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Full text of "Blighted ambition, or, The rise and fall of the Earl of Somerset : a romance"

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" Let me speak, <o the unknowing world, 
How these things came about — so shall you hear 
Of carnal, bloody, and unnatural acts ; 
Of accidental judgments, casual slaughters; 
Ol deaths put on by cunning, and forc'd cause ; 
And, in this upshot, purposes mistook 
Fall'n on the inventors' heads;— all this can I 
Truly deliver." Hamlet. 







y. 3 





You were iis'd 
To say extremity was the tirer of spirits ; 
Tiiat common chances, common men would bear; 
That when the sea was cahu, all boats alike 
Sliew'd mastership in floating. Fortune's blows, 
When most struck home, being gently warded, crave 
A noble cunning. You were used to load me 
With precepts that would make invincible 
I'he heart that conn'd them. Coriolanus. 

In a few days after the Earl of Somer- 
set had visited the King at Hampton 
Court, the Privy Council resolved upon 
sending Sir Thomas Overbury as am- 
bassador into the Low Countries to the 
Archduke. The great object of Cecil 


2 BLIGHTED ambition; OR, 

in this appointment, was to reward the 
diligence and suflBciency of the knight^ 
and to make his mission a means of draw- 
ing him into greater preferments. But 
that great statesman did not live to see 
his plan carried into effect ; for being 
now grown into years, he was advised 
to visit Bath for the benefit of his health, 
and in coming over the downs from that 
city, to Marlborough, he was taken ill 
in his coach, and expired the day after. 
The death of the great Earl of Salisbury, 
was not looked upon by many as having 
happened in the ordinary course of Na- 
ture, and they accordingly attributed it 
to poison, that invisible but fatal agent 
so much in vogue in those days. 
And scarcely had this " supporter of 
the Protestant faction, and discloser of 
treasons," departed this life, than epi- 
taphs innumerable were made for his 
tomb -stone, one saying : 


Here lies thrown ***** 
Little Bossive Robin, that was so great, 
Not Robin Goodfellow, nor Robin Hood, 
But Robin th' incloser of Hatfield Wood; 
Who eeem'd as sent from ugly Fate, 
To spoil the Prince and rob the state : 
Owning a mind of dismal ends. 
As traps for foes, and tricks for friends. 

The great fame of Somerset, his popula- 
rity, and the mysterious manner in which 
he conducted some parts of his conduct, 
spread reports in no respects favourable 
to his reputation at this period. Some 
said he had tampered with Cecil's phy- 
sician, others that he had merely em- 
ployed the chroniclers of men's actions, 
to write the epitaph of the great states- 
man now no more ; but a third class in 
the blindness of their zeal, translated the 
Earl's death, into an effect of God's 
vengeance ; but the Earl of Salisbury 
was a minister of incomparable prudence, 
and with such a scatterer as King James 
B 2 


might have feathered his nest^ as the say- 
ing goes, better than he did ; but he 
looked upon low things with contempt,, 
leaving much to the gleaning of his ser- 
vants, many of whom came afterwards 
into high places. 

Great as the honour was which had 
now been conferred upon Sir Thomas 
Overbury, that gentleman demurred to 
be encumbered with it, and this reluc- 
tance he was not backward to express to 
Gabriella, that friend of his bosom, from 
whom no action of his life was now con- 
cealed, so much did he value her judg- 
ment in matters wherein his own rested 
without any doubt. 

*^ Nay, doubt not the disposition of 
the Lords of Council," said the fair Ga- 
briella : " follow their counsel and your 
fortune is made." 

" But, Gabriella," replied Overbury, 
-" the Earl of Northampton bears ill-will 
towards me — he has 'not concealed his 


aiiind from mvself, and to others he has 
spoken even more freely. I must cast 
about, to find out the reason why I am 
employed to visit the Archduke^ in pre- 
ference to some great lord," 

" Sir Knight/' interrupted Gabriella, 
** to refuse the King's commission^ will 
i3e your utter disgrace." 

" To undertake it/' replied Sir Tho- 
mas, " will be the loss of my preferment 
h^ means of my best friend at home, the 
Earl of Somerset." 

" And to decline it, will be construed 
into high treason/' rejoined Gabriella. 

" Think'st thou, fair dame, I am to be 
<jozened by Northampton, and he it is 
who desires me gone ? Nay, nay, Ga- 
briella, I will not budge ; 'tis all a trick 
into which they have drawn me ; and 
Somerset is so fairly in my power, he '11 
not fail to stand my friend, in the event 
^f incurring the King's displeasure.'^ 


" I shall not urge my poor opinion fur- 
ther/' replied Gabriella ; " but methinks 
you might try the stars with some wise 
magician, to know the fortune reserved 
for you in this appointment." 

'^ I had some thoughts of that myself/' 
answered Overbury ; " but I am not in 
the humour now. — To-morrow, perhaps, 
I may visit a conjuror, and have the 
scheme of my nativity erected and con- 

On the morrow Sir Thomas was met 
by Somerset earlier than usual at White- 
hall ; and the presence of the Earl sur- 
prised his friend, who, in the familiarity 
of that intercourse which passed between 
them, exclaimed as his eyes met those of 
his patron, — >'* My Lord, good morrow : 
methinks this early time of day bespeaks 
partnership with some alchymical dew 

" No, Sir, Thomas, no, not quite so fan- 


eiful as a Rosicrutian either ; but as zea- 
lous as the best friend of Overbury/' re- 
plied Somerset. 

" Zeal, my good lord, like the warm- 
ing beams of that blessed sun, ne'er 
yet lacked blossoms and social evergreens, 
■ — How does my sweet lord ?" 

^^ Indifferent well, Sir Thomas/' replied 
Somerset : " you have been talked to 
last night, by the lords of council, on 
your appointment irk the Tiow Countries. 
How squares your humour with an em- 
bassage ?" 

Overbury, who judged this would be 
a favourable opportunity of putting the 
friendship of the Viscount to the test, 
professed himself at a loss how to act 
and begged Somerset would advise him, 
saying, '^ What thinks your Lordship of 
the appointment ? For myself, I am in- 
different how it goes. Some considerations 
there are which would induce me to 
travel again ; but there are others, and 


these not altogether personal, which in- 
vite me to remain still in England." 

" I confess to you, Sir Thomas/' replied 
Somerset, '' I am somewhat of your 
mind ; and I am aware of considerations 
you ought to entertain not altogether 
personal. Bethink you or the predica- 
ment in which you might be placed with 
respect to Gabriella, and also to the Coun- 
cil if your embassage answered not the 
wishes of the King, who^ whatever may 
be his present intentions, will be no trusty 
ally of the protectant cause in Ger- 

"' I had, in reference to the maligners 
of your Lordship's worth/' said Over- 
bury, '' applied to myself these words of 
the poet : — 

'"' Ne quicquam crede, liaud credere quicqiiam, 
• nam fironte polito." 

'' Astutum rapido torrent suhpectore viU- 
pern, the which," continued Sir Thomas, 


who entertained a very low opinion of 
Somerset's Latinity, " we English by 

Believe not thou, scarce any man ; 
For oft a Phrj^gian face 
* Is smoothly covered with a smile, 
But within seeks thy disgrace.*' 

" Perfectly so," ejaculated Somerset ; 
** thy disgrace indeed, my Mentor ; — do 
your preferments and your expectations 
lie among foreign nations ? No, none of 
them. In how many years will you 
labour to make among them that cre- 
dit you have at home ? Then why 
should you hazard upon uncertainties, 
being in possession, as a man may say, 
of all that you expect by this means 
already ?" 

*• There, my Lord Earl, you have hit 

the right nail on the head," answered 

the knight, whose determinations the 

wily favourite had now directed as he 

B 5 


wished ; — ^^ My great trust in your 
Lordship's continued friendships, with 
the doubtfulness of my own mind, what 
jBome who wish me gone may aim at, 
does in a manner confirm my opinion 
rather to leave it than to take it." 

" Doubt that sweet sun shines, but do 
doubt not me," replied Somerset. 

'^ Nevertheless, my Lord, it will be 
no small thing to oppose the determina- 
tion of the Council, and to contradict 
the King's employment," interrupted 
Overbury ; — " for in either of these I 
must expect the displeasure of both, and 
be in danger to receive condign punish- 
ment, if your Lordship's great influence 
help me not over this bridge of de- 

*^ Who ever sank when I said, swim, 
fellow, swim ?" demanded Somerset ; 
*^ and dost thou doubt I will not take 
this upon me. 1 grant I wished at first 
thou wert gone to Jericho, till thy beard 


had grown, for those jangles we have 
had ; but now. Sir Thomas, I do not know 
what I should do without you ; our for- 
tunes are one." 

" And I had hopes, nay, considera- 
tions not altogether personal, as I may 
say again, that my presence here in 
England, might save your Lordship 
from that alliance." 

" Hold; hold, Sir Thomas,'^ inter- 
rupted the favourite, '^ I have had 
long experience of thy worth — I have 
found thee faithful and diligent in 
thy employments, and could as well 
miss my right hand, as miss thee ; and 
in case any such danger should happen 
to thee as thou fearest, yet nevertheless, 
if either my w^ord, my letter, or my 
credit, or favour, can either mitigate, 
release, or relieve you, it shall not be 
wanting to do you pleasure and afford 

'^ Then, my Lord, I will this morn- 
ing write to the Lord President of the 


council, and inform him of my determi- 
nation to decline the embassage to the 
Archduke," said Overbury, whom a 
blind prejudice seduced from duty and 
utterly drew from that which was in- 
tended for his profit. 

'^ Write, by all means/' exclaimed 
Somerset -, ^^ but to no mortal do thou, 
my friend, disclose that I had any hand 
in dissuading thee from the embassage." 

Overbury having replied that he 
should never commit his patron, walked 
out of the palace gardens into his cabi- 
net, where he penned his renunciation 
of the employment, and forwarded it 
to the Lord President before noon. — 
And Somerset having so completely 
gained his purpose, took a bye path to 
the house of Northampton, where he 
arrived, ere the Earl had despatched 
the business of the morning between 
matins and breakfast. 

" How fares my good Lord this 
morning," demanded Somerset, as he 


abruptly introduced himself into the 
presence of the Earl of Northampton. 

'^ Well, excellent well, both in heart 
and in head ; and as purpose of a feast 
brings the falcon from his mew, for 
which species of banquet, am I to 
translate your Lordship's early visit ?" 
asked Northampton, who, though he 
shaped his question so, judged the Vis- 
count came to make the amende ho- 
norahle to the Lady Frances for the 
ill humour into which he had thrown 
her mind on the preceding evening. 

'' In faith, my Lord," said Somerset, 
in reply, '' I've had as much to do this 
morning as an I were of the cabal of 
hermetrical philosophers. As the fratres 
roris cocti frequent the meadows in the 
morning to gather their most powerful 
dissolvent from the grassy couch of 
8omnus, so have I, my Lord, been 
seeking for light." 

'^ Indeed, my Lord of Somerset, you 


seem initiated in the rules of the invisi- 
ble brothers," retorted Northampton ; 
^^ have you then digested, modified, 
and compounded the seed of the red 
dragon into pure gold ?" 

•^ In good sooth I have/' answered 
the favourite ; — '' this gross corporeal 
light hath dissolved a spell I lay under, 
and now, methinks, that archean power 
o' the stars o'er my fate begins to act 
sensibly before my eyes." 

^^ By the signatures of things past, 
present, and to come !" uttered Nor- 
thampton ; " by the efficacy of magic, 
and the various ranks and orders of 
daemons, methinks thou hast in very 
deed found out that the philosopher's 
stone is dew concocted, exalted." 

" Aye, faith, have I," said Somer- 
set, laughing. '^ My conjuror Overbury 
hath become a most perfect gymnoso- 
phist ; but, as I squeeze this Provence 
rose-bud, so shall I crush him now." 


" How, now, my Lord," asked Nor- 
thampton in evident joy. 

" Why look ye, my sweet Earl," 
answered Somerset, " the poor knight 
hath resolved him not to undertake the 
embassage ; and my plan is thereby 
thorough sped. Presto I'll to the King 
and trounce mine enemy." 

" Thou art as marvellous as a fowler 
with his harquebuss and stalking horse," 
said Northampton: "explain to^me this 

" Briefly then 'tis this," answered 
Somerset. " Overbury declines the 
embassage ; as soon as he hath written 
to that effect to the Lord President of 
the council, I will urge his Lordship to 
lay the knight's letter before the King. 
To Overbury, before his Majesty, I have 
always shewn myself partial. I shall 
still preserve the appearance of honest 
friendship; but then my duty to James is 
above all others important, and will die- 


tate the necessity of his Grace's displeasure 
being shown, by committing Sir Tho- 
mas Overbury to the Tower — let the Lord 
Justice Coke, and the Attorney Bacon, 
iind out the kind and degree of treason 
the knight hath committed in refusing 
to obey the King'^ royal pleasure." 

" By the rood, my Lord Somerset, 
thou hast rid thyself of the fellow ex- 
cellent well," exclaimed Northampton— 
"•' But there are others will oppose thee, 
and leave no stone unturned till Over- 
bury be released." 

" On what figure of the canvas now 
is your Lordship's eye bent ?" asked 
Somerset ; for the Earl was at the mo- 
ment glancing at a fine painting of the 
Royal Family, which had been pre- 
sented by Queen Anne to Northamp- 

" Which of these youths, thinkest 
thou, Somerset, would best fish with 
a jury of flies? Nay, look not so 



grave ; there wants but the wee wee, 
German lairdie in the group, spouting 
a verse from Du Bartas." 

" By St. AndroisI" exclaimed So- 
merset. " And has busy prating fame 
brought my rencontre with their high- 
nesses to your Lordship's ears already?" 

" Even so, my Lord Somerset," re- 
plied the Earl with a sigh, and adding 
one of the popular angling proverbs of 
the day to strike home into the Vis- 
count's bosom, he said flippantly, 

'' If that the wind be in the south, 

It blows the fly into the trout's mouth." 

" Enough, enough ! my sweet Lord," 
cried Somerset; " to that thorough- 
paced courtier Philip Herbert, hath 
Prince Henry no doubt in a poculent 
moment bragged of his sport with me ; 
and now I must be the laughing stock 


of fools and knaves. By Jove this is^ 
too much." 

" Nay, my Lord, reserve this choler 
for a fitting time and place ; breakfast, 
I dare swear, awrits, though the rascal 
serving me ne'er fancies my appetite 
may become trenchant — let us to the 
Lady Frances, who must be reconciled 
by this news.'' — And without waiting 
for Somerset's answer, or listening to 
any observation from him on the hint 
conveyed by the Lady Frances being 
reconciled, the old Earl led the way, 
leaving the noble Viscount to follow. 

On entering the spacious and elegant 
apartment which served as the break- 
fasting room, the Lady Frances was 
seen viewing herself in a fine French 
looking glass, the frame whereof was 
ornamented with gold, pearls, silver, 
and velvet, so richly bedecked as to 
be estimated at five hundred ecus de 


" Good morrow, noble Coz/' said 
Northampton, skipping with nimble 
step up to his niece ; " I've brought you 
the noble Somerset, who has made his 
peace with a whole hecatomb this morn- 
ing ; and all that is past must be 
blown to the blast. — No — no — I'll not 
see those sweet lips opened in reproach, 
nor hear that angel tongue revile the 
Lord : Overbury goes to the Tower 
to-morrow, or I forfeit my right hand ! 
Does that content you ?" 

" A little thing contents me," replied 
the Lady Frances, whom the Earl had 
prevented speaking for a space — and as 
she said this she turned round to So- 
merset, on whom she cast a glance that 
spoke her high displeasure, but the Vis- 
count knelt on one knee, seized her 
hand, pressed it to his lips and then to 
his heart without uttering a word. — 
^' Nay, rise," added she; '^ we bear not 
malice, though we receive offence. — 



Thou hast sealed thy pardon, my dear- 
est Somerset." 

The favourite thereupon arose, J and 
having placed for the Lady Frances a 
chair by the side of the richly loaded 
table, sat down beside her, and their 
breakfast was eaten with good appe- 

'' Cousin," said Northampton, '^ we 
will now take our leave of you, for 
business of high import calls us away ; 
the Earl of Somerset and myself have 
only entered on the threshold of our 
labours. There must not be one im- 
pediment to your marriage ; nor in 
the land one golden tongue to ask what 
card is trumps; our game must be play- 
ed in the world's eye as fairly under 
clubs as diamonds, under spades as 
hearts; neither ought we to heed whe- 
ther the fetters of our maligners con- 
sist of many links or of one. We must 
forge the many and make the one strong 


enough. There is that many headed 
beast;, the multitude, that in a few years 
must be galled by a new saddle and a 
young rider, unless some one act the 
part of Robert Dudley, thinking it 
more convenient to maintain his power 
at the expense of one prince than to 
lose it in the splendour of the rising 

" There were greater loss than all that," 
said Somerset; " and to hear a 'scape- 
grace prince, in the ostentation of his 
birth, despise his father's best friend for 
meanness of blood, renders that a shame 
which in itself is no crime." 

" Sweet Somerset," quoth the Lady 
Frances, ^' leave such animals to pride 
themselves in the shadow and tail of 
honour ; — be it our duty to find some 
alchymic which may make the substance 
vanish, and the tongue that would in- 
sult us listless as Bryan o' Rourke's." 

'^ Mad savage that was, cousin," said 


Northampton, " to drag her grace Eli- 
zabeth's picture about at the tail of a 
horse, and die laughing at his confes- 

Weston who stood behind the chair 
of the Lady Frances, at this moment 
whispered intoherear the petition; "now 
is the moment to find an apt assistant 
in our mysteries." And the Lady 
Frances accordingly turning to Roches- 
ter said, '^ sweet Lord, I have a boon 
to beg ; read me this scroll, and if thou 
canst obtain for a poor man his lands, 
we'll find an active messenger in 

Somerset took the paper, opened it, 
and having glanced oyer its contents, 
said, "• He believed the fellow^ might be 
reinstated ;" but added, " what means 
my dearest Lady Frances by this mes- 
senger ?" 

" In good sooth, my Lord, I would 
have him preferred into the prince's 


kitchen, where he may be as useful as 
Doctor Julio to the Earl of Leicester." 

" Ah ! now speakest thou without 
riddle/' exclaimed Somerset. " Frank- 
lin shall be translated, if we can depend 
upon him. How sayest thou, Weston?" 

Weston looked first at Northampton, 
as much as to say, " mine host, may I 
speak ?" Then at the Lady Frances as 
if to get the catch-word of his part, and 
having with some degree of sufficiency 
adjusted the ruff he had that morning 
put on, said, " so please your noble 
personages, there was the Lord Robert 
Dudley whom ye have spoken of: he 
thought it convenient to be single, 
while two young queens in the island 
were marriageable, and therefore put 
Amie Robsart his wife out of the way, 
by flinging her down stairs, and break- 
ing her neck." 

" How, sirrah, how knowest thou 
that?" said Lady Frances. 


" Even as the world knows that he 
privately married the Lady Douglas 
Sheffield, after having poisoned her 
husband/' replied Weston. 

'' Scandal, as I live," said North- 
ampton ; " but what hast thou, Sirrah, 
to tell us of the Lady Donglas ; for I 
warrant your Ladyship this young brag- 
gart page knows all that passes in all 
the chambers of the land." 

" Faith, my Lord," answered the 
page, "an I must speak, Dudley find- 
ing the Lady Douglas inconvenient to 
him, endeavoured to poison her, and 
forced the by terror, and the loss of her 
hair and nails, to marry Sir Edward 

" Well, Sirrah ; and what wouldst thou 
infer next ?" demanded Northampton. 

" He then got another wife," answer- 
ed Weston. 

" He knows all that's done under 
Heaven, I do believe," said the Lady 


Frances. " He did get another wife. 
Sirrah, the Lady Essex." 

" After getting rid of her husband by 
his favourite method/' rejoined the 
page. " And Sir Nicholas Throgmor- 
ton, and the Earl of Sussex, and the 
Cardinal Chastillon, and Dr. Julio ex- 
pired in a strange manner. Men must 
die some time, and the Earl of Leicester 
had the power and the will to deliv^^r 
himself of all who opposed his jovial 
humour in queen craft. — But Harry 
Stuart may be less offensive as King 
Henry the Ninth, than debonnaire as 
Prince of Wales, and the loftiest branch 
in the young Caledonian grove. God 
bless the King, and Heaven guard his 
sons, say I ; and may they be bred as 
well as the son of her late Grace in the 
state of Venice, and her daughter, I 
know not where, more than wise Henry 
the Fourth over the water, who could 
not tell what religion himself was of." 

VOL. III. c 


" Hold thy peace, varlet," said the' 
Lady Frances, for both Northampton 
and Somerset sat laughing immoderately 
as the pert page ran on ; " hold thy 
peace. Sirrah," exclaimed the Lady an- 
grily, " and bring presto, thy thorough- 
paced friend, my Lord's trenchman, or 
master of horse, or whatever he is, by 
name Coppinger." 

Weston bowed and hastened to the 
buttery, where Coppinger was prepar- 
ing his body for the duties of the day^ 
by a more substantial meal than usually 
constituted the breakfast of the English 
people at this period. 

" Come along, thou pot-bellied tren- 
cherman ?" exclaimed Weston : " come 
along, I say : there are great sovereigns 
and double rose nobles to boot in the 
way this morning, and thou sittest there 
with that porker, tosspot, truculent cook 
and his trumpet-tongued trulls." 

" Then have at thee, bully page,^" 


cried one of the kitchen wenches who 
sat next Coppinger ; " thou cuttle fish, 
sea angler, graceless skegger — zounds, 
sirrah, the brass gates of Norwich and 
thy tench looking face^ are the nearest 
things alike in this nether world — how 
squares thy turcism with a slice of boar's 
head, thou trucking shark?" 

" Look ye, my masters," quoth Wes- 
ton, regardless of the eniaged woman, 
*' look ye," he added, tossing up a purse 
of money, " these are all Britain crowns^ 
new from the Mint, as a sinner nitiy say, 
and when they're gone, I'll stuff this bit 
of leather with half Henry nobles, or my 
name is not Weston. Come, Coppinger, 
come, I say, or go to the devil in your 

own w^av.'^ 

Coppiiiger, whom moisey, or the sight 
of money always moved on his seat, 
sprung out of the buttery with Weston, 
and was speedily conducted into the 
presence of his master. 
c 2 


'' Coppinger," said the favourite, 
" knowest thou Jervase Yelvis in Lin- 

" Him that was some time in the study 
of the public laws at Lincoln's Inn ?" 
asked the Master of Horse. 

" The same ; thou didst hint to me/^ 
said Somerset, " he was ambitious of pre- 
ferment, and would give a sum of money 
to have the honour and place of Sir 
William Wade." 

" Gramercie ! my Lord/' answered 
Coppinger, " and I did. Sir William 
Wade hath been too severe towards the 
Lady Arabella, and he hath given some 
other prisoners in the Tower more liberty 
than they deserve ; besides, he hath 
grown rich, and w^ith that careless of 
his office, the which to my thinking, he 

" Well, well. Sir," said Northampton, 
^' we called you not here for advice, but 
to hear and to obey. — Look ye, Coppin- 


ger, take this bag full of great sovereigns 
and do what my Lord of Somerset hath 
to do, e'en to the death of friend or foe ; 
— be wise, honest and discreet, and dis- 
charge thyself with more sufficiency 
than I hope thou can'st, and on the 
word of Northampton, thy beaver shall 
be heaped with double rose nobles when 
thy work is done." 

Coppinger took the bag of gold, put 
it into a side pocket of his doublet, 
which he wore fastened with large cop- 
per clasps before, and bowing to Nor- 
thampton, assured him " he would 
justify the house of Howard against any 
who wore a leek on St. David's day, 
or refused salt fish and parsnips on Good 

'^ 'Tis well," said Northampton, wav- 
ing his hand, and walking to the win- 
dow, he left the Viscount to dispatch 
his Master of Horse. 

" Coppinger, my dear fellow," said 


Somerset, '' thou must to horse presto^ 
presto, and as fast as thy limbs and the 
tfd hold good, ride thee to the fair city 
of Lincoln. Here is thy passport, sign- 
ed with my own seal. Find me Jer- 
vase Elwes, or Yelvis^ as they call him ; 
and make what bargain thou can'st with 
him for the lieutenancy of the Tower — 
my Lord Northampton and myself, will 
place him there, ere two suns are set. 
But look to it, Sir, he must be observant 
of such as prefer him ; and make the 
Earls of Northampton and Somerset 
the end of all his actions." 

'- If he fear not to displease your no- 
ble Lordships more than the King," an- 
swered Coppinger, " he is no fit man for 
his office ; and an he displease your 
Lordships, I'll undertake his extortion 
comes to nought, ere the settle of his 
lieutenancy warms under him. — This 
dagger," added the bravo, looking in 
the face of the Lord Northampton, " this 


shall justify my cluty^ and punish Jer- 
vaise's neglect^ an he lack grace lo re- 
member his patrons." 

^* Good, Coppinger, good ; but when 
wilt thou be in town again?" demanded 

" An horse and man hold good/' re- 
plied the bravo, *' on Sunday at dusk." 

** Speed thee well then, Coppinger/' 
said the favourite, waving his hand for 
the ruffian to be gone. 

Weston, who had entered the chamber 
with his bully friend, t?tood in amaze- 
ment as this scene passed before his 
eyes, and in the hearing of his ears ; and 
when Coppinger departed he would 
have followed, but the Lady Frances 
withdrew by the arras of a side door, 
beckoning her page to follow her. 



Still cheating and lying, he plays his game, 
Always dissembling, yet still the same ; 
Till he fills the creation with crimes of damnation^ 
Then goes to the devil from whence he came. 

Old Song, 

Is all the council that we two have shared, 

the hours that we have spent, 

When we have chid the hasty footed time 

For parting us Oh ! is all forgot ? 

* * * 

And will you rent our ancient love asunder? 

Midsummer Night's Dream. 


Now, my sweet Lord," said Somerset 
to his wily friend Northampton, the 
moment Coppinger had left the room, 
" I'll to the Tower, and under pretence 
of duty, fish from the prisoners there, 


such grounds of complaint against Sir 
William Wade as may warrant his re- 
moval. Thus the way will be opened 
for Elwes. My next business will be to 
do a good turn to this Franklin. If I 
can make him a household man at 
Hampton Court, or the Hospital, I shall 
indeed, recommend him and his trusti- 
ness to our plot, and he shall find an 
honest recompence for his pains in the 

" For mercy's sake, Somerset," said the 
Earl, " be as wary as you can, that no 
man get an advantage of us. I doubt 
not but you know the peril to be, both 
life, lands and honour, in case the mat- 
ter be not wisely used." 

" I trow your Lordship has proof of 
my constancy already," answered So- 
merset, " and you might confide your 
Earldom to Coppinger ; he would not 
spare to ride to hell's gate to pleasure 
me, and he is not beguiled of my part to 
c 5 


him. The page I must dispose of, as 
his recklessness shews want of caution. 
I must even now see him, to achieve 
that which my heart pants after withal. 
If he blab one word, had he ten thou- 
sand lives, and could he suffer ten thou- 
sand deaths, they would not all be suffi- 
cient satisfaction and recompense for 
such a traitor." 

As the favourite pronounced the last 
word, the Lady Frances entered the 
room, saying, " My sweet Lord, I have 
dispatched Weston for that knave Frank- 
lin ; — it is fit we should see him, ere we 
count all our materials in readiness.*' 

'^ My own thought, sweet," answered 
Somerset, '' though the spending of all 
I have got, yea, the hazarding of my life 
shall not affray me from my revenge, 
although the scaffold were already set 
up, I would go through with the wracks 
ing of mine enemies." 

'' Time flies," interrupted Northamp- 


ton, " and it makes for my hour of 
sailing on the river. I will call on my 
excursion at one or two water gates. 
Does your Ladyship 'company me, or 
may I trust the Lady Frances with my 
sweet Rochester." 

^' Goodsooth, noble uncle/' said the 
Lady Frances, ^^ your house is fast castle 
to me till my page return, for without 
him, in public I will not appear. Besides, 
I look for him and this Franklin anon — - 
Somerset, you'll w^ait and see this man ?" 

Somerset, bowed assent, the old Earl 
took his leave, and the Lady Frances 
and her gallant passed the time to their 
own satisfaction till Weston returned. 
As soon as the page introduced his asso- 
ciate Franklin, Somerset addressed him 
saying, " Thou hast been hardly dealt 
with, my master, and thy lands may be 
difficult to recover ; nevertheless good 
service may be done thee, if thou couldst 
be relied on in extremity — Wouldstiive 


in my house at St. James's Park, or 
would the Prince's suit thy humour bet- 

'' An your Lordship wants a special 
Secretary of your noble life, I will un- 
dertake in any stratagem, to be circum- 
spect in all things, and take no fear but 
all shall be well,'* said Franklin with 
great deliberate coolness. 

" Thou canst prepare ane hatted kit 
with sugar and comfits ?" asked Somer- 
set ; " and for younkers that snuff the 
Queen's herb, thou couldst undertake to 
mill it with some henbane ; — or with 
white arsenic, which is fit for salt at the 
table ; thou couldst undertake to become 
apprentice to death ; or the help grave 
ycleped great spiders and the fly can- 
tharides, fit for pigs sauce or porridge 
sauce, albeit they resemble spiceries — 
thou couldst use these discreetly; or 
with roseaker and mercury water in the 
composts of tarts and hotch potches, 
ycleped made dishes, or by such essays 


as might not be too swift, lest the world 
should startle at thy occupation by the 
suddenness of dispatch ; — thou couldst 
give the sexton a fee ?" 

Franklin whose countenance moved 
not during Somerset's enumeration of 
these various methods of dispatching an 
enemy, said, " An I had a quiet place and 
\vell provided, he might linger some 
one and twenty days I essaid upon, or 
till all be done that could be well done, 
he might be said to have an ague for two 
months, or an 'twere fitting he should 
seem leprosied with vice, and a corpus 
judaicuniy dead by dissoluteness/' 

The speeches of Somerset and the 
cool blooded murderer who spoke last, 
thrilled the very soul of the Lady Fran- 
ces, for though she loved pleasure, she 
had no such hardness of heart and de- 
pravity as these plotters discovered ; 
but the shock was momentary, and the 
purpose of her revenge reconciled her to 


language not befitting the ears of a 
female, and a lady of noble birth and 
high breeding. 

Weston, on the other hand, exhibited 
a malignant satisfaction in his look, as 
the Viscount's enumeration fell upon his 
ear, and his eyes glistened with a hel- 
lish joy as Franklin briefly declared 
how far his ability extended in this 
traffic of death. 

'' By the rood, my master, thou deser- 
vest an ecclesiastical revenue," exclaim- 
ed Somerset, his eye-brows meeting as 
he pursed his forehead in examining the 
face of Franklin, to discover if insince- 
rity lurked beneath the appearance of 
ready service he expressed in words ; 
'' and now methinks, it were well thou 
couldst in some sort assure us of thy 

*' Propose your oath, my Lord," said 
Franklin readily, "' and I will swear it ; 
but methinks if I stake life and limb 


'gainst your Lordship's blue ribbon, the 
danger is reciprocate. May I be planet 
stricken ; may the Lord of the ascendant 
and the Lord of the hour cease to be of 
one nature and triplicity, when I put a 
radical question to the astrologer Gres- 
ham, or Scot in St. Swithin's Lane, an 
I ben't as cobby in your Lordship's ser- 
vice, an I am to have my patrimony 
back, as an I had the Mall dusted with 
farthings of gold, and the whole a free 
gift of the King's Majesty. — Why wasn't 
our breast bones made to open and 
shut that a man's heart might be looked 
into, an his bare word equal not the 
objuration of prating oafs that bounce 
all they know in roundelays with the 
rudity of punchinello." 

" Thou lackest not the gift of the gab 
more than romancers of thy calling," 
said Somerset, when he could edge in 
his word ; " but to be brief, master 
Franklin, thou'lt change service to enter 


as chief cook at St. James's or Hamp- 
ton Court ;'' — Franklin bowecl^ folded 
his hands upon his breast and muttered 
something about his gratitude^ and the 
Viscount proceeded to say^ " thy worth 
in this new vocation we will try in 
gQod time^ if thou becomest not one of 
the puling craven dependants of ray 
Lord of Pembroke. Look to it, if thou 
art called to the royal kitchen, that 
thy service to me procure thee prefer- 
ment, — take this purse of nobles, and 
remember thy trust." 

Franklin again made an inclination 
of his head very lov/ly, put the money 
into the pocket of his jerkin, and turned 
round to Weston to be conducted out 
of the apartment. The page, who had 
said to himself on the departure of Cop - 
pinger with his money, " Much falls 
between the cup and the lip," resolved 
to let no preventional contingency in- 
tervene between him and Franklin, and 


taking his friend by the hand, gave him 
joy on the success of his interview. 

'^ Thy fortune is made, master Mar- 
tin Franklin," said Weston when he 
had gained the outside of the chamber 
door. " Mayhap thou'lt not forget 
Billy Weston, and thy pocket stuffed 
as it is this morning ?" 

^' Thou hast an excellent place, my 
young master," replied Franklin, " and 
I tell thee for thy comfort, it is good 
to make hay while the sun shines." 

" God's death! Bully Cook," ex- 
claimed Weston, his colour leaving his 
cheek, while he laid his hand on the 
wilt of his dagger. '' This to me, thou 
baud to the mouth. — Who brought thee 
to all this good fortune ? Not Gresham, 
nor Scot, nor Forman, — cozening 
knaves, I despise their art, and spurn thee 
thus, thou white livered night crow;" and 
as the indignant page, who saw at once 
that his copartner intended him to make 


the honest proverb a stalking hor^se 
to his villainies, said, " I spurn thee 
thus,'' he gave Franklin a smart kick 
on the buttocks. 

" Thou trimming pickerel, an I 
hadn't more occasion to palter with thy 
betters, I'd play at pimpompet with 
thee for an hour to come. 'Sdeath, 
bully Page, an thou'rt going to palmer 
me ere I reach the threshold, I'll truck 
and budge anon." 

*' There's reason in that, Bully Cook," 
rejoined Weston. " Thou'st turned 
thy coat in the sun to-day, but we must 
go snacks, or by St. Paul I'll cut thee 
out of all thy employment, ere thou 
cross the Thames. — Holy Virgin ! an 
thou hast not found out hov/ to catch 
larks before the sky falls !" 

By this time Weston had dogged 
the temporizing cook into a remote 
corner of the building, and there he 
compelled him to produce the presenta- 


tioa purse, the contents of which he 
divided iuio two equal shares,. and bid- 
ding Franklin take which he liked, added, 
" Now, my master, thy fortune is in 
my keeping, if I go not halves in every 
purse thou gettest, I'll blast thee in the 
Star Chamber with one word." 

Franklin, having put his half of the 
prize into his pocket, commenced a 
long speech justifying himself, and re- 
flecting on the disposition the page had 
shown to cut a connection that promised 
such, and so great mutual advan- 
tages. But Weston had neither time 
nor temper to listen to the arguments 
of his copartner, and he therefore broke 
forth into a loud laugh, bidding the 
cook " go preach to the archbishop." 

On the page's return to his lady, she 
was in high altercation with Somerset, 
on subjects of personal consequence to 
themselves ; and the youth w^as about 
to quit the apartment under an impres- 


sion that his presence might not be 
agreeable. " Nay, stay, Sirrah," ex- 
claimed the Lady Frances, " thou hast 
heard the beginning, thou must hear the 
end of this jangle." Weston bowed and 
took his stand by the door he had just 

The Lady Frances earnestly besought 
Somerset for a sum of money she want- 
ed, and he promised her it should be 
forthcoming by a certain time. The 
period assigned by the Viscount was 
too remote, the Lady Frances " could 
not exist," she declared, till that time 
unless she had a certain sum, and So- 
merset was at length compelled to agree 
to her terms, and time of furnishing 
the cash. Glad to escape from the 
Earl of Northampton's, where his 
scheming had detained him, this morn- 
ing longer than he could have wished, 
the Viscount repaired to his office at 
Whitehall, and found that Sir Thomas 


Overbury had actually forwarded his 
letter of resignation to the Lord Presi- 
dent of the council : so far, he was glad, 
all had gone w^ell, and now he proceed- 
ed forthwith to the Lord President's, 
who on his entering handed the Vis- 
count the letter of Overbury, without 
saying a word. Somerset pretended 
great concern and deep sorrow at his 
protegee's abandonment of the employ- 
ment, and asked the noble Lord, '' what 
offence the conduct of Overbury might 
be classed with ? For offence it seem- 
ed to him, that any man should dare 
to gainsay the word of the King." 

^^ The offence," answered the Lord 
President, ^' is high treason." Then 
opening a casket, his Lordship took 
from it a small volume in manuscript, 
beautifully written and in some parts 
illuminated, containing in alphabetical 
orders the various treasons which in the 
opinion ofthe judge who had written that 


book might be committed r.gainst the 

*' I ghali be undone by this man, I 
foresee," quoth Somerset, " if he be 
committed to the Tower; and yet we 
must report to his Majesty forthwith the 
conduct of my secretary." 

" An insolent fellow, he is," replied 
the Lord President Suffolk ; '' thoii 
hast made him a kind of oracle of di- 
rection to tiiee, my sweet Lord, and if 
the world will believe his own vaunt, 
he took upon him that thy fortunes, 
reputation and fame proceeded from 
his company and counsel." 

" Doubtless, my noble Lord," an- 
swered Somerset, '^ our friendship hath 
rested not only in conversation and bu- 
siness at court, but likewise in commu- 
nication of secrets of state ; he hath 
^een and used for me the King's packets 
and despatches from all parts of Spain, 
France, and the Low Countries ; and 

THE hish: and fall of somirset. 4T 

ibis not by glimpses, or now and then 
resounding in the ear for a favour, but 
in a settled manner/' 

" His head is now under your girdle," 
interrupted the Lord Prc-^udent; "^and it 
would be a fantastical grace indeed, to 
let him wear it thrasonically for your 
destruction. Thomas Overbury bears 
the house of Howard no good will; you, 
my Lord Earl of Somerset, have given 
him opportunity to betray the state by 
confiding too much in him, sending 
him packets sometimes open, sometimes 
sealed for his perusal before you read 
them yourself. He hath perused them, 
copied them, registered them, made 
table talk of them, as he thout>:ht gfood.'' 

" Terrors of darkness confound the 
villain," exclaimed Somerset, " how 
does your Lordship know all this?" 

The Lord President opened the door 
of his chamber, and ringing a little bell 
a servant entered. '' Peyton/^ said the 


Earl, '^ relate the jargon thou heardst 
Sir Thomas Overbury use/' 

" So please your Grace," said the ser- 
ving man, " Cambro Mead of the 
Mitre in Cheap, says he knows more of 
the secrets of State from Sir Thomas 
Overbury than the Council table doth." 

*' Why, master Peyton," observed 
Somerset, " how came it to pass that 
while in my service thou usedst not this 
plainness ?" 

" So please your Lordship," answered 
the man, '' an I had lippened aught of 
all Cambro Mead told me, I had been 
confederate with Raleigh in the Tower.'' 

" How, fellow, how sayest thou ? ex- 
plain me thy meaning, for a riddle is 
thy trash of speech to my ear," said 
Somerset, angrily, his colour coming 
and going as the serving man spoke, 
and as his own tongue performed its 

'' This Mead is a prating fellow, of 


the city, and valueth himself on his 
occupation, and protection therein/' 
remarked Suffolk. " All the passages 
between him and Overbury happened, I 
reckon, before your friend, my Lord, 
was knighted ; nevertheless, the drift 
of the matter in form and meaning is 
this. The knight hath used the house 
of this Mead in his meaner fortunes ; 
and now shall Peyton speak plainly. 
The inwardness of thy soul lay open. 
Sirrah ;" said the Earl to Peyton, who 
confessed he had been employed as a 
spy to watch Sir Thomas Overbury — 
*' And," added the Earl, " I'll conjui^ 
from this Peyton cyphers used in great 
communication of secrets anent Julius, 
Agrippina, Dominic, Lerma, and so 

Somerset stood confounded for a mo- 
ment; this disclosure was more than he 
apprehended, as the names mentioned 
by the Lord President of the council, 



were actually nicknames, which Over- 
bury and he had used to designate the 
King, Queen, Northampton, and Suf- 
folk himself. When, however, the fa- 
vourite could command his feelings, " he 
begged of his Lordship that the serving 
man might withdraw;" a request which 
was at once complied with, and the 
two privy counsellors being left alone, 
mutual explanations and apologies took 
place ; Somerset averring he had been 
abused by Overbury, and Suffolk assur- 
ing his future son in law, that '' since 
he had opened his eyes, he hoped the 
noble Viscount would no longer accord 
his friendship to an ill man, since such 
alliances were conspiracy, not friend- 

" I see it all,'^ answered Somerset, 
*' this is his sincerity, his impugning my 
purpose of marriage ; — long did I know 
he had nothing solid for religion, or 
moral virtue about him, but was wholly 


possessed with ambition and vain glory; 
— now I see he was loth to have any 
partners in my favour but himself — 
Holy Paul ! Overbury is naught and 
corrupt ; the ballads must be mended 
for that point that shall chaunt his praise 
— T have this day planned his utter 
ruin, — and if I now let him break from 
me and fly out, he will wind unto me and 
trouble my whole fortunes — Overbury 
must die V 

" I go straight to the King," said the 
Earl of Suffolk, " to lay before his 
Majesty this letter ; do you, in the 
mean time, my dear Lord, give orders 
for Overbury's arrest; I shall return 
with the warrant of his committment 
to the Tower." 

