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pointed and forcible, but he rarely attempts any flight of rhetoric; and when he does, he is rarely successful. The only subject on which he approaches to dignity of style is that in which alone he seems to have had an absolutely sincere conviction—the divinity of kingship. “It becometh a King,” he was in the habit of reminding his Commons, “to use no other eloquence than plainness and sincerity.” He held, “that which we call wit consists much in quickness and tricks, and is so full of lightness that it seldom goes with judgment and solidity.” It was to the latter qualities that James laid claim in his works. Though he seems in conversation to have been addicted to punning, in his Basilikon Doron he but once falls into the fashionable word-play of his age, when he reminds his son that he is “born to onus, rather than honos." There is almost no trace of the far-fetched conceits and antitheses of his contemporaries ; for these his mind was probably too heavy, his nature too phlegmatic. He jokes after a lumbering fashion--'with difficulty.” His cast of thought is seen in the artificial division under heads, with which he opens and arranges every essay: a habit so ingrained, that in his speech after the Gunpowder Plot, he has under his first head a subdivision to consider “the three ways how mankind may come to death": “ The first, by other men and reasonable creatures, which is least cruel ;” “the second way more cruel than that, by animal and unreasoning creatures ;” “the third, which is most cruel and unmerciful of all, the destruction by insensible and inanimate things; and amongst them all, the most cruel are the two elements of water and fire ; and of those two the fire most raging and merciless." Yet amid the diffuse formalism of his scholastic and theological argumentation, there is frequently a pithy saying or apt allusion, which recalls the best of Overbury's Crumbs fallen from King James's Table. If these are authentic notes, it is unfortunate that, in his case as in that of many others, he did not write as he spoke.
Pedant as he was, James refused to follow the practice of writing in Latin, which was kept up among scholars of even later times. This is the one point in which he wisely departed from the example of his master. With the exception of his youthful essay on poetry in the Scots dialect, James wrote in English ; but he continued, consciously or not, to make frequent use of Scots words. These are especially noticeable in his works before he became king of England : in his later writings they are more
occasional. Had James succeeded in originating a movement whereby the English vocabulary could have been enriched by Scots words, he would have done English literature a permanent service. But, though he was not great enough to take any new departure, it must not be forgotten that he was the most learned of our monarchs.
W. S. M'CORMICK.
ON THE EDUCATION OF A PRINCE
The next thing that ye have to take heed to, is your speaking and language; whereunto I join your gesture, since action is one of the chiefest qualities that is required in an orator : for as the tongue speaketh to the ears, so doth the gesture speak to the eyes of the auditor. In both your speaking and your gesture, use a natural and plain form, not fairded with artifice; for (as the Frenchmen say) Rien contrefait fin: but eschew all affectate forms in both.
In your language be plain, honest, natural, comely, clean, short, and sententious, eschewing both the extremities, as well in not using any rustical corrupt leiile, as book-language and pen and ink-horn terms, and least of all, mignard and effeminate terms. But let the greatest part of your eloquence consist in a natural, clear and sensible form of the delivery of your mind, builded ever upon certain and good grounds; tempering it with gravity, quickness or merriness, according to the subject and occasion of the time ; not taunting in theology, nor alleging and profaning the Scripture in drinking purposes, as over many do.
Use also the like form in your gesture ; neither looking sillily, like a stupid pedant, nor unsettledly with an uncouth morgue like a new-come-over cavalier : but let your behaviour be natural, grave, and according to the fashion of the country.
Be not over-sparing in your courtesies, for that will be imputed to incivility and arrogancy; nor yet over prodigal in jowking or nodding at every step, for that form of being popular becometh better aspiring Absaloms than lawful kings : framing ever your gesture according to your present actions : looking gravely and with a majesty when ye sit in judgment or give audience to ambassadors ; homely, when ye are in private with your own servants; merrily, when ye are at any pastime or merry discourse ; and let your countenance smell of courage and magnanimity when ye are at the wars. And remember (I say over again) to
be plain and sensible in your language: for besides that it is the tongue's office to be the messenger of the mind, it may be thought a point of imbecility of spirit in a King, to speak obscurely, much more untruly; as if he stood in awe of any in uttering his thoughts.
