[From Manx Soc vol 3 - part 1 Letter of James 7th Earl]



1.—Of Capt. Christian, and how the Earl came formerly to make him Governor. 2.—his character. 3.—The Earl,for some time very fond of him, Who abuses his love. 4.—One good quality of his. 5, 6, 7.—his insatiable covetousness.

I WAS newly got acquainted with Captain Christian, whom I observed soon to have abilities enough to do me service; and a friend of mine making motion he might come into the place, I inquired more of him, and indeed in some haste, lest I were importuned again for Capt. Holmeswood. Because, having angered some of my noble friends already in his remove, I might endanger to lose them quite by a new denial to restore him.

2. I was told Captain Christian had already made himself a good fortune in the Indies; that he was a Manxman born; but, which took most with me, that when he offered his service it was on these terms—that (being he was resolved to retire himself into that his own country, whether he had the place or not he would be contented to hold the staff until I chose another, which most willingly he would [then] resign without repine; and called such a one to witness (who yet is living). For the pay, he so little valued that, as he would be content to do service without any, or as little of it as it pleased [me]; and what agreement there was between us I very well remember.

3. He is excellent good company; as rude as a sea captain should be, but refined as one that had civilised himself half a year at Court, where he served the Duke of Buckingham. In this I cannot much blame myself. But, thinking I had so excellent a jewel, I did esteem him at too high a rate; which he knew very well, and made use thereof for his own ends; therein abusing me, and presuming of my supporting him in his actions, which from time to time he gilded with so fair pretences, that I believed and trusted him too much. Also I gave too little heed unto many complaints against him. Here was my fault. But I have been whipt for it, and I will do so no more.

4. While he governed here, some few years, he pleased me very well; and had a quality of the best servant—that what I directed him to do, if it succeeded ill, he would take the same upon himself; and what happened well, would give me the glory of it.

5. This he did while I continued my favours to him. And I were as ungrateful as unwise if I should not both enrich and oblige him to me; as the only way to keep him good. But, such is the condition of man, that most will have some one fault or other to blur all their best virtues! And his was of that condition which is reckoned with drunkenness—viz., covetousness; both marked with age to increase and grow in men.

6. He was ever forward to make me many requests, which, while they were fit for me to grant, I did never deny him. But indeed a right good servant would rather be prevented by his lord's nobleness than demand anything of himself; and suffer himself to be honoured and enriched, as enforced, rather than pretending to it; and ascribe honours to his office, not to merit.

7. But I observed, that the more I gave, the more he asked; and such things as I could not grant without much prejudice unto myself and others. So as after a while I sometimes did refuse him. And it was sure to fall out according to the old observation, that when a prince hath given all, and the favourite can desire no more, they both grow weary of one another


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