Page images
PDF
EPUB

sessed of it, and unseemly Caresses of them,

one

with spirit, and worthy perufal, which therefore I insert at large.

"SIR, "I am very sorry this occasion should have been of"fered me by the king your master, which makes me "troublesome to you for the present. It is reported to "me by men of honour, the great wrong the king of "Danes hath done me, when I was not by to answer "for myself; for if I had been present, I would have "letten him know how much I scorn to receive that "wrong at his hands. I need not to urge the particu"lar of it, for the king himself knows it best. I pro"test to you, Sir, I did think as honourably of the "king your master, as I did of my own prince; but 's now I persuade myself there is as much baseness in "him as can be in any man; for although he be a '." prince by birth, it seems not to me that there har"hours any princely thought in his breast; for either "in prince or subject, it is the basest that can be to "wrong any woman of honour. I deserve as little V that name he gave me, as either the mother of him"self, or of his children; and if ever I come to know "what man hath informed your master so wrongsully '*' of me, I shall do my best for putting him from do"ing the like to any other: but if it hath come by the "tongue of any woman, I dare fay she would be glad "to have companions. So leaving to trouble you any "surther, I rest

"your friend,

(e) Supple. "M. Nottingham s>}."

ment to the

olMto p* There can, I think, remain no doubt but that PeyXond. 1654. ton's account is true; and consequently, when considered with what Weldon and Coke relate, it must be believed, ihat Jams addicted himself to drinking in such . . a manner,

one would be tempted to think, that he was not wholly free from a vice most unnatural (hh).

He

a manner, as to render himself sometimes contemptible. "For it is not for kings to drink wine, nor for princes "strong drink; lest they drink and forget the law, "and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted (/)." s/j pr0T. Drunkenness throws princes off their guard, and ex- xxxi. 4. poses those weaknesses which it most of all behoves them to conceal; and it takes off that reverence for their persons, which is necessary to make their subjects stand in a proper awe of them, and pay a submission to their commands. It debases the man, sinks the prince, spoils the politician, and reveals those secrets which are most necessary to be concealed.' "Drunkenness, fays Man"talgne, seems to me to be a gross and brutish vice. "The foul has the greatest interest in all the rest, and "there are some vices that have something, if a man "may so fay, of generous in them. , There are vices "wherein there is a mixture of knowledge, dilio-ence, "valour, prudence, dexterity, and cunning: this is "totally corporeal and earthly, and the thickest skulled "nation [the Germans] this day in.Europe, is that "where it is most in fashion. Other vices discompose "the understanding, this totally overthrows it, and "renders the body stupid (g)." These reflections seem sgj Monjust and obvious, but they occurred not to the mind of ta»gne» v°l» 'James, or made little impression on him; for he seems p'IS' to have been guided in his whole behaviour more by will and humour, by passion and inclination, than by wisdom, prudence, or discretion. So that his knowledge was of little service to him, and seldom caused him to act as a wise man, or an understanding king. It enabled him to talk, but was wholly insufficient to regulate his actions; and so, in effect, was no better than ignorance.

(hh) From his known love of masculine beautr,

F 3 &c'.j

He used cursing and swearing io his com

mon

&c] I (hall give my authorities, and leave the reader to judge what conclusion is to be drawn from them.—"As no other reason appeared in favour of their [the "favourites -of James] choice but handsomeness, so "the love the king shewed, was as amorously convey"ed as if he had mistaken their sex, and thought them "ladies; which I have seen Somerset and Buckingham "labour to resemble in the effeminateness of their dres

"sings j though in w looks, and wanton gestures,

f' they exceeded any part of woman-kind my conver"fation did ever cope withal. Nor was his love, or "whatever else posterity will please to call it, (who "must be the judges of all that history shall inform) "carried on with a discretion sufficient to cover a lese "scandalous behaviour; for the king's kissing them "after so lascivious a mode in public, and upon the "theatre as it were of the world, prompted many to "imagine some things done in the tyring-house, that »" exceed my expressions no less than they do my expe"rience; and therefore left floating on the waves of "conjecture, which hath in my hearing tossed them "from one side to another. I have heard that Sir Hen"ry Rich, since earl of Holland, and some others, re"sused his majesty's favour upon those conditions they "subscribed Xo, who filled that place in his affection: "Rich losing that opportunity his curious face and com"plection afforded him, by turning aside and spitting (a) O/bom, " after the king had slabbered his mouth (a)."—" Wefc P- 5:4- ** don, who faw James's parting with Somerset, just bedsore bis commitment for Overburys murther, fays, '' that had you seen that seeming affection, you would "rather have believed he was in his rising than set"ting. The earl when he kissed his hand, the king cf hung about his neck, slabbering his cheeks, faying, '' for God's fake when shall I see thee again? on my li soul I shall neither eat nor sleep until you come again; *'' the earl told him on Monday (this being on the ^ri

."day) *' day) for God's fake let me, faid the king; shall I?

