, against the church and state of England; one of which is, "A Conference about the next Succession of the Crown of England." printed in 1593, under the name of N. Doleman. The first part contains the doctrine concerning the right of the church to chastise kings, and proceed against them. This book the fanatics found so much to their purpose, that they reprinted it, to justify the murder of Charles I.--_Athenæ Oxon._ Vol. I. p. 358. Doleman, under whose name it was originally published, was a quiet secular priest, who abhorred such doctrines. Parsons, the real author, died at Rome in 1610.]

[Footnote 14: The _Dominium directum_ is the right of seignory competent to a feudal superior, in opposition to the _Dominium utile_, or actual possession of the lands which is held by the vassal.]

[Footnote 15: Hugh Paulin Cressy, better known by the name of Serenus Cressy, which he adopted upon entering into a religious state, was originally chaplain to the unfortunate Strafford, and afterwards to the gallant Falkland; but, having gone abroad after the civil wars, he became a convert to the Catholic faith, and a benedictine monk in the English college of Douay. After the Restoration, he returned to England, and was appointed chaplain to Queen Catherine. He was remarkable for regularity of life, unaffected piety, modest and mild behaviour. But in mystical doctrines, he was an enthusiast; and in religion, a zealot. He was the principal conductor of controversy on the part of the papists; and published many treatises against Stillingfleet, Pierce, Bagshaw, and other champions of the protestant faith. His chief work was the Church History of Brittany, from the beginning of Christianity to the Norman Conquest.--See _Athenæ; Oxon._ II. p. 528.]

[Footnote 16: The passage in Lord Herbert's history, referred to by Dryden, seems to be that which follows:

"For as the scriptures began then commonly to be read, so out of the literal sense thereof, the manner of those times was, promiscuously to draw arguments, for whatsoever in matter of state or otherwise was to be done. Insomuch, that the text which came nearest the point in question, was taken as a decision of the business; to the no little detriment of their affairs: The scriptures not pretending yet to give regular instructions in those points. But this is so much less strange, that the year preceding, the Scriptures (heretofore not permitted to the view of the people) were now translated in divers languages, and into English, by Tindal, Joy, and others, though, as not being warranted by the king's authority, they were publickly burnt, and a new and better translation promised to be set forth, and allowed to the people. It being not thought fit by our king, that under what pretence or difficulty soever, his subjects should be defrauded of that, wherein was to be found the word of God, and means of their salvation. Howbeit not a few inconveniences were observed to follow. For as the people did not sufficiently separate the more clear and necessary parts thereof, from the obscure and accessory; and as again taking the several authors to be equally inspired, they did equally apply themselves to all; they fell into many dangerous opinions: Little caring how they lived, so they understood well, bringing religion thus into much irresolution and controversie, while few men agreeing on the same interpretation of the harder places, vexed each others conscience, appropriating to themselves the gift of the spirit. Whereof the Roman church, (much perplext at first with these defections) did at last avail itself; as assuming alone the power of that decision, which yet was used more in favour of themselves, than such an analogy, as ought to be found in so perfect a book. So that few were satisfied therewith, but such as, renouncing their own judgment, and submitting to theirs, yielded themselves wholly to an implicit faith; in which, though they found an apparent ease, yet as, for justifying of themselves, the authority of their belief was derived more immediately from the church, than the scripture, not a few difficulties were introduced, concerning both: While the more speculative sort could not imagine, how to hold that as an infallible rule, which needed humane help to vindicate and support it; nevertheless, as by frequent reading of the scripture at this time, it generally appeared what the Roman church had added or altered in religion, so many recovered a just liberty, endeavouring together a reformation of the doctrine and manners of the clergy, which yet, through the obstinacy of some, succeeded worse, than so pious intentions deserved."]

[Footnote 17: William Tyndal, otherwise called Hitchens, was born on the borders of Wales, and educated at Oxford. He was one of the earliest Protestants, and so boldly maintained the doctrines of the Reformation, that he was obliged to leave England. He employed himself, while abroad, in executing a translation, first of the New Testament, and afterwards of the Pentateuch, with prologues to the different books. But as he was a zealous Lutheran, and as it had not pleased King Henry VIII. that his subjects should become Protestants, though they had ceased to be Papists, Tyndal's version of the New Testament was publickly burned, and prohibited by royal proclamation, as tending to disturb the brains of weak persons. This grossly indecorous expression was not altogether without foundation. A rule of faith, containing the most sublime doctrines both of faith and moral practice, and which had long been acknowledged the only guide to heaven, could not be exposed at once to the vulgar, who had been bred up in the grossest ignorance of its nature and contents, without dazzling and confounding them, as the beams of the sun suddenly let in upon the inmates of an obscure dungeon. It was not till the sacred Scriptures, with the expositions of judicious pastors, became a part of the regular education of the people, that their minds were duly prepared to make the proper use of that inestimable gift.

The fate of Tyndal was melancholy enough. By the influence of Henry, he was seized at Brussels; and, under pretence of his being a pragmatical incendiary, one of the first translators of the New Testament was strangled and burned, at Filford castle, about twenty miles from Antwerp, in 1536. His last words were, "Lord, open the king of England's eyes."]

[Footnote 18: Heylin says, the reformation would have rested with the first public liturgy, confirmed by act of parliament in the second and third years of Edward VI., "if Calvin's pragmatical spirit had not interposed. He first began to quarrel at some passages in this sacred liturgy, and afterwards never left soliciting the lord protector, and practising, by his agents, on the court, the country, and the universities, till he had laid the first foundation of the Zuinglian faction, who laboured nothing more than innovation both in doctrine and discipline."--_Ecclesia Restaurata._ Address to the Reader.]

[Footnote 19: The learned and judicious Richard Hooker, one of the most eminent divines of the church of England, wrote a treatise upon Ecclesiastical Policy, in which he vindicates that communion, both against the Puritans and Papists. It is in eight books; five were published during Hooker's lifetime, and the other three after his death. The last are supposed to be interpolated, as they bear some passages tending to impugn the doctrine of non-resistance, which at that time was a shibboleth of orthodoxy. Hooker died in 1600. His Life, to which Dryden refers, was written by the worthy Isaac Walton, better known as the author of the "Complete Angler;" a delightful work, where the innocent simplicity, unclouded cheerfulness, and real worth of the author, beam through every page. His Life of Hooker was published about 1662. See HAWKIN'S edition of the _Complete Angler_, Introduction, p. 19. _Athenæ Oxon._ Vol. I. p. 302.]

[Footnote 20: George Cranmer, whom Wood calls a gentleman of singular hopes, was grandson to Edmund Cranmer, arch-deacon of Canterbury, brother to Thomas the primate, who suffered martyrdom in the reign of Queen Mary. He was bred to state affairs under Secretary Davison; and after serving in various diplomatic capacities, became secretary to Lord Mountjoy, Lieutenant of Ireland. On the 13th November, 1600, Cranmer was slain in a skirmish at Carlingford between the English and the forces of Tyrone. Camden thus records his death: "_Cecidit tamen ex Anglis, præter alios, Cranmerus, Proregi ab epistolis, et ipsi eo nomine longe charissimus_." He wrote to Hooker, under whom he had studied, the letter mentioned in the text concerning the new church discipline, which is dated February 1598. It is inserted by Walton in his Life of Hooker. _Athenæ Oxon._ Vol. I. p. 306.]

[Footnote 21: John Penry, or Ap Henry, better known by the name of Martin Mar-prelate, or Mar-priest, as having been a plague to the bishops and clergy of his time. He was a native of Wales, and originally a sub-sizer of Peter-house, in Cambridge. Afterwards he obtained the degree of Master of Arts in Oxford, and, having taken orders, was for some time a regular clergyman. But being a person "full of Welch blood, of a hot and restless head," Anthony Wood tells us, he became a furious Anabaptist, and the most bitter enemy to the church of England that appeared in the long reign of Queen Elizabeth. He wrote a great number of _pestilent_ pamphlets, with burlesque titles; such as, "Oh, read over John Bridges, for it is a worthy work. Printed over sea, in Europe, within two furlongs of a bouncing Priest, at the cost of Martin Mar-prelate, gent." All his writings were filled with the most virulent invectives against the Episcopal church. At length, being apprehended, and tried for writing and publishing infamous books and libels against the established religion, he was condemned and executed at St Thomas a Watering, 29th May, 1593. Dryden compares him to Andrew Marvel, the well known opposer of the court, during the reign of Charles II.]

[Footnote 22: The court writers at this period were anxious to fix upon the presbyterians and the non-conformists in general, the anti-monarchical principles of the fanatics, who brought Charles I. to the scaffold. Their arguments may be seen at length in a book entitled, "Seditious Teachers, ungodly Preachers exemplified." These charges are carried too far; yet as the Episcopalians made church and king their watchword, the fanatics, on the contrary, in England, and the Huguenots in France, had a certain tendency to oppose monarchical government. One of their authors, as early as the reign of Queen Elizabeth, maintains, that if kings and princes refused to reform religion, the inferior magistrates or people, by direction of the ministry, might lawfully, and ought, if need required, even by force of arms, to reform it themselves.--_Whittingham's Preface to Goodman on Obedience to Superior Powers._]

[Footnote 23: The freaks of these unhappy enthusiasts may be seen in the histories of the time. Hacket, a man of some learning, had his brain turned by enthusiasm, and seduced Coppinger and Arthington, two fanatic preachers, by his example and exhortation, to sally forth into the streets of London, where he proclaimed himself to be the Messiah, and Coppinger and Arthington, his prophet of mercy, and his prophet of judgment. As they continued to utter the most horrible blasphemies, and to exhort the citizens to take arms, to further the reign of Hacket, who, they said, was come with his fan in his hand to purify the discipline of the church of England, they were seized and lodged in prison. Hacket was executed, though fitter for Bedlam, persisting to the last in the most insane blasphemy. The discipline of the prison restored Arthington to his senses, and he published a recantation, expressing great remorse for his errors. Coppinger starved himself to death in jail. This explosion of madness took place in 1591. Hacket is stated by Camden to have been a determined enemy to Queen Elizabeth, and to have stabbed her picture with his dagger.]

[Footnote 24: The birth-night of Queen Elizabeth was that which the Whigs chose to solemnize, by their grand pope-burnings and processions; considering her as the patron of the Protestant religion. Yet Queen Elizabeth was very severe against the Puritans, and passed several statutes against them.]

[Footnote 25: See the notes on "Absalom and Achitophel," Vol. IX. pages, 280, 404.]

[Footnote 26: Lewis Maimbourg, a secularized Jesuit, wrote a History of Calvinism, in which he charges upon the Huguenots the principal share of the guilt of the civil wars of France. He charges them particularly with the conspiracies of Amboise and Meaux against the crown; and alleges, it was their intention, by the assistance of England, and the Protestant states of Germany, with whom they corresponded, to establish a republic in France. His arguments are controverted in an "Apology for the Protestants of France, in six letters." London, 1683.]

[Footnote 27: Pere Richard Simon was an excellent Orientalist. He was an oratorian priest, and published, besides the work here mentioned, "A critical History of the New Testament," and a new Version of it, which was censured by Cardinal de Noailles, Archbishop of Paris, and opposed by Bossuet, the learned Bishop of Meaux. Pere Simon was an able biblical critic, an excellent scholar, and one of the most learned divines of his age.]

[Footnote 28: Derrick erroneously states this young gentleman to have been Hampden, son of the famous parliamentary leader, who was deeply engaged in the Rye-house Plot, and some years afterwards killed himself. Dryden was not likely, in the very hottest of his political controversy, to be on very intimate habits with a leader of the Whigs, much less to inscribe to him a poem, the preface of which, at least, is levelled against the most zealous of that party. Besides, the translation of Pere Simon's Critical History, which was published in 1682, bears to have been made by H. D. which initials can hardly stand for John Hampden. Mr Malone conjectures he may have been of the Digby family, or perhaps Mr Dodswell, who translated one of Plutarch's Lives, But it appears, from a poem addressed to the Translator by Duke, that his name was Henry Dickinson, probably a son of Edmund Dickinson, a physician, and author of the _Delphi Phenecizantes_, and other learned pieces. _Athenæ Oxon._ Vol. II. p. 946. There is another copy of verses, addressed to the Translator of the "Critical History" in Dryden's "Miscellanies." So that Dickinson's work seems to have attracted much notice at the time of its publication.]

RECOMMENDATORY VERSES.

ON

MR DRYDEN'S

RELIGIO LAICI.

Begone, you slaves, you idle vermin, go, Fly from the scourges, and your master know; Let free, impartial men from Dryden learn Mysterious secrets of high concern, And weighty truths, solid convincing sense, Explained by unaffected eloquence. What can you, Reverend Levi, here take ill? Men still had faults, and men will have them still; He that hath none, and lives as angels do, Must be an angel;--but what's that to you? While mighty Lewis finds the Pope too great, And dreads the yoke of his imposing seat, Our sects a more tyrannic power assume, And would for scorpions change the rods of Rome. That church detained the legacy divine; Fanatics cast the pearls of heaven to swine: What, then, have honest thinking men to do, But chuse a mean between the usurping two? Nor can the Egyptian patriarch blame a muse, Which for his firmness does his heat excuse; Whatever counsels have approved his creed, The preface, sure, was his own act and deed. Our church will have the preface read, you'll say:} 'Tis true, but so she will the Apocrypha; } And such as can believe them freely may. } But did that God, so little understood, Whose darling attribute is being good, From the dark womb of the rude chaos bring Such various creatures, and make man their king, Yet leave his favourite, man, his chiefest care, More wretched than the vilest insects are? O! how much happier and more safe are they, If helpless millions must be doom'd a prey To yelling furies, and for ever burn In that sad place, from whence is no return, For unbelief in one they never knew, Or for not doing what they could not do! The very fiends know for what crime they fell, And so do all their followers that rebell; If then a blind, well-meaning Indian stray, Shall the great gulph be shewed him for the way? For better ends our kind Redeemer died, Or the fallen angels' rooms will be but ill supplied. That Christ, who at the great deciding day, (For he declares what he resolves to say,) Will damn the goats for their ill-natured faults, And save the sheep for actions, not for thoughts, Hath too much mercy to send them to hell, For humble charity, and hoping well. To what stupidity are zealots grown, } Whose inhumanity, profusely shewn } In damning crowds of souls, may damn their own!} I'll err, at least, on the securer side, A convert free from malice and from pride.

ROSCOMMON.

TO

MR DRYDEN,

ON HIS POEM CALLED

RELIGIO LAICI.

Great is the task, and worthy such a muse, To do faith right, yet reason disabuse. How cheerfully the soul does take its flight On faith's strong wings, guided by reason's light? But reason does in vain her beams display, } Shewing to th' place, whence first she came, the way,} If Peter's heirs must still hold fast the key. } The house, which many mansions should contain, Formed by the great wise Architect in vain, Of disproportion justly we accuse, If the strait gate still entrance must refuse, The only free enriching port God made, } What shameful monopoly did invade? } One factious company engrossed the trade.} Thou to the distant shore hast safely sailed, Where the best pilots have so often failed. Freely we now may buy the pearl of price; } The happy land abounds with fragrant spice,} And nothing is forbidden there but vice. } Thou best Columbus to the unknown world! Mountains of doubt, that in thy way were hurled, Thy generous faith has bravely overcome, And made heaven truly our familiar home. Let crowds impossibilities receive; Who cannot think, ought not to disbelieve. Let them pay tithes, and hood-winked go to heaven; But sure the quaker could not be forgiven, Had not the clerk, who hates lay-policy, } Found out, to countervail the injury, } Swearing, a trade of which they are not free.} Too long has captive reason been enslaved, By visions scared, and airy phantasms braved, List'ning to each proud enthusiastic fool, Pretending conscience, but designing rule; Whilst law, form, interest, ignorance, design, Did in the holy cheat together join. Like vain astrologers, gazing on the skies, We fall, and did not dare to trust our eyes. 'Tis time at last to fix the trembling soul, And by thy compass to point out the pole; All men agree in what is to be done, And each man's heart his table is of stone, Where he the god-writ character may view; Were it as needful, faith had been so too. Oh, that our greatest fault were humble doubt, And that we were more just, though less devout! What reverence should we pay thy sacred rhymes, Who, in those factious too-believing times, Has taught us to obey, and to distrust; Yet, to ourselves, our king, and God, prove just. Thou want'st not praise from an insuring friend; The poor to thee on double interest lend. So strong thy reasons, and so clear thy sense, They bring, like day, their own bright evidence; Yet, whilst mysterious truths to light you bring,} And heavenly things in heavenly numbers sing, } The joyful younger choir may clap the wing. }

TO

MR DRYDEN,

ON

RELIGIO LAICI.

'Tis nobly done, a layman's creed profest, When all our faith of late hung on a priest; His doubtful words, like oracles received, And, when we could not understand, believed. Triumphant faith now takes a nobler course, Tis gentle, but resists intruding force. Weak reason may pretend an awful sway, And consistories charge her to obey; (Strange nonsense, to confine the sacred Dove,} And narrow rules prescribe how he shall love, } And how upon the barren waters move.) } But she rejects and scorns their proud pretence, And, whilst those grovling things depend on sense, She mounts on certain wings, and flies on high,} And looks upon a dazzling mystery, } With fixed, and steady, and an eagle's eye. } Great king of verse, that dost instruct and please, As Orpheus softened the rude savages; And gently freest us from a double care, The bold Socinian, and the papal chair: Thy judgment is correct, thy fancy young, Thy numbers, as thy generous faith, are strong: Whilst through dark prejudice they force their way, Our souls shake off the night, and view the day. We live secure from mad enthusiasts' rage, And fond tradition, now grown blind with age. Let factious and ambitious souls repine, } Thy reason's strong, and generous thy design;} And always to do well is only thine. }

THO. CREECH.

RELIGIO LAICI.

Dim as the borrowed beams of moon and stars To lonely, weary, wandering travellers, Is reason to the soul: and as, on high, Those rolling fires discover but the sky, Not light us here; so reason's glimmering ray} Was lent, not to assure our doubtful way, } But guide us upward to a better day. } And as those nightly tapers disappear, When day's bright lord ascends our hemisphere; So pale grows reason at religion's sight, So dies, and so dissolves in supernatural light. Some few, whose lamp shone brighter, have been led From cause to cause, to nature's sacred head, And found that one First Principle must be: But what, or who, that universal He; Whether some soul encompassing this ball, Unmade, unmoved; yet making, moving all; Or various atoms' interfering dance Leaped into form, the noble work of chance; Or this great All was from eternity,-- } Not even the Stagyrite himself could see,} And Epicurus guessed as well as he. } As blindly groped they for a future state, As rashly judged of providence and fate; But least of all could their endeavours find What most concerned the good of human kind; For happiness was never to be found, But vanished from them like enchanted ground.[29] One thought content the good to be enjoyed; This every little accident destroyed: The wiser madmen did for virtue toil, A thorny, or, at best, a barren soil: In pleasure some their glutton souls would steep; } But found their line too short, the well too deep,} And leaky vessels which no bliss could keep. } Thus anxious thoughts in endless circles roll, Without a centre where to fix the soul: In this wild maze their vain endeavours end:-- How can the less the greater comprehend? Or finite reason reach infinity? For what could fathom God were more than he. The Deist thinks he stands on firmer ground; Cries [Greek: eureka]! the mighty secret's found: God is that spring of good, supreme and best, We made to serve, and in that service blest; If so, some rules of worship must be given, Distributed alike to all by heaven; Else God were partial, and to some denied The means his justice should for all provide. This general worship is to praise and pray; One part to borrow blessings, one to pay; And when frail nature slides into offence, The sacrifice for crimes is penitence. Yet since the effects of providence, we find, Are variously dispensed to human kind; That vice triumphs, and virtue suffers here, A brand that sovereign justice cannot bear; Our reason prompts us to a future state, The last appeal from fortune and from fate, Where God's all righteous ways will be declared; The bad meet punishment, the good reward. Thus man by his own strength to heaven would soar, And would not be obliged to God for more. Vain wretched creature, how art thou misled, To think thy wit these god-like notions bred! These truths are not the product of thy mind, But dropt from heaven, and of a nobler kind. Revealed religion first informed thy sight, And reason saw not till faith sprung the light. Hence all thy natural worship takes the source; 'Tis revelation what thou think'st discourse. Else how com'st thou to see these truths so clear, Which so obscure to heathens did appear? Not Plato these, nor Aristotle found, Nor he whose wisdom oracles renowned. Hast thou a wit so deep, or so sublime, Or canst thou lower dive, or higher climb? Canst thou by reason more of godhead know Than Plutarch, Seneca, or Cicero? Those giant wits, in happier ages born, When arms and arts did Greece and Rome adorn, Knew no such system; no such piles could raise Of natural worship, built on prayer and praise To one sole God; Nor did remorse to expiate sin prescribe, But slew their fellow-creatures for a bribe: The guiltless victim groaned for their offence, And cruelty and blood was penitence. If sheep and oxen could atone for men, Ah! at how cheap a rate the rich might sin! And great oppressors might heaven's wrath beguile, By offering his own creatures for a spoil! Darest thou, poor worm, offend Infinity? And must the terms of peace be given by thee? Then thou art justice in the last appeal; Thy easy God instructs thee to rebel; And, like a king remote and weak, must take What satisfaction thou art pleased to make. But if there be a Power too just and strong, To wink at crimes, and bear unpunished wrong; Look humbly upward, see his will disclose The forfeit first, and then the fine impose; A mulct thy poverty could never pay, Had not Eternal Wisdom found the way, And with celestial wealth supplied thy store; His justice makes the fine, his mercy quits the score. See God descending in thy human frame; The offended suffering in the offender's name; All thy misdeeds to him imputed see, And all his righteousness devolved on thee. For, granting we have sinned, and that the offence Of man is made against Omnipotence, Some price that bears proportion must be paid. And infinite with infinite be weighed. See then the Deist lost: remorse for vice Not paid, or paid inadequate in price: What farther means can reason now direct, Or what relief from human wit expect? That shews us sick; and sadly are we sure Still to be sick, till heaven reveal the cure: If then heaven's will must needs be understood, Which must, if we want cure, and heaven be good, Let all records of will revealed be shown; With scripture all in equal balance thrown, And our one sacred Book will be that one. Proof needs not here; for, whether we compare That impious, idle, superstitious ware Of rites, lustrations, offerings, which before, In various ages, various countries bore, With christian faith and virtues, we shall find None answering the great ends of human kind, But this one rule of life; that shews us best How God may be appeased, and mortals blest. Whether from length of time its worth we draw, The word is scarce more ancient than the law: Heaven's early care prescribed for every age; First, in the soul, and after, in the page. Or, whether more abstractedly we look, Or on the writers, or the written book, Whence, but from heaven, could men unskilled in arts, In several ages born, in several parts, Weave such agreeing truths? or how, or why Should all conspire to cheat us with a lie? Unasked their pains, ungrateful their advice, Starving their gain, and martyrdom their price. If on the book itself we cast our view, Concurrent heathens prove the story true: The doctrine, miracles; which must convince, For heaven in them appeals to human sense; And, though they prove not, they confirm the cause, When what is taught agrees with nature's laws. Then for the style, majestic and divine, It speaks no less than God in every line; Commanding words, whose force is still the same As the first fiat that produced our frame. All faiths, beside, or did by arms ascend, Or sense indulged has made mankind their friend; This only doctrine does our lusts oppose, Unfed by nature's soil, in which it grows; Cross to our interests, curbing sense, and sin; Oppressed without, and undermined within, It thrives through pain; it's own tormentors tires, And with a stubborn patience still aspires. To what can reason such effects assign, Transcending nature, but to laws divine? Which in that sacred volume are contained, Sufficient, clear, and for that use ordained. But stay: the Deist here will urge anew, No supernatural worship can be true; Because a general law is that alone Which must to all, and every where, be known; A style so large as not this book can claim, Nor aught that bears revealed religion's name. 'Tis said, the sound of a Messiah's birth Is gone through all the habitable earth; But still that text must be confined alone To what was then inhabited, and known: And what provision could from thence accrue To Indian souls, and worlds discovered new? In other parts it helps, that, ages past, The scriptures there were known, and were embraced, Till sin spread once again the shades of night: What's that to these who never saw the light? Of all objections this indeed is chief, To startle reason, stagger frail belief: We grant, 'tis true, that heaven from human sense Has hid the secrets paths of providence; But boundless wisdom, boundless mercy, may Find even for those bewildered souls a way. If from his nature foes may pity claim, Much more may strangers, who ne'er heard his name; And, though no name be for salvation known, But that of his eternal sons[30] alone; Who knows how far transcending goodness can Extend the merits of that son to man? Who knows what reasons may his mercy lead, Or ignorance invincible may plead? Not only charity bids hope the best, But more the great apostle has exprest: That, if the Gentiles, whom no law inspired, By nature did what was by law required; They, who the written rule had never known, Were to themselves both rule and law alone; To nature's plain indictment they shall plead, And by their conscience be condemned or freed. Most righteous doom! because a rule revealed Is none to those from whom it was concealed. Then those, who followed reason's dictates right, Lived up, and lifted high their natural light, With Socrates may see their Maker's face, While thousand rubric-martyrs want a place. Nor does it baulk my charity, to find The Egyptian bishop of another mind; For, though his creed eternal truth contains, 'Tis hard for man to doom to endless pains All, who believed not all his zeal required; Unless he first could prove he was inspired. Then let us either think he meant to say, This faith, where published, was the only way; Or else conclude, that, Arius to confute, The good old man, too eager in dispute, Flew high; and, as his christian fury rose, Damned all for heretics who durst oppose. Thus far my charity this path has tried; A much unskilful, but well-meaning guide: Yet what they are, even these crude thoughts were bred By reading that which better thou hast read; Thy matchless author's work, which thou, my friend, By well translating better dost commend;[31] Those youthful hours which, of thy equals, most In toys have squandered, or in vice have lost, Those hours hast thou to nobler use employed, And the severe delights of truth enjoyed. Witness this weighty book, in which appears The crabbed toil of many thoughtful years, Spent by thy author, in the sifting care Of rabbins' old sophisticated ware From gold divine; which he who well can sort May afterwards make algebra a sport; A treasure which, if country-curates buy, They Junius and Tremellius may defy;[32] Save pains in various readings and translations, And without Hebrew make most learned quotations; A work so full with various learning fraught, So nicely pondered, yet so strongly wrought, As nature's height and art's last hand required; As much as man could compass, uninspired; Where we may see what errors have been made Both in the copiers' and translators' trade; How Jewish, Popish, interests have prevailed, And where infallibility has failed. For some, who have his secret meaning guessed, Have found our author not too much a priest; For fashion-sake he seems to have recourse To pope, and councils, and traditions' force; But he that old traditions' could subdue, Could not but find the weakness of the new: If scripture, though derived from heavenly birth, Has been but carelessly preserved on earth; If God's own people, who of God before Knew what we know, and had been promised more, In fuller terms, of heaven's assisting care, And who did neither time nor study spare To keep this book untainted, unperplext, Let in gross errors to corrupt the text, Omitted paragraphs, embroiled the sense, With vain traditions stopt the gaping fence, Which every common hand pulled up with ease,-- What safety from such brushwood-helps as these? If written words from time are not secure, How can we think have oral sounds endured? Which thus transmitted, if one mouth has failed, Immortal lies on ages are entailed; And that some such have been, is proved too plain, If we consider interest, church, and gain. O but, says one, tradition set side, Where can we hope for an unerring guide? For, since the original scripture has been lost, All copies disagreeing, maimed the most, Or Christian faith can have no certain ground, Or truth in church-tradition must be found. Such an omniscient church we wish indeed; 'Twere worth both Testaments, cast in the Creed: But if this mother be a guide so sure, As can all doubts resolve, all truth secure, Then her infallibility as well Where copies are corrupt or lame can tell; Restore lost canon with as little pains, As truly explicate what still remains; Which yet no council dare pretend to do, } Unless, like Esdras, they could write it new;} Strange confidence still to interpret true, } Yet not be sure that all they have explained, Is in the blest original contained. More safe, and much more modest 'tis, to say God would not leave mankind without a way; And that the scriptures, though not every where Free from corruption, or entire, or clear, Are uncorrupt, sufficient, clear, entire, In all things which our needful faith require. If others in the same glass better see, 'Tis for themselves they look, but not for me; For my salvation must its doom receive, Not from what others, but what I believe. Must all tradition then be set aside? This to affirm were ignorance or pride. Are there not many points, some needful sure To saving faith, that scripture leaves obscure? Which every sect will wrest a several way, For what one sect interprets, all sects may; We hold, and say we prove from scripture plain,} That Christ is God; the bold Socinian } From the same scripture urges he's but man.[33] } Now what appeal can end the important suit? Both parts talk loudly, but the rule is mute. Shall I speak plain, and, in a nation free, Assume an honest layman's liberty? I think, according to my little skill, To my own mother-church submitting still, That many have been saved, and many may, Who never heard this question brought in play. The unlettered Christian, who believes in gross, Plods on to heaven, and ne'er is at a loss; For the strait gate would be made straiter yet, Were none admitted there but men of wit. The few by nature formed, with learning fraught, Born to instruct, as others to be taught, Must study well the sacred page; and see Which doctrine, this or that, does best agree With the whole tenor of the work divine, And plainliest points to heaven's revealed design; Which exposition flows from genuine sense, And which is forced by wit and eloquence. Not that tradition's parts are useless here, When general, old, disinterested, and clear; That ancient fathers thus expound the page, Gives truth the reverend majesty of age; Confirms its force by bideing every test; For best authorities, next rules, are best; And still the nearer to the spring we go, More limpid, more unsoiled, the waters flow. Thus, first, traditions were a proof alone; Could we be certain, such they were, so known; But since some flaws in long descent may be, They make not truth, but probability. Even Arius and Pelagius durst provoke To what the centuries preceding spoke:[34] Such difference is there in an oft-told tale; But truth by its own sinews will prevail. Tradition written, therefore, more commends Authority, than what from voice descends; And this, as perfect as its kind can be, Rolls down to us the sacred history; Which from the universal church received, Is tried, and, after, for itself believed. The partial Papists would infer from hence, Their church, in last resort, should judge the sense. But first they would assume, with wonderous art, Themselves to be the whole, who are but part Of that vast frame, the Church; yet grant they were The handers down, can they from thence infer A right to interpret? or, would they alone, Who brought the present, claim it for their own? The book's a common largess to mankind, Not more for them than every man designed; The welcome news is in the letter found; The carrier's not commissioned to expound. It speaks itself, and what it does contain, In all things needful to be known, is plain. In times o'ergrown with rust and ignorance, A gainful trade their clergy did advance; When want of learning kept the laymen low, And none but priests were authorized to know; When what small knowledge was, in them did dwell, And he a god, who could but read and spell,-- Then mother Church did mightily prevail: She parcelled out the Bible by retail; But still expounded what she sold or gave, To keep it in her power to damn and save. Scripture was scarce, and, as the market went, Poor laymen took salvation on content, As needy men take money, good or bad. God's word they had not, but the priest's they had; Yet whate'er false conveyances they made, The lawyer still was certain to be paid. In those dark times they learned their knack so well, That by long use they grew infallible. At last, a knowing age began to enquire If they the book, or that did them inspire; And, making narrower search, they found, though late, That what they thought the priest's, was their estate; Taught by the will produced, the written word, How long they had been cheated on record. Then every man, who saw the title fair, Claimed a child's part, and put in for a share; Consulted soberly his private good, And saved himself as cheap as e'er he could. 'Tis true, my friend,--and far be flattery hence,-- This good had full as bad a consequence; The book thus put in every vulgar hand, Which each presumed he best could understand, The common rule was made the common prey, And at the mercy of the rabble lay. The tender page with horny fists was galled, And he was gifted most, that loudest bawled; The spirit gave the doctoral degree, } And every member of a company } Was of his trade and of the Bible free. } Plain truths enough for needful use they found; But men would still be itching to expound; Each was ambitious of the obscurest place, No measure ta'en from knowledge, all from grace. Study and pains were now no more their care; Texts were explained by fasting and by prayer: This was the fruit the private spirit brought, Occasioned by great zeal and little thought. While crowds unlearned, with rude devotion warm, About the sacred viands buz and swarm; The fly-blown text creates a crawling brood, And turns to maggots what was meant for food.[35] A thousand daily sects rise up and die; A thousand more the perished race supply; So all we make of heaven's discovered will, Is not to have it, or to use it ill. The danger's much the same; on several shelves If others wreck us, or we wreck ourselves. What then remains, but, waving each extreme, The tides of ignorance and pride to stem; Neither so rich a treasure to forego, Nor proudly seek beyond our power to know? Faith is not built on disquisitions vain; The things we must believe are few and plain: But since men will believe more than they need, And every man will make himself a creed, In doubtful questions 'tis the safest way To learn what unsuspected antients say; For 'tis not likely we should higher soar In search of heaven, than all the church before; Nor can we be deceived, unless we see The scripture and the fathers disagree. If, after all, they stand suspected still, (For no man's faith depends upon his will) 'Tis some relief, that points, not clearly known, Without much hazard may be let alone; And, after hearing what our church can say, If still our reason runs another way, That private reason 'tis more just to curb, Than by disputes the public peace disturb: For points obscure are of small use to learn; But common quiet is mankind's concern. Thus have I made my own opinions clear, Yet neither praise expect, nor censure fear; And this unpolished rugged verse I chose, As fittest for discourse, and nearest prose; For while from sacred truth I do not swerve, Tom Sternhold's, or Tom Shadwell's rhymes will serve.[36]

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 29: The author applies the same simile to the use of rhyme in tragedy;

Passion's too fierce to be in fetters bound, And nature flies him like enchanted ground.

_Prologue to Aureng-Zebe._ ]

[Footnote 30: All the editions read _Sons_, which seems to make a double genitive, unless we construe the line to mean, "the name of his Eternal Son's salvation." I own I should have been glad to have found an authority for reading _Son_.]

[Footnote 31: Simon's Critical History of the Old Testament, translated by the young gentleman to whom the poem is addressed.--See Preface.]

[Footnote 32: Calvinistic divines, who made translations of the Scripture, with commentaries, on which Pere Simon makes learned criticisms.]

[Footnote 33: The Socinians, or followers of Lelius Socinius, denied the doctrine of the Trinity and of Redemption. The modern Unitarians have embraced some of the principles of this sect.]

[Footnote 34: The founders of two noted heresies, who, nevertheless, as the poet observes, ventured to appeal to the traditions of the church in support of their doctrines.]

[Footnote 35: Perhaps this idea is borrowed from "Hudibras:"

The learned write, an insect breeze Is but a mongrel prince of bees, That falls before a storm on cows, And stings the founders of his house, From whose corrupted flesh, that breed Of vermin did at first proceed. So, ere the storm of war broke out, Religion spawned a various rout Of petulant capricious sects, The maggots of corrupted texts, That first run all religion down, And after every swarm its own.

_Hudibras_, Part III. canto 2. ]

[Footnote 36: The famous Tom Brown is pleased to droll on this association of persons; being a part of the punishment which he says the laureat inflicted on Shadwell for presuming to dispute his theatrical infallibility. "But, gentlemen, when I had thus, in the plenitude of my power, issued out the above-mentioned decretal epistles, you cannot imagine what abundance of adversaries I created myself: some were for appealing to a free unbiassed synod of impartial authors; others were for suing out a _quo warranto_, to examine the validity of my charter. Not to mention those of higher quality, I was immediatly set upon by the fierce Elkanah, the Empress of Morocco's agent, who at that time commanded a party of Moorish horse, in order to raise the siege of Grenada; and a fat old gouty gentleman, commonly called the King of Basan, who had almost devoured the stage with free quarter for his men of wit and humourists. But I countermined all their designs against my crown and person in a moment; for I presently got the one to be dressed up in a sanbenit, under the unsanctified name of Doeg; the other I coupled myself with his namesake Tom Sternhold. Being thus degraded from their poetical functions, and become incapable of crowning princes, raising ghosts, and offering any more incense of flattery to the living and the dead, I delivered them over to the secular arm, to be chastised by the furious dapper-wits of the Inns of Court, and the young critics of the university. Furthermore, to prevent all infection of their errors, I directed my monitory letters to the Sieur Batterton, advising him to keep no correspondence, either directly or indirectly, with those aforesaid apostates from sense and reason; adding, that in case of neglect, I would certainly put the theatre under an interdict, send a troop of dragoons from Drury-Lane to demolish his garrison in Salisbury-court, and absolve all his subjects, even to the sub-deacons and acolythes of the stage, his trusty door-keepers and candle-lighters, from their oaths of fealty and allegiance." _Reasons for Mr Bayes' changing his Religion._]

THRENODIA AUGUSTALIS:

A

FUNERAL PINDARIC POEM,

SACRED TO THE

HAPPY MEMORY OF

KING CHARLES II.

_Fortunati ambo si quid mea carmina possunt, Nulla dies unquam memori vos eximet ævo!_

THRENODIA AUGUSTALIS.

The death of Charles II. was sudden and unexpected. After he had apparently completely subdued the popular party, and was preparing, as has been confidently alleged, a similar conquest over the high-flying followers of the Duke of York, in the midst of his present triumph and future projects, he was, on the morning of the 2d February, 1684-5, seized with a sudden fit, which resembled an apoplexy. He was bled by one King, a chemist, who happened to be in waiting, and experienced a temporary relief. From the 2d till the 6th, he continued in a languishing state, the Duke of York being in constant attendance on his death-bed. On the forenoon of the 6th, Charles died, to the general grief of his subjects, by whom he was personally beloved, and who had reason to fear, that his worst public measures would be followed out with more rigour by his successor.

A numerous host of rhymers stepped forward with their condolences upon this event.[37] Among these, we find few eminent names besides that of Dryden. Otway, indeed, has left a poem on the subject, called "Windsor Castle;" and he began a pastoral, which, fortunately for his reputation, he left unfinished.[38] From the laureat a deeper tone of lamentation was due. But whether the sense of discharging a task, a sense so chilling always to poetical imagination, had fettered Dryden's powers, or from whatever other reason, his funeral pindaric has not been esteemed one of his happiest lyric effusions. It is devoid of any appearance of deep feeling on the part of the author himself. This is the more remarkable, as the manners of Charles were eminently calculated to attract affection, and Dryden had been admitted to a greater share of royal intercourse than is usually necessary to excite the personal attachment of a subject to a condescending monarch. But whether Dryden, as he is sometimes believed to have owned, was unapt to feel or express the more tender passions, or whether he saw the character of Charles so closely, as to discern the selfishness of his hollow courtesy, it is certain that the poet seems wonderfully little interested in the sorrowful theme. Even when he mentions his literary intercourse with the deceased monarch, he does not suppress a murmur, that he was niggard in rewarding the muses whom he loved; that

----little was their hire, and light their gain.

This absence of personal feeling on the part of the author, spreads a coldness over the whole elegy; which we regret the less, as the pensioned monarch ill deserved a deeper lamentation. It is chiefly owing to this want of sympathy, connected with an over indulgence in conceit, a fault which immediately flows from the other, being an effort of ingenuity to supply the want of passion, that the "Threnodia Augustalis" has been neglected. We have to lament some overstrained metaphors and similes. The sun went back _ten_ degrees in the dial of Ahaz; a miraculous sign that Hezekiah was to live; and this is compared to the _five_ days during which the disease of Charles gained ground, until it was obvious that he was to die. The prayers of the people carrying heaven by storm, and almost forcing heaven to revoke his decrees, is extravagant, not to say profane. Yet, with all its faults of coldness and conceit, this poem seems rather to have been under-rated. It appears to great advantage, when compared with others on the same subject. Otway, who affects a warmer display of passion, a particular in which Dryden is said to have acknowledged his superiority, has fallen into the opposite fault, of describing the death-bed rather of a tender husband or lover, attended by his wife or mistress, than that of a king waited on by his successor.[39] Dryden's picture of the duke's grief is much more appropriate and striking:

Horror in all his pomp was there, Mute and magnificent, without a tear.

The joy of the people upon the fallacious prospect of the king's recovery, is also a striking picture:

Men met each other with erected look; The steps were higher that they took; Friends to congratulate their friends made haste, And long inveterate foes saluted as they past.

There are many other fine passages in the "Threnodia;" though the general effect is less impressive than might have been expected. The description in the thirteenth stanza, for example, of the effects on poetry and literature produced by the Restoration, and that of the return of liberty,

Without whose charms even peace would be But a dull quiet slavery,

are both striking.--The character of Charles; his wit, parts, and powers of conversation; his gentle manners, and firmness of disposition, which, like a well-wrought blade, kept, even in yielding, the native toughness of the steel,--are all themes of panegyric, which, though perhaps exaggerated, are well-chosen, and exquisitely brought out. It is indeed a peculiar attribute of Dryden's praise, that it is always appropriate; while the gross adulation of his contemporaries gave indiscriminately the same broad features to all their subjects, and thereby very often converted their intended panegyric into satire, not the less bitter because undesigned. Dryden, for instance, in this whole poem has never once mentioned the queen; sensible that the gaiety of Charles' life, and his frequent amours, rendered her conjugal grief, which some of the elegiasts chose to describe in terms approaching to blasphemy, an apocryphal, as well as a delicate theme.[40] He knew, that praise, to do honour to the giver and receiver, must either have a real foundation in desert, or at least what, by the skilful management of the poet, may be easily represented as such.

Having discussed the melancholy part of his subject, the poet, according to the approved custom in such cases, finds cause for rejoicing in the succession of James, as he had mourned over the death of his predecessor. From his firmness of character, and supposed military talents, the poet prophesies a warlike and victorious reign: a sad instance how seldom the poetic and prophetic character, so often claimed, are united in the same individual! for James, as is well known, far from conquering foreign kingdoms, did not draw the sword even to defend his own. But very different events were expected, and augured, by the shoal of versifiers, who now rushed forwards to gratulate his accession.[41]

The pindaric measure, in which the "Threnodia Augustalis" is written, contains nothing pleasing to modern ears. The rhymes are occasionally so far disjoined, that, like a fashionable married couple, they have nothing of union but the name. The inequalities of the verse are also violent, and remind us of ascending a broken and unequal stair-case. But the age had been accustomed to this rythm, which, however improperly, was considered as a genuine imitation of the style of Pindar. It must also be owned, that wherever, for a little way, Dryden uses a more regular measure, he displays all his usual command of harmony. The thirteenth stanza, for example, is as happily distinguished by melody of rhyme, as we have already observed it is eminent in beauty of poetry.

The Latin title of this poem, like that of the _Religio Laici_, savours somewhat of affectation; and has been taxed by Johnson as not strictly classical, a more unpardonable fault.[42]

My learned friend, Dr Adam, has favoured me with the following defence of Dryden's phrase: "With respect to the title which that great poet gives to his elegy on the death of Charles, making allowance for the taste of the times and the licence of poets in framing names, I see no just foundation for Johnson's criticism on the epithet _Augustalis_. _Threnodia_ is a word purely Greek, used by no Latin author; and _Augustalis_ denotes, 'in honour of Augustus;' thus, _ludi Augustales_, games instituted in honour of Augustis, _Tac. An._ 1, 15 and 54; so _sacerdotes_ vel _sodales Augustales_, ib. and 2, 83. Hist. 2, 95. Now as _Augustus_ was a name given to the succeeding emperors, I see no reason, why _Augustalis_ may not be used to signify, 'in honour of any king.' Besides, the very word _Augustus_ denotes, 'venerable, august, royal:' and therefore _Threnodia Augustalis_ may properly be put for, 'An Elegy in honour of an august Prince."

The full title declared the poem to be written "by John Dryden, servant to his late majesty, and to the present king;" a style which our author did not generally assume, but which the occasion rendered peculiarly proper. The poem appears to have been popular, as it went through two editions in the course of 1685.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 37: The following Nœnia, among others, occur in Mr Luttrell's Collection:

"A Pindarick Ode, by Sir F. F. Knight of the Bath."

"A Pindarick Ode on the Death of our late Sovereign, with an ancient Prophecy on his present Majesty, by Afra Behn."

"A Poem, humbly dedicated to the Great Pattern of Piety and Virtue, Catherine, Queen Dowager, on the Death of her dear Lord and Husband, King Charles II. By the Same. (4th April, 1685.)"

"The Vision, a Pindarick Ode, by Edmund Arwaker, M. A."

"The Second Part of Ditto, on the Coronation of James and Mary." This author poured forth a similar effusion upon the death of Queen Mary.

"A Pindarick Ode on the Death of Charles II, by J. H."

"Ireland's Tears to the sacred Memory of our late Dread Sovereign, King Charles II., 11th April, 1685."

"_Pietas universitatis Oxoniensis in obitum augustissimi et desideratissimi Regis Caroli Secundi._"

Duke, and others, also invoked Melpomene on this mournful occasion: but, perhaps, the most remarkable of all these lamentations is, "The Quaker's Elegy on the Death of Charles, late King of England, written by W. P. a sincere lover of Charles and James; (31st March, 1685.)" "Tears wiped off, a Second Part, on the Coronation, (22d April.)" This curious dirge begins thus:

What wondrous change in waking do I find, For a strange something does my sense unbind; Truth has possessed my darkened soul all o'er With an unusual light, not known before; And doth inform me, that some star is gone, From whose kind influence we had life alone. No sooner had this stranger seized my soul, But Rachel knocked, to raise me from my bed, And, with a voice of sorrow, did condole The loss of Charles, whom she declared was dead; Charles dost thou mean we King of England call, That lived within the mansion of Whitehall? Yes--'tis too true, &c. ]

[Footnote 38: "Windsor Castle, in a monument to our late, sovereign, King Charles II.," contains some striking passages. But, for the tenuity of the pastoral, even the taste of the age can hardly excuse the author of "Venice Preserved." For example:

Ye tender lambs, stray not so fast away; To weep and mourn, let us together stay; O'er all the universe let it be spread, That now the shepherd of the flock is dead; The royal Pan, that shepherd of the sheep, He, who to leave his flock did dying weep, Is gone! Ah! gone, ne'er to return from death's eternal sleep. ]

[Footnote 39: We shall here insert the last meeting of the royal brothers, as described in "Windsor Castle," which the reader may contrast with the same theme in the "Threnodia:"

Here, painter, if thou can'st, thy art improve, And show the wonders of fraternal love; How mourning James by fading Charles did stand, The dying grasping the surviving hand; How round each others necks their arms they cast, Moaned, with endearing murmurings, and embraced; And of their parting pangs such marks did give, 'Twere hard to guess which yet could longest live. Both their sad tongues quite lost the power to speak, And their kind hearts seemed both prepared to break. ]

[Footnote 40: Perhaps the most extraordinary instance of flattery, wrought up to impiety, occurs in Mrs Behn's address to the queen on the death of her husband:

Methinks I see you like the queen of heaven, To whom all patience and all grace was given; When the great lord of life himself was laid Upon her lap, all wounded, pale, and dead; Transpierced with anguish, even to death transformed, So she bewailed her god, so sighed, so mourned, So his blest image in her heart remained, So his blest memory o'er her soul still reigned; She lived the sacred victim to deplore, And never knew, or wished a pleasure more. ]

[Footnote 41: These are even more numerous than the Elegiasts on Charles's death. In the Luttrell Collection there are the following rare pieces.

"_Panegyris Jacobi serenissimi, &c. regi ipso die inaugurationis._"

"A Poem on Do. by R. Philips."

"On Do. by a Young Gentleman."

"A Panegyrick on Do. by the Author of the Plea for Succession."

"A New Song on Do."

"A Poem on Do. by John Philips."

"A Poem upon the Coronation, by J. Baber, Esq."

"A Pindarique to their Sacred Majesties on their Coronation."

"A Poem on Do. by R. Mansell, Gent."

"A Panegyrick on Do. by Peter Ker;" with whose rapturous invitation to the ships to strand themselves for joy, we shall conclude the list:

Let subjects sing, bells ring, and cannons roar; And every ship come dancing to the shore. ]

[Footnote 42: Dryden, perhaps, recollected the poem of Fitzpayne Fisher on Cromwell's death, entitled, _Threnodia Triumphalis in obitum serenissimi Nostri Principis Olivari, Angliæ Scotiæ Hiberniœ cum dominationibus ubicunque jacentibus Nuperi protectoris, (Qui obiit. Septemb. 3tio.) Ubi stupendæ passim victoriæ, et incredibiles domi forasque successus, Heroico carmine, succinctim perstringuntur. Per Fitzpaynæum Piscatorem. Londini, 1658._]

THRENODIA AUGUSTALIS.

I.

Thus long my grief has kept me dumb: Sure there's a lethargy in mighty woe, Tears stand congealed, and cannot flow; And the sad soul retires into her inmost room: Tears, for a stroke foreseen, afford relief; But, unprovided for a sudden blow, Like Niobe, we marble grow, And petrify with grief. Our British heaven was all serene, No threatening cloud was nigh, Not the least wrinkle to deform the sky; We lived as unconcerned and happily As the first age in nature's golden scene; Supine amidst our flowing store, We slept securely, and we dreamt of more; When suddenly the thunder-clap was heard, It took us, unprepared, and out of guard, Already lost before we feared. The amazing news of Charles at once were spread, At once the general voice declared, "Our gracious prince was dead." No sickness known before, no slow disease, To soften grief by just degrees; But, like an hurricane on Indian seas, The tempest rose; An unexpected burst of woes,[43] With scarce a breathing space betwixt, This now becalmed, and perishing the next. As if great Atlas from his height Should sink beneath his heavenly weight, And, with a mighty flaw, the flaming wall, As once it shall, Should gape immense, and, rushing down, o'erwhelm this nether ball; So swift and so surprising was our fear: Our Atlas fell indeed; but Hercules was near.[44]

II.

His pious brother, sure the best Who ever bore that name, Was newly risen from his rest, And, with a fervent flame, His usual morning vows had just addrest, For his dear sovereign's health; And hoped to have them heard, In long increase of years, In honour, fame, and wealth: Guiltless of greatness, thus he always prayed, Nor knew nor wished those vows he made, On his own head should be repaid. Soon as the ill-omen'd rumour reached his ear, (Ill news is winged with fate, and flies apace,) Who can describe the amazement of his face! Horror in all his pomp was there, Mute and magnificent, without a tear; And then the hero first was seen to fear. Half unarrayed he ran to his relief, So hasty and so artless was his grief: Approaching greatness met him with her charms Of power and future state; But looked so ghastly in a brother's fate, He shook her from his arms. Arrived within the mournful room, he saw A wild distraction, void of awe, And arbitrary grief unbounded by a law. God's image, God's anointed, lay Without motion, pulse, or breath, A senseless lump of sacred clay, An image now of death, Amidst his sad attendants' groans and cries, The lines of that adored forgiving face, Distorted from their native grace; An iron slumber sat on his majestic eyes. The pious duke--Forbear, audacious muse! No terms thy feeble art can use Are able to adorn so vast a woe: The grief of all the rest like subject-grief did show, His, like a sovereign's, did transcend; No wife, no brother, such a grief could know, Nor any name but friend.

III.

O wondrous changes of a fatal scene, Still varying to the last! Heaven, though its hard decree was past, Seemed pointing to a gracious turn again: And death's uplifted arm arrested in its haste. Heaven half repented of the doom, And almost grieved it had foreseen, What by foresight it willed eternally to come. Mercy above did hourly plead For her resemblance here below; And mild forgiveness intercede To stop the coming blow. New miracles approached the etherial throne, Such as his wonderous life had oft and lately known, And urged that still they might be shown. On earth his pious brother prayed and vowed, Renouncing greatness at so dear a rate, Himself defending what he could, From all the glories of his future fate. With him the innumerable crowd Of armed prayers Knocked at the gates of heaven, and knocked aloud; The first well-meaning rude petitioners.[45] All for his life assailed the throne, All would have bribed the skies by offering up their own. So great a throng, not heaven itself could bar; 'Twas almost borne by force, as in the giants' war. The prayers, at least, for his reprieve were heard; His death, like Hezekiah's, was deferred: Against the sun the shadow went; Five days, those five degrees, were lent, To form our patience, and prepare the event.[46] The second causes took the swift command, The medicinal head, the ready hand, All eager to perform their part;[47] All but eternal doom was conquered by their art: Once more the fleeting soul came back To inspire the mortal frame; And in the body took a doubtful stand, Doubtful and hovering, like expiring flame, That mounts and falls by turns, and trembles o'er the brand.

IV.

The joyful short-lived news soon spread around,[48] Took the same train, the same impetuous bound: The drooping town in smiles again was drest, Gladness in every face exprest, Their eyes before their tongues confest. Men met each other with erected look, The steps were higher that they took; Friends to congratulate their friends made haste, And long inveterate foes saluted as they past. Above the rest heroic James appeared, Exalted more, because he more had feared. His manly heart, whose noble pride Was still above Dissembled hate, or varnished love, Its more than common transport could not hide; But like an eagre[49] rode in triumph o'er the tide. Thus, in alternate course, The tyrant passions, hope and fear, Did in extremes appear, And flashed upon the soul with equal force. Thus, at half ebb, a rolling sea Returns, and wins upon the shore; The watery herd, affrighted at the roar, Rest on their fins awhile, and stay, Then backward take their wondering way: The prophet wonders more than they, At prodigies but rarely seen before, And cries,--a king must fall, or kingdoms change their sway. Such were our counter-tides at land, and so Presaging of the fatal blow, In their prodigious ebb and flow. The royal soul, that, like the labouring moon, By charms of art was hurried down, Forced with regret to leave her native sphere, Came but a while on liking[50] here: Soon weary of the painful strife, And made but faint essays of life: An evening light Soon shut in night; A strong distemper, and a weak relief, Short intervals of joy, and long returns of grief.

V.

The sons of art all med'cines tried, And every noble remedy applied; With emulation each essayed His utmost skill; nay, more, they prayed: Never was losing game with better conduct played. Death never won a stake with greater toil, Nor e'er was fate so near a foil: But, like a fortress on a rock, The impregnable disease their vain attempts did mock; They mined it near, they battered from afar With all the cannon of the medicinal war; No gentle means could be essayed, 'Twas beyond parley when the siege was laid. The extremest ways they first ordain, Prescribing such intolerable pain, As none but Cæsar could sustain: Undaunted Cæsar underwent The malice of their art, nor bent Beneath whate'er their pious rigour could invent. In five such days he suffered more Than any suffered in his reign before; More, infinitely more, than he, Against the worst of rebels could decree, A traitor, or twice pardoned enemy. Now art was tired without success, No racks could make the stubborn malady confess. The vain insurancers of life, And he who most performed, and promised less, Even Short[51] himself, forsook the unequal strife. Death and despair was in their looks, No longer they consult their memories or books; Like helpless friends, who view from shore The labouring ship, and hear the tempest roar; So stood they with their arms across, Not to assist, but to deplore The inevitable loss.

VI.

Death was denounced; that frightful sound Which even the best can hardly bear; He took the summons void of fear, And unconcernedly cast his eyes around, As if to find and dare the grisly challenger. What death could do he lately tried, When in four days he more than died. The same assurance all his words did grace; The same majestic mildness held its place; Nor lost the monarch in his dying face. Intrepid, pious, merciful, and brave, He looked as when he conquered and forgave.

VII.

As if some angel had been sent To lengthen out his government, And to foretel as many years again, As he had numbered in his happy reign; So cheerfully he took the doom Of his departing breath, Nor shrunk nor stept aside for death; But, with unaltered pace, kept on, Providing for events to come, When he resigned the throne. Still he maintained his kingly state, And grew familiar with his fate. Kind, good, and gracious, to the last, On all he loved before his dying beams he cast: Oh truly good, and truly great, For glorious as he rose, benignly so he set! All that on earth he held most dear, He recommended to his care, To whom both heaven The right had given, And his own love bequeathed supreme command:[52] He took and prest that ever-loyal hand, Which could, in peace, secure his reign; Which could, in wars, his power maintain; That hand on which no plighted vows were ever vain. Well, for so great a trust, he chose A prince, who never disobeyed; Not when the most severe commands were laid; Nor want, nor exile, with his duty weighed:[53] A prince on whom, if heaven its eyes could close, The welfare of the world it safely might repose.

VIII.

That king, who lived to God's own heart, Yet less serenely died than he; Charles left behind no harsh decree, For schoolmen, with laborious art, To save from cruelty:[54] Those, for whom love could no excuses frame, He graciously forgot to name. Thus far my muse, though rudely, has designed Some faint resemblance of his godlike mind; But neither pen nor pencil can express The parting brothers tenderness; Though that's a term too mean and low; The blest above a kinder word may know: But what they did, and what they said, The monarch who triumphant went, The militant who staid, Like painters, when their heightening arts are spent, I cast into a shade. That all-forgiving king, The type of him above, That inexhausted spring Of clemency and love, Himself to his next self accused, And asked that pardon which he ne'er refused; For faults not his, for guilt and crimes Of godless men, and of rebellious times; For an hard exile, kindly meant, When his ungrateful country sent Their best Camillus into banishment, And forced their sovereign's act, they could not his consent. Oh how much rather had that injured chief Repeated all his sufferings past, Than hear a pardon begged at last, Which, given, could give the dying no relief! He bent, he sunk beneath his grief; His dauntless heart would fain have held From weeping, but his eyes rebelled. Perhaps the godlike hero, in his breast, Disdained, or was ashamed to show, So weak, so womanish a woe, Which yet the brother and the friend so plenteously confest.

IX.

Amidst that silent shower, the royal mind An easy passage found, And left its sacred earth behind; Nor murmuring groan expressed, nor labouring sound, Nor any least tumultuous breath; Calm was his life, and quiet was his death. Soft as those gentle whispers were, In which the Almighty did appear; By the still voice the prophet knew him there. That peace which made thy prosperous reign to shine, That peace thou leav'st to thy imperial line, That peace, Oh happy shade, be ever thine!

X.

For all those joys thy restoration brought, For all the miracles it wrought, For all the healing balm thy mercy poured Into the nation's bleeding wound,[55] And care, that after kept it sound, For numerous blessings yearly showered, And property with plenty crowned; For freedom, still maintained alive, Freedom, which in no other land will thrive, Freedom, an English subject's sole prerogative, Without whose charms, even peace would be But a dull quiet slavery;-- For these, and more, accept our pious praise; 'Tis all the subsidy The present age can raise, The rest is charged on late posterity. Posterity is charged the more, Because the large abounding store To them, and to their heirs, is still entailed by thee. Succession of a long descent, Which chastely in the channels ran, And from our demi-gods began, Equal almost to time in its extent, Through hazards numberless and great, Thou hast derived this mighty blessing down, And fixed the fairest gem that decks the imperial crown: Not faction, when it shook thy regal seat, Not senates, insolently loud, Those echoes of a thoughtless crowd, Not foreign or domestic treachery, Could warp thy soul to their unjust decree. So much thy foes thy manly mind mistook, Who judged it by the mildness of thy look; Like a well-tempered sword, it bent at will, But kept the native toughness of the steel.

XI.

Be true, O Clio, to thy hero's name; But draw him strictly so, That all who view the piece may know, He needs no trappings of fictitious fame. The load's too weighty; thou may'st chuse Some parts of praise, and some refuse; Write, that his annals may be thought more lavish than the muse. In scanty truth thou hast confined The virtues of a royal mind, Forgiving, bounteous, humble, just, and kind: His conversation, wit, and parts, His knowledge in the noblest useful arts, Were such, dead authors could not give; But habitudes of those who live, Who, lighting him, did greater lights receive: He drained from all, and all they knew; His apprehension quick, his judgment true, That the most learned, with shame, confess His knowledge more, his reading only less.

XII.

Amidst the peaceful triumphs of his reign, What wonder, if the kindly beams he shed Revived the drooping arts again, If science raised her head, And soft humanity, that from rebellion fled. Our isle, indeed, too fruitful was before; But all uncultivated lay Out of the solar walk, and heaven's high way;[56] With rank Geneva weeds run o'er, And cockle, at the best, amidst the corn it bore: The royal husbandman appeared, And ploughed, and sowed, and tilled; The thorns he rooted out, the rubbish cleared, And blest the obedient field When strait a double harvest rose, Such as the swarthy Indian mows, Or happier climates near the Line, Or paradise manured, and drest by hands divine.

XIII.

As when the new-born phoenix takes his way, His rich paternal regions to survey, Of airy choristers a numerous train Attend his wonderous progress o'er the plain; So, rising from his father's urn, So glorious did our Charles return; The officious muses came along, A gay harmonious quire, like angels ever young; The muse, that mourns him now, his happy triumph sung.[57] Even they could thrive in his auspicious reign; And such a plenteous crop they bore Of purest and well-winnowed grain, As Britain never knew before. Though little was their hire, and light their gain, Yet somewhat to their share he threw; Fed from his hand, they sung and flew, Like birds of paradise, that lived on morning dew. Oh never let their lays his name forget! The pension of a prince's praise is great. Live then, thou great encourager of arts, Live ever in our thankful hearts; Live blest above, almost invoked below; Live and receive this pious vow, Our patron once, our guardian angel now! Thou Fabius of a sinking state, Who didst by wise delays divert our fate, When faction like a tempest rose, In death's most hideous form, Then art to rage thou didst oppose, To weather out the storm; Not quitting thy supreme command, Thou heldst the rudder with a steady hand, Till safely on the shore the bark did land; The bark, that all our blessings brought, Charged with thyself and James, a doubly-royal fraught.

XIV.

Oh frail estate of human things, And slippery hopes below! Now to our cost your emptiness we know; For 'tis a lesson dearly bought, Assurance here is never to be sought. The best, and best beloved of kings, And best deserving to be so, When scarce he had escaped the fatal blow Of faction and conspiracy, Death did his promised hopes destroy; He toiled, he gained, but lived not to enjoy. What mists of Providence are these Through which we cannot see! So saints, by supernatural power set free, Are left at last in martyrdom to die; Such is the end of oft repeated miracles.-- Forgive me, heaven, that impious thought, 'Twas grief for Charles, to madness wrought, That questioned thy supreme decree! Thou didst his gracious reign prolong, Even in thy saints and angels wrong, His fellow-citizens of immortality: For twelve long years of exile born, Twice twelve we numbered since his blest return: So strictly wer't thou just to pay, Even to the driblet of a day.[58] Yet still we murmur, and complain The quails and manna should no longer rain: Those miracles 'twas needless to renew; The chosen flock has now the promised land in view.

XV.

A warlike prince ascends the regal state, A prince long exercised by fate: Long may he keep, though he obtains it late! Heroes in heaven's peculiar mould are cast; They, and their poets, are not formed in haste; Man was the first in God's design, and man was made the last. False heroes, made by flattery so, Heaven can strike out, like sparkles, at a blow; But ere a prince is to perfection brought, He costs Omnipotence a second thought. With toil and sweat, With hardening cold, and forming heat, The Cyclops did their strokes repeat, Before the impenetrable shield was wrought. It looks as if the Maker would not own The noble work for his, Before 'twas tried and found a master-piece.

XVI.

View then a monarch ripened for a throne. Alcides thus his race began, O'er infancy he swiftly ran; The future God at first was more than man: Dangers and toils, and Juno's hate, Even o'er his cradle lay in wait, And there he grappled first with fate; In his young hands the hissing snakes he prest, So early was the Deity confest; Thus, by degrees, he rose to Jove's imperial seat; Thus difficulties prove a soul legitimately great. Like his, our hero's infancy was tried; Betimes the furies did their snakes provide, And to his infant arms oppose His father's rebels, and his brother's foes; The more opprest, the higher still he rose. Those were the preludes of his fate, That formed his manhood, to subdue The hydra of the many-headed hissing crew.

XVII.

As after Numa's peaceful reign, The martial Ancus[59] did the sceptre wield, Furbished the rusty sword again, Resumed the long-forgotten shield, And led the Latins to the dusty field; So James the drowsy genius wakes Of Britain long entranced in charms, Restiff and slumbering on its arms; 'Tis roused, and, with a new-strung nerve, the spear already shakes. No neighing of the warrior steeds, No drum, or louder trumpet, needs To inspire the coward, warm the cold; His voice, his sole appearance, makes them bold, Gaul and Batavia dread the impending blow; Too well the vigour of that arm they know; They lick the dust, and crouch beneath their fatal foe. Long may they fear this awful prince, And not provoke his lingering sword; Peace is their only sure defence, Their best security his word. In all the changes of his doubtful state, His truth, like heaven's, was kept inviolate; For him to promise is to make it fate. His valour can triumph o'er land and main; With broken oaths his fame he will not stain; With conquest basely bought, and with inglorious gain.

XVIII.

For once, O heaven, unfold thy adamantine book; And let his wondering senate see, If not thy firm immutable decree, At least the second page of strong contingency, Such as consists with wills, originally free. Let them with glad amazement look On what their happiness may be; Let them not still be obstinately blind, Still to divert the good thou hast designed, Or, with malignant penury, To starve the royal virtues of his mind. Faith is a Christian's and a subject's test; Oh give them to believe, and they are surely blest. They do; and with a distant view I see The amended vows of English loyalty; And all beyond that object, there appears The long retinue of a prosperous reign, A series of successful years, In orderly array, a martial, manly train.[60] Behold e'en the remoter shores, A conquering navy proudly spread; The British cannon formidably roars, While, starting from his oozy bed, The asserted Ocean rears his reverend head, To view and recognize his ancient lord again; And, with a willing hand, restores The fasces of the main.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 43: Note 1.]

[Footnote 44: Alluding to the fable of Hercules supporting the heavenly sphere when Atlas was fatigued.]

[Footnote 45: A very ill-timed sarcasm on those, who petitioned Charles to call his parliament. See p. 311.]

[Footnote 46: 2 Kings, chap. xx.]

[Footnote 47: Note II.]

[Footnote 48: Note III.]

[Footnote 49: An _eagre_ is a tide swelling above another tide, which I have myself observed in the river Trent.--DRYDEN. This species of combat between the current and the tide is well known on the Severn; and, so far back as the days of William of Malmesbury, was called the _Higre_. Unhappy is the vessel, says that ancient historian, on whom its force falls laterally. _De Gestis Pontificum_, Lib. IV.--Drayton describes the same river,

----With whose tumultuous waves, Shut up in narrower bounds, the Higre wildly raves, And frights the straggling flocks the neighbouring shores to fly. Afar as from the main it comes with hideous cry; And on the angry front the curled foam doth bring, The billows 'gainst the bank when fiercely it doth fling, Hurls up the scaly ooze, and makes the scaly brood Leap madding to the land affrighted from the flood; O'erturns the toiling barch whose steersman does not launch, And thrust the furrowing beak into her ravening paunch.

_Poly-Albion_, Song VII. ]

[Footnote 50: To engage upon _liking_, (an image rather too familiar for the occasion,) is to take a temporary trial of a service, or business, with licence to quit it at pleasure.]

[Footnote 51: Note IV.]

[Footnote 52: Note V.]

[Footnote 53: Alluding to the Duke's banishment to Flanders. See note on "Absalom and Achitophel," Vol. IX. p. 384.]

[Footnote 54: The testament of king David, by which he bequeathed to his son the charge of executing vengeance on those enemies whom he had spared during his life, has been much canvassed by divines. I indulge myself in a tribute to a most venerable character, when I state, that the most ingenious discourses I ever heard from the pulpit, were upon this and other parts of David's conduct, in a series of lectures by the late Reverend Dr John Erskine, one of the ministers of the Old Greyfriars church in Edinburgh.]

[Footnote 55: King Charles' first parliament, from passing the Act of Indemnity, and taking other measures to drown all angry recollection of the civil wars, was called the Healing Parliament.]

[Footnote 56: A similar line occurs in the _Annus Mirabilis_, St. 160:

Beyond the year, and out of heaven's high-way.

The expression is originally Virgil's:

_Extra anni, solisque vias_. ]

[Footnote 57: See the Astræa Redux. Note VI.]

[Footnote 58: Reckoning from the death of his father, Charles had reigned thirty-six years and eight days; and, counting from his restoration, twenty-four years, eight months, and nine days.]

[Footnote 59: Ancus Martius, who succeeded the peaceful Numa Pompilius as king of Rome.]

[Footnote 60: Note VII.]

NOTES

ON

THRENODIA AUGUSTALIS.

Note I.

_An unexpected burst of woes._--P. 62.

Charles II. enjoyed excellent health, and was particularly careful to preserve it by constant exercise. His danger, therefore, fell like a thunder-bolt on his people, whose hearts were gained by his easy manners and good humour, and who considered, that the worst apprehensions they had ever entertained during his reign, arose from the religion and disposition of his successor. The mingled passions of affection and fear produced a wonderful sensation on the nation. The people were so passionately concerned, that North says, and appeals to all who recollected the time for the truth of his averment, that it was rare to see a person walking the street with dry eyes. _Examen._ p. 647.

Note II.

_The second causes took the swift command, The medicinal head, the ready hand, All eager to perform their part._--P. 64.

If there is safety in the multitude of counsellors, Charles did not find it in the multitude of physicians. Nine were in attendance, all men of eminence; the presence of the least of whom, Le Sage would have said, was fully adequate to account for the subsequent catastrophe. They were Sir Thomas Millington, Sir Thomas Witherby, Sir Charles Scarborough, Sir Edmund King, Doctors Berwick, Charlton, Lower, Short, and Le Fevre. They signed a declaration, that the king had died of an apoplexy.

Note III.

_The joyful short-lived news soon spread around._--P. 65.

An article was published in the Gazette, on the third day of the king's illness, importing, "That his physicians now conceived him to be in a state of safety, and that in a few days he would be freed from his indisposition."[61] North tells us, however, on the authority of his brother, the Lord Keeper, that the only hope which the physicians afforded to the council, was an assurance, (joyfully communicated,) that the king was ill of a violent fever. The council seeing little consolation in these tidings, one of the medical gentlemen explained, by saying, that they now knew what they had to do, which was to administer the cortex. This was done while life lasted,[62] although some of the physicians seem to have deemed the prescription improper; in which case, Charles, after escaping the poniards and pistols of the Jesuits, may be said to have fallen a victim to their bark.

Note IV.

_And he who most performed, and promised less, Even Short himself, forsook the unequal strife._--P. 67.

Dr Thomas Short, an eminent physician, who came into the court practice when Dr Richard Lower, who formerly enjoyed it, embraced the political principles of the Whig party. Short, a Roman Catholic, and himself a Tory, was particularly acceptable to the Tories. To this circumstance he probably owes the compliment paid him by our author, and another from Lord Mulgrave to the same purpose. Otway reckons, among his selected friends,

Short, beyond what numbers can commend.[63]

Duke has also inscribed to him his translation of the eleventh Idyllium of Theocritus; beginning,

O Short! no herb nor salve was ever found, To ease a lover's heat, or heal his wound.

Dr Short, as one of the king's physicians, attended the death-bed of Charles, and subscribed the attestation, that he died of an apoplexy. Yet there has been ascribed to him an expression of dubious import, which caused much disquisition at the time; namely, that "the king had not fair play for his life." Burnet says plainly, that "Short suspected poison, and talked more freely of it than any Protestant durst venture to do at the time." He, adds, that "Short himself was taken suddenly ill, upon taking a large draught of wormwood wine, in the house of a Popish patient near the Tower; and while on his death-bed, he told Lower, and Millington, and other physicians, that he believed he himself was poisoned, for having spoken too freely of the king's death."[64] Mulgrave states the same report in these words, which, coming from a professed Tory, are entitled to the greater credit: "I am obliged to observe, that the most knowing and most deserving of all his physicians did not only believe him poisoned, but thought himself so too, not long after, for having declared his opinion a little too boldly."[65] North, in confutation of this report, has interpreted Short's expression, as meaning nothing more than that the king's malady was mistaken by his physicians, who, by their improper prescriptions, deprived nature of fair play;[66] and he appeals to all the eminent physicians who attended Dr Short in his last illness, whether he did not fall a victim to his own bold method, in using the cortex. Upon the whole, whatever opinion this individual physician may have adopted through mistake, or affectation of singularity, and whatever credit faction, or indeed popular prejudice in general, may have given to such rumours at the time, there appears no solid reason to believe that Charles died of poison. Both Burnet and Mulgrave say, that they never heard a hint that his brother was accessary to such a crime; and it is very unlikely that any zealous Catholic should have had either opportunity, or inclination, to hasten the reign of a prince of that religion, by the unsolicited service of poisoning his brother. The other physicians, several of whom, Lower, for example, were Whigs, as well as Protestants, gave no countenance to this rumour, which was circulated by a Catholic. And, as the symptoms of the king's disorder are decidedly apoplectic, the report may be added to those with which history abounds, and which are raised and believed only because an extraordinary end is thought most fit for the eminent and powerful.

Short, as we have incidentally noticed, survived his royal patient but a few months. He was succeeded in his practice by Ratcliffe, the famous Tory physician of Queen Anne's reign.

Note V.

_All that on earth he held most dear, He recommended to his care, To whom both heaven The right had given, And his own love bequeathed supreme command._--P. 69.

The historical accounts of the dying requests of Charles are contradictory and obscure. It seems certain, that he earnestly recommended his favourite mistress, the Duchess of Portsmouth, to the protection of his successor. He had always, he said, loved her, and he now loved her at the last. The Bishop of Bath presented to him his natural son, the Duke of Richmond; whom he blessed, and recommended, with his other children, to his successor's protection; adding, "Do not let poor Nelly[67] starve." He seems to have said nothing of the Duke of Monmouth, once so much beloved, and whom, shortly before, he entertained thoughts of recalling from banishment, and replacing in favour; perhaps he thought, any recommendation to James of a rival so hated would be ineffectual. Burnet says, he spoke not a word of the queen. Echard, on the contrary, affirms, that, at the exhortation of the Bishop of Bath, Charles sent for the queen, and asked and received her pardon for the injuries he had done her bed.[68] In Fountainhall's Manuscript, the queen is said to have sent a message, requesting his pardon if she had ever offended him: "Alas, poor lady!" replied the dying monarch, "she never offended me; I have too often injured her."[69] This account seems more probable than that of Echard; for so public a circumstance, as a personal visit from the queen to her husband's death-bed, could hardly have been disputed by contemporaries.

Note VI.

_The officious muses came along, A gay harmonious quire, like angels ever young; The muse, that mourns him now, his happy triumph sung._--P. 74.

In Dryden's Life, we had occasion to remark the effect of the Restoration upon literature. It was not certainly its least important benefit, that it opened our poet's own way to distinction; which is thus celebrated by Baber:

----till blest years brought Cæsar home again, Dryden to purpose never drew his pen. He, happy favourite of the tuneful nine! Came with an early offering to your shrine; Embalmed in deathless verse the monarch's fame; Verse, which shall keep it fresh in youthful prime, When Rustal's sacred gift must yield to time.

Note VII.

_Faith is a Christian's and a subject's test._--P. 78.

James, as well as his poet, was not slack in intimating to his subjects, that he expected them to possess a proper portion of this saving virtue. And, that they might not want an opportunity of exercising it, he was pleased, by his own royal proclamation, to continue the payment of the duties of the custom-house, which had been granted by parliament only during his brother's life.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 61: RALPH, Vol. I. p. 834.]

[Footnote 62: Life of Lord Keeper Guilford, p. 253.]

[Footnote 63: Epistle to Mr Duke.]

[Footnote 64: Burnet's History of his own Times. End of Book III.]

[Footnote 65: Character of Charles II., Sheffield Duke of Buckingham's Works, Vol. II. p. 65.]

[Footnote 66: One Dr Stokeham is said to have alleged, that the king's fit was epileptic, not apoplectic, and that bleeding was _ex diametro_ wrong.]

[Footnote 67: Nell Gwyn.]

[Footnote 68: Echard's History, p. 1046.]

[Footnote 69: Dalrymple's Memoirs, 8vo. vol. i. p. 66.]

THE

HIND AND THE PANTHER,

A POEM.

IN THREE PARTS.

----_Antiquam exquirite matrem_---- ----_Et vera incessu patuit Dea_. VIRG.

THE

HIND AND THE PANTHER.

