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The Reign of James I (Continued) page 19

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By Williams's advice Buckingham instantly posted to Windsor, and closeted himself with Charles, to whom the indefatigable Williams had already sent a string of answers to the whole of the Spanish charges.

With this in their hands the work with James was easy. Charles introduced Buckingham to his father, and expressed the intensest grief at the monarch's anger: the favourite then undertook to explain everything. James read the document drawn up by Williams with great deliberation, and Charles commented and elucidated as seemed requisite and James, ever and anon saying, "Well, very well," at length rose up, declaring the Spaniards malicious scoundrels, embraced Charles and Buckingham tenderly, and expressed much concern for having unjustly suspected them. "But," he continued, "I ask no more from you than you tell me who struck the sparks for this light." This was a posing question, and seeing their hesitation, he added, "Well, I have a good nostril, and will answer mine own question: my keeper had the main finger in it. I dare swear he bolted the flour and made it up into paste." When Charles, in his turn, asked Williams - who be it remembered was also a bishop - how he made the discovery, "Truly," replied this exemplary right reverend father in God, "another would blush to tell you what heifer he ploughed with, but all my intelligence conies out of s lady's chamber, and I have found this maxim in my studies of divinity - Alieno peccato uti licet"

But though James professed to his son and the duke to be perfectly satisfied, there were matters in the communications of the Spaniards which, were not likely to be soon forgotten by him. He was assured that Buckingham had proposed to marry his daughter to the eldest son of the palsgrave, so that the palsgravine being the real heir to his son Charles, he might pave the way for his own posterity to the English throne. The Spaniards asserted this confidently, as the cause of Buckingham breaking oft' the Spanish match. They declared that "on the same day that he received letters from the most illustrious princess palatine, he caused the procurative to be revoked; and a few days after, on the coming of the aforesaid princess's secretary, and the confirmation of his hope of having his daughter married to her highness's son, all things were utterly dashed to pieces."

James resolved to satisfy himself further, and put an oath to each of the privy councillors seriatim, as to his knowledge of any plans such as the Spanish ambassadors had warned him of. But the imagined shrewdness of James was no match for the eyes and influences with which he was surrounded. Charles procured a copy of the questions to be put by James, and instantly despatched the following letter to Buckingham: - "Steenie, - I send you here inclosed the interrogatories that the king thinks fit should be asked concerning the malicious accusations of the Spanish ambassadors. As for the way: my father is resolved, if you do not gainsay it, and show reason to the contrary, to take the oaths himself, and to make secretary Calvert and the chancellor of the exchequer to take the examinations in writing under their hands that are examined: this much is by the king's command. Now for my opinion. It is this: - That you can incur no danger in this but by opposing the king's proceedings in it, to make him suspect that you have spoken somewhat that you are unwilling he should hear of; for I cannot think that any man is so mad as to call his own head in question, by making a He against you, when all the world knows me to be your friend. And if they tell but the truth I know they can say but what the king knows that you have avowed to the world; which is that you think, as I do, that the continuance of those treaties with Spain might breed much mischief. Wherefore, my advice to you is, that you do not oppose or show yourself discontented at the king's course herein; for I think it will be so far from doing you hurt, that it will make you trample under your feet those few poor rascals that are your enemies. Now, sweetheart, if you think I am mistaken in my judgment in this, let me know what I can do in this or anything else to serve thee."

All being thus prepared to defeat the king's scheme, lie appeared on the following Sunday in the council-chamber with a Bible in his hand, and demanded of every one on their oaths to answer the interrogatories prepared. The councillors affected surprise, and pleaded ignorance of any such designs; on the contrary, averring that they believed Buckingham one of the most faithful servants that the king had. Buckingham, on his part, affected to be so wounded at this suspicion of his loyalty, that he fell sick, or pretended to be so, and kept his chamber for a fortnight. This was the certain way to work on the weak mind of James. He felt sorry for his proceeding, and demanded from the Spanish ambassadors the names of their informers. Ynoiosa demanded an audience of the king, but this so alarmed Charles and Buckingham, that they prevailed on James, though not without much difficulty, to refuse this, and to desire that the ambassador should make his communications to a minister.

