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82 The National Music of America.
To understand the full meaning of this production it is necessary to comprehend the stern bigotry of Richard Talbot, whom it satirised. Talbot had been a firm royalist during the time of the Commonwealth, and had even returned to England from Holland (whither he had fled after the defeat of the king's forces), with the avowed determination of avenging the decapitation of Charles I. by the assassination of Cromwell. He was a man of undaunted courage and did not propose to strike in the dark; he therefore wrote a pamphlet, which he entitled " Killing no Murder," and sent it to the Protector. Cromwell is said never to have smiled again after reading the threatening essay. But Cromwell's own secret service was phenomenally effective, and he had loyal friends enough to prevent the murder being accomplished. Talbot therefore returned to the Continent, a disappointed man.
At the time of the Restoration it was very