Born: Augustus III, king of Poland, 1696; John Wilkes, noted demagogue, 1727, Clerkenwell, London; William Scott, Baron Stowell, great consistorial lawyer, 1745, Heworth, near Newcastle on Tyne.
Died: Pope John VII, 707; Philip de Comines, historian, 1509, Argenton, in Poitou; Andrew Osiander, eminent Lutheran divine, 1552, Konigsberg; Sir Philip Sidney, poet and hero, 1586, Arnheim, Holland; Sir Edmundbury Godfrey, mysteriously murdered, 1678; Ninon de Lenclos, celebrated beauty and wit, 1705; Dr. John Ward, rhetorician, 1758; Frederic Chopin, musical composer, 1849, Paris.
Feast Day: St. Etheldreda or Audry, abbess of Ely. St. Anstrudis or Austru, abbess at Laon, 688. St. Andrew of Crete, 761. St. Hedwiges or Avoice, Duchess of Poland, widow, 1243.
ST. ETHELDREDA OR AUDRY
This saint, commemorated in the Romish calendar on 23rd June, but in the English calendar on 17th October, in celebration of the translation of her relics from the common cemetery of the nuns to a splendid marble coffin within the church of Ely, was the daughter of a king of East Anglia, and earned an exalted reputation both by her piety and good works, and the maintenance of an early vow of virginity which she observed through life, though married successively to two Saxon princes. She founded the convent and church of Ely on the spot where the cathedral was erected at a subsequent period, and died in 679 as its abbess. Various churches throughout England are named after her, among others Ely Cathedral, the patronage of which, however, she shares with St. Peter.
From St. Etheldreda's more homely appellation of St. Audry, is derived an adjective of the English language in familiar use. At the fair of St. Audry, at Ely, in former times, toys of all sorts were sold, and a description of cheap necklaces, which, under the denomination of tawdry laces, long enjoyed great celebrity. Various allusions to tawdry laces occur in Shakspeare, Spenser, and other writers of their age.
One time I gave thee a paper of pins,
Another time a tawdry lace,
And if thou wilt not grant me love,
In truth I'll die before thy face.
'It was a happy age when a man might have wooed his wench with a pair of kid-leather gloves, a silver thimble, or with a tawdry lace; but now a velvet gown, a chain of pearl, or a coach with four horses, will scarcely serve the turn.' Rich's 'My Lady's Looking glass,' 1616.
In process of time, the epithet tawdry came to be applied to any piece of glittering tinsel or tarnished finery.
SIR PHILIP SIDNEY
Sir Philip Sidney, the idol of his own, and the boast of succeeding ages, was not quite thirty two when he died. He lived long enough to afford, to all who knew him, unmistakable promise of greatness, but not so long as to leave to posterity any singular proof of it. And yet we can read his character with sufficient clearness, to feel assured that the universal love of him was founded on a solid basis. Though at times we catch glimpses of a certain haughtiness, a hastiness, an ill tempered boldness of valour, such as in an older man we should not have looked for, we find, on the other hand, unmistakable marks of a true hearted patriot, a wise statesman, a skillful general, an elegant scholar, a graceful writer, a kind patron, and a Christian gentleman. Ophelia's description of Hamlet has often been applied to him, and it seems to fail in no particular
The courtier's, scholar's, soldier's, eye, tongue, sword,
The expectancy and rose of the fair state,
The glass of fashion and the mould of form,
The observed of all observers.
He was beautiful within and without: elegant as well in fashion of person as in grace of mind. 'Imitate his virtues, studies, and actions,' said his father to Sidney's younger brother, speaking of Sydney;' he is a rare ornament of his age, the very formular that all well disposed young gentleman of our court do form their manners and life by... In truth, I speak it without flattery of him or of myself, he hath the most rare virtues that ever I found in any man.'
Sir Philip Sidney was named Philip after Philip of Spain, as well from gratitude to that king, to whom the family was beholden, as in honour of Mary. His mother was a Dudley. Her father, her grandfather, her brother, and her sister in law, Lady Jane Grey, had all died on the scaffold; and this was the Dudley blood of which Sidney was proud.
