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About November 44, the town of Lynn being in the rebels hands, the gentleman you wot on, pretending abundance of interest there, when indeed he had none at all, procured a commission from his majesty to reduce it, graciously promising him the government of the town, if he could effect it, and payment of all rewards, he should promise, not exceeding five thousand pounds, &c. The hair-brained undertaker could think of no other way to reduce it, but by sending for one captain Leamon of Lynn (one that had taken the covenant, and a known zealot for the rebels cause) to a papist's house two or three miles off, and very discreetly blunders out the business; shews him his commission; promises him one-thousand pounds, and other preferments, if he would betray the town, adding, that the king did value the surprising of that town at half his crown. A very likely tale ! Leamon, perceiving what a weak tool he had to deal with, seems to comply; but the same night acquaints the governor, Colonel Walton, and, according to promise, meets our skulking town-taker next day, but carried with him a corporal in a seaman's habit; to whom he also very frankly shewed his commission. In the mean time, Lieutenant Stubbing, and five soldiers habited like seamen, came from Lynn to the house, and then the disguised corporal seizes our gallant undertaker, who tamely surrenders both his person and commission ; and so, being brought to London, it being proved at a court martial at Guildhall, and by himself confessed, that he came into the parliament’s quarters, not in an hostile manner, as a soldier, but without drum, trumpet, or pass, as a spy, and had tampered with their officers to betray the garison, he was, for the same, sentenced to be hanged, December 28, 44, and, passing from the court through the croud, uttered these heroick words:– I desire all people would take warning by ‘me, that there may be no more blood shed in this kind.” However, by appealing to the lords, he shuffled off present execution, and, having lain some time in Newgate, obtained his liberty; but upon what valuable considerations must remain a riddle, unless his afterfamiliarity with Cromwell, and the unaccountable port, that he afterwards lived in, during those times, help to explain it.
Ralph. The total of the account, then, stands thus:–1. That the gentleman abused the good king with a false story: it seems, he thought it as easy a matter to surprise a town, as to over-run the printer's wife; but was shamefully defeated in both. 2. He managed the affair like a rash coxcomb, and was out-witted by a dull heavy roundhead. 3. Had it succeeded, though acknowledged justifiable (such practices being often used in wars, much more in the case of rebels, where the seeming treachery is but duty) yet there is little of glory to be derived from such a pitiful tampering em. ploy ; only, it seems, he was not judged capable of any more brave and honourable, and therefore must make the most of this. 4. When he was in danger of the noose, he repented even of this his loyal undertaking, and sneaked most pitifully, and at last got off suspiciously.—So much for his old services; now let us hear of his exploits since the restoration,
Nobbs.-No sooner was that blissful change, but our Observator first endeavoured to set the old cavaliers at variance, and wrote against that faithful servant to the crown, the learned and loyal Mr. James Howel, and, as far as he durst, snarled at the court and chief ministers, for not preferring himself, forsooth, as well as others. And, to be taken notice of, in defiance to the act of indemnity, and of his majesty's most excellent declaration touching ecclesiastick affairs (a sovereign balm that was like to heal all our wounds, and mortify for ever the designs of Rome) he began to rip up old sores, and blow the coals of division among Protestants, under pretence of exposing the Presbyterians. Yet still the devil of self-interest jogged his elbow: for the man is known, who, being newly come from Lambeth, and having received only thanks and benedictions instead of money, swore—‘damme! let the b–s henceforwards write for themselves.” After this, despairing of higher place, he aims at the supervisal of the press (for which his scribbling humour had somewhat adapted him) then gives the government perpetual (false) alarms on that side; but, having once gained the point, soon learned the faculty to wink, as often as his spectacles were inchanted with the dust of Peru. How that affair was managed, let the booksellers guineas near Mercers-chapel, the books seized, afterwards privately sold from Cambray-house, to be published, &c. be instances; but especially the known story of the printer's wife (beforementioned) in Bartholomew Close, to whom he prostituted the interest of church and state, offering to connive at her husband's printing treason, se. dition, heresy, schism, or any thing, if she would but gratify his brutish lust. Ralph. But still he was tight to the church of England. Nobbs. Of his zeal therein, there are these undeniable testi. monies. 1. His having been forty times at mass by his own confession in rint. p 2. His not receiving the sacrament, or so much as coming to his parish church for twelve long years and upwards. 3. His approving books destructive of all Christianity, as one intituled, Anima Mundi, burnt afterwards, with his hand to it, by order, if I mistake not, of the Reverend Bishop of London. Another called—a Treatise of Human Reason, that deserved the same fate, as making every man’s private fancy judge of religion, the grand scandal which Papists have these hundred years falsly cast on Protestantism. 4. By connivance at popish pamphlets all the time of his dictatorship; not one having been during those many years honestly prosecuted by him, though it is computed above one-hundred thousand of them were in that space dispersed, to poison his majesty's Protestant subjects. Nay, on the contrary, as often as that active loyal gentleman, Mr. M. of the company of Stationers, or any other of the masters or wardens, or Mr. Stephens, messenger of the press, had discovered any of the Papists pamphlet-magazines, this Obser