The evident fear of Charles and Buckingham of any fair and open interview was proof enough that there were matters requiring the dark. Ynoiosa declined giving such important disclosures to any but the king, on which James declared that that was sufficient evidence that he had wrongfully accused his son and the duke, and then refused to produce his proofs. Ynoiosa deemed this such an insult to his ambassadorial character, that he demanded a ship to leave the country, and this being refused, he quitted the kingdom without the usual presents. On reaching Madrid, he found an accusation already lodged against him with the crown by the British ambassador. He, however, boldly reasserted the truth - all that Carendolet, on his command, had submitted to the king - that the privy councillors were either silenced by the fear of the prince and the duke, or were in league with them. His statement was fully accepted, and after a few days' formal restraint, he was restored to his place in the royal favour.

The reluctance of the king to the war with Spain, and the occurrence just mentioned convinced many that the favour of Buckingham was fast expiring in the bosom of James. The words which he had used to Carendolet, and still stronger circumstances, were striking proofs of it. So disgusted was he, as well as his subjects, with the arrogance and the mischievous policy of the duke, that he had sincerely entertained the project of again calling the fallen Somerset to his former position. So far had Somerset been encouraged by this, that he had written to the king through a private medium, informing him of the general odium in which Buckingham was with the people, and supporting the same view as that of the Spanish ambassadors - that the king was really a prisoner in the hands of this upstart. So revolting a project as that of recalling Somerset from an obscurity the most suitable to his crime-stained character did not succeed. But Buckingham was aware that his security lay not in the goodwill of the king, but in that of Charles, which he had taken care to cultivate with all diligence. The king's health was failing, Charles must soon be on the throne; and

therefore Buckingham went hand in hand with him, regardless of king or public.

The war was resolved on by these two really ruling men. They sent envoys all over Europe, to engage the different powers by any argument and by rich presents to cooperate in the war against Spain and Austria for the restitution of the Palatinate. To Sweden, Denmark, and the protestant states of Germany, they urged the necessity of reducing the power of the catholic princes on the Continent. Promises of liberal subsidies were added, and the concurrence of these states was pledged. It was a more difficult matter to influence the catholic countries of Prance, Venice, and Savoy to a war which was actually aimed at the existence of their own religion. But the ancient enmity of these states against Austria prevailed over their religious scruples, and they undertook to assist indirectly, by making a show of hostilities against Spain, so as to prevent her giving effectual aid to Austria, and by allowing soldiers to be raised within their territories, as well as by furnishing money.

With Holland they had effected a league, and had undertaken to send troops to resist the invasion of Spain and Austria, when the news of a frightful tragedy, perpetrated by the Dutch in the East, upon the English there, arrived in England. This was what has become so well known in history as the massacre of Amboyna.

Since the Dutch had enjoyed their long truce with Spain, they had been zealously colonising and trading to the East-Besides Batavia, they laid claim to all the Spice Islands in the Indian Archipelago, from which they had expelled the Portuguese. On one of these islands, Amboyna, the English East India Company had, in 1612, established a small settlement, to trade with the natives for cloves. The Dutch compelled them to retire, but in consequence of a treaty in 1619, the English had returned thither, and established a settlement at Cambelio. In the whole island there were only about twenty English, about thirty Japanese, whilst there were two hundred Dutch soldiers, besides other Dutchmen in the civil service. Yet, on pretence of a conspiracy betwixt the English and Japanese to surprise the garrison and expel the Dutch, they seized Captain Towerson and nine other Englishmen, nine Japanese, and one Portuguese, and after torturing them into a confession, cut off their heads.

