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was valued at 400,000 crowns, and the clothes of the Earl were covered with jewels; nay, he spent in silk and silver stuffs, 40,000 crowns. Like most upstarts, the Earl of Somerset was arrogant and insolent, not merely to his inferiors and equals, but even to the King, who did not free himself from this unworthy slavery, till the Earl and his lady poisoned their former friend, Sir Thomas Overbury, chiefly because he had spoken of the latter as she deserved. However, only the meaner accomplices in the crime were punished with death, while the two principals were pardoned, and lived long, detested and despised.(*) Far from taking warning by his experience in this and similar circumstances, James chose a new favorite in Williers, afterwards Duke of Buckingham. He was handsome and active, the most elegant dancer, the swiftest runner, &c.; he had the richest wardrobe, the greatest number of love intrigues, was the first who employed men to carry him in a chair, and the first who drove in a coach and six. He amused the King with singing, dances, fêtes, processions, and dramatic representations, and when more powerful incentives appeared necessary, was ready to assist in all kinds of indecent and vulgar amusements. Though in some points humbling himself, his pride was unbounded, his rapacity immoderate, and even the King was exposed to his caprice and insolence. At first he took pleasure in cunningly discovering secrets, and adroitly carrying on court intrigues, but he laid aside all appearance of moderation as soon as he believed himself sure of the King's favour, or rather had fully established his authority over him. Buckingham was sincere rather from the impetuosity of his character than from love of truth; liberal, more from prodigality than generosity; a friend or an enemy without choice, prudence, or discrimination. Hence he gained no faithful adherents, nor did he understand how to form able assistants. He had only the ordinary qualifications of a courtier, and none of a true statesman, yet he was for a long time at the head of public affairs. He acted in everything without plan or consistency, was not guided by any great interest for the welfare of his country, was no favorite with the people, nor a noble character. Vanity and presumption produced dissensions between him and the Minister Olivarez, who governed Spain; the manner in which he paid his court to Queen Anne at Paris pffended Louis XIII., and he fancied that he had put down the intellectual superiority of Richelieu by a witicism, calling him the fresh water admiral. Camerarius, therefore, was right when he wrote to the Chancellor Oxtenstierna, “so long as Buckingham governs here in England, no good is to be expected;” others said, “favorites are designed by God for the chastisement of sovereigns and people, and he always employs the most wicked for this fatal purpose." —It was to be foreseen that a King like James, and favorites like Somerset and Buckingham, would not be able to maintain the dignified and commanding attitude of Elizabeth, with respect to foreign powers. Yet, in general, the object which England ought to have in view appeared to be evident, namely, to keep equally within bounds the preponderating powers of Spain and Austria, and the French love of conquest, and to secure the independence of the united Netherlands. With respect to the latter, the notions of James were quite impolitic, because, conformably to his abstract theoretical principles, he looked upon them merely as rebels. It was partly in reference to this that Henry IV. wrote to his Ambassador in London, “King James is so thoughtless in his words and actions, that very little reliance can be placed upon him. He treats at Rome, in Spain, and everywhere as he does with me, but does not truly attach him. self publicly or secretly to anybody, moves in dif. ferent directions, conformably to any hope which those around him excite, but examines neither the motives nor the merits of the subject: so that, as I foresee, he will suffer himself to be deceived in everything.” James's love of peace and the putting an end to the war with Spain, may, generally speaking, be approved, but all his neighbours soon perceived that his love of peace was not founded on the right motives; for which reason the French Ambassador reports, “As long as James lives he will on no account ever begin war, but endeavour to preserve peace, even by injudicious and disgraceful means. He hates war from habit, principle, and nature, and, according to his own expression, will avoid it like his own damnation, for he was born and bred with a base and weak heart, and imagines, like princes. who are devoted to religion, the sciences, and indolence, that he can never be compelled to go to war against his will, by his duty and conscience, or by violent and legitimate reasons. Besides this, he is conscious that, through his weakness, negligence, and inexperience, he is not equal to the management of public affairs, and therefore keeps away from them. And so he now believes, that in time of peace he may more easily lay the burthen upon others, conceal his own faults, and live, according to his disposition, in the enjoyment of tranquillity and pleasure.” No person more skilfully took advantage of this disposition than the Spanish Ambassador, Gondomar. He wrote, at a later period, to Lerma, “I have so lulled King James to sleep, that neither the cries of his daughter and her children, nor the repeated remonstrances and entreaties of his Parliaments and subjects are able to awaken him.” Gondomar overcame the opposition of some officers of state WOL. I. F f

by presents and pensions, which in those times hardly anybody hesitated to accept. With the peace with England, which deprived the Dutch of all assistance from that country, Spain would willingly have united an offensive and defensive alliance, which, however, was not accomplished, partly because it was apprehended that the Dutch might in that case throw themselves entirely into the arms of France. It was not till Holland con– cluded, in 1609, the twelve years' armistice with Spain, that all his foreign relations assumed a pacific appearance, and James had no presentiment that the marriage of his daughter Elizabeth with the Count Palatine Frederic, which was celebrated with great pomp, on the 24th of March, 1613, would occasion him new and greater cares. It was a subject of much joy in England, that the influence of Spain and the Roman Catholics was lessened by this alliance, and the King more attached to the Protestants. But when Frederick accepted the crown of Bohemia, in the year 1618, the wishes of the English, who desired war, and the timidity of the King, were irreconcileably opposed to each other. Nor was James able to moderate or control the power of events and passions by his general principles. Hence his wavering, and a course of proceeding which drew upon him the reproaches of all parties. Thus, on the one hand, he declared against every

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