Overbury, who had left Whitehall, 
immediately as Rochester quitted him, 
was, at the period of the discourse we 
have just related, innocently amusing 
himself in the company of his Gabriella. 
D 2 


Their conversation, on the knight's re- 
turn to this interesting being, ran for a 
time upon her dress for a wedding in 
the city, whither they had both been 
invited ; and so much did this matter 
occupy the attention of Gabriella, that 
for a time she forgot to mention the 
affair of the embassage into the Low 
Countries. At length, however, it was 
broached, and Sir Thomas having told 
her that he had de^^^ined the employ- 
ment, she burst into tears, and in her 
great agony prophesied the ruin of 
them both. — Overbury, who was in rea- 
lity a man of a haughty and overbear- 
ing disposition, found no better defence 
bf his conduct than the usurpation of 
the tyrannical power which their rela- 
tive situations yielded him, and he very 
unmanly used it to silence the accom- 
|)lished female who had lavished upon him 
to this hour the warmest affection of her 


soul and the sensibilities of her tender 

" Gabriella," said he, " you talk like 
a child, and your tears are mere folly 
and ingratitude tome. I am the best judge 
of my own actions; and besides, I have 
my Lord Somerset so completely in my 
power, he must stand my friend, and 
think you he will not do it ?— If they 
deal violently with me, my service to 
the Favourite will obliterate my fault, 
if fault it be to refuse the embassage, 
and as they cannot charge me with dis- 
loyalty, I shall come forth greater 
than ever. — We have made all the world 
players for our amusement and profit. — 
Besides, my serving man, Peyton, whom 
I sent with my letter to the Lord Pre- 
sident, assures me the Earl said he was 
glad I would not go over sea." 

'^ So much the worse," said Ga- 
briella, " I always feared Lord Suf- 
folk ; his gladness may arise from a 
D 3 


secret joy in his triumph. And be- 
lieve me. Sir Thomas, you put more 
confidence in your serving men, Davis 
and Peyton, than I trow is reasonable. 
They are both rascal valets that will 
take a bribe, and being recommended 
to you by Lord Somerset, I fear them 
the more." 

Overbury smiled at this speech, and 
observed upon it, that " it was true 
these fellows had been in the employ 
of Somerset, but they were sworn to 
secrecy between the favourite and him, 
and could be depended on." 

" Said you not once to me, you 
feared one sight Davis saw, when you 
opened a packet of letters directed to 
the King, and coming from Sir John 
Digby, to take notes from them for 
Somerset ?" asked Gabriella. 

" True, sweet, true, but I sent both 
the packet and notes to the Viscount/'' 
answered Overbury. 


*^ And when we were at Newmarket 
before the Queen became offended," 
said Gabriella, " did not Peyton see 
you open the packet from Sir Thomas 
Edmundes to the Kin^, out of which 
after you had taken extracts, you seal- 
ed it and sent both to Somerset ?" 

" And what of that?" asked the 
knight peevishly; " all this is secret, 
private, and were it published in Paul's 
Aisle would only be used as an aggra- 
vation against the villains who should 
disclose such trusts, and not against us 
who rule the roast — I'll brave them all 
in words and writing, if they put me to 
it : — The red haired Dane had better 
never have interdicted me the court ; 
and whose fault was that ? Not my 
miscarriage in particular towards her 
Majesty, but Somerset's own neglect. 
— No man fears the whole court less 
than I ; — none of them can come to 
the knowlf^dge of the Viscount's secret 


doings without my privity ; and I have 
all the friends of my late Lord of Salis- 
bury to help me, even if the whole 
batch of the Howards enforce themselves 
and their causeless discontents against 

The hour now approached when Sir 
Thomas and Gabriella were to repair 
into the city to attend the wedding of 
his friend, Master Rawlins, who was that 
day to receive the hand of Margery 
Weymark, daughter of that wealthy 
citizen and merchant, but better known 
as the Paul's walker, a name usually 
given to those novelans who frequented 
the Aisle for news. 

Rawlins and Overbury were remotely 
allied by family, and the citizen judged 
the hio^hest honour the feast could 
receive would be the presence of his 
cousin. Sir Thomas Overbury, from 
Bruton upon the Hill, and now so 
great a man at court. In this, perhaps. 


the worthy master Rawlins was not 
mistaken, but he knew little of the 
precipice on which his court relative 
stood. With breasts more variable in 
tone than language can describe, the 
knight and his Gabriella departed from 
his villa in Holborn for the house of 
Master Weymark. 

The company at this civic feast con- 
sisted of tradesmen's wives, their chil- 
dren, and husbands. Some of these 
good women wore fly caps adorned 
with pearls, to keep alive their remem- 
brance of Queen Elizabeth and her 
court ladies ; others wore a small cap 
with a veil, which was negligently 
thrown behind the neckband gave much 
grace to the upper part of the fair dames 
who wore them ; a third wore a vast 
load of false hair, and her daughter's 
head was ornamented merely with what 
nature had furnished it, uncovered and 
braided behind ; a fourth wore a large 
D 5 


showy bonnet ; a fifth had on the gauze 
French hood, shewing the hair on each 
side, and drawn from the back of the 
head down the forehead ; but the greater 
number of the matrons here present 
wore the Minerva cap, white and three 
cornered, the peaks standing about 
three inches above the head. Their 
ruffs were large, of lawn and cambric, 
stiffened with yellow starch, gracefully 
poked and reaching to the upper part 
of the head behind. The waist of every 
woman present offered to the eye all 
its natural length between shoulder and 
hip, where the stays finished before and 
behind in a fine taper point. One of 
our modern dandies with his stuffed out 
coat at the shoulders, and horse girth 
round his abdomen, presents a tolerable 
picture of a belle of the city in the be- 
ginning of the seventeeth century. The 
petticoats were such as to shew off their 
wearers as good bouncing dames, much 


unlike the ghostly figures that taper from 
the shoulders to the heels ; as if it were 
an ornament to appear devoid of strength 
and magnitude where nature planted her 
greatest beauty on woman. In a word 
then, the citizen's wives wore not exactly 
the Spanish fardingale, so much spoken 
against as if Elizabeth had worn it as a 
guard infanta, but they wore full petti- 
coats. The stockings of these ladies 
were of velvet, of silk, and of fine 
linen ; their gloves were of leather and 
some few of sewed silk. But the end 
of all this ostentation was to benefit the 
young couple, who received from the 
guests, presents that bore an exact pro- 
portion to the gay appearance of their 

*^ In good sooth, friends," said Overbu- 
ry on entering, "there be signs of a wed- 
ding here, aye, and of a bridal to-boot. 
But where be our scarves and our gloves? 
I pray you give them us ; let us know 


your bride's colours and yours, friend 
Rawlins. Good, my master, good,'" 
added the knight, taking his scarf and 
gloves. " 'tis well not to oifend in so 
high a point of ceremony as this, for 
when nuptials want fitting marks of so- 
lemnity, what plate doth the bridegroom 
lose ! what gifts ! what friends ! And 
now that we have had gloves, garters, 
and scarves, I pray you let us have the 
epithalamium, and masque sans error, 
sans rusticity." 

" Gramercie I now it's time to wend 
to church, for the clock hath gone 
eleven," said Master Weymark, the 
bride's father, and a comely lass Margery 
was. Her attire was a gown of Mech- 
lin cloth, and her hair was as yellow 
as gold hanging down behind attired 
with a 'billimant of gold, and curiously 
combed and plaited after the manner of 
those days. She was led to Bow-church 
between two sweet boys, with bride 


laces and rosemary tied about their silken 
sleeves. There was a fair bride cup of 
silver gilt carried before her, wherein 
w^as a branch of rosemary gilded very fair, 
and hung about with silken ribbands of all 
colours. Musicians came next and play- 
ed excellent epithalamium music from 
a band of lutes, poliphants, virginals, 
trumpets, kettledrums, fifes, cornets, and 
side drums, that made Cheapside ring 
again as the procession walked on. Then 
followed the musicians, a group of mai- 
dens fair, all the friends of Margery, 
some bearing great bride cakes, others 
garlands of vine leaves, intertwined with 
privets and oak branches gilded ; then 
followed the matrons, and last the men in 
goodly array, and thus they passed on to 
church. But the first figure in the 
group was perhaps the interesting Ga- 
briella, dight in a rich scarlet robe, while 
over her head she cast a hood white as 
the drifted snow : her gown was deli- 


cately fastened round her waist with a 
belt of silver^ from whence a gay purse 
and gingling keys depended ; two bright 
gold rings on each finger she wore, 
while the large rosettes, in her chopines 
or Italian shoes, of green grass silk set off 
the rich silver embroidery that graced her 
taper ancle. 

The ceremony having been ended in 
the true spirit of the religion of the times, 
the whole company retraced their steps 
to Master Weimark's, where there was 
served up a costly and sumptuous enter- 
tainment. Nothing could exceed the 
hospitality of the host, and the presents 
which adorned the side tables were both 
numerous and expensive. But that 
which produced the most amusement 
towards the latter part of the day, was 
the masque performed by the '* Earl of 
Dorset, his servants." These brothers of 
the sock and buskin, were the stars of 
Blackfriars and Salisbury Court, and 


had in a former time been the Lord 
Hounsden's when Romeo and Juliet was 
iirst enacted ; but now they were part 
of the Sackville retainers, and amused 
Prince Henry at their lord's occasionally 
with the " Virgin Martyr," the " Roar- 
ing Girl," " Tottenham Court," " GulPs 
Horn Book,*' and Ben Jonson's," Staple 
of News." 

The company thus amused, enjoyed 
their diversion till the curfew tolled the 
knell of parting day, when the night 
bridal was solemnized in goblets of cla- 
rey and cups of braket well spiced, while 
the young couple having been safely de- 
posited between fine Holland'ssheets, had 
their night posset given them, and were 
committed to Nox, to Hymen, and 

Overbury returned home with his 
Gabriella, and next day at Whitehall, 
the Archbishop came to him, asking 
** how he could venture to refuse the em- 


bassage which had been procured him 
in distinction to so many others, all 
competent and desirous of place ?" Sir 
Thomas excused himself on grounds 
which the Right Reverend Father con- 
sidered untenable. 

" Have you, nevertheless, procured me 
the copy of Beliarmine's letter to Lord 
A^orthampton ?" asked the Right Reve- 
verend Prelate. 

" I have/' replied Overbury, " here it 
is, but for mercy's sake do not commit 
me in bringing this matter forward." 
The Archbishop pledged his word he 
would not, and entreated Overbury to 
reconsider his ow^n case before he should 
find it too late. But the die was cast. 

Somerset and the Earl of Suffolk were 
in the mean time not idle, and North- 
ampton had managed matters, so as to put 
the whole in train for the final accom- 
plishment of the plot. Somerset had on 
the instant desired a warrant to be drawn 


out and despatched a trusty person to 
arrest Overbury. Unprepared as the 
knight was for this blow from his patron 
and friend, he was more enraged at the 
form of the document, which deprived 
him of his liberty. 

" I tell thee, fellow," said he to the 
messenger, *^ no privy counsellor alone 
can arrest me, or any man in England, 
but upon oath before a judge ; all the 
council together could not justify the 
making of such a warrant ; — I will not 
budge till I have seen my Lord Roches- 
ter himself." 

'' That's impossible," replied the mes- 
senger at arms, " my Lord of Somerset 
hath gone to the king at Royston, and 
had all the judges in the land signed the 
warrant, it were not more legal than the 
Earl's, he being a commissioner of star- 
chamber, and any of its members may 
fine, imprison, and punish corporally, by 


whipping, branding, slitting nostrils and 


'^ Then take me to the Palace of Lam- 
beth, master pursuivant," said Over- 
bury ; ^^ his Grace of Canterbury, will 
stand good for me, or give me lodging 
imtil the will of the King himself be 

^^ Faith, Sir Thomas," quoth the man 
of office, " there is my authority ; and 
the best way for you is the quietest for 
me — I have a barge at Whitehall stairs, 
let's to it, and push down the river with 
the tide." 

" No fellow, no, I will not stir, not an 
inch ; take me before my Lord Knowles, 
take me to the Hospital before the 
Prince Henry, any where but to pri- 

'" By the rood, Sir Knight, thou dost 
but sully thy honours to compel me to 
use force," answered the pursuivant ; 

but my men are at hand, and Fll whis» 


tie them here in a trice^ if we are to 
parley longer." 

" Holy Virgin ! what shall I do — Let 
me take these papers ; and these, and 
these, and this book ;" said Overbury, in 
one moment losing his manly disposi- 
tion. But who shall account for the vari- 
ous feelings of the mind in times of 
difficulty ? To Overbury's mind his con- 
nection with Somerset now seemed as 
the remnants of a dream, the past was 
confounded with his present situation, a 
prisoner, arrested for high treason, and 
the future presented only the direst cou- 
.sequences for that political crime. 




" They were quite mistaken in his temper who 
thought to get rid of him by advising him to make 
his escape from the Tower, He would have sat out 
the storm let the danger be what it would. He was 
a steady man and had a great firmness of soul, and 
would have died unconcernedly, or perhaps, like Sir 
Thomas More , with a jest in his mouth." 

Spence's Anecdotes. 

■ Somerset's visit to the Tower afford- 
ed him the njeans of proving the incapa- 
city of Sir William Wade continuing 
its lieutenant any longer. Among the 
prisoners confined there at this time^ was 
tlie accomplished and unfortunate Ara- 
bella Stuart, and a singular though ro- 
mantic indulgence which the humanity 
of the lieutenant accorded her, furnished 
the plotting Viscount with a charge for 
Sir William's removal. 


It SO happened that as Somerset's 
barge n eared the great White Tower of 
the fortress, he discovered a small hoy 
hovering in the middle of the stream, 
from which a female descended into a 
boat that was quickly rowed into Trai- 
tor's-gate. The Viscount's suspicions 
were instantly roused ; he conjectured 
the lady who sought admittance within 
the walls of that dreary dwelling must 
be some friend of the Earl of Northum- 
berland : the wife of Sir Walter Raleigh, 
or Mary Countess of Shrewsbury, or 
perchance^ her neice the Lady Arabella 

The Lady Arabella was first cousin 
to James, for she was daughter of 
Charles Earl of Lennox, the younger 
brother of the Lord Darnley, whom 
Queen Mary raised to the Scottish 
throne. Her mother was Elizabeth 
daughter of Sir William Cavendish ; 
and the Countess of Shrewsbury was 


sister to Elizabeth Countess of Lennox, 
Sir William Seymour^^^ second son of 
the Earl of Hertford, had married the 
Lady Arabella without asking King 
James's leave, and she being so nearly 
related in blood to the King, it was 
deemed an offence against the royal pre- 
rogative ; and the ultimate consequence 
was her imprisonment in the Tower. 
The Lord Seymour escaped, however, 
beyond seas ; the Lady Arabella and the 
Countess attempted this also, but were 
captured and committed to the safe cus- 
tody of the Lieutenant of the Tower, 
Sir William Wade, who, though reputed 
severe to some of his prisoners, was cer- 
tainly very lenient towards the Lady 
Arabella. He permitted her not only the 
range of the garrison, but he furnished 
her with the best apartments facing the 

* At the Restoration, Sir William Seymour re- 
covered the Dukedom of Somerset for his family. 


river ; and he even indulged her with a 
master key, which allowed her to leave 
the prison at any time she pleased. It 
w^as she who now disappeared from Ro- 
chester's eyes under the aquatic entrance 
into the tower. The Earl bade his men 
" row, row, row,** and they did row 
merrily, but before they reached the 
arched entrance, the massive iron grat- 
ed doors were shut, and the pinnace had 
disappeared. The water, however, was 
sutHciently troubled to shew that it had 
been disturbed by some more powerful 
agent than the usual current of the 
stream. The Earl of Somerset*s barge- 
man in the bow, having already sum- 
moned the sentinel for admittance, the 
gate was soon re-opened, and the Favou- 
rite was forthwith attended by Sir Wil- 
liam Wade. 

" Pray, Sir knight," said Somerset, 
" is this an enchanted castle, in the 
which ye detain fair dames ?" 


" Truly, my Lord of Somerset, there 
are fair ladies, of high blood toO;, 
within these walls,'' answered Sir Wil- 
liam Wade. — " But for enchantments, 
we leave them to conjuring knaves ad 

" And which of these ladies of high 
blood^enjoys a master key ?" said Somer- 
set ; " for by that angel shot at thy feet. 
Sir knight, my eyes deceived me if a 
lady fair came not in by the Traitor's 
gate." The lieutenant was posed by 
this question, and attempted an excuse 
which far from satisfying the Earl, 
only excited his suspicions the more. 
" Nay, man," added Somerset, " thou 
canst not jest with me — on thy allegi- 
ance, Sir William Wade, who was the 
female that landed from that hoy in the 
mid stream ?" 

" The Lady Arabella!" said the lieu- 

" The Lady Arabella!" re-echoed 


the favourite ; and after repeating the 
name he said ; " Well, Sir Knight, this 
is indeed assuming the royal authority ; 
you shall answer, anon, to his Majesty 
for this conduct — I would see Sir Wal- 
ter Raleigh — he is in the Beauchamp 

Sir William Wade bowed, and con- 
ducting the Earl along the Court, he 
called to Carey, his under keeper, that 
" Sir Waiter Raleigh was wanted." 

" Oh! I'll to his apartments," said 
Somerset, " I must see him alone." — 

The Lieutenant walked on and So- 
merset followed. " You will doubtless 
hear me,'' said Sir William, " before 
you report \o his grace this little stretch 
of my auth (>rity ? May I hope my lord 
Earl of Somerset will consider my con- 
duct in the light of a gallant of other 
times ? I have risked my head in this : 
the Lady Arabella has used my indul- 
gence discreetly, and like a high born 




Princess, her promise she hath kept ; — 
nay I will go farther ; both she and the 
Countess of Shrewsbury have enjoyed 
the chase in Kent in such disguise as 
suited them. They have returned to 
this fortress^ nor would they peril me to 
be free themselves in France." 

" Sir Knight, thy open speech would 
sound ill on the ear of King James," 
answered Somerset, '' but since it is so, 
that thou wilt peril thyself thus, thou 
must e'en swing by the hemp thou hast 
sown and twisted — In whatever light I 
represent thee to the King, prepare thy- 
self to quit this place in four and twenty 
hours — I am resolved — so no more on 
this matter." 

Somerset had now arrived at the door 
of Sir Walter Raleigh's apartments. The 
Knight was busily engaged in distilling 
some chemical preparation, which ho 
assured the Earl, was an infallible cure 
for various diseases, over which the ordi- 


nary medicines were known to have 
little power. — ^But the reader is already 
acquainted with this specific, which was 
long known as Raleigh's Cordial." 

" Good-morrow," said Somerset, on 
entering the apartment of Raleigh, 
" good-morrow, Sir Knight Philosopher. 
How do the alembics and alchymical 
vessels suit thy humour ?" 

'' Exceedingly well, my Lord Earl," 
answered Raleigh, who looked not with- 
out a slight degree of contempt upon the 
possessor of his manor of Sherbourne. 
" But my Lord, these chemicals are no- 
thing in comparison of my latest disco- 

" Indeed !" said Somerset, " and hast 
thou arrived at a nostrum, w^hich will 
protract the period of human life, or re- 
store it to youth.'' 

" Let the Queen's Majesty bear wit- 
ness for the effects of my cordial," replied 
Raleigh; *^ I have discovered not the phi- 
E 2 . 


losopher's stone, but a gold mine itself. 
Thanks, gentle lord, for the enjoyment 
I have here, living as one may say, in 
libera custodia ; but had I free liberty 
now, and seven such ships as went to 
Virginia in 1585, or such a fleet as I con- 
quered Guiana with ten years after, I 
would enrich England with all the wealth 
of the Spaniard." 

" How now. Sir Knight," asked So- 
merset, " wouldst thou make war upon 
him, on this side the line ?" 

u ^^Q^Y I no — In Guianathere is agolden 
mine, a mine of ore, rich, plentiful ; I 
could have laden as many vessels with 
it as would lie abreast this fortress." 

" That would, indeed, be a golden en- 
terprise," exclaimed the Earl, '' and a 
princely judgment thou hast to persuade 
thyself there is such a mine of gold en- 
tire, which t ie industrious Spaniard in 
his chase of treasure, hath so long neg- 


'^ Nay, doubt not, my good Lord 
Earl,*' continued Raleigh, '' the news of 
this shall not more charm the world 
than the adventure shall realize the 
hope of so great riches. Let but my 
Lord Somerset convince his Majesty, 
that it stands with the politic and mag- 
nanimous courses of his Grace^ in these 
his flourishing times of peace, to nourish 
and encourage this noble and generous; 
enterprise, and it shall do more to en- 
rich his kingdom, than all the planta- 
tions, discoveries, and opening of new 
trades that have been hit upon since the 
days of Columbus." 

'^ If so be thou wouldst have me un- 
^lertake this passage between thee and 
his Majesty's grace,'' answered the Earl, 
** I shall favour thy suit with my poor 
influence : but I'd advise thee, Sir 
Knight, to memorialize Master Secre- 
tary Winwood.'' 

^^ As this hand hath aided the Queen 


of Navarre in defending the Protes- 
tants," said Raleigh seriously, " as I 
shared the glory of the decisive victory 
over Don John of Austria, when the 
Queen's troops assisted the Butchers ; 
as I helped to put an end to the Munster 
rebellion ; as I have escorted the Duke 
of Anjou and saved the Prince of 
Orange ; I have nothing hostile or pira- 
tical in this my enterprize.'' 

'^ Time speeds," interrupted Somerset 
whp felt no appetite to listen to such a 
reference of the splended deeds of the 
brave man before him — "Time speeds— I 
must see Andrew Melville. Why, Sir Wal- 
ter, this tower was want to be a Royal 
mansion. In this very room, I reckon 
Anna BuUen, the Lady Jane Grey, and 
the Earl of Essex were illustrious priso- 
ners. — Bon jour — I must to the white 
tower to see poor Melville;" and as he 
spoke thus, he quitted the room in which 
Raleigh was experimenting, and crossed 
the Court yard to that quadrangle of the 


Fortress in which the renowned Presby- 
terian clergyman was imprisoned. 

The lieutenant stood by the door of 
Melville's cell and opened it to Somer- 
set^ undoing successively^ an upper and 
an under bolt of great strength, which 
lodged when shut home, in an iron 
socket that was deeply fastened in the 
stone work : and even the lock was se- 
cured by a traverse bar of iron, so 
massive, that as it fell when Sir Wil- 
liam Wade threw it from its gage, it 
caused the vaulted gallery to resound — 
The '' man of God," now presented an 
interesting contrast to the " courtezan" 
who came to visit him. In a cold cell, 
sitting upon a small stool resembling one 
of those ancient stances for the box 
containing a response of an oracle, sat 
Andrew Melville, his hair and beard 
overgrown, his visage emaciated by con- 
finement, but calm and dignified, his 
garments tattered and worn into holes. 
He was seated so that from the grated 


window, the sun's rays fell full on his 
body, and the picture would have 
furnished ample scope for the pencil of 
Jones, the painter of Waterloo. 

" How does Master Melville to day V 
said the favourite, upon whom the vene- 
rable preacher's appearance seemed evi- 
dently to make a deep and instantaneous 

" Well, God be praised !" replied the 
worthy man, without any affectation of 
misery, or any of that indifference which 
many a mind of his mould in knowledge 
would have shewn upon such an occasion. 
" May I ask to what favourable circum- 
stance I owe this visit of my country- 
man into a place whose walls are eleven 
feet thick V 

" Sir William Wade, you may retire,'' 
said Somerset, addressing the lieutenant : 
and then turning to the Minister of the 
Gospel ; " Reverend Sir," replied the 
Earl, " I am right glad you are welK 
This is a dreary and inhospitable region 


— 'Twere better thou shouldst enjoy 
more liberty," 

'' Has, Sir James Sempill, then, ob- 
tained for me a more healthy and spa- 
cious apartment ?" asked Melville. 

" He has petitioned the King/' an- 
swered Somerset, " but you have a more 
powerful intercessor : the Duke of Bouil- 
lon has interceded for you, my friend ; 
and 'twere fitting you be removed into 
another apartment, and allowed the use 
of pen, ink, and paper. But beware 
Melville, how you make use of them ; 
no more caustic poetry like Anti-Tami- 
Cami-Categoria, or all my endeavours 
come to nought. But what hav^e we 
here ?" continued the Earl casting his eyes 
round the cell, ^* with what tablets hast 
tliou inscribed this profusion of verses ?" 

Melville whose imprisonment had 

been aggravated by the barbaric and 

wanton severity of an entire privation of 

books, ink, pens, and paper, answered 



very mildly, " my Lord Earl, I have 
not you to reproach with this refine- 
ment of cruelty, which has been exer- 
cised unceasingly for these ten months, 
as if its rigour could shackle the facul- 
ties of my mind — No, I owe it to the 
Ministers of his Grace, not to his favou- 
rites, that I have been deprived of the 
means of expressing my thoughts either 
in writing or by oral communication." 

" Worthy Sir," interrupted Somerset, 
" he who caused you all this severity is 
gone to his reckoning V* 

" Dead! is Bancroft dead?'' asked 
Melville eagerly. 

" Troth is he," answered the Earl ; 
" and I am freed of a great enemy. — 
But let me see," continued the favou- 
rite lookiiio" round the walls of the soli- 
tary man's cell ; " these are indeed ex- 
quisite touches of plaintive tenderness. 
Master Melville." 

" Such as they are, my Lord, with 


these tablets of plaister, cold and damp 
to receive the thoughts of my mind, 
and with the tongue of my shoe buckle as 
a stylus, have I given permanency to 
my descent from royal ancestors^ and 
the obligations which my family have 
conferred on learning, and my native 

Somerset with all his ambition and 
profligacy could not help admiring the 
elegant verses which crowded the walls 
of this dungeon. They were indeed 
characteristic of that lofty magnani- 
mity and noble endurance, which nei- 
ther power nor malice were able to over- 
come. Many of them were written in 
Latin, rivalling the sweetness of even 
Buchannan's poetry; and those which 
were in the Scottish dialect, or in the 
English tongue, presented an enchant- 
ing picture of gaiety and goodness of 
heart, betokening a spirit above this 
world ; for in circumstances so gloomy 
no mind that was troubled by any com- 


punctious feelings or the consciousness 
of guilt and perfidy could dictate the 
beautiful effusions of Andrew Melville's 

" By St. Paul," exclaimed the Vis- 
count, "' the rigour of thy confinement 
shall be relaxed, Master Melville. — I 
have brought this sermon for thy peru- 
sal ; *tis on Episcopacy — The assem- 
bly of Glasgow have consented to a 
complete establishment of episcopacy. — 
This discourse which is meant to con- 
vert all the Presbyterians in the north, 
was preached by Dr. Downham, and 
has been distributed gratis to all the 
clergy of poor old Scotland. — Now me- 
thinks, thou couldst answer it, anon, 
m two or three letters to thy nephew, 
Master James Melville in the prison of 

Melville took the pamphlet in his 
hand, expressed his thankfulness, and 
Somerset took his leave — gliding under 
the arched gallery from the view of the 


highest lettered name which flourished 
two centuries ago. — Melville was the 
great champion of the Scottish Presby- 
terians, with respect to whom James 
exercised a policy, the most infatuated; 
but the advisers of that policy were un- 
worthy of his confidence, if the indo- 
lent monarch had either discernment to 
unmask their baseness, or address suffi- 
cient to bend the resolution of a high- 
minded people by the smoother me- 
thods of persuasion and forbearance. 

" Observe me, Sir William Wade, the 
first state prisoner that comes here, I shall 
expect from you the same kindness 
you shew to master Melville — the same 
sort of cell — the same provisions, — the 
like accommodation ; but let it be in the 
bulwark," said Somerset who now passed 
along with the lieutenant of the Tower to 
visit another part of the garrison ; and 
their route soon brought the Viscount in 
contact with the " proud Percy," Earl of 


Northumberland. The old nobiemaa 
was walking on a kind of parapet 
banque, that fronted the low and gloomy 
windows of his apartments, and he was 
attended by his magi, as the lieutenant 
styled the companions of the Percy's pro- 
menade. '^ Who are these attendants 
of the noble captive Earl ?" asked So- 
merset ; " Northumberland's Magi," 
answered Sir William Wade, '^ that 
on his right is Nathaniel Torporley, a 
noted mathematician of the times, the 
person on his left is Thomas Hariot, a 
gentleman who had accompanied Sir 
Walter Raleigh in his voyage to Vir- 
ginia, and where he was employed as a 
maritime surveyor, and Robert Hues 
another famous mathematician, you see 
taking hold of Hariot's arm." 

" Who are they that follow at the dis- 
tance of a few paces ?" asked the inquisi- 
tive Viscount. " Master Walter Warner, 
takes the right ; he is well read in the 


obscure parts of learning; Nicholas 
Hill, a gentleman proficient in the same 
recondite studies, walks in the middle. 
Thomas Allen an eminent antiquary, 
and philosopher^ next in the middle; 
and John Dee well versed as an artist 
of the mathematic world, trudges on 
the left of all." 

It now occurred to Somerset's mind, 
as the lieutenant named these gentle- 
men, and their respective qualifications, 
that this would be a favourable oppor* 
tunity for him to do a kindness to the 
Lord Hay, his ancient friend and bro- 
ther favourite with King James. The 
Lord Hay had long solicited the hand 
of the Lady Lucy Percy, the Earl of 
Northumberland's youngest daughter, 
a lady of incomparable beauty, and so- 
lemnized in the poems of the day, as 
the most exquisite wit of her time. The 
Earl had refused his consent, as he 
aimed at a husband of noble extract for 


the Lady Percy ; but the Lord Hay 
resolved on wedding her, even though her 
father should bereave her of dower. 
*' Now for the old stubborn Earl/* said 
Somerset to himself, " if J cannot cozen 
him, I'll break his spirit." 

"Bon jour, my Lord," said Somer- 
set to Northumberland, with all the 
ease and grace of an acquaintance. 
" From the company of these Atlantes 
of the world of science, the noble Earl 
of Northumberland's time, I hope, passes 

" Come ye here to mock, the first fa- 
vourite of the King?" said the Earl 
scornfully ; " for by thy speech thou 
wouldst join the revellers at Theobalds 
in styling me Henry the Wizzard ?" 

" My Lord, I come not here to make 
circles with Archimedes," said the fa- 

" No faith," interrupted the Earl; 
*' for with such a leaky sieve as over- 


tops thy shoulders, Hercules ne'er could 
have watered the wild gardens of Hes- 

" Good, my Lord Pilgrim ; but I 
would not look one way and row ano- 
ther," answered Somerset. 

" Better still, my Lord Palmer,'* re- 
joined Northumberland, " and what 
passenger wouldst thou help forward 
whilst thou went backward thyself?" 

" As the pilgrim hath some dwelling 
place, and the palmer none," said So- 
merset; " as you, my Lord, in this for- 
tress are mine host, and I an humble 
guest, permit me to entreat." 

" By the rood, my Lord Somerset," 
interrupted the Earl, " ye do but come 
here to mock — the comparison of the 
proverb thou wouldst pun on runs thus : 
as the pilgrim travels to some certain 
place, and the palmer to all, and not 
to any one in particular, so wouldst 
thou insinuate, I can only walk to that 


gun and back again, whilst thou like 
the eagle canst fly to Theobald's, Roys- 
ton, Newmarket, and thy lands of 
Sherbourne !" 

" Nay, hear me, my good Lord," 
said Somerset eagerly; " as the pilgrim 
lives at his own charge, w^hile the 
palmer professes wilful poverty, so would 
I sue your grace for my noble friend 
Lord Hay/' 

" Perdition ! thinkest thou to cozen 
me as thou dost thy King — No, by the 
rood. Sir William Wade, we would 
be alone. Let us be without hollow- 
hearted hypocrites about us. 'Sdeath, 
my Lord of Somerset, the Lady Lucy 
Percy shall never, with our conse n 
wed the Lord Hay. I know all thou 
hast to say, begone, leave me. Altera 
manu fert lapidem, panem ostentat 
altera^'' added the indignant Earl, ad- 
dressing himself to the Reverend Mr. 
Nathaniel Torporley. 


" My Lord Earl, I must crave a pri- 
vate audience," said Somerset with the 
utmost composure, neither offended by 
the speech of Northumberland, nor dis- 
posed to let the opportunity he enjoyed 
slip; till he had achieved his purpose, — 
'^ your grace knows the pilgrim mi^ht 
give over his profession, but the palmer 
might not ; and your Lordship cannot 
suppose I will apply the proverb in 
tuum ipsius caput lunarn deducts to my 
own particular case. My Lord we 
must be private for the space of an 

" My Lord, the coronet of Northum- 
berland shall never fall from the lance 
to the distaff," said the Earl ; " but we 
give you audience." 

Somerset now pressed the Percy to 
yield consent to the marriage of his 
lovely daughter with the Lord Hay, 
urging as his strongest argument, that 
*^ Hay being the king's chief favourite. 


there was little doubt but he would pro- 
procure the Earl's release.*' 

" If that be the way your friend in- 
tends to make himself meritorious with 
me," replied Northumberland, " I fear 
I shall never be released. No master 
Car, no. 

" Henry Percy !" exclaimed Somer- 
set, " I have borne thy humour full 
oft this hour; methinks the courte- 
sey due to the King's Majesty would 
restrain thy speech v^ithin the bounds 
due from one nobleman to another.'* 

" Go learn these verses, go learn 
these verses, sirrah !" interrupted the 
Earl in mirthjul anger, — " Go learn 
these verses, and come not here again 
to insult a captive nobleman, nolens 
volens ;" and as he said these words he 
walked Somerset out of the garrison 
singing in his face : — 

Bonny Scot, we all nitnesscan, 

That England hath made thee a gentleman. 


Thy blue bonnet when thou came hither, 
Could scarce keep out the wind and weather ; 
But now it is turned to a hat and feather, 
Thy bonnet is blown, the devil knows whither. 

Thy shoes on thy feet, when thou earnest from plough, 
Were made of the hide of an old Scot's cow ; 
But now they are turned to a rare Spanish leather. 
And decked with roses allogether. 

Thy sword at thy a — was a great black blade, 
With a great basket hilt of iron made; 
But now a long rapier doth hang at thy side. 
And bufiingly doth the bonny Scot ride. 

Bonny Scot we all witness can. 

That England hath made thee a gentleman, 

Somerset knew these verses had been 
applied to his master, and he was not a 
little staggered to hear them sung of 
himself. It were like attempting de- 
scription of chaos, to paint his mind as 
he now quitted the fortress. He had 
gained his object, it is true, and he had 
afforded hope to Raleigh and Melville, 


but the treatment he received from the 
^^ proud Percy/* discomposed him be- 
yond all endurance. Somerset had 
some slight touches occasionally of wit 
and noble bearing ; but he could take 
more direct insult from those it was his 
interest not to fall out with, than any 
lacquey about the court could have 
endured from Billy Weston. He had 
his purpose, however, to answer, and 
he now repaired to the King at Theo- 
bald's, and very soon obtained the royal 
authority for the removal of Sir Wil- 
liam Wade. Raleigh's project he just 
touched upon to the King vt^ho replied. 
" Raleigh's a fellow of the camp and 
ocean, not of the court and carpet, my 
Lord ; he hath a strong natural wit, 
and a better judgment than to believe 
this romance of a gold mine; but his 
bold and plausible tongue hath won you 
I perceive, my lord. Good — I will send 
Master Secretary Winwood to him, and 


if we may grant him a commission, it 
will be to rid ourselves of him. For fail 
not to mark my words, he hath a design 
to make a breach between the two 
crowns of England and Spain ; but if I 
commission him limitedly, and he do 
trespass therein, I will surely do justice 
upon him, or send him bound hand and 
foot into Spain, and all the gold and 
goods he shall obtain, by robbery and 
bring home, were they ever so great." 

Somerset bowed acquiescence, and 
then proposed Jervase Yelvis as a fit 
and proper person to be Lieutenant of 
the Tower. 

'^ Thinkst thou Robin," asked the 
King, '' he will be discreet towards Henry 
the Wizzard, the Lady Arabella, the 
Countess of Shrewsbury and others 7 I 
care not a bodle about his rigour to that 
stiff clerk o* the kirk, Master Melville, 
with his roval descent forsooth : nor to 


that pugnacious knight Raleigh, with 
his cordials, histories of the World, and 
such stuff.'' 

" I'll pledge myself for Elwes, that he 
in all things will comport himself stifly 
to your Grace's will and pleasure/* an- 
swered Somerset, '^ but for Melville, if 
your royal Majesty were to see his cell, 
it is not fit for a felon without the bene- 
fit of clergy, and his spirit cannot be 
humbled by affliction : the walls of it are 
covered with verses, graven in the plais- 
ter with the tongue of his shoe buckle." 
" Say ye so, Robin ?" demanded the 
King, concerned only to hear of so in- 
genious a method of recording the 
the thoughts of the mind, but perfe\ctly 
unmoved at the situation of the worthy 
forlorn Christian Pastor. — " these are 
inelegant pursuits, somebody may come 
after him and read them though, and 
he deserves all he suffers. Glad am I, 


Robin, we intercepted that letter, offer- 
ing to make him professor of Divinity 
in the Protestant college of Rochelle." 

Somerset, who knew the timid na- 
ture of James's mind, and had observed 
the King's concern lest any third person 
should peruse Melville's verses, resolved 
to try the effect of fear upon it, seeing 
reason had no influence ; and he there- 
fore again urged the King to grant Sir 
James Sempill's request, or at all events 
to listen to the letter of the Duke of 
Bouillon, and give Melville a better 
apartment and the use of pen, ink, paper 
and books;" saying, in conclusion, "your 
Majesty has little to fear in your royal per- 
son from Melville's pen, whatever his 
friends may say — he fears God, honours 
the King, and loves his brethren ; but he 
will let his fancy play freely upon Epis- 
copacy, and the more so the harder he 
is dealt with." 

'^ Somerset, you know my maxim," 

VOL. Ill, F 

98 BLIGHTED ambition; OR, 

said James fretfully/^^ no king no bishop, 
no bishop no king, and this man spurns 
at our bishops^ ergOy he kicks at my 

'^ True, your Grace ; but look ye what 
has been written, upon that umquhile 
Lord of Salisbury,'^ and the crafty fa- 
vourite, handed the King these lines, 
which had just appeared as a second 
epitaph on the great Robert Cecil : 

Here lies Hobinal, our pastor while here, 

That once in a quarter our fleeces did shear. 

To please us, his curre he kept under clog, 

And was ever after both shepherd and dog. 

For oblation to Pan, his custom was thus. 

He first gave a trifle, then offered up us ; 

And through his false worship, such power did he 

As kept him o' th' mountaine and us on tbeplaine : 
Where many a hornpipe he tun'd to his Phyllis, 
And sweetly sung Walsingham to 's Amaryllis! 

" Save us, Robin, this is unco gear, 


I hope the author will be dead afore me,'^ 
said James, evidently moved by the cri- 
ticism conveyed in the intended epitaph. 
Though a slovenly practical politician, 
King James knew the theory of govern- 
ment tolerably well — '' Shepherd and 
dog/' said the Sovereign , musing, then 
bursting into a roar of laughter, he ex- 
claimed, '^ But only think, Robin, o' th' 

Where many a hornpipe he tun'd to his Phyllis, 
And sweetly sung Walsingham to 's Amaryllis. 

that is figurative enough, God knows ; 
but it is plain enough, Robin. This 
Walsingham, as I take it, was some 
courtezan the Earl keppit in a bye cor- 
ner ?" Somerset bowed, smiled, and 
the King went on thus : " Walsing- 
ham ? Walsingham ? Walsingham ? I've 
surely heard somebody speak o' a sutoi 
cobbler that learned blackbirds to whis- 


tie a tune ca'd Walsingham ?" and the 
King was right, for one of Crispin's sons 
had in this way avenged himself on 

^' The truth is, your Majesty," replied 
Somerset, '" the fraternity to which 
Melville belongs, ne'er clip their nails, 
when once they begin with a great man, 
just as if they were going to houck their 
grannies out o' their graves ; and its my 
thinking a little lenity to poor Andrew 
Melville would get the Court more cre- 
dit at this term than gif he were sunk 
fifteen feet aneath the bed o' the 

'^ Do we him as you like, Robin, and 
please Bouillon and Sempill, and only 
dinna let that maivis out o' the cage any 
mair than the hawk Raleigh." 

'^ Now, your Majesty will give me 
leave to disclose my sentiments anent 
Sir Thomas Overbury, who hath re- 
fused to undertake your Grace's instruo- 


tions, and become lieger ambassadour to 
the Archduke." 

" A very presumptuous insolent fel- 
low," said the King ; '' my Lord Trea- 
surer hath, as president of the Council, 
laid before us the republican's letter. 
And this is the way he repays your 
offices of kindness, my Lord ; this is the 
man that was to be alternate help and 
assistant ; these are the fruits and issues 
of your friendship ; he is a turn coat, I 
see ; and ere Twelfthtide he is confessed 
a catholic I'll be sworn." 

" He is now very safe. By this time 
he is in the Tower," answered the fa- 
vourite coolly. 

