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S.A. Bent, comp. Familiar Short Sayings of Great Men. 1887.

James I.

  • [King of England, and Sixth of Scotland; son of Mary, Queen of Scots, and Lord Darnley; born in Edinburgh, June, 1566; crowned king of Scotland, and placed under a regency, 1567; became king of England, 1603, and continued for a time the foreign policy of his predecessor Elizabeth, until he finally sacrificed his son-in-law, the Elector Frederick, and Raleigh, to conciliate Spain; wrote books of pedantic learning; ordered the translation of the Bible; died March, 1625.]
  • Steanie, Steanie, those who live in glass housen should be carefu’ how they fling stones.

  • To his favorite, the Duke of Buckingham, who complained of a mob breaking his glass windows, which were then a luxury.
  • The de’il i’ my saul, sirrah, an you be not quiet I’ll send you to the five hundred kings in the House of Commons: they’ll quickly tame ye.

  • To his horse, when unruly. The approaching conflict between the Commons and the Sovereign is discernible in so slight an anecdote as this.
  • On one occasion, having made a declaration to Parliament, he added, “I have now given you a clear mirror of my mind: use it therefore like a mirror, and take heed how you let it fall, or how you soil it with your wrath.” Of a demand of the House of Commons in 1621 to debate, make laws, and redress grievances, the king answered, “I will govern according to the common weal, but not according to the common will.”
  • When some of his subjects in an address prayed that his Majesty might live as long as the sun, moon, and stars endured, “Faith, maun,” replied James, “if I do, my son must then reign by candle-light.”
  • He was a bold man who first swallowed an oyster.