The events of Sidney's short career are not very prominent in history. After leaving the university, he traveled for some years. Being a Protestant, he encountered some personal danger at Paris, where he happened to be during the treacherous massacre of St. Bartholomew. Afterwards he was present at Venice, at a time when that already waning power was making peace with the Turk. Besides these particulars, there is nothing worthy of remark in Sidney's travels. After his return, his progress at court was slow. Elizabeth employed him on several important embassies, in which he gave entire satisfaction; but the queen had a way of holding back ambitious youths of merit, and though she was very fond of Sidney, and even took a journey to stand godmother to his daughter Elizabeth, she received his honest, unasked counsels, with considerable coldness, while she appears, at the same time, prudently to have acted on them. At last, she stopped him in the very act of secretly embarking with Sir Francis Drake on a voyage of discovery; and, as she was always whimsical, instead of punishing him, she made him governor of Flushing, a post which some time previously he had applied for in vain. Sidney threw himself heart and soul into the cause of the Low Countries; took an important town by a skillful night attack; shewed himself apt for war; and received his death wound in the battle of Zutphen. This battle of Zutphen, so named, was not a battle.
A few hundred men were sent to intercept supplies, which the Prince of Parma was conveying into the town, and fell into an ambush of several thousands. Sidney, from a restless thirst for adventure, had joined the troop, unbidden, with other English leaders; and these valiant men, to whom retreat was open, foolishly performed prodigies of valor. Sidney, in a fit of generous boldness, had thrown away his thigh armour, because a friend had unintentionally come without his own, and a ball shattered his thigh. He had the best of attendance, his wife's nursing, and many tears of true friends; but nothing remained for him but to die a noble and Christian death, and to be borne in a black ship over the still sea and up the Thames, to lie in state many months, to have a national funeral, and be laid in peace in old St. Paul's.
A curious contemporary ballad accurately describes the melancholy close:
The king of Scots bewrayed his grief in learned verse,
And many more their passions penned, with praise to deck his hearse.
The Flushingers made suit his breathless corpse to have,
And offered a sumptuous tomb the same for to engrave;
But 0, his loving friends, at their request did grieve,
It was too much he lost his life, his corpse they should not have.
And so from Flushing port, in ship attired with black,
They did embark this perfect knight, that only breath did lack;
The wind and seas did mourn to see this heavy sight,
And into Thames did carry this much lamented knight;
Unto the Minories his body was conveyed,
And there, under a martial hearse, three months or more was laid;
But when the day was come he to his grave must go,
An host of heavy men repaired to see the solemn show.
Thus the pride of the English people passed out of the view of men, and 'for many months it was counted indecent for any gentleman of quality to appear, at court or in the city, in light or gaudy apparel.'
King James of Scotland, as we have seen, wrote certain sonnets; the two universities between them produced three volumes of mournful elegies; and Spenser honored his lost friend and patron with the poem of Astrophel, which was published in company with several others; the most beautiful of them, to our taste, is The Dolefull Lay of Clorinda, because of its true feeling; such true feeling as becomes well Mary, Countess of Pembroke, Sidney's sister, who is said to have been the writer of it.
O Death! that hast us of such riches reft,
Tell us at least, what hast thou with it done?
What is become of him whose flowre here left
Is but the shadow of his likenesses gone?
Scarse like the shadow of that which he was,
Nought like, but that he like a shade did pas.
But that immortal spirit, which was deckt
With all the dowries of celestiall grace,
By soveraine choyce from th' hevenly quires select,
And lineally derived from Angels' race.
0! what is now of it become aread?
Ay me, can so divine a thing be dead?
Ah no! it is not dead, ne can it die,
But lives for aie, in blisfull paradise:
Where, like a new borne babe, it soft doth lie,
In bed of lillies wrapt in tender wise;
And compast all about with roses sweet,
And daintie violets from head to feet.
Three thousand birds, all of celestiall brood,
To him do sweetly carol day and night;
And with straunge notes, of him well understood,
Lull him a sleep in angelick delight;
Whilest in sweet Dreame to him presented bee
Immortall beauties, which no eye may see.