'' Vastly proper, my Lord," quoth 
James ; " and I am right merry ye can 

act sae promptly Robin, ye'll take that 

paper wi' you, and gar the lords o' the 

Painted Chamber to proceed with all 

these persons forthwith. I expect dili- 


J 02 

gence, if ye wad a' keep up we me in 
the chase." 

Somerset took the paper offered him 
by the king, promised fidelity and dis- 
patch^ and now again hinted at his mar- 
riage with the Lady Frances. 

"■ On that score, Robin/' said the 
King," lam sair fashed ; but nothing 
venture nothing have, albeit in this 
venu at a venture we maunna royne 
the public mind wi' inconsiderate rash- 
ness^ maugre all probability of success, 
but ruck as it were before these ill dis- 
posed persons, wha, as the verderons, do 
in some sort attack the great." 

" The rabble will never rouze when 
aught is doing that brings not Royal Po- 
verty^^ with it," said Rochester in reply. 

* the moderns call this '' Bird's Old Tom," 
" Blue Ruin/' and " Hodges's Cordial Gin /'' In 
King James's time, the Lords of Paris Garden? 
called Geneva by the name of *•' Royal Poverty." 


*' But they shall have Geneva enough 
on that day, be as drunk as beggars and 
as great as Kings. Myself, and my no- 
ble Lord of Suffolk, will cause the 
Strand to run with liquor." 

" But no saucy bravado work, Bobin, 
on the retainers o' ither Lords — Giethem 
plenty o' Saltimbangos and players." 

" Would it please your Grace/' asked 
Somerset, ^' that the marriage of your 
poor servant were honoured by the royal 
presence and solemnization when the 
Plasgrave and the Lady Elizabeth are 
joyned in matrimony." 

" I maun consult on that, Robin, I 
maun consult my family," replied the 
King : ^' Novv^ Robin, I'm for the chase 
— so gude day and gude gang wi' ye." 

Somerset bowed, kissed hands, took 
leave and returned to London. 



The image of a wicked heinous fault 

Lives in his eye; that close aspect of his 

Des shew the mood of a much troubled breast. 


Somerset, on quitting the presence of 
the King, threw himself on his horse, and 
had rode some miles on his way to town 
ere he thought of the paper which his 
master had put into his hand. On ex- 
amining it, he read as follows ; " On the 
petition of grievances by the Commons, 
I would not have the judges give an opin- 
ion to the Lords. What have they to do 
with impositions by prerogative ? — Item, 
The King prays that the union may be 
speedily effected. — Item, In the paint- 
ed Chamber^ let that author of the sedi- 


tious slander * Calamosque Armare 
Veneno^ that Mr. Oliver St. John^ be 
proceeded against for arraigning our 
benevolences, collected under letters of 
the Privy Council;* — Item. The Coun- 
tess of Exeter. — Item, The witch Mary 
Smith for covenanting with Sathan — 
try her anon in Stella Camera, — Item, 
Investigate the Lord Buckhurst's claim 
to the Kentish Lucy's land ; — Item, 
Have up Bart. Legat and Ed. Wightman 
for their heresy. — Item, James Whit- 
locke for contempt of our authority. — 
Item, Bring all the citizens up to the 
Painted Chamber, who have not com- 
plied with the Privy Council's letters, 
and granted us their benevolences.'' 

" Well !" said Somerset to himself, 
fetching a deep breathing after he had 
read over these several items ; " the bill 

* Seethe State Trials, Vol. ii. 8vo. edit.p.<^99. 
F 5 


of fare is ample enough. Am I to pro- 
ceed with them in succession as set 
down, or shall I take them according to 
my own pleasure. Let me see — Master 
>St. John we can fine — In how much ? — 
£5000, yes; I'll thereby please the King, 
Those conceited citizens must bleed 
plentifully — So who have not granted 
their benevolences. A plague on Mary 
Smith, and those Unitarians, Legat and 
Wightman. Ah ! the Lady Exeter ;- - 
there I'll manojuvre the v^hole of the 
Lakes ; father Lake, mother Lake, and 
daughter Lake. Let me see what comes 
next? — Ite7n, the Lord Buckhurst's claim 
— I'll get rid of this mirror of magis- 
trates, and partner of Burleigh's secret 
counsels. Oh ! the benevolences ; there 
is one stubborn fellow I shall have up ; 
Master Edward Weimark, a noted no- 
vilant, who denounces our mode of bene- 
volences as one of the devices of extra 
parliamentary taxation — I'll link him, 


and Oliver St. John together— The one 
hath written and published a letter 
against thiskind of benevolence as against 
law, reason and religion : the other tur- 
bulent and presumptuous, saith in Paul's 
Aisle, that King James, by benevolences, 
violates the liberties, laws, and customs, 
of his kingdoms, the subjects' birth rights 
and the parliament's prerogatives. — He 
shall answer for these words — and pay 
heavily too. — A fine thing this has been. 
Overbury gracing the marriage of the 
fat tinker, cutting large thongs out of 
other men's leather." 

In this temper of mind Somerset ar- 
rived in town from Theobalds ; it was 
Saturday evening and late, yet he lost 
not a moment in sending a pursuivant 
to Sir William Wade, with instructions 
for the more comfortable entertainment 
of Andrew Melville, and the utmost 
rigour of the fortress toward Sir Tho- 
mas Overbury. On Sunday he looked 


for Coppinger's return, and he looked 
not in vain. 

Coppinger, who rode with all possi- 
ble speed into Lincolnshire, with the 
intelligence that the vacant lieutenancy 
of the Tower was open to Jer^ase 
Elwes, was punctual in returning to 
the time fixed by Rochester. Elwes 
had a staunch friend in a Sir Thomas 
Monson, for any service of the court. 
He therefore judged it fitting on near- 
ing the metropolis to strike down 
through Highgate and Islington, that 
he might enter the City by Aldersgate, 
and take his friend Monson with him 
to the Lord Somerset's house in St, 
James's Park — Monson was a particu- 
lar friend of the Howards ; that is to 
say, that family considered the knight 
among their list of friends. Thus the 
links and the chain were completed. 

" Think'st thou Master Coppinger/' 
said Jervase, as the travellers slowly 


descended Higbgate Hill, " think 'st 
thou, Sir Thomas Monson can stand us 
in any stead ?*' 

" An he could, he were n't neces- 
sary," replied Coppinger unhesitat- 
ingly ; " how often shall I dodge thy 
sconce wi' the same tale— Get thy old 
Amcle or brother, or whoever he is, 
Alderman Yelvis, or Elwes, or Hel- 
ways, to bleed freely to my Lord of 
Rochester ; not forgetting abundance 
of great sovereigns to thy poorest friend 
Coppinger, and the constableship or 
lieutenancy, or governorship, or what- 
ever else thou likest to call it, is thine 
— an it be not, the devil poison me by 
consuming the nativum calidum or lumir- 
dum radicule of my vigorous body, in 
one month, two, or three, or more, as 
his Sathanic Majesty listeth, in any of 
the four ways gustUy haustu, ordore^ 

"• By the cross. Master Coppinger, 


thou talkest as freely o' the felony o' 
self murder, an' I understand thee, as 
gif it were glorious to die by detestable 
and lingering poison," said Jervase 

" I spoke only by comparison," re- 
plied Coppinger ; " I wish thy lieu- 
tenancy were as much for glory a^ 
for self-preservation." And as Elwes 
stared in the face of his fellow traveller, 
as if looking for the meaning of these 
mysterious words in the cast of his 
countenance, the Master of Horse pro- 
ceeded. '^ Hast thou not heard it said, 
the greatest portion of helibore was to 
be given to the covetuous — So would I 
deal by them who have this gift in their 
power, an they bleed thee above one 
thousand pound worth — And every 
ounce of blood in a man's body is worth 
that to himself; — an he can sell it at 
that price he might lose ye ten War- 
wickshire spoonfulls ilka quarterday o' 


las life, and be as fat as a Connaught 
ox at the end o' his journey after all — • 
what think'st thou ?" 

'^ I understood thee on starting," re- 
plied Elwes, '^ that I was to look unto 
my Lords of Northampton and Roches- 
ter as thy friends and patrons who had 
the power to procure me the appoint- 
ment, and it were but befitting, I re- 
paid their patronage; but it sounds oddly, 
Master Coppinger, does thy speech, 
that the lieutenancy should not be for 
glory, but only self preservation." 

" An thou be so dull o' apprehen- 
sion," answered Coppinger, " and so 
little aware o' the duties o' thine office, 
that is to be, I'll explain them. First of 
all, thou getest office — good — I must 
snack the bit with the Viscount, and 
thou must be dubber mum'd ; secondly, 
in all the gammon and patter between 
a younker ycleped Weston and me^ 
about bub and grub, for a certain pri- 

112 BLIGHTED ambition; OR 

soner, that you shall have under your 
charge, act thou the tollibon man^ or, 
by Jupiter, I'll lip ye a chaunt afore 
my Lord Coke that '11 carp ye at Ty- 
burn, and every noble of your kelter 
shall go into the King's Exchequer." 

Obscure as this dialogue appeared in 
some parts to Elwes, he understood in 
the first place, that his guide hoped to 
share the premium of his lieutenancy 
with Rochester; and, secondly, that 
some prisoner was not to be fairly 
dealt by in his victuals and drink — the 
understanding of the Master of Horse 
squared equally well with the dictates 
of military and jailor humanity, when it 
was his interest to be so morally good, 
and with the chicanery, fraud, artifice 
and combination of traitors and mur- 

" Nay man," continued Coppinger, 
" but thou art strangely dull to ha'e 
mixed in the fashionable world about 


the Inns and the great politic worlds o' 
the Justices at Westminster Hall^ and 
at the feet o' Gog and Magog." 

^' Gog's bones! Master Coppinger, 
but I understand thee : — in how much 
expectest thou me to bleed for thy ser- 
vice ?" asked Elwes. 

" An it be not impolitic to higgle 
and sell another man's goods," answered 
the Master of Horse, " I would, bully 
pat, thou'dst clap me in one scale as 
many Britain crowns as poised these 
barking irons which I shall throw into 
the other." 

" Bright Heavens above ! as many 
crowns as outweigh thy pistolets!" 
exclaimed Elwes — "Why they'd make 
me cove at Theobald's ? Nay, bully 
guide, an you get your livelihood as 
easily every two days, it is my thinking 
you'll be Lord Teasurer by next May- 

" Men of genius and of humble fortune 


are all sorted/' said Coppinger collect- 
ing himself and speaking very delibe- 
rately. " Curiosity impels them to 
mix indiscriminately in the world. I 
have seen it, my Master ; its the only 
book I read ; human faces the only 
vocabulary I study. I have sought od- 
dity at darkey in the City, where Will 
Shakespeare kept the table in a roar, 
as he's often done in a night house. I 
have been wi' Spencer in a withdrawing 
room where fools have mooted the slang 
of the great world without moving a 
lip to please high born dames ; — I have 
gravely approached a cathedral, where 
his reverence in eminence pretended to 
dive into mysteries and ascend heaven, 
while in his heart he was little better 
than a Turk^j being neither Protestant 
nor Recusant ; — and think'st thou, Jer- 
vase Yelvis, or Helwaj^s ; — thinkest 
thou I ask thee seriously, an I'm to be 
put off? — No — look at these barking 


irons, at this prad I stride, this flogger 
i' my hand, these diggers on my heater 
cases, and say me truly whether 'twere 
not better to end our journey in Horn- 
sey Wood, than enter the City and be 
bilked r 

Elwes though well armed with a case 
of pistols in his belt, a good Toledo 
blade by his side, and mounted on a 
stout Yorkshire courser, with as good 
spur rowels at his heels as Coppinger, 
had, however, no stomach to put the 
lieutenancy at issue by a duel in the 
Wood on his left. He, therefore, cut 
the discourse short by *^ damning his 
soul," but that Coppinger should have 
an hundred great sovereigns for his own 
share, and as many more as he could 
cheat the noble lords out of, when the 
purchase money was handed over to 
Rochester. With this arrangement the 
Master of Horse seemed satisfied, and 


our travellers entered the City by Al- 

Coppinger's first visit was to the 
house of Mistress Turner in Paternos- 
ter-row where he found the Lady 
Frances and Rochester. 

^' Back already !*' exclaimed Weston, 
on seeing his coadjutor- — '^ By the sigil 
I wear next my left breast^ thou'st gone 
brief over the ground, my Master ; the 
attire o' thy tid's feet held good, I 
reckon ; — did our new lieutenant shogg 
or tally at once ?" 

" Why my young bully file leader," 
replied Coppinger ; '^ where 's my lord 
and his leman ?" 

'^ Answerest thou me by asking, 
where's my lord an his V aimante ?" 
said Weston; '' call up thy night spirit 
mother Turner, and pump her, bully 
servitour — where be the great sove- 
reigns my Lord of Northampton, 
chucked into thy beaver when thou 


didst start for this seneschal of Gun- 
dulph's Castle ?" 

'' Stand out o' my way thou selcouth 
imp — am I to be made such a staple 
commodity as thy stammel dame lady ? 
'Sdeath, Billy, bully Weston, I'm not 
star read, an thou be not as gleg in 
the agles as any scout or beat runner of 
my Lord Coke looking after weif. — 
What dost thou take me for? — a jug- 
gler at cousenage ?" 

" Look ye, Master Coppinger, I that 
plan all, get nought. Does that stand 
to reason?" demanded the Page. ''Here 
you stand laden, I'll be sworn with 
old Helway's rose nobles ; and I finger 
ne'er a one— by the rod of Aaron, sir, 
there is not an Israelite in Duke's Place, 
w^ouldn't divide even gold shekels with 
a brother who gave him half the shim- 
miring into any plot, I've given thee 
into this. — But, by Jove ! I'll blast the 


whole as sure as ye've all transgressed 
the laws of God." 

" Here thou sinister aspect/' said the 
Master of Horse, " take these five pieces 
and get jolly drunk at Cambro Mead's, 
thou pig-face." 

" Look ye, Master Coppinger, I can 
count ye some fifty good Henries, and 
by the rood, I'll not touch thy five pieces 
— the half or none. An thou hast spent 
all to these ^ve, the matter's altered, and 
I'll e'en square my avarice with thy ne- 

" Craven pimp,'* exclaimed Coppin- 
ger, ^^ take them or want ; let me pass, 
or by the rood I'll open a vein in thy 

Somerset who had heard the uproar 
created by his bravo, and the Page, now 
hastened into the hall, and his presence 
was the immediate signal for silence, 

'^ Coppinger, why parley with this 


varlet ?" said the Viscount. " Hast 
thou brought Elwes ?" 

" Aye, faith, have I ; but as a mer- 
cury woman, and her news books afore 
a justice — mercenary knave, he will 
bleed only to your Lordship," said the 
Master of Horse. 

" Will he knuckle under ; does he 
seem micher ? — Must you use him as 
a middle man?" asked the Viscount al- 
most in one breath. 

" He is miser enough, and file leader, 
he won't be, I fear, unless ye wink at 
his exactions without process in the 
Painted Chamber, But where's the 
Earl of Northampton ? Does Elwes 
enter on office to-morrow ?" 

" To morrow without fail ; at the 
Earl's at Charing Cross," replied So- 

" Then, my Lord, if I might advise, 
haste you thither ; — I'll to the Mitre 
in Cheap for Jervase^ and, his old 


uncle the Alderman in Lothbury— In 
an hour I'll wait on you with my doge 
of the White Tower, and, then, may 
your revels pass merrily." 

The Master of Horse looked into the 
face of his Lord for an answer, but So- 
merset seemed wrapped in thought ; 
and before he replied, the patience of 
his man was gone. " My Lord," he 
interrupted, ^' are we on the vauntley, 

*^ No — no"— said Somerset hastily, 
now roused from the brown study. — " I 
was thinking whether we couldn't post 
Elwes at once in the Tower?" 

^' Without bleeding first?" exclaimed 
Coppinger ; " Nay then, an that be to 
be the way m^y ride ends, I've mis- 
glosed my Lord of Northampton's 
speech, and shall run mute the rest o' 
the chase." 

'' How now, Coppinger, how now?" 
asked Somerset. 


" My Lord, I know my place — do as 
you will — shall I meet your Lordship 
on Tower Hill with Elwes anon ?" asked 
Coppinger in a tone that shewed he 
meant the question to be answered in 
the negative. 

" No, sir, you shall not — get me my 
cloak — bring Elwes to Northampton 
House with what speed you please, sir." 
The Master of Horse bowed, laid the 
Viscount's cloak over his shoulders, and 
departed to the abode of Mistress Turner, 
with an agility that shewed how little 
he felt the ride into Lincolnshire and 
back again to London without longer 
rest than to eat and drink, and have his 
relays put in readiness. 

Somerset hastened to the Lady 
Frances, and communicated the news to 
her of Coppinger's arrival, saying at 
the same time, that the information of 
his Master of Horse left it very doubt- 



ful whether and how far Elwes would 
go into their plot. 

" But he hasn't come this length to 
halt between his conscience and his 
interest," said the Lady Frances. " Make 
it worth his while to take the keys of 
Gundulph's Castle, and look not after 
his extortions, and trust me our job is 

" Sweet, I must to thine uncle's,'' 
interrupted Somerset. — ^' There we'll 
house Elwes for the night — To-morrow 
I'll 'company him the length o' Queen- 
hithe. — That jackal Coppinger's gone 
to escort him to Charing Cross ; shall 
we budge, sweet ?" 

" I must coach it. — Where 's that 
lourdan page, my Lord ?" — asked the 
Lady Frances. 

^^ Here, my Lady Countess," an- 
swered Weston, 

" Thou'st been at some church ales, 
sirrah! and smellest of tobacco. — 


S*death, my Lord, can't this imp be 
cured of his frolics ?" 

*' Cry you mercy, madam," inter- 
rupted Weston. " I ha' been but some 
ten minutes at the Globe, seeing o' the 
blinded bears whipt ; and I quitted the 
ring the instant the flag was lowered on 
the front of the theatre. — For church 
ales, madam, mysteries and moralities, 
your companies of parish clerks make 
not them such mines of pleasure as J 
find on the southern bank of the 

'^ You hear my Lord, the varlet's 
confession ; he hath crossed the river 
to that contaminated audience !" 

'' Methinks, Master Weston," said 
Somerset, " thou shouldst give twelve 
pence for a stool on the stage at Black- 
friars, sit there as a critic, or in the 
Fortune Theatre, where thou'dst be 
attended by a page, and hear thy cat- 
call listened to.— Ah ! sirrah — you 
o 2 


simile. By the rood, my dearest Lady 
Frances, I do believe he hath been so 
set out there, for he doth smeil of to- 
bacco. How, sirrah, art thou not afraid 
with thy live pipe to set fire to the 
rushes strewed where the comedie is to 
dance ?*' 

'^ Shall I call the ooach, or make an- 
swer to my Lord first?" said Weston ; 
*4'or I'm not such a child going to a play 
and seeing Thebes written over an old 
door as to believe that that is Thebes." 

Somerset laughed outright at the 
reply of his love's page, and Lady 
Frances herself replied by calling '' the 
coach. The coach, sirrah." 

The page disappeared like the genius 
of dispatch, and the coach drew up be- 
fore Mistress Turner's door with all pos- 
j^ible speed. 

Coppinger in the mean time, has- 
tened to the Mitre in Cheap, where he 
found his protegee, Jervaise Yelvis in 


deep divan with mine host Cambro Mead, 
the worthy Alderman Elwes, and Ma:^- 
ter Weimark the Paul's walker. 

" Ron Soir;' said the Master of 
Horse, on entering the well dight par- 
lour of the well known Mitre, '^ Pr'ythee, 
mine host," added he accosting Cambre) 
Mead with perfect no7ichalance, " an a 
man come hither to rid himself o' his pelf, 
resembleth he not that whowiskin fill- 
ed wi' braket that I whilom used as a 
penbank when I couldn't spume a mug 
o' ale from the contents o' this purse ? 
It rings cheerily now, my master ; and 
good reason it is that my wisdom t(» 
night should resemble the saving acask n" 
wine at the tap, while it is running into the 
kennel by the bung-hole, — Fetch nie a 
stoup o- clarey ; a man may be penny 
Vv^ise and pound foolish once in his life.'" 
Cambro Mead, who knew the pjo- 
fession of Coppinger, called to his tap- 
ster for the liquors demanded, but kept 
G 3 


his place on the settle beside Weimark; 
— and when his guest had taken a deep 
draught of the claret, he accosted him, 
saying, " why, Master Coppinger, you 
seem to my ogles to have lighted on 
the powder of projection." 

Coppinger laughed and replied, " the 
seed of gold ; — no, no, Master Cambro 
Mead, 'tis for thee and such like publi- 
cans and sinners to have the faculty of 
multiplying and encreasing a bag full 
of rose rubles like this," tossing to the 
ceiling a purse of gold, " and that too, 
without e'er traversing God's footstool 
beyond the sound of Bow Bells. — Come 
my masters, now we're within the sphere 
o' the Mitre's activity, Christ's death be 
the portion of ilka man that won't 
pledge me in this stoup to the health 
of my noble Lord Somerset." 

'* It is the fashion within Temple 
Bar, for us first to choose our company^ 


then our liquor, and a'ter that to think 
o' our toasts ;" answered Weimark. 

" Wouldst thou answer a king at 
arms so ?" demanded Coppinger with 
great gravity. 

'' Aye, or any loon clad in thy kir- 
tle/' replied Weimark. 

'^ Then thou 'rt a traitor, kidst who 
I am ?" asked the Master of Horse. 

'^ A pimp — my Lord of Somerset's 
very klick minx,"-— replied Weimark. 

^*^ Look ye, bully Weimark," said 
Coppinger perfectly unmoved, " as I 
cock this pistolet in thy face, so could 
I with the three bullets in its guts, 
make a trinity of loop holes in thy 
paunch ; but 'twere no merit to send to 
Heaven such a kinchen cove as thou — 
There," said the bravo discharging the 
piece into the wainscoat over Wei- 
mark's headc — " There I'll empty my 
wrath in thy presence, — And now, my 
merry cockney, seest thou this other 


trim bit of iron ; there are two bullets 
in it." 

" Coppinger, I arrest thee," said the 
Alderman, before the Master of Horse 
had time to fire off the piece. " This in 
the City, sir ; and to a liveryman and 
a magistrate." 

'' Heyday ! my masters ?" answered 
the bravo. " You arrest me ? — I de- 
spise thy writ and spurn thy mittimus. 
Come along Jervaise Elwes, or Yelvis, 
or Helways ; come aioiig, I say; let us 
to some other shop, where our money 
,>hail bring us better cheer and truer 
company, A plague on all citizen?, 
say I." 

'' And a plague on all upstarts, and 
possessors of other men's gear," said 
Wei mark. 

'' How now, my master?" asked 
Coppinger; '' have I ever fingered tby 
vile dust." 

'' No ! by St. Dunstan," answered 


Wei mark ; but thy master hath the 
estate of Raleigh. — His head, take itoiF 
when they will, (and its in my thinkin^^ 
they'll do sae soon,) would do well upon 
the slioulders of Robert Car, Viscount 
Rochester and Earl of Somersel." 

'"^ Teste, Master Jcrvaise Elwcs, nr 
Yeivis, or ilelways ;" exclaimed ( 'op- 
pi noer — ^' Teste Alderman Elwes als<) — 
]\] aster Wei mark bath abused the lord— 
Cambro Mead, teste thou also; in tbr 
i'nouth of two or three witnesses shalt 
ihou be condemned, Master Weimark/' 

*' Edward Weimark, heeds not thee, 
bully Coppinger," answered the PauTs 
walker, " nor any espaniolized Engksh, 
^)r beggarly Scots overtickled with tbe 
trappings of pride and honour: 

They Leg our lands, our goods, our lives; 
They switch our nobles, and lie with their wives; 
They pinch our gentry, and send for our benchers, 
They stab our Serjeants, and pistol our fencers/* 
G 5 


" Teste, again," said Coppinger," thou 
shalt justify these words in the Painted 
Chamber ; Master Elwes, I go presto ;'' 
and as he said this, he threw down on 
the table a piece of money for his rec- 
koning, wrapped his cloak round him, 
and turned on his heel. The two Elwes 
arose and followed, and Coppinger led 
the way through Cheapside, Paternoster- 
row, and Ludgate to the Fleet, where he 
stepped into a pinnace and took his seat 
with all the consequence of his master. 
The two men who accompanied him^ 
sat themselves down, one on each side 
of the master of horse, and the barge- 
men plied the oars lustily, till they land- 
ed their passengers at Hungerford stairs. 

" My Masters," said Coppinger, on 
landing, '' our thoughts ha' been in petto 
— one word ere we enter the presence 
of the Lord : hast thou Jervaise Elwes, 
or Yelvis, or Helways, while truanting 
the Mitre^ opened thy soul to thine 


uncle or cousin of the quest we're on— 
Its a quid pro quo, between thee and me ; 
there stands Gundolph's Castle, the moon 
now rising' over it— and there is my Lord 
of Northampton's house. — Here standst 
thou— wilt thou put one hand on 
each ?" 

" Master Coppinger/' quoth the Al- 
derman, " thou knowst 

If you trust before you try, 

You may repent before you die." 

*' The Alderman talks reason, my 
Master," said Jervaise, " nevertheless, 
at thy convenience, open me this bag", 
and thou'lt find thee some six score good 
sovereigns. Here, take it and spend 

Coppinger seized the bag, and with a 
great oath declared its weight justified 
the words of Jervaise Elwes. 

On entering the palace of the Earl of 


Northampton, ^Somerset's stirrup holder 
announced the Alderman and Jervaise 
ElweSjWho were received with open arm? 
by the Earl and the Favourite. " Good 
Master Alderman Yelvis,'' said the Earl 
ofNorthampton/' opportunity offers, and 
it were fitting we repaid thy zeal to the 
House of Howard, Thou rem.emberest m}' 
promise when we supped delligrout toge- 
ther on the king's coronation day — Jer- 
vaise Elwes was then dike-reeve in Lin 
colnshire — That pottage got us acquaint- 
ance, brought him to the Inns of Court, 
and now at a small lot of pelf, the consta- 
bleship of the Tower is at bis service.'* 

"' And for how much may he become 
Lieutenant of Gimdoiph's Castle/' asked 
the wary civic magistrate. 

"' Why, for the matter of that/" replied 
Northampton, " we'll not turn a gifi 
into market gold : if it be worth his 
while to lake office there, two thousand 


great sovereigns weren't out of the way, 

'"^ The pLice hath sold for more within 
my time," answered the Alderman, 
" but the benevolence of late hath drained 
the citizens ; say we lay down one thou- 
sand, and the other when this vergere 
bringeth its crop of apples." 

" And that 's as much as we can do,'' 
added Jervaise. " I would also debit 
therefrom, the tale of five score marks^ 
in requital to your Lordship's rod knight 
Master Coppinger." 

" Debit thyself six score an' it please 
ye,'* said Coppinger, " out o' the thou- 
sand in reversion, and let the round sum 
the lord prays, be paid without sale by 
inch of candle." 

" The Master of Horse speaks rea- 
son," said Somerset. '' Let him have 
seven score marks if ye like by Martin- 
mas. The Dalance we'll truck with you 
for in the quarter following." 


" And when shall I enter upon my 
office ?" asked Jervaise. 

" Now Sir," replied Somerset ; " take 
tliee this signet, present it to Sir Wil- 
liam Wade, and he shall quit thy strong 
hold before dav break." 

" Your Lordship would have your 
signet back on the instant Master Elwes 
or Yelvis, or Helways is housed ?" said 

'' Doubtless, doubtless," replied So- 

" Coppinger," added Northampton, 
^' take thee my barge, land the lieute- 
nant in Gundolph's Castle, return with 
the Lord's signet anon, and take thy 
stand here till day light." 

" In all things," said Somerset to Jer- 
vaise Elwes, '- in all things, the Lord of 
Northampton and myself expect you 
will serve us — Your obedience and fide- 
lity shall guarantee an annual oblivion 
of all extortions. To-morrow dismiss 


me the under lieutenant, and admit in his 
place, a person I shall send you. With 
his duty to me, never thou interfere, as 
thou valuestthy place — Adieu." 

Elwes would have made answer accor- 
ding to the tenor of the Viscount's ad- 
dress, but the Master of Horse seized his 
arm saying: " Time speeds, and I would 
not Gundolph's clock struck eleven ere 
I lodged you in the royal apartments.^^" 

* Till tlie reign of Elii:abet]i, the kings of England 
lyiaintained a suite of royal apartments in the Tower. 


CilAP. V. 

To do good never can be ihcir ta^jk. 
B-jfevxT to dc ill, (heir solo delight. 

^ .. MlLTOX. 

Hell's most abandoned lieiid 
Di.'. never, in the drunkenness of guilt, 
8peak to his heart as now you sppak to iriC, 
1 thank \\)y God ihat I believe yo'i no!. 


Sj u Tiiom a s O V t: K E u II V ai'ri ved at 1 he 
Tower very shortly after the Earl of 
Souierset had quitted it for Theobald's, 
and the lieutenant strictly obeyed the 
coniniands of the Viscount, 

"- You will follow me,'' said the lieu- 
tenant to Overbury^ " 3'our apartmentKS 
are assigned." 

'^ I am a state prisoner, I suppose," 
said Overbiiry, '' and I will not de- 


scend into thy dungeons, below even 
the lions" — for the lieutenant bent his 
steps to the Tower, which since the 
days of Henry VII. was called indif- 
ferently the '' Bulwark" and the " Lion's 

'' We only hear and obey in this 
place," said Sir William Wade dryly — 
"to-morrow, for aught I know, I may 
replace Sir Thomas Overbury." 

" Nay, but I will pay handsomely," 
said Overbury, take this purse and place 
me beside Raleigh or Northumberland." 

^■'' My extortions are at an end," re- 
plied the lieutenant, " I expect hourly 
to be committed myself, for the exer- 
cise of a little Christian indulgence " 

'' Nay then, my catechism's ended," 
said Overbury. — "Lead on, I'll follow." 

On arriving at the bottom of the 
stairs, a large door v^^as opened, and 
presented a vaulted passage that led to 
the subterraneous cells belonging to the 


Bulwark. A few steps brought the 
prisoner and his jailors to a second 
door, which was opened by Carey, the 
lieutenant's assistant. — " And this is to 
be my dreary abode/' said Overbury. — 
a Pr'ythee, Sir William, let me have a 
lamp, pen, ink, and paper, to dispatch 
a billet into Holborn." 

" It were as much as my head w^ere 
worth to grant you more indulgence, 
Sir Thomas," replied the lieutenant, 
" than we have accorded to Andrew 
Melville ; — and you know my instruc- 
tions anent him." 

c(, Were indited by Bancroft, not by 
Cecil, I assure you," said Overbury. 
" But if I cannot have tablets to make 
my fate known, accord me a trusty 
messenger who will go to Gray's-Inn 
Lane, with a communication." 

" Knov/ you Captain Kemish ?" asked 
the lieutenant. 
" Perfectly well," answered Overbury, 


*^ Call him, Carey ; he is now with 
Raleigh, and bring him hither to Sir 
Thomas Overbury," said Sir William 

Kemish soon appeared in the dismal 
ceil — and the meeting of these gentle- 
men had less political feeling than when 
the reader saw them last in company 
with Lawrency. — There was, however, 
little . time for discussion, and in few 
words Sir Thomas Overbury requested 
the captain to hasten to Gabricila, at 
her house in Gray's-Inn Lane — then, 
indeed, a fashionable and retired part 
of London — and communicate to her 
the fate to which he was now doomed. 
Gabriella heard with dismay the intel- 
ligence of Kemish, but the strong pre- 
sentiment she entertained that events 
would fall out precisely as we have de- 
tailed, had prepared her for the worst. 

" I have one resource left me," said 
the fair Gabriella, ^' I will this instant 


speed me to Prince Henry — No — that 
will not do — I'll to the King at Theo- 

" Know you the difficulty of an au- 
dience ?" asked Kemish, " an you do 
not, that journey will teach you. — My 
poor stratagem would be to gain Philip 
Herbert to my interest. — The Lord Bi- 
shop of Canterbury ; — and such other, 
friends as Sir Thomas hath at court. '^ 

Gabriella accordingly repaired to St. 
James's, where she hoped to meet with 
Philip Herbert — but here all was in 
confusion ; every face Wore the trap- 
pings of inward sorrow ; messengers 
were hurrying out and in ; the guards 
were sullenly resting on their pikes ; 
and horses stood saddled, as if for un-^ 
expected journeys. 

'' What mean all these appearances 
of concern ?" said Gabriella, as she en- 
tered the gate. 

'^ The most exquisite, hopeful Prince 


in Christendom, sheweth the first symp- 
toms of change/' said one of the guards, 
— "• from a full round face, and pleasant 
disposition, he hath become pale and 
sharp, more sad and 'retired, and he 
hath been brought to extraordinary 

" Aye, but his physicians have re- 
covered him with strong waters," an- 
sw^ered another soldier, who leant on 
his pike. 

" He should not leai*n to swim in the 
evenings, after a full supper," said, a 
third, '* to engender a fatal fever. And 
riding a hundred miles in two days! — : 
and in all his progress with the Pals- 
grave, feasting, hunting, and taking other 
sports of balloon and tennis in his shirt." 

'' Can I see the Lord Pembroke ?" 
asked the sorrowful Gabriella. 

" An I could make all the Hospital 
merry wi' the fruits and juices of the 
best berries I hae seen in Franconia, 


Swabland, Elas, and the Paltz," an- 
swered the sentinel, at the foot of the 
tower, leading to Prince Henry's apart- 
ments, " I couldn't admit un" — 

" Bat will you allow a messenger to 
go to him V* asked Gabriella, putting 
into the man's hand a gold penny. 

" This might get un a stoup o' Ham- 
burgh beer in Holstein, or a drop o' 
Rustocke in Denmark; it might e'en 
buy un a flaggon o' the good Calvinist's 
beer at Serbest," said the soldier, turn- 
ing the gold penny in his hand. '* And 
the choice of all beers," added he, "• is 
Serbester beer, being the wholesomest 
for the body, and clearest from all filth 
and barme, as their religion is the best 
for the soul, and clearest from the dregs 
of superstition." 

" Here, man," quoth Gabriella, in- 
terrupting the mercenary, "take thee 
this great sovereign and drink good 
Braket or Rhenish for the rest of the 


day — only let me pass on to the Lord 

The sentinel stepped aside on his 
beat, and Gabriella walked into the 
withdrawing room. Here she found 
several persons in waiting, and on in- 
quiring after the Earl of Pembroke, she 
was told he had gone into the Prince's 
apartment the moment before, but would 
soon return. 

" My Lord of Pembroke !" exclaimed 
Gabriella, on seeing Herbert come forth 
from the chamber of the sick Prince, 
" they have taken Sir Thomas to the 
Tower, and immured him in the dun- 
geons of the Lion's Tower — Oh ! for 
pity's sake move the Prince of Wales 
for his release ; let me fall down at the 
feet of his Grace and implore pardon — 
Overbury will go to the Low Countries 
— He will travel to the Iceland pole. 
His friends have become his enemies, 
and conspired his death." 


" Rise^ g-eotle lady, rise/' said Phi- 
lip Herbert — " What my poor influence 
can do shall be done ; but Lord Roches- 
ter and his crew play a deep game, and 
I cannot interfere." — And as he thus 
spoke the Earl was departing. 

'' Nay, but hear me— Fll stake my 
existence/' said Gabriella, "that Over- 
bury hath been deceived, cajoled, and 
entrapped," — 

At this moment the door of the 
Prince's apartment opened, and one of 
the physicians begged the Earl to keep 
all noises down. — A Hie of soldiers, with- 
out any ceremon) , seized Gabriella and 
carried her into the court-yard, Philip 
Herbert nodding approval of what they 

'■'' Oh ! Captain Kemish, save me, save 
me," exclaimed Gabriella ; and the gal- 
lant companion of Raleigh drew his 
sword in her defence ; but a party of 
the soldiers, who were at hand, gra ; >ed 


their spoiitoons and charged Kemish 
beyond the precincts of the royal re- 
sidence. — Gabriella^ vvhose resolution 
bore strong characteristics of the oppo- 
site sex, followed the Captain out at 
the gate, uttering " curses loud and 
deep" on all the dogs of war who had 
annoyed her. 

" We must to the Archbishop forth- 
with," said Kemish ; " an his Lordship 
like to stir himself, we may fare better 
than at this haunted tower," 

^' Saw you ever snch brutality, Sir, 
to a female ?" asked Qabriella, who 
had now dried up her tears, her indigna- 
tion overcoming her sorrow. 

'* It accords with Herbert's charac- 
ter, madam, but what can we expect 
where every man has heard that the 
Lord St. Clair hath not been ashamed 
to challenge Prince Henry to be his 
own son, to English and Scots arriv- 



ing in Denmark while he was ambas- 
sadour there to Christiern ?" 

This discourse Gabriella thought not 
more refined than the usage she had 
met with, though very opposite senti- 
ments had dictated both ; and she, there- 
fore, turned the conversation into another 
channel during their walk down the 
Mall. Kemish strode along in a gaunt 
style a-la-militaire, and on arriving at 
Westminster Ferry, he hired a skiff to 
land him and Gabriella at Lambeth 

The day Vv'as now advanced; but 
there were still some boats afloat in the 
river, — and as our passengers had got 
nearly into the mid stream, their atten- 
tion was arrested by the clamour of 
tongues in two boats that were plying 
hard down the river against the tide, 
which then flowed majestically west- 
ward. But passing in opposite directions, 
the Captain paid no more attention to 


them than he would to a company of 
drunken brawlers till he heard a splash 
in the water. Turning suddenly round, 
he espied an old man struggling with an 
oar in the river, while another fellow, 
seemingly young and active, endeavour- 
ed to wrest it from the wretch in the 
stream. Kemish called aloud ; his voice 
seemed to reach the villain who was 
drow^ning the poor old man; but the 
murderer heeded it not. He had suc- 
ceeded by this time in wresting the oar 
from his companion ; and, pushing the 
boats asunder, he left the drowning 
w^retch to his fate. The Captain bade 
his bargeman put aboat and rovv to the 
assistance of the unfortunate man in the 
water, and the waterman did so with 
great agility, but long ere his boat 
reached the point where the drowning 
man was struggling with the stream, he 
sunk to rise no more. — His boat, which 
now floated empty, the Captain's water- 
H 2 

48 BLIGHTED ambition; oU^ 

man followed, and it turned out to be 
the wherry of Doctor Fornian ! — The 
conjecture, therefore, was that the astro- 
loger had gone to his long home, but his 
murderer had escaped the hand of jus- 
tice by a precipitate flighty directing his 
course into that part of the river's brink 
M^here he was least likely to be appre- 
hended by any observers from the shore. 

Gabriella and Captain Kemish w^ere 
landed at the Archbishop's Palace, and 
the waterman repaired to " Forman's 
Grove," to announce the catastrophe of 
the astrologer to his widow Trunco, 
Kemish knocked loudly at the gate of 
the Primate's Palace, and the seneschal 
opened an eyelet to reconnoitre the per- 
sons of his visitors, 

'• We would see his Grace," said the 

'' Alany would see him that cannot 
get a glimpse o' him," answered the man, 
" Think ye, my master, his Grace that 


burns daylight away in his study, has 
time to see you ; I say you nay — A 
plague on all you may-gamers, and mor- 
ris-dancers, and morality mongers, and 
wake-makers and church-ale revellers, 
and sic like." 

'^ Do, good man, open the portal," 
said Gabriella, " charity seeks admit- 
tance, and would woo thee to her service 
with these few gold pennies." 

" An his Grace sit frae sun-rise, till 
dusk i' his study, the grating barrica- 
doed with oaken plants to keep God's 
light out while he dives wi' lamp glim- 
merings into the pages o' Revelation, 
think you he'll be moved though charity 
came to his gate wi' all the parish children 
ia Surrey ; I say you nay ; never theles?^, 
seeing ye be civil gentles, ye shall to his 
Chaplain, and try what ye can make 
o' him," and, as the Seneschal said this, 
he undid the strong iron bars of the gate 
And admitted Gabriella and Kemish. 


A serving man conducted them into a 
waiting or withdrawing room, whither 
the Chaplain soon came to know their 
pleasure with his grace : " We desire to 
see the Right Reverend Father," said 
Gabriella ; '^ and implore his powerful 
aid in behalf of an injured and innocent 

" And who may you be, Lady, that 
seek an audience of my lord Arch- 
bishop?" asked the Chaplain. 

^^ The wife of Sir Thomas Overbury," 
answered Gabriella, 

'^ A daughter of Babylon !" exclaim- 
ed the Churchman — *•' An there were 
not on London Bridge Tower, heads and 
quarters enow of thy recusant tenets, I 
would thee a speedy journey thither." 

" Sir," said Captain Kemish, '' we 
came not here to be mocked by thy Puri- 
tanical cant ; if thy master receive us 
with incivility, it were then high time 
for thee to vapour thy precision and 


" Thou art a Catholic too/' inter- 
rupted the Chaplain, " who bee'st thou, 
my master ; answer me that ?" 

" A man, and an Englishman, and he 
that's more is not of this world," re- 
plied Kemish. 

