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had merely meant to gratify an unfortunate family nearly related to himself by using names and observing forms which really meant nothing, and that he was resolved not to countenance any attempt to subvert the throne of William. Torcy, who had, a few days before, proved by irrefragable arguments that his master could not, without a gross breach of contract, recognize the Pretender, imagined that sophisms which had not imposed on himself might possibly impose on others. He visited the English embassy, obtained admittance, and, as was his duty, did his best to excuse the fatal act which he had done his best to prevent. Manchester's answer to this attempt at explanation was as strong and plain as it could be in the absence of precise instructions. The instructions speedily arrived. The courier who carried the news of the recognition to Loo arrived there when William was at table with some of his nobles and some princes of the German Empire who had visited him in his retreat. The king said not a word; but his pale cheek flushed, and he pulled his hat over his eyes to conceal the changes of his countenance. He hastened to send off several messengers. One carried a letter commanding Manchester to quit France without taking leave. Another started for London with a despatch which directed the lords-justices to send Poussin instantly out of England. England was already in a flame when it was first known there that James was dying. Some of his eager partisans formed plans and made preparations for a great public manifestation of feeling in different parts of the island. But the insolence of Lewis produced a burst of public indignation which scarcely any malecontent had the courage to face. In the city of London, indeed, some zealots, who had probably swallowed too many bumpers to their new sovereign, played one of those senseless pranks which were characteristic of their party. They dressed themselves in coats bearing some resemblance to the tabards of heralds, rode through the streets, halted at some places, and muttered something which nobody could understand. It was at first supposed that they were merely a company of prize-fighters from Hockley in the Hole who had taken this way of advertising their performances with backsword, sword and buckler, and single falchion. But it was soon discovered that these gaudily-dressed horsemen were proclaiming James the Third. In an instant the pageant was at end. The mock kings at arms and pursuivants threw away their finery and fled for their lives in all directions, followed by yells and showers of stones.* Already the Common Council of London had met, and had voted, without one dissentient voice, an address expressing the highest resentment at the insult which France had offered to the king and the kingdom. A few hours after this address had been presented to the regents, the Livery assembled to choose a lord-mayor. Duncombe, the Tory candidate, lately the popular favorite, was rejected, and a Whig alderman placed in the chair. All over the kingdom, corporations, grand juries, meetings of magistrates, meetings of freeholders, were passing resolutions breathing affection to William and defiance to Lewis. It was necessary to enlarge the “London Gazette” from four columns to twelve, and even twelve were too few to hold the multitude of loyal and patriotic addresses. In some of those addresses severe reflections were thrown on the House of Commons. Our deliverer had been ungratefully requited, thwarted, mortified, denied the means of making the country respected and feared by neighboring states. The factious wrangling, the pennywise economy of three disgraceful years had produced the effect which might have been expected. His majesty would never have been so grossly affronted abroad if he had not first been affronted at home. But the eyes of his people were opened. He had only to appeal from the representatives to the constituents, and he would find that the nation was still sound at heart. Poussin had been directed to offer to the lords-justices explanations similar to those with which Torcy had attempted to appease Manchester. A memorial was accordingly drawn up and presented to Vernon, but Vernon refused to look at it. Soon a courier arrived from Loo with the letter in which William directed his vicegerents to send the French agent out of the kingdom. An officer of the royal household was charged with the execution of the order. He repaired to Poussin's lodgings, but Poussin was not at home: he was supping at the Blue Posts, a tavern much frequented by Jacobites, the very tavern, indeed, at which Charnock and his gang had breakfasted on the day fixed for the murderous ambuscade of Turnham Green. To this house the messenger went; and there he found Poussin at table with three of the most virulent Tory members of the House of Commons, Treden
ham, who returned himself for Saint Mawes; Hammond, who had been sent to Parliament by the High-Churchmen of the University of Cambridge; and Davenant, who had recently, at Poussin's suggestion, been rewarded by Lewis for some savage invectives against the Whigs with a diamond ring worth three thousand pistoles. This supper-party was, during some weeks, the chief topic of conversation. The exultation of the Whigs was boundless. These, then, were the true English patriots, the men who could not endure a foreigner, the men who would not suffer his majesty to bestow a moderate reward on the foreigners who had stormed Athlone, and turned the flank of the Celtic army at Aghrim. It now appeared they could be on excellent terms with a foreigner, provided only that he was the emissary of a tyrant hostile to the liberty, the independence, and the religion of their country. The Tories, vexed and abashed, heartily wished that, on that unlucky day, their friends had been supping somewhere else. Even the bronze of Davenant's forehead was not proof to the general reproach. He defended himself by pretending that