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which (thanks to the satellites of the regent and Elizabeth) was at once frivolous and gloomy, had rendered him eagerly inquisitive after supernatural agencies, in which he had been trained from infancy to believe. He appears to have furnished himself with all the magical lumber of the times; and from this, together with his small gleanings on the spot, to have drawn up his Dialogue, on which he apparently prided himself not a little. But James was an honest man; those who made him credulous could not make him cruel and unjust, and many things occurred which disturbed his confidence in his creed before he came to the throne of this kingdom. It may be reasonably doubted whether there was an individual in England who cared less about witches than James I., at the moment of his accession. In the act which made witchcraft felony, he rather followed than led, and was pushed on by some of the wisest and best men of the age, who could scarcely restrain their impatience for the re-enactment of the old severities. Even then the king hesitated, and the bill was recalled and re-cast three several times; yet we are required to believe that witchcraft was scarcely heard of in this country “till the example of the sapient James made the subject popular!"

To credit the tales of witchcraft was an error shared by James with a great majority of his people, both vulgar and refined; but that very inquisitiveness on the subject which has drawn upon him so much ridicule, at length enabled him to emancipate his mind almost, if not entirely, from the popular superstition. He disbelieved, or doubted, on ixquiry and reflection; of those who sneer at his weakness, the greater number reject these fables, as the multitude of that day put faith in them, from prepossession, and the influence of general opinion. Because men have more light than their forefathers, they are too apt to imagine that they have better eyes. The anxiety of James to prevent wanton or careless sacrifices under the law which he had passed, was evinced by his caution to the judges on this point, his admonition to the young Prince Henry, on the same head, in a very kind and judicious letter,* and his dissatisfaction with Winch and Crew, followed by his own saving interference, in the case of the Leicestershire witches. Asi b i s hil tuss At Lasuk banteye

It was not this calumniated prince,' says Mr. Gifford, who, in 1645, despatched that monster of stupidity and blood, Hopkins, the witchfinder, and Stern, accompanied by two puritan ministers, and occasionally assisted, as it appears, by Mr. Calamy,“ to see that there was no fraud or wrong done!” and the good Mr, Baxter, who took no small satisfaction in the process. “The hanging of a great nuniber of witches," as the latter says, " by the discovery of Hopkins in 16451646, is famously known." And, indeed, so it ought to be, for it was

Where he observes, "Ye have often heard me say that most miracles now-a-days prove but illusions,'-Progresses of King James, vol. i., p. 304. . VOL. XLI. NO. LXXXI.

famously

famously performed. In Suffolk, and the neighbouring counties, in two years only, Mr. Ady says there were nearly a hundred hanged; Hut chinson computes them at above fourscore ; Butler says that, within the first year, threescore were hung in one shire alone; and Zachary, Grey affirms that he “had seen a list of those who suffered for witchcraft during the Presbyterian domination of the Long Parliament, amounting to more than three thousand names !" Yet we hear of nothing but the persecution of witches by “the sapient James,” and this base and sottish calumny is repeated from pen to pen without fear and without shame.'-Introduction to Ford's Plays.

The king's attention to literature was, at least, free from the censure of costliness and prodigality which has attached to some of his habits. A negligent profusion was, indeed, one of his predominant vices, and it has been suggested (seriously or satirically) that his presents of money must have been calculated in pounds Scots. But, whatever imputation of weakness or improvidence may attach to the king on this head, it must always be remembered that the expenditure of his reign did, in fact, press very lightly on a peaceful and thriving nation; and that the difficulties he experienced in raising money sprang, not from the exhaustion of his subjects, but from the desire of their representatives to make rigid terms with a monarch whose predecessor had left the crown too proud and too poor. The magnificence which James encouraged in his family and favourites, if it be a reproach, was that of the country and the time. With the increase of wealth, a taste for luxury and exhibition had spread through all classes. The dramatists of that age perpetually revel in descriptions of vast riches, splendid show, and prodigal enjoyment. Long before James's accession, the citizens of London had petitioned for a relaxation of the sumptuary laws respecting apparel ; and, on the other hand, it had been found necessary to prohibit the apprentices from wearing swords, rings, embroidery, silk, or jewels of gold or silver, and from going to any dancing, fencing, or musical schools. We wonder at the gorgeous attire of Hay and Buckingham ; but the dress of a common-place gallant in their time exceeded, in richness and expense, the most elaborate exttavagance of our own simpler age. The sober liverymen of London decked themselves, on days of state, with chains of gold, pearl, or diamonds.* The wealthy merchant, Sir Paul Pindar, had a diamond valued at thirty thousand pounds, which he lent to the king on great occasions, but refused to sell. It was said by the Prince of Anhalt, in 1610, after seeing the pleasant triumphs upon the water, and within the city, which, at this time, were extraordinary, in honour of the lord mayor and citizens,' that Progresses of K. James, iii. 551. . + Ibid. iii. 611. n, 9.

there there was no state nor city in the world that did elect their magistrates with such inagnificencé, except the city of Venice, unto which the city of London cometh very near. '* These exhibitions were more splendid, and, though quaint and whimsical, savoured more of intellect and invention than the similar (triumphis' of the present day.

