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before the young King, who was to do so much to prove the value of monarchy as compared with the Commonwealth. "The advertisements," says a writer, referring to this period, "which appeared during the time that Monk was temporising and sounding his way to the Restoration, form a capital barometer of the state of feeling among political men at that critical juncture. We see no more of the old Fifth-Monarchy spirit abroad. Ministers of the steeplehouses evidently see the storm coming, and cease their long-winded warnings to a backsliding generation. Every one is either panting to take advantage of the first sunshine of royal favour, or to depre.cate its wrath, the coming shadow of which is clearly seen. Meetings are advertised of those persons who have purchased sequestered estates, in order that they may address the King to secure them in possession; Parliamentary aldermen repudiate by the same means charges in the papers that their names are to be found in the list of those persons who 'sat upon the tryal of the late King;' the works of 'late' bishops begin again to air themselves in the Episcopal wind that is clearly setting in; and 'The Tears, Sighs, Complaints, and Prayers of the Church of England' appear in the advertising columns, in place of the sonorous titles of sturdy old Baxter's works. It is clear there is a great commotion at hand; the leaves are rustling, and the dust is moving." In the midst of this, however, there was one still faithful to the "old cause," as Commonwealth matters had got to be called by the Puritans; and on the 8th of March, just when the shadow of the sceptre was once again thrown upon Great Britain, we find the following in the Mercurius Poliiicus;—
HP HE ready and easie way to establish a free Commonwealth, and the excellence thereof compared with the inconveniences and dangers of readmitting Kingship in this Nation. The Author, J. M. Wherein, by reason of the Printer's haste, the Errata not coming in time, it is desired that the following faults may be amended. Page 9, line 32, for the Areopagus read of Areopagus. P. 10, 1. 3, for full Senate, true Senate; L 4, for fits, is the whole Aristocracy; L 7, for Provincial States, States of every City. P. 17, 1. 29, for cite, citie; 1. 30, for left, felt. Sold by Livewel Chapman, at the Crown, in Pope's-head Alley.
Who would think, while reading these calm corrections, that the poet knew he was in imminent danger, and that in a couple of months he was to be a proscribed fugitive, hiding in the purlieus of Westminster from Royalty's myrmidons? Yet it was so, and the degradation to which literature may be submitted is proved by the fact that within the same space of time his works were, in accordance with an order of the House of Commons, burned by the hangman.
The excessive loyalty exhibited about this time by the lawyers, who were then, as now, quite able to look after their own interests, shows in rather a ludicrous light, viewed through the zealous officiousness of Mr Nicholas Bacon, who must have been the fountspring of the following effusion, which appears in a June, 1660, number of the Mercurius Politicus :—
■\^7HEREAS one Capt. Gouge, a witness examined against the late * * King's Majesty, in those Records stiled himself of the Honorable Society of Gray's Inne. These are to give notice that the said Gouge, being long sought for, was providentially discovered in a disguise, seized in that Society, and now in custody, being apprehended by the help of some spectators that knew him, viewing of a banner with His Majesties arms, set up just at the same time of His Majesties landing, on an high tower in the same Society, by Nicholas Bacon, Esq., a member thereof, as a memorial of so great a deliverance, and testimony of his constant loyalty to His Majesty, and that the said Gouge upon examination confessed, That he was never admitted not so much as a Clerk of that Society.
The King does not seem to have enjoyed his own very long before he was subjected to loss by the dog-stealers, who, less ready to revere royalty than the lawyers, led to the publication of the following in the Mercurius Publicus of June 28, 1660 :—
&3B= A Smooth Black DOG, less than a Grey-hound, with white under his breast, belonging to the Kings Majesty, was taken from Whitehall, the eighteenth day of this instant June, or thereabouts. If any one can give notice to John Ellis, one of his Majesties servants, or to his Majesties Back-Stairs, shall be well rewarded for their labour.
And one who could very probably afford to be despoiled still less—one of the poor Cavaliers who expected so much from the representative of Divine right, and who were to be so terribly disappointed—is also victimised, his whole stock of bag and baggage being annexed by some of those vagabonds who only see in any public excitement a means to their own enrichment at the expense of others. Fancy the state of mind of the elderly gentleman who is so anxious to present himself at Court, while waiting the return of the articles thus advertised in the Mercurius Publicus of July 5, 1660:—
A LEATHERN Portmantle lost at Sittingburn or Rochester, when his Majesty came thither, wherein was a suit of Camolet Holland, with two little laces in a seam, eight pair of white Gloves, and a pair of Does leather; about twenty yards of skie-colourd Ribbon twelvepenny broad, and a whole piece of black Ribbon tenpenny broad, a cloath lead-coloured cloak, with store of linnen; a pair of shooes, slippers, a Montero, and other things; all which belong to a gentleman (a near servant to His Majesty) who hath been too long imprisoned and sequestered to be now robbed, when all men hope to enjoy their own. If any can give notice, they may leave word with Mr Samuel Meme, His Majesties Book-binder, at his house in Little Britain, and they shall be thankiully rewarded.
