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they esteemed that this work (chiefly when it should 4 be over and over again retouched and polishede by mef, which very probably I shall be doing as long as I lives) might prove of some use to the world. I have on design avoided all laboured periods or artificial strains, and have writ in as clear and plain a style as was possible, choosing rather a copious enlargement than a dark conciseness.
And now, O my God, the God of my life, and of all my mercies, I offer this work to thee, to whose honour it is chiefly intended; that thereby I may awaken the worldh to just reflections on their own errors and follies, and call on them to acknowledge thy providence, to adore it, and ever to depend on it.
tell me I would be the last he should suspect; and whenever I did read it, I should find accounts both of persons and things, that I did not expect from him; but truth, he said, must be followed by an historian, wherever it led him. D.
e Rarely polished; I never read so ill a style. S.
'I do not know who his friends were, or how partial they might be, but I believe generally people will be of opinion that this is the worst of his performances; in most others that are of any value, the mate
rials were ready furnished, and he had only the putting of them together; in this, which is entirely his own, he has exposed his excessive partiality, and great want of judgment. D.
e Mr. secretary Johnston, who was his intimate friend and near relation, told me, that after a debate in the house of lords he usually went home, and altered every body's character, as they had pleased or displeased him that day. D.
* This I take to be nonsense. S.
MY OWN TIMES.
A summary recapitulation of the state of affairs in Scotland, both in church and state; from the beginning of the troubles, to the restoration of king Charles the second, 1660.
The mischiefs of civil wars are so great and lasting, and the effects of them branching out by many accidents, that were not thought on at first, much less intended, into such mischievous consequences, that I have thought it an inquiry that might be of great use, both to prince and people, to look carefully into the first beginnings and occasions of them, to observe their progress, and the errors of both hands, 6 the provocations that were given, and the jealousies that were raised by these, together with the excesses into which both sides have run by turns. And though the wars be over long ago, yet since they have left among us so many seeds of lasting feuds and animosities, which upon every turn are apt to
ferment and to break out of new, it will be an useful as well as a pleasant inquiry to look back to the first original of them, and to observe by what degrees and accidents they gathered strength, and at last broke forth into a flame. The dis- The reformation of Scotland was popular and
tractions . .
during king parliamentary: the crown was, during that time, nority.'mi"either on the head of a queen that was absent, or of a king that was an infant. During his minority, matters were carried on by the several regents, so as was most agreeable to the prevailing humour of the nation. But when king James grew to be of age, he found two parties in the kingdom. The one was of those who wished well to the interest of the queen his mother, then a prisoner in England: these were either professed papists, or men believed to be indifferent as to all religions. The rest were her inveterate enemies, zealous for the reformation, and fixed in a dependence on the crown of England, and in a jealousy of France. When that king saw that those who were most in his interests were likewise jealous of his authority, and apt to encroach upon ita, he hearkened first to the insinuations of his mother's party, who were always infusing in him a jealousy of these his friends; saying, that by ruining his mother, and setting him in her room while a year old, they had ruined monarchy, and made the crown subject and precarious; and had put him in a very unnatural posture, of being seized of his mother's crown while she was in exile and a prisoner; adding, that he was but a king in name, the power being in the hands of those who were under the management of the queen of England.
Their insinuations would have been of less force, The pracif the house of Guise, who were his cosin germans, houIe°ofth had not been engaged in great designs, of transfer- Gu,se' ring the crown of France from the house of Bourbon to themselves; in order to which it was necessary to embroil England, and to draw the king of Scotland into their interests. So under the pretence of keeping up the old alliances between France and Scotland, they sent creatures of their own to be ambassadors there; and they also sent a graceful young man, who, as he was the king's nearest kinsman by his father, was of so agreeable a temper, that he became his favourite, and was made by him duke of Lenox. He was known to be a papist, though he 7 pretended he changed his religion, and became in profession a protestant.
The court of England discovered all these artifices of the Guisians, who were then the most implacable enemies of the reformation, and were managing all that train of plots against queen Elizabeth, that in conclusion proved fatal to the queen of Scots. And when the English ministers saw the inclinations of the young king lay so strongly that way, that all their applications to gain him were ineffectual, they infused such a jealousy of him into all their party in Scotland, that both nobility and clergy were much alarmed at it.
But king James learnt early that piece of kingcraft b, of disguising, or at least denying every thing
b A mean expression, often derstanding, but suitable to the
made use of by king James the pedantic education they had
first; though little to the re- given him in his youth; which
putation of his integrity or un- the earl of Marr told me was