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gallery in Gresham Colledge every Monday in the forenoon, there and then to treat with such as are fit to undertake the same.
As nothing occurs in the way of advertisements worthy of remark or collection for the next few years, we will take this convenient opportunity of obtaining a brief breathing space.
CONCLUSION OF SEVENTEENTH CENTURY.
ET us commence here with the year 1674, a period when the rages and fashions, the plague and fire, and the many things treated of by means of advertisements in the preceding chapter, had plunged England into a most unhappy condition. The reaction from Puritanism was great, but the reaction from royalty and extravagance threatened to be still greater. Speaking of the state of affairs about this time, a famous historian, who has paid particular attention to the latter part of the seventeenth century, says: "A few months after the termination of hostilities on the Continent, came a great crisis in English politics. Towards such a crisis things had been tending during eighteen years. The whole stock of popularity, great as it was, with which the King had commenced his administration, had long been expended. To loyal enthusiasm had succeeded profound disaffection. The public mind had now measured back again the space over which it had passed between 1640 and 1660, and was once more in the state in which it had been when the Long Parliament met. The prevailing discontent was compounded of many feelings. One of these was wounded national pride. That generation had seen England, during a few years, allied on equal terms with France, victorious over Holland and Spain, the mistress of the sea, the terror of Rome, the head of the Protestant interest. Her resources had not diminished; and it might have been expected that she would have been, at least, as highly considered in Europe under a legitimate king, strong in the affection and willing obedience of his subjects, as she had been under an usurper whose utmost vigilance and energy were required to keep down a mutinous people. Yet she had, in consequence of the imbecility and meanness of her rulers, sunk so low, that any German or Italian principality which brought five thousand men into the field, was a more important member of the commonwealth of nations. With the sense of national humiliation was mingled anxiety for civil liberty. Rumours, indistinct indeed, but perhaps the more alarming by reason of their indistinctness, imputed to the Court a deliberate design against all the constitutional rights of Englishmen. It had even been whispered that this design was to be carried into effect by the intervention of foreign arms. The thought of such intervention made the blood, even of the Cavaliers, -boil in their veins. Some who had always professed the doctrine of non-resistance in its full extent, were now heard to mutter that there was one limitation to that doctrine. If a foreign force were brought over to coerce the nation, they would not answer for their own patience. But neither national pride nor anxiety for public liberty had so great an influence on the popular'mind as hatred of the Roman Catholic religion. That hatred had become one of the ruling passions of the community, and was as strong in the ignorant and profane as in those who were Protestants from conviction. The cruelties of Mary's reign—cruelties which even in the most accurate and sober narrative excite just detestation, and which were neither accurately nor soberly related in the popular martyrologies—theconspiracies against Elizabeth, and above all, the Gunpowder Plot, had left in the minds of the vulgar a deep and bitter feeling, which was kept up by annual commemorations, prayers, bonfires, and processions. It should be added that those classes which were peculiarly distinguished by attachment to the throne, the clergy and the landed gentry, had peculiar reasons for regarding the Church of Rome with aversion. The clergytrembled for their benefices, the landed gentry for their abbeys and great tithes. While the memory of the reign of the Saints was still recent, hatred of Popery had in some degree given place to hatred of Puritanism; but during the eighteen years which had elapsed since the Restoration, the hatred of Puritanism had abated, and the hatred of Popery had increased. . . . The King was suspected by many of a leaning towards Rome. His brother and heir-presumptive was known to be a bigoted Roman Catholic. The first Duchess of York had died a Roman Catholic. James had then, in defiance of the remonstrances of the House of Commons, taken to wife the Princess Mary of Modena, another Roman Catholic. If there should be sons by this marriage, there was reason to fear that they might be bred Roman Catholics, and that a long succession of princes hostile to the established faith might sit on the English throne. The constitution had recently been violated for the purpose of protecting the Roman Catholics from the penal laws. The ally by whom the policy of England had during many years been chiefly governed, was not only a Roman Catholic, but a persecutor of the Reformed Churches. Under such circumstances, it is not strange that the common people should have been inclined to apprehend a return of the times of her whom they called Bloody Mary." Such was the unhappy state of affairs at this period, and though its effect is soon shown in the advertisement columns of the papers, one would think times were piping and peaceful indeed to read the following, extracted from the London Gazette of October 15-19, 1674 :—
IX/HITEHALL, October 17.—A square Diamond with his Majesty's Arms upon it having been this day lost out of a seal in or about Whitehall, or St James's Park or House; Any person that shall have found the same is required to bring it to William Chiffinch, Esq., Keeper of his Majesty's Closet, and he shall have ten pounds for a Reward.
Doubtless this Chiffinch, the degraded being who lived but to pander to the debauched tastes of his royal and profligate employer, thought nothing of politics or of the signs of the times, and contented himself with the affairs of the Backstairs, caring little for Titus Oates, and less for his victims. Some short time after the foregoing was published (March 20-23, I^7S)> Chiffinch published another loss in the Gazette. This is it:—
"PLOWN out of St James's Park, on Thursday night last, a Goose and a Gander, brought from the river Gambo in the East Indies, on the Head, Back and Wings they are of a shining black, under the Throat about the Eyes and the Belly white. They have Spurs on the pinions of the Wings, about an inch in length, the Beaks and Legs of a muddy red; they are shaped like a Muscovy Mallard, but larger and longer legg'd. Whoever gives notice to Mr Chiffinch at Whitehall, shall be well rewarded.
Whether the prince of pimps ever had to give the reward, we are not in a position to state; we should, however, think that his advertisement attracted little attention, for we are now in the midst of the excitement which led to the pretended plots and troubles that made every man suspect his neighbour, and when the cry of Recusant or Papist was almost fatal to him against whom it was directed. That this feeling once roused was not to be subdued even in death, is shown by a notice in the Domestic^ Intelligence of July 22, 1679:—
AI 7HEREAS it was mentioned in the last "Intelligence" that Mr * * Langhorn was buried in the Temple Church, there was a mistake in it, for it was a Loyal Gentleman, one Colonel Acton, who was at that time buried by his near relations there: And Mr Langhorn was buried that day in the Churchyard of St Giles-in-the-Fields, very near the five Jesuits who were executed last.
John Playford, Clerke to the Temple Church.
Here is intolerance with a vengeance, but in the year 1679 reverence for persons or things was conspicuously absent, and this is best shown by the advertisement which was issued for the purpose of discovering the ruffians, or