Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900, Vol. 34, 1994

The accession of King James I and English religious poetry.

by James Doelman

When King James VI of Scotland became King James I of England in 1603, many English poets felt that the event marked the beginning of a new cultural era. Scholars have recognized the effect that the accession had on drama and masques, but generally overlooked the diversity of cultural activity going on at the early Jacobean court.(1) Among those dimensions of Stuart culture which have been neglected is religious verse: the heightened interest in such poetry brought about by James's accession to the English throne has received little more than cursory comment.(2) While the new historicism has ranged widely in opening up neglected areas of Tudor and Stuart cultural history, religious writings have generally been ignored, presumably under the assumption that they reflect a private or church world removed from the networks of power based at the royal court. However, in this study I hope to show that especially in the early part of James's English reign, religious verse was very much a public and even political activity. A consideration of the work of Joshua Sylvester, John Davies of Hereford, and John Harington, three poets who attempted significant projects of religious verse in the first few years of James's reign, will illustrate the way in which James's accession was viewed as the beginning of a new poetic era, one in which religious poetry would be valued and the relationship between poet and royal patron raised to a higher level. While this essay will focus on these three writers, their works represent merely a small part of the outpouring of religious verse in the years 1603 to 1605, most of which expresses similar expectations.(3)

The last decade of Elizabeth's reign had witnessed an increased interest in religious verse, as such poetry was presented as an alternative to the wantonness of Ovidean verse and Petrarchan sonnets. These works, however, were not usually inspired by the culture of the court, nor did many religious poets expect to be favored by the queen.(4) However, with the accession of James such writers of religious verse had a new "north-star" to guide them, as they were likely to put it,(5) and from 1603 on works of religious verse were most often dedicated to him.(6) Moreover, his accession encouraged other poets to switch from writing secular verse to sacred or philosophical.

These English poets based their expectations chiefly on James's reputation as poet and patron that he had established while king of Scotland. In what a contemporary described as "his almost private and studious days in Scotland,"(7) James had shown his avid interest in theology by writing biblical commentaries or meditations.(8) He enjoyed theological discussion and controversy, and frequently was compared to learned King Solomon. Also during Iris Scottish reign, James published two volumes of verse: The Essayes of a Prentise in the Divine Art of Poesie (1584) and His Maiesties Poeticall Exercises at Vacant Houres (1591). These volumes included sonnets, translations from Lucan and the French poet du Bartas, a long poem on the Mediterranean naval battle Lepanto, and a treatise on Scottish poetry. As a poet, James saw himself playing the public and national role of exemplar: "it best becommeth a King to purifie and make famous his owne tongue; wherein he may goe before all his subjects; as it setteth him well to doe in all honest and lawfull things."(9) Both Scottish and English poets called attention to James's poetic vocation, claiming that James would be remembered as a poet rather" than as a king.(10) By addressing James as a poet they could indirectly praise their own vocation.

The sort of court that James had developed in Scotland also gave hope to English poets. By the early 1580s James had surrounded himself with poets in his court and household; as an informal group they were referred to at the time as the "Castalian Band."(11) James's influence on the subjects and styles of these poets cannot be denied; R.D.S. Jack writes, "The Castalians might look to France for inspiration, but James/David gave clear guidelines on the authors he preferred. The result was a heavy bias towards religious and philosophical works."(12) James was most interested in poetry written in Scots-English, but in the close-knit circles of the church and court, Neo-Latin poetry flourished in a way it never did in the English court of Elizabeth.(13) Such Scottish courtier-poets as Robert Ayton, Sir David Murray, Sir William Alexander, and Robert Ker, earl of Ancrum, accompanied James to London in 1603, and in doing so contributed to the continuity between the poetic cultures of the two reigns. Their poetry, especially that in Neo-Latin, has been largely ignored. Some of these men circulated between Edinburgh and London; others remained at the English court. Being more fully involved in Neo-Latin literature, they served as a conduit between continental religious verse and that developing in England.

From at least 1598 it was expected that James would succeed Elizabeth, and from that time various English courtiers and poets began to curry his favor. One of the best-known examples of this is Michael Drayton, who in the 1600 edition of Englands Heroicall Epistles and Idea included a poem, "To the high and mighty Prince, James, King of Scots," in which he pledges his future service to the king. Sir John Stradling later heralded Drayton as the first to salute James: "Prima salutatum venit tua Musa Iacobum."(14) Although Drayton was later to receive a small pension from Prince Henry, his early hopes in James himself were not fulfilled.(15)


Queen Elizabeth died early on the morning of 24 March; later the same morning James was proclaimed king of England. Messengers sped to the Scottish court at Edinburgh, and on 26 March James was informed by Robert Carey, Lord Hunsdon, of his new position. Accompanying Carey was John Davies, author of the poem Nosce Teipsum. According to Anthony a Wood, the king, having heard the name John Davies, "straitway asked, whether he was Nosce Teipsum? and being answered that he was the same, he graciously embraced him, and thenceforth had so great favor for him, that soon after he made him his solicitor and then his attorney-general in Ireland."(16) Whether Wood's account is completely accurate may be open to question; however, Davies was made a gentleman of the King's Chamber in April 1603,(17) and even the perception that he had been rewarded because of James's appreciation for his poetry would be enough to encourage other poets. Curiosity and the possibility of favor stirred many men to rush north to meet the new king. Among these were men with poetic inclinations: "the very poets with their idle pamphlets promise themselves great part in his favor," wrote John Chamberlain.(18) Early on, James confirmed his reputation for generosity, already knighting and bestowing offices on men on his progress down from Scotland.

Samuel Daniel described James's accession as "th'infancie of change,"(19) but, as Jenny Wormald has pointed out, since that time the event of James's accession has become "so well known that its startling and dramatic nature is forgotten."(20) At the accession of James, many believed, or hoped, that religious change and renewal were imminent. There were rumors that James was to return England to Catholicism, or at least grant freedom of worship. On the other hand, in the Millenary Petition presented to James on his way down to London, a group of clergy expressed their hope for further reform of the church. In addition, the beginning of James's reign represented a cracking open of the closed shell of the English court: those outcast or ignored by Elizabeth looked for new opportunities. Men like Henry Wriothesley, Charles Blount, and the young Robert Devereux, who had fallen afoul of Elizabeth, were restored to prominence.(21) For nearly forty-five years, the country had been ruled by a queen who was frugal in her bestowing of gifts and who kept a meager court. Elizabeth was replaced by a king in the prime of his life who quickly established a reputation for a lavishness that went beyond generosity. The spirit of new opportunities had its effect on poets as well, and as courtiers and poets perceived James's interest in the area of religious poetry, there was a marked increase in the number of volumes published.

