[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

incident of March, 1604. The Earl of Nottingham, Lord High Admiral, was then in the flush of Court favour. The Prince had been but for a few months in England, and his sight-seeing had not, as yet, included the baptism * of a ship. The Admiral prepared that novelty to please him. It was at the Tower that the Prince first examined the 'Disdain' (15 March, 1G04). Whether at the same time he made his first acquaintance with the most famous inhabitant of the Tower is matter of mere conjecture. Ralegh, at all events, was there f on the day when Phineas Pett moored his new vessel off Tower Wharf, for the Prince's delight. Before any long time had passed, Ralegh was busy in the composition of a Discourse of a maritimal voyage, and of the passages and incidents therein, with a like object. The acquaintance, however began, was improved with every passing year. Of the many hopes which came to a sudden end eight years afterwards, few, it is probable, were more sanguine or more far-reaching than those of the King's keenly watched and dreaded prisoner. For England, Ralegh saw in Prince Henry a wise and brave king to come. For himself, he saw not only a generous friend, but a man who might be the means of giving shape and substance to many patriotic schemes with which a brain that could not be imprisoned had long been teeming.

There is evidence that on more than one topic of public policy Ralegh's counsel made a deep impression on Henry. One instance of it will be seen presently. But apart altogether from such positive results as admit of

* It was not strictly a ' launch.' The vessel had been built expressly for the Prince, at Chatham, and was brought thence to London to be named with the usual ceremonies.

f He was removed to the Fleet Prison ten days afterwards.

testimony, their intercourse is memorable. It must have Book I. been by virtue of some congeniality of nature that a youth unor in Henry's position so quickly leapt—across many.obstacles p*"TM'0, —to an appreciation, alike of the circumstances and of the walescharacter of Ralegh, which still commends itself to those who have looked into them most searchingly. The estimate has been many times confirmed by the investigations of history, long afterwards, but it was strongly opposed to the broad current of contemporary opinion. A heart larger than the average may have its divinations, as well as the intellect that is more acute and better furnished than the

The Ipjvks. Tigation

But the generous heart is often allied with a hasty

temper. The impression made on the Prince by Ralegh's Intothk

• • i ii iii naval

writings on naval matters had, amongst other results, that Dockyards.

of increasing both his interest in the management of the

royal dockyards, and his familiar intercourse with Phineas

Pett. Pett was master shipwright at Chatham, and, as

we have seen, the designer of the prince's first vessel

Disdain. When Sir Robert Cotton had induced the 1608

King to issue that Commission of Inquiry into the Navy, swamp, H,

of the results of which some account has been given in the pp 62 fi3

preceding Chapter, Pett was one of the persons whose

official doings were brought into question. Henry took a

warm interest in the inquiry and testified openly his

anxiety on Pett's behalf. A specific charge about an

alleged disproportion between timber paid for and the

vessels built therewith was investigated at Woolwich.

Both the King and the Prince were present. Henry

stood by Pett's side. When the evidence was seen to "^Lir°"'

* rlnneas Pett,

disprove the charge, the Prince cried with a loud voice— mMs iiAm..

disregarding alike the royal presence and the forms of law p.4». —' Where be now those perjured fellows that dare thus

Book I. abuse His Majesty with false informations? Do they not

Lin or worthily deserve hanging?'

The warmth of Henry's friendship seems to have suf

Wa«». fcred little diminution by the absence of its objects. When

H.nry's his friends went to far-off countries he encouraged them to

Corkk-" be active correspondents by setting them a good example.

sponDKKCE. jje we]comefi a]l S01-ts 0f reaj and worthy information.

About the government and affairs of foreign countries his curiosity was insatiable. When important letters came to him he not only read them with care but made abstracts of their contents. When the labour-loving Lord Treasurer Salisbury noticed, with regret, in his son Cranborne certain indications of a turn towards indolence, it was by an appeal to Prince Henry's example that he strove to correct the failing. Henry evinced eagerness to learn by all methods. Books, letters, conversation, personal insight into notable things and new inventions,—were alike acceptable to him.

HuPum- In April, 1609, the death of John, Lord Lumley, llT* °r without issue, enabled the Prince to gratify his love of LMun" no°ks by purchasing a Library which probably was more valuable than any other collection then existing in England, with the exception of that of Sir Robert Cotton.

