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who were unacquainted with him, to be-i lieve that he had a more than ordinary degree
(i)Uflier's. " state of Christendom, with bit dat qui cito dat (£)."
lise and let. -This kind of talk would have suited well enough
*e" y,g"'the mouth of some honest, well-meaning ecclesiastic^ Lond. 1686. and edified, no doubt, very much those who heard it. Folio. But it sounds strange from James, who was addicted to so many vices, and whose oaths and imprecations were so common. Shall we suppose him wholly hypocritical in these speeches, and entirely unconcerned about the things he talked of; though from other parts of his behaviour, one might be led to make this conclusion, yet, perhaps,, we should be mistaken in so doing. For, however it be, men's characters are too often inconsistent, and they strangely blend what they call religion, with the practice of the most odious and detestable vices. By a concern for the one, they excuse to themselves the other, and so come at length to imagine, that they are acceptable to the deity, though they break the most facred of his laws. Thus we read of John Bajilides, great duke of Muscovy, the most wicked of menj the most detestable of tyrants, that he would pray and fast in a most extraordinary manner, and be as devout as (*•) See Ca. possible himself, and make others/o too (c). And, in the faubonof fame manner, numbers of cruel persecutors, and ambip 8-9, gvo.tious, lelnlh, avantious wretches, are exceedingly zeali,ond. 1656. ous and exact in their devotions, and come not behind* in these things, the most sincere and virtuous persons^ So that 'tis not improbable. 'James might be in earnest when he talked in these strains, and, please himself to think, that he was both so wife and so religious a king. Amazing delusion! terrible deceit! To the all-piercing eye of heaven all is naked and open, no disguises can conceal from, no artifices impose-on it; and therefore men should look well to it, that they are what they would item to be. A prince openly vicious and profane, only hurts the interest of religion, by appearing* on occasion, its votary. Standers-by will look with ri*
gree of sanctity. Hunting (mm) was a favourite
dicule arid abhorrence on his interesting himself in its affairs, and will not be prevailed on to believe that be is
in earnest about it. —Hence possibly it has come to
pass, that courts have been so little famed for the prac- ,
tice of religion. For the manners of the generality of princes being not over good, those about them think they (hall pay their court to them more by conforming to their example, than by obeying their edict. When they speak therefore of religion, they are not listened unto; when they command, by those about them, they are not obeyed: for they are considered as only acting a part, and therefore having no real concern about what they seem to engage in.
(mm) Hunting was a favourite diversion with him, &c] Let us hear Sully. "From this subject [the in"sincerity of the Spaniards] the king of England passed "to that of the chace, for which he shewed me an ex"traordinary passion. He faid he knew very well that "I Was no great lover of the chace; that he had at• tributed the late success of his sport to me, not as "marquis of Rosny, but as ambassador from a king, "who was not only the greatest prince, but the greatest "hunter in the world; to which, with the greatest "politeness, he added, that Henry was in the right "not to carry me to the chace, because I was of "greater service to' him elsewhere; and that if I pur'' sued the chace, the king of France could not. "I replied, that Henry loved all the exercises; but "that none of them ever made him neglect the care '' of his affairs, nor prevented him from a close in*" spection into the proceedings of his ministers («)."(*)SuIiy» Had fames imitated his brother pf France in attending °' '*" his affairs, and inspecting the proceeding of his ministers, he might have enjoyed the pleasure of hunting withoutcensure. For'tis but reasonable that princes should have a relaxation from business as well as other m^-n.
favourite diversion with him, which he prac
But fays Mr. Chamberlaineto Mr. Winwood, in a letter dated Jan. 26, 1604, " tne king finds that selicity "in that hunting lise, that he hath written to the coun"cil, that it is the only means to maintain his health, "which being the health and welfare of us all, he de-. "sires them to take the charge and burden of affairs, "and foresee that he be not interrupted'nor troubled with "too much business (b)." A man who preserred hunting to the affairs of state, was unworthy of the crown he wore, and undeserving the regard of his people. For such a one neglected the end of his appointment,
and therefore merited the contempt he met with. »
fames never loved business. "In Scotland, fays Melvil, "the earl of Arran desired him to recreate himself at "hunting, and he would attend the council, and re"port again at his majesty's return, all our opinions "and conclusions (c)." He hearkened to his advice, or rather followed his own inclinations, and thereby numberless mischiefs ensued. He was never the wiser for this we see ; for his aversion to business was the fame, and so was his passion for hunting: so that he had lived to no purpose, and was incapable of being taught by experience.
