|Quotes • Headscratchers • Playing With • Useful Notes • Analysis • Image Links • Haiku • Laconic|
Evil Is Cool. So cool, in fact, it's too cool for good posture. A trend for newer villains is to forego the egg-chairs and thrones of their forefathers in favor of more comfortable and casual lounge chairs, draping themselves over them in a Slouch of Villainy. If it's The Starscream doing it, expect them to slouch in their former boss's throne as a way of posthumously insulting them.
This is usually done to show how blasé and Badass a character is; they're so bored and nonchalant that they aren't even bothering with conventional posture and look insanely cool in the process. This has the down side of making them less able to react if someone attacks, but that's not a problem if they are Badass enough. Of course, this could very well be a calculated effort to look insanely cool in the first place, but are you going to say that to the Magnificent Bastard's face?
Villains are inordinately fond of doing this in chairs that aren't theirs as well. Villains will surprise you by draping themselves on The Hero's chair, with an ambush, an Enemy Mine offer or An Offer You Can't Refuse, or to prove how badass they are prior to joining up more permanently. Bonus points if they're drinking A Glass of Chianti.
Compare with Leaning on the Furniture. Related to Rebel Relaxation and is often a case of Orcus on His Throne. A neutral (non-villain) variant is Reclining Reigner. Contrast Kingpin in His Gym, when the villain prefers to do something a bit more active than lounge around on furniture.
Anime and Manga
- In the second opening of Mai-Otome Nagi is shown reclining in his throne, demonstrating his newfound Big Bad status.
- It's also in the first opening, but in a blink and you'll miss it split second frame. That makes it a Spoiler Opening.
- Mello in Death Note always sits that way.
- Plus, Light, early on, has a weird habit of sitting backwards on his office chair, staring over the back of it. He grows out of it.
- Hero Antagonist L has what could be called a Crouch of Heroism. He never sits normally in a chair.
- Aizen from Bleach sits this way in Las Noches.
- The #2 Espada, Baraggan Luisenbarn, also sits like this to fit his "king" motif.
- The rare occasions we see him sitting down, Grimmjow is usually slouching or otherwise very casual.
- Akio of Revolutionary Girl Utena can do this on a quickly moving car. Yes, on. As in, on the hood. And he's driving.
- Decil in episode 9 of Gundam AGE. As you can see here, he does this out of boredom from seeing Flit struggle against one of his Zedas.
- Precia of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha does this on her throne when the Redshirt Army arrives to capture her, shortly before she wipes them out.
- Ribbons Almack of Mobile Suit Gundam 00 usually sits somewhat more upright, but otherwise makes himself rather comfortable on his Legendary Couch Of Evil -- which he seems to have stolen from Aizen. He's also fond of hugging his knee.
- In Fist of the North Star, Ken-oh, Souther and Uighur/Wigul/Wiggle show that anime villains have a proud tradition of slouching villainously.
- Gendo Ikari's slouch of villainy in his symbolic office in Neon Genesis Evangelion. It's noted that the office is set up specifically to intimidate visitors.
- This resin model of Haman Karn from Gundam.
- Also spoofed (possibly crossed with Leaning on the Furniture) in the original SD Gundam shorts (not to be confused with SD Gundam Force): In one short, involving hotels, Char attacks Amuro, Kamille, and Judau to try and steal their customers. Amuro tells him maybe he'd be able to get customers if he wasn't so aloof all the time. Char angrily snaps his fingers, at which point two of his cronies turn a table onto its side so he can lean on it and remark "But if you take out the aloofness, what's left of me?" The table then breaks.
- Creed from Black Cat sits on his throne like this.
- Proxy One, from Ergo Proxy, is first seen by the protagonist sitting nonchalantly slouched in his insanely large chair.
- Lordgenome in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann makes it a point to state that he was, in fact, very bored while alive. Until he actually starts fighting, he looks like he's about to fall asleep in his throne, not even paying attention to the harem he has around it.
- Father, from the Fullmetal Alchemist manga.
- In Naruto, Itachi does this on the seat in a temple where Sasuke finally confronted him.
- Xanxus from Katekyo Hitman Reborn is always slouching on his throne. In fact, when he's feeling Badass enough, he doesn't even bother to get up in order to kick ass.
