King of England James I.

New poems by James I of England, from a hitherto unpublished manuscript (Add. 24195) in the British museum; online

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Online LibraryKing of England James INew poems by James I of England, from a hitherto unpublished manuscript (Add. 24195) in the British museum; → online text (page 1 of 16)
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3 1822019432665







Central University Library

University of California, San D.ego
p,ease Note: This rtem is subject to re

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NE&J gorfc


All rights reserved


Printed from type, December, 1911.

J. 8. Gushing Co. Berwick A Smith Co.
Norwood, Mass., U.S.A.

This Monograph has been approved by the Department of Eng-
lish in Columbia University as a contribution to knowledge worthy

of publication.






Preface vii

The Manuscript xi

I. The King and his Tutors xvii

II. The Study of Poetry under Montgomerie .... xxv

III. Other Poets in the Scottish Court, 1584-1603 . . . xxxiv

IV. The King's Verse and Criticism . .... xlv
V. Arrival in England : Patronage of Prose and the Drama . . Iv

VI. Poets in the English Court, 1603-1625 Ixvii


I-XII. Sonnets (foil. 4-9 b) I

XIII. Constant Love in All Conditions (foil. 10-10 b) . . 7

XIV. A Dier at her Mes desyer (foil. iob-i3b) ... 7
XV. 'My muse hath made a willfull lye' (fol. 13) . . . 10

XVI. Acomplaint of his mistressis absence from Court (foil.

14-16) 10

XVII. A dreameonhisMistrismyLadieGlammes(foll. i6'b-24b) 12

XVIII. A Satire against Woemen (foil. 25-27) .... 19

XIX. Song i. (foil. 27 b-29) 22

XX. Song 2. (foil. 29-30) 24


XXI. 'The azured vault, the cristall circles bright' (fol. 31) . 25
XXII. A sonnet on M r Pa. Adamsons paraphrase of Job

(fol. 31 b) 25

XXIII. A Sonnet on Ticho Brahe (fol. 32) .. . , . . ' . 26

XXIV. Another on the same (fol. 32 b) . . . . . 26
XXV. Another on the same (fol. 33) , t. ... . . 4 27

XXVI. A sonnet on Du Bartas (fol. 33 b) . . . 27



XXVII. ' What heaven doth furnish thee such learned skill '

(fol. 34) ... 28

XXVIII. < O divin du Bartas, disciple d'Uranie ' (fol. 34 b) . . 28

XXIX. A Sonnet on Mr W. Fullers translation of Petrarchs

triumphe of Love (fol. 35) 29

XXX. An Epitaphe on S' Philip Sidney (fol. 35 b) . . .29

XXXI. An Epitaphe on John Shaw (fol. 36) . . . . 30

XXXII. Votum (fol. 36 b) 30

XXXIII. A Sonnet to Chanceller Maitlane (fol. 37) . . -31

XXXIV. An Epitaphe on Montgomrie (fol. 37 b) . . .31
XXXV. A Sonnet on the moneth of May (fol. 38) . . . 32

XXXVI. An aenigme of sleepe (fol. 38 b) 32

XXXVII. A Sonnet when the King was surprised by the Earle

Both well (fol. 39) 33

XXXVIII. Another on the same (fol. 39 b) 33

XXXIX. 'All kinde of wronge allace it now aboundes (fol. 40) . 34

XL. A Sonnet painting out the perfect Poet (fol. 40 b) . 34

XLI. A Sonnet to the reader prefixed to the treatise of the

art of poesie (fol. 41) 35

XLII. 'Omightie Gods' (fol. 41 b) 35

XLIII. 'First Jove as greatest God above the rest' (fol. 41 b) . 36

XLIV. ' Apollo nixt assist me to a part ' (fol. 42) ... 36

XLV. ' O mightie sonne of Semele the faire ' (fol. 42 b) . . 37

XLVI. A Sonnet on S r William Alexander's harshe verses after

the Ingliche fasone (fol. 43) 37

XLVII. A Sonet against the could that was in January 1616

(fol. 43 b) . . V , ;; v . ... 38

XLVIII. < Not orientall Indus cristall streames ' (fol. 44) . . 39

XLIX. 'Faire famous Isle, where Agathocles rang' (fol. 44 b) 39
L. Upon occasion of some great disorders in Scotland

(fol. 45) 40

LI. An admonition to the Master poet, etc. (foil. 46-49 b) . 40

LII. Ex Lucano libro quinto (foil. 49 h-jo b) ... 44
LIII. Song. The first verses that ever the King made (foil.

S'-S'b) . 46

LIV. An Epithalamion upon the Marques of Huntlies Manage

(foil. 52-55 b) 47

LV. The beginning of his M ties jurnei to Denmarke ; never

ended (foil. 56-57) . .... 52

LVI. A pairt of du Bartas First Day (foil. 57 b~59 b) . -54

LVII. The beginning of Mr du Bartas Eden (foil. 60-61) . 57




I. Antithesis 62

II. His Majesties owne Sonnet 63

III. Epitaph on Chancellor Maitland . . . . -63

IV. The Dedication of the Booke . . . . . .64
V. The Argument 65

VI-VII. Two sets of verses made by the Kinge when he was at

Burley House 66

VIII. A Prayer, written on a blank page of a volume of

