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I3ar»ar!) College llbrarj 




FROM THE BEQUEST OF 

CHARLES SUMNER 

CLAH OF lt|0 

SENATOR FROM MASSACHUSETTS 

rOK BOOKS KILATING TO 




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KRDM THE RK'il KST <)1- 

CHARI.KS SUMNI'.K 



SENATOR FROM MASSACHt'ShTIS 



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HISTORICAL SKETCHES 



G 



HISTORICAL SKETCHES 

OF NOTABLE PERSONS AND C 
EVENTS IN THE REIGNS OF 

JAMES I. AND CHARLES I. 



BY 



THOMAS CARLYLE 



EDITED BY 

ALEXANDER CARLYLE 

B.A. 



SECOND EDITION 



LONDON 

CHAPMAN AND HALL 

LIMITED 

1898 

\AU rights nurvtd] 










/ \ 



^W 



FEB e 1859 



J .L^. . . 



f ■ O 



% • 



Edinburgh : T. and A. ComTAVLK, rriDtento Her Majenty 



PREFACE 

To write a Book on the CivU Wars and the Commonwealth of 
England, was one of Carlyle's earliest literary aspirations. His 
'First Note-book/ beginning on the 22nd of March 1822^ opens 
with comments and observations on Clarendon's History of the 
Rebellion, which he had then just begun to read. There follow 
many pages of criticisms on that Work and quotations from it, 
showing how deeply Carlyle was interested in the subject 
Before a month had gone by he had read the most of Clarendon, 
the whole of Ludlow's Memoirs, a great part of Milton's Prose 
Writings, and other Works which throw light upon that period. 
Under date 15th April of the same year^ there is this entry in the 
Note-book : ' Must it,* his contemplated Book, ' be sketches of 
' English character generally, during the Commonwealth ; con- 
' taining portraits of Milton, Cromwell, Fox, Hyde, etc., in the 
' manner of De Stael's Allemagne } The spirit is willing — but ah ! 
' the flesh — V In a few days more he had come nearer to a 
decision : 'Within the last month,' he writes on the 27th of 
April, to his brother Alexander, ' I have well-nigh fixed upon a 
' topic. My purpose ... is to come out with a kind of Essay on 
' the Civil Wars and the Commonwealth of England — not to write 
' a History of them — but to exhibit, if I can, some features of 
' the national character as it was then displayed, supporting my 
' remarks by mental portraits drawn with my best ability, of 
* Cromwell, Laud, George Fox, Milton, Hyde, etc., the most 
' distinguished of the actors in that great scene.' 

The scheme thus described had to be relinquished for a time ; 
other engagements of a more promising or practical nature, inter- 
vened, which need not be recounted here. It is enough to say 



vi HISTORICAL SKETCHES 

that it was not till about 1842 or '43, that he found himself free 
and in a position to attempt the realisation of his long-projected 
scheme. During these twenty years he had read extensively, 
as his Note-books snow, on the subject of the Civil Wars and the 
Commonwealth; and one result of his studies was that he had 
been gradually led to form a very high opinion of the character 
of Oliver Cromwell, and to discern clearly that, whatever form 
his contemplated Book on the Civil Wars should take, Cromwell 
must be the hero of it. 

In October 1843, after certain earlier attempts had proyed 
abortive, a practical commencement was made. He chose the 
period of James i. as the starting-point, judging that the seeds 
of the Civil Wars were sown in this king's reign. He proceeded 
with the work for some months, evidently following the plan he 
had sketched in 1822. But as the writing went on, his esteem 
for Cromwell rose ever higher and higher, till by the time he had 
reached the Long Parliament, Oliver had become the one object 
of highest interest to him, the most noteworthy and noblest of 
all the actors in the great drama. Carlyle had, however, almost 
from the commencement of the writing, entertained doubts as to 
whether he had taken the best plan for representing Cromwell 
in his true character, or at least, for convincing the public that 
his high estimate of Cromwell was undoubtedly the correct one. 
He foresaw, for one thing, that his view of Oliver, so startlingly 
at variance with that hitherto almost universally entertained, 
would require, for its general acceptance, to be accompanied and 
supported by unquestionable evidence. The evidence wanted lay 
chiefly in Cromwell's own Letters and Speeches. Carlyle, there- 
fore, changed his plan, early in 1844, laid aside what he had 
already written, and began to collect and edit with the necessary 
^ elucidations ' these Letters and Speeches. 

It is from the Manuscript, written and laid aside under the 
circumstances explained, that the materials have been selected 
for this little Book, which, for want of a better name, I have 
called Historical Sketches. 



PREFACE vii 

Carlyle in his Will (1873) refers to these Papers as 'a set of 
' fragments about James i., which were loyally fished out for me 
' from much other Cromwellian rubbishy and doubtless carefully 
' copied more than twenty years ago^ by the late John Chorley 
' who was always so good to me.' Mr. Chorley, on returning the 
Manuscript and his transcript of a large part of it^ wrote, March 
1851: 'I believe that I have sifted out all that is sufficiently 
' written-out to take its place at once in a series of chapters. . . . 
' As it is, the collection is fit, I venture to say, with very little 
' care from your hand (viz., rounding off, introducing, and here 
' and there crossing out what is given elsewhere) to make a most 
' inviting little volume. . . . That you will not allow so much of 
' what is good, the fruit of so much labour, to moulder in a box, 
' I most earnestly beg. In cop3ring my part, I have found only 
' new reasons to desire this, for the profit of all who would fain 
' come nearer to the Ufe of English History, — as well as for my 

* own comfort and pleasure.' 

Carlyle, however, never had the time or inclination to give the 
Work his finishing touches. Fourteen years after the copy had 
been made and the Papers returned to him, he wrapped the 
whole thing up into a packet and put it finally away from him, 
under the following docketing : ' About James i. and Charles i. 

* The Chorley Transcript, with the Original^ probably about 1 849 , 
' — ^havc not looked at it since ; nor will. T. C, 18 Feby. 1865/ 

The original Manuscript is, for most part, a rough first-draft, 
without any division into chapters, or indication of the order in 
which the various matters were intended to appear when printed. 

Mr. Chorley, in the part transcribed by him, — almost all of the 
section on James and different parts of that on Charles, — has 
given headings (many of which I have retained) to the various 
subjects ; but he has not arranged the material into chapters, or 
in chronological or other order. He has occasionally given 
material for a footnote, or indicated the source from which one 
might be drawn. 



viii HISTORICAL SKETCHES 

I have taken the copy used by my printers direct from the 
Original wherever that was accessible, and have followed it as 
closely as possible under the circumstances. Blanks, left for 
dates and names forgotten at the moment of writing, have been 
filled up wherever I could do so with certainty; obvious slips of 
the pen, misdatings, and statements historically incorrect and 
marked doubtful by Carlyle himself, I have corrected by referring 
to acknowledged authorities, ancient and modem. In two or 
three instances, I have collected from different parts of the 
Manuscript all that was written on a particular subject, and placed 
it under one heading. This occasionally causes a little repetition 
or redundancy, — a fault which I could have avoided only by 
omitting matter of interest and importance. 

Nearly the whole of the Manuscript which treats of James's 
Reign has been printed here; in the portion dealing with that 
of Charles, however, much has been omitted, especially matter 
referring specifically to Cromwell, and matter that has been 
superseded by fuller treatment in Carlyle's elucidations of the 
Lellers and Speeches, 

The chapters follow each other in chronological order as 
nearly as practicable. The references to authorities, Stow's 
Chronicle, Rushworth's HUtorical Collections, for example, are in 
the Manuscript often merely indicated in a general way by 
naming the Book or Author. These I have in every case 
verified, and where necessary, completed by giving volume and 
page ; and in not a few instances I have added other references 
to well-known Historical Works, new and old. To the few foot- 
notes by Carlyle, I have appended his initials. And for the 
convenience of readers who may not be familiar with the history 
of the Reigns of James and Charles, I have ventured to supply 
brief notes of my own, where explanation, corroboration or slight 
qualification of statements in the text seemed desirable. 

A. CARLYLE. 

26lh October IB98. 



CONTENTS 



Pbkpace 

IHTTRODUCTORY — Of THE StUARTS GENERALLY 

PART I 

IN THE REIGN OF JAMES I 






PAOX 

y 



I. James at Hinchinbrook 9 

11. Elizabeth's Funeral — Shakspbare . 19 

III. Hampton Court Conference — Puritanism and 

Anti-Puritanism 23 

IV. James i. 43 

V. Boo of Lindsey 58 

VI. Guy Faux and the Gunpowder Plot ... 66 

VII. Kniohtino of Prince Henry .... 72 

VIII. Material Progress in England — In London 

especially 78 

IX. Spiritual Progress 85 

X. Paul's Aisle: Paul's Cross 92 

XL Death of Prince Henry: Marriage of Princess 

Elizabeth to the Palsgrave .... 94 

XI L Duel — Sackville and Bruce 99 

iz 



HISTORICAL SKETCHES 



CHAP. 



XIII. Shakspeare's Death — Cervantes — Kepler 

XIV. Effects of Court Doings on the Minds of 

Impartial Englishmen .... 

XV. The Overbury Murder .... 

XVI. King James's Discourse in the Star-Chamber 

XVII. Burning of the New Play-house in Drury Lane 
-^A Puritan Riot 



XVIII. Bacon 



XIX. The King's Journey to Scotland 
XX. The Book of Sports 

XXI. Execution of Raleigh 
XXII. Court Precincts — Tournaments, etc. 
XXIII. John Gibb 



XXIV. The Spanish Match 
XXV. James's Parliaments 



XXVI. Glimpses of Notable Figures in James's Parlia- 
ment OF 1 620-1 — Acts of the same — Bacon — 
Monopolists ....... 



PAOB 

103 



108 
112 
125 

127 

130 

134 

138 

140 

141 

145 

147 

153 



166 



PART II 



IN THE REIGN OF CHARLES I 

I. Charles and his Queen 
II. Charles and his Parliaments 



181 



185 



III. Church Provocations — Montague — Manwaring . 191 



CONTENTS xi 

OHAP. PAOX 

IV. Buckingham and the Isle of Rh& and other 

Discomfitures 195 

V. Charles's Third Parliament — First Session 197 

VI. Popular Discontent on the Prorogation of 
Third Parliament — Buckingham — Fblton — 

RoCHELLEj ETC 213 

VII. Charles's Third Parliament — Second Session • 221 

VIII. Religious Aristocrac^v' in the Seventeenth Cen- 
tury 232 

IX. Nicholas Ferrar — The Nunnery of Little 

GiDDING 234 

X. Dr. Leighton 242 

XL Attorney General Noy 248 

XII. A Scotch Coronation 252 

XIIL Engush Men and Women in the Time of Puri- 
tanism 268 

XIV. Bastwick, Burton, and Prynne . .271 

XV. Laud's Life by Heylin 274^ 

XVI. Laud's Reformation 28 ]• 

XVII. The Colchester Prophets 288 

XVIII. Loom of Time 296 

XIX. Patience and Hope 298 

XX. 'Jenny Geddes' 299 

XXI. Discovery of the Thurloe Papers — Tradition . 310 

XXIL Hampden and Laud — Realities and Phantasms . 317 

XXIII. Wentworth (Strafford) 321 



rii HISTORICAL SKETCHES 

OHAP. FAOS 

XXIV. The Scots at Dunse Law — Pacification of Ber- 

WICK, OR THE First 'Bishops* War' . 324 

XXV. PuBUc Burning of the Scotch Declaration 327 

XXVL Meeting of Oliver St. John and Edward Hyde 329 

XXVII. A Scotch Army enters England — The Second 

'Bishops' War' 384 

XXVIII. The Long Parliament 336 



INTRODUCTORY 

OF THE STUARTS GENERALLY 

Whence came this Stuart, this unfortunate Dynasty of 
Stuarts ; by what caprice of Destiny were they sent hither on 
an errand which they could not do ; appointed to be Chief 
Heroes of England, and able only to be Chief Chimeras of 
England, and do solecisms ? They, came — it were long to 
tell where they came from ! They came, like the rest of us, 
from the old -rEons and Eternities ; they were produced by the 
* hereditary principle/ Time and chance, choice and neces- 
sity, foresight and blindness, — all the Past Ages, with their 
small radiances of earnest wisdom, struggling to illuminate 
their huge masses of indolent stupidity, had given to that 
present living Age James Stuart to be, under penalties. Chief 
Hero over it. This was what the Past Ages, hitherto, on 
that side of their affairs, had been able to do. 

After all, there is something in the hereditary principle ; 
in old times there used to be much in it, and in the newest 
times there will always be something. Of these very Stuarts 
it may be said generally, that they were a distinguished race ; 
not common men. Indeed, all the old King genealogies, if 
we will look into them, had sprung from intrinsically superior 
or supreme persons, and were heroic more or less. The 
Nassaus of Orange, the Capers of JVance, the Hohenstauf- 
fens, Hohenzollems, Vasas, Plantagenets, — people could not, 
in those old unfurnished times, clutch up the first comer, clap 
the King^s cloak on him, and say : * There ! ' By no manner 
of means. Nations needed to be governed ; to have a Hero- 
captain go before them, and articulate for them what the dim 

A 



g HISTORICAL SKETCHES 

purpose of their existence was. Their dim purpose, — very 
dim often, yet struggling always to become clearer, and utter 
itself in act and word, — was, and ever is, no other than this : 
To conform themselves to the Eternal Laws, — Laws of Neces- 
sity, revealed Laws of God, or whatever good or worse, or 
better or best name they give it : this ever is, and must be, 
the purpose of the sons of men. For which, very pressingly 
inde^, they do need a king to go before them ; and must 
find one, if they have none ! 

I say, moreover, there is much in blood, in descent ; and 
the hereditary principle is by no means nothing. Strong 
races will last you many centuries ; will carry some linea- 
ments of their Founder across the confusions of a long tract 
of Time. Do we not see, in these very days, a kind of 
Nassauism visible in this or the other Prince of Orange ; a 
Bourbon physiognomy and eupeptic toughness of fibre in 
this or the other king of the French ? Great King Races, 
before they die out, give many signs of greatness ; and 
especially while they are dying out, give tragic signs. The 
last Vasa of Sweden, — it was melancholy to see how he had 
the long solemn visage of a Charles Twelfth, or of a Gustavus 
Adolphus, Lion of the North ; something of the statelincss, 
the veracity, the lofty obstinacy, proud sense of honour, 
which had marked his hero-fathers : only the faculty, the 
insight and energy had been forgotten. Tragical enough. 
The outer physiognomy, the case of a true king and Vasa 
still there ; but no king or Vasa within it : — wherefore the 
poor case had to be sent on its travels, as we know ! 

In Breadalbane Castle there is, or was, and in many 
Granger Print-books there still is, the Portraiture of a Stuart 
worth looking at. It is the Fourth James ; he who rushed 
upon his death at Flodden. A brave enough, kingly face, 
beautiful and stem ; his long black hair flowing down in 
rough floods ; carelessly dashed on his head, the Highland cap 
with its feather : a really royal-looking man. You will note 



THE STUARTS 8 

too, in his aspect, that singular dash of tragic, of Gypsy 
black, still visible in his distant Grandson, Charles Second, 
and lower. In the English Solomon,^ in the Royal Martyr, 
in the Royal Pretender, you find the same bodeful and dark 
physiognomic element, now more, now less developed. They 
were all of one blood and bone ; the same tragic element in 
their character and destiny, as well as in their faces. They 
descended all from Elizabeth Muir of Rowallan, and were a 
royal kind of men, — but, at their best, not royal enough. 

The Poet King, the First of the Scotch Jameses ; in him, 
still visibly to all of us, the world had assurance of a man. 
Of his melodious written Poems I say nothing ; for a certain 
eternal rhythm and melody looked through the whole being 
of the man ; struggling to unfold itself as an Acted Poem, 
much properer for a king. I find him a right brave man, 
the bom enemy of all unveracities and dissonances ; to whom 
oppressors, thieves, quacks, and every sort of scoundrels, were 
an abomination. He made enemies ; infallibly enough, 
extensively enough. A hungry sanguinary pack of Earls, 
and such like, broke in upon him in Perth Monastery, and 
fiercely tore him down ; ^ — as vicious dogs do, when their 
collars and leashes are not strong enough ; when, alas, perhaps 
they have long been in the habit of * eatinff leather,** which, 
says the proverb, dogs should never be taught to * eat.' 

There is another James,* he that did Chrufs Kirk and the 
Gaberlunzte Song, in whom, had he never done more, some 
pulse of a royal heart were traceable to me. This man too, 
had rhythmic virtue in him ; an eye to see * through the 

^ James I. of England and vi. of Scotland. 

' The King was, perhaps too harshly, trying to curb the turbulent Nobles, 
when a conspiracy to murder him was formed by his kinsmen, the Earl of 
Athole, Sir Robert Stewart and Sir Robert Graham. On the 20th February 
1437 the conspirators, led by Sir R. Graham, broke into the Dominican Mon- 
astery at Perth, where the Court was then residing, and after a desperate resist- 
ance the King was slain. The murderers were all taken and tortured to death. 
The authorship of the Kingis Quair, Peblis to the Play^ and a Ballad of Good 
Counsel is generally ascribed to this James I. 

' James v., the ' Commons' King.' 



4 HISTORICAL SKETCHES 

* clothes of things "* ; a genial heart, broad, manful, sympa- 
thetic ; a laugh like an earthquake ! And beautiful Mary,^ 
surely she, too, was a high kind of woman ; with haughty 
energies, most flashing, fitful discernments, generosities ; too 
fitful all, though most gracefully elaborated : the bom 
daughter of heroes, — but sore involved in Papistries, French 
coquetries, poor woman : and had the dash of Gypsy tragic 
in her, I doubt not ; and was seductive enough to several, 
instead of being divinely beautiful to all. Considering her 
grand rude task in this world, and her beautiful, totally 
inadequate faculty for doing it, and stern destiny for not 
doing it, — even Dryasdust^ has felt that there was seldom 
anything more tragical ; and has expressed and still expresses 
the same in his peculiar way. 

So many inadequate heroes ; not heroic enough ! It is no 
chiWs play, govennng Nations. Nations are sometimes rather 
tragical to govern. When your Nation is at a new epoch of 
development, and struggling to unfold itself from Papistry 
to Protestantism, from Image-worship to God-worship, from 
torpid, slumberous Hearsay to wakeful terrorstruck and terrible 
Sincerity ; and your Royal Race, perhaps, is on the downward 
hand, nearly bankrupt of heroism, verging towanls extinction, 
and knows nothing of wakeful Nations and their meaning, — 
yes, then there will arise very tragic complexities ; and Dry- 
asdust will again have work cut out for him. 

These poor Royal Stuarts who came of Elizabeth Muir, 
and, by the hereditary principle, without forethought of 
tkeirSy were sent to be Chief Governors here : may we not 

* See also what Carlyle has said of Mary * Queen of Scots,' in his * Portraits 
of John Knox,* p. 144 (Peoples' Ed., 1875). 

' An expressive compound word used to denote any dreary, longwinded 
writer who fills his pages with trifling details 'telling us nothing in many 
words.' It occurs in Sir W. Scott's Novels, and is not of Carlyle's coinajje. It 
may be added that * my erudite frien<1,' sometimes referred to in the following 
pages, is simply a variety of the genus Dryasdust, differing from the common 
type only in being more profoundly ' learned.' 



THE STUARTS 5 

call them * fateful ' ? The Fates said to them : Be Kings, of 
talent, but not of talent enough. Kings of a deep, inarticu- 
late People, in whose heart is kindled fire of Heaven, which 
shall be unintelligible and incredible to you. Take these 
heroic qualities, this dash of Gypsy black. Let there run 
in your quick blood a pruriency of appetite, a proud im- 
patience, — alas, an unveracity, a heat and a darkness ; and 
therewith try to govern England in the Age of Puritanism. 
That, we have computed, will be tragedy enough, for England 
and you. 



^. 



PART I 



IN THE REIGN OF JAMES I 



CHAPTER I 

JAMES AT HINCHINBROOK 

[1603] 

At Hinchinbrook Manor-house in Huntingdonshire, on 
the 27th and 88th of April 1603, as the eye through dim 
old Chronicles can still discern, there were really great doings ; 
the ancient Borough of Huntingdon, ancient village of God- 
manchester, and the whole Fen Country far and wide, all 
thrown into almost preternatural emotion. A new Scotch 
Majesty, James the Sixth as he was at Edinburgh, is pro- 
gressing by slow stages towards London ; to become James 
the First, and King of both countries ; — Elizabeth the Queen 
being dead. He has got thus far on his journey : here, at 
Hinchmbrook, *on the Wednesday afternoon,'* he emerges 
from the northern twilight; he in person, with a mighty 
retinue, indistinctly glittering to us, in silk, silver and plumes ; 
here a Knight, Sir Oliver Cromwell of Hinchinbrook, son of 
Sir Henry Cromwell, the * Golden Knight,** is doing the impos- 
sible to entertain his Majesty. Here for unexpected reasons, 
History will glance fixedly on him for an instant or two. 

His Majesty, we understand, has already been above three 
weeks on the road ; ambling along in large cavalcade, at full 
leisure, in the bright Spring weather ; a phenomenon notable 
to human nature; — chasing game, making Knights, eating 
dinners, chiefly hunting all the way ; feasted everywhere, by 
sumptuous noblemen, by loyal civic corporations, regardless 
of expense ; multitudes of human creatures crowding from all 
sides of the horizon to a sight of him : for it is not every 





10 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [parti. 

day one sees a Majesty ; and indeed, Kings, as the old 
Chronicle^ says, are now grown doubly wonderful, so long 
have we, fifty years or more, been under Queens. Pheno- 
menon once notable to human nature ; now forgettable. 
Truly, of his Majesty's progress onward to Hinchinbrook, 
it is only Parish History and the Peerage Books that can say 
much at present. How he * fired off a cannon on the walls 
' of Berwick, showing skill in great artillery ** ; how he lodged 
* at the Sign of the Bear and Sunne in Doncaster,** no noble 
mansion being near, and what the landlord's joy and terror 
were ; how not far from Worksop Manor, His Majesty ate his 
luncheon on a green bank, pleasantly under the opening buds 
and birches, and anon in Worksop Park was accosted by 
kneeling huntsmen in Lincoln coats, who offered to show him 
some game thereabouts, a very welcome offer : all this, and 
more of the like, shall concern us extremely little. At York, 
and again afterwards, I I'ead His Majesty's Proclamation, 
That such crowds shall not gather round our Royal Person : 
Heavens, we are but a man, though clothed and quilted 
in this extraordinary manner ! At Newark, with still more 
interest, I witnessed the seizure of ' a cutpurse,' and instant 
warrant with Sign-manual to the Recorder of the town to 
have him hanged ; which was straightway done, without 
judge or jury : a * well-dressed cutpurse,' who had attended 
us with profit for a tract of days ; - — probably a London 
artist ; the oldest member of the swell mob taken notice of 
by History. He swings in Newark there, on the sudden, 
being seized flagrante delicto ; a warning to men. 

These things we note, though with little interest. His 
Majesty's progress, once glorious and divinely interesting as 
the very zodiac, h&s now ceased to interest any mortal ; and 
claims principally to be, by all mortals who recognise the 

* Stow's Chronicle of En^/and {London, 1631) ; begun by Stow and continued 
by Howe. 

' He confessed ' that hee haddc from Berwicke to that place played the cut- 
purse in the Courte.' Stow, p. 821. 



CHAP.L] JAMES AT HINCHINBROOK 11 

phenomena of this world, forgotten, — left to Dryasdust and 
the Peerage Books. — But here, at Hinchinbrook, we say, 
human nature has still, for a reason little dreamt of by his 
Majesty, vocation to take notice of him. The reader shall 
know it by and by; his Majesty will never know it.^ At 
Hinchinbrook and elsewhere there is always more going on 
than any of us dreams of. Among the huge flaring sun- 
flowers, illustrious hollyhocks, not to say grass rag -weeds, 
poisonous hemlocks, that cover the surface of feracious Time, 
who knows what everlasting Oak Tree may have germinated 
from its acorn, and be peering through the soil,— all in-ecog- 
nisable among the hollyhock and hemlock crops ! 

But be that as it may, the fact, worthy of great notice or 
of little, is indisputable: Hinchinbrook, on Thursday the 28th 
of April 1603, w(is all in gala. Through the gulph of dead 
centuries we can still behold it, after a sort ; look on it as 
with eyes. Hinchinbrook, while it was a Nunnery, never saw 
such doings. Hinchinbrook has been a Manor-house for half 
a century and more; it may become a Nunnery, an Iron- 
foundry, before it see the like again. The gates of Hinchin- 
brook are thrown open ; the dignified courts of Hinchinbrook 
are filled with multitudes of nobility, gentry, respectable 
commonalty ; and far and wide hovers and sinnners, through 
Huntingdon streets and all heights and open spaces of ground, 
an extensive fluctuating crowd of human creatures, come from 
far and near to see this reed shaken by the wind. These are 
facts of the past tense : indubitable as the newest of the 

* * It is for the sake of little Oliver, roving about in the hand of his Nurse- 
maid, unnoticed in these crowds ; for his sake, and for his alone, thai the human 
soul, may it please your Majesty, has come to pay its respects to your Majesty 
this day I No other errand had any soul ; hardly Dryasdust, who has no soul. 
O Dryasdust, hadst thou noted down for me that little boy Oliver Cromwell, 
what he did, said, any foolishest word he uttered, what kind of look he had, cap 
or jacket he wore, how gladly had I given all the rest for that ! The rest without 
that b dead as African guano, as the sweepings of Monmouth Street. Foolish 
Dryasdust, he has not so much as named this little Oliver ; it is only by 
chronology and moral certainty that we see him there at all ! ' — T. C. [In 
anaiher unpublished paper of this series). 



12 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [parti. 

present. Thitherward we also, for reasons of our own, will 
hasten to have a look. 

Coming westward from the London side, if you pause on 
the heights of Godmanchester, where Drunken Bamabee's 
big Oak stood,^ a pleasant prospect opens. Lazy, fat, or 
dropsical country, the very bogs of which looked green 
enough, has spread around you for many a mile; with 
fat, lazy-looking willow-trees, alder-trees; interspersed with 
church-belfries, with red brick dwellings of men. And now 
you are at the hill-top over Godmanchester, where Bamabee''s 
big tree then was and now is not ; and see the flat country 
broken thenceforth into undulations ; — see the River Ouse, 
with large curvature, come sweeping by ; on this side of it 
the low, long street of Godmanchester, an undistinguished 
stream or lake of simple houses with one high steeple; on 
the other side, leant up as in comfortable rest, the long 
Shire-town of Huntingdon, with Church-towers, spires, and 
the living smoke of hearths. * The smoke-cloud sent up by 
^ busy housewives cooking their husbands'* victuals,^ as my 
German friend says : ^ it hangs there these many centuries 

under the serene of heaven. Mr. Robert CromwelPs chimneys 

• 

from the west end of the place contribute their quota. David 
the Scotch King had a Castle here ; but there rose quarrels 
respecting it, and Henry Plantagenet, Henry ii., in his 
spleen, tore it down.^ Portholme, a green meadow, spreads 
itself behind Godmanchester, on this side the River, plea- 
santly, for bleaching of webs, for running of horse-races, for 
cheerful promenading of men and women. An ancient Bridge, 
we can observe, connects the village and the town ; — the 
Ouse takes such a sweep as indicates that he is in no haste 
about his jouniey : in fact this poor River has a sad fate to 
look for ; fifty miles of Fen between him and the German 

* See Oliver CromwelVs Letters and Speeches^ i. 25 (Liby. Edition). 
' Teufelsdrockh, in Sartor Resartus^ book II. cap. ix. 

• Camden's Britannia^ i. 502. 



CHAP.L] JAMES AT HINCHINBROOK 18 

Ocean, and such a bewildered race to run as few rivers have. 
Now branched into various arms ; now stagnating in marshes, 
meres, black reedy plashes ; now high in air, held up by main 
force in Bedford Levels and embankments ; if you left him 
alone, he would drown whole districts, and leave nothing but 
the * isles,"* Isle of Ely and others: this is the fate of the river 
Ouse ; which here flows by unconscious, and of a common 
drab colour. 

Huntingdon itself, we see, leans up against the edge of the 
Hill, secure from swamp and mud ; and other knolls and 
faint ridges, ever bluer, ever dimmer, die away towards 
Kimbolton, St. Neof's and the Infinitude, in a pleasant 
manner. Kimbolton old Town and Castle, where the sad 
Queen Catherine, now divorced by questionable sentence, 
sat down to die ; St. Neof's old Town and Church, where 
worthy Neot, the brother of our great Alfred, mingled with 
his mother Earth, and with the devout memories of men : 
these lie in the blue-gi-ey haze of the horizon : in the horizon 
and beyond it lie so many things. 

But leftwards to the south of Huntingdon, not half a mile 
of distance, where the green heights spread gently along 
shaded with sprinklings of wood, — thither, it is, to Hinchin- 
brook, O reader, that thou and I are bound on this occasion : 
let us quit the Oak of Bamabee, and hasten down. Hinch- 
inbrook is not now a Nunnery ; no, it only was one. Not 
a nun there these fifty years and odd. Henry the Eighth, 
big burly man, having divorced Catherine, dissolved all 
Nunneries ; made this a Manor, gave it to Richard Crom- 
well, a man useful in these operations ; *• affectionate nephew,^ 
as he writes himself, of the famed Thomas Cromwell, Earl of 
Essex, who destroyed all Monasteries, and lost his own head 
in the business. But Richard did not lose his head ; Richard 
became opulent, and the big King said to him, ' Thou shalt 
* not be my Dick, thou shalt be my Darling.'* Hereby is 
Richard'*s grandson now a man of opulence ; son of a Golden 
Knight, and himself deserving to be called Golden. And 



14 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [parti. 

here at Hinchinbrook, there is not worship of Saint Neot or 
of any Saint or Hero going on ; but worship of a far different 
sort, — which, in Heaven's name, let us hasten down to look 
at for one moment if no more. 

These thousands of abolished mortals, bone of our bone, 
flesh of our flesh, who do indubitably circulate here, with 
eager-gazing eyes, with multitudinous hum of English speech ; 
so palpable that day, so vanished this; are they without 
interest to thee ? To me they are as good as preternatural : 
there xcere they ; where are they ? — But who shall describe 
the inner solemnities ; the gifts of jewelled goblets, the stately 
passages and ceremonials ; the ambrosial sumptuosities of 
feasts, — seneschals and sewers with their white wands, and 
dishes of silver and gold, great they as generals on the day of 
battle; and far down in the interior, fat cooks pufiing and 
perspiring, greasy scullions, sooty turnspits all in a broil ; 
death-doing energy on every brow, the feeling that now 
they must cook or die ! None can describe such things ; nor 
need. The outer fountains of Hinchinbrook run mere wine ; 
from the outer courts of Hinchinbrook no meanest rascal 
shall, this day, go away unfed. What your soul longs for, 
of victual or of liquor, is here to be had freely. One of the 
heavenly bodies is passing here : Hinchinbrook has become 
one of the houses of the Zodiac. 

The Mayor of Huntingdon ])resented, as was pro|)er, the 
keys and sword to his Majesty : the Mayor and Common- 
council men have done and are doing, this day, their duty. 
And the Cambridge Heads of Houses have come along, with 
high-flown Latin com])limcnt, in scarlet or other cloaks ; and 
got such audience, such comfits and tem})oral and spiritual 
entertainments as were needful ; and gone their ways again. 
These come and go : our Progress is like that of the Moon, 
escorted everywhere by the ocean-tides and land-clouds, full 
sea where our presence is. It was but the other day there 
came the ' Millenary Petition "* — l^etition purporting to be 
signed by a thousand, or near a thousand, clergymen of 



CHAP.L] JAMES AT HINGHINBROOK 16 

Parishes, faintly, most humbly intimating that a point or two 
in our glorious Reformed Church was, or might by the 
human mind be conceived to be, short of perfection.^ 
Which audacious though faint intimation Oxford University, 
all in cloaks of some sort, shortly after did earnestly de- 
nounce ; apprising his Majesty that they had a right to do 
it, being such a body of men for Learning and real acumen 
of insight as his Majesty might vainly seek the like of in this 
world. Whereat old Archbishop Whitgift felt some comfort ; 
having shuddered at such an audacious Millenary Petition ; 
having lived this long while, as he said, ' in teiTor of a 

* Scotch mist' coming down on him with this new Majesty 
from the land of Knox, or Nox, Chaos and Company. 

All these things concern us little. Of the Cambridge 
Heads of Houses, of the Oxford Doctors unparalleled for 
real acumen of insight ; of ancient AVhitgift trembling for 
his Scotch mist ; who, of gods or men, does take account of 
it at this hour ? Even the ' Earl of Southampton, bearing 

* the Sword of State before his Majesty,' has become almost 
indifferent to us. Of these thirty thousand or so, all 
bustling, jostling here, with eager eyes, in and about the 
Manor House of Hinchinbrook and Borough of Huntingdon, 
there are not ten persons known to me by face ; not three 
whom I could wish any of my friends to know. Each of 
them truly has a face ; face, for that matter, traced with 
cares, hopes, character, complete series of life-adventures : 
but they are strangers to me and History; they belong 
to brown Oblivion and others than me ! Solely, or almost 
solely, among that fluctuating multitude which floods all 
Hinchinbrook in such deray and gala, we will note one 
little Boy of four years old gone Tuesday last ; ^ led by his 
Nursemaid, as is like ; and bustling to and fro, with due con- 
venience, to all suitablest points of view, for seeing this 
solemnity : it is a Nephew of Sir Oliver the landlord ; his 

* Neal's History of the Puritans ^ ii. 5 (edition of 1794). 
' Oliver Cromwell was born on 25th April, 1599. 



16 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [parti. 

own name is little Oliver, or Noll, — poor little fellow ! Mr. 
Robert Cromwell from his mansion in the west end of 
Huntingdon ; Mr. Robert Cromwell, next Brother to the 
Knight of Hinchinbrook, and Father to this Boy; he and 
Dame Cromwell, who is a Steward from the Stuntney Stewards, 
and so of kin to this Scotch Majesty, are in the feast itself, 
I fancy ; and Sir Thomas Steward the Knight of Stuntney, 
and much other kindred, though unseen to me, are there : 
but this our little Oliver strolls about, I think, in a state of 
glad excitation, in the hand of his Nurse-maid the while. 
I^ok at him, reader; him thou shalt look at. A broad- 
headed, bony-faced little fellow, with clear grey eyes ; stout- 
made for his years; extremely full of wonder at present; 
— in what headdress of leather or cloth cap, in what body- 
dress and breeches, doubtless his best cap and breeches, is 
entirely unknown to this Editor. O Nollykin, my little man, 
how this unexpected sunburst of the new Scotch Majesty has 
transported thy poor little incipient spiritual faculty, and 
thou art all one wide-eyed wonderment : was the like ever 
seen or dreamt of.'^ Huntingdon Fair, with its bellowing 
cattle, with its mystic showbooths, luxurious gingerbread 
baz^iars, leathercoated drovers and bedizened men and women, 
was but a type of it. On the tabula rasa of thy poor young 
brain, the Destinies are pleased to write with such pigments. 
Destiny paints and writes daily, for every one of us, such 
' Dissolving Views," electric, miraculous enough ; miracle 
after miracle ; and the poor tablet retains what it may of 
them, and comes out a very miraculous tablet ! — 

Doubtless this ' Dissolving View ' speedily enough dissolved 
out of the head of Nollykin, or retreated into the obscure 
depths of him, as all such do, one swiftly extruded by the 
other. Who can calculate what influences are thrown 
incessantly into the young soul of a broad-headed, grey-eyed, 
intelligent boy in this world ? Of such electric pictures and 
dissolving views as we see here, there is great quantity day 
after day ; and then — but there is no end of it ; Heavens, 



CHAP.i.] JAMES AT HINCHINBROOK 17 

only think what this means : They are teaching him the 
English Language ! The English — not the French, German, 
or Mandingo ; this they are daily speaking to the Boy 
Oliver ; speaking, nay singing it with the Huntingdon tune or 
accent, as they term it : let a reader try to compute the 
probable effect of this alone. And then Pope Gregory, St. 
Austin, John Calvin, Martin Luther ; onwards to Moses the 
Midianitish shepherd, and earlier ! Shadows from all lands 
and ages ; Shadows and lightgleams from the remotest con- 
tinents of Space, from the uttermost shores of Time, fall and 
flicker confusedly over this young mind in the Town of 
Huntingdon here ; are making his mind's tablet mysterious 
enough. For instance, these young eyes did not see the Gilt 
Temple at Upsala, with gold festoon-chains and seventy 
horses'* heads in a state of forwardness; no, they saw Ely 
Cathedral dominating the Fen Country, with surplices, 
rubrics, and the long line of Archbishops not yet grown 
ghastly. A man is citizen of his age ; yes — €Uid a strange 
age he will always find it, if he look. 

And so, at all events, whenever henceforth the Boy Oliver 
Cromwell hears mention of a king, this shambling, thick-speak- 
ing, big-headed, goggle-eyed, extraordinary Scottish individual 
in gilt velvet with fringing, will be the thing meant for him. 
Progressing in a very chaos of pomp, gilding and splendour ; 
not unlike the heavenly Moon on her zodiac; drawing up 
mankind round him, and their choicest liquors, gold goblets, 
Barbary horses, and household effects and heartworship ; a 
most gorgeous individual. ^ O nursemaid mine, I think his 

* Majesty's tongue is a thought too big for him ? See how 

* he drinks, eating his liquor ifrom the cup, and at the comers 

* of his mouth leaks somewhat!'^ — * Hush, thou naughty 

* Nollykin ; hush ! ' 

Now, however, on Friday morning, breakfast being fairly 
over, it is time his Majesty were under way. Sir Oliver, now 

* Weldon, in Secret History of the Court of James /., Edinburgh, i8ii, ii. 2. 

B 



18 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [parti. 

Sir and a knight, must escort his Majesty to the gate : and 
the little Oliver, from some street window or other place of 
vantage, may look his last at this Pageant. The new Majesty 
is gone, — may a blessing go with him ! 

In Godmanchester the people stood all drawn out in 
holiday clothes, with their yoked ploughs on the street ; 
* seventy fair new ploughs ** with their sleek teams, all 
fluttering in ribbons and bedizenment,^ — their style of plough- 
ing, crop rotation, and general mode of Fen -agriculture, 
remaining somewhat obscure to us ! His Majesty inquires, 
Why they have all these ploughs drawn out ? Tlie Bailiff*, or 
other public spokesman, makes answer : May it please your 
Majesty, the ploughs are yours. We are your Majesty'^s 
poor socmen, and hold our land by that tenure, of offering 
you our ploughs and work-gear, every time you pass this way. 
— Say you so.'^ Well, I am glad to find I have so many 
good husbandmen in one town. Keep your ploughs, my 
men ; and rend the tough glebe to good purpose with them. — 
God save your Majesty ! Universal shouts attend the king ; 
and now, under Beunabee's Oak-tree, we will leave him on his 
way to Royston. 

To Royston, to Brockesboui*ne or elsewhither, and gradually 
to Theobald's and to London ; — which latter enormous city, 
half a million in population, and equal to Tyre or Sidon in 
trade, he enters on the 7tli of May ; ' riding thro"* the 
' meadows,' says old Stow,^ ' to avoid the extremity of dust "* ; 
so many myriads of human creatures, mounted or on foot, 
thicker now than ever, thronging out to see him ; the Peer- 
ages and Baronages, the officialities, mayoralties, the very 
Inns of Court, all waiting, ' ranked on Stamford Hill ' or 
elsewhere. Thus has his Majesty traversed the length of 
England ; nmnkind, with their choicest .household effects and 
hearts'^-reverences, escorting him, in a magnificent manner; 
as the Ocean-tides and land-clouds escort their celestial 
Moon. Here, at the top of the highest Spring- tide, let the 

^ Stow, 822. - ChrtmuUt 823. 









CHAP. II.] ELIZABETH^S FUNERAL 19 

last glimmer of the Hinchinbrook solemnity die out ; girdled 
by oblivion or imagination, by twilight sufficiently luminous. 

We add only, that Sir Oliver who was not himself called 
the Golden Knight (so says Dryasdust), but was the Son of 
the Golden Knight, — of Sir Henry, namely, who built the 
new Hinchinbrook, and otherwise imfolded himself in a golden 
way, — did full certainly by this business become what we may 
call a Silver Knight ; dwindling to a Silver-gilt, and at last 
almost to a copper one ! In plain words, his light wasting 
itself ever more burnt dimmer and dimmer from this day ; 
in some twenty-three years more, he had to retire to Romsey 
Mere, deeper into the Fens ; and sell Hinchinbrook to the 
Montagues, in whose hands it still remains.^ 



CHAPTER II 

ELIZABETH'S FUNERAL — SHAKSPEAllE 

[1603] 

In these same hours, so festive at Hinchinbrook, the 
Funeral of Queen Elizabeth is going on at London, as Stow's 
Chronicle apprises me ; and this too is woi*th a glance from 
all of us. She died at Richmond, near five weeks ago, our 
noble Queen ; but her body was privately carried to White- 
hall ; and this day, Thursday, the 28th of April, her 
Obsequies shall be. ' ITie city of Westminster is surcharged 

* this day,** says Stow,^ * with multitudes of all sorts of people 
' on the streets, in their houses, on the leads, and gutters, 

* who have come to see the obsequy,** — no wonder. And now, 
in a chfiuiot or hearse, drawn by eight black horses, and 

* trapped ' sufficiently in black velvet and the like, with Peei*s, 
State-officers, Dignitaries, *to the number of 1500 persons 
*' that bore mourning,' she is borne to her long home. See, 

* The date of the Deed of Sale of Hinchinbrook to the Montagues is 20th 
June 1627. ' CAronic/e, 815. 



20 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [parti. 

slowly emerging from Whitehall Gate, and slowly wending by 
King Street and Old Palace Yard, to the Abbey Church of 
Westminster, the sable hearse with its eight black horses, and 
stream of 1500 mourners comes to view: on the coffin-lid 
lies her effigies ' counterfeited to the life,' gold crown on its 
head, in its hand the sceptre and ball ; and quire-men of her 
chapel, in clear mournful tenor, are ' singing,** as they go, sad 
requiem into all hearts. It is the last we shall see, on this 
Earth, of our brave Queen Bess. On the coffin-lid lies her 
effigies counterfeited to the life ; and in the coffin — ! 
And now the quire, in clear mournful tenor, sing I'equieni as 
they go. 

At sight and sound whereof, the * universal multitude,^ 
this is the thing my readers are surprised at, * burst forth 

* into sheer wail and weeping \ lifted up their universal voice 
and wept. Yes, there is her effigy painted to the life, the 
ball and sceptre in its waxen hand : her effigy ; but her brave 
self, where is that.'* Gone, and never through the circling 
ages returns to us more. Finis; it is the end. She had 
' gained the peopIe\s love,"* says Stow, ' and continued growing 
'in it to the last.^ And now this day ' there is such a weep- 
' ing as the like hath not been seen or known in the memory 
' of man ; neither doth any history mention any people made 
' such lamentation for the death of their sovereign ** ; — her 
rec|uiem singing itself, in most authentic mournful melody, 
through all heai*ts. So fares the noble Queen Elizabeth to 
her still home, in these hours ; bemoaned with true tears. 
She was the last sovereign, if we will think of it, whom 
English hearts did truly love : the unfoilunate English 
hearts ever since have been reiluced, in great part and even 
in whole, to love the sovereign's effigy counterfeited to the 
life, no sovereign\s self being properly there ; — and to manage 
that soiTowful problem in such sort as they could ! 

' She was tall of stature ; strong in every limb and joint ; 

* her fingers small and long ; her voice loud and shrill : she 
' was of an admirable readv wit and memory ; verv skilful in 



CHAP. II.] ELIZABETH^S FUNERAL 21 

* all kinds of needlework,' says poor old Stow ; — in fact, exceed- 
ingly skilful every way. She had a brave heart, a veracious 
clear intelligence ; on the whole, a great and genuinely royal 
soul. She cast herself upon her people'*s affection, — not 
like a truckler either, but like a ruler, severe and stem withal. 
With a noble divination, beautiful in a woman, but in a 
brave and great-souled woman very natural, she apprehended 
what the heart of her English People meant; and she 
bent herself to lead in the doing of that, — to be their king, 
to go before them veritably as a heaven-sent Captain and guid- 
ing Pillar of Fire. It is the task of a king. If he can do it, 
joy to him and to us. Right loyally, devoutly will the 
People recognise him as the Sent of Heaven, their miraculous 
Pillar-of-Fire ; at sight of whom all hearts burn, and Spanish 
Armadas, and Nightmare Chimeras in Rome or elsewhere, are 
swept swiftly to the Father of them : the king wills it, — the 
king of England, seconded by the King of the Universe. 
If your hapless king cannot do this task, if in his own heart 
there is not nobleness to divine it, to attempt it, and know it 
as the one thing needful, — alas, what can he do.'* Retire 
fi-om the trade, I should say ; that would be better for him ! 
Here where he is he can do nothing but fatuities and inco- 
herences ; which sooner or later are very certain to be rejected, 
and not accepted ; inexorably and even indignantly rejected 
of Earth and of Heaven. I have known men lose their heads 
in such a business ! — 



William Shakspeare, the beautifullest soul in all England, 
that day, when the Cambridge Dignitaries came to his Majesty 
and Hinchinbrook, and the innumerable Fen populations were 
gathered, and the plumed silk-and-silver retinue were fugling 
and gesticulating, and the conduits nmning wine, and the 
little Boy Oliver looking at it without notice : William 
Shakspeare, I rejoice also to see, by chronology and moral 
certainty, was breathing in this world ; — a hale man of nine- 



22 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [parti. 

and-thirty; thinking of many things. Busy in Southwark, 
in the interior of the Globe Theatre on the Bankside, in a 
private way ? Or gone out, he also with his human sym- 
pathies, with heart capable of real reverence, to take his last 
look at Elizabeth, borne in dirge-music to her long home, the 
last of our English kings? Thou beautiful Shakspeare, 
thou wert alive that day; and makest the dark Past and the 
ignorant Present and the uncertain Future brighter for us. 
At thy writing-desk in Southwark ; thrifty among the stage- 
properties of the Globe Theatre, or out seeing Queen Eliza- 
beth buried, thou shalt be very beautiful to us. How many 
sublime Majesties, sublime Pontiffs, Arch-overseers so-called, 
have faded away into the ghastly state, and claim from us 
passionately one thing, Christian burial and oblivion ; and in 
thy bright eyes we still lovingly shadow ourselves, thou right 
royal, archiepiscopal one ! Shakspeare, beyond the smallest 
doubt, wa.s alive that day; a hale man of nine-and-thirty, 
with genius and Heaven'*s own light looking through the 
eyes of him : it is a fact forever notable.^ And again, this 
Earl of Southampton who bears the sword before his Majesty : 
he has been in the Tower for Essex^s sake ; but has now got 

^ Elsewhere in this MS. Carlyle writes : ' In Dryasdust's huge stacks of print 
and manuscript, the lumber-room of Nature, you cannot get one leaf with intel. 
ligible jotting about William Shakspeare on it. A quarter of a leaf, half- 
intelligible, will hold it all. William Shakspeare, the beautifiillest English 
soul this England confesses to have ever made, the pink and flower of re- 
membered Englishmen ; the greatest thing, it appears, that we have yet done, 
and managed (o produce in this world : of him English History says — nothing ! 
What ts English History? The record of things memorable? I have known 
better recording by mere old Imllads, by stone heaps and Peruvian quipo-thrums ! 
But the average of human History is only a shade better than English. " I am 
always thankful," says Smelfungus, *' that they did not forget to jot down the Four 
Gospels themselves, and dismiss the whole business as an insignificant case of. 
Police ! " . . . Yes, it is all ordered by the Heavens : Dryasdust, like Sin, 
if not caused, is permitted ; and we must have patience.' — Stevens, one of the 
most acute of Shakspearian commentators, wrote : ' All that is known with 
any degree of certainty concerning Shakspeare, is — that he was bom at Strat- 
ford-on -Avon ;— married and had children there ; went to London, where he 
commenced actor, and wrote poems and plays ; returned to Stratford, made 
his will, died and was buried. ' 



CHAP. III.] HAMPTON COURT CONFERENCE 28 

out, under the new Majesty, and bears sword of state and 
such like ; a most far-shining, noticeable man and Earl : does 
no reader know him ? We all know him for the kindness he 
did to an astonishing Play-actor of genius, — the above-said 
Play-actor of the Globe Theatre, then alive in this world 
beside him ! This world is all a Theatre ; and so many poor 
Players act their parts ; some in bright dresses, some in dim ; 
some to great purpose, some to almost none. All a theatre ; 
— but a very emblematic one : the coulisses of it^ on this 
hand and on that, being Eternities ; the purport and upshot 
of it being, as is rightly said. Life everlasting, Death ever- 
lasting ! — 



CHAPTER III 

HAMPTON COURT CONFERENCE — PURITANISM AND 

ANTI-PURITANISM 

[1603-4] 

The Age of King James, after infinite reading, remains, 
as it were, inane to us ; little better than no Age at all. 
Dim, dreary, without form or meaning; a sea of leaden- 
coloured vapour, with certain unmelodious ghosts confusedly 
shrieking and swimming in it ! No soul of genius has yet 
resuscitated King James'^s Age for us, — or is in the least 
likely to do so. The Heavens have not created, nor I think 
intend to create, any soul that loves it : how can any soul 
teach us to love it, to body it forth again, and look on it ? 
Fatal Dryasdust, who is still publishing new volumes on the 
matter, does not love it ; he only loves his own dreary jot- 
tings and lucubrations on it ; — and so it grows ever drearier, 
ever emptier : a sea of leaden vapour ; sinking towards Chaos 
and the Bog of Lindsey,^ I imagine ! 

One of the few things we could wish to save from such 
vapour-sea, and look fixedly upon, were that Conference at 

* Seeposi, p. 58. 



24 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [parti. 

Hampton Court in the middle of January 1604.^ It is the 
first authentic appearance of Puritanism on the stage of 
official life. Puritanism, as Martin Marprelate in surrep- 
titious Pamphlets, and otherwise, has long had a gaseous 
kind of existence ; painful ^ ministers, suffering under surplices 
and scruples, have had High-Commission Courts, Oaths Ex- 
Officio contriveil for them, and been ejected and imprisoned 
and sharply dealt with, in great detail : but here Puritanism 
comes forward as a unity, solidified, tangible. Millenary 
Petition, and various petitions and discussions which arose 
out of that, having somewhat unsettled the Public mind, his 
Majesty by Proclamation declares that he will settle it again ; 
— summons four leading Puritans to meet his Bishops and 
him, and try whether they cannot settle it. AVho but would 
wish, at this distance of time, to glance into such a meet- 
ing, if he could be spiritually present there ? 

Alas, it is not possible; we cannot spiritually see this 
thing by looking on it ; this thing too is grown very spectral. 
Reynolds, Sjiarks, Chadderton and Knewstubs ; Whitgifl and 
Bancroft, Bilson and Rudd : * who can know them ? They 
speak in the English language ; but the meaning of them is 
all foreign to us ; glances oflf* from us with an irritating 
futility, oft repeated, with a kind of unearthly pricking of 
the skin. What h it that they want ? They did want 
much ; they do want, as it were, nothing. Defunct ! The 
ghosts of the defunct are pale, dim ; the living soul refuses 
to admit them ; mind and memory contemplate them with a 

^ * 1603, by the style then in use there ; the English year beginning on the 25th 
of March ; the Scotch and all other years beginning, as ours now do, with the 
1st of January. Innumerable mistakes in modern Books have sprung from this 
circumstance.* T. C.'s Note. — The 25th of March continued to be called New- 
Year's I>ay, in official documents, until 1752. 

^ Painstaking. 

' John Reynolds, Thomas Sparks, from Oxford; John Knewstubs, Lawrence 
Chadderton, from Cambridge, world-famous Doctors, were the spokesmen on 
the Puritan side. John Whitgifl, Archbishop of Canterbury ; Richard Bancroft, 
Bishop of London ; Thomas Bilson, Bishop of Winchester ; Anthony Rudd, 
Bishop of St. David's, were the chosen champions of Conformity in the Church. 



CHAP. III.] HAMFl'ON COURT CONFERENCE 25 

natural shudder, and are in haste to be gone. Our sketches 
of Puritanism, still more of Anti-Puritanism, ought to be 
above all things brief! — 

* Every revolution,** says Smelfungus, * has its articulate 

* respectable " Moderate Party,'*' and then also its inarticulate 

* or less articulate " Extreme Party,'' each with a several sort 

* of merit. Nay, some without almost any merit. Your 

* noblest Luther is soon followed by his ignoblest frightful 

* Knipperdolling and John of Leyden ! ^ Such Parties of 

* Moderate and Extreme, of Girondin and Mountain, as the 

* French named them, could nowise fail in that grandest Re- 

* volution the modem world had seen ; properly the parent of 

* all the Revolutions it has since seen and is yet to see : the 
^ Protestant Reformation. Not in the modem ages had such a 

* Protest, or one at all like such, taken place before. The 

* drugged, stupefied, prostrated Human Soul, starting up at 

* length awake ; swearing solemnly, in the name of the Highest, 

* that it would not believe an incredibility any more. The 

* beginning, you would say, of all benefit whatsoever to the 
^ poor Human Soul. Believing incredibilities ; clinging spas- 
^ modically to falsities half-known to be false; saying to yourself, 

* ** Cling there, thou poor soul, thou wilt be drowned and 

* swallowed of th^ devils otherwise ! " — can there be conceived 

* a more desperate condition ? The human soul becomes a 
^ Quack soul, or Ape soul, in these desperate predicaments ; 

* gradually dies into extinction as a soul proper, — and instead 

* of Men, you have Apes by the Dead Sea ! * 

* But not to insist on that, consider how inevitable it was 

* that after the Dissolution of Monasteries by Henry the 

* Eighth and the Publication of Canons and Prayerbooks by 

* Edward the Sixth, the great Protestant Reformation should 

* not stop but proceed. The question always obtruded itself, 

* When will you stop ? For by this lightning bolt of Luther's, 

* the divine-element vouchsafed us once more out of Heaven, 

' John Beuckelszoon, head of the Anabaptists at MUnster. 

' See Sale's Koran (Introduction) ; or Carlyle's Past atid Present ^ p. 190. 



26 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [parti. 

there had been conflagrations kindled ; — nay, we may figura- 
tively say, subterranean coalfields kindled ; deep answering to 
deep, and old dead things catching fiery life again from the 
re-awakened Heaven-element, as their way is in such cases ! 
And formidable explosions had taken place ; to be followed 
by far more formidable, up to the very formidablest, to 
Jacobinism itself; — and in brief, there had, above ground and 
below, a series of electric and ignitory operations commenced, 
which could not by human or superhuman industry be made 
to terminate, till we had reached the eternal foundations 
again. A work for centuries; and one of the terriblest, 
though of all it is the indispensablest. O Prelate, Marprelate, 
you little know what you are tugging at ! — 

^ Vesuvius in the sixteenth century, as I read, the old com- 
motions having sunk to rest for a thousand years or more, 
had grown green a-top. By the benign skyey influences 
continued for centuries, you saw a solid circular valley, 
verdant, umbrageous, a savoury pasture for flocks : but it 
had grown rough also with brambles, idle tangled thickets ; 
populous now, for most part, with serpents, foxes, wolves. 
Such was the Roman Church ; such in several respects, if you 
consider it. Firmamented into fair green compactness, on 
the bosom of Old-Judean and Old-European abysses, and 
explosions, once volcanic enough ; till it had become green 
nutritive grass-sward, shelter for sheep and oxen ; — till it had 
become rough with briars and jungle, populous with wolves 
and foxes. The seasons and the ages circled on. The old 
subterranean coal-strata and electric reservoirs of the great 
Deep, had they renounced connexion with the Heavenly 
electricities, then ; or only, to our poor eyes, suspended it ? 
The fulness of time came ; the dav of " renewed activitv ^ 
cAme: and where now is your circular grass valley on 
Vesuvius top ? The lightning fell from Heaven, the electric 
fire-reser\'oirs of the great Deep, with smoke, with fire and 
thunder, loud, ever louder, awoke : sward and soil and jungle ; 
oxen, wolves and serpents, and the rough valley altogether. 



CHAP. III.] HAMPTON COURT CONFERENCE 27 

* are blasted aloft into the immeasurable realms of air ; — 

* and in their stead, observe what kind of pumice-crater 

* we have ! ' 

Surely, my dark friend, this similitude does not go on all- 
fours, but halts dreadfully in one of its legs ? He persists 
thus : ^ It is the law of such explosions, when the lightning 
^ falls from Heaven across long sleepy centuries, and awakens 

* the subterrene fire-elements ; blasting your circular valley 

* itself into air. The Soul of Mankind, — which has deep 

* enough " strata,*" accumulated now for hundreds of thousands 

* of years since we arrived on this Planet, — is it not essentially 

* of that volcanic nature ? ' Similitudes that have to flounder 
along on three legs, flourishing the fourth by way of accom- 
paniment, these also are not a pleasant spectacle ! But to 
return to Hampton Court. 

Certain select Prelates and other high personages, four 
select Puritans of chief quality, have met, convened by royal 
proclamation, to consider what they can do for perfecting the 
Divine Symbol or Church, here in England at present, — if it 
is not already perfect, concerning which point discrepancies 
exist. Does Symbol correspond with thing signified, as the 
visible face of man does to the invisible soul within him r 
Or are these pasteboard adhesions false noses which one 
would wish to pluck off? It is a question worth considering. 
Majesty himself will preside over these debates : for he is 
of lively accomplished understanding ; and piques himself on 
his knowledge of Theology ; which certainly, as the vital 
secret of this Universe, God the Maker's method of making 
and ruling this Universe, must be the thing of all others 
worth knowing by an accomplished man. Majesty, if it 
please Heaven, will regulate this high matter. 
The Conference is in * the drawing-room of the Privy 

* Apartments^ at Hampton Court : the room, or space, still 
there ; but the actors and their actings, — ask not of them ! 
They and the things they strove for, and the things they 
strove against, are alike unrememberable, though never so 



28 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [parti. 

often repeated ; of almost no interest to the living sons 
of men. Ancient choleric Whitgifts, younger choleric 
Bancrofts, grey spectral Bishops in considerable number, 
with their deans and satellites likewise spectral ; spectral 
Puritans to the number only of four : it is all grown very 
spectral to us, — though we have still a kind of business 
there. 

Whitgift, the venerable hoary Primate, still somewhat in 
dread of his * Scotch mist,** may remain dimly visible to us ; 
dimly the choleric Bancroft ; Dean Overal, one day to be 
Bishop Overal, * that prodigious learned man,"* may likewise 
continue dim. Of Reynolds the chief Puritan, I have heard 
that he refused a bishoprick, preferring to be Head of Christ- 
Church College in Oxford, and f^pply himself to quiet piety 
and meditation. Another thing is perhaps still notabler : he 
was bom, and grew up, a Papist ; he had a brother who went 
into Protestantism : the two undertook to reason together, and 
did it with such effect that they converted each the other : 
logic, like ambition, vaulting too high, overleapt itself, or over- 
leapt its selle, to this extent ! John Reynolds is now not 
a Protestant only but a Puritan ; considered to be one of the 
most learned men ever seen in this world ; * the very treasury 

* of erudition,"* * his memory and reading near to a miracle.** * 
But indeed the * learning "* of these reverend {jersons generally 
is what we call prodigious : most praiseworthy ; if not insight, 
then at least the sight of what others thought they saw into ; 
which is an honest attempt towards insight ! Man can do 
no more on that side than these good men, Puritan and 
Anti-Puritan, had generally done. Their learning is pro- 
digious ; the deep gravity of their existence is inconceivable 
to mankind in these shallow sneering days. Of Sparks, 
Knewstubs and the rest, so spectral is it, we shall say no 
word. * There are three davs of Conference, the 14th, 16th, 

* 18th of January 1603-4,"' so urges my erudite friend : the 
first a consulting day of Bishops and King only, with Puritans 

* Wood, Athefutf ii. 12. 



CHAP. III.] HAMPTON COURT CONFERENCE 29 

waiting in the anteroom ; the other a pair of battle-days, 
with Puritans summoned in to speak and fence for themselves ; 
but in our dim indolent imaginations it may be all massed 
into one, — a spiritual passage at arms, worth noticing in 
English History. 

And so the King sits jewelled and dizened, with diamond 
hatband, in his chair of State; rich, we can suppose, as 
Ormuz or Ind : on this hand, all in rochet, tippet, and 
episcopal ibus. Nine right reverend individuals, our Whitgifts, 
Bancrofts, with seven bottleholders of the dean species ; victory 
threatening from their eyes : on that hand, in simple ' furred 
' gowns like Turkey merchants or foreign Professors,"* our poor 
Four Puritans, Reynolds and Sparks, chief divines from 
Oxford, Knewstubs and Chadderton, of the like quality from 
Cambridge, not to speak of Scotch * Mr. Galloway the 
* Minister of Perth," of whom not much is to be expected on 
this occasion. Majesty is radiant, with diamond-buckled 
hat, with wide-open glittering eyes and intellect : scattered 
at due distances, in orderly groups, is a cloud of Peers, Privy- 
councillors, and Official Persons, totally indeterminate to the 
human mind, — among whom the ancient shadow of Chancel- 
lor Egerton, venerable man, with his shaving-dish hat and 
white beard, and even with touches of ready wit still audible, 
is faintly to be discriminated. It is a fact this Conference, 
though now grown so chimerical ; it lasted three days under 
the sun : three days it occupied the drawing-rmm at 
Hampton Court in the winter weather of 1 603-4|||yhile 
England and the Earth were busy round it, and the Sun in 
his old steady way was travelling through Capricorn above it; 
— and it all looked solid enough at that time ! The reader 
can read about it in Dean or Bishop Barlow^s coloured 
Narrative, or in Scotch Mr. Galloway's anti-coloured one, 
nay, in his Majesty's own * Letter to Mr. Blacke ' ; and it will 
remain in the highest degree spectral to him after all. The 
generations and their arguments and battlements — O Heaven, 



30 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [part L 

if the Bog of Lindsey did not receive them, condense them 
into something, where were we ! 

It must be owned, the claims of painful Dr. Reynolds and 
his Puritans are modest in the extreme. To be delivered 
from * baptism by mid wives,** — the very Bishops have conceded 
that ; to be partially delivered from * lay impropriation,** if it 
would please impropriation to render back * the seventh part '* 
of its church property for spiritual food to souls perishing ; 
and then to be delivered from the pressure of the * surplice ** 
where it ties up frail human consciences useful otherwise ; and 
to have a correct Translation of the Bible : the modesty of 
Marprelate, tending in any way towards the Eternal and the 
Veritable, through this huge element of rubrics, symbolics 
and similitudes piled high as the zenith over him, could 
hardly be more modest. It must be owned too that Bishop 
Bancroft, while the modest complaint was still going on, 
suddenly fell down on his knees before the King, begging 
that *' Schismatics be not heard against their Bishops,^ and 
interrupted the painful Dr. Reynolds in mid career ; and did 
again, falling on his knees, interrupt him ; showing a suffi- 
ciently choleric temper of mind. Right reverend Whitgift too 
was choleric, apprehensive of the Scotch mist coming in on him. 

His Majesty, however, gave small countenance to painful 
Reynolds and company ; glad he, for his part, that he had 
now left the Scotch mist quite behind him, and got into the 
promised land, where no * beardless boy in a pulpit "^ durst 
beard him ; and on the contrary dignified Bishops and sudi 
like were here to honour him and call him the second 
Solomon. ^ No Bishop no King,*" said his Majesty more than 
once. And painful Reynolds going on to suggest. Whether 
it might not be well if the clergy were allowed to meet 
together, say once in three weeks, and have ' prophesyings ' as 
in good Archbishop GrindaPs time ; meeting by deaneries, 
by archdeaconries, then by bishopricks, to strengthen one 
another s hands, and prophesy in various profitable ways? — 
his Majesty broke foiih into sheer flame ; declaring that * this 



CHAP. III.] HAMPTON COURT CONFERENCE 31 

was Scotch Presbytery under a new colour, and agreed with 
Majesty as God did with the Devil,** — meaning as the Devil 
did with God. No more of that, good Doctor ! ' There 

* you shall have Jack and Tom, Will and Dick assemble them- 

* selves, and at their wise pleasure censure both me and my 

* council. Away, away, Doctor, wait seven years before ye 
^ speak of that. If ye find me growing lazy, and my mind 

* getting short with fat, after seven years or so, then ye can 
' try such a thing, for that will be the way to keep me in 
' exercise! No Bishop no King!"' — whereat the whole celestial 
Court shivers with glad rustle as of admiring mirth, and * No 
^ Bishop no King "" re-echoes applausive ; and Reynolds and 
company are cowed into blank silence ; and a Courtier says, 
' It is now clear to him that a Puritan is a Protestant 

* frightened out of his wits,*" and another that Puritans, in their 
furred gowns of Turkey merchants, * are more like Turks than 
' Christians "* : and it is a titter and a snigger all over these 
Courtly spaces; Majesty, like a far-daiiing Apollo, scatter- 
ing his light-shafts in this exhilarative manner, to dispel the 
things of Night. 

Reynolds and company are cowed into blank silence, almost 
into pallor and tremor ; and right reverend Bancroft falling 
on his knees utters these words : * I protest my heart melteth 
' for joy that Almighty God, of His singular mercy, hath 

* given us such a King as since Christ's time hath not been.^ 
Right reverend, wy heart, on the whole, doth not melt. — 
Likewise, in regard to that afflictive chimera which they call 
the Ex'Officto Oath, venerable Whitgift, charmed beyond the 
limits to hear an approval of it, exclaims, * Undoubtedly your 

* Majesty speaks by the special assistance of God'^s spirit.' 
Think you so, right reverend ^ The Ex-officio Oath is a thing 
they try us with in their High Commission Court : Swear 
that you are innocent, or else be held guilty ; — guilty surely, 
unless your conscience be elastic ! Even Chancellor Egerton 
is heard admitting, * He had never seen King and Priest so 
^ united as here.' 



i' 



32 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [parti. 

And, in fine, Dr. Reynolds being questioned, ^ Have you 
' anything more to say, Doctor ? ^ answers, ' Nothing, may it 

* please your Majesty.' And Majesty, thereupon rising, de- 
clares audibly, not without wrath. That these Puritans shall 
either conform, or one country shall not hold them and him ! 
Dread Sovereign — ? — And so, dispelled by the lightning- 
shafts of Majesty, these Puritans fly back into their caves; 
and the glittering bodyguards, shadows of high-plumed lords, 
long-skirted archbishops, professors in furred gowns, chan- 
celloi*s in shaving-dish hat, Hampton Conference in general, 
and Majesty with diamond hatband, become grey again, of 
an indistinct leaden colour, and vanish in the dusk of things. 

Dull Mr. Neal informs me. The Puritans, at next Convoca- 
tion, were loaded with abundant penalties, excommunications, 
ex-ofBcios and what not ; whereby some three hundred clergy- 
men, pious zealous preachei-s of the Gospel, with consciences 
not sufficiently elastic, were plucked out as thorns from the 
flesh of the Church, such seeming evidently now to be the 
nature of them. The Puritans shall either conform, or 
withdraw to Chaos or Hades, by route of Holland, North 
America or what route they can. Bishop Bancroft, soon to 
be Archbishop, sings after his fashion, Te Deum^ and is a 
busy man. For old Whitgift lay sick to death ; and his 
Majesty coming to see him, he lifted up his old hand and 
eyes, saying ' Pro Ecckuhi Dornhii^ For the Lord'^s Church ! ** 
and spake no words more in this world ; and choleric Ban- 
croft was IVimate in his room. Ecclesla Domini : venerable 
pale old spectral Ai-chbishop, Overseer of human Souls, under 
what inconceivable embodiments, 'congealed element piled 

* high as the zenith over us,** does the Spirit of Man live 
bewildered in this world ; and discerns its empyrean home 
either not at all, or in distortions and distractions beyond 
belief; now in white or black cloth-tipj)ets, now in gilt log- 
palaces at Upsala, now in this now in that ! Is not Chaos 
deep ? is not the Grave greedy .'' And there is an * azure of 



CHAP. III.] HAMPTON COURT CONFERENCE 88 

^ Infinitude ^ overspanning Chaos and the Grave, for all true 

souls of men. Why does the poor Human Species quarrel 

with itself; why, in devout moments, sits it not rather, in 
sacred sorrowful communion one and all, with its harps hung 
on the willow trees, and weeps by the streams of Babel ! — 

But on the other hand, what if Puritanism would not quit 
the country, and go to Hades, either by way of Holland, or 
by any way whatever ! Puritanism has a thing or two on 
the anvil before it go to Hades. Puritanism, as simple 
as it looks, is of a species his Majesty, for all his wide-open 
eyes and intellect, does not thoroughly discern. A species 
such as I have never yet known to go to Hades without 
doing a bit of work in this world ; work not wholly mortal, 
nay, leaving a soul behind it that was not mortal at all ! 
Simple Puritanism, capable of being cowed down by choleric 
Serene Highnesses, will break silence again, I think. There 
is that in it that speaks to the Highest in Heaven above ; 
and will not, if necessity arrive, altogether tremble to speak 
to the High set on stilts at Hampton Court here ! — 

In fact, if his Majesty could see that epoch of his as we 
now see it, and what issue it has all had, it would astonish 
him. The times are loud, your Majesty, and then again 
they fall so dumb ! ^ What has become of all that high- 
sounding element of things, with its embassyings, intriguings, 
loud arguings, deep mysteries of state, which his Majesty 
presided over P It has proved a ceremonial mainly, an empti- 
ness; the voice of it has gone silent, its bright tints de- 
servedly have grown leaden. O, second Solomon, inspired to 
appearance by the spirit of God, what outcome has it all 
had ; that same majestic English world of yours so disened 
by the tailor and upholsterer, by the worker in cloth-tissues 
and the worker in word-tissues ; which could reckon even a 
Bacon among its decorative tailors, very ambitious to handle 
a needle in that service, — what has the net amount of it 
turned out to be? Alas, your Majesty, almost nothing! 

^ As Goethe sayii 
C 



34 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [part i. 

There remains of it little that a modem man could lay 
his hand upon at once : — ^good Heavens, the main item of 
it is not Hampton Court with its extremely solid-looking 
phantasmagories, but perhaps — perhaps — the Bankside 
Theatre with its phantasmagories, professedly of paste- 
board, got up for amusement of the gross million at a 
groat each ! Heard human Majesty ever the like P From that 
chaos of loud-babbling figures gone all dumb, we have sa^ 

for ourselves Shakspeare'^s Plays. Verily that is the 

tangiblest item at this hour. Your embassies flying silver- 
winged, incessant, to all the four winds ; your solemn jousts 
and tournaments, your favouritisms, caballings, sermons in the 
Star-chamber and vexations of spirit; your drinking bouts, 
dancing bouts. Count- Mansfeld flghting bouts, theologies, 
demonologies : they tumbled and simmered, wide as the 
world, high as the star-firmament ; and the result that 
sur\'ives for us has been, are we to say, — ^these eight small 
volumes edited by Isaac Reed^ and others? The oldest 
experienced King never heard the like ! 

Nay, your Majesty, there is another thing that yet sur- 
vives for us, palpable in the lif& of us all ; better even than 
Shakspeare ; for by Heaven's blessing, it will be the parent 
of many Shakspeares and other Veracities and Blessednesses 
yet : I mean — alas, your Majesty, I mean this thing you 
have just flashed into quasi-annihilation with your royal sun- 
glances, and ordered to march straightway to Chaoe, being 
inspired by the spirit of God. This thing called Puritanism, 
in its dim furred gown ; this ! 

For it goes away abashed from your presence, being of 
melancholic modest nature; but not to Chaos or Hades; 
having appointment and business elsewhere. It goes to its 
chamber of prayer and meditation ; to its writing-desk, to its 
pulpit, to its Parliament, — to the hearts of all just-thinking 
Englishmen. And singular to see, it returns ever back, with 

^ Critic and miscellaneous writer ; bom in London, 1742 ; died 1807. Edited 
the Works of Shakspeare, 1785. 



CHAP. III.] HAMFl^ON COURT CONFERENCE 86 

its old Gospel-books, and old Lawbooks, and Subsidy-books ; 
knocks ever again at the King'^s gate, saying, Shall our life 
become true and a GodVfact, then ; or continue half-true 
and a cloth-formula ? And ever its demands wax wider ; — 
and your Majesty, in the Third Parliament, has to fly into 
mere wrath at Newmarket, and cry in an elevated shrill 
manner, * Twelve chairs for the twelve Kings of the House of 
* Commons, — ^they are Kings, I think, come to visit me ! *" * 

Truly a Sovereign of England, second Solomon or other, 
who had read in his own noble heart what of noblest this 
England meant and dimly strove towards, would not have 
scouted Puritanism from him in that summary way. He 
would have said to himself: How now? Old traditional 
Decorum is good ; but Sincerity newborn is infinitely good ; 
Decorum divided from Sincerity will fare ill. This poor 
Puritanism, ragged contradictory as it looks, is a confused 
struggle towards God'^s eternal Verity, — wherein and not else- 
where lies the fountain of all blessedness for England and me 
and all nations and men. I will not cut it down, this poor 
Puritanism ; I will guide it, foster it ; try to make it my 
friend not my enemy. These poor scrupulous individuals 
shall go home to their places ; shall preach abroad, among 
my English people, a Calvinistic Stoicism, which is deeper 
than Zeno'^s, which is deep as the Eternal, and will spring up 
in thousandfold harmonies, I hope ! — A King who has in 
him the instinct to recognise such nascent heroisms in their 
incipient confused condition, and help them into birth and 
being, shall reign truly ^ forever ' : a King that has not will 
reign falsely and but for a short time. Queen Elizabeth 
now dead, she too loved cloth and formulas ; and could have 
held by the Old ; but she felt in the heart of her country, 
feeling it ikst of all in her own noble heart, that the true 
vital pulse was Protestantism ; and, with lifelong wise en- 
deavour and valour, she said, ^ Let us be Protestant then.** 
She, in a sense, reigns forever. She had a hero-heart of her 

^ Set t«0i0, p. IS7M* 



86 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [part I. 

own which could recognise heroisms. Heavens, had that 
Boy at Huntingdon but been her Son ! — But a King who has 
no hero-heart, what to him are nascent heroisms springing 
never so authentically from the Eternal ? They are ragged 
confusions, very criminal, rebellious ; perverse world- tendencies 
which he will withstand. He stems himself in the breach 
against such; stands minatory there, with his pikes and 
cannons, his gibbets and white-rod ushers, a terrible spec- 
tacle ; — and is washed away to the abyss, he and they ! 

Alas, your Majesty, never more, in any day of settlement, 
will Puritanism present itself with so extremely exiguous a 
bill of bookdebts as it has now done through the hand of 
Knewstubs and Reynolds ! It will come, next time, not in 
doctoral furred gown alone; it will come in formidable 
Speaker's- wig withal, with Magna Charta and the Six Statutes 
and Tallagio non concedendo in its hand ; with sword on its 
thigh ; with drawn sword for sheer battle, — O Heavens, with 
headsman'^s axe, for regicide and one knows not what, never 
seen before under this sun ! And Glorious Revolution Settle- 
ments, American Independences; nay, what say we, Frendi 
Revolutions, very Jacobinisms, — there is no end of this Puri- 
tanism ! For it holds, as I observed, of the Eternal ; and 
will not go to Hades without its work done ; nay, properly 
will not go to Hades at all, but live here on Earth forever, 
the soul of it blending with whatsoever of Eternal we have 
here on Earth, part of the indestructible perennial sum of 
human things. 

Well, your Majesty, is not this world a catholic kind of 
place ? The Puritan Gospel and Shakspeare's Plays : such 
a pair of facts I have rarely seen saved out of one chimerical 
generation. You say, *We are an old and experienced 

* King ' ; which is very fortunate. And again, * Le Rmf 

* 8*avisera^ the King will take thought of if: really he should! 
This world is very wide, is deep beyond all plummets ; has 
more in it, in Heaven and in Earth, than was yet dreamt of 



CHAP. III.] HAMPTON COURT CONFERENCE 87 

in your or my philosophy. A world ever young, as old as it 
looks ; a world most feracious, most edacious ; wherein the 
oldest experienced kings have been found at fault before now ! 

The following, by Smelfungus, seems more to resemble 
some sort of modem Puritan Sermon than a piece of History. 
In it there is no * delineation of events ' ; but for under- 
standing the spirit of what is delineated some readers may 
find it not without significance. Such as are already familiar 
with considerations of that kind may pass on, glancing all 
the more slightly. Our dark friend writes : — 

^ Descending into those old ages, we are struck most of all 
^ with this strange fact, that they were Christian ages. 

* Actually men in those times were possessed with a belief that, 

* in addition to their evident greedy appetites, they had 
^ immortal souls not a whit less evident ; souls which, after 
^ death, would have to appear before the Most High Judge, 
^ and give an account of their procedure in the conduct of said 
*' appetites, with an issue that was endless. This, of which we 
^ have yet a hollow tradition, worse in some respects than none, 
^ was then a fact indisputable to all persons. Human persons 

* all knew it well ; only gross unhuman persons, and beasts 
^ destined to perish, knew it not. God^s eternal Judgment- 
^ seat, awaiting all men above, was a fact as certain as the 

* King''s Court sitting here below in Westminster Hall. It is 
*' the vital fact of those old ages ; which renders them, at this 
^ time, an enigma to the world. For the tradition of it has 
^ grown so hollow, it is worse in some respects than none. 
^ Sheer silence and ignorance, nay, atheistical denial once for 
^ all, how much better is it than canting sham belief and 
^ avowal from the teeth outward ! In reality, what man 
^ among us, if he is not one of a million, can form to himself 
^ so much as an adequate shadow of that old fact ? 

^ Worse in some respects than no tradition ; and yet in 
' other respects how much better, how invaluable in others ! 

* O cultivated reader, is it not worth while to hear of such a 



88 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [PART i. 

thing, even from the old dead ages, and as a rumour of what 
once was? That man's little earthly life is verily great, 
infinite ; the shadow of eternities to him ; whereby he will 
determine to himself the welfare or woe of eternities ? A 
brief little drama on Earth, rigorously emblematic of eternal 
destinies in Heaven or else in Hell ? The rumour still 
abides with us ; let it still abide, were it only in a hollow 
doleful manner. Pure noble souls, with hearing ear and 
understanding heart, are sent occasionally into this world ; 
these also here and there will hear it, and, with astonishment, 
will know it, will discern it ; by these gradually the god-like 
meaning of it will be restored to us, never to be lost more. 
It is the work they have done in the Past Time ; it is the 
work they have to do in all times. There will then be a 
heroic world, once again ; much cant and much brutality, 
and miseries of many kinds, will then go their ways. 

* Yes, out of all ages named heroic there has come to us 
some doctrine, feeling, or instinct equivalent to this ; out of 
all ages that are not brutal, appointed to be forgotten, 
without worth or meaning for us. Ancient Heroisms had 
some intimation of it, had an instinct equivalent to it ; the 
much nobler modem Heroisms had it made credible and 
indubitable to them. To History the purport of what 
highest Gospels we have had may be defined as even this. 
That Judgment and Eternity are not a hearsay, that they 
are a fact ; — fit enough to kindle the inmost deeps of us ! 
I say, without either an express doctrine, or a felt instinct 
expressed in rules of action to this effect, man is not himself ; 
— ^he is, little as he may dream of it, a kind of enchanted 
monster. One has heard of a man very wretched because the 
Devils had stolen away his shadow : but here they have 
stolen his robes of light from him ; he walks abroad, little 
knowing it, arrayed in the everlasting miurk, a son of Nox 
and Chaos. He considers that his life was given him only to 
enjoy it, to eat and digest in it, to be happy in it. He is a 
ray of darkness become flesh. Noble deed or thought there 



CHAP. III.] HAMPTON COURT CONFERENCE 39 

is thenceforth none for him under these stars. His luckiest 
lot, were it not even this, to return^ at his soonest, to Chaos, 
and report what a failure it was ? 

* For properly that outer fact of a Divine Judgment is 
the emblematic expression of this other internal fact, that 
man has in him a man-like sense of Right and Wrong. 
Right and Wrong ; manfulness {virtus)^ or unmanfulness ! 
A manlike sense, we say, and not beastlike : for the very 
beasts and horses know something of ^^ morality,^ if this be 
^^ moral ^ : To know that on this side lie hay and oats, and on 
that side lie scourgings and spur-rowels. But to a man, let 
him understand it or not, his being right or his being wrong 
is simply the one question. The most flaming Hell he will 
front composedly, right being with him ; wrong being with 
him, the Paradise of Houris were a Hell. 

* Yes, reader, it will require to be forever repeated till the 
obtuse generations learn it again, and lay it to heart and 
bring it forth in their practice again : man, very finite as we 
see him, is withal a kind of infinite creature. His little 
Time-life is a mysterious pavilion spread on the bosom of 
Eternities ; there he acts his little life-drama, looked at, with 
iy>proval, with rejection, by the Eternities and Infinitudes. 
Very certainly, let him know it or not, he does project him- 
self beyond all firmaments and abysses ; has real property, 
more real than was ever pleaded of in law-courts, beyond the 
outmost stars. Either as an enchanted monster, forgetful of 
all this; or else as a man, encircled in celestial robes of 
light, and mindful of all this, does he, in every epoch, in 
every form of creed and circumstances, walk abroad ; the 
enchanted thrall of this world, or else its heaven-sent king. 
A splendour of Heaven looks through all Nature for him, 
if he have eyes ; if he have none, it is of course a dark- 
ness of Erebus. For Nature, say the Philosophers, is 
properly his own Self shadowed back on him ; Natiure is 
the product of his own thought : he, that poor little 
creature in round felt hat, is in a sense the ^^ author ^ of 



40 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [parti. 

Nature; — an Unnameable gave him that faculty of com- 
posing a Universe and Nature for himself, with those five 
senses of his, with that thinking soul of his. 

^ Encircle him visibly with that same celestial splendour 
which is native to him ; in some way, let him understand 
indubitably at all moments that he i^ a man, that he 
does belong to the Heavens and Infinitudes, what a crea* 
ture is he ! Difficulties, perils melt from his path, as 
vapours from before the face of the sun : difficulties, perils 
are not there for him ; he can hurl mountains aside, and 
build paths across the impassable, march with spread 
banners through the Deathkingdoms, trample Death and 
Tartarus under his feet ! I have known such, under 
various figures, at intervals in this noble world all along; 
and do, with continual gratitude, deeply thank the Heavens 
for them : Old Romans, Moslems, still more Old Christians, 
nay Puritans or modem Christians, ^^ Believers,'*^ each after 
his kind. I have known Luthers, Mahomets, men *^ resigned 
to God,^ and not resigned to the Enemies of God; — in 
various forms I have known men come into this world as 
evident Sons of Light, bom enemies of Chaos : men blazing 
with intolerable radiance ; before whom all pedants, poltroons 
and the like beggarly persons had hastily to withdraw them- 
selves, hastily to shut their eyes, and procure if possible 
^^ improved smoked spectacles.**^ For the radiance was in- 
tolerable as Heaven'^s own ; it was the light of genius become 
fire of virtue and valour: intolerable enough; and sent 
oftenest, to this corrupt Earth, not with peace but with a 
sword, — nay, I believe, always with a sword among other 
things. For human figures of this kind shall we not per- 
petually thank the Heavens, as for their one favour ; from 
and with which are all other favours; without which no 
other favour is possible, or indeed worth accepting if it were ? 

* But on the other hand, once hide this his celestial destiny 
from poor man ; persuade him, by enchantment of whatever 
sort, that he has nothing to do with Heaven or the Infini- 



CHAP. III.] HAMPTON COURT CONFERENCE 41 

tudes, except to cant about them on ceremonial occasions, 
and for making assurance doubly sure, pray by machinery to 
them, — alas! Has the thinking soul any sadder spectacle 
in this world? Man has fallen into eclipse; the dragons 
and demons have, as it were, obliterated him. Yes, the 
Subterranean ones, tugging and twitching at his Light- 
mantle, have tugged it down with them ; and he remains 
a mass of darkness, tenebrific, raying out mere darkness, 
greediness, baseness; with the figure still of a man, but 
unhappier than most animals and apes, — than all apes 
except those that sit on Sabbath by the shores of the 
Dead Sea! 

^ There are many such ; whole generations of such are, and 
have been, in this world : but they are a solecism, a futile 
monstrosity ; worth no notice, as we said. Their glitter, so 
bright to themselves, is without brightness to any other. 
What is the brightness of rotting wood, so soon as morning 
has risen? Their doom is to be forgotten forever. How 
shall the soul of man take pains to remember what is intrin- 
sically trivial, undelightful, dead and killing to all souls? 
This is t/nrelated to the Eternal Melodies ; this is discordant, 
related to the Eternal Discords ! No soul of man will re- 
member it; will find any pleasure or possession in it. 
Melancholy Pedantry does its part, for a certain length of 
years, to the sorrow and confusion of the human mind : but 
Pedantry also has to terminate ; its torpid volumes, no man 
reading or reprinting them, are gradually eaten by worms ; 
the last dull vocable is eaten by some charitable worm, and 
the very echo of them vanishes forever. Such generations do 
and must fall abolished out of History ; immense strata of 
them are at last found pressed together into a film. God is 
great. 



^ But the truth is," continues our severe friend, ^ this King 
^ James having, with his royal radiance, scattered English 



42 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [parti. 

Puritanism forth from his presence, and bidden it be gone to 
Chaos, — he has, so to speak, quitted hold of the real heart 
of England ; is becoming more and more an alien, he and 
his, to what England means, and has in best to do. This 
new Nobleness of England he has misknown, has taken for 
a thing ignoble. England nevertheless must do it ; from the 
eternal kingdoms, from the foundations of the Universe, 
comes a monition to do it. The Law of Nature goes one way 
with us ; our poor Sovereign Lord has set out to lead us and 
compel us on another. What can come of it ? This poor 
Sovereign Lord, this poor Stuart Dynasty of Sovereign Lords, 
growing more and more aliens to the meaning of England, 
will occupy the throne of England, — but find one day that 
it is the Wooden-and-velvet " throne "^ merely, supported by 
certain constables and tax-eaters merely. All aliens come to 
be recognised for alien ; and must depart, if not peaceably, 
then worse. 

' Puritanism, heartfelt conformity not to human rubrics 
but to the Maker's own Laws, — what nobler thing was there, 
or is there ? All noble things, past, present, future, are even 
this same thing under various conditions and environments. 
It is a kindling of the human soul once more into recog- 
nition of " God dwelling in i/,"" — recognition of its own awfiil 
godhead. All noble activities and enlightenments flow from 
this as from a light-fountain and life-fountain. Just social 
constitution, liberty combined with loyalty, privilege of par- 
liament and privilege of king, all practical veracities and 
equities, — these are but a small inevitable corollary from it, 
as all colours are a corollary from the sun. England wUl 
have to do this thing ; this thing is in very deed the Voice 
of the Eternal to England, speaking such dialect as there is ; 
and it must be done. Who will help England to do it? 
Who, heaven-sent, as a Pillar of Cloud by day, as a Pillar of 
Fire by night, will go before the destinies of England, to 
guide them, during his stage of it, through the undiscovered 
Time ? Strong must he be ; fit to march through very Chaos. 



CHAP. IV.] JAMES I 4S 

^ He will have to defy the rage of Chaos ; to advance with 
^ closed lips, with clear eyesight, through all yellings of mon- 
^ sters, athwart all phantasms and abysses. Strong as a 
^ Hercules, as a god. He, whether the gold crown be on his 
^ head or not, will be the real King of England. If the gold 
^ crown be not on his head, if the gold crown be on his enemy^s 
* head, — it will be the worse for the gold crown.** 



CHAPTER IV 

JAMES I 

This King James, with his large hysterical heai't, with his 
large goggle-eyes glaring timorously inquisitive on all persons 
and objects, as if he would either look through them or else 
be fascinated by them, and, so to speak, start forth into them, 
and spend his very soul and eyesight in the frustrate attempt 
to look through them, — remains to me always a noticeable, 
not unloveable man. The liveliest recognition of innumerable 
things, such a pair of goggle-eyes glaring on them, could not 
fail. 

He is a man of swift discernment, ready sympathy, ready 
faculty in every kind ; vision clear as a lynxes, if it were deep 
enough ! Courtiers repeat his Majesty^s repartees and 
speeches : was there ever seen such a head of wit ? He, 
with his lynx eyes, detected in Monteagle^s letter some 
prophecy of * suddenness,^ prophecy of — probable Gunpowder 
barrels; and found Guy Faux and his cellar, and dark 
lantern, his Majesty, I think, it chiefly was. He detected 
the * Sleeping Preacher,'' a sneaking College-graduate, of semi- 
Puritan tendencies, who pretended to preach in his sleep.' 
He was great in Law-suits, of logical acumen rarely paralleled; 
your most tangled skein of lawpleading or other embroiled 
logic, once hang it on the Royal judgment, he will wind it 
off for you to the inmost thrum. He delights in doing 

* Stow. 



44 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [PART l. 

lawsuits, presiding over conferences ; testifying to himself and 
others what a divine lynx faculty he has. He speaks like a 
second Solomon; translucent with logic, radiant with wit, 
with ready ingenuity, and prismatic play of colours. Gun- 
powder Plots, Sleeping Preachers, what or whom will he not 
detect ? No impostor or imposture, you would say, can well 
live before this King. None ; — except, alas, that one Semi- 
impostor already lived in him, with a fair stock of unconscious 
impostures laid up : these from within did yearn responsive 
to their kindred who lived without ! In this sense, impostors 
and impostures had a good time of it with King James: 
many bright speciosities were welcome; and certain rude noble- 
nesses were indignantly radiated forth, and bidden go to Chaos. 

But truly, if excellent discourse made an able man, I have 
seldom heard of any abler. For every why he has his where- 
fore ready ; prompt as touchwood blazes up, with prismatic 
radiances, that astonishing lynx-faculty ; which has read and 
remembered, which has surveyed men and things, after its 
fashion, with extensive view. The noble sciences he could, 
for most part, profess in College class-rooms ; he is potent 
in theology as a very doctor ; in all points of nicety a Daniel 
come to judgment. A man really most quick in speech ; full 
of brilliant repartees and coruscations ; of jolly banter, ready 
wit,^ conclusive speculation : such a faculty that the Arch- 
bishops stand stupent, and Chancellor Bacon, not without 
a certain sincerity, pronounces him wonderfully gifted. 

It is another feature of this poor king that he was of hot 
temper. A man promptly sympathetic, loquacious, most 
vehement, most excitable : can be transported into mere rage 
and frenzy on small occasions ; will swear like an Emulphuiiy' 
call the gods and the devils to witness what a life he has of 



' ' He was very witty, and had as many ready witty jests as any 
living, at which he would not smile himself, but deliver them in a grave and 
serious manner.' — Weldon {Secret History of the Court of James /., Edinburgh, 
1811), ii. 7. 

' Whose Curse, a very comprehensive piece of ' swearing ', indeed, is given 
in fiill in Tristram Shandy^ Bk. iii. cap. ii. 



