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That such a writer as Butler should have been neglected by a profligate and arbitrary court, ought not to excite a moment's surprise. His intellect was too sturdy and independent for their purposes : he was not a fit companion for the L'Estranges and the Birkenheads," he stood amongst them, but not of them."
They were labourers worthy of their hire, and went through their dirty work without any compunctious visitings. They received their reward, and Butler trusted for his to his conscience and to posterity.
Of Mr. Thyer's annotations we have only to add, that, excepting a few strange oversights, a they are generally pertinent and sensible, and have always the merit of being brief.
Since this article was written, the following passage has appeared in the Edinburgh Review, in a critique on Mr. Hogg's Jacobite Relics.
" That we may have enough of so good a thing, he subjoins the prose character of a whig, drawn by the celebrated Butler, and which sets out with stating him to be the spawn of a regicide, hammered out of a rank Anabaptist hypocrite,' and forthwith becomes too indecent to be farther transcribed. We will here just mention, for the edification of Mr. Hogg, that the celebrated Butler,' who, among many other vituperations, compares a whig to the nettle, because . the more gently you handle hiin, the more he is apt to hurt you,' is well known to those who know any thing of literary bistory, to have lived in the family, supported by the bounty of Sir Samuel Luke, one of Cromwell's captains, at the very time he planned his Hudibras, of which he was pleased to make his kind and hospitable patron the bero. Now we defy the history of whiggism to match this anecdote-or to produce so choice a specimen of the human nettle.”
Unfortunately for the infallibility of the Reviewer, it happens, that the passage which calls forth this tirade is not Butler's-it is not included in his Genuine Remains, nor even in the spurious collection which bears his name; but in the Secret History of the Calves-head Club, under the title of The Character of a Calves-head Club-man. It would require better authority than the assertion of the publisher of that miserable work, to make us believe the author of Hudibras guilty of such impotent scurrility. The charge against Butler of ingratitude is more serious, but, we trust, equally unfounded. Butler, it is true, lived some time in the family of Sir Samuel Luke, who was a justice of the peace, as his clerk. Of his treatment, while in his service, we know nothing: to take it for granted, that it was “ kind” and “ hospita
a As, for instance, doubting the existence of such a writer as Benlowes, (the well known mock Mæcenas of his time,) and shrewdly conjecturing that Denham was the person aimed at.
ble,” in order to enhance the perfidy of Butler, is wanton and gratuitous malice; and it is equally uncandid and unjust to describe him as a supported by the bounty" of his employer. After all, it is extremely problematical, whether Sir Samuel was the hero of Butler's poem. The circumstance of the poet's having lived some time in the service of a distinguished puritan, was sufficient to make public report exalt the latter to that “ bad eminence ;" to say nothing of Sir Henry Rosewell and the other candidates for that distinction. Dr. Nash is decidedly of opinion, that he was not the hero, and gives it as his belief, that Buller began his Hudibras while in the service of the Countess of Kent, previous to his living with Sir Samuel. But the strongest proof against the charge is in the work itself: there is so little of individuality about the knight-his folly is of such a motley description-his notions so heterogeneous—and his whole character so outré—that if Butler intended it for a likeness of any one man, we must say, he was a most wretched dauber : the portraits of Lilly, of Lilburne, of Shaftesbury, disprove such a supposition. It is a circumstance worthy of remark, that in his Genuine Remains, he never makes the slightest allusion to his reputed hero.
ART. V. DOMESTIC POLITICS OF ENGLAND.
It is a purposed thing, and grows by plot,
The turbulence and obtrusive disloyalty which had swelled with the progress of the Queen's trial have subsided, and the tide has turned. The impulse of vehement faction will always make some impression on the vast and fluctuating expanse of the public mind, but its mightier movements are obedient to laws from no temporary authority; and it is never stirred in its mass, but in an influence beyond the sphere of our low, intemperate, human passions. The character of the British nation is tardiness to pronounce judgment; the habits of jurisprudence have been familiar to the country, till they have become a part of its nature; and they have infixed that reluctance to hasty decisions, and that general propensity to the collection and weighing of evidence, which leaves, for the time, so easy a triumph to daring imposture. But this irresolution, which leaves the national mind powerless for the moment, has a noble compensation in the righteous
and solemn judgment that is sure to follow-and the public conviotion comes to the punishment of this bustling hypocrisy with a strength which intrigue has never been able to withstand.
This result must have at length arrived, from the general character of the Queen's defence, and the national eye must have turned with disgust on the petty artifice and flagitious indecency of her abettors. But this result has been hastened by an act of wanton effrontery,- the Queen's visit to St. Paul's. We exclude that unfortunate woman from the chief share of the censure. She comes into these pages only as the puppet of faction. Let her crime be between her conscience and that tribunal before which the purest may well humble themselves. But as the Queen of England, giving, however ignorantly, some shadow of royal authority to the proceedings, that, to all other eyes, have for their object the overthrow of the constitution, we must look to the waving of her banner, not as the sport of a fickle and feeble wantoning, but as the direct signal around which the evil of the land is to be congregated; not to see it mocking the air in idle state, but leading wild, rude, revengeful beggars to the consummation of their labours. The junction of the Queen's cause with that of the radicals, makes both the fitter objects for administrative vigilance. Radicalism is subversion, total excision and overthrow : the substitution, not of one order of polity for another, but an utter destruction of the present state of things in all their shapes of established and ancient use, to make way for desolation, or for the desperate experiment of ignorance and passion, inflamed by obsolete grudges and new impunity. With these reformers, there is no gradual corrective of public suffering. These new doctors of the body politic have no faith in alternatives; the patient must at once take up his bed and walk, or be flung into the grave. The processes of nature are too slow for the rapid intelligence of revolution. Their harvest must be raised from a soil which has never been polluted by the ignorant husbandry of past generations. They will not dip their plough into the clay, unless it has been cleared by a general deluge. The cause which connected itself with those missionaries of public havoc, the propaganda of the downfal of kings and priests, at once stamped itself guilty. Innocence rests on the faith of the Law; Guilt takes refuge among the mob. The Queen has done much to establish the opinion of her judges by her adoption of this common subterfuge of crime. But radicalism has yet gained nothing by opening its sanctuary to the royal fugitive. With what rités it may have received her, what mysterious voices of speedy retribution on her accusers may have been uttered from the shrine, what grim and furious festivity crowned the reception of the illustrious
convert, remains to be told-perhaps to form the future revelation of the dungeon and the scaffold.