- Fei Wang Reed tends to do this a lot while watching his Magic Mirror TV.
- Oda Nobunaga sits like this on his throne of skulls in Sengoku Basara.
- In One Piece Donquixote Doflamingo does this almost all the time.
- Ciel from Black Butler does this often, invoking an appearance of both lazy noble privilege and confident evil.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! GX: While possessing Johan's body, Yubel slouches across the throne in his/her throne room.
- Lelouch in Code Geass has a habit of doing this in the cockpits of his Knightmare Frames when commanding his forces and anticipating the moves of his enemies.
Collectible Card Games
- Magic: The Gathering: Miss Vess shows us how its done.
- Is it just me or does that look like a very uncomfortable position?
- Black Adam from DC Comics does it in this picture, after he had killed the entire population of a country. And the Anthropomorphic Personification of Death. When Black Adam goes bad, he does not fuck about.
- Thanos is prone to this, often using a space-going throne to sit upon, musing. Also during the Infinity Gauntlet saga, Thanos set up a big shrine to Death in space, one that came equipped with thrones to sit on while he contemplated how to win Death's affection.
- Doctor Doom has lounged through at least one cover this way.
- At the end of Identity Crisis, Dr. Light performs one of these after gaining back his impressive criminal mind.
- At the end of Preacher (Comic Book), the Saint of Killers settles down on his most recent victim's throne and goes back to sleep.
- For those of you who haven't read the series (why?), his latest victim happens to be God.
- Lucifer does this during his comic series, slouching in the throne of Primum Mobile.
- After being captured by Rogue Squadron the best Imperial pilot since Vader's death, Baron Soontir Fel, was somehow able to combine sitting relatively straight - not lounging, anyway - on an interrogation chair with an awesomely villainous posture. He ends up joining the Rebellion.
- In Dark Empire, Luke does this pretty well.
- One panel of The Killing Joke shows the Clown Prince of crime lounging in his chair made of a Tilt-A-Whirl cart and naked baby dolls. Well, probably dolls; you can see a few of them with their doll heads torn off in that panel.
- Norman Osborn is rocking this look on the cover of Dark X-Men: The Beginning #3, which is very indicative of his whole role in Dark Reign.
- Magneto on the cover of Ultimate X-Men #62.
- One Sissy Villain from an in-story Slash Fic Empowered reads. (He forces Major Havoc and Syndablokk to have sex together.)
- Overlord does this as best as a stiff-metal Humongous Mecha can manage while watching gladiator games in Transformers Last Stand of the Wreckers.
- Namor, The Sub-Mariner, while not usually a villain these days, has his moments of lounging around his throne as seen here.
- Ultron from The Avengers has done this in at least two covers despite the fact that he's a robot and technically doesn't need to sit.
- In yet another Marvel Comics example of this trope, we have Loki who enjoys a good slouch almost every time he sits down.
- Most of the villains in the Lee/Buscema Silver Surfer series, including Mephisto in his first appearance.
Film - Live Action
- The Beta Baddie vampire Nerva in Ultraviolet did this. Which was quite in character, since he was a Smug Snake piece of eurotrash with fangs.
- Jareth spends much of Labyrinth sprawled across his throne watching Sarah's progress in his Crystal Balls.
- Dr. Frank-N-Furter from The Rocky Horror Picture Show, as shown on the movie's poster and during his opening number.
- The lawyer for the prosecution in the movie of To Kill a Mockingbird slouches with one leg over the arm of his chair.
- While she's not a villain, exactly, in Mata Hari Greta Garbo is prone to lounging about rather than sitting upright.
- Genesis in Suicide Club uses this posture to introduce himself. Complete with over-the-top leg-crossing, first on one side, then deciding on the other. In an unsturdy wooden chair that he needs to fix first. That can't be comfortable.
- Older Than They Think: Check out Jay Robinson in 1953's The Robe.
- In the Star Trek reboot, Kirk gets a brief Slouch Of Uppity, doing his trademark lounge in the Captain's Chair before Spock reminds him that that's not his chair.
- Nero does it before he finds out what year he's in and promptly goes berserk.
- In Tron: Legacy, CLU does this while watching the disk tournament.
- In the 1997 Ivanhoe adaptation, Prince John during Rebecca's trial, as he is both abjectly bored and very aware he's the only sane man in the room.