CHAP. IV.] JAMES I 45 

it ; will fling himself down and ' bite the grass,*^ say courtiers, 

* merely because his game has escaped him in the wood."* 
Consider it : My game is gone, may all the devils follow it ; 
and you, ye blockheads, — maledkium sit! And then, when 
the fit is past, how his Majesty repents of it, in the saddest 
silence, with pious ejaculations to Heaven for forgiveness ! 
Poor king, his tongue is too big for him, his eyes are vigilant, 
goggle-eyes : physically and spiritually the joints and life- 
apparatus are ill-compacted in him. 

Nor can we say, he has no heart ; rather he has too much 
heart ; a heart great, but flaccid, loose of structure, without 
strength : the punsters might say he suffered from ^ enlarge- 

* ment of the heart.*" His life expended itself in spasmodic 
attachments, favouritisms, divine adorations of this or the 
other poor undivine fellow-creature; — passionate clutchings 
at the unattainable ; efforts not strong but hysterical. How 
he struggled for a Spanish Match ; ^ how the passionate 
spasmodic nature of him cramped itself, with desperate desire, 
on this as on the one thing needful, and he was heard to say 
once with exultation, * The very Devil cannot balk me now ! " 
The one thing needful because the one thing unattainable. 
Alas, O reader, what is it to thee and me, at this date, 
whether the Spanish Match take effect or take no effect ? 
Which of us, transporting himself with ever such industrious 
loyalty, into the then state of matters, would lift his little 
finger to attain that high topgallant of the Spanish Match 
and make a sovereign happy ? The spasmodic endeavourings 
of that big royal heart which now amount to zero ; the efitil- 
gences of that sublime intellect, comparable to Solomon^s, 
which are gone all to rust and darkness, fill me with a tragic 
feeling. The Bog of Lindsey '^ is deep. ITie intelligence of 
man, when he has any, should not expend itself in eloquent 
talking, but in eloquent silence and wise work, rather. 

His Majesty, with that peculiar • divine faculty ' of his, 
could not be expected to govern England, or to govern 

^ Sttpost^ p. 147. * See/tfj/, p. 58. 



46 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [part I. 

anything, in a successful manner. Clever speech is good; 
but the Destinies withal are bom deaf. How happy had his 
Majesty been, could he have got the world to go by coaxing, 
by brilliant persuasion, and have been himself left at liberty 
to hunt ! We call his government bad, on all sides unsuc- 
cessful, at variance with the fact; the semi-impostor within 
4iim attracting all manner of impostors and impostures from 
without, and swearing eloquent brotherhood with them! 
Realities, of any depth, were an unintelligibility to him ; 
only speciosities are beautiful. AVhat trouble he had with 
his Parliaments ! To the last it was an unintelligible riddle 
to him, what these factious Commons, with their mournful 
Puritanic Constitutional Petitions and Remonstrances could 
rationally mean. Do they mean anything but faction, insane 
rebellion, sacrilegious prying into our royal mysteries of State? 
Apparently not. 

That this poor King, especially in his later years, took to 
favouritisms, is, as it were, the general summary of him, good 
and bad, and need not surprise us. With such eyes he could 
not but discriminate in the liveliest manner what had a show 
of nobleness from what had none. His eyes were clear and 
shallow ; his heart was not great, but morbidly enlarged. 
Nay, we are to say moreover, that his favourites, natunJIy 
enough hated by all the world, were by no means hateful 
persons. Robert Car, son of the Laird of Femiehirst, who 
cjuitted otter-hunting and short commons in the pleasant land 
of Teviotdale, to come hither, and be Earl of Somerset and 
a world'^s wonder had various qualities, I find, besides his 
* beauty.^ ^ Audacity, dexterity, graceful courteous ways ; 
shrewd discernment, swift activity, in the sphere allotted him, 
had recommended Robert Car. Poor Car : had he staid in 
his poor homeland, hunting otters, or what else there might 
be ; roving weather-tanned by Jedwood, Teviotdale, and the 
breezy hills and clear-rushing rivers; and fished for himself 

' Robert Car (Gurr or Ker) was created Viscount Rochester in i6ii» and 
Earl of Somerset in 1613. 



\ 



CHAP. IV.] JAMES I ' 47 

there, though on short commons, being a younger brother, — 
how much luckier had he been, and perhaps we ! Or he 
might have gone abroad, and fought the Papists, under my 
Lord Vere. In Roxburghshire, as an eldest son, as a real 
Laird with rents to eat, he woyld have been the delight of 
men. 

As for George Villiers,^ it is universally agreed he was the 
prettiest man in England in several specious respects. A 
proud man, too, rather than a vain ; with dignity enough, 
with courage, generosity ; all manner of sense and manfulness 
in the developed or half-developed state ; a far-glancing man. 
Such a one this King might delight to honour. Poor old 
King, his own old dislocated soul loved to repose itself on 
these bright young beautiful souls ; in their warmth and 
auroral radiance he felt that it was well with him. Crabbed 
Cecil, Earl of Salisbury, had ended ; advancing age and 
increase of sorrow were coming on his Majesty, when he 
betook himself to Car. These accursed Favourites, they were 
called, and passionately said to be, several things ; they were 
properly Prime Ministers of England, chosen by the royal 
* divine faculty,^ such as it was. Bad Prime Ministers, very 
ill-chosen ; — but not the worst ; I have known far worse. 
We ourselves, who live under mere Prime Ministers chosen 
by a Collective Wisdom and bursts of Parliamentary elo- 
quence, have not we had worse, — Heavens, are we sure we 
ever had much better! Prime Ministers are difficult to 
choose. By kings unheroic, and by peoples unheroic, they 
are impossible to choose. 

How happy had it been for this King, could he have done 
his duty without trouble, by eloquence of speech alone ! O, 
if the world would but go right by coaxing of it, by ingenious 
pleading with it ! Here is wit, here is jolly banter ; sharp 
logic-arrows, which give many a difficulty its quietus, — for 

' Third son of Sir George Villiers of Brooksby, Leicestershire. He became 
Viscount Villiers in i6i6, and Earl of Buckingham, 1617. 



48 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [PART I. 

« 

the moment. Courtiers turn up their admiring eyes : a second 
Solomon, we vow ! But ever the difficulty awakens again, feUer 
than before; it cannot be slain by logic-arrows. *BecUi Paci/icij 

* Blessed are the Peacemakers,^ said his Majesty always. Yes, 
Your Majesty ; but they will require other ammunition than 
clever speech, I am afraid. Fain would his Majesty have 
saved the Palatinate, how fain, could it have been done with- 
out stroke struck ! All vice had been far from him, had 
it not been so pleasant ; all virtue ' near, except that it was 
troublesoipe. He would have promoted true religion, en- 
couraged commerce, made a noble England of us, could it 
have been done by speech alone. O England, why wilt thou 
not go by coaxing ? Thou art like the deaf adder ; listenest 
not to the voice of the charmer. Fact, it would seem, goes 
one way ; I, and my Solomonisms,-and courtiers with upturned 
^y^9 g9 another. Since eloquent speech will not do it, what 
can we attempt ? Try it with ever new eloquence ; — and in 
the intervals, as much as may be, fly from it. 

His Majesty, idle from the first, grew ever idler. He 
roved about in continual Progresses ; he hunted greatly, as 
it were incessantly; his active history was one great hunt. 
Business, it is true, was neglected : but the semi-impostor 
within, responded to by plenty of impostors fix)m without, 
declared it to be essential for *the health of our royal 

* person.*" Consider, ye English People, if our royal liver got 
into mis-secretion ? — Certainly, your Majesty'^s health before 
all things; ^your Majesty is the breath of our nostrils!^ 
His Majesty hunted much; and also, what was a natural 
resource for him, drank. His Majesty'^s drinking was con- 
siderable ; moreover, it kept slowly but i)erceptibly increasing. 
Cxhristian, King of Denmark, his royal brother-in-law,^ came 
more than once to see him, with immense explosion of * fire> 
^ works on the River "* and elsewhere ; and the two Majeatiea 
had carouses together worthy of the old Sea-kings. Acrid 

' James married, in 1589, the Princess Anne, sister of Christian iv., King of 
Denmark and Norway. 



CHAP. IV.] JAMES I 49 

old Court-newsmen will apprise you how, before the Court 
masque got ended, the Majesties of England and Denmark 
were scandalously overcome with strong liquor; how even 
ladies of honour, and Allegorical Virtues, Faith, Hope and 
Charity, dressed for the nonce, staggered as they made their 
entrance, unable to speak their finishing parts, their tongue 
cleaving to the roof of their mouth; and in one dim 
hiccuping chaos, the worthships and worships of this lower 
world reeled eclipsed, as in disastrous universal twilight of 
the gods. What are we to think of these things, in Hunting- 
don,^ for instance, and other such serious quarters ! Alas, 
his Majesty^9 own royal conscience admits that it is scan- 
dalous ; repents sorrowfully on the morrow, eager for soda- 
water and consolation. 

It is also admitted that this King *sold honours.^ He 
was the first that started that branch of industry; sale of 
honours was a regular item in our royal budget during those 
years. He had a settled tariff of honours : so much for a 
Knight, so much for a Baronet, which latter was one of his 
own inventions ; so much for Baronhood, for all kinds of 
Lordhood, up to Earlhood, which, it would appear, cost 
10,0002. Whatsoever man, not entirely scandalous to 
mankind, will pay down 10,000/. can be made an Earl. 
Men disapproved of it, but men made purchases. Old Peers 
gloomed unutterable things, but had to submit in silence. 
The truth is, his Majesty was all along terribly in want 
of cash. He had withal a perpe|;ual desire to oblige every- 
body, where it could be done with a mere garter, or slap 
of the sword. His temptation to sell honours was consider- 
able. And yet, — alas, your Majesty, who are a wise old 
King, is not this same as mad an act as any king can do ? 
The neeessitous Indian, in like fashion, procures a brief 
warmth by burning his bed. Pay honour to whom honour 
is not due ; it is an anarchic transaction every fibre of it : 
every such payment, on the part of any man, is a piece of 

* Where Oliver Cromwell was living. 



50 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [parti. 

anarchy ; a contribution to the great Bank of Social False- 
hood, which if it go on accumulating will break us all. 
Nobility direct for cash, nobility in any way by cash, does it 
not mean now and forever a thing false ? Does it not too 
fatally admonish us that Mammon is a great god ; that be 
sits there as our great god, with diamond eyes, gold eyebrows, 
and belly full of jewels, awe-inspiring ; — that certain greater 
gods, or were it even greater devils, strange Puritanisms, 
most strange Jacobinisms, Sansculottisms, will be needed by 
and by, to smite the crockery belly of him in pieces, and 
scatter him and his diamonds in a surprising manner !— 

But in fact cash, all along, was the thing this King 
wanted ; he could not help it. His revenues were great 
compared with Queen Elizabeth^s : but Queen Elizabeth was 
thrifty, — she had it probably by nature. We of our royal 
bounty, again, are generous ; a cheerful giver while we have 
it, to the worthy, to the unworthy ! — King James'^s Parlia- 
ments, for various reasons, grew shy of furnishing him at 
such a ratio ; his Majesty'^s necessities were habitually great. 
He had to subsist as a projector ; from hand to mouth ; his 
inspiring genii Hunger and Hope. By Benevolences, by 
forced loans, sale of honours, farming of Papist penalties, 
monopolies of gold and silver thread; — the very penalties 
on swearing were farmed ; monopolies were thick as black- 
berries,^ all farmed out for a consideration. His ways of 
raising money and of wasting it are a wonder to behold. On 
one Scotch individual called James Hay, called various things, 
called ultimately Earl of Carlisle, and married to Lucy Percy, 
daughter of Northumberland, he is computed to have spent 
first and last, 400,000/. ; say a million and a half of our 
money. That was the money-price of Sardanapalus Hay and 
his services ; probably the highest ever given for such a piece 
of goods. Hay was not without talent, expertness as comrtier 
and clothes-horse: he went on several embassies, ^ shook 
* silver from his horse^s hoofs ' on the streets of Paris, 

' Seven hundred of them, according to d'Ewes, 



CHAP. IV.] JAMES I 61 

in state there,^ that the populace and all persons might 
discern how regardless of expense he was. This King spent 
immensely on Embassies, — eloquent persuasion ; which indeed 
was his one recipe for foreign affairs. By embassies, by 
progresses, by cheerful giving while we have it, our royal 
exchequer is perennially running on the lees. 

Of this or the other person we hear it said. What an 
excellent man would he be, if he had but abundance of 
money ! Yes, truly : — but the postulate is a very wide one. 
To have always money means in the long-run, mad as money 
and social arrangements are, that you do in some measure 
conform yourself to facts ; that you do not entirely desert the 
laws of industry, veracity, self-denial and common arithmetic, 
on which, as on its central scmity, this mad world revolves, 
still keeping out of chaos ! You do not forget these laws, 
you in a degree adhere to them ; by that means some vestige 
of cash still remains with you. Forget them altogether, 
these central sanities, laws of self-denial, common arithmetic 
and such like, — there is no exchequer in the world but you 
will exhaust ; Fortunatus'^s Purse alone would suffice you. It 
is even so. Fortunatus'^s Purse, that little leather pocket, in 
which, every time you chose to open it there lay ten gold 
coins, would subvert the laws of Moral Nature. IVobablv no 
such miraculous machine could be put into the hands of a 
son of Adam. Adieu then to all reformation, public and 
private ! Adieu, ye central sanities ; we can revolve forever 
in the superficial confusions. Injustice, madness, un veracity, 
shameless practical denial of the multiplication-table itself, 
does not now clutch me by the stomach, by the throat, and 
say, Thou shalt die or quit all that. No ; I only hear of it 
from Moralists in Sunday pulpits, from demagogue orators or 
such like ; and can contentedly go my way. So long as there 
are necessitous scoundrels in this Earth, cannot I hire flat- 
terers, hire armies, keep down all demagogues ; make Sunday 
pulpits, by much milder methods, temper themselves ? I 

* Wilson, in Kennet's History of Englarut^ ii. 704. 



6« HISTORICAL SKETCHES [parti. 

have but to dive into my Fortunatus'^s leather-pocket, and 
bring out always the ten gold coins. May the gods deliver 
us from any such miraculous implement, fit to overset the 
world ! 

When we say therefore that his Majesty is in perpetual 
want of cash, it is saying otherwise that his Majesty finds 
himself, after all, a kind of chaotic individual ; not owned by 
the Veracities, as a Solomon should be, but disowned by 
them. Facts everywhere disowned him, much to his astonish- 
ment. Yet he struggled always, let us own, as his infirmities 
would permit. With eloquent speech, with every superficial 
assiduity, he tried to coax the Veracities ; snarled in angry 
surprise, when they would not coax ; — and anew tried them. 
Those vigilant glittering eyes, full of goodhumour, kindliness, 
jolly banter ; that radiant wisdom secure that it is all- wise; 
that snarl, as of mastifTs swiftly passing, — poor Majesty! 
He was a man that hated trouble; idle, nay * eloquently 
^ idle ^ : in spite of black calumnies, what other vice had he ? 
The summary of all his vices lay there, in that compre- 
hensive one ; — as the summary of all his misfortunes lay in 
want of cash. He had a most unquiet world to preside over ; 
society all rent, or beginning to rend itself, in deep and ever 
deeper travail-throes : in this little Island of ours, multitudes 
of things confusedly germinating, which have since orov 
shadowed the earth. A most pregnant, confused time; 
enough to astonish most Majesties. King of Puritanism? 
As the average of matters goes, we cannot expect such a 
thing. Puritanism, probably with struggle enough, will have 
to find its own King. 

For the rest, let no man suppose that this King was a 
mere talking hypocrite ; that he flung up the reins of govern- 
ment, like a modem Louis Fifteenth, in his Sybarite despair, 
and said, Go yoiu- own way, then ! Far from it. King 
James, and this is the interesting peculiarity, never once in 
his remotest thoughts suspected that he was a Solednn. 
With his whole soul he feels always that he is Heaven- 



CHAP. IV.] JAMES I 68 

appointed Governor of England; rolls his vigilant large 
eyes, wags his eloquent large tongue, with real intent to 
govern and guide it. There is a touching conscientiousness 
in him. For indeed the fulness of time had not yet come ! 
Into no mind of man had it yet entered that this Universe 
is an Imposture, an Uncertainty ; that any man or king 
can, otherwise than at his eternal peril, be a Solecism, and 
empty anarchic Clothes-horse there. Comparatively, with all 
its confusions, a lucky epoch that of James ! 

King James went in state to the Starchamber ; pronounced 
divine Discourses in the Starchamber; explaining to all 
people, lords, commons, divines, lawyei*s and miscellaneous 
persons, what their real duties were. He blew * Counter- 

* blasts against Tobacco ^ ; he denounced Dutch Vorstius, 
argued with Papist Bellarmine. How has he mastered the 
mysteries of Kingcraft; written Basilicon-Dorons, that his 
son after him might understand governing? He is near 
going to war with the Dutch, he who all his days detested 
war, because they hesitate to dismiss Vorstius, the mad Arian 
who attempts to profess Divinity. He sent Bishop Mem- 
bers to the Synod of Dort; longed for their despatches on 
Vorstius, Arminians and the < five points,' as for the water 
of life; and when his Bishop-Members came home, he saw 
them out of window, in a sad time, and said, ^ Here come 

* my good mourners.' ^ A King every inch, and even a kind 
of PontiiF ; a real Defender of the Faith ; * by which title 
^ he doth more value himself,' says his ambassador, ^ than by 

* the style of King of Britain.' ^ 

With what unction does he discourse to Parliament also ; 
expounding, in affectioiiate allegories, that they are the wife, 
and he the husband ; that they must do no unkindnesses or 
infidelities to one another. He feels himself as an immense 
brood-fowl set over this England, and would so fain gather 
it all under his wings. Cluck, cluck, ye unfortunate English ; 

* Fuller, CJkunJk History of Britain (London, 1837), iu. 282. 
> Ilnd. 251. 



64 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [PART!. 

here are barleycorns, here are safe walks, if ye will but 
follow ! Explosive, subterranean Papists, subtle Romish 
fowlers not a few, Puritan owlets, glede -hawks, vulture 
Vorstiuses are busy ; but so too am I, — with my quick eye- 
sight, with my prodigious head of wit. Why should a noble- 
man come idly hither to Court, and leave his own country 
unguided, uncheered ; his chimney tops, the wind-pipes of 
good hospitality, smokeless among their woods ? Why should 
a person of elegant appearance puff* nauseous tobacco-smoke 
from him, — and even fill the cavities of his inner man with 
soot ? If you dissect him, there have been known to issue, 
as I am informed, considerable quantities of soot.^ Consider 
witchcraft too; beware of excess in witchcraft. O my 
people, do your duty wisely; — how fain would I too do my 
duty, were it not so troublesome ! Hunting : — ^yes, but we 
are constrained to hunting for the health of our royal person. 
And drink : — we do take a little wine for our stomach^s sake. 
Choose wise men : — and do I not, ye rebellious ? I had 
crooked sorrowful Robert Cecil once ; to me a great sorrow ; 
and under him also you did nothing but croak. These 
brilliant young figures, they fly out as my angels, as my swift 
nimble scouts, seeking me the fit wise men ; to me they make 
life easier ; to you they are — agreeable, I would hope ? 

The trouble his Majesty had with his Parliaments is but 
analogous to what he had with all manner of Facts, 
everywhere. Not one Fact of them would go by coaxing; 
Parliaments are again a naked fact we have come upon, 
the summary of many facts. Through his English Par- 
liaments there speaks again the reality of England to this 
King, — in a dialect extremely astonishing to him. Did 
not Heaven^s Self and the Laws of Nature appoint me to 

' ' Surely smoke becomes a kitchen farre better than a dining chamber, mod 
yet it makes a kitchen also sometimes in the inward parts of men, sqyling and 
infecting them, with an vnctious and oily kind of soote, as hath been found in 
some great Tobacco takers, that after their death were opened.' ComtUrkUtsU 
to Tobacco (King James's Works, London, 1616, p. 221). 



■Jii3 



CHAP. IV.] JAMES I 66 

be Sovereign, and general Parent Fowl over you, ye 
English ? Have not I clucked as a most kind parent, 
struggling to cover you with my wings? And ye will 
prove mere rebellious cockatrices ? Know that our royal 
breast contains anger withal ; dreadful volumes of wrath, 
adequate to the dissolution of Nature in a manner! 

* We think oiurself very free and able to punish any 

* man^s misdemeanours in Parliament ! ^ ^ From these Par- 
liaments, in language of respect almost devotional, there 
comes truly a tone, lugubrious, low-voiced, unalterable ; 
such as no second Solomon can understand. A croaking, 
tremulous, most mournful petition, ever repeated : That 
God'^s Gospel be attended to ; that right be done according 
to the old laws ; that eternal verity do assert itself veritably 
in all manner of temporal and other affairs. Dread Sovereign, 
enlightened Majesty, O that it would please your Majesty 
to put down Papistries, Spiritual Clothes-horses, blasphemous 
unveracities : it is the law of the Most High Maker ; 
what will become of your Majesty's poor Commons, of 
your Majesty's Self and of us all otherwise ! So pray the 
Parliaments ever more Puritanically. 

What boots it ? Knewstubs and Chadderton * were flashed 
back to Nox and Chaos, three hundred Puritan Night-owls 
scattered from their nests in the Parish Churches : and yet 
this strange Puritanism is spreading through all thinking 
souls in England ! To the Country gentlemen it is grown 
natural ; not a squire of them but has got the Bible- 
doctrine in his heart, or feels that he ought to have it, 
as the one thing needful. He has his Puritan Religion 
about him ; as, in these days, our squire has his shotbelt 
and double-barrel. Low, tremulous, but bodeful as the 
voice of doom, rises the cry of the Bible Parliaments, 
waxing ever wider, ever deeper, through that Reign of 
James ; — enough to drive a second Solomon mad, if he were 
to think of it ! God's Gospel : Have we not got it, ye 

^ Kennet, ii. 741. ^ Ste* Hampton Court Conference,' om/^, p. 24. 



} 



66 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [PART I. 

infatuated? Privilege, right according to law: Did any 
former king ever grant you the tithe of such Privil^e? 
Will you yourselves be as kings, as gods knowing good 
and evil ! Deep matters of State are far beyond your 
simple comprehension. We are an old and experience 
King : are you advised of that ? We think ourselves very 
free and able to punish any man'^s misdemeanours in Par- 
liament. Shall we — dissolve Nature about your ears ? 
We will to our hunting, and forget you 1 Let us foiget 
you, ye infatuated ; and live by monopolies, beneVolences, 
sale of honours, and the general Grace of God ! 

Of a truth. King James had his own difficulties with the 
world; and also, it is to be admitted, the world had its 
own difficulties with King James. The Age of James, 
which we found lying dim, and of a leaden colour, in the 
Books of Dryasdust, is really in itself of dim nature; 
trivial, little worth remembering. An Age of tobacco and 
other kinds of smoke. An Age of theory without practice ; 
old theory ceasing to be practicable, new not yet becoming 
so. Everywhere imminent, unconscious Decay struggles with 
unconscious Newbirth. Struggle and wrestle as yet all dark ; 
inarticulate contention, smoky ineffectuality, — smoke without 
visible fire ! Fire there is ; but it lies deep under the fallen 
and falling leaves of a Past Time, which are not yet con- 
sumed, not yet understood to be consumable. What a most 
poor spirit has taken possession of your Bacons and Raleigfas ! 
Within high-stalking Formulas there walks a Reality fast 
verging towards the sordid. Hungry Valet-ambition, drunken 
brutal Sensuality abound, on this hand ; and on that, empty 
Hypocrisy not conscious that it is such. Not conscious : if 
your iEthiopian never saw light, how can he surmise that he 
is black ? He scorns the foul insinuation ; has a vindictive 
feeling, as of injured innocence. Not the least fatal and 
hateful Hypocrisy is that same which never dreams that it is 
h^ocrilicJ. 



L J 



CHAP. IV.] JAMES I 67 

Men wear bushel-breeches, filled out with bran, in that 
age; and so, you may figuratively say, do things. Such 
breeches are a world too wide for the shrunk shank, which is 
fast shrinking thinner and thinner, which really ought to be 
quitting the streets now, as no longer roadworthy ! Much 
that fancies itself to be a dress is becoming a questionable 
masquerade. For there is a Reality in England other than 
the somewhat sordid one with high-stalking Formulas at 
Whitehall. A fire does exist; though deephidden under 
brown leaves and exuviae, and as yet testifying itself only 
by smoke ! Musical Spensers have sung their frosty Allegory 
of Theoretic Heroisms, Faery Queens ; and lo, here is an un- 
musical Knewstubs and Company persuading every one that 
there ought to be a Practical Heroism. Rugged enough this 
latter, but noble beyond all nobleness. Not in frosty Alle- 
gories, in fantastic Dreamlands ; but here in this Earth, say 
they, in this England, — at your feet, Peter, and at yours, Jack, 
— is a steep Path of Hercules, which does actually lead to the 
Eternal Heavens. That is news, old and yet extremely new ; 
important if credible. Knewstubs knows it of a truth ; reads 
it in his GodVBook, in his God-inspired heart ; — and has one 
thing needful, that he may himself accomplish it. That he 
may himself accomplish it, this is the thing needful for 
Knewstubs ; not, except as subsidiary thereto, that he may 
persuade all men or any man of it. The surer is he to 
persuade all men. 

This was the unaccountable element in English affairs 
which a second Solomon had to face, and was altogether 
unable to understand, — which had not yet become thoroughly 
conscious of itself, — a conjuncture full of trouble to both 
King and People. 

One merit can never be denied this sorry generation of 
James : That it is generating its Successor. When once 
our said smoke, which we see waxing ever thicker, catches fire 
and becomes flame, there will be a generation luminous 
enough. 



58 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [part I. 



CHAPTER V 

BOG OF LINDSEY 

[1606] 

It is not naturally a romantic region, that Fen Country ; 
for the lover of the picturesque there is little comfort in it. 
A stagnant land, grown dropsical ; where the lazy streams 
roll with a certain higgling deliberation, as if in doubt 
whether they would not cease to roll at all, which, indeed, 
they occasionally do. The land-strata have not been suf- 
ficiently heaved up from the Ocean, say the Greologists, with 
much reason. The upheaval of strata from the ocean-bed 
may be in excess and give us Alpine snow-mountains, fright- 
ful Cotopaxis, Himalayas, with their cataracts and chasms ; or 
in defect, as here, and give us quaking peat-bogs, expanses of 
fat mud and quagmire. 

Not a land of the picturesque, we say ; yet a land of some 
interest to the human soul, as all land is or may become. A 
gross, unpicturesque land, of reed-grass, weedy- verdure, of 
mud and marsh ; where the scattered hills, each crowned with 
its Church and hamlet, rise like islands over the continent of 
peat-bog ; and indeed do mostly still bear the name of Ej/j 
which in the ancient dialect of all Deutschmen, Angles, 
Norse, or whatever they are, means Island. Coveney, Swav- 
esey, Sheepey, Horsey, not to speak of Ramsey, Eel-ey or 
Ely, and so many other eys and eas^ — ^they are beautiful to 
me, with their little Parish Churches in the continent of 
marsh there ; better than picturesque. The leaders of your 
conquering Danes, East Angles or whoever they were, the 
captain of fifty, the captain of ten, had settled each on his 
dry knoll here, each with his merry men round him ; and set 
to tillage, fishing, fowling, graziery and the peaceable cutting 
of peat Prosperous operations, which in the course of fertile 



CHAP. v.] BOG OF LINDSEY 69 

centuries, have come to what we now see. The huts of his 
merry men are this hamlet, this town with its towers and 
markets; his private chapel, what is notablest of all, has 
grown to be this Parish Church ! The merry men, I find, 
are still here, grubbing and stubbing in a very laborious 
manner ; but the Captain himself has gone elsewhither, and 
is somewhat to seek nowadays ! Meanwhile, we have it in 
indisputable rhyme that ^ the monks in Ely were singing 

* beautifully (merry) as Cnut the King came rowing through 

* that quarter,** who straightway ordered a landing that he 
might hear them at their vespers, — the noble pious Cnut 
with an ear for music of every kind, and a soul ! 

Merie sungen the Muneches binnen Ely 
Tha Cnut Ching rew therby. 
Rowetb cnites noer the lant^ 
And here we thes Muneches saeng. ^ 

How the same King Cnut, storm -stayed at Soham, sat indig- 
nant in the imperfect frost, unable either to row or ride; 
with his Christmas coming on at Ely, in sight of him, yet 
unattainable : how he stormed and fumed ; and did at last 
get through by help of a pikestaff and his own feet, guided 
by a happy peasant dextrous in bog-topography, to whom 
lands and quagmires were given for his service ; and so kept 

^ This is the first and only surviving stanza of an impromptu song made by 
Xing Canute on the occasion of his visiting Ely, probably for the first time. 
As the King, accompanied by his Queen Emma, approached the church of Ely, 
he began to hear a kind of harmonious sound ; drawing nearer and listening 
attentively, 'he perceived it to be the Monks in the Church singing their 
Canonical hours. The King in the joy of his heart broke out into a Song which he 
made extempore on the occasion, calling on the nobles that were about him to 
join in the chorus. This Song in the English or Saxon language . . . was 
long preserved by the Ely Monks, for the sake of the royal Author.' — Bentham's 
History of the Church of Ely^ p. 95. The following is a Latin version of the 
stanza: 

Dulce cantaverunt Monachi in Ely, 

Dum Canutus Rex navigaret prope ibi. 

Nunc, Milites, navigate profMus ad terram, 

Et stmul audiamus Monachorum harmonium. 



60 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [PART I. 

his Christinas at Ely after all : this and other the like. facts 
are indisputable to Dryasdust. 

Who knows what strange personages and populations have 
dwelt in this Fen country, since it first rose into the sunlight 
^ by volcanic agency/ or otherwise : Iceni, shaggy Fenmoi, 
Norsemen ; horrid Crocodile Ichthyosauri, wading in the 
mixed element ! There have been Roman conquerors, 'East- 
Anglian conquerors, Danish conquerors in extreme abundance. 
Nay, holy Guthlac, when he fled away from men in his solitary 
boat and built a turf hut at Crowland, thinking he might 
have leave to pray there in the desolate swamp country, was 
beset with a populace of Devils, real Imps, the produce of 
Guthlac and this Fen region, — scandalous gorbellied, bow- 
legged, lobster-nosed little scoundrels, all dancing round him 
with foul gestures and cacklings ; till he got them subdued 
by obstinate devotion and spade husbandry ; and gradually a 
Crowland Chapel, and even Crowland Abbey sacred to 
Guthlac, was built there. Not to speak of devout Saxon 
virgins, kings'* daughters some of them, ^ and maids after 
* twelve years of marriage,^ flying through these watery wastes 
to escape the snares of the world ; founding convents of Ely, 
— but for whom Cnut had never heard tiiat music Then 
also there were kings or kings^ sons, lying sick to death ; who, 
in the crisis of their agony, saw Shining Ones, clear presence 
of this or the other Saint, promising in audible sphere-music, 
celestial enough, that they should not die but live; who, 
thereupon, very naturally, decided on founding Abbeys, at 
Ramsey, or where they had the means. Strange enough pro- 
ductions of this Fen country ; — foreign enough, to be bone 
of our bone ! And here again, I apprehend, is a very strange 
production of the Fen country ; this little Boy Oliver, whom 
we saw in a late Chapter, looking at the Hinchinbrook Phan* 
tasmagory, he himself a very real object ! He too, under 
new guises, is of kindred to the devout kings^ sons and per- 
secuted virgins; perhaps also to Guthlac and his escort of 
Devils. 



CHAP, v.] BOG OF LINDSEY 61 

Bq this as it may, one thing is certain : The progress of 
improvement being considerable in those days, there has 
arisen in Huntingdonshire and elsewhe^ some determination to 
have the Fen regions drained. An important speculation; 
how often canvassed at the fireside of Mr. Robert Cromwell 
and the Golden or Gilt Knight, among others ! Speculative 
friends of agriculture see it to be possible ; there has long 
been talk of it ; ought it not now to be done ? 

Something from of old was done ; something by her late 
Majesty; nay, by old Romans, by Norse, East Anglians, 
oldest Welsh Iceni and St. Guthlac; — no genuine son of 
Adam could live here without trying to drain a little, and 
make the footing under him firmer ! Something was done ; 
but alas, how little. Old works should be repaired ; new 
greater ones attempted. Clough^s-Cross bulwark with its 
wooden tide-gates and flood-gates, engineers are of opinion 
you could decidedly improve it. Morton'^s Leam, the old 
Bishop Morton'^s, could you not * scour ^ ^ that, and make it 
run; to carry off the soaking Nen waters as it once did? 
Salterns Lode too, and so many other lodes and leams — but 
the Abbeys are all suppressed, given to the cormorants ; and 
the Nen-deluges and several other things, ooze at their leisure, 
none bound to take heed of them.^ The good old Bishop 
Morton, he had * a brick tower^ built for himself in those 
drowned r^ions : there on his specula commanding many a 
mile of wet waste, he surveyed with extensive view the 
domains of mud ; and watched how, in the distance or near, 
his spademen in due gangs were getting some victory over it. 
Venerable good old man ; a pleasure to me to see him on his 
brick tower there, though four centuries off ! He, for one, 
I think, is a sane son of Adam ; bent to conquer Chaos a 
little, on more sides than one. For I love to believe he was 
a good spiritual Overseer too, and did feats as Priest, as 
Pontiff and Lord Chancellor: a sworn enemy of Chaos, 
I do hope, whether it appeared as Lawyer^s cobwebs, as 

' Dredge. * C»mden« 



62 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [PART I. 

mud-swamps, or human stupidity, as DeviPs disorder of what- 
ever kind ! — 

And now his long good Leam, we say, lies stagnant, in- 
effectual ; lapped in sedges and foul green slumber : that, at 
least, you could scour and set flowing. That and much else. 
These enormous Fens ought in short to be conquered. From 
the big Bog of Lindsey by Humber mouth, westward by 
Ramsey Mere, to Huntingdon, to Market Deeping in the 
head of Norfolk, what a tract of land to be gained from 
the mud - gods, — worth Sterling money if you had it ! 
Positively our River Ouse should not be left to run in 
this way, submerging whole districts : bank him, bulwark 
him, hold him up by sheer force ; and instead of mud 
and ducks, with summer hay, let there be cattle-pastures 
and com. 

Such is the talk of speculative friends of agriculture ; such 
is the deliberate Public Report which the leading men in 
those Fen Countries, Sir Oliver and Mr. Robert Cromwell 
among others, after endless volumes of speech and inquiring, 
are now prepared to sign, — and will sign, < at Huntingdon 
^ this tenth of May 1605,* legibly to Dugdale and others.^ 
What speech and argumentative speculation they have had ; 
what personal inspection, ridings singly or in bodies, to and 
fro, enough probably to go round the globe, shall be left to 
the reader. Quantities of talk and vain riding are necessary ; 
an obscure groping round the business, till once you get upon 
the business. So many vested interests to be conciliated; 
town navigations along those sleepy Rivers ; summer ri^ts of 
pasturage and turf, winter rights of duck-fowling, with net, 
decoy-duck and cross-bow ! But the draining is decided to 
be possible. Pump up your learns and lodes, by windmill or 
otherwise, into this uplifted Ouse, — if we once had him lifted. 
It can be done ^ without injury to any navigation,^ say Sir 
Oliver, Mr. Robert, and fourteen others. They say and 
afiinn that it can be done ; but from the potential to the 

' Noble's Cromwell, i. 83, 



CHAP, v.] BOG OF LINDSEY 63 

indicative mood there is always such a distance.^ Before this 
possible thing can be done, what quantities of new vain speech 
must condense themselves, and ridings that would go round 
the world shrink into a point, * the point^ as men call it ! 
^ All speech,'* exclaims Smelfungus in his dark way, * is of 

* vaporous character, and has to condense itself; speech and 
^ much else has to condense itself, in such confused manner as 

< it can : these swampy Fen Countries are an emblem to thee 

* of human History in general ! The very meanings of speech, 

* like the sound of it, do they not swiftly pass away ? The hot- 

< test controversial jangling which drives all hearts to madness, 
^ this too is a transient vibration in the lower r^ons of the 

< atmosphere ; this, too, if thou wait a little, will condense 

< itself and not be. Vain even to print it and reprint it ; its 
^ meaning for the heart of man is lost. That old brown stack 

* of Pamphlets of the Seventeenth Century, full of hot fury 

< then, is grown all torpid to us now, dead to us as ditch water 

* and peat. Our loud words, our passionate thoughts, the 

* whole world^s angry jargon, how it hangs like a general cir- 
^ cumambient very transitory air ; like a vapour mounting up 

* a little way f]:x>m the ferment of Existence, — then anon 
^ condensing itself, sinking quietly into the general Bog of 

* Lindsey, to lie soaking there. 

< How opulent, flourishing were those past generations ; 
^ how silent, contracted now, compressed into black caput 
^ mortttumj—^ven as in Lindsey here ! The generations were 

^ Nothing came of this speculation : it was not until 1629 ^^^^ ^^e first prac- 
tical attempt to deal with the Great Level was made by Cornelius Vermuyden, 
a Dutch engineer. The opposition offered to the scheme by the neighbouring 
landowners, the fishermen and willow-cutters was violent ; and the engineer's 
plans were impracticable. It has been said that ' One of the principal labours 
of modem engineers has been to rectify Vermuyden's errors.' For a long time 
the business lingered. In 1649 an Act was passed for resuming the work under 
better auspices ; a New Company of Adventurers was formed (of which Oliver 
Cromwell was a member), and proceeded vigorously with a New Bedford Level, 
— the one still existing. And in three or four years more the work was com- 
pleted, after a sort. The Fen-office was burnt in the Great Fire (1666), and 
a complete account of the Draining of the Fens cannot now be written. 



64 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [part I. 

like annual flowerages, the centuries like years. For them 
too, Life blossomed up, covered with verdure, with boughs, 
and foliage and fruit ; and the sun and the stars shed on it 
motherly influences for a season, nourishing it sumptuously ; 
and — and — the season once spent, all verdure died into 
brownness, fell away as dead leaves, as dead boughs and 
trunks ; mouldering in huge ferment of decay ; till it sank 
all as inarticulate rottenness, as black-brown dust, compressed 
by natural gravitation, and continued influence of weather, 
into the black stratum of morass we admire in these Fen 
Countries. — Yes, brother, the leafy, blossoming, high-tower- 
ing past century becomes but a stratum of peat in this 
manner ; the brightest century the world ever saw will sink 
in this fashion; and thou and I, and the longest-skirted 
potentates of the Earth,— our memories and sovereignties, 
and all our garnitures and businesses, will one day be dug 
up quite indistinguishable, and dried peaceably as a scantling 
of cheap fuel. Generation under generation, even as here in 
the Bog of Lindsey, such is History ; and all higher genera- 
tions press upon the lower, squeezing them ever thinner : 
how thin, for example, has Hengst and Horsa^s generation 
become ! About Hengst and his voyage hither, the greatest 
act of emigration ever heard of, you cannot distil a good 
written page from all the Nenniuses and Newburys : and our 
present inconsiderable paper Emigration Act, before we get 
it passed, — ^this, with the discussions on it, I suppose, might 
clothe St. James\s Park in pica ! Is not the Hengst-and- 
Horsa speech- vapour condensed into bog- moisture, to a 
wonderful degree ? 

^ Melancholy, great : like the realms of the Death-goddets ; 
— like the study of Rushworth and Company ! How all the 
growths of this feracious Earth, what richest timber-forests, 
corn-crops, cattle-pastures. Periodic Literatures and Systems 
of Opinion, we have weaved upon it, do crumble fast or slow 
into a jungly abbatis, the living and still verdant struggling 
with the dead and brown ; and at a certain depth below the 



CHAP, v.] BOG OF LINDSEY 65 

^ present, all is become black bog-substance, all ! ^ Or nearly 

all, thou dark Smelfungus ! subjoin we. 

* Vain to attempt reviving what is dead,^ continues he ; 
caput mortuum will not live again. Have an eye for 
knowing what is extinct; it will stead thee well. How 
many interesting Neo- Catholic, Puseyite, and other plu- 
perfect persons, like zealous officers of a spiritual Humane 
Society, one beholds struggling, with breathless, half-frantic 
assiduity, with surgical bellows, hot-cloth friction, and gal- 
vanic apparatus, to restore you some vital spark which has 
irrevocably fled ! Alas, friends, the dead horse will never 
kick again, except galvanically ; never drag your waggon for 
you again. Try ye, meanwhile, what utmost virtue is in 
galvanism, unweariedly ; till absolute putrefaction supervene, 
and galvanism itself produce no motion ; and all men depart 
sorrowful, saying, " It is ended, it is dead ! *" Humane- 
Society galvanisers of this sort fill me with sorrow, but also 
with a kind of love. Idolaters, — yes probably : they are not 
innocent; but they are well-intentioned, and are they not 
unhappy ? As for the other, vulture or vampire class, who 
have their own base uses in the matter; and scandalously, 
against Nature, keep the venerable Dead unburied that they 
may feed upon them : of these, not to speak things too 
savage, we will say nothing.** — 

Our dark friend'^s concluding sentences are also notable : 
In the Bog of lindsey,^ says he, ^ there lie wondrous animal 
remains. Huge black oaktrees; the white wood all gone; 
the incorruptible heart of oak, a venerable thing, alone re- 
maining. What fossil elks, enormous mammoths, of extinct 
species some of them, are raised from bogs. Such also in 
Historical Museums, belectured by fatal Dryasdust, I have 
seen, — figuratively speaking. A mammoth all gone to the 
osseous framework ; its eyes become huge eyeholes, filled with 
the circumfluent clay. For it is all sunk in clay; down 
deep, in the dead deeps. Poor mammoth, — in its stomach, 
they say, — in the place that had been its stomach, — lay 

£ 



66 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [parti. 

*• a bundle of recognisable half-eaten reeds. Reedgrass cropped 
^ in the antediluvian ages, with a tongue that had muscles and 
^ taste before the Deluge, but has none now. This mammoth, 
^ too, had its life. I tell thee, the world lay all green and 
*' alive round it then, and was not inert blind bog as thou 
' seest it now. Not in any wise, thou fatal Dryasdust ! — 

* If History be the sister of Prophecy, if Past be Divine as 
' Future, and Time on his mysterious bosom bear the two, as 
' Night does her twins,^ then History also is miraculous. Not 

* lightly shalt thou persuade me to write a History of Oliver ! 
' Is it I that can bid full muscles, skin and life, clothe these 
^ dry fossil bones ; the half-eaten reedgrass fiimish itself with 

* new gastric juices ; and ^create an appetite under the ribs 

* of death ! ' 

CHAPTER VI 

GUY FAUX AND THE GUNPOWDER PLOT 

[1605] 

What is singular, the Dovetail Papers contain no account, 
or almost none, of the celebrated Gunpowder Treason. A 
curious proof, wonderful and joyful, how all dies away in this 
worid, — battles as well as covenanted love, and how the 
bitterest antagonisms sink into eternal silence, and peaceably 
blend the dust of their bodies for new com soil to the 
succeeding generations. Punic Hannibal and Roman Scipio 
are a very quiet pair of neighbours now. Guy Faux, who 
had nearly sent the British Solomon and all his Parliament 
aloft into the infinite realms by chemical explosion, has 
become, like Solomon himself, little other than a ridiculous 
chimera. * I was gratified,'* says Dovetail, ^ on the 6th of 

* November last, to meet an enormous Guy in the New Cut ;* 

' As represented by Thorwaldsen's celebrated ri/t'eva, Night soaring heaves- 
ward with twins in her arms. 
" A Street in London, joining the Waterloo and Blackfriar's Roads. 



CHAP. VI.] GUY FAUX: GUNPOWDER PLOT 67 

got up with an accuracy of costume, in which this generation 
may surely pride itself. He seemed in stature about twelve 
feet or upwards; he was seated in a cart drawn by idle 
apprentices and young miscellaneous men, who shouted deep 
but not fiercely as they drew. The face, of due length, was 
axe-shaped as it were, all tending towards one enormous 
nose ; the wooden eye looking truculently enough in its fixed 
obduracy from its broad sleek field of featureless cheek. 
Flood of black horsehair shaded this appropriate countenance, 
streamed copious over back and shoulders, and gave a tragic 
impressiveness to the figure. The white band was not for- 
gotten ; nor square, close coat, with its girdle of black 
leather. The hat, about the size and shape of a chimney-pot, 
set in a pewter trencher, I considered to be of blackened 
pasteboard. To such length has useful knowledge extended 
among us ; down even to the appi^ntices and burners of 
Faux. Thus travelled Faux in appropriate costume through 
the New Cut, few pausing to glance at him, still fewer 
offering any coin for the support of him. If here and there 
some passenger regarded him with a brief grim smile, it was 
much. ... I passed along, musing upon many things. To 
such chimerical conditions do the sublimest Forms in History 
come at last ; no bloodiest Truculence can continue terrible 
forever ; how in this all-forgetting world do Angels of Doom, 
at which every heart quailed, dwindle into pasteboard Buga- 
boos ; and does Thor, the Thundergod, whose stroke smote 
out Valleys of Chamouni, the angry breath of whose nostrils 
snuffling through his red beard, was once the whistling 
of the storm-blast over heaven, become Jack the Giant 
Killer. My Lord Montague of Boughton left 40/.^ to keep 
alive the memory of this great mercy, while Time endured ; 
and in a space of 240 years it has come to what we see ! 
— ^There is no contest eternal but that of Ormuzd and 
Ahriman ; the rest ai^ all, except as elements of that, in- 
significant.** 

1 Collins. 



68 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [i art i. 

Well, and are there in History many sterner figures than 
Guido, standing there with his dark-lantern beside the six- 
and-thirty barrels of gunpowder in Whinniard^s cellar under 
the Parliament ? ^ To such length has he, for his part, 
carried his insight into the true interests of this world. 
Guido is a very serious figure ; has used reasonable effort to 
bring himself to the stickingplace and Hercules'* choice of 
Roads. No Pusey Dilettante, poor spouting New Catholic 
or Young England in white waistcoat ; a very serious man 
come there to do a thing, and die for it if there be need. 
Papal Antichrist, the Holy Father, whom Fate has sent irre- 
vocably towards Chaos and the Night-empire, this Guido will 
recall again to light, — if not by Heaven'^s aid then by HelPs. 
He is here with his six-and-thirty barrels of gunpowder in 
Whinniard'^s cellar ; to blow up King and Parliament. — It is 
remarkable how in almost all world-quarrels, when they came 
to extremity there have been Infernal Machines, Sicilian 
Vespers, Guido Powder-barrels and such like called into 
action ; and worth noting how hitherto not one of them in 
this world has prospered.^ No, my desperate friends, that is 
not the way to prosper. Can the Chariot of Time be stopt 
or hastened by clutching at its wheel-spokes in that mad 
manner.'^ You may draw at the Chariot itself or draw 
against it ; but do not meddle with its wheel-spokes. 
Besides, in all cases, I consider the Devil an unsafe sleeping- 
partner, to be rejected, not to be admitted at any premium ; 
by whose aid no cause yet was ever known to prosper. 



A changed time truly, since Guido Faux was a figure of 
flesh and blood steering his wild way between Heaven and 
Hell ; instead of a pasteboard one travelling the New Cut to 
collect Anticatholic pence for fireworks ! A most truculent 
fact that of Guido, if we will meditate it. Grentlemen of 

^ The cellars under the House were let to coal-dealers, etc. 
^ So also with the modem dynamitards. 



CHAP. VI.] GUY FAUX : GUNPOWDER PLOT 69 

honour, of what education, reflexion, breeding and human 
culture there was going, have decided after much study to 
solve the riddle of Existence for themselves in this manner. 
* Heard are the Voices,' speaking out of the Eternity to man 
that he shall be a man ; and it is in this way that Guido 
Faux and Company interpret them. They have communed 
together by word of mouth and glance of eye ; have clubbed 
money, sworn on the Evangels ; and Jesuit Garnet,^ — many 
looking askance on the business, has said, ^ Well-done.'* And 
so King and Parliament are to fly aloft, and papal Antichrist 
is to be recalled again to light. — Reader, it was not a Drury 
Lane scenic exhibition to be done by burnt cork, bad 
Iambics, and yellow funnel-boots, this of Guidons ; but a 
terribly pressing piece of work not to be got done except 
by practical exertion of oneself! I have a view of the 
renting of Whinniard'^s cellar ; the landing of those six- 
and-thirty casks of gunpowder there. Living Guido stands 
there, a tough heart beating in him, dark-lantern and 
three matches in hand ;^ and there will be a fireblast and 
peal of Doom, not often witnessed in this world ; and one 
Parliament at least shall end in an original manner ! And 
Papal Antichrist, the Holy Father, shall resume his old 
place, and England unite herself with the old Dragons, 
instead of the new-revealed Eternal God. Had not his 
Majesty, seemingly again by special inspiration, detected in 
this dark mystery the faintest light-chink ever seen, — an 
ambiguous phrase in a letter,^ flt for such a pair of vigilant 
quick-glancing goggle-eyes; and, pressing forward, torn out 
the whole fiery secret of it — to the wonder, the terror, the 
horror and devout gratitude of all men. Flagging imagina- 
tion, in this new element of ours, can do no justice to it, need 
not try to conceive it ; imagination even of Shakspeare cannot. 
Faux lies in stern durance ; austere, lynx-eyed judges round 
him, with their racks and interrogatories, their feline lynx- 

* Henry Garnet, Provincial of the Jesuits in England. 

^ State Trials f ii. 201. ' See ante^ p. 43. 



70 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [parti. 

eyes, as it were all pupil together, dilated into glow of rage 
and terror ; able to see in the dark. Three-score ^ Apostolic 
young gentlemen ride with the speed of Epsom through 
slumbering England, into Warwickshire, designing as they 
profess to hunt there. The Warwickshire ' hunt ** ascertain- 
ing how the matter is, swiftly dissipates itself again ; with 
terror lest they themselves prove cozened foxes, and experi- 
ence not what the hunter but what the chased fox in these 
circumstances feels. The three score Apostolic young 
gentlemen have to gallop again for life, for life ; the War- 
wickshire Posse Comitatus galloping at their heels. And ^ on 
*the edge of Warwickshire at Stephen Littleton'^s house,** O 
Heavens, while the poor fellows dried their gunpowder, it 
caught fire, scorched two of them almost to death, or into 
delirium. And the others ^ stood upon their guard,"* as 
hunted human truculences chased into their last lair might ; 
and Sheriff and Posse had a deadlift effort to make; and 
their faces are grimed with powder-smoke, bathed in sweat ; 
and faces lay grim, minatory in the last death-paleness in 
Stephen Littleton^s house there ; — and they were all killed or 
else taken wounded, and then hanged and headed. And 
horror, wonder, and awe-struck voice of thanksgiving rose 
consentaneous from broad England, and the Lord Montague 
founded * an endowment of 40/. (annually) that the memory 
^ of the deliverance might be celebrated, in all time to come, 
*in the town of Northampton.** And in English History 
there was never done a thing of graver tragic interest than this 
which Dovetail now sees reduced to pasteboard in the New 
Cut. What dust of extinct lions sleeps peaceably under our 
feet everywhere ! The soil of this world is made of the dust 
of Life, the geologists say ; limestone and other rocks are 
made of bone dust variously compounded. 

But was not this a notable counterpart to the Hampton 
Court phenomenon ; that in its dreary greys i^ot yet got to 
the length of being luminous ; this in its expiring splendour, 

^ StaU Trials, iL 211. 



CHAP. VI.] GUY FAUX: GUNPOWDER PLOT 71 

going off in a flash of hell-fire ? One would have thought 
his Majesty had got enough of Papism ; — England, in general, 
thought very heartily so. His Majesty had no hatred of the 
Pope, except as a rival to King'^s Supremacy ; had at one 
time wanted a Scotch Cardinal. His Majesty did find good, 
when a certain old negotiation with the Pope came to light, 
to lay the blame of it on Secretary Elphinstone, the Lord 
Balmerino ; ^ to have Balmerino condemned to die, and then 
pardon him again. A Scotch Cardinal would have been a 
sort of conveniency, he thought. Kings are peculiarly circum- 
stanced; especially kings that know not the heart of their 
Nation, Ormuzd from Ahriman. 

' Sir John Scott of Scotstarvet says that Elphinstone (Lord Balmerino) ' was 
in sach iavour with King James, that he craved the reversion of secretary Cecil's 
place, at the king's coming to the Crown of England, which was the beginning 
of his overthrow ; for the said secretary Cecil wrought so that, having procured 
a letter which had come from King James, wherein he promised all kindness 
to the Roman See and Pope, if his holiness would assist him to attain to the 
Croivn of England ; — this letter the said secretary Cecil showed in the king's 
pretence in the Council of England ; whereupon King James, fearing to displease 
the English nation, behoved to disclaim the penning of this letter, and lay the 
blame thereof on his secretary, whom a little before that he had made Lord Bal- 
merino : to whom he wrote to come to court ; where being come, for exoneration 
of the king, he behoved to take on him the guilt of writing that letter.' The 
Staggering State of the Scots Statesmen (Edin., 1754), 59-60. 

The King took immense pains to prove that he had had no hand in writing 
this letter ; that the signature to it had been got surreptitiously ; and there is 
evidence, independently of Balmerino's confession which might have been a 
forced or bribed one, to prove pretty certainly that James was, technically at least, 
innocent of this particular charge. The king, however, had written com- 
promising letters to the Cardinals and Italian Princes ; and in his ' Premonition 
to all the most mighty Monarchs, Kings, Free Princes, and States of Christen- 
dom,' which appeared some time afterwards, he does not even mention 
Balmerino's Confession. Professor Gardiner {History of England^ ii. 34) says : 
' It is possible that, by the time that book appeared, James had remembered 
that the signature of the letter to ihe Pope was but a small part of the charge 
against him, and had become unwilling to call attention to the fact that, at all 
events, he had ordered letters to be written to the Cardinals.' 



72 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [parti. 

CHAPTER VII 

KNIGHTING OF PRINCE HENRY 

[1610] 
BEN JONSON^S MASQUES 

On Wednesday the 80th of May, 1610, or Thursday the 
31st, Prince Henry, hope of these Lands, was created Knight 
of the Bath ; he, and certain other highly select persons : 
with an explosion of rich silk dresses, cavalcadings, naval 
combats, peals of ordnance, and ^ most stately Masques,** 
enough to darken the very face of the Sun. 

For Norroy and Clarentiaux and the proper Upholsterers 
were busy; and dignitaries, and Lord Mayors and Lord 
Mayors'* barges, and * fifty-four of the Companies of London,^ 
all puffed out in scarlet and the usual trimmings. And 
there was riding in state to Richmond on high horses, and 
sailing in state from Richmond in gilt barges ; and more 
than once ^the River was in a manner paved with boats.** 
And ^at Chelsea there was a Dolphin upon whom sat 
^ Neptune, and upon a Whale,^ presumably of leather, ^ there 
^ sat a Watergoddess ; both of whom made certain Speeches 
^ unto the Prince,^ — Mr. Inigo Jones and rare Ben Jonson, 
incited by the authorities, having done their best. And then 
the young Knights, with his young Highness, ^ walked round ^ 
this chamber, and afterwards round that ; and sat ^ in white 
^ linen coifs,** and again ^ in grey cloaks,^ poor young gentle- 
men ; and then rose, and went to prayers ; and had spurs ; 
and redeemed their spurs ^with a noble each to the King^s 
^ Cook, who stood at the Chapel door with his cleaver in his 
^ hand ^ ; — went to prayers, we say, and to dinner, and finally 
to sleep, in a most surprising manner ; ^ London and the con- 
temporary populations looking on with breathless veneration. 

This immense event, and explosion of events, enough to 

> Stow, 899. 



CHAP. VII.] KNIGHTING OF PRINCE HENRY 73 

deafen England, — who is there that would reawaken? It 
shall sleep well amid the brown leaves and exuvise; wet 
condensed portion of the Bog of Lindsey, with one tear of 
ours added to it, — forever and a day. Alas, standing there 
in a bewildered manner * at the Chapel door in Whitehall," 
beside his Majesty^s Cook with the gilt cleaver; bewildered, 
jostled by so many shadows, we have to ask : In these bound- 
less multitudes crowding all avenues, is there no soul then 
whatever whom we in the least know? None or almost 
none; they are leaden shadows to us. Sardanapalus Hay, 
yes he steps out a new-made Bath Knight, pays his gold 
noble among the othera ; he is there, — whom one does not 
want to know. ^Master Edward Bruce'* too, a handsome 
Scotch youth. Master of Kinloss, like to be Lord of Kinloss 
in the Shire of Fife ; he is there,^ a shadow less leaden than 
the others. His new spurs, his proud-glancing eyes do 
lighten on us somewhat, — with a tragic expression : he shall 
die in duel this one ;^ it is sung by the Fates. And * Master 
' William Cavendish,' heir-presumptive of the Shrewsburys 
at Worksop, heir of Welbeck, Bolsover and much else ; an 
el^ant youth, brimful of accomplishments and teachable 
sciences ; he also takes a kind of colour ; him we shall meet 

again. The rest Heavens, how they have vanished, 

with their fresh-coloured cheeks, bright clothes, breathless 
veneration ; and are silent ; all but a doomed few who roam, 
yet for a season as shrieking ghosts, in the Peerage-Books 

and torpid rubbish-mountains of my erudite Friend ! 

But truly the explosion itself was audible and visible, nay, as 
it were, tangible to all England, that Summer of 1610 : for 
you had to pay your dues on the King's son being knighted ; 
— wherein, however, his Majesty instructed the bailiffs to deal 
gently for peace's sake, and be lax rather than rigorous. It 
appears likewise that *Sir John Holies* of Haughton was 
* made Comptroller of the Prince's Household ' ; an appoint- 
ment none of us can object to. 

^ See list in Stow, p. 901. ^ See^osf, p. 99. ' St^post, p. 202 n. 



74 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [parti. 

But the thing I had to remark above all others was, that 
Ben Jonson composed the Masque.^ O Ben, my rare Friend, 
is this in very deed thou ? There in the body, with thy 
rugged sagacities and genialities ; with thy rugged Annandale 
face and unquenchable laughing eyes ; — like a rock hiding in 
it perennial limpid wells ! My rare friend, there is in thee 
something of the lion, I observe : — thou art the rugged 
Stonemason, the harsh, learned Hodman ; yet hast strains 
too of a noble softness, melodious as the voice of wood-doves, 
fitfully thrilling as the note of nightingales, now and then ! 
Barer union of rough clumsy strength with touches of an 
Ariel beauty I have not met with. A sterling man, a true 
Singer-heart, — bom of my native Valley too : to whom and 
to which be all honour ! ^ 

Ben made many Masques ; worked in that craft for thirty 
years and more, the world applauding him : he had his 
pension from the Courts his pension from the City ; — if you 
have leather Dolphins afloat, you must try to get a little 
music introduced into them withal. Certainly it is a circum- 
stance worth noticing that surly Ben, a real Poet, could 
employ himself in such business, with the applause of all the 
world; it indicates an Age very different from ours. An 
Age full of Pageantry, of grotesque Symbolising, — yet not 
without something in it to symbolise. That is the notable 
point. Innumerable Masques and masqueradings ; a general 
Social Masquerade, it almost seems to us, with huge bulging 
costumes and upholstery, stuffed out with bran and tailors'* 
trimmings : yet within it there still is a Reality, though a 
shrunken one, an ever farther shrinking one. Ben Jonson, 
Francis Bacon, and other such can still work as tiremen for 
it. How could it stand on its feet otherwise? A Social 
Masquerade fallen altogether empty collapses on the pave- 
ment, amid the shrieks of the bystanders, — as in these last 
times of ours we see it sorrowfully do ! To the heart of 

> Called « Prince Henry's Barriers.' 

' Ben himstlf was bom in Westminster ; hb Grandfiiither, in Annan4alc. 



CHAP. VII.] KNIGHllNG OF PRINCE HENRY 75 

Ben, of Francis, and of all persons, here was still a real King 
and a real Prince; whose knighthoods, cavalcadings, and 
small and great transactions, the Melodies and Credibilities 
had not yet disowned. 

I myself, under certain conditions, have often assisted at 
Ben'*s Masques ; looked at the quaint Court, in their fardin- 
gales and stuffed breeches, treading solemn dances, ^ flying out 
^ in winged chariots "^ or otherwise ; — and endeavoured to make 
acquaintance with a fair friend or two on such occasions. 
Lucy Percy I have seen, though she saw not me : the paragon 
of women; sprightliest, gentlest, proudest; radiating con- 
tinual soft arrows from her eyes and wit; which pierce in- 
numerable men, — pierce Sardanapalus Hay for one. Anne 
Clifford too, a somewhat stem young maiden, full of sense, full 
of heart and worth ; whom I think a certain young Sackville 
of the House of Buckhurst — ' O Mistress Anne ! ' — is some- 
times glancing at. These I have seen at Masques of Ben^s ; 
much admiring. The Masques themselves were not unde- 
lightful to me. — 

But certainly of all Ben'*s Masques, the one I should have 
liked to see had been that one given at Holmby Castle in 
Northamptonshire seven years ago,^ when Queen Anne first 
came southward out of Scotland, and the little Prince [Henry] 
with her, then a small boy. For there issued Satyrs singing 
from the real bosquets of Holmby Park, and Queen Mabs 
discoursing, not irrationally, as her Majesty and little Son 
advanced ; and ^ two bucks,^ roused at the right moment, were 
^ happily shot,^ real bucks which you could dine from : and 
then on the morrow, there appears a personage called Nobody ; 
he is to speak some prologue to a general voluntary morrice- 
dance of the Northamptonshire Nobility assembled there ; and 
his complete Court-suit is, — let any and all readers guess it, — 

^ This was the Masque called ' The Satyr.' Carlyle has noted in his copy of 
Jonson's Works (Barry Cornwall's Edition, London, 1842): <This' [TAe 
Safjtr] * must have been presented at Holmby to Queen Anne as she came from 
Scotland with the Prince.' 



76 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [parti. 

^ a very large pair of breeches buttoning round his neck, and 
* his hands coming out at the pockets.** My rare friend I — 
Prince Henry was there, a boy of eleven years.^ Prince 
Charles was not there : he, too, will get to know Holmby and 
its Bosquets, by and by, perhaps ? — 

Consider also how the * wit-combats at the Mermaid "* were 
even now going on ! For the divine world-famous ' Elder 
Dramatists^ were as yet new Dramatists, obscurely gliding 
about, as mere mortals ; in very rusty outfit, some of them ; 
lodging in Alsatia, by the * Green Curtain at Shoreditch,* 
Blackfriar'*s Playhouse, or God knows where. London with 
its half-million population found some hutch, garret or rusty 
cranny somewhere, for the lodging of these among others. 
And at the Mermaid, of an evening, we assemble, if we have 
any cash. And there are Ben and William Shakspeare in 
wit-combat, sure enough ; Ben bearing down like a mighty 
Spanish War-ship, fraught with all learning and artillery; 
Shakspeare whisking away from him, — whisking right 
through him, athwart the' big hulk and timbers of him ; 
like a miraculous Celestial Light-shiy, woven all of sheet- 
lightning and sunbeams ! Through the thick rhinoceros skin 
of my rare Ben there penetrated strange electric influences ; 
and he began to wonder where that pricking of his fell 
came from ! He ^ honoured William Shakspeare, on this side 
^ idolatry, as much as any man.** These are the wit-combats 
at the Mermaid ; — and in two years now they are to cease ; 
and that divine Elder-Dramatist Business, having culminated 
here, is to decline gradually, and at last die out and sink 
under the horizon, giving place to other Businesses, probably 
of graver nature. In 1612,^ the man Shakspeare retires to 
Stratford-on-Avon, into a silence which no Dryasdust or 
obscene creature will ever penetrate ; — as it were, a kind of 
divine silence, and mute dialogue with Nature herself, before 
departing ; sacred, like the silence of the gods ! — ^These are 

^ Born, 1592. 

^ Collier's Life of Shakspeart (London, 1844), p. 232. 



r 



CHAP. VII.] KNIGHTING OF PRINCE HENRY 77 

the wit-combats at the Mermaid of an evening, if you chance 
to be an Elder Dramatist, and have any cash left. 

Thus, at any rate, have we got Prince Henry Knighted ; 
one piece of loud labour is not to do again. It was con- 
summated on the evening of Thursday, 31st May, 1610. 

Prince Henry, besides being Prince of Wales and Knight, 
is at present the hope of the world. Some seventeen years of 
age ; really a promising young person,^ in a world prone to 
hope. Courageous, frank, serious ; not so disinclined to 
Puritanism, they say. He has a Sister, Princess Elizabeth, 
now budding into most graceful maidhood ; indisputably the 
flower of this Court. A most graceful, slim, still damsel ; 
with her long black hair and timid deep look, — not without 
the dash of Gypsy-tragic either. She has something of Mary 
Queen of Scots, I think, this charming Princess, though not 
the Papistries, the French coquetries ; and may grow yet to 

* 'See description of him in Harris,* Carlyle has noted here. Perhaps the 
reference is to the following, by Sir Charles Cornwallis, quoted by Harris {Life 
of James /., London, 1814, i. p. 295):— 'He was of a comely, tall middle- 
stature, about 5 ft. 8 in. high, of a strong, straight, well-made body, with some- 
what broad shoulders, and a small waist ; of an amiable majestic countenance, 
his hair of an auburn colour, long face and broad forehead, a piercing grave eye, 
and most gracious smile, with a terrible frown ; courteous bearing, and affable ; 
his favour like the sun, indifferently seeming to shine upon all : — naturally shame- 
faced, and modest, — most patient, which he showed both in life and death. Dis- 
simulation he esteemed most base, chie6y in a prince ; not willing, nor by nature 
being able to flatter, favour, or use those kindly who deserved not his love. 
Quick he was to conceive anything ; not rash but mature in deliberation, yet 
most constant, having resolved. True of his promise ; most secret, even from 
his youth ; so that he might have been trusted in anything that did not force a 
discovery ; being of a close disposition not easy to be known or pried into : of a 
fearless, noble, heroic and undaunted courage, thinking nothing impossible that 
ever was done by any. He was ardent in his love to religion ; which love, and 
all the good causes thereof, his heart was bent by some means or other (if he bad 
lived) to have shewed, and some way to have compounded the unkind jars 
thereof. 

' He made conscience of an oath, and was never heard to take God's name in 
vain. He hated Popery, though he was not unkind to the persons of Papists. 
He loved and did mightily strive to do somewhat of everything and to excel in 
the most excellent,* etc. 



78 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [PART I. 

be Queen of Hearts, if not otherwise a Queen. We have to 
regret, yet not with an impious unthankfulness, that the 
Royal Family amounts only to three : Prince Charles and 
these two. Their Royal Mother, blond and buxom, much 
given to Masquing, flaunts about ^ she and her maids all like 
^ Nereids, Hamadryads and mythological Nymphs^^; a Princess 
of considerable amplitude of figure, massiveness of feature ; 
philosophic indiiferency, good humour and readiness of wit. 

Little Prince Charles, it appears, has thoughts of being 
Archbishop of Canterbury : there is in him a lachrymose 
solemnity which perhaps might be suitable there. For the 
rest, he stands badly on his legs, poor youth ; shambling 
somewhat. Likewise, if it ever come to preaching, he will 
stammer. The Destinies know ! 



CHAPTER VIII 

MATERIAL PROGRESS IN ENGLAND, — IN 

LONDON ESPECIALLY 

[1610-1620] 

But England withal is producing something else than 
Duels ' and Court-Masques ; England, if we knew it, is a 
very fertile entity in those ages ; all budding, germinating, 
under this Court-litter, — like a garden, in the Spring months, 
hidden under protective straw ! Let us recognise also how true, 

^ Wilson, in Kennet, ii. 685. 

' In a portion of the MS. preceding this chapter there is given a series of 
Duelling Anecdotes : (i) Sir John Holies of Haughton and Jervase Markham ; 
(2) The Croydon Races, where James Ramsay, of the Dalhousie Ramsays, 
switched the crown and face of Lord Montgomery, Earl of Pembroke's brother, 
and the peace was ¥rith the utmost difficulty kept ; (3) Sir Thomas Dutton and 
Sir Hatton Cheek. — These anecdotes were printed in Uigk Hunfs Journal^ 
Nos. I, 2, and 6 (1850); and were afterwards (1857) included in Carlyle*s Col- 
lected Works under the title, ' Two Hundred and Fifty Years ago— a fragment 
about Duels.' See MUctllama^ vi. pp. 211-27 (Liby. Edition). 



CHAP, VIII.] MATERIAL PROGRESS 79 

within its limits, is this motto of his Majesty, ^ Blessed are 
* the Peacemakers/ Gardens and countries cannot grow if you 
are continually tearing them up by the ploughshare of War. 
Let them have peace ^ peace even at a great price. If it be 
possible, so far as lies in you, study to live at peace with all 
men. — In fact the progress of improvement, everywhere in 
England, especially in London City ; ^ the unimaginable ex- 
^ tension of buildings,** ^ and clearing away of rubbish encum- 
brances, ^greater during these last twelve years than for 
' fifty years before,' fills my ancient friends and me with 
astonishment. 

Moorfields, for example, did you know Moorfields before 
the year 1606.'^ From innumerable ages, the ground lay 
there a wilderness of wreck and quagmire; stagnant with 
fetid ditches, heaped with horrent mounds, hollow with un- 
imaginable sloughs, the * general laystalP of London, and 
cloaca of Nature ; — so that men, with any nerves left, ^ made 
^ a circuit to avoid it ' ; the very air carrying pestilence. Thus 
had it lain, from the times of William Redbeard, of Sweyn ^ 
Double-beard, or far earlier ; and the skilfullest persons pro- 
nounced all drainage of it impossible ; — nevertheless see now 
how possible it is. ^Sir Leonard Holiday,' our estimable 
Lord Mayor, and ^Master Nicholas Leate,' wealthy Mer- 
chant : in the general peace and prosperity, these estimable 
citizens decided on draining Moorfields, even contrary to 
possibility ; and, with the windiest Force of Public Opinion 
blowing direct in their faces, calling it ^ holiday work ' and 
other witty names, they proceeded to get spademen, craftis- 
nien, proper engineers, and from their own pockets ^made 
^ large disbursements ' ; — -€md now you see the work is done ! 
Instead of Nature's cloaca you have comfortable green 
expanse, smooth-nibbled, trodden firm under foot; waving 
with hopeful tree-avenues, ^ those most fair and royal walks ' ; 

^ Stow, I02I-2. 

* <Sven Tvae-Skieg (Twa-Shag, or Fork-beard) Canute's Father; Danish 
King ;— who lies buried at Gainsborough, — says my erudite friend.* — T. C. 



80 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [part I. 

the Force of Public Opinion blowing on it now as a soft 
zephyr, thankfully, wooingly. Thanks to brave Holiday, to 
brave Leate ; who made * the disbursements ' of money and 
of courage ! Here truly is now a beautiful promenade and 
artillery-ground ; where citizens can take their evening walk 
of meditation ; where on field-days, trained-bands and grand 
military musters can parade and exercise themselves. 

Smithfield, still earlier, has ceased to be Ruflian'*s Rig ; 
Smithfield in these years is getting drained and paved : ^ firm 
clear whinstone under your feet ; and in the centre a reserved 
promenade * strongly railed,^ — which, the authorities consider, 
may be useful as a market by and by. For, indeed, what 
with carts, what with stalls and new produce, and the tumult 
of an ever-increasing population, the market streets on market 
days are becoming as it were impassable. Cheapside, Grace- 
church Street, Leadenhall, — look at them on a market day ; 
a hurlyburly without parallel ! There are the country c€UTiers, 
packing, unpacking ; swift diligence, thousandfold messagery 
looking through their eyes ; there are the market-stalls, the 
garden-stuffs, the butteries, ^geries, crockeries ; the pig- 
droves, oxen-droves, the balladsingers, hawkers : * What d'^ye 
' lack, What d^ye lack ? ' It is a hurlyburly verging on dis- 
traction ; and will actually require new marketplaces, in 
Smithfield or elsewhere. 

But truly, if we should speak of the ^unimaginable ex- 
^ tension "* and improvement of this London generally, could Pos- 
terity believe us, O my ancient friends? Yet it is a fact. 
By ' St. Catherine's and RadclifF,' what masses of new build- 
ings ; like a town of themselves. See, the Strand, with its row 
of Town Manorhouses, opens out fieldwards ; the miry ragged 
Lane of Drury has become a firm street, fit for persons of 
distinction. Northampton House, or Northumberland House, 
at the end of ^Vhitehall, rivals palaces. By St. Martin'*s 
Church, meanwhile, Holbom seems stretching out a limb to 
Charing; St. Martin's puddle-lane is now an elegant paved 

^ Finished in 1615. Stow, 1023. 



CHAP. VIII.] MATERIAL PROGRESS 81 

street ; as if London and Westminster were absolutely coales* 
cing ! What will the limit of these things be ? Cheapside 
paves its house-fronts with broad flagstones;^ — O Posterity, 
it is within men^s memory when there was an open black- 
smithy's forge on the North side of Cheap ; men openly shoeing 
horses there. And now it has broad flag-pavements, safe from 
wheel and horse, even for the maids and children ; — and there 
runs about on it one little Boy very interesting to me : ^ John 
* Milton,^ he says he is ; a flaxenheaded, blue-eyed beautiful 
little object ; Mr. Scrivener Milton of Bread Street's Boy : 
good Heavens ! 

In brief, aag-pavements are becoming general ; and. at 
least, the * high causeways ' everywhere are getting themselves 
carted away. ^ From Holbom, from the Strand, the Barbican,"* 
ftt>m all manner of places go causeways carted ofi*; and the 
doorsills of mortals see the light. Nay, in these years is not 
indomitable Sherifl* Myddleton digging his New River ;^ — 
leading that poor river, contrary to the order of Nature, not 
into the Sea but bodily into human throats ! He has got 
past Theobalds with it, the indomitable man, visible from the 
King's windows; on Hhe 29th day of September, 1613,' he 
opens his sluices at Islington itself with infinite human gratu- 
lation, explosion of trumpet-and-drum music, marchings with 
spades shouldered, and even, I think, some kind of thanks- 
giving Psalm, ^as they saw the waters come gushing in.' 
Truly this London threatens to reach half a million, to be 
one knows not what ! His Majesty issues Proclamations 
about it, Proclamation on Proclamation that no new houses 
be built, for it is growing to be a wen. 

These things his pacific Majesty sees with pleasure ; gives 
them eloquent permission : he is right willing to give or to 
do, for all good things, whatsoever will not trouble him too 
much ! He has ^ settled Ireland,' they say ; by exertion, or 
by happy luck and forbearance of exertion, he has got, for 
the first time in recorded History, the bloody gashes of 
Ireland closed. Rabid carnage, needful and needless, has 

r 



82 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [parti. 

ceased there ; the kind Mother-earth gratefully covering it 
in ; grateful that her Green Island is no longer dyed with 
horrid red. Ireland, once in the course of ages, has peace. 
The waste fertilities of Ulster are getting planted with useful 
Saxon Londoners, useful Danish Scots. Where royal Shane 
O'Neill, son of the Mudgods, ^ ancient "* enough, I doubt not, 
ancient as very Chaos; — where Shane 0'*Neill roamed, not 
long since, with bloody axe and firebrand, with usquebaugh, 
and murderous bluster and delirium, or ^ lay rolled up to 
the neck in mire to cool his drink-fever,' ^ like a literal 
wild Boar with the addition of ^whisky and human cunning, 
— peaceable men now drain bogs, sow wheatfields, spin yam ; 
* Coleraine and little Derry, now become lx)ndon-Derry, are 
^ their capitals.' May it long continue ! These things his 
pacific Majesty has done, or with approval and convenient 
furtherance, seen his people do. He is right willing to give 
every good thing a pat on the back ; what inexpensive 
Charter, Patent or such like it may wish for, he will cheer- 
fully gnmt. 

How willing was he to have seen Silkworms introduced 
into this country, could a Patent have done it ! He encour- 
aged the planting of mulberry trees as the food of silkworms ; 
to ^ the ingenious Mr. Stalledge ' and another he granted ^ a 
^ Patent for seven years,' encouraging them as he could, to 
import mulberry-seeds, to raise trees out of them, and plant 
the same. In all Shires of England the mulberries are 
planted ; ^ at Stratford-on-Avon, says fond tradition, Shak- 
speare planted a mulberry. Old mulberries still stand here 
and there in England : planted indisputably by sons of 
Adam ; not indisputably by Shakspeare, by Bacon, still less 
by Queen Elizabeth, by Sir Thomas More ! ITiey yield their 

' Kennet (ii. 409) says of Shane O'Neill : *A man ke was wko had stained kis 
hands with bloody and dealt in all the pollutions of unchaste embraces ; and so 
scandalous a glutton and drunkard was he besides, that he would often lie up to 
the chin in dirt to cool the feverish heats of his intemperate lust.* (The italics are 
Kennet's. ) 

» Slow, 894. 



CHAP, vill.] MATERIAL PROGRESS 88 

sorry berries ever since to this day ; but the Silkworms did 
not follow : owing to climate or other causes, there came no 
silkworm culture into England. 

On the other hand. Alum, says my ancient friend, will 
succeed. In Yorkshire and elsewhere men are busy digging 
Alum ; in Yorkshire * Sir John Bourchier, Sir John Fowlis,'' 
have Alum-pits; are roasting, steeping the rude clays of 
Bridlington, in hopes of getting Alum. Alum is verily 
there ; but the skill to extract it is rather behindhand : let 
us send for Germans, for High or Low Dutchmen, bom to 
the business ; they will teach us a new process ! The harsh 
styptic Alum, invaluable mordant for dyers, is dug by the 
newest processes from Bridlington earth to this day. For a 
people that weave, there ought to be Dyers, to be alum. By 
Heaven^s blessing we can now dye our own cloths; need no 
Flemings in Pembrokeshire or elsewhere, to teach us that 
secret. 

Certainly the Cloth-manufacture does thrive. In Stroud- 
water and the Western valleys, white woollen webs, finer than 
togas of Roman Senators, stretch openly on tenterhooks ; a 
goodly spectacle, as you issue from the Cotswold Hills. Leeds, 
Yorkshire, Lancashire itself are beginning to excel in woollen 
webs. In most English Towns are weavers, are clothiers ; the 
wives of farmers set their maids to spin on winter nights. Col- 
chester serges are a fabric known to mankind and womankind. 
Reading Town clatters multifariously with looms ; the stew 
of fullers is in it, the hum of old women and spinning-wheels. 
There was old Mr. William Laud,^ dead a few years ago, 
what a quantity of ^ looms he kept going in his own house ^ ; 
the jangle of them wont to awaken young Master William, of 
a morning, and set him to his parsing-books ! Young 
Master William is now Dr. William ; a small lean man of 
forty ; President of St. John's College, Oxford, Rector of this. 
Vicar of that ; King's Chaplain, with hopes to rise at Court 
and become great. The jangle of those paternal looms in 

^ Hejlin, Ufe and Death of W. Laud (London, l668), 46. 



84 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [parti. 

Reading, buried now under what other jangles, and deafened 
for the time, lives yet in an obscure way in the memories of 
Dr. William ! 

Old Mr. Laud the Clothier at Reading : — nay, was there 
not, long since, a Jack of Newbury, known in Storybooks, in 
authentic History ? A Weaver Jack comparable to Robber 
Johnny of Gilnockie : he, by mere weaving, did keep five 
score of men in his hall ; for the king'^s service too, on occa- 
sion ! The very Scots are equal to manufacturing. Look at 
Fife, how it spins linen ; Flemish Dutchmen invited over by 
these Stuart Kings, having taught the trade there. Dun- 
fermline Town, though the king sits no longer in it drinking 
the blood-red wine, can weave linen shirts; — will teach the 
very Ulstermen and Irish to make linen. 

In many or most English Towns are clothiers, we say : but 
Gloucestershire, with its Cotswold fleeces, bears the bell ; the 
Manchester wool-cotton^, I think, are not in such demand as 
formerly.^ Nevertheless, Lancashire, Yorkshire, though their 
wool is half hair, are strangely distinguishing themselves in 
the coarser fabrics. They weave; they dig alum; — the 
* Sheffield Whittles,** with their keen edge, meet me in many 
markets. Hold on, ye Yorkshire men, ye Lancashire wizards 
and witches : who knows how far it may carry you ! Lither- 
pooi, corruptly called Lirpool, Lerpool and Liverpool, has 
built new fishing-boats, increased its traffic with Ireland : a 
thriving little village ; — may come to rival Chester yet, in the 
Irish trade and other things ! There stands, in a decayed, 
honeycombed state, a kind of royal castle at Litherpool ; 
*' under keeping of the Lords of Sefton,^ this long while : a 
range of huts, and even houses and warehouses, runs along the 
Mersey beach there. Sandy heights, sandy flats; scraggy 
bent-grass far and wide, interspersed with bogs and mooiy 
pools; beaten with wild rains; — not a favourable locality, 
but it may come to something. From ^Chatmosse** and 
other places a respectable * unctuous turf^ is dug.^ — O my 

^ Camden (Laocaihire). ' Camdft 



CHAP. IX.] SPIRITUAL PROGRESS 86 

erudite Friend, what things are growing, under the Whitehall 
phantasinagory and dead Court-litter thou so pokest in ! 



CHAPTER IX 

SPIRITUAL PROGRESS 

[160d-14] 

THE AUTHORIZED TEANSLATION OF THE filBLl': (1611) 

INTERCOURSE WITH AMERICA AND INDIA 

• 

Precious temporal things are growing [in these yeare of 
peace] ; priceless spiritual things. We know the Shakspeare 
Dramaturgy; the Rare-Ben and Elder-Dramatist affair; 
which has now reached its culmination. Yes; and precisely 
when the Wit-combats at the Mermaid are waning somewhat, 
and our Shakspeare is about packing up for Stratford, — there 
^mes out another very priceless thing : a correct Translation 
of the Bible ; that which we still use. Priceless enough this 
latter ; of importance unspeakable ! Reynolds and Chadder- 
ton petitioned for it, at the Hampton-Court Conference, long 
since; and now, in 1611, by labour of Reynolds, Chadderton, 
Dr. Abbot, and other prodigiously learned and earnest per* 
sons, * forty-seven in number,^ it comes out beautifully 
printed ; dedicated to the Dread Sovereign ; really in part a 
benefit of his to us.^ And so we have it here to read, that 
Book of Books : ^ barbarous enough to rouse, tender enough 
^ to assuage, and possessing how many other properties,^ says 
Goethe ; — possessing this property, inclusive of all, add we, 
ITiat it is written under the eye of the Eternal ; that it is of 
a Sincerity like very Death; the truest Utterance that ever 
came by Alphabetic Letters from the Soul of Man. Through 
which, as iJirough a window divinely opened, all men could 
look, and can still look, beyond the visual Air-firmaments 
and mysterious Time-oceans, into the Light-sea of Infinitude, 

> Fuller's Church History (London, 1S37), iii. 227-45. 



86 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [parti. 

into the stillness of Eternity ; and discern in glimpses, with 
such emotions and practical suggestions as there may be, their 
far-distant longforgotten Home. Emotions and practical 
suggestions, naturally of most transcendent kind ! — And so, 
the mimic Shakspeare Dramaturgy having gone out, there is 
another coming, I perceive, whose thunders and splendours 
are not mimic ! In this also the English shall essay them- 
selves. There are Realities which dwarf all Dreams, in this 
Life of ours; Acted Poesies which reduce all Spoken or 
Speakable to silence. 

Again, may we not call this a germ ; this notable little 
twig of English History, shooting forth in the year 1609 ; — 
springing up among the ephemeral dockweeds and luxuriances, 
perhaps as a mighty Cedar, as an everlasting English Oak to 
overshadow half the world ! By a lucky chance we catch 
sight of it through the old Logbook of the Ship Sea- venture ; 
Silas Jourdan, the Mate, having been kind enough to jot 
it down. Discemibly enough, in the summer days of 1609, 
a Fleet of eight ships from the Port of London is traversing 
the Atlantic, on a remarkable errand. Eight of them ; the 
chief ship that same Sea-venture, wherein sails Captain New- 
port, sail Commodore Somers, General Gates, commanders of 
the whole ; a right seaworthy ship of three hundred tons : the 
Fleet, O reader, is an Emigrant Fleet, bound — to Virginia ! 
Beautiful, is it not, in the waste solitudes of the Atlantic, in 
the depths of the old centuries, there ? Let us step on board 
with Silas Jourdan, and see how they get on. 

For a week or two, says Silas, we had pleasant weather ; 
all right till we reached the Latitude 80**, on the 26th July, 
when ^ a most sharpe and cruell storm** began upon us, 
threatening nothing short of destruction. The tumbling, 
the raging and the roaring ; mere Chaos broken loose, and 
your poor small wooden ship, small human crew at wrestle 
with it, — readers can conceive. Through night and tempest, 
the winds and fiends of Chaos piping on us ! Our ship wear» 



CHAP. IX.] INTERCOURSE WITH AMERICA 87 

heavily, pitches like a thing driven by devils ; springs a big 
leak : To the pumps, all hands to the pumps ! On the 
morrow morning, where are our seven comrade ships with 
their Emigrants ? All gone ; to the sea-bottom or elsewhere : 
far and wide, in the lurid tempest-light round the horizon, 
all is empty, mere tumbling water- mountains, wild- piping 
winds. And the leak does not abate on us ; the leak gains 
on us : All hands to the pump, yarely my men ! For three 
days we pump, and bale with all our ^ kettles, baricos and 
^ buckets ^ ; feeling that we must beat this leak or die. And 
still the leak gains, and still the wind rages ; we, pumping 
desperate, run blindly before the wind. 

What boots it.P The leak gains on us, the grim horizon 
is empty but of tumbling sea-monsters ; the ship is filling, 
sinking : we, at any rate, are dying of sixty hours^ fatigue. 
God in His mercy receive our souls ; for our bodies here there 
is not now any hope. Silent are the pumps, all hands have 
quitted the pumps ; have — ^gone to bed ; dropt down any- 
where into very stem sleep. The sinking ship drifts before 
the wind ; Admiral Somers sits wakeful on the poop, where 
* he has sat these three days,^ Captain Newport too ; awake 
they, saying little, as is like. We are drifting towards death, 
then. At this hour, in the Middle Aisle of PauPs, they are 
talking, promenading ! Merry England, rugged Mother 
Earth, farewell forevermore. 

See, there under the lee, is there not land ; at least rocks, 
and spray deluges? O heaven, on the chart in these lati- 
tudes, is no land but Bermudas ; it is Bermudas, the ever- 
vext Bermoothes ! Islands inhabited by mere Demons ; where 
it thunders and lightens, pours down rain and storm forever ; 
and on the black tempest, which the thunderbolt illumines 
blue, seamen have seen hags riding. Nay, the very Islands 
shift their place, dancing hither and thither : sailors sent to 
visit them have sought, for weeks, in vain ; could find no 
Island, only tempests, blue lightning magazines, and images 
of forked Demons. Such is the ever-vext Bermudas, towards 



88 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [PARTI. 

which we are now driving ; fatal Isle of Devils ! — Nonsense ! 
cries Somers, cries Newport : Or if it were ? cry they ; a tttan 
must have a heart in him to defy the Devils ! Cheerily, all 
hands, O again all hands ; and I take the tiller in the name 
of God !— 

O reader, this poor foundering Sea-venture was driven into 
the ^only inlet ^ of these rockbound Isles, such being the 
Divine Will. She bounded in at the top of high water; 
soused down between two crags, as in a natural dock, and lay 
there; every soul getting out safe. Their shipstores, ^ meaP 
and so forth, were drenched with brine ; but they had saved 
their lives, man, woman and child. They found a land with 
no Devils in it, except of their own bringing : a land over- 
grown with bushy vegetation, ^ mulberries, pears, palmettoes, 
^ stately cedar-trees "" ; a frondent wilderness rich in fruit ; 
tropical Autumn wedded to Spring. Fruit enough : and 
what was far better, — plenty of wild pigs ran squeaking in 
the thickets waiting to be shot and cooked. Better roast- 
pork, eaten with acidulent tropical fruits, was not often 
dished to man. These pigs dwelt there, and had been 
fattening themselves : — ^ undoubtedly the product of former 

* shipwrecks ^ ; in some former shipwreck the ancestors of these 
had swum ashore, meaning to be ready there. We found 

* hawks' also, of an ornamental nature ; and * abundance of 

* tobacco.** What could man require more ? A new English 
subject was bom to us in this Island, and we called him 

* Bermudas.** 

Stout Sir Greorge Somers, our noble Admiral, decided on 
building us a new Ship; and did in the space of fifteen 
months, with unwearied toil and patience, very destitute of 
iron and other necessaries, build a Ship of thirty tons ; and 
therewith carried the main body of us to Virginia, after all ; 
where we found the seven comrade ships had arrived, — and 
need enough of them and of us. Courage, stout Sir Greorge ; 
thou too art doing a bit of English History; — these very 
pigs of the Bermudas, swimming ashore from shipwreck, were 



CHAP. IX.] INTERCOURSE WITH AMERICA 89 

doing somewhat ! llie reader will be struck to learn that 
Sir Greorge returning to Bermudas, on a future year when all 
this was over, to supply Virginia with pork, did gather pork 
and salt it ; but also, alas, did eat rtMsist^pig in ovef-abundance, 
and died of a surfeit of roast-pig. Brave man; of large 
appetite and large heart: let the earth of thete Bermuda 
Islands, no longer * Islands of Devils," but human * S&mtrs 

* Islands," lie light on him : and his memory be not unvener- 
able to us ! ^ — 

As for Virginia, this fine settlement, since it was first 
planted, in 1587, *with above a hundred persons, men, 
^ women, and children," has been much n^lected. Not till 
1606, hardly till this fleet of 1609, was there any effectual 
remembrance of it by its Mother ; and what these hundred 
persons have done with themselves in the interim would be 
painful to consider. But here with Somers and his Fleet 
came help; new settlers, artificers, commanders, all things 
necessary ; sent by the Virginia Company and his Majesty in 
Council ; — and Virginia Shares, we may hope, have now 
reached par! For renowned Captain Smith, too, has been 
^up at the Falls"; has founded Jamestown; has conquered 
King Powhattan, the pipe-clayed, shell-girdled Majesty, and 
taken his Daughter Captive, — whom one * Mr. Rolf, a young 

* English gentleman," is found audacious enough to marry. 

* Marry a Princess ? " His Majesty [King James], I under- 
stand, had thoughts of punishment : but reflecting that she 
was only a pipe-clayed Princess, flatfaced, with probably some 
ring or doorknocker through her nostrils, and no trousseau 
or wardrobe but a scanty petticoat of wampum, he perceived 
that the case was peculiar, that there was room for extending 
the royal clemency. Audacious Rolf retains his Princess ; 
generates half-caste specimens, with manifest advantage to all 

* A Discovery of the Bermudas^ otherwise called the lU ef Diveis^ by Silas 
Jotirdan. London, i6lo (Reprinted in Htukluyt^ v. 555: London, 181 2). 
— Stow, 1019-20. 