Sidney was an author. His Defence of Poesy was the earliest offspring of English criticism. His popular romance of The Arcadia contains the prayer which Charles I. copied for his own use, and which Milton styled 'heathenish,' when he wished to reproach Charles with the employment of it. The prayer is put in the mouth of a heathen woman, and contains no distinct reference to the cardinal doctrines of Christianity; but as it is both a beautiful composition in itself; and has obtained a singular celebrity through its appearance in Ikon Basilike, we take this occasion to quote it:
'0 all seeing Light, and eternal Life of all things, to whom nothing is either so great that it may resist, or so small that it is contemned; look upon my misery with thine eye of mercy, and let thine infinite power vouchsafe to limit out some proportion of deliverance unto me, as to thee shall seem most convenient. Let not injury, 0 Lord, triumph over me, and let my faults by thy hand be corrected, and make not mine enemy the minister of thy justice. But yet, 0 Lord, if, in thy wisdom, this be the aptest chastisement for my inexcusable folly; if this low bondage be fittest for my over high desires; and the pride of my not enough humble heart be thus to be broken, 0 Lord, I yield unto thy will, and joyfully embrace what sorrow thou wilt have me suffer. Only thus much let me crave of thee let my craving, 0 Lord, be accepted of thee, since even that proceeds from thee let me crave (even by the noblest title which in my great affliction I may give myself, that I am thy creature; and by thy goodness, which is thyself) that thou wilt suffer some beams of thy majesty to shine into my mind, that it may still depend confidently on thee. Let calamity be the exercise, but not the over-throw of my virtue: let their power prevail, but prevail not to destruction. Let my greatness be their prey; let my pain be the sweetness of their revenge; let them (if so seem good unto thee) vex me with more and more punishment. But, 0 Lord, let never their wickedness have such a hand, but that I may carry a pure mind in a pure body.
Sidney was a poet also. His sonnets, under the title of Astrophel and Stella, were first published some years after his death. Sher true name was Penelope Devereux: she was sister to Robert, Earl of Essex, beheaded for treason, and who married Sidney's widow.
Lastly, Sidney was a true friend and excellent patron. Spenser owed to him the notice which Elizabeth took of him: and Fulke Greville, Lord Brooke, who wrote his life, felt himself honoured to be able to have such a motto as the following engraved on his tomb:
Servant to Q. Elizabeth, counsellor to K. James, And Friend to Sir Philip Sidney, Trophaeum Peccati.
Mary, Countess of Pembroke, the sister of Sir Philip Sidney, made a name for herself by her poetical writings, which, added to her beauty and amiability, have placed her in the Pantheon of notable Englishwomen. All the poets united in singing her praises, Spenser described her as
The gentlest shepherdess that lived that day,
And most resembling, both in shape and spirit,
Her brother dear.
And that brother dedicated to her the celebrated romance, which he wrote at her request, and therefore entitled The Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia.
Mary Sidney married Henry, Earl of Pembroke, in 1576; her wedded life was short but happy. After her husband's early death, she retired from the gaieties of the court, devoting herself to the education of her children, the enjoyments of literary leisure, and the exercises of religion. Her longest poem, on the sublime subject of our Saviour's Passion, was written at this time; and though perhaps tinged with poetical exaggeration, thus reflects the pious regrets of her widowed life:
My infant years misspent in childish toys,
My riper age in rules of little reason,
My better years in all mistaken joys
My present time (0 most unhappy season!)
In fruitless labour and in endless love,
0 what a horror bath my heart to prove!
I sigh to see my infancy misspent,
I mourn to find my youthful life misled,
I weep to feel my further discontent,
I die to try how love is living dead;
I sigh, I mourn, I weep, I living die,
And yet most live to know more misery.
Sir Philip Sidney concludes his Apology for Poetry, with a malediction on all those whose creeping souls cannot look up to the sky of poesy; praying that they may be unsuccessful in love, for lack of skill to compose a sonnet, and that their memories may fade from the earth, for want of an epitaph. His sister neither merited nor obtained such a fate; her memory having been honoured in lines more lasting than brass or marble. Her epitaph, written by Ben Jonson, has never been exceeded in the records of posthumous praise:
Underneath this sable hearse,
Lies the subject of all verse.
Sidney's sister, Pembroke's mother,
Death ere thou hast killed another,
Fair and learned, and good as she,
Time shall throw a dart at thee.
To these simple and elegant lines, six more, of a I rather inferior character, were subsequently added, by an unknown author, supposed to be her son William, Earl of Pembroke:
Marble piles let no man raise
To her name, for after-days,
Some kind woman, good as she,
Reading this, like Niobe,
Shall turn marble and become
Both her mourner and her tomb.
