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rare in that age, and with a regard to truth. It would Appendix. not perhaps be too much to affirm, that it is among the best historical productions which have yet been compofed by any Englishman. It is well known that the English had not much excelled in that kind of literature. He died in 1623, aged 73 years.
WE fhall mention the king himself at the end of these English writers; because that is his place, when confidered as an author. It may fafely be affirmed, that the mediocrity of James's talent in literature, joined to the great change in national tafte, is the chief caufe of that contempt, under which his memory labours, and which is often carried by party-writers to a great extreme. 'Tis remarkable, how different from ours were the fentiments of the antients with regard to learning. Of the first twenty Roman emperors, counting from Cæfar to Severus, above the half were authors; and though few of them seem to have been eminent in that profeffion, it is always remarked to their praife, that, by their example, they encouraged literature. Not to mention Germanicus, and his daughter Agrippina, perfons so nearly fo allied to the throne, the greater part of the claffic writers, whofe works remain, were men of the highest quality. As every human advantage is attended with inconveniences, the change of mens' ideas in this particular, may probably be afcribed to the invention of printing; which has rendered books fo common, that even men of flender fortunes can have access to them.
THAT James was but a middling writer may be allowed: That he was a contemptible one can by no means be admitted. Whoever will read his Bafilicon Doron, particularly the two laft books, the true law of free monarchies, his anfwer to cardinal Perron, and almost all his fpeeches and meffages to parliament, will confefs him to have poffeffed no mean genius. If he wrote concerning witches and apparitions, who, in that age did not admit the reality of thefe fictitious beings? If he has compofed a commentary on the Revelations, and proved the pope to be antichrift, may not a fimilar reproach be extended to the famous Napier; and even to Newton, at a time when learning was much more advanced than during the reign of James? From the groffness of its fuperftitions, we may infer the ignorance of an age; but never should pronounce concerning the folly of an individual,
Appendix. individual, from his admitting popular errors, confecrated by the appearance of religion.
SUCH a fuperiority do the purfuits of literature poffefs above every other occupation, that even he, who attains but a mediocrity in them, merits the pre-eminence above those that excel the moft in the common and vulgar profeffions. The speaker of the house of commons is ufually an eminent man; yet the harangue of his majesty we fhall always find much fuperior to that of the speaker, in every parliament during this reign.
EVERY fcience, as well as polite literature, must be confidered as being yet in its infancy. Scholaftic learning and polemical divinity retarded the growth of all true knowledge. Sir Henry Saville, in the preamble of that deed by which he annexed a falary to the mathematical and astronomical profeffors in Oxford, fays, that geometry was almoft totally abandoned and unknown in England. The best learning of that age was the study of the antients. Cafaubon, eminent for this fpecies of knowledge, was invited over from France by James, and encouraged by a penfion of 3000 a year, as well as by church preferments. The famous Antonio di Dominis, archbishop of Spalato, no defpicable philofopher, came likewife into England, and afforded great triumph to the nation, by their gaining fo confiderable a profelyte from the papists. But the mortification followed foon after: The archbishop, though advanced to fome ecclefiaftical preferments 7, received not encouragement fufficient to fatisfy his ambition, and he made his escape into Italy, where foon after he died in confinement,
* Rymer, tom, xvii. p. 217. Y Rymer, tom, xvii. p. 709, 7 Id. p. 95.
A parliament at Westminster. At Oxford. Naval expedition against Spain.- -Second Parliament.- -Impeachment of Buckingham.Violent measures of the court-War with France.Expedition to the ifle of Rhee.
fooner had Charles taken in his hands the reins CHA P. of government, than he shewed an impatience to affemble the great council of the nation; and he would gladly, for the fake of difpatch, have called together the fame parliament, which had fat under his father, 27 March. and which at that time lay under prorogation. But being told that this measure would appear unufual, he issued writs for fummoning a new parliament on the 7th of May; and it was not without regret that the arrival of the princess Henrietta, whom he had efpoufed by proxy, obliged him to delay, by repeated prorogations, their meeting till the eighteenth of June, when they affembled at Westminster for the dispatch of business. The young A parliaprince, unexperienced and impolitic, regarded as fincere ment at all the praises and careffes, with which he had been Weftminloaded, while active in procuring the rupture with the fer house of Auftria. And befides that he laboured under 18th June. great neceffities, he haftened with alacrity to a period, when he might receive the most undoubted teftimonies of the dutiful attachment of his fubjects. His difcourfe to the parliament was full of fimplicity and cordiality, He lightly mentioned the occafion which he had for fupply A. He employed no intrigue to influence the fuffrages of the members. He would not even allow the officers of the crown, who had feats in the house, to mention any particular fum, which might be expected by him. Secure of the affections of the commons, he was refol ved, that their bounty fhould be entirely their own deed; unasked, unfolicited; the genuine fruit of fincere confidence and regard.
