Page:Studies of a Biographer 1.djvu/45

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31
NATIONAL BIOGRAPHY

to say, is still puzzling, though exactly eight hundred years have passed since he became a fair subject for discussion. Let us hope that it will be cleared up in time. We have that Catesby who to most of us is known by that famous doggerel so much more impressive than the orthodox historical phrases about 'the cat, the rat, and Lovel our dog,' and the other Catesby who wished to try what would certainly have been a most interesting philosophical experiment of blowing King and Parliament into the air and seeing what the country would think of it. In Tudor times are the three Catherines who had the satisfaction of calling Henry viii. husband, and three Carolines to match them in the eighteenth century. There is the Elizabethan statesman Cecil, the great Lord Burghley, and the Robert Carr (Earl of Somerset) who introduces us to the darkest tragedy of the time of James i., and Lucius Cary (Lord Falkland), who still goes about 'ingeminating peace' to remind us of the great civil war; and John Carteret (Earl Granville), who, in the jovial Hanoverian days, was at the head of the 'drunken administration.' Though some of these are sufficiently celebrated figures to be set forth in the standard histories, they have all, I think, a