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I HAVE little to say in laying this work before the public, except that I have endeavoured to make it as amusing as the nature of the subject might lead the public to expect. Several years ago, the grotesque and familiar character of King James the First seemed to me so likely to suit the style of writing I was most accustomed to practise, that I resolved, as soon as other engage. ments would permit, to make it the subject of a book. An opportunity having now occurred, I lay my labours before the public; hoping, with the usual earnestness of an author's hope, that my selection of a theme will not be deemed unfortunate.
EDINBURGH, May 19, 1830.
KING JAMES THE FIRST.
JAMES'S ANCESTRY-HIS BIRTH AND INFANCY.
ALTHOUGH the whole history and character of James the First is peculiar and remarkable, it may perhaps be asserted, that nothing about him is more so than the strange contrast which he presents, in our associations, to his parents, and to the time, place, and other circumstances of his birth. When we consider James by himself, we think of him as of a timid, good-natured, somewhat pedantic, old man; possessed of some sense and much learning; who burnt witches, and became the chronicler of their mis-deeds; who was very weak in the legs, and much given to leaning on the shoulders, and twitching the cheeks, of young gentlemen; who was at first King of the poor but ancient kingdom of Scotland, and after