90 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [parti. 

parties : and, on the whole, Virginia, I think, will come to 
something, and the shares rise to par or higher ! — 

Nay, looking into other old Logbooks, I discern, in the 
Far East too, a notable germination. By Portuguese Gama, 
by Dutch and other traffickers and sea-and-land rovers, the 
kingdoms of the Sun are opened to our dim Fog-land withal ; 
are coming into a kind of contact with it. England herself 
has a traffic there, a continually increasing traffic. In these 
years,^ his Majesty has granted the English East India 
Company a * new Charter to continue forever ** ; the old 
temporary Charter having expired. Ships, *the immense 

* Ship, TradeVIncrease, and her Pinnace, the Peppercorn ' ; 
she and others have been there ; in Guzerat, in Java, in the 
Isles of Temate and Tidore, bringing spicy drugs. At Surat 
and elsewhere, certain poor English Factories are rising, — 
in spite of *the Portugals of Goa." Nay, in 1611, there 
came Sir Robert Shirley, a wandering, battling, diplomatising 
Sussex man, ^Ambassador from Shah Abbas the Greats 
and had a Persian Wife, and produced an English-Persian 
boy, — to whom Prince Henry stood godfather. — Shah Abbas, 
Jehangire, Great Mogul, and fabulous-real Potentates of the 
uttermost parts of the Earth, are dimly disclosed to us; 
Night^s ancient curtain being now drawn aside. Not fabu- 
lous, but real ; seated there, with awful eye, on their thrones 
of barbaric pearl and gold : — is it not as if some rustle of 
the coming epochs were agitating, in a gentle way, those 
dusky remote Majesties ! The agitation of * the Portugals 

* at Goa," on the other hand, is not gentle but violent. 

For lo, we say, through the Logbook of the old India Ship 
Dragon, in the three last days of October, 1612, there is 
visible and audible a thing worth noticing at this distance. 
A very fiery cannonading, * nigh Surat in the Road of Swally." 
It is the Viceroy of Goa, and Captain lliomas Best. The 
Viceroy of Goa has sent ^ five thousand fresh men, in four great 

* Galleons with six-and-twenty lusty frigates," to demolish 

^ l6io, Cftrnden (in Kennet, ii. 643). ' May, 1609,' sayt Stow, 994. 



CHAP. IX.] INTERCOURSE WITH INDIA 91 

Captain Thomas Best and this Ship Dragon of his, — in fact to 
drive these English generally, and their puny Factories, home 
again, out of his Excellency'^s way. Even so : — but Captain 
Tliomas Best will need to be consulted on the matter, too ! 
Captain Tliomas Best, being consulted, pours forth mere 
torrents of fire and iron, for three days running ; enough to 
convince any Portugal. A surly dog ; cares not a doit for 
our Galleons, for our lusty frigates ; sends them in splinters 
about our ears ; kills eighty-two of us, besides the wounded 
and frightened ! Truculent sea-bear, son of the Norse Sea- 
kings ; he has it by kind ! The Portuguese return to Goa 
in a very dismantled manner. What shall we do, O Excel- 
lency of Goa? Best and his Dragon will not go, when 
consulted ! O Excellency, it is we ourselves that will have 
to go ! — ^This is the cannonade of Captain Best, * Geneml 
^ Best ^ as the old Logbooks name him ; small among sea- 
victories, but in the World's History perhaps great.^ 

Captain Best, victorious over many things, sends home 
despatches, giving ^a scheme of good order' for all our 
Factories and business in the East ; sails hither, sails thither, 
settling much ; — freights himself with * cloves, pepper ' and 
other pungent substances, and returns happily in 1614. 
The Great Mogul had a * Ueger ' or Agent of ours, for some 
time past; and now, in this same year, 1614, Sir Thomas 
Roe goes out as Resident Ambassador. Tlie English India 
Company seems inclined to make good its Charter ! His 
Majesty, in all easy ways, right willingly encourages it. 

American Colonies, Indian Empire,— and that far grander 
Heavenly Empire, kingdom of the Soul eternal in the 
Heavens: is not this People conquering somewhat for itself? 
Under the empty halm, and cast-clothes of phantasmagories, 
under the tippets, rubrics, kingVcloaks and exuviae, I think 
there is a thing or two germinating, — my erudite Friend ! 

^ Orme's History of Hindostan (London, 1805), 330 // seqq. Stow, 994. 



92 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [PAkT I. 



CHAPTER X 
l>AtJi/s AISLE : J^aul'S cross 

[1610—1615] 

Daily * about eleven o'^clock,'' it is th6 custom of all culti- 
vated persons, * principal gentry, Icmls, courtiers and profes- 
^ sional men not merely mechanic,'' to meet in PauFs Cathedral, 
and — walk in the Middle Aisle till dinner time, about twelve. 
Aftet dinner they return thither * about three, and walk again 

* in the Middle Aisle till towards six.*" There they roll hither 
and thither, daily ; exchanging salutations ; * discoursing 

* of news, business,'* and miscellaneous matters ; — the many- 
voiced hum of them y^t audible in the mind'^s ear. In these 
very days, are they not t&lking of Bavaillac, Rue de la Fer- 
ronnerie, and the murder of Henri le Grand ? What will 
that Scarlet Woman, sitting so on her seven hills and sending 
out her Jesuit ndlitia, come to ! Our Paris Letters say he did 
it with a knife, and stabbed twice, standing on the hind- wheel 
of the carriage. The king exclaimed, * I am hurt * ; and at 
the second stroke, died ^ : Linquenda telhu ei dofmts ! — * I, 

* Francis Osborne, an observant youth, spending three-fourths 
^ of my year in London, discourse of the worthiest persons, and 

* news firom the fountain-head ^ ^ I had come up on some pro- 

* mise of court-preferment,^ which alas, proved rotten mainly! — 

And at PauPs Cross hard by, from your raised pulpit 

* roofed with lead,^ raised on steps like some big Spiritual 
Sentry-box, you have sejmon frequently^ on weekdays or 
other : you sit on benches, in most rapt silence, under the 
open canopy there; detect Puritanical tendencies now and 
then. Papistical now and then. Over in Cheapside, mean- 
while, the shop-apprentices are crying, * What d'^ye lack? 

> Friday, 14th Mty (24th by iht then English style) i6ia Osborne, 
Historical MemeirSf p. 209. H^naalt, Ahrigi chronohgiqut^ p. 585. 



CHAP.X.] PAUL'S AISLE: PAUL'S CROSS 93 

* What d' ye lack ? ' Old London, with its old shop-cries, 
its old ^ shrill milk-cries,' and foolish and wise discoursings 
of the human windpipe, is very vocal : Labour's thousand 
hammers also fall in it, with multitudinous tumult, un- 
noticed by Dryasdust ! — Silent in the Tower sits Raleigh, 
sit my lord Northumberland and others : it was the Lady- 
Arabella^ Plot, the Gunpowder Plot, what Plot one knows 
not. Tough Raleigh is writing his History qf the World ; 
hemmed in by strait stone-walls. And at Court Attomey- 
Greneral Bacon is clearly on the rising hand ; a usQful Court- 
lawyer, ^ with an eye like a vipcir.' And in many Churdi- 
pulpits an alarming Puritanic tendency is tracei^ble ; in 
others a Papistic. And at Lambeth, choleric Bancrolt is 
waxing heavy, verging to hi&' long sleep; like to be 
succeeded by solid Dr. Abbot. And, on the whole, is not 
motley very generally the wear, for men and for things ? They 
have their exits and their entrances ; they dress themselves in 
what %-leaves and ornamental garnitures they can ; and strut 
and fret their hour. If the somewhat paltiy Stage of Life 
were not an emblematic one, who, on sudi salary as there is, 
would consent to act on it ? Not I» for my share. But it is 
and remains emblematic enough ; very wonderfully and also 
fearfully emblematic ! Paltry loud-babbling Time, mirrored 
on the still Eternity, is no longer paltry ; and poor mimes, 
seemingly mere clothes-screens dressed out of Monmouth- 
Street,^ are^ if they knew it, either gods or else devils ! — 

* Arabella Stuart, Daughter of Lennox (Damley's younger brother), and 
Cousin to King James. In May 1610 she married William Seymour, who was 
of Tudor blood and might in certain contingencies have claimed a right to the 
Crown of England. The young couple were both cruelly and unjustly treated 
by the King : after imprisonment, escape aild recapture, and incarceration in 
the Tower for four years, Arabella died insane, 161 5. See iMUn tmd Lift rf 
A, Stuart, by Elisabeth Cooper. 

^ Now called Dodley Street, long noted for iti Hcond-hand-dothes sbopSi 



94 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [parti. 



CHAPTER XI 

DEATH OF PRINCE HENRY: MARRIAGE OF PRINCESS 

ELIZABETH TO THE PALSGRAVE 

[1612-13] 

Meanwhile the news are bad. On Tliursday, S9th October 
I6IS9 Lord Mayor^s Day, there is a grand to-do in Guildhall; 
German Prince, Elector Palsgraf, and other high dignitaries, 
secular and clerical, dining with the new Lord Mayor there. 
An explosion of princely and civic gratulatioQ and good cheer; 
radiant enough, if we had time to reawaken it. The Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury, good Greorge Abbot, the last of the 
Souls^ Overseers is there ;^ Palsgraf and he talk Latin to each 
other all the afternoon, much to the admiration of the citizens. 
Bishop of London too is there, — one King, of whom little is 
known ; a * pious man,^ employed in Weston's affair.* Prince 
Henry, alas, is absent, — he would have come, but has fallen 
suddenly ill : this princely corporation dinner is chequered by 
that one shade of sorrow ; but we struggle to suppress it. 

As to this handsome young Count Palatine, Palsgrave as 
they call him, he is a handsome man ; lodges in Essex House ; 
expeases all defrayed by his Majesty ; we understand he is 
come about marrying the Princess Elizabeth. He comes 
from Heidelberg, from Munich far beyond seas ; is of the 
progeny of * Otto von Wittelsbach,' of one knows not whom ; 
is Count Palatine of the Upper and Lower Palatinate : a 
serene Highness whom singular destinies await. His progeny, 
by Protestant Settlements, glorious Revolutions and such like, 
do now govern these Islands ; are the present agreeable Family 
of Hanover whom we all know. He speaks in Dutch Heidel- 

^ Stow, 1004, but the paging is wrong thereabouts. — T. C. 
* He exerted himself to induce Weston to plead at his trial for complicity in 
Overbury's murder. See in/hf, p. 112. 



CHAP.XL] DEATH OF PRINCE HENRY 96 

berg Latin to Archbishop Abbot this day at the Lord 
M ayor^s Feast ; says his Highness (Prince Henry) had a game 
of tennis, whereat his Highness got heated ; ^ Greorge Abbot, 
in Cambridge dialect, ^ hopes in Grod it will pass quickly, and 
' come to nothing ! ' 

Alas, it passed quickly, but took the young Prince along 
with it. On * the 6th November between seven and eight,' at 
his Palace in St. James's, he died. The sorrow of the popu- 
lation is inconceivable by any population now. This, then, is 
what it has come to. Our leather dolphins at Chelsea, and all 
our stately Masquings, the glory of this Earth ; and all our 
high hopes for a reign of Gospel Truth and real nobleness in 
England, vanish so between seven and eight in the dim Nov- 
ember evening ; choked in damp death forever. He was made 
a Knight, we saw ; but it availed not. A wise, brave youth 
for his years; he scorned many honourable clothes-screens, 
male and female, of his Father's Court; yet in a discreet, 
reticent manner; from boyhood he had admired the Great 
Henry * of France, — whispers go that he was cognisant of the 
Henry's Grand Scheme, and had determined to be king of 
Protestantism. He was of a comely, tall middle-stature, five 
feet eight, or so ; beautiful, shaped like an Adonis, of an 
amiable majestic countenance ; the hair auburn, the eyes deep 
and grave, with the sweetest smile in them, with the terriblest 
frown. So say the Court newsmen, with the handkerchief at 
their eyes.* And he lies there dead, — ^vanished forever. He 
has had two appearances in this History ; an entrance and an 
exit : happily if also unhappily no intermediate performance 
was required of him : applauses therefore are unmixed ; he 
lies there a beautiful ideal youth, consecrated by the tears 
and sorrowful heart worship of all the world. Tlie Lord 
Mayor's feast is sorrowfully clouded ; — all feasts are sorrow- 

^ Pictorial History of EngUmd {X^xAon^ 1S40), iii. 51. 

* Henri quatre^ who had prepared a splendid army of 30,000 men, and was 
thought to be on the point of setting out at the head of it to make war against 
the Pope and his dominions. 

' Sir C. Comwallb, in Harris, i. 295. See an/^, p. 77 n. 



96 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [parti. 

fully clouded : broad Anne of Denmark weeps once more from 
the bottom of her Mother's heart as she hoped never to have 
done ; paternal Majesty does not weep, but his thoughts, I 
believe, go wandering over Time and over Eternity, over Past 
and Present, in a restless, arid, vague, still more tragic manner, 
and discern at glimpses what a sorry Rag-fair of a business 
this of Life and its Eloquences is :~4.what a frivolous play- 
actor existence we have at Whitehall here, with the Furies 
looking through the arras on us ; what a sorry business this 
of unheroic Human Life with its Court Masques is ! Let us 
forget it, your Majesty. Music, then; new Masques, and 
ceremonials ; let the business of the State go on ; marriage of 
the Palsgrave as one of the first of its businesses. 

The sorrow of the population (as we said) is inconceivable 
to any population now. As yet the whole nation is like 
the family of one good landloid, with his loyal tenants and 
servants round him ; and here is the beautiful young Lord* 
ship and Heir Apparent struck suddenly down ! Who would 
not weep ? We, had our time been thetij should have wept 
too, I hope : but it is too late now. So fair a flower of 
existence is cropt down ; the hope of Frotastantism snatdied 
sternly away : we reflect that Prince Charles will be King, not 
Archbishop now, but King ; which may produce results. 

Tliere goes a report of poison ; report that the Spaniards 
and Jesuits have done it, — ^nay; still blacker reports that 
Somerset Car whom he hated, — ^that a paternal Majesty, 
struck with jealousy : — reports which are not now worth 
naming.^ But indubitably enough the Funeral on Monday, 
7th December,^ as it winded on with its high hearse and waxen 
effigies, with the sable principalities, with divers Bishops and 
Marquises, Earls and Barons, all in crape, and the gentlemen 

> The prince it woald seem, died of typhoid fever. See Dr. Norman Moore's 
Pamphlet, 'The Illness and Death of Prince Henry, Prince of Wales— « 
historical case of typhoid ferer,'—- St. Bartholomew's Hospital Reports, roL inrii. 
Stow says : ' He died of a popular mallignant fef«r, which raifned that yeie is 
most parts of this land.' — ChratUcUt 1004. 

' Stow, 1004. 



CH. XL] MARRIAGE OF PRINCESS ELIZABETH 97 

officials of the King^s chapel * singing very solemnly as they 
* marched,' was one of the saddest sights. The hearts of all 
men are darkened. Guy and his fellow Fiends were for 
blowing up his Majesty and High Court of Parliament ; do 
they mean to try it now another way ? A Spanish warship, 
I hear, *has arrived,' in what port is uncertain, wholly 
freighted with pocket yistols. Such is the rumour in these 
days. Short pistols, Jto be distributed each to its due trucu- 
lent Papist assassin, all over England ; truculent Papists 
shall wear them in their pockets ; shoot with them each his 
distinguished Protestant man. *A black Christmas,' they 
say, * will make a bloody Lent.' ^ How little know we what 
our fathers suffered ! We walk lightly over the graves and 
martyr-struggles of our fathers ; but, indeed all the conquests 
of this world are the fruit of martyrdom ; in all the noble 
possessions of this world lies unrecognised the heart's-blood 
of a heroic man. Courage ! His Majesty prohibits by a 
Proclamation ^ the wearing of any pistol that will go into a 
pocket at all, — any pistol the barrel of which is not fifteen 
inches long or thereabouts : will this pacify you ? 

As to the Marriage of Palatine Serene Highness and 
Princess Elizabeth, — it happens on Shrove-Sunday the 14th 
February, 1612-3, *St. Valentine's Day,' says old Stow. 
Considering what destinies came from it, let us look at the 
phenomenon one moment. The Bride was all in white ; her 
train borne by twelve bridesmaids, the beautiful lest and noblest, 
all in white ; on her head was a golden crown : her black hair 
streamed gracefully down to her girdle, which was of pearls 
and diamonds. In fact she was all of pearls, and herself one 
beautifullest pearl, — a Mary Queen of Scots, without the 
Popery, come again, — and made a radiance round her, says 
old Wilson, like the Milky Way. She was led to the Altar, 
in Whitehall Chapel it was, by two bachelors : young ortho- 
dox, austere Prince Charles, and old nefarious Howard, P2arl 

1 Wilson, 62. 2 n,i^^^ 53^ 

G 



98 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [parti. 

of Northampton ; a crypto-papist too ; and from the Altar 
by two married persons, whose names I forget.^ At the Altar, 
while Archbishop Abbot did his functions,^ she blushed like 
Aurora, but smiled withal ; nay, there went flashings of the 
morning-light of joy from her fair young face, which seemed 
ominous to Arthur Wilson. Majesty himself is there, looking 
vigilant-impatient, with open eyes and sardonic under-jaw ; 
Queen Anne too, is there, — little charmed with the match. 
Goody Palsgrave, she calls her. Goody who might have been 
a Queen, with due management. She will be a Queen of 
Hearts, at any rate, — and give rise to the present agreeable 
family of Hanover. 

The Old Chronicler feels all the tailor stir in him at 
thought of the * Masquings "* and * Processionings ' with their 
velvet, Mechlin lace and cloth of gold ; — transitory all as the 
brightest flash of morning succeeded by laborious rainy day.^ 
TThe Procession and Masque of the young Lawyers which came 
along the Strand by torchlight, and up the River in illumin- 
ated royal barges, throws the old heart almost into ecstasy. 
For they did ride as Moriscos,^ Indian kings, Moguls or 
other truly exotic characters ; escorted by savages with gilt 
rods, by hairy anthropophagi and men whose heads do grow 
beneath their shoulders : all with torches ; all caparisoned, 
high-prancing through the Strand by night, to the astonish- 
ment of all mortals.^ Such then were young gentlemen of 
the Inns of Court ; a class much given to Masquing. Was 
William Noy there, for instance ? Good Heavens, they will 
grow to be old gentlemen these; and get into quite other 
Masques, — into long wigs and red cloaks some of them, — 
and sit as judges, Shipmoney judges, and Attorney-Generals ; 
dried specimens of Humanity, tough as leather tanned for 
thirty years ! Noy has a Christmas pie sent up yearly by his 

^ Duke of Lennox and the Earl of Nottingham. 

2 Slow, 1005. ' fdtd.t 1006. * Moors. 

* The young Lawyers* Masque, called *The Masque of the Inner-Temple 
and Gray's Inn,* was written by Francis Beaumont ; and was presented on 
Saturday 20th Feb. 1612*3 in the Banqueting- House at Whitehall. 



I 

4 



I 

e 



CHAP. XII.] DUEL— SACKVILLE AND BRUCE 99 

good Mother : for Noy too had a Mother ; and there were 
once smiles to him and human tears ; and he was not always 
of leather, — not of leather tanned for thirty years. — 

In brief the Elector Palatine and beautiful Electress, after 
festivities like those of Ahasuerus, were dismissed in the 
beginning of April; — shipped at Rochester; and with a 
train of festivities and triumphal arches, continuing still over 
the West of Europe, making their path a kind of temporary 
Valhalla or Vauxhall, did get at length to Mannheim ; there 
happily and unhappily to hold Court levees, produce sons and 
daughters, and mingle as they might in the great growth of 
sublunary things. Fair days to them, to the young Queen of 
Hearts especially. 



CHAPTER XII 

DUEL — SACKVILLE AND BRUCE ^ 

[1613] 

On an Autumn afternoon in August 1613, two young 
gentlemen each attended by an official - looking person, are 
riding at a slow, steady pace through the Eastern Gate of 
Antwerp, proceeding first by broad highways and then by 
remote byways towards Bergen-op-Zoom. They ride at some 
distance apart these two pairs of persons, yet scrupulously 
observing one another; turn after turn through the green 
meadows, the hindmost pair follows accurately the leading of 
the first. What do they want in Bergen these two young 
gentlemen with their attendants ? In Bergen nothing, but in 
the road towards Bergen much. The March-line of the 
States territories and the Arch-Duke'^s lies here in these green 
sequestered meadows ; as near that as may be they would find 
some quiet spot : there if a deed of blood chance to be done 

^ Edward Sackville, afterwards 4th Earl of Dorset, bom 1591, died 17th July, 
1652. Edward Bruce, 2nd Lord Kinloss. 



100 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [parti. 

in the one country, the survivor has but to step across into 
the other and he is safe. Peaceable cattle graze in these 
meadows, peaceable Tenier^s boors are getting their ale or 
after-dinner nap in these painted cottages ; — not of peace is 
the errand of these two young gentlemen. Their attendants 
are two silent Surgeons or Barber-Surgeons, for a Surgeon in 
those days is but a Subaltern, and shaves. Their errand I 
think is of a duel. TThe foremost of these two young gentle- 
men is the Honourable Edward Sackville of Buckhurst 
Knowle, etc., is younger brother of the Earl of Dorset, 
grandson to Buckhurst with his Ferrex and Porrex,^ great in 
Queen Elizabeth''s days, as fair a piece of young manhood as 
you shall readily fall in with. Tlie hindmost of them who 
keeps such strict eye on him, is of Kinloss in Fife ; the Lord 
Bruce of Kinloss; also one of the prettiest young men. 
What rage and fire swells in these beautiful young faces, all 
silent, shaded with their long brown hair. Apollo piercing 
the Python Serpent looked somewhat so, one fancies : — two 
Apollos in modem Spanish hats and set on horseback there. 
My young friends, I doubt you have mischief in your eye. 

To this day I could never discover exactly what the cause 
of quarrel was. Tlie likeliest seems that it was a sister of 
the Lord BruceX — alas, this Sackville is seductive enough, — 
a sister of Lord Bruce\ and then some former tiff of contro- 
versy, soldered up by intervention of Friends, wherein the 
Lord Bruce, feeling that it was questionable, had said, ^ He 
^ gave his hand then, but his heart he reserved and did not 
* yet give.** Accordingly, from Paris in June last, he wrote 
to Sackville the most courteous, the most fierce of letters 
soliciting a meeting as the chief of all earthly blessings and 
charities to him, to which Sackville as courteous and as 
fierce, gave swift and brief assent, and so they arrive in the 
Netherlands rendezvous at Antwerp, and the Seconds match 
their swords, and the Lord Bruce indicates that the Seconds 

* The Tragedie of Ferrex and Porrex^ by Thomas Sackville, Lord Buckhurst, 
1st Earl of Dorset (Lond. 1571, i6mo.). 



CHAP. XII.] DUEL— SACKVILLE AND BRUCE 101 

shall not attend them, but only two Surgeons, for he is bound 
to do or suffer what no Second could witness without inter- 
fering, — bloody intentions, bloody and butcherly as Sackville*'s 
Second said ; but intentions, which being reported to Sack- 
ville, awaken such a humour in him that he starts up from 
the very dinner-table saying, * Be it now then ! ' And so 
they are riding in byways among the green meadows between 
Antwerp and Bergen-op-Zoom, the two angriest young figures 
in the Low Countries that afternoon. Some two miles they 
have ridden, and found nothing quite satisfactory : but 
human nature cannot long endure such riding : Sackville 
draws bridle, pointing to a wet meadow, private, though wet, 
says, ' This will do,** and the Lord Bruce answers, * Why not 

* this ? ' The two Surgeons therefore retire to a distance ; 
' interpose not between us as you love your lives, but leave us 

* to do our will on one another,*" — and so now : * At your 

* service. Sir.** * At your service, my Lord.' We doff our 
doublets, Spanish hats ; the meadow is water to the ankles ; 
but the drawn swords glitter in the sun ; we are to strive 
here for the greatest prize. — Sackville whose description no 
Homer could excel shall report the rest : — 

' And there in a meadow, ankle deep in the water, at least, bidding 
farewell to our doublets, in our shirts we began to chaise each other, 
having afore commanded our surgeons to withdraw themselves a pretty 
distance from us, conjuring them besides, as they respected our favour 
or their own safeties not to stir, but suffer us to execute our pleasure, we 
being fully resolved (God forgive us !) to despatch each other by what 
means we could. 

* I made a thrust at my enemy, but was short, and in drawing back 
my arm I received a great wound thereon, which I interpreted a reward 
for my short shooting ; but in revenge I pressed into him, though I then 
missed him also, and then received a wound in my right pap, which 
passed level through my body almost to my back. And there we 
wrestled for the two greatest and dearest prizes we could ever expect 
trial for, — honour and life; in which struggling, my hand having but 
an ordinary glove upon it, lost one of her servants, though the meanest, 
which hung by a skin, and to sight remaineth as before, and I am 
put in hope one day to recover the use of it again. But at last breath- 



102 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [part I. 

less^ yet keeping our holds, there passed on both sides propositions of 
quitting each other's swords, but when amity was dead, confidence 
could not live, and who should quit first was the question ! which on 
neither part either would perform ; and restriving again afresh, with a 
kick and wrench together 1 freed my long captive weapon. Which incon- 
tinently levying at his throat, being master still of his, 1 demanded if he 
would yield his life or his sword ? Both which, though in that imminent 
danger, he bravely denied to do. Myself being wounded and feeling 
loss of blood, having three conduits running on me, began to make me 
faint, and he courageously persisting not to accord to either of my pro- 
positions, remembrance of his former bloody desire and feeling of my 
present estate, I struck at his heart, but with his avoiding missed my 
aim, yet passed through his body, and drawing back my sword repassed 
it through again through another place, when he cried : '^ Oh, I am 
slain ! " seconding his speech with all the force he had to cast me, but 
being too weak, after I had defended his assault, 1 easily became master 
of him, laying him upon his back, when, being upon him, I redemanded 
of him if he would request his life } But it seems he prized it not at so 
dear a rate as to be beholden for it, bravely replying he scorned it ! 
which answer of his was so noble and worthy, as I protest, I could not 
find in my heart to offer him any more violence, only keeping him down 
till at length his surgeon, afar off, cried he would immediately die if his 
wounds were not stopped : whereupon I asked if he desired his surgeon 
should come ? which he accepted of ; and so, being drawn away, I never 
offered to take his sword, accounting it inhumane to rob a dead man — 
for so I held him to be. 

'This thus ended, I retired to my surgeon, in whose arms afler I had 
remained a while, for want of blood, 1 lost my sight, and withal as I 
thought my life also; but strong water and his diligence quickly re- 
covered me ; when I escaped a great danger : for my Lord's surgeon, 
when nobody dreamt of it, came full at me with my Lord's sword ; and 
had not mine, with my sword interposed himself, I had been slain by 
those base hands, although my Lord Bruce, weltering in his blood, 
and past all expectation of life, conformable to all his former carriage, 
which was undoubtedly noble, cried out, '' Rascal, hold thy hand ! " So 
may I prosper as I have dealt sincerely with you in this relation.' ^ 

*So may I prosper as I have dealt sincerely with you in 
* this relation.** — Whereat the Universal Benevolence Societv, 
the Abolition of Capital Punishment Society, the All-for- 

1 Collins, Peerage of England^ ii. pp. 1 53-7 (London, 1812). A long narra- 
tive of this Duel was first printed in the Guardian^ Nos. 129 and 133. 



CHAP. XIII.] SHAKSPEARE^S DEATH 103 

Sugar and Syrup Society wring their hands ; and the Select 
Anti-Twaddle Society calls attention to it as a thing not 
without meaning. * Rascal, hold thy hand ' ; reflect well on 
that, you will find withal an epitome of many great things 
there. For rage does dwell perennially as a submarine fire 
element in the most flowery benevolent soul of man, and all 
his reason and all his civilisation shine out consecrated when 
he can, instead of being madly wielded thereby, manfully wield 
it ; and like a god launch and check the very thunderbolts. 
For thunder exists, must exist, and lightning in a summer 
sky is very different from hell-fire in the murk of Chaos ; — 
and, in short, the Select Anti-Twaddle Society advises the 
All-for-Sugar Society to take care in these times that their 
Sugar be not Sugar-of-lead. 



CHAPTER XIII 

SHAKSPEARE'S death — CERVANTES — KEPLER 

[1616] 

But what is this that is passing in these very hours west- 
ward in the centre of England, at the Town of Stratford- 
on-Avon ? — Stratford is peaceful this day, hammering, sawing, 
weaving, following its daily business for most part. But there 
lies in it, taking his departure for an unknown Land, a mighty 
man. William Shakspeare in these hours is dying. Twenty- 
third of April, 1616, if there be faith in monumental brasses, 
which for once we will thank. While Oliver Cromwell enters 
himself in Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, William Shak- 
speare takes his leave of this world. Dim are now those 
once bright eyes, heavy with the long sleep ; the radiant 
far-darting soul, now weary and fordone, painfully with tired 
wing is weltering through dark rivers of Death towards un- 
known Shores. Earthly Dramaturgies are done; in huge 
torch-dance all the Figures of this world, snakehaired Furies, 



104 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [parti. 

azure angels roll away. Coulisses, backscenes, footlights, 
dropscenes of this terrestrial theatre spin and tumble to 
annihilation ; and the Divinities and Silences and Eternal 
Realities supervene. There have been many Shakspeares of 
my kindred,^ silent ones and other ; — but thou art known to 
me; take thou my spoken blessing. My Shakspeare, 
brightest creature known to me in all this world, Adieu ! 
Anne Hathaway ""s tears drop fast, her face is all bewept, and 
the tears of young Judith fall fast : and Shakspeare is away ! 
Exit Shakspeare, enter Oliver. Wit combats at the Mermaid 
are all over, and quite another set of combats are to begin. 
These things happen in England in one day. 

Nay, far away, — for I love to follow the celestial Light- 
bringers of this world, wherever Ass Dryasdust and his multi- 
tude of oiled paper lanterns, and illuminated hollow turnips 
will allow me, — far away in the heart of Spain, there too 
they have been lodging an Angel unawares, in rather a sorry 
manner. Miguel Cervantes; he too is just dead, after a 
brave and weary life, — precisely ten days ago. Twenty-third 
of April 1616, so in words say the Spanish Registers; and 
Chevalier Florian will persuade me that it was the same day 
as Shakspeare'*s and Oliver^s; forgetting the difference of 
Old Style and New. A fortnight since, while Dorothy 
Cromwell at the West end of Huntingdon was getting 
01iver'*s linen ready, my poor brave Miguel, sick of dropsy, 
worn out with toil, had borrowed himself a horse and ridden 
out to see the green young leaves and bright Spring sky once 
more, l^fore he died. A kindlier, meeker, or braver heart 
has seldom looked upon the sky in this world. O my brave 
Miguel, when I think of thee fighting Turks at Lepanto, 
struggling like an unsubduable one, seven years against cap- 
tivity among the Moors ; struggling all thy years against 
poverty and misrecognition and hard luck ; and writing at 
last Don Quixote^ ^ our sunniest and all but our deepest 

* * Yes, this Shakspeare is ours; we produced him, we speak and think by 
him ; we are of one blood and kind with him.* — Lectures on Heroes^ p. 133. 



CHAP. XIII.] CERVANTES 106 

* modem Book ** ; sitting maimed, forsaken, old, and in jail, — 
I could blush for my own beggarly complaining, — I have to 
say to myself remorsefully, self-contemningly, * Silence ! ** 
From Miguel come no complaints; from Miguel came often 
thanks, gushing forth full of gratitude for the day of small 
things. A born indefeasible gentleman ; whom you recog- 
nise as such under every conceivable defacement, says one. 
Yes ! a born indefeasible Beam of Light, say I ; which could 
not be defaced ; which struggled upward victorious through 
all elements of fortune, purifying all, not poUutable by any. 
How Heaven's light will upwards ! Noble Chivalry is out 
now, cannot live now except as in self mockery ; let it live in 
that way, since in no other ; and we have a * Knight of the 
' Sorrowful Countenance,' and a Squire of the fat Paunch, and, 
amid Yanguesian Carriers and Maritonies Hostelries and all 
the uglinesses of the Earth, with Delirium and broken bones 
at the bottom of them, such glimpses of Elysian scenes and 
bright Boccaccio Gardens, and figures with their hair flowing 
down like sunbeams, — as were seldom given before in this 
world. Honour to Cervantes ; apotheosis to him, if there 
were any sense now of what was godlike, what was manlike ! 

He has ridden out, I say, to take one other look at the 

azure firmaments and green mosaic pavements, and strange 
carpentry and arras work of this noble Palace of a world, 
which is his more than another's; one look more, which proved 
his last. * On his way back to Madrid, in company with 

* two of his friends, they were overtaken by a young student 
^ on horseback, who came pricking on hastily, complaining 
' that they went at such a pace as gave him little chance of 

* keeping up with them. One of the party made answer, that 
' the blame lay with the horse of Don Ml. de Cervantes, whose 

* trot was of the speediest. He had hardly pronounced the, 
' name, when the student dismounted, and touching the hem of 

* Cervantes' left sleeve, said, " Yes, yes! it is indeed the maimed 

* " perfection, the all-famous, the delightful writer, the joy and 

* " darling of the Muses ! " — You are that brave Miguel ! ' 



106 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [parti. 

* In a few days more he had forever paid farewell to jest' 
' ing, farewell to merry humours, — to gay friends, and had 
* entered that other life, where he realised his last desire to 

' see his beloved one happy there/ Such things befall 

contemporaneously in this world. 

Human Blockheadism strives to bore us with innumerable 
Spanish interests, of long-faced Philips in their velvet mantles, 
thick-lipped Infantas, Treaties, Marriage-treaties, and I know 
not what : but this, very strangely we discern, is becoming 
as it were the one Spanish Interest : this is the Voice of the 
entity called Spanish Nation in our Universe; a day, as I 
discern, is coming when it will be all dumb but this ; — as the 
land of Greece now is, a waste of bewildered ruins, nothing 
surviving of it but the voice. Happy the Nation that has 
once spoken ! 

Good Heavens, my erudite Friend, how dark, dead And 
void is all that Europe, which lay then sunny, leafy, busy 
every comer of it in those Summer months while Oliver is 
grappling towards study of the Tongues under Dr. Howlet ! 
It is gone to brown ashes and mere Rymer's Fcedera^ me- 
seems ; it is vanished all away. The Leipzig Fair was holden 
twice annually, with chaffering and weighing, bargaining, and 
paying of moneys ; but the merchants and pedlars with their 
booths and bales have gone their ways again. Solemn 
Majesties all along from Spain to Sweden, a fair sprinkling 
of them all, on thrones as rich as Ormuz, with their treaties, 
war-treaties and marriage-treaties, festivities and finance- 
schemes ; not to speak of innumerable little German Dukes, 
with their sixteen quarterings, their stiff Kainmerherrs and 
thickquilted ceremonials, — Good Heavens, they are gone like 
ghosts, with an unmusical screech ; and we hasten onwartls 
through the Death-kingdom, refusing to be instructed of 
them. Life is short, my erudite Friend ; and Art is long ; 
it is not with vanished clothes-screens and poor extinct oil- 
lanterns, but, if possible, with Heroes only, and what of 

* Fadera^ etc., in 20 voll. folio, by Thomas Rymer, London, 1704-35. 



CHAP. XIII.] KEPLER 107 

heroic they have left, that I will concern myself. They and 
their works: — why, it is properly all that this world has. 
The rest — Chaos has it : thou blockhead, why wilt thou 
bewilder us with Chaos a second time? Was not once 
enough ? Miguel Cervantes is worth all the Philips and 
one to boot. 

What the Ericson Vasa people are doing at Stockholm, 
I will not inquire; a brave race, sons of heroic Vasa who 
rose and freed his Country ; and true Protestants, who will 
be ready when wanted. Far oflF in the East, however, I 
remark one Figure, in threadbare gabardine, with haggard 
face, ploughed seemingly with many toils and tribulations, 
but with eyes in which, amid sorrow and despair, beams 
deathless hope, beams victory over all things : resident about 
Vienna : but often hovering hither and thither as necessity 
drives : the name of him is Johannes Kepler, Almanack 
maker to the Kaiser's Highness. Yes, reader, of whatever 
class, trade or character thou be, thou canst take a look at 
that one ; — why, man, it was he in a manner that brought 
thee thy breakfast out of China this morning, that taught 
thee rightly what o'clock it was ; the very nautical almanacks 
to this day are made by him. He is the Imperial Highnesses 
Almanack Maker; has strange astronomical and other 
apparatus : old Sir Henry Wotton, going to * lie abroad ' ^ 
for his Majesty, saw his Camera Obscura and him, face to 
face ; thought this Kepler a very ingenious person. He has 
to shew Camera Obscuras, write Almanacks, be servant of all 
work, lest bread itself fail him and he be reduced to water. 
His salary is 18/ Sterling a year ; and they pay it him dread- 
fully ill. He has to go to Regensburg, to solicit the 
Imperial Diet. ' Noble Lordships, serene Highnesses, Princi- 
' palities and Powers of sixteen quarterings, pay me, of your 
'innate nobleness, my 18/!' Of late years they have paid 

^ ' Sent to lie abroad/ — as an ambassador ; a witticism of Sir Henry Wotton 's. 
Sec Lt/e of him by Isaac Walton ; Reliquut Wottofiiana^ p. 300 ; and Carlyle's 
Frederick the Great ^ i. 329-30. 



108 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [parti. 

him tembly ill,-and his great heart,— for the man has a 
great proud heart withal, — is almost getting weary of it. A 
small salary when so irregularly paid : — but Johann has done 
a bit of work ; that is his comfort. Reader, he has followed 
the motions of the star Mars {^ De Motibtut Stellco MartW) 
and discovered them ! For long lonesome years, in spite of 
loneliness, discouragement, scolding wives, and very hunger ; 
with a tenacity like death, he has followed this Star Mars, 
gone through his calculations seventy times, looking up with 
a cheery smile into the face of Hunger itself : saying, ' O 
' Hunger, do not kill me till I find this Star Mars ! ' By 
Heaven, I say he has found it ; and I cry victory with him 
to this hour. Here are the eternal Laws of the Planetary 
motions : [in ellipses, with the sun for focus, describing equal 
areas in equal times, with the square of the periodic time 
proportional to the cube of the mean distance from the sun] ; 
it was so the Maker from the first appointed these shining 
things to move. I have found it, exclaims Johann ; and you 
do not understand it : you are not like to understand it for 
a long while. Never mind. If God Almighty waited for 
six thousand years for one to see what He had made, cannot 
I wait a century or two for one to understand what I have 
done ? Yes, my brave one ! 



CHAPTER XIV 

EFFECTS OF COURT DOINGS ON THE MINDS OF 

IMPARTIAL ENGLISHMEN 

Into all prudent households, into all wise hearts reading 
Controversial DiWnity in England, and intent to govern their 
life on some God's truth there, what sorrowful rumours and 
reflexions are those that the course of royal affairs, of politics 
foreign and domestic, sheds abroad every where in those days ! 
Pious Mr. Robert Cromwell, pious Dr. Beard the schoolmaster 



CHAP. XIV.] EFFECTS OF COURT DOINGS 109 

are shocked in Huntingdon. Sir Oliver himself, though of 
hopeful secular nature, and bound to Majesty by knightship 
and otherwise, sometimes knows not what to say. From 
Court there seem to come almost no news that are not more 
or less distressing. 

Guy Faux and Company on the point of exploding Pro- 
testantism out of England by one infernal shot of gunpowder ; 
this, since the project failed, was not the worst news. That 
an English King should still favour Papistry, find in the Pope 
nothing unpardonable but his claim of a supremacy over 
kings,^ and still struggle to connect himself with Spanish 
Infantas and the other rubbish of heathen Babylon ; blind to 
the Gospel of Heaven, to the * Life of Immortality ' anew 
'brought to light,' as we may say, in all serious English 
hearts : what are men to tlunk of this ? The King of 
England sits on his august throne, raised aloft, conspicuous 
to all men as the illustrated symbol, the beautiful and almost 
beatified epitome of our general English Existence and En- 
deavour : and these are the news he sends us ? Favouritisms, 
frivolities, foolish profusions and forced loans; monopolies, 
unjust taxations, open sale of honours, open neglect of 
business ; drinking-bouts, court gallantries, Overbury Murders ; 
Spanish Matches, lost Palatinates : abroad or at home, disgrace, 
disaster, fatal ineflTectuality in whatsoever we do or attempt ! 

To us of the 19th century, seeking for some History of 
England, these things, as the pabulum of loud rumour and 
of sorrowful reflexion to contemporary English hearts, have 
still a kind of meaning; in such sense they are still faintly 
memorable to us, — hardly in any other sense. Indirectly and 
by reflex they have in this way some relation to the History 
of England ; but directly and as intrinsic facts, they have 
almost none. What History of England lies, or can lie, in 
all that? The truth now is visible to every one, which then 
no one could see or surmise, that this King James, and his 

* James's Speech to his First Parliament. Wilson (in Kennet) ii. 671. 



110 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [parti. 

works and rais-works, are not the History of England at all, 
but something other than the History of it ; — that * this King 
^ James, who sat on the throne of England, and did consume 

* the taxes, and command the constables and armed men of 
' England, was at bottom not King of England, as he seems to 

* be, but well-accredited Sham-King only ; that, alas, this royal 
' man was no Chief Hero of England, but was Chief Chimera 

* of it rather ! ' as our dark friend ^ says. The more is our 
sorrow, in all respects. No wonder his history has grown 
chimerical ; would this were the worst result of such chimera- 
ship ! As a chronological milestone, and also as a fountain 
of loud rumour and sorrowful reflexion to contemporaneous 
believing men, King James must still have some purpose in 
English History : in these capacities the surliest modem must 
accept him, since it has so pleiptsed the Fates. 

To ourselves, except in these two relations, as time-mile- 
stone and as fountain of rumours, King James, Solomon of 
these Islands, shall be in great part indifferent ; our History 
could otherwise afford to leave him in the dim vaporous 
state, a hazy, chimerical and indeed incredible and impossible 
person, as other Sovereigns, Solomons, and royal sublimities, 
in the pages of our English Dryasdust, are. Why summon 
spectres from the vasty deep of Dryasdust, unless one have 
business with them ? Innumerable bright-tinted personages 
and occasions, solemn ceremonials, deep strokes of King-craft ; 
rises and falls of Somerset Car, of Buckingham Villiers, Over- 
bury Murders, trials of Lady Lake : let this all or almost all 
remain of an indistinct leaden colour for us ; in the infinite 
leaden haze which goes down to Chaos, Nox and the primeval 
Dark, let it dimly hang and hover for us. Spectres, spectres ; 
all living significance of which is gone and returns not ! Let 
them roam there in great part invisible on the torpid Rubbish- 
mountains ; shriek, at as rare intervals as possible, dolefully, 
unintelligibly, on the viewless winds. 

ITie tragedy of Overbury ; beautiful Robert Car of Femie- 

^ Smelfungus, 



CHAP. XIV.] EFFECTS OF COURT DOINGS 111 

hirst, beautiful Frances Howard of the House of Suffolk, 
fallen into the snares of the Devil, into Westminster Hall and 
the malediction of gods and men : it was all loud in that 
time, it has become low in this. 

Viscountess Purbeck, for cause of gallantries, is to stand in 
a white sheet, with lighted taper, and do penance, at St. 
Martin'^s ; let her duck into some Savoy Ambassador'^s, frail 
female, and escape from the big beadles, by a hole in the 
garden wall,^ — with small notice from the readers of these 
pages. She was daughter of Coke upon Lyttleton ; married 
to some unfortunate madman, brother of George Villiers ; and 
fell, sinful and sinned against, as flesh in these circumstances 
may. Beautiful George Villiers, beautiful Robert Car, nay 
crooked Robert Cecil himself, cunning Earl of Salisbury : they 
were Prime Ministers once ; but, except perhaps as subsidiary 
' chronological milestones and fountains of rumour,** they are 
as good as Nonentities now. Lord Chief Justice Coke, Coke 
upon Lyttleton, is out ; and Chancellor Bacon, Baron Veiulam, 
Viscount of St. Albans, Augmenter of the Knowledges, is 
in '^ : to us, at this distance, how can it be vitally important ? 
These are not cardinal events, not properly events at all ; 
these are but as chief appearances, phenomena more or less 
empty ; and concern the reality little. All these, in deference 
to Dryasdust, let us know, but be careful not to mention. 
We know them, Dryasdust, in the travail and torpor of our 
souls we have got to know them ; and they are worth nothing 
to us. Carefully dressed cucumbers, thin sliced, the vinegar, 
the pepper, and all else complete upon them ; and now this 
last duty remains for us, ITiat we faithfully throw them out 
of window ! — Two facts, nevertheless, selected from the Paj)ei*s 
of mv dark friend, I wish to retain here : — 

' Raleigh, Cobham and others,' says he, ' are condemned at 
' Winchester'; for over strenuous opposition politics, "plotting 
' " to bring in the Lady Arabella,*''* * and one knows not what : 

* Weldon, Secret History^ i. 446. • See infra^ p. 130, «. 

' See/^s/t p. 140, ft, * Sec an/e, p. 93, «. 



112 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [parti. 

they are all out to be beheaded, an immense multitude is 
assembled to look on ; but John Gibb, his Majesty's Scotch 
valet, having ridden all night, gallops in at the very nick of 
time, strange haste looking through his eyes, and produces a 
sign-manual, — a kind of pardon, to be received with shout- 
ings. Kind of pardon, which was but a respite and perpetual 
imprisonment ; whereby Raleigh got to the Tower, and writes 
us a History of the World, before dying : poor Raleigh ! ' 
— And again, this also I discern : ' Robert Devereux, an 
Eton boy, is playing at shuttlecock with Prince Henry ; 
Prince Henry, the hope of England, says in his anger at 
something that went wrong in the game, " It is like the son 
of a traitor,*" — the father of this Robert having as is well 
known lost his head. "Son of a traitor*"; whereupon 
Robert did, with his battledore, smite the royal bare crown 
of Prince Henry, and draw royal red blood from it ; — rash 
youth, prefiguring for himself an agitated, probably disloyal 
future. The King, however, got him wedded to the fair and 
false Lady Frances Howard, of the House of SuiFolk : wedded, 
but, alas, in form only ; it is an unrecordable history ; and 
gave rise to the poisoning of Sir Thomas Overbury.** These 
facts, though small, we will retain. • 



CHAPTER XV 

THE OVERBURY MURDER 

[1612-1616] 

Engi^nd meanwhile is ringing from side to side, not in 
the most edifying manner, with the rumour of the Overbury 
Murder. It is three years since this foul villany was done ; ^ 
for two years it had lain concealed, sounding only in vague 
popular rumour; and now last Winter the cloak was torn 

* Overbury died, 15th September, 1613. — Somerset's Trial was 25th May 
1616. 



CHAP.xv.] THE OVERBURY MURDER 113 

away from it, and the subaltern actors in it were all before 
Christmas got hanged. Stupendous, unutterable; which 
Dryasdust in the wearisomest foul old details and objurgations 
strives to utter. * As if this,** says Truepenny, * were the 
' History of England in those days ! ** — 

Overbury, a Gloucestershire gentleman and scholar, with good 
talent, figure and manner, but with aiTogance and contentious 
vanity more than proportionable, had made acquaintance long 
since with Robert Car now Earl of Somerset. The son of 
Femiehirst was not to spend his days peaceably hunting 
otters in the streams of Teviotdale, nor was Thomas Overbury 
to write dull Tragedies alone. They had made an intimacy, 
I think, in the Court of France, while they were both as 
pages learning manners there in the year 1604.^ Car rose to 
be royal Favourite, Overbury naturally joined him : at bottom 
one finds that Car was Chief-Secretary of State; and Over- 
bury, a man prompt with his pen, was in an unofficial way 
managing Secretary under him. They in their fashion, with 
the aid of Royal Solomon, old crooked Salisbury and a Privy 
Council, managed the affairs of this Country, better or worse. 
In occasions of real strait, old Salisbury and real Experience 
intervenes ; on other occasions, as of the Digby Embtissies, 
the Hay Embassies, Spanish Matches and such like, above 
all in the * granting of suits,** it was little matter how the 
business was managed. For certain years these two did it, 
better or worse ; Car Somerset walked before his Majesty 
with white rod, as Bacon pathetically says; radiant he as 
the chief of all the celestial Planets, and Overbury is his 
Moon. 

Precisely in the time while Overbury formed his first 
intimacy with Scotch Car in the Court of France at Paris, 
the beautiful little Fanny Howard, Treasurer Suffolk's second 
Daughter, of the best blood, of the beautifullest face and 
figure you could find in all these Islands, was betrothed to 
young Robert Devereux, son of the last great Essex, himself 

* State Trials : * Nine years since. * 
H 



114 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [parti. 

Earl of Essex, restored in blood and fortune ; ^ the same whom 
we saw smiting Prince Henry on the royal crown with his 
racket for calling him ' son of a Traitor/ ^ These two are be- 
trothed, nay, I think married, though as yet under yeai's, Essex 
hardly above thirteen, the lady some months younger. Old 
Salisbury, they say, advised it, his Majesty approved, thinking 
doubtless it would be a benefit for both, such a combination. 
Alas, it proved far otherwise ! ITie young Earl was sent 
upon his travels,, till the years of boyhood should be over : he 
returned a handsome, likely youth of eighteen, found a right 
blooming bride, who however, did not smile much upon him : 
by the malison of gods and men, by conjurers at Lambeth, 
cunning women at SuflFolk House — who knows ? By pen erse, 
capricious imagination, — surely by perverse accursed Art and 
human manufacture, when beneficent Nature had done her 
part, — there could still no marriage be; and protesting 
against old crooked Salisbury, mere unblessed mysteries and 
tragedies supervened ! Dryasdust imperatively demands that I 
should fold him up here ; bury these records of his, as our old 
German Fathers would have done, in the deepest discoverable 
Peatbog, and drive down a stake of oak through them. To 
me it is very clear, the young Frances Howard, Lady Essex 
so-called, proud, capricious, passionate and foolish, had turned 
her ambitious thoughts aloft, had decided on marrying a 
heavenly Planet, and fixed on Scotch Car as the palpable chief 
of these. * Am not I the fairest damsel in England ? This 

* Robert Devereux with his big fat cheeks and heavy jaws, with 

* his wheezing voice and proud sulky temper — Besides he is 
' forced upon me ; it was not I that chose him ! The foremost 
' man in all the world — ah, it is not sulky, thick-voiced 

* Devereux, the Lord of Essex ; it is radiant Scotch Car of 

* Rochester ! all-powerful he on Earth, the cynosure of England, 

* Robert Devereux, 3rd Earl of Essex, became commander of the Parlia- 
mentary Army at the beginning of the Civil War. He was a man of great 
courage and inflexible honour, but was far from being a successful general. Sec 
CromweWs Letters and Speeches^ i. 201-2. 

^ See ante^ p. 112. 



CHAP.xv.] THE OVERBURY MURDER 115 

' whom very dukes wait upon as a divinity, — by the very gait 
' of him a god/ Saw the eyes of young foolish woman any 
nobler figure of a man ? * Tall is he, strong and swift, graceful 
' of look ; how fierce and gentle, like the swift greyhounds of 
' Scotch Teviotdale, which doubtless is a Parish of Fairyland ! 
' The cynosure of English eyes ; whom the proudest Howards 
' worship even as flunkies or valets : him, ah, could I have 
' him ! ** — So spake the eyes and thoughts of the poor foolish 
young woman in the old Soirees of that time, in a somewhat 
radiant manner ; and the eyes of Scotch Car, nothing loth, 
could not but somewhat radiantly i*espond. 

The eyes of Car respond ; but find Overbury thinks far 
otherwise. A man of insolent ways, who hates the House of 
Suffolk in all its branches ; of braggart thrasonic disposition, 
to whom, in his boundless selfconceit, it seems as if Car indeed 
were the chief man of England, but lie the real Car, he the 
real working Undersecretary, reading all his Embassy de- 
i?|)atches, suggesting all the replies. Of him there is too little 
notice taken ; not on him fall those radiant glances from the 
Daughter of the House of Suffolk ; falling on another they 
are not beautiful to him. Rude counsels, remonstrances 
couched in the guise of friendship, largely tinctured with 
insolence and acrid selfconceit ; these now are frequent from 
Under Secretary Overbury to Supreme Secretary Car. * I 
' made you,** they almost seem to say ; * that foolish wanton of 
' the House of Suffolk shall not unmake you ; I will not allow 
Mt : ' Car smiles as he can ; keeping down many things ; finds 
it nearly unsupportable. For the man is insolent ; treats my 

Lady of Essex as if she were a . Good heavens ! 

One night very late, in private in the Gallery at Whitehall, 
Car coming home past midnight, finds Overbury with bedroom 
candle in hand : * Where have you been so late ? ** ' Pooh ; 
^ out on my occasions.** ^ I see it, that base woman will undo 
' vou.' ' Who knows V * In that course I will not follow 
' you/ * Quit her ? ' ' Yes, if you do not quit that unmen- 
^ tionable, look you stand fast.' ^ Stand fast ? '' answers 



116 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [parti. 

Rochester : ' what is to hinder me ? I think my own legs 
' are straight enough to stand on. Suppose you went to bed, 

* noble knight ? *" — And they part thus in a flash of fire. Of all 
which the unsatisfied, distressed, almost distracted, foolish 
young Lady of Essex is informed. For Car and she have secret 
intercourse, swift correspondence, secret as the gods ; meet 
in farmhouses between this and Hampton Court ^ on signal 
given, — meet where they can, poor creatures, being grown 
desperately beautiful to one another. This sulky, thick-voiced 
Lord of Essex, shall he lie forever like a gardener'^s mastiff*, in 
front of Hesperides apples, himself not eating fruit ? The 
malison of Heaven lies on it, sure enough. And it is so this 
Overbury speaks ; and the earth is full of eyes and ears. * Get 

* Overbury put away,^ cries Frances Lady of Essex, in a shrill 
inspired manner ; him away, my Sungod ; thou canst subdue 
him, thou ; — to the Tower with him, to Russia with him, 
to the Nether Fiend with him, till the gardener's mastiff* 
be driven out, and then ! — — Overbury does land in 
the Tower. I think a Russian Embassy was proposed to 
him first ; but he declined it, or on second thoughts they 
advised him to decline it, thinking the Tower would be 
better. And so he sits in the Tower (22nd April, 1613); 
and the gai*dener'*s mastiff* shall be poked out from that lair 
of his, and our perilous adventure launch itself. 

And so now straightway the poking out of this Gardener^s 
Mastiff, suing of Divorce for Nullity, proceeds apace ; an un- 
speakable operation, recorded voluminously in Dryasdust, — 
which demands from all men to be buried in the deepest 
attainable Peatbog, with a stake driven through it. Enough, 
the Lady Frances is divorced, forever free of sulky Essex ^; the 
Gardener's Dog poked out, departs, not altogether unwillingly, 

* State Trials, il 920. 

' * Perceiving how little he was beholden to Venus/ Essex after the divorce 
went abroad to ' address himself to'the court of Mars,' in other words to learn 
the art of war in the Low Countries. He returned, and ntarried again in 1630*1. 
But his second wife, pleading on the same grounds as his first had done, also 
obtained a separation from him. See Masson's Life of Milton^ ii. 154. 



CHAP.xv.] THE OVERBURY MURDER 117 

I think, though in a disconsolate manner, with his hair up 
and his tail between his legs. Keep your Hesperides Apples 
in the Devil's name ; they were never of my choosing ; — only 
I was set to watch them, and I have done it. This is ended 
on the S5th September ^ ; and there is nothing comfortable in 
it except that brave George Abbot, Archbishop of Canterbury', 
considerably the bravest Archbishop I have known since that 
time, refused to have any trade with it. Though named in 
the head of his Majesty's Commission, he said resolutely, No. 
Other Bishops and learned Doctors sit, — and solicit now to be 
buried in Peatbogs, — but one Chief of Bishops does not sit : 
honourable mention to him. He is of Puritan tendencies, say 
some : his House at Lambeth is all alight in the dead hours 
of darkness ; and I am told that he has Puritan Divines 
in conference with him there ! distressful to Court : silenced 
Preachers some of them, secretly indifferent to surplices some 
of them : with these does an Archbishop consort ! What can 
you expect ? Scotch Privy Councillor, Sir George Hume, 
Earl of Dunbar, first recommended him, I hear ; found him a 
wise religious man, — did not ask sufficiently what he thought 
of surplices. And so Lambeth Palace, you perceive, glows in 
the nightwatches with men consulting about mere piety, care- 
less of surplices. And at Oxford the Brother of this Abbot, 
Head of a House there, and like to be a Bishop, snarls on 
William Laud for semi-papistry, reproves him in open con- 
vocation for the space of half an hour. And Greorge Abbot, 
Head of Christ's Church in England, he, for one, will have no 
hand in the Lady Frances Howard's business, not even though 
the King command him ;— he thinks it will be safer not. 

All this while Overbury lies in the last impatience in the 
Tower; persecuting Rochester with letters; thrasonically 
exalting his past services, throwing out dark hints that he will 
do a mischief yet, if he be not attended to. A mischief : for 
he has secrets of Rochester's : secrets or a secret, which 
Dryasdust to small purpose at this distance beats his poor 

* Putor, Hist,^ iii. 54. 



118 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [parti. 

brains to discover. Was it the poisoning of Prince Henry ? 
Dark suspicions of that kind are afloat ; to which his Majesty, 
had he been a loving parent, might have attended more. 
Nay, was it some unutterable business, conceivable in foul 
imaginations, but to be kept forever unspoken, especially by 
Majesty and Rochester.'* Dryasdust, thy imagination is most 
vile, thy intellect is most dark ; thou unfortunate son of Nox. 
It is likely this Under-secretary Overbury in a seven years 
intimacy with such an Upper-secretary, might know many 
secrets, not quite convenient to be discovered ! What they 
were, we none of us shall ever know in the least, — and some 
of us do not care in the least, would not give a doit to know 
completely. I prithee, close the lid of that foul fancy of 
thine ; it is malodorous ; the nostril is afflicted by it ; the 
lungs taste poison from it. I would not give thee half a 
doit for all the interpretation thou wilt ever throw on these 
matters ; it should be other knowledge that we seek in the 
midst of poisons and mal odours ! Silence, thou son of the 
Cesspools ! Very clearly Overbury in the Tower continues 
importunate, insolent, of a most intemperate tongue ; and a 
proud, hothearted, foolish young woman knows of it ; — and is 
consulting conjurers in Lambeth, and has Procuress Turner, 
and Apothecary Franklin, many bad men and cunning bad 
women at her bidding; and is now within sight, almost 
within grasp, of Rochester Car, the Teviotdale Sungod, — 
wading towards him with open arms and heart half or 
wholly mad, through rivers of tribulation, crime and despair. 
Overbury had better not thwart such a humour, if he knew 
it. Nay, she has an Uncle, old Volpone Northampton, he 
too knows of it ; he too, for his own objects, wishes that she 
may attain her Sungod, and make all the Howards great. 
Overbury calls her base woman, openly declares his hatred of 
all Howards. Such sport will he spoil ; and thrasonically 
declares it : * When will you bring me out ? you dare not 
' keep me here ? ' For the man'*s voice is still intemperate. 
Better cut him off* by poison ? Slow poison, suggests Mrs. 



CHAP.xv.] THE OVERBURY MURDER 119 

Turner, Earl Northampton, or the Devil through some other 
agent ; and in the third week of his imprisonment the slow 
process is begun. Overbury"*s tongue continues as intemperate 
as ever ; but there is a new keeper appointed for him, a new 
Lieutenant of the Tower appointed ; ^ Northampton beckon- 
ing mysteriously, they mysteriously responding; Overbury^s 
friends are all excluded, his father and mother persuaded 
home again ; and Procuress Turner, with apothecaries, with 
rosalgar and corrosive sublimate and white arsenic in small 
(juantities, are sapping and mining. 

It was about the end of Summer when the unspeakable 
Divorce case ended, and foolish hot-hearted poor young Lady 
Frances got free of Essex ; saw herself advancing through 
the River of Horrors towards the land of Everlasting Sun- 
shine ; towards the Teviotdale Sungod, namely. By Heaven I 
could pity the poor young wretch ; struggling so towards a 
heaven ; which proved such a heaven ! I cannot slay her 
without tears. It is a case for George Sand and the French 
Romances, — if not rather for the old Teutonic Peatbogs. 
Of such stuff are we all ; — and when such stuff gets upper- 
most in any of us. Eternal Justice bids inexorably that it be 
put down again ; — if not by wigged judges, hangman, and 
gibbet, then by un wigged Lynch and his rifle : down, one way 
or other, it must and shall be put. Nature and Destiny and 
all the gods have inexorably said it^ and if the wigged judge, 
as I say, will not do it. Lynch will have to do it ; and also to 
send the wigged judge by and by into limbo, or some reposi- 
tory of old wigs : such judge, I should say, is not long for 
this world ! — Overbury takes a deal of poisoning ; the process 
being slow.^ He has had as much as would poison twenty 
men, say apothecary Franklin and Keeper Weston. At 
length on the 15th September 1613, he dies — all covered 

* Sir Jervis Elwes was installed as successor to Sir William Wade in the 
Lieutenancy of the Tower. 
'-' Some afHrmed that the poison sent for Overbury was withheld from him for 

a time. 



120 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [parti. 

with blotches, a miserable, tragic object, fit for French 
Romances; and is huddled that same day into a deep grave 
within the Tower ; and so we smooth the Earth-mound down, 
close, close, and begin to look about us now for our rewards. 
The river of Horrors is now waded ; heaven is now here — 
such as it is. — Overbury"*s death is 15th September, Rochester 
Somerset"*s wedding is 26th December. 

On 26th December, many things being 'now annihilated, 
two Lovers are made happy : Majesty assisted and all the 
Court Galaxy of Stars : a wedding of unimaginable pomp ; 
coranto-dancing, masquing, and deray, — such pomp as never 
even Chelsea saw when the leather Seagods spake in verse. 
Poor fool Frances, poor fool Rochester have their heaven ; 
and, I find, take up their lodgings at the Cockpit in St. 
Jameses. Northampton and the Howards strike the stars. — 
But let us hasten. Northampton soon dies ; all men do so 
soon die ! The Howards are all since dead, and no star 
shifted from its place. O euros hominum! Overbury is 
buried deep ; but murder, they say, will out. Popular 
rumour, sounding into all quarters and crevices, sounds at 
length into some ear that can give response. It is evident ! 
His Majesty not without a love of justice, not without 
a terror of appearing unjust, summons all the Judges, 
Coke upon Lyttleton at their head ; Majesty says passion- 
ately: Foul murder! search it out; God reward it on me 
and mine, if I screen any murderers. And so last Autumn 
and Winter from October on to Christmas 1615, there 
was an investigating, a deponing, pleading and empanel- 
ling, and the whole foul matter is brought forth into 
clear daylight before God and the country ; and the gallows 
is not idle. First Weston, Overbury's appointed keeper in 
the Tower, is tried; on the 19th October 1615, he, — and 
he will not plead or speak Guilty or Not-Guilty, being urged 
to silence by high persons in the Cockpit, as is like. Coke 
upon Lyttleton explains to him that the Law can make a 
man plead : that the Law can squeeze him by hyper-Bramah 



CHAP.xv.] THE OVERBURY MURDER 121 

presses, feed him on * water from the nearest puddle/ — render 
him very glad to plead. Go to your cell again, my man 
Weston ; and consider that. Weston on his next appearance 
pleads ; Apothecary Franklin, driven by conscience, peaches ; 
Weston peaches ; is found guilty, — sent swiftly to the gal- 
lows. Concerning whom I observe only this : Two gentlemen 
ride up to him on the ladder at Tybum, — seem to speak 
words with him ; one of which gentlemen, I seem to myself 
to know. Heavens, he is Sir John Holies, whom I saw 
fencing in Sherwood Forest, many years since, spoiling 
Jei-vase Markham in one important particular.^ He is 
father of the boy Denzil ; has Denzil at College somewhere ; 
a prosj^rous gentleman this John ; Markham has never for- 
given him. He from his saddle speaks earnestly to Weston 
that he would revoke his confession, his accusation of great 
|)er8ons : * What ho, Weston, wilt thou die, doing thy kind 
' masters a disservice ? ' — * May it please you, I am going to 

* be hanged, and seem now to be my own master. Think 

* you, worshipful Sir John, will the Grand Headmaster, Maker, 
' Creator and Eternal Judge of us all, like me better for going 
' to Him with a lie in my mouth ? Worshipful Sir John, if 

* you ever come to be hanged yourself — ! ' Weston dies 
sticking to his confession ; worshipful Sir John Holies and 
the other gentleman are tried at criminal Law,^ get thrown 
into the Tower, for this service ; but ere too long get out 
again. Fain would worshipful Sir John Holies have done 
my lord of Somerset a service, but he could not, Death and 
the Devil were too strong. 

Franklin too is hanged ; though he peached it could not 
save him. The light of day breaks in and ever in upon this 
dark business ; and now London rings with it, and England 
rings with it ; foolish countenances are agape and foolish 

* See Carlyle's Miscfllames^ vi. 214*18. 

- Sir John Holies, Sir John Went worth and Mr. Lumsden were summoned 
to the Starchamber for having by this proceeding ' traduced the Publick Justice.* 
State Trials t 13 James I., 1615, No. no. 



122 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [parti. 

tongues go wagging, happily all silent now. — How often 
have I too seen a sooty smith with forge-hammer grounded 
under broad black palm, with wide eyes and mouth stand 
swallowing a tailor's news ! The Bog of Lindsey has it now. 
— Forward ! Mrs. Turner is tried and hanged ; a truly 
wretched female who once saw better days, a Doctor"'s or 
Chiinrgeon'*s widow it would seem ; but destitute of money, 
which my Lady of Essex is well supplied with ; ' was my Lady 

* of Essex'*s servant, had no way of living but through my Lady 

* of Essex ^ — and therewith burst into tears. Lynch himself 
would have compassion ; but Lynch would have something 
else withal ! One good eflTect of Widow Turner'^s hanging I 
consider to have been the disuse of vellow starch. Idle 
blockheads, forever changing modes, disfiguring their poor 
unfeathered bodies, had fallen sometime since into discontent 
with their circular ruff, or linen neckgear, as not yet imposing 
enough, and thought the effect could be aided, were it 
starched yellow. Yellow starch accordingly, for it and for 
all linen got up in mode. For Man in dressing his skin 
adumbrates unconsciously his inner self, and comes out very 
peculiar at times. At times I liken him with Butler 
Hndibras to dog distract or monkey sick. Widow Turner 
being a person of respectability, though at Tyburn, could not 
but appear in yellow ruffs duly got up ; whereupon all the 
world indignantly scoured its ruff* white again. O Widow 
Turner, Widow Turner, the getting up of that yellow ruff", 
the night before Tyburn ! And thy long ride through 
London streets, and through this world generally ; and 
respectability in yellow ruff* to be devoured by Hemp and 
Death ! Justice inexorably hangs thee, but there are tears 
in her eyes. And Sir J. Elwes, Knight ; he too is tried ; 
defends himself, *niou canst not say I did it'; the jury find 
that he looked through his fingers, that he aided and abetted ; 
he too is hanged. His speech I have read in Dryasdust ; an 
affecting speech on Tower-hill, from the Gibbet-ladder : he 
confesses all ; too ambitious, I wanted to be up in the world. 



CiiAP.xv.] THE OVERBURY MURDER 123 

forgot the Law of God ; a great sinner, was a gambler too ; 
vowed once, * may I be hanged if I gamble more "* ; I gambled 
more, and see God is just ; the King and his Laws are just. 
Guilty, I, before God and man. Ye friends — I see many 
friends, there, there, there, — thanks to you ! Pray for me ! 
Sir Maximilian Dallison, we have gambled much together; 
I charge you give it over. Sir M. Dallison answers from 
horseback that he will. And now the cap being fitted, 
Elwes says these words : * O Christians, pray for me, who 
* shall never more behold your faces ! ' The Christians pray 
for him ; who would not ? His two servants stand bitterly 
weeping at his feet. The hangman does his office; and it 
is ended. 

These are edifying things for England ; edifying to 
comment upon by the Winter fires of the year of Redemption 
1615 ! They whom the King delights to honour, pity they 
had not been honourabler. The foremost of all England, 
beautiful by nature, doubly beautiful by art, there are they 
traced into hand -in -glove commerce with blackartists, 
swindlers, procuresses, corrosive sublimate, treachery and 
murder : the Devil, it would seem, has his Elect. What 
Chadderton and Knewstubs, virtuous bible-reading Squirarchy 
and the painful praying Ministry thought of these things ? 
The shadow of these falls into every thoughtful heart in 
England. 

Oliver is hardly warm in Cambridge till there come tidings 
that mv lord of Somerset and my lady of Somerset are 
themselves arraigned. In Westminster Hall ; 24th May 
1616, she; 25th May, he. I will not dwell upon it; 
would I could bury it in the bottomless Bog of Lindsey 
where its home, in spite of mortals, yet is. The fated 
Frances Howard ; fair, false, an angel of Heaven, yet with 
the glare of Hell fire in the face of her. A doomed one. I 
think Helen of Troy was probably not fairer; Clytemnestra 
little guiltier; Medea of Colchis little fataler. Tragedies 
could be written of her : but it skills not. The History of 



124 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [parti. 

James'^s Reign generally has been written as if by mutinous 
valets ; rioting in flunky saturnalia, the Master being gone. 
They worshipped this goggle-eyed Scotch Majesty as a visible 
god while alive among them, the proudest saying, * Here is 

* skin and soul to boot, much at your Majesty ""s ser\ice : this 

* poor skin of mine, would it please your Majesty to have it 

* flayed, tanned in any way, and made into boots for your 

* Majesty's wear ? ' And Majesty once gone, they burst out 
into undisguised insolence of Flunkyism ; no lie too black 
for them, no platitude too gross. — Frances Howard appears 
at the Bar in Westminster Hall : Lords all in ermine, scarlet, 
Attorney Bacon in black silk, with eyes like a viper. Serjeant 
Montague with black patch on his crown; Chancellor Elles- 
mere with shaving-dish hat ; Coke upon Lyttleton ; there are 
they all ; and the fatal Medea-Clytemnestra Howard ' with 
' bare axe borne before her;' trembling very much. She is in 
black of the finest, or superfinest, hoops, ruffs, with white 

* cobweb lace,' chimneypot chaperon or hat of I know not 
what felt or chip : a beautiful pale trembling Daughter of 
the Air, — of the Prince of the Power of the Air. They read 
her indictment; at the name of Weston she gave way to 
tears, she lifted her fan, screened her face with it, and wept 
till the indictment was done. Guilty : she pleads Guilty. 
Guilty ? He with the vjper eyes had a speech ready, which 
will not be of use then ! ^ Frances Howard, what hast thou 
to say, etc. ? A voice of the smallest, not audible in Court, 
till he of the viper eyes repeats it, answers : * My Lords, I can 

* much aggravate, but nothing extenuate my fault. I desire 

* mercy, and that the Lords will intercede for me to the King.' 
Sentence is pronounced : * That you be hanged by the neck 

* till you be dead ; and the Lord have mercy upon your soul.' 

Next day appears my Lord of Somerset. Superfinest 
satin doublet, velvet cloak, eyes sunk and face very pale. 

* Not guilty, my Lords,' says Somerset : and defends himself 
against Bacon of the viper eyes, not without acuteness, not 

^ See Bacon's Works, Birch, iii. 493. 



CHAP. XVI.] KING JAMES'S DISCOURSE 125 

without dignity. His Majesty was in some terror he * might 
* fly out,' being very hot of temper, and blab Court secrets : 
but he did not Who can say I knew of Overbury's poison- 
ing? This thing was unknown to me, and that thing. 
There were others to poison him, I suppose. They whom he 
had injured beyond forgiveness might poison him, perhaps : 
was I to be his shield ? It was a duel they had with him. 
In his heart lurks that insinuation ; but openly on the tongue 
only this, * I knew it not.' On him, too, the sentence is 
passed, ^ Be hanged till you be dead,' etc. This, on the 25th 
of May, 1616. 

And so the Tragedy is ended then ? Justice done : a land 
cleansed of blood ? Alas, his Majesty was a Rhadamanthus, 
but in theory only. Weston said, * I see they will catch the 
^ little flies, but the big ones shall escape.' Even so, his 
Majesty pardoned fatal Frances, pardoned the husband of 
fatal Frances ; emits them in succession with due pauses 
of years and sums of years, from their imprisonment in 
the Tower.^ 

They quit the Tower ; but they are very miserable. Their 
daughter and only child marries the Earl of Bedford's son 
and heir : they fall sick, have fallen poor, obscure : — fall very 
miserable : handsomer had Rhadamanthus done his part and 
ended them at once ! 



CHAPTER XVI 

KING James's discourse in the star-chamber 

[1616] 

Those dreadful Overbury-Somerset affairs being well over, 
and the parties either hanged or lodged in the Tower, his 

' ' The Earl and his Lady were released from their confinement in the Tower 
in January 1 62 1 -3, the latter dying 23rd August 1632. . . . The Earl of 
Somerset sur\nved his Lady ; and dying in July 1645, ^^ buried in the church 
of St. Pawl's, Covent Garden.*— ^Vo/* 7>i«/f, ii. 966. 



126 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [parti. 

Majesty thinks he will relieve his royal heart by a bit of 
good public speaking. He proceeds, on the 20th of June, 
1616, to the Star-Chaniber, and to the assembled Peers and 
Judges there pronounces with a most earnest face, and 
energetic Northern accent of voice, his world-famous ' Dis- 
couree in the Star-Chamber';^ — intimating to all ranks of 
persons in this country how their resj>ective duties are to 
be done. As a universal Brood-hen and most provident 
assiduous Clucker, does this great Monarch gather the three 
Nations under his wings, and cluck-cluck to them : lulling, 
admonishing, caressing, reproaching them. He thinks, after 
these commotions, it will have a good effect in composing the 
general mind a little. A kinder heart beats not in any man 
or clucker ; think also what a flashing fury there is, should 
danger, disobedience, or any devilry occur ! A most vigilant, 
vehement. Royal Clucker, rolling large eyes on every side of 
him ; coercing, compescing ; ready, if need be, to fly out 
in flashes of fury, with his feathers up, and voice at a 
mere screech ! Dread Sovereign ! For we are an old and 
experienced King. And consider. Master Brook, whether 
it be a light matter to lead some millions of people, and 
be clucker over them ? 

This world-famous Discoui*se can still be read in King 
James'^s Works ; but I do not much advise the general reader 
to try it. Heaven knows, the British Nation did and does 
ever need to be admonished, rebuked, guided forward by 
some King ! Some greatest man, who, with gold crown on 
his head, and bodyguard round him, or totally without any 
such appendage and mark of recognition, is King of the 
country ; is, I say, and remains King, the other King so- 
called being merely one of shreds and patches, with much 
broken meat, expensive cast apparel, and waste revenue flung 
to him, but with no real authority in this world or in any 
other, — a Morrice-dance King, most beautiful to the flunky ; 
most tragic, almost frightful to every thinking heart. The 

^ * Made a very fine Speech,' says Camden. 



CHAP. XVII.] BURNING OF THE PLAY-HOUSE 127 

peculiarity of this King James is that he assumes the part 
of a real King, not in the least suspecting that he has 
become a sham-King. Hence our laughter at his cluck- 
clucking, which were otherwise very venerable. Nowadays 
your Sham-king knows his trade too well : it has been 
followed for above two hundred years now, and he ought 
to know it a little. 



CHAPTER XVII 

BURNING OF THE NEW PLAY-HOUSE IN DUUKY 

LANE, A PURITAN RIOT 

[4th March 1616-7J 

On Shrove Tuesday the 4th of March, 1616-7, there 
assembled in several quartei's, many disorderly persons of sundry 
kinds, among whom were very many boys and young lads:^ 
these assembled themselves in Lincoln'^s Inn Fields, Finsbury 
Field, in Ratcliff* and Stepney Field ; wherever young persons 
were met for mirth of Shrovetide ; singularly consentaneous 
groups of illegal young men ; and some infectious notion 
t^etting abroad among them, they in their respective localities 
took to pulling down the houses of ill-fame of this Metropolis, 
determined that London should be rid of one abomination 
at least. Houses of ill-fame they violently smashed to ruin ; 
the doors, windows, all frangible materials of them ; tumbling 
out the accursed funiiture of them, scattering many a terrified 
Doll Teai*sheet and brassfaced Mistress Quickly amid shrieks 
and howls. Mere victualling houses, Taverns for strong 
drink, they, fancying these too might secretly be houses of 
ill-fame, took to smashing. Thou shalt not suffer a DeviPs 
servant to live. What is this sale of strong waters ; whom 
does it benefit, if not Tearsheet and Quickly, Sathanas and 
Company ? A man selling liquid madness by the gill, ought 

^ Stow, 1026. 



128 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [parti. 

to look in God's Word ; see whether there, or elsewhere out 
of Tophet, there be any wanunt for him ! Begone ye 
Missionaries of Insanity, ye recruitei*s for Bedlam, ye brass- 
faced, detestable Quicklys, ye unfortunate females genei^ally 
and unfortunate males ! Audible shriek rises from amid the 
general hum of London ; Doll Tearsheet weeping ; brandy- 
faced Quickly herself grown pale. Sir F. Michell, the 
Knight of Clerkenwell ; he drives a pretty trade, I am told, 
he the wnwoi'shipful protecting bordels in that dense quarter 
of the City, negotiating with Council -boaixls to wink at them: 
but to-day he is powerless to protect, — glad if he can 
protect himself. 

What a sound rises to us, reaches even to us, out of that 
Shrovetide in old London ! The riotous young populace 
goes about with some voice, not of the * Five Points "" Weekly 
Intelligencer, but of the Christian Scriptures, in its head ; 
says inarticulately, in a voice audible though mixed with mere 
riotous mischievous ingredients, — voice semi-animal, as like 
a billow as a voice, — * Servants of Satan, depart ! It is you 
*' that bring God'*s curse upon us, you that ought palpabliest 
' to depart ! Away ! ** — Puritanism has spread downwards to 
the populace ; our Apprentice riots are getting Puritan ! 
Wait a little, my pretty young ones; grow to strength of 
bone; many a one of you will get a Gospel matchlock to 
carry yet, with bandaliers, with bullets in your cheek ; ^ and 
have a juster mark than poor Doll Tearsheet to aim at. 
You will see the DeviPs Own drawn out rank and file, with 
banners spread, lintstocks kindled, in full strength and 
truculence : at t?i€in you shall make a dash, — if it lie 
in you ! 

These riotous young persons, scum of the population with 
some dash of the Christian Scriptures in it, were of course 
visited by Dogberry and Verges, nay, by the woi*shipfuI 
Sheriffs of London and such constabulary force and united 

' In default of pouches the soldiers in those days carried a supply of bullets 
in their mouths. 



CHAP. XVII.] BURNING OF THE PLAY-HOUSE 129 

Justices of Middlesex as they could muster : but them they 
^ resisted and despitefully used/ not valuing them a rush. 
Go home, ye worshipful Sheriffs; we say certain avowed 
DeviPs servants shall presently depart. Towards night they 
decide on a very extraordinary, new step, decide on checking 
or stopping the progress of the Legitimate Drama ! Believe 
it, Posterity : Shakspeare is not yet dead a year, and James 
Shirley is a lad at school, and Ben and Beaumont and many 
rare friends of mine are in their prime, when this riotous as- 
semblage pours itself towards Drury Lane ; operates with crow- 
bars on the fair new Playhouse lately builded there. With 
crowbars, with sledgehammers, extempore battering-rams, — 
torches too in the distance seem possible to me. What floods 
of tin armour, paper crowns, pasteboard Tempest-Islands and 
the vasty fields of France, pour themselves from the upper 
windows ; with clangour frightful to consider ! 

* Stop them, stop them, ye joltheads!'' His Majesty is 
supping hard by in Somerset House, in solemn State that 
evening with the jolly broadfaced Queen Anne, whom it is 
rare for him to visit ; making a right merry Shrovetide ; when 
this insane clangour of the destructive populace invades his 
ear. They are pulling Drury Lane to pieces ; Dogberry and 
Verges and the Constabulary Force are in flight, and the 
Sheriff they have resisted and despitefully used ! Out with 
the Trainedbands ; let the Lords of the Council proclaim 
instant Martial-law : so orders the angry Parent-fowl ; by 
my soul we will stop them, if our feathers once rise. Martial- 
law, I believe, means very rapid hanging ; I believe, almost 
on the spur of the instant. A stringent riot-act. The 
illegal populace hears word of it ; rapidly ebbs home ; leaving 
the Legitimate Drama to its fate. Majesty held his solemn 
supper with the broadfaced jolly one ; a high Lady of con- 
siderable substance bodily and spiritual, not without decision, 
goodhumour and motherwit, whom I rather like, though her 
face is freckled, and her Danish hair too blond for me. His 
Majesty, the populace having ebbed home again, was pleased, 

X 



130 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [parti. 

nay delighted. Somerset House, says he, in some pause of 
the coranto-dancing and comfit-eating, this is called Somerset 
House, but in honour of my beloved Queen and this night, I 
will that it be henceforth called Denmark House. We will 
drink prosperity to Denmark House, if you please ! — responded 
to with loiid acclaim ; drunk I suppose, with gusto by every 
one from the Queen to the meanest of her subjects. And so 
ends Shrovetide, 1616-7. • This Puritan riot I thought good 
to take a glance at. 



CHAPTER XVIII 

BACON 

At London on the 7th day of May, 1617, observe a thing 
worth one slight glance from us. Sir Francis Bacon, he 
whom we saw with the liquorish brown eyes pleading as 
Attorney General in my Lord and Lady of Somerset's case, — 
he is now made Lord Keeper, High Chancellor, or whatever 
name they give it ; and is this day astonishing the London 
Public and the Middle Aisle of PauPs by his * mighty pro- 

* cession,"* as the admiring Dryasdust calls it, ^ on the first day 

* of Term." ^ A procession and cavalcade such as new Lord 

Keepers are used to give; but this is far mightier, — very 

grand indeed ; — starting I know not where, consisting of 

I know not what ; caparisoned grand horses, caparisoned 

grand men, long -gowned Law Lords and sublime Lord 

Keeper with his purse and great seal ; learned Serjeants, 

horse-cloths, trumpets, tabards and trumpery : one of the 

sublimest Processions ; which the Middle Aisle generally 

must admit to suq^ass most things. This new Lord Keeper, 

I find, is fifty-four years of age ; and the high topgallant of his 

^ The Great Seal was delivered to Sir F. Bacon, the King's Attorney, aged 
Bfty-four, on yth March, 1617 ; ' solemn Procession in mighty pomp' took place 
on the first day of Term, 7th May. Camden. — Bacon had been made Lord 
Chancellor on the 7th January, i6i6>7 ; and six months later he was raised to 
the Peerage under the title of Lord Verulam. 



CHAP. XVIII.] BACON 181 

fortunes, fruit of endless industries, and assiduity fit to attain 
the amaranth crown and cap of immortality, is now attained. 
There rides he sublime, with purse and big seal ; shall have 
the beatitude of sealing into authenticity the behests of 
George Villiers and James Stuart, the Dread Sovereign. 
Next year they make him Baron Venilam. There rides he 
for the present, with his white ruff, with his fringed velvet 
cloak and steeple hat, and * liquorish viper eyes '* ; a very 
prosperous man. O Francis Bacon, my Lord of Verulam, 
if they had appointed one the Lord Keeper to the Chancery 
of Heaven, as 1 have known it happen to some, so that one 
could seal into authenticity the behests of God Almighty 
instead of George Villiers' behests, — it had been something ! 
There is in this Lord Keeper an appetite, not to say a 
ravenousness, for earthly promotion and the envy of surround- 
ing flunkies, which seems to me excessive. Thou knowest 
him, O reader: he is that stupendous Bacon who discovered 
the new way of discovering truth, — as has been very 
copiously explained for the last half century, — and so made 
men of us all. Undoubtedly a most hot seething, fermenting 
piece of Life with liquorish viper eyes ; made of the finest 
elements, a beautiful kind of man, if you will ; but of the 
earth, earthy ; a certain seething, ever-fermenting prurience 
which prodigally bums up things : — very beautiful, but very 
clayey and terrene, every thing of them ; — not a great soul, 
which he seemed so near being, ah no ! 

The King discovered Bacon's large genius and also its 
intrinsic hollowness ; the many coloured lambent light as if 
from Heaven, and also how it was in good part a light not 
from Heaven at all, but from the earthly market-place with 
its fish-oil lamps and curiously cut and coloured glasses ; — 
alas, a light not even of honest fish-oil : how beautiful to 
some eyes is the light of fish itself in a certain state of 
forwardness ! Putridity, O Dryasdust, is not without 
luminosity, nay, radiance of a sort ; and one day thou wilt 
discover that Prophets are other than inspired shop-keepers ; 



132 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [parti. 

that Novum Organum teaching us how to discover trutii is 
good, but that a poor John Kepler making out by natural 
Vetus Orgnnuniy by the light of his own flaming soul, in 
hunger and obstruction, after experimentum cruets seventy 
times repeated in the hearfs blood of the man, the greatest 
discovery yet made by man, the laws namely of the Heavenly 
stars, was worth, even for scientific purposes, a horse load of 
Organums ! This Bacon, with his eye like a viper, is never- 
theless a pretty man shining oyt of the dark place ; a man 
in whose light I have sought for guidance but not hitherto 
found any. The dark pl€u;es of my destiny were not made 
clear to me by these many-tinted flickering transparencies. 
In such moods and stem necessities that lie in the path of 
men, the transparencies, the augments of the sciences, O my 
Lord Chancellor! — Does your Lordship think the sciences 
can be augmented effectually by an augmentation of shop- 
drawers where one i*eposits them ; better methods of labelling, 
of mixing, compounding and separating, — by any augment of 
machinery whatever ! Such augments shall be welcome, but 
not the welcomest at all ! The spirit of sincerity, of self- 
sacriflce, of common honesty, my Lord ; these once shed 
abroad, we shall have augment of the knowledges and other 
good things; not otherwise, I believe. Knowledges are 
attained by the flaming soul of man writing its knowledge 
formulas in its own hearfs blood; only Pedantries, drowsy 
pretentious Ineptitudes, Dryasdustisms, are attainable oUier- 
wise. It is of the former that Prophets have always pro- 
phesied from their Pisgah-heights, not of the latter. Call 
you that a Pisgah ? I call it a common Hampstead Hill, 
where will lie a broken-down Chancellor gone to ashes in his 
own phosphorescence; ruined by ambition, secularity, insin- 
cerity, and at last bribery and common want of cash : a sight 
tragic to see. 

How can a great soul like Bacon'*s worship a James ; spend 
itself in struggling to gain the favour of a James ? Patience, 
reader; he is the last such. Our next great soul is a 



CHAP. XVIII.] BACON 1 33 

Milton ; he will prove unbuyable by your Jameses ; imbuy- 
able enough ! . . . 

His Majesty being absent in Scotland when Bacon was 
appointed Lord Keeper, he (as I find recorded in the 
mutinous-flunky pages of Dryasdust), being left with some 
chief authority, played the amazingest tricks : ^ slept in the 
King^s beds, held levees, tried so far as he could what real* 
imaginary sovereignty was. For which they shoved him 
almost into annihilation, the real Sovereigns did, at their 
return : and he had to do obeisance to George Villiers, and 
cry, with what of nobleness he could, * Have pity on me, thou 
* mighty one ! ' Much whereof I do not care to believe. But 
true enough the hatred borne to this man, by high and by 
low, seems very great. Alas, in fact this great man is of 
flunky nature. . . . Let us leave him, let us leave him, wish 
him big revenues, big stacks of lawpapers, old hats, marine 
stores,^ cast-apparel and unrivalled shop-lists : out of such 
came never any word of life, nor will. Seekest thou great 
things, seek them not. There, whither thou strivest, it is even 
as here, not a whit better. Stand to thy tools here^ and be 
busy for the Eternities ; and noble as a Protestant Hebrew, 
not base as a Whitechapel one. — Enough of Bacon.' 

* Weldon, Suret History of tht Court of James /., i. 438. 

' Worn-out tackle and other odds and ends for sale in second-hand shops at 
Sea-ports. 

' The above reflexions on the author of the ' Novum Organum ' will seem to 
many excessively severe; but they do not exceed in severity what Weldon, 
Wilson, and others have put on record regarding Bacon. ' He was,' says Arthur 
Wilson, ' the true emblem of human frailty, being more than a man in some 
things, and less than a woman in others. His crime was Briberie and Extor- 
tion, . . . and these he had often condemned others for as Kjutlge, which now 
he comes to suffer for as a Delinquent : And they were proved and aggravated 
against him with so many circumstances, that they fell very foully on him, both 
in relation to his reception of them, and his expending of them : For that which 
he raked in, and scnied for one way, he scattered and threw abroad another ; 
. . . This poor gentleman, mounted above pity, fell below it : His Tongue, that 
was theglory of his time for Eloquence (that tuned so many sweet Harrangues) 
was like a forsaken Harp, hung upon the Willows, whilst the waters of affliction 



134 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [parti. 



CHAPTER XIX 

THE king's journey TO SCOTLAND 

[1617] 

Shrovetide riots and festivities, Francis Bacon's Lord- 
keepership, and Oliver CromweU's return from Cambridge, 
kindling up the dark void of Dryasdust a little, one begins 
to discern that, even now in these weeks,^ his Majesty made a 
Royal Progress into Scotland ; his first thither, since we saw 
him fire the shot on Berwick Walls, and also his last. 

It is indisputable his Majesty visited Scotland ; but by 
itself it has ceased to be very memorable. There are healthy 
human memories withal ; let them be thankful that they have 
a talent for forgetting. Magniloquent loyal Addresses more 
than one, on this occasion, full of drowsy Bombast, like tales 
told by an idiot, I have read, and will not remember. History, 
human Intelligence, has to stand between the Living and the 
Dead. The Addresses to Royalty in that age are perhaps 
the drowsiest of all on record. They are very false, we may 
say they are the first really false loyal Addresses delivered by 

overflowed the banks. And now his high-flying OrcUions are humbled to suppli- 
cations^ and thus he throws himself, and Cause, at the feet of his Judges, before 
he was condemned : ' [Here follows the Humble Submission and Supplication of 
the Lord Chancellor to the Right Hon. Lords of the Parliament] . . . ' Though he 
had a pension allowed him by the King, he wanted to his last, living obscurely 
in his lodgings at Gray's Inn, where his loneness and desolate condition, wrought 
upon his ingenious, and therefore then more melandioly temper, that he pined 
away. And had this unhappiness after all his height of plenitude, to be denied 
beer to quench his thirst : For having a sickly taste, he did not like the beer of 
the house, but sent to Sir Fulk Grevill, Lord Brook, in neighbourhood (now and 
then) for a bottle of his beer, and after some grumbling the Butler had order to 
deny him.' Life and Reign of James /., 159-61. 

Spedding's Letters and Life of Lord Bacon, which Carlyle read in later years 
(1861-74) ^ little modified his opinion of the great but erring genius; though 
he never became one of Carlyle's heroes or great men. See, also, post^ p. 170. 

^ The King set forward on his Journey into Scotland about four o'clock in 
the afternoon, March 14th, 1617. — Camden. 



CHAP. XIX.] KING'S JOURNEY TO SCOTLAND 185 

English persons, but they do not yet feel that they are false, 
nay, they as it were unconsciously lament that they are false ; 
and accordingly inflate themselves into bombast, now grown 
very sorrowful to us.^ Our Loyal Addresses, in the progress 
of things, have long since recognised themselves as false, — 
they know better now than to go into bombast. They say. 
We too are tales told by an idiot ; God help us, man surely 
was not meant to do aperies and tales told by an idiot ; — 
but they shall at least be done without the sound and fury, — 
in a very gentle style, a style conscious that it cannot be too 
gentle. 

