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1506 - 1906 









A Memorial. 



Contributions by various writers, compiled and edited by 


(on behalf of the Executive of the Students' Representative Council of 
St. Andrews University). 

Fades non omnibus wia 
Nee diversa tamen, qualem decet ease sororum. 

Ovid. Met. II. U-L r >. 















THIS volume is the result of the request specially made that 
there should be some permanent memento of the reverence paid 
by the University of St. Andrews to the memory of one of her 
greatest alumni. It was considered by some of those who 
inspired the Quater-Centenary Celebrations held in St. Andrews 
in July, that the students of the present day should play their 
part in acknowledging the greatness of him who was imbued 
with ' the St. Andrews spirit ' and, in the words of Gibbon, 
celebrated with elegance the unviolated independence of his 
native country. It was further suggested that their acknow- 
ledgment be made in the form of a Festschrift. These pages then 
form their contribution, which is offered to the public in the 
year when the Quater-Centenary should have been held. Many 
difficulties stood in the way of anything serviceable being 
produced ; now that these have been overcome, it is to be hoped 
that the work involved has not been in vain or valueless. 

After such a work as that of Professor Hume Brown, it 
seemed at first impossible to say anything more on the subject ; 
nevertheless the enthusiasm shown in Scotland by the Quater- 
Ceutenary Celebrations held here and at Glasgow have somewhat 
roused the bulk of the Scottish people to inquire into the real 
work and genius of Buchanan. Hitherto his name and 
reputation have been shrouded in the native mist, and the 
thrust has often been made " The Scots are more given to 
boast of Buchanan's name than to read his writings." The 
main object of this volume has been to enable Scotsmen to 
deflect this, and to give them what has hitherto been difficult to 
obtain an insight not merely into Buchanan's life and habits, 
but into the times in which he lived and the part he played in 
the light of Scottish history and European thought. There is 
also given a taste, if but a taste, of Buchanan's poetic genius, 
and it is hoped that Part II. of the volume will prove of interest 

viii. Preface 

not only to scholars, but to all who were prevented by 
Buchanan's Latinity from estimating his gifts. 

Some of the translations may not be of great poetic merit, 
while there may be some unnecessary repetition of translations. 
It is to be remembered, however, that some of these have been 
made by students in their few odd moments, while the Steele 
Prize Translations were generally of equal merit. Other 
translations, however, seem of great value, and testify to much 

Another purpose maintained in the compilation has been to 
penetrate to the truth about Buchanan, and to enable readers 
to estimate his real position in the Scotland and Europe of his 
age. For that purpose, various distinguished writers kindly 
undertook to discuss the aspects of Buchanan's life and work 
which were pointed out as worthy of emphasis, and for such 
kind compliance 1 am greatly indebted. There may at times 
seem incongruities in this treatment, but it is to be remembered 
that the truth was only sought. Not after all are there any real 
collisions of opinion, nor has it been denied that he who took 
all Latin for his province, who made fewer mistakes than 
modern Latin scholars (although great emphasis has been laid 
in some of these pages on the very few he did make), had the 
learning of Erasmus and the humour of Rabelais. Though in 
virtue of his poetic instinct and gift of verse he excelled both, 
yet with these and other Humanists he sought to substitute 
scholarship for scholasticism. The force of his personality was 
revealed to Scotsmen in his advocacy of political liberty, and 
consequently he is one of the greatest characters in the national 
history. All these points and more have been brought out in 
the following pages. There are one or two other aspects which 
have been more fully dwelt upon than in other biographies of 
Buchanan. It was my intention to insert a chapter on 
" Buchanan as an Educational Reformer," but Lord Reay has, 
in the Oration which was printed in the Appendix to this volume, 
dwelt at length upon the main facts of Buchanan's educational 
work. Nevertheless there are to be found throughout his 
writings many other truths and hints which could be appreci- 
ated by teachers and disciplinarians, and which have not here 
been set forth. 

In a work on Buchanan it has not been deemed inappropriate 
that some of the contributions should be written in French a 

Preface ix. 

language which he must have known well. The chapters 
written by a successor of Buchanan at Bordeaux Professor De 
la Ville de Mirmont formed part of a memoir written for the 
benefit of the two or three thousand members of the " Societe 
Philomathique de Bordeaux," and afterwards printed in the 
Revue Philomathique } 1906. Permission was readily given to 
me by Professor De la Ville de Mirmont to abridge this memoir 
and to adapt it so that two very interesting chapters are added 
to this volume. To the learned Professor' I am further obliged 
for his aid in securing the two photographs of old Bordeaux. 

Some new biographical matter is furnished by the contribu- 
tion of Senhor G. J. C. Henriques of Carnota, whose sympathy 
in this work has been manifest. His researches among the 
Inquisition records have proved successful, and in this volume 
all that has recently been discovered is set forth. Great 
assistance in this matter has also been given by Rev. R. M. 
Lithgow of Lisbon. In securing the photographs of the 
Inquisition papers, Mr. Lithgow's services were invaluable, and 
necessitated months of correspondence and endless trouble in 
interviewing Government officials. It is, however, to Lord 
Guthrie that I am mainly indebted for the use of these 
photographs, as it was only his enthusiasm that prompted the 
securing of them. Likewise in this same work the good offices 
of Sir Maurice de Bunsen and H. O. Beaumont, Esq., are 
recognised as of value. To C. L. Chandler, Esq., who 
discovered the excised passages in the copy of Buchanan's Works 
in the Library of the Royal Palace (see Appendix I. c), and to 
M. Bettencourt who allowed Mr. Lithgow to copy them out, 
there is due much gratitude. 

In the production of this volume I stand in great debt to 
many. Mr. D. Leslie Hatten of Kingston Hall, Surrey, has 
very kindly added the artistic touches, the cover-designs 
especially requiring some time. Through the courtesy of 
Messrs. T. C. and E. C. Jack, Edinburgh, I have been able to 
print the frontispiece from a photogravure plate of the portrait 
which, on the authority of Mr. J. L. Caw of the National 
Portrait Gallery, is authentic. To Messrs. Oliphant, Anderson dz 
Ferrier, Edinburgh ; Mr. Henderson, Maybole ; Mr. Middleton, 
Curator of the Wallace Monument ; to all those publishers and to 
Messrs. Valentine & Sons, Ltd., Dundee, who have given 
the use of portrait blocks and permitted me to use their 

x. Preface 

photographs, my thanks are due. Various contributors to 
the volume who have interested themselves in the work 
have given assistance and advice which have lightened 
the labour : to them and especially to Miss L. P. Steele- 
Hutton, M.A., London, J. Maitland Anderson, Esq., Librarian 
to St Andrews University, Mr. A. S. Ferguson, Univ. Coll., 
Oxford, and J. W. Munro, Esq., B.A., H.M.T.S., Dundee, 
my best gratitude is extended. Tn the work of revising 
the proof-sheets valuable help has been rendered by Mr. C. 
Outline Cooper, M.A., St. Mary's College, St. Andrews, and 
Mr. A. Cassels, M.A., Lincoln College, Oxford. The whole 
work has, however, been inspired by Dr. Steele of Florence, 
whose learning and enthusiasm have been exhibited in his zeal 
to pay homage to his great compatriot and TTumanist, George 
Buchanan, while our respected Rector Dr. Carnegie has 
sympathised with this work of his constituents. 

The nature of this publication has led to some variety in 
method some contributors demanding their own methods on 
the subject prescribed but an endeavour has been made as far 
as possible to secure uniformity. In Part II. and Appendix the 
introductions and footnotes have been inserted, so that the 
variants in the text of Buchanan's poems may be seen, and his 
compositions be understood in a clear and strong light. 

Apart from its being a souvenir of a great occasion and of 
a memorable scene in St. Andrews, this volume is put forth 
in the hope that Buchanan's versatility and genius may be more 
fully recognised than hitherto. He is placed on no special 
platform, his disposition and temperament prevent that, 
but it is at least believed that his fame will remain 
along with the memory of the Latin language and the 
Scottish nation. This work will serve its purpose if it helps in 
some way to bring all Scotsmen as well as St. Andrews students 
to realise that Buchanan was not mainly a Latinist, but more- 
over a poet, a wit, a statesman, a churchman, an educationist: 
for of him who held all knowledge in reverence, it may truly 
be said in Chaucer's words 

" And gladlie wolde he lerne and gladlie teche." 

D M 


February 1907. 


P. xviii., Illustration of " Ruins of Palais Gallien, Bordeaux," on 
p. 44, not p. 51. 

P. 1 9, line 20, read paedagogia for paedogogia. 
P. 71, line 18, read gadezim for dadezim. 




by J. P. STEEL R, B. A., M.D., LL.D., Florence, 1 



by Sir ARCHIBALD C. LAWRIE, LL.D., Editor 
of Early Scottish Charters, ... 4 


by llev. ROBERT MUNRO, B.D., F.S.A.ScoT., 
F.R.S.E., Old Kil patrick, . . 7 


by WILLIAM BAYNK, Lecturer in KngKsh, 
University of St. Andrews, . . 19 


by Rev. T. M. LINDSAY, D.D., Principal of 
U.F. College, Glasgow, ... 25 


by H. DE LA VILLE DE MiRMONT, Professor 
of Latin, University of Bordeaux, . . 35 


by Rev. Professor JOHN HEKKLESS, D.D., 
University of St. Andrews, . . 53 


by Senhor G. J. C. HENRIQUES, Legal Ad- 
viser to British Embassy, Lisbon, . . 60 

by A. II. MILLAR, F.S.A.Scot., author of 

Mary, Queen of S'co.s' : Her Lifr-Xtory, 79 

xii. Contents 


by Rev. KIRKWOOD HEWAT, M.A., F.S.A., 
Prestwick, ..... 86 

by Rev. Professor H. M. B. REID, D.D., 

University of Glasgow, . . . 91 


by JAMES MACKINNON, M. A., Ph.D., Lecturer 
in Modern History, St. Andrews University, 
and author of A History of Modern Liberty, 96 


by J. A. BALPOUR, F.R.Hist.S., . 105 


by Professor H. DE LA VILLE DE MIRMONT, 115 



by WILLIAM BAYNE, . . . 130 


by Rev. Professor ALLAN MENZIES, D.D., 

University of St. Andrews, . . . 136 


by Rev. R. MENZIES FERGUSSON, D.D., Logie, 143 



by J. W. MUNRO, B.A., H.M.I.S., . . 150 


by J. MAITLAND ANDERSON, Librarian to 
University of St. Andrews, . . 166 

author of The Medicii and the Italian Re- 
naissance and English Satires and Satirists, 186 


by Miss L. P. STEELE-HUTTON, MA., London 

School of Political and Economic Science, 194 

Contents xiii. 


by Professor W. M. LINDSAY, M.A., LL.D., 

University of St. Andrews, . . . 204 


by WILLIAM HARVKY, F.S.A.ScoT., author 
of Scottish Chapbook Literature and Scottish 
Life and Character, . . . 212 




by the EDITOR, .... 235 


Legerwood, author of the Sacred Dramas of 
Georye Buchanan, . . . . 245 


I. ELEGIA I. Quam misera sit coriditio docentium 

literas humaniores Lutetiae. . . 249 

Translation by T. D. ROBB, M.A., Paisley, 
author of Stecle Prize Essay on Sixteenth 
Century Humanism as illustrated by the Life 
and Work of George Buchanan, . . 253 

French Translation by JOACHIM Du BELLAY 

(1525-1560), .... 257 

II. SOMNIUM, ...... 264 


of which the Somnium is a free Translation, 262 

Translation of Somnium by W. MACFARLANE, 

M.A., 1799, ..... 265 


English Translation by RICHMOND S. CHARLES, 

University of St. Andrews, . . . 268 

French Translation by R. DE LA VAISSIERE 
DE LAVERGNE, University of Bordeaux, 
(Steele Prize), . . . . 269 


Translation by LIONEL. S. CHARLES, Uni- 
versity of St. Andrews, (Steefe Prize 1st 
Equal), . ... 272 

xiv. Contents 

Translation by VICTOR F. MURRAY, University 

of St. Andrews, (Steel* Prize - 1st Equal}, 273 


Translation by A. L. TAYLOR, M.A., High 

School, Glasgow, . . . . 276 


French Translation by ANDREE WALTZ, 

University of Bordeaux, (Steels Prize}, . 282 

English Translation by T. D. ROHB, M.A., 

Paisley, . 283 



French Translation by HENRI BONNEVIE, 
L.-ES-L., University of Paris, (Steele 
Prize lat Equal), .... 289 

English Translation by Father PROUT, (1866), . 292 

French Translation by HENRI PKTITMANCIN, 
University of Paris, ( Prize 1st 
Equal], . .... 995 



Translation by LIONEL S. CHARLES, (Steel? 

Prize), ..... 307 


Translation by LIONEL S. CHARLES, (Steele 

Prize 1st), . . . . . 318 

Translation by REGINALD K. WINTER, Uni- 
versity of St. Andrews, (Steele Prize 2nd), 321 


Translation by JOHN LONGMUIR, LL.D., Aber- 
deen, 1871, . . . . . 327 
XT. Miscellaneous Poems and Translations. 


Translation by Rev. A. GORDON MITCHELL, 

D.D., Killearn, .... 333 

IN AULUM, ..... 334 

Translation reprinted from Notes and Queries. 

1850, 334 

Contents xv. 


Translation by T. D. ROBB, M.A., Paisley, . 336 

IN DOLETUM, ..... 337 
Translation by J. O. W. H. in Notes and 

Queries, 1850, .... 337 

PROREGI, .... 337 

Translation by Rev. Dr. A. GORDON MITCHELL, 337 

Translation by T. D. in Blackwood's Mayazine, 

1822, ..... 339 


Translation by Rev. Dr. GORDON MITCHELL, . 341 

French Translation by HENRI BONNEVIE, 
L.-ES-L., University of Paris (Stwle Prize 

lnt Prize), ..... 342 
English Translation by W. H. HAMILTON, 

University of St. Andrews, . . . 344 
French Translation by HENKI PETITMANGIN, 
University of Paris, (Steele Prize 1st 
Equal), ..... 345 
Translation by Rev. Dr. GORDON MITCHELL, . 346 
DE EQUO ELOGIUM, .... 347 
Translation by J. LONGMUIR, LL.D., Aber- 
deen, 1871, ..... 347 
Translation by Rev. Dr. GORDON MITCHELL, . 349 
tions by Lionel 8. Charles (Steele Prize), 
Scene III. Queen Herodias incites Herod to 

slay John, ..... 352 

Translation, . . . . .352 

Scene V. The Appeal of the Chorus to Heaven, 353 

Translation, . . . . . 354 

Scene X.-- John's Speech and Reply of Chorus, 356 

Translation, ..... 357 

xvi. Contents. 

Scene XIII. The Chorus on God's judgment of 

the wicked, ..... 358 

Translation, ..... 359 

Scene XIV. Messenger's Speech and Chorus . 360 

Translation, . . . . .361 

PSALM cxxxvu., 

(1) by GEORGE BUCHANAN, . . 365 

Translation into English Verse by 

JOHN EADIK, 1836, . . 366 

(2) by LORD GKKNVILLE in Antholoym 

Oxoniensis, 1846, (verses i.-vi.), . 368 

PSALM cxxi., 

(1) by GEORGE BUCHANAN, . . . 368 

Translation by JOHN EADIE, . . 369 

(2) by M. ANTONIO FLAMINIO, 1559, 370 
PSALM civ. (xiii.-xxvii.), 

(1) by GEORGE BUCHANAN,. . . 371 

Translation by JOHN EADIE, . 372 

(2) by GEORGE EGLISHAM, M.D., 1618, . 374 
PSALM xxvii. (ix.-xiv.), 

(1) by GEORGE BUCHANAN, . . . 375 

Translation by JOHN EADIE, . . 376 

;2) by ARTHUR JOHNSTON, M.D., 1637, . 378 


APPENDIX I. A. Buchanan's Defence in the Lisbon 
Inquisition as written by himself, 
Edited, with Notes, . . . 381 

B. Inventory of the Books of Costa and 
Buchanan when imprisoned in Por- 
tugal, . . . .402 
c. List of passages, phrases, and single 
words deleted by the Inquisition in 
Buchanan's Rerum Scoticarum His- 
toria, ..... 403 
APPENDIX II. Statement concerning the earliest known 
translation of the first part of the De 
Jure Regui, .... 406 









A. List of Books presented by Buchanan 

to the University of St. Andrews, . 407 

B. List of Books presented to the Univer- 

sity of Glasgow, . . . 409 

" Mr. George Buchanan's opinion anent 
the Reformation of the Vniversity of 
St. Andros," (from a MS. in the 
Advocates' Library), . . . 410 

Some Notes on MSS. Translations of 
Buchanan's Rerum Scoticarum His- 
toria, . , . . .421 

Letter from Buchanan to Monsieur de 
Sigongues, Governor of Dieppe (the 
only instance found of Buchanan's 
writings in French), . . . 422 

Buchanan's Testament Dative, . . 423 

Buchanan's Scottish Residences, . 424 

George Buchanan Quater-Centenary Cele- 
brations, St. Andrews, 6th and 7th 
July 1906, .... 427 

(a) Chapel Service, . . . 427 

(b) Lord Reay's Oration, . . 428 

(c) Graduation Ceremonial, . . 453 

(d) Quater-Centenary Dinner, . . 462 

(e) Buchanan Exhibition of Books and 

Portraits, . . .484 

(f) Garden Party, . . .485 



George Buchanan, . . . Photogravure Frontispiece. 

The Moss, near Killearn, .... Facing page 8 

George Buchanan's " Ludging," Stirling, . . . 14 

Old College, Glasgow, . . . . . 16 

St. Leonard's College in 1767, .... 24 

Gateway of St. Eloi, Bordeaux, . . . . 44 

Ruins of " Palais Gallien," Bordeaux, . . . 51 
University of Coimbra, ... .60 

Facsimile, Last page of record of Buchanan's Trial, . 69 

,, First page of Buchanan's Defence, . . 70 

Last page of Buchanan's Defence, . . 71 

,, MS. containing the Sentence of the Inquisition, 73 

Intimation of Release, . . . . 74 

Convent of St. Bento, Lisbon (Front Vieiv), . . 76 

,, ,, (Back View), . . 76 
Mary, Queen of Scots (from Engraving in Vol. II. of 

1722 Edition of Buchanan's l History' ), . . 80 

Ruins of Crossraguel Abbey, ... 86 

John Knox (from the Bust in the Wallace Monument), . 92 
James I. (from Engraving in Vol. I. of 1722 edition of 

Buchanan's ' History '), . . . . 1 04 

Arthur Johnston, M.D., ..... 138 

Andrew Melville, ...... 191 

George Buchanan (Facsimile of Woodcut in " Les Portraits 

des IJommes Illustres," 1673), . . . . 227 

Collection of Portraits of Buchanan, . . . 229 

George Buchanan (from Boissard), . . . 230 

,, (from Pourbus), .... 232 

List of Illustrations xix. 

George Buchanan (from the Painting in the National 

Portrait Gallery, London), .... 234 

Buchanan Monument at Killearn, .... 236 

Memorial Window in Old Greyfriars Church, Edinburgh, . 238 

Monument in Greyfriars Churchyard, . . . 240 

George Buchanan (from the Biist in Wallace Monument), . 242 

Gateway of St. Salvator's Chapel, St. Andrews, . . 428 

The Right Hon. Lord Reay, G. C.S.I., LL.D, . . 452 

Principal Donaldson, M.A., LL.D . . 462 

J. P. Steele, B.A. M.D., LL.D., Florence, . . 474 

St. Leonard's Chapel (Exterior), .... 484 

St. Salvator's Tower, from the Quadrangle, . . 485 




SALVE, Georgi ! Romuleas ferunt 1 
Olim Severn sub duco copias, 
Sootis triumphatis tuaque 

Heu patria bimari subacta, 

Munimen illucl nobilc Termino 
Sacrare, et artes Indigenis bonas 
Inferre moresque, ac latentem 
Pectoribus Genium ciere, 

Cum quo, capaci mentis idoneae 
Ad summa, snmmos gens superat tua, 
Princepsque (is cultus Latini 
Discipulus simul ct magister. 

Quid si, Georgi, stirpe sato tibi 
Leviniana saecula quattuor 

Longinqua fluxerunt? Per ora 
Vivis adhuc hominum venusta, 

1 Vitlusis Bucliaiiiini Her. Scot. Hist. IV ',*,", -8 <-t Silv. IV 1 .)<). 

Georgium Buchananum 

Vivesque semper, donoc habebore 
Dis carus ipsis, utpotc qui plus 
Priscas retractaris salubri 
Arto tua ingonioque Musas, 

Quao to fovondum sic vice niutua 
Curant, ut adsfcos aede nova silii 
Gratus sacerdos, non honorom 
Tempore depositurus ullo. 

Nee to sccundat Melpomono magis 
Oustode Clio praeteritae roi, 

Per quam, redintegrans tropaea 
Scotigenis Patavina nervis, 

Nostros labores inilitiae et donii 
Motusque miros ceu tabula refers 
Spiran to verum, qua fruetur 
Posteritas animosque pascet 

In niajus auctos, dum manet Arx tui 
Britannoduni se speculo videns 
Clotae gubernatoris undae 
Imbrifera regione natae. 

Sed cur, Georgi, tot tua tantaque 
Incepta dicam semper ad exitus 
Perdueta claros, cum vel ipsae 
Marte gcrunt dubio Camenae 

Certamen, an te plus decoret stilus 
Magnum tyrannis iniciens metuin, 
An grata testudo, an supellex 
Qua simul Uraniae propinquas 

Simplex amator? Nos potius juvat, 
Hac luce festa, te veteris loqui 
Virtutis auctorem decusque 
Grande, Caledoniaequc semper 

Pubi colcndum, quippe domabilom 
Nullis Palati laudibus aut minis 
Sicisve, dum, justi Catonis 
Instar, agis sine labe vitam. 

Georgium Buchananum 

Tu, sivo potes Sequanam et Orbili 

Fungare duro munere ; seu valens 

Praelector ad latum Garumnam 

Vasconidas renoves Athenas ; 

Seu Lusitanae de cathedra Scholae 
Pulsus maligno crimine, carceris 
Sub nocte prospectes in horas 
Supplicium nece pejus ipsa ; 

Seu propter undas Eridani ducem 
Gallum sequaris Palladaque inferas 
In castra Mavortis, remixtis 
Carminibus lituo strepenti ; 

Seu missus Aulae nuntius Anglicae, 
Regis ve doctor sis vigil alite 
Nati sinistra ; seu Supremo 
Concilio moderere Cleri ; 

Tu semper idem, nee pede devio 
Rectum relinquens, dotibus uteris 
Sic mentis ut, vultu sereno, 
./Equus eas per iniqua rerum. 

Si mordearis dentibus aulicas 
Partes tucntum spe sine, quid tua 
Refert, Georgia Te minorem 
Dis Patriis geris ; hinc resurgens 

Vili tyranno major et asseclis 
Quicumque malunt utile quam bonum, 
Securus exspectas ab aevo 

In inelius properante lauruin. 

J. P. S. 


Notes on Buchanan's Ancestry. 

Biographers 1 claim for Buchanan descent from Sir Walter 
Buchanan of that Ilk who, they say, married a daughter of 
Murdoch, Duke of Albany, by his wife Isobel the co-heir of her 
father, the last Earl of Lennox of the old creation. To this 
relationship some have ascribed the historian's approbation of 
the conduct of the Regent Lennox, his sympathy with Darnley, 
and his antagonism to the rival house of Hamilton. The claim, 
however, to the royal and Lennox descent made by his bio- 
graphers for George Buchanan is not supported by anything he 
himself wrote, and is erroneous. 

Murdoch, Duke of Albany, married Tsobel, the eldest of the 
three daughters of Duncan, Earl of Lennox. The Duke and his 
father-in-law, the Earl of Lennox, were suspected by James I. of 
treason, and were executed in Stirling in 1425. The widowed 
Duchess died about thirty years later, and on her death, the 
Lennox was partitioned between the descendants of her two 
sisters. It is plain from the record of the partition that 
the Duchess left no legitimate grandchildren. If she had a 
daughter who had been married to Buchanan of that 
Ilk, that daughter must have predeceased her mother 
without issue. Patrick, the son and heir of Sir Walter 
Buchanan, did not claim to be one of the co-heirs of the 
Earldom of Lennox : it was not suggested that he was the 
grandson of the Duchess of Albany. It is therefore right 
that George Buchanan should be absolved from the charge of 
having been actuated by the pride and prejudice of family when 
he fearlessly and honestly took the side of the Earl of Lennox 
and exposed the crime of the murderers of Darnley. 

In the middle of the fifteenth century a Thomas Buchanan 
a brother of Patrick Buchanan of that Ilk, who was the 

1 Buchanan of Auchmar in his E*f>ny, fiuthrio Smith in Strathf.ndricl;, and 
Hume Brown in his Biography of Buehanan. 

Notes on Buchanan's Ancestry 5 

grandson of Sir Walter bought a considerable number of 
estates in Stirlingshire and Perthshire. Guthrie Smith says, 1 
' a charter in his favour, granted by Patrick Buchanan of that 
ilk of the lands of Gartincaber .... is dated at Buchanan 
1461.' He had also a charter dated at Torphichen, 3rd Feby., 
1461-62, of the Temple Lands of Letter. On the 2nd October, 
1472 . . . the bailie of Halden of Gleneagles gave sasine to 
' Thomas Buchanan and Robert Makcalpyn of the lands of 
Ballvol and Camquhele.' In 1476 he purchased from Haldane of 
Gleneagles the lands of ' Kepdory, Carbeth, Ballawoul,' etc. In 
1482 he conveyed Carbeth to his son Thomas, ' Ballyvow ' to his 
son Walter, and Kepdory to Robert his eldest son and heir ap- 
parent. In 1477 he acquired the Temple lands of Ballikinrain, 
in 1484 he had a charter from William, Lord Graham of Middle 
Ledlewan (the Moss). Besides these lands he bought Drum- 
ikil, half of which he gave to his son Robert in 1496. These 
charters and others prove that Thomas Buchanan was a success- 
ful money-making man. 

Though he was a brother of the Laird of Buchanan, there is 
some reason for believing that he was illegitimate. There is a 
Crown charter of 1463 2 confirming an entail of the lands of 
Buchanan on Patrick Buchanan of that Ilk and on Patrick's 
son, Walter, whom failing, on the Buchanan of Leny and 
his six sons in succession, failing all of whom, on the brother of 
Buchanan of Leny. Thomas Buchanan (though the brother of 
Patrick, the laird of Buchanan) is not mentioned. If legitimate, 
lie would have been the next heir after Patrick's issue, but 
he was passed over in favour of Buchanan of Leny, a cousin. 
The inference that Thomas was illegitimate is, I think, irresist- 
ible. Robert Buchanan, to whom his father gave Kepdory, 
half of Drurnikil, and probably Middle Ledlewan, was ex- 
travagant and insolvent. His son Thomas lived at the Moss, 
married Agnes Heriot, but died while still a young man, leaving 
a family of five sons and three daughters. The famous George 
Buchanan was the fifth son. He says he was born about the 
1st of February, 1506. The year then began on the 25th March, 
and the 1st of February, 1506, corresponds to 1st February, 
1507. Perhaps the quater-centenary should not have been 
held until next year. 

1 Slrathendrick, p. 309. - Reg. Mag. Big., No. 761, p. 162. 

3 Vita Stta "anno salutis Christianae millesiuio quingentesimo sexto, 
circa Kalendas Februarias." 

6 Notes on Buchanan's Ancestry 

Agnes Heriot, George Buchanan's mother, is said by all his 
biographers but on slight authority -to have been a daughter 
of Heriot of Trabroun, East Lothian, and so related to 
George Heriot who is well-known as the founder of Heriot's 
Hospital in Edinburgh. On her husband's death she left the 
Moss, and in 1513 she took a lease of a farm in Menteith making 
all her boys (including George, not yet eight years old) joint 
tenants. The year in which they got that lease in Menteith was 
the fatal year of Flodden, when most of the great men of the 
Lennox fell. Mathew, Earl of Lennox, William, Earl of 
Moutrose, Edmondstone of Duntreath, one of the Buchanans of 
Leny, Napier, one of the co-heirs of Lennox, and others were 
killed, and a new generation, who had not known George 
Buchanan's father, succeeded to their titles and estates. A few 
years afterwards George Buchanan went to France. Though as 
" Magister Georgius " he appears in 1531 as a joint tenant with 
his mother and brothers of the Perthshire farm, his connection 
with the Lennox ceased so early in his life that he could 
impartially estimate the worth of the Earl of Lennox and 
others who played great parts in the history which Buchanan 
afterwards wrote. 

It may seem invidious and ungracious to say that there is no 
evidence that the great historian was descended from the royal 
house of Stewart and the old Earls of Lennox, and still more 
ungracious to throw doubt on the legitimacy of his great-grand- 
father, but George Buchanan would have disdained to be credited 
with a false pedigree, and it is right to try to be accurate, even 
in such matters. 

A. C. L. 


Early Surroundings and Associations. 

GEOUGB BUCHANAN, though a native of Lennox, and a kins- 
man of its hereditary lords, spent the best part of his life in 
other lands. It was in France, Portugal, and Italy, that he 
won reputation as the enlightened champion of education, and 
" the first poet of his age." With the exception of what he 
owed to his early home, to his schools, and to the University of 
St. Andrews, where he took the degree of Bachelor, his own 
land, with its Cardinal and Cordeliers, did not greatly help him 
on the road to fame. Buchanan was too patriotic either to 
remember the bitternesses of the past or to forget the claims of 
the present. He finally returned to Scotland during the chaos 
of the Reforming struggles ; and, for the last twenty years of 
his life, devoted himself unweariedly to the national service. In 
this respect he presents a notable contrast to some other Scottish 
scholars of the time. Wilson, Alane, Scrymger, and, possibly, 
Turnbull and Holywood, went abroad, disguised their names 
under Latin forms, won fortune and fame, and never returned. 
The public services which Buchanan rendered to his country 
are well known ; for they form part of the history of the new era 
which he and others helped to create. Not so much, however, 
can be said of his private and personal life during this closing 
period in his career. He had no biographer among his contem- 
poraries. In this, it seems, Peter Young missed his chance of 
immortality: missed it, too, with his eyes open. He had been 
urged by Sir Thomas Randolph, who may have been a former 
pupil of Buchanan, to write a life of the celebrated scholar, 
" beinge a thinge so common unto all famous Personnes, and 
most peculiar to the best learnid." 1 The advice was not taken; 

1 Letter of Thomas Randolphe to the right worshipfull Maister Peter 
Yonge, 1579. Epistola 23, Georgii Buchanani Opera, vol. 1. 

Early Surroundings and Associations 

and much in the public and private life of Buchanan, while at 
Edinburgh, St. Andrews, Stirling, and elsewhere, has gone into 
the void, possibly beyond recovery. 

This paper is chiefly concerned with the earlier and later stages 
of Buchanan's connection with the West of Scotland. After 
four hundred years facts do not lie about like leaves in autumn. 
Yet one or two references have been found which arc certainly 
not without interest ; and may ultimately lead to a solution of 
some of the disputed points in the personal history of the dis- 
tinguished Scottish humanist and reformer. 

George Buchanan's birthplace was the old mansion-house of 
the Moss, pleasantly situated on the Blane, near Killearn, in 
Stirlingshire. It was an unpretentious building, thatched with 
straw, and stood somewhat nearer the river than the present 
modern building. Wodrow, writing in 1732, describes it as "a 
little house, still remaining, in a mossy ground, in the parish 
of Killearn." 1 A table and chair, made from the oak beams of 
the original house, are all that now remain to connect us directly 
with the venerable dwelling where Buchanan first saw the light. 
The lands of Moss, then called Middle Ledlewan, came into the 
possession of the family through the grant given, in 1484, by 
William, Lord Graham, to Thomas Buchanan of Bultoune the 
founder of the Drumikil branch " in virtue of counsel, assist- 
ance and services cheerfully rendered in times past." A condi- 
tion of tenure stipulated that " the said Thomas Buchanan, his 
heirs and assignees should, if asked, pay annually, at the feast 
of Pentecost, to Lord Graham, at his three head courts of the 
lands of Mugdock, a silver penny, in the name of blanch farm." 

It was while farming Moss a 40 shilling land of old extent, 
or a property of about 104 acres- -that Thomas Buchanan, eldest 
son of Robert, the second of Drumikil, and grandson of the 
above mentioned Thomas of Bultoune, married Agnes Heriot. 
She is supposed to have been one of the Heriots of Trabroun. 
William Buchanan of Auchmar, not always too reliable, was the 
first to give currency to the view. 3 It is known that James 
Heriot, Canon of Ross, and Justiciar of Lothian died in 1522 ; 
the year in which George's maternal uncle and benefactor died. 4 

1 Wodrow's M.S. Life of Buchanan, vol. 16. 
- Cross Buchanan Writs. 

3 Historical and (lenoalogical Essay, p. 70. 

4 Selections from the Old Records regarding the Heriots of Trabroun, by 
W. G. B. ; printed at Haddington, 1894, for private circulation, pp. 11-19. 

Early Surroundings and Associations 9 

Auchmar could scarcely have been aware of this fact. Yet, as 
there were Ileriots in the West as well as in the East, the 
Trabroun descent rests, meantime, on a somewhat slight basis. 
Better, however, than any Trabroun lineage is the reference 
by her sou George : ' ' such was the frugal care of his 
mother, Agnes Heriot, that she brought up her five boys and 
three girls to the estate of manhood and womanhood," 1 clearly 
a shrewd, capable woman, who fought bravely the battle 
against adverse circumstances. Buchanan, always reticent, and 
no sentimentalist, certainly owed more to her than is expressed 
in the self-restrained, if appreciative, words that have immortal- 
ized her name. 

Although nothing definite is known regarding the daughters 
of Thomas Buchanan and Agnes Heriot the genealogists have 
tried to fill in the lacunae with picturesque details ; which need 
not here be mentioned. One of them, it may be inferred, 
became the wife of a certain Mr. Morison ; for it is known that 
an Alexander Morison published an edition of his uncle's 
paraphrase of the psalms. 2 As to the sons, Robert succeeded 
his father at the Moss in 1513 ; and, three years later, became, 
on his grandfather's death, laird of Drumikil. Robert died 
before 1525. 3 He is said to have been succeeded by his brother 
Thomas ; but this has not been conclusively established. If, for 
example, Thomas were the second son, it is curious that while 
his name does not appear in the lease of the lands of Olleron of 
Gartladdirnack, in Cardross of Menteith, granted in 1513, to 
Agnes Heriot and her sons Patrick, Alexander and George, it 
does appear in the renewal of the lease in 1531. He was then, 
presumably, laird of Drumikil ; yet his name comes last on the 
list : the order being, Alexander, Patrick, Mr George and 
Thomas. 1 Alexander, better known as of Ibert, apparently 
went to the Moss when his brother Robert died, or sometime 
later. The name of " Alexander Balquliannen in Mos " appears 
as a witness to a deed of date 21st October, 1553. 5 Patrick 

1 Vita iSua. 

- This ed. (1582-1010?) not known in Scotland, or to the British Museum. 
Jos. Scaliger wrote an ode in its praise, Opuacula, p. 287. Paris 1010. 
:i Acta Dom. Cone., vol. XXXVI., fol. 91. 

4 Erskino of Cardross Charters. An abstract of the deeds relating to 
Buchanan is given in Mr. J. Guthrie Smith's Mrathendrick. 

5 Protocol" of (,'la</on; vol. I., protocol 1GG. 

10 Early Surroundings and Associations 

became a scholar, whose fame would have been considerable 
had it not been eclipsed by his still more famous brother George. 

The Moss is about one and three-quarter miles south-west of 
Killcarn. For some time, up till the age of seven, Buchanan 
may have attended the village school. His family, " never too 
prosperous, had," as he tells us, " been reduced almost to 
extremity of want " ;' and it is not likely that he, a lad of five 
or six, should be sent to a school outside the parish. Killearn, 
then a prebend in the Chapter of Glasgow, had been annexed, 
in lf>OG, by the Archbishop to " the College of his University." 
Patrick Graham, brother of the Earl of Montrose, was, from 
1504, rector of the parish, and Canon of the Metropolitan 
Church. In 1513, and during the two following years, he was 
Rector of the Glasgow University. 3 Though the parson of 
Killearn took no direct part in teaching, his influence, as a man 
of culture and of birth, must have had some educative effect on 
the school. Yet, whatever the efficiency of the Killearn school, 
it could have done little for Buchanan : for we know that his 
family left the Moss for Offeron when he was in his seventh 

Mr. A. F. Hutchison, M.A., late Rector of the Stirling High 
School, suggests that his next school was at Stirling. 3 The old 
pro-Reformation Grammar School, in that ancient burgh, was 
the nearest, of any consequence, to his new home in Menteith ; 
and had, at that time, a master of some repute. As early as 
1732, though Mr. Hutchison was seemingly unaware of the fact, 
Wodrow made the same suggestion. " It is probable," he wrote, 
" that Buchanan was initiated in the Latin tongue in the 
Grammar School of Stirling, that lying near the place where he 
was born ; unless his uncle Trabroun carried him somewhere 
else." 1 An objection that is fatal to this view is the fact that 
Yule, the personal friend of Buchanan, and a former master of 
the Stirling Grammar School, makes no mention of George's 
name in connection with that school, even when enumerating 
some of the celebrated men who were educated there. 5 

1 Vita Sun " familia ante tennis pene ad extroimun inopiani est redacta." 
" Afunimtnla Univcrxitatix Glasyiienia, vol. 2, pp. 42, 127-9 ; also 
Diocesan L'egixters of Otamjom, vol. 2, p. 76, etc. 

3 The High School of Stirling, pp. 273-5. 

4 Wodrow MS., vol. 1C. 

5 Ecphraain Paraphraseo* Cfeorgii Duchanani, Dedic. Epist. London, 
1620. The ecphrasis, Yule says, was partly sketched by Buchanan. 

Early Surroundings and Associations 11 

If Killearn and Cardross of Menteith did not greatly contri- 
bute to Buchanan's mental culture, they did much for him in 
another way; they made him acquainted, from his youth, with 
the Gaelic tongue, and the traditions and romance of the High- 
lauds. He might bewail that he was born " amidst the British 
mountains, in a land and an age that was unlearned " ; but even 
these conditions had their compensations. He was drawing, 
unconsciously it may be, from the fine hills of Perthshire and 
the west ; from the exquisite beauties of Loch Lomond ; and the 
splendid statuary of the Firth of Clyde, that inspiration which 
helped to build up the future poet of the age. From the people, 
too, he was learning, as a youth can only learn, their ancient 
tongue, and its wealth of old world and imaginative lore. We 
know from the History that he spoke Gaelic when a child. 1 He 
was, from the first, bilingual ; and that, in itself, implies a mental 
discipline of no mean order. Even after he knew, and could 
speak, many languages he did not forget the old Celtic speech 
and the light it can throw on the place names of Europe. His 
ethnological and philological investigations, in the first two books 
of the History, are still interesting ; not only as showing his 
native insight and sagacity, but the thoroughness of his 
acquaintance with the language and customs of the Celts. His 
work here has, in great part, been superseded ; but, at the time, 
and for long after, it was the first intelligent attempt in that 

The early home surroundings and education could not thus 
have had much direct significance in building up the mental 
structure and equipment of George Buchanan. The true centre 
of educational influence must be sought for elsewhere. On the 
somewhat slender authority of Mackenzie it has been asserted 
that the Dumbarton Grammar School was the institution where 
he received his first real academic training. 2 The records of 
Dumbarton, which have been repeatedly searched, have yielded 
not the slightest reference. No doubt, Buchanan's knowledge 
of the rock, and especially of its magnetic properties, does seem 
to indicate that intimate acquaintance that is associated with 
the intelligent schoolboy. But it is not safe to draw conclusions 
from such evidence. Buchanan knew about many things that 

1 Re/rum Scoticarum Hiatoria, 1, 8. 

2 Lives and Characters of the most eminent urriters of the Scotf Nation, 
vol. 3, p. 156. 

12 Early Surroundings and Associations 

few, eveu now, know : as, for instance, the wall of Scverus and 
the marble deposits of Sutherland. All that one is justified in 
inferring from special lore of this kind is the accuracy and range 
of Buchanan's marvellous knowledge. Mackenzie may have mis- 
taken Cardross, near Dumbarton, for Cardross, in Perthshire ; 
and may, thus unwittingly, have helped to perpetuate an error 
which has since obtained the currency of a fact. 

Principal Robert Baillie, in a letter written, May 23, 1GGO, 
to Professor William Douglas, Aberdeen, says that Buchanan 
was educated at Glasgow : " George Buchanan, born in Strath- 
blaiie (Killern), seven miles from Glasgow, bred in our Grammar 
School, much conversing in our College, the chief instrument to 
purchase our rents from Queen Mary and King James." 1 

These statements of Baillie are of lirst-rate importance, lie 
was born at Glasgow twenty years after Buchanan's death, and 
was educated at the City Grammar School, and the University 
of which he afterwards became professor and Principal. As a 
chronicler of the time he is observant and trustworthy. It is 
true that the Moss is more than seven miles from Glasgow. 
Wodrow, writing seventy-two years later, gives the distance as 
ten miles. In those days, land measurements, even in charters, 
were indicated somewhat loosely. When, however, he says that 
Buchanan was " bred in our Grammar School " he stands on 
different ground. He is giving expression to what was then a 
living tradition about which there could be no uncertainty. 
Andrew Melville, Yule, and others, who enjoyed the friendship 
of Buchanan, were stiil alive when Baillie was a student at 
Glasgow. He may have got his information from them ; or from 
sources that have now ceased to exist. Nor is the fact, other- 
wise, unlikely. Patrick Graham, the parson of Killearn, was a 
Canon of the Cathedral; and, from 1513 to 1516, Rector of the 
University. He would naturally be interested in the clever lad 
whom he knew at the Moss ; and it may, possibly, have been 
through his influence that he was helped to study at the chief 
educational institution in the West of Scotland. 

The Glasgow Grammar School, originally situated near where 
the buildings of the Central Fire Brigade now are, grew up 
under the care of the city and the Cathedral. After the 14th 
century it is frequently mentioned ; but it existed long anterior 

1 Ltttr.r* ami Journal* of Robert Baillie, A.M., 1841-2, vol. 3, p. 402 
This letter was first published in the 1830 edition of McUro's History of 
Qlatyow, p. 3G3. 

Early Surroundings and Associations 13 

to that date. It was, according to the custom of the time, under 
the immediate supervision of the Chancellor of the Diocese. 1 In 
early youth, King James IV. was created a Canon of Glasgow; 
and, it would seem, as if his zeal for education had imparted 
itself to the school. The famous Act of 1496, passed in his 
reign, ordained " that all barons and freeholders that are of 
substance put their eldest sons and heirs to the schules fra they 
be six or nine yeirs of age, and till remaine at the Grammar 
Schools, quhill they be competentlie founded and have perfite 
Latine." Hallam thinks that this Act must have been inopera- 
tive because it was too vague for execution. 2 On a point like 
this, Heeren is, perhaps, a more reliable guide when he asserts 
that " the need of public instruction and the betterment of the 
same were felt earlier and more keenly in Scotland than in 
England." 3 No one claims that, during Buchanan's school 
days, any Scottish scholar wrote or spoke perfect Latin such 
Latin, for example, as was spoken and written by Bembo or 
Sadoleto. Yet the language was known, taught, and written 
with more or less elegance. In the best schools much care was 
bestowed on its teaching. The teachers spoke in Latin ; and the 
scholars, even while at play, were compelled, under severe 
penalties, to make use of that tongue as the medium of their 
thoughts. French was also taught and spoken; and, in some of 
the Scottish schools, pupils had the option of speaking either 
French or Latin during play hours. 4 

Unfortunately no records known to me give the scheme of 
lessons then taught at the Glasgow City School. Thomas Jack, 
who was favoured with the friendship of Buchanan, and who 
afterwards became minister of Eastwood and of Montgomery, is 
one of the most noted of its headmasters. He tells of a visit he 
paid to the aged scholar in the hope he might revise the MS. of 
his Onomasticon Poetici/m, and of the kindness he received, 
then, as on former occasions. " I found him," he says, " in the 
royal palace of Stirling, diligently engaged in writing his 
History of Scotland. He was so far from being displeased with 
my interruption that he cheerfully took my work into his hands, 
and after continuing to read two or three pages of it, ho collected 

1 Munimenta, vol. 1, p. 37; Reg. Kpixcop. Gfasrf., pp. 490-1. 

2 Lit. of Europe, in the Middle Aye*, vol. 1, p. 273. 

:l Qeschif'hte der Ki'insle und Wixsewtchaften, vol. 2, p. 139. 
4 McCrie's notes on Liven of Knox and Me.JriUa, Grant's Burgh Schools of 
Scotluiui, and P. Hume Tirown's Buchanan, 

14 Early Surroundings and Associations 

together his own papers, which were scattered on the table and 
said that he would desist from his undertaking till he had done 
what I wished. This promise he accurately performed ; and, 
within a few days, gave me a paper written with his own hand, 
and containing such corrections as he thought necessary." It 
may, perhaps, be too much to construe this incident as if it were 
an act of homage done by a former pupil of the Grammar School 
to its then headmaster. In any case, it is a proof of his unfail- 
ing courtesy and kindness. 

In Buchanan's time the school seems to have been in a 
flourishing condition. One of its masters, then, was Matthew 
Reid, M.A. He is first mentioned in 1511, among the incorpor- 
ati of the University. Incorporates, in this sense, may mean a 
student who matriculates for the first time ; or, one who, having 
studied elsewhere, desires to continue his studies at the College 
of which he becomes a member. Reid was evidently appointed 
to the mastership of the school as soon as he took the higher 
degree; for, in 1520, he was, as a man of whose discretion and 
capabilities the faculty had some experience, elected Treasurer 
of the University. Two years later, he was chosen one of the 
deputies of the Rector 1 perhaps the first time this honour was 
conferred on a schoolmaster. 

Buchanan was from the first a scholar. It was his early apti- 
tude and skill in the Latin tongue which, as he tells us, he 
" learned with much pains in boyhood," that appealed with such 
good results to his uncle and benefactor. At fourteen, when he 
left school, he must have known much, at least in the matter of 
Latin, that Matthew Reid could teach him. At the age of six- 
teen, Melanchthon lectured on the classical authors of antiquity. 
At fourteen, Andrew Melville, fresh from the Greek School at 
Montrose, entered the College of St. Mary, in the University of 
St. Andrews, and astonished, not a little, the professors there 
by using the Greek text in his study of Aristotle. Buchanan, 
with all his capacity and diligence, was no prodigy ; yet, we can 
well believe that when he started for the University of Paris, in 
1520, he knew and spoke the languages of old Rome and fair 
France as well as any who had ever left our shores for that 
famous seat of learning. The glory of being the first thus to lay 
the foundations of that Latinity in which he afterwards so 
greatly excelled, and to foster in him the real love of knowledge, 
1 Munimenla, vol. 2, pp. 126, 139, 149. 



;~>lp ( 

*-* Ufcfc? ^ ")'' 
:^, : 5sa.sfj , {, 

f a^/;>ft* f 

j WNIWK* ! 'ii 

' v %-^.. 

Early Surroundings and Associations 15 

must, perhaps, be assigned to the Scottish schoolmaster, Matthew 
Reid, whose name has lain, for nearly four centuries, hidden 
but not unhonoured, in the annals and muniments of his Alma 

The " parcel of good books," which Buchanan presented to the 
College Library consisted of twenty volumes, all written in 
Greek : possibly it was a compliment to his friend Andrew Mel- 
ville, an accomplished Greek scholar, and then head of the Glas- 
gow University. The books still exist, with the exception of a 
volume of Plutarch's works, which is amissing. They were 
given to the University, in 1578 the year of the ' Erectio 
Regia '- " ex dono viri optimi et doctissimi Georgii Buchanani, 
regii magistri." 1 George's name does not appear on any of the 
volumes. That of his brother, " Patricius Buchanan," is neatly 
written on the title page of Strabo's Geography. Above this 
signature is that of Jacobus Goupylus, presumably a former 
owner of the book ; for the name is slightly scored through by 
the same pen that wrote " Patricius Buchanan." In this folio 
there are numerous jottings, which consist, chiefly, of a kind of 
index of the names occuring in the text. These were not made 
by Buchanan. A few notes, of an explanatory kind, as at pages 
344, 352, are, almost certainly, in his handwriting. He makes 
frequent use of Strabo, in the opening chapters of the History; 
and many of the names there given, on the authority of Strabo, 
are underlined in the body of the original, or written on the 
margin. Five of the volumes: the works of Demosthenes, the 
Aryonautica of Apollonius, the Commentary on Aristotle 1 s 
Rhetoric, and volumes two and three of the Commentary on the 
Iliad and Odys&e,y by Eustathius : have no notes of any kind. In 
Euclid one note occurs; but it is not in Buchanan's hand. The 
remaining volumes contain many notes in different types of cali- 
graphy. Alexander Tral appends his name to one in Greek, and 
there is another in shorthand. Those which can be said to be by 
Buchanan are few. Annotations in volume one of Eustathius' 
Commentary are certainly in his handwriting (v. pp. 32, 
79, 80, 83, 123). This is a specimen of the marginal references: 

'ATroAXwv dictus a? TOT avroAewv TOIS ev Karo^r) KaKO)rrf(DV. 
Plato's works have many titles and references, such as " anima 

1 Munimontn, vol. 3, p. 407. Irving gives tho list in his Memoirs of 
Bnclmnnn, pp. 393-4. 

16 Early Surroundings and Associations 

pura," " anima contagio corporis infccta," " philosophia nihil 
melius a diis data," " oculorum utilitas," " origio justiciae " 
which appear to be by Buchanan. Some slight corrections of the 
text, different readings and allusions are written on the margin 
of Stephanus of Byzantium, Manuel Moschopulus, Aristophanes 
and Basil. They are of the same general type as those referred 
to, and betray the hand of the practised scholar a feature 
which is not so apparent in the insertions by other writers. An 
interesting, if modern, entry, in fine, clear caligraphy given in 
Basil's works, at page 5 is in Greek and Hebrew. 

Of the sixteen Greek authors whose works Buchanan pre- 
sented to the Glasgow University five, at least, are familiarly 
referred to by him in the History. The inquiries of Plato, in 
the Crntylus, as to the origin of words, are criticised in a 
sentence; Stephanus of Byzantium, "Concerning Towns and 
Peoples"; and Suidas, "no mean grammarian among the 
Greeks," are quoted once ; while Strabo, as already indicated, is 
often quoted. Plutarch is mentioned in connection with the 
opinion that the word Cimbri was not the name of a nation but 
of a pursuit or employment, because robbers were so designated 
by the Germans. Here the reference is to be found in Plutarch's 
Ifarhis, and suggests the inference that Buchanan was 
acqtiainted with the Lives as well as the Moralia of that enter- 
taining and philosophic writer. 1 The pseudo-Plutarch " he 
who wrote the small treatise on rivers " is also referred to 
in the History. 2 In a letter, written by Gifanius to Buchanan, 
mention is made of Lycophron another of the authors 
in the list of gifted books in a way to indicate that 
the Scottish scholar was familiar with that obscure poet. 
It is also noteworthy that, in 1578, the year of the donation 
to the University, Serranus sent to Buchanan a copy of his 
fine edition of Plato, in three volumes.' 1 It would thus seem 
that, apart from his translations of Medea, and AI rest is, and 
epigrams from the poets, Buchanan's knowledge of Greek 
literature was much more extensive than is generally supposed. 

What Baillie says about Buchanan's relation to the Glasgow 
College is also deeply interesting as suggesting the part he acted 
1 Missing vol. of Plat. the. Live* found since above in print. On fly- 
leaf, in Buchanan's hand, is the motto: " Oninia mca inecuin porto." This 
saying of Bias is recorded in Cir-ero's, I. S. 
a Rer. Scot, Hist. 1,3: 2, 31, 45, 33. 
;; Kpistolao 4 and 19, f>iii:hn>irini <>jnrn, vnl. 1. 

Early Surroundings and Associations 17 

in procuring certain grants and foundations from the Crown and 
the Magistrates. The Reformation threatened the extinction of 
the Western University. Its revenues were unjustly seized or 
alienated. New professors could not be appointed owing to the 
lack of funds. The College buildings were in an unfinished 
state; so that the institution resembled more "the decay of a 
University than an established foundation." This disorganiza- 
tion and impoverishment must have grieved the soul of the 
enthusiastic educationist. It has, therefore, not unreasonably 
been inferred that the gift of Mary, the grant by the Town 
Council of Glasgow in 1572, and the new foundation, known as 
' Erectio Regia,' were obtained mainly through his influence. 1 
We know that Buchanan was in the Queen's retinue, during her 
stay at Glasgow; when, on the 13th of July, 1563, she granted 
to the University, under her Privy Seal, certain lands and 
revenues of the Preaching Friars of the city for the support of 
five poor scholars during the time of their education. On the 
very day of the Queen's gift Mr. George Buchanan, "within the 
house of James Graham, dwelling in Glasgow, resigned in favour 
of John M'Lawchtlane and Katherine Galbrayth, spouses, the 
half of the lands of Auchintroige, extending to a two merkland, 
of old extent, with the pertinents, lying in the Earldom of 
Levenax." 2 The M'Lauchlans had been, for centuries, in posses- 
sion of Auchintroige there is a confirmation of one of their 
charters in 1394 and, it is probable, as Mr. Robert Renwick, 
the learned editor of the Protocols, suggests, that Buchanan's 
interest in the lands may have been of the nature of a wadset or 

Buchanan's connection with the lands of Auchintroige raises 
a further point of some importance in the same relation. The 
date of his final return to Scotland has not been definitely ascer- 
tained. Strangely enough the first reference to him, after his 
return, is in a charter granted, at Glasgow, 8th Nov. 1561, by 
William Cunninghame of Craigends, by which he acquired an 
annual rent of 20 mcrks payable out of the lands of Yoker. On 
the following day John Galbrayth in Balgair, as attorney for, 
and on behalf of Magister Georgiiis HnchquJiannen, appeared at 
Yoker, and took sasine on behalf of his principal. 3 That the 

1 P. Hume Brown's George Buchanan, pp. 242-3. 

2 Protocol* of Glaxyou-, vol. 3, protocol 756. 

3 Ibid, vol. 5, prot. 1420. 

18 Early Surroundings and Associations 

famous scholar was then in Scotland is certain. He may have 
come back even earlier ; for the deed of assignation by which he 
held part of the Auchintroige lands, whether as wadset or 
otherwise, has not yet been discovered. The Yoker annual rent 
which may have been held in security for a temporary 
loan, was resigned, on the 10th November 1563, by 
William Gilbrayth, " acting as procurator for Mr. George 
Buchquhannen." 1 

That Buchanan was thus much "conversing" in Glasgow 
and the western shires is evident. He was, above all, a man of 
public spirit, exerting himself in every kind of way to advance 
the real interests of the nation. Nor is there lack of evidence 
as to his personal and social influence. Contemporaries like 
Queen Mary : of scholarly tastes and brilliant conversational 
powers : Julius Caesar Scaliger, Hubert Languet, and Sir 
James Melville, were even more profoundly impressed by the 
charm of his manner and conversation than by the range and 
depth of his consummate knowledge. Self-revelation was not 
much in Buchanan's line ; although he does occasionally draw 
aside the veil. A fine, if curious, epigram on the Entertain- 
ment given by Gavin Dunbar, Archbishop of Glasgow, is as 
creditable to his social instincts as it is worthy of his honoured 
and learned host. In the West of Scotland, at least, the 
influence of George Buchanan, in public and private, is a 
pleasant memory, an eternal possession, which all the years, 
with their unslumbering antagonisms, can neither depreciate 
nor take away. " Est primum sapientis officium, bene sentire, 
ut sibi vivat ; proximum, bene loqui, ut patriae vivat." 

R. M. 

1 I/ml. vol. 3, prut. 7H1. 


Buchanan's Student Days. 

THE natural step for a youth from the banks of the Blane, where, 
according to a poetical eulogist, Buchanan early conned his 
" metred book," would have been to enrol himself as a 
student of Glasgow University. But Glasgow University during 
the first quarter of the sixteenth century was at the lowest ebb 
of its fortunes ; and James Heriot, Buchanan's uncle, resolved 
to send him to the University of Paris, a place of study which 
was attracting some of the ablest Scottish youth. Indeed ever 
since a Scots College had been founded in Paris in 1325, Scottish 
youths regarded attendance at Paris University as an essential 
means of attaining intellectual culture. It is probable that he 
had student companions on the journey ; at that date youths 
proceeding to Cambridge University from the remoter districts 
of England went in a body under the care of a " f etcher "; 
so Prof. Hume Brown's surmise that some such arrangement 
may have existed in Scotland in connection with France is quite 

At the University of Paris, where Buchanan entered as a 
student in 1520, the students were mainly resident within the 
colleges, or they might board at paedoyogki (better known as 
pensionnafs') ; those who were less wealthy lived in private 
lodgings, and were known as martinets. In all likelihood 
Buchanan was a non-resident student, and it is thus possible 
that he associated with the German Nation, which section had 
been well-equipped with schools at one time at the University. 

He tells us himself that his favourite study during his stay at 
Paris was the composition of Latin verse. " Partly of his own 
choice," he says, " and partly of compulsion, the writing of 
Latin verse, then the one subject prescribed for boys, made the 
chief part of his literary studies." 1 One illustrioiis teacher 

1 Vita Una. 

'20 Buchanan's Student Days 

graced the French University about this time Lefevre 
d'fttaples, esteemed especially as an expositor of philosophy and 
theology. Buchanan lauded him in later years as a leader 
in mental enlightenment. "Breadth and intelligence were 
the outshining eharaet eristics of Lcfevre's teaching. These 
qualities of so admirable a teacher, which were the talk 
of all the schools, would have their own partic\ilar effect 
upon Buchanan, whose mind was inherently receptive 
of rational opinion. Tt looks somewhat incongruous that, 
after experiencing the influence of so progressive a thinker 
as Lefevre, he should have been attracted to St. Andrews 
by Major, a prominent representative of the decaying scholas- 
ticism. But so it was. The conclusion is fair that in doing 
so he was paying a concession to the fashionable cult of dialectic, 
an art in which Major was a recognised adept. 

John Major, although a schoolman, also to incur the ridicule 
of Buchanan as formerly he had been visited with the satire of 
Rabelais, was a man of European reputation as a teacher of 
logic. As a regent in the University of Paris, he had enjoyed 
much fame among the learned. Distinguished pupils award him 
cordial praise. Louis Coronel speaks of him as one " whose 
learning will commend him not only to posterity but to eternity." 
Robert Senalis calls him " that incomparable master in Arts 
and Philosophy." It has been surmised that he owed his trans- 
ference to a Scottish chair to Oavin Douglas, who, during an 
official visit to Paris, prevailed upon him to accept a post in a 
Scottish University. Tt was to the University of Glasgow that 
he was first to devote his ability. Tn 1518, Major was incorpor- 
ated principal regent of the College and Paedagogium of Glas- 
gow. The promotion of James Beaton from the Western see 
led to Major's removal to the University of St. Andrews. 

Tt is noteworthy that Patrick Hamilton, a representative 
of the New Learning, was incorporated into the University 
on the same day (9th Jiine 1523) as Major, a repre- 
sentative of the old learning. Major presided over the Paeda- 
gogium, and lectured on Logic and Theology, his favourite 
subjects. A special theme was the philosophy of Aristotle. He 
is admitted to have discussed with vigour the important argu- 
ments of Aristotle's philosophy : but he also applied himself 
with zest to the marvellously futile speculations beloved of the 
schoolmen. This element, to judge from Buchanan's summary 

Buchanan's Student Days 21 

of his teaching, unduly predominated in his prelections. " John 
Major," he remarks, " at that time taught Dialectic, or rather 
Sophistic, in extreme old age at St. Andrews." And his 
epigram is yet more scathing : 

Cum scateat nugis solo cognominc Major, 

Nee sit in immense pugina sana libro, 

Non mirum, titulis quod se veraeibus orriat ; 

Nee semper mendax fingerc Greta solet. 1 

When he proclaims himself thus elearly 
As " Major" by cognomen merely, 
Since trifles through the book abound, 
And scarce a page of sense is found, 
Full credit sure the word acquires, 
For Cretans are not always liars ! 

Major is said to have been one of those who, in 1539, accused 
Buchanan of heresy because of his having persuaded James V. to 
break the Lenten fast ; and this may have increased the bitter- 
ness of the pupil's scorn. But, despite such sarcasm, Major's 
influence upon Buchanan had, it appears certain, a good deal of 
weight. The careful marshalling of the factors of discussion in 
his philosophical treatise, DK Jure Reyni api/d Scotos, bears 
every evidence of an insight derived no less from training than 
from original discrimination. And doubtless the very opinion 
embodied in this powerful political pamphlet had a stimulus 
from Major, to whose idea of a state its pronouncement has an 
interesting resemblance. Major's name and fame became more 
and more known ; and, after a second residence at Paris, he 
returned in 1529 to St. Andrews as Principal of St. Salvator's 
College, and continued in that charge until his death. 
Buchanan matriculated as a student at St. Andrews at the 
beginning of the session of 1525. 2 His name on the register of 
the Paedagogium is written beside that of his brother Patrick. 
After the names of many of the seventy-six students who became 
Cives Unirersitatis at this date is written the word pauper, 
which implies that they were unable to pay the usual fee. 
Buchanan, however, was not now reckoned pauper, because, 
according to Prof. Hume Brown, he paid the matriculation 

1 Epigrammata, I. -41. 

2 Buchanan states in Vita fitm that after having been two years in 
Paris he had, on account of ill-health and the cessation of supplies on the 
death of his uncle, to return home intra bimnium avunculo mortuo, tt ip*e 
gram morho correptua, nc intrliqtte inopia circumvenfu-i, reilire ad suos coactus. 
He spent a year of convalescence, probably at Cardross. 

"2"2 Buchanan's Student Days 

fee of sixpence. It seems that students in those days, more 
fortunate than their successors, paid in keeping with their 
means, for others paid eight-pence. 