Remember also to put a difference betwixt your form of language in reasoning, and your pronouncing of sentences, or declarator of your will in judgment, or any other ways in the points of your office. For in the former case, ye must reason pleasantly and patiently, not like a king, but like a private man and a scholar ; otherwise, your impatience of contradiction will be interpreted to be for lack of reason on your part. Where in the points of your office, ye should ripely advise indeed, before ye give forth your sentence; but fra it be given forth, the suffering of any contradiction diminisheth the majesty of your authority, and maketh the processes endless. The like form would also be observed by all your inferior judges and magistrates.
Now as to your writing, which is nothing else but a form of en-registrate speech; use a plain, short, but stately style, both in your proclamations and missives, especially to foreign princes. And if your engine spur you to write any works, either in verse or in prose, I cannot but allow you to practise it : but take no longsome works in hand, for distracting you from your calling.
Flatter not yourself in your labours, but before they be set forth, let them first be privily censured by some of the best skilled men in that craft that in these works ye meddle with. And because your writes will remain as true pictures of your mind to all posterities, let them be free of all uncomeliness and unhonesty; and according to Horace his counsel, Nonumque premantur in annum. I mean both your verse and your prose; letting first that fury and heat, wherewith they were written, cool at leisure ; and then as an uncouth judge and censor, revising them over again before they be published, quia nescit vox missa reverti.
If ye would write worthily, choose subjects worthy of you, that be not full of vanity, but of virtue ; eschewing obscurity, and delighting ever to be plain and sensible. And if ye write in verse, remember that it is not the principal part of a poem to rhyme right, and flow well with many pretty words: but the chief commendation of a poem is, that when the verse shall be shaken sundry in prose, it shall be found so rich in quick inventions, and poetic flowers, and in fair and pertinent comparisons,
as it shall retain the lustre of a poem, although in prose.
And I would also advise you to write in your own language ; for there is nothing left to be said in Greek or Latin already, and
of poor scholars would match you in these languages; and besides that, it best becometh a King to purify and make famous his own tongue, wherein he may go before all his subjects, as it setteth him well to do in all honest and lawful things.
And amongst all unnecessary things that are lawful and expedient, I think exercises of the body most commendable to be used by a young Prince, in such honest games or pastimes as may further ability and maintain health. For albeit I grant it to be most requisite for a King to exercise his engine, which surely with idleness will rust and become blunt; yet certainly bodily exercises and games are very commendable, as well for banishing of idleness (the mother of all vice) as for making his body able and durable for travel, which is very necessary for a King. But from this count I debar all rough and violent exercises, as the foot-ball ; meeter for laming than making able the users thereof: as likewise such tumbling tricks as only serve for comedians and balladines, to win their bread with. But the exercises that I would have you to use (although but moderately, not making a craft of them) are running, leaping, wrestling, fencing, dancing, and playing at the catch or tennis, archery, palle maillé, and such like other fair and pleasant field-games. And the honourablest and most commendable games that ye can use, are on horseback : for it becometh a Prince best of any man, to be a fair and good horseman. Use therefore to ride and danton great and courageous horses; that I may say of you as Philip said of great Alexander his son, Makedovia oë ge xwpei. And specially use such games on horseback, as may teach you to handle your arms thereon ; such as the tilt, the ring, and low riding for handling of your sword.
I cannot omit here the hunting, namely with running hounds, which is the most honourable and noblest sort thereof; for it is a thievish form of hunting to shoot with guns and bows; and greyhound hunting is not so martial a game. But because I would not be thought a partial praiser of this sport, I remit you to Xenophon, an old and famous writer, who had no mind of flattering you or me in this purpose, and who also setteth down a fair pattern for the education of a young king, under the supposed name of Cyrus.