Montaigne ........ 66

IX. The Lorde Prayer . . 67


Notes to the Poems 69

Notes to Appendix I 114

Notes to Appendix II . 115


THOUGH a more complete description and history of the
MS. now published is given in the note following the Pref-
ace, a brief account of the nature of its contents seems at
once necessary. The MS. itself has never been drawn upon
for editions of King James's works, and so far as the writer
is aware no critic or biographer has used it in his studies.
None of the prose contents has appeared in print from this
or other sources. Of the fifty-seven poems, twenty-six, or
a little less than half including most of the Amatoria,
the long'pieces addressed to Lady Glamis, all the poems
referring directly or indirectly to political events in Scotland,
and the excellent sonnets on page 39 have never been pub-
lished in any form ; and nine l more are now first discovered
to be of royal authorship and properly arranged among the
poems with which they belong. These, it will be seen, are
among the more attractive and intimately personal of the
King's verse, and such as by the nature of their contents
were kept out of print during his lifetime. Of the remaining
twenty-two, seven are found in The Essayes of a Prentise 2
and Exercises at vacant houres; z eight first appear in the
volume entitled Lusus Regius, edited by R. S. Rait, Con-
stable & Co., 1901 ; and the rest are in scattered sources not
easily accessible. All of these in other words, the entire
verse contents of the MS. are now printed, in the order
and the text to which the King gave his final sanction.

1 Cf. p. xiii.

2 The Essayes of a Prentise, in the Divine Art of Poesie. Imprinted at
Edinburgh by Thomas Vautroullier. 1584.

8 His Maiesties Poeticaall Exercises at vacant houres. At Edinburgh.
Printed by Robert Waldegraue. [1591.] This and the Essayes were reprinted
in one volume, with a prefatory memoir, by R. P. Gillies, Edinburgh, 1814.
The Essayes were reprinted by Arber, London, 1870, and again published,
with the omission of Uranie, Phoenix, and other pieces, in a volume entitled
A Royal Rhetorician, edited by R. S. Rait, London, 1900.



Thus, if one excepts the poems in the volumes of 1584 and
1591 (available in reprints) and the Paraphrase of the
Psalms (still in MS.), the present volume forms with its
appendices a complete corpus of the King's poetry.

The Introduction is intended not primarily as a critical
study of James's verse, but as an account of his intercourse
with poets and influence on the development of poetry.
It is the product of research begun some time before the
discovery of the MS. poems, and now condensed to make
room for their publication. The writer has not felt called
upon to attempt a complete or properly proportioned
biography, though such a biography is still unwritten, 1 but
has sought chiefly to present, in the light of newly dis-
covered material, such facts of literary significance as have
remained unknown or insufficiently recognized. The study
is further confined to the King's relations with poetry,
with only incidental attention to his prose writings, his
political and theological controversies, or the vexed ques-
tion of court influence on the drama. Matters of political
and biographical interest (so far as they have no literary
bearing) are for the most part treated in the notes at the end
of the book, where an account is given of the King's journey
to Denmark, his relations with Lady Glamis, the raids of
Bothwell, and other episodes dealt with in the poems.

From a literary standpoint, the King's friendship with the
Scottish poet Montgomerie constitutes perhaps the most
noteworthy phase of his reign in Scotland, and it may be
pointed out that not only the approximate date of the poet's
death, but many of the details of his life, are altered by the
information now accessible. 1 The King's early intercourse

1 T. F. Henderson's excellent James VI and I (Gouphil & Co., London,
1904) is prohibitively expensive, and chiefly political in character. The biog-
raphies by W. Harris (London, 1753) and by Robert Chambers (Edinburgh,
1830) are both antiquated, and rendered practically worthless by the preju-
dices of the authors, and their efforts, in Chambers' words, " to make the
book as amusing as the nature of the subject might lead the public to expect."

