Page:History of England (Macaulay) Vol 4.djvu/43

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.

joy, sate down to write a letter of congratulation to Mary of Modena. That letter is still extant, and would alone suffice to explain why he was the favourite of James. Herod, — so William was designated, — was gone. There must be a restoration; and that restoration ought to be followed by a terrible revenge and by the establishment of despotism. The power of the purse must be taken away from the Commons. Political offenders must be tried, not by juries, but by judges on whom the Crown could depend. The Habeas Corpus Act must be rescinded. The authors of the Revolution must be punished with merciless severity. "If," the cruel apostate wrote, "if the King is forced to pardon, let it be as few rogues as he can."[1] After the lapse of some anxious hours, a messenger bearing later and more authentic intelligence alighted at the palace occupied by the representative of the Catholic King. In a moment all was changed. The enemies of France, — and all the population, except Frenchmen and British Jacobites, were her enemies, — eagerly felicitated one another. All the clerks of the Spanish legation were too few to make transcripts of the despatches for the Cardinals and Bishops who were impatient to know the details of the victory. The first copy was sent to the Pope, and was doubtless welcome to him.[2]

The good news from Ireland reached London at a moment when good news was needed. The English flag had been disgraced in the English seas. A foreign enemy threatened the coast. Traitors were at work within the realm. Mary had exerted herself beyond her strength. Her gentle nature was unequal to the cruel anxieties of her position; and she complained that she could scarcely snatch a moment from business to calm herself by prayer. Her distress rose to the highest point when she learned that the camps of her father and her husband were pitched near to each other, and that tidings of a

  1. Original Letters, published by Sir Henry Ellis.
  2. "Del sucesso de Irlanda doy a v. Exca la enorabuena, y le aseguro no ha bastado casi la gente que tengo en la Secretaria para repartir copias dello, pues le he enbiado a todo el lugar, y la primera al Papa." — Cogolludo to Ronquillo, postscript to the letter of Aug. 2. Cogolludo, of course, uses the new style. The tidings of the battle, therefore, had been three weeks in getting to Rome.