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and he will presently receive her into his charge. Some may think this a jest, but I assure you it is a matter of trust and confidence, and so assuring myself of your secret and careful performance of it, I rest your affectionate friend, 66 PEMBROKE.'

On other occasions, we find the king familiarly addressed by his minions as "Your sowship." The following lively letter of the period contains a more graphic picture, and will afford a more accurate notion of the manners of the court, than could be effected by a more elaborate description. That the wit is of a lighter kind, and the language less ponderous, than is generally the case with the familiar epistles of the period, must be taken as an additional reason for its insertion: it is addressed by Sir John Harringtont to Mr. Secretary Barlow, and dated London,

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My Good Friend,

"In compliance with your asking, now shall you accept my poor account of rich doings. I came here a day or two before the Danish king‡ came, and from the day he had come to the present hour, I have been well nigh overwhelmed with carousal and sports of all kinds, The sports began each day in such manner and such sort, as well nigh persuaded me of Mahomet's paradise. We had women, and indeed wine too, of such plenty, as would have astonished each beholder. Our feasts were magnificent, and the two royal guests did most lovingly embrace each other at the table. I think the Dane hath strangely wrought on our good English nobles; for those whom I could never get to taste good English liquor, now follow the fashion, and wallow in beastly delights. The ladies abandon their sobriety, and are seen to roll about in intoxication. In good sooth, the parliament did kindly to provide his majesty so seasonably with money; for there has been no lack of good living, shows, sights, and banqueting from morn

to eve.


One day a great feast was held; and after dinner the representation of Solomon's temple and the coming of the Queen of Sheba was made, or (as I may better say) was meant to have been made, before their majesties, by device of the Earl of Salisbury and others. But, alas! as all earthly things do fail to poor mortals in earthly enjoyments, so did prove our presentment thereof. The lady who did play the queen's part did carry most precious gifts to both their majesties; but, forgetting the steps arising to the canopy, overset her caskets into his Danish majesty's lap, and fell at his feet, though I rather think it was in his face. Much was the hurry and confusion; cloths and napkins were at hand, to make all clean. His majesty then got up, and would dance with the Queen of Sheba; but he fell down and humbled himself before her, and was carried to an inner chamber, and laid

Dalrymple's Memorials, p. 71. †The Epigrammatist, and translator of the Orlando Furioso. He was made a Knight of the Bath by King James, and died in 1612, aged 51.

Christian, King of Denmark, brother to the queen, arrived in England, 17th July, 1606, and departed on the 14th of August following.-Camden. His curiosity led him occasionally to wander about the streets of London in disguise, but it did not prevent him from showing a repugnance to visit the Tower of London, when he happened to be informed that it was a prison.-Sanderson.

§ Robert Cecil, Earl of Salisbury, the celebrated

on a bed of state, which was not a little defiled Wine was always palatable to James. It was with the presents of the queen which had been therefore, not unnatural that the visit of his jovial bestowed on his garments; such as wine, cream, brother-in-law should have led to more than one jelly, beverage, cakes, spices, and other good scene of inebriety.* The Danish monarch, inmatters. The entertainment and show went deed, seems to have been somewhat famous for forward, and most of the presenters went back-disordering his faculties with the juice of the ward or fell down; wine did so occupy their grape. Howel tells us of an instance of his exupper chambers. cess, which occurred when, some years afterwards, this author accompanied the Earl of Leicester on his embassy to Denmark. The earl was invited to dinner by the Dane, who did the best in his power to make the ambassador drunk. They sat down to their meal at eleven o'clock, and continued drinking till the evening, during which period the king proposed thirty-five healths,first the emperor, then the King of England, and so on, till he had exhausted all the kings and queens in Christendom. The consequence was that his majesty was eventually carried off in his chair. The same considerate attention was offered by two of the guards to the ambassador, who, however, was fortunately able to reach his hamber without their assistancet.

"Now did appear in rich dress, Hope, Faith, and Charity; Hope did assay to speak, but wine rendered her endeavours so feeble that she withdrew, and hoped the king would excuse her levity. Faith was then all alone; for I am certain she was not joined to good works, and left the court in a staggering: Charity came to the king's feet, and seemed to cover the multitude of sins her sisters had committed; in some sort she made obeisance, and brought gifts, but said she would return home again, as there was no gift which heaven had not already given his majesty. both sick in the lower hall.* She then returned to Faith and Hope, who were

"Next came Victory, in bright armour, and presented a rich sword to the king, who did not Peyton mentions a remarkable debauch, which accept it, but put it by with his hand; and by a occurred during the visit of the King of Denmark strange medley of versification did endeavour to at the English court, on which occasion the two make suit to the king. But Victory did not kings got intoxicated. James was in such a distriumph long; for after much lamentable utter-graceful state, that he was obliged to be carried ance, she was led away by a silly captive, and laid to bed by his courtiers, a task which was performed with considerable difficulty. to sleep in the outer steps of the antechamber. "Now did Peace make entry, and strive to get foremost to the king; but I grieve to tell how great wrath she did discover unto those of her attendants; and much contrary to her semblance, made rudely war with her olive-branch, and laid on the pates of those who did oppose her coming.

