E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
The fourth Sunday in Lent, when the Pope blesses the Golden Rose. He dips it in balsam, sprinkles it with holy water, and incenses it. Strange as it may seem, Pope Julius II., in 1510, and Leo X. both sent the sacred rose to Henry VIII. In 1856 Isabella II. of Spain received the Rose; and both Charlotte, Empress of Mexico, and Eugénie, Empress of France, were honoured by it likewise.
The Rose Alley ambuscade. The attack on Dryden by hired ruffians in the employ of Rochester and the Duchess of Portsmouth, December 18th, 1679. This scandalous outrage was in revenge of a satire by Mulgrave, erroneously attributed to Dryden.
Attacks of this kind were not uncommon in the age of chivalry; witness the case of Sir John Coventry, who was waylaid and had his nose slit by some young men of rank for a reflection on the kings theatrical amours. This attack gave rise to the Coventry Act against maiming and wounding. Of a similar nature was the cowardly assassination of Mr. Mountford, in Norfolk Street, Strand, by Lord Mohun and Captain Hill, for the hypothetical offence of his admiration for Mrs. Bracegirdle.
The Rose coffee-house, formerly called The Red Cow, and subsequently Wills, at the western corner of Bow Street, where John Dryden presided over the literature of the town. Here, says Malcolm, appeal was made to him upon every literary dispute. (Spence: Anecdotes, p. 263.)
This coffee-house is referred to as Russell Street Coffee House, and The Wits Coffee-house.
Wills continued to be the resort of the wits at feast till 1710. Probably Addison established his servant [Button] in a new house about 1712.Spence: Anecdotes, p. 263.
This Button had been a servant of the Countess of Warwick, whom Addison married; and Buttons became the headquarters of the Whig literati, as Wills had been of the Tory.