Any English writers unaware of James's interests in religious verse would have had their hopes raised by the king's book, Basilikon Doron, published in London immediately after the proclamation of James as the new English king.(22) That the work is so often referred to in the weeks after James's proclamation confirms that it was much turned to by those who desired to learn about the new king. While the work primarily deals with the practice of kingship, in a section entitled "Of a Kings Behaviour in Indifferent Things," James addresses the matter of poetry:

If yee would write worthily, choose subjects worthie of you, that bee not full of vanitie, but of vertue; eschewing obscuritie, and delighting euer to bee plaine and sensible. And if yee write in verse, remember that it is not the principall part of a Poeme to rime right, and flowe well with many pretie wordes: but the chicle commendation of a Poeme is, that when the verse shall bee shaken sundrie in prose, it shall bee found so rich in quicke inuentions, and poeticke flowers, and in faire and pertinent comparisons; as it shall retaine the lustre of a Poeme, although in prose.(23)

I would argue that this passage, from the work to which Englishmen turned to learn about their new king, would have represented a prescription for their responses to his accession. Clearly, what the new reign required was a poetry of virtue, in which substance and invention took priority over prettiness of sound.

Manifold written works greeted the new reign: indeed, through the spring of 1603 time majority of works registered by the Stationers' Company concerned James's accession.(24) In these works James's poetic and scholarly interests were a recurring theme. Both universities produced collections of Neo-Latin verse in honor of the new king: Academiae Oxoniensis by Oxford, and Threnothriambeuticon by Cambridge. The Oxford collection in particular recognized James as a patron of the muses: "Musis vindex, pupillis tutor egenis."(25) A bringing together of James's roles as poet, king, and earthly God was frequent: Richard Eedes addresses him as "Divinus vates; divinus Rex; Deus alter / In terris, qui Rex atque poeta simul."(26) These Oxford poets were well aware of James's own poetic endeavors: "Transtulit in nostram Davidis carmina linguam, / Et multa multos edidit arte libros."(27) Versifiers in English also alluded to James's interests in religious verse: Anthony Nixon argues that James deserved more fame than Caesar, for the Roman emperor had merely written of his own life, whereas James "sings Iehovahs acts."(28) Thomas Greene suggested that he who combined poetry and kingship "is equall with a Deitie."(29) The composers of these panegyrics did not overlook the implications of having a poet-king on the throne. Thomas Dekker wrote in this way about the new hope for poets: "The Scholler sings Hymnes now in honor of the Muses, assuring himselfe now that Helicon will be kept pure, because Apollo himselfe drinkes of it."(30)


James's enthusiasm for religious verse was most clearly expressed in his appreciation for the epic religious works of the French poet, Guillaume Salluste du Bartas. James himself translated sections from the French poet, and encouraged other poets to make similar, and perhaps better, attempts. This interest of the king encouraged English poets to attempt translations of du Bartas, or original poems in the style of du Bartas. The young King James received a volume of du Bartas's poety in 1579, and soon after translated the French poet's "Uranie." This was published in his first poetical publication Essayes of a Prentise, and a translation of the section entitled "The Furies" appeared in His Majesties Poetical Exercises.(31) The translation of "Uranie" is of special significance, for it was a "program poem" with which du Bartas had signaled his decision to write biblical verse.(32) In the poem the muse Urania appears to the poet and encourages him to write religious verse instead of secular. She goes so far as to suggest that such verse could lead the poet to laureate stature:

O ye that wolde your browes with Laurel bind, What larger feild I pray you can you find, Then is his praise, who brydles heavens most cleare Makes mountaines tremble, and howest |sic~ hells to feare?(33)

"Uranie" presents a moment of transition that was to be echoed frequently by poets when they began to write religious verse.(34) For such poets as John Harington, James himself was to replace the muse Urania as the inspirer of change.

In a preface to Essayes of a Prentise entitled "To the favorable Reader," James expressed the hope that others would follow him in translating du Bartas:

some quick sprited man of this yle, borne under the same, or as happie a Planet, as Du Bartas was, might by the reading of it |James's "Uranie"~, bee moved to translate it well, and best, where I have bothe evill, and worst broyled it.(35)

When Thomas Hudson of the "Castalian Band" published his translation of du Bartas's Judith (1584), James contributed a commendatory sonnet, the sort of gesture that would encourage other writers to attempt similar poetic exercises.(36) Such poets would have hoped that they might establish a relationship with the king, like that enjoyed by du Bartas. In response to James's translation of "Uranie," du Bartas had translated James's "Lepanto" into French verse. Henry of Navarre sent the French poet to Scotland as his agent in 1587: discussion during the visit included not only poetry, but also the possible marriage of James to Henry's sister. At the end of the visit James tried without success to convince du Bartas to remain at the Scottish court.(37)

Some English writers of the 1590s knew of James's interest in the poetry of du Bartas, and Robert Allott's anthology, Englands Parnassus, includes a number of passages from James's translations.(38) Any English poet not aware of James's admiration for du Bartas would have become so by a few sentences in the king's Basilikon Doron,(39) where he advises that the French poet's works are "all most worthie to bee read by any Prince, or other good Christian."(40) This is not to say that James introduced English readers to du Bartas: Sir Philip Sidney was rumored to have attempted a translation, and William Lisle translated and published parts of La Seconde Sepmaine in the late 1590s.(41) However, the accession of James intensified interest in du Bartas. Both Thomas Winter and Joshua Sylvester published sections from du Bartas before James's accession, but prepared fuller translations for presentation to the new king. Thomas Winter quotes the section from Basilikon Doron dealing with du Bartas in the dedicatory epistle to Prince Henry preceding his translation of du Bartas's Third Dayes Creation (1604). Winter goes on to cite James's own translation of du Bartas, and his "delighting to beautifie his books and speeches with such pithie sayings, as do abound in this incomparable Poet."(42) All this gives Winter hope:

The consideration hereof makes me presume, that this Translation which here I offer to your Princely view, shall not want gracious acceptance. Whereof I do the rather assure my selfe, remembring your gracefull embracing of my former Essay of this verie nature, coming but accidentally unto your hands.(43)

Ironically, his "former Essay," a translation of du Bartas's Second Day, had been dedicated to Sir Walter Ralegh, imprisoned in 1603 for his suspected involvement in plots against James.

