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"And wisdom's self

Oft seeks to meet retired solitude,
Where with her best nurse, Contempla-
tion,

She plumes her feathers, and lets grow her
wings,
That in the various bustle of resort,

paired."

COMUS

his dominions: as the chief author, the greatest thinker and teacher of his fellows. In truth, the great man is King o' men for a' that." He wears no crown, has none of the insignia of royalty, none of the silly appendages of a court; but he has vast power over the minds of men, moulds their Were all too ruffled and sometimes imthoughts and passions to his will, is loved and idolized as the apple of their eye; his eye begets affectionate admiration wherever it turns, and the words of his pen, or the manly eloquence of his tongue, "stir the very stones to mutiny.” This is a kingdom worth striving for. The ablest monarchs have, with the exception of Frederick II. of Prussia, who was much greater in government and war than in literature, though he affected the honors of authorship, confined themselves to their appropriate sphere of legislation, executive enforcement of law, and military command. Such were the labors, for such is their great fame due, to Alexander and Constantine, Charlemagne, the ablest of the Popes, Charles V., Henry IV. of France, Louis XIV., William III. of England, Czar Peter, and his cruel but vigorous successor, "the Clytemnestra of the North," Catharine II., and the great Frederick. Such were (though not all of them kings) the glorious Romans, Fabius and Cato and Trajan; the noble Prince of Orange, the renowned Gustavus Adolphus, Prince Eugene, and a compeer of that illustrious company, Washington himself. As we advance, we meet here and there a deviation from our rule; among the Romans, there is that preeminently accomplished and universal genius, Julius Cæsar, who was the ancient counterpart of the modern Saxon king.

The quiet, contemplative life of letters seems to be incompatible with the noisy grandeur of a court life. In the midst of pomps and shows a man cannot think calmly of the inner secrets of his being. It was no unwise proceeding, for the rival of Francis to retire to a convent, and after a life of stirring and generous activity, to prepare for the hour that comes to all, in the privacy of a hermit's cell. Retirement is especially necessary for great actors on the stage of the world. In solitude the soul becomes invigorated and freshened, as Milton has beautifully expressed it:

Composition is an art requiring more of pains and thought, than are likely to be bestowed on it in the intervals of leisure of an existence passed in public pageants or the dull ceremonial of courtly etiquette. And then, the art of thinking a greater art than that of composition-demands the whole man. We find generally the rule of a literary sovereign prejudicial even to literature, which he appears to favor. For he may set bad fashions, to which the greatest must bend; he may pervert truth, embroil his country in strife, to gratify a childish love of controversy. With partial views of right, he may commit a great wrong. His learning may make him, as it generally has done, a bigot and a pedant. He is then a worse author for being a king (being above criticism), and a worse king for being an author (being above all appeal). If by the rarest chance he happen to succeed both as king and writer, he is in danger of being misunderstood by those who can appreciate but one kind of excellence in a single individual. But this is very rarely the case. There are books a wise and experienced king may write; but a very few of their class, only, are needed. Memoirs of his times, a political testament to his heirs and children, wise counsels, just maxims; he may illustrate and expound sound views of government and policy. He may compile statistics, arrange plans for internal and external legislation, point out defects in portions of the social system, and urge the claims of duty, of patriotism, and of religion. The greatest art for him to learn and practise-the art of government-should occupy the largest portion of his thoughts. "Princely counsel" should shine in his face and be illustrated in his life. But dabbling in philosophy, inking his fingers with scribbling vers de société, plodding in theology, or constructing stupid epics (such only in name), these are not the suitable occupations for the great king,

either in his hours that should be otherwise devoted to public business, or in the moments of leisure and recreation. A king who attends to his duties can employ himself sufficiently with public business, and the exercise of private virtues, without calling in any additional requisites pour passer le temps. In arbitrations and giving assent to laws, there is abundance of room for nice discrimination and speculative reasoning. He has occasions for oratorical display. The study of practical politics, the history of contemporary politics, should be his chief pursuit. That such is not the case is to be lamented, but it is no less true on that account. As if to confirm our suggestions we cannot-beyond the very few illustrious names already mentioned-remember a single monarch renowned in letters, science or philosophy. Of the great men alluded to, they were remarkable rather for vigor of intellect and rich acquired resources, than for original genius. A native genius we look for in vain among kings. To go no farther than the commencement of modern history, for our instances; there is not a great poet among the sitters upon thrones. Kings have succeeded best in the character of patrons as, Elizabeth of England, Rene of Provence, Francis I. of France, Louis XIV., Christina of Sweden, and latest the royal friend of Goethe.

