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At intervals, the cannon of Stirling Castle roared, until, says our chronicler, ‘the earth trembled therewith.’
Thus was ushered in a brief but remarkable life. It lasted less than nineteen years. Then to the cradle which had been so richly emblazoned with the labours of HERCULES, in all the colours of embroidery, there succeeded the hearse of black velvet thickly set with its plumes of sombre feathers. One half, however, of those nineteen years that stood between cradle and hearse were years passed upon an arena to which the course of events had given almost world-wide importance and conspicuousness. The Prince’s career was, by the necessity of his position still more than by reason of his youth, a career of promise, not of performance. But every year which passed after the removal from Scotland seems to have intensified the promise in the eyes of those who watched it, as well as to have deepened a conviction in the minds of nearly all thoughtful bystanders that to a grand ambition there were about to be proffered, in Gon’s due time, means and appliances more than usually large, and a grand field of action. So it seemed to human expectation. And because, in those long-past years, it reasonably seemed so, there is still somewhat of a real human interest attaching to incidents which, otherwise, would be trivial and barren.
One unhappy circumstance which occurred before HENRY was eighteen months old testified to the existence, even at that date, of unhappy domestic relations of the kind which on many subsequent occasions brought bitterness into his daily life. Queen ANNE was deprived of the care of her child very soon after his baptism. The Earl of MAR was appointed to be his governor, and the Earl’s mother assumed that place in the upbringing of the royal infant which, in
most cases, custom no less than nature would have assigned to the Queen herself. Her natural resentment brought about more than one angry discussion at Court. After one of those scenes of turbulence, JAMES gave to MAR, in writing, this characteristic command: ‘Because in the surety of my son consisteth my surety, I have concredited unto you the charge of his keeping. . . . This I command you out of my own mouth, beiny in the company of More I like. Otherwise, for [i.e. notwithstanding] any charge or necessity that can come from me, you shall not deliver him.’
In 1599, Adam NEWTON became Prince HENRY’s tutor; and the choice seems to have been a happy one. The boy had a most towardly inclination to learn. The tutor had both a genuine love of letters and a real delight in teaching. He had also the wisdom which shuns extremes. Under NEWTON’s care the child remained, in spite of an obliging offer from Pope CLEMENT THE EIGHTH to have him educated at Rome under the papal eye.
At the death of ELIZABETH, and after receiving the news Of his own proclamation as her successor, the delighted father wrote to his son—then just entering on his tenth year—a letter which depicts its writer in a way as lifelike as does the warrant addressed to MAR. I quote it, literally, from the hurriedly-written original, as it now lies before me: ‘My Sonne, That I see you not before my pairting, impute it to this greate occasion, quhairin tyme is so precious. But i/iatl* shall, by Goddes grace, shortlie
* The word ‘ hope,’ or some like expression, seems here to have been intended, but omitted. The repetition of the word ‘ shortlie’ will sufficiently indicate to the reader the haste with which this effusion was written,—just as the King was about to mount for the long looked-for journey southwards. The letter has been printed by Birch, but with amendments.
be recompenced by your cumming to me shortlie, and continuall residence with me ever after. Lett not this news make you proude or insolent. For a Kings sonne and heire was ye before, and na maire are ye yett. The augmentation that is heirby lyke to fall unto you is but in caires and heavie burtheus. Be therefore merrie, but not insolent. Keepe a greatness, but sine fastu. Be resolute, but not willfull. Keeye your kyndness, but in honorable sorte. Choose none to be your play fellowis but thaime that are well-borne. And above all things, give never good countenance to any but according as ye shall be informed that they are in estimation with me. Looke upon all Englishmen that shall cum to visit you as among youre loving subjects; not with that ceremonie as towardis straingers, and yett with such hartines as at this tyme they deserve.’ And so forth. For, notwithstanding the King’s haste to set out on his journey, his pen ran on. But all his advice is in one strain. The variations are for ornament. In me, he says (only not so briefly), you see a model king. Mould yourself after that pattern, and you will be a model prince. ‘ I send you my booke,’ he adds— referring to Bamkmov Swpov—. . . ‘ye must level everie mannis opinions or advices unto you, as ye finde thaime agree or diseorde with the rules thaire sett down.’ Near as they commonly were in person, in the after years, JAMEs still found occasion to write to HENRY a good many letters. This one theme runs through them all. But no amount of hortatory discourse could hinder the new metal from overrunning the worn and antiquated mould.
Prince HENRY came into England in the June of 1603. He was invested with the Garter on the 2nd of July at Windsor. Sir Thomas CHALONER (son of ELIZABETn’s well-known ambassador to the Emperor) succeeded MAR in the office of Governor. He was a man of many accomplishments, and had a strong bias for some of the physical sciences. But it does not seem that he possessed that force of character which in the elder Sir Thomas CHALONER. was a conspicuous quality.
From a very early age, HENRY showed that in him were combined in happy proportions a strong relish for the pleasures of literature with a relish not less keen for the pursuits and employments of an active and out-of-doors life. He could enjoy books thoroughly, without being absorbed by them. He had a manly delight in field sports, without falling under the temptation to become a slave to his pastime. If in anything his enjoyments tended to excess, as he grew towards maturity, it was seen in his devotion to warlike exercises. So that even the excess testified to that real manliness of spirit which keeps the body in subjection, instead of pampering its pleasures and its aptitudes. He seems to have learnt, unusually early in life, that the natural instincts of youth will have their truest gratification, and will retain their fullest zest, when made, by deliberate choice, steps towards a conscious fitness for the duties of manhood. Alike in what we have from his own pen, and in the testimonies of those who were the closest observers of his brief career, we see evidence that he had formed a due estimate of the responsibilities that, to human view, lay close before him. Of his thoughts about kingship we possess only fragments. Of his father’s thoughts on that subject we enjoy an exhaustive exposition. _The contrast in the thinking is curiously significant.
Some of the best known anecdotes of HENRY’s life exhibit the interest he felt in naval matters. That tendency may, perhaps, have taken its birth in a London
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 ‘Dz'sdaz'n’ (15 March, 1604). 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-\- 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 maritz'mal voyage, and of tfiepassayes and incidents t/zercz'n, 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
‘I' 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.
1- He was removed to the Fleet Prison ten days afterwards.