NINON DE LENCLOS
This celebrated beauty, who almost enjoyed, like Helen of Troy, the gift of perennial youth, exhibits in her life a striking illustration of French society and morals during the seventeenth century, over nearly the whole of which period her history extends, having been born in 1616 and died in 1706, at the age of ninety. Time seemed hardly to make any impression upon her; and so enduring were her charms of person, that even when she had passed her seventieth year, they still retained the power of attracting admirers and enkindling love. Nor were her attractions restricted solely to those of face and figure. For conversational wit or esprit that special prerogative of the French nation she occupied a distinguished place, even in the brilliant circles of Parisian society, in the reign of Louis XIV. Of the general laxity which then prevailed in social ethics, we need no more convincing proof than the fact of' a person, who led so disreputable a life as Ninon de Lenclos, being openly received into the company of, and courted by individuals, male and female, of the highest respectability and position. Even Madame de Sevigné, whose son was one of Ninon's many lovers, could jestingly address her in her letters as her belle fille; and the prudish and bigoted Madame de Maintenon, after her own elevation to the matrimonial couch of Louis XIV, did not hesitate to invite this Aspasia of France to take up her abode in the palace of Versailles.
The latter, however, preferred a life of licence and freedom to the lugubrious restraint and austerity which had just then been inaugurated at court. The great Condé sought repose after his military toils in the society of Ninon, and the subtle La Rochefoucauld could here only satisfy his longing for personal beauty in conjunction with the charms of vivacity and wit. Moli Pre and La Bruy Pre were constantly to be met in her salons, and what she spoke they wrote; in the words of Jules Janin, hers was spoken and theirs was written eloquence. She was well informed on general subjects, spoke several languages, was a thorough and enthusiastic student of Montaigne, and performed with much skill on various musical instruments. Christina, ex queen of Sweden, paid her a visit, and declared, on leaving Paris, that she had seen nothing more attractive there than the illustrious Ninon.
Yet with all her natural advantages, and amid all the splendours by which she was surrounded, Mademoiselle de Lenclos was not happy, and used to declare, in her old age, that were she compelled to live over again her past years, she should certainly commence by hanging herself. So impossible is it to enjoy that serenity of mind, so essential to true happiness, that 'peace of God which passeth all understanding,' where the life is a habitual violation of the precepts of religion and morality, let us bask ourselves as we may in the sunshine of worldly pleasures, honours, and wealth.
The name of Ninon was a pet epithet bestowed on Mademoiselle de Lenclos by her father, her baptismal appellation being Anne. To the pernicious lessons inculcated by this relative, who professed unblushingly the grovelling and materialistic doctrines popularly ascribed to Epicurus, most of the subsequent errors of his daughter are to be traced. He was a gentleman of good family in Touraine, and served with distinction in the wars of Louis XIII against the Huguenots. His wife was also of aristocratic birth from the Orléanais, and, with totally contrary tendencies to her husband, was of a pious and even ascetic turn of mind. Anne's natural disposition to gaiety revolted against such undeviating regularity in religious observances, whilst in her father she found a friend but too ready to encourage her in her determination to free herself from the salutary restraint to which she was subjected by her mother. When a girl of ten years old, it is said he had her Dressed in boy's clothes, took her with him to the camp, and instructed her in various military exercises.
He died prematurely, and was followed, not long after wards, by his wife, who had vainly endeavored to make a nun of her daughter, and expired recommending her to the protection of God, to shield her from the dangers to which she was exposed by her youth and inexperience. These forebodings of affection and maternal piety were but too fully realised. Deprived, at the age of fifteen, of both her parents, left entire mistress of her fortune and actions, with unrivalled mental and personal attractions just beginning to develop themselves, the heedless girl was not long in putting the maxims of her father into practice, and adopting the profession of the regular courtesan. This character, refined no doubt though it might be, but still the Traviata from first to last, she maintained far beyond the usual period enjoyed by women of her class. It must be recorded to her credit, that she betrayed no tendencies to avarice, but was liberal and generous with. her money, and was perfectly free from malice in her disposition. There can be no doubt of her possessing naturally many good and amiable qualities, and that, had her early education been more judiciously conducted, her career in life might have been very different.