In the Life of Dryden, there is an attempt to trace the progress and changes of those religious opinions, by which he was unfortunately conducted into the errors of Popery. With all the zeal of a now convert, he seems to have been impatient to invite others to follow his example, by detailing, in poetry, the arguments which had appeared to him unanswerable. "The Hind and the Panther" is the offspring of that rage for proselytism, which is a peculiar attribute of his new mother church. The author is anxious, in the preface, to represent this poem as a task which he had voluntarily undertaken, without receiving even the subject from any one. His assertion seems worthy of full credit; for, although it was the most earnest desire of James II. to employ every possible mode for the conversion of his subjects, there is room to believe, that, if the poem had been written under his direction, the tone adopted by Dryden towards the sectaries would have been much more mild. It is a well-known point of history, that, in order to procure as many friends as possible to the repeal of the test act and penal laws against the Catholics, James extended indulgence to the puritans and sectarian non-conformists, the ancient enemies of his person, his family, and monarchical establishments in general. Dryden obviously was not in this court secret; the purpose of which was to unite those congregations, whom he has described under the parable of bloody bears, boars, wolves, foxes, &c. in a common interest with the Hind, against the exclusive privileges of the Panther and her subjects. His work was written with the precisely opposite intention of recommending an union between the Catholics and the church of England; at least, of persuading the latter to throw down the barriers, by which the former were kept out of state employments. Such an union had at one time been deemed practicable; and, in 1685, pamphlets had been published, seriously exhorting the church of England to a league with the Catholics, in order to root out the sectaries as common enemies to both. The steady adherence of the church of England to Protestant principles, rendered all hopes of such an union abortive; and, while Dryden was composing his poem upon this deserted plan, James was taking different steps to accomplish the main purpose both of the poet and monarch.

The power of the crown to dispense, at pleasure, with the established laws of the kingdom, had been often asserted, and sometimes exercised, by former English monarchs. A king was entitled, the favourers of prerogative argued, to pardon the breach of a statute, when committed; why not, therefore, to suspend its effect by a dispensation _a priori_, or by a general suspension of the law? which was only doing in general, what he was confessedly empowered to do in particular cases. But a doctrine so pernicious to liberty was never allowed to take root in the constitution; and the confounding the prerogative of extending mercy to individual criminals, with that of annulling the laws under which they had been condemned, was a fallacy easily detected and refuted. Charles II. twice attempted to assert his supposed privilege of suspending the penal laws, by granting a general toleration; and he had, in both cases, been obliged to retract, by the remonstrances of Parliament.[70] But his successor, who conceived that his power was situated on a more firm basis, and who was naturally obstinate in his resolutions, was not swayed by this recollection. He took every opportunity to exercise the power of dispensing with the laws, requiring Catholics to take the test agreeable to act of Parliament. He asserted his right to do so in his speech to the Parliament, on 9th November, 1685; he despised the remonstrances of both Houses, upon so flagrant and open a violation of the law; and he endeavoured, by a packed bench, and a feigned action at law, to extort a judicial ratification of his dispensing power. At length, not contented with granting dispensations to individuals, the king resolved at once to suspend the operation of all penal statutes, which required conformity with the church of England, as well as of the test act.

On the 4th of April, 1687, came forth the memorable Declaration of Indulgence, in favour of all non-conformists of whatever persuasion; by which they were not only protected in the full exercise of their various forms of religion, but might, without conformity, be admitted to all offices in the state. With what consequences this act of absolute power was attended, the history of the Revolution makes us fully acquainted; for it is surely unnecessary to add, that the indulgence occasioned the petition and trial of the bishops, the most important incident in that momentous period.

About a fortnight after the publishing of this declaration of indulgence, our author's poem made its appearance; being licensed on the 11th April, 1687, and published a few days after. If it was undertaken without the knowledge of the court, it was calculated, on its appearance, to secure the royal countenance and approbation. Accordingly, as soon as it was published in England, a second edition was thrown off at a printing office in Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh, then maintained for the express purpose of disseminating such treatises as were best calculated to serve the Catholic cause.[71] If the Protestant dissenters ever cast their eyes upon profane poetry, "The Hind and the Panther" must have appeared to them a perilous commentary on the king's declaration; since it shows clearly, that the Catholic interest alone was what the Catholic king and poet had at heart, and that, however the former might now find himself obliged to court their favour, to strengthen his party against the established church, the deep remembrance of ancient feuds and injuries was still cherished, and the desire of vengeance on the fanatics neither sated nor subdued.

In composing this poem, it may be naturally presumed, that Dryden exerted his full powers. He was to justify, in the eyes of the world, a step which is always suspicious; and, by placing before the public the arguments by which he had been induced to change his religion, he was at once to exculpate himself, and induce others to follow his example. He chose, for the mode of conveying this instruction, that parabolical form of writing, which took its rise perhaps in the East, or rather which, in a greater or less degree, is common to all nations. An old author observes, that there is "no species of four-footed beasts, of birds, of fish, of insects, reptiles, or any other living things, whose nature is not found in man. How exactly agreeable to the fox are some men's tempers; whilst others are profest bears in human shape. Here you shall meet a crocodile, who seeks, with feigned tears, to entrap you to your ruin; there a serpent creeps, and winds himself into your affections, till, on a sudden, when warmed with favours, he will bite and sting you to death. Tygers, lions, leopards, panthers, wolves, and all the monstrous generations of Africa, may be seen masquerading in the forms of men; and 'tis not hard for an observing mind to see their natural complexions through the borrowed vizard."[72] Dryden conceived the idea, of extending to religious communities the supposed resemblance between man and the lower animals. Under the name of a "milk-white Hind, immortal and unchanged," he described the unity, simplicity, and innocence of the church, to which he had become a convert; and under that of a Panther, fierce and inexorable towards those of a different persuasion, he bodied forth the church of England, obstinate in defending its pale from encroachment, by the penal statutes and the test act.[73] There wanted not critics to tell him, that he had mistaken the character of either communion.[74] The inferior sects are described under the emblem of various animals, fierce and disgusting in proportion to their more remote affinity to the church of Rome. And in a dialogue between the two principal characters, the leading arguments of the controversy between the churches, at least what the poet chose to consider as such, are formally discussed.

But Dryden's plan is far from coming within the limits of a fable or parable, strictly so called; for it is strongly objected, that the poet has been unable to avoid confounding the real churches themselves with the Hind and the Panther, under which they are represented. "The hind," as Johnson observes, "at one time is afraid to drink at the common brook, because she may be worried; but, walking home with the panther, talks by the way of the Nicene fathers, and at last declares herself to be the Catholic church." And the same critic complains, "that the king is now Cæsar, and now the lion, and that the name Pan is given to the Supreme Being." "The Hind and Panther transversed, or the City and Country Mouse," which was written in ridicule of this poem, turns chiefly upon the incongruity of the emblems adopted by Dryden, and the inconsistencies into which his plan had led him.[75] This ridicule, and the criticism on which it is founded, seems, however, to be carried a little too far. If a fable, or parable, is to be entirely and exclusively limited to a detail which may suit the common actions and properties of the animals, or things introduced in it, we strike out from the class some which have always been held the most beautiful examples of that style of fiction. It is surely as easy to conceive a Hind and Panther discussing points of religion, as that the trees of the forest should assemble together to chuse a king, invite different trees to accept of that dignity, and, finally, make choice of a bramble. Yet no one ever hesitates to pronounce Jotham's Parable of the Trees one of the finest which ever was written. Or what shall we say of one of the most common among Æsop's apologues, which informs us in the outset, that the lion, the ox, the sheep, and the ass, went a hunting together, on condition of dividing equally whatever should be caught? Yet this and many other fables, in which the animals introduced act altogether contrary to their nature, are permitted to rank without censure in the class which they assume. Nay, it may be questioned whether the most proper fables are not those in which the animals are introduced as acting upon the principles of mankind. For instance, if an author be compared to a daw, it is no fable, but a simile; but if a tale be told of a daw who dressed himself in borrowed feathers, a thing naturally impossible, the simile becomes a proper fable. Perhaps, therefore, it is sufficient for the fabulist, if he can point out certain original and leading features of resemblance betwixt his emblems, and that which they are intended to represent, and he may be permitted to take considerable latitude in their farther approximation. It may be farther urged in Dryden's behalf, that the older poets whom he professed to imitate, Spenser, for example, in "Mother Hubbart's Tale," which he has actually quoted, and Chaucer, in that of the "Nun's Priest's tale" have stepped beyond the simplicity of the ancient fable, and introduced a species of mixed composition, between that and downright satire. The names and characters of beasts are only assumed in "Mother Hubbart's Tale," that the satirist might, under that slight cloak, say with safety what he durst not otherwise have ventured upon; and in the tale of Chaucer, the learned dialogue about dreams is only put into the mouths of a cock and hen, to render the ridicule of such disquisitions more poignant. Had Spenser been asked, why he described the court of the lion as exactly similar to that of a human prince, and introduced the fox as composing madrigals for the courtiers? he would have bidden the querist,

----Yield his sense was all too blunt and base, That n'ote without a hound fine footing trace.

And if the question had been put to the bard of Woodstock, why, he made his cock an astrologer, and his hen a physician, he would have answered, that his satire might become more ludicrous, by putting these grave speeches into the mouths of such animals. Dryden seems to have proposed as his model this looser kind of parable; giving his personages, indeed, the names of the Hind and Panther, but reserving to himself the privilege of making the supposed animals use the language and arguments of the communities they were intended to represent. I must own, however, that this licence appears less pardonable in the First Part, where he professes to use the majestic turn of heroic poetry, than in those which are dedicated to argument and satire.

Dryden has, in this very poem, given us two examples of the more pure and correct species of fable. These, which he terms in the preface Episodes, are the tale of the Swallows seduced to defer their emigration, and that of the Pigeons, who chose a Buzzard for their king.[78] It is remarkable, that, as the former is by much the most complete story, so, although put in the mouth of a representative of the heretical church, it proved eventually to contain a truth sorrowful to our author, and those of the Roman Catholic persuasion: For, while the Buzzard's elevation (Bishop Burnet by name) was not attended with any peculiar evil consequences to the church of England, the short gleam of Popish prosperity was soon overcast, and the priests and their proselytes plunged in reality into all the distress of the swallows in the Panther's fable.

In conformity to our author's plan, announced in the preface, the fable is divided into Three Parts. The First is dedicated to the general description and character of the religious sects, particularly the churches of Rome and of England. And here Dryden has used the more elevated strain of heroic poetry. In the Second, the general arguments of the controversy between the two churches are agitated, for which purpose a less magnificent style of language is adopted. In the Third and last Part, from discussing the disputed points of theology, the Hind and Panther descend to consider the particulars in which their temporal interests were judged at this period to interfere with each other. And here Dryden has lowered the tone of his verse to that of common conversation. We must admit, with Johnson, that these distinctions of style are not always accurately adhered to. The First Part has familiar lines; as, for instance, the four with which it concludes:

Considering her a civil well-bred beast, And more a gentlewoman than the rest, After some common talk, what rumours ran, The lady of the spotted muff began.

Some passages are not only mean in expression, but border on profaneness; as,

The smith divine, as with a careless beat, Struck out the mute creation at a heat; But when at last arrived to human race, The Godhead took a deep considering space.

On the other hand, the Third Part has passages in a higher tone of poetry; particularly the whole character of James in the fable of the Pigeons and the Buzzard: but it is enough to fulfil the author's promise in the preface, that the parts do each in general preserve a peculiar character and style, though occasionally sliding into that of the others.

It is a main defect of the plan just detailed, that it necessarily limited the interest of the poem to that crisis of politics when it was published. A work, which the author announces as calculated to attract the favour of friends, and to animate the malevolence of enemies, is now read with cold indifference. He launched forth into a tide of controversy, which, however furious at the time, has long subsided, leaving his poem a disregarded wreck, stranded upon the shores which the surges once occupied.

Setting aside this original defect, the First and Last Parts of the poem, in particular, abound with passages of excellent poetry. In the former, it is worthy attention, with what ease and command of his language and subject Dryden passes from his sublime description of the immortal Hind, to brand and stigmatise the sectaries by whom she was hated and persecuted; a rare union of dignity preserved in satire, and of satire engrafted upon heroic poetry. The reader cannot, at the same time, fail to observe the felicity with which the poet has assigned prototypes to the dissenting churches, agreeing in character with that which he meant to fix upon their several congregations. The Bear, unlicked to forms, is the emblem of the Independents, who disclaimed them;[79] the Wolf, which hunts in herds, to the classes and synods of the Presbyterian church; the Hare, to the peaceful Quakers; the wild Boar, to the fierce and savage Anabaptists, who ravaged Germany, the native country of that animal. With similar felicity, the "bird, who warned St Peter of his fall," is, from that circumstance, and his nocturnal vigils, afterwards assigned as the representative of the Catholic clergy. Above all, the attention is arrested by the pointed description of those dark and sullen enthusiasts, who, scarcely agreeing among themselves upon any peculiar points of doctrine, rested their claim to superior sanctity upon abominating and contemning those usual forms of reverence, by which men, in all countries since the beginning of the world, have agreed to distinguish public worship from ordinary or temporal employments. The whole of this First Part of the poem abounds with excellent poetry, rising above the tone of ordinary satire, and yet possessing all its poignancy. The difference, to those against whom it is directed, is like that of being blasted by a thunder-bolt, instead of being branded with a red-hot iron.

The First Part of "The Hind and Panther," although chiefly dedicated to general characters, contains some reasoning on the grand controversy, similar to that which occupies the Second. The author displays, with the utmost art and energy of argumentative poetry, the reasons by which he was himself guided in adopting the Roman Catholic faith. He is led into this discussion, by mentioning the heretical doctrine of the Unitarians; and insists, that the Protestant churches, which have consented to postpone human reason to faith, by acquiescing in the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity, are not entitled to appeal to the authority which they have waived, for arguments against the mystery of the real presence in the eucharist. This was a favourite mode of reasoning of the Catholics at the time, as may be seen from the numerous treatises which they sent forth upon the controversy. It is undoubtedly very fit to impose on the vulgar, but completely overshoots the mark at which it aims. For, if our yielding humble belief to one abstruse doctrine of divinity be sufficient to debar the exercise of our reason respecting another, it is obvious, that, by the same reason, the appeal to our understanding must be altogether laid aside in matters of doubtful orthodoxy. The Protestant divines, therefore, took a distinction; and, while they admitted they were obliged to surrender their human judgment in matters of divine revelation which were above their reason, they asserted the power of appealing to its guidance in those things of a finite nature which depend on the evidence of sense, and the consequent privileges of rejecting any doctrine, which, being within the sphere of human comprehension, is nevertheless repugnant to the understanding: therefore, while they received the doctrine of the Trinity as an infinite mystery, far above their reason, they contended against that of transubstantiation as capable of being tried by human faculties, and as contradicted by an appeal to them. In a subsequent passage, the author taxes the church of England with an attempt to reconcile contradictions, by admitting the real presence in the eucharist, and yet denying actual transubstantiation. Dryden boldly appeals to the positive words of scripture, and sums his doctrine thus:

The literal sense is hard to flesh and blood, But nonsense never can be understood.

Granting, however, the obscurity or mystery of the one doctrine, it is a hard choice to be obliged to adopt, in its room, that which asserts an acknowledged impossibility.

In the Second Part, another point of the controversy is agitated; the infallibility, namely, which is claimed by the Roman church. The author appears here to have hampered himself in the toils of his own argument in a former poem. He had asserted in the "Religio Laici," that the Scriptures contained all things necessary for salvation; while he yet admitted, that those, whose bent inclined them to the study of polemical divinity, were to be guided by the expositions of the fathers, and the earlier, especially the written, traditions of the Church. There is, as has been noticed in the remarks on "Religio Laici," a certain vacillation in our author's arguments concerning tradition, while yet a Protestant, which prepares us for his finally reposing his doubts in the bosom of that church, which pretends to be the sole depositary of the earlier doctrines of Christianity, and claims a right to ascertain all doubts in point of faith, by the same mode, and with the same unerring certainty, as the original church in the days of the apostles and fathers. These doubts, with which Dryden seems to have been deeply impressed while within the pale of the Church of England, he now objects to her as inconsistencies, and accuses her of having recourse to tradition, or discarding it, as suited the argument which, for the time, she had in agitation. It is unnecessary here to trace the various grounds on which reformed churches prove, that the chain of apostolical tradition has been broken and shivered; and that the church, claiming the proud title of Infallible, has repeatedly sanctioned heresy and error. Neither is it necessary to shew, how the Church of England stops short in her reception of traditions, adopting only those of the primitive church. Something on these points may be found in the notes. I may remark, that Dryden is of the Gallican or _low_ Church of Rome, if I may so speak, and rests the infallibility which he claims for her in the Pope and Council of the Church, and not in the Vicar of Christ alone. In point of literary interest, this Second Part is certainly beneath the other two. It furnishes, however, an excellent specimen of poetical ratiocination upon a most unpromising subject.

The Third Part refers entirely to the politics of the day; and the poet has endeavoured, by a number of arguments, to remove the deep jealousy and apprehensions which the king's religion, and his zeal for proselytism, had awakened in the Church of England. He does not even spare to allege a recent adoption of presbyterian doctrines, as the reason for her unwonted resistance to the royal will; and all the vigour of his satire is pointed against the latitudinarian clergy, or, as they were finally called, the Low Church Party, who now began to assert, what James at length found a melancholy truth, that the doctrine of passive obedience and non-resistance was not peremptorily binding, when the church herself was endangered by the measures of the monarch. Stillingfleet, the personal antagonist of our author, in the controversy concerning the Duchess of York's posthumous declaration of faith, is personally and ferociously attacked. The poem concludes with a fable delivered by each of the disputants, of which the moral applies to the project and hopes of her rival. We have already said, that which is told by the Panther, as it is most spirited and pointed, proved, to the great regret of the author, most strictly prophetic. It is remarkable for containing a beautiful character of King James, as the other exhibits a satirical portrait of the historian Burnet, with whom the court party in general, and Dryden personally, was then at enmity.

The verse in which these doctrines, polemical and political, are delivered, is among the finest specimens of the English heroic stanza. The introductory verses, in particular, are lofty and dignified in the highest degree; as are those, in which the splendour and majesty of the Church of Rome are set forth, in all the glowing colours of rich imagery and magnificent language. But the same praise extends to the versification of the whole poem. It never falls, never becomes rugged; rises with the dignified strain of the poetry; sinks into quaint familiarity, where sarcasm and humour are employed; and winds through all the mazes of theological argument, without becoming either obscure or prosaic. The arguments are in general advanced with an air of conviction and candour, which, in those days, must have required the protestant reader to be on his guard in the perusal, and which seems completely to ascertain the sincerity of the author in his new religious creed.

This controversial poem, containing a bold defiance to all who opposed the king's measures or faith, had no sooner appeared, than our author became a more general object of attack than he had been even on the publication of "Absalom and Achitophel." Indeed, his enemies were now far more numerous, including most of his former friends, the _Tories_ of the high church, excepting a very few who remained attached to James, and saw, with anxiety, his destruction precipitated by the measures he was adopting.

Montague and Prior were among the first to assail our author, in the parody, of which we have just given a large specimen. It must have been published before the 24th October 1687, for it is referred to in "The Laureat," another libel against Dryden, inscribed by Mr Luttrel with that date. This assault affected him the more, as coming from persons with whom he had lived on habits of civility. He is even said to have shed tears upon this occasion; a report probably exaggerated, but which serves to shew, that he was sensible he had exposed himself to the most unexpected assailants, by the unpopularity of the cause which he had espoused. Some further particulars respecting this controversy are mentioned in Dryden's Life. Another poet, or parodier, published "The Revolter, a tragi-comedy," in which he brings the doctrines of the "Religio Laici," and of the "Hind and Panther," in battle array against each other, and rails at the author of both with the most unbounded scurrility.[80]

Not only new enemies arose against him, but the hostility of former and deceased foes seemed to experience a sort of resurrection. Four Letters, by Matthew Clifford of the Charter-House, containing notes upon Dryden's poems and plays, were now either published for the first time, or raked up from the obscurity of a dead-born edition, to fill up the cry of criticism against him on all sides. They are coarse and virulent to the last degree, and so far served the purpose of the publishers; but, as they had no reference to "The Hind and Panther," that defect was removed by a supplementary Letter from the facetious Tom Brown, an author, whose sole wish was to attain the reputation of a successful buffoon, and who, like the jesters of old, having once made himself thoroughly absurd and ridiculous, gained a sort of privilege to make others feel his grotesque raillery.[81] Besides the reflections contained in this letter, Brown also published "The New Converts exposed, or Reasons for Mr Bayes changing his Religion," in two parts; the first of which appeared in 1688, and the second in 1690. From a passage in the preface to the first part, which may serve as a sample of Tom's buffoonery, we learn, Dryden publicly complained, that, although he had put his name to "The Hind and Panther," those who criticized or replied to that poem had not imitated his example.[82]

Another of these witty varlets published, in 1688, "Religio Laici, or a Layman's Faith, touching the Supreme Head and Infallible Guide of the Church, in two letters, &c. by J. R. a convert of Mr Bayes," licensed June the 1st, 1688. From this pamphlet we have given some extracts in the introductory remarks to "Religio Laici," pp. 9, 10.

There were, besides, many libels of the most personal kind poured forth against Dryden by the poets who supplied the usual demand of the hawkers. One of the most virulent contains a singular exhibition of rage and impotence. It professes to contain a review of our poet's life and literary labours, and calls itself "The Laureat." This, as containing some curious particulars, is given below.[83]

The cry against our author being thus general, we may reasonably suppose, that he would have taken some opportunity to exercise his powers of retort upon those who were most active or most considerable among the aggressors, and that Montague and Prior stood a fair chance of being coupled up with Doeg and Og, his former antagonists. But, if Dryden entertained any intention of retaliation, the Revolution, which crushed his rising prospects, took away both the opportunity and inclination. From that period, the fame of "The Hind and Panther" gradually diminished, as the controversy between Protestant and Papist gave way to that between Whig and Tory. Within a few years after the first publication of the poem, Swift ranks it among the compositions of Grubstreet; ironically terms it, "the master-piece of a famous author, now living, intended as a complete abstract of sixteen thousand schoolmen, from Scotus to Bellarmine;" and immediately subjoins, "Tommy Potts, supposed by the same hand, by way of Supplement to the former."[84] With such acrimony do men of genius treat the productions of each other; and so certain it is, that, to enjoy permanent reputation, an author must chuse a theme of permanent interest.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 70: In the years 1662 and 1674. See Vol. IX, p. 448.]

[Footnote 71: Our author was not the only poet who hailed this dawn of toleration; for there is in Luttrell's Collection, "A Congratulatory Poem, dedicated to his Majesty, on the late gracious Declaration (9th June, 1687); by a Person of Quality."]

[Footnote 72: Turkish Spy, Vol. viii. p. 19.]

[Footnote 73: Perhaps the poet recollected the attributes ascribed to the panther by one of the fathers: "_Pantheræ, ut Divus Basilius ait, cum immani sint ac crudeli odio in homines a natura incensæ, in hominum simulacra furibundæ irruunt, nec aliter hominum effigiem, quam homines ipsos dilacerant._"--GRANATEUS _Concion. de Tempore_, Tom. i. p. 492.]

[Footnote 74: "Only by the way, before we bring D. against D. to the stake, I would fain know how Mr Bayes, that so well understood the nature of beasts, came to pitch upon the Hind and the Panther, to signify the church of Rome and the church of England? Doubtless his reply will be, because the hind is a creature harmless and innocent; the panther mischievous and inexorable. Let all this be granted; what is this to the author's absurdity in the choice of his beasts? For the scene of the persecution is Europe, a part of the world which never bred panthers since the creation of the universe. On the other side, grant his allusion passable, and then he stigmatizes the church of England to be the most cruel and most voracious creature that ranges all the Lybian deserts;--a character, which shows him to have a strange mist before his eyes when he reads ecclesiastical history. And then, says he,

The panther, sure the noblest next the hind, And fairest creature of the spotted kind.

Which is another blunder, _cujus contrarium verum est_: For if beauty, strength, and courage, advance the value of the several parts of the creation, without question the panther is far to be preferred before the hind, a poor, silly, timorous, ill-shaped, bobtailed creature, of which a score will hardly purchase the skin of a true panther. Had he looked a little farther, Ludolphus would have furnished him with a zebra, the most beautiful of all the four-footed creatures in the world, to have coped with his panther for spots, and with his hind for gentleness and mildness; of which one was sold singly to the Turkish governor of Suaquena for 2000 Venetian ducats. There had been a beast for him, as pat as a pudding for a friar's mouth. But to couple the hind and the panther was just like _sic magna parvis componere_; and, therefore, he had better have put his hind in a good pasty, or reserved her for some more proper allusion; for this, though his nimble beast have four feet, will by no means run _quatuor pedibus_, though she had a whole kennel of hounds at her heels."--_The Revolter, a Tragi-comedy._]

[Footnote 75: The following justification of their plan is taken from the preface, which is believed to have been entirely the composition of Montague.

"The favourers of 'The Hind and Panther' will be apt to say in its defence, that the best things are capable of being turned to ridicule; that Homer has been burlesqued, and Virgil travestied, without suffering any thing in their reputation from that buffoonery; and that, in like manner,'The Hind and the Panther' may be an exact poem, though it is the subject of our raillery: But there is this difference, that those authors are wrested from their true sense, and this naturally falls into ridicule; there is nothing represented here as monstrous and unnatural, which is not equally so in the original.--First, as to the general design; Is it not as easy to imagine two mice bilking coachmen, and supping at the Devil, as to suppose a hind entertaining the panther at a hermit's cell, discussing the greatest mysteries of religion, and telling you her son Rodriguez writ very good Spanish? What can be more improbable and contradictory to the rules and examples of all fables, and to the very design and use of them? They were first begun, and raised to the highest perfection, in the eastern countries, where they wrote in signs, and spoke in parables, and delivered the most useful precepts in delightful stories; which, for their aptness, were entertaining to the most judicious, and led the vulgar into understanding by surprizing them with their novelty, and fixing their attention. All their fables carry a double meaning; the story is one and entire; the characters the same throughout, not broken or changed, and always conformable to the nature of the creatures they introduce. They never tell you, that the dog, which snapt at a shadow, lost his troop of horse; that would be unintelligible; a piece of flesh is proper for him to drop, and the reader will apply it to mankind: They would not say, that the daw, who was so proud of her borrowed plumes, looked very ridiculous, when Rodriguez came and took away all the book but the 17th, 24th, and 25th chapters, which she stole from him. But this is his new way of telling a story, and confounding the moral and the fable together.

Before the word was written, said the hind, Our Saviour preached the faith to all mankind.

What relation has the hind to our Saviour? or what notion have we of a panther's bible? If you say he means the church, how does the church feed on lawns, or range in the forest? Let it be always a church, or always the cloven-footed beast, for we cannot bear his shifting the scene every line. If it is absurd in comedies to make a peasant talk in the strain of a hero, or a country wench use the language of the court, how monstrous is it to make a priest of a hind, and a parson of a panther? To bring them in disputing with all the formalities and terms of the school? Though as to the arguments themselves, those we confess are suited to the capacity of the beasts; and if we would suppose a hind expressing herself about these matters, she would talk at that rate."

The reader may be curious to see a specimen of the manner in which these two applauded wits encountered Dryden's controversial poem, with such eminent success, that a contemporary author has said, "that 'The City and Country Mouse' ruined the reputation of the divine, as the 'Rehearsal' ruined the reputation of the poet."[76] The plan is a dialogue between Bayes, and Smith, and Johnson, his old friends in the "Rehearsal;" the poet recites to them a new work, in which the Popish and English churches are represented as the city and country mouse, the former spotted, the latter milk-white. The following is a specimen both of the poetry and dialogue:

"_Bayes. Reads._ With these allurements, Spotted did invite, From hermit's cell, the female proselyte. Oh, with what ease we follow such a guide, Where souls are starved, and senses gratified!

"Now, would not you think she's going? but, egad, you're mistaken; you shall hear a long argument about infallibility before she stir yet:

But here the White, by observation wise, Who long on heaven had fixed her prying eyes, With thoughtful countenance, and grave remark, Said, "Or my judgment fails me, or 'tis dark; Lest, therefore, we should stray, and not go right, Through the brown horror of the starless night, Hast thou Infallibility, that wight?" Sternly the savage grinned, and thus replied, "That mice may err, was never yet denied." "That I deny," said the immortal dame, "There is a guide,--Gad, I've forgot his name,-- Who lives in Heaven or Rome, the Lord knows where; Had we but him, sweet-heart, we could not err.-- But hark ye, sister, this is but a whim, For still we want a guide to find out him."

"Here, you see, I don't trouble myself to keep on the narration, but write White speaks, or Dapple speaks, by the side. But when I get any noble thought, which I envy a mouse should say, I clap it down in my own person, with a _poeta loquitur_; which, take notice, is a surer sign of a fine thing in my writings, than a hand in the margent anywhere else.--Well now, says White,

What need we find him? we have certain proof That he is somewhere, dame, and that's enough; For if there is a guide that knows the way, Although we know not him, we cannot stray.

"That's true, egad: Well said, White.--You see her adversary has nothing to say for herself; and, therefore, to confirm the victory, she shall make a simile.

_Smith._ Why, then, I find similes are as good after victory, as after a surprize.

_Bayes_. Every jot, egad; or rather better. Well, she can do it two ways; either about emission or reception of light, or else about Epsom waters: But I think the last is most familiar; therefore speak, my pretty one. [_Reads._]

As though 'tis controverted in the school, If waters pass by urine, or by stool; Shall we, who are philosophers, thence gather, From this dissention, that they work by neither?

"And, egad, she's in the right on't; but, mind now, she comes upon her scoop. [_Reads._]

All this I did, your arguments to try.

"And, egad, if they had been never so good, this next line confutes 'em. [_Reads._]

Hear, and be dumb, thou wretch! that guide am I.

"There's a surprize for you now!--How sneakingly t'other looks?--Was not that pretty now, to make her ask for a guide first, and tell her she was one? Who could have thought that this little mouse had the Pope, and a whole general council, in her belly?--Now Dapple had nothing to say to this; and, therefore, you'll see she grows peevish. [_Reads._]

Come leave your cracking tricks; and, as they say,} Use not that barber that trims time, delay;-- } Which, egad, is new, and my own.-- } I've eyes as well as you to find the way."-- } Then on they jogged; and, since an hour of talk Might cut a banter on the tedious walk, "As I remember," said the sober Mouse, "I've heard much talk of the Wit's Coffee-house." "Thither," says Brindle, "thou shalt go, and see Priests sipping coffee, sparks and poets tea, Here, rugged frieze; there, quality well drest; These, baffling the Grand Seigneur; those, the Test; And here shrewd guesses made, and reasons given, That human laws were never made in heaven. But, above all, what shall oblige thy sight, And fill thy eye-balls with a vast delight, Is the poetic Judge of sacred wit,[77] Who does i'the darkness of glory sit. And as the moon, who first receives the light With which she makes these nether regions bright, So does he shine, reflecting from afar The rays he borrowed from a better star; For rules, which from Corneille and Rapin flow, Admired by all the scribbling herd below, From French tradition while he does dispense, } Unerring truths, 'tis schism,--a damned offence,--} To question his, or trust your private sense. }

"Ha! is not that right, Mr Johnson?--Gad forgive me, he is fast asleep! Oh the damned stupidity of this age! Asleep!--Well, sir, since you're so drowsy, your humble servant.

_John._ Nay, pray, Mr Bayes! Faith, I heard you all the while.--The white mouse----

_Bayes._ The white mouse! Ay, ay, I thought how you heard me. Your servant, sir, your servant.

_John._ Nay, dear Bayes: Faith, I beg thy pardon, I was up late last night. Prithee, lend me a little snuff, and go on.

_Bayes._ Go on! Pox, I don't know where I was.--Well, I'll begin. Here, mind, now they are both come to town. [_Reads._]

But now at Piccadilly they arrive, And, taking coach, t'wards Temple-Bar they drive; But, at St Clement's church, eat out the back, And, slipping through the palsgrave, bilked poor hack.

"There's the _utile_ which ought to be in all poetry. Many a young Templar will save his shilling by this stratagem of my mice.

_Smith._ Why, will any young Templar eat out the back of a coach?

_Bayes._ No, egad! But you'll grant, it is mighty natural for a mouse."--_Hind and Panther Transversed._

Such was the wit, which, bolstered up by the applause of party, was deemed an unanswerable ridicule of Dryden's favourite poem.]

[Footnote 76: Preface to the Second Part of "The Reasons of Mr Bayes changing his Religion."]

[Footnote 77: i.e. _Dryden himself_.]

[Footnote 78: I know not, however, but a critic might here also point out an example of that discrepancy, which is censured by Johnson, and ridiculed by Prior. The cause of dissatisfaction in the pigeon-house is, that the proprietor chuses rather to feed upon the flesh of his domestic poultry, than upon theirs; no very rational cause of mutiny on the part of the doves.]

[Footnote 79: Butler, however, assigns the Bear-Garden as a type of my Mother Kirk; and the resemblance is thus proved by Ralpho:

Synods are mystical bear-gardens, Where elders, deputies, church-wardens, And other members of the court, Manage the Babylonish sport; For prolocutor, scribe, and bear-ward, Do differ only in a mere word; Both are but several synagogues Of carnal men, and bears, and dogs; Both antichristian assemblies, To mischief bent as far's in them lies; Both slave and toil with fierce contests, The one with men, the other beasts: The difference is, the one fights with The tongue, the other with the teeth; And that they bait but bears in this, In t'other souls and consciences.

Hudibras denies the resemblance, and answers by an appeal to the senses:

For bears and dogs on four legs go As beasts, but synod-men have two; 'Tis true, they all have teeth and nails, But prove that synod-men have tails; Or that a rugged shaggy fur Grows o'er the hide of presbyter; Or that his snout and spacious ears Do hold proportion with a bear's. A bear's a savage beast, of all Most ugly and unnatural; Whelped without form, until the dam Has licked it into shape and frame; But all thy light can ne'er evict, That ever synod-man was lickt, Or brought to any other fashion, Than his own will and inclination.

_Hudibras_, Part 1. Canto 3. ]

[Footnote 80: "In short, the whole poem, if it may deserve that name, is a piece of deformed, arrogant nonsense, and self-contradiction, drest up in fine language, like an ugly brazen-faced whore, peeping through the costly trappings of a _point de Venise cornet_. I call it nonsense, because unseasonable; and arrogant, because impertinent: For could Mr Bayes have so little wit, to think himself a sufficient champion to decide the high mysteries of faith and transubstantiation, and the nice disputes concerning traditions and infallibility, in a discourse between "The Hind and the Panther," which, undetermined hitherto, have exercised all the learning in the world? Or, could he think the grand arcana of divinity a subject fit to be handled in flourishing rhyme, by the author of "The Duke of Guise," or "The Conquest of Peru," or "The Spanish Friar:" Doubts which Mr Bayes is no more able to unfold, than Saffold to resolve a question in astrology. And all this only as a tale to usher in his beloved character, and to shew the excellency of his wit in abusing honest men. If these were his thoughts, as we cannot rationally otherwise believe, seeing that no man of understanding will undertake an enterprise, wherein he does not think himself to have some advantage of his predecessors; then does this romance, I say, of The Panther and the Hind, fall under the most fatal censure of unseasonable folly and saucy impertinence. Nor can I think, that the more solid, prudent, and learned persons of the Roman Church, con him any thanks for laying the prophane fingers of a turn-coat upon the altar of their sacred debates."--_The Revolter_, a tragi-comedy, acted between The Hind and Panther and Religio Laici, &c. 1687.]

[Footnote 81: The following is the commencement of his "Reflections on the Hind and Panther," in a letter to a friend, 1687:

"The present you have made me of "The Hind and Panther," is variously talked of here in the country. Some wonder what kind of champion the Roman Catholics have now gotten; for they have had divers ways of representing themselves; but this of rhyming us to death, is altogether new and unheard of, before Mr Bayes set about it; and, indeed, he hath done it in the sparkishest poem that ever was seen. 'Tis true, he hath written a great many things; but he never had such pure swiftness of thought, as in this composition, nor such fiery flights of fancy. Such hath always been his dramatical and scenical way of scribbling, that there was no post nor pillar in the town exempt from the pasting up of the titles of his plays; insomuch, that the footboys, for want of skill in reading, do now (as we hear) often bring away, by mistake, the title of a new book against the Church of England, instead of taking down the play for the afternoon. Yet, if he did it well or handsomely, he might deserve some pardon; but, alas! how ridiculously doth he appear in print for any religion, who hath made it his business to laugh at all! How can he stand up for any mode of worship, who hath been accustomed to bite, and spit his venom against the very name thereof?

"Wherefore, I cannot but wish our adversaries joy on their new-converted hero, Mr Bayes; whose principle it is to fight single with whole armies; and this one quality he prefers before all the moral virtues put together. The Roman Catholics may talk what they will, of their Bellarmine and Perrone, their Hector and Achilles, and I know not who; but I desire them all, to shew one such champion for the cause, as this Drawcansir: For he is the man that kills whole nations at once; who, as he never wrote any thing, that any one can imagine has ever been the practice of the world, so, in his late endeavours to pen controversy, you shall hardly find one word to the purpose. He is that accomplished person, who loves reasoning so much in verse, and hath got a knack of writing it smoothly. The subject (he treats of in this poem) did, in his opinion, require more than ordinary spirit and flame; therefore, he supposed it to be too great for prose; for he is too proud to creep servilely after sense; so that, in his verse, he soars high above the reach of it. To do this, there is no need of brain, 'tis but scanning right; the labour is in the finger, not in the head.

"However, if Mr Bayes would be pleased to abate a little of the exuberancy of his fancy and wit; to dispense with his ornaments and superfluencies of invention and satire, a man might consider, whether he should submit to his argument; but take away the railing, and no argument remains; so that one may beat the bush a whole day, and, after so much labour, only spring a butterfly, or start a hedge-hog.

"For all this, is it not great pity to see a man, in the flower of his romantic conceptions, in the full vigour of his studies on love and honour, to fall into such a distraction, as to walk through the thorns and briars of controversy, unless his confessor hath commanded it, as a penance for some past sins? that a man, who hath read Don Quixote for the greatest part of his life, should pretend to interpret the Bible, or trace the footsteps of tradition, even in the darkest ages?"--_Four Letters_, &c.]

[Footnote 82: "To draw now to an end, Mr Bayes, I hear, has lately complained, at Willis' Coffeehouse, of the ill usage he has met in the world; that whereas he had the generosity and assurance to set his own name to his late piece of polemic poetry, yet others, who have pretended to answer him, wanted the breeding and civility to do the like: Now, because I would not willingly disoblige a person of Mr Bayes's character, I do here fairly, and before all the world, assure him that my name is Dudly Tomkinson, and that I live within two miles of St Michael's Mount, in Cornwall, and have, in my time, been both constable, church-warden, and overseer of the parish; by the same token, that the little gallery next the belfry, the new motto about the pulpit, the king's arms, the ten commandments, and the great sun-dial in the church-yard, will transmit my name to all posterity. Furthermore, (if it will do him any good at all) I can make a pretty shift to read without spectacles; wear my own hair, which is somewhat inclining to red; have a large mole on my left cheek; am mightily troubled with corns; and, what is peculiar to my constitution, after half-a-dozen bottles of claret, which I generally carry home every night from the tavern, I never fail of a stool or two next morning; besides, use to smoke a pipe every day after dinner, and afterwards steal a nap for an hour or two in the old wicker-chair near the oven; take gentle purgatives spring and fall; and it has been my custom, any time these sixteen years, (as all the parish can testify) to ride in Gambadoes. Nay, to win the heart of him for ever, I invite him here, before the courteous reader, to a country regale, (provided he will before hand promise not to debauch my wife,) where he shall have sugar to his roast beef, and vinegar to his butter; and lastly, to make him amends for the tediousness of the journey, a parcel of relics to carry home with him, which I believe can scarce be matched in the whole Christian world; but, because I have no great fancy that way, I don't care if I part with them to so worthy a person; they are as followeth:

"St Gregory's Ritual, bound up in the same calve's-skin that the old gentleman, in St Luke, roasted at the return of his prodigal son.

"The quadrant that a Philistine tailor took the height of Goliah by, when he made him his last suit of clothes; for the giant being a man of extraordinary dimensions, it was impossible to do this in any other way than your designers use when they take the height of a country-steeple," &c. &c.--_Reasons for Mr Bayes changing his Religion._ See Preface.]

[Footnote 83: THE LAUREAT.

_Jack Squab's history, in a little drawn, Down to his evening from his morning dawn._

(Bought by Mr Luttrel, 24th October, 1687.)

Appear, thou mighty bard, to open view; Which yet, we must confess, you need not do. The labour to expose thee we may save; Thou standst upon thy own records a knave, Condemned to live in thy apostate rhymes, The curse of ours, and scoff of future times. Still tacking round with every turn of state, } Reverse to Shaftesbury, thy cursed fate } Is always, at a change, to come too late. } To keep his plots from coxcombs, was his care; His villainy was masked, and thine is bare. Wise men alone could guess at his design, } And could but guess, the threads were spun so fine; } But every purblind fool may see through thine. } Had Dick still kept the regal diadem, Thou hadst been poet laureat still to him, And, long ere now, in lofty verse proclaimed His high extraction, among princes famed; Diffused his glorious deed from pole to pole, Where winds can carry, or where waves can roll: Nay, had our Charles, by heaven's severe decree, Been found and murdered in the royal tree, Even thou hadst praised the fact; his father slain, Thou callest but gently breathing of a vein. Impious and villainous, to bless the blow } That laid at once three lofty nations low, } And gave the royal cause a fatal overthrow! } Scandal to all religions, new and old; } Scandal to them, where pardon's bought and sold, } And mortgaged happiness redeemed for gold. } Tell me, for 'tis a truth you must allow, Who ever changed more in one moon than thou? Even thy own Zimri was more stedfast known, He had but one religion, or had none. What sect of Christians is't thou hast not known, And at one time or other made thy own? A bristled baptist bred, and then thy strain Immaculate was far from sinful stain; No songs, in those blest times, thou didst produce, To brand and shame good manners out of use; The ladies had not then one b---- bob, Nor thou the courtly name of Poet Squab. Next, thy dull muse, an independant jade, On sacred tyranny fine stanzas made; Praised Noll, who even to both extremes did run, To kill the father and dethrone the son. When Charles came in, thou didst a convert grow, More by thy interest, than thy nature so; Under his 'livening beams thy laurels spread; } He first did place that wreath about thy head, } Kindly relieved thy wants, and gave thee bread. } Here 'twas thou mad'st thy bells of fancy chime, And choked the town with suffocating rhyme; Till heroes, formed by thy creating pen, Were grown as cheap and dull as other men. Flushed with success, full gallery and pit, Thou bravest all mankind with want of wit; Nay, in short time wer't grown so proud a ninny, As scarce to allow that Ben himself had any; But when the men of sense thy error saw, They checked thy muse, and kept the termagant in awe. To satire next thy talent was addrest, Fell foul on all, thy friends among the rest: Those who the oft'nest did thy wants supply, Abused, traduced, without a reason why; Nay, even thy royal patron was not spared, But an obscene, a santring wretch declared. Thy loyal libel we can still produce; Beyond example, and beyond excuse. O strange return to a forgiving king! But the warmed viper wears the greatest sting. Thy pension lost, and justly without doubt; When servants snarl, we ought to kick 'em out; They that disdain their benefactor's bread, No longer ought by bounty to be fed. That lost, the visor changed, you turn about, And straight a true blue Protestant crept out. The "Friar" now was writ; and some will say, They smell a mal-content through all the play. The Papist too was damned, unfit for trust, } Called treacherous, shameless, profligate, unjust; } And kingly power thought arbitrary lust. } This lasted till thou didst thy pension gain, And that changed both thy morals and thy strain. If to write contradictions nonsense be, Who has more nonsense in their works than thee? We'll mention but thy Layman's Faith and Hind: Who'll think both these, such clashing do we find, Could be the product of one single mind! Here thou wouldst charitable fain appear, Find fault that Athanasius was severe; Thy pity straight to cruelty is raised, And even the pious inquisition praised, And recommended to the present reign, "O happy countries, Italy and Spain!" Have we not cause, in thine own words, to say, } Let none believe what varies every day, } That never was, nor will be, at a stay? } Once heathens might be saved, you did allow, But not, it seems, we greater heathens now. The loyal church, that buoys the kingly line, Damned with a breath, but 'tis such a breath as thine. What credit to thy party can it be, To have gained so lewd a profligate as he, Strayed from our fold, makes us to laugh, not weep; We have but lost what was disgrace to keep. By them mistrusted, and to us a scorn; For 'tis but weakness at the best to turn. True, hadst thou left us in the former reign, } Y'had proved it was not wholly done for gain; } Now the meridian sun is not so plain. } Gold is thy god; for a substantial sum, } Thou to the Turk wouldst run away from Rome, } And sing his holy expedition against Christendom. } But, to conclude; blush with a lasting red, If thou'rt not moved by what's already said, To see thy boars, bears, buzzards, wolves, and owls, And all thy other beasts and other fowls, Routed by two poor mice (unequal fight!); But easy 'tis to conquer in the right. See, there a youth, (a shame to thy gray hairs) Make a mere dunce of all thy threescore years. What in that tedious poem hast thou done, But crammed all Esop's fables into one? But why do I the precious minutes spend On him, that would much rather hang than mend? No, wretch, continue still just as thou art, Thou'rt now in this last scene that crowns thy part. To purchase favour veer with every gale, } And against interest never cease to rail, } Though thou'rt the only proof how interest can prevail. } ]

FOOTNOTE:

[Footnote 84: "Tale of a Tub," first part. "Tommy Potts" is a silly popular ballad, for which see Ritson's "Ancient Songs."]

THE

PREFACE.

The nation is in too high a ferment, for me to expect either fair war, or even so much as fair quarter, from a reader of the opposite party. All men are engaged either on this side or that; and though conscience is the common word which is given by both, yet if a writer fall among enemies, and cannot give the marks of _their_ conscience, he is knocked down before the reasons of his own are heard. A preface, therefore, which is but a bespeaking of favour, is altogether useless. What I desire the reader should know concerning me, he will find in the body of the poem, if he have but the patience to peruse it. Only this advertisement let him take before-hand, which relates to the merits of the cause.

No general characters of parties (call them either sects or churches) can be so fully and exactly drawn, as to comprehend all the several members of them; at least all such as are received under that denomination. For example; there are some of the church by law established, who envy not liberty of conscience to dissenters; as being well satisfied that, according to their own principles, they ought not to persecute them. Yet these, by reason of their fewness, I could not distinguish from the numbers of the rest, with whom they are embodied in one common name. On the other side, there are many of our sects, and more indeed than I could reasonably have hoped, who have withdrawn themselves from the communion of the Panther, and embraced this gracious indulgence of his majesty in point of toleration. But neither to the one nor the other of these is this satire any way intended: it is aimed only at the refractory and disobedient on either side. For those, who are come over to the royal party, are consequently supposed to be out of gun-shot.[85] Our physicians have observed, that, in process of time, some diseases have abated of their virulence, and have in a manner worn out their malignity, so as to be no longer mortal; and why may not I suppose the same concerning some of those, who have formerly been enemies to kingly government, as well as Catholic religion? I hope they have now another notion of both, as having found, by comfortable experience, that the doctrine of persecution is far from being an article of our faith.[86]

It is not for any private man to censure the proceedings of a foreign prince:[87] but, without suspicion of flattery, I may praise our own, who has taken contrary measures, and those more suitable to the spirit of Christianity. Some of the dissenters, in their addresses to his majesty, have said, "That he has restored God to his empire over conscience."[88] I confess, I dare not stretch the figure to so great a boldness: but I may safely say, that conscience is the royalty and prerogative of every private man. He is absolute in his own breast, and accountable to no earthly power for that which passes only betwixt God and him. Those who are driven into the fold are, generally speaking, rather made hypocrites than converts.

This indulgence being granted to all the sects, it ought in reason to be expected, that they should both receive it, and receive it thankfully. For, at this time of day, to refuse the benefit, and adhere to those whom they have esteemed their persecutors, what is it else but publicly to own, that they suffered not before for conscience-sake, but only out of pride and obstinacy, to separate from a church for those impositions, which they now judge may be lawfully obeyed? After they have so long contended for their classical ordination (not to speak of rites and ceremonies) will they at length submit to an episcopal? If they can go so far, out of complaisance to their old enemies, methinks a little reason should persuade them to take another step, and see whither that will lead them.[89]

Of the receiving this toleration thankfully, I shall say no more, than that they ought, and I doubt not they will consider from what hand they received it. It is not from a Cyrus, a heathen prince, and a foreigner,[90] but from a christian king, their native sovereign; who expects a return in specie from them, that the kindness, which he has graciously shewn them, may be retaliated on those of his own persuasion.

As for the poem in general, I will only thus far satisfy the reader, that it was neither imposed on me, nor so much as the subject given me by any man. It was written during the last winter, and the beginning of this spring; though with long interruptions of ill health and other hindrances. About a fortnight before I had finished it, his majesty's Declaration for liberty of conscience came abroad; which, if I had so soon expected, I might have spared myself the labour of writing many things which are contained in the third part of it. But I was always in some hope, that the church of England might have been persuaded to have taken off the penal laws and the test, which was one design of the poem, when I proposed to myself the writing of it.

It is evident that some part of it was only occasional, and not first intended: I mean that defence of myself, to which every honest man is bound, when he is injuriously attacked in print; and I refer myself to the judgment of those, who have read the answer to the Defence of the late king's Papers, and that of the duchess, (in which last I was concerned) how charitably I have been represented there.[91] I am now informed both of the author and supervisors of this pamphlet, and will reply, when I think he can affront me: for I am of Socrates's opinion, that all creatures cannot. In the mean time let him consider whether he deserved not a more severe reprehension than I gave him formerly, for using so little respect to the memory of those, whom he pretended to answer; and, at his leisure, look out for some original treatise of humility, written by any Protestant in English; (I believe I may say in any other tongue:) for the magnified piece of Duncombe on that subject, which either he must mean, or none, and with which another of his fellows has upbraided me, was translated from the Spanish of Rodriguez; though with the omission of the seventeenth, the twenty-fourth, the twenty-fifth, and the last chapter, which will be found in comparing of the books.[92]

He would have insinuated to the world, that her late Highness died not a Roman Catholic. He declares himself to be now satisfied to the contrary, in which he has given up the cause: for matter of fact was the principal debate betwixt us. In the mean time, he would dispute the motives of her change; how preposterously, let all men judge, when he seemed to deny the subject of the controversy, the change itself.[93] And because I would not take up this ridiculous challenge, he tells the world I cannot argue: but he may as well infer, that a Catholic cannot fast, because he will not take up the cudgels against Mrs James,[94] to confute the Protestant religion.

I have but one word more to say concerning the poem as such, and abstracting from the matters, either religious or civil, which are handled in it. The First Part, consisting most in general characters and narration, I have endeavoured to raise, and give it the majestic turn of heroic poesy. The Second, being matter of dispute, and chiefly concerning church authority, I was obliged to make as plain and perspicuous as possibly I could; yet not wholly neglecting the numbers, though I had not frequent occasions for the magnificence of verse. The Third, which has more of the nature of domestic conversation, is, or ought to be, more free and familiar than the two former.

There are in it two episodes, or fables, which are interwoven with the main design; so that they are properly parts of it, though they are also distinct stories of themselves. In both of these I have made use of the common-places of satire, whether true or false, which are urged by the members of the one church against the other: at which I hope no reader of either party will be scandalized, because they are not of my invention, but as old, to my knowledge, as the times of Boccace and Chaucer on the one side, and as those of the Reformation on the other.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 85: The tumultuary joy of the sectaries, upon their first view of this triumph over the church of England, led them into all the extravagancies of loyalty, which used to be practised by their ancient enemies the Tories. Addresses teeming with affection, and foaming with bombast, were poured in upon King James from all corners of his dominions; Presbyterians, Anabaptists, Quakers, Sectaries of all sorts and persuasions, strove to be foremost in the race of gratitude. And when similar addresses came in from corporations, who had been formerly anxious to shew their loyalty on the subject of the Rye-house plot, the king's accession, and other occasions of triumph to the Tories, the tone of these bodies also was wonderfully changed; and, instead of raving against excluders, rebels, regicides, republicans, and fanatics, whose hellish contrivances endeavoured to destroy the safety of the kingdom, and the life of the king, these same gentlemen mention the Sectaries as their brethren and fellow-subjects, to whom the king, their common father, had been justly, liberally, royally pleased to grant freedom of conscience, for which the addressers offer their hearty and unfeigned thanks. These were the two classes of persons, whom Dryden, as they had closed with the measures of government, declares to be exempted from his satire. Those, therefore, against whom it is avowedly directed, are first, the Church of England, whose adherents saw her destruction aimed at through the pretence of toleration. 2dly, Those Sectaries, who distrusted the boon which the king presented, and feared that the consequences of this immediate indulgence at the hands of an ancient enemy, would be purchased by future persecution. These formed a body, small at first, but whose numbers daily increased.

Among the numerous addresses which were presented to the court on this occasion, there are two somewhat remarkable from the quality and condition of the persons in whose name they are offered. The one is from the persons engaged in the schemes of Shaftesbury and Monmouth, and who set out by acknowledging their lives and fortunes forfeited to King James; a singular instance of convicts offering their sentiments upon state affairs. The other is from no less a corporation than the company of London Cooks, which respectable persons declare their approbation of the indulgence, upon a principle recognized in their profession, "the difference of _men's gusto_, in religion, as in eatables;" and assure his majesty, that his declaration "somewhat resembles the Almighty's manna, which suited every man's palate." _History of Addresses_, pp. 106, 132.]

[Footnote 86: Most readers will, I think, acknowledge with me, the extreme awkwardness with which Dryden apologizes, for hoping well of those Sectaries, against whom he had so often discharged the utmost severity of his pen. Yet there is much real truth in the observation, though the compliment to the new allies of the Catholics is but a cold one. Many sects have distinguished themselves by faction, fanaticism, and furious excess at their rise, which, when their spirits have ceased to be agitated by novelty, and exasperated by persecution, have subsided into quiet orderly classes of citizens, only remarkable for some peculiarities of speculative doctrine.]

[Footnote 87: Alluding to the persecution of the Huguenots in France, after the recall of the edict of Nantes.]

[Footnote 88: This phrase occurs in the address of the Ministers of the Gospel in and about the city of London, commonly called Presbyterians: "Your majesty's princely wisdom," say these reverend sycophants, "now rescues us from our long sufferings, and by the same royal act restores God to the empire over conscience." This it is to be too eloquent; when people set no bounds to their rhetoric, it betrays them often into nonsense, and not seldom into blasphemy.--_History of Addresses_, p. 107.]

[Footnote 89: A gentle insinuation, that, if the sectaries could renounce the ordination by presbyteries or classes, in favour of the church of England, it would require but a step or two farther to bring them to a conformity with that of Rome.]

[Footnote 90: Who freed the Jews from their bondage, and gave them permission to rebuild their city and temple.--See the _Book of Esdras_.]

[Footnote 91: In his ardour for extending the Catholic religion, James II. had directed copies of the papers found in his brother's strongbox in favour of that communion, with the copy of a paper by his first duchess, giving the reasons for her conversion to that faith, to be printed, and circulated through the kingdom. These papers were answered by the learned Stillingfleet, then Dean of St Paul's. A Defence of the Papers was published "by command," of which it appears, from the passage in the text, that our author wrote the third part, which applies to the Duchess of York's paper. Stillingfleet published a vindication of his answer, in which he attacks our author with some severity. A full account of the controversy will be found attached to Dryden's part of the Defence, among his prose works.]

[Footnote 92: In the controversy between Dryden and Stillingfleet, the former had concluded his Defence of the Duchess of York's paper, by alleging, that "among all the volumes of divinity written by the Protestants, there is not one original treatise, at least that I have seen or heard of, which has handled distinctly, and by itself, the Christian virtue of humility." This Stillingfleet, in his reply, calls a "bare-faced assertion of a thing known to be false;" for, "with-in a few years, besides what has been printed formerly, such a book hath been published in London." Dryden, in the text, replies to this allegation, that Duncombe's treatise, which he supposes to be meant, is a translation from the Spanish of Rodriguez, therefore, not originally a Protestant work. Montague, in the preface to "The Hind and Panther Transversed" alleges, that Dryden has mistaken the name of the author of the treatise alluded to; which was not, he asserts, Duncombe, but Allen. See the matter more fully canvassed in a note on the original passage, in "The Duchess of York's Paper Defended."]

[Footnote 93: Dryden is not quite candid in his statement. In Stillingfleet's answer to the Duchess's paper, it is indeed called, the "paper _said_ to be written by a great lady;" but there is not another word upon the authority, which, indeed, considering it was published under the king's immediate inspection, could not be very decorously disputed. Dryden seizes upon this phrase in his defence, and, coupling with it some expressions of the Bishop of Winchester, he argues that it was the intention of these sons of the church of England, to give the lie to their sovereign. In this vindication of the answer, Stillingfleet thus expresses himself: "As to the main design of the third paper, I declared, that I considered it, as it was supposed to contain the reasons and motives of the conversion of so great a lady to the church of Rome.

"But this gentleman has now eased me of the necessity of farther considering it on that account. For he declares, that none of those motives or reasons are to be found in the paper of her highness. Which he repeats several times. 'She writ this paper, not as to the reasons she had herself for changing, &c.' 'As for her reasons, they were only betwixt God and her own soul, and the priest with whom she spoke at last.'

"And so my work is at an end as to her paper. For I never intended to ransack the private papers or secret narratives of great persons; and I do not in the least question the relation now given from so great authority, as that he mentions of the passages concerning her; and therefore I have nothing more to say as to what relates to the person of the duchess."

It is obvious that Dryden, probably finding the divine too hard for him on the controversial part of the subject, affects to consider the dispute as entirely limited to the authenticity of the paper, which it cannot be supposed Stillingfleet ever seriously intended to impeach.]

[Footnote 94: Eleanor James, a lady who was at this period pleased to stand up as a champion for the test, against the repeal which James had so deeply at heart. This female theologian is mentioned in the "Remarks from the country, upon the two Letters, relating to the convocation, and alterations in the liturgy." "It is a thousand pities, so instructive and so eloquent papers should ever fall under such an imputation, (of being too forward, and solemn impertinence,) and be ranked among the scribblings of Eleanor James, with this only advantage of having better language, whereas the woman counsellor is judged to have the better meaning." Although Mrs James's lucubrations were thus vilipended by the male disputants, one of her own sex thought it necessary to enter the lists in opposition to her. _See Elizabeth Rone's short Answer to Eleanor James's Long Preamble, or Vindication of the New Test_:

The book called Mistress James's Vindication, Does seem to me but her great indignation; Against the Romans and dissenters too, She for the church of England makes adoe; Calling her Christ's spouse, but she's mistaken, Christ's spouse is she that is by her forsaken.

Mrs James's work was entitled, "A Vindication of the Church of England, in answer to a pamphlet, entitled, a New Test of the Church of England's Loyalty." She was herself the wife of a printer, who left many books to the library of Sion college. Mrs James's picture is preserved in the library, in the full dress of a citizen's wife of that period. She survived her husband many years, and carried on the printing business on her own account.--MALONE, Vol. III. p. 539.]

THE

HIND AND THE PANTHER.

A milk-white Hind,[95] immortal and unchanged, Fed on the lawns, and in the forest ranged; Without unspotted, innocent within, She feared no danger, for she knew no sin. Yet had she oft been chased with horns and hounds, And Scythian shafts; and many winged wounds Aimed at her heart; was often forced to fly, And doomed to death, though fated not to die.[96] Not so her young; for their unequal line Was hero's make, half human, half divine. Their earthly mould obnoxious was to fate, The immortal part assumed immortal state. Of these a slaughtered army lay in blood,[97] Extended o'er the Caledonian wood, Their native walk; whose vocal blood arose, And cried for pardon on their perjured foes. Their fate was fruitful, and the sanguine seed, Endued with souls, increased the sacred breed. So captive Israel multiplied in chains, A numerous exile, and enjoyed her pains. With grief and gladness mixed, the mother viewed Her martyr'd offspring, and their race renewed; Their corps to perish, but their kind to last, So much the deathless plant the dying fruit surpassed. Panting and pensive now she ranged alone, And wandered in the kingdoms, once her own. The common hunt, though from their rage restrained By sovereign power, her company disdained, Grinned as they passed, and with a glaring eye Gave gloomy signs of secret enmity 'Tis true, she bounded by, and trip'd so light, They had not time to take a steady sight; For truth has such a face and such a mien, As to be loved needs only to be seen. The bloody Bear, an independent beast, Unlicked to form, in groans her hate exprest.[98] Among the timorous kind, the quaking Hare Professed neutrality, but would not swear.[99] Next her the buffoon Ape, as atheists use, Mimicked all sects, and had his own to chuse; Still when the Lion looked, his knees he bent, And paid at church a courtier's compliment.[100] The bristled baptist Boar, impure as he,[101] But whitened with the foam of sanctity, With fat pollutions filled the sacred place,} And mountains levelled in his furious race; } So first rebellion founded was in grace. } But since the mighty ravage, which he made In German forests, had his guilt betrayed, With broken tusks, and with a borrowed name, He shunned the vengeance, and concealed the shame; So lurked in sects unseen. With greater guile False Reynard fed on consecrated spoil;[102] The graceless beast by Athanasius first Was chased from Nice, then by Socinus nursed; His impious race their blasphemy renewed, And nature's king through nature's optics viewed. Reversed, they viewed him lessened to their eye, Nor in an infant could a God descry; New swarming sects to this obliquely tend, Hence they began, and here they all will end. What weight of antient witness can prevail, If private reason hold the public scale? But, gracious God, how well dost thou provide For erring judgments an unerring guide! Thy throne is darkness in the abyss of light, A blaze of glory that forbids the sight. O teach me to believe thee, thus concealed, And search no farther than thyself revealed; But her alone for my director take, Whom thou hast promised never to forsake! My thoughtless youth was winged with vain desires; My manhood, long misled by wandering fires, Followed false lights; and, when their glimpse was gone, My pride struck out new sparkles of her own. Such was I, such by nature still I am; Be thine the glory, and be mine the shame! Good life be now my task; my doubts are done;[103] What more could fright my faith, than three in one? Can I believe eternal God could lie } Disguised in mortal mould, and infancy? } That the great Maker of the world could die?} And after that trust my imperfect sense, Which calls in question his omnipotence? Can I my reason to my faith compel, And shall my sight, and touch, and taste rebel? Superior faculties are set aside; Shall their subservient organs be my guide? Then let the moon usurp the rule of day, And winking tapers shew the sun his way; For what my senses can themselves perceive, I need no revelation to believe. Can they, who say the host should be descried By sense, define a body glorified? Impassable, and penetrating parts? Let them declare by what mysterious arts He shot that body through the opposing might, } Of bolts and bars impervious to the light, } And stood before his train confessed in open sight.[104]} For since thus wondrously he passed, 'tis plain, One single place two bodies did contain; And sure the same Omnipotence as well Can make one body in more places dwell. Let reason then at her own quarry fly, But how can finite grasp infinity? 'Tis urged again, that faith did first commence By miracles, which are appeals to sense, And thence concluded, that our sense must be The motive still of credibility; For latter ages must on former wait, And what began belief, must propagate. But winnow well this thought, and you shall find 'Tis light as chaff that flies before the wind. Were all those wonders wrought by power divine, As means or ends of some more deep design? Most sure as means, whose end was this alone, To prove the Godhead of the Eternal Son. God thus asserted, man is to believe Beyond what sense and reason can conceive, And, for mysterious things of faith, rely On the proponent, heaven's authority. If, then, our faith we for our guide admit, Vain is the farther search of human wit; As when the building gains a surer stay, We take the unuseful scaffolding away. Reason by sense no more can understand; The game is played into another hand. Why chuse we then like bilanders[105] to creep} Along the coast, and land in view to keep, } When safely we may launch into the deep? } In the same vessel, which our Saviour bore, } Himself the pilot, let us leave the shore, } And with a better guide a better world explore.} Could he his Godhead veil with flesh and blood, And not veil these again to be our food? His grace in both is equal in extent, The first affords us life, the second nourishment. And if he can, why all this frantic pain, } To construe what his clearest words contain,} And make a riddle what he made so plain? } To take up half on trust, and half to try, Name it not faith, but bungling bigotry; Both knave and fool the merchant we may call, } To pay great sums, and to compound the small; } For who would break with heaven, and would not break for all?} Rest then, my soul, from endless anguish freed; Nor sciences thy guide, nor sense thy creed. Faith is the best ensurer of thy bliss; The bank above must fail, before the venture miss. But heaven and heaven-born faith are far from thee, Thou first apostate to divinity. Unkennelled range in thy Polonian plains; A fiercer foe the insatiate Wolf remains. Too boastful Britain, please thyself no more, That beasts of prey are banished from thy shore; The bear, the boar, and every savage name, Wild in effect, though in appearance tame, Lay waste thy woods, destroy thy blissful bower, And, muzzled though they seem, the mutes devour. More haughty than the rest, the wolfish race} Appears with belly gaunt, and famished face;} Never was so deformed a beast of grace. } His ragged tail betwixt his legs he wears, } Close clap'd for shame; but his rough crest he rears,} And pricks up his predestinating ears.[106] } His wild disordered walk, his hagard eyes, Did all the bestial citizens surprise. Though feared and hated, yet he ruled a while, As captain or companion of the spoil. Full many a year his hateful head had been For tribute paid, nor since in Cambria seen; The last of all the litter 'scaped by chance, And from Geneva first infested France. Some authors thus his pedigree will trace, But others write him of an upstart race; Because of Wickliffe's brood no mark he brings, But his innate antipathy to kings. These last deduce him from the Helvetian kind, Who near the Leman-lake his consort lined; That fiery Zuinglius first the affection bred, And meagre Calvin blest the nuptial bed. In Israel some believe him whelped long since, When the proud sanhedrim oppressed the prince; Or, since he will be Jew, derive him higher, When Corah with his brethren did conspire From Moses' hand the sovereign sway to wrest, And Aaron of his ephod to divest; 'Till opening earth made way for all to pass, And could not bear the burden of a class.[107] The Fox and he came shuffled in the dark, If ever they were stowed in Noah's ark; Perhaps not made; for all their barking train The dog (a common species) will contain; And some wild curs, who from their masters ran,} Abhorring the supremacy of man, } In woods and caves the rebel-race began. } O happy pair, how well have you increased! What ills in church and state have you redressed! With teeth untried, and rudiments of claws, Your first essay was on your native laws; Those having torn with ease, and trampled down,} Your fangs you fastened on the mitred crown, } And freed from God and monarchy your town. } What though your native kennel still be small, Bounded betwixt a puddle and a wall;[108] Yet your victorious colonies are sent Where the north ocean girds the continent. Quickened with fire below, your monsters breed In fenny Holland, and in fruitful Tweed; And, like the first, the last affects to be Drawn to the dregs of a democracy. As, where in fields the fairy rounds are seen, A rank sour herbage rises on the green; So, springing where those midnight elves advance, Rebellion prints the footsteps of the dance. Such are their doctrines, such contempt they show} To heaven above, and to their prince below, } As none but traitors and blasphemers know. } God like the tyrant of the skies is placed, And kings, like slaves, beneath the crowd debased. So fulsome is their food, that flocks refuse To bite, and only dogs for physic use. As, where the lightning runs along the ground, No husbandry can heal the blasting wound; Nor bladed grass, nor bearded corn succeeds, But scales of scurf and putrefaction breeds; Such wars, such waste, such fiery tracks of dearth Their zeal has left, and such a teemless earth. But, as the poisons of the deadliest kind Are to their own unhappy coasts confined; As only Indian shades of sight deprive, And magic plants will but in Colchos thrive; So presbytery and pestilential zeal Can only flourish in a commonweal. From Celtic woods is chased the wolfish crew;[109] But ah! some pity e'en to brutes is due; Their native walks, methinks, they might enjoy, Curbed of their native malice to destroy. Of all the tyrannies on human-kind, The worst is that which persecutes the mind. Let us but weigh at what offence we strike; 'Tis but because we cannot think alike. In punishing of this, we overthrow The laws of nations and of nature too. Beasts are the subjects of tyrannic sway, Where still the stronger on the weaker prey; Man only of a softer mould is made, Not for his fellows' ruin, but their aid; Created kind, beneficent and free, The noble image of the Deity. One portion of informing fire was given To brutes, the inferior family of heaven. The smith divine, as with a careless beat, Struck out the mute creation at a heat; But, when arrived at last to human race, The Godhead took a deep considering space; And, to distinguish man from all the rest, Unlocked the sacred treasures of his breast; And mercy mixt with reason did impart, One to his head, the other to his heart; Reason to rule, but mercy to forgive; The first is law, the last prerogative. And like his mind his outward form appeared, } When, issuing naked to the wondering herd, } He charmed their eyes; and, for they loved, they feared } Not armed with horns of arbitrary might, } Or claws to seize their furry spoils in fight, } Or with increase of feet to o'ertake them in their flight; } Of easy shape, and pliant every way, } Confessing still the softness of his clay, } And kind as kings upon their coronation day;[110]} With open hands, and with extended space Of arms, to satisfy a large embrace. Thus kneaded up with milk, the new-made man His kingdom o'er his kindred world began; Till knowledge misapplied, misunderstood, And pride of empire, soured his balmy blood. Then, first rebelling, his own stamp he coins; The murderer Cain was latent in his loins; And blood began its first and loudest cry, For differing worship of the Deity. Thus persecution rose, and farther space Produced the mighty hunter[111] of his race. Not so the blessed Pan[112] his flock increased, Content to fold them from the famished beast: Mild were his laws; the sheep and harmless hind Were never of the persecuting kind. Such pity now the pious pastor shows, } Such mercy from the British Lion flows,[113] } That both provide protection from their foes. } Oh happy regions, Italy and Spain, Which never did those monsters entertain! The Wolf, the Bear, the Boar, can there advance No native claim of just inheritance; And self-preserving laws, severe in show, May guard their fences from the invading foe. Where birth has placed them, let them safely share The common benefit of vital air; Themselves unharmful, let them live unharmed, Their jaws disabled, and their claws disarmed; Here, only in nocturnal howlings bold, They dare not seize the Hind, nor leap the fold. More powerful, and as vigilant as they, The Lion awfully forbids the prey. Their rage repressed, though pinched with famine sore, } They stand aloof, and tremble at his roar; } Much is their hunger, but their fear is more. } These are the chief; to number o'er the rest, And stand, like Adam, naming every beast, Were weary work; nor will the muse describe A slimy-born and sun-begotten tribe; Who, far from steeples and their sacred sound, In fields their sullen conventicles found.[114] These gross, half-animated, lumps I leave; Nor can I think what thoughts they can conceive. But if they think at all, 'tis sure no higher Than matter, put in motion, may aspire; Souls that can scarce ferment their mass of clay; } So drossy, so divisible are they, } As would but serve pure bodies for allay; } Such souls as shards produce, such beetle things As only buz to heaven with evening wings; Strike in the dark, offending but by chance, Such are the blindfold blows of ignorance. They know not beings, and but hate a name; To them the Hind and Panther are the same. The Panther, sure the noblest, next the Hind, And fairest creature of the spotted kind; Oh, could her in-born stains be washed away, She were too good to be a beast of prey! How can I praise, or blame, and not offend, Or how divide the frailty from the friend? Her faults and virtues lie so mixed, that she Nor wholly stands condemned, nor wholly free. Then, like her injured Lion, let me speak; He cannot bend her, and he would not break. Unkind already, and estranged in part, The Wolf begins to share her wandering heart. Though unpolluted yet with actual ill, She half commits who sins but in her will. If, as our dreaming platonists report, There could be spirits of a middle sort, Too black for heaven, and yet too white for hell, Who just dropt half-way down, nor lower fell;[115] So poised, so gently she descends from high, It seems a soft dismission from the sky. Her house not ancient, whatsoe'er pretence Her clergy-heralds make in her defence; A second century not half-way run, Since the new honours of her blood begun. A lion, old, obscene, and furious made By lust, compressed her mother in a shade; Then, by a left-hand marriage, weds the dame, Covering adultery with a specious name;[116] So schism begot; and sacrilege and she, A well matched pair, got graceless heresy. God's and kings' rebels have the same good cause, To trample down divine and human laws; Both would be called reformers, and their hate Alike destructive both to church and state. The fruit proclaims the plant; a lawless prince } By luxury reformed incontinence; } By ruins, charity; by riots, abstinence. } Confessions, fasts, and penance set aside, } Oh with what ease we follow such a guide, } Where souls are starved, and senses gratified! } Where marriage-pleasures midnight prayer supply, } And mattin bells, a melancholy cry, } Are tuned to merrier notes, Increase and multiply.[117] } Religion shews a rosy-coloured face; } Not hattered[118] out with drudging works of grace; } A down-hill reformation rolls apace. } What flesh and blood would crowd the narrow gate, } Or, till they waste their pampered paunches, wait? } All would be happy at the cheapest rate. } Though our lean faith these rigid laws has given, The full-fed Musselman goes fat to heaven; For his Arabian prophet with delights Of sense allured his eastern proselytes. The jolly Luther, reading him, began To interpret scriptures by his alcoran; To grub the thorns beneath our tender feet, And make the paths of paradise more sweet, Bethought him of a wife, ere half way gone, For 'twas uneasy travelling alone; And, in this masquerade of mirth and love, Mistook the bliss of heaven for Bacchanals above. Sure he presumed of praise, who came to stock The etherial pastures with so fair a flock, Burnished, and battening on their food, to show Their diligence of careful herds below.[119] Our Panther, though like these she changed her head, Yet, as the mistress of a monarch's bed,[120] Her front erect with majesty she bore, The crosier wielded, and the mitre wore. Her upper part of decent discipline Shewed affectation of an ancient line; And fathers, councils, church and churches head, Were on her reverend phylacteries[121] read. But what disgraced and disavowed the rest, Was Calvin's brand, that stigmatized the beast. Thus, like a creature of a double kind, In her own labyrinth she lives confined; To foreign lands no sound of her is come, Humbly content to be despised at home. Such is her faith, where good cannot be had, At least she leaves the refuse of the bad: Nice in her choice of ill, though not of best, And least deformed, because reformed the least. In doubtful points betwixt her differing friends, Where one for substance, one for sign contends, Their contradicting terms she strives to join;[122] Sign shall be substance, substance shall be sign. A real presence all her sons allow, } And yet 'tis flat idolatry to bow, } Because the god-head's there they know not how.} Her novices are taught, that bread and wine} Are but the visible and outward sign, } Received by those who in communion join; } But the inward grace, or the thing signified, His blood and body, who to save us died,[123] The faithful this thing signified receive: What is't those faithful then partake or leave? For, what is signified and understood, Is, by her own confession, flesh and blood. Then, by the same acknowledgment, we know They take the sign, and take the substance too. The literal sense is hard to flesh and blood, But nonsense never can be understood. Her wild belief on every wave is tost; But sure no church can better morals boast. True to her king her principles are found; Oh that her practice were but half so sound![124] Stedfast in various turns of state she stood, And sealed her vowed affection with her blood:[125] Nor will I meanly tax her constancy, } That interest or obligement made the tye,} Bound to the fate of murdered monarchy. } Before the sounding axe so falls the vine, Whose tender branches round the poplar twine. She chose her ruin, and resigned her life, In death undaunted as an Indian wife: A rare example! but some souls we see Grow hard, and stiffen with adversity: Yet these by fortune's favours are undone; } Resolved,[126] into a baser form they run, } And bore the wind, but cannot bear the sun.} Let this be nature's frailty, or her fate, Or Isgrim's counsel, her new-chosen mate,[127] Still she's the fairest of the fallen crew; No mother more indulgent, but the true. Fierce to her foes, yet fears her force to try, Because she wants innate authority; For how can she constrain them to obey, Who has herself cast off the lawful sway? Rebellion equals all, and those, who toil In common theft, will share the common spoil. Let her produce the title and the right, Against her old superiors first to fight; If she reform by text, even that's as plain For her own rebels to reform again. As long as words a different sense will bear, And each may be his own interpreter, Our airy faith will no foundation find, The word's a weathercock for every wind: The bear, the fox, the wolf, by turns prevail; The most in power supplies the present gale. The wretched Panther cries aloud for aid To church and councils, whom she first betrayed; No help from fathers or tradition's train: Those ancient guides she taught us to disdain, And by that scripture, which she once abused To reformation, stands herself accused.[128] What bills for breach of laws can she prefer, Expounding which she owns herself may err? And, after all her winding ways are tried, } If doubts arise, she slips herself aside, } And leaves the private conscience for the guide.} If, then, that conscience set the offender free, It bars her claim to church authority. How can she censure, or what crime pretend, But scripture may be construed to defend? Even those, whom for rebellion she transmits To civil power, her doctrine first acquits; Because no disobedience can ensue, Where no submission to a judge is due; Each judging for himself by her consent, Whom, thus absolved, she sends to punishment. Suppose the magistrate revenge her cause, 'Tis only for transgressing human laws. How answering to its end a church is made, Whose power is but to counsel and persuade? O solid rock, on which secure she stands! Eternal house, not built with mortal hands! O sure defence against the infernal gate, A patent during pleasure of the state! Thus is the Panther neither loved nor feared, A mere mock queen of a divided herd; Whom soon by lawful power she might controul, Herself a part submitted to the whole. Then, as the moon who first receives the light By which she makes our nether regions bright, So might she shine, reflecting from afar The rays she borrowed from a better star; Big with the beams which from her mother flow, And reigning o'er the rising tides below:[129] Now, mixing with a savage crowd, she goes, And meanly flatters her inveterate foes; Ruled while she rules, and losing every hour Her wretched remnants of precarious power. One evening, while the cooler shade she sought, Revolving many a melancholy thought, Alone she walked, and looked around in vain, With rueful visage, for her vanished train: None of her sylvan subjects made their court; Levées and couchées passed without resort. So hardly can usurpers manage well Those, whom they first instructed to rebel: More liberty begets desire of more; The hunger still increases with the store. Without respect, they brushed along the wood, } Each in his clan, and, filled with loathsome food,} Asked no permission to the neighbouring flood. } The Panther, full of inward discontent, Since they would go, before them wisely went; Supplying want of power by drinking first, As if she gave them leave to quench their thirst. Among the rest, the Hind, with fearful face, Beheld from far the common watering place, Nor durst approach; till with an awful roar The sovereign Lion bade her fear no more.[130] Encouraged thus, she brought her younglings nigh, Watching the motions of her patron's eye, And drank a sober draught; the rest, amazed, Stood mutely still, and on the stranger gazed; Surveyed her part by part, and sought to find} The ten-horned monster in the harmless Hind, } Such as the Wolf and Panther had designed.[131]} They thought at first they dreamed; for 'twas offence With them, to question certitude of sense, Their guide in faith: but nearer when they drew,} And had the faultless object full in view, } Lord, how they all admired her heavenly hue! } Some, who, before, her fellowship disdained, } Scarce, and but scarce, from in-born rage restrained,} Now frisked about her, and old kindred feigned. } Whether for love or interest, every sect Of all the savage nation shewed respect. The viceroy Panther could not awe the herd; The more the company, the less they feared. The surly Wolf with secret envy burst, } Yet could not howl; (the Hind had seen him first;)[132]} But what he durst not speak, the Panther durst. } For when the herd, sufficed, did late repair To ferny heaths, and to their forest lair, She made a mannerly excuse to stay, Proffering the Hind to wait her half the way; That, since the sky was clear, an hour of talk Might help her to beguile the tedious walk. With much good-will the motion was embraced, To chat a while on their adventures passed; Nor had the grateful Hind so soon forgot Her friend and fellow-sufferer in the plot.[133] Yet wondering how of late she grew estranged, Her forehead cloudy, and her countenance changed, She thought this hour the occasion would present, To learn her secret cause of discontent; Which well she hoped, might be with ease redressed,} Considering her a well-bred civil beast, } And more a gentlewoman than the rest. } After some common talk what rumours ran, The lady of the spotted muff began.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 95: The Roman Catholic church.]