Joshua Sylvester presented his initial translations from du Bartas's Les Sepmaines to nonroyal figures such as the earl of Essex; however, with the accession of James he found a new "cheefe Partaker" of his work:

To whom should sacred Arte, and learned Piety In highest notes of Heavnly Musike sing The Royal Deedes of the redoubted Deity, But to a learned and Religious King?(44)

Sylvester desires the patronage of the king: at the same time he does not want to be perceived as a typical court flatterer. He expresses the hope that the court of James will be one where a court poet can be a prophetic adviser to the king, rather than a mere sycophant. He believes that James's court will be free of vice since,

The secret vertue of |James's~ sacred beames, Attracts th'attentive service of all such Whose-mindes did ever vertues Loadstone touch.(45)

In spite of this virtue, there is still the possibility that a poet will be made "drunke with folly" by the favor of the court. Sylvester ends the passage by praying, "Let me, true Honour, not the false, delight; / And play the Preacher, not the Parasite."(46) After Sylvester's death John Vicars was to eulogize him as a court-poet who had nevertheless filled the role of the prophet who castigated the nation for its sins:

No Temporizer, yet, the Court frequenting: Scorning to sooth, or smooth this Ages crimes: At War with Vice, in all thy holy Rymes: Thine Israels-Sins (with Jeremie) lamenting.(47)

According to Vicars at least, Sylvester had secured a position at court without writing the sort of flattering verse normally associated with that role, and religious poetry seemed an appropriate means to achieve such a delicate position at court.(48)

In the words of Sylvester, a king like James could be both the "most Royal pattern and Patron of Learning and Religion."(49) As a royal pattern a king could influence his subjects by inspiring imitation of his activities; as a patron he would attract the sort of gifts of art and scholarship which would be directed toward a king in order to appeal to his tastes. That the potential royal patron was himself a poet led to certain tensions, and this was especially the case when the poet was translating the same work. Sylvester could not very well present a translation of du Bartas to James without recognizing the king's own endeavors in that area. Thus, he begins his dedicatory sequence to James with a French sonnet that immediately recognizes James's translation: "Voy (Sire) ton Saluste habille en Anglois."(50) Rather than following this tack, which would leave little room to justify his own work, Sylvester turns to their fellow admiration for du Bartas. He describes the French poet as "Your Mynion Bartas,"(51) a wording that exaggerates the actual position of du Bartas in relation to James, but underlines the suitability of Sylvester's poetic gift. In another poem in the "Corona Dedicatoria," Sylvester requests that James accept the work for the sake of the original poet, rather than for this particular translation:

I know your Highnes knowes him Prince of Singars: And his rare Workes woorthie your Royall Fingars (Though heere his luster too too much obscure-I). For his sake therefore, and your self's Benignitie, Accept my Zeale, and pardon mine Indignitie.(52)

Such strategies were used often by translators in their dedications: in this way they could plead on behalf of their work, yet maintain a suitable humility.(53) When the king himself was a fellow translator, it was an especially wise rhetorical gesture. Joseph Hall's praising of the king's poetic skill in his poem The Kings Prophecie (1603) also manifests the tensions inherent in a situation where the king was both fellow poet and potential patron. First, Hall exclaims how his hopes, expressed in an earlier poem, have been fulfilled, and how he has "solemne vow'd that mine eternall song / Should sound thy name unto the future seed." Then he connects this poetry with James's own poetic fame:

So may thy worth my lowly Muse upraise, So may mine hie-up-raised thoughts aspire That not thy Bartas selfe, whose sacred layes The yeelding world doth with thy selfe admire, Shall passe my song, which nought can reare so hye, Save the sweete influence of thy gracious eye.(54)

As the phrase "thy Bartas selfe" brings the identity of the French poet and the king very close together, we are left with an ambiguous passage: is Hall suggesting that James's patronage will make his poetry greater than the original or greater than James's own translation?


Prior to James's accession to the throne, Davies seems to have been favored by the Herberts and Robert Sidney, and possibly worked in the Sidney family as a scribe or writing instructor. He had dedicated Mirum in Modum (1602), a work of philosophical verse, to Robert Sidney, earl of Pembroke, and Edward Herbert, earl of Montgomery. He followed the next year with Microcosmos; while it is possible that some of the work was written before James's accession, certain parts are directed specifically to the new king. Appended to the work are a number of extra dedicatory poems to various noble figures; from the titles with which these are addressed we can determine that the work went to press between 21 July and 27 July 1603.(55) Thus, the publication was likely meant to coincide with the coronation on 25 July. Both the commendatory poems and Davies's own dedication and preface show increased hopes for favor and support of such work.(56) Both Davies's own comments in Microcosmos proper and its commendatory poems repeatedly declare the connection of the poem and James's coming to the throne.(52) Nicholas Deeble describes Davies's poem as "Togither borne with England's endlesse mirth," and suggests that up to this time there was not an appropriate audience for such literature:

Wast from disdaine to powre th'ambrosian dew (Dropping like Nectar from a sacred quill) Into the common Lavour, vulgar view; That Heaven deferd thy birth these howres untill?(58)

In spite of any favor he may have received from Sidney and the Herberts, Davies himself attributes the sorry state of poetry to the lack of support from great men:

What Guift to Greatnesse can lesse welcome be Then Poems, though by Homer pend perchaunce? It lookes on them as if it could not see, Or from them, as from Snakes away wil flee.(59)

Davies hopes that with a learned and religious monarch on the throne, such poetry as his will no longer be ignored.

Davies presents James's accession as a sort of judgment day for English poets: only the righteous ones will be allowed into his kingdom, where they will continue to write virtuous poetry.

