Friday, March 31, 2017

A Profile of King James I

This, with tremendous affection for Jeff Kacirk, from his Forgotten English. Please feel free to make your own modern parallel.

“In his History of England (1848-1861), historian Thomas Macaulay wrote disparagingly of King James I. ‘James was always boasting of his skill in what he called kingcraft, and yet it is hardly possible even to imagine a course more directly opposed to all the rules of kingcraft than that which he followed . . . He enraged and alarmed his parliament by constantly telling them that they held their privileges merely during his pleasure, and that they had no more business to inquire what he might lawfully do than what the Deity might lawfully do . . . His cowardice, his childishness, his pedantry, his ungainly person and manners, his provincial accent made him an object of derision . . . On the day of the accession of James I [March 24, 1603], our country descended from the rank which she had hitherto held, and began to be regarded as a power hardly of the second order.’”

And this, with the tiniest sliver of hope, from Warner Brothers’ Captain Blood from 1935.

          PETER BLOOD: A bad king is a bad king, and a worse one if he's James.

          LORD WILLOUGHBY: James? This commission is sent by King William.

          PETER BLOOD: You mean they’ve roused themselves at home and kicked out that pimple James?

          LORD WILLOUGHBY: Yes, and he’s fled to France and he’s in hiding there . . . The English people will go
                                            so far, and then they get up on their stubborn hind legs.

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