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rigour, and even kept him confined for two years in the Tower, took the greatest care of his education, and appointed as his governor Sir John Pelham, a man of worth and learning, under whose tuition he made so rapid a progress that he soon became a prodigy of talents and accomplishments. His character, as drawn by the historians of that |age, is such as we seldom see realized. We are jassured that he became a proficient in every branch # of polite literature; in grammar, oratory, Latin | and English poetry, music, jurisprudence, and the i philosophy of the times; and that his dexterity in i tilts and tournaments, in wrestling, in archery, and in the sports of the field, was perfectly unrivalled. It might be objected, that those who possess only a part of these accomplishments are apt to gain credit for all the rest; that the owner of a crown is seldom judged with severity; that unmerited misfortune is sure to excite sympathy and commiseration; and that, as James united all these claims to popular favour, some parts of the preceding description are likely to have been somewhat exaggerated. But the excellent laws which he enacted after his return to Scotland, and the happiness which his people enjoyed in consequence of his policy, his firinness, and his justice, bear the most unequivocal testimony to the truth of one part of the picture; and his poetical remains are sufficient to evince that his literary talents were not over-rated by his contemporaries. During fifteen years of his captivity, he seemed forgotten, or at least neglected, by his subjects. The admiration of strangers and the consciousness of his own talents only rendered his situation more irksome; and he had begun to abandon himself to despair, when he was fortunately consoled for his seclusion at Windsor castle by a passion of which sovereigns, in quiet possession of a throne, have seldom the good fortune to feel the influence. The object of his adoration was the lady Jane Beaufort (daughter of John Beaufort duke of Somerset, and grand-daughter of John of Gaunt), whom he afterwards married, and in whose commendation he cómposed his principal poetical work, called the King's Quair. This poem, consisting of 197 stanzas, divided by its editor into six cantos, has much allegorical machinery, which was apparently suggested by the study of Boethius, the favourite author of the time; but it also contains various particulars of his life; it is full of simplicity and feeling, and is not inferior in poetical merit to any similar production of Chaucer. The following extract is taken from the second canto, in which no allegorical
painting is introduced, and which contains little more than an account of his own adventures.
Bewailing in my chamber thus alone,
Despaired of all joy and remedy, For-tired of my thought, and woe-begone,
And to the window gan I walk in hye,
To see the world and folk that went forby; As, for the time (though I of mirthis food Might have no more), to look it did me good.
* The gardens of this period seem to have been very small. In Chaucer's Troilus and Cresseide we find the same place indifferently called a garden and a yard; and this
* An herbere" green; with wandis long and small
And on the smalle grene twistis sat
The little sweete nightingale, and sung
Of lovis use, now soft, now loud among,
That all the gardens and the wallis rung
at Windsor, fast by the Touris wall, was probably either in the yard or on the terrace. “Adown the stair anon right tho she went “Into her garden,” &c.— “This yard was large, and railed all the aleyes, “And shadowed well with blossomy boughs green; “And benched new, and sanded all the ways, “ In which she walketh,” &c. [Troil. and Cr. B. II. st. 110. fol. 152, ed. 1602.] * Probably an arbour, though the word is also very frequently used for an herbary, or garden of simples. * Living person. * Mr. Tytler imagines that this relates to the pairing of the birds; but the word couple seems here to be used as a musical term.
“Worshippe ye that lovers bene this May,
“For of your bliss the calends are begun; “And sing with us, “Away! winter away !
“Come summer, come! the sweet season and sun!
“Awake, for shame! that have your heavens won!” “And amorously lift up your headis all; “Thank Love, that list you to his mercy call!’”
When they this song had sung a little throw *
They stent 3 awhile, and, therewith unafraid As I beheld and cast mine eyen a-lowe,
From bough to bough they hipped" and they play'd,
And freshly, in their birdis kind, array'd Their feathers new, and frets them in the sun, And thanked Love that had their makis" won.
These and a few more stanzas are preparatory to the appearance of his mistress, his first sight of whom is thus described:
And therewith cast I down mine eye again,
* Mr. Tytler explains this as follows: “Ye that have “attained your highest bliss, by winning your mates.—See “ the last line of the next stanza.” * A little time.
*Stopped. * Hopped. * Pecked. * Mates.
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