« PreviousContinue »
o and a horn instead of a sword by his side; how “ suitable to his age, person, or calling, I “ leave others to judge from his pictures, he « owning a countenance not in the least regard « semblable to any my eyes ever met with, be. « fides an host dwelling at Ampthill, formerly 66 a shepherd, and so metaphorically of the same “ profession.”
This Monarch was extremely profuse in his presents to his favourites. Sir Robert Cecil, afterward Earl. of Salisbury, his Treasurer, according to Olborn, in his Memoirs of the Life of this Prince, took the following method to correct his extravagance :
co The Earl of Somerset had procured from " King James a warrant to the Treasury for 66 20,000l. who, in his exquisite prudence, finda “ ing that not only the Exchequer, but that the 56 Indies themselves would in time want fluency « to feed fo immense a prodigality, and, not " without rcafon, apprehending the King as " ignorant of the value of what was demanded, “ as of the desert of the person who begged it, “ laid the former mentioned fum upon the "s ground, in a room through which his Majesty “ was to pass ; who, amazed at the quantity, “ as a sight not unpossibly his eyes never saw “ before, asked the Treasurer whose money it
46. was? who answered, Yours, before you gave « it away. Thereupon the King fell into a 6 passion, protesting that he was abused, never “ intending any such gift; and, casting himself 6 upon the heap, scrabbled out the quantity of 66 two or three hundred pounds, and swore he " should have no more."
The King, on hearing a seřmon in which there was more of politics than of religion, asked Bishop Andrews what he thought of it, and whether it were a sermon or not. ." Please your Majesty," replied the Bishop, “ by very charitable con. “ ftruction it may pass for a fermon.”
.“ James,” according to Wilson," in one of “his speeches to the Star-chamber, took notice “ of those swarms of Gentrie, as he is pleased to 6 call them, who, through the instigation of their “ wives, or to new-model and fashion their “ daughters, (who, if they were unmarried, “ marred their reputations ; if married, lost their 56 reputations, and robbed their husbands purses,) 6 did neglect their country hospitalitie, and cum« ber the city, (à general nuisance to the king“ dom,) being as the spleen to the body, which " as in measure it overgrows, the body wastes; 66 and seeing that a proclamation would not keep 66 them at home, he requires that the power of “ the Star-chamber may not only regulate them; “ but the exorbitancy of the new buildings about “ the city, which he much repined at, as being “ a fhelter for them when they spent their estates « in coaches, lacqueys, and fine cloaths, like
Frenchmen ; living miserably in their houfes, « like Italians; and becoming apes to other “ nations; whereas it was the honour of the © English nobility and gentry (above all coun“ tries in the world) to be hospitable amongst " their tenants; which,” added this Prince, s they may better doe, by the fertility and abun6 dance of all things.”
“ It was a hard question,” says Wilson, “whe. 6 ther the wisdom and knowledge of King James 66 exceeded his choler and his fear. Certainly " the last couple drew him with more violence, “ because they were not acquisitions, but natu“ ral: if he had not had that alloy, his high 66 towering and mastering reason had been of a
rare and sublimed excellency.”
Into what degrading situations his choler occasionally led him, the following passage in Wilson will but too strongly evince:
“ One day, at Theobalds the King wanted « some papers that had relation to the Spanish 66 Treaty, so hot in motion, which raised him
highly into the passion of anger, that he should « not know what he had done with them, being
things so materiall, and of such concernment; “ and, calling his memory to a strict account, “ at last her discharged it upon John Gib, a “ Scotchman, who was of his bed-chamber, and « had been an old servant to him. Gib is called « for in haste, and the King askes him for the “ papers he gave him. Gib, collecting himself, 6 answered the King he received no papers from “ him. The King broke into extreme rage, (as “ he would often when the humor of choller “ began to boyle in him,) protesting he had “ them, and reviling him exceedingly for deny.
ing them. Gib threw himself at the King's 6 feet, protesting his innocency, that he never “ received any, and desired his life might make “ satisfaction for his fault if he were guilty. « This could not cal:ne the King's fpirit, tossed 6 in this tempeft of passion; and, overcharged " with it, as he pafled by Gib (kneeling) threw " some of it upon him, giving him a kicke with “ his foot; which kicke infected Gib, and turn6 ed his humility into anger; for, rising instanta “ ly, he said, “Sir, I have served you from my “ youth, and you never found me unfaithfull; I si have not deserved this from you, nor can I live “ longer with you with this disgrace. Fare ye - well, Sir, I will never see your face more.'
Potter, hearine annot be found.
“ And away he goes from the King's presence. “ took horse and rode towards London. Those « about the King put on a sad countenance to « see him displeased, and every man was inqui. 6 sitive to know the cause. Some said the King “, and Gib were fallen out, but about what? “ Some papers of the Spanish Treaty the King “ had given him cannot be found. Endymion « Potter, hearing it, said, 'The King gave me “ those papers;' went presently, and brought " them to the King; who, being becalmed, and “ finding his error, called instantly for Gib. “ Answer was made, He was gone to London. « The King hearing it, commanded with all ex“ pedition to send post after him, to bring him “ back, protesting never to eate, drinke, or " sleepe, till he faw Gib's face. The messenger s overtooke him before he got to London; and “ Gib, hearing the papers were found, and that 6 the King sent for him with much earnestnefle, .6 returned to the Court; and, as soon as he
66 came into the King's chamber, the King 6 kneeled down upon his knees before Gib, in• treating his pardon with a sober and grave 6 aspect, protesting he would never rise till Gib 6 had forgiven him; and though Gib modestly
6 declined it with some humble excuses, yet it 66 would not satisfie the King, till he heard the 66 words of absolution pronounced. So ingenious