The only writer of epics we can recollect among kings, was Lucien, the brother of Napoleon Bonaparte: and we have heard of but one reader of his poems. Frederick II. wrote reams of dull verses, and Charles II. threw off an epigram in his talk, as he would do the most indifferent action. The truest royal poet is he of whom Irving has written an elaborate paper in the Sketch Book; James V. of Scotland. He is the author of a mixed satirical and pastoral poem, "Christis Kirk of the Green ;" and a lively ballad passes under his name, rather free-spoken but spirited, the "Gaberlunzie Man." Queen Elizabeth wrote some clever lines.

Mere learned sovereigns have not been so rare, and the early English queens, in particular, were distinguished for scholarship. But the contrast between an energetic governor of his state, and a merely theoretical politician, is in no way more strikingly

illustrated than in the persons of Joseph II. of Austria, and Catharine II. of Russia. The first, a pedantic philosopher of the French school, the second a sovereign hardly less remarkable for her vices than for her energy of charac

ter.

Among English sovereigns addicted to literature, Walpole enumerates several in his list, who have never before found their way into any literary catalogue. Bishop Tanner, of whom this fleering wit speaks scoutingly, as so loyal (or rather servile) a critic, as to include even one of the early Edwards in his catalogue of royal authors, (who is not known as the author of any productions save precepts to his sheriffs, and other ordinary formularies), has swelled out his list to a much greater extent. But though a few sovereigns, as Alfred and Henry Beauclerc, and the sixth Edward and Elizabeth, could make no small pretensions to scholarship, and though we may reckon among accomplished knights, the Black Prince and Henry V.; and one Justinian, Edward I.; one wit, Charles II.: yet only two writers worthy of consideration as such; perhaps, a single one. James was a true author-king, though by no means a king-author. The fame of Charles I. is more doubtful. The authenticity of EIKON BALIAIKH is still an undecided question. The later English sovereigns had no pretensions to literature. William is said to have had so slight a conception of the na ture of literary rewards, as to have offered a captaincy of horse to Swift, who had made himself agreeable to him. Anne is reported never to have read the polished verses of Pope, the popular poet of her reign. The Georges were dull Dutchmen, with the exception of the last of that name, who revived to a certain extent the companionable qualities of Charles the Second.

All literary history teaches us that there is no royal road to successful authorship; that the scholar's toils and delights are of a similar character, whether the learner and teacher wear a crown or a wig, live in a palace or garret. To composition, as to science, the path lies through thorns as well as amid walks begirt by roses. The rose of letters is not without its thorns.

It is somewhat singular that most royal scholars and writers have taken up the dullest parts of learning, on

which to exercise their wits-church character of the studies, and the nacontroversy, biblical and philological ture of the writings of this author learning, language,and similar pursuits. sovereign, (an epithet of Lord ShaftesJames, who is commonly styled the bury's), we must look to their popu"pedant king," was more versatile; he larity in his age, and in their import wrote on government, on theology, on ance as affecting the affairs of the demonology, and on tobacco. It ap- time. In an age just preceding the pears to us, that the true character of great civil war, and not so far removed this sovereign is not yet brought to from the effects of the Reformation light. He has had abundance of cen- as to leave no impressions of its spirit; surers, and but one zealous defender, in an age of vigorous inquiry both in that we know of, among modern his- questions of religion and government, torians of his reign; even Hume ad- it is by no means singular, that a wrimits weaknesses which D'Israeli, the ter composing works with the least great admirer of James, wholly repu- possible bearing on contemporary diates. Walpole is as scornful as events, should, amid circumstances the bitterest of his enemies. Scott like these, discover a tendency towards has by no means exaggerated his investigating the stirring questions of 'positive merits; but though a lover of his time. Much less strange must it kings himself, by nature, he has done be allowed, that an author ardently little to elevate the character of James occupied in those very discussions, in the eye of the world. D'Israeli is a should be, in part, tainted with a few hearty admirer of this British Solomon, of the extravagances into which his a Janus-faced title, of either irony or brethren were so apt to fall. James eulogium. By way of novelty, rather wrote a treatise on demoniacs and than to attempt an historical adjudica- witches, in which a greater man far tion of merit, we shall follow his than he, Bacon himself, is said to have views. The venerable antiquary intro- believed; and into which belief even duces his work by stating it to have the incomparable Chief Justice Hale arisen, as a matter of conscience, out was, some time after, miraculously deof a conviction of the injustice done to luded. Newton, some great man has James. He has made diligent research asserted, wrote nonsense on the Reveinto the literary as well as the political lations; James I., therefore, may be character of that monarch, and comes excused for not surpassing the fato the settled conclusion, that he was a mous philosopher, Smoking found no man of real learning, and no pedant; favor at the hands of James; but peran author of sense, acuteness, and no haps as an economist, if not as a little vigor; the master of an efficient writer, the king deserved praise for English style; the possessor of a vein of writing odium on a practice, to instately eloquence on proper occasions, dulge themselves in which, many sold and of wit and humor in his familiar house and land, as the Dutch extalk; with high but just notions of pre- changed every species of property for rogative and kingly power and the bulbs, during the tulip mania. office of a sovereign, a boon companion, a zealous sportsman, and a man of true domestic affections and sympathizing in all the delightful charities of life.