The Paedagogium stood on the site now occupied either by the 
University Library or St. Mary's College, and was only erected 
after some trouble had been occasioned regarding the unsettled 
state of the young University. The first building which formed 
1 lie nucleus of the University had been granted in 1418 by Robert 
of Mont rose as a College of Theology and Arts, and was dedicated 
to St. John. Bishop Wardlaw, however, gifted another tene- 
ment in 1'KH), and this was so planned that the system should 
be "residential." Hitherto hostels had been opened; but the 
same difficulties arose as in the Paedagogia at Paris, students 
breaking the laws by continually removing from hostel to hostel, 
and by otherwise indulging in conduct which would now be 
characterised as "unworthy of a student and a gentleman." 
The tenement which Bishop Wardlaw gave was to be a common 
hall or paedagogium, but did not quite correspond to the institu- 
tion of tltis name in which Buchanan studied at Paris. There- 
after peace may have been within the walls of learning at St. 
Andrews ; but this could merely have lasted until St. Salvator's 
College was founded in 1450, for the study of Theology and Arts. 
The Arts students and masters in the Paedagogium considered 
the new college as a rival ; and the struggle between them to 
attract students was for some time keen. But ere long 
the fame of the older institution diminished, and it was finally 
superseded, when, in 1537, Cardinal David Beaton and Arch- 
bishop Hamilton completed the work of Cardinal James Beaton 
by raising on the site of the Paedagogium a new college under 
the title of " The Blessed Mary of the Assumption." Thus in 
Buchanan's time the Paedagogium must have been in a poor and 
languishing condition -it certainly was not at its best and it 
would have been more fitting to associate Buchanan with the 
new college of St. Leonard's, which was founded in 1512, and 
which was more in sympathy with the New Learning. 

Buchanan's student days at St. Andrews were not many. In 
October 1525 he graduated with what might be called 
" Second Class Honours," his distaste for Major's logic no 
doubt affecting his examination results. Nevertheless, along 
with most of his fellow-graduates, he escaped the payment of the 
registration fee. This evasion was not to go unnoticed, for the 

Buchanan's Student Days 23 

word pauper was placed opposite the names of these struggling 

Soon Buchanan was to return to France to continue his studies. 
He followed thither his former teacher, Major, and sought as 
that scholar had once done to take his final degree to qualify for a 
professional certificate. So far, by taking his Bachelor's degree, 
he had completed only a part of his training in order to become 
a Regent. He required to take the Master's degree before such 
an appointment could be secured, and with this object in view 
he would doubtless never have broken his course of study at 
Paris, had not indifferent health and ultimately Major's 
European fame attracted him to St. Andrews in order to study 
the subject of Logic then alone necessary to him for the 
Bachelor's degree. Under the existing conditions this was 
possible, for the studies and the degrees of the University were 
recognised by all other universities. 

At the Scots College, Paris, Buchanan renewed his academic 
studies in France. He owed his nomination as a bursar to Major 
--a circumstance which has sometimes been pointed to as hardly 
appreciated by Buchanan, if his severe criticisms of his teacher 
are rightly to be weighed against it. The two facts are, at least, 
not inconsistent. Although as a bursar he would receive his 
board and education free, he tells us that the first two years of 
his life were passed in " hard struggle with untoward fortune." 1 
Very obviously he shared the somewhat unpleasant lot of the 
majority of the students at the Paris Colleges. The accommoda- 
tion was small and ill-provided ; the food meagre and not of the 
best description. To add to the troubles of mere living, the 
amount of study requisite was very exacting. Early morning 
saw the students at work, and, after the mid-day interval, they 
were equally engrossed throughout the afternoon. Buchanan 
took his Master's degree in March 1528, and was thereupon 
appointed a Regent in one of the most successful Paris Colleges, 
that of St. Barbc. There, during a residency of three years, he 
became, as he was to be to the last, a teacher of exceptional power. 

A pleasing corollary to Buchanan's career as a student at St. 
Andrews was his later association with this University. Forty- 
one years after his studentship he was appointed Principal of 
St. Leonard's College, a post which he held for four years. 
During the time of his office as principal Buchanan's person- 
1 Vita Sua. 

1>4 Buchanan's Student Days 

ality stamped itself upon the history of St. Andrews. At that 
period his own character was of significant and distinctive note; 
while several of the events with which his career as principal is 
hound up were of very great interest. Then it was that the 
Stephenses published at Paris two new editions of some of the 
best of his verse ; the one including his Eleyia, Silvte, and 
llciulrra&yUabi, the other the same pieces, with the addition of 
the Frtnicmranns; and still greater matters, matters of national 
importance, distinguished his official life at St. Andrews. Then 
he was Moderator of the General Assembly. Then he consulted 
at York as a fellow-commissioner with Moray in regard to the 
reception which Queen Elizabeth ought to give to Mary, Queen 
of Scots, a fugitive from Langside. And, above all, he then 
wrote his Utttctio Marut Hcyiiuz Scotorum, one of the most 
notable and effective indictments ever written as the medium of 
a momentous constitutional charge. The St. Andrews Town 
and University records are singularly destitute of references to 
Buchanan. Professor Lee's researches into these, contributed 
to the second edition of Irving's Memoirs of Buchanan, remain 
the sole authority for details of his sojourn in the city. 

It is not hard to think of Buchanan, both as a student and 
principal, as an appreciative inhabitant of St. Andrews. A 
willing exile in France, he not only admired and sang the fair 
scenery of the land of his adoption, but also its excellent learn- 
ing, especially as evinced at the University of Paris. Enthusiastic 
as is his praise of the smiling meadow-lands and noble rivers of 
France, their attraction perceptibly fades beside the glory of the 
halls of learning at Paris, the Lutetia and the Amaryllis of his 
verse. The pastural sweetness of hill and dale round St. 
Andrews, the Hashing estuary of the Eden at full tide, the 
unrivalled traceries of sunset above the autumn-tinted Fife hills, 
were not indeed perfect amends for absence from " Ligeris 
formosus," and its accompanying splendours: 

Francigenas inU-r Ligeris pulcherrimua junnis. 

But they might, though faintly, be reminiscent. The University 
of St. Andrews, situated brightly, if not so enchantiugly as that 
of the Lutetia of his " fond imagination " would of itself, with 
its conjoined accomplishments of admirable learning and earnest 
thinking, well sustain the charm which France had had for him, 
a charm hardly equalled by that of his own land. 

W. B. 


Buchanan and Continental Thought. 

THE poor little backward kingdom of Scotland, a century or 
two behind central and southern Europe in civilisation, felt the 
throb of a three-fold influence during the sixteenth century, 
and the impulsion came naturally from France. For the small 
northern land had been for centuries a satellite of its great 
neighbour beyond the sea. The French alliance had been the 
most stable element in its shifting political life ; the Scottish 
body-guard of the kings of France had attracted the younger 
sons of the turbulent Scottish barons for generations; and to 
reach the University of Paris, to settle there as a student, 
whether as an inmate of the Scots' College or as a lodger in 
an obscure room in the Rue d' Jficnsse, was the ambition of every 
young Scot of pregnant parts who longed to live a scholar's life. 

France of the sixteenth century was seething with new ideas. 

There was a movement for the reformation of the Church 
and of the religious life, which passed through three stages. 
The first has been called Ic protestantisnie fabrisicn, and began 
with the publication, in 1512, of notes on the Pauline Epistles 
by Jacques Lefcvre d'Etaples (Faber Stapulensis) and received 
a great impulse from the same author's translation of the 
Scriptures into French the New Testament in 1523 and the 
whole Bible in 1525. It is inseparably associated with 
Marguerite d'Angouleme, Bri9onnet and with the " group 
of Meaux." Marguerite, writing to Bri9onnet in 1521, 
could say that her brother and mother (Francis I. and Louise 
of Savoy) were keenly interested in the spread of the knowledge 
of the Holy Scriptures and in the hope of a reformation of the 
Church. 1 The second was caused by the diffusion of Luther's 
writings throughout France. As early as May 1519 we read 

1 Herminjard, Correspoiidance dos Rcformateurs dans les pays do langue 
franyaise, i., 78, 84. 

26 Buchanan and Continental Thought 

of the eagerness with which Luther's books were welcomed there 
by all scholars, " even the least enlightened," and on to 1537 
the common name for all advanced reformers in France was 
Lutherans. 1 The third began in 1537, when the whole of the 
French Protestants rallied round the young Calvin and 
accepted his Institutio (1536) as a manifesto, which was for 
them a scheme of doctrine, a code of morals, and a mode of 

The invasion of Italy by Charles VIII. (1494-5) dates the 
beginning of the second infusion of new ideas. Italy conquered 
its invaders and held them captive by a thousand dainty spells. 
The French troops returned to their own land laden with books, 
pictures, objects of art of all kinds. Charles brought with him 
to Paris Italian scholars, artists, architects, artificers, men 
skilled in perfumery, even tailors. The French Renaissance 
came to maturity almost at a leap. From the first it inspired 
men and women alike. Anne of Brittany, the queen of Louis 
XII., was a constant patron of artists and men of letters and 
strove to cultivate herself in order to be able to understand 
sympathetically their work. Marguerite d'Angouleme, in her 
own person, carried this movement of the end of the 15th 
century into the 16th, and set the fashion for the learned ladies 
who came after her. This French Renaissance was a curious 
combination of old French artistic feeling, with that of Italy 
and the revived spirit of classical antiquity. It developed into 
something quite national, which France has never lost. The 
leading spirits of the time, men and women, were intoxicated 
with a new sense of beauty of form and colour, which appeared 
not only in painting, architecture and gardening, but in 
household decoration and even in dress. The movement was 
naturally aristocratic, and clung to the royal court and to the 
courts of the great princes scattered over France. It had no 
sympathy with the democratic fervour of the religious 

In its company came the New Learning, producing erudite 
Frenchmen. From the first it had a character of its own. 
Its inspiration came from Germany and the Low Countries 
as well as from Italy ; and it was comparatively free 
from the elegant trifling into which the latter Italian 
Humanism had degenerated. If some date the beginnings of 

1 Ibid., i., 47. 

Buchanan and Continental Thought 27 

the New Learning in France from the journey of Lefevre to 
Florence, Padua, Rome and Venice (1488-89), it must be 
remembered that Erasmus had made several visits to Paris, 
that Beatus Rhenanus had expounded the political writings of 
Aristotle there in 1502, and that scholars from Germany and 
the Low Countries had taught in many of the colleges in Paris. 
From the beginning Frenchmen put the New Learning to 
modern uses. They applied themselves to the study of Roman 
jurisprudence and they cultivated the art of writing history. 
Of course almost all the men of the New Learning wrote what 
were called Juvenilia short Latin poems after the fashion of 
Horace, Ovid, Catullus, etc. But these were acknowledged to 
be trifles, of value only in practising the authors in their use 
of classical latinity. 

All three influences came to Scotland from France during 
the 16th century. John Knox represents for us the first; 
Mary Stuart the second; and George Buchanan the third. All 
remain with us as part of our national heritage, and our land 
would be much poorer than it is to-day had it failed to receive 
any one of them. 

Buchanan spent a great part of his life in France. He was 
sent there in 1520 a boy of fourteen and did not finally leave 
the country until he was a man of fifty-five. It is scarcely 
likely that the lad, whose time, as he himself informs us, was 
chiefly occupied in constructing Latin verses, and who no doubt 
lived in some obscure garret, 1 knew much about the intellectual 
movements which were stirring France; but he could not avoid 
hearing the cries of the hawkers who went through all the 
streets, especially in the students' quarter, selling a pamphlet 
entitled Advcrsus ftiriosum Parisiensium Theologastrorum 
decretum Philippi M tlanchthonis pro Luthero Apologia. This 
was in 1521. The Elector of Saxony had asked the Sorbonne 
(the Theological Faculty of the University of Paris) to give him 
their opinion upon the theology of Luther. Noel Beda, the 
strenuous supporter of mediaeval theology and the bitter 
antagonist of the New Learning, had been asked by his 

1 Rents in Paris were comparatively very high. Jacques Dryander says 
that he had to pay more for one room small and dirty in Paris than was 
needed for the whole expenses of a student who lived luxuriously at Louvain : 
cf. liluatrium et darorum virorum, Epitstolae . . . scriptae vel a Belgia vel ad 
Belgas (1617), pp. 60-61. 

28 Buchanan and Continental Thought 

colleagues to report on the request, and the result was a 
furious condemnation, in which Luther was called another 
Mahomet and in which it was declared that the fire and sword 
were the only arguments to be used against him. Melanchthon 
wrote a sarcastic reply, which was rapturously received in 
Paris. The Parlement had come to the help of the Sorbonne, 
and had interdicted the publication and sale of any book not 
authorised (June 13th), with the effect of greatly stimulating 
the sale of Melanchthon's pamphlet : impune enim pro- 
clamitari libellum Philippi M elanchthonis pro Martina 
Luthero. 1 The most incurious lad could scarcely avoid hearing 
a good deal about Luther and Melanchthon through such an 
incident as this. 

Buchanan's two years in Paris, devoted, as he tells us, to 
the acquisition of facility in the composition of Latin verses, 
saw the beginning of the training which made him one of the 
most distinguished Humanists of his generation. He was 
distinctively a Humanist, and nothing more. For we must 
always distinguish between the Renaissance and Humanism. 
The former was the revival of the ideas, the spirit and the 
decadence of Imperial Rome ; while Humanism was the 
appreciation of the precision and linguistic delicacies of ancient 
classical literature. A man steeped in the spirit of the 
Renaissance did not need to be a Humanist. Rabelais was not. 
Still less was it necessary for a Humanist to surrender himself 
to the Renaissance movement. Neither Erasmus nor Buchanan 
did. Humanism displayed itself in the care to imitate the 
best models of ancient literary excellence, to acquire a supreme 
command over the art of literary expression as that was 
exhibited in the great classical authors, frequently to apply to 
modern uses the old classical modes of composition epigram, 
ode, letter, etc. The genuine Humanists used this literary 
instrument to express whatever ideas they wished to share with 
their fellow men. Erasmus, the greatest of the Humanists, 
put the ancient vehicle of expression to thoroughly modern 
uses. He employed it to depict all sorts and conditions of men 
and women theologians, jurists and philosophers, monks and 
parish priests, wives, nuns and courtesans, pilgrims and pardon- 
sellers, peasants, artizans and vagrants and his vehicle was 

1 Herminjard, Correspondance des Rtformateurs, etc., i., 70. 

Buchanan and Continental Thought 29 

Latin prose. Buchanan has nothing of his range, keeps more 
strictly to his classical models, and uses Latin verse. But both 
were typical Humanists. 

Humanism created a literature in the 16th century which 
was that of a coterie and had almost nothing national about it, 
powerful within its own limited area, but of small effect upon 
the masses. Buchanan had all the strength and the limitations 
of Humanism. During the first half -century of his life he did 
not belong to the Renaissance as did Rabelais ; nor to the 
Reform movement as did Calvin ; he was simply a Humanist, 
whose love for antiquity consisted in his admiration of its 
literature, or rather of its forms of literary expression, who 
could belong to any or none of the new movements which were 
disturbing the time, but who hated to loathing the bad latinity 
and the endless arguments about trifles which seemed to him 
to be the sum of Scholastic Theology. 

Leaving France, partly from ill-health and partly from 
lack of means to support himself, he spent four years in 
Scotland. Having attended with little profit and with less 
enthusiasm the lectures of John Major one of the most 
distinguished of the later scholastic teachers Buchanan in 
1526 was back in Paris determined to be a scholar and a man 
of learning, nothing more. He graduated probably in 1528, 
and his appointment soon after to the teaching staff of Ste 
Barbe one of the most liberal colleges attached to the 
University of Paris proves that his marked abilities had been 
recognised by discerning persons. Having become procurator 
of the " German Nation," 1 he was chosen in the following year 
the representative of his Nation in the election of the Rector of 
the University. 

For some years after he led the life of a wandering 
tutor. In 1542 or 1543 Buchanan was again in Paris, 

1 In the sixteenth century the University of Paris had four faculties of 
Theology (the Sorbonne), of Medicine, of Law, and of Arts. The students 
belonging. to the faculties of Law and Medicine were comparatively few. The 
first three faculties were ruled by Deans ; the fourth, the faculty of Arts, was 
divided into four nations the nation of France (students from the Midi and 
from a large part of Europe), the nation of Germany which included students 
from England and Scotland, the nation of Normandy, and the nation of 
Picardy. At the head of each nation was, not a Dean, but a Procurator who 
was appointed for one month only, but who might be re-appointed. Buchanan 
was Procurator four successive times. 

30 Buchanan and Continental Thought 

a regent, Mr. Hume Brown conjectures, at the College 
du Cardinal Lemoine. We next hear of him accompanying 
Andre de Gouvea, his old Principal at Bordeaux, when the 
great Portuguese Humanist, at the command of John III. of 
Portugal, organised a college at Coimbra on humanist 
principles. The new college started with fair prospects, which 
were soon clouded. The great reactionary Society of Jesus had 
by this time been firmly established and was everywhere 
engaged in combating not only the Reformation, but all 
learning which was not avowedly subservient to the Roman 
See. On the death of Gouvea, the Jesuits gained possession of 
the College. Some of the professors were seized by the 
Inquisition and endured long confinement, among them being 
Buchanan. It was during his long confinement that he made 
his celebrated translation of the Psalms into Latin verse. 
Soon after his release he made his way to England, then to 
France. He may have become regent in one of the colleges at 
Paris; he was certainly protected by influential persons. 1 

During all these years Buchanan's fame as a Humanist was 
increasing. From the first his power of writing Latin verse 
was manifest. His biting epigrams on obscurantist teachers 
made him known, feared and disliked. As the years passed his 
fame grew steadily. The elder Scaliger declared that in poetry 
Buchanan left all Europe behind. The learned French 
printers, Henri and Robert Estienne, said that he was the first 
of the poets of the age. His translation transformation 
perhaps it should be called of the Psalms of David into odes 
after the fashion of Horace made him famous in every 
European land. 

The life which Buchanan led abroad, wandering from 
college to college, varied by engagements as tutor or private 
secretary, was a common one among the Humanists of the 16th 
century. The greater educational prizes were beyond their 
reach unless they succeeded in obtaining an ecclesiastical 
position within the Roman Catholic Church a thing which 

1 Marguerite d'Angouleme was probably one. She was an assiduous pro- 
tector both of Humanists and Reformers, and frequently enrolled learned men 
among her ' valets-de-chambre ' to give them the security of her household : 
" les voyant a 1'entour de ceste bonne dame, tu eusses dit d'elle que c'estoit une 
poulle, qui soigneusement appelle et assemble ses petite poulets et couvre de 
ses ailea." (Genin, LeMres de Marguerite <F Angoideme, p. 51.) 

Buchanan and Continental Thought 31 

had become increasingly difficult after 1530, when that Church 
had awakened to the danger which threatened it from erudition 
and free enquiry. In France it was perhaps more difficult 
than elsewhere, owing to the influence of the Sorbonne and the 
conservatism of the Parlement of Paris, which was always ready 
to support the decisions of the great theological Faculty. 

The Sorbonne, during the greater portion of Buchanan's 
life in France was practically ruled by Noel Beda. This 
extraordinary man, of no great intellectual capacities, who 
hated everything which seemed to menace mediaeval theology, 
was able by his profound conviction that he was in the right, 
by his determination, by his unexampled courage, to wage a 
pitiless war against both the New Learning and every 
appearance of religious reform. Francis I., partly because he 
liked new ideas, partly influenced by his sister, Marguerite 
d'Angouleme, partly because he had a grudge against the 
Sorbonne for its action in the matter of the concordat of 1516, 
favoured the New Learning and even gave his protection to 
such advocates of a religious reform as Lefevre and his 
followers. He was by taste and training a man of the 
Renaissance ; it pleased him to be called and to imagine himself 
to be the patron of men of letters. At the same time he felt 
galled and irritated by the real power which the Sorbonne 
possessed and which he felt to be an infringement on his kingly 
prerogative. He was at heart an anti-sorbonnist, who feared 
the Sorbonne. He had long dreamed of a College de France, 
a free association of learned men, who could teach the New 
Learning and form a counterpoise to the Sorbonne, which 
dominated the University. The project took many forms and 
never came to fruition until long after Francis' time, but the 
very thought of it was sufficient to irritate the Sorbonne and 
determine them to resist all such innovations. Noel Beda, 
whose whole struggle against the New Learning and Reform, 
was an anticipation of the later League, brought all the 
resources of fanaticism to bear against the resolve of the king. 
The consequence was that all throughout the years of 
Buchanan's residence in France there was an embittered 
quarrel between the Sorbonnists and the students who sided 
with the New Learning. The conservatives made little or no 
distinction between a Humanist and a Reformer, between a 
follower of Erasmus and a disciple of Luther. A knowledge 

32 Buchanan and Continental Thought 

of Greek was a mark of heresy ; to discard Alexander de 
Villedieu's Latin Grammar and to teach from Linacre's 
awakened suspicion. The Sorbonnist students went about 
singing : 

Prions tous le Roi de Gloire 

Qu'il confonde ces chiens mauldicts, 

Afin qu'il n'en soit plus memoire, 

Non plus que de vielz os pourris. 

Au feu, au feu ! c'est leur repere ! 

Fais-en justice ! Dieu 1'a permys. 

The others replied in the famous song: 

La Sainte Ecriture toute 
Purement se preschera, 
Et toute doctrine sotte 
Des hommes on oubliera. 

La Sorbonne la bigotte, 

La Sorbonne se taira. 

It was almost inevitable that in such circumstances 
Humanists like Buchanan and reformers who were the disciples 
of Luther, or who had been taught to think by his writings, 
should be drawn together although the former had not adopted 
the views of the latter. Humanists naturally associated with 
those whom Buchanan calls " Lutheran sectaries," and the 
intimacy did not imply that they had embraced the cause of the 
reformation. They both rejoiced in the influence which 
Marguerite d'Angouleme exercised over her volatile brother, in 
the almost unvarying confidence which Francis had in the 
great French Humanist Guillaume Bude, who, though never a 
" royal lecturer " himself, was nevertheless mainly instrumental 
in securing the appointment of the distinguished scholars, 
" liseurs du Roi en 1'Universite de Paris" Danes, Toussain, 
Vatable, Oronce Fine, and others. They both thought of the 
discomfiture of the Sorbonne when they read, posted on the 
University boards by royal command, such intimations as, 
" To-morrow at 7 o'clock, Agathias Guidacerius will, at the 
College de Cambrai, continue his lectures on the Psalms by 
commenting on Psalm XX."; or, "P. Danes, royal professor 
of Greek, will, on Monday at 2 o'clock, continue his commenting 
on Aristotle." They jubilated when Beda, after his daring 
attack on Marguerite's book, le Miroir de I'dme pecheresse, was 
banished, recalled, and prosecuted for lese-majeste ; or when 
the Parlement of Paris refused the interdict which Beda had 

Buchanan and Continental Thought 33 

asked to prevent Danes and Vatable expounding the Holy 
Scriptures within the University without having first received 
the permission of the Sorbonne. Everything combined to link 
together Reformers and Humanists in the days of Francis I. 
The Reformers as well as the Humanists enjoyed the biting 
Latin epigrams which the young Scotch regent circulated 
attacking the Sorbonne, its teachers and its antiquated methods, 
which were alone supposed to be orthodox. There is no need 
to suppose that because Buchanan consorted with " Lutheran 
sectaries," that he had adopted the tenets of the Reformation, 
or that he had seriously studied the principles involved. But 
from the year 1556 the indifference was exchanged for an 
earnest endeavour to know the truth lying in the contending 
claims of the mediaeval Church and the Reformation. 
Buchanan began to study the Scriptures carefully. He 
repeated in his experience what many a distinguished Humanist 
had done in Germany forty years earlier. Eobanus Hessus, 
crowned poet-king, had abandoned his Horace for the 
Erfchiridion of Erasmus and the Holy Scriptures; Jodocus 
Koch of Nordlingen (Justus Jonas) had forsaken classical 
Greek to busy himself with the Epistles to the Corinthians; 
and even the wicked satirist Curicius Cordus had betaken 
himself to the New Testament. So Buchanan, leaving his 
latinity, devoted his time to the study of the Holy Scriptures 
" that he might be able to arrive at a more definite opinion on 
the controversies which were then distracting the greater part 
of mankind." The result was that when he returned finally to 
Scotland in 1561, he joined the Reformed Church. It is 
interesting to note that no period was more dangerous for 
" those of the religion " (as Protestants were called in France) 
than the years when Buchanan slowly, as became a scholar, 
resolved to take the side of the Reformation. Protestantism 
in France was no longer a Christian mysticism supplemented by 
a careful study of the Holy Scriptures ; it had advanced 
beyond the stage of individual followers of Luther or Zwingli ; 
it had become united, a solid phalanx rallied round a manifesto, 
the Institutio Christianae Religionis, and obedient to a leader, 
the young Calvin. On the other side the vacillating policy of 
Francis I. had given place to the steadfast determination of 
Henry II. to crush the Reformation. The young king himself, 
his all-powerful mistress, Diane de Poitiers, the great Constable 


34 Buchanan and Continental Thought 

de Montmorency, the Guises all the king's favourite 
councillors were strong supporters of Romanism and were 
resolute to destroy the growing Protestantism of France. 
Their declared policy was to slay the Reformation by attacking 
its partisans through every form of legal oppression that could 
be devised. All the repressive measures introduced during the 
latter years of Francis I. were retained, and a series of new 
edicts, culminating in the Edict of Chateaubriand, were 
published, which aimed at uniting all the forces of the kingdom 
to extirpate the reformed faith. A second court, the Chambre 
Ardente, had been added to the Farlement of Paris to deal 
with cases of heresy. Armed with this legislation, aided by a 
numerous body of ecclesiastical police, the work of hunting out 
all suspected of holding the new doctrines was strenuously 
carried on. Certain prisons were specially reserved for the 
Protestant martyrs the Conciergerie and the Grand Chatelet 
and they soon overflowed. The cells of the one were below the 
level of the Seine and water oozed in through the walls ; the 
Grand Chatelet was noted for its terrible dungeons, so small 
that the prisoners could neither stand upright nor lie at full 
length on the floor. Diseases decimated the victims; the 
plague slew sixty in one year in the Grand Chatelet alone. 
Few were acquitted ; almost all, once arrested, suffered torture 
and death. It was in the midst of these surroundings that 
Buchanan, an unprotected scholar, resolved to adhere to the 

T. M. L. 

George Buchanan i Bordeaux, 

IL semble que Buchanan, qui redigeait ses souvenirs en 1580, 
deux ans avant sa mort, se trompe sur la duree de son sejour 
a Bordeaux : il dut y demeurer plus de trois ans. 

On salt que, vers la fin de 1539, Fra^ois I. avait offert a 
Charles-Quint de passer par la France pour aller d'Espagne aux 
Pays-Bas reduire la sedition de Gand. Le 20 novembre, 
1'empereur traversa la Bidassoa; il fut salue a Bayonne par le 
dauphin, le due d'Orleans et le connetable de Montmorency, 
qui avaient mission de 1'escorter clans son voyage. Ordre etait 
donne a toutes les villes de recevoir Charles, " comme on re9oit 
les rois de France a leur joyeux avenement." Bordeaux lui 
rendit, le 1 ddcembre, les honneurs souverains que la plure 
seule contraria ; les jurats lui presentment les clefs de la ville 
travaillees en argent ; il delivra des prisonniers et tint dans la 
cathedrale le chapitre de la toison d'or. 1 

Le College de Guyenne vint offrir ses hommages et ses vceux 
a 1'empereur. En decembre 1539, Buchanan avait deja dans 
1'etablissement une place assez importante pour etre charge de 
haranguer et de complimenter Charles-Quint en vers latins au 
nom de la " Schola Burdegalensis." On trouve dans le recueil 
de ses Silvce une piece de soixante-dix hexametres dont 
1'eloquence un peu emphatique fait moins penser aux Silves de 
Stace qu'aux Panegyriques de Claudien : le poete dit combien 
Bordeaux s'enorgueillit de recevoir un note aussi illustre; il 
conjure 1'empereur de ne pas mepriser 1'hospitalite bordelaise, 
quelque mesquine qu'elle puisse lui sembler ; dans le palais 
d'aucun roi, il ne trouvera pareil devouement, pareille fidelite. 2 

1 Henri Martin, Histoire de France, Paris (Edition de 1857), t. VIII. , p. 
258-259. C. Jullian, Histoire de Bordeaux, Bordeaux, 1895, p. 334. 

2 Ad Carolum V Imperatorem, Burdegalw hospitio publico susceptum, 
nomine Scholw Burdegalensis, anno M.T). xxxix. (Buchanani Opera omnia, 
Mit. de 1725, t. II., p. 324-326. 

Cf. v. 19 : Burdegalam tamen ille tuam, tua tecta, Garumna 
Ingens hospes init. 

36 George Buchanan a Bordeaux 

La CJironique de Gabriel de Lurbe rapporte que Fran9ois 
I. s'arreta a Bordeaux, en 1542, alors qu'il allait apaiser la 
revolte de La Rochelle. 1 Nous ne voyons pas qu'on lui ait 
rendu les honneurs qui avaient ete rendus trois ans auparavant 
a Charles-Quint traversant la France pour aller reduire la 
rebellion de Gand. Nous ne trouvons dans les oeuvres de 
Buchanan aucune Silva " ad Franciscum I Regem." Mais le 
professeur ecossais etait encore a Bordeaux quand Fra^ois I. 
y passa ; il appartenait encore au College de Guyenne quand il 
apprit que le roi Jacques V etait mort, le 16 decembre 1542. 
Cette mort, qui le delivrait de tout sujet de crainte de la part 
du cardinal Beaton, 2 lui permettait de rester sans danger dans 
notre ville. II assista, sans doute, au succes de sa seconde 
piece, la Medee, qui fut jouee au College de Guyenne en 1543, 3 
puisque c'est ce succes qui 1'incita a donner encore plus de soin 
a la composition du Jephthe et de I'Alceste qu'il ecrivit aussi a 

Buchanan dit, dans son autobiographic, qu'il a compose ses 
tragedies pour detourner la jeunesse des allegories ou la France 
prenait alors un plaisir extreme. Depuis que le Roman de la 
Rose avait donne la vie a des personnages appeles Jalousie, 
Fau.r-Semblant et Bel-Accueil, ces personnages s'etaient intro- 

v. 50 : Burdegalse exiguos ne dedignere penates 

Hospitio sancire tuo : quse dispare quamvis 
Fortunae splendore tuo, parvoque paratu 
Te capit hospitio, studio in te forte fideli 
Atque animo Regum ingentes sequaverit aulas. 

1 Burdigalensium rerum Chronicon, auetore Gab. Lurlreo. Bordeaux, 
Millanges, 2 e edit., 1590, recto du feuillet 23. 

2 Nous n'avons aucun renseignement sur la peste qui, d'apres la Vita, 
aurait envahi 1'Aquitaine au moment de la mort de Jacques V., c'est-a-dire a 
la fin de 1542 ou au commencement de 1543. La Chronique de Gabriel de 
Lurbe mentionne aeulement a la date de 1546 une peste dont les progres 
forcerent le Parlement & se refugier a Libourne, pendant les mois de septembre 
et d'octobre. 

3 La Bibliotheque municipale de Bordeaux possede un exemplaire de 
Pedition de 1543 : MEDEA Euripidis poetw tragici Oeorgio Buchanano Scoto 
interprete. PARISITS. Ex Ojficina Michaelis Vascosani, in via qua> est ad 
divum lacobum, sub Fonti* insigni. M.D. XLIII. cum privilegio. Le privilege 
est date de "Parisiis, xv. Calend. Maii M.D. XLIII." Au verso du feuillet 
32 et dernier du volume, on lit: " Acta fuit Burdegalse. an M.D. XLIII." 
Dans la Preface adressee au tres illustre Prince Jean de Luxembourg, abbe 
d'lvry (ad Iflustrissimum Principem Joannem a Lucf.mburgo, Iveriaci abbatem), 
1'auteur s'excuse modestement d'avoir ose, apres P]rasme, mettre en latin les 
pieces d'Euripide. 

George Buchanan a Bordeaux 37 

duits au theatre avec les Moralites. Le public s'amusait aux 
subtilites naives des allegories; il goutait fort les disco urs 
contradictoires de Bien-advise et de Mai-advise, de Bonne-Fin 
et de Male-Fin. Nous ignorons quels etaient les proverbes 
pedagogiques dont le College de Guyenne faisait ses delices au 
moment ou Buchanan fut appele a y enseigner ; mais nous 
savons que, des ses origines, il se preoccupait de representa- 
tions theatrales. 

Le 9 avril 1526, en 1'honneur du passage de Fra^ois I. 
a Bordeaux, on offrait au roi, sur un theatre eleve au fond de 
la place de 1'Ombriere, le spectacle d'une piece allegorique, 
ceuvre de quelque professeur du College des Arts, qui mettait 
en scene les Vertus theologales. 1 

Quand le College des Arts, qui vegetait depuis 1441, fut 
remplace par le College de Guyenne, le premier principal du 
nouvel etablissement, Jehan de Tartas, exigea que les regents 
fussent capables de " composer et prononcer oraisons, haran- 
gues, dialogues et comedies." II parait que les representations 
que Ton organisait alors eurent peu de succes. 2 

Gouvea, qui estimait que le theatre scolaire etait un element 
indispensable de 1'education de la jeunesse, excita Buchanan 
a ecrire des pieces a 1'usage des eleves du College de Guyenne. 
Peut-etre, pour prouver aux lettres de Bordeaux que des tra- 
gedies savantes composees a 1'imitation des modeles classiques 
remplaceraient avantageusement les pieces vulgaires ou la 
populace s'empressait, Baptistes sive Calumnia fut-il represente 
au College, le 24 juin, en ce jour de la fete de saint Jean- 
Baptiste ou les tonneliers se promenaient en cortege a travers 
la ville, celebrant sur des theatres eleves en divers quartiers 
les mysteres du bapteme de Jesus, " a la grande joie du popu- 
laire qui accourait en foule." 3 L'anniversaire de la Nativite de 
saint Jean-Baptiste etait au nombre des jours feries ou, suivant 
les statuts du College de Guyenne, rediges par Andre de 
Gouvea, les classes et les travaux etaient interrompus. 4 

Malgre le merite des oeuvres theatrales de Buchanan et, sans 
doute, aussi de celles des autres regents qui ecrivaient comme 
lui des tragedies antiques, la vogue des representations classi- 

1 Gaullieur, Histoire du College de Guyenne, p. 20. 

2 Gaullieur, Histoire du College de Guyenne, p. 253-254. 

3 Jullian, Histoire de Bordeaux, p. 356. 

* Schola Aquitanica, 6dit. de L. Massebieau, Paris, 1886, p. 44. 

38 George Buchanan a Bordeaux 

ques, toujours restreinte dans les murs du College de Guyenne, 
n'y fut pas de longue duree. 

Montaigne nous dit son succes comme acteur des tragedies 
latines qui se donnaient au College de Guyenne vers 1545 : 

Mettray-ie en compte cctte faculte de moil enfance : vne asseurance de 
visage, et soupplesse de voix et fie geste, a m'appliquer aux rolles que fentre- 
prenois ? Car, auaut 1'aage, 

Alter ab vndecinio turn me vix ceperat aimns, 

i'ai soustenu les premiers personnages es tragedies latines de Bucanan, de 
Guerente 1 et de Muret, 2 qui se representairent en nostre college de Guienne 
auec dignite. En cela Andreas Goueanus, nostre principal, comme en Unites 
autres parties de sa charge, fut sans comparaison le plus grand principal de 
France ; et m'en tenoit-on maistre ouurier. s 

Ce passage des Essais refute 1'opinion de Patin qui affirme, 
sans preuves, que Buchanan eut, " au College de Bordeaux, 
Montaigne pour ecolier sinon pour acteur." 4 Montaigne a ete 
1'acteur des pieces de Buchanan ; il a ete son ecolier, sinon 
1'eleve de la classe qui etait dirigee par 1'humaniste ecossais et 
qui correspoudait a ce qu'on appelle aujourd'hui la " rheto 
rique superieure." Le plan d'etudes de la Schola Aquitanica 
indique 1'existence de dix classes regulieres depuis le decimus 
ordo, ou Ton apprenait a lire, jusqu'au primus ordo, ou Ton 
declamait en particulier et publiquement. Ces classes furent au 
nombre de douze pendant la periode de grande prosperite du 
College ou il avait ete necessaire, a cause de 1'affluence des 

1 Le rouennais Guillaume de Guerente, compatriote, condisciple et ami de 
Nicolas de Grouchy, avait commence par exercer la medecine. Quand Grouchy 
quitta Rouen pour aller professer a Sainte-Barbe, Guerente le suivitet enseigna 
dans le meme college d'oii Gouvea les amena tous les deux a Bordeaux, en 
1534. Grouchy fut professeur de dialectique a la Schola Aquitanica; Guerente, 
professeur d'humanites : nous ne savons rien de ses tragedies. 

2 Marc Antoine Muret n'a ete professeur au College de Guyenne que sous 
le principalat de Gelida, vers 1548. C'est, sans doute, dans le Julius Ccesar, 
qu'il composa en 1543 ou en 1544, etant professeur a Auch, que Montaigne a 
soutenu le premier pt-rsonnage. II est probable que. les collegues de Buchanan 
ne se conformaient pas aussi exactement que lui aux prieres de Gouvea, qui 
reolamait de chacun de ses regents une tragedie par annee, puisque Ton devait 
recourir aux pieces d'un humaniste etranger au College. Ou trouve dans 
1'edition des Juvenilia de Muret, publiee a Paris, en 1553, cinq distiques 
^legiaques de Buchanan, tr6s elogieux, in Julium Civsarem, Iragcediam M. 
Antonii Alureti. Cf. Buchanani Opera omnia, edit, de 1725, t. II., p. 169. 

3 Montaigne, Etmais, I. , xxvi. 

4 Patin, Etudes eur la tragidit grecque, vol. III., p. 221. 

George Buchanan a Bordeaux 39 

eleves, de subdiviser en deux sections le septimus et le sextus 
urdu. 1 

Montaigne nous donne les dates de sa naissance et de son 
entree au College de Guyenne : 

le nasquis entre vnze heures et midi le dernier iour de Feburier mil cinq 
ccns trente trois. 2 

Feu mon pere . . . m'enuoya, cnuiron mes six ans, au College de Guienne, 
tres-florissant pour lors, et le meilleur de France. Et la, il n'est possible de 
riun adiouster au soing qu'il eut, et in me choisir dcs precept/ours de chambre 
suffisans, et a toutes les autres circonstances de ma nourriture, en laquelle il 
reserua plusieurs famous particulieres contro 1'vsage des colleges. 3 

Entre en 1539 au College de Guyenne d'ou il devait sortir en 
1546, Montaigne n'a pu evidemment avoir pour professeur de 
Rhetoriquc Buchanan qui n'appartenait plus au personnel de 
la Schula Aquitanica quand il arriva lui-meme au primus ordo. 
Mais 1'auteur des Essais cite en termes precis Buchanan parmi 
les " precepteurs de chambre" que son pere lui avait donnes, 
" reseruant plusieurs fa9ons particulieres contre 1'vsage des 
colleges." II se vante, en effet, de son habilete a " latiniser," 
habilete qui lui venait de sa premiere education domestique, 
et qui etait admiree par les regents du College : 

Nicolas Groucchi, qui a escrit "de comitiis Romanorum,"* Guillaume 
Guerente, qui a commente Aristote, 5 George Bucanan, ce grand poete 
escossois, Marc Antoine Muret que la France et 1'Italie reconoit pour le 
meillur oratur du temps, mes precepteurs domestiques, m'ont diet souuent que 
i'auois ce langage, en mon enfance, si prest et si a main, qu'ils craingnoient 
a m'accoster. Bucanan, que ie vis depuis a la suite de feu monsieur le 
Mareschal de Brissac, 8 me dit qu'il estoit apres a escrire de 1'institution des 

1 Schola Aquitanica, p. 4-24, note 9 de la p. 58. 

2 Montaigne, Essais, I. xx. 

3 Montaigne, Essais, I. xxvi. 

4 De comitiis Romanorum libri tres, Paris, 1553. Le resum6 de 1'enseigne- 
ment que Grouchy donna au College de Guyenne pendant treize ans (1534-1547) 
est conterm dans son livre de PrcKceptiones dialecticae (Paris, 1552), que Vinet 
appn'-eiait et recommandait. Cf. Schola Aquitanica, p. 26. 

5 Guerente n'a pas commente Aristote. " On a de lui un avis au lecteur 
en tete d'un ouvrage de Grouchy sur la Logique d' Aristote, et, dans le meme 
volume, une piece de vers adressee par Guereute a son ami." (Gaullieur, 
Histoire. du CoUcye de Guyenne, p. 91.) 

"Buchanan fut prccepteur de Tiinole"on de Biissac, de 1554 a 1560. 
Lieutenant general du roi en Piemont du 9 juillet 1550 au 31 mars 1559, 
le marechal de Brissac ne vint a la cour que pendant Tannce 1556. A partir 
de 1559, il fut gouverneur de Picardie. Montaigne quitta, en 1559, Bordeaux, 
oil il etait conseiller au Parlement, pour faire un grand voyage a la cour. 
C'est pendant ce voyage qu'il retrouva son ancien "precepteur de chambre" a 
la suite du marechal de Brissac, gouverneur de Picardie. Nous ne connaissons 
pas d' ouvrage de Buchanan sur " 1'institution des enfans." 

40 George Buchanan a Bordeaux 

t-ii fans, et, qu'il preuoit exemplaire de la mienne : car il auoit lore en charge ce 
Comte de Brissac quo nous auons veu depuis si valeureux et si braue. l 

On salt ce qu'il faut entendre par "precepteurs de chambre" 
ou " precepteurs domestiques." Les colleges du xvie siecle 
possedaient, en meme temps que les boursiers et les portionistes 
ou pensionnaires, un certain nombre de cameristes, jeunes gens 
riches qui etaient en chambre, se nourrissant a leurs frais et 
travaillant sous la direction d'un pedagogue ou precepteur 
particulier. 2 Les regents amelioraient ainsi leur situation 
pecuniaire qui etait fort mediocre, 3 en se faisant les " precep- 
teurs de chambre " de cameristes qui pouvaient ne pas 
appartenir a leur classe. C'est ainsi que Montaigne cut pour 
" precepteurs domestiques," au meme titre que 1'humaniste 
Guerente, dont il fut sans doute 1'eleve, Buchanan dont il ne 
fut pas le disciple dans le primus ordo, et Muret, qui etait 
probablement autorise a se charger d'educations particulieres 
avant d'etre pourvu d'une nomination officielle de professeur. 

Trompe par 1'expression " precepteur domestique," dont il 
ne comprend pas le sens exactement, Th. Ruddiman suppose 
que Buchanan, qui, d'apres son autobiographie, aurait enseigne 
trois ans seulement au College de Guyenne, fut, de 1542 a 
1544, precepteur de Montaigne dans sa famille. 4 

Cette hypothese a servi de pretexte a Gaullieur pour imagi- 
ner un petit roman qui a passe dans la plupart des ouvrages de 
seconde main ou, depuis une trentaine d'annees, on s'est 
occupe de la biographic de Montaigne. L'auteur de I'Histoire 
du College de Guyenne pretend que, effraye par les persecutions 
dont les lutheriens etaient 1'objet a Bordeaux, en 1541, 
Buchanan prit la f uite : 

Tl trouva d'abord un asile dans la famille de 1'un des plus jeunes eleves du 
College de Guyenne, dont le pere possedait quelques lieues de la ville, sur 
les bords de la Dordogne, une propriete seigneuriale appelee Montaiyne, qui 
relevait de 1'archeveque de Bordeaux, "au debvoir d'uu baiser sur la joue." 

1 Montaigne, Essais, I. , xxvi. 

2 J. Quicherat, Histoire de Sainte-Barbe, t, I., p. .74. 

3 Gaullieur cite (Hist, du College de Quyenne, p. 82), un arrete de la 
Jurade qui fixe les traitements annuels des professeurs des sommes variant 
entre soixante et trente livres tournois. En 1548, les appointements d'un 
regent de premiere, loge et nourri, etaient au College de Guyenne, de trente 
ecus i la couronne. Un edit de 1533 avait fix6 & quarante sous et six deniers 
la valeur de 1'ecu a la couronne. Voir R. Dezeimeris, De la Renaissance des 
Lettres a Bordeaux au XVI<> siecle, Bordeaux, 1864, note 5 de la p. 34. 

4 BucAanani Opera omnia, edit de 1725, t. I., note 40 de la Vita. 

George Buchanan a Bordeaux 41 

Ainsi, chose singulicre, ce fut sur lea terres de Charles de Grammont que 
Buchanan chercha d'abord un refuge centre les poursuites de ce prtSlat. 

. . . II ne dut rester que peu de temps chez le p6re de son 616ve dont la 
maison seigneuriale etait trop voisiue de Bordeaux : il quitta 1'asile dans 
lequel, en ces temps difficiles, il avait trouve une genereuse hospitalite, et 
partit pour Paris. C'est la que le retrouva, en 1542, son ami Elie Vinet. 1 

En 1542, Buchanan n'etait pas a Paris : c'est a Bordeaux 
qu'il apprit que le roi Jacques V etait mort, le 16 decembre 
1542. Son sejour se prolongea au College de Guyenne, puisque 
c'est a la suite de sa Medee, jouee en 1543, qu'il travailla avec 
soin son Alceste et son Jephthe. II ne quitta Bordeaux qu'apres 
y avoir ecrit ces deux pieces dont la composition dut lui 
couter un certain temps. II n'avait aucune raison de se dero- 
ber aux poursuites de I'archeveque de Bordeaux, qui 1'avait 
protege centre les persecutions du cardinal Beaton. Charles de 
Grammont mourut en 1544 : c'est probablement apres la mort 
de son protecteur, au moment ou les Jurats donnaient a son 
ami Andre de Gouvea 1'autorisation de quitter la Schola 
Aquitanica, que Buchanan partit lui-meme pour Paris. Et, 
quand il eut cesse d'appartenir au College de Guyenne, on 
continua d'y representer ses tragedies, puisque c'est a Tage de 
douze ans c'est-a-dire en 1545 que son ancien cameriste, 
Michel de Montaigne, soutenait " les premiers personnages es 
tragedies latines de Bucanan." 

Buchanan ne parle jamais de Montaigne, qui fut son " eleve 
de chambre " et 1'un des principaux acteurs de ses tragedies. 
Aucune des nombreuses pieces, petites ou grandes, legeres ou 
serieuses, qui composent les divers recueils des Elegies, des 
Stives, des Hendecasyllabes, des lambes, des Epigrammes et des 
Misccllanees n'est dediee a 1'auteur des Essais. Le regent du 
primus ordo ne nomme, d'ailleurs, nulle part aucun des ecoliers 
du College de Guyenne qui furent eleves dans sa classe ou qui 
tinrent un role dans ses pieces. 

Pendant qu'il enseignait a Sainte-Barbe, le poete ecossais se 
consolait des ennuis et des servitudes des professeurs parisiens 
en les racontant en jolis vers latins ; plus heureux, sans doute, 
a Bordeaux, Buchanan ne consacre aucune elegie a deplorer 
la condition des regents du College de Guyenne. 

II se conformait, sans murmurer, au programme etabli par 

1 Histovre du College de Guyenne, p. 164-165. Gaullieur ne cite pas le 
passage de Ruddiman auquel il a du emprunter le theme de cette amplifica- 

42 George Buchanan a Bordeaux 

Andre de Gouvea. Le matin, a huit heures, il commentait 
devant ses eleves du primus ordo les preceptes de 1'art oratoire 
d'apres Ciceron et Quintilien. A neuf heures, il faisait 
expliquer un discours de Ciceron, pour confirmer ces preceptes 
par la pratique des anciens. A midi, il enseignait 1'histoire des 
Grecs et des Remains d'apres Tite-Live, Justin, Seneque, 
Eutrope et Pomponius Mela. Le soir a trois heures, il 
presidait a 1'etude de la poetique latine d'apres Virgile, d'abord, 
puis d'apres Lucain et Perse, enfin d'apres Horace, Ovide, 
Juvenal, dans les passages de ces auteurs assez convenables pour 
etre mis sous les yeux des jeunes gens. A cinq heures, le 
maitre dictait le sujet d'une courte piece de vers latins qui 
devait etre composee et remise avant la fin de la classe. 

Le lendemain, les eleves portaient la redaction de ce qui 
avait ete enseigne la veille et recitaient les passages qui avaient 
etc expliques aux Ie9ons du matin et du soir. Us " decla- 
maient " leurs compositions litteraires en particulier, dans leur 
classe, le samedi matin; en public, dans 1' " aula," devant tout 
le college reuni au son de la cloche, chaque dimanche, a une 
heure de raprcs-midi, a partir du 1 novembre. 

La declamation etait le seul exercice du dimanche ; le lundi, 
le mercredi, le vendredi et le samedi, il y avait classe de huit 
a dix heures du matin, de midi a une heure, et, le soir, de trois 
a cinq ; le mardi et le jeudi, il n'y avait classe que de trois 
a quatre heures. Les jours feries de la ville de Bordeaux festi 
dies civitatis Hiirdeyalensis, qui etaient au nombre de qua- 
rante-trois, on interrompait les Ie9ons. Les vacances propre- 
ment dites etaient fort courtes : les conges de Paques 
commen9aient le mercredi matin de la semaine sainte et se 
terminaient le soir du mardi qui suit le dimanche de la 
Quasimodo ; les conges d'automne duraient du 20 septembre au 
soir au 1 octobre. Pendant ces dix jours, les eleves etaieut 
envoyes chez eux pour les vendanges : pueri dimittuntur 
vindcmiatiiri. 1 Et alors, dit Buchanan, dans un de ses poemes, 
" quand les vacances des vendanges ferment les ecoles, les 
jeunes gens regagnent les penates paternels ; en ville, c'est la 
solitude ; dans les demeures, uu morne silence." 2 Aucune 

1 Schola Aquitanica, p. 24 ; p. 42, 44, 46 ; p. 34. 

- lambon liber, v. (Buchanani Optra omnia, edit, de 1725, t. II., p. 352). 
es pieces ii.-v. du livre des lambes ont etc cornposees a Coimbre (cf. ii., v. 
29-30). Gouvea mettait en usage dans le college portugais les reglements qu'il 
avait rediges pour la Schola Aquitanica. 

George Buchanan a Bordeaux 43 

distribution de couronnes scolaires ne precedait ces vacances de 
septembre. " Ce n'est que beaucoup plus tard, et par imitation 
de ce qui se pratiquait chez les jesuites, que 1'Universite 
consacra la solennite des prix annuels dans les colleges." 1 

Buchanan ne fait allusion dans ses poemes a aucun episode 
de sa vie scolaire a Bordeaux. Les Miscellanies contiennent 
une tres belle ode de huit strophes saphiques dans le gout 
d'Horace, qui merite d'etre comptee parmi celles de ses pieces 
lyriques que le pere Rapin jugeait " dignes de I'antiquite." 2 
Cette ode, adressee a la jeunesse bordelaise, fut peut-etre lue 
a la solennite des Ludovicalia, qui reunissait le 25 aout, jour 
de la fete de Saint-Louis, au College, dont la grande cour etait 
ornee de tapisseries, la foule accourue de tous les quartiers de 
Bordeaux, et, au premier rang, Messieurs du Parlement et de 
la Jurade, personnages graves et doctes. 3 Le poete, apres 
avoir chante, a la maniere du choeur de YCEdipe a Colone, les 
louanges de la Gascogne, mere des heros, productrice du vin 
excellent, favorisee de Pallas, rappelle aux ecoliers que, seul, le 
culte des lettres donne a une ville 1'immortalite : 

Si tu n'honores pas les doctes Muses, si tu ne donnes pas im noin fidele 
aux bonnes lettres, c'est en vain que tes esperances tendent vers 1'avenir. 

. . . Seuls les monuments des savants poetes echappent & 1'empire de la 
severe destinee ; seuls, ils dedaignent le Phlegethon et les droits du tyrannique 
Orcus. * 

" II serait difficile," dit avec raison M. Dezeimeris, " de 
montrer plus elegamment comment on doit imiter Horace." 5 

Ces vcrs sont les seuls dont on puisse affirmer avec certitude 
qu'ils ont ete composes par Buchanan a Bordeaux, pour le 
College de Guycnne. II ne se plaint nulle part d'avoir 
retrouve sur les banes de la Schola Aquitanica des eleves 
semblables a ceux qui faisaient son desespoir a Paris, ou les 
uns manquaient la classe, les autres, qui se prescntaient sans 
bas ou en souliers perces, ronflaient, se plaignaient d'etre 
malades, ecrivaient a leurs parents, au lieu d'ecouter le maitre. 6 

1 J. Quicherat, Hixtoire de Saintp.-Barbe, t. L, p. 91. 

2 Rapin, R&ftexion xur la Poetique d' 'Ariatote, Paris, 1674, '2 partie, p. 
166 : " Bucanan a des Odes dignes de FAntiquit6." 

3 Sckofa Aquitanica, p. 32. 

4 Miscdlaneorum liber, ix. Ad Juventutem Burdtgalenvem, v. 9-12, 29-32 
(Suchanani Ofwra omiiia, edit, de 1725, t. II. , p. 414). 

5 R. Dezeimeris, De la Renaissance . . . , note 5 de la p. 25. 

6 Elegiarum liber, i., v. 49-54 (Buchtmani Opera omnia, edit, de 1725, t. 
II., p. 302). 

44 George Buchanan a Bordeaux 

Buchanan sc plait a celebrer dans ses vers latins les calendes 
de mai, ce moment de 1'annee ou le ciel est degage des nuages, 
ou la brise murmure dans les feuilles nouvelles des arbres, ou 
il est bon de faire sortir des tenebres de la cave le vin genereux 
que les grappes donnent au sol sablonneux de la Gascogne. 1 
Le I iaai, on plantait un pin devant la porte des ecoles ; le 
poete ecrit des Epigrammes en 1'bonneur de cet arbre sacre: 2 
il ne nous dit pas si ses vers lui sont inspires par le pin plante 
devant les classes du College de Guyenne. 

En fait d'arbres du College, nous ne connaissons que les 
douze ormes qu'Elie Vinet, pendant son principalat, planta de 
ses propres mains dans la grande cour de la Schola Aquitanica. 3 
C'est dans cette " area," qui n'etait pas encore ombragee par 
les arbres de Vinet, que, du temps qu'il enseignait a Bordeaux, 
Buchanan se promenait avec ses collegues apres le repas du 
matin. Cette promenade fut interrompue un jour par la visite 
d'un secretaire de 1'eveque d'Angouleme, qui se presentait dans 
la cour, porteur d'une inscription grecque gravee sur une 
plaque de plomb. Le prelat, incapable de la dechiffrer, avait 
recours a 1'erudition des regents du College de Guyenne. 
George Buchanan et Elie Vinet, alors charge de I'enseignement 
des humanites et des mathematiques, reussirent a lire et a 
traduire les sept lignes dont 1' interpretation etait reclamee. 4 

C'est a Elie Vinet que nous devons ce renseignement, le seul 
qui, a notre connaissance, se rapporte a la vie de Buchanan 
dans la Schola Aquitanica. Nous ignorons si les eleves du 
College de Guyenne, devant lesquels il expliquait, a la seconde 

1 Eleijiarum liber, ii. , Maice Calender (Buchanani Opera omnia, edit, de 
1725, t. IL, p. 304-308), v. 45 et suiv. 

Cf. v. 101 : Nee tenebris claudat generosum cella Lyamm 

Quern dat arenoso Vasconis uva solo. 

MisceUaneorum liber, xi., Calendcu MajcK (Buchanani Opera omnia, edit. 
de!725, t. II., p. 415): 

V. i. : Salvete, sacris deliciis sacrae 

Majse Calendae, laetitia; et mero, 
Ludisque dicatae, jocisque. 

2 Epigrammatum liber I. vii., viii. In pinum jrro foribus ncholartim 
Calend. Majis erectam. In eandem (Bucluanani Optra omnia, edit, de 1725, t 
IL, p. 361). 

3 " Duodecim ulmox, ijuce yingvlari commodo et ornamenlo sunt loco, in area, 
ma manu plantamt." (Vita El'wx Vineti, ii la fin des Auaonii Opera, edition 
bordelaise de 1590.) 

4 Elias Vinetus in Ausonii Epiatolam xi. (Ausonii Opera, edition borde- 
laisu de 1590, section 463 F). 

1 1 

s5 --^ 


"S. ^ 



S ^ s 

"o o 

George Buchanan a Bordeaux 45 

classe du matin, 1'un des discours de Ciceron, eurent la primeur 
de cette correction au texte du Pro Caecina que Lambin 
adoptait, " Georgii Buchanani, Scoti, viri cum omni doctrina 
prcestantis, firm Poetce optimi auctoritatem secutus." 1 Nous 
ignorons si c'est alors qu'Antoine de Gouvea, frere du principal, 
et Jacques de Teyves etaient ses collegues a Bordeaux qu'il leur 
adressa la piece des Hendecasyllabes que J. Quicherat qualifie 
de " jeu d'esprit charmant." 2 Une etroite amitie, qui devait 
durer toute la vie, s'etait formee a Sainte-Barbe entre George 
Buchanan, Antoine de Gouvea et Jacques de Teyves. Ce 
dernier, Diono da Teyva, en latin Jacobus Tevius, originaire 
de Braga, en Portugal, avait ete, en 1534, amene au College de 
Guyenne par Andre de Gouvea qu'il suivit plus tard a 
Coi'mbre ou il devait lui succeder comme principal. 

Si le regent du primus ordo ne nous revele rien de sa vie 
de professeur a Bordeaux, il nous donne, par contre, dans ses 
poemes, de nombreuses indications sur ses actes en dehors des 
murs du College de Guyenne et sur ses relations avec les 
personnages notables de la societe bordelaise. Pendant tout le 
temps de son sejour a Bordeaux, Buchanan eut 1'honneur de 
porter la parole au nom de ses collegues. A peine faisait-il 
partie du personnel du College, on le chargeait d'adresser des 
vers de bienvenue a 1'empereur Charles Quint, le 1 decembre 
1539. Au moment ou il allait quitter definitivement les bords 
de la Garonne, on lui confiait encore, en 1544, la mission de se 
faire 1'interprete des doleances du College aupres du chancelier 
de Prance. 

Mais, durant ces cinq annees de vie bordelaise, Buchanan ne 
se contente pas d'etre le poete scolaire et officiel, uniquement 
occupe a traduire du grec ou a composer des tragedies qui 
seront jouees par les eleves du College, a mettre en vers 
eloquents ou ingenieux une Silve qu'il declamera lui-meme 
devant 1'empereur Charles-Quint, une Elegie et une Ode ou le 
chancelier de France trouvera 1'expression tres litteraire des 
justes plaintes, et ensuite celle de la gratitude du savant maitre 
de la Schola Aquitanica. 

Les classes faites aux ecoliers du primus ordo n'occupent pas 
toute la journee ; et, a 1'heure de la recreation qui suit le repas 
du matin, les amis de la maison et des regents franchissent 

1 Buchanani Opera omnia, dit. de 1725, t. II. , p. 170. 

2 J. Quicherat, Histoire de Sainte-Barbe, t. I., p. 135. 

46 George Buchanan a Bordeaux 

sous \e regard protecteur du concierge, surveillant impitoyable 
des allants et des venants, le seuil de la porte unique dont les 
reglements voulaient que fussent perces les murs du College, 1 
a la Schola Aqiiitavica, comme a Sainte-Barbe. 

To us ceux des notables de Bordeaux qui ont le culte de 
1'antiquite membres du Parlement, avocats, medecins ou 
Jurats penetrent dans cette cour ou le secretaire de 1'eveque 
d'Angouleme portait son inscription grecque pour en obtenir la 
traduction. Us prennent part a la promenade des regents et 
s'entretiennent avec eux doctement. Les jours f cries, qui sont 
nombreux, c'est le tour des professeurs du College d'aller, par 
les rues etroites qui environnent leur maison, rendre visite 
aux hotels des parlementaires ou aux logis plus modestes des 
medecins et des avocats. Un commerce assidu de poesie latine 
unit tous ces philologues de la Renaissance, professionals et 
amateurs, qui rivalisent d'habilete dans 1'art, si apprecie au 
xvie siecle, de composer de nobles hexametres ou de tourner 
une fine epigramme. 

On s'etonne de trouver parmi ces pieces une epitaphe 
qui n'est qu'un long jeu de mots, depourvu de grace et 
de mesure, dont le nom d'Innocent de la Fontaine fait 
tous les frais. Ne le jour des saints Innocents, envoye 
a Paris en mission, il a etc 1'hote de la paroisse des 
Innocents ; il y est mort le jour des Innocents ; son corps 
fut enterre dans 1'eglise des Innocents, pres de la fontaine 
des Innocents. Comme sa vie s'ecoula dans 1'innocence, son 
ame habite le ciel au milieu de celles des Innocents. 2 

Innocent de la Fontaine etait un avocat bordelais, ami du 
College de Guyenne. 3 Nous ne savons pas si le Conseil de 
Ville, dont il faisait partie, le chargea d'une mission a Paris, 
au cours de laquelle il serait mort et aurait ete enterre dans 
Teglise des Innocents : il semble qu'en ce cas Buchanan lui 
aurait consacre une epitaphe serieuse et emue, comme il fit 
pour Belcier et pour Briand de Vallee. II est permis de 
supposer que les vers " Innocentio Fontano Burdegalensi 
Poetae et Caussidico " sont un simple Indus quelque peu lourd, 
suivant notre gout moderne qui le qualifierait volontiers de 
*cie declame par 1'auteur dans une intime reunion de 

1 J. Quicherat, Hixtoire de Sainte-Barbe, t. L, p. 78. 

2 Epifjrammatum, liber II. , xix. (Suchanani Opera omnia, dit. de 1725, 
t. II. , p. 381.) 

3 Gaullieur, Histoire du College de Guyenne, p. 133. 

George Buchanan a Bordeaux 47 

latinistes, regents et hommes de loi, en presence du destinataire 
dispose a rire tout le premier de sa bizarre oraison funebre. 
Les austeres sourcils de Buchanan ne restaient pas toujours 
fronces, et sa physionomie, rude a 1'ordinaire, 1 s'egayait 
volontiers a des plaisanteries qui nous paraissent excessives. 