A Rushworth, vol. i. p. 171. Parl. Hift. vol. vi. p. 346. Franklyn, p. 108.
THE house of commons accordingly took into confideration the business of supply. They knew, that all the money granted by the last parliament had been expended on naval and military armaments; and that great anticipations were likewife made on the revenues of the crown. They were not ignorant that Charles was loaded with a debt, contracted by his father, who had borrowed money both from his own fubjects and from foreign princes. They had learned by experience, that the public revenues could with difficulty maintain the dignity of the crown, even under the ordinary charges of government. They were fenfible, that the prefent war was, very lately, the refult of their own importunate applications and entreaties, and that they had folemnly engaged to fupport their fovereign in the management of it. They were acquainted with the difficulty of military enterprizes, directed against the whole houfe of Auftria; against the king of Spain, poffeffed of the greatest riches and most extenfive dominions of any prince in Europe; against the emperor Ferdinand, hitherto the most fortunate monarch of his age, who had fubdued and astonished Germany by the rapidity of his victories. Deep impreffions, they faw, must be made by the English fword, and a vigorous offenfive war be waged against these mighty potentates, ere they would refign a principality, which they had now fully fubdued, and which they held in fecure poffeffion, by its being furrounded with all their other territories.
To answer, therefore, all these great and important ends; to justify their young king in the first request which he made them; to prove their fenfe of the many royal virtues, particularly œconomy, with which Charles was endued; the house of commons, conducted by the wifeft and ableft fenators that had ever flourished in England, thought proper to confer on the king a supply of two fubfidies, amounting to 112,000 pounds 5.
THIS measure, which discovers rather a cruel mockery of. Charles, than any ferious defign of fupporting him, appears fo extraordinary, when confidered in all its circumstances, that it naturally fummons up our attention, and raifes an enquiry concerning the causes of a condu&,
B A fubfidy was now fallen to about 56,000 pounds Cabbala, p. 224, firft edit.
a conduct, unprecedented in an English parliament. So CHA P. numerous an affembly, compofed of perfons of various difpofitions, was not, 'tis probable, wholly influenced by the fame motives; and few declared openly their true reason. We fhall, therefore, approach nearer the truth, if we mention all the views which the prefent conjuncture could fuggeft to them.
IT is not to be doubted, but fpleen and ill-will against the duke of Buckingham had an influence with many. So vaft and rapid a fortune, fo little merited, could not fail to excite public envy; and, however mens' hatred might have been fufpended for a moment, while the duke's conduct seemed to gratify their paffions and their prejudices, it was impoffible for him long to preferve the affections of the people. His influence over the modesty of Charles exceeded even that which he had acquired over the weakness of James; nor was any public meafure conducted but by his counsel and direction. His impetuous temper prompted him to raise fuddenly, to the highest elevation, his flatterers and dependents: And upon the leaft occafion of difpleafure, he threw them down with equal fury and violence. Implacable in his hatred: fickle in his friendfhips: All men were either regarded as his enemies, or dreaded foon to become fuch. The whole power of the kingdom was grafped by his infatiable hand; while he both engroffed the entire confidence of his mafter, and held, invested in his fingle perfon, the most confiderable offices of the crown.
HOWEVER the ill humour of the commons might have been encreased by these confiderations, we are not to suppose them the fole motives. The last parliament of James, amidst all their joy and feftivity, had given him a fupply very difproportioned to his demand and to the occafion. And, as every houfe of commons, which was elected during forty years, fucceeded to all the paffions and principles of their predeceffors; we ought rather to account for this obftinacy from the general fituation of the kingdom during the whole period, that from any circumstances, which attended this immediate conjunc
THE nation was very little accustomed at that time to the burthen of taxes, and had never opened their purfes in any degree for fupporting their fovereign. Even Elizabeth, notwithstanding her vigour and frugality, and