His Majesty'^s businesses in Scotland, doubt it not, were 
manifold.^ Festivities, huntings, bombast Addresses, these 
are pleasant pastime ; and for the earnest hours of a Solomon 
there are thrums enough gone €t-ravelling to knit up in such 

^ As a specimen of the style of these addresses take the following extract from 
that delivered by the Deputy-town-clerk of Edinburgh to king James on the 
occasion of the above visit : ' How joyful your majesty's return (gracious and 
dread sovereign) is to this your majesty's native town, from the kingdom due to 
your sacred person, by royal descent, the countenances and eyes of these your 
majesty's loyal subjects speak for their hearts. This is that happy day of our 
new birth, ever to be retained in fresh memory . . . acknowledged with 
admiration, admired with love, and loved with joy, wherein our eyes behold the 
greatest human felicity our hearts could wish, which is to feed upon the royal 
countenance of our true Phoenix, the bright star of our northern firmament, the 
ornament of our age, wherein we are refreshed, yea revived with the heat and 
beams of our sun. . . . The very hills and groves accustomed before to be 
refreshed with the dew of your majesty's presence, not putting on their wonted 
apparel, but with pale looks, representing their misery for the departure of their 
royal king.' — R. H. Stevenson, ChranicUs of Edinburgh , p. 137. 

* ' His chief object in visiting Scotland was to effect the complete establish- 
ment of the Episcopal form of church government, and to assimilate the religious 
worship of the two countries. Without the least spark of religious zeal, James 
was most determinedly bent on the subversion of the Presbyterian system, the 
spirit and form of which he detested more than ever, as inimical to his notion of 
the divine right of kings, and their absolute supremacy over the church as well 
as state. From the time of the controversy with the English Puritans at Hamp- 
ton Gxirt, he had been devising how he should fully restore episcopacy to 
Scotland. . . . Soon after, the bishops, who had never altogether ceased to exist 
in name, were re-established in authority and in revenue, — that is, to the extent 
of the power of James and his slavish court.' — Pictorial HiiL^ iiL p. 64. 



136 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [parti. 

a country. Those old Church-lands ; seized really with an 
unspeakable coolness by our hungry Vicekings or Aristocracy 
here, when the Nation set about reforming its Religion : had 
the hungry Vicekings before all men the clear right to them ? 
A cooler stroke of legislative trade I have not seen anywhere, 
— nor had my friend Knox seen anywhere. Majesty thinks 
the Head king might as well have these lands back again to 
himself. This Church too, besides its poverty, is all out at 
elbows every way. A ragged, ill-tempered kind of Church ; 
much given to censuring persons in authority; never duly 
reverent of the Earthly Majesty, shadow of God in this 
Earth. They ought to have real Bishops, they ought to 
have Surplices, ceremonies; it would bind them to good 
behaviour. No Bishop, no King. His Majesty in secret, I 
discern, is preparing the Five Articles of Perth ; ^ emblematic 
of good ceremonial ; five Articles, unrememberable though 
oft committed to memory; in two years more, by packed 
Assemblies, and other kingcraft methods of hook and of 
crook, he will get those Five Articles, and see visions of Scotch 
Bishops, though still only stuffed- skin Bishops, — ^Tulchan ^ 

Bishops as the Scots called them. — Gently, your Majesty ! 

Dr. Laud, a small chaplain, lean little tadpole of a man, with 
red face betokening hot blood : him I note there authenti- 
cally as Chaplain to the King. These preparations for the 
Phantom Bishops, stuffed surplices, he in a subaltern way 
discerns gladly. Surveying this savage country with attentive 
view, he can discern as yet no * religion ** in it, none. Such 
is his verdict. You will seek between the Mull of Galloway 

^ The Five Articles of Perth are given in full in Spottiswood's Church of 
Scotland^ p. 538 (Edition, 1655). Condensed they are as follows: (i) The 
Communion to be received kneeling. (2) In case of illness and necessity the 
Lord's Supper to be administered in private houses. (3) Baptism, ditio. (4) 
Various Fast Days to be observed. (5) Children to be brought to the Bishop for 
a blessing. 

' A Tulchan is a calf's skin stuffed with straw, and set beside a cow to make 
her give milk ; and a Tulchan Bishop, one who received the Episcopate on 
condition of assigning the temporalities to a secular person. — /amieson. See 
also Carlyle's Cromwell^ i. 44. 



CHAP. XIX.] KING'S JOURNEY TO SCOTLAND 187 

and John of Groat's, inquiring after such an article, in vain, 
for what I could see. ^The churches are as like bams as 
* churches '; there is not a surplice in the country ; I question 
if there be a tailor in the country that could cut you a 
decent surplice. The tradition of religion seems lost. — No 
religion in this country, think you. Doctor ? There are men 
living here that have heard John Knox. They have a notion 
here that man consists of a soul as well as of a body with 
tippets. I am sorry to find they have * no religion,' Doctor ! 
The little redfaced screechy Doctor takes his first survey of 
this country. 

His Majesty, as I bethink me, returned from Edinburgh 
(it was now grown Autumn) by the pleasant Western Road, 
by Drumlanrig and Dumfries, at which latter Burgh, very 
interesting to me otherwise, it was our lot to suffer by a 
sleepy mass of bombast promulgated at the old Port on Lady 
Devorgilla's old Nith-Bridge (blessings on her Lady-heart, she 
built a bridge there, some five hundred years ago, and founded 
Abbeys and Balliol College at Oxford, and her footprints in 
this world are still lovely to men and gods) : a somniferous 
Town-Council harangue, I say, got up by some extinct 
Dominie Sampson of the neighbourhood, with steam almost 
at the bursting point, whom I do not bless ; and pronounced 
at the old Nith-Bridge Port by ancient Provost and civic 
authorities, and a wondering ancient population, — very 
wonderful to me. — Ye Eternities, ye Silences ! Nith River 
rushes by brown from his mossy fountains, singing his very 
ancient song, and the salmon mount in Spring; — and a 
Bums has been there ; — and the Exits and the Entrances are 
in fact miraculous to me. Nith River rolls ; — and the River 
of Existence rolls : to the Sea, to the great still Sea ! Mr. 
Rigmarole, somnambulant charmer, have you any notion of 

the really miraculous? His Majesty does on this happy 

occ&sion present the Dumfries Population with a miniatiu^ 
bit of ordnance in real silver, saying, * Shoot for it annuidly,' 



138 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [part i. 

and encourage the practice of weapons. Which * Siller Gun ** 
and annual practice of shooting did accordingly continue 
itself almost to our own days. Scotch readers know The 
Siller GuHy by a Dumfries Native named John Mayne, a 
small brown Poem-Book, not without merit : as good as some 
Ostade Picture of poor extinct burghers and their humours ; 
to be hung in the comer, and looked at, not without emotion. 
These burghers, too, are all vanished and become transfigured ; 
their three-cornered hats, their old hair-queues, are already 
acquiring some pretematuralism for us. Their noise, their 
loud vociferation, and ha-ha-ing on that Siller-gun day, is it 
not all gone dumb ? Ye Silences, ye Eternities ! This was 
the chief trace his Majesty left in Scotland for the Writer of 
these pages ! 

CHAPTER XX 

THE BOOK OF SPORTS 

[May, 1618] 

His Majesty was always fond of Archery, of manly sports 
and recreations. Coming^ into Lancashire, his princely 
bowels are touched with two things : the sorrowful temper 
of the Protestant people, especially their sad way of spending 
Sunday, and the considerable number of Papists who deny 
the King^s Supremacy. Two indisputable evils. These 
Papists deny our Supremacy; are dangerous fellows; they 
were near blowing us up with Gunpowder a little while ago. 
And our Protestants, alas, they are all Puritan ; they spend 
the Sunday in mere readings of the Word, in mere medita- 
tions on Death, Judgment and Eternity. Much revolving 
in his royal heart these indubitable evils, his Majesty discerns 
that both may be helped, and new stimulus given to Archery 
withal and manly sports, by one wise stroke of legislation. 
He promulgates in Lancashire his Royal Proclamation per- 

' On his return from Scotland. 



CHAP.xx.] BOOK OF SPORTS 139 

mitting manly sports on Sunday after church service, com- 
manding all ministers to say that they are permitted. Poor 
Majesty, a well meant stroke of legislation, but the unsuc- 
cessfullest I ever heard of. Horror, abnegation, despair, 
execration fervent but unspoken, seizes the heart of all Bible 
Christians in England. Has not God above written. 
Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy ; and here your 
Majesty bids us make it unholy ? Archeries, Church-ales, 
football, leapfrog, dancing and Church-farthing — are these 
the ways of sanctifying a Sabbath of the I^rd ? — * Tush, 
* tush,** snarls his Majesty, * ye understand little of it ! ** These 
Church-ales, leapfrog and such like, do not ye perceive I grant 
them to nobody till he has attended Church-service ? Is not 
there an encouragement to Protestant Church-going ? You 
have no legislative acumen, you ! The Papists used to have 
a merry Sunday ; but see, now they dare not sport openly. 
My Sport Book says expressly it is this sad Puritan Sabbatism 
that deters weak vessels from conversion to Protestantism in 
those parts. They dare not be converted to passing the 
Sunday in that manner ! It is too gloomy for them. Let 
me introduce a little football, encourage Protestantism, open 
a smoother rocul Heavenwards, and become a noted ^ Easy- 
^ shaving shop.** — ^This is the far-famed Book of Sports, 
published 24th May, 1618, received with horror, with speech- 
less but felt execration, by all Bible Christians in England. 
I know not if even the surplice Christians thought much 
good of it.* 

' Neal {History of the Puritans ^ ii. p. IIS) says the Book of Sports was drawn 
up by Bishop Moreton. Archbbhop Abbot dbapproved of it, and refused to 
allow it to be read in the Church at Croydon. 



140 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [parti. 



CHAPTER XXI 

EXECUTION OF RALEIGH 

[1618] 

On the morning of 29th October, 1618, in Palace Yard, 
a cold morning, equivalent to our 8th of November, behold 
Sir Walter Raleigh, a tall greyheaded man of sixty-five gone. 
He has been in far countries ; seen the El Dorado, penetrated 
into the fabulous dragon-realms of the West, hanged Spaniards 
in Ireland, rifled Spaniards in the Orinoco ; — for forty years a 
most busy man ; has appeared in many characters : tJiis is his 
last appearance on any stage. Probably as brave a soul as 
lives in England ; — he has come here to die by the headsman'*s 
axe. AVhat crime ? Alas, he has been unfortunate ; has 
become an eyesorrow to the Spaniards, and did not discover 
the El Dorado mine. Since Winchester,^ when John Gibb 
came galloping [with a reprieve], he has lain thirteen years in 
the Tower ; the travails of that strong heart have been many. 
Poor Raleigh, toiling, travailing always; in Court drawing- 
rooms, in Tower prison-rooms, on the hot shore of Guiana ; 
\%'ith gold and promotion in his fancy, with suicide, death and 
despair in clear sight of him : toiling till his ^ brain is 
broken '' ^ and his heart is broken : here stands he at last ; 
after many travails it has come to this with him. 

Yesterday, after consultation of the Judges, he appeared in 
the King^s Bench in AVhitehall to say why he ought not to 
die, being doomed fifteen years ago, and only respited by John 
Gibb, not pardoned ? Hard to say : he said what he could, 
Chief-Justice Montague, a very ugly function for him, had to 
sit there and answer that it was all naught. To the Gate- 

^ Where Raleigh's trial had taken place in November, 1603. He was charged 
with ' treason,' convicted, sentenced to die. A reprieve came from the king, 
by the hands of John Gibb, in the very nick of time, and Raleigh was committed 
to the Tower, there to remain during his Majesty's pleasure. 

' This expressive phrase is Raleigh's own in a letter to his wife. 



CHAP.xxii.] COURT PRECINCTS 141 

house this night, to the scaffold on the morrow. — Here 
accordingly what a crowd of human faces, all unknown to me ! 
Oliver from some of the Law-offices in Chancery Lane, come 
truanting hither ? It may be ; it is not certainly known to 
me. Earls of Arundel, Northampton and Doncaster in a 
window. Earl of Clare ; our old friend John Holies — Heavens, 
what a morning ! Raleigh's Death-speech, Raleigh's Life 
History, is inarticulate tragedy itself to us. (Why has none 
yet loved this Raleigh ; made a musical Hero of him ? He 
is a great man.) He raises his voice that the Earl of 
Arundel and others looking from their window may hear 
him ; they say, * Nay, we will come down to you. Sir Walter "* ; 
and they come down. He has smoked his last pipe of 
tobacco by candle-light this morning ; drunk a cup of sack, 
saying, ' Good liquor, if a man might tarry by it.** With a 
stern sympathy John Holies, the tawny, deep-eyed Earl of 
Arundel, and the assembled thousands listen to him. Bess, 
his faithful Bess, with her orphan, sits weeping in secret, — one 
orphan here amid a very stern world ; my brave first-bom lies 
buried in Guiana, slain on the other side of the world ; and 
Walter, their father, is to die ! It is eight of the clock ; a 
cold November morning ; — and the speech ended. ' Would 
' you wish to go down and warm yourself a little ? '' said the 
sympathetic sheriff. * Nay, good friend, let us be swift : in a 
' quarter of an hour my ague fit will be upon me, and they will 
' say I tremble for fear.'' — Here is the greatest scwrifice the 
Spaniards have yet had. 

CHAPTER XXII 

COURT PRECINCTS — TOURNAMENTS, ETC. 

[1621] 

D'EwEs had his eyes about him ; a brisk young gentleman 
going about Town ; brings comfortable proof to us that the 
grass was green in those days too. In galooned or plain 






■-V 



142 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [parti. 

breeches, with satin or coarser doublet, in cuerpo or with 
Spanish cloak, busy or idle, men do walk on legs ; women, in 
small steeple hats, in fardingales, in bands yellow starched or 
otherwise, are somewhat interesting to them. Conceive it, 
reader ! It was not dead, a vacant ghastly Hades, filled with 
Dryasdustism, with Rymer's Fcedera and Doctrines of the 
Constitution, — that old London ; — it was alive ; loud-voiced, 
many-toned, of meaning unfathomable, beautiful, wonderful, 
fearful. God had made it too, — it was and is not ; and we, 
issuing from it, are, and shall soon not be. 

D'^Ewes, for one thing, we find goes much to Tournaments. 
Sublime Tournaments, of frequent occurrence, are the cynosure 
of intelligent curiosity : there, in all their caparisons and 
glory, and horse trappings, are the gods of this world to be 
found. Dryasdust is aware of that Tilt- Yard ; there, just 
behind our present [Horseguards ?] ^ stands that sublime 
establishment, of figure somewhat uncertain to me, stands the 
Tiltyard of King Henry ; stands the Cockpit, too, not now a 
place of cocks alone, but a residence of Car-Somersets, kings'* 
favourites, and Cocks of Jove. These and much else stand 
there ; and ^ across the head of King Street ** runs an arch and 
covered passage leading from St. James'^s Park into the Privy 
Grallery of Whitehall ; and trucks and street passengers rolling 
freely under the feet of the king, when he chooses to issue in 
that way. And as yet there is no Parliament Street. Parlia- 
ment Street is the esplanade of Whitehall and the thorough- 
fare from King Street to Charing Cross ; and Privy Gallery is 
at the end of it ; and Canonries of Westminster, and Cannon 
Rows behind the Privy Gallery are — I know not what ; and 
Palace Yards, and Passages to Lambeth Ferry. And West- 
minster Bridge is not, and Whitehall Bridge is. And out- 
ward in front of Whitehall and the Banqueting House, 
spreads some dignified esplanade, with gilt-railing, I doubt 
not, and Coiui;s of yard; the trucks and cars and street- 

* In turning the page Carlyle omits some word here, probably 'Horse- 
guards.' 



CHAP.xxiL] COURT PRECINCTS 143 

passengers rolling freely in front from King Street to Charing 
Cross and the Strand. And Royal Whitehall is like a kind 
of City in itself; the king''s household and all manner of 
courtier persons having their apartments there. And it is all 
of figure very uncertain to me. For it is all vanished, by fire 
and otherwise; and only the Banqueting House of Inigo 
Jones yet stands, got into strange new environment. The 
fashion of this world passeth away. 

What Processions to St. Paul's; what Tilts and high- 
flown Tournaments, not in the least memorable to me. Take 
this one seen through the eyes of D'^Ewes, and multiply it 
by as many hundreds spread duly over the dead centuries as 
your imagination will conveniently hold : — 

^Monday, ^th January 1621-2. — In the afternoon I went to the Hit- 
yard^ over against Whitehall, whence four couples ran^ to shew the 
before-mentioned French Ambassador^ Cadnet^ and divers French Lords 
that came with him^ that martial pastime. Prince Charles himself ran 
first, with Richard Lord Buckhurst, Earl of Dorset, and brake three 
staves very successfully. The next couple that ran were the beloved 
Marquis of Buckingham and Philip Lord Herbert, Earl of Montgomery, 
younger brother of William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke ; but had very 
bad success in all the courses they made. Marquis Hamilton, a Scotch- 
man, and the King's near kinsman, with Sir Robert Rich, Earl of War- 
wick, performed their course almost as gallantly as the Prince and Earl 
of Dorset ; but the last couple did worst of all, almost not breaking a 
stoff. 

^ After this, most of the tilters, except the Prince, went up to the 
French Lords in a large upper room of the house standing at the lower 
end of the Tiltyard ; and I crowding in after them, and seeing the 
Marquis of Buckingham discoursing with two or three French Monsieurs, 
1 joined to them, and most earnestly viewed him, for about half an 
hour's space at the least ; which I had opportunity the more easily to 
accomplish because he stood, all that time he talked, bareheaded. I saw 
everything in him full of delicacy and handsome features ; yea his hands 
and face seemed to me, especially effeminate and curious. It is possible 
he seemed the more accomplished, because the French Monsieurs that 
had invested him, were very swarthy, hard-favoured men. That he was 
afterwards an instrument of much mischief, both at home and abroad, is 
so evident upon record as no man can deny ; yet this I do suppose pro- 
ceeded rather from some Jesuited incendiaries about him, than from his 



144 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [parti. 

own nature^ which his very countenance promised to be affable and 
gentle.'' 

Thanks, worshipful Sir Simonds ; a man that has eyes and 
a pen, it is pity he does not take a sketch or two as he passes 
along through this variegated life-journey. I love measure- 
ments by the foot-rule ; I love practicalities, Doctrines of the 
Constitution, arguments by logic, computations by arith- 
metic ; but, alas, these of themselves will do little ; these of 
themselves become brown parchments, torpid Dryasdustisms, 
dead marine stores, purchaseable bad-cheap at sixpence the 
ton. 

Would to Heaven this seeing Knight, travelling about in 
that age, were now at my bidding ! Thou shouldst go for 
me, worshipful Sir Simonds, to look on this man and on that. 
What is Rare Ben saying to it ? Tell me what kind of lair 
he lodges in, that lion-hearted one; mastiff-hearted; irascible^ 
so jovial, faithful ; an honest English Spiritual Mastiff. 
Where is it; what sort of room is it, how many chairs, — 
what stockings has the Rare Ben on ? Is his wife mending 
shirts? O D'*Ewes — ! — But the place I would gladliest of 
all send worshipful D^Ewes to is the Church of St. Gileses 
Cripplegate, on the morning of 22d August 1620. There 
is a wedding going on there ; I know it yet by the old Parish 
Books. Oliver Cromwell to Elizabeth Bourchier, daughter of 
Sir James Bourchier of Felsted Essex. Even so : it is my old 
friend Oliver who, by time and industry, has brought it thus far. 
Much has passed in this Kings's reign ; and here too is a thing 
that has come about : Nollkin, the little bony-faced Boy that 
went about, in child'^s cap and breeches, gazing on the Scotch 
Majesty at Hinchinbrook,* has grown to the height of five feet 
eleven or so, a substantial man of his inches, and is here 
acquiring in marriage a very great possession, a good wife ! 
We saw him last in the Church-yard burying his Father. 
The wide rolling river of Existence pauses not ; the genera- 

^ Sir Simonds D'Ewes, extiacted from Biog. Brit, 
* See anie^ p. 15. 



CHAP. XXIIL] JOHNGIBB 145 

tions die and are bom, let the King do as he will. What 
this Oliver was like ? — O, D'Ewes ! what countenance he 
wore, what boots, band, doublet, sword and velvet coat he had 
on ! An authentic shadow of the look of that lYansaction 
in St. Giles's Cripplegate, would have worth for me. Mr. 
Cromwell in the bloom of youth cannot be considered beauti- 
ful ; but no ingenuous man on the morning of his marriage 
can well be without beauty. A rugged substantial figure ; 
with modesty, ingenuousness and earnestness, strength of 
pious simplicity, which is the strongest of all, which I take 
to be the beautiful lest of all. He has dark hair, of the olive 
black common in England ; grey, earnest eyes, beaming very 
strangely this morning ; a nose of fair proportions, inclining 
decidedly to the left, — not too accurately bisecting the face 
in the way Painters so dislike. A mouth big enough, none 
of your poor thin lips ; compact, yet extensive, expansive ; 
room in it for all manner of quivering and curling, for fer- 
vour, for love and rage, for prayer and menace : a face to me 
very beautiful, Mr. Palette. Of the Bride I will say so 
much : her look is what the Scotch call sonsy ;^ caps, cambric 
ribbons and equipments all betoken an ingenuous wholesome 
character. 



CHAPTER XXIII 

JOHN GIBB 

[1622 ?] 

One day at Theobalds his Majesty discussing weighty 
affairs of State, bethinks him of a certain bundle of Papers, 
reports or such like of some Public functionary, which will 
be of essential service to him. He calls for them ; to his 
astonishment they are not to be found. With waxing im- 
patience he summons this person and that to no purpose; 
summons John Gibb, his faithful Scotch valet, who has 

' Sonsy =wdl-conditioned, good-humoured, sensible, engaging. 

K 



146 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [parti. 

attended him out of Scotland, faithful as the shadow to the 
Sun, and never been found wanting : * Where are those 

* Papers ? ^ * Your Majesty, I know not, I never had them/ — 

* Nonsense, I gave them to you ; find them, or by ! "^ 

His Majesty begins to swear horribly, to rage like the cave 
of iEolus, threatening to dissolve Nature or eat the carpets 
from the floor. John Gibb falls on his knees, calls Heaven 
to witness, as he is his Majesty'^s faithful slave to death, that 
he never saw these Papers, never saw them, or heard of them, 
is ignorant of them as the babe unborn. The cave of iGolus 
rages with horrible oaths, more dreadfully than ever, rages, 
stamps, smites the kneeling Gibb on the breast or abdomen 
with his royal foot ! There is life in the humblest oyster, 
in all living things. John Gibb starts to his 1^ in 
silence ; in silence issues from the royal presence, beckons his 
horse from the stable, and mounts, determined to ride to the 
end of the Earth rather than remain. No sooner is Gibb 
gone in this manner than some Secretary or Subaltern Official 
aroused in his closet by the bruit that has everywhere arisen, 
hurries to the royal presence with the papers in his hand, 
saying, ' May it please your Majesty, here ! Your Majesty 

* gave them to me ! ^ * And where is John Gibb ? ' cries his 
Majesty. John Gibb has ridden towards the end of the 
world. Pungent remorse convulses the royal breast into 
new tempest or counter -tempest. *Ride, run,' cries his 
Majesty, all in frenzy, * bring me back John Gibb or I will 

* die. Ride, I say ; tell him I will not break bread till I see 

* his face again ; he will kill his King if he returns not. 

* Ride like the wind, and the whirlwind ! ** — Poor Majesty ; 
the Equerries riding like the whirlwind, overtake John Gibb 
in a very stem humour about Tottenham Cross, on his way 
to London ; conjure him, not without difficulty, back again ; 
his Majesty blubbers over him in an uncontrollable tempest 
of tears, O Gibb, O Gibb, falls down on his knees to him, to 
John Gibb, swears he will never rise again till Gibb forgive 
him. Think of it; it is very unmajestic, and yet I have 



CHAP. XXIV.] THE SPANISH MATCH 147 

known pattern characters of the Solomon and other sorts, 
who never in their lives were equal to such a thing ! I con- 
sider his Majesty a good man wrong placed ; the function of 
him was to be a Schoolmaster not a King ; he should have 
been bred up rigorously to command that infirm temper; 
there in a calm manner how beautifully had he taught the 
young idea how to shoot, and been respected in his parish ! 



CHAPTER XXIV 

THE SPANISH MATCH* 
[1623] 

We can form no image of the just horror with which our 
ancestors of that age regarded Spain. Spain, the eldest son 
of the Man of Sin ; chosen champion of Antichrist, whose 
function is to be the enemy of God. Very potent ; yes, the 
sun never sets on his Empire ; among the kingdoms of this 
world he is greatest ; sits there on his Ormuz and Golconda 
throne, warring against the Most High. To the beast soul he 
is as a God ; what can withstand him and his treasure-heaps 
and millions of armed men ? asks the beast soul. But woe 
to the man soul that considers him as such. Falsity seated on 
twenty Golcondas, dost thou think it can prosper ? I think 
it cannot. In Grod'^s Scriptures, in all printed and not yet 
printed Scriptures, I read his doom. He wars against the 
Most High, and cannot prosper. His doom is certain, if ever 
any^s was. God shall arise to Judgment, the hour continually 
draws nigh. They shall perish by the brightness of His 
coming, — stricken with intolerable splendour, they shall vanish 
to the Night and to the den of Eternal Woe. 

A terrible entity this same Spain. Its gloomy wing over- 
shadowing one half the globe ; a dark Western world with 
its El Dorados, Romish Inquisitions, monopolies, and horrid 

^ The proposed marriage of the Prince of Wales to the Spanish In&nta. 



148 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [part I. 

cruelties. A Western Hemisphere given to Antichrist, the 
Enemy of God. There, in those dark countries, in those dark 
gold mines worked by the blood of poor black men, are forged 
the war-armaments, the infernal thunder, with which Anti- 
christ persecutes the Saints of God. A dark world, from 
which none yet has dared to tear away the veil. Our Drakes 
and Frobishers lifted the veil ; valiantly ventured in, illumi- 
nated with English cannon-fire those kingdoms of Night ; 
brought home rich prizes, gleams of practical Romance. A 
true Wonderland, that Western Region ; splendent with 
jewels and gold, where mercy and justice never come. Whose 
veil is wonder and darkness ; whose God is the Devil. 

So far as I can discern, the whole foreign policy of James 
consists in soliciting alliance with this potent, world-rich, 
wondrous, but infernal country. * Conservatism,** yes holding 
by what is already established, what has money in its pocket, — 
even though the Devil be partner in the concern. The whole 
English Nation thinks not so. It says from the depth of its 
heart. No partnership with the Devil. His Majesty who has 
such a wondrous head of theological wit, hopes partly, I 
suspect, to convert this Spanish Devil. Dreams to that effect 
soothe the royal conscience. If we were once united in league 
of amity, who knows what light I might throw on Religion, 
too, for that great king, nay, for the Pope himself ? The 
Pope is not so bad, if he would give up meddling with the 
Supremacy of Kings. I have certainly in theology an acumen 
that seeks its fellow. The Pope and we might join halfway ; 

the unspeakable miseries of Europe healed. Perhaps 

the soul of all Jameses policy was this Spanish Match. What 
a thing will it be for England to have the richest country of 
this Planet at its back, and probably heal up the Reformation 
split itself in Europe ! 

Deep stroke of kingcraft ! Can anything be more unpros- 
perous ? As unlucky as the Book of Sports for turning 
[Catholics in] England to Protestantism ; as the settlement of 
the Scotch Kirk by putting Tulchan Bishops over it ! His 



CHAP. XXIV.] THE SPANISH MATCH 149 

wise Majesty, most eloquent of living kings, is not wise to 
discern the true Grand Tendency, I think. Eloquence, king- 
craft, are good ; but it is vain to try the Laws of Nature with 
such alteratives. The Laws of Nature, the Law of Right and 
Truth, the Eternal Course of things, may it please your 
Majesty, is steadily flowing otherwise ; which no Second 
Solomon can counteract. If all this that you are so eloquently 
pleading, assiduously establishing, should happen not to be 
the truth, what a crop of dragon^s teeth will you have been 
sowing broadcast, all your days ! Swashing and sowing, with 
that eloquent tongue and mind of yours, mere dragon'^s teeth, 
which rise up as armed men ! Woe to the king who cannot 
discern amid the topcurrents, backwaters and froth eddies what 
the grand true tendency is. He is no king, but a stuffed 
king^s Cloak merely, a Tulchan king; a king of shreds and 
patches, that will be torn up yet and flung into the fire. 

The Puritan Mob at Drury Lane had some significance ; 
much more, and to the like effect, the Mobs at the Spanish 
Ambassador's. As in a faint whisper, the cardinal movement 
of the English mind does there speak to us. I find two 
Spanish Mobs in these years ; riotous, violent, indicative. 

First Spanish Mob is 12th July, 1618; second is 3rd 
December, 1620. We are reduced to read the thought of 
England in dumb hieroglyphics, in popular commotions, how 
we can. There are of us that remember the Armada yet ; 
and the giant ships, with big bellying sails, like big vultiures 
sent of the Devil to pounce upon us. The Gunpowder Plot, 
and lit match miraculously snatched from it, is yet young. 
Both Houses and your Majesty in the middle of them, were 
near springing skyward on that occasion. The Scarlet Woman 
that sitteth on her Seven Hills, making the kingdoms drunk 
with the wine of her abominations — we know her, we have to 
all eternity rejected her. Not with Nox and the clammy 
putrescence of the Dead and Unbelievable, will we of England 
take our lot. Away with that ; it is disowned of God, it has 



150 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [parti. 

become unbelievable to men. Our part is Forward, not 
backward ! 

Of this poor king^s Parliaments we have yet said nothing. 
A singular Entity these English Parliaments; almost as 
unknown to us as the Spanish Main. Horse-loads of writing 
on them, too ; but writing which no man can read, which no 
man can remember when read. From 400 to 600 ^ human 
individuals assembled there under complex conditions to 
consult concerning the arduous affairs of the kingdom, at a 
distance of two hundred years and more, dull enough at first, 
they are become ditchwater^ Stygian Marshes and death-pools 
for the intellect of man. Sleep well, ye old Parliaments, till 
the general Trump of Doom awaken you, and then in a very 
summary manner ; for to gods and men you have become 
dead, clammy, noisome, — * dead for a ducat ! ** 

We find however, that the Spanish Match and the consti- 
tution of Puritan Parliaments are intimately related to each 
other. Had there been real Kings still in England, instead 
of Sham-kings fancying themselves real, and Sham-kings 
knowing that they are sham, how different had been the 
development of English Parliaments ; how different the whole 
History of the world ! Parliaments in old times had agreed 
well with kings; as realities do naturally with things real. 
Had the Captain of the English people, he who with big 
plumed hat and other insignia stood there to guide the 
march of England through the undiscovered Deep, but known 
in verity what the real road was, and been prompt to take it 
always wisely, and say, * Hither ; this way, ye brave ! '' what 
need had he to quarrel with his Serjeants and Corporals? 
The Serjeants and Corporals and all the Host down to the 
meanest drummer, all but some few mutineers, easily repressed, 

^ Rushworth states that the original members of the Long Parliament (1640) 
were exactly 500 in number. Forster says there were between 3 and 400 
members in the Parliament of 1628. In James's Parliaments the number would 
be still smaller ; but in the above estimate Carlyle may have had both Lords 
and Commons in mind. 



CHAP.xxiv.] THE SPANISH MATCH 151 

had €L]iswered as from of old, * Yea, Captain ; Forward, and 
* God save you ! we follow always ! ^ But when your chief 
Captain took the Spanish Match, Antichrist and the Devil 
and all the dead putrid Past which had still money in its 
pocket, to be the road ; — which was not the road ; which the 
Eternal had declared in written Hebrew words, and in Divine 
instincts, audible in all true English hearts, to be the road to 
Ruin temporal and eternal, — what could your poor Corporals, 
Serjeants, Drummers and the Host in general do? They 
had to pause in sorrowful amazement, to wring their hands, 
cry to the gods ; — stretch their old Parliamentary Formulas ; 
in some way or other contrive not to go Devil-ward ! — Alas, 
good kings for the ever- widening Entity called English 
Nation were difficult to get; the Efiurth is importuning 
Heaven at this hour everywhei-e with the question. How 
shall we get them ? Brothers, by knowing them better. 
They were there, if you had had eyes to recognise them, — 
if you had been real God-worshippers and not Tailor-god 
worshippers. If you had been real worshippers of God, 
would you not have recognised the Godlike when you saw it 
in this world ? What was the use of all your worship other 
but even that same ? It was for that end alone ; for that 
simply, and no other that I could ever discover. Alas, the 
Moslem and others have said, God is Great. But this 
English People is beginning to say. Tailors Shutz and 
Company are great. Do you call that bit of black wood 
God? indignantly asks my friend Mahomet. You rub it 
with oil, and the flies stick in it, you stupid idolatrous 
individuals. Do you call that Plumedhat and Toomtaburd 
a Captain ? We know not what to call him, answer the 
English sorrowfully. Human nomenclature has not yet 
mastered the significance of him. His name is — Toomtabard, 
the Deity of Flunkies. Woe is to us, and to our children. 
Yes, it had been all otherwise had they found good kings, 
kings approximately good. Kings approximately good had 
never gone into Spanish Matches ; had known Puritanism for 



152 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [parti. 

the noblest ; rude as it was ; and there would have been no 
Spanish Matches, no misbred Prince Charles, no Oliver Pro- 
tector, but only Oliver Farmer, no rebellious Parliament, no 
American Revolution. — ^Tlie Supreme Powers willed it other- 
wise. 

The reader therefore understands why, in August, 16S3, 
bonfires blaze and steeplebells ring joyful all over England 
for the Prince'^s return from Spain. An unspeakable mercy ; 
the dark Maelstrom of Antichrist has not sucked into its 
abysses this hopeful Prince. Thank Heaven, we have our 
own again ; and no thick-lipped Infanta, Austrian Daughter 
of the Devil. Ding-dong, therefore ; ding-dong ; — and let us 
dance about the bonfire ! Such a gleam rises all through 
England in these harvest months, struggling up under tlie 
harvest moon some short way towards the stars. Veritably 
as a kind of twilight in the black waste night, I still discern 
it ; let the reader consider it well.'^" 

Posterity, says Lord Keeper Finch discoursing to the 
Parliament, will consider the thing incredible. Posterity, 
which never wants experience of distraction in the sons of 
men, does still make shift to believe it, — has ceased now 
altogether to care a straw for it. They went, they took 
post through France, this sublime young Prince, sublime 
young Duke ; under name of Jack Smith and Tom Smith ; 
in big black wigs, scattering store of money; and their 
attendant and factotum was Richard Graham, a shifty 
Border lad, used belike to Border reiving; once a lad in 
Buckingham's stables, but advanced gradually, so shifty was 
he^ to be Equerry, Spanish Factotum, Sir Richard, and a 
prosperous gentleman, — not extremely beautiful to me. 
True there is merit in him, he subsists to this day ; some 
. toughness of vitality, a merit of being able to subsist, — such 
as the Whitechapel Jews manifest : none of the highest 
merits, though an authentic one. 

The details of this sublime expedition in the common 
Dr}'asdust are very unauthentic ; borrowed mostly from 



CHAP. XXV.] JAMES'S PARLIAMENTS 168 

Howeirs Letters.^ James Howell, a quickwitted, loquacious, 
scribacious, self-conceited Welshman of that time. He was 
presumably extant in Spain during these months ; his Letters 
were put together above twenty years afterwards. Letters 
partly intended, I think, as a kind of Complete Letter-writer; 
containing bits of History too, bits of wit and learning, 
philosophy and elegant style ; an elegant reader's vade-mecum ; 
intended, alas, above all, to procure a modicum of indis* 
pensable money for poor Howell. They have gone through 
twelve editions or more : they are infinitely more readable 
than most of the torpid rubbish, and fractions of them, if 
you discriminate well, are still worth reading. These are the 
foundations whereon our accounts of this sublime Expedition 
rest. Very unauthentic ; but in fine we care nothing for the 
business itself. Alas, the one interest in it is this most 
authentic fact : That the bells all rang in England when it 
ended in failure. 



CHAPTER XXV 

James's parliaments 

Parliaments keep generally sitting during this king'^s 
reign ; Lords sit, and Commons too, as they have done since 
Henry iii."*s time, granting supplies, attending to grievances ; 
a great Council of the Nation ; not a little mysterious, 
ignorant even themselves of what meaning lies in them. 
There let them sit, consulting de arduis regni cancemenHbus, 
etc., — deep down in the Death-kingdoms, never to be evoked 
into living memory any more ; — not till an abler Editor than 
this present make his appearance, or a public better disposed. 

James's First Parliament, nearly blown up with gunpowder 
once, sat, nevertheless, long; — seven years, unscathed, from 

' ' Howell U very questionable,' says Carlyle in a marginal note on a page of 
his copy of the Pictorial History of England, . 



154 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [parti. 

the Spring of 1604 to the Spring of 1611 ; doing the 
arduous matters of the kingdom the best it could. Not 
wholly to his Majesty'^s satisfaction ; — as indeed, what 
Parliament, representing a real England, could agree with 
this king, who represented an imaginary England ? At 
Hampton Court Conference and on other occasions, we have 
seen his Majesty refuse to recognise the meaning of this real 
England, the highest purpose it had, the dim instinct of it, 
unuttered, unutterable, but living at all hours in every drop 
of its blood. We have elsewhere shown the progress and 
effect of this. In brief, his Majesty, little as he dreams of it, 
has long since divorced himself from England ; goes one way, 
while England goes another. 

His Majesty had by this time taken up with beautiful 
Robert Car ; already made him Rochester ; — had decided to 
try another way for supplies. The Parliamentary way is 
barred for the present: there is instead within reach the 
way of benevolences, of selling monopolies, titles ; — ^his tonnage 
and poundage,^ many perquisites, purveyances ; — one could try 
benevolences; in some way live without continual contra- 
diction. For three years his Majesty tries it ; a difficult way 
this too ; cumbrous, confused, unfruitful : shall not we try a 
Parliament again ? Alert Car and others revolve it in their 
minds ; say they will ^ undertake ^ to get a compliant Parlia- 
ment; by their interest in Shires and Boroughs, by their 
unrivalled skill in managing Elections, the majority shall be 
secure and devoted to his Majesty. Try it, then. They try 
it, and fail. The Second Parliament of James, 5th April 
1614, called the Undertakers^ Parliament, got on as ill as 
possible. Eing^s favour for the Scots, Recusants, Monopolies, 
etc., etc., being the burden of their song ; it was suddenly 
dissolved, says Camden, 7th June — not one Act passed : and 

^ As these tenns are often misunderstood, it may not be amiss to say that 
Tonnage meant a certain duty or impost on each tun of wine ; and Poundage 
ditto on each twenty shillings' worth of other goods. Weight was not a considera- 
tion in the computation of the tax. 



CHAP. XXV.] JAMES'S PARLIAMENTS 156 

all their proceedings declared null and void. This was the 
Undertaker Parliament — not as if the Parliament had belonged 
to the burying profession, and sat all in black, with Cambric 
weepers — no, but because men * undertook "^ for it that it 
should be compliant. Wherein, as we see, they signally 
failed. There was a terrible moroseness in this Parliament ; 
their appetite for Popish Recusants was keen. *They all 

* took the sacrament in St. Margaret's,'' as the wont was ; 

* none refused iV ; no Papist could be detected by that test. 
ITiey were dissolved suddenly after two months, and not one 
Act passed. 

Monopolies again, therefore ; tonnage, poundage, purvey- 
ances, benevolences ; monopolies have increased to the number 
of seven hundred. So we weather it, through Overbury 
Murders, Bacon Keeperships, till Somerset is sent away, till 
the Palatinate is on fire, till a new world has come, with 
difficulty ever increasing — and we decide at length to try a 
new Parliament, 30th January, 1620-1. 

On 30th January, 1620-1, after two adjournments, the 
king goes in state to open this, his Third Parliament. 

Very dim, we have said, are these Parliaments : dim and 
musty all the records of them. Escaping out of that 
impalpable dim-mouldering element, how glad are we to 
catch this concrete coloured glimpse, through a pair of eyes 
that still see for us ! Sir Simonds D'^Ewes, a brisk Suffolk 
gentleman, of dapper manners, of most pious most polite, 
high-flown Grandisonian ways, amazingly learned in the law 
and history of Parliaments for so young a man : — he, we 
perceive, has come up to Town, got a convenient place, and 
is there for all ages, or as many ages as will look. We 
extract his own words, with many thanks to him : — here it 
all is, as frcsh as gathered : 

'1620-1. There had long since writs of summons gone forth for the 
calling of a Parliament, of which all men that had any religion hoped 
much good, and daily prayed for a happy issue. For both France and 
Germany needed support and help from England, or the true profesaon 



156 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [parti. 

of the Gospel were likely to perish in each Nation^ under the power and 
tyranny of the Antichristian adversary. 

' I got a convenient place in the mornings not without some danger 
escaped^ to see his Majesty pass to Parliament in state. It is only worth 
the inserting in this particular that Prince Charles rode with a rich 
coronet upon his head^ between the Serjeants at Arms, carrying maces, 
and the Pursuivants carrying their pole-axes, both on foot. Next before 
his Majesty rode Henry Vere, Earl of Oxford, Lord Great Chamberlain 
of England, with Thomas Howard, Earl of Arundel, Earl Marshal of 
England, on his left hand, both bare-headed. Then followed his Majesty, 
with a rich crown upon his head, and most royally caparisoned. 

'I, amongst the nobility, chiefly viewed the Lord Seymour, Earl of 
Hertford, now some eighty-three years old, and even decrepit with age. 
He was bom, as I was informed, the same day King Edward the Sixth 
was ripped out of the Lady Jane Seymour's womb, his aunt. 

' In the King's short progress from Whitehall to Westminster, these 
passages following were accounted somewhat remarkable. First : that 
he spake often and lovingly to the people, standing thick and threefold 
on all sides to behold him : ''God bless ye ! God bless ye ! " contrary to 
his former hasty and passionate custom, which often in his sudden dis- 
temper, would bid " a pox," or '' plague " on such as flocked to see him. 
Secondly : though the windows were filled with many great ladies as he 
rode along, yet that he spake to none of them but to the Marquis of 
Buckingham's mother and wife, who was the sole daughter and heiress of 
the Earl of Rutland. Thirdly : that he spake particularly, and bowed, to 
the Count of Gondomar, the Spanish Ambassador. And Fourthly : that 
looking up to one window, as he passed, full of gentlewomen or ladies, 
all in yellow bands, he cried out aloud : '' a pox take ye ! are ye there } " 
— at which, being much ashamed, they all withdrew themselves suddenly 
from the window. — Doctor Andrews preached in Westminster Church 
before the King, Prince, and Lords Spiritual and Temporal 

' Being afterwards assembled in the Upper House, and the King seated 
on his throne, he made a pithy and eloquent speech, promising the 
removal of Monopolies, of which there were at this time 700 in the 
kingdom, granted by Letters Patent under the Great Seal, to the enrich- 
ing some few projectors and the impoverishing all the kingdom besides. 
Next, he promised, with his people's assistance, to consent to aid the 
King of Bohemia, his son-in-law, and not to enforce the Spanish Match 
without their consent ; and therefore in conclusion desired them cheer- 
fully and speedily to agree upon a sufficient supply of his wants by 
Subsidies ; promising them, for the time to come, to play the good 
husband, and that in part he had done so already. I doubt not, how- 
ever, these blessed promises took not a due and proportionable eflPect, 



CHAP. XXV.] JAMES'S PARLIAMENTS 157 

according as the loyal subject did hope ; yet did King James (a Prince 
whose piety, learning and gracious government after-ages may miss and 
wish for) really at this time intend the performance of them.' > 

Thus goes King James to open his Third Parliament. 
The Sermon by Dr. Andrews, sublime as a Second Canto of 
Childe Harold, shall remain unknown to us ; unknown what 
passes in the sublime Parliament itself, or known only as 
a hum of many voices, aying earnestly in such English dialect 
as they have : ^ Dread Sovereign of this English Nation, lead 
' us not to Antichrist and the Devil. Dread Sovereign, our 
' right road is not Devilward, but Godward : woe ''s me ! we 
' cannot, nay, must not, go to the Devil ! '' In dim Parlia- 
mentary language, engrossed on the old Records, incredibly 
diffuse, and almost undecipherable for mortal tedium, this is 
what I read, — this and nothing more. Majesty quitting 
D'*Ewes^s field of vision has got into the hands of Dryasdust, 
and merges into the eternal dusk, vanishing from the cognis- 
ance of men. 



PRAGUE PROJECTILES BEGINNING OF THE THIRTY- YEARS^ WAR 

[1621] 

Something I would have given to be at Newmarket, when 
the Deputation from the Commons came to him in 1621. 
His Majesty^s old eyes flashed fire ; and there burst from him, 
with highly satirical snarl, not unbeautiful to me at this 
distance : * Twelve chairs ! Here are twelve kings come to 
* visit me ! "^ * The quarrel I will trouble no man with ; all 

* D'Ewes's Autobiography (Lond. 1845), i. 169 et seqq. 

^ Carlyle here quotes Arthur Wilson (see his Lif€ and Reign 4^ James /. 
London, 1653, p. 172) : ' The King entertained their messengers very roughly ; 
and some say he called for twelve Chaires for them, saying here are twelve Kings 
come to me. ' According to another report the King called ' Bring stools for 
the ambassadors' (see StcUe Papers Dom,^ cxxiv., — Chamberlain to Carleton, 
15 Dec. 1621) : 'It seems they had a favourable reception, and the king played 
with them, calling for stools for the ambassadors to sit down.' The majority of 
later historians have accepted Wilson's report without question. But whether 



168 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [parti. 

men, as I have often done, would straightway forget it. The 
record stands in Arthur Wilson ; read, whoso is of power to 
take interest in it. The Commons, with awestruck thought, 
sat trembling, yet obstinately quiescent. Our formula 
stretched, so far, must not contract itself again .^ No, not 
unless his Majesty could take into the course of going God- 
ward, — which I fear is not likely ! Devilward, said the 
instincts of them all, we cannot go. His Majesty, now 
growing old, fonder of peace than ever : what can he do but 
yield .'* 

The truth is his Majesty is growing old, and tribulations 
are thickening on him. The Spanish Match cannot make 
right progress; perverse men, perverse events, all England, 
nay, all Europe is turning against it. What hum is this in 
the Middle Aisle of Paul's ; dim image to be gathered there 
of a world-contest going to take arms again ? Couriers in 
those- months of Summer, 1621, going and coming very thick 
on the business of the Palatinate. Such a world hum I have 
never yet heard in the Middle Aisle. Battle of Armageddon 
coming on ! You that have hearts in your bodies ; you that 
love bright honour ; you that worshipped the Lady Elizabeth 
when she went in diamond brightness and long black hair a 
daughter of the galaxy, a Protestant Mary Queen of Scots, a 
young Elizabeth Queen of Hearts ! — Or shall we give the 
story in connected manner, as an eye-witness looking his best 
from two centuries off records it for us ? 

Wilson's or Chamberlain's account is the more correct, or Whether there is much 
truth in either, is very uncertain, — and very unimportant. Wilson, however, 
records another story which has some interest in this connexion : he says that 
when the king (soon after his return from Scotland in 1617) was about to leave 
London for Theobalds early on a Monday morning, his carriages jpassed through 
the City on Sunday with a great deal of clatter and noise during Divine Service. 
The Lord Mayor hearing of it commanded that the carriages should be stopped. 
Complaint was made to James. ' It put the King into a great rage, swearing 
he thought there had been na more kings in England but himself; yet after 
he was a little cooled he sent a warrant to the Lord Mayor, commanding him 
to let them pass, which he obeyed.'— Wilson, Life and Reign of fam€s /., 106, 
or Kennet, ii. 743. 



CHAP. XXV.] JAMES'S PARLIAMENTS 169 



THE THREE PRAGUE PROJECTILES 

If England itself shall be dim for us under James, how 
infinitely dimmer the rest of the world ! Henry of Bourbon 
with his Henriades shall rustle on unheeded ; unheeded also 
the German Kaisers and their debateable Reichstage. A 
mighty simmering darkness, — wide as the living Earth, 
deep as the dead Earth. Deep, the very thought refuses 
to sound it : where did man begin ? Night-Empire ; Hela^s 
Empire, — Dryasdust, vexer of minds, let these be respectable 
to us. 

And yet across the hazy European continent is not this a 
phenomenon worth noting; this projection of three human 
respectable individuals from the Castle of Prague ? Visible to 
us, lucent across the dusk of ages? Three respectable in- 
dividuals; they descend violently from a window, as inert 
projectiles do, accelerative law of Gravitation acting on them, 
velocity increasing as the time, space as the square of the 
time, in a truly frightful manner! "Whence? Whither? 
These are the questions. 

The Bohemians are a hot-tempered, vehement, Sclavonic 
people, given to* Protestantism almost since the time of 
WickliiFe, and involved in continual troubles on that 
account. Of martyred Huss and the wars that rose 
from the ashes of Huss; of Zisca and his fighting while 
alive and his skin bequeathed to be a drum that he might 
still help to fight when dead ; of these, a century before the 
time of Luther, all men have heard. And now, a century 
after Luther, it is still a trouble and contention, in that hot 
Sclavonic country, concerning Protestantism. The Grerman 
Kaisers keep their word ill with these Bohemians; the 
Grerman Kaisers are false feeble men, in straits from without 
and from within ; the throne of the Scarlet Woman built upon 
confusions is not easy to hold up. How Kaiser Rodolph 
quarrelled with Mattiiias, and Matthias with Rodolph, and 



160 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [parti. 

signed treaties and broke theni) and again signed and con- 
firmed them, and harrowed the poor Bohemian Protestants 
now this way, now that, were long and sad to say. The 
Bohemians got a kind of Magna Charta, Majestdts-hriefy in 
1609, — three years after this they got Matthias for their 
king. Do we not know that Rodolph sat surrounded with 
astrologers, fire-eaters, and jugglers, while Kepler the Astro- 
nomer, going over his calculations seventy times, having a 
pension of 18/. which was never paid, had to die broken- 
hearted and as it were unjustly starved ? It is the same 
Rodolph, and Matthias is his brother. Wonder not at the 
state of Bohmenland. Rodolph at signing of the last treaty 
did not write upon the paper, so much as splash upon it, so 
angry was he ; and dashed his bonnet on the ground at his 
brother^s feet, poor man, stamping in much rage, — and 
happily died very soon. And now Matthias Kaiser has made 
a Catholic Ferdinand his king of the Romans, king of the 
Bohemians, and Bohemian Magna Charta is again openly 
violated in the teeth of your Imperial word and signatiure, and 
Protestant churches pulled down by subaltern Jesuit Officials, 
servants of the Devil ; and the Bohemian humour is harrowed 
up once more, and fretted to the flaming point, and the 
Estates have assembled, and Prague streets are swarming with 
an angry armed population, — who have agreed on one thing. 
That the Honourable the Herr Wilhelm von Slavata and 
Javeslav von Martinitz, the two chief incendiary officials who 
betray Bohemia, shall be sent out of the country. These two 
Privy Councillors, Slavata and Martinitz, shall brook the 
Bohemian Privy Council no more, but seek an establishment 
elsewhere. It is the 23rd day of May, 1618, when matters 
have come to this pitch in Prague. The Deputation of 
Estates, Count Thum and other dignitary patriots at their 
head, have gone to Palace State House of Prague, armed 
population crowding at their heels to hear the Imperial 
rescript, to answer it by announcement. That Martinitz and 
Slavata shall pack and depart. The Summer sun shinea 



CHAP. XXV.] JAMESES PARLIAMENTS 161 

without ; debates in the interior Council Room most probably 
run high ; the agitated multitude on Prague streets watch 
and gaze expectant ; Posterity two centuries off and more 
gazes expectant : See at last ! an upper window of the 
high State House, sixty feet or so, suddenly opens its folding 
leaves ; suddenly a four-limbed projectile body bolts forth, 
committed to the law of Gravitation, to a desperate fall of 
sixty feet : it is the Honourable Herr Javeslav von Martinitz, 
lights happily on a dung heap, plunges to the neck therein, 
unhurt, but dreadfully astonished. And see again a second 
precisely similar phenomenon : it is the Honourable Herr 
Slavata ; he falls not so soft ; is unkilled but lame I doubt 
for life. And, see, finally a third : Fabricius Platier, the 
Secretary of these two, he also takes the frightful lover^s-leap ; 
— lights happily on the dungheap, he; gathers himself to- 
gether, and having steeped and washed himself makes off to 
V^ienna to report news. The Bohemian land and Diplomacy 
is thus cleared of these three sooner than was expected. This 
is the ' Whence ? ' of that extraordinary descent of human 
projectiles still visible through the dusk of centuries. As 
to the ' ANTiither ? ** of it, that is a much longer story. 

These three human beings, flung out into the murky sea 
of European things, raise commotion of billows, eddies, tides 
and swelling inundations, which extend into all regions, for 
the sea itself is no common sea, but a miraculous living one. 
Not Bethlen Gabor in Transylvania, not Richelieu in France, 
no king of Denmark, Sweden, Poland ; least of all a king of 
iMigland, nor any living man, can escape the influence of it. 
There come new Bohemian Elections of a king to go before 
thcni ; they unhappily elect Friedrich ; * and he unhappily 
accepts. There come Battles of Prague, frightful Defeats of 
Prague : Friedrich the king sat at dinner with his Queen and 

• Called derisively by the Germans the * Winter- Konig* (Winter King), 
meaning to imply thereby that he was a mere snow-king, very inert, very soluble, 
and not likely to last long. He was crowned at Prague, 4th Nov. 1619. See 
Carlyle's Fricdrichy i. 329. 



162 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [parti. 

Court, during this Prague Battle; but the musket volleys 
came too near, breathless messengers rushed in, king and 
queen had to spring to horse without packing their goods, 
and gallop,^ — her Majesty rode behind the Earl of Dorset 
(Sir Edward Sackville) — they all galloped towards Holland ; 
the royal pair towards mere disaster, obstruction, and want 
of all things. Six months of royalty brought loss of the 
Palatinate itself, and a life all bound in shallows and mis- 
fortunes. It involved our poor Solomon in Spanish treaties, 
in endless embassies, in life-long effort to recover this 
Palatinate by kingcraft without Battle. Impossible : for 
Germany, Catholic against Protestant, is all gone to battle ; 
it is a universal European war of Protestant against Catholic 
once more : unhappy Europe ! And Gustavus comes in, and 
on the other hand Wallenstein with his Croats, with his 
Pappenheims and Tillys : it is what they call the Thirty- 
Years' War, the war of Protestantism, hardly exampled for 
misery and desolating violence in these new ages. New 
truth when it comes into the world has a stormy welcome, 
for most part. The old foolish world, it will not learn that 
Divine Truth comes out of Heaven, and must and will by 
eternal law rule here on Earth : admit the new Truth, it is 
as sunlight, blessed, fruitful for all ; resist the new Truth, 
it has to become as lightning, and reduce all to ashes before 
the blessedness can arrive. This war of Protestantism with 
its flaming Magdeburgs, its gloomy Tillys, Pappenheims, its 
murderous murdered Wallenstein, is wastefuller than even the 
war of Jacobinism has hitherto been in these new ages. 
And so there is at last the war of the Reformation to be 
fought. Murk of Hell is to rise against Bright of Heaven, 
and try which is stronger. In death-wrestle, grim, terrible, 
world-wide, for a space of Thirty Years. Our Fathers ! — 
neither was your life made of down and honey ! History 
could summon remarkable English fragments from that 
German scene of things ; but will not at present, being bound 

^ Sunday, 8th November, 1620. Ibid.t 331 ». 



CHAP. XXV.] JAMES'S PARLIAMENTS 168 

elsewhither. This Protestant war of Grermany is as the loud 
prelude of a Protestant war in England. From a worldwide 
orchestra, with battle trumpets, cannon thunders and the 
crash of towns and kingdoms, rises the curtain of our smaller 
but still more significant English Drama. In Germany it 
asks but that, for the present, it may be allowed to live and 
continue. God'*s Bible, is not that the real rule of this 
world, with its depths and its heights, its times and its 
eternities ? Universal Protestantism has already answered 
Yes, and seems to think the matter finished : but here is an 
English Puritanism rising which says : In the name of God, 
let us walk by it, then, and front all the times and the 
eternities on it ! Protestantism was to have its Apotheosis 
in England, — to rise here into the eternal, and produce its 
Heroes like other divine Isms. 

Noble Englishmen of warlike temper, not a few, I see 
fighting in this German scene; Scottishmen a great multi- 
tude : whither better can a noble-hearted young man go ? 
To the souls of Protestant men it is the cause of causes. 
Shall God's Truth, indubitable to all open hearts, survive in 
this world, or be smothered again under the Pope's cloth 
chimera, incredible to all but half- shut hearts, — frightful, 
detestable to all but such? Truly a great question. For 
as yet there is no babble of toleration and so forth, alas, 
there is yet no Exeter Hall Christianity, but quite another 
sort; doubt and indifference do not yet say to themselves. 
How noble am I; don't you observe how I tolerate? But 
the toleration there, and always, meant by good men, was 
tolerance of the unessential, total eternal intolerance of the 
other ; vow like that of Hannibal to war with it forever . . . 



And so Bohemia is coming to the crisis (May, 1620); 
couriers fly and have long been flying. Archbishop Abbot 
has written like an English Protestant man and Chief 



164 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [parti. 

Priest;^ the Parliament like Englishmen have spoken and 
voted. * Desert not our own flesh and blood, dread Sove- 

* reign ; desert not the cause of God on this Earth ! ' Embark 
on the cause of God, — good bottom that, your Majesty ! 
Lo, we are all here to follow you through Life and Death, 
and to defy the very Fiends on that. * Take the van of it,** 
cries Abbot ; cry the heart of England, the Parliament and 
all authentic voices of England. Take the van of it, fear 
nothing ; with faith, with sober energy defy all things ; 
unfurl the flag of England in this time of doubt and dread, 
to the expectant Nations ; let it float on the heaven's winds, 
proclaiming to all kingdoms, sublunary and subterranean, 

* Lo ! Hither, ye oppressed ; we are for God's cause, we ; 

* God's cause is great, the Devil's cause only looks great ! ' 

The poor pacific king is in sad straits ; and will be forced 
to consent in a small degree. They will force him to go 
voluntarily ! — And so, on the llth day of June, audible, I 
daresay, to Simonds d'Ewes, audible to learned Camden, my 
truly estimable friend, * the drums beat in the city.' Yes, to 
a certain extent I still hear them. ^ Rat-tan-tan, rat-tan, 
' rodody-dow: any young man that has a heart above slavery, 
' that has a heart to fight for Christ's Gospel and the Lady 
' Princess far away amid the German Popish Devils ! Princess 
^ Elizabeth, Queen of Hearts, Queen of Bohemia too ! ' — Enlist 
ye expectant stout young men, city apprentices, street porters, 

' ' This Prelate (Abbot) being asked his opinion as a Privy Counsellor, while 
he was confined to his bed with the gout, wrote the following letter to the 
Secretary of State, I2th September 1619 : " That it was his opinion that the 
Elector should accept the crown ; that England should support him openly ; 
and that as soon as news of his coronation should arrive, the bells should be 
rung, guns fired, and bonfires made, to let all Europe see that the king was 
determined to countenance him. . . . It is a great honour to our king to have 
such a son made a king ; methinks I foresee in this the work of God, that by 
degrees the kings of the earth shall leave the whore to desolation. Our striking 
in will comfort the Bohemians, and bring in the Dutch and the Dane, and 
Hungary will run the same fortune. As for money and means, let us trust God, 
and the Parliament, as the old and honourable way of raising money."' Cabala^ 
i. p. 12. (Quoted by Neal, History of the Puritans ^ iL p. 118.) 



CHAP. XXV.] JAMES'S PARLIAMENTS 166 

draymen and others, who stand there in your leather or woollen 
jerkins with hearts not disinclined to blaze in this matter. — 
Or, rather, on the whole, perhaps, do not enlist. Your cause 
is the best a human soul could wish : but your Supreme Cap- 
tain, alas, he is a Plumed-hat and Captain's Cloak hung on a 
long pole, at the service of all the thirty-two winds. He 
cannot lead, or command to be led, towards victory in any 
enterprise. Good Generals, if he do choose them he will 
desert them ; bad generalship, bad lieutenantcy, bad ser- 
jeantcy, an issue futile, not effectual. On the whole I will 
not enlist, much as I long to do it. 

A certain proportion of men do nevertheless enlist ; good 
Generals are to lead them : Generals Vere, Earl of Oxford, my 
young Lord of Essex. 

They got into Bohemia ; — sailed from Gravesend SSnd 
July, 1620; we sent them off with many blessings, warm 
tears. They got into Bohemia, but it proves as I said : they 
were not supported. With grim energy, dumb, making no 
proclamation of themselves on the page of History, they 
fought there, and stood at bay in Frankenthal, like invincible 
English mastiffs, begirt with clouds of Spanish wolves, cut off* 
from all help. Frankenthal stands in the pleasant Rhine 
country, — dost thou know it, idle English tourist of these 
days ? Know that the * Siege of Frankendale ' was once 
world-famous ; that the brave died there, unconquerable and 
without renown. Indisputably enough, there stand they, the 
truehearted, mastiff-faced ones, with their steeple hats, match- 
locks, and unimproved artillery service ; grimly at bay against 
Europe in general ; and cannot conquer, will not be con- 
quered, — and die : Trafalgar victory, Blenheim victory, and 
and I know not what victories, not one of these had more 
valour at the gaining of it. 



166 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [parti. 



CHAPTER XXVI 

GLIMPSES OF NOTABLE FIGURES IN JAMES's PARLIA- 
MENT OF 1620-1 — ACTS OF THE SAME — BACON 
— MONOPOLISTS 

In this shadow of a Parliament sitting as in Hades, I, with 
a strange emotion, notice faces not entirely unknown to me. 
The blooming broad face of John Pym, Member for Chippen- 
ham or Tavistock,^ a young Somersetshire gentleman, much 
distinguished at Oxford ; learned Latin Tutors, Fathers of 
Nonsense Verse, have written him Delight of the Muses, a 
very Ingenuity of a Boy : * Lepos pttelli^ delicias MusarumJ* He 
has now been in the Inns of Court, become learned in Law, sits 
in Parliament ; has got, or hopes to get, solid Official employ- 
ment ; speaks well — what is far more, thinks and means well : 
the stuff of a first-rate Senator, I should say, lies in Mr. John 
Pym. Look in his face ; there are in it the lineaments of a 
very rhinoceros, such a field of cheeks, such a cliff of brows ; 
the hair carelessly dishevelled, the eyes as if weary and yet 
unweariable. He believes, every fibre of him, in God'^s truth; 
reads the same out of Hebrew Gospels, out of English Parlia- 
ment Rolls ; — leaves, wherever he is reading, the Untrue in a 
good measure lying as if unread. Cobweb does not stick to 
him : — what an advantage in readers ! A rational, pertinent 
man : I observe they often put him on Committees, though 
young : his word is modest, sagacious, elucidative of the matter 
in hand. 

Then there is the silver-toned Sir Benjamin Rudyard (from 
Wilton), an elegant young gentleman about Town ; on whom 
Ben Jonson has congratulatory Epigrams ; most strange to 
hear Gospel-texts, and mellifluous Puritanic preaching from a 
young gentleman with that cut of beard, in ruffs of that 
quality ! How serious is the face of young Sir Benjamin ; yet 

^ He preferred Tavistock next Parluunent — Commons* Jeunuds^ L 68l. 



CH.XXVI.] GLIMPSES OF NOTABLE FIGURES 167 

with delicate smiles on occasion ! The grave, the awful, is well 
divided in these men from the ludicrous, the insignificant. 
Man is as the chameleon ; takes his tone from the circum- 
ambient element : now sniffing, sneering as a humbug in the 
midst of humbugs, struggling the best he can to be king of 
his humbug Universe ; now silently praying, mellifluously 
preaching as a devout Puritan in James's Parliaments ; much 
overshadowed with the awe of his condition ; with the elegant 
starched ruffs, with chosen phraseology, vanity cut of beard, 
struggling to be king of Aw, which is a very different one ! 
What contrasts ! 

Sir Thomas Wentworth,^ of Wentwoodhouse in Yorkshire ; 
him, too, I notice there. A tall young gentleman, of lean 
wiry nature, of large jaws, and flashing grey eyes : com- 
memorative now and then of the Gunpowder Treason,^ of 
matters dangerous to religion and liberty ; for the rest, in- 
clined frequently to have the matter referred to a Committee. 
A proud young man ; in whom slumbers much fire, — to be 
developed one way or the other. 

Sackville, Sir Edward, he whom we saw staggering, bleed- 
ing, near dead by dead and gory Bruce, in the meadows of 
Tergose, — whom the dying Bruce opened his eyes yet to save, 
and with his tongue waxing motionless said : ^ Rascal, hold 
' thy hand ! ** — This Sackville has come back from the Antwerp 
meadows, from Frankenthal, and much miscellaneous roving 
and hard service ; and sits here, a most pertinent composed 
Member of Parliament, ripening towards official and other 
destinies. Beautiful the women call him ; beautiful the men. 
Eloquent, too, by no means destitute of eloquence, of fruitful 
insight, of heart-veracity, which is the mother of eloquence. 
I hear him say, this pink of chivalry and fashion, * The passing- 
bell ringeth for religion.**^ Obscene Papal spectra in Three 
Hats, Austrian Kaisers, dusky kings of Spain, and all the 

^ Created Earl of Straflford, 1 2th January i639-4a 
' Commons' fourfuUs^ i. 655-6. 



168 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [parti. 

Heathen are raging : dusky infinitudes, stirred up by that fall 
of the Three Prague Projectiles ; — and dim oceans, do make a 
roaring : threaten Sackville that they will engulph the last 
fragment of Protestant firm land. The passing-bell ringeth for 
religion; — now, if ever, let our Dread Sovereign endeavour to 
get out his war-tuck, and lead England on ! Alas ! the war- 
tuck will not out ; hardly do we see a glimmer of the blade of 
it (as at Frankenthal last winter), when it is rammed home 
again ; and we try the way of negotiative ambassadors. 
Sackville, meanwhile, is very loyal ; would not touch upon 
the Sovereign'*s prerogative for untold gold. * Had I as many 

* voices as Fame is fabled to have, this your Remonstrate 
^ Petition which toucheth on the Royal Message, should not 

* get one of them, Mr. Speaker 1 ** ^ 

Of older venerable persons, who rather hold by the Past 
than tend to the Future, I say little. Learned Serjeant 
Crew, one day to be Speaker Crew, — how strange, almost 
preternatural, to hear him talk of the woman of Tekoah : 
of an issue of blood which we will heal by touching the hem 
of King James'^s garment ! He says it with the earnestness 
of an old Prophet, this learned Serjeant, — as, indeed, Ser- 
jeants themselves were still in earnest; even Noy has his 
Bible in his pocket, and would shudder if he thought he was 
not God'^s servant, but only Mammon'*s ; — nay. Coke upon 
Lyttleton — let profane chimerical mortals in wig and black 
gown, now grown so chimerical, take thought of it ! — Coke 
upon Lyttleton, when our Session ends, and we all rise to be 
prorogued for a month, uplifts the Litany.^ Sir Edward 
Coke desired the House to say after him, and he recited the 
Collect for the King and his children (from the Gunpowder 
Treason version): * Almighty God, who hast in all ages 
^ shewed thy power and mercy in the miraculous and gracious 



)f f 



^ ' Sir Edward Sackvyle said, " Had he as many Voices as Fame is said to 
have, should not have one of them, this Clause of the Prince's Marriage. 
— Commcns Jaumaist i. 655. 

« Ibid,, i. 629. 



CH. xxvi.J GLIMPSES OF NOTABLE FIGURES 169 

* deliverances of thy Church and in the protection of righteous 
' and religious Kings and States professing thy holy and eternal 
' truth, from the wicked conspiracies and malicious practices 
' of the enemies thereof,** etc. etc. — Is not this one Fact in- 
clusive of innumerable multitudes of Facts ? 

Thus they in their ancient Parliament, sitting there in 
their steeple hats and Spanish cloaks ; in presence of God 
and King James : — the venerable and unintelligible men. 
The passing-bell ringeth for religion, the swelling seas of 
Antichrist and foul damnable Error, will lick out the stars 
of heaven ; and the Dread Sovereign will not be incited to 
take note of it : — what, and what in the world shall we do ? 

* I hope,** observes an honourable Baronet, — the name of him 
is Philips,^ but who has any chance to remember it ? — * I hope 
' every man of us hath prayed for direction before coming 

* hither this morning ! ** ^ Good Heavens ! I too could rever- 
ence a Parliament of that kind, and think it might be good 
for something. The same honourable Baronet listens with 
unspeakable reverence to Coke upon Lyttleton and the pre- 
cedents ; but says, withal, more than once, * If there be no 
' precedent, it is time to make one ! ** This is his opinion, 
Sir Robert Philips'^s, — an answer to his prayer, I could almost 
say ; such a superhuman audacity is required for it ! — 

The spectre of that steeple-hatted Parliament, in its dread 
reverence, in its dire straits, balancing itself on old precedents 
fis on a Bridge of Azrael,^ with long pole loaded with Ser- 
j cantos lead at each end, shuddering to advance ; and Philips 
and necessity s^iying : Thou must ! — is venerable and pathetic 
to me. Itself so pale, quaint, steeple-hatted, shadowy, its 
dire writhings grown sport to us ; — the foremost vanguard of 
innumerable extinct Parliaments that have not even a spectre 

* Forsier {Life of Eliot)^ L 94. The Commons Journals ^ i. 658, attribute a 
similar remark to Sir G. Moore, also : * Sir George Moore ** hopcth every man 
here hath prayed for direction.*" ' Ibid.y 658. 

^ Azrael is the Angel of Death ; the Bridge is by some called Tchinavar. 
See, for example, Voltaire's Zadig^ chap. ii. Cf ' The Brig o* Dread ' of Scotch 
ballads. 



170 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [parti. 

left, — down into the deep night of Saxon Were -moot ^ of 
Spear-councils on the coast of the Baltic, older than Hengst, 
than Odin ; — O Heavens ! is not the Past a divine Book, 
unfathomable, awful, inclusive of ail divine Books whatso- 
ever ? Inspired penmen have been dreadfully wanting. 

This spectral Parliament, all pale to us, but some young 
faces, the Pyms, Went worths, etc., that have the hue of Life 
still in them, — did several things, which are memorable to 
Dryasdust rather than to me. It is the Parliament that 
overhauled poor Chancellor Bacon. Alas, what a change 
since we last saw him, riding in purple cloak from Chancery 
Lane.^ They have in this earnest Parliament, — meaning 
something far other than improved shop-lists, and augments 
of the sciences, meaning fair-play namely, and God's Justice 
on Earth, — got their claws upon the sublime Chancellor, and 
will do him a mischief. They have indisputable traces of a 
thing or two, — a purse delivered by the Lady Wharton, a 
purse by Mr. Egerton ; " in brief, they have detected this 
poor Chancellor to be a hungry Jew of Whitechapel, selling 
Judgment for a bit of money : they twitch the purple cloak 
off him, all the learned wigs, patch-coifs, and trappings off 
him ; and say, with nostrils dilated in disgust : Go ! He goes, 
one of the sorrowfullest of all mortals, to beg beer in Gray'^s 
Inn,' to augment the sciences, if from the like of him the 
sciences have any augment to expect ! 

On the whole, this earnest Parliament is vehement upon 
swindlers, monopolists, corruptionists, foul-players in general ; 
has got its claws upon the seven hundred monopolies, for one 
thing. May it prosper! Good luck to this Parliament! 
With what a shrill tone it denounces your Sir Giles 
Mompesson, hauled down from his bench ; — for he was an 
Honourable Member this Giles. He has had monopolies of 
gold-thread, which was mere pinchbeck thread ; of ale-houses, 
of lobsters, — and what not ? He was deep in the seven 

' See an/€, p. 130. ' See Spcdding, Letters and Life^ vii. 252 et seqq, 

' See ante^ p. 134, n. 



CH. XXVI.] GLIMPSES OF NOTABLE FIGURES 171 

hundred monopolies ; treated the field of trade as if it had 
been a hunting-field, and all men that sewed gold, all men that 
drank ale, or ate a lobster, as if they had been royal game, 
for which he had a licence ; vexing them with his attorney 
hunting-beagles. And he got himself elected by ' a rich 
' country gentleman.' Behold him now, hauled down from his 
bench, laid on the flat of his back ; figuratively speaking, the 
claws of the Parliament fixed in him ; its fierce beak denounc- 
ing him with considerable shrillness, making ready to rend 
him ! A Committee on him ; sharp searching questions on 
him ; sharp eyes and beaks upon him. Sir Giles flies ; 
escapes from the Commons'* Serjeant with slippery dex- 
terity; escapes hastily beyond sea, wings his obscene flight, 
with plucked feathers, into outer darkness. Mompesson, we 
regret to say, is gone ; but Michell, his main Attorney, him 
we have safe in the Tower ; he, I expect, will not go for a 
few weeks yet ! Sir Francis Michell, unworshipful knight, 
living by the Doll Tearsheets in Clerkenwell, by the bullies of 
Alsatia, by lobsters, — a putrid eye-sorrow on this earth ; — 
the reader saw him once at the sack of Drury Lane Play- 
house : the reader perhaps will not grudge to see how a 
Puritan House of Commons deals with a gilt scoundrel when 
they catch him. I copy part of the sentence : old Stow or 
Howe, old Arthur Wilson, Chronicle-Baker and the whole 
world saw it done. First his spurs knocked off^ by the servants 
of the Earl Marshal, and thrown away.^ * Then the silver 
' sword ** (which ought to have been gilded, says Mr. William 
Camden ^) ^ is taken from his side, broken over his head, 
' and thrown away. Last of all they pronounce him no longer 
' to be a knight, but a knave, as was formerly done to Andrew 
' de Herclay, when he was degraded by Anthony Lucy." — 
This done ; — Sentence : 

' To be taken back to the Fleet Prison, and confined there 
' in the place called Bolton's Ward.' Yes, through Bolton'^s 
Ward, too, we obtain a stem glimpse into old tragic doings. * 

^ Stow, 1034. 3 Camden, Annals of Janus /. (i6th June 1621). 



172 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [parti. 

The state of the Fleet Prison itself is examined in this Parlia- 
ment ; Bolton's Ward and other things come to light in a 
very unsatisfactory manner. There they lie, the poor 
prisoners, in this or the other Ward, prisoners for debt or 
misdemeanour in this world ; eighteen on one mattress, 
twenty-four on another; harsh Warden charging twopence 
a night. ... If you do not pay, you are turned into other 
far worse Wards, left there to consider yourself. There used 
to be a kind of slit, or open barn-window, through which 
poor prisoners consulted with their friends or lawyers; the 
tyrannous Warden has walled it up beyond human height, 
reduced it to a pigeon-hole far up ; there now only falls in on 
us some melancholy ray through the pigeon-hole overhead, — 
disclosing darkness visible. No wonder men get discontented, 
irreverent of persons in authority, and require to be roused at 
night and clapt into worse Wards. The worst of all the 
Wards is Bolton'*s. Bolton, a man unknown to me, seemingly 
of truculent humour, was clapt some years ago into a certain 
bed- ward one night, he and another; for bad conduct, as is 
like. In the gloom of the night Bolton'^s truculent humours 
surged up, not a whit appeased ; the damp black stones 
round him, on these he could not vent his humours ; and 
there was in this ward, besides himself, but one comrade. 
Bolton, it is like, has been gruff to the human comrade, the 
human comrade gruff to him : on the morrow morning Bolton 
was found there alone ; Bolton, with glaring blood-shot eyes, 
quite private by himself; the human comrade lay dead and 
murdered on the floor there. Bolton, doubt it not, was 
hanged ; and the place ever since is called Bolton'^s Ward ; a 
Ward as squalid as any, and now with two ghosts in it over 
and above. It is here that Francis Michell, vender of mono- 
polies, swindling attorney that decreed injustice by a law, once 
prosperous scum of creation, sits with his spurs hacked off, 
and all prosperity fled far from him, considering the vicissi- 
tude of things. 

And on the morrow morning we behold this phenomenon, 



CH.xxvL] GLIMPSES OF NOTABLE FIGURES 173 

very singular to us, through the little chink in the murk of 
centuries. An unspurred knight of the rueful countenance, 
' with a paper on his breast and back that pointed at the 
' foulness of the cause,** mounted on what leanest spavined 
garron was discoverable, with his face to the tail, with the tail 
in his hand, led by the hangman, equitating as on hot iron, 
in a shambling, high-pitching, excited spavined manner; 
escorted by great and small from Palace-yard to *Finsbury 
' Prison,** amid the curses and the howls and laughter of man- 
kind. Clear enough there ; clear as sunlight through this 
identical chink effected by the Commons^ Journals for us in 
the leaden murk of the old dead times. Halting Punishment 
has found thee, right unworshipful ! thee for one : ride there, 
in a halting, high-floundering excited and spavined manner, 
whither thou art bound ! The modem reader looks on it, too, 
with a grim smile ; and yet with a sigh. The modem reader 
thinks : Why cannot I have one of my monopolists, my air- 
monopolists, my food-monopolists, my prosperous scums of 
creation, — decreers of injustice by a law, — shaken out from 
his Longacre respectability, and shown as what he is, set even 
on such a Rosinante to ride with his face to the tail ? By 
Heaven, modem reader, thou wilt get such a thing when once 
thou hast well deserved it. At present thou knowest not 
Right from Wrong, as thy fathers did ; thou knowest it not 
at all, except as a horse knows it, — thou unhappy ! 

This Parliament made a public clearance of monopolists, 
unjust Chancellors, attorney swindlers, in greater and lesser 
wigs, not without success : but one laments soon to see it get 
into fearful flat contradiction with the Dread Sovereign him- 
self. Inevitable : the Dread Sovereign set to govern England, 
and here is England iu(i minded, not capable of being minded, 
to be governed so. ''^The Dread Sovereign wants a Spanish 
Match for England ; England, by laws older than any Parlia- 
ment Rolls, cannot wish any Spanish Match. England must 
adhere to Christ**8 Gospel, and have the true God for Patron. 



174 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [parti. 

The true God joined with the Spanish Mammon, his Majesty 
will have. In brief, these Commons have concocted an 
humble and humblest Petition ; and, lying flat on their faces, 
touching the hem of his Majesty'*s garment, earnestly, as with 
tears, entreat him to have regard to the same. The bleeding 
condition of the Palatinate, of the Protestant Gospel, has 
struck them ; they glance even at the Spanish Match, and 
pray God and the King that there might be a Protestant 
Match, instead. Popish Matches are bad, whisper they to 
one another within their Parliament walls. We knew a 
Papist woman at Acton, she had children whom her Protest- 
ant Husband insisted to breed as Protestants : — the frantic 
Papist mother killed them, rather.* Good cannot come of 
any Papist Match ; let us make our Petition, let us touch the 
hem of his Majesty's garment. Impossible ! cry others, cries 
Edward Sackville, for one. These are high matters of State : 
— had I as many voices as Fame has, this clause should not 
get one of them ! ^ 

Whereupon, his Majesty hearing what was toward, writes 
a severe admonitory Letter : ^ his hunting at Newmarket is 
quite spoiled ; he refuses to receive our Deputation of Twelve, 
to read their Petition at all : we have to send express and 
recall them on the Eastern Counties'* Road. What is to be 
done now ; in the name of wonder and terror, what ? Why, 
at worst, nothing may be done ; perhaps that is the best of 
all. This Parliament, so to speak, strikes work ; sits there 
for certain days expostulating, ai^^uing, convincing itself that 
it cannot in these circumstances go on with any Bill.* Ad- 
monitory high Letters follow : — * An old experienced King,' 
etc., * very free and able,' etc. — Dread Sovereign, ' we read 
these Letters, and again read them, and ever again : but to 

* Commons^ Journals, ' See ante^ p. 1 68. 

' Of date 3rd I>ccembcr 1 62 1. 

^ 'And the House finding it a great discouragement to them to proceed in any 
business when there was so great a distance [divergence] betwixt the King and 
them, . . . thought they had as good do nothing, as have that they do undone 
again.' — Wilson^ 172. 



CH. xxvi.l GUMPSES OF NOTABLE FIGURES 176 

J 4 

go on with any Bill is impossible. We have struck work, 
with or without foresight, we have stumbled on that plan, 
and sit here doing nothing; the world all buzzing round us. 
A wonder, a wonder ! a Parliament that does not get on with 
Bills ! It is the most ominous attitude I have yet seen in 
England : touching to the mind from this great distance of 
years. Not that trivial insolence or any light sputtering is 
legible on those old steeple-hatted faces : ah, no ! clouds of 
dark sorrow, of awe and dread, which they are driven by 
necessity to front ; — outer clouds and some inner eternal 
Light; stem, red-cloudy beckonings of a Day that is yet 
below the horizon, loaded perhaps with thunder ! I hope 
no man of us but has prayed for direction before coming 
hither. — What boots it.*^ A strike of work in any king'*s 
Parliament, if the men have come hither with pmyer, is 
serious. His Majesty, after certain high Messages and certain 
low but obstinate answers, consents to receive our Deputation 
of Twelve. . . . The Deputation was received, but the breach 
was not healetl. The Commons made a protest ^ that it was 
their ancient and undoubted birthright to enjoy * the Liberties, 
' Franchises, Privileges and Jurisdictions of Parliament,' and 
' that the arduous and urgent affairs concerning the King, 
' State, and the Defence of the Realm, and of the Church of 
*' England and the making and maintenance of Laws, and 
^ redress of mischiefs and grievances which daily happen within 
' this Realm, are proper subjects and matter of counsel and 
'debate in Parliament.** — Sackville and the State Servants 
who sit before the Speaker gainsaying what they could within 
doors, reporting to Majesty without. His Majesty, now 
come as far as Theobalds, hears that the Protest is engrossed 
on their Records. Majesty thereupon comes galloping up to 
Town ; tears out their Protest with his own hand (30th 
December, while the House is prorogued); and, on the 6th 
of January 1621-2, dissolves this Protesting Parliament. 

* Protestation of the Commons concerning Privileges. Farliamentary His- 
tory, i. 1362. 



176 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [part I. 

Such ^ Parliament I never before saw in England ; — a Par- 
liament that struck work. Clouds of lurid sorrow on their 
old faces, luridly illuminated by some light still below the 
horizon, lurid symptoms of a Day not yet bom, but like to 
be very stormy. I hope none of us awaits it without prayer ; 
— it will be better not ! 



SIB EDWARD COKE IN JAMEs'^S PARLIAMENTS EN6USH 

I^VE OF PRECEDENTS 

The quantity of intellect, struggling under elements grown 
opaque to us, which reveals itself to us in Sir Edward Coke, 
fills us with amazement. Never wanting with his sharp jest, 
with his witty turn ; learned, how learned ! in records ; — 
^he knoweth all the Books."* His argument, grown now 
entirely opaque to all mortals, flashes in the astonished eyes 
of contemporaries like a light-beam, like a lightning- bolt. 

* It is not under Mr. Attomey'^s cap to answer that ! ** 
saith he. 

The cause of Liberty, I have heard, is much indebted to 
Coke. If that be synonymous with the cause of Parliament, 
as for the moment it doubtless was, the debt is probable. In 
the stretching of Precedents, which he has of all sorts and 
ages, dug up from beyond Pluto and the deepest charnel- 
houses and extinct lumber-rooms of Nature, which he pro- 
duces and can apply and cause to fit by shrinking or expanding, 
and on the whole to suit any foot, — he never had a rival. 
Whatever the old Parliaments had done, when they were all 
Lords and Barons, with armed England at their back, whom 
hone that would live in England could venture to gainsay at 
all, — this our learned friend asserts to be competent to * Par- 

* liament ' still ; now when we are poor Commons paid by our 
boroughs : when we are mere learned Serjeants and incon- 
siderable knights of the Shire. 

One of the most surprising features of these English Par- 
liaments and of this English People, is their veneration of 



CH.xxvL] GLIMPSES OF NOTABLE FIGURES 177 

precedents. Their worship of the past; — which is indeed 
one of the indispensablest features of a great soul, in a Nation 
as in a man. He that cannot persevere, that is not bound 
by the law of his nature to persevere, how can he ever arrive ? 
Habit : — it is the law of habit that makes roads everywhere 
through the pathless in this universe ; wheresoever thou 
findest a made road, there was the law of habit active, — 
honour it in its degree. Granted the road is not the best, 
yet how much better is it than no road ! * Had you seen it 
' before it was made ' ; ^ — and what toil General Wade had 
with it ! — For indeed the History of the Past is the real 
Bible. So did the God'^s will which made this universe 
manifest itself to usward : even so, if thou wilt think of it. 
That is the true series of Incarnations and Avatars. The 
splendour of God shone through the huge incondite Chaos of 
our being, so, and then so ; and by heroism after heroism, we 
have come to what you see. The Bible of the Past ; rich 
are they that have it written as some old Greeks, old Hebrews 
and others, have had. But looking in Collinses Peerage and 
the illegible torpid rubbish-mounds of Dryasdust, I am struck 
dumb. English Literature, if literature mean speaking in fit 
words what the gods were pleased to act, as I think it does 
and must, — is a thing yet to be bom. 

' God is great,"* say the Moslems : Yes, but Dryasdust also 
and human Stupidity ai*e not small. It, too, is wide as 
Immensity ; it, too, is deep as Hell ; has a strength of 
slumberous torpor in it the subduing of which will mean that 
the History of this Universe is complete. DummheU : — there 
is something venerable in it. In its dark belly it swallows 
all light-beams and lightnings : they are all, as it were, 
welcome to it. With some celestial coruscations, huge as 

^ ' Had you seen this road before it was made, 

You would lift both your hands and bless General Wade I * 

A doggerel couplet said to have been written at an inn in Glencroe in the 
Scottish Highlands, though it smacks more of the Emerald Isle. — It is cited by 
Carlylc in Dr. Fratuia {Miscellanies^ vi. 77), and often elsewhere. 

M 



178 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [part 1. 

Ophiuchus,^ you illumine for a moment its cavernous 
immensities, wondrous, terrible ; you display its black 
sooterkins, its brood of dragons ; — and straightway all 
again is peaceable and dark. The gods will never conquer 
it, says Schiller, and say I. 

^ Ophiuchus, the serpent-holder, a constellation in the northern heavens. 

* Like a comet burn'd. 
That fires the length of Ophiucbus huge 
In th' arctic sky.' — Milton, Par. Lost, ii. 7o8-ia 



PART II 

IN THE REIGN OF CHARLES I. 



CHAPTER I 

CHARLES AND HIS QUEEN 

King Charles, supreme Sovereign of these kingdoms by 
*' right of sixty descents,'* he too, is not without his difficulties. 
His sixty descents, and the right grounded on them, do 
indeed remain unquestionable to all creatures; this man, 
somewhat knock-kneed, tongue-tied, of a hasty temper and 
stuttering speech, derives his existence such as it is from 
entirely antique Ferguses, Malcolm Canmores, indisputably 
from Robert Steward and Elizabeth Muir of Rowallan, a 
lady of contested virtue, which however no one yet contests.^ 
Indisputable King of England. Here as he stands on his 
more or less splay-footed basis, no wildest mortal dreams 
of questioning that he, Charles Stuart, has the right, the 
might and divine vocation from above, to furnish guidance for 
this people of England. Yet is his position not without 
complicacy; not without its abstruse sides, — as indeed it 
reaches into the vague on all sides, and had better not be 
questioned, if it could be avoided. 

This King is of fine delicate fibre, too fine for his place, 
and would have suited better as a woman. With Queen 
Bess for a husband how happy it had been ! There is a real 
selectness, if little nobleness of nature in him ; his demeanour 
everywhere is that of a man who at least has no doubt that 
he is able to command. Small thanks to him perhaps ; — had 

^ * The royal line, as used to be well known, had, or was passionately supposed 

and passionately denied to have had, a kind of flaw in the very starting of it, 

** Elizabeth Muir," the mother or grandmother of them all in that line, being 

l)y some considered an improper or partially improper female, whose children 

came be/ore marriage ! We will hope otherwise. * From unused MS, of CarlyWs 

* Cromwell.^ 

181 



182 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [part ll. 

not all persons from his very birth been inculcating this 
lesson on him ? He has, if not the real faculty to command, 
at least the authentic pretension to do it, which latter of 
itself will go far in this world. 

Hammond UEstrange, a learned gentleman in those days, 
asks, * Was there ever a fool that stammered ? ** ^ If stammer- 
ng be the infallible proof of wisdom, this king is wise. He 
has a hauk, a stutter in his speech, a regurgitancy, as if his 
thought went too fast for his tongue. Everywhere a hasty 
man, brooks no delays, no formalities that stand between him 
and his purpose, rushes on, often enough with more sail than 
ballast. Not an eloquent man, though a vehement ; I have 
read many hundreds of his Speeches and letters, till the tone 
of them has grown familiar to me : ^ ^ Sirs, Sirs, have a care 

* how you with withstand a King!^ his fine hazel eyes 

flashing almost with rage the while, for he is of a choleric 
turn. A somewhat too headlong man. Did he not, for 
example, dash off incognito to Spain, to look after his 
(intended) Spanish bride himself; the n^otiations proving 
tedious ? he went with Buckingham, as Jack Smith and 
Tom Smith, disguised in enormous wigs; — a feat, which, 
says Speaker Finch,^ posterity will rank among fables. He 
came nevertheless ; came, saw and conquered not^ — returned 

' 'Since there was never, or very rarely, known a fool that stammered.' 
Heign of King CharUs /. (Lond., 1656), p. 2. 

' Carlyle had also read the Eikon Basilike (attributed by some to Charles, by 
others to Gauden) and thus records his impressions of it in a pencil note probably 
written at the British Museum : — ' Eikon Basilike \ a beautiful piece of sincere 
cant ; nearly the most beautiful I ever saw. Which by no likelihood, except in 
an age all of cant, could have been believed to be genuine. Few paragrapkhs 
of it but denounce its falsity, its absolute incredibility as the writing of King 
Charles, — or indeed of any other man whatever, who was other than the mimt 
of a man. Very practical-looking ! — King Charles throughout as this poor 
Eikon represents him, has nothing to say except, ** Am not I the most faultless 
of men and martyrs ? Was there at any time in any case blame found in me ? 
A good man surely ; — O Lord, didst thou ever chance before to make one as 
good ! Make me better if possible." It is the ne plus ultra of Phariseeism. 
Perhaps at bottom there are few untruer books. Enough of // / ' 

' Rushworth, i. 205. 



CHAP. I.] CHARLES AND HIS QUEEN 183 

home without his Infanta, near wrecked in the Bay of Sant- 
ander. The brown beautiful Infanta, beautiful though her 
lips were somewhat large, blushed beautifully when she saw 
him on the Prado^ again fled, beautifully screaming, when he 
leapt the garden wall to have a word with her ; but it came 
all to nothing ; the blushings, the beautiful scr^mings wasted 
themselves fruitless, swallowed in the inane ; alas ! The 
Infanta got another husband ; this Prince another wife,^ — for 
I saw him coming with her up the River Thames towards 
Whitehall, in gilded barges ; and he had taken her out to 
view that mighty London of two hundred and twenty 
years ago, — a notable place of half a million souls, with 
Shakspeare\s Theatre at the Bankside yonder and much else ; 
but a sudden shower splashing impetuous out of heaven drove 
him and her below deck again, and the London of two 
centuries ago dips under cloud from us. O Speaking Shak- 
speare, O ye dumb half million. Is not Time the miracle of 
miracles ? Fearful and wonderful ? 