And who hath held their Pens from blott of blame And ever kept their Muse immaculate, Their conscience now takes comfort in the same, As if some God were come, (that Vice doth hate) With Grace their virtue to remunerate: As when the Kinge of Kings shall come at last To give all Men their meede, in righteous rate, The good alone rejoyce in their lives past: So perfect Poets now must comfort tast.(60)

In response to this judgment, poets write pure" lines "T'expresse their Soules' praise-worthy avarice / To draw their King to read their Subject twice."(61) Only with poetry of a serious and pious nature could such phrases as "praise-worthy avarice" be used. In Davies's view, to desire the favor of the king can be no more wrong than to desire the favor of God. In a poem appended to Microcosmos, Deeble says that Davies challenged other poets to write similar works to appeal to the king, but they failed to take up his challenge:

for when (T'approve his Excellence) he challeng'd All Or English bred, or forraine Nationall To strive for glorie, and a golden Price (Which one or both might every sort entise) Unanswer'd, hee Monarchiz'd alone.(62)

Davies himself did not win any prize or favor: his convoluted metaphysical verse would not have fulfilled Jame's desire for poetry of plain virtue.

The failure of other poets to publish similar works in response to the new reign may have been due to the plague that struck London in the summer of 1603.(63) The plague caused the near-evacuation of London throughout the summer, and even when the printers were at work, it was not: easy to get books licensed.(64) The plague also sharply reduced personal access to the king for those who hoped to resort to manuscript presentation. The Venetian secretary reports: "AlI those who have not urgent business are sent away from Court, nor may anyone enter the palace without a ticket, signed after an examination proving that the person has not come from an infected district."(65) Sylvester had hoped to publish his translation of Les Sepmaines with an appropriate dedication to James, but was forced merely to present a segment of the work in manuscript:

Beeing inforced (through the grievous visitacion of Gods heavie hand, upon your Highnes poore Cittie of London) thus long (& yet longer like) to defer the Impression of my slender Labours (king since meant unto your Matie) I thought it more then tyme, by some other meane, to tender my humble Homage to Your Highnes.(66)

Clearly, Sylvester had not merely written a work and was now casting about for a suitable dedicatee. He felt it was essential to show to James that he was willing to serve the new king with his poetry. As with Davies's Microcosmos, it is quite possible that Sylvester presented his manuscript to James at the time of his coronation in late July. The volume that Sylvester had hoped to publish to greet King James was finally brought out early in 1605.(67) It is likely that other poets' aspirations were also frustrated by the ravages of the plague that summer.

While Davies' Microcosmos is a work of religious verse, he nevertheless shows a concern for more secular affairs, and takes the bold step of advising the new king on public matters. He exhorts the king to be merciful and just, but severe with those who plot against him. The king should keep the nobility divided to restrict their power. Most surprisingly, Davies asserts that in spite of Solomon's warning in Proverbs 17 about a king's lying lips, "Kings sometimes must faine and temporise / For their estate and common-wealthe's welfare."(68) Thus, religious verse like Microcosmos could provide the opportunity to preach to the king as well. In some instances the religious nature of Davies's poem and his political concerns come together. In his dedicatory poem to the king, Davies writes, "Then peacefull be thy Raigne (deare Lord) alone / To build the Temple of true Union." This passage relies upon the common association of James with King Solomon who, because he was a king of peace, was allowed by God to build the Temple. David, his father, had been forbidden to do so because of the blood he had spilt. The "temple" that Davies anticipates James will build is neither just a set of religious reforms, nor the inner temple of the human heart; rather the temple will be the union of Scotland and England both politically and ecclesiastically. This was a major goal of James at the beginning of his English reign, and was reflected in numerous poems greeting his accession.(69)


Both Davies and Sylvester had merely intensified their efforts in religious verse in response to James's accession. In the case of John Harington, however, there was an explicit turning to religious verse in an effort to please the new king. Harington had a well-established place in both the literary and court world of the early 1590s. His well-known translation of Ariosto's Orlando Furioso had been commissioned by his godmother Queen Elizabeth. His Epigrams, though not yet published, had gained him a reputation as a court wit, a reputation furthered by his satiric work Metamorphosis of Ajax. The offense that this work caused, along with a close association with the earl of Essex, plunged Harington into disfavor with the queen during the last few years of her reign.(70) Because of these problems Harington looked forward to the coming of a new monarch. Already at Christmas 1602, he presented to James a New Year's gift consisting of his epigrams in manuscript and a lantern engraved with a motto taken from the words of the thief on the cross, "Lord, remember me when thow comest into thie kingdom."(71) Also included with this gift were verses entitled, "The Farewell to his Muse," where Harington commits himself to responding to the king's tastes:

List he to write or study sacred writte; To heere, reade, learn, my breeding made me fitt. What he commaunds, I'le act without excuse, That's full resolvd: farewell, sweet wanton Muse!(72)

Earlier in the same poem he had recognized that "This age, this minde, a Muse awsteare requiers."(73) Harington clearly recognized that the "sweet wanton muse" of such works as his Orlando Furioso was not well-suited for the coming court of King James.

A brief few weeks after James "came into his Kingdom," Harington wrote to Lord Thomas Howard: "a new Kynge will have new soldiers, and god knowethe what men they will be."(74) While Harington held such hopes, his fortunes in the years 1603 to 1605 reached a nadir, not because of his poetry, but because of the problems of his kinsmen, the Markhams, who pulled Harington down with them in their financial collapse. In addition, one kinsman, Griffin Markham, was implicated in the Bye Plot to place Arabella Stuart on the throne. After these problems were cleared up, Harington began writing works with an eye toward gaining a position, either as an instructor to the young Prince Henry or as Chancellor of Ireland. In the years 1603 to 1608 he wrote "A View of the State of Ireland," a verse translation of Book 6 of the Aeneid, and A Supplie or Addicion to the Catalogue of Bishops to the yeare 1608. Of these, only the last was published.

Harington's primary poetic activity in this period was his versification of the Psalms. We cannot be certain when he began work on these; however, that in 1600 he presented his sister, Lucy, countess of Bedford with a copy of three of Sidney's Psalms, numbers 51, 104, and 137, would suggest that he had not yet composed his own.(75) He presented a manuscript of all the Psalms to James in about 1607. A letter survives in which he asks for James's approval and support:

That your Majestie will be pleased to referr the examynacion of this woorcke of the Psalms drawing so nere to an end to some of your learned chaplains now resyding abowt London, and the resolucion of all doubtfull places to my Lord Bishop of Elie. And whereas I fynde Master Aton your Majesties servant very judicious in this kynde and by whose advyce I must ingenuously acknowledge I have receaved some furtherance in this worck, yt may please your Majestie to joyne him also as well as for the revew of the same as for the ordring of the convenyent publishing of yt to your Majesties best lykinge.(76)

Another of Harington's letters asks for patronage and help in publishing his work. It is addressed to no one more specific than "your Grace"; it is possible that it was to Bishop Heton, or to the Archbishop of Canterbury.(77) In this letter Harington expresses the desire that these Psalms be published "to gods honor and the kings." Only with religious verse could the twin goals of pleasing God, the heavenly patron, and James, his earthly counterpart, so conveniently coincide. In the same letter Harington recounts how "I have rais'd my selfe a mighty enmitie by offering my service in this kynd." We cannot tell whether this "enmitie" was that of the king or of other rival poets, but clearly turning to religious verse did not lead to the success and favor that Harington had hoped for. Harington may have offended James, who still hoped eventually to complete and publish his own version of the Psalms for use in the Church. At one point, Harington himself wrote that a poet needed to keep in mind that James was "not willinge a subjecte should be wiser than his Prince, nor even appeare so."(78) The "mighty enmitie" raised by Harington's Psalms prevented them from ever reaching print.


