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out giving me time to answer him, ‘Well, well,” says he, ‘I know
you are a wary man, and do not care to talk of public matters.” The knight then asked me, if I had seen Prince Eugene; and
made me promise to get him a stand in some convenient place
sufficiently attractive for royal spectators—paraded the principal streets, the chief figure being an effigy of “The Pope, that pagan full of pride,”
well executed in wax and expensively adorned with robes and a tiara. He was accompanied by a train of cardinals and jesuits; and at his ear stood a buffoon in the likeness of a horned devil. After having been paraded through divers streets, his holiness was exultingly burnt opposite to the Whig club near the Temple gate in Fleet Street. After the discovery of the Rye House plot, the pope's procession was discontinued; but was resuscitated on the acquittal of the seven bishops and dethronement of James II. Sacheverel's trial had added a new interest to the ceremony; and on the occasion referred to by Sir Roger, besides a popular dread of the church being—from the listlessness of the ministers and the machinations of the Pretender—in danger, there was a very general opposition to the peace with France, for which the Tories were intriguing. The party cry of “No peace” was shouted in the same breath with “No popery.”
The Whigs were determined, it was said, to give significance and force to these watchwords by getting up the anniversary show of 1711 with unprecedented splendour. No good Protestant, no honest hater of the French, could refuse to subscribe his guinea for such an object; and it was said, upwards of a thousand pounds were collected for the effigies and their dresses and decorations alone; independent of a large fund for incidental expenses. The pope, the devil, and the Pretender were, it was asserted, fashioned in the likeness of the obnoxious cabinet ministers. The procession was to take place at night, and “a thousand mob” were to be hired to carry flambeaux at a crown a-piece and as much beer and brandy as would inflame them for mischief. The pageant was to open with “twenty-four bagpipes marching four and four, and playing the memorable tune of Lillibullero.” Presently was to come “a figure representing Cardinal Gaulteri, (lately made by the Pretender protector of the English nation,) looking down on the ground in sorrowful posture; his train supported by two missionaries from Rome, supposed to be now in England.”—“Two pages throwing beads, bulls, pardons, and indulgences.”—“Two jack puddings sprinkling holy-water.”—“Twelve hautboys playing the “Green-wood tree.’”—Then were to succeed “Six beadles with protestant flails;” and, after a variety of other satirical mummers, the grand centre piece was to show itself:—“The pope under a magnificent canopy, with a right silver where he might have a full sight of that extraordinary man, whose presence does so much honour to the British nation. He
dwelt very long on the praises of this great general, and I found
fringe, accompanied by the chevalier St. George on the left and his councillor the devil on his right.” The whole procession was to close with twenty streamers displaying this couplet wrought on each, “God bless Queen Anne, the nation's great defender, Keep out the French, the Pope, and the Pretender.” To be ready for this grand spectacle the figures were deposited at a house in Dury Lane, whence the procession was to march (“with proper relief of lights at several stations") to St. James' Square, thence through Pall Mall, the Strand, Drury Lane, and Holborn to Bishopsgate Street, and return through St. Paul's Church Yard to the bonfire in Fleet Street. “After proper ditties were sung, the Pretender was to have been committed to the flames, being first absolved by the Cardinal Gaulteri. After that the said cardinal was to be absolved by the pope and burnt. And then the devil was to jump into the flames with his holiness in his arms.” According, however, to the Tories, who spread the most exaggerated reports of these preparations, there were to have been certain accidents which were deliberately contrived beforehand by the conspirators. Besides the great conflagration of the sovereign pointiff, there was to have been several supplementary bonfires in the line of march, into which certain actors of the show were to fling a mock copy of the preliminary articles of peace. This was to be the signal for a general exclamation of “No peace!” Horse messengers had also been engaged—so wrote the cabinet scribes— to gallop into the crowd “as if to break their necks, their hacks all foam." to cry out “the queen is dead at Hampton Court!” Lord Wharton and several noblemen of even higher rank were to disguise themselves as sailors, to mix with and incite the mob. But the grand stroke was to be dealt by the Duke of Marlborough. He was on his way from Flanders—covered, most inopportunely for his enemies, with the glory of one of his best achievements; that of having passed the strongly fortified lines drawn by the French from Bouchain to Arras. On this famous eve the duke was to have made his entry through Aldgate, and there met with the cry of “Victory, Bouchain, the lines, no peace!” But all this was harmless as compared with the threatened sequel. On the diabolical programme were said to be inscribed certain houses that were to be burnt down. That of the Commissioners of Accounts in Essex Street was to form the first pyre, because in it had been discovered and completed Marlborough's commissorial defalcations. The lord treasurer's was to follow. Harley himself was to have been torn to pieces, as the
* From a folio half sheet published at the time,