En 1544, apres avoir cesse d'etre professeur au College de 
Guyenne, Buchanan avait passe au College du Cardinal- 
Lemoine a Paris ; il y tomba malade. Alors qu'il souffrait 
cruellement de douleurs rhumatismales, triste, decourage, il 
ecrivait dans une EUc/ie adressee a deux de ses amis de 
Bordeaux : 

Ptol6mee, toi qui es une partie de mon amo, 6 Jacques de Teyves, toi 
qui en es 1'autro, vous desirez tons les deux savoir ce que jo deviens. Je vis ; 
si Ton peut dire que Ton vit, quand on n'est plus autre chose qu'un corps, 
poids inerte, dont 1'esprit a fui. 2 

Si Jacques de Teyves est bien connu, il semble, d'autre part, 
trcs difficile d'etablir quel etait 1'autre destinataire de YElegie. 
Du temps qu'il etait encore professeur au College de Guyenne, 
Buchanan envoyait a ce " Ptolemaeus Luxius Tastgeus " une 
StJve. qui lui disait tous les regrets causes par son absence, 3 
qui lui reprochait de s'attarder au milieu des pierres et des 
broussailles du Poitou, loin de la Garonne, fleuve de sa patrie, 4 
et de ne plus se soucier des collegues qui habitaient la meme 
maison que lui et s'occupaient du meme troupeau. 5 Ce Tastaeus 
etait done un Bordelais habitant le College de Guyenne, comme 
Buchanan, et charge, comme lui, de diriger les eleves de la 
ScJiola Aquitanica. Nous ne trouvons dans les listes de regents 
donnees par Gaullieur aucun nom tel que Tastes, de Tastes, 

1 David Buchananus, De Claris doctrina Scotis (Buchanani Opera omnia, 
M. de 1725, t. I., Testimonia). " Erat austero supercilio, et toto corporis 
halrilu (imo moribus hie noster) nulmgrwtis." 

2 EJegiarum liber, iv. Ad PtokmcKum Luxium Tastceum et Jacobum 
Tevium, cum articnlari morbo laboraret. M.D. XLIV. (Buchanani Opera 
omnia, edit, de 1725, t. II., p. 314-316), v. 1-4. 

3 Silvce, ii. Desiderium Ptolenuri Luxii Tasted (Buchanani Opera omnia, 
Mit. de 1725, t. II. , p. 326-329). 

4 Silvce, ii. , v. 1 : 

Usque adeo patrii sordet tibi ripa Garumnae, 
Pictones ut scopulos, atque horrida tesqua frutetis 
Durus ames ? 

5 Silvce, Ii., v. 3 : 

. . . neo te socium pecorisque larisque 
Cura tenet. 

48 George Buchanan a Bordeaux 

Tastet ou La Taste, dont \e mot latin Tastteus puisse etre la 

Entre 1548 et 1554, Jehan Gelida, charge de la direction du 
College de Guyenne, ou il avait etc professeur en 1536, adresse 
de nombreuses lettres a un jeune Bordelais nomme Jehan La 
Taste, qui faisait ses etudes de medecine a Paris et que le 
principal chargeait de recruter des maitres pour son etablisse- 
ment. 1 Le 15 decembre 1554, de retour apres sept annees 
d'etudes, Jehan La Taste passait, conformement aux statuts, 
son examen devant les jurats de Bordeaux ; il repondait aux 
questions posees par quatre medecins. A la suite de cette 
epreuve, soutenue avec succes, il recevait 1'autorisation d'exercer 
la medecine dans sa ville natale. 2 Peut-etre le jeune medecin 
bordelais, qui debutait a la fin de 1554, est-il le fils du professeur 
bordelais " Ptolemaeus Luxius Tastaeus," qui avait ete le 
collegue de Buchanan entre 1539 et 1544. Mais nous devons 
repeter ce que disait Ruddiman, en 1725: " Quis hie fuerit 
Ptolemaeus Luxius Tastaeus indagare nondum potui." 3 

Dans cette Elegie, ou il depeint d'une maniere saisissante ses 
souffrances physiques et ses angoisses morales, Buchanan parle 
avec reconnaissance des soins et de 1'affection dont 1'entourent 
le medecin Charles Estienne, fils du premier Henri Estienne, 
et ses collegues du College du Cardinal-Lemoine, Gelida et 
Turnebe. 4 Mais ses amis de Bordeaux ne sont pas aupres de 
lui ; et plusieurs des noms de ceux dont il regrette 1'absence 
nous sont inconnus. 

Jusqu'a sa mort, Buchanan entretient des relations avec 
la ville ou il a enseigne pendant sa jeunesse. Le plus 
illustre des anciens eleves du College de Guyenne, Montaigne, 
n'oublie pas son ancien " precepteur de chambre." Vinet, 
principal du College depuis 1556, entretient un commerce de 
lettres avec le collegue qui a debute dans la maison la meme 
annee que lui, en 1539. 

II a deja ete rappele que Montaigne, pendant le voyage qu'il 
fit a Paris en 1559, cut 1'occasion de voir Buchanan, qui etait 
alors " a la suite de feu Monsieur le Mareschal de Brissac." 5 
Les Essais prouvent qu'il s'inquietait de lire les ouvrages 

1 Voir R. Dezeimeris, De la Reiiaiftsance . . . , p. 34-35. 

2 Gaullieur, Hitloire du College de Guyenne, p. 222, n. 2. 

3 Buchanani Opera omnia, 6dit. de 1725, t. II., p. 314, n. 1. 

4 Elegia iv., v. 65-70. 
5 Essais, I., xxvi. 

George Buchanan a Bordeaux 49 

publics apres 1559 par 1'auteur de Baptistes et de Jephthes. 
II le met au nombre des plus grands poetes latins contem- 
porains : 

II me semblo aussi do la poesie qu'olle a eu sa vogue en nostre siecle. 
Nousauons foison do bons artisans do co meatier la : d'Aurat, Beze, Buchanan, 
L'Hospital, Montdore, Turnebus. J 

II cite, inexactement d'ailleurs, un passage du Francis- 
camis : 

Pauvre vaiaseau que les flots, les vents et le pilotte tirassent & si contraires 
desseina ! 

In tarn diversa, magister, 
Ventus et unda trahunt. 2 

II ne se contente pas de lire les poemes: il s'interesse aussi 
aux traites politiques de Buchanan. A propos du metier de roi, 
qui lui semble " le plus aspre et difficile du monde," il ecrit: 

Je feuilletois, il n'y a paa un mois, deux liures Escossois se combattans 
sur ce subject : le populaire rend le roy de pire condition qu'un charretier ; le 
monarchique le loge quelques brasses au dessus de Dieu en puissance et 
souverainete. 3 

L'un des ' ' deux liures Escossois " est le Dialogus de Jure 
Regni * publie en 1579. Montaigne devait se plaire a la lecture 
de cet ouvrage elegant et bien ecrit, dont 1'auteur semble etre 
un eleve de Platon, d'Aristote et de Ciceron, anime de 1'esprit 
philosophique et litteraire de la Renaissance, plutot qu'un 
disciple de Calvin ou de Knox, esclave des austeres doctrines de 
la Reforme. 5 En novembre 1579, Daniel Rogers, dans une 
lettre a 1'auteur du De Jure Regni exprimait 1'admiration que 
Ton eprouvait a voir avec quelle dexterite un vieillard parvenu 

1 Essais, II. , xvii. 

2 Essais, III., x. On lit dans le Franciscanus : 

V. 12 : Non secus ac navis lato jactata prof undo, 

Quam venti, violensque sestus, canusque magister 

In diversa trahunt. 

Boileau semble a'etre souvenu du commencement de ce poeme. 
V. 1 : Unde novus rigor in vultu ? tristisque severis 

Frons caperata minis, tardique modestia gressus ? 
Satires, III., v. 1 : 

Quel sujet inconnu vous trouble et vous altere ? 

D'ou vous vient aujourd'hui cet air sombre et severe ? 

3 Easais, III. , viii. 

4 De Jure Regni apud Scofos, Dialogus. Auctore Georgio Buchanano, 
Scoto ; 62 pagea a la fin du tome I. de 1'edition de 1725. 

5 Voir sur le De Jure Rtgni, Paul Janet, Hintoire de la science politique, 
Paris, 1872, t. II., p. 173. 


60 George Buchanan a Bordeaux 

a 1'hiver de la vie maniait le dialogue platonicien. 1 Buchanan 
se donne, en effet, quelque chose de la bonhomie de Socrate et 
aussi de 1'indulgente austerite que Ciceron attribue a Caton 
dans aes dialogues philosophiques ; son jeune interlocuteur a 
I'aimable ingenuite des adolescents que Platon montre tout 
disposes a se laisser persuader par la parole et convaincre par 
les raisonnements du maitre. 

Nous ignorons quel est 1'autre des ' ' deux liures Escossois " 
que Montaigne prenait plaisir a feuilleter. II ne peut etre 
evidemment question du plus connu des essais de refutation des 
theories de Buchanan, le De Regno et regali potentate adversns 
BucJiananitm, Brutnm, Boucherium et reliqnos monarch omachos, 
que le jurisconsulte ecossais William Barclay publia apres la 
mort de 1'auteur des Essais. II s'agit probablement de 
1' Apologia pro Regibus contra ftuchananitm, reuvre du 
theologien ecossais Adam Blackwood. 2 

" M. de Thou dit Bayle, dans son article sur Buchanan 
nous apprend (Thuanus, De Vita sua, lib. II., ad annum 1582) 
que, tous les ans, Elie Vinet recevoit des Lettres de Buchanan 
par les marchands Ecossois qui venoient charger du vin a 
Bordeaux. Vinet montra ces Lettres a M. de Thou." De 
1'abondante correspondance echangee pendant de longues annees 
entre les deux amis, nous ne connaissons que trois lettres, une 
de Buchanan, deux d'Elie Vinet, datees toutes les trois de 1581. 3 

1 Epistolce, xxvi. (JSuchanani Opera omnia, 6dit. de 1725, t. II., p. 751). 

2 Blackwood naquit ft Dunfermline en 1539 et mourut en 1613. Sea 
oeuvres completes n'ont ete editees qu'en 1644, ft Paris, par les soins de Naucle. 
Mais 1' Apologia, qui avait suivi de pres le De Jure Regni, etait evidemment 
publie"e avant le troisieme livre des Essais, qui se trouve pour la premi6re 
fois dans Petition de Montaigne de 1558. Dans une de ses lettres, Vinet 
6crivait a Buchanan, le 9 juin 1581, qu'un conseiller de Poitiers se pre- 
parait a publier une refutation du De Jure Regni. Apres avoir etudi, puis 
enseign6 la philosophie & Paris, Adam Blackwood 6tait, en 1581, conseiller au 
presidial de Poitiers. Ruddiman (edit, de 1725, t. II., p. 767) dit que 
I 1 'Apologia pro Regibus fut publi6e a Poitiers, en 1581. La Prwfatio de 
1'edition de 1725 des Opera omnia de Buchanan cite beaucoup de "liures 
Escossois" composes pour r^futer le De Jure Regni, "tot libros a Blac- 
vodaeo, Winzeto, Barclaio, Turnero, G. Burnetio, episcopo Sarisburiensi, D. 
Mackenzaeo, aliisque popularibus suis adversus eum Dialogum conscript os." 
La plupart d'entre eux sont post6rieurs ft la publication du troisieme livre 
des Essais. 

3 Epistolce, xxxvii., xxxviii., xl. (Huchanani Opera omnia, 6dit. de 1725, t. 
II., p. 765, 766, 768). Gaullieur, qui fait allusion ft la lettre xxxvii. (Hirt. du 
College de Ouyenne, p. 361), dit, ft tort, qu'elle fut ecrite en 1582. 

George Buchanan a Bordeaux 51 

Mais 1'histoire du College de Guyenne pendant que Vinet 
en etait le principal permet de comprendre quelle action 
Buchanan exer9ait sur les progres de cette Schola Aquitanica 
dont il avait ete Tun des regents et aux succes de laquelle son 
affection pour Vinet 1'interessait non moins que ses souvenirs de 

II semble, en effet, que vers 1570 le College de Guyenne 
comptait plusieurs ecoliers venus d'Ecosse. La plupart des 
documents relatifs au College ayant ete detruits dans 1'incendie 
des Archives municipales, le 13 juin 1862, nous n'avons aucune 
indication precise a ce sujet. Mais, dans les actes de notaires 
conserves aux Archives departementales, on trouve les noms 
de divers " escolliers escossoys d' Aberdeen." L'un d'eux, 
Guillaume Fergusson, prete de 1'argent a un marchand de 
Bordeaux. Certains comme^ants d' Aberdeen, les Brown, les 
Oulson, ont place leurs fils a la Schola Aquitanica.* II est 
probable que Buchanan, dont 1'influence etait grande en Ecosse, 
conseillait a ceux de ses compatriotes que leurs affaires 
appelaient en France de mettre leurs enfants dans une maison 
dirigee par un homme dont il se plaisait a recommander le 
savoir et 1'honnetete. C'est au College de Guyenne que Ton 
envoyait d' Aberdeen ou de Glascow les jeunes gens destines au 
negoce, qui pouvaient se creer a Bordeaux d'utiles relations 
commerciales. Certains meme n'attendaient pas d'avoir quitte 
les banes de Pecole pour s'occuper d'affaires: tel ce Guillaume 
Fergusson, " escollier escossoys," qui prete de 1'argent a un 
marchand de Bordeaux par acte notarie en date du 16 aout 1568. 

Vinet est, en quelque sorte, a Bordeaux, le charge d'affaires 
et 1'homme de confiance des compatriotes de Buchanan. Le 
pere de Guillaume Fergusson lui donne, en 1573, la mission 
d'operer pour lui le recouvrement de creances importantes sur 
des marchands bordelais. Le vieil erudit, malgre son extreme 
bonte, juge que Ton abuse un peu de sa complaisance ; et il 
repond " qu'il ne peut vacquer a la dite charge, tant a cause 
de la malladye en laquelle il est detenu que aussi a cause que 
la dite charge ne luy estoit convenable a cause de son estat de 
regent 2 au dit College de Guyenne, et autres considerations." 3 

1 Gaullienr, Histoire du College, de, Guyenne, p. 284. 

2 Des 1570, absorb^ par la preparation de son Commentaire sur Ausone, 
Vinet avait obtenu d'etre relev^ de ses fonctions do principal ; il n'etait plus 
officiellement que regent. 

3 Gaullicur, Histoire du College de Guyenne, p. 349. 

52 George Buchanan a Bordeaux 

C'est un compatriote de Fergusson, Andre MacRedor, qui 
se chargea de recouvrer les creances. Ce personnage, que les 
actes nomment Macrodor, Macredor ou Machredor, etait maitre 
es arts et licencie en droit. Apres avoir fait ses etudes a 1'ecole 
de medecine de Bordeaux, qui prenait une grande importance, 
il s'etablit dans notre ville ou il parvint a une position officielle. 
Le Registre de la Comptablie royale de Bordeaux, annee 1593, 
enregistre un paiement fait a " Maitre Andre Macredor, 
docteur en medecine et medecin ordinaire de la Geollerye de 
Guyenne." 1 A la fin du xvi e siecle, une petite colonie ecossaise 
prosperait a Bordeaux. 

L'Universite de Bordeaux ne doit pas oublier que la 
reputation legitime dont jouit le College de Guyenne en France 
et a 1'etranger, pendant pres d'un siecle, de 1534 a 1627, est 
due en grande partie aux professeurs ecossais qui avaient etc 
attires dans notre ville par 1'exemple et souvent par les conseils 
de George Buchanan. 

H. DE LA V. DE M. 

1 Gaullieur, Histoire du College de Guyenne, p. 351, n. 2. 


Buchanan and the Franciscans. 

" WHO will give me before I die to see the Church as it was in the 
ancient days, when the apostles cast their nets to catch souls, not 
silver and gold 1 " these were the words of Bernard of Clairvaux 
in his eagerness for a purified Church. In the century after Ber- 
nard, who, though a monk, was also an ecclesiastic, there came in 
Francis of Assisi, one who cared more for Christ than for the Church, 
and more for obedience to His words than for the keeping of all the 
commandments of Rome. Francis made the supreme renunciation 
of the world, having not even where to lay his head ; arid from the 
sacred era of the Incarnation, when Jesus walked in Galilee and 
suffered in Jerusalem, to the opening years of the thirteenth century, 
none more than Francis tried to be like unto his Lord, and to be as 
the Christ made flesh again. 

In the Mendicant Revival led by Francis there was no policy 
to change papal Rome, and no scheme to reform the doctrine and 
ritual of the Church ; but men and women were to be brought into 
the presence of Christ and made better. Friars went forth from 
Assisi to preach the gospel as it came from the lips of Christ, and 
to lead the life which He had consecrated ; but before the tale of 
many years was told, the professed followers of the Saint, in at least 
one of the sections of the Order, fell away from his simplicity. 
Again and again, however, in the history of the Franciscans re- 
formers rising in their midst sought to go back to that simplicity 
and to restore the primitive grace which adorned the first Poor Men 
of Assisi. In the fifteenth century the Observants by their founda 
tion witnessed to the search for a lost ideal ; and friars of their 
reformation were settled in Edinburgh, while others were established 
in St. Andrews by Bishop Kennedy, the founder of the College and 
Church of the Holy Saviour, and were enriched by Patrick Graham, 
the first Archbishop in the Scottish Church. The history of the 
Franciscans, indeed, bears record of reforms within the Order ; yet 

54 Buchanan and the Franciscans 

the age of the Renascence witnessed Erasmus lashing the vices of 
mendicants and monks, and mocking their ignorance and idleness, 
as the age of the Reformation saw Buchanan exposing their folly 
and hypocrisy. 

Buchanan, where there was a straight road to trouble, knew how 
to find it. During a residence in Scotland with Lord Cassilis, after 
a sojourn at one of the Colleges of Paris, he adapted or imitated 
Dunbar's poem with the title, How Dunbar was desyrit tu be ane 
Fryer ; and giving it a Latin dress sent it forth under the name of 
Somnium. Dunbar had been a Franciscan, but had thrown off the 
habit of the Order before attacking the Brothers Minor. While he 
did not enlist in the noble army of the martyrs, he encountered danger 
by his scorn of hypocrites and his hatred of the tricks and frauds 
of the religious life. His poems and satires were written in the 
most excellent Scottish tongue of his day ; but fierce though his 
attack on the friars was, it wrought little harm to them or to the 
Church, for the day of the Reformation in Scotland was not yet. 
When, however, Buchanan wrote, the Scottish Reformation was not 
far off; and those in Scotland who bore St. Francis' name knew 
that in other lands the sins of the Brothers had found them out. 
The Latin form of the poem, on the other hand, appealed to the 
world beyond Scotland, and the pride of the Order was lost. 

The Somnium delighted at least one reader, and that man was 
the King of Scotland. James V. hated the Franciscans, thinking 
they had devised plots against him, and was ready to welcome the 
enemy of his enemies. Moved by royal persuasion or commanded 
by royal authority, Buchanan returned to the attack of the men 
whose poverty was a pretence and whose humility was but hypocrisy. 
The two poems, each styled Palinodia, are literary enigmas. He 
wished to serve his king, and yet not further to provoke the 
Franciscans. It may be that the poems as we have them are not in 
their first forms, or it may be that he attributed to the friars an 
ignorance passing the ignorance of even the monks and priests, and 
counted that his words would not be understood. Yet to the insult 
of the Somnium he added the injuries of the Palinodia, 

The Franciscans were angry, and yet James was not satisfied 
with the measure of their wrath. His word to the poet was that 
he should prepare something " which should not only prick the skin, 
but probe the vitals." Impelled once more to the attack, Buchanan 
wrote Franciscanus, the most skilfully constructed of his poems 

Buchanan and the Franciscans 55 

and the fiercest of his satires. Wit, humour, raillery, banter, 
sarcasm, irony were each pressed into the service of the satirist. 
The vices of the spiritual criminals were recounted, and their base- 
ness exposed. 

But what of the weapon used in the attack ? Should the sword 
or rapier of satire have been used in the battle of religion 1 There 
is a nice ethical and also an aesthetic question regarding the right 
of coarseness to find a place in satire. When men and their 
manners are coarse are they to be painted with realistic details ? 
Realism of this fashion will, indeed, do no hurt to those who for 
their bad habits must be thrashed, but none the less the satirist 
may be dealing in filthy communications which corrupt the good 
manners of innocency and shock the prejudices of respectability. 
History, however, must know how to be tolerant in its judgments, 
and must not charge with indecency and condemn as injurious to 
the public welfare satires which in their own day and generation 
did not violate refinement. Buchanan, with his pictures of the 
Franciscans, which in the twentieth century might perhaps have 
dragged him before the bar of a police court, offended the taste of 
none with wit to understand his Latin ; and history on its judg- 
ment seat may dismiss him without a stain on his character. 

Buchanan used satire and used it with brilliant literary effect. 
Was he justified, since, by attacking an Order established within 
the Church, he was really fighting an holy war 1 It is urged that 
he himself, when he wrote his poems against the friars, was not 
consumed with zeal for religion. None the less he was doing battle 
for the things which belong to religion, and the question of his use 
of satire remains. As an humanist he knew the attacks on men 
and manners made by the satirists of the Roman world, whose 
words were enshrined in the literature which appeared to the 
scholars of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries as the scripture 
of a new revelation ; and a son of the Renascence Buchanan, 
fascinated by the Latin satirists, followed their methods of attack, 
even within the province of religion which they could not have 
entered. He was but a boy when the Epistolae Obscurorum Virorum 
were published ; and, precocious though he was in his youth, there 
is no incredible tale of his enjoyment of their fun. The cleverness 
and wit, however, of these letters, which aided the enfranchisement 
of learning, and helped to prepare the way of the New Faith in 
Germany, were more than the joke and humour of an idle day, and 

56 Buchanan and the Franciscans 

he saw in their effects the uses to which satire could be put. 
Erasmus, in the age before the spiritual passion of Luther trans- 
formed the German Church, laughed at the folly and ridiculed the 
ignorance of priests and monks and friars, and dared to blast the 
memory even of a pope. His attacks on the priestly multitude were 
openly confessed ; and though he repudiated the Julius Secundus 
Exclusus, there was no other Erasmus with cleverness and skill to 
write it. The greatest of all the humanists, through writings read 
by the scholars of Europe, had made satire justified of her children ; 
and if Buchanan required to shelter himself under high authority, he 
could point to Erasmus as a master in satire who had not spared 
the most illustrious as well as the meanest representative of the 
Holy Roman Church. 

One thing the Franciscans could not do in replying to Buchanan. 
They could not give him the lie direct or indirect, and bid him go to 
the poor and the outcast for a testimony of merciful service. In the 
second canto of Franciscanus the poet had shown the beggar 
standing at the door of the convent, haggard, weak, trembling, 
distressed, forlorn, and wasted with grief. The suppliant, diseased 
in limb, tells the tale of his distress to the comfortable friar who 
laughs at disease and jokes at the ills of humanity. The friar who, 
with a message of divine love to man, should make known the 
precepts of Christ, who should clothe the naked and feed the hungry 
and succour the stranger and visit the prisoner, is deaf to the stories 
of sorrow and spurns the pauper from his door, and then, seeking 
the comfort of his couch and placing the glass to his lips, tastes the 
pleasures of the passing hour. 

The Brothers Minor, even the Observants of the Franciscan 
reformation, could not repudiate the poet's verse as a vile aspersion 
on the fair fame of their Order. Francis dying, prostrated on the 
bare earth for the last contest with the spiritual adversary, but with 
face uplifted to heaven, said to his brethren ai'ound him, " I have 
done my part : may Christ teach you to do yours." The centuries 
passed and the friars of the last generations of the medieval Church 
did not do the parts to which they had been consecrated in the 
name of the Saint. The men who had taken that name had fallen 
from the high estate in which their Order had been created. They 
had become infidels to the spirit and strangers to the kindly 
charities of their founder. Humility they had none, in which to 
take as wholesome lessons the rebukes of satirists ; and never were 

Buchanan and the Franciscans 57 

the Scottish friars further away from the gentleness and meekness 
of the Saint than they were on the day when they sought the aid of 
Cardinal Beaton to destroy their enemy. 

Fortunately for the cause of religious progress in Scotland there 
was no Holy Office to superintend the extinction of heretics. 
Laurence of Lindores, in the beginning of the fifteenth century, 
had the title and held the office of Inquisitor ; but the Inquisition 
as an organization was not established in Scotland. Pope Gregory 
IX., in the year 1233, issued bulls which mark the foundation of 
the Inquisition, and one of these bulls associated the Dominicans 
with the machinery for protecting the dogma. The two chief 
Mendicant Orders were ever jealous of each other, and in 1237 
the privilege granted to the Dominicans were extended to the 
Franciscans. Innocent IV., dividing the honours between the two 
companies, parcelled out Italy as an arnea for the Inquisition, 
giving one part to the Brothers Preachers and another to the 
Brothers Minor. Eventually, however, the Preachers obtained con- 
trol of the holy office ; but neither of the Orders succeeded in 
establishing the Inquisition in Scotland, where, consequently, the 
martyrs for the new faith were few. Yet Cardinal Beaton, Prince 
of the Church, Legate a latere, Archbishop of St. Andrews, had 
power to remove disturbers of the spiritual slumbers of priests or 
monks or friars ; and Buchanan would have died like Patrick 
Hamilton had not the royal authority interposed. 

Tradition has been pitiless to the memory of Beaton. He was 
the first and he was the last Scottish prelate who was elevated to 
the rank of cardinal, and in an age when Germany and England 
were delivering tragic blows, he was commissioned, as his title 
shows, to protect Scotland from the assaults of the enemies of the 
Ancient Faith. The old enmity between Scotland and England 
was not dead in the first half of the sixteenth century; and had 
there been no religious question at issue, the policy of Beaton, to 
save his country from English domination, would have ranked him 
among the patriots of his land. There was, however, the supreme 
religious question ; and Beaton, an ecclesiastic with the pride and 
immorality which have marked and stained so many of the prelates 
of the unreformed Church, has been remembered, not as the advo- 
cate of his country's political independence, but as the upholder of a 
Church that had left undone many things that make for the welfare 
of the people. The cardinal was a statesman, and neither religion 
nor learning was his passion. Nothing in his history suggests that 

58 Buchanan and the Franciscans 

he could have been concerned with the grievances of the Franciscans 
who sought his aid against Buchanan. What had this prince of the 
Church in common with the idle and useless mendicants who served 
no cause of religion and brought no distinction to the Church ? 
He did listen to them ; and for the simple reason that they were in 
peril within the Church, which was itself in danger, he turned to 
their help. For Buchanan, on the other hand, he cared nothing. 
There may be pardon for the statesman who had no leisure for the 
Latin exercises of the Humanists, in the years when his Church and 
his country's freedom were assailed ; and the prelate is not to be 
blamed who did not turn from official duty to save a man of letters 
who, to his thinking, was touching the Lord's anointed. Pius II., 
the Humanist Pope, would have discussed with Buchanan the metre 
of the Somnium or criticized the epigrams of the Fraticiscanus, and 
would then have sent him to the stake, not for the quality of his 
Latin verse, but that the Holy Roman Church in any of its 
members might suffer no injury. Beaton more than probably had 
not the skill to read and the wit to enjoy the Latin of Buchanan. 
He had, however, the eye to see in the poet an enemy of established 
order and a disturber of the things which ought not to be shaken. 

The Franciscans appealed to Beaton ; and Beaton turned to the 
king for the authority which would enable him to seize Buchanan, 
and add him to the number of the Church's victims. As the 
cardinal was forced to seek the royal permission, it is evident that 
the poet was under protection, and that Rome's representative, who 
after the fashion of his kind was not wont to let the secular left 
arm know what the spiritual right arm was doing, was loath to 
thwart a king who might at any hour declare for the new Faith. 
The later Stewart kings had persistently curbed the Papal power in 
Scotland, grasping for the Crown the patronage of abuses which 
had enriched the treasury in Rome ; and James V. was favouring 
Sir David Lindsay with his Satire of the Three Estates, and had 
incited Buchanan to attack the friars. Beaton knew, indeed, that 
if James followed the example of Henry VIII., and defended a 
Faith repudiated by the pope, the cause of Rome was lost in 
Scotland. The king, on the other hand, who, unless he separated 
from the Ancient Church, could not openly defy the cardinal's 
request, had no mind to deliver the poet into the merciless hands of 
the prelates. He accordingly devised the excellent plan of laying 
hold of Buchanan and committing him to a prison, in which the 
door or the window was defective as the door or the window of a 

Buchanan and the Franciscans 59 

house of detention. Buchanan, in the "consciousness of innocency or 
the pride of offended dignity, made no protest about unmerited 
punishment or illegal incarceration. Like a wise man he girt up 
his loins, and fled by the way the royal providence had opened for 
him. When well away he was pursued by the king's servants, and 
was not taken. 

Wandering to England and then to France Buchanan reached 
Paris, where he learned that Cardinal Beaton was in the city. As 
Beaton was not the prelate to forget or forgive, prudence induced 
Buchanan to leave Paris and to accept the offer of a professorship in 
the college at Bordeaux. He went to Bordeaux and remained in 
the college for three years, and then, writing a poem on the enforced 
entrance of girls into nunneries, he found himself in trouble with 
his ecclesiastical masters. Beaton was still living and was powerful 
in Scotland, and the fugitive from the Church's discipline could not 
return to his own land. In course of time another professorship 
was offered to him, and he taught for a short period in Coimbra in 
Portugal. He and his colleagues, however, came under suspicion of 
heresy, and the Jesuits, who obtained control of the university, 
handed him over to the Inquisition. Charges were preferred which, 
if proved, were sufficient to condemn him to death, and among these 
was the accusation that he had written against the Franciscans. 
Tins accusation he could not deny, though he was able to satisfy his 
judge? that he was not guilty of the spiritual crimes alleged against 
him. He was not able, however, to convince them that it was safe 
to leave him without special aid in his religious life ; and he was 
accordingly sent to a monastery, where he might obtain instruction 
in theology. 

After passing from the keeping of the monks Buchanan paid 
special heed to the Bible, and a study of the sacred Book trans- 
formed him into a Protestant. As a Protestant he returned to 
Scotland in 1561, where the policy of Beaton was frustrated, where 
the ancient Church was in ruins, and where the Franciscan friars 
were no longer begging for bread they did not desire or for alms 
they did not deserve. 

J. H. 

Buchanan in Portugal* 

IN all the biographies of this celebrated Humanist and 
Reformer, down to and including the one written by Professor 
Hume Brown George Euchanan, a Biography, Edinburgh 
1890 there is a period of five years about which very little is 
said, because very little was known of it. It is stated that the 
beginning of the year 1547 found him living in France, 
supporting himself by teaching, and that proposals were then 
made to him to go to Portugal as Professor in a new scholastic 
establishment, called the ' Real Collegio "das Artes,' which had 
been recently founded by the King of that country, Dom 
John III., at the university city of Coimbra. He accepted 
the offer and is supposed to have started for Portugal in 
March 1547. 

The only source of information which his biographers 
possessed as to what took place while he resided in Portugal 
was about one page octavo of a short autobiographical sketch 
in Latin, supposed to have been written by him shortly before 
his death, evidently in 1580. l In this sketch it is stated briefly 
that he was imprisoned in the Lisbon Inquisiton for a year 
and a half, and then detained in a monastery for some months, 
so that he might be more accurately instructed by the monks 
who did not prove to be unkind, though they were utterly 
ignorant of religious truth. It was mainly at this time that 
he translated the Psalms into various measures. After his 
restoration to liberty, he asked permission to return to France; 
but Dom John III. requested him to remain, and supplied him 
with means sufficient for his daily wants. Becoming sick of 
delays and of uncertain hopes, he embarked in a Cretan ship 
at Lisbon, and sailed for England. 

1 Sir Thomas Randolphe's letter to Sir Peter Young in 1579 was, 
according to Ruddiman, the cause that prompted Buchanan to write this 
account of his own life. 








Buchanan in Portugal 61 

The scantiness of these details is explainable in two ways : 
first, that owing to the secrecy with which the Holy Office 
surrounded its proceedings Buchanan himself knew but little 
of the causes of his imprisonment, and, secondly, that old age 
and his experience of the power of that dread Tribunal may 
have led him to speak with prudent brevity of its treatment of 

In one thing he seems to have been mistaken, and that was 
in attributing to Joannes Ferrerius 1 and Joannes Tolpinus, 2 as 
he does in the said sketch, any active part in his misfortunes. 
Their testimony against him was comparatively unimportant. 3 

For some three hundred years Buchanan's experiences of 
Portugal and its Inquisition remained buried in the Archives 
of the Holy Office, together with those of many others of equal 
or less importance. It is strange that those Archives should 
have been preserved for so long a period in spite of the 
ravages of time and of such a terrible catastrophe as the great 
Earthquake of 1755; but they were so, and when the 
establishment of constitutional liberty brought about the 
extinction of the Inquisition, the secrets were laid bare, and 
some 36,000 records of the proceedings against the unfortunate 
victims were taken to the National Archives, where they have 
been inventoried and preserved, and some of the important ones 
have been published in a more or less complete form. 

A short time before the publication of Professor Hume 
Brown's biography of Buchanan, while I was examining the 
records of the proceedings against Damian de Goes, Father 
Gabriel de Malagrida, and other victims of the pitiless 
Tribunal, I came across the Records of George Buchanan's 
trial and caused a copy to be made of them, without having 
any definite object in view. Hearing that the Biography had 
been published, I called the attention of its talented author to 
the fact of their existence, and forwarded to him a translation 
of them which supplied the material for an article published 
by him in the Scottish Review, No. xlii., April 1893. 

Since then the sentence passed upon Buchanan has appeared 

1 Ferrerius was a native of Liguria and had at one time visited Scotland. 
He was connected with the monastery of Kinloss, and was well-known as the 
author of many books. Dr. Irving's Memoirs, Page 72. 

8 " Talpin was a native of Normandy, and is the author of various works 
in the French language." Irving's Memoirs, page 72. 

3 See Appendix I. (a) footnotes. 

62 Buchanan in Portugal 

in a Portuguese work, Docitmentos para a Tlistoria dos Jesuifas 
em Portugal, Coimbra 1899, by Dr. Antonio Jose Teixeira; 
and the entire Records have been published in the monthly 
magazine Archivo Historico, owned and edited by Senhor 
Anse'mo Braamcamp Freire who, for many years, has devoted 
his talent and fortune to the publication of the documents of 
historical interest which, almost unknown, abound in the 
Archives of his country. 

At the time when I first drew the attention of Professor 
Hume Brown to the proceedings against Buchanan in the 
Inquisition, the Records struck me as being incomplete, for, 
although they commenced with the delivery of the prisoner in 
the Prison of the Holy Office, there was no order for his 
capture or any ground for the proceedings. In other Records, 
the proceedings are based upon a species of " finding of a true 
Bill " against the culprit, such finding being the consequence 
of an information more or less secretly given against him by 
some one and preliminary testimony taken thereon. 

Further investigation shewed me that, simultaneously with 
Buchanan, the Principal of the College at Coimbra, Joam da 
Costa, and another of its Professors Diogo (or Jacobus) de 
Teive, had also been tried by the Inquisition with precisely 
similar results. An examination of the proceedings against 
these prisoners supplied the missing documents and many 
interesting details. 

Commencing with Buchanan's departure from France, we 
learn that it was in consequence of the high terms in which 
Friar Jeronymo de Padilha and Friar Jorge de Santiago spoke 
to the King of Portugal of the College at Bordeaux, upon their 
return from a visit there, that His Majesty resolved to send for 
the Professors. They came from Bordeaux to Portugal, by 
land, in two groups. The first was composed of the four 
foreigners Masters Nicolas Gruchy, Guillaume Garante, 1 George 
Buchanan, and Fabricius ; the second consisted of Costa, Teive, 
Elias Vinetus, and Antonio Mendes. 

They appear to have rested a short time at Salamanca, and 
there was committed one of the most important of the offences 
with which Buchanan was charged : he and his fellow travellers 
ate meat upon certain days of abstinence, their excuse being 

1 Professor Hume Brown gives the name as "Guillaume Gaerente," 
whilst Buchanan in Vita Sua gives "Gulielmus Garentalus." 

Buchanan in Portugal 63 

that they were all more or less suffering internally, and that the 
Spanish bread disagreed with them. Upon arriving in 
Portugal they went first to Almeirim, a town some forty-seven 
miles to the north-east of Lisbon, where the Court was then 
staying; and from thence we may presume that the Professors 
went to the College at Coimbra where Buchanan appears to 
have boarded with the Principal Costa if he did not actually 
live under the same roof. 

As regards the period of his residence at Coimbra it is worthy 
of note that in no part of the Records do we read the 
slightest insinuation against Buchanan's secular character. No 
one accused him of immorality, turbulence, or any other of the 
vices which, it is plain, were prevalent among the Professors. 
He was only accused of a leaning towards the doctrines of 
Luther, and of the disobedience to the Church of Rome which 
was the consequence of that tendency. 

It is most pleasing to be able to assert this when we consider 
the nature of his surroundings. Very interesting details of the 
habits, customs and morality, both of the regents and the 
students at the Scots College and Sainte Barbe have been given ; 
but the state of affairs at Coimbra was, in some respects, worse. 

Buchanan said nothing against any one in his defence, but 
his 1 fellow prisoners, Costa and Teive, were not sparing of their 
denunciations against every one to whom, rightly or wrongly, 
they attributed their imprisonment; and from the Records of 
their trials we glean the following information. 

Buchanan, it appears, was succeeded in the First Class at 
Bordeaux, which was the highest, by one Langlois, a 
Frenchman. Costa states that he turned him out " because 
the students were not satisfied with him, and because he did 
not deserve that Class. And because Master Diogo de Teive 
was put in his place and a brother of mine was a pupil of that 
Class, this Professor said that I, together with Teive, and by 
means of my said brother, turned the students against him 
and made them discontented, so that I might have an excuse 
for discharging him and putting Teive in his place. He had a 
law-suit with me, and said a thousand bad things of me." 

Of Professor Dr. Eusebio, Costa says that he turned him out 
of the College at Coimbra because he was addicted to evil 
practices ; and a youth named Brandao, a brother of the wife of 
Balthazar de Faria (who was, at that time, Portuguese 

64 Buchanan in Portugal 

Ambassador at Rome), and who boarded and lodged with 
Eusebio, had found it necessary to quit the house and go to 
live with a relation in Coimbra. Eventually he entered the 
Jesuits' College. Costa alleges that, upon hearing of this, he 
severely reprimanded Eusebio and discharged him. The latter 
was again accused of a similar crime, and was summoned before 
the ecclesiastical authorities. 

Manoel de Mesquita, the Chaplain of the Royal College, was 
said by the Principal to be "a perfect plague, as all in 
Coimbra know." 

Another Professor, Master Belchior Beliagoa, was given 
to falsehoods. At Paris he had acquired the nick-name of 
" Maquignon " the horse dealer. Costa had taken from his 
house and care the Duke de Aveiro's son who boarded with 
him, and had reprimanded him for taking the students out of 
bounds without the permission of the Principal, which he was 
bound by the King's Regulations to obtain. This Beliagoa had 
spread a rumour in Coimbra, that the French Professors who 
had left that city to return to France went straight on to 
Geneva. The report reached the King's ears, and when His 
Majesty appointed Costa to be Principal, he asked him how far 
it was true. Costa denied that this had happened, and, in 
truth, it had not. Beliagoa then told people that the said 
French Professors had written to the King, denouncing Diogo 
de Gouvea, and had so brought about the dismissal of the aged 
Professor, which was also false. In short, Beliagoa was 
so utterly bad, that he was known in Coimbra by the nick-name 
of "Belial." 

Jorge de Sa, another Professor at the College, when teaching 
his Class, carried a sword under his gown, telling people that 
it was for the purpose of murdering the Principal. 
Master Antonio Calado was known at Coimbra by a nick- 
name, the translation of which is " Mouth of Hell." 
Alvaro Lobato, a Dominician, who lectured on Cato to the 
students, had been reprimanded several times by Principal 
Costa on account of improper conduct and because he used to 
buy the scholars' clothes which they sold to him in order to 
obtain money for gambling and other forms of vice. He was 
their Father Confessor. 

Both Principal Costa and Diogo de Teive had fought duels 
in their time. 

Buchanan in Portugal 65 

Teive accuses a certain Manoel de Araujo, who appears to 
have been connected with the College, of stealing a sword and 
its hangings from him, and goes on to say that under the 
pretext of calling to see Master George and himself, Araujo was 
endeavouring to seduce a visitor of theirs, the daughter of a 
Scotsman and a relation of Buchanan. One day he left in 
her hands a purse containing ten cruzados, and withdrew. 
She complained to her husband whose name was Robert 
Granjoun, and he spoke to Teive and Buchanan about it. 
Teive also accused Master Jean Talpin, Antoine Langlois, and 
Antoine Leclerc of being seditious and bad, and for that reason 
they were expelled. " I fought with them many times," 
naively adds Master Diogo de Teive. 

Marcial de Gouvea, another teacher, went repeatedly to the 
Class-rooms, sword in hand, to prevent Costa and Teive from 
teaching. A similar course was taken by Diogo de Gouvea, the 
Elder, to obstruct his nephew Andre (then Principal) and his 
friend Costa in the teaching of their Classes. 

These were the persons with whom Buchanan was in contact, 
and whose enmity he was most liable to incur. According to 
Teive, the professors, who had originally taught Humanities at 
Coimbra before the new men came, were furious at their 
coming and at their being so well treated by the King who 
allowed them mules as well as servants, and gave them much 
more power and authority than their predecessors had. The latter 
separated themselves entirely from the recent arrivals, 
adopting the name of ' Parisiens ' and calling the others 
' Burdegalenses.' 

Unfortunately Buchanan himself heedlessly supplied them 
with the means of satisfying their hatred. Apart from the 
fact of his being a foreigner, and his past life having caused 
him to be suspected in religious matters, he was careless in his 
acts and speech and in the selection of his friends, all of which 
was carefully scored up against him. 

Manoel de Mesquita, of whom I have just spoken, asserted 
that he had heard a relation of Teive say that a certain 
Countess or Duchess, in the Lutheran country, had sent for 
Teive and Buchanan, and had remitted money for their 
travelling expenses with an allowance of five hundred 
cruzados (50) for each of them. Mesquita said that he had 
seen Buchanan playing at bowls and eating and drinking before 

66 Buchanan in Portugal 

Mass. Others had seen him eat meat on days when it was 
prohibited by the Church of Rome. 

Antonio de Cabedo, the Bishop of Tangier's nephew, 
deposed that, about two years before, he had borrowed of 
Master George Buchanan a book of verses from which to copy 
some lines which he had written upon one of the Psalms of 
David. He found in the book certain written matter, but 
he could not swear whether it was in the handwriting of Buchanan 
or not. It was as follows: Vix datus est tumulus Codrum si 
re-re fuisse forte Lutheranum falere pauper erat. Accord- 
ing to Cabedo the meaning of this was: "If thou 
thinkest that Codrum was refused burial because he was a 
Lutheran, thou art mistaken ; he was refused it because he was 

By the discussing of these petty details publicly and privately 
at Coimbra and in Lisbon, a feeling was created against 
the Professors who had been engaged in France, and it is 
probable that the development of that feeling was fostered by 
the Jesuits, although they did not take any openly antagonistic 
action. They had a College of their own at Coimbra, and it 
answered their purpose that the orthodoxy of the professors of 
the Royal College should be questioned so that they might have 
a plausible argument for inducing wealthy parents to withdraw 
their children from that school and place them in theirs. 

At last the storm burst, but it was brought on by means 
unsuspected until these Records were discovered, and not by 
the direct action of the Religious Orders as has been supposed. 
Doctor Diogo de Gouvea, called the " Elder" to distinguish 
him from a learned nephew of the same name, after having 
been a Professor at the University of Paris, Principal of Sainte 
Barbe and latterly of the College of Bordeaux, was made 
Principal of the Royal College at Coimbra. Later on he was 
deprived by Dom John III. of that office, and was succeeded by 
Andre de Gouvea, another of his nephews. Diogo de Gouvea 
was most irascible and withal a very cunning man. He 
resolved to be revenged upon his nephew, but, to avoid the 
imputation of bringing his own flesh and blood to disgrace, he 
seems to have resolved to work destruction secretly, viz., by 
means of the Inquisition which was at that time beginning to 
extend its power and influence. Diogo spread reports that 
Andre had Lutheran tendencies, and probably had succeeded 

Buchanan in Portugal 67 

in arousing the suspicions of the Holy Office, when Andre died, 
after a few days' illness, without the Sacraments of the Roman 
Catholic Church. Andre was succeeded as Principal by his 
friend, Joam da Costa, who, in consequence, inherited the 
enmity which Diogo had been unable to assuage upon his 

Costa had already incurred the hatred of a Dominican, 
Friar Joam Pinheiro, by having, years before at Bordeaux, 
publicly flogged him after he had attained to manhood, for 
which flogging the young man had sworn to be revenged. 
Pinheiro was then at a Convent of his Order at Paris, and 
Diogo de Gouvea was also living at that city. How the action 
of the Holy Office was immediately brought about is not made 
clear. Costa and Teive both attribute it to Diogo de Gouvea 
in the first instance, and assert that Friar Joam Pinheiro was 
only his instrument. What we know took place was as 
follows: On the 17th of October, 1549, a Commission was 
issued by order of the Cardinal Prince, Dom Henrique, as 
Inquisitor General, and signed by him (although it does not 
necessarily follow that it originated with him) by which the 
Judge of the Lisbon Court of Appeal, the Licentiate Braz 
d'Alvide, and Friar Duarte an Augustine Priest, were ordered 
to examine a certain witness, then in Paris, together with such 
other witnesses as he might suggest, with regard to the 
characters of the Portuguese and the foreign Professors who 
were then teaching in the Royal College at Coimbra. 

The Inquest was opened on the 22nd of the following 
November in the apartments of Braz d'Alvide who acted as 
Registrar, Friar Duarte being the Examiner. The Licentiate 
appears to have been sent specially to France for the purpose. 

The first witness examined and the only one mentioned in 
the Commission was Friar Joam Pinheiro. Owing to his 
evidence, Diogo de Gouvea, the Elder, was summoned, and, 
after them, in consequence of their depositions, Joannes 
Ferrerius, Simon Simson, Joannes Talpinus, Alvaro da 
Fonseca and Sebastian Rodrigues were heard. The last 
witness was examined on the 21st of December, 1549; 
but it was only six months later, on the 27th of June, 
1550, that the Notary at the Lisbon Inquisition forwarded the 
Depositions to the Cardinal Prince who, with others of the 
Supreme Council of the Holy Office, signed the finding of a 

68 Buchanan in Portugal 

true bill against all of the accused, with which the Records 
were returned to the lower Court on the 1st of August. 

The proceedings then went rapidly forward. Joam da Costa 
was captured in Lisbon where he then was, having either gone 
to the Capital upon business, or having been sent for purposely. 
Teive and Buchanan were arrested at Coimbra, on the 10th of 
August. They were requested to attend at the Bishop's 
Palace, and were there detained by one of the high dignitaries 
of the Lisbon Court who had been sent for the purpose. They 
were called upon to give up their keys, their rooms and boxes 
were searched, and they were handed over to an inferior officer 
who accompanied them to Lisbon. The Minutes of the search 
at their lodgings give some curious details of their books and 
pecuniary possessions. Buchanan was even allowed to retain 
his money and valuables without any record of their amount 
being kept ; and permission was granted him to leave part of his 
goods in the possession of his friend, Nicholas Grouchy. 

It has been supposed that Cardinal Beaton was the cause of 
Buchanan falling into the clutches of the Holy Office, but the 
evidence of Joannes Ferrerius shews that this was not so. It 
was brief and, without quoting any positive facts, simply, to 
the effect that he held Buchanan to be a Lutheran at heart. 1 
That he was not directly influenced by Cardinal Beaton is 
shewn by Braz d'Alvide's preface to his evidence, when he 
speaks of Ferrerius as being, at that time, tutor to the nephews 
of the Cardinal of Scotland, " a quern Deos haja to whom may 
God be merciful," implying that he was already dead. Simon 
Simson, a Scotsman, deposed, briefly, to the same effect. 

These witnesses did not present themselves voluntarily. They 
were called upon to give evidence in consequence of the 
reference made to them by the first two witnesses. 
Consequently, I cannot but think that Cardinal Beaton 
contributed very little to the misfortune which fell upon 
Buchanan after his (the Cardinal's) death, however great may 
have been the ill-will which he bore him while living. 
The Franciscans, also, had little or no responsibility in the 

1 Buchanan seems to have been informed many years afterwards of the 
nature of the evidence of both Talpin and Ferrerius : "dixeruat se ex pluribus 
hominibns fide dignis audivisse, Buchananum de Romana religione perperam 
sentire " ( Vita, Sua). 


La,it page of the record of the firxt examination of Buchanan when on trial. 

Buchanan in Portugal 69 

matter. Nothing of any importance was deposed by any 
Franciscan witness against Buchanan, either in the preliminary 
proceedings or afterwards. 

On the 15th of August, 1550, Master George Buchanan was 
delivered by the officer, who had brought him from Coimbra, 
to Ignatius Nunes, Chief Gaoler of the Lisbon Inquisition. 
Three days later he was examined for the first time by the 
Bishop of Angra 1 and Friar Jerome Oleaster. 2 The only item of 
importance in the deposition is his declaration that he was 
about fifty-five years of age. 

On the 21st of the month he was again examined at great 
length by Jerome Oleaster, Dr. Emmanuel, and Friar 
Ambrosiua Campello. He then asked that writing materials 
should be given him that he might write out a full statement 
as to the various matters upon which they had examined him. 
His request, which was granted, is contained in the concluding 
sentences of the record of his examination, drawn up by the 
Notary or Registrar of the Court. 3 The official caligraphy of 
the sixteenth century is so peculiar that, to the unpractised eye, 
it may be and has been taken for short-hand. Its meaning in 
English is : 

"... but he has no recollection of any articles in particular; he only 
remembers that, when he heard some Catholic preacher, the Faith of the 
Chnrch appeared to him to be the right one, and when, later on, he again 
heard some Lutheran, the opinions of Luther seemed to him to be correct ; 
and he was in these doubts all the time he was in England, which was five or 
six months. Items: Being examined upon some other Articles and also 
upon some things which were necessary for the explanation of that which he 
has said, he replied that, as he could not now narrate those things in their 
proper order, he begged them to order paper and ink to be given to him, to 
enable him to draw up his confession in an orderly way : and they ordered 
them to be given to him, admonishing him, by the Love of our Lord, to 
thoroughly unburden his conscience and ask pardon for all, because, if he did 
so, he would be received with much mercy. I, Antonio Rodrigues, wrote it. 
= Friar Hieronimo d'Azambuja Manuel docteur 4 Georgius Buchananu8= 

1 Bishop of Angra or Azores was a deputy of the Inquisition. 

2 This is the same person as signs himself "Friar Hieronimo d'Azambuja." 
9 See Plate I. Buchanan also refers to his treatment by the Inquisition in 

Vita Sua : "In Buchananum certe acerbissime insultabant, ut qui peregrinus 
esset, et qui miiu'me multos illic haberet qui incolumitate gauderent, aut 
dolori ingemiscerent, aut injuriam ulcisci conarentur. " 

4 Doctor Emmanuel (or Manuel) Antunes and Doctor Ambrosius Cam- 
pello were deputies of the Inquisition, the former being an Apostolic notary. 

70 Buchanan in Portugal 

On the 23rd of August he, on oath, affirmed the truth of the 
statements contained in a Defence, 1 written in Latin, which he 
then placed in the hands of Oleaster and the Licentiate Jorge 
Gonsalves Ribeiro. 2 In order to show the clearness of Buchanan's 
hand-writing at this period, the first page of the manuscript of 
this Defence, ending with the words " et qui a veteru institutis 
destiuissent," has been reproduced by photography (Plate II.) 
and is here given in English: 3 

"I, George Buchanan, by nationality a Scot, of the diocese of Glasgow, 
say as follows : 

When criminal proceedings were ordered against the Lutherans in 1539, 
I had some fear for myself on several accounts. In the first place, nearly two 
years before, I had a dispute with a certain Franciscan as to the Scots form of 
process in capital offences, specially heresy. As I had recently returned from 
France and was better acquainted with the practice of French courts, I 
expressed my surprise that in Scotland men were liable to be condemned on 
testimony given by persons who were not disclosed to them, and sometimes 
even by their personal enemies. No one, however innocent, could escape 
being entrapped, if he had enviers or enemies. I had in my mind a recent 
example. An accused merchant had craved his judges to reject certain 
persons who were his deadly enemies, but his plea had been disallowed. 

As the Franciscan's conduct of this discussion failed to satisfy those who 
were present, he began to scatter many injurious suspicions of me among the 
common people. By way of retaliation, I translated into Latin verse an old 
Scots epigram, the meaning of which I have already explained. After that 
we fought it out on both sides with hatred and abuse, and many insults were 
bandied to and fro, but without any attack on anything which touched 

Meanwhile it happened that a conspiracy at Court was being investigated, 
and the king made up his mind that the Franciscans were in its secrets. In 
his anger against them, not ignorant of the footing of hostility on which they 
and I stood, he commanded and, as some most eminent persons well know, 
and the Franciscans themselves are well aware, compelled me to write a 
satire against them. As the Franciscans had never ceased from traducing 
me in all manner of ways, I made my satire somewhat more sharp than I had 
intended, but I certainly cast no reflection on the Christian religion, and I 
expressly protested that against the Order or against good Franciscans of the 
type of older times I said nothing, but attacked only the dissolute members 
of the Order who had broken away from the ancient rule." 

1 The whole Defence is to bo found in Appendix I. of this volume. 

2 Friar Jorge Gonsalves Ribeiro was connected as assessor with the Holy 
Office in Lisbon for thirty years. 

3 The following translations of parts of the Defence are by Professor 
Kennedy of Aberdeen. 


frwifcmt tfWHtfim eif ft 



tiTLA rr a.ttit .'* 

we *i/.r /ir* 

t.ipi, Ctffy 

, w 

' " / -i no,. 

fi Y ii,r,' t Ifc 

" ' 

First page of Buchanan's first statement of his DEFENCE to the Inquisiton. 


La*f pane of Buchanans first statement of his DEFENCE to the Inquisition. 

Buchanan in Portugal 71 

The last page of the same Defence, beginning at the words 
" petunt ea quae a deo peti debent," is also reproduced (Plate 
III.) and has been translated as follows: 

[" Of prayers to Saints, according to ancient custom, in which we either 
entreat them to intercede for us, or in remembrance of them ask anything of 
God, I have always approved. But many of these prayers seemed to me 
superstitious, in which those who pray] ask from the Saints alone what ought 
to be asked of God, things which are supposed to be a remedy against various 
evils, for example, wounds and fever. 

1 In England I saw pictures of various kinds, which I sometimes explained, 
while in France, to those who asked about them. Some of these I had seen 
in Scotland, which the Ambassador from England, the Bishop of St. David's, 
had brought with him, and which disturbed the minds of not a few. 

With regard to Images, I approved of what I saw being done in England, 
namely, that such Images as were being worshipped superstitiously (for 
example, an image of the Crucified One, 2 which went through the motions of 
nodding, laughing, and expressing other feelings, and the image darvr.l 
dadtzim s ) should be removed, but that all others should remain, and that at 
least four times a year the priest should explain to the people the true mean- 
ing and use of Images and other ceremonies which were deemed necessary 
for the people. 

Of Judaism I have not thought at all. As to the sect of Anabaptists, I 
do not yet know what it is. 

Epicureans I have always, in every society, testified agaiast, not only in 
converse, but by my poems. 

As to books, I have none which are not old. There is nothing which, in 
every place, I have been more careful to impress upon my scholars than that 
they should abstain from reading new books in any department of knowledge 
until they have first thoroughly perused the old. 

That by Babylon and by the woman in the Apocalypse, Rome is signified, 
I was at one time inclined to think. But when I reflected with myself that 
all interpretations of prophetic references to the future were dangerous, and 
that for the most part these could not be understood until the event made 
them clear, I instantly suspended my judgment and was easily content, like 
many others, to remain, on this point, in ignorance. I, George Buchanan, 
have with my own hand written and subscribed." 

On the 1st of September 1550 he was again examined at 
great length by Jerome and Ambrosius Campello as to his 
religious doubts and errors, the result being that he filed an 
Appendix to his first statement. 4 

1 Omitted here is the translation of a passage which it is difficult to fit 
into its proper place. It refers to certain pictures. 

2 Probably the Crucifix of Boxley in Kent. 

3 Probably the famous image at Dovercourt in Suffolk. 

4 See Appendix I. 

72 Buchanan in Portugal 

Ten days later Oleaster and Jorge Gonsalves Ribeiro again 
sent for him and sought to persuade him to accuse other 
persons. They repeated their efforts on the 17th of September, 
but each time without result, and then he was left in peace 
until the llth of October when he underwent a short 
examination by the same Judges, as to eating meat on days of 

Two other examinations took place, on the 12th of December 
1550 and the 7th of January 1551, the first before Ambrosius 
Campello, and the second before Friar Jorge de Santiago, but 
the prisoner was again left to his reflections until the 15th May 
1551, in the interval and without his knowledge some evidence 
being taken with reference to a pardon from the Pope, of which 
he alleged that he had availed himself when in France. 
Eventually, at the suggestion of one of the Judges the Bishop 
of Angra, he withdrew his claim to this Pardon, a copy of 
which the Inquisitors appear to have obtained, as it is filed on 
the Records. It is manifestly only a secular pardon from 
Francis, King of France. 

In July 1551 sentence was pronounced upon Buchanan, 
condemning him to make public abjuration of his errors before 
the Inquisitors and their Officers, and to be confined during the 
pleasure of the former in a Convent which they would appoint, 
where he was to occupy himself in things for the good of his 

This sentence, of the latter part of which a facsimile is given 
in Plate IV., has been fully translated from the Portuguese: 1 

" The Commissioners of the Holy Inquisition and the (Judge) Ordinary 
concur, that, whereas having seen how by these documents and the confession 
of the culprit, Master George Buchanan, a Scotsman, it is shewn that he, a 
Christian, was departing from our Holy Catholic Faith and from the Holy 
Mother Church, hesitating and doubting in matters of faith for the space of 
three years, frequently resting in Lutheran opinions, holding that the body of 
our Lord was not present in the Sacrament of the Mass, except as a symbol 
and not in reality, and often doubting and wavering in regard to this, doubt- 
ing also as to the Mass being any sacrifice, and also doubting and hesitating 
in the Article of Purgatory, holding, as it were, that we are justified by faith 
alone, holding also and believing that it was no sin if one did not confess at 
the seasons appointed by the Holy Mother Church, there being no offence in 
this, and holding that the Ordinance of Confession was human and not divine, 

1 This has been translated by Rev. R. M. Lithgow of Lisbon, whose kind 
services in securing the photographs of the documents necessitated much time 
and trouble. 


. : . ' - 

< ^3S5"9E #>%$P$** 

*ttJvmis&xai- !< 

^ ~^; irf'trh'm M><? Iff^e ^ 


Last page of ..VS. containing the sentence of the Inquisition on Buchanan. 

Buchanan in Portugal 73 

and that it surely was no sin to disobey human laws, there not being any 
offence or injury to another in this ; it also seeming to him that he need not 
obey the ordinance of the Church in regard to abstention from meat on the 
forbidden days, and that it was better to go direct to God than to the saints, 
all which errors are disallowed as Lutheran heresies and condemned by Holy 
Mother Church. Seeing all which, with what more is set forth in the docu- 
ments, and seeing besides how he, the culprit, moved by true and sound 
counsel, came at length to recognise his errors and, with many signs of 
repentance, to beseech for them pardon of our Lord and the mercy of the 
Holy Mother Church, with whatever else appears from the said documents 
the culprit, Master George, be received to the Reconciliation, Union, and 
Mercy of Holy Mother Church as he requests, and that he be required in 
penance to make public formal abjuration of his errors before the Inquisitors 
and their Officers at an audience, and to stay within the convent prescribed as 
his prison for such time as appears good to the said Inquisitors, where he 
shall occupy himself in certain devotional exercises and things necessary for 
his salvation, and they decree that this shall bo made absolute in the ecclesi- 
astical form of excommunication which has been incurred. 




On the 29th of that month he made abjuration, and was 
absolved from the Excommunication which he had incurred. 

The first monks who were requested to receive the 
Scottish Humanist excused themselves on the ground 
that the only accommodation they could offer was poor. 
The Convent selected for his period of penance was that of 
Saint Bento, belonging to the Secular Canons of Saint John 
the Evangelist, in the locality formerly known as Xabregas, 
but now called Beato Antonio. After the extinction of the 
Religious Orders, it was converted into a steam flour mill 
owned by Senhor Joam de Brito. Friar Peter of Saint John, 
the Prior of that House, expressed in the following letter to one 
of the Inquisitors his willingness to receive and lodge the peni- 
tent to the best of his ability : 

' ' REVEREND FATHER, Your Reverence must not be surprised if the 
accommodation for this penitent is not very comfortable, as the House itself 
and the division thereof will allow of no better. As your Reverence assures 
that his residence will not be for long, the monks and myself have agreed to 
obey the Cardinal Infante and your good selves, and to do what you have 

1 Martin Lopez Lobo was a deputy of the Inquisition, and an assessor to 
the Court. 

74 Buchanan in Portugal 

ordered. You can send him whenever you like, and he will have to put up 
with whatever there is in the way of lodging because we can do no more for 
our Lord." 

