John Hamilton (c.1547-1610/11) was a member of a minor branch of the Hamilton kindred, and of the Queen's Party during the Marian Civil War. He went to Paris in 1573, where he became a professor of philosophy in the Collège de Navarre, and was tutor to Cardinal Charles de Bourbon (who is mentioned below) and another future Cardinal, François de Joyeuse. He remained at the university until he was forced to flee in 1593 for his support of the Catholic League's continued resistance against Henri IV. Although forbidden from being received in Scotland by parliamentary act, he was active in the country from 1601 (under the protection of Alexander Seton, the Catholic earl of Dunfermline) until his capture in 1608. He died in the Tower of London in 1610 or early 1611. Hamilton is most famous for his 'Ane Catholik and Facile Treatise ... to confirme the Real and Corporell Praesence of Chrystis Pretious Bodie and Blude (1581), a piece of Catholic apologetic which asserted in several places that Mary Queen of Scots and James VI both ruled at the same time, and which he circulated on his return to Scotland. He was also elected as rector of the University of Paris on 17 October 1584, and King's poem in celebration of this event highlights both his learning and an interesting personal fact about him: that his hair had turned pure white at a very early age. On Hamilton, see Alasdair Roberts, 'Hamilton, John (c.1547-1610/11)', ODNB; Alphons Bellesheim (ed. and trans. D. Oswald Hunter Blair), History of the Catholic Church in Scotland from the Introduction of Chrstianity to the Present Day, vol. 3 (Edinburgh, 1889), pp. 406-407. Metre: hexameter.
Inauguratio Ioannii Hammiltonii in Rectorem Academiae Parisinae (1584)
Inauguratio Ioannis Hammiltonii in Rectorem Academiae Parisinae
1Unde repentinus 1 sibris efferbuit aestus?
Cur novus hic fervor stimulis desueta fatigat
pectora? Neglectamque diu Permesside nexi
fronde comam Aonias iterum revocamur in umbras?
[p225] 5Nuper enim, memini, votis nil antra moveri
Delia, 2 squalentemque situ marcescere laurum.
Languebant sterlies vittae, exussere silentem
Aonides manibus citharam: dux ipse sororum
effrondes nemoris Pimplaei expalluit umbras.
10Nunc Cyrrhae renovatur honos, nunc Delphica rupes
panditur, innexas lauro meliore sorores
en iterum sua rura vocant, nunc fronde recenti
serta parant, laetisque novant Helicona choraeis.
Falllimur? An vero novus, Hammiltonie, Paean
15haec tibi plectra movet, tibi de Parnasside lauro
exornant vittas Musae: tibi Phoebus honores
annuit, et gratos tribuit nova purpura fasces? 3
Scilicet haud alius Tyrio fulgere sub ostro 4
dignior, aut dextris quem laetus inauguret annus 5
20auspiciis, et Sole novo; nec dignius unquam
majestas meminit sese Parisina 6 teneri,
sive atavos numerare juvat, gentisque vetustae
perpetuam retro seriem; vel honora parentum
nomina. Nativae nec enim te lucis egentem
25sors humili de plebe tulit: non sanguine cretus 7
obscuro Aonios fasces; decora alta Dearum
Francigenum peregrinus habes: nunquam advena 8 Gallo
Scotus erit: gentem quos jam conjunxit in unam
longaeva annorum series, 9 cognatio, morum
30consensus, sociisque animis et foedere vinxit
nativo: quod nulla dies, non turbida possit
solvere seditio: non ambitiosa potestas
Saxonis: aut dubiis anceps fortuna periclis.
Verum degeneres animi nil praeter honoras
35majorum statuas, laudataque nomina jactent,
et fastu plausuque velint clarescere vulgi. 10
Ambitas toties tua te, Hamiltonie, laurus
exornat complexa comas: beat insita virtus
et titulis animosa suis: 11 nil indiga laudis
40externae 12 pietas, et nobile pectoris aurum 13
irradiat: primis te consecrata sub annis
otia Parnasso, desudatique labores 14
Aonidum in castris, rutilo dignantur in ostro,
[p226] fascibus: et certe tantae virtutis honorum
45pignus habes: nec jam quicquam superesse videtur,
quo pietas animo crescat, vel gloria laude. 15
Scilicet hoc meruit, virtus, pietasque, fidesque,
et castigatae collecta modestia frontis. 16
Sic certe est: talem nam te jam protinus anni
50effinxere rudes: 17 et dignum murice vita
traxit iter: jam tunc animi maturior annis 18
canities blandos concepit Apollinis ignes:
dulciaque Aoniae decerpsit germina sylvae. 19
Mox Sophiae obscuras studio solerte latebris
55excitae atque aevo non explorata priori
eruis in lucem: hinc primis tibi tempora vittis
albescunt, 20 patriaeque tenes fastigia Cyrrhae.