There seemed to be nothing that she Dreaded more than forming a permanent connection by marriage. One of the most unfavourable points in her character, was the absence of maternal feeling, which, apparently, had no place in her breast. Of her two sons, one, called. La Boissi Pre, became an officer in the French navy, and died at Toulon in 1732. The fate of the other, a son of the Marquis of Gersay, and named. Villiers by his father, possesses a singularly tragic interest, rivalling the celebrated story of Oedipus. His parentage, at least on the mother's side, had been carefully concealed from him, and in this state of ignorance he reached the age of nineteen. Having heard of the wondrous charms of Ninon de Lenclos, which were celebrated over France, he sought and obtained an introduction to her, and became desperately enamoured at first sight. It was not long before he declared his passion, and the horror of his mother when he did so may be imagined. Not wishing, if possible, to disclose the secret, she implored the young man to moderate his ardour; but her remonstrances rather adding fuel to the flame, she found herself obliged to state the fact. The confusion and horror experienced by Villiers on hearing this unexpected announcement were so great, that he snatched up a pistol and blew out his brains. Yet the volatile mind of his mother was comparatively little affected by so terrible an incident. This sad story has been introduced by Le Sage as an episode into Gil Blas.
THE POPISH PLOT: MYSTERIOUS DEATH OF SIR EDMUNDBURY GODFREY
One of the most remarkable outbreaks of popular prejudice recorded in British history, is the celebrated so called Popish Plot in 1678, which for a time may be said to have infected the English people with an absolute frenzy, and was certainly the most wide spread national delusion under which it ever laboured. The fierceness of religious and political zeal was only exceeded by the astonishing, and all but universal, credulity that prevailed. And yet the ferment excited throughout the country was by no means wholly groundless, however extravagant may have been its development. Let us glance for a moment at the then social and political condition of England.
The eloquent pen of Macaulay has familiarised his countrymen with the remarkable changes inaugurated by the Restoration, from republican theories to the doctrine of passive obedience on the one hand, and from the rigid austerity of puritanical morals to the wildest libertinism and excess on the other. For a time the court had it nearly all its own way, but it was not long before a strong reaction set in, and a jealous watch came to be maintained on the proceedings of the king and government.
Foremost among the grounds of suspicion and complaint were the popish leanings of the court, and the influence universally believed to be exercised by Catholics in controlling the affairs of the nation. The avowed adherence by the Duke of York to the Romish faith, the prospect of his ascending the throne in default of heirs of the king's body, and a general disposition on the part of the authorities to relax the penal laws against the papists, excited the most lively apprehensions throughout the kingdom, apprehensions which were intensified from day to day. The Dread of Puritans and sectaries began even in the church to be extinguished by the fear of the machinations of Jesuits, and the overthrow of Protestantism. A secret but thoroughly organised conspiracy was believed to be carried on for the destruction of church and state, and no mode of action, it was asserted, would be rejected, however atrocious, provided it were calculated to insure success. The great fire of London, in 1666, and subsequent calamities of a similar nature, were stoutly maintained to have been the work of the papists. The opposition, or country party, with Shaftesbury at its head, gained rapidly ground in parliament, and a formal impeachment was sent up by the Commons of the Lord Treasurer Danby, for corrupt and unconstitutional measures. In the midst of the agitation which preceded this last measure, the revelation of the Popish Plot took place.
That a plot was really being carried on by the king and his ministers is indisputable. The secret and disgraceful compact between Charles II and Louis XIV, by which the former, in return for an annual pension, sold himself and his country to France, would, if successfully carried out, have resulted in the total overthrow of Protestantism by giving free scope to the ambitious schemes of Louis, who would in return have assisted his English brother in trampling into the dust all popular rights, and rendering himself an irresponsible sovereign. But the pretended conspiracy revealed by Titus Oates was only calculated to divert men's minds from the real matter in hand.
This worthy seems to have chosen the most fortunate possible conjuncture for his revelations, as, notwithstanding the gross and palpable contradictions in his statements, the infamy of his previous character, and his entire want of any trustworthy evidence to support his allegations, his monstrous tissue of falsehoods, accusing the Catholics of an atrocious conspiracy to assassinate the king, massacre all Protestants, and establish a popish dynasty in the Duke of York, was received with the utmost gravity and attention. From poverty and obscurity Oates suddenly emerged into wealth and fame, and became the hero and popular favourite of the day. He supplemented his first declaration by additional matter, and from the success which had attended his speculation on the credulity of the public, other informers soon followed in his steps. The ferment spread like wild fire, and no statement, however absurd, which tended to criminate the Catholics was rejected. Yet the common sense of the nation might, in a short time, have opened its eyes, had it not been for a mysterious occurrence which goaded to madness its nerves, already so highly strung.
