Page images



In 1612, the king directed the remains on the other hand, his predilection for of his mother, Mary queen of Scots, to war, and contempt of his father's peaceful be removed from Peterborough to West- policy, were notorious. Had he plunged minster Abbey. His filial feelings also the nation into a series of ambitious warcaused the destruction of Fotheringhay like enterprizes, this course could not castle, where she had been executed ; a have been for the welfare of the country, mound of earth alone marks its site. and might, in another way, have

The marriage of the king's eldest injurious to the liberties of the people. The daughter Elizabeth with the elector Pala- high estimate of the regal prerogative, intine, was solemnized in February, 1613. nate in every prince of the Stuart family, This was, in some respects, a popular union, always tended to separate them from their being with one of the German Protest subjects. This prince had, however, exant princes; but it soon led to consider-hibited amiable traits, and some sense of able troubles and inconveniences, though religion, though exposed to the sins and the result was prosperous for England, in- follies of the court, and at times led astray asmuch as the Protestant princes of the by them. He attended and valued the house of Hanover are descended from preaching of bishop. Hall, and was inthis marriage. But this union was pre-fluenced by the advice of his governor, ceded by a melancholy event. Prince sir Thomas Chelmer. He had a particuHenry, whose regard for Protestantism lar aversion to swearing and profaneness. had led him to favour the project of this Once, at a hunting match, a butcher alliance, died in November, 1612, at the passed with his dog, which sprang at the age of nineteen, after a short illness. stag, and killed it; the huntsmen were Strong suspicions of his being poisoned greatly irritated, and endeavoured to prowere entertained by many; dark surmises voke the prince against the butcher ; but were hinted against the royal favourite, his highness answered coolly, “True, the Carr, earl of Rochester, and even the butcher's dog has killed the stag, and how king himself; the latter, it was remarked, could the butcher help it?” They rewould not allow of any mourning being plied, " That if his father had been so

But this was only from his per- served, he would have sworn so that no verse disposition; he had latterly disliked man could have endured.” the prince, and many of the proceedings cried the prince, “all the pleasures in the which rendered him popular. The death world are not worth an oath.” The same of prince Henry evidently proceeded from answer he is said to have given, when fever: the minute-account preserved of asked, Why he did not swear at play, his illness, tends to show that a bolder like other young persons? He answered, practice on the part of his physicians, “He knew no game worthy of an oath.” would, in human probability, have pro- A remark well deserving remembrance longed his life ; but the event was order by those of the lower, as well as of the ed otherwise, and this young prince went upper ranks. Let not the declaration by to the grave generally lamented. the prophet be forgotten,

“ Because of The Christian knows that all things are swearing the land mourneth,” Jer. xxiii. ordered aright, and therefore, in speaking 10. The engraving on page 81 represents of past events, he ventures only to ob- the front of Bramshill" house, the noble serve upon them, so as may best assist to pile in Hampshire, begun to be built as a draw instruction from them. Many have residence for prince Henry; but before considered that the death of this prince the building was completed, he was gone was one event that led to the various dis- to the narrow house appointed for all sensions that followed, and ended in the violent death of his brother, and the tem- The history of the royal favourites porary suppression of the monarchy, ap- must be resumed; it includes the account prehending that Henry would have avoid of a horrible proceeding. The second ed that fatal course in which Charles hur- favourite of James was Robert Carr, a ried forward; or that his superior powers handsome youth, aged 20, descended would have enabled him to meet and from a good family of Scotland, who arovercome the enemies of the monarchy: rived in London about the close of 1609, It is also considered that Henry would from travelling on the continent. Lord have opposed, instead of encouraging the Hay contrived that he should be employed unpopular measures of the leading eccle- to present the king's buckler and device siastics. The indications of the prince's at a tilting match. Thereby he engaged character favour these suppositions; but, the attention of James, but was thrown

Away !"



from his horse, and broke his leg. The pleasure, and committed to the Tower. king went to visit him when the tilting The earl of Northampton, related to lady was over, and immediately entertained Frances, recommended a new governor for him the same regard, so ridiculous and to that fortress, sir Gervas Elwes: he disgraceful, if not worse, which he had was appointed by the interest of the earl shown for his previous favourites. This of Rochester, who connived at the murincreased after the youth was recovered; derous plots devised by this wicked and Carr being very ignorant, James,

After several ineffectual atwith his usual pedantry, constituted him- tempts, Overbury was poisoned, and his self his instructor, and indulged unlimited body hurried to the grave, but not till fondness for this minion, wishing that he September, 1614. should appear to be formed in learning The legal proceedings for the divorce and conduct by his instructions. Honours of the countess from Essex went forward ; and riches were heaped upon the youth, to these the king gave his support with who was created viscount Rochester, the most disgusting pedantry. Seven while deserving men were left in penury of the judges were induced to decide for and disregard, and money could not be the divorce: even the leading prelates found for the needful expenses of govern- were brought to bear a part in the proment. Carr had, however, a wise adviser ceedings; but, much to their credit, the in sir Thomas Overbury, and while he primate and the bishop of London refused listened to him he was kept from be- to be concerned therein. The details coming wholly an object of dislike and need not be noticed here; the favourite contempt; but he did not long pursue this was created earl of Somerset, and married to prudent course.