With religious verse dedicated to a king, a mingling of monarchial and religious language was inevitable, especially when James himself referred to kings as "little Gods."(79) Flattery could be achieved through dedications and in allusions to the connections between God and the king. Joseph Hall presented religious verse as a suitable replacement for direct flattery: "I would the flatterie of a Prince were treason; in effect it is so: (for the flatterer is a kinde murtherer.) I would it were so in punishment. If I were to speake before my sovereigne King and maister, I would praise God for him, not praise him to himself."(80) By doing as Hall suggests a poet could conceivably please the king, while at the same time maintain that his poetry was of a lofty and noble purpose. As discussed above, Harington turned the words of the thief' on the cross to his own purposes, and Davies borrowed the language of the New Testament when he called upon James to "dwell in our harts."(81) At the same time poets became more inclined to apply language of royal patronage to God. A prime example of this intermingling is found in the dedicatory epistle to The Soules Immortall Crowne (1605), where Breton places the poem and his service at James's feet,

beseeching the vertue of all grace, and grace of all vertue, so to blesse you with his infinite blessings, that as vertue under heaven putteth her praise under your Patronage, so the Patrone of all vertue will so Royallize your praise in the Heavens, that to your gratious Crowne on earth, you may receive a Crowne of Eternall glory.(82)

It is a convoluted but clever rhetorical move: Breton is presenting James as one ordained to patronize the praising of virtue, for which he will be rewarded by God, "the Patrone of all vertue." In this way, the subject matter of religious verse allowed poets to raise the language of flattery to a much higher tone. Some poets at least recognized the dilemma in directing a divine work to an earthly figure. If God were the "Patron of all vertue" surely such works ought to have Him as their only dedicatee. In his Sacro-Sanctum Novum Testamentum (1604), John Bridges, bishop of Oxford, asks if Luke sought any other patron than the Holy Spirit in writing his Gospel and Acts. He must answer in the negative, yet Luke did direct his work to Theophilus: "Praestantem seligit unum, / Nobilitate virum, cui dictat, dedicat, offert."(83) Bridges then equates James with Theophilus, "Esque THEOPHILUS inter Reges temporis huius"; in this way Bridges's dedication to the king is justified, and James is flattered by the title "Lover of God."(84)

Like Breton, Davies suggests the king may be God-like in his patronage:

In common policy, great Lords should give, That so, they may (though great) much more receave: The more like God, the more they do relive.

However, within this same passage, Davies suggests that poets also have extra-human powers:

And, the more Writers they aloft doe heave, The more renowne they to their Race doe leave: For, with a droppe of ynke their Penns have pow'r Life to restore (being lost) or life bereave, Who can devour Time that doth all devoure, And goe beyonde Tyme, in lesse than an how'r.(85)

The power to give and take away life, usually associated with the heavenly ruler, and by extension the earthly ruler, is here claimed by the poet.(86) James, the "God-like" royal patron appealed to earlier, is rendered a passive subject. Further, Davies seems to suggest that "the great" may need poets to embellish tarnished reality:

For, though no praise for penning it thou gaine, Yet praise thou gett'st, if thou that Pen sustaine, That can eternize thee in Deathe's despight, And through it selfe thy grossest humors straine, So make them pure (at least most pure in sight) Which to Posterity may be a light.(87)

Basically, Davies is asserting that poets do not necessarily tell the truth, but since they have the power to establish the reputations of great men for ages to come, it behooves the great to treat them well. James is not explicitly named here, but as he is the dedicatee of the poem, surely the passage points to him. Davies seems to be offering to maintain the image of the virtuous king so precious to James, but at the same time suggesting that James's actual virtue may be somewhat lacking. Davies is either exhibiting an honest naivete about the decorum of praise, or intentionally subverting his own praise of the king out of a distaste for the usual role of the court poet. We do not find such ambiguity in the other religious poetry directed to James in the period.


Clearly, James's accession led English poets to believe that religious and philosophical verse would hold an important place in the cultural life of his reign. Were their expectations actually met, was there significant royal patronage of those poets who directed their works toward the king? Generally, these poets received less help than they had hoped for, but that seems to have been true of poets at all times. On the one hand, John Bridges enjoyed continued clerical preferment, Sylvester received a pension from Prince Henry from 1608 until the prince's death in 1612,(88) William Leighton was knighted by James in July 1603, shortly after the publication of Virtue Triumphant, and Hall's good fortune coincided with his turn to writing of a more pious nature. This was more substantial royal favor than most poets of the period ever experienced. On the other hand, both Breton and Davies received no discernible favor, and returned to directing their poems to nonroyal figures. In spite of high hopes, James did not maintain the interest in poetry that he had shown in Scotland: he published no poetry while king of England, and no English equivalent to the "Castalian Band" was established. Malcolm Smuts has noted how James failed to shape culture in the manner of continental monarchs.(89) James's failure to support and direct the groundswell of religious verse inspired by his accession would seem to illustrate Smuts's thesis aptly. However, James did direct and shape other aspects of religious culture, notably the translation of the Bible which he commissioned, and in the area of theological disputes, particularly the ongoing debate with Catholic scholars over the Oath of Allegiance which he required his subjects to take. As part of this and other such controversies James published a number of his own works and encouraged his followers to support his position with writings of their own.(90) In describing James's English court, Hugo Grotius writes,

Venio ex Anglia; literarum ibi tenuis est merces. Theologi regnant: Legulei rem faciunt: unus ferme Casaubonus habet fortunam satis faventem, sed, ut ipse judicat, minus certam. Ne huic quidem locus in Anglica fuisset ut literatori; induere Theologum debuit.(91)

Clearly, by about 1610 straight theology without poetic embellishment was perceived as the best way to attract the king's attention and favor. Some poets continued to direct works of religious verse to James, but those of later years generally lacked the optimism that lavish patronage would be forthcoming, and the naivete that their versifying on God, the church, and the soul, would fulfill James's taste for theological complexity.