'^ Thou art a Recusant, and comest 
here with this runaway, halfling married 
woman, that sins and confesses and sins 
again," said the churchman, swelling 
his goodly port and adjusting his wig: 
"- The King's Majesty will bury the 
whole brood of Catholics between Holy- 
roodhouse and Whitehall, and the Lord 
Northampton, that turncoat that is, gives 
them favour, and sends them abroad 
to the wild Irish. Priests come into 
the country by tens, fifteens, and twen- 
ties at a time, and have good and free 
harbour amongst his other buildings in 

^' Sir," interrupted the Captain, 
" your charge against the Earl of 

152 BLIGHTED AMBirroiv ; OR, 

Northampton, may be well founded ; but 
he was never a friend of Sir Thomas 
Overbury, whom the Lord Salisbury^ 
that prop of Protestantism that was, 
favoured till his death, a)]d now he's 
gone, the Lord Rochester must fall out 
with his Mentor, and sends him to the 

" Nay, prythee, speak truth," said the 
Chaplain in his turn, checking' the speech 
of Kemish ; " Master Overbury, to my 
lord Archbishop's sorrow, refused the 
embassage, and spurned the King's 
favour, and hath done traitor's work for 
his own neck ; and he is worse than a 
Catholic even, for he is one of Sir Wal- 
ter Raleigh's Atheists." 

" Since you know the religion and 
crimes of alt men, Sir Priest, of 
what religion should an Archbishop's 
Chaplain be ?" asked Kemish, whose 
patience was now exhausted by the 
insufferable insolency of this preteM- 


tier to Christianity, though he felt no 
inclination to be wroth with the garru- 
lous Puritan, 

" Angels of grace defend us !"' 
uttered the hapless Gabriella — " There 
comes the lord Northampton !" — and as 
sure as she spoke that nobleman eniered, 
and as he entered, the Chaplain glided 
out of the room : '^ O ! my Lord Earl," 
she exclaimed, ^' what misery is this you 
have doomed my Knight to? Beseech 
your Lordship to move heaven and earth, 
that he be freed from a dungeon, cold 
and damp. Let Overbury but have his 
release, and leave us to wander from this 
Island, fugitives and friendshorn ; you 
will find me true as the bravest Kniofht's 
ladv that e'er loved her lord." 

^' Gabriella, thou talkest dreams," 
said the Earl. ^' Sir Thomas Overbury is 
a state prisoner ; but believe me, on the 
honour of this blue ribbon, thy Knight 
will be restored to thy arms. I can say 
H 3 


no more did I talk till midnight. Leave 
this place, where thou and thy religion 
have no friends. My lord of Rochester 
has promised me he will find the means 
of Overbury's release. His present con- 
finement is an understood thing ; a 
mere trick. These puling Protestants 
must be cozened sometimes." 

'' Then I will rely on the special 
favour of your noble lordship, and seek 
not an interview further with the high 
priest of Martin Luther," said Gabriella. 
"^ Will your lordship, as Warden of the 
Cinque Ports, gain me admittance to 
Overbury?" The Earl replied that, if 
his interest could procure free ingress to 
the fortress, it should not be wanting ; 
he could promise the exercise of his 
endeavours, and he hoped the result 
would be favourable.'* 

Kemish would have said a few words, 
but Gabriella's speech disengaged Nor- 
thampton from her conversation, and 


that crafty politician passed through the 
apartment at the same side door that 
the churchman iiad vanished by on the 
Earl's entrance. 

Northampton's business with the 
Archbishop, was to justify himself in his 
grace's opinion, from the reports which 
were now in circulation, respecting his 
Jiaving relapsed into Catholicism, many 
persons affirming that his conversion 
was a mere manoeuvre to serve his 
family with the first of the Stuarts on 
the English Throne. 

Kemish, who judged he might further 
the interests of Gabriella most, by em- 
ploying Sir Walter Raleigh's influence 
with Queen Anne, proposed they should 
make their repair to the Tower for that 
purpose. The gallant Raleigh felt for 
the situation of Overbury, but staled 
how impossible it was for any person to 
procure his liberty under the present 
circumstances. Disappointed here also. 


Gabriella applied to Sir Wiliiaiii Wade 
for an interview with her husband- 
The lieutenant with more humanity than, 
prudence, complied with her request, 
but, unwilling to shock her by a sight of 
the loathsome dungeon in which his 
prisoner was confined, conducted her to 
his own apartments, and went to fetch 
Sir Thomas from his cell. On arriving 
at the door of Overbury's dungeon, Sir 
William briefly informed him of the 
object of his visit, saying at the same 
time,'' As I was unwilling to shock the 
feelings of a female by conducting her 
to this miserable hole, the only request I 
have to beg of you. Sir Knight, is, that 
you will not discover to your Lady, the 
character of this place, nor attribute 
to the inhumanity of my nature, the 
severity which is exercised towards 

Overbury, who had now been a sufli- 
ciant time immured in his loathsome 


dungeon to anticipate, or, more pro- 
perly, to know the horrible anxiety 
confinement such as his would produce 
on the mind, and who, in the midst of 
darkness and irksome solitude, had been 
so unexpectedly visited by his jailor, 
could not but applaud the spirit that 
dictated a line oF conduct so deli- 
cate as that shown by the lieutenant 
on the present occasion, and very 
readily promised compliance with Sir 
William Wade's proposal, adding that, 
*' The obligation was wholly on the 
part of the prisoner, who could scarcely 
expect this mark of compassion, con- 
sidering the orders under which the 
Lieutenant acted/' 

" Dearest love!'* exclaimed Gabriella, 
the moment Overbury entered her pre- 
sence, throwing herself into his arms. 
" Dearest love ! and has it come to 
this? Oh! why did you not act by my 


counsel ? Though a woman, I was 
right in the judgment I formed — 'Twas 
unt^hid, mifeeling to me, not to listen : 
But I will not reproach you ; I came 
hither to comfort, not to irritate." 

^^ Be composed, my sweet, all will be 
well," said Overbury. " The council 
will not attempt my life, and though 
King James may hang a poor man for 
shooting a rascal deer sooner than a 
cut throat, he will not exercise such 
prerogative on me." 

After mutual reproaches, apologies, 
and consolations, Gabriella and Sir 
Thomas parted, Captain Kemish escort- 
ing her from the Tower to Gray's Inn 
Lane, — and the lieutenant conducted 
Overbury back to his prison cell, where 
for the present we shall leave him. 

On reaching her house, Gabriella was 
surprised to find there, an old and 
valued friend. 


^' Father Francis!" she exclaimed, on 
seeing her confessor ; '' Father Francis 
in England !" but speech refused its 
utterance, and she sunk on her knees, 
the reverend Father repeating, '' Bene- 
dicite^ filial — Benedicite !" — and taking 
hold of her hand he besought her to rise, 
asking at the same time, the cause of 
such visible sorrow as was painted in 
her looks : " I had heard of thy welfare, 
daughter, and comforted myself to have 
found thee at least happy : whence 
then the cause of this distress ?" 

Gabriella, sobbed out in broken 
accents her brief tale of woe, to which 
Father Francis listened with sorrowful 
attention. " I have," he then said, 
** matters of high import with the 
House of Howard, and it will go hard, 
indeed, if I enlist not in thy favour the 
powerful aid of the Earl of Northamp- 
ton ; there are other lords, too, of the 


council, whom it concerns my mission 
to speak with ; fear not, therefore, 
(laughter, but all shall yet be well." 

Gabriella expressed her doubts, and 
assigned their grounds. " The Lord 
Somerset, and he of Northampton, are 
sworn friends; Somerset is the pretend- 
ed friend of Overbury, but secretly his 
enemy; Norihampton has long ago de- 
clared the same lungdom could not hold 
Overbury and the House of Howard. 
Sorry am I, my dearest Overbury, trou- 
bled himself about them; but, he fancied he 
was serving Somerset, when he opposed 
his passion, and endeavoured to turn his 
mind from the pursuit of his darling object. 
Overbury sought fame — he strove to ac- 
quire it by raising his patron, the chief 
Favourite at court ; but alas ! alas ! he 
now rues it bitterly, though to me con- 
fession escaped not his lips." 

*' Daughter," interrupted Father Fran- 


CIS, ^^ I go to meet a brother in the city ; 
I will return and see thee with him ; he is 
cm Englishman by birth ; and my own 
native country is Ireland ; it will go bard 
indeed if our labours for thy Knight's 
release, prove ineffectual — Benedicite, 
filia, Benedicite — vale," 




What gives our tale its moral ? Here we find 
That wives like this are not for rule designed. 
Nor }et for blind submission. 


Yet mere he would have said ; but then there came 
A cough tiiat shook the sufferers weaken'd frame ; 
And chcaking phlegm, that would not quit its hold, 
And on his brow the clammy drops stood cold. 


Somerset had no sooner dispatched 
his Master of Horse with Jervaise 
Elwes to the To\ver, than, exhausted 
by the fatigues of his late employment, 
he sought a few hours repose. On the 
following morning the first object that 
engaged his attention were the memo- 
randa of the King, touching the busi- 
ness which was that day to be trans- 


acted in the court of the Star-chamber. 
Calling his Master of Horse to him, 
while it was yet hardly daylight, the 
Favourite gave him some brief instruc- 
tions respecting his household, and then 
said, " All day T shall be at the Camera 
Stellata, that musty old council-cham- 
ber of the Palace at Westminster." 

'' An your Lordship hae matters o' 
Benevolences on the tapis in that an- 
cient depository of the Israelites she- 
tars,"* replied Coppinger ; " I would 
be fain to give evidence for the com- 
missioners on that dure Puritan, Mas- 
ter Wei mark." 

" Good," said Somerset, " a pursui- 

* Before the banishment of the Jews under Ed- 
ward 1. (heir contracts or obligations, denominated 
in our ancient records Starra or Starrs, from a cor- 
ruption of the Hebrew word S/ietar, (a covenant), 
were deposited in strong chests in a chamber of the 
King's Exchequer, at Westminster Palace. The po- 
pular notion that the Star-chamber received its name 


vant shall bring him before the tri- 

" My Lord, there is news abroad this 
morning ; — the Prince Henry is mar- 
vellously ill; — there's a monstrous hurly 
burly at St. James's, and it's my poor 
opinion tliat Lord Northampton and 
yourself ought to have all your rant- 
ing followers, captains and swordsmen 
of the town, paraded somewhere quietly 
in case of need." 

'' Why, Coppinger, thou wouldst have 
us imitate the mad Earl of Essex," said 

" I would have your Lordships look 
to your own safety, an any thing hap- 
pen the Prince, and Martin Franklin 

from the circumstance of the roof being adorned with 
gilded stars, receives little confirmation from tradi- 
tion ; for so late as the sixteenth century, at all event* 
as iar back as the first of Mary, the ceiling of the 
-' Council Room" was without stars. — The allusion, 
therefore, of the Master of Horse, seems correct. Ed, 


stand not the torture, an they pitch on 
him,'' replied the Master of Hoise. 
"An the leeches Mayern, Hammond, 
and Butler, gie him Raleigh's cordi- 
al, without tasting', then we may say 
Prince Henry has been poisoned by 
that damned quack. — An they gie him 
not the cordials, but nostrums, and bleed 
him, his head ache and drought, and 
other accidents may increase, and then 
we shall have sickness, faintings, shak- 
ings, cold fits, and then great dry fits 
and so forth.'* 

" Thouseemest marvellously instruct- 
ed in all the passages between his Grace 
and the leeches," said Somerset. '^ What 
wit hast thou further to declare anent 
the Prince of Wales ? 

" T know nothing, my Lord Earl,*' 
replied the Master of Horse. — " Were 
T on the rack now., I know nothing ; 
let them claw my flesh off with hot 
pinchers, and pole me with boiling oil. 


I know nothing that concerns mortal 
save myself." 

^' Copping'er/' replied Somerset, '-' I 
believe you are one of the cleverest 
fellows about town, and I w^ill reward 
you in proportion to your merit ; but 
if you deceive and betray me" — 

" Take this dagger, and end my 
days," interrupted the Master of Horse. 
— " Time speeds — shall we debate our 
fidelity now% and leave our work half 
done ?" 

"■ No, Sir, we debate nothing," re- 
plied the Earl, " Attend me ot the 

On arriving at the Camera Stellata, 
Somerset and the other Commissioners 
engaged first on the matter of Mr. Oli- 
ver St. John, whom they fined and sen- 
tenced to imprisonment ; after hearing- 
Sir Francis Bacon deliver a long speech, 
which the reader may find in his works, 
volume the second of the last 4to edi- 


tiou. This was no sooner dispatched^ 
than the Viscount proposed that the 
citizens who spoke treasonably of the 
Privy Council's letters, touching the 
Benevolences, should be brought up 
by a messenger at arms; and the pro- 
position being carried ?iem. con. pursui- 
vants were dispatched with warrants 
for their appearance before the Com- 

When Weimark made iiis appear- 
ance, he was asked why he impugned 
the Lords* letters, calling on the citi- 
zens for Benevolences. " An it please 
your Lordships," replied Weimark. — 
"- The King's Majesty can no more claim 
Benevolences than he can impose duties 
on merchandize, by virtue of his pre- 
rogative. An the English people ac- 
quiesce in these claims, loans, mono- 
polies, benevolences and sic like subsi- 
diary and extra parliamentary modes 
of taxation, the House of Commons will 


become unnecessary, and a legvA go- 
vernment will be corrupted into a ty- 
ranny. I have nothing furthe^' to argue, 
an I had the eloquence o' the Attor- 
ney-General, Master Bacon, I could 
only say taxi]}g by prerogative is the 
strongest proof of a new constitution. 
' Sic voieo, sic jubeo, stet pro ratione 
voluntas.' *' 

'' What further need have we of anv 
evidence of thy base treason, Master 
Weimark ?" said Sir Francis Bacon. — 
*' My Lords, in the face of the King's 
ministers, he slanders and traduces his 

" Master Weimark slanders not the 
King alone," interrupted Northamp- 
ton, who had got his cue from Somer- 
set, ** he abuses us, my Lords, and 
speaks darkly of assassinations." 

'^ I marvel what your Lordships will 
make out next," said Weimark. "^ Pro- 
duce vour witnesses before these Lords 


spiritual, temporal^ and privy counsel- 
lors, composing the Commissioners, my 
judges, without the intervention of a 

** Master Weimark, thou art ignorant 
of this august court," interrupted the 
Attorney- General ; — " it hath jurisdic- 
tion legally,— legally, I say. Sir, legally, 
over riots,— riots observe, perjury, an 
awful crime ; that is, Sir, to forswear 
thyself, Master Weimark ; — misbehavi* 
our of sheriffs. Sir ; so let thy civic offi- 
cers beware, and other notorious mis- 
demeanours contrary to the laws of the 

*^ Ye may assert here all proclama- 
tions," replied Weimark, " and stretch 
all orders of prerogative, to the vindi- 
cating of illegal commissions and grants 
of monopolies; ye may hold for ho- 
nourable that which pleases you, and 
for just that which profits ;— ye may 
call yourselves a court of law to deter- 



wayz- goose-day, put a whittle in the 
Lords' throaty sans weapon salve/' 

This explanation thrilled the court 
with horror, and though Weimark 
pleaded for himself, that " he intended 
no disrespect to Lord Somerset, whose 
known diligence to the cloth-workers 
was above all detraction, only he spake 
in reference to an old proverb, ^ two 
heads are better than one.' " 

" Better off the shoulders than on,'' 
added Coppinger, 'Hhou didst mean 
that Master Weimark ;" and the Lord 
President of the Commissioners approv- 
ing of the interpretation, closed the de- 
bate, by saying — " Master Weimark, 
thy B enevolence was to have been one 
hundred pounds sterling, but thou'lt 
agree with me, two hundred were bet- 
ter than one,"— which between fear and 
charity the bold Novilant was fain to 
subscribe and depart, regretting that 


his jest should have been reckoned so 
exceedingly valuable. 

As Weimark departed the Star-cham- 
ber, the King himself entered, accom- 
panied by Philip Herbert. The Lords 
rose up, to receive his Majesty, and 
the Earl of Suffolk vacated his seat, 
but- James signified, by waving his 
hand, that he came merely as a spec- 
tator or witness, and not as a judge. 

'^ Let Sir Thomas, the Lady Lake, 
and Lady Rosse be called in," said the 
Lord President, and the pursuivant 
very soon ushered the joint Secretary, 
his wife and eldest daughter into the 
Camera Stellata. 

^^ My Lords," said the King's coun- 
sel, " the Lady Lake and the Baroness 
Rosse have accused the Countess of Ex- 
eter of incontinency with Lord Rosse. 
How maintain ye this scandal Sir Tho- 
mas Lake ?" 

Sir Thomas attempted a reply, and 
I 3 


a long and desultory conversation en- 
sued, alleging on the side of the ac- 
cusers, that the Earl of Exeter had been 
injured in his reputation. 

^' Upon my credit," said Sir Tho- 
mas Lake, " Lord Rosse was sent am- 
bassador extraordinary into Spain, in a 
very gallant equipage, with some hopes 
of his own to continue leiger, to save 
charges of transmitting any othui ."^ 

^' Yes," interrupted the King, " and 
in his absence hath fallen out an ex- 
treme deadly feud ('tis no matter for 
what) between Lady Lake and the 
Countess of Exeter ; — a youthful widow 
she had been, and virtuous — *' 

" And so became bed-fellow to this 
aged, gouty, diseased but noble Earl,'* 
said Coppinger into the ear of Roches- 

" And that preferment," continued 
the King, " hath made her subject toi 
envy and malice ?" 


" But my Lord Rosse coming home 
from his embassy, stays not long in 
England," said Sir Thomas Lake, " but 
away he gets into Italy, turns a professed 
Roman Catholic, being cozened into 
that religion by his public confidant 

" With that we have nothing to do," 
said Northampton ; " was it befitting 
he should be charged with incontinency 
and neglect of his wife and kindred, 
because he refused an increase of al- 
lowance to her settlement of jointure, 
which I believe was promised to be 
completed at his return ?" 

" Truth is," said the counsel for Lady 
Lake, ^' we accuse Lord Rosse of in- 
continency towards his lady whilst here ; 
whereupon his wife made the discovery, 
he hath fled from hence, and from her 
jnarriage-bed — and with other devised 
.calumnies, by several designs and con^ 

176 BLIGHTED ambition; OR, 

trivements, he aimed to have poisoned 
the mother and daughter !" 

The Countess at this stage of the 
proceedings, with tears and impreca- 
tions, professed her innocence; to op- 
pose which the mother Lake and her 
daughter produced a written document, 
wherein the Countess, with much con- 
trition, acknowledged herself guilty^ 

craved pardon for attempting to poison 
them, and desired friendship with them 

^^ A forgery, a counterfeit!" exclaimed 
the Countess of Exeter. 

" In what place, at what time, and 
on what occasion should this be writ V^ 
demanded the King. 

" At the house of Lord of Exeter,^ 
at Wimbledon," replied Sir Thomas 
Lake, '^ where all the parties met in dis- 
pute of their differences, and the Countess 
confessed her guilt of attempting the 
poison of my lady and daughter^," 


" What says the Lady Lake ?" de- 
manded the King. 

" Only that the Countess being de- 
sirous of absolution and friendship, 
your grace, consented to set down all 
the circumstances under her own hand, 
which presently she writ down at the 
window, in the upper end of the great 
chamber, in the presence of my daugh- 
ter, Lord Rosse, Diego the Spaniard, 
and myself." 

" Diego is Lord Rosse's confiding 
servant V* said James — " and ye are all 
parties; what further witness have you 
that will prevail with my belief?" 

" Our chamberesse," added the Ba- 
roness Rosse, " stood behind the hang- 
ing, at the entrance of the room, and 
heard the Countess read over what she 

'' What additional witness have you,'* 
asked the King, " to give sufficient 
credit to the poisoning ?*' 
I 5 

178 BLIGHTED ambition; OR, 

" A confession of one Luke Hutton,'^ 
said Sir Thomas Lake^ " acknowledg- 
ing for forty pounds annuity^ the 
Countess hired him to poison my fa- 

*' And this is the case against the 
Countess of Exeter V asked the King, 
— The ladies curtesied. Sir Thomas Lake 
bowed, and his Majesty taking from 
his doublet a paper, addressed the com- 
missioners, saying, — ''- My Lords, and 
noble cousins, I have adventured upon 
this, even as upon the Powder treason^ 
because modesty forbids the deface- 
ment of the living, and I crave your 
indulgence, that without previous no- 
tice of my presence, I came here and 
have been bold to speak in the cause 
of the Countess of Exeter, which might 
better become greater abilities to plead. 
—But the case stands thus: Master 
Dendy tell thy tale.'' 

Master Dendy ;, now a Serjeant at 


Arms, and sometime a domestic of the 
Earl of Exeter, stepped up to the ta- 
ble and said : *' As soon as this quarrel 
was blazoned at Court, it came to his 
Grace's ear, and he sent me into Italy, 
post to the Lord Rosse. Here is the 
Lord Rosse 's hand, also Diego's, and 
other testimonials, confirming that all 
the said accusations and confessions, 
suspicions and papers, concerning the 
Countess are notorious, false, and scan- 
dalous, which the Lord confirmed, by 
receiving the host, in assurance of her 
honour and his innocency." 

This declaration excited the utmost 
consternation among the accusers ; the 
Commissioners looked at each other ; 
the King stepped up to Master Dendy, 
took the papers from him, endorsed 
them with the initials I. R. and having 
handed them to the Earl of Suffolk, 
addressed the Court, saying, — " oaths 
cannot confound my sight~I knew pri- 


vately of all this^ and to make trials in 
a hunting journey, at New Park, I 
gallopped thither to Wimbledon, viewed 
the room, and observing the great dis- 
tance of the window from the lower end 
of the room, I placed myself behind 
the hanging, and so my Lord Pem- 
broke in turn, and we could not hear 
ourselves seriatim speak aloud from the 
window. What say you, Herbert ?" 

'* His Grace hath reported the gos- 
pel of this fable," replied the Earl of 
Pembroke ; " and I declare on the ho- 
nour of a peer, the old housekeeper 
protested those hangings at the door, 
constantly furnisht that room for thirty 
years. — And I say with his Grace, oaths 
cannot confound my sight ; if the arras 
be two foot short of the ground, the 
Countess of Exeter and Lord Rosse 
might discover the chamberesse an she 
were hidden behind it." 

" We only want Luke Hutton," said 


the King, " if some wonderful provi- 
dence could find him out privately; I 
dare say he would deny it also." 

Coppinger at this moment stepped 
two paces from where he stood, behind 
Lord Somerset, and falling on one knee, 
besought he might have their Lordship's 
warrant, and he should produce Luke 
Hutton in half an hour I 

" Thou'rt my Lord Somerset s Mas- 
ter of Horse ?" said the King, " art 

not ?" 

Somerset bowed — " Begone, then," 

said the King, " and come not back 

with thy head on, my master, if thou 

bring'st not this Hutton." 

The Favourite handed his bravo the 
ring from his finger, and Coppinger left 
the Presence with as much address as if 
he were the most finished courtier in the 
Camera Stellata. 

During the absence of the Master 
of Horse, the Baroness Rosse fell on 


her knees, confessing she had been in- 
veigled into this plot against her will 
and consent ; Sir Thomas Lake stood 
confounded, the Lords of the commis- 
sion being as much ashamed of the joint 
Secretary as he was of his guilt ; but 
Lady Lake remained unmoved, look- 
ing with the most scornful contempt 
on her husband and daughter. 

As Coppinger reached the Palace- 
yard, he was accosted by Weston, 
*' How now. Master Coppinger ?— Has 
the King blown up the plot and con- 
trivers ?" 

" Devil that thou art," exclaimed 
Coppinger ; " where is Hutton ?" 

'^ Hard bye," answered the page, — 
" guarded by Martin Franklin — but he 
won't budge, he's afraid of being whipt 
at the cart's tail from hence to New- 

*' Looke ye, here's my Lord's signet, 
and I'll fetch him forth ; lead on." 


Weston conducted the Master of 
Horse into one of the crowded lanes 
that ran from the Palace-yard into To- 
thil-fields, Westminster, and in an ob- 
scure ale-house they found Franklin 
and Hutton. — " Come along*, bully Hut- 
ton, come along, thy peace is made, 
but demur one moment and the sun 
shall bless thy shoulders 'atween this 
and Temple Bar." 

Hutton rose from his seat grumbling", 
and was hurried along to the entrance 
into the Painted Chamber, but his fears 
now got the better of his resolution, 
and he refused to proceed one step far- 
ther. — The idea of entering the Star- 
chamber, carried with it as much terror 
to the minds of the people, as entering 
the inquisition in Spain did into that of 
an accused heretic. Coppinger, how- 
ever, produced his Lord's signet, and 
called on the javelin-men in attendance 
to bear the prisoner up stairs— a com* 

184 BLIGHTED ambition; OR, 

mand which soon found hands enow to 
carry it into effect. 

The King and all the Lords were 
astonished at the dispatch of the Mas- 
ter of Horse, and Somerset was equally 
lo to find that Weston seemed the chief 
person employed in dragging the unwil- 
ling witness up to the table of the Com- 
missioners. The evidence of Hutton 
closed the defence of the Countess of Ex- 
eter ; and the King addressed the court, 
saying, " Sir Thomas Lake I whilom va- 
lued, told him the danger of embarking 
himself in this quarrel, and advised him 
to leave his wife and daughter for the 
Star-chamber. He humbly thanked me, 
but could not refuse to be a father and a 
husband, and so puts his name with theirs 
to the bill— My Lord Suffolk, give place," 
continued James, "we will now sit in 
judgment ourselves. I hope we shall 
not have another plot like this soon 
again ; it resembles the first sin in Pa- 


radise ; the Lady Lake, the serpent ; 
her daughter, Eve; Sir Thomas, poor 
Adam, whom, I think in my conscience, 
that his love to his wife has beguiled 
— Sir Thomas Lake, we fine you and 
your Lady ten thousand pounds to 
the Exchequer ; five thousand to the 
poor Countess, and fifty pounds to this 
Tf.,4.4.^^ —The chamberesse shall be whipt 

at a cart s tail abouu 4.xw siicov^^ ^^^ 
do penance in St. Martin's Church.'* 
Then addressing the Commissioners, the 
King said, my Lords, I leave to you 
to see this sentence executed. — We par- 
don the Lady Rosse from penal sen- 

The King now rose to leave the 
chamber, alleging the serious indispo- 
sition of Prince Henry, as the only 
cause which could withdraw him from 
that day's blessed work ; but strongly 
recommending that the Commissioners 
should " ride the capering mules that 


should come under them, with a dure 
gripe o' the bridle."_His Majesty's de- 
parture was the signal for the calm 
Archbishop to say a few words, and 
he, therefore, asked the Earl of Nor- 
thampton if he meant to exhibit his 
bill against those who defamed him. 

The Earl replied that he did, and 
drew from his doublet a, nsiUQV cojit«i?i^ 
in^ a lis<; of meiny names, the bearers of 
which were charged with calling him 
a Papist, and alleging that, through 
his countenance, any man might go 
publicly to mass. 

'^ Let them be committed to New- 
gate, the Fleet, or the Tower, that ac- 
cuse his Lordship," — said Bishop Bil- 
son, "do the Commissioner Lords agree 
thereto ?" 

" Although many have been the ru- 
mours and reports that have passed in 
these times," said the Archbishop Abbot, 
**some of them shut up rather for un» 


certain truths, and flying fables, than 
entertained for approved truths ; yet, 
nevertheless, such things are grounded 
upon reason, and for which men of up- 
right consciences have some occasion 
to speak; to have such either lightly 
valued or punished, is rather unjust, 
than any way beseeming the equity of 
this court : but, in truth those whereof 
we now speak, are grounded upon some 
•cause, and my Lord's own letters STiake 
evident, that he hath done some things 
both against his own conscience and 
meaning, merely to attain unto honour 
and sovereignty, and to please the 

" My Lord Archbishop," interrupted 
Northampton, " this is not well done, 
after what passed between us ; I claim 
the protection of this high and noble 
court against the slanderous tongue of 
every Churchman. What, my Lord 
Bishops, ye rise ! depart if it suit you ; 


there are belted Earls enow to do me 
right ; and the King's Majesty shall 
visit with his ire the sconce that a mitre 
saves from a sword/' 

" My Lord of Suffolk, keep your 
seat," said the Archbishop, " I and my 
brothers rise not to leave this chamber." 
" No, no," exclaimed Bishop Bilson^ 
*^ we are here by the King's commis- 
sion, and he sits on hig thione by God's 

" Complete your syllogism," said 
Northampton, scowling Bilson out of 
countenance ; " I defy the Archbishop 
to prove the allegation he has made— 
I stand upon the privilege of my no- 

" Good, my Lord Earl," replied the 
Archbishop; "know ye the Cardinal 
Bellarmine ?— Heard ye never of a 
Howard that writ him a letter— Here's 
the letter, my Lords," continued the 
very reverend Prelate.—' The Earl de- 


clareth that howsomever the condition 
of the times compelled him, and his 
Majesty urged him to tm^n Protes- 
tant, yet nevertheless, his heart stood 
with the Papists — he will further their 
attempts.' And, my Lords, the actions 
that follow justify the hand to be true — 
Priests swarm, many have come over 
into this kingdom, travelling with hol- 
low sticks, containing the Pope's in- 
structions and letters to great ones 
here ; — and who can assure himself the 
lord on his right hand, or on his left, 
is true hearted unto the state. Lord 
Northampton, I say, thou harbourest 
recusants ; and I charge thee with un- 
dertaking to write in defence of the 
Gunpowder treason." 

*' My Lords, I appeal from this tri- 
bunal to my Peers — I am a Commis- 
sioner here, and cannot, therefore, be 
judged," said Northampton. " At any 
rate no craven puling Puritan shall 


arraign Harry Howard — God's wounds! 
my Lords, if you bear this tyranny of 
that canting priest, of you it shall be 
said — via nulla salutis, non fuga, non 
virtus, vix opes quoque mortis honestce,^' 
— And as Northampton uttered these 
words, he again demanded the protection 
of the court ; which was accorded him 
by a majority of two voices, till the King 
himself should sit in judgment. 

** My Lord Buckhurst," said Suffolk, 
" we will now hear your claim to that 
part of the Kentish Lucy's land, which 
lays contiguous to your own." 

The Lord Buckhurst, who was both 
a beautiful poet and an able stateman, 
in the latter part of Elizabeth's reign, 
and the beginning of James's, kept 
house with such hospitality, that he had 
never less than two hundred persons 
in his family. But he is better known 
to the world as one of the Commis- 
sioners appointed to try the unfortunate 


Mary Queen of Scots, and as the mes- 
senger employed to report the confir- 
mation of her sentence, and see it exe- 
cuted. History recognizes him as Lord 
High Steward on the trials of Essex 
and Southampton, in the latter part of 
Elizabeth's reign. Whatever grounds 
there might be for the charge against 
the Earl, there is no proof assigned 
even by Osborne, that his Lordship 
did not merit the character of a good 
poet, an able statesman, and an honest 

" My Lords," said he, " I mean not 
to misconstrue the integrity of any 
other tribunal, in bringing my claim 
before this council. I believe there is 
not a more legal mode of trial than by 
this Chamber ; yet I will not by the 
highness of my hand stifle the report 
of the world, which questions my claim, 
as if it were founded merely on the 
contiguity of the disputed lands to my 


own. Here are documents which will 
give your Lordships full and final satis- 
faction'' — but as the Earl said this, and 
was pulling out of his bosom the papers 
he referred to, he dropped down sud- 
denly at the table and expired. The 
Chamber was filled with instant con- 
sternation ; the charge against Nor- 
thampton was forgotten in the moment 
of sorrow, and the death of the Earl 
of Dorset, (for such was the last crea- 
tion of Thomas Sackville, Lord Buck- 
hurst,) was untowardly interpreted by 
his enemies ; but it was in reality owing 
to the breaking of a vessel in his head. 
The business of the court was imme- 
diately suspended, and when Coppin- 
ger, who had kept his place when the 
Lakes withdrew, was called on by the 
Serjeant at Arms to lend a hand in 
bearing the lord away, the Master of 
Horse took upon himself to satirise the 
place that could not afford a leech 
To save a Lord, that wenching thought no sin, 
And bought his flesh by selling of one skin. 


The commissioners separated, Suffolk 
observing, *' None will ever question 
Lucy's land again, in the quiet posses- 
sion of which the Sackville's have been 
thus miraculously estated." 

Northampton, on entering his own 
palace, at Charing Cross, was accosted 
by a venerable monk, who craved a 
private audience of him forthwith. ^' My 
Lord of Rochester, who accompanies 
me," said the Earl, *' is my most inti- 
mate friend ; I can have no secrets 
which may not be made known to him 

" Benedicite, son," quoth the monk, 
addressing Somerset; " but, my Lord,'^ 
he continued, accosting Northampton, 
** my business is with yourself alone." 

" My Lord of Somerset," said the 
Earl, " this reverend father must be hu- 
moured ; I advise, in the mean time, that 
with all diligence, you make your re- 
pair to the King and trounce the Lord of 



Canterbury. Take with you the Earl of 
Suifolk, and when I have dispatched this 
stranger, I will also wait on his Grace 
to justify myself." Then addressing 
the monk, the Earl bade him follow to 
his study, '' You have business with 
me, reverend father?" said the Earl^ 
on reaching his study. 

" Son," replied the Monk, " I have 
journeyed many a weary mile to bless 
thee as the favourer of the mother 
church, and to bless also, ere I die, the 
Lady Gabriella, whom in holy matri- 
mony I joined to Thomas Overbury." 

The last words of Father Francis's 
reply fell like a death knell on the 
Earl's ear. — '' Gabriella 1" he repeated, 
^^she is not the wife of Overbury, by the 
rites of the English Church, father; and 
the man himself is now a prisoner in 
the Tower." 

'^ I have heard as much," answered 
the Monk, '^ I have seen the unfortu- 


nate Gabriella. — I command thee, son, 
to banish this rancorous enmity thou 
bearest her knight, and to hasten the 
liberty of a man who has diligently 
served Lord Somerset.*^ 

'^ Father, ye know not what ye ask," 
said Northampton. "^ Sir Thomas Over- 
bury is the King's prisoner. — Hast thou 
no other business with me but this? 
The present hour is important to me." 

" Son," answered Father Francis, 
" I have other business with thee. — 
Thou art reckoned at Rome a chief 
help of our persecuted brethren in this 
heretical land ; and I bear important 
letters to thee." As the Monk spoke 
these words, he unscrewed the upper 
part of a large walking-stick he bore 
in his hand, and took from its hollow bo- 
som some letters which had been very 
ingeniously concealed there. — ^' This is^ 
from the Cardinal Bellarmine — thijs 
from the Holy Father — and this from 
K 2 


the Lord Rosse — But my mission ends 
not with the bare delivery of these : 
I journey northward into Lancashire ; 
letters of passport I will require^ and 
from your Lordship a full relation of 
all the affairs of the Holy Catholic 
brethren in England." 

Northampton had by this time opened 
the Cardinal's letter, scanned its con- 
tents, and desiring the Monk to be 
seated, he crossed himself before a fine 
silver crucifix that surmounted his writ- 
ing-cabinet, and with evident appre- 
hension undid the silken string which 
bound the epistle of his Holiness. When 
the Earl had attentively read the writ- 
ing, he addressed the Monk saying, 
" Father Francis, the King my mas- 
ter wisheth to match his sons with prin- 
cesses of high descent, though of a dif- 
ferent religion. This bear thou, in my 
name, to all the brethren of our holy 
religion ; it will reconcile them to his 


Majesty, who is willing to meet them 
half-way, and this shall be communi- 
cated by a legier ambassador to Spain, 
the Emperor, and the Holy Father."*^ 

Delighted to hear so favourable a 
report of the King of England's sen- 
timents towards his brethren, Father 
Francis gave the Earl his " benedicite," 
and proceeded to the disconsolate Gabri- 
ella in Gray's-Inn Lane. Northamp- 
ton's mind, however, was not at ease ; 
he felt deeply the charge preferred 
against him by the Archbishop, but he 
received from the death of the Earl of 
Dorset some consolation ; as that ac- 
complished statesman had invariably 

* The intrigues of the Court of Great Britain, 
or more properly speaking of the King himself, with 
the Popes Gregory XV. and Urban VIII. are 
pretty impartially given by the unfortunate Rush- 
worth ; Peyton, however, delivers them more origin- 
ally with the feelings of the Catholics' enemies. 
K 3 


supported the " Protestant faction" with 
the great Earl of Salisbury. Now, 
however, that these noblemen were no 
more^ Northampton piqued himself on 
his abilities and power, and since it 
could no longer be hid that he favoured 
the '' religion in which he had been 
born and bred/' he resolved on carry- 
ing himself through with his project 
in a style and manner becoming the 
house of Howard, and the brother of 
the unfortunate Norfolk. His great 
dependence lay in the influence of his 
family with the vacillating monarch, 
who, he knew, would make any con- 
cessions in words, provided he could 
keep Europe in peace, but more especi- 
ally, if he could preserve peace to Eng- 
land : and the Earl had, besides, a strong 
party to back his efforts among the an- 
cient nobility of both kingdoms. The 
Irish were, besides, almost all catholics, 
if we except the colonists and their 


families^ that from time to time settled 
and multiplied in Hibernia, together 
with the officers of government chosen 
from among the natives^ the greater part 
of whom, though outwardly favour- 
ble to Protestantism, were confirmed 
Romanists in principle and disposition. 



CoLONNA. — Come you, my Lord, 
To swill with drunken thirst, the poor revenge 

That makes a little mind's ignoble joy? 


What is a man doomed to the stroke of deatit 
To understand by this ? 

LuDOVico. — That I am his friend 
Who called me traitor. 


Somerset, on quitting the Earl of 
Northampton's, hastened to St. James's, 
where he knew he should meet the Earl 
of Suffolk, and from thence, when he 
had gained his object, he sped his course 
to the Charter-House, where Lady 
Frances was anxiously awaiting his ar- 
rival. '^ How, my Lord," exclaimed 
the Lady of Suffolk, on his entering 


the mansion, " how came the Lords 
of the Star Chamber council to allow 
that Puritanical Priest, from Lambeth, 
to carry himself so high towards Lord 
Northampton V 

'' My Lady Countess," replied So- 
merset, ^' we will easily put the Arch- 
bishop down, though it may be diffi- 
cult to silence him. — Words are but air." 

'-' But they are the atmosphere the 
camelion multitude feed on/' replied 
the Countess. 

** But have ye heard the news? Buck- 
hurst's dead," said Somerset, anxious 
to divert the conversation. 

** Dead; then will the Earl of Suffolk 
be Lord Treasurer, 1 hope," said the 

^' That is already settled," replied 
Somerset. " The council had no sooner 
broken up, than your Lord and myself 
sped to St. James's, where the King 
is consoling his sick heir, and his Ma- 



CoLONNA. — Come you, my Lord, 
To swill with drunken thirst, the poor revenge 

That makes a little mind's ignoble joy? 


What is a man doomed to the stroke of deatli 
To understand by this ? 

LuDOVico. — That I am his friend 
Who called me traitor. 


Somerset, on quitting the Earl of 
Northampton's, hastened to St. James's, 
where he knew he should meet the Earl 
of Suffolk, and from thence, when he 
had gained his object, he sped his course 
to the Charter-House, where Lady 
Frances was anxiously awaiting his ar- 
rival. " How, my Lord," exclaimed 
the Lady of Suffolk, on his entering^ 


the mansion, " how came the Lords 
of the Star Chamber council to allow 
that Puritanical Priest, from Lambeth, 
to carry himself so high towards Lord 
Northampton ?" 

'' My Lady Countess," replied So- 
merset, *' we will easily put the Arch- 
bishop down, though it may be diflS- 
cult to silence him. — Words are but air." 

'-' But they are the atmosphere the 
camelion multitude feed on/' replied 
the Countess. 

*' But have ye heard the news? Buck- 
hurst's dead," said Somerset, anxious 
to divert the conversation. 

'' Dead; then will the Earl of Suffolk 
be Lord Treasurer, 1 hope," said the 

" That is already settled," replied 
Somerset. " The council had no sooner 
broken up, than your Lord and myself 
sped to St. James's, where the King 
is consoling his sick heir, and his Ma- 


jesty immediately conferred the place 
on his trusty cousin, the Earl of Suffolk.'^ 

This piece of intelligence instantly 
changed the Countess's style and man- 
ner towards Somerset ; and she con- 
jured him by all the love be bore her 
daughter, to yoke in the same team 
with her Earl, and prayed Heaven that 
their horses might pull one way. ^^ But 
who," said she, " would have thought 
that the Lakes should have; tricked 
themselves so? How came the King, 
know ye, to soss into their plot so mas- 
terly ?" 

" Truth is," replied the Favourite, 
" ever since this affair began to be son- 
netted at court, the King suspected it, 
for he is suspicious to a proverb. My 
Master of Horse, who I verily believe 
knows all that's done under the sun, 
furnished me with the cue." 

*^ Good, my Lord, I am right glad," 
replied the Countess, '^ and now let rxy^ 


pray your Lordship to set the sonnetteers 
of Grub Street to work ; and trust me 
the citizens encourage the catabanqui 
to chant their ditties on the discomfi- 
ture of the Lakes, and the death of 
Sackville- I am now going to the 
Queen at her palace of Denmark House 
in the Strand, Lord Dorset's death 
opens the way to great matters. — I shall 
then visit Northampton. — I must, there- 
fore, leave the Lady Frances in your 
charge ; if you cannot ride with her 
to-day, let me pray you to give her an 
airing on the river." 

