few who had known King Charles could have imagined him capable; and the unhappy poet, after hearing exactly what his Sovereign thought about him, was dismissed from the Presence and forbidden ever to come back. One hopes that Charles may have felt a little better after, for once, letting himself go.
AT first it seemed that the Scots, even if they could not force the conscience of their King, were fully determined to keep possession of his person. But they were far from constituting a united body-- indeed Scottish politics presented a witch's cauldron of personal and tribal intrigues, with the terrible theocratic power of the Kirk always in the background. Among the magnates the two most powerful groupings were those centred round the persons, and families, of the Hamiltons and Argyll. What crafty and crooked designs were hatching in the brain of Argyll no one but himself could fathom, but they certainly boded no good to the King. Hamilton on the other hand, though as undependable as a weathercock, had a genuine streak of loyalty in him towards his royal cousin, and it was largely through his influence that the Scottish Parliament was, in December, induced to vote for requesting the English Parliament to allow the King to come to London in honour, safety, and freedom, and for engaging itself to support monarchical government in his person. But this lay Parliament had reckoned without the grim divines of the Kirk Assembly, who in less than twenty-four hours had produced a document of formidable length that they called a "solemn and reasonable admonition" and which amounted to a merciless wigging of the unfortunate Parliament, coupled with a peremptory order to it to mend its ways. No second admonition was needed. That august body, like any penitent on the gowk's stool, made haste to eat its own words and engage to do nothing whatever for the King, until he had both taken the Covenant and subscribed to the whole of the terms of the English Parliament. There can be little doubt that Argyll, though he had kept himself in the background, had had a finger in this humble pie.