the divorced countess in the Chapel Royal, The earl of Essex, who afterwards be- August, 1613, when James thought he had came a prominent character, was married effected a matter which would strengthen at the early age of fourteen to lady Frances his government, exhibiting also at once Howard, daughter of the earl of Suffolk, his scholarship, and that talent for ruling then a year younger. As the marriage which he called king-craft. For a short was devised merely to unite the families, time, this sinful course seemed to have the earl went to the university, and after- attained all that was sought by it; but it wards travelled, while the bride remained eventually realized in the fullest extent with her mother. But she early showed the words of Scripture : “ Bread of deceit her vile and depraved character, and the is sweet to a man ; but afterwards his manners of the court were calculated to mouth shall be filled with gravel,” Prov. increase these evil qualities. She soon be

xx. 17. came the paramour of viscount Rochester, The royal extravagance by this time had and when Essex returned, refused to live rendered the assembling of parliament with him, alleging reasons which, no a necessary measure. Somerset, with doubt, were false ; even if they were true, others, undertook to influence the elecno woman possessing modest or decorous tions, which brought upon them the name feelings could have stated them. She also of “undertakers;" but they failed: a had recourse to conjurors, and to those House of Commons still less favourable to who practised what was called “the black the court than the last, was returned, and art,” or attempted to use Satanic agency to assembled in April, 1614.

The king forward her desire to be divorced from made large promises, and uttered many Essex, that she might marry Rochester. learned sentiments, but he ordered the The latter consulted Overbury, who, members to begin by voting a supply. though he had aided the favourite in his The Commons refused, and at once desinful course, strongly advised him against sired a conference with the Lords on the all thoughts of such a union, alleging subject of "impositions,” the levying of that such a base wretch as lady Frances imposts on the subjects by the royal must prove

his ruin. The weak favour- | authority only. In this conference, ite told his paramour this advice, when Neale, bishop of Lincoln, declared that she determined to be revenged on Over- the right of levying these imposts was in bury, and to remove him from thwart- the king alone, asserting that it could not ing her plans. After a vain attempt to be questioned without approaching to seassassinate him, he was offered an em- dition. The Commons complained of such bassy, but at the same time the favourite a statement, and the Lords compelled advised him to decline it; thus, Over-the bishop to acknowledge his error on bury was brought under the king's dis- his knees at the bar of their house. The royal authority to levy taxes was strongly used these very words, in the hearing of advocated by the courtiers, who appealed four servants, of whom one was Somerset's to the examples of France, Spain, and great creature, and of the bedchamber, other countries; but they were reminded who reported it instantly to the relater of that the government of those countries this fact,)*1shall never see thy face more.'” was despotic. The opinion of the judges On his arrival in London, the earl was was sought ; they were unfavourable to conveyed to the Tower; the countess had such claims. The house continued to previously been arrested. Sir Thomas discuss various subjects for two months, Monson, the king's falconer, who was acwhen the king in anger dissolved the cused of being concerned in the death of parliament; following this weak measure Overbury, and several others were also by the still more unpopular one of im- secured. prisoning several members, assigning as When the wretched culprits were safely a reason what they had said in the House imprisoned, James spoke out, complainof Parliament, which caused much indig- ing that they had made him aid their nation against the arbitrary proceeding plans for adultery and murder. He also

Another favourite now engaged the required the chief justice Coke to be imking's regard; George Villiers, son of partial, imprecating a curse upon the Sir Edward Villiers, of Leicestershire. judge if he spared any that were found Like his predecessors, he was more re- guilty, and upon himself and his descendmarkable for personal accomplishments ants if he pardoned them. The earl of than for any real talents. Ārchbishop Northampton was implicated, but he had Abbot was weak enough to be persuaded lately died. The trial soon began. Elwes, to ask the queen to patronize this youth, lieutenant of the tower, Weston, a jailer, and the king's favour was soon secured. Turner, a disgraceful woman, who had Villiers was first noticed at Cambridge, much influence at court as an intriguer whither the king had gone in a progress, and fortune-teller, with Franklin an being much pleased and interested by the apothecary, who compounded the poisons, opportunity of displaying his pedantic were all convicted, partly by the evidence learning before the members of the uni- of accomplices, and executed. Thus, versity.