^^ Your wishes are commands,'' re- 
plied Somerset, '^ in all things you shall 
be obeyed, my Lady Countess.*' 

The moment Lady Frances found 
herself alone with Somerset, she gave 
vent to her feelings in a strain the Vis- 
count was ill prepared to hear. — He had 
laboured to remove every obstacle to 
their union in matrimony ; the divorce. 


the imprisonment of Overbury, and 
other matters of deep and dangerous 
import, he had atchieved to satisfy his 
love, or gratify his own ambition. " In 
God's name, my dearest Lady Frances, 
what would you have me do more V^ 
asked Somerset. Prince Henry is now 
at the point of death, Charles, his bro- 
ther, is not likely to come in our 
way, — the Queen is occupied enough 
with her own gallants, Beely and Bu- 
chanan ; — is Overbury to be left at 
the disposal of that devil's buckie, Wes- 
ton ?' 

" My Lord Earl," replied Lady 
Frances, " our nuptials shall never be 
solemnized while Overbury lives. He 
is privy to too many of our doings to let 
us live in a whole skin. Think you he 
will not splutter and fume ? — Long ere 
this time, when you and he were yet 
sworn friends, heard he not that speech 
you uttered as Abelard ?" 


'^ As I live, I have no recollection of 
that speech," replied Somerset. " What 
means my love ?*' 

" Canst thou recollect that masque 
at which thou didst personate Abelard, 
and I Eloisa ? — And hast thou forgotten 
Friar Bacon ?" asked Lady Frances. 

"No," replied Somerset, "all that 
I recollect perfectly, and good reason 
I should." 

" The Monk was Overbury," said the 
Lady Frances. 

" Overbury !" exclaimed Somerset, 
his voice faultering as he pronounced the 
name — " How know you that ?" 

Lady Frances applied her cat-call 
to her lips, and Weston entered : " Who 
enacted Friar Bacon at Prince Hen- 
ry's masque, when I sustained the cha- 
racter of Eloisa?" said Lady Frances 

** Sir Thomas Overbury," replied the 
page unhesitatingly. 


" How knowest thou that, sirrah ?" 
asked the Earl. 

" I dogged him to GrayVInn, when 
the masque ended," replied Weston, 
** and saw him housed with his dousa- 

" And I have been told," added 
Lady Frances, " that your puissant 
knight did tell the Prince, Hhat the 
fortunes of Rochester afforded more 
hope to the young Countess of Essex, 
than the uncertain and hopeless love of 
his Royal Highness.' " 

" Soho ! soho ! Master Overbury !" 
exclaimed Somerset, " cozening has be- 
come a topping trade, thou scornedst 
to play at such a small game as we 
started, I find ; but thou shalt not bid 
both the gallows and the horse-pond 
defiance !" Then turning to Lady 
Frances, he said, " Will you accom- 
pany me to the Tower in my barge ? I 
must see Jervaise Elwes ere I sleep — If 


Overbury hath, indeed, gone that length, 
how know I but he may have gone 
farther anent the passages between us, 
touching the Royal family ?*' 

" What sayest thou, sweet Turner ?" 
asked Lady Frances, ''we lack coun- 
sel when thy pretty lips are closed. 
Was ever any Lady so defamed as I 
have been by this vile wretch, not only 
to Prince Henry, but to Rochester ? 
Yes, my Lord, with an impudent face 
he called me base in your hearing, and 
you had not the courage to pistol him 
in some of his doublings through town. 
— Oh ! that such a negro as that Over- 
bury, that scum of men, that devil in- 
carnate, should do such things, and say 
such things, and pass either unregarded, 
or unpunished, till a disconsolate lady 
rose to avenge her wrongs !" 

" Pity it is he should live to defame so 
honourable a lady, so well descended, to 
the utter disparagement of her house," 


said Mistress Turner. " Rather than 
he should leave the Tower with life^ I 
will go and dispatch him myself. I 
have it, my Lady Frances ; I have it ; 
let the Lord go and persuade him to 
have as a servant, a trusty person who 
shall bear all messages between them. I 
will find you a man^ aye two; there is 
Bill Weston's father, that was servant 
to my husband, and there is a crook 
shouldered, swarthy knave, ycleped 
Franklin, some time a cook : but ex- 
perienced enough in all herbs and me- 
dicinals, and thought to be no less a 
wizard than Forman. — I trow you, he 
mixes a dose with such excellent art, 
to mitigate or increase its strength, 
that it shall take a month before it 
works, or do its job in an hour and se- 
ven minutes." 

*^ Soft, soft !" said Somerset, " we 
know this Franklin ; find me Weston 


by to-morrow's dawn — Let us to Water 
Lane, Blackfriars — my barge waits." 

On reaching Traitor's-Gate, by which, 
in his aquatic excursions, Somerset chose 
for privacy to enter the Tower, he was 
met by his " humble servant" Jervaise 
Elwes, who bowed to the Viscount, 
and thanked him profusely for the lieu- 
tenancy which pleased him equally to 
his expectations. The Lady Frances 
continued in the barge, which was rowed 
gently down the middle stream, till the 
Viscount's signal should be hoisted for 
its return. 

" I would see Overbury," said the 
Earl. " lead on to his apartments." 

The Lieutenant obeyed, and on arriv- 
ing at the loathsome dungeon in which 
Sir Thomas was confined, Somerset ex- 
pressed the utmost indignation that " his 
friend" should be immured like a felon. 

" My keeper," answered Overbury, 
*^ whom this new Constable hath sup« 


planted, told me in set terms, he but 
did the bidding of his employers, in 
cramming me here beyond God's light, 
and the countenance of man." 

" And I," added Elwes, " could not 
take upon me to remove from their 
apartments, into others, of my own 
choosing, the gentlemen I found in cus- 

" Then know now. Sir," said Somer- 
set, in pompous phrase, *^ that safe cus- 
tody does not imply interment ; remove 
Sir Thomas to an apartment which you 
would choose for my friend." 

The Lieutenant bowed, Somerset took 
Overbury by the arm, and walking up 
the stairs, which were but very faintly 
illuminated by the torch that their con- 
ductor held in his hand, talked fami- 
liarly with the Knight till they arrived 
in an apartment fit for a human being 
to inhabit. 

^^ Sir Thomas," said Somerset, " we 


are labouring for your release, but it 
will be difficult to effect it ; the King 
is mightily displeased, and you know 
his frown is like the roaring of a lion, 
terrible to the spectators and hearers." 

'^ But, my Lord Earl," said Over- 
bury, " am I to esteem your favour 
more than the King's displeasure? — I 
fear I have played my cards without 
shuffling the pack,— but if I have, I 
will cut at random^ — What ! — Host of 
Heaven ! To be sequestered from my 
friends, all intercourse denied me, no 
tablets to express my thoughts" — 

" Soft, my friend, soft," replied 
Somerset, " bethink you of the slan- 
derers abroad, of the numbers who wear 
masks, and you will not wonder I act 
so much like Friar Bacon, tho' I have 
rather been to you, perhaps, the ma- 
gician's brazen head." 

" My Lord Earl, I understand not 
this," interrupted Overbury. 


" Look ye, Sir Thomas," said the Earl, 
in explanation, " you must have a fit 
and trusty knave about you, who will 
so deal between us, that all our pas- 
sages may be unknown to those we have 
heretofore employed as serving-men." 

" I will do any thing, my Lord, so 
as I may be extricated from the horrors 
of confinement," answered Overbury, 
" but I know my enemies, and I fear 
your Lordship will be cozened by them 

" All will be well, depend on't, only 
suffer yourself to be as private here as 
the Lieutenant shall prescribe," said 
Somerset ; adding, *' I would now be- 
gone, as the turn of the tide may pre- 
vent us getting up the river," and as 
he said this he left the apartment, Over- 
bury wondering the Earl's visit should 
have been so brief. 

On reaching the gate Somerset took 
Elwes aside, and now explained himself 


fully, as to his conduct towards Over- 

*• My Lord Earl, how can I take up- 
on me the office of a poisoner ?" asked 
the Lieutenant, " verily evil actions 
shall never want evil actors; and in 
all ages, quacks, and cashiered serving 
men, fallen into want, have still been 
the agents in such enterprizes ; but for 
the Constable of his Majesty's Tower 
to undertake such work, were dis- 
graceful to my office, and my em- 

Somerset stared at Elwes, from whom 
he had looked for a very different an- 
swer. — " Good," said the Earl, " good, 
my master ; I see thou art read in these 
matters. — Well, it shall be as thou wiliest, 
Jervaise Elwes — Tiberius's physician. 
Spado, an apothecary, and Lidgo, Dru- 
sius' servant, are made agents to be his 
poisoners — Nero's bond-man must kill 
him— Piso's captain, under Germani- 


cus, must poison him — a centurion of 
Maximus must poison him— Alexan- 
der's physician, Antipater^ and Aristo- 
tle, must be the authors of his death — 
A knave, without birth or parentage, 
must poison Queen Elizabeth's saddle — 
Wert thou a shaver and tonsor, thou 
might'st powder a man's head, so that 
his hair should cost him as dear as 
Sampson's. But if I row in the same 
boat with thee, Elwes, devil take thy 
craven heart an thou push not among 
the eddies of this troubled world." 

Somerset paused ; and his speech acted 
like magic on the mind of the Lieute- 
nant, who thought " if the Earl was 
following the steps of the great Robert 
Dudley, he might take the risk in com- 
pany with him." 

" Good," answered Somerset, " my 
greatest injunction to you is, that you 
throw in the way of my plans — no obsta- 
cle — no vain scruples of conscience — no 


shuffling — or, by the gods, I'll stick thy 
head on yonder tower over London 

The signal was now made for the Fa- 
vourite's barge, which soon pulled up 
to the " Traitor's Gate/' and Somerset 
stepping on board, the rowers plied for 
London Bridge ; but the tide had fallen 
too low for the boat to pass up under the 
centre arch, where the fall of the water 
is more than five feet at ebb-tide. This 
was a dilemma for which the Earl was 
not prepared, and he was compelled 
to think of landing, on one side or other 
to the east of the bridge. He accord- 
ingly chose the Surry-side, and he and 
the Lady Frances proposed riding up 
the bank of the Thames, to Westmin- 
ster Ferry. They had scarcely pro- 
ceeded to St. Saviour's church, when 
they were met by the Earl of Nor- 
thampton. Somerset, in few words, 
related to him all that he had done ; 
Northampton's spirits were flat, and if 


he approved of his friend's plans, he 
shewed no joy on the occasion. 

" I am on my way to Greenwich/' 
said Howard, " and purpose spend- 
ing a few days at Rochester. I shall 
now endow the fair convent I have 
built at Greenwich, with revenue for 
ever, for maintenance of decayed gen- 
tlemen, a sufficient number, and for 
women also considerable." 

" But my dear uncle," said Lady 
Frances, " why be cast down by any 
thing that cozening bishop said in the 
Camera Stellata ? Every thing bids fair 
for the removal of all our enemies." 

" Sweet and fair," replied the Earl, 
" I have done all the good I can for 
my family, I have even— but I will 
not make those sorrowful who have 
entered the chase in pursuit of joy — 
to-morrow let me see you, that we may 
^-a on your^wedding-day." So saying, 
the old Earl gave his horse the spur. 


and waving his hand, bade Somerset and 
the Lady Frances adieu. 

It was evening ere Somerset reached 
his house in St. James's Park, attended 
by Lady Frances, and we will leave 
them in the enjoyment of their worst 
thoughts, till we have scanned certain 
events which transpired during the day. 

Coppinger, who had assisted in carry- 
ing the corpse of the Earl of Dorset 
out of the Star-chamber, accompanied 
not his master in the latter progress of 
this day, but repaired hastily to the 
Prince of Wales's Palace, as he himself 
said, " to gain intelligence." The first 
person he met with was Master Prim- 
rose, the Prince's foster-brother; " Good 
Master Primrose, how does the Prince 
Henry ?" asked Coppinger, adding by 
way of varnish to his enquiry, " My Lord 
Earl of Somerset could not refrain from 
sending, by so poor a messenger, his 



duty and fealty to know how his High- 
ness doth V* 

" Ah !" said poor Primrose, *' we 
have Raleigh's cordial — that penned his 
history of the world for the satisfac- 
tion of the Prince — it did him no good, 
though a good cordial it is I believe — I 
drank of it ; so did Doctor Mayerne, 
that French physician, and so did the Earl 
of Pembroke, to prove it was wholesome. 
But I fear. Master Coppinger, there be 
foul doings here ; the Prince's pain lieth 
all in his head, and he is perfect heart- 

" But, Master Primrose," said Cop- 
pinger, without any intention of fol- 
lowing up, by an exclamation of un- 
guarded surprise, the intelligence the 
Foster-brother seemed to communicate, 
" Master Foster, hast thou always found 
it safe to advise the Prince ? 'Tis not 
always so during the life of his father. 


nothing remaining in prudence possible 
to be said in relation to his safety, but 
must reflect upon the honour of the 
King, or the guidance of himself. The 
smallest intimation of that kind falls 
within the compass of treason^ and 
youth and folly cannot always conceal 
what is revealed to it. 

*' Sir Master of Horse," said Prim- 
rose, '* you judge very meanly of the 
Prince of Wales." 

** Had I not heard from many/' an- 
swered Coppinger, "his father did dread 
him, I would not have uttered such 
a speech. But I would as soon have 
my lips sealed with a cobler's end, like 
the eye -lids of an eyess, than smutter 
what passages may be entertained be- 
tween us, I say nothing of the secret 
doings this heart is privy to, both at 
Tibbalds, Whitehall, Denmark-House 
and Royston, where I attend my Lord 
Earl of Somerset." 

L 2 


^' Then I dare to swear, Master Cop- 
pinger," said Primrose, very bluntly, 
'^ thou knowest from thy own observa- 
tion, that the King, though he would 
not deny any thing that Prince Henry 
plainly desired, yet it appeared rather 
the result of fear, and outward com- 
pliance, than love or natural affect- 
tion ; being harder drawn to confer an 
honour or pardon, in cases of desert, 
upon a retainer of the Prince, than a 

" From whence might be calculated,'* 
said Coppinger, as if by inference from 
what Primrose had unwittingly spoken, 
^^ a malignity conceived in his heart 
against his son's retinue." 

" A consequence my speech did not 
warrant," interrupted the Foster-bro- 

" Nay then," replied Coppinger, ^^ I 
did but use thy premises in conjunc- 
tion with the King's commands to the 


Lord Chamberlain, not to suffer any to 
be inrolled the Duke of York's servants, 
without his knowledge. And, forsooth, I 
thereby looked upon the reasonableness 
of their judgments who did look upon 
Prince Henry rather as a terror than a 
comfort to the King." 

" Thou art more fool than logician,'* 
answered Primrose, " to draw any such 
conclusion ; " but people do flock round 
the Prince, it being the religion of some 
nations, and the custom of all, to adore 
the rising sun, and contemn him at his 
going down." 

*^ And among the fire worshippers,'* 
said Coppinger, ^' thou didst reckon Sir 
Thomas Lake, a fellow of mean birth 
and mean breeding. He is an arrant 
knave that." ^^ 

" But he is not dead ; he hath been 
the great link with the Scottish nation," 
said Primrose. 

'^ Progging for suits, and helping 
L 3 


them to fill their purses, Master Prim- 
rose/' answered the Master of Horse. 
" Why, man, I hae just come from the 
Star-chamber, and the scandal of the 
Countess of Exeter is all a hoax, man ; 
the King, who hath as much glory in 
displacing officers, as in overthrowing 
and conquering the Spaniard ; the King, 
Master Primrose, who is more tender 
over the life of a rascal stag, than that 
of a man, hath crossed the Lake's de- 
signs, and trumped in their way ; so 
that clerk of the signet could only 
swim, being held up by the chin. But 
in what condition shall I report the 
Prince Henry to my Lord Earl of So- 
merset ?'' 

" I will just step into the withdraw- 
ing-room, good Master Coppinger, and 
fetch thee word anon," said Primrose, 
who began now to entertain a mighty 
high opinion of the judgment and parts 
of the Master of Horse. And while th^ 



Foster-brother was on this errand, Cop- 
pinger stole to the door of the apart- 
ment, lest he should be misinformed by 

^^ So/' said Coppinger, '^ I hear the 
doctors disagree — Mayerne bids them 
bleed on — No, says Butler, but apply 
pigeons and cupping-glasses to draw 
away the pain — Doctor Giiford says 
quintessential spirits can alone cure — • 
Soft, soft, here comes the Foster-bro- 
ther" — and the the Master of Horse 
withdrew to his former stance. 

" Bear to the Earl of Somerset the 
King's favour," said Primrose, *^ and 
say Doctor Butler gives hopes of re- 
covery, but his Grace hath sent for the 
Archbishop of Canterbury, Doctor Mel- 
borne, dean of Rochester, and other 
ghostly comforters, to pray by Prince 
Henry's bed-side. ^ — But a happy death 
is the never-failing portion of a well- 
spent life." 


Coppinger bowed, pressed the band 
of the Foster-brother, whose grief was 
unaffected, and offered the consolation 
contained in the proverb, ^ All is well that 
ends well ;' adding, " may I be allowed 
to commend to the Earl of Somerset^ 
the friend of PrinceHenry, Master Prim- 
rose ? — Believe me, Sir, whatever jealou- 
sies might have been between them on 
account of — " 

" Is this a time to talk of boyish im- 
prudencies, and the lusts of the flesh," 
said Primrose, " thou wouldst embitter 
even the sorrow of the grave, by re- 
membering every shovel full of earth 
its inhabitant digged out o't by his 

" A most religious and Christian ob- 
servation," replied Coppinger; "I pro- 
test I did desire but to signify that 
affliction and death compose all differ- 
ences. — But wonder not at my lack o' 
gospel light, my master. — Great lords 


employ their servants to do their 
work, and I protest to you it's some- 
times like baking loaves of embodied 
smoke. As for religious and Christian 
'baviour, that's a kindness to God they 
kick at, and disparage the varlet that 
enters it on his bead-roll.'* 

'^ Vale, Master Coppinger, vale," said 
Primrose, and the Master of Horse 
quitted St. James's to start other game. 

Coppinger made the Earl of Nor- 
thampton's in his way to the city, and 
on pretence of asking whether the Earl 
of Somerset was with the lord of the 
mansion, he insinuated himself into How- 
ard's presence, just at the moment Fa- 
ther Francis was departing from the 
Earl's cabinet or library. " Coppin- 
ger," quoth the Earl, " what news from 
the palace ? — How does the Prince ?" 

" So please your Grace," replied the 
Master of Horse, " the Foster-brother 
tells me he is ill beyond medicinals — 
L 5 


and to my thinking the leeches are 

" Where is Franklin," asked the Earl. 
" Since he entered the Prince's kitchen 
I have not seen him/' replied Coppinger ; 
" my business was to have found him on 
my visit now ; but T eared not to adven-- 
ture further than the sight of the guards.'' 
*^Let him be forthwith put into another 
place, Coppinger, and do you proceed 
to Jervaise Elwes, and give him this 
letter. 1 would have him prefer old 
Weston to wait on Overbury. Look 
ye, Mistress Turner hath been with 
me ; she recommends him as trusty ; 
and thou must make Elwes sensible 
how willing he must be to deserve his 
patron's chiefest favour, and therefore 
with the more readiness entertain this 

'* And is this all I have to do ?" asked 

" Only further to have this Weston^ 


the elder, at hand by to-morrow dawn 
for his place ?" replied the Earl. 

Coppinger bowed and departed, and 
with all possible speed hastened to the 
Tower. On arriving at the portcullis, 
he demanded admittance as the Earl 
of Somerset's Master of Horse ; a com- 
mand which the serjeant of the guard, 
and the buffetier on duty, readily com- 
plied with. ** Conduct me to the Lieu- 
tenant," said Coppinger, in a tone of 
authority; and he was conducted into 
the presence of his quandum fellow-tra- 

" How now, bully Constable ?'* said 
the Master of Horse. '' How doth friar 
Overbury ? a dead person in law, in 
whose breast many secrets are contained. 
^ — Look ye, my master, you must feed 
him with hope of liberty and prefer- 
ment, lest he should disclose what he 
knows — But here— here is a letter from 
my Lord of Northampton to you." 


Elwes took the letter and read ; and 
then bade Coppinger tell the Earl he 
need not doubt his troth. " The Earl 
of Somerset hath just been with me !" 

" The Earl of Somerset I" exclaimed 
Coppinger. " By Saint James, Master 
Elwes, but thou dealest doubly with 
me. Why not tell me this the moment 
my face smiled on thee ?" 

" Because thy Lord and I settled how" 
this matter is to be managed," replied 

" Good, an since thou canst settle 
with the Lord Somerset so easily," re- 
plied Coppinger, *' mayhap thou canst 
settle the little matter of the seven score 
marks ?" 

" Why, thou canst not want money 
so soon," said the Lieutenant, " 'twas 
but t'other day thou wallowed in gold 

" Look ye, as thine eyes see this half 
Hal," said Coppinger, " I have no more. 


and I will snitch upon you, an I am 
not paid my full wack before I quit thy 

To reason with Coppinger, when he 
was bent on gaining his end^ but added 
to his insolency, whenever he could 
avail himself of his situation in the Earl 
of Somerset's household. This the Lieu- 
tenant knew, and the specimen he had 
lately had of the easy familiarity with 
which the Master of Horse bore him- 
self towards both Northampton and 
Somerset, convinced him that the sooner 
he discharged the debt between him 
and Coppinger, the more likely he was 
to be left to the exercise of his own 
discretion, with regard to Sir Thomas 
Overbury. He therefore took the Mas- 
ter of Horse into a withdrawing-room 
and paid him the seven score marks in 
good money, that had not as yet left 
the precincts of the mint. As soon as 
the Master of Horse received his share 

S30 BLIGHTED ambition; OR, 

of the spoils, he bade Elwes " good bye/' 
and hastened to Mrs, Turner's, to gain 
inteHigence respecting the visit of the 
Earl ^ to the Tower, for he rightly 
suspected that woman was privy to 
this journey, if, indeed, she had not 
planned it for Lady Frances Howard. — 
'* Now," said the Lieutenant, when 
Coppinger departed, " now I must 
await the Earl of Northampton's com- 
ing here i' the night. — Black work this 
is that needs such a season, and so many 
busy messengers." 

Accordingly about midnight, ^ whis- 
tle was heard at Traitor's Gate, and 
the Lieutenant, on repairing thither, 
found Northampton in his barge ready 
to land. The Earl was wrapped up in 
his cloak, and stepped ashore with great 
caution, Elwes leading the way to an 
adjacent part of the fortress, in which 
a fire of charcoal had been kindled. 

^' Are you firm, or wavering now,. 


Master Elwes?" asked the Earl, *^Have 
you conferred with this Overbury and 
sounded him ? Are we to depend on 
you, or do you quit us and the consta- 
bleship together ? As Warden of the 
Cinque-ports and Chancellor of Cam- 
bridge, and a Privy Counsellor, I may 
assist thy kindred ; but service for ser- 
service — ** 

Elwes, who had forgotten the first 
and second questions put to him by Nor- 
thampton, who allowed him no time 
for answering, replied, he was ready 
to do any service and all services, ^' For 
I find," he added, ** on the evidence of 
my own senses, in the long and hard 
discourse I hae had wi' the prisoner 
this night, he mingles with his hatred 
of your Lordship many of his insolen- 
cies ; he is obstinate against the Earl of 
Somerset marrying the Lady Frances ; 
her he treats as he would any girl in 
Salisbury Court or in Paris Gardens." 

232 BLIGHTED ambition; or, 

" Then he is not fit to live," said the 
Earl. " But be on thy guard, for the 
fellow's of an excellent wit, a sleek 
tongue, a traveller, experienced in the 
world, and besides^ he's favoured by the 
country faction, and as great a politi- 
cian as any this day in England. El- 
wes, — if Overbury in fewer hours than 
there are great sovereigns in that bag," 
said the Earl, taking from his doublet 
a leathern bag of gold — " be prepared 
for a coroner's inquest, or the grave 
without one — thou mayest command me 
to a thousand pounds in lieu of thy ser- 
vice particular to myself." 
Elwes made another protestation of fide- 
lity, which Northampton interpreted, 
as originating in the Lieutenant's hav- 
ing, by the present and promise entered 
into his office without paying through 
the nose for it, as others before him had 
been wont to do. — The Earl now men- 
tioned Weston as a fit and proper per- 


son to attend upon Overbury^ and the 
only man who should wait on him 
at his meals, which were to be served 
from the Lieutenant's own table. — 
'^ And," said Northampton, *' my last 
charge is, that Raleigh see him not, 
nor Northumberland, nor any of his 
magi, nor any of his relatives, father, 
mother, or that busy meddling fellow, 
Rawlins, who hath wedded Weimark's 

Elwes promised obedience to these 
orders, and on the following day, agree- 
ably to the plan of Mistress Turner, 
Weston, the father, presented himself 
before the Lieutenant, with a letter from 
Somerset; first recommending, and then 
commanding him to place its bearer in 
attendance on Overbury. — But we have 
Coppinger to dispose of for the night. 

That ready servant of Somerset, had 
no sooner got his seven score marks 
than, as we have said, he hastened to 


Mistress Turner's, and learning the plan 
that was laid, he gave this woman a 
score pieces to fee Weston, while he 
himself should place Franklin in a situa- 
tion the most favourable to the plot. 
With this design he returned to St. 
James's; but here all were in consterna- 
tion. It was evening now, the moon shone 
in a lovely silvery fulness in the East, 
and from the extremity of the Park, 
the star-gazers saw, as they thought, 
over the hospital of Prince Henry, a 
lunar rainbow- — an emblem in no ways 
propitious to the recovery of the Prince. 
Some blabbing fool had, in the height 
of his superstitious zeal, communicated 
intelligence of this ominous appearance 
to the guards at the palace ; from them 
it reached the ears of the medical men 
in attendance ; and finally the King 
himself at Whitehall. Shortly after 
this aerial phenomenon became visible, 
which it remained for Sir Isaac New- 


ton many many years afterwards tc 
explain, Prince Henry became worse. 
It was very remarkable that the iris 
in question became first visible about 
nine o'clock, and continued long, thougb 
with different degrees of brilliancy. 
At Charing Cross a crowd viewed this 
sight, which since the days of Aristotle 
has been exceedingly rare ; at first, 
though a strongly marked bow, it was 
withoiit colours ; but afterwards they 
were very conspicuous, and visible in 
the same form as in the solar rainbow, 
the red, green, and purple being most 
distinguishable ; about twelve the pheno- 
menon was most splendid, the vast arch 
being then perfect in all its parts, 
while the moon " walking in bright- 
ness," seemed to lighten immortal spirits 
from this nether world. 

Coppinger, on reaching the palace of 
the Prince of Wales, found the guards, 
domestics, and dependants of his Royal 


Highness in dismay and sorrow. As 
the lunar rainbow first became visible, 
the Prince appeared to be parting with 
life, and before the lovely iris had 
reached its full splendour in the hea- 
vens^ Philip Herbert and Doctor But- 
ler carried intelligence of Henry Stu- 
art's death to his royal father. — The 
King in the midst of his grief removed 
to Kensington House — the Palsgrave 
was conducted to Hampton Court, and 
Queen Anne^ with her daughter, gave 
vent to their sorrow in Denmark Palace. 

Coppinger found the confusion in 
the Court-yard of St. James's favoura- 
ble for his purpose, and having bustled 
through the throng, he at length met 
with Franklin. 

" Well," said the Master of Horse, 
** now your occupation's at an end here, 
Monsieur le maitre queux ; take thee 
these three score marks from my Lord 
Somerset ; this cuisine royal will to- 


morrow be shut up, I reckon ; take 
with thee thy batterie, thy marmiton, 
and open shop inside Temple Bar, as 
an apothecary ; — carry thyself as un 
effronte, for we have another action de 
tour for thee anon. — Then thou shalt 
riot in wealth, ample as thy wishes ; 
and, an' thou dost the next job as coi- 
legiale as this, we shall divide Nor-' 
thampton and Somerset's fortunes, or 
stick their heads on London Bridge 

Franklin swore by all the truth he 
could appeal to, he undersood not what 
Coppinger alluded to ; but declared the 
three score marks came in good season, 
and the moment the etat royal was 
broken up, he should betake himself to 
the city, where men's actions were va- 
lued by their efforts, and their worth 
by their ability to pay what they owed. 
Coppinger, who only laughed at the 
cook-apothecary's pretended ignorance, 


now hastened to Somerset's house in 
St. James's Park, and "was the first to 
announce to the Earl and Lady Frances 
the death of Prince Henry. But we 
had already proposed to leave Somerset 
and Lady Frances in the enjoyment 
of each others company, for the pre- 
sent ; by adding to the company at the 
Earl's mansion, his Master of Horse ; 
the dramatis personse of the evening's 
entertainment is now complete. — Billy 
Weston and Coppinger revelled it brave- 
ly long after their lord and lady had, 
for the night, dismissed their attendants. 
When all was hushed and still in the 
Earl's mansion, these fellows entered 
more feelingly into their late transac- 
tions ; for it was some time since they 
had been alone under circumstances so 
favourable for that exchange of mind 
which makes men one. — Coppinger very 
openly related all the adventures he 
had met with from the time he set off 


for Lincoln, through all his various pas- 
sages in the service of Somerset, till 
the hour when these two agents of the 
Earl's projects had set down to carouse, 
without the disagreeable intervention 
of a third person. The Master of Horse 
observed, however, that Weston was 
unusually dull, and after swilling a few 
cups of winC;, he rallied the page, who 
in his own defence inquired, " How 
feels your pulse now, bully Coppinger ? 
what deaf pillows hast thou now got 
for our consciences ; we're alone in the 
middle of an eventful night, and may 
thereby each ask the other that question." 
— " How^ feels my pulse ? said'st thou ?" 
answered the Master of Horse, " no 
more o' that ; you mar my manhood ; 
and make me smell death, when the 
patient dies holily in his bed.— What's 
done can't be undone — 

The mind I sway by, and the heart I bear, 
Shall never sagg with doubt, nor shake with fear. 


The devil damn thee black, thou cream-faced loon I 
Where got'st thou that goose-look ? 

WestoD, who sat mute as his compa- 
nion, supplied himself with an answer 
from Shakespeare's most popular play 
at that period, answered. " I do begin 
to pull in resolution — they've lugged 
in my father. — The devil himself knows 
not more of rosacre, white arsenick, 
mercury, sublimate, cantharides, and so 
forth, than he." 

'* Good, the better for us all," re- 
plied Coppinger. '* Why I should ha' 
thought thou'dst almost forgot the taste 
o' fears. But come, come, Billy, thou 
must not sup with horrors." 

" Heard ye not the hue and cry anent 
that weird fiend Forman ?" asked the 

" Ah ! thou art in blood steeped so 
far !" exclaimed Coppinger. " Thou 
must wade on — returning were as tedi- 
ous as going o'er. We are yet but young 


indeed. — And 1 shall nourish thee as 
a brave knave to have sent that cozen- 
ing Israelite into the pit of Acheron. 
— Come, my lad, fill thy horn again. 
— Ne'er mind the black scruples 
that pluck conscience, but beat them 
back with good liquor, man — laugh 
at death, smile at the grave, brandish 
th}? faulchion in the face of every mo- 
ther's son that is hotter than thyself; 
and for your ghosts, and conscience, 
and so forth, they're juggling fiends 
created by opinion, and no more to be 
believed than Forman's prophecies. — 
But, come, tell us how thouMst do the 
job again, were't to do ?" 

" An I could tell who they were 
that passed us in a boat to Lambeth 
Ferry, Fd give this purse and all it 
contains," said the page; "they were 
man and woman, and a bargeman. — 
By the gods, I took them for the Earl 

VOL. Til. M 


and Countess, but that I knew they 
were elsewhere." 

" Ne'er heed, man, who they were ; 
they're worth no more thought than For- 
man's death's worth sorrow. — Thou'st 
done a public good to rid the world 
o' the weird loon/' said Coppinger. 
" He knew too much ; and an I could 
but lay hand on his album, I'd make 
discovery of such perilous stuff as should 
trouble half the great ones in the land — 
drink. My Lord of Somerset owes 
me seven score marks, I paid on his 
account this night/' continued the Mas- 
ter of Horse, " an' I get them to-mor- 
row, I'll to the grove of the Hebrew 
widow, and an' she will not take mo- 
ney for the astrologic utensils of the 
knave, 'sdeath, I'll make love to her, 
and carry off the album." 

The last words of Coppinger re- 
stored Weston to his usual mirthful 


ton« ; he laughed outright at the idea 
of his companion's making love to 
Trunco, and in the midst of their rail- 
lery we will leave them also for the 

M 2 



They love not poison that do poison need. 

Nor do 1 thee ; though I wish him dead, 

I hate the murderer, love him murdered. 

The guilt of conscience take thou for thy labour,. 

But neither my good word, nor princely favour ; 

With Cain go wander through the shade of night, 

And never i how thy head by day or night, 


The Father Francis hastened from 
the Earl of Northampton's to Gabriella, 
and in the most delicate manner re- 
ported to her the result of his appli- 
cation to the Howard in Overbury':* 

"Daughter," said the old man, '^thou 
hast not had justice done thee ; thy 
knight should have married thee agree- 
ably to the rights of the English church ; 



for by their laws a marriage between 
a Protestant and Catholic is little better 
than a nullity, if it be only performed 
by the Catholic and holy religion, the 
husband being not a Catholic ; — they 
require the publication of bans, in their 
parish churches, though some of their 
Puritans think the magistrate might 
join man and woman in holy wedlock, 
and far from being a religious cere- 
mony and an holy sacrament, it is a 
compound of their civil and ecclesias- 
tical law." 

*' Father," replied Gabriella, " I am 
unusued to this — Overbury loved me, 
how much I loved him my misfortunes 
now bear witness. — Go with me to his 
prison-house, and you will find him 
a greater statesman, philosopher, and 
Christian, than his enemies can produce 
in all their host. But the day is far 
gone, and I perceive you are fatigued 
too much already ; — to-morrow, reve- 
M 3 


rend Father, we will go; you can 
accompany me ; the information my 
brave knight can give us will assist 
us in labouring for his release, though 
I am in doubt we shall not effect that 
till Prince Henry recover." 

" Daughter," replied the Monk, "thou 
art more considerate for my well-being, 
than thy Lord's release from a dungeon; 
but thou shalt be obeyed, and on the 
morrow I will come hither, and to- 
gether we will visit the Tower.-' Sa 
saying, Father Francis pronounced his 
benedicite, ' vale, filia^ and departed. 

On the morrow, however, ere he 
had yet finished his matins, the Monk 
was waited on by a messenger from 
the Earl of Northampton, desiring his 
attendance without loss of time. Great 
and important were the matters on 
which the Howard had to converse 
with Father Francis ; and the instruct 
tions he had to give him, were so vari-^ 


ous and multiplied^ that the old man's 
head seemed in a whirl ere the Earl 
was half done with his commission. In 
addition to all that Northampton had 
to say, the sudden death of Prince 
Henry opened up so many fresh sub- 
jects of speculation to the Earl and the 
Monk, on the prospects that seemed 
to dawn on their persecuted friends in 
England, that it was noon ere their 
conference ended. And the moment 
it was finished, the zealous Friar, com- 
pelled by duty, deemed it advisable to 
write several letters to the continent, 
to his superior in Italy, to the Cardi- 
nal Bishop of Frascati, who was in par- 
ticular Father Francis's friend;, at that 
time the chief or leader of the Suburbi- 
earians, and to the Cardinal Secretary 
of State, as the person of the ponti- 
fical court with whom he was in terms 
of friendship ; though we mean not 
thereby to insinuate that the Monk was 


in hostility with any member of the 
different congregations. To the Arch- 
bishops of Toledo and Vienna, Father 
Francis also wrote letters. Wholly en- 
grossed by the subject in hand, and 
desirous to acquit himself creditably on 
so important an occasion, it was even- 
ing ere the Monk had finished all he 
had to say. When he repaired to Ga- 
briella's, she was in the greatest distress, 
partly on his account, but more parti- 
cularly on her own. She had, during 
the day, when disappointed of the 
good father's company, repaired into 
the city to Master Rawlins, in the 
hopes of employing him to accompany 
her to the Tower ; nor was she in this 
mistaken, though on her arrival at the 
Fortress she found her admission to 
Overbury resisted in the most rude and 
brutal manner by Jervaise Elwes, and 
his assistant Watson, who had by this 
time entered upon his office, the du- 


ties of which he seemed to take a 
iiendish pleasure in discharging with 
a ferocious cruelty. — No one expects 
to find a gailor a gentleman, even were 
he a lieutenant of the Tower ; much less 
to perceive in his keepers, or under- 
strappers, any thing better than tamed 
hyenas. In general, if these fellows 
have escaped the gallows, it is not be- 
cause they have not deserved that ex- 
hibition ; but because in the mixture 
of evil and good upon earth, such 
wretches are permitted to live and do 
what few, that could escape the ho- 
nour they riot in, would be greeted 
with if they could escape it by the mai- 
den or guillotine — that invention of 
the Regent Moreton, and upon which 
he giuTered, though M. Guillotine, a 
physician of Lyons, thought it an ho- 
nour to his name, that it was conferred 
upon this instrument of death, a model 
of which he exhibited in the National 
M 5 


Assembly, during the mad French Re- 
volution, and for which he received a 
donation of two thousand livres. 

Distressed and afflicted, Gabriella was 
fain to get beyond the precincts of a 
place in which, by her simple tale, she 
only excited a greater degree of bar- 
barity. Elwes taunted poor Gabriella 
with opprobrious names, and at length 
turning from her, left Weston to in- 
dulge in the same unseemly manner. 
" Fellow," said she, ^Hhy master's gibes 
authorise not thy tongue to lavish on 
me thine unmanly speech. Take thi^ 
purse and admit me to my husband.'' 

" I were rogue and a half to take 
thy purse, and admit thee," replied the 
man, " but I'll be the fellow thou takest 
me for, an thou'lt come here at night 
alone for admission." 

''Be honest and fair, man," said Raw- 
lins, " I am cousin to Overbury, my name 
is Rawlins ; thou art an Englishman. 


though thou seemest an alien. — Wilt 
thou give this lady free passage to her 
lord, to Sir Thomas Overbury ?" 

" I've given her my answer, to thee 
I'll say nought, thou sheep-face," an- 
swered Weston. 

" 'Twere vain to reason with these 
fellows," said Kawlins to Gabriella ; 
" I'll to the Lord Mayor, and repre- 
sent the matter, and an his Lordship 
can, we^l ha' admittance spite their 

The reader who knows the situation of 
the Tower, and who bears in mind also 
that Gabriella was spoken to through 
the portcullis of the garrison, from be- 
neath the low ground arch at the wes- 
tern angle of the ditch, will not won- 
der that Gabriella evinced none of that 
superlative action, which we find he- 
roines usually clad in, when their ge- 
nius, the author, draws them in the 
caricature of tragedy queens, " strut- 


ting their hour upon the stage !" From 
the Lord Mayor, for the tinae beings 
Master Rawlins received assurances of 
such representations as his Lordship 
could make ; but the civic magistrate 
could exercise no authority in Over- 
bury's case ; besides, the Tower was 
beyond his jurisdiction. Gabriella then 
suggested the intercession of the Mayor 
with the Archbishop, and his Lordship 
very readily offered to move his Grace 
on behalf of the prisoner. " We are 
brother Nicodemites," said the Mayor^^ 
" and I doubt not I may prevail, an we 
can but get ahint his chaplain, who is 
a precise enemy of even good church- 
men, not to speak of his fire and fag- 
got to the children of Babylon, and all 
wizzards, witches and v/eird sisters i' 
the land.'' This was a fact which Ga- 
briella had already proved, and, there- 
fore, she felt the less hope of succes^s 
from the Mayor's reference to the chap- 


Jain, as standing in (he way between 
his Lordship and the Archbishop. 
Her distress, therefore, when Father 
Francis arrived, had subsided into that 
calm but not less poignant sorrow, 
which the heart is charg;ed with when 
bereft of all consolation, except what 
it derives from patient endurance, and 
the relief which virtue and goodness 
bring their possessor. And Gabriella 
was a pattern of moral excellence ; — 
she loved, it is true, but there was no 
crime in that love ; for she but obeyed 
the impulse of her simple nature, as 
the expression of her passion was con- 
fined within the limits of virtuous indul- 
gence. Reasoning in her defence, is 
therefore out of the question ; her life 
is before the reader, and the reflections 
it warrants, will occur to his mind with- 
out my assistance. The good old Monk 
endeavoured to yield such ghostly con- 
solation, as his habits of life had taught 


him to administer ; but they err egregi- 
ously who write rules for a diseased 
mind, for half the soul's comfort is 
derived from the exercise of sociable 
rather than moral feeling; and Father 
Francis was the least companionable 
being that could have ventured in Ga- 
briella's presence. 