1 Malcolm Smuts ("Cultural Diversity and Cultural Change at the Court of James I," in The Mental World of the Jacobean Court, ed. L.L. Peck |Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1991~, p. 99) notes "Our understanding of that history |of James's court~ has been coloured, however, by a preoccupation with two major figures--Ben Jonson and Inigo Jones--and by a tendency to interpret developments in James's reign as a prelude to the 'artistic renaissance' that occurred under Charles I."

2 Both Jonathan Goldberg in James I and the Politics of Literature: Jonson, Shakespeare, Donne, and Their Contemporaries (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 1983) and Graham Parry in The Golden Age Restor'd: The Culture of the Stuart Court, 1603-42 (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1981) focus largely on the classical style engendered by James, although Parry does devote a few pages to the iconography of James as Solomon, and the publication of the king's Works in 1616 (pp. 26-29). Arthur F. Marotti has cited the change in Fulke Greville's style when James came to the throne (John Donne, Coterie Poet |Madison: Univ. of Wisconsin Press, 1986~, p. 246).

3 The following is not a complete list of religious verse published in the years 1603-1605: Sir William Leighton's Vertue triumphant (1603); Edward Wilkinson's Isahacs inheritance (1603); Drayton's Moyses in a map of his miracles (1603); John Weever's An agnus Dei (1603); Thomas Winter's translation of du Bartas's Third dayes creation (1604); John Bridges's Sacro-sanctum Novum Testamentum (1604); Nicholas Breton's The Soules Immortal Crowne (1605); David Hume's Lusus poetici (1605), and "Ascelanus" in Daphn-Amaryllis (1605). Also appearing were the anonymous works Sain Marie Magdalen conversion (1603), and Mary Magdalens Lamentations for the losse of her Maister Jesus (1604). Religious poetry continued to be published at Edinburgh during these years: Henry Dod's Certaine Psalmes of David (1603); Alexander Montgomerie's The mindes melodie (1605); James Cockburn's Judas Kisse to the Sonne of Marie (1605) and Gabriels Salutation to Marie (1605).

4 While Henry Lok dedicated his Sundry Christian Sonnets (1593) and verse paraphrase Ecclesiastes (1596) to Elizabeth, Barnabe Barnes dedicated his Divine Centurie of Spirituall Sonnets (1595) to Bishop Toby Matthew, and Thomas Middleton and Thomas Winter dedicated their works of religious verse to the earl of Essex in the late 1590s. Nicholas Breton and Abrabam Fraunce dedicated their religious poetry to Mary Sidney, countess of Pembroke. See Margaret P. Hannay, Philip's Phoenix: Mary Sidney, Countess of Pembroke (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 1990), pp. 135-39.

5 For uses of this image see Joshua Sylvester, Divine Weeks and Works of Guillaume de Saluste Sieur du Bartas, ed. Susan Snyder, 2 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1979), 1:204; and Joseph Hall, "Ad Leonem Anglo-Scoticum" in The Kings Prophecie, in Collected Poems, ed. Arnold Davenport (Liverpool: Liverpool Univ. Press, 1949), p. 122.

6 Nicholas Breton, for example, dedicated The Ravisht Soule, and the Blessed Weeper to the countess of Pembroke and An Excellent Poeme Upon the Longing of a Blessed Heart to Lord North; in 1602 his Soules Harmony was dedicated to Lady Sara Hastings. However, with a receptive monarch on the throne, he dedicated his The Soules Immortall Crowne to James in 1605. Breton also presented a manuscript version of the poem to James, presumably sometime before publication (BL MS Royal 18 A. LVII).

7 Scaramelli, Venetian Secretary in England, CSPV, 1603-1610, p. 20, 8 May 1603.

8 Ane Fruitfull meditatioun (1588).

9 Basilikon Doron, in The Political Works of James I, ed. Charles Howard McIlwain (New York: Russell and Russell, 1965), p. 48.

10 See, for example, Thomas Greene, A Poets Vision and a Princes Glorie (1603), sig. C|1.sup.r~.

11 This group included Thomas Hudson, Alexander Montgomerie, William Fowler, and John Stewart of Baldynneis. A substantial study of these poets has yet to be published. See New Poems by James I of England, ed. Allan F. Westcott (New York: Columbia Univ. Press, 1911; rprt. New York: AMS Press, 1966), pp. xxxviii-xliv.

12 R.D.S. Jack, "Poetry under King James VI," in The History of Scottish Literature. Volume 1: Origins to 1660 (Aberdeen: Aberdeen Univ. Press, 1988), p. 133. See also Ian Ross, "Verse Translation at the Court of King James VI of Scotland," TSLL 4, 2 (Summer 1962): 252-67.

13 James himself wrote in Scots-English while in Scotland and advised his son that the writings of verse in the classical languages was not the task of kings and princes: "And I would also aduise you to write in your owne language: for there is nothings left to be saide in Greeke and Latine alreadie; and ynew of poore schollers would match you in these languages" (Basilikon Doron, p. 48).

14 Sir John Stradling, "Ad Mich. Drayton, poetam eximium," Epigrammatum Libri Quatuor (1607), p. 100.

15 Bernard H. Newdigate, Michael Drayton and His Circle (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1941), p. 160.

16 Anthony a Wood, Athenae Oxonienses, 3rd edn. (London, 1815), 2:401.

17 Sir John Davies, Poems, ed. Robert Krueger (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1975), p. xliv.

18 John Chamberlain to Dudley Carleton, 12 April 1603 in The Chamberlain Letters, ed. Elizabeth McClure Thomson (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1965), p. 25.

19 Samuel Daniel, Panegyric Congratulatorie (facs. rprt. Menston: Scolar Press, 1969), sig. B|2.sup.v~.

20 Jenny Wormald, "James VI and I: Two Kings or One?" History 68, 223 (June 1983): 187-209.

21 The connection of the new poetic and religious climate to the restoration of certain court figures is established by John Davies of Hereford in Microcosmos. See The Complete Works of Sir John Davies, ed. Alexander B. Grosart, 2 vols. (1878; rprt. New York: AMS Press, 1967), 1:14. In an extra dedicatory poem later in the work, Davies presents James as the Christ-figure who has harrowed Hell and redeemed Wriothesley: "This Hell being harrowed by his substitute / That harrowed Hell, thou art brought forth from thence, / Into an Earthly Heaven absolute" (p. 97).