Buchanan was sent there, where he remained until the 17th of 
December 1551. That day Friar Jorge de Santiago went to the 
Convent and informed him that the Cardinal Prince had been 
pleased to grant him permission to reside in Lisbon, but that 
he was not to leave the city. On the last day of February 
1552, Buchanan attended at the Inquisition to receive his final 
order of freedom. The letter, signed by the Cardinal Prince, 
in which Master Friar Jorge de Santiago was ordered to 
acquaint Buchanan that he was to be allowed to leave the 
Convent, can be seen (Plate V.). It reads, when rendered into 
English, as follows : 

" Master Friar Jorge de Santiago, 

The Cardinal Prince sends you much greeting. 

It is my pleasure to release Master Joham da Costa and Master George 
Buchanan, so that they may quit the monasteries in which they now are, and 
go to the city ; but they will not leave it without my further orders. I 
therefore charge you to make this known, and to cause that it be so done. 
Should you and the other Deputies think fit to release them, and allow them 
to leave the City, you may order the permits to be drawn up in such form as 
you think best, and send them to me to be signed. 

Written at Evora, on the 13th of December, Joham de Sande did this in 


The Final Warrant for Release, which is among the 
documents, is thus expressed : l 

"On the last day of February, 1552, at Lisbon, in the Despatch House of 
the Inquisition, there being present the Reverend Senhor the Master-Priest, 
Friar George de Santiago, Inquisitor, and the Deputies of the Inquisition, 
they ordered Master George Buchanan to be brought, and told him that the 
Senhor Cardinal Prince, Inquisitor General, had seen fit to grant him a full 
dispensation, so that he might go away ; and they recommended him that 
ever in his work he should associate with good and pious Christians, and 
should confess himself often, and so live to our Lord as a good Christian ; 
and he said that he would do so. 

AMTONIO RIAZ, Secretary." 2 

The conclusions at which I arrive, after a careful 
examination of the three Records, are that the Inquisition, in 
view of the evidence sent from Pans and the reports which 

1 Translated from the Portugxiese by Rev. R. M. Lithgow. 

2 Antonio Riaz was an Apostolic notary. 


I A> / /- / e^i c-/^ , L jr.* 

Intimation of Jiefeaxc. 

Buchanan in Portugal 75 

had undoubtedly reached the Judges, both from Coimbra and 
Lisbon, had sufficient grounds (according to the usages of that 
period) for proceeding against the three professors. 
Buchanan's nationality did not influence his Judges against 
him, for his sentence was precisely the same as those of the 
other two defendants ; and it cannot be said that it was severe. 
From the standpoint of the Inquisition his own confessions 
were sufficient to condemn him ; but the fact of his confessing 
rendered him more deserving of mercy. 

The Records of Buchanan's trial shew that his behaviour 
throughout that painful period was prudent and proper. 
Compared with his earlier imprudences, it even creates the 
impression that some one privately advised him as to the best 
course to follow. He acted properly because, from the first 
examination to the last and in spite of all the efforts which, as 
was the custom, were made to induce him to denounce others to 
the Court, he steadfastly declined to do so. 

He was prudent because he, at the outset, disarmed the 
prosecution by confessing how he had doubted and wavered, 
and how he had strengthened himself in the Faith, and 
obtained pardon for his errors, before coming to Portugal. All 
through the proceedings, he gave proof of admirable coolness, 
astuteness and courage. He compromised neither friend nor 
enemy. He did not bluster at the commencement as Costa 
did, or abjectly pray for mercy afterwards as both Costa 
and Teive did. Either he had great courage or he had reason 
to believe that the Inquisition was favourably disposed towards 
him, and that the most he had to fear was detention for a 
longer or shorter term. 

It is said that Buchanan asked for and received a promise 
from the King of Portugal that he would protect him while in 
his dominions ; but I presume that no proof of this exists. He 
alleged nothing of the kind in his pleadings. In fact, the 
Royal Authority, in any Catholic country, could only avail him 
as regarded the pains and penalties of the Civil Law ; the King 
of Portugal was as powerless as the King of Scotland in 

ecclesiastical matters. 

* # * # 

As a fitting conclusion to this chapter, a short notice of 
Buchanan's fellow-prisoners and of the Inquisitor who took the 
most active part in his trial will be of some interest. 

76 Buchanan in Portugal 

JOAM DA COSTA was born at Villa Nova de Portimao. He 
made abjuration of his errors on the same day as the others, 
the 29th of July 1551 ; he obtained permission to leave the 
Convent of Saint Eloy, in Lisbon, on the 17th of December 
1551, and was finally released on the 4th of February 1552. 
At the time of his decease which took place a short time before 
the battle of Alcacer-Kibir, fought on the 4th of August 1578, 
he was Prior of the Mother Church of the town of Aveiro, 
dedicated to Saint Michael. 

DIOGO DE TEIVE abjured on the 29th of July 1551, entered 
the Convent of Belem near Lisbon on the 31st of that month to 
perform his penance, left it on the 14th of the following Sep- 
tember, by permission of the Cardinal Prince granted in con- 
sideration of his state of health and because the monks required 
the room which he was occupying, and was finally set 
free on the 22nd of September. Eventually he seems to have 
returned to the Royal College of Coimbra, for it was to him, 
as Principal, that Dom John III. addressed, on the 10th of 
September 1555, the Order to hand over that establishment to 
Diogo Mirao the Provincial of the Jesuits. 

He was a native of Braga, the ' Bracara Augusta ' of the 
Romans. He wrote several works in Latin, a collection of 
which, edited by Jose Caetano de Mesquita, was published at 
Paris in 1762. In a short biography with which Mesquita 
prefaced his book he says : ' ' Jacobus Tevius Bracarae 
Augustae in Lusitania natus, humanioribus litteris et Jure 
civili instituendus Parisios se contulit ; ubi quantum in his 
studiis profecerit vividi elegantisque ingenii adolescens, facile 
ex eo intelligitur, quod Burdigalenses suam in urbem eum 
adsciverint, ut una cum Mureto et Buchanano (quibus viris!) 
humaniores litteras publice profiteretur." It was upon one of 
Teive's works, the Commentarius de Rebus apud Dium gestis, 
Buchanan wrote these lines : 

Cum tua sceptra Asiae gens Europaeque timeret, 

Et tremeret fasces terra Lybissa tuos : 
Jamque jugi patiens Indus, nee turpe putaret 

A Domino Ganges poscere jura Tago : 
Inque tuis Phoebus regnis oriensque cadensque 

Vix longum fesso conderet axe diem : 
Et quaecumque vago se circumvolrit Olympo, 

Luceret ratibus flamnia ministra tuis : 
Gaudebat tibi devictus, sibi redditus orbis, 

Nosse suos fines, justitiamque tuam. 

(Where Buchanan was imprisoned). 



Buchanan in Portugal 77 

Una aberatque oberatque tuis Mors saeva triumphis, 

Carpere victricem scilicet ausa manum. 
Et comes huic tenebris niaa est oblivio caecis 

Fortia magnanimum condere facta ducum ; 
Donee Apollineis se Tevius induit armis, 

Et spolia e victa Morte superba tulit ; 
Victurisque jubet chartis juvenescere vitae 

Prodiga pro Patriae pectora laude suae, 
Proque aevi paucis, quos Mors praeciderat, annis 

Reddit ab aeterna posteritate decus. 
Jure ergo invictus Bex es : quando omnia vincens 

Accessit titulis Mors quoque victa tuis. 1 

younger son of Emmanuel, King of Portugal (1495-1521), 
brother of that King John III. (1521-1557) who to the ruin 
of his country set up the Inquisition in it, and uncle of 
Sebastian (1557-1578), upon whose death in Africa on an 
expedition against the Moors, this Henry succeeded as last 
King of Portugal (1578-1580) prior to the Spanish usurpation 
under Philip II. The Cardinal was Grand Inquisitor during 
the reigns of his brother and nephew, and only succeeded to 
the throne when an old dotard. 

FRIAR HIERONIMO D'AZAMBUJA, the Judge most often 
referred to in the Records, is known to foreign writers as 
Jerome Oleaster, the latter name being the Latin equivalent of 
his surname of Azambuja ' the wild Olive tree ' but which 
really is the name of the place at which he is said to have been 
born. A curious point of this monk's parentage was discussed 
by me in Vol II. of my Ineditos Goesianos, page 183 et seq. 

He was a Dominician and took the vows of that Order, in 
the Batalha Monastery on the 6th of October 1520. Having 
shewn signs of exceptional ability, he was admitted to the 
College of St. Thomas in Coimbra on the 8th of December 
1525, to teach Humanities and Theology in which he held the 
Degree of Doctor. Having been selected by Dom John III to 
take part in the Council of Trent, he arrived there on the 19th 
of December 1545, and created some sensation at the sitting 
which was held on the 7th of the following January. Upon his 
return he was offered the See of St. Thomas, but declined 
it. In 1551 he was unanimously elected Provincial of his 

1 Those verses are to be found in Opera Buchanani Tome II. , P. 102, 
there included in the Poemata Fragmenta "quae nunquam an tea cum aliis ejus 
operibus edita fuerant." 

78 Buchanan in Portugal 

Order, but was requested by his Royal Master not to accept the 
post. The following year, while Prior of the Batalha Convent, 
he was named by the Cardinal Prince to be Inquisitor of the 
Holy Office of Evora, which post he occupied from the 2nd of 
September, 1552, until the llth of October, 1555, when he passed 
to the Lisbon Inquisition with the same rank. The documents 
of Buchanan's trial and, in fact, many others shew that he 
acted as Inquisitor in Lisbon long before that year. On the 
llth of June, 1557, he had the honour, with an Augustine 
Monk, of putting the shroud upon the mortal remains of his 
King and master; and, in 1560, he was again elected 
Provincial of his Order for two years. He died at the 
beginning of 1563, in the Lisbon Convent of Saint Dominic. 

Herculano, the celebrated author of the Historia da Origem 
e Estabelecimento da Znquisifdo em Portugal, says of him, in 
Vol. III., page 329:- 

"As a matter of fact, the converted Jews were not only taken prisoners, 
but were put to the torture without sufficient prima facie evidence. The 
celebrated Oleaster, or Friar Jerome of Azambuja, a man of high literary 
reputation, had distinguished himself in this species of rigour, and disputed 
with Joam de Mello the palm of cruelty. So great had been his excesses, 
that the Prince found himself forced to dismiss him. Dom Henrique con- 
fessed to the Nuncio that Oleaster had gone beyond all bounds of moderation." 

This was the man who, according to Buchanan, took some 
pains to instruct him in religious matters. 

Edited from the MS. of G. J. C. H. 


Buchanan and Mary. 

THE relationship which existed between Buchanan and Mary has 
puzzled nearly every biographer of the Queen. During her early 
days in Scotland the poems and epigrams addressed by Buchanan 
to Mary imply the tender solicitude of a teacher towards his 
pupil, who was dear to him as much because of her personal 
qualities as her exalted rank. Then came the tragic incident of 
the murder of Darnley, and at once the loving pedagogue 
became the virulent accuser, not over-scrupulous in his assertions 
of her guilt, and even, as Sir James Melville states, " cairless " 
as to the truth of the facts which he boldly alleged against her. 
This change of front almost as great as any inconsistency which 
he alleged against Lethington in The (Jhamcdeon, has divided 
Buchanan's critics into opposing camps. There are those who 
maintain that only overwhelming evidence of Mary's duplicity 
and turpitude could have effected such a change ; and the mere 
fact of her old friend Buchanan turning against her is advanced 
as a convincing proof of her guilt. But there are also those who 
allege that Buchanan was a mercenary time-server, ready to 
place his venal pen at the command of the highest bidder, and 
with a decided preference for the cause of his feudal chief, 
the Earl of Lennox. Probably the truth lies between these 
extremes. To reconcile the eulogistic verses of Buchanan, 
addressed to Queen Mary before and after her marriage to 
Darnley, with the vitriolic spleen against her displayed in the 
Detectio, one must carefully consider the positions of the two 
parties. Buchanan was a humanist of wide experience, in touch 
with the leaders of thought on the Continent, and able to hold 
his own among the most learned. But, as John Hill Burton 
remarks, " his rich genial mind was coated with a sort of crust 
of austerity. It was not in his nature to be a fanatic, but he 
took to the Presbyterian side as the opponent of royal preroga- 

80 Buchanan and Mary 

tive and a vainglorious hierarchy." More than this is necessary 
to explain Buchanan's apparent animosity to Queen Mary. 
Beneath all his culture there was the old Scottish notion of the 
absolute duty of fidelity to his feudal chief. This was engrained 
in the Scottish spirit of the time ; and by its predominance alone 
can Buchanan's revulsion from Queen Mary be explained. 

Fundamentally, Buchanan accepted the Athenian doctrine of 
the right of the people to remove by violence an obnoxious ruler ; 
yet he did not perceive that the thraldom of a vassal to his 
superior, or of a clansman to his chief, involved a far worse form 
of tyranny than could be exercised by a crowned head. And to 
that thraldom, with eminently human inconsistency, Buchanan 
was himself enslaved. Admitting the existing fact of Mary's 
hereditary right to rule, yet somewhat subdued from active 
opposition by her mental gifts and the graces of her charming 
personality, he did not raise his voice directly against her when 
he returned to Scotland ; nay, he wrote numerous eulogies upon 
her, never once hinting at the Republican notions that lay at the 
back of his brain. As a Protestant, Buchanan theoretically 
should have been as violently opposed to Mary's marriage with 
Darnley as was Knox and the Lords of the Congregation. To 
them the proposed union appeared as a prelude to the restora- 
tion of Catholicism and the destruction of the Protestant Refor- 
mation. Why did Buchanan not join with them in denouncing 
this marriage as hateful to the people, and perilous as threaten- 
ing their eternal welfare ? True, he had celebrated her marriage 
with the Dauphin in the famous Epithalamium, which is one of 
the memorable examples of Scottish Latinity of the time ; but 
that was in a Catholic country, and addressed to fervent 
Catholics. Here, in Scotland, when Catholicism had been 
deposed (with Buchanan's aid), from its proud pre-eminence, 
it seemed like treachery to the Protestant cause for him to 
commend the union in similarly deathless strains. Why did he do so ? 
Professor Hume Brown has caught a glimpse of the only 
reasonable explanation, though he has not carried out the 
argument to its conclusion. He writes: "There was a 
reason, which must have had a weight of its own in determining 
the view which Buchanan took of Mary's second marriage. 
Darnley was the son of the head of the Clan Lennox, and in 
his exaltation to the throne Buchanan would see the glorification 
of the clan to which he himself belonged. Buchanan would 


(From (he engraving in Volume. II. of the. 17 ~ 2 edition of Buchanan* 
' History.' ) 

Buchanan and Mary 81 

have been no good Scotsman had he not been susceptible to 
such feelings, and Buchanan was a Scotsman to the core." No 
doubt this is true, and largely accounts for the poet's apparent 
inconsistency. But it has not occurred to Professor Hume 
Brown that this very clan-instinct, which made Buchanan 
approve of the elevation of the chief's son to the throne, was 
equally potent in turning Buchanan's devotion to the Queen 
into violent and unreasoning animosity at a later stage. He 
saw Darnley raised to eminence, and he joyfully approved. 
Possibly he did not know, as we do, how utterly unworthy 
Darnley was of the position, or he was blinded by clan-partial- 
ity to the defects of the young chief, as many a gallant High- 
lander was at Sheriffmuir and Culloden. Buchanan must have 
known of the bickerings in the royal household, and probably 
blamed the Queen rather than his own kinsman. And when the 
tragic episode of Darnley's murder occurred, with all the mystery 
by which it was surrounded, Buchanan's first thought was that 
it was the outcome of an old clan-feud by which the Hamiltons 
sought to remove Darnley, slay the Queen and the infant Prince, 
and clear the way for their own succession to the throne. A 
careful examination of Buchanan's partisan pamphlet A ne 
Admonitioiin direct to the Trew Lordis maintenars of Justice 
and obedience to the Kingis Grace, first published in 1571, will 
show the progress of his reflection upon the incident of the 
murder. Finding that his "Hamilton" theory did not fully 
explain the murder, and hearing the false rumour that the 
Queen had attempted to poison her infant son at Stirling, 
Buchanan plainly began to suspect Mary of the double crime, 
and asociated Both well with her as an accomplice. 

Another circumstance which must have weighed with Buchanan 
in turning him against the Queen was the outspoken animosity 
of his chief the Earl of Lennox, and of Mary's kinswoman, the 
Countess of Lennox, against their daughter-in-law. Here the 
clanship influence became predominant. As a vassal, it was no 
part of Buchanan's duty to question the wisdom of his chief; it 
was his to make no reply, but to devote all his literary powers to- 
wards the avenging of the murder of his young master. It is 
not necesary to suppose that a bribe was offered to purchase his 
pen. For Buchanan it was enough that his dream of Darnley's 
kingly position had been dispelled, and it was his duty to save 
Darnley's son his own possible chief from the dangers that 

82 Buchanan and Mary 

threatened. He believed that could best be done by proving 
that the Queen had consented to the murder of Darnley, and was 
therefore no fit person to be entrusted with the care of Darnley's 
son. Here the Republican notions which he had suppressed 
during his personal intimacy with Mary broke forth in full force. 
His Detcctioun of the Doingis of Marie, Qnene of Scots, as 
the first translation of his Latin pamphlet is called, was an 
attempt to vindicate the deposition of the Queen as a murderess 
and adulteress, and plainly claims the right to remove such a 
ruler from power. By a strange and wilful blindness, Buchanan 
did not see that he was confuted by his own arguments. If Mary 
should be removed with violence because of murder and adultery, 
then surely Darnley, the murderer of Riccio and one of the 
worst libertines in a dissolute Court was equally worthy of death. 
But the Earl of Lennox thought differently, and Buchanan 
followed his chief. Without agreeing with Mr. Hosack in his 
denunciation of Buchanan as " the prince of literary prosti- 
tutes," or believing, with him, that Buchanan, was " first the 
sycophant and then the slanderer of his Sovereign, his pen was 
ever at the service of the highest bidder," one may admit that 
there is some truth in Hosack's remark that " Nothing can be 
more finished than some of his laudatory verses upon Mary ; 
nothing can be more ridiculous than the gross exaggerations of 
the ' Detection.' ' These, after all, are merely further proofs that 
perfect consistency is not to be expected from any human being. 
The marriage of Mary and Francis, the Dauphin of France, 
took place at Paris in January, 1558-9. At that time Buchanan 
was tutor to the son of the Marechal de Brissac, and was pro- 
bably in Paris ; indeed, it has been asserted that some of the 
inscriptions on the wedding-banners were written by him. His 
famous Epithalamium while extolling the bold and hardy 
Scottish race, revives the memory of the traditional alliance with 
France which dated from the time of Charlemagne ; and claims 
that the Scots had ever maintained their freedom : 

So was it, when of old each land, 
A prey to every spoiler's hand, 
Its ancient laws and rulers lost, 
The Scot alone could freedom boast ! 
The Goth, the Saxon, and the Dane 
Poured on the Scot their powers in vain ; 
And the proud Norman met a foe 
Who gave him equal blow for blow. 

Buchanan and Mary 83 

At this period Buchanan was a supporter of Catholicism. In a 
few years he returned to Scotland, joined the Protestant party, 
and did his best to break up the French Alliance which he had 
so strongly commended. When Buchanan's name next appears 
in connection with Mary, in January 1561-2, she was a young 
widow on her ancestral Scottish throne, and he was acting as her 
tutor, reading Livy with her daily, as Randolph, the English 
resident at the Scottish Court, declares. It was quite natural 
that Mary should be attracted towards Buchanan, though he 
was then over fifty-five years old, and somewhat ill-favoured. 
Buchanan had long been in touch with the best literary circles 
of France and Italy ; he could discourse upon literature, ancient 
and modern, could write graceful and complimentary verses to 
the Queen and her Four Maries, and supplied a link with her 
happy early days in France. Her own poetic gifts, inherited 
from her ancestor, James I., were not to be despised, even when 
some of the poems wrongly assigned to her are deducted. French 
was the language of her childhood, and she learned Italian at 
the Court of Katherine de Medici, and could indite verses in 
both tongues, while Latin was familiar to her. It has been 
suggested that, at a later date, the secret of Bothwell's success 
with Mary was his knowledge of French literature and customs. 
Buchanan, therefore, could take a much wider range, and from 
the literary side was more desirable than the bold Earl. 
Certainly, Buchanan was on the best of terms with the Queen 
and Court. 

It has been urged against Buchanan that he was a mercenary 
poet, measuring out his lines according to the gold paid for 
them. This accusation is hardly fair. He certainly wrote 
begging poems; but so did Dunbar to James IV., and Sir David 
Lyndesay to James V. It was the fashion of the time; and, in- 
deed, the formal Dedications of books, which survived till the 
beginning of last century, were simply a dignified form of 

Two emotions acted upon Buchanan when he wrote his poem 
on the baptism of James VI. in December, 1566, his respect for 
the Queen, and his feudal duty to the infant grandson of his 
chief, the Earl of Lennox. These feelings had already brought 
forth his more impassioned poem on the birth of that Prince, in 
which he plainly declared the duty of the King as the ensample 
to his people. But the finest and best known of Buchanan's 

84 Buchanan and Mary 

poems addressed to Queen Mary is the dedication which he pre- 
fixed to his Latin version of the Psalms of David, the first edition 
of which was printed in Paris about 1565. The opening lines 
and the expressive translation, by Dr. Hutchison, Rector of the 
High School, Glasgow, are as follows : 

Nympha, Caledoniae quae nunc felioitor orae 

Missa per innumeros sceptra tueris avos ; 
Quae sortem antevenis meritis, virtutibus annos, 

Sexum animis, morum nobilitate genus, 
Accipe (sed facilis) cultu donata Latino 

Carmina, fatidici nobile regis opus. 

Lady of an ancient race, 

Who Scotia's throne dost nobly grace, 

Surpassing by thy merits great 

Thy royal dignity of state : 

Thy virtues far beyond thy years, 

Thy mind above all woman's spheres, 

And high as is thy royal birth, 

How far beneath thy native worth ! 

Accept the noble gift I bring 

The Psalms of Israel's prophet- king 

Set forth in numbers erewhile sung 

By masters of the Latin tongue. 

No polished odes from Grecian hand 

Expect from this far northern land. 

Yet ventured I not to disdain 

The puny offspring of my brain : 

Since thou hast pleasure found in these 

My verses, me they'll not displease. 

But though scant praise bestowed be 

On graces of my poetry, 

My verses still perchance will show 

How much to a kind heart they owe. 

Buchanan was not allowed to go unrewarded for his literary 
labours at the Court of Queen Mary, though the poet as is 
often the case with members of that irritable genus died in 
poverty. If he sold his pen to the highest bidder, as some of 
his detractors assert, and betrayed the Queen who had be- 
friended him, then the price of his treachery was little profitable 
to him. Whether he assisted John Wood in " faking the Casket 
Letters " cannot definitely be known, though he certainly had a 
share in preparing the so-called evidence against the Queen. 
These later years of Buchanan's life are not attractive to some 
people. More pleasant, however, is it to remember the learned 

Buchanan and Mary 85 

" Scot abroad " writing verses to the young Dauphiness in Paris; 
or to picture the middle-aged scholar at St. Andrews, with his 
queenly pupil, now deeply engaged in the study of Latin history, 
and anon gaily capping verses with each other, and grinding 
gerunds and irregular verbs into the form of epigrammatic gems 
that have retained their lustre till the present day. 

A. H. M. 


George Buchanan and Crossraguel Abbey. 

IN the muniments pertaining to the Abbey of Crossraguel, most 
of which are in the Charter Chest of the Marquis of Ailsa at 
Culzean, and were, through the courtesy of that nobleman, re- 
produced twenty years ago in the publications of the Ayrshire 
and Galloway Archaeological Association (an association now, 
alas! defunct), there are several references to George Buchanan. 
There is no evidence that he ever resided in that Ayrshire mon- 
astery, but he was, as he styles himself, " Pensionarius de Cross- 
raguel," and was practically owner of it. It was in the year 
1564 that Queen Mary rewarded his great literary attainments, 
and personal services to her, by this gift. The document 
conferring it is interesting, and may be quoted in full : 

" Ane Lettre maid to Maistre George Buchquhannane, for all 
the dayis of his liffe, of the Gift of an zeirlie pensionne of the 
sowme of fyve hundreth pundis usuale money of this realme, to 
be zeirlie uptakiu be him, his factoris and servitouris in his 
name, at twa termes in the zeir, Whitsounday and Martimes in 
Winter, be equale portionis, of the reddiest fruittis and emoli- 
mentis of the Abbay of Corsragwell now vacand and being in hir 
Majesties handis throw the deceis of umquhile Master Quintene 
Kennedie last abbot thairof. And for payment of the said 
zeirlie pensioun, assigns to him the haill temporalitie of the said 
Abbay, with the place, manss, orchardis, mains, woodis, coil- 
heuchis, and the pertinentis quhatsumevir pertaining thairto : 
with power to him to set and rais the said temporalitie, outputt 
and imputt the tennentis thairof, and otherwise to use the samyn 
als frelie and in all sortis as the said umquhile abbote mycht 
have in his liftyme. And gife the samyn sail not be fundin 
sufficient and eneuch for zeirlie payment of the same soume of 
fyve hundreth poundis, in that case hir Majestie assignis to 
him sa mekle as he sail inlaik of the said temporalitie, of the 

,***- fc 

George Buchanan and Crossraguel Abbey 87 

reddiest teyndis and fruitis of the spiritualitie of the said 
Abbaye, viz., of the Kirkis of Girvane and Kirkoswald belang- 
and thairto. And that the said Lettre, etc. 

" At Halirud hous the nynt days of Octobre the zeir of God, 
M.Vc Lxiv. zeris." 

But George Buchanan, or " his factoris and servitouris," 
never saw much of the money involved here. Their first trouble 
was with the Earl of Caesilis, the head of the great house of 
Kennedy, whose relationship with the Abbey was close, not only 
through his maternal descent from the Earl of Carrick, who 
founded it, and because the last two Abbots, William and 
Quentiu, were nearly related to him, but because his territory 
lay all around it, and 

" From Wigtown to the touu of Ayr, 
Portpatrick to the cruives of Cree, 
Man need not think for to bide there 
Unless he court with Kennedie." 

Buchanan was well acquainted with this family. He had been 
tutor for several years to Earl Gilbert, resided with him in Paris 
for some time, and later dwelt under his roof in Ayrshire, where 
he wrote the S omnium. Buchanan had a high opinion of this 
nobleman he died in 1558 on his way home from the marriage 
of Mary with the Dauphin, under strong suspicion of having 
been poisoned by the Guises and now it was his son he had to 
contend with for the payment of his income. On October 16th, 
1564, he brought an action or " complaint" against him before 
the Privy Council, and won his case. We give here the 
" Order " in his favour, a document interesting in itself, apart 
from its connection with George Buchanan : 

" Apud Edinburgh, xvj Octobris, anno M.Vc Lxiiijo 
Sederunt : Jacobus Moravie Comes, Archibaldus 
Ergadie Comes, Jacobus Comes de Mortoun Cancellarius 
Joannes Atholie Comes, Patricius dominus Ruthven, 
Secretarius, Thesaurarius, Clericus Registri, Clericus 
Justiciarie, Advocatus. 

The quhilk day, anent the complaint maid be Maister George 
Buchquhannan, makand mentioun that quhair he hes be gift of 
our Sovrane Lady for all the dayis of his lyff, ane yeirlie 
pensioun of the soum of Vc li to be yeirlie uptaken 
of the frutis and emolumentis of the Abbay of Cora- 

88 George Buchanan and Crossraguel Abbey 

ragwell, and for payment thairof thair is assignit to him the 
haill temporalitie of the said Abbay with the place, mania, wod, 
and pertinentis thairof; nevertheles, Gilbert, Earl of Cassilis 
hes, sen the deceis of the last Abbot of Corsragwell, entirit with- 
in the place and abbay thairof, withholdis, and on na wayis will 
deliver the samyn to the said Maister George, without he be 
compellit, lyke as at mair lenth is contendit in the said com- 
plaint. The saidis Erie of Cassilis and Maister George com- 
perand bayth personallie, the Loidis of Secreit Counsall ordanis 
lettres to be direct simpliciter to charge the said Gilbert Earl of 
Cassilis to deliver the said abbay and place of Crosragwell, with 
the orchartis and yardis thairof, to the said Maister George, or 
ony in his name havand his power in his name to ressave the 
samyn within six dayis nixt eftir the charge, undir the pane of 
rebellioun: and gif he failze, the said six dayis being bipast, to 
put him to the home. And as to the remanent pointis of the 
said complaint, referris the samyn to the decisioun of the Lordis 
of Counsal and Sessioun ; ordinand the said Maister George to 
persew befoir thame or uther ordiner jugeis as he thinkis caus." 
But soon another trouble emerged for Buchanan, for in July 
1565 Queen Mary, in all likelihood annoyed at his Protestant- 
ism by this time he was a regular member of the General 
Assembly and on important Committees there revoked her deed 
of gift by handing over Crossraguel to Allan Stewart, the son or 
younger brother of James Stewart of Cardonald, a stout adherent 
of hers, and of her mother, the Queen Dowager, before her. She 
styles him in her deed " our lovit clerk, Maistre Allan Stewart," 
and though he is generally spoken of as the Commendator of 
Crossraguel, it is also correct to speak of him as the Abbot. He 
was not a layman, but a priest, and his Abbacy was confirmed 
by the Archbishop of St. Andrews as Primate and Legate, and 
further ratified by the Pope himself, Pius V. Still the grant 
from the Queen was purely secular, and might with equal effect 
have been made to a layman in conimendam. We need not say any- 
thing further about this Commendator or Abbot, except that he 
appears to have been a somewhat cantankerous man, and very 
anxious to turn as much of his property as possible into ready 
cash. He was at daggers drawn with the Earl of Cassilis, who 
somehow the very next year obtained a lease of the Abbey from 
the Queen and Darnley, and the bickerings between the Abbot 
and the Earl led to the roasting of the former in the Black 

George Buchanan and Crossraguel Abbey 89 

Vault of Dunure, a method of torture adopted by the Earl to 
get the Abbot to sign certain documents. Curiously enough 
Buchanan himself was in danger of " roasting" or other rough 
treatment from this ghoulish lord of Carrick, for in the narrative 
of " The Imprisonment and Rescue of Abbot Allan from 
Dunure " in Bannatyne's Memorial*!, we read that when the 
Privy Council took the matter up and came to a decision they 
" ordained and commanded Gilbert Erie Cassilis to find cautione 

and sovcrtie that he or none that he may lett, sail invaid, 

molest, nor persew the said Mr Allane Stewart in his bodie ; nor 
yit meddle or iutromett with his place and leving of Crosraguell, 
or uptak the fructis rentis proffeitis or dewiteis therof otherwayis 
nor be ordour of law and iustice under the paine of two thow- 
sand pundis. And also ordained the said Erie to find the lyk 
cautione and sovertie, and under the same paine, to Mr. George 
Buchquhannan pensioner of Crosraguell, being personallie 
present, and cravit the same alsweile for his awin persone as his 

The disposal of the Abbey to Allan Stewart placed Buchanan 
in a very awkward position, and he thought the best way out of 
the difficulty would be to compromise with Stewart for a yearly 
payment of 500, which was agreed to. But it does not appear 
that this payment was ever made. Doubtless, as a means of 
securing it, he assigned his rights in the property to the Earl of 
Cassilis on the Earl agreeing to pay him 980 marks. That a 
portion of that was paid is evident from a Discharge dated 12th 
September 1569 in which we read: "Be it kend till all men be 
thir present lettres the Maister George Buchquhannan, pensioner 
of Crossraguel to haif tane and ressavit fra ane nobill and potent 
Lord, Gilbert Earle of Cassilis, .... the soume of three 
hundreth merkis usual money of Scotland in part payment " etc. 
But in order to get more of the actual cash due him, Buchanan 
must have sent a complaint to the Government, or at least applied 
to those high in authority, for we read in a document of 1572 
a letter of the Earl of Mar, Regent of the Kingdom, to the Earl 
of Cassilis " farder we pray your Lordship to remember Maister 
George Buchanan, and to bring with you sumquhat for his satis- 
faction of his pensioun." The Earl of Cassilis, though he had 
fought at Langside for Queen Mary and was " put under waird" 
for it, was now a warm adherent of the Regent's party. This 
party was now somewhat depressed the Castle of Edinburgh 

90 George Buchanan and Crossraguel Abbey 

and many other strongholds being in the hands of the Queen's 
forces and the Regent Mar writes the above letter from Leith 
beseeching the Carrick Earl to come to his aid as speedily as 
possible. Whether he brought with him a sum of money for 
George Buchanan, history sayeth not. Eventually Buchanan 
sold the pension to the Laird of Bargany for the annual sum of 
400. He would be glad to be relieved of the trouble and 
expense of collecting it. It had been pretty much of a white 
elephant to him. The grant originally might seem a splendid 
one, for the Abbey of St. Mary, Crossraguel, was a great regality 
extending over eight parishes, with temporalities such as farms 
on the banks of the Girvan and the Doon, salmon-fishings, 
collieries (" coalheughs " and "coal-pottis "), multures, brewings 
(" brewlands " and "brew-houses"), timber sales (" wood- 
hags," i.e., annual wood cuttings), and spiritualities such as 
teinds and other revenues accruing from ecclesiastical dues ; but 
the upheaval of the Reformation and the greed of the nobles 
with much local turbulence, especially in the " Kingdom of 
Carrick," to which the long arm of the law scarcely reached 
left uncommonly little of this rich heritage for poor George 

K. H. 


Knox and Buchanan : a Study in Method, 

EXCLUDING from our view the work of Knox and Buchanan as 
writers of history and political theorists, we find that Knox's 
life still remains full of matter, but that of his great contempor- 
ary Buchanan is comparatively uneventful and quiescent. The 
activity of Knox was indeed essentially religious. If he 
travelled into the sphere of historical and political discussion, 
it was only as an interlude. His History) and his First Blast 
of the Trumpet are alike parerga. His serious preoccupation 
from the first was the formulation and dispersion of what he 
deemed to be sound doctrine. Three things he considered to be 
utterly corrupt in Scotland, the preaching of the Word, the 
administration of the Sacraments, and the regulation of morals 
through Church discipline. The testimony of unbiassed wit- 
nesses bears out his judgment in this respect. Preaching was 
well-nigh extinct. The Sacraments were buried under a weight 
of base and avaricious customs. The morals of the clergy and 
people were alike licentious. In the Scots Confession, we can 
trace Knox's hand at many points, but at none more certainly 
than where, in describing the true Catholic Church, the Confession 
boldly abandons the conventional "notes" of Unity, Holiness, 
and the like, and substitutes the triad of a pure gospel, sacra- 
ments, and discipline. In such a statement we may see revealed 
the broad lines of Knox's purposes and methods as a religious 
reformer. His great aim was to cleanse the morals of Scotland. 
Knowing how vain, for that end, any merely civic or political 
movements must prove, he put these in the background. It is 
probable that he even regretted his former incursion into the 
sphere of political argument, which had rather prejudiced than 
helped the Reformation. What he had truly at heart was to 
secure such free and Scriptural presentation of the truths of 
religion, as would raise his countrymen out of the slough of error 

92 Knox and Buchanan : a Study in Method 

in opinions and corruption in morals for which the Scot was 
notorious. It is not with him primarily a question of intel- 
lectual enlightenment, but rather of spiritual and moral re- 
generation. The religious passion which marked his utterances 
is moved by moral obliquities, rather than by literary or political 
solecisms. His methods were accordingly levelled to the 
capacity of the general mind and heart. 

It is as a great preacher of righteousnesss that Knox stands 
out most clearly after 1560. As a theologian, his acquirements 
were not small, and he had profited by personal intercourse with 
Calvin and other leading thinkers. When time permitted, he 
could draft a dogmatic monograph as well as most; in illustra- 
tion, we have only to refer to his work on Predestination. But 
neither his time nor his inclination led him to do the task of 
the systematic theologian : it is possible also that the great spirit 
of Calvin overshadowed him here ; for close contact with experts 
often breeds a disinclination to venture into their special fields. 
But as a preacher of doctrines which both Calvin and he found 
in Scripture and in human nature, Knox stands unrivalled. 
To this vocation he was loudly summoned by his natural 
temperament and by the needs of his time. The orator stood 
confessed in him who had borne the sword for Wishart, who had 
burst into tears when called to preach in the Castle of St. 
Andrews, and who to the last bade fair to " ding the pulpit in 
blads and flee out of it." For such a man, publicity, utterance, 
vehement passion, were a necessity. The scholar's patient toil 
among ideas, calmly neglectful of the popular passion and bid- 
ing his time in a future age, would never have contented Knox. 
His nature was thrilling at all times to the contemporary 
emotions ; and he found a needed vent for his pent-up fires in 
the pulpit. It may be true that his sermons at last became 
political forces ; certainly, he never shrank from preaching ' ' to 
the times"; but in their fundamental motive they had the 
didactic and practical ends of a Christian preacher. If he 
appeared to have a hand in State affairs, it was as one who 
represented no party or cabal, but the eternal righteousness 
founded on the Word of God. 

The accidental influence of Knox on political events may be 
seen in the fact that, more than once, he was surprised by the 
effect of his own words. He was not conscious of overstepping 
the limits of the pulpit and the religious censor. In his inter- 

(From the bust in Wallace Monument.) 

By kind permimtinn of Mr. William iliddleton, Curator, Wallace Monument. 

Knox and Buchanan : a Study in Method 93 

views with Mary, we always note a certain ingenuous inability 
to understand why the Queen should take umbrage. In ecclesi- 
astical politics, Knox's aloofness and even inexperience may be 
seen in such a clumsy arrangement as the Concordat of Leith. 
Such a scheme betrays a prentice hand. Knox's real strength 
lay not in administration or in the moulding of political forces 
for a Churchly end, else the history of the Scottish Church would 
have run far otherwise ; but in the application of a Bible system 
of doctrine, worship, and discipline to the disorganised religious 
life of Scotland. There were others who did the work, some- 
times very shady and disreputable, of Scottish statecraft and 
churchcraft, as these crafts then obtained. Knox ought to be 
cleared of complicity in their " knaivish tricks," and he cannot 
claim all the credit of their occasional successes. For him, the 
one great office to be coveted and filled was that of being the 
voice of the Righteous God resounding in the wilderness of 
Scottish faith and morals. 

Confronted with Buchanan, Knox bulks in popular life as a 
figure overtopping the Scottish humanist. It is hardly possible 
to represent Buchanan as a religious reformer in the same sense 
as Knox. For Buchanan declined the battle of the Church, and 
subsided into literary and philosophic pursuits, varied by the 
exercise of a considerable poetic talent. Buchanan has no history 
as a theologian or as a religious teacher. Politically and philo- 
sophically he stood on the same ground as Knox ; but his 
temperament restricted him to fields of study and taste. 1 He 
made no profound mark on the religious life of Scotsmen. He 
came back to his native land as soon as it was safe for him to do 
so, and casting in his lot with the Reformers he accepted such 
administrative work as was offered him. 2 He sat in General 
Assemblies, and even presided over the Assembly of 1567, lay- 
man as he was. But to be Moderator of the Assembly did not 
necessarily mean absolute importance in the Church's counsels, 
either then or now. Rather, a quiet and safe man was chosen, 

1 Compare Hume Brown's Biography, p. 191. In method and discretion 
Buchanan seemed to stand on an entirely different footing in the country 
from Knox and the ministers of the congregation, " they were reformers 
and nothing ehe." ED. 

2 " Buchanan approved of the same cause ; but he had other interests, and 
the memory of a life behind him which made genial intercourse possible with 
those who differed most widely from himself on the deepest questions. "- 
Hume Brown's Biography, p. 191. 

94 Knox and Buchanan : a Study in Method 

under whom the stronger spirits might exercise their wits. Al- 
though Buchanan's name is found also on many Church com- 
mittees, we do not hear that he was a commanding influence. 
Knox himself speaks of him in terms which rather suggest a 
kindly tolerance of one who was not regarded as a very pro- 
minent ecclesiastic or a very zealous worker in religion. " This 
notable man remains," he writes, " to this day, in the year of 
God 1556 years, to the great glory of God, to the great honour 
of the nation, and to the comfort of those who delight in letters 
and virtue." It is not so that men describe a religious reformer. 
At the same time, Buchanan had very early satisfied himself 
that the position of Rome was untenable: he had attacked the 
vices of the monks ; and by the time he finally returned home 
from the Continent, he had made a prolonged study of the 
points at issue between the Roman Church and the Reformers. 
His decision was in favour of the latter ; but it is not in this 
deliberate and intellectual mode that a Luther or a Knox is 
made, and Buchanan remained to the last a cool and dispassion- 
ate critic of both extremes. 1 He took no prominent part in the 
organisation of the doctrinal and religious life of Scotland. He 
continued to be a silent member of the Reforming party. He 
preached no rousing sermon against Court or Church iniquities, 
although a layman like Erskine of Dun was held fit to be both 
preacher and superintendent. To him, the Reformation was a 
needed current helping on the Renaissance, clearing away 
debris which hindered sound learning from advancing, and over- 
throwing powers in Church and State which frowned on freedom 
of thought. 

It has been suggested by some writers that Buchanan's abstin- 
ence from special religious activities was due to his superior 
breadth and liberality of mind. He could not be an active 
propagandist in spheres with which his scholarly culture and 
broad learning unfitted him to sympathise. As a Humanist, 
he loved freedom and gracious forms of culture more than creeds 
or fervent religious expression ; and hence he avoided the 
strenuous tasks of men like Knox who had to build up Confes- 
sions and organise the Church. All this may be accepted as an 
1 " He was the man to be a cautious, judicious reformer, not the man to 
be an impetuous frantic destroyer, too rash and unrestrained to discriminate 
between the entirely and partially unsound." Dr. Campbell Smith in Dr. 
Wallace's " George Buchanan," p. 141. The aesthetic was not lacking in 
Buchanan, as in Knox. 

Knox and Buchanan : a Study in Method 95 

apology for Buchanan's comparative supineness as a reformer, if 
it be also remembered that, for his own time, Knox was the man 
who was needed, and he chose the better part. No doubt, 
temperament should be taken into account. Knox was bold, 
impulsive, and fond of publicity : Buchanan was a student and 
a courtier, who preferred quiet and gentle ways and hated the 
uproars of controversy. But temperaments must not be allowed 
to obscure the facts of duty and patriotic faith. Knox recog- 
nised these facts and faced them nobly ; Buchanan on the whole 
took them coolly and with many grains of salt. He was " of 
good religion for a poet," says Sir James Melville of Halhill. 
The religious reformer is not made of such stuff. While 
Buchanan has exercised influence on Scottish literature and on 
political theories, he cannot fairly be described as a great force 
in the Scottish Reformation. In his way, he offers the Human- 
ist foil to Knox, as Erasmus did to Luther. 

H. M. B. R. 


Buchanan as a Political Philosopher. 

DOES Buchanan deserve a place among political philosophers? 
was the question I asked myself on receiving the urgent request of 
the editor to deal with this subject in this memorial volume. On 
reflection, I had no difficulty in answering the question in the 
affirmative,- with certain reservations. The influence as well as the 
contents of his De Jure Regni apud Scotos amply justifies his 
biographers in adding this to his other claims to distinction. The 
De Jure is one of the few specimens of political reflection which was 
as popular with the reading public of its time, and for several 
generations afterwards, as is to-day a volume of Scott, Macaulay, or 
Carlyle. It was, indeed, written in Latin, but it found several 
translators, although it ran into numerous editions in the original ; 
and, whether in its Latin or English form, it became, especially in 
the seventeenth century, a Vade Mecuvn to those who in Scotland 
and England were engaged in the struggle for political rights 
against the Stewart kings. Mere popularity is not necessarily the 
test of true distinction in an author, but it is at least significant of 
the influence of his work, and from this point of view Buchanan 
certainly merits a very distinguished place among writers who have 
discussed the principles of politics. The De Jure was an inspiration 
to political action, as well as a text-book of political science, to 
several generations of Scotsmen and Englishmen. It furnished 
both Covenanters and Puritans with theoretic arguments in vindica- 
tion of the rights which they defended or the demands they made. 
All through the Covenanting struggle it was quoted as a sort of 
oracle by many a strenuous, though long-forgotten pamphleteer, 
and even Milton has been accused, with exaggeration no doubt, of 
stealing his Defence of the People of England from its pages. 
On its publication in 1579 it was hailed by Buchanan's literary 
friends both at home and abroad with enthusiastic commendations. 
A still more emphatic evidence of its importance in the eyes of 

Buchanan as a Political Philosopher 97 

contemporaries is the depreciation which it earned in rich measure 
from the champions of absolutism. Its author came in for a liberal 
share of vituperation, as well as refutation, at their hands throughout 
the seventeenth and well into the eighteenth century. Nay, it 
encountered the bitter hostility not only of James VI., for whose 
benefit it was more particularly written, but of his three successors 
on the Scottish throne down to the revolution of 1G88. It was 
signalled out for condemnation in more than one Act of the Scottish 


Parliament and Privy Council throughout these hundred years, and 
from these Acts alone we might adduce sufficient proof both of the 
eminence of its author as a political writer and the practical power 
of his work. If only in view of this fact, Buchanan must be assigned 
a place of honour in every history of modern political thought 
alongside that of the author of the Vindiciae Contra Tyrannos, 
with whom, in respect of numerous editions and readers, he may 
fairly compete. 

Nevertheless, his place is not exactly beside that of Bodin or 
Hobbes or Montesquieu. I have said that I think him entitled 
to distinction as a political philosopher, with certain reservations. 
What reservations? He possessed neither the historic erudition 
nor the scientific spirit of Bodin or Montesquieu ; he had not the 
philosophic penetration or depth (or for the matter of that, the 
sophistry) of Hobbes. Bodin, and especially Montesquieu, could 
also rejoice in many editions. They were, like Buchanan, widely 
read and extensively quoted, whilst Hobbes sank into a long and 
undeserved obscurity. They, too, like Buchanan, exerted in their 
own generation a powerful influence on political thought, even of 
the practical kind. But their greatness as political thinkers was 
entirely independent of the factor of many editions and readers. 
They were great enough, in respect of originality and profundity, 
to rank with these giants of thought who, like Hobbes and Spinoza, 
were little read or ignored by an unsympathetic or conventional 
age. Like them, they could afford to wait throughout the silence 
and contempt of the centuries for that recognition of real grandeur, 
which is sure to come sooner or later, but which is too often denied 
to profound genius in its own day. To this kind of superlative 
greatness in the domain of political thought Buchanan could lay no 
claim. What he succeeded in doing was to provide a theoretic 
vindication of the revolution of 1567, which had the fortune to 
express in forcible language the strong points of the policy of a 
certain party, and to contribute in this way to the assertion and the 


98 Buchanan as a Political Philosopher 

ultimate triumph of the principles which that party represented in 
the struggle against the impossible rule of Queen Mary and the 
equally impossible rule of Charles I., Charles II., and James VII. 1 
This was, indeed, a notable achievement, worthy of generous com- 
memoration, and Buchanan is entitled to an enthusiastic tribute for 
the message to Scotland and to humanity which enabled him, being 
dead, to speak to generation after generation of his struggling 
countrymen. But he was hardly an original genius in political 
speculation. He was indebted to others for many of the thoughts 
which he forcibly applied to the occasion, and which came to him 
from the mediaeval thinkers through John Major. The schoolmen, 
I suppose, he, as an emancipated humanist, had not the patience to 
read, and no sane mortal, who values his time and hates mediaeval 
dry-as-dustism, will blame him for this lack of patience. To Major 
he seems to have been more directly indebted for the bold demo- 
cratic ideas to which he gave so fearless and trenchant expression, 
though it is to be regretted that he allowed his impatience of the 
dry-as-dust lucubrations of his worthy St. Andrews professor to 
make him forget the fact in his caustic pleasantries at his expense. 
His performance has high merits, keeping in view the object of it. 
It made a tremendous and long- sustained impression. It exposed, 
in pointed and nervous argument, the fallacious Stuart assumption 
that a people is bound to obey a ruler, even if he rules against its 
interest and governs the nation to ruin, as Queen Mary, with her 
impulsive temperament, threatened to do. But to assert that it did 
more than this, as some of his panegyrists do, is to impair his 
reputation by assuming a purpose which he himself would have 
disowned. Dr. Irving, for instance, opines that the De Jure is "a 
most profound and masterly compendium of political philosophy." 
Nay, it is "an immortal production." To one who has studied 
Machiavelli, Bodin, Hobbes, Montesquieu, such judgments are 
sheer extravagances. Moreover, they are unfair to Buchanan, who 
would only have failed of his purpose had he attempted to write a 
compendium of political philosophy, and who was bent mainly on 
showing the untenableness and the absurdity of the theory which 
assumes that the king is above the law and denies the right of the 
subject to call him to account in case of tyranny. In this purpose 
he succeeded admirably, for the De Jure, if not a monument of 
political speculation, is one of the most effective working theories 
ever penned. He himself in his prefatory epistle to King James is 
1 i.e. James II. of England. 

Buchanan as a Political Philosopher 99 

careful to emphasise its practical character. "This treatise," he 
says, "I have sent you not merely as a monitor, but also as an 
importunate and even impudent dun, that in this critical time of life 
it may guide you beyond the rocks of flattery, and not only give you 
advice, but also keep you in the road which you so happily entered, 
and in case of any deviation, replace you in the line of your duty." 
In the exordium we learn that his purpose was, further, to excul- 
pate his countrymen from the indignant aspersions of hostile foreign 
critics by setting forth the principles underlying the action of the 
revolutionists of 1567. 

The De Jure bears evident traces of the humanist sympathies of 
its author. It is not only the work of an elegant Latinist ; it is 
inspired by the noblest traditions of ancient liberty. Buchanan 
might be described as an enthusiastic champion of the political 
rights of man, who, if he borrows many of his ideas from the 
schoolmen, draws his inspiration largely from the classic writers. 
He loves to hold up the picture of ancient simplicity in the midst of 
what is to him the tinsel of a modern court. His model king is 
taken from Claudian, while Cicero and Seneca, Plato and Aristotle 
supply him with some of his arguments against tyrants. He thinks 
as an ancient, and his thought is kindled by the noblest utterances 
of the mighty literature which he has assimilated so sympathetically. 
And yet he is sanely modern. Unlike many of MH fellow-humanists, 
he does not despise or -under-rate the traditions and the history of 
his own country. The legends of the obscure period of Scottish 
history, in which he believes too credulously, furnish him indeed 
with more forcible arguments against tyranny than even the his- 
torians and philosophers of Greece or Rome. He is a humanist, but 
he is a Scotsman as well, and he does not deem it beneath his 
dignity to cite Robert Bruce as well as Philip of Macedon, or some 
humble native chronicler, who wrote monk Latin, as well as Cicero, 
to prove that the people is the virtual sovereign of the state. 

The De Jure is in some respects a notable example of the 
emancipating influence of the Renascence on political thought. 
Though its author takes many of his ideas from the scholastic 
writers and cannot, therefore, be regarded as an original thinker, 
his horizon is by no means bounded by the middle ages. Like 
Machiavelli and More, he has shaken himself free from the baneful 
method of looking at politics through theological spectacles. The 
schoolmen appealed largely to the Scriptures and to canon law in 
their discussions of political questions. To them the Bible was a 

100 Buchanan as a Political Philosopher 

text-book of political science as well as a revelation. They assumed 
that it was the supreme arbiter on questions of politics as well as 
theology, and that history and reason were subordinate judges in 
these matters. Even the Reformation did not materially affect this 
assumption, and Protestant writers on politics, like the author of 
the Vindiciae Contra Ti/rannos, continued to draw their arguments 
in favour of the right of resisting a persecuting prince largely from 
Scripture. Humanists like Machiavelli and More, on the other 
hand, who wrote on politics, strove to emancipate themselves from 
the scholastic conception which saw in the Bible what the Bible 
does not profess to be a criterion of political and philosophical 
questions. In Buchanan, too, this free tendency is very marked. 
Though, as I have said, he borrowed, evidently through Major, a 
number of ideas from the schoolmen, he emancipated himself from 
their narrowness and their pedantry. Like them, indeed, he is not 
a strictly scientific political thinker in the sense of the more modern 
historic school, of which his contemporary Bodin is the first great 
representative. The first part of the De Jure is, for instance, 
greatly weakened by an unfortunate proneness to substitute mere 
analogy for scientific research. It is by way of analogy, not of 
historic investigation, that he reaches the institution of the king- 
ship. As the human body, reasons he, is liable to disease, so is the 
body politic to dissolution, and to forestall this fate, it, like the 
human body, requires the care of a physician. This is the function 
of the king. Hence the kingship. Moreover the relation of king 
and people is of the same nature as that of physician and patient, 
and if we understand the business of a physician, we shall rightly 
know the duty of a king. This may be good analogy ; it is very 
lame political philosophy, and in this respect it must be admitted 
that the argumentation of the De Jure is not convincing. Buchanan, 
in fact, does not, in such reasonings, carry us one step beyond the 
scholastic habit of merely philosophising or moralising on politics, 
instead of investigating in accordance with the historic, truly 
scientific method. 

But this weakness is not preeminent, and as he proceeds he 
displays the spirit of critical independence characteristic of Re- 
nascence writers like Machiavelli and More! He gives full rein to 
his reason, and his reasonings, though at times savouring of mere 
syllogisms, are often acute and forcible. Space will not allow me 
to enlarge on this point. Take, however, as an example of the 
appeal to reason, the tendency to subject traditional political dogma 

Buchanan as a Political Philosopher 101 

to the test of common sense, the query whether a number of men, 
in resolving to institute a king, could ever have been so mad as to 
subject themselves to one man with unlimited power to do them 
harm ; or take the query why good kings should resent the punish- 
ment of a tyrant any more than a fraternity of craftsmen that of an 
unworthy member. 

Equally characteristic is the appeal to history. He does not, 
indeed, systematically investigate and compare historic data, for his 
purpose is not to write a scientific treatise on politics like the 
Republic of Bodin, or the Esprit des Lois of Montesquieu. But 
he does attempt to substantiate his arguments by appeals to history, 
and in this respect he shows at least that he can discriminate be- 
tween arguments based on analogy and arguments based on historic 
fact. His early Scottish history may be to a certain extent fabulous, 
but he is on the right track when he appeals to the old Scottish 
chronicles to strengthen his argument that the early kingship was 
elective and not hereditary, and that the power of the king was 
"circumscribed and confined to fixed limits." And even if we must 
strike off a good many of the Celtic kings from that bulky list which, 
in his History of Scotland, enables him to boast of an origin of the 
Scottish kingdom several centuries before Christ, we should not 
forget that recent modern research has tended to substantiate his 
contention that the primitive kingship among the Celts (or among 
the Teutons or other Aryan peoples, for that matter) was, as a rule, 
elective and strictly limited. As an example of his use of the 
historic method, take the following passage in which he labours to 
persuade Maitland of the truth of the grand thesis of his work, viz., 
that the king is interior to the law and, as the maker of the law and 
the virtual sovereign of the state, is responsible to the people : " We 
contend that the people, from whence our kings derive whatever 
power they claim, is paramount to our kings ; and that the com- 
monalty has the same jurisdiction over them which they have over 
any individual of the commonalty. The usages of all nations that 
live under legal kings are in our favour ; and all states that obey 
kings of their own election in common adopt the opinion that what- 
ever right the people may have granted to an individual, it may, 
for just reason, also re-demand. For this is an inalienable privilege 
that all communities must have always retained. Accordingly 
Lentulus, for having conspired with Catiline to overturn the re- 
public, was forced to resign the praetorship ; and the decemvirs, the 
founders of the laws, though invested with the supreme magistracy, 

102 Buchanan as a Political Philosopher 

were degraded ; and some Venetian doges, and Chilperic, King of the 
Franks, after being stripped of every imperial badge, grew old as 
private persons in monasteries ; and not long ago, Christian, king 
of the Danes, ended his life in prison twenty years after he had 
been dethroned. Nay, even the dictatorship, which was a species 
of despotism, was still subordinate to the power of the people. . . . 
I could enumerate twelve or more of our kings, who, for their 
villainy or flagitiousness, were either condemned to perpetual im- 
prisonment or escaped the punishment due to their crimes by exile 
or death. But that none may allege that I produce antique and 
obsolete precedents, if I should mention the Calens, Ewens, and 
Ferchars, I shall go back for a few examples no further than the 
memory of our fathers. James III. was, in a public assembly of 
all the orders, declared to have been justly slain for his extreme 
cruelty to his relations, and for the enormous turpitude of his 
life," etc. 

Not less suggestive of the humanist spirit is the absence of the 
theological element which mars the wearisome disquisitions of the 
schoolmen. He does not altogether ignore the evidence of Scripture. 
Maitland, for instance, appeals to the Bible as teaching that sub- 
mission is due even to a tyrant, and instances Paul who commanded 
Christians to pray even for such tyrants as Tiberius, Caligula, Nero. 
Buchanan digresses in order to meet this objection. To pray for 
even a bad prince, retorts he, does not oblige us not to resist him. 
Besides Paul (and Milton subsequently borrows the argument) meant 
not to inculcate submission to tyranny, but to controvert the 
extreme views of those who denied that Christians owed allegiance 
to the civil power. This might or might not be scientific exegesis. 
It was at all events reasonable, and Buchanan, though he speaks 
with reverence of the testimony of the sacred writers and takes 
account of it, evidently does not believe that Scripture gives any 
conclusive decision in such matters. At anyrate he rightly assumes 
that it is at the bar of national history in the first place, and 
general history in the second place that the true decision must be 
sought, and the De Jure deserves the merit of being a skilful plea 
from both these sources in favour of limited, legal government as 
against tyranny. 

Buchanan's unpardonable sin, in the eyes of his royalist op- 
ponents, is his doctrine of tyrannicide. It was this that more 
particularly excited the ire of James VI. and provoked the repeated 
condemnation of the Scottish Parliament under Stuart auspices. 

Buchanan as a Political Philosopher 103 

1 1 is teaching on this point is indeed very explicit, but it was not 
intended to justify anarchy or assassination. Buchanan in fact felt 
a sincere reverence for monarchy, though he had no patience with 
kingly ruisgovernment, or anything but the hottest indignation for 
the slavish theory of divine right, irresponsible rule. He extols a 
good king, whom he allows in some sort to represent the divine 
majesty. He reveres his office, though he dislikes the extravagant 
parade of royal pomp, and bids Maitland remember the kings of 
Macedonia and Sparta who would not appear at a leve*e " dressed in 
idle show, like a girl's doll, in all the colours of the rainbow." He 
exalts in a passage of lofty eloquence the noble function of a truly 
great monarch, who has nothing to fear from subjection to the laws, 
which he administers for the people's interest, and gains thereby the 
loyalty and affection of his subjects. In contrast to this model 
ruler he pictures the tyrant, and, in his insistence on the right to 
kill a tyrant, he conceives a ruler who drives his subjects to despera- 
tion by his oppressions, and is, in fact, in a state of war with regard 
to them. Granted the compact between ruler and subject, which 
Buchanan, like all sixteenth and seventeenth century writers, 
assumes, its systematic encroachment by a king who becomes a 
tyrant frees the people from its obligation. This tyrant then 
becomes an enemy, and the people are justified in waging war against 
him. Nay, even the individual may kill him. His type of tyrant, 
it must be borne in mind, was evidently a Caligula, a Nero that is, 
an incorrigible and infatuated oppressor. Maitland expostulates on 
the dangerous import of this teaching, and adduces the evils of 
anarchy. Legitimate kings, returns Buchanan, have nothing to fear 
from this doctrine. " Besides," he adds, " I here explain how far our 
power and duty extend by law, but do not advise the enforcement 
of either." He was not, in fact, solely responsible for the doctrine, 
for it had exponents in both ancient and mediaeval times. With 
him tyrannicide is the theoretic remedy applicable to the con- 
tingency of the flagitious contravention of the contract between 
ruler and ruled, as exemplified by a Nero, a Caligula. In such a 
case, the nation being in a state of war, the sooner the tyrant is 
despatched the better. The party which Buchanan championed had 
at all events stopped short at the deposition of their queen, and 
James VI. need not have felt his life or his throne in jeopardy 
because his old tutor taught that a Nero or a Caligula might 
legitimately be put to death by an outraged people. The modern 
dogma of the responsibility of ministers might have suggested a 

104 Buchanan as a Political Philosopher 

safer and an equally effective mode of procedure. The idea does not 
seem to have suggested itself to him, for in this matter his mind 
moved more in the realm of ancient than of modern thought. 

A word in conclusion on the general tendency of the work as 
indicative of the moral and mental elevation of the writer. No one 
can read it without being thrilled by the fine spirit of independence, 
the glowing appreciation of political liberty, the hatred of injustice, 
the dislike of courtly sycophancy, the high sense of the importance 
of the popular welfare, which breathe throughout its animated pages. 
If this is a specimen of Buchanan's conversation on this high theme, 
it must indeed have been a rare privilege to be counted among his 
intimate friends. That James VI. did not relish it is not sur- 
prising, but this lack of appreciation is to be attributed to the 
Stuart tendency to resent constitutional control and even well- 
meant advice, rather than to anything justly offensive to limited 
monarchy in the book itself. 

J. M. 


(From the. engraving in Volume, /. of tht 111.1 edition of Buchanan* 
' li*tory. '} 


Buchanan as a Historian. 1 

IF we expect to find in the pages of George Buchanan's History 
the treatment of history after the manner of a Gibbon or a 
Lecky, we shall most certainly be doomed to meet with dis- 
appointment. We must bear in mind that in his day history 
had not been converted into a science, and in all justice we 
must make liberal allowances accordingly ; but in no disparaging 
spirit, be it said, for we are ever conscious that we are regarding 
the work of a great scholar. 