2 Cf . the author's article on Montgomerie's biography, Modern Language
Review, January, 1911, which calls attention to his service under James and
Lennox, his friendship with Constable, and his death prior to the King's
departure for England. This was written before the appearance of Mr.


with the English poet Constable and with the minor writers
of his own court also calls for attention ; indeed, so confined
to the court was such poetical activity as existed in the
period that a full account of the King's literary dealings
might almost become a history of "school" poetry in Scot-
land in the last quarter of the sixteenth century. Later,
during his reign in England, though the King's interests
were chiefly in other matters, he was still surrounded by
a coterie of somewhat amateurishly poetical friends and
companions, mostly Scotchmen like Sir William Alexander,
Sir David and John Murray, and Sir Robert Ker. Jonson,
Donne, Drayton, and other English poets were friendly
with the members of this circle, and there is some tangible
evidence that changes in literary taste and fashions which
were taking place during the reign were affected by court
influence. In this connection an effort has been made to
gather together such information as is available with re-
gard to the extension of court patronage to men of letters.
Accounts of the royal households and similar documents
in the Public Records Office and the British Museum, as
well as calendars of state papers and reports of the Histori-
cal MSS. Commission, have been searched for records of
payments or biographical data of any kind. The results
of this search are contained in Chapters V and VI of the

In the preparation of the book, the writer has placed him-
self under many obligations, which it is difficult adequately
to acknowledge. Gratitude is due especially to the guar-
dians of the British Museum and the Records Office, for
hospitality and courtesy which make his studies in London
a pleasant memory ; to Sir J. Balfour Paul, of Edinburgh,

George Stevenson's admirable edition of Montgomerie for the Scottish Text
Society, 1910, which supplies new texts for the longer poems, and for the
first time places his biography on a firm foundation. Mr. Stevenson's
edition was not accessible to the writer before the text and notes of the pres-
ent volume were in press, and quotations from Montgomerie are therefore
from the earlier edition of Dr. Cranstoun (S. T. S., 1887). Chapter II of
the Introduction, however, has been altered and corrected in the light of
Mr. Stevenson's researches.

and Sir James Murray, of Oxford University, for informa-
tion more exact and complete than a stranger could reason-
ably expect. The transcript of the epitaph on the tomb
of Sir John Maitland was kindly supplied by the Rev. W.
Proudfoot, of Haddington, Scotland.

Students who have worked at Columbia University will
appreciate the author's debt to members of the English
Department. In particular, Professor H. M. Ay res and
Professor G. P. Krapp of Columbia have given assistance
in linguistic difficulties which have arisen in the preparation
of the notes. At all stages in its progress, the book has
been under the supervision of Professor W. P. Trent and
Professor A. H. Thorndike, and for such merits as it may
have their guidance and practical counsel are largely re-


THE source from which the poems in the present volume
are taken is a MS. now in the British Museum (Add. 24195],
and acquired, as an inserted note indicates, "at the sale
of Archbishop Tenison's MSS., i July 1861." A second
inscription, perhaps in the hand of the Archbishop, reads,
"Dec. 15, [16] 89. The Gift of Mr. Wright to T. Tenison
for his library." Evidently, therefore, the MS. was pre-
served in the free library, the first of its kind in London,
established in the parish of St. Martin-in-the-Fields by the
Rev. Thomas Tenison, later Archbishop of Canterbury,
not far from the time when the book was given. The donor
was presumably Abraham Wright (1611-1690), clergyman
and antiquary, whose death, it will be seen, occurred in the
following year. The only later reference to the collection,
so far as the writer is aware, is the following note in Dr.
David Irving's Lives of the Scotish Poets (Edinburgh, 1804,
Vol. II, p. 259) : "Mr. Ritson informs us that in the library
of St. Martins parish, Westminster, is a MS. volume,
containing ' all the kings short poems that are not printed.' "
Ritson died in 1804, but may have communicated with
Irving when the latter was at work on his Lives; I have
been unable to discover the information among his pub-
lished writings. Dr. Irving presumably did not gain access
to the poems, or he would have spoken of them in his criti-
cism of the King's works.

The MS. itself consists of eighty-five folios, in the original
white vellum binding, with ornate cover designs in gold
inclosing the motto, "Domine salvum fac regem." Sixty-
one of the folios are occupied by the poems, and a part of
the remainder by tables of contents at the beginning and
the end, specimens of the King's correspondence with