22 The work had originally been published in 1599, but only in Edinburgh. Stanley Rypins has shown that the printing of it was shared among a number of London printing shops in au effort to have it appear in sufficient numbers as quickly as possible ("The Printing of Basilikon Doron, 1603," PBSA 64 |Fourth Quarter 1970~: 393-417). James bad been proclaimed king on 24 March, and new copies printed at London were available on 30 March. John Manningham notes so in his diary (Rypins, p. 393); John Chamberlain writes to Carleton on the same date: "I know not whether you have seen the King's book but I sent it at all adventures, for it is new here" (Letters, p. 24). See also CSPV, 1603-1607, p. 10, where the Venetian agent Scaramelli notes that it was "sent to press here within an hour of the Queen's death." The book was entered in the Stationers' Company Register on 28 March. Within three weeks two other works of James were registered in the Stationers' Company Register for printing: A True Law of free Monarchies and the poem Lepanto.

23 Basilikon Doron, p. 48.

24 On these works see Charles Bazerman, "Verses Occasioned by the Death of Queen Elizabeth I and the Accession of King James I" (Ph.D. diss. Brandeis Univ., 1971). Some of the panegyrics have been collected by John Nichols in The Progresses of King James I, 4 vols. (London, 1828; rprt. New York: Burt Franklin, 1964), vol. 1, and some in Fugitive Poetical Tracts, series 2 (1875).

25 |He is protector of the muses, guardian of needy students.~ William Osborne, in Academiae Oxoniensis, p. 43.

26 |Holy prophet; divine King; other God on earth, who is king and poet at the same time.~ Richard Eedes, in Academiae Oxoniensis, p.8.

27 |He has translated the songs of David into our tongue, and produced many books with great art~. William Osborne in Academiae Oxoniensis, p. 44.

28 Anthony Nixon, Elizaes memoriall; King James his arrivall; and Romes downefall (1603), sig. C|4.sup.r~.

29 Thomas Greene, A Poets Vision and a Princes Glory (1603), sig. C|1.sup.v~.

30 Thomas Dekker, The Wonderfull Yeare (1603), p. 23.

31 Two further translations of short sections survive in BL MS Add. 24195; these were published by Westcott, pp. 54-58.

32 It was originally published in du Bartas's 1574 volume La Muse Chrestiene.

33 The Uranie," Essayes of a Prentise, sig. E|4.sup.r~. On the tension between its heavenly subject of "Uranie" and the worldly aspirations expressed in it, see A.L. Prescott, "Evil Tongues at the Court of Saul: The Renaissance David as a Slandered Courtier," JMRS 21, 2 (Fall 1991): 184-85.

34 On references to the figure of Urania in later English poetry see Anne Lake Prescott, French Poets and the English Renaissance: Studies in Fame and Transformation (New Haven and London: Yale Univ. Press, 1978), pp. 205-206; and John N. Steadman, "'Meaning' and 'Name': Some Renaissance Interpretations of Urania," Neuphilologische Mitteilungen 64, 3 (October 1963): 209-32.

35 Essayes of a Prentise, sig. C|3.sup.v~.

36 Westcott, pp. 27-28. In the early 1590s the Dutch poet and scholar Adrian Damman was brought to Edinburgh University by James where he translated La Sepmaine into Latin verse. See James K. Cameron, "Some Continental Visitors to Scotland in the Late Sixteenth and Early Seventeenth Centuries," Scotland and Europe, 1200-1850, ed. T.C. Smout (Edinburgh: John Donald, 1986), p. 49.

37 The Works of Guillaume de Salluste Sieur du Bartas, ed. Urban Tigner Holmes, Jr., John Coriden Lyons, and Robert White Linker, 3 vols. (Chapel Hill: Univ. of North Carolina Press, 1935), pp. 20-21.

38 Prescott, French Poets, pp. 177-78, 183. On James's poetic reputation in England before his accession, see also Westcott, pp. lv-lvi.

39 Although Basilikon Doron was first published in Edinburgh in 1599, most Englishmen would have first read it in the London edition of 1603.

40 Political Works, p. 50.

41 A discussion of the translators of du Bartas into English, including those that survive in manuscript, is found in Prescott, French Poets, pp. 178-85. She also notes that there were a number of translations of du Bartas' work into Latin published in England (pp. 179-80).

42 Thomas Winter, sig. A|2.sup.v~.

43 Winter, sig. A|2.sup.v~.

44 "Corona Dedicatoria Melpomene," in Sylvester, 2:889.

45 Sylvester, 1:204.

46 Sylvester, 1:205. Du Bartas presents a similar tension between court and country life in the original.

47 "Sacrum Memoriae Ornatissimi Pientissmique Ipsius Amici, Magistri Josuae Sylvester" in Sylvester, 2:926. This poem first appeared in the 1621 edition.

48 Sylvester's 1605 edition of Les Sepmaines went as far as the second day of the second week; thus, it did not include the third and fourth day of that week in which du Bartas had praised James. Sylvester alludes to this in "Corona Dedicatoria Erato."

49 Sylvester, 2:894.

50 Sylvester, 2:885.

51 Sylvester, 2:888.

52 Sylvester, 2:889.

53 Such a strategy was especially common with biblical paraphrases.

54 Joseph Hall, Collected Poems, p. 113.

55 Wriothesley is addresssed as earl of Southampton, a title which he received on 21 July, but Lord Mountjoy is not addressed with the title of earl of Devonshire that he gained on 27 July.

56 Prefixed to the work were commendatory poems in Latin and English by John Sanford, Robert Burhill, Nicholas Deeble, John James, T.R. |?~, Douglas Castillion, Charles Fitzjeffrey, Nathanael Tomkins, Richard Davies, and Edward Lapworth.

57 The majority of those writing commendatory poems to Microcosmos have some sort of connection with Magdalen College, Oxford. Among them, John Sanford, Edward Lapworth, and Douglas Castillion had also written commendatory poems to Thomas Winter's first translation from du Bartas, The Second Day of the First Weeke (1603). Some of these poets also appear in Academiae Oxoniensis. Davies himself had also contributed a commendatory poem to The Second Day of the First Weeke.