The horror with which the news of this atrocious deed was received, threatened to ruin Buckingham's plans. But the English minister made a strong complaint on the subject; the States made humble apologies, and promises of ample redress, and thus it was contrived for the moment to smooth over the difficulty. It was the more readily done because the unpopular Spaniards had already laid siege to Breda; and six thousand troops were despatched from England to enable prince Maurice of Orange to cope with the ably Spanish general, Spinola. Spinola carried Breda in defiance of the Dutch and English; and the prince of ©range hearing that Antwerp had been left without a sufficient garrison, marched thither to surprise it, but with equally ill success. To obtain fresh men and money, count Mansfeldt, the palatine's old auxiliary general, came over to England in the autumn. He was promised twenty thousand pounds a month, and twelve thousand Englishmen were pressed into his service. With these he set sail, to reach as soon as possible his army of French and German mercenaries, on the borders of the Palatinate. But the French, who had agreed to allow this force to pass through their territory, refused, on account of their disorderly character; for they were the scum of their own country, and several, on their march through it, had been hanged for their outrages. Mansfeldt conducted them to the island of Zealand, but there the authorities were equally averse to their landing; and whilst remaining cooped up in small miserable transports, in bad weather, and on a swampy shore, they began to perish of fever. Five thousand of them had died before they reached the borders of the Palatinate, and the united force was still too feeble to accomplish anything. Maurice of Orange, meantime, having done nothing at Antwerp, retired into winter quarters, and soon after died at the Hague; whereupon the earl of Southampton and other English officers returned home. Such was the miserable result of the campaign into which James had been hurried by the folly of Charles and Buckingham.

The melancholy thoughts of James were diverted from dwelling on these miserable affairs by the prospect of the marriage of Charles and Henrietta Maria, the youngest sister of the king of France.

It was a curious fact at the time of Charles's looking out for a wife from one of the principal houses of Europe, that the prospect of an English royal marriage was made gloomy by the most awful reflections to both France and Spain. The last Spanish queen of England was Catherine of Arragon, who had found such a tyrant in the sanguinary Henry VIII., and suffered divorce and severe usage; the last French queen was Margaret of Anjou, who had been driven from the country after the most heroic endeavours to maintain her husband on the throne. Besides these sombre memories, the question presented formidable difficulties from the temper of the English people regarding popery. Politically the alliance was attractive, and this is generally all-sufficient in regal matrimony. But it was singular that the present marriage with a French princess was followed by similar and even more fearful results than the former. Henrietta Maria married Charles only to engage in a similar contest for the retention of the throne as Margaret of Anjou, and not only to see her husband deposed, but put to death.

Charles is supposed by many to have been struck by the young princess of France at his visit to the French court on his way to Spain, and that he went there prepared to break off the match. It is probable, however, that the thought of Henrietta came back more strongly upon him after he found himself disappointed in Donna Maria of Spain; for independent of the other difficulties already related attending Chart's Spanish courtship, it is very likely that he was not extremely fascinated by the Infanta. On the way to Spain, Henrietta, as seen by him, was merely a girl of little more than fourteen years of age, of short stature, and seen but for a brief space. The impression which she left could not be very vivid; but the queen of France, the elder sister of Donna Maria, was strikingly beautiful, and, as Charles himself said, in his letters to his father at the time, had so much struck him, as to inspire him "with a greater desire to see her sister." There can be little doubt that Charles was disappointed in his expectation, for he was of that romantic turn that had he been strongly fascinated by the lady, he would have broken through all difficulties for her sake. But at the court of Spain he met with another queen, the sister of Louis of France and of Henrietta, who not only cast the Infanta into the shade by her beauty and grace, but actually suggested to Charles the more desirable union with her sister of France. The rigid etiquette of the Spanish court prevented much intercourse betwixt Charles and the queen; she dared not even converse with him in French without express permission, and that one opportunity obtained, she begged him never to speak to her again, for that it was the custom in Spain to poison all gentlemen who were very marked in their attentions to the queen. But she seized that one opportunity to say that" she wished he would marry her sister Henrietta, which indeed he would be able to do, because his engagement with the Infanta would be certainly broken."

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