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meanness and ferocity which produced these
incongruous results.

On the tenth of October, in the year
sixteen hundred, a merchant burgess of
Edinburgh was put on his trial by the king's
express command. His crime had been so
great, that monarchy itself was endangered
by it; and the great heart of the Scottish
ruler was agitated with the fate of

Francis Tennant was arraigned in the following
words:— ''Ye are indited and accused
for the false, malicious, undutiful writing and
dispersing of slanderous, calumnious, and reproachful
letters, to the dishonour of the
king's majesty, his most noble progenitors,
council, and proceedings, and stirring up of
sedition and contempt in the hearts of his
subjects against his majesty,— which letters
ye laid down in the kirk of Edinburgh,
to the effect the same might have fallen
in the hands of the people; thereby to
bring his majesty in contempt, and stir up
his people to sedition aud disobedience, expressly
against the laws against lesing
makers, and authors of seditious and infamous
speeches and writings. Which ye
cannot deny, like as ye have confest the
same by two several depositions subscribed
with your hand."

All the researches of the careful compiler
of these trials have failed in getting a copy
of the " pasquils " in which Francis Tennant
had signalised his wit. From some vague
entries in one of the registers, he believes
they must have contained some severe innuendos
on the birth of the king, calling him
the son of Signor Davie, by which name
Rizzio was commonly known. But whatever
the satire might have been, the publication
can have done no great harm, as it consisted
in dropping two letters on the church floor,
which seem to have been immediately picked
up before they fell into the hands of the
people. Francis Tennant made confession of
authorship, and put himself, as it was called,
in the king's willthat is, threw himself on
the royal clemency, after pleading that the
crime occurred three years before, and that
he had not been served with a copy of the
accusation. He also alluded to a noble
sentence in the Roman law, which it is a pleasure
to quote.

In the chapter, Si quis Imperatori
Maledixerit, the decision is this, "If the evil
speaking proceeded from levity, it is to be
despised; if from madness, it is to be pitied;
if from a sense of wrong, it is to be forgiven."
But whether in this case it proceeded from
levity, or madness, or a sense of wrong, the
king was determined on his revenge. He
wrote a warrant to the court to pronounce
doom on Francis Tennant. Read the bitter
words and remember the offence. "Justice,
Justice-clerk, and your Deputes. We greet
you well. It is our will, and we command
you, that upon the sight hereof ye pronounce
the doom following upon Francis Tennant,
burgess of Edinburgh, after his conviction of
the forging and casting down of seditious
pasquilsthat is to say, That he shall be
taken to the market-cross of Edinburgh, and
his tongue cut out at the root; and that
there shall be a paper fixed upon his brow
bearing that he is convicted for forging and
giving out of certain vile and seditious
pasquils detracting us and our most noble
progenitors; and thereafter that he be taken
to the gallows and hanged till he be dead, as
ye will answer to us upon your offices and
obedience. Whereanent these presents shall
be your warrant."

This was dated the twenty-third of
September. In three or four days, calmer and
softer thoughts came into the king's mind.
He reflected, probably, on the length of time
which had occurred since the pasquinade
was written, or the sufferings of the poor
author during his long imprisonment; and
generous, noble James!—he writes on
the twenty-seventh to his subservient judges
"that they are to omit the tongue-cutting,
and merely hang the culpritescheating
his goods to the crown." Ay, here is
the moving power in all the interferences of
this exemplary sovereign with the course
of justice. Mr. Pitcairn, who defends the
king's character wherever he can, gives him
up here. "Independently of his wounded
kingly dignity," he says, " the wealthy bur-
gess's escheat had proved too great a bait
to James's cupidity to admit of his passing

What the arena, with the excitement of
its gladiatorial combats, was to the Roman
emperors, the courts of law were to the son
of Signor Davie. He seems to have watched
them with the keen interest with which
Caligula may have observed the struggles
of a Christian martyr in the grasp of a tiger.
He was perpetually in a fidget till he got his
victim condemned. His judges were removeable
at pleasure, and not displeased with the
taste of blood. So king and lawyer were
mutually pleased.

One dayit was the twenty-third of April,
sixteen hundred and onethere was excellent
sport provided for the Lord's anointed, as he
called himself, and the dispensers of justice in
the Parliament house. The blood of Francis
Tennant was still dripping from his hands,
when his wrath was roused by a much greater
enormity than the mere publication of a
pasquil; an enormity so great, that nothing
but the doer's death could expiate the
offence. The offence, to be sure, was
unpremeditated. It was not even carried into
execution; but the man had shewed an
intention of committing the crimehe
would have completed the dreadful act if
he had not been preventedand that was

Archibald Cornwall was one of the town
officers of Edinburgh. His duties seem to

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