" All you say, Father Francis," she 
replied to the Monk's reasonings on the 
inscrutable ways of Providence, and 
that whatever is, happens for the best. 
— '^ All you say, is, X dare say, very 
true ; but think you, the hollow-hearted 
courtiers, who have plotted my dear 
Overbury's confinement, and it may be 
his death, ever tax their consciences 
w^ith any duties to Heaven ? — Did 
you know but the thousandth part of 
the vice triumphant which reigns in 
this dissipated city, you would indeed 
tremble. Pretends the King to reli- 
gion ? It is an odd religion, forsooth. 


if half the errors of his life be true^ 
which the world assigns him. God for- 
bid I should belie him ; but they do say 
such things of him as are not fit for 
a female tongue to utter. And for the 
Queen ! — She that ought to be the 
matron of her sex ; why, good Father, 
thou shouldst ne'er have been a religious, 
and then thou mightst have attended 
one of Queen Anne's masques. — All 
that the poets have fabled comes short 
of Denmark House, which they do say 
is at once the temple of Venus and Bac- 
chus. She and his Majesty have not 
lived together for a long time ; but 
Anne has her bravoes and roaring-boys, 
to justify her 'gainst all the world, — 
Oh ! Lord ! what a world we live in. — 
And then for the courtiers — it is every 
one for himself. — I am sick of half 
of them, at the very mention of their 
names. — ^They'i^e an academy of jug- 


Father Francis in vain tried to inter- 
rupt this burst of passionate and par- 
tial feeling; and when his friend paused, 
he chid her for using language that 
might be construed into scandal, if not 
branded into treason. 

*' If the truth be treason/' replied Ga- 
briella, ^' they commit treason against 
Heaven who stifle its expression; if to 
report with the lips, what the ey«s 
let into the mind be scandal, the guilt 
rests on the actors, not on the obser- 
vers' shoulders. But I see, I see the 
correctness of thy language, holy Fa- 
ther, truth finds no protection where 
injustice is the order of the day, and in- 
nocence is unfriended where vice bears 
sway. I will learn in time to think 
more accurately of the world. Had 
Overbury not spoken truth, he had 
ne'er been now immured, a lonely pri- 
soner in the Tower. But I have done — 
I will endeavour to summon resolution. 


and though my duty bids me hope for 
the best, my fears desire me to prepare 
for th« worst." 

" Now thou talkest reason, daugh- 
ter," said Father Francis. " But what 
plan can we devise for rescuing Sir Tho- 
mas Overbury ^ Hast thou bethought 
thee of that ?" 

" Only/' replied Gabriella, " that it 
has occurred to my mind the death of 
the Prince may soften the King's heart ; 
and as man is more disposed in afflic- 
tion to commiserate his fellow -sufferers^ 
James may bethink him of those im- 
prisoned in that horrible dungeon, and 
set them free of his own mere grace 
and favour. I will patiently await the 
interment of Prince Henry, as his Ma- 
jesty may then aJffect a sorrow he feels 
not, and set my lord free. Why, when 
Queen Mary's ashes were removed to 
Westminster Abbey some years ago^ 
from the Cathedral of Peterborough^ 



the royal mercy was extended to the 
Lords Cobham and Grey, and they 
were condemned and pardoned, when 
their heads were on the block as it 


'' I approve of thy counsel, daugh- 
ter," said the Monk, " and now that 
I pass into the North, let me beseech 
thee, in this trying business, to bear 
thyself as thou hast done, and thou 
wilt confer an honour on thy sex, and 
thy religion." 

With many other exhortations all 
equally wise and appropriate, did Fa- 
ther Francis conjure Gabriella to ex- 
ecute her purpose with the resolution 
w^ith which she had begun, and having 
given her his blessing, he took his leave 
of her for a season, to visit his perse- 
cuted brethren in the North. 

Lady Frances has hitherto borne a 
conspicuous part in the plot against 
Overburv : she had been contemned by 


him^ and spoken of as no better than 
a public woman. And even among 
that unfortunate class of persons there 
are expressions more indicative of their 
real character than others, that to some 
of them sound as words of high offence. 
So too it proved in reference to the 
Lady Frances Howard ; — the epithets 
that Overbury had used, she would not 
brook, and hence her resentment. 

*' Nee dum etiam causae irarura saevique dolores, 
Exciderant ammo, manet alt^ inente rcpostum 
Judicium Paridis, spretaBque injuria formee.'' 

The death and burial of Prince Hen- 
ry had not the power to check her pro- 
jects ; this season of national grief was 
looked upon as more faA^ourable than 
another, for giving them their final 
touch. On the evening, therefore, that 
Weston, the father, entered upon his 
i)tRce; Lady Frances called her Page 


to her. " Come hither, sirrah/' said 
she, and the page was at her side in 
an instant. " Now thou must to the 
Tower, Master Weston. Take with thee 
this phial of rosalgar ; give it into the 
hand of thy father ; to him alone ; ob- 
serve me ; — and bid him see to it, that as 
he values the House of Howard, he use 
dispatch. — None will know but Over- 
bury poisoned himself." 

The Page uttered not a word, but 
taking the phial bowed, kissed his Lady's 
hand, and departed. On his way 
from Northampton's House, he visit- 
ed Mistress Turner's, and she hav- 
ing ascertained the object of his jour- 
ney, desired to see the phial. The young 
assassin had some apprehension she 
meant to play him a trick, and accord- 
ingly expressed himself to that pur- 
pose. " Thinkst thou, varlet," said the 
woman, " I am not as deep in the mire 
as thy Lady ; besides, sirrah, I have a 


bit of advice to give thee. Which is 
the cleverer, he that lies, like a knight 
of the post, for half a crown and a 
dinner, or he that does it for the more 
substantial consideration of a hundred 
pounds a year ?" 

" Am I to g'o back, and say I have 
been to Gundulph's Castle V asked 
Weston, who lacked not capacity to 
understand the application of the wo- 
man's question. 

" No, sirrah," .replied Turner, ^* let 
me see the phial ?" — The Page pulled 
it from the pouch of his doublet, and 
Mistress Turner seizing it, dashed the 
glass to pieces in the fire-place. Wes- 
ton laid his hand on his dagger, and 
might have used it, but his arm was 
caught hold of by the powerful hand of 
some one in his rear. He looked round 
and, lo ! Coppinger was there, with his 
right hand on the hilt of his dagger. 

" Soft ! soft ! Master Weston/^ said 


Coppinger. — " We go snacks. — How 
much didst thou have with that bottle, 
for thy pains ?" 

" Nothing, bully paiilard/' exclaimed 
Weston. — " Nothing ; — traitor have at 
you^" and as the enraged page said 
these w^ordsj he disengaged himself 
from Coppinger's grasp, and made a 
lounge at him. " O ! ho ! my young 
master of defence," said Coppinger, as 
he parried the thrust. " An thou be 
after that game, thou'st work for a 
month before thee, — Put up thy nasty 
throtle-snaker, boy, and listen to the 
w^oman." And while the Master of 
Horse spoke these words, the woman 
closed upon the Page behind, and Cop- 
pinger disarmed him with all imagin- 
able coolness. 

Seeing himself thus vanquished, Wes- 
ton threw himself into a chair, and 
demanded, " what he was to do?" — 
adding, " I do believe, bully Coppinger, 


tliou art the devil in human shape. 
Double as I will, thou art at my heels. 
What am I to do V 

'' To do^ varlet/' said the Master of 
Horse, " do what Mistress Turner bids 
thee," And the Page looked round 
on the woman for instruction. 

'^ Take this phial/' said Mistress Tur- 
ner, give it thy hoary father, and bid 
him on no account minister it without 
Elwes' knowledge. We'll make Mas- 
ster Lieutenant dance between Heaven 
and earth, an it be need, and 'scape 
ourselves ; but mean time thy father 
must be rewarded, and a little delay 
Will put thy mistress on her mettle to 
dispatch. ^ — Get thee gone; do as I bid." 

'^ Wilt thou be here, bully Coppin- 
ger, as I come back ?" asked the Page. 

" No, varlet, not here, but thou'lt 
find me at Master Franklin's new shop 
in Fleet Street." 

" The Page hastened to his father in 


the Tower, gave him the phial without 
any emotion, and the old man received 
it saying, '^ How can God bless my fa- 
mily in this business ?'' 

" Let them talk of God that have 
to do with him ; my Lord of Somerset, 
and the Countess will bear us out in 
any thing we do," said the son ; '^ has 
not Mistress Turner preferred thee io 
this place, and thou only an ancient 
bailiff of her husband in the country ? 
'Sdeath, Sir, think of the blue ribbons 
at stake, as well as our fortunes — and 
lives too, father ; — eat nothing, man liv- 
ing offers thee, and thou'lt live ; drink 
after thine enemy, and let thy best 
friends swill afore thee. — Buy thy prog 
in the Minories ; in any grubby hovel 
in Tower Street alleys ; or get thee 
down among the Israelites in Rosemary 
Lane for thy dinner. Put thy mouth to 
the Thames and drink ; but drink not 
and eat not from the table of the Lieute- 


nant, after Overbury's soul has left his 
poisoned body." — And as the young 
villain sajd this, he thrust the phial into 
Kis father's hand. " Look to it, my 
Master," he added, '^ look well to it, 
thou minister it not without the privity 
of Jervaise Elwes ; for an we must crap, 
the more the merrier." 

The old man took the phial, and har- 
dened as he was in sin, his amazement 
at his son's villainy, left him no power 
of speech. The Page without waiting 
a reply, turned on his heel and left the 
Fortress, whistling as he went along. 

" Mariin Swart and his men, — Sodledum, Sodledum, 
*' Martin Swart and his men,- — Sodledum Bell/' 

On the departure of his son, Weston 
repaired to the Lieutenant's house from 
which Overbury was served with his 
meals, and supper having now become 
a fashionable meal among the English, 
Jervaise Elwes sent from his table the 



evening repast of his prisoner. Wes- 
ton, as he lifted the tray, containing 
the Knight's fare, and stoup of wine, 
looked fixedly in the Lieutenant's face, 
and said, '' shall I give it him now ?" 

Elwes stepped up to Weston, asking 
him, '' What ? — Whom aliudest thou 
to, Master Richard Weston ?" 

^' Why, Overbury," replied Weston, 
" shall I now give him this phial in his 
night posset ? — Know you not 'tis dis- 
solved powder of diamonds, and lapis 

^' Poison, thou knave," replied the 
Lieutenant. " By God's judgment, 
thou'lt hang, my Master, an thou be 
abetting and comforting with malice." 

^'HangT' exclaimed Weston, '^Hang! 
so will the contrivers, an the actors 
orap; — a murrain seize me an this dose 
ben't the happiest affliction the priso- 
ner's soul can receive. May Sheriff 
Goare hang him as high as Haman, 


who has un nature so unkind to be his 
own accuser !" 

'^ Thou'rt a trusty knave, I perceive/' 
said the Lieutenant, '^ but bethink thee 
o' the scripture, and the judgments o' 
the Most High 'gainst they who shed 
blood, or by poisonings take off their 
feilow-men. Reprobate, an thou ben't 
beat down by the vengeance of Omni- 
potence, thou'lt fare better than Cain. — 
Down on thy knees, Master, and thank 
Heaven and me for letting thee in 
this ; be terrified into thy sins, that thou 
mayest eschew evil, and rise to thank 
Providence for abhorrence and detes- 
tation of all imprisonments and mis- 

'^ Am I to put down the tray and 
do ail thou wishest me, afore the man 
hae his supper?" said Weston very 

" Put it in purgatory wi' Guy 
Fawkes, an thou wilt," replied the 
N 2 


Lieutenant ; " sit thee down, man, and 
let me see thee cast down for thy of- 
fence ;" — and whether Weston, in fun 
or in earnest, enacted the part proposed 
by Elwes, the Lieutenant became so 
pleased with his keeper, that he filled 
him a cup of wine, drank to his re- 
formation, and bade him pledge him 
in the same liquor. 

Weston left the apartment of the 
Lieutenant for Overbury's cell, say- 
ing to himself as he went along, " He 
would quote scripture, yet Cain was not 
hanged, only had a mark put on him, 
in respect of the population of the 
world, and I think the negroes o' Afric 
be his children, since they nearest re- 
semble a black and blue corpse. Or 
could he mean the murder of Abner 
by Joab ? it was respited by David, 
in respect of great services past, or rea- 
son of state ; so shall this, and Over- 
bury shall drink of the phial." 


Young Weston, whom we have seen, 
depart abruptly from his hoary father, 
hastened back to Coppinger^ whom he 
found agreeably to his appointment in 
Fleet Street. " How now, my mas- 
ters, Coppinger and Franklin," said the 
Page, " there's been a windfall, or hae 
ye stolen a goose and "given the gib- 
blets in alms, that ye have buried your- 
selves in this pokey-ho4e of a poison 

" Soft, young drown the Jew," re- 
plied Coppinger, " hast thou seen the 
phial given ?" 

^' Have ye raised the wind, my Mas- 
ters, since I parted company ?" asked 
the Page. " As for your phial, 'Sdeath, 
bully Coppinger, would you have the 
deed done in the eye of England, and 
hear it talked about in the ear of Chris- 
tendom ?" 

*' Neither, man ; and I reckon thou'st 
played thy part masterly, after the 
N 3 


fashion of mad Will Shakespeare's Mac- 
beth, and the Dane King* i' his Hamlet," 
replied Coppinger, adding : " Now an 
thou could urge thy dad to let the Lord 
SuiFolk up to the plot — no, that won't 
do. — The Lord Treasurer must not be 
cockered yet. — Let the fox be i' the 
earth, then we must lay our heads to- 
gether to get Jervaise Elwes to foul 
Suffolk'^ nest, by going to him, and 
disclosing what himself has done in his 
capacity of Lieutenant, to repair the 
honour of the Lady Frances's, despite 
all Overbury's gab. That's the bait, 
and the Lord Treasurer will gobble it, 
or I'll jump over London Bridge." 

'^ Faith^ CoppiDger," said Franklin, 
" you'll hae a rare card to play an this 
get wind : but scab is like the fox, the 
more he is cursed the better he fareth." 

" Hang proverbs in a corn-field to 
frighten crows," answered the Master 
of Horse, *' let me hae some white 


arsenick for the Lady Frances, Master 
Franklin ; and as much cantharides as 
may pepper a cruse o' onion-sauce for 
a brace o' partridges^ that Weston here 
shall crave of her for the prisoner in 
Gundolph's Castle." 

Leaving these wretches in the prose- 
cution of their diabolical purpose, which 
to detail more largely, in this place, 
would be merely repeating the same 
abominable machinations to the end of 
the chapter, let us look after larger 
game that now comes into view. 

Weston, the father did proceed in 
his resolve, and the next morning 
Overbury was found in bed very ill in- 
deed. Not suspecting he had taken poir 
son, but imagining his death at hand, 
he desired to see the Lieutenant on 
the instant. Jervaise Elwes repaired 
to Overbury's cell forthwith, and ex- 
pressed the utmost concern for the 
health of the prisoner. " Master Lieu- 


tenant," said Sir Thomas, " I would 
write my Lord Somerset ; pray let 
me have pen and ink." With this re- 
quest Elwes readily complied, as he 
resolved on the moment to see the con- 
tents of the epistle, ere he delivered it. 
" The Lord Somerset," said Overbury, 
" hath promised me his aid, and in this 
extremity it were suicide not to seek it," 
and he accordingly wrote. 

^^ Right noble and worthy Sir, 

** The former accustomed favours, 
and absolute promise, concerning my 
present delivery, have caused me at 
this time, by these lines, to solicit your 
Lordship, and put you in remembrance 
of the same, not doubting that your ho- 
nour is at all forgetful of me, but only 
by reason of my imprisonment, being 
possessed of a dangerous disease, would, 
for my body's safety, partake of the feli- 
city of the open air: in which case, if your 


Lordship please to commiserate my 
present necessities, and procure me my 
speedy delivery, I shall not only stand 
so much the more obliged, but also ac- 
knowledge you the defender and pre- 
server of my life. Sic subscribitur, 

Thos. Overbury, Knt. 

Elwes, to whom Overbury submitted 
the perusal of this epistle, promised to 
deliver it that day himself, and for that 
purpose left the garrison. The Lieu- 
tenant entered the royal barge belong- 
ing to the Tower, accompanied by his 
rowers only, and having landed at 
White-Hall, hastened to the Earl of 
Northampton's at Charing Cross. On 
being admitted to an audience, he found 
the Earl, the Lady Frances, and Roches- 
ter in high divan. 

" Good Master Lieutenant, how fare 
you this day ?" asked Somerset. 

^' Well ; but my prisoner's ill ; — des- 
N 5 


perate ill, and he sends your noble Lord- 
ship this letter." 

Somerset took the epistle, and while 
he perused it, the Earl of Northampton 
asked Elwes what passages there had 
been between him and Overbury, anent 
the secrets he wished to wring from 
him. ^* Having undertook my priso- 
ner," said Elwes, " according to your 
instructions, after long silence, as stand- 
ing between hope and fear, he takes 
his Bible, and after he had read upon 
it, and by it protested his innocency, 
upon further conference, concerning the 
Countess, he said he had justified her 
already, and he could do no more than 
what he had done." 

" Justified me!" exclaimed the Lady 
Frances; 'either thou forgest lies, false 
as hell, monster, or he lies to thee like 
a Mahomedan Corsair. — Accused me, 
defamed me, thou meanest, Master 
Elwes.— But what said he of himself?" 



" For himself/' replied the Lieute- 
nant, 'alas!' said he, 'what will they 
do with me ?' — I answered, ' so refine 
you as you shall make no question here- 
after of your pureness. And I left him 
in some sense to work upon that.' " 

" Good, thou didst well to give him 
an insight into our power, and the means 
of his purification," replied Northamp- 
ton. But said he nothing respecting 
my niece's union with the Lord So- 
merset ?" 

" That in the generality she was wor- 
thy that she might be a wife in particu- 
lar for my Lord Rochester, be would 
not say it, lest my Lord should condemn 
bim for weighing his worth." 

" That's thy other cloven foot, 
Master Lieutenant," replied the Lady 
Frances. '' Hadst thou no other con- 
fabulation with the monster ?" 

" At my next coming to him," an- 
swered Elwes, '* I found him not in 



sense, but in fury, he let fly at my Lord 
Northampton, but was respective to my 
Lord Rochester, whose part he took 

" Look well, Master Elwes, look 
well to the event/' said Northampton. 

" I see the event/' answered Jervaise : 
*' I desire it may be safely carried ; 
what my service may do in this or any 
thing else, I will be faithful to your 

^* To-night," added the Lady Frances, 
^^ I will send thee some tarts for him ; 
see thou he eat them. — That knave, 
Weston, must be rewarded with a good 
boon. Give him this purse." 

'* What message shall I deliver to the 
prisoner ?" asked Elwes of Somerset. 

" Thou 'It bear him my service in all 
straits, and tell him, I send him thi« 
powder. 'Twill make him a little sick ; 
say to him I said so ; — and on his sick- 
ness I'll urge his release with the King's 


Majesty. Tell him also I'll come tx) 
him anon, to be eye witness of his sick- 
ness, and thereby testify to the King 
his real case." 

Elwes accordingly left their Lord- 
ships, the one of whom laughed at the 
simplicity of the Lieutenant, while the 
other smiled at the ignorance of the 
prisoner. Yet they applauded the Lieu- 
tenant ; and Somerset, on his taking 
leave, said, "' Master Elwes, as I hold 
you both a discreet and wise man, fear 
not, I shall assuredly procure thee the 
reversion of Overbury's knighthood for 
thy service and honest dealing in this 
employment, which w^ill deserve ever- 
lasting praises with after ages." 

The project of this band of plotters 
was so contrived, in administering their 
poisons to the unfortunate Sir Thomas 
Overbury, as to increase or diminish 
his torments, as they saw him affected 
toward them ; but more especially to 


end his existence in such a manner as 
to prevent suspicion of unfair means 
having been used to get rid of him. 
Elwes, toO;, was not over anxious for his 
decease, as he knew that whenever his 
prisoner died, a coroner's jury would 
inspect the body, and it would be more 
difficult to cozen them than strangers 
to the fraud which was practised. Ga- 
brielia became impatient for her hus- 
band's release ; she despaired in the 
hopes of King James's mercy, and 
hastened to the Tower, where, for the 
first time, she learned the miserable 
condition he was in. Elwes, who had 
not hitherto permitted any letters to 
reach his prisoner, nor any friend to 
speak with him, was now in some 
measure awakened to a sense of the 
wrongs that Overbury suffered, and 
permitted Gabriella, under a promise 
of secrecy, to visit the unfortunate 
gentleman. This meeting and its con- 


sequences are, however, of too much 
importance in the Romance^ to fall in as 
the tail of the narrative, which the 
reader has been perusing in _ this chap- 
ter ; — we will, therefore, throw them 
together in the following one. 



. Peace ; sit you down. 

And let me wring your heart; for so I shall, 
If it be made of penetrable stuff; 
If damned custom have not braz'd it so, 
That it be proof and bulwark against sense. 


The circumstance of Overbury-s con- 
finement as a state prisoner in the Tower, 
soon became known to all the inmates 
of that Fortress. Among these were 
persons of high rank in the state ; — 
the Lady Arabella Stuart, allied in 
blood to the King himself; the Coun- 
tess of Shrewsbury, her companion in 
misfortune ; the great Henry Percy, 
ninth Earl of Northumberland, and Sir 
Walter Ealeigh ; — all felt an uncom- 


mon degree of interest in the fate of 
Sir Thomas Overbury. He was known 
to them as no mean instrument in So- 
merset's rise ; and he was respected for 
the manner in which he conducted him- 
self as the servant of that ambitious 
Favourite. Raleigh, in particular, was 
touched with the misfortunes of Ga- 
briella, though hitherto he had only 
learned her merits from the brief re- 
port of Captain Kemish. The Lady 
Arabella Stuart, and the Countess of 
Shrewsbury could well entertain feel- 
ings and sentiments congenial with the 
sufferers. And the Percy, though little 
accustomed to have his nature ruffled 
by ordinary circumstances, had learned 
that the Lady Gabriella was a stranger, 
unprotected and persecuted on account 
of her religion. All these personages 
had resolved, if she entered the For- 
tress, to make common cause with Elwes 
for an interview between her and Sir 


Thomas. They had even addressed the 
Lieutenant on this subject, and probably 
to this circumstance, rather than to 
any misdoubtings their jailor had, is to 
be attributed the yielding- disposition 
in which we now find him. But what- 
ever might be his intentions to humour 
their sympathies, and indulge Gabri- 
ella, he resisted every attempt of the 
Percy and of Raleigh to grant them an 
interview with Overbury. The motives 
from which the wicked usually per- 
form charitable actions, are either selfish 
or iniquitous, and it were a waste of 
language to dive into those which now 
actuated the Lieutenant of the Tov»^er* 
We do, therefore, dismiss him from 
this investigation, Vvnth that contempt 
of his character, which his unfortuj^ate 
prisoners, no doubt, felt for his person 
and office. 

It was about the hour of noon when 
Gabriel la made her visit to the Tower, 


and it was on the day subsequent to 
Elwes's journey to the Earl of Nor- 
thampton. She was admitted by the 
postern-gate, on the eastern quadran- 
gle of the Fortress, and conducted with 
great privacy to the door of her hus- 
band's apartment, which the Lieute- 
nant himself unlocked for her admis- 
sion. The moment the door opened, 
she rushed into the arms of her hus- 
band. — " Great God !" she exclaimed, 
" and do I once more clasp thee in my 
arms, my dearest Overbury ? — But how 
pale, how ill you look. — Oh heavens ! 
surely there has been some foul play 
going on with your victuals, and the 
liquor you have been drinking. — My 
Lord, my love, you are consumed by 
fever. ^ — Your forehead burns like a fur- 
nace ; you respire with difficulty. — -Holy 
Virgin ! what do I suspect — " and ex- 
hausted by the intensity of her feelings, 


Gabriella sunk upon the bed beside her 
helpless husband. 

^' Be composed, dearest love, be com- 
posed, my Gabriella," said Overbury, 
struggling to raise himself and afford 
her assistance. 

Elwes now came forward and at- 
tempted to raise her, but his touch 
had all the magic of physical power. 
'' Wretch, monster," she exclaimed, 
" let me alone ; touch me not with thy 
foul hands, already stained with the 
blood of my dying husband. — Mon- 
strous iniquity ! — Oh, God ! is there 
no justice on earth! no retribution for 
the doers of evil. Avaunt, thou ac- 
cursed murderer, and leave us to perish 
together." But the Lieutenant still per- 
sisted, and opening the door of the 
cell, that he might with one effort lift 
the distressed lady from the couch of her 
husband, and spring with her beyond 


the threshold of a place that was alike 
terrific and dangerous to him, he came 
furiously up to seize Gabriella and hur- 
ry her into the gallery. 

Overbury, who saw all that passed ; 
though, when the door of his cell was 
opened at first, he felt unable to rise 
from his pillow, on the instant that 
Elwes approached to grasp Gabriella, 
sprung from his bed by an effort of 
recalled strength, and being, when in 
health, a powerful man, was still able 
to save his wife from the brutal usage 
that the Lieutenant designed to offer 
her. " Hold, fellow," he exclaimed, 
" taking: Elwes bv the arms, and as 
the other struggled to advance, " nay 
then," said the prisoner, '^ if thou be 
bent on such a purpose, I must repel 
force by force." So saying he pushed 
the Lieutenant out of the dungeon ; 
and was in the act of closing the door 
upon him, when Somerset advanced 


and entered the apartment. The EarPs 
presence for a moment dissipated the 
resolution of Overbury. " My Lord," 
he exclaimed, " you are now as good 
as your word, and hav^e kept your vow 
with me." 

" Sir Thomas, on the instant you see, 
I have visited you," replied Somerset, 
taking Overbury by the hand ; but the 
Earl's eye now caught a sight of Gabri- 
ella. " Soho I soho ! Jervaise Eiwes," 
he cried aloud. " What doings have 
you here ? Powers of light ! what do 
mine eyes behold ? The Lady Gabri- 
ella ?" 

^^Even so," answeredOverbury; " the 
Lieutenant hath accorded this much 
grace ; no doubt on the favour your 
honourable Lordship expressed in an- 
swer to my letter." 

*^ Elwes thou hast done that thou'lt 
answer for before the Council," said 
Somerset. Then turning to Overbury, 


'" Sir Thomas," he said, ^^ knew y.ou 
not the privacy observed towards you^ 
was designed for your release ? Have 
you taken the powder I sent you ?" 

" Powder !" uttered Gabriella with 
a shriek. '' Powder!" .she again re- 
peated. ^' Then are my fears real. — 
Monster of iniquity — fiend of ingrati- 
tude.— Rochester, or Somerset, or Lord 
Chamberlain, as you are, you have poi- 
soned my Lord, my love, my life. Oh ! 
God I Oh! God!" 

" Poison ! Poisoned !" said Overbury, 
sinking on the bed. " Oh ! my Lord 
of Somerset, was this well done ? — But 
I remember you once told me, you 
would be even with me. I had congra- 
tulated my bewildered senses when my 
eyes beheld your smooth, calm, villain- 
ous face not a minute ago, that you had 
come in bonds of peace, and terms of 
friendship ; but, alas ! alas! you are in- 
deed as good as your word, and have kept 


your vow with me ; — poison ! poisoned I 
I feel it here !" placing his hand firmly 
on his forehead — '' Well then, my Lord, 
since it is so, remember, whether I live 
or die, your shame will live for ever, — • 
poison ! poisoned ! — Nay then, in the 
jaws of death I will do an act of jus- 
tice ; you or I shall die, whether I re- 

'^ This is irreverence," said Somerset, 
" and thy speech is raving madness." 

'^ Madness ! the madness of great spi- 
ders, cantharides, sublimate of mercu- 
ry, white arsenic," exclaimed Overbu- 
ry. ^' This was the Lieutenant's care 
for me — his tarts, his partridges, his 
onion-sauce, his jellies, all from my 
Lady Countess!— O God I O God!"— 
" Holy Virgin !" exclaimed Gabriella, 
" do my eyes look on Somerset ; him 
who boasted he had in greatness and in 
power, never adv^anced one of his rela- 
tions to an office of state ; but he would 


only make the fortune of Sir Thomas 
Overbury and his family ? — There are 
others in this plot — I see it all — I would 
believe Somerset almost incapable of 
such wickedness. But, when I review 
his life, the passages between him and 
my loved Knight, the embassage, the 
warrant of his commitment, the keeper 
set over him ; — and, last of all his table 
made a snare — I must believe thee the 
murderer, my Lord !" 

*' 'Sdeath, Madam," exclaimed So- 
merset, "you talk of your Italian com- 
fits for the Court of Rome, where the 
person that intoxicateth the kings of 
the earth, is many times really intox- 
icated and poisoned himself." 

'^ Villain ! to talk so to me," replied 
the noble Gabriella. " Monstrous in- 
gratitude — to take away thy best friend 
in full peace, in God's and the King's 
peace ; and to charge me with think- 
ing harm of my Lord. — Oh ! accursed 

VOL. III. o 


dissembler ! base betrayer [ but thou'lt 
not go unpunished. — See! the ruins thou 
hast made in that brave man. — Behold 
a second Abel : but bear in that black 
heart of thine this appalling truth, though 
poison be easily administered, and thy 
murderous deeds easily concealed for 
a time, it will be hardly prevented and 
hardly discovered." 

'* Elwes? Soho! Elwes? Soho!" cried 
Somerset, " call thy keepers and hurr}' 
this fury into a fit place for a popish 

"No! my Lord," answered Over- 
bury. " If I am the butt of that Jeze- 
bel, the Lady Frances Howard — the 
butt of her malice — the end of her bot- 
tomless mischief — let me suffer all the 
miseries I now believe you capable of 
inflicting on the man that raised you 
to what you are.— Nay, spurn me not 
so, my Lord of Somerset ; turn thy ear 
and listen. With what face could you 


do this ; you who know you owe to 
me all the fortune, wit and understand- 
ing that you have ? Is this the fruit 
of all my care and love for you ? Look 
on my hands palsied and poisoned; my 
frame tottering under your henbane 
and helebore. For murder by violenee, 
princes have guards, and private men 
houses, attendants and arms ; but for 
poison, the cup itself of princes will 
scarce serve in regard of many poisons 
that neither discolour nor distaste ; it 
comes upon a man when he is careless, 
and without suspicion. — From the table 
of thy Lieutenant, my Lord, I have 
been poisoned ; the cup in which thou 
didst pledge me, as it were, contained 
that which hath brought me to the gates 
of death." 

" Overbury, silence, and in thy turn 
listen to me," said Somerset : *^ I con- 
sented to thy imprisonment, to the end 
thou shouldst be no impediment to mv 
o 2 


marriage. You have had proof it was 
against my intention you should be 
a close prisoner. And dost thou ag- 
gravate the breach of friendship be- 
twixt us, as grounds for unfounded sus- 
picion ?" 

" And are these the proofs of your 
innocency, my Lord ?" asked Over- 

" No, Sir Thomas," answered So- 
merset ; '' and if you be incapable of 
hearing reason, and listening, I must 
even leave you ; for I think you had 
never a friend in your life, that you 
would not some time or other fall 
out with and give offence unto. Thine 
enemies termed this insolence ; but I'll 
give it a better name. Hast thou con- 
formed to my wish, and taken the pow- 
der ? If not, give it me, and I'll swal- 
low it in your presence, and prove its 

** My Lord, your behaviour betrays 


you. — I have taken the powder," said 
Overbury. " And was it the fruit of 
common secrets, common dangers? — 
Oh ! Rochester, Rochester !- — Yet this 
shall not serve you. — You and I shall 
soon come to a public trial upon another 
nature : — if I do recover, I have an an- 
tidote beside me, thank God, and I 
will now administer it, I upon the rack, 
and you at your ease ; yet I must say 
nothing* — I am done. If you persist to 
use me thus, assure yourself it shall be 
published and punished. Whether I 
live or die, your shame shall never die, 
but ever remain to the world, to make 
you the most odious man living." 

" Elwes ! Elwes !" said Somerset, 
^' do as I bid — you have done more 
than you can justify, and stand stupid 
and mute: — move slave — you've jug- 
gled with me — I'll lay your back on 
the rack anon. — Fetch thy keepers, I 
o 3 

294 BLIGHTED ambition; OR, 

command thee, and drag that beldame 
to the lowest dungeon of the Fortress." 

" My Lord Somerset/' said Gabri- 
ella, who clung to her husband, " you 
shall have no need to use force— let 

your accomplice lead on 1 follow ; 

and since you seek to play prizes, and 
blazon your name in blood, I joyfully 
add the purple stream that flows in 
my veins to that of my Lord and life." 
— And as Gabriella said these words, 
she flung her arms round Overbury's 
neck, embraced him tenderly, and dis- 
engaging herself, said again — " Lead 
on — I follow." 

" Nay, by my holiday," replied So- 
merset, " but you shall not follow the 
Constable. — If I have erred in permitt- 
ing the confinement of Sir Thomas, 
I will not double my crime by defend- 
ing my fault. — I would serve him and 
you too, only let not your wilfulness 



cause the gates of mercy to be shut 
upon him." 

"What means your Lordship?" asked 
Gabriella, whose eyes streamed tears 
of sorrow. 

" That I would be her friend who 
arraigns my conduct ; and. in the ful- 
ness of her affections for her husband, 
can have no confidence in me/' replied 
Somerset. " Come I into this vault, 
think 'st thou, Lady, to contrive or ex- 
ecute works of darkness? I who can fill 
up vallies, and level mountains ? I who 
can protect the small against the great ? 
Come I hither as upon a stage, mounte- 
bank like, to shew my power to relieve 
thy Lord ? But why should I make 
confession to thee, seeing thou believest 
not it is the strongest foundation where- 
upon justice and mercy may meet. Un- 
less God so dazzle my eyes that truth is 
falsehood, and wrong right, and guilt in- 
nocency, I am thy husband's friend, and 

hine Lady — thou shalt remain here and 


comfort him, or depart in my coaoh, 
and be set down at thine own door." 

" My Lord," replied Gabriella, rais- 
ing her eyes on Somerset, " your speech 
falls on me like sun-beams from hea- 
ven — I lack fortitude to resolve on any 
thing — Oh ! if you speak truth, I could 
write Somerset in sparkling stars around 
the queen of night, that all men might, 
in all times, worship it as truth ;~but 
O God ! if all this be but the smooth 
surface of a sea of trouble ; and you, 
my Lord, deceive me by the delusion of 
your greatness — if you have bewitched 
me by your sorceries, and charms, 
and enchantments, and black arts of 
evil spirits — I will dress me in black 
trammel, a cypress chaperon, a cobweb 
lawn ruiF and cuffs, and sit me down 
in Westminster-Hall till I hear thy 
doom of death, said by the Peers of 
England standing up and bare headed." 

<^ Noble Gabriella," exclaimed Over- 


bury. " Excellent of women ! I will not 
mar my Lord's intention for after pro- 
ceedings to obtain the King's grace and 
favour toward me, by the assault of 
speech.'^ Then turning to Rochester, 
he said — " As no consultation is ripe 
in an hour, I will quietly await my 
release ; only, my Lord, deal fairly by 
me, and I will be no hindrance of your 
marriage and the Lady Frances deute- 
rogamy^ moreover, you shall find me 
the trustiest man about you." 

Somerset now gave command to the 
Lieutenant to see to it, that Sir Tho- 
mas Overbury wanted for nothing — and 
suggested the fitness of a bath, and 
sundry comforts that the place allowed. 
The ease of the Favourite, at this mo- 
ment, his unruffled temper, the self- 
oommand he evinced when most hotly 
pressed by accusations, the blandish- 
ments of his speech, brought this ex- 
traordinary interview to its most ex- 
o 6 


traordinary conclusion ; and Gabriella 
continued, during her pleasure, in the 
apartment of her husband. 

But this result was partly due to the 
singular manner of Gabriella, in whose 
composition dissimulation had no part^ 
and who possessed a mind attuned to 
an extraordinary degree of masculine 
firmness, when extremity called forth 
its exertions. Somerset, at length parted 
from Overbury, leaving the prisoner's? 
mind impressed with a strong belief 
that he was still befriended by the 
Earl, and Gabriella having awaited in 
the Lieutenant's, while an apothecary, 
whom Elwes sent for, had given the 
patient a warm-bath, then came and 
took her leave of him also, under an im- 
pression, that if, indeed, poison had been 
administered to her husband, the Lord 
Somerset was not privy to it. Elwes took 
the precaution on her quitting the For^ 
tress that he had observed when she en- 


tered it, and conducted her out of it 
by the postern, or eastern gate; and 
Gabriella returned to her own house, 
without being seen by any of those 
great persons she left in the Fortress, 
and to whose kind representations she 
was mainly indebted for the sorrow and 
anguish she had that day experienced. 



But to persevere 

In obstinate condolement, is a course 
Of impious stubbornness; 'tis unmanly grief ; 
It shows a will most incorrect to heaven ; 
A heart unfortified, or mind impatient ; 
An understanding simple and unschooled : 

Thrift, thrift Horatio ; — the funeral bak'd naesfs 
Did coldly fornish forth the marriage tables. 


Contrary to the expectations of So- 
merset, and Lady Frances, and before 
the nation had ceased to weep the death 
of Prince Henry, the King announced 
the celebration of the Lady Elizabeth's 
marriage with the Plasgrave. The fu- 
neral of the Prince of Wales was ob- 
served with great state and pomp, in 


the latter end of November, and Christ- 
mas being likely to become an unusu- 
ally dull season at Court, Somerset de- 
termined to furnish amusement at this fes- 
tive season. The King had not greatly 
intermitted the chase of the doe, of which 
he was very fond, and Candlemas was 
fast approaching, when the season for 
this sport would cease. For the grati- 
fication of the Royal Family, the Lord 
Chamberlain, Somerset, proposed a very 
splendid masque on Twelfth Night, 
when, for the first time, the children 
of the revels performed Shakespeare's 
Comedy of What you Will, or Twelfth 
Night*. The King was so transported 

* Mr. Malone, the Commentator on Shakespeare, 
supposes this play to liave been Nvritten in 1614. 
Prince Henry died the 6th of I^ovember, 1612. 
But Miles, in Ben Jonson's '* Every man out of his 
Humour,'' censures Shakespeare';* Twelfth Night, 
at the end of Act III. Scene VI. And I beh'eve 


by mirth and wine, that toward the 
close of the entertainment, he declared 
'' he should on Candlemas-day, when 
the Popish priests were consecrating 
their candles for the year, celebrate 
the marriage of his daughter with the 
Plasgrave, albeit the bridal be kept 
in sable.'* These words fell like the 
ominous response of an astrologer on 
the ears of Somerset. He had buoyed 
himself up with the vain hope that his 
marriage with the Lady Frances should 
be " solemnized on the same day, and at 
the same altar with the Lady Eliza- 
beth's, and the wee wee German lair- 
die." But it is one thing to plan and 
another to execute ; one thing to serve 
and another to command ; and the Fa- 

Jonson's play appeared before the death of Prince 
Henry. It is unnecessary, however, to be chrono- 
logically correct in Romance, which is privileged to 
annihilate time and space in the conduct of its action. 


vourite now found the King as mighty 
in support of prerogative, as he had 
all along been lavish of his bounty to 
Robert Car.— *^ No, Robin, no," said 
James, *' Kings, and Princes that are 
to be Kings, are of God, his represen- 
tatives on earth, to govern his people 
in his stead, to reward the good and 
to punish the bad ; but anent this re- 
quest ye ask, I canna, winna, mauna 
forsake the path o' my predecessors, 
and the example o' a' Kings that ever 
reigned on earth. But we'll make holi- 
day o't for a' that, and be blithe on your 
account, as weel as our ain. The Lady 
Elizabeth's wedding sail be keppit wi' 
great pomp and state, all or the greatest 
part o' the nobility sail be present; we 
sail hae a masque in the banquetting- 
house, the children o' the revels sail, wi' 
a forest o' feathers, twa Provence roses 
on their slashed sheen, ruffs, doublets, 
gloves and good black velvet hose, give 


US a cry o* players ; and the town's folks 
sail hae the spectacle o' three days tilt- 
ing and running at the ring, and all 
other pastimes hoth stately and becom- 
ing the dignity of a King. But devil 
a fardingale sail come to our court, 
for they be rather increased than di- 
minished o' late. An the ladies canna 
come without Spanish popish petticoats, 
they sa' na come awa. By my ma- 
jesty, Somerset, ane kens na' mither 
frae daughter, maid frae wife, when 
their artificer raise them sae, that the 
surcingle o' Pope Joan's cassock wad 
na tie round them — 

They waste mair claith within few years 
Than wad claith fifty score of friars. 

Now Robin ye ken my mind — put forth 
a proclamation anent the guarda infanta 
fardingales ; afid mak a' preparation for 
the wedding." 

The Earl reasoned again with the 


King on the subject of his marri- 
age, but James was immovable. — In 
order, however, to indulge the Fa- 
vourite, he willed Somerset's wedding 
should be on the day following the 
Lady Elizabeth's and the Plasgrave ; 
and as his Majesty took a peculiar plea- 
sure in courting popularity by artifice, 
without striving to secure it by mag- 
nanimity, he bade Somerset to move the 
Gentlemen of Middle Temple, and the 
others of GrayVInn to give the Court 
a couple of masques, while the common 
people should be amused with their fa- 
vourite sports of bear-baiting, bull-bait- 
ing, interludes on week-days, danc- 
ing, arching, leaping, vaulting, morrice- 
dancers and sports to be used after Divine 
service on Sunday. "But, look ye, Robin, 
there be no tobacco used in the smell o' 
my nose, fore were I to invite the devil 
to a dinner, he should hae these three 
dishes ; a pig, a pool o' ling and mus- 


tard, and a pipe of tobacco for di^es- 

^^ Shall I confer with Sir Roger Ash- 
ton, the Lords 'Suffolk, Pembroke and 
Hays," said Somerset, '' on the nup- 
tials ?" 