“the wicked is snared in the work of his The rise of Villiers led to the fall of own hands,” Psa. ix. 15, and often those Somerset. A rumour of Overbury's mur

who have been the means of tempting der was circulated so currently, that others to sin, are the first to accuse and James being willing to get rid of his for- betray them. Those whom the apostle mer favourite, ordered his arrest and trial describes as “foolish, disobedient, dein 1615. The proceedings on this occa- ceived, serving divers lusts and pleasion are characteristic of this monarch: a sures, are also said to be “hateful, contemporary says; “The king was accom- and hating one another,” Tit. iii. 3. panied with Somerset to Royston, where no There is no real confidence among the sooner he brought him but instantly took ungodly. But sir Thomas Monson, the his leave, little imagining what viper lay king's falconer, though brought to trial, among the herbs. Nor must I forget to was, for some secret cause liberated, the let you know how perfect the king was in proceedings against him being suddenly the art of dissimulation, or, to give it stopped by the king's orders to the chief his own phrase, king-craft. The earl of justice. The countess pleaded guilty. Somerset never parted from him with Somerset was condemned by the unanimore seeming affection than at this time mous vote of the peers, but to the genewhen he knew Somerset should never see ral astonishment, the king, notwithstandhim more.

The earl, when he kissed his ing his solemn protestations, spared their hand, the king, hung about his neck, lives, and afterwards pardoned them. They slobbering his cheeks, saying (with his were liberated from the Tower in 1621, but accustomed profane expressions) When were required to live in a state of banishshall I see thee again ?? The earl told him, ment at one of their country seats, on a On Monday,' this being on the Friday. yearly allowance of 40001., while Bucking

Let me,' said the king, shall I, shall I,' ham had the greater part of their estates. then lolled about his neck, then give thy Here they lived in bitter animosity with lady this kiss for me.' In the same man- each other, and all besides. The countess ner at the stair's head, at the middle of the died in 1632, of a painful and loathsome stairs, and at the stair's foot. But the disease; the earl died in 1645. earl was not in his coach when the king The lenity of James, in contradiction


to his solemn protestation, cannot be ex- man and in man, are clear evidences of cused. Documents yet exist which show the good will of God to men ; like so that Somerset acted with unconcern, many machines with cog-wheels, one actbraving the proceedings against him, and ing upon the other, so that the whole is in daring the king to put him on his trial. constant motion. The wheels of eternal Sir George More, who was then in com- purposes and infinite atonement, and the mand of the Tower, thought it necessary operations of the Holy Spirit, as the to go to the king in the dead of the night Quickener and Sanctifier of men, set before Somerset was tried, and on his re- the whole machinery of vocation, justiturn assured the wicked fallen favourite, fication, sanctification, perseverance, and of the king's mercy, but said the form of glorification in motion. The law of the a trial must be gone through. It is also Spirit of life has power and sufficient stated, that men were at hand, ready to room to turn in Christ Jesus. Good will muffle the prisoner, and force him from to men is the spring of peace upon earth, the bar as mad, in case he said any thing and the river flowing from that spring is accusatory of James. In the Loseley the salvation of men, which runs within papers are some letters from the king the golden banks of the passive and active to the lieutenant, in which James shows obedience of Christ, down to the sea of much anxiety that Somerset should be eternal life, without doing any damage persuaded to confess guilt, without going to any man whatever. Its floods convey to trial, also insinuating, or saying, that no mercy to devils, but carry away many he must be mad if he should accuse the precious jewels from their tyrannical king of any guilty knowledge of this poi- dominion. When Jesus returned from soning. Somerset, however, appeared at the manger, the cross, and the grave, his the bar, and for eleven hours tried hard, glory shined from on high over the hills but in vain, to prove himself innocent, of the whole Roman empire, and the during which interval the poor king, then rivers of peace, love, and salvation swept at Greenwich, evinced much wretched away from the temples of Europe more ness and impatience, asking particulars of false gods than would have filled the every one who came from the trial; nor Pantheon at Rome, to be worshipped no was he at ease till all was over without more. Nothing can stand before the any thing appearing to criminate him. glory of God in the highest, this peace Whether blood-guiltiness or any other and good will to men; they will, in spite crime really placed James in the power of of opposition, follow Jesus to every region, his discarded favourite, or whether So- to every house, to every congregation, to merset worked upon his natural timidity, every town and city, and to every heart cannot now be ascertained. There are where Jesus

goes. Oh that the glory of circumstances in James's character which God, in the face of Jesus Christ, might show that he was a weak man rather than shine upon this congregation. O Lord, a deliberately wicked one; still weakness convert the careless and prayerless sinleads to wickedness, “the thought of fool- ner ; let him be founded on the foundaishness is sin," Prov. xxiv. 9, and he could tion of joy, that all his sorrows might be hardly have patronized these criminals as swallowed up. Let thy good will to men he did without some guilty participation : constrain them to look on the world as the degree must be a matter of surmise, a secondary thing, and to go out quickly but it is difficult to suppose that there was

to behold Jesus in the means of grace, not some hidden guilt on the king's part. with great fear and joy. When your He well knew the declaration of Scripture, eyes are opened to behold the glory of

a wise king scattereth the wicked, God, your lips will soon be opened to and bringeth the wheel over them,” Prov. proclaim it before the church and the xx. 26 ; but when thus brought to the world, praising and adoring God for proof, he seems, like the accusers of the what you have experienced, for what adulterous woman when put to the test you have felt, and for what you have by our Lord, to have quailed and turned seen and heard. Soon you shall be reaside.

