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Which, with disdain, before the Throne she throws,
Here his Lordship weeps more profusely than ever, and the Regent (who has been very much agitated during the recital of the Dream) by a movement as characteristic as that of Charles XII. when he was shot, claps his hands to his whiskers to feel if all be really safe. A Privy Council is held-all the Servants, &c. are examined, and it appears that a Tailor, who had come to mea ure the Regent for a Dress (which takes three whole pages of the best superfine clinquant in describing) was the only person who had been in the Bourbon Chamber during the day. It is, accordingly, determined to seize the Tailor, and the Council breaks up with a unanimous resolution to be vigorous.
The commencement of the Second Act turns chiefly upon the Trial and Imprisonment of two Brothers*— but as this forins the under plot of the Drama, I shall content myself with extracting from it the following speech, which is addressed to the two Brothers, as they “exeunt severally” to Prison :
Go to your prisons—though the air of Spring
• Mr. Leigh Hunt and his brother.
And spread, till all Mankind are in its sphere ;
Through prison-bars, its hymn to Liberty! The Scene next changes to a Tailor's Work-shop, and a fancifully-arranged group of these Artists is discovered upon the Shopboard--- Their task evidently of a royal nature, from the profusion of gold-lace, frogs, &c. that lie about— They all rise and come forward, while one of them sings the following Stanzas to the tune of “ Derry Down."
My brave brother Tailors, come, straighten your knees,
Derry down, down, down derry down.
Derry down, &c.
Derry down, &c.
During the “ Derry down” of this last verse, a messenger from the Secretary of State's Office rushes on, and the singer (who, luckily for the effect of the scene, is the very Tailor suspected of the mysterious fragments) is interrupted in the midst of his laudatory exertions, and hurried away, to the no small surprise and consternation of his comrades. The Plot now hastens rapidly in its development—the management of the Tailor's examination is highly skilful, and the alarm which he is made to betray is natural without being ludicrous, The explanation, too, which he finally gives is not more simple than satisfactory. It appears that the said fragments formed part of a self-exculpatory note, which he had intended to send to Colonel M‘M- -n upon subjects purely professional, and the corresponding bits (which still lie luckily in his pocket) being produced, and skilfully laid beside the others, the following billet-doux is the satisfactory result of their juxtaposition.
Hunoured Colonel-my Wise, who's the Queen of all slat
She sent the wrong Measures too-shamefully wrong-
So, hope you'll excuse yours till death, most obedient. This fully explains the whole mystery– the Regent resumes his wonted smiles, and the Drama terminates as usual, to the satisfaction of all parties.
PREFACE. The practice which has been lately introduced into literature, of writing very long notes upon very indifferent verses appears to me rather a happy invention; as it supplies us with a mode of turning dull poetry to account; and as horses too heavy for the saddle may yet serve well enough to draw lumber, so poems of this kind make excellent beasts of burden, and will bear notes, though they may not bear reading. Besides, the comments in such cases are so little under the necessity of paying any servile deference to the text, that hey may even adopt that Socratic dogma, “Quod supra nos nihil ad nos.
In the first of the two following Poems, I have ventured to speak of the Revolution of 1688 in language which has sometimes been employed by Tory writers, and which is therefore neither very new nor popular. But however an Englishman might be reproached with ingratitude, for depreciating the merits and results of a measure which he is taught to regard as the source of his liberties—however ungrateful it might appear in Alderman B-rch to question for a moment the purity of that glorious era, to which he is indebted for the seasoning of so many orations yet an Irishman, who has none of these obligations to acknowledge ; to whose country the Revolution brought nothing but injury and insult, and who recollects that the book of Molyneux was burned, by order of William's Whig Parliament, for daring to extend to unfortunate Ireland those principles on which the Revolution was professedly founded—an Irishman may be allowed to criticise freely the measures of that period, without exposing himself either to the imputation of ingratitude, or to the suspicion of being influenced by any Popish remains of Jacobitism. No nation, it is true, was ever blessed with a more golden opportunity of establishing and securing its liberties for ever than the conjuncture of Eighty-eight presented to the people of Great Britain. But the disgraceful reigns of Charles and James had weakened and degraded the national character. The bold notions of popular right, which had arisen out of the struggles between Charles the First and his Parliament, were gradually supplanted by those slavish doctrines for which Lord Hawkesbury eulogizes the churchmen of that period; and as the Reformation had happened too soon for the purity of religion, so the Revolution came too late for the spirit of liberty. Its advantages accordingly were for the most part specious and transitory, while the evils which it entailed are still felt and still increasing. By rendering unnecessary the frequent exercise of Prerogative,-that unwieldy power which cannot move a step without alarm,-it diminished the only interference of the Crown which is singly and independently exposed before the people, and whose abuses therefore are obvious to their senses and capacities ; like the myrtle over a celebrated statue in Minerva's temple at Athens, it skilfully veiled from the public eye the only obtrusive feature of royalty. At the same time, however, that the Revolution abridged this unpopular attribute, it amply compensated by the substitution of a new power, as much more potent in its effect as it is more secret in its operations. In the disposal of an immense revenue and the extensive patronage annexed to it, the first foundations of this power of the Crown were laid ; the innovation of a standing army at once increased and strengthened it, and the few slight barriers which the Act of Settlement opposed to its progress have all been gradually removed during the Whiggish reigns that succeeded ; till at length this spirit of influence has become the vital principle of the State, -an agency, subtle and unseen, which pervades every part of the Constitution, Turks under all its forms, and regulates all its movements, and, like the invisible sylph or grace which presides over the motions of beauty,
"Illam, quicquid agit, quoquo vestigia flectit,
Componit furum subsequiturque. The cause of Liberty and the Revolution are so habitually associated in the minds of Englishmen, that probably in objecting to the latter, I may be thought hostile or indifferent to the former; but assuredly nothing could be more unjust than such a suspicion. The very object, indeed, which my humble animadversions would attain is that in the crisis to which I think England is now hastening, and between which and foreign subjugation she may soon be compelled to choose, the errors and omissions of 1688 may be remedied; and, as it was then her fate to experience a Revolution without Reform, she may now seek a Reform without Revolution.
In speaking of the parties which have so long agitated England, it will be observed that I lean as little to the Whigs as to their adversaries. Both factions have been equally cruel to Ireland, and perhaps equally insincere in their efforts for the liberties of England. There is one name, indeed, connected with Whiggism, of which I can never think but with veneration and tenderness. As justly, however, might the light of the sun be claimed by any particular nation, as the sanction of that name be monopolized by any