A beautiful little creature she, too, if the Ritter Van Dyke 
lie not to us, beautiful and sprightly with her bright hazel eyes, 
with her long white fingers, and dainty looks and ways, the 
Daughter of the Great French Henry, but bom to a fate not 
happy. She, like him, was unfortunate in her religion. For 
there landed with her at Whitehall stairs, there went to live 
with her at Denmark House (Somerset House now named) a 
retinue of Jesuits, of tonsured priests with pyxes and Popery 
equipments according to contract, and began to play tricks 
before England and high Heaven. They began, and ended 
not ; it was the root of infinite sorrows to her. Why did not 
the Solomon of England choose a Protestant wife for his son? 
There was no Protestant woman visible to Solomon of 
adequate divinity of lineage in those days, so failing the 
Infanta of Spain, he chooses her Majesty of Finance, — the 

^ Henrietta Maria, daughter of Henri iv. and Marie de M^icis; bom 
25th Nov., 1609; married to Charies (by proxy), ist May, 1625; arrived in 
London, i6th June of the same year ; and died, 31st August, 1669. 



184 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [part ii. 

unfortunate Solomon, no headstrong Saul, no reckless 
Rehoboam, could have chosen worse. For the priests, we say, 
Jesuits, Legates, etc., whose name is legion, begin and could 
never end, and walk as a real demon-host, a legion of obscure 
spectres, enchanters and unruly goblins through the whole 
history of that period, troubling as goblins do and must, the 
solid minds of Englishmen. They were Priests of the 
Infallible Chiurch : they were Frenchmen, sons of that Belle 
France que nous aimons tous. Goblin troops of Recusants 
gather to their chapel in clear daylight. They set the poor 
young Queen to do a penance, walk barefoot all along the 
Strand from Somerset House to the Abbey of \Vestminster, 
carrying a big wax candle, we suppose, and wrapt in sheet of 
sackcloth, in the hope of propitiating Heaven by that means. 
In the certainty of alienating Earth at least ! The headlong 
young King took a sudden resolution, sent sailing barges to 
wait at Somerset House, sent officers with cash : paid up 
these French incomers, male and female, priest and lay, 
suddenly one morning, their arrears to the utmost penny ; 
ordered them to pack up, one and all, and sail home again, 
without word spoken. — Inexorable! They went, with objurga- 
tion, imprecation, with female hysterical noises and emotions, 
— all swiftly conveyed beyond the Nore, no heart pitying 
them.^ The poor young Queen, when his Majesty went to 
tell her in Whitehall, flew into such a tempest as none of us 
had seen hitherto, — quite driven beyond the vaporific point, 
the apartment not really able to contain her, poor Queen ; 
for she ^ smashed the window glass with her little fist,'* and 
skipped about entirely in a maenadic state. Can rages of that 
magnitude dwell in celestial minds .^ Such tempest in a 
Queen, most perilous, momentous then, though shrunk now to 
small dimensions, and raging now with beautiful distinctness 
as a mere tempest in a teapot, the old Annalists do through 
their miraculous spy-glasses indisputably exhibit to us. 

^ With the exception of a few of the Queen's personal attendants, they w«re 
all expelled in August 1626. 



CHAP. II. J CHARLES AND HIS PARLIAMENTS 185 



CHAPTER II 

CHARLES AND HIS PARLIAMENTS 

This King's power we said was indefinite, whereby he thinks 
it infinite. He is astonished at his faithful Commons that 
they will not, his irrefragible reasons once nay twice and three 
times laid clearly before them, grant him supply for his 
occasions ! Sunbeams are not clearer to his eye than those 
reasons to the royal mind. And his power if not infinite is 
indefinite which is so like infinite. . . . And on the other 
hand, these Commons have an antiquity to go back upon ; 
have an authority which is also indefinite. Old learned and 
thrice learned Cokes, little short of the owl of Minerva in 
learning, quote precedents of Henry vi. and Richard ii. (weak 
kings both), crabbed Latin out of Bracton, Fleta and one 
knows not where ; dive down into a bottomless antiquity, a 
dust- vortex of learned tradition whither the eye dreads to 
follow them, and return with wise saws and antique instances, 
and speak with vehemence, one might say, with insolence. 
Prerogative of Majesty, Privilege of Parliament, these are two 
indefinites apt to mistake themselves for Infinitudes ; they 
dwelt far enough apart in the old times, each in its venerable 
Indefiniteness or Indefinitude, raying out an infinite respect 
towards one another, and now by the progress of things they 
have become closer, they have come in contact, and indefinite 
so diflTering from infinite, it is like to be collisive, I fear. 
How unhappy for venerable Indefinitudes when they have to 
come closer and define themselves. ' A king was once a great 
truth. A king was once the strongest man, raised aloft on 
bucklers with clangour of sounding shields and sounding 
hearts from all the people. His Parliament in those times 
was simple enough, a festivity of all his Vice-kings, Barons, 
Jarls (strong men). Leaders (Dues) whom he had made Lords 
of Land ; they came to keep their Christmas with him, and 



186 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [part ll. 

many is the royal flagon of good liquor, the loin of good 
roast meat they have consumed at his table in this very West- 
minster Hall. Assiduous Seneschals and Sewers, with white 
aprons and eager assiduity, hurrying to and fro, torches 
blazing on these learned walls, copious oil lamps, and log 
fires blazing, the frost of Christmas bolted out of doors, all 
frost and darkness hanging over you like an infinite cloak, 
not uncomfortable to think of. A most ruddy potent blaze 
of life and Christmas cheer, and such talk in Norman Saxon ! 
This was the original kind of Parliament as the human eye, 
piercing the opaque eclipse of Dryasdust, discerns it ; a highly 
eligible kind. For every measure was debated on, both sober 
and then in a kind of mental elevation ; you saw both sides 
of every object, and tried to hit the middle of it. 

But since that time the Parliament has greatly altered. 
The Parliament does not meet now in Westminster Hall for 
Christmas festivities and consultation over wine; far differ- 
ent. This Parliament is now divided into two Houses, and 
consults in a jejune manner. Strangest of all, the dumb 
Commons have got to have a voice in it ; have come these 
three centuries or more, and grow yearly more important, 
more importunate. For the king'^s Peers that used to sit in 
Westminster are now by no means the only Vice-kings in this 
Britain. Fighting has given place to trading, ploughing, 
weaving and merchant adventuring. It might be these Peers 
of the king would decide on a thing, and now, as times are 
turned, it could not be executed. Wherefore others also 
must be asked for their assent. 

Very greatly too has this acknowledged Strongest, King as 
they call him, altered since those old days. Not now lifted 
on the bucklers of men ; which was always a contentious 
business : he is accepted through sixty descents, and the 
virtue of Elizabeth Muir ; all men joyfully with assured 
heart exclaiming. This is he, this infirm, splay-footed one; 
he is our acknowledged Strongest. This is he ! Men and 
brethren, this ! * Yes, he," answer they with one voice, * he is 



CHAP. II.] CHARLES AND HIS PARLIAMENTS 187 

* our acknowledged/ And it is wonderful, to us nearly un- 
imaginable, what divinity does still encircle this infirm king 
of the composite order, and the proudest heart veils itself 
awestruck before the glance of his eye ; and he is considered 
the Lord'*s Anointed ; and to himself and others appears 
terrible and inexorable. Man is a ci-eature of much Phantasy 
and little understanding, his approximatings, his amalgam- 
ations of the true and false, call it rather the Eternal and 
the Possible, are sometimes surprising. The remedy is. If 
this Strongest prove altogether intolerably weak, it has been 
our use from of old, driven to it by stem necessity, to cast 
him away and get rid of him, were it even by the fieriest 
methods. For the law of the Universe is inexorable : the 
equation, not exactly soluble by any human Algebra, is mean- 
while a most exact thing in Practice and Fact and does 
assert itself continually in gradual circuitous ways, in swift 
paroxysms, notable to all persons. 

King James prospered ill with his Parliaments, but it is 
nothing to this of Charles. We saw King James with 

* Twelve Chairs here ! ^ * Twelve kings come to visit me, I 
^ think "* ! ^ and that magniloquent snarl and glance of the 
royal eyes, not destitute of claims to human sympathy from 
us. In fact, English Parliaments are England in epitome, 
brought face to face with the king : if the king be minister 
of the dumb heart'*s-purpose of England, Parliament will be 
as oil upon his head ; if he be minister of some quite different 
purpose, and have in his royal heart parted quite away from 
the dumb heart of England, England must needs, in some 
more or less dumb way, were it only by sobs and dumb 
groans, in a very inarticulate manner, signify the same to 
him. For it is inevitable. And if there were no Parliament, 
or a Parliament that pretends to be satisfied with him, the fact 
were no whit altered. — That he has got off the rail-tramroad, 
and is travelling towards perdition ; this fact, if not attended 
to, will have to announce itself in a still fataler manner. 

^ See antCf p. 157, n. 



188 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [part ll. 



CHARLESES FIRST PARUAMENT 



[1625] 

Charleses First Parliament met on 18th June, 1625, soon 
after his accession ; — his Father had died on the 27th of 
March preceding. His Majesty with impetuous haste sig- 
nifies that he is in a war by Parliaments direction, of 
Parliament's seeking; that Parliament has one thing to 
do : grant him supplies straightway. Parliament does 
grant two subsidies, the amount of which is unknown 
to Dryasdust and me ; but inadequate for his Majesty'^s 
occasions.^ ITie Parliament cannot afford above two sub- 
sidies for the present ; has recusants to complain of, crypto 
recusants; learns with a horror very natural to it, that the 
king has lent his ships to the French to fight against Protest- 
antism, against the Protestants of Rochelle ! ^ As the 
pestilence is raging, we adjourn the Parliament to Oxford, 
rising after a session of four weeks. 

That loan of ships to the French is a fact which all men 
see with their eyes; which his unfortunate impetuous 
Majesty, tied up by treaties, misled by negotiations and so 
forth, tries to explain, but cannot satisfactorily. Palpable 
to all mortals is the fact : even English warships, equipped 
by the toil and gold of England, manned by the oak 
hearts of England, sailed away for the French coast, and 
there learned that they were meant not *for Genoa,** but 
against Rochelle, poor Protestant Rochelle ; — and they went, 
after struggling enough, the English ships went, though not 

* The two subsidies amounted only to about £1^0^000, 

' Rochelle was the stronghold of the Huguenots under the duke de Rohan 
and his brother the Prince de Soubise. Being comparatively powerless on th« 
sea, Richelieu, for the French Government, claimed the loan of eight ships from 
England by a clause in the marriage -treaty of Charles and Henrietta Maria. 
Charles and Buckingham succeeded for a while in deceiving the English people 
and even Pennington, the captain of the * Vanguard * of the little fleet, by pre- 
tending that it was destined against Genoa, the friend and ally of Spain. — See 
Forster, Life of Eliot ^ i. 322, et seqq. 



CHAP. II.] CHARLES AND HIS PARLIAMENTS 189 

one English sailor would go with them, — or rather there 
was (me solitary gunner that went, — and he, we are happy to 
learn, was shot by a bullet from Rochelle ; the rest resisted 
all bullying, cajoling,— preferred stepping ashore in a foreign 
port [Dieppe], begging their way homewards — go they would 
not. And then the English ships [manned by Frenchmen] 
cannonade the poor Protestants; the guns we founded with 
our own brass go to that use. Who can grant subsidies? 
^Vho knows to what war they will go, whether to any war ? 
^ It is the Duke of Buckingham'*s doing ; he misleads the good 
* young king."* — He wants money, this Duke, emd is very 
uncertain about his war : he said once in Mr. Strode'*s hear- 
ing, * Grant four subsidies, and chose your own war ! ' — The 
Parliament reassemble at Oxford, 1st August, with the 
Rochelle ships and cannonadings, and the cry of all England 
dinning in their ears ; and are not very immediate with their 
supplies. Supply my occasions, says his Majesty; says and 
reiterates in message after message, supply my occasions, and 
be swift about it. ITie Parliament is slow about it ; gets 
into petitioning about Religion, first of all. Will you supply 
my occasions ? asks his Majesty more impetuously than ever : 
— the season is going, near gone ! Will you, yea or no ? 
The Commons, with sad thoughts, know not what to answer ; 
will perpend this religious matter first. Dissolve them ; send 
them home again ; make Oxford and us clear of them : — after 
a Session of eleven days. Alas, this young Majesty is too 
quick ! Has Solomon left a Rehoboam ? How his Majesty 
sent out for benevolences, forced men to give him free gifts, 
to etc., etc., and imprisoned them when they demurred, my 
readers, Dryasdust and the whole world know. 

It was in this Parliament that Lord -keeper Williams 
(Bishop of Lincoln, who succeeded Bacon) first, taking the 
measure of England, of himself, of the Duke of Buckingham 
and this Parliament and things in general, found that it were 
well if he threw off the Duke'*s livery, and set up for himself. 
It is well known, and was doubtless often repeated by the 



190 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [part 1 1. 

braggart Welshman himself, how the two took counsel 
together, and came to high words on the matter. There are 
grievances in England, which ought to be redressed, thinks 
Williams. Reverend, what language is this ? Do you also 
mean to join with the factious Puritan Party ? Think what 
your footing is, my Lord-keeper, in this court of his Majesty ! 
I will stand on my own feet, said Williams, and try to get 
justice done. Buckingham'^s face flashes fire. Then, look 
you stand fast, answers he : — the smoking controversy ending 
in clear flame. 

Williams has been very useful to Buckingham ; who knows 
to what lengths he has used his quick wit in serving him ! The 
Spanish Ambassador, for instance, had a cunning plot of the 
most dextrous engineership, all primed and char^ for Buck- 
ingham ; ready to explode in Jameses time ; — the Lord-keeper 
Bishop, by dim scouts, prying in the very brothels for him, 
found it out in time ; the consecrated Bishop, in a case of 
necessity, communicated with unfortunate females ; distilled 
the due intelligence from them. Thus did he save his Duke.^ 
But now the little Bishop Laud, of Bath and Wells, is coming 
in. He seems to be getting superseded ; whereat his Welsh 
blood takes fire : — he resolves to throw off the Duke, as 
above s€dd, and set up for himself. 



CHARLESES SECOND PARLIAMENT 



[1625-6] 

Capital in this way ^ coming in with difficulty ... we 
summon a new Parliament in February of next year, 1625-6. 

^ This refers to Lafuent's and Carondelet's plot to overthrow Buckingham in 
1624. Carondelet's mistress was in the pay of Williams, and discovered to him 
that a secret interview had taken place between James and Lafuent, at whidi 
the latter had done his utmost to ruin the favourite in the king's estimation. 
Williams first made known his discovery to Prince Charles, saying, ' In my 
studies of Divinity I have gleaned up this maxim, " It is lawful to make use of 
the sin of another. Though the devil make her a sinner, I may make good use of 
her sin."* 

' By Privy Seals, Benevolences, Forced Loans, etc 



.«& 



CHAP.m.] CHURCH PROVOCATIONS 191 

We ourselves, all in white satin, were inaugurated, crowned 
at Westminster, successfully; but the Parliament — why, it 
took to censuring poor Richard Montague our Chaplain, Pym 
drawing up a long indictment of him ; ^ took to censuring 
Buckingham, nay, impeachment of him, Bristol and he enter- 
ing upon long arguments, and your Eliot, your Dudley 
Digges and others came up to the Lords'* House with an 
impeachment of the Great Duke. Vain all our management, 
our letters, messages, our speaking at Whitehall, Bucking- 
ham'^s speaking ; our sending Eliot and Dudley Digges to the 
Tower and emitting of them again : mere impeachment is the 
end of it ; and when we for the last time send peremptory 

word, * Supply us quickly or ! ** they answer by a 

^ Remonstrance "* about Papists and other confusions ; — and we 
have to dissolve them as if with a flash of fire ; ^ and take to 
loans again, to alienating of royal demesnes, to farming out of 
Jesuit Recusants, shifts painful to the royal mind ! 



CHAPTER III 

CHURCH PROVOCATIONS — MONTAGUE — MANWARING 

[1627-8] 

Did you hear of the Canon of Windsor^s * New Gag for an 
old Goose ** ? Yes, and of the ^Appelio Ccesarem ** : * but I will 
say almost nothing of them. Goose and Gag, Caesar and the 
Appeal to Caesar are alike dead, dead ; — let them sleep in peace 
for evermore. Conceive that the Goose is quacking, hissing ; 
that the gagging of it did agitate the inmost soul of England : 
but that it is all now gone into the preterite, into the plu- 
preterite tense, and ought not to disturb any innocent son 
of Adam any more. Sons of Adam are bom for other pur- 

* Rushworth, i. 209-12. ' On 15th June 1626. 

' Kennet, iii. 30. 



192 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [part II. 

poses than to pore over shot rubbish, and get into jarring 
with one another about marine stores.^ These few facts, three 
old buttons, excerpted from the mouldering rubbish, let them 
suffice, and more than suffice, for afflicted human nature in 
our day : * Gag for the New Gospel ** was a Papist Book that 
came out against Protestantism about 1624 — or three or 
four years ago, — how lively, talented, hissing with vehement 
satirical meaning every line of it; now dead as the dust of 
king Harry, who * loved a man/ Richard Montague, a Capi- 
bridge man, of what breed I know not, had got to be Canon 
of Windsor, Fellow of Eton, Rector of I know not what, 
and Chaplain to his Majesty; a prosperous reverend man, 
replenished with fat livings, with College-fame for acumen 
and academic lore, blooming with a kind of flush vigour 
verging almost towards insolence of soul, as a man in those 
prosperous circumstances may. Ten years ago, young Mr. 
Selden published his Book on Tithes, thinking tithes to be 
probably not of Divine origin ; and got into trouble enough 
on that account. Richard Montague was one of the many 
who smote into rubbish this pernicious tenet; Selden was 
covered, if not with contempt, yet with the king'*s censure; 
and Montague gM in tolerably swift succession the fat livings 
and church-decorations above enumerated. Well, some year 
or two after Selden was reduced to rubbish, there came out 
another book, called *Gag for the New Gospel,** a Papist 
Book, as we have said, against Protestantism. Richard 
Montague took his pen again ; and I will believe, with a 
beautiful vein of academic acumen, of flush vigour, and perhaps 
a certain dash of prosperous flunkyism, wrote his * New 
* Gag for an Old Goose,** not only confuting the Papist to 
the requisite extent, but cutting withal into the sides of 
Puritanism, when it happened to stand in the way of his 
flourishings. He has a heavy |K)leniic sword, and swings it 
recklessly ; learned Pym knows with what vehemence ; not I, 
having never opened one of his books, nor ever in the least 

* Sec anU^ p. 133, n. 



CHAP. III.] CHURCH PROVOCATIONS 19S 

meaning to do so, — ^horrible is the thought to me ! But they 
grumbled at him in James's last Parliament ; gave him over 
to Abbot, last of the Archbishops, who rebuked him with due 
severity ; — whereupon the Windsor Canon went home to his 
stall, much discontented, and never once came to visit his 
Archbishop any more. On the contrary, he sets to work, 
clutches his pen or polemic sword, unsubdued, writes another 
Book ^Appello Caesarem,'* in defence of himself as is evident ; 
which Book, which two Books, and the general procedure of 
this Richard Montague, Windsor Canon, proved ' highly dis- 
^ tasteful ** to the Commons in Parliament ; filled the two first 
Parliaments of Charles i. with considerable clamour, and in 
England occasioned much distress : — ^the Goose, the Gag, 
Caesar and the Caesar Appealed, being all yet in their pleni- 
tude of life, not yet flung out as shot rubbish, but throbbing 
with blood in every vein, with agony and rapture lying in 
every fibre of them. Such was then the general constitution 
of this country. What a change ! 

Many clergy and other men of genius answered the Canon 
Montague; learned laity, too; young Mr. Rouse of Truro, 
among others. How Goose, and Gag-goose Montague, hissed 
and sounded for a space of five or six years through this 
realm of England ; was brought to the Commons Bar (7th 
July 1625),^ sentenced to be fined, incapacitated, to be, if 
not drummed out of the ranks of the Spiritual army, at least 
ordered sternly to keep quiet, and fall into the rear rank 
there ; all this the world shall learn from Dryasdust,^ not from 
me. And how the king at one time designed letting the 
Common law take its course ; — whereupon, the little Bishop 
of St. Davids, one Dr. Laud, b^inning now to be busy at 
Court, ^ sees a cloud rising,** jots down in his Journal, ^ I see 
^ a cloud rising.'' ' Be of courage, my little shrill Doctor ! 
Clouds indeed, — ^ne knows not what clouds. But cannot 

' Commons^ Journals^ L 8o6. ' Rushworth, i. 605. 

' ' He said : " I seem to see a cloud arising and thieatening the Church of 
England."' — Rushworth, L 199. 

N 



194 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [part II. 

you write to the Duke of Buckingham ; in straits he might 
be a present aid?^ — ^Enough; this Montague, censured in 
two Parliaments, keeps all his places ; in these very days, I 
hear they are about giving him the Bishopric of Chichester 
(14th July, 1628). — Enough of Richard Montague, and more 
than enough :— meantime let no man confound him with 
[James] Montague Bishop of Winton, Editor of the immortal 
Works of King James. — 

It will be proper also to jot down with extreme brevity the 
exact essential facts concerning Dr. Manwaring. Dr. Roger 
Manwaring, of whom I know nothing, — minister of Guy 
Mannering for anything I know, — is Chaplain in ordinary to 
his Majesty, and enjoys the Vicarage of St. Giles'^s in the 
Fields, where he occasionally preaches ; — the place is still in 
the fields, not yet among the Seven Dials, as modem readers 
will recollect : — and a sweet breath of new hay comes in upon 
Dr. Roger, as he preaches. 

Dr. Roger, while the Loan was going on, and many 
persons refusing, and getting pressed as seamen, was called to 
preach before his Majesty, on 4th July, 1627 ; and saw good 
then to set forth and elucidate by learned arguments and 
triumphant pulpit eloquence, that refusing of his Majesty^s 
Loan, to supply his Majesty^s just occasions, was a thing com- 
parable to the worst actions on record ; to Core, Dathan and 
Abiram'^s action,^ for one, to Theudas^'s and Judas'^s, and I know 
not whom and what, — a thing damnable, in short. This was 
on 4th July, 1627, at Whitehall in the County of Middlesex. 
Finding great applause, he when his turn next came round, on 
the 29th of the month,' repeated the same doctrine with 
enforcements and embellishments, proving clearly to all 
Courtier persons that by refusing his Majesty'^s Loan, you not 
only subjected yourself to the Star Chamber, but to Damna- 
tion itself. These things he preached in his Majesty^s Chapel 
in Whitehall, in the glowing days of July, 1627: giving great 

^ Letter given in Rushwoith. 

' Their rebellion against Moses, see Num. xvi. 1-36. ' Rushworth, L 594. 



CHAP. IV.] BUCKINGHAM: ISLE OF RH^ 195 

satisfaction to the minds of Courtier men. One may hope 
promotion will visit this Dr. Roger. Among the various 
species of the genus Flunky, is not truculent flunky one of 
the ugliest ? Do but further dress him in Priest's garments, 
make him solemnly take God and men to witness that he is, 
for his part, and will daily through life be, a consecrated anti- 
flunky, — to render him perhaps the ugliest spectacle this 
beautiful, blue, patient heaven overspans in our poor world ! 
Doctor Roger'^s sermon is accepted at Whitehall, and occasion- 
ally heard during the sultry days, amid the breath of new hay. 

CHAPTER IV 

BUCKINGHAM AND THE ISLE OF Rh£ ^ AND 

OTHER DISCOMFITURES 

[1627] 

Alas, the king^'s loans did not answer ! The Duke of 
Buckingham came home hardly saved from out of the salt- 
pits of the Isle of Rhe ; one of the most draggled conquered 
heroes ever seen in England. I know the salt-pits of Rhe, 
and the world knows them. Beautiful Buckingham stood up 
in his boat, with drawn sword, as his men disembarked on the 
mud-beach of Rhe Island, and valiantly dislodged the French 
therefrom : — he was a fearless young gentleman, too, but had 
no military knowledge whatever ; in fact, he was like that 
celebrated fiddler, — he did not know whether he could fiddle 
or not, but would now try 1 I noticed him at a later period 
of the season, sitting in his tent in his nightgown, with sand 
in his dishevelled hair, distraction clouding his beautiful brow : 
Fort St. Martin cannot be taken, cannot be breached, scaladed, 
mined, by a man that till now has never tried ; and as for 
starving, they have smuggled provision ships over the bar; 

^ Buckingham had sailed from Portsmouth on June 27th, 1627, and arrived on 
loth July at St. Martin's, a fortified Town on the Isle of Rh^, which lies close to 
Rochelle. 



196 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [part II. 

the sentries stand * with legs of mutton on their pike-points/ 
Fort St. Martin is unattainable ; the young Greneral sits there 
in his nightgown, clutching his dishevelled hair, by the night 
lamp, to no purpose. In a few days more, I see him breaking up 
his camp ; marching by narrow causeways, French pikes f»rick- 
ing him frightfully in his rear ; salt-pits on each hand of him, 
indefensible bridges, fierce struggling, fierce, but fruitless, and 
2000 brave men buried in the bogs, — and only the sea and 
English ships with any hope ahead. He got on board, a mudi 
altered man. Bright as a new gold coin, all heavy gold lie 
came ; tarnished as a piece of dis-gilded copper, now visibly 
copper, he went ; and gallant Sir John Borroughes and two 
thousand and odd brave Englishmen lie biuied in the bogs. 
And Rochelle and French Protestantism was left in despair. 
All England was waiting to rewelcome him with curses not loud 
but deep. So that, riding through a town ^ on the south 
* coast,** — which town my Dryasdust omits to name,^ — the 
gallant young Earl of Denbigh, his nephew, proposes to change 
cloaks with him, that he be not massacred ; which generous 
proposal the Duke, a fearless man, declines. In this nameless 
town he was not massacred — not there. 



Our wars were most unfortunate, our treaties proved all 
futile or worse, we meant to assist the Protestants, to rec ov er 
the Palatinate, and alas, our assistance was mere hindranoe, 
our embrace was as the clasp of one taken with the falling 
sickness, dangerous. Eight of our ships sent against pocvr 
Protestant Rochelle . . . And then our new armament, and 
annaments, under Cecil, under Denbigh, under Buckingham, 
to Cadiz, to relieve Rochelle, to the Isle of Rh^, or where- 
ever it might be ; which of them has had the smallest sucoeBS ? 
A good many thousands of heroic English souls have vanished, 
their bodies disastrously left in several lands and shores, in 
mound heaps round the German hospitals, in Salt-bogs in the 
Isle of Rhe ; — happiest they that could see the face of Tilly 

^ Plymouth was the name of the town. 



CHAP, v.] CHARLESES THIRD PARLIAMENT 197 

and his Pandours, for they at least died fighting, though in 
vain. Mansfeld led a force to the Low Countries;^ none 
would allow them to land : they died by ague and scurvy on 
the swampy coasts of Holland. Morgam led a force to join 
the King of Denmark, and Tilly cut the King and them to 
pieces ; Morgan after a siege of Stade has to surrender, and 
return with the skeleton of regiments^ . . . Cecil sailed to 
attack Cadiz, spent biscuit, courage, powder and many a 
brave life, and returned home with disgrace and a minus 
quantity cTn board. We have quarrelled with France, gone to 
war, and agreed again : it mattered not ; our peace was 
almost worse for a man than our war. Buckingham for 
instance and the Isle of Rhe. 

Alas, it will not do. Forced Loans come in with difficulty, 
with endless contentions, obstructions, imprisonments of con** 
tumacious town and country gentlemen ; and yield with all 
our patents, and rents of Jesuit penalties, a most scanty 
return. • • . What is to be done ? Sir R. Cotton is sent 
for and consulted, all the oracles consulted, sing ^ Summon a 
^ new Parliament ; and at whatever cost agree with your 
^ Parliament." A Third Parliament is summoned ; meets on 
17th March, 1627-8, — Oliver Cromwell, burgess of Hunting- 
don, one of the Members. 



CHAPTER V 

VHARLES'S THIRD PARLIAMENT — FIRST SESSION 

[1628] 

Years of dim, leaden haze, wherein History yields us 
nothing but Death and Torpor, and dust and ashes, we will 
leave behind us. What boots it ? Let it lie all dead, quiet 
in the realms of Hela; Memory is not possible, unless 
Oblivion keep pace with it. Let us look, if possible, with 
our own eyes into Charles^'s Third Parliament ; one summer 

^ January 1634*5. ' Sude surrendered to Tilly, 27th April, 1628. 



198 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [part II. 

morning of the year 1628. The reader will be willing ; how 
willing, if with his own Teyes he could there see anything ! 
History, delineation, talk of any sort whereby nothing can be 
seen, — let us not augment the mass of it, — which threatens 
to equal the mountains. 

Honourable gentlemen rise early in those years : shortly 
after seven in the morning, prayers are over in the House, 
the Speaker set, and business under way. Very edifying to 
see the honourable gentlemen wending rapidly along, with 
the morning sun still level ; hastening, if they catch the 
chimes of Margaret's ; — for if too late, you are fined twelve- 
pence for the poor. They come from Drury Lane, from 
Martin's Lane, King Street, Holbom, and other fashionable 
quarters; the Lords come from their Town-houses mostly 
along the Strand ; — what they breakfasted upon, — except 
that they have generous wines, jolly English Ales, solid 
English sirloins and unadulterated bread, — I do not know. 
Breakfasted they have ; four millions of English souls have 
breakfeisted and got to work in various ways; and here we 
are, in the old Hall of Westminster, on the 5 th of June 
1628, while the chimes of Margaret's have not yet sung half- 
past seven. 

Ask me not to tell thee what the crowd consists of. Men 
of business, men of idleness, men of curiosity ; Lawyers, 
walking here till their cases in the Courts come on,— earnest 
in conversation with their clients — about causes which are all 
settled now. Eager quidnuncs come to catch at the fountain- 
head what is the news. It is a noisy quick-simmering place, 
and a strange hum rises from it, of which, happily, we know 
not one word. The June sun shines on Palace Yard, makes 
even Palace Yard beautiful. Father Thames flows gushing 
on, and much water has run by since then. I seem to catch 
the sound of Burlamachi, of Dalbier, Trailbaston — Burla- 
machi, a Lombard, as I guess, from Lombard Street, has 
the Serjeant's summons, about shipping cannon against law. 



CHAP, v.] CHARLES^ THIRD PARLIAMENT 199 

about buying great saddles, German lances, — must come here 
to answer it. He is among this crowd even now. It does 
appear his Majesty had decided on having 1000 Geiman 
horse, heavy horsemen with big swords and unknown speech ; 
knowing men whisper, what they dare not say, that it was 
for the purpose of coercing such English as would not lend 
upon benevolence. Colonel Dalbier and Scotch Balfour, Sir 
William, — they were to command, to enlist the men, to 
choose the horses. Burlamachi by warrant and sign-manual 
was to have the furnishing of them in the markets of North 
Germany. What were they meant for, those 1000 horse 
under a foreign German, a foreign Scot, with this Lombard 
for purseholder ? If not for an actual Trailbaston business, 
then for what ? One'*s blood rune's cold ! Trailbaston was 
the old law of Norman Game-preservers, to coerce the Robin 
Hoods and such like, by swift military execution, if nothing 
else would do it ; but we, — we thought we had got a Parlia- 
ment law ! I hear the name of Manwaring mentioned also : 
— Manwaring (of whom we have briefly noted the business 
elsewhere ^) had his quietus yesterday, or what will lead to his 
quietus. Mr. Pym gave it him home to the heart yesterday, 
I hear it whispered ; his accusation is all engrossed on vellum, 
and the Lords, I think, will accede.^ 

Petition of Right, Petition of Right ; this, too, I hear 
much murmured of. I am told his Majesty^s acceptance of 
it on Tuesday last was hardly satisfactory. He accepted it ; 
but with a certain vagueness. I hear the Commons* are dis- 
satisfied ; and have spoken to that effect, — if a man may dare 
to murmur that he knows such a thing. Petition of Right, 
I incline to consider, the greatest thing since Magna Charta. 
What is it but Magna Charta itself, and the Six Statutes re- 
confirmed? Magna Charta has had to be confirmed thirty 
times already ; and this is the thirty-first ? O Mr. Rigmarole ! 
what a Parliament this might have been ! These Trailbastons, 
these forced Loans, and tyrannous proceedings, not of his 

^ See an/e, p. 194. ' Ruth worth, i. 597. 



200 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [part II. 

Majesty, God forbid ! — ^but of certain ill-advised persons, who 
misled his good heart, — are all done away by this Petition. 
It was the doing of Sir Edward Coke ; thanks forever to Coke 
upon Lyttleton ! Were you there on the 1st of May, when 
the * great silence ** took place ? Our House was busy on the 
Petition, considering what could be done in the alarming 
invasions of our liberty ; the King sent a message : Take my 
royal word, there shall be no more of all that. You will take 
my royal word, or will you not? — whereupon ensued *a 
* great silence,'^ — ^very natural. Many knew what to think, 
but none what to say. At length, with the humblest 
prostrations and expressions, these respectful Commons craved 
leave to take his Majesty'^s royal word, to write it down, 
namely, upon parchment, in due form of a Parliamentary 
Bill, that it might remain clear to all the world, and to a 
grateful Posterity when perhaps a less excellent King might 
be reigning — in other words, to go on with our Petition of 
Right. This is the Petition of Right : it grew up under the 
cunning hands of venerable Coke upon Lyttleton ; he worked 
it upon the pottery's wheel of a debating House of Commons, 
spun it aloft into this beautiful piece of porcelain law- 
symmetry, which we hope may be the Palladium of our 
liberties. No Englishman to be imprisoned without habeas 
corpus ; no Tallage to be conceded ; no nothing : — a brief 
document and a beautiful ; — which has cost us two months, 
come through many perils from the potter''s- wheel of the 
Commons, horn the furnace-kiln of the Lords ; — and the King^s 
acceptance of it was thought to be somewhat of the stingiest. 
He did not say : Soit droit Jait comme U est dfsiri : — ^he said : 
it should be law but — but : — why did his Majesty introduce 
any * but ' ? An excellent Parliament, Mr. Rigmarole ; — but 
it is said they are to be prorogued on Wednesday next. 

But let us, in Heaven'*s name, try if we can get into the 
interior of the Parliament itself ; look about and see if there 
is anything discoverable there. A strange, dim old place; 

* Rushworth, i. 553. . 



CHAP, v.] CHARLES'S THIRD PARLIAMENT 201 

very invisible, yet very indisputable. There is no disputing 
of it : here are the Rhadamanthine Commons Journals proving 
to the latest posterity that it is a real corporeal entity, no 
fiction of the brain, but a creation of the Almighty Maker. 
Look on it, reader, with due earnestness ; it will dawn on thee 
as a visible or half-visible ghost, one of those strange Parlia- 
ments of the Past, which are not, and which were; — the 
perpetual miracle of this our Life on Earth. 

Yes, here I see is learned Serjeant Finch, as Speaker ; ^ his 
face nearly hidden from one by his wig. Hidden mostly by 
their wigs, sit near, in front of him, his Majesty'^s select, 
councillors, such of them as have got selected : a Secretary 
Cook, a Sir Humphrey May, Chancellor of the Duchy, and 
others : dim rudiments of a Majesty'^s Ministry such as we 
now have : they as yet sit sparse and feeble ^ in front of the 
^ Speaker ** ; mostly hidden from all mortals, so to speak, by 
their official wigs. To all mortals they are and have long been 
mere human official wig-bearers, not worth discriminating or 
distinguishing ; — as such let them to all Eternity continue ! 

And over in the general amphitheatre of benches, — well, is 
it not a sight ! — there they sit, all clothed and banded, the 
honourable Puritan gentlemen, most grave thoughts under 
those steeple-hats of theirs. Our old fiiends in the * Twelve 
^ kings '' Parliament,^ most of them I still see here : these, and 
sundry whom I note as new. Old Sir Edward Coke, tough 
veteran, one rejoices to see still in his place; they have 
pricked him as Sheriff, they have tried various tricks to keep 
him out, but could not, so learned was he in precedents, a man 
of the toughest fibre, of quickest wit, not to be easily balked 
in the laws. Mr. Pym, still in the Puritan interest, manages 
most of our complaints against the Manwaring and Priest- 
flunky species : a man rising, growing ; as the healthy oak 
does ; a man you may well call robust. Trumpet-tongued 
Sir Benjamin [Rudyard ?], still on the side of Court. Decisive 
Wentworth wishing to have Committees appointed ; staunch 

* Collins, ii. 232. ' See attUt p. 157. 



202 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [part m 

for Protestantism and Privilege of Pariiament ; but always with 
method. It is inconceivable what he has had to suffer down 
in Yorkshire, in county business, in Elections, from the Savile 
genealogy there : how they have thwarted and spited him, and 
striven to make him small among his neighbours ; — a thing he 
cannot brook. Do they know what stuff he is made of, this 
young Wentworth ? He is full of energy, he is full of method ; 
deny him not the first necessity of man, that of expanding^ 
himself, of growing bigger, — ^he must do it, must and will, in 
a noble or ignoble way. I notice Mr. Coryton, also, my 
esteemed young friend from the west,^ Mr. Strode, esteemed 
young friend Mr. Denzil Holies, old Earl's ^ favourite son, — 
inherits plenty of the family irascibility. Here is a Sir 
John Hotham, too, from Yorkshire, — ^rather a poor-looking^ 
creature P says the reader. Yes, on his countenance I read 
pruriency enough, ill-tempered vanity enough, — a stamp of 
Fate ? — much desire to distinguish himself, and small ability 
to do it ; — that is stamp enough of Fate, I think. Fate, the 
Devil, or whatever we call it, has ear-marked or brand-marked 
that man, legibly to intelligent minds, * The Devil his.'— 

Mr. Hampden — ah, yes ! hail to you, Mr. Hampden ; right 
glad to see you here again ! He sits there in the purest 
linen, clear-combed, close-shaven, his mouth, somewhat thin in 
the lips, is very carefully shut, his bright eyes are radiantly 
open. Don't you think the lips a trifle too thin ? My beautiful 
Mr. Hampden ! His mother has never yet got him a Peerage; 
he himself begins to have other views : he, too, is growing 
bigger, and has to do it, but I hope in a noble way. Fiery 
Eliot is there, speaking like pistol-bullets ; his very silence 
eloquent. Our young friend Sackville,' Duel Sackville, is 
become Duel Dorset, by his brother's death, and gone to the 
House of Lords; but I notice, home here from the German wars» 

' Cornwall. 

' John Holies, father of Denzil, became Lord Houghton in i6l6 (having 
bought a Peerage for ;(i 0,000), and Earl of Clare in 1624. He died in 1637. 
' See ante^ pp. 99, 167. 



CHAP, v.] CHARLES'S THIRD PARLIAMENT 208 

another manful young gentleman, Ralph Hopton, Sir Ralph 
they call him, of whom in coming years we shall know more. 
And seated on the intermediate degrees, lost in the general 
crowd of steeple-hats, what face is yonder? — ^The same we 
saw last in Cripplegate Church, eight years ago, in wedding 
raiment beside Elizabeth Bourchier, — Mr. Oliver Cromwell, 
Burgess for Huntingdon ! Yes, sure enough, there sits he ; 
confabulates at times with cousin Hampden ; he has been 
living, been doing and endeavouring all this while, though 
we saw nothing of him ! Doing and thinking — who knows 
how much ! * AVhat am I ? What is this Universe ? Whence 
' came I into it ? Whither am I bound in it ? ** These dread 
questions fell deep on the great silent soul ; stirred it up 
well nigh to madness. Doctor Simcock has told friends of 
mine that he suffered under terrible hypochondria, and had 
fancies about the Town-cross. No wonder. These questions 
are insoluble, or the solution of them is a miracle to us : 
they are great as our soul is great, accurately of the same 
size. To * Apes by the Dead Sea" this Universe is an Apery, 
a tragic humbug, which they put away from them by un- 
musical screeches, by the natural cares for lodging, for dinner 
and such like ; but to Men it is an awful verity, of which 
some solution is indispensable ! — In brief, my brave Oliver, 
after much wrestling to solve it, has laid hold of the Puritan 
Gospel, wherein he finds the question answered ; after long 
hearsay, it became a Divine fact for him, and he stands from 
henceforth with the Eternal stars above him and the murky 
waters safe under him, on this firm ground, with a Hitherto 
shalt thou come, but no farther. — It is a victory like few. 
Noble as the gods is he that hath gained it ! 

The Order of the Day on this Tuesday of June, 1 628, is 
the Declaration to the King. The House was yesterday in 
Grand Committee, gradually building up its Declaration to 
the King. A work of delicacy and difficulty, but imperative 
to be done. It behoves a faithful House of Commons, now 



204 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [part ll. 

when Mass-Priests swarm among us, and are setting up a 
College in Clerkenwell, here at home ; when abroad the Three* 
hatted Man of Sin is a-tiptoe on his Mountain of Idolatries 
in the Romish Babylon, summoning all servants of the Devil 
in cowl or crown, by insidious plot or open violence, to tread 
out God's light on this Earth ; when the passing-bell ringeth 
for religion, and also for liberty and right ; when men are 
maltreated against law, and our trade and substance are decay- 
ing visibly, and our counsels, foreign and domestic smitten 
with futility, and even English fighting is become as mock- 
fighting, except that we ourselves are slain and sunk in salt- 
pits, and disastrous quagmires, and scandalous Turk-Pirates 
are grown familiar with Laver [?] Point, and the Nore buoy, 
and capture our ships in our own waters ; and from all the 
people struggles wide-spread, inarticulate, a sound of sorrow 
and complaint, — which some one ought to change into a voice: 
— in such circumstances, it behoves a House of Commons 
mindful of its mission registered, not in the Rolls Chapel 
alone, but in the Chancery of Heaven, to venture on doing it. 
We dare not say it ! We are very miserable ! 

The House is to meet this morning at seven of the clock ; 
the Order was, the Grand Committee and business of the 
Declaration shall be proceeded in at eight. No business of 
greater delicacy could be given to men reverent to his Majesty 
as to the visible Vicegerent of God, — and not with lip- 
reverence but heart-reverence; and yet the invisible Grod 
himself must have His Truth spoken ; — at thy peril hide it 
not ! — ^The modem reader will do well to understand that 
such, in very sober truth, was the temper of this Parliament ; 
that mimicry of reverence either to man or to God had not 
yet come in. The distractions of this heavy-laden Earth 
were not yet completed ; quacks were not raised by general 
acclamation anywhere to ride and guide the business of this 
Earth, but there remained in man a clear sense for quacks 
and for the Eternal doom of quacks ; — a great hope conse- 
quently remained. This House of Commons will go forward 



CHAP, v.] CHARLEffS THIRD PARLIAMENT 206 

in its Declaration with all reverence, yet with all faithfulness ; 
I hope none of them have come hither without prayer for 
guidance.* 

Alas ! before ever we get into Grand Committee, hear 
Speaker Finch with a message from his Majesty : Finch, of 
whom I see little but the wig, has been with his Majesty over 
night ; as his wont is too often for a faithful Speaker ; — and 
now this is the message : That we are to be prorogued in 
eight days; that we ought to get on with our Bill of Sub- 
sidies, and not take up new matter : that, in fact, his Majesty 

* requires us ' to abstain from such new matter, and especially 
from all new matter * which may lay any scandal or aspersion 

* on the State-government or Ministers thereof.** * Here is the 
Kings's message. We shall not need to go into Grand Com- 
mittee, then, to give voice to the dumb sorrow of the people, 
and the word of the Lord that has come to us. Our tread- 
ing of the Bridge of Dread will not be called for. We 
are to lay no scandal on the State Government or Ministers 
thereof. I command you, says the God's Vicegerent, with 
brief emphasis, that on that subject you be silent. Such 
a message, we may hope, never before came to any House 
of Commons. 

Will the modem reader believe it? can he in his light, 
innocent, mimetic mind, bring the matter in the least home 
to himself? This House of Commons, men of English 
humour and rugged practical temper, did, at hearing of this 
message, burst, not into Parliamentary Eloquence, but pretty 
generally into a passion of tears ! It is the incrediblest of 
all entirely indisputable facts. Honourable Yorkshire Bur- 
gesses, learned Serjeant Members, have written authentic 
note of it, historic Rushworths put it in print, and the 
Mss. themselves moulder, still decipherable, in the British 
Museum. Charles'^s Third Parliament, on Thursday the 6th 
of June, 1628, at hearing of the above message, sat with 

> See an/e, p. 169. ' Rush worth, i. 605. 



206 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [part ii. 

consternation on every face, and could not speak for 
weeping. 

Sir Robert Philips rises : — This, if ever any was, is a case 
for making a precedent, if there be none ready made. 
Philips in broken words attempts to utter his big thought. 
Is it so, then ? There is to be no hope, then, after all our 
humble and careful endeavours towards God and towards 
man ; and no hope of rectifying these miseries, seeing our 
sins are many and great. Yes, it is our sins, I consider. I 
surely am myself now, if ever at any moment, wrought upon 
and tempted to sin. To the sin of impatience, poor Sir 
Robert means. ^ What was our aim, but to have done his 

* Majesty service ? ' says he ; but the big tears burst forth, — 
except in that way, his big thought can find no utterance ; 
he sits abruptly down. Oliver, I think, is pale in the face, 
and Mr. Hampden^s lips are closed like a pair of pincers. 
Pym speaks ; but Pym, too, breaks down with weeping. It 
is such a scene as I never saw before. 

Fiery Eliot rises, in his eyes, too, are tears, but lightning 
also ; our sins, he says, are exceeding great ; if we do not 
speedily return to God, God will remove himself farther Ax>m 
us. Sir John thinks, surely there must have been some mis- 
report of us to his Majesty : what did we aim at, but to 
vindicate the honour of his Majesty and of our country ? 
^ As to his Majesty'^s Ministers, I persuade myself, no Minister 

* how dear soever can ** — Here the Speaker, feeling that a 
certain high Duke is aimed at, starts from his Chair, — tears 
in his eyes also ; — says, ^ There is a command laid upon me, 

* — I must forbid you to proceed ** ; — and Sir John, as if shoty 
plumps down silent. 

And old Sir Edward Coke rises. Coke upon Lyttleton, 
tough old man, here in one of the last of his forensic fields, 
his old eyes beam with strange light, his voice is shrill, like a 

prophet^s : * Mr. Speaker, I p '* ! By Heavens ! that 

tough old visage, too, is getting all awry, dissolved into weep- 
ing ! Sir Edward, ^ overcome with passion, seeing the desola- 



CHAP, v.] CHARLES^ THIRD PARLIAMENT 207 

^ tion likely to ensue, was forced to sit down when he b^an 

* to speak, through the abundance of tears/ ^ We were much 

* affected to be so restrained, since the House in former times 
^ had proceeded by fining and committing John of Gaunt, the 
^ King^s son, and others, and sentenced the Lord Chancellor 

* Bacon/ ^ — Old Coke weeping, the House all weeping ; it is 
such a scene as I never saw in any House of Commons. So 
deep the two reverences lie on the old honourable Gentleman, 
— such a clash does the collision of the two reverences make 
when they hit together ! The King, God's visible Vicegerent, 
commands us to desist; the invisible God himself, dumb 
England, and the voices of our Fathers from the Death - 
kingdoms of the Past, and the voices of our children from 
the unborn Future, bid us forward. We are come to the 
shock of conflict, then, — here is the actual clash of long- 
threatened war ; and it is we that have to do it, the stem 
lot was ours. Very terrible this hour, — the child of cen- 
turies, the parent of centuries. *Apes by the Dead Sea"* 
would not weep at such an hour; they, with unmusical 
screech, would whisk out of it, and be safe : but Men have 
to front the hour ; woe to them if they make not their post 
good ! — therefore does this House of Commons weep, — 
^ besides a great many whose grief made them dumb.' 

Yet some, says Mr. Alured the younger, bore up in that 
storm.^ Mr. Kirton says : ^ He hopes we have hearts and 
^ hands and swords, too ; he hopes we will not be trodden 

* down into the mud without a word or two with our enemies, 

* without a stroke or two with them ! '^ Dangerous words, like 
a glow of sheet-lightning across the weeping skies. Mr. 
Kirton's words being complained of, the House of Commons, 
on the morrow, upon question, with one accord did vindicate 
the same. * In the end they desired the Speaker to leave the 

* Chair,' * that they might speak the freer and the frequenter, 
^ and commanded that no man go out of the House, upon pain 

^ Rushworth, i. 609. 

' Commons Journals ^ i. 909. 



208 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [part n. 

^ of going to the Tower. Then the Speaker humbly and 

* earnestly besought the House to give him leave to absent 

* himself for half an hour, presuming they did not think he 

* did it for any ill intention ; which was instantly granted 
' him; Sir Edward again rises, his voice firmer this time, he 
says : ^ I now see God hath not accepted our late smooth 
^ ways ; in our fear of oiFending, we have not dealt sincerely 
^ with the King. We should have laid bare these miseries to 
^ the roots, and spoken the truth. We have sinned against 

* God therein."* — Old Sir Edward, actual Coke upon Lyttieton, 
thinks he has sinned against God. ^Therefore, I,** says the 
tough and true old man, * not knowing whether I shall ever 

* speak here again, will speak freely ; I do here protest that 
^ the author and cause of all these miseries is the Duke of 

* Buckingham ! ^ ^ Yea, yea ! cries the voice of all the world, 
breaking the dread silence with acclamation : * which w«s 
^ entertained and answered vnth a cheerful acclamation of the 

* House, as when one good hound recovers the scent, the rest 

* come in with a full cry.** And we now vote, not only, that 
our Declaration shall go on, but that the Duke of Buckingham 
shall be expressly named in it; we will solemnly point him 
out; him, as the bitter root of all these sorrows; let us 
please God rather than man ! And so, now our eyes are dry, 
just as the vote is passing. Speaker Finch comes back upon 
us, after an absence, not of half an hour, but of three whole 
hours, — ^for the chimes of Margaref's are now ringing eleven 
— and informs us that we are to rise strai^tway, and no 
business farther in House or in Committee, by us or any part 
of us, to be done this day. * What are we to expect on the 

* morrow,^ says Mr. Francis Alured, * God of Heaven knows.'* 
Dissolution, most probably, and confusion on the back of 
confusion ! Sir, let us have your prayers, whereof both yoa 
and I have need. 

This is the Session 5th June, 1628 : which History thinks 

> Rnshworth, i 609-10. 



CHAP, v.] CHARLESES THIRD PARLIAMENT 209 

good to take notice of, as of one of the remarkablest Sessions 
rescued from the torpid rubbish-mounds of Dryasdust, and 
set it conspicuous, as on a hill. No modem reader ever saw 
a House of Commons weeping. What spoonies ! says the 
modem honourable Gentleman : Why did they weep ? O 
modem honourable Gentleman, I will advise thee to reflect 
why ; — ^reflect well upon it, and see if thou canst find why. 
It may chance to be of real profit to thee. Men in these 
days do not usually weep ; the commonest case of weeping is 
that of the schoolboys whom you have cut oiF from their bun. 
The loss of one^s bun, whether baked bun or other, is still a 
serious calamity : schoolboys, enamoured young gentlemen, 
romantic young ladies, and such like, do yet weep for the loss 
of their several sweet buns ; — but it is justly thought im- 
proper in men. Men do not usually weep ; men usually 
are not in earnest enough for weeping. ^ It is a touching 
* thing,^ says Diderot (of his Father) * to see men weep."* I 
call it a scandalous condition of aiFairs, in which one cannot 
weep except for the loss of one^s bun : very scandalous, 
withered and barren, indeed : — the sign that soul has now 
become synonymous with stomach ; which state of matters 
may the gods speedily put an end to for evermore ! With 
stem satisfaction one discerns that if the gods do it not, 
the Devil will do it, before long ! — 

The Parliament, as we know, was not dissolved on the 
morrow : contrariwise, the King changed his hand, and 
determined to conciliate these Commons ; weeping Commons, 
that dry their eyes with a Nation ranked behind them, 
reverent to man, but reverent before all to God, are a thing 
to be conciliated, if one can. Buckingham himself, a man 
not without discernment, advises it. His Majesty, with such 
softest speeches as he had, anxious to soothe, and to get his 
Subsidies, studies to mollify. For we meet on the morrow, 
which is Friday, and go on with our Declaration, and justify 
even the words of Kirton, about swords and our enemies'" 
throats. On Saturday, his Majesty assembles us; with a 



210 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [part II. 

kind short speech, much to the purpose, confirms our Petition 
of Right, passes it in the usual way of Bills, with all formali- 
ties of sanction, * Let right be done, and Soit droit /ait comme 
* il est desireJ* To the joy of all men ; to the illumining of 
London again, had not the night been Saturday. We may 
pray our thanks on the Sabbath, but not illuminate. 

If the Commons would now pass their Subsidy Bill, and go 
about their business ! The Commons have their Declaration 
to perfect first ; they have the Trailbaston, foreign Dalbier 
and Burlamachi to see into. Conciliatory Majesty annuls the 
whole Trailbaston business, discharges Dalbier, Burlamachi, 
Balfour, and all German horse whatsoever: — orders the 
proper authority to sell off the great saddles, disperse men, 
horse and all by the rapidest mode it can, and let the Trail- 
baston drop forever and a day, — the Trailbaston for one 
thing. Our Commons go on with their Declaration, debating 
daily with closed doors : the Subsidy-bills, for all our hurry, 
cannot be hastened beyond their own tortoise pace. And 
London simmers, deep and huge, round them ; all dumb to 
us, to itself all-eloquent ; hears, with a bright flash in every 
eye, that the Duke is actually to be named. Let him look 
to it. London has no Times' reports, Hansard^s Debates : but 
what the Parliamentary sympathy of London was, rude dumb 
actions do still speak. For example : — Who is this coming 
out of the Tavern in Old Jewry on the evening of the 18th 
day of June, Friday evening ? It is little more than a 
week since the noble House of Commons sat all weeping ; 
and now the Duke, yes the Duke, is to be named. Do you 
see that scandalous old man ? — an old man and an old 
sinner, Dukes's Devil,^ — Dr. Lamb the name of him. A 
warlock, they tell me, a dealer with unclean spirits, himself, 
sure enough, a most unclean spirit, — tried for life before 
now ; his crimes shameful and horrible, his defence cjmical ; 
that of a beast, not of a man. Pity they did not hang 

> H. L'Estrange, 87. 



CHAP, v.] CHARLESES THIRD PARLIAMENT 211 

then ! A catspaw of the Duke ; that is worst of all. He, 
denizen of dark scoundreldom, deals with unclean spirits, with 
scandals and abominations, to help the Duke. Enemy of 
God and of England, servant of Duke and the Devil. Why 
has he emerged from the deep of scoundreldom into daylight 
this blessed June afternoon ? He has been at the play in 
Shoreditch this very afternoon — at the play. We copy the 
rest from historic Rushworth : 

'At this very time, being June 18,' 1628, Doctor Lamb so-called, 
having been at a Play-house, came through the city of London; and 
being a person very notorious, the Boys gathered very thick about him ; 
which increased by the access of ordinary People and the Rabble ; they 
presently reviled him with words, called him a Witch, a Devil, the 
Duke's Conjurer, etc. ; he took Sanctuary in the WindmiU Tavern at the 
lower end of the Old Jewry, where he remained a little space ; but there 
being two doors opening to several Streets out of the said House, the 
Rout discovering the same, made sure both doors, lest he should escape, 
and pressed so hard upon the Vintner to enter the House, that he, for 
fear the House should be pulled down, and the Wines in his Cellar 
spoiled and destroyed, thrust the imaginary Devil out of his House ; 
whereupon the tumult carried him in a crowd among them, howling and 
shouting, crying : a Witch, a Devil ; and when they saw a guard coming 
by the order of the Lord Mayor for the rescue of him, they fell upon 
the Doctor, beat him and bruised him, and left him for dead. With much 
ado the officers that rescued him, got him alive to the Counter ; where 
he remained some few hours, and died that night. The City of London 
endeavoured to find out the most active persons in this Riot ; but could 
not find any that either could, or, if they could, were willing to witness 
against any person in that business.'* 



Here is an end to Doctor Lamb, — a man I never saw 
before. A most ugly weather-symptom, for Duke and Dukes's 
Patron ; — a protest not spoken in Grammatical Parliamentary 
Remonstrance, but written in violent mob hieroglyphics ; 
which, nevertheless, it would beseem a vrise King to in- 
terpret well. The King interprets that it is violent spirits 
in the Commons who stir up all this ; makes double haste to 

' i8th in Rushworth is a mistake or misprint for 13th. 
' ColUctiom, u 6i8, 



212 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [part II. 

quicken the Subsidy-bill, and get the Commons sent adrift. — 
Declaration has the best heat in the Parliamentary oven ; 
Subsidy-bill is baking very slowly. Declaration is presented, 
is accepted with sniffing politeness ; Subsidy-bill is still un- 
ready. Patience, three days ! Finally, mere Speaker Finch 
and Official men reporting that the Subsidy-bill, though not 
handsomely ready, may now be eaten, hastily his Majesty 
quenches his Parliamentary oven : in plain language, in a most 
hasty, flurried manner, prorogues the Commons, namely ; ^ 
not even thanking them for his Subsidy-bill. The Subsidy- 
bill, we said, was ready, though not handsomely ready : the 
Tonnage and Poundage Bill was not ready at all. This 
latter, meanwhile, as an indispensable item of our finance, 
we determine to use, nevertheless. The London Magistrates 
are fined heavily for Doctor Lamb : the Commons^ Members 
are all home in the counties: Mr. Cromwell, I think, at 
Huntingdon, reports the course of matters with due reticence 
and pious reflection to Dr. Beard, and other judicious persons, 
that have a claim to that privilege. His precise words are 
lost to us ; but the meaning of them is very plain to us and 
every person for a thousand years or so ; — all England meani 
what this Mr. Cromwell was now meaning ; and saw itself 
reduced to express the same in a dreadfully audible manner 
by and by ! Puritanism shrank out of sight very submissive 
at the Hampton Court Conference, in furred gown, four-and- 
twenty years ago : but out of being it could not shrink ; — 
nourished as it was from the eternal fountains, and com- 
manded by God himself to be. It was, in furred gown, very 
submissive twenty-four years ago : but behold it now as a 
Parliament all in tears, with tough Coke upon Lyttleton, 
himself unable to speak, — ^yet urged on by the thought <xf 
offending Grod. A Parliament all drying its tears, in the 
name of God venturing to name the Duke ; the very populace 
in chorus, after its own rude way, pouncing upon a Doctor 
Lamb. A spirit wide as England, seemingly ; deep as the 

> On 26th June/ 162S. 



i:e- 



CHAP. VI.] POPULAR DISCONTENT 213 

world ! If I were his Majesty, I would try to reconcile 
myself to this spirit ; — try to become Captain of it, as the 
likeliest way. His Majesty, a man of clear insight, but none 
of the deepest, determines on attempting to subdue it. The 
Destinies of England ordered that this English King should 
have no sympathy with the heart-tendency of England, 
therefore no understanding of it; that he should nickname 
it Puritanism, mutiny, * violent spirits,' — and try whether 
he could subdue it. 



CHAPTER VI 

POPULAR DISCONTENT ON THE PROROGATION OF 
THIRD PARLIAMENT — BUCKINGHAM — FELTON — 
ROCHELLE, ETC. 

[1628] 

Thus is the Parliament sent home again ; and, as Mr. 
Strode says, a slight put- upon it in print. For his Majesty 
causes his Prorogation Speech to be printed ; — issues, like- 
wise, a Proclamation whereby the blame is shifted from his 
shoulders, and laid upon ours. His Majesty also saw good, 
in respect of the Reverend Roger Sycophant Manwaring, — 
brought to his knees in the House of Commons and sentenced 
to heavy penalties, — his Majesty sees good to forbear the 
same ; sees good on the contrary to confer on Dr. Sycophant 
the rich living of Stanford Rivers in Essex, with dispensation 
to hold that of St. Giles\ the while : — there can Dr. Roger 
preach his Court doctrines, in town or country, much at his 
ease. His Book,^ I think, is burnt according to sentence ; 
and Proclamation is issued, to talk no more about it ; which 
stops on the threshold a host of learned Anti-Roger Books 
and Pamphlets just coming out; and, as we in Whitehall 
hope, finishes off this Reverend Dr. Sycophant affair in a 
judicious manner. Court Chaplains, minor Canons, any able 

^ Consisting of the two Sennons of July 1627. See on//, p. 194. 



214 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [part 11. 

Gospel Preachers who will preach that men, if they do not 
lend us money on royal summons, will be damned — ought 
not they to have encouragement ? Bishop Neile, Bishop 
Laud, the Right Reverend Fathers, are of that opinion. On 
which ground, too. Canon Montague, he who for five years 
has lived in hot water on our account, has gagged old geese 
and ganders in such masterly style, and been censured and 
badgered, — Canon Montague, we decide, shall have a Souls**- 
Overseership ; he, if any, is fit to oversee souls : — if souls 
cannot get to heaven following Ccuion Montague, what chance 
have they otherwise ? So it is decided. The See of 
Chichester falling vacant in these weeks, we settle, by congi 
dCilire and nolo episcopari and the other forms, that Canon 
Montague shall have it. These things a realm of England 
has to witness, while the yellow com is rustling in the harvest 
sun of this year 1628 : honourable gentlemen, following 
their reapers, flying their hawks in their several counties, 
have to hear of these things : — and answer them vrith an 
expressive though inarticulate ^ huh ! ^ variously accented. 

It is Buckingham that has done it, — Neile and Laud, his 
spiritual bottle-holders ; servants of the Scarlet Woman, 
thrice scandalous flunkies of the Man of Sin. Shall England 
be trodden down, then, into temporal and eternal ruin ? Not 
our * trade ' only, but our salvation, the Gospel of the living 
God given up for a DeviPs Gospel of Rubrics, of Mammon, 
of Flunkyism ; England and all its children forsaking the 
Laws of God, and staggering down and ever down towaxds 
their, in that case, very inevitable goal, the Devil ! Mr. 
Kirton hopes we are Englishmen ; hopes we have hearts and 
hands, and sharp steel withal, to have a word or two with 
our enemies first, a stroke or two with them. Alas, how our 
fathers felt in those things, is all unknown to this more 
unfortunate enchanted generation ; quack-ridden, hag-ridden, 
hell-ridden, till it has forgotten God altogether, and re- 
members only the cant of God ; and now lies choking in a 
grey abyss of Inanities and vain Vocables, as in the exhausted 



CHAP. VI.] POPULAR DISCONTENT 215 

bell of an air-pump, — and will either awaken soon, or perish 
for evermore. We are still more unfortunate ! 



Lieutenant Felton, walking in those old hot days on the 
shady side of old London streets, is grown as grim as Rhada- 
manthus ; thinking of this state of affairs, thinking what, in 
these circumstances, a just man, fearing God and hating the 
Devil, ought to do. A short, swart figure, of military 
taciturnity, of Rhadamanthine energy and gravity; on him 
more than on most this universal nightmare crushing down 
all English souls, sits heavy. O that the gods would tell this 
heavy-laden soul what he, for his part, ought to do in it ! 
The gods, or else the devils, perhaps will. Passing along 
Tower Hill, one of these August days. Lieutenant Felton sees 
a sheath-knife on a stall there, value thirteen pence,^ of short, 
broad blade, sharp trowel-point, and very fair temper and 
dimensions, — made of an old sword, I think, — the glitter of 
it flashes into his eye, and into the eye of his soul, as a 
Hea vena's response; a gleam of monition in his great dark- 
ness. He pays down the thirteen pence, sticks the sheath- 
knife in his pocket, and walks away. 

Meantime, we hear from Rochelle that matters there are 
coming to extremity. King Louis, Cardinal Richelieu, with 
big Bassompierre and huge-whiskered hosts, have beleaguered 
it, begirdled it, are staking up with piles and booms the very 
harbour; they write to us for help, these poor Protestant 
Rochellers, * with their tears and tiieir blood.^ Yes, in us 
there is help ! grimly mutters Felton, grimly mutters England. 
Our eight warships sent to batter them, which every man 
deserted except one gunner, who was shot, — ^in these there 
was a very singular * help ^ ! And the great Duke^s general- 
ship in Rhe, — his expenditure, discomfiture, 2000 left in the 
brine-bogs, — was not that a help for you ? — My Lord of 

* The price is variously given : some say tenpence, others say sixteenpence, 
others a shilling. 



216 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [part II. 

Denbigh^ went again this summer; his big sails they saw 
from the walls, looking wistfully — but nothing more. He 
could not get in ; — him, too, they found a broken reed. 
Their tears and their blood — poor Rochellese ! O England, 
England ! And the Duke is going again ; brave men once 
more are to be led by him. The Duke will try a second time 
whether he can play on the war-fiddle : — ^good Heavens ! the 
patience of gods and men had need to be great ! 

Buckingham actually is going ; busy, he, at Portsmouth ; 
and the king is with him in these August days, getting ready 
a right gallant sea-armament, putting forth the whole 
strength of England. If he can relieve Rochelle, it will be 
an immense relief to himself withal. He must do it, he 
must try to do it. The weight of a Nation^s scorn and silent 
rage is not light upon a proud heart. Buckingham, in the 
centre of a gathering sea-armament, with impatient French 
Soubises, hasty Sovereign Majesties, difficulties, delays, and 
every conceivable species of refractory official person, is one of 
the busiest men in all the world. On the Saturday morning, 
August SSrd, my Lady Denbigh at Newnfaam Paddox in 
Warwickshire, the sister of the great Duke, has a letter from 
her brother ... * Whereunto all the while she was writing 
^ her answer, she bedewed the paper with her tears ; and after 
^ a most bitter passion [of weeping], whereof she could yield no 
^ reason but that her dearest brother was to be gone, — -she fell 

* down in a swoon. Her letter ended thus : " / will prayjbr 

* " your happy return^ which I look at with a great cloud over my 

* ** heady too heavy Jbr my poor heart to hear without torment ; 

* " but I hope the great God of Heaven will bless you,.'*' ^ * 

Precisely about which time, I discover a swart, thick-set 
figure riding into Portsmouth; taciturn, of Rhadamanthine 
gravity. Lo ! it is Lieutenant Felton, he that bou^t the 
sheath-knife on Tower Hill, for thirteen pence. Going to 
Rochelle, perhaps ? He was near drowned last time in the 

^ Buckingham's brother-in-law. 

* Reltquia iVottcniana (Lond. 1685), p. 235. 



CHAP. VI.] POPULAR DISCONTENT 217 

salt quagmire there. He rides into Portsmouth, and is lost 
in the general whirl of men. 

Whether Buckingham has had his breakfast, or is only 
going to have it, whether he is entering into this dark 
passage or coming out of that dark passage, and how, in 
short, the matter was, my erudite friend is ignorant. Several 
different witnesses report each individual circumstance in a 
different way ; and I reconcile myself without difficulty to be 
ignorant. The house is whirling with officials, menials, 
military gentlemen, naval gentlemen, with every conceivable 
business, including that of breakfasting and bartering. The 
Rhadamanthine Felton is elbowing about among the others. 
M . De Soubise has been arguing, talking loud with the Duke 
this morning, some thought in anger, but it was only the 
French excited manner : the Duke is now barbered, is break- 
fasted or about to breakfast, at any rate is come down stairs, 
and is stepping along, speaking into the ear of Sir Somebody,^ 
a military gentleman unknown to me, who with low congi^ 
takes his leave ; the next moment there is a shriek from some 
strong voice. The Duke it is : — the Duke ineffectually 
gmsping at his sword, staggers back, two serving-men, hastily 
rushing up, he staggers into their arms ; he tugs at a knife 
sticking in his left breast, tugs it out, and a torrent of life- 
blood with it ; and groaning only * The villain hath killed 
* me ! ** sinks down into swift death ; — from the pinnacle of 
England swiftly down into the bottomless deep forever. His 
poor Duchess running out in morning deshabille, looks over 
the stair balustrade, — what a sight ! They lay him on a 
table ; they leave him there : — ^he is dead, he is the pinnacle 
of England no more. 

Felton did not hide himself: Felton, hearing them say it 
was the Frenchmen, said calmly : * It was I : ^ ^ a methodic 

^ Sir Thomas Fryer, one of Buckingham's favourite Colonels : a ' short man.' 
^ Felton withdrew to the kitchen after the dastardly deed ; and some say that 

hearing the people cry out ' A Frenchman ! A Frenchman 1 ' and mistaking this 

cry for * Felton ! Felton ! ' he then surrendered himselC 



218 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [PART II. 

Rhadamanthine man ! In his hat they found a bit of writing, 
in case they had killed him straightway, to explain that a 
man could sacrifice his life in a good cause.^ 

The king was at prayers at Southwick ; ^ the messenger, 
arriving, found the whole Court in chapel on their knees ; he 
stepped over kneeling figures, stepped up to his Majesty and 
whispered ; his Majesty, without change of face, continued 
praying. Some say he wept duly afterwards ; to us it shall 
remain indifferent. On the morrow. Bishop Laud and Bishop 
Neile, just engaged in consecrating Ccuion Montague at 
Croydon, hear the news ; ' certainly with due sorrow, they, — 
for it is most momentous. An electric stroke, awakening all 
England into horror, into reflexions profitable or unprofitable. 

At bottom this, too, was as a voice of protest, saying, O 
King, quit not the Law of God, lest the DeviPs Law come 
upon us ! An illegal, unparliamentary protest ; as ineffectual 
as the legal Parliamentary had been. Puritan England could 
give Felton's action no approval ; the grim deed changed 
nothing, took away nothing except in a shocking manner the 
lives of two poor men. Alas, if you are going to kill and 
abolish, it is the Sham-king of England that you must abolish 
from the face of poor England, to get the true king there ; 
and assassin knives are not the road to that ! The road to 
that, it also will have to be trodden ? and in the course of 
years and the course of centuries we may arrive. Felton's 
protest, one of many, went for little. Our fleet, too, all 
ineffectual as if Buckingham'^s self had led it, sailed for 
Rochelle in a few days ; could not relieve Rochelle, could not 
get across the Richelieu boom ; could only come its ways home 

^ ' '* That man is cowardly base and deserveth not the name of a genUeman or 
Souldier that is not willinge to sacrifice his life for the honor of his God his Kinge 
and his Countrie." Lett noe man commend me for doinge of it, but rather dis- 
commend themselves as the cause of it, for if God had not taken away o' hearts 
for o' sinnes he would not have gone so longe unpunished — ^Jo. FeltOD,' were 
the words on a paper pinned into Felton's hat. 

^ Four miles from Portsmouth. 

' Rushworth, i. 635, 



. ^^ 



CHAP. VI.] POPULAR DISCONTENT 219 

again. The townsmen saw it from the walls fade over the 
horizon ; then opened their gates to the king^s mercy, who did 
prove merciful. A ghastly population worn to shadows, the 
third soul only surviving, the rest dead of famine, desperate 
labour and sorrow : — so ends Protestant Rochelle ; it is to 
be called Borgo Maria, in honour of the Queen Mother, our 
Queen'*s Mother, too. Ah, Guy Faux did not then peram- 
bulate the New Cut, a mere guy, as now : he was a ravening 
devil then, drunk with the blood of brave men ! I hate him 
as the friend of Darkness, the cowardly slave of the Past, 
struggling to believe incredibilities, to cramp, handcuiF, and 
mutilate his own God-given soul, — a most beggarly trade ; — 
but it is with no perfect hatred ; it is with a kind of sorrow 
rather, mainly with a kind of ennui. Men's one request of 
him is that he would cease to bore them ; good Heavens, let 
him cease to bore us : on his own side of the pavement how 
free shall he be ! he shall most freely live while there is a 
gasp of breath in him — were it for three centuries yet, as M. 
Jouflroy* counts. 

Felton in his prison was visited by numerous friends ; 
sternly reasoned with by friends and by foes. Solemn Puri- 
tans convinced him that he had done wrong ; that his soul 
was too dark and grim ; that the gleams of that sheath-knife, 
illuminating his inner chaos, was a light of Satan. Bishop 
Laud sternly demands his accomplices, his prompters. ^ I had, 
^ and needed to have, none. In my own heart I thought to do 
' God service. I now find it was a temptation of the Devil. 
' My life is forfeited to the Law justly, to Man'*s Law and 

* God'*s Law. As to accomplices, I have none — none ! "^ * If we 
^ put you to the rack, you will name them,** said Bishop Laud. 
' Alas," answered he, * in the extremity of pain, I may name 

* any one — I may name your lordship, for that matter ! ** Laud 
is for venturing on the rack, nevertheless ; * it must have been 

^ Theodore Simon JouflFroy (1796-1842), philosopher, and author of many 
works, — MHanges Philosophiques^ Cours di Droit naiurelj Cours <t Esthitiqtu^ 
etc. Translator of Dugald Stewart and Thomas Reid. 



220 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [part II. 

' the Parliament that set this man on/ The rack, answer the 
Judges, is not permitted by the Laws of England.^ Felton 
cannot be racked as Guy Faux was. 

On the 27th November, Felton is brought from the Tower 
to Westminster Gatehouse, takes his trial at the Eang'^s 
Bench ; guilty by his own confession : Doom, Death at 
Tyburn. He laid his right hand on the bar, saying : * My 
* Lords, I have one other request : Will your Lordships add to 
^ my sentence that this hand, which did an act abhorrent to 
^ God^s Law, be smitten off from me before I ascend the 
^ gibbet ? It will be a satisfaction to my mind ! ^ The Law of 
England, again consulted, says that there is now in it no such 
doom.^ Felton dies at Tyburn on the 29th a grimly pious 
death in the sight of all men. His dead body is carried 
down to Portsmouth ; hangs high there. I hear it creak in 
the wind through the old ages. An old almost forgotten 
tragedy. Clytemnestra'^s was not grimmer : and the Earth 
now covers it, as she does so many. 

King Charles, in this excited condition of the English 
mind, sees good to put off the re-assembling of Parliament a 
little. Not while the news of Rochelle is fresh, not till 
Buckingham'^s death have become a familiar fact, and Felton 
have swung for some weeks, and we have got on our course 
again, let Parliament re-assemble. I have one glance more to 
give into this Parliament. We saw it weeping ; we shall now 
see it dry-eyed. 

^ The judges unanimously declared that the use of the torture had been at all 
times unwarrantable by the laws of England. — Put, Hist, of Enghnd, iii. 13S. 

' * Mr. Justice Jones answered that the law and no more ^ould be his, hanging 
and no maiming.' Forster, Life of Eliot ^ ii. 373. 



CHAP. VII.] CHARLES^ THIRD PARLIAMENT 221 



CHAPTER VII 

CHARLES'S THIRD PARLIAMENT — SECOND SESSION 

[Feb.-March, 1628-9] 
STORMY CLOSE, SPEAKER FINCH HELD DOWN IN THE CHAIR 

Charles, it is very visible, had done his best to conciliate 
this Parliament; was conscious of a great effort for that 
purpose. Too * conscious ' of it, indeed : it was his best that 
he had done. There lav a rent between them, which he or 
they had little notion of ; rent daily widening into an impass- 
able chasm. The fact is : They were England, wanting to 
be governed and led; he was King and Governor, not of 
them but of a theoretic England, lying in cloudland, in the 
brain of his Majesty and some particular men. 

By many messages, the king, bridling his quick, imperious, 
impatient humour, had tried to soothe this Parliament, and 
get his Subsidies, his Tonnages and Poundages, handsomely 
out of them : handsomely is better than unhandsomely. The 
royal choler spurts up through the conciliatory messages, like 
the chafing of a curbed steed ; the paw of velvet, stroking 
you so gently, had an impatient set of talons in it ! This 
the Commons felt; and, better than his Majesty, discerned 
the meanings, tendencies and probable issues of it : — vnth sadly 
presaging soul. We saw the whole House in tears towards 
the end of last Session. Let us now see the whole House 
dry-eyed, their eyes not weeping now, but blazing ; — which 
indeed is the next consequence of such tears. 

The Tonnage and Poundage, that sheet-anchor of royal 
Finance, has taken a sad course. The King thought and 
thinks it his without grant of Parliament : the Commons 
have again and again demonstrated, voted, not in the least to 
his Majesty's conviction, that it is not his ; that it is theirs. 



222 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [part II. 

and shall be his when they give it him. Tedious debates^ 
raking up of precedents, splitting of Constitutional hairs. Do 
the Commons mean to say we can or shall do without our 
revenue of Tonnage and Poundage ? His Majesty prorogued 
Parliament last Session, the Tonnage and Poundage Bill not 
passed, only advancing with an intolerable slowness towards 
passing, — and decided to levy the Tonnage and Poundage, 
without a Bill, as usual. 

Constitutional men and merchants refuse to pay; their 
goods are seized, they ai*e haled up to the Council ; have ore 
teniis to stand. Richard Chambers had a cargo of grograms 
coming in from Bristol. ^Tonnage and Poundage for 
* them ? ** * No,' answers Chambers, vehemently * No/ — And 
before the Council says vehemently that England is growing 
intolerable for a mercantile man, that in Turkey itself 
merchants are not screwed as they are here.* Rash words ; 
for which the said Richard had to stand examinations, to 
pay fines, to lie in prison ; — the first of a lifelong course of 
tribulations, of Tonnage and Poundage martyrdom, to the 
said Richard. Merchant Rollers goods, too, have been 
seized ; Rolle, is an Hon. Member ; ' — and when he pleaded 
to the Customhouse men, saying, * Am not I an Hon. 
' Member ? ' they answered, * If you were the Parliament itself, 
^ we must do it.** Besides, the Petition of Right has been 
wrong engrossed in the Record Oifice, has been wrong printed. 
It is engrossed, it is printed, not as we ordered and antici- 
pated, with his Majesty's second clear conclusion and com- 
plete answer, but with his first hesitating, incomplete, and 
altogether dubitable one. The Printer says he had 1600 
copies printed with the proper second answer, but was ordered 
to cancel these. Only three of them got into circulation ; it 
is the Petition with its first answer that now circulates ; an 
altogether lame and impotent Petition. Wherefore are these 
things ? 

^ Rushworth, i. 639. State Trials, iii. 373. 
' John Rolle, Member for Kellington. 



CHAP. VII.] CHARLES^ THIRD PARLIAMENT 228 

The Parliament meets, as we can imagine, in no sunny 
humour. His Majesty expects to have his Tonnage and 
Poundage made into a Bill ; the Commons have iirst of all 
to inquire strictly how Tonnage and Poundage have come to 
be levied, and Hon. Members to be coerced for it, without 
any Bill. Likewise, what the history of Roger Manwaring, 
Rector of St. Giles'^s has been, since we sentenced him last 
Session ? The history of Sibthorp, Vicar of Brackley. The 
history of Canon Montague, whom we by solemn judgment 
covered under a bushel, and who now sees himself Bishop 
Montague, and set on a hill. Religion does not seem to be 
in too good a way. The Church presided over by Neile and 
Laud fails to give universal satisfaction : are there not causes 
of some dissatisfaction in the State of England? Space 
enough for controversy between a King of those humours and 
a Parliament of these? The debatings, searchings for 
precedents, stretchings of old forms in the new necessities, — 
the summonings, the royal messages, the questionings and 
canvassings, the speakings and silences ; the mood of mind 
within doors and without; — let the reader conceive them 
even in a vague manner ! ^ Pass me my Tonnage and 

* Poundage Bill,** reiterates his Majesty, * Pass it, and then, 
^ there will be no brabbling about it ! Chambers and Rolle 
^ will pay their Customs when the Bill is passed, and say 

* nothing — Pass it, I say ! ' The Commons consider that — 
they have an admirable reticence in them, these Commons — 
they consider that — that — it will be better to consider 
the state of Religion first ; that the state of God's Church 
among us is of more pressing moment than are his Majesty'^s 
Tonnage and Poundage. We will take the two together; 
but have our Grand Committee of Religion sitting as the 
first and main business. ^ A Jove principium^ quote they : 
begin with Heaven, if you want to have anything blessed on 
Earth. ^ Grant me patience ! ** cries his Majesty, fuming and 
chafing. ^ Ye Commons, pass me my Tonnage and Poundage ! ** 
Patience, your Majesty, O patience, curb them not too tight. 



224 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [part II. 

these Commons of England ; they should be ridden with a 
strong yet gentle bridle-hand. * Methinks I see a cloud ** ; 
so do I, your Grace ! 

It was on the 11th of January, 1629, by our reckonings 
while this Grand Committee is sitting, that Mr. Oliver Crom- 
well, Member for Huntingdon, driven by zeal for God'^s House^ 
made his first speech in Parliament, declaring on the authority 
of Dr. Beard how * flat Popery had been preached by Dr. 

* Alablaster at PauPs Cross.** — A first appearance in regard 
to the temper of that Parliament no less than to the person 
of the speaker.^ 

Flat Popery, Doctor Beard said. Manwaring, whom you 
sentenced, is gone to Stanford Rivers. Montague, whom 
three Parliaments solemnly decreed to cover under a bushel^ 
that he might not pervert men, is Bishop of Chichester by 
Neile'^s procurement, he is set on a hill. ^ If these be the 

* steps to Church preferment, what are we to expect ? * The 
Honourable Member sits down with glowing face and eyes ; 

^ Letters and Speeches, i. 65. 

^ So ended Cromweirs first Speech according to Parliamentary Hisicry (oa 
the authority of Crewe) ; but in a report of the speech by Nicholas these words 
do not occur, whence some historians conclude that Cromwell did not speak them 
on thb occasion. Omissions are common in reporting, interpolations or addi* 
tions are comparatively rare ; and the reader may judge for himself whether it is 
not quite as likely that Nicholas, who reported the first part of the Speech very 
fully, failed to catch the conclusion as that Crewe added to the Speech words 
that were not spoken ! What motive could he have had for making such sa 
addition ? ' If these be the steps,' etc, appears to have been a common enough 
expression, made use of by more than one honourable member on more than 
one occasion. Carlyle makes a further interesting reference to the subject ia 
another part of this MS., where he writes : ' " If these be the steps to promoCioo 
\sic\ what are we to expect?" floats on the whirlwind of Tradition like that 
other speech written down one knows not when first or where first by the 
phantasm Nennius: ^^ Eu Saxones nimith eure saxes!** — Winged words have 
verily a singular power of flying, support themselves through dense and rare, 
through the dark bewilderments of savage centuries, and arrive dear, fresh 
and still on wing here at our own door even now.' — For Eu Sax^nes^ etc., see 
Nennii Historia Britonum (Londini, 1838), p. 37 ; or Six Old English Ckrvmutn 
(London, 1848), p. 405. 



CHAP. VII.] CHARLESES THIRD PARLIAMENT 225 

happy that, under never such obstructions, he has got a bit of 
his mind spoken, a fraction of his message done in this House, 
whither England has sent him to speak for her. Veteran Sir 
Robert Philips does not compliment the young Member * on 

* his speech,** bless the mark ! but he follows up the young 
Member's meaning; — does yea to it, which is better than 
.sayinff yea. Mr. Crewe has taken down the young Member**8 
words ; — in the Commons Journals of that day, 11 th February 
1628-9, is this entry: 'Ordered, That Dr. Beard of Hunt- 
' ingdon be written to by Mr. Speaker, to come up and testify 

* against the Bishop ; the order for Dr. Beard to be delivered 
' to Mr. Cromwell."* 

These words of the young Member for Huntingdon, * Flat 
' Popery,' and * what are we to expect ? ' shall stand as the 
epitome to us of that Grand Committee ; its doings and 
debatings in those weeks thereby rendered dimly conceivable 
to us. Bishop Neile and Bishop Laud are named as the grand 
fomenters of that anti-English, anti-Gospel tendency in the 
Church of this country ; solemnly named and complained of 
by the Commons of England ; let them think of that ! Not 
lightly or factiously, but solemnly, as an act of real sacred- 
ness. Select readers, patient of old verity buried in dead 
torpid phraseology, who may read this Resolution ^ will find, 
after repeated perusals, a strange tremor of a nobly pulsing 
heart still traceable in it : profound reverence to God's 
Anointed, but still profounder reverence to God ; and simple- 
hearted, wise and genuine old fathers, standing solemn, 
sorrowful, as with eyes wet and yet stem, between these two 
contradictions. For the hour in this world's history has 
arrived. You, will you sene Christ or Antichrist .'' meaning 
withal : You, will you serve Truth or Falsity in the cast- 
clothes of Truth ? Do you know in your hearts, with joy 
and awe, that the Present also is alive ; or do you know only 
that the Past was alive and that you are dead clock-work set 
in motion by the Past ? Heavens, what shadows and con- 

* Against Jesuitism and Anninianism. 

P 



286 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [part ii. 

fusions, from foreign parts, foreign centuries and places, do 
eclipse and bewilder the poor soul of man ! Weh dir^ doss Du 
ein Enkel bist ! Woe to thee, that thou art the grandson of 
so many grandfathers that were — not wise ! Dead rubbish 
is piled over thee to the zenith. 

A happy issue to this Parliament becomes as good as 
impossible. The Right Revd. Father in Christ, Dr. Neile, 
the Right Revd. Father, Dr. Laud, the king'^s spiritual coun- 
cillors and right-hand men, are named as prime disturbers of 
this Church and Kingdom ; the Tonnage and Poundage Bill 
is not passed ; only bottomless questions, about the king'^s right 
to sue and seize for, it without a Bill, are stirred ; — filling the 
nation with confusion. ^ Pass me my Bill ! if I need a Bill, 
^ pass it ! '* cries the king, with flaming eyes, studying to be 
mild. ^ Deign to understand, O anointed Majesty, that your 
^ Majesty does verily need a Bill ! '* urge the Commons in a low 
tone, low but deep. Matters grow worse and worse. Dawes 
and Carmarthen, leviers of the Customs, have been questioned ; 
they have the king^s warrant, the king vindicates them. 
Richard Chambers feels that he is worse screwed than in 
Turkey. Rolle, the Hon. Member, has been served with a 
itubpcena. Doctor Beard is coming up from Huntingdon to 
testify of flat Popery ; Burgess, the Bailiff, has run, it is sup- 
posed, for Ipswich, and the Serjeant is after him : he has 
been heard to say, I have been among a company of Parlia- 
mentary hell-hounds and Puritans ; thank God, I am out ! — 
There has been terrible examining : of Popish CoU^^es in 
Clerkenwell, of reprinting the Petition of Right, of seizing 
Hon. Mr. Rolle'^s goods, of serving Mr. Rolle with a wbpeena : 
from the Attorney General to Burgess the Bailiff, no man 
could think himself safe. 

But, in flne, as we say, the Customs oflScers, cross-questioii 
them as we may, reply only : That they seized these goods for 
such duties as were due in the time of King James ; that his 
Majesty sent for them on Sunday last, and bade them make 



CHAP. VII.] CHARLES^ THIRD PARLIAMENT 227 

no other answer. Learned Selden, therefore, with a shrill 
voice (it was on Thursday 19th February, next week after 
Mr. CromwelFs * flat Popery') cried : * If there be any near 
^ the King that mispresent our actions, let the curse light on 

* them, not on us ! and believe it, it is high time to vindicate 
' ourselves in this case, else it is vain for us to sit here.** ^ The 
learned Selden is getting shrill. The House, fiery Sir John 
Eliot for its spokesman, [declares] that it ought to be so ; 
that Mr. RoUe ought to have privilege in this case.^ Put 
that question. Speaker Finch says, * he dare not put that 
^ question, he is otherwise commanded by the king ! " ^ Learned 
Mr. Selden is thereupon heard yet shriller : * Dare you not, 

* Mr. Speaker ; dare you not put this question when we com- 
' mand you ? What is a Speaker that dare not put our 

* questions ? We may sit still and look at one another ; busi- 

* ness is at an end. Other Speakers in other cases may say 

* they have the king's command ! Sir, we sit here by command 

* of the king under the Great Seal of England ; and you, by 
' his Majesty, sitting in his royal chair before both Houses, are 

* appointed to be our Speaker. Do your office ! ' * The Speaker 
dare not : other Hon. Members objurgatively bid, with higher 
and higher vehemence; he weeps, he dare not, resolutely will not. 
What is to be done ? The House adjourns * in some heat' till 
the day after tomorrow, that we may consider and see. Till 
AVednesday, the day after tomorrow ; and on Wednesday the 
king, finding the House and all things still in some heat, 
thinks it will be better if they adjourn till Monday next, and 
trv whether they can cool a little. Monday, 2nd of March is 
the winding up of an epoch in the Parliamentary History of 
l^ngland ; and a scene which the readers of these pages shall 

^ Rush worth, i. 658. ' Commons J<mmals^ i. 932. 

^ Kushworth, i. 660. 

^ Forsler {Life of Eliot ^ ii. 43811) says, 'Even Rushworth, misled by the 
pa.ssionate speeches spoken in this debate ' of 19th February, ' has transferred to 
it also a portion of the proceedings which belong to the 2nd of March. It was 
not until the latter day that the speeches of Eliot and Selden, there misplaced, 
were delivered.' 



228 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [part II. 

contemplate for a moment. With faithful industry, refusing 
to be seized with locked-jaw, we fish out the details At>m 
Rushworth and Law-indictments — slumberous lakes of Dry- 
asdust — and present them dimly visible to men. 

Monday^ 2nd March 1628-9. — ^The public emotion has 
not in the least calmed itself; the Parliament is hot as ever, 
smoking towards flame. The whisper goes round : his 
Majesty has decided to dissolve this Parliament straightway, 
such is his Majesty's resolution. This Monday we are to be 
adjourned again, then straightway dissolved. The Royal 
Proclamation is already drawn.^ Our Speaker will never put 
that question of Mr. Rolle'^s privilege, — put any question 
more. Speakers of Parliament shall not ^ dare' to put ques- 
tions ! Tonnage and Poundage will be levied without Bill ; 
Neile and Laud will go on with Arminian rubrics ; Treasurer 
Weston screwing men and merchants worse than the Turks 
do : are the Laws of God and Man about to be violated with 
impunity in this England? Ye men and Hon. Members 
that stand in the gap, it rests now with you ! Of you now, 
as they do of us all, in a more than usually emphatic way, 
the past generations of England and the future alike ask : 

* Will you trembling steal from your post ? Will you not 

* trembling, stand by it .'^ ' * We will stand by it,' answers 
Eliot, answer hot Denzil Holies, hot William Strode from the 
west, Walter Long and others. Monday morning comes : 
let us enter this far-distant House of Commons, dim-visible^ 
authentic across the extinct centuries, and see. 

Speaker Finch, though he is on the wrong side, is a man 
one could pity this Monday morning ; alas ! whom could one 
not pity ? They have arrived at the rending point ; in this 
living social frame of England, fibre is to be torn from fibre : 
— not without pain. Speaker Finch's face, I think, is dis- 
tressed with many cares. Hot Denzil Holies is seated on his 

^ Rushworth, i. 66 1. 



CHAP. VII.] CHARLES'S THIRD PARLIAMENT 229 

right hand, and Waiter Long ^ on his left, this morning : 
there they have taken place, there, above his Majesty's official 
servants, who sit on the lower stage in front. For what end ? 
Denzil's face, too, is loaded with a certain gloom. What face 
is not so loaded.'^ Mr. Hampden's lips are shut, his clear 
eyes wide open. Mr. Oliver Cromwell looks mere anxiety and 
gloom, as if some Last Day were arrived. 