Even in his taste for wine, as in most of his other habits, we may trace the effeminacy of his nature. His partiality was for "sweet rich wines," such as are commonly supposed to be preferred by the fairer sex. Coke informs us that he indulged "not in ordinary French and Spanish wines, but in strong Greek wines." Even when engaged in hunting, a sport which seldom requires adventitious excitement, he was attended as closely as possible by a special officer, who constantly supplied him with his favourite beverages. Coke's father, on one of these occasions, managed to obtain a draught of the royal wine, which his son tells us, not only

*The arrival of the boisterous Dane in England,

"I have much marveled at those strange pageantries; and they do bring to my remembrance what passed of this sort in our queen's days, of which I was sometimes an humble spectator and assistant; but I never did see such lack of good order, discretion, and sobriety, as I now have done. I have passed much time in seeing the royal sports of hunting and hawking, where the manners were such as made me devise the beasts were pursuing the sober creation, and not man in quest of exercise and food. I will now, in and the manner in which, with homely jocularity, he good sooth, declare unto you, who will not blab, surprised his sister the Queen of England, are that the gunpowder fright is got out of all our amusingly described in a letter of the period. "He heads, and we are going on hereabouts as if the here to London, where dining at an ordinary inn, landed here at Yarmouth, and then took post-horses devil was contriving every man to blow up him- near Aldgate, he hired a hackney-coach, and preself, by wild riot, excess, and devastation of time sently addressed his course to the queen's court, and and temperance. The great ladies do go well entered the presence before any person had the least masked, and indeed it be the only show of their thought of him. I hear Cardel, the dancer, gave the modesty to conceal their countenances: but alack! first occasion of his discovering him, by saying that they meet with such countenance to uphold their that gentleman was the likest the King of Denmark strange doings, that I marvel not at aught that that ever he saw any in his life, which a Frenchman, happens. The lord of the mansiont is over- his countenance well, whom he had seen the last one of his majesty's servants, hearing, and viewing whelmed in preparations at Theobalds, and doth time of his being here, grew confident that it was he; marvellously please both kings with good meat, and presently ran to carry the news thereof to the good drink, and good speeches. I do often say queen, who sat then at dinner, privately, in her galbut not aloud) that the Danes have again con-lery at Somerset House. The queen at first scorned quered the Britons, for I see no man, or woman either, that can command herself. I wish I was at home:-O rus, quando te aspiciam! and I will before the Prince Vaudemont cometh."S

him for his labour, so vain it appeared, and thought it some fantastic capricio of a French brain. But the king, following close after, and begging silence with the beckoning of his hands as he entered, came behind her and embraced her, ere she was aware, and saluting her with a kiss, taught her the verity of that which before she believed to be a falsehood. Pre

The whole account, and especially the disgraceful state of the Cardinal Virtues, is no doubt some-sently she took off the best jewel she wore about her, what overcharged.

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and gave it to the Frenchman for his tidings, despatched a post to his majesty, who was then well onward on his progress, and then intended the care of his entertainment."-Letter from Mr. Larkin to Sir T. Puckering, Bart. Bishop Goodman's Memoirs, vol. ii. p. 371.

produced intoxication and spoiled his day's sport, but disordered him for three days afterwards.


Weldon gives his opinion that James was not habitually intemperate, but that as old age crept on, and Buckingham's jovial suppers became more alluring, he occasionally exceeded, and was sometimes overtaken; a transgression which he would next day remember and repent with tears. After such indulgences there is generally another matutinal memento besides conscience. The maudlin monarch weeping over the recollections of the last night's debauch must have been an edifying sight to his courtiers. "His drinks," adds the same writer, "were of that kind for strength, as Frontignac, Canary, highcountry wine, tent wine, and Scottish ale, that had he not had a very strong brain, he might have daily been overtaken, although he seldom drank at any one time above four spoonfuls, many times not above one or two." James, says Sully in his memoirs, was in the habit of quitting the company after dinner and going to bed, where he usually spent part of the after-every where posted at the time, has reference to the king's national prejudices :

noon, and sometimes the whole.

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Another of James's vices was the constant practice of having an oath in his mouth. Sir John Peyton assures us, that from the example set by the king, the fashion of swearing grew into great esteem; and even the king's apologist, Bishop Goodman, admits that he was "wonder. fully passionate and much given to swearing.' And yet the same man, who was daily offending against morality, and undermining it by his influence, in his Basilicon Doron, has the conscience thus to apostrophise his own son, who is well known to have regarded an oath with the Beware," says James, "to offend your conscience with the use of swearing or lying, suppose but in jest; for oaths are but a use, and a sin clothed with no delight nor gain, and therefore the more inexcusable, even in the sight of men." Weldon says, that in his cooler moments, the king was in the habit of expressing his abhorrence at his own bad habit, trusting, he said, that as the oaths which he made use of were uttered in moments of passion, they would not be imputed to him as sins.

utmost abhorrence :

