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quency; and many of the nobility and gentry were, without any questions being asked, suddenly discovered to have committed the crime of delinquency! Whether honest Fuller be facetious or grave on this period of nick-naming parties I will not decide; but, when he tells us that there was another word which was introduced into our nation at this time, I think at least that the whole passage is an admirable commentary on this party vocabulary.
“ Contemporary with malignants is the word plunder, which some make of Latin original, from planum dare, to level, to plane all to nothing! Others of Dutch extraction, as if it were to plume, or pluck the feathers of a bird to the bare skin*. Sure I am we first heard of it in the Swedish wars; and if the name and thing be sent back from whence it came, few English eyes would weep thereat.” All England had wept at the introduction of the word. The rump was the filthy nick.name of an odious faction—the history of this famous appellation, which was 'at
• Plunder, observes my friend, Mr. Donce, is pure Dutch or Flemish- Plunderen, from Plunder, which means property of any kind.
first one of horror, till it afterwards became one of derision and contempt, must be referred to another place. The rump became a perpetual whetstone for the loyal wits, till at length its former admirers, the rabble themselves, in town and country vied with each other in “
“ burning rumps” of beef which were hung by chains on a gallows with a bonfire underneath, and proved how the people, like children, come at length to make a play-thing of that which was once their bugbear.
Charles II. during the short holiday of the restoration--all holidays seem short !—and when he and the people were in good humour, granted any thing to every one,-the mode of Petitions” got' at length very inconvenient, and the king in council declared, that this petitioning was “A method set on foot by ill men to promote discontents among the people,” and enjoined his loving subjects not to subscribe them. The petitioners however persisted—when a new party rose to express their abhorrence of petitioning; both parties nick-named each other the petitioners and the abhorrers! Their day was short, but fierce; the petitioners, however weak in their
Vol. II. (New Series.)
cognomen, were far the bolder of the two, for the commons were with them, and the abhorrers had expressed by their term rather the strength of their inclinations, than of their numbers. Charles II. said to a petitioner from Taunton, “ How dare you deliver me such a paper ?”
Sir,” replied the petitioner from Taunton, “My name is Dare !”
A saucy reply, for which he was tried, fined, and imprisoned: when lo! the commons petitioned again to release the petitioner! “ The very name," says Hume,“ by which each party denominated its antagonists discover the virulence and rancour which prevailed ; for besides petitioner and abhorrer, this year is remarkable for being the epoch of the well-known epithets of Whig and Tory.” These silly terms of reproach are still preserved among us, as if the palladium of British liberty was guarded by these exotic names; for they are not English which the parties so invidiously bestow on each other. They are ludicrous enough in their origin ; the friends of the court and the advocates of lineal succession, were by the republican party branded with the title of Tories, which was the name of certain Irish rob
bers: while the court party in return could find no other revenge than by appropriating to the covenanters and the republicans of that class, the name of the Scotch beverage of sour milk, whose virtue they considered so expressive of their dispositions, and which is called whigg. So ridiculous in their origin were these pernicious nicknames, which long excited feuds and quarrels in domestic life, and may still be said to divide into two great parties this land of political freedom. But nothing becomes obsolete in political factions, and the meaner and more scandalous the name affixed by one party to another, the more it becomes not only their rallying cry or their password, but even constitutes their glory. Thus the Hollanders long prided themselves on the humiliating nick-name of “les gueux :” the protestants of France on the scornful one of the Huguenots ; the non-conformists in England on the mockery of the puritan; and all parties have perpetuated their anger by their inglorious names. Swift was well aware of this truth in political history :“ each party,” says that sagacious observer,
grows proud of that appellation which their adversaries at first intended as a reproach ; of this sort were the Guelphs and the Ghibellines, Huguenots and Cavaliers.”
Nor has it been only by nick-naming each other by derisory or opprobrious terms that parties have been marked, but they have also worn a livery, and practised distinctive manners. What sufferings did not Italy endure for a long series of years, under those fatal party-names of the Guelphs and the Ghibellines ; alternately the victors and the vanquished, the beautiful land of Italy drank the blood of her children. Italy, like Greece, opens a moving picture of the hatreds and jealousies of small republics : her Bianca and her Nera, her Guelphs and her Ghibellines ! In Bologna, two great families once shook that city with their divisions; the Pepoli adopted the French interests ; the Maluezzi the Spanish. It was incurring some danger to walk the streets of Bologna, for the Pepoli wore their feathers on the right side of their caps, and the Maluezzi on the left. Such was the party-hatred, of the two great Italian factions, that they carried their rancour even into their domestic habits ; at table the Guelphs placed their knives and spoons longwise, and the Ghibellines across; the one cut their bread