First business. Order of the Day, is that we put that 
question concerning Mr. RoUe. * That question, that ques- 

* tion, put that question ! ** Mr. Speaker answers on the 
contrary that he has a message from his Majesty to adjourn 
this house till the 1 0th instant. ^ That question, put that 
' question ! ' cries the body of the House, in sorrow, in anger, 
in a whirl of manifold emotions. Speaker cannot. Speaker 
dare not ; — * Put it, the question, put it ! ' Eliot is offering 
to speak ; oiTering, and again offering : — Speaker, grieved to 
say he must withdraw then, rises to his feet for that pur- 
pose : * What ho, Mr. Speaker ! ** Denzil Holies, Walter 
Long, the resolute Hon. gentlemen, are upon him, each by 
a shoulder : * By the Eternal God, you shall not go, Mr. 
' Speaker ! you shall sit there till the House give you leave ! ** 
' Shame ! ' cries Hayman ; * you are a tool for tjrranny ! 
^ Hold him down ! ' Such a scene was never seen in any 
House of Commons. They hold the Speaker down : — ^the 
House all piping like the whirlwind. Hear Eliot now. 

Eliot says :^ * We have prepared a short declaration of our 
' intentions which I hope will agree with the honour of the 
' House and the justice of the King**; *and with that he 
' threw down a paper into the floor of the said House'; saying, 

* Mr. Speaker, I desire it may be read ! ' Speaker starts up 
again ; is fairly out of his chair : * What ho ! ' Valentine and 
Holies drag him in again. Hold him down ! ^ I desire that 
' paper may be read.' * No,' cry some ; * Oh,' cry all ; ' read, 
' read,' very many. House much troubled. Mr. Coryton 

* strikes ' Mr. Winterton ; good Heavens ! Official persons 

' Or Benjamin Valentine, say some. ' Rushworth, i. 667. 



z' 



230 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [part ll. 

and such like want to go out : Sir Miles Hobart, ^ of his own 
^ hand,^ locks the door, puts the key in his pocket. Read 1 
Read ! House much troubled. Strode says openly : ^ Shall 
*' we be scattered like sheep, and a scorn put upon us in 

* print ? ' * Sir, I move that this paper be read : stand up, 

* you that would have it read ! ** — Many stand up : — does not 
Mr. Hampden, does not Mr. Oliver Cromwell ? — Still the 
paper lies unread. Mr. Selden : ^ Must the Clerk read that 
^ paper."* Clerk does not read ; how can a clerk, his Speaker 
being speechless ? * Keep the door shut, hold him down ! "^ 
Since the paper cannot be read, Eliot will take the liberty 
to speak the substance thereof. It is : That Neile and Laud 
are disturbers of the church of England ; that many of his 
Majesty's Privy Council are going on wrong courses; that 
Treasurer Weston walks in the Duke**s footsteps; let us 
accuse Treasurer Weston ; let the Commons of England 
declare as capital enemies to the King and Kingdom all that 
will persuade the King to take Tonnage and Poundage 
without grant of Parliament, and that, if any merchants shall 
willingly pay these duties without consent of Parliament, 
they shall be declared accessaries to the rest. — That will have 
an effect, whatever become of it : * no man was ever blasted 

* in this House, but a curse fell on him ! ** — Speaker shudders 
in his chair ; he is chained there like Prometheus.^ — Yes ! if 
he levy Tonnage and Poundage Mrithout a Bill, it may be the 
worse for him. Walter Long says : * If any man shall give 
' away my liberty and inheritance (I spe&k of the merchants) 
^ I note him for a capital enemy of the Kingdom."" So the 
House pipes like the whirlwind ; articulate, inarticulate ; and 
Holies constraining the Speaker to sit, is redacting something, 
putting it in pen-and-ink. 

Hark ! a knocking at the door ! * Who knocks ? ' * His 

* Majesty desires the Serjeant to attend him.** *Silence!' * Hi» 

* Majesty desires the Serjeant, Edward Grimston, the Serjeant! ' 

* Alas, the door is locked, and the key gone : I can't get out ! ' 

* Rushworth, i. 669. 



CHAP. VII.] CHARLESES THIRD PARUAMENT 231 

The messenger returns to Whitehall with that strange tidings. 
^ Be quick, Holies ! ^ Holies is quick ; Holies is ready : but 
hark ! Here is another knock. Usher of the Lords' House 
and Black Rod, James Maxwell, by his Majesty's command. 
' House locked, key lost, can't get in ' : — Holies, standing by 
the Speaker, since the Speaker is speechless, will himself, in 
this very exceptional case, crave leave to put the following 
three Resolutions, of which the House will signify its sense, 
say Ay, say No : — the Ayes have it : there is nothing else 
but Ayes. Three Resolutions which the most fastidious 
modem reader shall not get off* without reading. No ! all 
men, to the latest posterity, who hope to be governed by 
realities, in place of accredited false formulas ; by true living 
Gospels, instead of dead cobwebs and ^ four surplices at All- 
^ hallowtide,' shall read these three Resolutions, and with 
thankfulness say Ay ! 

1. * Whosoever shall bring in innovation in religion, or by 
* favour seek to extend or introduce Popery or Arminianism, 
' or other opinion disagreeing from the true and orthodox 
' church, shall be reputed a capital enemy to this kingdom and 

' commonwealth.' Ay ! four hundred ayes. — ^Twenty-seven 

million ayes ! 

2. * Whosoever shall counsel or advise the taking or levy- 
^ ing of the Subsidies of Tonnage and Poundage, not being 
' granted by Parliament, or shall be an actor or instrument 
' therein, shall be likewise reputed an innovator in the Govem- 
' mcnt, and capital enemy to the kingdom and commonwealth.' 
Ay, ayes, as above ! 

3. * If any merchant or other person whatsoever shall 
' voluntarily yield or pay the said Subsidies of Tonnage and 
' Poundage, not being granted by Parliament, he shall like- 
' wise be reputed a betrayer of the liberty of England, and 
' an enemy to the same.' 

Ay ! Twenty-seven million ayes, or three hundred million, 
from Europe, America, and the Colonies ! 



232 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [part II. 

And now, having passed these Resolutions, vanish ! Miles 
Hobart produces his key ; Speaker is released ; House of 
Commons disperses. King'*s Guard coming down with sledge- 
hammers, finds the door wide open ; House of Commons 
gone, vanished into infinite night. — On March 2nd their 
Journal has no entry but that they were adjourned to the 
1 0th March ; the tenth has no entry at all, but stars. There 
was no House of Commons, then, on the 10th. The King 
speaks his Dissolution that day to the Lords, — no Commons 
there, — and calls the Commons * vipers.** It is the last 
Parliament for eleven years. 

CHAPTER VIII 

RELIGIOUS ARISTOCRACY IN THE SEVENTEENTH 

CENTURY 

How the Country Gentlemen had Puritan Chaplains, 
Tutors, instructing their households in the way of heavenly 
Truth ; how noble dames and high lords listened to the voice 
of Gospel Doctrine, and had real ^ Spiritual advisers ^ as a 
lamp to their path ; and all England got impregnated with 
the wisdom preached abroad in Judea long ago ; — ^these facts, 
now fallen into oblivion with us, might give rise to reflexions. 
Pitched fights in Theology, lasting sometimes for a couple of 
days, were common in noble houses. James, Primate of 
Ireland, Lecturer for the present, in Covent Garden, is a main 
hand at such operations. He strikes your Jesuit on the 
hollow of the body like a real artist ; knocks the wind out of 
him one good time for all ; the Jesuit, with a gasp, says : * I 
^ am well punished for my presumption in arguing with such 
^ a man."* Beautiful souls, oftenest of the female sex, look on 
with more than curiosity, reward the victor with glances that 
mean mitres. Ought not he to have a mitre, and crosier, or 
shepherd's crook, who can save his flock from the wolves - 
who can lead souls safe, and land them in heaven ? Several 



CHAP. VIII.] RELIGIOUS ARISTOCRACY 233 

high females of the Buckingham kindred were troubled with 
tendencies to Popery ; some of them were healed by pitched 
fights, others would not be saved, but heeled evermore, and 
fairly canted at last into the lap of the Man of Sin. And 
many a gracious Lady Rich, and gracious Lady Poor de la Poor, 
— beautiful Appearances that graced the current of this world'^s 
history for a season, — gracious high dames not a few ; — who 
would not try to save such souls, if it lay in him ! Father 
Laud, for the Championship of England, had a three days'* 
wrestle with Fisher, the Jesuit ; and beat him into jelly, I 
would hope. Nay, the controversy, once world-celebrated, is 
in print ; but no man henceforth to the end of the world can 
read it. Open it ; — the print is clear, but there lurks in it 
mere torpidity. Guy Faux has ceased to be a Devil, has 
become a guy; rolls softly through the New Cut over the 
powdered ashes of Dragon'^s teeth and old dust of extinct 
Lions ; begs merely for a few halfpence to buy beer. — 

Puritan Chaplains and souls^ Instructors have now changed 
themselves into Newspaper Leading Articles, dilettante Art 
and Artists, into Greorge-Sand-Balzac Novels, and I know not 
what : the soul, as I apprehend, in this modem England, has 
learnt the way of dispensing with instruction, or taking that 
as it pleases to come ; as Welsh Ponies do their com, — when 
they can get it. * Intellect once divorced from rank,"" says 
my dark friend, ^ signifies that rank is preparing for annihila- 
' tion ; that much is verging towards chaos I** — The last 
genuine relation between the two that has been seen in 
England, was this now forgotten one, of an earnest religious 
aristocracy to earnest Puritan Chaplains in the seventeenth 
Century. In the next, stem Samuel, with a stroke like 
Thor's, had to smite Patronage on the crown. Intellect 
stalks solitary, like an Angel of Destruction, through the 
world ; — Rank, a beautiful idiot, rolls placidly towards its 
doom. 



234 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [part 1 1. 



CHAPTER IX 

NICHOLAS I-ERRAR — THE NUNNERY OF 

LITTLE GIDDING^ 

Ox£ night, about the time when King James was progresa- 
ing southward to take possession of his crown, stirring all 
England into incontrollable confluences, and giving a dis- 
solving view to the young grey eyes at Hinchinbrook, a 
certain other infantine character, in the upper room of a 
merchant's house in the City of London, was busied praying 
at great length, and with the intensest devotion. Nicholas 
Ferrar was the name of this young person; a creature 
religious by nature and habit; and carried away on this 
occasion into altogether extraordinary heights. He prayed 
the whole night, it would seem, with ever increasing fervour ; 
felt himself lifted up, as some of the Catholic Saints have 
been known to do ; had a foretaste of heaven ; had a pre- 
sentiment, such as a young heart in its preternatural expansion 
was capable of, that he ought to devote himself, soul and 
body and endeavour, to the special service of the Highest, in 
this vale of temptations and tears. This night, in Nicholas 
Ferrar's history, has, amid the general dark oblivion ail round 
it, become clear to me. 

Much afterwards is dark and dim ; the merchant and his 
fortunes went the common course ; in the path of Nicholas, 
too, there had occurred the inevitable chances and changes. 
His father had died, his mother still lived ; he himself, grown 
now to be a man, unable to execute his childlike presenti- 
ment as yet ; had been at Cambridge ; had travelled, for 
instruction withal ; had got as far as Rome, looked with 
wonder on the face of Antichrist himself, the Holy Father 
so-called ; — whether Antichrist or not, Nicholas could not 

^ There is a brief account of the Nunnery of Little Gidding in Carlyle's 
Cromwell, i. 73-4. 



CHAP. IX.] NICHOLAS FERRAR 235 

say ; but in any case the sight was certainly wonderful 
enough. Convents and ancient Papal practices had p&ssed 
before the eyes of Nicholas ; awakening deep questions in his 
heart. The way to get to an eternal Heaven.'^ Yes, that is 
the question. By what road shalt thou travel, O my soul ? 
Surely the steepest road or the sternest, through Gethsemane 
fields, eremite Thebaids, through flaming death-portals and 
the abysses of creation, — any road in such case were easy ! 
To Nicholas this world was all a dramatic shadow, infinitely 
important as symbolising heavenly higher worlds, not im- 
portant otherwise. The money lucre, traffic and poor profit- 
and-loss of this world grew yearly more insignificant to 
Nicholas ; and the question : Which way leads to the interior 
Sea of Light through these phenomena ? growing ever more 
intense, childlike presentiments re-awaken on you in the 
pressure of serious manly affairs. 

Nicholas returns to England, tries employment under the 
Virginia Company, becomes Member of Parliament (1624), 
soon retires from public life, sad, silent, unserene of aspect, 
revolving in him many thoughts. His mother living, a pious 
clear old lady; he has a brother pious, a sister or sisters 
pious ; the question with them all is : Which way, O ye 
kind Heavens, which way ? 

The traffic of the elder Ferrars, all winded up, jields 
reasonable sufficiency of money ; traffic protracted to never 
such lengths, can do no more. Not traffic henceforth ; hence- 
foilh our childlike presentiment how to be realised? Alas, 
how ? For the world, with its rolling wains and loud tumult, 
here in London City, is importunate and soul-distracting. 
In the Eastern mosses of Huntingdonshire, comes offering for 
sale, the decent Manorhouse of Gidding Parva ; Little Gidding 
Manor, with due fields and competent rentals : — Church, 
Manorhouse, and solitary lands of Little Gidding all our own ; 
— why not ? The Ferrars, clubbing stock, purchase this 
Little Gidding establishment, remove thither, bag and 
baggage, man and maid, and mother and mother'*s child of 



236 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [part II. 

them, — some twenty souls in all, waving the world and its 
traffic a long adieu.^ 

And so there establishes itself, amid the prose realities of 
that time, one of the strangest poetico-devotional facts, such 
as only the earlier heroic times, under quite other circum- 
stances, were used to ; figuring now upon us almost as a 
dream. For Nicholas has been ordained Deacon ; he is not 
head of the house only, but Pontiff of it ; and the house 
is wholly as a Convent or Priory, there for devotion alone. 
Night and day in the little parish Church or Manor Chapel, 
the ritual goes on without sleep or slumber : at all hours 
of the dark or daylight, you can say to yourself some portion 
of the Prayer Book is getting itself executed ; the men and 
women divided into relays (like ship-watches), relieve one 
another by turns, and the praying and chanting slumbers not 
nor sleeps. Is not that strange enough in a country where 
all Abbeys are voted down, and Hinchinbrook Convent has 
become the dwellingplace of the Golden Knight? Cursory 
readers have heard of it in Isaac Walton and others, not 
without uncertainty, astonishment. But there is no doubt of 
it. Cursory readers, if they please to take a country excursion 
with a friend of ours, extant in those times, named * Mr. 
' G.,** — shall see it with eyes ; — with G.'s eyes, almost as good 
as their own. Painful Thomas Heame has been so good as 
print the narrative of Mr. G. ; — stick it into strange neigh- 
bourhood, as is his wont ; from which it is still extricable and 
extractable. 

Who 'Mr. G.' was?^ The gods and painful Thomas 
Heame are as good as silent. A Gray''s Inn Lawyer, says 
Thomas Heame ; . . . a vanished name and man. A clear 
man nevertheless, of solid legal knowledge, business habits^ 

' Ferrar's mother had bought Little Gidding some time before this; and 
Nicholas joined her there in 1625, as later accounts show. 

^ Heame calls him Mr. Lenton. The Narrative is in the form of a Lettet 
from Lenton to Sir Thomas Hedly. See Thomoe Caii Vindicia Antiquiiatis 
Academia Oxoniensis (1730), ii. 702-94. 



CHAP. IX.] NICHOLAS FERRAR 237 

courteous manners, and (wonderful wonder !) of solid piety ; 
vanished all but the soul of him, which still lives, shining 
clear as a light-beam in this dark place : — whom in these 
strange circumstances we accompany somewhat as we might a 
spirit. He has been on Circuit business at Huntingdon or 
elsewhere, this worthy Mr. G. : — hearing much, as he has long 
and often done, of this Little Gidding institution, reflecting 
much on it ; and so determined, the Circuit business being 
over, to take horse and see it for himself. Vanished rider, 
vanished hoi'se; wilt thou not accompany him into these 
lone moors, across those vanished centuries sunk so long in 
Hades ? Swift, then, spur apace, good G. ; meritorious 
vanished man ! 

A pleasant dewy morning, Mr. G. The sun, long since 
rolled together out of Chaos, has been trying his beams here, 
he and human industry busy for a while, have made improve- 
ments. These waving expanses have got clothed with sward 
and tilth tillage ; much has been built, has been drained, 
fenced, ploughed ; quagmires themselves have grown firm and 
green ; heath of the wold has given place to grass and grain. 
Brick huts and houses, framed in oak, — many a smokepillar 
redolent of life and social breakfast, rises over those once 
solitary regions. Houses, nay. Churches, pointing towards 
heaven itself. Kimbolton Castle lies grey on that hand ; 
Peterborough with its Spires on this. The mud-demons have 
been wonderfully subdued. Birds singing clear from many an 
old trimmed copse and hedge-row ; heavy plough-men tramp- 
ing steadily a-field, plough-men, nay, rosy milk-maids, merry 
brats of children, clean coifed grandmothers, have been 
realised ; and the dewy vaulted element of blue and Heaven'^s 
blessed sun bends not unkindly over all. A tolerably pleasant 
morning, I think, Mr. G., on the whole, a successful thing 
this Earth ? — Mr. G. responds no syllable, sunk in his own 
reflections ; silent till he himself see good. Here, however, 
is Little Gidding itself ! — A handsome, modest, Manorhouse, 
amid tufted trees, trimmed gardens. Says Mr G. : 



S88 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [part IL 

' I came thither after ten, and found a fair house^ fairly seated^ to 
which 1 passed through a fine grove and sweet walks^ latticed and 
gardened on both sides. ... A man-servant brought me into a fi&ir 
spacious parlour ; whither^ soon after^ came the old gentleman's second 
Sonne (Nicholas)^ a bachelor of a plain presence^ but of able speech and 
parts : who^ after I had^ as well as in such case I could^ deprecated any 
ill conceit of me^ for so undutiful and bold a visits entertained me very 
civilly^ and with humility : yet said that I was the first that had ever 
come to them in that kind. . . . After deprecations and some compli- 
ments^ he said I should see his Mother^ if I pleased. I, shewing my 
desire^ he went up into a chamber, and presently returned with these ; 
namely^ his Mother, a tall straight^ clear-complexioned grave matron of 
eighty years of age ; his elder Brother married (but whether a widower 
I asked not)^ a short black-complexioned man, his Apparell and Haire so 
fashioned as made him shew Priestlike ; and his Sister married to one 
iMr. Cooles, by whom she hath fourteen or fifteen children ; all which 
are in the house^ which I saw not yet ; and of these, and of two or three 
Maidservants, the family consists. I saluted the Mother and Daughter, 
not like Nuns, but as we used to salute other Women. And after we 
were all set circular-wise, and my deprecations renewed, to the other 
three, I desired that, to their favour of entertaining of me they would 
add the giving of me a free liberty to speak ingenuously, what I con- 
ceived of anything I should see or have heard of, without any distaste to 
them. Which being granted, I first told them what I had heard of 
the Nuns of Gidding ; of the watching and pra3dng all night, of their 
(Canonical Houres, of their Crosses on the outside and inside of their 
Chapell ; of an Altar there richly decked with Plate, Tapestry and 
Tapers ; of their adorations and geniculations at their entering therein, 
which, I objected, might savour of superstition and Popery. Here the 
younger Sonne, the mouth for them all, cut me off, and to this last 
answered. First, with a protestation, that he did as verily believe the 
Pope to be Antichrist as any article of his Faith. Wherewith I was 
satisfied and silenced touching that point. For the Nunnery, he sud : 
That the name of Nuns was odious, but the truth from whence that 
untrue report might arise was, that two of his Nieces had lived, one 
thirty, the other tiiirty-two years virgins, and so resolved to continue (as 
he hoped they would) the better to give themselves to fiisting and praj^r; 
but had made no Vowes. For their Canonical Houres^ he said they 
usually prayed six times a day, twice a day publicly in the Chapell, and 
four times privately in their house. ... I said if they spent so modi 
time in pra3ring, they would leave little for preaching or for their weekly 
callings. For the one I vouched the Text, '* He that tumeth away his 
ear from hearing the Law," etc. For the other, " Six dajrs," etc To 



CHAP. IX.] NICHOLAS FERRAR 239 

the one he answered : That a neighbour Minister^ of another Pari^, 
came on Sunday mornings and preached in their Chapell^ and sometimes 
they went to bis Parish. To the other : That their calling was to serve 
God ; which he took to be the best I replied that for men in health, 
and of active bodies and parts, it were a tempting of God to quit our 
callings, and wholly to betake ourselves to Fasting, Prayer and a 
contemplative Life, which by some is thought to be no better than a 
specious kind of idleness. . . . He rejoined : That they had found 
diverse perplexities, distractions and almost utter ruine in Uieir callings. 
But if others knew what comfort and content God had ministered unto 
them since their sequestration, and with what incredible improvement of 
their livelyhood, it might encourage others to the like course. I said 
that such an imitation [or innovation] might be of dangerous conse- 
quence, and that if any, in good case before, should fall into Poverty, 
few afterwards would follow the example. 

' For their Nightwatchings, and their rising at four o'clock in the morn- 
ing, — which I thought was too much for one of four score years, and for 
cliildren ; to the one he said : It was not much, since they always went to 
bed at seven of the clock in the evening. For the other, he confessed 
there were every night two, oUefTuUim, continued all night in their 
devotions, that went not to bed until the rest arose. For the Crosses, 
he made me the usuall answer : — ^That they were not ashamed of that 
Badge of Christian profession, which the first Propugners of the hith 
bore in their banners, and which we in our Churche Discipline retain to 
this day. For their Chapell, that it was now near Chapell-time (for 
eleven is the houre in the forenoon) and that I might, if I pleased, 
accompany them thither, and so satisfy myself best of what I had heard 
concerning that. ... In the meantime I told them I perceived all was 
not true I had heard of the place ; for I could see no such Inscription on 
the frontispiece of the House, containing a kind of Invitation of such as 
were willing to learn of them or would teach them better. . . . He 
barring me from further compliments said. The ground of that Report 
hung over my head, we sitting by the chimney. On the chimney piece 
was a MS. Tablature ; which, after I had read, I craved leave to beg a 
copy thereof . . . which he forthwith took down, and commanded to be 
presently transcribed and g^ven me. . . . The words of the protestation 
are as followeth : 

' " I. ». s. 

Tic that by reproofe of our erron and He that by a cheerful participation 

remembrance of that which it more a and approbation of that which is good, 

perfect, seeks to make as better, is ^^ confirms us in the same, is Wellcome 

Wellcome as an Angel of God, as a Xian Friend. 



240 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [part ii. 

But 

He that any ways goes about to divert He that faults us, in absence, for that 

or disturb us, in that which is and which in presence he made shew to 

ought to be amongst Xians, though it o approve of, shall by a doable guilt, of 

be not usuall in the world, is a Burthen ^ Flattery and Slander, violate the bonds 

while he stays, and shall beare his of Friendship and Christianity, 
judgement, whosoever he be. 

Mary Ferrar, Widowe, 

Mother of this Family, 

aged about Four score yeares, 

that bids adieu to all Fears and Hopes of this world, 

and only desires to serve God." 

' , , . But we passed from this towards the Chapell, being about 
forty paces from the house. Yet staid a little (as with a parenthesis) by 
a gla^ of sack^ sugarcake and a fine napkin^ brought by a mannerly 
maid. ... At the entering [of the Chapell] he [N. Ferrar] made a 
low abeysance^ few paces further^ a lower; coming to the Half-pace^ 
which was at the East end^ where the Table stood^ he bowed to the 
ground^ if not prostrated himself; then went up into a fair large reading- 
place (a preaching place heing^ of the same proportion^ right over against 
it). The Mother with all her Traine (which were her Daughter and 
Daughter's Daughters^ had a faire Island Seat. He placed me above, 
upon the Half-pace^ with two faire longe window cushions of green velvet 
before me. . . . The Daughter's four Sonnes knelt all the while at the 
edge of the Half-pace : all in black gownes^ and they went to church in 
round Monmouth-caps (as my man said^ for I looked not back)^ — ^the 
rest all in blacky save one of the Daughter's Daughters, who was in a 
Fryer s grey gowne. We being thus placed^ the Deacon (for so I must 
now call him)^ with a very loud and distinct voice began with the Litany, 
read divers prayers and collects^ in the book of Common prayer, and 
Athanasius his creed, and concluded with the ** Peace qf God," etc All 
ended^ the Mother and all her company attended my coming down ; but 
her Sonne Deacon told her I would stay a while to view the ChapelL 
So with all their civil salutations towards ine (which I returned them 
afar off, and durst come no nearer, lest I should have lit upon one of the 
Virgins, not knowing whether they would have taken a kiss in good part 
or no), they departed home.' [Here follows an account of the Chapel, its 
decorations, etc., with questions and answers thereon.] 

' . . . It being now twelve o'clock we ended our discourse, and I 
called for my horses, hoping that hereupon he would have invited me to 
stay dinner, — not that I cared for meat . . . but that I might have 
gained more time to have seen and observed more of their fiwhions, and 
whether the virgins and younger sort would have mingled with us, with 

* Nicholas had received Deacon's orders from Laud. 



CHAP. IX.] NICHOLAS FERRAR 241 

divers other things that a Dinner-time would have hest ministered matter 
for. But instead of making me stay^ he helped me in calling for my 
Horses, — accompanying me even to my stirrup. And so^ I^ not return- 
ing to the House^ as we friends met, so we parted. 

*, , . They are extraordinarily well reported of hy their poor 
neighbours : that they are very liberal to the poor, at great cost in 
preparing physic and surgery for the sick and sore, whom they also visit 
oflen ; and that some sixty or eighty poore people they task with 
catechisticall questions, which when they come and make answer to, 
they are rewarded with Money and their Dinner. ... I find them full 
of humanity and liberality, and others speak as much of their charity, 
which I also verily believe, and therefore am far from censuring them, 
of whom 1 think much better than of myself. . . .' 



Mr. G. thought, we see, they might perhaps invite him 
to stay to dinner ; but they did not ; — he rides forth at the 
gate again, bowed out by Nicholas Ferrar; and becomes, in 
soul as in body, to all persons henceforth, a vanished man. 

Nicholas Ferrar spent much of his odd time in binding 
Church Books, in illuminating mss., in writing Polyglot Bibles, 
making Commentaries, etc. : — a somewhat melancholy way of 
living, one would think. Alas, to penetrate into that 
Heaven''s-splendour, and live there by any method, is not 
easy : and many have to stop by the way, involved in briars 
and intricacies, and say to themselves : ^ Is not this it ? I can 
' no further ; this shall be it.' The prayer-relays work steady, 
and for nine or ten years henceforth, at any hour from 
noon to midnight, and midnight round to noon again, you 
can say to yourself : There rises a chaunt or prayer from 
Gidding Parva now. That, after its kind, is a perpetual 
platoon-firing of devotional musketry with the Tower stamp 
or I^inbeth stamp, — calculated, you would say, to effect a 
breach at last, and take heaven by storm ? O Nicholas, my 
somewhat sombre gentleman ! — I respect all earnest souls, and 
mourn withal to see under what imaginations, hearsays, night- 
mare bewilderments, pressures of the Time-element piled high 
on us as the zenith, the soul of man has to live, and comfort 
itself as it can. 



242 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [part ii. 



CHAPTER X 

DR, LEIGHTON 

[1630] 

Among the men of that generation Dr. Leighton may in 
one point pass for a superlative : so far as I know he is of 
all the then extant British subjects the ugliest, — if there be 
truth in brush or graver, if Granger and Print-collectors 
have not entirely deceived us. A monstrous pyramidal head 
evidently full of confused harsh logic, toil, sorrow and much 
other confusion, wrinkly brows arched up partly in wonder 
partly in private triumph over many things, most extensive 
cheeks, fat, yet flaccid, puckered, corrugated, flowing down 
like a flood of corrugation, wherein the mouth is a mere cor- 
rugated eddy, frowned over by an amorphous bulwark of 
nose, — the whole, you would say, supported by the neck-dress, 
by the doublet collar, and frankly resting on it, surmounted 
by deluges of tangled tattery hair: such is the alarming 
physiognomy of Dr. Leighton, medical gentleman travelling 
southward from the city of Aberdeen * (?) with Wife and 
Family in wagons, sea-craft, or such conveyance as the time 
afforded, with intent to settle in his Profession here in 
London. Doubt it not, this Doctor had thoughts in him, 
purposes very serious, cares of eating and of other sorts. 
Poor Doctor, how he toilsomely plodded about, seeking 
lodgings here, squatting himself into some attainable cranny, 
and assiduously hoping against hope, set himself to obtain 
practice by patience, valour, strong all -forgotten energy. 
Good Heavens, it is all a history unrecorded, a history ever 
re-enacted to these days ; a painful valiant history such as 
oblivion swallows yearly by the million, and nothing more 

^ Or more likely from Edinburgh, in the University of which town he bad 
received his education. He is said to have sprung from an ancient fiunily 
possessing a ' seat near Montrose.* — Dictionary of National Bi^apky, 



■^ .*<_-T 



CHAP. X.] DR. LEIGHTON 243 

said. How many already swallowed, as Dr. Leighton, like 
snow-flakes on the sea. O, Oblivion, thou art deep and 
greedy ; but Life, thou too art ever young and unsubduable ! 
No man can expect to be rewarded by rounds of applause for 
ever)^ manful thing he does. Certainly not. And if he 
cannot content himself with either the gods for spectators, 
or no spectators, he will never play well I think. Empty 
benches are perhaps the best, and an audience frankly cat- 
calling, not the worst. Cat-calling, I say, for their rounds of 
applause when such do come have often proved the ugliest 
thing they had to give to a man. O Doctor, heal thou a 
little sickness ; abolish a little misery in this God's Earth, 
and call thyself blessed in that thou canst do aught Godlike, 
— which alone is truly blessed and manlike ! Thou art not 
come hither asking this poor blockhead of a world to do thee 
favours, pay thee due wages ; thou art come, with or even 
without wages, to do the poor blockhead of a world favours. 
Thou wilt say to it, keep thy favours, hapless blockhead, give 
them to this quack, and the other, these legions of quacks in 
high places and in low. I have work in me, help in me for 
a poor bewildered blockhead such as thou art now grown, — 
and it is not with thee that I will chaffer about wages. Go 
tht/ way, I have my way to go ! Enough : this Doctor finds, 
what is a real satisfaction, that he has never yet died of 
hunger, that he has healed or tried to heal a little sickness, 
burnt up a little sin and misery from man ; and so, laying 
both ends of his lot together, that he ought to go on in a 
moderately hopeful frame of mind. 

Courage, Dr. Leighton, and arch thy brows in private 
triumph over several things. A Greater than thou in far 
lower abasement than thine said once. Fear not the world. 
Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world, — I, the 
Nazareth Peasant, with a knit wool sack for my apparel, 
owner only, under the wide sky, of my own soul and body and 
this, I have overcome it. And do we not justly worship 
such a one, with love ineffable draw near to him, and in 



244 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [part 11. 

such poor dialect as we can, say, Thou art Godlike, thou 
art God ! All brave men have to overcome the world ; are 
bom kings of the world, and never rest till they overcome it. 
Dr. Leighton's old brown Book * is still found on the 
shelves of Museum libraries, but will never more be read by 
any mortal. Living mortal glancing into it here and there, 
falls chilled as with the damp of funeral aisles ; says mourn- 
fully. It is dead — dead ; and till the last day, if even then, 
will never live again. Most melancholy, dim, with mouldered 
margins, worm-eaten, its pages, letter-press, all so dim soot- 
brown. Alas, and the meaning of it not a whit more living, 
all soiled soot-brown, illegible as the letter-press. And we 
forget that it was ever otherwise ; it was once new, clean- 
margined, bright white paper, bright black ink, — Book and 
Book^s purport wholly new, comfortable to behold. Leighton'^s 
Book was eagerly purchased over counters, eagerly read in 
parlours, the very odour of the paper still new, new the 
odour of the doctrines and discoursing, wholly a new in- 
vigorating thing, redolent of comfort, instruction, hope to the 
mind of man ! For in two centuries paper waxes old, and 
much that stands on paper. O ancient Pamphlets, soot- 
brown, mournfully mouldering Golgotha of human thoughts 
and efforts ! Yet the thoughts did once live, and work, like 
the Thinkers of them. And only thoughts that go down 
to the centre continue long working, of which sort there 
are naturally few. Dr. Leighton's Babylonian Beast, etc, 
struggling to point out the difference between Fact and 
Semblance, in a superficial way, were not of this number. 

' ' An Appeal to the Parliament, or Zion's Plea against the Prelade ' ; etc. 
The book had been printed at Utrecht, in 1628, and copies sent to England 
while Charles's Third Parliament was still sitting. Leighton had gone to 
Holland to be pastor of a church, — the English College of Physicians having 
objected to his practising medicine further in London, — his qualification being 
only a Leyden M.D. Degree. He was ordained (March, i629)» and indocted 
into the charge of an English Church in Utrecht ; returned to London in the 
autumn of that year, having, it would seem, received a call to some church in 
the city, and was seized in February followmg, cast into Newgate, tried in June 
in the Star-chamber, and sentenced as stated, infra^ p. 246. 



«.-3 '_, 



CHAP. X.] DR. LEIGHTON 246 

Enough, if the men of that century or year read Leighton, 
rejoiced in the redolence of new paper and what other novelty 
there might be ; men of other centuries or years must look 
out for themselves. 

Swiftly however a new scene opens on me. Scene of the 
Star-chamber Court, — one of the lion^s-dens in that menagerie 
of Westminster Hall, whither by the stem keepers of the place 
so many men, Daniels and others, have been cast. They say 
it arose in Elizabeth^s time ; . . . small matter with whom 
it originated, my wish is once to see it vanish and cease. 
Neither have I learned in what room it sat, — one hopes the 
room is long since burnt, and no ashes of it remaining recog- 
nisable. What I do see is a suitable human apartment, a 
room of good dimensions, of solid carpentry, with raised 
bench, with indistinct ushei's, macers, apparitors, indistinct to 
the eye, and judges of grave aspect also very indistinct for 
most part, — if it be not one little man in lawn sleeves, in 
three-cornered hat, with wrinkly, short face, with a look of 
what one might call arrogant sorrow of a sort, reflexion of a 
8oi*t, and assiduity and ingenuity which in this world has had 
many crosses, but doubts not to triumph yet as it deserves to 
do. It is he they call William Laud [soon to be] Archbishop 
of Canterbury ; sometimes named in a vein of pleasant wit 
his Little Grace,^ not on account of his little stature alone. 
His Little Grace has arched brows, horseshoe mouth, but 

^ Laud's small bodily stature seems to have been the source of many a jest in 
those days. To Archie Armstrong, the king's Fool, who like many others bore 
no goodwill to Laud, is attributed this double entendre : * All praise to God and 
little lattd to the Devil !' Archie's last joke at Court was made too at Laud's 
expense and bore bitter fruit. When Laud's attempt to press the new Service- 
lKK)k and Canons into use in the Kirk had resulted in an almost universal 
signing of the Covenant, and the unwelcome news of this had just arrived at 
Court (in 1638), Armstrong meeting Laud on his way to the Council called out 
to him, * Whac's fool noo?' Laud was * little ' enough to take the matter so 
much to heart that he had the poor Fool brought before the Council and sen- 
tenced lo have his coat pulled over his ears and to be at once dismissed firom 
the king's service. 



246 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [part ll. 

brows arched for another than Leighton's reason. On 
the whole, what a contrast, that small, short, wrinkly face 
on the bench, and this huge pyramidal one on the floor. 
The debate I do not give; why should I if I could? . . . 
This only transpired that Leighton in his Book called the 
Prelates by hard names, * affirming that they did corrupt the 

* king,^ that he dared to call her sacred Majesty and royal 
Consort, as being of the Popish religion, * a daughter of 

* Heth,"* and to pray for her conversion ; that in fact he was a 
Scottish man without the caution characteristic of that 
country, a man resigned to God and not to the enemies of 
God, intemperate of s])eech, and also very unfortunate. . . . 
The judges were of one voice, each endeavouring to outbid 
the other, regretting only that he was not tried for treason, 
that they might have taught him what a gallows was. As it 
is, he shall learn what pillory, prison and the branding-iron 
are. Only first, as he is an ordained clergyman, and we would 
not for worlds do a shadow of dishonour to the Church, let 
him be taken across to Lambeth to the High Commission 
Court, and there be degraded. The Bishop of London, or 
the Commission acting with him, will not be loath to degrade 
him ! Dr. Laud, with his eyes, if you look at him there on 
the bench, answers emphatically. No. Once well degraded at 
Lambeth, let him be locked up in the Fleet Prison, let him 
on the 10th of next November be brought into Palace Yard, 
whipped, set in our pillory there, have one ear cut off, one 
nostril slit, one cheek stamped with hot-iron letters, S.S., 

* Sower of sedition ^ : that will do for one day. — Ye Judges 
that sit in place of God, does this man deserve such slitting, 
such branding and butchery ? Is this actually the ugliest 
scoundrel you can find in England, in this month of November 
1630, that you mangle him in this manner? — On a day follow- 
ing, says the Court, let him be carted to the pillory at Cheap- 
side, and there after a second flogging, have his second ear 
cut off, his second nostril slit, his second cheek burned S.S. : 
that will do for a second day. Then, — why then, fine him 



■'i -J 



CHAP. X.] DR. LEIGHTON 247 

10,000/. and pack him up in the Fleet Prison for life. Most 
potent, grave and reverend Signiors, who sit there by appoint- 
ment in the place of God above, punishing the ugliest of His 
enemies here below, — have you properly riddled [sifted] the 
general scoundrelism of England, and made out that this man 
is actually the chief sample ? You do actually slit his flesh 
here with cold iron and hot ; there is no uncertainty as to that. 
Uhadamanthus ? But Rhadamanthus is always sure. Good 
Heavens, if this man were not the chief scoundrel ? And 
what do you mean by answering to God ? This man means a 
thing by it, and I mean a thing by it, a very fact : precisely 
such a fact as you mean by answering to Charles Rex this 
afternoon in Whitehall. Will the royal eyes look beneficently 
on you, will they look daggers and dismissals ? One or the 
other, I suppose. Good God, and what will the divine eyes 
do with you ? 

Poor Leighton, the day before the execution of his sentence, 
sat meditative in the Fleet prison, revolving many things in 
his troubled soul. Many friends call to comfort him ; texts 
of Scripture are rife. In the dusk of the evening there called 
two friends of an indistinct colour, Mr. Li>ingston and Mr. 
Anderson, both unknown to me, both Scotch I should judge, 
and of pious cautious mind. In the dusk of the evening 
Livingston put ofi^ his cloak, hat and breeches, all of a grey 
colour. Anderson put off his doublet ; all put off and mis- 
cellaneously put on, and become of an indistinct, irrecognis- 
able grey hue; and all three as friends of Dr. Leighton, 
walked out into the foggy element, leaving the prison cell 
empty, and jailors to whistle for Dr. Leighton. Hereupon 
there is issued a ^ Hue and cry^ : he hath a yellowish beard, a 
high brow, and is between forty and fifty.* 

Is there any reader now alive or likely ever to live, that 
does not wish poor Dr. Alexander Leighton may get off? 
() Sandy Leighton, my poor Sandy, wert thou up among the 
hills of Braemar again, within smell of the peat-reek, among 

' Rushworth, ii. 57. 



248 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [part If. 

the free rocks and forests, the pouring floods and linns, — thou 
mightst skulk and double there among thy own kith and kin, — 
for here meseems there is small mercy going. Ah me, one has 
friends there, perhaps a poor old Scotch mother still there 
that will weep, — Doctor, I shall fall into tears if I go on. 
The Doctor had only got into Bedfordshire, when he was 
overtaken : had to suffer his bloody sentence, part first on 
Friday, November 16th, and then part second, that day 
week, — as Dr. Laud, the zealous little individual, has jotted 
down in his Diary, with surgical minuteness, being indeed a 
kind of spiritual surgeon. A St. John Long of the English 
Nation, who will bum the sins of it out by actual cautery and 
make it worthy of God^s favour.^ 



CHAPTER XI 

ATTORNEY GENERAL NOY 

[1631-4] 

SHIPMONEY warr 

In the year 1631 ^ Noy was made Attorney Greneral. A 
^ morose man ^ says Clarendon, one of those surly Law-pedants, 
acute spirits of human intelligence cased in the hide of rhino- 
ceros ; kind of men extinct now. Used to get a pie from 
his mother at Christmas, ate the contents of the pie, but kept 
the crust and lid, the ^ coffin of the pie,^ as they then called 
it : this cofBn of the pie used to serve for long months after- 
wards as a general waste-box for the papers of the learned 
Mr. Noy, Letters, law-briefs, wash-bills, a waste miscellany of 
learned and unlearned scriptatory matter found refuge here, — 

^ After this barbarity Leighton was taken back to the Fleet prison and kept a 
prisoner there till released by the Long Parliament in 164a In 1643 he 
made keeper of Lambeth House, which was then converted into a State 
He survived until 1649. His second son, Robert, became the celebrated Arch- 
bishop Leighton. It is now said that the entry in Laud*s Diary, above referred 
to, is a forgery. ' Wood, Atketut, ii. 581. 



CHAP. XL] ATTORNEY GENERAL NOY 249 

happy that there was any refiige. So say the old Pamphlets, 
grinning in their broad manner. Think of this, what a Law 
Chamber does this learned coffin of a pie presuppose ! When 
the weather grew hot it is presumable the pastry, even to a 
Noy'^s olfactory nerves, beaetme unsupportable. When the 
weather grew hot the pie coffin would descend to the dogs, — 
to be rejected even of the dogs ; and the learned gentleman^s 
papers would fly refugeless, like Sibylline leaves. William 
Noy : / nwyl in Imw} Human nature at this date has little 
conception of such an existence. By what alchemy was a soul 
of man ever fascinated to the study of English law ? It is 
inconceivable. This man has long ago no need of money, no 
benefit from money ; look at the coffin of his Christmas pie 
used as Drawing-room chiflTonnier. 

In 1628 Noy was a patriot Member of Parliament, as 
Wentworth, too, was. But Wentworth is gained to the 
Court ; now they decide also on gaining Noy. The King 
sent for him, says Weldon ; * said he meant him for Attorney. 
' Attorney ? Humph ! ** said Noy ; and went his way again 
without so much as thanking the king. Nevertheless it was 
as seed sown, this word of his Majesty^s. That Rhinoceros 
Noy could be fitted with Court housings, served with gilt oats, 
be curried into Courtly glossiness of skin and have the honour 
to draw his Majesty on public occasions, — the thought was 
new ; the thought gradually became seductive, became charm- 
ing. In 1631 Noy is Attorney General. All his stupendous 
Law learning turns now to the king^s side, he digs and pumps 
up from the abysmal reservoirs of Law such precedents as were 
never dreamed of before, pumps and pumps till his Law ditch- 
water submerges this Nation as Noah^s Flood did the world.' 

Of Attorney Noy's new taxes, benevolences, monopolies and 
oppressions of the subject, it were long to speak ; he was the 
hateful lest of all men to us ; not only unjust but decreeing 
injustice by a law. We mention two only : the first his 

' An anagram on Noy's name. - Cited in Wood, ii. 582. 

» Weldon, cited in Wood, u. 583. 



250 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [part II. 

monopoly of Soap. The King by Attorney Noy^s advice^ 
decides to become the great Soap-boiler of his people, — leases 
out the monopoly of making monopoly Soap to certain parties 
for a consideration. Potashes and oleaginous substances exist 
for you in vain ; you shall not make soap but in the king'^s 
way and by the king's permission. The Attorney will try you 
at Law; fine you in 500/., in 1000/., in 1500/. a piece.* 
Eloquent, to endless lengths, in their dim way, are the old 
Pamphlets on this crying grievance of Soap : eloquent, doubt- 
less, too, were the living housewives and inhabitants of Eng- 
land. For Soap is not only dear, it is bad, not lavatory but 
excoriating, and leaving the foulness, bums the skin. Who 
can live without soap ? And good soap, — ^you cannot get it 
for money ; it is hardly to be had. Your Majesty, must the 
human subject testify its loyalty by going in foul linen ! Are 
grease-spots a sign of being well affected ? I have heard of 
no monopoly more grievous to the universal human mind ; the 
old Pamphlets in their dim eloquence are almost heart-affect- 
ing. Pepper, too, is put under monopoly ; pepper, tobacco, 
etc. ; what is there that is not put under monopoly ? We 
speak only of Attorney Noy's second grand feat, his grandest 
and most famous, that of Ship-money. 

In secret the Attorney being consulted studies long, pumps 
up from the Stygian well of old forgotten law, this right or 
practice that the old kings had of commanding ships from the 
Maritime Towns ; draws out a writ to that effect : the greatest 
feat of Attorney Noy and the last. Before the writ got pub- 
lished, the Attorney was lying down deep under Roe and Doe 
in his grave, safe with Empson and Dudley, with extinct 
extortioners, no more to decree injustice by a law. The 
vintners drank carouses ; ^ and a published account of the Dis- 
section of Attorney Noy testifies, that * his heart was made of 

* * IVas it by Noy's advice,* Carlyle has inserted in the MS. here. — I have not 
found a distinct answer to the question ; but as Noy was Attoraey-genenU he 
must at least have approved of the scheme, if he did not actually originate it* 

a Rushworth, u. 253. ' Wood, iL 564. 



■I 'm J: , 



CHAP. XL] ATTORNEY GENERAL NOY 251 

' old parchment proclamations, his brain was gone entirely to 
' dust, and in his belly was found a barrel of bad soap.** 
Frightful ! And the Attorney leaves all [or nearly all] to his 
son Edward, * reliqua omnia^ etc., and the rest of my lands, 
' goods, etc., I leave to my son Edward Noy, whom I make my 
' executor, to be consumed and scattered about, nee de eo vieltiis 
' .speraviy as I have always expected of him.** Which indeed 
proved true ; for within two years, the Attomey^s son, busy 
as his father had anticipated, in running through his fortune, 
was himself run through in a duel : and the Attomey'^s big 
Babylon that he had builded, vanished all like a parchment 
castle, and was not. The vintners drank and the commonalty 
caroused : but had they known what was coming ! The 
^Vttorney'*s last posthumous feat excelled all that he had done 
while linng. Here are some memorial verses which a patient 
reader may peruse with what admiration he can : 

' Noy* if flood is ^oiie^ 
The Banks appear ; 
Heath is shorn down^ 
And Finch sings there.' ' 

Is it not beautiful ? It means that Noy died on the 9th 
of August, 1634 ; that Banks succeeded as Attorney General ; 
that Lord Chief Justice, Sir Robert Heath, was removed with 
disgrace from the Common Pleas,^ and in his room appeared 
on 16th October Sir John Finch, the Speaker whom the 
C'oninions held down in his chair, and was Queen's Attorney, 
but was not understood to know anything of Law ; ^ gowned 
men inquired eagerly of one another. What can the mean- 
ing of this latter thing be? Not long. The riddle was 
propounded on the 16th, and in four days, on the 20th 
October, 1634,^ it was solved — by promulgation of the Ship- 
money Writ. The City of London petitioned against it ; 
but the Citv had to submit. 

* Wood, ii. 584. « Rushworth, ii. 253 

^ Clarendon. ^ Rushworth, ii. 259. 



262 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [PART 11. 



CHAPTER XII 

A SCOTCH CORONATION 

[1633] 

So many things are hidden in that dead abyss of Past 
Time ; only here and there a glimpse of actuality recoverable 
from the devouring night. And of these few the meaning 
and meanings are so hard to seize ! For so it stands in this 
dark Life of ours. The figure of the actuality you may see ; 
but the spirit of it ? How it arose, as all does arise, from 
the unfathomable Deeps, old as the morning of Days, and 
tends onwards to this present day and still onwards to the 
ultimatum, so unknown, yet so indubitable, sure as very death, 
when the Last of the Days shall have become dark, and 
Human History have ended, and there shall be no other 
Day ? This to the eye of Supreme Intelligence is clear ; to 
God'*s eye, but to no man^s and no angel^s ? And yet, did 
it not in very truth lie intelligible, had there been an Intelli- 
gence sufficient in the work of every man ! Unconsciously 
the poorest mortal, in all acts and trivialities by which he 
consciously means so little, has a meaning deep as the 
primeval Death-kingdoms; and decipherable only by the 
All-knowing God. For the poorest mortal was present in 
embryo at the Creation, and will in essence be present at the 
Consummation. Of the unconscious meaning we can spell 
the pitifuUest fraction : but in these past times even the 
conscious meaning, what the actors thought, what of their 
miraculous life the actors of personages had shaped into some 
articulation that they called thought, and gave utterance 
to in some futility of speech, — this, even this, has mostlj 
perished. How can history be knoHTi ? It is all a prophetic 
Sibylline Book ; palimpsest, inextricable ; over which hangs 
darkness and a kind of sacred horror.^ We must catch a 

^ * Naf so.' T. C's note on the MS. here* 



CHAP.xiL] A SCOTCH CORONATION 263 

glimpse where we can; we must read some fraction of the 
meaning of it as we can. 

On Saturday 15th June, 1633, by a singular chain of 
accidents, I obtain some view of the ancient city of Edinburgh; 
and discern a few things there in a quite visual manner, 
several of which it would gratify me to understand com- 
pletely. But sure enough the June sun shines on that old 
Edinburgh, clear as it does on the new and newest; and 
men are alive and things verily extant there, — and even a 
state of excitation is discoverable among them. Curious to 
see. Westward on its sheer blue rock towers up the Castle of 
Edinburgh, and slopes down eastward to the Palace of Holy- 
rood ; old Edinburgh Town, a sloping high-street and many 
steep side lanes, covers like some wrought tissue of stone and 
mortar, like some strong rhinoceros skin of stone and mortar, 
with many a gnarled embossment, church steeple, chimney- 
head, Tolbooth, and other ornament or indispensability, back 
and ribs of that same eastward slope, — after all not so unlike 
some crowned couchant animal, of which the Castle were 
crown, and the life-breath those far-spread smoke-clouds and 
vapour-clouds rising up there for the last thousand years or 
so. At the distance of two hundred years or more this 
thing I see. Rhinoceros Edinburgh lies in the mud : south- 
ward a marshy lake or South Loch, now about to be drained; 
northward a marshy lake or North Loch, which will not be 
drained for the next one hundred and thirty years. 

Faring westward from Dalkeith comes a cavalcade somewhat 
notable : a many-footed tramp of stately horses, a waving 
grove of plumes, scarfs, cloaks, embroideries; it is the 
choicest cavalcade that could be got up in these Northern 
parts ; and in it ride Church and State, Charles Rex namely 
and William Laud, Archbishop, who in ordinary papers signs 
liiinself ' Wil. C3ant.' * Other figures I could particularise, but 

* I^ud, now Bishop of London, became (on the death of Abbot) Archbishop 
of Canterbury, 6th August 1633, immediately after his arrival home from this 
visit to Scotland. Although he was not nomiiially Archbishop of Canterbury at 



254 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [part 11. 

of what avail were it ? James, Marquis of Hamilton, home 
from the German Wars, is there, and the Earls of Northum- 
berland, Arundel, Pembroke, Southampton, and Holland, and 
many other persons of quality.^ They have lodged all night 
in the House or Palace of Dalkeith, which, within the memory 
of old men, James, Earl of Morton, built, — prior to losing 
that strong cunning head of his for privity to Damley'^s 
nmrder, for accumulated enemies, accumulated hatreds and 
other causes. His Majesty on Progress travels with a large 
retinue, harbingers, heralds, etc., and in one word no fewer 
than two-and-forty scourers and bottle-washers. Two-and- 
forty human souls spend their days in scouring dishes for his 
Majesty to eat from ; what must the other higher items be ! 
Proclamations have been published to keep down the markets 
on his passage, lest, like the locust swarm, he might create 
famine of horses^ meat and men''s meat. I could tell thee 
where he lodged each night, how the Lord of Newcastle, at 
Welbeck, laid out on one diimer for him the matter of lOOOiL, 
equal to, perhaps, 3000/. or 4000/. now. How he was 
wetted at York, and the Archbishop * Wil. Cant.,^ Primate of 
England, was witty.^ How already in Huntingdonshire, he 
had called at Little Gidding, and coUationed there with Mrs. 
Mary Ferrar and her noteworthy Protestant Monks and 
Nuns.^ All this I could tell thee, and more ; but it would 
be dull, dreary ; and indeed a crime in me to do it. Solely, 
at utmost Berwick-upon-Tweed I noted the elegant Recorder, 
Mr. Thomas Widdrington, in a style sublime and beautiful 
haranguing him ; how the ancient decayed Town, lying like a 
decayed warhound in time of peace, disconsolate between its 
hills, grew young to see the face of Majesty ; and this year, 

the time of this Scottish visit, he had long perfonned practically all the duties of 
Primate. — 'Wil. Cant' is of course an abbreviation of IVilhelmtts CttHtuaritnsis, 

* Kennet, iii. 69. 

- * May 24th. The King was to enter into York in State. The day wms 
extreme windy and rainy, that he could not all day long. I called it •* York 
Friday." '—Laud's Diary, 

3 See ante^ p. 234 ; and Carlyle's Cromwell^ L 73. 



CHAP.xiL] A SCOTCH CORONATION 255 

1633, would be for all ages a miraculous Plato's year: — 
whereupon Mr. Thomas kneels at Majesty'^s bidding, and after 
due slap of sword is bid *rise Sir Thomas Widdrington, 
' Knight/ A knight really worshipful enough, of learned 
middle-aged face, in decent Vandyk beard, white collar and 
black gown ; for he is of Gray's Inn, and Recorder here. 
One of those famed Border Widdringtons, — posterity, like 
enough, of the Chevy-Chase Widdrington who fought upon 
his stumps. Understand next that close on Berwick, at the 
place they call the Bound-road, or limit of the Kingdoms, the 
Scotch chivalry waited in gala-dress, carrying their estates on 

tlieir back. And then understand further, But no, 

thou unhappy reader, I will not strain thy patience till it 
crack. Widdrington speeches, ceremonial upholstery and 
blaring of trumpets, and indeed all large bulks in the 
inside of which is small or no reality, have in these latter 
days grown wearisome even to blockheads, and have to me 
ceased to be wearisome, and become something more. Noise 
with no meaning in it, bulk with no substance in it : is there, 
in truth, if one will consider it, a more sinful, I might call 
it insolent, blasphemous phenomenon easily discoverable at 
present ? Truce, therefore, to the antecedencies of this same 
lioyal Progress, — sufficient that thou seest the Progress itself ; 
and sufficient for the day is the evil thereof. — Ambling along 
l)y the South-western roots of Arthur's Seat ; through the 
trreen June country towards Edinburgh, tower-crowned, blue- 
tloaked, — whither, as extreme, compressed agitation is reign- 
ing there, may not we as well run and announce that at last 
the King h coming? 

At the West Port of Edinburgh there is no entrance 
fxcept one overleap the wall, — which indeed for the genius of 
History, is easy. But the huge planked gate we find is shut 
there; and within it, — ay, within, do but look ! Solemn, on 
each side of the way, three firm ranges of wooden seats, 
whei-eon sit, in awful expectancy, clad in velvet, clad in satin 
silkgowns, Mr. Archibald Clark (.'*), Lord Provost of the City, 



256 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [part ll. 

with his Bailies, with his Councillors, in full complement; 
names entirely unwritten, if not in the universal Doom-book, 
figures that were and are not, — waiting what will betide. O 
Mr. Archibald, brother shadow of the seed of Adam, whom I 
never saw before, and hope never to see again, what an hour 
is this ! The King is coming ; thou hast a speech to make, 
multiplex ceremonies to do, and see well done, today. Thou 
sittest there, thy shadow Bailies, Councillors, all roimd thee ; 
that blue Castle rock and battlements fi*owning over thee ; and 
shortly thou shalt make a speech and genuflexions, thou 
hapless, happy civic functionary, here at the West Port ; aU 
Edinburgh looking on, and Scotland, and three kingdoms ; — 
and thou waitest for the shadow of the King'^s Majesty ! The 
Heavens send thee well through it, say I ; for the moment is 
great. Mr. Archibald sits with thick-drawn breath, and all 
mortals draw their breath thick. I mark however, that the 
middle street is sanded smooth, the sides railed-in with wooden 
fences, with due Town-guards and Lochaber-axes, to debar the 
profane vulgar. O, ye vulgar, whom I see as with eyes, yet 
know no face of ! bone of my bone, you and your fathers, who 
are my fathers, all unknown to me from the beginning of 
days ! A fair good-morning, nevertheless ! Sturdy Scotch 
figures in breeches, beautiful Scotch figures in petticoats ; — 
honest men and bonny l&sses, — there ye are. And those heads 
are full of thought, and those hearts, of joy and sorrow, — and 
it has all finished, where is it ? All gone silent, an inarticulate 
hum as of the big Ocean moan of old Eternity. A fiiir 
good-morrow to you, — with thoughts for which there are no 
words ! 

Thirteen score of volunteer guards-royal, the handsomest 
youths in Edinburgh, wait somewhere, I think, in the Grass- 
market, all in white satin doublets, black velvet breeches, white 
silk stockings, beautiful in pyet plumage : of these I reck not 
specially. Alas, all plumage is soon shed, swept bare ; — all 
plumage is stript, I say, — cloth-plumage, flesh-plumage, — ^the 
very bones and dust are stript to nothing, — and all souls mte 



!■ ^ . 



CHAP.xiL] A SCOTCH CORONATION 267 

bare, — Queen of England and Janet Geddes, maid-servant, all 
one. O Janet, thou in thy long-eared mutch (which the Grermans 
still call Mutze and we mob-cap), in thy humble linsey-wolsey 
woman's dress, what doest thou today? Busy, belike, with 
bix)th-pot and dinner-stuff, like a hardworking servant, hoping 
only to catch some glimpse of Majesty hastily, trom a front 
window ? At this day, among the 753 portraits that there 
are of Charles Rex, I could wish there had been one of Jenny 
Geddes ! Dimly I have seen her, poor woman, in deep closes 
[lanes], in high garrets ; scouring, sweeping, as a poor servant- 
wench ; reading her old Bible by a candle-end when all the 
house lay quiet ; closing the day of drudgery with prayer to 
the Highest God. Authentic prayer, my friend, which is not 
so conmion a thing. Her grandfather, I doubt not, heard 
Knox preach ; and to Jenny also a great Gospel has come. 
Gospel, — what Grospel ever equalled it? That in poor and 
poorest Jenny, too, under her coarse mutch, under her dusty 
coarse gown, there dwells an Eternity ; strangely imprisoned 
so, a gleam of Grod Himself ? Believe it, Jenny ; believe it as 
thou canst ; for it is true, and was, €md forever will be ; and 
in comparison there is no truth worth believing at all ! Hard- 
working Jenny has exchanged glances with various handsome 
hids of the neighbourhood, but yet made no wedding. She 
seems to me, quiet as she is, of quick, deep temper : perhaps 
infirm of temper. Other scandals, reported by the crew of 
ch*agons, I have read, and then found reason to consider lies. 
Scrub away, poor Jenny ; this day thou mayest see the King 
;ts he passes, — and shalt not fail another day, to do the King 
an ermnd, send the King a message of its sort, unlikely as that 
looks at present.^ 

Strolling along these holiday streets of Edinburgh, a num- 
ber of questions suggest themselves. Some answerable, too 
many of them unanswerable. For, see, not only at the West 
Port, where Mr. Archibald Clark with his Bailie retinue sits, 

* See the chapter on ' Jenny Geddes/ infraf p. 299. 

R 



258 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [part IL 

thick-breathing ; but here, at the West Bow, an inner closed 
gate, at the head of that tortuous street, stand orators, nay, I 
think stand Allegories, judging by their personations ; — and 
then again, as we emerge into the High-street, what are these 
in sky-blue cloaks and plumes, various as the rainbow, as sky 
messengers newly alighted to congratulate the king^s Majesty ? 
The old Tolbooth and all St. Giles's Cathedral never looked 
so brave. In the bowels of the High Cross fountain there 
circulates, impatiently demanding egress, a lake of Claret. 
Judge if this decoration is a popular one ! And a little 
farther on, at the public Weigh-house, — what the Scotch call 
Tron, not yet a Church, but a public Weigh-house, — see, the 
blunt edifice, by plaster, planks, draperies and upholstery, is 
changed to an Olympus, on which hover — the Nine Muses of 
Antiquity, and much else ! These too, are to congratulate the 
King's Majesty ; in verses as melodious as possible, apprise 
him that he is King by 108 descents, counting from the First 
Fergus, and prophesy that 108 or more shall descend from 
him in like manner. Of a new set of Allegories at the Nether 
Bow or lowest gate, of all that is going forward in the interior 
of Holyrood, and chapels with tapestry, bed-hangings, and 
furnishings, etc., and the cooking and furbishing that goes 
and has gone on there, my patience fails me to speak. For, 
on the whole, what is it but a scenic phantasm, rather help- 
lessly adumbrative of somewhat, not of much ? Adumbrative, 
as indeed all ceremony is, of men's worship for heroes or even 
for the cloaks of heroes ; but, alas, in how helpless a manner ! 
For in truth, O reader, the cloak of a hero cannot by any 
industry of man be worshipjied at all ; and at intervals the 
dreadfullest contradictions ensue from attempting and pretend- 
ing to worship it. Good Heavens ! it is like a veritable bolt 
of Heaven striking through a resinous torch and pasteboard 
thunder-apparatus at Drury Lane : the lamentablest accident ; 
which, nevertheless always at intervals occurs. For wh«i a 
Noah'^s Deluge by I^w of Nature is due, there is no remedy 
in May-games, in careless dalliances, in marrying and giving in 



CHAP.xii.] A SCOTCH CORONATION 259 

nmmage : either thou wilt with faith and true labour build 
an Ark, or the floods due by Law of Nature will wash thee 
out of the way. For which reason, when thou seest cloth- 
woi-ship going on, quit it, I advise thee : it is not s€ife, it is 
far from safe. 

An historical secret that will interest, — this pageantry has 
all been got up by Mr. William Drummond of Hawthomden, 
a gentleman of nmch genius who lives * vacant for the Muses,** 
*us he calls it, out at Hawthomden. By him and by fit 
upholsterers has all this pageantry been got up.^ 

This then, is what Mr. Drummond could contrive to make 
of it, this miscellany of skyblue Muses, on their Tron 
Olympus, begirt with Scotch Lochaber axes, authentic Mr. 
Clark and the astonishing etceteras that we see ? Drummond 

' Jamesone, a portrait painter, had come up from Aberdeen to superintend the 
scenic part of this Coronation pageant. Drummond, in consultation with Jame- 
sone, wrote the Speeches in ornate prose and the Poems in still more ornate 
poetry. These may now be read in Drummond's Works, under the title of * The 
Entertainment of the High and Mighty Monarch Charles, King of Great Britain, 
France and Ireland, into his ancient and royal City of Eklinburgh.* — These are : 
In Prose^ 

* A Speech intended to be spoken at the West Gate,' beginning, ' If nature 
could suffer rocks to move and abandon their natural places, this town,' etc. — 
offering ' hecatombs of happy desires,' etc. 

And in Verse : — * Speech of Caledonia, representing the kingdom : ' followed 
by a ' Iloroscopal Pageant by the Planets,' — opened by Endymion 'apparelled 
like a shepherd, in long coat of crimson velvet . . . had a wreath of flowers on 
his head, his haire was curled and long, and in his hand he bare a sheep-hook ; 
on his legs were buskins of gilt leather.' After his address come Speeches from 
Saturn, Jove, Mars, the Sun, Venus, Mercury and the Moon : which last, after 
praising ' the fair Queen and her Golden Maids,' prophesies to the King : — 

' Beneath thee ragn Discord (fell nuscbieTt forge. 
The bane of people, state and kingdom's scourgcX 
Pale Enry (with the cockatrice's eye, 
Which seeing kills, bat seen doth forthwith die) : 
Malice, Deceit, Rebellion, Impudence, 
Beyond the Garaments shall pack them hence, 
With every monster that thy glory hates : 
Thus Heavens decree, so have ordained the Fatts.' 

These delivered, Endymion perorates with a flourish : concluding thus : ' All 
shall observe and serve this blessed King.' 



260 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [part ii. 

meditating in his elegant melodious mind the GrodVfact as 
it stands between this Scottish Nation and its Charles Rex, 
found nothing so adumbrative of it as even this, this puffy 
monstrosity, rich in silk velvet and such like, but in all else 
most poor. Not beautiful, not true, significant of little; 
comparable to the huge pufF-breeches of the time, and within 
them no limbs; at which the human mind two centuries 
removed stands stupent, — not condenmatory, no. And Mr. 
Drummond was a genius ? I expect his singing will differ a 
little from that of the old Iliad Homerides, — mei^ng direct 
with fiery veracity towards the fact, melting into music by 
the very truth and fire of it. Alas, yes, from the Greek 
Homerides, from the Norse Skalds, from the English or Scotch 
ballad-singer, from all men that ever at any time sang truly. 
The true singer hurries direct — ^towards the fact, intent on 
that alone, melts into music by the very fire of his veracity. 
Drummond'*s genius one would say is that of an accomplished 
Upholsterer rather.^ Different from Homer'*s — as a pair of 
the costliest slashed puff- breeches, stuffed broader than a 
bushel with nothing in them, may differ from a pair of 
Grecian Hippolytus' limbs with nothing superfluous on them. 
But good Mr. Drummond is a type of his age. His mon- 
strous unveracious pufF-breeches ovation is the emblem of so 
much other un veracity. Mr. Dmmmond, had I been there, 
I had bowed almost silently to this King^s Majesty, and 
thought within myself, O King's Majesty, I know not, the 
Scottish Nation knows not, what thou art, — half phantasm, 
half reality; God only knows. The Scottish Nation bends 
its head respectfully in the meanwhile, will cheerfully find 
thee victual and lodging of its best for the time being. What 
a pity there were ant/ pageant and ceremony not fall of 
meaning ! They are all false, and they cannot all, like the 
Lord Major'*s coach, be safely trusted to the children to 



' In later years, especially after reading Professor Masson*s ' DnimmoiKl of 
Hawthornden/ Carlyle formed a higher estimate of Drummond's genios thui he 
has expressed here. 



CHAP. XII.] A SCOTCH CORONATION 261 

that they are false. Pity that there should be any ffriniace : 
a gesture that means nothing is an unveracity which man 
should avoid. Thy very horse scorns it. The neigh of the 
horse is sincere, and his kick is sincere. 

Pageants are of small moment to us : nevertheless we must 
look on this occasion how it stands with Mr. Archibald Clark 
at the AVest Port. The heart of the man beating thick with 
painful expectancy, his breathing fluttered into a series of 
sighs. Edinburgh waits, with Mr. Clark at its head, in painful 
exjx?ctance of the King'^s Majesty. Hark, see far overhead : 
the old Castle has heard his Majesty"*8 trumpet, and answers 
from her metal throats, in thunder, in rolling smoke-clouds 
barred with long spears of fire. Fifty shots of their great 
ordnance : Yore Heaven a very handsome salute. And there, 
aye there, Mr. Archibald ; loud knock at this thy West Port 
door. Majesty knocking for entrance : thou must rise, bestir 
thee, for the hour is come ! — Pageants are a thing valueless 
as dreams ; records of Pageants are like the dream of a, dream. 
Nevertheless, as this old Edinburgh Gate opens, flung back by 
old Edinburgh beefeaters, the Lord Provost kneeling, presents 
his oration, and the keys of the City in a silver bason, having 
first shaken into it a purse of a thousand gold coins ; which 
Marquis Hamilton as Master of the Horse and Grand 
Chamberlain of Scotland, receives ; and the King^s Majesty 
listens, and Eailh is attentive, and Heaven; the June sun 
looks down on it, and two centuries have fled since then ; 
while all this goes on, I say, and the plumed cavalcade fares 
slowly through the Grassmarket, West Bow and along its 
upholstery orbit, looked on by a hundred thousand eyes, the 
light of which is gone two centuries ago, — I could like to 
institute a few general reflexions. A few passing glimpses 
even, were not without interest to us. For this Pageant, spite 
of all the velvet mantling, fustian oratory and other Drum- 
inond furbishment, has a reality in it, though a smaU one. 
There verily are certain two-legged animals without feathers 
under it. Strip it bare as thou wilt, these do result. These ; 



262 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [part ii. 

and whatsoever in themselves and in their mutual relation 
these may mean and be. Reader, it is withal a most abstruse, 
and if well seen into, a most astonishing reality ; compared 
with which this Hawthomden upholstery and Nine sky-blue 
Muses, etc., are very paltry. Nay, did nine real old Muses, 
with a real Apollo, light here on the Tron Weigh-house, 
and Dritmmond fly home shrieking, even that were not nnore 
wonderful. These unfeathered bipeds, could I rightly say 
whence these came, whither they are bound, and whence 
they got this gear they have within them and upon them, — 
these laces, Genoa velvets, still more, these thoughts, beliefs, 
imaginations, expectations, — I were a Thrice Greatest and 
Mercurius to thee. 

Observe, for example, him they call Eing^s Majesty, 
Charles Rex, by one hundred and eight descents, who sits 
stately on his brown barb, footcloth of black embroidered 
velvet, bits golden, stirrups silvern, crupper and headstall 
glittering with gems of Ind, — is not that a proper man ? 
What thinkest thou of him ? Of the white taffeta cloak, of 
flat-brimmed Spanish hat and white plume, I say nothing : 
except that all is suitable to each ; that it is a king^s 
Majesty very handsomely done. The long deep -browed 
visage, shaded with love-locks, terminating in delicate 
moustaches and peaked beard, is not without el^anoe and an 
air of pride or royal superciliousness, shaded you would say 
with sorrow. There is in it a solemnity partly conscious 
that it ought not to be solemn — that it is not solid or really 
solemn, rests not on solidity or energy, depth, or inward 
faculty of any kind ; but solely on the white tafieta cloak 
with etceteras. Wholly the great man except the soul of 
him, — like the Tragedy of Hamlet, the part of Hamlet left 
out by particular desire. To me it has a certain fatality of 
aspect. This man has not achieved greatness; he has been 
born great, — in gesture, decoration, place and bearing. His 
elegant thin hazel eyes seem ver)' rapid and very deep, and 
turn up occasionally as if Heaven would make all good 



CHAP.xiL] A SCOTCH CORONATION 263 

nevertheless. Pretension and ability seem far out of pro- 
portion. He is descended from some one he calls Fergus 
the First by 108 generations, and at some later point of the 
genealogy, from Elizabeth Muir of Rowallan, in Renfrew- 
shire, whom some assert to have been an improper female. 
Falsely, I hope, — but indeed, what matters it ? We have 
all some 108 descents, or more, counting from Adam, or 
even from Japheth, downwards, and at some step it is odds 
but some improper females and not very many proper males 
have intervened. From Elizabeth Muir, at all events, the 
Steward of Scotland, begotten by poor Robert Bruce, second 
of that name, did issue, and became king and took his Traders 
name for surname, and had descendants and adventures, and 
so we have now royal Stewarts, who reign over both nations, 
by divine right, by diabolic wrong, or probably by a mixture 
of these two. Mixture somewhat difficult to disentangle. 

Of Marquis Hamilton riding at the King'^s right hand, who 
has just received the bason, keys and gold coins, I ask thee. 
Whether he too has not something of fatal in the face of 
him ? A man favoured by his Majesty, the old playmate 
and constant familiar of his Majesty, who has slept in his 
Majesty'*s bedroom, and yet has had misventures, and is like 
to have. Where, O Marquis, for example, are the 6000 men 
thou leddest to the relief of Protestant Germany and Gus- 
tavus. Lion of the North ? Six thousand went, a fiery 
miscellany of British valour and adventure: wasted, yellow 
with disease, not many units return ! Even death in Battle 
was refused them. They had to die inactive, mostly of 
famine and heartbreak, and Gustavus or Protestantism never 
saw the mark of their swords. Hoping to purchase a little 
glory, thou hast paid the money, thou hast not got the ware ! 
Jacobus ^ Cunctator, I consider thee a very questionable 

^ Jamesy third Marquis of Hamiltoru He was created Duke of Hamilton in 
1643. Mis last exploit was the leading of a Scottish army of 20,000 into 
England ; he was defeated by Cromwell at Preston, taken at Uttoxeter ; and, 
after escape and recapture, was condemned and executed in l6f8. 



264 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [part ii. 

general. Better to stay in green Clydesdale by the Falls of 
Corra, in that palace of thine. But the old Lady Mother is 
fond of glory, is fond of Protestantism ; and on the whole a 
young Marquis is still a young king, and neither kings nor 
Marquises have yet reached the stage of Donothingism, Roi^ 
Famkans^ which is the penultimate stage. This young 
Marquis, if you saw him on foot or at Court, has the 
strangest, slouching, crouching, luridly bashful attitude and 
ways ; something really sinister, and painful even, as Mr. 
Hyde assures me : alas, a deepfelt disproportion between 
place and power to fill it, between what you expect of your- 
self, and what you will ever perform ; this is painful enough ! 
this untempered by heroic humility, heroic self-suppression, 
self-killing, far too hard a process for the most, this is 
sinister enough ! I pity this poor Marquis, a man of keen 
anxious feelings, keen attachments even, not unkindly, not 
unconscientious, were they not so dashed by ^oist terrors 
which he cannot well help : there are thousands of worse 
men. See what a viperous glow in those otherwise frightened 
eyes of his, as of the viper and poor innocent frog. I do not 
like such eyes. The Cunctator's brows are already waxing 
heavy, in a few years more of such conspicuous misventures, 
futile seekings of glory, by paying his cash and not getting 
the ware, the corners of his mouth will palpably descend, 
and one shall find him a man of horse-shoe mouth and frog- 
viper eyes, a conspicuously sinister man. For the present in 
much sunshiny weather, close to the Kings's Majesty, cheered 
by the Scottish bason and gold, and genial sun^ne, he tides 
in moderate comfort, hoping Iietter things. 

One glance, too, at him on whom all eyes are glancing, 
Thomas Howard, Lord Marshal, Earl of Arundel and Surrey, 
first nobleman of England, who rides in state here richly 
caparisoned, the cynosure of many eyes. A luminous, dis- 
tinguished man, to us still recognisable though faintly. 
Processioning, at home and abroad, on embassies, solemn 
missions in foreign parts, the first nobleman in England ; — 



CHAP.xiL] A SCOTCH CORONATION 265 

to us all this has grown most dim, small and as it were 
extinct. By how feeble, neglected a ray, does Thomas Earl 
of Arundel still glimmer visible to thee, O reader of the 
Nineteenth Century and me ? Neglected in his garden in the 
Strand lie certain mutilated blocks of foreign -hewn stone : 
These, Thomas Earl of Arundel found lying for sale at Rome, 
on his foreign missions or travels ; these, the price seeming 
reasonable, he purchased and brought home ; some unknown 
Greek man (1500 ? years ago) had got them hewn, sculptured 
with dates of old-world deeds and epochs, in which state they 
long stood read by curious dark Greek eyes, then lay tumbled, 
devastated by the Turks, no black or grey eye heeding them, 
— except the salesman who persuaded Thomas Earl of 
Arundel to purchase them. Thomas purchased them, laid 
them in his garden in the Strand. They lie there neglected 
while Thomas rides the streets of Edinburgh with king 
Charles. But now in this present year [1843], these 
Parian hewn stones, — what of them escaped being set in 
grates by masons, rescued by the illustrious Selden, — stand 
in the door- way (?) of a College at Oxford, and are a Parian 
Chronicle, and fly abroad printed in Books, and are the 
Arundel Marbles, known to all mortals, — ^shedding some 
faint veritable ray into the otherwise Cimmerian night of early 
Time.^ Such virtue was in English Thomas Howard'^s guineas 
well given — in the stroke of that Greek's Parian chisel 
judiciously laid on. Thanks to Thomas Howard, whom we 
name, that he purchased these marbles ; but thanks also to 
that invisible but indubitable Greek who quarried and 
sculptured them, whom we cannot name. By this faint ray 
slied into the far night of Time, shall Thomas Howard be 
long memorable ; when all else of him is forgotten. O 
money - capitalists, lilarls, Dukes, persons of capital and 

* The marbles of which the ' Parian Chronicle * is the most interesting item, 
were presented to the University of Oxford in 1677, by Henry Howard, grand* 
soil of the alx)ve Thomas Howard. The marbles are now, nearly all, deposited 
in ihe basement of the Ashmolean museum. 



266 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [part II. 

honour, striving to purchase a little glory, my advice were 
that you went to the right shop for it, that you did some 
actual thing, or fraction of a thing. Glory is purchasable if 
you want it ; but the tailor, upholsterer, coachbuilder, etc., 
have it not to sell. Palaces, valets, and caparisons, tlie 
whole honour and splendour of this Thomas are clean gone ; 
the mountains of venison and beef, the oceans of Bui^undy 
and vi7io seccOy sherries, sack, he poured through his thousand 
throats, to the admiration of contemporary flunkies, where 
is all that ? By the few guineas he gave for the Arundel 
Marbles does Thomas Howard, like a farthing rushlight in 
a galaxy all tenebrific, assert some feeble honourable visi- 
bility. Glory.'* my right honourable friends, it is not by 
sumptuous expenditure and sumptuously consuming, that roan, 
had he the throat of BePs dragon,^ can rise to the immortal 
gods. No ! nor even by dressing Parliamentary cases, rising 
to the head of Ministries, and victoriously guiding the spigot 
of taxation, what we call the helm of Government. My right 
honourable friends, might the heavenly wisdoms illuminate 
you ; for failing them, I think the Tartarean Fatalisms, are 
not far, which never fail to prove didactic though a little 
too late ! — 

Meanwhile I ask thee, good reader, hast thou seen many 
prettier youths than this young Earl of Montrose ?* Mugdock, 
beyond the Forth Meadows, is unluckily a hungry house ; but 
here it has sent forth a proper man. Cardinal de Retz, a 
judge in such matters, finds a resemblance here to the heroes 
of Plutarch. So do I too, as realities of the human kindred 
all resemble one another. If King of Scotland mean strongest 
or largest soul of Scotland, why were not this man King? 
Alas ! such thought be far from us ; from him how altc^ether 
far is it ! For the Past exists too, some four or five year- 

* See the story of * Bel and the Dragon ' in the Apocrypha* 
' James Graham, the 'great Marquis/ horn i6i2. Fie deserted the Cove- 
nanters at the close of the Second Bishops* War, espoused the royal cause, aod* 
after a glorious but ill-fated career, died on the gallows. May, 165a 



CHAP.xii.J A SCOTCH CORONATION 267 

thousands deep ; — ^not to be abolished, thank Heaven ! And 
in all times and places, the Present cannot get existed except 
by adopting all that is true of that, and honestly growing out 
of that. Shambling Charles Stuart is king, and firm-footed, 
fire-souled James Graham aspires but to be an accepted 
implement of his. Accepted, how thrice happy were he. 
Alas, the poor youth's estate, squandered in France, too, 
and foreign travels, etc., lies mainly on his back, I doubt : 
and he has wild wishes within him, a wild deep soul, insatiable 
as fire and noble too and fierce and bright as that. I like 
that lion-lip of the young Earl, that massive aquiline face, 
that broad brow, and the eyes, in which I discern smoke 
enough. He rides sumptuously but unnoticed. King's Majesty 
would take no notice of him, wherein some say Marquis 
Hamilton, speaking of broken fortune, ambitious, vehement 
temper, did him no good. Pass on, my Lord Marquis ; 
possibly we shaU meet again. 

Dr. William Laud, now Bishop of London, Privy Councillor 
to his Majesty, Member of the High Commission Court and 
Star Chamber, etc., rides too in that procession, gazes some- 
what over the high edifices and street phenomena, trying to 
i-cmember them again, after an absence of sixteen years. Yes, 
my Lord Bishop, those old stone houses are there, but in 
your Lordship's self many things have changed : your hair 
which was then black is now getting grizzled, and you are a 
man of sixty ; the church, too, has changed, and the world. 
English Solomon who never loved you, is gone to his glory, 
old age and strong Greek wine having done their part. He 
grew at last so stiff, that when they set him on horseback, he 
would stick unaltered through a whole stag -hunt, merely 
demanding liquor, from time to time ; and come in with the 
hat sunk a little into the hollow of his neck, but otherwise 
unaltered in position,^ swearing Scotch oaths, and not in the 

^ James was not always so fortunate as that in his riding. It is on record 
that, as 'he was riding on horseback abroad' (after dinner on the day in 
which he had dissolved his Third Parliament, 6th January, 1621-2), *his horse 



268 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [part IL 

worst humour. A right religious Sovereign he, and true 
father of the Church, whose loss would have been irreparable, 
— had we not here, by Heaven'^s blessing, got a new and 
better ! What king James but meditated king Charles 
will do. 

Alas, all changes, all grows, decays, and dies. We were 
then a poor subaltern of an underfoot chaplain, busy packing, 
in a subterranean way, Scotch General Assemblies, under the 
cold shade ; and we have been since then a pretty way. 
Dean of Huntingdon, Bishop of St. Davids, Dean of Chapel 
Royal, etc., and are now third Bishop of the realm, within 
sight almost of being first, — ^for poor old Abbot cannot hold 
out long. And the church — what a reformation ; which then 
we durst hardly dream of ! Altars, in most places, built into 
the East wall, surrounded with a decent rail ; the priest in 
dispensing the elements going through his genuflexions in 
many places with propriety. Chinese Mandarins, heathen 
Bonzes, Talapoins,^ shall they surpass us in fitness of gesture ? 
And they but Idolaters ! By Heaven'^s blessing, we shall 
surpass them. 



CHAPTER XIII 

ENGLISH MEN AND WOMEN IN THE TIME OF 

PURITANISM 

Is it not worth our while to look back for a mom^it at 
the last great expansion of England ? We will look at 
Puritanism and the time of Oliver Cromwell. A time of 
darkness, straits ; when the soul of England pent within old 



stumbled and cast his Majestie into the New River, where the ice brakcf; be 
fell in, so that nothing but his boots were seene. Sir Richard Yong was next, 
who alighted, went into the water, and lifted him out. There came much 
water out of his mouth and bodie. His Majestie rode back to Theobalds, 
went into a warme bed, and, as we heare, is well, which God oontinoe!' 
HarUian MS,, 389. 

^ Bonzes and Talapoins are Buddhist Priests and Monks. 



^JL 



CHAP. XIII.] ENGLISH MEN AND WOMEN 269 

limits, could no longer live, felt that it must be delivered or 
die, — and with endless tribulation and confusion, did verily 
deliver itself, and get new freer limits to live in ! What is 
in the Future we know not ; but know well it will be of 
blood-relation to the Past. Wouldst thou know the coming 
grandchild, look in the portrait of his grandfather. The 
clothes will be different, how different : but the features, 
never doubt it, will have a resemblance. 

Landor has written * Imaginary Conversations ** ; but the 
real conversations were an entirely different matter. Much 
more is required for men\s understanding one another than 
their speaking the same vocables of language. The Edinburgh 
man brought suddenly into a London circle feels himself, in 
spite of Newspapers, so much of an alien. The topics of his 
new neighbours are not his topics, they think too, in quite 
a different style about them : What the neighbours say to 
him, what he says to the neighbours, is alike in good measure 
unintelligible, conversation frustrate, speech that cannot be 
heard. 

Fancy a figure from one of our extant soirees, suddenly 
canned back 200 years into the dark past, and set down face 
to face in a social evening party of CromwelFs time. Pause 
a little over this. No doubt at all our ancestors had evening 
parties ; there in apartments swept, heated, lighted, cheery 
with the hum of human voices they do meet together ; certain 
as if we saw it, there they are. Of stature, figure, structure 
biKlily and spiritual, altogether like our own ; nothing but the 
outer tailor'*s work dissimilar. Their faces in all lineaments 
are *us ours : behold the English noses in their shapes and 
uushajxjs, — the due proportion of them tipt with carbuncular 
red : the surly square English faces, alas, sorrowfully truculent 
perhajis, sorrowfully thoughtful, loving, valiant, sorrow-fully 
striving to be glad. For the basis of their life is earnestness ; 
too apt, in such a world as this, to have itself made into 
sorrow, silent, mournful indignation and provocation, noble 
or ignoble spleen, — what you would call a radically sulky 



270 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [part 11. 

kind of people. In whom nevertheless lies laughter and 
floods of honest joy ; the best and only good laughter, — as 
rainbows and all bright pictures shine best on a ground of 
black. Faces altogether such as ours ; and figures, the broad- 
shouldered Herculean, the taper -limbed Apollo figure, and 
other varieties, not to speak of bow-legged, squat, with pot- 
bellies. Neither in spite of time can their curls, wimples 
and fantastic dresses and head-dresses hide from me that here 
are true daughters of Saxondom, bright as the May month, 
beautiful as the summer dawn. Behold them. T^e face a 
beautiful, improved, transfigured, female version of the male 
face, a thing really worth beholding. Truculent sorrow, 
where is it now ? Become a noble dignity, sunny grace made 
lovelier by a shade. These are the daughters of England, 
the mothers of England. Beautiful enough for that matter. 
Complexion as of milk with a tinge of roses ; shapes as of 
the wood-goddess with her nymphs ; — and in those blue eyes, 
as quiet as they look, have I not seen festive radiances, 
lambent kindlings ; brighter far than the glance of diamonds. 
It was the flash of their minds that had life, that was soul, 
and had come from Heaven. Properly the brightest of all 
weather gleams in this lower life. Alas ! they go out so soon 
in dead darkness, and all that vision is away, away ! 

Such figures in their silks, in their doth habiliments, 
bright -dyed enough, are veritably there, alive, and lights 
burning round them, and the modem figure entering with 
the truest wish to commune, what a stranger is he ! Talk 
goes of my Lord Marshal and his Parian Chronicle that lies 
mouldering in Arundel House, by the Strand of Thames, and 
how the masons have broken part of it, and sacrilegiously set 
fire-grates with Marmora Arundeliana. Of Lambeth and his 
Grace, by some called his Little Grace, so overwhelmed with 
Star chamber and High Commission business, — ^Bastwick**8 
ears to be cropt in Palaceyard ; obscure sectaries gettiii|^ 
loud everywhere ; of King^s right to Tonnage and Poundage 
without Parliament or not without ; of Altant railed and 



CH. XIV.] BASTWICK, BURTON, AND PRYNNE 271 

fronting the East, or Communion Tables which are not Altars 
nor railed, and stand either East or West as it chances. Ah 
nie, and of Grace, Predestination, Goodworks, Faith, and of 
the Five Arminian Points condemned at Dort. A dim hum 
of these things reaches our ears ; but they are become un- 
nionientous, undelightful, — unintelligible, like the jargoning 
of choughs and rooks ! — We shall never get into that old 
soiree ; neither let us lament that we cannot. And if in 
these circles one spoke a word of Parliamentary Reform 
Schedules, Sir Robert Peel and the prosperity of Trade .'^ 
German Literature, Almack'^s Toleration, Railway miracle, 
or the Cause of Civil and Religious Liberty all over the 
world ? Time was, but. the time that was is not any more ; 
has no more the right to be. 



CHAPTER XIV 

BASTWICK, BURTON, AND PRYNNE 

[1637] 

Ox the 30th of June, 1637, I see a crowd in old Palace 
Yard : Old London streaming thitherward through King 
8tix.'et, by boats at Lambeth ferry, through all streets and 
ferries, with various expressions of face, with thoughts — who 
can know their thoughts ? Dim through the long vista of 
years, and all foreign, though domestic, nay, paternal, has 
t he whole grown to me : men and women many thousands, 
ill hoods, in long lappeted cap and gown, in steeple hat and 
Dutch-looking breeches, — of indistinct costume, — close packed 
together — stand gazing there; but the features I see are 
Mnglish, a sea of English faces, — a miscellaneous sea of 
l^iglish souls with such most indistinct miscellany of thoughts 
as the scene brings. My Fathers and my Mothei's ! For 
Iwhold, the three prisoners come out, guarded by due tip- 
staves, by long-skirted ])erson8 in authority ; mount aloft to 



272 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [part IL 

their scaffold, into the geneml eye of day, of that day, — and 
of many days, onward even to this day and farther. Indii^ 
tinct murmur, thrill of manifold fellow-feeling runs through 
that crowd. They were seditious men, these three, or thev 
were not seditious but speakers for the rights of Englishmen ? 
They shall lose their ears this day, be heavily fined and take 
farewell of liberty in jail till death : so much is certain. 
ITiey are of a sort not usually seen on Pillories ; Reverend 
Henry Burton, of Friday Street Chapel ; William Prynne, 
Esq., of Lincoln'^s Inn, Bsurister at Law, and John Bastwick, 
M.D. Burton was a Graduate of Oxford, had at one time 
been Tutor to the King, a man held in great estimation, and 
chargeable with no fault but a certain anti-Laudism which 
could not then, and cannot now, either in the matter or e\'en 
in the manner of it, be regarded by the public as a crime 
very heinous, but as the reverse of one. W. Prynne whom 
we are accustomed to picture to ourselves as a dingy un- 
washed, contentious, writing -sansculotte, was far other in 
reality : a gentleman by birth and breeding and behaviour, 
a Graduate of Oxford ; laborious conscientious Student of 
Law, a man of much learning which to his own generation 
was very far fi*om looking crabbed and obsolete as it does to 
ours. John Bastwick, too, is a gentleman and scholar; has 
studied at Cambridge, learned meilicine at Padua, and prac- 
tised it at Colchester. These three persons disreputable 
to nobody, warmly asteemed and even venerated of many, 
appeai*ed on this 30th June, 1637, on what might be called 
a new^ stage, and exhibited a very sti'ange spectacle to Eng- 
land. They were conducted from prison to their scaffolds in 
Palace Yard ; fixed in their pillories for two hours, as if they 
had been pickpockets: at the end of two hours the exe- 
cutioners with attendant surgeons, with braziers, branding 
irons, and due apfmratus, stept forth and shore their ean 
off them, staunching their blood with the actual cautery of 
i-ed-hot iron hissing in their flesh, — the people looking on, 
not with noise, with a silence which we find had grown 



CH. XIV.] BAST\\T[CK, BURTON, AND PRYNNE 273 

* j)ale.'' All people might naturally ask themselves, Whither- 
ward is all this ; what will it end in ? Bastwick'*s wife caught 
his ears in her lap, and kissed him without tears. Brave 
(lame Bastwick, worthy to be a Mother of men ! ^ In 
Burton'^s case, who had preached all the time of the . pillorj- 
penance, they cut an artery, and the blood came leaping ; his 
face grew pale, as all faces did ; * I am not hurt,"* he cried. 
Prvnne's eai-s, which had been sliced before but sewed on 
again, were now grubbed out beyond surgeon'^s help ; the 
executioners rather sawed than cut him ; Prynne said with 
emphasis : * Cut me, tear me, bum me ; I fear the fire of 
' Hell, but none of you.** Burton when they carried him into 
a house in King Street, the execution being done, and laid 
him on a bed, was heard to say, the June temperature too 
being very high, *This is too hot to last.** Words which 
circulated through the London multitude and through all 
England, with something of a prophetic application. — O, my 
brothers, my poor maltreated Bastwicks, Burtons, and Prynnes, 
never so rude of speech, so obsolete of dialect and logic, it is 
you withal whom I will honour. If no triple-hatted, shovel- 
hatted or other chimera do now oppress us, if the attempt to 
do it would raise England, Europe and America as one man 
and explode such mad chimera into limbo, — whom have we 
to thank ! 