But radicalism is too wise in its generation, to give its help without an equivalent. It has nothing of the weakness of benevolence in its protection, it makes no Samaritan journeys to find out the perishing and wounded by the wayside. It drives a solid, worldly bargain, with a due estimate of the profit and loss on its charity, and volunteers its purse and its dagger only where it is secured upon the mortgage of opulence or power; and the bond will be exacted. The Queen's patronage is already contemplated as part and parcel of the estate of faction. What new honour is to reinforce the decayed glories of Sir Robert Wilson's Star! what sinecure is to lay the unction to Alderman Wood's finances; by what well fed and festive occupation in the Royal Kitcheu, the member for Coventry is to resume the abdicated purple of his countenance,-all this is to be measured by the liberality that showered orders on a footman, and installed his beggary in the Barona. But, we may be assured, that from this treasury, the dry and withered resources of radicalism will be refreshed, and that, with whatever blushing reluctance, the haters of Kings will be converted into pensioners on the Royal Bounty.
Yet all this prospective fruition is not without its present balance. The triumphs at Brandenburgh house have bred jealousies. The civic manners of the patriotic alderman, brought out by wine and exhilaration, have been contrasted with those of men who, in other days, were companions for the honourable. Royalty is, after all, aristocratic, and the tastes which seem enamoured of a lacquey, in the languid airs of the Milanese, are not to be always relied on in our less amatory climate, for equal condescension, even, to a “ Feu Lord Maire de Londres." Sir Robert Wilson's graces have, for some time, been in the ascendant, and even Peter Moore has not sighed without a smile. The alderman retired under pretence of ill health, like a disbanded minister, to his estates. But let Sir Robert tremble, for Bergami has suddenly ordered post-horses from Paris !
“Am I not Egypt--what if I have loved ?
And I will spurn all else”. The lower agitators, who were not admitted into those arcana epularum, began to be offended. The smiles of royalty are relaxing by their very nature; and while the feast went on, the vigour of riot was obviously melting down. The rabble agents dreaded another Capua in Brandenburgh house, and to silence the growing discontent, and marshal their forces once more, a field-day was ordered under the name of a procession to St. Paul's. This measure had its advantage in one point of view,
for it showed to the doubters, that their leaders were still ready
" to the field," and that there was no defiance which they were not prepared to throw down to public decency. But in point of drawing over partisanship from the more respectable orders, all was failure, and worse than failure. The people of England are unwisely attempted by those who reason from their civil captiousness to their religious indifference. No demagogue has ever succeeded by adding the insult of religion to the insult of the laws. Fanaticism has done much, but atheism is not yet a passport to the errors even of the mob. England is not France. This procession to the metropolitan church was felt to be a religious offence, and ii excited great and general alienation. The belief of the citizens, and of all above the mere refuse of the streets, was against the validity of the Queen's defence by her counsel. Placards and addresses were their public language, and these of course both testify of innocence, and her “ unsunned snow," the phrase which owes its origin to the protecting alderman, and is so happily characteristic of his eloquence. But their talk in the market-places and greetings of men,” was a perpetual ridicule of her claims to purity. The excursion to Brandenburgh House was a drive to the country, heightened by the glory of driving with four horses—the huzzas of the populace through whom they filed, and the consummating indulgence of passing through the drawing-room of a Queen's villa and receiving the homages of a Queen. On the same principle, Messalina would have bad half the metropolis to shout after her chariot-wheels. But here was no country excursion, no exhilaration by the indulgences of the wayside, no address, and acclamation, and firing of guns, and pantomime of mock royalty, but a hazardous and repulsive adventure to the house of prayer. In this the populace found but little excitement and no jest, and the rational, and religious, and loyal, a source of shame, regret, and alarm. From that moment inseparable disgust took possession of the majority. Something may be humanly forgiven even to guilt struggling to save itself by whatever desperate and frantic asseveration. The Queen's protest agaiust the vote of the Peers, on the third reading, was a dreadful profanation in the eyes of those who had not been able to convince themselves of her innocence. But it might have been the outrage of passions, worked up to their height-it was like the blind and reckless grasp of the drowning, that will seize what it can, without distinction or respect. But the visit to St. Paul's seemed wilful, gratuitous, audacious;-if the Queen was innocent, a measure unsuitable to her modesty, yet uncleared ; if guilty, a flagitious profanation.
But the individual's guilt or purity is comparatively 'unimportant as a public interest. The view in which she has a right