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Go on, and bite, even though the hook lies bare;
about him, somebody or othcr would have knocked him on the head; and he is such a wonderful man, that all the king's courts must needs conspire to do Mr Braddon a mischief. A very pretty sort of man, upon my word, and he must be used accordingly." State Trials, Vol. III. p. 897. In one of the scarce medals struck by James II. Justice is represented weighing mural crowns, which preponderate against a naked sword, a serpent, and a protestant flail: on each side of the figure are a head and trunk, representing those of Argyle and Monmouth. An accurate description of this weapon occurs in the following passage from Roger North: "There was much recommendation of silk armour, and the prudence of being provided with it against the time protestants were to be massacred. And accordingly therc"were abundance of these silken backs, breasts, and pots (i. e. head-pieces), made and sold, that were pretended to be pistol proof; in which any man dressed up was as safe as in a house, for it was impossible any one could go to strike him for laughing. So ridiculous was the figure, as they say, of hogs in armour; an image of derision, insensible but to the view, as I have had it. This was armour of defence; but our sparks were not altogether so tame as to carry their provisions no farther, for truly they intended to be assailants upon fair occasion, and had for that end recommended also to them a certain pocket weapon, which, for its design and efficacy, had the honour to be called a protestant flail. It was for street and crowd-work; and the engine lying perdue in a coat pocket, might readily sally out to execution, and by clearing a great hall, a piazza, or so, carry an election by a choice way of polling, called knocking down. The handle resembled a farrier's blood-stick, and the fall was joined to the end by a strong nervous ligature, that in its swing fell just short of the hand, and was made of lignum vitir, or rather, as the poet termed it, mortis." Yjamen. p. 572. The following is the first stanza of " The Protestant Flail; an excellent new song, to the tune of, Lacy's Maggot, or the Hobby Horse." It is thus labelled by Lultrell: "A bonny thing, 14 June, 1632."
Listen a while, and I'll tell you a tale
Thump a thump, thump.
With a thump, &c.
Lop all the rights that fence your monarch's throne;
For fear of too much power, pray leave him none.
A noise was made of arbitrary sway;
But, in revenge, you whigs have found a way
An arbitrary duty now to pay.
Let his own servants turn to save their stake,
Glean from his plenty, and his wants forsake;
But let some Judas near his person stay,
To swallow the last sop, and then betray.
Make London independent of the crown;
A realm apart; the kingdom of the town.
Let ignoramus juries find no traitors •,
And ignoramus poets scribble satires.
And, that your meaning none may fail to scan,
Do what in coffee-houses you began,—
Pull down the master, and set up the man.
• Shaftesbury, College, and others, were liberated by grand juries, who refused to find bills against them, bringing in what are technically called verdicts of ignoramus. It was here that the whig sheriffs were of most consequence to their party; for by their means the juries were picked from the very centre of the faction; and although they included many men of eminence, both for rank and talents, yet they were generally such as had made up their minds to cast the bill long before they came into court. This gave great offence to the royalists. North says, " There lay the barrier of the faction; and that stately word (ignoramui) became the appellative of the whole corrupt practice, and the infamous title of all the persons concerned in it." In Luttrell's Collection I find, "Ignoramus, an excellent new song, to the tune of Lay by your Pleading, Law lies a Bleeding." 15 Dec. 1681.
At the Old Bailey,
Where rogues flock daily,
Was late indicted.
'Gainst princes offences
Proved in all senses,
They sham us, and flam us,
And ram us, and damn us,
This song, according to the invariable practice of the scribblers on both sides, was answered by a new Ignoramus.
The King of France.
Grillon, Colonel of the Guard.
Abbot Del Bene, ~) n
Malicorn, a Necromancer,
Marmoutiere, Niece to Grillon,
The Cardinal of Guise.
The Curate of St Eustace,
SCENE I.—The Council of Sixteen seated; an empty Chair prepared for the Duke of Guise.
13 ussv and Polin, two of the Sixteen.
Buss. Lights there! more lights! What, burn the tapers dim, When glorious Guise, the Moses, Gideon, David, The saviour of the nation, makes approach?
Pol. And therefore are we met; the whole sixteen, That sway the crowd of Paris, guide their votes, Manage their purses, persons, fortunes, lives, To mount the Guise, where merit calls him, high, And give him a whole heaven for room to shine.
Enter Curate of St Eustace.
Buss. The curate of St Eustace comes at last: But, father, why so late?'
Cur. I have been taking godly pains to satisfy some scruples raised amongst weak brothers of our party, that were staggering in the cause.
Pol. What could they find to object?
Cur. They thought, to arm against the king was treason.
Buss. I hope you set them right?
Cur. Yes; and for answer, I produced this book. A Calvinist minister of Orleans Writ this, to justify the admiral Tor taking arms against the king deceased; Wherein he proves, that irreligious kings May justly be deposed, and put to death.
Buss. To borrow arguments from heretic books, Methinks, was not so prudent.
Cur. Yes; from the devil, if it would help our cause. The author was indeed a heretic; The matter of the book is good and pious.
Pol. But one prime article of our Holy League Is to preserve the king, his power, and person.
Cur. That must be said, you know, for decency; A pretty blind to make the shoot secure.
Buss. But did the primitive christians e'er rebel, When under heathen lords? I hope they did.
Cur. No sure, they did not; for they had not power;The conscience of a people is their power.
Pol. Well; the next article in our solemn covenant Has cleared the point again.
Buss. What is't? I should be glad to find the king No safer than needs must.
Pol. That, in case of opposition from any person whatsoever—
Cur. That's well, that well; then the king is not excepted, if he oppose us.
Pol. We are obliged to join as one, to punish All, who attempt to hinder or disturb us.