Sed pronum vicisse domi. 21 Sublimior Arctos
linquitur, et reliquo seclusa Britannia mundo. 22
60Iam Rhodanus, jam lentus Arar, jam Sequana dives 23
Cecropiae discussa stupet secreta senectae. 24
Hinc vitae pars nulla perit, 25 tibi vota parentum
credita. Subtili verum contexere nodo
assuescunt; quae norma boni, quo sine beatum
65dirigitur, quo se virtus concludat honesti
limite, perdiscunt: qua tandem injusta recidant
parte sui, unaque metus et fraenet amores.
Dein caeli, mundique vias, elementaque rerum
concipiunt: 26 medio quae vis libraverit orbe
70immensam terrae molem: quos sidera motus
obluctata polo varient, 27 quaeque aethera vastum
circumagunt mentes, quos menstrua Luna recursus
oceani molitur aquis, 28 quae flammea nubes
vis animet, 29 validoque premat latera ardua nexu.
75Quid loquar? Occultis dum quae Natura latebris
occuluit, profers; aut quae longaeva vetustas
ingeniis foecunda tulit, squalore subacto
exornas: quoties stupuit, coluitque docentem
Borboniae spes ampla domus decus ille suorum
80Carolus aeternum: primis cui cessit in annis
canities matura senum. Cui fama triumphos
parturit, in seros vittas missura nepotes.
[p227] Quid? Laurum grato quoties Academia plausu
exultans dederat, vittas, laurumque mereri
85Sorbona quoties luctantem vidit arena? 30
Hinc in parte sui, tot jam tibi cessit ab annis
imperium, et meritos semper gavisa triumphos,
crescere se tanto faelicem sensit alumno.
Nunc autem cumulo laudum surgente, decora
90cum tot virtutum dederis documenta tuarum,
non tibi parte sui, sed in omni corpore cessit
imperium, fascesque dedit: 31 jam culmina rerum
naturae superas cursu: ceu navita primum
praefixus lateri custos, dehinc ardua prora
95temperat: et longo cum Nerea vicerit usu,
iam clavum, et totam torque faelicius alnum. 32
Crescite virtutes, 33 priscoque noventur ab auro
saecula, jam colitur pietas, certusque merenti
stat favor, 34 ingenuas non obruit ambitus artes: 35
100nec probitas calcatur inops, nec inertia surgit
divitiis, sacras invitant praemia Musas,
ingeniisque aperitur iter. Faelicia Divi
gaudia continuent, tibique, Hammiltonie, longos
enumerent fasces, accrescant nomina veris
105laudibus, aeternosque ferant in saecula fastos.
The installation of John Hamilton to the position of Rector of the Academy of Paris
1Where did it come from, this sudden fire that rages within? Why does this new passion weary a heart unused to torment? And why are we recalled once again to the Aonian shade, with our hair bound with a garland - hair so long neglected by the Permessian? a [p225]Recently, indeed, I remember that the Delian caverns b were not moved by prayers, and the laurel grew stiff through neglect and withered. The priestly head-dresses languish unused, and the Muses have let drop from their hands their silent cithara; c and their leader himself palls at the foliage of the Pimplean grove d and the shades.
10Now the glory of Cyrrha is restored, now the Delphic rock is cracked open, e and behold their own countryside again beckons the sisters bound in their finer laurel wreaths, now they make ready garlands with fresh greenery, and they rejuvenate Helicon f with their joyous dances. Am I deceived, Hamilton, or does a renewed Apollo move your quill, and the Muses adorn you with a headdress of Parnassian laurel? g And does not Apollo grant you honours, and the new purple present its pleasing rods of high office?
18Clearly there is no other more worthy to shine under the Tyrian purple h nor anyone whom the joyous year would inaugurate with favourable omens and a new dawn. And never has Parisian greatness recalled being governed more worthily - whether happily recounting its ancestors and the endless procession of its ancient race, or the honorable names of its parents. And fate did not pluck you from the lowly plebs, lacking inborn distinction. A foreigner, not distinguished by an obscure bloodline, you now hold the Muses' offices and the esteemed accolades of the French-born Goddesses. Never will a Scot be a stranger to a Gaul: whom the long train of years, kinship, and common customs have joined into one race, and bound by united minds and a pact from birth, that no day, nor violent discord could undo - neither the Saxon's wooing power, nor wavering fortune with its uncertain perils.