foreign scholars, and other short prose pieces. 1 On the
inside of the back cover the name Charles is twice written ;
and on the fly-leaves are scraps of verse and the signatures
of Thomas Gary, 2 James Leviston, 3 and Doctor John
Craig. 4 The tables of contents, some of the headings of
poems, numerous corrections, and five of the sonnets are
written by Prince Charles, and Carey's hand appears fre-
quently in corrections and in the sonnets now numbered
XL VI and XL VII. 5 The fact that some of the changes are
in the hand of the King indicates that he also went over the
copy. 6 The greater portion of the MS. is in a neat print-
like hand, the same as that of the Museum MS. (Old Royal,
18 B XIV} of the King's Paraphrase of the Psalms. The
copyist of the latter was a Scotchman, as is indicated by the
dialect of his marginal notes; and it is in any case more
likely that the task of transcribing the King's verse and
turning it into English would be given to one familiar with
the Scottish dialect, for example, either John or Thomas
Murray, secretaries respectively to the King and the Prince.
A possible theory regarding the formation of the collec-
tion, based on the signatures and the handwritings, is that
it was prepared in the King's household, corrected by James,
and again revised whether before or after James's death
is not certain by Charles and Carey. In 1626, Sir
William Alexander was delegated to "consider and review

1 Cf. App. I.

2 Thomas Gary, or Carey (1597-1634), not to be confused with the poet
of the same name, was a younger son of Sir Robert Carey, who was guardian
of Prince Charles and head of his household until he came to the throne.
Thomas was made a groom of the chamber to the Prince on his creation
(Memoirs of Sir Robert Carey, ed. 1808, p. 105), and retained the position
after Charles became king. On the latter's accession he was granted a
pension of 500 a year (Col. S. P. Dom., May 25, 1625).

s James Leviston, William Murray, and Endymion Porter, all grooms
of the chamber to Charles, received pensions of 500 at the same time as
Carey (ibid.). Leviston, or Livingstone, was knighted before 1629 and made
Earl of Callander in 1641.

4 John Craig (d. 1654) was physician to James and afterward to Charles.
He succeeded his father, of thesame name, who died in 1620.

6 This description is in accord with the one given in the Museum Cata-
logue. 6 Cf. footnotes, pp. 5, 10, 19, 25, 43, 53, etc.


the meeter and poesie" of the King's psalms, 1 with a view to
publication, and an edition the text quite different, how-
ever, from that of the Museum MS. appeared in 1631.
Charles may have also planned an edition of the poems,
but decided afterward not to expose them thus to the at-
tacks of Puritan critics. The corrections by the King, and
the proper placing (in a MS. which now contains no blank
pages) of the poems copied by Charles and Carey, suggest
a date somewhere between 1616 and 1625. The care with
which the collection is arranged, revised, and the pieces
which had already appeared in print crossed through,
makes it altogether probable that James himself planned to
have it published ; it may at least be accepted as a correct
and final text for the poems which it contains.

Of these, the pieces hitherto printed (from other MS.
sources) have already been roughly indicated in the Preface,
and it remains merely to give a fuller account of the two
collections in which most of them appear.

Nine sonnets corresponding, in the order in which they
are printed, to XV, V, VI, II, X, VIII, XI, XII, and IX of
the Amatoria are found in the Publications of the Percy
Society, 1844, Vol. XV, pp. 32-37. They are arranged as a
single poem, and form a part of a series of extracts, entitled
Poetical Miscellanies, selected and edited by J. C. Halliwell
from a much larger collection in a MS. volume, i2mo.,
owned at the time by Andrews, a Bristol bookseller. 2 At
the end of the sonnets is the colophon, " Finis, Sir Thomas
Areskine of Gogar, Knighte" a signature which has
served completely to conceal their actual authorship. Sir
Thomas Areskine, or Erskine, was either the King's friend
and boyhood companion of that name, who became Earl of
Kelley in 1619, or his grandson and namesake, who became
the second earl in i63Q. 3 The variants in the Percy Society

1 Letter of Charles to the Archbishop of St. Andrews, Earl of Stirling's
Reg. Royal Letters, Edinburgh, 1885, Vol. I, p. 73.

2 HalliwelFs preface to the Miscellanies.

5 It is possibly of significance that a complication of marriages placed the
younger Erskine in the relationship of grandson to James Leviston, though
the two were not far from the same age. (Cf. D.N.B.)


text, though frequent, consist wholly of obvious errors in
transcription or printing, and it is altogether probable,
therefore, that Erskine's MS. was merely a copy of the one
now in the Museum.

A more important collection of James's poems is the one
entitled Lusus Regius, 1 edited by R. S. Rait in 1901 from
two MSS. in the Bodleian Library (MS. Bodl. 165-166}.
These MSS. are in the Scottish dialect, almost entirely in
the King's handwriting, and contain many of his composi-
tions in prose and verse. From corrections and marginal
notes it seems probable that they were among the first
drafts from which the Museum collection was prepared.
Nine of the twelve pieces published by Mr. Rait, or all
save the psalms and the prose, appear in the Museum MS.
and are now printed. His table of contents follows, with
references to the corresponding poems in the present

I. Fragment of a Masque . . . An Epithalamion upon
the Marques of Huntlies Manage, pp. 47-52.
The sonnet on p. 49 is not in Rait.