[Footnote 96: Note I.]

[Footnote 97: The Roman Catholic priests executed in England, at different times since the Reformation, and regarded as martyrs and saints by those of their communion.]

[Footnote 98: The Independents. See Note II.]

[Footnote 99: The Quakers. See Note III.]

[Footnote 100: Free-thinkers. See Note IV.]

[Footnote 101: Anabaptists. See Note V.]

[Footnote 102: Unitarians. See Note VI.]

[Footnote 103: See Introductory remarks.]

[Footnote 104: Note VII.]

[Footnote 105: _Quasi_ By-land-er, an old word for a boat, used in coast navigation.]

[Footnote 106: Note VIII.]

[Footnote 107: Alluding to the classical ordination, which the Presbyterian church has adopted, instead of that by Bishops.]

[Footnote 108: Geneva, the cradle of Calvinism. The territories of the little republic, _dum Troja fuit_, were bounded by its ramparts and lake.]

[Footnote 109: Alluding to the recall of the Edict of Nantz, and persecution of the Huguenots. See Note IX.]

[Footnote 110: Which is usually distinguished by an act of grace, or general pardon.]

[Footnote 111: Nimrod.]

[Footnote 112: Jesus Christ.]

[Footnote 113: King James II.]

[Footnote 114: Note X.]

[Footnote 115: Our author recollected his own Philidel in "King Arthur:"

An airy shape, the tenderest of my kind, The last seduced and least deformed of hell; Half-white, and shuffled in the crowd I fell, Desirous to repent and loath to sin, Awkward in mischief, piteous of mankind; My name is Philidel, my lot in air, Where, next beneath the moon, and nearest heaven, I soar, I have a glimpse to be received.

Vol. VIII. p. 135. ]

[Footnote 116: Henry the Eighth's passion for Anna Bullen led the way to the Reformation.]

[Footnote 117: The marriage of the clergy, licensed by the Reformation.]

[Footnote 118: Worn out, or become hagard.]

[Footnote 119: A Popish advocate, in the controversy with Tennison, tells us exultingly, "That Martin Luther himself, Dr T's excellent instrument, after he had eat a feasting supper, and drank _lutheranice_, as the German proverb has it, was called into another world at two o'clock in the night, February 18, 1546." This was one of the reasons why his adversaries alleged, that Martin Luther set sail for hell in the manner described by Sterne, in his tale from Slawkenbergius.]

[Footnote 120: The king being owned the head of the church of England, contrary to the doctrine of the other reformed churches.]

[Footnote 121: Phylacteries are little scrolls of parchment worn by the Jews on their foreheads and wrists, inscribed with sentences from the law. They are supposed, as is expressed by the phrase in the original, to have the virtue of preserving the wearer from danger and evil.]

[Footnote 122: The Lutherans adopt the doctrine of consubstantiation; that is to say, they believe, that, though the elements are not changed into the body and blood of Christ by consecration, which is the Roman faith, yet the participants, at the moment of communicating, do actually receive the real body and blood. The Calvinists utterly deny the real presence in the eucharist, and affirm, that the words of Christ were only symbolical. The church of England announces a doctrine somewhat between these. See Note XI.]

[Footnote 123: Note XI.]

[Footnote 124: Note XII.]

[Footnote 125: Alluding to the fate of the church and monarchy of England, which fell together in the great rebellion. See Note XI.]

[Footnote 126: _Resolved_, i.e. dissolved.]

[Footnote 127: The Wolf, or Presbytery.--See note XIII.]

[Footnote 128: Note XIV.]

[Footnote 129: That is, if the church of England would be reconciled to Rome, she should be gratified with a delegated portion of innate authority over the rival sectaries; instead of being obliged to depend upon the civil power for protection.]

[Footnote 130: Alluding to the exercise of the dispensing power, and the Declaration of Indulgence.]

[Footnote 131: The ten-horned monster, in the Revelations, was usually explained by the reformers as typical of the church of Rome.]

[Footnote 132: There was a classical superstition, that, if a wolf saw a man before he saw the wolf, the person lost his voice:

----_voxque Mærin Jam fugit ipsa: lupi Mærin videre priores._

Dryden has adopted, in the text, the converse of this superstitious belief.]

[Footnote 133: Although the Roman Catholic plot was made the pretence of persecuting the Papists in the first instance, yet the high-flying party of the Church of England were also levelled at, and accused of being Tantivies, Papists in masquerade, &c. &c.]

NOTES

ON

THE HIND AND THE PANTHER.

PART I.

Note I.

_And doomed to death, though fated not to die._--P. 119.

The critics fastened on this line with great exultation, concluding, that doomed and fated mean precisely the same thing. "Faith, Mr Bayes," says one of these gentlemen, "if you were _doomed_ to be hanged, whatever you were _fated_ to 'twould give you but small comfort."[134] This criticism is quite erroneous; doom, in its general acceptation, meaning merely a sentence of any kind, the pronouncing which by no means necessarily implies its execution. In the criminal courts of Scotland, the sentence is always concluded with this formula, "and this I pronounce for doom." Till of late years, a special officer recited the sentence after the judge, and was thence called the _doomster_,[135] an office now performed by the clerk of court. The criticism is founded on the word _doom_ having been often, and even generally, used as synonimous to the sentence of heaven, and therefore inevitable. But in the text, it is obvious that the doom, or sentence, of an earthly tribunal is placed in opposition to the decree of Providence.

Note II.

_The bloody Bear, an independent beast, Unlicked to forms, &c._--P. 120.

The sect of Independents arose to great eminence in the civil wars, when the enthusiastic spirits were deemed entitled to preferment upon earth, in proportion to the extravagance of their religious zeal. Hume has admirably described their leading tenets, or rather the scorn with which they discarded the principles of other religious sects; for their peculiarities consisted much more in their neglect and contempt of all forms, than in any rules or dogmata of their own.

"The Independents rejected all ecclesiastical establishments, and would admit of no spiritual courts, no government among pastors, no interposition of the magistrate in religious concerns, no fixed encouragement annexed to any system of doctrines or opinions. According to their principles, each congregation, united voluntarily and by spiritual ties, composed, within itself, a separate church, and exercised a jurisdiction, but one destitute of temporal sanctions, over its own pastor and its own members. The election alone of the congregation was sufficient to bestow the sacerdotal character; and, as all essential distinction was denied between the laity and the clergy, no ceremony, no institution, no vocation, no imposition of hands, was, as in all other churches, supposed requisite to convey a right to holy orders. The enthusiasm of the Presbyterians led them to reject the authority of prelates, to throw off the restraint of liturgies, to retrench ceremonies, to limit the riches and authority of the priestly office. The fanaticism of the Independents, exalted to a higher pitch, abolished ecclesiastical government, disdained creeds and systems, neglected every ceremony, and confounded all ranks and orders. The soldier, the merchant, the mechanic, indulging the fervours of zeal, and guided by the illapses of the spirit, resigned himself to an inward and superior direction, and was consecrated, in a manner, by an immediate intercourse and communication with heaven."

Butler thus describes the Independents:

The Independents, whose first station Was in the rear of reformation: A mongrel kind of church dragoons, That served for horse and foot at once, And in the saddle of one steed, The Saracen and Christian rid, Were free of every spiritual order, To preach, and fight, and pray, and murder.

It is well known, that these sectaries obtained the final ascendancy in the civil wars. Cromwell, their chief, was highly gifted as a preacher as well as a warrior; witness his "learned, devout, and conscientious exercise, held at Sir Peter Temple's, in Lincoln's Inn Fields, upon Romans xiii. 1."

Note III.

_Among the timorous kind, the quaking Hare Professed neutrality, but would not swear._--P. 120.

As Mr Hume's account of the rise of this sect (the quakers) is uncommonly lively, I take the liberty to insert it at length; though, perhaps, the passage does not call for so prolonged a quotation. After describing the ascetic solitude of George Fox, their founder, he proceeds:

"When he had been sufficiently consecrated, in his own imagination, he felt that the fumes of self-applause soon dissipate, if not continually supplied by the admiration of others; and he began to seek proselytes. Proselytes were easily gained, at a time when all men's affections were turned towards religion, and when extravagant modes of it were sure to be most popular. All the forms of ceremony, invented by pride and ostentation, Fox and his disciples, from a superior pride and ostentation, carefully rejected: Even the ordinary rites of civility were shunned, as the nourishment of carnal vanity and self-conceit. They would bestow no titles of distinction: The name of friend was the only salutation with which they indiscriminately accosted every one. To no person would they make a bow, or move their hat, or give any signs of reverence. Instead of that affected adulation introduced into modern tongues, of speaking to individuals as if they were a multitude, they returned to the simplicity of ancient languages; and _thou_ and _thee_ were the only expressions which, on any consideration, they would be brought to employ.

"Dress too, a material circumstance, distinguished the members of this sect. Every superfluity and ornament was carefully retrenched: No plaits to their coat, no buttons to their sleeves: No lace, no ruffles, no embroidery. Even a button to the hat, though sometimes useful, yet not being always so, was universally rejected by them with horror and detestation.

"The violent enthusiasm of this sect, like all high passions, being too strong for the weak nerves to sustain, threw the preachers into convulsions, and shakings, and distortions in their limbs; and they thence received the appellation of Quakers. Amidst the great toleration which was then granted to all sects, and even encouragement given to all innovations, this sect alone suffered persecution. From the fervour of their zeal, the quakers broke into churches, disturbed public worship, and harrassed the minister and audience with railing and reproaches. When carried before a magistrate, they refused him all reverence, and treated him with the same familiarity as if he had been their equal. Sometimes they were thrown into mad-houses, sometimes into prisons: Sometimes whipped, sometimes pilloried. The patience and fortitude with which they suffered, begat compassion, admiration, esteem. A supernatural spirit was believed to support them under those sufferings, which the ordinary state of humanity, freed from the illusions of passion, is unable to sustain.

"The quakers creep'd into the army: But, as they preached universal peace, they seduced the military zealots from their profession, and would soon, had they been suffered, have put an end, without any defeat or calamity, to the dominion of the saints. These attempts became a fresh ground for persecution, and a new reason for their progress among the people.

"Morals, with this sect, were carried, or affected to be carried, to the same degree of extravagance as religion. Give a quaker a blow on one cheek, he held up the other: Ask his cloke, he gave you his coat also. The greatest interest could not engage him in any court of judicature, to swear even to the truth. He never asked more for his wares than the precise sum which he was determined to accept. This last maxim is laudable, and continues still to be religiously observed by that sect.

"No fanatics ever carried farther the hatred to ceremonies, forms, orders, rites, and positive institutions. Even baptism and the Lord's supper, by all other sects believed to be interwoven with the very vitals of Christianity, were disdainfully rejected by them. The very Sabbath they profaned. The holiness of churches they derided; and they would give to these sacred edifices no other appellation than that of shops, or steeple-houses. No priests were admitted in their sects: Every one had received, from immediate illumination, a character much superior to the sacerdotal. When they met for divine worship, each rose up in his place, and delivered the extemporary inspirations of the Holy Ghost: Women were also admitted to teach the brethren, and were considered as proper vehicles to convey the dictates of the spirit. Sometimes a great many preachers were moved to speak at once: Sometimes a total silence prevailed in their congregation.

"Some quakers attempted to fast forty days in imitation of Christ; and one of them bravely perished in the experiment. A female quaker came naked into the church where the protector sat; being moved by the spirit, as she said, to appear as a sign to the people. A number of them fancied, that the renovation of all things had commenced, and that clothes were to be rejected, together with other superfluities.--The sufferings which followed the practice of this doctrine, were a species of persecution not well calculated for promoting it."

The quakers were particularly favoured by James II., owing to the interest which Penn, the settler of Pennsylvania, had with that monarch. That person took a lead in the controversy concerning the Indulgence, by publishing a pamphlet, entitled, "Good Advice to the Church of England."

Note IV.

_Next her, the buffoon Ape, as atheists use, Mimicked all sects, and had his own to chuse; Still, when the Lion looked, his knees he bent, And paid at church a courtier's compliment._--P. 120.

The sect of free-thinkers, who professed a disbelief in revealed religion, was to be found even among the fanatical ranks of the Long Parliament. Harvey, Martin, Sidney, and others, were considered as the chiefs of this little party. After the restoration of Charles II., these loose principles became prevalent among his gay courtiers, and were supposed to have been privately adopted by the king himself, who was educated by the sceptic Hobbes. As the free-thinkers taught a total disbelief of revelation, and indifference for religious forms, they left their disciples at liberty occasionally to conform to whatever creed, or form of worship, might appear most conducive to their temporal interests. Sunderland was supposed to belong to this sect, for he made his change to Popery, without even the form of previous instruction or conference; evincing to the whole world, that, being totally indifferent about all religions, he was ready to embrace any that would best serve his immediate views. This statesman's character, as a latitudinarian in religion, is mentioned with great bitterness by the Princess Anne, afterwards queen, in her private correspondence with her sister, the Princess of Orange.--See _Dalrymple's Memoirs_, Vol. II. p. 169. 8vo. edit. Dryden probably intended a sarcasm at Sunderland, or some such time-serving courtier, for his occasional conformity with the royal faith, of which there were several instances at the time. These persons, as they attended James to mass, were compared to Naaman, who, on adopting the Jewish religion, craved an indulgence for waiting upon his master to the house of the idol Rimmon. It is hinted in "The Hind and Panther Transversed," that Dryden's satire is personal; for he is made to quote the lines, and to add, by way of commentary, "That galls somewhere! Egad, I cannot leave it off, though I were cudgelled every day for it."

The church party, among other pamphlets intended to ridicule the Declaration of Indulgence, and as a parody of the addresses of the dissenters on that occasion, published, "To the King's Most Excellent Majesty, the Humble Address of the Atheists, or the Sect of Epicureans." After congratulating the king on having freed his subjects from the solemn superstition of oaths, they proceed: "Your majesty was pleased to wish, that all your subjects were of your own religion; and perhaps every division wishes you were of theirs; but, for our parts, we freely declare, that if ever we should be obliged to profess any religion, we would prefer the Church of Rome, which does not much trouble the world with the affairs of invisible beings, and is very civil and indulgent to the failings of human nature. That church can ease us from the grave fatigues of religion, and, for our monies, allow us proxies, both for piety and penances: We can easily swallow and digest a wafer deity, and will never cavil at the mass in an unknown tongue, when the sacrifice itself is so unintelligible. We shall never scruple the adoration of an image, when the chiefest religion is but imagination; and we are willing to allow the Pope an absolute power to dispense with all penal laws, in this world and in another. But before we return to Rome, the greatest origin of atheism, we wish the Pope, and all his vassal princes, would free the world from the fear of hell and devils, the inquisition and dragoons, and that he would take off the chimney-money of purgatory, and custom and excise of pardons and indulgencies, which are so much inconsistent with the flourishing trade and grandeur of the nation. As for the engagements of lives and fortunes, the common compliment of addressers, we confess we have a more peculiar tenderness for those most sacred concernments; but yet we will hazard them in defence of your majesty, with as much constancy and resolution as your majesty will defend your indulgence; that is, so far as the adventure will serve our designs and interest.

From the Devil-Tavern, the 5th of } November, 1688. Presented by } Justice Baldock, and was graciously } received." }

Note V.

_The bristled baptist Boar, impure as he, But whitened with the foam of sanctity, With fat pollutions filled the sacred place, And mountains levelled in his furious race; So first rebellion founded was in grace. But since the mighty ravage, which he made In German forests, had his guilt betrayed, With broken tusks, and with a borrowed name, He shunned the vengeance, and concealed the shame._

P. 120.

The sect of Anabaptists, whose principal tenet is the disallowing of infant baptism, arose in Germany and the Low Countries about the year 1521. This new light, for such it was esteemed, happened unfortunately to appear to some of the most ignorant and ferocious of the Low German burghers and boors. Thomas Muncer, by birth a Saxon, was the principal apostle of this sect. He preached both against the Papists and Luther, recommending the eschewing of open crimes, the chastening of the body by severities of abstinence, and the wearing a long beard. With these tenets, he combined that of an immediate intercourse with God, by demanding of him signs and tokens, which would be infallibly granted, and that of an universal community of goods. These two last doctrines, concerning spiritual and temporal matters, were admirably calculated to turn the heads of his followers. Being banished from Saxony, he seized upon the monastery of Muhlhans, from which he expelled the monks; and afterwards made a convert of one Pfeifer, a daring enthusiast, who, because in a dream he had put to flight an innumerable number of mice, made no doubt he was destined to vanquish all principalities and powers. Muncer easily prevailed on this visionary conqueror to head the miners of the country of Mansfeldt, in some ferocious inroads into Saxony. The Dukes of Saxony and Brunswick, the Landgrave of Hesse, and other German princes, marched against these madmen, whom Muncer stimulated to resistance, by assuring them, that a rainbow, which happened then to be visible, was an indubitable sign of victory. The poor deluded wretches accordingly suffered themselves to be quietly cut to pieces, with their eyes fixed on the heavenly sign, in expectation of divine assistance. Muncer was made prisoner, and recanted before his death, only blaming the princes for their cruelty and oppression to their vassals, which drove them to desperation;--so, if he lived a false prophet, he died a true preacher. His death, and that of Pfeifer, with the slaughter made among their followers, did not extirpate the heresy; and the most dreadful consequences attended, for some time, the progress of these enthusiastic opinions. A tailor, called Bockholdt, better known by the name of John of Leyden, with his associates, Rotman, Matthews, and Cnipperdoling, in 1535, actually possessed themselves of the city of Munster, expelled the bishop, and commenced the reign of the saints. Their leader, under the strange and horrible delusion that he was inspired by the Holy Ghost, played the most outrageous pranks of lust and cruelty that ever madness dictated: Yet, amidst their frenzy, the Anabaptists had valour and conduct sufficient to defend the city for a length of time against the bishop and his allies; and while the unfortunate inhabitants were in the utmost misery, the enthusiasts themselves revelled in the indulgence of every licentious appetite. At length the city was taken, and a cruel, though deserved punishment, inflicted upon those who had been the leaders in this holy warfare. John of Leyden himself was torn to pieces with hot pincers. After this memorable event, those who retained the principles of this sect were not desirous of being distinguished by a name which the excesses of these fanatics had rendered an abomination to all the Christian world. They were generally confounded with the Independents, with whom they hold many principles in common, particularly, I believe, the disavowal of any clerical order. Yet if, for a time, they "lurked in sects unseen," as Dryden assures us, the sunshine of general toleration soon brought them out under their own proper appellation. We have, among the addresses of various classes of dissenters upon the Declaration of Indulgence, that of the Anabaptists in and about the city of London, who, indeed, were the very first in expressing their thanks and loyalty. The Anabaptists of Leicestershire, the Independents and Baptists of Gloucester, the Anabaptists of Cheshire, Shropshire, and Staffordshire, &c. &c. &c. all came forward with loyal acclamations on the same occasion.

Note VI.

----_With greater guile False Reynard fed on consecrated spoil; The graceless beast by Athanasius first Was chased from Nice, then by Socinus nursed._--P. 121.

Arius, the propagator of a great heresy in the Christian church, denied that God the Son was equal to God the Father, or that he was co-existent with him. See page 16. This doctrine he maintained in the council at Nice against Athanasius, the champion of orthodoxy; and although his doctrines were condemned by the general council, and he himself banished, yet his party was so powerful as to accomplish his restoration, and the banishment of Athanasius, who fled into the Thebais, or deserts of Upper Egypt. The schism thus occasioned, continued long to divide the Christian church. Lelius Socinus, a nobleman of Sienna, revived and enlarged the doctrine of Arius, about the latter end of the sixteenth century. His nephew Faustus collected, arranged, and published his opinions, which have since had many followers. The Socinians teach the worship of one God, without distinction of persons; affirming, that the Holy Ghost is but another expression for the power of God; and that Jesus Christ is only the Son of God by adoption. As they deny our Saviour's divinity, they disavow, of course, the doctrine of redemption, and consider him only as a prophet, gifted with a more than usual share of inspiration, and sealing his mission by his blood. This heresy has, at different times, and under various disguises and modifications, insinuated itself into the Christian church, forming, as it were, a resting place, though but a tottering one, between natural and revealed religion. Here, I fear, the author's lines apply:

To take up half on trust, and half to try, Name it not faith, but bungling bigotry; Both knave and fool the merchant we may call, To pay great sums, and to compound the small; For who would break with heaven, and would not break for all?

This heretical belief was adopted by the Protestants of Poland and of Hungary, especially those who were about this time in arms under Count Teckeli against the emperor. Hence Dryden bids the Fox,

Unkennelled, range in thy Polonian plains.

Note VII.

_Let them declare by what mysterious arts He shot that body through the opposing might, Of bolts and bars, impervious to the light, And stood before his train confessed in open sight._--P. 122.

"Then the same day, at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut, where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus, and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you."

Again, "And after eight days, again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them; then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you."--_The Gospel of St John_, chap. xx. verses 19. 26.

From these passages of Scripture, Dryden endeavours to confute the objection to transubstantiation, founded on the host being consecrated in various places at the same time, in each of which, however, the body of Christ becomes present, according to the Papist doctrine. This being predicated of the real body of our Saviour, the Protestants allege is impossible, as matter can only be in one place at the same time. Dryden, in answer, assumes, that Christ entered into the meeting of the disciples, by actually passing through the closed doors of the apartment; and as, at the moment of such passage, two bodies must have been in the same place at the same instant, the body of Jesus namely, and the substance through which he passed, the poet founds on it as an instance of a transgression of a natural law, proved from Scripture, as violent as that of one body being in several different places at once. But the text does not prove the major part of Dryden's proposition; it is not stated positively by the evangelist, that our Saviour passed _through_ the doors which were shut, but merely that he _came and stood among his disciples_ without the doors being opened; which miraculous appearance might take place many ways besides that on which Dryden has fixed for the foundation of his argument.

Note VIII.

_More haughty than the rest, the Wolfish race} Appears with belly gaunt, and famished face; } Never was so deformed a beast of grace. } His ragged tail betwixt his legs he wears, Close clapped for shame; but his rough crest he rears, And pricks up his predestinating ears._--P. 124.

The personal appearance of the Presbyterian clergy was suited by an affectation of extreme plainness and rigour of appearance. A Geneva cloak and band, with the hair close cropped, and covered with a sort of black scull-cap, was the discriminating attire of their teachers. This last article of dress occasioned an unseemly projection of their ears, and procured those who affected it the nick-name of prick-eared fanatics, and the still better known appellation of Round-heads. Our author proceeds, with great bitterness, to investigate the origin of Calvinism. His account of the rise and destruction of a sect of heretics in Cambria may be understood to refer to the ancient British church, which disowned the supremacy of the see of Rome, refused to adopt her ritual, and opposed St Augustin's claims to be metropolitan of Britain, in virtue of Pope Gregory's appointment. They held two conferences with Augustin; at one of which he pretended to work a miracle by the cure of a blind man; at the second, seven British bishops, and a numerous deputation from the monastery of Bangor, disputed with Augustin, who denounced vengeance against them by the sword of the Saxons, in case they refused to submit to the see of Rome. His prophecy, which had as little effect upon the Welch clergy as his miracle, was shortly afterwards accomplished: For Ethelfred, the Saxon king of Northumberland, having defeated the British under the walls of Chester, cut to pieces no fewer than twelve hundred of the monks of Bangor, who had come to assist their countrymen with their prayers. Our author alludes to this extermination of the British recusant clergy, by comparing it to the census, or tribute of wolves-heads, imposed on the Cambrian kings. It has been surmised by some authors, that Augustin himself instigated this massacre, and thereby contributed to the accomplishment of his own prophecy. Other authorities say, that he died in 604, and that the monks of Bangor were slain in 613. Perhaps, however, our author did not mean to carry the rise of Presbytery so far back, but only referred to the doctrines of Wiccliff, who, in the reign of Edward III., and his successor Richard II., taught publicly at Oxford several doctrines inconsistent with the supremacy of the Pope, and otherwise repugnant to the doctrines of the Roman church. He was protected during his lifetime by John of Gaunt; but, forty years after his death, his bones were dug up and burned for heresy. His followers were called Lollards, and were persecuted with great severity in the reign of Henry V., Lord Cobham and many others being burned to death. Thinking, perhaps, either of these too honourable and ancient a descent for the English Presbyterians, our author next refers to Heylin, who brings them from Geneva,[136] where the reformed doctrine was taught by the well known Zuinglius, and the still more famous Calvin. The former began to preach the Reformation at Zurich about 1518, and disputed publicly with one Sampson, a friar, whom the Pope had sent thither to distribute indulgences. Zuinglius was persecuted by the bishop of Constance; but, being protected by the magistrates of Zurich, he set him at defiance, and in 1523 held an open disputation before the senate, with such success, that they commanded the traditions of the church to be thrown aside, and the gospel to be taught through all their canton. Zuinglius, in some respects, merited the epithet of _fiery_, which Dryden has given him; he was an ardent lover of liberty, and dissuaded his countrymen from a league with the French, by which it must have been endangered; he vindicated, from Scripture, the doctrine of resisting oppressors and asserting liberty, of which he said God was the author, and would be the defender;[137] and, finally, he was killed in battle between the inhabitants of Zurich and those of the five small cantons. The conquerors, being Catholics, treated his dead body with the most shameless indignity.

The history of Calvin is too well known to need recital in this place. He was expelled from France, his native country, on account of his having adopted the doctrines of the reformers, and, taking refuge in Geneva, was appointed professor of divinity there in 1536. But being afterwards obliged to retire from thence, on account of a quarrel about the administration of the communion to certain individuals, Calvin taught a French congregation at Strasburgh. He may be considered as the founder of the Presbyterian doctrine, differing from that of Luther in denying consubstantiation, and affirming, in a large extent, the doctrine of predestination, founded upon election to grace. The poet proceeds to describe the progress of this sect:

With teeth untried, and rudiments of claws, Your first essay was on your native laws; Those having torn with ease, and trampled down,} Your fangs you fastened on the mitred crown, } And freed from God and monarchy your town. } What though your native kennel still be small, Bounded betwixt a puddle and a wall; Yet your victorious colonies are sent Where the north ocean girds the continent. Quickened with fire below, your monsters breed In fenny Holland, and in fruitful Tweed; And like the first the last affects to be, Drawn to the dregs of a democracy.

The citizens of Geneva, before they adopted the reformed religion, were under the temporal, as well as the ecclesiastical, authority of a bishop. But, in 1528, when they followed the example of the city of Berne, in destroying images, and abolishing the Roman ceremonies, the bishop and his clergy were expelled from the city, which from that time was considered as the cradle of Presbytery. As they had made choice of a republican form of government for their little state, our author infers, that democracy is most congenial to their new form of religion. It is no doubt true, that the Presbyterian church government is most purely democratical; which perhaps recommended it in Holland. It is also true, that the Presbyterian divines have always preached, and their followers practised, the doctrine of resistance to oppression, whether affecting civil or religious liberty. But if Dryden had looked to his own times, he would have seen, that the Scottish Presbyterians made a very decided stand for monarchy after the death of Charles I.; and even such as were engaged in the conspiracy of Baillie of Jerviswood, which was in some respects the counter-part of the Ryehouse-plot, refused to take arms, because they suspected that the intentions of Sidney, and others of the party in England, were to establish a commonwealth. I may add, that, in latter times, no body of men have shewn themselves more attached to the king and constitution than the Presbyterian clergy of Scotland.

There is room for criticism also in the poetry of these lines. I question whether _fenny Holland_ and _fruitful Tweed_, in other words, a marsh and a river, could form a favourable medium for communicating the influence of the _quickening fire below_.

Note IX.

_From Celtic woods is chased the wolfish crew; But ah! some pity e'en to brutes is due; Their native walks, methinks, they might enjoy, Curbed of their native malice to destroy._--P. 126.

It is remarkable how readily sentiments of toleration occur, even to the professors of the most intolerant religion, when their minds have fair play to attend to them. The edict of Nantes, by which Henry IV. secured to his Huguenot subjects the undisturbed exercise of their religion, was the recompense of the great obligations he owed to them, and a sort of compensation for his having preferred power to conscience; an edict, declared unalterable, and which had even been sanctioned by Louis XIV. himself, so late as 1680, was, in 1685, finally abrogated. The violence with which the persecution of the Protestants was then pushed on, almost exceeds belief. The principal and least violent mode of conversion, adopted by the king and his minister Louvois, was by quartering upon those of the reformed religion large parties of soldiers, who were licenced to commit every outrage in their habitations short of rape and murder. When, by this species of persecution, a Huguenot had been once compelled to hear mass, he was afterwards treated as a relapsed heretic, if he shewed the slightest disposition to resume the religion in which he had been brought up. James II., in two letters to the Prince of Orange, beseeching toleration for the regular priests in Holland, fails not to condemn the conduct of Louis towards his Protestant subjects; yet, with gross inconsistency, or the deepest dissimulation, he was at the same time congratulating Barillon on his Most Christian Majesty's care for the conversion of his subjects, and hoping God would grant him the favour of completing so great a work.[138] And just so our author, after blaming the persecution of the Huguenots, congratulates Italy and Spain upon possessing such just and excellent laws, as the rules of the inquisitorial church courts.

Note X.

_A slimy-born and sun-begotten tribe, Who far from steeples, and their sacred sound, In fields their sullen conventicles found._--P. 129.

The dregs of the fanaticism of the last age fermented, during that of Charles II., into various sects of sullen enthusiasts, who distinguished themselves by the different names of Brownists, Families of Love, &c. &c. In many cases they rejected all the usual aids of devotion, and, holding their meetings in the open air, and in solitary spots, nursed their fanaticism by separating themselves from the more rational part of mankind. Dryden has elsewhere described them with equal severity;

A numerous host of dreaming saints succeed, Of the true old enthusiastic breed; 'Gainst form and order they their powers employ, Nothing to build, and all things to destroy.

In Scotland, large conventicles were held in the mountains and morasses by the fiercest of the Covenanters, whom persecution had driven frantic. These men, known now by the name of Cameronians, considered popery and prelacy as synonymous terms; and even stigmatized, as Erastians and self-seekers, the more moderate Presbyterians, who were contented to exercise their religion as tolerated by the government.

Note XI.

_Her novices are taught, that bread and wine Are but the visible and outward sign, Received by those who in communion join; But the inward grace, or the thing signified, His blood and body, who to save us died_, &c.--P. 133.

The poet alludes to the doctrine of the church of England concerning the eucharist, thus expressed in the twenty-eighth article of faith:

"The Supper of the Lord is not only a sign of the love that Christians ought to have among themselves one to another, but rather it is a sacrament of our redemption by Christ's death; insomuch, that to such as rightly, worthily, and with faith receive the same, the bread which we break is a partaking of the body of Christ, and likewise the cup of blessing is a partaking of the blood of Christ.

"Transubstantiation, or the change of the substance of bread and wine, in the Supper of the Lord, cannot be proved by holy writ; but it is repugnant to the plain words of Scripture, overthroweth the nature of a sacrament, and hath given occasion to many superstitions.

"The body of Christ is given, taken, and eaten in the supper only, after an heavenly and spiritual manner. And the mean, whereby the body of Christ is received and eaten in the supper, is faith."

Dryden insists upon a supposed inconsistency in this doctrine; but his argument recoils upon the creed of his own church. The words of our Saviour are to be interpreted as they must have been meant when spoken; a circumstance which excludes the literal interpretation contended for by the Romanists: For, by the words "_Hoc est corpus meum_," our Saviour cannot be then supposed to have meant, that the morsel which he gave to his disciples was transformed into his body, which then stood before their eyes, and which all but heretics allow to have been a real, natural, human body, incapable, of course, of being multiplied into as many bodies as there were persons to partake of the communion, and of retaining its original and identical form at the same time. But unless such a multiplied transformation actually took place, our Saviour's words to his apostles must have been emblematical only. Queen Elizabeth's homely lines are, after all, an excellent comment on this point of divinity:

His was the word that spake it; He took the bread and brake it; And what that word did make it, That I believe, and take it.

Note XII.

_True to her king her principles are found; Oh that her practice were but half so sound!_--P. 133.

The pretensions of the church of England to loyalty were carried to a degree of extravagance, which her divines were finally unable to support, unless they had meant to sign the destruction of their religion. This was owing to the recollection of the momentous period which had lately elapsed. The interest of the church had been deeply interwoven with that of the crown; their struggle, sufferings, and fall, during the civil wars, had been in common, as well as their triumphant restoration: the maxim of "no king no bishop," was indelibly imprinted on the hearts of the clergy; in fine, it seemed impossible that any thing should cut asunder the ties which combined them. In sanctioning, therefore, the doctrines of the most passive loyalty, the English divines probably thought that they were only paying a tribute to the throne, which was to be returned by the streams of royal bounty and grace towards the church. Even the religion of James did not, before his accession, shake their confidence, or excite their apprehensions. They were far more afraid of the fanatics, under whose iron yoke they had so lately groaned, than of the Roman Catholics, who, for three generations, had been a depressed, and therefore a tractable body, whose ceremonies and church government resembled, in some respects, their own, and who had sided with them during the civil wars against the Protestant sectaries. But when the members of the established church perceived, that the rapid steps which James adopted would soon place the Catholics in a condition to rival, and perhaps to overpower her, they were obliged to retract and explain away many of their former hasty expressions of absolute and unconditional devotion to the royal pleasure. The king, and his Catholic counsellors, saw with astonishment and indignation, that professions of the most ample subjection were now to be understood as limited and restricted by the interests of the church. In the height of their resentment, even the church of England's pretensions to a peculiar degree of loyalty were unthankfully turned into ridicule, in such bitter and sarcastic terms as the following, which occur in a pamphlet published expressly "with allowance," _i. e._ by royal permission.

"I have often considered, but could never yet find a convincing reason, why that part of the nation, (which is commonly called the church of England) should dare appropriate to themselves alone the principles of true loyalty; and that no other church or communion on earth can be consistent with monarchy, or, indeed, with any government.

"This is a presumption of so high a nature, that it renders the church of England a despicable enemy to the rest of mankind: For, what can be more ridiculous than to say, that a congregation of people, calling themselves a church, which cannot pretend to an infallibility even in matters of faith, having, since their first institution, made several fundamental changes of religious worship, should, however, assume to themselves an inerribility in point of civil obedience to the temporal magistrate? Or, what can be more injurious than to aver, that no other sect or community on earth, from the rising to the setting sun, can be capable of this singular gift of loyalty? So that the church of England alone, (if you have faith enough to believe her own testimony,) is that beautiful spouse of Christ, holy in her doctrine, and infallible in her duty to the supreme magistrate, whom (by a revelation peculiar to herself) she owns both for her temporal and spiritual head. But I doubt much, whether her _ipsa dixit_ alone will pass current with all the nations of the universe, without making further search into the veracity of this bold assertion."

_A New Test of the Church of England's Loyalty._

Note XIII.

_Or Isgrim's counsel._--P. 134.

This name for the Wolf is taken from an ancient political satire, called "Reynard the Fox;" in which an account is given of the intrigues at the court of the Lion; the impeachment of the Fox; his various wiles and escapes; finally, his conquering his accuser in single combat. This ancient apologue was translated from the German by the venerable Caxton, and published the 6th day of June, 1481. It became very popular in England; and we derive from it all the names commonly applied to animals in fable, as Reynard the fox, Tybert the cat, Bruin the bear, Isgrim the wolf, &c. The original of this piece is still so highly esteemed in Germany, that it was lately modernized by Goethé, and is published among his "Neüe Schriften." It is probable that this ancient satire might be the original of "Mother Hubbard's Tale," and that Dryden himself may have had something of its plan in his eye, when writing "The Hind and Panther." As it had become merely a popular story-book, some of his critics did not fail to make merry with his adopting any thing from such a source. "_Smith._ I have heard you quote Reynard the fox.--_Bayes._ Why, there's it now; take it from me, Mr Smith, there is as good morality, and as sound precepts, in The Delectable History of Reynard the Fox, as in any book I know, except Seneca. Pray, tell me, where, in any other author, could I have found so pretty a name for a wolf as Isgrim?"[139]

Note XIV.

_The wretched Panther cries aloud for aid To church and councils, whom she first betrayed; No help from fathers or tradition's train, Those ancient guides she taught us to disdain, And by that Scripture, which she once abused To reformation, stands herself accused._--P. 135.

The author here prefers an argument much urged by the Catholic divines against those of the church of England, and which he afterwards resumes in the Second Part. The English divines, say they, halt between two opinions; they will not allow the weight of tradition when they dispute with the church of Rome, but refer to the scripture, interpreted by each man's private opinion, as the sole rule of faith; while, on the other hand, they are obliged to have recourse to tradition in their disputes with the Presbyterians and dissenters, because, without its aid, they could not vindicate from scripture alone their hierarchy and church-government. To this it was answered, by the disputants on the church of England's side, that they owned no such inconsistent opinion as was imputed to them; but that they acknowledged, for their rule of faith, the word of God in general; that by this they understood the _written word_, or _scripture_, in contradistinction to the Roman rule of scripture and traditions; and as distinguished, both from the church of Rome, and from heretics and sectaries, they understood by it more particularly the written word or scripture, delivering a sense, owned and declared by the primitive church of Christ in the three creeds, four first general councils, and harmony of the fathers.

Dryden's argument, however, had been, by the Catholics, thought so sound, that it is much dwelt upon in a tract, called, "A Remonstrance, by way of Address to both Houses of Parliament, from the Church of England," the object of which is to recommend an union between the churches of England and of Rome. The former is there represented as holding the following language:

"You cannot be ignorant, that ever since my separation from the church of Rome, I have been attacked by all sorts of dissenters: So that my fate, in this encounter, may be compared to that of a city, besieged by different armies, who fight both against it and one another; where, if the garrison make a sally to damage one, another presently takes an advantage to make an attack. Thus, whilst I set myself vigorously to suppress the papist, the puritan seeks to undermine me; and, whilst I am busied to oppose the puritan, the papist gains ground upon me. If I tell the church of Rome, I did not forsake her, but her errors, which I reformed; my rebellious subjects tell me the same, and that they must make a thorough reformation; and, let me bring what arguments I please, to justify my dissent, they still produce the same against me. If, on the other hand, I plead against the puritan dissenter, and show, that he ought to stand to church-authority, where he is not infallibly certain it commands a sin; the papist presently catches at it, and tells me, I destroy my own grounds of reformation, unless I will pretend to that infallibility which I condemn in them.

"Matters standing thus betwixt me and them, why would it not be a point of prudence in me, (as I doubt not but you would esteem it in a governor of that city I lately mentioned,) to make peace with one of my adversaries, to the end I may with more ease resist the onsets of the other?"

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 134: Hind and Panther Transversed.]

[Footnote 135: This office was usually held by the executioner, who, to this extent, was a pluralist; and the change was chiefly made, to prevent the necessity of producing that person in court, to the aggravation of the criminal's terrors.]

[Footnote 136: "But separating this obliquity from the main intendment, the work was vigorously carried on by the king and his counsellors, as appears clearly by the doctrinals in the Book of Homilies, and by the practical part of Christian piety, in the first public Liturgy, confirmed by act of parliament, in the second and third year of the king; and in that act (and, which is more, by Fox himself) affirmed to have been done by the especial aid of the Holy Ghost. And here the business might have rested, if Catin's pragmatical spirit had not interposed. He first began to quarrel at some passages in this sacred liturgy, and afterwards never left soliciting the Lord Protector, and practising by his agents on the court, the country, and the universities, till he had laid the first foundation of the Zuinglian faction; who laboured nothing more, than innovation both in doctrine and discipline; to which they were encouraged by nothing more than some improvident indulgence granted unto John A-Lasco; who, bringing with him a mixt multitude of Poles and Germans, obtained the privilege of a church for himself and his, distinct in government and forms of worship from the church of England.

"This gave powerful animation to the Zuinglian gospellers, (as they are called by Bishop Hooper, and some other writers) to practise first upon the church; who being countenanced, if not headed, by the Earl of Warwick, (who then began to undermine the Lord Protector,) first quarrelled the episcopal habit, and afterwards inveighed against caps and surplices, against gowns and tippets, but fell at last upon the altars, which were left standing in all churches by the rules of liturgy. The touching on this string made excellent music to most of the grandees of the court, who had before cast many an envious eye on those costly hangings, that massy plate, and other rich and precious utensils, which adorned those altars. And what need all this waste? said Judas, when one poor chalice only, and perhaps not that, might have served the turn. Besides, there was no small spoil to be made of copes, in which the priest officiated at the holy sacrament; some of them being made of cloth of tissue, of cloth of gold and silver, or embroidered velvet; the meanest being made of silk, or satin, with some decent trimming. And might not these be handsomely converted into private use, to serve as carpets for their tables, coverlids to their beds, or cushions to their chairs or windows. Thereupon some rude people are encouraged under-hand to beat down some altars, which makes way for an order of the council-table, to take down the rest, and set up tables in their places; followed by a commission, to be executed in all parts of the kingdom, for seizing on the premises to the use of the king."]

[Footnote 137: "_Quo animo ipsum quoque Paulum dicere existimo_, si potes liber fieri utere potius, _1. Cor. 7. Quod eternum Dei concilium, patres nostri, fortissimi viri, infracto animo secuti, miris victoriarum successibus ut Sempachii," &c._ And again, "_Ipse Dominus libertatis author exstitit, et honestam libertatem querentibus adest_."--Pia et Amica Paranæsis ad Suitensium rempublicam.]

[Footnote 138: Dalrymple's Memoirs, Vol. II. p. 108.]

[Footnote 139: The Hind and the Panther Transversed, p. 14.]

THE

HIND AND THE PANTHER,

A POEM.

PART II.

THE

HIND AND PANTHER.

PART SECOND.

Dame, said the Panther, times are mended well, Since late among the Philistines you fell.[140] The toils were pitched, a spacious tract of ground With expert huntsmen was encompassed round; The inclosure narrowed; the sagacious power Of hounds and death drew nearer every hour. 'Tis true, the younger lion[141] 'scaped the snare, But all your priestly calves lay struggling there, As sacrifices on their altars laid;[142] } While you, their careful mother, wisely fled,} Not trusting destiny to save your head. } For, whate'er promises you have applied } To your unfailing church, the surer side} Is four fair legs in danger to provide; } And whate'er tales of Peter's chair you tell, } Yet, saving reverence of the miracle, } The better luck was yours to 'scape so well.--} As I remember, said the sober Hind, Those toils were for your own dear self designed, As well as me; and with the self-same throw, To catch the quarry[143] and the vermin too,-- Forgive the slanderous tongues that called you so. Howe'er you take it now, the common cry Then ran you down for your rank loyalty,[144] Besides, in popery they thought you nurst, As evil tongues will ever speak the worst, Because some forms, and ceremonies some You kept, and stood in the main question dumb. Dumb you were born indeed; but, thinking long, The test, it seems, at last has loosed your tongue:[145] And to explain what your forefathers meant, By real presence in the sacrament, After long fencing pushed against a wall, } Your salvo comes, that he's not there at all: } There changed your faith, and what may change may fall.} Who can believe what varies every day, Nor ever was, nor will be at a stay?-- Tortures may force the tongue untruths to tell, And I ne'er owned myself infallible, Replied the Panther: grant such presence were, Yet in your sense I never owned it there. A real virtue we by faith receive, And that we in the sacrament believe.-- Then, said the Hind, as you the matter state, Not only Jesuits can equivocate; For real, as you now the word expound, From solid substance dwindles to a sound. Methinks, an Æsop's fable you repeat; You know who took the shadow for the meat: Your church's substance thus you change at will, And yet retain your former figure still. I freely grant you spoke to save your life; For then you lay beneath the butcher's knife. Long time you fought, redoubled battery bore, But, after all, against yourself you swore, Your former self; for every hour your form Is chopped and changed, like winds before a storm. Thus fear and interest will prevail with some; For all have not the gift of martyrdom.-- The Panther grinned at this, and thus replied: That men may err was never yet denied; But, if that common principle be true, The canon, dame, is levelled full at you. But, shunning long disputes, I fain would see That wonderous wight, Infallibility. Is he from heaven, this mighty champion, come? Or lodged below in subterranean Rome? First, seat him somewhere, and derive his race, Or else conclude that nothing has no place.-- Suppose, though I disown it, said the Hind, The certain mansion were not yet assigned; The doubtful residence no proof can bring Against the plain existence of the thing. Because philosophers may disagree, } If sight by emission, or reception be, } Shall it be thence inferred, I do not see?[146]} But you require an answer positive, } Which yet, when I demand, you dare not give; } For fallacies in universals live.[147] } I then affirm, that this unfailing guide In pope and general councils must reside; Both lawful, both combined; what one decrees } By numerous votes, the other ratifies: } On this undoubted sense the church relies.[148]} 'Tis true, some doctors in a scantier space, I mean, in each apart, contract the place. Some, who to greater length extend the line, The church's after-acceptation join. This last circumference appears too wide; The church diffused is by the council tied, As members by their representatives Obliged to laws, which prince and senate gives. Thus, some contract, and some enlarge the space;} In pope and council, who denies the place, } Assisted from above with God's unfailing grace? } Those canons all the needful points contain; Their sense so obvious, and their words so plain, That no disputes about the doubtful text Have hitherto the labouring world perplexed. If any should in after-times appear, New councils must be called, to make the meaning clear; Because in them the power supreme resides, And all the promises are to the guides.[149] This may be taught with sound and safe defence; But mark how sandy is your own pretence, Who, setting councils, pope, and church aside, Are every man his own presuming guide.[150] The sacred books, you say, are full and plain, And every needful point of truth contain; All who can read interpreters may be. Thus, though your churches disagree, Yet every saint has to himself alone The secret of this philosophic stone. These principles your jarring sects unite, When differing doctors and disciples fight. Though Luther, Zuinglius, Calvin, holy chiefs, Have made a battle-royal of beliefs; Or, like wild horses, several ways have whirled The tortured text about the Christian world; Each Jehu lashing on with furious force, That Turk or Jew could not have used it worse; No matter what dissension leaders make, Where every private man may save a stake: Ruled by the scripture and his own advice, Each has a blind bye-path to Paradise; Where, driving in a circle slow or fast, Opposing sects are sure to meet at last. A wonderous charity you have in store } For all reformed to pass the narrow door;} So much, that Mahomet had scarcely more. } For he, kind prophet, was for damning none; But Christ and Moses were to save their own: Himself was to secure his chosen race, Though reason good for Turks to take the place, And he allowed to be the better man, In virtue of his holier Alcoran. True, said the Panther, I shall ne'er deny My brethren may be saved as well as I: Though Huguenots condemn our ordination, Succession, ministerial vocation; And Luther, more mistaking what he read, Misjoins the sacred body with the bread:[151] Yet, lady, still remember I maintain, The word in needful points is only plain.-- Needless, or needful, I not now contend, For still you have a loop-hole for a friend, Rejoined the matron; but the rule you lay } Has led whole flocks, and leads them still astray,} In weighty points, and full damnation's way. } For, did not Arius first, Socinus now, The Son's eternal Godhead disavow? And did not these by gospel texts alone Condemn our doctrine, and maintain their own? Have not all heretics the same pretence To plead the scriptures in their own defence? How did the Nicene council then decide That strong debate? was it by scripture tried? No, sure; to that the rebel would not yield; Squadrons of texts he marshalled in the field: That was but civil war, an equal set, Where piles with piles, and eagles eagles met.[152] With texts point-blank and plain he faced the foe, And did not Satan tempt our Saviour so? The good old bishops took a simpler way; Each asked but what he heard his father say, Or how he was instructed in his youth, And by tradition's force upheld the truth.[153] The Panther smiled at this;--And when, said she, Were those first councils disallowed by me? Or where did I at sure tradition strike, Provided still it were apostolic?[154] Friend, said the Hind, you quit your former ground, Where all your faith you did on scripture found: Now 'tis tradition joined with holy writ; But thus your memory betrays your wit. No, said the Panther; for in that I view, When your tradition's forged, and when 'tis true. I set them by the rule, and, as they square,} Or deviate from undoubted doctrine there, } This oral fiction, that old faith declare.--} _Hind._ The council steered, it seems, a different course; They tried the scripture by tradition's force: But you tradition by the scripture try; } Pursued by sects, from this to that you fly,} Nor dare on one foundation to rely. } The word is then deposed, and in this view, You rule the scripture, not the scripture you. Thus said the dame, and, smiling, thus pursued: I see, tradition then is disallowed, When not evinced by scripture to be true, And scripture, as interpreted by you. But here you tread upon unfaithful ground, Unless you could infallibly expound; Which you reject as odious popery, And throw that doctrine back with scorn on me. Suppose we on things traditive divide, And both appeal to scripture to decide; By various texts we both uphold our claim, Nay, often, ground our titles on the same: After long labour lost, and time's expence, Both grant the words, and quarrel for the sense. Thus all disputes for ever must depend; For no dumb rule can controversies end. Thus, when you said,--Tradition must be tried By sacred writ, whose sense yourselves decide, You said no more, but that yourselves must be The judges of the scripture sense, not we. Against our church-tradition you declare, And yet your clerks would sit in Moses' chair; At least 'tis proved against your argument, The rule is far from plain, where all dissent.-- If not by scriptures, how can we be sure, Replied the Panther, what tradition's pure? For you may palm upon us new for old; All, as they say, that glitters, is not gold. How but by following her, replied the dame, To whom derived from sire to son they came; Where every age does on another move, And trusts no farther than the next above; Where all the rounds like Jacob's ladder rise, The lowest hid in earth, the topmost in the skies? Sternly the savage did her answer mark, Her glowing eye-balls glittering in the dark, And said but this:--Since lucre was your trade, Succeeding times such dreadful gaps have made, 'Tis dangerous climbing: To your sons and you I leave the ladder, and its omen too.[155] _Hind._ The Panther's breath was ever famed for sweet; But from the Wolf such wishes oft I meet. You learned this language from the Blatant Beast,[156] Or rather did not speak, but were possessed. As for your answer, 'tis but barely urged: You must evince tradition to be forged; Produce plain proofs; unblemished authors use As ancient as those ages they accuse; Till when, 'tis not sufficient to defame; An old possession stands, till elder quits the claim. Then for our interest, which is named alone To load with envy, we retort your own; For, when traditions in your faces fly, Resolving not to yield, you must decry. As when the cause goes hard, the guilty man Excepts, and thins his jury all he can; So when you stand of other aid bereft, You to the twelve apostles would be left. Your friend the Wolf did with more craft provide To set those toys, traditions, quite aside;[157] And fathers too, unless when, reason spent, He cites them but sometimes for ornament. But, madam Panther, you, though more sincere, Are not so wise as your adulterer; The private spirit is a better blind, Than all the dodging tricks your authors find. For they, who left the scripture to the crowd,} Each for his own peculiar judge allowed; } The way to please them was to make them proud.} Thus with full sails they ran upon the shelf; Who could suspect a cozenage from himself? On his own reason safer 'tis to stand, Than be deceived and damned at second-hand. But you, who fathers and traditions take, And garble some, and some you quite forsake, Pretending church-authority to fix, And yet some grains of private spirit mix, Are, like a mule, made up of different seed, And that's the reason why you never breed; At least, not propagate your kind abroad, For home dissenters are by statutes awed. And yet they grow upon you every day, } While you, to speak the best, are at a stay, } For sects, that are extremes, abhor a middle way:} Like tricks of state, to stop a raging flood,} Or mollify a mad-brained senate's mood; } Of all expedients never one was good. } Well may they argue, nor can you deny, If we must fix on church authority, Best on the best, the fountain, not the flood; That must be better still, if this be good. Shall she command, who has herself rebelled? Is antichrist by antichrist expelled? Did we a lawful tyranny displace, To set aloft a bastard of the race? Why all these wars to win the book, if we } Must not interpret for ourselves, but she?} Either be wholly slaves, or wholly free. } For purging fires traditions must not fight; But they must prove episcopacy's right.[158] Thus, those led horses are from service freed; You never mount them but in time of need. Like mercenaries, hired for home defence, They will not serve against their native prince. Against domestic foes of hierarchy These are drawn forth, to make fanatics fly; But, when they see their countrymen at hand, } Marching against them under church-command, } Straight they forsake their colours, and disband.--} Thus she; nor could the Panther well enlarge With weak defence against so strong a charge; But said:--For what did Christ his word provide, If still his church must want a living guide? And if all-saving doctrines are not there, Or sacred penmen could not make them clear, From after-ages we should hope in vain For truths which men inspired could not explain.-- Before the word was written, said the Hind, Our Saviour preached his faith to human kind: From his apostles the first age received Eternal truth, and what they taught believed. Thus, by tradition faith was planted first, Succeeding flocks succeeding pastors nursed. This was the way our wise Redeemer chose, } Who sure could all things for the best dispose,} To fence his fold from their encroaching foes. } He could have writ himself, but well foresaw The event would be like that of Moses' law; Some difference would arise, some doubts remain, Like those which yet the jarring Jews maintain. No written laws can be so plain, so pure, But wit may gloss, and malice may obscure; Not those indited by his first command, A prophet graved the text, an angel held his hand. Thus faith was ere the written word appeared, And men believed not what they read, but heard. But since the apostles could not be confined To these, or those, but severally designed Their large commission round the world to blow, To spread their faith, they spread their labours too. Yet still their absent flock their pains did share; They hearkened still, for love produces care. And as mistakes arose, or discords fell, Or bold seducers taught them to rebel, As charity grew cold, or faction hot, Or long neglect their lessons had forgot, For all their wants they wisely did provide, And preaching by epistles was supplied; So, great physicians cannot all attend, But some they visit, and to some they send. Yet all those letters were not writ to all; Nor first intended but occasional, Their absent sermons; nor, if they contain All needful doctrines, are those doctrines plain. Clearness by frequent preaching must be wrought They writ but seldom, but they daily taught; And what one saint has said of holy Paul, "He darkly writ," is true applied to all. For this obscurity could heaven provide } More prudently than by a living guide, } As doubts arose, the difference to decide?} A guide was therefore needful, therefore made; And, if appointed, sure to be obeyed. Thus, with due reverence to the apostles' writ, By which my sons are taught, to which submit, I think, those truths, their sacred works contain, The church alone can certainly explain; That following ages, leaning on the past, May rest upon the primitive at last. Nor would I thence the word no rule infer, But none without the church-interpreter; Because, as I have urged before, 'tis mute, And is itself the subject of dispute. But what the apostles their successors taught, } They to the next, from them to us is brought, } The undoubted sense which is in scripture sought.} From hence the church is armed, when errors rise, } To stop their entrance, and prevent surprise; } And, safe entrenched within, her foes without defies.} By these all festering sores her councils heal,} Which time or has disclosed, or shall reveal; } For discord cannot end without a last appeal. } Nor can a council national decide, } But with subordination to her guide: } (I wish the cause were on that issue tried.)} Much less the scripture; for suppose debate Betwixt pretenders to a fair estate, Bequeathed by some legator's last intent;[159] (Such is our dying Saviour's testament:) The will is proved, is opened, and is read, The doubtful heirs their differing titles plead; All vouch the words their interest to maintain, And each pretends by those his cause is plain. Shall then the testament award the right? No, that's the Hungary for which they fight; The field of battle, subject of debate; The thing contended for, the fair estate. The sense is intricate, 'tis only clear What vowels and what consonants are there. Therefore 'tis plain, its meaning must be tried Before some judge appointed to decide.-- Suppose, the fair apostate said, I grant, The faithful flock some living guide should want, Your arguments an endless chace pursue: } Produce this vaunted leader to our view,} This mighty Moses of the chosen crew.-- } The dame, who saw her fainting foe retired, With force renewed, to victory aspired; And, looking upward to her kindred sky, } As once our Saviour owned his Deity, } Pronounced his words--"She whom ye seek am I."[160]} Nor less amazed this voice the Panther heard, Than were those Jews to hear a God declared. Then thus the matron modestly renewed: Let all your prophets and their sects be viewed, And see to which of them yourselves think fit The conduct of your conscience to submit; Each proselyte would vote his doctor best, With absolute exclusion to the rest: Thus would your Polish diet disagree, And end, as it began, in anarchy; Yourself the fairest for election stand, Because you seem crown-general of the land; But soon against your superstitious lawn Some presbyterian sabre would be drawn;[161] In your established laws of sovereignty } The rest some fundamental flaw would see,} And call rebellion gospel-liberty. } To church-decrees your articles require Submission mollified, if not entire.[162] Homage denied, to censures you proceed; But when Curtana[163] will not do the deed, You lay that pointless clergy-weapon by, And to the laws, your sword of justice, fly. Now this your sects the more unkindly take, (Those prying varlets hit the blots you make,) Because some ancient friends of yours declare, Your only rule of faith the scriptures are, Interpreted by men of judgment sound, Which every sect will for themselves expound; Nor think less reverence to their doctors due For sound interpretation, than to you. If then, by able heads, are understood Your brother prophets, who reformed abroad; Those able heads expound a wiser way, That their own sheep their shepherd should obey. But if you mean yourselves are only sound, } That doctrine turns the reformation round, } And all the rest are false reformers found;} Because in sundry points you stand alone, } Not in communion joined with any one; } And therefore must be all the church, or none.} Then, till you have agreed whose judge is best, Against this forced submission they protest; While sound and sound a different sense explains, Both play at hardhead till they break their brains; And from their chairs each other's force defy, While unregarded thunders vainly fly. I pass the rest, because your church alone Of all usurpers best could fill the throne. But neither you, nor any sect beside, } For this high office can be qualified, } With necessary gifts required in such a guide.} For that, which must direct the whole, must be} Bound in one bond of faith and unity; } But all your several churches disagree. } The consubstantiating church[164] and priest Refuse communion to the Calvinist; The French reformed from preaching you restrain, } Because you judge their ordination vain;[165] } And so they judge of yours, but donors must ordain.} In short, in doctrine, or in discipline, Not one reformed can with another join; But all from each, as from damnation, fly: No union they pretend, but in non-popery. Nor, should their members in a synod meet, Could any church presume to mount the seat, Above the rest, their discords to decide; None would obey, but each would be the guide; And face to face dissensions would increase, For only distance now preserves the peace. All in their turns accusers, and accused; Babel was never half so much confused; What one can plead, the rest can plead as well;} For amongst equals lies no last appeal, } And all confess themselves are fallible. } Now, since you grant some necessary guide, All who can err are justly laid aside; Because a trust so sacred to confer } Shows want of such a sure interpreter;} And how can he be needful who can err?} Then, granting that unerring guide we want, That such there is you stand obliged to grant; Our Saviour else were wanting to supply Our needs, and obviate that necessity. It then remains, that church can only be The guide, which owns unfailing certainty; Or else you slip your hold, and change your side, Relapsing from a necessary guide. But this annexed condition of the crown, } Immunity from errors, you disown; } Here then you shrink, and lay your weak pretensions down.[166]} For petty royalties you raise debate; } But this unfailing universal state } You shun; nor dare succeed to such a glorious weight;} And for that cause those promises detest, With which our Saviour did his church invest; But strive to evade, and fear to find them true, As conscious they were never meant to you; All which the mother-church asserts her own, And with unrivalled claim ascends the throne. So, when of old the Almighty Father sate In council, to redeem our ruined state, Millions of millions, at a distance round, } Silent the sacred consistory crowned, } To hear what mercy, mixt with justice, could propound;} All prompt, with eager pity, to fulfil The full extent of their Creator's will: But when the stern conditions were declared, A mournful whisper through the host was heard, And the whole hierarchy, with heads hung down, Submissively declined the ponderous proffer'd crown. Then, not till then, the Eternal Son from high Rose in the strength of all the Deity; Stood forth to accept the terms, and underwent } A weight which all the frame of heaven had bent,} Nor he himself could bear, but as Omnipotent. } Now, to remove the least remaining doubt, That even the blear-eyed sects may find her out, Behold what heavenly rays adorn her brows, } What from his wardrobe her beloved allows, } To deck the wedding-day of his unspotted spouse![167]} Behold what marks of majesty she brings, Richer than ancient heirs of eastern kings! Her right hand holds the sceptre and the keys, To show whom she commands, and who obeys; With these to bind, or set the sinner free, With that to assert spiritual royalty. One in herself, not rent by schism, but sound, Entire, one solid shining diamond; Not sparkles shattered into sects like you: One is the church, and must be to be true; One central principle of unity; } As undivided, so from errors free; } As one in faith, so one in sanctity.} Thus she, and none but she, the insulting rage Of heretics opposed from age to age; Still when the giant-brood invades her throne, } She stoops from heaven, and meets them half way down,} And with paternal thunder vindicates her crown. } But like Egyptian sorcerers you stand, } And vainly lift aloft your magic wand, } To sweep away the swarms of vermin from the land;} You could, like them, with like infernal force, Produce the plague, but not arrest the course. But when the boils and blotches, with disgrace And public scandal, sat upon the face, Themselves attacked, the Magi strove no more, } They saw God's finger, and their fate deplore; } Themselves they could not cure of the dishonest sore.[168]} Thus one, thus pure, behold her largely spread, Like the fair ocean from her mother-bed; From east to west triumphantly she rides, All shores are watered by her wealthy tides. The gospel-sound, diffused from pole to pole, Where winds can carry, and where waves can roll, The self-same doctrine of the sacred page Conveyed to every clime, in every age. Here let my sorrow give my satire place, To raise new blushes on my British race. Our sailing ships like common-sewers we use, } And through our distant colonies diffuse } The draught of dungeons, and the stench of stews;} Whom, when their home-bred honesty is lost, We disembogue on some far Indian coast, Thieves, pandars, palliards,[169] sins of every sort; Those are the manufactures we export, And these the missioners our zeal has made; } For, with my country's pardon, be it said, } Religion is the least of all our trade. } Yet some improve their traffic more than we;} For they on gain, their only god, rely, } And set a public price on piety. } ndustrious of the needle and the chart, They run full sail to their Japonian mart; Preventing fear, and, prodigal of fame, } Sell all of Christian to the very name,[170] } Nor leave enough of that to hide their naked shame.} Thus, of three marks, which in the creed we view, Not one of all can be applied to you; Much less the fourth. In vain, alas! you seek The ambitious title of apostolic:[171] God-like descent! 'tis well your blood can be Proved noble in the third or fourth degree; For all of ancient that you had before, } I mean what is not borrowed from our store,} Was error fulminated o'er and o'er; } Old heresies condemned in ages past, By care and time recovered from the blast.[172] 'Tis said with ease, but never can be proved, The church her old foundations has removed, And built new doctrines on unstable sands: Judge that, ye winds and rains! you proved her, yet she stands. Those ancient doctrines charged on her for new, Show, when, and how, and from what hands they grew. We claim no power, when heresies grow bold, To coin new faith, but still declare the old. How else could that obscene disease be purged, When controverted texts are vainly urged? To prove tradition new, there's somewhat more Required, than saying, 'twas not used before. Those monumental arms are never stirred, Till schism or heresy call down Goliah's sword. Thus, what you call corruptions, are, in truth, The first plantations of the gospel's youth; Old standard faith; but cast your eyes again, } And view those errors which new sects maintain, } Or which of old disturbed the church's peaceful reign;} And we can point each period of the time, When they began, and who begot the crime; Can calculate how long the eclipse endured, Who interposed, what digits were obscured: Of all which are already passed away, We know the rise, the progress, and decay. Despair at our foundations then to strike, Till you can prove your faith apostolic; A limpid stream drawn from the native source; Succession lawful in a lineal course. Prove any church, opposed to this our head, So one, so pure, so unconfinedly spread, Under one chief of the spiritual state, The members all combined, and all subordinate; Show such a seamless coat, from schism so free, In no communion joined with heresy;-- If such a one you find, let truth prevail; } Till when, your weights will in the balance fail;} A church unprincipled kicks up the scale. } But if you cannot think, (nor sure you can Suppose in God what were unjust in man,) That He, the fountain of eternal grace, } Should suffer falsehood for so long a space} To banish truth, and to usurp her place; } That seven successive ages should be lost, And preach damnation at their proper cost;[173] That all your erring ancestors should die, Drowned in the abyss of deep idolatry; If piety forbid such thoughts to rise, Awake, and open your unwilling eyes: God hath left nothing for each age undone, } From this to that wherein he sent his Son; } Then think but well of him, and half your work is done.} See how his church, adorned with every grace, } With open arms, a kind forgiving face, } Stands ready to prevent her long-lost son's embrace!} Not more did Joseph o'er his brethren weep, Nor less himself could from discovery keep, When in the crowd of suppliants they were seen, And in their crew his best-loved Benjamin. That pious Joseph in the church behold, } To feed your famine, and refuse your gold; } The Joseph you exiled, the Joseph whom you sold.[174]} Thus, while with heavenly charity she spoke, A streaming blaze the silent shadows broke; Shot from the skies a cheerful azure light; } The birds obscene to forests winged their flight, } And gaping graves received the wandering guilty sprite.} Such were the pleasing triumphs of the sky, For James his late nocturnal victory; The pledge of his almighty Patron's love, The fireworks which his angels made above.[175] I saw myself the lambent easy light[176] Gild the brown horror, and dispel the night; The messenger with speed the tidings bore; } News, which three labouring nations did restore;} But heaven's own Nuntius was arrived before. } By this, the Hind had reached her lonely cell, And vapours rose, and dews unwholesome fell; When she, by frequent observation wise, } As one who long on heaven had fixed her eyes,} Discerned a change of weather in the skies. } The western borders were with crimson spread, The moon descending looked all flaming red; She thought good manners bound her to invite The stranger dame to be her guest that night. 'Tis true, coarse diet, and a short repast, } She said, were weak inducements to the taste } Of one so nicely bred, and so unused to fast;} But what plain fare her cottage could afford, A hearty welcome at a homely board, Was freely hers; and, to supply the rest, An honest meaning, and an open breast; Last, with content of mind, the poor man's wealth, A grace-cup to their common patron's[177] health. This she desired her to accept, and stay, For fear she might be wildered in her way, Because she wanted an unerring guide, And then the dew-drops on her silken hide Her tender constitution did declare, } Too lady-like a long fatigue to bear, } And rough inclemencies of raw nocturnal air.[178]} But most she feared, that, travelling so late,} Some evil-minded beasts might lie in wait, } And without witness wreak their hidden hate. } The Panther, though she lent a listening ear, Had more of lion in her than to fear; Yet wisely weighing, since she had to deal With many foes their numbers might prevail, Returned her all the thanks she could afford, And took her friendly hostess at her word; Who, entering first her lowly roof, a shed } With hoary moss and winding ivy spread, } Honest enough to hide an humble hermit's head,} Thus graciously bespoke her welcome guest: } So might these walls, with your fair presence blest,} Become your dwelling-place of everlasting rest; } Not for a night, or quick revolving year, Welcome an owner, not a sojourner. This peaceful seat my poverty secures; War seldom enters but where wealth allures: Nor yet despise it; for this poor abode, Has oft received, and yet receives a God; A God, victorious of a Stygian race, Here laid his sacred limbs, and sanctified the place. This mean retreat did mighty Pan[179] contain;} Be emulous of him, and pomp disdain, } And dare not to debase your soul to gain.[180]} The silent stranger stood amazed to see Contempt of wealth, and wilful poverty; And, though ill habits are not soon controuled, Awhile suspended her desire of gold. But civilly drew in her sharpened paws, } Not violating hospitable laws, } And pacified her tail, and licked her frothy jaws.} The Hind did first her country cates provide; Then couched herself securely by her side.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 140: Alluding to the Popish Plot. See Note I.]

[Footnote 141: James II. then Duke of York, whom Shaftesbury and his party involved in the odium of the plot.]

[Footnote 142: Plunket, the titular primate of Ireland, Whitebread, provincial of the Jesuits, and several other Catholic priests, suffered for the alleged plot. Derrick most absurdly supposes the passage to refer to the period of the Civil War.]

[Footnote 143: _Quarry_ signifies, properly, "dead game ready to be cut up by the huntsman," which the French still call _faire la curée_. But it is often taken, as in this passage, for the game in general. Vermin comprehends such wild animals as are not game, foxes, polecats, and the like.]

[Footnote 144: Note II.]

[Footnote 145: The test-oath, against popery, in which transubstantiation is formally disavowed. See Note III.]

[Footnote 146: There was a dispute among naturalists, whether sight was accomplished _per emissionem vel per receptionem specierum_.]

[Footnote 147: _Dolus versatur in generalibus_, was an axiom of the schools.]

[Footnote 148: Note IV.]

[Footnote 149: The Catholics interpret our Saviour's promise, "that he would be with the disciples to the end of the world," as applicable to their own church exclusively.]

[Footnote 150: Note V.]

[Footnote 151: By the doctrine of consubstantiation.]

[Footnote 152: Alluding to Lucan's description of the Roman civil war.]

[Footnote 153: Note VI.]

[Footnote 154: See Note XIV. Part I. page 156.]

[Footnote 155: The gallows.]

[Footnote 156: By the Blatant Beast, we are generally to understand slander; see Spenser's Legend of Courtesy. But it is here taken for the Wolf, or Presbyterian clergy, whose violent declamations against the church of Rome filled up many sermons.]

[Footnote 157: The Presbyterian church utterly rejects traditions, and appeals to the scripture as the sole rule of faith.]

[Footnote 158: Note VII.]

[Footnote 159: It is probable, that from this passage Swift took the idea of comparing the scripture to a testament in his "Tale of a Tub."]

[Footnote 160: By this asseveration the author seems to infer, that, because the church of Rome avers her own infallibility, she is therefore infallible.]

[Footnote 161: In a Polish Diet, where unanimity was necessary, the mode adopted of ensuring it was for the majority to hew to pieces the first individual who expressed his dissent by the fatal _veto_.]

[Footnote 162: "The church, according to the articles of faith, hath power to decree rites and ceremonies, and authority in controversies of faith; and yet it is not lawful for the church to ordain any thing that is contrary to God's word written, neither may it so expound one place of scripture, that it be repugnant to another." Article xx.]

[Footnote 163: This romantic name is given to the sword of mercy; which wants a point, and is said to have been that of Edward the Confessor. It is borne at the coronation. The sword of Ogier the Dane, famous in romance, the work of Galand, who made Joyeuse and Durandal, was also called Curtana.]

[Footnote 164: The Lutherans.]

[Footnote 165: The Huguenot preachers, being Calvinists, had received classical, and not episcopal ordination: hence, unless re-ordained, they were not admitted to preach in the established church of England.]

[Footnote 166: Note VIII.]

[Footnote 167: Note IX.]

[Footnote 168: The magicians imitated Moses in producing the frogs which infested Egypt; but they could not relieve from that, or any of the other plagues. By that of boils and blains they were afflicted themselves, like the other Egyptians. "And the magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils, for the boils were upon the magicians, and upon all the Egyptians." _Exod._ ix. 11.]

[Footnote 169: Debauchees.]

[Footnote 170: Note X.]

[Footnote 171: Note XI.]

[Footnote 172: Alluding to the doctrines of Wiccliff and the Lollards, condemned as heresies in their own times, but revived by the reformers.]

[Footnote 173: About seven hundred years elapsed between the departure of the church of Rome from the simplicity of the primitive Christians, and the dawn of the Reformation.]

[Footnote 174: Note XII.]

[Footnote 175: Note XIII.]

[Footnote 176: _Poeta loquitur._]

[Footnote 177: King James.]

[Footnote 178: Note XIV.]

[Footnote 179: Our Saviour.]

[Footnote 180:

_Ut ventum ad sedes: Hœc, inquit, limina victor Alcides subiit; hœc illum regia cepit. Aude, hospes, contemnere opes, et te quoque dignum Finge deo; rebusque veni non asper egenis._

Æneid. Lib. VIII. ]

NOTES

ON

THE HIND AND THE PANTHER.

PART II.

Note I.

_Dame, said the Panther, times are mended well, Since late among the Philistines you fell. The toils were pitched, a spacious tract of ground, With expert huntsmen, was encompassed round; The enclosure narrowed; the sagacious power Of hounds and death drew nearer every hour._--P. 161.

In these spirited lines, Dryden describes the dangers in which the English Catholics were involved by the Popish Plot, which rendered them so obnoxious for two years, that even Charles himself, much as he was inclined to favour them, durst not attempt to prevent the most severe measures from being adopted towards them. It is somewhat curious, that the very same metaphor of hounds and huntsmen is employed by one of the most warm advocates for the plot. "Had this plot been a forged contrivance of their own, (_i.e._ the Papists,) they would at the very first discovery of it have had half a dozen, or half a score, crafty fellows, ready to have attested all the same things; whereas, on the contrary, notwithstanding we are now on a burning scent, we were fain till here of late to pick out, by little and little, all upon a cold scent, and that stained too by the tricks and malice of our enemies. So that had we not had some such good huntsmen as the Right Noble Earl of Shaftesbury, to manage the chase for us, our hounds must needs have been baffled, and the game lost."--_Appeal from the Country to the City._ State Tracts, p. 407.

