WHEN was there contract better driven by Fate,
Or celebrated with more truth of state?
The world the temple was, the priest a king,
The spoused pair two realms, the sea the ring.
-Ben Jonson (1613). The poem was apparently occasioned by comments by James I at the opening of Parliament in 1604, following the Union with Scotland: “What God hath conioyned then, let no man separate. I am the husband, and the Whole Isle is my lawfull Wife.”