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KEY TO ABSALOM AND ACHITOPHEL.
Abdael............ GENERAL Monk, Duke of Albemarle. Abethdin
The name given, through this Poem, to
a Lord Chancellor in general Absalom
Duke of Monmouth. Achitophel
The Earl of Shaftesbury. Adriel
Earl of Mulgrave. Agag
Sir Edmundbury Godfrey. Amiel.......
Mr. Seymour, Speaker of the House of
Com Amri.......... Sir Heneage Finch, Earl of Winchelsea,
and Lord Chancellor. Annabel
Duchess of Monmouth. Arod.........
Sir William Waller. Asaph
A Character drawn by Tate for Drydep,
in the second part of this Poem. Balaam
Earl of Huntingdon. Balak.....
Duke of Ormond. Bathsheba
Duchess of Portsmouth.
Duke of Beaufort.
Lord Grey. Corah.....
Dr. Oates. David...
Charles II. Doeg.
Elkanah Settle. Egypt
Sir Henry Bennet, Earl of Arlington. Ethnic Plot..... The Popish Plot. Gath.......... The Land of Exile, more particularly
Brussels, where King Charles II. long
Earl of Feversham.
Hyde, Earl of Rochester.
A SATIRE AGAINST SEDITION.
EPISTLE TO THE WHIGS.
For to whom can I dedicate this poem, with so much jus. tice as to you ? 'Tis the representation of your own hero : 'tis the picture drawn at length, which you admire and prize so much in little. None of your ornaments are wanting ; neither the landscape of the Tower, nor the rising sun; nor the Anno Domini of your new sovereign's coronation. This must needs be a grateful undertaking to your whole party; especially to those who have not been so happy as to purchase the original. hear the graver has made a good market of it: all his kings are bought up already; or the value of the remainder so enhanced, that many a poor Polander, who would be glad to worship the image, is not able to go to the cost of him, but must be content to see him here. I must confess I am no great artist; but signpost painting will serve the turn to remember a friend by, especially when better is not to be had. Yet for your comfort the lineaments are true; and though he sat not five times to me, as he did to B., yet I have consulted history, as the Italian painters do, when they would draw a Nero, or a Caligula ; though they have not seen the man, they can help their imagination by a statue of him, and find out the colouring from Suetonius and Tacitus. Truth is, you might have spared one side of your Medal : the head would be seen to more advantage if it were placed on a spike of the Tower, a little nearer to the sun, which would then break out to better purpose.
You tell us in your preface to the No-protestant Plot,* * A folio pamphlet with this title, vindicating Lord Shaftesbury from being concerned in any plotting design against the king, was published in two parts, the first in 1681, the second in 1682. says, that the general report was, that they were written by the earl himself, or that, at least, he found the materials ; and his servant, who put it into the printer's hands. was committed to prison. D.
that you shall be forced hereafter to leave off your modesty : I suppose you mean that little which is left you ; for it was worn to rags when you put out this Medal. Never was there practised such a piece of notorious impudence in the face of an established government. I believe when he is dead you will wear him in thumb-rings, as the Turks did Scanderbeg; as if there were virtue in his bones to preserve you against monarchy. Yet all this while you pretend not only zeal for the public good, but a due veneration for the person of the king. But all men who can see an inch before them may easily detect those gross fallacies. That it is necessary for men in your circumstances to pretend both, is granted you; for without them there could be no ground to raise a faction. But I would ask you one civil question, what right has any man among you, or any association of men, (to come nearer to you), who, out of parliament, cannot be considered in a public capacity, to meet as you daily do in factious clubs, to vilify the government in your discourses, and to libel it in all your writings ? Who made you judges in Israel ? Or how is it consistent with your zeal to the public welfare to promote sedition? Does your definition of loyal, which is to serve the king according to the laws, allow you the license of traducing the executive power with which you own he is invested? You complain that his majesty has lost the love and confidence of his people; and by your very urging it, you endeavour what in you lies to make him lose them. All good subjects abhor the thought of arbitrary power, whether it be in one or many :
you were the patriots you would seem, you would not at this rate incense the multitude to assume it; for no sober man can fear it, either from the king's disposition, or his practice, or even where you would odiously lay it, from his ministers. Give us leave to enjoy the government and the benefit of laws under which we were born, and which we desire to transmit to our posterity. You are not the trustees of the public liberty; and if you have not right to petition in a crowd, much less have you to intermeddle in the management of affairs, or to arraign what you do not like, which in effect is every thing that is done by the king and council. Can you imagine that any reasonable man will believe you respect the person of his majesty, when 'tis apparent that
your seditious pamphlets are stuffed with particular reflections on him ? If you have the confidence to deny this, 'tis easy to be evinced from a thousand passages, which I only forbear to quote, because I desire they should die, and be forgotten. I have perused many of your papers, and to show you that I have, the third part of your Noprotestant Plot* is much of it stolen from your dead author's pamphlet, called the Growth of Popery; as manifestly as Milton's Defence of the English People is from Buchanan De jure regni apud Scotos ; or your first Covenant and new Association from the holy league of the French Guisards. Any one who reads Davila may trace your practices all along. There were the same pretences for reformation and loyalty, the same aspersions of the king, and the same grounds of a rebellion. I know not whether you will take the historian's word, who says it was reported, that Poltrot, a Hugonot, murdered Francis, Duke of Guise, by the instigations of Theodore Beza, or that it was a Hugonot minister, otherwise called a Presbyterian, (for our church abhors so devilish a tenet) who first writ a treatise of the lawfulness of deposing and murdering kings of a different persuasion in religion : but I am able to prove, from the doctrine of Calvin, and principles of Buchanan, that they set the people above the magistrate ; which, if I mistake not, is your own fundamental, and which carries your loyalty no farther than your liking. When a vote of the house of commons goes on your side, you are as ready to observe it as if it were passed into a law; but when you are pinched with any former, and yet unrepealed act of parliament, you declare that in some cases you will not be obliged by it. The passage is in the same third part of the No-protestant Plot, and is too plain to be denied. The late copy of your intended association, you neither wholly justify nor condemn; but as the papists, when they are unopposed, fly out into all the pageantries of worship; but in times of war, when they are hard pressed by arguments, lie close intrenched behind the council of Trent:
* The third part, printed in quarto, was supposed to be written by Ferguson, under my lord's eye. It reflects on the proceedings against him in the points of high treason, whereof he siood accused; and strives to depreciate the characters of the witnesses, by painting them in the most odious colours. The Growth of Popery was written by Mr. Marvel, who published it a little before his death, which happened in 1678. A second part of it was written by Mr. Ferguson above mentioned; for which, and other seditious practices, bis body was demanded of the states of Holland, be being then at Brill, but refused; though Sir Thomas Armstrong had been given up by them a little before. This is the same man who was concerned in the Ryehouse Plot; and it is remarkable, that when the secretary of state was giving out orders the seizing the rest of the conspirators, he privately bade the messenger to let Ferguson escape. D.