moved from glory to glory, from peace to perfect love, where that fear that hath

torment shall never enter, where you GOOD WILL TOWARDS MEN.

shall join the heavenly choir in ascribing All the designs of mercy, the manifest- glory to God for his good will to men. ations of the power, goodness, and the So let it be, says my soul. Amen.riches of God's grace for man, upon Christmas Evans.

that s6


deposited the mortal remains of one who, The narrative which follows, was com- to him, was lovely even in death. But municated by a correspondent, who was though seas soon spread their ample space acquainted with some of the persons to between him and India, yet was that whom it refers.

country still engraven upon the tablet of In the winter of the year 18—, Mr. his memory; and his spirit, in its goings-. K and Captain B two gentle- forth, often hovered over the tear-besprinmen who, at that time, were strangers to kled turf which covered the sacred dust each other, found themselves seated be- of his sainted wife; and, from the overside a cheerful fire, in the public room of flowings of a full heart, he loved to speak a respectable hotel in a southern city. of her departed worth. It was so in the Mr. K-5, who, at that period of his present instance: he had not been more life, was extensively engaged in business, than a few minutes in conversation with having throughout the whole of the day, the two strangers, before he introduced been busily occupied with mercantile af- this melancholy topic, dwelt feelingly fairs, overcome by fatigue, had already and at large upon her virtues, and the begun to indulge himself in a nap in an great loss he had sustained in her rearm-chair, when he was aroused from his moval; but added, “that if ever there slumbers by the entrance of an officer, was a saint upon earth, she was one; who had that moment arrived by the that she died rejoicing in her Saviour, evening's coach; and who, chilled by a and charging him to meet her in heaven; keen northern blast, took his seat between and that he hoped to join her happy, the two gentlemen, immediately in front spirit in a world of immortal glory." of the fire. He had just returned from His account of her last moments was India; and being, as most men are who interesting in a high degree; while the have had opportunities of seeing the big tear that stole down his veteran cheek, world, affable and communicative, he at but which was as speedily dried up again, once engaged the attention of the stran- heightened the interest of the scene, and gers by some very correct and pointed called forth visible emotions of sympathy observations on eastern manners and from the gentlemen on both sides of him. customs. It was evident, however, that To the great astonishment, however, of it was not its position on the map of our those gentlemen, he had more than once globe, or the varied productions of its soil, accompanied his observations concerning nor yet the peculiar customs of its in- his departed wife, with an irreverent and habitants, that recalled his thoughts to profane use of the name of God. Of the Hindostan. There was visible, even great sinfulness of this, Mr. K---, in å through the buoyancy of spirits which he half-whisper, reminded him. The reproof endeavoured to manifest, a melancholy was well taken, and thanks were even cast of countenance, which bespoke the offered for the friendly feeling which anguish of an afflicted mind. Nor was prompted the admonition of his error. the cause long a secret. Beneath India's A pause of a few minutes now ens

ensued, sun-burned soil lay the remains of his during which Captain B

surveyed beloved wife. On his regiment being the room. The company at this time ordered on foreign service, rather than consisted of two or three small parties of endure the pain of a separation, she had gentlemen, who sat at tables at some disbraved the dangers of the sea; and for tance from each other, engaged in reading some time they enjoyed together, in that the newspapers of the day. It was evidistant region, all those sweets which dent that the captain's mind was the seat hearts formed for each other's society of some severe conflict; but, as if victory yield. It is not, however, the lot of hu- had at last decided in his favour, he broke manity to possess uninterrupted happiness silence; and, addressing the officer, said, in this vale of tears. Naturally delicate, that he too had been a military man; her health soon sunk under the influence and that, if he had no objection, he would of a climate by no means friendly to the give him an account of the manner in European constitution; and upon her which he had been brought to a knowbeloved partner devolved the melancholy ledge of the Saviour. A ready and duty of seeing her body committed to the cheerful assent was at once given; when house appointed for all living. His regi- he proceeded to state in substance as ment was shortly after ordered home : follows :-"During my time in the army, but, prior to embarking for England, he I lived, as officers too generally do, the paid a last visit to the spot where were slave of pleasure and the enemy of God.

« PreviousContinue »