ARIOUS reports went undulating through the city as to the nature of what had taken place in the palace. The people gathered, and stared at the house, eyeing it as if it had sprung up in the night. But it looked sedate enough, remaining closed and silent, like a house that was dead. They saw no one come out or go in. Smoke rose from a chimney or two; there was hardly another sign of life. It was not for some little time generally understood that the highest officers of the crown as well as the lowest menials of the palace had been dismissed in disgrace : for who was to recognise a lord chancellor in his night-shirt ? and what lord chancellor would, so attired in the street, proclaim his rank and office aloud ? Before it was day most of the courtiers crept down to the river, hired boats, and betook themselves to their homes or their friends in the country.