competent to maintain itself, even when Richards ministers were tactless and his brother treacherous.
Formerly in Anna Pavlovna's presence, Pierre had always felt that what he was saying was out of place, tactless and unsuitable, that remarks which seemed to him clever while they formed in his mind became foolish as soon as he uttered them, while on the contrary Hippolyte's stupidest remarks came out clever and apt.
Some cryptic correspondence with the pope, whether actually by James or by Elphinstone, one of his ministers, came apparently to the knowledge of the English court; his secret relations with the earl of Essex were, if not known, suspected; the young earl of Gowrie, returned from a residence on the continent, was too effusively welcomed by Elizabeth in May 1600; and James made a tactless speech when asking parliament for money towards his " honourable entering to the crown of England after the death of the queen."
Soon after this event he came forward as a Roman Catholic, and he advised the new king with regard to affairs in Oxford, being partly responsible for the tactless conduct of James in forcing a quarrel with the fellows of Magdalen College.
Here he repaired the fabric and changed the position of the communion table, a matter which aroused great religious controversy, from the centre of the choir to the east end, by a characteristic tactless exercise of power offending the bishop, who henceforth refused to enter the cathedral.