Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

their patron, who committed the brutal assault upon John Dryden. It appears in the London Gazette of December 22, 1679:—

~\k rHEREAS John Dryden, Esq., was on Monday, the 18th instant, * * at night, barbarously assaulted and wounded, in Rose Street in Covent Garden, by divers men unknown; if any person shall make discovery of the said offenders to the said Mr Dryden, or to any Justice of the Peace, he shall not only receive Fifty Pounds, which is deposited >' in the hands of Mr Blanchard, Goldsmith, next door to Temple Bar, ) for the said purpose, but if he be a principal or an accessory in the said \ fact, his Majesty is graciously pleased to promise him his pardon for j the same. J •

Notwithstanding the offer of this money, it was never "'{ discovered who were the perpetrators, or who was the insti- ?£ gator of this cudgelling. Some fancy its promoter was '-S Rochester, who was offended at some allusions to him in - 2 an " Essay on Satire,'' written jointly by Dryden and Lord '— Mul grove; while others declare that the vanity of the Duchess of Portsmouth, one of the King's many mistresses, having been offended by a jeu a"esprit of the poet's, she procured him a rough specimen of her favours. Others, again, have i" suspected Buckingham, who was never on the best of terms !"€ with Dryden, and who sat for the portrait drawn in Zimri ' 3 (" Absalom and Achitophel"); but profligate and heartless:^ ■ libertine as Villiers was, he was above such a ruffianly: ». j reprisal. In the Domesiick Intelligence of December 23,] ^"j 1679, the assault is thus described: "Upon the 17th! lis instant in the evening Mr Dryden the great poet, was set! 2 =5 upon in Rose Street in Covent Garden, by three persons,! e g who, calling him rogue, and son of a whore, knockt him] 3i \ down and dangerously wounded him, but upon his crying1 f out murther, they made their escape; it is conceived that' ]j | they had their pay beforehand, and designed not to rob-N^ him but to execute on him some Feminine, if not Popishr^S vengeance." In a subsequent number of the same papef £j? there is the following advertisement:— j.s c dices coticeivcd to be highly fineable by the Rules of the Common taw, either in the Kings Bench, or by the Kjng tndh'u Council, or now face the Statute of the 3. Htnry 7. in the Star-chamber, The Lords feverafly, declared how the King was difcontented with the fail falfe Rumor, and had made but die day before a Protection unto them, That he «wr Mended it, and tbit bt would fpad the Ufl Drop of Blend in bis body.befort be •would doit, and prayed that before any of his iffut jheuld maintain any other Religion then what be truly profejjed and Maintained) that God mitld tt\l (htm out oj the world,

[graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

The*e were Eleven Perfons Condemned to dye the Ufl Scffions in the Old Baily, fix Men and five Women, but one man and three women received a Gracious Reprieve from His Majefty, the other feven fufftred ac Tyburn upon Friday laft the Nineteenth Infant, whofe Names and Crimes follow, John Farmer by Trade a Watchmaker, for Clipping and Coining, having been formerly Convifted of the like at Salubtry }■ Benjamin Venry, a lufty flout man, convifted of being a Notorious Highway-man, and Companion with French Executed lafl Seflions; John Dell,, who with Richard Dean, his Servant were heretofore Trycd, for the Murder of Dells wives Brother, and now of his wife, which feemed rather to want Proof then Truth, they were both Condemned for ftealing a Mare, and Executed for the fame-, This Dean fa fire of the Room wherein he lay at two Places the Night before he was Executed;

[graphic]

There,is a Report that -three Sons were lately feen a-
bout Richmond in Swney, by divers credible perfons, of
whieh different obfervations are made according to the
fancy of die People.

This day,- Dicemb, 22. Captain William Bedlow one
of the Kings Evidence, who has been fo inftrumental
in difcavering the Hellijh Popijh Plot, and thereby ( un-
der God ) for preferving his Majefhes Perfon and the
whole Nation, was married to a Lady ot a very confi-
derable Fortune.

