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makes a memorandum in his private diary, never more to exercise himself in bell-ringing when there is a comet in the sky. It was however the general expectation that some national judgement must also

Wilson tells us, that the common people thought this great light was sent as a flambeau to the funeral of the queen, which quickly followed; but he himself deems it to have been portentous of the wars in Germany connected with the assumption of the crown of Bohemia by the elettor palatine, in which many thousands perished. It does not appear to which of these two opinions the king himself most inclined ;-in fact, it would be difficult to pronounce which of the two events was least calculated to call forth the sensibilities of his royal mind.

The character of the queen, as it was sketched by those who possessed the means of studying it at the court of Scotland, and by Sully on his congratulatory embassy at the commencement of James's English reign, appeared to threaten her husband with a constant succession of domestic quarrels, and of intrigues perplexing at least, if not dangerous. But, much as her temper might incline her to be busy, it required abilities far superior to Anne's to overcome the obstacles which opposed her attainment of political influence in England. A stranger alike to the language and manners of the country, and to the characters of the leading persons in the state; openly neglected by her husband ; little regarded by her eldest son, and not warmly espoused, as far


as appears, by the younger, who succeeded to the place of Henry without inheriting his consequence and activity; she sunk into such total insignificance at St. James's, that, notwithstanding her acknowledged catholic and Spanish predilections, the jesuits themselves do not appear to have found her a tool worth employing. Under this want of domestic attachment and political importance, her majesty consoled and occupied herself with pomps and pageantries, with masks, triumphs and banquets, and, if report may be credited, with the intrigues of gallantry. The advances which she hazarded to the chivalrous lord Herbert have been already mentioned on his own authority ; Wilson speaks of her character thus : ‘She was in her great condition a good woman, not tempted from that height she stood on to embroil her spirit much with things below her (as some busy bodies do), only giving herself content in her own house with such recreations as might not make time tedious to her. And though great persons' actions are often pried into and made envy's mark, yet nothing could be fixed upon her, that left any great impression, but that she may have engraven upon her monument a character of virtue.” Long after Anne was in her grave, however, that most ruthless of all principles, party-spirit, seized upon these rumors of her frailty,--which, even if founded in fact, could not then be satisfactorily verified, -as the pretext for robbing her children of their royal birth-right. Among the papers of Charles I. captured at Naseby, was found a copy of instruc


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tions to colonel Cochrane for his embassy to the king of Denmark, containing the following remarkable article: “That in pursuance of their (the parliament's) great design of extirpating the royal blood and monarchy of England, they have endeavoured likewise to lay a great blemish upon the royal family, endeavouring to illegitimate all derived from his sister, at once to cut off the interest and pretensions of the whole race; which their most detestable and scandalous design they have pursued, examining witnesses and conferring circumstances and times to color their pretensions in so great a fault: and which, as his sacred majesty of England, in the true sense of honor of his mother, doth abhor and will punish, so he expects his concurrence in vindicating a sister of so happy memorya.”

No period of the life of king James is equally rich in materials for his personal history with that at which we are now arrived. It had been one effect of the systematic adulation paid to the pretended wisdom of this monarch by his divines and courtiers, to aggravate exceedingly his propensity to a foolish and conceited kind of intermeddling; and every incident in any way remarkable, whether connected with public affairs or private, which came to his ears, now sufficed to call him into action, and served to exhibit to the world in new lights one of the most singular of human characters.

Several of these circumstances will here be thrown

a The king's cabinet opened.


together, as calculated to elucidate each other. In the month of June 1616 bis majesty came in person to his favorite tribunal, the court of star-chamber, and preached a long sermon (for his discourse was preceded by a text) on the duties of all magistrates and public officers, beginning with himself as king, and ending with justices of the peace. He observes, that it might be asked, both why he had come to that place at all, and why he had not come sooner. To the latter question he replies that, on coming into England a stranger, he had resolved with Pythagoras to keep silence seven years and acquaint himself with the laws of the kingdom, and that he had delayed another seven years waiting for a fit occasion on which to come forth and deliver his opinions. After serving “this double apprenticeship,” he considers himself as a fit judge of the state of the country and of the duties and business of all public functionaries, and proceeds to utter, after his custom, a variety of impertinences in the shape of paternal instructions, mingled with eulogiums of the star-chamber, complaints of the presumption of the common-law lawyers, bold assertions of his own prerogative as next in place to the deity, and reproaches against the puritans. Įt is said that James, in the frequent conferences which he held with sir Edward Coke, and with other eminent judges, respecting the English law, had showed himself very desirous of presiding in the king's bench, but was resisted in this strange fancy by Coke. In the court of star-chamber however he had


no such opposition to encounter, and soon after he had introduced himself there in the manner above mentioned, he actually took his seat as president in the cause of lady Exeter and sir Thomas Lake. The resultadmirably exemplified the natural consequences of an union of the offices of judge and sovereign in the same individual.

Sir Thomas Lake, a valuable public officer educated under Walsingham, whom James had found clerk of the signet, and after trying in other employments had appointed joint secretary of state after the death of Salisbury, had married his young daugh

ter, for her misfortune and his own, to William Cecil lord Roos. This nobleman, who bore the title of Roos in right of his mother, was grandson to the earl of Exeter, eldest son of lord-treasurer Burleigh. He was sent on his travels in 1607, and persisting in visiting Rome, in spite of the remonstrances of his tutor Mr. Mole, he was there secretly reconciled to the church of Rome, as his father is said to have been before him at the same place. Mr. Mole was here seized upon by the Inquisition on a charge of circulating heretical books, on the information, as was believed, of his perfidious pupil; all efforts for his release proved fruitless, and at, the end of thirty years he died a prisoner. Lord Roos in the mean time returned to England, and notwithstanding, or perhaps on account of, the good understanding which he kept up with the catholic fugitives on some subsequent journeys to Flanders and Italy, was sent by James on two successive em


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