Note II.

_As I remember, said the sober Hind, Those toils were for your own dear self designed, As well as me; and with the self-same throw, } To catch the quarry and the vermin too, } (Forgive the slanderous tongues that called you so.)} Howe'er you take it now, the common cry Then ran you down for your rank loyalty._--P. 162.

The country party, during the 1679, and the succeeding years, were as much incensed against the divines of the high church of England as against the Papists. The furious pamphlet, quoted in the last note, divides the enemies of this country into four classes; officers, courtiers, over-hot churchmen, and papists. "Over-hot churchmen," it continues, "are bribed to wish well to popery, by the hopes, if not of a cardinal's cap, yet at least by a command over some abbey, priory, or other ecclesiastical preferment whereof the Romish church hath so great plenty. These are the men, who exclaim against our parliament's proceedings, in relation to the plot, as too violent, calling these times by no other name than that of _forty_ or _forty-one_;[181] when, to amuse as well his sacred majesty as his good people, they again threaten us with another _forty-eight_; and all this is done to vindicate underhand the Catholic party, by throwing a suspicion on the fanatics. These are the gentlemen who so magnify the principles of Bishop Laud, and so much extol the writings of that same late spirited prelate Dr Heylin, who hath made more Papists, by his books than Christians by his sermons. These are those episcopal Tantivies, who can make even the very scriptures pimp for the court, who out of _Urim and Thummim_ can extort a sermon, to prove the not paying of tithes and taxes to be the sin against the Holy Ghost; and had rather see the kingdom run down with blood, than part with the least hem of a sanctified frock, which they themselves made holy."--Appeal, &c. _State Tracts_, p. 403. In a very violent tract, written expressly against the influence of the clergy,[182] they are charged with being the principal instruments of the court in corrupting elections. "I find," says the author, when talking of the approaching general election, "all persons very forward to countenance this public work, except the high-flown ritualists and ceremony-mongers of the clergy, who, being in the conspiracy against the people, lay themselves out to accommodate their masters with the veriest villains that can be picked up in all the country, that so we may fall into the hands again of as treacherous and lewd a parliament, as the wisdom of God and folly of man has most miraculously dissolved. To which end they traduce all worthy men for fanatics, schismatics, or favourers of them. Nay, do but pitch upon a gentleman, who believes it his duty to serve his God, his king, and country, faithfully, they cry him down as a person dangerous and disaffected to the government; thinking thereby to scare the people from the freedom of their choice, and then impose their hair-brained journeymen and half-witted fops upon them." In Shadwell's Whig play, called "The Lancashire Witches," he has introduced an high-flying chaplain, as the expression then run, and an Irish priest, who are described as very ready to accommodate each other in all religious tenets, since they agree in disbelieving the popish plot, and in believing that ascribed to the fanatics. These, out of a thousand instances, may serve to show, how closely the country party in the time of Charles II. were disposed to identify the interests of Rome, and of the high church of England. Dryden is therefore well authorised to say, that both communions were aimed at by that cabal, which pushed on the investigation of the supposed plot.

Note III.

_The test, it seems, at last has loosed your tongue._--P. 162.

If there was any ambiguity in the church of England's doctrine concerning the eucharist, it was fully explained by the memorable Test Act, passed in 1678, during the heat of the Popish Plot, by which all persons holding public offices were required, under pain of disqualification, to disown the doctrine of transubstantiation, in the most explicit terms, as also that of image worship. This bill was pressed forwards with great violence by the country party. "I would not," said one of their orators, "have a popishman, or a popish woman, remain here; not a popish dog, or a popish bitch; not so much as a popish cat, to pur and mew about the king." Many of the church of England party opposed this test, from an idea that it was prejudicial to the interests of the crown.

Note IV.

_I then affirm, that this unfailing guide In pope and general councils must reside; Both lawful, both combined; what one decrees By numerous votes, the other ratifies; On this undoubted sense the church relies._--P. 164.

Dryden does not plead the cause of infallibility so high as to declare it lodged in the pope alone; but inclines to the milder and more moderate opinion, which vests it in the church and pope jointly. This was the shape in which the doctrine was stated in the pamphlets generally dispersed from the king's printing-press about this time; whether because James really held the opinion of the Ultramontane, or Gallican church, in this point, or that he thought the more moderate statement was most likely to be acceptable to new converts. In a dialogue betwixt a Missioner and a Plain Man, printed along with the Rosary, in a very small form, and apparently designed for very extensive circulation, the question is thus stated:

"_Plain Man._ How shall I know what the church teaches, and by what means may I come to know her infallible doctrine?

"_Missioner._ In those cases, she speaks to us by her supreme courts of judicature, her general councils, which, being the legal representatives of her whole body, she is secured from erring in them as to all things which appertain to faith."

Note V.

_But mark how sandy is your own pretence, Who, setting councils, pope, and church aside, Are every man his own presuming guide The sacred books, you say, are full and plain, And every needful point of truth contain; All who can read interpreters may be._--P. 165.

This ultimate appeal to the scriptures against the authority of the church, as it is what the church of Rome has most to dread, is most combated by her followers. Dryden, like a good courtier, adopts here, as well as elsewhere, the arguments which converted his master, Charles II. "We declare," says the king in his first paper, "to believe one Catholic and apostolic church; and it is not left to every phantastical man's head to believe as he pleases, but to the church, to whom Christ left the power upon earth, to govern us in matters of faith, who made these creeds for our directions. It were a very irrational thing to make laws for a country, and leave it to the inhabitants to be interpreters and judges of those laws: For then every man will be his own judge; and, by consequence, no such thing as either right or wrong. Can we therefore suppose, that God Almighty would leave us at those uncertainties, as to give us a rule to go by, and leave every man to be his own judge? I do ask any ingenuous man, Whether it be not the same thing to follow our own phancy, or to interpret the scripture by it? I would have any man shew me, where the power of deciding matters of faith is given to every particular man. Christ left his power to his church, even to forgive sins in heaven; and left his Spirit with them, which they exercised after his resurrection; first by his apostles in their creed, and many years after by the council at Nice, where that creed was made that is called by that name; and by the power which they had received from Christ, they were the judges even of the scripture itself many years after the apostles, which books were canonical, and which were not." _Papers found in King Charles's strong box._

Note VI.

_The good old bishops took a simpler way; Each asked but what he heard his father say, Or how he was instructed in his youth, And by tradition's force upheld the truth._--P. 167.

Dryden had previously attacked the rule of faith, by private judgment of the Holy Scriptures. His assumption is, that the scriptures having been often misunderstood and abused by heretics of various descriptions, there must be some more infallible guide left us by God as the rule of faith. Instead of trusting, therefore, to individual judgment founded on the scripture, he urges, that the infallibility of faith depends upon oral tradition, handed down, as his communion pretends, by father to son, from the times of the primitive church till this very day. It is upon this foundation that the church of Rome rests her claim to infallibility, as the immediate representative of the apostles and primitive church.

Note VII.

_For purging fires traditions must not fight; But they must prove episcopacy's right._--P. 170.

The doctrine of purgatory, and prayers for the dead, is founded on a passage in the book of Tobit. The Apocrypha not being absolutely rejected by the church of England, but admitted for "example of life and instruction of manners," though not of canonical authority, part of this curious and romantic history is read in the course of the calendar. The domestic circumstance of the dog gave unreasonable scandal to the Puritans, from which the following is a good-humoured vindication. "Give me leave for once to intercede for that poor dog, because he is a dog of good example, for he was faithful, and loved his master; besides, that he never troubles the church on Sundays, when people have their best clothes on; only on a week-day, when scrupulous brethren are always absent, the poor cur makes bold to follow his master." But although the church of England did not receive the traditive belief, founded upon the aforesaid passage concerning prayer for the dead, the dissenters accused her of liberal reference to tradition in the disputes concerning the office of bishop, the nature of which is in the New Testament left somewhat dubious.

Note VIII.

_But this annexed condition of the crown, Immunity from errors, you disown; Here then you shrink, and lay your weak pretensions down._ P. 176.

Much of the preceding argument, and this conclusion, is founded upon the following passage in the second paper found in King Charles's strong box. "It is a sad thing to consider what a world of heresies are crept into this nation. Every man thinks himself as competent a judge of the scriptures as the very apostles themselves; and 'tis no wonder that it should be so, since that part of the nation which looks most like a church, dares not bring the true arguments against the other sects, for fear they should be turned against themselves, and confuted by their own arguments. The church of England, as 'tis called, would fain have it thought, that they are the judges in matters spiritual, and yet dare not positively say, that there is no appeal from them; for either they must say, that they are infallible, which they cannot pretend to, or confess, that what they decide in matters of conscience is no further to be followed, than as it agrees with every man's private judgment."

To this the divines of England answered, that they indeed asserted church authority, but without pretending to infallibility; and that while the church decided upon points of faith, she was to be directed and guided by the scriptures, just as the judges of a temporal tribunal are to frame their decisions, not from any innate or infallible authority of their own, but in conformity with the laws of the realm.

Note IX.

_Behold, what heavenly rays adorn her brows, What from his wardrobe her beloved allows, To deck the wedding-day of his unspotted spouse!_--P. 177.

In this and the following lines Dryden sets forth his adopted mother-church in all the glowing attributes of majesty and authority. The lines are extremely beautiful, and their policy is obvious, from the following passage in a pretended letter from Father Petre to Father La Chaise. The letter bears every mark indeed of forgery; but it is equally an illustration of Dryden, whether the policy contained in it was attributed by the Protestants to the Catholics as part of their scheme, or was really avowed as such by themselves. "Many English heretics resort often to our sermons; and I have often recommended to our fathers to preach now in the beginning as little as they can of the controversy, because that provokes; but to represent to them the beauty and antiquity of the Catholic religion, that they may be convinced that all that has been said and preached to them, and their own reflections concerning it, have been all scandal."--_Somers' Tracts_, p. 253. The unity of the Catholic church was also chiefly insisted on during the controversy:

One in herself, not rent by schism, but sound, Entire; one solid, shining diamond, Not sparkles shattered into sects like you; One is the church, and must be to be true.

It seems to have escaped Dryden, that all the various sects which have existed, and do now exist, in the Christian world, may, in some measure, be said to be sparkles shattered from his "solid diamond;" since at one time all Christendom belonged to the Roman church. Thus the disunion of the various sects of Protestants is no more an argument against the church of England than it is against the church of Rome, or the Christian faith in general. All communions insist on the same privilege; and when the church of Rome denounced the Protestants as heretics, like Coriolanus going into exile, they returned the sentence against her who gave it. If it is urged, that, notwithstanding these various defections, the Roman church retained the most extended communion, this plea would place the truth of religious opinions upon the hazardous basis of numbers, which Mahometans might plead more successfully than any Christian church, in proportion as their faith is more widely extended. These arguments of the unity and extent of the church are thus expressed in a missionary tract already quoted, where the _Plain Man_ thus addresses his English parson: "Either shew me, by more plain and positive texts of scripture than what the Missioner has here brought, that God Almighty has promised to preserve his church from essential errors, such as are idolatry, superstition, &c.; or else shew me a church visible in all ages spread over the face of the whole world, secured from such errors, and at unity in itself. A church, that has had all along kings for nursing fathers, and queens for nursing mothers; a church, to which all nations have flowed, and which is authorised to teach them infallibly all those truths which were delivered to the saints without mixtures of error, which destroy sanctity; I say, either shew me, from plain texts of scripture, that Christ's church was not to be my infallible guide; or shew me such a church of Christ as these promises require, distinct from that of the Roman, and from which she has either separated, or been cut off."

Note X.

_Industrious of the needle and the chart, They run full sail to their Japonian mart; Preventing fear, and prodigal of fame, Sell all of Christian to the very name._--P. 179.

The author has, a little above, used an argument, much to the honour of the Catholic church--her unceasing diligence in labouring for the conversion of the heathen; a task, in which her missionaries have laboured with unwearied assiduity, encountering fatigue, danger, and martyrdom itself, in winning souls to the faith. It has been justly objected, that the spiritual instruction of their converts is but slight and superficial; yet still their missionary zeal forms a strong contrast to the indifference of the reformed churches in this duty. Nothing of the kind has ever been attempted on a great or national scale by the church of England, which gives Catholics room to upbraid her clergy with their unambitious sloth in declining the dignity of becoming bishops _in partibus infidelium_. The poet goes on to state the scandalous materials with which it has been the universal custom of Britain to supply the population of her colonies; the very dregs and outcasts of humanity being the only recruits whom she destines to establish the future marts for her commodities. The success of such missionaries among the savage tribes, who have the misfortune to be placed in their vicinity, may be easily guessed:

Deliberate and undeceived, The wild men's vices they received, And gave them back their own. _Wordsworth._

On the other hand, the care of the Catholic missionaries was by no means limited to the spiritual concerns of those heathen among whom they laboured: they extended them to their temporal concerns, and sometimes unfortunately occasioned grievous civil dissensions, and much bloodshed. Something of this kind took place in Japan; where the Christians, having raised a rebellion against the heathens, (for the beaten party, as Dryden says, are always rebels to the victors,) were exterminated, root and branch. This excited such an utter hatred of Catholic priests, and their religion, that they were prohibited, under the deepest denunciations of death and confiscation, from landing in Japan. Nevertheless, the severity of this law did not prevent the Hollanders from sharing in the gainful traffic of the island, which they gained permission to do, by declaring, that they were not Christians, (only meaning, we hope, that they were not Catholics,) but Dutchmen; and it was currently believed, that, in corroboration of their assertion, they were required to trample upon the crucifix, the object of adoration to those whom the Japanese had formerly known under the name of Christians.

Note XI.

_Thus of three marks which in the creed we view, Not one of all can be applied to you, Much less the fourth; in vain, alas! you seek The ambitious title of apostolic._--P. 179.

The poet is enumerating the marks of the Catholic church, according to the Nicene creed, which he makes out to be Unity, Truth, Sanctity, and Apostolic Derivation, all of which he denies to the church of England. The qualities of truth and sanctity are implied under the word _Catholic_.

Note XII.

_That pious Joseph in the church behold, To feed your famine, and refuse your gold; The Joseph you exiled, the Joseph whom you sold._--P. 182.

The English Benedictine monks executed a renunciation of the abbey lands, belonging to the order before the Reformation, in order to satisfy the minds of the possessors, and reconcile them to the re-establishment of the ancient religion, by guaranteeing the stability of their property. There appeared, however, to the proprietors of these lands, little generosity in this renunciation, in case the monks were to remain in a condition of inability to support their pretended claim; and, on the other hand, some reason to suspect its validity, should they ever be strong enough to plead their title. The king's declaration of indulgence contained a promise upon this head, which appeared equally ominous: He declared, that he would maintain his loving subjects in their properties and possessions, "as well of church and abbey lands as of any other." The only effect of this clause was to make men enquire, whether popery was so near being established as to make such a promise necessary; and if so, how far the promise itself was to be relied upon, in opposition to the doctrine of resumption, which had always been enforced by the Roman see, even when these church lands fell into the hands of persons of their own persuasion, unless they were dedicated to pious uses. Nor were there wanting persons to remind the proprietors of such lands, that the canons declared that even the pope had no authority to confirm the alienation of the property of the church; that the general council of Trent had solemnly anathematized all who detained church lands; that the _Monasticon Anglicanum_ was carefully preserved in the Vatican as a rule for the intended resumption; and that the reigning pope had obstinately refused to confirm any such alienations by his bulls, though the doing so at this crisis might have removed a great obstacle to the growth of Popery in England.--See, in the _State Tracts_, a piece called "Abbey Lands not assured to Roman Catholics," Vol. 1. p. 326; and more especially a tract, by some ascribed to Burnet, and by others to Sir William Coventry, entitled, "A Letter written to Dr Burnet, giving some account of Cardinal Pole's secret powers; from which it appears, that it never was intended to confirm the Alienation that was made of the Abbey Lands. To which are added, Two Breves that Cardinal Pole brought over, and some other of his Letters that were never before printed, 1685."

Note XIII.

_Such were the pleasing triumphs of the sky, For James his late nocturnal victory; The pledge of his almighty Patron's love, The fireworks which his angels made above._--P. 182.

The aurora borealis was an uncommon spectacle in England during the 17th century. Its occasional appearance, however, gave foundation to those tales of armies fighting in the air, and similar phenomena with which the credulity of the vulgar was amused. The author seems to allude to some extraordinary display of the aurora borealis on the evening of the battle of Sedgemuir, which was chiefly fought by night. I do not find the circumstance noticed elsewhere. Dryden attests it by his personal evidence.

Note XIV.

_And then the dew-drops on her silken hide Her tender constitution did declare, Too lady-like a long fatigue to bear, And rough inclemencies of raw nocturnal air._--P. 183.

This seems to be a sarcasm of the same kind with the following: "But," says the zealous Protestant of the mother church, "if you repeal the test, you take away the bulwark that defends the church; for if that were once demolished, the enemy would rush in and possess all; and it is a delicate innocent church that cannot be safe but in a fortified place."--"I must confess, it is a great argument of her modesty to own herself weak and unable to subsist without the support of parliamentary laws, to hang, draw, or quarter her opposers, and without a coercive power in herself to fine and excommunicate all recusants and nonconformists."[183] One would wish to ask this Catholic advocate for universal toleration, if he had ever heard of a court in Popish countries for the prevention of heresy, generally called the Inquisition?

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 181: The great civil war broke out in 1641-2, and the king was dethroned in 1648.]

[Footnote 182: "The Freeholder's Choice, or a Letter of Advice concerning Elections."]

[Footnote 183: New Test of the Church of England's Loyalty.]

THE

HIND AND THE PANTHER.

A POEM.

PART THIRD.

THE

HIND AND THE PANTHER.

PART THIRD.

Much malice, mingled with a little wit, Perhaps may censure this mysterious writ; Because the muse has peopled Caledon } With panthers, bears, and wolves, and beasts unknown,} As if we were not stocked with monsters of our own. } Let Æsop answer, who has set to view Such kinds as Greece and Phrygia never knew; And mother Hubbard, in her homely dress, Has sharply blamed a British lioness; That queen, whose feast the factious rabble keep, Exposed obscenely naked, and asleep.[184] Led by those great examples, may not I The wonted organs of their words supply? If men transact like brutes, 'tis equal then For brutes to claim the privilege of men. Others our Hind of folly will indite, To entertain a dangerous guest by night. Let those remember, that she cannot die, Till rolling time is lost in round eternity; Nor need she fear the Panther, though untamed, Because the Lion's peace was now proclaimed;[185] The wary savage would not give offence, To forfeit the protection of her prince; But watched the time her vengeance to complete, When all her furry sons in frequent senate met;[186] Meanwhile she quenched her fury at the flood, And with a lenten sallad cooled her blood. Their commons, though but coarse, were nothing scant, Nor did their minds an equal banquet want. For now the Hind, whose noble nature strove To express her plain simplicity of love, Did all the honours of her house so well, No sharp debates disturbed the friendly meal. She turned the talk, avoiding that extreme, To common dangers past, a sadly-pleasing theme; Remembering every storm which tossed the state, } When both were objects of the public hate, } And dropt a tear betwixt for her own childrens' fate.} Nor failed she then a full review to make Of what the Panther suffered for her sake; Her lost esteem, her truth, her loyal care, Her faith unshaken to an exiled heir, Her strength to endure, her courage to defy, Her choice of honourable infamy.[187] On these, prolixly thankful, she enlarged; Then with acknowledgment herself she charged; For friendship, of itself an holy tie, Is made more sacred by adversity. Now should they part, malicious tongues would say, They met like chance companions on the way, Whom mutual fear of robbers had possessed; While danger lasted, kindness was professed; But, that once o'er, the short-lived union ends, The road divides, and there divide the friends. The Panther nodded, when her speech was done, And thanked her coldly in a hollow tone; But said, her gratitude had gone too far For common offices of Christian care. If to the lawful heir she had been true, She paid but Cæsar what was Cæsar's due. I might, she added, with like praise describe Your suffering sons, and so return your bribe: But incense from my hands is poorly prized; For gifts are scorned where givers are despised. I served a turn, and then was cast away; } You, like the gaudy fly, your wings display, } And sip the sweets, and bask in your great patron's day.--[188]} This heard, the matron was not slow to find What sort of malady had seized her mind; Disdain, with gnawing envy, fell despite, And cankered malice, stood in open sight; Ambition, interest, pride without controul, And jealousy, the jaundice of the soul; Revenge, the bloody minister of ill, With all the lean tormentors of the will. 'Twas easy now to guess from whence arose Her new-made union with her ancient foes; Her forced civilities, her faint embrace, Affected kindness, with an altered face; Yet durst she not too deeply probe the wound, As hoping still the nobler parts were sound; But strove with anodynes to assuage the smart, And mildly thus her medicine did impart. Complaints of lovers help to ease their pain; It shows a rest of kindness to complain; A friendship loth to quit its former hold, And conscious merit, may be justly bold; But much more just your jealousy would shew, If others' good were injury to you: Witness, ye heavens, how I rejoice to see Rewarded worth and rising loyalty! Your warrior offspring, that upheld the crown, The scarlet honour of your peaceful gown, Are the most pleasing objects I can find, Charms to my sight, and cordials to my mind: When virtue spooms[189] before a prosperous gale, My heaving wishes help to fill the sail; And if my prayers for all the brave were heard, Cæsar should still have such, and such should still reward. The laboured earth your pains have sowed and tilled, 'Tis just you reap the product of the field: Yours be the harvest; 'tis the beggar's gain, To glean the fallings of the loaded wain. Such scattered ears as are not worth your care,} Your charity, for alms, may safely spare, } For alms are but the vehicles of prayer. } My daily bread is literally implored; I have no barns nor granaries to hoard. If Cæsar to his own his hand extends, } Say which of yours his charity offends; } You know, he largely gives to more than are his friends.} Are you defrauded, when he feeds the poor? Our mite decreases nothing of your store. I am but few, and by your fare you see My crying sins are not of luxury. Some juster motive sure your mind withdraws, } And makes you break our friendship's holy laws;} For barefaced envy is too base a cause. } Show more occasion for your discontent; Your love, the Wolf, would help you to invent: Some German quarrel, or, as times go now, Some French,[190] where force is uppermost, will do. When at the fountain's head, as merit ought To claim the place, you take a swilling draught, How easy 'tis an envious eye to throw, And tax the sheep for troubling streams below; Or call her, when no farther cause you find, An enemy professed of all your kind! But, then, perhaps, the wicked world would think, The Wolf designed to eat as well as drink.-- This last allusion galled the Panther more, Because, indeed, it rubbed upon the sore; Yet seemed she not to wince, though shrewdly pained, But thus her passive character maintained. I never grudged, whate'er my foes report, Your flaunting fortune in the Lion's court. You have your day, or you are much belied, But I am always on the suffering side; You know my doctrine, and I need not say, I will not, but I cannot disobey. Their malice too a sore suspicion brings, For, though they dare not bark, they snarl at kings. On this firm principle I ever stood; } He of my sons who fails to make it good, } By one rebellious act renounces to my blood.[191]} Ah, said the Hind, how many sons have you, Who call you mother, whom you never knew! But most of them, who that relation plead, Are such ungracious youths as wish you dead. They gape at rich revenues which you hold, And fain would nibble at your grandame gold; Enquire into your years, and laugh to find Your crazy temper shows you much declined. Were you not dim and doated, you might see} A pack of cheats that claim a pedigree, } No more of kin to you, than you to me. } Do you not know, that, for a little coin, Heralds can foist a name into the line? They ask you blessing but for what you have, } But, once possessed of what with care you save,} The wanton boys would piss upon your grave. } Your sons of latitude, that court your grace,} Though most resembling you in form and face, } Are far the worst of your pretended race; } And, but I blush your honesty to blot, Pray God you prove them lawfully begot! For, in some Popish libels I have read, The Wolf has been too busy in your bed;[192] At least their hinder parts, the belly-piece, The paunch, and all that Scorpio claims,[193] are his. Nor blame them for intruding in your line; Fat bishoprics are still of right divine. Think you, your new French proselytes are come, To starve abroad, because they starved at home? Your benefices twinkled from afar, They found the new Messiah by the star; Those Swisses fight on any side for pay, And 'tis the living that conforms, not they. Mark with what management their tribes divide; } Some stick to you, and some to t'other side, } That many churches may for many mouths provide.[194]} More vacant pulpits would more converts make; All would have latitude enough to take: The rest unbeneficed your sects maintain;} For ordinations, without cures, are vain,} And chamber practice is a silent gain. } Your sons of breadth at home are much like these; Their soft and yielding metals run with ease; They melt, and take the figure of the mould, But harden and preserve it best in gold.-- Your Delphic sword, the Panther then replied, Is double-edged, and cuts on either side. Some sons of mine, who bear upon their shield Three steeples argent in a sable field, Have sharply taxed your converts, who, unfed, Have followed you for miracles of bread;[195] Such, who themselves of no religion are, Allured with gain, for any will declare. Bare lies, with bold assertions, they can face; But dint of argument is out of place. The grim logician puts them in a fright; 'Tis easier far to flourish than to fight.[196] Thus, our eighth Henry's marriage they defame;} They say, the schism of beds began the game, } Divorcing from the church to wed the dame; } Though largely proved, and by himself professed, That conscience, conscience would not let him rest,--[197] I mean, not till possessed of her he loved, And old, uncharming Catherine was removed. For sundry years before he did complain, And told his ghostly confessor his pain. With the same impudence, without a ground, } They say, that, look the reformation round,} No treatise of humility is found.[198] } But if none were, the gospel does not want; } Our Saviour preached it, and I hope you grant,} The sermon on the mount was protestant.-- } No doubt, replied the Hind, as sure as all} The writings of Saint Peter and Saint Paul; } On that decision let it stand, or fall. } Now for my converts, who, you say, unfed, Have followed me for miracles of bread. Judge not by hearsay, but observe at least, If since their change their loaves have been increased. The Lion buys no converts; if he did, Beasts would be sold as fast as he could bid. Tax those of interest, who conform for gain, Or stay the market of another reign: Your broad-way sons[199] would never be too nice To close with Calvin, if he paid their price; But, raised three steeples higher, would change their note, And quit the cassock for the canting-coat. Now, if you damn this censure, as too bold, Judge by yourselves, and think not others sold. Meantime, my sons accused, by fame's report, Pay small attendance at the Lion's court, Nor rise with early crowds, nor flatter late; For silently they beg, who daily wait. Preferment is bestowed, that comes unsought; Attendance is a bribe, and then 'tis bought. How they should speed, their fortune is untried; For not to ask, is not to be denied. For what they have, their God and king they bless, And hope they should not murmur, had they less. But if reduced subsistence to implore, In common prudence they would pass your door; Unpitied Hudibras, your champion friend,[200] Has shown how far your charities extend. This lasting verse shall on his tomb be read, "He shamed you living, and upbraids you dead." With odious atheist names you load your foes;} Your liberal clergy why did I expose? } It never fails in charities like those.[201] } In climes where true religion is professed, That imputation were no laughing jest; But _imprimatur_, with a chaplain's name, Is here sufficient licence to defame.[202] What wonder is't that black detraction thrives?} The homicide of names is less than lives; } And yet the perjured murderer survives.-- } This said, she paused a little, and suppressed The boiling indignation of her breast. She knew the virtue of her blade, nor would Pollute her satire with ignoble blood; Her panting foe she saw before her eye, And back she drew the shining weapon dry. So when the generous Lion has in sight His equal match, he rouses for the fight; But when his foe lies prostrate on the plain, He sheaths his paws, uncurls his angry mane, And, pleased with bloodless honours of the day, Walks over, and disdains the inglorious prey. So James, if great with less we may compare, Arrests his rolling thunder-bolts in air; And grants ungrateful friends a lengthened space, To implore the remnants of long-suffering grace. This breathing-time the matron took; and then Resumed the thread of her discourse again.-- Be vengeance wholly left to powers divine, And let heaven judge betwixt your sons and mine: If joys hereafter must be purchased here With loss of all that mortals hold so dear, Then welcome infamy and public shame, And last, a long farewell to worldly fame![203] 'Tis said with ease, but, oh, how hardly tried} By haughty souls to human honour tied! } O sharp convulsive pangs of agonizing pride! } Down then, thou rebel, never more to rise! } And what thou didst, and dost, so dearly prize, } That fame, that darling fame, make that thy sacrifice.} 'Tis nothing thou hast given; then add thy tears For a long race of unrepenting years: 'Tis nothing yet, yet all thou hast to give: Then add those may-be years thou hast to live: Yet nothing still: then poor and naked come, } Thy father will receive his unthrift home, } And thy blest Saviour's blood discharge the mighty sum.} Thus, she pursued, I discipline a son, Whose unchecked fury to revenge would run; He champs the bit, impatient of his loss, And starts aside, and flounders at the cross. Instruct him better, gracious God, to know, As thine is vengeance, so forgiveness too; That, suffering from ill tongues, he bears no more Than what his sovereign bears, and what his Saviour bore. It now remains for you to school your child,[204] And ask why God's anointed he reviled; A king and princess dead! did Shimei worse? The curser's punishment should fright the curse; Your son was warned, and wisely gave it o'er, But he, who counselled him, has paid the score;[205] The heavy malice could no higher tend, But woe to him on whom the weights descend. So to permitted ills the demon flies; His rage is aimed at him who rules the skies: Constrained to quit his cause, no succour found, The foe discharges every tire around, In clouds of smoke abandoning the fight, But his own thundering peals proclaim his flight. In Henry's change his charge as ill succeeds;} To that long story little answer needs; } Confront but Henry's words with Henry's deeds. } Were space allowed, with ease it might be proved, What springs his blessed reformation moved. The dire effects appeared in open sight, } Which from the cause he calls a distant flight, } And yet no larger leap than from the sun to light.} Now last your sons a double pæan sound, A treatise of humility is found. 'Tis found, but better it had ne'er been sought, Than thus in Protestant procession brought. The famed original through Spain is known, } Rodriguez' work, my celebrated son, } Which yours, by ill-translating, made his own;[206]} Concealed its author, and usurped the name, The basest and ignoblest theft of fame. My altars kindled first that living coal; Restore, or practise better what you stole; That virtue could this humble verse inspire, 'Tis all the restitution I require.-- Glad was the Panther that the charge was closed, And none of all her favourite sons exposed; for laws of arms permit each injured man, To make himself a saver where he can. Perhaps the plundered merchant cannot tell The names of pirates in whose hands he fell; But at the den of thieves he justly flies, And every Algerine is lawful prize; No private person in the foe's estate Can plead exemption from the public fate. Yet Christian laws allow not such redress; Then let the greater supersede the less. But let the abettors of the Panther's crime Learn to make fairer wars another time. Some characters may sure be found to write } Among her sons; for 'tis no common sight, } A spotted dam, and all her offspring white.} The savage, though she saw her plea controuled, Yet would not wholly seem to quit her hold, But offered fairly to compound the strife, And judge conversion by the convert's life. 'Tis true, she said, I think it somewhat strange, So few should follow profitable change; For present joys are more to flesh and blood, Than a dull prospect of a distant good. 'Twas well alluded by a son of mine, (I hope to quote him is not to purloin,) Two magnets, heaven and earth, allure to bliss; The larger loadstone that, the nearer this: The weak attraction of the greater fails; We nod a while, but neighbourhood prevails; But when the greater proves the nearer too, I wonder more your converts come so slow. Methinks in those who firm with me remain, It shows a nobler principle than gain.-- Your inference would be strong, the Hind replied, If yours were in effect the suffering side; Your clergy's sons their own in peace possess, Nor are their prospects in reversion less. My proselytes are struck with awful dread, Your bloody comet-laws hang blazing o'er their head; The respite they enjoy but only lent, The best they have to hope, protracted punishment.[207] Be judge yourself, if interest may prevail, Which motives, yours or mine, will turn the scale. While pride and pomp allure, and plenteous ease,} That is, till man's predominant passions cease, } Admire no longer at my slow increase. } By education most have been misled; So they believe, because they so were bred. The priest continues what the nurse began, And thus the child imposes on the man. The rest I named before, nor need repeat; But interest is the most prevailing cheat, The sly seducer both of age and youth; They study that, and think they study truth. When interest fortifies an argument, } Weak reason serves to gain the will's assent; } For souls, already warped, receive an easy bent.} Add long prescription of established laws, And pique of honour to maintain a cause, And shame of change, and fear of future ill, And zeal, the blind conductor of the will; And chief, among the still-mistaking crowd, } The fame of teachers obstinate and proud, } And, more than all, the private judge allowed;} Disdain of fathers which the dance began, } And last, uncertain whose the narrower span,} The clown unread, and half-read gentleman.--} To this the Panther, with a scornful smile;-- Yet still you travel with unwearied toil, And range around the realm without controul,} Among my sons for proselytes to prowl; } And here and there you snap some silly soul.} You hinted fears of future change in state; Pray heaven you did not prophesy your fate! Perhaps, you think your time of triumph near, } But may mistake the season of the year; } The Swallow's fortune gives you cause to fear.--[208]} For charity, replied the matron, tell What sad mischance those pretty birds befel.-- Nay, no mischance, the savage dame replied, } But want of wit in their unerring guide, } And eager haste, and gaudy hopes, and giddy pride.} Yet, wishing timely warning may prevail, Make you the moral, and I'll tell the tale. The Swallow, privileged above the rest Of all the birds, as man's familiar guest, Pursues the sun, in summer brisk and bold, But wisely shuns the persecuting cold; Is well to chancels and to chimnies known, Though 'tis not thought she feeds on smoke alone. From hence she has been held of heavenly line, Endued with particles of soul divine. This merry chorister had long possessed Her summer-seat, and feathered well her nest; Till frowning skies began to change their cheer, And time turned up the wrong side of the year; The shading trees began the ground to strow With yellow leaves, and bitter blasts to blow. Sad auguries of winter thence she drew, Which by instinct, or prophecy, she knew; When prudence warned her to remove betimes, And seek a better heaven, and warmer climes. Her sons were summoned on a steeple's height, And, called in common council, vote a flight. The day was named, the next that should be fair; } All to the general rendezvous repair, } They try their fluttering wings, and trust themselves in air.} But whether upward to the moon they go, } Or dream the winter out in caves below, } Or hawk at flies elsewhere, concerns us not to know.} Southwards you may be sure they bent their flight,} And harboured in a hollow rock at night; } Next morn they rose, and set up every sail; The wind was fair, but blew a mackrel gale; The sickly young sat shivering on the shore, Abhorred salt-water never seen before. And prayed their tender mothers to delay The passage, and expect a fairer day. With these the Martin readily concurred, A church bigot, and church-believing bird; Of little body, but of lofty mind, } Round bellied, for a dignity designed, } And much a dunce, as Martins are by kind;} Yet often quoted canon-laws, and code, } And fathers which he never understood; } But little learning needs in noble blood.} For, sooth to say, the Swallow brought him in, Her household chaplain, and her next of kin; In superstition silly to excess, And casting schemes by planetary guess; In fine, short-winged, unfit himself to fly, His fear foretold foul weather in the sky. Besides, a Raven from a withered oak,[209] Left of their lodging, was observed to croak. That omen liked him not; so his advice } Was present safety, bought at any price; } A seeming pious care, that covered cowardice.} To strengthen this, he told a boding dream, Of rising waters, and a troubled stream, Sure signs of anguish, dangers, and distress, With something more, not lawful to express: By which he slily seemed to intimate Some secret revelation of their fate. For he concluded, once upon a time, He found a leaf inscribed with sacred rhyme, Whose antique characters did well denote The Sibyl's hand of the Cumæan grot; The mad divineress had plainly writ, A time should come, but many ages yet, In which, sinister destinies ordain, } A dame should drown with all her feathered train, } And seas from thence be called the Chelidonian main.[210] } At this, some shook for fear; the more devout Arose, and blessed themselves from head to foot. 'Tis true, some stagers of the wiser sort Made all these idle wonderments their sport; They said, their only danger was delay, } And he, who heard what every fool could say, } Would never fix his thought, but trim his time away. } The passage yet was good; the wind, 'tis true, } Was somewhat high, but that was nothing new, } No more than usual equinoxes blew. } The sun, already from the Scales declined, } Gave little hopes of better days behind, } But change from bad to worse, of weather and of wind. } Nor need they fear the dampness of the sky } Should flag their wings, and hinder them to fly, } 'Twas only water thrown on sails too dry. } But, least of all, philosophy presumes Of truth in dreams, from melancholy fumes; Perhaps the Martin, housed in holy ground, Might think of ghosts, that walk their midnight round, Till grosser atoms, tumbling in the stream Of fancy, madly met, and clubbed into a dream: As little weight his vain presages bear, Of ill effect to such alone who fear; Most prophecies are of a piece with these, Each Nostradamus can foretel with ease: Not naming persons, and confounding times, One casual truth supports a thousand lying rhymes. The advice was true; but fear had seized the most, And all good counsel is on cowards lost. The question crudely put to shun delay, 'Twas carried by the major part to stay. His point thus gained, Sir Martin dated thence His power, and from a priest became a prince. He ordered all things with a busy care, } And cells and refectories did prepare, } And large provisions laid of winter fare;} But, now and then, let fall a word or two, } Of hope, that heaven some miracle might show, } And for their sakes, the sun should backward go;} Against the laws of nature upward climb, And, mounted on the Ram, renew the prime; For which two proofs in sacred story lay, Of Ahaz' dial, and of Joshua's day. In expectation of such times as these, A chapel housed them, truly called of ease; For Martin much devotion did not ask; They prayed sometimes, and that was all their task. It happened, as beyond the reach of wit Blind prophecies may have a lucky hit, That this accomplished, or at least in part, Gave great repute to their new Merlin's art. Some Swifts,[211] the giants of the Swallow kind,} Large limbed, stout-hearted, but of stupid mind, } (For Swisses, or for Gibeonites designed, } These lubbers, peeping through a broken pane, To suck fresh air, surveyed the neighbouring plain, And saw, but scarcely could believe their eyes, New blossoms flourish, and new flowers arise; As God had been abroad, and, walking there, Had left his footsteps, and reformed the year. The sunny hills from far were seen to glow } With glittering beams, and in the meads below } The burnished brooks appeared with liquid gold to flow.} At last they heard the foolish Cuckow sing, Whose note proclaimed the holiday of spring. No longer doubting, all prepare to fly, And repossess their patrimonial sky. The priest before them did his wings display;} And that good omens might attend their way, } As luck would have it, 'twas St Martin's day.} Who but the Swallow now triumphs alone? The canopy of heaven is all her own; Her youthful offspring to their haunts repair, And glide along in glades, and skim in air, And dip for insects in the purling springs, And stoop on rivers to refresh their wings. Their mothers think a fair provision made, That every son can live upon his trade, And, now the careful charge is off their hands, Look out for husbands, and new nuptial bands. The youthful widow longs to be supplied; } But first the lover is by lawyers tied, } To settle jointure-chimnies on the bride.} So thick they couple in so short a space, That Martin's marriage-offerings rise apace. Their ancient houses, running to decay, Are furbished up, and cemented with clay: They teem already; store of eggs are laid, And brooding mothers call Lucina's aid. Fame spreads the news, and foreign fowls appear,} In flocks, to greet the new returning year, } To bless the founder, and partake the cheer. } And now 'twas time, so fast their numbers rise, To plant abroad and people colonies. The youth drawn forth, as Martin had desired, (For so their cruel destiny required,) Were sent far off on an ill-fated day; The rest would needs conduct them on their way, And Martin went, because he feared alone to stay. So long they flew with inconsiderate haste, That now their afternoon began to waste; And, what was ominous, that very morn The sun was entered into Capricorn; Which, by their bad astronomer's account, That week the Virgin balance should remount. An infant moon eclipsed him in his way, And hid the small remainders of his day. The crowd, amazed, pursued no certain mark, But birds met birds, and jostled in the dark.[212] Few mind the public, in a panic fright, And fear increased the horror of the night. Night came, but unattended with repose; Alone she came, no sleep their eyes to close; Alone, and black she came; no friendly stars arose. What should they do, beset with dangers round, No neighbouring dorp,[213] no lodging to be found, But bleaky plains, and bare, unhospitable ground? The latter brood, who just began to fly, Sick-feathered, and unpractised in the sky, For succour to their helpless mother call: She spread her wings; some few beneath them crawl; She spread them wider yet, but could not cover all. To augment their woes, the winds began to move, Debate in air for empty fields above, Till Boreas got the skies, and poured amain His rattling hailstones, mixed with snow and rain. The joyless morning late arose, and found } A dreadful desolation reign around, } Some buried in the snow, some frozen to the ground.} The rest were struggling still with death, and lay The Crows and Ravens rights an undefended prey: Excepting Martin's race; for they and he Had gained the shelter of a hollow tree; But, soon discovered by a sturdy clown, } He headed all the rabble of a town, } And finished them with bats, or polled them down.} Martin himself was caught alive, and tried } For treasonous crimes, because the laws provide} No Martin there in winter shall abide. } High on an oak, which never leaf shall bear, He breathed his last, exposed to open air; And there his corpse unblessed is hanging still, To show the change of winds with his prophetic bill.--[214] The patience of the Hind did almost fail, For well she marked the malice of the tale; Which ribbald art their church to Luther owes; } In malice it began, by malice grows; } He sowed the serpent's teeth, an iron harvest rose.} But most in Martin's character and fate, She saw her slandered sons, the Panther's hate, The people's rage, the persecuting state:[215] Then said, I take the advice in friendly part; You clear your conscience, or at least your heart. Perhaps you failed in your foreseeing skill, For Swallows are unlucky birds to kill: As for my sons, the family is blessed, Whose every child is equal to the rest; No church reformed can boast a blameless line, Such Martins build in yours, and more than mine; Or else an old fanatic author lies, Who summed their scandals up by centuries.[216] But through your parable I plainly see The bloody laws, the crowd's barbarity; The sunshine, that offends the purblind sight, Had some their wishes, it would soon be night.[217] Mistake me not; the charge concerns not you; Your sons are malecontents, but yet are true, As far as non-resistance makes them so; But that's a word of neutral sense, you know, A passive term, which no relief will bring, But trims betwixt a rebel and a king.-- Rest well assured, the Pardelis replied, } My sons would all support the regal side, } Though heaven forbid the cause by battle should be tried.--} The matron answered with a loud Amen, And thus pursued her arguments again:-- If, as you say, and as I hope no less, } Your sons will practise what yourselves profess,} What angry power prevents our present peace? } The Lion, studious of our common good, Desires (and kings' desires are ill withstood) To join our nations in a lasting love; } The bars betwixt are easy to remove, } For sanguinary laws were never made above.[217a]} If you condemn that prince of tyranny, Whose mandate forced your Gallic friends to fly,[218] Make not a worse example of your own, } Or cease to rail at causeless rigour shown, } And let the guiltless person throw the stone.} His blunted sword your suffering brotherhood Have seldom felt; he stops it short of blood: But you have ground the persecuting knife, And set it to a razor-edge on life. Cursed be the wit, which cruelty refines, } Or to his father's rod the scorpion joins! } Your finger is more gross than the great monarch's loins.} But you, perhaps, remove that bloody note, And stick it on the first reformers' coat. Oh let their crime in long oblivion sleep; 'Twas theirs indeed to make, 'tis yours to keep! Unjust, or just, is all the question now; 'Tis plain, that, not repealing, you allow. To name the Test would put you in a rage; You charge not that on any former age, But smile to think how innocent you stand, Armed by a weapon put into your hand. Yet still remember, that you wield a sword, Forged by your foes against your sovereign lord; Designed to hew the imperial cedar down, Defraud succession, and dis-heir the crown.[219] To abhor the makers, and their laws approve, Is to hate traitors, and the treason love. What means it else, which now your children say, We made it not, nor will we take away? Suppose some great oppressor had, by slight} Of law, disseised your brother of his right, } Your common sire surrendering in a fright; } Would you to that unrighteous title stand, Left by the villain's will to heir the land? More just was Judas, who his Saviour sold; } The sacrilegious bribe he could not hold, } Nor hang in peace, before he rendered back the gold.} What more could you have done, than now you do, Had Oates and Bedlow and their plot been true? Some specious reasons for those wrongs were found;} The dire magicians threw their mists around, } And wise men walked as on enchanted ground. } But now when time has made the imposture plain, } (Late though he followed truth, and limping held her train,} What new delusion charms your cheated eyes again? } The painted harlot might a while bewitch, But why the hag uncased, and all obscene with itch?[220] The first reformers were a modest race; Our peers possessed in peace their native place, And when rebellious arms o'erturned the state, They suffered only in the common fate; But now the sovereign mounts the regal chair, And mitred seats are full, yet David's bench is bare.[221] Your answer is, they were not dispossest; They need but rub their mettle on the Test To prove their ore;--'twere well if gold alone Were touched and tried on your discerning stone; But that unfaithful test unfound will pass The dross of Atheists, and sectarian brass; As if the experiment were made to hold For base production, and reject the gold. Thus men ungodded may to places rise, And sects may be preferred without disguise; No danger to the church or state from these, The Papist only has his writ of ease. No gainful office gives him the pretence To grind the subject, or defraud the prince. Wrong conscience, or no conscience, may deserve To thrive, but ours alone is privileged to starve. Still thank yourselves, you cry; your noble race We banish not, but they forsake the place; Our doors are open:--true, but ere they come, You toss your 'censing test, and fume the room; As if 'twere Toby's rival to expel, And fright the fiend who could not bear the smell.[222] To this the Panther sharply had replied,} But having gained a verdict on her side, } She wisely gave the loser leave to chide; } Well satisfied to have the _but and peace_,[223]} And for the plaintiff's cause she cared the less, } Because she sued _in forma pauperis_; } Yet thought it decent something should be said, For secret guilt by silence is betrayed; So neither granted all, nor much denied, But answered with a yawning kind of pride: Methinks such terms of proffered peace you bring, As once Æneas to the Italian king:[224] By long possession all the land is mine; } You strangers come with your intruding line,} To share my sceptre, which you call to join.} You plead like him an ancient pedigree, And claim a peaceful seat by fate's decree. In ready pomp your sacrificer stands, To unite the Trojan and the Latin bands; And, that the league more firmly may be tied, Demand the fair Lavinia for your bride. Thus plausibly you veil the intended wrong, But still you bring your exiled gods along; And will endeavour, in succeeding space, Those household puppets on our hearths to place. Perhaps some barbarous laws have been preferred; I spake against the Test, but was not heard. These to rescind, and peerage to restore, } My gracious sovereign would my vote implore; } I owe him much, but owe my conscience more.--} Conscience is then your plea, replied the dame, Which, well-informed, will ever be the same. But yours is much of the camelion hue, To change the dye with every distant view. When first the Lion sat with awful sway, Your conscience taught your duty to obey:[225] He might have had your statutes and your Test; No conscience but of subjects was professed. He found your temper, and no farther tried, But on that broken reed, your church, relied. In vain the sects essayed their utmost art, } With offered treasure to espouse their part; } Their treasures were a bribe too mean to move his heart.} But when, by long experience, you had proved, How far he could forgive, how well he loved; (A goodness that excelled his godlike race, And only short of heaven's unbounded grace; A flood of mercy that o'erflowed our isle, Calm in the rise, and fruitful as the Nile,) Forgetting whence your Egypt was supplied, You thought your sovereign bound to send the tide; Nor upward looked on that immortal spring, But vainly deemed, he durst not be a king. Then Conscience, unrestrained by fear, began To stretch her limits, and extend the span; Did his indulgence as her gift dispose, And made a wise alliance with her foes.[226] Can Conscience own the associating name, } And raise no blushes to conceal her shame? } For sure she has been thought a bashful dame.} But if the cause by battle should be tried,} You grant she must espouse the regal side; } O Proteus conscience, never to be tied! } What Phœbus from the Tripod shall disclose, Which are, in last resort, your friends or foes? Homer, who learned the language of the sky, The seeming Gordian knot would soon untie; Immortal powers the term of Conscience know,[227] But Interest is her name with men below.-- Conscience or Interest be't, or both in one, (The Panther answered in a surly tone;) The first commands me to maintain the crown, The last forbids to throw my barriers down. Our penal laws no sons of yours admit, Our Test excludes your tribe from benefit. These are my banks your ocean to withstand, Which, proudly rising, overlooks the land, And, once let in, with unresisted sway, Would sweep the pastors and their flocks away. Think not my judgment leads me to comply With laws unjust, but hard necessity: Imperious need, which cannot be withstood, Makes ill authentic, for a greater good. Possess your soul with patience, and attend; A more auspicious planet may ascend;[228] Good fortune may present some happier time, With means to cancel my unwilling crime; (Unwilling, witness all ye powers above!) To mend my errors, and redeem your love: That little space you safely may allow; Your all-dispensing power protects you now.[229] Hold, said the Hind, 'tis needless to explain; You would postpone me to another reign; Till when, you are content to be unjust: Your part is to possess, and mine to trust; A fair exchange proposed, of future chance For present profit and inheritance. Few words will serve to finish our dispute; Who will not now repeal, would persecute. To ripen green revenge your hopes attend, Wishing that happier planet would ascend.[230] For shame, let Conscience be your plea no more;} To will hereafter, proves she might before; } But she's a bawd to gain, and holds the door. } Your care about your banks infers a fear[231] Of threatening floods and inundations near; If so, a just reprise would only be Of what the land usurped upon the sea; And all your jealousies but serve to show, Your ground is, like your neighbour-nation, low. To intrench in what you grant unrighteous laws, Is to distrust the justice of your cause; And argues, that the true religion lies In those weak adversaries you despise. Tyrannic force is that which least you fear; The sound is frightful in a Christian's ear: Avert it, heaven! nor let that plague be sent To us from the dispeopled continent. But piety commands me to refrain; Those prayers are needless in this monarch's reign. Behold how he protects your friends oppressed, } Receives the banished, succours the distressed![232]} Behold, for you may read an honest open breast. } He stands in day-light, and disdains to hide} An act, to which by honour he is tied, } A generous, laudable, and kingly pride. } Your Test he would repeal, his peers restore; This when he says he means, he means no more. Well, said the Panther, I believe him just, } And yet---- } --And yet, 'tis but because you must; } You would be trusted, but you would not trust.--} The Hind thus briefly; and disdained to enlarge On power of kings, and their superior charge, As heaven's trustees before the people's choice; } Though sure the Panther did not much rejoice } To hear those echoes given of her once loyal voice.} The matron wooed her kindness to the last, But could not win; her hour of grace was past. Whom, thus persisting, when she could not bring To leave the Wolf, and to believe her king, She gave her up, and fairly wished her joy Of her late treaty with her new ally: Which well she hoped would more successful prove, Than was the Pigeon's and the Buzzard's love. The Panther asked, what concord there could be Betwixt two kinds whose natures disagree? The dame replied: 'Tis sung in every street, The common chat of gossips when they meet; But, since unheard by you, 'tis worth your while To take a wholesome tale, though told in homely style. A plain good man, whose name is understood,[233] (So few deserve the name of plain and good,) Of three fair lineal lordships stood possessed, And lived, as reason was, upon the best. Inured to hardships from his early youth, Much had he done and suffered for his truth: At land and sea, in many a doubtful fight, } Was never known a more adventurous knight, } Who oftener drew his sword, and always for the right.} As fortune would, (his fortune came, though late,) He took possession of his just estate; Nor racked his tenants with increase of rent, Nor lived too sparing, nor too largely spent, But overlooked his hinds; their pay was just, And ready, for he scorned to go on trust: Slow to resolve, but in performance quick; So true, that he was awkward at a trick. For little souls on little shifts rely, } And cowards arts of mean expedients try; } The noble mind will dare do any thing but lie.} False friends, his deadliest foes, could find no way, But shows of honest bluntness, to betray; That unsuspected plainness he believed; He looked into himself, and was deceived. Some lucky planet sure attends his birth, Or heaven would make a miracle on earth; For prosperous honesty is seldom seen To bear so dead a weight, and yet to win. It looks as fate with nature's law would strive, To show plain-dealing once an age may thrive; And, when so tough a frame she could not bend, Exceeded her commission, to befriend. This grateful man, as heaven increased his store, Gave God again, and daily fed his poor. His house with all convenience was purveyed; The rest he found, but raised the fabric where he prayed;[234] And in that sacred place his beauteous wife Employed her happiest hours of holy life. Nor did their alms extend to those alone, Whom common faith more strictly made their own; A sort of Doves[235] were housed too near their hall, Who cross the proverb, and abound with gall. Though some, 'tis true, are passively inclined, The greater part degenerate from their kind; Voracious birds, that hotly bill and breed, And largely drink, because on salt they feed. Small gain from them their bounteous owner draws;} Yet, bound by promise, he supports their cause, } As corporations privileged by laws. } That house, which harbour to their kind affords, Was built long since, God knows, for better birds; But fluttering there, they nestle near the throne,} And lodge in habitations not their own, } By their high crops and corny gizzards known. } Like Harpies, they could scent a plenteous board, Then to be sure they never failed their lord: The rest was form, and bare attendance paid; They drunk, and eat, and grudgingly obeyed. The more they fed, they ravened still the more; They drained from Dan, and left Beersheba poor. All this they had by law, and none repined; The preference was but due to Levi's kind: But when some lay-preferment fell by chance, The Gourmands made it their inheritance. When once possessed, they never quit their claim, For then 'tis sanctified to heaven's high name; And hallowed thus, they cannot give consent, The gift should be profaned by worldly management. Their flesh was never to the table served, Though 'tis not thence inferred the birds were starved; But that their master did not like the food, As rank, and breeding melancholy blood. Nor did it with his gracious nature suit, E'en though they were not doves, to persecute: Yet he refused, (nor could they take offence,) Their glutton kind should teach him abstinence. Nor consecrated grain their wheat he thought, Which, new from treading, in their bills they brought; But left his hinds each in his private power, That those who like the bran might leave the flower. He for himself, and not for others, chose, Nor would he be imposed on, nor impose; But in their faces his devotion paid, } And sacrifice with solemn rites was made,} And sacred incense on his altars laid. } Besides these jolly birds, whose corpse impure Repaid their commons with their salt manure, Another farm he had behind his house, Not overstocked, but barely for his use; Wherein his poor domestic poultry fed, And from his pious hands received their bread.[236] Our pampered Pigeons, with malignant eyes, Beheld these inmates, and their nurseries; Though hard their fare, at evening, and at morn, (A cruise of water and an ear of corn,) Yet still they grudged that _modicum_, and thought A sheaf in every single grain was brought. Fain would they filch that little food away, While unrestrained those happy gluttons prey; And much they grieved to see so nigh their hall, The bird that warned St Peter of his fall;[237] That he should raise his mitred crest on high, And clap his wings, and call his family To sacred rites; and vex the Ethereal powers With midnight mattins at uncivil hours; Nay more, his quiet neighbours should molest, Just in the sweetness of their morning rest. Beast of a bird, supinely when he might Lie snug and sleep, to rise before the light! What if his dull forefathers used that cry, Could he not let a bad example die? The world was fallen into an easier way; This age knew better than to fast and pray. Good sense in sacred worship would appear, So to begin, as they might end the year. Such feats in former times had wrought the falls Of crowing chanticleers in cloistered walls. Expelled for this, and for their lands, they fled; } And sister Partlet, with her hooded head,[238] } Was hooted hence, because she would not pray a-bed.} The way to win the restiff world to God, Was to lay by the disciplining rod, Unnatural fasts, and foreign forms of prayer; Religion frights us with a mein severe. 'Tis prudence to reform her into ease, And put her in undress, to make her please; A lively faith will bear aloft the mind, And leave the luggage of good works behind. Such doctrines in the Pigeon-house were taught; You need not ask how wondrously they wrought; But sure the common cry was all for these, Whose life and precepts both encouraged ease. Yet fearing those alluring baits might fail, And holy deeds o'er all their arts prevail, (For vice, though frontless, and of hardened face, Is daunted at the sight of awful grace,) An hideous figure of their foes they drew, } Nor lines, nor looks, nor shades, nor colours true; } And this grotesque design exposed to public view.[239]} One would have thought it some Egyptian piece,} With garden-gods, and barking deities, } More thick than Ptolemy has stuck the skies. } All so perverse a draught, so far unlike, It was no libel where it meant to strike. Yet still the daubing pleased, and great and small, To view the monster, crowded Pigeon-hall. There Chanticleer was drawn upon his knees, Adorning shrines, and stocks of sainted trees;[240] And by him, a mishapen, ugly race, The curse of God was seen on every face: No Holland emblem could that malice mend,[241] But still the worse the look, the fitter for a fiend. The master of the farm, displeased to find So much of rancour in so mild a kind, Enquired into the cause, and came to know, The passive church had struck the foremost blow; With groundless fears, and jealousies possest, } As if this troublesome intruding guest } Would drive the birds of Venus[242] from their nest.} A deed his inborn equity abhorred; But interest will not trust, though God should plight his word. A law, the source of many future harms, Had banished all the poultry from the farms; With loss of life, if any should be found To crow or peck on this forbidden ground. That bloody statute chiefly was designed For Chanticleer the white, of clergy kind;[243] But after-malice did not long forget The lay that wore the robe and coronet.[244] For them, for their inferiors and allies, Their foes a deadly Shibboleth devise; By which unrighteously it was decreed, } That none to trust, or profit, should succeed, } Who would not swallow first a poisonous wicked weed;} Or that, to which old Socrates was cursed,[245] Or henbane juice to swell them till they burst. The patron, as in reason, thought it hard } To see this inquisition in his yard, } By which the sovereign was of subjects' use debarred.} All gentle means he tried, which might withdraw The effects of so unnatural a law; But still the dove-house obstinately stood Deaf to their own, and to their neighbours' good; And which was worse, if any worse could be, Repented of their boasted loyalty; Now made the champions of a cruel cause, And drunk with fumes of popular applause: For those whom God to ruin has designed, He fits for fate, and first destroys their mind.[246] New doubts indeed they daily strove to raise, Suggested dangers, interposed delays, And emissary Pigeons had in store, Such as the Meccan prophet used of yore,[247] To whisper counsels in their patron's ear, And veiled their false advice with zealous fear. The master smiled to see them work in vain, To wear him out, and make an idle reign: He saw, but suffered their protractive arts, And strove by mildness to reduce their hearts; But they abused that grace to make allies, } And fondly closed with former enemies; } For fools are doubly fools, endeavouring to be wise.} After a grave consult what course were best, One, more mature in folly than the rest, Stood up, and told them, with his head aside, That desperate cures must be to desperate ills applied: And therefore, since their main impending fear Was from the increasing race of Chanticleer, Some potent bird of prey they ought to find, A foe professed to him, and all his kind: Some hagard Hawk, who had her eyry nigh, Well pounced to fasten, and well winged to fly; One they might trust, their common wrongs to wreak. The Musquet and the Coystrel were too weak, Too fierce the Falcon; but, above the rest, The noble Buzzard[248] ever pleased me best: Of small renown, 'tis true; for, not to lie, We call him but a Hawk by courtesy. I know he hates the Pigeon-house and Farm, And more, in time of war, has done us harm: But all his hate on trivial points depends; Give up our forms, and we shall soon be friends. For Pigeons' flesh he seems not much to care; Cram'd Chickens are a more delicious fare. On this high potentate, without delay, I wish you would confer the sovereign sway; Petition him to accept the government, And let a splendid embassy be sent. This pithy speech prevailed, and all agreed, Old enmities forgot, the Buzzard should succeed. Their welcome suit was granted, soon as heard, } His lodgings furnished, and a train prepared, } With B's upon their breast, appointed for his guard.} He came, and, crowned with great solemnity, God save king Buzzard! was the general cry. A portly prince, and goodly to the sight, He seemed a son of Anach for his height: Like those whom stature did to crowns prefer, Black-browed, and bluff, like Homer's Jupiter; Broad-backed, and brawny-built for love's delight, A prophet formed to make a female proselyte;[249] A theologue more by need than genial bent, By breeding sharp, by nature confident. Interest in all his actions was discerned; More learned than honest, more a wit than learned; Or forced by fear, or by his profit led, Or both conjoined, his native clime he fled; But brought the virtues of his heaven along, A fair behaviour, and a fluent tongue. And yet with all his arts he could not thrive, The most unlucky parasite alive; Loud praises to prepare his paths he sent, And then himself pursued his compliment; But by reverse of fortune chased away, His gifts no longer than their author stay; He shakes the dust against the ungrateful race, And leaves the stench of ordures in the place. Oft has he flattered and blasphemed the same; For in his rage he spares no sovereign's name: The hero and the tyrant change their style, By the same measure that they frown or smile.[250] When well received by hospitable foes, The kindness he returns, is to expose; For courtesies, though undeserved and great, } No gratitude in felon-minds beget; } As tribute to his wit, the churl receives the treat.} His praise of foes is venomously nice; } So touched, it turns a virtue to a vice;[251] } "A Greek, and bountiful, forewarns us twice."[252]} Seven sacraments he wisely does disown, Because he knows confession stands for one; Where sins to sacred silence are conveyed, And not for fear, or love, to be betrayed: But he, uncalled, his patron to controul, Divulged the secret whispers of his soul; Stood forth the accusing Satan of his crimes, And offered to the Moloch of the times.[253] Prompt to assail, and careless of defence, Invulnerable in his impudence, He dares the world; and, eager of a name, He thrusts about, and jostles into fame. Frontless, and satire-proof, he scowers the streets, And runs an Indian-muck at all he meets.[254] So fond of loud report, that, not to miss } Of being known, (his last and utmost bliss,)} He rather would be known for what he is. } Such was, and is, the Captain of the Test,[255]} Though half his virtues are not here expressed; } The modesty of fame conceals the rest. } The spleenful Pigeons never could create A prince more proper to revenge their hate; Indeed, more proper to revenge, than save; A king, whom in his wrath the Almighty gave: For all the grace the landlord had allowed, } But made the Buzzard and the Pigeons proud; } Gave time to fix their friends, and to seduce the crowd.} They long their fellow-subjects to inthral, } Their patron's promise into question call,[256] } And vainly think he meant to make them lords of all.} False fears their leaders failed not to suggest, As if the Doves were to be dispossessed; Nor sighs, nor groans, nor goggling eyes did want, For now the Pigeons too had learned to cant. The house of prayer is stocked with large increase; Nor doors, nor windows, can contain the press, For birds of every feather fill the abode; E'en atheists out of envy own a God, And, reeking from the stews, adulterers come, Like Goths and Vandals to demolish Rome. That conscience, which to all their crimes was mute, Now calls aloud, and cries to persecute: No rigour of the laws to be released, And much the less, because it was their Lord's request; They thought it great their sovereign to controul, And named their pride, nobility of soul. 'Tis true, the Pigeons, and their prince elect, Were short of power, their purpose to effect; But with their quills did all the hurt they could, And cuff'd the tender Chickens from their food: And much the Buzzard in their cause did stir, } Though naming not the patron, to infer, } With all respect, he was a gross idolater.[257]} But when the imperial owner did espy, That thus they turned his grace to villainy, Not suffering wrath to discompose his mind, } He strove a temper for the extremes to find,} So to be just, as he might still be kind; } Then, all maturely weighed, pronounced a doom Of sacred strength for every age to come.[258] By this the Doves their wealth and state possess, No rights infringed, but license to oppress: Such power have they as factious lawyers long To crowns ascribed, that kings can do no wrong. But since his own domestic birds have tried The dire effects of their destructive pride, He deems that proof a measure to the rest, } Concluding well within his kingly breast, } His fowls of nature too unjustly were opprest.[259]} He therefore makes all birds of every sect } Free of his farm, with promise to respect } Their several kinds alike, and equally protect.} His gracious edict the same franchise yields } To all the wild increase of woods and fields, } And who in rocks aloof, and who in steeples builds:} To Crows the like impartial grace affords, And Choughs and Daws, and such republic birds; Secured with ample privilege to feed, Each has his district, and his bounds decreed; Combined in common interest with his own, But not to pass the Pigeons' Rubicon. Here ends the reign of this pretended Dove;} All prophecies accomplished from above, } For Shiloh comes the sceptre to remove. } Reduced from her imperial high abode, Like Dionysius to a private rod,[260] The passive church, that with pretended grace} Did her distinctive mark in duty place, } Now touched, reviles her Maker to his face. } What after happened is not hard to guess; } The small beginnings had a large increase, } And arts and wealth succeed the secret spoils of peace.} 'Tis said, the Doves repented, though too late, Become the smiths of their own foolish fate:[261] Nor did their owner hasten their ill hour, But, sunk in credit, they decreased in power; Like snows in warmth that mildly pass away, Dissolving in the silence of decay.[262] The Buzzard, not content with equal place, Invites the feathered Nimrods of his race, To hide the thinness of their flock from sight, And all together make a seeming goodly flight: But each have separate interests of their own; Two Czars are one too many for a throne. Nor can the usurper long abstain from food; Already he has tasted Pigeon's blood, And may be tempted to his former fare,[263] When this indulgent lord shall late to heaven repair. Bare benting times, and moulting months may come, When, lagging late, they cannot reach their home; Or rent in schism, (for so their fate decrees,) Like the tumultuous college of the bees, They fight their quarrel, by themselves opprest, The tyrant smiles below, and waits the falling feast.--

Thus did the gentle Hind her fable end, Nor would the Panther blame it, nor commend; But, with affected yawnings at the close, Seemed to require her natural repose; For now the streaky light began to peep, And setting stars admonished both to sleep. The Dame withdrew, and, wishing to her guest The peace of heaven, betook herself to rest: Ten thousand angels on her slumbers wait, With glorious visions of her future state.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 184: Note I.]

[Footnote 185: The Declaration of Indulgence.]

[Footnote 186: The Convocation.]

[Footnote 187: The adherence of the church of England to the interests of James, while he was an exile at Brussels, and the Bill of Exclusion against him was in dependence, is here, as in other places, made the subject of panegyric. Had the church joined with the sectaries, the destruction of the Catholics, at the time of the plot, would have been inevitable.]

[Footnote 188: The church of England complained, with great reason, of the coldness which they experienced from James, in whose behalf they had exerted themselves so successfully.]

[Footnote 189: An old sea-term, signifying to run before the wind.]

[Footnote 190: _Une querelle Allemande_ is the well-known French phrase for a quarrel picked without cause. The Hind insinuates, that the Panther, conscious of superior force, meant to take such cause of quarrel at the English Catholics, as Louis had raked up against the Huguenots, which, therefore, might be styled rather a French than a German quarrel.]

[Footnote 191: Note II.]

[Footnote 192: Note III.]

[Footnote 193: The different parts of the body were assigned to different planets. The old almanacks have a naked figure in front, surrounded by the usual planetary emblems, which dart their rays on the parts which they govern. What Scorpio claims, if not apparent from the context, may be there found.]

[Footnote 194: Note IV.]

[Footnote 195: Alluding to the charges brought against Dryden himself by Stillingfleet. See Note V.]

[Footnote 196: Note VI.]

[Footnote 197: Note VII.]

[Footnote 198: This is our author's own averment in his "Defence of the Papers of the Duchess of York." See Note VIII.]

[Footnote 199: The latitudinarian, or moderate clergy above-mentioned, and particularly Stillingfleet.]

[Footnote 200: Note IX.]

[Footnote 201: Note X.]

[Footnote 202: Stillingfleet's Vindication, which contains the imputations complained of by Dryden, bears this licence: "_Imprimatur_, Henricus Maurice Rmo. P. D. Wilhelmo Archiep. Cant. a sacris. January 10, 1686."]

[Footnote 203: In these, and in the following beautiful lines, the poet, who had complained of Stillingfleet's having charged him with atheism, expresses his resolution to submit to this reproach with Christian meekness, and without retaliation.]

[Footnote 204: Stillingfleet. See Note XI.]

[Footnote 205: Note XII.]

[Footnote 206: See Introduction, p. 114; also Note VIII.]

[Footnote 207: The penal laws, though suspended by the king's Declaration of Indulgence, were not thereby abrogated.]

[Footnote 208: Note XII.]

[Footnote 209: ----_Sinistra cava prædixit ab ilice Cornix._]

[Footnote 210: Alluding to the table of Icarus:

_Icarus Icariis nomina fecit aquis._

Chelidonian, from χελιδὼν a _swallow_.]

[Footnote 211: Otherwise called _martlets_. DRYDEN.]

[Footnote 212: A parody on Lee's famous rant in "Œdipus."

"May there not be a glimpse, one starry spark, But gods meet gods, and jostle in the dark." ]

[Footnote 213: An old Saxon word for a village.]

[Footnote 214: It is a vulgar idea, that a dead swallow, suspended in the air, intimates a change of wind, by turning its bill to the point from which it is to blow.]

[Footnote 215: Note XIV.]

[Footnote 216: Century White, See Note XV.]

[Footnote 217: The Hind intimates, that, as the sunshine of Catholic prosperity, in the fable, depended upon the king's life, there existed those among her enemies, who would fain have it shortened. But from this insinuation she exempts the church of England, and only expresses her fears, that her passive principles would incline her to neutrality.]

[Footnote 217a: Note C: Note XVI.]

[Footnote 218: Louis XIV. whose revocation of the Edict of Nantes has been so frequently alluded to. As that monarch did not proceed to the extremity of capital punishment against the Huguenots, Dryden contends his edicts were more merciful than the penal laws, by which mass-priests are denounced as guilty of high treason.]

[Footnote 219: Note XVII.]

[Footnote 220: The poet alludes to the enchantress Duessa, who, when disrobed by Prince Arthur, was changed from a beautiful woman into

A loathly wrinkled hag, ill-favoured, old, Whose secret filth good manners biddeth not be told.

SPENSER'S _Fairy Queen_, Book I, canto 8. ]

[Footnote 221: Note XVIII.]

[Footnote 222: The fiend in the Book of Tobit, who haunted Raguel's daughter, is frighted away, by fumigation, by Tobias her bridegroom. Thus, Milton:

----Better pleased Than Asmodeus with the fishy fume, That drove him, though enamoured, from the spouse Of Tobit's son, and with a vengeance sent From Media post to Egypt, there fast bound.

_Par. Lost_, Book IV. ]

[Footnote 223: A proverbial expression, taken from our author's alteration of the "Tempest." See Vol. III. p. 176.]

[Footnote 224: Æneid, lib. vii. 1. 213.]

[Footnote 225: Note XIX.]

[Footnote 226: Two pamphlets were published, urging the necessity of an alliance between the church of England and the Dissenters; and warmly exhorting the latter not to be cajoled to serve the purposes of their joint enemies of Rome, by the pretended toleration which was held out as a snare to them. One of these, called "Reflections on the Declaration of Indulgence," is ascribed to Burnet; the other, called "Advice to Dissenters," is supposed to come from the masterly pen of Halifax.]

[Footnote 227: Ον Βριαρεων καλέουσι θεοι, ανδρες δε τεπαντες Αιγααιων.]

[Footnote 228: Note XX.]

[Footnote 229: The power claimed, and liberally exercised, by the king, of dispensing with the penal statutes.]

[Footnote 230: That is, wishing the accession of the Prince of Orange, then the presumptive heir of the crown.]

[Footnote 231: Note XXI.]

[Footnote 232: The refugee Huguenots. See Note XXII.]

[Footnote 233: James II. See Note XXIII.]

[Footnote 234: The Catholic chapel in Whitehall.]

[Footnote 235: The clergy of the church of England, and those of London in particular. See Note XXIV.]

[Footnote 236: The Catholic clergy, maintained by King James.]

[Footnote 237: The cock is made an emblem of the regular clergy of Rome, on account of their nocturnal devotions and mattins.]

[Footnote 238: The Nuns.]

[Footnote 239: Note XXV.]

[Footnote 240: The worship of images, charged upon the Romish church by Protestants as idolatrous.]

[Footnote 241: Note XXVI.]

[Footnote 242: The Doves.]

[Footnote 243: The laws imposing the penalty of high treason on priests saying mass in England.]

[Footnote 244: The Roman Catholic nobility, excluded from the House of Peers by the imposition of the test.]

[Footnote 245: Hemlock.]

[Footnote 246: _Quos Jupiter vult perdere, prius dementat._]

[Footnote 247: The foolish fable of Mahomet accustoming a pigeon to pick peas from his ear, to found his pretensions to inspiration, is well known.]

[Footnote 248: Gilbert Burnet, D. D. afterwards Bishop of Salisbury. See Note XXVII.]

[Footnote 249: Note XXVIII.]

[Footnote 250: Note XXIX.]

[Footnote 251: Note XXX.]

[Footnote 252: ----_timeo Danaos et dona ferentes._ Æneid, II. lib.]

[Footnote 253: Note XXXI.]

[Footnote 254: Note XXXII.]

[Footnote 255: Note XXXIII.]

[Footnote 256: The promise to maintain the church of England, made in James's first proclamation after his accession; and which the church party alleged he had now broken. Note XXXIV.]

[Footnote 257: See note XXXIII.]

[Footnote 258: Declaration of indulgence. Note XXXV.]

[Footnote 259: Note XXXVI.]

[Footnote 260: The tyrant of Syracuse, who, after being dethroned, taught a school at Corinth.]

[Footnote 261: _Quisque suæ fortunæ faber._ SALLUST.]

[Footnote 262: Note XXXVII.]

[Footnote 263: Note XXXVIII.]

NOTES

ON

THE HIND AND THE PANTHER.

PART III.

Note I.

_And mother Hubbard, in her homely dress, Has sharply blamed a British Lioness; That queen, whose feast the factious rabble keep, Exposed obscenely naked, and asleep._--P. 197.

The poet, in the beginning of this canto, anticipates the censure of those who might blame him for introducing into his fables animals not natives of Britain, where the scene was laid. He vindicates himself by the example of Æsop and Spenser. The latter, in "Mother Hubbard's Tale," exhibits at length the various arts by which, in his time, obscure and infamous characters rose to eminence in church and state. This is illustrated by the parable of an Ape and a Fox, who insinuate themselves into various situations, and play the knaves in all. At length,

Lo, where they spied, how, in a gloomy glade, The Lion, sleeping, lay in secret shade; His crown and sceptre lying him beside, And having doft for heat his dreadful hide.

The adventurers possess themselves of the royal spoils, with which the Ape is arrayed; who forthwith takes upon himself the dignity of the monarch of the beasts, and, by the counsels of the Fox, commits every species of oppression, until Jove, incensed at the disorders which his tyranny had introduced, sends Mercury to awaken the Lion from his slumber:

Arise! said Mercury, thou sluggish beast, That here liest senseless, like the corpse deceast; The whilst thy kingdom from thy head is rent, And thy throne royal with dishonour blent.

The Lion rouses himself, hastens to court, and avenges himself of the usurpers.--There is no doubt, that, under this allegory, Spenser meant to represent the exorbitant power of Lord Burleigh; and he afterwards complains, that his verse occasioned his falling into a "mighty peer's displeasure." The Lion, therefore, whose negligence is upbraided by Mercury, was Queen Elizabeth. Dryden calls her,

The queen, whose feast the factious rabble keep;

because the tumultuous pope-burnings of 1680 and 1681 were solemnized on Queen Elizabeth's night. The poet had probably, since his change of religion, laid aside much of the hereditary respect with which most Englishmen regard Queen Bess; for, in the pamphlets of the Romanists, she is branded as "a known bastard, who raised this prelatic protestancy, called the church of England, as a prop to supply the weakness of her title."[264]

Spenser's authority is only appealed to by Dryden as justifying the introduction of lions and other foreign animals into a British fable. But I observed in the introduction, that it also furnishes authority, at least example, for those aberrations from the character and attributes of his brute actors, with which the critics taxed Dryden; for nothing in "The Hind and the Panther" can be more inconsistent with the natural quality of such animals, than the circumstance of a lion, or any other creature, going to sleep without his skin, on account of the sultry weather.

Note II.

_You know my doctrine, and I need not say I will not, but I cannot, disobey. On this firm principle I ever stood; He of my sons, who fails to make it good, By one rebellious act renounces to my blood._--P. 202.