That his reputation for profane swearing was not confined to his own subjects, may be discovered by the following anecdote:-When the famous Lord Herbert of Cherbury was ambassador at Paris, the Prince de Condé paid him a visit. The conversation chanced to turn upon the character of James, who was then King of England. The learning, clemency, and other good qualities of the king were politely admitted by the prince; who, however, mentioned the reports which he had heard of his majesty's habit of swearing. Lord Herbert answered paradoxically, that it was a weakness which arose entirely from the natural gentleness of the king's disposition; an assertion which brought forth a remark from the prince that curses and gentleness were incompatible. "On the contrary," replied Lord Herbert, "the king, my master, is too kind to punish men himself, and therefore leaves their chastisement in the hands of God." Lord Herbert, who had more to be proud of than the credit of a smart saying, appears to have valued himself highly on this ingenious apology for his sovereign. He informs us that it was after

wards much celebrated at the French court.

single instance on record of his having condescended to relieve misery or reward merit. The James kept faithfully the promise which he following anecdote, as it is commonly related, had made to his Scottish subjects in his farewell would at first sight place his character for geneattendance at St. Giles's Church. A temperate rosity in an advantageous light; but we have prejudice in favour of former friends would have only to call to mind his well-known partiality been laudable; but the unqualified distinction for masculine beauty,-the fact that Rich, the which, in the early part of his reign, he made in present object of his munificence, was eminently favour of Scottish interests and Scottish connec- handsome, and indeed that it was only the coldtions, was naturally productive of much comment ness with which he met the king's advances to and envious feeling among his English subjects. familiarity that prevented him from becoming the We may trace an evidence of the English anti- chief favourite,—and James's merit for liberality pathy towards the northern and penniless favour- falls to the ground. The story purports, that ites of James in the answer of Guy Fawkes to a James, on a certain day being in the gallery at Scottish nobleman who assisted in interrogating Whitehall, attended only by Henry Rich, afterWhen asked by the wards Earl of Holland, and Maxwell, a gentlehim before the council. latter for what purpose he had collected so large man of the bedchamber, some servants happened a quantity of gunpowder, "To blow," he said, to pass through, bearing a large sum of money "the Scottish beggars back to their native moun- (30007.), which they were conveying to the tains." It may be observed that James happily privy purse. James, observing the two gentledenominated Guy Fawkes the English Scævo- men whispering with one another, and ascerThe following pasquinade, which was taining from Maxwell that the subject of their conversation was an incidental wish which had been expressed by Rich, that he could appropri ate the gold to his own use, he immediately ordered it to be conveyed to the latter's lodgings; remarking, that it afforded him more pleasure in bestowing the money than Rich could receive in accepting it.


Scots from the northern frozen banks of Tay,
With packs and plods came whigging all away;
Thick as the locusts which in Egypt swarmed,
With pride and hungry hopes completely armed;
With native truth, diseases, and no money,
Plundered our Canaan of the milk and honey;
Here they grew quickly lords and gentlemen,
And all their race are true-born Englishmen.
So great was the disgust which this principle
of favouritism had produced, that James thought
it necessary to make the following characteristic
apology to the English parliament. "Had I,"
he proceeds, "been oversparing to them, they
might have thought Joseph had forgotten his
brethren, or that the king had been drunk with
his new kingdom. If I did respect the English
when I came first, what might the Scottish have
justly said if I had not in some measure dealt
bountifully with them that had so long served
me, so far adventured themselves with me, and
been so faithful to me? Such particular persons
of the Scottish nation as might claim any extra-
ordinary merit at my hands, I have already rea-
sonably rewarded; and I can assure you that
there is none left for whom I mean extraordinary
to strain myself further." James's assurance was
worth little. As Harris justly observes, it was
but a short time afterwards that he took Robert
Carr into favour, and heaped on him such im-
mense treasures.

The credit, indeed, which James has gene-
rally acquired for profuse liberality, taking the
word in its more generous sense, appears, on a
very superficial investigation, to be totally unde-
of his having squandered large sums on unde-
served. There certainly are numerous instances
serving favourites, but there is perhaps not a
* Lingard, vol. ix. p. 56.

King James's Works, p. 515.
Osborne says, "the setting up of these golden
calves cost England more than Queen Elizabeth
spent in all her wars ;" and Dr. Lingard, in alluding
to the profuse generosity of James, has the following
note:-" At the marriage of Sir Philip Herbert with
Lady Susan Vere, he made the bridegroom a pre-
sent of lands to the yearly value, as some say, of
5001., as others, 12007. At the marriage of Ramsey,
Viscount Haddington, with Lady Elizabeth Ratcliff,
he paid Ramsey's debts, amounting to 10,000.,
though he had already given him 1000l. per annum
in land (Winwood, ii. p. 217), and sent to the bride a
gold cup, in which was a patent containing a grant
of lands of 600l. a year. (Lodge, iii. pp. 254, 336;

James's want of knowledge of the actual value of money may, however, be taken as some apology for the sums which he so unworthily lavished. There is an instance of his presenting the Earl of Somerset at one time with an order for twenty thousand pounds, an immense sum at that period. The lord treasurer, desirous of making the king aware of the enormous amount which he was squandering on his favourite, invited James to an entertainment, at which four sums, of five thousand pounds each, were purposely placed on as many tables, in an apartment through which James was to pass. The king, who had never before seen so much money at one time, inquired the reason of the display. Being informed that these heaps were amount of the sum which he had ordered to be paid to Somerset ;-"Zounds, man," he cried, "five thousand is enough to serve his turn," which was all that the favourite at that time received.*