Buchanan is more of the chronicler than the historian in the 
present day acceptation. The value of his Rerum Scoticarum 
Historia depends on its accuracy as a chronicle, and that is the 
point of view from which we must regard it. In such a case 
we have to take the character of the author into our considera- 
tion ; granted an unwarrantable proceeding if applied to 
modern historical work, where the personal equation should not 
intrude. Here we have the most learned Scotsman of his day, 
a man with a recognised European fame, the friend of most of 
the outstanding men of the period at home and abroad, occupy- 
ing an exalted position in his own land as the outcome of his 
own worth. Is it not but just, under these circumstances, to 
assume that he would in his History give the best of his 
knowledge, and keep veracity full in his view, especially when 
dealing with the period which fell within his own ken? 
Buchanan must have been conscious that the eyes of Europe 
would be directed to his work; in fact we can be sure of it 
when he elected to write in Latin and not in the vernacular. 
It has been said that Buchanan modelled his History upon that 
of Livy and Sallust ; only to a limited extent is the statement 
true, for Buchanan had distinctly his own style. Even Bishop 

1 Where extracts have been given from the History, the Translation 
by Aikman has been used. 

106 Buchanan as a Historian 

Burnet made the statement " that his style is so natural and 
nervous, and his reflections on things so solid, that he is justly 
reckoned the greatest and best of our modern authors." 

The Epistle Dedicatory to King James the Sixth says: " I 
have considered it my next duty to apply to that species of 
writing, calculated to improve the mind, that I might, as much 
as possible, supply my own deficiency, by sending to you 
faithful monitors from history, whose counsel may be useful in 
your deliberations, and their virtues patterns for imitation in 
active life." It is interesting to observe the value Buchanan 
placed upon history when he suggested that it was no uncertain 
guide to those at the head of a state. This is in rather sharp 
contrast with the recent attack on history by a distinguished 
scientist who spoke with something akin to contempt of those 
who ' still believing that the teaching and sayings of antiquity, 
and the contemplation, not to say the detailed enumeration, of 
the blunders and crimes of its ancestors, can furnish mankind 
with the knowledge necessary for its future progress.' The 
opinion of one who was a historian and also played his part in 
the affairs of state commands greater respect. 

The first book of Buchanan's History consists of a general 
description of Scotland. This book has no doubt a marked 
value through its being the personal observation of one who 
has had his eyes opened by the view of other lands and is made 
conscious of the particular features of his own. In the 
description of the Western Isles, he states, he was assisted by 
Donald Munroe, " a pious and diligent man." Some of the 
passages in this book have a notable charm, for instance, in the 
reference to the Shetlanders' manner of living: "They are 
unacquainted with inebriety, but they invite each other, once 
a month, to their houses, and spend these days cheerfully, and 
moderately, without those quarrels, and other mischiefs, which 
usually spring from drunkenness ; and they are persuaded, that 
this custom tends to cherish and perpetuate mutual friendship. 
An instance of their firm vigorous health was exhibited in our 
own day, in the person of a man named Lawrence, who married 
a wife in his hundredth year, and who, at the age of one 
hundred and forty, braving the roughest sea, was accustomed 
to go to the fishing in his own skiff. He died but lately, not 
cut off by the stroke of any painful disease, but dismissed 
gently by the gradual decay of old age." 

Buchanan as a Historian 107 

The second book deals with the problem of the origin of the 
Scottish race. Perhaps Buchanan would never have written 
this book in such detail if it had not been for his burning 
desire "to slay with ink" the Welsh antiquary, Humphrey 
Lloyd. The fight in our eyes now-a-days is most amusing; in 
it Buchanan proved, whatever else he lacked, that he was 
the master of invective. Subsequent history furnishes the 
underlying purpose. Buchanan and Hector Boece and others 
sought to prove the antiquity of their nation, as they desired 
the reverence due to Age; they resented the claim of 
their English neighbours to an origin as early. Buchanan in 
the third book, by an appeal to classic authors, puts his enemies 
to flight. 

The fourth book starts the History proper. Here Buchanan 
follows in the wake of Boece, but shews more discretion in 
dealing with the long line of legendary kings of Scotland. 
Much severe criticism has been expended on this list of kings, 
but perhaps all that can be pronounced in way of a safe 
verdict is " Not Proven." We have to remember that 
Buchanan had doubtless access to manuscripts, of the existence 
of which we know nothing to-day ; this also applies to other 
parts of his work. How we would view the material used 
by Buchanan in the present day is another matter, as it would 
be rash to assert that he only borrowed from Fordun and Boece. 
If, for instance, the MSS. of Adamnan concerning Saint 
Columba had been lost, how gloriously sceptical some historians 
would have been with regard to any tale about him, and in the 
account of these kings how much is false, how much true, may 
never be known. 

We shall pass over the succeeding pages till we arrive at the 
period of Wallace and Bruce. These great heroes lose nothing 
of their greatness at this historian's hand. Their story is told 
with vivid force. The hero-worship of Wallace and Bruce in 
our own time is largely clue to the influence of Buchanan, who, 
by his able pen, securely shrined them in the just affection of 
their fellow-countrymen. His summing-up of the character of 
Wallace and of Bruce will remain classic in the history of our 
country. Of Wallace he writes: "About the same time, 
Wallace, betrayed by his own familiar friend, John Monteith, 
who had been corrupted by English money, was taken in the 
county of Lanark, where he then lurked, and sent to London, 

108 Buchanan as a Historian 

where, by the infamous command of Edward, he was quartered, 
and his disjointed members hung up in the most remarkable 
places of England and Scotland, as a terror to others. Such 
was the end of a man, by far the most pre-eminent in the times 
in which he lived, who for greatness of soul in undertaking, and 
wisdom and fortitude in conducting perilous enterprises, may be 
compared with the most illustrious leaders of antiquity. In love 
of his country, inferior to none of the most eminent ancient 
patriots, amid the general slavery, HE stood alone unsubdued 
and free, and neither could rewards induce, nor terrors force 
him to desert the public cause, which he had once undertaken, 
and his death was the more grievous, because, unconquered by 
his enemies, he fell, betrayed by those from whom it was least to 
be expected." Of Bruce he says: " Robert Bruce, to express 
much in few words, was undoubtedly, in every point of view, 
a great man, and one to whom, from the heroic ages even to 
these times, we shall find few comparable in every species of 
virtue. As he was brave in war, so he was moderate in peace ; 
and although unexpected success, and a constant flow of victory, 
after fortune was satiated, or rather fatigued with his 
sufferings, elevated him to the most splendid pinnacle of glory, 
yet, he appears to me far more admirable in adversity. What 
strength of mind did he display, when, assailed at once by so 
many misfortunes, he not only was not broken, but not even 
bent ! Whose constancy would it not have shaken, to have had 
a wife captive, four heroic brothers cruelly murdered, his 
friends afflicted with every species of distress, they who escaped 
death robbed and driven away, and he himself, not only stripped 
of an ample patrimony, but of a kingdom, by the most power- 
ful, active, and ablest prince of the age? Yet, beset with all 
these calamities at once, and reduced to the extremity of want, 
never did he despair, or do or say any thing unworthy of a 
king. He neither, like Cato the younger, nor Marcus Brutus, 
offered violence to himself, nor did he, like Marius, enraged by 
his misfortunes, wreak his vengeance on his enemies. But 
having recovered his pristine station, he behaved towards those 
who had caused him so much travail, as if he only remembered 
that he was now their sovereign, not that they had ever been 
his enemies ; and at last, at the close of life, when a grievous 
distemper was added to the troubles of old age, he retained so 
much self-possession, that he arranged the present state of the 

Buchanan as a Historian 109 

kingdom, and consulted for the tranquillity of his posterity! 
With justice was his death lamented by his people, not only as 
that of an upright king, but of a loving father." 

Reference has been made to the speeches Buchanan places to 
the credit of some personages in his History; of this a very 
notable instance may be found in the speech of Bishop Kennedy 
to the nobles against the expediency of appointing the queen- 
mother as the Regent during the minority of James III. The 
oration consists of a lengthy reasoning why women are unfit to 
govern a nation. He taunts the nobles with being mere flatterers 
who desired the queen as Regent, and with concealing 
their real sentiments. " To assist in the public deliberations of 
parliament, to preside in the courts of justice, to enact or to 
abrogate laws, these duties, although each important in itself, 
yet form only a small portion of a public administration. Why, 
therefore, do they not bring their wives to consult with us ? to 
sit in judgment ? to draw up, or oppose our statutes ? Why 
do they not stay at home themselves to manage their 
domestic affairs, and send their ladies to the camp ? " 
Kennedy ( ?) then proceeds to make it quite clear that he 
speaks not of the queen in particular, but of her sex in general 
to whom he pays a gallant tribute. " When I say a woman, 
lest any should imagine I speak contumeliously, I mean one on 
whom nature has bestowed many enchanting qualities, and 
most delightful accomplishments, allayed, it is true, as all her 
loveliest and most precious gifts are, by a delicate weakness, 
which, rendering her less able to protect herself, doubles her 
claims upon the protection of another, and, therefore, our laws, 
in obedience to the dictates of nature, instead of burdening the 
female with the fatigue of government, has intrusted her, 
during life, to the successive care of fathers, brothers, and 
husbands. Nor is this intended as a reproach, but as a relief; 
for to be prevented from undertaking tasks for which they are 
unfit, is a tribute paid to their modesty, not an affront 
detracting from their honour." The learned Bishop then 
proceeded to make an appeal to history, in support of his 
various arguments. " If any of you imagine that I suppose a 
fictitious case, let him recollect what disturbance the reign of 
Joan lately occasioned at Naples. Look into ancient history 
I shall not mention Semiramis of Assyria, nor Laodice of 
Cappadocia, these were monsters, and not women see the 

110 Buchanan as a Historian 

celebrated Zenobia of Palmyra, victorious over the Parthians, 
the rival of imperial Rome, at last vanquished, and carried in 
triumph, and the kingdom which had been increased and 
adorned by her husband Odenatus, overturned in a moment ! " 
The deliverance seems to have borne fruit in the amicable 
settlement of the question. Was this speech made for 
Kennedy by Buchanan, and if so was it justifiable to do so? 
As we look on things to-day, the answer must be an emphatic 
' no.' There is justice, however, looking at the matter from 
Buchanan's point of view. In the days of Kennedy there were 
no press reporters, and Buchanan could argue the matter that 
the facts were these : that the queen wanted to become Regent 
in this and was supported by some of the nobles, the Archbishop 
of St. Andrews made a speech against such an arrangement, his 
line of argument must have been that the queen was unfit by 
reason of her sex for the post. Then the speech was easy, for 
Buchanan. The strongest objection lies in the fact that the 
address reflects too markedly the personal opinions of the 
recorder. Buchanan shared the views of Knox regarding the 
" Monstrous Regiment of Women " and their incapacity to rule. 
Perhaps, four hundred years after the birth of Buchanan, 
statesmen may be found inclined to pray that another Kennedy 
of persuasive eloquence might arise. 

When Buchanan's History reaches the period from the reign 
of James IV., it holds for the reader a new interest, as it is, 
more or less, a contemporary account of events with which the 
writer was familiar ; it is the story of one of the most 
momentous epochs in Scottish history. 

Buchanan has given us a most interesting account of the 
fatal Field of Flodden, which cost Scotland a king and the best 
of her nobility; he was seven years old at the time, and would 
most likely remember listening to the news of the disaster. 
Often has the story of that day of woe been retold, in legend 
and in song, but never with much more pride and sorrow, than 
Buchanan evinced when he said: "Such was the celebrated 
battle of Flodden, remarkable among the few overthrows of the 
Scots, not so much for the number of the slain for often double 
the number perished in their battles as for the destruction of 
the king and the principal nobility, which left few remaining 
capable of governing the multitude .... James, as he 
was greatly beloved while alive, so when dead his memory was 

Buchanan as a Historian 111 

cherished with an affection beyond what I have ever read, or 
heard of being entertained for any other king." 

The charge has often been laid to Buchanan of being far too 
partisan in his estimates of his contemporaries; Cardinal 
Beaton is a favourite showpiece to prove the contention. 
Buchanan was but human, and nothing else should be 
claimed for him. Let a historian be driven from pillar to 
post by a Jesuit ' gang ' and get a turn of the joys of the 
Inquisition ; if he could write of the man that was responsible 
for his troubles, as though they had not been, then we could 
safely say of him ' he is a god and not a man.' Recent facts 
which have come to light all tend to show that Buchanan was 
not so frequently in error as his critics have often sought to 

The chief point of interest in this history has always 
centred round the account of the unhappy Mary Queen of 
Scots. It is not to be looked for that this battle-ground will 
soon be deserted, we might say never as long as Reformed and 
Unreformed faiths remain. You cannot look for an apprecia- 
tion of Buchanan's History from those who would fain hail her 
as " St. Mary of Scotland, the Martyr," or yet, from those who 
seem to regard the Reformation as a " sort of mistake," or 
again, from sentimentalists whose enthusiasm for the " fair 
qi'een " is usually in inverse ratio to their knowledge. Some 
enlightened beings tell us that Buchanan by his History and 
Detectio proved how basely ingrate he was to his queen. Why? 
The question usually causes some confusion. Of a truth, he 
read Latin with her and did some translating for the court; 
it is reasonable to expect he would get payment. He got that 
payment from the Abbey of Crossraguel to the amount of 
four to five hundred pounds Scots (41 13s 4d stg.) ; that 
was due to him at least, but not always did he get it paid 
to him. There is thus no evidence that Buchanan was under 
any obligation to Mary. 

Whatever faults Buchanan had, he was no time-server, and 
what he wrote in his history, or in " ANE DETECTIOUN of 
the DOINGIS of MARIE QUENE of Scottis, twiching The 
Murther of hir Husband ; And hir Conspiracie, Adulterie, and 
pretensit Mariage with the Erie Bothwell," he wrote what he 
felt convinced was true. We cannot suspect Archbishop 
Spottiswood of being unduly favourable to Buchanan, yet, his 

112 Buchanan as a Historian 

estimate is singularly just when he says: " His bitterness also 
in writing of the queen and troubles of that time all wise men 
have disliked. But, otherwise no man did better merit of his 
nation for learning, nor thereby did bring it to more glory." 
The Archbishop is right ; it may be a question of manners, it is 
not one of truth. The Detectio has been incorporated with the 
History, and therefore falls within the scope of our subject. 
A recent writer in Mack-wood's Magazine states: "A scholar 
and a humanist should not stoop to collect the tittle-tattle of 
the kitchen. He should not listen with an avid ear to the 
voice of malice. It is consonant neither with learning nor 
chivalry to insult a woman and a queen. The guilt or 
innocence of Mary does not palliate or enhance the crime of 
Buchanan." We take notice of this, as such statements regard- 
ing Buchanan are frequently made, and the example given 
furnishes the point of their usual trend and weakness also. 
We have to measure the work in the light of, not the twentieth 
century, but of the sixteenth century; most important of all 
we must keep in mind the purpose of the book. The Detectio 
was an official publication, and the relation of Buchanan to it 
is that of a counsel for the prosecution ; therefore with equal 
relevancy we may bring home the charge of ' malice,' lack of 
' chivalry,' etc., to any counsel who strives to bring proof of 
guilt against any woman, calling at the same time his carefully 
reasoned indictment the ' tittle-tattle of the kitchen,' as though 
he were responsible for the want of moral cleanness in the 
charge. If Buchanan were unjust and biased against Mary, 
why did he write the long, clear account of her dispatch to 
France after her marriage to Bothwell, which forms the best 
vindication of her in existence ? 

With the death of the Regent Lennox, Buchanan's History 
draws to a close. We could well wish that it had continued 
into the time of Morton, as our historian would doubtless have 
had something of note to say regarding that statesman. 

We have endeavoured to give an account of the principal 
features of Buchanan's work, and shall now strive to find its 
place in the historical world. The History had not long seen 
the light, when James the Sixth, of blessed memory, found it 
necessary to publish an Act of Parliament regarding it, which 
was as follows: ". . . . Attoure, because it is understand 
and to his Hienes, and to his three Estaites that the buikes of 

Buchanan as a Historian 113 

the Chronicle, and De jure regni apud Scotos, made umquhile, 
Maistcr GEORGE BUCHANANE, and imprented sensine, 
conteinis sindrie offensive matters, worthie to be deleete : IT IS 
THEIRFORE statute and ordained, that the havers of the 
saidis twa volumes in their handes, inbring, and deliver the 
same to my Lord Secretare, or his deputes, within fourtie dayes, 
after the publication hereof, to the effect, that the saidis 
volumes may bee perused, and purged of the offensive, and 
oxtraordinarie matters specified theirin, not meete to remaine 
as Recordes of trueth to the posteritie, under the paine of twa 
hundreth pundes, of everie person failzieing heirin. And 
quhair ony ar not responsal to pay the said summe, to be 
punished in their persones, at OUR SOVERAINE LORDIS 
will. And to the effect, that this ordinance may cum to the 
knawledge of all OUR SOVERAINE LORDIS Lieges, 
ordainis publication to be maid heirof, at the mercat croce of 
the head Burrowes of the Schires, and utheris places needeful, 
That nane pretend ignorance theirof; And the penaltie 
conteined theirin, to be executed with all rigour against the 
havers of the saidis buikes, the said space of fourty dayes being 
by-past, after the publication, and proclamation of the said 
Act in every Schire, as said is." Government again took 
notice of Buchanan's Writings in the year 1638, when in front 
of Oxford University they were burnt by the common hangman ; 
this must be regarded as an honour and a testimony to the 
truth they contain ; kings and states do not give orders to have 
books destroyed unless they have reason to fear the TRUTH. 
Scotland may feel justly proud of two of her sons, George 
Buchanan and Samuel Rutherford, who by their teaching 
influenced the nation, and which ultimately led to the formation 
of our present model British Constitution. 

The testimony of nearly all Buchanan's contemporaries is one 
of enthusiasm for his History, though an adverse criticism was 
expressed by Sir James Melville in the words that ' in his 
(Buchanan's) auld dayes he was become sleperie and cairless.' 
The value of this judgment is answered by the History itself, 
which does not show the alleged faults. In the generations 
following, the principles embodied in the History had the warm 
approval of such men as Milton and Dryden. It was but 
natural that the succeeding years, in harmony with the spirit 
of the age, should adopt a more critical standpoint with 

114 Buchanan as a Historian 

regard to the History. We find it therefore under a somewhat 
severe review at the hands of such men as Lord Hailes and 
Piukerton. The nineteenth century being par excellence the era 
of critical research, the discriminating erudition of Tytler and 
Burton was brought to bear on the subject without very much 
astray being discerned. Burton, in his History of Scotland, 
sums up his opinion thus : " It has become the practice with 
some writers to disbelieve everything said by Buchanan. Great 
part of his History is doubtless fabulous, and when he comes 
to the controversies in which he took part, he was too strong 
a partisan to be impartial." We can well believe that the 
shade of Buchanan, if speech were possible, would, not without 
justice, apply to his critics the phrase he used to Lloyd : 

Loripedem rectus derideat, ^thiopem alb us. 

If historians in their judgments of other historians are not 
generous, who should be? 

We have now to try and form an estimate of the value of 
Buchanan's History at the present year of grace. We have said 
that last century was the period of criticism, and to that we 
might add, of the desire for scientific exactness in all the various 
forms of human thought and activity, the application to Holy 
Writ or to the life of a microbe. If we judge thus early of 
what the temper of this century shall be, we might call it one 
of precision, though we may be conscious that life may become 
a soulless thing if we become too analytical in our modes of 
thought. Pygmalion may carve the form so nearly divine, but 
it requires the god to give it life. We may be able to construct 
a history, a very exact history, from State Papers, but when it 
is done, surely it will lack something colour or life, shall 
we call it? We cannot do without Buchanan's History, or any 
other record which faithfully delineates the period which has 
fallen under the recorder's personal knowledge; its worth lies 
in the individual note which is struck and which nothing 
impersonal can supply. In our age and in succeeding time, 
Buchanan's History must find an honoured place, in so far as it 
is the account of a great period of history seen through a great 
man's eyes. He, doubtless, would be bold who asserted that the 
History was without fault, for there are errors of chronology, a 
want of due sense of proportion between detail and the main 
theme, but, surely, we can overlook all that by reason of its 
greatness otherwise. 

J. A. B, 


Les tragedies religieuses de Buchanan. 

BUCHANAN dit lui-meme, dans une de ses Lettres, 1 qu'il avait 
traduit la Medee d'Euripide, non pour la publier, mais pour 
se perfectionner dans 1'etude du grec, et qu'il dut, pour ceder 
aux importunes sollicitations de ses amis, la faire paraitre, alors 
qu'il enseignait les lettres latines a Bordeaux et qu'il etait 
force de fournir chaque annee une piece qui devait etre 
representee par les eleves. II ajoute que, bon nombre de 
negligences lui etant echappees, il remania sa tragedie quelques 
annees plus tard, guerissant certaines blessures, mais de telle 
sorte que les cicatrices paraissent encore $a et la (quvedam in 
ea vulnera ita sanavi ut adhuc cicatrices alicubi appareant). 
La Medee, corrigee, parut avec I'Alceste chez Henri Estienne, 
en 1567. 

1,'Alceste avait deja ete publiee seule, en 1557, chez Michel 
Vascosan, precedee d'une preface tres laudative a 1'illustris- 
sime princesse Marguerite, soeur d'Henri II., roi de France. 
L'auteur ne dit rien de 1'annee ou I'Alceste fut representee au 
College de Guyenne. 

II n'est pas utile d'insister sur les deux tragedies empruntees 
par Buchanan a Euripide : ce sont " d'elegantes traductions," 
dit Patin, bon juge en la matiere. 2 

Les pieces originales meritent qu'on s'y arrete plus longue- 
ment. La premiere ceuvre de Buchanan, composee a Bordeaux 
et jouee au College de Guyenne, ne fut publiee qu'en 1578. 
Thomas Ruddiman, qui a procure 1'edition complete des oeuvres 
de Buchanan donnee a Leyde en 1725, ne connait que le 
Baptistes imprime a Edinburgh en 1578. 3 La Bibliotheque 

1 Epislola xxvii. Georgius Buchananus Danieli Rogersio, Edinburgi, 9 
Nov. 1579 (BucJianani Opera omnia, 6dit. de 1725, t. II., p. 755). 

a Patin, Etudes nur les tragiques green, Paris, 6dit. de 1866, vol. III., p. 221. 
3 Buchanani Opera omnia, 6dit. de 1725, t. I., note 36 de la Vita. 

116 Les tragedies religieuses de Buchanan 

municipale de Bordeaux possede un exemplaire d'une edition 
publiee a Londres la meme anuee. 1 Dans une dedicace de 
quelques lignes, ecrite a Stirling le l er novembre 1576, et 
adressee au jeune Jacques VI., age de dix ans, dont il etait 
alors le precepteur, Buchanan expliquait a son illustre eleve que 
le Baptistes etait la premiere piece qu'il eut composee, jadis, 
pour d'autres eleves, des jeunes gens qu'il s'agissait de ramener 
a 1'imitation de 1'antiquite en ranimant chez eux les sentiments 
d'une piete trcs attaquee en ce temps-la. II ajoutait que de 
cette tragedie se degage un euseignement precieux pour un roi 
qui ne doit pas s'abandonner a de mauvais conseillers. 

En 1586, Brisset, sieur de Sauvage, faisait preuve de saine 
critique litteraire en reunissant dans un meme volume de 
traductions, publie a Tours, I'Hercule furitux, 1' Agamemnon et 
le Thytste de Sencque, I'Octavie, oeuvre d'un imitateur inconnu 
du poete philosophe, et le Baptiste de Buchanan. Cette 
tragedie precede, en effet, aussi bien que I'Octavie, de la 
maniere theatrale de Seneque. 

Le spectateur voit, tout d'abord, s'avancer sur la scene un 
personnage qui developpe les theories et expose les plaintes du 
poete. C'est le Prologus, cet acteur que Terence chargeait de 
defendre ses pieces ou il ne lui donnait aucun role. Dans ce 
discours polemique, redige suivant la formule des prologues de 
1'ecrivain latin, Buchanan se plaint aigrement des critiques, 
plus clairvoyants que Lyncee a decouvrir les defauts de la 
tragedie d'un auteur, incapables eux-memes d'en composer une. 
Qu'on remette au theatre un sujet ancien, que Ton imagine une 
fable nouvelle, les censeurs blament et desapprouvent toujours. 
Dedaigneux de ces envieux sans loyaute, le poete s'adresse a 
1' ' ' aestimator candidus " ; celui-ci pourra voir, a son gre, dans 
Baptistes une piece moderne ou une piece antique; car, si 
1'action de la tragedie se passe il y a bien des siecles, la 
calomnie qui en fait le fond se renouvelle chaque jour. 2 

1 BAPTISTES, rive Calumnia, trayoedia, auctore Georgia BUCHANANO 
Scoro, LONDINI. Et prostant Aitiwrpiae, apud lacobum Henricium, 
MDLXXVIII. (64 pp. in- 16). 

2 Baptises (Buchanani Opera omnia, edit, de 1725, t. II., pp. 215-252). 
V. 42: 

Porro vocare fabulara veterem aut novam 
Per me licehit cuique pro arbitrio suo . . . 
V. 48: 

Nam, donee homiuum genus erit, semper novae 
Fraudes, novseque suppetent calumniae. 

Les tragedies religieuses de Buchanan 117 

Puis, entrent en scene les deux pharisiens Gamaliel et 
Malchus, suivis du Choeur compose de Juifs. Malchus deplore 
les malheurs du peuple d'Israel, accable par la tyrannic de 
Rome, desole par une impiete nouvelle qui fera perir, qui fait 
perir, qui a deja fait perir toute la saintete de la foi antique. 1 
L'auteur de ce desastre n'est autre que Jean-Baptiste, ce faux 
prophete qui vit dans le desert, revetu d'un costume etrange, 
qui a imagine le rite nouveau du bapteme, qui incite au 
mepris de 1'ancienne religion ; il faut se defaire de cet homme 

Gamaliel repond a cette violente diatribe avec une man- 
suetude digne de Micion, le vieillard bienveillant des Adelphes 
de Terence ; il preche le calme et la moderation : ne peut-on 
pas accorder quelque indulgence a la temerite des jeunes 
gens? 2 Malchus ne veut rien entendre; les objections cour- 
toises de Gamaliel ne font qu'exasperer 1'intransigeance de 
son orthodoxie etroite. Comme Tomas de Torquemada, il 
estime que la corde, le fer et le feu doivent avoir raison de 
I'impiete; il regrette de ne pouvoir disposer de moyens de 
torture plus cruels; 3 et, puisqu'il ne trouve aucun appui 
aupres des rabbins et des pharisiens, il aura recours au bras 
seculier : il va demander 1'aide du roi Herode. 4 

Fort de 1'approbation du Choeur, 5 Gamaliel developpe dans 
un long monologue des considerations dignes d'un disciple de 
Luther : il invoque le droit de chaque fidele au libre examen 6 
et fait responsable des progres de 1'impiete les pharisiens 

1 Baptiate*, v. 107 : 

. . . ilia Celebris orbi sanctitas 
Brevi peribit, imo perit, imo periit. 

2 Baptistes, v. Ill : 

Juvenum temeritati dari venia potest. 

3 Baptistes, v. 190 : 

Curanda non est ista plaga molliter, 
Sed fane, ferro et igne ; vel si quid scias 
Quod fune, ferro et igne sit crudelius. 

4 Baptlstes, v. 215 : 

Et quando apud vos nil reperio prsesidi, 
Contra ruinam regium auxilium petam. 

8 Baplifttes, v. 217 : 

Recte Gamaliel admonet, me judice. 

8 Baptises, v. 272 : 

Interpretetur quisque pro ingenio, ut lubet. 

118 Les tragedies religieuses de Buchanan 

ces Franciscains du temps de Jean-Baptiste qui trompent 
le peuple par 1'apparence de la saintete. 1 

Le Choeur deplore les malheurs auxquels sont exposes les 
innocents, qui ne peuvent jamais etre a 1'abri des mechants. 

Voici maintenant la reine qui reproche au roi de ne pas 
faire acte de vigueur contre Jean-Baptiste concitator iste vulgi 
et Herode qui repond par de nobles et vagues maximes sur 
la miserable condition des rois reduits a craindre les 
miserables. 2 Peu satisfaite de ces sententiae, dignes d'un eleve 
qui aurait mieux profite que Neron de 1'enseignement du 
philosophe Seneque, la reine s'en va furieuse, en s'ecriant 
qu'Herode n'a pas Tame d'un roi. 

Celui-ci s'empresse de constater, comme un mari de comedie 
que sa femme est reellement partie ; 3 il profite de ce depart 
opportun pour s'entretenir avec Jean-Baptiste qu'il a fait 
mander: dans un discours tres amical, il prie le prophete 
d'excuser les violences de langage d'une femme, d'une reine 
outragee ; 4 il lui rapelle 1'appui qu'il lui a toujours prete et 
lui montre avec douceur tout ce qu'il y a de reprehensible 
dans ses propres predications : promesse d'un royaume nouveau 
qui excite les soldats a desobeir a leurs chefs, le peuple a 
desobeir a Cesar ; attaques publiques contre le mariage du roi 
lui-meme. Tout sera oublie, si Jean-Baptiste met un terme a 
ses funestes declamations ; il obtiendra du roi tout ce qu'on 
peut esperer d'un juge ami et bienveillant. s 

Le Choeur approuve : en perseverant dans ces sentiments, 
Herode continuera a etre cheri de son peuple ; sa moderation 
le rendra illustre a jamais. 

Mais le prophete est intraitable : il poursuivra son oeuvre ; 
il a pour devoir de denoncer au grand jour les crime^s publics et 
prives. Qu'Herode rentre en lui-meme: vaut-il mieux plaire 

1 Baptistes, \. 228 : 

Nostrique coetus vitium id est vel maximum 
Qui sanctitatis plebem imagine fallimus. 

2 Baptistes, v. 367 : Conditio regum misera, si miseros timet. 

3 Baptistea, v. 404 : Jamne abiit ? Abiit. 

4 Baptistes, v. 408 : . . . laesa mulier, nobilis, dives, potens, 

Regina denique . . . 

5 Baptistes, v. 440 : ... quicquid favor 

Judicis amici et benevoli poterit dare, 
Tribuetur a me liberaliter tibi. 

Les tragedies religieuses de Buchanan 119 

au roi que d'accomplir la volonte de Dieu ? 1 Herode fait sortir 
Jean-Baptiste ; le Choeur est plein d'inquietude ; 2 et le roi 
deplore comme 1'CEdipe de Sophocle les angoisses inseparables 
de la fortune royale : 3 s'il decide la perte du prophete, il 
s'aliene son peuple; s'il 1'epargne, il ruine son autorite et il 
s'attire I'inimitie dangereuse de Malchus. 

Le Choeur adresse une fervente invocation a 1'Eternel : que 
le Dieu d'Israel n'abandonne pas son peuple ! 

Malchus a decide d'avoir un entretien definitif avec Jean- 
Baptiste. Alors que tous hesitent, il saura, seul, venger la 
dignite outragee des pharisiens. Dans un monologue passionne, 
il resume la situation : le peuple adore le faux prophete ; les 
rabbins murmurent ; le roi incline a 1'impiete ; les grands sont 
indifferents. 4 Reduit a ses seules forces, il va essayer de gagner 
par de bonnes paroles cet homme dont il trompera sans peine 
la simplicite animi simplex homo . S'il ne reussit pas, il le 
fera perir et s'arrangera de maniere a ce que le peuple ne le 
soup9onne pas de la mort de son prophete. 

Mais, le voici lui-meme, escorte d'une foule de fideles, alors 
que les rabbins sont abandonnes. Malchus se met a 1'ecart 
pour ecouter ce que dira le prophete ; et il entend une 
eloquente predication, qui commence par une action de graces 
adressee a 1'Eternel, dont les bienfaits ne cessent de se repandre 
sur ses creatures, et qui se continue par une attaque violente 
centre le roi ennemi de Dieu Malchus approuve en aparte 5 , 
contre le peuple infidele qui ose se dire le peuple de Dieu 
Malchus continue a approuver 6 , puis contre les hommes plus 
coupables que le peuple, ces levites resplendissants dans leurs 
longues robes blanches, ces docteurs de la loi gonfles de leur 
science, ces vieillards hypocrites qui depouillent la veuve et 
1'orphelin Malchus furieux se contient a peine 7 , enfin contre 
les rabbins, ces mauvais bergers du troupeau qui leur est 

1 Baptistes, v. 492 : ... id ipse tecum cogita, 

Utrum placere tibi sit aequius, an Deo ? 

2 Baptistes, v. 523 : Sed ominari metuit animus quse timet. 

3 Baptittes, v. 524 : Fortuaa regum quam misera sit et anxia, 

Nee fando poterit explicare oratio, 
Nee cogitando mentis acies assequi. 

4 Baptistes, v. 660-662. 

5 Baptist es, v. 718 : Principia recte sese habent tibi hactenus. 
8 Baptisteii, v. 725 : Sane locutus cuncta vere es hactenus. 

7 Baptistes, v. 734 : Disrumpor ira : tacitus hfec ut audiam ? 

120 Les tragedies religieuses de Buchanan 

confie : ' ' Les loups hurlent autour des bergeries, et vous ne 
les ecartez pas. Les loups, ai-je dit? Mais c'est vous qui etes 
les loups; c'est vous qui devorez le troupeau. Sa laine vous 
habille, son lait vous abreuve, sa chair vous rassasie. Vous ne 
paissez pas le troupeau, vous vous en paissez ! * " Malchus ne 
peut plus se contenir. II interpelle violemment Jean-Baptiste 
dont les reponses calmes et dignes refutent ses injures 
forcenees. Vaincu, fou de rage, le pharisien se retire en 
annoi^ant que la mort punira sans retard les blasphemes 
sacrileges de 1'impie. 

Le chant indigne du Choeur fletrit 1'infamie des " severi 

Malchus s'est calme ; il peut apprecier les choses d'un esprit 
plus rassis. Pour sevir contre 1'impie, il n'a rien a attendre du 
peuple devoue a son prophete et du roi dont la faiblesse craint 
d 'exciter la colere du peuple. Tout son espoir se fonde sur la 
reine : depuis que Jean-Baptiste a blame publiquement son 
union incestueuse et adultere avec Herode, elle ne cesse d'etre 
en fureur comme une tigresse a qui on a enleve ses petits 2 . . . 
Mais elle arrive a propos. 

Pendant que la reine s'approche, le Choeur se lamente : 

Voici la flamme qui vient vers la flamme, le poison qui s'unit au poison. 
Un peril extreme est instant. 3 

Malchus n'a pas de peine a exciter le courroux de la reine, 
mais il sait le maitriser; il demontre en multipliant les 
maximes et les comparaisons a la maniere de Seneque qu'il 
f aut employer la patience et 1'adresse : 

L'effort continu vient bout de ce que la violence ne peut accomplir. Le 
chene eleve ne tombe pas du premier coup ; le belier dont on ae sert la 
guerre ne ren verse pas les murs au premier choc. 4 

Que la reine use done de larmes et de prieres; qu'elle se 
confie aux ruses perfides. 

Le Choeur, qui pleurait la victoire des mechants sur le 
" pius rates," interrompt son triste cantique. II a aper9u 
Jean-Baptiste; il lui dit le danger qui le menace. Aux 

1 Baptises, v. 750 : ... gregem non pascitis, vos pascitis. 

Cf. Fenelon, Sacre de FElecteur de Cologne, ii. 2 : Us ne paissent point le 
troupeau, c'est du troupeau qu'ils se paissent eur-memes. 

2 Baptistes, v. 886 : Regina tigris orba ceu catulis furens. 

3 Baptistes, v. 894-895. 

4 Baptistes, v. 953-956. 

Les tragedies religieuses de Buchanan 121 

paroles affectueuses du Choeur, le prophets repond avec 
1'heroisme enthousiaste d'un Saint-Genest ou d'un Polyeucte : 
si le roi Herode le menace de mort, le roi des cieux lui dit de 
ne pas craindre la mort et lui prepare sa recompense. 1 Le 
Choeur est persuade par 1'eloquence de Jean-Baptiste ; comme 
lui, il aspire a s'evader de la prison de la vie pour jouir dans 
le sejour celeste des felicites eternelles. 

La reine a reussi : sa fille a charme par sa danse Herode, 
qui s'est engage par serment a lui accorder ce qu'elle 
demanderait. Elle a exige qua sa fille demandat au roi de lui 
faire presenter sur un plat la tete de Jean-Baptiste. La 
demande n'a pas encore ete faite. La reine redoute toujours 
les indecisions de son mari. Elle le voit, anxieuse, s'avancer 
avec jeune fille. 

Dans une scene tres bien conduite, 2 le roi rappelle sa pro- 
messe ; apres lui avoir fait renouveler son serment, la jeune fille 
exige la tete de Jean-Baptiste. Herode est frappe de stupeur ; 
il essaie de pretexter qu'un pareil present ne convient pas a 
une jeune fille; il dit quelle sera la colere du peuple. La fille 
de la reine a reponse a tout ; la reine elle-meme a recours aux 
pires maximes que les tyrans du theatre de Seneque se plaisent 
a repeter pour prouver qu'un roi a le droit absolu de faire ce 
qu'il lui plait. Herode est lie par son serment. II se resigne a 
livrer le prophete aux deux femmes, en les suppliant de ne pas 
le mettre a mort, en les avertissant que si elles le condamnent 
a un chatiment cruel, toute 1'horreur de 1'acte qu'elles auront 
commis retombera sur elles. 

Le Chceur ne peut comprendre une telle barbaric. Le sang 
des prophetes crie vengeance. Herode sera puni. . . Mais 
voici un messager qui cherche les amis de Jean-Baptiste pour 
leur annoncer une triste nouvelle. II a ete tue ; sa tete a ete 
presentee a la fille de la reine ; mais a quoi bon les larmes ? 
Qu'a-t-il a craindre de la mort, celui qui a bien vecu? . . . 
Le Choeur cesse de se lamenter en reflechissant qu'une longue 
vie n'est autre chose qu'une longue chaine de malheurs dont les 
anneaux se terminent a la mort. . . Mais Timbecillite 
humaine qui ne comprend pas la servitude de la vie a horreur 
de la mort liberatrice. 3 

La tragedie de Buchanan met habilement en scene Pepisode 

1 Baptistes, v. 1026-1030. 2 Baptistes, v. 1184-1263. 

3 Baptistes, v. 1356-1360. 

122 Les tragedies religieuses de Buchanan 

de la mort de Jean-Baptiste, tel qu'il est raconte dans 1'Evan- 
gile selon Saint-Marc (vi., 17-28), ou il est egalement parle du 
respect qu'Herode Antipas professait pour Jean, qu'il savait 
etre un juste et un saint et qu'il consultait volontiers. 

Mais les personnages de la piece semblent des contemporains 
connus de 1'auteur du Franciscanus. Le pharisien Malchus 
n'a aucun rapport avec le serviteur du souverain sacrificateur 
Caiphe, ce Malchus a qui, dans son zele imprudent, Pierre 
coupe 1'oreille d'un coup d'epee : J mais il ressemble comme un 
frere au cardinal Beaton, dont les calomnies persecutaient le 
poete de Baptistes sive Calumnia. Gamaliel, le rabbin pieux 
et bienveillant qui protege Jean-Baptiste, peut etre a la rigueur 
identifie avec le celebre pharisien Gamaliel dont saint Paul 
s'honore d'avoir ete 1'eleve : 2 mais il nous fait penser a 
Charles de Grammont, archeveque de Bordeaux de 1530 a 
1544, gouverneur de la province de Guyenne en 1'absence du 
lieutenant-general Henri de Navarre. Protecteur des lettres, 
Charles de Grammont s'interessait particulierement au College 
de Bordeaux; tres puissant il fut pendant longtemps une 
sorte de vice-roi de Guyenne 3 il pouvait proteger et il pro- 
tegea efficacement Buchanan centre la haine du cardinal 

Quant aux acteurs du drame qui ont joue reellement un 
role dans 1'histoire des Juifs, les admirations ou les rancunes 
de Buchanan doivent les avoir profondement modifies pour les 
faire ressembler a des heros de 1'histoire d'Ecosse au XVI e 

Ce Jean-Baptiste, prophete enthousiaste et orateur habile, 
comme un futur martyr qui aurait passe par les Universites 
avant de monter sur le bucher, ne doit-il pas avoir pour type 
Patrick Hamilton, le premier apotre de la Reforme en Ecosse ? 
Ne a Glascow en 1503, etudiant a Paris et a Louvain, profes- 
seur des 1523 a Saint-Andrews ou Buchanan, qui suivait les 
cours de John Mair en 1524, dut le connaitre et 1'admirer, 
Hamilton prechait les idees nouvelles avec une ardeur qui 
attira 1'attention des pretres. Convaincu d'heresie dans un 
conseil d'eveques preside par le cardinal Beaton, il fut con- 
damne et mourut sur le bucher, en fevrier 1527. ~L'Histoire 

1 Evangile selon Saint- Jean, xviii., 10-11. 

2 Actes des Apdtre*, xxii., 3. 

3 Jullian, Histoire de Bordeaux, Bordeaux, 1895, p. 334. 

Les tragedies religieuses de Buchanan 123 

d'Ecosse, redigee par Buchanan a la fin de sa carriere, rendait 
un hommage emu a cette noble victime d'un complot 
ecclesiastique juvenis ingenio summo et ernditione singulari, 
conjuration* sacerdotnm oppresses. 1 II se peut que sa 
premiere tragedie ait voulu faire revivre 1'apotre de 1'Ecosse en 
la personne du Precurseur. 

L'audace des allusions explique pourquoi 1'auteur de 
Baptist es sive Calumnia retarda si longtemps la publication de 
sa piece. En effet, sans pretendre assimiler a la femme 
d'Herode Marie de Guise, 1'ennemie impitoyable de quiconque 
etait suspect de lutheranisme, on ne peut s'empecher de 
remarquer que bien des traits du caractere de ce pusillanime 
roi des Juifs, qui a peur de sa femme et qui cherche par tous 
les moyens a ne pas perdre 1'affection de son peuple, qui 
respecte Jean-Baptiste et le laisse mettre a mort, conviennent 
parfaitement au faible Jacques V., qui se consumait en efforts 
continuels pour plaire au peuple et meriter le titre de " King 
of Commons," qui abandonnait Buchanan aux coleres de 
Beaton, apres lui avoir demande de composer une satire contre 
les Franciscains, qui, docile aux instigations de la reine, faisait 
bruler les heretiques a Glascow et a Edinburgh. 

Tous les personnages de la tragedie sont bien vivants. 
Jean-Baptiste parle avec une eloquence admirable et agit comme 
Polyeucte. Malchus fait penser au Mathan d'Athalie et au 
Narcisse de Britannicvs. L'empereur Claude est traite moins 
durement dans le Ludus de Seneque le philosophe que le roi 
Jacques V. dans le Baptist es de Buchanan. Herode n'est plus 
meme Prusias, qui tremble devant sa femme Arsinoe et qui 
a toujours peur de se brouiller avec les Romains ; c'est le bon- 
homme Chrysale des Fe.mmes Savantes, qui sacrifie, tout en 
plaignant la " pauvre enfant," Martine, la servante de cuisine, 
aux indignations grammaticales de sa femme Philaminte et de 
sa soeur Belise. 

On peut, sans doute, reprocher a ce drame, si fort et si 
interessant, bien des defauts qui precedent d'une imitation 
trop attentive du theatre de Seneque. On note Tabus des 
declamations et des monologues ; rien ne prepare et ne rend 
necessaire 1'entree en scene des divers personnages. Les chants 
du Choeur sont trop longs et leurs digressions s'eloignent 

1 Rerum Scoticarum Hintoriae, lib. XIV. cap. xxxii. (Buchanani Opera 
Omnia, Mit. de 1725, t. I., p. 489). 

124 Les tragedies religieuses de Buchanan 

souvent beaucoup du sujet de la piece. II n'y a aucun souci 
de la " couleur locale." L'erudition profane des Juifs con- 
temporains d'Herode est parfois etrange. Le Choeur, qui 
emprunte des comparaisons savantes a 1'ecole des declamateurs 
dont Seneque a etc apres Ovide un brillant eleve, parle trop de 
la flamme du Vesuve, des monstres nes sur les bords du Gange 
et dans les antres du Caucase. 1 

Jean-Baptiste, qui connait lui aussi les frimas du Caucase, 2 
possede une science mythologique qui conviendrait mieux 
a Patrick Hamilton qu'a un prophete hebreu: il disserte sur 
les Eumenides a la chevelure de serpents, sur 1'avide Cerbere, 
sur Tantale qui souffre toujours de la faim et de la soif, sur les 
Sirenes puissantes par leurs charmes magiques. 3 

Mais il ne faut pas oublier que Buchanan ecrivait Baptistes 
sive Calumnia pour les eleves du College de Guyenne; au 
rvi e siecle, toute cette mythologie avait droit de cite dans les 
ecoles. II est interessant de noter que, dans la predication 
ou il celebre, longtemps avant Racine et presque avec les 
memes termes, la bonte de Dieu qtii commande au printemps 
de parer la campagne de sa peinture de fleurs, a 1'ete de faire 
naitre les fruits, 4 Jean-Baptiste proclame que, conformement 
aux ordres divins, Diane donne sa lumiere a la nuit, Phebus 
sa lumiere au jour. 5 Quand, dans sa traduction des Psaumes, 
Buchanan parlera en son propre nom, il dira plus exactement : 
" A toi est le jour, a toi est la nuit; c'est toi qui pares de 
rayons d'or 1'eclat du soleil. 6 " 

Compose comme Baptist es sive Calumnia pour etre joue au 
College de Guyenne, Jephthes sive Votum abonde lui aussi en 
comparaisons mythologiques et en allusions geographiques peu 
convenables au milieu ou 1'action se passe. 7 

1 Baptistes, v. 296, 320, 322. 

2 Baptistes, v. 1087. 

8 Baptistet, v. 1126-1129, v. 1133. 

4 Baptistes, v. 701 : Jussu tuo ver pingit arva floribus, 

Fruges dat aestas, fundit autumnus moruni. 

Cf. Athalie, I., iv., v. 323 : II donne aux fleurs leur aimable peinture, 
II fait naitre et murir les fruits. 

5 Baptistes, v. 706 : Noctem Diana, Phoebus incendit diem. 

6 Psalm., Ixxxiv., 16 (Buchanani Opera omnia, edit, de 1725, t. II. , p. 83) : 

Tuus dies est ; nox tua est ; solis jubar 
Radiis adornas aureis. 

7 Je me contente de citer ce passage ou le Chceur, compost de jeuues filles 
Israelites, s'occupe des peuples qui boivent les eaux du Tage. 

Les tragedies religieuses de Buchanan 125 

Mais, si la forme des deux tragedies est la meme, puis- 
qu'elles sont ecrites Tune et 1'autre suivant le modele fourni 
par le theatre de Seneque, le fond est loin d'etre le meme. 

Je ne crois pas que Ton puisse relever dans Jephthes rien 
qui se rapporte a des personnages contemporains de 1'auteur; 
le traducteur d'Alceste et de Medee emprunte beaucoup a 
1'Iphigenie et a la Polyxene d'Euripide pour etablir le role de 
la fille de Jephthe. II serait trop long de faire minutieusement 
la liste de toutes ces imitations dont 1'analyse de Jephthes 
donnera une idee. 

Les deux sujets offrant beaucoup de traits communs, il n'est 
pas etonnant que Ton trouve de nombreuses ressemblances 
entre la tragedie latine de Buchanan et Abraham sacrifiant, 
tragedie francoise de Theodore de Beze, qui fut imprimee en 
1550. Buchanan connaissait Theodore de Beze: il lui 
envoyait nous ne savons a quelle epoque ceux de ses poemes 
qu'il avait composes en Ecosse, recommandes par une dedicace 
tres modeste. 1 Peut-etre, avant d'ecrire sa trayedie fran^oise, 
1'auteur d' Abraham sacrifiant avait-il lu Jephthes sive Votum 
en manuscrit. 

On peut aussi trouver un certain nombre de ressemblances 
entre le Jephthes et I'Iphigenie de Racine. Mais, comme les 
deux pieces s'inspirent 1'une et 1'autre de la tragedie d'Euripide, 
il est difficile de discerner si le poete d'Iphiyenie a parfois 
imite directement le latin de Buchanan. 2 

~L'Evanyilc selon Saint-Marc donnait les evenements et les 
heros du Baptistes; 1'auteur n'avait qu'a imaginer les person- 
nages de Malchus et de Gamaliel. Pour le Jephthes sive 
Votum, le chapitre xi. du Livre des Juges offrait plutot le sujet 

V. 396 : ... quique bibit Tagum 

Fulvo gurgile nobilem. 

Ces vers n'auraient-ils pas ct<i ajoutes pour une representation de Jephthes 
donnee au College des Arts de Coi'mbre, alors qui Buchanan y etait professeur ? 

1 Hendecaxyllabon liber, x. (Buchanani Opera omnia, edit, de 1725, t. II., 
p. 348). Ad Thfodorum Bezam. 

V. 3 : Ad te carmina mitto, nee Latino 

Nee Grajo sale tincta, sed Britannis 
Nata in montibus horrida sub Areto. 

2 Dans son edition classique A'lphiijenie (Paris, Delagrave, 1881), N. M. 
r:rnardin indique les passages de Jephthes qui se rapprochent le plus du texte 
de la tragedie de Racine. Voir les notes 3 de la page 38, 3 de la page 70, 2 de 
la page 105, 1 de la page 108, 2 et 3 de la page 111, 3 de la page 130, 2 de la 
page 134. 

126 Les tragedies religieuses de Buchanan 

d'un developpement epique ou elegiaque quo la matiere d'une 

Au moment de passer dans le pays des Hammonites qu'il va 
combattre, Jephthe promet a 1'Eternel que, s'il est vainqueur, 
il lui offrira en holocauste ce qui, lorsqu'il reviendra de la 
guerre, sortira des portes de sa maison au devant de lui. 
Quand il rentre victorieux a Mitspa, en sa demeure, sa fille 
unique s'avance a sa rencontre. Instruite du vceu imprudent 
de son pere, elle se soumet et demande seulement qu'il lui soit 
accorde d'aller pendant deux mois pleurer avec ses amies sa 
virginite sur les montagnes. Au bout des deux mois, elle 
retourne vers son pere qui la sacrifie, suivant le voeu qu'il 
avait fait. 

Le texte de la Bible ne donne que les deux personnages du 
pere et de la fille. Buchanan a du imaginer ceux de la femme 
et d'un confident de Jephthe ; il a eu 1'etrange idee de leur 
imposer des noms grecs, Storge et SymmacJivs ainsi d'ail- 
leurs qu'a la jeune fille qu'il appelle Iphis. 

Le prologue explicatif est dit par un ange qui annonce le 
sujet et les peripeties du drame : si 1'Eternel a decide de con- 
traindre Jephthe a ce cruel sacrifice, c'est pour qu'il n'attribue 
pas a son merite une victoire qui appartient a la puissance 
divine, c'est pour que le succes n'enorgueillisse pas son coeur. 

Storge entre en scene avec Iphis. La mere est accablee de 
tristesse : elle a vu en songe un loup qui arrachait une jeune 
brebis de ses bras pour la devorer ; si ce songe est un presage 
funeste pour sa fille, que Dieu daigne la faire mourir elle- 
meme avant qu'elle ait vu se produire le malheur qu'elle 
redoute ! Iphis essaie de consoler sa mere : qu'elle attende 
avec confiance le retour de Jephthe, victorieux de ses ennemis. 
Storge ne veut pas se laisser rassurer ; depuis son enfance, elle 
a ete temoin des miseres du peuple d'Israel ; il lui est impossible 
de ne pas craindre quelque desastre plus affreux encore. 

Le Choeur, compose de jeunes filles du pays, supplie Dieu 
de mettre un terme a la servitude des Juifs soumis depuis 
longtemps aux Hammonites. . . Mais les jeunes filles 
aper9oivent au loin un messager qui arrive, sans doute, de 
1'armee ; elles interrompent leurs chants, et attendent, 
anxieuses. Le messager s'informe de la demeure de Jephthe. 

C'est ici la maison de Jephthe, et voici sa fille. Mais, si tu le peux, 
dis-nous quelle esperance tu nous apportes ! 

Les tragedies religieuses de Buchanan 127 

Je suis justemeut envoye pour faire le rtScit des evenements. Les 
onnomis out ete disperses, mia eii fuite. C'est une grando victoire, une grande 
gloire. Notre armee est saine et sauve. VoilA le resume do ce que j'avais a 

C'est beaucoup dire en peu de mots ! Mais explique-nous si tu connais 
la aictoire par cnu-dire ou si tu Pas rue toi-meme. 1 

Le raessager s'empresse de faire un long recit de la bataille 
a laquclle il a pris part. Le Chceur chante les louanges de 
1'Eternel qui a permis aux enfauts d'Israel de vaincre les 
Hammonites. Jephthe arrive. II commence par prononcer 
une longue action de graces, abondante en pieuses maximes; il 
s'engage de nouveau a tenir sa promesse envers Dieu, qui a 
exauce sa priere et lui a donne la victoire. C'est alors qu'Iphis, 
pleine de joie, vient se jeter dans les bras du vainqueur qui se 
detourne d'elle. La scene entre le pere et la fille est tres bien 
menee ; elle a une veritable grandeur tragique ; Buchanan se 
souvient heureusement de l'Agamemnon et de 1'Iphigenie 
d'Euripide. La jeune fille supplie son pore de songer au 
sacrifice qu'il faut offrir a Dieu. 

Puisque le succes de ton expedition a et<5 si heureux, mon p6re, il con- 
vient de prier et d'accomplir tes vceux. 2 

Jephthe essaie de congedier Iphis dont les paroles le mettent 
a la torture : 

Veille & ce que tout suit en bon ordre & la maison ; obeis & ton pere. Tu 
reviendras bientot vers nous. Car il faut que tu assistes au sacrifice dans un 
instant. 3 

II se retire lui-meme. Iphis ne peut comprendre la froideur 
de son pere ; qu'a-t-il a lui reprocher, de quelle faute la soup- 
9onne-t-il ? Mais le meilleur remede aux angoisses qui 1'etrei- 
gnent, c'est de jouir d'une conscience pure.' 1 " Bien parle, 
digne fille d'un pere vainqueur et d'une chaste mere, 5 " dit 
Symmachus, qui vient feliciter son ami. Sur les instances du 
Chceur, il promet qu'il aura vite fait d'apprendre le secret de la 
tristesse de Jephthe et qu'il se hatera de le dire a Iphis. 

Le Chceur deplore la severite des parents qui se laissent aller 
a soup9onner injustement leurs enfants. 6 

1 Jephthea (Buchanani Opera omnia, edit, de 1725, t. II. , p. 173-213), v. 

3 Jephthea, v. 530-531. ;1 Jephthes, v. 546-549. 

4 Jephthea, v. 567-568. 6 Jephthes, v. 569-570. 

8 Jephthes, v. 593-617. 

128 Les tragedies religieuses de Buchanan 

Symmachus a rencontre Jephthe ; il s'etonne de la desola- 
tion de son ami en un jour ou sa victoire devrait le mettre au 
comble de la joie. Apres avoir developpe de nombreux lieux 
communs sur la " yrata sortis intimce securitas " et les malheurs 
inseparables de la gloire que le vulgaire envie, 1 le vainqueur 
des Hammonites se decide a decouvrir la blessure qui le tue. 
Symmachus essaie de lui prouver qu'il n'est pas engage par un 
voeu temeraire. Le Choeur, qui comprend maintenant le motif 
de la tristesse inquiete de Jephthe, le supplie d'etre docile aux 
avis d'un sage conseiller, car le repentir accompagne les actes 
accomplis a la legere. 2 

Restees seules, les jeunes filles expriment 1'espoir que leur 
compagne echappera a la mort dont elle est menacee par 
rimprudence de son pere. 

Jephthe va consult er un pretre. Dieu, lui est-il declare, 
ne dcmande pas le sang des victimes ; il exige comme offrande 
un esprit pieux et une conscience pure. 3 Existe-t-il, d'ailleurs, 
une loi qui ordonne aux peres d'immoler leurs enfants? II en 
existe une, replique le malheureux pere, qui ordonne d'accom- 
plir les VCEUX auxquels on s'est engage.' 1 La discussion est 
longue et ardente; toute la casuistique du pretre, qui 
argumente mieux que ne pourrait le faire un Franciscain, 
echoue en face de la ferine resolution de Jephthe : 

II vous plait d'etre rcgardds comme les ministres de la sagesse. Quant 
a moi, je prefere la simple, la brutale v6rite a toute cette science brillante du 
fard de 1'impiete. 5 

Le Choeur se lamente sur le sort malheureux de Storge, qui 
va voir perir Iphis. 

La famille desolee entre en scene ; la mere pleure sur son 
enfant. Jephthe est inebranlable. 

Seul, je suis force de commettre cetto action atroce et d'en souflfrir. 

Mais c'est volontairement, de ton plein gre, que tu te forces a la com- 
mettre. 6 

Jephthe doit soutenir une discussion semblable a celle qu'il 
a deja cue avec le pretre. La dialectique de Storge est faible; 
mais son coeur maternel a des arguments irresistibles. Le pere 

1 Jephthes, v. 649 : Praeclara dictu res honor, victoria, 

Decus, triumphus, parta bello gloria. 

a Jephthes, v. 782-783. 3 Jephthes, v. 898-899. 

4 Jephthea, v. 910-911. 5 Jephthes, v. 1053-1055. 

6 Jephthes, v. 1159-1160. 

Les tragedies religieuses de Buchanan 129 

doit repousser les supplications de sa fille qui ne veut pas 
mourir. II prend sur lui toute la responsabilite du crime qu'il 
doit commettre et qu'il commettra, puisqu'il s'y est engage 
devant Dieu. Vaincue par cet heroi'sme, sure de la tendresse 
profonde de son pcre qui la voue malgre lui a la mort, Iphis 
se soumet aux consequences de la promesse temeraire de 
Jephthe avec une sublime resignation qui excite 1'enthousiasme 
du Choeur. 

La mere voudrait esperer encore : un messager vient lui 
faire un long recit de la mort heroi'que de sa fille ou elle doit 
trouver une consolation. 1 Storge repousse cette consolation: 
le courage d'Iphis en face de la mort ne fait qu'exasperer la 
douleur qui angoisse son ame. 2 

1 On voit que Buchanan se soumet par avance aux rigueurs de 1'unite de 
temps, telles que le XVII 6 - siecle devait les imposer. La fille de son Jephthe 
ne demande pas un delai de deux mois pour aller pleurer sur les montagnes. 
Sa tragedie montre " en un jour un seul fait accompli." C'est sans raison que 
Vossius (Inst. Poet. II., III.), lui reproche de prolonger Faction pendant une 
duree de deux mois au moins. 

8 Jephthes, v. 1445-1450. 

H. DE LA V. DE M. 


Buchanan's " Baptistes " : Was it translated 
by Milton? 

The Rev. Francis Peck, Prebendary of Lincoln, made a 
literary suggestion that was certainly apposite when he described 
the translation of Buchanan's Baptistes which he edited as the 
work of Milton. Milton and Buchanan had various literary 
characteristics in common, and a work in which these character- 
istics on the part of Buchanan were remarkably illustrated might 
readily have induced Milton to render it into English. The 
Prebendary also conveyed a sincere compliment to Buchanan in 
the course of his researches on the subject. It was only after his 
investigations were well advanced that he was led to consider the 
original author to be Buchanan. He entered upon his scheme 
of editorial exposition under the belief that the drama was an 
original composition of Milton's. He elaborated his theory of 
Milton's translation of the piece with an ingenuity great as his 
prefatory boldness. Of this skilfulness it must be said that it 
shows an uncommon innate faculty for conjecture. The con- 
cluding link of his glistering chain of evidence may be regarded 
as somewhat the most dazzling if not the strongest of the series. 
Here he proceeds upon the daring assumption that it is fair to 
think of Milton in the wholly new character of a literary juggler. 
Regarding the words on the title-page of the pamphlet And 
presented to the Sing's Most Excellent Majesty by the Author 
which form a veiled summary of Buchanan's dedication to James 
I., he speaks as follows: " Which crafty trick of his makes the 
translator to pass for an author; and, if he was found out, 
furnished him with a very ready salvo, that it was the author 
(Buchanan), and not him the translator (Milton) who presented 
it to the King's most excellent majesty." The attitude here 
depicted is quite un-Miltonic. 

The appropriateness of Milton's acting as a translator of a 
poem by Buchanan is undoubtedly considerable. Buchanan's 

Buchanan's " Baptistes " 131 

mind had two distinct phases : the one was in close affinity with 
the genius of Dryden, the other had an equally intimate 
resemblance to the genius of Milton. Like Dryden, he was 
practical, witty, an expert critic of human folly. Like Milton, 
he was austere, idyllic in thought, and also an accomplished 
exponent of the inner meaning of words. The individual 
examples of his mental similitude to Milton are striking. The 
Mai(f Calender, of the "Elegies" almost at once suggests 
L' Allegro. The outline of the elder poet's narrative has the 
same vividness; the personages, the scenic effects, the true 
pastoral fashion of its events, are all coloured with a natural 
magic which re-appears in Milton's song of the earth's gladness. 
And the festive burden of the story is handed on from the one 
poet to the other : 

Carpe rosas et, ni carpas, peritura ligustra, 
Et vitae oredas haec simulacra tuse. 

Gather the rose, the privet's faery flower, 
Emblems alike of man's too transient hour. 

The structural art at work in Samson Agonistes is also that of 
the Baptistes and Jephthes. Again, Milton pursued the general 
argument of Buchanan's De Jiire Regni apnd Scotos when he 
wrote the Defence of the People of England. And although the 
detailed discussion is very dissimilar in the two treatises, there is 
complete unison of thought on the subject at issue. The con- 
junction of two such minds as those of Milton and Buchanan in 
the rendering of the story of the Baptist would have been an 
episode in our literature of rare interest. Unfortunately, there 
seems good reason to think that the sole commendation of the 
view is its character as a charming romance developed from the 
brain of a zealous antiquary. 

