THE POPISH TERROR AND THE TRIUMPH OF THE COURT.
THE ENGLISH NATION ARE A SOBER PEOPLE. Such had been the judgment of Charles I. after seven years of conflict with them, and when he foresaw his fate at their hands. He would have been obliged to take back his words had he seen this same people after nearly thirty years of peace.
The national outbreak of hysteria which will probably ever retain the name of the 'Popish Plot,' but which should more properly be called the Popish 'Terror,' is a chapter in our history of which we can still be ashamed. And assuredly it is one which all apologists for Charles II. would willingly forget.
In the course of our narrative we have met with many incidents since the betrayal of Montrose, which, deplorable as they have seemed, have not actually placed Charles outside the pale of personal honour. That he should choose to trick rather than to lead his people; that he should lightly accept the savage acts of oppression by which the Church signalised her triumph, merely to obtain money which he might