Thirty years before, Lord Lumley had inherited the fine library of his father-in-law, Henry Fitzalan, Earl of Arundel, who had been a collector of choice manuscripts at a time when the reckless dispersion of monastic treasures impoverished the nation, but gave, here and there, golden opportunities to openhanded private men. When the estates of the Fitzalans came to Lumley—in virtue of an entail made by the Earl of Arundel during Lady Lumley's lifetime—the splendid succession had lost its best charm. The wife who had thus enriched him was dead, and he was childless. His wife's'sister, the Duchess Booki,

of Norfolk, was also dead, but had left a son. Lumley Liteot

sold his life interest in the broad lands, and forests, and in !>I,!'V^,,'

the famous castle of Arundel, to the next heir, but he kept walks

the library and found one of the chief pleasures of his M,"liraenta

J * at Norf.

remaining term of life in liberally augmenting it. Henry's 1|ouse

first care, after his purchase, was to have a careful cata- Box 7), »

logue made of the collection. And he soon gave evidence ^fney-,

that he had bought the books for use; not for show. He An'n'hl

° p. 19.

also made many important additions, from time to time, Fri„pKrte during his three years' ownership. *Mki'"

° . Domestic

Perhaps the most festive days of that brief span were the comfmui

sixth of January, 1610, and the sixth of June of the same if vol. ivn,

year, on both of which Whitehall again witnessed a gay l^'iij*'

tournament. On twelfth-day, at the head of a band of Thetoc*.

knights which included Lennox, Arundel, Southampton, ja,*""TM0'

Hay, Sir Thomas Somerset, and Sir Richard Preston,

Henry kept his barriers against fifty-six assailants, and

before a brilliant court, for whose pleasure the long mimic

fight was diversified by the gay devices of Inigo Jones, and

the graceful verses of Ben Jonson. Next day the jousting

was followed by a banquet not less splendid. At White- ckmidea/

hall,—as at Stirling sixteen years before,—the banquetting

lasted seven hours, but it was enlivened by a comedy in "p^*"

which the ladies were not condemned to silence. In the Bcmriet Barriers; and

following June, Henry's creation as Prince of Wales was Oj<t«.,«

celebrated by tiltings on a more extensive scale, as well as vZZ'si

by masques and dances, and by an elaborate naval battle j^*,"^'

upon the Thames. But the prince himself seems to have ,st rfit-> taken more pleasure in witnessing from time to time, at Woolwich or at Chatham, the launching of real ships fitted for real warfare. Nor are indications wanting that during his ponderings on the many advices which he

[ocr errors]

Hcoki, received of the course of public events in Europe, he had

Chap. lit. . . r . . r .

i.imor occasional presentiments that a crisis was drawing near "kiklkof which would make the adoption of a warlike policy to

be alike the duty of the King, and the recognized interest

of the nation.

Be that as it may, the broad contrasts of character which existed between the wearer of the crown and its heir apparent became increasingly obvious during the long negotiations arid correspondence about the projects of marriage for the prince himself and for his sister. Something, indeed, of the difference in character between James and Henry was indicated when, in 1611, the prince directed Ralegh to draw up, in his prison, a paper of advice on the scheme of a double marriage with Savoy and on the relations between Savoy and Spain. It came out more forcibly when, on occasion of the proposal from France for his own marriage with Christina (the elder sister of Henrietta Maria), he wrote to his father in these words: 'The cause which first induced your Majesty to proceed in this proposition by your Ambassador was the hope which the Duke of Bouillon gave your Majesty of breaking their other match with Spain. If the continuance of this treaty hold only upon that hope, and not upon any desire to effect a match with the second daughter, in my weak opinion I hold that it stands more with your Majesty's honour to stay your Ambassador from moving it any more than to go on with it. Because no great negotiation should be grounded upon a ground that is very unsure and uncertain, and depends upon their wills who were the first causers of the contrary.' For this letter the Prince was rebuked. Two months afterwards, it was found indispensable to desire him to express again his opinion upon a new stage of the negotiation. He did so in words to which the events of

« ElőzőTovább »