THE needs of a thorough student of the history of political thought can never be adequately met by mere fragments torn out of the classical writings of the past, useful though such fragments may be. For the student needs to know not alone what the masters thought, but also how they thought; and this he can never learn solely from modern histories, or even from detached bits of contemporary writings without the nexus of continuous argument by which the writers originally wove these disjecta membra into one whole. For such a student the thing most necessary — particularly if the ideas are of an age far removed from his own — is not the bare outline, the mere anatomy of the political thought of that age. He needs above all somehow to gain an appreciation of the whole political mind of the period, the very breath and movement that once galvanized these elements into a thing of life capable of inspiring the thoughts and guiding the actions of generations of men. Unless by long and patient contact he has become accustomed to the "intellectual climate" — to use a happy phrase of Mr. Balfour's — the net result of his studies is likely to be comparatively useless to himself and to others. There is no royal road to a real and sympathetic appreciation of the thought of past epochs.

It can never be gained by the mere piecing together of political aphorisms, however skillful the modern editor may be in their selection. To a reader or investigator of intelligent aspiration and proper conscientiousness no other path is open save the old-fashioned study of the important contemporary writers in extenso.

This it was, together with the unfortunate difficulty of obtaining texts of many of these important political works in their entirety, that led to the belief that a republication of some of these classics as nearly as possible in their original form and extent might be a valuable service to present-day students of the history of political thought and institutions.

This volume, it is hoped, will be the first of such a series, and the reprinting of others will depend somewhat upon the reception obtained by this.

Naturally, the editing of subsequent volumes must be determined in large part by the nature of the volumes themselves and by the judgment of their editors, but a word or two may be said of the method employed in the present one.

As the main purpose has been to make the political works of James I again generally accessible in the form and extent in which they originally played their part in the development of political ideas, it seemed best to reprint without abridgment or alteration the text of these writings as it appeared in the edition prepared for the King's printer by James Montagu, bishop of Winchester, in the King's lifetime and, no doubt, under his direction. For the general purpose intended, it was deemed inadvisable and unnecessary to cumber this text with variant readings or even with explanatory notes. It was felt that this general purpose would be better served, if such statements and explanations as the editor considered necessary to an understanding of the circumstances of the original publication and of the trend of political thought to which these writings contributed, were set forth in more consecutive form in a separate introduction which the reader might read or not as he pleased. This method has therefore been followed.

But in applying it, the exigencies of modern printing have made necessary a few modifications that should be noted here. For example, the 1616 edition of the Basilikon Doron from which this is reprinted has a number of topical notes in the margin. These add nothing to the text, and are not found in the original edition printed at Edinburgh in 1599. They appear first in the editions of 1603 and are copied exactly from these in that of 1616. It has not been considered necessary to retain these in the form of footnotes in the present edition. Likewise, in the margins of the pages of the editions of 1603 and of the edition of 1616 numerous references are given to authors chiefly classical. These are wholly wanting in the edition of 1599 though the Biblical references are present in all editions. All these citations it was decided to retain in the present edition, as having a possible value to the reader in indicating the sources of the King's political ideas - a "possible" value only, because it cannot be entirely certain whether they are the work of James himself or of some editor. It has, however, been necessary to place them at the foot of the page, instead of at the side as in the edition of 1616, and to indicate by a number in the text as nearly as possible the passage to which the reference probably belongs. As the citation is usually very general, and as there is no indication in any of the early editions save its position in the margin to what sentence it refers, the position of the number in the text to which the number of the citation corresponds must be considered as approximate only. These citations sometimes indicate the book or part of the work referred to, but oftener they give nothing but the work itself, as "Cic. in Of.," "Plato in Polit.," " Isoc. in panegyr.," " Sal. in Jug.," " Sal. in Cat.," " Plu. in Thes.," etc. As these references are so loosely made that in many cases identification is impossible, as they are seldom appended to direct quotations, and particularly as they are not certainly the work of the author himself; it was thought that the usefulness to a modern student of indicating them more exactly by book and section where possible would be incommensurate with the amount of labor required. Though often obscure and even inaccurate, these notes have, therefore, been left exactly as they were in the edition of 1616, except for their transfer from the margin to the foot of the page and their numbering made necessary by it. If they were the work of the King they indicate a very considerable knowledge of the classical writers on politics, but from the loose form of the citations it is often impossible to say whether this knowledge was gained in particular cases from the originals themselves or from Latin or French translations of them, many of which are found in the list of James's books drawn up in his youth. See The Library of James VI, 1573-1583, from a manuscript in the hand of Peter Young, his Tutor, edited by George F. Owner, Publications of the Scottish Historical Society, vol. XV, Edinburgh, 1893.