58 Davies, 1:9.

59 Davies, 1:49. This passage is from a section in the middle of Microcosmos where Davies breaks to digress on the proper role and behavior of kings, or as he calls it, the importance of "Policy." While it is possible that the rest of Microcosmos could have been written before 1603, this passage clearly refers to the new reign.

60 Davies, 1:13-14.

61 Davies, 1:14.

62 Davies, 1:104. Such writing of poetry within the framework of contest or competition judged by a king needs further attention. James had promoted something of this sort in his Scottish court during the 1580s.

63 Microcosmos was printed at Oxford.

64 In Doctor Andros his Prosopopeia answered (1605) Henoch Clapham claims he would have had his Epistle Discoursing upon the Present Pestilence (1603) licensed, but the bishop and his chaplains had fled the city because of the plague, "nor, (as was said) might any book be receaved of them then to be perused, for feare the plague were convayd in it" (sig. B|3.sup.r~). His explanation is substantiated by the number of entries in the Stationers' Register from late summer 1603 that grant approval for printing, but include the provision that the book first be licensed.

65 28 September, Scaramelli to Doge and Senate, CSPV 10/136, p. 98.

66 MS Royal 17 a xli, fol. 265 (5), quoted in Sylvester, 1:19.

67 Snyder suggests that the delay of Sylvester's Les Sepmaines after the plague had abated may have been due to the death of the printer Peter Short who held the copyright on the work, and questions as to inheritance (1:19-20).

68 Davies, 1:48.

69 The proclamation for union was made shortly after James's arrival in London on 18 May at Greenwich (CSPD), 1603-1610, p. 9). Earlier there had been talk that James desired to call himself, not the king of England and Scotland, but the king of Great Britain (CSPV, 17 April 1603, p. 5). (Edinburgh: John Donald, 1986). Many poets at the time made reference to this reuniting of "Britain": the term, however, was somewhat contentious: later Anthony Weldon, in his vitriolic Court and Character of James I (1650), mocked the term as a Scottish barbarism. See Wormald, p. 206.

70 J.E. Neale, Queen Elizabeth I (New York: Doubleday, 1957), pp. 379, 385.

71 An engraving of the lantern is found in a manuscript of Harington's epigrams held at the Folger Library (MS V.a.249).

72 John Harington, "The Farewel to his Muse," Nugae Antiquae, ed. T. Park (1804), p. 334.

73 Harington, "The Farewel to his Muse," p. 333.

74 Letter to Lord Thomas Howarde |later earl of Suffolk~, Nugae Antiquae, p. 337. Harington is using "soldiers" metaphorically.

75 The manuscript is in the library of the Inner Temple, Petyt MS 538, vol. 43, fol. 303b. The letter accompanying them is reprinted in The Letters and Epigrams of Sir John Harington, ed. Norman Egbert McClure (Philadelphia: Univ. of Pennsylvania Press, 1930; rprt. New York: Octagon, 1977), p. 87. Also included in the presentation manuscript are some of Harington's own "shallowe meditations |his epigrams~."

76 "To King James," Letters and Epigrams, pp. 143-44, 143. While McClure assigns a tentative date of 1612 to this letter, the reference to Martin Heton (also spelled Eaton and Aton), Bishop of Ely, makes clear that it was written before 1609, the year of Heton's death. Harington had disparaged Heron in A Supplie or Addicion to the Catalogue of Bishops, thus making it unlikely that he suggested Heron review his Psalms after that year. I would suggest that Harington composed the Psalms between 1605 and 1607, a period in which he was courting the favor of Prince Henry. Thus, they are products of the court setting, not "those final quieter years of his life spent at Kelston with his wife and family," as Karl E. Schmutzler suggests ("Harington's Metrical Paraphrases of the Seven Penitential Psalms: Three Manuscript Versions," PBSA 53 |1959~: 240).

77 Letter 61, in Harington, Letters and Epigrams, pp. 142-43.

78 Harington, Letters and Epigrams, p. 110.

79 Basilikon Doron, p. 12. Such a mingling of language was more common at the English court than it had been at the Scottish. Wormald notes that in 1603 the tone of addressing the king was significantly heightened: such phrases as "our soverane lord," were replaced by such as "his sacred majesty," a shift undoubtedly pleasing to James (p. 204).

80 Hall, A Holy Panegyric (1613), sigs. E|6.sup.r~-E|6.sup.v~; Works, ed. Philip Wynter (Oxford, 1863), 5:91.

81 Davies, 1:11. Cf. John 14:17, 2 Tim. 1:14, and 1 John 4:12.

82 Nicholas Breton, "To . . . James," Works in Verse and Prose, ed. A.B. Grosart, 2 vols. (1879), p. 4.

83 John Bridges, sig. A|6.sup.r~. |He chose one distinguished man, a noble man to whom he speaks, dedicates, and offers.~

84 Bridges, sig. A|6.sup.v~. |And you are the "lover of God" among the kings of our time.~ Breton also presented a manuscript of his verse translation of the Old Testament of James (BL MS Royal 20 D.xiv-xix).

85 Davies, 1:49. Cf. also the footnote to this passage: "Good and ill renowme are immortal and prevaile even over the remembrance of Tyme, which Poets have powre to give."

86 On the king's power to take away life, see A True Law of Free Monarchies in Political Works, p. 63.

87 Davies, 1:49.

88 Sylvester, 1:21.

89 R. Malcolm Smuts, "The Political Failure of Stuart Cultural Patronage," in Patronage in the Renaissance, ed. Guy F. Lytle and Stephen Orgel (Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1981), pp. 168-69.

90 The best-known of these would be John Donne's Pseudo-Martyr (1610). On James's encouragement of writers in this area, see William P. Germano, "The Literary Icon of James I" (Ph.D. diss., Indiana Univ., 1981).

91 |I have come from England; there the rewards of literature are few. Theologians reign, lawyers flourish, one Casaubon (Isaac Casaubon) nearly has enough supporting fortune, but he judges that it is less than fixed. Indeed his place in England was not as a literary figure, he had to appear as a theologian.~ Hugo Grotius, Letter to Joanni Meursio, 16 June 1613, Epistolae (Amsterdam, 1687), p. 751.

James Doelman is Assistant Professor of English at Redeemer College, Ancaster, Ontario.