« PredošláPokračovať »
Stand to your arms, and now advance,
By Bacchus and Apollo.
He's a Whigg that will not follow. T. OTWAY.
That poor Otway was a lover of the “ juice of the grape," is too well known; and it seems from his biography in Cibber's Lives of the Poets, that he was for some time a soldier, and served in Flanders. The half-bacchanalian, half-military character of this song, seems to identify it with the poet. The popular story, that Otway died for want at an ale-house on Tower Hill, is, it is to be hoped, not strictly true. Dennis, the critic (as he is called), tells us that
Otway had an intimate friend (one Blackstone), who was shot; the murderer fled towards Dover, and Otway pursued him. In his return he drank water when violently heated, and so got a fever, which was the death of him.
This story is creditable to the warmth of Otway's friendship, and one should be glad to meet with any additional authority to give it confirmation.
The horrors of the Star Chamber and the Ecclesiastical Courts produced many extraordinary imprints, particularly to those seditious books of the Puritans, better known as the Marprelate Family; works which were printed by ambulatory presses, and circulated by unseen hands, now under the walls of Archiepiscopal Lambeth, and presto! (when the spy would lay his hands upon them) sprite-like, Martin reappeared in the provinces! This game at hide and seek between the brave old Nonconformists and the Church, went on for years without detection : but the readers of "N. & Q.” do not require from me the history of the Marprelate Faction, so well told already in the Miscellanies of Literature and elsewhere; the animus of these towards the hierarchy will be sufficiently exhibited for my purpose in a few of their imprints. An Almond for a Parrot, for example, purports to be
Imprynted at a place not farre from a place; by the Assignes of Signior Some-body, and are to be soulde at his shoppe in Trouble-Knave Street,
Again, Oh read ouer D. John Bridges, for it is a worthy work, is
Printed ouer sea, in Europe, within two forlongs of a Bouncing Priest, at the Cost and Charges of Martin Marprelate, Gent, 1589.
The Return of the renowned Cavaliero Pasquill has the following extraordinary imprint :
If my breath be so hote that I burne my mothe, I suppose I was printed by Pepper Allie, 1589.
The original “Marprelate” was John Penri, who at last fell into the hands of his enemies, and was executed under circumstances of great barbarity in Elizabeth's reign. "Martin Junior," however, sprung up, and The Counter-Cuffe to him is
Printed between the Skye and the Grounde, wythin a Myle of an Oake, and not many Fields off from the unpriuileged Presse of the Ass-ignes of Martin Junior, 1589.
The virulency of this theological warfare died away in James's reign, but only to be renewed with equal rancor in that of Charles, when Marprelatism was again called into activity by the highchurch freaks of Archbishop Laud. Vox Borealis, or a Northerne Discoverie by way of Dialogue between Jamie and Willie, is an example of these later attacks upon the overbearing of the mitre, and affords the imprint
Amidst the Babylonians. Printed by Margery Marprelate, in ThwackCoat Lane, at the Signe of the Crab-Treo Cudgell, without any privilege of the Cater-Caps, 1641.
Others of this stamp will occur to your readers: this time the Puritans had the best of the struggle, and ceased not to push their advantage until they brought their enemy to the block.
When the liberty of the press was imperfectly understood, the political satirist had to tread warily; consequently we find that class of writers protecting themselves by jocular or patriotic imprints. A satirical pamphlet upon the late Sicke Commons is “Printed in the Happie Year 1641.” A Letter from Nobody in the City to Nobody in the Country is "Printed by Somebody, 1679.” Somebody's Answer is “Printed for Anybody.” These were likely of such a tendency as would have rendered both author and printer amenable to somebody, say Judge Jeffries. During the administration of Sir Robert Walpole, there were many skirmishing satirists supported by both ministry and people, such as James Miller, whose pamphlet, contra, Are these things so? is “Printed for the perusal of all Lovers of their Country, 1740.” This was answered by the ministers' champion, James Dance, alias Love, in Yes, they are ! alike addressed to the “ Lovers of their Country.” What of That was the next of the series, being Miller's reply, who intimated this time that it was "Printed, and to be had of all True Hearts and Sound Bottoms."