- When Loki upsurped Odin's throne in Thor, he took this trope for all it was worth.
- In Gladiator, Emperor Commodus slouches in whatever chair he sits in as long as it has arms to slouch on.
- Emperor Palpatine in Return of the Jedi. Most noticeable when he sits down while telling Luke that he knows all about the Rebel's plans.
- Riddick slouches on the slain Lord Marshal's throne due to sheer exhaustion. It becomes a Slouch of Villainy when he notices the other Necromongers bowing down to him since "You keep what you kill."
Film - Animated
- Aladdin: After Jafar usurps Sultan's palace and reshapes it to his liking, he spends time slouching on the Sultan's throne.
- Hercules: Hades does this on a throne while (briefly) conquering Olympus, and then again on his own throne in the Underworld.
- In Kung Fu Panda, when Tai Lung encounters the Furious Five while heading into the village, the first thing he does on the broken bridge is use it like a lounge chair while taunting them.
- Chris Hart talks about the distinction between Hero posture and Villain posture in one of his "how to draw super heroes and villains" books (that might be the exact title, I forget). He points out that Heroes have confidence and have nothing to hide; they stand upright and secure, well balanced. While Villains are beset with inner turmoil and constantly trying to protect themselves, mistrusting the world. This even applies when they turn to react to some surprise or threat - the Hero turns with a straightening-up motion, ready to face whatever it is, whereas the Villain turns in a bowed-over fashion, already protecting his middle. Oh, and he even goes on to show the change from a Granola Girl Heroine to a super-villainess.
- The Duc of Genua from the Discworld novel Witches Abroad does this, not because it makes him look cool and detached, but because he's never gotten the hang of chairs, being a frog turned into a human by fairy godmother magic.
- Elves do it automatically, too, as part of their "far too cool to be human" glamour.
- As do vampires - I believe it's Maladict who's described as 'able to lounge on a wire'.
- When Polly discovers Vimes having a surreptitious smoke away from some obnoxious bureaucrats, the pose he's described as being in has elements of this (for a start, he's lying on the floor behind a bench), but subversionally, Vimes isn't a bad guy, nor does it suggest to Polly that he is; the bad posture just reinforces her assumption that he's a "scruffy sergeant" who is providentially between her and his monstrous boss "Vimes the Butcher".
- Guild of Assassins prohibits their students from assuming upright posture.
- Apparently, Vetinari was quite good at this.
- In A Song of Ice and Fire, Jaime Lannister sprawls onto the Iron Throne moments after killing King Aerys. In doing so, he causes the honorable Ned Stark to conclude that he's a villain. It turns out he's just exhausted from all the fighting and wasn't really thinking about the symbolism when he sat down. Taking after Jaime, Joffrey Baratheon has a tendency to slouch boredly in his throne, though doing so is dangerous while not wearing armor because the throne is made of blades.
- Adam of Good Omens. Subverted in that it turns out that it wasn't a slouch of Anti-Christ, it was a slouch of (thankfully neutral) Pre-Teen.
- Done in The Talisman by Stephen King and Peter Straub. Sonny Singer from the Sunlight Home does this, or tries to. Jack isn't impressed and believes Singer is just trying to imitate Sunlight Gardener.
- Prince Xizor, the head of the criminal syndicate Black Sun, spends a lot of time lounging in a chair that strengthens his muscles for him, in stark contrast to his rival for the Emperor's time, Darth Vader, who spends accompanying scenes training on custom lightsaber-wielding droids.
- Wheel of Time often describes powerful characters slouching in their seats or thrones, with one leg slung over the armrest. Rand in particular does this. Though he's the hero, he's also got a lot of inner demons.
- Draco Malfoy does this in canon. This is exaggerated in fandom and taken to its logical extreme in A Very Potter Musical.
- In Dragon Age: The Stolen Throne, the Orlesian usurper sits on the throne of Ferelden in this manner when receiving gifts from Ferelden nobles. Subverted in that he's not even close to being a Magnificent Bastard. In fact, he's quite incompetent at running things. This post is an exile, which he hates.
- In the Warhammer40000 book The Emperor's Mercy, Chaos Warlord Khorsabaad Maw slouches across a palanquin born aloft by his personal honour guard for the entirety of a Chaos Campaign. And when he gets off the throne...
