Page images
PDF
EPUB

would not be deceived in her, that they would not be the first to deceive themselves : that they would not prejudice her in their opinions, as not by uncourteous suspicions and doubts, so not by immoderate expectations and hopes, promising unto themselves out of a sudden liking more than is fit, or peradventure possible, to be performed : the failure whereof would either change or abate their loves : that they would lay aside all fore-taken conceits, which, like painted glass, doth colour all things which are seen through it. Lastly, that they would not too rashly judge of her actions, as being privy neither to the occasions of them, nor to their ends.

So, after she had passed the offices of court done to her by the nobility and others, the day following, in the afternoon, she rode from thence to the Tower. At the Charter-house gate the mayor of the city met her, and the recorder with a short speech saluted her in the name of the whole city. She rode in great state through Barbican, the mayor riding with Garter King-at-Arms, and carrying a sceptre before her; she entered at Cripplegate, and so passed by the wall to Bishopsgate. This gate was richly hanged, and thereupon the waits of the city sounded loud music. At the head of the street a scholar of Paul's School made to her a short speech in Latin verses ; next unto him stood the Company of Mercers within their rails, and after them all the other companies, extending to the farthest end of Mark Lane. When she entered Mark Lane a peal of ordnance began at the Tower, which continued half an hour or thereabouts. The presence of the queen gave perfection and life to all these solemnities. She answered such speeches as were made to her; she graced every person either of dignity or employment; she so cheerfully both observed and accepted everything, that in the judgment of all men, all these honours were esteemed too mean for her worth. When she was entered into the Tower, she thus spoke to those about her; “Some have fallen from being princes of this land, to be prisoners in this place; I am raised from being prisoner in this place, to be prince of this land. That dejection was a work of God's justice ; this advancement is a work of His mercy; as they were to yield patience for the one, so I must bear myself towards God thankful, and to men merciful and beneficial for the other.”

(From the Same.)

THE JESUITS

It is a rule in nature that one contrary is manifested by the other. Let us compare then your boisterous doctrine with that of the apostles and ancient fathers of the Church, and we shall find that one is like the rough spirit which hurled the herd of swine headlong into the sea; the other like the still and soft spirit which talked with Elias.

Neither was the devil ever able, until in late declining times, to possess the hearts of Christians with these cursed opinions, which do evermore beget a world of murders, rapes, ruins, and desolations. For tell me, what if the prince, whom you persuade the people they have power to depose, be able to make and maintain his party, as King John and King Henry the Third did against their barons ! What if other princes, whom it doth concern, as well in honour, to see the law of nations observed, as also in policy, to break those proceedings which may form precedents against themselves, do adjoin to the side! What if whilst the prince and the people are (as was the frog and the mouse) in the heat of their encounter, some other potentate play the kite with them both, as the Turk did with the Hungarians ? Is it not then a fine piece of policy which you do plot? or is it not a gross error to raise those dangers, and to leave the defence to possibilities doubtful ?

Go to, sirs, go to, there is no Christian country which hath not by your devices been wrapped in wars. You have set the empire on float with blood; your fires in France are not yet extinguished ; in Polonia and all those large countries, extending from the north to the east, you have caused of late more battles to be fought, than had been in five hundred years before. Your practices have heretofore prevailed against us: of laté years you have busied yourselves in no one thing more, than how to set other Christian Princes on our necks; stirring up such a store of enemies against us, as, like the grasshoppers of Egypt, might fill our houses, and cover our whole land, and make more doubt of room than of resistance. Our own people also you have provoked to unnatural attempts : you have exposed our country as a prey to them that will either invade or betray it; supposing belike that you play Christ's part well when you may say as

Christ did :— Think not that I came to send peace : I came not to send peace, but a sword. But when, by the power and providence of God, all these attempts have rather shown what good hearts you bear towards us, than done us any great harm ; when in all these practices you have missed the mark, now you do take another aim : now having no hope by extremity of arms, you endeavour to execute your malice, by giving dangerous advice ; now you go about to entangle us with titles, which is the greatest misery that can fall upon a State.

You pretend fair shows of liberty and of power, Sed timeo Danaos et dona ferentes : we cannot but suspect the courtesies of our enemies : the power which you gave us will pull us down ; the liberty whereof you speak will fetter us in bondage. When Themistocles came to the Persian court, Artabanus, captain of the guard, knowing that he would use no ceremony to their king, kept him out of presence, and said unto him :-You Grecians esteem us barbarous for honouring our kings, but we Persians esteem it the greatest honour to us that can be. The like answer will we frame unto you :-You Jesuits account it a bondage to be obedient unto kings, but we Christians account it the greatest means for our continuance both free and safe.