Mr. Peck gives an unvarnished account of the rendering 
of the Baptistes which he published as Milton's. He says 
that having become a keen student of both Cavalier and 
Puritan pamphlets, he was brought to the discovery of this par- 
ticular work. Its primary title was Tyrannical Government 
Anatomized: or, a discourse concerning evil counselors, being 
the fife and death of John the Baptist. The date was 1642. 
The original form of the translation was singular enough. It 
was printed as if it were prose. The fact that it was a poem 
occurred to the editor, he says, before he had read six lines. The 

132 Buchanan's "Baptistes" 

perusal of ten lines more convinced him that it was a tragedy. 
Not much further on he decided that before him lay a poetical 
achievement by Milton. The peremptoriness of the verdict 
affords a very appreciable contrast to the lengthened list of 
reasons which he states on behalf of Milton's authorship of this 
version of Buchanan's drama. The chief of these reasons are 
concerned with comparisons drawn between Milton's style and 
that of the Baptistes translator. External evidence is reduced 
to a vanishing point: it takes shape only with the mention of 
Milton's own projected poem on the subject of John the Baptist. 
Certain items of the internal evidence also are curiously inept. 
The editor seeks, for example, to support his plea by citing as 
Milton's certain features that are actual constituents of the 
original. Among such elements may be named these: "The 
Choice of the Heroes," " The bitter aversion for the Clergy of all 
sorts discovered in it " ; and " The great spirit of Liberty which 
runs through it." And to this sort of mistake there is added the 
sweeping declaration that " there was no one else but he then 
living (at least of that party) who could have done it in such a 
masterly way as here we see it." 

The only parts of the writer's argument which have pertinence 
are those in which he sets forth various resemblances between 
Milton's art and this translator's. They are three in all : 

1. The peculiar Way of Spelling. 

2. The whole Manner and Turn of the Style. 

3. The resemblance in structure between Samson Agonist eg 
and the Baptistes. 

As both Prof. Masson and Canon Beeching have perfectly 
established, Milton had a system of spelling peculiarly his own. 
But this system was not developed till the composition of Paradise 
Lost. As a test instance under this head there may be taken 
the spelling employed by Milton for the personal pronouns in e. 
The spelling of these pronouns with a double e is frequent in 
Paradise Lost; it occurs also from time to time in the Baptistes 
translation attributed to him. But there are two definite 
arguments against this usage in the translation being his. First, 
the spelling of these words in C omits, which was written almost 
contemporaneously with the English version of Buchanan's 
drama under notice, i? totally unlike that of this translation, 
being in fact, virtually conformed to modern usage. The 

Buchanan's "Baptistes" 133 

probability is that had Milton been the author of the 
translation, the orthography adopted would have been the 
orthography of Comus. Second, when Milton did write the 
double e in the pronouns, he was carrying out a distinct 
system, a system having some resemblance to the practice 
of Habington in his Castara. He differentiates between 
the spelling of these pronouns in such a way as to suggest 
that emphasis was intended. The employment of the double 
f by Buchanan's translator is indiscriminate, as it was by 
the later Elizabethan prose writers. A well-defined instance 
of Milton's practice regarding these pronouns is subjoined, 
Paradise Lost, Book V., 11. 893-7: 

So spake the Seraph Abdiel faithful found, 
Among the faithless, faithful only hee, 
Among innumerable false, unmov'd, 
Unshak'n, unseduc'd, unterrifi'd, 
His Loyaltie he kept, his Love, his Zeale. 

It may be urged that the pronoun orthography of the trans- 
lation may mark a transition stage of Milton's system of spelling. 
Such an idea would be far-fetched. 

2. The contention that the whole turn of the style of this 
Baptistes translation argues for Milton's workmanship is not 
supported by any illustrations on the part of the editor. He 
simply affirms it. The true Miltonic hall-marks do not stamp 
the rendering. Four of these are of particular importance the 
character of Milton's blank verse, his use of inversion, the nature 
of his language, and his use of particular metres. The quality 
of the first of these is individual and alone. Keats despaired 
of imitating it. In Milton's hand it maintained a uniform power. 
Something of its fulness and wealth appears even in the 
metrical fragments which he translated from Greek and Italian. 
The blank verse of this Baptistes translation has never such a 
richness of quality. While the epithets of one of our greatest 
definitions of poetry "deep, majestic, smooth, and strong "- 
are admirably suitable to Milton's blank verse, only one of them, 
and that the least significant, can be fairly applied to the blank 
verse of the Buchanan translation imputed to him. The use of 
inversion, 1 too, is wanting in the metrical art of Buchanan's 

J Mr. Robert Bridges in his volume on "Milton'a Prosody" deals carefully 
with the question of Milton's "Inversion of Rhythm." What he says on this 
point tallies as proof with the result stated in the present article, where only 
Milton's use of linguistic Inversion is considered. 

134 Buchanan's " Baptistes " 

anonymous translator. Inversion, like other literary devices, 
Milton employed at greater length in his mature works than in 
those of his early career. But Comus is occasionally marked by 
it effectively. No parallel to the following example and others 
is to be met with in this Baptistes translation : 

Against the opposing will and arm of heaven, 
May never this just sword be lifted up. 

The argument from diction is also adverse to Milton's author- 
ship of this translation. The diction of the translation, though 
always accurate and well-minted, compares but ill with the 
phrasing of Milton. Comus is thus a splendid mosaic. It would 
be fruitless to search the translation for lines comparable to 
these : 

The grey- hooded Even 
Like a sad votarist in palmer's weeds 
Rose from the hindmost wheels of Phoebus wain. 

Or to this: 

Storied of old in high immortal verse. 

Further, there is in the piece a remarkable difference from 
Milton's work in regard to peculiarities of metre. Both Comus 
and Samson Agonistes the second drama may here be fairly con- 
sidered for the sake of fuller comparison have metrical usages 
altogether different from those of this Baptistes translation. The 
set use of rhyme occurs in the lyrical passages of the earlier 
work, and in the concluding lines of the later one. The practice 
is opposed to the custom of Buchanan's translator. He 
generally writes in blank verse, but concludes each important 
speech with a rhymed couplet, exaggerating a fashion of the 
Elizabethan dramatists. The mere fact that the lyrical 
passages in Comus are all rhymed, whereas Buchanan's 
translator keeps invariably to blank verse for his choruses, 
militates against Milton's being held the translator. Samson 
Agonistes, written on the same model as the Baptistes, has a 
chorus. But here again the practice of Milton and that of the 
unknown translator are at variance. Milton employed for 
his choruses those irregular measures which, thoroughly 
pleasing and successful, virtually introduced a new element into 
English lyrical verse. Milton, it is true, wrote the peculiar 

Buchanan's "Baptistes" 135 

irregular measures of his Samson Agonistes in his later years. 
But the absence from both his dramas of the use of the blank 
verse in his lyrical monologues largely precludes the supposition 
that he would at any time have selected blank verse as his 
method of expression in choric writing. 

3. That Milton in his Samson Agonistes imitated the struc- 
ture of Buchanan's two dramas is no evidence of his having 
translated the Baptistes. It proves that they were of one mind 
on a point of literary art.; but it does not prove more than this. 
It might be said with very similar justice that Pope had a hand 
in the composition of The Medal because he wrote The 
Dnnciad. Admiration Milton had for Buchanan, and he did 
not hesitate to declare it. It may be also admitted that he to 
some unimportant degree imitated Buchanan's dramatic work 
when he composed his Samson Agonistes. But neither 
admiration nor imitation implies that he actually translated one 
of his dramas. The view that he did so from either motive 
is practically baseless. 

On the side of the advocate of Milton's authorship of 
this translation, it must be granted that its general 
literary merit is high. It is accurate yet imaginative, 
while the verse has vigour as well as music. Its literary 
excellence and its strange history unite to give it a 
fascination which at the time of its discovery might well 
have tended to deceive an observant student. Who the name- 
less translator may have been, it were vain to attempt to settle. 
A satire of much excellency long associated with the genius 
of Dunbar is now recognised as the work of an unknown poet. 
What is the record of Scottish lyrical verse before Burns but the 
computing of nameless gifted writers ? Anonymous, too, must 
be the work under discussion. To the admirer of Buchanan, 
however, it is at all events of value that, while the rendering 
cannot be Milton's, it is not unworthy of being regarded as his, 
nor of the poetical fame of the great Scottish humanist. 

W. B. 


Buchanan's Psalms An Eighteenth Century 

MANY translations, of the Psalms into Latin verse were made in 
the period of the Reformation and for a century after it ; and 
these differed very much from each other. The Reformers who 
took up this piece of work were more faithful to the original, 
Beza's Psalms being based on the Hebrew, and accompanied by a 
literal Latin translation thereof. The Humanists who translated 
the Psalms seem to have worked from the Vulgate, and they 
naturally treated their original with more freedom and aimed 
at producing correct and elegant Latin verse. Thus treated the 
versified Psalms of more than one Humanist became a school- 
book, enjoying on the one hand the approval of leading 
Reformers, and on the other qualified not at least to corrupt the 
Latin of schoolboys. Buchanan's Psalms formed a schoolbook in 
Scotland from the end of the sixteenth to the middle of the 
nineteenth century. Principal Donaldson, as the readers of this 
book know, has a lively memory of this feature of Scottish 
education. 1 

It is curious to know that the pre-eminent excellence of 
Buchanan's Psalms, acknowledged by many of the leaders of the 
Reformation and by many great scholars in his own day has not 
always been undisputed either in England or in Scotland. The 
translation of the Psalms into Latin verse did not cease in Scot- 
land with Buchanan. I have before me a number of volumes 
belonging to the eighteenth century, which contain attempts of 
the kind by a considerable number of Scottish scholars. And in 
the middle of the eighteenth century a regular attack was made 
on the use in schools of Buchanan's Latin Psalms, and another 
book of Latin Psalms was proposed to be substituted for it, at 

1 [See Appendix IX. Ed.] 

Buchanan's Psalms 137 

least for the lower forms of schools. The version thus favoured 
was that of Arthur Johnston ; and a controversy took place as to 
the respective merits of Buchanan and Johnston, conducted with 
considerable acrimony and on neither side very conclusively. Of 
that controversy this volume may fittingly contain some short 

Arthur Johnston was a man of very great eminence in his day 
and had a curious career. He was born at Keith Hall in Aber- 
deenshire, in 1587, five years after the death of Buchanan, gave 
very early strong evidence of talent and made his way to the 
University of Aberdeen. After a course there in which he no 
doubt attained great proficiency in Latin, he went abroad, travel- 
led through Italy and took a course of medicine at the Univer- 
sity of Padua, graduating M.D. there. He then passed through 
other countries of Europe, especially Germany, Holland, and 
France. In the last named he settled, being well received there 
on account of his reputation as a poet, and liking the country as 
Buchanan had done. In fact he married a French lady and 
stayed in France twenty years. In 1632 he returned to his 
native country, and at once took such a position that in 1637 he 
was made Rector of Aberdeen University. It was the Professors 
who elected him to that office. Nor was this the crowning act 
of his history. He migrated to the English Court, where he 
bocame physician to Charles I., and died in the year 1641. 

Arthur Johnston's version of the Psalms became a popular 
book and was printed several times. His Psalms are all written 
in one metre, the elegiac hexameter and pentameter, except the 
119th, which, as if to show that the writer did not require to 
limit himself to the Ovidian stanza, is written in as many metres 
as the Psalm has parts, viz., twenty-two. The translation 
is closer on the whole to the original, and while the whole 
work shows a very elegant command of Latin verse with much 
true feeling, it is undoubtedly easier to read, as no doubt 
it must have been to write, than Buchanan's. It is quite 
intelligible how it came to be thought that Johnston's 
Psalms were a better book than Buchanan's, at least for 
beginners. It may also be the case that Buchanan was 
altogether somewhat out of favour in the early eighteenth 
century. Various attacks were at that time made on him 
as a historian, and neither the high Tory politics nor the 
strict orthodoxy of the day could incline men to the rugged old 

138 Buchanan's Psalms 

scholar. However that may be, the middle of the eighteenth 
century saw the Assembly recommending Johnston's Psalms for 
use in schools. In the Acts of Assembly of the year 1740, the 
Assembly is found to have before it a petition of Mr. William 
Lauder, Teacher (i.e., Professor) of Humanity in Edinburgh, 
craving the Church's recommendation for having taught in 
schools Dr. Arthur Johnston's Paraphrase of the Psalms of 
David in Latin verse, etc. ; and this recommendation was after- 
wards granted. This caused the friends of Buchanan's Psalms 
to bestir themselves and to set to work to pick holes in John- 
ston's Psalms in order to discredit them. The controversy thus 
begun in Scotland soon crossed the border, and in 1741 Mr. 
William Benson, one of the Auditors of the English Exchequer, 
who had shortly before edited a new edition of Johnston's 
Psalms, with a Prefatory Discourse on post-classical Latin 
poetry a somewhat pretentious and very inadequate treatment 
of the subject issued a Supplement to his Prefatory Discourse, 
in which he throws aside all reserve he had not formerly depre- 
ciated Buchanan and declares that " Johnston's translation of 
the Psalms is in every respect greatly superior to Buchanan's." 
This challenge was met with little delay by the great Latinist, 
Thomas Ruddiman (writer of a Latin grammar, parts of which 
perhaps still live in schools) then keeper of the Advocates' 
Library in Edinburgh, who was in the best position to write on 
the subject as he had edited and published handsome editions 
both of Buchanan and of Johnston, a few years before. 

Other contributions were made to the subject. Mr. John 
Love, schoolmaster at Dalkeith, published, in 1740, Buchanan's 
and Johnston's Paraphrase of the Psalms compared, and in the 
same year appeared Calumny Displayed by Mr. William 
Lauder, who also wrote a Preface to a volume of Scottish Musae 
Sacrae (1739), containing Johnston's Psalms and other transla- 
tions of parts of the Bible into Latin verse. The controversy, 
however, is only fully developed in the writings above mentioned 
of Benson and Ruddiman. Though I find it impossible now to 
find any spark of heat in its ashes, it affords several matters of 
interest to the historical student. 

In the first place Johnston's friends appear to have done for 
him what he had not dreamed of doing for himself, when they 
compared him with Buchanan. In his Ad Lectorem Elegia, a 
somewhat charming poem prefixed to his Psalms, he admits that 


(Physician to King Charles I.) 
Who also translated the Psalms into Latin verse. 

An Eighteenth Century Controversy 139 

people may naturally be surprised at seeing a thing done again 
which Buchanan had done so well and it might almost be thought 
had done once for all. 

"Cur ego Grampigenae relego vestigia Vatis 
Cur Buchananaeae fila resume lyrae ? " 

he asks, and he replies that he would not dream of comparing 
himself with Buchanan who has shown himself as great a poet 
as Homer or as Horace, and that he has translated the Psalms 
in quite a different manner. Buchanan has treated David as 
King and clothed him with royal robes, Johnston is to treat 
him as prophet, and to set him forth in homelier dress, not by any 
means comparing himself with so great a poet but hoping that 
by his humbler labours the fame of Buchanan will shine all the 
brighter. He had also, when in France, defended Buchanan 
against the challenge of a would-be rival, a Dr. Eglisemius 
(Eaglesham ?) physician to the King, who had asked the Paris 
Medical Faculty to decide on the merits of his Paraphrase of 
Psalm civ. as compared with that of Buchanan. On this 
aspirant to poetic fame Johnston pours out some three hundred 
lines of invective, exhausting the resources of the Latin language 
in calling him fool, madman, and quack. The episode shows 
clearly how high Buchanan's fame stood at that period. When 
Johnston's Psalms were produced, however, they also found 
warm admirers in various lands, being introduced into schools 
in Holland and calling forth eloquent tributes in Latin verse 
from scholars both at home and abroad. Johnston also came to 
be called by men of eminence the facile princeps poet of his 
day. That his Psalms were placed in competition with 
Buchanan's as we have seen is not after all unnatural. 

Auditor Benson goes more thoroughly to work than any other 
of the writers in question in his disparagement of Buchanan's 
Psalms ; and for one thing undertakes to show that the circum- 
stances in which they were produced explain their inferiority. 
Buchanan's own account of the matter in the Vita Sua is to the 
effect that it was when he was shut up by the Inquisition for 
several months in a monastery in Spain, at that time mainly, that 
he translated the Psalms into various measures. He was thus 
shut up in order that he might be more accurately instructed 
by the monks who, he says, proved neither unkindly nor ill-dis- 
posed, though they were utterly ignorant of religious truth. 

140 Buchanan's Psalms 

Benson amplifies this account of the matter, taking from Mac- 
Kenzie, a Scottish historian who wrote several volumes 
called Lives of Scottish Writers, the statement that the 
translating of the Psalms was a penance imposed on Buchanan 
ill the monastery. From this he infers that the translation was 
done in great haste, as Buchanan was very anxious to get out of 
prison. Ruddiman's answer to this is complete. He says that 
MacKenzie, from whatever quarter he got this story which, 
besides being unsupported, is on the face of it unlikely and in- 
credible, was apt to be credulous. 1 Buchanan does not say that 
he finished his translation of the Psalms in the monastery, but 
implies the contrary. Such men as the monks were would not 
likely set him such a task ; and the Psalms were not published 
for twelve or thirten years after the period in question. Ruddi- 
man might have argued from the Psalms themselves that they 
have not at all the appearance of a piece of taskwork either 
unwillingly or hastily performed. He does not do this, but 
spends most of the three hundred and ninety pages, to which 
his vindication extends, in minute and detailed examination, first 
of Johnston's Psalms then of Buchanan's, in respect of metre, 
omissions, superfluous additions, inappropriate pagan allusions, 
of words not classical or otherwise improperly used, of the pause 
and its improper position or omission, etc., etc. Benson's 
fifty-three pages had also been mainly occupied with 
detailed criticism of such matters, and the reader of 
this assailant of Buchanan soon sees that his strictures 
are often unfair and strained and such as a little effort to under- 
stand his author would have kept him from making. The same 
is true, though perhaps in a somewhat less degree, of Ruddiman. 
It was necessary perhaps that his book should be written; it is 
by no means necessary or in any way to be recommended that it 
should be read now, except perhaps by the professed historian 
of modern Latin verse. There are certainly scholars connected 
with our University and with our Buchanan celebration whose 
opinion on this side of the controversy it would be interesting to 
hear. Even a layman in Latin prosody, ho.wever, may read the 
Psalms of Buchanan and of Johnston and may see some points in 
them. The criticism displayed in the controversy, even by 
Ruddiman, is somewhat narrow and technical; there is a want 

1 Compare Hume Brown's George Buchanan, Humanist and Reformer, p. 
259 " MacKenzie is always to be taken with large reservations." 

An Eighteenth Century Controversy 141 

in it of broad literary appreciation, the whole matter remains, 
in the hands of both combatants alike, one for grammarians. 

What strikes the modern reader of these poems is that the 
whole idea of turning the Psalms of David into correct Latin 
verse was a somewhat absurd one, so that the debate as to the 
mistakes made in such exercises by this scholar or that, and as 
to which of them did it best, is lacking altogether in substance 
and reality. The thing these scholars tried to do may be pro- 
nounced impossible. The Psalms are made up originally of the 
most concrete and direct and intense religious utterances. There 
is art in their composition no doubt, but the matter outweighs 
the form in them. The Psalmists wrote under a kind of compul- 
sion; the new religious experiences and aspirations with which 
their minds and the minds of their people were so fully charged 
had to be put in metrical form in order to secure public 
national utterance of them in the temple service. It 
is their fulness of religious meaning that gives the 
original songs their character ; it is a full and power- 
ful religious faith that seeks in them the simplest and 
straightest outlet. To clothe such outpourings in the ingenuities 
and artificialities of classical Latin versification is really to alter 
their character completely and to put something different in 
their place. Beza's Latin Psalms do not give this impression. 
They are done straight from the Hebrew and into the simplest 
Latin verse. Buchanan on the other hand changes the Psalms 
into great and powerful Latin poems. No one who reads these 
poems of his will doubt that he had real religious feeling and 
that the sentiment of the Psalms took strong hold of him. But 
he was too full of Horace and Virgil and other ancient poets to 
use any form but theirs for the expression of what the Psalms 
gave him. His metres produce massive effects, often not present 
in the original Psalms, and the religious spirit of the Old Testa- 
ment spirit enters into a splendid amalgamation with the pride 
and vigour of Humanism. 

Johnston's Psalms are more of a translation than Buchanan's ; 
his work, as he himself said, was of quite a different character 
from that of the older scholar. His metre itself involved this, 
as he said and as his readers have remarked. To drop every 
second line into the pentameter keeps the verse from soaring. 
Johnston follows his original more evenly on the whole and adds 
less of his own. He is unequal to the grander passages, best in 

142 Buchanan's Psalms 

the contemplative and plaintive. On the whole one would judge 
that Johnston's Psalms were better suited for beginners in the 
schools, but that Buchanan's would do far more for boys of taste 
and of ambition. 

A great deal more light could no doubt be shed on this subject 
by some one who could devote more time to it than I have been 
able to give. One leaves it with a strong desire that the Latin 
Psalms of Scotland which form so interesting a part of our 
national inheritance may not be forgotten, and that the power 
to appreciate them may not be diminished or lost in the country 
which produced them. 

A. M. 


Buchanan's Erotic Verse. 

THE humanists of the Renaissance, following the example of 
the classic poets of an earlier age, showed their common kinship 
to humanity by writing erotic verse on similar lines. In many 
instances, however, they allowed the tricks of style and felicities 
of expression to lead them into licentiousness. The composition 
of such love songs was part of the discipline of the scholars of the 
period, who endeavoured to show off their facility in happy turns 
of expression and clever play upon words. There was more of 
the pride of skilful versifying than real sentiment of the heart. 
Every poet, it may be said, falls a victim to Love, real or 
imaginary, and lays the best offering of his wit on the altar of 

In the time of Buchanan, when Latin was the language of 
culture and scholarship, almost every scholar who had any 
pretensions to be considered a poet imitated the amatory verse 
of such writers of antiquity as Ovid, Horace, Catullus or 
Tibullus. A previous century saw the Italian poets exaggerat- 
ing this kind of composition, and almost exhausting the entire 
vocabulary of word and phrase in their desire to surpass one 
another in absurdity, and often in obscenity. To write such 
verses was the fashion of the time, and we are not surprised to 
find Buchanan entering the lists, while he was resident in 
Portugal, and inditing such tit-bits of Latin verse as the Ad 
Neaeram, In Leonoram, In Gelliam, and Ad Briandum Vallium, 
Senator em Burdegalensem, pro Lena Apologia. Some of these 
literary intrusions into the region of feminine coquetry have 
tended to create misgivings in the minds of some of his 
friendly critics, and gave occasion to detractors to exhibit the 
venom of their spleen. But the student of Buchanan who 
understands the circumstances of his time and the occasions for 
the penning of such erotic verse, need not disturb himself. The 
laxity of expression, which such poets allowed themselves in 
verses dealing with that evasive and illusive subject, woman, does 
not imply that the writers were themselves lax in their morals. 

144 Buchanan's Erotic Verse 

There is the case of Beza, a great offender in this respect, who 
solemnly assures us that though his Muse was lax his life was 
chaste. 1 On the other hand, Muret was so lax in morals that 
the grossness of his verse forms a practical commentary upon the 
manner of his life. Buchanan like Beza, was a man of pure life, 
and his verse is much less objectionable. The elegy (Elegiarum 
Liber III.} Ad Briandiim Vallium, etc., has puzzled many of 
Buchanan's biographers, but its title reveals its purport. It is 
a jen d' esprit, written in the ironic vein at the time and in the 
country of Rabelais, when such poetical effusions were the pas- 
time of the humanists. An amount of poetical licence was 
assumed at this period which would not be permitted now. The 
Councillor Briand de Vallee, to whom this remarkable elegy is 
addressed, was a member of the Parliament of Bordeaux, and 
founded a monthly lectureship on the Epistles of St. Paul. He 
was considered by Rabelais one of his best friends, and is char- 
acterised by him as the " tant bon, tant vertueux, tant docte, et 
equitable president Briand de Vallee." 2 

When a selection of such pieces as the Elegiae, Silvae, etc., 
was published, in 1567, Buchanan says in an introductory 
epistle to his friend Peter Daniel 3 " For my own part, 
I was not extremely solicitous to recall them from perdition ; 
for the subjects are generally of a trivial nature ; and 
such as at this period of life are at once calculated 
to inspire me with disgust and shame. But as Pierre 
Montaure 4 and some other friends, to whom I neither 

1 The Latin Poets of the classical age made the same excuse. 

Nam castum esse decet pium poetam 
Ipsum ; versiculos nihil neeesse est. Catullus. 
Crede mihi ; mores distant a carmine nostro : 
Vita verecunda est, Musa jocosa mihi. Ovid. 
Innocuos censura potest permittere lusus ; 
Lasciva est nobis pagina, vita proba. Martial. 

2 Rabelais, Liv. iv., Chap, xxxvii. 

* Peter Daniel, a native of St. Benoist sur Loire, was an advocate living 
principally in Orleans. He held the office of baitti of the Abbey of Fleuri. 
Scioppius characterises him as a storehouse of every species of antiquities. 
Scaliger and Turnebus acknowledge themselves indebted to him for the 
communication of his manuscript treasures. He died in 1603. Irving's 
Memoirs of George Buchanan, p. 213. 

4 Pierre Montaur6 was Master of Requests, a Latin poet of some dis- 
tinction, and skilled in mathematical science. He died at Sancerre sur Loire, 
19th August 1570. 

Buchanan's Erotic Verse 145 

can nor ought to refuse any request, demanded them with such 
earnestness, I have employed some of my leisure hours in collect- 
ing a portion, and placing it in a state of arrangement. With 
this specimen, which consists of one book of Elegies, another of 
Miscellanies, and a third of hendecasyllables, I in the meantime 
present you. When it shall suit your convenience, I beg you 
will communicate them to Mantaure, Des Mesmes, 1 and other 
philological friends, without whose advice I trust you will not 
adopt any measure relative to their publication. In a short 
time, I propose sending a book of iambics, another of epigrams, 
another of odes, and perhaps some other pieces of a similar 
denomination : all these I wish to be at the disposal of my 
friends, as I have finally determined to rely more on their judg- 
ment than on my own." 

Buchanan felt some doubt about publishing such effusions, 
but relied more upon the judgment of his literary friends than 
upon his own. It would have deprived the modern critic of a 
glimpse into the large heart and versatile mind of such a poet 
had he not left these specimens of his nimble wit and ready pen. 
He was what the Scots call a ' buirdly ' man too large for the 
microscopical vision of narrow-minded men, who fail to see the 
true man in their eagerness to detect the flaws in his character. 
The late Dr. Robert Wallace takes a broader view. 2 " One 
biographer, a very competent authority on this period of Scottish 
history, says, somewhat severely, that these pieces ought not to 
have been written by the man who wrote Franciscanus a power- 
ful satire on the vices and hypocrisy of the monks. I must say 
that, with every deference to a critic highly worthy of respect, I 
am not able to see it. The Franciscanus was essentially an 
exposure of dishonesty, not so much of the vices practised under 
the cowl, as of the shameful trickery of using the cowl to cloak 
them. As far as honesty and consistency go, there is no reason 
why an honest and consistent man should not have written every 
word of these ' Lena ' sketches. Even from an artistic point of 
view they will stand inspection. The subject, of course, is a 
revolting one, and so is Dame Quickly but would any man of 
average robustness of mind wish Dame Quickly unwritten ? 

1 Henry des Mesmes, Master of Requests, derived his lineage from the 
native country of Buchanan, and was a great encourager of learning. His 
opinion in literary matters was deferred to by many. He died in August 1596. 

2 George Buchanan, p. 106. 

146 Buchanan's Erotic Verse 

Many people seem to forget that while the real itself may be 
unpleasant, the artistic image of the real may be a delight. We 
should shrink from Caliban in the flesh, but Shakespeare throws 
a charm over him ; Pandemonium is not, I believe, a sweet scene, 
but Milton's account of it is sublime; Falstaff was disreputable, 
but he makes an admirable stage figure ; a corpse is an unlovely 
object, but Rembrandt's ' Dissectors ' has a fascination." Re- 
ferring to Buchanan's Leonoras, Dr. Wallace goes on to say that 
" in point of graphic power" they " are second only to the 
Jolly Beggars, while their savage and even hideous realism, con- 
trasting with the elegance of the Latin line, produce a piquant 
effect from the mere point of view of art. But I demur to any 
suggestion that these or any of Buchanan's so-called ' amorous ' 
poetry are corrupting or intended to be, or that they exhibit any 
gloating over the degrading or the degraded on the part of the 
writer. From references in them I believe they were satires 
written for the warning of ' College ' youth, and resembled 
certain passages in the Book of Proverbs and elsewhere in the 
Bible, where certain counsels, highly necessary and practical, are 
conveyed in language not deficient either in directness nor detail. 
They could not possibly scandalise or tempt any one, being 
written in Latin. Mr. Podsnap and the ' young person ' would 
pass equally scathless, for they could not read them. Only men 
who could construe and scan Horace could understand them, and 
these might be trusted to see their true drift." 

This view is, I think, a fair and reasonable position to take 
up. With a few exceptions we find the love verses of Buchanan 
in two sets, addressed to Leonora and Neaera. The series to 
Leonora appear to be modelled on Horace's Ode (IV. 13.) to 
Lyce Audivere, Lyce, di mea vota and the twenty poems 
contain every imaginable kind of abuse. Leonora does not seem 
to have been a real person, but merely a fictitious character 
around whom the poet allows his fancy to play. Those addressed 
to Neaera 1 are much happier in theme and expression, showing 

1 Neaera was the poetical mistress of Tibullus, Marullus, Secundus, 
Bonefonius, and many other poets besides. Hence the allusion of Milton 

Were it not better done as others use, 
To sport with Amaryllis in the shade, 
Or with the tangles of Neaera's hair ? 

The question which Milton asks is whether it were not better to apply himself 
to the composition of amatory pastorals or of love elegies. 

Buchanan's Erotic Verse 147 

the poet's aptitude for piquant turns of thought and delicate 
phrasing. The beauty and the charm of Neaera afford the 
theme of the epigrams, which contain little or no passion, but 
rather simulated emotion. The best known of this series is the 
thirty-first, De Neaera : 

Ilia mihi semper praesenti dura Neaera, 

Me, quoties absum, semper abesse dolet : 

Non desiderio nostri, non moeret amore, 
Sed se non nostro posse dolore frui, 

which may be freely rendered: 

Neaera is cold whene'er I appear, 

But sighs at my absence again, 
Not that she loves me, and so sheds a tear, 

But desires to witness my paiii. 

The translation of James Hannay runs thus : 

Neaera is harsh at our every greeting, 

Whene'er I am absent she wants me again ; 

'Tis not that she loves me or cares for our meeting, 
She misses the pleasure of seeing my pain. 

He adds that ' Menage used to say that he would have given his 
best benefice to have written the lines and Menage held some 
fat ones.' Menage, who was an excellent philologer himself, 
has given a rendering of these verses in one of his Italian 
Madrigals, beginning, 

Chi creduto 1'avrebbe, 
L'empia, la cruda lole 
Del mio partir si duole. 

These epigrams of Buchanan are terse in diction, pungent in 
thought, flexible and pointed. They were greeted with the well 
deserved admiration of competent critics, and many have 
imitated them. In his verses In Gelliam, he indulges in playful 
satires upon those ladies who painted or adorned themselves by 
wearing brass rings and glass gems. These could not possibly do 
anything else than amuse the reader: there is no suggestion of 
pruriency in any of them. 

For the higher type of womanhood Buchanan had nothing but 
praise and appreciation, as may be seen from his verses Ad 
Mildredam Gulielmi Caecilii uxorem, matronam virtute et erudi- 
tione praestanttm, or the Ad Camillam Morelliam. The latter 
runs : 

148 Buchanan's Erotic Verse 

Camilla, multu me mihi carior, 
Aut si quid ipso est me mihi carius, 
Camilla, doctorum parentum 
Et patriae deems et voluptas : 

Ni Gratiae te plus oculis ament, 
Ni te Camoenae plus oculis ameut, 
Nee Gratias gratas, nee ipsas 
Esse rear lepidas Camoenas : 

Quae virgo nondum nubilis, artibus 
Doctis Minervam, pectine Apollinem, 
Cantu Camoenas, et lepore 

Vel superes Charites, vel aeques. 

Hos ferre fructus, Utenhovi, decet 
Laurum, vireto quae teneram comam 
Nutrivit, et ramos refudit 
Castalio saturata rore. 

The tenderness of the poet's heart is revealed in these lines, and 
he displays the gracefulness with which he could touch such 
themes. The outlook of Buchanan was wide, and he felt that 
the poet's dominion was bound only by man's environment. All 
things interested him, and in his versatility we see the deep 
veneration which he felt when thus standing in presence of the 
mystery of God's marvellous universe. 

There is an interesting reference to his erotic verse in the first 
poem of the Iamb on Liber, addressed to William Haddon, one 
of the Masters of the Court of Requests to Queen Elizabeth, who 
was also a noted Latinist. It begins : 

Frustra senectam, Haddone, provocas mcam 

Laeta ad juventae munia, 
Musaaque longo desides silentio 

Arenam in antiquam vocas. 

{ ' These lines, moreover, deserve to be quoted," says Dr. Hume 
Brown, 1 " as they seem to place beyond doubt that Leonora and 
Neaera were mere names on which he exercised his fancy. 
Haddon, it appears, had called on his friend for a poem, such as 
he had once known so well how to turn. But, Buchanan, now 
on the verge of his sixtieth year, thus replies : : In vain you 
challenge an old man to the sallies of his youth. Even in the 
years when such trifling is more seemly, rarely did the Muse 
visit me, born as I was in mountainous Britain, in a rude age, 
among a rude people. Now when declining age has left me a 

1 George Buchanan, Humanist and Reformer, p. 140. 

Buchanan's Erotic Verse 149 

few white hairs, when I have all but told the tale of three score 
years, and all my spirits droop, Phoebus turns me a deaf ear, and 
the Muses harken not to my call. It yields me no joy now to 
sing how the golden hair of Phyllis is dearer to me than the locks 
of Bacchus, or to indite stinging iambics on Neaera's heartless 
want of faith.' ' The lines, the translation of which Dr. Hume 
Brown has thus given in italics, are these : - 

Nee Phyllidis me nunc juvat flavam comam 

Praeferre Bacchi crinibus, 
Nee in Neaerae perfidam superbiam 

Saevos iambos stringere, 

and may be freely rendered : 

It is not now a joy to me 

To hold that Phyllis' golden hair 
Is dearer than the locks I see 

Around the head of Bacchus there ; 
Nor do I care the perfidy 

Of false Neaera to indite 

In harsh iambics which I write. 

The exercises of a more youthful period had now become 
distasteful to the aging humanist, and while he was as able 
as ever to display his deftness of touch in versification, he 
had not the heart to simulate the passions he had ceased to 
feel. As we have seen the examples of his erotic verse are 
not unworthy of the reputation of one who was the foremost 
Latinist of his time, and whose memory has been justly 
honoured at the recent celebrations, held in the University 
which he adorned. 

R. M. F. 


Science and Humanism: Buchanan's "De Sphaera," 

AN inquiry into the condition of the European mind at the 
epoch of Buchanan would be a stupendous task. Even a 
general statement of the more salient features of the knowledge 
and modes of thought of the men of the time, of what interested 
them and attracted them, of what general explanation of the 
universe satisfied them, would carry us too far. Moreover, it is 
apt to be forgotten that the Renaissance was a manifold 
awakening, and Humanism was only one of its products and 
not the most important and enduring. 

What we in these days call science, the life-work of such men 
as Darwin, or Lord Kelvin, was hardly possible for anyone. 
To the Humanist it offered no reward and presented no interest. 
Besides, it took a long time for the human mind to recover 
from the effects of a thousand years of slavery to ecclesiastical 
domination. While the Arabs and the Jews were free to pursue 
investigations in Anatomy, Medicine, Chemistry, Astronomy, 
the men of Christendom were in absolute bondage. The 
religious creed of the Arab and the Jew was so short and so 
simple that no elaborate system of casuistry, no cumbrous 
hierarchy and ceremonial, no boundless wilderness of legends 
about shrines and saints and relics were needed to support it. 
The ecclesiastical system of Christendom had become such that 
it could not exist if there were free inquiry such as the Arabs 
carried on. Doctors, for example, could hardly be tolerated, 
for they would be rivals to the Confessional, and they would, 
moreover, prevent the sick from resorting to shrines and 
relics for cure, and would thus cut off a very profitable 
form of tribute from the clergy. Mankind, besides, had grown 
so much accustomed to illogical thinking that a scientific 
mode of thought could hardly be looked for till many years had 
come and gone. Galileo was barely allowed to live by the 
ecclesiasticism of the seventeenth century : it sent Bruno to the 

Buchanan's "De Sphaera" 151 

stake in 1600. Newton, Dr. Harvey, Napier of Merchiston, 
Torricelli, Kepler, Leibnitz, Otto von Guericke were not coeval 
with the high tide of Humanism ; they appeared after it had 
subsided. They were products of the seventeenth century, not 
the sixteenth. 

All science must be founded upon careful sifting of 
evidences. No science can exist in a community in which the 
inability to appreciate the cogency or irrelevance of evidence is 
a prevalent feature. This inability, so extraordinary when 
viewed along with the elaborate and acute formal reasoning of 
the schoolmen, was the characteristic of European thought for 
centuries. The victory of Ivanhoe in the lists at Ashby was 
accepted as quite a satisfactory proof that Rebecca was 
innocent. An Arab writer mocks at this illogical thinking and 
says that if a man wished to prove that three is greater than 
ten he would do so by changing a stick into a serpent. Beyond 
all this, those illuminati to whom the glories of the Greek and 
Roman classics had revealed themselves had all the hunger of 
their souls satisfied. They felt no call to inquire into the secrets 
o nature further than had been done by Aristotle, Pythagoras, 
Hippocrates and Ptolemy. They would have held it to be 
sacrilegious to doubt the methods of the ancients or the accuracy 
and completeness of their results. For it was not only the 
artistic beauty of the compositions in which the ancient thought 
was revealed to them that aroused Humanistic admiration and 
enthusiasm ; Greek and Roman thought itself was so free from 
the ecclesiastical and theological fetters in which the European 
mind for centuries had been bound, that it was unhesitatingly 
accepted as the last word. It was so free, so well ordered, so 
lofty and so sane, compared with the trivialities and narrowness 
of the scholastic lore of Western Europe. Hence the 
Humanists were in every way satisfied to revel in the delights 
of literature, without a care for any key to the mysteries of 

The Renaissance was a resurrection of the open mind, the 
curiosity natural to the human intellect ; but in that general 
awakening that was extending the bounds of human knowledge 
in every direction, that gave us Columbus, Bacon and Newton, 
the Humanists took only a small share. Their chosen field was 
girt and circumscribed by the codices that could be found by 
devoted searchers, and by the volumes issued with such 

152 Science and Humanism : 

marvellous rapidity by the presses of Aldo or of Estienne. 
And although the best of them pleaded that in the training of 
youth, which was part at least of the life work of Buchanan, 
the aim should be ratio as well as oratio, there were few true 
Humanists who would not prefer the latter to the former, and 
forgive the badness of the reasoning or the smallness of the 
topic if the style were good and, above all things, accurate. 
They were few indeed who, like Buchanan, could at once 
inform, convince, and charm. 

The ideal man was now a man of books. The " light of 
things " had hardly dawned. In the previous age the ideal 
man had been either the man of war or the holy monk. But 
now the sword and the pilgrim's staff had both been obscured 
by the printed page. Pere Bourbon would rather be author of 
Buchanan's Psalms than Archbishop of Paris. Pomponius 
Laetus, who taught Latin literature in Rome for many years, 
and who both lived the life of a pagan Roman and induced 
many others to follow his example, was not excommunicated, 
but was accorded, at his death, a great funeral which was 
attended by forty bishops. Beautifully symbolical of the 
change is the bronze monumental figure of Alberto Pio in the 
Louvre. The princely Italian scholar is represented in armour, 
but his sword is sheathed and in his hand he holds an open 

It is this worship of books, this devotion to the ancients, 
the cultivation of their style and the adoption of their thought, 
that set the Humanists apart. We can thus understand how 
it was that Buchanan, one of the greatest of his class, lays 
himself open to the charge of imitation, of having in the 
selection of his themes and the manner of treating them 
confined himself to tracts already travelled by the classic writers. 

It has just been said that scientific research, as we know it, 
was impossible in these days. Not only was there no scientific 
mind, but the ground was so covered with the weeds of 
superstition and credulity that the best of minds had to be 
cleared of rank thickets of error and superstition before any 
cultivation could be attempted. Gargantua had to be " purged 
canonically with Anticyrian hellebore." But even Rabelais, 
one of the best products of the Renaissance, and himself follow- 
ing what should be a scientific profession, makes Ponocrates 
teach his pupil the fact-lore of " wine and water, of salt, of 

Buchanan's "De Sphaera" 153 

fleshes, fishes, fruits," etc., not by the modern method of 
observation, but by " learning in a little time all the passages 
competent for this that were to be found in Pliny, Athenseus, 
Dioscoridee, Julius Pollux, Galen, Porphyrius, Oppian, 
Polybius, Heliodorus, Aristotle, ^Elian, and others." It is true 
that there are better things than this in the training of 
Gargantua, but it shows how classical lore was trusted and 
revered and how unfamiliar the scientific spirit was to the men 
of the Renaissance. 

Curiosities of the current natural history are to be found 
everywhere, and appalling credulity and ignorance even among 
the cultured. The reader is advised to read Bishop Leslie's 
account of Scotland in his History. His account of the 
"clack-goose" is typical. He not only quotes Hector Boece 
as having seen these fabulous creatures, but declares that he 
himself saw them at Leith in 1562, " mony thousands of sik 
lytle foulis stiking to the ship, thrie fingres lang, of a 
meruellous perfyte and weil schapen forme, except that they 
war litle, lyueles, and fethirles." Other eyes too, were 
evidently blinking owl-like in the dawn on things around : 
minds like those of children were wondering ; for he goes on 
to tell how in the " zeir of God 1566," there was presented to 
" our noble Maistres, Quene Marie of Scotis," who was then at 
Stirling, " a branche of a certane trie fra whilke mony fructes, 
as thay had bene, hang doune, litle indeid, bot innumerable 
mussilis, in quhilkes war fund not fishe (a meruel) bot foulis." 
And even when the simple Bishop was writing this in Rome he 
met a Dr. Allan, doctor of Theology in England, who told him 
he had often seen " thir lytle foulis upon the keilis of aide 
schipis in the west of Ingland." The interesting thing about 
all this is that apparently Queen Mary must have given reason 
for believing that she was interested in natural history : we 
know on the other hand that she had shortly before been 
reading Livy with Buchanan. We feel when we read this 
incident as if we were assisting at the small beginnings of a 
Royal Society. Was Buchanan present when this " branche of 
a certane trie " was brought to Mary or had he gone to Paris 
to see to the printing of the Psalms with the famous dedication 
to the Queen ? Possibly had he been present he would not have 
doubted, any more than did Hector Boece or Bishop Leslie or 
" Doctour Allan of Ingland," that the "mony fructes" 
contained " foulis." 

154 Science and Humanism : 

If there was any scientific progress at all between the 
extinction of the ancient culture and the Renaissance, it was in 
Chemistry, Medicine, and Astronomy, and these matters were 
in the hands of laymen. The Arabs had taken the torch that 
was nickering in the loosening grasp of the Eastern scholars and 
had trimmed and fed the flame and carried it into Spain. 
Thence their light shone upon the men of Western Europe for 
centuries. These branches of knowledge were cultivated by the 
Arabs above all others. The marvellous pitch to which 
scientific and philosophic culture was carried by the Arabs 
contrasts painfully with the darkness and superstition prevail- 
ing in Christendom. When science began to be cultivated in 
Western Europe, the work had only to be begun where the 
Arab scholars had left it. We are about to see how Buchanan 
regarded Astronomy. One illustration of the state of Medical 
Science in the 16th century must be sufficient. In January 
1570 the Regent Moray was shot at Linlithgow by a Hamilton, 
and all the Hamiltons fell into public disfavour. In the 
following month a rhyming broadside was issued, not wanting 
in poetical and musical feeling, calling on all birds and flowers 
to mourn the fallen prince and on the ' ' Lordis " to revenge the 
deed, pointing out how dangerous the Hamiltons were, 
" forquhy Cardanus the Feind pat in the priest." The priest 
into whom Cardanus, the famous Jerome Cardan, put a fiend 
was the notorious Archbishop Hamilton of St. Andrews, whose 
character must have been very black indeed if it were as black 
as Buchanan has painted it. In 1552 he had despaired of 
being cured by the Scottish doctors of a disease given out as 
asthma. Cardan, only known to modern students as the author 
of a method of solving cubic equations, called Cardan's rule, had 
a great repute as a physician and was then professor of 
Mathematics at Milan. He was sent for and stayed from June 
to September in Scotland. He undertook the cure of the 
Archbishop and succeeded, being very handsomely paid for his 
treatment. The cure is described by Randolph in a letter to 
Cecil, now in the State Paper Office, and bears out the state- 
ment quoted above from the poetical broadside of Feb. 1570, 
about seventeen years afterwards. Briefly told the cure 
consisted of " divers foreign inventions," which puts it very 
mildly. He hung him up by the heels " certain hours in the 
day"; he fed him " many days on young whelps." To crown 

Buchanan's "De Sphaera" 155 

all he ' ' rounded " for the space of six days ' ' certain unknown 
words in his ears." " It is said," says Randolph, " that at that 
time" viz., these six days " he did put a devil within him" 
and " that this devil was given him on credit but for nine 
years," and so on. Could any more striking picture be drawn 
of the state of science than this of His Grace the Archbishop of 
St. Andrews hanging by the heels while he of the cubic 
equations ' ' rounded " cabalistic words in his ears ? And yet 
Cardan was in the front rank of physicians: he was besides a 
first-rate mathematician, which is supposed to cure one of 
credulity. Moreover, not only were the quack and his victim so 
prominent men, but Randolph, who tells the story and 
obviously believes it all, was a cultured man of much shrewdness, 
who knew men and cities, and Cecil, to whom he tells it, had 
one of the best heads in England. 

The only work of Buchanan's that has any scientific 
character is his great poem, De Sphaera, which he began to 
write about 1555, but never finished. As a Humanist he had 
entered upon almost every field cultivated by his prototypes, 
the Greek and Roman ancients, and had proved himself a 
master in them all. There remained for him to essay a great 
and enduring monument of genius in the form of a poem on 
the loftiest of themes. He had matched himself with the 
epigrammatists, the lyrists, the dramatists, the elegiac writers, 
the satirists, the historians, and by universal consent had proved 
himself their equal. But he had written nothing epic like 
the jEneid, nothing like the Georgics, nothing loftily didactic 
and philosophic like the De Rerum Natura. The subject of the 
constitution of the universe presented itself to him as one in 
which great thoughts like those of Lucretius would be called 
forth, while in the abundant digressions into ancient myth that 
such a subject would allow there would be welcome opportunities 
of rivalling the fancy and the music of Virgil. 

The De Sphaera is indeed a very great and remarkable poem. 
As a contribution to astronomical or cosmographic thought it is 
now of little value, but as a sustained proof of poetic genius, 
of classical learning, of astonishing fluency and ease in the use 
of Latin and all the lore of the ancients, it must take a very 
high place. Most readers must inevitably come to the con- 
clusion that the digressions are the best of the poem as poetry, 
and have most of that characteristic charm that readers of 

156 Science and Humanism : 

Buchanan soon come to associate with his verse, a charm which 
has lifted Buchanan out of the mass of merely imitative writers. 

The thought is almost wholly the thought of the ancients, 
the science that of the Almagest of Ptolemy. It was according 
to the spirit of Humanism to treat all that had been thought and 
done by mankind between the death of the last of the Roman 
writers and the rise of Humanism as null and void, and to begin 
in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries as if the preceding 
thousand years had never come and gone: In these long years 
a great deal had been done in Astronomy. Facts had 
accumulated from the observations first of the Alexandrian 
Greeks and then of the Arabs, and more than one guess at the 
truth had been made. Just twelve years before Buchanan 
began to write De Sphaera, Copernicus had announced a new 
theory of the heavens, which, though partial and tainted with 
error, was to upset the received doctrine and lead to the 
marvellous developments of the next century, and to the 
establishment of a base of operations from which many great and 
acute minds have since gone forth to gather astronomic spoil. 
The views regarding the universe held by men like Buchanan, 
satisfactory to strong and reasonable minds like his, have long 
since departed from human thought and are now interesting 
only as a stage in a long journey. 

Briefly stated the theory of the ancients was as follows. The 
earth was round, but stationary. Its size was approximately 
known. It was divided into five zones. Round it revolved in 
circles the Moon, Mercury, Venus, the Sun, Mars, Jupiter, 
Saturn and the fixed stars. As each of these had a different 
time and manner of revolving, each must be fixed to a 
transparent hollow shell or sphere one within the other, the 
earth being in the centre. Of the seven crystal spheres the 
fourth or middle one had the sun attached to it. The eighth 
carried all the fixed stars. 

Modifications of this had been made from time to time, for 
example by adding small circles (epicycles) to the larger ones to 
explain the progression and retrogression of the planets, or 
errones as Buchanan calls them. 

In 1543 Copernicus, in extremis at Frauenburg, had touched 
with his dying hand the first printed copy of his book De 
Revoliitionibus, in which the theory is stated that the sun and 
not the earth is the stationary centre round which all the 

Buchanan's " De Sphaera" 157 

heavenly bodies revolve. For each planet and for the fixed stars 
he still retains a great hollow crystal sphere to which each is 
fixed and with which it revolves. This notion was universally 
rejected by Protestant Europe and condemned as impious by 
such leaders as Luther and Melancthon. It is therefore no 
shame to Buchanan that he utters a similar denunciation of the 
Copernican theory. Very slowly indeed did this revolutionary 
theory gain acceptance. Forty years younger than Buchanan 
was Tycho Brahe, the Swede, who devoted his restless active 
mind to astronomical observations and did much to enrich the 
records. The chief of his contributions is a theory, differing 
from both the Ptolemaic and Copernican, to the effect that the 
planets revolve round the sun, but the sun, carrying them with 
him, revolves round the earth, which is stationary. This was 
less of an upheaval of old beliefs and gained more adherents, 
being moreover later in time. The Copernican theory is 
denounced by Buchanan, but, although the writing of the De 
Sphaera was earlier than the discoveries of Tycho Brahe, and we 
do not know how Buchanan received them, we find him in later 
life corresponding with Tycho Brahe on intimate terms, having 
received from him through Gulielmus Lummisdaile an account 
of his discovery of the new star in Cassiopeia. When James 
VI. visited the Court of Denmark in connection with his 
marriage, he sailed to Tycho Brahe's Baltic Island and visited 
him in his tower, Uranienburg, where he was shocked to see in 
an honoured place a portrait of Buchanan, whose memory he 
always recalled with fear and dislike. It does not seem probable 
that Buchanan's powerful mind could fail to see the truth and 
reasonableness of the new theories, at least in his later years. 
However this may be, the phenomena remain the same whether 
we give the true explanation of them or not, and the greater 
part of any true description of the heavens as seen by one who 
knows nothing of the telescope or of gravitation will remain true 
to all time. Should the description be vivid and poetical it 
will remain interesting and attractive, and such a description is 
the purpose of Buchanan's poem. 

The poem is in five books. Of these the first three were 
finished, containing altogether eighteen hundred hexameters. 
The fourth stops short at the 119th line and the fifth at the 
463rd. In this incomplete state the poem was first published 
at Geneva in 1584, two years after the death of Buchanan, and 

158 Science and Humanism : 

again in 1585. Supplements were written to the fourth and 
fifth books by Pincierus, and the poem in this completed form 
was published in 1587 and frequently since along with his other 

When Buchanan began the poem in 1555 he was tutor to 
Timoleon de Cosse, a boy of about fourteen, and he addresses 
him in each of the introductions. It is not very clear why 
Buchanan did not finish the poem. He refers to it in a letter 
to Tycho Brahe in 1576, and blames his illness and his 
busy life. Again in 1579 he makes a similar excuse. These 
causes had not prevented him from writing much poetry 
of a different class, nor the De Jure Regni apud Scotos, 
nor the great history. Had the interest remained keen, 
and had the enthusiasm for the subject not been overcome by 
others, these excuses would probably not have been made, or 
needed. It seems as if the march of the years had carried 
Buchanan, as it was carrying mankind generally, to new stand- 
points. The ceternce legum habence were still there in 1579 as 
in 1555, but it was dawning on the best minds that the laws 
were not what they had long supposed. Kepler was not far off, 
and neither he nor Newton appeared in a world altogether 
unprepared for them. 

The first book begins in the epic style with a statement of 
the subject : 

Quam varise munch partes, quo semina rerum 
Fcedere conveniant discordia, lucis et umbrae 
Tempora quis motus regat, sestum frigore mutet, 
Obscuret Solis vultum Lunaeque tenebris, 
Pandere fert animus. 

Then follows an invocation : 

Tu qui fulgentia puro 

Lumine templa habitas, oculis impervia nostris, 
Rerum sancte parens, audacibus annue cceptis ; 
Dum late in populos ferimus tua facta, polique 
Immensum reseramus opus : gens nescia veri 
Ut residem longaque animum caligine mersum 
Attollat ccelo, et, flammantia mcenia mundi 
Dum stupet, et vicibus remeantia tempera certis 
Auctorem agnoscat, tantam qui robore molem 
Fulciat, aeternis legum moderetur habenis, 
Consilio innumerosque bonus conformet ad usus. 

There is here no spontaneous or atheistic origin of things as 
in Lucretius. The aim is rather that of Milton, " to justify the 
ways of God to men." The flammantia mcenia mundi echoes 

Buchanan's "De Sphaera" 159 

Lucretius, however. The aeternis legum moderetur habenis is 
very familiar to a reader of Buchanan's Psalms and recalls the 
doctrine of the De Jure Hegni. The frequent use of this 
phrase is indeed one of the mannerisms of Buchanan. 

He calls on his pupil Timoleon in a very beautiful passage 
to join him in the study of this great subject : 

Tu inihi, Timoleon, niagni spes maxima patris, 
Nee patriae minor, Aonii novus incola mentis, 
Adde gradum comes, et teneris assuesce sub annis 
Castalidum nemora, et sacros accedere fontes, 
Nympharumque chores, populoque ignota profano 
Otia, neo danmo nee avarae obnoxia curae. 

Then he goes directly into his subject with a statement of 
all that is connoted by the term mundus. There is one ruler 
of the universe, but there is no vis nativa. He then explains 
that the world is made up of four formative elements, earth, 
water, air and fire, and that these settle themselves by their 
own weight in their respective places. Every part of the earth 
would thus have been under the water : 

Nisi cura Dei se attollere montes 

Jussisset, vallesque premi, terramque cavernis 

Hiscere, et ingentes humori aperire lacunas . . . 

This arrangement was made in the beginning by God for the 
sake of the human race that was to be. 

He also proves that the world is round, by well-known 
proofs, e.y., (1) the sun rising later in western countries and 
earlier in eastern, (2) the shadow of the earth on the moon 
being always round : 

Redduntque trigona trigonum, 
Quadratam faciem quadrata, rotunda rotundam. 

A young pupil need not think that lofty mountains and deep 
valleys contradict this, for they are as nothing to the total 
bulk, no more indeed than the slight roughnesses which give 
foothold to a fly on a globe of glass, which is rough to him, 
who is so small and so close to it, but which seems smooth and 
round to our eyes : 

Non secus ac vitreum si musca perambulat orbem, 

Qui nobis penitus laevis videatur, et omni 

Asperitate carens, sen tit tamen ilia tumorem, 

Parraque inaequali figit vestigia clivo . . . 

The disappearing of the hull of a receding ship before that 
of the masts is a proof of the rotundity of the water. This is 

160 Science and Humanism : 

to be inferred otherwise, for as the conflagration that destroyed 
Troy had the same properties and obeyed the same laws as the 
smallest flame, such as that of " exiguue populatrix flamma 
lucernae," so must the great ocean have the same shape as a 
drop of dew : 

Ergo velut tenui se ros argenteus orbe 

Lubricat, et nitidis depingit gramina gemmis, 

Et quae de madidis dependet stiria tectis ; 

Sic late effusus pontis remeabilis humor 

In eunmlum assurgit, formamque affectat eandeni. 

But why labour to prove this rotundity by reasoning ? 
Avarice, which nothing can withstand, has led Spanish ships 
round the world, and there are no secrets now : 

Omnia jam vasti ratibus panduntur Iberis 
Claustra orbis, rerum longis incognita seclis 
Jam secreta patent. 

The barrenness of Spain, "sicco vix fertile sparto " (esparto 
grass, to wit) has given place to luxury. The products of all 
lands are being brought home, cotton, silk, frankincense, ginger, 
pepper. The Arab collects cinnamon for us, and (very oddly) 
" Congerit in caecas aurum formica cavernas." The other side 
of the picture is the loss of the best of all the sons of Spain by 
emigration. They leave all that men hold dear and go forth, 
" auspice avaritia." This is expanded into a long and eloquent 
passage, after which the description of the mundus is resumed. 

Up to this point the structure of the poem has been given 
in detail that the reader may form some idea of its nature, but 
the available space admits of only a very general statement of 
what the rest of the poem contains. It must have been noticed 
that a high and generous soul animates this noble poem, no 
didactic opportunity is let pass unimproved, nor is any chance 
omitted of colouring the astronomic lore with the rich hues of 
classic myth. Above all the natural descriptions are very fine, 
and anything of the nature of a story is always well told. 

After showing that the Earth does not rotate, such an idea 
being absurd, he tells how the earth had been measured. An 
arc had been measured on the Assyrian plain and the elevation 
of the Pole Star observed. From this the circumference was 
found, and, by dividing this by three, the diameter. 

The earth is then compared with the sun's sphere and with 
the great Olympus, that is, the sphere of the fixed stars. If 

Buchanan's " De Sphaera" 161 

Phoebus were to trust Timoleon for a day with the chariot of 
Phaethon (Phatthonteas habenas, favourite word!) how small 
would the earth appear to him looking down from the summit 
of the heaven, if any earth would then be visible at all, and 
how small would the sun be ! 

Quantulus est cum stelligero collatus Olympo ! 

Reason cannot comprehend in numbers the proportion that the 
earth would bear to the vast Mundus which contains all. Yet 
this small place is the abode of man and of beasts and birds. 
The habitable part is smaller still when the ocean, the lakes and 
streams, the marshes and deserts and mountain ranges are all 
subtracted. It is like a small island floating on the great deep. 
And what a home man makes of this earth of his ! 

Quantula pars rerum est, in qua se gloria jactat, 
Ira frenrit, metus exanimat, dolor urit, egestas 
Cogit opes ; ferro, insidiis, flamma atque veneno 
Cernitur, et trepido fervent humana tumultu. 

The Second Book begins with a beautiful introduction, too 
long to quote. Timoleon is invited to raise his mind from the 
earth and accompany his guide through the immense tracts of 
heaven. By degrees his eyes will become clear and " Nudaque 
se nobis offert natura videndam," a very modern way of 
putting it. He then explains how the stars move. They 
revolve in a perpetual and constant circle, " for that is the only 
force in round bodies." This is effected by each one being 
fixed to a sphere through which it sticks like a nail in the rim 
of a wheel or a knot in a board of maple : 

Superest ut fixa per orbes 
Quaeque suos (veluti tympana summa rotarum 
Clavus inhaerescit, tabula vel nodus acerna) 
Perpetuo maneant, et cum se verterit orbia, 
Astra suum peragaut cum coelo tracta meatum. 

These crystal spheres are eight in number, sphere within 
sphere, the Earth being in the centre. Next to it is the Moon, 
then Mercury, Venus, the Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and 
lastly all the fixed stars. A beautiful passage describes this 
eighth sphere flying with its " swift array of stars, a thousand 
eyes, a thousand little fires under the sleepy night scattering the 
dark shadows of pitchy gloom, lest the wayfarer rashly wander 
through the dark, lest the wandering sailor lose himself on 
unknown seas, lest the watchman waking all the night should 


162 Science and Humanism : 

tell the hours unequally." Above this eighth sphere are the 
secret temples of the Gods, where neither diseases nor grief nor 
anxious care disturb the fretting minds with fear, but where 
there is rest without a care and life that knows not old age. 
The wisdom of the ancients had come to know these eight 
spheres and their motions, and though reason has shown that 
what they taught is true, " nevertheless ignorance sunk so far 
in blind darkness ceases not to rail at them and is daring 
enough to condemn the heaven to rest and to turn the solid 
earth into a swiftly moving mass." He then explains that the 
heaven is spherical, giving very fanciful reasons, and refers to 
the Assyrian astronomers using an artificial globe, " ad speciem 
penitus tornata rotundam." The heavenly bodies revolve from 
east to west, returning daily to the spot from whence they 
started and following the same path. And so the book proceeds 
to state the movements of the five planets, quinque errones, the 
Sun and Moon which are called Titania astra, and advises 
Timoleon, in order to understand them better, to draw their 
orbits in sand. The conclusion from the observation of the 
heavens and the regularity of the motions of the stars is that 
there are no men, however uncultured, who can look upon the 
stars and not believe that there is a God : 

esse Deum credat, vim scilicet illam, 
Quae regat immensam justo moderamine molem, 
Et moveat nostros per tot miracula sensus. 

The third book of De Sphaera abounds in beautiful passages 
as well as in such information as a scholar was expected to 
know about the stars. 

" Hitherto you have roamed widely, Timoleon, in the vast 
Olympus, with wandering chariot, nowhere a resting place, 
nowhere an abiding home. Tighten now for a little your k 
reins, and with your mind narrow down the great fields and the 
measureless expanse of ether, and with me mark out wit 
boundary lines the limits of the world, so that a mind, chile 
of heaven, may grow accustomed little by little to know it 
native home, while the breezes rustle in the leaves, while, softl] 
gleaming, the glory of the meadows harmonizes, while Apoll 
favours, and the Muses, not unpropitious, smile kindly on 01 

After this introduction begins a systematic survey of the 
heavens, with much technical information and abundant myth. 