This Mercurius Publicus from which we have just quoted is said to be the Politicus we have mentioned in reference to earlier advertisements, which turned courtier in imitation of the general example, and changed its name also in emulation of popular practice. All England seemed then to have gone mad with excessive loyalty, and it is no wonder that Charles was surprised that he could have been persuaded to stop away so long. The columns of the Mercurius Publicus were placed entirely under the direction of the King, and instead of the slashing articles against malignants, which were wont to appear before its change of title, it contains, under Restoration dates, virulent attacks upon the Puritans, and inquiries after his Majesty's favourite dogs, which had a curious knack of becoming stolen or lost In addition to the canine advertisement already given, we take the following, which appears during July, and which would seem to have been dictated, if not actually written, by Charles:—
We must call upon you again for a Black Dog, between a Greyhound and a Spaniel, no white about him, onely a streak on his Brest, and Tayl a little bobbed. It is His Majesties own Dog, and doubtless was stoln, for the Dog was not bom nor bred in England, and would never forsake his Master. Whosoever findes him may acquaint any at Whitehal, for the Dog was better known at Court than those who stole him. Will they never leave robbing His Majesty? must he not keep a Dog? This Dogs place (though better than some imagine) is the only place which nobody offers to beg.
This is evidently the dog advertised before, and seems to have been an especial favourite with the merry monarch, who, one might think, would have had so many dogs that he could not possibly have missed an individual from their number. Pepys about this time describes the King, with a train of spaniels and other dogs at his heels, lounging along and feeding the water-fowl in the Park; and on later occasions he was often seen talking to his favourite Nell Gwyn as she leaned from her garden wall in Pall Mall, whilst his four-footed favourites were grouped about. It was possibly on these occasions that the gentlemen who have such an extraordinary faculty for "finding" dogs, even unto this day, saw their opportunities, and marched off with the choicest specimens. Certainly the dogs were being constantly lost, and just as constantly advertised. In turn we find him inquiring after "a little brindled greyhound bitch, having her two hinder feet white;" for a "white-haired spaniel, smooth-coated, with large red or yellowish spotsand for a "black mastiff dog, with cropped
ears and cut tail." So it would seem that, fond as his Majesty was of dogs, he was not above their being cropped and trimmed in the manner which has of late years caused all the forces of a well-known society to be arrayed against the "fancy" and the "finders." And not alone did the King advertise his lost favourites. As the fashion was set, so it was followed, and the dogmen's lives must then have been cast in pleasant places indeed, for Prince Rupert, "my lord Albemarle," the Duke of Buckingham, and many other potent seigniors, are constantly inquiring after strayed or stolen animals. The change in the general habits of the time is very clearly shown by these advertisements. The Puritans did not like sporting animals of any kind, and it has been said that no dog would have followed a Fifth-Monarchy man. Perhaps this dislike accounts for the total absence of all advertisements having reference to field-sports, or to animals connected therewith, until the return of the Court to England. With its return came in once more an aristocratic amusement which had faded out during the stern days of the Commonwealth, hawking, and we are reminded of this by the following advertisement for a lost lanner, which appears in the Mercurius Publicus of September 6, 1660 :—
Richard Finney, Esquire, of Alaxton, in Leicestershire, about a . fortnight since, lost a Lanner from that place; she hath neither Bells nor Varvels; she is a white Hawk, and her long feathers and sarcels are both in the blood. If any one can give tidings thereof to Mr Lambert at the Golden Key in Fleet-street, they shall have forty shillings for their pains.
If it be true that the Mercurius changed its name from Politicus to Publicus out of compliment to the new King and his Court, second thoughts seem to have been taken, and the original name resumed, for there is a Mercurius Politicus in November 1660, from which is the following :—
gentlemen, you are desired to take notice, That Mr Theophilus 'Buckworth doth at his house on Mile-end Green make and expose to sale, for the publick good, those so famous Lozenges or