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[355] The miserable fate of Oates and Dangerfield, the perjured inventors of the Popish Plot; the trial of Baxter by the infamous Jeffreys; the ill-starred attempt of the Duke of Monmouth; the battle of Sedgemoor, and the dreadful atrocities of the king's soldiers, and the horrible perversion of justice by the king's chief judge in the ‘Bloody Assizes;’ the barbarous hunting of the Scotch Dissenters by Claverhouse; the melancholy fate of the brave and noble Duke of Argyle,—are described with graphic power unknown to Smollett or Hume. Personal portraits are sketched with a bold freedom which at times startles us. The ‘old familiar faces,’ as we have seen them through the dust of a century and a half, start before us with lifelike distinctness of outline and coloring. Some of them disappoint us; like the ghost of Hamlet's father, they come in a ‘questionable shape.’ Thus, for instance, in his sketch of William Penn, the historian takes issue with the world on his character, and labors through many pages of disingenuous innuendoes and distortion of facts to transform the saint of history into a pliant courtier.

The second volume details the follies and misfortunes, the decline and fall, of the last of the Stuarts. All the art of the author's splendid rhetoric is employed in awakening, by turns, the indignation and contempt of the reader in contemplating the character of the wrong-headed king. In portraying that character, he has brought into exercise all those powers of invective and merciless ridicule which give such a savage relish to his delineation of Barrere. To preserve the consistency

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