These munificent, though ill-bestowed, donations, added to the vast sums which were lavished on the entertainments of the court, had at one time drained the royal treasury to its lowest ebb. By a letter among the Talbot Papers, it is proved that one masque alone cost the exchequer three thousand pounds. This taste for lavishing immense sums on magnificent spectacles and court. social diversions was not merely confined to the To provide for a masque at Lord Haddington's marriage, twelve of the principal courtiers subscribed three hundred pounds apiece. The king, however, was the principal sufferer; and so reduced were his finances about the fourth

Boderie, iii. p. 129.) From the abstract of his revenue I find that his presents at different times in money to Lord Dunbar amounted to 15,2621.; to the Earl of Mar, to 15,500.; to Viscount Haddington, to 31,000l."-Lingard, vol. ix. p. 91.

that the king only awarded five hundred pounds to *Coke's Detection, vol. i. p. 55. Lloyd says Somerset; but this, as the sum is given numerically, appears to be an error of the press.-State Worthies, vol. ii. p. 19.


t Lodge's Illustrations of English History, vol. p. 250.

year of his reign, and so clamorous were the officers of his household for the payment of their salaries, that they actually stopped the coach of the lord treasurer, and prevented his proceeding further, till he had given a solemn promise that their demands should be satisfied.* At Brussels James was caricatured in a hose doublet, with empty pockets hanging out, and an empty purse in his hand.

and striking his servants in his intemperate | per: next, as the person to whom we pray it, is our
heavenly Father, so am I that offer it unto you,
not only your politic, but also your economicke
father, and that in a nearer degree than unto
others. Thirdly, that you make good use of it;
for since I daily take care to better your under-
standing, to enable you the more for my service
in wordly affairs, reason would that God's part
should not be left out, for timor Domini est
initium sapientiæ. And lastly, I must with joy
acknowledge, that you deserve this gift of me, in
not only giving so good example to the rest of
the court, in frequent hearing of the word of God,
but in special, in so often receiving the sacrament,
which is a notable demonstration of your charity
in pardoning them that offend you, that being the
thing I most labour to recommend to the world in
this meditation of mine: and how godly and vir-
tuous all my advices have ever been unto you,
I hope you will faithfully witness unto the

James sufficiently admired those personal graces in others, in which he was himself so eminently deficient. His friendships were generally cultivated among the young and handsome; and so well were his failings understood by the courtiers, that perpetual intrigues and speculations appear to have been carried on, by opposing interests, for the purpose of undermining the existing favourite, by the introduction of a more engaging rival. Weldon asserts, that Lady Suffolk, a notorious intriguer of the period, carried this extraordinary traffic to such an extreme, that she was constantly on the lookout for handsome young men, whose hair she daily curled, and whose breath she perfumed, in hopes that they would attract the royal attention. Henry Rich, afterwards Earl of Holland, is said by Osborne to have lost the opportunity, which his handsome face afforded him, of being prime favourite, by turning aside and spitting after the king had saluted him.


More hypocritical trash than this, or at any rate, a more conflicting line of conduct, it would be difficult to imagine. Even if James were himself sincere in his professed reverence for religious duties, (and there is reason to believe, notwithstanding his evident inconsistencies, that such was the case,) what can be more incongruous than his introducing so sacred a subject to a gay and thoughtless courtier, whose complaisance, and pretended interest in his majesty's pursuits, could surely only have originated in a desire to gratify the weak monarch, by the usual arts of adulation! There is one part of the king's preface which reminds us of the last days of Louis the Fourteenth, whose courtiers, when religion became a fashion at Versailles, were accustomed to take the sacrament two or three times in one day. It is possible that Buckingham's motive was not very dissimilar.

