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with which I told him I should speak of my
present visit to men whose names he held in

He showed me his curious specimens of
ancient furniture, part of a bed from Thrieve
Castlea black oak fabric, curiously carved
with morrice-dancers, Runic knobs, and most
quaint horses, drawn as children draw them.
Also, he had a cabinet of oak which a Gordon
of Earlston carved away at, and worked into
wondrous forms, during an imprisonment in
Blackness Castle.

I returned to London soon after this visit,
and it was not without a shock that the
quiet old house with its antiquities and their
owner was recalled to me amidst the din of
town, when I heard that, one morning in
December, after a short illness, he turned
himself round in his bed, and expired in perfect
peace, in his seventy-fourth year.



"OUR cousin of Scotland" was ugly, awkward,
and shuffling both in mind and person.
His tongue was much too large for his mouth,
his legs were much too weak for his body,
and his dull goggle-eyes stared and rolled
like an idiot's. He was cunning, covetous,
wasteful, idle, drunken, greedy, dirty,
cowardly, a great swearer, and the most
conceited man on earth. His figurewhat is
commonly called rickety from his birth
presented the most ridiculous appearance
that can be imagined, dressed in thick
padded clothes, as a safeguard against being
stabbedof which he lived in continual fear
of a grass-green colour from head to foot,
with a hunting-horn dangling at the side
instead of a sword, and his hat and feather
sticking over one eye, or hanging on the
back of his head, as he happened to toss it
on. He used to loll on the necks of his
favourite courtiers, and slobber their faces,
and kiss and pinch their cheeks; and the
greatest favourite he ever had, used to sign
himself in his letters to his royal master,
His Majesty's "dog and slave", and used to
address his majesty as "his Sowship". His
majesty was the worst rider ever seen, and
thought himself the best. He was one of the
most impertinent talkers (in the broadest
Scotch) ever heard, and boasted of being
unanswerable in all manner of argument.
He wrote some of the most wearisome
treatises ever read, and thought himself a
prodigy of authorship. He thought, and wrote,
and said that a king had a right to make
and unmake what laws he pleased, and
ought to be accountable to nobody on earth.
This is the plain, true character of the
personage whom the greatest men about the
court praised and flattered to that degree,
that I doubt if there be anything more
shameful in the annals of human nature.

He came to the English throne with great
ease. The miseries of a disputed succession
had been felt so long, and so dreadfully, that
he was proclaimed within a few hours of
Elizabeth's death, and was accepted by the
nation even without being asked to give
any pledge that he would govern well,
or that he would redress crying grievances.
He took a month to come from
Edinburgh to London; and, by way, I
suppose, of exercising his new power, hanged a
pickpocket on the journey without any trial,
and knighted everybody he could lay hold
of. He made two hundred knights before
he got to his palace in London, and seven
hundred before he had been in it three
months. He also shovelled sixty-two new
peers into the House of Lordsand there
was a pretty large sprinkling of Scotchmen
among them, you may believe.

His Sowship's prime Minister, CECIL (for I
cannot do better than call his majesty what
his favourite called him) was the enemy of
Sir Walter Raleigh, and also of Sir Walter's
political friend, LORD COBHAM; and his
Sowship's first trouble was a plot originated by
these two, and entered into by some others,
with the old object of seizing the King, and
keeping him in imprisonment until he should
change his ministers. There were Catholic
priests in the plot, and there were Puritan
noblemen too; for, although the Catholics and
Puritans were strongly opposed to each other,
they united at this time against his Sowship,
because they knew that he had a design
against both, after pretending to be friendly
to each; this design being to have only one
high and convenient form of the Protestant
religion, which every body should be bound
to belong to, whether they liked it or not.
This plot was mixed up with another, which
may or may not have had some reference to
placing on the throne, at some time, the LADY
ARABELLA STUART, whose misfortune it was
to be the daughter of the younger brother
of his Sowship's father, but who was quite
innocent of any part in the scheme. Sir
Walter Raleigh was accused on the confession
of Lord Cobhama miserable creature,
who said one thing at one time, and another
thing at another time, and could be relied
upon in nothing. The trial of Sir Walter
Raleigh lasted from eight in the morning
until nearly midnight; and he defended
himself with such eloquence, genius, and spirit
against all accusations, and against the insults
of COKE, the Attorney-general, who,
according to the custom of the time, foully
abused him that those who went there
detesting the prisoner, came away admiring
him, and declaring that anything so wonderful
and so captivating was never heard. He
was found guilty, nevertheless, and sentenced
to death. Execution was deferred, however,
and he was taken to the Tower. The two
Catholic priests, less fortunate, were
executed, with the usual atrocity; and Lord
Cobham and two others were pardoned on the