34However let ignoble minds boast about the venerable busts of their forefathers, and their lauded names, and let them seek to gain bright fame from their arrogance, and the acclaim of the mob. So often has your laurel wreath adorned you and encircled your hair: innate virtue proudly rejoices in its own glories, piety does not need external praise, and the heart's noble gold shines forth. Your time devoted to Parnassus in your early years, and your efforts undertaken in the service of the Muses made you worthy of the rods of high office in your shining purple [p226]robes: undoubtedly you have the proof of the honours of such great virtue. And now it seems that there is no more opportunity for you to increase the piety in your mind, nor glory in your reputation. Without doubt your virtue, piety, and faith - and the restrained modesty in your slender countenance - have merited this. This much is true: for straighaway your early years fashioned you thus; and your life lead a path worthy of the purple; and your white hair, older than the age of your mind, received the pleasant fires of Apollo, and plucked the sweet buds of the Muses' forest.
54Then with your skilled attentiveness you hide in the retreat of beckoned Wisdom and you call forth into the light things not yet explored by previous ages. And hence your temples grow white with their first poet's head-dresses, and you hold the heights of your native Cyrrha. But it was an easy thing to win at home. The far North is left behind, and so too Britannia cut off from the rest of the world. Now the Rhone, now the gentle Saone, and the rich Seine wonder at the revealed mysteries of Ancient Athens. No part of that life is lost, the prayers of their forefathers have been entrusted to you. They are skilled in weaving the truth in intricate knots. They know by heart what the measure of the good is, within which confines happiness is arranged, they know within which boundary virtue set itself for honesty, and ultimately they know how with part of it they may bring low injustice, and how it alone curbs fear and passion. They also perceive the motions of the universe, and the elements of its matter; and what force has balanced the vast weight of the earth in the middle of the universe; and which movements the planets exhange after their clash in the heavens, which minds turn the vast ether, which ebb and flow the monthly moon stirs to motion in the waters of the ocean; and what fiery force kindles the clouds, and forms its steep sides with its strong grasp. Why should I speak about how, while Nature conceals each thing in the hidden darkness, you reveal it; or, with roughness smoothed away, you embellish each thing that aged antiquity gave abundantly to your genius? Or how many times Charles, the great hope of the House of Bourbon, i and eternal glory of his people, was dumb struck by, and worshipped you as you taught? The mature white hair of the aged was given to you in your early years. Your repute, which will bestow to future ages your poet's headdress, was rewarded with triumphs. [p227] Should I continue to speak of many times the Academy, moved to thankful applause, have given you the laurel wreath, the poet's head-dress; and witnessed you contending to earn the laurel in the Sorbonne's arena?
86For this reason, it has already granted you power over part of it for some years, and, having always rejoiced in your merited triumphs, it understood that it was rising in fortune through such a cherished son. Now, however, with the mountain of your praises rising up, because you have given so many honours as proofs of your virtues, it has bestowed upon you power over not just part of the Academy, but over the whole institution, and it has given you the rods of high office. Now on your way you have scaled the peaks of the universe, just like a sailor having been first put in charge of starboard only, afterwards controls the high prow, and because he has tamed the sea through continued practice, now very happily controls the helm and the whole ship.
97Rise, virtues, and may our age be renewed by ancient gold. Now piety is worshipped and fixed good-will stands ready for the deserving, and corruption does not oppress the noble arts. And poor honesty is not trampled under foot, nor does ignorance increase with wealth: the promise of rewards summons the sacred Muses, and a path is opened for the talented. May the Gods pile up the happy joys, and may they give you, Hamilton, a long tenure in office. May your titles grow as fitting tributes, and may they enter the eternal fasti j for ever!
1: These two words are a reworking of the opening words of Buchanan, Silvae IV.1. They present the attentive reader with the first indication that King's point of literary reference is Buchanan's celebration of another Franco-Scottish occasion (the marriage of Mary, Queen of Scots, to the heir to the French throne, Francis). The next twenty lines in King's poem are a paraphrase of Buchanan's opening twenty lines, augmented by lines from Statius, Claudian, Ovid, Virgil, and Horace (see note below).
2: Statius, Silvae V.3.3
3: Ovid, Fasti I.81
4: Virgil, Georgics III.17
5: Reworking of Claudian, De Consulatu Honorii VI.12.
6: This line and the end of the previous line: Claudian, Panegyricus Manlio Theodoro Consuli 36-7.
7: This line and the previous three: Statius, Silvae V.2.15-17.
8: Cf. Statius, Achilleid I.10, a passage that is reused more thoroughly at lines 56-7 below.