The king's personal expenses and individual pleasures were but, in a small degree, the cause of his pecuniary embarrassments. His principal source of enjoyment was in the chase, from which he ever derived the keenest gratification. It was a common expression of our ancestors, when they took leave of their friends, "God's peace be with you, as King James said to his hounds." Scaliger observed of him, "The king of England is merciful except in hunting, where he appears cruel. When he finds himself unable to take the beast, he frets, and storms, and cries, God is angry with me, but I will have him for all that! When he catches him, he thrusts his whole arm into the belly and entrails of the creature up to Many of the original letters, which passed bethe shoulder." His favourite pastime, on one tween James and the Duke of Buckingham, are occasion, very nearly cost him his life: Sir Sy-preserved among the Harleian MSS. and elsemonds D'Ewes tells us, that he was thrown where, and abound with evidences of disagreeable headlong into a pond, and very narrowly escaped familiarity, and sometimes with the grossest indrowning. Nor is this the only instance of his decency. The equality on which they corresindifferent horsemanship nearly proving fatal to ponded is well known. The king generally him. Mr. Joseph Meade writes to Sir Martin addressed Buckingham as "his dear child and Stuteville, 11th January, 1622: "The same gossip," and frequently subscribes himself as day his majesty rode by coach to Theobald's to your dear dad and gossip :" on one occasion, dinner, not intending, as the speech is, to return when he sends his favourite some partridges, he till towards Easter. After dinner, riding on concludes, "your dear dad and purveyor," while horseback abroad, his horse stumbled and cast Buckingham, on his part, generally addresses the his majesty into the New River, where the ice king as" dear dad and gossip," and terminates brake; he fell in so that nothing but his boots with "your majesty's most humble slave and were seen. Sir Richard Young was next, who dog, Steny." In one of his letters, the king alighted, went into the water, and lifted him out. tells Buckingham that he "wears his picture in There came much water out of his mouth and a blue riband, under his waistcoat, next his That James's friendships, which had their body. His majesty rid back to Theobald's, went heart," and in another, he assures his "only birth in mere outward accomplishments, should into a warm bed, and, as we hear, is well, which dear and sweet child" how anxious he is that he have been extremely brief in their existence, is God continue."t should "hasten to him at Birely that night, that scarcely to be wondered at; but to fickleness he his white teeth may shine upon him." In a let- added insincerity-an important ingredient in ter, published by Dalrymple, in his Memorials what he termed his kingcraft. It was in his naof the Reign of James I., Buckingham addresses ture to hug a favourite at one moment and to ruin the king with the following strange parade of him at the next. At the time when he was apfamiliar titles: "My purveyor, my good fellow,parently taking the most affectionate interest in my physician, my maker, my friend, my father, Buckingham's welfare, there is reason to believe my all; I heartily and humbly thank you for all that, in his heart, he was projecting his destruction. Had James lived, the fall of that magnifiyou do and all I have." cent favourite would, in all probability, have been as rapid as his rise. His behaviour to Robert Carr was even more iniquitous. When that unfortunate and once splendid criminal was proceeding to his trial, and, for aught that was known to the contrary, to his death, the king expressed the most poignant grief at their parting. And yet he was not only secretly overjoyed at his favourite's disgrace, but had been making use of every means to procure his utter and irremediable ruin. Of the farewell parting between James, and the companion who had once been so dear to him, Weldon has given the following curious account:"When the earl kissed his hand, the king hung about his neck, slabbering his cheeks saying, 'for God's sake, when shall I see thee again? On soul I shall neither eat nor sleep until you After the relation of such scenes of profligacy, come again.' The earl told him on the Monday it is somewhat startling to find the king address-(this being on the Friday.) For God's sake ing to Buckingham a meditation on the Lord's let me,' said the king:-shall I, shall I?'-then "For divers times," says James in his lolled about his neck. Then for God's sake preface, "before I meddled with it, I told you, and give thy lady this kiss for me:' in the same manonly you of some of my conceptions on the Lord's Prayer, and you often solicited me to put pen to pa

In addition to his ruling taste for hunting, and his addiction to the pleasures of the table, the cockpit, at least twice a week, was frequented by the frivolous monarch, and indeed constituted one of his principal sources of amusement. It is even affirmed that the salary of the master of the cocks, amounting to two hundred pounds per annum, exceeded the united allowances of two secretaries of state.

His personal vices, his excessive indolence, and love of pleasure, interfering, as they were allowed to do on all occasions, with the calls of business and the most important necessities of state, excited equally the indignation of his ministers and the offensive strictures of his people. It was in vain that the former even fell on their knees to him, and implored him to show more care for his subjects' interests and his own. He replied coldly, that the state of his health required frequent relaxations; adding, that he would far sooner return to Scotland, than consent to be immured in his closet or chained to the council-table.‡

Neither did the stage overlook his notorious vices and foibles, where they were introduced with unbecoming familiarity. Sometimes he was represented as indecently intoxicated; at others as cursing and swearing at his hawks and hounds,

*Birch's Life of Prince Henry.

Ellis, Orig. Letters, vol. iii. p. 117.
Lingard, vol. ix. p. 82.

At other times we find the king assisting Buckingham in his profligate amours: "To please this favourite," says Sir John Peyton, "King James gave way for the duke to entice others to his will. Two examples I will recite. First, the king entertained Sir John Crofts and his daughter, a beautiful lass, at Newmarket, to sit at the table with the king. This he did then to procure Buckingham the easier to vitiate her. Secondly, Mrs. Dorothy Gawdy, being a rare creature, king James carried Buckingham to Culford to have his will on that beauty: but Sir Nicholas Bacon's sons conveyed her out of a window into a private chamber, over the leads, and so disappointed the duke of his wicked purpose. In which cleanly conveyance the author had a hand with the knight's sons."

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King James's Works, p. 573.