(From The Right of Succession Asserted.)

JAMES VI.

[ocr errors]

[James VI. of Scotland and I. of England was born in 1566, and died in 1625. From his fourth till at least his twelfth year James was educated at Stirling Castle with several youths of noble family, under the care of George Buchanan and Peter Young. He was naturally clever, and made rapid progress in his studies, which included Latin, Greek, French, history, logic, and rhetoric. We are told by Killigrew that at the age of ten he“ translated a chapter of the Bible from Latin into French, and from French into English, extempore"; and James Melville, speaking of a visit he paid the King, says, that it was the sweetest sight in Europe that day for strange and extraordinary gifts of ingine, judgment, memory, and language.”

At twelve years of age he had nominally to take the government into his own hands.

His tender age was, as his tutor laments, engrossed by the attentions of flatterers,” and distracted by the · fechting and flyting" of those whom Melville terms “bot factious, fasschious, ambitious, greedy, vengeable, warldly, wretchit creatours." James's juvenile production, Essays of a Prentice in the Divine Art of Poetry (1584), was probably written as themes for his tutors. Two Meditations on the Revelations (1588-89) are indicative of his theological bent. Demonology (1597), Basilikon Doron (1599), and A Counterblast to Tobacco (1604), are his best known essays. The remainder, and much the larger portion, of his writings deals with political and theological questions, which have for their centre his cherished tenet of the divine right of kings.” The most important of these are The True Law of Free Monarchy (1603), An Apology for the Oath of Allegiance (1607), and A Defence of the Right of Kings (1615). The Bishop of Winton published in 1616 an edition of his prose works, which included his speeches and some occasional tracts.]

[ocr errors]

It is usual to introduce James I. among the writers of his reign with an apology; and it is commonly, and perhaps justly, held that his works would long ago have been forgotten, had they not been written by a monarch. Yet there is another side to this ; for it is none the less true that his name as an author has suffered from his notoriety as a king. In spite of the somewhat more favourable estimate of later historians, such as Gardiner and Ranke, James I. retains an unenviable reputation. His position,

moreover, has given an undue prominence to certain weaknesses characteristic of his time. The belief in witchcraft which he shows in his Demonology, and the pedantry of his disquisitions against Bellarmine and Vorstius, in which, according to his first editor, “his Majesty fought with beasts at Ephesus, and stopped the roaring of the Bull,” were an inheritance shared by most of his contemporaries. To charge him with these faults is merely to say that he was not greater than his age. Yet, though James was a scholar and writer of at least more than average talent and attainments, it has to be admitted that under no circumstances could he have taken high rank in literature. His prosaic and pragmatical nature was too rocky a soil for even Buchanan to cultivate to any purpose.

Without genuine spontaneity of emotion, originality of thought, or expanse of outlook, his mind, as has been said, “ was essentially of that type which knowledge neither broadens nor enriches." The charge of pedantry is in this sense valid against all his writings. But from its more aggressive form of ostentation of learning and irrelevant quotation they are moderately free. The margin of Basilikon Doron teems with references to Plato, Aristotle, Isocrates, Cicero, and the Bible ; but they do not, as a rule, burden the text. And in such treatises as A Defence of the Right of Kings an exhibition of learning was unavoidable ; for he was attacking the parade of learning by his opponents. If tediously scholastic, their scholarship is thorough, and their logic so far sound. His errors, like those of his age, lay latent in his premises.

The Basilikon Doron is James's most readable production; containing some good sense, shrewd advice, and worldly wisdom. But unfortunately the reader cannot avoid estimating these in the light of James's after conduct. He is reminded of Polonius. When the writer of Demonology warns his son against the evils of superstition, or the patron of Carr and Villiers denounces “that filthy vice of flattery, the pest of all princes,” and urges upon his son the choice of his counsellors from the wisest among the “bornmen of each country, if God provide you with more countries than this,” the reader is almost justified in taking in his own way the King's assurance to his Parliament of 1609: “In faith, you never had a more painful King.”.

James's compositions have none of the subtler qualities of literary excellence. The construction of his sentences is usually correct and careful, his expressions and metaphors are often

« PreviousContinue »