Page:History of England (Macaulay) Vol 4.djvu/56

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had not chosen to give credit to men who had learned by a long and bitter experience that no kindness will tame the sullen ferocity of a priesthood. He had stroked and pampered when he should have tried the effect of chains and hunger. He had hazarded the good will of his best friends by protecting his worst enemies. Those Bishops who had publicly refused to acknowledge him as their Sovereign, and who, by that refusal, had forfeited their dignities and revenues, still continued to live unmolested in palaces which ought to be occupied by better men: and for this indulgence, an indulgence unexampled in the history of revolutions, what return had been made to him? Even this, that the men whom he had, with so much tenderness, screened from just punishment, had the insolence to describe him in their prayers as a persecutor defiled with the blood of the righteous; they asked for grace to endure with fortitude his sanguinary tyranny; they cried to heaven for a foreign fleet and army to deliver them from his yoke; nay, they hinted at a wish so odious that even they had not the front to speak it plainly. One writer, in a pamphlet which produced a great sensation, expressed his wonder that the people had not, when Tourville was riding victorious in the Channel, Dewitted the nonjuring Prelates. Excited as the public mind then was, there was some danger that this suggestion might bring a furious mob to Lambeth. At Norwich indeed the people actually rose, attacked the palace which the Bishop was still suffered to occupy, and would have pulled it down but for the timely arrival of the trainbands.[1] The government very properly instituted criminal proceedings against the publisher of the work which had produced this alarming breach of the peace.[2] The deprived Prelates meanwhile put forth a defence of their conduct. In this document they declared, with all solemnity, and as in the presence of God, that they had no hand in the new liturgy, that they knew not who had framed it, that they had never used it, that they had never held any correspondence directly or indirectly with the French court, that they were engaged in no plot against the existing

  1. Letter of Lloyd, Bishop of Norwich, to Sancroft, in the Tanner MSS.
  2. Narcissus Luttrell's Diary.