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THE design of'the following Jheets is to give a fuller and more diflincl view of the character of king James the first, than has ever yet been exhibited by any writer. It is readily acknowledged that this character is, in itself, a very mean and despicable subject; but as it was attended with very extensive and important consequences both in his and the succeeding reigns ;foit is humbly presumed that an attempt to illustrate that period of English history which falls within the plan ofthisfubjecli will meet with afavourable acceptance from the public.
There are inserted in these papers a great number of curious and interesting facts, entirely omitted by our historians, who seem to have very little consulted those original writers, andjlate papers from whence the following account is chiefly compiled.
*The author does not think it necessary to make any apology for the freedom of his reflections j but only to declare that they were not made for
A 2 tbt the sake of pleasing or displeasing any se 51 or party in church or slate; but wholly intended to serve the cause of liberty and truth. He pror fesses himself inviolably attached to the civil and religious liberties of mankind; and therefore hopes the reader will indulge him in that warmth of .his resentment, that hones indignation, that is naturally raised by every instance of persecution, tyranny, and oppression; provided he has not any where expressed himself in q manner unworthy of the character of a gentleman or a christian.
For the rest it is hoped that the curious will find some entertainment, if not information, in this account; and that they will pardon the faults and imperfections of it, for the fake of its general tendency and design.
One thing the judicious and impartial reader will, at least, not be displeased with, viz. that as, the authorities here quoted,are the most authentic in themselves,so the manner of quoting them is the most unexceptionable and just,that is, in the very words, letters and points of the respective author, by which the reader may be infallibly certain that their sense is rightly represented.
James's favourites in Scotland; the unpopu-