This was the last and greatest of the High Commission 
and Star-Chamber performances in the way of slitting and 
branding. We may give it as the culminating point and 
H|)ex of a large unrememberable mass of pilloryings, finings, 
and ignominious severities inflicted on Englishmen for scrupling 

* * But thus too the poor Scotch woman, John Brown the carrier's wife, at that 
cottage door in Clydesdale, bound up her shot husband's brains, and sitting down 
in silence, laid it on her lap, bidding her orphans not weep, but wait this stern 
blessed morning the farther will of God. And when the Claverhouse trooper 
asked tauntingly, " What think ye of your husband now?" she answered, " I 
thought always mickle of my husband, and I think more of him now than ever ! " 
— May it please your Grace, this seems to me better than altars in the East.' 
From another Paper in this MS,^ headtd * Prynne and Bastwick,* 

S 



274 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [part II. 

to become inane China-men, and worship God in the Laud 
manner by bowings and beckings towards the East, etc ^ Is 
^ the living God a buzzard idol,^ asks Milton,^ as with eyes 
flashing empyrean fire : Darest thou worship Him with 
grimaces, and Dniry Lane gesticulations ? I dare not, and 
must not, and will not ! You shall ! said little Laud, with 
his shrew voice elevated, and his red face still redder ; and so 
the matter went on, and had grown * too hot to last.' 



CHAPTER XV 

laud's life by heylin^ 

Laud'^s Life has been described by Peter Heylin, D.D. ; 
the man known usually in Presb}'terian Polemics by the name 
of ^ Lying Peter/ He is an alert, logical, metaphorical, 
most swift, ingenious man ; alive every inch of him, Episoopal 
to the very finger-ends. This present writer has xead the 
old dim folio, every word of it, with faithful industry, with 
truest wish to understand. A hope did dawn on him that he 
of all Adam^s posterity would be the last that undertook 
such a trouble : some one of Adanf s sons was fated to be the 
last; why not he? It had been too sad a task 
For if the truth must be told, this unfortunate last 
found that properly he did not * understand ^ it in the least, 
that though the thing lay plain, patent as the turnpike hi^» 
way, no man would ever more understand it. For the 
mournful truth is, that the human brain in this stage of its 
progress, refuses any longer to concern itself with Peter 
Heylin. The result was, no increase of knowledge at all. 
Read him not, O reader of this nineteenth century, let no 
pedant persuade you to read him. Spectres and air^phantoms 

• 

' ' . . ' . Wlio thought no better of the living God than of a bnsaid idoL* 

' Cyprianus Anglicus : or the History of the Life and Dtaik 0/ WiiUam 
Laudf Archbishop of Canterbury , ly Peter Heylin (London, 1668). 



CHAP.xv.] LAUD^S LIFE BY HEYLIN 275 

of altars in the East, half-paces, communion-rails, shovel- 
hatteries, and mummeries and genuflexions; I for one, O 
Peter, have forever lost the talent of taking any interest in 
them, this way or that. As good to say it free out. My 
sight strains itself looking at them ; discerns them to be 
verily phantoms, air-woven, brain-woven ; disowned by Nature, 
noxious to health and life, — dreary as an aged cobweb full 
of dust and dead flies. Peter, my friend, it is enough to sit 
two centuries as an incubus upon the human soul ; thou 
wouldst not continue it into the third century? ITiou art 
i-equested in terms of civility to disappear. Incubuses have 
one duty to do : withdraw. Were Peter^s Book well burnt 
and not a copy of it left, this therefore were the balance of 
accounts : human knowledge where it was, and two weeks of 
time and misery saved to many men. On these terms, this 
last reader will not grudge having read. 

In these present years, much to the wonder of the world, 
considerable phantasmagories of theoretic logic as to Church 
and State and their relation and subordination and coordina- 
tion, flgure, once again, like ghosts resuscitated from a past 
century, through the heads of certain English living men. 
Into such conflict of phantasmagories thou and I, O reader, 
have not the faintest purpose to enter. By Heaven'^s blessing 
we belong not to the seventeenth century ; we are alive here, 
and have the honour of belonging to the nineteenth ! What 
concerns us is to discern clearly across mitres, coifs, rochets, 
tithes and liturgies what is a Church and what is no Church 
at all. The Church is the messenger from the world of 
Eternity to men who live in this world of Time. What 
credible message she delivers in this visible Time-world as to 
our possessions, relations, prospects, in the unseen world which 
lies beyond Time ; this for the while is the religion of men. 
I low the true Church will relate itself to the practical State, 
this is ever the interesting question, the question of questions. 
How the Acemhiff Church will do it, is, if she be no true one, 
a most unimportant question. Church and State are Theory 



276 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [part ii. 

and Practice. Church is our Theorem of the invisible 
Eternity, wherein all that we name world in our earthly 
dialects, all from royal mantles to tinkers^ aprons, seems but 
as an emblematic shadow. Emblematic, I say; for thou 
wilt discern that the real Church of men does always trans- 
figure itself in their temporal business. Of many a man that 
signs the Church credo without either smile or sigh, what were 
the real Thirty-nine Articles, could we, or even could he 
himself, poor stupid insincere man, contrive to get them out 
of him ? One huge Note of Interrogation : Is there any 
unseen world ? What is it ? Some say there is ? That 
were his Thirty-nine Articles — the homily from which we 
may likewise see dimly drawn, and, if not preached, daily 
cited. Man'^s soul is his stomach ; thou son of man, have 
an eye to victual ; in victual, from pudding up to praise, how 
rich is this earth ! A Note of Interrogation : Others I have 
known whose Thirty-nine Articles were one huge zero. — It 
must be owned King Charles'^s Kingship, and Archbishop 
Laud's Archbishopship were extremely on a par. 

Church : look, 1800 years ago, in the stable at Bethlehem, an 
infant laid in a manger! Look, and behold it; thou wilt therebv 
learn innumerable things. The admiration of all nobleness, 
divine worship of Godlike nobleness, how universal is it in the 
history of men. — But mankind, that singular entity mankind, 
is like the fertilest, fluidest, most wondrous element in which 
the strangest things cr}'stallise themselves, spread out in the 
most astonishing growths. Bethlehem cradle was one thing 
in the year One, but all years since that, — 1800 of them 
now, have been contributing new growth to it; — and see 
there it stands : the Church ! Touching the earth with one 
small point, rising out therefrom, ever higher, ever broader, 
high as the heaven itself, broad till it overshadows the whole 
visible heaven and earth, and no star can be seen, except 
through it. Whatever the root and seedgrain were, thou 
does not call all that enormous growth above ground nothing? 
Surely not ; it is a very wondrous thing, nay, a great in- 



CHAP. XV.] LAUD'S LIFE BY HEYLIN 277 

.structive and venerable thing. Were its root gone to 
nothing, sure enough it were still there. Alas, if its root 
do give way, and it lose hold of the firm earth, what, great 
as it is, can by any possibility become of it, except even this, 
that it sway itself slowly or fast, nod ever farther from the 
perpendicular, and sweeping the eternal heavens clear of its 
old brown foliage, come to the ground with much confused 
crashing and lie there a chaos of fragments, a mass of 
splinters, boughs and wreckage, out of which the poor 
inhabitants must make what they can ! Do not forget your 
root, therefore, my brothers ! I have comparatively a most 
small value for your biggest magic- tree when the root of it is 
gone. 

Certainly among the characters I have fallen in with in 
history this William Laud has not been the least perplexing. 
PjTrhuses, Pizarros that fight, kill and truculently cut their 
way to promotion in that manner, one can understand ; 
mighty hunters who live to kill foxes, we have likewise seen ; 
missioned Cooks, Columbuses who cannot rest till they have 
discovered continents ; Spanish Soldier Poets writing Arau- 
cana Epics on leather ; Tychos and Keplers searching out, in 
weary night watches, in bitter isolation and hardship and 
neglect of all men, the courses of the stars : but what this 
man means by cutting off men'^s ears, branding their cheeks 
S.S., and chaining them to posts under ground, and keeping 
the whole world in hot water, for the sake of getting his 
altars set in the East wall ? Good Heavens, suppose the 
altar were set in the West wall, or in any or no wall, so that 
the living hearts of men would be turned towards the God of 
the altar ! Their ears might then stick on their heads, one 
would say, and all go well and peaceably. But no ; the 
Puritans, it appears, are turned but too intently towards the 
God of the altar; and that is no excuse for them with 
^Villiam I^ud, — nay, as probably begetting an impatience 
with r'tvst-wall altars, and other Episcopal Upholstery, it is 



278 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [part li. 

part of their offence. They are too religious ; and a 
Christian soul's Arch-overseer has the strangest care laid upon 
him, — that of making his people less religious ! The trouble 
this souPs Overseer has taken in promulgating the Book of 
Sports^ and such like, with penalties and admonitions, is con- 
siderable in that direction. If the Divine Powers favour, the 
Earthly ones have done their part ; and this people on the 
Sabbath day shall not indulge themselves in praying, but come 
out to sport and drink ale. And the man reads the same 
Bible still printed in this country, and is Archiepiscopus, 
Primate of all England. Stranger Primate of all England I 
have never in my life fallen in with. And it is a clean- 
brushed, cultivated man, well-read in the Fathers and Church 
history ; a rational, at least much-reasoning, extremely logical 
man. He will prove it for thee by never-ending logic, and 
the most riveting arguments, if thou hast patience to listen. 
What he means, what he can possibly mean ? 

There have been many Prcestdes of England, Arch-overseers 
of Canterbury, and some of them through Wharton'^s AngUa 
Sacra^ Lives of Saints^ and such windows as I could discover 
or attain to, I have looked at with attention, affliction, 
admiration, generally with amazement : but this Prcesul of 
England amazes me more than all, afflicts me more than all. 
Eadmer'^s Life of Anselm in the rough Norman days, one can 
still survey with interest ; his old Anselm one can still discern 
to be a living man, a kind of hero, and reverently salute him 
as a sublime though simple old Father, through the dim eight 
centuries that inter\'ene ; but this new Prcesuly distant but two 
centuries, did he ever breathe, and step about on black leather ? 
Already poor William Laud is too inconceivable. Not among 
the heroes of this world ... is he to be ranked. Human 
scepticism will not go the length of disbelieving that he 
lived ; and yet al&s, in what way ; how could a human figure, 

^ Kin{; James's ' Book of Sports ' (see anie^ p. 138) was reissued by Chmrlcft 
and Laud in 1633. 



CHAP. XV.] LAUD^S LIFE BY HEYLIN 279 

with warm red blood in him consent to live in that manner? 
It is, and continues, verj'^ difficult to say ! Future ages, if 
they do not, as is likelier, totally forget * W. Cant.,** will range 
him under the category of Incredibilities. Not again in the 
dead strata which lie under men'^s feet, will such a fossil be 
dug up. The wonderful wonder of wonders, were it not even 
this, A zealous Chief Priest, at once persecutor and martyr,^ 
who has no discoverable religion of his own ? 

Or why not leave Laud very much on his own basis ? Let 
the dead bury their dead. Laud is little to me. Yet as the 
straggling bramble which you find suspended by many a 
prickly hook to the noble oak tree, to the fruitful fig, so high 
and protrusive is the bramble you are obliged to notice it. — 
The present is like boundless steam or gas ; boundless, filling 
the Earth and the Solar System : wait a little, it will from 
gaseousness become liquid, become dried and solid, sink into 
the quiet thickness of a film. Large epochs lie in one rock- 
stratum of that deep mass that lies piled up from the centre 
of Beginning. Under feet of the living lies as soil and as 
rocky substratum, the ashes of the dead. Organic remains, it 
is all organic residues, and was once alive and loud as you are. 
It lies now so quiet, growing mere com for you, supporting 
your partridges, game-laws, and much else ! — 

How then shall we name this singular Wil. Cant. ? Name 
him Arch Prcesul of the so-called * NagVhead Church.** • A 
Church evidently of the temporary kind, which could exist 
only in certain centuries, and in all other centuries will be 
sought for in vain. — In the times of Ansel m and the Vatican, 
it was a life-and-death question. Shall Europe become wholly 
a Church, its Kings mere administrative deacons therein, the 
universal Sovereign of it sitting aloft at Rome, crowTied in 
his three hats, a kind of human God ? Or shall the Heathen 

^ Articles of impeachment against Laud for having attempted to subvert 
religion and the fundamental laws of the realm, were unanimously voted by the 
House of Commons in Feb., 1640*1. He was soon afterwards sent to the 
Tower, and beheaded on Tower Hill, loth Januar}', 1644-5. 



280 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [PART IL 

secular element of it, withal, not be suppressed ; since it too 
was made of God? Psalms and Litanies being everywhere 
chaunted to the utmost perfection, there will remain yet 
innumerable things to do, — cotton to be spun in Lancashire, 
for instance, grain to grow in the Lothians, and much else ! 
Everywhere cities are to be built, swamps to be drained, and 
wastes to be irrigated, savage tribes and places to be drilled 
and tilled, whole continents to become green, fruitful with 
life and traffic. The Heathen element, as you call it, ought 
withal to assert itself, and will. Jesus of Nazareth and the 
life he led and the death he died, through which as a 
miraculous window the visions of martyrdom, heroism, divine 
depths of sorrow, of noble labour, and the unspeakable silent 
expanses of Eternity disclose themselves : he, the divinest of 
men, shall be the alone divine ? The vision of Eternity, such 
vision hid from the outer eye, yet real and the only reality to 
the eye of the soul, shall it assert itself in man''s life, and 
even alone assert itself ? The vision of Eternity shall be all ; 
and the vision of Time, except in reference to that, shall be 
nothing. My enlightened friends of this present supreme 
age, what shall I say to you ? That essentially it is even so. 
That he who has no vision of Eternity will never get a hold 
of Time. Time is so constructed ; that is the ^/&c< of the 
construction of this world ; and no class of mortals who have 
not, through Nazareth or elsewhere, come to get heartily 
acquainted with such fact, perpetually familiar with it in all 
the outs and ins of their existence, have ever found this 
universe habitable long. I say they had to quit it soon and 
march, — as I conjecture, into chaos and that land of which 
Bedlam is the Mount Zion. The world turned out not to 
be made of mere eatables and drinkables, of Newspaper puflk, 
gilt carriages, flunkies ; no, but of something other than 
these ! . . . 



CiiAP.xvL] LAUD^S REFORMATION 281 



CHAPTER XVI 
laud's reformation 

Early in the Seventeenth century, Dr. William Laud, this 
small man of great activity, had formed the wish, which, as 
dignities accumulated on him and occasion offered, became 
the purpose, to introduce a Reformation into England (Re- 
fonnation is what Peter Heylin names it) — into England and 
her affairs. England has never since I first heard of it, been 
without need of a reformation ; every man too is called to 
introduce his bit of reformation into his comer of this earth 
while he sojourns in it : that is properly the meaning of his 
appearance here. Let him by all means introduce his re- 
formation ; nay he will do it, and cannot help doing it ; ugly 
clay will grow to square-moulded hard-burnt bricks, to per- 
|>endicular, rain-tight houses, in his hands ; untanned skins 
of cattle to mud-proof elegant boots ; brutal putrescent 
Poperies to rugged Lutheran Evangelisms ; — according to 
the trade and opportunities of the man, let him by all means 
give us what reformation is in him. It is his contribution 
to the general funded capital of this God'^s Earth, and shall 
l>e welcome to us. 

This small William Laud ^ith the great activity, is now 
ever since the year 1633 Archbishop of Canterbury, Primate 
of all England, favourite chief counsellor of his Majesty 
Charles the First of the name, and feels himself in a situation 
to undertake reforms. In a position, and surely not without 
a call ; for he is chief Spiritual Overseer of England, re- 
sponsible more than another for the eternal welfare of the 
souls of England. Let him ascertain well what reformation 
he can make, and in Heaven'^s name proceed to make it. 
The Reformation introduced by this small Archbishop 
I^ud brought along with it such a series of remarkable trans- 
actions and catastrophes, conspicuous to England and to all 



282 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [PART IL 

lands, as could not at that time have been anticipated by 
him. For in truth, if we consider it now with these modem 
eyes of ours, it claims to rank among the most singular 
reformations ever introduced into human affairs by any son 
of Adam ; whereby singular results could not fail to follow 
from it. 

Laud as by ofiic*e and duty bound, turns naturally his first 
attention to the spiritual state of England, — the spiritual is 
clearly enough the parent of the practical in every phasis of 
it, the spiritual given, all is given. Well, wherein is the soul 
of England sick ? What is wTong in the spiritual state of 
England ? Much every way. Much, — the origin and con- 
dition of which would lead us into boundless developments. — 
The Spiritual is wrong, the Temporal is wrong; much has 
gone wrong ; but shall if it please Heaven be rectified. 

The candid human intellect if it study intensely for five 
years under constant danger of locked-jaw, will still in this 
nineteenth century detect a busy inquisitive original faculty 
in William Laud, but a faculty imprisoned deep as tl^ 
world'^s centre in such element of world-wide obsolete delu- 
sions as renders it, when never so well detected, of no use to 
us except for scientific purposes. A fly, once so busy, im- 
bedded in amber, which by much manipulating becomes 
translucent. The fly once so busy is now quite quiet, dead 
totally ; the amber is — one knows not what. 

A busy logical faculty, operating entirely on chimerical 
element of obsolete delusions, a vehement shrill-voiced char- 
acter, confident in its own rectitude as the narrowest character 
may the soonest be. A man not without affections, though 
bred as a College Monk, with little room to develop tbem ; 
of shrill tremulous partly feminine nature, capable of spasms^ 
of most hysterical obstinacy, as female natures are. Prone to 
attach itself, if not from love, at least from the need of help, 
a most attaching creeper-plant, something of the bramble 
species in it. The bramble will prick you to the bone, while 
the oak to your handling is sleek ; the bramble by its very 



CHAP. XVI.] LAUD^S REFORMATION 283 

prickers and climbing will train itself aloft and be found at 
the tops of the highest trees : you shall judge thereby if it 
was not a strong shrub that bramble ! Dr. William I^ud has 
pricked a man or two that handled him, and he has clung 
withal to this and the otker rising forest tree, to Bishop 
AVilliams and King James, to the Duke of Buckingham, to 
King Charles ; and his black berries such as they are now 
cluster the forest, like the noblest fruit that is to be found 
there. A conspicuous bramble, judged by some to be a shrub 
of proud strength. O Charles Rex ! the royal Cedar that has 
not the art and health to eject brambles from it, but carries 
brambles up along with it, as if prickers were strength and 
black berries a noble finit — such royal Cedar is in no good 
way. The first proof of a king or a man is the question, 
AVhat men does he esteem ; the man I choose will be the 
counterpart and complement of my own self ; what I loved in 
myself as a possession, and doubly loved as a wish and ideal 
which I longed to possess, but could not : the embodiment of 
this will be my loved one. Kings and Cedars that carry up 
brambles along with them are themselves bramblish. 

In this way thinks Dr. William Laud (Wil. Cant., as he is 
now better called ^) may England be reformed. All England 
ranked up into drill order ; bowing towards the East, becking, 
gesticulating, with W. Cant, for fugleman : in this way the 
drill exercise were perfect, and we were a happy people. In- 
fatuated W. Cant. Wilt thou make the English into a 
nation of Chinese Mandarins, adequate merely to bow towards 
the East, and pay First Fruits ? ITie respectable English 
Nation, always alive hitherto, shall now wither itself into dead 
dry lath and wire, a nation of lath clothes-screens, and go 
jerking, sprawling and gesticulating as thou fuglest ! There 
will then be the wonderfullest uniformity ; at the turning of 
thy rotatory calabash, they shall all go like the keys and stops 
ill one vast barrel organ ; and a thing that can be called music 
rise to Heaven. Thou infatuated mortal, dost thou think 

' See ante, p. 253 n. 



S84 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [PART II. 

man'*s soul is a Dutch toy made of four sticks to be twitched 
hither and thither ? Darest thou, unspeakable clothes-screen, 
approach the Unnameabie, Fountain of Splendour and of 
Terror, with such fugle movements ? Dost thou think the 
living God is a buzzard Idol, whom it is safe to mimic and 
gesture with, and worship by beckings towards the Cast? 
Thou — a pale grey faded ghost in fact, fast vanishing from 
us into eternal dusk and death, forever forgotten by men, and 
shalt from me have no hard words. 

Dr. I^ud'*s Reformation, it must at the scune time be 
admitted, is one of the most surprising ever presented to the 
mind of man. To Dr. Laud'*s mind it had presented itself, 
that is a fact, of which, incredible as it seems. History bears 
the unquestionablest testimony. How doubt it ? Piynne^s 
ears are oiT, twice slit publicly away, the second time down to 
the very stumps. Prynne can have no doubt of it. Dr. 

Leighton'*s large unhappy nose is slit, Mr. ^ walks in 

the Gatehouse with a collar round his neck. • Some hundred 
processes in Star-chamber, High Commission Court and else- 
where, and most Parishes in England set to jangling, law- 
suiting, and recriminating : these do bear witness that to Dr. 
Laud's mind it was not sport but stem earnest. To this fact 
we must anchor ourselves if we would fish for some shadow of 
meaning in the existence of Dr. W. Laud : Tliat he had a 
Reformation in view and was willing to slit men^s noses, slice 
oiT men''s ears, and front the jangle and contradiction of all 
England for the sake of the same. 

To Dr. Laud, nmch pondering the matter from his eariy 
years, it has grown clearer and clearer that the Spiritual con- 
dition of England is wrong, that hence nothing else can be 
right. The Spiritual condition is wrong ; in other words, the 
Church Devotion has fallen into a most imperfect condition, 
and is falling ever lower. The minds of men not turned 
towards God their Maker ? Why, at least their bodies are 
not tunicd towards the East when they partake of the elements 

^ Name omitted in the MS. 



CHAP. XVI.] LAUD'S REFORMATION 285 

on Sunday. Certain persons called of the Church of England 
preach in imperfect Surplices, linen cloaks, or in no Surplice 
or linen cloak at all. P. P. Clerk of this Parish has in too 
many instances altogether neglected to iron the Surplice and 
lay it in lavender. Priests are not select in their tailoring as 
they ought to be, nor obedient to the rubric. How are the 
Communion elements desecrated : the bread cut with a knife 
not solemnly set apart, knife which perhaps in the next instant 
will have to cut mutton or spread butter. Good Heavens ? 
It is horrible. And the Chancel of Churches is a place in 
scandalous neglect : have I not seen dogs, stray dogs, in 
sermon time rambling in the s€u;red precinct as if God 
Almighty were not particularly There any more than He is 
Here ! AVhat are we to think ? 

For the truth must be confessed, there is a generation of 
men, affecting to strive after personal communion with God, 
who undervalue all those things, nay, despise them. Puritans ; 
a disobedient generation, of sour, gloomy aspect, irreverent of 
the tailoring of priests, — to whom the highest lustre of it, 
even the crown itself if on an addle-head, is little other than 
a miserable piece of gilt tin ! O Dr. Laud, it is im- 
possible for posterity anchored never so stedfastly to that 
historical fact of thine, and fishing never so desperately for 
some meaning in thee, to comprehend a Dr. William of the 
seventeenth century even from afar. Thou art and remainest a 
ghost to us, my thrice reverend friend, a personage chimerical, 
inconceivable, and as it were impossible. No posterity never 
so distant, will ever again comprehend thy souPs travail in 
this world, — nor perhaps in any other. Thou wert a fact, 
alas, a most fatal tragic fact, and now thou art become an 
historical cobweb, and our lazy imaginations pronounce thee 
impossible. — Charity will perhaps demand that one be brief 
with thee. 

By Heaven's blessing Dr. Laud will reform this. *A11 
' who want canonical cloaks, commonly called priest'*s cloaks, 
' shall provide themselves before Allhallowtide next, on pain 



^86 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [PART II. 

* of Ecclesiastical censure/ ^ All ye that labor and are hea\'y- 
laden come unto me and I will — order you .to buy Canonical 
cloaks. 

There will then be the wonderfullest uniformity ! From 
the East to the West the united English people, ducking, 
becking,^ going through their devotional drill exercise, under 
their respective drill-serjeants, one great Greneral at Lambeth 
in the centre of them, a sight which cannot but be gratifying 
to Heaven. 

In fact Dr. Laud'*s ideas of religion are peculiar. Whatso- 
aver people ranks itself in line and goes through the specified 
parade-movements, has a religion ; whatsoever people does 
not, has none. 

. . . The reader of our time will perhaps gain a glimpse 
into W. Laud if he take this discernible fact along with him. 
That Laud meant by worshipping, not the turning of one 
man'^s heart towards God, or the tiuning of many or of all 
men'^s hearts so, but first and foremost a turning of £Btces 
towards the altar at the East, done simultaneously by many 
men, with a certain decorous symmetry, of the military sort. 
This, thought his Grace, will be the method, if method there 
is, of getting all hearts turned towards God, that they turn 
first in a symmetrical drill-serjeant way towards Grod'^s altar 
built into the Eastern wall. Sharp serjeantry and drilling 
must civilise these awkward squadrons into symmetry, simul- 
taneity. * Worship is a social act.** *When two or three 
^ are gathered together.** In all which is there not something 
of truth : simultaneous worship is desirable, — if it can be 
had. Lay the dim embers together, they will glow into white 
fire. And yet, may it please your Grace, I have known 
worship transacted well by solitary men too. Nay, the best 
worship ever heard of: Elijah the Tishbite's for example, 

' 'A rescript nth August 1634 ; addressed by Sir N. Brent, Laud*s man, to 
the diocese of Lincoln. Kennet, iii. 73.* T. C.*s Note. 

* Becking (for bowing) is a word frequently used by the Puritan writers of the 
17th century. 



CHAP. XVI.] LAUD^S REFORMATION 287 

when the ravens fed him ; and His who was carried of the 
Spirit to be tempted forty days in the wilderness, — far from 
all human episcopal help and drill, alone with God and His 
own sore struggling nigh sinking soul. Consider it, your 
Grace, to have the heart of a man, by what means soever, so 
kindled from Heaven that its earthly dross be consumed, is 
the meaning of all worship. The heart of one man so kindled 
is more venerable to me than all the St. Peter'^s High Masses, 
than all the most perfect devotional drill serjeantry of Lam- 
beth or elsewhere. Your Grace forgets. If the heart have 
not some kindling in it, the great want will be fire to kindle 
it. The embers being not dim, but black, dead, what steads 
it on what grate you gather them ? They are dead, black ; 
all grates, all bellows and bellows-blowers are vain, and the 
proffer of them in such circumstances a sorrowful mockery to 
me. In fine will your Grace please to inform me where 
Jonah, when sunk in the whale'*s belly, found his prayer-book ? 

Dr. Laud was in Scotland in 1617, and again in 1633; 
but in Scotland he could find no religion. ITieir religion, he 
says, I could see none they had ! Their churches are little 
better than bams or dove-cotes; in their worship no fixed 
order, all left to option. What religion had they ? If they 
had a religion where or what was it P — Really, your Grace, it 
might be hard to say. But could not you perhaps give them 
one, the unfortunates ? The Dr. has his own thoughts that 
way ; time will try. 

How much has grown indifferent to us in all jthat, valueless 
as the dust of worn-out clothes. The laystall is the place for 
it, let no man reprint it again, present it to be read again, 
let it lie in the laystall to be mingled gradually as freshening 
manure upon the general soil of human things, lliere are 
ilead shell-fish which have pearls in them ; yes — and there are 
others which have no pearls, but mere hydro-carburetted gases 
to fatten the soil as manure. Indifferent, — unspeakably in- 



288 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [PART 11. 

diiTerent to me, is the controversy with Fisher the Jesuit, 
masterly as it was. What have I to do with Fisher the 
Jesuit ? He is indifferent to me, as the temple of Upsala ; 
his arguments as the seventy hoi'ses'* heads stuck up there, 
gone all to nothingness now. O Fisher the Jesuit, once for 
all I do not believe thee ; not a jot of fact has turned out 
for me in all that hypothesis of thine : it is not true, Fisher ; 
begone, and let me have done with it and thee. Can I dwell 
forever in the old spectral night with its vampires and foolish 
hobgoblins, because there are shovel hats there? With a 
sacred joy I hail the eastern morning — anthem once again of 
God'^s eternal daylight, and request and even command all 
Fishers with their trumperies to get behind me. — Something 
eternal in Puritanism, nothing but temporary in Jjstud. One 
grows yet in part ; the other has gone wholly to the laystall, 
nothing but an inheritance in Puseyism to pick up again, and 
plant it again. 

CHAPTER XVII 

THE COLCHESTER PROPHETS 

[1638-41] 

What Hampden, Cromwell, and other educated men may be 
thinking, I know not ; but what a cloud of bodeful meditation, 
earnest as death, is spread over England in these dark days, 
many symptoms teach us to know. The melancholic English 
character, in such a turbid twilight of things, intensely gazing 
on its Bible as the one sure transcript of God^s purposes and 
ways with man, comes to ver}* strange conclusions. For it is a 
melancholic character of endless seriousness, carrying gravity 
even into its cockfighting, and by these Reformation contro- 
versies has stirred up the lowest lees of it, made it very serious 
indeed. 

For example, in Colchester Town in Essex County, on its 
green height, girt by the kind embrace of the river Colne ; 
assiduous in a ceilain lane of that citv, I have for some tinie 



CHAP. xviL] THE COLCHESTER PROPHETS 889 

had my eye upon a weaver, nay, upon two weavers. Richard 
Fanihain, that is the chief one ; let us in these days, while 
the Scotch Assembly is sitting, cast a glance into Colchester ; 
and look, for by miracle we can still do so, we with our 
modern eyes, into the dingy shop and ancient earnest existence 
of Richard Famham. Methinks his establishment is some- 
what dingy, redolent of suds, weaver^s batter and Galiipoli oil, 
— for Richard, I conceive, works Colchester serges, hanks and 
sporls, which with their reels and reel-bobbins are scattered 
confusedly around. And Richard with sallow, unshaven face, 
unkempt hair or greasy nightcap, plies the shuttle with a 
multitudinous, monotonous jangle adding thread to thread. 
O Richard, Richard, and it is thou in very deed, no dream of 
any Fabulist's or Novelist'^s brain ; but a production of the 
Universe'*s brain, a very fact, there jangling its daily yards of 
serge cloth in a certain lane of Colchester in the year 1638 ? 

Many persons I find are in the habit of visiting Richard, 
to ask most serious questions of him, for his fame as a knower 
of Scriptures has spread out of his lane into the main streets, 
nay, into adjoining parishes. The wrestlings of Richard have 
been deep as those of a Luther or an Augustine ; down to the 
depths of being has this poor soul been forced to dive and 
bring up tidings, lliis and the other worn soul, ready to 
perish, has he comforted, given guidance to, — for he knows 
the pathways, and the impassables; he has been there, he. 
'I'o many has Richard Famham been a comfort, but to 
none so much as to a brother weaver, John Bull, whom he 
often consorts with, whom in these days he has raised from 
darkness into the most surprising light of wisdom or delirium, 
— or of both in one ; or quasi-light, one part of Heaven, 
nine parts of Bedlam. Richard Famham and John Bull, 
the two individuals weaving serge two centuries ago in the 
'l\)wn of Colchester, will deserve a moments notice from us. 

Many persons visit Richard ; question him as men do an 
oracle ; but he answers not alike to all. Is your questioning 
a mere profane curiosity, Richard swifUy by a counter ques- 

T 



890 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [PART II. 

tion or two detects you; takes up his shuttle again, and 
dumb, with a shake of the head, recommences his weaving. 
On the other hand, do your answers please, and seem to 
indicate to Richard that you have an awakened soul capable 
to apprehend divine truth, the shuttle pauses; there come 
hints, come utterances, frequent words exciting meditation 
enough, compelling you to new visits and ever new. Of his 
ideas about the Holy Ghost, perseverance and the sin against 
the Holy Ghost, I say little. * Have you not read Revela- 

* tions 11th and 12th ? Few read with understanding. Woe 
^ to the land that is sunk in idolatries, in falsities, in whore- 
^ doms with the Scarlet woman. Darkness rests over it. 
^ Destruction draws nigh to it. And yet, observe, are there 

* not Two Witnesses spoken of? Have you not read Hosea? 
^ How the grim Hebrew soul darkened down almost to despair 
^ and death by the wickedness of a world following falsities 
^ and blasphemous fatuities of speech and act, certain of the 
^ wrath of the Most High, blazes by (its into supernal glaie of 
^ brilliancy, sees shapes, prefigurements, admonitory messengers, 

* pillars of fire ? The darker your gloom of earnestness, the 
^ more supernal your illumination, — through the portals of 
^ Death shall issue Angels whose face is as the Sun. Few read 
*' with understanding.** We offcenest cannot read at all in these 
wretched dilettante days. Richard has read ; in Richard*s 
soul thei'e are sorrows like that of Hosea, Isaiah, and Ezekiel, 
as deep as any man'^s ; no terriblest glare in their rapt 
phantasy but awakens due glare and shadow in the phantasy 
of Richard, — a soul of man is like the souls of all other 
men ; and everywhere in Nature deep calls unto deep. The 
wickedness of England, the billet-moneys, the martial laws, 
injustices in high places, the backslidings, unbeliefs, perver- 
sities, the rejected Gospel, the vain mummery of Altars in 
the East and four surplices at Allhallowtide, have smik down 
on Richard ; made him dark as a very Hebrew, kindling here 
and there with supernal glare of brightness intolerable to the 
Colchester eye. — O reader, thou with the utmost stretch and 



CHAP. XVII.] THE COLCHESTER PROPHEl-S 891 

dead-lift endeavour of all thy artistic faculties (bless the 
mark !), and imaginative faculties, and all the half-dead 
dilettante faculties thou hast, wilt never know what a splen- 
dour of highest Heaven mixed with the gloom of lowest 
Bedlam is in the soul of that poor weaver. But let us not 
be profane, let the divine temple of a human soul, even a 
poor Colchester weaver\ be still a kind of temple. Richard 
has no mind to write Epics, which is apt to be a low trade 
compared with acting them ; he has no artistic faculty but 
that of making serges. He sits there, asking of men, 
whether they do not know the Two Witnesses, the Two Olive 
Branches, etc., whether these death-deeps of the Hebrew soul 
call not with something of a divine voice to all English souls. 

He that lives in this dead generation when Reform means 

more victual to eat with less work to do, and all soul of man 
is, as near perhaps as can be, sunk into a stomach of man ; 
he that lives in this generation, and is not only with it but 
of it, will never know, nor in the remotest manner conceive, 
what passed in England in that living and heroic one. What 
brotherhood have we with inspired Hebrews ? To catch the 
attitude of them for artistic purposes in Drury Lane and 
elsewhere. Like some brutish Roman populace holding up 
their thumbs when the gladiator died, and saying, ^ How well 
' he does it ! ** A miserable rabble ; doomed either to new 
veracity of conduct or to swift destruction. Do we not sit 
round the blaze of old Heroisms, as apes do round a (ire in 
the wood ; chattering, * Aha, it is warm and good ! "^ — and 
have not the gift or possibility, any ape of them, to add a 
new stick to the fire, but sit till it has all gone out, and 
the very ashes are cold, and they chatter to themselves, 
' lloohoo, how warm it was!'* 

But as for this poor Richard Famham, I find that for long 
years the mystery has been deepening in him ; which on 
repeated visits, if you are found worthy, Richard cautiously 
discloses, to the astonishment of all hearers. The Two 
AVitnesses, it would clearly appear, are these two Colchester 



29« HISTORICAL SKETCHES [PART II. 

weavers, Richard Famham and John Bull ! £ven tfaey. 
These are the two Anointed ones, — purified in great suffer- 
ing; they are also called Olive trees, and Candlesticks, in 
figurative language. Bull and Richard Famham, these are 
the two. They prophesy on earth very wondrous things, out 
of their mouth proceeds fire; for a certain length of time 
they can turn the waters into blood ; can smite the earth 
with what plagues they will, and have power, for one thing, to 
shut the heavens that it rain not for 1260 days. What will 
become of the agriculture in Essex ? Sayest thou, O Richard ! 
The obscure public listens with upturned eyes. 

Yes, continues Richard; and it is withal a fearful pre- 
eminency, not to be courted by the natural man. For when 
they have finished their testimony in the world, this Bull and 
Famham, the Beast that ascends out of the Bottomless Pit 
is to kill them outright, and they are to lie dead in Jeru- 
salem for three days and a half: and the nations will not 
suffer their dead bodies to be buried. If there is truth in 
Scripture, says Richard, these things I think must be so. 
But they are ^ things of a high nature.** For after three dajis 
and a half, the spirit of life is to return to Bull and Famham, 
and, to the amazement of all their enemies, they are to stand 
on their feet there in Jerusalem again, and Famham is to be 
king on David'*s throne and Bull priest in Aaron^s seat ; and 
they are to reign forever. — In my experience of prophe^ I 
have heard nothing stranger. And persons of good gifts, 
very knowing in the Scriptures, give credit to Richard, — for 
there looks out of his sallow visage and glaring eyes a belief 
which you cannot disbelieve. Neither is he mad ; he sits 
there composedly weaving serge at sevenpence a day, waits 
patiently, not in haste to encounter these glories and these 
terrors till the time come. O Richard, Richard, — ^in what 
ambient element of Boeotian fog and Egyptian murk and 
stupidity unconquerable by the gods does poor human nature 
walk abroad in this world ! 

A questionable incident however here emerges in Ridianlli 



CHAP. XVII.] THE COLCHESTER PROPHETS 29S 

history ; an incident at which the profane world cannot fail 
to cavil ; by which it is like the catastrophe will be precipit- 
ated. Richard, a prophetic bachelor hitherto, is not made of 
brass ; no, and all fires, it is said, are of kin to one another. 
One of Richard's chief disciples, the knowingest in the Scrip- 
tui*es of them all, is of the female sex, — her husband at sea ; 
one Haddenton, gone far enough, ^ to the Indies,** or I know 
not where. Richard, driven by strange impulses prophetic 
and other, is whirled in the strangest chaos, clutches with 
avidity at this fact, that he ought to * marry a wife of whore- 
' doms," as the prophet Hosea did ? ^ Very probable. He 
marries Mrs. Haddenton, her husband far oif in the Indies ; 
this is the wife wanted : she, a religious professor, knowing in 
the Scriptures, of good life and gifts, is contented to be that 
same peculiar kind of wife for Richard, whom I think she 
probably loves and indeed worships. Greater scandal has 
not happened in my time. But it lies in nature. Who 
could refuse a celestial for a husband, even though he were a 
weaver of serge ? As we are now approaching the Doctors 
Commons and the Abyss of everlasting Night, and hear in 
the distance Bedlam and the grinding of the Treadmill, we 
may as well quit Richard for the present? One little 
prophetic rushlight shedding a faint ray over many things. 
An England reading its Bible as Richard Famham did, how 
can such an England be obedient to the fugle motions of a 
AV. Laud ? 

Famham and Bull have ceased to weave in Colchester, we 
know not by what stages, whether voluntarily sallying forth 
to prophesy, or compulsorily haled forth by SheriflTs ofBcers 
to go to judgment ; but their shuttles have ceased to vibrate, 
the multitudinous jangle of their serge -looms is heard no 
more. Compulsory SheriflTs oflficers, I believe, have haled 
them both to prison. Haddenton has returned from sea, has 
elainieil his wife : there are charges of Bigamy, chai^ges of 
Blasphemy ; in brief, Famham is in New Bridewell Prison, 

* See Hosea L 2. 



294 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [PART IL 

Bull in Old Bridewell in the City of London. * Colchester 
Jack *" (Haddenton), claimed legally to have his wife again ; 
legally had her restored to him after solemn trial. She is 
not to be hanged for Bigamy, being to appearance a good, 
deluded woman. She is reprieved, given back to Haddenton ; 
— and there ensued passages between them in the New Bride- 
well Prison which a refined history had rather not report. 
For she was a wife of aberrations, appointed so to be. Nor, 
in brief, can the law ultimately avail to restore to Jack of 
Colchester his wife of aberrations ; these three, Richard 
Famham, the Prophet Hosea, and her own female vrill, aU 
conspiring to the contrary. So Jack having set sail again 
for the Indies, she is Richard'^s once more ; for it was written 
in Hosea, she should * abide for him many days,** — as in the 
New Bridewell Prison, under the thraldom of Haddenton and 
the SherifTs officers, she has now done. A scandal to religion, 
much to be deplored ! But as I said the Prophets themselves 
are in prison, their prophecies and bigamies having given 
offence; and safe under lock and key, let them get to 
Jerusalem as they can. 

And now in these sad winter days, they have fallen sick, as 
many do of a grievous sickness which is killing many, and the 
humane officials permit them to go out occasionally, and at 
the house of Mr. Custin, Rosemary Lane, I have often seen 
them interpreting the Scriptures to one another. With 
Custin and Mrs. Custin and other believers, especnally a 
Mrs. Ticknall, a carpenter'^s wife in Wapping, a creditable 
woman skilled in spiritual things. — O reader, thou canst not 
laugh at this thing, thou art ready to weep at it, — ^under 
such nightmare obstructions struggles the agonised soul of 
man, climbing the slippery precipices, stumbling at every step, 
if haply he may reach the sacred mountain-tops, and bathe in 
the everlasting dawn. — Custin dies, the women weeping over 
him, bidding him keep the faith. In this dim house in 
Rosemary Lane January 8th, 1641-S, lies another ready to 
die, lie two others, the Prophets themselves. Famham^'s hour 



CHAP. XVII.] THE COLCHESTER PROPHETS 296 

is first ; Bull, from an adjoining truckle-bed, calls on him to 
hold fast, to trample the Devil and his terrors under foot, 
and ford steadily the devouring death-stream with his eye on 
the other shore. Famham is dead, in ten days more Bull 
also dies and is buried, steadfast to the last. And now there 
remains but Mrs. Custin, Mrs. Ticknall from Wapping, and 
the wife of aberrations, with a future as obscure as three good 
women ever had. 

For they consider that the Two Prophets do indeed, as the 
Scriptures must be fulfilled, seem to lie dead, having been 
three days in the belly of the earth ; but that according to 
other Scriptures they are not dead but living, and gone on a 
far voyage, far beyond Haddenton of Colchester, — gone in 
vessels of bulrushes to convert the Ten Tribes, wherever they 
may be. Beyond the gates of ^Ethiopia and the chambers of 
the morning ! They are to come back from the rising of the 
sun, these Two Prophets, and then, mark it ye proud ones of 
this world, they shall tread on Princes as mortar, as the 
|)otter ti'eads clay having perfect command of it. What then 
will become of King Charles, Mr. Hyde, and Sir John 
Culpepper? And Archbishop Pashur?^ Pashur girt-with- 
trembling, and his surplice, will have a poor outlook ! If 
there be truth in Scripture, say these three women, this is 
true. Did an intelligent Christian ever hear the like? I 
^ieve to add that these are understanding women, women of 
fine parts for knowledge in the Scripture, of seemingly devout 
ways, even the wife of aberrations has the air of a pious 
jxirson who has obeyed prophecies merely. But words and 
arguments are vain ; vain even that you offer to dig into the 
gmves of these Prophets and show their very bodies still there, 
not gone to the gates of if!thiopia in vessels of bulrushes ; 
hut there : * Of course they will seem to be there,** the women 
answer ; * to your carnal unbelieving eyes they will be there ; 

' Pashur, i.e. Laud. 'Then said Jeremiah unto him, the Lord hath not 
called thy name Pashur, but Magor-missabib. * Jeremiah xx. 3. Magor- 
missabib = Girt-with-trembling; literally ' Fear-round-about.' 



296 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [part II. 

* it is the penalty of your unbelief. Tliis wicked and adulterous 
^ generation seeketh a sign, — to them no sign will be given ; 
^ to such as them how can or could any sign be given : leave 
^ us alone here, ye profane ! ^ Adieu, my ancient sisters ; adieu 
then, since it must be so : I part from you with thoughts for 
which the English and other modem languages have at 
present no word. May ye reach the sacred mountain^ tops 
whither we too and all that tend any whither are painfully 
tending and climbing. — O Heavens, ye much endeavouring, 
much enduring, ye shall reach them to bathe a sick soiled 
existence, and wash it clean from all its darkness ! 



CHAPTER XVIII 

LOOM OF TIME 
(occupation of the ENGLISH GENTRY) 

How do the English gentry employ themselves in this age ? 
They ride abroad with hawks and hounds, speculate on the 
flying of their hawks, on their hounds ; pay visits with high 
ceremony ; at the very least they can fight cocks. They read 
a good deal, especially in divinity, Sidney'^s Arcadia^ and 
high-stilting Romances, if not Shakspeare'*s glowing HiatorieSy 
yet Spenser^s frosty Allegory, with Davila\s Civil Wars [of 
France],^ Holinshed and the great historical compositions, not 
to speak of Acts of Parliament, Spelman, etc., up to 
Ployden and Fortescue De Laudibus [Legum Anglice]. Not 
once to mention what is the staple article of all serious 
men, immensities of Sermons, Bishops'* Charges, Chilling- 

1 Henri-Catherin Davila, son of Antoine Davila, a member of an extennve 
Spanish family. Antoine came into France in 1572, and was befriended by 
Henri ill. and Catherine de M^dicis. In acknowledgment of their kindneis he 
called his second son Henri-Catherin Davila. Henri-Catherin was bora near 
Padua in 1576. His great work, TAe Civil Wars of France^ was first published 
at Venice, 1630, in 15 volumes 4^ It was translated firom Italian into French, 
and published at Paris in 1642 ; and an English translation of a large part oC it 
appeared at London in 1647. Biographic UnioerstlU* 



CHAP. XVIII.] LOOM OF TIME 297 

worth's Religion of Protestants^ a S(xfe Way to ScUvcUion. 
Especially Divinity : frightful Dutch Divinity of Vorstius, 
xVnti-Vorstius, the Synod of • Dort, Five Points, and one 
knows not what or whose; for it was matter of eternal 
moment in those days. King James was heard to thank 
God that the Prince could manage a dispute in ITieology 
with the leamedest clerk of them, so thoroughly grounded 
was he. Cockfighting, gambling, duelling, loving and hating ; 
— the daily household epochs, three hungers and three satis - 
fyings daily : that, at all times, is a resource for human 
nature. Alas, at bottom, what would become of human 
nature without that ? Our mean wants and the necessity 
of satisfying them : they are as ballast for the soul of man, — 
the soul of man without these would soar and sail away very 
soon into the inane. Acorns fall, oak trees are felled ; men 
bake fresh bricks, hew ashlar stone ; and huts and manor- 
houses, bright in their first colours, dot the green face of the 
world. The Tron Kirk of Edinburgh is getting built since 
his Majesty was there, is shooting out its white steeple 
higher and higher into the sky this very year.^ 

It is the enormous Tissue of Existence never vet broken, 
whereof we, too, are threads ; which is working itself then as 
now, with low-voiced, jarring tumult, wide as our dwelling- 
place, the Universe, through that unimaginable and yet 
indubitable, miraculous, enormous Loom of Time. The Loom 
of Time, — it is no flourish of speech, strange to say, it is 
a fact very imperfectly so spoken. Wide also as the Universe 
is this Loom, higher than the Stars, deeper than the Abysses. 
(), cultivated reader, hast thou ever contemplated in thy soul 
the thing called Time, and yet sayest thou the age of Miracles 
has ceased ? ^ 

' The building of the Tron Kirk was begun about 1637, but, for want of 
money, proceeded so slowly that the kirk was not ready for occupation till 1647, 
and was not completed till 1663. — Sec R. H. Stevenson's CkronicUs of 
Edinburgh^ p. 293. 

^ Cf. Sartor Resartus^ Book iiL cap. vtii. 



298 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [PART IL 



CHAPTER XIX 

PATIENCE AND HOPE 

[1637] 

The Shipmoney has been solemnly argued, and Hainpden'*6 
cause is lost.^ By monopolies, forced loans, fiscal extortions 
we are punished in our purse ; by scourgingts, slit noses, 
cutting oft* of ears, in our persons and consciences : what is 
an Englishman coming to ? Would we fly to New England 
for shelter in the wildernesses beyond the ocean, even this is 
not permitted us : Saybrook is building itself in Connecticut ; 
but the Lords Saye and Brook shall not be permitted to go 
thither. Eight ships lie embargoed in the Thames ; the 
Puritan Emigrants forbidden to depart; ye shall remain 
here, ye Puritan insubordinates ; we want your ears on our 
pillories here. — And the dull people endures it all ; this 
people sunk under mumpsimtis and sumpsimus in dreary 
enchantment seems incapable to help itself, seems ready to 
endure all things. Do not God'^s Gospel ministers lie dark 

in dungeons ; Mr.^ with a collar round his neck ? 

God^^s Gaspel silenced and blasphemously trodden down at 
altars in the E&st, hateful chimeras in their copes and tippets 
are becking and gesticulating as if the living Grod were a 
mimetic mummery and conventionality and man were an 
Imitation and Hearsay and had no soul in him but an ape*& 
And the })eople resist not ; since they held down the SpeiJier, 
nothing emphatic has been done by them. Fiery £liot lies 
dead and cold, Strode reads his Bible, rugged Pym his Bible 
and briefs, etc., etc. We shall grow all, I think, into a 
Nation of mimes and Chinese automatons ; living quietly with 
a witness, — standing quietly as the wooden Chinese tiimblcn 

^ See Letters and Speeches^ i. 98. 

^ Name omitted in the MS. See ante^ p. 284. 



CHAP. XX.] * JENNY GEDDES' 299 

with lead in the bottom of them do, and all beck and bow 
when the little red-faced Grace of Lambeth pulls the check 
string. No, Mr. Oliver ; speak not so. This people'*s 
patience is among its noblest qualities, in respect for the 
constable'^s baton it is easy to be deficient, not easy to exceed. 
Patience, patience, till you can no more. Time with its 
biiths and deaths is rolling on. Help in this universe comes 
often one knows not whence ; this universe, to the just man, 
is in all fibres of it, feracious of help. The just man"'s cause 
is the universe'^s own cause ; what the universe always through 
all its entanglements and superficial perplexities means, has 
meant, and will mean : ever amid all the thousandfold eddies 
and back currents which bewilder eye and soul, this is the 
grand interior tide-stream and world -deep tendency which 
must and will succeed. — Look up to the highest as thou dost 
and study to be of good cheer. * I to the Hills will lift mine 
' eves, from whence doth come mine aid.*" 

To the Hills indeed ; — and look what is this that is befall- 
ing in the remote North Country in these days ? History 
will hasten thither. 



CHAPTER XX 

* JENNY GEDDES' 

[1637] 

Puritanism throughout the English lands lies crushed 
down, driven into silence, and it is thought into annihilation. 
Parishes of respectability have their altars at the I'^t, their 
Four Surplices at Allhallowtide, and hope they have embraced 
Dr. Laud's Reformation, and terminated Dr. Luther^s. So 
far as officiality can go, the disobedient spirit of Puritanism 
is abolished. 

Nevertheless there are things that cannot be annihilated, 
let respectable officiality do its best and worst. Whatsoever 



800 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [PART II. 

holds of the Eternal in man, addressing itself to the eternal 
sense of justice, conscience, implanted in us by the Maker, it 
is bom anew with every new man into this world, and can 
never be suppressed. The more you press and compress 
attempting to suppress it, the more fiercely will it recoil 
against you one day, with heavy compound interest for all 
it has suffered. Especially if it have suffered quietly; — 
dread these quiet sufferers, there is a strength in them beyond 
what they themselves know ! Dr. Laud, with his rubrics, 
formulas, and Four Surplices at Allhallowtide, is playing a 
heavier game than he wots of. 

For example it is now some half century that the Scottish 
people have had to suffer the saddest obstructions : their 
beloved National Church, founded we may well say in the 
travail of their souls, and the true emblem to them of Grod^^s 
presence in this Earth, has for half a century been obstructed, 
and at times threatened with suffocation under the nightmare 
of foreign Prelacy. The naked vigour of Knox and his 
heroism, which prefers the humblest real coat to wearing cme of 
cobwebs, shall now be covered up and decorated with rubrics, 
formalities, and Four Surplices at Allhallowtide, what the 
spirit of Knox feels to be unveracities, and will once for all 
have no trade with, betide what may. For long a baleful 
death - shadow has hung over the Scotch Church ; tnie 
Assemblies prohibited, exploded canonicals permitted, — 
Episcopacy, in its rochets, tippets, and rotten rags of an 
extinct Popery, abhorred by Heaven and Earth, actually 
walking abroad in the country. O Dr. Laud, it is cruel, if 
thou knew it ; but thou wilt never know ! These men, in 
such poor rude way as they can, protest against deliriumt 
and delusions ; they say. Our life is true and not a lie, an 
eternal fact, no shadow or tradition, but a Grod^s fact : — dare 
we pretend to believe manifest incredibility, to serve the 
living God with things sacrificed to dumb wooden Idok.^ 
We dare not, we dare not ; and, as God is our witness, we 
will not ! Doctor, there is not a holier feeling in the soul of 



CHAP.xx.] *JENNY GEDDES^ 801 

man than this same, nor a more benign one for the world : 
properly it is the light of the world, found here and there in 
a human heart ; it is the sacred element which keeps this 
world from becoming all one horrid charnel-house. Doctor, 
you had better let these feelings alone. Observe too, how 
quiet the people is ; this half century it has generally held 
its peace, leaving it for most part, as Hampden says, to the 
Almighty. The Scottish Church is under a fatal cloud. 
King James'^s Prelates, like winged rocheted harpies, hovering 
to devour it ; they have not devoured it, God'*s Gospel is still 
preached among us ; and the faithful man can save his soul 
alive ; let us trust in God for this cause of His. To Grod 
we may complain in prayer; against supreme royalty and 
sovereign powers that be, what man can rebel ? No quieter 
people, more reverent towards the Highest King in heaven, 
or towards its lower kings on earth, exists anywhere. 

Dr. Laud has been in Scotland twice over ; he drove with 
unheard-of peril to himself and coach to various districts of 
the country, inaccessible except to zeal, looked with his own 
eyes on the nakedness of the land and its religion. Religion ? 
he says, I could find no religion. Their Churches were little 
handsomer than bams ; their worship no worship, mere un- 
methodic confusion, according to the notions of particular men. 
Any paiticular man rose up, prayed, without book, whatever 
lay in him. Drill exercise, done in a more slovenly way, I 
will thank any man to show me in this world. When a 
Right Reverend Father in God gives the word to a Nation, 
' Shoulder arms,** and the Nation does not do it, but one 
person stands at ^ attention,^ another stands ^ at ease,^ another 
' draws ramrod,** and some even * present,^ threatening to fire, 
— what kind of manoeuvring is that ! I put the question. Is 
that })eople and its devotional Drill exercise in a good way ? 
AVhat fatal dim owls of Minerva do perch themselves with 
authority in a Nation'^s Holiest of Holies, from time to time, 
and scratch and hoot there, ^ Too- whit Too-whoo, No worship 
' Hoo,' till — till people'^s patience with them is exhausted ! 



302 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [PART II. 

Dr. Laud in 1617 as king James'^s Chaplain, and still 
more when he went with Charles to his Coronation in 1638, 
failed not of one thing, to regulate the Chapel-royal accord- 
ing to the true model. Heathen Scots without any religion, 
if they stept down to Holyrood might have the satisfaction 
to see religion. Here you observe due Altars in the £ast, 
the Four Surplices just lifted out of lavender foldings, an 
honour to the laundress, men bowing at the name of Jesus, 
bowing at many things, response, re-response, and Collect of 
the day, men answering like clock-work to the fugle motion, 
so that when you say, ^ Ground arms,^ they make one 
simultaneous rattle of it, and the manoeuvre is perfect. Ye 
unhappy Scots without religion, does it not charm you at all ? 
The unhappy Scots look on with vinegar aspect and closed 
lips, on their grim countenances no sign of charming is yet 
legible. 

And yet good example is contagious and persuades the 
haidest hearts. Dr. Laud thinks clearly this fifty years^ 
expectancy should become fruition, — and real Scotch Bidiops, 
which are as yet little better than Ghosts, should take shape 
and substance. King Charles, sensible, by instinct and con- 
viction, of this truth, ' No Bishop no King,*" is easily persuad- 
able. The real Liturgy shall be introduced into all diurchea, 
the Prayer-book printed, and not without due, gradual, oft- 
repeated admonition impressed into all parts of Scotland on a 
given day. What good is it to trample down Puritanism in 
England, if a whole Scotch Nation is allowed to practise it ? 

Nay, it would appear King Charles is about endeavouring 
to recover the Church lands ; at least taking steps that way. 
In the disastrous times of Knox, a hungry nobility, with the 
promptitude of cormorants, swallowed the Church property, 
as it were in one day, and poor Knox when he demanded it 
back to make Schools with it, build Churches with it, teadi 
and spiritually edify and enlighten the people with it, found 
that it had become a devout imagination. To his sorrow, to 
the sorrow of many men since that. It will require a new 



CHAP.xx.] *JENNY GEDDES^ 303 

pious thousand years to accumulate the like for spiritual uses, 
and as yet in these two centuries the process has not begun. 

It was a step of extreme delicacy this demanding back the 
Church-lands, or seeming even afar off to demand them back. 
Possession for two generations is something in this mutable 
world ; all men when you touch them in the purse are likely 
to be sensitive. These old National Church properties, had 
they been demanded back for a Church which was never so 
National, rooted in the hearts of the whole Nation, would not 
have come softly back ; now that the better part of a century 
had fixed them in their new places, with their new holders, 
not without a violent series of wrenchings, backed by the 
sacred determination of the whole people, could that spoil 
have been regained. But to demand them back for a Church 
which was not National at all, which was disliked and fast 
growing detested by the nation, and in broad Scotland had 
no hearty partisan, that one can see, but Dr. Laud and our 
royal self? King Charles is thought to be looking this way ; 
and surely this is not the way to facilitate the getting in of 
his Service-book. 

Galvanic Dryasdust, generally very offensive, becomes as it 
were intolerable when he gets to treat of any matter that has 
a soul. Being himself galvanic merely, he cannot believe 
that there will be, is, or ever was, in man or his affairs any 
soul, — any vital element whatever, except the galvanic 
irritability, Greediness of Gain. This, according to Dryas- 
dust, is sufficient in common cases; in uncommon cases, 
Protestant Reformations and such like, he superadds some 
quantum suff} of delirium, calling it enthusiasm, the passions, 
or such like ; and considers the phenomenon explained in 
that way. Cost what it may, he will not, and cannot, admit 
any soul. When a Luther rises Godlike to defy the powers 
of Earth and the whole created Universe in behalf of God''s 
truth once more, the purblind Dryasdust sees in it some 
sliopkeepcr grudge of a grey monk against a black one. 

' QuantHm suficit^ a sufficiency, enough for the purpose. 



804 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [PART IL 

When Protestant Reformations take place, it is chess-movei 
of Diplomacy, it is hungry barons greedy of Church spoil : 
look at Grermany, look at Scotland, in the pages of Dryasdust 
Nations when they flame up with fire once more as if firom 
the centre of the world, are to Dryasdust nothing but heapt 
of flagrant madness, meaning at bottom, so far as there is 
any meaning left, to fill their pockets or stomachs. In all 
which, O reader, if thou reflect on it, is there not something 
infinitely fatal not to say nefarious, and if it were not 
pitiable, detestable? Blasphemy is the name it ought to 
go by. You can't sue Dryasdust in any court of law ; yet 
who is there that has injured you as he ? Ely mas, the base 
sorcerer, who penerted men'^s hearts and minds from 6od*s 
Grospel, God'^s splendour struck him blind: was it not a 
merited punishment? Dryasdust was punishable in those 
days. But indeed the Apes by the Dead Sea, they still 
chatter without any soul, having disbelieved in souls, — that 
is a punishment which in no time can be abrogated. Thank 
God for it, and mark it, and shudder at it. My readers and 
I will not believe that German Reformations, Scottish Refor- 
mations, Scottish Presbyterianisms, French Revolutions, ever 
did or can proceed from the hungry avidities or despicable 
penny wisdoms of Jack and Will, Dick and Tom. Such 
slaves are there present in all Heroisms, as ashes in all fira, 
but the ashes are not the fire. 

Poor old Edinburgh, it lies there on its hill-face between 
its Castle and Holyrood, extremely dim to us at this two* 
centuries'* distance ; and yet the indisputable fact of it burnt 
for us with a strange illuminativeness ; small but unquench- 
able as the light of stars. Indisputably enough, old Edin- 
burgh is there ; poor old Scotland wholly, my old r espec te d 
Mother ! Smoke cloud hangs over old Edinbui^gfa, — ^fior, 
ever since Mneas Sylvius^s ^ time and earlier, the people have 
had the art, very strange to iEneas, of burning a certain 

^ ^neas Sylvius was bom in 1405 ; sent on a mission to Sootland* 
1432 ; and became Pope Pius 11. in 1458. 



^..^a.. J 



CHAP. XX.] * JENNY GEDDES^ 805 

of black stones, and Edinburgh with its chimneys is called 
* Auld Reekie "* by the country people. Smoke-cloud very 
visible to the imagination : who knows what they are doing 
under it ! Dryasdust with his thousand Tomes is dumb as 
the Bass Rock, nay, dumber, his Tomes are as the cackle of 
the thousand flocks of geese that inhabit there, and with 
deafening noise tell us nothing. The mirror of the Firth 
with its Inchkeiths, Inchcolms and silent isles, gleams beauti- 
ful on us ; old Edinburgh rises yonder climbing aloft to its 
Castle precipice; from the rocks of Pettycur where the 
Third Alexander broke his neck, from all the Fife heights, 
from far and wide on every hand, you can see the sky 
windows of it glitter in the sun, a city set on a hill. But 
what are they doing there ; what are they thinking, saying, 
meaning there ? O Dryasdust ! — ^Fhe gallows stands on the 
Borough Muir ; visible, one sign of civilisation ; and men do 
plough and reap, and weave cloth and felt bonnets, other- 
wise they could not live. There are about a million of them, 
as I guess, actually living in this land ; notable in several 
rcsj)ects to mankind. 

They have a broad Norse speech these people; full of 
))icturcs(iuenes8, humour, emphasis, sly, deep meaning. A 
broad nigged Norse character, equal to other audacities than 
pirating and sea- kingship ; and for the last 1000 years, in 
spite of I)n'asdust\s goose-babble, have not been idle. They 
have tamed the wild bisons into peaceable herds of black- 
rattle ; the wolves are all dead long since ; the shaggy forests 
felled ; fields, now green, now red, lie beautiful in the sun- 
sliine ; huts and stone-and-mortar houses spot for ages this 
once desert land. Gentle and simple are there, hunters with 
Lincoln coats and hawk on fist, and flat-soled hodden-grey 
ploughmen and herdsmen. They have made kings this 
people, and clothed them long since in bright-dyed silk or 
velvet with pearls and plumages, with gold and constitutional 
privileges and adornments. Kings? Nay, they have made 
Priests of various kinds, and know how to reverence them, 

u 



306 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [part II. 

and actually worship with them. For they are of deep 
heart ; equal to still deeper than Norse Mythologies, and the 
gilt Temple of Upsala has for a thousand years lain quite 
behind them and beneath them. The Nation that can 
produce a Knox and listen to him is worth something ! 
They have made actual Priests, and will even get Hi^- 
priests, — though after long circuits I think, and in quite 
other guise than the Laud simulacra who are not worth 
naming here. This is the people of Scotland, and Edinbur;^ 
is the capital of it ; whom this little red-faced man with the 
querulous voice, small chin and horse-shoe mouth, with the 
black triangle and white tippets on him, has come to favour 
with a religion. He, in his black triangle and Four Surplices 
at Allhallowtide, will do it, — if so please Heaven. 

Who knows, or will ever know, what the Edinbuigh popu- 
lation were saying while the printing of Laud^'s Service Book 
went on ? For long it threatened ; the Scotch simulacra (of 
Bishops) were themselves very shy of it, but the little red- 
faced man whose motto is ^ thorough,** drove it on. And so, 
after various postponements, now on Sunday the 23rd day of 
July, 1637, the feat is to be done; Edinburgh after genera- 
tions of abeyance shall again see a day of religion. 

^ The times are noisy," says Groethe, ^ and again the times 
^ sink dumb ! " How dumb is all this Edinburgh, are the 
million and odd articulate-speaking voices and hearts of 
Scotland of that year 1637 ! Their s{)eech and speculation 
has all condensed itself, as is usual, has sunk undistinguished 
into the great Bog of Lindsey. He were a Shakspeare and 
more that could give us, in due miniature, any emblem of the 
s|)eech and thought of Scotland during that year. No 
Shakspeare was there ; only Dryasdust was there ; and it is 
now grown silent enough. The boding of fifty years is now 
to realise itself, the thing, that we greatly feared has come 
u[)on us. The heart of this Scotland i)auses aghast. A land 
purged of Idolatry shall again become Idolatrous.^ — ^Really, 
O modem reader, it is worth taking thought of. Idolatiy, 



CHAP.xx.] 'JENNY GEDDES' 807 

which means use of symbols that are no longer symbolic, is it 
not, in the Church and out of the Church, verily the heaviest 
human calamity? In the Church, and out of the Church, 
for all human life is either a worship or it is a chimera. 
Idolatry may be defined as the topstone of human miseries 
and degradations ; it is the public apotheosis and solenm 
sanctioning of human un veracity, whereby all misery and 
degradation physical and spiritual, temporal and eternal, first 
becomes rightly possible; the deliverance from it rightly 
impossible. Admit honestly that you are naked, there is 
some chance that by industry and energy you may acc^uire a 
coat; clothe yourself in cobwebs, and say with your teeth 
rattling, How comfortable am I, there is no chance of ever 
being clothed, there is no wish for or belief in the possibility 
of ever being better clothed. Men say with the drop at 
their nose, and teeth playing castanets (as you may hear them 
anywhere in these sad days). How comfortable are we ! 



With Jenny Geddes it has fared as with Pompey and 
othei-s : there remains the shadow of her name. As Hercules 
re[)resents whole generations of Heraclides and their work ; 
as Marat in our compressive imagination did all the Reign of 
Terror;* so Jenny is the rascal multitude, by whom this 
transaction in the High Church was done. Her name is not 
mentioned for twenty-five or thirty years afterwards in any 
book ; nevertheless it remains lively to this day in the mouth 
of Scottish tradition, and a Poet Bums in such mocking 
apotheosis as is permitted us in these poor days, calls his 
inai-e Jenny Geddes. Good Jenny, I delight to fancy her as 
a pious humble woman, to whom, as in that greatest Gospel 
is the rule, the Highest had come down. In her kerchief or 
simple snood, in her checkered plaid and poor stufT-gown she 
is infinitely respectable to me; reads that Bible which she 
has in her hand, a poor bound Bible with brass clasps, and 

^ See Carlyle*8 FrtncA RevoltUUn^ iiL 256. 



308 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [part ll 

sits upon a folding stool. It is the belief of Jenny tbi 
God'^s grace is in store for her, or God'^s eternal judgment 
according as she behave well or behave ill : respectabi 
Jenny ! 

Dim through the pages of Dr}'asdust we notice conclave 
of Scottish Puritans, dignitaries, nobles, honourable womei 
taking earnest counsel on the matter ; meeting for confei 
ence in Edinburgh and elsewhere. The old Duchess c 
Hamilton, says Diyasdust, rode about with a pair of pistol 
in her saddle. Like enough ; with pistols in her saddh 
and a variety of thoughts in her mind. Dim, owlis 
Dryasdust, as is his way in such cases, imputes the whol 
phenomenon to those conclaves : it was all a wooden puppei 
play, constructed and contrived by these higher personage 
the wires all fitted on, the figures all whittled and dressei 
the program all schemed out ; — and then some IXichess < 
Hamilton pulled the master-wire, and a dramatic represent! 
tion was given. Disastrous Dryasdust, is human life deac 
then ? Art thou entirely an owl and tenebrific rav of darl 
ness, then ? — Enough, the 23rd morning of July, 1 637 hi 
risen over Fidinburgh city ; a silent Sabbath morning, not t 
Ix; a silent day and evening; the dissatisfaction of long yeai 
will perhap give itself voice t(xlay. But the Ilailics an 
Officialities are getting towanls St. Gileses Church,* and man 
mortals with sfKJculation in their eyes ; right reverend Syd.serf 
is there, and Dean Hanna, etc., all in due rochets an< 
pontificals ; the miscellaneous audience sits waiting, nothinj 
hcixrd but heiv and there the creaking of some belated fooi 
slight coughing of some weak thnmt, and generally in a] 
jmuses, an irregular chorus of sighs. Dismal enough. Ilie; 
are going to worship here it would seem ? 

See, the Dean enters, a man irrecognisable to us at thi 
distance of 200 yeai*s, recognisable only as an aggregate o 

^ Edinburgh had been lately made a separate diocese, and St. Giles's tl 
Cathedral Church,— Lindsay being now the Bishop, and Hanna the Ocan. 
' Sydserf, Bishop of Galloway, since 1635. 



CHAP. XX.] *JENNYGEDDES^ 309 

tippets and rochet, with a Laud's Prayer Book in its hand. 

At sight of Dean Hanna in this guise, imagination hears 

a strange rustle in the St. Giles"'s audience; sees Jenny 

Geddes"*s lips compress themselves, her nose become more 

a(]uiline; and the general rustle as our Dean mounts the 

reading-desk sink into silence as of death. One can fancy the 

Dean's heart palpitating somewhat. Opening the Prayer Book 

he breaks the silence. — Hm — hm — hum ! ever louder hums the 

audience, each taking courage and example from the other, 

the hum mounting in rapid geometric progression, till it breaks 

out into interjections, castings-in, as we call them, of a most 

emphatic sort. Some do make responses; inserted probably 

by Sydserf or Lindsay, as 'clackers'' are in the first night of a 

play. Hired 'clackers'' if so be they may save the play from 

being damned. Hired clackers, — or any not uncharitable soul 

to reinforce a poor Clerk in these circumstances.'^ Service 

cannot be heard ; the Dean growing redder and redder in the 

face, reads on ; inaudible for hums, for growls, for open 

obstreperous anger of all men. Jenny Greddes (it appears from 

Dryasdust) has risen to her feet, many persons have risen. A 

hired clacker, close at Jenny'^s back endeavouring to make the 

response, her righteous soul able to stand it no longer, she 

flames into sheer wrath and articulation with tongue and palm ; 

and exclaimed, says Dryasdust, smiting the young man heartily 

on alternate temples, * Thou foul thief, wilt thou sing a Mass 

'at my lug?** What a shrill sharp arrow of the soul! We 

have had long battles with the Mass ; black nightmares of the 

Devil like to choke us into Death eternal ; and they are gone 

and going, and we are awake to God's eternal sunlight, and 

the Devil's nightmare is to return? All women, all men and 

children feel with Jenny. The tumult rises tenfold. * Out, 

'away, off, off!' — So that Lindsay in regular pontificals is 

obliged himself to mount into the Pulpit Poseidon in the 

tempest raises his serene head, to calm all billows. *Let u* 

' read the Collect of the day.' * Collect ? Collect ?' cry man^ 

' Let us read ' — reiterates he. * Deil colick the wame o' thecf > 



810 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [PART IL 

cries Jenny, all clear flaming, regardless of the Devil and his 
angels ; and hurls her stool at the Bishop'^s head. The Bishop 
ducking adroitly avoids the missile. But now, as when a 
light-spark falls on fire-damp, it is all one flame, this smoking 
element of madness and sheer riot ; and stools, walking-sticks, 
whatsoever missile and vociferation can be snatched, fly con- 
verging towards one point, — which no Bishop, unless he be a 
cast-metal one from Birmingham, can pretend to stand. 
Official Bailies with their beefeaters rush down distracted, 
conjure with outspread hands, menace, push, they and their 
beefeaters, who I hope have Lochaber axes, or at least gcxxi 
truncheons, — gradually with confused effort drive out the 
rascal multitude, leaving only the hired clackers or charitable 
men bent to reinforce a weak clerical. The rascal multitude 
patter on the windows, vociferate, shriek and howl: the 
Collect of the day cannot too soon terminate ; I wish even we 
had the Bishop well home. 

Imaginative readers can conceive the rest. How the riot 
spread over Edinburgh, over broad Scotland at large; the 
element, getting ready for years, being all so inflammable; 
no man, or hardly any man except Lindsay and his dacken^ 
having any real desire to suppress it How pious lairds and 
lords and clergy, many a pious Scottish man, flocked in from 
all sides to Edinburgh, if only to hear the news, — and did hear 
several things, and did see this one thing. What a multitude 
they are, what a temper they are of! 

Jenny is a Deborah in Israel. — 



CHAPTER XXI 

DISCOVERY OF THE THURLOE PAPERS — ^TRADITION 

TiiR learned Mr. Thomlinson of No. IS Lincoln'^s Inn 

had gone to the country for the Long Vacation, and given up 

'is rooms to a certain Clergyman of uncertain pursuits, name 

)t known, pursuits not known, whose time it would aeem 



CH. XXL] DISCOVERY OF THURLOE PAPERS 311 

hung heavy on his hands. This Clergyman, then, having no 
resource in looking out of the window or the like, took to 
poking about the carpentry and by-nooks of his apartment, 
tapping on wainscots, garret ceilings and such like, reflecting 
in an idle manner on the unknown series of wigs and gowns 
and learned human creatures that had tenanted this temporary 
domicile of his. Nothing can be figured more miserable ; yet 
it proved not altogether so. Tapping miserably on wainscots, 
garret ceilings, this melancholy young Clergyman came upon 
a secret ceiling of his garret, came upon a hidden box or 
package stuffed aside there, with an immensity of papers in it. 
One thing was clear, they were letters of the seventeenth 
century ; and at last another thing became clear, that Chan- 
cellor Somers, the patriotic collector, would give a considera- 
tion for them. With Chancellor Somers, very busy otherwise, 
they turned to little account; nor with others into whose 
hands they fell. By and by Mr. Birch, however, subsequently 
of the British Museum, putting on his historic spectacles, 
easily discovered that here was a correspondence of the seven- 
teenth century, abounding in the highest historic names, and 
turning up his Dryasdust repositories, easily remembered that 
a certain John Thurloe, Government Secretary, in his latter 
days resided here ; — discovered therefore that this was 
Tlmrloe'^s secret hoard of official correspondence ; which, un- 
willing to lose it, yet in evil times afraid to keep it, the good 
man had buried there in that box in the wall, and now after 
about a hundred years, it had unexpectedly come to light. 
Mr. Birch with enlivened hope, with alacrity, with persevering 
industry, proceeded to copy, decipher, arrange and commit to 
the press, that mass of dead letters ; and so in seven folio 
volumes we have to this day a Thurloe Correspondence 
which he that runs, and is not afraid of locked-jaw, may to all 
lengths read. 

Life being short and Art long, few or rather none, have ever 
read this Book, but all of us pry into it on occasion. Historic 
Art gratefully skims through it on a voyage of discovery. 



312 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [PART II. 

bangs with outspread pinions for moments in the strange 
twilight, in the strange silence, of that wide-spread City of 
the Dead, descrying what it can, — little of moment for most 
part. For in truth the region is most awful, of a leaden 
quality, a leaden colour, guarded by basilisks, inhabitated by 
ghosts ; and the living visitor is in baste to return. We, at 
the very door of it, have snatched the following morsel : 

[Here follow directions to copy Oliver Cromweirs Letter of 
the 13th October, 1638, to his beloved Cousin, Mrs. St. John. 
It stands in the Letters and Speeches^ as CromwelPs Second 
Letter (i. 100).] 

Much remains obscure, lost beyond recovery. Alas, and 
the very spirit of the writing, how it is lost too ; and the 
abstract words become meaningless to us; as are the proper 
names. . . . The appellations and ideas, we say, are not lets 
obliterated than the proper names and persons. Who knows 
what to make of dwelling in Meshec, which signifies Prolongs 
ing^ or in Kedar, which signifies Blacknens ? How could a man 
supposed to be of vigorous sense write down such imbecilities, 
or what did he mean by them P Dryasdust is terribly at a 
loss ; the living intellectual circles wait with blank eagerness, 
some word of explanation from him, and he as good as feels 
that he has none to give. — ^ Cant, Hjrpocrisy ^ ; the intellectual 
circles have rejected these ; — well then, * Enthusiasm, Fanatic- 
* ism, some form of the grand element of cloudiness ? ** * Yes,' 
with a kind of nasal interjectional ^ Hm — hm,^ as if still all were 
not right. But they are found to rest satisfied with this : The 
square-jawed, rugged-looking individual, with massive nose, 
with keen grey eyes, and wart above the right eyebrow, was 
partly in a distracted condition. If it should ever by chance, as 
there is passing need otherwise, be disclosed to the intellectual 
circles that they have souls to be saved, then the last hypothesis 
of Dryasdust will go like the rest, I think ; then woe in general 
to Dryasdust: his hypotheses and foul Hecate eclipses will 
fleet away with ignominious drumming in the rear of them ; 
the very street urchins approvingly looking on; and a most 



CH. xxi] DISCOVERY OF THURLOE PAPERS 318 

poisonous eclipse be lifted from the whole Past, the whole 
Present and Future time ! O Dryasdust ! Expediency, Wind- 
bag and Co. will march, the gates of native Chaos yawning for 
them, and the public thoroughfares will be clearer for a while. 
Consider, O intelligent reader, if by beneficent chance thou 
k newest that there was in verity after Death a Judgment and 
Eternity, that all the Earth and its business were but the 
Flame Image of a great God, his throne dark with excess of 
light, and Hell pain or Heavenly joy were forever in few years 
sure for thee. Thou wouldst fly to the mountains to cover 
thee, to Christ, to whosoever brought a hope of salvation 
for thee. Thy life were then a perpetual sacred prophecy, or, 
through the obstructions of the terrene element, a perpetual 
effort to be such. Prayers, tears, never-ending efforts, the 
sacrifice of very life, all this were a light thing for thee. Thou 
too, and all thy life and business, like the Earth thy mother, 
wert a kind of flame-image through which, now in bursts of 
clear splendour, now in fuliginosity and splendour overclouded, 
the presence of a God did verily look. Thou too wouldst 
write passionately for Dr. Wells to Mr. Story at the Sign of 
the Dog.* But thinkest thou this depends on Dr. Wells or 
Mr. Story, on any printed Book, Hebrew or other, or on any 
man or body of men, Hebrew, or other ? That Dr. Wells or 
Mr. Story can make it or unmake it ? My friend, when Dr 
Wells and Mr. Story and all that was in the brain or memory 
of either of them shall have vanished like dreams never to be 
in any human memory more, this thing in its essentiality wil. 
remain true. 

Here however, there are two courses that open themselves 
for the human species, leading to the notablest divarication, 
with the results of which History is full. The poor human 
crenius is wrapt in traditions inwards to the very soul of 
it, and never comes out except wrapt in clothings, what it 
well calls habits. Did not Adam of Bremen see a gilt 
Temple at Upsala totally different from St. Catherine's 

* See Letter i., Cromwell^ i. 90. 



314 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [PART II. 

Church; with festooned gilt chains round it, and horses" 
heads set high on perches, some seventy in various stages 
of decomposition? The modes of Divinity are properly 
endless among men : but they reduce themselves mainly into 
these two.^ 

Under the green Earth, so flowery, cheery, shone on by the 
sun, lie dismal deeps, dwelling-places of we know not what 
mis-shapen gnomes, Rushworths, Dugdales, Rymers, dark 
kingdoms of the vanished Dead. He that would investigate 
the Past must be prepared for encountering things unpleasant, 
things dreary, nay, ghastly. The Past is the dwelling of the 
Dead ; the pale kingdoms of Dis and the Dii Manes. Ulysses 
did not descend to the Dwellings of the Departed without 
struggles and sacrifices ; nor when there did he find the region 
cheerful. Achilles, Prince of Heroes, is right mournful as 
a Shade : ^ Do not extenuate Death to me, illustrious Ulysses : 
^ I would wish, as a field-labourer to drudge for another man, 
* though a mean one, to whom there were small substance, 
^ rather than be king of all the vanished Dead/ ' How faith- 
fully this old Greek notion of Achilles in Elysium represents 
his condition in the human memory, — his relation to the 
living Biographer ! He is vanished, or nearly so, a thin, melan- 
choly shade. Speak of the meanest day-drudge who is yet 
alive and visible to me ; speak not of the Dead, for I behold 
them not. — It is like thou beholdest them not ! The Club 
Anecdotes of a Jabesh Windbag, how much more interesting 
to us than all that the Philosopher and Poet can say or sing 
of an Oliver Cromwell ! 

TKADITION 

Tradition, too, is to be commended; in Tradition, tcx^ is 
something of divine. Tradition is the beatified bodily form 
of all that once was ; of what our Fathers from immemorial 
time have tried and found worthy. It begins beyond record 

* i,e. Paganism and Christianity. ' Odyssey ^ ». 487-91. 



CHAP. XXI.] TRADITION 815 

or memory ; it too, so to speak, begins in Eternity. To the 
first men, they that with fresh virgin eyes looked forth into 
a Universe on which as yet no thought or sight had tried 
itself, all was new and nameless, was wonderful, unnameable, 
was godlike or God ; the first stratum of Tradition is the 
life of these First Men ; Tradition begins with the beginning 
of Time, it abuts on Eternity, is as a thing shed forth by the 
Eternal. Thou shalt worship Tradition too ; thou dost well 
to recognise a divineness in the Past. If Human History is 
the grand universal Bible, whereof almost all other Bibles are 
but synoptical tables, illustrative picture-books, then I reckon 
that what has hung suspended in the general human memory 
will be well worth gathering. Nay, worthy or not, it has to 
be gathered. We are bom into a shaped world, not into 
a world which is yet to shape. What went before is a fact 
not less inexorable than what will follow. How the world is 
shaped and how farther it is shapable, — these are in a manner 
the two sole questions for a man. 

Tradition is as the life-element, the circumambient air. 
We unconsciously live by it; the rabidest radical is pene- 
trated by Tradition to the innermost fibre of him, at all 
moments of his existence, even when he is loudest in de- 
nouncing and gainsaying it. His denunciation of Tradition 
is itself in how many ways traditionary ! He demands Elec- 
toral Suffrage, Free Parliaments, Ballot-box, etc.; him too 
the wisdom of his ancestors taught that. Tradition ? Does 
he not speak English, a kind of English ? That of itself, 
if he reflect on it, is as the azure element that towered up 
boundless over Phosphoros, filling immensity for him, and 
fixed him down as with the weight of mountains under per- 
|K'tual chains, perpetual beneficent leading-strings as we may 
call them withal. Imprisoning weight as of mountains reach- 
in (^ to the zenith, says one; — beneficent roofing, household 
accommodation and security, says another. 

Poor Zacharias Werner, in a rhapsody not intrinsically of 
much meaning, gives this account of the emblematic indi- 



316 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [part IL 

vidual, Phosphoros, the Light-bringer, meaning evidently by 
him the soul of man, or perhaps, as some now speak, the soul 
of mankind : 

^ And when the Lord saw Phosphoros his pride. 

Being wroth thereat^ he cast him forth. 
And shut him in a prison called Life ; 
And gave him for a garment earth and water. 

And bound him straitly in four Azure Chains, 
And pourd for him the bitter cup of Fire/ ^ 
• ••••• • 

This rhapsodic imagery has truly a resemblance to the fate 
of Man under Tradition. 

The air in small portions is transparent, of no colour or 
noticeability ; but take it in totality as an atmosphere, it 
is azure, beautiful, almost divine-looking, and encircles ut 
everywhere with a Dome which we well name Heaven. In- 
finitude does so in all senses, in all cases. Tradition is 
properly the Totality of the memorable acts and thoughts 
of all mankind. We are alive because we have an atmospheie 
round us; we are socially alive (we are in so many senses 
spiritually alive) because we have, and have long had, brothen 
round us, and the memory of their relations to the Universe. 
This, too, is an atmosphere; builds an azure heavenly world 
round our terrestrial one. 

The laws of spiritual as of physical optics act here too ! 
Masses of the Past get compressed by distance, compressed 
and transfigured to sapphire colour ; and one highest peak 
becomes the name of a wide district. From the Greek 
Homeric Songs, to Longobard Paul Deacon, there rhymes 
itself a kind of order out of past human things ; and arid 
History becomes a rhythmic Mythus. Hercules prints his 
name on long centuries of Herculean work and enterprise. 
Past events are deified. Does not every people, looking at 
its language, consider that the first Grammarian was God, 

' For the remainder of this, the Legend of the Old Man of 
Carlyle's Essay on Werner, Miscellanies ^ i. 128 ei seqq. 



CHAP, xxii] HAMPDEN AND LAUD 317 

the Maker? ^fhe Lawgivers of most nations, including our 
own, if we go out of Westminster Hall into Westminster 
Abbey, are esteemed still very clearly to be gods. 



CHAPTER XXII 

HAMPDEN AND LAUD — REALITIES AND PHANTASMS 

How many voiceless men ride busily with hawk and hounds, 
sit studious, sit bibulous, refectory and requiescent within 
doors, fare busily on highways and fieldworks, on their several 
errands, smite upon the anvil and malleable hot iron in their 
rustic smithies, ride fruitlessly abroad with idle hawk upon 
their fist, and hounds and valets following them, at this same 
hour. All voiceless now, at that hour all loud and celebrated. 
Oblivion come to the aid of memory ! How can we remember 
you all ? In this city where I write in my garden, are some 
1,800,000 human souls, to every soul of whom do not the 
heavens vault themselves into anarch with its crown right over 
h'iJ9 head, as if A^ were the most important man, to produce 
whom all things had hitherto been tending? There is no 
remembering of you all ! I will beg some 999,999,999 of you 
to let your selves be forgotten peaceably that the unit may 
find room for himself. Alas, in the human memory as on the 
stage of Life, one set is ever crushing out another, and Godlike 
silence and evanition into serene azure is sooner or later the 
lot of all men and all gods. 

Black walls of oblivion, like dark cloud coulisses must bound 
our small illuminated theatre. Wherefore History, though 
with reluctance, will be silent. 

Amid the valleys where the Ouse languidly like an aristo- 
cratic river, collects its brooks, folded up among the green 
valleys, sheltered by the Buckingham beeches, is the Hampden 
Manorhouse and Church, the mansion of John Hampden ; is 
John Hampden himself, a man of grave but cheerful afikble 



318 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [PART ll. 

ways, as I judge by the look of him, not without Teutonic 
fire in his heart, but deep hidden, whom it were delightful to 
look in upon, did time permit ! Authentically, sure as I am 
now here, he is then there, riding abroad to look up his 
tenants, to visit some neighbour, or the green earth and azure 
beeches at least ; sitting at home reading Davila on the Civil 
Wars,^ reading Chillingworth and Dutch Divinity, — looking 
earnestly into an ocean that his eyesight cannot bound, which 
is indeed bottomless, deep, which the sharpest human eyesight 
only seems to itself to reach the bottom of. In the bottom- 
less ocean there does ever appear to be a bottom ; where the 
light fails and the eye can reach no farther, there the eye rests 
contented as on the primeval basis, there is the bottom so- 
reckoned : it is the law of optics for men here below. Mr. 
Hampden\s eye reaches down farther than most, discerns as the 
deepest primeval fact, that in the heart of this world a God 
dwells verily, that man, poor imprisoned creature does of a 
felt truth reach up to Heaven and down to Hell, that the 
question how he demeans himself in this poor life, is actually 
of infinite moment to him. There, intrinsically, is the bottom 
for John Hampden, — as it is indeed for me, and for the clear- 
sighted reader. Hast thou heard of any deeper depth yet 
reached by telescope or otherwise ? I have heard of extremely 
shallow depths trum])eted abroad, as the wonderful wonder and 
real bottom found at last, in these enlightened days: how 
there dwelt no God but a mere steam-engine and dock* 
mechanism in the heart of this world, and man^s real duty 
was but to find due Jamaica treacle for himself, a finite duty, 
not infinite, with other most mournful matter, which, for the 
credit of the house, I will not enlarge upon. Such extremely 
shallow depths have I been vociferously invited to contemplate 
in these days, — but a deeper than this of Hampden'^s no man 
ever saw, — nor will see, I imagine. Two things strike 



^ • Hampden was* »>'« Sir Philip Warwick, * very well read in History ; and 
I remcnilK!r the first time I ever saw that of Davila of the Civil Wars of 
it was lent mc under the title of '* Mr. Hampden's ra<£e Mecum, 



II > 



CHAP. XXII.] HAMPDEN AND LAUD 319 

dumb, even as they did Herr Kant of Konigsberg, as they did 
John Hampden of that Uk, as they have done all men that 
had an open eye and soul, since soul and eye did first open on 
this world : Two things strike me dumb, the Starry Firma- 
ment, and the Law of Duty in man. Infinities both. Do 
they set thee talking ? 

But now suppose an earnest Mr. Hampden searching with 
his whole soul into those beautiful and divine depths had heard 
it confidently affirmed by all credible persons, and never 
dreamt of doubting it, That God the Eternal Lawgiver did 
once break the silence of Eternities, and speak ; that here in 
this Hebrew and Greek Book was his authentic voice, here and 
not elsewhere at all ? That as you learned His law here and 
did it, or neglected to learn and do it. Eternity of Blessedness, 
or endless Night of Misery, awaits you for evermore. That all 
this were a truth, true as sunrise and sunset, terrible as Death 
and Judgment Certainly it were a fact of some importance, 
this, to Mr. Hampden. Certainly the impatience of Mr. 
Hampden with Vatican Popes, and Lambeth Pontiffs, and 
Phantasms with Four Surplices at Allhallowtide, were consider- 
able. Ye audacious Phantasms in Four Surplices at Allhallow- 
tide, what is all this ? How dare you parade yourselves in 
such Guy Faux mummeries before the Eternal God ! and 
address Him in set words that mean almost nothing for you ! 
Are you sure of your way here? Has God commanded say- 
ing, This is pleasing to me; or was it only Dr. Laud that 
commanded? — Mr. Hampden, we had better not articulate 
ourselves farther on these subjects ; but study to possess our 
souls in patience, or at any rate in silence. Mr. Hampden, 
the noble speaker, has a talent of silence too. Like his people, 
Mr. Hampden is of silent nature ; prepared in so imperfect a 
world to put up with many things. Much is uncertain. 
Much is wrong ; but all will be manifest ; all will be perfect, 
and no grievance more forever, very soon. 

And the Phantasms on their side have not the slightest mis- 
giving about it They answer : Grood Mr. Hampden, we are 



320 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [part IL 

not entirely Phantasms ; we are partly human too after a sort ! 
It was in this way that the earliest Fathers from beyond 
human memory taught us, and in the Book itself is said. Do 
all things decently and in order ; this is the order, we fancy : 
this is what the earliest Fathers, etc. We rest on Tradition, 
ring after ring round our horizon, the outer ring of which lies 
seemingly in contact with God himself and Eternity, — seem- 
ingly as the vapours over Paddington heights £uid the hills of 
Norwood lie in contact with the stars and are part and parcel 
of the firmament Infinite star-fimiament, law of human duty, 
direct voice of God, opened human soul : we know nothing of 
all that ; our own souls, it appears, must be shut to us, suspect 
to us, — though we received a University education. We never 
saw any opened human soul, heard within us or without iv 
any direct voice of God, — heard only the direct voices of the 
spectral Archbishops, saw with such eyes as we had the etemsl 
firmament rest firmly on Paddington and the heights of 
Norwood and Dulwich ! And so they provide their Four Sur- 
plices at AUhallowtide with ruiiied temper, chaunt ancient 
metre, and go on nothing doubting. 