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It has long been the fashion to decry James as a mere pretender to learning. "His pedantry," says Lord Bolingbroke, "was too much even for the age in which he lived;" and again he adds:"He affected more learning than became a king, which he broached on every occasion in such a manner as would have misbecome a schoolmaster." Pope and Horace Walpole have joined in the outery. "Quotations," says the latter writer, "puns, scripture, witticisms, superstition, oaths, vanity, prerogative, and pedantry, the ingredients of all his sacred majesty's performances, were the pure produce of his own capacity, and deserving all the incense offered to such immense erudition by the divines of his age, and the flatterers of his court." His majesty's writings, however, though cramped and obscured by pedantry and false taste, are not altogether without their merit. He was certainly possessed of considerable learning, if we may not add genius; and though not an elegant scholar, was at least an industrious one. His love of literature was sincere, and his efforts in its cause unwearying. "Were I not a king," he said, on visiting the Bodleian library, "I would wish to be an university man.' To the University of Cambridge he was constantly sending for books of reference; and many of those days, which he professedly borrowed from the court, with the object of indulging in the sports of the field, were terminated in long hours of study or literary relaxation. If his assumptions of superiority in the field of letters were arrogant and ostentatious, we should remember that when the sovereign turns author, he has few critics and numberless admirers. A bishop flattered him by translating his works into Latin, and the court endeavoured to persuade him that he was a Solomon. James, however, had certainly no mean opinion of his own capacity. He told Sully, (perhaps the best judge in Europe of the merits of such an assertion,) that, for a long time previous to his accession to the throne of England, he had secretly governed the whole of Queen Elizabeth's councils, and that her ministers were merely tools in his hands. No wonder Sully has thought such a piece of vanity worth recording. In the first folio edition of his works, which no doubt underwent his own supervision, and indeed issued from the press of the royal printer, we find the following modest lines inserted beneath his


Crowns have their compass, length of days their date, Triumphs their tombs, felicities their fate; Of more than earth, can earth make none partaker, But knowledge makes the king most like his Maker. James was in all probability the author of his own encomium. The work before us must have been revised with great care and attention, and it is not unamusing, in comparing it with one of his own Edinburgh treatises or proclamations, to observe what pains must have been taken to render it palatable to the English reader.

The Doron Basilicon, containing advice to his son respecting his moral and political conduct, is

* King James's works, Lond. 1616.

undoubtedly the best of King James's productions. It was first published in 1603, and went through three editions in that year. It has less of pedantry, and more of good sense, than are to be found in the writings of his contemporaries: moreover, it exhibits no slight knowledge of human nature, and no common capacity. We regret, however, that he did not himself act up to the principles which he endeavoured to inculcate. Had this work proceeded from the heart, had it been softened by any pleasing traits of real affection for his son, it would probably have continued popular to the present day. Unfortunately, it was written to attract admiration, and not to benefit a child whom he is known to have disliked.

His work on Demonology is less meritorious but more remarkable. James had at one time doubted the existence of those "detestable slaves of the devil, the witches," as he himself styles them, though he afterwards adopted a different opinion, and dignified the subject with his pen.


The following extract will exhibit how little superior he was, to the idle superstitions of the day. Discussing the probability of innocent persons being accused and unjustly punished:There are two good helps," he writes, "that may be used for their trial; the one is the finding of their mark, and trying the insensibleness thereof; the other is their fleeting on the water: for, as in a secret murder, if the dead carcass be at any time thereafter handled by the murderer, it will gush out blood, as if the blood were crying to heaven for the revenge of the murderer: so it appears that God hath appointed (for a supernatural sign of the monstrous impiety of witches) that the water shall refuse to receive them in her bosom, that have shaken off them the sacred water of baptism, and wilfully refused the benefit


It is amusing, in these enlightened times, to find his majesty inveighing against the "damnable opinions of one Scot, an Englishman, who," he informs us, "is not ashamed to deny in public print, that there be such a thing as witchcraft, and so maintains the old error of the Sadducees in denying of Spirits." Such were the argu

ments of our forefathers. Because a sensible individual disbelieved that an old woman had the power of diseasing a pig, or blighting an apple tree, the evidence that he was a materialist was considered as damning and conclusive.*

The king's translation of the Psalms, in which he endeavoured to rival the far-famed Sternhold and Hopkins, was never finished, and is the least known of any of his compositions. The eleventh verse of the seventy-fourth Psalm,-"Why withdrawest thou thy hand?-why pluckest thou not thy right hand out of thy bosom, to consume the enemy?" is thus paraphrased by James, and may be taken as a specimen of the whole.


Why dost thou thus withdraw thy hand,
Even thy right hand restrain?
Out of thy bosom for our good,
Draw back the same again.

Oh why, our God, for evermore Hast thou neglected us?

Why smokes thy wrath against the sheep Of thine own pasture thus ? Altogether, from the specimens of the king's muse, which have been handed down to us, it is very clear that, as a poet, he has not the slightest claim even to the doubtful credit of medocrity. Of taste James was almost equally devoid. Walpole says, "it is well for the arts that King James had no disposition for them: he let them take their own course. Had he felt any inclination for them, he would probably have introduced as bad taste as he did into literature. A prince, who thought puns and quibbles the perfection of eloquence, would have been charmed with the monkeys of Hemskirk, and the drunken boors of Ostade." Probably Sully was not far wrong, when he spoke of James as the wisest fool in Christendom.

The charge, which has been so frequently brought against James, of egregious pedantry, is undoubtedly well deserved. Henry the Fourth of France, amused himself, in more than one instance, with this weakness of his brother monarch.

