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mew's-day; and desired that the French ambassador might be informed that he had done so.
"He died the twenty-fourth of November, 1572, and was interred at Edinburgh, several lords attending his funeral; and particularly the earl of Morton, who was on that day chosen regent of Scotland, and who, as soon as he was laid in the grave, exclaimed, 'There lies one who never feared the face of man—who has been often threatened with dirk and dagger, but yet has ended his days in peace and honour; for he had God's providence watching over him in a special manner, whenever his life was sought.'
"In judging of the character of John Knox, we must make some allowance for the age in which he lived, and the part he was destined to act. Happily for us, we live in a day when party spirit and religious bigotry are much softened: let us, therefore, endeavour to be thankful for the blessing, and learn to look with charity and brotherly love, on those who may differ from us in their mode of worshipping the Supreme Being.
"But the dinner-bell rings: let us leave the gallery," said Mr. Wilmot.
"What have you found to excite your curiosity there, Susan?" said Mr. Wilmot, observing her eyes fixed upon the full-length picture of a gentleman attired in the costume of the reign of Henry the Eighth.
"I am looking, Sir," she replied, "at the singular dress of this gentleman."
"At no period, perhaps, of our national history," continued Mr. Wilmot, "was extravagance in dress carried to a higher pitch, than in this and the succeeding reign. The various modes of wearing the hair, and cutting Hie beard, seem to have afforded much umbrage to Holinshed, who lived at this time; and he enumerates, with amusing gravity, the variety and diversity which prevailed with respect to the latter. Ear-rings of gold, stones, or pearls, were in use amongst the courtiers. 'But never,' he mournfully observes, 'was it merrier with England, than when an Englishman was known abroad by his own cloth; and contented himself at home with his kersey hose, his plain slops; (or small clothes;) his coat, gown, or cloak, of brown, blue, or puke; with some pretty furniture of velvet or fur, and a doublet of sad tawny, or black velvet, or other comely silk; without such cuts or gaudy colours as are worn in these days, and never brought in but by consent of the French, who think themselves the gayest men when they have most change of jaggs, and variety of colours about them. Certainly, of all ranks,' he continues, 'our merchants have the least altered their attire, and are, therefore, the most to be commended; for, although what they wear is very fine and costly, yet it still represents the ancient gravity suitable for citizens and burgesses.' "It was very unusual to see any young men above the age of eighteen or twenty, without a dagger either by his side, or at his back; and even burgesses and aged magistrates, whose occupations are generally supposed to be peaceful, were also thus armed. The nobility commonly wore swords or rapiers with their daggers, as did also every servant following his master. Others carried two daggers, or two rapiers in a sheath, always about them; and, when quarrels arose, the consequences were frequently dreadful. These warlike implements were much longer than those used in any other country. In travelling, some carried with them, on their shoulders, staves, some of which were twelve or thirteen feet long, besides the pike of twelve inches; but I must tell you, that these were mostly suspicious characters.
"To such an excess had this love of dress arisen in the reign of Elizabeth, that it was thought necessary to check it by a proclamation, issued in October, 1559. It was, indeed, felt as a serious evil at this period, when the manufactures of England were in so rude a state, that almost every article for the use of the higher classes, was imported from Flanders, France, or Italy, in exchange for the raw commodities of the country, or, perhaps, for money.
"The invectives of divines have placed upon lasting records some transient follies, which might otherwise have sunk into oblivion; and the sermon of bishop Pilkington, a warm polemic of this time, may be quoted as a kind of commentary on the proclamation. He reproves 'fine-fingered rufflers, with their sable about their necks, corked slippers, trimmed buskins, and warm mittens. These tender Parnels,' he says, 'must have one gown for the day, another for the night; one long, another short; one for winter, another for summer; one furred through, another but faced; one for the workday, another for the holiday; one of this colour, another of that; one of cloth, another of silk and damask: change of apparel, one afore dinner, another after; one of Spanish fashion, another of Turkey; and, to be brief, never content with enough, but always devising new fashions and strange.
'Yea, a ruffian will have more in his ruff and his hose, than he should spend in a year. He, which ought to go in a russet coat, spends as much on apparel for him and his wife, as his father would have kept a good house with.'
"Miss Aikin conjectures, that the costly furs here mentioned, had probably become fashionable, since a direct intercourse had been opened, in Henry the Eighth's reign, with Russia; from which country ambassadors had arrived, whose barbaric splendours had astonished the eyes of the good people of London. The affectation of wearing, in turns, the costume of all nations in Europe, with which the queen herself was not a little infected, may be traced partly to the practice of importing articles of dress from those nations, and that of employing foreign tailors in preference to native ones; and partly to the taste for travelling, which, since the revival of letters, had become laudably pre