that since I was with him in the country, he had drawn many observations together out of his reading in Baker's Chronicle, and other authors, who always lie in his hall window, which very much redound to the honour of this prince. Having passed away the greatest part of the morning in hearing the knight's reflections, which were partly private, and partly political, he asked me if I would smoke a pipe with him over a dish of coffee at Squire's." As I love the old man, I take a de
Dutch pensionary De Witt had been. Indeed the entire city was only to have escaped destruction and rapine by a miracle. It is here that the “Spectator” himself comes upon the scene. “The “Spectator, who ought to be but a looker on, was to have been an assistant; that, seeing London in a flame, he might have opportunity to paint after the life, and remark the behaviour of the people in the ruin of their country; so to have made a diverting ‘Spectator.” " These were the coarse excuses which the Tories put forth for spoiling the show. At midnight on the 16th–17th of Nov. a posse of constables made forcible entry into the Drury Lane temple of the waxen images, and by force of arms seized the pope, the Pretender, the cardinals, the devil and all his works, a chariot to have been drawn by six of his imps, the canopies, the bagpipes, the bulls, the pardons, the Protestant flails, the streamers, Lin short the entire paraphernalia. At one fell swo, p the whole collection was carried off to the cock-pit at Whitehall, then the privy council office. That the city apprentices should not be wholly deprived of their expected treat, fifteen of the group were exhibited to the public gratis. “I saw to-day the pope, the devil, and the other figures of cardinals, &c., fifteen in all, which have made such a noise I hear the owners of them are so impudent, that their design is to replevy them by law. The images are not worth forty pounds, so I stretched a little when I said a thousand. The Grub Street account of that tumult is published. The devil is not like lord treasurer; they were all in your odd antic masks bought in common shops.” Thus wrote Swift to Stella; yet to the public he either gave, or superintended, an account of the affair which was simply a string of all the mendacious exaggerations then wilfully put about by his patrons. Such were the party tactics of Sir Roger's time—" * In Fulwood's Rents, leading from Holborn into Gray's Inn Gardens, as mentioned ante. It was much frequented by the benchers light in complying with every thing that is agreeable to him, and accordingly waited on him to the coffee-house, where his vener. able figure drew upon us the eyes of the whole room. He had no sooner seated himself at the upper end of the high table, but he called for a clean pipe, a paper of tobacco, a dish of coffee, a wax candle, and the Supplement, with such an air of cheerfulness and good humour, that all the boys in the coffee-room (who seemed to take pleasure in serving him) were at once employed on his several errands, insomuch that nobody else could come at a dish of tea, till the knight had got all his conveniences about him. L.
* “A true Relation of the several Facts and Circumstances of the intended Riot and Tumult on Queen Elizabeth's Birthday,” &c., by an “Understrapper " of Swift See his Journal, Nov. 26, 1711,
No. 271. THURSDAY, JANUARY 13.
Mille trahens varios adverso sole colores.
I receive a double advantage from the letters of my correspondents: first, as they shew me which of my papers are most acceptable to them; and in the next place, as they furnish me with materials for new speculations. Sometimes, indeed, I do not make use of the letter itself, but form the hints of it into plans of my own invention; sometimes I take the liberty to change the language or thought into my own way of speaking and thinking, and always (if it can be done without prejudice to the sense) omit the many compliments and applauses which are usually bestowed upon me.
Besides the two advantages above-mentioned, which I receive from the letters that are sent me, they give me an opportunity of
and students of Gray's Inn. Squire was a “noted coffee man ” who died in 1717–"
lengthening out my paper by the skilful management of the subscribing part at the end of them, which perhaps does not a little conduce to the ease, both of myself and reader. Some will have it, that I often write to myself, and am the only punctual correspondent I have. This objection would indeed be material, were the letters I communicate to the public stuffed with my own commendations, and if, instead of endeavouring to divert or instruct my readers, I admired in them the beauty of my own performances. But I shall leave these wise conjectures to their own imaginations, and produce the three following letters for the entertainment of the day.
“I was last Thursday in an assembly of ladies, where there were thirteen different coloured hoods.’ Your Spectator of that day lying upon the table, they ordered me to read it to them, which I did with a very clear voice, till I came to the Greek verse at the end of it.” I must confess, I was a little startled at its popping upon me so unexpectedly; however, I covered my confusion as well as I could, and after having muttered two or three hard words to myself, laughed heartily, and cried, “A very good jest, faith !' The ladies desired me to explain it to them; but I begged their pardon for that, and told them, that if it had been proper for them to hear, they may be sure the author would not have wrapt it up in Greek. I then let drop several expressions, as if there was something in it that was not fit to be spoken before a company of ladies. Upon which the matron of the assembly, who was dressed in a cherry-coloured hood, commended the discretion of the writer, for having thrown his filthy thoughts into Greek, which was likely to corrupt but few of his readers.
* W. Nichols's Note to No. 212 of the Tatler.—C. * No. 265 –C.