9: Horace, Odes III.30.4-5
10: Claudian, Panegyricus Manlio Theodoro Consuli 3
11: Claudian, Panegyricus Manlio Theodoro Consuli 5
12: Claudian, Panegyricus Manlio Theodoro Consuli 4
13: ie, the 'bulla': Statius, Silvae V.3.120.
14: Cf. ''desudatisque...iudiciis': Claudian, Panegyricus Manlio Theodoro Consuli 11-12.
15: Claudian, Panegyricus Manlio Theodoro Consuli 14-5
16: Statius, Silvae II.1.43
17: Statius, Silvae I.1.6
18: Statius, Silvae II.1.40
19: Not just a metaphorical allusion to the lair of the Muses, but also a learned allusion to the Silvae of Statius, whose work King has reused throughout this poem.
20: Statius, Achilleid I.11. See note to line 27 above.
21: Statius, Silvae V.3.141
22: Claudian, Panegyricus Manlio Theodoro Consuli 51 is the point of reference here. Claudian's own literary allusion is to Virgil, Eclogues I.40. See d2_KinA_004 line 23 for King re-using the same line.
23: Claudian, Panegyricus Manlio Theodoro Consuli 53
24: Claudian, Panegyricus Manlio Theodoro Consuli 67-8
25: Claudian, Panegyricus Manlio Theodoro Consuli 64
26: This and the previous three lines: Claudian, Panegyricus Manlio Theodoro Consuli 98-100
27: The 'sidera' here are not stars, but heavenly bodies, and more specifically 'planets'. They are struggling against the tide of the east to west stellar rising and settings to travel in the opposite direction. King takes the image from Claudian, Panegyricus Manlio Theodoro Consuli 103-4, where it is more clearly defined.
28: This and the end of the previous line are a fusion of: Claudian, Panegyricus Manlio Theodoro Consuli 106-7 and Virgil, Georgics I.353.
29: A contracted version of: Claudian, Panegyricus Manlio Theodoro Consuli 109-111.
30: This entire paragraph represents a fairly concentrated distillation by King of the types of philosophical discourse academics and students involved themselves in. One interesting aspect of the passage is the way in which King edits his primary literary reference: Claudian, Panegyricus Manlio Theodoro Consuli 50-112. It is noticeable that the explicitly Epicurean sentiments in Claudian's text (lines 100-1) have been omitted or reworked (Claudian's 'semperque fluentis materiae causas' replaced by a more stoic and solid 'elementaque rerum' in King).
31: This and the previous line: Claudian, Panegyricus Manlio Theodoro Consuli 47-50.
32: This and the previous three lines: Claudian, Panegyricus Manlio Theodoro Consuli 42-6. Though Virgil, Aeneid V.177 is also influencing the present line.
33: Claudian, Panegyricus Manlio Theodoro Consuli 261
34: Claudian, Panegyricus Manlio Theodoro Consuli 262-3
35: Claudian, Panegyricus Manlio Theodoro Consuli 264. The repetition of this line from the beginning of King's other poem on the state of administration at the University of Paris (d2_KinA_004 line 9) alerts us to the fact that this final paragraph presents the closure of the complaint that King began in the first paragraph of the first poem, and thus presents both a literary end to what is clearly a poetic cycle, and an end to the subject (corruption) first broached in d2_KinA_004 lines 6-10.
a: Apollo, to whom the river Permessus was sacred (as it was also to the Muses).
b: The island of Delos, at the centre of the Cyclades in the Aegean Sea, was revered as the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis, and the reference here is likely to the Temple of the Delians (dedicated to Apollo) on the island.
c: A form of lyre.
d: Another spring or place sacred to the Muses.
e: Cyrrha, or Cirrha, is the port at Delphi; the rock of Delphi is where the sibyl stood to announce her prophecies.
f: Mount Helicon, source of the Aganippe and Hippocrene springs, both said to provide poetic inspiration to those who drank from them.
g: Mount Parnassus, home of the Muses.
h: Tyre, a major city in Southern Phoenicia, was famous for the production of imperial purple dye from the shells of the murex, a local mollusc, which grew brighter and stronger with exposure to sunlight, rather than fading like most ancient dyes.
i: Cardinal Charles de Bourbon (1523-90), considered by the Catholic League to be the rightful successor to Henri III after his death in 1589, instead of Henri de Navarre.
j: Fasti: the Roman calendar of dies fasti, dies comitiales, and dies nefasti, which indicated when legal processes and business could and could not take place. However, the term also covers fasti consulares (lists of consuls who gave their name to that year in the calendar), fasti triumphales (lists of triumphs), and fasti sacerdotales (lists of priests).