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bridesmaidswas larger that it had been
since the great lady of the Quartier was
married last year.


His Sowship would pretty willingly, I think,
have blown the House of Commons into the
air himself; for his dread and jealousy of it
knew no bounds all through his reign. When
he was hard pressed for money he was obliged
to order it to meet, as he could get no money
without it; and when it asked him first
to abolish some of the monopolies in necessaries
of life which were a great grievance
to the people, and to redress other public
wrongs he flew into a rage and got rid of it
again. At one time he wanted it to consent
to the Union of England with Scotland, and
quarrelled about that. At another time it
wanted him to put down a most infamous
Church abuse, called the High Commission
Court, and he quarrelled with it about that.
At another time it entreated him not to
be quite so fond of his archbishops and
bishops who made speeches in his praise
too awful to be related, but to have some
little consideration for the poor Puritan
clergy who were persecuted for preaching in
their own way, and not according to the archbishops
and bishops; and they quarrelled
about that. In short, what with hating the
House of Commons, and pretending not to
hate it; and what with now sending some of
its members who opposed him, to Newgate,
or to the Tower, and now telling the rest that
they must not presume to make speeches
about the public affairs, which could not
possibly concern them; and what with
cajoling, and bullying, and frightening, and
being frightened; the House of Commons
was the plague of his Sowship's existence.
It was pretty firm, however, in maintaining
its rights, and in insisting that the Parliament
should make the laws, and not the King
by his own single proclamations (which he
tried hard to do); and his Sowship was often
so distressed for money, in consequence, that
he sold every sort of title and public office as
if they were merchandise, and even invented
a new dignity called a Baronetcy which anybody
could buy for a thousand pounds.

These disputes with his Parliaments, and
his hunting, and his drinking, and his lying in
bedfor he was a great sluggardoccupied his
Sowship pretty well. The rest of his time he
chiefly passed in hugging and slobbering his
favourites. The first of these was SIR PHILIP
HERBERT, who had no knowledge whatever,
except of dogs, and horses, and hunting, but
whom he soon made EARL OF MONTGOMERY.
The next, and a much more famous one, was
ROBERT CARR, or KER, (for it is not certain
which was his right name), who came from
the Border country, and whom he soon made
OF SOMERSET. The way in which his Sowship
doated on this handsome young man, is
even more odious to think of, than the way
in which the really great men of England
condescended to bow down before him. His
great friend was a certain SIR THOMAS OVERBURY,
who wrote his love-letters for him
and assisted him in the duties of his
many high places, which his own ignorance
prevented him from discharging. But this
same Sir Thomas having just manhood enough
to dissuade the favourite from a wicked
marriage with the beautiful Countess of
Essex, who was to get a divorce from her
husband for the purpose; the said Countess,
in her rage, got Sir Thomas put into the
Tower, and there poisoned him. Then the
favourite and this bad woman were publicly
married by the King's pet bishop, with as
much to-do and rejoicing, as if he had been
the best man, and she the best woman, upon
the face of the earth.

But, after a longer sunshine than might
have been expectedof seven years or so,
that is to sayanother handsome young man
started up and eclipsed the EARL OF SOMERSET.
This was GEORGE VILLIERS, the youngest
son of a Leicestershire gentleman: who came
to Court with all the Paris fashions on him,
and could dance as well as the best mountebank
that ever was seen. He soon danced
himself into the good graces of his Sowship,
and danced the other favourite out of favour.
Then, it was all at once discovered that the
Earl and Countess of Somerset had not deserved
all those great promotions and mighty
rejoicings, and they were separately tried for
the murder of Sir Thomas Overbury, and
for other crimes. But, the King was so
horribly afraid of his late favourite's publicly
telling some disgraceful things he knew
of himwhich he darkly threatened to do
that he was even examined with two men
standing, one on either side of him, each with
a cloak in his hand, ready to throw it over
his head and stop his mouth if he should
break out with what he had it in his power to
tell. So, a very lame affair was purposely
made of the trial, and his punishment was
an allowance of four thousand pounds a year
in retirement; while the countess was pardoned
and allowed to pass into retirement too.
They hated one another by this time, and
lived to revile and torment each other some

While these events were in progress, and
while his Sowship was making such an exhibition
of himself, from day to day and from
year to year, as is not often seen in any sty,
three remarkable deaths took place in England.
The first was that of the Minister, Robert
Cecil, Earl of Salisbury, who was past sixty,
and had never been strong, being deformed
from his birth. He said at last that he had
no wish to live: and no Minister need have
had, I am sure, with his experience of the
meanness and wickedness of those disgraceful

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