- Q from Star Trek: The Next Generation tends to lounge on various bridge stations every so often. He's the only one without perfect posture in The Future, apparently.
- Although in Q's case, it may be intended as Leaning on the Furniture.
- In Star Trek: Insurrection, Big Bad Ru'afo practices his Slouch of Villainy... from the depths of a plush red sofa. It doesn't really work.
- Actually, if you watch carefully you'll not almost every actor does this when they're not the focus.
- Odd example in Red Dwarf. The Inquisitor, a robotic judge, is trying the crew individually for the right to exist and Rimmer is first. He gets into this pose, swinging his feet up and everything, then lifts his mask to reveal... Rimmer, because "it's the only fair way". The 'villainy' part probably came from Rimmer, because he's like that.
- An example of a heroic character (sorta) doing this is Firefly's Jayne Cobb, who likes to slouch in whatever chair he can find whenever he can get away with it.
- Ares, the God of War from Xena: Warrior Princess and Hercules: The Legendary Journeys would often sit on his throne in this manner.
- Star Trek: Enterprise: Captain Archer of the Mirror Universe does this in the command chair of the Defiant as he asks for Starfleet's surrender.
- In an early Stargate SG-1 episode, "Emancipation", Turghan does this when Abu comes to sell Carter
- And again in the Season 3 episode, "Need," Daniel sits draped over a throne when Jack comes to speak to him. Given that Jack is being worked literally to death in naquadah mines and Daniel is so hopped up on evil sarcophagus energy that he's oblivious to it, it's an effectively villainous slouch.
- On Heroes, Sylar takes the opportunity to slouch around on couches and chairs as he taunts and torments Parkman's sanity at home and at work.
- In Game of Thrones, Joffrey does this after he becomes king.
- From The Wire, Marlo likes to lean back on an armchair when he holds court outdoors.
- The first shot of Erik Northman in True Blood depicts him slouching villainously on a dais overlooking his nightclub. Throughout the series, he manages to make every other chair he sits in look like a throne by invoking this trope.
- Raven has made sitting in the corner of the ring in this position part of his entrance - not getting up until after ther ring bell has rung.
- Eddie Guerrero used to taunt his opponents by lying on the top rope in the corner as though he were on a hammock.
- HHH's epic entrance at Wrestlemania 22 started by him on a throne being raised through the floor in full Conan the Barbarian attire with titular slouch
- In the second Valkyrie Profile game, where Odin (quite the Magnificent Bastard) calmly talks about destroying a whole kingdom as bait to get the main character to show up, capture her, and then use her as bait to capture the lord of the undead while in this pose. Interestingly, it's working- albeit not quite as he expected- but the plan goes to hell as soon he gets out of the chair. This is Fridge Brilliance if you know Norse mythology- Odin's throne allows him to observe the entire world, giving him some degree of omniscience. Slouching in it is actually a huge strategic advantage.
- Copy X does this in Mega Man Zero 3, propping his head up with his hand and leaning on the arm of his throne.
- Zephiel is seen doing this in the last scene of Fire Emblem 7.
- Dracula does this a lot in the Castlevania series. Amusingly enough, Aria and Dawn of Sorrow player character Soma (who's the reincarnation of Dracula), can plop down on a number of flat surfaces in Dawn of Sorrow in this position at the player's command. He also sits like this when he fully becomes Dracula in the bad ending of Aria or Dawn, and when he is confronted in the final boss battle of Julius Mode.
- It's genetic as well. Alucard, son of Dracula, can be ordered to sit down at several places in Symphony of the Night... whereupon he takes the same position as his father.
- The former underling-turned-hero Hector performs this in Curse of Darkness, lounging pensively in any chair you choose to seat him in. Evidently Dracula trains his underlings to do this.
- Perhaps this is not so far from the truth. Fallen Hero or so it appears Richter from Symphony of the Night can be seen performing the classic pose when Alucard first meets him, as well as in a piece of his concept art.
- It's genetic as well. Alucard, son of Dracula, can be ordered to sit down at several places in Symphony of the Night... whereupon he takes the same position as his father.
- Magnius does this in Tales of Symphonia with a hoverchair.
- Tales of the Abyss has Dist, another hoverchair user.
- No hover, but Yggdrasil certainly slouches all over his throne during his brief appearance in the OVA.