When it was told him that James had succeeded to the throne of England, he observed, “En verite, c'est un trop beau morceau pour un pedant," On another occasion, when James happened to be styled the English Solomon, in Henry's presence-"I hope," he observed, alluding to the supposed attachment of James's mother to David Rizzio, "I hope the name is not given to him because he is David the fiddler's son." Lord Sanquhar was present at the utterance of this biting sarcasm, and when that nobleman was afterwards sentenced to be hanged, for having assassinated Turner the fencing-master, James refused him his pardon on the ground that he had neglected to resent the insult.* In allusion to James's character for pedantry, Pope introduces the following lines into the Dunciad:

Oh, cried the goddess, for some pedant reign!
Some gentle James to bless the land again;
To stick the doctor's chair into the throne,
Give war to words, or war with words alone;
Senates and courts with Greek and Latin rule,
And turn the council to a grammar-school.

There are two points, his wit and conversational talent, on which James deserves some credit. There seems reason to believe that he was a very companionable personage. Weldon, who rarely says a word in his favour, informs us that "he was very witty, and had as many ready jests as any man living, at which he would not smile himself, but deliver them in a grave and serious manWhen one of the Lumleys was, on one ner." occasion, boasting of his ancestry rather beyond the limits of good breeding,-"Stop, man," said the king, "you need say no more: now I know

* Divine Catast. This was Robert Crighton, Lord Sanquhar, a Scottish nobleman, whose eye was accidentally put out by Turner, while they were amusing themselves with fencing. Sometime afterwards, he

translation of the same verse by Hopkins, is was asked by the French king how the accident had stil more solemnly ludicrous:

Why dost thou draw thy hand aback, And hide it in thy lap?

O pluck it out, and be not slack

To give thy foes a rap.

happened. Sanquhar detailed the circumstances, on which the king asked whether the man still lived who had mutilated him? The question had such an effect upon Lord Sanquhar, that he returned to England and hired two of his countrymen to shoot the fencing master at his house in White Friars. Lord Sanquhar was tried in the Court of King's Bench, in 1612,

James again paraphrases the first verse of the and, being found guilty of murder, was hung opposite same Psalm as follows:

* King James's Works, p. 91,

to the gate of Westminster Hall, only two days after his being found guilty."-Rapin, vol. ii. p. 181


that Adam's surname was Lumley."* The Househind the scenes, and affords an interesting sketch
of Commons he styled, with some humour, "the of the character of Jaines, and no despicable view
five hundred kings.". It was one of James's of his literary attainments and conversational
sayings that "very wise men and very fools do powers.
little harm: it is the mediocrity of wisdom," he
added, "that troubleth all the world."'+ Pope

has re-echoed this sentiment in the well-known" My Loving Cousin,

A little learning is a dangerous thing.

the common-will."

On another occasion, a certain courtier, on his deathbed, expressing the utmost remorse that he had formerly cheated the easy monarch; "Tell him to be of good courage," said James, "for freely and lovingly forgive him ;" and he added freely and lovingly forgive him;" and he added with some humour-"I wonder much that all my officers do not go mad with the like thoughts; for certainly they have as great cause as this poor mau hath."+ There is a curious little work in the British Museum, entitled "Witty observations of King James, gathered in his ordinary discourse," from which I have extracted the following spe



"January, 1670.


We next discoursed somewhat upon religion,
when at length he said: 'Now, sir, you have
seen my wisdom in some sort, and I have pried
into yours; pray you do me justice in your re-
port, and in good reason, I will not fail to add to
your understanding in such points as I may find
you lack amendment.' I made courtesy hereat,
and withdrew down the passage and out at the
gate, amidst the many varlets and lordly servants
who stood around. Thus, you have the history
of your neighbour's high chance and entertain-
ment at court; more of which matter when I
come home to my dwelling, and talk of these af-
I must press to silence hereon,
fairs in a corner.
as otherwise all is undone. I did forget to tell
that his majesty much asked concerning my
opinion of the new weed, tobacco, and said it
would, by its use, infuse ill qualities on the brain,
and that no learned man ought to taste it, and
wished it forbidden. I will now forbear further
exercise of your time, as Sir Robert's man wait-
eth for my letter to bear to you, from your old
"Friend and cousin,