In this age of splendour and expense, the amusements of Whitehall shone forth with surpassing brilliancy. The English court had far outstripped that of France in refined magnificence; and seldom, perhaps, in any country, have the arts which administer to elegant luxury been displayed in a more resplendent and fascinating union than when Queen Anne, with the flower of English beauty and nobility, presented one of those sweet and learned poetic visions, the masques of Jonson. Whatever was most perfect in music, song, dance, mechanism, or scenic decoration, combined to grace these exquisite pageants; and the enchantments of a night, made glorious by such artificers as Ben' and Inigo, and the colleagues with whom they were satisfied to labour, lived long in recollection and tradition, and were not fruitlessly remembered, There are numberless thoughts and turns of phrase in Comus,' and in other poems of Milton, which may be distinctly traced to the masques of King James's court. It has been said, and never was a bold assertion less happy, that the taste of Anne, in diversions of this kind, was vulgar;' the conclusion has probably been arrived at with the promptitude usual in such cases, by generalizing on some expressions of an ill-natured letter (obviously written in a moment of spleen and personal disappointment), in which Sir Dudley Carleton passes a brief criticism on the ‘Masque of Blackness.

There is, however, an imputation more serious than that of vulgarity, against the court and its festivities. Dr. Lingard, after describing the splendid masques in which Queen Anne was so much distinguished, adds, that there was • one drawback from the pleasure of such exhibitions, which will hardly be anticipated by the reader. Ebriety at this period was not confined to the male sex, and, on some occasions, females of the highest distinction, who had spent weeks in the study of their respective parts, presented themselves to the spectators in a state of the most disgusting intoxication.'History of England, vol. ix., p. 109.

This is Dr. Lingard's deduction, and one made by other loose interpreters, (though never, we believe, with the same freedom and latitude of expression,) from that celebrated letter of Sir John Harrington, which has perhaps left more reproach on the manners of King James's time than any other piece of 'secret history' tity * Progresses of King James, vol. ii., p. 370. G 2

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extant. But the truth is, that Sir John's communication has no reference to the Queen, or to the exhibitions at court, of which Dx. Lingard speaks. Harrington is describing the incidents of a four days' entertainment given by Cecil, at Theobalds, (of which he was then the lord,) during a visit of the King of Denmark to his brother-in-law, which undoubtedly brought with it an extraor dinary flood of intemperance. The queen's court was at Green wich, where her majesty had recently lain in, and she took no part in the royal festivities till some days after the departure of the two kings from Theobalds. Who the ladies were that, on their visit to Cecil, rolled about in intoxication, Harrington does not say, nor, as far as we know, is a single hint of the adventure, or of any thing similar, to be found elsewhere. We do not infer from this that Sir John's much-quoted narrative is mere invention but if the facts mentioned by him had been of ordinary occurrence, or if the, scandal of this particular incident had attached to ladies who were usually the partners of the queen's revels, there would surely, have been some bitter chronicler to reinforce the testimony of Harrington, by telling us how those fair masquers the Arundels and Bedfords, the Veres, aud Wroths, and Cliffords, on some occa sions, or at least on this one, disgraced their rank and accomplishments, and put a drawback' on the pleasures in which they were engaged, by a public exhibition of ebriety. The pageant in ques tion, with all its circumstances, Faith, Hope, Charity, Victory, haranguing in succession; Peace elbowed by her attendants; and the Queen of Sheba carrying a mess of wine, cream and jelly, is so mean, and so remote from the style and taste of the Whitehall masqués. that, passing over accidental disorders, we seem to be reading of a piece composed for the player-boys or children of St. Paul's; and the treatment of the performers, when hors de combat,ris just such as might befit those personages, one being left sick in the lower hall, and another laid to sleep in the outer steps of the antechamber. It is universally known that in those days the female parts on the stage were always sustained by male performers; and we are no more warranted in drawing from this story the inference suggested by Dr. Lingard, as to the ordinary habits and pleasures of James's court, than in classing the wretched showe/of Faith, Hope, and Charity with the brilliant Masque, of Beauty 3 9831MO moiselens7T Istasio 9di lo bus evdeioa

But we must draw to an end It has been remarked by Mr. D’Israeli, and is no weak argument of merit in James, as a sove reign and father, that the three children of this reviled monarch, Henry, Charles (at the time of which we are speaking), and Elizabeth of Bohemia, were among the most popular of English princes. 19 And if we refuse to believe that a worthless king and

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unnatural parent could have surrounded his throne with such progeny, it is surely not more credible that an age of profligacy and pedantry, a reign of oppression and of national debasement, should have been succeeded, before the lapse of a single generat tion, by that period in which the English character, considered in all ranks of society, levinced itself most vigorous and masculine, and most apt for counsel, enterprise, and endurance. boolt vibaib 17 But, in those days, progresses were changed to marches, and mansions received the sovereign, not with pageants and recitations, but with the pomp and circumstance of war. Compared with scenes of such high and tragic interest, the secure excursions of the peaceful James, however calculated in themselves to excite and detain attention, must appear a slight and spiritless theme. To some minds, indeed, all subjects of this nature may seem barren and trivial; and we grant that, in affairs of mere show and eeremos nial, an over-curious diligence of investigation may be easily, and often justly, ridiculed. But the intercourse of a British monarch with his assembled people, must always afford some matter fitted to engage the grave and enlightened observer; and we need not go far back in the annals of this country to shew instances in which, if the history of public feeling be important in a nation's records, a royal Journey or procession has been more truly memorable thanpa treaty or a conquest. There was no incident of the late reign which entered into the minds and hearts of the people, with a more profound and salutary influence, than the late King's pasd sage through London to St. Paul's, on the happy restoration of hiš"health, the same good prince did not repair to Weymouth m yain nor will the Progresses of George the Fourth, in the years following his coronation, cease, for many a day to come, to be freshly remembered, -as domestic triumphs, bloodless and unembittered, and a worthy sequel to the warlike glories of the Regency1912 19110 95 P quote of trial 79 done is led two odpayeb 9od nesc mon setyvior i l ydmedostat -999 olsa yd baie.

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