When there was a movement for an augmentation of the poor stipends of the Scots Clergy in 1750, there came out a pamphlet under the title of The Presbyterian Clergy seasonably detected, 1751, which exceeds in scurrility, if possible, the famous, or infamous, Scotch Presbyterian Eloquence Displayed; both author and printer, however, had so much sense as to remain in the background, and the thing purported to be “Printed for Mess John in Fleet Street.” Under the title of The Comical History of the Marriage betwixt Heptarchus and Fergusia, 1706,* the Scots figured the union of the Lord Heptarchus, or England, with the independent, but coerced, damsel Fergusia, or Scotland; the discontented church of the latter finding that the former broke faith with her, could not help giving way to occasional murmurings, and these found vent in (among others) a poetical Presbyterian tract, entitled Melancholy Sonnels, or Fergusia's Complaint upon Heptarchus, in which the author reduced to rhyme the aforesaid Comical History, adding thereto all the evils this ill-starred union had entailed upon the land after thirtyfive years' experience. This curious production was “Printed at Elguze ? for Pedaneous, and sold by Circumferaneous, below the Zenith, 1741." Charles II., when crowned at Scone, took the solemn league and covenant; but not finding it convenient to carry out that part of his coronation oath, left the Presbyterians at the Restoration in the hands of their enemies. To mark their sense of this breach of faith, there was published a little book † describing the inauguration of the young profligate, which expressively purports to be “Printed at Edinburgh in the Year of Covenant-breaking.” The Scots folk had such a horror of any thing of a deistical tendency, that John Goldie had to publish his Essays, or an attempt to distinguish true from false Religion (popularly called “Goldie's Bible "), at Glasgow," Printed for the Author, and sold by him at Kilmarnock, 1779;” neither printer nor bookseller would, apparently, be identified with the unclean thing. Both churchmen and dissenters convey their exultations, or denouncements, upon political changes, through the medium of imprints; and your correspondents who have been discussing that matter, will see in some of these that the " Good Old Cause” may be "all round the compass," as Captain Cuttle would say, depending wholly upon the party spectacles through which you view it. Legal Fundamental Liberty, in an epistle from Selburne to Lentnal, is “Reprinted in the Year of Hypocritical and Abominable Dissimulation, 1649;" on the other hand, The Little Bible of that militant soldier, Captain Butler, is “ Printed in the First Year of England's Liberty, 1649.” The Last Will and Testament of Sir John Presbyter is “Printed in the Year of Jubilee, 1647." A New Meeting of Ghosts at Tyburn, in which Oliver, Bradshaw, and Peters figure, exhibits its royal tendency, being " Printed in the Year of the Rebellious Phanatick's Downfall, 1660." "Printed at N., with Licence," is the cautious imprint of a republication of Doleman's Conference in 1681. A proper Project to Startle Fools, is “Printed in a Land where Self's cry'd up, and Zeal's cry'd down, 1699.” The Impartial Accountant, wherein it is demonstratively made known how to pay the National Debt, and that without a New Tax, or any Inconveniency to the People, is “Printed for a Proper Person,” and, I may add, can be had of a certain person, if Mr. Gladstone will come down with an adequate consideration for the secret! These accountants are all mysterious—you would think they were plotting to empty the treasury rather than to fill it; another says his Essay upon National Credit is “Printed by A. R., in Bond's Stables !” Thomas Scott, the English minister at Utrecht, published, among other oddities, Vox Colis; or, Newes from Heaven, being Imaginary Conversations there between Henry VIII. (!), Edward VI., Prince Henrie, and others, “Printed in Elysium, 1624.” Edward Raban, an Englishman, who set up a press in the far north, published an edition of Lady Culros' Godlie Dreame, and finding that no title commanded such respect among the canny Scots as that of Laird, announced the
* G. Chalmers ascribed this to one “Balantyne." In Lockhart's Memoirs, Lond. 1714, Mr. John Balantyne, the minister of Lanark, is noticed as the most uncompromising opponent of the Union.
+ A Phonix, or the Solemn League and Covenant, &c., 12mo. pp. 168, with a frontis. piece representing Charles burning the book of the Solemn League and Covenant, aboyo the flames from which hovers a phenix.