- Robo-Ky from Guilty Gear really enjoys lounging in his metal throne (in the game, official art, and Fan Art alike). Since he's a Do-Anything Robot, the throne is actually part of Robo-Ky and folds into his back when he stands up.
- The player comes across a throne in Resident Evil 4, and can (for no readily appreciable reason) slump down in it with the classic pose. The room was used as a set in a cut-scene, so they probably just decided to Throw It In.
- Doing so points the camera to the entrance of the room, drawing the player's attention to the treasure hidden above the door.
- Specter, villain of Ape Escape, is perpetually slouching in his hoverchair. He has so low an opinion of the heroes that he even does this in battle; being a psychic, he has no need to change position, either.
- Player characters in City of Heroes can adopt a sitting pose with options tailored for different furniture such as armchairs, sofas, ledges, and barstools. For some reason only male characters can do the slouch.
- It's because female characters can wear skirts.
- Men can wear KILTS. *shudder*
- Because of the way that poses work, heroes and villains can do the slouch on literally anything. Including thin air.
- It's because female characters can wear skirts.
- Final Fantasy:
- Hades in Final Fantasy IX fights this way.
- Chaos in Dissidia Final Fantasy. And he's got four arms, so he's able to occupy both armrests while still folding his hands in front of him. The game even works the Slouch of Villainy into his ultimate attack! Chaos grows to enormous size, attacks the player with a BFS, and then makes the arena explode. And when the explosions die down, Chaos has reappeared back on his throne in his slouch of villainy while the player character drops down in front of him.
- Final Fantasy II's Emperor Mateus is practically channeling David Bowie. He even does a slouch of villainy in mid-air after battle.
- This Yoshitaka Amano concept art for Final Fantasy V depicts the Big Bad Exdeath like this, complete with A Glass of Chianti.
- In the first trailer for Final Fantasy Versus XIII, the protagonist slouches on his throne after slaughtering a group of soldiers. Anti-Hero, much?
- In Dirge of Cerberus, Big Bad Weiss does this.
- Final Fantasy XI:
- Archduke Kam'lanaut is introduced this way.
- The Shadowlord was seen slouching on his throne looking bored in one of the trailers for the Wings of the Goddess expansion. Apparently he knew that it would take over three years to complete the expansion and that he would have a minimal role in it.
- Rugal Bernstein, archetypical SNK Boss, is shown doing this during the end credits of the King of Fighters 2002.
- Possibly the most badass Slouch of Villainy ever: that of Lich King Arthas at the end of Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. He is so comfortable in his new (frozen) throne that the trailer to the upcoming Wrath of The Lich King expansion seems to suggest he hasn't gotten up since and is literally encased in ice until he rises to go and turn an ancient giant dragon into his undead servant. Then after pulling several cameo appearances throughout the Northrend, he goes right back to slouching there, waiting for players to finally arrive and challenge him. Posing your character on his lap and taking a screenshot is practically customery for when you first get to him.
- Disputed, as Kratos does this when he assumes the throne of the God of War.
- Loken is also doing this when you encounter him in the Halls of Lightning instance.
- Jin Kazama does this in Tekken 5 in his ending, in the Mishima Zaibatsu's throne, being its new owner. Of course, he isn't a villain...until the next game.
- And true to form, this is how you find Jin waiting for you at the top of the elevator of the Mishima Zaibatsu tower before your fight with him in Tekken 6.
- Kira Daidohji of Arcana Heart has this as her crouching position, treating the Blob Monster she's riding in like an oversized beanbag.
- In Overlord 2, the Overlord actually gets to sit in his throne. He slouches magnificently, and gains bonus points for being able to do it in full armor.
- In the ending, he does so with his Mistresses, who're fawning over him.
- Kingdom Hearts II, Xemnas fights two full battles this way. He happens to have the powers of all the other Organization members Sora has killed, so he commands their powers to fight for him while he sits on his throne watching. Even when attacked and fighting back with his sword, he stays sitting down.
- Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days: Everyone you see sitting in the Grey Room does this. Of course, they're all morally ambiguous.
- Master Xehanort does this, too. As a matter of fact if there is a X of Villainy/Y of Evil trope here, you can bet on him doing it. It makes you wonder why ANYBODY trusts the guy.