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"Basilicon Doron, or His Majesty's Instruction to his Dearest Son, Prince Henry," (a ripe youth, early lost), is a species of political text-book, on the duties of a king. We extract a few paragraphs:

"Be not moved with importunities; for the which cause, as also for augmenting your majesty, be not so facile of accessgaining, at all times, as I have been. Chuse you your own servants for your own

use, and not for the use of others; and since ye must be communis parens to all quarters; not respecting other men's apyour people, chuse indifferently out of all petites, but their own qualities. For as you must command all, so reason would ye should be some of all. Consider that

virtue followeth oftest noble blood, the more frequently that your court can be garnished with them, as peers and fathers of your land, think it the more your honor. A king is set as one on a stage, whose smallest actions and gestures all the people gazingly do behold; and, however just in the discharge of his office, yet if his behavior be light or dissolute, in indifferent actions, the people, who see but the outward part, conceive pre-occupied conceits of the king's inward intention, which, although with time, the trier of all truth, will vanish by the residence of the contrary effect, yet, interim patitur justus, and prejudged conceits will, in the meantime, breed contempt, the mother of rebellion and disorder."

Of style in writing, he advises; "Let it be plain, natural, comely, clean, short, and sententious." Again, he urges, "And remember (I say, again), to be plain and sensible in your language; for besides, it is the tongue's office to be the messenger of the mind; it may be thought a point of imbecility of spirit in a king to speak obscurely, much more untrewly, as if he stood in awe of any in uttering his thoughts." Without being aware of the fact, we find we have happened upon the same idea with regard to royal authorship, which occurs in the following passage of James: "Should your engine, (genius), spur you to write any workes, either in prose or verse, I cannot but allow you to practise it; but take no longsome works in hand for distracting you from your calling."

As a monarch, we pretend not to settle the contending debates relative to the character of James; but we incline to regard him as a mild pacificator, rather than a timid despot; as a real lover of his people, rather than the mere dupe of court favorites. His facility of temper appears to have been the cardinal defect of this sovereign; springing from the very kindest affections, and only not firm enough in the dark hour of trial. James was acquainted with the resources of his kingdom, and the character of his people; but as he was more bent on making conquests of the vast terra incognita of learning, rather than tracts of disputed territory, he is commonly represented as irresolute and cowardly; of war he wrote wisely, "No man gains by war, but he that hath not wherewith to live in peace." He was a generous

admirer of greatness, and if fond of flattery, (as better men have been), was ready and willing to pay liberally for it. It was said, "the king was wont part, to keep one act of liberality warm to give like a king, and, for the most with another." The personal manner of James, his carelessness of dress, his slovenly habits, have caused his literary and political character to be undervalued. No soldier, he deserved a higher character than that of conqueror; he merited, for he perfected the fame of a humane pacificator. But he was essentially a student in all his habits and modes of thinking. Inducted into letters by a man of genius, for the elegant and classic Buchanan was his tutor, he never lost his sincere relish for literary occupations; nothing but field sports and familiar talk did he love so much. He "dedicated rainy weather to his standish, and fair to his hounds." "His table was a trial of wits." At the Bodleian, he ex-. claimed, "Were I not a king, I would be an university man; and if it were so, that I must be a prisoner, I would have no other prison than this library, and be chained together with all these goodly authors." Indeed, with James, study was one of the chief concerns of life. The facility of his composition was extreme; in one week, he is said to have written an address of one hundred folio pages. Perhaps one reason of his being undervalued as a king, was his readiness as an author. A gentleman loses caste often, by turning author. Probably, through envy, the kings of Europe united to decry their intellectual superior. The eloquence of James is misunderstood, by many who confound it with the designed obscurity of Cromwell's polite discourse; yet it has obtained high praise from Hume, whose sentence can easily be referred to. Wit and humor, James had in possession in his conversation, not only puns, scholastic quibbles, and pedantic conceits, but smart, shrewd hits on life and character, strong practical satire, acute detection of popular fallacies and fashionable pretensions. His political sagacity was considerable, and much above the ordinary standard. D'Israeli has collected not a few eminent instances, both of his wit and wisdom. But we have much fuller extracts to give of the work of Charles I., and must conclude