The differences between the text of the first edition of the Basilikon Doron and that of 1603, the basis of all later editions, are very considerable, but it has been found impossible to give space here to an indication of these differences. They are all given at the end of the reprint of the edition of 1599 published by the Roxburghe Club, London, 1887.

In the case of the Apologie for the Oath of Allegiance, the plan followed is in general the same as for the Basilikon Doron. The topical sidenotes are omitted, and all the marginal references retained in the form of footnotes. In this case, however, the numbers indicating the passages referred to by these are found in the original text, and it was therefore not necessary to supply them conjecturally when the notes were transferred to the bottom of the page, as in the case of the Basilikon Doron.

The 1609 edition of the Premonition and the Apologie is practically the same as that of 1616, save for some of the references confuting the " Lyes of Tortus," an additional title-page acknowledging the King's authorship of the Apologie, and a note concerning the Copiers faults " in the first edition which is " to be held utterly disclaimed by his Majestie" because "erroneous and surreptitiously sold by the under Officers in the Printing House." The edition of 1616 is here followed without changes or additions.

The title to the Premonition - A Premonition to all Most Mightie Mon arches, etc., on page 287 of the Workes (page 110 of this edition) does not occur in the edition of 1609.

All the other works of the King printed here are given exactly as they appear in the edition of 1616, with the uniform exception of the transfer of the notes, where such notes occur, from the side to the bottom of the page, and the attaching of numbers to them.

The general theme of the political thought within the limits of time and space covered by the introduction to this volume might be expressed in the words of the title of Tyndale's book - The Obedience of a Christian Man; of which Obedience and Christian are equally important. In the discussion of it it would have been fascinating to try to show how the rise of parliamentary government in England has changed the position of the ecclesiastico- political party, sometimes termed Anglican, from a royalist party to one which is now largely anti-parliamentary. Many today prefer to speak of "the Church in England" rather than "the Church of England," and an indirect cause of this is the political change since the sixteenth century which has made the state church a parliamentary one instead of a church under royal control, a cause indirect, but neither unimportant nor remote.

But the temptation to deal with this interesting phase of the subject has been resisted, because it belongs more to the province of the constitutional than of the political, if such a distinction can ever be very closely drawn; and also because it falls more properly within a chapter of the great con- troversy in England which comes somewhat later than the period of James I. It is hoped that a subsequent volume of this series may cover this part of the history of English political thought.

But the study of the important phase of the history of divine right and of the opposition to it which falls within the limits of this volume alone cannot be dismissed by any intelligent observer of the political world today as insignificant or antiquarian; nor is the importance of the political ques- tions argued with so much heat in James's day rendered any less for us by the signs today multiplying in Ireland and elsewhere that the Great War may be followed by a renewed discussion of the ever-present problem of clericalism in a form possibly even more violent and acrimonious than that already familiar to students of modern European history, and by the further extension of voluntaryism which may be expected to accompany a growing democratization.

The introduction has suffered very much on account of the editor's enforced absence, in all the later stages of its preparation, from the one place where an adequate introduction could be prepared, the British Museum Library.

For valued help in the publication of this volume thanks are due to the Harvard University Press; and more particularly to Mr. G. A. Parker, not merely for the index, which is his work alone, but also for suggestions and assistance while the book was going through the press.


September, 1918.

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