The first deposition of Titus Oates was made on 27th September 1678, before Sir Edmundbury Godfrey, one of the magistrates for Westminster, who, however, does not appear to have been a fanatical partisan of the No Popery party, as Coleman, an agent of the Duke of York, and seriously criminated by Oates's statements, was a personal friend of his, and warned by him in consequence of the danger to which he was exposed. Godfrey, it has been said, was a man of a melancholy temperament, and suffering at the time from depression of spirits, but this assertion was after-wards denied. He occupied a house in Green's Lane, in the Strand, and about a fortnight after the above deposition was made before him, left home at nine o'clock on the morning of Saturday the 12th of October. Shortly after this, he was seen in the neighbourhood of Marylebone, and at noon of the same day had an interview on business with one of the churchwardens of St. Martin's in the Fields. From this time he was never again seen alive. Surprise was felt by his servants at home, at his neither returning in the evening nor sending any message to inform them of his intending to be absent for the night. Sunday came, and no tidings of him; Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday followed with the like result. At six o'clock on the evening of the last mentioned day (the 17th), as two men were crossing a field on the south side of Primrose Hill, they observed a sword belt, stick, and pair of gloves lying by the side of the hedge, but paid no attention to them at the time, and continued their journey to the White House in the neighbourhood.
Arriving there, they happened to mention what they had seen to the master of the house, who thereupon recommended them to go back to the place, and offered himself to accompany them. The three accordingly started for the spot where they had seen the articles in question; and having arrived there, one of them stooped down to lift them, but happening at the same time to look into the adjoining ditch, saw there the body of a man lying on his face. It was Sir Edmundbury Godfrey, with a sword run through his body, his face bruised, and a livid mark round the neck, as if he had been strangled. He was conveyed at once to the White House, and information sent to the authorities. A jury was impaneled, to inquire into the cause of his death; but no definite conclusion could be come to beyond the evidence furnished by two surgeons, that his death must have been occasioned by strangulation, and his body then pierced with the sword, which had been left sticking in the wound. The ditch was Dry, and there were no marks of blood in it, and his shoes were perfectly clean, as if, after being assassinated, he had been carried and deposited in the place where he was found. A large sum of money and a diamond ring were found in his pockets, but his pocketbook, in which, as a magistrate, he used to take notes of examinations, was missing. Spots of white wax, an article which he never used himself, and which was only employed by persons of distinction, and by priests, were scattered over his clothes; and from this circumstance people were led to conclude that the Roman Catholics were the authors of his death. The whole affair was an inscrutable mystery, but popular impulse seizing hold of the circumstance that Oates had made his deposition before him, and also that no robbery had been committed, attributed at once his murder to the vengeance of the papists.
London was now in a blaze. Here, it was maintained, was a thorough confirmation of what Oates and his companions had asserted of the bloody designs of the Catholics. Stories soon came pouring in to increase and spread the clamour, and among others, informations were sworn to by persons, who pretended to have seen Sir Edmundbury trepanned into an apartment near Somerset House, then strangled, and his body conveyed away in a sedan chair, and thence conveyed by a man on horseback to the ditch at Primrose Hill. Though the most glaring contradictions appeared in these narratives, they were eagerly caught up and accepted as gospel by an excited and furious people. To doubt the reality of the Popish Plot was regarded as tantamount to a participation in it. Oates, and informers of a similar type, were caressed and encouraged more than ever, and it will be readily believed, that they did not suffer public enthusiasm to languish from a lack of a proper supply of nutriment. It was a time when, as Flume remarks, 'reason could no more be heard than a whisper in the midst of the most violent hurricane.'
From White House, the corpse of Godfrey was carried home to his own residence, where for two days it lay in state, and was visited by vast multitudes. The funeral was attended by an immense procession, at the head of which walked seventy two clergymen of the Church of England, in full canonicals, whilst the minister who preached a sermon on the occasion, was supported on each side by a stalwart brother divine, lest he should be killed by the papists! If the murder was really the work of a fanatic Roman Catholic, it was a most ill judged procedure for the tranquillity of his fellow religionists, as numbers of them, priests as well as laymen, were ruthlessly immolated to the popular fury. The mere fact of their being Catholics, and being charged as participators in the Popish Plot, was sufficient to insure their condemnation with any jury. The real cause of Godfrey's death has never been discovered, and to this day it remains one of those mysterious occurrences of which no satisfactory explanation can be given. An undoubted fact, it stands out in melancholy prominence amid the tissue of absurdities and falsehoods which compose the substance of the Popish Plot.