- Birth by Sleep Final Mix gives us the No Heart Bonus Boss, Master X's Keyblade Armor - which is nigh-identical to Xemnas's Tin Tyrant form. Naturally, he spends the first segment sitting down, ensuring you can't even reach him by creating a magical barrier with his Keyblade. When you break the barrier, he gets out of his chair and makes you regret it.
- Dr. Doom and Dormammu have this as their intro in Marvel vs. Capcom 3.
- Considering on your point of view, Logan in Fable 3 may either be evil or just made evil choices through misjudgment but there is no doubt he did the Slouch of Villainy (though it seems a bit improper for someone like him) on his prone in the beginning of the game before giving you a Sadistic Choice.
- Subverted in Epic Mickey, where Oswald did this trope, but he's not really evil.
- The Illusive Man in Mass Effect 2. Aria, the top dog of Wretched Hive Omega, spends most of her time overseeing her nightclub headquarters like this. When Cerberus steals Omega from her between games, she relocates to another nightclub on the Citadel and can be found there plotting revenge.
- Quan Chi's win pose in Mortal Kombat 9 is summoning a chair shaped like a giant skeletal hand, then slouching in it like a proper hell wizard should.
- The Big Bad of Ace Attorney Investigations 2 does this. With a CAT no less.
- Algol does this in Soul Calibur 4. Not only does he rise from his throne in the cutscene that precedes his battles, but he also uses it in battle - he teleports in it, kicks enemies from it in a certain combo, and, amusingly, occasionally puts his opponent in it.
- In The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Ganondorf is seen in this pose when Midna and Link meet him for the first time in Hyrule's throne room.
- In Skyrim, all the jarls except for Elisif slouch on their thrones. How villainous it is varies with the jarl, your view of them, and which side you take in the civil war. If you sit on an unoccupied throne, your character slouches too.
- Virgil in Saga Frontier keeps this pose constantly, even during your "battle" with him. Though in his case it's more a slouch of bored True Neutral.
- Weijuaru of Juathuur here (although not technically a villain).
- While ambiguously villainous, Agatha gets her slouch on after conquering the kingdom in a Cindarella parody.
- Gavin slouches on a comfy armchair he created out of thin air.
- Subverted in Broken Saints, wherein Big Bad Lear Dunham maintains a stiff and upright position whilst sitting on his mighty throne of righteousness.
- Possibly what Draco is trying to pull off in A Very Potter Musical, but really, who knows?
- Dr. Horrible gets his evil on while lounging cross-legged in a giant country-print armchair.
- In Samurai Jack, Aku is sometimes seen lounging around on his throne - especially when bored.
- In an interlude comic of Avatar: The Last Airbender, Azula, recent conqueror of Ba Sing Se, is introduced reclining on the Earth King's throne.
- Additionally, in the series finale when Azula begins going schizophrenic after her father gives her his Fire Lord title, she is seen slouching in her throne room with a bored stare when Lo and Li come in to call her out on banishing her servants.
- Dr. Claw in Inspector Gadget is always watching the events from his lair or car.
- In the Season 3 finale of Metalocalypse, band CFO/lawyer/manager Offdensen slouches rather magnificently in his command chair several times. It's unknown at this point if he is a force for good or evil, or even what those terms mean in relation to Dethklok's well-being, but the man is at least personally responsible for hundreds of deaths and instances of torture thus far.
- Megatron from Transformers G1 usually gets his slouch on while commanding his warship when it isn't at the bottom of the ocean. He even does it at the Lincoln memorial after removing the statue, a moment adapted for the third live action film.
- In Leonardo daVinci's painting of The Last Supper, depicting the apostles as they react to Jesus telling them that he's going to be betrayed. Judas is the one leaning on the table.
- In the Rob Zombie CD "Hellbilly Deluxe", the back of the little pamphlet that comes with the CD had picture-art of Zombie slouching on a stone throne.
- After Hitler conquered Czechoslovakia, he held a private party, and German diplomat Manfred von Schroder related how Hitler behaved when he didn't have to play the role of statesman, or act for the camera. Hitler reclined horizontally in a chair, both his legs hanging over one armrest, his back against the other. His tie and collar were undone, his hair unkempt and messy, his glass of mineral water in hand, as he dictated proclamations to two secretaries, and gesticulating wildly the whole time.