James had an elevated concept of monarchy. Kings were kings by Divine dispensation and their rights were inborn. The court was to be not only the source of power, but also a fountain of wisdom and knowledge, for James saw himself as the heir to the Renaissance tradition of government, combining the political acuteness of Machiavelli's Prince with the moral discernment of Elyot's Governor. In him, the golden visions of Italy vied with the sterner edicts of Geneva; he saw his learning and wisdom going hand in hand with physical strength and sporting prowess. As far as he appreciated it, James sought to promote the cult of the courtier; if he failed, it was a failure of understanding, not of intention, a failure which stemmed, at least in part, from the distortions in his own picture of himself. When James looked in

he felt a strange infatuation for favourites chosen for their youth, graceful figures, and willingness to flatter their master. His habit of fondling them, and especially Buckingham, in public gave rise to suspicions of baser intimacies in private, but these are not proved. i

physical, in ensuring the fitness of the body. Of the remoter ends of harmony and grace there was no mention.'