The memorable judgment and decree of the university of Oxford, passed in the Convocation 21st July, 1683, condemns, as heretical, all works which teach or infer the lawfulness of resistance to lawful governors, even when they become tyrants, or in case of persecution for religion, or infringement on the laws of the country, or, in short, in any case whatever; and after the various authorities for these and other tenets have been given and denounced as false, seditious, heretical, and impious, the decree concludes with the following injunctions:

"Lastly, we command and strictly enjoin all and singular readers, tutors, catechists, and others, to whom the care and trust of institution of youth is committed, that they diligently instruct and ground their scholars in that most necessary doctrine, which in a manner is the badge and character of the church of England, of submitting to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake, whether it be to the king as supreme, or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him, for the punishment of evil doers, and for the praise of them that do well: Teaching, that this submission and obedience is to be clear, absolute, and without exception of any state or order of men."

Note III.

_Your sons of latitude, that court your grace,} Though most resembling you in form and face, } Are far the worst of your pretended race. } And, but I blush your honesty to blot, Pray God you prove them lawfully begot! For in some Popish libels I have read, The Wolf has been too busy in your bed._--P. 202.

During the latter years of the reign of Charles the Second, the dissensions of the state began to creep into the church. By far the greater part of the clergy, influenced by the ancient union of church and king, were steady in their adherence to the court interest. But a party began to appear, who were distinguished from their brethren by the name of _Moderate Divines_, which they assumed to themselves, and by that of Latitudinarians, which the high churchmen conferred upon them. The chief amongst these were Tillotson, Stillingfleet, and Burnet. They distinguished themselves by a less violent ardour for the ceremonies, and even the government, of the church; for all those particulars, in short, by which she is distinguished from other Protestant congregations. Stillingfleet carried these condescensions so far, as to admit in his tract, called _Irenicum_, that, although the original church was settled in a constitution of bishops, priests, and deacons, yet as the apostles made no positive law upon this subject, it remained free to every Christian congregation to alter or to retain that form of church government. In conformity with this opinion, he, in conjunction with Tillotson and others, laid a plan for an accommodation with the Presbyterians, in 1668; and, in order to this comprehension, he was willing to have made such sacrifices in the point of ordination, &c. that the House of Commons took the alarm, and passed a vote, prohibiting even the introduction of a bill for such a purpose. As, on the one hand, the tenets of the moderate clergy approximated those of the Calvinists; so, on the other, their antipathy and opposition to the church of Rome was more deeply rooted, in proportion to the slighter value which they attached to the particulars in which that of England resembled her. It flowed naturally from this indulgence to the Dissenters, and detestation of the Romanists, that several of the moderate clergy participated deeply in the terrors excited by the Roman Catholic plot, and looked with a favourable eye on the bill which proposed to exclude the Duke of York from the throne as a professor of that obnoxious religion. Being thus, as it were, an opposition party, it cannot be supposed that the low church divines united cordially with their high-flying brethren in renouncing the right of resisting oppression, or in professing passive obedience to the royal will. They were of opinion, that there was a mutual compact between the king and subject, and that acts of tyranny, on the part of the former, absolved the latter from his allegiance. This was particularly inculcated by the reverend Samuel Johnson (See Vol. IX. p. 369.) in "Julian the Apostate," and other writings which were condemned by the Oxford decree. As the dangers attending the church, from the measures of King James, became more obvious, and the alternative of resistance or destruction became an approaching crisis, the low church party acquired numbers and strength from those who thought it better at once to hold and assert the lawfulness of opposition to tyranny, than to make professions of obedience beyond the power of human endurance to make good.

This party was of course deeply hated by the Catholics, and hence the severity with which they are treated by Dryden, who objects to them as the illegitimate offspring of the Panther by the Wolf, and traces to their Presbyterian origin their indifference to the fasts and ascetic observances of the more rigid high-churchmen, and their covert disposition to resist regal domination. Their adherence to the English communion he ascribes only to the lucre of gain, and endeavours, if possible, to draw an odious distinction between them and the rest of the church. Stillingfleet, whom this motive could not escape, had already complained of Dryden's designing any particular class of the clergy by a party name. "From the common people, we come to churchmen, to see how he uses them. And he hath soon found out a faction among them, whom he charges with juggling designs: but romantic heroes must be allowed to make armies of a field of thistles, and to encounter windmills for giants. He would fain be the instrument to divide our clergy, and to fill them with suspicions of one another. And to this end he talks of men of latitudinarian stamp: for it goes a great way towards the making divisions, to be able to fasten a name of distinction among brethren; this being to create jealousies of each other. But there is nothing should make them more careful to avoid such names of distinction, than to observe how ready their common enemies are to make use of them, to create animosities by them; which hath made this worthy gentleman to start this different character of churchmen among us; as though there were any who were not true to the principles of the church of England, as by law established: If he knows them, he is better acquainted with them than the answerer is; for he professes to know none such. But who then are these men of the latitudinarian stamp? To speak in his own language, they are a sort of ergoteerers, who are for a _concedo_ rather than a _nego_. And now, I hope, they are all well explained; or, in other words of his, they are, saith he, for drawing the nonconformists to their party, _i.e._ they are for having no nonconformists. And is this their crime? But they would take the headship of the church out of the king's hands: How is that possible? They would (by his own description) be glad to see differences lessened, and all that agree in the same doctrine to be one entire body. But this is that which their enemies fear, and this politician hath too much discovered; for then such a party would be wanting, which might be played upon the church of England, or be brought to join with others against it. But how this should touch the king's supremacy, I cannot imagine. As for his desiring loyal subjects to consider this matter, I hope they will, and the more for his desiring it; and assure themselves, that they have no cause to apprehend any juggling designs of their brethren; who, I hope, will always show themselves to be loyal subjects, and dutiful sons of the church of England."--_Vindication of the Answer to some late Papers_, p. 104.

Note IV.

_Think you, your new French proselytes are come To starve abroad, because they starved at home?_

* * * * *

_Mark with what management their tribes divide, Some stick to you, and some to t'other side, That many churches may for many mouths provide._ P. 203.

The Huguenot clergy, who took refuge in England after the recal of the edict of Nantes, did not all adhere to the same Protestant communion. There had been long in London what was called the Walloon church, exclusively dedicated to this sort of worship. Many conformed to the church of England; and, having submitted to new ordination, some of them obtained benefices: others joined in communion with the Presbyterians, and dissenters of various kinds. Dryden insinuates, that had the church of England presented vacancies sufficient for the provision of these foreign divines, she would probably have had the honour of attracting them all within her pale. The reformed clergy of France were far from being at any time an united body. "It might have been expected," says Burnet, "that those unhappy contests between Lutherans, Calvinists, Arminians, and Anti-Arminians, with some minuter disputes that have enflamed Geneva and Switzerland, should have been at least suspended while they had a common enemy to deal with, against whom their whole force united was scarce able to stand. But these things were carried on rather with more eagerness and sharpness than ever." _History of his Own Times_, Book IV.

Note V.

_Some sons of mine, who bear upon their shield Three steeples argent, in a sable field, Have sharply taxed your converts, who, unfed, Have followed you for miracles of bread._ P. 203.

The three steeples argent obviously alludes to the pluralities enjoyed, perhaps by Stillingfleet, and certainly by some of the divines of the established church, who were not on that account less eager in opposing the intrusion of the Roman clergy, and stigmatising those who, at this crisis, thought proper to conform to the royal faith. These converts were neither numerous nor respectable; and, whatever the Hind is pleased to allege in the text, posterity cannot but suspect the disinterestedness of their motives. Obadiah Walker, and a very few of the university of Oxford, embraced the Catholic faith, conforming at the same time to the forms of the church of England, as if they wished to fulfil the old saying, of having two strings to one bow.--The Earls of Perth and Melfort, with one or two other Scottish nobles, took the same step. Of the first, who must otherwise have failed in a contest which he had with the Duke of Queensberry, it was wittily said by Halifax, that "his faith had made him whole." And, in general, as my countrymen are not usually credited by their brethren of England for an extreme disregard to their own interest, the Scottish converts were supposed to be peculiarly attracted to Rome by the miracle of the loaves and fishes.[265] But it may be said for these unfortunate peers, that if they were dazzled by the momentary sunshine which gleamed on the Catholic church, they scorned to desert her in the tempest which speedily succeeded. Whereas, we shall do a kindness to Lord Sunderland, if we suppose that he became a convert to Popery, merely from views of immediate interest, and not with the premeditated intention of blinding and betraying the monarch, who trusted him. Dryden must be supposed, however, chiefly interested in the vindication of his own motives for a change of religion.

Note VI.

_Such who themselves of no religion are, Allured with gain, for any will declare; Bare lies with bold assertions they can face, But dint of argument is out of place; The grim logician puts them in a fright, 'Tis easier far to flourish than to fight._ P. 203.

Dryden here puts into the mouth of the Panther some of the severe language which Stillingfleet had held towards him in the ardour of controversy. He had, in direct allusion to our author, (for he quotes his poetry,) expressed himself thus harshly:

"If I thought there were no such thing in the world as true religion, and that _the priests of all religions are alike_,[266] I might have been as nimble a convert, and as early a defender of the royal papers, as any one of these champions. For why should not one who believes no religion, declare for any? But since I do verily believe, that not only there is such a thing as true religion, but that it is only to be found in the books of the Holy Scripture, I have reason to inquire after the best means of understanding such books, and thereby, if it may be, to put an end to the controversies of Christendom."[267]

"But our _grim logician_ proceeds from immediate and original to concomitant causes, which he saith were revenge, ambition, and covetousness. But the skill of logicians used to lie in proving; but this is not our author's talent, for not a word is produced to that purpose. If bold sayings, and confident declarations, will do the business, he is never unprovided; but if you expect any reason from him, he begs your pardon. He finds how ill the character of a grim logician suits with his inclination."[268] Again, "But if I will not allow his affirmations for proofs for his part, he will act the grim logician; no, and in truth it becomes him so ill, that he doth well to give it over."[269] And in the beginning of his "Vindication," alluding to a term used by the defender of the king's papers, Stillingfleet says: "But lest I be again thought to have a mind to flourish before I offer to pass, as the champion speaks in his proper language, I shall apply myself to the matter before us."[270]

Note VII.

_Thus our eighth Henry's marriage they defame; Divorcing from the church to wed the dame: Though largely proved, and by himself professed, That conscience, conscience would not let him rest._

* * * * *

_For sundry years before he did complain, And told his ghostly confessor his pain._ P. 204.

This is a continuation of the allusion to Stillingfleet's "Vindication," who had attempted to place Henry VIII.'s divorce from Catherine of Arragon to the account of his majesty's tender conscience. A herculean task! but the readers may take it in the words of the Dean of St Paul's:

"And now this gentleman sets himself to _ergoteering_;[271] and looks and talks like any grim logician, of the causes which produced it, and the effects which it produced. 'The schism led the way to the Reformation, for breaking the unity of Christ's church, which was the foundation of it: but the immediate cause of this, which produced the separation of Henry VIII. from the church of Rome, was the refusal of the pope to grant him a divorce from his first wife, and to gratify his desires in a dispensation for a second marriage.'

"_Ergo_: The first cause of the Reformation, was the satisfying an inordinate and brutal passion. But is he sure of this? If he be not, it is a horrible calumny upon our church, upon King Henry the Eighth, and the whole nation, as I shall presently show. No; he confesses he cannot be sure of it: for, saith he, no man can carry it so high as the original cause with any certainty. And at the same time, he undertakes to demonstrate the immediate cause to be Henry the Eighth's inordinate and brutal passion; and afterwards affirms, as confidently as if he had demonstrated it, that our Reformation was erected on the foundations of lust, sacrilege, and usurpation: Yet, saith he, the king only knew whether it was conscience or love, or love alone, which moved him to sue for a divorce. Then, by his favour, the king only could know what was the immediate cause of that which he calls the schism. Well! but he offers at some probabilities, that lust was the true cause. Is Ergoteering come to this already? 'But this we may say, if Conscience had any part in it, she had taken a long nap of almost twenty years together before she awakened.' Doth he think, that Conscience doth not take a longer nap than this in some men, and yet they pretend to have it truly awakened at last? What thinks he of late converts? Cannot they be true, because conscience hath slept so long in them? Must we conclude in such cases, that some inordinate passion gives conscience a jog at last? 'So that it cannot be denied, he saith, that an inordinate and brutal passion had a great share at least in the production of the schism.' How! cannot be denied! I say from his own words it ought to be denied, for he confesses none could know but the king himself; he never pretended that the king confessed it: How then cannot it be denied? Yea, how dare any one affirm it? Especially when the king himself declared in a solemn assembly, in these words, saith Hall, (as near, saith he, as I could carry them away,) speaking of the dissatisfaction of his conscience,--"For this only cause, I protest before God, and in the word of a prince, I have asked counsel of the greatest clerks in Christendom; and for this cause I have sent for this legat, as a man indifferent, only to know the truth, and to settle my conscience, and for none other cause, as God can judge." And both then and afterwards, he declared, that his scruples began upon the French ambassador's making a question about the legitimacy of the marriage, when the match was proposed between the Duke of Orleans and his daughter; and he affirms, that he moved it himself in confession to the Bishop of Lincoln, and appeals to him concerning the truth of it in open court."--_Vindication of the Answer to some late Papers_, p. 109.

Note VIII.

_They say, that, look the Reformation round, No treatise of humility is found; But if none were, the gospel does not want, Our Saviour preached it, and I hope you grant, The sermon on the mount was Protestant._--P. 204.

Stillingfleet concludes his "Vindication" with this admonition to Dryden: "I would desire him not to end with such a bare-faced assertion of a thing so well known to be false, viz. that there is not one original treatise written by a Protestant, which hath handled distinctly, and by itself, that Christian virtue of humility. Since within a few years (besides what hath been printed formerly) such a book hath been published in London. But he doth well to bring it off with, 'at least that I have seen or heard of;' for such books have not lain much in the way of his inquiries. Suppose we had not such particular books, we think the Holy Scripture gives the best rules and examples of humility of any book in the world; but I am afraid he should look on his case as desperate if I send him to the Scripture, since he saith, 'Our divines do that as physicians do with their patients whom they think uncurable, send them at last to Tunbridge-waters, or to the air of Montpellier."

Dryden, in the Introduction, says, that the author of this work was called Duncombe; but he is charged with inaccuracy by Montague, who says his name is Allen. It seems to be admitted, that his work is a translation from the Spanish. The real author may have been Thomas Allen, rector of Kettering, in Northamptonshire, and author of "The Practice of a Holy Life, 8vo. 1716;" in the list of books subjoined to which, I find "The Virtue of Humility, recommended to be printed by the late reverend and learned Dr Henry Hammond," which perhaps may be the book in question. A sort of similarity of sound between Duncombe and Hammond may have led to Dryden's mistake. Alonzo Rodriguez, of the Order of the Jesuits, wrote a book called "_Exercicio de perfecion y virtudes Christianas, Sevilla, 1609_," which seems to be the work from which the plagiary was taken.

Note IX.

_Unpitied Hudibras, your champion friend, Has shown how far your charities extend; This lasting verse shall on his tomb be read,_ "_He shamed you living, and upbraids you dead._" P. 205.

Our author, in the preceding lines, had employed himself in repelling the charge of his having changed his religion for the sake of interest. His loaves, he says, had not been increased by the change, nor had his assiduity at court intimated any claim upon royal favour: and in reference to her neglect of literary merit, he charges on the church of England the fate of Butler, a brother poet. Of that truly original genius we only know, that his life was spent in dependence, and embittered by disappointment. But unless Dryden alludes to some incident now unknown, it is difficult to see how the church of England could have rewarded his merit. Undoubtedly she owed much to his forcible satire against her lately triumphant rivals, the Presbyterians and Independents; but, unless Butler had been in orders, how could the church have recompensed his poetical talents? The author of the most witty poem that ever was written had a much more natural and immediate claim upon the munificence of the wittiest king and court that ever was in England; nor was his satire less serviceable to royalty than to the established religion. The blame of neglecting Butler lay therefore on Charles II. and his gay courtiers, who quoted "Hudibras" incessantly, and left the author to struggle with obscurity and indigence. The poet himself has, in a fragment called "Hudibras at Court," set forth both the kind reception which Charles gave the poem, and his neglect of the author:

Now you must know, Sir Hudibras With such perfections gifted was, And so peculiar in his manner, That all that saw him did him honour. Among the rest, this prince was one, Admired his conversation: This prince, whose ready wit and parts Conquered both men and women's hearts, Was so o'ercome with Knight and Ralph, That he could never claw it off; He never eat, nor drank, nor slept, But Hudibras still near him kept; Nor would he go to church, or so, But Hudibras must with him go; Nor yet to visit concubine, Or at a city feast to dine, But Hudibras must still be there, Or all the fat was in the fire. Now after all, was it not hard, That he should meet with no reward, That fitted out this knight and squire, This monarch did so much admire? That he should never reimburse The man for th' equipage, or horse, Is sure a strange ungrateful thing, In any body but a king. But this good king, it seems, was told, By some that were with him too bold, If e'er you hope to gain your ends, Caress your foes, and trust your friends. Such were the doctrines that were taught, Till this unthinking king was brought To leave his friends to starve and die, A poor reward for loyalty!

Note X.

_With odious atheist names you load your foes; Your liberal clergy why did I expose? It never fails in charities like those._--P. 205.

Our author here complains of the personal reflections which Stillingfleet had cast upon him, particularly in the passage already quoted in Note VII., where he is expressly charged with disbelieving the existence of "such a thing as true religion." The second and third lines of the triplet are somewhat obscure. The meaning seems to be, that Dryden, conscious of having given the first offence, which we shall presently see was the case, justifies his having done so, from personal abuse being the never-failing resort of the liberal clergy. The application of the neuter pronoun _it_ to the liberal clergy, is probably in imitation of Virgil's satirical construction:

_Varium et mutabile semper fæmina._

It happened in this controversy, as in most others, that both parties, laying out of consideration the provocation which they themselves had given, complained bitterly of the illiberality of their antagonists. Stillingfleet expatiates on the unhandsome language contained in Dryden's Defence, and the passages which he quotes are those which contain the exposure of the liberal clergy mentioned in the text:

"Yet as if I had been the sole contriver or inventor of all, he bestows those civil and obliging epithets upon me, of _disingenuous_, _foul-mouthed_, and _shuffling_; one of a _virulent genius_, of _spiteful diligence_, and _irreverence to the royal family_; of _subtle calumny_, and _sly aspersion_; and he adds to these ornaments of speech, that I have a _cloven-foot_, and my name is _Legion_; and that my Answer is an _infamous libel_, a _scurrilous saucy pamphlet_. Is this indeed the spirit of a new convert? Is this the meekness and temper you intend to gain proselytes by, and to convert the nation? He tells us in the beginning, that truth has a language peculiar to itself: I desire to be informed, whether these be any of the characters of it? And how the language of reproach and evil-speaking may be distinguished from it? But zeal in a new convert is a terrible thing; for it not only burns, but rages, like the eruptions of Mount Ætna; it fills the air with noise and smoke, and throws out such a torrent of liquid fire, that there is no standing before it. The Answer alone was too mean a sacrifice for such a Hector in controversy. All that standeth in his way must fall at his feet. He calls me Legion, that he may be sure to have number enough to overcome. But he is a great proficient indeed, if he be such an exorcist, to cast out a whole legion already. But he hopes it may be done without fasting and prayer."--_Vindication of the Answer_, p. 1.

Note XI.

_It now remains for you to school your child, And ask why God's anointed he reviled; A king and princess dead! Did Shimei worse?_ P. 207.

The Hind having shewn that her influence over Dryden was such as to induce him to submit patiently, and without vengeance, to injury and reproach, now calls upon the Panther to exert her authority in turn over Stillingfleet, for his irreverend attack upon the royal papers in favour of the Catholic religion. Upon a careful perusal of the Answers and Vindication of that great divine, it is impossible to find any grounds for the charge of his having _reviled_ Charles II. or the Duchess of York; on the contrary, their names are always mentioned with great respect, and the controversy is conducted strictly in conformity with the following spirited advertisement prefixed to the Answer:

"If the papers, here answered, had not been so publicly dispersed through the nation, a due respect to the name they bear, would have kept the author from publishing any answer to them. But because they may now fall into many hands, who, without some assistance, may not readily resolve some difficulties started by them, he thought it not unbecoming his duty to God and the king, to give a clearer light to the things contained in them. And it can be no reflection on the authority of a prince, for a private subject to examine a piece of coin as to its just value, though it bears his image and superscription upon it. In matters that concern faith and salvation, we must prove all things, and hold fast that which is good."--_Advertisement to Answer to the Royal Papers._

Dryden, however, like the other Catholics, was pleased to interpret the impugning and confuting the arguments used by the king and duchess, into contempt and disrespect for their persons. It was this forced construction on which was founded the prosecution of Sharpe and of the Bishop of London before the ecclesiastical commissioners. Sharpe having been defied to a polemical contest, by a paper handed into his pulpit, took occasion to preach on the arguments contained in it; and mentioned, with some contempt, persons who could be influenced by such weak reasoning. This was interpreted as a reflection on the new converts, and particularly on the king himself; and a mandate was issued to the Bishop of London, commanding that the obnoxious preacher should be suspended. The issue of this matter has been noticed in the notes on "Absalom and Achitophel," Vol. IX. p. 302.

Note XII.

_Your son was warned, and wisely gave it o'er; But he, who counselled him, has paid the score._ P. 207.

Dryden here triumphs in the conquest he pretends to have gained over Stillingfleet. In the beginning of the controversy, the Dean of St Paul's had spoken dubiously of the authenticity of the paper ascribed to the Duchess. In his Vindication, he fully admitted that point, and insisted only upon the weakness of the reasons which she alleged for her conversion. This Dryden compares to a defeated vessel, bearing away under the smoke of her last broadside.

The person, whom he states to have counselled Stillingfleet, is probably Burnet; and the score which he paid, is the severe description given of him under the character of the Buzzard. Dryden always seems to have viewed the Answer to the Royal Papers as the work of more than one hand. In his "Defence," he affirms, that the answerer's "name is Legion; but though the body be possessed with many evil spirits, it is but one of them that talks." In the introduction to the "Hind and Panther," he says, he is informed both of the "author and supervisors of this pamphlet." He conjectured, as was probably the truth, that a controversy of such importance, and which required to be managed with such peculiar delicacy, was not entrusted to a single individual. Besides Burnet, it is probable that Tillotson, Tennison, and Patrick, all of whom mingled in the polemical disputes of that period, were consulted by Stillingfleet on this important occasion.

Note XIII.

_Perhaps you think your time of triumph near, But may mistake the season of the year; The Swallow's fortune gives you cause to fear._--P. 210.

The general application of the fable of the Swallows to the short gleam of Catholic prosperity during the reign of James II. is sufficiently manifest. But it is probable, that a more close and intimate allusion was intended to an event which took place in 1686, when the whole nation was in confusion at the measures of King James, so that the alarm had extended even to the Catholics, who were the objects of his favour. We are told, there was a general meeting of the leading Roman Catholics at the Savoy, to consult how this favourable crisis might be most improved to the advantage of their cause. Father Petre had the chair; and at the very opening of the debates, it appeared, that the majority were more inclined to provide for their own security, than to come to extremities with the Protestants. Notwithstanding the King's zeal, power, and success, they were afraid to push the experiment any farther. The people were already alarmed, the soldiers could not be depended upon, the very courtiers melted out of their grasp. All depended on a single life, which was already on the decline; and if that life should last yet a few years longer, and continue as hitherto devoted to their interest and service, they foresaw innumerable difficulties in their way, and anticipated disappointments without end. Upon these considerations, therefore, some were for a petition to the king, that he would only so far interpose in their favour, that their estates might be secured to them by act of parliament, with exemption from all employments, and liberty to worship God in their own way, in their own houses. Others were for obtaining the king's leave to sell their estates, and transport themselves and their effects to France. All but Father Petre were for a compromise of some sort or other; but he disdained whatever had a tendency to moderation, and was for making the most of the voyage while the sea was smooth, and the wind prosperous. All these several opinions, we are farther told, were laid before the king, who was pleased to answer, "That before their desires were made known to him, he had provided a sure retreat and sanctuary for them in Ireland, in case all those endeavours which he was making for their security in England should be blasted, and which as yet gave him no reason to despair."[272]

It will hardly, I think, be disputed, that the fable of the Swallows about to cross the seas refers to this consultation of the Catholics; and it is a strong instance of Dryden's prejudice against priests of all persuasions, that, in the character of the Martin, who persuaded the Swallows to postpone the flight, he decidedly appears to have designed Petre, the king's confessor and prime adviser in state matters, both spiritual and temporal. The name of Martin may contain an allusion to the parish of St Martin's, in which Whitehall, and the royal chapel, are situated. But should this be thought fanciful, it is certain, that the portrait of this vain, presumptuous, ambitious, bigotted Jesuit, who was in keen pursuit of a cardinal's cap, is exactly that of the Martin:

A church begot, and church believing bird, Of little body, but of lofty mind, Round-bellied, for a dignity designed.

Two marked circumstances of resemblance conclude the inuendo,--his noble birth, and superficial learning;

But little learning needs in noble blood.[273]

It may be doubted, whether the reverend father was highly pleased with this sarcastic description, or whether he admitted readily the apology, that the poet, speaking in the character of the heretical church, was obliged to use Protestant colouring.

The close correspondence of the fable with the real events may be farther traced, and admit of yet more minute illustration:

The Raven, from the withered oak, Left of their lodging,----

may be conjectured to mean Tennison, within whose parish Whitehall was situated, and who stood in the front of battle during all the Roman Catholic controversy. As Petre is the Martin who persuaded the Catholics not to leave the kingdom, his preparations for maintaining their ground there are also noticed:

He ordered all things with a busy care, And cells and refectories did prepare, And large provisions laid of winter fare.

This alludes to the numerous schools and religious establishments which the Jesuits prepared to establish throughout England.[274] The chapel which housed them is obviously the royal chapel, where the priests were privileged to exercise their functions even during the subsistence of the penal laws. The transient gleam of sunshine which invited the Swallows forth from their retirement, is the Declaration of Indulgence, in consequence of which the Catholics assumed the open and general exercise of their religion. The Irish Catholics, with the sanguine Talbot at their head, may be the first who hailed the imaginary return of spring: they are painted as

----Swifts, the giants of the Swallow kind, Large limbed, stout hearted, but of stupid mind.

I cannot help thinking, that our author, still speaking in the character of the English church, describes himself as the "foolish Cuckow," whose premature annunciation of spring completed the Swallow's delusion. Perhaps he intended to mitigate the scornful description of Petre, by talking of himself also as a Protestant would have talked of him. The foreign priests and Catholic officers, whom hopes of promotion now brought into England, are pointed out by the "foreign fowl," who came in flocks,

To bless the founder, and partake the cheer.

The fable concludes in a prophetic strain, by indicating the calamities which were likely to overwhelm the Catholics, as soon as the death of James, or any similar event, should end their temporary prosperity. It is well known, how exactly the event corresponded to the prophecy; even the circumstance of the rabble rising upon the Catholic priests was most literally verified. In most of the sea-port towns, they watched the coasts to prevent their escape; and when King James was taken at Feversham, the fishermen, by whom he was seized, were employed in what they called by the cant phrase of "priest-codding," that is, lying in wait for the fugitive priests.

Note XIV.

_But most in Martin's character and fate, She saw her slandered sons, the Panther's hate, The people's rage, the persecuting state._--P. 217.

The conclusion of the fable naturally introduces a discussion of the penal laws, which unquestionably were extremely severe towards Catholics. By the fourteenth of Queen Elizabeth, it was enacted, that whoever, by bulls of the pope, should reconcile any one to Rome, should, together with the person reconciled, be guilty of high treason; that those, who relieved such reconcilers, should be liable in the penalties of a _premunire_, and those who concealed them in misprision of treason. A still more severe law passed in the twenty-eighth of the same queen, upon discovery of Parry's conspiracy against her life, to which he had been stirred up by a book of Allen, or Parsons the Jesuit, written for the express purpose. It was thereby enacted, that all Jesuits and Popish priests should depart the kingdom within forty days; and that those who should afterwards return into the kingdom, should be guilty of high treason; and all who relieved and maintained them, of felony. There were other enactments of a similar nature made upon the discovery of the gun-powder plot. Samuel Johnson (I mean the divine) gives an odd justification of these laws, saying, that the priests are hanged, not as priests, but as traitors. But, as their being priests was the sole reason for their being held traitors, it does not appear, that the Protestant divine can avail himself of this distinction.

Note XV.

_No church reformed can boast a blameless line, Such Martins build in yours, and more than mine; Or else an old fanatic author lies, Who summed their scandals up by centuries._--P. 218.

The fanatic author is John White, commonly called Century White. He was born in Pembrokeshire in 1590, was educated for the bar, and made a considerable figure in his profession. As he was a rigid puritan, he was chosen one of the trustees which that sect appointed to purchase impropriations to be bestowed upon fanatic preachers. This design was checked by Archbishop Laud; and White, among others, received a severe censure in the Star-Chamber. In the Long Parliament, White was member for Southwark, and distinguished himself by his vindictive severity against the bishops and Episcopal clergy, saying openly in a committee, he hoped to live to see the day, when there should be neither bishop nor cathedral priest in England. He was very active in the ejectment of the clergy, by which upwards of eight thousand churchmen are said to have lost their cures in the course of four or five years. In order to encourage and justify these violent measures, he published his famous treatise, entitled, "The First Century of Scandalous Malignant Priests, made and admitted into benefices by the Prelates, London, 1643;" a tract which contains, as may be inferred from its name, an hundred instances of unworthiness, which had been either proved to have existed among the clergy of the church of England, or had been invented to throw a slander upon them. When this satire was shown to Charles I., it was proposed to answer it by a similar exposition of the scandalous part of the puritanical teachers; but that monarch would not consent to give countenance to a warfare in which neither party could gain, and religion was sure to be a loser between them. Similar considerations are said to have prevented White himself from publishing "A Second Century," in continuation of his work. He wrote another tract, entitled, "The Looking Glass;" in which he attempted to prove, that the sin against the Holy Ghost was the bearing arms for the king in the civil war. His own party bestow on White a high character for religion and virtue; but the cavaliers alleged, that although he had two wives of his own, a large proportion of matrimony, he did not forbear to visit three belonging to his neighbours in the White Friars. He died in January 1644, and is said, in his last illness, to have bitterly lamented the active share which he had taken in ejecting so many guiltless ministers, and their families. This, however, may be a fiction of the royalists; for the death-bed repentance of an enemy is amongst the most common forgeries of party. White's body was attended to the grave by most of the members of Parliament, and the following distich inscribed on his tomb:

"Here lyeth a JOHN, a burning shining light, His name, life, actions, all were WHITE."

_See Wood's Athenæ Oxonienses._

Note XVI.

_The Lion, studious of our common good, Desires (and kings' desires are ill withstood) To join our nations in a lasting love; The bars betwixt are easy to remove, For sanguinary laws were never made above._--P. 218.

When James II. ascended the throne, deceived by the general attachment of the church of England for his person, and the little jealousy which they seemed to entertain of his religion, he conceived there would be no great difficulty in procuring a reconciliation between the national church and that of Rome. With this view he made a favourable declaration of his intentions to maintain the church of England as by law established, and certainly expected, that, in return, they would consent to the repeal of the test act and penal laws;[275] and this, it was conceived, might pave the way for uniting the churches. An extraordinary pamphlet, already quoted, recommends such an union, founded upon the mutual attachment of both communions to King James, upon their success in resisting the Bill of Exclusion, and their common hatred of the dissenters. "This very stone, which was once rejected by the architects, is now become the chief stone in the corner. We may truly see in it the hand of God, and look upon it with admiration; and may expect, if fears and jealousies hinder not, the greatest blessings we can wish for. An union betwixt these two walls, which have been thus long separated, and now in a fair way to be united and linked together by this corner stone; after which, how glorious a structure may we hope for on such foundations!" A plan is therefore laid down, containing the following heads, of which it may be observed, that the very first is the abrogation of these penal laws, which Dryden states to be the principal bar between the alliance of the Hind and the Panther.

"First, that it may be provided, That those who are known to be faithful friends to the king and kingdom's good, may equally with us enjoy those favours and blessings we may hope for under so great and so just a king, without being liable to the sanguinary penal laws, for holding opinions noways inconsistent with loyalty, and the peace and quiet of the nation; and that they may not be obliged, by oaths and tests, either to renounce their religion, which they know they cannot do without sacrilege, or else to put themselves out of capacity of serving their king and country.

"Secondly, That, for healing our differences, it be appointed, that neither side, in their sermons, touch upon matters of controversy with animating reflections; but that those discourses may wholly tend to peace and piety, religion and sound morality; and that, in all public catechisms, the solid grounds and principles of religion may be solely explicated and established, all reflecting animosities being laid aside.

"Thirdly, That some learned, devout, and sober persons, may be made choice of on both sides, who may truly state matters of controversy betwixt us; to the end, each one may know others pretensions, and the tenets they cannot abandon, without breaking the chain of apostolic faith; which, if it be done, we shall, it may be, find that to be true, which the Papists often tell us, that the difference betwixt them and us is not so great as many make it; nor their tenets so pernicious, but if we saw them naked, we should, if not embrace them as truths, yet not condemn them as errors, much less as pernicious doctrines. Yet if, notwithstanding all this, we cannot perfectly agree in some points, let us, however, endeavour to live together in the bonds of love and charity, as becomes good Christians and loyal subjects, and join together to oppugn those known maxims, and pernicious errors, which destroy the essence of religion, loyalty, and good government."--_Remonstrance, by way of Address, to the Church of England_, 1685.

Note XVII.

_Yet still remember, that you wield a sword, Forged by your foes against your sovereign lord; Designed to hew the imperial cedar down, Defraud succession, and dis-heir the crown._--P. 219.

The Test-act was passed in the year 1678, while the popish plot was in its vigour, and the Earl of Shaftesbury was urging every point against the Catholics, with his eyes uniformly fixed upon the Bill of Exclusion as his crowning measure. It imposed on all who should sit in parliament, a declaration of their abhorrence of the doctrine of transubstantiation. The Duke of York, with tears in his eyes, moved for a proviso to exempt himself, protesting, that he cast himself upon the House in the greatest concern he could have in the world; and that whatever his religion might be, it should only be a private thing between God and his own soul. Notwithstanding this pathetic appeal, he carried his point but by two votes. With seven other peers he protested against the bill. Dryden therefore, and probably with great justice, represents this test as a part of his machinations against the Duke of York, whose party was at that time, and afterwards, warmly espoused by the church of England. But though the Test-act was devised by a statesman whom they hated, and carried by a party whom they had opposed, the high-church clergy were not the less unwilling to part with it when they found the advantages which it gave them against the Papists in King James's reign. Hence they were loaded with the following reproaches: "My business is to set forth, in its own colours, the extraordinary loyalty of those men, who obstinately maintain a test contrived by the faction to usher in the Bill of Exclusion: And it is much admired, even by some of her own children, that the grave and matron-like church of England, which values herself so much for her antiquity, should be over-fond of a new point of faith, lately broached by a famous act of an infallible parliament, convened at Westminster, and guided by the holy spirit of Shaftesbury. But I doubt there are some parliaments in the world which will not so easily admit this new article into their creed, though the church of England labours so much to maintain it as a special evidence of her singular loyalty."--_New Test of the Church of England's Loyalty._

Note XVIII.

_The first reformers were a modest race; Our peers possessed in peace their native place, And when rebellious arms o'erturned the state, They suffered only in the common fate; But now the sovereign mounts the regal chair, And mitred seats are full, yet David's bench is bare._--P. 221.

This passage regards the situation of the Roman Catholic peers. Notwithstanding their religion, they had been allowed to retain their seats and votes in the House of Lords. So jealous were they, (as was but natural,) of this privilege, that, in 1675, when Danby proposed a test oath upon all holding state employments and benefices, the object of which was to acknowledge the doctrine of non-resistance, and disown all attempts at an alteration of government, the Roman Catholic peers, to the number of twenty, who had hitherto always voted with the crown, united, on this occasion, with the opposition, and occasioned the loss of the bill. This North imputes to the art of Shaftesbury, who dinned into their ears, "that this test (by mentioning the maintenance of the Protestant religion, though that of the royal authority was chiefly proposed) tended to deprive them of their right of voting, which was a birth-right so sacrosanct and radically inherent in the peerage, as not to be temerated on any account whatsoever." When the earl had heated the Catholic lords with this suggestion, he secured them to the opposition, by proposing, and carrying through, an order of the House, that no bill should be received, tending to deprive any of the peerage of their right. But when the Test-act of 1678 was moved, which had, for its direct purpose, that exclusion which that of 1675 was supposed only to convey by implication, Shaftesbury laughed at the order which he himself had proposed, saying, _leges posteriores priores abrogant_. And by this test, which required the renunciation of their religion as idolatrous, the Catholic peerage were effectually, and for ever, excluded from their seats in the House of Lords. Dryden intimates, in the following lines, that this test applied to the Papists alone, and complains heavily of this odious distinction, betwixt them and other non-conformists.

Note XIX.

_When first the Lion sat with awful sway, Your conscience taught your duty to obey._--P. 223.

James II. and the established church set out on the highest terms of good humour with each other. This, as the king afterwards assured the dissenters, was owing to the professions made to him by some of the churchmen, whom he named, who had promised favour to the Catholics, provided he would abandon all idea of general toleration, and leave them their ancient authority over the fanatics. Moved, as he said, by these promises, the Declaration in council, issued upon his accession, had this remarkable clause: "I know the principles of the church of England are for monarchy, and the members of it have shewn themselves good and loyal subjects, therefore I shall always take care to defend and support it." This explicit declaration gave the greatest satisfaction to the kingdom in general, and particularly to the clergy. "All the pulpits of England," says Burnet, "were full of it, and of thanksgivings for it. It was magnified as a security far greater than any that laws could give. The common phrase was, _We have now the word of a king, and a word never yet broken_. This general feeling of gratitude led to a set of addresses, full of the most extravagant expressions of loyalty and fidelity to so gracious a sovereign. The churchmen led the way in these expressions of zeal; and the university of Oxford, in particular, promised to obey the king without limitations or restrictions." The king's promise was reckoned so solemn and inviolable, that those addresses were censured as guilty at least of ill-breeding, who mentioned in their papers the "religion _established by law_;" since that expression implied an obligation on the king to maintain it, independently of his royal grace and favour. But the scene speedily changed, as the king's intentions began to disclose themselves. Then, as a Catholic pamphleteer expresses himself, "My loyal gentlemen were so far out of the right bias, that, in lieu of taking off the tests and penal laws, which all people expected from them in point of gratitude and good manners, they made a solemn address to his majesty, that none be employed who were not capacitated by the said laws and tests to bear offices civil and military."[276]

If James, had viewed with attention the incidents of the former reign, he might have recollected, that, however devoted the clergy had then shown themselves to the crown, his brother's attempt at his present measure of a general indulgence had at once alarmed the whole church. This sensibility, when the interest of the church is concerned, is severely contrasted with the general indifference to the cause of freedom, into which they relapsed when the indulgence was recalled, in a party pamphlet of the year 1680-1. "You may easily call to mind, a late instance of the humanity and conscience of this race of men here in England: For when his majesty, not long since, attempted to follow his own inclinations, and emitted a declaration of indulgence to tender consciences, the whole _posse cleri_ seemed to be raised against him: Every reader and Gibeonite of the church could then talk as saucily of their king, as they do now of the late honourable Parliament; nay, they began to stand upon their terms, and delivered it out as orthodox doctrine, that the king was to act according to law, and, therefore, could not suspend a penal statute; that the subjects' obedience was a legal obedience; and, therefore, if the king commanded any thing contrary to law, the subject was not bound to obey; with so many other honest positions, that men wondered in God how such knaves should come by them. But wherefore was all this wrath, and all this doctrine? merely because his majesty was pleased for a time to remove the sore backs of dissenters from under the ecclesiastical lash; the bloody exercise of which is never denied to holy church, but the magistrate is immediately assaulted with the noise and clamour of Demetrius and his craftsmen.

"But now, the tables being turned, the same mercenary tongues are again all Sibthorp, and all Manwaring; not a bit of law, or conscience either, is now to be had for love or money; not any limits to be put to the king's commands, or our obedience. It is a gospel truth with these men, that all which we have is the king's; and if he should command our estates, our wives and children, yea, and our religion too, we ought to resign them up, submit, and be silent."--_The Freeholders' Choice, or, A Letter of Advice concerning Elections._

Note XX.

_Possess your soul with patience, and attend; A more auspicious planet may ascend; Good fortune may present some happier time, With means to cancel my unwilling crime._--P. 224.

The first expression in these lines seems to have been a favourite with Dryden. In the Introduction to the Translation of Juvenal, he makes it his glory, "that, being naturally vindicative, he had suffered in silence, and _possessed his soul in quiet_."

The arguments used by the Panther in this passage seem to have more weight than her antagonist allows them. It was surely reasonable, that the church of England should rest upon her penal statutes and test act, as the sole mode of preventing the encroachments of her rival during a Catholic reign, and at the same time that she should look forward with pleasure to a future period, when such severe enactments might be no longer necessary for her safety; a time, of which it has been our good fortune to witness the arrival.

The argument of the Panther, in this speech, is, with the simile of the inundation, literally versified from an answer to Penn's pamphlet. "The penal laws cannot prejudice the Papists in this king's reign, seeing he can connive at the non-execution of them, and the repeal of them now cannot benefit the Papists when he is gone; because, if they do not behave themselves modestly, we can either re-establish them, or enact others, which they will be as little fond of. But their abrogation at this time would infallibly prejudice us, and would prove to be the pulling up of the sluices, and the throwing down the dikes, which stem the deluge that is breaking in upon us, and which hinder the threatening waves from overflowing us." _Some reflections on a discourse, entitled_, "Good Advice to the Church of England."--_State Tracts_, Vol. I. p. 368.

Note XXI.

_Your care about your banks infers a fear Of threatening floods and inundations near; If so, a just reprise would only be Of what the land usurped upon the sea._--P. 225.

This conveys a perilous insinuation, which perhaps it would, at the time, have been prudent to suppress; since it goes the length of preparing a justification of the resumption of the power, authority, lands, and revenues, of the church of England, upon the footing of their having originally belonged to that of Rome. It cannot be supposed that this hint could be passed over at the time, without a strong feeling of a meditated revolution in church government and property.

Note XXII.

_Behold how he protects your friends oppressed, Receives the banished, succours the distressed! Behold, for you may read an honest open breast._--P. 225.

Burnet, in the "History of his Own Times," gives the following account of the relief which James, either from inclination or policy, extended to the French Protestants, who were exiled by the recal of the edict of Nantes.

"But now the session of Parliament drew on, and there was a great expectation of the issue of it. For some weeks before it met, there was such a number of refugees coming over every day, who set about a most dismal recital of the persecution in France; and that in so many instances that were crying and odious, that, though all endeavours were used to lessen the clamour this had raised, yet the king did not stick openly to condemn it as both unchristian and unpolitic. He took pains to clear the Jesuits of it, and laid the blame of it chiefly on the king, on Madame de Maintenon, and the Archbishop of Paris. He spoke often of it with such vehemence, that there seemed to be an affectation in it. He did more: He was very kind to the refugees; he was liberal to many of them; he ordered a brief for a charitable collection over the nation for them all; upon which great sums were sent in. They were deposited in good hands, and well distributed. The king also ordered them to be denizen'd, without paying fees, and gave them great immunities. So that, in all, there came over, first and last, between forty and fifty thousand of that nation. There was such real argument of the cruel and persecuting spirit of popery, wheresoever it prevailed, that few could resist this conviction; so that all men confessed, that the French persecution came very seasonably to awaken the nation, and open men's eyes in so critical a conjunction; for upon this session of Parliament all did depend."--BURNET, Book IV.

Note XXIII.

_A plain good man, whose name is understood, (So few deserve the name of plain and good.)_--P. 226.

These, and the following lines, contain a character of James II. most exquisitely drawn, though, it must be owned, with a flattering pencil. Bravery, economy, integrity, are the ingredients which Dryden has mixed for his colours. Without attempting a character of this unfortunate monarch, we may say a few words on each of the attributes ascribed to him. Bravery he unquestionably possessed; but it was of that ordinary kind, which, though unshaken by mere personal danger, is unable to sustain its possessor in great and embarrassing political emergencies. The economy of James, being one great engine by which he hoped to carry on his projects, was so rigid as sometimes to border upon avarice. His upright integrity, the virtue upon which he chiefly prided himself, and which was the usual theme of courtly panegyric, frequently deviated into obstinacy. When he had once resolved upon a measure, he often announced his resolution with imprudence, and almost always pressed it with an open disregard of consequences. No fault can be more fatal to an English king; because the stream of popular opinion, which would subside if unopposed, becomes irresistible when the obstinacy of a monarch persists in attempting to stem it.

Note XXIV.

_A sort of Doves were housed too near their hall, Who cross the proverb, and abound with gall._--P. 228.

The virulent and abusive character which our author here draws of the clergy, and particularly those of the metropolis, differs so much from his description of the church of England, in the person of the Panther, that we may conclude it was written after the publishing of the Declaration of Indulgence, when the king had decidedly turned his favour from the established church. Their quarrel was now irreconcileable, and at immediate issue; and Dryden therefore changes the tone of conciliation, with which he had hitherto addressed the heretic church, into that of bitter and unrelenting satire. Dryden calls them doves, in order to pave the way for terming them, as he does a little below, "birds of Venus;" as disowning the doctrine of celibacy. The popular opinion, that a dove has no gall, is well known. In Scotland, this is averred to be owing to the dove which Noah dismissed from the ark having flown so long, that his gall broke; since which occurrence, none of the species have had any.

Note XXV.

_An hideous figure of their foes they drew, Nor lines, nor looks, nor shades, nor colours true; And this grotesque design exposed to public view._--P. 231.

The Roman Catholic pamphlets of the time are filled with complaints, that their principles were misrepresented by the Protestant divines; and that king-killing tenets, and others of a pernicious or absurd nature, were unjustly ascribed to them. A tract, which is written on purpose to explain their real doctrine, says, "Is it not strange and severe, that principles, and those pretended of faith too, should be imposed upon men which they themselves renounce and detest? If the Turks' Alcoran should, in like manner, be urged upon us, and we hanged up for Mahometans, all we could do or say, in such a case, would be, to die patiently, with protestations of our own innocence. And this is the posture of our condition; we abhor, we renounce, we abominate, such principles; we protest against them, and seal our protestations with our dying breath. What shall we say, what can we do more? To accuse men as guilty in matters of faith, which they never owned, is the same thing as to condemn them for matters of fact which they never did."[277] Another author, speaking in the assumed character of the established church, says, that the Catholic controvertists have often told us, that "we behave ourselves like persons diffident of our cause, decline disputes on equal terms, and either misrepresent their tenets, as appears manifestly in their doctrines of justification and merit, satisfaction and indulgences; or else play the buffoons, joking, scoffing, and relating stories, which, if true, would not touch religion."--_A Remonstrance, by way of Address_, &c.

Note XXVI.

_No Holland emblem could that malice mend._--P. 231.

Emblems, like puns, being the wit of a heavy people, the Dutch seem to have been remarkable for them; of which, their old-fashioned prints, and figured pan-tiles, are existing evidence. Prior thus drolls upon the passage in the text:

"_Bayes._ Oh! dear Sir, you are mighty obliging: but I must needs say at a fable, or an emblem, I think no man comes near me; indeed I have studied it more than any man. Did you ever take notice, Mr Johnson, of a little thing that has taken mightily about town, a cat with a top-knot?[278]

_John._ Faith, Sir, 'tis mighty pretty; I saw it at the coffee-house.

_Bayes._ 'Tis a trifle hardly worth owning. I was t'other day at Will's, throwing out something of that nature; and, i'gad, the hint was taken, and out came that picture; indeed the poor fellow was so civil to present me with a dozen of 'em for my friends. I think I have one here in my pocket; would you please to accept it, Mr Johnson?

_John._ Really 'tis very ingenious.

_Bayes._ Oh, Lord, nothing at all! I could design twenty of 'em in an hour, if I had but witty fellows about me to draw 'em. I was proffered a pension to go into Holland and contrive their emblems; but, hang 'em, they are dull rogues, and would spoil my invention."--_Hind and Panther Transprosed._

Note XXVII.

_The noble Buzzard ever pleased me best._--P. 233.

Gilbert Burnet, well known as an historian, was born of a good family in Scotland, in 1643. He went through his studies with success; and, being ordained by the Bishop of Edinburgh, obtained the living of Salton, in East Lothian, in 1665. While in this living, he drew up a memorial of the abuses of the Scotch bishops, and was instrumental in procuring the induction of Presbyterian divines into vacant churches; a step which he afterwards condemned as imprudent.[279] To measures so unfavourable for Episcopacy, Dryden seems to allude, in these lines:

I know he hates the Pigeon-house and Farm, And more, in time of war, has done us harm; But all his hate on trivial points depends, Give up our forms, and we shall soon be friends.

Burnet's opinion, or rather indifference, concerning forms, may be guessed at, from the applause with which he quotes a saying of Dr Henry More; "None of them are bad enough to make men bad, and I am sure none of them are good enough to make men good." He was next created professor of divinity at Glasgow; but as his active temper led him to mingle much in political life, he speedily distinguished himself rather as a politician than a theologian. In 1672 he was made one of the king's chaplains, and was in high favour both with Charles and his brother. He enjoyed much of the countenance of the Duke of Lauderdale; but a quarrel taking place between them, the duke represented Burnet's conduct in such terms, that he was deprived of his chaplainry, and forced to resign his professor's chair, and abandon Scotland. He had an opportunity of revenging himself upon Lauderdale, as will be noticed in a subsequent note. During the time of the Popish plot, he again received a portion of the royal countenance. He was then preacher at the Rolls Chapel, under the patronage of Sir Harbottle Grimstone, master of the rolls, as also lecturer at St Clement's, and enjoyed a high degree of public consideration. Having, as he conceived, a fit opportunity to awaken the conscience of Charles, he ventured upon sending him a letter, where he treated his personal vices, and the faults of his government, with great severity,[280] and by which he forfeited his favour for ever. This freedom, with his low-church tenets, gave also offence to the Duke of York, who was, moreover, offended with him for some interference in the affair of the Exclusion, in which, if he did not go all the length of Shaftesbury, he recommended the appointment of a prince-regent; a measure scarcely more palatable to the successor. At length, his regard for Lord Russell, and the share which he took in penning, or circulating, his dying declaration, drew upon him the full resentment of both brothers. To this, a whimsical accident, in the choice of a text for the day of the gun-powder plot, happened to contribute. The preacher _chanced_ (for we must believe what he assures us, _ex verbo sacerdotis_) to pitch on these words: "Save me from the _lion's_ mouth; thou hast delivered me from the horns of the _unicorn_." This was interpreted as referring to the supporters of the royal arms; and Burnet was discharged, by the king's command, both from lecturing at St Clement's, and preaching at the Rolls Chapel. After this final breach with the court he went abroad, and, having travelled through France and Italy, settled in Holland at the court of the Prince of Orange. Here he did not fail, with that ready insinuation which seems to have distinguished him, to make himself of consequence to the prince, and especially to the princess, afterwards Queen Mary. From this place of refuge he sent forth several papers, in single sheets, relating to the controversy in England; and the clergy, who had formerly looked upon him with some suspicion, began now to treat with great attention and respect a person so capable of serving their cause. He was consulted upon every emergency; which confidence was no doubt owing partly to his situation near the person of the Prince of Orange, the Protestant heir of the crown. He stood forward as the champion of the church of England, in the controversy with Parker concerning the Test.[281] In the "History of his Own Times," the bishop talks with complacency of the sway which circumstances had given him among the clergy, and of the important matters which fell under his management; for, by express command of the Prince of Orange, he was admitted into all the secrets of the English intrigues. These insinuations of Burnet's importance, although they afterwards drew the ridicule of Pope, and the Tory wits of Queen Anne's reign, may, from the very satire of Dryden, be proved to have been well founded. This acquired importance of Burnet is the alliance between the Pigeon-house and Buzzard, which Dryden reprobates, believing, or wishing to make others believe, that Burnet held opinions unfavourable to Episcopacy. James considered this divine as so formidable an enemy, that he wrote two very severe letters to his daughter against him, and proceeded so far as to insist that he should be forbidden the court; a circumstance which did not prevent his privately receiving a double degree of countenance. A prosecution for high treason was next commenced against Burnet, and a demand was made that he should be delivered up; which the States evaded, by declaring that he was naturalized, by marrying a Dutch lady. The court of England were then supposed to have formed some plan, as they had attempted in the case of Peyton, of seizing, or perhaps assassinating him, and a reward of L. 3000 was offered for the service. Burnet, however, confident in the protection of the prince and states of Holland, answered, replied, and retorted, and carried on almost an immediate controversy with his sovereign, dated from the court of his son-in-law. This active politician had a very important share in the Revolution, and reaped his reward, by being advanced to the see of Salisbury. He died on the 17th of March, 1714-15.

His writings, theological, political, and polemical, are very numerous; but he is most remarkable as an historian. The "History of the Reformation," but more especially that of "His Own Times," raises him to a high rank among our English historians.

Note XXVIII.

_A portly prince, and goodly to the sight, He seemed a son of Anach for his height; Like those whom stature did to crowns prefer, Black-browed, and bluff, like Homer's Jupiter; Broad-backed, and brawny built, for love's delight, A prophet formed to make a female proselyte._--P. 234.

The following song, which is preserved in the "State Poems," gives a similar account of Burnet's personal appearance:

_A new Ballad, called, The Brawny Bishop's Complaint._

To the Tune of--_Packington's Pound._

I.

When B----t perceived the beautiful dames, Who flocked to the chapel of hilly St James, On their lovers the kindest looks did bestow, And smiled not on him while he bellowed below; To the princess he went, With pious intent, This dangerous ill in the church to prevent: O, Madam! quoth he, our religion is lost, If the ladies thus ogle the knights of the toast.

II.

Your highness observes how I labour and sweat, Their affections to raise, and new flames to beget; And sure when I preach, all the world will agree, That their ears and their eyes should be pointed on me: But now I can't find, One beauty so kind, As my parts to regard, or my presence to mind; Nay, I scarce have a sight of any one face, But those of old Oxford, and ugly Arglas.

III.

These sorrowful matrons, with hearts full of truth, Repent for the manifold sins of their youth; The rest with their tattle my harmony spoil; And Bur--ton, An--say, K--gston, and B--le, Their minds entertain, With thoughts so profane, 'Tis a-mercy to find that at church they contain; Even Hen--ham's shapes their weak fancies entice, And rather than me they will ogle the Vice.[282]

IV.

These practices, madam, my preaching disgrace; Shall laymen enjoy the just rights of my place? Then all may lament my condition for hard, To thresh in the pulpit without a reward. Then pray condescend, Such disorders to end, And from the ripe vineyards such labourers send; Or build up the seats, that the beauties may see The face of no brawny pretender but me.

V.

The princess, by rude importunities pressed, Though she laughed at his reasons, allowed his request; And now Britain's nymphs, in Protestant reign, Are locked up at prayers like the virgins in Spain; And all are undone, As sure as a gun, Whenever a woman is kept like a nun, If any kind man from bondage will save her, The lass, in gratitude, grants him the favour.

The jest of his being "a prophet, formed to make a female proselyte," was more cutting, as he had just acquired a right of naturalization in Holland, by marrying Mrs Mary Scott, a Dutch lady, but of Scottish extraction, being descended of the noble house of Buccleuch.

Note XXIX.

_The hero and the tyrant change their style, By the same measure that they frown or smile._--P. 235.

It must be owned, that, with all Bishop Burnet's good qualities, there are particulars in his history which give colour for this accusation. His opinions were often hastily adopted, and of course sometimes awkwardly retracted, and his patrons were frequently changed. Thus, he vindicated the legality of divorce for barrenness on the part of the wife, and even that of polygamy, in his resolution of two important cases of conscience. These were intended to pave the way for Charles divorcing his barren wife Catherine, or marrying another; and so raising a family of his own to succeed him, instead of the Duke of York. These opinions he formally retracted. Notwithstanding his zeal for liberty, his first work is said by Swift to have been written in defense of arbitrary power. Above all, his great intimacy with the Dukes of Hamilton and Lauderdale, the King and the Duke of York, the Pope and the Prince of Orange; in short, his having the address to attach himself for a time to almost every leading character, whom he had an opportunity of approaching, gives us room to suspect, that if Burnet did not change his opinions, he had at least the art of disguising such as could not be accommodated to those of his immediate patron. When the king demanded that Burnet should be delivered up by the States, he threatened, in return, to justify himself, by giving an account of the share he had in affairs for twenty years past; in which he intimated, he might be driven to mention some particulars, which would displease the king. This threat, as he had enjoyed a considerable share of his confidence when Duke of York, may seem, in some degree, to justify Dryden's heavy charge against him, of availing himself of past confidence to criminate former patrons. It is remarkable, also, that even while he was in the secret of all the intrigues of the Revolution, and must have considered it as a near attempt, he continued to assert the doctrine of passive obedience; and in his letter to Middleton, in vindication of his conduct against the charge of high treason, there is an affectation of excessive loyalty to the reigning monarch. Against these instances of dissimulation, forced upon him perhaps by circumstances, but still unworthy and degrading, we may oppose many others, in which, when his principles and interest were placed at issue, he refused to serve the latter at the expence of the former.

Note XXX.

_His praise of foes is venomously nice; So touched, it turns a virtue to a vice._--P. 235.

This applies to the sketches of characters introduced by Burnet in his controversial tracts. But long after the period when Dryden wrote, the publication of the History of his Own Times confirmed, to a certain extent, the censure here imposed. It is a general and just objection to the bishop's historical characters, that they are drawn up with too much severity, and that the keenness of party has induced him, in many cases, to impose upon the reader a caricature for a resemblance. Yet there appears to have been perfect good faith upon his own part; so that we may safely acquit him of any intention to exaggerate the faults, or conceal the virtues, of his political enemies. He seems himself to have been conscious of a disposition to look upon the dark side of humanity. "I find," says he, "that the long experience I have had of the baseness, the malice, and the falsehood of mankind, has inclined me to be apt to think generally the worst of men, and of parties." Burnet therefore candidly puts the reader upon his guard against this predominant foible, and expressly warns him to receive what he advances with some grains of allowance.

But whatever was Burnet's private opinion of the conduct of others, and however much he might be misled by prejudice in drawing their characters, it should not be forgotten, that, in the moments of triumph which succeeded the Revolution, he not only resisted every temptation to revenge for personal injuries, but employed all his influence to recommend mild and conciliating conduct to the successful party. Some, who had suffered under the severity of James's reign, were extremely indignant at what seemed to them to argue too much feeling for their discomfited adversaries, and too little sympathy with their own past distresses. Samuel Johnson, in particular, reprobates the Scottish bishop's exhortations to forgiveness and forgetfulness of injuries. "And, besides, we have Scotch doctors, to teach us the art of forgetfulness. Pray you have _gude_ memories, _gude_ memories; do not remember bad things, (meaning the murders and oppressions of the last reigns,) but keep your memories for _gude_ things, have _gude_ memories." To this mimicry of the bishop's dialect, in which, however, he seems to have conveyed most wholesome and sound council, Johnson adds, that, during the sitting of King William's first parliament, while his complaints were before them, the bishop sent to him his advice, "Not to name persons." "I gave, says he, an English reply to that message; 'Let him mind his business, I will mind mine.' His bookseller, Mr Chiswell, by whom I had the message, seemed loth to carry him that blunt answer. Oh! said I, he has got the title of a Lord lately, I must qualify my answer: 'Let him _please_ to mind his own business, I will mind mine."--This was very natural for one smarting under sufferings, who complains, that "while a certain traveller," meaning Burnet, "was making his court to the cardinals at Rome, he got such an almanack in his bones, (from scourging,) as to incapacitate him from learning this Scotch trick of a _gude_ memory."[283] But it is the very character of moderate councils to be disgusting to those who have been hurried beyond their patience by oppression; and Johnson's testimony, though given with a contrary view, is highly honourable to the bishop's prudence.

Note XXXI.

_But he, uncalled, his patron to controul, Divulged the secret whispers of his soul; Stood forth the accusing Satan of his crimes, And offered to the Moloch of the times._--P. 235.

In 1675, the House of Commons being resolved to assail the Duke of Lauderdale, and knowing that Burnet, in whom he had once reposed much confidence, could bear witness to some dangerous designs and expressions, appointed the doctor to attend and be examined. His own account of this delicate transaction is as follows:

"In April 1675, a session of parliament was held, as preparatory to one that was designed next winter, in which money was to be asked; but none was now asked, it being only called to heal all breaches, and to beget a good understanding between the king and his people. The House of Commons fell upon Duke Lauderdale; and those who knew what had passed between him and me, moved, that I should be examined before a committee. I was brought before them. I told them how I had been commanded out of town; but though that was illegal, yet since it had been let fall, it was not insisted on. I was next examined concerning his design of arming the Irish Papists. I said, I, as well as others, had heard him say, he wished the Presbyterians in Scotland would rebel, that he might bring over the Irish Papists to cut their throats. I was next examined concerning the design of bringing a Scottish army into England. I desired to be excused, as to what had passed in private discourse; to which I thought I was not bound to answer, unless it were high treason. They pressed me long, and I would give them no other answer; so they all concluded, that I knew great matters; and reported this specially to the House. Upon that I was sent for, and brought before the House. I stood upon it as I had done at the committee, that I was not bound to answer; that nothing had passed that was high treason; and as to all other things, I did not think myself bound to discover them. I said farther, I knew the Duke Lauderdale was apt to say things in a heat, which he did not intend to do; and, since he had used myself so ill, I thought myself the more obliged not to say any thing that looked like revenge, for what I had met with from him. I was brought four times to the bar; at last I was told, the House thought they had a right to examine into every thing that concerned the safety of the nation, as well as into matters of treason; and they looked on me as bound to satisfy them, otherwise they would make me feel the weight of their heavy displeasure, as one that concealed what they thought was necessary to be known. Upon this I yielded, and gave an account of the discourse formerly mentioned. They laid great weight on this, and renewed their address against Duke Lauderdale.

"I was much blamed for what I had done. Some, to make it look the worse, added, that I had been his chaplain, which was false; and that I had been much obliged to him, though I had never received any real obligation from him, but had done him great services, for which I had been very unworthily requited: Yet the thing had an ill appearance, as the disclosing of what had passed in confidence; though I make it a great question, how far even that ought to bind a man when the designs are very wicked, and the person continued still in the same post and capacity of executing them. I have told the matter as it was, and must leave myself to the censure of the reader. My love to my country, and my private friendship, carried me, perhaps, too far; especially since I had declared much against clergymen's meddling in secular affairs, and yet had run myself so deep in them."--_History of his Own Times_, Vol. I. p. 375.

The discourse to which Burnet refers was of the following dangerous tendency, and took place in September 1673.

"_Duke._ If the king should need an army from Scotland, to tame those in England, might the Scots be depended upon?

"_Burnet._ Certainly not. The commons in the southern parts are all Presbyterians. The nobility thought they had been ill used, were generally discontented, and only waited for an opportunity to show it.

"_Duke._ I am of another mind. The hope of the spoil of England will bring them all in.

"_Burnet._ The king is ruined if he trusts to that; for even indifferent persons, who might otherwise have been ready enough to push their fortunes without any anxious enquiries into the grounds they went upon, will not now trust the king, since he has so lately said, he would stick to his declaration,[284] and yet has so soon given it up.

"Duke. _Hinc illæ lacrymæ._ The king was forsaken in that matter, and none sticks to him but Lord Clifford and myself."--_Ralph, with the Authorities he quotes_, Vol. I. p. 275.

James II. afterwards revived the plan of maintaining a Scottish standing army, to bridle his English subjects.

Note XXXII.

_And runs an Indian muck at all he meets._--P. 235.

To run a-muck, is a phrase derived from a practice of the Malays. When one of this nation has lost his whole substance by gaming, or sustained any other great and insupportable calamity, he intoxicates himself with opium; and, having dishevelled his hair, rushes into the streets, crying _Amocca_, or _Kill_, and stabbing every one whom he meets with his creeze, until he is cut down, or shot, like a mad dog.

Note XXXIII.

_Such was, and is, the Captain of the Test._--P. 236.

Burnet may have been thus denominated, from having written the following pamphlets, in the controversy respecting the Test, against Parker, the apostate bishop of Oxford:

"An Enquiry into the Reasons for Abrogating the Test imposed on all Members of Parliament, offered by Dr Samuel Parker, Bishop of Oxford."

"A Second Part of the Enquiry into the Reasons offered by Doctor Samuel Parker, bishop of Oxford, for Abrogating the Test; or an Answer to his plea for Transubstantiation, and for Acquitting the Church of Rome of Idolatry."

"A Continuation of the Second Part of the Enquiry into the Reasons offered by Dr Samuel Parker, Bishop of Oxford, for Abrogating the Test relating to the Idolatry of the Church of Rome."

These two last pamphlets were afterwards thrown together in one tract, entitled, "A Discourse concerning Transubstantiation and Idolatry, being an Answer to the Bishop of Oxford's plea relating to these two points."

Burnet himself admits, that his papers, in this controversy with Parker, were written with an acrimony of style which nothing but such a time and such a man could excuse. His papers were so bitter, that nobody durst offer them to the bishop of Oxford, till the king himself sent them to him, in hopes to stimulate him to an answer.

Several of these pieces seem to have been published after "The Hind and the Panther;" but it must have been generally known at the time, that Burnet had placed himself in the front of this controversy.

And much the Buzzard in their cause did stir, Though naming not the patron, to infer, _With all respect_, he was a gross idolater.

The passage particularly referred to in these lines occurs in a tract, entitled, "Reasons against repealing the Act of Parliament, concerning the Test," which is the first of six papers published by Dr Burnet when in Holland, and reprinted at London in 1689. His words are these:

"IX. I am told some think it very indecent to have a test for our parliaments, in which the king's religion is accused of idolatry; but if this reason is good in this particular, it will be full as good against several of the articles of our church, and many of the homilies. If the church and religion of this nation is so formed by law, that the king's religion is declared over and over again to be idolatrous, what help is there for it? It is no other than it was when his majesty was crowned, and swore to maintain our laws.

"I hope none will be wanting in all possible respect to his sacred person; and as we ought to be infinitely sorry to find him engaged in a religion which we must believe idolatrous, so we are far from the ill manners of reflecting on his person, or calling him an idolater: for as every man that reports a lie, is not for that to be called a liar; so that, though the ordering the intention, and the prejudice of a mis-persuasion, are such abatements, that we will not rashly take on us to call every man of the church of Rome an idolater; yet, on the other hand, we can never lay down our charge against the church of Rome as guilty of idolatry, unless at the same time we part with our religion."

We cannot suppose that Burnet was insensible to the poignancy of Dryden's satire; for, although he attempts to treat the poem with contempt, in the defence of his "Reflections on Varillas' History," his coarse and virulent character of the poet plainly shows his inward feelings. "I have been informed from England, that a gentleman, who is known both for poetry and other things, had spent three months in translating M. Varillas's History; but that, as soon as my Reflections appeared, he discontinued his labour, finding the credit of his author was gone. Now, if he thinks it is recovered by his Answer, he will perhaps go on with his translation; and this may be, for aught I know, as good an entertainment for him as the conversation that he had set on between the Hinds and Panthers, and all the rest of animals, for whom M. Varillas may serve well enough for an author: and this history and that poem are such extraordinary things of their kind, that it will be but suitable to see the author of the worst poem, become likewise the translator of the worst history, that the age has produced. If his grace and his wit improve both proportionably, he will hardly find that he has gained much by the change he has made, from having no religion to choose one of the worst. It is true, he had something to sink from, in matter of wit; but as for his morals, it is scarce possible for him to grow a worse man than he was. He has lately wreaked his malice on me for spoiling his three months' labour; but in it he has done me all the honour that any man can receive from him, which is to be railed at by him. If I had ill-nature enough to prompt me to wish a very bad wish for him, it should be, that he would go on and finish his translation. By that it will appear, whether the English nation, which is the most competent judge in this matter, has, upon the seeing our debate, pronounced in M. Varillas's favour, or in mine. It is true, Mr D. will suffer a little by it; but at least it will serve to keep him in from other extravagancies; and if he gains little honour by this work, yet he cannot lose so much by it, as he has done by his last employment."

Note XXXIV.

_They long their fellow-subjects to enthral, Their patron's promise into question call, And vainly think he meant to make them lords of all._ P. 236.

Part of the controversy which now raged, turned on the precise meaning of the king's promise, to maintain the church of England as by law established. The church party insisted, that the Declaration of Indulgence was a breach of this promise, as it suspended their legal safeguards, the test and penal laws. The advocates for the toleration answered, that the promise was conditional, and depended on the church consenting to the abrogation of these laws. This was stated by Penn, in his "Good Advice;" to which the following indignant answer is made by a champion of the church, perhaps Burnet himself:

"And if there be no other way of giving the king an opportunity of keeping his word with the church of England, in preserving her, and maintaining our religion, but the repealing of the penal and test laws, as he intimates unto us, (Good Advice, p. 50.) we have not found the royal faith so sacred and inviolable in other instances, as to rob ourselves of a legal defence and protection, for to depend upon the precarious one of a base promise, which his ghostly fathers, whensoever they find it convenient, will tell him it was unlawful to make, and which he can have a dispensation for the breaking of, at what time he pleaseth. Nor do we remember, that when he pledged his faith unto us, in so many promises, that the parting with our laws was declared to be the condition upon which he made, and undertook to perform them. Neither can any have the confidence to allege it, without having recourse to the Papal doctrine of mental reservation. Which being one of the principles of that order, under whose conduct he is, makes us justly afraid to rely upon his word without further security. However, we do hereby see, with what little sincerity Mr Penn writes; and what small regard he hath to his majesty's honour, when he tells the church of England, that if she please, and like the terms of giving up the penal and test laws against Papists, that then the king will perform his word with her; (Good Advice, p. 17.) but that otherwise, it is she who breaks with him, and not he with her." (_Ibid._ p. 44.)

Note XXXV.

_Then, all maturely weighed, pronounced a doom Of sacred strength for every age to come. By this the Doves their wealth and state possess, No rights infringed, but license to oppress._--P. 237.

The declaration for liberty of conscience was a strange and incongruous, as well as most impolitic performance. It set out with declaring, that although the king heartily wished that all his subjects were members of the Catholic church, (which they returned, by heartily wishing that he were a Protestant,) yet he abhorred all idea of constraining conscience; and therefore, _making no doubt of the concurrence of Parliament_, declared, 1. That he would protect and maintain the bishops, &c. of the church of England, as by law established, in the free exercise of their religion, and quiet enjoyment of their possessions. 2. That all execution of penal laws against non-conformists be suspended. 3. That all his majesty's subjects should be at liberty to serve God after their own way, in public and private, so nothing was preached against the royal authority. 4. That the oaths of supremacy and allegiance, and the tests made in the 25th and 30th years of Charles II., be discontinued. 5. That all non-conformists be pardoned for former offences against the penal laws and test. 6. That abbey and church lands be assured to the possessors.

Such were the contents of this memorable Declaration, in which a bigotted purpose was cloaked under professions of the highest liberality; and prevarication and falsehood were rendered more disgusting, by being mingled with very unseasonable truth.

Note XXXVI.

_Concluding well within his kingly breast, His fowls of nature too unjustly were opprest; He therefore makes all birds, of every sect, Free of his farm._--P. 237.

When the king had irreconcileably quarrelled with the church, he began to affect a great favour for the dissenters; and, as has been often hinted, endeavoured to represent the measure of universal toleration to be intended as much for the benefit of the Protestant dissenters as of the Catholics. He dwelt upon the rigour of the church courts, and directed an inquiry to be made into all the vexatious suits which had been instituted against the dissenters, and the compositions which had been exacted from them, under pretence of enforcing the laws. In short, Burnet assures us, that the royal bed-chamber and drawing-room were as full of stories to the prejudice of the clergy, as they used formerly to abound with declamations against the fanatics.

Note XXXVII.

_'Tis said, the Doves repented, though too late, Become the smiths of their own foolish fate; Nor did their owner hasten their ill hour, But, sunk in credit, they decreased in power; Like snows in warmth that mildly pass away, Dissolving in the silence of decay._--P. 238.

In the preceding lines, the poet had intimated the increase of trade and wealth; an effect of toleration, much dwelt upon in James's proclamation for liberty of conscience, and, indeed, the ostensible cause of its being issued. But Dryden, as every one else, further augured from the Declaration of Indulgence, under the circumstances of the time, the speedy downfall of the church of England, though he is willing to spare the king the odium of hastening what he represents as the natural consequence of her own ambition and intolerance. A writer of his party is less scrupulous in expressing the king's intentions: "So, on the whole matter, the loyal church of England must either change her old principles of loyalty, and take example by her Catholic neighbours, how to behave herself towards a prince who is not of her persuasion, or she must give his majesty leave not to nourish a snake in his own bosom, but rather to withdraw his royal protection, which was promised on account of her constant fidelity: For it is an approved axiom in philosophy, _Cessante causa, tollitur effectus_; and we have a common saying of our own, _No longer_ _pipe, no longer dance_. And now let us leave the holy mother church at liberty to consult what new measures of loyalty she ought to take for her own dear interest, and, for aught I know, it may be worth her serious consideration."--_New Test of the Church of England's Loyalty._

Note XXXVIII.

_But each have separate interests of their own; Two Czars are one too many for a throne. Nor can the usurper long abstain from food; Already he has tasted Pigeon's blood, And may be tempted to his former fare._--P. 239.

Dryden insinuates the improbability, that the high and low church party would long continue in union, since the authority assumed by Burnet, their present advocate, was inconsistent with that of Sancroft the primate, Compton bishop of London, and other leaders of the high church party among the clergy. He resumes the theme of Burnet's alleged disinclination for episcopacy. In fact, although his lot cast him into the church of England, the bishop of Sarum, in many parts of his writings, expresses an unfavourable opinion of her clergy, whom in one place he calls the most remiss of any in Europe. Even this harsh expression is nothing to the following account of the controversy between the clergy and dissenters, as it stands in the MS. of his history; for it is greatly softened in the printed copy:

"Many books came out likewise against the church of England. This alarmed the bishops and clergy much; so that they set up to preach against rebellion, and the late times, in such a strain, that it was visible they meant a parallel between these and the present time. And this produced at last that heat and rage into which the clergy has run so far, that it is like to end very fatally. They, on their part, should have shewed more temper, and more of the spirit of the gospel; whereas, for the greatest part, they are the worst natured, the fiercest, indiscreetest, and most persecuting sort of people that are in the nation. There is a sort of them do so aspire to preferment, that there is nothing so mean and indecent that they will not do to compass it; and when they have got into preferments, they take no care, either of themselves, or of the flocks committed to their charge, but do generally neglect their parishes. If they are rich enough, they hire some pitiful curate, at as low a price as they can, and turn all over on him; or, if their income will not bear out that, they perform the public offices in the slightest manner they can, but take no care of their people in the way of private instruction or admonition; and so do nothing to justify the character of pastors or watchmen, that feed the souls of their people, or watch over them. And they allow themselves in many indecent liberties, of going to taverns and ale-houses, and of railing scurrilously against all that differ from them: and they cherish the profaneness of their people, if they but come to church, and rail with them against the dissenters; and are implacably set on the ruin of all that separate from them, if the course of their lives were otherwise ever so good and unblameable. In a word, many of them are a reproach to Christianity and to their profession; and are now, perhaps, one of the most corrupt bodies of men in the nation."--_Somers' Tracts_, p. 116.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 264: A New Test of the Church of England's Loyalty.]

[Footnote 265:

Blue bonnet lords, a numerous store, Whose best example is, they're poor; Merely drawn in by hope of gains, And reap their scandal for their pains; Half-starved at court with expectation, } Forced to return to their Scotch station,} Despised and scorned by every nation. }

_The New Converts._ ]

[Footnote 266:

This put the heathen priesthood in a flame, For priests of all religions are the same.

_Absalom and Achitophel_, Part I. ]

[Footnote 267: A Vindication of the Answer to some late Papers.]

[Footnote 268: A Vindication of the Answer to some late Papers, p. 116.]

