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A History of England Principally in the Seventeent

Agli altri da maggior sodisfattione del solito


in his alliance with France he certainly still held fast to his original principles.

The marriage of his son to a Catholic princess, and the indulgence towards the Catholics to which he thereby pledged himself, express the most characteristic tendencies of his policy. Notwithstanding all the concessions which he made to Parliament, he still refused to grant many of the demands which were addressed to him. The special agreement which he made with France corresponded to the conception which he had formed of his prerogative. By means of it he imported into relations controlled by the law of nations his claim to give by virtue of his royal power a dispensation even from laws that had been passed by Parliament.

After, as well as before, this event his idea was to control and to combine into harmony the conflicting elements within his kingdom by his personal will; outside his kingdom, to guide or to regulate events by clever policy. This is the important feature in the position and in the pacific attitude of this sovereign. But the blame which attaches to him is also connected with it. He made each and everything, however important it might be in itself, merely secondary to his political calculation. His high-flying thoughts have something laboured and flat about them; they are almost too closely connected with a conscious, and at the same time personal, end; they want that free sweep which is necessary for enlisting

the interest of contemporaries and of posterity. And could the policy of James ever have prevailed? Was it not in its own nature already a failure? A great crisis was hanging over England when King James died (March 1625). He had once more received the Lord's Supper after the Anglican use, with edifying expressions of contrition: a numerous assembly had been present, for he wished every one to know that he died holding the same views which he had professed, and had contended for in his writings during his lifetime.


[432] 'True mirth and gladness was in every face, and healths ran bravely round in every place.' John Taylor, Prince Charles his Welcome from Spaine: in Somers ii. 552.

[433] Memoires de Richelieu. Ranke, Franzoesische Geschichte v. 133 (Werke xii. 162).

[434] Kensington to Buckingham: 'Neither will they strain us to any unreasonablenesse in conditions for our Catholics.' Cabala 275.

[435] Hacket, Life of Williams 169. 'Scarce any in all the Consulto did vote to my Lords satisfaction.'

[436] The Earl of Carlisle to His Majesty, Feb. 14, 1624. He signs himself 'Your Majesty's most humble, most obedient obliged creature subject and servant.'

[437] Valaresso already observes this, March 8, 1624: 'Nell'ultimo parlamento si chiamava felonia di parlare di quello, che hora si transmette alla libera consultatione del presente.'

[438] A. Valaresso, Dec. 15, 1623: 'Col re usa qualche minor rispetto; agli altri da maggior sodisfattione del solito. Parla con Piu liberta della Spagna.'

[439] Of all Buckingham's letters to the King, without doubt the most remarkable. Hardwicke i. 466: 'Risolve constantly to run one way.'

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