Ofborn tells us, he faw " him dressed in colours green "as the grafs he trod on, with a feather in his cap, and "a horn instead of a sword by his side (d)." A pretty picture this of a prince, and tending to excite much reverence in the beholders. But when men's minds are bent on diversions, they care for nothing more than their own pleasure and amusement, and are thoughtless
of what (landers-by think or fay of them. 1 will
give the reader some fine observations on this subject of hunting, from a writer whose great genius and elevated rank entitle him to be heard with deference and respect, and with them conclude the note. "Hunting is one "of those sensual pleasures which exercise the body, '' without affecting the mind j it is an ardent desire of j "pursuing
tised so much, as to neglect the great and weighty business of state, and leave every
"pursuing some wild beast, for the cruel fatisfaction of "destroying it; an amusement which renders the body "robust and active, and leaves the mind fallow and *' uncultivated. Sportsmen, perhaps, will reproach me "here with gravity and preaching, and alledge, that I "assume the prerogative of a priest in his pulpit, who "may assert whatever he pleases, without being afraid "of contradiction. Hunting, fay they, is the noblest "and moil antient of all amusements; the patriarchs "and many other eminent men were hunters; and by "this we continue to exercise that dominion over the "beasts, which God vouchfased to give Adam. But "no folly is the better for being antient, especially "if it is carried to extravagance: many great men, I "own, have been passionately fond of this diversion; "but these had their weaknesses as well as persections: "Let us imitate their great qualities, without copying "after their little and idle occupations. The fame pa"triarchs were not only given to hunting, but to po"lygamy, nay, would marry their own sisters, and "had many other customs which favoured of the bar"barousages wherein they lived. They were rude, ig"norant, and uncultivated idle men, who, to kill time, "employed it in hunting, and threw away those mo"ments in useless amusements, which they had no ca"pacity to employ in the company and converfation.of "men of understanding. Let me now ask whether "these are examples to be imitated ; whether these bar"barous ages, or others that were more refined, ought "to be the model of the present? To enquire whether "Adam received dominion over the beasts, would be "foreign to my subject; but it is well known, that "men have been always more cruel and ravenous than "the beasts themselves, and make the most tyrannical "use of that dominion they pretend to. If any thing "gives us advantage over these animals, it is certainly
thing of consequence to be transacted by his council, to his no small dishonour.
"our reason; but prosessed hunters, for the most part, "have their heads surnished with nothing but horses, "dogs, boars, stags, and the like. They are some** times as wild and^favage themselves as the beasts they "pursue; and it may well be seared lest they should be"come as inhuman to their sellow-creatures, as they "are to their sellow-animals, or at least that the cruel "custom of persecuting and destroying these, may take "away their sympathy for the misfortunes of the others. "And is this so noble an occupation, so worthy "of a thinking being? It may be objected that hunt"ing is an healthsul exercise, and that those who are S "given to it live to a great age, as appears by experi"ence; that it is a harmless amusement, and very pro"per for sovereigns, as it displays their magnificence, "dissipates their cares, and in times of peace presents *' them with an image of war. I would be far from "condemning a moderate use of this exercise, but let "it be remembered, that exercise in general is hardly "necessary to any but the intemperate. Never prince "lived longer than cardinal Fleury,. cardinal Ximenes, "or the late pope, and yet neither of the three was a "hunter. But is it necessary to chuse an employment "which has no other merit but that of promising long "lise? Monks commonly live longer than other men; "must a man therefore become a monk? there is no "need of leading an indolent and useless lise, as long as '• that of Methufahm: the more a man improves his "understanding, and the more great and usesul actions "he performs, the longer he lives. Hunting, besides, "is of all amusements that which is least proper for a "prince: he may display his magnificence a thoufand "ways, that are all more usesul to his subjects: and if *' it should be found, that the peafants were ruined by "the too great number of wild beasts, the care of de*' flroying these might be committed to prosessed huh