Poussin, with whom he had passed whole days, who had corrected his scurrilous pamphlets, and who had paid him his shameful wages, was a stranger to him, and that the meeting at the Blue Posts was purely accidental. If his word was doubted, he was willing to repeat his assertion on oath. The public, however, which had formed a very correct notion of his character, thought that his word was worth as much as his oath, and that his oath was worth nothing. Meanwhile the arrival of William was impatiently expected. From Loo he had gone to Breda, where he had passed some time in reviewing his troops, and in conferring with Marlborough and Heinsius. He had hoped to be in England early in October. But adverse winds detained him three weeks at the Hague. At length, in the afternoon of the fourth of November, it was known in London that he had landed early that morning at Margate. Great preparations were made for welcoming him to his capital on the following day, the thirteenth anniversary of his landing in Devonshire. But a journey across the bridge and along Cornhill and Cheapside, Fleet Street and the Strand, would have been too great an effort for his enfee bled frame. He accordingly slept at Greenwich, and thenoe proceeded to Hampton Court without entering London. His
return was, however, celebrated by the populace with every sign of joy and attachment. The bonfires blazed and the gunpowder roared all night. In every parish from Mile End to St. James's was to be seen, enthroned on the shoulders of stout Protestant porters, a pope, gorgeous in robes of tinsel and triple crown of pasteboard; and close to the ear of his holiness stood a devil with horns, cloven hoof, and a snaky tail. - - Even in his country-house the king could find no refuge from the importunate loyalty of his people. Deputations from cities, counties, universities, besieged him all day. He was, he wrote to Heinsius, quite exhausted by the labor of hearing harangues and returning answers. The whole kingdom, meanwhile, was looking anxiously towards Hampton Court. Most of the ministers were assembled there. The most eminent men of the party which was out of power had repaired thither, to pay their duty to their sovereign, and to congratulate him on his safe return. It was remarked that Somers and Halifax, so malignantly persecuted a few months ago by the House of Commons, were received with such marks of esteem and kindness as William was little in the habit of vouchsafing to his English courtiers. The lower ranks of both the great factions were violently agitated. The Whigs, lately vanquished and dispirited, were full of hope and ardor. The Tories, lately triumphant and secure, were exasperated and alarmed. Both Whigs and Tories waited with intense anxiety for the decision of one momentous and pressing question. Would there be a dissolution ? On the seventh of November the king propounded that question to his Privy Council. It was rumored, and is highly probable, that Jersey, Wright, and Hedges advised him to keep the existing Parliament. But they were not men whose opinion was likely to have much weight with him; and Rochester, whose opinion might have had some weight, had set out to take possession of his viceroyalty just before the death of James, and was still at Dublin. William, however, had, as he owned to Heinsius, some difficulty in making up his mind. He had no doubt that a general election would give him a better House of Commons; but a general election would cause delay, and delay might cause much mischief. After balancing these considerations during some hours, he deterimined to dissolve.
The writs were sent out with all expedition, and in three days the whole kingdom was up. Never — such was the intelligence sent from the Dutch embassy to the Hague — had there been more intriguing, more canvassing, more virulence of party feeling. It was in the capital that the first great contests took place. The decisions of the metropolitan constituent bodies were impatiently expected as auguries of the general result. All the pens of Grub Street, all the presses of Little Britain, were hard at work. Handbills for and against every candidate were sent to every voter. The popular slogans on both sides were indefatigably repeated. Presbyterian, Papist, Tool of Holland, Pensioner of France, were the appellations interchanged between the contending factions. The Whig cry was that the Tory members of the last two Parliaments had, from a malignant desire to mortify the king, left the kingdom exposed to danger and insult, had unconstitutionally encroached both on the legislature and on the judicial functions of the House of Lords, had turned the House of Commons into a new Star-Chamber, had used as instruments of capricious tyranny those privileges which ought never to be employed but in defence of freedom, had persecuted, without regard to law, to natural justice, or to decorum, the great commander who had saved the state at La Hogue, the great financier who had restored the currency and reëstablished public credit, the great judge whom all persons not blinded by prejudice acknowledged to be, in virtue, in prudence, in learning and eloquence, the first of living English jurists and statesmen. The Tories answered that they had been only too moderate, only too merciful; that they had used the speaker's warrant and the power of tacking only too sparingly ; and that, if they ever again had a majority, the three Whig leaders who now imagined themselves secure should be impeached, not for high misdemeanors, but for high treason. It soon appeared that these threats were not likely to be very speedily executed. Four Whig and four Tory candidates contested the city of London. The show of hands was for the Whigs. A poll was demanded, and the Whigs polled nearly two votes to one. Sir John Levison Gower, who was supposed to have ingratiated himself with the whole body of shopkeepers by some parts of his Parliamentary conduct, was put up for Westminster on the Tory interest, and the elec