"It behoveth me now to write my journal, respecting the gracious command of my sovereign prince, to come to his closet; which mat"Men, in arguing," said James, "are often car-ter, as you so well and urgently desire to hear ried by the force of words farther asunder than of, I shall, as suiteth my best ability, relate unto their question was at first; like two ships, going out of the same haven, their landing is many times you, and is as followeth :-When I came to the whole countries distant." In a letter, also, from presence-chamber and had gotten good place to Mr. Mead to Sir Martin Stuteville, we have an see the lordly attendants, and bowed my knee to the prince, I was ordered by special messenger, instance of his conversational humour. "His and that in secret sort, to wait awhile in an outmajesty, at Theobald's," says the writer, "dis- ward chamber, whence, in near an hour waiting, coursing publicly how he meant to govern, was heard to say he would govern according to the the same knave led me up a passage, and so to a small room, where was good order of paper, good of the common-weal, but not according to ink, and pens, put in a board for the prince's did enter, and in much good humour asked, if Soon upon this, the prince his highness Was cousin to Lord Harrington, of Exton?' I humbly replied: His majesty did some honour in inquiring my kin to one whom he had so late honoured and made a baron;' and moreover did add, we were both branches of the same tree.' Then he discoursed much of learning, and showed me his own in such sort, as made me remember native powers, especially in nice points conJames prided himself highly on his discrimimy examiner at Cambridge. He sought much cerning the administration of justice, in which he to know my advances in philosophy, and uttered fancied that he bore an especial resemblance to profound sentences of Aristotle, and such like Solomon. The following story is not only illusare bold enough to say, others do not understand; of the king's boasted powers of discernment. writers, which I had never read, and which some trative of the times, but affords a tolerable notion but this I pass by. The prince did now press The eldest daughter of Sir Thomas Lake,† seemy reading to him part of a canto in Ariosto; retary of state, was married to Lord Rosse, or praised my utterance, and said he had been in- Rous, ambassador extraordinary to Spain. Lord formed of many as to my learning in the time of Rosse, in consequence of some family misunderthe queen. He asked me what I thought pure standings, afterwards retired into Italy, where he wit was made of, and whom it did best become? embraced the Roman Catholic religion. In these Whether a king should not be the best clerk in family contentions, whatever they might have his own country; and if this land did not enter- been, was implicated the young and handsome tain good opinion of his learning and good wis- Conntess of Exeter, who, by marriage with the dom? His majesty did much press for my old, gouty, and diseased" earl, had become opinion touching the power of Satan in matter of step-grandmother of Lord Rosse. With the witchcraft, and asked me with much gravity, if I view of effecting the young countess's ruin, Lady with ancient women than others? I did not re- Lord Rosses not only of having been guilty of did truly understand why the devil did work more Lake and her daughter, Lady Rosse, accused frain from a scurvy jest, and even said (notwith- incest with Lady Exeter, but of having attempted standing to whom it was said) that we were to poison his wife and mother-in-law. The story taught hereof in scripture, where it is told that was soon blazoned abroad, and having reached the devil walketh in dry places. His majesty, the king's ears, he examined the witnesses sepaedly, of my good report for merit and good conmoreover, was pleased to say much, and favour-rately on the subject. Lady Exeter could do ceit; to which I did covertly answer, as not willing a subject should be wiser than his prince, nor even appear so,


"I love not one who will never be angry; for he that is without sorrow is without glad ness, so he that is without anger is without


"Parents may forbid their children an unfit marriage, but they may not force their consent to

a fit one."

"No man gains by war but he that hath not wherewithal to live in peace."

"It is likely that the people will imitate the king in good; but it is sure they will follow him

in ill."

can love them."

"I wonder not so much that women paint themselves, as that when they are painted, men "Much money makes a country poor, for it sets a dear price upon every thing."

"Cowardice is the mother of cruelty; it was only fear that made tyrants put so many to death,

to secure themselves."

There is another work, entitled the "Witty Aphorisms of King James," which affords a still higher notion of his intellectual powers; but it has been more frequently selected for quotation. There have been many writers who have amused themselves with the king's wearisome folios and pedantic frivolities, who have been in fact, greatly his inferiors in real learning and natural capacity. In that curious repository, the Nugia Antiquae," says Horace Walpole, "are three letters which exhibit more faithful portraits of Queen Elizabeth and James I, than are to be found in the most voluminous collections."

"More serious discourse did next ensue, wherein I wanted room to continue, and sometimes some to escape; for the queen, his mother, was not forgotten, nor Davison neither. His highness told me her death was visible in Scotland before it did really happen, being, as he said, spoken of in secret by those whose power of sight presented to them a bloody head dancing in the air. He then did remark on this gift (second sight), and said he sought out of certain agreeable miscellany I have selected the follow-books a sure way to attain knowledge of future ing letter, addressed by Sir John Harrington to chances. Hereat he named many books which Sir Amias Paulet, It introduces us at once be- I did not know, nor by whom written; but advised me not to consult some authors which would lead me to evil consultations. I told his majesty the power of Satan had, I much feared, damaged my bodily frame, but I had not further will to court his friendship for my soul's hurt.

From this

* D'Israeli, Enquiry into the Character of James f. p. 85. + Ibid,

Bishop Goodman's Memoirs, vol, i.

P. 308.

little more than assert her innocence, which she did with many tears. Lady Lake and her daughter, on the other hand, produced a document purporting to be in the countess's handwriting, in which she declared herself guilty of the charges, and implored the pity and forgiveness of her accusers.

This document was stated to have been drawn up and agreed upon at Lord Exeter's house at Wimbleton: the particular apartment, and, indeed, the precise spot in the apartment, were minutely pointed out, and Lord

Nugæ Antiquæ, vol. i. p. 366,

He was originally secretary to Walsingham, and was afterwards employed to read the classics to Queen Elizabeth. He was actually engaged in this office when the Countess of Warwick informed him queen was dead.—Sanderson, p. 446, Frances Bridges, second wife of Thomas, first Earl of Exeter.

that the

§ Son of William, second Earl of Exeter, by a former wife, and a peer of England in right of his grandmother.

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