Page:History of England (Macaulay) Vol 4.djvu/486

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humour in which Aristophanes held up Cleon and Lamachus to derision. Two strollers personated Killegrew and Delaval. The Admirals were represented as flying with their whole fleet before a few French privateers, and taking shelter under the grins of the Tower. The office of Chorus was performed by a Jackpudding who expressed very freely his opinion of the naval administration. Immense crowds flocked to see this strange farce. The applauses were loud; the receipts were great; and the mountebanks, who had at first ventured to attack only the unlucky and unpopular Board of Admiralty, now, emboldened by impunity and success, and probably prompted and rewarded by persons of much higher station than their own, began to cast reflections on other departments of the government. This attempt to revive the license of the Attic Stage was soon brought to a close by the appearance of a strong body of constables who carried off the actors to prison.[463] Meanwhile the streets of London were every night strewn with seditious handbills. At all the taverns the zealots of hereditary right were limping about with glasses of wine and punch at their lips. This fashion had just come in; and the uninitiated wondered much that so great a number of jolly gentlemen should have suddenly become lame. But, those who were in the secret knew that the word Limp was a consecrated word, that every one of the four letters which composed it was the initial of an august name, and that the loyal subject who limped while he drank was taking off his bumper to Lewis, James, Mary, and the Prince.[464]

It was not only in the capital that the Jacobites, at this time, made a great display of their wit. They mustered strong at Bath, where the Lord President Caermarthen was trying to recruit his feeble health. Every evening they met, as they phrased it, to serenade the Marquess. In other