Buchanan's " De Sphaera" 163 

First the poles are described, located and named, the Arctic and 
Antarctic Circles, the Tropics, the Solstices, the Equator, and 
the five Zones. The study of this as an astronomical treatise 
must have been extremely hard owing to the continual calls it 
makes on classical lore. The constellation, Aries, for example, 
is not called always by so direct a name, but is designated 
Phryxi vector. References to more obscure myths than even 
this are constantly pulling the student up. From the Zones 
we pass on to the Ecliptic and the Zodiac: 

Hie auro gravidas Phoebus molitur habenas, 

Hie varias ponitque et sumit Delia formas, 

Hie quinque Errones, sed certis legibus errant, 

Exercentque suas ccelo gaudente choreas. 

Then follow the twelve Signs of the Zodiac in order, from 
Phryxi vector onwards. Each constellation is described, 
sometimes in exquisite lines, and the story of each is told. 
Then comes a beautiful passage about the Milky Way and the 
various stories of its origin ; whether it was a streak of milk 
from Juno's breast, or the track of Phaethon's headlong car, 
or, anticipating modern discoveries, the accumulated light of 
many feeble stars : 

, . . multas magno sine lumine Stellas 

Exiguas credunt collata luce nitorem 

Gignere .......... 

The Celestial Zones are then marked off. Then the 
Terrestrial Zones are described, each giving opportunity for 
splendid natural description in which Buchanan excels. Then 
follows a passage about the tropical regions and the overflowing 
of the Nile, a favourite mystery with ancient geographers from 
Herodotus downwards. The book closes with a fine passage 
about the Spanish ships once more. 

The fourth book is a mere fragment. The subject is stated 
in the first eleven lines, thus: 

Nunc mihi stellarumque ortus obitusque canenti 
Sis facilis, caussas penitus dum promo latentes, 
Cur lenta Oceanum linquant haec, ilia repente 
Signa per obliquum properent ascendere ccelum ; 
Cur iterum falsas subeant haec ocyus undas, 
Ilia trahant lento molimine gressus : 
Cur ubi Sol mediam cceli conscendit in arcem, 
Longior hie, alibi contractior exeat umbra : 
Cur Thebaea suas consumat Pyramis umbras : 
Cur hie aequa dies semper cum nocte recurrat, 
Una dies et nox una illic finiat annus. 

164 Science and Humanism : 

Rising and setting are defined and compared to the birth and 
death of mortals. Risings and settings are classed as or I UK 
matutinus and urtus vtspertinus or receptus matutinus and 
lapsus vesptrtinus. Stars rise and set at different times in 
different countries. The Chaldean astronomer by reckoning 
fifteen degrees of arc to the hour was able to explain the 
apparent irregularities : 

. . . quanto 

Tardius haec illis spatio emergantque cadantque, 
Et velut apposita motus deprendere norma. 

The fifth book opens with a fine apostrophe: 

Macti animi, heroes, seclis melioribus orti, 

Qui primi . . . 

. . . magni intrastis penetralia coeli. 

and taught mankind the truth. 

Not blind ambition, nor alluring pleasure, nor wakeful cares, 
nor the pallid plague of gain kept you from penetrating with 
your minds into regions hidden from the senses, and from 
dragging out of the secret chambers of the gods the laws of the 
stars unknown throughout the ages. 

In contrast with these macti animi is the mind of those who 
care for none of these things. A noble passage describes these, 
the majority of mankind. So little does such a mind know of 
nature that: 

quicquid vel profuit olim, 

Vel nocuit, putat esse Deum. 

Thunder and lightning, even the squeaking of a mouse, or the 
flight of a raven terrifies such a mind, and vain superstitions 
prevail. Of this ignorance the Astrologer takes full advantage. 
The ascription of the blame of all evil to the stars teaches men 
to give loose rein to wickedness, hands over heaven to the 
wicked, and, by excusing, encourages the mad doings of kings. 
Not the vulgar throng only, but the very greatest of men are 
scared by eclipses of the sun and moon. Such a fear caused 
the defeat of the Athenians and the loss of their fleet long ago 
in Sicily. So at Pydna, when the armies of Perseus and 
Aemilius Paulus were face to face, the former was terror- 
stricken by an eclipse of the moon : so would the Roman army 
have been, had not Gallus (the orator, who was tribune of the 
soldiers in that campaign), addressing the army, forewarned 
them of the coming eclipse and explained its cause. 

Buchanan's "De Sphaera" 165 

Addressing Timoleon the poet proceeds to explain the nature 
of eclipses and their cause. First of all he gives a tribute of 
praise to whoever it was who first delivered the minds of men 
from so great darkness, and comments on the strange fact that 
men have recorded the deeds of Xerxes, of Caesar and of 
Alexander, but have forgotten what benefits they received from 
Endymion. He shall no longer be forgotten : 

nam nostrae si qua est fiducia Musae, 
posterity shall remember him with gratitude. 

Then follows in a beautiful passage the story of Endymion, 
the shepherd, paying for perennial youth with perennial sleep 
upon the Latmian hills, loved by Delia (the moon) who visited 
him and embraced him every night, till, awakened at last, he 
returned her love and was taken up by her into her kingdom and 
shown all its secrets. This knowledge .Endymion, having 
returned to the Latmian hills, diffused throughout Greece. 
Late in the ages it reached the Romans, of whom Gallus was 
the first to expound it. Again at more length the story of the 
eclipse at the battle of Pydna is told. Then the theory of 
eclipses is stated. 

The temptation is great to continue an account of this fine 
poem in detail. Enough has been said, however, to give the 
reader some idea of its scope and the order of the topics. 
Nothing but an actual perusal of it can give any idea of its 
power, or of the splendour of the genius of its author. Is it 
too much to hope that one day it may be translated and made 
known to a larger circle by some one better equipped for the 
task than the author of this imperfect sketch can claim to be ? 

J. W. M. 


The Writings of George Buchanan. 

WHEN arranging the details of the Quater-Centenary Celebration 
at St. Andrews, the General Committee decided that there should 
be a Buchanan Exhibition in the University Library consisting 
of portraits, books, manuscripts, and, if possible, relics of the 
poet and historian. The search for manuscripts and relics was 
ultimately abandoned and the exhibition confined chiefly to 
portraits and printed books. It was hoped that it might have 
been possible to make the display of editions practically complete 
and to print a catalogue of them in the form of a Buchanan 
bibliography. But it was soon found that many blanks could 
not readily be filled up and that it would consequently be impos- 
sible to include a satisfactory Buchanan bibliography in the 
present memorial volume. Such a bibliography may be 
attempted later on, when the permanent collection of Buchanan's 
works in the University Library has made further progress. This 
collection has been got together mainly within the last twenty 
years, but it is ajready a fairly representative one. Up to that 
time very little interest had been taken in the bibliography of 
Buchanan at St. Andrews, and the selection of his works in the 
University Library was a very meagre one. So far as can be 
learned from extant catalogues, St. Leonard's College Library 
never possessed more than one volume the Basel edition of the 
Franciscanus and other poems and it was presented by Dr. 
Mungo Murray. If it is the same copy that is now in the 
University Library it had previously belonged to Mr. Thorn* 
Gilbert " iure emptionis possessor, 10 solid." St. Salvator'g 
College Library was better off, having at least eight volumes; 
but these have nearly all disappeared. In 1825 the University 
Library catalogue contained only twelve entries under Buchanan : 
it now contains over a hundred. 

The Writings of George Buchanan 167 

Pending the appearance of a formal bibliography, it has been 
thought desirable, as a slight record of the exhibition, to give a 
short account of Buchanan's writings and of the principal 
editions through which they have passed in their original texts 
as well as in translations. It need hardly be said that the sub- 
ject matter of the books does not come within the scope of these 
notes. Nothing more has been attempted than a bare statement 
of titles, publishers or printers, and dates. What follows has 
been written mainly on the basis of the volumes exhibited : 
editions not actually seen have only been mentioned when they 
were found recorded in library catalogues or in other reliable 
works of reference. 

The complete works of George Buchanan were first published, 
under the editorship of Thomas Ruddiman, by Robert Freebairn, 
at Edinburgh, in 1715, in two folio volumes. The plan of such 
a collection had originally been formed by George Mosman, 
another Edinburgh printer, and the impression was actually 
proceeding as early as 1702 ; but after a few sheets had been 
completed the property was transferred to Freebairn. 1 Both 
editor and publisher did their best to make the edition worthy 
of the author. Ruddiman's preface, annotations, and critical 
dissertation are of great value and display exceptional know- 
ledge and learning, while his care for the text is vouched for 
in many illuminating foot-notes. Although somewhat incon- 
venient in size, the volumes are pleasant to read, being well 
printed in bold clear type. The large paper copies on superior 
paper, such as that in possession of the Signet Library, are 
admirable examples of book-production. But Ruddiman's 
manner of dealing with his author's political opinions so offended 
many of Buchanan's admirers that an association was speedily 
formed for the express purpose of producing another edition 
of his works. This scheme proved abortive, and as yet no 
new edition of Buchanan's works has been brought out in 
Scotland. In 1725, however, an edition was published at 
Leyden, in two stout quarto volumes, edited by Dr. Peter 
Burman. This edition is, in the main, a reprint of Ruddiman's, 
with additional annotations, chiefly of a philological nature, 
by the new editor. It is less correctly printed than the Edin- 
burgh edition, but has the advantage of being more convenient 

1 Irving, " Memoirs of Buchanan," 1817, p. IX. 

168 The Writings of George Buchanan 

to work with. 1 Some of Burman's observations on Buchanan 
and his country gave so much offence in Scotland that Ruddi- 
man felt called upon in his old age to administer a severe rebuke 
to the Dutch Professor. l 

Roughly speaking, about two-thirds of the entire bulk of 
Buchanan's writings are in prose, the remaining third being 
in different kinds of verse. He made his first public appear- 
ance as a writer in prose, but in all probability his earliest 
efforts at literary composition were in Latin verse. This may, 
in fact, be inferred from what is said in the Vita of his 
having given much attention to the writing of poetry, partly 
from natural inclination and partly from necessity, in his early 
student days at Paris. Like many another teacher, Buchanan 
felt the need of a new text-book for his pupils' use something 
more practical than the Doctrinale Pnerorum of Alexander, 
and less tedious than the Grammat4ca of Despauterius. 
And so he translated into Latin the elementary grammar of 
the Latin language which Thomas Linacre had composed in 
English for the use of the Princess Mary, and had it printed 
by Robertus Stephanus at Paris in 1533. The success of his 
enterprise is attested by the fact that edition after edition of 
the translation followed each other in rapid succession. At 
least ten editions are said to have been published in France 
within thirty years. Of these the following six were included in 
the exhibition at St. Andrews besides the first edition of 1533 : 
Lyons, 1539; Paris, 1540: Lyons, 1541 and 1544; Paris, 1546 
and 1550. All the Parisian editions were published by 
Stephanus. The first Lyons edition was published by the heirs 
of Simon Vincent ; the two others (which differ only in date) 
by Sebastian Gryphius. The dates of other editions appear to 
be 1545, 1548, 1552, 1556, and 1559. 

Following the Eudimenta Grammatices came the four 

1 Father Prout, writing of Buchanan, rather overshot the mark by 
twitting the Scots with " a greater disposition to glory in the fame he has 
acquired for them than an anxiety to read his works, of which there was never 
an edition published on the other side of the great wall of Antonine save one, 
and that not until the year 1715, by Ruddiman in 1 vol. folio. The con- 
tinental editions are innumerable" (Reliques, Bonn's Illustrated Library, 1866, 
p. 559). The editions of portions of Buchanan's writings published abroad are 
very numerous indeed ; but when it comes to a question of editions of his 
" Works," Scotland is rather more than even with the Continent. 

2 Irving, "Memoirs of Buchanan," 1817, p. XIV. 

The Writings of George Buchanan 169 

plays Medea, Alcestis, Jephthes, Baptist, es two of them 
being translations and two original compositions. All four 
were written at Bordeaux, while Buchanan was a Regent 
in the College of Guyenne, and were acted by the students as 
part of their academical training in accordance with a widely 
prevalent custom of the time. The Medea was acted at 
Bordeaux in 1543, and was first published at Paris, by Michel 
Vascosan, in 1544. x It was included (along with the 
Alcestis) in a volume of Tragoediae Selectae published 
by Henricus Stephanus in 1567, and has frequently been 
reprinted. It is not known when the Alcestis was first 
acted. Vascosan was licensed to print it on 7th February 
1553, but he seems to have delayed doing so until December 
1556, when the volume appeared in small quarto form and 
printed in much larger type than the Medea. As already 
remarked it was reprinted along with the Medea in 1567. 
These two plays were again issued together (along with the 
Greek text of Euripides) by Ruddiman " in usum Academiarum 
Scoticarum " in 1722. Buchanan's metrical version of the 
Alcestis was also appended to J. H. Monk's edition of the 
Greek text published at Cambridge in 1816 and several times 
reprinted. Both plays have likewise been inserted in numerous 
editions of Buchanan's poetical works from 1568 onwards. 

The Baptistes, Buchanan's first original composition, was 
probably written about the year 1541, but it was not published 
until 1578, when two editions appear to have been issued sim- 
ultaneously one at Edinburgh " apud Henricum Charteris," 
and another at London, without publisher's name, but with the 
notice " Et prostant Antuerpiae apud lacobum Henricium." 
Copies bearing the Edinburgh imprint are extremely rare, but it 
is in all respects uniform with the London issue, which may have 
been put upon the market by Vautrollier. It was dedicated 
to the young King in a brief " Epistola," dated at Stirling 1st 
November 1576. In the following year (1579) a new edition 
appeared at Frankfort " apud Andream Wechelum," and in the 
same year it was reprinted, along with other matter, at Paris 
"apud Mamertum Patissonium, Typographum Regium: In 

1 Professor H. de la Ville de Mirmont in Chapter V. " George Buchanan k 
Bordeaux," p. 36 note, states that the Municipal Library of Bordeaux possesses 
a copy of the edition of 1543. But as his description of the volume corre- 
sponds exactly with the 1544 edition, there has probably been a misreading of 
the date (M.D. XLIIIL). 

170 The Writings of George Buchanan 

officina Robert! Stephani." In 1618 it was included in the 
Homo Diabulus of Caspar Dornavius, and thereafter took its 
place in the various collected editions of Buchanan's poems. 
At Tours, in 1586, Brisset, sieur de Sauvage, published a 
French translation of the Baptistes along with other compositions 
of a kindred nature. Another, by Pierre de Brinon, appeared 
at Rouen in 1613 and was reprinted there in the following 
year; while as late as 1823 a third was published in 
Aignan's Bibliotheque etrangere. An undated German trans- 
lation by A. Lobwasser also exists, as well as a Dutch 
translation by J. de Decker, dated 1656. Under the 
title of Tyrannical-Government anatomized: or, A dis- 
course concerning evil-councillors, an English translation 
of the Baptistes was, on 30th January 1642, ordered by the 
House of Commons to be forthwith printed and published. 
This translation was afterwards attributed to Milton, and was 
reprinted, with a preface and notes, by Francis Peck in his 
" New memoirs of the life and poetical works of Mr. John 
Milton," London 1740. Another translation (along with the 
Jephthes) by Alexander Gibb, appeared in 1870, and a third by 
the Rev. A. Gordon Mitchell in 1904. " The sacred Dramas of 
George Buchanan, translated into English verse by Archibald 
Brown, minister of the parish of Legerwood " (Edinburgh, 
James Thin, 1906) was not published in time to be included in 
the exhibition. 

The Jephthes was first published at Paris in 1554, " apud 
Guil. Morelium," with a dedicatory preface by the author dated 
28th July of the same year. It was reprinted in 1557 by 
Vascosan in a style similar to his edition of the Alcestis. In 
1575, R. Stephanus published it along with the Psalms and other 
poems. A French translation by Claude de Vesel figures among 
the books printed by R. Stephanus in 1566. Another French 
translation, by Florent Chrestien, was published by L. Rabier, 
at Orleans, in 1567. Reprints of this translation appeared at 
Paris in 1573, 1581, 1587, and 1595. Pierre de Brinon also 
produced a French translation at Rouen in 1614. German 
translations, by four different hands, are ascribed to 1569, 1571, 
1595, and 1604 : while a Polish translation, first printed in 1843, 
was reprinted in 1854 and 1855. In 1750, an English prose trans- 
lation by William Tait, schoolmaster in Drummelzier, appeared 
at Edinburgh without the publisher's name. Mr Gibb's trans- 

The Writings of George Buchanan 171 

lation, as already noted, appeared in 1870, and a further trans- 
lation, by the Rev. A. Gordon Mitchell with illustrations by 
Miss Jessie M. King, was published in 1903. A very neatly 
printed edition of the original text came from the Foulis press 
at Glasgow in 1775. It is also to be met with in most editions 
of the Poemata. 

In the dedication of his Historia to King James the Sixth, 
Buchanan explains that on his return to his native country, 
after twenty-four years of wandering, his first care was to 
gather together his various writings, which had got scattered 
and mutilated amid the troubles of bygone days. He complains, 
too, that injudicious friends had rushed some of them 
immaturely through the press, while others had suffered at the 
hands of copyists, who, assuming the role of censors, had 
altered and even vilely corrupted his meaning. His plans 
were all upset, he says, by an urgent demand from many 
quarters that he should devote his time to writing the history 
of his nation. But he had made some progress with the task 
to which he had first set himself, and he speedily became known 
throughout Europe as easily the chief poet of his age. It was 
just before coming to St. Andrews in 1566 to take up his 
duties as Principal of St. Leonard's College that his fame as a 
poet began to spread. In that year, or the year before, the 
Paraphrasis Psalmorum was first printed in full ; then followed 
the Franciscamts, and next the shorter poems. 

The most popular and widely read of all Buchanan's works 
was undoubtedly the Paraphrasis Psalmorum, the greater part 
of which he wrote during his imprisonment in the Convent of 
San Bento, at Lisbon, in 1551-52. For more than two centuries 
and a half it found a ready sale throughout Europe, and edition 
after edition poured from the printing presses of Great Britain 
and the Continent. It is impossible to say, with any close 
approach to accuracy, how many editions of the Paraphrasis 
have been published. It is quite evident that a good many of 
the editions recorded in bibliographies and sale catalogues are the 
result of typographical or other errors, as they cannot be found 
in Libraries. But after making every allowance, there cannot 
have been fewer than seventy separate editions or reprints, and 
there may have been considerably more. At first the task of 
publisher and printer was clearly to supply the wants of 
educated people who took pleasure in reading Latin poetry for 

172 The Writings of George Buchanan 

its own sake. As time went on, however, and as Latin became 
less and less familiar to the general reader, school editions began 
to predominate. This is specially the case in the eighteenth 
century and in the first quarter of the nineteenth, after which 
the publication of the Paraphrase ceased. Ruddiman's text of 
1715 formed the basis of all the school editions published in 
this country (one of the best of which was printed at Edinburgh 
in 1812); but an earlier edition "in usum scolarum recusa " 
had appeared at Stendal in 1710. 1 The Paraphrasis, indeed, 
was to some extent used as a school book even in Buchanan's own 
lifetime, 2 and there are Scotsmen still living who owe part of 
their training in Latin to the study of that work. In some 
grammar schools it was the usual lesson-book for Saturday, in 
others it was read on Monday. Being a paraphrase of part of 
an inspired volume, it was permissible to the pupils, without 
fear of censure, to do their " grinding " on Sunday. But the 
little volumes, bound in the once familiar sheepskin, have long 
been banished from the schools, and no new edition in any form 
has been called for for more than three-quarters of a century. 
It was in 1556 that a selection of eighteen of Buchanan's 
" Psalms" first left the press. They were contained in a small 
volume bearing the title " Davidis Psalmi aliquot Latino 
carmine expressi a quatuor illustribus Poetis, quos quatuor 
regiones Gallia, Italia, Germania, Scotia genuerunt : in 
gratiam studiosorum poetices inter se commissi ab Henrico 
Stephano, cujus etiam nonnulli Psalmi Graeci cum aliis Graecis 
itidem comparatis in calce libri habentur." From the 
dedication it is clear that Stephanus was alone responsible for 
the publication of this comparative collection. He placed 
Buchanan's versions first in order of merit, and after them those 
of Antonius Flaminius, an Italian, Salmon Macrin, a 
Frenchman, Eobanus Hessus, a German, and Rapicius Jovita, 
also an Italian. The first complete edition was the joint 
production of H. and R. Stephanus. It is without date and 

1 "Nullum ego," says Burman, "si ab antiquioribus decesseris, celebrari 
unquam audivi aut legi, qui cum Buchanano contendere possit ; aut cujus 
scripta tarn assidua doctorum virorum manu versata, et etiam in publicis et 
privatis scholis pueris et adolescentibus ediscenda fuerint data." 

2 Chytraeus, writing in 1584, states that five years previously it had been 
resolved that the Paraphraxis should be prescribed for the first class in the 
school in which he taught at Rostock. 

The Writings of George Buchanan 173 

the exact year of its publication has not been ascertained 
definitely. The probability seems to be that it was issued in 
1565, or in the early part of 1566. It is a well-printed octavo 
volume, bearing the title : ' ' Psalmorum Dauidis paraphrasis 
poetica, nunc primum edita, authore Georgio Buchanano, 
Scoto, poetarum nostri saeculi facile principe. Eiusdem 
Dauidis Psalmi aliquot a Th[eodoro] B[eza] V[ezelio] versi. 
Psalmi aliquot in versus item Graecos nuper a diuersis translati. 
Apud Henricum Stephanum, et eius fratrem Robertum 
Stephanum, typographum Regium. Ex privilegio regis." The 
Greek versions form an appendix of 46 pages, with a separate 
pagination. This " editio princeps " was followed in 1566 by 
an edition in 16mo from the same press, in which the Jephthes 
was included and the Greek versions omitted. The first edition 
was reprinted, also in 1566, at Strassburg, by Josias 
Rihelius; and in the same year another edition, including the 
Jephthes, was issued at Antwerp " ex officina Christophori 
Plantini " making four distinct editions within a period of 
perhaps from twelve to eighteen months. Plantin's edition was 
reprinted in 1567 with the Greek versions added. Other 
editions came from the same press in 1571 and 1582. In 1575 
R. Stephanus reprinted the Paraphrasis and Jephthes, and in 
that year H. Stephanus likewise brought out the " Psalmorum 
Davidis aliquot inetaphrasis Graeca, Joannis Serrani," to which 
the Latin paraphrase of Buchanan is subjoined. Another 
edition, " omnia multo quam antehac emendatoria," was 
printed by R. Stephanus in 1580, and seems to have been the 
last issued from that famous press. Other sixteenth century 
editions were produced at Strassburg in 1568 and 1572, London 
in 1580, Morges in 1581, Frankfort in 1585, i Herborn in 1590, 
1595 and 1600, Geneva in 1593 and 1594, and Leyden in 1595. 
Subsequent editions are too numerous to be mentioned here 
in detail. It must suffice to say that in the exhibition were 
included editions printed at Paris in 1646 (selections) ; Leyden 
1609 and 1621; Frankfort in 1605; Herborn in 1616, 1619, 
1637, 1646, 1656, and 1664; Stendal in 1710; London in 1620, 

1 In this edition, as well as in all those printed at Herborn and some 
others, the Psalms are set to music, and are accompanied by arguments and 
scholia from the pen of Nathan Chytraeus. On the advice of the printer, the 
scholia were issued in a separate booklet, but it is usually bound up with the 
text. The music was composed or adapted by Statius Olthovius of Osuabruck. 

174 The Writings of George Buchanan 

1648, 1660, and 1742; Edinburgh in 1699, 1716, 1725, 1730, 
1737 (the most comprehensively annotated edition), 1772 
(with Waddel's prose translation), 1812, 1815, 1816 
(Waddel's translation only), and 1825 ; Glasgow in 1750, 1765, 
1790, 1797 (with and without Waddel's translation), and 1836 
(John Eadie's verse translation). 

It will be noticed that Scotland was somewhat late in taking 
up the printing of the Paraphrasis. Renouard asserts that a 
re-impression of the Paris edition was published at Edinburgh 
in 1566, with many corrections by Buchanan himself. This, of 
course, is a mistake, arising from a misreading of Buchanan's 
letter to Peter Daniel, dated at Edinburgh 24th July 1566. 
Three editions are attributed to Andrew Hart, viz., 1611, 1615, 
and 1621. According to the British Museum Catalogue, the 
1621 edition is a reprint of the London edition of 1592, of 
which an earlier edition is said to have appeared in 1590. The 
1615 edition, as issued along with Buchanan's poetical works, 
may have been printed in Edinburgh, but it has all the appear- 
ance of having been imported from Holland. The 1611 edition 
has been described as " very scarce," and a copy could not be 
got for exhibition. Another seventeenth century Scotch edition 
that could not be found is said to have been printed at Aberdeen 
by John Forbes, younger, in 1672. The sole authority for its 
existence a sale catalogue of 1842 is a very unreliable one. 

There has always been some uncertainty as to when the 
Franc iscanus was first published. The dedicatory letter to the 
Earl of Moray, written at St. Andrews on 5th June 1564, 
fixes the time at which it had been completed by the author for 
the press. But this letter did not appear in print until 171 1, 1 
and it was not prefixed to the poem itself until Ruddiman did 
so in his edition of the Opera Omnia of 1715. In an address 
to the reader of the Letters he says: " Ne quis autem Geo. 
Buchanani ad Moraviae Comitem Epistolam, quae in Edit. 
Lond. quart a occurrit, incuria nostra intercidisse caussari 
possit, monendus est earn suo loco ante Franciscanum (cujus 
nuncupatoria est) esse repositam." Dr. David Murray, of 
Glasgow, is the owner of an extremely rare pamphlet of 
56 unnumbered octavo pages entitled " Georgii Buchanani 

1 In "Georgii Buchanani Scoti ad viros sui seculi clarissimos, eorumque 
ad eundem, Epistolae. Ex MSS. accurate descriptae, nunc primum in lucera 
editae." Londini, irnpeusis D. Brown et Gul. Taylor. 

The Writings of George Buchanan 175 

Scoti, Franciscanus. Varia eiusdem authoris poemata. 
M.D.LXVI." There is no mention of place or printer, but it is 
bound up with another pamphlet of 46 numbered pages con- 
taining the " Psalmi aliquot in versus Graecos nuper a 
diuersis translati," which accompanies and forms part of 
the first edition of Buchanan's Paraphrases P&alinorum. The 
two pamphlets are quite uniform in size and style, and are 
evidently from the same press. There is thus every reason to 
believe that this is the first edition of the Franciscanus, and 
that it was printed by H. or R. Stephanus, although its title 
is not to be met with in the " Aunales de 1'imprimerie des 
Estienne " of Renouard. Prefixed to the Franciscanus is the 
Somnium, and appended are twenty-five Epigrammata and the 
first Palinodia. The last page contains " Ad vanam super - 
stitionem G. C. lurecons. Apostrophe," and " Patricii 
Adamsoni Scoti de Buch. carmen." A French translation by 
Florent Chrestien was published by Nicolas de Mergey, at 
Sedan, in 1599, under the title of '' Le Cordelier, ou Le Sainct 
Francois." The volume also contains the Songe, the Palinodie, 
jrnd various other pieces. 1 An English translation, by George 
Provand, appeared at Glasgow in 1809, and another, by 
Alexander Gibb, at Edinburgh, in 1871. 

An edition of the Elegiac, Silvae, and Hendecasyllabi was 
printed by R. Stephanus at Paris in 1567, with a dedication to 
Peter Daniel, dated at Edinburgh 24th July 1566. It was re- 
issued, with the addition of the Baptistes, in 1579, "apud Mamer- 
tum Patissonium." Meanwhile, in 1569, H. Stephanus had 
printed a selection of Buchanan's poems, including the Francis- 
canus, Elegiac, Silvae, etc., as a companion volume to the second 
edition of Beza's poems. A larger collection, comprising the 
Franciscanus and Fratrts, the Elegiac, Silvae, Odae, Medea, 
Alcestis, and Jephthes followed from the press of Thomas 
Guarinus Nervius at Basel, in or about 1568, in a well printed 
volume containing also the poems of various other writers. 
Another collection containing, in addition, the Epigrammata and 
a fragment of the Sphaera, but omitting the plays, appeared with- 
out place or publisher, but apparently at Heidelberg, in 1584. 
Ten years later these pieces were re-issued, along with the five 
books of the Sphaera; and in 1597 a second part followed, 

1 Brunei and La Ville de Mirmont mention an earlier edition, Geneva 

176 The Writings of George Buchanan 

" apud Petrum Sanctandreanum," containing the " Tragoediae 
sacrae et exterae." Both parts were republished in 1609 " in 
Bibliopolio Commeliniano," at Heidelberg. 

During the seventeenth century, collected editions of 
Buchanan's Potmata were issued from various presses in neat 
little pocket volumes, printed in very small type. The first of 
these bears the imprint of Andrew Hart, Edinburgh, and is 
dated 1615. It is made up in two sections, the one containing 
the Franciscanus, Elegiac, tiphaera, etc., and the other the 
Paraphrases Psalmorum, Jephthes and Baptistes. The editor is 
said to have been John Eay, first Professor of Humanity in 
the University of Edinburgh. Other editions, differently made 
up and containing the Alcestis and Medea as well, were 
published in the following order: 1621 (Saumur, Cl. 
Girard and others, and Ley den, Abraham Elzevir) ; 1628 
(Leyden, Elzevir) ; 1641 (Amsterdam, Jansson) ; 1665 (Amster- 
dam, Waesberge) ; 1676 (Amsterdam, Daniel Elzevir) ; 
1677 (Edinburgh, John Cairns) ; 1687 (Amsterdam, Henry 
Wetsten.) An edition on a larger page and in more 
readable type was published at London by B. Griffin in " The 
Old Baily " in 1686, and remains the best collection of 
Buchanan's poetical works in an easily read and handy form. 

The Sphaera, in a separate form (" quinque libris descripta: 
nunc primum e tenebris eruta et luce donata ") was first 
published at Herborn in 1586, by Christopher Corvin, with a 
dedicatory epistle by Robert Howie, afterwards Principal of 
St. Mary's College, St. Andrews, at the time a student at 
Herborn. In the following year another edition was put forth 
by the same publisher, with supplements to books IV. and V. 
by John Pincier. 

The poem addressed to Henry II. of France " post victos 
Caletes " came from the press of R. Stephanus, at Paris, in 
1558, in a tract of eight pages (whereof two are blank) entitled 
De Caletu nuper ab Henrico II. Francoriim rege invictiss. 
recepta, Georyii Buchanani Carmen. Four lines were, how- 
ever, subsequently added. An English version of this poem 
may be read among the " Reliques of Father Prout," in Bohn's 
Illustrated Library. 

An English version of the Epithalamium, along with the 
Latin text was published by Archdeacon Wrangham, in 1837, 
in his " Epithalamia tria Mariana"; and in 1845 an edition, 

The Writings of George Buchanan 177 

restricted to 61 copies, of an older anonymous translation, 
dating from about 1711, was printed at Edinburgh from the 
scarce copy preserved in a volume of pamphlets in the 
Advocates' Library. Another translation, by George Provand, 
had been published in 1809, along with the Franc iscanus. The 
text of this Marriage Ode was included in the Silvae printed in 
1567, and occurs in many subsequent editions of Buchanan's 

" The Stoic King, from Seneca; by Buchanan: to which is 
added his Dedication of the Latin Paraphrase of the Psalms 
to Mary Queen of Scots. Translated into English verse : with 
notes " is the title of a sixteen page pamphlet printed at 
Edinburgh in 1807. The Hex Stoicus ex Seneca is usually 
appended to the De Jure, Regni. 

The Silvae and the Hymnus Matutinus ad Christum, trans- 
lated into English verse by J. Longmuir, LL.D., Aberdeen, was 
published at Edinburgh in 1871 in a pamphlet of 48 pages. 

Attention may also be drawn to the verse translations, with 
explanatory notes, of the Fratres Fraterrimi, Epigrammata, and 
Miscellanea, by Robert Monteith, M.A., printed at Edinburgh 
for the heirs of Andrew Anderson, in 1708, although the 
translator warns the reader that " Buchanan's Learn'd 
and Witty Jests, by way of this translation, suffer 
much Decay." Translations of a number of Buchanan's 
single poems and epigrams lie hid in old magazines 
and other out of the way places. Some of these are good, and 
might be worth reprinting; but, in the words of Dr. Robert 
Chambers, written more than seventy years ago, "it is an 
honour yet awaiting some future scholar, to give to his un- 
lettered countrymen to feel somewhat of the grace and strength 
that characterize the performances of George Buchanan." 

In 1571 Ane Admonitioun direct to the trew Lordis 
appeared in three separate editions. Two of them were printed 
by Robert Lekprevik at Stirling. The third was " imprinted 
at London by lohn Daye, accordyng to the Scotish copie printed 
at Striuilyng by Robert Lekpreuik " ; but it may have come 
second in point of time, being reprinted from Lekprevik's first 
edition. Leprevik's second edition, besides minor variations, 
introduces a new paragraph of ten lines on page 13. In the 
Advocates' Library copy (which was shown at the exhibition) 
some one has written, in an eighteenth century hand, " This 


178 The Writings of George Buchanan 

last is not in the next following copy, which seems to have 
been a former edition, nor in the MS. 1570, Cotton's Library." 
Another note by the same hand, referring to a statement on page 
30, says, " Hence it is evident this libel has been written 
before the English army entered Scotland, which was about the 
middle of May 1570." Lowndes mentions a St. Andrews 
edition of 1572, but it has not been traced. The Admonitioun 
was reprinted in 1745 and again in 1808, in the third volume of 
the " Harleian Miscellany." A reprint of Lekprevik's second 
edition forms Appendix II. of Irving's " Memoirs of Buchanan," 
1817. The same issue is included in the " Works of Mr George 
Buchanan in the Scottish language," published at Edinburgh 
in 1823. The most recent edition is that contained in the 
" Vernacular Writings of George Buchanan," edited, from an 
early manuscript, for the Scottish Text Society, by Professor 
Hume Brown in 1892. The Admonitioun was actually printed 
for Ruddiman's edition of Buchanan's Works, and was intended 
to occupy the first ten pages of the sheets allotted to it and the 
Chamaeleon. But from some prudential considerations on the 
part of the editor or publisher, it was afterwards suppressed. 1 
Copies containing it are, however, frequently to be met with, 
printed in smaller type in double columns, and filling, with an 
" Advertisement," only six pages. The Admonitioun was not 
included in Burman's edition of the Works. 

About the same period (1570), Buchanan wrote " The 
Chamaeleon, or, the crafty statesman : described in the 
character of Mr. Maitland of Lethington, Secretary of 
Scotland," and the printing of it is said to have been begun by 
Lekprevik in April 1571. It was, however, successfully 
stopped by Maitland, and the pamphlet was made public for 
the first time at London in 1710 in a volume known as 
"Miscellanea Antiqua " in England and as "Miscellanea 
Scotica " in Scotland. The editor remarks, "The Chamaeleon 
was written originally in English, we have chang'd nothing, 
save the old spellings, and some obsolete words." It was 
printed from the manuscript in the Cotton Library in the 
Opera Omnia, 1715 and 1725, and in the second volume of 
another "Miscellanea Scotica" published at Glasgow in 1818. 
Other re-prints will be found in Irving's " Memoirs," 1817, 
Appendix II. 2; in the " Works of Buchanan in the Scottish 

1 See note on p. 154 of Irving's Memoirs of Buchanan, 1817. 

The Writings of George Buchanan 179 

language," 1823 ; in Aikman's translation of the Historia, vol. 1, 
1827; and in the " Vernacular Writings" of Buchanan, 1892. 
In 1741 appeared the "Chameleon redivivus : or, Nathaniel's 
character revers'd. A satire . . . against the Laird of 
Lidingtone. . . . Reprinted, and most humbly inscribed to a 
learned C[ler]k of the T[eind] C[ourt] of Edinburgh]." 

A third piece written by Buchanan in the Scottish 
vernacular was his Opinion anent the Reformation of the 
Universitie of St. Andros. It was first published as 
Appendix III. to Irving's " Memoirs of Buchanan," 1817. It 
was re-edited for the Bannatyne Club and printed in the 
second volume of its "Miscellany" in 1836. A third and 
much more carefully supervised edition will be found in the 
" Vernacular Writings" published by the Scottish Text Society 
in 1892. Although printed from the same original manuscript, 
this edition differs very much in spelling from Irving's, and 
the text is also somewhat different. 

Buchanan's famous Detectio was first issued to the world in 
a. little volume bearing a title beginning " De Maria Scotorum 
Regina." Accompanying it was a tract of greater length, by 
another hand, entitled " Actio contra Mariana Scotorum 
Reginam " ; and appended were three letters written by the 
Queen to Bothwell, about which much has since been heard. 
The volume bore no date, and place and publisher were likewise 
withheld ; but it is known to have been printed in 1571 by 
John Daye, of London. The book has sometimes been dated 
1572, and as slight variations are observable in the typography, 
it is just possible that there may have been a re-issue in that 
year. In 1571 there was also issued (without imprint), from 
the same press as the Latin edition, an English translation 
under the title of " Ane Detectioun of the duinges of Marie 
Quene of Scottes, "touchand the murder of hir husband, and hir 
conspiracie, adulterie, and pretensed mariage with the Erie 
Bothwell. And ane defence of the trew Lordis, mainteineris of 
the kingis graces actioun and authoritie. Translated out of the 
Latine quhilke was written by G. B." Of this translation there 
were two issues, the earlier of which is recognisable by the 
misplacement of the initial letter of the word " actioun," which 
had been accidentally dropped and inserted in the word 
" authoritie," making it read " authaoritie." There is no 
alteration in the text of the volume. In 1572 a Scotch 

180 The Writings of George Buchanan 

edition of the Detectio was " imprentit at Sanctandrois be 
Robert Lekpreuik." This was followed in 1572-3 by a 
French translation, " Histoire de Marie Royne d'Escosse," 
ascribed to " a Huguenot avocat of Rochelle, named Cumez." 1 
It was in all probability published in France although it bears 
to have been published in Edinburgh, and has the following 
colophon : ' ' Acheue d'imprimer a Edimbourg, ville capitalle 
d'Escosse, le 13. de Feurier, 1572. Par moy Thomas Waltem." 
As the ' ' Histoire tragique de Marie Royne d'Escosse " it again 
appeared in the " Memoires de 1'estat de France sous Charles 
IX.," torn. 1, 1579. An edition of the Detectio, " translated 
into Scotch, and now made English," was printed, without 
place, in 1651, and again at London in 1689. It is the first 
item in an Appendix to Buchanan's History of Scotland, 
published at London in 1721, and it was once more reproduced, 
from the copy printed at St. Andrews, in Anderson's 
" Collections relating to the History of Mary Queen of 
Scotland," vol. 2, 1727. The Detectio, in Latin and French, 
as well as the "Actio," are further accessible in Jebb's "Autores 
Sedecim," vol. 1, London, 1725. In connection with the 
Detectio, mention may be made of " The copie of a letter, 
written by one in London to his frend, concernyng the credit 
of the late published Detection of the doynges of the Ladie 
Marie of Scotland. Without date, black letter, 12mo, 
containing fourteen pages ; and, by some, thought to have been 
written by the learned Buchanan," printed in Anderson's Col- 
lections, vol. 2, 1727, in the Harleian Miscellany, vol. 3, London 
1745, and in Sommers's Tracts, vol. 14, London, 1751, as well 
as in the later editions of these latter collections. A copy of the 
original edition (ca. 1571), belonging to the Advocates' Library, 
containing sixteen pages, inclusive of the title-page, was 
exhibited at St. Andrews. 

The De Prosodia Libellus, which Buchanan drew up as part 
of a new Latin manual for use in Scottish schools, has been 
frequently reprinted, usually as an appendix to the grammar 
of Despauterius. The following editions were included in the 
exhibition: [1595], Edinburgh, Robert Waldegrave; 1621, 
Edinburgh, Andrew Hart; 1660, Edinburgh, Society of 
Stationers; 1667, Glasgow, Robert Sanders; 1689, Edinburgh, 

1 T. F. Henderson, "The Casket Letters," 1889, p. 48. 

The Writings of George Buchanan 181 

Society of Booksellers; 1694 and 1708, Edinburgh, Heirs of 
Andrew Anderson. 

Buchanan's celebrated political dialogue De Jure Begni apud 
Scotos first saw the light in 1579 at Edinburgh, but it had 
been written about ten years before, not unlikely at St. 
Andrews while he was still Principal of St. Leonard's College. 
The dedication to the King is dated at Stirling, 10th January 
1579. There would appear to have been two issues of the book 
one bearing the imprint " Edinburgi, apud lohannem Rosseum, 
pro Henrico Charteris Anno Do. 1579, cum privilegio regali " ; 
and the other " Anno Do. 1579," without printer, publisher, or 
place. An " editio secunda " followed in 1580, " ad exemplar 
loannis Rossei Edinburgi, cum privilegio Scotorum Regis," 
and was probably printed abroad. In the same year Ross's 
edition seems to have been re-issued with a new title, while an 
" editio tertia " is dated Edinburgh 1581. In 1610, it was trans- 
lated into Dutch by Ellert de Veer, and published at Amster- 
dam by Pieter Pieterszoon in black letter, with a lengthy pre- 
face by the translator. In 1654 the Latin text was inserted 
in part V. of the Theatrum orbis Terrarum published at Am- 
sterdam by John Blaeu, along with a short description of Scot- 
land extracted from Book I. of the Historia. The text was also 
printed by Robert Urie at Glasgow in 1750, and it was ap- 
pended to all the Latin editions of the Historia from 1583 to 
1762. The first English translation was " printed in the year 
1680." The name of place and publisher are withheld, and the 
translator (who defends his craftsmanship in an address to the 
reader) shelters himself behind the pseudonym " Philalethes." 
This translation was re-issued at London in 1689 by Richard 
Baldwin. A new translation was made by Robert Macfarlan 
and published at London in 1799, together with two disserta- 
tions, one archaeological and the other historical. Macfarlan's 
translation was re-printed in conjunction with Rutherford's 
Lex Bex, in the third volume of the " Presbyterian's 
Armoury," Edinburgh 1843-46. In " Fiirst und Volk nach 
Buchanan's und Milton's Lehre," a German translation of the 
Dialogue was published at Aarau in 1821. 

The last, and most voluminous, of Buchanan's writings was 
his Reritm Scoticarum Historia, which must have occupied 
his leisure hours for many years. It was first published in one 
folio volume by Alexander Arbuthnot, at Edinburgh, in 1582, 

182 The Writings of George Buchanan 

shortly after the author's death. Next year it was reprinted, 
also in folio, on the Continent, probably at Geneva, "ad exem- 
plar Alexandri Arbuthneti editum Edimburgi." Other Con- 
tinental editions, in octavo, followed at Frankfort in 1584, 
1594, and 1624; Amsterdam in 1643, and Utrecht in 1668 and 
1697. An " editio novissima " appeared at Edinburgh (Mosman) 
in 1700, and Paton re-issued Ruddiman's text there in 1727. 
The latest edition seems to be that edited by James Man, on 
the basis of the first edition, with numerous useful notes in 
English, printed at Aberdeen by James Chalmers in 1762. 
According to Irving ("Memoirs," p. 282) "of the History of 
Scotland there are seventeen editions." This looks like an 
exaggeration, as it has been found impossible to trace more than 
a dozen with certainty, and some of these are unaltered reprints. 

An edition of the Historia " faithfully rendered into English " 
by an unknown hand was published at London in 1690, in folio. 
Of this version seven editions followed, more or less revised and 
corrected by William Bond, each in two volumes, octavo, viz., 
London, 1722 and 1733, Edinburgh, 1751-52, 1762, and 1766, 
and Glasgow 1799. A new translation, with a continuation, by 
James Aikman, was commenced at Glasgow, 1827, and finished 
at Edinburgh in 1829, in six volumes, octavo. Buchanan's 
Historia occupies the first two volumes only. This edition was re- 
issued at Edinburgh, Glasgow and London more than once. Still 
another translation, also with a continuation, by John Watkins, 
LL.D., was published at London in 1827 and again in 1843. 
Most of these English editions contain portraits of the author 
besides maps and other illustrations. Translations into Scotch 
and French remain unprinted. In 1705, under the title 
of " An impartial account of the affairs of Scotland . 
written by an eminent hand," a portion of Buchanan's History 
was published anonymously at London as an original work. It 
extends ' ' from the death of James the Fifth to the tragical exit 
of the Earl of Murray, Regent of Scotland." 

Within two years of his death (that is to say about 1580) 
Buchanan is reputed to have written, at the urgent request of 
friends, a short autobiography giving a condensed account of his 
life from his birth to his final return to Scotland. The authen- 
ticity of this Vita, as it is usually called, has frequently been 
impugned ; and although there is a general consensus of opinion 
in favour of its being the work of Buchanan himself, there is 

The Writings of George Buchanan 183 

still an element of doubt in the matter. None of Buchanan's 
editors has really grappled with the question, and his bio- 
graphers have been equally supine. George Chalmers boldly 
rejected Buchanan's authorship of the Vita, having convinced 
himself that the real author was Sir Peter Young. 1 Professor 
Hume Brown has declared the objections formulated by 
Chalmers to be groundless; 2 and there the controversy may be 
said to rest. Perhaps all that can now be affirmed with 
certainty is that if Buchanan did not write the Vita himself he 
dictated it to another ; for it contains information regarding his 
life abroad that could not possibly have been given with such 
precision by any of his Scottish contemporaries. 

A good deal has been made of the defective chronology of the 
Vita and especially of the statement it sometimes contains that 
Buchanan was appointed tutor to King James a year before his 
royal pupil was born. Ruddiman was much puzzled by this 
sentence and tried to explain it in different ways. Such aber- 
rations may, however, be due, in part at least, to defective edit- 
ing. In point of fact the text of the Vita has never been criti- 
cally edited ; and, such as it is, it has not even been quite fairly 
placed before the modern reader. It is impossible to go into the 
whole subject here, but a few relevant facts may be pointed out. 
The earliest edition mentioned by Ruddiman is 1608, but he had 
not seen it himself and he does not specifically refer to another 
with the exception of Sir Robert Sibbald's, of 1702, merely 
remarking that the V^ta is to be found in many editions of the 
Foemata. He does not seem to have noticed that during the 
greater part of the seventeenth century two distinct versions of 
the Vita had been appearing concurrently. The difference 
between them is certainly not great, but it is sufficient to suggest 
that the one was not copied directly from the other. So far as 
can be ascertained at present the one version was published for 
the first time at Herborn in 1613, and the other at Edinburgh 
in 1615. There may have been earlier editions of both, but if 
so they have still to be discovered. When, towards the end of 
1584 , Nathan Chytraeus was preparing for the press the 
" Collectanea" or " Scholia" to his school edition of the Para- 
phrasis Psalmorum he deemed it necessary to say something 
about the author. So, under the heading of " De paraphraste 

1 Life of Thomas Ruddiman, London, 1794, p. 68. 

2 George Buchanan, humanist and reformer, Edin., 1890, p. 369. 

184 The Writings of George Buchanan 

ipso," he gave such particulars of Buchanan's life as he could 
glean from the Historia and from the prefaces to his poetical 
and other works. In the edition of 1590 he added the story of 
Buchanan's manner of rebuking King James for signing docu- 
ments without reading them. Chytraeus was the first to publish 
this story, which had reached him in a roundabout way from 
Johannes Metellus, who had heard it from the lips of a nephew 
of Buchanan. These biographical notes remained unaltered in 
the editions of 1595 and 1600, so that Chytraeus, who died on 
25th February, 1598, had evidently never seen the Vita. In 
the edition of 1613, however, and probably in an intervening 
one, the Vita takes the place of what Chytraeus had written. 
It is unlikely that the first edition of the Vita should have been 
printed at Herborn, and further investigation may yet reveal an 
earlier one. The next known edition is that prefixed to the 
Poemaia published by Andrew Hart at Edinburgh in 1615. This 
is the more accurate text of the two, and is clearly not a reprint 
of the Herborn one. The heading of the Herborn text is simply 
" Georgii Buchanani Vita." The words " ab ipso scripta biennio 
ante mortem " have been added in the Edinburgh one. But 
while the Edinburgh text merely adds at the end " Obiit Edin- 
burgi vigesimo octavo Septembris, anno salutis 1582," the 
Herborn one gives this more detailed information : " Haec de se 
Buchananus, amicorum rogatu. Obiit Edinburgi, paulo post 
horam quintam matutinam, die Veneris xxviii. Septembris, 
anno M.D.XXCII." Among minor variations it may be noted 
that the Herborn text prints " atque " for " avoque," "aliquam" 
for " ambiguam," "atque" for " itaque," "probe" for 
" prope," " dixit " for " dixisset," and suchlike. It also adds, 
as well as omits, single words here and there. In one place a 
whole sentence is dropped, but although havoc is thus played 
with the context the error seems never to have been rectified in 
any subsequent edition. Another omission has a more practical 
bearing. Ruddiman asserts that in all the editions of the Vita 
the statement is made that Buchanan was appointed tutor to 
the King in 1565 (" ita enim constanter exhibent omnes ejus 
vitae editiones "). This is perhaps true of the Scotch and Dutch 
editions, but in the whole series of Herborn editions this state- 
ment does not once occur. Sir Robert Sibbald, who edited the 
Vita in 1702, adding marginal dates 1 and a commentary, 

1 The Herborn editor was the first to attempt to supply the Vita with 
much needed dates. His attempt was praiseworthy, but his calculations were 
seldom correct. 

The Writings of George Buchanan 185 

followed the former, without making any reference to the source 
of his text. Ruddiman, in 1715, reprinted the text of Sibbald, 
with a few variations, revising and multiplying the marginal 
dates, and adding elaborate notes and a continuation. Both 
Sibbald and Ruddiman adhere to the text they had adopted (it 
may be because they knew no other) and retain the impossible 
date in the last sentence " Cui erudiendo erat praefectus anno 
millesimo quingentesimo sexagesimo quinto. " Irving, on the 
other hand, while adhering in the main to Ruddiman's text 
prints the last sentence and the docquets which follow exactly as 
they stand in the Herborn editions, and in this he is followed by 
Professor Hume Brown. This mixing of texts, without warning 
to the reader, is misleading and at variance with modern 
methods of dealing with historical documents. It is to be hoped 
therefore, that some one will before long make a serious effort 
to trace the Vita to its origin, and to construct a reliable text 
accompanied by such critical and explanatory notes as may be 
necessary for its elucidation. 

J. M. A. 

Buchanan's Influence on his Contemporaries. 

THERE can be little doubt that when George Buchanan, in 1536, 
returned for a time to Scotland from the College of St. Barbe 
in Paris, to superintend the studies of the young Earl of 
Cassillis, he was already regarded by the learned of his day 
as one of the greatest scholars of his own or any preceding age. 
Nor was so exalted a reputation undeserved. For variety of 
culture, as well as accuracy in scholarship, for true poetic 
inspiration, united to a calm judicious faculty of historic and 
philosophic judgment and critical appraisement, for sound, well- 
balanced principles on the theory of government and the 
reciprocal duties of rulers and ruled, for a true sense of literary 
proportion and for an unfailing fund of wit, satire and irony 
for the possession of all these in felicitous intermingling, I say, 
he stood unrivalled among the writers of his age. 

Buchanan died just when the second epoch of Humanism 
was near its close, and he was amongst the latest and certainly 
was the greatest of its glories. That his name was familiar to 
the great English scholars of the mid-sixteenth century, John 
Ireland, Sir John Cheke, Sir Thomas Wilson, Roger Ascham, 
and others, is as certain as that he was on terms of intimacy 
with all the great Continental Humanists, who saw in him one 
of themselves, even when they failed to recognise those higher 
principles of character and conduct which distinguished him. 
There is little doubt, moreover, that his satires were far more 
widely known than we believe them to have been, and there are 
frequent lines and passages in nearly all the great English 
writers from Sackville and Gascoigne to Milton and Marvel 
which are only free translations of familiar passages in his 
political tracts, his satires and his historical works. Holinshed, 
Stow, Camden, Speed and others, reveal not only the acknow- 
ledged influence of Buchanan, but in addition more than one of 
them refer to him either to commend or to controvert. 

Buchanan's Influence on his Contemporaries 187 

Naturally, however, it is in Scottish Literature more distinc- 
tively, that is to say, in the works of writers who were 
not only treating of Scottish themes, but were Scotsmen born 
and bred, that we find the influence of Buchanan most apparent. 
It is wrong to imagine that the Scots and English are racially 
one, and that what differences do exist are merely patriotically 
sentimental and dialectical. Were this so Bannockburn and 
Flodden would never have been fought. Not only are Scot and 
English as racially distinct in most cases as Magyar and Czech, 
but their springs of sympathy and sources of national feeling 
are also altogether different. 

To this cause must be attributed the fact that the genius 
of Buchanan, supreme though it was, had not the same ex- 
tensive influence in England as in Scotland and the Continent 
of Europe. Buchanan's culture and genius had certainly more 
in common with the Continental Humanism than with that 
Elizabethan Romanticism which was then making a fight for life, 
before being choked in the uncongenial atmosphere of seventeenth 
and eighteenth century Classicism. Buchanan's Humanism was 
neither parochial nor one-sided that is to say, he neither 
believed that the learning of any land or any epoch constituted 
the sum total of culture. Like Odysseus, he had studied the 
countries and the customs of many men and it was his prolonged 
Wander jahre that made him the polymath he became. 

Out of the fulness of his intellectual treasury he distributed 
to all and sundry, and it is singular to note how persistently 
his mind advanced along the best lines of progress and develop- 
ment. His earliest original works may be described as satires, 
the chief of these being his clever poem giving that vivid picture 
of his daily life as a pedagogue at Ste Barbe, his Satire on the 
Sorbonne, his famous Somnium, his Palinodia, and his Fran- 
ciscanus. Of these the last three are historic. The Somnium, 
a vigorous onslaught upon the Franciscans, may, it is true, be 
described as in some respects little more than a paraphrase of 
Dunbar's splendid poem The Visitation of St. Francis which 
begins : 

This nycht befoir the dawing cleir 
Me thocht St. Francis did to me appeir 
With ane religiouse abbeit in his hand 
And said " In this, go cleith the" my servand 
Refuis the warld, for thow mou be a Freir. 

188 Buchanan's Influence on his Contemporaries 

Both poems are inspired by the same idea, viz. " Is it worth 
while to become a Churchman ? " Dunbar's is the wittier piece, 
Buchanan's the more sustained effort of the two. but there can 
be no question that from the former the latter drew the 
materials for his poem. Franciscanus which traverses much the 
same ground as the Somnium, was composed at the request of 
James V., who seems to have given the writer some under- 
standing that he would protect him from the anger of the 
reverend fathers. But in this case the cowl proved more potent 
than the Crown, and Buchanan had to run before the storm. 
The Palinodia had also been written at the request of James 
and were bitter onslaughts against the Franciscans, but the 
King did not consider them severe enough and Franciscanus 
was the result. As a satirist, Buchanan stands in the very first 
rank and there can be little wonder that his style was imitated 
by writers alike in England and in Scotland, as well 
as on the Continent. The man who could produce 
such work as the Somnium, Franciscanus, and the 
Palinodia in Latin, and the Admonitioun to the Trew 
Lordis, as well as the scathing Chamaeleon in the Scots 
vernacular, was an outstanding master of his craft. Hence 
we find that Buchanan's satiric work exercised a very marked 
influence upon the mind and writings of several of his contem- 
poraries, on the great Andrew Melville (1545-1622) to whom, 
next to Knox, the Scottish Reformation owed the most of its 
direction and inspiration. Sir Richard Maitland of Lethington 
(1496-1586), albeit an older man than Buchanan by ten years, 
showed how profound was the impression made upon him by 
the Somnium, the Palinodia, and the early MS. drafts of 
Franciscanus, by his obvious references to them in his works. 
In fact, the Maitland family as a whole seems to have had 
intimate relations with Buchanan. Sir Richard's brother, Sir 
John, afterwards Lord Maitland of Thirlestane and Chancellor 
of the Kingdom of Scotland, revealed the extent of Buchanan's 
influence upon him, both in his epigrams, preserved in the 
Delitiae Poetarum Scotorutn, and in his satire Aganis Sklan- 
derous Toungis, which is in many features only a free para- 
phrase of portions of Buchanan's Satire on the Sorbonne, also 
that on The Brothers of St. Anthony and the Palinodia. Thomas 
Maitland, one of Sir Richard's younger sons, wrote some ex- 
cellent Latin poems in Buchanan's manner, and was chosen by 

Buchanan's Influence on his Contemporaries 189 

the latter himself as one of the interlocutors in his great work 
De Jure Kegni. 

Other names, both Scottish and Continental, might be men- 
tioned as those of contemporaries whose works show a tinge 
more or less pronounced of the great Humanist's influence 
viz., Robert Wedderburn (better known as a religious poet), 
Thomas Hudson, Alexander Arbuthnot, William Fowler, John 
Napier of Merchiston, Alexander Hume and John Burrell ; also 
in England such satirists as Thomas Dekker, with his // this 
be not a good Play the Devil is in it, W. Turner's Hunting of 
the Fox, and The Trial of the Masse, George Gascoigne's Steel 
Glass, and Glass of Government, Marston's Scourge of Villainy, 
Hall's V irgidemiarum and Nicholas Grimoald's Satires ; and on 
the Continent of Europe George Witzel, Nicodemus 
Frischlin, Caspar Brulow, Thomas Kirchmayer. Many of these 
writers may simply refer to Buchanan, yet the mere reference 
shows the marvellous extent of his influence an influence which 
continued to increase after his death. 

The widely diverse character, therefore, of those contempor- 
ary writers, in whose works the influence of Buchanan can be 
traced, is a remarkable testimony to the amazing versatility of 
the man. Unless in the case of Shakespeare an analogous 
instance to this universality of influence can scarcely be cited. 
As a historian he influenced his contemporaries, through his 
History of Scotland and his Detectio Mariae Reginae Scotorum ; 
on the poetry of the epoch, also, he left his impress through 
his Sphaera, his Epithalamii/m, his Calendae Maiae, (which 
Wordsworth considered equal to anything in Horace), his ama- 
tory verse, addressed to Leonora and Neaera, and his matchless 
rendering of the Psalms, which by the verdict of the first Latin- 
ists of the world have been held to be worthy of the Golden Age 
of Latin Verse, a verdict acquiesced in by such rival translators 
as Arthur Johnston himself. As a dramatist, moreover, his 
Jephthes, his Baptistes, his translation and adaptation of the 
Medea and the Alcestis, and finally his Masque for the Baptism 
of James VI. all appealed profoundly to the temper of the time. 
Lastly, as a political writer in his De Jure Regni, his Admoni- 
tioun to the Trew Lore/is, etc., how keenly and how correctly did 
he not mould the opinions of all the more liberal minded writers 
of the sixteenth century ! That these works manifest a versatility 
and fecundity altogether exceptional will be the first thought 

190 Buchanan's Influence on his Contemporaries 

which occurs to anyone who examines the case. The admiration, 
however, will be distinctly deepened when we come to study 
the works with critical care, and realise the marvellously high 
standard of excellence which is maintained throughout. The 
individual whom the jealous mind of Julius Caesar Scaliger, 
recognised as his superior must have been of outstanding merit 
indeed ; while the younger and the greater Scaliger, Joseph, 
(son of the other) affirmed most emphatically " In Latin 
poetry, Buchanan leaves all Europe behind." 

That being the opinion entertained of Buchanan by his 
contemporaries abroad, we can estimate at once the probable 
extent and depth of the influence exercised by Buchanan at 
home, when his fame was so European in its diffusion. 
Scotsmen in all ages have been impressed by the tongue of good 
report abroad, and the mere fact that he occupied so supreme 
a place among the Humanists of Europe, was quite sufficient to 
ensure Buchanan a permanent as well as a prominent place in 
the estimation of his countrymen, even although they might not 
be qualified to gauge the character of his works, nor be able 
to pronounce upon their relative excellence as regards a given 

We have seen his influence as a satirist exercised on his 
contemporaries : there remains his influence as a historian, a 
publicist, and a Humanist translator of the Psalms. Buchanan's 
idea was that by writing in Latin, the language of the learned, 
he was laying the foundations of his fame so deep and sure that 
they would never be moved. He had lived among Humanists, 
he had imbibed their sentiments and had imagined the 
" Humanistic We " to be as far reaching in its mandatory effects 
as the " Imperial Plural." " Alas," as Professor Hume Brown 
says "if he had only known it, even when he wrote, Modern 
Europe had rejected Latin as the vehicle of its deepest thoughts 
and feelings." All the more credit is it to him that as a 
Historian whether we read him in the original Latin or in 
the excellent English translations now furnished he delights us 
as few writers do, and carries home to our minds the conviction 
that this is no ordinary writer whose work we are perusing, 
but one of the leading minds in the world's hierarchy of letters. 
Granted that it is not fair to read Buchanan's 16th century 
Latin works through twentieth century spectacles, all the more 
honour it is to him that we do not need to suggest this plea in 


Buchanan's Influence on his Contemporaries 191 

extenuation of tedium, that he is writing in what is to us an 
alien language. 

Now as John Major had influenced Buchanan in his his- 
torical studies, saliently, but not wholly beneficially, as he him- 
self says, so Buchanan's influence may be traced in several of 
his contemporaries. That Buchanan exercised a profound in- 
fluence upon John Knox is now well recognised. Again and 
again in the Reformer's "Historic of the Reformation" there 
are turns of expression which remind us of passages in the 
Somnium and Franciscanus. Buchanan, after Knox's death, 
was asked to revise certain passages in the latter's Historic, and 
from this we may argue that in life the Reformer had freely 
utilised the aid of the greatest of his contemporaries. 

Another writer who owed much to Buchanan was Sir James 
Melville of Halhill, whose Memoirs, besides referring more than 
once to Buchanan by name, reveal how closely the courtier had 
studied all the works of the old Humanist. Though his 
political opinions were far from being so liberal as those 
enunciated by Buchanan in De Jure Regni, viz., that absolute 
liberty is essential to the true growth and welfare of men, 
nevertheless, James Melville's study of Buchanan led him to 
take up towards the close of his life an attitude of quiescent 
antagonism to the King's Divine Right views. 

