Little Gentleman in Velvet

(The). The mole. “To the little gentleman in velvet” was a favourite Jacobite toast in the reign of Queen Anne. The reference was to the mole that raised the mole-hill against which the horse of William III. stumbled at Hampton Court. By this accident the king broke his collar-bone, a severe illness ensued, and he died early in 1702.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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