"shall I? then lolled about his neck j then for God's

"fake give thy lady this kiss for me: in the fame

"manner at the stairs-head, at the middle of the stairs,

"and at the stairs-foot (£)." The fame writer observes, ,^ wddon,

that " he was not very uxorious, for he was ever best p. 95,

"when farthest from his queen (c)." And in another (c)id.p.i63.

place he fays, " that James naturally hated women (d)." W p» «S»

Peyton writes, that " James was more addicted to love

"males than semales; and that though for compli

"ment he visited queen Æne, yet he never lodged

*' with her a night for many years (e)." The sol- (e) Peyton's

lowing fatyr, faid to be left on his cupboard, will shew ^vine ca* us the sense those times had of this matter. pfil^'

Aula prophana, religione vana,
Spreta uxore, Ganymedis amore,
Lege sublata, prerogativa inflara,
Tolle libertatem, incende civitatem,

Ducas spadonem
&

Superasti Neronem (/). f/)The

Nonesuch

I know not well the authority of the book from which ^h/rra1ct^hi, I quote these lines; 'tis very bitter against the Stuart p. ly.umo. race, and written with great partiality. I am informed Lond. 1651. by a learned friend, that 'tis thought to be written by the above-cited Peyton: But I am of a different opinion. Peyton's divine catajirophe, tho' partial enough, has many true passages in it; but the Nonesuch Charles seems chiefly invention, in order to blacken and defame. Besides, such was the zeal of Peyton against Charles and his house, that I fancy he would have thought it a merit to have beenv the author of any work tending to its disgrace, and therefore have set his name to it; for he who had been afraid of after-resentment, would never have publickly owned the divine cata/lrophe. Add to , ,„. „ this, that Wood-) in reckoning up Peyton s writings, Athenæ mentions nothing of this piece, which if it had been Oxonienses, his 'tis difficult to account for (g). However, as the Voi- JJj c' ipfinuatittn in this fatyr is supported by other authorities, Lond.V7i*»

F ^ \ia Folio,

'tis of little importance whether the author who gives it us be of any great account, or no.—Let us now return

to our subject. The authors above quoted may be

deemed by some not quite so favourable to the character ot James as could be wished, and therefore not so much to be relied on. But what shall we fay to Clarendon, who owns, that the " first introduction of George "Villlers into favour, was purely from the handsome(i)C'aren- "ness of his person (o): and that the king's natural don, Vol, I. u disposition was very flowing in affection towards perP*9» O' u sQns fQ adorne{i." Dr. Birch observes of this fame Villlers, that " he had scarce any other advantages to "recommend him to his majesty, than those of a most "gracesul person. Upon what terms of familiarity, "adds he, he was with his royal master is evident, '' not much to the honour of either of them, from two ,c volumes of original letters which pasted between *' them, still extant in the Harlelan library, sull of the "obseenest expressions in our language, and such as "Dr. Welwood, who has given some extracts from "those letters, fays, might make a bawd to blush to reil peat. , So impure a correspondence is an amazing in"consistency with those theological and devotional tracts "which the king gave the world with so much pomp "among his works, and which he caused to be trans"lated into and published in both the Latin and B'rench (0 Birch's "tongues (*')." view of the That the reader may have as much light as possible in

negotiations, , i , .,, r; V> rrr i u r

&c.p. 384, this matter, 1 will transcribe Dr. IVeluioods account or the letters which passed between James and Buckingham, to which Dr. Birch resers. "The letters, fays "he, which pasted bttween the king r.nd Buckingham, "are wrote in a peculiar stile of familiarity, the king "for the most part calling him his dear child and gojfip, "and his dear child and gossip Steiny; and subscribing, "- him his dear dad andgojpp, and sometimes his dear. "dad and Stuart; and once, when he fends him par?' tridges, his dear dad and purveyor. Buckingham calls, "the king, for the most pait, dear dad and gossip, and f sometimes, dear dad, gossip, and Stuart; and fub

"scribes

« PreviousContinue »