[Footnote 269: _Ibidem_, p. 117.--Stillingfleet plays on this expression of the _grim logician_, in allusion to a passage of our author's "Defence of the Duchess of York's Paper;" where he says, "That the kingdom of heaven is not only for the wise and learned," and that "our Saviour's disciples were but poor fishermen; and we read but of one of his apostles who was bred up at the feet of Gamaliel, and that poor people have souls to save, as precious in the sight of God as the _grim logician's_." Dryden retorts it upon him in the text.]

[Footnote 270: A Vindication, &c. p. 1.]

[Footnote 271: _Ergoteering_ was a phrase used by Dryden in his "Defence of the Duchess's Paper," and which Stillingfleet harps upon throughout his "Vindication."]

[Footnote 272: Ralph's History, Vol. I. p. 933.--Secret Consults, &c. of the Roman Party, p. 59.]

[Footnote 273: "One Petre, descended from a noble family; a man of no learning, nor any way famed for his virtue, but who made up all in boldness and zeal, was the Jesuit of them all, that seemed animated with the most courage."--BURNET.]

[Footnote 274: "We have," says one of the order, "a good while begun to get footing in England. We teach humanity at Lincoln, Norwich, and York. At Warwick, we have a public chapel secured from all injuries by the king's soldiers; we have also bought some houses of the city of Wiggorn, in the province of Lancaster. The Catholic cause very much increaseth. In some Catholic churches, upon holidays, above 1500 are always numbered present at the sermon. At London, likewise, things succeed no worse. Every holiday, or preaching, people are so frequent, that many of the chapels cannot contain them. Two of our fathers, Darmes and Berfall, do constantly say mass before the king and queen. Father Edmund Newill, before the queen-dowager, Father Alexander Regnes in the chapel of the ambassador aforesaid, others in other places. Many houses are bought for the college in the Savoy, as they call it, nigh Somerset-house, London, the palace of the queen-dowager, to the value of about eighteen thousand florins; in making of which, after the form of a college, they labour very hard, that the schools may be opened before Easter." A Letter from a Jesuit at Liege. _Somers' Tracts_, p. 248. About this letter, see Burnet's History, Vol. I. p. 711. The king also granted the manor of York to Lawson, a priest, for thirty years, as a seminary for the education of youth in the Catholic faith; to the great displeasure of Sir John Reresby, the governor of the city, who had fitted it up for his own residence. See his _Memoirs_, pp. 245, 246.]

[Footnote 275: So says the memorable "Test of the Church of England's Loyalty."]

[Footnote 276: New Test, &c.]

[Footnote 277: Roman Catholic Principles, 1680.]

[Footnote 278: There is a copy of this old caricature print in Luttrell's Collection.]

[Footnote 279: History of his Own Times, Vol. I. p. 280.]

[Footnote 280: See Burnet's Life, by his Son, p. 686.]

[Footnote 281: See Dr Flexman's catalogue of his works, under the head "Tracts, Political, Polemical, and Miscellaneous."]

[Footnote 282: Mr B--ty, vice-chamberlain.]

[Footnote 283: Notes on the Phœnix Pastoral Letter, _Johnson's Works_, pp. 317, 318.]

[Footnote 284: The Declaration of Indulgence. See Vol. IX. p. 447.]

BRITANNIA REDIVIVA:

A POEM

ON

THE BIRTH OF THE PRINCE,

(BORN 10TH JUNE, 1688.)

_Di patrii indigetes, et Romule, Vestaque mater, Quæ Tuscum Tyberim et Romana palatia servas, Hunc saltem everso puerum succurrere sæclo Ne prohibete! satis jampridem sanguine nostro Laomedonteæ luimus perjuria Trojæ._

VIRG. GEORG. 1.

BRITANNIA REDIVIVA.

The remarkable incident, which gave rise to the following poem, was hailed by the Catholics with the most unbounded joy. That party, whose transient prosperity depended upon the declining life of James II., could hardly enjoy their present power, embittered as it was by the reflection, that it must end with the reign of the king and the succession of the Princess of Orange. Many circumstances seemed to render the hopes of the king having a male heir of his body extremely precarious. His system was said to have been injured by early dissipation, and he was now advanced in life. The queen, also, had been in a bad state of health; had lost all her children soon after they were born; and had now, for several years, ceased to have any. Amidst these discouraging considerations, the queen's pregnancy was announced in 1687; and even before his birth, addressers and panegyrists in verse hailed the future prince, as a pledge for the maintenance of liberty of conscience, and the security of the royal line.[285]

But the Catholics were so transported with this unexpected happiness, that they could not refrain from spreading an hundred follies, tending to connect the queen's pregnancy with the efficacy of the king's faith. Some said, that the queen's conception took place at the very time when her mother made a vow to the Lady of Loretto, that her daughter might by her means have a son: Others attributed it to the queen's personal influence with Saint Xavier: Others to the intercessions of the Jesuits, among whom the king had enrolled himself: All ascribed so happy and unhoped an event to something more than mere natural causes, and ventured to presage, that the joyful fruit of the queen's conception would prove a son, since otherwise, it was said, God would have done his work by halves.[286] It is dangerous for a religious sect to cry, a miracle! for it is always echoed by their adversaries, shouting out, an imposture! The same circumstances which induced the Catholics to believe that this happy event was owing to a peculiar divine interposition, led the nation to ascribe so unexpected and opportune an occurrence to artifice and imposition; and they were prepared to pronounce a birth spurious, which their adversaries had incautiously pushed to the verge of miraculous.

On the 10th of June, 1688, the prince was born, under circumstances which ought to have removed all suspicion of imposture. But these suspicions were too deeply rooted in party prejudices and fears; and it became a distinguishing mark of a true Protestant, to hold for spurious the birth of a prince, which took place in the presence of more people than is either consistent with custom or decency.

In the mean while, public rejoicings, of the most splendid kind, were solemnized at home and abroad;[287] and the poets flocked with their addresses of congratulation[288] on the birth of a Prince of Wales, who was doomed shortly to be distinguished through the English dominions by the ignominious appellation of Pretender, and abroad, by the dubious title of Chevalier de St George. It was peculiarly the part of our author, as poet-laureat, and a good Catholic, to solemnize an event of so much importance to the king, and those of his religion, and to bear down, if possible, the popular prejudice by the exertion of his poetical powers. "Britannia Rediviva" was written, nine days after the event celebrated, and published accordingly. It is licensed on the 19th of June.

In this poem, our author assumes the tone and feeling which we have described as general among the Catholics, upon this happy and unexpected event. It is less an address of congratulation than a solemn devotional hymn; and, even considered as such, abounds with expressions of awful gratitude, rather for a miraculous interposition of heaven and the blessed saints, than for a blessing conferred through the ordinary course of nature. Dryden, who knew how to assume every style that fitted the occasion, writes here in the character of a devout and grateful Catholic, with much of the _unction_ which marks the hymns of the Roman church. In English poetry, we have hardly another example of the peculiar tone which the invocation of saints, and an enthusiastic faith in the mystic doctrines of the Catholic faith, can give to poetry. To me, I confess, that communion seems to offer the same facilities to the poet, which it has been long famous for affording to the painter; and the "Britannia Rediviva," while it celebrates the mystic influence of the sacred festivals of the Paraclete and the Trinity, and introduces the warlike forms of St Michael and St George, has often reminded me of one of the ancient altar pieces, which it is impossible to regard without reverence, though presenting miracles which never happened, or saints who never existed. These subordinate divinities are something upon which the imagination, dazzled and overwhelmed by the contemplation of a single Omnipotent Being, can fairly rest and expand itself. They approach nearer to humanity and to comprehension; yet are sufficiently removed from both, to have the full effect of sublime obscurity. Dryden has undoubtedly reaped considerable advantage from religion in the present poem. It must, however, be owned, that the effect of these passages is much injured by the frequent allusion to the deities of classical mythology; and that Dryden has ranked the gods and goddesses of ancient Rome with the saints of her modern church, in the same indiscriminate order in which they are classed in the Pantheon. We have the Giants' War immediately preceding the miracle wrought on the Shunamite's son; and the serpents of the infant Hercules are classed in the very sentence with the dragons of the Apocalypse. On one occasion he has stooped yet lower, and condescended to pun upon the child's being born on Trinity Sunday, as promising at least a _trine_ of infant princes.

Still, however, the strain of the poem is, upon the whole, grave and exalted. Besides the general tone of "Britannia Rediviva," there are many passages in it deserving the reader's attention. The address to the queen, beginning, "But you, propitious queen," has all the smoothness with which Dryden could vary the masculine character of his general poetry, when he addressed the female sex, and forms a marked contrast to the more majestic tone of the rest of the piece. It may indeed be said of Dryden, as he himself says of Virgil, that though he is smooth where smoothness is required, yet he is so far from affecting that general character, that he seems rather to disdain it.

The original edition of the "Britannia Rediviva" is in quarto, printed, as usual, for Tonson, with a motto from the first book of the Georgics, which is now restored. The concluding lines refer to the death of so many Catholics by the perjured evidences of Oates and Bedlow:

---- _satis jampridem sanguine nostro Laomedonteæ luimus_ perjuria _Trojæ._

The word _perjuria_, as well as _Puerum_, in the preceding passage, are marked by a difference of type; a mode of soliciting the attention of the reader to a pointed remark or inuendo, which was first used in Charles II.'s time, and seems to have been introduced by L'Estrange, who carried it to a most extravagant degree, chequering his Observators with all manner of characters, from the Roman to the Anglo-Saxon.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 285: The addresses of the grand juries of the counties of Monmouth, Stafford, Glocester, Yorkshire, &c. &c., all pressed forward upon this occasion, and are all positive that the blessed hope of the queen's womb must necessarily prove a son, since the king seemed to have very little occasion for more daughters. Edmund Arwaker is of the same opinion, in his poem humbly dedicated to the queen, on occasion of her majesty's happy conception.]

[Footnote 286: "That which does us most harm with the lords and great men, is the apprehension of a heretic successor: For as a lord told me lately, assure me of a Catholic successor, and I assure you I and my family will be so too. To this purpose the queen's happy delivery will be of very great moment. Our zealous Catholics do already lay two to one that it will be a prince. God does nothing by halves, and every day masses are said upon this very occasion."--_Letter from Father Petre to Father La Chaise._ This letter is a forgery, but it distinctly expresses the hopes and apprehensions of both parties.]

[Footnote 287: The most remarkable were celebrated at the Hague, by the Marquis of Abbeville, his majesty's ambassador there. On one side of a triumphal arch were the figures of Truth and Justice, with this inscription: _Veritas et Justitia fulcimentum throni Patris et erunt mei_: On the other side were Religion and Liberty embracing, with this motto, _Religio et Libertas amplexatæ erant_. On the portico was painted the conquest of the dragon by St George, and the delivery of St Margaret, explained to allude to the liberty of conscience procured by James's abolition of the test and penal laws. These decorations, remarkable for their import, and the place in which they were exhibited, were accompanied with the discharge of fire-works, and other public rejoicings. There are particular accounts of the splendid rejoicings at Ratisbon and Paris, &c. &c. in the Gazettes of the period.]

[Footnote 288: As for example, the poets of Isis, in a collection called "_Strenæ Natalitiæ in Celsissimum principem.--Oxoni; E Theatro Shedoniano, 1688_." Consisting of Latin, Greek, Arabic, and Turkish, pastoral, heroic, and lyrical pieces, on this happy topic.

The following poems are in the Luttrell Collection:

"_Votum pro Principe._

"To the King, upon the Queen's being delivered of a Son; by John Baber, Esq.

"To the King, on ditto; by William Niven, late master of the music school of Inverness, in Scotland." Surely the very _ultima_ Thule of poetry.

"A Congratulatory Poem on ditto, by Mrs Behn.

"A Pindarique Ode on ditto, by Calib Calle." ]

BRITANNIA REDIVIVA.

Our vows are heard betimes, and heaven takes care To grant, before we can conclude the prayer; Preventing angels met it half the way, And sent us back to praise, who came to pray. Just on the day, when the high-mounted sun Did farthest in its northern progress run,[289] He bended forward, and even stretched the sphere Beyond the limits of the lengthened year, To view a brighter sun in Britain born; } That was the business of his longest morn; } The glorious object seen, 'twas time to turn.} Departing spring could only stay to shed} Her gloomy beauties on the genial bed, } But left the manly summer in her stead, } With timely fruit the longing land to cheer, And to fulfil the promise of the year. Betwixt two seasons comes the auspicious heir, This age to blossom, and the next to bear. Last solemn Sabbath[290] saw the church attend, The Paraclete in fiery pomp descend; But when his wonderous octave[291] rolled again, He brought a royal infant in his train: So great a blessing to so good a king, None but the Eternal Comforter could bring. Or did the mighty Trinity conspire, As once in council to create our sire? It seems as if they sent the new-born guest, To wait on the procession of their feast; And on their sacred anniverse decreed To stamp their image on the promised seed. Three realms united, and on one bestowed, An emblem of their mystic union showed; The Mighty Trine the triple empire shared, As every person would have one to guard. Hail, son of prayers! by holy violence Drawn down from heaven;[292] but long be banished thence, And late to thy paternal skies retire! To mend our crimes, whole ages would require; To change the inveterate habit of our sins, And finish what thy godlike sire begins. Kind heaven, to make us Englishmen again, No less can give us than a patriarch's reign. The sacred cradle to your charge receive, Ye seraphs, and by turns the guard relieve; Thy father's angel, and thy father join, To keep possession, and secure the line; But long defer the honours of thy fate; Great may they be like his, like his be late, That James this running century may view, And give this son an auspice to the new. Our wants exact at least that moderate stay; } For, see the dragon[293] winged on his way, } To watch the travail,[294] and devour the prey: } Or, if allusions may not rise so high, } Thus, when Alcides raised his infant cry,} The snakes besieged his young divinity; } But vainly with their forked tongues they threat, For opposition makes a hero great. To needful succour all the good will run, And Jove assert the godhead of his son. O still repining at your present state, Grudging yourselves the benefits of fate; Look up, and read in characters of light A blessing sent you in your own despite! The manna falls, yet that celestial bread, Like Jews, you munch, and murmur while you feed. May not your fortune be, like theirs, exiled, Yet forty years to wander in the wild! Or, if it be, may Moses live at least, To lead you to the verge of promised rest! Though poets are not prophets, to foreknow What plants will take the blight, and what will grow, By tracing heaven, his footsteps may be found; Behold, how awfully he walks the round! God is abroad, and, wondrous in his ways, The rise of empires, and their fall, surveys; More, might I say, than with an usual eye, } He sees his bleeding church in ruins lie, } And hears the souls of saints beneath his altar cry.} Already has he lifted high the sign, Which crowned the conquering arms of Constantine.[295] The moon[296] grows pale at that presaging sight, And half her train of stars have lost their light. Behold another Sylvester,[297] to bless The sacred standard, and secure success; Large of his treasures, of a soul so great, As fills and crowds his universal seat. Now view at home a second Constantine;[298] (The former too was of the British line,) Has not his healing balm your breaches closed, Whose exile many sought, and few opposed?[299] O, did not heaven, by its eternal doom, Permit those evils, that this good might come? So manifest, that even the moon-eyed sects See whom and what this Providence protects. Methinks, had we within our minds no more Than that one shipwreck on the fatal Ore,[300] That only thought may make us think again, What wonders God reserves for such a reign. To dream, that chance his preservation wrought, Were to think Noah was preserved for nought; Or the surviving eight were not designed To people earth, and to restore their kind. When humbly on the royal babe we gaze, The manly lines of a majestic face Give awful joy; 'tis paradise to look On the fair frontispiece of nature's book: If the first opening page so charms the sight, Think how the unfolded volume will delight! See how the venerable[301] infant lies In early pomp; how through the mother's eyes The father's soul, with an undaunted view, Looks out, and takes our homage as his due! See on his future subjects how he smiles, Nor meanly flatters, nor with craft beguiles; But with an open face, as on his throne, Assures our birthrights, and assumes his own Born in broad day-light, that the ungrateful rout May find no room for a remaining doubt;[302] Truth, which itself is light, does darkness shun, And the true eaglet safely dares the sun. Fain[303] would the fiends have made a dubious birth, Loth to confess the godhead clothed in earth; But, sickened, after all their baffled lies, To find an heir apparent in the skies, Abandoned to despair, still may they grudge, And, owning not the Saviour, prove the judge. Not great Æneas stood in plainer day,[304] When the dark mantling mist dissolved away; He to the Tyrians showed his sudden face, Shining with all his goddess mother's grace; For she herself had made his countenance bright, Breathed honour on his eyes, and her own purple light. If our victorious Edward,[305] as they say, Gave Wales a prince on that propitious day, Why may not years revolving with his fate Produce his like, but with a longer date; One, who may carry to a distant shore The terror that his famed forefather bore? But why should James, or his young hero, stay For slight presages of a name or day? We need no Edward's fortune to adorn That happy moment when our prince was born; Our prince adorns this day, and ages hence Shall wish his birth-day for some future prince. Great Michael,[306] prince of all the etherial hosts, And whate'er inborn saints our Britain boasts; And thou, the adopted patron[307] of our isle, With cheerful aspects on this infant smile! The pledge of heaven, which, dropping from above, Secures our bliss, and reconciles his love. Enough of ills our dire rebellion wrought,[308] When to the dregs we drank the bitter draught; Then airy atoms did in plagues conspire, } Nor did the avenging angel yet retire, } But purged our still-increasing crimes with fire.[309]} Then perjured plots,[310] the still impending test,[311] And worse--[312] but charity conceals the rest. Here stop the current of the sanguine flood; Require not, gracious God! thy martyrs' blood; But let their dying pangs, their living toil, Spread a rich harvest through their native soil; A harvest ripening for another reign, Of which this royal babe may reap the grain. Enough of early Saints one womb has given, Enough increased the family of heaven;[313] Let them for his and our atonement go, And, reigning blest above, leave him to rule below. Enough already has the year foreslowed His wonted course, the sea has overflowed, The meads were floated with a weeping spring, And frightened birds in woods forgot to sing; The strong-limbed steed beneath his harness faints, And the same shivering sweat his lord attaints.[314] When will the minister of wrath give o'er? Behold him at Araunah's threshing-floor! He stops, and seems to sheath his flaming brand, Pleased with burnt incense from our David's hand;[315] David has bought the Jebusite's abode, And raised an altar to the living God. Heaven, to reward him, makes his joys sincere;} No future ills nor accidents appear, } To sully and pollute the sacred infant's year. } Five months to discord and debate were given;[316] He sanctifies the yet remaining seven. Sabbath of months! henceforth in him be blest, And prelude to the realms perpetual rest! Let his baptismal drops for us atone;[317] Lustrations for offences not his own: Let conscience, which is interest ill disguised,[318] In the same font be cleansed, and all the land baptized. Unnamed[319] as yet; at least unknown to fame; Is there a strife in heaven about his name, Where every famous predecessor vies, And makes a faction for it in the skies? Or must it be reserved to thought alone? Such was the sacred Tetragrammaton.[320] Things worthy silence must not be revealed; Thus the true name of Rome[321] was kept concealed, To shun the spells and sorceries of those, Who durst her infant majesty oppose. But when his tender strength in time shall rise To dare ill tongues, and fascinating eyes, This isle, which hides the little Thunderer's fame, Shall be too narrow to contain his name: The artillery of heaven shall make him known; Crete[322] could not hold the god, when Jove was grown. As Jove's increase,[323] who from his brain was born, Whom arms and arts did equally adorn, Free of the breast was bred, whose milky taste Minerva's name to Venus had debased; So this imperial babe rejects the food, That mixes monarch's with plebeian blood:[324] Food that his inborn courage might controul, Extinguish all the father in his soul, And for his Estian race, and Saxon strain, Might reproduce some second Richard's reign. Mildness he shares from both his parents' blood; But kings too tame are despicably good: Be this the mixture of this regal child, By nature manly, but by virtue mild. Thus far the furious transport of the news Had to prophetic madness fired the muse; Madness ungovernable, uninspired, Swift to foretel whatever she desired. Was it for me the dark abyss to tread, And read the book which angels cannot read? How was I punished, when the sudden blast[325] The face of heaven, and our young sun, o'ercast! Fame, the swift ill increasing as she rolled, Disease, despair, and death, at three reprises told: At three insulting strides she stalked the town, And, like contagion, struck the loyal down. Down fell the winnowed wheat; but, mounted high, The whirlwind bore the chaff, and hid the sky. Here black rebellion shooting from below, } (As earth's gigantic brood by moments grow,) } And here the sons of God are petrified with woe:} An apoplex of grief! so low were driven The saints, as hardly to defend their heaven. As, when pent vapours run their hollow round, Earthquakes, which are convulsions of the ground, Break bellowing forth, and no confinement brook, Till the third settles what the former shook; Such heavings had our souls, till, slow and late, Our life with his returned, and faith prevailed on fate. By prayers the mighty blessing was implored, To prayers was granted, and by prayers restored. So, ere the Shunamite a son conceived, The prophet promised, and the wife believed; A son was sent, the son so much desired, But soon upon the mother's knees expired. The troubled seer approached the mournful door, Ran, prayed, and sent his pastoral staff before, Then stretched his limbs upon the child, and mourned, Till warmth, and breath, and a new soul returned.[326] Thus mercy stretches out her hand, and saves Desponding Peter, sinking in the waves. As when a sudden storm of hail and rain Beats to the ground the yet unbearded grain, Think not the hopes of harvest are destroyed On the flat field, and on the naked void; The light, unloaded stem, from tempest freed, Will raise the youthful honours of his head; And, soon restored by native vigour, bear The timely product of the bounteous year. Nor yet conclude all fiery trials past, For heaven will exercise us to the last; Sometimes will check us in our full career, With doubtful blessings, and with mingled fear, That, still depending on his daily grace, His every mercy for an alms may pass; With sparing hands will diet us to good, Preventing surfeits of our pampered blood. So feeds the mother bird her craving young With little morsels, and delays them long. True, this last blessing was a royal feast; But where's the wedding-garment on the guest? Our manners, as religion were a dream, Are such as teach the nations to blaspheme. In lusts we wallow, and with pride we swell, And injuries with injuries repel; Prompt to revenge, not daring to forgive, Our lives unteach the doctrine we believe. Thus Israel sinned, impenitently hard, And vainly thought the present ark their guard;[327] But when the haughty Philistines appear, } They fled, abandoned to their foes and fear; } Their God was absent, though his ark was there.} Ah! lest our crimes should snatch this pledge away, And make our joys the blessings of a day! For we have sinned him hence, and that he lives, God to his promise, not our practice, gives. Our crimes would soon weigh down the guilty scale, But James and Mary, and the church prevail. Nor Amalek[328] can rout the chosen bands, While Hur and Aaron hold up Moses' hands. By living well, let us secure his days, Moderate in hopes, and humble in our ways. No force the free-born spirit can constrain, But charity, and great examples gain. Forgiveness is our thanks for such a day; 'Tis godlike God in his own coin to pay. But you, propitious queen, translated here, } From your mild heaven, to rule our rugged sphere,} Beyond the sunny walks, and circling year; } You, who your native climate have bereft Of all the virtues, and the vices left; Whom piety and beauty make their boast, Though beautiful is well in pious lost; So lost as star-light is dissolved away, And melts into the brightness of the day; Or gold about the royal diadem, Lost, to improve the lustre of the gem,-- What can we add to your triumphant day? Let the great gift the beauteous giver pay; For should our thanks awake the rising sun, } And lengthen, as his latest shadows run, } That, though the longest day, would soon, too soon be done.} Let angels' voices with their harps conspire, But keep the auspicious infant from the choir; Late let him sing above, and let us know No sweeter music than his cries below. Nor can I wish to you, great monarch, more Than such an annual income to your store; The day, which gave this unit, did not shine For a less omen, than to fill the trine. After a prince, an admiral beget; The Royal Sovereign wants an anchor yet. Our isle has younger titles still in store, } And when the exhausted land can yield no more,} Your line can force them from a foreign shore.} The name of great your martial mind will suit; But justice is your darling attribute: Of all the Greeks, 'twas but one hero's due,[329] And, in him, Plutarch prophesied of you. A prince's favours but on few can fall, But justice is a virtue shared by all. Some kings the name of conquerors have assumed, Some to be great, some to be gods presumed; But boundless power, and arbitrary lust, Made tyrants still abhor the name of just; They shunned the praise this godlike virtue gives, And feared a title that reproached their lives. The power, from which all kings derive their state, Whom they pretend, at least, to imitate, Is equal both to punish and reward; For few would love their God, unless they feared. Resistless force and immortality Make but a lame, imperfect deity; Tempests have force unbounded to destroy, And deathless being even the damned enjoy; And yet heaven's attributes, both last and first, One without life, and one with life accurst; But justice is heaven's self, so strictly he, That could it fail, the godhead could not be. This virtue is your own; but life and state Are, one to fortune subject, one to fate: Equal to all, you justly frown or smile; } Nor hopes nor fears your steady hand beguile; } Yourself our balance hold, the world's our isle.}

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 289: The 10th of June.]

[Footnote 290: Whitsunday.]

[Footnote 291: Trinity Sunday, the octave of Whitsunday.]

[Footnote 292: Note I.]

[Footnote 293: Alluding only to the commonwealth party here, and in other parts of the poem. DRYDEN.--See Note II.]

[Footnote 294: Rev. xii. v. 4.]

[Footnote 295: The Cross.]

[Footnote 296: The Crescent, which the Turks bear for their arms. DRYDEN. Note III.]

[Footnote 297: The Pope, in the time of Constantine the Great; alluding to the present Pope. DRYDEN.--See Note IV.]

[Footnote 298: King James II.]

[Footnote 299: Bill of Exclusion.]

[Footnote 300: The Lemmon Ore, on which the vessel of King James was lost in his return from Scotland. The crew perished, and he himself escaped with difficulty. See Vol. IX. p. 401.]

[Footnote 301: Venerable is here used in its original sense, as deserving of veneration. But the epithet has been so commonly connected with old age, that a modern poet would hardly venture to apply it to an infant.]

[Footnote 302: Note V.]

[Footnote 303: Alluding to the temptation in the wilderness.]

[Footnote 304:

_Restitit Æneas, clarâque in luce refulsit, Os, humerosque deo similis; namque ipsa decoram Cæsariem nato genetrix, lumenque juventæ Purpureum, et lætos oculis afflarat honores._

Æneid, Lib. I. ]

[Footnote 305: Edward the Black Prince, born on Trinity Sunday.]

[Footnote 306: The motto of the poem explained.]

[Footnote 307: St George.]

[Footnote 308: The great Civil War.]

[Footnote 309: The Fire of London.]

[Footnote 310: The Popish plot.]

[Footnote 311: The Test-act.]

[Footnote 312: The death of the Jesuits, executed for the Plot.]

[Footnote 313: All the queen's former children died in infancy.]

[Footnote 314: The year 1688, big with so many events of importance, commenced very unfavourably with stormy weather, and an epidemical distemper among men and cattle.]

[Footnote 315: 1 Kings, chap, xxxiv.]

[Footnote 316: Note VI.]

[Footnote 317: Original sin, supposed to be washed off by baptism.]

[Footnote 318: See "The Hind and the Panther," p. 224.]

[Footnote 319: The prince christened, but not named.]

[Footnote 320: Jehovah, or the name of God, unlawful to be pronounced by the Jews. DRYDEN.]

[Footnote 321: Some authors say, that the true name of Rome was kept a secret, _ne hostes incantamentis deos elicerent_. DRYDEN.]

[Footnote 322: Candia, where Jupiter was born and lived secretly. DRYDEN.]

[Footnote 323: Pallas, or Minerva, said by the poets to have been bred up by hand. DRYDEN.]

[Footnote 324: The prince had no wet nurse.]

[Footnote 325: The sudden false report of the prince's death. See Note VII.]

[Footnote 326: 2 Kings, chap. iv.]

[Footnote 327: 1 Samuel, chap. iv. v. 10.]

[Footnote 328: Exodus, chap. xvii. v. 8.]

[Footnote 329: Aristides. See his Life in Plutarch.]

NOTES

ON

BRITANNIA REDIVIVA.

Note I.

_Hail, son of prayers! by holy violence Drawn down from heaven!_----P. 290.

We have noticed, in the introduction, that the birth of a Prince of Wales, at a time of such critical importance to the Catholic faith, was looked upon, by the Papists, as little less than miraculous. Some talked of the petition of the Duchess of Modena to Our Lady of Loretto; and Burnet affirms, that, in that famous chapel, there is actually a register of the queen's conception, in consequence of her mother's vow. But, in that case, the good duchess's intercession must have been posthumous; for she died upon the 19th July, and the queen's time run from the 6th of October. Others ascribed the event to the king's pilgrimage to St Winifred's Well; and others, among whom was the Earl of Melfort, suffered their zeal to hurry them into profaneness, and spoke of the angel of the Lord moving the Bath waters, like the Pool of Bethsaida. But the Jesuits claimed to their own prayers the principal merit of procuring this blessing, which, indeed, they had ventured to prophecy; for, among other devices which that order exhibited to the English ambassador from James to the Pope, there was, according to Mr Misson, one of a lily, from whose leaves distilled some drops of water, which were once supposed, by naturalists, to become the seed of new lilies: the motto was--_Lachrimor in prolem_--"I weep for children." Beneath which was the following distich:

_Pro natis, Jacobe, gemis, flos candide regum! Hos natura tibi si neget, astra dabunt._

For sons, fair flower of kings, why melts thine eye? The heavens shall grant what nature may deny.

Note II.

_For, see the dragon winged on his way, To watch the travail, and devour the prey._--P. 291.

"And the dragon stood before the woman, who was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child, as soon as it was born,"--Revel. xii. 4. Dryden is at pains, by an original marginal note, which, with others, is restored in this edition, to explain, that, by this allusion here, and in other parts of the poem, he meant "the commonwealth's party." The acquittal of the bishops, on the 17th of June, two days before the poem was licensed, must have excited a prudential reverence for the church of England in the moment of her triumph. The poet fixes upon this commonwealth party therefore, exclusively, the common reports which had been circulated during the queen's pregnancy, and which are thus noticed in the (supposititious) letter to Father La Chaise: "As to the queen's being with child, that great concern goes as well as we could wish, notwithstanding all the satirical discourses of the heretics, who content themselves to vent their poison in libels, which, by night, they disperse in the street, or fix upon the walls. There was one lately found upon a pillar of a church, that imported, that such a day thanks should be given to God for the queen's being great with a cushion. If one of these pasquil-makers could be discovered, he would but have an ill time on't, and should be made to take his last farewell at Tyburn."

The usual topics of wit, during the queen's pregnancy, were, allusions to a cushion, a tympany, &c. &c.; and Partridge, the Protestant almanack-maker, utters the following predictions:--"That there was some bawdy project on foot, either about buying, selling, or procuring, a child or children, for some pious uses." And, again, "Some child is to be topped upon the lawful heirs, to cheat them out of their right and estate."--"God preserve the kingdom of England from invasion! for about this time I fear it in earnest, and keep the Protestants there from being dragooned."

One single circumstance is sufficient to rout all suspicions thus carefully infused into the people. It is well known, and is noticed in one of L'Estrange's papers at the time, that a similar outcry was raised during a former pregnancy of the queen; but the child proving a female, there was no use for pushing the calumny any further upon that occasion.

Note III.

_Already has he lifted high the sign, Which crowned the conquering arms of Constantine; The moon grows pale at that presaging sight, And half her train of stars have lost their light._--P. 292.

The public exercise of the Catholic religion in England is compared to the miraculous display of the cross, with the motto, _In hoc signo vinces_; which is said to have appeared to Constantine on the eve of his great victory.

The war against the Turks, which was now raging in Hungary, seems to have occupied much of James's attention. He amused himself with anxiety about the fate of this holy warfare, as he probably thought it, while his own crown was tottering on his head. In all his letters to the Prince of Orange, he expresses his wishes for the peace of Christendom, that the emperor and the Venetians might have leisure to prosecute the war against the Turks; and conjectures about the taking of Belgrade, and the progress of the Duke of Lorraine, are very gravely sent, as interesting matter to the prince, who was anticipating the conquest of England, and the dethronement of his father-in-law. There may be something of affectation in this; but, as Dryden takes up the same tone, it may be supposed to have forwarded James's general conversation, as well as his letters to the Prince of Orange.--_See_ DALRYMPLE'S _Memoirs_. _Appendix to Book V._

Note IV.

_Behold another Sylvester, to bless The sacred standard, and secure success; Large of his treasures, of a soul so great, As fills and crowds his universal seat._--P. 292.

Dryden talks of the Pope with the respect of a good Catholic. Nevertheless it happened, by a very odd chance, that, while the throne of England was held by a Catholic, for the first time during the course of a century, the chair of St Peter was occupied by Innocent XI. who acquired the uncommon epithet of the Protestant Pope. He received, with great coldness, the Earl of Castlemain, whom James sent to Rome as his ambassador, and refused the only two requests which a king of England had made to Rome since the days of Henry VIII., although they were only a dispensation to Petre the king's confessor, to hold a bishopric, and another to the Mareschal D'Humier's daughter to marry within the prohibited degrees. Nay, the Pope is said to have privately admitted the Prince of Orange's envoy to his confidence, while he treated Castlemaine with so much contempt. The cause of this coldness was the Pope's quarrel with James's ally, Louis, and his dislike to the order of Jesuits, by whom the king of England was entirely ruled. In truth, Innocent XI. was much more anxious to maintain the privileges of the Roman see against those princes who retained her communion, than to add England to a flock which was become so mutinous and untractable. He was, besides, a man of no extended views, and chiefly concerned himself with managing the papal revenue, involved in debt by a succession of wasteful pontificates. To this the conversion of England promised no immediate addition, and, with the narrowness of view natural to his pursuits, Innocent XI. thought it better to employ his exertions in realizing an immediate income, than in endeavouring to extend the faith and authority of the church, by embarking in a design of great doubt and hazard. He was, therefore, but a very poor representative of Pope Sylvester. As for the last two lines, they contain, what we seldom meet with in Dryden's poetry, a compliment not only bombastic, but unappropriate, and even unmeaning.

Note V.

_Born in broad day-light, that the ungrateful rout May find no room for a remaining doubt._--P. 293.

In these lines, and the following, where the poet, with indecent freedom, compares the suspicions entertained of a spurious birth to the devil's doubts concerning our Saviour's godhead, he alludes to those circumstances of publicity, which one would have supposed might have rendered the birth of the prince indisputable. It took place at ten o'clock in the morning; and eighteen privy counsellors, besides a number of ladies, were present at the delivery. But the party violence of the period was so extravagant, as to receive and circulate a variety of reports, inconsistent with each other, and agreeing only in the general conclusion, that the child was an imposition upon the nation. The reasoning of the Bishop of Salisbury, on this point, is admirably summed up by Smollet.

"On the 10th of June, 1688, the queen was suddenly seized with labour-pains, and delivered of a son, who was baptized by the name of James, and declared Prince of Wales. All the Catholics and friends of James were transported with the most extravagant joy at the birth of this child; while great part of the nation consoled themselves with the notion, that it was altogether supposititious. They carefully collected a variety of circumstances, upon which this conjecture was founded; and though they were inconsistent, contradictory, and inconclusive, the inference was so agreeable to the views and passions of the people, that it made an impression which, in all probability, will never be totally effaced. Dr Burnet, who seems to have been at uncommon pains to establish this belief, and to have consulted all the Whig nurses in England upon the subject, first pretends to demonstrate, that the queen was not with child; secondly, that she was with child, but miscarried; thirdly, that a child was brought into the queen's apartment in a warming-pan; fourthly, that there was no child at all in the room; fifthly, that the queen actually bore a child, but it died that same day; sixthly, that it had the fits, of which it died at Richmond; therefore, the Chevalier de St George must be the fruit of four different impostures."

Note VI.

_Five months to discord and debate were given._--P. 295.

During the five months preceding the birth of the Chevalier de St George, James was wholly engaged by those feuds and dissensions which tended to render irreparable the breach between him and his subjects. The arbitrary attacks upon the privileges of Magdalen College, and of the Charter-House, fell nearly within this period. Above all, the petition of the seven bishops against reading the Declaration of Indulgence, their imprisonment, their memorable trial and acquittal, had all taken place since the month of April; and it is well known to what a state of violent opposition the nation had been urged by a train of arbitrary acts of violence, so imprudently commenced, and perversely insisted in. Dryden, like other men of sense, probably began to foresee the consequences of so violent and general irritation; and expresses himself in moderate and soothing language, both as to the past and future. Nothing is therefore dropt which can offend the church of England. Perhaps they may have been spared by the royal command; for it seems, as is hinted by a letter from Halifax to the Prince of Orange, that, not finding his expectations answered by the dissenters, whom he had so greatly favoured of late, James entertained thoughts of returning to his old friends, the High-churchmen; "but the truth is," his lordship adds, "the Papists have of late been so hard and fierce upon them, that the very species of those formerly mistaking men is destroyed; they have so broken that loom in pieces, that they cannot now set it up again to work upon it."--DALRYMPLE'S _Memoirs_. Appendix to Book V.

Note VII.

----_When the sudden blast, The face of heaven, and our young sun, o'ercast, Fame, the swift ill increasing as she rolled, Disease, despair, and death, at three reprises told._--P. 297.

There was, Dryden informs us, a report of the prince's death, to which he alludes. James, in a letter to the Prince of Orange, dated June 12, mentions the birth of his son on the Sunday preceding, and adds, "the child was somewhat ill this last night, of the wind, and some gripes, but is now, blessed be God, very well, and like to have no returns of it, and is a strong boy." About this illness, Burnet tells the following gossipping story: "That night, one Hemings, a very worthy man, an apothecary by his trade, who lived in St Martin's Lane, the very next door to a family of an eminent Papist, (Brown, brother to the Viscount Montacute, lived there;) the wall between his parlour and their's being so thin, that he could easily hear any thing that was said with a louder voice, he (Hemings) was reading in his parlour late at night, when he heard one come into the neighbouring parlour, and say, with a doleful voice, the Prince of Wales is dead: Upon which a great many that lived in the house came down stairs very quick. Upon this confusion he could not hear any thing more; but it was plain they were in a great consternation. He went with the news next morning to the bishops in the Tower. The Countess of Clarendon came thither soon after, and told them, she had been at the young prince's door, but was denied access: she was amazed at it; and asked, if they knew her: they said, they did; but that the queen had ordered, that no person whatsoever should be suffered to come in to him. This gave credit to Hemings' story; and looked as if all was ordered to be kept shut up close, till another child was found. One, that saw the child two days after, said to me, that he looked strong, and not like a child so newly born."

The poem of Dryden plainly proves, that such a report was so far from being confined among the Catholics, that it was spread over all the town; and what the worthy Mr Hemings over-heard in his next neighbour's, the Papist's, might probably have been heard in any company in London that evening, although the mode of communication would doubtless have been doleful or joyous, according to the party and religion of the news-bearer.

PROLOGUES

AND

EPILOGUES.

PROLOGUES AND EPILOGUES.

The prologue of the English drama was originally, like that of the ancients, merely a kind of argument of the play, instructing the audience concerning those particulars of the plot, which were necessary in order to understand the opening of the piece. That this might be done more artificially, it was often spoken in the character of some person connected with the preceding history of the intrigue, though not properly one of the _dramatis personæ_. But when increasing refinement introduced the present mode of opening the action in the course of the play itself, the prologue became a preliminary address to the audience, bespeaking their attention and favour for the piece. The epilogue had always borne this last character, being merely an extension of the ancient "_valete et plaudite_;" an opportunity seized by the performers, after resigning their mimic characters, to pay their respects to the public in their own, and to solicit its approbation of their exertions. By degrees it assumed a more important shape, and was indulged in descanting upon such popular topics as were likely to interest the audience, even though less immediately connected with the actor's address of thanks, or the piece they had been performing. Both the prologue and epilogue had assumed their present character so early as the days of Shakespeare and Jonson.

With the revival of dramatic entertainments, after the Restoration, these addresses were revived also; and a degree of consequence seems to have been attached to them in that witty age, which they did not possess before, and which has not since been given to them. They were not only used to propitiate the audience; to apologize for the players, or poet; or to satirize the follies of the day, which is now their chief purpose; but they became, during the collision of contending factions, vehicles of political tenets and political sarcasm, which could, at no time, be insinuated with more success, than when clothed in nervous verse, and delivered with all the advantages of elocution to an audience, whose numbers rendered the impression of poetry and eloquence more contagious.

It is not surprising that Dryden soon obtained a complete and absolute superiority in this style of composition over all who pretended to compete with him. While the harmony of his verse gave that advantage to the speaker, which was wanting in the harsh, coarse, broken measure of his contemporaries, his powers of reasoning and of satire left them as far behind in sense as in sound. This superiority, and the great influence which he had in the management of the theatre, made it usual to invoke his assistance in the case of new plays; many of which he accordingly furnished either with prologues or epilogues. The players also had recourse to him upon any remarkable occasion; as, when a new house was opened; when the theatre was honoured by a visit from the king or duke; when they played at Oxford, during the public acts; or, in short, in all cases when an occasional prologue was thought necessary to grace their performance.

The collection of these pieces, which follows, is far from being the least valuable part of our author's labours. The variety and richness of fancy which they indicate, is one of Dryden's most remarkable poetical attributes. Whether the theme be, the youth and inexperience or the age and past services, of the author; the plainness or magnificence of a new theatre; the superiority of ancient authors, or the exaltation of the moderns; the censure of political faction, or of fashionable follies; the praise of the monarch, or the ridicule of the administration; the poet never fails to treat it with the liveliness appropriate to verses intended to be spoken, and spoken before a numerous assembly. The manner which Dryden assumes, varies also with the nature of his audience. The prologues and epilogues, intended for the London stage, are written in a tone of superiority, as if the poet, conscious of the justice of his own laws of criticism, rather imposed them upon the public as absolute and undeniable, than as standing in need of their ratification. And if he sometimes condescends to solicit, in a more humble style, the approbation of the audience, and to state circumstances of apology, and pleas of favour, it is only in the case of other poets; for, in the prologues of his own plays, he always rather demands than begs their applause; and if he acknowledges any defects in the piece, he takes care to intimate, that they are introduced in compliance with the evil taste of the age; and that the audience must take the blame to themselves, instead of throwing it upon the writer. This bold, style of address, although it occasionally drew upon our author the charge of presumption, was, nevertheless, so well supported by his perception of what was just in criticism, and his powers of defending even what was actually wrong, that a miscellaneous audience was, in general, fain to submit to a domination, as successfully supported as boldly claimed. In the Oxford prologues, on the other hand, the audience furnished by that seat of the Muses, as of more competent judgment, are addressed with more respectful deference by the poet.[330] He seems, in these, to lay down his rules of criticism, as it were under correction of superior judges; and intermingles them with such compliments to the taste and learning of the members of the university, as he disdains to bestow upon the motley audience of the metropolis. In one style, the author seems dictating to scholars, whose conceit and presumption must be lowered by censure, to make them sensible of their own deficiencies, and induce them to receive the offered instruction; in the other, he seems to deliver his opinions before men, whom he acknowledges as his equals, if not his superiors, in the arts of which he is treating. And although Brown has very grossly charged Dryden with having affected, for the university, an esteem and respect, which he was far from really feeling; and with having exposed its members, in their turn, to the ridicule of the London audience, whom he had stigmatized in his Oxford prologues as void of taste and judgment; it is but fair to state, that nothing can be produced in proof of such an accusation.[331] In another respect, the reader may remark a pleasing difference between the London prologues and epilogues, and those spoken at Oxford. The licence of the times permitted, and even exacted from an author, in these compositions, the indulgence of an indelicate vein of humour; which, however humiliating, is, in general, successful in a vulgar or mixed audience, as turning upon subjects adapted to the meanest capacity. This continued even down to our times; for, till very lately, it was expected by the mobbish part of the audience, that they should be indemnified for the patience with which they had listened to the moral lessons of a tragedy, by the indecency of the epilogue. In Dryden's time, this coarse raillery was carried to great excess; but our author, however culpable in other compositions, is, generally speaking, more correct than his contemporaries in his prologues and epilogues. In the Oxford pieces, particularly, where the decorum of manners, suited to that mother of learning, required him to abstain from all licentious allusion, Dryden has given some excellent specimens of how little he needed to rely upon this obvious and vulgar aid, for the amusement of his audience. Upon the whole, it will be difficult to find pieces of this occasional nature so interesting and unexceptionable as those spoken at Oxford. They are, as they ought to be, by far the most laboured and correct which our author gave to the stage. It may not be improper to add, that the players were only permitted to visit Oxford during the Public Acts, which were frequently celebrated on occasions of public rejoicing. They acted, it would appear, in a Tennis-court, fitted up as an occasional theatre; and the prologues and epilogues of Dryden tended doubtless greatly to conciliate the favour of an audience, consisting of all that was learned in the generation then mature, and all that was hopeful in that which was rising to succeed it.

The more miscellaneous prologues and epilogues of Dryden are not without interest. In ridiculing the vices or follies of the age, they often touch upon circumstances illustrative of manners; and certainly, though the modern theatres of the metropolis are so ill regulated, as nearly to exclude modest females from all the house, except the private boxes, their decorum is superior to that of their predecessors. If we conceive the boxes filled with women, whose masks levelled all distinction between the woman of fashion and the courtezan; the galleries crowded with a rabble, more ferocious and ignorant than its present inmates; the pit occupied by drunken bullies, whose quarrels perpetually interrupted the performers, and often ended in bloodshed, and even murder, upon the spot; we shall have occasion to congratulate ourselves upon being at least in the way of reformation. These enormities of his time, Dryden has pointed out, and censured in his strong and nervous satire. It is to be regretted, that his painting is often coarse, and sometimes intentionally licentious; although, as has been already observed, more seldom so than that of most of his contemporaries. The historical antiquary may also glean some observations on the state of parties, from those pieces which turn upon the politics of the day; and there occur numerous hints, which may be useful to an historian of the drama. Thus the Prologues and Epilogues form no improper supplement to Dryden's historical poetry.

It remains to say, that all these prologues and epilogues were, according to the custom of that time, printed on single leaves, or broadsides, as they are called, and sold by the hawkers at the door of the theatres. Some of these, but very few, have been preserved by Mr Luttrell, in the collection belonging to Mr Bindley. If a set of them existed, I think it probable they would be found to contain many variations from those editions, which the more mature reflection of the author gave to the world in the Miscellanies. But the loss is the less to be lamented, as, in general, the original editions which I have seen are not only more inaccurate, but coarser and more licentious, than those which Dryden finally adopted. In the original prologue of Circe, which is printed in this edition, for example, the reader will find, that, in place of the well-known apology for an author's first production, by an appeal to those of Shakespeare, Fletcher, and Jonson, his youth is only made the subject of some commonplace raillery. Indeed, so little value did Dryden himself set upon these occasional effusions before they were collected, and so little did he consider them as entitled to live in the recollection of the public, that, on one occasion at least, but probably upon several, he actually transferred the same prologue from one new play to another. Thus he reclaimed, from his adversary Shadwell's play of "The True Widow," the prologue which he had furnished, and affixed it to the "Widow Ranter" of Mrs Behn. Sometimes also he laid under contribution former publications of his own, which he supposed to be forgotten, in order to furnish out one of these theatrical prefaces. Thus the satire against the Dutch furnishes the principal part of the prologue and epilogue to "Amboyna."

Inaccurate as they seem to have been, the original editions might have proved useful in arranging the prologues and epilogues according to their exact dates, which, where they are not attached to any particular play, can now only be assigned from internal evidence. But absolute accuracy in this point, though no doubt desirable if it can be obtained, does not appear to be a point of any serious moment; and, after having bestowed considerable pains, the Editor will neither be much ashamed, nor inconsolably sorry, to find, that some of the prologues and epilogues have been misplaced in the order which he has adopted.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 330: Our author's several modes of coaxing or bullying the audience in the prologues, are ridiculed in the "Rehearsal;" where Bayes says, "You must know there is in nature but two ways of making very good prologues;--the one is, by civility, by insinuation, good language, and all that to ---- a ---- in a manner steal your plaudit from the courtesy of the auditors: the other, by making use of some certain personal things, which may keep a hank upon such censuring persons as cannot otherwise, egad, in nature, be hindered from being too free with their tongues."]

[Footnote 331: The following is the statement of the accusation in Tom's peculiar style, being a sort of cant jargon, not void of low humour:

"_Bayes._ Now, there being but three remarkable places in the whole island; that is, the two universities, and the great metropolitan city; I shall, consequently, confine my discourse only to them: But, first of all, I must tell you, that I am altogether of my Lord Plausible's opinion in the "Plain Dealer;" if I chance to commend any place, or order of men, out of pure friendship, I choose to do it before their faces; and if I have occasion to speak ill of any person or place, out of a principle of respect and good manners, I do it behind their backs. You cannot imagine, Mr Crites, when I visit either of the two universities, in my own person, or by my commissioners of the playhouse, how much I am taken with a college life: Oh, there's nothing like a cheese cut out into farthings! and my Lord Mayor, amidst all his brutal city luxury, does not dine half so well as a student upon a single chop of rotten roasted mutton; nay, I can scarce prevail with myself, for a month or two after, to eat my meat on a plate, so great a respect have I for a university trencher; and then their conversation is so learned, and withal so innocent, that I could sit a whole day together at a coffee-house to hear them dispute about _actus perspicui_, and _forma misti_. From this beginning I naturally fall a railing at London, with as much zeal as a Buckingham-shire grazier, who had his pocket picked at a Smithfield entertainment; or a country lady, whose obsequious knight has spent his estate among misses, vintners, and linen-drapers; and then I tell my audience, that a man may walk farther in the city to meet a true judge of poetry, than ride his horse on Salisbury Plain to find a house.

London likes grossly, but this nicer pit Examines, fathoms, all the depths of wit.

You see here, Mr Crites, that scholars won't take Alderman Duncomb's leaden halfpence for Irish half crowns, while dull Londoner swallows every thing; and takes it with as little consideration, as a true Romanist takes a spiritual dose of relicts, that are sealed up with the council of Trent's coat-of-arms.

_Eugen._ How was that, Mr Bayes, about the council of Trent? Pray, let us hear it again.

_Bayes._ Gad forgive me for't!--it dropt from me ere I was aware; but I shall in time wear off this hitching in my gait, and walk in Catholic trammels as well as the best of them; nature, I must confess, is not overcome on the sudden--But let me see, gentlemen, whether I have any more lines to our last purpose; oh, here they are!

Poetry, which is in Oxford made An art, in London only is a trade. Our poet, could he find forgiveness here, Would wish it rather than a plaudit there.

You are sensible, without question, how little beholden the city is to me, when I am upon my progress elsewhere. But 'tis a comfort that this peremptory humour does not continue long upon me; for, as I have the grace to disown my mother-university, with a jug in one hand, and a link in the other, when I am at Oxford,--

Thebes did his green unknowing years engage; He chuses Athens in his riper age.

So, when I am got amongst my honest acquaintance here in Covent-Garden, I disown both the sisters, and make myself as merry as a grig, with their greasy trenchers, rusty salt-sellers, and no napkins, with their everlasting drinking, and no intervals of fornication to relieve it. In fine, I make a great scruple of it, whether it be possible for a man to write sound heroics, and make an accomplished thorough-paced wit, unless he comes to refine and cultivate himself at London; unless be knows how many stories high the houses are in Cheapside and Fleet-street; is acquainted with all the gaming ordinaries about town, and the rates of porters and hackney-coachmen; has shot the bridge; seen the tombs at Westminster; heard the Wooden-head speak; can tell you where the insuring-office is kept; and which of the twelve companies has the honour of precedence."

_The Reasons for Mr Bayes changing his Religion_, p. 10. ]

PROLOGUE

SPOKEN

THE FIRST DAY OF THE KING'S HOUSE ACTING AFTER THE FIRE.

_In January_, 1671-2, _the play-house in Drury-Lane_, _occupied by the King's company_, _took fire_, _and was entirely destroyed_, _with fifty or sixty adjoining houses_, _which were either involved in the conflagration_, _or blown up to stop its progress_. _During the rebuilding of this theatre, the King's servants acted in the old house in Lincoln's-Inn-Fields. The following Prologue announces the distressed situation of the company on their retreat to this temporary asylum. The sixth couplet alludes to the recent desertion of the Lincoln's-Inn theatre, by the rival company, called the Duke's, who were now acting at one in Dorset Gardens, splendidly fitted up under the direction of Sir William D'Avenant._

So shipwrecked passengers escaped to land, So look they, when on the bare beach they stand, Dropping and cold, and their first fear scarce o'er, Expecting famine on a desart shore. From that hard climate we must wait for bread, Whence even the natives, forced by hunger, fled. Our stage does human chance present to view, But ne'er before was seen so sadly true: You are changed too, and your pretence to see Is but a nobler name for charity. Your own provisions furnish out our feasts, While you, the founders, make yourselves the guests. Of all mankind beside, fate had some care, } But for poor Wit no portion did prepare, } 'Tis left a rent-charge to the brave and fair.} You cherished it, and now its fall you mourn, Which blind unmannered zealots make their scorn, Who think that fire a judgment on the stage, Which spared not temples[332] in its furious rage. But as our new-built city rises higher, } So from old theatres may new aspire, } Since fate contrives magnificence by fire.} Our great metropolis does far surpass Whate'er is now, and equals all that was: Our wit as far does foreign wit excel, And, like a king, should in a palace dwell. But we with golden hopes are vainly fed, Talk high, and entertain you in a shed: Your presence here, for which we humbly sue, Will grace old theatres, and build up new.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 332: St Paul's, and other churches, were consumed in the great fire, then a recent event.]

PROLOGUE

FOR

THE WOMEN, WHEN THEY ACTED AT THE OLD THEATRE, LINCOLN'S-INN-FIELDS.

_Female performers were first introduced after the Restoration. They became speedily acceptable to the court and the public. The dramatic poets were in so many ways indebted to them, that occasional exertions, dedicated to their benefit, as I presume the following to have been, were but a suitable return for various favours received. Our author's intimacy with the beautiful Mrs Reeves particularly called forth his talents in behalf of these damsels, distressed as they must have been by the unlucky burning of the theatre in Drury-Lane. The Prologue occurs in the Miscellanies; but is, I know not why, omitted by Derrick in his edition of Dryden's poems._

Were none of you, gallants, e'er driven so hard, As when the poor kind soul was under guard, And could not do't at home, in some by-street To take a lodging, and in private meet? Such is our case; we can't appoint our house, The lovers' old and wonted rendezvous, But hither to this trusty nook remove; The worse the lodging is, the more the love. For much good pastime, many a dear sweet hug, Is stolen in garrets, on the humble rug. Here's good accommodation in the pit; The grave demurely in the midst may sit, And so the hot Burgundian[333] on the side, Ply vizard mask, and o'er the benches stride: Here are convenient upper boxes too, } For those that make the most triumphant show;} All that keep coaches, must not sit below. } There, gallants, you betwixt the acts retire, And, at dull plays, have something to admire: We, who look up, can your addresses mark, And see the creatures coupled in the ark: So we expect the lovers, braves, and wits; The gaudy house with scenes[334] will serve for cits.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 333: That is, the consumer of Burgundy, or drunken bully of the day.]

[Footnote 334: Dorset-Garden theatre, where the Duke's company acted various shewy pieces, directed by D'Avenant.]

PROLOGUE

SPOKEN AT

THE OPENING OF THE NEW HOUSE,

MARCH 26, 1674.

_The Drury-Lane theatre, after being burned in_ 1671-2, _was rebuilt upon a plan furnished by Sir Christopher Wren_, _who superintended the execution_. _It is said to have been most admirably planned, but spoiled by some injudicious alterations in the course of building. The following Prologue informs us, that the exterior decorations were plain and simple in comparison to those of the rival house in Dorset Gardens, which, as repeatedly noticed, had been splendidly fitted up under the direction of D'Avenant, noted for his attachment to stage pomp and shew. It appears that Charles II., who was possessed of considerable taste, and did not disdain to interest himself in the affairs of the drama, had himself recommended to the King's company, the simplicity and frugality of scenery and ornament to which the poet alludes. The other house were not unapt to boast of the superior splendour which is here conceded to them. In the epilogue to_ "_Psyche_" _the actors boast_,

----Gallants, you can tell, No foreign stage can ours in pomp excel; And here none e'er shall treat you half so well. Poor players have this day such splendour shown, Which yet but by great monarchs has been done.

_D'Avenant, by whom the Duke's company were long directed, was the first who introduced regular scenery upon a public stage. His drama of the "Siege of Rhodes" seems to have been the first exhibited with these decorations._--See MALONE'S Account of the English Stage."

A plain-built house, after so long a stay, Will send you half unsatisfied away; When, fallen from your expected pomp, you find A bare convenience only is designed. You, who each day can theatres behold, Like Nero's palace, shining all with gold, Our mean ungilded stage will scorn, we fear, And, for the homely room, disdain the chear. Yet now cheap druggets to a mode are grown, } And a plain suit, since we can make but one, } Is better than to be by tarnished gawdry known.} They, who are by your favours wealthy made, With mighty sums may carry on the trade; We, broken bankers, half destroyed by fire, } With our small stock to humble roofs retire;} Pity our loss, while you their pomp admire. } For fame and honour we no longer strive; We yield in both, and only beg--to live; Unable to support their vast expence, Who build and treat with such magnificence, That, like the ambitious monarchs of the age, They give the law to our provincial stage. Great neighbours enviously promote excess, While they impose their splendour on the less; But only fools, and they of vast estate, } The extremity of modes will imitate, } The dangling knee-fringe, and the bib-cravat,} Yet if some pride with want may be allowed, We in our plainness may be justly proud; Our Royal Master willed it should be so; Whate'er he's pleased to own, can need no show: That sacred name gives ornament and grace, And, like his stamp, makes basest metal pass. 'Twere folly now a stately pile to raise, To build a playhouse while you throw down plays; While scenes, machines, and empty operas reign, And for the pencil you the pen disdain; While troops of famished Frenchmen hither drive, And laugh at those upon whose alms they live: Old English authors vanish, and give place To these new conquerors of the Norman race. More tamely than your fathers you submit; You're now grown vassals to them in your wit. Mark, when they play, how our fine fops advance } The mighty merits of their men of France, } Keep time, cry, _Bon!_ and humour the cadence.} Well, please yourselves; but sure 'tis understood, That French machines have ne'er done England good.[335] I would not prophecy our house's fate; But while vain shows and scenes you over-rate, 'Tis to be feared---- That, as a fire the former house o'erthrew, Machines and tempests[336] will destroy the new.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 335: St André, the famous ballet dancer, composed dances for many operas about this time, which were probably performed by his light-footed countrymen, at Dorset-Gardens.]

[Footnote 336: "In 1673, the 'Tempest, or the Enchanted Island,' made into an opera by Mr Shadwell, having all new in it, as scenes, machines, &c.: one scene painted with myriads of ærial spirits; and others flying away with a table furnished with fruits, sweetmeats, and all sorts of viands, just when Duke Trinculo and his company were going to dinner. All things were performed so admirably well, that not any succeeding opera could get any money."--_Roscius Anglicanus_, p. 34. Shadwell had also, about this time, produced his opera of "Psyche," which, with the "Tempest" and other pieces depending chiefly upon shew and scenery, were acting in Dorset-Garden, when this Prologue was written. In order to ridicule these splendid exhibitions, the company at Drury-Lane brought forward parodies on them, such as the "Mock Tempest," "Psyche Debauched," &c. These pieces, though written in the meanest style by one Duffet, a low buffoon, had a transient course of success.]

EPILOGUE

ON

THE SAME OCCASION.

Though what our Prologue said was sadly true,} Yet, gentlemen, our homely house is new, } A charm that seldom fails with wicked you. } A country lip may have the velvet touch; } Though she's no lady, you may think her such: } A strong imagination may do much. } But you, loud sirs, who through your curls look big, Critics in plume and white vallancy wig, Who, lolling, on our foremost benches sit, And still charge first, the true forlorn of wit; Whose favours, like the sun, warm where you roll, Yet you, like him, have neither heat nor soul; So may your hats your foretops never press, Untouched your ribbons, sacred be your dress; So may you slowly to old age advance, And have the excuse of youth for ignorance; So may fop-corner full of noise remain, And drive far off the dull, attentive train; So may your midnight scourings happy prove, And morning batteries force your way to love; So may not France your warlike hands recal, But leave you by each others swords to fall,[337] As you come here to ruffle vizard punk, When sober rail, and roar when you are drunk. But to the wits we can some merit plead, And urge what by themselves has oft been said: Our house relieves the ladies from the frights Of ill-paved streets, and long dark winter nights; The Flanders horses from a cold bleak road, Where bears in furs dare scarcely look abroad;[338] The audience from worn plays and fustian stuff, Of rhime, more nauseous than three boys in buff.[339] Though in their house the poets' heads[340] appear, We hope we may presume their wits are here. The best which they reserved they now will play, } For, like kind cuckolds, though we've not the way } To please, we'll find you abler men who may. } If they should fail, for last recruits we breed } A troop of frisking monsieurs to succeed: } You know the French sure cards at time of need. }

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 337: This seems to be an allusion to the recent death of Mr Scroop; a man of fortune, who, about this time, was stabbed in the theatre at Dorset-Gardens by Sir Thomas Armstrong, afterwards the confidential friend of the Duke of Monmouth. Langbaine says, he witnessed this real tragedy, which happened during the representation of "Macbeth," as altered and revised by D'Avenant in 1674. Mr Scroop died immediately after his removal into a neighbouring house.]

[Footnote 338: Alluding to the recent establishment in Lincoln's-Inn-Fields, then separated from the city by a large vacant space.]

[Footnote 339: "The three boys in buff," were, I believe, the three Bold Beauchamps in an old ranting play:

"The three bold Beauchamps shall revive again, And, with the London Prentice, conquer Spain." ]

[Footnote 340: Some part of the ornaments of D'Avenant's scenes probably presented the portraits of dramatic writers.]

PROLOGUE

TO

THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD, 1674.

SPOKEN BY MR HART.

_Hart, who had been a captain in the civil wars, belonged to the King's company. He was an excellent actor, and particularly celebrated in the character of Othello. He left the stage, according to Cibber, on the union of the companies in_ 1686. _But it appears from a paper published in a note on the article_ "_Betterton_" _in the_ Biographia, _that he retired in_ 1681, _upon receiving a pension from Dr D'Avenant_, _then manager of the Duke's company_, _who in this manner bought off both Hart and Kynaston_, _and greatly weakened the opposite set_.

Poets, your subjects, have their parts assigned, To unbend, and to divert their sovereign's mind; When tired with following nature, you think fit To seek repose in the cool shades of wit, And, from the sweet retreat, with joy survey What rests, and what is conquered, of the way. Here, free yourselves from envy, care, and strife, You view the various turns of human life; Safe in our scene, through dangerous courts you go, And, undebauched, the vice of cities know. Your theories are here to practice brought, As in mechanic operations wrought; And man, the little world, before you set, As once the sphere of crystal[341] shewed the great. Blest sure are you above all mortal kind, If to your fortunes you can suit your mind; Content to see, and shun, those ills we show, And crimes on theatres alone to know. With joy we bring what our dead authors writ, And beg from you the value of their wit: That Shakespeare's, Fletcher's, and great Jonson's claim, May be renewed from those who gave them fame. None of our living poets dare appear; For muses so severe are worshipped here, That, conscious of their faults, they shun the eye, } And, as profane, from sacred places fly, } Rather than see the offended God, and die. } We bring no imperfections, but our own; Such faults as made are by the makers shown; And you have been so kind, that we may boast, The greatest judges still can pardon most. Poets must stoop, when they would please our pit, Debased even to the level of their wit; Disdaining that, which yet they know will take, Hating themselves what their applause must make. But when to praise from you they would aspire, Though they, like eagles, mount, your Jove is higher. So far your knowledge all their power transcends, As what should be, beyond what is, extends.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 341: Its properties are thus described by Spenser:

It vertue had to show in perfect sight Whatever thing was in the world contained, Betwixt the lowest earth and heaven's height, So that it to the looker appertained. Whatever foe had wrought, or friend designed, Therein discovered was ne ought mote pass, Ne ought in secret from the same remained, Forthy it round, and hollow-shaped was, Like to the world itself, and seemed a world of glass.

Such was the glassy globe that Merlin made, And gave unto King Ryence for his guard.

_Fairy Queen_, Book iii. Canto 2. ]

EPILOGUE

SPOKEN

AT OXFORD, BY MRS MARSHALL.

_The date of this Epilogue is fixed by that of Bathurst's vice-chancellorship_, _which lasted from 3d October_, 1673, _to 9th October_ 1675.

Oft has our poet wished, this happy seat Might prove his fading muse's last retreat: I wondered at his wish, but now I find He sought for quiet, and content of mind; Which noiseful towns, and courts, can never know, And only in the shades, like laurels, grow. Youth, ere it sees the world, here studies rest, And age, returning thence, concludes it best. What wonder if we court that happiness Yearly to share, which hourly you possess, Teaching e'en you, while the vext world we show, Your peace to value more, and better know? 'Tis all we can return for favours past, Whose holy memory shall ever last, For patronage from him whose care presides O'er every noble art, and every science guides;[342] Bathurst, a name the learned with reverence know, And scarcely more to his own Virgil owe; Whose age enjoys but what his youth deserved, To rule those muses whom before he served. His learning, and untainted manners too, We find, Athenians, are derived to you; Such antient hospitality there rests } In yours, as dwelt in the first Grecian breasts, } Whose kindness was religion to their guests. } Such modesty did to our sex appear, } As, had there been no laws, we need not fear, } Since each of you was our protector here. } Converse so chaste, and so strict virtue shown, As might Apollo with the muses own. Till our return, we must despair to find Judges so just, so knowing, and so kind.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 342: Ralph Bathurst, thus highly distinguished by our author, was a distinguished character of the age. He was uncle to Allen, the first Lord Bathurst. He was born in 1620, and bred to the church, but abandoned divinity for the pursuit of medicine, which he practised until the Restoration, when he resumed his clerical character. In 1663 he became head of Trinity college, Oxford, into the court and chapel of which he introduced the beauties of classical architecture, to rival, if it were possible, the magnificence of the Gothic edifices by which it is surrounded. In 1673, he had the honour to be appointed vice-chancellor; an office which he retained for two years. During his execution of this duty he is said to have reformed many abuses which had crept into the university; and by liberal benefactions added considerably to the prosperity of literature. Anthony Wood, who had some private reason for disliking him, and who, moreover, was as determined an enemy to the fair sex as ever harboured in a cloister, picked a quarrel with Bathurst's wife, as he could find no reasonable fault with the vice-chancellor himself. "Dr Bathurst took his place of vice-chancellor; a man of good parts, and able to do good things; but he has a wife that scorns that he should be in print; a scornful woman! scorns that he was dean of Wells: no need of marrying such a woman, who is so conceited, that she thinks herself fit to govern a college, or university."--Perhaps the countenance given by Bathurst to the theatre, for which Dryden here expresses his gratitude, might not tend to conciliate the good will of Anthony, who quarrelled with his sister-in-law by refusing to treat her to the play. But it agreed well with the character of Bathurst, who was not only a patron of literature in all its branches, but himself an excellent Latin poet, as his verses prefixed to Hobbes' "Leviathan," fully testify; and as good an English poet as most of his contemporaries. He died in his eighty-fourth year, 1704. Warton has given us the following character of his Latin compositions, for which Dryden has celebrated him so highly: "His Latin orations are wonderful specimens of wit and antithesis, which were the delight of his age. They want, upon the whole, the purity and simplicity of Tully's eloquence, but even exceed the sententious smartness of Seneca, and the surprising turns of Pliny. They are perpetually spirited, and discover an uncommon quickness of thought. The manner is concise and abrupt, but yet perspicuous and easy: His allusions are delicate, and his observations sensible and animated; his sentiments of congratulation, or indignation, are equally forcible: his compliments are most elegantly turned, and his satire is most ingeniously severe. These compositions are extremely agreeable to read, but, in the present improvement of classical taste, not so proper to be imitated."--_Life of Bathurst, prefixed to his Literary Remains, published under the inspection of Mr Warton._]

ORIGINAL

PROLOGUE TO CIRCE,

BY

DR CHARLES D'AVENANT, 1675.

_Dr Charles D'Avenant, the author of "Circe," was son of the Rare Sir William D'Avenant, whom he succeeded as manager of the Duke's company. He practised physic in Doctor's Commons, which he afterwards abandoned for politics. He became a member of Parliament, and inspector of the exports and imports, of which office he died possessed in_ 1714. _He wrote many tracts upon political subjects, especially those connected with the revenue. "Circe," his only drama, is an opera, to which Bannister composed the music. Besides the Prologue by our author, it was honoured by an Epilogue by the famous Rochester, and thus graced was received favourably. It contains some good writing, considering it was composed at the age of nineteen; a circumstance alluded to in the following Prologue. The original Prologue is from the 4to edition of "_Circe_," _London_, 1677. _It was afterwards much improved, or rather entirely re-written, by our author._

Were you but half so wise as you're severe, Our youthful poet should not need to fear; To his green years your censures you would suit, Not blast the blossom, but expect the fruit. The sex, that best does pleasure understand, Will always chuse to err on t'other hand. They check not him that's aukward in delight, But clap the young rogue's cheek, and set him right. Thus heartened well, and fleshed upon his prey, The youth may prove a man another day. For your own sakes, instruct him when he's out, You'll find him mend his work at every bout. When some young lusty thief is passing by, } How many of your tender kind will cry,-- } "A proper fellow! pity he should die! } He might be saved, and thank us for our pains, There's such a stock of love within his veins." These arguments the women may persuade, But move not you, the brothers of the trade, Who, scattering your infection through the pit, } With aching hearts and empty purses sit, } To take your dear five shillings worth of wit. } The praise you give him, in your kindest mood, Comes dribbling from you, just like drops of blood; And then you clap so civilly, for fear The loudness might offend your neighbour's ear, That we suspect your gloves are lined within, For silence sake, and cotton'd next the skin. From these usurpers we appeal to you, The only knowing, only judging few; You, who in private have this play allowed, Ought to maintain your suffrage to the crowd. The captive, once submitted to your bands, You should protect from death by vulgar hands.

PROLOGUE TO CIRCE,

AS CORRECTED BY DRYDEN.

Were you but half so wise as you're severe, Our youthful poet should not need to fear; To his green years your censures you would suit, Not blast the blossom, but expect the fruit. The sex, that best does pleasure understand, Will always choose to err on t'other hand. They check not him that's aukward in delight, But clap the young rogue's cheek, and set him right. Thus heartened well, and fleshed upon his prey, The youth may prove a man another day. Your Ben and Fletcher, in their first young flight, Did no Volpone, nor no Arbaces write;[343] But hopped about, and short excursions made } From bough to bough, as if they were afraid, } And each was guilty of some Slighted Maid.[344] } Shakespeare's own muse her Pericles first bore;[345] The Prince of Tyre was elder than the Moor: 'Tis miracle to see a first good play; All hawthorns do not bloom on Christmas-day.[346] A slender poet must have time to grow, And spread and burnish as his brothers do. Who still looks lean, sure with some pox is curst, But no man can be Falstaff-fat at first. Then damn not, but indulge his rude essays, Encourage him, and bloat him up with praise, That he may get more bulk before he dies; He's not yet fed enough for sacrifice. Perhaps, if now your grace you will not grudge, He may grow up to write, and you to judge.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 343: Characters in Jonson's "Volpone," and Fletcher's "King and no King," which plays are justly held the master-pieces of these authors.]

[Footnote 344: The "Slighted Maid" was a contemporary drama, written by Sir Richard Stapylton, of which Dryden elsewhere takes occasion to speak in terms of contempt. See the _Parallel betwixt Poetry and Painting_.]

[Footnote 345: This opinion seems to be solely founded on the inferiority of "Pericles," to the other plays of Shakspeare; an inferiority so great, as to warrant very strong doubts of its being the legitimate offspring of his muse at all.]

[Footnote 346: Alluding to the legend of the Glastonbury thorn, supposed to bloom on Christmas day.]

EPILOGUE

INTENDED TO HAVE BEEN SPOKEN BY

THE LADY HEN. MAR. WENTWORTH.

WHEN CALISTO WAS ACTED AT COURT, IN 1675.

"_Calisto, or the Chaste Nymph_," _was a masque written by John Crowne, who, by the interference of Rochester, was employed to compose such an entertainment to be exhibited at court, though this was an encroachment on the office of Dryden, the poet laureat. The principal characters were represented by the daughters of the Duke of York, and the first nobility. The Lady Mary, afterwards Queen, to whom the masque was dedicated, acted Calisto; Nyphe was represented by the Lady Anne, who also succeeded to the throne; Jupiter, by Lady Harriot Wentworth; Psecas, by Lady Mary Mordaunt; Diana, by Mrs Blague, and Mercury by Mrs Sarah Jennings, afterwards Duchess of Marlborough. Among the attendant nymphs and dancers were the Countesses of Pembroke and of Derby, Lady Catharine Herbert, Mrs Fitzgerald, and Mrs Fraser. The male dancers were the Duke of Monmouth, Viscount Dunblaine, Lord Daincourt, and others of the first quality. Although the exhibition of this masque, which it was the privilege of his office to have written, must have been somewhat galling to Dryden, we see that he so far suppressed his feelings as to compose the following Epilogue, which, to his farther mortification, was rejected, through the interference of Rochester._

_The Lady Henrietta Maria Wentworth, Baroness of Nettlested, who acted the part of Jupiter on the present occasion, afterwards adapted her conduct to that of Calisto, and became the mistress of the Duke of Monmouth. He was so passionately attached to her, that upon the scaffold he vindicated their intercourse by some very warm and enthusiastic expressions, and could by no means be prevailed on to express any repentance of it as unlawful. This lady died about a year after the execution of her unfortunate lover_, _in_ 1685. _Her mother, Lady Wentworth, ordered a monument of L._ 2000 _value to be erected over her in the church of Teddington, Bedfordshire._

As Jupiter I made my court in vain; I'll now assume my native shape again. I'm weary to be so unkindly used, And would not be a God, to be refused. State grows uneasy when it hinders love; A glorious burden, which the wise remove. Now, as a nymph, I need not sue, nor try The force of any lightning but the eye. Beauty and youth, more than a god command; No Jove could e'er the force of these withstand. 'Tis here that sovereign power admits dispute; Beauty sometimes is justly absolute. Our sullen Cato's, whatsoe'er they say, Even while they frown and dictate laws, obey. You, mighty sir, our bonds more easy make, And, gracefully, what all must suffer, take; Above those forms the grave affect to wear, For 'tis not to be wise to be severe. True wisdom may some gallantry admit, And soften business with the charms of wit. These peaceful triumphs with your cares you bought, And from the midst of fighting nations brought.[347] You only hear it thunder from afar, And sit, in peace, the arbiter of war: Peace, the loathed manna, which hot brains despise, You knew its worth, and made it early prize; And in its happy leisure, sit and see The promises of more felicity; Two glorious nymphs of your own godlike line, Whose morning rays, like noontide, strike and shine;[348] Whom you to suppliant monarchs shall dispose, To bind your friends, and to disarm your foes.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 347: The war between France and the confederates was now raging on the Continent.]

[Footnote 348: The glorious nymphs, afterwards Queens Anne and Mary, both lived to exclude their own father and his son from the throne. Derrick, I suppose, alluded to this circumstance, when in the next line he read _supplant_ for _suppliant_ monarchs.]

EPILOGUE

TO THE

MAN OF MODE; OR SIR FOPLING FLUTTER.

BY

SIR GEORGE ETHEREGE, 1676.