II. 'Ane Admonition to the Maister Poete to leave of
greit crakking.' ... An admonition, etc., pp.
40-44. The final stanza, following the sonnet, is
not in Rait.

III. Sonnet to Bacchus . . . The sonnet referring to the

death of Montgomerie, p. 37.

IV. On Wornen . . . A Satire against Woemen, pp.


V. 'Bot be the Contraire I Reiose.' . . . This, with

the stanzas properly arranged, is Song I, pp. 22-23.

VI. ' If Mourning micht Amende.' ... A Dier at her

M tlK Desyr, pp. 7-9.

VII. 'Gif all the Floudis amangis Thaime walde Con-
cluid.' . . . Ex Lucano libro quinto, pp. 44-45.

1 Lusus Regius, being Poems and Other Pieces by King James Ye First.
Now first set forth and Edited by R. S. Rait, Constable & Co., 1901. This is
an expensive edition limited to 275 copies.


Mr. Rait does not call attention to the fact that
this appears in The Essayes of a Prentise.
VIII. 'This Lairgeness and this Breadth so Long' . . . A

Pairt of Du Bartas First Day, pp. 54-56.
IX. On his own Destiny . . . The Beginning of his

M tlts Jurnei, pp. 52-53.

X. The CI Psalm . . . Not in the Museum MS.
XI. 'His Maiesties Letter unto Mr. Du Bartas' ... A
letter in French inviting the poet to Scotland.
Cf. App. I, IV, p. 60.

XII. Supplement to the Preface of the Ba<nXt/coi> A wpov. . .
A paragraph explaining his attacks on the Puri-
tans. Not in the Museum MS.

It will be seen that the titles in the Museum MS. fre-
quently indicate the occasions or sources of the poems.
Obscurities and breaks in the Bodleian MS. are also at times
remedied in the Museum copy. The Bodleian, it is true,
presents the poems in the dialect in which they were origi-
nally written ; but it was the King's intention and it will be
the preference of many readers that his verse, like his prose,
should appear in the more familiar, not to say less uncouth,
Southern language and spelling. The change is made
without seriously affecting either the meter or the sense.
Aside from the relative merits of the texts, it is desirable
to have together hi convenient form all the verse of the
King not in The Essayes of a Prentise or the Exercises at
vacant houres.

In printing the poems it has seemed advisable, even in the
cases of the half dozen or more poems published in the
King's lifetime, to follow carefully the punctuation of the
MS. This, though scanty, is not seriously misleading,
if one remembers that the pauses at the ends of lines are
usually unmarked. In spelling, the long 5 has been dis-
carded, and the scribal interchange of u, v, and w, and of i
and j, brought into conformity with modern usage. In
other respects, both spelling and capitalization (save in
the titles) follow the original exactly, and have been veri-


fied by collation of the proof with the MS. Changes in
handwriting are as a rule recorded, since they indicate
the King's supervision, the authenticity of titles and cor-
rections, and the extent of the alterations made by Charles
and Carey. Corrections are in all cases followed in the
text, with the original phrasing, if decipherable, indicated
in footnotes ; variant readings from printed sources are
also given when they are of the slightest importance or when
the difference is not merely in spelling or dialect. Comment
other than textual is reserved for the notes at the end.



" Quae tarn docta fuit, quamvis privata, juventus ? "

GROTIUS, Poemata, p. 64.

THE series of murders, tumults, and intrigues which
finally left the infant James an orphan in the hands of his
mother's enemies, gave the nobles and clergy of that faction
a rare opportunity for educational experiment. The result
was ironically unexpected, but even in the light of results
one cannot criticize the earnestness or wisdom with which
the experiment was undertaken. In August, I56Q, 1 when
the King was but a little over three years old, four precep-
tors were appointed to take charge of his moral and intel-
lectual training. Two of these, David and Adam Erskine,
lay Abbots respectively of Cambuskenneth and Dryburgh,
obtained their posts as kinsmen of the Earl of Mar, the
King's guardian. Both were of the royal household and
allies of Morton in the troubles of i5y8, 2 and prominent
among the plotters against the King in the Raid of Ruthven
(1582) ; 3 but they are not mentioned as tutors in later acts

1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

Online LibraryKing of England James INew poems by James I of England, from a hitherto unpublished manuscript (Add. 24195) in the British museum; → online text (page 1 of 16)