There being Intimation givea, that Mrs, Cofler the
Popijh Midwife now a Prifoner in Newgate, would make
fome Difcovery both of the Plot, aud the Counter Plot;
She was brought before the Cotmcill lift week, but
would confefs nothing -, whereupon Juftice tfircap pro-
duced lomc Informations againfl her taken before him;
Upon which I he acknowledged the greateft part of
what was charged againfl her, and thereby gave very
flrong Confirmation to the Truth of Mr. Thomas Danger-
fields Depositions, concerning that curfed Confpiracy
managed by the Lady Powu, nerfelf,andfeveral others,
ibr die deftruciion of many Hundreds of his Majefhes
Loyal Proteflant Subje&s.

It is reported,thara Quaker fell in love with a Lady of
very gteatQuaIity,and hath extraordinarily petitioned to
obtain her for his Wife.

Upon die 17th. inftant in the evening Mr. Dryden
the great Poet, was fet upon in Roft-sireet m Covent
Garden.,yN.^\rw,„T*e*(fim whn rall'lno h'uo ,ronii» ml

[graphic]

'HEREAS there has been ■printed of late an Advertisement about

"" the Discovery of those 'who assaulted M r Dryden, with a promise of pardon and reward to the Discoverer; For his further encouragement, this is to give notice, that if the said Discoverer shall make known the Person who incited them to that unlawful action, not only the Discoverer himself, but any of those who committed the fact, shall be freed from all manner bf prosecution.

As a seasonable illustration we present an exact facsimile of a newspaper containing reference to the attack. It is complete as it appears, being simply a single leaf printed back and front, and so the stories of men repeating a whole newspaper from memory are not so wonderful after all. This year (1679) is memorable among journalists as being the first which saw a rising press emancipated, a fact which is sufficiently interesting to be chronicled here, although our subject is not newspapers, but only the advertisements contained in them.*

During all this time it must not be supposed that the vendors of quack medicines were at all idle. No political or religious disturbance was ever allowed to interfere with them, and their notices appeared as regularly as, or if possible more regularly than, ever. In a paper we have not before met, the Mercurius Anglicus, date March 6-10, 1679 -80, we are introduced for the first time to the cordial which was destined to become so popular among nurses with whom neither the natural milk nor that of human kindness was plentiful, viz., Daffy's Elixir :—

WHEREAS divers Persons have lately exposed to sale a counterfeit drink called Elixir Salutis, the true drink so called being first published by Mr Anthony Daffy, who is the only person that rightly and truly prepares it, he having experienced its virtues fur above 20 years past, by God's blessing curing multitudes of people

* A nominal censorship was continued till 1695, but the freedom of the press is considered by many to date from the year named above, and an inspection of the papers themselves would seem to justify the opinion.

[graphic]

afflicted with various distempers therewith, the receit whereof he never communicated to any person living; and that these persons the better to colour their deceit, have reported Mr Anthony Daffy to be dead, these are to certify That the said Mr Anthony Daffy is still living and in good health, at his house in Prujean court in the old Bailey, and that only there and at such places as he has appointed in his printed sheets of his Elixir's virtues (which printed sheets are sealed with his seal) the true Elixir Salutis or choice Cordial Drink Of Health is to be sold.

It is noticeable that about this time people were never sure what year they were in until March, and often during that month; and this is not only so in the dates on newspapers, but is found in Pepys and other writers of the period. Some journals do not give the double date as above, for we have before us as we write two copies of the Domestick Intelligence; or, News both from City and Country, "Published to prevent false Reports," No. 49 being dated "Tuesday, Decemb. 23, 1679;" and No. 52, "Friday, January 2, 1679." This has not, as many people have imagined, anything to do with the difference between the New Calendar and the Old, as our alteration of style did not take place till the middle of the next century. It must have been a relic of the old Ecclesiastical year which still affects the financial budget.

That the "agony column" of the present day is the result of slow and laborious growth is shown by an advertisement, cut from a Domestic Intelligence of March 1681, which contains an urgent appeal to one who has in umbrage departed from home :—

^gg=» WHEREAS a Person in London on some discontent did early on Monday morning last retire from his dwelling-house and not yet return'd, it is the earnest request of several of his particular friends, that the said person would speedily repair to some or one of them, that he thinks most fit; it being of absolute necessity, for reasons he does not yet know off.

An advertisement of this kind, without name or initials, might now, like the celebrated appeal to John Smith, apply

« AnteriorContinuar »