" By my prerogative Somerset," re- 
plied the King, ' we would see Sir 
Roger — let him be called. — -No, stay, 
we'll wait till he gets free o' that Hogen 
Mogens Tarn Crompton." 

Somerset now wished he had not 
mentionci^ tha name of Sir Roger, but 
the King onoe set upon any project, 
took great pleasure in going through 
with it, especially when it regarded the 
ceremonies of his court, the dress of 
those who surrounded him, and the 
style of his table, his mews, his studs, 
and hound-kennels. — Sir Roger, who 
caught the King's eye bent on him, 
made up to his Majesty. '' Ah, Sir 
Roger !" said the King, '' thou's a man 


bred in courts, exercised in business, 
stored in observation, and confident in 
thy knowledge ; now sans preface, sans 
introduction, depend on thy memory, 
and draw from thy ken useful counsel 
anent the bridal o' Bess." 

Sir Roger with much precision la- 
mented the paucity of his knowledge 
in retrospection, and confessed his ig- 
norance in foresight ; and then detailed, 
with all the properties of superficial 
eloquence, the various particulars of 
this weighty affair. 

" Good," said the King, " good. Sir 
Roger, but I lack my table-books, and 
maun hae all thy wit noted in short 
memoranda, and all thy sparkling sen- 
tences set down, as the gems o' Doctor 
Laud's preachments on a Sunday." 

Somerset felt now more piqued than 
before ; for Sir Roger was a character 
of manners, resembling those of Polo- 


nius, superficial, accidental and acquired; 
and he was positive and confident, in 
the Favourite's presence, for the King 
had encouraged him. " Would your 
Grace deign," said Sir Roger ; — "I have 
a daughter — The Lady Elizabeth — Will 
it please your Majesty — " 

" You have a daughter," interrupted 
the King; — "So have I; — what wouldst 
thou, Roger V 

" The Queen, your Majesty," — re- 
plied Ashton, " the Queen's Grace, I 
propine hath solicited your Majesty?" 

James, who affected ignorance of 
the topic, the Knight was aiming at, 
replied, " the Queen's Grace hath a fa- 
vour to beg? Good, it shall be granted." 

" That my daughter shall be one of 
the Maids of Honour to the Lady Eliza- 
beth," said the Knight, somewhat em- 

^* And what will we do wi' her gaK 


lant ?" said the King. " He's a bon- 
ny son o' a beautiful and provident mi- 

"The Queen's Grace for Master 
Villiers prays your Majesty," said Anne, 
who at this moment joined the group, 
'^ that the gallant, blooming one-and- 
twenty be the King's cup-bearer." 

Somerset, who had already had proof 
of his Majesty's partiality in favour of 
this young gentleman, concealed with 
much difficulty the emotions which 
arose in his mind, as he heard Queen 
Anne ask this place for Villiers, but it 
required all the apathy he could mus- 
ter to keep him calm, when the King 
replied : — 

" Fair Princess, since you will it so, 
let Master Villiers be our cup-bearer. 
And pray good Sir Roger Ashton, is 
the young gallant in waiting on our 
Lady Queen ?" The gentleman of the 
bed-chamber bowed, and the Sovereign 


added, " Let him be called before us 

Sir Roger who had now achieved 
his heart's desire, very soon handed 
young Villiers up to the royal stance. 
The young gentleman's engaging figure 
struck the King instantaneously with 
a strong liking towards him, and draw- 
ing his sword from its sheath, James 
laid it over the shoulder of the aspi- 
rant, saying, " rise" — ' George Villiers' 
whispered Ashton in the Monarch's ear^, 
for the King paused at a loss for the 
name. — '^ Rise, Sir George Villiers, and 
do knight service among our equites 

" Go, Sir Knight,'* said the Queen, 
" surpass in silks and dress, and use en- 
signs armorial, that our milites of yes- 
terday may know thy family is of four 
hundred years standing." And as the 
Queen said these words, she looked hard 
in the face of Somerset. The Earl was 


about to make some observation, but 
the Queen checked his utterance by 
asking him, — " Lord Somerset, can you 
tell me why my interference for Sir 
Walter Raleigh should be fruitless? I 
have drank his cordial, and esteem it : 
Prince Henry, in his last illness, took 
it, but though it brought on a respi- 
ration, nature was too much spent for 
profiting by the crisis." 

" So please your Majesty," answered 
Somerset, '* I have seen Raleigh, and 
go to-morrow to the Lord Cobham." 

"What signifies it ?" asked the King, 
" we are soon going to send Raleigh 
to fetch hame a mountain o' goud frae 
the Indies." 

" But it will be a satisfaction," an- 
swered the Queen, " and I promised 
the Prince, that's dead and gone, I 
should labour the release of this cava- 
lier, and the justification of his name." 


*' By the rood, your Grace has be- 
come a politician,'* said James. ^* The 
release of that cavalier comes like a 
jubar from our crown." And as the 
King said this, he called for a song 
from one of the children of the revels, 
who, by command of the Master of the 
Ceremonies, sung from a very merry and 
pithy comedy entitled, " The Longer 
thou Livest the more Fool thou Art." 

*' There was a mayde come out of Kent, 

Deintie love, Deintie love ; 
There was a mayde come out of Kent, 
Daungerous Bee. 

There was a mayde come out of Kent, 
Fair and proper, small and gent, 
Ae ever upon the ground ywent, 

For so should it bee'' — 

The Sovereign approved of the ditty, 
and declared that '' Moros, though coun- 
terfeiting a vain gesture, and a foolish 
countenance, was, withal, an excellent 


chorister, and should hae abundance o' 
Christmas ale in honour of St. Ste'en.'' 

Somerset, on retiring for the night, felt 
more perplexed than he had ever been 
in his life ; and his embarrassment, his 
chafed spirits, his knit brow, escaped 
not the piercing eye of the Master of 
Horse. " My Lord^ you are unwell/' 
said Coppinger. 

" Indifferently so, Coppinger/' re- 
plied the Earl. 

" But why should your Grace be 
moved that the King has given Viliiers 
a blow with his throttle-snaker ?'' asked 
the Master of Horse. 

" Ah ! Coppinger, it's a long lane 
that has no turning," replied the Earl. 

" True," answered Coppinger; "^^ but 
can he that puts on his harness, boast 
himself like him that casts it off?" 

"^ By St. Androis, my Master of 
Horse, thou lookest upon this Viliiers 
as a favourite/' said the Earl. 

VOL. III. p 

314 BLIGHTED ambition; OR, 

" He shall not be so long, an this 
hand hold its nerve," replied the Mas- 
ter of Horse, 

" Fulfil thou that speech," said So- 
merset, hastily, "and, by the Powers 
that guard us, I'll enrich thee with as 
much land as thou mayst on it set up 
thine own chase with store of game. 
But I would this night see Lord Cob- 
ham? Knowest thou his residence?" 

" Your Lordship will require your 
litter, or carosse," answered Coppinger, 
*^the poor old Lord's in the East, living 
I know not how. Shall we to horse ?" 

Somerset replied in the affirmative, 
and in the dead of the night was con- 
ducted by his guide through the city 
into the Minories. '^ Where am I led 
into ?" asked the Earl. *^ Are we go- 
ing down to St. Katherine's ?" 

" No, my Lord," replied Coppinger, 
" the lodging of Cobham is ha^d by 
now," — and in a few minutes more, 


the Master of Horse knocked loudly at 
the door of a mean dwelling. 

^' Wha routs sae steevely, we that 
dirdum, at this mirk hour o' a hurloch 
nicht ?" said a shrill voice from an upper 

^' Dark it is cummer/' answered Cop- 
pinger, *^ and cloudy to boot. Take 
your claiths about ye^ granny, you're 
not going to be herryed, and hie ye 
down tenty : here's a gowpen fu' o' 
siller for ye." 

" Wha are ye that hight goud/' said 
the voice from within ;— " come ye as 
friend and hamely ?" 

" Its Coppinger, cummer, and a friend 
o' the Lord's/' answered the Master of 

Scarcely had the man said these words, 
when a tall spare old woman opened 
the door. Of clothes she had on no- 
thing save her scanty chemise, and a 
petticoat drawn up to her chest with 
p 2 


one hand, while the other held an iron 
cruse of oil, in which there burned dim- 
ly a rush-wick. " O ! Mister Coppin- 
ger, but ye maun yearn muckle to see 
the puir Lord, to come at this time o' 
nicht. But it's yule time. Wha's this 
yeman or gent wi' you ? I hae been 
wakerife a' nicht for the puir carl wras- 
lin wi' an unsousy whaisling i' his craig.'' 

Coppinger put some pieces of silver 
into the old woman's hand, and bid- 
ding her give him the light, ascended a 
ladder that conducted to the upper 
floor of the dwelling. ^' Take care, my 
Lord," said the Master of Horse, as 
he looked down, " there are two rounds 

" My Lord, my Lordf" exclaimed 
the old woman. " They've come to 
redd me o' my preve charge at last— 
O hon ! that it were the scrich o' day. 
But that wad na' suit the pawkie aunters 
o' that dackerin chield, Coppinger." 


" My Lord, Lord Cobham;' said 
Coppinger, taking the hand of the old 
nobleman, '^ open your eyes." 

Lord Cobham raised himself on his 
elbow, and looked up. — '' Master Cop- 
pinger, is it you ?"— said the dying man. 

'^ Troth and it is every inch of me 
above ground yet, my Lord," said the 
Master of Horse. Then turning to So- 
merset, '^ See here, my Lord, this an- 
cient nobleman's as good as dead in 
this lousie hole of a chamber, and dy- 
ing, 'fore God, for want of apparel to 
keep him warm, or medicine to minis- 
ter a potion." 

" Lord, what Lord comes here ?'" 
asked Cobham. 

'' Somerset," answered the Earl, *' 1 
have come to ask one question of Lord 

" Propound your query, my Lord 
Earl," answered Lord Cobham. 
p 3 


" Did you ever at any time accuse 
Sir Walter Raleigh of treason under 
your hand ?" asked Somerset. 

'^ Never, nor could I/' answered 
Cobham. " That villain, Wade, did 
often solicit me, and not prevailing, 
got me, by a trick, to write my name 
upon a piece of white paper, which I, 
thinking nothing, did ; so that the charge 
which the Attorney- General, Coke, said 
came under my hand, was forged by 
that villain Wade, by writing some- 
thing above my hand, without my con- 

" Did you say this to Lennox and 
Salisbury when they questioned you in 
the Tower ?" asked Somerset. 

" True, I did," answered Cobham ; 
" I never wrote any thing to accuse 
Raleigh, — I said many foolish things 
that Cecil took as good as accusations 
and proofs : but — " 


" Equivocating scoundrels!" exclaimed 
Somerset, " treason and traitors in all 
the turnings and windings." 

'' You see how miserable is my abode," 
said Cobham : " this poor woman that 
was formerly my laundresse gives me a 
lodgement in her poor hostelrie; and 
I that had seven thousand pounds per 
annum, and a personal estate of thirty 
thousand, have been now for many a 
weary day relieved by scraps brought 
me by a trenchman. Thirty thousand, 
my Lord, and seven thousand a year, 
of all which the King was cheated, of 
what should be escheated to him." 

" Buy thee food with this," said So- 
merset, giving Cobham a purse of no- 
bles; — and descending the ladder, he 
left the dwelling of this unfortunate 
nobleman — doubting the truth of the 
report which he had heard. 

'* Coppinger," said the Earl, when 
he had breathed the free air a few 


seconds ; '^ Coppinger, how the devil 
do you know every place and every 
person's abode so ?" 

" Great men have their Masters of 
Horse, and bravos and spies : I have 
an informer worth a thousand — I have 
acted the gypsy before King James, I 
have been astrologer to great ones now 
no more, and it's odd if a man that has 
gone through his own fortune, and all 
he could get as knight of the post till 
your Lordship took pity on him, should 
not know as much of the world as 
either Bluff Ben, or Mad Will ?" 

" True, bully Knight," answered So- 
merset. ^^ What thinkst thou of Roger 
Ashton, our Master of the Robes ?" 

'' As much as I think of that liar 
Anthony Welldon, at the Board of 
Green Cloth, or that cheat-the-gallows, 
Compton," replied the bravo. 

" What has Compton done to offend 
thee ?" asked Somerset. 


" He is husband of Villiers' mother/' 
replied Coppinger ; " and an that ben't 
offence enough, may I never ruffle in 
your Lordship's quarrels." 

" Rank offence," answered Somerset. 

" As rank as Cobham's," observed 
Coppinger, 'Ho insinuate the five states- 
men of his Majesty cheated the crown 
out of his thirty thousand pounds ; and 
his freamething wife brimming away 
with her gallants, and wont so much 
as give him the crumbs that fall from 
her table, albeit she is rich, and he in re- 
straint and infidel poverty.'' 

To this observation Somerset turned a 
deaf ear, and demanded, " What there 
had been done lately in respect of 
Overbury ?" 

" So jolease you, nothing," replied 
Coppinger, "but an it be your will, 
the coroner shall have work anon. — 
The braggart Billy Weston — " 

" What of him, Sir ?" asked.the Earl, 
p 5 


" Nought," replied Coppinger, pee- 
vishly^ '* only he's going to put on a 
greasy shirt, sling a musket over his 
shoulder^ stick a Dutch knife in his belt, 
and take service with David Samms." 

*^ What ! going to become a bucca- 
neer ?" '' Even so," answered the Mas- 
ter of Horse, " he's got an affair of 
bastardy on his hands, and they do say 
he must scamp for another matter." 

" God send him a good deliverance; 
but Master Coppinger, art thou not 
yet going to splice with Mistress Tur- 
ner ? There's a warm fire-side for you." 

'' No faith," replied the Master of 
Horse; and as Somerset turned his nag's 
head into St. Martin's le Grand, Cop- 
pinger said, " Thank God I'll get rest 
in the Charter-House to-night. — Good, 
my Lord, the old Gar9on and I will sing 

Tom o' Lyn and his wife, and his wife's mother, 
They went o'er the bridge all three together, 
The bridge was broken, they all fell in, 
The devil go with jUI, quoth Tom o' Lyn.'' 


Somerset did arrive at the Charter- 
House^ the residence of the Earl of 
Suffolk, and ere he left it on the fol- 
lowing day, arrangements were made 
for his marriage with Lady Frances 

Coppinger, however, on that morn- 
ing could not be found ; he had spent 
the evening very jollily with the old 
Gargon, as he termed the Earl of Suf- 
folk's butler ; and all that was known 
of him was, that he had gone to rest 
in a remote part of the building, that 
bad once been the cells of the lay 
Carthusian brethren. Lady Frances 
dispatched Weston in quest of Coppin- 
ger, to Mistress Turner's, in Paternos- 
ter-Row ; but the Master of Horse had 
not been there. Weston bethought 
himself of Franklin's shop in Fleet- 
Street, and thither he repaired, where, 
indeed, he found Coppinger. 

" Come along, bully stirrup-holder," 


said the Page^ " your Lord's in a fint? 
pother ; for the love of God put od 
sobriety, and come along." 

" Beshrew me. Master wild bull- 
shooter, an thou ben't as polite as an 
offender in the bilboes — I drunk, var- 
let ? — Wouldst keep me fasting, duck 
me at the yard-arm, keel hawl me, 
flogg me at the capstane, hang weights 
round my neck till my heart be ready 
to break, gagg me, scrape my tongue 
for blasphemy ? —I go, young buck.'' 

" See," said Weston, as the comrades 
came down Fleet-Street, "there's a pic- 
ture will match Zucchero's Pope's asses. 
— Marry an it ben't painted with Mas- 
ter Ketel's toes." 

" 'Sdeath, ' Drown the Jew' it's the 
Lord Somerset's picture," said Coppin- 
ger. — " I see so," replied the other, 
"• that wild performer Cornelius Ketel, 
I tell thee, must have painted this after 
he laid aside his brushes^ and daubed 


lord's faces with his fingers alone, and 
their fair bosoms with his stinking toes." 

" Marry my Master, but it's the Lord 
Somerset's picture, painted by Nicho- 
las Billiard," replied Coppinger. 

'' And that beside it is the portrait of 
young Mockson, painted by the Scot- 
tish limner, George Jamieson," said the 
Page.^ — " Look ye, Master Coppinger, 
look ye, an your Lord's picture ben't 
laughed at by the white-livered loons 
over the way." 

Coppinger saw this affront offered to 
his Lord, as well as Weston, and spring- 
ing nimbly across the street " Halloo, 
my Masters !" he cried, " who be you 
that have privilege to laugh in day- 
light ?" 

"As good a man as that Lord on 
canvas any day. I am an Englishman, 
and that's more than he can brag," — 
replied one of the men who had been 


deriding the dress and countenance of 

*' Thou'rt a caitiff trader in insolence/^ 
said Coppinger, adding*, " take that bully 
Englishman/' and he hit the man a 
sound box on the face. '^ Now in what 
Lord's name dost thou ruffle ?" 

The man, who was much stunned by 
the blow, stooped hastily to the ground, 
seized a handful of dirt, flung it on the 
painting of Somerset, and drew his 
sword, exclaiming, " Infamous ruffian ! 
— have at thee — Coppinger is imprinted 
on thy bully tongue," — and as the man 
said this he made a pass at the Master of 
Horse ; but Weston having on the 
moment drawn his rapier, twirled the 
stranger's sword out of his han^l, and 
thereby saved the life of his comrade, 
who must otherwise have been run 
through, as he had not his arms in mo- 
tion to defend himself. Several of the 


other persons now surrounded the com- 
batants, and they all took part with the 
man that had been hit, and each of them 
in his turn hurling a handful of dirt on 
the portrait of Somerset, while that of 
Villiers, which hung beside it, remained 

" My Masters," said Weston, " an 
ye ruffle in young Mockson's name, 
we'll take ye by pairs in the White 
Friars, a more convenient spot to de- 
cide the merits of our Masters." 

'* 'Sdeath," exclaimed Coppinger, 
drawing his sword ; ''the ground's good 
enough, and the cause of Somerset 

" But the peace of the city is better 
than all," said a Marshalman coming 
up, and all parties recognized the im- 
portance of blue jacket and red cuffs, 
*' Put up your blades, and go west o' 
Temple Bar, an ye be the scavengers 
o' court Lords." 


" Aye," said another Marshalman^ 
*' ayond the Bar ye pravoes ; he that 
lets us in our duty, Fll flounder him 
with mv truncheon." 

It was in vain that Coppinger and 
Weston strove to explain, in boisterous 
terms, " the affront that had been put 
upon the Lord Chamberlain of Eng- 
land;" the only redress they got was 
from the picture-dealer, who bringing 
out a pail of water, dashed it on Somer- 
set's portrait. The Page's rage now 
knew no bounds, he took up a handful 
of mud to bespatter the portrait of 
Villiers, but the artist dared him, and 
placed himself before the painting, say- 
ing to the Marshalmen, " My Masters, 
the city is much bound to God and 
his deputy on earth, the Lord Mayor, 
your master ; wherefore, grant/ deliver- 
ance to me and my wares, and your jus- 
tice shall shine as a lanthorn to shew these 
serving men home to their butteries." 


The roar of laughter that followed 
this address of the artist, so offended 
Coppinger that he merely said in re- 
ply — " Malcontent, Recusant, or Puri- 
tan, you'll answer for this in the Star- 
Chamber. — Come along, my Master/' 
he added, addressing Weston, " that 
speech of the canting knave is as good 
a prayer as he could utter, en la cham- 
bre des esteilles, to go to Heaven by." 

When these wranglers had reached 
Ludgate, Weston addressed his friend, 
saying, " Well, Coppinger, ye see it's 
high time for me to tramp. Til lose 
this tongue in Barbary, an the prophecy 
of that mad devil Bruce come not true 
after all. — I laughed at Villiers as a 
mockson — But thinkst thou all these 
bravoes, and lusty knaves they were 
too, none o' them under fourteen stone, 
aren't paid by the Herbert's, Hartford's, 
Bedford's, the Earl of Essex, and some 
others, to bring in Villiers to the notico 


of the tailors, and cobblers, and black- 
smiths and grubby rabbling mob of this 
purse-proud city ? 'Sdeath, Coppin- 
ger, take my advice, and put another 
string to thy bow." 

" An he be thus backt," replied the 
Master of Horse, '* the new Favourite 
need not borrow, nor seek out many 
bravoes to second his quarrels. He's 
made cup-bearer to the King, and he'll 
have the upper end of the table, at 
the reversion of the King's diet, dur- 
ing his monthly waiting ; now an we 
could set him out of his mouth, when 
it's not his due, my Lord of Somerset 
shall remove him with that overmuch 
kindness these damned Marshalmen have 
hoisted us adrift." 

" To-day," said Weston, " Suffolk 
and Somerset, and all the council dine 
with the King and Queen at Denmark- 
House, and I'll bet you this purse Vil- 
liers is there," said the Page. ^' An he 
be, I'll play him a trick." 


As Weston prophesied, Villiers was 
indeed at table, and the Page by 
chance, rather than by design, spilt 
some gravy upon the young Favourite's 
clothes, as he carried a haunch of doe- 
venison to the table. Villiers, without 
knowing the etiquette of the table, at 
which the King of England sits, took 
occasion when dinner was over, to give 
Weston a box on the ear, in presence 
of the Sovereign. 

" Marry, but this is an high offence," 
said Somerset. 

." Sir George Villiers is a young man, 
and a younger courtier, my Lord of 
Somerset," interrupted the King. Then 
turning to the rising Favourite, his Ma- 
jesty said, " Know ye not, Sir George 
Villiers, the punishment of your offence 
is, to have your hand, that dealt the 
blow in our presence, cut off?" 

" Yes," added the Queen, " and it 
belongs to the puissant Earl of Somer- 


set, our Liege's Lord Chamberlain, to 
prosecute the execution, as he hath 

^^By my holiday," continued the 
King, " but we shall exercise our pre- 
rogative, and pardon this juvenis miles." 

" Without any satisfaction ?" said 
the Queen. 

"Our word hath gone forth, royal 
Lady," answered James. 

" And now indeed," said Somerset 
to himself, " all the browse boughs are 
cut down to the plain stem, and the 
budding Favourite appears like a pro- 
per palm." 

The reflection of Somerset was founded 
in truth ; as the time arrived for the 
celebration of the Lady Elizabeth's 
marriage with the Palsgrave, Villiers 
rose daily into more favour. But So- 
merset was the man without whom 
James enjoyed few social hours, and 
by whose advice the greater num* 


ber of his actions were now of late 
regulated, if indeed they did not ori- 
ginate with the Earl. The royal mar- 
riage was a most splendid entertain- 
ment, kept with pomp and magnifi- 
cence, the nobility of the land vying 
with each other in the splendour of 
their dresses and equipages, the num- 
ber of their gorgeously decked retain- 
ers, whom they crowded their palaces 
with in London. The marriage too^ 
of Somerset and Lady Frances Howard 
was attended by the numerous friends, 
both noble and great, of the Favourite, 
and the House of Howard ; and King- 
James kept his word, honouring the 
ceremony with his presence, and en- 
gaging in the banquet, and masque that 
followed, with all the life and spirit 
which his late loss would permit. 



1 see thy glory, like the shooting star, 
Fall to the base earth from the firmament ! 
Thy sun sets weeping in the lowly west, 
Witnessing storms to come, woe, and unrest: 
Thy friends are fled, to wait upon thy foes; 
And crossly to thy good all fortune goes. 

King Richard ii. 

On the day of the Lady Elizabeth's 
marriage, the honour of knighthood 
was conferred upon a vast number of 
persons, whom the Favourites of James 
recommended for that honour. Among 
these Elwes, the Lieutenant of the 
Tower, was dubbed Sir Jervaise. On 
the morning following the bridal of 
Somerset, Sir Jervaise waited on the 


Earl of Northampton, and announced 
the death of Sir Thomas Overbury. 

'* Dead !" exclaimed Northampton, 
^^ and what measures hast ^thou taken 
with the body ?" 

" My experience cannot direct me," 
answered the Lieutenant, " therefore 
came I to your Lordship ; it is usual to 
have a prisoner's body viewed by a jury 
and the coroner ; — but this is so very 
ugly to look upon — I fear — I fear — " 

"Banish fear!" answered Northamp- 
ton, " and call Sir John Lidcote, my 
special friend, and some of his rare 
friends to view it ; and so soon as it 
is viewed, without staying the coming 
of a messenger from the court, in any 
case see it interred in the body of the 
chapel, within the Tower, instantly, 
considering the humours of that damned 
crew in your custody, that only desire 
means to move pity and raise scandals." 

" But my Lord of Somerset," said 


Elwes, *' or some special friends of 
Overbury ; were they to come and grace 
his funeral^ all suspicion would be lulled." 

'* Stuff and buckram!" exclaimed 
Northampton. '^ My Lord of Somer- 
set rise from his bridal-bed to go in a 
style of hypocritical ambiguity, hold- 
ing a mourning kerchief to his eyes at 
the grave of that damned corpse !" 

" Overbury's relations, — Lady Ga- 
briella, his father, now a justice in 
Wales, his cousins, and the benchers 
of the Temple, who have come almost 
daily to the gale to inquire after his 
health. ; — they will all want to see the 
body, and be at the funeral." 

'^ I will free you from their interven- 
tion," replied the Earl, and he accord- 
ingly sat down and wrote an epistle, 
which is still extant, expressive of " Lord 
Rochester's desire to attend the funeral 
of his deceased friend, but fearing the 
unsweetness of the body, in keeping it 


above, must needs ^ive more offence 
than its speedy interment, his Lordship 
desires Sir Jervaise will do that which 
is best." — " My fear is also/' said the 
conspirator in conclusion of his letter, 
" that the body is already viewed upon 
that cause whereof I write, which be- 
ing so, is too late to set out solemnity." 
Having thus penned an epistle excul- 
patory, the Earl added a postscript 
lacrininal, which is also extant, and says, 
*^ you see my Lord's earnest desire, 
with my concurring care that all re- 
spect may be had to him, that may be 
for the credit of his memory," &c. 

'' And now, Sir Jervaise," said Nor- 
thampton, '*let no man's instance move 
you to stay in any case, and bring me 
this letter when I next see you." 

The Lieutenant, promising dispatch 
and obedience, took his leave, and just 
as he departed, a serving-man entered, 
and announced to the Earl that Lord 

TOL. III. n 


Somerset's Master of Horse desired an 
audience. '' Let him be admitted/' said 
the Earl, and in brief space, Coppin- 
ger walked into the cabinet of Nor- 

" 'Sblood, my Lord, some passion 
shakes your frame?" said the Master 
of Horse ; " my fear interprets your 
liordship knows he's dead." 

" Most finished Prince of Saxonie«<, 
thou'st stomach for*t all, I see," replied 
the Earl.—" What wouldst thou ?'' 

" All that's done is marred, my Lord," 
said the Master of Horse, *^ if that 
demi-devil, Elwes, have privilege to 
call the coroner, Lidcote, to view the 

* Alluding to the *' History of the famous Enor- 
camus, Prince of Denmark, with the strange adsefl- 
tures of lago, Prince of Saxony/' a Romance that 
was popular in the reign of James, and from which 
Shakespeare borrowed the name of the most nialig- 
aanit villain our imagination can think of. — Ed. 


" I've given him orders for't, and 
my hand to boot, suggesting Somer- 
set's desires for a public funeral, but 
adding a sulficient apology for evading 
my request," said the Howard, 

*' I must outwit the pernicious caitiff, 
my Lord, or were the hairs on our 
heads lives, they'd all be too few to 
satiate the public revenge. We are 
ensnared soul and body if a jury sit 
on the carcase of that damned viper. — 
Shall I, my Lord Earl, send Lid cote 
to my Lord Somerset speedily, and 
then hasten to the Tower, and make 
that grim ice-heart, the Lieutenant, en- 
tomb it forthwith, and pretend when 
all's over, the corpse wouldn't tarry 
the coroner ?" 

" Thy counsel savours of a mind 
gardened by industry and care of thy 
friends," said the Earl; "go and do 
as thou wilt, Coppinger." 

^* The knaves whom it concerns me 
Q 2 


to assist may be idle, my Lord, and 
oiie can't make them answerable to his 
commands without gold, and this purse 
is light, very light, my Lord." 

" Here, take this bag of nobles," said 
the Earl, '' and from it put money in 
thy purse." 

" My Lord, I must fee a starveling 
curate to say the service of the dead, 
belike he'll look for a small purse him- 
self, and to knit him to our deserving 
with cables of perdurable toughness, I'll 
fill this other marsupium," said Cop- 
pinger, taking from his pouch another 
purse, somewhat smaller than the one 
he had filled from the bag, which the 
Earl laid on the table. " Now, my 
Lord Earl, your further commands ?" 

" Briefly these ; fail not a jot herein, 
as you love your friends/' said the 
Earl, squeezing the hand of his super- 
subtle agent. 

Goppinger's first business was to dis- 


patch to Theobald's, Sir John Lid- 
cote^ on a fool's errand to Somerset ; his 
next to proceed to the Tower, where 
he arrived just as Weston and Elwes 
were conferring about the coroner and 
his jury. 

^' Come, my Masters^ come/' said Cop- 
pinger, on entering the prison-cell of the 
dead, — " an ye be hatching hypocrisy 
Against the devil, why get ye not a 
parson, like a raven o'er the infected 
house? 'Sblood, Master Elwes, send 
for Sir John Lidcote, the coroner. ^ — 
Let a jury of knaves be sworn from 
the arrant barbarians of St. Katherine's 
— and hasten to impinguate God's earth 
with this cashiered lawyer's corpse, 
• whose soul's billited with imparadised 
Prince Henry's. — Soft, some one knocks 
— See who it is." 

Weston opened the door of the cell — 
It was Gabriella — '' Ah ! Lady," said 
Coppinger, *^^ you come too late !" 
Q 3 


'' Heaven forgive me ! — Dead ! — my 
Lord, my life, dead !" exclaimed Ga- 
briel la, clasping her hands, and shrink- 
ing back from the horrid spectacle be- 
fore her—for the corpse of her husband 
was too disagreeable to look upon, and 
the place was noisome beyond her en- 

" Even so," said Elwes — and the 
Master of Horse added : — " Lady, I am 
here by Lord Somerset's command to 
see the rites of sepulture done — this 
is too masculine to be commended in 
a woman ; but come, you are unwell, 
and catching her in his arms, he hur- 
ried the fainting Gabriella out of the 
cell, and carried her to an adjacent 
room.-- " Soho, soho, Weston," called 
Coppinger, and the turnkey came to 
the bravo's assistance. " Now man," 
continued the villain, " if thou wouldsfc 
no longer be a toad, and live upon the 
vapour of these dungeons, take this 
purse, and find me gome clerk who' 


sinned with Peter, but not wept wi' 
him, and who'll say the burial service, 
and enter the name of the departed m 
the chapel register." 

" But in what state is the Lady Ga- 
briella V asked Weston. " Were it not 
well she were looked to ?'* 

" Get thee gone ; do as I bid ; and 
leave the fair devil to me ; I shall de- 
vise some charm for this callet/* and as 
the Master of Horse said these words, 
he entered the apartment into which 
he had but a minute before carried Ga- 

Gabriella was now recovering from 
the sudden giddiness or swoon, she had 
been seized with, and opening her eyes 
said in a feeble tone — " When, when 
did my Lord die ?" 

" This morning at five/' replied Cop- 
pinger, "^ and the Lord Somerset on 
the instant he learned of his death, 
which was even ere he rose from his 


bridal-bed^ dispatched me to see those 
honours paid the deceased, which his 
virtues merit, and the friendship of the 
Earl prescribe. Rise, Lady, rise, there 
is nought here to tempt delay ; give 
me your hand, and let me conduct you 
hence. A reverend Monk has made dili- 
gent inquiry for you. — Let us begone." 

'' Begone !" repeated Gabriella,^' said 
you not you were commissioned to see 
Lord Somerset's pleasure fulfilled ? Be- 
gone if need be, but here I will stay 
and do the last offices to my deceased 

" The corpse is even now in the cha- 
pel," said Coppinger, " and you would 
not, by unnecessary grief, disturb the 
funeral service?" 

" How now ? how now V said Billy 
Weston, entering the apartment breath- 
less. '' 'Sdeath, but I have run as an 
I were outstripping the grave. — Ah!— 
The Lady of Sir Thomas Overbury ! 


Madam, why inch ye out the day here, 
when all is done for the dead the living 
can do, save to render to mother earth 
her due ? — Let us bear the Lady to 
the Earl of Northampton's barge/' — 
And while the presence and language of 
Weston deprived Gabriella of speech 
and action, the two villains carried her 
down the stairs to the Traitor's-Gate, 
and seated her in a covered barge that 
rowed swiftly down the river. At 
Greenwich the unfortune Gabriella was 
landed, and conducted, almost senseless, 
to an adjoining mansion that Northamp- 
ton had built. There, indeed, she found 
Father Francis and the Earl, who with 
much sauvity of manners, apologised 
for the treatment he had shewn to Ga- 
briella, on a former occasion, but as- 
cribing it all to his duty as a Privy 
Counsellor, and being aided by the per- 
suasive and authorative intercession of 
the Monk, the Howard succeeded in 
Q 5 


gaining the belief of Gabriella to his 
protestations of regret for the past, and 
professions of friendship for the future. 

" Daughter," said the Monk, " the 
noble Earl is our staunehest friend in 
England ; nor in Europe has the Ca- 
tholic and true religion a more devoted 
member. By his means I have visited 
this country, and now return to Italy. 
Believe me, daughter, our Church will 
not lack the arm of pov/er in Britain when 
Prince Charles comes to the throne." 

*^ But what am I to understand by 
all this?" asked Gabriella, Then burst- 
ing into tears, she sobbed out — " My 
husband ! O ! my husband ! — Where 
am I ? It was but now I entered the 
Tower and saw him — dead! — Holy Vir- 
gin! give me strength. Father Fiancis, 
is it you ?" 

" It is, daughter," replied the Monk, 
" in charity have I sought you, and 
hither I have been privately conducted 


that I might see you ere I quitted 
England. But a strange — " the Monk 
paused, for Gabriella was too much 
overcome to support herself^ even in 
a chair. — " Help ! Help !" said the 
Monk.—" My Lord Earl, let some 
female be called ; the luckless Gabriella 
is ill indeed." A female did come^ and 
Gabriella was then carried to another 
apartment, and every comfort afforded 
her. By degrees she recovered, and 
through the persuasions of Father Fran- 
cis, agreed to accompany him home to 
Italy ; and pass the residue of her days 
in that convent, in which she had for- 
merly determined to take the veil. 
Unfortunate Gabriella! she had loved 
to distraction, and at first sight too; and 
Overbury for some time cherished for her 
a warm and constant attachment ; but 
his mind was not formed for love, and 
his life, since he returned to England, 
was passed in tha turmoil of intrigue 


v/ith Somerset, and the coarse revefe 
of the court of James, or his Favou- 
rite. Gabriella, though known as the 
wife of Sir Thomas, was never honoured 
as such by those who honoured him ; 
— for the general belief was that she 
had eloped with him ; nor was she 
treated by him with the recompence 
of fond affection, and that public ac- 
knowledgment of her rights, which 
would have secured to her an honour, 
able reception from her sex. She saw 
no company at her ow^n home, and 
her punctilious devotion to the rites 
of the Catholic Church, rendered her 
contemptuous in the eyes of the Pro- 
testant dames, who revelled it at White- 
hall, the ancient palace of Cardinal 
Wolsey, at Denmark House, and in 
the sumptuous mansions of the Eng- 
lish, by whom her husband was courted, 
merely because he was the factotum, 
the Alpha and Omega, of the Favou- 


rite, Somerset. With these circum- 
stances before us, need we wonder that 
when events occurred, calculated to call 
forth the whole of that soul^ which oc- 
casionally shone in Gabriella, she should 
act with a conduct that bordered on 
masculine coolness and female apathy, 
rcither than >vith the glow of passion 
so conspicuous in a wife, when all she 
holds dear, is placed in peril, and 
brought to death ? The language too 
which Northampton poured into Father 
Francis's ear, set the good man's heart 
against the very name of Overbury ; 
and the Monk Vv^as thereby the more 
urgent in his endeavours to bear off to 
a cloister a being so vv^ell calculated to 
do honour to its austerities as was Ga- 

When the Earl of Northampton had 
disposed of the Monk and Gabriella, 
he returned to London by water^ stop- 
ping in his voyage at the Tower_, to 

350 BLIGHTED ambition; OR, 

confer with Sir Jervaise Elwes^ as to 
the best means of promulgating a re- 
port, which fomid believers enow to 
give it the desired effect. "■ Sir Jer- 
vaise/' said the Earl, " you will give 
out that Overbury died of a foul 
disease, contracted by his excess of las- 
civiousness ;— add to it also, that God 
is gracious in cutting off ill instruments 
before their time ;— it will set the Pu- 
ritans on to tax his memory with great 

The report of Northampton and the 
Lieutenant cf the Tower, met vvith 
believers, though there were a few" that 
doubted it, and principally because no 
coroner's inquest had viewed the body, 
and returned a verdict, according to 
the judgment of Englishmen in all 
such cases. Somerset, however, did 
not feel easy after the death of Over- 
bury, and though his power combined 
with that of Northampton's, was effec- 


tual in silencing those who attempted 
to question the truth of the report, that 
Overbiiry died through excess of debau- 
chery ; the Earl became pensive and dull, 
his wonted mirth forsook him, his coun- 
tenance was cast down and sullen, and 
he took not that felicity in company, 
which he was wont to enjoy. The 
Countess chid him, rallied him, and at 
length spoke to her uncle, the Earl of 
Northampton, on her Lord's unhappy 

"• Cousin," said Northampton to Lord 
Somerset, " I marvel one of your ca- 
pacity should wear the looks of cre- 
dulous fools, who bear not their for- 
tunes like men. — By my halidom were 
T in your Lordship's mood, methinks 
I'd strip to the shirt, put a rope round 
my neck, take a wax taper in my hand, 
and speed me to court, to beg pardon 
of God and the King. — 'Sdeath, my 


Lord, but our fate lies not in any one- 
of the twelve houses, if a man may 
droop thus for an ordinary hosticide." 

'^ My Lord Earl," answered Somer- 
set, " you know the severity of our 
enemies, the Poetasters, and Puritans ; 
and, besides, how can I be safe when 
so many are privy to our hosticide, as 
your Lordship terms the death of Over- 
bury. There are the Westons, father 
and son, that callet Turner, Elwes, and 
though last, not least, Franklin and 

" My sweet Lord !" replied Nor- 
thampton, "let us make our own fortunes 
so gieat, that we may oppose all accu- 
sation. We can surely bribe old Wes- 
ton to stand mute, the is already 
disposed of. Turner shall change her 
name, and cross over to France, Elwes 
we must stand or fall with ; — the other 
two, I confess^ puzzle me — the mind 


of that Franklin is as crooked as his 
body, and Coppinger is more a master 
of men than of horse." 

" I have been thinking," interrupted 
Somerset, " of turning Catholic, and 
uniting with that powerful, but op- 
pressed body of the people, to brave 
the maligners of my name." 

" Excellent Somerset ! thou'st now 
hit on the true way. — But there's one 
even more sure. — Get the King in a 
good mood, and urge him for a pardon. 
— See here," added the Earl, turning 
to a cabinet, and taking therefrom a 
parchment, " this is the exact copy of 
one that was made by the Pope to Car- 
dinal Wolsey." 

" To-day we banquet with the King," 
said. Somerset, " and if his Majesty be 
not in the humour of dining out of the 
salt-seller with Villiers and Pem- 
broke, I'll even follow your advice, 

354 BLIGHTED ambition; or, 

my Lord Earl, and let me not lack 
your special assistance therein." 

That day Somerset, and his friend 
Northampton, did dine with the Kin^, 
but it was not till, as principal Secre- 
tary of State, some collateral conver- 
sation engaged the King and his old 
Favourite, that the Earl of Somerset 
found an opportunity to advert to the 
responsibility of his office, in the ex- 
ecution of which he might inadver- 
tently run himself into a proemunire, 
and thereby forfeit to the King both 
his goods, lands, and liberties." 

" My Lord of Somerset is a wise 
man," said the King, when he heard 
this topic broached.'* '' It were well 
your Lordship could move the Parlia- 
ment to grant a Bill of Indemnity for 
the past ; for, I trow, the life o' a mi- 
nister and privy counsellor resembleth 
a story worked in tapestry, fair and 


legible to the company that are inside 
the room, but full of thrumbs and con- 
trary figures and expressions on the 
other side." 

Somerset, who saw by the answer of 
the King, that his Majesty's humour 
squared not with the request he had 
made, waved the subject for the pre- 
sent, and took another opportunity to 
urge his Grace, saying : '' Whereas it 
liath pleased your Majesty to commit 
many things to my charge, and some 
of them proving something too weighty 
for me to undergo, if the Parliament, 
'specially the Commons, haul me over 
the coals, they will find me within the 
statute of proemunire. — -Your Grace 
Jknows the consequence of that ; where- 
fore, I would prefer to surrender even 
now my lands, goods, and liberties into 
your Majesty's hands, unless it please 
your Grace, in your royal and wonted fa- 
vour towards me, to grant me pardon 


for having committed Overbury to the 
Tower, and all other offences I may 
ignorantly have fallen into.'' 

*' The thing hath been often done," 
interrupted Northampton ; " and his 
Grace requires not your Lordship's in- 
structions, in religion or polity, cousin." 

