Friday 24 September 2010

A conduit of cash from England to Scotland? John Hoskyns

From Brief Lives by John Aubrey,

re. John Hoskyns:

"He was a close prisoner in the Tower, tempore regis Jacobi [in the time of James the First of England's reign - 24 March 1603 – 27 March 1625], for speaking too boldly in the Parliament house of the king's profuse liberality to the Scotts.

"He made a comparison of a conduit, whereinto water came, and ran-out afarre-off.

"' Now,' said he, ' this pipe reaches as far as Edinborough.'

"He was kept a ' close prisoner ' there, i. e., his windowes were boarded up. Through a small chinke he sawe once a crowe, and another time, a kite ; the sight whereof, he sayd, was a great pleasure to him.

"He, with much adoe, obtained at length the favour to have his little son Bennet to be with him ; and he then made this distich, viz. : —

"Parvule dum puer es, nee scis incommoda linguae, Vincula da linguae, vel tibi vincla dabit.

"Thus Englished by him : —

My little Ben, whil'st thou art young.
And know'st not how to rule thy tongue,
Make it thy slave whil'st thou art free,
Least it, as mine, imprison thee. "


dearieme said...

They're an awfully chip-on-the-shoulder race, the English.

Bruce Charlton said...

Although James was born in Edinburgh, he may have suffered from 'West of Scotland Personality Disorder' - which was described to me in terms of a bold and compulsive need to pronounce unpleasant truths about other people without regard to time, place or person; combined with extreme sensitivity to even the slightest implied personal criticism enforced by a rapid resort to coercive sanctions.