_This play, which long maintained a high degree of reputation on the stage, presents us with the truest picture of what was esteemed good breeding and wit in the reign of Charles II. All the characters, from Dorimant down to the Shoemaker, were either really drawn from the life, or depicted so accurately according to the manners of the times, that each was instantly ascribed to some individual. Sir Fopling Flutter, in particular, was supposed to represent Sir George Hewit, mentioned in the Essay on Satire, and who seems to have been one of the most choice coxcombs of the period. A very severe criticism in the_ Spectator, _pointing out the coarseness as well as the immorality of this celebrated performance, had a great effect in diminishing its popularity. The satire being in fact personal, it followed as a matter of course, that the Prologue should disclaim all personality, that being an attribute to be discovered by the audience, but not avowed by the poet. Dryden has accomplished this with much liveliness, and enumerates for our edification the special fopperies which went to make up a complete fine gentleman in_ 1676--_differing only in form from those required in_ 1806, _excepting that the ancient beau needed, to complete his character, a slight sprinkling of literary accomplishment, which the modern has discarded with the "_sacred periwig_."_

Most modern wits such monstrous fools have shown, They seem not of heaven's making, but their own. Those nauseous Harlequins in farce may pass; But there goes more to a substantial ass: Something of man must be exposed to view, That, gallants, they may more resemble you. Sir Fopling is a fool so nicely writ, The ladies would mistake him for a wit; And, when he sings, talks loud, and cocks, would cry, I vow, methinks, he's pretty company! So brisk, so gay, so travelled, so refined, As he took pains to graff upon his kind. True fops help nature's work, and go to school, To file and finish God Almighty's fool. Yet none Sir Fopling him, or him can call; He's knight o' the shire, and represents ye all. From each he meets he culls whate'er he can; Legion's his name, a people in a man. His bulky folly gathers as it goes, And, rolling o'er you, like a snow-ball, grows. His various modes from various fathers follow; One taught the toss, and one the new French wallow; His sword-knot this, his cravat that designed; And this the yard-long snake he twirls behind. From one the sacred periwig he gained, Which wind ne'er blew, nor touch of hat profaned. Another's diving bow he did adore, Which with a shog casts all the hair before, Till he, with full decorum, brings it back, And rises with a water-spaniel shake. As for his songs, the ladies' dear delight, These sure he took from most of you who write. Yet every man is safe from what he feared; For no one fool is hunted from the herd.

EPILOGUE

TO

MITHRIDATES, KING OF PONTUS.

BY

MR N. LEE, 1678.

_This, as appears from the Prologue preserved in the Luttrell collection, was the first play acted in the season_, 1698-9. _It has, like all Lee's productions, no small share of bombast, with some strikingly beautiful passages._

You've seen a pair of faithful lovers die; } And much you care; for most of you will cry, } 'Twas a just judgment on their constancy. } For, heaven be thanked, we live in such an age, When no man dies for love, but on the stage: And e'en those martyrs are but rare in plays; A cursed sign how much true faith decays. Love is no more a violent desire; 'Tis a mere metaphor, a painted fire. In all our sex, the name examined well, 'Tis pride to gain, and vanity to tell. In woman, 'tis of subtle interest made; Curse on the punk, that made it first a trade! She first did wit's prerogative remove, And made a fool presume to prate of love. Let honour and preferment go for gold, But glorious beauty is not to be sold; Or, if it be, 'tis at a rate so high, That nothing but adoring it should buy. Yet the rich cullies may their boasting spare; They purchase but sophisticated ware. 'Tis prodigality that buys deceit, Where both the giver and the taker cheat. Men but refine on the old half-crown way; And women fight, like Swissers, for their pay.

PROLOGUE

TO

THE TRUE WIDOW, 1679.

At this period Shadwell and our author were on such good terms, that Dryden obliged him with the following Prologue to the "True Widow;" a play intended to display the humours of various men of the town. Thus we have in the Dramatis Personæ,--

"_Selfish._ A coxcomb, conceited of his beauty, wit, and breeding, thinking all women in love with him, always admiring and talking to himself.

_Old Maggot._ An old, credulous fellow; a great enemy to wit, and a lover of business for business-sake.

_Young Maggot._ His nephew: an inns-of-court man, who neglects law, and runs mad after wit, pretending much to love, and both in spite of nature, since his face makes him unfit for one, and his brains for the other.

_Prig._ A coxcomb, who never thinks or talks of any thing but dogs, horses, hunting, hawking, bowls, tennis, and gaming; a rook, a most noisy jockey.

_Lump._ A methodical coxcomb, as regular as a clock, and goes as true as a pendulum; one that knows what he shall do every day of his life by his almanack, where he sets down all his actions before-hand; a mortal enemy to wit."

* * * * *

So many characters, so minutely described, lead us to suppose, that some personal satire lay concealed under them; and, accordingly, the Prologue seems to have been written with a view of deprecating the resentment which this idea might have excited in the audience. We learn, however, by the Preface, that the piece was unfavourably received, "either through the calamity of the time (during the Popish plot), which made people not care for diversions, or through the anger of a great many who thought themselves concerned in the satire." The piece is far from being devoid of merit; and the characters, though drawn in Shadwell's coarse, harsh manner, are truly comic. That of the jockey, since so popular, seems to have been brought upon the stage for the first time in the "True Widow." It is remarkable, that, though Dryden writes the Prologue, the piece contains a sly hit at him. Maggot, finding himself married to a portionless jilt, says, "I must e'en write hard for the play-house; I may get the reversion of the poet-laureat's place." This, however, might be only meant as a good-humoured pleasantry among friends.

After the deadly quarrel with Shadwell, our author seems to have resumed his property in the Prologue, as it is prefixed to "The Widow Ranter, or The History of Bacon in Virginia," a tragi-comedy by Mrs Behn, acted in 1690.

PROLOGUE

TO

THE TRUE WIDOW.

BY

THOMAS SHADWELL, 1679.

Heaven save ye, gallants, and this hopeful age! Y'are welcome to the downfall of the stage. The fools have laboured long in their vocation, And vice, the manufacture of the nation, O'erstocks the town so much, and thrives so well, That fops and knaves grow drugs, and will not sell. In vain our wares on theatres are shown, When each has a plantation of his own. His cause ne'er fails; for whatsoe'er he spends, There's still God's plenty for himself and friends. Should men be rated by poetic rules, Lord, what a poll would there be raised from fools! Meantime poor wit prohibited must lie, As if 'twere made some French commodity. Fools you will have, and raised at vast expence; And yet, as soon as seen, they give offence. Time was, when none would cry,--That oaf was me; But now you strive about your pedigree. Bauble and cap[349] no sooner are thrown down, But there's a muss[350] of more than half the town. Each one will challenge a child's part at least; A sign the family is well encreased. Of foreign cattle there's no longer need, When we're supplied so fast with English breed. Well! flourish, countrymen; drink, swear, and roar; Let every free-born subject keep his whore, And wandering in the wilderness about, At end of forty years not wear her out. But when you see these pictures, let none dare To own beyond a limb, or single share; For where the punk is common, he's a sot, Who needs will father what the parish got.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 349: The fool's cap and bauble, with which the ancient jester was equipped.]

[Footnote 350: A scramble.]

PROLOGUE

TO

CÆSAR BORGIA.

BY MR N. LEE, 1680.

_This play of Nathaniel Lee's was first acted at the Duke's theatre, in_ 1680. _It is founded on the history of the natural son of Pope Alexander VI. The play fell soon into disrepute; for Cibber tells us, that when Powel was jealous of his fine dress in Lord Foppington, and complained bitterly, that he had not so good a suit to play "Cæsar Borgia," this bouncing play could do little more than pay candles and fiddles._--Apology.

The unhappy man, who once has trailed a pen, Lives not to please himself, but other men; Is always drudging, wastes his life and blood, Yet only eats and drinks what you think good. What praise soe'er the poetry deserve, Yet every fool can bid the poet starve. That fumbling letcher to revenge is bent, Because he thinks himself, or whore, is meant: Name but a cuckold, all the city swarms; From Leadenhall to Ludgate is in arms. Were there no fear of Antichrist, or France, In the blest time poor poets live by chance. Either you come not here, or, as you grace } Some old acquaintance, drop into the place, } Careless and qualmish with a yawning face: } You sleep o'er wit,--and by my troth you may; Most of your talents lie another way. You love to hear of some prodigious tale, The bell that tolled alone, or Irish whale.[351] News is your food, and you enough provide, Both for yourselves, and all the world beside. One theatre there is, of vast resort, Which whilome of Requests was called the Court[352]; But now the great exchange of news 'tis hight, And full of hum and buzz from noon till night. Up stairs and down you run, as for a race, And each man wears three nations in his face. So big you look, though claret you retrench, That, armed with bottled ale, you huff the French. But all your entertainment still is fed By villains in your own dull island bred. Would you return to us, we dare engage To shew you better rogues upon the stage. You know no poison but plain ratsbane here; Death's more refined, and better bred elsewhere. They have a civil way in Italy, } By smelling a perfume to make you die; } A trick would make you lay your snuff-box by. } Murder's a trade, so known and practised there, That 'tis infallible as is the chair. But mark their feast, you shall behold such pranks! The pope says grace, but 'tis the devil gives thanks.[353]

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 351: In Dryden's days, as in our own, there were provided by the hawkers a plentiful assortment of wonders and prodigies to captivate the people; with this difference, that, in that earlier period, the readers and believers of these wonders were more numerous, and of higher rank. I cannot point out the particular prodigies referred to; but I suppose they were of the same description as "The wonderful blazing star; with the dreadful apparition of two armies in the air; the one out of the north, the other out of the south, seen on the 17th December, 1680, betwixt four and five o'clock in the evening, at Ottery, ten miles eastward of Exon;" or as "The strange and dreadful relation of a horrible tempest of thunder and lightning, and of strange apparitions in the air, accompanied with whirlwinds, gusts of hail and rain, which happened the 10th of June, 1680, at a place near Weatherby, in the county of York: with the account how the top of strong oak, containing one load of wood, was taken off by a sheet of fire, wrapped in a whirlwind, and carried through the air, half a mile distant from the place, &c. As, likewise, another strange relation of a monstrous child with two heads, four arms, four legs, and all things thereunto belonging; born at a village, called Ill-Brewers, in the county of Somerset, on the 19th of May last, with several other circumstances and curious observations, to the wonder of all that have beheld it."]

[Footnote 352: The court of Requests was a general rendezvous for the news-mongers, politicians, and busy bodies of the time. North says, "It was observable of Oates, that while he had his liberty, as in King Charles's time and King William's, especially the latter, he never failed to give his attendance in the court of Requests, and in the lobbies, to solicit hard in all points under deliberation that might terminate in the prejudice of the church, crown, or of any gentlemen of the loyal, or church of England party." Swift, in his journal to Stella, makes frequent mention of the Court of Requests as a scene of political bustle and intrigue.]

[Footnote 353: The Popish plot being now in full force and credit, our author here, as in the "Spanish Friar," flatters the universal prejudice entertained against the Catholics.]

PROLOGUE

TO

SOPHONISBA; SPOKEN AT OXFORD,

1680.

_Sophonisba was play of N. Lee, first acted about_ 1676. _It is in the taste of the French stage, and of the romances of Calprenede and Scuderi. Hannibal and Massinissa are introduced in the character of whining love-sick adorers of relentless beauty. This prevailing taste is admirably ridiculed by Boileau, in a dialogue where a scene is laid in the infernal regions. In the prologue spoken at Oxford, which was always famous for Tory principles, our author ventures to ridicule the Popish Plot, and to predict the consequences of the predominance of fanatical principles to the studies cultivated in the University._

Thespis, the first professor of our art, At country wakes, sung ballads from a cart. To prove this true, if Latin be no trespass, _Dicitur et plaustris vexisse poemata Thespis._ But Æschylus, says Horace in some page, Was the first mountebank that trod the stage: Yet Athens never knew your learned sport, Of tossing poets in a tennis-court[354]. But 'tis the talent of our English nation, Still to be plotting some new reformation; And few years hence, if anarchy goes on, Jack Presbyter shall here erect his throne, Knock out a tub with preaching once a day, And every prayer be longer than a play. Then all your heathen wits shall go to pot, For disbelieving of a Popish-plot; Your poets shall be used like infidels, And worst, the author of the Oxford bells;[355] Nor should we 'scape the sentence, to depart, Even in our first original, a cart; No zealous brother there would want a stone, To maul us cardinals, and pelt pope Joan. Religion, learning, wit, would be supprest, Rags of the whore, and trappings of the beast; Scot, Suarez, Tom of Aquin,[356] must go down, As chief supporters of the triple crown; And Aristotle's for destruction ripe; Some say, he called the soul an organ-pipe, Which, by some little help of derivation, Shall then be proved a pipe of inspiration.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 354: Apparently, a tennis-court was the place where the temporary stage was erected at Oxford.]

[Footnote 355: Probably some pasquinade against the Whigs, then current in the university.]

[Footnote 356: Noted school divines, whose works (the greater was the pity) were then in high esteem in the university.]

A PROLOGUE.

_This Prologue was obviously spoken in_ 1680-1, _from its frequent reference to the politics of that period: but upon what particular occasion I have not discovered._

If yet there be a few that take delight } In that which reasonable men should write, } To them alone we dedicate this night. } The rest may satisfy their curious itch With city-gazettes, or some factious speech,[357] Or whate'er libel, for the public good, Stirs up the shrove-tide crew to fire and blood. Remove your benches, you apostate pit, And take, above, twelve pennyworth of wit; Go back to your dear dancing on the rope, Or see what's worse, the devil and the pope.[358] The plays, that take on our corrupted stage, Methinks, resemble the distracted age; Noise, madness, all unreasonable things, That strike at sense, as rebels do at kings. The style of forty-one our poets write, And you are grown to judge like forty-eight.[359] Such censures our mistaking audience make, That 'tis almost grown scandalous to take. They talk of fevers that infect the brains; But nonsense is the new disease that reigns. Weak stomachs, with a long disease opprest, Cannot the cordials of strong wit digest; Therefore thin nourishment of farce ye choose, Decoctions of a barley-water muse. A meal of tragedy would make ye sick, Unless it were a very tender chick. Some scenes in sippets would be worth our time; Those would go down; some love that's poached in rhime: If these should fail---- We must lie down, and, after all our cost, Keep holiday, like watermen in frost; While you turn players on the world's great stage, And act yourselves the farce of your own age.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 357: The City Gazettes were such publications as the Petition of the City, Mayor, and Aldermen, for the sitting of parliament on the 13th January, 1680, which is printed with the city arms prefixed, by a solemn order of the common council, and an appointment by the Lord Mayor, that Samuel Roycroft, printer to the city, do print the same, pursuant to order, and that no other person presume to do so. The "factious speech" was probably that of Shaftesbury, which was burned by the hands of the common hangman.]

[Footnote 358: The Pope-burning, so often mentioned.]

[Footnote 359: The meaning is, that the poets rebel against sense and criticism, like the parliament, in 1641, against the king; and that the audience judge as ill as those, who, in 1648, condemned Charles to the block. The parallel between the political disputes in 1680, and 1681, and those which preceded the great civil war, was fashionable among the Tories. A Whig author, who undertakes "to answer the clamours of the malicious, and to inform the ignorant on this subject," complains, "It hath been all the clamour of late, _forty-one_, _forty-one_ is now coming to be acted over again; we are running in the very same steps, in the same path and road, to undo the nation, and to ruin kingly government, as our predecessors did in _forty_, _and forty-one_. We run the same courses, we take the same measures; _latet anguis in herba_; beware of the Presbyterian serpent, who lurks in the affairs of _eighty_, being the very same complexion, form, and shape, as that of forty and forty one."--_The Disloyal Forty and Forty-one, and the Loyal Eighty, presented to public view._ Folio 1680.]

EPILOGUE

SPOKEN AT

MITHRIDATES, KING OF PONTUS,

THE FIRST PLAY ACTED AT THE THEATRE ROYAL, 1681.

_This Epilogue, which occurs in Luttrell's collection with many marginal corrections, seems to have been spoken by Goodman, who is mentioned with great respect by Cibber in his "Apology." It is now for the first time received into Dryden's poems._

Pox on this playhouse! 'tis an old tired jade, 'Twill do no longer, we must force a trade. What if we all turn witnesses o' th' plot?-- That's overstockt, there's nothing to be got. Shall we take orders?--That will parts require, } And colleges give no degrees for hire; } Would Salamanca were a little nigher! } Will nothing do?--O, now 'tis found, I hope; Have not you seen the dancing of the rope? When André's[360] wit was clean run off the score, And Jacob's capering tricks could do no more, A damsel does to the ladder's top advance, And with two heavy buckets drags a dance; The yawning crowd perk up to see the sight, And slaver'd at the mouth for vast delight. Oh, friend, there's nothing, to enchant the mind, Nothing like that sweet sex to draw mankind: The foundered horse, that switching will not stir, Trots to the mare afore, without a spur. Faith, I'll go scour the scene-room, and engage Some toy within to save the falling stage. [_Exit._

_Re-enters with Mrs_ Cox.

Who have we here again? what nymph's i' th' stocks? Your most obedient slave, sweet madam Cox. You'd best be coy, and blush for a pretence; For shame! say something in your own defence!

_Mrs Cox._ What shall I say? I have been hence so long, I've e'en almost forgot my mother-tongue; If I can act, I wish I were ten fathom Beneath----

_Goodman._ O Lord! pray, no swearing, madam!

_Mrs Cox._ If I had sworn, yet sure, to serve the nation, I could find out some mental reservation. Well, in plain terms, gallants, without a sham, Will you be pleased to take me as I am? Quite out of countenance, with a downcast look, Just like a truant that returns to book: Yet I'm not old; but, if I were, this place Ne'er wanted art to piece a ruined face. When greybeards governed, I forsook the stage; You know 'tis piteous work to act with age. Though there's no sense among these beardless boys, There's what we women love, that's mirth and noise. These young beginners may grow up in time, And the devil's in't, if I am past my prime.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 360: Alluding to St André, the famous dancing master, and Jacob Hall, the performer on the slack rope.]

EPILOGUE

TO A

TRAGEDY CALLED TAMERLANE, 1681.

BY CHARLES SAUNDERS.

_This play was highly applauded at its first representation. Langbaine, following perhaps this epilogue, tells us, that the genius of the author budded as early as that of the incomparable Cowley; and adds, in evidence of farther sympathy, that Saunders was, like him, a king's scholar. The play is said to be taken from a novel called "Tamerlane and Asteria," and was complimented with a copy of commendatory verses by Mr Banks. It does not appear that Saunders wrote any thing else._

Ladies, the beardless author of this day Commends to you the fortune of his play. A woman-wit has often graced the stage, But he's the first boy-poet of our age. Early as is the year his fancies blow, Like young Narcissus peeping through the snow. Thus Cowley[361] blossomed soon, yet flourished long; This is as forward, and may prove as strong. Youth with the fair should always favour find, Or we are damned dissemblers of our kind. What's all this love they put into our parts? 'Tis but the pit-a-pat of two young hearts. Should hag and grey-beard make such tender moan, } Faith, you'd even trust them to themselves alone, } And cry, "Let's go, here's nothing to be done." } Since love's our business, as 'tis your delight, The young, who best can practise, best can write. What though he be not come to his full power? He's mending and improving every hour. You sly she-jockies of the box and pit, Are pleased to find a hot unbroken wit; By management he may in time be made, But there's no hopes of an old battered jade; Faint and unnerved, he runs into a sweat, And always fails you at the second heat.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 361: Cowley published in his sixteenth year, a book called "Poetical Blossoms."]

PROLOGUE

TO THE

UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD, 1681.

_This Prologue appears to have been spoken at Oxford shortly after the dissolution of the famous Parliament held there, March, 1680-1. From the following couplet, it would seem that the players had made an unsuccessful attempt to draw houses during the short sitting of that Parliament:_

We looked what representatives would bring, But they served us just as they did the king.

_At that time a greater stage was opened for the public amusement, and the mimic theatre could excite little interest._

_Dryden seems, though perhaps unconsciously, to have borrowed the two first lines of this Prologue from Drayton:_

The Tuscan poet doth advance The frantic Paladin of France.

_Nymphidia._

The famed Italian muse, whose rhimes advance Orlando, and the Paladins of France, Records, that, when our wit and sense is flown, 'Tis lodged within the circle of the moon, In earthern jars, which one, who thither soared, Set to his nose, snuffed up, and was restored. Whate'er the story be, the moral's true; The wit we lost in town, we find in you. Our poets their fled parts may draw from hence, And fill their windy heads with sober sense When London votes[362] with Southwark's disagree, Here may they find their long lost loyalty. Here busy senates, to the old cause inclined, May snuff the votes their fellows left behind; Your country neighbours, when their grain grows dear, May come, and find their last provision here; Whereas we cannot much lament our loss, Who neither carried back, nor brought one cross. We looked what representatives would bring, But they helped us--just as they did the king. Yet we despair not; for we now lay forth The Sibyl's books to those who know their worth; And though the first was sacrificed before, These volumes doubly will the price restore. Our poet bade us hope this grace to find, To whom by long prescription you are kind. He, whose undaunted Muse, with loyal rage, Has never spared the vices of the age, Here finding nothing that his spleen can raise, Is forced to turn his satire into praise.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 362: The city of London had now declared against petitioning for parliament.]

PROLOGUE

TO THE

UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD.

_This Prologue must have been spoken at Oxford during the residence of the Duke of York in Scotland, in 1681-2. The humour turns upon a part of the company having attended the Duke to Scotland, where, among other luxuries little known to my countrymen, he introduced, during his residence at Holy Rood House, the amusements of the theatre. I can say little about the actors commemorated in the following verses, excepting, that their stage was erected in the tennis-court of the palace, which was afterwards converted into some sort of manufactory, and finally, burned down many years ago. Besides these deserters, whom Dryden has described very ludicrously, he mentions a sort of strolling company, composed, it would seem, of Irishmen, who had lately acted at Oxford._

Discord, and plots, which have undone our age, With the same ruin have o'erwhelmed the stage. Our house has suffered in the common woe, We have been troubled with Scotch rebels too. Our brethren are from Thames to Tweed departed, } And of our sisters, all the kinder-hearted } To Edinburgh gone, or coached, or carted. } With bonny bluecap there they act all night For Scotch half-crown, in English three-pence hight. One nymph, to whom fat Sir John Falstaff's lean, There with her single person fills the scene. Another, with long use and age decayed, Dived here old woman, and rose there a maid. Our trusty door-keepers of former time There strut and swagger in heroic rhime. Tack but a copper-lace to drugget suit, And there's a hero made without dispute; And that, which was a capon's tail before, Becomes a plume for Indian emperor. But all his subjects, to express the care Of imitation go, like Indians, bare; Laced linen there would be a dangerous thing; } It might perhaps a new rebellion bring; } The Scot, who wore it, would be chosen king. } But why should I these renegades describe, When you yourselves have seen a lewder tribe? Teague has been here, and, to this learned pit, With Irish action slandered English wit; You have beheld such barbarous Macs appear, As merited a second massacre;[363] Such as, like Cain, were branded with disgrace, And had their country stamped upon their face. When strollers durst presume to pick your purse, We humbly thought our broken troop not worse. How ill soe'er our action may deserve, Oxford's a place where wit can never starve.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 363: Alluding to the Irish massacre.]

AN

EPILOGUE

FOR

THE KING'S HOUSE

_From the date of the various circumstances referred to, this Epilogue seems to have been spoken in 1681-2._

We act by fits and starts, like drowning men, But just peep up, and then pop down again. Let those who call us wicked change their sense, For never men lived more on Providence. Not lottery cavaliers[364] are half so poor, Nor broken cits, nor a vacation whore; Not courts, nor courtiers living on the rents Of the three last ungiving parliaments;[365] So wretched, that, if Pharaoh could divine, } He might have spared his dream of seven lean kine, } And changed his vision for the muses nine. } The comet, that, they say, portends a dearth, Was but a vapour drawn from playhouse earth; Pent there since our last fire, and, Lilly says,[366] Foreshows our change of state, and thin third-days. 'Tis not our want of wit that keeps us poor; For then the printer's press would suffer more. Their pamphleteers each day their venom spit; They thrive by treason, and we starve by wit. Confess the truth, which of you has not laid Four farthings out to buy the Hatfield Maid?[367] Or, which is duller yet, and more would spite us, Democritus his wars with Heraclitus?[368] Such are the authors, who have run us down, And exercised you critics of the town. Yet these are pearls to your lampooning rhimes, Ye abuse yourselves more dully than the times. Scandal, the glory of the English nation, Is worn to rags, and scribbled out of fashion; Such harmless thrusts, as if, like fencers wise, They had agreed their play before their prize. Faith, they may hang their harps upon their willows; 'Tis just like children when they box with pillows. Then put an end to civil wars, for shame! Let each knight-errant, who has wronged a dame, Throw down his pen, and give her, as he can, The satisfaction of a gentleman.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 364: The lottery cavaliers were the loyal indigent officers, to whom the right of keeping lotteries was granted by patent in the reign of Charles II. There are many proclamations in the gazettes of the time against persons encroaching upon this exclusive privilege.]

[Footnote 365: The "three ungiving parliaments" were that convoked in 1679, and dissolved on the 10th July in the same year; that which was held at Westminster 21st October, 1680, and dissolved on the 18th January following; and, finally, the Oxford parliament, assembled 21st March, 1680-1, and dissolved on the 28th of the same month. All these parliaments refused supplies to the crown, until they should obtain security, as they termed it, for the Protestant religion.]

[Footnote 366: The famous astrologer Lilly is here mentioned ironically. In his "Strange and wonderful prophecy, being a relation of many universal accidents that will come to pass in the year 1681, according to the prognostications of the celestial bodies, as well in this our English nation, as in parts beyond the seas, with a sober caution to all, by speedy repentance, to avert the judgments that are impendent," I find "an account of the great stream of light, by some termed a blazing star, which was seen in the south-west on Saturday and Sunday, the 11th and 12th of this instant December, between six and seven in the evening, with several judicial opinions and conjectures on the same." But the comet, mentioned in the text, may be that which is noticed in "A strange and wonderful Trinity, or a Triplicity of Stupendous Prodigies, consisting of a wonderful eclipse, as well as of a wonderful comet, and of a wonderful conjunction, now in its second return; seeing all these three prodigious wonders do jointly portend wonderful events, all meeting together in a strange harmonious triangle, and are all the three royal heralds successively sent from the King of Heaven, to sound succeeding alarms for awakening a slumbering world. _Beware the third time._" 4to. London, 1683. This comet is said to have appeared in October 1682. Various interpretations were put upon these heavenly phenomena, by Gadbury, Lilly, Kirkby, Whalley, and other Philo-maths, who were chiefly guided in their predictions by their political attachments. Some insisted they meant civil war, others foreign conquest; some that they presaged the downfall of the Turk, others that of the Pope and French king; some that they foretold dearth on the land, and others, the fertility of the king's bed, by the birth of a son, to the exclusion of the Duke of York.]

[Footnote 367: This was one of the numerous devices used by the partizans of Monmouth to strengthen his interest: "A relation was published, in the name of one Elizabeth Freeman, afterwards called the Maid of Hatfield, setting forth, That, on the 24th of January, the appearance of a woman all in white, with a white veil over her face, accosted her with these words: 'Sweetheart, the 15th day of May is appointed for the royal blood to be poisoned. Be not afraid, for I am sent to tell thee.' That on the 25th, the same appearance stood before her again, and she having then acquired courage enough to lay it under the usual adjuration, in the name, &c. it assumed a more glorious shape, and said in a harsher tone of voice: 'Tell King Charles from me, and bid him not remove his parliament, and stand to his council:' adding, 'do as I bid you.' That on the 26th it appeared to her a third time, but said only, 'do your message.' And that on the next night, when she saw it for the last time, it said nothing at all.

"Those who depend upon the people for support, must try all manners of practices upon them; and such fooleries as these sometimes operate more forcibly than expedients of a more rational kind. Care was, besides, taken, to have this relation attested by Sir Joseph Jordan, a justice of the peace, and the rector of Hatfield, Dr Lee, who was one of the king's chaplains: Nay, the message was actually sent to his majesty, and the whole forgery very officiously circulated all over the kingdom."--RALPH'S _Review of the Reigns of Charles II. and James II._ Vol. I. p. 562.

The Tories, according to the custom of that time, endeavoured to turn this apparition against those who invented it, and published an ironical account of its appearance to Lady Gray, the supposed mistress of the Duke of Monmouth.--See RALPH, _ibid._ and this Work, Vol. IX. p. 276.]

[Footnote 368: "Heraclitus Ridens" was a paper published weekly, by L'Estrange, on the part of the court, and answered by one called "Democritus" on that of the Whigs.]

PROLOGUE

TO HIS

ROYAL HIGHNESS,

UPON HIS

FIRST APPEARANCE AT THE DUKE'S THEATRE AFTER HIS RETURN FROM SCOTLAND.

SPOKEN BY MR SMITH, 21st APRIL, 1682.

_The Duke's return from Scotland, and the shock which it gave to the schemes of Shaftesbury and the Exclusionists, has been mentioned at length in the Notes to the Second Part of "Absalom and Achitophel,"_ Vol. ix. p. 402. _The passage upon which the note is given, agrees with this Prologue, in representing the secret enemies of the Duke of York as anxiously pressing forwards to greet his return:_

While those that sought his absence to betray, Press first, their nauseous false respects to pay; Him still the officious hypocrites molest, And with malicious duty break his rest.

Vol. ix. p. 344.

_The date of the Prologue, and the name of the speaker, are marked on a copy in Mr Luttrell's collection._

In those cold regions which no summers cheer, Where brooding darkness covers half the year, To hollow caves the shivering natives go, Bears range abroad, and hunt in tracks of snow. But when the tedious twilight wears away, And stars grow paler at the approach of day, The longing crowds to frozen mountains run, Happy who first can see the glimmering sun; The surly savage offspring disappear, And curse the bright successor of the year. Yet, though rough bears in covert seek defence, } White foxes stay, with seeming innocence; } That crafty kind with day-light can dispense. } Still we are thronged so full with Reynard's race, That loyal subjects scarce can find a place; Thus modest truth is cast behind the crowd, Truth speaks too low, hypocrisy too loud. Let them be first to flatter in success; Duty can stay, but guilt has need to press. Once, when true zeal the sons of God did call, To make their solemn show at heaven's Whitehall, The fawning Devil appeared among the rest, And made as good a courtier as the best. The friends of Job, who railed at him before, Came cap in hand when he had three times more. Yet late repentance may, perhaps, be true; Kings can forgive, if rebels can but sue: A tyrant's power in rigour is exprest; The father yearns in the true prince's breast. We grant, an o'ergrown Whig no grace can mend, But most are babes, that know not they offend; The crowd, to restless motion still inclined, Are clouds, that rack according to the wind. Driven by their chiefs, they storms of hailstones pour, Then mourn, and soften to a silent shower. O welcome to this much-offending land, The prince that brings forgiveness in his hand! Thus angels on glad messages appear, Their first salute commands us not to fear; Thus heaven, that could constrain us to obey, } (With reverence if we might presume to say,) } Seems to relax the rights of sovereign sway; } Permits to man the choice of good and ill, And makes us happy by our own free-will.

PROLOGUE

TO THE EARL OF ESSEX.

BY MR J. BANKS, 1682.

SPOKEN TO THE KING AND THE QUEEN AT THEIR COMING TO THE HOUSE.

When first the ark was landed on the shore, And heaven had vowed to curse the ground no more; When tops of hills the longing patriarch saw, And the new scene of earth began to draw; The dove was sent to view the waves decrease, And first brought back to man the pledge of peace. 'Tis needless to apply, when those appear, Who bring the olive, and who plant it here. We have before our eyes the royal dove, Still innocence is harbinger of love: The ark is opened to dismiss the train, And people with a better race the plain. Tell me, ye powers, why should vain man pursue, } With endless toil, each object that is new, } And for the seeming substance leave the true? } Why should he quit for hopes his certain good, And loath the manna of his daily food? Must England still the scene of changes be, } Tost and tempestuous, like our ambient sea? } Must still our weather and our wills agree? } Without our blood our liberties we have; Who, that is free, would fight to be a slave? Or, what can wars to after-times assure, Of which our present age is not secure? All that our monarch would for us ordain, Is but to enjoy the blessings of his reign. Our land's an Eden, and the main's our fence, While we preserve our state of innocence: That lost, then beasts their brutal force employ, And first their lord, and then themselves destroy. What civil broils have cost, we know too well; Oh! let it be enough that once we fell! And every heart conspire, and every tongue, Still to have such a king, and this king long.

PROLOGUE

TO THE

LOYAL BROTHER, OR THE PERSIAN PRINCE.

The "Loyal Brother, or the Persian Prince," was the first play of Southerne, afterwards so deservedly famous as a tragic poet. It is said to be borrowed from a novel, called, "Tachmas, Prince of Persia." The character of the Loyal Brother is obviously designed as a compliment to the Duke of York, whose adherents and opponents now divided the nation. Southerne was at this time but three-and-twenty. It is said, that, upon offering Dryden five guineas for the following prologue, which had hitherto been the usual compliment made him for such favours, the bard returned the money; and added, "not that I do so out of disrespect to you, young man, but the players have had my goods too cheap. In future, I must have ten guineas." Southerne was the first poet who drew large profit from the author's nights; insomuch, that he is said to have cleared by one play seven hundred pounds; a circumstance that greatly surprised Dryden, who seldom gained by his best pieces more than a seventh part of the sum. From these circumstances, Pope, in his verses to Southerne on his birth-day, distinguishes him as

----Tom, whom heaven sent down to raise The price of prologues and of plays.

The prologue, as might be expected, is very severe upon the Whigs; and alludes to all the popular subjects of dispute between the factions. The refusal of supplies, and the petition against the king's guards, are slightly noticed, but the great pope-burning is particularly dwelt upon; and probably the reader will be pleased with an opportunity of comparing the account in the prologue with that given by Roger North, who seems to have entertained the same fear with Dryden, that the rabble might chuse to cry, God save the king, at Whitehall.

"But, to return to our tumults.--After it was found that there was to be a reinforcement at the next anniversary, which was in 1682, it is not to be thought that the court was asleep, or that the king would not endeavour to put a stop to this brutal outrage. His majesty thought fit to take the ordinary regular course; which was, to send for the lord mayor, &c. and to charge him to prevent riots in the city. So the lord mayor and sheriffs attended the king in council; and there they were told, that dangerous tumults and disorders were designed in the city upon the 17th of November next, at night, on pretence of bonfires; and his majesty expected that they, who were entrusted with the government of the city, for keeping the peace, should, by their authority, prevent all such riotous disorders, which, permitted to go on, was a misdemeanour of their whole body. Then one of them came forward, and, in a whining tone, told the king, that they did not apprehend any danger to his majesty, or the city, from these bonfires; there was an ardour of the people against popery, which they delighted to express in that manner, but meant no harm: And, if they should go about to hinder them, it would be taken as if they favoured popery; and, considering the great numbers, and their zeal, it might make them outrageous, which, let alone, would not be; and perhaps they themselves might not be secure in resisting them, no not in their own houses; and they hoped his majesty would not have them so exposed, so long as they could assure his majesty that care should be taken, that, if they went about any ill thing, they should be prevented: or to this purpose, as I had it from undoubted authority. This was the godly care they had of the public peace, and the repose of the city; by which the king saw plainly what they were, and what was to be expected from them. There wanted not those who suggested the sending regiments into the city; but the king (always witty) said, he did not love to play with his horse. But his majesty ordered that a party of horse should be drawn up, and make a strong guard on the outside of Temple-Bar; and all the other guards were ordered to be in a posture at a minute's warning; and so he took a middle, but secure and inoffensive way; and these guards did not break up till all the rout was over.

"There were not a few in the court who either feared or favoured these doings; it may be both; the former being the cause of the latter. This puts me in mind of a passage told me by one present. It was of the Lord Archbishop of York, Dolben, who was a goodly person, and corpulent; he came to the Lord Chief-Justice North, and, my lord, said he, (clapping his hand upon his great self,) what shall we do with these tumults of the people? They will bear all down before them. My lord, said the Chief Justice, fear God, and don't fear the people. A good hint from a man of law to an archbishop. But when the day of execution was come, all the show-fools of the town had made sure of places; and, towards the evening, there was a great clutter in the street, with taking down glass-windows, and faces began to show themselves thereat; and the hubbub was great, with the shoals of people come there, to take or seek accommodation. And, for the greater amazement of the people, somebody had got up to the statue of Elizabeth, in the nich of Temple-Bar, and set her out like an heathen idol. A bright shield was hung upon her arm, and a spear put in, or leaned upon, the other hand; and lamps, or candles, were put about, on the wall of the nich, to enlighten her person, that the people might have a full view of the deity that, like the goddess Pallas, stood there as the object of the solemn sacrifice about to be made. There seemed to be an inscription upon the shield, but I could not get near enough to discern what it was, nor divers other decorations; but whatever they were, the eyes of the rout were pointed at them, and lusty shouts were raised, which was all the adoration could be paid before the grand procession came up. I could fix in no nearer post than the Green-Dragon Tavern, below in Fleet-Street; but, before I settled in my quarters, I rounded the crowd, to observe, as well as I could, what was doing, and saw much, but afterwards heard more of the hard battles and skirmishes, that were maintained from windows and balconies of several parties with one and the other, and with the floor, as the fancy of Whig and Tory incited. All which were managed with the artillery of squibs, whereof thousands of vollies went off, to the great expence of powder and paper, and profit to the poor manufacturer; for the price of ammunition rose continually, and the whole trade could not supply the consumption of an hour or two.

"When we had posted ourselves at windows, expecting the play to begin, it was very dark, but we could perceive the street to fill, and the hum of the crowd grew louder and louder; and, at length, with help of some lights below, we could discern, not only upwards towards the Bar, where the squib war was maintained, but downwards towards Fleet-Bridge, the whole street was crowded with people, which made that which followed seem very strange; for, about eight at night, we heard a din from below, which came up the street, continually increasing, till we could perceive a motion; and that was a row of stout fellows, that came, shouldered together, cross the street, from wall to wall, on each side. How the people melted away, I cannot tell; but it was plain these fellows made clear board, as if they had swept the street for what was to come after. They went along like a wave; and it was wonderful to see how the crowd made way: I suppose the good people were willing to give obedience to lawful authority. Behind this wave (which, as all the rest, had many lights attending) there was a vacancy, but it filled a-pace, till another like wave came up; and so four or five of these waves passed, one after another; and then we discerned more numerous lights, and throats were opened with hoarse and tremendous noise; and, with that, advanced a pageant, borne along above the heads of the crowd, and upon it sat an huge Pope, in _pontificalibus_, in his chair, with a reasonable attendance for state; but his premier minister, that shared most of his ear, was, Il Signior Diavolo, a nimble little fellow, in a proper dress, that had a strange dexterity in climbing and winding about the chair, from one of the pope's ears to the other.

"The next pageant was of a parcel of Jesuits; and after that (for there was always a decent space between them) came another, with some ordinary persons with halters, as I took it, about their necks; and one with a stenterophonic tube, sounded--Abhorrers! Abhorrers! most infernally; and, lastly, came one, with a single person upon it, which, some said, was the pamphleteer Sir Roger L'Estrange, some the King of France, some the Duke of York; but, certainly, it was a very complaisant civil gentleman, like the former, that was doing what every body pleased to have him, and, taking all in good part, went on his way to the fire; and however some, to gratify their fancy, might debase his character, yet certainly he was a person of high quality, because he came in the place of state, which is last of all. When these were passed, our coast began to clear, but it thickened upwards, and the noise increased; for, as we were afterwards informed, these stately figures were planted in a demilune about an huge fire, that shined upon them; and the balconies of the club were ready to crack with their factious load, till the good people were satiated with the fine show; and then the hieroglyphic monsters were brought condignly to a new light of their own making, being, one after another, added to increase the flames: all which was performed with fitting salvos of the rabble, echoed from the club, which made a proper music to so pompous a sacrifice. Were it not for the late attempts to have renewed these barbarities,[369] it had been more reasonable to have forgot the past, that such a stain might not have remained upon the credit of human kind, whom we would not have thought obnoxious to any such; but, as it is now otherwise, all persons, that mean humanely, ought to discourage them; and one way is, to expose the factious brutality of such unthinking rabble sports, by showing, as near as we can, how really they were acted; the very knowledge of which, one would think, should make them for ever to be abhorred and detested of all rational beings."--NORTH'S _Examen_.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 369: Probably alluding to the pope-burning, meditated by the Whigs during the administration of Harley. Swift, in his journal to Stella, mentions the figures intended for the procession having been seized by government.]

PROLOGUE

TO THE

LOYAL BROTHER, OR THE PERSIAN PRINCE.

BY MR SOUTHERNE, 1682.

Poets, like lawful monarchs, ruled the stage, Till critics, like damned Whigs, debauched our age. Mark how they jump! critics would regulate } Our theatres, and Whigs reform our state; } Both pretend love, and both (plague rot them!) hate.} The critic humbly seems advice to bring, The fawning Whig petitions to the king; But one's advice into a satire slides, T'other's petition a remonstrance hides. These will no taxes give, and those no pence; Critics would starve the poet, Whigs the prince. The critic all our troops of friends discards; Just so the Whig would fain pull down the guards. Guards are illegal, that drive foes away, As watchful shepherds, that fright beasts of prey. Kings, who disband such needless aids as these, Are safe--as long as e'er their subjects please; And that would be till next Queen Bess's night, Which thus grave penny chroniclers indite.[370] Sir Edmondbury first, in woful wise, Leads up the show, and milks their maudlin eyes. There's not a butcher's wife but dribs her part, And pities the poor pageant from her heart; Who, to provoke revenge, rides round the fire, And, with a civil congé, does retire: But guiltless blood to ground must never fall; There's Antichrist behind, to pay for all. The punk of Babylon in pomp appears, A lewd old gentleman of seventy years; Whose age in vain our mercy would implore, For few take pity on an old cast whore. The devil, who brought him to the shame, takes part; } Sits cheek by jowl, in black, to cheer his heart, } Like thief and parson in a Tyburn-cart. } The word is given, and with a loud huzza The mitred poppet from his chair they draw: On the slain corpse contending nations fall-- Alas! what's one poor pope among them all! He burns; now all true hearts your triumphs ring; And next, for fashion, cry, "God save the king!" A needful cry in midst of such alarms, When forty thousand men are up in arms. But after he's once saved, to make amends, } In each succeeding health they damn his friends: } So God begins, but still the devil ends. } What if some one, inspired with zeal, should call, Come, let's go cry, "God save him at Whitehall?" His best friends would not like this over-care, Or think him e'er the safer for this prayer. Five praying saints[371] are by an act allowed, But not the whole church-militant in crowd; Yet, should heaven all the true petitions drain } Of Presbyterians, who would kings maintain, } Of forty thousand, five would scarce remain. }

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 370: See a copy of the penny chronicle alluded to, containing a minute account of this celebrated procession, with a cut illustrative of the description, Vol. VI. p. 222.]

[Footnote 371: Only five dissenters were allowed to meet together by the penal statutes.]

EPILOGUE

TO

THE SAME.

A virgin poet was served up to-day, Who, till this hour, ne'er cackled for a play. He's neither yet a Whig nor Tory boy; } But, like a girl, whom several would enjoy, } Begs leave to make the best of his own natural toy. } Were I to play my callow author's game, The King's House would instruct me by the name.[372] There's loyalty to one; I wish no more: A commonwealth sounds like a common whore. Let husband or gallant be what they will, One part of woman is true Tory still. If any factious spirit should rebel, Our sex, with ease, can every rising quell. Then, as you hope we should your failings hide, An honest jury for our play provide. Whigs at their poets never take offence; They save dull culprits, who have murdered sense. Though nonsense is a nauseous heavy mass, The vehicle called Faction makes it pass; Faction in play's the commonwealth-man's bribe; The leaden farthing of the canting tribe: Though void in payment laws and statutes make it, The neighbourhood, that knows the man, will take it.[373] 'Tis faction buys the votes of half the pit; Their's is the pension-parliament[374] of wit. In city-clubs their venom let them vent; For there 'tis safe, in its own element. Here, where their madness can have no pretence, Let them forget themselves an hour of sense. In one poor isle, why should two factions be? } Small difference in your vices I can see: } In drink and drabs both sides too well agree. } Would there were more preferments in the land! If places fell, the party could not stand. Of this damned grievance every Whig complains, They grunt like hogs till they have got their grains. Mean time, you see what trade our plots advance; We send each year good money into France; And they that know what merchandize we need, Send o'er true Protestants[375] to mend our breed.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 372: Where the play was acted.]

[Footnote 373: Alluding to the tokens issued by tradesmen in place of copper money, which, though not a legal tender of payment, continued to be current by the credit of the individual whose name they bore. Tom Brown mentions Alderman Buncombe's leaden halfpence.]

[Footnote 374: The Parliament, which sat from the Restoration till 1678, bore this ignominious epithet among the Whigs.]

[Footnote 375: Alluding to the emigration of the French Huguenots, which the intolerance of Louis XIV. and his ministers began to render general. Many took refuge in England. See Vol. X. p. 264.]

PROLOGUE

TO

THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD,

SPOKEN BY MR HART

AT THE ACTING OF THE SILENT WOMAN.

What Greece, when learning flourished, only knew, Athenian judges, you this day renew. Here, too, are annual rites to Pallas done, And here poetic prizes lost or won. Methinks I see you, crowned with olives, sit, And strike a sacred horror from the pit. A day of doom is this of your decree, } Where even the best are but by mercy free; } A day, which none but Jonson durst have wished to see. } Here they, who long have known the useful stage, Come to be taught themselves to teach the age. As your commissioners our poets go, To cultivate the virtue which you sow; In your Lycæum first themselves refined, And delegated thence to human kind. But as ambassadors, when long from home, For new instructions to their princes come, So poets, who your precepts have forgot, Return, and beg they may be better taught: Follies and faults elsewhere by them are shown, But by your manners they correct their own. The illiterate writer, emp'ric-like, applies To minds diseased, unsafe chance remedies: The learned in schools, where knowledge first began, Studies with care the anatomy of man; Sees virtue, vice, and passions in their cause, And fame from science, not from fortune, draws; So Poetry, which is in Oxford made An art, in London only is a trade. There haughty dunces, whose unlearned pen Could ne'er spell grammar, would be reading men.[376] Such build their poems the Lucretian way; So many huddled atoms make a play; And if they hit in order by some chance, They call that nature, which is ignorance. To such a fame let mere town-wits aspire, And their gay nonsense their own cits admire. Our poet, could he find forgiveness here, Would wish it rather than a plaudit there. He owns no crown from those Prætorian bands,[377] But knows that right is in the senate's hands. Not impudent enough to hope your praise, } Low at the Muses' feet his wreath he lays, } And, where he took it up, resigns his bays. } Kings make their poets whom themselves think fit, But 'tis your suffrage makes authentic wit.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 376: An allusion to Shadwell; who boasted, that he drew his characters from nature, in contempt of regular criticism.]

[Footnote 377: Alluding to the mode in which the emperors were chosen during the decline of the empire, when the soldiers of the Prætorian guards were the electors, without regard to the legal rights of the senate.]

EPILOGUE,

SPOKEN BY THE SAME.

No poor Dutch peasant, winged with all his fear, Flies with more haste, when the French arms draw near, Than we, with our poetic train, come down, For refuge hither, from the infected town: Heaven, for our sins, this summer has thought fit To visit us with all the plagues of wit. A French troop first swept all things in its way; But those hot Monsieurs were too quick to stay: Yet, to our cost, in that short time, we find They left their itch of novelty behind. The Italian merry-andrews took their place, And quite debauched the stage with lewd grimace: Instead of wit, and humours, your delight Was there to see two hobby-horses fight; Stout Scaramoucha with rush lance rode in, And ran a tilt at centaur Arlequin. For love you heard how amorous asses brayed, And cats in gutters gave their serenade. Nature was out of countenance, and each day Some new-born monster shown you for a play. But when all failed, to strike the stage quite dumb, Those wicked engines, called machines, are come. Thunder and lightning now for wit are played, And shortly scenes in Lapland will be laid: Art magic is for poetry profest,[378] And cats and dogs, and each obscener beast, To which Egyptian dotards once did bow, Upon our English stage are worshipped now. Witchcraft reigns there, and raises to renown Macbeth[379] and Simon Magus of the town. Fletcher's despised, your Jonson's out of fashion, And wit the only drug in all the nation. In this low ebb our wares to you are shown, } By you those staple authors' worth is known, } For wit's a manufacture of your own. } When you, who only can, their scenes have praised, We'll back, and boldly say, their price is raised.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 378: This and the following lines refer to the success of Shadwell's comedy of "The Lancashire Witches," in which a great deal of machinery is introduced; the witches flying away with the clown's candles, and the priest's bottle of holy water, and converting a country-fellow into a horse upon the stage. Not content with this, the author has introduced upon the stage all that writers upon Dæmonology have rehearsed of the Witches' Sabbath, or Festival, with their infernal master; and has thus, very clumsily, mixed the horrible with the ludicrous. As for the cats and dogs, we have, in one place,--"Enter an Imp, in the shape of a black Shock;" and, in another,

"Enter Mother Hargrave, Mother Madge, and two Witches more; they mew, and spit, like cats, and fly at them, and scratch them.

_Young Hartford._ What's this? we're set on by cats.

_Sir Timothy._ They're witches in the shape of cats; what shall we do?

_Priest._ Phaat will I do? cat, cat, cat! oh, oh! _Conjuro vobis! fugite, fugite, Cacodæmones_; cats, cats! (They scratch all their faces, till the blood runs about them.)

_Tom Shacklehead._ Have at ye all! (he cuts at them.) I ha' mauled some of them, by the mass! they are fled, but I am plaguily scratched. (The Witches shriek, and run away.)"

Besides the offence which Shadwell gave, in point of taste, by the introduction of these pantomimical absurdities, Dryden was also displeased by the whole tenor of the play, which was directed against the High-Churchmen and Tories.--_See Dedication of the Duke of Guise_, Vol. VII. p. 15.]

[Footnote 379: This has no reference to any recent representation of the tragedy of "Macbeth." Shadwell, from the witchcraft introduced in his play, is ironically termed, "Macbeth and Simon Magus."]

PROLOGUE

TO

THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD.

Though actors cannot much of learning boast, Of all who want it, we admire it most: We love the praises of a learned pit, As we remotely are allied to wit. We speak our poet's wit, and trade in ore, Like those who touch upon the golden shore; Betwixt our judges can distinction make, Discern how much, and why our poems take; Mark if the fools, or men of sense, rejoice; Whether the applause be only sound or voice. When our fop gallants, or our city folly, Clap over loud, it makes us melancholy: We doubt that scene which does their wonder raise, And, for their ignorance, contemn their praise. Judge, then, if we who act, and they who write, Should not be proud of giving you delight. London likes grossly; but this nicer pit Examines, fathoms, all the depths of wit; The ready finger lays on every blot; Knows what should justly please, and what should not. Nature herself lies open to your view; You judge, by her, what draught of her is true, Where outlines false, and colours seem too faint, Where bunglers daub, and where true poets paint. But by the sacred genius of this place, By every muse, by each domestic grace, Be kind to wit, which but endeavours well, And, where you judge, presumes not to excel! Our poets hither for adoption come, As nations sued to be made free of Rome: Not in the suffragating tribes[380] to stand, But in your utmost, last, provincial band. If his ambition may those hopes pursue, Who, with religion, loves your arts and you, Oxford to him a dearer name shall be Than his own mother-university. Thebes[381] did his green, unknowing, youth engage; He chooses Athens in his riper age.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 380: Alluding to the Roman citizens, who had the right of voting, denied to the lower, or provincial orders.]

[Footnote 381: Our author was educated at Cambridge. Whether the sons of Cam relished this avowed preference of Oxford, may be doubted.]

EPILOGUE

TO

CONSTANTINE THE GREAT.

BY MR N. LEE, 1684.

_The play, to which this is the prologue, is but a second-rate performance. It is founded on the story of Faustina and Crispus, which the learned will find in Ammianus Marcellinus, and the English reader in Gibbon. Arius, the heretic, is the villain of the piece, which concludes fortunately._

Our hero's happy in the play's conclusion; The holy rogue at last has met confusion: Though Arius all along appeared a saint, The last act showed him a True Protestant.[382] Eusebius,--for you know I read Greek authors,-- Reports, that, after all these plots and slaughters, The court of Constantine was full of glory, And every Trimmer turned addressing Tory. They followed him in herds as they were mad: When Clause _was_ king, then all the world was glad.[383] Whigs kept the places they possest before, And most were in a way of getting more; Which was as much as saying, Gentlemen, Here's power and money to be rogues again. Indeed, there were a sort of peaking tools, Some call them modest, but I call them fools; Men much more loyal, though not half so loud, But these poor devils were cast behind the crowd; For bold knaves thrive without one grain of sense, But good men starve for want of impudence. Besides all these, there were a sort of wights, (I think my author calls them Tekelites,) Such hearty rogues against the king and laws, They favoured e'en a foreign rebel's cause, When their own damned design was quashed and awed; At least they gave it their good word abroad. As many a man, who, for a quiet life, Breeds out his bastard, not to noise his wife, Thus, o'er their darling plot these Trimmers cry, } And, though they cannot keep it in their eye, } They bind it 'prentice to Count Tekely.[384] } They believe not the last plot; may I be curst, If I believe they e'er believed the first! No wonder their own plot no plot they think,-- The man, that makes it, never smells the stink. And, now it comes into my head, I'll tell Why these damned Trimmers loved the Turks so well. The original Trimmer,[385] though a friend to no man, Yet in his heart adored a pretty woman; He knew that Mahomet laid up for ever Kind black-eyed rogues for every true believer; And,--which was more than mortal man e'er tasted,-- One pleasure that for threescore twelvemonths lasted. To turn for this, may surely be forgiven; Who'd not be circumcised for such a heaven?

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 382: Alluding to the Whigs, who called themselves so. See Vol. IX. p. 211.]

[Footnote 383: Alluding to the gratulating speech of Orator Higgins to Clause, when elected King of the Beggars:

Who is he here that did not wish thee chosen, Now thou _art_ chosen? Ask them; all will say so, Nay, swear't--'tis for the king,--but let that pass.

_Beggars' Bush_, Act II. Scene I. ]

[Footnote 384: The severity of the Austrian government, in Hungary particularly, towards those who dissented from the Roman Catholic faith, occasioned several insurrections. The most memorable was headed by Count Teckeli, who allied himself with the sultan, assumed the crown of Transylvania, as a vassal of the Porte, and joined, with a considerable force, the large army of Turks which besieged Vienna, and threatened to annihilate the Austrian empire. A similarity of situation and of interest induced the Whig party in England to look with a favourable eye upon this Hungarian insurgent, as may be fully inferred from the following passage in De Foe's "Appeal to Honour and Justice:"

"The first time I had the misfortune to differ with my friends, was about the year 1683, when the Turks were besieging Vienna, and the Whigs in England, generally speaking, were for the Turks taking it; which I, having read the history of the cruelty and perfidious dealings of the Turks in their wars, and how they had rooted out the name of the Christian religion in above threescore and ten kingdoms, could by no means agree with; and, though then but a young man, and a younger author, I opposed it, and wrote against it, which was taken very unkindly indeed."

The incongruity of the opinion combated by De Foe, with the high pretences of religion set up by the Whigs, was the constant subject of ridicule to the Tory wits. In a poem, entitled, "The Third Part of Advice to the Painter," dated by Luttrell 28th May, 1684, we find the following passage:

Paint me that mighty powerful state a shaking, And their great prophet, Teckely, a quaking; Who for religion made such bustling work, That, to reform it, he brought in the Turk. Next, paint our English muftis of the tub, Those great promoters of the Teckelites' club. Draw me them praying for the Turkish cause, And for the overthrow of Christian laws.

Another Tory poet prophecies of the infant son of James II.,--

His conquering arm shall soon subdue Teckelite Turks and home-bred Jew, Such as our great forefathers never knew.

_Pindaric Ode on the Queen's Delivery, by Caleb Calle._

Another ballad, written shortly after the defeat of Monmouth, is entitled, "A Song upon the Rendezvous on Hounsley-heath, with a Parallel of the Destruction of our English Turks in the West, and the Mahometans in Hungary." The expression occurs also in the Address of the Carlisle Citizens on the Declaration of Indulgence, who "thank his majesty for his royal army, which is really both the honour and safety of the nation, let the Teckelites think and say what they will." An indignant Whig commentator on this effusion of loyalty, says, "What the good men of Carlisle mean by Teckelites, we know not any more than they know themselves. However, the word has a pretty effect at a time when the Protestant Hungarians, under Count Teckely, were well beaten by the Popish standing army in Hungary." _History of Addresses_, p. 161.]

[Footnote 385: The _original Trimmer_ was probably meant for Lord Shaftesbury, once a member of the Cabal, and a favourite minister, though afterwards in such violent opposition. His lordship's turn for gallantry was such as distinguished him even at the court of Charles.--See Vol. IX. p. 446. The party of Trimmers, properly so called, only comprehended the followers of Halifax; but our author seems to include all those who, professing to be friends of monarchy, were enemies of the Duke of York, and who were as odious to the court as the fanatical republicans. Much wit, and more virulence, was unchained against them. Among others, I find in Mr Luttrell's Collection, a poem, entitled, "The Character of a Trimmer," beginning thus:

Hang out your cloth, and let the trumpet sound, Here's such a beast as Afric never owned: A twisted brute, the satyr in the story, That blows up the Whig heat, and cools the Tory; A state hermaphrodite, whose doubtful lust Salutes all parties with an equal gust. Like Ireland shocks, he seems two natures joined; Savage before, and all betrimmed behind; And the well-tutored curs like him will strain, Come over for the king, and back again, &c. ]

PROLOGUE

TO THE

DISAPPOINTMENT, OR THE MOTHER IN FASHION.

BY MR SOUTHERNE, 1684.

SPOKEN BY MR BETTERTON.

_This play is founded on the novel of the Impertinent Curiosity, in Don Quixote. It possesses no extraordinary merit. The satire of the Prologue, though grossly broad, is very forcibly expressed; and describes what we may readily allow to have been the career of many, who set up for persons of wit and honour about town._

How comes it, gentlemen, that, now a-days, When all of you so shrewdly judge of plays, Our poets tax you still with want of sense? All prologues treat you at your own expence. Sharp citizens a wiser way can go; They make you fools, but never call you so. They in good manners seldom make a slip, But treat a common whore with--ladyship: But here each saucy wit at random writes, And uses ladies as he uses knights. Our author, young and grateful in his nature, Vows, that from him no nymph deserves a satire: Nor will he ever draw--I mean his rhime, Against the sweet partaker of his crime; Nor is he yet so bold an undertaker, To call men fools--'tis railing at their Maker. Besides, he fears to split upon that shelf; He's young enough to be a fop himself: And, if his praise can bring you all a-bed, He swears such hopeful youth no nation ever bred. Your nurses, we presume, in such a case, } Your father chose, because he liked the face, } And often they supplied your mother's place. } The dry nurse was your mother's ancient maid, Who knew some former slip she ne'er betrayed. Betwixt them both, for milk and sugar-candy, Your sucking bottles were well stored with brandy. Your father, to initiate your discourse, } Meant to have taught you first to swear and curse, } But was prevented by each careful nurse. } For, leaving dad and mam, as names too common, They taught you certain parts of man and woman. I pass your schools; for there, when first you came, You would be sure to learn the Latin name. In colleges, you scorned the art of thinking, But learned all moods and figures of good drinking; Thence come to town, you practise play, to know The virtues of the high dice, and the low.[386] Each thinks himself a sharper most profound: He cheats by pence; is cheated by the pound. With these perfections, and what else he gleans, } The spark sets up for love behind our scenes, } Hot in pursuit of princesses and queens. } There, if they know their man, with cunning carriage, Twenty to one but it concludes in marriage. He hires some homely room, love's fruits to gather, And, garret high, rebels against his father: But, he once dead---- Brings her in triumph, with her portion, down-- A toilet, dressing-box, and half-a-crown.[387] Some marry first, and then they fall to scowering, Which is refining marriage into whoring. Our women batten well on their good nature; All they can rap and rend for the dear creature. But while abroad so liberal the dolt is, Poor spouse at home as ragged as a colt is. Last, some there are, who take their first degrees Of lewdness in our middle galleries; The doughty bullies enter bloody drunk, Invade and grubble one another's punk: They caterwaul, and make a dismal rout, Call sons of whores, and strike, but ne'er lug out: Thus, while for paltry punk they roar and stickle, They make it bawdier than a conventicle.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 386: Loaded dice, contrived some for high, and others for low throws.]

[Footnote 387: Our author seems to copy himself in this passage. "His old father, in the country, would have given him but little thanks for it, to see him bring down a fine-bred woman, with a lute and a dressing-box, and a handful of money to her portion."--_The Wild Gallant_, Vol. II. p. 66.]

PROLOGUE

TO

THE KING AND QUEEN,

UPON THE

UNION OF THE TWO COMPANIES, IN 1686.

_The two rival Companies, so long known by the names of the King's and the Duke's players, after exhausting every effort, both of poetry and machinery, to obtain a superiority over each other, were, at length, by the expence of these exertions, and the inconstancy of the public, reduced to the necessity of uniting their forces, in order to maintain their ground. "Taste and fashion," says Colley Cibber, "with us, have always had wings, and fly from one public spectacle to another so wantonly, that I have been informed, by those who remember it, that a famous puppet-show, in Salisbury-change, then standing where Cecil-street now is, so far distressed these two celebrated companies, that they were reduced to petition the king for relief against it. Nor ought we, perhaps, to think this strange, when, if I mistake not, Terence himself reproaches the Roman auditors of his time with the like fondness for the_ funambuli, _the rope-dancers. Not to dwell too long, therefore, upon that part of my history, which I have only collected from oral tradition, I shall content myself with telling you, that Mohun and Hart now growing old, (for above thirty years before this time, they had severally borne the king's commission of major and captain in the civil wars,) and the younger actors, as Goodman, Clark, and others, being impatient to get into their parts, and growing intractable, the audiences too of both houses then falling off, the patentees of each, by the king's advice, (which, perhaps, amounted to a command,) united their interests, and both companies into one, exclusive of all others, in the year_ 1684. _This union was, however, so much in favour of the Duke's company, that Hart left the stage upon it, and Mohun survived not long after."_[388] Apology, p. 58.

_It appears, that the king and queen honoured with their presence the first performance under the union they had recommended. Dryden's prologue abounds with those violent expressions of loyalty with which James loved to be greeted._

Since faction ebbs, and rogues grow out of fashion, Their penny scribes take care t' inform the nation, How well men thrive in this or that plantation:[389]

How Pennsylvania's air agrees with Quakers, And Carolina's with Associators; Both e'en too good for madmen and for traitors.[390]

Truth is, our land with saints is so run o'er, And every age produces such a store, That now there's need of two New Englands more.

What's this, you'll say, to us, and our vocation? Only thus much, that we have left our station, And made this theatre our new plantation.

The factious natives never could agree; But aiming, as they called it, to be free, Those play-house Whigs set up for property.[391]

Some say, they no obedience paid of late; But would new tears and jealousies create, Till topsy-turvy they had turned the state.

Plain sense, without the talent of foretelling, Might guess 'twould end in downright knocks and quelling; For seldom comes there better of rebelling.

When men will, needlessly, their freedom barter For lawless power, sometimes they catch a Tartar;-- There's a damned word that rhimes to this, called Charter.[392]

But, since the victory with us remains, You shall be called to twelve in all our gains, If you'll not think us saucy for our pains.

Old men shall have good old plays to delight them; And you, fair ladies and gallants, that slight them, We'll treat with good new plays, if our new wits can write them.

We'll take no blundering verse, no fustain tumor, No dribbling love, from this or that presumer; No dull fat fool shammed on the stage for humour:[393]

For, faith, some of them such vile stuff have made, As none but fools or fairies ever played; But 'twas, as shopmen say, to force a trade.

We've given you tragedies, all sense defying, And singing men, in woful metre dying; This 'tis when heavy lubbers will be flying.

All these disasters we will hope to weather; We bring you none of our old lumber hither; Whig poets and Whig sheriffs[394] may hang together.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 388: In this last point Colley is, however, mistaken. See p. 328.]

[Footnote 389: The American colonies, from the time of the first troubles in the reign of Charles I., continued to be the place of refuge to all who were discontented with the government of the time, or experienced oppression under it. The settlers did not fail to excite their countrymen to emigration, by exaggerated accounts of the fertility and advantages of their places of refuge, which were circulated by the hawkers.]

[Footnote 390: The settlement of Pennsylvania, under the famous Penn, had just taken place; and the design of a Scottish insurrection, at the time of the Rye-house plot, was carried on by Baillie of Jerviswood, under pretence of being agent for some gentlemen of the south of Scotland, who proposed to leave their country, and make a settlement in Carolina.]

[Footnote 391: This seems to allude to the mutiny of the younger actors against Hart and Mohun, mentioned by Cibber. The performers were also anxious to emancipate themselves from the thraldom of the patentees, which they did not accomplish till after the Revolution. They were emancipated by King William, who considered them, says Cibber, as the only subjects he had not yet relieved from arbitrary power. Dryden seems to allude to some ineffectual struggles made for this purpose, which he compares to those of the Whigs in the latter end of the reign of Charles II.]

[Footnote 392: Alluding to the forfeiture of the city charter, by the process of _Quo Warranto_.]

[Footnote 393: Our author, who writes in all the exultation of triumphant Toryism, does not forget to bestow a passing sarcasm upon his political and personal enemy, Shadwell. In the observations on "Mac-Flecnoe," and elsewhere, we have noticed Shadwell's affectation of treading in the paths of Ben Jonson, by describing what he calls _humours_; a word as great a favourite with the fat bard as with Corporal Nym. The following passage in the dedication of "The Virtuoso," may serve to explain what he means by the phrase:

"I have endeavoured in this play, at humour, wit, and satire, which are the three things (however I may have fallen short in my attempt) which your grace has often told me are the life of a comedy. Four of the humours are entirely new; and, without vanity, I may say I never produced a comedy that had not some natural humour in it, not represented before, nor, I hope, ever shall. Nor do I count those humours which a great many do; that is to say, such as consist in using one or two by-words; or in having a fantastic extravagant dress, as many pretended humours have; nor in the affectation of some French words, which several plays have shown us. I say nothing of impossible, unnatural, farce fools, which some intend for comical; who think it the easiest thing in the world to write a comedy, and yet will sooner grow rich upon their ill plays than write a good one: Nor is downright silly folly a humour, as some take it to be, for it is a mere natural imperfection; and they might as well call it a humour of blindness in a blind man, or lameness in a lame one; or as a celebrated French farce has the humour of one who speaks very fast, and of another who speaks very slow: But natural imperfections are not fit subjects for comedy, since they are not to be laughed at, but pitied. But the artificial folly of those who are not coxcombs by nature, but, with great art and industry, make themselves so, is a proper object of comedy; as I have discoursed at large in the Preface to "The Humourists," written five years since. Those slight circumstantial things, mentioned before, are not enough to make a good comical humour; which ought to be such an affectation as misguides men in knowledge, art, or science; or that causes defection in manners and morality, or perverts their minds in the main actions of their lives: And this kind of humour, I think, I have not improperly described in the Epilogue to "The Humourists."

"But your grace understands humour too well not to know this, and much more than I can say of it. All I have now to do, is, humbly to dedicate this play to your grace, which has succeeded beyond my expectation; and the humours of which have been approved by men of the best sense and learning. Nor do I hear of any professed enemies to the play, but some women, and some men of feminine understandings, who like slight plays only that represent a little tattle-sort of conversation like their own: but true humour is not liked or understood by them; and therefore even my attempt towards it is condemned by them: but the same people, to my great comfort, damn all Mr Jonson's plays, who was incomparably the best dramatic poet that ever was, or, I believe, ever will be; and I had rather be author of one scene in his best comedies, than of any play this age has produced."]

[Footnote 394: This inhuman jest turns on the execution of Henry Cornish, who, with Slingsby Bethel, was sheriff in 1680, and distinguished himself in opposition to the court.--See Note on "Absalom and Achitophel," Part I. vol. ix. p. 280. He was condemned as accessary to the Rye-house plot, and executed accordingly on 23d October, 1685; probably a short time before this prologue was spoken, which might be in January 1686.]

EPILOGUE

ON

THE SAME OCCASION.

New ministers, when first they get in place, Must have a care to please; and that's our case: Some laws for public welfare we design, If you, the power supreme, will please to join. There are a sort of prattlers in the pit, Who either have, or who pretend to wit; These noisy sirs so loud their parts rehearse, That oft the play is silenced by the farce. Let such be dumb, this penalty to shun, Each to be thought my lady's eldest son. But stay; methinks some vizard mask I see, Cast out her lure from the mid gallery: About her all the fluttering sparks are ranged; The noise continues, though the scene is changed: Now growling, sputtering, wauling, such a clutter! 'Tis just like puss defendant in a gutter: Fine love, no doubt; but ere two days are o'er ye, The surgeon will be told a woful story. Let vizard mask her naked face expose, On pain of being thought to want a nose: Then for your lacqueys, and your train beside, By whate'er name or title dignified, They roar so loud, you'd think behind the stairs Tom Dove,[395] and all the brotherhood of bears: They're grown a nuisance, beyond all disasters; We've none so great but--their unpaying masters. We beg you, Sirs, to beg your men, that they Would please to give you leave to hear the play. Next, in the play-house, spare your precious lives; Think, like good Christians, on your bearns and wives: Think on your souls; but, by your lugging forth,[396] It seems you know how little they are worth. If none of these will move the warlike mind, Think on the helpless whore you leave behind. We beg you, last, our scene-room to forbear, And leave our goods and chattels to our care. Alas! our women are but washy toys, And wholly taken up in stage employs: Poor willing tits they are; but yet, I doubt, This double duty soon will wear them out. Then you are watched besides with jealous care; What if my lady's page should find you there? My lady knows t' a tittle what there's in ye; No passing your gilt shilling for a guinea. Thus, gentlemen, we have summed up in short Our grievances, from country, town, and court: Which humbly we submit to your good pleasure; But first vote money, then redress at leisure.[397]

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 395: A Bear so called, which was a favourite with the courtly audience of the Bear Garden.]

[Footnote 396: See Note, p. 237.]

[Footnote 397: This was the course which Charles usually recommended to Parliament, who generally followed that which was precisely opposite.]

PROLOGUE

TO

THE PRINCESS OF CLEVES.

BY MR N. LEE, 1689.

_This play is one of the coarsest which ever appeared upon the stage. The author himself seems to be ashamed of it, and gives, for the profligacy of his hero, the Duke of Nemours, the odd reason of a former play on the subject of the Paris massacre having been prohibited, at the request, I believe, of the French ambassador._ See Vol. VII. p. 188.

Ladies! (I hope there's none behind to hear) I long to whisper something in your ear: A secret, which does much my mind perplex,-- There's treason in the play against our sex. A man that's false to love, that vows and cheats, And kisses every living thing he meets; A rogue in mode,--I dare not speak too broad,-- One that--does something to the very bawd. Out on him, traitor, for a filthy beast! Nay, and he's like the pack of all the rest: None of them stick at mark; they all deceive. } Some Jew has changed the text, I half believe; } There Adam cozened our poor grandame Eve. } To hide their faults they rap out oaths, and tear; Now, though we lie, we're too well-bred to swear. So we compound for half the sin we owe, But men are dipt for soul and body too; And, when found out, excuse themselves, pox cant them, With Latin stuff, _Perjuria ridet Amantûm_. I'm not book-learned, to know that word in vogue, But I suspect 'tis Latin for a rogue. I'm sure, I never heard that screech-owl hollowed In my poor ears, but separation followed. How can such perjured villains e'er be saved? Achitophel's not half so false to David.[398] With vows and soft expressions to allure, They stand, like foremen of a shop, demure: No sooner out of sight, but they are gadding, And for the next new face ride out a padding. Yet, by their favour, when they have been kissing, We can perceive the ready money missing. Well! we may rail; but 'tis as good e'en wink; Something we find, and something they will sink. But, since they're at renouncing, 'tis our parts To trump their diamonds, as they trump our hearts.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 398: Alluding to Shaftesbury and Charles II. in his own admirable satire.]

EPILOGUE

TO

THE SAME.

A qualm of conscience brings me back again, To make amends to you bespattered men. We women love like cats, that hide their joys, By growling, squalling, and a hideous noise. I railed at wild young sparks; but, without lying, Never was man worse thought on for high-flying. The prodigal of love gives each her part, And, squandering, shows at least a noble heart. I've heard of men, who, in some lewd lampoon, Have hired a friend to make their valour known. That accusation straight this question brings,-- What is the man that does such naughty things? The spaniel lover, like a sneaking fop, Lies at our feet:--he's scarce worth taking up. 'Tis true, such heroes in a play go far; But chamber-practice is not like the bar. When men such vile, such faint petitions make, We fear to give, because they fear to take; Since modesty's the virtue of our kind, Pray let it be to our own sex confined. When men usurp it from the female nation, 'Tis but a work of supererogation. We shewed a princess in the play, 'tis true, Who gave her Cæsar[399] more than all his due; Told her own faults; but I should much abhor To choose a husband for my confessor. You see what fate followed the saint-like fool, For telling tales from out the nuptial school. Our play a merry comedy had proved, Had she confessed so much to him she loved. True Presbyterian wives the means would try; But damned confessing is flat Popery.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 399: The Princess of Cleves, in the play, confesses to her husband her love for Nemours.]

PROLOGUE

TO

ARVIRAGUS AND PHILICIA.

BY LODOWICK CARLELL, ESQ.

SPOKEN BY MR HART.

_Lodowick Carlell, according to Langbaine, was an ancient courtier, being gentleman of the bows to King Charles I., groom of the king and queen's privy chamber, and servant to the queen-mother many years. His plays, the same author adds, were well esteemed of, and acted chiefly at the private house in Blackfriars. They were seven in number. "Arviragus and Philicia" consisted of two parts, and was first printed in 8vo, 1639. The prologue, which was spoken upon the revival of the piece, turns upon the caprice of the town, in preferring, to the plays of their own poets, the performances of a troop of French comedians, who, it seems, were then acting both tragedies and comedies in their own language._

With sickly actors, and an old house too, We're matched with glorious theatres, and new; And with our alehouse scenes, and clothes bare worn, Can neither raise old plays, nor new adorn. If all these ills could not undo us quite, A brisk French troop is grown your dear delight; Who with broad bloody bills call you each day, To laugh and break your buttons at their play; Or see some serious piece, which, we presume, Is fallen from some incomparable _plume_; "And therefore, Messieurs, if you'll do us grace, Send lacquies early to preserve your place." We dare not on your privilege intrench, Or ask you, why you like them?--they are French. Therefore, some go with courtesy exceeding, Neither to hear nor see, but show their breeding; Each lady striving to outlaugh the rest, To make it seem they understood the jest. Their countrymen come in, and nothing pay, To teach us English were to clap the play: Civil, egad! our hospitable land Bears all the charge for them to understand: Mean time we languish, and neglected lie, Like wives, while you keep better company; And wish for your own sakes, without a satire, You'd less good breeding, or had more good nature.

PROLOGUE

TO

THE PROPHETESS.

BY

BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER.

REVIVED

By DRYDEN.

SPOKEN BY MR BETTERTON.