wator, either by secret intelligence prevented the seizure, or after. wards shuffled off both book and prosecution, pretending the same appertained to his immediate care, and so no more was heard of it. Ralph. But all the loyal world commends his Observators as witty, and highly serviceable to the government. Nobbs. As to the wit (no great praise in a blade of threescore and twelve). It is the observation of judicious Raleigh, Nihil est sapientie odiosius acumine nimio: “Nothing is more an enemy to wisdom, than drollery and over-sharpness of conceit.” Hot-headed youths, unthinking shallow people, are easily taken, as larks are by low-bells, with a gingle of words; and, perhaps, some she-politicians may admire him; but the graver and more considerate loyalists judge no papers have really been more prejudicial to his majesty's interest. His design therein is evident; the act, that formerly gave him bread, being expired, something must be done for a livelihood; his acquaintance, his interest, lay on the red-lettered side, who quickly engage him to ridicule that plot which his majesty and four several parliaments, after strictest inquisition, had declared horrid and damnable: hence started up the brass screws, the Salamanca certificate, and twenty other crotchets, which neither secretary Castlemain, nor Sing, nor any of their St. Omer's pupils, had the luck to think of, and yet altogether as empty, incoherent, and nonsensical as their oaths and allegations. But his feeders, still not thinking this enough, have, of late, put him upon another jobb; to expose not only fanaticks and whigs, but all sober churchmen and moderate loyal Protestant subjects, under the foolish, but odious, name of Trimmers. Ralph.-But still he avows he writes for the government. Nobbs. Nothing more false; he writes only for his belly: it is the crust, not the cause, he leaps at. As long as he scribbles with such provocations, it is impossible to stop the other pamphleteers: nay, he has done the faction the greatest service of any man living, being the general publisher of their clandestine pamphlets, and sets people agog to inquire after, and buy them. That lewd, impudent, and traiterous libel, “The second part of the growth of popery and arbitrary government, scarce saw the light, before he proclaimed and repeated it; and, if Hunt's saucy book have sold ten-thousand, he is beholden, at least, for the putting off eight-thousand of them, to the Observator.” Some affirm, that for this (secret) service, he has a nsion from the whigs, equal to his presents from the tories: but it is certain, when any body prints an obnoxious pamphlet, they first send it to him by the penny-post, to save ten shillings charge of putting it in the gazette. Ralph.-I could not before guess at the reason why he has of late expressed so much malice against the honest messenger of the press, that, according to his duty, faithfully and impartially disrharged his office towards suppressing all pamphlets, both fanatical and popish. But, if this gentleman gets friends by the one, and
money by the other, it is no wonder, if he have a spight at every body that would dam up both his mills at once.—But it grows late, and I am to meet a friend at Sam's, so farewel till I see you Inext.
T H E PLAZA,
THE BULL-BAITING THERE;
Together with the History of the famous and much admired Placi
dus; as also a large scheme, being the lively representation of the Order and Ornament of this Solemnity. By James Salgado, a Spaniard. London, printed by Francis Clark, for the Author, Anno Domini 1683. Quarto, containing forty-six pages.
To the most Serene and Mighty Charles the Second, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, &c.
May it please your most Ercellent Majesty,
Your royal name was prefixed to this other manual of mine the last year, but I had not the confidence to present your sacred majesty with the same. It was not that I judged the subject-matter altogether despicable and unworthy of acceptation, but because my timorous and bashful disposition induced me to believe, that it was every way sufficient to be honoured with the name of such an inestimable and noble patron; but yet, for all that, my pinching want has now at length prevailed with me to shake off these thoughts, in regard that so great an honour, attended with something else (your majesty conceives my meaning) would, beyond all peradventure, contribute the more to my present straitened condition. Wherefore I prostrate myself and labours at your royal feet, looking upon it as my greatest happiness, if your majesty may be pleased to spend some few minutes, for a recreation, in the perusal of this short de. scription of the bull-baiting at Madrid; but, if good fortune deny me this honour, I must patiently share in the lot of my countrymen who now-a-days are generally unfortunate. However, your majesty's long life, prosperous reign, and eternal happiness shall, in all circumstances, be the most earnest prayer of Your Majesty's most devoted Supplicant, JAMES SALGADO, a Spaniard.
To the Reader.
I have taken a view of Spain, France, Italy, and the United Netherlands, but, I must confess, I did never see (except here in England) such a crowd of authors, printers, book-binders, stationers, gazettes, observators, pacquets, mercuries, intelligences, and bills of surgeons, calling themselves doctors, forsooth, whereas, in very deed, they ought to be stiled mountebanks: in a word, I do not remember to have seen a people so much busied with, and fond of novelties. While, therefore, I stood amazed, behold, pinching Want and simple Bashfulness (by way of dialogue) made their address unto me; the former, in these following words: “I see you are a stranger, and ought to be encouraged by, and sheltered under the protection of the generous English nation: for that cause, I judge it your near concernment to come with a full hand, if you look for any gracious acceptance.” On the other side, Shame replied: ‘Mr. Salgado, believe my undissembled simplicity, the English are most ingenuous, and of a pregnant wit; what then can you expect, by publishing any thing, but scorn and contempt? For many will be apt to say, what meaneth this ugly, pale Spaniard, who, with his whimsies and trifles, busies our printers, and creates us much trouble? What?' answered Necessity: “hunger constrains him to take such a course; for Mr. Salgado, I am confident, by all laudable means endeavoureth to eschew hard straits, not hunting after airy praise and a great name:’ which the one saying stopped the mouth of blushing Shame.
Thus, being past shame, I do set this treatise on the pillory, i. e. I stick not to expose it to the censures of carping criticks. But, methinks, I hear a great many entertaining a discourse to this purpose: * It is not worth our while to take strict notice of a poor distressed man past shame, seeing necessity has no law.”
Wherefore, most noble, puissant, ancient, and generous English, or rather angelical nation (for you are my tutelar angels, in regard that, these five years, and above, I have enjoyed life and sanctuary by your protection and benign generosity) I present you with this solemnity of the bulls at Madrid, my native soil. If any thing therein be amiss, I claim an interest in the clemency of your promise; but, if otherwise, look upon it as a testimony of my undissembled gratitude. Farewel.
SIR I am certified by your letter, that a commendable curiosity has induced you to travel through France, Italy, and Germany; adding further, that, had you not been persuaded to the contrary by a cer. 2