Chapter 94

Prerogative - Feeling of gratitude - A long history - Alliterative style - Advantageous specimen - Jesuit benefice - Not sufficient - Queen Stork’s tragedy - Good sense - Grandeur and gentility - Ironmonger’s daughter - Clan Mac-Sycophant - Lickspittles - A curiosity - Newspaper editors - Charles the Simple - High-flying ditty - Dissenters - Lower classes - Priestley’s house - Saxon ancestors - Austin - Renovating glass - Money - Quite original.

‘SO you hope to bring these regions again beneath the banner of the Roman See?’ said I, after the man in black had prepared the beverage, and tasted it.

‘Hope!’ said the man in black; ‘how can we fail? Is not the Church of these regions going to lose its prerogative?’

‘Its prerogative?’

‘Yes; those who should be the guardians of the religion of England are about to grant Papists emancipation, and to remove the disabilities from Dissenters, which will allow the Holy Father to play his own game in England.’

On my inquiring how the Holy Father intended to play his game, the man in black gave me to understand that he intended for the present to cover the land with temples, in which the religion of Protestants would be continually scoffed at and reviled.

On my observing that such behaviour would savour strongly of ingratitude, the man in black gave me to understand that if I entertained the idea that the See of Rome was ever influenced in its actions by any feeling of gratitude I was much mistaken, assuring me that if the See of Rome in any encounter should chance to be disarmed, and its adversary, from a feeling of magnanimity, should restore the sword which had been knocked out of its hand, the See of Rome always endeavoured on the first opportunity to plunge the said sword into its adversary’s bosom; conduct which the man in black seemed to think was very wise, and which he assured me had already enabled it to get rid of a great many troublesome adversaries, and would, he had no doubt, enable it to get rid of a great many more.

On my attempting to argue against the propriety of such behaviour, the man in black cut the matter short by saying that if one party was a fool he saw no reason why the other should imitate it in its folly.

After musing a little while, I told him that emancipation had not yet passed through the legislature, and that perhaps it never would; reminding him that there was often many a slip between the cup and the lip; to which observation the man in black agreed, assuring me, however, that there was no doubt that emancipation would be carried, inasmuch as there was a very loud cry at present in the land - a cry of ‘tolerance,’ which had almost frightened the Government out of its wits; who, to get rid of the cry, was going to grant all that was asked in the way of toleration, instead of telling the people to ‘hold their nonsense,’ and cutting them down provided they continued bawling longer.

I questioned the man in black with respect to the origin of this cry; but he said, to trace it to its origin would require a long history; that, at any rate, such a cry was in existence, the chief raisers of it being certain of the nobility, called Whigs, who hoped by means of it to get into power, and to turn out certain ancient adversaries of theirs called Tories, who were for letting things remain IN STATU QUO; that these Whigs were backed by a party amongst the people called Radicals, a specimen of whom I had seen in the public-house; a set of fellows who were always in the habit of bawling against those in place; ‘and so,’ he added, ‘by means of these parties, and the hubbub which the Papists and other smaller sects are making, a general emancipation will be carried, and the Church of England humbled, which is the principal thing which the See of Rome cares for.’

On my telling the man in black that I believed that, even among the high dignitaries of the English Church, there were many who wished to grant perfect freedom to religions of all descriptions, he said he was aware that such was the fact, and that such a wish was anything but wise, inasmuch as, if they had any

  By PanEris using Melati.

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