« PreviousContinue »
vest, to insert his own judgment, or the most probable opinions of the age wherein the scenes of his story were acted ; yet are heard daily to bewaile the want of a more perfect knowledge of the cause why Sejanus fell from so great a height of felicity into so deepe an abysse of misery, with other like mutilations, observable in the records of history not capable of recovery by posterity; an omission not likely to result from any other neglect, then what the commonnesse of that knowledge did at the time of their writing breed in the historians: whose industry can as hardly prove so impertinent to future ages, (for whose sake chiefly it is imploid,) as it may appeare perhaps ingratefull to the present, where every one carries a chronicle in his mouth, or at least so much as may raise a floud of contradiction, strong enough for the time to immerge the greatest and exactest inquisition after the most usefull and exemplary truth: since, though the diseases in bodies politick are ordinarily recorded as to matter of fact,
yet, to set downe the manner of their cure, and strengthen it with such a defensive plaster, as may, for the future, prevent falling into the like, will not be thought unworthy the labour of the historian, and without which the politician shall be litle edified; who cannot pretend to a higher title than that of an emperick, if he hath not been conversant (as the pretenders by their places to reason of state are most commonly found) with other experiments then may be deduced out of the stories of antiquity, wherein all transactions, (but what passed between Greece and Rome,) had still one end of the treaty supported by a people stiled barbarous. Nor is it to be wondered at, that the ancients should exceed the moderne in repute, though short in goodnesse, since the best construction is put upon their ambiguities, and their faults mended, and imputed not to the author but transcribers : whereas, contemtoraries receive all rigor, few vouchsafeing to mend the errors of the presse ; and if any inter
pretation be worse then other, he is sure to have it; wherefore, in case I die before this be finished, if posterity finds no reason to wish it otherwise, I am sure the composer shall not.
THE FOLLOWING MEMOYRES.
ON THE RAIGNE OF
KING JAMES THE FIRST.'
1. King James, the Occasion of his Son's Ruine.
2. The. English disgust the Multitudes of Scots following him. How it might have been prevented.
3. How he stood affected at the News of Queen Elizabeth's Death, and his Proclaiming by the Mayor of London. Who were most earnest for his Reception, and who propounded it might be with Caution.
4. A Peace made with Spaine-of what Consequence to that Crown.
5. -By what Gifts procured, and The King's Coun- : sell suborn'd.