_"The Prophetess" of Beaumont and Fletcher, even in its original state, required a good deal of machinery; for it contains stage directions for thunder-bolts brandished from on high, and for a chariot drawn through mid air by flying dragons; but it was now altered into an opera, with the addition of songs and scenical decorations, by Betterton, in 1690. Our author wrote the following prologue, to introduce it upon the stage in its altered state. The music was by Henry Purcell, and is said to have merited applause. Rich, whose attachment to scenery and decoration is ridiculed by Pope, revived this piece, and piqued himself particularly upon a set of dancing chairs, which he devised for the nonce._

_The prologue gave offence to the court, and was prohibited by the Earl of Dorset, Lord Chamberlain, after the first day's representation. It contains, Cibber remarks, some familiar metaphorical sneers at the Revolution itself; and as the poetry is good, the offence was less pardonable. King William was at this time prosecuting his campaigns in Ireland; and the author not only ridicules the warfare in which he was engaged, and the English volunteers who attended him, but even the government of Queen Mary in his absence._

What Nostradame, with all his art, can guess The fate of our approaching Prophetess? A play, which, like a perspective set right, Presents our vast expences close to sight; But turn the tube, and there we sadly view Our distant gains, and those uncertain too; A sweeping tax, which on ourselves we raise, And all, like you, in hopes of better days. When will our losses warn us to be wise? Our wealth decreases, and our charges rise. Money, the sweet allurer of our hopes, Ebbs out in oceans, and comes in by drops. We raise new objects to provoke delight, But you grow sated ere the second sight. False men, even so you serve your mistresses; They rise three stories in their towering dress; And, after all, you love not long enough To pay the rigging, ere you leave them off. Never content with what you had before, But true to change, and Englishmen all o'er. Now honour calls you hence; and all your care Is to provide the horrid pomp of war. In plume and scarf, jack-boots, and Bilbo blade, Your silver goes, that should support our trade. Go, unkind heroes! leave our stage to mourn, Till rich from vanquished rebels you return; And the fat spoils of Teague in triumph draw, His firkin butter, and his usquebaugh. Go, conquerors of your male and female foes; Men without hearts, and women without hose. Each bring his love a Bogland captive home; Such proper pages will long trains become; With copper collars, and with brawny backs, Quite to put down the fashion of our blacks.[400] Then shall the pious Muses pay their vows, And furnish all their laurels for your brows; Their tuneful voice shall raise for your delights; We want not poets fit to sing your flights. But you, bright beauties, for whose only sake Those doughty knights such dangers undertake, When they with happy gales are gone away, } With your propitious presence grace our play, } And with a sigh their empty seats survey; } Then think,--On that bare bench my servant sat! I see him ogle still, and hear him chat; Selling facetious bargains, and propounding That witty recreation, called dum-founding.[401]-- Their loss with patience we will try to bear, And would do more, to see you often here; That our dead stage, revived by your fair eyes, Under a female regency may rise.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 400: It was the fashion, at this time, to have black boys in attendance, decorated with silver collars. See the following advertisement: "A black boy, about fifteen years of age, named John White, ran away from Colonel Kirke, the 15th inst.; he has a silver collar about his neck, upon which is the Colonel's arms and cipher." Gazette, March 18th, 1685.]

[Footnote 401: _Selling bargains_, a species of wit common, according to Swift, among Queen Anne's maids of honour, consisted in leading some innocent soul to ask a question, which was answered by the bargain-seller's naming his, or her, sitting part, by its broadest appellation. _Dum-founding_ is explained by a stage direction in Bury-fair, where "Sir Humphrey dum-founds the Count with a rap betwixt the shoulders." The humour seems to have consisted in doing this with such dexterity, that the party dum-founded should be unable to discover to whom he was indebted for the favour.]

PROLOGUE

TO

THE MISTAKES.

_This play was brought forward by Joseph Harris, a comedian, as his own, although it is said to have been chiefly written by another person. It was acted in_ 1690.

_Enter_ MR BRIGHT.

Gentlemen, we must beg your pardon; here's no prologue to be had to-day. Our new play is like to come on, without a frontispiece; as bald as one of you young beaux without your periwig. I left our young poet, snivelling and sobbing behind the scenes, and cursing somebody that has deceived him.

_Enter_ MR BOWEN.

Hold your prating to the audience; here's honest Mr Williams just come in, half mellow, from the Rose-Tavern.[402] He swears he is inspired with claret, and will come on, and that extempore too, either with a prologue of his own, or something like one. O here he comes to his trial, at all adventures; for my part, I wish him a good deliverance.

[_Exeunt Mr_ BRIGHT _and Mr_ BOWEN.

_Enter Mr_ WILLIAMS.

Save ye, sirs, save ye! I am in a hopeful way. } I should speak something, in rhyme, now, for the play } But the deuce take me, if I know what to say. } I'll stick to my friend the author, that I can tell ye, To the last drop of claret in my belly. So far I'm sure 'tis rhyme--that needs no granting; And, if my verses' feet stumble--you see my own are wanting. Our young poet has brought a piece of work, } In which though much of art there does not lurk, } It may hold out three days--and that's as long as Cork.[403] } But, for this play--(which till I have done, we show not) What may be its fortune--by the Lord--I know not. This I dare swear, no malice here is writ; 'Tis innocent of all things----even of wit. He's no high-flyer----he makes no sky-rockets, His squibs are only levelled at your pockets; And if his crackers light among your pelf, You are blown up; if not, then he's blown up himself. By this time, I'm something recovered of my flustered madness; And now, a word or two in sober sadness. Ours is a common play; and you pay down A common harlot's price--just half a crown. You'll say, I play the pimp, on my friend's score; } But since 'tis for a friend your gibes give o'er, } For many a mother has done that before. } How's this? you cry: an actor write?--we know it; But Shakespeare was an actor, and a poet. Has not great Jonson's learning often failed? But Shakespeare's greater genius still prevailed. Have not some writing actors, in this age, Deserved and found success upon the stage? To tell the truth, when our old wits are tired, Not one of us but means to be inspired. Let your kind presence grace our homely cheer; } Peace and the butt[404] is all our business here; } So much for that--and the devil take small beer. }

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 402: This was quite in character. Cibber says of Williams, that his industry was not equal to his capacity, for he loved his bottle better than his business. _Apology_, p. 115.]

[Footnote 403: The taking of Cork was one of the first exploits of the renowned Marlborough. The besieging army was disembarked on the 23d September, 1690, and the garrison, amounting to four thousand men, surrendered on the 28th of the same month.]

[Footnote 404: A phrase in the "Tempest" as altered by Dryden, which seems to have become proverbial.]

EPILOGUE

TO

HENRY II.

BY JOHN BANCROFT,

AND PUBLISHED BY MR MOUNTFORT, 1693.

SPOKEN BY MRS BRACEGIRDLE.

_This play is founded on the amours of Henry II. and the death of fair Rosamond. John Bancroft, the author, was a surgeon, and wrote another play called "Sertorius." He gave both the reputation and the profits of "Henry II." to Mountfort, the comedian; and probably made him no great compliment in the former particular, though, as the piece was well received, the latter might be of some consequence. Mountfort was an actor of great eminence. Cibber says, that he was the most affecting lover within his memory._

Thus you the sad catastrophe have seen, Occasioned by a mistress and a queen. Queen Eleanor the proud was French, they say; But English manufacture got the day. Jane Clifford was her name, as books aver; Fair Rosamond was but her _nom de guerre_. Now tell me, gallants, would you lead your life With such a mistress, or with such a wife? If one must be your choice, which d'ye approve, The curtain lecture, or the curtain love? Would ye be godly with perpetual strife, Still drudging on with homely Joan, your wife Or take your pleasure in a wicked way, Like honest whoring Harry in the play? I guess your minds; the mistress would be taken, And nauseous matrimony sent a packing. The devil's in you all; mankind's a rogue; You love the bride, but you detest the clog. After a year, poor spouse is left i'the lurch, And you, like Haynes,[405] return to mother-church. Or, if the name of Church comes cross your mind, Chapels-of-ease behind our scenes you find. The playhouse is a kind of market-place; One chaffers for a voice, another for a face; Nay, some of you,--I dare not say how many,-- Would buy of me a pen'worth for your penny. E'en this poor face, which with my fan I hide,} Would make a shift my portion to provide, } With some small perquisites I have beside. } Though for your love, perhaps, I should not care, I could not hate a man that bids me fair. What might ensue, 'tis hard for me to tell; } But I was drenched to-day for loving well, } And fear the poison that would make me swell.}

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 405: The facetious Joe Haynes became a Catholic in the latter part of James the Second's reign. But after the Revolution, he read his recantation of the errors of Rome in a penitentiary prologue, which he delivered in a suit of mourning.]

A

PROLOGUE.

Gallants, a bashful poet bids me say, He's come to lose his maidenhead to-day. Be not too fierce; for he's but green of age, And ne'er, till now, debauched upon the stage. He wants the suffering part of resolution, And comes with blushes to his execution. Ere you deflower his Muse, he hopes the pit Will make some settlement upon his wit. Promise him well, before the play begin; For he would fain be cozened into sin. 'Tis not but that he knows you mean to fail; } But, if you leave him after being frail, } He'll have, at least, a fair pretence to rail; } To call you base, and swear you used him ill, And put you in the new Deserters' bill. Lord, what a troop of perjured men we see; Enow to fill another Mercury! But this the ladies may with patience brook; Theirs are not the first colours you forsook. He would be loth the beauties to offend; But, if he should, he's not too old to mend. He's a young plant, in his first year of bearing; But his friend swears, he will be worth the rearing. His gloss is still upon him; though 'tis true He's yet unripe, yet take him for the blue. You think an apricot half green is best; There's sweet and sour, and one side good at least. Mangos and limes, whose nourishment is little, Though not for food, are yet preserved for pickle. So this green writer may pretend, at least, To whet your stomachs for a better feast. He makes this difference in the sexes too; He sells to men, he gives himself to you. To both he would contribute some delight; A meer poetical hermaphrodite. Thus he's equipped, both to be wooed, and woo; } With arms offensive, and defensive too; } 'Tis hard, he thinks, if neither part will do. }

PROLOGUE

TO

ALBUMAZAR.

_The old Play, to which this prologue was prefixed upon its revival, was originally acted in_ 1634, _three or four years after the appearance of Jonson's_ "_Alchemist;_" _to which, therefore, it could not possibly afford any hint. Dryden, observing the resemblance between the plays, took the plagiarism for granted, because the style of "Albumazar" is certainly the most antiquated. This appearance of antiquity is, however, only a consequence of the vein of pedantry which runs through the whole piece. It was written by ---- Tomkins, a scholar of Trinity College, and acted before King James VI. by the gentlemen of that house, 9th March_, 1614. _It is, upon the whole, a very excellent play; yet the author, whether consulting his own taste, or that of our British Solomon, before whom it was to be represented, has contrived to give it an air of such learned stiffness, that it much more resembles the translation of a play from Terence or Plautus, than an original English composition. By this pedantic affectation, the humour of the play is completely smothered; and although there are several very excellent comic situations in the action_, _yet neither the attempt to revive it in Dryden's time_, _nor those which followed in_ 1748 _and_ 1773, _met with any success_.

_As Dryden had imputed, very rashly, however, and groundlessly, the guilt of plagiarism to Jonson, he made this supposed crime the introduction to a similar slur on Shadwell, who at that time seems to have been possessed of the laurel; a circumstance which ascertains the date of the prologue to be posterior to the Revolution._

To say this comedy pleased long ago, Is not enough to make it pass you now. Yet, gentlemen, your ancestors had wit, When few men censured, and when fewer writ. And Jonson, of those few the best, chose this, As the best model of his master-piece: Subtle was got by our Albumazar, That Alchymist by this Astrologer; Here he was fashioned, and we may suppose, He liked the fashion well, who wore the clothes. But Ben made nobly his what he did mould; What was another's lead, becomes his gold: Like an unrighteous conqueror he reigns, Yet rules that well, which he unjustly gains. But this our age such authors does afford, As make whole plays, and yet scarce write one word; Who, in this anarchy of wit, rob all, And what's their plunder, their possession call; Who, like bold padders, scorn by night to prey, But rob by sun-shine, in the face of day: Nay, scarce the common ceremony use Of, "Stand, Sir, and deliver up your Muse;" But knock the poet down, and, with a grace, Mount Pegasus before the owner's face. Faith, if you have such country Toms abroad,[406] 'Tis time for all true men to leave that road. Yet it were modest, could it but be said, They strip the living, but these rob the dead; Dare with the mummies of the Muses play, And make love to them the Egyptian way; Or, as a rhiming author would have said, Join the dead living to the living dead. Such men in poetry may claim some part, They have the license, though they want the art; And might, where theft was praised, for laureats stand;[407] Poets, not of the head, but of the hand. They make the benefits of others studying, Much like the meals of politic Jack-Pudding, Whose dish to challenge no man has the courage; 'Tis all his own, when once he has spit i'the porridge. But, gentlemen, you're all concerned in this; You are in fault for what they do amiss; For they their thefts still undiscovered think, And durst not steal, unless you please to wink. Perhaps, you may award by your decree, They should refund,--but that can never be; For, should you letters of reprisal seal, These men write that which no man else would steal.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 406: This seems to have been a cant name for highwaymen. Shadwell's christian name was Thomas.]

[Footnote 407: Shadwell succeeded to our author's post of laureat, after the Revolution. I am not able to discover, if Shadwell had given any very recent cause for this charge of plagiarism. In the "Libertine," "The Miser," "Bury-fair," and "The Sullen Lovers," he has borrowed, or rather translated, from Moliere. The "Squire of Alsatia" contains some imitations of Terence's "Adelphi." "Psyche" is taken from the French, and "Timon of Athens" from Shakespeare, although Shadwell has the assurance to claim the merit of having made it into a play. He was also under obligations to his contemporaries. The "Royal Shepherdess" was originally written by one Mr Fountain of Devonshire. Dryden, in "Mac-Flecnoe," intimates, that Sedley "larded with wit" his play of "Epsom Wells;" and in the Dedication to the "True Widow," Shadwell himself acknowledges obligations to that gentleman's revision of some of his pieces. Langbaine, who hated Dryden, and professed an esteem for Shadwell, expresses himself thus, on the latter's claim to originality:

"But I am willing to say the less of Mr Shadwell, because I have publicly professed a friendship for him; and though it be not of so long date as some former intimacy with others, so neither is it blemished with some unhandsome dealings I have met with from persons where I least expected it. I shall therefore speak of him with the impartiality that becomes a critic, and own I like his comedies better than Mr Dryden's, as having more variety of characters, and those drawn from the life; I mean men's converse and manners, and not from other men's ideas, copied out of their public writings: though indeed I cannot wholly acquit our present laureat from borrowing; his plagiaries being in some places too bold and open to be disguised, of which I shall take notice, as I go along; though with this remark, that several of them are observed to my hand, and in great measure excused by himself, in the public acknowledgment he makes in his several prefaces, to the persons to whom he was obliged for what he borrowed."

Shadwell in the following lines, which occur in the prologue to the "Scowerers," seems to retort on Dryden the accusation here brought against him:

You have been kind to many of his plays, And should not leave him in his latter days. Though loyal writers of the last two reigns,} Who tired their pens for Popery and chains, } Grumble at the reward of all his pains; } They would, like some, the benefit enjoy Of what they vilely laboured to destroy. They cry him down as for his place unfit, } Since they have all the humour and the wit; } They must write better e'er he fears them yet.} 'Till they have shewn you more variety } Of natural, unstolen comedy than he, } By you at least he should protected be.} 'Till then, may he that mark of bounty have,} Which his renowned and royal master gave, } Who loves a subject, and contemns a slave; } Whom heaven, in spite of hellish plots, designed To humble tyrants, and exalt mankind. ]

AN

EPILOGUE.

You saw our wife was chaste, yet throughly tried, And, without doubt, you are hugely edified; For, like our hero, whom we showed to-day, You think no woman true, but in a play. Love once did make a pretty kind of show; } Esteem and kindness in one breast would grow;} But 'twas heaven knows how many years ago. } Now some small chat, and guinea expectation, Gets all the pretty creatures in the nation. In comedy your little selves you meet; 'Tis Covent Garden drawn in Bridges-street. Smile on our author then, if he has shown A jolly nut-brown bastard of your own. Ah! happy you, with ease and with delight, Who act those follies, poets toil to write! The sweating Muse does almost leave the chace; She puffs, and hardly keeps your Protean vices pace. Pinch you but in one vice, away you fly To some new frisk of contrariety. You roll like snow-balls, gathering as you run, And get seven devils, when dispossessed of one. Your Venus once was a Platonic queen, Nothing of love beside the face was seen; But every inch of her you now uncase, And clap a vizard-mask upon the face; For sins like these, the zealous of the land, With little hair, and little or no band, Declare how circulating pestilences Watch, every twenty years, to snap offences. Saturn, e'en now, takes doctoral degrees;[408] He'll do your work this summer without fees. Let all the boxes, Phœbus, find thy grace, And, ah, preserve the eighteen-penny place![409] But for the pit confounders, let them go, And find as little mercy as they show! The actors thus, and thus thy poets pray; For every critic saved, thou damn'st a play.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 408: Perhaps our author had in view the three oppositions of Saturn and Jupiter in June and December 1692, and in April 1693, which are thus feelingly descanted upon by John Silvester: "It hath been long observed, that the most remarkable mutations of a kingdom, or nation, have chiefly depended on the conjunctions or aspects of those two superior planets, Saturn and Jupiter; and by their effects past, we perceive that the most wise Creator first placed them higher than all the other planets, that they should respect, chiefly, the highest and most durable affairs and concerns of men on earth.

"And if one opposition of Saturn and Jupiter produceth much, how then can those three oppositions to come do any less than cause some remarkable changes and alterations of laws, or religious orders, in England's chief and most renowned city? because Saturn then will be stronger than Jupiter, who also, at his second opposition, will be near unto the body of Mars, (the planet of war;) and having took possession of religious Jupiter, should contend with him, (with a frowning lofty countenance,) in London's ascendant, from whence I fear some religious disturbances, if not some warlike violence, by insurrections, or otherwise, occasioned by some frowning dissatisfied minds, which will then happen in some part of Britain, or take its beginning there to the purpose in those years.

"Ah poor Jupiter in Gemini! (London,) I fear thou wilt then be so much humbled against thy will, that thou wilt think thou hast a sufficient occasion to bewail thy condition; and if so, God will suffer this, that thou mayest humbly endeavour to forsake thy accustomed sins, and that thou mayest know power is not in thee to help thyself. But yet I think thou wilt then have no need to fear that God hath wholly forsaken thee; for look but a little back unto the years 1682 and 1683, where Jupiter was three times in conjunction with Saturn, in a sign of his own triplicity, and consider, was not he then stronger than Saturn, and hast not thou been victorious ever since, throughout all those great changes and alterations? And when thou hast thus considered, perhaps thou wilt believe, that that which begins well will end well; and indeed perhaps it may so happen; but be not too proud of this, a word is enough to the wise."--_Astrological Observations and Predictions for the year of our Lord 1691, by John Silvester._ London, 1690, 4to.]

[Footnote 409: The Gallery.]

EPILOGUE

TO THE

HUSBAND HIS OWN CUCKOLD.

_This play was written by John Dryden, Junior, son to our poet. See the preface among our author's prose works. It was dedicated to Sir Robert Howard, and acted in_ 1696.

Like some raw sophister that mounts the pulpit, So trembles a young poet at a full pit. Unused to crowds, the parson quakes for fear, And wonders how the devil he durst come there; Wanting three talents needful for the place, Some beard, some learning, and some little grace. Nor is the puny poet void of care; } For authors, such as our new authors are, } Have not much learning, nor much wit to spare; } And as for grace, to tell the truth, there's scarce one, But has as little as the very parson: Both say, they preach and write for your instruction; But 'tis for a third day, and for induction. The difference is, that though you like the play, The poet's gain is ne'er beyond his day; But with the parson 'tis another case, He, without holiness, may rise to grace; The poet has one disadvantage more, } That if his play be dull, he's damn'd all o'er, } Not only a damn'd blockhead, but damn'd poor. } But dulness well becomes the sable garment; I warrant that ne'er spoiled a priest's preferment; Wit's not his business, and as wit now goes, } Sirs, 'tis not so much yours as you suppose, } For you like nothing now but nauseous beaux. } You laugh not, gallants, as by proof appears, } At what his beauship says, but what he wears; } So 'tis your eyes are tickled, not your ears. } The tailor and the furrier find the stuff, The wit lies in the dress, and monstrous muff. The truth on't is, the payment of the pit Is like for like, clipt money for clipt wit. You cannot from our absent author[410] hope, He should equip the stage with such a fop. Fools change in England, and new fools arise; } For, though the immortal species never dies, } Yet every year new maggots make new flies. } But where he lives abroad, he scarce can find One fool, for million that he left behind.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 410: Young Dryden was then in Rome with his brother Charles, who was gentleman-usher to the Pope.]

MAC-FLECNOE,

A SATIRE

AGAINST

THOMAS SHADWELL.

MAC-FLECNOE.

The enmity between Dryden and Shadwell at first probably only sprung from some of those temporary causes of disgust, which must frequently divide persons whose lives are spent in a competition for public applause. That they were occasionally upon tolerable terms is certain, for Dryden has told us so; and Shadwell, in 1676, when expressing his dissent from one of our author's rules of theatrical criticism, industriously and anxiously qualifies his opinion, with the highest compliments to our author's genius.[411] They had formerly even joined forces, and called in the aid of another wit, to overwhelm the reputation of no less a person than Elkanah Settle.[412] But, between the politics of the stage and of the nation, the friendship of these bards, which probably never had a very solid foundation, was at length totally overthrown. It is not very easy to discover who struck the first blow; but it may be suspected, that Dryden was displeased to see Shadwell not only dispute his canons of criticism in print, but seem to establish himself as an imitator of the old school of dramatic composition, and particularly of Jonson, on whom Dryden had thrown some censure in his epilogue to "The Conquest of Grenada," and in the Defence of these verses. It seems certain, that the feud had broke out in 1675-6; for Shadwell has not only made some invidious allusions to the success of "Aureng-Zebe," which was represented that season, but has plainly intimated, that he needed only a pension to enable him to write as well as Dryden himself.[413] This assault, however, seems to have been forgiven; for Dryden obliged Shadwell with an epilogue to the "True Widow," acted in 1678. But their precarious reconcilement did not long subsist, when political animosity was added to literary rivalry. Shadwell not only wrote the "Lancashire Witches," in ridicule of the Tory party, but entered into a personal contest with our author on the subject of "The Medal," which he answered by a clumsy, though venomous, retort, called "The Medal of John Bayes." In the preface he asserts, that no one can think Dryden "hardly dealt with, since he knows, and so do all his old acquaintance, that there is not one untrue word spoke of him." Neither was this a single offence; for Dryden, in his "Vindication of the Duke of Guise," says, that Shadwell has repeatedly called him Atheist in print. These reiterated insults at length drew down the vengeance of our poet, who seems to have singled Shadwell from the herd of those who had libelled him, to be gibbetted in rhyme while the English language shall last. Neither was Dryden satisfied with a single attack upon this obnoxious bard; but, having divided his poetical character from that which he held as a political writer, he discussed the first in the satire which follows, and the last, with equal severity, in the Second Part of "Absalom and Achitophel." These two admirable pieces of satire appeared within less than a month of each other; and leave it a matter of doubt, whether the bitter ridicule of the anointed Prince of Dulness, or the sarcastic description of Og, the seditious poetaster, be most cruelly severe.

"Mac-Flecnoe" must be allowed to be one of the keenest satires in the English language. It is what Dryden has elsewhere termed a Varronian satire;[414] that is, as he seems to use the phrase, one in which the author is not contented with general sarcasm upon the object of attack, but where he has woven his piece into a sort of imaginary story, or scene, in which he introduces the person, whom he ridicules, as a principal actor. The position in which Dryden has placed Shadwell is the most mortifying to literary vanity which can possibly be imagined, and is hardly excelled by the device of Pope in the "Dunciad," who has obviously followed the steps of his predecessor. Flecnoe, who seems to have been universally acknowledged as the very lowest of all poetasters, and whose name had passed into a proverb for doggrel verse and stupid prose, is represented as devolving upon Shadwell that pre-eminence over the realms of Dulness, which he had himself possessed without a rival. The spot chosen for this devolution of empire is the Barbican, an obscure suburb, in which it would seem that there were temporary theatrical representations of the lowest order, among other receptacles of vulgar dissipation, for the amusement of the very lowest of the vulgar. Here the ceremony of Shadwell's coronation is supposed to be performed with an inaugural oration by Flecnoe, his predecessor, in which all his pretensions to wit and to literary fame are sarcastically enumerated and confuted, by a counter-statement of his claims to distinction by pre-eminent and unrivalled stupidity. In this satire, the shafts of the poet are directed with an aim acutely malignant. The inference drawn concerning Shadwell's talents is general and absolute; but in the proof, Dryden appeals with triumph to those parts only of his literary character which are obviously vulnerable. He reckons up among his titles to the throne of Flecnoe, his desperate and unsuccessful attempts at lyrical composition, in the opera of "Psyche;" the clumsy and coarse limning of those whom he designed to figure as fine gentlemen in his comedies; the false and florid taste of his dedications; his presumptuous imitation of Jonson in composition, and his absurd resemblance to him in person. But the satirist industriously keeps out of view those points, in which perhaps he internally felt some inferiority to the object of his wrath. He mentions nothing that could recal to the reader's recollection that insight into human life, that acquaintance with the foibles and absurdities displayed in individual pursuits, that bold though coarse delineation of character, which gave fame to Shadwell's comedies in the last century, and renders them amusing even at the present day. This discrimination is an excellent proof of the exquisite address with which Dryden wielded the satirical weapon, and managed the feelings of his readers. We never find him attempting a desperate or impossible task; at least in a way which seems, in the moment of perusal, desperate or impossible. He never wastes his powder against the impregnable part of a fortress, but directs all his battery against some weaker spot, where a breach may be rendered practicable. In short, by convincing his reader that he is right in the examples which he quotes, he puts the question at issue upon the ground most disadvantageous for his antagonist, and renders it very difficult for one who has been proved a dunce in one instance to establish his credit in any other.

I have had so frequently to call the attention of my reader to the sonorous and emphatic effect of Dryden's versification, that it is almost ridiculous to repeat epithets which apply to every poem which succeeded his _Annus Mirabilis_; yet I cannot but remark, that the mock heroic may be said to have owed its rise to our author, and that there is hardly any poem, before "Mac-Flecnoe," in which it has been employed with all its qualities of grave and pompous irony, expressed in solemn and sounding verse.

It is no inconsiderable part of the merit of "Mac-Flecnoe," that it led the way to the "Dunciad:" yet, while we acknowledge the more copious and variegated flow of Pope's satire, we must not forget, that, independent of the merit of originality, always inestimable, Dryden's poem claims that of a close and more compact fable, of a single and undisturbed aim. Pope's ridicule and sarcasm is scattered so wide, and among such a number of authors, that it resembles small shot discharged at random among a crowd; while that of Dryden, like a single well-directed bullet, prostrates the individual object against whom it was directed. Besides, the reader is apt to sympathise with the degree of the satirist's provocation, which, in Dryden's case, cannot be disputed; whereas Pope sometimes confounds those, from whom he had received gross incivility, with others who had given him no offence, and with some whose characters were above his accusation. To posterity, the "Mac-Flecnoe" possesses a decided superiority over the "Dunciad," for a very few facts make us master of the argument; while that of the latter poem, excepting the Sixth Book, where the satire is more general, requires a note at every tenth line to render it even intelligible.

Mr Malone has given us the title of the first edition of "Mac-Flecnoe," which the present Editor has never seen, as indeed it is of the last degree of rarity. It was published not by Tonson, but by D. Green, and entitled, "Mac-Flecnoe, or a Satire on the True-blue[415] Protestant Poet, T. S.; by the Author of Absalom and Achitophel." It consisted only of one sheet and a half, and was sold for twopence. The satire was too personal, and too poignant, to fail in attracting immediate attention, and accordingly the poem was quickly sold off. It was not republished until it appeared in Tonson's first Miscellany, in 1684, with a few slight alterations, intended either to point particular verses, or to correct errors of the press, or pen. It must have been generally known, that Dryden was the author of this satire, both because it is stated in the title-page to be by the author of "Absalom and Achitophel," and because there existed no contemporary poet to whom so masterly a production could have been ascribed, even with remote probability; yet Shadwell, in his dedication of the tenth satire of Juvenal, (a most miserable performance,) says, that Dryden, when he taxed him with being the author, "denied it with all the execrations he could think of;" an accusation which was echoed by Brown, though apparently upon the authority of Shadwell alone.[416] From this averment, which is probably made far too broadly, we can only infer, that Dryden, like Swift in the same predicament, left his adversary to prove what he had no title to call upon him to confess; for that he seriously meant to disavow a performance, of which he had from the very beginning sufficiently avouched himself the author, can hardly be supposed for a moment. It has indeed been noticed, that our author has omitted this poem, as well as the "Eulogy on Cromwell," in a list of his plays and poems subjoined to one of his plays; but Dryden might not think fit to admit a personal, and what he probably considered as a fugitive satire, into a formal list of his poetry. We know he entertained a conscious sense of his dignity in this respect; for, excepting in a slight and passing sarcasm, he never deigned to answer any of his literary adversaries, excepting Settle and Shadwell; and he might possibly think, on reflection, that he had done the latter too much honour in making him the subject of a separate and laboured poem. Mr Malone also conceives, that he might be with-held from inserting this poem in an authoritative list of his works, by delicacy towards Dorset, his recent benefactor, who had thought Shadwell worthy of the laurel of which our poet had been divested at the Revolution. Be it as it may, he was afterwards so far from disowning the poem, that, in the Essay on Satire, he gives it, with "Absalom and Achitophel," as instances of his own attempts at the Varronian satire.

The purpose and scope of "Mac-Flecnoe" was strangely misconstrued by the object of it, and by our poet's editors. Shadwell took it into his head, that Dryden meant seriously to tax him with being an Irishman; a charge which he seems more anxious to refute than seems necessary. Cibber, or whoever wrote Dryden's Life in the collection bearing his name, supposes, that Flecnoe, who died in 1678, had actually succeeded our author in the office of poet-laureat. Derrick, though he corrects this error, has fallen into another, in which he is followed by Dr Johnson, who considers "Mac-Flecnoe" as written in express ridicule of Shadwell's inauguration as court poet. The scarcity of the first edition of "Mac-Flecnoe" might have been some excuse for these errors, had not the piece been printed in the first Miscellany, in 1684, four years before Dryden's being deposed, and Shadwell succeeding him. Certainly the two events tallied strangely; and the friends of Shadwell might have considered the substantial office which he gained by the downfall of Dryden, as a just compensation for the ludicrous and mock dignity with which his foe had invested him.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 411: See the whole passage, Vol. VII. p. 141. note.]

[Footnote 412: See the Remarks on the Empress of Morocco, written in conjunction by Dryden, Crown, and Shadwell. They were printed in 1674.]

[Footnote 413: These circumstances of offence occur in the prologue, epilogue, and preface to the "Virtuoso," which must have been acted in the same season with "Aureng-Zebe," as the dedication is dated 26th June, 1676. The prologue commences with an irreverend allusion to that play, and to our author's theatrical engagements:

You came with such an eager appetite To a late play, which gave so great delight, Our poet fears, that by so rich a treat Your palates are become too delicate. Yet since you've had rhyme for a relishing bit, To give a better taste to comic wit; But this requires expence of time and pains, Too great, alas! for poets' slender gains. For wit, like china, should long buried lie, Before it ripens to good comedy; A thing we ne'er have seen since Jonson's days, And but a few of his were perfect plays. Now drudges of the stage must oft appear, They must be bound to scribble twice a year.

That these insinuations might not be mistaken, Shadwell, in the epilogue, severely attacks rhyming tragedies in general; the object of which diatribe, considering the late success of "Aureng-Zebe," could not possibly be misinterpreted:

But of those ladies he despairs to-day, Who love a dull romantic whining play; Where poor frail woman's made a deity, } With senseless amorous idolatry, } And snivelling heroes sigh, and pine, and cry.} Though singly they beat armies, and huff kings, Rant at the gods, and do impossible things; Though they can laugh at danger, blood, and wounds, Yet if the dame once chides, the milk-sop hero swoons. These doughty things nor manners have nor wit; We ne'er saw hero fit to drink with yet.

The passage in the Dedication, in which he insinuates that the provision of a pension was all he wanted, to place him on a level with the proudest of his rivals, is as follows: "That there are a great many faults in the conduct of this play, I am not ignorant; but I (having no pension but from the theatre, which is either unwilling, or unable, to reward a man sufficiently for so much pains as correct comedies require) cannot allot my whole time to the writing of plays, but am forced to mind some other business of advantage. Had I as much money, and as much time for it, I might perhaps write as correct a comedy as any of my contemporaries."]

[Footnote 414: See Essay on Satire, Vol. XIII. p. 65.]

[Footnote 415: This epithet preceded the nickname of Whig. See Vol. IX. p. 211.]

[Footnote 416: "I make bold to use his own expression in "Mac-Flecnoe," if it is _his_, I say, for Mr Shadwell, in the preface before his Translation of the Tenth Satire of Juvenal, has been lately pleased to acquaint the world, that he publicly disowned the writing it with as solemn imprecations as his friend the Spanish Friar did the Cavalier Lorenzo."--_Reasons_, &c.]

MAC-FLECKNOE.

All human things are subject to decay, And, when fate summons, monarchs must obey. This Flecknoe found,[417] who, like Augustus, young Was called to empire, and had governed long; In prose and verse was owned, without dispute, Through all the realms of Nonsense, absolute. This aged prince, now flourishing in peace, And blest with issue of a large increase, Worn out with business, did at length debate To settle the succession of the state; And, pondering which of all his sons was fit To reign, and wage immortal war with wit, Cried,--'Tis resolved! for nature pleads, that he Should only rule, who most resembles me. Shadwell alone my perfect image bears, Mature in dulness from his tender years;[418] Shadwell alone, of all my sons, is he, Who stands confirmed in full stupidity. The rest to some faint meaning make pretence, But Shadwell never deviates into sense; Some beams of wit on other souls may fall, Strike through, and make a lucid interval; But Shadwell's genuine night admits no ray, His rising fogs prevail upon the day. Besides, his goodly fabric fills the eye, And seems designed for thoughtless majesty; Thoughtless as monarch oaks, that shade the plain, And, spread in solemn state, supinely reign. Heywood and Shirley[419] were but types of thee, Thou last great prophet of tautology! Even I, a dunce of more renown than they, Was sent before but to prepare thy way; And, coarsely clad in Norwich drugget,[420] came To teach the nations in thy greater name. My warbling lute,--the lute I whilom strung, When to king John of Portugal I sung,-- Was but the prelude to that glorious day, When thou on silver Thames didst cut thy way, With well-timed oars, before the royal barge,[421] Swelled with the pride of thy celestial charge; And big with hymn, commander of an host,-- The like was ne'er in Epsom blankets tost.[422] Methinks I see the new Arion sail, The lute still trembling underneath thy nail.[423] At thy well-sharpened thumb, from shore to shore, The trebles squeak for fear, the basses roar; Echoes, from Pissing-Alley, Shadwell call, And Shadwell they resound from Aston-Hall. About thy boat the little fishes throng, As at the morning toast that floats along. Sometimes, as prince of thy harmonious band, Thou weild'st thy papers in thy threshing hand; St André's[424] feet ne'er kept more equal time, Not even the feet of thy own Psyche's rhyme, Though they in number as in sense excel;[425] So just, so like tautology, they fell, That, pale with envy, Singleton[426] forswore } The lute and sword, which he in triumph bore, } And vowed he ne'er would act Villerius more.--} Here stopt the good old sire, and wept for joy, In silent raptures of the hopeful boy. All arguments, but most his plays, persuade, That for anointed dulness he was made. Close to the walls which fair Augusta bind, (The fair Augusta much to fears inclined,[427]) An ancient fabric raised to inform the sight, There stood of yore, and Barbican it hight; A watch-tower once, but now, so fate ordains, Of all the pile an empty name remains; From its old ruins brothel-houses rise, Scenes of lewd loves, and of polluted joys; Where their vast courts the mother-strumpets keep, And, undisturbed by watch, in silence sleep.[428] Near these a nursery erects its head, Where queens are formed, and future heroes bred; Where unfledged actors learn to laugh and cry;} Where infant punks their tender voices try, } And little Maximins the gods defy. } Great Fletcher never treads in buskins here, Nor greater Jonson dares in socks appear; But gentle Simkin[429] just reception finds Amidst this monument of vanished minds; Pure clinches the suburbian muse affords, And Panton[430] waging harmless war with words. Here Flecknoe, as a place to fame well known, Ambitiously designed his Shadwell's throne. For ancient Decker[431] prophesied long since, } That in this pile should reign a mighty prince,} Born for a scourge of wit, and flail of sense; } To whom true dulness should some Psyches owe, But worlds of Misers from his pen should flow; Humorists, and Hypocrites, it should produce, Whole Raymond families, and tribes of Bruce.[432] Now empress Fame had published the renown Of Shadwell's coronation through the town. Roused by report of fame, the nations meet, From near Bunhill, and distant Watling-street. No Persian carpets spread the imperial way, But scattered limbs of mangled poets lay; From dusty shops neglected authors come, Martyrs of pies, and relics of the bum; Much Heywood, Shirley, Ogleby there lay, But loads of Shadwell almost choked the way; Bilked stationers for yeomen stood prepared, And Herringman[433] was captain of the guard. The hoary prince in majesty appeared, High on a throne of his own labours reared. At his right hand our young Ascanius sate, Rome's other hope, and pillar of the state; His brows thick fogs, instead of glories, grace, And lambent dulness played around his face. As Hannibal did to the altars come, Swore by his sire, a mortal foe to Rome, So Shadwell swore, nor should his vow be vain, That he till death true dulness would maintain; And, in his father's right, and realm's defence, Ne'er to have peace with wit, nor truce with sense. The king himself the sacred unction made, As king by office, and as priest by trade. In his sinister hand, instead of ball, He placed a mighty mug of potent ale; "Love's kingdom"[434] to his right he did convey, At once his sceptre, and his rule of sway; Whose righteous lore the prince had practised young, And from whose loins recorded Psyche sprung. His temples, last, with poppies were o'erspread,[435] That nodding seemed to consecrate his head. Just at the point of time, if fame not lie, On his left hand twelve reverend owls did fly;-- So Romulus, 'tis sung, by Tyber's brook, Presage of sway from twice six vultures took. The admiring throng loud acclamations make, And omens of his future empire take. The sire then shook the honours of his head, And from his brows damps of oblivion shed Full on the filial dulness: long he stood, } Repelling from his breast the raging god; } At length burst out in this prophetic mood:--} Heavens bless my son! from Ireland let him reign, To far Barbadoes on the western main; Of his dominion may no end be known, And greater than his father's be his throne; Beyond love's kingdom let him stretch his pen!-- He paused, and all the people cried, Amen.-- Then thus continued he: My son, advance Still in new impudence, new ignorance. Success let others teach, learn thou from me Pangs without birth, and fruitless industry. Let Virtuosos in five years be writ, Yet not one thought accuse thy toil of wit.[436] Let gentle George in triumph tread the stage, Make Dorimant betray, and Loveit rage; Let Cully, Cockwood, Fopling, charm the pit,[437] And in their folly show the writer's wit; Yet still thy fools shall stand in thy defence, And justify their author's want of sense. Let them be all by thy own model made Of dulness, and desire no foreign aid; That they to future ages may be known, Not copies drawn, but issue of thy own: Nay, let thy men of wit too be the same, All full of thee, and differing but in name; But let no alien Sedley interpose, To lard with wit thy hungry Epsom prose.[438] And when false flowers of rhetoric thou would'st cull, Trust nature; do not labour to be dull, But write thy best, and top; and, in each line, Sir Formal's oratory will be thine: Sir Formal, though unsought, attends thy quill, And does thy northern dedications fill.[439] Nor let false friends seduce thy mind to fame, By arrogating Jonson's hostile name;[440] Let father Flecknoe fire thy mind with praise, And uncle Ogleby thy envy raise. Thou art my blood, where Jonson has no part: What share have we in nature, or in art? Where did his wit on learning fix a brand, And rail at arts he did not understand? Where made he love in Prince Nicander's vein, Or swept the dust in Psyche's humble strain? Where sold he bargains, "whip-stitch, kiss my arse,"[441] Promised a play, and dwindled to a farce? When did his muse from Fletcher scenes purloin, As thou whole Etheridge dost transfuse to thine? But so transfused, as oil and waters flow, His always floats above, thine sinks below. This is thy province, this thy wonderous way, New humours to invent for each new play:[442] This is that boasted bias of thy mind, By which one way to dulness 'tis inclined; Which makes thy writings lean on one side still, And, in all changes, that way bends thy will. Nor let thy mountain-belly make pretence Of likeness; thine's a tympany of sense. A tun of man in thy large bulk is writ, But sure thou'rt but a kilderkin of wit. Like mine, thy gentle numbers feebly creep; Thy tragic muse gives smiles, thy comic sleep. With whate'er gall thou sett'st thyself to write, Thy inoffensive satires never bite; In thy felonious heart though venom lies, It does but touch thy Irish pen, and dies. Thy genius call thee not to purchase fame In keen iambics, but mild anagram. Leave writing plays, and choose for thy command, Some peaceful province in Acrostic land. There thou may'st wings display, and altars raise,[443] And torture one poor word ten thousand ways; Or, if thou would'st thy different talents suit, Set thy own songs, and sing them to thy lute.-- He said:--but his last words were scarcely heard;} For Bruce and Longvil had a trap prepared, } And down they sent the yet declaiming bard.[444] } Sinking he left his drugget robe behind, Borne upwards by a subterranean wind. The mantle fell to the young prophet's part, With double portion of his father's art.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 417: Note I.]

[Footnote 418: Note II.]

[Footnote 419: Note III.]

[Footnote 420: Note IV.]

[Footnote 421: Note V.]

[Footnote 422: Note VI.]

[Footnote 423: Note VII.]

[Footnote 424: An eminent dancing-master of the period.]

[Footnote 425: Note VIII.]

[Footnote 426: Note IX.]

[Footnote 427: Alluding to the political apprehensions of the period, so universal in the city.]

[Footnote 428: These lines are a parody on a passage in Cowley's _Davideis_, Book I.:

Beneath the dens where unfledged tempests lie, And infant winds their tender voices cry;

* * * * *

Where their vast court the mother waters keep; And, undisturbed by moons, in silence sleep. ]

[Footnote 429: The character of a cobler in an interlude.]

[Footnote 430: A celebrated punster, according to Derrick.]

[Footnote 431: Note X.]

[Footnote 432: Note XI.]

[Footnote 433: Henry Herringman, bookseller, published almost all the poems, plays, and lighter pieces of the day. He was Dryden's original publisher.]

[Footnote 434: A play of Flecknoe's so called. See Note XII.]

[Footnote 435: Perhaps in allusion to Shadwell's frequent use of opium, as well as to his dulness.]

[Footnote 436: Note XIII.]

[Footnote 437: Note XIV.]

[Footnote 438: Note XV.]

[Footnote 439: Note XVI.]

[Footnote 440: Note XVII.]

[Footnote 441: This elegant phrase is the current catch-word of Sir Samuel Hearty in the "Virtuoso," described in the _dramatis personæ_ as "a brisk, amorous, adventurous, unfortunate coxcomb; one that, by the help of humorous, nonsensical bye-words, takes himself to be a great wit."]

[Footnote 442: Alluding, probably, to the following vaunt of Shadwell, in the Dedication to the "Virtuoso:" "Four of the humours are entirely new; and, without vanity, I may say, I ne'er produced a comedy that had not some natural humour in it not represented before, and I hope I never shall."]

[Footnote 443: Note XVIII.]

[Footnote 444: Bruce and Longvil are fine gentlemen in Shadwell's comedy of the "Virtuoso;" who, during a florid speech of Sir Formal Trifle, contrive to get rid of the orator, by letting go a trap-door, upon which he had placed himself during his declamation.]

NOTES

ON

MAC-FLECKNOE.

Note I.

_This Flecknoe found._--P. 433.

Richard Flecknoe, the unfortunate bard whom our author has damned to everlasting fame, was by birth an Irishman, and by profession a Roman Catholic priest. Marvel, who seems to have known him at Rome, describes his person as meagre in the extreme, and his itch for scribbling as incessant. The poem, in which Marvel depicts him, is in the old taste of extravagant burlesque, and the lines are as rugged as Flecknoe could himself have produced. It contains, however, some witty and some humorous description, and the reader may be pleased to see a specimen:

_Flecknoe, an English Priest at Rome._

Obliged by frequent visits of this man, Whom, as a priest, poet, musician, I for some branch of Melchizedec took, Though he derives himself from my Lord Brooke, I sought his lodging, which is at the sign Of the sad Pelican, subject divine For poetry. There, three stair-cases high, Which signifies his triple property, I found at last a chamber, as 'twas said, But seemed a coffin set on the stair's head, Not higher than seven, nor larger than three feet; There neither was a ceiling, nor a sheet, Save that the ingenious door did, as you come, Turn in, and show to wainscot half the room; Yet of his state no man could have complained, There being no bed where he entertained; And though within this cell so narrow pent, He'd stanzas for a whole apartement.

* * * * *

---- ----Nothing now, dinner staid, But till he had himself a body made; I mean till he were dressed; for else, so thin He stands, as if he only fed had been With consecrated wafers; and the host Hath sure more flesh and blood than he can boast. This basso-relievo of a man, Who, as a camel tall, yet easily can The needle's eye thread without any stitch; His only impossible is to be rich. Lest his too subtle body, growing rare, Should leave his soul to wander in the air, He therefore circumscribes himself in rhymes, And, swaddled in's own paper seven times, Wears a close jacket of poetic buff, With which he doth his third dimension stuff. Thus armed underneath, he over all Doth make a primitive sotana fall; And over that, yet casts an antique cloak, Worn at the first council of Antioch, Which, by the Jews long hid and disesteemed, He heard of by tradition, and redeemed; But were he not in this black habit decked, This half transparent man would soon reflect Each colour that he past by, and be seen As the camelion, yellow, blue, or green.

It appears that Flecknoe either laid aside, or disguised, his spiritual character, when he returned to England; but he still preserved extensive connections with the Roman Catholic nobility and gentry.[445] He probably wrote upon many occasional subjects, but his poetry has fallen into total oblivion. I have particularly sought in vain for his verses to King John of Portugal, to which Dryden alludes a little lower. Langbaine mentions four of his plays, namely, "Damoiselles a la Mode," "Erminia," "Love's Dominion," and "Love's Kingdom," (of which more hereafter;) but none of these were ever acted, excepting the last. This gave Flecknoe great indignation, which he thus vents against the players in his preface to "Damoiselles a la Mode." "For the acting of this comedy, those who have the governing of the stage have their humour, and would be entreated; and I have mine, and won't entreat them: and were all dramatic writers of my mind, they should wear their old plays thread-bare before they should have any new, till they better understood their own interest, and how to distinguish betwixt good and bad." Notwithstanding this ill usage, he honoured the players so far, as to prefix to each character, in the _dramatis personæ_ of his pieces, the name of the actor, by whom, had the managers been less inexorable, he meant it should have been performed. But this he did for the sake of the gentle reader, whom he assures, that a lively imagination being thus assisted in bodying forth the character, he may receive as much pleasure from the perusal as from the actual representation of the performance. Flecknoe bore the damnation of the only one of his plays which was represented, with the same valiant indifference with which he supported the rebuffs of the players. In short, he seems to have been fitted for an incorrigible scribbler, by a happy fund of self-satisfaction, upon which neither the censures of criticism, nor the united hisses of a whole nation, could make the slightest impression. When or how Flecknoe died is uncertain, and of very little consequence; I presume, however, that he was dead when this satire was published. I am uncertain whether the reader will think, that this poor poetaster merited mercy at the hands of Dryden, for the following lines which he had written in his praise, and which, at any rate, may serve as a specimen of Flecknoe's poetry:

Dryden, the muses darling and delight, Than whom none ever flew so high a flight: Some have their veins so drossy, as from earth, Their muses only seem to have ta'en their birth. Other but water-poets are, have gone No farther than to the fount of Helicon: And they're but airy ones, whose muse soars up No higher than to mount Parnassus top; Whilst thou, with thine, dost seem to have mounted higher Than he who fetch from heaven celestial fire; And dost as far surpass all others, as Fire does all other elements surpass.

Flecknoe's memory being only preserved by this satire, his very name came to be identified with its title. King, in "A Dialogue in the Shades," introduces him under the name of _Mac_-Flecknoe; and Derrick falls into the same error.

Note II.

_Shadwell alone my perfect image bears, Mature in dulness from his tender years._--P. 433.

Thomas Shadwell was born at Santon-hall, in Norfolk, in which county his father represented a very ancient family. He was educated at Caius College, in Cambridge, and placed in the Middle Temple to study law; but, like many of the inhabitants of these buildings, he preferred the smoother paths of literature. He made several essays in heroic verse, all of which are deplorably bad. They are chiefly occasional pieces; as, an Address to the Prince of Orange on his Landing, another to Queen Mary, and a Translation of the Tenth Satire of Juvenal; which, though prefaced by a violent refutation of our author's attacks upon him, is so execrable, as fully to confirm Dryden's censures of the author's poetical talents. But, in comedy, he was much more successful; and, in that capacity, Dryden does him great injustice in pronouncing him a dunce. On the contrary, I think most of Shadwell's comedies may be read with great pleasure. They do not, indeed, exhibit any brilliancy of wit, or ingenuity of intrigue; but the characters are truly dramatic, original, and well drawn; and the picture of manners which they exhibit gives us a lively idea of those of the author's age. As Shadwell proposed Jonson for his model, peculiarity of character, or what was then technically called _humour_, was what he chiefly wished to exhibit; and in this, it cannot be denied that he has often succeeded admirably. His powers, as a dramatist, are highly rated by Rochester, who imputes his coarseness to rapidity of composition:

Of all our modern wits, none seem to me} Once to have touched upon true comedy, } But hasty Shadwell and slow Wycherley. } Shadwell's unfinished works do yet impart Great proofs of force of genius, none of art; With just bold strokes he dashes here and there, Showing great mastery with little care; Scorning to varnish his good touches o'er, To make the fools and women praise them more.

_Allusion to Tenth Satire of Horace._

Shadwell's plays are seventeen in number, and were published, in four volumes, under the inspection of his son, Sir John Shadwell, M. D.

Shadwell's life was chequered with misfortune. As he espoused the party of the Duke of Monmouth, to whom he dedicated "Psyche," and of Shaftesbury, he thought himself obliged to draw the quill in defence of their cause. Accordingly, as we have seen, he attempted to answer "The Medal" on the one hand, and, on the other, accused our author of intending a parallel between Monmouth and the Duke of Guise, in the play so entitled. This zeal seems to have cost Shadwell dear; for, besides undergoing the severe flagellations administered by Dryden, in the "Defence of the Duke of Guise," in "Absalom and Achitophel," and in the present poem, he complains, that his ruin was designed, and his life sought; and that, for near ten years, he was kept from the exercise of that profession which had afforded him a competent subsistence.[446] It is no wonder, therefore, he was among the first to hail the dawn of the Revolution, by the address already mentioned, of which the full title is, "A Congratulatory Poem on his Highness the Prince of Orange his coming into England. Written by T. S. (Thomas Shadwell,) a True Lover of his Country, (10th January) 1689;" and that King William distinguished him by the honours of the laurel. Dorset, who was high chamberlain, answered, to those who remonstrated on Shadwell's lack of poetical talent, that, without pretending to vouch for Mr Shadwell's genius, he was sure he was an honest man. Shadwell did not long enjoy this triumph over his great enemy. He died 19th November, 1692,[447] in the fifty-second year of his age. It is said, this event was hastened by his taking an over dose of opium, to the use of which he was inordinately addicted. "His death," says Dr Nicholas Brady, who preached his funeral sermon, "seized him suddenly; but he could not be unprepared, since, to my certain knowledge, he never took a dose of opium but he solemnly recommended himself to God by prayer." In person, Shadwell was large, corpulent, and unwieldy; a circumstance which our author generally keeps in the eye of the reader. He seems to have imitated his prototype, Ben Jonson, in gross and coarse sensual indulgence, and profane conversation. But, if there be truth in a funeral sermon, he must have corrected these habits before his death; for Dr Brady tells us, "that our author was a man of great honesty and integrity, and inviolable fidelity and strictness in his word; an unalterable friendship wherever he professed it; and however the world may be mistaken in him, he had a much deeper sense of religion than many who pretended more to it. His natural and acquired abilities," continues the Doctor, "made him very amiable to all who knew and conversed with him, a very few being equal in the becoming qualities which adorn and set off a complete gentleman; his very enemies, if he has now any left, will give him this character, at least if they knew him so thoroughly as I did."--CIBBER'S _Lives of the Poets_, Article _Shadwell_, Vol. III.

Note III.

_Heywood and Shirley._--P. 434.

Voluminous dramatic authors, who flourished in the beginning of the 17th century. There were no less than four Heywoods who wrote plays; so that, Winstanley says, the name of Heywood seemed to be destinated to the stage. But he whom Dryden here means, is Thomas Heywood, a person rather to be admired for the facility, than for the excellence of his compositions. Every place and situation was alike to him while composing; and the favourite register of his scenes was the back of a tavern bill. Far the greater part of his labours are now lost; and yet there remain, in the libraries of the curious, twenty-four printed plays by Thomas Heywood. He was an actor by profession, and a good scholar, as is evinced by several of his classical allusions. His plays may be examined with advantage by the antiquary, but afford slender amusement to the lovers of poetry. The following character of him, by an old poet, is preserved by Langbaine:

---- ----Heywood sage, The apologetic Atlas of the stage; Well of the golden age he could entreat, But little of the metal he could get. Threescore sweet babes be fashioned at a lump, For he was christened in Parnassus pump, The muses' gossip to Aurora's bed; And ever since that time his face was red.

If we cannot call Heywood a second Lope de Vega, in point of the extent of his dramatic works, he overtops most English authors; since he assures us, in his preface to the "English Traveller," that it was one reserved among two hundred and twenty plays, in which he had either had "a whole hand, or, at the least, a main finger." It is a pity, as Johnson said of Churchill, so fruitful a tree should have borne only crabs.

James Shirley, whom our author most unjustly couples with Heywood, to whom, as well as to Shadwell, he was greatly superior, was born in 1594, and, although for some time a schoolmaster, appears to have lived chiefly by the stage. When the civil wars broke out, he followed the fortune of William, Earl of Newcastle. During the usurpation, when theatres were prohibited, he returned to his original profession of a schoolmaster. He died of fatigue and distress of mind during the great fire of London, in 1666. He wrote forty-two plays, and there are thirty-nine in print; a complete set of which is much esteemed by collectors. Dr Farmer has traced, to this neglected bard, an idea, which Milton thought not unworthy of adoption.

Shirley is spoken of with contempt in "Mac-Flecknoe," but his imagination is sometimes fine to an extraordinary degree. I recollect a passage in the Fourth Book of the "Paradise Lost," which hath been suspected of imitation, as a prettiness below the genius of Milton: I mean, where Uriel glides backward and forward to heaven on a sun-beam. Dr Newton informs us, that this might possibly be hinted by a picture of Annabal Caracci, in the king of France's cabinet; but I am apt to believe, that Milton had been struck with a portrait in Shirley. Fernando, in the comedy of the "Brothers," 1652, describes Jacinta at vespers:

Her eye did seem to labour with a tear, Which suddenly took birth, but overweighed With its own swelling, dropped upon her bosom; Which, by reflection of her light, appeared As nature meant her sorrow for an ornament': After, her looks grew cheerfull, and I saw A smile shoot graceful upward from her eyes, As if they had gained a victory o'er grief; _And with it many beams twisted themselves, Upon whose golden threads the angels walk To and again from heaven_.

Essay on the Learning of Shakespeare.

Note IV.

_Coarsely clad in Norwich drugget._--P. 434.

This stuff appears to have been sacred to the use of the poorer votaries of Parnassus; and it is somewhat odd, that it seems to have been the dress of our poet himself in the earlier stage of his fortunes. An old gentleman, who corresponded with the "Gentleman's Magazine," says, he remembers our author in this dress. Vol. XV. p. 99.

Note V.

_When thou on silver Thames didst cut thy way, With well-timed oars, before the royal barge._--P. 434.

I confess myself, after some research, at a loss to discover the nature of the procession, in which Shadwell seems to have acted as leader of the band. One is at first sight led to consider the whole procession as imaginary, and preliminary to his supposed coronation; but, on closer investigation, it appears, that Flecknoe talks of some real occurrence, on which Shadwell preceded the royal barge, at the head of a boat-load of performers. We may see, in the seventh note, that he professed to understand music, and may certainly have been called upon to assist or direct the band during some entertainment upon the river, an amusement to which King Charles was particularly addicted.

Note VI.

_The like was ne'er in Epsom blankets tost._--P. 434.

This seems to be in ridicule of the following elegant expression which Shadwell puts in the mouth of a fine lady: "Such a fellow as he deserves to be _tossed in a blanket_." This, however, does not occur in "Epsom-Wells," but in another of Shadwell's comedies, called "The Sullen Lovers."

Note VII.

_Methinks I see the new Arion sail, The lute still trembling underneath thy nail._--P. 434.

Shadwell appears to have been a proficient in music, and to have himself adjusted that of his opera of "Psyche," which Dryden here treats with such consummate contempt. Indeed, in the preface of that choice piece he affected to value himself more upon the music than the poetry, as appears from the following passage in the preface: "I had rather be author of one scene of comedy, like some of Ben Jonson's, than of all the best plays of this kind, that have been, or ever shall be written; good comedy requiring much more wit and judgment in the writer, than any rhiming, unnatural plays can do. This I have so little valued, that I have not altered six lines in it since it was first written, which (except the songs at the marriage of Psyche, in the last scene) was all done sixteen months since. In all the words which are sung, I did not so much take care of the wit or fancy of them, as the making of them proper for music; in which I cannot but have some little knowledge, having been bred, for many years of my youth, to some performance in it.

"I chalked out the way to the composer, (in all but the song of Furies and Devils, in the fifth act,) having designed which line I would have sung by one, which by two, which by three, which by four voices, &c. and what manner of humour I would have in all the vocal music."

Note VIII.

_Not even the feet of thy own Psyche's rhyme, Though they in number as in sense excel._--P. 435.

This unfortunate opera was imitated from the French of Moliere, and finished, as Shadwell assures us, in the space of five weeks. The author having no talents for poetry, and no ear for versification, "Psyche" is one of the most contemptible of the frivolous dramatic class to which it belongs. It was, however, _got up_ with extreme magnificence, and received much applause on its first appearance, in 1675. To justify the censure of Dryden, it is only necessary to quote a few of the verses, taken at random as a specimen, of what he afterwards calls "Prince Nicander's vein:"

_Nicander._ Madam, I to this solitude am come, Humbly from you to hear my latest doom.

_Psyche._ The first command which I did give, Was, that you should not see me here; The next command you will receive, Much harsher will to you appear.

_Nic._ How long, fair Psyche, shall I sigh in vain? How long of scorn and cruelty complain? Your eyes enough have wounded me, You need not add your cruelty. You against me too many weapons chuse, Who am defenceless against each you use.

The poet himself seems so conscious of the sad inferiority of his verses, that he makes, in the preface, a half apology, implying a mortifying consciousness, that it was necessary to anticipate condemnation, by pleading guilty. "In a thing written in five weeks, as this was, there must needs be many errors, which I desire true critics to pass by; and which, perhaps, I see myself, but having much business, and indulging myself with some pleasure too, I have not had leisure to mend them; nor would it indeed be worth the pains, since there are so many splendid objects in the play, and such variety of diversion, as will not give the audience leave to mind the writing; and I doubt not but the candid reader will forgive the faults, when he considers, that the great design was to entertain the town with variety of music, curious dancing, splendid scenes, and machines; and that I do not, nor ever did intend, to value myself upon the writing of this play."

Shadwell, however, had no right to plead, that this affected contempt of his own lyric poetry ought to have disarmed the criticism of Dryden; because, in the very same preface, he sets out by insinuating, that he could easily have beaten our author on his own strong ground of rhyme, had he thought such a contest worth winning. So much, at least, may be inferred from the following declaration:

"In a good-natured country, I doubt not but this, my first essay in rhyme, would be at least forgiven, especially when I promise to offend no more in this kind; but I am sensible that here I must encounter a great many difficulties. In the first place, (though I expect more candour from the best writers in rhyme,) the more moderate of them (who have yet a numerous party, good judges being very scarce) are very much offended with me, for leaving my own province of comedy, to invade their dominion of rhyme: but, methinks, they might be satisfied, since I have made but a small incursion, and am resolved to retire. And, were I never so powerful, they should escape me, as the northern people did the Romans; their craggy barren territories being not worth conquering."

Note IX.

_----Pale with envy, Singleton forswore The lute and sword, which he in triumph bore, And vowed he ne'er would act Villerius more._--P. 435.

Singleton was a musical performer of some eminence, and is mentioned as such in one of Shadwell's comedies.--"'Sbud, they are the best music in England: there's the best shawm and bandore, and a fellow that acts Tom of Bedlam to a miracle; and they sing _Charon, oh, gentle Charon!_ and, _Come, my Daphne_, better than Singleton and Clayton did."--_Bury Fair_, Act III. Scene I. Villerius, the grand master of the knights hospitallers, is a principal character in "The Siege of Rhodes," an opera by Sir William D'Avenant, where great part of the dialogue is in a sort of lyrical recitative; in the execution of which Singleton seems to have been celebrated. The first speech of this valorous chief of the order of St John runs thus:

Arm, arm! let our drums beat, To all our outguards, a retreat; And to our main-guards add Files double lined; from the parade Send horse to drive the fields, Prevent what ripening summer yields; To all the foe would save Set fire, or give a secret grave.

The combination of the lute and sword, which Dryden alludes to, is ridiculed in "The Rehearsal," where Bayes informs his critical friends, that his whole battle is to be represented by two persons; "for I make 'em both come forth in armour cap-a-pee, with their swords drawn, and hung with a scarlet ribband at their wrists, (which, you know, represents fighting enough,) each of them holding a lute in his hand.--_Smith._ How, sir; instead of a buckler?--_Bayes._ O Lord, O Lord! instead of a buckler! Pray, sir, do you ask no more questions. I make 'em, sir, play the battle in _recitativo_; and here's the conceit: Just at the very same instant that one sings, the other, sir, recovers you his sword, and puts himself into a warlike posture; so that you have at once your ear entertained with music and good language, and your eye satisfied with the garb and accoutrements of war."--_Rehearsal_, Act V. The adverse generals enter accordingly, and perform a sort of duet, great part of which is a parody upon the lyrical dialogue of Villerius and the Soldan Solyman, in the "Siege of Rhodes."

Note X.

_Ancient Decker._--P. 436.

Decker, who did not altogether deserve the disgraceful classification which Dryden has here assigned to him, was a writer of the reign of James I., and the antagonist of Jonson. I suspect Dryden knew, or at least recollected, little more of him, than that he was ridiculed, by his more renowned adversary, under the character of Crispinus, in "The Poetaster." Indeed, nothing can be more unfortunate to an inferior wit, than to be engaged in controversy with an author of established reputation; since, though he may maintain his ground with his contemporaries, posterity will always judge of him by the character assigned in the writings of his antagonist. Decker was admitted to write in conjunction with Webster, Ford, Brome, and even Massinger; and though he was only employed to fill up the inferior scenes, he certainly displays some theatrical talent. Indeed he was judged, by many of his own time, to have retaliated Jonson's satire with success, in "The Untrussing of the Humorous Poet;" where Ben is designed under the character of Horace Junior. Besides, Decker possessed some tragic powers: "The Honest Whore," which is altogether his own production, has several scenes of great merit.

Note XI.

_But worlds of Misers from his pen should flow; Humorists, and Hypocrites, it should produce, Whole Raymond families, and tribes of Bruce._--P. 436.

Shadwell translated, or rather imitated, Moliere's "L'Avare," under the title of "The Miser." In Langbaine's opinion, he has greatly improved upon his original; but in this, as in other cases, the critic is probably singular. "The Miser" was printed in 1672.

"The Humorists" was a play professedly written to expose the reigning vices of the age; but as it was supposed to contain many direct personal allusions, it was unfavourably received by the audience. Shadwell, by way, I suppose, of insinuating to the readers an accurate notion of the characters, or humours, which he means to represent, is, in this and other pieces, at great pains to give a long and minute account of each individual in the _dramatis personæ_. Thus we have have in "The Humorists,"

"_Crazy,_--One that is in pox, in debt, and all the misfortunes that can be; and, in the midst of all, in love with most women, and thinks most women in love with him.

"_Drybob,_--A fantastic coxcomb, that makes it his business to speak fine things and wit, as he thinks; and always takes notice, or makes others take notice, of any thing he thinks well said.

"_Brisk,_--A brisk, airy, fantastic, singing, dancing coxcomb, that sets up for a well-bred man, and a man of honour; but mistakes in every thing, and values himself only upon the vanity and foppery of gentlemen."

I do not know what to make of the "Hypocrites." Shadwell wrote no play so entitled; nor is it likely he gave any assistance to Medbourne, who translated the famous "Tartuffe" of Moliere, for they were of different opinions in religion and politics. Perhaps Dryden means the characters of the Irish priest and Tory chaplain in "The Lancashire Witches."

Raymond is a character in "The Humorists," described in the _dramatis personæ_ as a "gentleman of wit and honour." Bruce a similar person in "The Virtuoso," characterized as a "gentleman of wit and sense." In these, and in all other characters where wit and an easy style were requisite, Shadwell failed totally. His forte lay in broad, strong comic painting.

Note XII.

_Ogleby._--P. 436.

This gentleman, whose name, thanks to our author and Pope, has become almost proverbial for a bad poet, was originally a Scottish dancing-master, when probably Scottish dancing was not so fashionable as at present, and afterwards master of the revels in Ireland. He translated "The Iliad," "The Odyssey," "The Æneid," and "Æsop's Fables," into verse; and his versions were splendidly adorned with sculpture. He also wrote three epic poems, one of which was fortunately burned in the fire of London. Moreover, he conducted the ceremony of Charles the Second's coronation,[448] and erected a theatre in Dublin.

Note XII.

"_Love's Kingdom._"--P. 437.

This was a play of Flecknoe's. The full title is, "Love's Kingdom, a Pastoral Tragi-Comedy; not as it was acted at the theatre, near Lincoln's-Inn, but as it was written, and since corrected by Richard Flecknoe; with a short treatise of the English stage, &c. by the same author. London, printed by R. Wood for the author, 1664."

The author's account of this piece, in the advertisement, is, "For the plot, it is neat and handsome, and the language soft and gentle, suitable to the persons who speak; neither on the ground, nor in the clouds, but just like the stage, somewhat elevated above the common. In neither no stiffness, and, I hope, no impertinence nor extravagance, into which your young writers are too apt to run, who, whilst they know not well what to do, and are anxious to do enough, most commonly overdo."

THE PROLOGUE.

_Spoken by Venus from the Clouds._

If ever you have heard of Venus' name, Goddess of beauty, I that Venus am; Who have to day descended from my sphere, To welcome you unto "Love's Kingdom" here; Or rather to my sphere am come, since I Am present no where more nor in the sky, Nor any island in the world than this, That wholly from the world divided is: For Cupid, you behold him here in me, (For there where beauty is, Love needs must be,) Or you may yet more easily descry Him 'mong the ladies, in each amorous eye; And 'mongst the gallants may as easily trace Him to their bosoms from each beauteous face. May then, fair ladies, you Find all your servants true; And, gallants, may you find The ladies all as kind, As by your noble favours you declare How much you friends unto "Love's Kingdom" are; Of which yourselves compose so great a part, In your fair eyes, and in your loving heart.

This specimen of "Love's Kingdom" is extracted from the "_Censura Literaria_," No. IX.; to which publication it was communicated by Mr Preston of Dublin. To "Love's Kingdom" Flecknoe subjoined a Discourse on the English Stage, which is sometimes quoted as authority.

Note XIII.

_Let Virtuosos in five years be writ, Yet not one thought accuse thy toil of wit._--P. 438.

Shadwell's comedy called "The Virtuoso," was first acted in 1676 with great applause. It is by no means destitute of merit; though, as in all his other pieces, it is to be found rather in the walk of coarse humour than of elegance, or wit.

The character of Sir Nicholas Gimcrack, the Virtuoso, whose time was spent in discoveries, although he had never invented any thing so useful as an engine to pare a cream cheese with, is very ludicrous. I cannot, however, but notice, that some of the discoveries, which are ridiculed with so much humour, as the composition of various kinds of air, for example, have been realized by the philosophers of this age. As the whole piece seems intended as a satire on the researches of the Royal Society, its scope could not be very pleasing to Dryden, a zealous member of that learned body; even if he could have forgiven some hits levelled against him personally in the preface and the epilogue, which have been quoted in the introduction to Mac-Flecknoe.

Note XIV.

_Let gentle George in triumph tread the stage, Make Dorimant betray, and Loveit rage; Let Cully, Cockwood, Fopling, charm the pit._--P. 438.

The plays of Sir George Etherege were much admired during the end of the 17th and beginning of the 18th century, till the refinement of taste condemned their indecency and immorality. Sir George himself was a courtier of the first rank in the gay court of Charles II. Our author has addressed an epistle to him, when he was Resident at Ratisbon. Etherege followed King James to France, according to one account; but others say he was killed at Ratisbon by a fall down stairs, after he had been drinking freely. Sir Fopling Flutter, Dorimant, and Loveit, are characters in his well-known comedy, "The Man of Mode." Cully and Cockwood occur in "Love in a Tub," another of his plays.

Note XV.

_But let no alien Sedley interpose, To lard with wit thy hungry Epsom prose._--P. 438.

The first edition bears Sydney, which is evidently a mistake. Shadwell's comedy of "Epsom Wells" was very successful; which was imputed by his enemies to the assistance he received from the witty Sir Charles Sedley. This he attempts to refute in the following lines of the second prologue, spoken when the piece was represented before the king and queen at Whitehall:

If this for him had been by others done, After this honour sure they'd claim their own.

But it is nevertheless certain, that Shadwell acknowledges obligations of the nature supposed, in the Dedication of the "True Widow" to Sir Charles Sedley. "No success whatever," he there says, "could have made me alter my opinion of this comedy, which had the benefit of your correction and alteration, and the honour of your approbation. And I heartily wish you had given yourself the trouble to have reviewed all my plays, as they came inaccurately, and in haste, from my hands: it would have been more to my advantage than the assistance of Scipio and Lelius was to Terence; and I should have thought it at least as much to my honour, since, by the effects, I find I cannot but esteem you as much above both of them in wit, as either of them was above you in place of the state."

There was a general opinion current, that Shadwell received assistance in his most successful pieces. A libel of the times, the reference to which I have mislaid, mentions with contempt the dulness of his "unassisted scenes."

Note XVI.

_Sir Formal, though unsought, attends thy quill, And does thy northern dedications fill._--P. 438.

Sir Formal Trifle is a florid conceited orator in "The Virtuoso," whose character is drawn and brought out with no inconsiderable portion of humour. Dryden intimates, that his coxcomical inflated style attends Shadwell himself upon the most serious occasions, and particularly in his dedications to the Duke and Duchess of Newcastle, to whom he has inscribed several of his plays. Hence Dryden, in the "Vindication of the Duke of Guise," calls him the Northern Dedicator. The truth is, that Shadwell's prose was inflated and embarrassed; and his adulation comes aukwardly from him, as appears from the opening of the dedication of that very play, "The Virtuoso," to the Duke of Newcastle.

"So long as your grace persists in obliging, I must go on in acknowledging; nor can I let any opportunity pass of telling the world how much I am favoured by you, or any occasion slip of assuring your grace, that all the actions of my life shall be dedicated to your service; who, by your noble patronage, your generosity and kindness, and your continual bounty, have made me wholly your creature: nor can I forbear to declare, that I am more obliged to your grace than to all mankind. And my misfortune is, I can make no other return, but a declaration of my grateful attachment."

Note XVII.

_Nor let false friends seduce thy mind to fame, By arrogating Jonson's hostile name._--P. 439.

Shadwell, as appears from many passages of his prologues and prefaces, and as we have had repeated occasion to notice, affected to consider Ben Jonson as the object of his emulation. There were indeed many points of resemblance between them, both as authors and men. In their habits, a life spent in taverns, and in their persons, huge corpulence, probably acquired by habits of sensual indulgence, much coarseness of manners, and an ungentlemanly vulgarity of dialect, seem to have distinguished both the original and the imitator. As a dramatist, although Shadwell falls short of the learned vigour and deep erudition of Ben Jonson, his dry hard comic painting entitles him to be considered as an inferior artist of the same school. Dryden more particularly resented Shadwell's reiterated and affected praises of Jonson, because he had himself censured that writer in the epilogue to the "Conquest of Granada," and in the critical defence of that poem.[449] Hence he considered Shadwell's ranking himself under Jonson's banners as a sort of personal defiance. But Dryden more particularly alludes to the following ebullition of admiration, which occurs in the epilogue to Shadwell's "Humorists:"

The mighty prince of poets, learned Ben, Who alone dived into the minds of men; Saw all their wanderings, all their follies knew, And all their vain fantastic passions drew In images so lively and so true, That there each humorist himself might view. Yet only lashed the errors of the times, And ne'er exposed the persons, but the crimes; And never cared for private frowns, when he Did but chastise public iniquity: He feared no pimp, no pick-pocket, or drab; He feared no bravo, nor no ruffian's stab: 'Twas he alone true humours understood, And with great wit and judgment made them good. A humour is the bias of the mind, By which with violence 'tis one way inclined; It makes our actions lean on one side still, And in all changes that way bends the will. This-------- He only knew and represented right. Thus none, but mighty Jonson, e'er could write. Expect not then, since that most flourishing age Of Ben, to see true humour on the stage. All that have since been writ, if they be scanned, Are but faint copies from that master's hand. Our poet now, amongst those petty things, Alas! his too weak trifling humour brings; As much beneath the worst in Jonson's plays, As his great merit is above our praise. For could he imitate that great author right, He would with ease all poets else outwrite. But to outgo all other men, would be, O noble Ben! less than to follow thee.

Dryden, in the text, turns the idea of bias into ridicule; for its original application being to the leaden weight disposed in the centre of a bowl, which inclines its course in rolling, he alleges, that the only bias which can influence Shadwell is his predominant stupidity.

Note XIX.

_Leave writing plays, and chuse for thy command, Some peaceful province in Acrostic land. There thou may'st wings display, and altars raise, And torture one poor word ten thousand ways._--P. 440.

Among other efforts of gentle dulness, may be noticed the singular fashion which prevailed during the earlier period of the 17th century, of writing in such changes of measure, that by the different length and arrangement of the lines, the poem was made to resemble an egg, an altar, a pair of wings, a cross, or some other fanciful figure. This laborious kind of trifling was much akin to the anagrams and acrostics. Those who are curious to read, or rather to see, a specimen of such whimsies, (for they are rather addressed to the eye than the understanding,) may find a dirge of Mr George Withers, arranged into the figure of a rhomboid, in Ellis's "Specimens of the Early English Poets," Vol. III. p. 100. They are mentioned with anagrams, acrostics, rebuses, and other exercises of false wit, in the "Spectator," No. 63.

END OF THE TENTH VOLUME.

Edinburgh, Printed by James Ballantyne & Co.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 445: An anonymous poet ascribes the estimation in which he was held to his poetical propensities:

Verse the famed Flecknoe raised, the muses' sport, From drudging for the stage to drudge at court. ]

[Footnote 446: Epistle dedicatory to "Bury-fair," addressed to the Earl of Dorset.]

[Footnote 447: See the inscription intended for his monument in Westminster Abbey, by his son Sir John Shadwell, in the Life prefixed to _Shadwell's Works_. But it was altered before it was placed in the Abbey, and a blunder in the date seems to have crept in.--See CIBBER'S _Lives of the Poets_, Vol. III. p. 49.]

[Footnote 448: See Vol. IX. p. 61.]

[Footnote 449: See Vol. IV. p. 211, &c.]

* * * * * +-------------------------------------------------------------------+ | | | Transcriber notes: | | | | P.46. 'priciples' chanaged to 'principles', as in other volume. | | P.78. Added footnote after 'manly train' as the anchor is missing | | and seems to go here. | | P.82. Note V, link should be P. 69, not P. 68 changed. | | P.82. Note VI, link should be P. 74, not P. 73 changed. | | Footnote 57: Added 'Note VI.', as the link is missing. | | Footnote 174: 'Note XI.', should read 'Note XII.', changed. | | Footnote 175: 'Note XII.', should read 'Note XIII.', changed. | | Footnote 178: 'Note XIII.', should read 'Note XIV.', changed. | | P.119. 'enequal' is 'unequal' in another volume, changed. | | P.169. 'Rosolving' is 'Resolving' in another volume, changed. | | Footnote 208: Should reaad 'Note XIII', not 'Note XII', changed. | | P.394. Footnote 'Pensylvania' changed to 'Pennsylvania'. | | P.457. Note XIX needs to be XIII, changed. | | Footnote 60: Should read 'Note VII', not 'Note VIII', changed. | | Corrected various punctuation. | | Underscore indicates italics _like this_. | | | +-------------------------------------------------------------------+