our slight sketch of James, with noticing what fruits he produced from his labors. His son, Prince Henry, was an admirable character, who died young, and of whom the world was not worthy. Charles, with all his faults, was a man of cultivated taste and refinement of manners, a scholar, and not unequal to his sad reverses.

The age of James was the age of England's literary glory. The greatest poets, from Shakspeare to Drummond; the fathers of pulpit eloquence and controversial theology, great philosophers, from Bacon to Hobbes; and a host of clever writers in the minor forms of writing. Herbert, the first autobiographer, and Howell, the first letter-writer in English, the simple Walton, and the witty Fuller. "To speak of it in a word," says Sir Richard Baker, in his Chronicle, "the Trojan horse was not fuller of heroic Gre cians, than King James' reign was full of men, excellent in all kinds of learning." Not a little of the encouragement of this fruitful growth of genius is to be attributed to the king himself, whose praises were sung by the greatest poets from gratitude, as well as from decorous reverence. The ablest divines were advanced by him to the highest stations in the church. Scholars were his intimate acquaintances; as he might have called them, sodales, table companions.

Charles I., with more prudence, more delicacy, a greater reserve, inherited much of the literary taste of his father, especially for theological discussion. He was the strong friend of the clergy, by whom he was supported with ardor and zeal. He loved pictures, and elegant amusements, and, if he did write Eikon Basilike, he was a pure writer of vigorous English, though we cannot go so far as a critic whose name we have forgotten, who declares it the best specimen of English in the age when it appeared, for such a judgment would be most unjust to the early admirable writers, the great old masters of our tongue. It has been surmised, with no little show of probability, to have been written by proxy, by the pen of a court chaplain; and that, for two strong reasons, as they appear to us. In the first place, in as much as possible, the character of the king himself is placed in the fairest light, and his errors are deplored as misfortunes; and secondly,

the eulogy of the clerical order, and of the Episcopal form and polity, is frequent and sincere, sustained with much force, and almost eloquence. It is known that the king had not only servile courtiers, but really excellent writers, among his clergy. His court chaplains were strongly attached to his person. The youthful Taylor, then chaplain of Laud, (if we are not mistaken), could have written thus, and with a magnificence of rhetoric to which the pure style of the Eikon makes no pretension. And Hammond, or Bishop Fell, might either of them have lent a helping hand, at least, towards smoothing roughnesses of style, and making obscure matters plain. The idea of the authorship of the book not resting on the king, is, with a shadow of probability, to be inferred from the title, "The Portraiture of his Sacred Majesty in his Solitude and Sufferings;" reading as the compilation of another hand. We think Walpole, (we have not his volumes at hand), discredits the notion of the royal authorship; but the authority of the satirist of Sidney and the Duchess of Newcastle, and the caviller at the fame of James I., is not to be taken without allowance. Yet Charles was a warm churchman, and naturally advocated the cause of the clergy, as nearly allied to his own, and hence he ever regarded them as the strongest bulwark of the throne, and of the doctrine of the divine right of kings. The divine origin of episcopacy and royalty were, with him, descended from a common source, and environed by the same proofs. Apart from this opinion, he entertained personal feelings of esteem for his bishops and chaplains, and the superior clergy. And farther, it was natural for him, in his situation, to present the strongest defence of himself he could, and which was, in all probability, sincere. On turning to Hume, we find this frank statement, that it is almost impossible to ascertain the authorship of the work, beyond dispute. He admits that the proofs and arguments on either side are sufficient to convince any one who reads the arguments of only that side. Whoever compares both, must remain undecided. Yet, for his own part, he leans towards the belief that the king was the author, from the internal evidence of style and sentiment, and from the fact of the incompetency of the writer, (Dr. Gordon), who has some

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