Good Heavens, when I look at these two classes of men, the 
Phantasms partly human after a sort, with their temper getting 
ruffled, and the Realities with their patience getting exhausted, 
— I could fancy collisions coming to pass between them. And 
what a business will it be, getting at the considerable heart 
of truth which consciously and unconsciously does lie in both^ 
and having it presented in pure form. Due reverence for 
venerable human forms, due reverence for awful divine reali- 
ties which transcend all fonns : it will be centuries before we 
see these two made rightly one, and a wide glorious bkssed 
life for us, instead of a narrow contentious and cursed one. 



i 



CHAP. XXIII.] WENTWORTH (STRAFFORD) 821 

CHAPTER XXIII 

WENTWORTH ( STRAFFORD) 

As a lake of discontent it^ spreads and stagnates these eleven 
years over England, swamping all England more and more 
into a sour marsh of universal discontent, without hope, with- 
out aim. England is slow to revolt; that is the reason why 
England has been successful in revolting. This man ^ has no 
notion to revolt, what hope is there for a man ? The King is 
strong, the King is given over to his Lauds, his haughty fierce 
Wentworths, his swoln Attorney Noys, their beUy full of 
parchment, where for press of Law no Justice can find audience. 
One must be patient, one must be silent. God^s true 
messengers shall be cast into dungeons, set on pillories, with 
branded cheeks and ignominious slashes, their true voice 
smothered by the hangman. We must fly far, to America, 
New England, crouch low and be silent ; waiting God^s good 
time. In the end, ah yes, full surely yes, in the end Grod^s will 
shall be done, not Dr. Laud'^s. — And now if out of so much 
smoke there did arise fire, what a blaze, sudden as continents 
of dry heath, fierce as anthracite furnaces, would it probably 
be ! — It is the crowning moment of a man^s life when he does 
take up arms, in the name of God, against an evil destiny, 
resolved to better it or die. Crowning moment of a man^s 
life and also of a Nation^s. The nation that never yet did so 
is still in the pupil state, and wants for present and coming 
times the noblest consciousness of a nation. 

Sir Thomas Went worth of Wentworth Woodhouse, York- 
shire, Baron Wentworth, my Lord of Strafford that is to be,^ 
was busy in the north of England at Council of the North, is 
busy still in Ireland, Tyranny^s strong right-hand man. But 
the uninitiated reader, though the Strafford Papers have been 

' The policy of Laud and Charles. * Hampden. 

* Sec ^sfj p. 333 If. 

X 



822 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [PART II. 

printed these many years, will inquire vainly about that. 
They are enchanted Papers, those Strafford ones, shed a torpid 
influence, benumb into languor, into tetanus or sleep, all 
motion in the souls of men. O Radcliif, Heylin, Racket, 
Rushworth, Nalson, Burton, Whitelock, Heath, and Vickers, 
why does posterity execrate you ? Were ye not faithful in 
your day; and drove jocundly your waggon-loads of contem- 
porary printed babble, jocundly shot it there, not calculating 
that it would be rubbish ? Posterity did nothing for antiquity; 
posterity must take contentedly what antiquity was pleased to 
bequeath it: casket of gold grains precious in all markets, 
mountain heaps of gravel and indurated mud in size like the 
ruins of Babylon ; no Pactolus ^ rolls metal alone, but metal 
and gravel mixed. 

Wentworth, StraiTord that is to be, a man of biliary, 
choleric temper, of fierce pride and energy, is busy in 
Ireland and England, and has long been. I knew him 
once as a Reformer; in those days when we were about to 
hold our Speaker down, he was among us, resolute as the 
rest; but when we actually held our Speaker down, when 
we had obtained our Petition of Right, he was not with 
us any more. He had gone away from us, gone over to the 
Four Surplices, to Whitehall and the gilt Formulas. Qmst 
thou not conceive an honourable soul seduced ? I have known 
such, more than one. The elevated soul seeks advancement, 
seeks to see itself an elevated soul ; ^ the smile of kings, like 
radiance out of Heaven, says to them, ^ Saul, Saul, why perse- 
^ cutest thou me ?^ Sir John Savile,' long a pestilent eye-sore 
to thee, lo! my glance shall dissolve him from thy path; in no 
County meeting shall any Savile, or man of them, outshine 

^ A river of Lydia, famed for its golden sands. 

^ * It b a chaste ambition if rightly placed, said Strafford at his Trial, to have 
as much power as may be, that there may be power to do the more good in the 
place where a man lives.' Rushworth, Tried of Strafford^ 146. 

' The office of Gustos Rotulorum, in Yorkshire, was through Buckhigham^i 
influence taken from Wentworth and given to Sir John Savile in i6a8 ; the writ 
for Wentworth \s removal being handed to him as he sat in open Omrt presdmg 
as Sheriff. 



CHAP, xxill] WENTWORTH (STRAFFORD) 323 

thee any more. It shall be so, it is so. Am not I good to 
thee ; why persecutest thou me ? Gratitude, sunburst of 
unexpected limitless hope and heavenly radiance, will have 
effect on the heart of man. Sir Thomas sees a new shorter 
course open to him ; much that looked ugly under the winter 
twilight and shadow of intolerable old Savile, is grown beauti- 
ful when illuminated by such light from the king^s throne. O 
my high struggling soul, see, by this way too, thou shalt get 
on high, be recognised by thyself and others for a high soul. 
Privilege of Parliament, Petition of Right, much that was 
ugly under the shadow of old Savile and cold obstruction, is 
now grown far less ugly under the summer sunlight. Privilege 
of Parliament, much may be rationally doubtful to the mind 
of man ; but this that thou art President of the North,^ and 
hast dissolved old Savile and all Yorkshire gainsayers from 
thy path, this is not doubtful, this is certain, a most blessed 
indisputable fact. Sir Thomas sees a new shorter course not 
doubtful but indisputable opening to him; sees gradually a 
new heaven and earth ; all old things are passed away, behold 
all things are become new, even a shrill hysterical chimera in 
Four Surplices at Allhallowtide, even he, since his spasms pull 
my way, and he cheers me on to the top of my bent, is not 
unlovely to me. 

Look not in the Strafford Papers, O reader, unless thy 
nerves be strong, thy necessities great. They are grown en- 
chanted Papers, as we said ; dim as Ghostland, and have a 
torpid quality, agreeable only to the soul of Dryasdust* We 
sc^ Dr. Laud and Viscount Wentworth with much of the 
King's Majesty's business, the interests of Supreme Justice 
and Dr. Laud'^s and Viscount Wentworth's in this world; in 
a highly unsatisfactory manner ; — and shall observe only that 
Wentworth, as well as Laud, is for * Thorough.'' 

Wentworth is a man of dark countenance, a stem down- 

' Wentworth became President of the Council of the North, Dec 1628; 
lie was made Earl of Strafford and Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in January, 164a 
His Trial and execution took place in the spring of 1641. 



324 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [PART II. 

looking man, full of thoughts, energies, — of tender affections 
gone mostly to the shape of pride and sorrow, of rage sleeping 
in stem composure, kept strictly under lock and key: cross 
him not abruptly, he is a choleric man, and from under his 
dark brows flashes a look not pleasant to me. Poor Went- 
worth, his very nerves are ail shattered, he lives in perpetual 
pain of body, such a force of soul has he to exert. He must 
bear an Atlas burden of Irish and other unreasons : from a 
whole chaos of angry babble he has to extract the word or 
two of meaning, and compress the rest into silence. A 
withered figure, scathed and parched as by internal and 
external fire. Noble enough ; yes, and even beautiful and 
tragical ; at all events, terrible enough. He reverences King 
Charles, which is extremely miraculous, yet partially to be 
comprehended ; King Charles, and I think, no other creature 
under this sky. Nay, at bottom. King Charles is but hi^ 
Talismanic Figure, his conjuration Formula with which he 
will conjure the world ; he must not break or scratch that 
Figure, or where were he ? At bottom does not even reverence 
King Charles; lie looks into the grim sea of fate stretching 
dark into the Infinite and the Eternal, and himself alone 
there; and reverences in strange ways only that and whal 
holds of that. A proud, mournful, scathed and withered man, 
with a prouder magazine of rage lying in him. 



CHAPTER XXIV 

THE SCOTS AT DUNSE LAW — PACIFICATION OF 
BERWICK, OR THE FIRST * BISHOPS* WAR* 

[1639] 

In the early summer days of 1639, there was seen at Dunse 
Law near Tweedmouth on the left bank, a notable thing: 
some 30,000 Scottish men all encamped on the conical Hill or 
Law, with tents, trenches, with pikes, muskets, Bible and 



CHAP. XXIV.] THE SCOTS AT DUNSE LAW 325 

Psalm-books, and munitions of temporal and spiritual war- 
fare, — advanced hither to their own Border, to petition his 
Majesty, in a most respectful but emphatic manner. Many lie 
there encamped ; Nobility, Grentry, Clergy, Commonalty, each 
Earl or Lord with his tenants and dependants round him, a 
Colonel he, a hardy drilled regiment they ; on every tent flies 
this bandrol, ' For Chrisfs Crown and Covenant,' and at even- 
ing and morning tide, as the drum rolls, there rises the voice 
of prayer and of psalms. Alexander Leslie of Balgony, a little 
crooked Field marshal in big cocked hat, presides over it all, 
with supreme natural discretion, and military vigilance and 
experience ; a man equal to all emergencies, whom years, hard 
German service, and example of Gustavus Adolphus, Lion of 
the North, have taught wisdom ; who has looked in the face of 
Wallenstein before now, and rolled him back from Stralsund 
ineffectual after a siege of many months with all his big guns. 
Little Alexander in his big cocked hat, is thought to under- 
stand these matters. His Majesty looks at the phenomenon 
through his spy-glass on the other side of the river from Birks 
near Berwick, where his royal army lies encamped. Your 
Majesty, we are come out to petition, at the Borders of our 
poor country here, if your Majesty before invading us with 
sword, Service-book, and actual execution, would but hear our 
humble loyal desires ! Men loyaller to your Majesty, breathe 
not under God's sun. We kiss the hem of your Majesty ''s 
cloak, and fling our hair under your Majesty's feet, and indeed 
are inclined to be flunkies, rather than rebels, but we dare 
not worship the living God with Drury Lane gesticulations. 
Prompter's Service-book, Chinese beckings to the East. Alas, 
we dare not and must not ; and upon the whole we will not. 
We are here as your sacred Majesty sees, the representatives 
of a whole Nation, driven to petition at last with muskets in 
our hands. May it please your Majesty, reverse that Prompter's 
Service-book, we will not have it, we will be cut in pieces 
sooner ! 

To such height has the matter come in two years. Mat- 



326 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [PART II. 

ters long compressed rapidly expand themselves when they 
do burst forth. On signal of Jenny Geddes'^s stool, the whole 
Scotch Nation rose, — not in violence and musketry ; very far 
from that ; their fire we hope lay deeper in them than that. 
By skilfullest management, guidance, wise, gentle as the dove, 
walking always by the old law, or gently stretching it so that 
it never broke, by petitions, legal protestings, by Convoca- 
tion Tables, by National Covenant, Sacrament, and General 
Assembly, here we are, peasant and peer of us, man, woman and 
child of us, a whole Nation gone forth in the name of God to 
protest against this thing, and have the happiness to be repre- 
sented by 30,000 armed men under Fieldmarshal Leslie here. — 
His Majesty looking close at it sees good to accept the Petition, 
or seems to accept it, Soit droit Jait^ and we all go home again, 
each in a whole skin for the present. Not a stroke was struck 
in this ^ Bellum Episcopale." ^ Earl Holland, he that built the 
extant Holland House, and lost his own head at last, poor 
man ; he, as Master of the Horse in this royal army, did ride 
across in a warlike manner, towards Kelso as if he had meant 
something, but the steel beginning all to glitter on the hill 
sides as he came near, and Scotch trooper regiments to rendez- 
vous themselves in a deliberate manner, his Lordship saw good 
to call Halt and ride back again, without blood drawn. The 
glittering steel masses followed him ; not chased him, Heavens, 
no ! — escorted him rather, as a guard of honour, and saw him 
safe over Berwick Bridge again. The truth is, this English 
army had not the slightest disposition to embark in butdiery 
with these poor Scots on any such quarrel. They wished them 
well rather, said in their liearts very many of them, God speed 
you, poor Scotch people ; and deliver us from the heat of the 
weather in Palace Yard ^ and elsewhere. You are in the van, 
the forlorn hope, we also seem to stand amongst you, in the 
rear of the same host. The management of the Scots in stand- 
ing (irmly on their guard, yet offering on the great and ou the 
little every conciliation to their individual brethren of England, 

^ The * First Bishops' War/ so called. > See anie^ p. 273. 



CHAP. XXV.] THE SCOTTISH DECLARATION 327 

is considered to have been of a very superior description. This 
was the Pacification of Berwick, not destined to hold long. 



CHAPTER XXV 

PUBLIC BURNING OF THE SCOTTISH DECLARATION 

[1639-40] 

On [a day in] ^ August 1639 at Cheapside the hangman is 
again busy with braziers and kindled coal fires, escorted by 
halberdiers and mounted or walking constables, presided over 
by long-gowned Sheriffs and official persons, — doing stem 
execution by fire, happily on Papers only : He is conflagrating 
publicly in this solemn manner, a printed Paper called Scots'* 
Declaration ; ^ sending up in flames and down as black powdery 
ashes, so many copies as he can procure of it ; how many, I 
have nowhere learned. There rises the flame, crackling aloft, 
there fall the ashes, at Cheapside ; emblematic of royal indig- 
nation ; — the history of which transaction looks forward and 
looks backward. Backward it is as follows : 

The Pacification of Berwick was drawn out fully on oflicial 
paper, for anything I know, on sheepskin and vellum, but there 
were some subsidiary corollaries and annotations, which in the 
great hurry and anxiety it was only found possible to carry off^ 
by word of mouth. For example, his Majesty in the written 
Pacification could not well depart from the phrase ' Pretended 
' Assembly,' as applied to the Glasgow General Assembly of the 

^ Blank left in the MS. for the day of the month, which was probably the 
nth, — the day on which the Proclamation for burning the papers was issued by 
the King and Council. 

'-* The Papers burnt were: *The Scottish Exposition of the Treaty of Berwick, 
entitled " Some Conditions of his Majesty's Treaty with his subjects in Scotland, 
before the English Nobility, set down here for remembrance." To which is 
subjoined the Scottish Army's Declaration concerning their acceptance of the 
King's answer. ' — S. P. Dom,^ ccccxxvii. 14; Rushworth, iii. 965. 

The order for burning these Papers was made at a meeting of the Council, 4lh 
August, 1639. 



328 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [PART II. 

year before, which the Scots believed and asserted one and all 
of them by tongue and pen, and were there to assert by pike 
and gun, and every organ of soul and body, to be a most true 
irrefragable Assembly ; — the Acts of which his Majesty indeed, 
as the basis of the whole Pacification, had consented to accept 
and substantiate by a new Parliament and a new Assembly to 
which there should no objection lie. Why did he not then 
retract the phrase ' Pretended "* ? Well, perhaps it had been 
better. Our h&ste is great, our anxiety to get the matter done. 
Two hungry armies lying within wind of one another, hovering 
and parading round one another: judge if this is a time to 
spend hours, any hour of which may produce explosion, on 
mere points of form : but his Majesty'^s temper, none of the 
sweetest, had been sorely tried in regard to essential points ; 
why fret him and get into new discusssions about points seem- 
ingly more of form than substance? You know what his 
Majesty meant ; his Majesty with his royal lips in our hearing 
gives assurance that he means it so. The Scotch Commis- 
sioners, as anxious as the English to have done, accept the 
word-of-mouth assurances, leaving the writing as it is, report 
in their own camp, redact and publicly sign the word-of-moutb 
assurances as expository of the Treaty ; — and so with mutual 
civilities, public dinners, speeches, prayers and great waving 
of caps and friendly gesticulations, retire Northward, their 
brethren of England retiring Southward, as from a business of 
powder magazine and lit matches, — a business that could not 
end too soon. And so the new Scotch Assembly have met, 
and the new Scotch Parliament, and have done or are doing 
what was consented on, and the word-of-mouth assurances 
put to paper on Dunse Law in the year 1639, are put to 
print in Edinburgh ; these with the needful developments 
are put to print, and come forth &s the Scotch Declaration ; 
— which his Majesty, revolving in his altered soul the past and 
the present phases of things, is now getting burnt by the 
Hangman at Cheapside. That is his Majesty's resolution 
touching those same word-of-mouth assurances, touching this 



CH. XX VI.] OLIVER ST. JOHN AND E. HYDE 329 

version of them : hateful they and all versions and reminiscences 
and accidents and qualities of them, worthy of the Hangman 
alone. For his Majesty has now got other game afoot than 
those word-of-mouth assurances, or any version of them true 
or untrue. He has got Strafford over from Ireland, prospect 
of Irish subsidies, Clergy subsidies, benevolences, and an English 
army : War and vce victis to the treasonous Scots rebels. We 
will summon a new Parliament for the fourth time, — an 
English Parliament, — we will ask them for supply against 
Scotch rebels : if they refuse, your Majesty is absolved before 
God and man, and must have recourse to other methods. 
Your Majesty has an Irish army to control that country, — 
' that country,** or was it * this country "* ? Sir Henry Vane the 
Elder^s recollections are uncertain, nor could the world ever 
yet entirely decide.^ Backward such is the history of that 
transaction of the Hangman at Cheapside. 

Forward, it issues in what the following Chapters will show. 



CHAPTER XXVI 

MEETING OF OLIVER ST. JOHN AND EDWARD HYDE* 

[1640] 

These two Barristers happen to meet one another in West- 
minster Hall on 5th May, 1640. Hyde is a firm -built, 
eupeptic Barrister, whose usual air is florid-hopeful still ; a 
massive man ; unknown depths of impetuosity kept down 
under mountain rock-strata of discretion, which yearly pile 
themselves higher and higher and are already very high for 
his years. The other is a slouching, lean, long man, seems 

* * The Earl of Clare and others debated with Vane (the elder Vane) sharply. 
What **Mij kingdom" did mean; England or only perhaps Scotland? 
Maynard quickly silenced him : ** Do you ask, my Lord, if this kingdom be thb 
kingdom or not?"' — Baillic (cited by Carlyle, Miscellanies^ vL 6o). 

^ Edward Hyde was created Earl of Clarendon in 1 66 1. 



380 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [part II. 

of atrabiliar humour, deep -eyed, internal fire enough, but 
burning as in a reverberatory furnace, under thick iron covers, 
only gleams of it shining through in crevices, rather question- 
able-looking. The man is of immense legal toughness and 
talent; gained immortal or quasi- immortal law laurels the 
year before last pleading for Mr. Hampden in the Ship-money 
case. The two Barristers as they meet in Westminster Hall 
this day, seem to have changed characters : the florid, hopeful 
Barrister looks sad ; the gloomy lean Barrister looks joyous, 
the dark-lantern visage of St. John shines almost like a light- 
lantern. *How now?** says Barrister Hyde. *You do not seem 
' sorry that his Majesty has dissolved us all, and rashly smitten 
* his good Parliament^ in pieces today .J* ^ — * Yes, our good Par- 
^ liament, as you call it, could never have done the business. 
' We shall get a better Parliament before long, lliings are in 
' the wind that will bring a really good Parliament. We must 
' be worse before we can be better and well.'' — For his Majesty 
has this day dissolved his Parliament, in a very short style 
he asked them for supply against Scotch rebels, that he might 
first chastise rebels, and then redress all manner of grievances 
that it had entered into the heart of man to conceive. The 
Parliament after due hemming and hawing, signified that it 
would prefer the other method, — grievances redressed first, 
or at least grievances and supply going pari passu. Are you 
serious, are you inflexible.^ asked his Majesty, in the official 
dialect, yet with haste, haste indorsed on all his questions. 
The Parliament with much hemming and hawing managed 
to grunt out decisively. We are serious, we are inflexible. 
Then disappear, hastily answered his Majesty. — 

And so the Barristers, Ex-members, meet in Westminster 
Hall, as above said ; and all Ex-members are busily packing up 
their goods to be gone from Town again ; and Mr. Oliver Crom- 
well, Ex-member for Cambridge, is packing up, and intending 
for Ely and stock-farming in these Fen regions, and will pro- 
bably take Cambridge by the way, and render some account of 

^ The Short Parliament, which met on the 13th of April 1640. 



CH. XXVL] OLIVER ST. JOHN AND E. HYDE 331 

his stewardship to the Freeholders and corporation there. And 
his Majesty is now intent on raising supply by other ways, 
which in the course of that summer he does, by private sub- 
scription, by clergy benevolence, by every devisable method. 
Not in the successfullest way. Official men indeed subscribe. 
Strafford dashes down his name for 20,000/. at one stroke, the 
decisive Strafford. His Grace of Canterbury keeps his con- 
vocation sitting, passing canons, an Etcetera Oath,^ much 
noised of then ; granting clergy subsidies. Walter Montague 
and Kenelm Digby urge the Papists to come forward in a 
body, now or never, in his Majesty ""s extreme need ; Scotch 
rebels hanging on him and refractory English PuriUns hanging 
back from him. Down with your diLst now ! Alas, it comes 
to little. The City of London, requested to favour Majesty 
with the loan of 100,000/., grimaces in the painfullest way, 
and at length answers, * Cannot, your Majesty ** ! We have 
not the sum convenient, just at this juncture. Whereby the 
Commission of Array and Second Bellum Episcopale cannot 
have a fair chance, I should doubt. War and no sinews of war. 
For all England is as the City of London ; answers in every 
way, * Cannot, your Majesty ** ; — our hearts are in no way set to 
this second Episcopal War; they are set totally against it, 
your Majesty. Why should we shoot the poor Anti-episcopal 
Scots for the little shrill Archbishop'^s sake? It were sheer 
suicide ; shooting our own forlorn hope. We wish the Scots 
right well in this business. Distressed to say we have not the 
sum ; we have not any sum or thing in the shape of help con- 
venient just at this juncture! The apprentices of London, 
what we should now call the City Shopmen and such like, five 
hundred of them, not without firearms, roll down in tumult- 
uous assemblage to Lambeth, grimly inquiring after Laud, his 

1 An Oath imposed by the Canons of 1640 : * I,' A. B., *do swear that . . . 
I will never give my consent to alter the government of this Church l)y Arch- 
bishops, Bishops, Deans, and Archdeacons, etc' * A prodigious, bottomless 
and unlimited Oath,' as a writer of that period calls it. The people protested 
vigorously against being required to swear to an etc., hence the name of the 
Oath. It is printed in Rushworth, iii. 1 186. 



332 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [PART II. 

little Grace.^ His little Grace, the red face growing piebald 
with fear, barricades his palace, ducks off to Whitehall, to 
Croydon, to various successive places, and becomes a Chief 
Priest eclipsed, or Archbishop girt- with- trembling.* The 
apprentices ransack his Lambeth, smash all glass in pieces, 
disappointed of their Archbishop, and one of them gets 
hanged, drawn and quartered for it, — his head and limbs 
blacken aloft on London Bridge for a sign.' Not satis- 
factory to the apprentice mind ; unsatisfactory, though com- 
pescent for the hour. — And the straggling army marches 
towards the rendezvous at Selby, at York, or Newcastle, with 
few muskets or munitions in it, and such a temper as I have 
rarely seen. Vociferous against Bishops and their chimerical 
Mandarin fugle- work, now like to issue in cloven crowns; 
decided not to be officered by Popish rascals; *you are a 
' Papist ; you shall not lead us, that ""s flat ! ' Poor thick- 
headed, heavy-handed, hobnailed men, hauled from the work- 
shop and fiirrow-field, set marching on such an errand ; they 
aggravate one another all day through the weary march: 
Popish ceremonies, surplices at Allhallowtide, pampered High 
Priests riding prosperous, and godly Mr. Burtons set in the 
pillory to have their ears sawed off; and we marching here in 
the dusty weather, in the broiling sun, and not a cup of beer 
rightly allowed us ; for the beer is ineffectual, — and we have 
never seen the colour of money, for they seem to have no money 

^ On nth May 1640. ' See anU, p. 295 ft. 

^ The name of this unfortunate man was, I believe, John Archer. He was 
a glover by trade, and had l)een acting as drummer to the rioters ; was captured 
and put to the rack that he might disclose the names of the more important 
instigators or ringleaders of the attack on the Archbishop's Palace. He main- 
tained silence ; and in a day or two was hanged, drawn and quartered. Archer*i 
case is notable as being the last instance of Torture in England. More than 
eleven years before, when Felton was tried, the Judges had unanimously 
declared that Torture was altogether illegal ; Charles, however, by royal pre- 
rogative since the law would not serve him, ordered the rack for poor Archer. 
The warrant, * Given under our signet, at our 0)urt at Whitehall, 2 1st May, 
1640,' still exists in the State Paper Office. See Masson's Ls/e of MUttm^ 
". X33-4. 



CH. xxvi] OLIVER ST. JOHN AND E. HYDE 33S 

and no credit ! * Steady men ! ** cries the marching Lieutenant. 

* Steady?' answer they under breath and sometimes above 
breath, with huge universal growl, recovering their few avail- 
able muskets, bursting out into sheer mutiny. * Several of 

* their Officers were shot by them during the march *"; the reader 
can expand that little sentence; and this, 'They broke into 
' Churches tricked out according to the Laud fashion, tore away 

* the Altar-rails and other newfangled tackle,*" kick them down 
and I daresay with curses, and reduce matters to the old foot- 
ing. Puritan painful ministers had reverent salutation from 
them ; Anti-puritan found it convenient to become rapidly 
absent. Such detached cloud streaks of military force are 
wandering from all sides of England towards Selby and the 
Northern parts ; — likely when combined to make a formidable 
army indeed ! They have no money, few muskets, the arms are 
not yet come up, men are only carting them from Hull, and 
conveyances are scarce owing to want of money : what thing 
have they ? The Earl of Strafford — ^yes, he is a thing ; but he 
is not all things. Where was the Earl of Strafford''s wisdom 
when he embarked himself, life and fortune, on such an inco- 
herent, explosive, self-divulsive flotilla as this same ? I cannot 
esteem him wise, I esteem him rash and desperate, if he think 
to face Scotch Puritanism, the practical Fieldmarshal of Stral- 
sund, solemn Covenant, and dear Sandy'^s^ troops with such 
an apparatus as this. He will do it, he says ; yes, by the help 
of God, and that Irish army, Papists mostly. He is sick but 
unwearied, hopes against hope. Had all men been Straffords ; 
— ^yes, but there is only one Strafford. Flaming fire cannot 
kindle brick-dust, but must itself die amid the rubbish. What 
kind of army this was, full of mutiny, without arms, munitions 
or money. Lord Conway the practical general knows best ; as 
readers may still see in his narrative ; an army full of mutiny, 
empty of money, discipline, arms and goodwill* 

^ Sir Alexander Hamilton's, 



334 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [part II. 



CHAPTER XXVII 

A SCOTCH ARMY ENTERS ENGLAND THE 

SECOND * bishops' WAR' 

[1640] 

A Scotch army inarching with pike and musket, sonorous 
with the voice of psalms and the noise of fifes and drums ; ^ a 

* travelling Presbytery "* goes with it, the regimental chaplains 
make a Presbytery. It has waded solemnly across the Tweed 
at Dunse, Montrose marching with decisive splash solitary in 
the van; and day sets on Norham's castled steep somewhat 
otherwise than it did in Marmion's journey six score years 
before. This Scotch army, Officers and all, in blue-bonnets, of 
the Kilmarnock species as I take it, with a cockade of Covenant 
ribbons at the ear ; — men had called them in derision blue- 
caps ; and they, with their very Colonels, Earls, Peers, Digni- 
taries most of them, mounting the derided head-gear, bad 
symbolically answered, ' Yes, our caps are very evidently blue ; 

* — have you any objection?' 'None I, for my share.^ To 
have seen this army either in hats or caps, — to have seen the 
Montrose head with its stern still eyes, with its haughty close- 
shut lips and look of sorrow and valour, the face of one of 
Plutarch''s heroes, as a good judge ^ called him ; to have seen 
this face, I say, in blue-bonnet and cockade as he stept with 
decisive splash across the Tweed, would have given me real 
pleasure, — in whatever bonnet it had been; — and the reader 
can advise me whether mocking of it, except in a very 
taciturn way, is like to turn out well. 

On the ^th. of August, accordingly, we find the little 
crooked Fieldmarshal Leslie, having now fairly crossed South- 
ward with his blue-caps, committees, leather and iron guns and 

^ Cardinal de Retz. See ante, p. 266. 



CH. XXVII.] SCOTCH ARMY ENTERS ENGLAND 335 

other apparatus, paying his way in the handsomest manner, and 
emitting Proclamations of the most brotherly and consolatory 
character, decides that he will wade the Tyne at Newbum, 
the first ford above Newcastle, being desirous once more * to 

* present a petition to his Majesty.** A petition backed by 
Twenty Thousand armed men and a practical Fieldmarshal 
with artillery and Committees of Estate. Alas, yes, fewer 
men might carry the petition, but a malignant faction round 
his Majesty would not permit it a hearing. His Majesty, in 
sight of the 20,000, will perhaps hear it. We crave leave of 
my Lord General here at Newbum, to pass peaceably and try. 

* Three hundred of you may pass with the petition,*" answers 
Conway ; *• more I cannot suffer to pass. I must stand to my 

* field-works and my guns in case of more.** — * Alas ! ' answers 
the practical Fieldmarshal, who however has already over 
night been busy at his own great guns withal. There are nine 
of them, I think, rightly planted, manned, masked with bushes 
on the brae-side, and Sir Alexander Hamilton, whom we call 
dear Sandy, waiting but a signal. Who could expect other, 
this long while ? Gloomy Rushworth ^ is on the height behind 
Conway's batteries, out of gun range, with ass-skin and black- 
lead ready ; he has come North into his own country, that he 
might take all this in characters. Thanks, my gloomy friend ; 
look then, and let us look. 

To the eyes of Rushworth^ there emerges first from the 
indistinct mass, a Scotch horseman with black plumes, pranc- 
ing exploratory on the farther side of the river, Rushworth 
knows not distinctly why. See, there rapidly deploy them- 
selves three hundred other horsemen, ride deliberately into 
the stream, deliberately advance with drawn sabres towards 
Conway ""s battery ; Conway \s battery fires, the horse skip deftly 
to the right, still to the right, and rather backwards. . . . 

' * A man/ says Carlyle, elsewhere, ' of simple aspect, yet assiduous, whose 
gloomy look is not that of moroseness or ferocity, but merely that of severe 
industry feeling conscious how severe it is.' 

2 Collections, ii. 1237. 



336 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [PART II. 

[The remainder of this Paper is lost. It was probably extracted from 
the rest of the ms. to be used in The Letters and Speeches qf Oliver Crom- 
welL In the Chapter entitled 'Two Years' (Library Edition, L 106) 
there is a short account of this ' Battle of Newbum,' as it is sometimes 
c^lled^ and of the events which rapidly followed it It appears that the 
Scottish Officer mentioned above had come down to the river merely to 
water his horse, suspecting: no danger, the men of both armies being on 
good terms with each other. An English soldier, provoked by the 
leisurely manner of the Scot, who was gazing at the English trenches 
while his horse drank from the river, suddenly raised his musket and 
fired : the Officer dropt from his saddle, wounded. Thereupon the 
battle began. The crackle of musketry was soon followed by the roar of 
cannon. The Scottish artillery from the hillside and even from New- 
burn Church steeple played down upon the English trenches with 
such effect that their first trench was soon vacated. As soon as the tide 
would permit, Leslie ordered the three hundred horsemen, above men- 
tioned, to cross the Tyne, — the Scottish cannon meanwhile directing 
their fire on the English second trench. This, too, was soon abandoned, 
llie three hundred got safely over, followed by others and again by 
others. Before the Scotch army had all crossed the river the English, 
who made only a half-hearted resistance, turned and fled. Their loss 
was sixty killed and 'some prisoners'; the Scotch loss was some ten or 
twelve killed. The Scots took possession of Newcastle next day ; and 
gradually of all Northumberland and Durham, and remained in various 
towns and villages for about a year, on an allowance from England of 
8'50/. a day ; and were very welcome to the English Puritans. A peace 
was patched up at Ri]>on, and Charles, after vainly trying various ex- 
pedients to raise funds, was forced to consent to the summoning of 
another English Parliament, — the Long Parliament, spoken of in the 
next Chapter.] 



CHAPTER XXVIII 

THE LONG PARLIAMENT 

[1640] 

Ok Tuesday the Third of November, 1640, there tat down 
a Parliament which, as begins now to be more and more 
apparent, was the flower of all Parliaments, what we may call 
the acme where they attained their maximum, became notable 
and in due time imitable by all Nations, as we see them in 



CHAP. XXVIII.] THE LONG PARLIAMENT 337 

these days; wherefrom again they are gradually dwindling 
down towards their minimum whatever that may be. This 
was called the Long Parliament, for indeed it sat some thirteen 
years, had strange fortunes, and took preternatural-looking 
spectres by the beard, was extolled to heaven and deprecated 
to Tophet ; but it might also be called the Great Parliament, 
the Father of Parliaments. Had the French Constituent 
Assembly, the French Convention, been foremost in time, they 
doubtless might have vied with it or surpassed it in singularity ; 
but they were only children of it ; if we will regard them well, 
they sprang from it as emanations, imitations in many ways ; 
it was the grand original : that makes the peculiarity of it. 
For this Long Parliament did, after being duly extolled to 
heaven and deprecated to Tartarus, contrive to accomplish its 
task in this world ; the task, in a rude shape, lay done and 
ineffaceable; no Charles-Second's Parliaments could erase 
^from the Journals,"* no man, not even a god, could erase the 
Fact this Long Parliament had performed among the sons of 
men. The gods themselves cannot alter the action that is 
done. Its task lay rude but accompHshed ; went on complet- 
ing, perfecting, itself, the everlasting powers of Nature co- 
operating with it. And so in 1688, in a milder Second 
Edition, it came out presentable in polite drawing-rooms, as 
a ' glorious revolution of '88,'' to the satisfaction of all parties 
whatsoever; celebrated with infinite bonfires, expenditure of 
ale and constitutional eloquence, from end to end of English 
land. And remains now as a Fact, presentable, patent, solicit- 
ing observation from all mortals. So that, in 1774 an 
American Declaration of Rights, an American Congress we may 
hay, as the eldest son of it, could take effect. And then, and 
therefrom, in 1789, a French Constituent and Revolutionary 
Convention, — which properly therefore is the second in descent 
from it — its eldest grandson. The notablest grandson it ever 
had ; a grandson set on a hill, a flaming mount, far-blazing 
with intolerable radiance, at one time like to have burned up 
the whole civilised world. Truly the notablest of all grand- 

Y 



338 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [part IL 

sous that had been or will be. But so conspicuous, at any rate, 
that now all peoples and kindreds arc bent on having their 
Parliament as the one thing needful, — and evidently will and 
must have it, so that the great and other grandsons of this 
same Long Parliament are like to be many, as many in fact as 
there are civilised nations in the Earth. For even kings do 
now everywhere begin to see that this Parliament, freedom of 
debate, ballot, taxing, and such like, will go the round of the 
world, and cannot by earthly art be hindered from working 
itself out to a consummation, that all mortals may see clearly 
what it is, — whether the one thing needful or only one of the 
things needful. From the English Long Parliament and its 
works and King-killing, all this, as the Historical genealogist 
can see, takes its pedigree. 

For man is such an imitative creature — very observable even 
in the genus Simia;^ left in the deserts, and night coming 
on, the poor creature gazes nigh desperately to see if there be 
no human vestige ; the print of human feet is in every sense as 
a guidance to him, as hope to his heart and light to his eyes. 
His imitative virtue : take that away from a man, you have 
taken all from him. You have stript him not of his clothes 
and shirt only, but almost of his very skin. He has no Tra- 
dition or continuance of Past into Future; the career of 
human development, the history of civilisation, extends to a 
maximum of three score and ten years. The man cannot 
speak ; it is thousands of ages and their dumb struggle to 
express themselves that have taught men to speak. If, as 
Richter says, one new metaphor between the two Leipzig Book- 
fairs be a fair average, what length of time must the building 
of a Greek Language have cost ? Stript of imitation the poor 
man cannot speak, he cannot even think, except extempore. 
What his wild eyes can discern as they flash out from him in 
wonder, in want, in thousandfold eagerness, that is his thought; 
not a stock of thought at all, but a scantling of insight from 
hand to mouth ! When I think what man derives from imita* 

^ The Monkey tribes. 



CHAP. xxviiL] THE LONG PARLIAMENT 339 

tion, his whole life-furniture, what he believes, knows, pos- 
sesses, his dwelling-houses, his bookprintings, his very tastes, 
wishes and religions, — can I wonder that the Past seems 
worshipful, seems divine ? Puseyimns, etc. and (* we will be- 
lieve as our forefathers believed **) cease to be wonderful to me. 
Spiritual pedigrees are worth taking note of in a slight way ; 
if much run upon they do not yield much, — and belong more 
properly to the province of Dryasdust and Co, To whom at 
present let us leave them. 

Looking through the rubbish-continent and Rushworthian 
chaos, one discerns dimly afar off, two hundred years off, an Old 
London, — very curious, very dim, which one would like to see 
so clearly ! Good Heavens, is it not certain as if we saw it 
face to face (having flown thither with the Time-hat ^ on our 
head), that they had all awoke out of sleep that morning in 
variety of humours, eaten breakfast, and set to their trades 
and tasks, such as were then going. Some five hundred thou- 
sand (.^) human individuals as I learn or guess under the fog 
canopy. Reader, I will ask thee to do me the favour of asking 
thyself not in word only but in thought, whither that Day 
with the works, faces, persons, etc., that were in it has gone ? 
The said Day in short where is it ? Not nowhither, for I still 

see it. Thou standest mute. Thou hast no answer. Thy 

• 

inability to answer is in proportion to the intellect thou hast ! 
Grant me accordingly this other practical favour, To cease 
altogether talking about preternatural machinery and Epic 
Hero-biographies that cannot go on without visible descent of 
gods and such like. If all Olympus with Valhalla in the rear 
of it were to descend visibly some morning, and vanish again, 
so that one might take affidavit of it, what new wonder were 
there for any except children and minors ? London city of 
3rd November, 164?0, was it not, and now in 1843 w it ? 

' * Had we but the Time-annihilating Hat, to put on for once only, we should see 
ourselves in a World of Miracles, wherein all fabled or authentic Thaumaturgy, 
and feats of Magic, were outdone.' — Sartor /^esartus, p. 254. 



S40 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [part 11. 

Gazing with inexpressible trembling curiosity into these 
old magic tombs of our Fathers, into that far vanished 8rd of 
November, 1640, I can see a city in considerable commotion, a 
character of excitation, expectation superadded to the common 
physiognomy of the place. The King it is true does not ride 
the city to-day, as the wont is, but comes almost privately by 
water. He rode the city three days ago with endless pomp, 
returning from the Scotch army and the treaty of Uipon, — a 
certain slender young man, of pale intelligent look not without 
an air of dandyism, by name John Evelyn,^ saw him. The 
King does not come to ride again ; but comes in gilt barge, 
only bargemen and a river population getting leave to look. 
His gilt barge and beefeaters, somewhat like his worship the 
present Lord Mayor'^s, I suppose, are a matter wonderfully 
indifferent to me, — by no means the thing I was in quest of. 

People I do see there, whom I would give something to see 
clearly ! That double-chinned elderly man, for instance, with 
the brisk smiling eyes though the face does not smile, but is 
heavy with long toil, imprisonment, the learned Mr. John 
Pym of Brymore. Or Mr. Hampden, Member for Bucks. 
Cheers from a stout population with doffed cap whenever he 
is discovered, I think I can discern for that man. A man 
of firm close-shut mouth, firm-set figure, and eyes beaming 
with intelligence and energy close-shut ; the whole figure of 
him expressing delicacy almost female, reluctant to oflTend; 
beautifully veiling, tempering, in mildest habitudes, cour- 
tesies, principles, a fierce enough manly fire ; what we call a 
thoroughly bred man of the English stamp : great delicacy, 
great firmness ; and indeed as the centre of all, a very great 
pride, if thou wilt call it by such a name. Why should not 
such a man be prideful, himself e(|ual to the highest men ? A 
most proud but most cultivated, thoroughly well-bred man, 
Hampden of the Ship-money. 

Antiquarianism goes for little with me : Good Heavens, do 
we not know that we too shall one day be antiquities ? Never- 

^ The celebrated Virtuoso, Diarist, etc. (1620-1706). 



CHAP. XXVIII.] THE LONG PARLIAMENT 341 

theless, it would gratify me to understand in what manner 
Edward Hyde was dressed that day. And the little Lord 
Falkland, with his screeching voice but extreme gentility and 
intellectuality — in a clean shirt, he, I cannot doubt. Did Mr. 
Hampden ride up to Town attended by grooms ? 

Let the dead bury their dead. Why should any man re- 
enter upon the Laudian (Canterburian) controversy whether 
Altars should be built into the East wall, or on the long settled 
Divine Right of Kings? It is two hundred years ago, and 
much has come and gone since then. . . . 

So that in these Long Parliament matters it is to be owned 
that the most part of the business has fairly escheated some 
time since to the Antiquarian Societies and Picturesque 
History Writers ; in whose hands may it have a blessing. 
With the unconsumable in that business have we to do. If 
there be no unconsumable ? But there is ! 

OLIVER CROMWELL ^JAMES HEATH AS BIOGRAPHER 

Till Oliver'^s seventeenth year all records of him fail, except 
the sham records of Carrion Heath and others, not worthy of 
repeating any more. The Destinies have said, Be this man^s 
youth and boyhood forever unknown to me. Let him emerge 
from the obscure, a full-grown man ; with an athletic figure, 
to fix the world'*8 eye, to make the world ask. Whence came 
these thews and sinews.'* but to ask without any especial 
response at all. I^et the world try how it will respond ; trace 
out significantly its own wisdom and folly by its manner of 
responding ! Such being the arrangement of Destiny itself, 
clearly enough all aesthetic regulations, and historical wishes 
and regrets, have nothing to do but repress themselves and 
go cheerfully to work in conformity. 

Snielfungus calls poor James Heath, who was son of the 
King's cutler and a royalist inhabitant of Grubstreet at that 
early epoch, generally by no other name than Carrion Heath, 
being to the heart indignant with him. Poor Heath, he had 
to write Pamphlets, compilations and saleable rhapsodic matter 



342 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [PART IL 

for a living, at frightfully exiguous rates per sheet, we are 
afraid; and with a world all got into amazing alterations 
since he quitted Oxford, and fancied he understood it all! 
This poor inhabitant of the Literary republic, was his fate 
a gentle one ? — * I will ask thee,' says Smelfungus, * what kind 
of blasphemy there is which can equal this of defacing the 
image of the Highest when such is beneficently sent among 
us, as at rare intervals it happens to go about in our Earth 
under the shape of a heroic man ? Mark him who plies in the 
puddles to cover ii with mud ! He who thinks it worthy of 
such treatment, what kind of thinking apparatus, of soul as 
we say, must there be in him? It fills me with a certain 
sacred horror. Is Heroism common as road pebbles, then, in 
this country ? Must industrious individuals get out of bed to 
obliterate the exuberance of it by long-continued discharges 
of mud ? What can I call such a man but carrion ? There 
was never any soul in him, or he would have taken to another 
trade ; he would have died ten times rather than live by such 
a trade. He had no soul, I say, or his thought would not 
have been such a misthought, the summary of all conceivable 
misthoughts. He was a living carrion even while he digested 
and made a pretence to be thinking in Grub Street; he is 
become a dead carrion, and all men know him for what he is !^ 
— O Smelfungus, my dark friend, why this severity ? Heath 
and his like are a kind of DeviPs Advocates, not without 
their uses in the world. Unsafe to canonise anybody with- 
out having heard the Jdvocatits Diaboli also to an end. 
Advocates claim a kind of privilege even to lie; much more 
may Devil's Advocates, Living Carrion, my dark friend. 

But Smelfungus has his own notions about Carrion. This 
is what I find on a leaf concerning Toleration: ^Mahomet 
^ was quite right to say to men. Believe in Allah, or it 
^ shall go worse with you, ye scandalous individuals in the 
^ form of humanity. God is great and these appetites and 
' brecchespockets of yours are small. Awaken from your grease* 
* element, or it will be merciful to extinguish you in it. What 



CHAP. xxviiL] THE LONG PARLIAMENT 343 

* good can you ever do, what good ever experience ? Darkness 

* is in you. Darkness will alone come out of you. The living 
^ carrion that says there is no God, I will mercifully slay him, 

* make him authentic carrion at least.** Heard ever mortal the 
like ? What hope is there of the Abolition of Capital Punish- 
ment, and any general condolence with criminal persons, if 
men of genius, secretaries of Dryasdust societies speak such 
things ! We shall have wars again, perhaps civil wars, men 
rising up in the general putrescence of social things, and say- 
ing, ' O general putrescence, behold, we are totally weary of 

* thee, behold, we will not live beside thee, we are in duel with 

* thee, and thou shalt die or we ! "^ Was there nothing worse 
yet heard of than death ? Woe to the mortal sons of men 
when in their benevolences, gluttonies, pruriencies and bottom- 
less pocketocracies, they take to twaddling to one another 
extensively in that dialect ! Their day is not distant then. 
An awakening is at hand, or else the eternal sleep. 

The thing that thou actually lovest, choose that, even as 
thou art minded; it is the voice of thy whole being that 
speaks then. Paint that, sing it, celebrate it, work towards 
doing it and possessing it, deaf to all else. It is rich with 
blessedness for thee ; every feature and figure of it emblematic 
of good to thee : it is thy counterpart, that. 

This man Oliver Cromwell, fix)m Ely, more than any other 
,of these Members of the Long Parliament, vibrates my mind 
towards him, excites all my curiosity. With what interest do I 
see him ambling up at a firm journey-pace to Town for the dis- 
charge of Parliamentary duties, in rude country habiliments, 
well wrapped against the cold, — with rugged weather-beaten 
countenance ! Did he ride alone, or came he up perhaps 
with Mr. Hampden, his Cousin? At which Inn did he lie, 
what manner of horse rode he ? All this I would dispute with 
Antiquarian Societies ; but, alas, neither of us knows aught of 
it. Consider the dim weather, the muddy ways, the por- 
tentous aspect of the time, long heavy darkness, uncertain 
gleam of deliverance peering through it. Mr. Cromwell, 



344 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [PART II. 

doubt it noty has cloaks, rough country wrappages of rather 
antiquarian style and cut, the cut of which can now be of no 
use to any tailor, or other; and rides with an infinitude of 
thoughts, spoken thoughts, or mostly unspoken. The in- 
finite element of Thought, stern, solitary, sad and great, like 
the primeval sea with firmaments not yet divided, encompasses 
him always, bodies itself from time to time into Thoughts,-— or 
does not so body itself, but lies silent as in obstruction as of 
death, which is but an obstruction of travail and of birth, 
equally painful, though a little profitabler! I have marked 
Mr. Cromwell as a choleric man ; indeed his face speaks it. 
Look at that mouth, at those wild deep grey eyes, at that wart 
on the brow, at that massive nose ; not beautiful, nor yet, in 
spite of calumnies, ugly: meseems in that peaceable flattish fea- 
ture there lies a capacity, like that of Chimera^s : of breathing 
fire ! A troublous dark face, full of sorrow, full of confused 
energy and nobleness. I regret much that it is not of a 
Grecian ideal structure, the facial angle is not that of IVIars 
or the Phidian Thunderer : what a pity not ! It is the wearing 
work-day face of an Englishman, not the holiday exhibition of a 
Greek or other Jupiter. (A mixture of the lion and the mastiff*, 
say physiognomists.) Mr. Cromwell, it must be added, is 
given to weeping : incredible as it may seem. I have seen that 
stern grim face dissolved in very tears like a girPs. For this is 
withal a most loving man : who knows what tremulous thrill- 
ings, wild pangs of fear and sorrow, burstings of woe and pity, 
dwell in such a soul ! Hope is there, high as the Heaven ; Fear 
also, deep as the Bottomless. — Let us look at Mr. Cromwell as 
he plods along from Ely City, out of the marsh country towards 
London and a Parliament which will be called Long. — O, Mr. 
Cromwell, did thinking being ever find himself in a more 
miraculous scene than this same ? The sun and blue heavens 
overhead, the green earth underfoot, and these deep fog- 
continents that swim there. And this ugly mud-element of 
November will brighten into May and summer : it is enough 
to strike a man dumb. And I, how came I here? That is the 



CHAP. xxviiL] THE LONG PARLIAMENT 345 

miracle of miracles. Awakened out of still Eternity, I live, 
and for a kingdom and inheritance all this Immensity has been 
given me. Me I say ; for though I draw not the rents or sign 
the lease-contracts of much or of any of it, yet according to 
my capabilities, — as I can look or hear, listen or understand, — 
from beyond the Dogstar to the Cambridge turnpike here, 
from the Fall of Adam, througli the Four Monarchies,^ down 
to the Long Parliament of Charles Stuart and present dull 
month of November, is it not mine, to look upon, to listen to, 
to understand, to sympathise with, — in a word to live in and 
possess, so as no mere rent-drawer can ? Immensity is my 
Inheritance, and also the Eternity that is to come. Yes, 
Mr. Cromwell, that is the amazement. 

To depicture the thoughts of Mr. Cromwell as he plods 
along on muddy highways towards London, at that epoch of 
scientific and literary history, with such theories of the universe 
and of Mr. Cromwell as a man could then have in the head and 
heart of him, were a wonderful task ; which only a few readers, 
of the intensest kind, could be expected to take interest in. 
This man is of the sort we now call original men, men of 
genius or such like ; the first peculiarity of which is that they 
in some measure converse with this universe at first-hand, and 
not under the employment of any scientific theory or in the 
nakedness of none, — these have ever, deny it as we will, a kind 
of divine worth for us. 

Yes, had any James Boswell, riding cautiously alongside of 
these two, with ass-skin and black-lead, with understanding 
heart and ear, jotted down the dialogue of Mr. Hampden and 
Cousin Oliver ! What fraction of the Bodleian Library, of all 
manner of Libraries, wouldst thou have been disposed to give 
in exchange for it ? All Divinity Logics, Controversies of the 
Altar, Episcopacy, etc. ? But so it is, O reader. Men have 
no eye for the gods; and Boswells I think are rarer than 
even Johnsons. In Idolatrous ages it is nothing but empty 
shambling clotlies- screens and other Idols that they give us, 

* Babylonian, Persian, Grecian, and Roman. 



346 HISTORICAL SKETCHES [PART II. 

and it would almost seem as if there had been no gods there. 
The seven hundred and fifty-three still extant portraits of 
Charles i., what intrinsically are they worth to thee ? Was it 
much nourishment that thy soul derived from looking never so 
deep into that man, or was it little or almost none ? A bad 
world, my masters. 

One fancies Mr. Cromwell riding Townwards in company 
with Hampden and others. A man not beautiful to look 
upon, grim, other than comely. O, ye Daughters of England, 
happily he is not bound to be beautiful ; can without penalty 
suffer himself to continue ugly. — Ugly, and yet that is not the 
word. LfOok in those strange, deep, troubled eyes of his, with 
their look of never-resting, wearied thought-struggle, with 
their wild, murky sorrow and depth ; — on the whole wild face 
of him ; a kind of murky chaos : almost a fright to weak 
nerves; at which nevertheless, you look a second time, and 
sundry other times, and find it to be a thing in the highest 
degree worth looking at. For the chaos is indeed deep and 
black, yet with morning beams of beautifuUest new creation 
peering through it. I confess I have an interest in this Mr. 
Cromwell ; and indeed, if truth must be said, in him alone. 
The rest are historical, dead to me ; but he is epic, still living. 
Hail to thee, thou strong one; hail, across the long-drawn 
funeral aisle and night of Time ! Two dead centuries, with all 
that they have bom and buried, part us ; and it is far to speak 
together : how diverse are our centuries, most diverse, yet our 
Eternity is the same : and a kinship unites us which is much 
deeper than Death and Time. Hail to thee, thou strong one, 
for thou art ours, and I, at least, mean to call thee so. 



FINIS 



INDEX 



Abbot, George, Archbishop of Canter- 
bury (1611-33), 85, 93, 94, 95, 98; 
refuses to take part in Lady Essex* 
Divorce Suit ; of Puritan tendencies ; 
first recommended by the Earl of 
Dunbar, 117; disapproves of the 
*Book of Sports,' 139 n. ; advises 
that England shoiUd aid the Elector, 
164 n. 

Adolphus, Gustavus, Lion of the North, 
2, 263, 325. 

Alum, manufacture of, 83. 

Alured, Francis, 207, 208. 

America, intercourse with, 86-89. 

Anne (Queen of James i.), 48 n., 75, 78, 
96, 98, 129, 130. 

*Appello CsBsarem.' See Montague, 
Richard. 

Arabella, Lady. See Stuart. 

Archer, John, 332 n. 

Aristocracy, Religious, 232. 

Armada, Spanish, 149. 

Armstrong, Archie, Court-fool, 245 n. 

Arundel, Earl of, 141, 156, 254, 264, 
265,266. 

Athole, Earl of, 3 n. 

Azra^l, Bridge of, 169, 169 n. 

Bacon, Sir Francis (Lord Verulam, Vis- 
count St. Albans), 33, 44, 66, 74, 93, 
111 ; becomes Lord-keeper, 130 ; dis- 
covered the new way of discovering 
truth ; not a great soul, which he 
seemed so near being; a beautiful 
kind of man, but of the earth, earthy, 
131 ; ruined by ambition, seoularity, 
insincerity, bribery, 132; played 
amazing tricks in the kins's absence, 
133 ; Arthur Wilson on, l53 n.; over- 
hauled by Parliament, told to * Go,' 
and goes the sorrowfullest of mortals, 
170. 

Balfour, Sir William, 199, 210. 

Balmerino. Lord (Elphinstone), forges 
the king^s signature to a letter to the 
Pope, 71, 71 n. 

Bancroft, Richard, Bishop of London, 



takes part in Hampton-Court Confer- 
ence, 24, 24 n. ; begs that * schismatics 
be not heard against their Bishops,* 
30; heart of, 'melteth for joy tnat 
Almighty God had given us such a 
king as since Christ's time hath not 
been,' 31. 

Banks, Sir John, Attorney • General, 
251. 

Barlow, Bishop, Narrative of Hampton - 
Court Conference by, 29. 

Bastwick, Burton, and Prynne, 271-4; 
speakers for the rights of Englishmen ; 
fi[xed in pillories for two hours, muti- 
lated ana branded with red-hot iron, 
amid a silence which had become 

Ckle,' 272-3. 
rmine, 53. 

Berwick, 254 ; Pacification of, 324-327, 
32a 

Best, Captain Thomas, truculent sea- 
bear, son of the Norse Sea-kings, 
demolishes the Portuguese Fleet, 
'nigh Surat in the Road of Swally,' 
90, 9L 

Bible, New Translation of, asked for by 
the Puritans, 30 ; the Translation ap- 
pears (in 1611), 85 ; ' barbarous enough 
to rouse, tender enough to assuage,' 
of a sincerity like very death, 85. 

Bilson, Thomas, Bishop of Winchester, 
at Hampton • Court Conference, 24, 
24 n. 

Bohemia, and the Bohemians, 159-165. 

Borroughes, Sir John, 196. 

Bourchier, Elizabeth, marriage of, to 

Oliver Cromwell, 144. 
' Bourchier, Sir James, 144. 

Breadalbane Castle, 2. 

Brown, Mrs. John, the carrier's wife, 
273 n. 

Bruce, Edward (second Lord Kinloes), 
73, 99-103. 

Buckingham, Duke of (George Yilliers), 
47, 47 n. ; description of, by D'Ewes, 
143; ffoes with Prince Charles to 
Madrid, 152 ; impeaohed by the Com- 

fiar 



348 



HISTORICAL SKETCHES 



mons, 191 ; discomfiture of, at Rhi$, 
195-1 9G ; named by the Commons as the 
bitter root of all these sorrows, 208 ; 
will try to play on the war-fiddle a 
second time, 216 ; assassinated by 
Felton at Portsmouth, 217. 

Bull and Farnham, the Colchester Pro- 
phets, 288-90. 

Burlamachi, 198, 199, 210. 

Canute, King, visits Ely, 59. 

CVtr, Robert. See Somerset. 

Catherine, Queen of Henry vin., at St. 
Neot's, 13. 

Cecil, Sir Edward, sails to attack Cadiz, 
196 197. 

Cecil,' Sir Robert, Earl of Salisbury, 47, 
54, 71 n.. 111. 113. 

Cervantes, Don Miguel de, a celestial 
Light - bringer ; last ride of, 104-5 ; 
*you are that brave Miguel,' 105; 
death of, 106; the Voice of the 
Suanish Nation, 106 ; worth all the 
l^nilips and one to boot, 107. 

Chadderton, I^wrence, 24, 24 n., 29, 
ao, 123. 

Chambers, Richard, refuses to pay 
Tonnage and Poundage, 222, 223, 
226. 

Charles i., has thoughts of being Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury, 78 ; 96, 97 ; goes 
to Madrid with Buckingham and 
Richard Graham, 152, 182; charac- 
terised, 181 ; Speeches and Letters of, 
182; *Eikon Basilike,' 182 n. ; mar- 
ries Henrietta Maria, 183; expels the 
Qiieen's French priests and attendants, 
184 ; First Parliament of, 188 ; lends 
eight ships to the French to flsht 
against Protestant Rochelle, 188; dis- 
solves the Parliament of 1625, after 
two short Sessions, 189 ; dissolves his 
Second Parliament in a rage, 191 ; 
changes his hand, tries to conciliate 
the Commons, 209 ; has no sympathy 
with the heart-tendency of England, 
221 ; thinks Tonnage and Poundage 
his, without grant from the Commons, 
221 ; levies the same without a Bill, 
222 ; dissolves his Thinl Parliament, 
calls the Commons *vi|iers,' 232; 
Coronation of, at Edinburgh, 252-268 ; 
descril)e<l and characterised ; wholly 
the great man except the soul of him, 
262 ; genealogy of, 263 ; at Birks, near 
Berwick, 325 ; accepts the Scotch Peti- 
tion and agrees to a peace, 326 ; orders 
the ScottiHh Declaration to be publicly 
burnt by the hands of the hangman, 
.*^27 ; disjsolves tlio Sliort Parliament. 
330; in the North, with a straggling 



mutinous army to chastiBe the 'rebel 
Soots,' 335 : consents to the summon- 
ing of another Parliament, 336 ; comes 
privately, by water, to open the Long 
Parliament, 340. 

Chillingworth, 296, 318. 

Chronicle, Parian, 265 n. 

Clark, Archibald, Lord Provost of Edin- 
burgh, 255; has a Speech to nu^e, 
and multiplex ceremonie« to do^ S56 ; 
waits in painful expectancy, his 
breathing fluttered into a aeriet of 
sighs; presents the keys of Uie Cit^' 
in a silver bason, 261. 

Church, define<l, 97b ; the true and the 
seeiiiiiuj^ 275; grown to bo an enor- 
mous magio-tree with little or no root, 
276, 277 ; the Scottish, under a fatal 
cloud, 301. 

Coke, Sir Edward (' Coke-npon-Lyttle- 
ton'), 111, 120, 194; uplifts the 
Litany, 168; the cause of liberty in- 
debted to ; never wanting with his 
sharp jest and witty turn ; a maater 
of precedents, 176 ; works the Petition 
of Right on the Potter's-wheel of a 
debating House of Commons, SOD; 
thanks forever to, 200, 901 ; oannot 
speak for weeping, 206; hia roioe 
firmer now, 208. 

Colchester Prophets, 288-296w 

Conway (second Viscount), 383, 33S. 

Cook, Sir John, Secretary, 201. 

Comwallis, Sir Charles, dted, 77 n. 

Cotton, Sir Robert, 197. 

* Counterblast to Tobacco,' dtation from, 
54 n. 

Court Precincts, 141-145. 

Crew, Sir Thomas, 168. 

Cromwell, Oliver, probably sees King 
James at Hinchinbrook, 11 ; little 
Oliver in the hand of his nunemaid. 
11 n., 16; Nolly kin all onewide^jed 
wonderment, 16 ; 60 ; member cif a 
New Company for draining the Fena, 
63 n. ; 66 ; marriage of, to Eli»beth 
Bourchier, 144 ; a sketch of, 146 ; in 
Charles's Third Parliament, 197, 803 ; 
212 ; first Speech of, 224. 2S4 n. ; «9, 
230, 299, 314, 341 ; depicted riding up 
to Town to attend the Loof Fk^'lia- 
ment, 343, 344 ; is e|rfe, still liviiif ; 
hail to thee, thou strong one; Imil 
across the long-drawn funeral aisle and 
night of Time, 346. 

Cromwell, Richard, *my Darlinc, not 
my Dick,' 13. 

Cromwell, Robert, 12, 16, 61, OS. 

Cromwell, Sir Oliver, son of the * Oolden 
Knight,' 9, 16, 19, 62. 

Cromwell, Thomas, 13L 



INDEX 



349 



Dalbier, John, 198, 199, 210. 

David, Scotch King, 12. 

Davila, 296, 296 n., 318. 

Declaration of the Commons to Charles i. , 
203, 209. 

Declaration, Scottish, burned at Cheap- 
side, 327. 

Denbigh, the young Earl of (Basil 
Fielding, Buckingham's nephew), offers 
to change clothes with Buckingham (at 
Plymouth), 196. 

Denbigh, Earl of (WillUm Fieldina;), 
goes in command of a Fleet for the 
relief of Rochelle, 196. 

Denbigh, Lady (Buckingham's sister), 
216. 

Devereux, Robert. See Earl of Essex. 

DevorgiUa, Lady, 137. 

D'Ewes, Sir Simonds, 141, 142 ; cited, 
143-144, 165-157 ; 164. 

Digges, Dudley, 191. 

Discourse, King James's, in the Star- 
Chamber, 125-127. 

* Dovetail,' sees an effigy of Guy Faux in 
the New Cut, 66 ; describes the same, 
making reflections and drawing deduc- 
tions, 67. 

Drummond, William, of Hawthomden, 
259 ; cited, 259 n., 260, 260 n. 

Drury-Lane Theatre, burning of, 127- 
130. 

Dryasdust, 4 n. ; loves only his own 
dreary jottings, 23 ; why summon 
spectres from the vasty deep of, 110 ; 
can't be sued in any Court of law, 
304. 

Duel, Sackville and Bruce, 99-103. 

Duels, 78 n. 

Dumfries, King James at, 137. 

E<linburgh, Old, described, 253, 258, 304, 
;W5. 

Egerton, Chancellor. See Ellesmere. 

Elder- Dramatists, 76 ; affair of, reaches 
its culmination, 85. 

Eliot, Sir John, carries impeachment of 
Buckingham to House ot Lords ; sent 
to the Tower, and emitted again, 191 ; 
H))eaking like pistol -bullets, his very 
silence eloquent, 202; 227, 229; lies 
deatl and cold, 298. 

Elizabeth, Princess, the flower of the 
(Jourt, 77 ; marriage of, to the Pals- 
grave, 97 ; a Queen of Hearts, if not 
otherwise a Queen, 98 ; 158, 164. 

Elizabeth, Queen, Funeral of, 19-21; 
l>cmoaned with true tears, 20; a brave 
and grcat-souled woman, 21 ; 35. 

ElK'smerc, Lord (Thomas Egerton), 29, 
31 ; actM aH IjonX High -Steward at the 
Overbury Murder Trials, 124. 



Elphinstone, Sir James. See Balmerino. 

Elwes, Sir Jervis, appointed Lieutenant 
of the Tower, 119 n. ; is tried, con- 
demned, and hanged for connivance in 
the poisoning of Overbury, 122 ; speech 
of, from the sibbet, 123. 

Essex, Earl of (Robert Devereux), strikes 
Prince Henry for calling him * son of 
a traitor,' 112 ; 114 ; marries Lady 
Frances Howard ; goes abroad, 114 ; 
returns to England, and is divorced 
by Lady Frances; soes abroad again 
to learn the art of war, 116 ; 165 ; 
commands the Parliamentary army 
at the beginning of the Civil War, 
114 n. 

Evelyn, John, 340. 

Falkland, Lord, 341. 

Faux, Guy, and the Gunpowder Plot, 
66-71 ; 219, 233. 

Felton, John, buys a knife, 215 ; rides 
into Portsmouth, assassinates Bucldng- 
ham, 217 : in prison, 219 ; executed at 
Tyburn, 220. 

Fen Country, unpioturesque, but in- 
teresting; the Islands in, 58; King 
Cnut visits, 59, 59 n. ; Guthlao settles 
at Crowland in the, 60; draining of 
the, 61, 62, 63, 63 n. 

Ferdinand, King of Romans, 160. 

Ferrar, Nicholas, 234-241 ; at Little Gid- 
ding, 235 ; interviewed by Mr. Lenton, 
238-240. 

Finch, Sir John (the Speaker), 152, 201 ; 
brings a message from the king, 205 ; 
206, 208; dare not put the question, 
227 ; is held down m his chair, 229 ; 
becomes Lord Chief -Justice, 251. 

Fortcsque, De Laudilmt, 296. 

Frankenthal, Siege of, 165. 

Franklin, the apothecary, concerned in 
Overbury's murder, 118 ; peaches and 
is hanged, 121. 

Friedrich, the * Winter-king, ' chosen king 
of Bohemia, 161 ; sudden flight of, to 
Holland, 162. 

Fryer, Sir Thomas, 217 n. 

' Gaberlunzie ' Song, 3. 

Galloway, Mr., Minister of Perth, 29. 

Gates, General, 86. 

Geddes, Jenny, dimly seen in deep 
Closes, scouring, sweeping, as a fioor 
servant ; will one day send the king a 
message of a kind, 257 ; there remains 
but the shadow of her name, 307 ; 
belief of, 308 ; in St Giles's Cathedral, 
smites a hired *olacker,' exclaiming, 
*Thou false thief, wilt thou sing a 
mass at my lug ? ' 309 ; hurls her stool 



350 



HISTORICAL SKETCHES 



at the Bishop's head ; is a Deborah in 
Israel, 310. 

Gibb, John, brings a reprieve for Raleigh, 
lis, 140; unjustly assaulted and abused 
by King James, who is filled with re- 
morse therefor, 146, 147. 

*GiddingParva.' See Little Gidding. 

Godmanohester, 12. 

Graham, Richard, 152. 

Graham, Sir Robert, 3 n. 

Gunpowder Plot, 06 ; Guido Faux and 
Co. in Whinniard's cellar, with thirty- 
six barrels of gunpowder, 69 ; failure 
of, 69 ; the conspirators (Warwick- 
shire Hunt) all killed or hanged and 
headed, 70. 

Guthlac, 60. 

Hamilton, Duchess of, 308. 

Hamilton, Marquis of, 143, 254, S63, 
263 n., 264. 

Hamilton, Sir Alexander, a^, 335. 

Hampden, John, in Charles's Third Par- 
liament, 202, 206, 229 ; Blanor-house, 
Church and Mansion of, 317 ; occuiia- 
tion and character of, 318, 318 n. ; 
impatience of, with Vatican Popes and 
Lambeth Pontiffs, 319; the noble 
speaker, has a talent of silence, too, 
319 ; 340, 345, 346. 

Hampton Court, Conference at, 23-43. 

Hay, James (*Sardanapalus'), Earl of 
Carlisle, 50 ; made a Knight of the 
Bath, 73. 

Heame, Thomas, 236 ; extract from, 
238-241. 

Heath, James, 'Carrion Heath,* 341; 
Smelf ungus on, 342. 

Heath, Sir Robert, Lonl Chief-Justice, 
removed from the Common - pleas, 
251. 

Henrietta Maria (Queen of England), 
183, 184 ; beautiful and sprightly, but 
unfortunate in her religion ; accom- 
panied by a retinue of Jesuits and 
tonsured priests with pyxes and Popery 
equipments, the root of infinite sor- 
rows to her ; set to do penance ; is 
driven (luite beyond the vaporific 
point, 184. 

Henry viii., 13; dissolution of monas- 
teries by, 25. 

Henry iv. (of France), assassination of, 
92 ; 95, 95 n., 1&3. 

Henry, l*rince, knighting of, 72-78; 
(IcHcription of, by Sir C. Comwallis, 
77 n. ; death of, IW-JMi, 96 n, ; calls 
Rolxjrt DcviTcux 'son of a traitor,' 
112, 114. 

Henry ii. 12. 

Hereditary Principle, 1, 2. 



Hinchinbrook, King James at« 9-19; 
once a Nimnery, 11 ; all in ga]% 11 ; 
ambrosial sumptuositiea ftt» 14; haa 
become one of the houses <xf the 
Zodiac, 14. 

Hobart, Sir Miles, locks the door of the 
House of Commons, 230, 932. 

Holiday, Sir Leonard, with NieholM 
Leate, drains Moorfields, 79, 80. 

Holland, Earl of, 254 ; at Berwick, 386. 

Holies, Denzil, 202; holds down the 
Speaker, 229 ; puts three Resolutions, 
231. 

Holies, Sir John (Lord Houghton, 1616 ; 
Earl of Clare, 1624), 73^ 78 n., 141, 
202 n. 

Honours, sale of, 49. 

Hopton, Sir Ralph, 203. 

Hotham, Sir «iohn 'ear-marked *the 
Devil his,' 202. 

Howard, Lady Frances, daughter <xf the 
Earl of Suffolk, 113; married to the 
Earl of Essex, 114 ; turns her ambi- 
tious thoughts on the Earl of Somerset, 
114 ; gets a divorce from Essex, 117 ; 
is married to Somerset, 120 ; tried for 
the murder of Overbury, pleads guilty, 
and is sentenced to be nanged, 124; 
pardoned, and released from the Tower, 
125, 125 n. 

Howard, Thomas. See Arundel, Earl of. 

Howell, James, Letters of, 168^ 153 n. 

Huntingdon, 9, 11, 12, 13; Oliver Crom- 
well Burgess for, 2(K3. 

Hyde, Edward (Earl of Clarendon, 1661), 
264 ; meets Oliver St John, 329-333. 

India, intercourse with, 90-9L 

Infanta (Princess Biaria), sister of 

Philip IV., Kins of Spain, 147 n., 183. 
Ireland!, the bloody gashes of, closed for 

the first time in recorded History, 81, 

82 
Isle of Devils, the, 88, 89 n. 

James i. (King of Great Britain, ie03- 
1625), 3, 3 n. ; at Hinchinlnook, 9; 
hangs a outpurse at Newark, witi^oni 
trial, 10 ; enters London, 18 ; presides 
over Hampton Court Ccmferenee, 27 ; 
gives small countenance to Re3'iiolds 
and Co. ; * No Bishop no King,' 30^ 
31 ; declares that the Puritans must 
conform or leave the country, 32 ; has 
quitted hold of the real heart of Eof- 
land, 42; of clear vision, if it were 
deep enough, 43; a semi - impostor 
wituin; wonderfully gifted, aars 
Bacon ; quick of speech and of reaqr 
wit, 44, 44 n. ; ot laige, but flaoeia 
heart, 45 ; government of, bad and 



INDEX 



351 



onsucceasf ul ; speoiosities alone beau- 
tiful, realities unintelligible to, 46; 
favourites of, 46, 47, 54; a * Second 
Solomon,' we vow, 48; progresses, 
huntings, and drinking-bouts of, 48 ; 
selling honours, giving honour to whom 
honour is not due, a contribution to the 
great Bank of Social Falsehood, 50 ; in 
continual want of cash, 50 ; hunger and 
hope, the inspiring genii of, 50; pro- 
nounced divine Discourses in the Star- 
chamber ; an immense Brood-fowl set 
over England (* cluck -cluck, ye unfor- 
timate English '), 53 ; in trouble with 
his Parliaments, 54 ; discovers in Lord 
Monteagle's Letter a hint of the Gun- 

Sowder Plot, 69 ; wants a Scotch Car- 
iiial ; negotiates with the Pope, 71, 
71 n. ; a Sham-king only, and the Chief 
Chinrera of England, 110; summons 
all the Judges to the Overbury Murder 
Trial, 120; a Rhadamanthus, but in 
theory only, 125 ; pardons fatal Frances 
and her husband, 125 ; Discourse of, in 
the Star-chamber, 125; a most vigilant, 
vehement, h>yal clucker, an *old and 
experienced King,' 126 ; assumes the 
part of a real king, 127 ; Journey of, 
to Scotland, 134-138 ; loyal Addresses 
to, 135, 135 n. ; business of, in Scot- 
land, 135, 135 n. ; desires to strengthen 
and extend Episcopacy in ScoUand, 
' No Bishop no King,' 136 ; returns by 
Dumfries, gives the burghers a * Silver 
Gun,' 137; promulgates his *Book of 
Sports,' 138, 139; abuses John Gibb, 
and is filled with remorse, 146, 147 ; 
desire for the Spanish Match, the 
whole Foreign Policy of, 148 ; not wise 
enough to discern the true Krand- 
tendency, 149; opens his Third Par- 
liament, 155; Deputation of the 
Commons received by, 157 ; is forced 
to go voluntarily to the aid of Bohemia, 
164 ; description of, at a stag-hunt, 
267 ; falls into the New River, 267 n. ; 
thanks God that the Prince can manage 
a dispute in Theology with the 
leameuest clerk, 297 ; death of, 188. 

Jesuits, come to grief in arguing with 
James Ussher, I^imate of Ireland, 232. 

Jonson, Ben, 72; a true singer-heart; 
melodious as the voice of wood-doves, 
fitfully thrilling as the note of nightin- 
gales, 74 ; writes the Masnue ' IVinoe 
Henry's Barriers,' 74 n. ; tne * Satyr,' 
75 n. ; in wit-combat with Shakspeare, 
76 ; ' honoured Shakspeare, on this side 
idolatry, as much as any man,' 76 ; 144, 
166. 

Jourdan, Silas, 86. 



Kepler, Johann, Almanack • maker to 
iMiiser Iblatthias, 107; diaooven the 
laws of planetary motions, 108; 132, 
160. 

Kimbolton, Queen Catherine at, 13. 

*Kingis Quair,' 3 n. 

Kings, Twelve chairs for the twelve, 35, 
157, 157 n. 

Kirton, Edward, * hopes we have hearts 
and hands and swords, too, for a 
stroke with our enemies, 207; words 
of, justified by the Commons, 209, 214. 

Knewstubs, John, 24, 24 n., 57, 123. 

Lamb, Dr., murder of, 210, 211, 212. 

Laud, old Mr. William, the clothier at 
Reading, 83. 

Laud, William (Archbishop of Canter- 
bury), 83, 136, 137, 190. 214, 219 ; a 
disturber of the Church of England, 
225, 230; has a three days' wrestle 
with Fisher, the Jesuit. 233 ; goes with 
King Charles to Edinburgh, 25!) ; lie- 
comes Archbishop of Canterbury, 
253 n. ; promotion of, 268 ; Life of, by 
Heylin, 274-280 ; (lerplexing character 
of, 277 ; a clean - brushed, cultivated 
man ; will prove it for thee by never- 
ending logic, 278 ; at once persecutor 
and martyr, 279 ; turns his attention 
to the spiritual state of England, 282 ; 
has pricked a man or two that has 
handled him, 283 ; thinks the Church- 
devotion has fallen into an imperfect 
condition, 284*; will reform this : 'All 
ye that labour and are heavy-laden, 
coine unto me and I will — order you 
to buy Canonical cloaks,' 285-286*; is 
asked to say * where Jonah found his 
Ftayer-book when sunk in the whale's 
bellv,' 287 ; finds ' no religion ' in Scot- 
land, 287 ; is playing a heavier game 
than he wots of, 300 ; decides that the 
Prayer-book and Liturgy shall be im- 
pressed into all churches in Scotland, 
j02 ; bmrricades his Lambeth l*alace 
against a mob, and becomes a Chief 
P^est eclipsed or Archbishop girt-with- 
trembling, 332; impeached by the 
Commons, sent to the Tower and be- 
headed on Tower Hill, 279 n. 

Leigh ton. Dr., seeks lodgings in Ix>ndon, 
242 ; practises medicine, 243 ; in Hol- 
land, preaching, 244 n. ; publishes *An 
Appeal to Parliament,' 244 ; in the 
Star-chamber, 245 ; in the Fleet Prison : 
makes his escape. 247 ; the * Hue and 
Crv ' after ; branding and mutilation of, 
248 ; Keeper of Lambeth House, 248 u. 

Lenton, Mr., visits the Ferrars at Little 
Gidding, 236 n. 



352 



HISTORICAL SKETCHES 



Leslie, Alexander, 325, 326, 334, 335. 
L'Estrango, Hammond, 182. 
Lindsey, Bog of, 23, 45, 58-66, 123. 
Little Gidding, Nunnery of, 234-241, 254. 
Liverpool, 84. 
London, improvement of, 78-81 ; no new 

houses to be built in, 81. 
Long, Walter, 228, 230. 

Mansfeld, Count Ernest, 34, 197. 

Manwaring, Dr. Roger, Sermons of, 194 ; 
a priest-flunky, 195 ; had his quietus 
yesterday, 199 ; promoted by the King, 
213, 214. 

Martinitz, Javeslav von, 160 ; thrown out 
of window, 161. 

Masques, Ben Jonson's, 74-f 6 ; Beau- 
mont's, at Princess Elizabeth's Mar- 
riage, 98. 

Match, Spanish, 45, 147-153; closely 
related to James's Parliaments, 150; 
rejoicings at the failure of, 152. 

May, Sir Humphrey, 201. 

Men and Women, English, in the time 
of Puritanism, 268-271 ; in an evening 
party of ; figures, looks, dress, temper 
and conversation of, 269-271. 

Michell, Sir F., 128 ; how dealt with bv 
a Puritan House of Commons, 171*173. 

Milton, John« the scrivener's son, 81, 
133 ; cited, 178 n., 274. 

Mobs, Spanish, 149. 

Mompesson, Sir Giles, a monopolist, 170 ; 
sharp eyes and beaks upon, 171. 

Monopolies, 50, 154, 155, 250, 251. 

Montague, Lord, founds an endowment 
of £40 to commemorate the Gunpowder 
Plot, 67, 70. 

Montague, Richard (Bishop of Chiches- 
ter), writes 'New Gag for an Old 
Goose,' 192; *Appello Cwsarem,' 193; 
sentenced by l*arliament to be flneil 
and incapacitateil, 193; keeiw all his 
places, and becomes Bishop of Chiches- 
ter, 214, 224. 

Monteagle, Lord, Letter to, 43, 69. 

Montgomery, Earl of (Phili[> Herbert), 
143. 

Montrose, l^r\ of, 266, 2<>7, :i:J4. 

Morgan, Sir Charles, leads a force to j 
assist the King of Denmark, 197. I 

Morton, Bishop, <>1. 

Morton, James, Earl of, 254. i 

Muir, Elizabeth, mother or grandmother 
of the Stuart line, 3, 181, 18<>, 2(». 

MullKirrv-trecs planted in England, 82. 

Murder,' the Overbury, 112-127. I 

Xeile, Richard (Bishop of Winchester, 

Archbishop of York), 214, 218, 225. 
Ncwbuni, engagement at, 335-336. 



' New Gag for an Old Goom.' See Mon- 
tague, Richard. 

Newport, Captain, 86, 87, 88. 

New River, the, led into London by 
Sheriff Myddleton, 81. 

Northampton, Earl of (Henry How»rd), 
97, 118, 119, 120. 

Northumberland, Earl of, 93, 254. 

Noy, William, 98; hesitates to beoome 
Attomey-GeneraJ, then aooepta, 249 
the hatefullest of all men to us, 249 
proposes the Ship-monej Writ, 250 
post-mortem* examination of, 251 
WiU of, 251. 



Oath, the Ex-Offido, 31 ; the 'Btoetera,' 
331, 331 n. 

O'Neill, Shane, 82 ; Kennet on, 82 n. 

Ophiuohus, 178, 178 n. 

Osborne. Francis, 92: 'Histoiioal Me- 
moirs by, 92 n. 

Ouse, the River, held up in Bedford 
Levels, 12, 13, 62. 

Overal (Dean, Bishop), 28. 

Overbury, Thomas, becomes intimate 
with Car (Earl of Somerset), 113; is 
practically Under-Secretary of State, 
113; vehemently opposes Somerset's 
marrving Ladv Essex, 115 ; is sent to 
the Tower, llo ; threatens mischief, if 
he be not attended to, 117; intem- 
perate of tongue, 118 ; dies by poison, 
and is buried in the Tower, 120. 

Palatinate, 48, 94; is on are, 156; 158, 
162. 

Parliaments, in the olden time, 185-186 ; 
di\ided into Lords and Commons, 186. 

Parliaments, James's, 150-165. 

Parliament of 1604-1611, 153. 

Parliament, the 'Undertaker.' 154, 155. 

Parliament of 1620-1621, 155-165 ; makes 
a clearance of Monopolists, 173; gets 
into contradiction with the *Draad 
Sovereign,' 173 ; strikes work, 174 ; 
sends a Deputation to the King at 
Newmarket. 175 ; is dissolved, 17ow 

Parliament of 1625, 188 ; takes to Peti- 
tioning on Religion, and is slow about 
Supply ; is dissolved after two short 
Sessions, 189. 

Parliament of 1625-1626, 190; takes to 
censuring, impeachment and ReoMW- 
strance ; giantt) no Supply, and is dis- 
solve<l as with a flash of fire, 191. 

l^arliament, Charles's Third,— iVrsI Ses- 
fft'o/i, 197-213 ; investigates the Burla- 
machi affair, Dalbier, Trailbastoo, 196 ; 
the Petition of Right, the Palladium 
of our liberties, 1SM)-S0DO; glimpses <xf 
the leading Members of, 201-202 ; De» 



INDEX 



863 



olftration to the King, S03; message 
from the King to, 205 ; the Members 
of, burst not into parliamentary elo- 
quence but into a passion of tears, 
805-207 ; names the Duke of Bucking- 
ham and proceeds with the Declara- 
tion, 208 ; isprorogued, 212. 
Pkurliament, OharlesTs Third, — Second 
. Session, 221-232; considers the state 
of Religion before passing the Tonnage 
and Poundage Bill, 223 ; Oliver Crom- 
well's first recorded Speech in, 224 ; a 
happy issue to, as good as impossible, 
22d; Speaker of, dares not put the 

Suestion, 227 ; royal proclamation for 
issolution of, sJready drawn, 228; 
Mr. Speaker held down in his chair, 
229; passes three Resolutions, 231; 
vanishes into infinite night, 232. 

Parliament, the Long, the flower of all 
Parliaments, 336 ; might be called the 
Great Parliament, the Father of Par- 
liaments, 337 ; glimpses of some of the 
Members of, 340340. 

Parliament, the Short, 330. 

Pashur (LAud), girt-with-trembling, 295, 
295 n. 

Patience and Hope, 208-299. 

Paul's Aisle, and Paul's Gross, 98-93. 

*PeblistothePUv,'3n. 

Pembroke, Earl of, 254. 

Perth Monastery, James i. (of Scotland) 
slain in, 3. 

Petition, Millenary, 14, 24. 

Petition of Right, 199, 200. 

Philips, Sir Robert, 169, 206, 225. 

Platier, Fabricius, committed to a fall of 
sixty feet, 161. 

Portuguese of Goa, and Captain Best, 
90. 

Powhattan, King, the pipe-clayed, shell- 
girdled majesty, 89. 

Prague Projectiles, 157-163. 

Precedents, English love of, 176-177. 

Progress, material, in England, 78-85; 
Spiritual, 85-86. 

Puroeck, Viscountess, 111. 

Puritan Riot, 127-130, 149. 

Puritanism, first official appearance of, 
24 ; will not go to Haiaes without 
doing a bit of work in this world, 33 ; 
will be the parent of many Shak- 
spoares, 34 ; goes away abashed, but 
will come again with sword drawn for 
sheer battle, with headsman's axe for 
regicide, 36 : a part of the indestruct- 
ible, perennial sum of human things, 
30; i>ersuades to practical heroism, 
57 ; 212. 

Puritans, receive no countenance frem 
Majesty at Hampton - Court Confer- 



ence, 30 ; are ordered to oonfonn or 
leave the country, 32; are forbidden 
to emigrate to New England, 298. 
Pym, John, 166, 192, 201, 298, 340. 

Raleigh, Sir Walter, 66; writing 'ms- 
tory of the World,' 93, 112 ; execution 
of, 140-141 ; death-speech, and life of, 
inarticulate tragedy, 141 ; the greatest 
sacrifice the Spaniards have yet had, 
14L 

Rejrnolds, Dr. John, bom and brought-up 
a Papist ; converts his brother and is 
converted by him ; the leading Puritan 
at Hampton • Court Conference ; the 
'very treasury of erudition,' 28; 32, 
36,86. 

Bochelle, 188, 188 n. ; beleaguered, 215 ; 
surrenders to King Louis, 218, 219. 

Rochester, Viscount. See Somerset. 

Rolf, Mr., marries King Powhattan's 
daughter, 89. 

RoUe, John, an Hon. Member, refuses 
to pay Tonnage and Poundage, 222, 
226, 229. 

Rowallan, Efizabeth Muir of, 3, 181, 263. 

Rudd, Anthony, Bishop of St. David's, 
at Hampton - Court Conference, 24, 
24 n. 

Rudyard, Sir Benjamin, 166, 201. 

Rushworth, John, citation from 'His- 
torical Collections' of. 211 ; 335 n. 

Rymer, Thomas, 106, 106 n., 142. 

SackvJUe, Edward (fourth Earl of Dor- 
set), kills Edwiurd Bruce in Duel, 
99-103 ; 162, 167, 168, 168 n., 202. 

Sackville, Thomas, 100, 100 n. 

St John, Oliver, 329, 330. 

Savile, Sir John, 322, 322 n., 323. 

Scotch Coronation, 252-268. 

Scotch folk, speech of, full of pioturesque- 
ness, humour, sly, deep meaning; wnat 
they are, and what they have done, 
305,306. 

Scots, the, at Dunse Law, 324-327. 

Scottish Declaration, Burning of, 327 n. 

Sea-Venture, the ship, sails for Virginia, 
86 ; in a ' most sharpe and cruell ' 
storm, 86-87 ; wrecked on Bermudas, 
88. 

Selden, John, writes ' History of Tithes,' 
192 ; speech of, cited from. 227 : 265. 

Shakspeare, beautifullestsoul in all Eng- 
lana, 21 ; makes Past, Present, and 
Future brighter for us, 22 ; a right 
royal, archiepisoopal one, 22 ; Plays of, 
34 ; in wit-combat with Ben Jonson, 
76; retires to Stratford-on-Avon, into 
a silence which no Dryasdust or other 
obscene creature will ever penetrate. 



354 



HISTORICAL SKETCHES 



7G ; death of, 103 ; brightest oreatnre 
known to me, adieu, 104. 

Shirley, Sir Robert, ambassador from 
Persia, 90. 

Slavata, Wilhehn von, one of the Prague 
Projectiles, 160. 

Smelfungus, on Revolutions, 25; his 
striking * modem Puritan Sermon,* 
37-43; on speech and the Bog of 
Lindsej, 63>66 ; on an * indiscreet 
Biographer,' 341, 342 ; on Toleration, 

Smithfield, drained and paved, 80. 

Somers, Sir Geoive, 86, 88, 89. 

Somerset, Earl of (Robert Car), Viscount 
Rochester, 46, 110, 111 ; royal favourite; 
Overbury his working Secretary, 113 ; 
responds to Lady ^sex's advances, 
115; marries the divorced Lady Essex, 
120 ; is tried for murder of Overbury, 
123; pleads not guilty, 125; is con- 
demned to be hanged; pardoned by 
the King, and emitted from the Tower, 
125 ; death of, 125 n. 

Soubise, M. de, 188 n., 217. 

Southampton, Earl of, 15 ; kindness of, 
to Shakspeare, 22, 23 ; 254. 

Spenser, his frosty Allegories and Faery 
Queens, 57 ; 296. 

Steward, Sir Thomas, Knight of Stunt- 
ney, 16. 

Stewart, Sir Robert, 3 n. 

St. Neot's, Town and Church of, 13. 

Stuarts, a dash of Oypsy tragic in; 
their character and destiny, 3 ; kings 
of talent, but not of talent enough, 5. 

Stuart, Mary, Queen of Scots, 4. 

Stuart, James i. (of Scotland), the Poet- 
King, a right brave man, 3 ; assassin- 
ated at Perth, 3 n. 

Stuart, James iv., a royal-looking man, 
with face beautiful and stem, 2. 

Stuart, James v., character of, 3. 

Stuart, James i. (of England). See 
James i. 

Stuart, Lady Arabella, 93, 111. 

Thomlinson, Mr., discovers the Thurloe 

Papers, 310, 311, 312. 
Thurloe Papers, the, 310. 
Tobacco, * Counterblast to,' 53, 54; 

cited, 54 n. 
Tonnage and Poundage, 154, 154 n.; the 

sheet-anchor of royal finance, 221 ; 



Chambers and Rolle refuse to pay, 
222 ; not to be levied without oonMiit 
of Parliament, 231. 

Tournaments, 141-145. 

Trad^t'Increate, the ship, 90. 

Tradition, 314-317. 

TraUbaston, 198, 199, 210. ' 

Turner, Mrs., tried for murder of Orer* 
bury ; condemned to be hanged ; ap- 
pears at Tyburn in yellow ruffii got up 
a la mode, 122. 

Vane, Sir Henry (the elder), 329. 
Vasa, the last, of Sweden, only the etue 

of a true king, 2. 
Vere, Henry (Earl of Oxford), 166, 165. 
Vere, Horatio (Lord Vere of Tilbury), 47. 
Villiers, Geoige. See Buckingham. 
Virginia, settlement of, 89. 

Wade, Sir William, removed from the 
Lieutenancy of the Tower, 119 n. 

War, the Thirty Years', 162. 

Weldon, cited, 44 n. 

Wentworth, Sir Thomas (Earl of Straf- 
ford), 167, 201, 202, 321 ; Tyranny's 
strong right-hand man, 321 ; sone over 
to the Four Surplices, to Whitehall 
and the gilt-formulas ; an honourable 
soul seduced, 322 ; sees a new shorter 
course open to him, 323 ; a stem, down- 
looking man, full of thou^ts, enenies, 
— of tender affections gone mostly to 
the shape of pride and sorrow ; noMe 
enough, beautiful and tragioal, at all 
events terrible enough, 321: aoeom- 
panics King Charles to Yori, in the 
Second Bishops' War, 333. 

Weston, Richard, Overbury's keeper in 
the Tower, 120, 12L 

Weston, Sir Richard (Treasurer), wnlks 
in the Duke's footsteps, 830. 

Whitgift, Archbishop, in dread <xf a 
' Sootoh-mist,' 15; at Hamptom-Conrt 
Conference, 24: his last words, *Pro 
Ecclesia Domhii,' 32. 

Widdrington, Sir Thomas, 256. 

Williams, John (Bishop of lineolB, 
Archbishop of York, 1641^ Lotd- 
Keeper, comes to high words with 
Bucicingham, 190; a qnestioaable 
maxim of, 190 n. 

Wotton, Sir Henry, gone ' to lie abriMid ' ; 
sees Kepler, 107. 



Printed by T. and A. Comstabls, Printers to Her MaJestj 
at the Edinburgh University 



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