" My Lord of Somerset," answered 
the King, " I would ill deserve the ser- 
vices of such a Secretary, if I did not 
protect him by my prerogative from 
the House of Commons, those meddlers 
with every thing that regards my go- 
vernment, and deep ajffairs of state, 
which are above their reach and capa- 

" Then," said Northampton, '' then 
your Grace meaneth that the Earl of 
Somerset should draw out his pardon, 
as large as he can find in former pre- 
cedents ?" 

* Rushworth, vol. I. 


" Doubtless, Lord Northampton/' 
answered the King. " Have I laboured 
so much to make an able minister o' 
our cousin, Robin, who devised for us 
a price to every rank o' nobility ; and 
will I refuse to sign sic an act o' our 
wonted favour ? — 1 say thee nay, Nor- 

Both the Earls bov.ed, the one smil- 
ing internally at the Monarch's simpli- 
city ; the other cut by the recollection 
of the many days and hours he had sat 
with James, receiving lessons on poli- 
tical economy, prerogative, and the 
particular rules of etiquette, which his 
master willed should be observed in 
his court, while both felt the allusion 
to the sale of titles, as applicable to 
themselves as to the King.* 

* The title of Baronet was currently sold for <£1000 
to supply the profusion of Somerset. Franklin, p. ll. 

358 BLIGHTED ambition; or, 

But Villiers overheard this discourse, 
and resolved to be even with his rival, 
Somerset. When the two Earls, there- 
fore, had departed, he took occasion to 
ask the King what crimes fell w^ithin 
the statute of proemunire, and James 
who took infinite pleasure in acting the 
part of political preceptor to his young 
Favourite, entered into a long discussion, 
partly didactic, and partly categorical, 
which ended in Villiers insinuating that 
the Earl of Somerset had more to an- 
swer for to God, than his Majesty 
could pardon. " I ken that, Gordie," 
answered James, " but thou hast some- 
thing to say, thou wouldst not tell me 
if thou could make me sensible o't by 

" Were Lord Somerset King James, 
and King James the Earl of Somerset, 
King Somerset would leave your Grace 
to the laws, rather than exert the favour 
he craves," said Villiers. 



" By my halidom and I think so 
too/' replied the King, " the Lord So- 
merset was unco ready to hae thy bon- 
ny hand necked off, on a late occasion. 
— But I'll keep my word ; I'll sign the 
pardon ; but gang thou in the mean 
time to the Lord Chancellor, and tell 
him on no account to put the great 
seal to it. — I'll bear him harmless, and 
the fool's pardon will be like a papisti- 
cal pardon from Rome at the gate o' 
heaven, if Somerset be called to the bar 
o' the House o' Lords for high crimejj 
and midemeanours." 

Somerset lost no time in presenting 
to the King, for signature, a pardon 
couched in these terms : '^ That the 
King of his mere m.otion and special 
favour, did pardon all and all manner 
of treasons, misprisions of treasons, mur- 
ders, felonies, and outrages whatso- 
ever, by the said Robert Carr, Earl 


of Somerset committed, or hereafter to 
be committed, &c."=?^ 

This extraordinary parchment of 
" Indemnity," of which we have given 
but the softest language. King James 
signed ! ! ! and Somerset put it in his 
pocket. " Go, Robin," added the So- 
vereign, " gang to the Lord Chancel- 
lor and gar him to put the muckle seal 

Somerset bowed, kissed the King's 
hand, and repaired to the Lord Chan- 
cellor, with '' the King^s commands to 
seal his Grace's pardon." 

" Allow me the perusal of your Lord- 
ship's Indemnification," said the Lord 
Chancellor Egerton, and the Lawyer 
having perused the " Pardon,'' asked 
Somerset, " who had drawn it up ?" 

* Harleian Miscellany. — Art. Five Years of King; 


" Sir Robert Cotton," replied the 

^' From Cardinal Wolsey's, I see," 
replied Egerton. '' My Lord of So- 
merset, T cannot put the great seal to 
this document." 

" How so, my Lord Chancellor ? 
What reason make ye against the King's 
positive command ?*' asked Somerset 
in a high tone. 

'* I could not justify the doing of 
it, my Lord Earl," replied Egerton, 
adding, '' without incurring a proemu- 
nire as well as yourself." 

" Then your Lordship refuses to obey 
the express commands of the Sovereign?" 
said Somerset. 

'' My Lord of Somerset," replied 
Egerton, " I said not, I would not obey 
the King's commands. — I said, and I 
repeat it, T could not justify the putting 
of the great seal to that instrument. — 
You have my answer." 

VOL. [II. R 


Somerset would have replied to this, 
but the Lord Chancellor's manner struck 
him to the heart. — He could barely say, 
" My Lord Egerton I did not expect 
this of your Lordship/' and turning on 
his heel, the falling Favourite quitted 
the apartment. 

Egerton lost not a moment before he 
came to the King, to whom he repre- 
sented, in strong language, the risk he 
should have run had he signed the par- 
don of Somerset. — There was policy in 
this representation, for Northampton, 
and many other Lords were then in the 
King's presence. *' What! my Lord 
Chancellor, not put the great seal to 
what I put my hand to ?" said the King, 
in affected anger. 

" So please your Majesty, 'tis more 
than my head could answer for, and 
I am not above the law," replied Eger- 

'^ By the rood, my Lord Egerton," 


said the Howard, " but your hesita- 
ting to do what his Grace commands, 
is not the way to establish the royal 
prerogative in the eyes of the Com- 
mons !" 

" My Lord Earl," replied Egerton, 
" were a weak mortal to take upon 
him to do wrong, because of high 

behest, as Judas hanged himself, and 
another part of scripture says, * go 
thou and do likewise,' am I thence to 
throttle myself ? — No, by my hali- 

^' Go to Rome!" exclaimed Arch- 
bishop Abbot, who stood among the 
group, '' and they'll give your Lord- 
ship a dispensation for greater crimes 
than stamping an ounce or two of bees- 
wax with the arms of England." 

*' My Lord Bishop, «you exercise with 

sword and dagger," said Northampton, 

** you speak to the Lord Egerton, and 

at Henry Howard, in this irreverent 

R 2 


satire. — My gage were even now at the 
feet of George Abbot, did not his func- 

'' Hold ! my Lord Northampton," 
said the King, interfering. '' What 
speech is this in our presence ? seeing 
the poor Lord Sanquire." 

" Cry you mercy, my Liege," inter- 
rupted Northampton, with great cou- 
rage, *^ but the premises are unlike. — 
Take the Earl of Dorset, who yet 

^' Right trusty and noble cousins. 
Abbot, Egerton, Herbert, Roxborough, 
Erskine," exclaimed the King, '' but 
my Lord Northampton would beard 
the lion in his den. — Henry Howard ! 
we charge thee with being a papist, 
and a favourer of papists, and in league 
with the Pope. — How say you, my 
Lords? — Speaks the King truth, Hen- 
ry Howard ?" 

The intrepidity of James, and the 


language he used, overpowered Nor- 
thampton, who stood alone, the other 
Lords having taken their stations close 
by the King's side, as he pronounced 
their names;— but the Howard soon 
recovered himself, and asked, '' And 
is Henry Howard to defend the charge 
of popery in the King's cabinet-council, 
and at the table of the Star-chamber 
council likewise ?" 

" No, my Lord Earl," replied the 
King, " but we would have you know 
the charge, though dormant, is not 
dead," and turning to the Lord Chan- 
cellor, his Majesty added, " Peradven- 
ture, my Lord Egerton, you fear some 
greater matter than we know of, that 
you demur ffix our seal to the Lord 

Somerset's pardon ?" 

•'No, by St. Androis," replied Eger- 
ton. " I have an high opinion of my 
Lord Somerset ; but I value the due 
R 3 


fulfilment of my office above all friend- 

" The Lord Egerton speaks like a 
sound lawyer, and a right trusty coun- 
sellor/' said the King, " and we remit 
him the weight of our displeasure, which 
his dureness exacted for a moment." 
As the King said this, he bowed to the 
noblemen present, and leaning upon 
the arm of Villiers he walked out of 
the apartment in which this scene oc- 

Northampton, in a maze, gazed after 
James, and without taking any notice 
of the other lords, left the chamber^ 
saying to himself. — " Royal knavery — 
But why should such goblin fears pos- 
sess me ? — And they would hunt me to 
the block, without shriving time al- 
lowed. — No ! by my halidom, I'll not 
stay the grinding of their axe. — God 
help thee, Somerset ! I'm no prophet if 
thou'rt not thick benetted round with 


villainies. — But I'll to that base nature 
in the Tower, and school him in his 
lesson, should he ere have the misfor- 
tune to know the interim between his 
life and that dark bourne whence no 
traveller returns/' 

Northampton accordingly proceeded 
to Sir Jervaise Elwes, witk whom he 
passed two hours in prompting him, as 
to the course he should pursue, if ever 
the murder of Overbury was questioned 
in a court of justice. At parting the 
Earl expressed himself saying, " Sir Jer- 
vaise, I cannot deliver with what cau- 
tion and discretion you have underta- 
ken all this business. But for your con- 
clusion, I do and ever will love you 
the better. As you love your own life, 
let no threats nor bribes move you to 
involve my cousin Somerset, and bis 
wife. Observe this, and my name is 
not Henry Howard if you fare not well 
for't when the puny Scot's settle is 


filled by Prince Charles. — Adieu— adieu 
— adieu." 

Northampton with all speed hastened 
to his house at Charing Cross, and hav- 
ing sent for Somerset, informed him of 
all that had passed before the King, and 
then came to the instructions he had 
given Elw^es. '' Should all our fore- 
sight be unavailing,'' said the Howard, 
*^ and the satirical wits begin to vent 
themselves in stinging libels, in which 
you know they spare neither the per- 
sons, families, nor most secret avow- 
tries of those their spleen battens on, 
yonr Lordship must bear yourself nobly, 
and defy all men. — Nay, let drop some 
hints which may point to the Head 
itself — you understand me. — 'Sblood, 
cousin, but you must ruffle with the 
Ring himself, if need be. I have dis- 
ciplined Elwes, and find him very per- 
fect in his part. For yourself, if it comes 
to the push, there must be a main drifts 


and a real charge/' " This," contmued 
the Earl, with a sigh, is my last will 
and testament, wherein I have pub- 
lished myself to die in the faith I 
was baptised in ; some of my servants 
are my executors ; upon others T have 
bestowed gifts ; this fair palace I leave 
to your Lordship ; my lands to your 
brother-in-law. Lord Theophilus How- 
ard — and now, my sweet Lord, my 
occupation's done." 

" Heaven's !" exclaimed Somerset, 
** what means your Lordship ?" 

" That the world may not have 
the satisfaction of calling me traitor," 

answered Northampton, " after my 


'" My dearest Lord," said Somerset, 
really affected by Northampton's look, 
voice and speech, " my dearest Uncle, 
what am I to understand by all this V 

" That this night I leave London 
to die at Rochester, and be buried in 


Dover — or it may be at Rochester, 
that being the chief port town of my 
office : — to be buried without any state 
to outward appearance." 

** Heaven forefend !" exclaimed So- 
merset. " Remain here, my Lord Earl, 
to bear me out, and let us live or die to- 
gether. The world will otherwise say 
you are not dead, but carried beyond 

" Hold dearest Somerset, hold — my 
purpose is fixed" replied Northamp- 
ton. ** Bear my love to your Countess, 
for whom I have sacrificed even my 
good name — adieu ! — adieu !" — and as 
the Howard said these words, he rushed 
out of the apartment, and in the even- 
ing departed by water for Green- 
wich, where he staid one day ; on the 
next he journeyed to Rochester, where 
in a short time a funeral was performed, 
said to be that of Northampton. 



I have lived long enough : my way of life ; 

Is fall'n into the sear, the yellow leaf: 
And that which should accompany old age, 
As honour, love, obedience, troops of friends 
I must not look to have ; but, in their stead, 
Curses, not loud, but deep, mouth honour, breath. 
Which the poor heart would fain deny, but dare not. 


The death of Northampton was sig- 
nified at Court by the Earl of Suffolk 
delivering to the King his relative's 
insignia, and patents of office. Somer- 
set, by his great power and numerous 
friends, succeeded to the Chancellor- 
ship of Cambridge, and the Lord Zouch 
was appointed Warden of the Cinque- 

372 BLIGHTED ambition; OKj, 

Ports. Just as Somerset returned from 
Cambridge, his Master of Horse came 
to him, saying", " It holds current in 
the City, my Lord Earl, among the 
purple-lined malt-worms, that Overbu- 
ry's death came not in the way that Hea- 
ven willed, and I must be beholden to the 
night, rather than to fern-seed, an I 
would walk invisible." 

** Why, how now thou land-raker, 
dost talk to me of the hangman ?'* said 

'' No, my good Lord Earl,'' an- 
swered Coppinger, *' as I am loath to 
make either a knightly or a noble pair 
of gallows, I am advised by my sig- 
natures to gg look for fern-seed among 
the Jamaicans, an I \vould go about 
in the company of those knaves that 
are continually praying to their saint, 
the commanwealth." 

*' Coppinger, I expected not this at 
your hands," replied Somerset, " and 


I fear not that either Sir Jervaise or my- 
self shall come to the gallows, so would 
I not fear thee — my power was never 
greater — my friends, save a few starve- 
ling Puritanical Lords, are numerous 
and powerful— and the King's affections 
will not long be ruled by Villiers. — Stay 
by me, Coppinger, and in one month 
more I'll enrich thee with a thousand 
pounds, and the land I've promised." 

^' Since it must out, my Lord Earl, 
the truth of the matter is this : Payton, 
that caitiff, who was aforetime servant 
to Overbury, has gone through the 
City saying. Sir Thomas used these 
\vords, ' If I die my blood lies upon the 
Lord Somerset ;" and the rogue utters 
some threats your Lordship used in 
the gallery of Whitehall ; and they do 
say, ' Foul play has been used, else the 
coroner had seen the body,' and last 
of all comes a relation of Overbury, 
George Rawlins, that married Wei- 


mark's daughter, and he has petitioned 
the Chief Justice Coke to inquire into 
the death of the luckless knight." 

" Indeed !" exclaimed Somerset, in 
evident surprise; and pacing the room 
with heavy footfall, he said to himself, 
*^ then Villiers will not lack buzzers to 
infect his ear with pestilent speeches, 
and he'll to the King with impetuous 
haste convey, with unsmirched brow, 
the thick and unwholesome thoughts 
of my enemies." — Then stopping, the 
Earl addressed Coppinger. — ^* Heardst 
thou ought of my Lord Bishop of Can- 
terbury, that he moved in this ? Or of 
Sir Ralph Winwood ?" 

'' The Archbishop," replied the Mas- 
ter of Horse. ** Is your Lordship dis- 
posed to hear me?" asked Coppinger, 
for Somerset was absorbed in thought, 
and leant pensively over the chimney- 
piece ; but the question roused him, 
and he nodded assent. '' The Arch- 


bishop," pursued the bravo, " has been 
this morning at Master Secretary Win- 
wood's, and there was there too, my 
Lord Coke. Suspecting what was 
brewing, that these state alchymists 
were not conjuring how they might 
turn some meagre cloddy earth into 
a glittering nobleman, but a gorgeous 
lord into most unpitied simpleness, I 
dogged the two and heard his Grace 
of Lambeth say, ' They've done it but 
greenly, in hugger mugger to inter 
him !' whereupon I hastened to old 
Weston's, and there I found a tipstaff, 
with my Lord Coke's warrant, to bring 
the under-keeper of Gundolph's Cas- 
tle to the Privy Council." 

** I'll to Royston, to the King, and 
stir up such matters as shall quiet these 
busy triflers," replied Somerset, whom 
the last words of Coppinger roused to 
his wonted energies. " Hie you, to my 
Lady Countess, and bid her hasten the 



departure of Turner and Franklin into 
France. Be you at hand to assist us in 
our flight thither the moment I return/' 

Coppinger bowed, and stopped the 
Earl as he reached the door of the 
chamber, asking him, ^* Am I, my 
Lord, to take no care of vour Lord- 
ship's plate, jewels, and chests of rose 
nobles, gold Henries, sovereigns, and 
Jacobuses ?'' 

•• Daemon of fortune !" exclaimed So- 
merset, to call me back so, '^ take these 
keys and my signet, which will toge- 
ther give thee command of my stores, 
and do what the urgency of our destiny 

Coppinger took the keys and signet, 
and repaired to his Lordship's mansion 
in St. James's Park, where he was met 
by his companion Weston. '* How 
novv^, Master Weston," asked Coppin- 
ger, ''' I thought thou'dst gone on board 
two days ago ?" 


-' No, my friend, no,-' replied the 
Page, " I've been on board, but am 
ashore again. — Heard ye the news? — 
my tongue cleaves to the roof within 
my mouth — and the marrow in my 
bones disputes with my valorous heart 
— 'Sdeath, bully Coppinger, you're un- 
horsed, and the unthrifty Page must 
kneel at Tyburn, an he be another 
night on shore. — Ha ! what keys be 
these ? — my Lord of Somerset's gold 
key, of his gold Henries ?" 

*"' Even so, varlet," replied Coppin- 
ger, '* canst thou lay hands on the 
Countess's jewels, and join me in easing 
the titled robber of his Jacobuses ? — - 
See there, that finger bears his signet, 
and now for ourselves." 

Coppinger repaired to the Countess 
of Somerset, and detailed to her in his 
own way, the discovery of the murder, 
mingling with his own narrative, such 
fidvice as he judged fitting. " But we 


have friends, power, and wealth," said 
Lady Frances, '* and shall defy all accu- 

" My Lord Earl has gone to Roys- 
ton/' said Coppinger," and he'll not 
return without the pardon sealed as well 
£is signed." 

'* Then we are safe I" exclaimed the 

" My Lord Earl thought otherwise/' 
replied the Master of Horse. " And to 
make all sure, see my Lady Countess, 
I am possessed of his signet to validate 
a message to his goldsmith, in Lom- 
bard-street ; and the key of his trea- 
sury, to remove the rusty nobles. Hen- 
ries, and Jacobuses." 

" My Lord Somerset will not flee, 
Master Coppinger. 'Sdeath, we'll sing 
a requiem o'er the weathercock of our 
nobility, rather than budge one inch," 
said the Countess. 

'' Then your Grace will walk invisi- 


ble, or enjoy a reset beyond my Lord 
Coke's clutches/' replied the Master of 
Horse. "•' For myself, I'm in quest of 
fern -seed the moment I've done my 
Lord's service." , 

" Where is my Page ?" asked the 
Countess, *' that varlet that in swearing 
shakes the throned gods." 

'* Busy in another part of the man- 
sion," said Coppinger. " Feels your 
mind any easier ?" 

Whilst the Master of Horse was de- 
tained by the Countess, the Page was 
busily employed in rummaging her ca- 
binet, and secreting in different parts 
of his dress such minute valuables as 
he most prized ; and long before Cop- 
pinger returned to him, he was ready 
to depart. Nevertheless he awaited 
with much impatience the arrival of 
his companion. Finding, however, that 
he came not, the Page proceeded in 
quest of him, and after passing through 


several apartments, he found the Mas- 
ter of Horse in the Earl's cabinet, 
rifling the most secret depositories of 
the fallen Favourite's hoards. " There 
y©u are, most righteous roamer/' said 
the Page, on seeing his companion. 
*' 'Sblood, Coppinger, the Countess is 
laid out most riggish.'' 

'^ Hast thou been peering into her 
tiring-room, thou skip-kennel ?" asked 

"O ho! bull J stirrup-holder ! What I 
thou'st been buying Robin Hood's pen- 
nyworths ?" said the Page, archly. 

** Damn your proverbs. Many talk 
of Robin Hood who never shot in his 
bow. Thinkst thou I'd become the 
bellows and the fan, to cool the gipsey's 
lust ?" asked Coppinger, pretending, at 
the same time, to be mightily oiFended» 

"Soho! Master Coppinger. I re- 
member me a passage spoken last night, 
at the Globe," said the Page. "There's 


beggary in the love that can be reck- 
oned. How are you off for pelf ? Not 
penny wise and pound foolish ?" 

" No, by my signatures/' answered 
Coppinger, ** Fve secured a sweepstake 
— and now for the city," — and the 
villains accordingly quitted Somerset's 
house for ever.* 

Somerset hastened with all speed to 
Royston, and the King received him 

* The stay of these fellows in the city was as short 
as they could make it ; and hiring a boat at London 
Bridge, they went down to Tilbury Fort, where 
they embarked on board a vessel that was fitted out 
for the service of the Buccaneers of St. Domingo, 
Their fate, after a series of adventures, was worthy 
their lives. Coppinger, after bamboozling his com- 
panions in a variety of ways, was at length given 
up to the Spaniards, who cut his tongue out, and 
then sold him as a slave, to work in the mines of Po- 
tosi. Weston remained true to his trade, and be- 
came famous, under an assumed name, as a shooter 
of bulls, and pirate on the high seas ; but he at length 


with kindness, but the Earl could dis- 
cover it was assumed, and he, there- 
fore, conceived it was his duty to ob- 
serve the etiquette, which was expected 
from those who were not like himself, 
the companion of James's secret plea- 
sures, the friend of his sovereign's 
bosom. As soon as an opportunity 
offered itself, Somerset introduced the 
subject of the pardon, and stated with 
great warmth, the conduct of the Lord 
Chancellor. The King regretted, as 
much as the Earl, that Egerton should 

fell a sacrifice to the jealousy of his companions, and 
had his choice of being shot, put on shore on a deso- 
late island, or delivered up to the Spaniards. *' The 
first," said he, ^vith great courage ; and climbing a 
tree, he suspended himself from a branch of it, by 
his heels, and gave his comrades the word of com- 
mand to " fire." In an instant he was pierced by 
twenty bullets, and fell to the earth, as he had lived 
— "without God, and without hope in the world." 


have hesitated ; but, said his Majesty, 
— " Robert Carr, thou art privy to 
what nane else in this warld maun ken 
aught about ; thou hast rid me o' my 
mucklest fears; and while I wear a 
crown, thou'lt not cast off thine honour 
and fame." 

While the King and Somerset were 
busily engaged in private, discussing 
various topics, which James introduced 
to kill time, Sir Jervaise Elwes ar- 
rived at Royston, and was immediate- 
ly admitted to the King's presence, a 
privilege the Lieutenant of the Tower 
enjoys in common with Privy Coun- 
sellors, without the formality of intro- 
duction, observable towards other per- 

" How now Sir Jervaise ?" asked the 

" The Lady Arabella, your Grace," 
answered the Lieutenant, with a croak- 
ing voice, and downcast look. 


" Is fiedj gone !" exclaimed the King, 
" then shalt thou go with her by Trai- 
tor's Gate." 

'* So please your Grace, she hath 
become defunct/' answered the Lieute- 

" Dead !" echoed James, in a tone 
of surprise. 

" Died this day at the hour of — '' re- 
peated the jailor. 

" Then we release Northumberland 
and Raleigh," said the King. " And 
as the dure Percy winna be indebted 
to us for his discharge, gar his physi- 
cian prescribe the Bath -waters for his 
health, and so send him down there. 
He may be reconciled then to his son-in- 
law, our cousin. Lord Hay, though he 
wad na be indebted to him for his en- 
largement at the marriage, thrawn auld 

Somerset was ordered to make out 
the instrument which should authorise 


Elwes to set Northumberland and Ra- 
leigh free, and the Secretary and Lieu- 
tenant withdrew for that purpose. While 
they were thus occupied, Purbeck Vil- 
liers, who had lately married Justice 
Coke's daughter, arrived in company 
with Sir Ralph Winwood, the joint 
Secretary of State, with an important 
message to the King. 

The Viscount Villiers received Pur- 
beck, exclaiming, '^ Has the Chief Jus- 
tice discovered more ?" 

" All, all is discovered," answered 
Purbeck Villiers, " as Master Secretary 
will shew unto his Majesty. Mistress 
Turner is apprehended, Weston is ap- 
prehended, and one Franklin, a nota- 
ble villain, is secured. — Prince Henry 
v/as poisoned — Overbury was poisoned 
— There's no safety while these wretches 

^^ Ah ! ah ! Master Carr," exclaimed 
Viscount Villiers : " thou hast played 

VOL. III. s 


booty, but not above board. — Stay ye 
here, gentlemen, and I will announce 
you to the King." The prosperous 
Favourite did so, and James received 
the news of Overbury's death with 
emotions that were new to him. His 
Majesty then retired to his cabinet, 
and sent for Somerset. On the entrance 
of the Earl, the King said : " My Lord 
Somerset, we ride for a space, tarry 
thou here till our return :'* — and with- 
out waiting for the fallen Favourite's 
reply, James quitted the apartment, 
and repaired to that in which he had 
left Villiers. 

" To horse, to horse, my Lord Vil- 
liers/' said the King. " We'll ride to 
Whitehall forthwith." 

On arriving at Whitehall, the King 
found the judges all assembled in con- 
sultation on the discovery that had been 
made. They had before them the con- 
fessions of Mistress Turner, Franklin, 


and Weston, the father. From these it 
appeared that Sir Thomas, though poi- 
soned, had in the end been strangled 
by Weston and Franklin ; and the part 
the Countess of Somerset, her uncle 
the Earl of Northampton, her husband, 
the Earl of Somerset, and Sir Jervaise 
Elvves had taken in this murder was 
now fully disclosed. 

So astonished was the King by this 
disclosure, that kneeling down in the 
midst of the Judges and Lords assem- 
bled, he exclaimed, *^ Lord, in what 
a miserable condition shall this kingdom 
be, (the only famous nation for hospi- 
tality in the world) if our tables shall 
become such a snare, as none can eat 
without danger of life, and that Italian 
custom should be introduced amongst 
us : therefore, my Lords, I charge you, 
as you shall answer it at the great and 
dreadful day of judgment, that you ex- 
amine into this diabolical plot, without 


favour, affection or partiality ; and if 
you shall spare any guilty of the crime, 
God's curse light upon you and your 
posterity ; and if I spare any that are 
guilty, God's curse light on me and my 
posterity for ever." 

" We have here, your Grace,'' said 
Coke, '' a book, aforetime the album 
of a juggler in Lambeth, Form an by 
name ; we have his puppets and pic- 
tures, with some exorcism and magic 

" Let me see the book," said the 
^King, and the book was shewn him, 
opened at that leaf w^herein the Coun- 
tess of Essex's name was signed, and 
4he object of her visit to the astrolo- 
^ger set down. '^ A trick of the fellow," 
added the King, " wherein he hath set 
down human follies, to keep lords and 
fe^ies in awe, and save his neck. In 
troth, I see many pretty wenches' names 
set down. Look here, my Lord Jus- 


tice Coke," continued the King, point- 
ing to another leaf of the book where 
it appeared Lady Coke had tried the 
artist's skill," and adding, " the knave 
has witchcraft to adorn better heads 
than his own. Herry him out and hang 
him anon." 

*^ He is dead already," answered the 

" A benefit's lost to the hangman 
then," replied the King ; ^' but, come 
my Lords, let us consider, I go to 
Royston direct.— The Lord Somerset 
is there — my word is pledged to him, 
no harm shall light on him: make his 
guilt apparent as the sun, or, by my 
halidom, it will go hard that I abandon 
poor Somerset." 

James hastened to Royston, and en- 
tertained Somerset for a time, till the 
Judges and Privy Counsellors had 
threaded the labyrinth of the Earl's 
guilt. On the second evening of So- 
s 3 


merset's stay, the King's patience for- 
sook him, and he dispatched a messen- 
ger to Sir Edward Coke, with a letter 
under his own hand, to apprehend 
Robert Carr, Earl of Somerset ! Sir 
Edward then lived in the Temple, and 
measured out his time at regular turns, 
two whereof were to go to bed at nine 
o'clock, and in the morning to rise at 

The messenger arrived at the Tem- 
ple-gate about one in the morning, and 
demanded admittance to the Chief Jus- 
tice saying, '*he came from the King, 
and must immediately speak with Sir 
Edward Coke." 

" Thou canst not. Master Gibbs,'' 
replied Sir Edward's servant,— " canst 
not speak with my master, if thou 
earnest from ten kings ; we are now 
watching that the Judge's repose be 
not disturbed by intruders, which if it 
be, he will not be fit for any business ; 


but if you will do as we do, you shall 
be welcome; the claret is good, this 
pool of ling better, and the 'bacco best of 
all. About two hours hence my mas- 
ter will rise, and then you may do as 
you please." 

At three Sir Edward rang a little 
bell, to give notice to his servant to 
come to him ; the waiting-man went 
in to the Judge saying — " Master Gibbs, 
the King's trusty courier is now in the 
withdrawing- room, bearing a letter from 
the King's Majesty to your honourable 

•' Admit him, admit him," said the 
Judge, and Gibbs entered and gave 
the Justice the King's letter. — Lord 
Coke opened the letter in haste, and 
glancing at its contents, bade Gibbs with- 
draw for a space, and prepare to return 
to Royston forthwith. In a few words 
the lawyer informed his master that 
the warrant for Somerset's apprehen- 


sion should arrive ere the murderer put 
off his morning gown. 

Somerset, however, was up when the 
messengers at arms arrived with the 
warrant for his apprehension. ** My 
Lord Earl," said Villiers, entering the 
apartment in which the King was at 
that moment most good humouredly 
joking with Somerset on some trifling 
subject. — *^ My Lord Earl, these pur- 
suivants — '* 

" Perdition !" exclaimed Somerset, 
rising from his seat. " These pursui- 
vants ! — What means this ? — Messen- 
gers at arms ! —Am I a prisoner ?" 

The chief pursuivant walked up to 
the Earl, produced his warrant, touched 
Somerset with his baton gently on the 
shoulder, saying, " Robert Carr, Earl 
of Somerset, I arrest thee in the King's 

The King shrunk from beside the 
Earl, and Villiers, with his two brothers 


and Philip Herbert, took their stations 
by the side of his Grace, while So- 
merset, surrounded by the messengers 
at arms, remained motionless. But re- 
covering from the trance into which 
this sudden and overpowering notice 
had cast him, he looked towards the 
King, and said with great energy. — 
" There never was such an affront offered 
to a Peer of England in the presence 
of his sovereign." 

" Nay man," answered the King, 
'' if Coke sends for me I must go. — 
Dinna be afeard, Robin ;*' and James, 
as he said this, held out his hand to the 
fallen Favourite, who stepped up to the 
royal stance, and kissed it fervently. 
Jg^mes raised Somerset and addressed 
him with more seeming affection than 
ever he had done, so that an indif- 
ferent person would have supposed that 
the Earl was rising in favour, rather 
than fallen from his high estate. Then 


lolling on the Earl's neck with all his 
former fondness, and disgusting fami- 
liarity, he kissed Somerset's cheeks, and 
in a puling accent inquired, " For 
God's sake when shall I see thee again? 
On my soul I shall never eat nor sleep 
till you come again. '^ 

" On Monday, my Liege, if I am 
not, contrary to your Grace's profes- 
sions, a prisoner in the Tower." 

" For God's sake let me see thee on 
Monday," answered the King, still lol- 
ling about the dupe's neck, and slab- 
bering his cheeks.* " For God's sake 
give thy lady this kiss for me." In 
the same manner at the stair's head, at 
the middle of the stairs, and at the stair's 
foot, did the dissembling weak King 
part with his once dear Robert Carr. 
*' Qui nescit dissimmufare, nescit regnare/' 

* Weldon's Court and Character of King James, 
p. 99. See also State Trials, vol. I. 14, Jac. 161^\ 


Somerset was struck dumb by the 
King's manner, and was placed in his 
coach ere he awoke from the stupefac- 
tion created by the pursuivant's appear- 
ance, and his old master's dissimulation. 
— " Now de'il go with thee,'* said the 
King, as he turned from the EarFs 
carriage- door ; for so well contrived 
were all the parts of the drama, that 
Somerset's own coach was actually in 
readiness for him on the instant the 
messengers at arms arrived ; and his 
Majesty accompanied him till he en- 
tered it. 'VDe'il go with thee! for I 
will never see thy face more." 

Sir Jervaise Elwes had, in the mean 
time, been arrested, as was Lady Frances 
Carr, Countess of Somerset. Turner, 
Weston, and Franklin were put upon 
their trials, and being found guilty of 
the murder of Sir Thomas Overbury, 
were hanged at Tyburn. Elwes next 
appeared at the bar of the Judges in 


Guildhall, London, and was put on his 
trial. The unfortunate Lieutenant con- 
fessed what part he had taken. 

Sir Jervaise Elwes no sooner saw the 
Earl arrive, hk prisoner, than his con- 
science misgave him, and he hastened 
to Justice Coke, communicating as 
much of the murderer's traffic as he 
fancied would implicate Somerset and 
his Countess, without bringing the 
charge home to himself. In this the 
Lieutenant was mistaken. The charge 
was not only preferred, but proved, and 
Sir Jervaise Elwes was replaced by 
George Moore, as Constable of the 
Tov/er, and lodged safely himself in 
that very cell in which his emissa- 
ries had murdered Overbury. Weston 
stood out for about a week, but the 
Bishop of London persuaded the villain 
to tell the whole truth ; '' how Mrs. 
Turner and the Countess came ac- 
quainted ; what relation she had to 


witches, sorcerers and conjurors ; that 
Northampton, Somerset, Franklin, Cop- 
pinker, Monson,* and Yelvis had their 
hands in this business." Weston was 
hanged at Tyburn, as were Franklin 
and Mistress Turner; but Elwes suf- 
fered on Tower- Hill, making a most 
theatrical exit, with more devotion than 
Cashman in modern times, but much af- 
ter the same fashion. Lady Frances, who 
had been arrested on the same day with 
her Lord, was committed to the cus- 
tody of the Dean of Westminster, and 
in May following arraigned before her 
Peers, for the murder of Sir Thomas 
Overbury. Sir Edward Coke, whom we 
have had occasion to notice in a particu- 

* Vice Admiral Sir Thomas Monson, whom I 
have omitted among the characters in this plot, be- 
cause there is no evidence that he was privy to the 
project of Somerset and his Countess. He was tried 
and the indictment quashed. See State Trials, 
vol. I, Art. 137. 


lar manner, as Attorney-General on 
the trial of Sir Walter Raleigh, now 
sat as Lord Chief Justice of England, 
and the noble personages. Peers of the 
realm who presided, were many, learned 
and wise. Sir Francis Bacon warf the 
King's Attorney-General, and con- 
ducted the prosecution, with what abili- 
ty the reader will judge from that great 
lawyer's works. 

When the Lord Chancellor, who for 
this time was High Steward of England, 
came into Court, there came before him 
six Serjeants at arms, with their maces, 
a Knight bearing the patent of com- 
mission for the trial, another Knight, 
the white staff, and a third, the great 
seal. The Chancellor then proceeded 
to the upper end of the hall, and sat him 
down under a cloth of state, on both 
sides of him the Peers, and under them 
the Judges ; at the further end were 
the King's Counsel below the Judges ; 


on one side the Keeper of the records of 
attainders ; the Clerk of the Crown and 
his deputy, in the midst of the court, 
the Serjeant Crier standing by him ; 
the white staff and seal-bear placing 
themselves at the Lord High Steward's 
feet ; and last of all was brought in 
Lady Frances, Countess of Somerset, 
and placed at the bar, the Lieutenant 
of the Tower, Sir George Moore, stand- 
ing adjacent to his prisoner. 

When the whole Court was thus com- 
pleted, the Knight, upon his knee, de- 
livered the patent to the Lord High 
Steward, who received, kissed, and then 
re-delivered it to the Serjeant Crier 
who went through the various steps 
that were preliminary, and came at 
length to the prisoner, who made three 
reverences to his Grace and the Peers. 
— The once gay and sprightly Lady 
Frances, once the lovely but imprudent 
wife of the Earl of Essex, now the 

400 BLIGHTED AiMfirnON ; OR, 

degraded, and guilty partner of Somer- 
set's pleasures and crimes, looked pale, 
trembled, and shed some few tears, as 
her indictment was reading ; but at 
the first mention of Weston's name, she 
put her fan to her face, till the Clerk 
of the Crown cried aloud — " Frances, 
Countess of Somerset, what say est thou? 
Art thou guilty of this felony and mur- 
der, or not guilty ?" 

Lady Somerset making an obeisance 
to the Lord High Steward, answered 
with a low voice, and very fearfully — 

Sir Francis Bacon, the Attorney-Ge- 
neral, then addressed the Court, de- 
siring that her confession might be 
recorded, and judgment given against 
the prisoner ; and the Clerk of the 
Crown bade her hold up her hand, 
demanding, " what canst thou now 
say for thyself, why judgment of death 
should not be pronounced against thee ?" 


" Mercy, Mercy !" cried the Lady 
Frances, remorse and a sense of guilt 
overpowering her faculties. — " Mercy ! 
Mercy ! and that the Lords will inter- 
cede for roe to the King." 

The White Staff, on his knee, deli- 
vered his wand to the Lord High 
Steward, who with great solemnity pro- 
nounced the awful sentence of the law 
upon the unfortunate daughter of the 
Earl of Suffolk. 

When the Lieutenant returned to 
the Tower, he informed Somerset, who 
had been kept with uncommon safe 
custody, that next day he was to take 
his trial before his Peers. 

'^ They shall carry me in my bed," 
answered the Earl ; " the King has as- 
sured me that I should not come to 
any ignominious trial ; nor dares James 
bring me to it." 

*^ I have delivered my message," 
answered the Lieutenant, " and your 
Lordship had better provide yourself." 


Somerset made no reply, but waved 
his hand for Moore to leave him. The 
Lieutenant did so, saying to himself, 
'' This is a high strain, and in language 
I do not well understand — dares not ? — 
I'll to Greenwich to the King." — And 
he accordingly ordered his barge, and 
was rowed down the river to the Palace, 
which he entered by the back stairs. 
It was midnight ; the King had retired 
to rest ; but a groom in waiting was 
still on foot. " I must speak with the 
King," said Moore. 

'' He is quiet, good Master Lieute- 
nant," replied the groom. 

^' You must awake his Grace — ^^I am 
at my wits ends," replied Moore — anil 
the groom departed to his Grace's 
chamber. In a few minutes he returned 
and admitted the Lieutenant. 

" How now, Moore?" asked the King. 
'' Is he dead by his own hand ? Somer- 
set, Somerset, is he gone ?" 


^' So please your Grace, he is not 
dead, and refuses to provide for his 
trial on the morrow," replied Moore. 
" Oh ! how it puts me beyond my rea- 
son to hear such bold and undutiful ex- 
pressions, from a faulty subject against 
a just sovereign !" 

" What ? what ? what ?" asked the 
King, rising on his elbow in bed. ^^ What 
says the fool?" 

Moore then related the precise words 
of Somerset, whereupon the King fell 
into a passion of tears, exclaiming, " On 
my soul, Moore, I wot not what to do ; 
thou art a wise man ; help me in this 
great straight, and then thou shalt find 
thou dost it for a thankful master." 

*^ I will prove the utmost of my wit 
to save your Majesty," replied Moore, 
" and doubt not I will bring him before 
his Peers and back to the Tower if I 
may use my own wit," 


" Any thing, every thing, do what 
you like/' said the King ; " but lippen 
not to any but himself ye hae been wi' 
ine. Take with you a cloak into Court;, 
and if he speaks o' me, hood him and 
carry him home with you; this ring 
shall be your warrant, let the Lords 
say what they like." 

Sir George Moore returned to the 
Tower and entered the cell of Somer- 
set about three in the morning, and 
informed him he had been with the 
King, whom he found an affectionate 
master to his Lordship. " To satisfy 
justice," added the Lieutenant, " his 
Grace wills you to go on your trial, 
he is full of favourable intention to- 
wards your Lordship, and you shall re- 
turn instantly again, without any fur- 
ther proceedings, only you shall know 
your enemies and their malice, though 
they shall have no power over you," 


'^ Did the King say this ?" asked So- 

" Aye, and a great deal more/' an- 
swered the Lieutenant. 

" Then I will go — let me be well 
provided according to my estate and 
bearing," said the Earl. 

" That you shall," answered Sir 
George, ^' and now I commit you, my 
Lord Earl, to God and his angels, till 
seven in the morning." 

On the following day the fallen Fa- 
vourite was placed at the bar with all 
the solemnity that had been observed 
toward his Countess. The defence of 
the Earl was ingenious and even elo- 
quent, but the facts had been so clearly 
proved, that it availed him nothing. 
By his side stood Moore and an at- 
tendant-keeper, each with a cloak over 
his arm, which much puzzled the Lords 
to understand, why such a garment 


should be brought there ; but none of- 
fered to ask the Lieutenant. The Lord 
Chief Justice Coke, who had been ex- 
cessively mortified by the production 
of his own wife's name in the con- 
juror's Album, thought he could not 
say too much against the unfortunate 
prisoner, and in a vain-glorious speech 
to shew his vigilancy, entered into a rap- 
ture as he sat upon the bench, saying, 
" God knows what became of that 
sw^eet babe, Prince Henry." Somer- 
set very wisely took no notice of thi^ 
point, which, however, was not let 
slip by the King, who from that day 
withdrew all his favour and friend shij) 
from Sir Edward Coke ; and then the 
Judges were not independent of the 

Somerset heard his sentence, and saw 
the white wand broken with a firm- 
ness, that would have done honour to 


a better man, in a happier situation. 
He was removed to the Tower, and 
after a time, both he and his Counte.^s 
received a pardon, but h'ngered out 
their existence in disgrace, degradation, 
and obscurity, under that most insup- 
portable of all evils, the reproofs of an 
accusing and guilty conscience. 




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