The famous Andrew Melville and his nephew James Melville 
were also individuals upon whom, as public men, the influence 
of Buchanan's works was especially marked. The former, who 
unquestionably was the ablest ecclesiastic in Scotland, after 
Knox, was a strange mixture of the Humanist and the 
Puritan. In this Eclecticism he would receive no sympathy 
from Buchanan, who although a member of the Reformed 
Church, was at heart a Humanist, and the Reformation and 
Humanism had nothing in common. As Professor Hume 
Brown aptly said: " Scotland, whether for good or ill, learned 
nothing from the Revival of Letters. Had the Renaissance 
touched her before the Reformation it might have been other- 
wise. But as it was, the Renaissance came to her through the 
Reformation, and theology dominated her schools from the 
moment of her new birth." Despite the powerful influence 
exercised by Buchanan's works upon Melville, between the men 
themselves there could be little sympathy. Thomas Smeaton 
also, second Principal of the University of Glasgow, has testified 

192 Buchanan's Influence on his Contemporaries 

to the benefit he had received from the personal influence and 
works of Buchanan. 

Among theologians and preachers, there were two others 
whose careers were undoubtedly moulded for them to some 
extent by Buchanan's works, viz., John Craig (1512-1600) 
the colleague of Knox, and Robert Rollock, the first Principal 
of Edinburgh University. The former had come under 
Buchanan's influence abroad, and the latter was one of his 
students at St. Andrews. Both of them repeatedly, Craig in 
his sermons and Rollock in his works, testified to the enormous 
intellectual stimulation they had received from Buchanan. 

Finally, as a translator of the Psalms into Latin, Buchanan 
has inspired more than one illustrious scholar to follow his 
example. So excellent is Buchanan's version, and so 
felicitously has he rendered the thoughts of the Psalmist into 
choice idiomatic Latin, that many of our leading scholars have 
declared that a Roman of the Augustan era could not have 
succeeded more felicitously in clothing the ideas of the Hebrew 
poet in a fitting Latin garb. Buchanan's example has been 
followed by Arthur Johnston, who has also achieved triumphant 
success in the attempt. 

Amongst other contemporaries on the Continent and at home 
who during their lives bore testimony to the value of the 
intellectual stimulation they had received from Buchanan, were 
the Reformer Beza of Geneva, also Joannes Serranus (Jean de 
Serres of Lausanne, the Editor of Plato), Obertus Gifanius the 
Philologer, Florent Chrestien the Humanist of Vendome, 
Peter Daniel of Orleans, the Scaligers and Turnebus, Hubert 
Languet of Antwerp, Janus Dousa and Philip de Marnus de 
Ste Aldegonde, both of Leyden, and Joannes Sturmius of 
Strasburg. Among Englishmen and Scotsmen, Roger Ascham, 
author of the Scholemaster, Dr. Walter Haddon of Oxford, 
Bishop Jewel of Salisbury, Sir Anthony Cook and his learned 
daughters, Daniel Rogers and Sir Thomas Randolph, the 
English Ambassadors, and Nicholas Udall, were a few of those 
who rejoiced to bear testimony to Buchanan's influence. 

Many were the tributes, public and private, paid to Buchanan 
by the scholars and literati, both of his own century and that 
which succeeded. Henricus Stephanus, said of him that he was 
" easily the first poet of his age," a verdict echoed with appro- 
bation by Camden. Later on the great Grotius speaks of him as 

Buchanan's Influence on his Contemporaries 193 

" Scotiae illud numen," while Salmasius styles him " the greatest 
man of his age." Milton praised him unstintedly, so did 
Abraham Cowley, and neither of these poets was over-liberal in 
his laudation of others, while Dryden considered that as a 
historian he was comparable to any of the moderns and excelled 
by few of the ancients. That there were many others who did 
not thus acknowledge the benefits derived from Buchanan, yet 
were influenced by his life and works, goes without saying. Of 
Buchanan himself, of a truth, we may say, in the words of 
Nicolas Breton, " He was a Sun of letters, sent to this dark 
land to shed abroad upon us the light and the leading that come 
to us from his unrivalled learning." 

O. S. 


The Humanist: a Psychological Study. 

ALTHOUGH in some ways Psychology is the youngest of modern 
studies, it is undoubtedly a direct result of the Renaissance 
interest in all that concerned mankind and of the Renaissance 
tendency to observe and examine before, instead of after, 
enunciating fundamental laws. In 1690, Locke showed the 
scope of the new inductive science, and Scotland re- 
sponded to the stimulus just as, at an earlier date, 
she had responded to Chaucer. It is then not inappropriate 
that a volume which commemorates Scotland's greatest humanist 
should consider his character, so far as it was typical of his age, 
by the light of a humanistic science long known as " Scottish 

The intense vitality of the humanist is what strikes us 
at the outset and what ever remains the strongest impression 
made upon the student of the Renaissance. It is not the rest- 
less vitality of the American who, like jesting Pilate, asks, 
" What is Truth? " and stays not for an answer, nor is it the 
departmental vitality of the specialist whose consciousness is 
polarised and in whom a section only of his environment can 
awake activity. The humanist is distinguished from these 
types and from others by a high level of general consciousness 
which makes him forceful in every activity of life. There is 
nothing in him vaguely intelligent, weakly emotional, or vacilla- 
ting of purpose; whatever aspect of mind is prepotent for the 
time being is concentrated to a high degree. The exag- 
gerated habitual bias of the specialist is absent and yet unity 
of life interest is strongly marked, differentiating the humanist 
from the American who is not "interested" at all, but only 
curious as regards the external world. 

There is another modern type, more pleasant to meet than 
those already mentioned, which is nevertheless but a travesty 

The Humanist : a Psychological Study 195 

of sixteenth century humanism. A cultured person of to-day 
is frequently humanistic only in a partial sense " Humani 
nihil a me alienum puto " expresses only half the truth, yet 
too many end their creed at this point, and we, as well as they, 
wonder as time goes on why their influence on the world is so 
feeble. A little observation and comparison soon give us the 
answer. This modern cultured type is compacted of strongly 
emotional interest, with the more intellectual forms less well 
developed and without that potency of will which is necessary 
to balance the dissipating tendency of wide interests. It is 
lacking both in the elastic balance and in the fulness of vitality 
supremely characteristic of the Renaissance period. There were 
giants in those days who brought to each of their quickly suc- 
ceeding interests and into each of their corresponding desires, 
gigantic power of concentrated thinking and feeling, or of 
action guided by unswerving will. Humanistic schoolmasters 
of to-day would do well to have this twofold ideal in view, the 
rousing of widespread interest and the development of habitual 
concentration. The men and women of the Renaissance had 
their moments of supreme relaxation as well as of supreme 
effort ; the bow cannot, as well as must not, always be bent. 
But concentration was a habit with them and less costly, there- 
fore, than a more explicit effort of will, and it is this habitude 
of concentration with its easy performance of herculean labours 
which must be associated with the stimulating characteristic 
of widespread interest, before modern education and modern 
men and women can rival those of the New Birth. The amount 
of actual work produced during the sixteenth century was in 
every department enormous, and yet the workers were com- 
paratively few. If we explain it as largely due to the mar- 
vellous stimulation of that concurrence of movements included 
under the term Renaissance, we must also acknowledge that 
events of the nineteenth century in this respect parallel those 
of earlier days. We cannot then blame our environment, and if 
the succeeding age is unproductive, the lack of achievement 
must be largely due to our own puny characters and enfeebled 

Having thus laid stress on the importance of concentration, 
we may now give full value to the humanistic quality of interest 
than which there is no attitude of mind so educative, so 
civilised, in the best sense of the word. It was this going 

196 The Humanist : a Psychological Study 

forth day after day, in the belief that observation of their 
surroundings would repay with pleasure, that stimulated the 
imaginative powers of Shakespeare and Columbus, of Petrarch 
or of Raphael. The past was reconstructed, the spirit as well 
as the letter of Greek was understood. The known world 
was used as a starting point from which to reach a clearly 
pictured unknown. The future was predicted by the truly 
prophetic gift of intellectual foresight. There must have been 
moments when it was difficult to tell what century a man really 
lived in, for the humanist could "look before and after" and 
yet needed not to repine ; the best of the ancient world as well 
as modern life was his. 

The effect of this widening of individual experience until 
co-extensive with that of the race, was to break down the old 
systems of thinking, of education, and of living itself. After 
the long rule of dialectic, imagination ran riot ; after centuries 
of passive receptivity, the active, creative faculties of mind 
became overwhelmingly prepotent ; after the iron reign of 
formal habit there was everywhere an irresistible yearning for 
spontaneous development. When the passion for living and 
doing was so strong it was inevitable that excesses should occur, 
that we should have antinomians in every form of creative art 
as well as in religion and politics, mystics like Wilhelmina the 
Fraticellian, and humanistic hooligans such as the Goliards of 
Germany. " Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds," but 
while these extreme types are more repellant than the mere 
grossness of medievalism, we turn with pleasure to the more 
normal pattern, a man whom it is impossible to classify in our 
carefully partitioned table of human activities, who may 
happen to be best remembered as a scholar, or a painter, a 
poet or a sculptor, but who was also pre-eminent in his own 
country and in his own day in other spheres. Michael Angelo, 
the sculptor, was also a poet ; Petrarch, the poet, was a diplo- 
matist : Wolsey, Churchman and diplomatist, was a great war 
minister : Gerson, the mystic in religion, championed the rights 
of the laity against the Papacy. 

This tendency is noticeable very early in the Renaissance. 
Dante and Chaucer, each for his countrymen the Janus of the 
movement, won renown on many a field. Dante, alternately 
Guelf and Ghibelline, but always on the side of Italian nation- 
ality, was a diplomatist and a writer on political theory as 

The Humanist : a Psychological Study 197 

well as a poet who painted. Chaucer was poet, soldier, diplo- 
matist, master of the intellectual thought of his day, besides, 
we strongly suspect, inheriting a keen business faculty from his 
tavern keeping and goldsmith ancestors. Benvenuto Cellini 
was, according to his latest translator, "jeweller, goldsmith, 
sculptor, musician, writer, soldier, duellist, and man of plea- 
sure." Buchanan was a diplomatist like Dante, a soldier like 
Chaucer, a scholarly educationalist like Petrarch, counsellor in 
war and in Church polity like Wolsey, a poet who mirrored 
his day in a symbolic past, like Milton (to whom he also gave 
the lead in the discussion of political theories) and a satirist 
of religious hypocrisy comparable to Erasmus and Ulrich 
von Hutten. The mere modern who challenges criticism 
in half as many departments is labelled ' ' versatile " in the 
worst sense of the word. We live at a lower level of conscious- 
ness where, for efficiency, we must resolutely limit our likings 
and desires, but Browning echoes a true note of the Renaissance 
music when he tells how 

No artist lives and loves, that longB not 
Once and only once, and for one only 
(Ah, the prize) to find his love a language 
Fit and fair, and simple and sufficient 
Using nature that's an art to others, 
Not, this one time, art that's turned his nature. 

80 to be the man and leave the artist, 
Gain the man's joy, miss the artist's sorrow. 

The motive alone differed ; pure strength of vitality impelled 
men to conquer new worlds. The scope was greater ; it was not 
always just another form of art which was attempted. 

In environment so complex as that of the sixteenth century 
the interests of life were very varied and our humanists group 
themselves accordingly. Strongly defined is the creative artist 
so typical of Italy, where love of beauty and desire to make 
what is beautiful have always gone hand in hand, although at 
the present day a more purely intellectual type of interest 
seems to predominate. In Petrarch the artistic and intellectual 
sentiments seem almost evenly balanced ; he had the double 
ecstasy of discovering knowledge and of creating beauty. In 
Valla, the intellectual sentiments predominated, and he ap- 
proaches nearer to the Erasmus type to whom hypocrisy and 

198 The Humanist : a Psychological Study 

falsehood cause as much, if not more, pain as the discovery 
of truth causes pleasure. Painful emotion is a spur to vigorous 
action, hence the power displayed in De Donatione Constantini, 
Julius Secundus Exclusus, or in the Franciscanus and the 
S omnium. Potent fervour and force were given to satire of 
Church abuses north of the Alps by the strength of the moral, 
as well as of the intellectual, sentiments in Teutonic minds. 
Overpoweringly strong were these at times, indeed, to the 
complete warping of the humanistic nature with its universal 
sympathies. Pure morality and true religion were dangerous 
magnets for Luther, Calvin, and many another. The work they 
did was valuable and much of it absolutely necessary, but they 
certainly departed from the humanistic ideal of many sided 
interest and of perfectly balanced mental development. 

The triumph of physical pleasures was certain to be marked 
in the overthrow of an asceticism which had warred most of all 
upon them, and here too the strength of the emotions roused 
led by an easy Avernian descent to departure from the human- 
istic spirit. But the finer spirits were saved from this and so, 
while we read of orgies which nothing in after life or before 
redeems, we can also turn with relief to men and women whose 
self-indulgence took less crude form and who, either as artists 
or patrons of art have made us their bedesmen. 

Another well marked group was dominated by the social 
sentiment of nationality. In sub-conscious form this force was 
working throughout Europe drawing together people of differing 
race and ignoring geographical unities as only social instincts 
can. Dante has been already quoted as an early exponent 
of nationality. Rienzi, striving to put the new elixir mice, 
into a Roman amphora, attempted a disastrous experiment and 
failed in that fore-knowledge which marked the greater minds 
of his day. Catharine of Siena and Petrarch, urging the return 
of the Papal Court to Rome, offered a more practical but not less 
evanescent solution. Rienzi, failing as does many an idealist, in 
his conscious effort, yet revived the noble concept of true citizen- 
ship to become the educational ideal of Vittorino da Feltre, most 
noted of Italian schoolmasters, and to find its way across the 
Alps as a permanent influence on our English public schools. 

Pico della Miraudola, again, is representative of another 
humanistic group of thinkers perhaps we should more cor- 
rectly say believers, since the emotional element predominates 

The Humanist : a Psychological Study 199 

for whom mystic religious sentiment was the controlling force 
of consciousness. In many ways, this is the most complex and 
curious of Italian types. Ahead of its age in recognising that 
religious truth and moral beauty are not the monopoly of any 
faith, abreast of the age in recognition of the human dignity, 
it was yet too closely in sympathy with mediaeval symbolism 
and with the more subtle platonic realism to be of far reaching 
influence in the Renaissance movement. Pico is a clearly de- 
nned figure in the sunshine, but with his exception, the best 
in this kind are but shadows, and shades which please us after 
the glowing colours of all the rest. 

Interest, wide reaching and yet concentrated, is then the 
dominant psychological note in humanism, and it is in relation 
to it that we must consider the rest of that harmonious 

The most immediate effect of this access of emotional force 
was probably the quickening of imaginative power. The quan- 
tity of creative work produced during the sixteenth century 
has been already referred to; the high average of its quality 
requires no comment here. But imagination is not concerned 
with the inventive faculty alone. It is an essential element in 
sympathy, and was consequently of importance in giving intelli- 
gent direction to the social emotions already mentioned. Practi- 
cal work and art were equally affected. Shakespeare is " for all 
time," just because his naturally sensitive mind was stirred by 
contact with men of other lands besides his own, and his 
sympathies widened by interest in topics other than the great 
religious and social questions of Tudor England. Ho was not 
thereby made indifferent to national problems; on a shallow 
nature this would certainly have been the effect, but then the 
humanist was not a shallow nature. He " apperceived " them all 
the better for seeing their relation to the European struggle 
between the old and new systems, but he was not obsessed by 
them. We find no obtrusion of the Puritan question or of the 
struggle with Spain in his dramatic plots, but yet we can clearly 
discern that his larger conceptions of life were moulded upon 
these realities. The affectionate mention of him by his contem- 
poraries would lead us to believe that his sympathies went out to 
individuals as well as to great national movements. 

Such another, in this respect, was Colet, the hater of wars 
and the good friend of little children, and Buchanan who " with 

200 The Humanist : a Psychological Study 

boys became a boy " and who was chosen, at a critical moment, 
to be helmsman of the Scottish Church. Imaginative sympathy 
produced humanistic historians. Buchanan entered into the 
spirit of the Scottish past, Colet made St. Paul a man, and not 
merely an author, for his hearers, and the first century of 
Christianity became a reality as he spoke of its events. Thomas 
More shared the gifts of these two. Increased opportunities may 
enable us to dispute some details of fact, but we are eternally 
indebted to them for the new spirit in which they handled 
their material. 

Again, this many-sided interest with the concomitant sym- 
pathy born of imagination led to a detachment in thought, an 
impartiality of criticism, an opeu-mindedness in debate, and a 
lack of animus when the humanist was, by circumstances, 
forced to speak or write on partisan lines. 

To many people, whether of the sixteenth or the twentieth 
centuries, beata tranquillitas in the face of abuses which cry 
for removal is not a pleasing virtue, and once more it must 
be granted that the man of action is necessary quite as much 
as the humanist. But the practical man so-called, is often 
unconsciously driven into unconsidered action not because of 
greater force of character, nor yet because his sympathies are 
more quickly and deeply stirred, but simply because he lacks 
knowledge of the possibilities, and because in an ill- balanced 
nature the desire to act has overpowered the intellectual 
faculties. With shallow enthusiasm of this kind the humanistic 
spirit is in everlasting conflict, but there is a nobler and rarer 
idealism which, based upon wide knowledge interpreted by sym- 
pathetic imagination (so lacking in the average idealist), is the 
fairest incarnation of active belief. Here are met the open- 
minded judicial attitude of humanism and fervent idealism, 
in potent and beneficial union. But, alas, strait is the gate and 
narrow is the way and few there be, in any age, that find it. 

We are acustomed to associate the southern temperament 
with fervour, but it is interesting to note that this open-minded- 
ness is more characteristic of the Italian than of the Teutonic 
Renaissance. It is, of course, mainly explicable by the earlier 
date of the Italian movement and its consequent limitation to 
the more sensitive natures as well as to its independence of the 
practical problems which modified the northern development. 
The early humanists in Germany were as detached in spirit 

The Humanist : a Psychological Study 201 

as any, but social and religious sentiments being stronger in 
their race, the movements took popular form on these lines. 
The average Italian developed an artistic and literary sense; 
the average German, Englishman or Scot interested himself in 
religion, education, or political rights. Increased knowledge 
of these subjects brought with it strong beliefs, strong alike in 
individuals and in churches or parties. Consequently, in the 
latter part of the sixteenth and during the entire seven- 
teenth centuries, we find whole nations at death grips France 
(where the struggle began and ended earliest), Germany, Scot- 
land, and England, split into hostile camps in bitter conflict 
over some political or religious article of faith. It is in in- 
dividuals alone that we find traces of the old spirit. Elizabeth 
of England was only a little less indifferent on burning ques- 
tions than Henry IV. of France and Catharine di Medici, and 
it is worthy of note that the Church of England owes its 
peculiar characteristics and its peculiar difficulties to its organis- 
ation by humanist ecclesiastics and statesmen. The other 
Churches formed about this date to this day re-echo the fervour 
of their idealistic founders. 

" It taks a' sort o' fowk to mak' a warld," but the pity 
of it is that in the transition stage, typical men of either side 
failed in humanistic sympathy, and that friends who, in less 
critical days, worked together all the better for the difference 
in the personal equation, now separated with the bitterness of 
disillusionment. Luther cannot understand Erasmus; Erasmus 
shrinks from Luther. Henry VIII. turns partisan and bigot, 
and the old friendship for More cannot save the Chancellor's 
head. Buchanan and Knox understood each other better than 
Luther and Erasmus; they had been brought up entirely in 
the world, while over the two latter the idola of the cloister 
had subconscious power. But still, the followers of Knox and 
Buchanan would fain make them leaders of hostile camps. 
Saddest of all perhaps is the broken friendship between 
Buchanan and his Queen. Mary, by upbringing a humanist 
of the Medicean type, pleasure seeking and material, could not 
see that in the northern humanist, ruled by the moral senti- 
ments, she had her natural complement and her best friend. 
We deny a partisan spirit foreign to humanism in the 
Detectio : we see in it the greater tragedy of disillusionment, 
and of a lost ideal of womanhood. 

202 The Humanist : a Psychological Study 

Much remains to be worked out fully, but we may sum up 
the main characteristics of humanism as follows: first, a 
strong vitality, which made mental processes rapid, as well as 
habitually concentrated, and which made the connection 
between thought, emotion and volition close and intimate, all 
consciousness responding vigorously to the prepotent aspect: 
secondly, abnormal development in the emotion of interest, 
giving keenness to the observation, strength to the memory, and 
freshness to the imagination : thirdly, on the intellectual side, 
imagination is the most active faculty ; it reconstructs the past 
and discovers or foretells the future. Brought to bear upon 
mankind, imagination evokes sympathy, at times almost uni- 
versal in its scope, and in specialised forms leading to social and 
educational schemes for the betterment of the weaker classes. 
A more purely intellectual form of imagination leads to im- 
partiality and freedom from bias in thought, a beata tranquil- 
litas as far removed from Gallio's indifference as it is from the 
Stoic contempt for life. 

While the emotional and intellectual faculties are thus 
developed, the strength of will which carries men through great 
enterprises is abundantly evident. Men knew their power and 
believed most of all in themselves. 

It matters little that balanced development of mind is not 
to be found in every great man of those days, that the artist 
sometimes overpowered the thinker south of the Alps, or that 
more frequently the thinker subdued the artist north of 
them. It is easy to note such exceptions : and indeed they are 
neither few nor insignificant. But for all that, harmony and 
symmetry are essential characteristics of the humanist, and the 
cases we refer to are exceptional, not because these qualities are 
entirely lacking, but simply because they are less evident. 

How does the subject of this volume appear when tried by 
the standard ? Buchanan was not altogether Teuton ; very few 
Scots are. From a mother born in the Lothians and from a 
Highland father, he had the gift of tongues by birth 
as well as by education in Scotland and France. Four 
hundred years after his birth he is honoured in prose and 
verse as thinker and literary artist, as scholar but also 
as leader of men of action, as open-minded friend, as un- 
sparing critic and " unfriend " of what pained his moral sense. 
In the essential qualities of concentration, of universal interest, 

The Humanist : a Psychological Study 203 

of clear imagination, of wide sympathies and, finally, of de- 
tachment from party and party spirit, he was a typical embodi- 
ment of the humanistic spirit. The Teuton in him made intellect 
predominant and directed his creative powers to literature, but 
the grace of his style and the delicacy of his fancy, as well as 
the fervour of his satire, were a Celtic inheritance. 

Is it too much to hope that, in a century which of all 
others most nearly reproduces the stimulating environment of 
the Renaissance and in the country of Buchanan's birth, the 
spirit of humanism will be fostered with careful wisdom as the 
most enduring monument to Scotland's great humanist ? 

L. P .8. H. 


Buchanan as a Latin Scholar. 

BUCHANAN was not a Scholar, in the same sense of the word as 
Turnebe or Lambin or Scaliger or Nicolas Heinsius. He did 
not, like them, add to our knowledge of the life and thought, 
the history and literature of the Romans. He never edited 
the works of any Latin poet, although he read and read again 
all the Latin poets till he almost knew their verses by heart. 
In a word he was 

"Contented, if he might enjoy 
The things that others understand." 

It is to the Scholars of the sixteenth century that we owe our 
Latin texts. They explored the Libraries of Europe for 
ancient MSS. ; they examined the claims of this or that MS. 
to be the more faithful representative of the actual words of 
an ancient author; they made a minute study of the style and 
diction of each author so as to discriminate the genuine from 
the spurious version of a line; they collected from all available 
sources every scrap of evidence regarding the author's life and 
character, his purpose in writing, his attitude of mind. By 
these laborious means they removed the accretions which had 
in the course of centuries gathered round the writings of the 
ancients and gave to the world each poem of Virgil, Horace, 
Ovid and the rest as nearly as possible in the actual form in 
which it had been written down by the author. When we try 
to read any of these poets in an earlier edition, we stumble 
over something unintelligible or incongruous or ungrammatical 
in every other line. It is then that we realize what a debt 
we owe to the work of these sixteenth century Scholars. 

To all this noble work of recovering for the modern world 
the writings of the ancient, Buchanan contributed not one jot. 
He was, in this respect, a drone in the hive. It is an injustice 
to Scaliger and Heinsius when we class Buchanan with them 
and speak of him as a Latin Scholar. Buchanan was of quite 
a different type. He would be more correctly described as a 

Buchanan as a Latin Scholar 205 

journalist, pamphleteer, man of letters, at a time when Latin 
was the common language of the educated world. Latin was 
for him merely the instrument by which he expressed his ideas 
to other minds. Latin was his tool, and Buchanan plied it 
with the hand of a master. No one has ever equalled him as a 
writer of Latin Verse. 

Now-a-days we should not think much of a Latin Scholar 
whose only contribution to Scholarship was a collection of Latin 
verses, however faithfully they reproduced the feeling and 
diction of the ancient poets. No doubt the successful writing 
of Latin Verse implies a sympathy with Roman poetry and a 
minute knowledge of the Latin poetic vocabulary, and claims 
our respect on this account. But after all it is the ape-like 
faculty of the human mind, the faculty of imitation, that is 
cultivated in Latin Composition ; and we give little more credit 
to a ready writer of Latin Verse than we would allow to a 
smart junior clerk in the Diplomatic Service who was able to 
chatter in half a dozen foreign languages. Latin Composition, 
especially Verse Composition, no longer holds the same place 
even in English Public Schools and Universities that it held a 
century ago. Still, for my own part, I should be sorry to see 
it dropped from the curriculum. To take it at the lowest 
estimate, no student who does not practise Latin Versification 
can ever be sure of knowing " Quantity," in other words, the 
correct pronunciation of Latin words. 1 Another and a higher 
part that it plays in education is that it shews the student how 
the same ideas are expressed in Latin and in English poetry 
and enables him to read a Latin poet with better appreciation 
and understanding. Professor Tyrrell, in his edition of a 
Comedy of Plautus, has included a few of his own renderings 
of passages from English Dramas into Latin Dramatic Verse. 
The idea is an excellent one. They provide the student with a 
key for re-setting the ancient melody to a modern tune. They 
enable him, when he reads a sentence of Plautus, to say to 
himself " This is how a Latin Dramatist expresses exactly the 

1 1 found an amusing instance of this the other day. At a Congress of the 
Classical Scholars of Germany, the bronze medal, presented to each member 
of the Congress, had as a motto a line of Horace in this form, " Labitur atque 
labetur in omne volubilis aevum," with a false quantity at the beginning of 
the line. There are, I believe, only two schools in Germany where Latin 
Verse Composition is taught. 

206 Buchanan as a Latin Scholar 

same sentiment as would be expressed in this other way by 
Congreve or Sheridan." Plautus is of all Latin poets the one 
with whom a modern reader can most easily feel in sympathy ; 
for his fun and jollity appeal to us as much to-day as they did 
to his contemporaries. The only obstacle is his unfamiliar 
diction. Professor Tyrrell's Latin Verses do a great deal to 
remove this obstacle, by shewing us how an English joke would 
appear in Plautine language. But most of all is Latin Verse 
writing necessary to the advanced student. I do not see how 
one can thoroughly appreciate the artistic side, the technique 
of Latin Poetry, who has not himself tried the experiment of 
imitating Latin metres ; and I trust that the day is far distant 
when Scholars in this country will abandon the habit of trans- 
lating their favourite passages of English poetry into Latin 
poetical form. 

This is the method of Latin Verse Composition that is 
followed at the present day. A short poem of Keats or 
Tennyson, or else a passage of Shakespeare or Milton, is 
rendered in Latin verse. No one would think of writing an 
original poem in Latin, as Buchanan did. And this difference 
of practice makes it difficult to compare Buchanan with the 
leading verse-writers of this and the last century, such as 
Robinson Ellis, Jebb, Evans, Kennedy and others. It may be 
said that Buchanan's task was the harder one, inasmuch as he 
had to provide the ideas as well as the Latin words. On the 
other hand a Latin version of a passage of Tennyson has to 
bear comparison with the English original, while Buchanan's 
lines have no such rival to diminish their lustre. Certainly the 
same defect, perhaps an unavoidable defect, attaches to both 
types of Latin verse-imitations, namely, the use of what 
English public-school boys call " tags " ; that is to say, phrases 
or short descriptions transferred bodily from some ancient poet 
into a modern version. Take this passage of Buchanan's De 
Sphaera, the most ambitious of all his poetical works : 

Proximus huie, parvo sed proximus intervallo, 
Mercurius, laetoque diem modo Lucifer astro 
Praeveniens, idem noctis praennntius ignis 
Hesperus, observans Solem prope passibus aequis; 
Ut medius rerum Sol omnia lumine lustret, 
Educet et foveat, nunc celsns in Arcton 
Emicet, humentes nunc se dimittat in Austros. 

Buchanan as a Latin Scholar 207 

An unkind critic might describe this as a patchwork of " tags." 
Buchanan has here drawn upon certain well-known lines of 
Latin poets, and has with considerable skill strung together a 
number of phrases that are all borrowed. Nor is this passage 
an exception. We do not read many lines of the De 
Sphaera before we come across Lucretius' noble phrase, 
fiammantia moenia mundi, and the phrase is pressed into 
service again within the first hundred lines. A little further 
on we have nearly a whole line of Virgil's, verrens abiegnis 
aeqnora palmis; then Horace furnishes a contribution, finitimix 
excliidit iurgia limes, and so on. 1 The same thing is 
found, but not, I think, to the same extent, in Latin Verse 
of the present day ; and I suppose there is some justification 
for it. If Lucretius or Virgil or Horace invented the one 
exactly appropriate phrase for describing this or that object 
or this or that action, why should not the modern imitator 
avail himself of the invention ? And yet, how could we tolerate 
an English poem from some French or German admirer of 
Tennyson, which consisted, to a great extent, of Tennysonian 
phrases, like " a land in which it seemed always afternoon," 
" tiptilted like the petal of a flower," and so on, and so on? 
If one wishes to read Buchanan's poetry with enjoyment, one 
has to try to forget that others have said the same things before. 
But this defect and it is a defect shared to some extent by 
Latin poets of the Silver Age and of the Christian period, who 
are always borrowing from Virgil cannot impair Buchanan's 
claim to be the best writer of Latin verse, that is, of original 
Latin verse, since the Revival of Learning. His facility in 
widely different styles of Latin poetry is amazing. Some of 
his epigrams 2 would not have been disdained by Martial, e.g., 

Frustra ego te laudo, frustra me, Zoile, laedis, 
Nemo mihi credit, Zoile, nemo tibi. 

1 Professor Hume Brown doubts whether Buchanan wrote suis or tuis at 
the end of the Epigram to Lennox : 

Denique da quidvis, podagram modo deprecor unam : 
Munus erit medicis aptins ilia suis. 

A reference to the line of Martial from which the last sentence is borrowed 
shows that he wrote sui*. 

2 Still I think he is inferior to Owen as an epigrammatist. Of course 
Owen wrote a great deal more of this style of verse than Buchanan. 

208 Buchanan as a Latin Scholar 

His Satire on the Franciscans is reminiscent of Juvenal, his 
De Sphaera of Lucretius ; his Elegiacs and Lyrics are 
always pleasing, although Wordsworth exaggerated in declaring 
the Alcaic " May-day" to be worthy of Horace. Of the later 
Roman poets he has, I think, imbibed most of the spirit of 
Claudian. In almost all of his writings (to omit the Epigrams 
and Dramas) there are turns of expression or even mere 
metrical cadences that remind one of Claudian. What a time 
he must have spent in reading and re-reading these authors ! 
How great a portion of his life must have been given up to the 
practice of Latin Verse Composition ! It may be said that 
this was waste of time. It would be in our own day, but it 
was not in Buchanan's period. For Latin was then the 
recognised vehicle of communication between educated men of 
the different countries of Europe; and the more polished the 
Latin verse, the more chance it had of carrying its message 
home. It was, therefore, worth Buchanan's while to cultivate 
to the utmost his natural bent for imitating the Latin poets. 
And this he did with such success that his poetical remains are 
even now, when the events to which they refer belong to the 
forgotten past, almost as pleasant reading as some of the second 
or rather third-rank poetry of antiquity. 

I say " almost," because there are three things which, in 
my opinion, prevent, and must always prevent, Buchanan's 
Latin poems from securing a wide circle of readers. And these 
three things are of some importance to us in forming an 
estimate of Buchanan as a Latin Scholar. The first is the 
number, the surprising number, of false quantities in his lines. 
Of course there is much to be said in extenuation of this fault. 
The texts of the Latin poets were in his period, at least in his 
student-period, still published in a very inaccurate form. An 
English Public School boy of to-day could easily quote a line of 
Martial or Catullus from which Buchanan might have learned 
the correct quantity of this or that Latin word. But in the 
texts of Martial and Catullus that were at Buchanan's disposal, 
the line was quite as likely to be presented in incorrect form as 
not. That is one excuse that may be offered. Another is that 
the quantity of some words is known only from the Latin 
Comedies; and the laws of the Comedians' metres were not 
discovered till long after Buchanan's time. In fact they have 
not been wholly elucidated yet. Another plea, that is more or 

Buchanan as a Latin Scholar 209 

less reasonable, is that the sharp distinction was not made then, 
as it is now, between classical Latin poetry and the poetry of 
a later period, when the pronunciation of many words had 
changed. But in spite of all that can be brought forward in 
Buchanan's justification, the awkward fact remains that on 
page after page we find a false quantity, and often in 
the case of words whose quantity was easily ascertainable. 
The first stanza of his "May-day" has dicatae scanned with 
the first syllable long. Now Buchanan must have known the 
common Latin verbs, indicare, dtdicare and the other com- 
pounds of dicare. What excuse had he for being ignorant of 
the pronunciation of words like these ? That he might have 
written the line in this incorrect form in the first heat of 
composition is possible and pardonable, but that the error 
should have remained undetected by him and that the line 
should ultimately be published in this shape seems to a 
Latinist of the twentieth century quite inexcusable. Is it that 
we are more squeamish now ? Should we admire the robustness 
of a Buchanan who disdained to take heed of blemishes like 
these? We can hardly assent to this suggestion, when we 
reflect that Latin verse is quantitative verse ; its rhythm, its 
poetical nature, depends on the arrangement of long and short 
syllables; and to substitute a short for a long syllable in a line 
throws the whole line out of gear. We cannot approve of the 
Frenchman's rhymed English couplets on Shenstone, in which 
" rural" is made to rhyme with " natural." The false rhyme 
murders the metre and makes it a " corpus mortuum." 
Similarly a false quantity in a Latin poem is not a mere trivial 
blemish, like a misspelling or a false grammatical concord; it 
makes a verse cease to be a verse. 

There is another thing that mars our enjoyment, especially 
of his Dramatic writings. But it is of lesser importance, for 
Buchanan's Dramas are the least interesting of his works and 
do not at all rise to the level of his Satirical and Didactic 
poetry. And it need not diminish our admiration of the 
writer's scholarship. It is the disregard of certain laws of 
Latin Dramatic Verse, which forbid the use of this or that 
metrical foot at certain parts of the line. These laws were not 
known, or only partially known, in the sixteenth century ; the 
discovery of them has been a slow process. Buchanan could 
not well have learned them from his teachers; and it would be 

210 Buchanan as a Latin Scholar 

too much to expect that he should have completely assimilated 
himself to the Latin Dramatists whose works he read so often 
and so closely, and should have unconsciously caught up each 
detail of their method of constructing a line. Still it is 
impossible to read with pleasure a Latin line in Iambic Metre, 
whose construction is inconsistent with the character of the 
Latin language. 

Even if Buchanan's lines were free from the two faults I 
have mentioned, faults of prosody and of metre, there is a 
third defect, which tries the patience of a reader. I mean that 
insincerity, that unreal, artificial tone which necessarily 
attaches to poems written in a dead language about living 
people. It is least objectionable in ceremonious pieces, like the 
congratulatory lines which he composed as poet of the Court 
or the Epithalamium or the Pompa Deorum. Verses of 
this type, written to order, are expected to be more or less 
unnatural. But when we read in Latin about the misdoings 
of the Franciscans or the latest theory of Astronomy, we cannot 
escape the feeling that we should have preferred to re^tf 
Buchanan's sentiments expressed in his own language. It does 
indeed compel our admiration, when we find him throughout 
his long astronomical poem, De Sphaera, carefully avoiding 
any sentiment or metaphor or mode of expression that 
is more modern than, let us say, the fourth century A.D. But, 
we ask ourselves, why should he voluntarily impose these fetters 
on his imagination ? Why should he restrict himself to the 
pace possible to a Roman of twelve centuries earlier, instead 
of revelling in the freedom of his own language? To walk on 
a tight-rope is a wonderful exhibition of skill and elicits the 
admiration of the crowd ; but the fact remains that the walk- 
ing would be done with much greater success on an ordinary 
road. Since Buchanan deliberately confined his range of 
expression to the language which he learned from the diligent 
study of a limited number of ancient authors, whose tricks of 
phrase and turns of sentence he faithfully reproduces, he could 
hardly avoid the danger of occasionally using a phrase, which 
did not express his real sentiments and which was not 
peculiarly appropriate to the occasion, but which exactly 
echoed the ancient style or was borrowed unchanged from some 
ancient writer. The " new wine" cannot but be spoilt by the 
"old bottle"; and it is no fault of Buchanan that his verses 

Buchanan as a Latin Scholar 211 

are somewhat unpalatable to modern readers, merely because 
they are written in Latin. No one, however, can apply to 
them Dr. Johnson's remark on a woman preaching: "it is not 
that the thing is well done, but the wonder is it can be done 
at all." For undoubtedly the thing is well done. 

W. M. L. 


Buchanan : Wit and Humorist. 

GEORGE BUCHANAN has had the singular fortune to be esteemed 
by the commonalty of his native land " the poor-living, lewd, 
grimy, free-spoken, ribald, old Scots peasant-world," to use Mr. 
Henley's contemptuous and contemptible phrase as the anti- 
thesis of a man of learning. Robert Burns, in his epitaph on 
William Cruikshank, said 

The fauts he had in Latin lay ; 

and by writing for Europe Buchanan hid his light in a dark 
lantern, so far as Scotland was concerned. His vernacular 
tractates served their political and temporary purpose and were 
forgotten ; the part he played in history was not sufficiently 
striking to command popular attention ; and his memory was 
only saved to the man in the street by a publication that 
reflected little credit upon him and did no justice to his merits. 

During his lifetime Buchanan attained considerable fame as 
a wit and humorist. His sallies against the Church were supple- 
mented by gossipy anecdotes of his everyday existence. His en- 
counters with the King are just the kind of incidents of royal life 
that are retold in conversation to-day, or served up in the personal 
columns of the modern newspaper, and it is reasonable to believe 
that they would pass from lip to lip and reach an ever-widening 
circle of his contemporaries and immediate successors. In time 
his name became a by-word for wit and humour. Good stories 
that were narrated of nobody in particular were associated with 
Buchanan ; and generations that had forgotten or never heard 
of him as a scholar recognised and admired him as a jester. 

The floating and uncertain popularity which he enjoyed for 
wit and humour was fixed to some extent when the stories 
attributed to him were collected by some illiterate hand and 
woven into a chap-book. The identity of the editor has not 
been established, but there is a belief that the compilation was 

Buchanan : Wit and Humorist 213 

the work of Dougal Graham, the hunchback bellman of Glasgow 
and rhyming historian of the '45, who figures so prominently 
in the cheap literature of a byegone day. Graham, who was as 
coarse and grotesque as the Buchanan of the chap-book, died in 
1779, and, if he is responsible for collecting the stories, the pub- 
lication probably made its first appearance about 1770. It gave 
permanency to anecdotes that had lingered in oral tradition 
for nearly two hundred years, but it doubtless contains only 
a fragment of the gossip that, with the name of Buchanan, had 
circulated among the common people of Scotland. 

Dr. Robert Wallace who in his unfinished sketch of the 
Historian's life refers at some length to the chap-book, says that 
' ' its description of Buchanan as the ' Fule ' instead of the tutor 
of King James, and its placing him at the English court of 
James, who did not ascend the throne of England until 
Buchanan had been twenty-one years dead, are sufficient com- 
mentary on its historical accuracy." Dr Wallace, who may have 
written from memory, is less than just to the booklet. It states 
that though Buchanan was "of mean parentage," he "made 
great progress in learning " and that ' ' for his understanding 
and ready wit he excelled all men then alive in his age, that ever 
proposed questions to him." Further, it affirms that Buchanan 
" was servant or teacher to King James the VI., and one of his 
private counsellors " but that publicly he " acted as his fool." 

The nature of the stories of which the chap-book is composed 
ensured a wide circulation for the brochure, and during the 
century after its publication it was in great demand. 
Buchanan became the hero of the bothy. The greatest 
Scotsman of his age was deposed from the exalted 
position which he held as a scholar and reduced to the 
level of unlettered ploughmen who laughed uproariously 
over his escapades, and who recognised in the buffoon of the 
chap-book a spirit kindred with their own. It is certainly a 
curious coincidence that the British Solomon who was described 
by a French wit as ' ' the wisest fool in Christendom " should 
have received much of his wisdom at the feet of a genius who 
was only known to the vast majority of his countrymen as " the 
King's jester." 

When we come to enquire how far " The Witty and Enter- 
taining Exploits of George Buchanan " may be accepted as 
authentic we are naturally led to consider those examples of his 

214 Buchanan : Wit and Humorist 

wit and humour which are preserved in repositories other than 
the chap-book. All Buchanan's biographers enliven their pages 
and illustrate their subject with anecdotes believed to be genuine. 
Dr Hume Brown, it is true, is extremely cautious in this respect, 
and, when he cites Mackenzie, is careful to add that that author 
" is always to be taken with large reservations." Mackenzie, 
however, " quotes chapter and verse " so far as his anecdotes are 
concerned, and that is all that can be reasonably asked from any 
writer who does not profess to have actually heard what he 

Throughout the chap-book Buchanan is represented as having 
indulged in considerable freedom of speech and action towards 
his royal master, and to that extent at least it is historically 
accurate. As tutor to the king he was brought into close touch 
with James, and two anecdotes bear witness that the preceptor 
showed no special favour to his sovereign pupil. 

On one occasion the youthful monarch cast envious eyes upon 
a tame sparrow which belonged to his companion John, 
Master of Mar. After pleading in vain with Mar to part with 
the bird, James endeavoured to take it by force, and in the 
struggle which ensued the pet sparrow was killed. Erskine's 
grief at the loss of his favourite attracted the attention of 
Buchanan who enquired into the reason for his sorrow. On 
being informed, the tutor seized the king, boxed his ears, and 
told him that " he was himself a true bird of the bloody nest to 
which he belonged." The incident helps to render credible the 
more famous instance of Buchanan's chastisement which, Dr. 
Wallace says, " was better known in Scotland " than any other 

In the course of his readings in history James had learned 
the fact of the conspiracy at Lauder Bridge in the reign of 
James III., and had been informed of how the Earl of Angus 
became known as " Bell-the-Cat." Lessons over, the King and 
his fellow-pupil, Mar, engaged in play, but were so noisy that 
Buchanan, who was at his studies, was disturbed. He enjoined 
them to be quiet, and, finding that James disregarded his 
request, the tutor informed him that if he did not desist he 
would certainly be whipped. The king, with a precocious touch 
of that cleverness and conceit which characterised his later life, 
looked at Buchanan and asked " But who will ' Bell the Cat ' ?" 
Buchanan threw his book from him and gave the young king a 

Buchanan : Wit and Humorist 215 

sound thrashing. The cries of distressed royalty brought the 
Countess of Mar on the scene who demanded the cause of the 
tears. The preceptor explained, whereupon she asked how he 
dared " to lay his hands on ' the Lord's anointed '." Buchanan's 
answer is not for polite ears in these decorous days, but there 
are few Scotsmen who are unfamiliar with it. 

The story got abroad Buchanan himself may have narrated 
the incident with quiet humour and twinkling eyes to some of 
his boon companions and it was enjoyed by courtiers and 
plainer folk. For some unexplained reason it does not appear 
in the chap-book : the omission is culpable. Aikman in retail- 
ing the anecdote remarks that he gives it "on the authority of 
Dr. Mackenzie, who bore no goodwill to Buchanan and who was 
an idolater of royalty," a circumstance which, one should think, 
would have suggested its suppression. " That Buchanan did 
inflict corporal chastisement on the boy," adds Aikman, " there 
is no reason to doubt ; if he saw it necessary, he was not the man 
to be scared by any imaginary sacredness of royal skin, but that 
he returned so rude an answer, is not at all likely." Language 
is rude only by comparison, and what is permissible to-day might 
appear unseemly in another age. Buchanan's remark amounted 
merely to a proverbial expression which is common enough 
yet in many parts of the country and which, with a very slight 
modification, may be heard among the lower classes all over the 
British Isles. And the common people imitate their " betters"! 

If there is virtue in chastisement it is evident from the stories 
that have come down to us that James had every opportunity of 
becoming a good man. When he was free of the watchful 
eye of Buchanan, he was under the surveillance of his 
companion, the Master of Mar, " Jock o' the sclaits," as 
he was called by the king from the fact that the tutor, with char- 
acteristic humour, gave him a slate upon which to record all the 
royal misdeeds committed during Buchanan's absence ! 

Another anecdote illustrates in a different manner the freedom 
which Buchanan took with his sovereign master. It is given on 
the authority of the tutor's nephew. The royal dominie in 
studying the mind and actions of his pupil, noticed that James 
was inclined to grant every request that was made to him, and 
he set himself to endeavour to correct this weakness. He pre- 
pared two documents which he put before the king for signature. 
Without examining them, and after merely asking a careless 

216 Buchanan : Wit and Humorist 

question concerning their purport, James appended his name. 
One of the writs nominated and appointed Buchanan King of 
Scotland for fourteen days. The tutor at once assumed 
sovereignty. James was amazed and demanded an explanation, 
whereupon Buchanan produced the document in his favour 
which had duly received the royal signature. According to Dr. 
Hume Brown the master read his pupil " a lecture on the folly 
of his conduct," but judging from James's later career the lecture 
did little good. This incident forms one of " the witty and 
entertaining exploits " of the chap-book. 

Through life Buchanan continued to speak plainly to the king, 
and in the hour of death was not afraid of his sovereign power. 
An anecdote, variously told, illustrates this. Dr. Macmillan 
says that when Buchanan was on his deathbed the authorities 
summoned him " to answer for something objectionable in his 
writings, but he was unmoved. ' Tell the people who sent you,' 
was his reply to the macer of the Court of Session who came on 
the errand, ' That I am summoned to a higher Tribunal '." 
The chap-book shifts the locality of the story to Court. 
Buchanan had been absent from the royal presence, and on the 
king's commanding him peremptorily to return within twenty 
days, failing which officers would be sent to fetch him, he 

replied : 

My honoured liege and sovereign king 
Of your boasting great I dread nothing : 
On your feud or favour I'll fairly venture : 
Ere that day I'll be where few kings enter. 

There is something of a heroic chuckle in these lines that is 
in keeping with the death-bed remark which is preserved in 
Melville's " Diary." The Melvilles, James and Andrew, had 
crossed from St. Andrews to Edinburgh to see Buchanan. In 
the course of conversation, talk turned to his History which was 
then in the printer's hands. The Melvilles saw a proof and 
noticed the story which alleged that Mary Stuart had ordered 
Rizzio's body to be laid in her father's tomb. They suggested 
that it might offend the king. "Tell me, man," queried 
Buchanan, " giff I have tauld the treuthe?" They said they 
believed so. " Then!" exclaimed the dying man, " I will bide 
his feud, and all his kin's." The story in the chap-book is pro- 
bably founded on this conversation and on the anecdote concern- 
ing Buchanan's summons to the Court of Session. 

Buchanan : Wit and Humorist 217 

Another of the witty and entertaining exploits of the king's 
fool is clearly based on an incident in Buchanan's life which, 
according to Dr. Hume Brown " has all the marks of truth, as 
he certainly knew Gaelic, and as the humour of the story is 
thoroughly characteristic." During his wanderings in France, 
Buchanan met a woman who affirmed that she was devil-ridden, 
and, as a proof, stated that she could speak in all tongues. 
Among other languages he tested her with Gaelic which she did 
not understand, whereupon he protested that the Devil was 
ignorant of the common speech of Celtic Scotland a circum- 
stance which does not favour the perfervid Highlanders' belief 
that Gaelic was spoken in Eden. There is more humour in the 
chap-book version. Buchanan, according to the story there, 
was in conversation with a Bishop, in the course of which he 
emphasised the superior value of Scottish over English educa- 
tion, affirming that shepherds in Scotland would " argument 
with any Bishop in England, and exceed them mighty far in 
knowledge." So preposterous did this vaunted triumph of the 
Thistle over the Rose appear that an Ecclesiastical Commission 
.vas appointed to enquire into the matter. Three clergymen set 
out for Scotland, but they presumably in the words of a later 
ballad took " the high road," while Buchanan took " the low 
road," as he was in Scotland before them. In the guise of a 
shepherd he met the clergymen. To a question in French he 
returned an answer in Hebrew, and when this was followed by 
a statement in Greek he replied in Flemish. Then they tried 
him with Dutch and he responded in Gaelic which was unintel- 
ligible to them and they " went away shamefully, swearing that 
the Scots had gone through all the nations in the world to learn 
their language, or the devil had taught them it," which latter 
remark may please the enthusiastic Celts who affirm that Adam 
and his good lady conversed in their mother tongue. 

Many of the extravagant fables that connect themselves with 
Buchanan are doubtless due to his enemies. Dr. Hume Brown 
says that, "as in the case of every Protestant of eminence, 
foolish stories came to be circulated by Roman Catholic writers 
concerning the Historian's last days." One shameless libel from 
the pen of a French priest who laboured to prove Buchanan to 
have been a debauchee and a drunkard represents him as saying 
on his death-bed in answer to the upbraidings of his medical 
advisers " ' Go along with you! You, and your prescriptions 

218 Buchanan : Wit and Humorist 

and dietaries! I would far rather live only three jolly weeks, 
getting comfortably drunk every day than live six dreary wine- 
less years.' . . . He died in brief space, however ; his 
chamber being then rarely littered with glasses and wine- 
measures." Vastly different from this is the genial domestic 
scene depicted by the Melvilles. Buchanan was suffering much 
bodily weakness at the time they visited him. " When we cam 
to his chalmer " says the narrator, ' ' we f and him sitting in his 
chaire, teatching his young man that servit him in his chalmer 
to spell a, b, ab ; e, b, eb, etc." After salutation, one of his 
visitors said, " I see, sir, ye are nocht ydle." " Better this," 
answered Buchanan with quiet humour, " nor stealing sheipe or 
sitting ydle, quhilk is als ill." 

Buchanan's fondness for a jest never deserted him. In a racy 
letter to Randolph, " Maister of Postes," he said, after referring 
to his History upon which he was engaged; "The rest of my 
occupation is wyth the gout, quhilk holdis me besy both day and 
nyt. And quhair ye say ye haif not lang to lyif, I traist to 
God to go before you, albeit I be on fut and ye ryd the post." 

A touch of grim humour characterises his final interview with 
his servant. " When Buchanan was dying," according to the 
story which Mackenzie tells in his Lives of the Scots Worthies, 
" he called Mr. Young, his servant, and asked him how much 
money he had of his : and finding that it was not sufficient for 
defraying the charges of his burial, he commanded him to dis- 
tribute it among the poor." On hearing this Mr. Young asked, 
" Who, then, will be at the expense of burying you?" " I am 
very indifferent about that," was the characteristic answer of 
" the stoic philosopher who looked not far before him," " for 
if I am once dead and they will not bury me, they may let me 
lie where I am, or throw my corpse where they please." Of 
course, as he knew, adds Dr. Wallace by way of commentary 
on the anecdote, the people of Edinburgh " had to bury him, 
so he could enjoy his posthumous triumph of wit, but they had 
their repartee, denying him a gravestone for a generation or 

In the Somnium and Franciscanus Buchanan gives free play 
to his wit and humour at the expense of the Church, and the 
author of these satires might quite well be the hero of one or 
two of the witty and entertaining exploits narrated in the chap- 
book. In Franciscanus he shows the nature of the men who 

Buchanan : Wit and Humorist 219 

join the monkish fraternity. Biting lines reveal to what per- 
fection they have brought the art of imposition, and the flashing 
search-light of the poet's wit exposes them entrenched behind 
all the tricks of their profession. In these circumstances, no 
great streteh of imagination is needed to identify the author of 
the satire with the George Buchanan who disclosed the impos- 
ture of the Dalkeith priests by fearlessly striking the bell which 
they asserted would rend itself at the touch of a guilty person. 
Similarly, the man who, in literature, laughed at the abuses of 
the Church, flung scornful jests in the faces of ecclesiastics and 
did not hesitate to turn his wit against Popes might reasonably 
be the hero of another of the chap-book stories. The anecdote 
is to the effect that once when Buchanan was in Versailles he 
met the King of France who had heard that he was a very witty 
and ingenious man. The monarch accompanied him to a picture 
gallery and shewed him a representation of Christ on the Cross, 
'You know what that represents?" queried the King, but 
George answered that he did not. " Why, then," continued the 
monarch, " I'll tell you. It is a picture of our Saviour on the 
Cross, and that on the right is a portrait of the Pope, while this 
on the left is my own." " I humbly thank your majesty for the 
information," said Buchanan, " for though I have often heard 
that our Saviour was crucified between two thieves, I never 
knew who they were." 

In his Popular of Scotland Dr. Robert Chambers 
includes a verse which, he says, is commonly " understood to be 
the composition of no less distinguished a man than George 
Buchanan." After referring to the vulgar belief that that 
learned preceptor was the king's fool " a mere natural, but 
possessed of a gift of wit which enabled him to give very 
pertinent answers to impertinent questions " Chambers says that 
Buchanan was once asked what could buy a plough of gold and 
he immediately answered 

A frosty winter, and a dusty March, a rain about April, 
Another about the Lammas time, when the corn begins to fill, 
Is weel worth a plench o" gowd, and a' her pins theretill. 

There is much truth in the rhyme. A season falling just as 
described in the verse would doubtless produce a good harvest 
which is not over-estimated in value by a golden plough " and a' 
her pins theretill." 

220 Buchanan : Wit and Humorist 

Dr. David Irving writes that Buchanan's " conversation was 
alternately facetious and instructive " and that ' ' his wit and 
humour are still proverbial among his countrymen." The few 
examples of his facetiae which have descended to us form a 
basis much too slender to support any such statement, and they 
must therefore be regarded as but fragments of a mass of their 
kind that has been all but forgotten. The wit and humour 
which he displayed in his works were in great measure lost to 
that large number of his countrymen who knew little English 
and less Latin, and his celebrity must have been derived from 
something other than the mirth of his satires or the sparkle of 
his epigrams. 

Translators have done their best to convey samples of 
Buchanan's literary wit and humour if the word may be used 
to distinguish them from the wit and humour that survive in 
anecdote to his countrymen. Some of his epigrams have been 
excellently rendered by Dr. Hume Brown. The scholar was 
never in affluent circumstances and from time to time he is 
found supplicating royalty for monetary assistance. And he 
usually does so with a flash of wit or a touch of quiet humour. 
The following lines, which we quote in Dr. Brown's translation, 
were addressed to Mary Stuart ; they ' ' are supposed to be accom- 
panied by copies of verses : " 

I give you what I have, 

I wish you what I lack ; 
And weightier were my gift 

Were fortune at my back. 

Perchance you think I jest ? 

A like jest then I crave : 
Wish for me what I lack, 

And give me what you have. 

To similar purpose he addressed the Earl of Moray at a later 
date. One of his verses to the good Regent has been rendered 

It is more blest, saith Holy Writ, 

To give than to receive ; 
How great, then, is your debt to me, 

Who take whate'er you give ! 

Buchanan : Wit and Humorist 221 

and another in these terms 

Niggard and laggard came my gift, you say, 
Then must I deem your duty clear indeed ; 

By good example this my fault amend : 

Let thy gift come with bounty and with speed. 

The gout that held him " besy both by day and nyt " received 
playful reference in a begging epigram which he addressed to 
the Earl of Lennox. The verse is as follows, and once more the 
translation is Dr. Brown's : 

Since I am poor and you are rich, 

What happy chance is thine ! 
My modest wishes, too, you know 

One nugget from your mine ! 
Only, whatever be your gift, 

Let it not be your gout : 
Tliat, a meet present for your leech, 

I'd rather go without. 

Possibly the best known of Buchanan's epigrammatic verses 
is that on Pontiff Pius. For the moment he ceased to jibe at 
Franciscans and other small fry and directed his wit against 
their infallible chief. " Heaven," he said of Pius 

Heaven he sold for money, 

Earth in death he left as well, 
What remains to Pontiff Pius ? 

Nothing that I see but hell. 

Pius may have been the impenitent thief in the trio which, 
according to the chap-book, Buchanan saw in the art gallery 
in France. 

While the industry and genius of the translator have brought 
a measure of the wit and humour of his verse within reach of 
the general reader, a full appreciation must always be denied to 
those who are ignorant of Latin. As a consequence, his reputa- 
tion for mirth, where it depends on something other than the 
venacular, must be a concession, on the part of the majority, to 
the opinion of the scholar. But apart from his poems many 
things combine to shew him a genial, kindly, and humorous soul. 
One description that has been given to us says that he was 
" austere in face and rustic in his looks, but most polished in 
style and speech, and continually, even in serious conversation, 
jesting most wittily." Others tell us that he was " rough-hewn 

Buchanan : Wit and Humorist 

in his person, behaviour, and fashion, seldom caring for a better 
outside than a rugge-gown girt close about him," and that he 
was of " gud religion for a poet." He was a bachelor who 
yearned not for the uncertain joys of matrimony, and who 
bantered his friend Randolph on his foolhardiness in marrying 
a second time : " After having been delivered of ane wyf e to 
cast " himself ' ' in the samyn nette " ! These, and other 
sentences that might be quoted, bring before the mind an 
' ' honest Scot " who looked abroad upon life with a merry 
twinkle in his eyes, and who was not afraid to denounce the 
hypocrisy that he met at every turn. He attacked the in- 
sincerity of his time and if, as in later years was the case with 
Burns, he painted with a broad brush and produced canvases 
that to some minds may appear indelicate rather than witty, 
and coarse rather than humorous, it should be remembered to 
his credit that contemporary evidence is available in plenty to 
prove that he did not exaggerate. Inferentially, and by a refer- 
ence to modern life, the charge of obscenity that is sometimes 
made against him may be held to be unfounded. No man who 
occupies in our day a position similar to that held by Buchanan 
in his, and who desired to ridicule some aspect of the life 
around him could afford deliberately to transgress the limits of 
decorum. What is rude to us may not have been coarse in a 
ruder age, just as the partisan cartoons of our time which are 
said to win and lose seats at St. Stephen's might appear vulgar 
and even indecent to a generation that had acquired other tastes 
in pictorial politics. 

"Latin," says Dr. Hume Brown, "lost him that place in 
the hearts of his countrymen which his genius and intensely 
Scottish type of character must certainly have assured him," 
and (it may be added) rendered the work of the chap-book 
writer possible. In time his scholarship came to be a mere 
tradition among the great mass of the people who appreciated 
the only side of his genius they could understand as that was 
depicted for them in the all-but-mythical ' ' witty and entertain- 
ing exploits," and who were too ignorant of history or too 
undiscerning to see anything incompatible in the right reverend 
Moderator of the General Assembly of the Kirk of Scotland 
being also the King's " Fule." It is true that George Mac 
Gregor tells how many of the Scottish people believed " there 
were two Scotsmen who bore the name of George Buchanan," 

Buchanan : Wit and Humorist 223 

one of whom was the jester and the other the scholar, but it is 
doubtful if such a belief ever found much credence outside the 
boards of MacGregor's book. Dyce makes the suggestion that 
Buchanan was confounded with Archie Armstrong, and supposes 
that several of the ' ' witty exploits originated in the sayings and 
doings of " that jester, but none of the stories credited to the 
Latinist in the chap-book are told of the Border sheep-stealer 
in the " Banquet of Jests and Merry Tales" except the conun- 
drum as to the difference between a Scot and a sot, and that, as 
Dr. Wallace points out, is a mediaeval chestnut. 

Ridiculous as the transformation was, Buchanan is not alone 
in having been so treated by posterity. Michael Scott of Bal- 
wearie lives in popular imagination as a wizard rather than as 
a philosopher; Gervase of Tilbury gravely described Virgil as a 
mighty sorcerer ; and in Palestrina, in Italy, Horace is still 
credited with having worked magical wonders. Strange stories 
of some of Buchanan's contemporaries are in circulation. Knox 
was credited with powers from hell; and if Nicol Burne and 
other Roman Catholic writers and gossips had found a 
sympathetic editor we might have had a chap-book on " The 
Weird and Wonderful Exploits of John Knox, commonly called 
the Scottish Deil." Nearer our own day, we find this strange 
literary transformation of historic personages. Little more than 
a century ago Paul Jones was similarly treated. A few days 
after the pirate's death a pamphlet was published with the 
startling title "Paul Jones; or, Prophecies on America, 
England, France, Spain, Holland, etc., by Paul Jones, a 
Prophet and Sorcerer such as never lived heretofore " ! The 
indecent stories and vulgar verses attributed without foundation 
to Burns doubtless prove witty and entertaining to many people, 
but are wholly unworthy of the poet's genius, and afford only a 
hideous reflection of the man. 

The growth of the Buchanan chap-book is easy of explanation. 
As has been shown, some of the stories are versions of authenti- 
cated anecdotes. These, with the tradition that the scholar was 
a wit and a humorist, gave the compiler a beginning, and pro- 
bably led him to search for other stories about his hero. No 
sense of historic accuracy moved him to enquire as to the 
credibility of the anecdotes he gleaned from oral sources; any- 
thing was good enough that was calculated to raise a laugh. 
Mirth was what his public demanded, and its provision was all 

224 Buchanan : Wit and Humorist 

that concerned him. Ere long he succeeded in his purpose. The 
stoic philosopher was destined to make sport for the Philistines, 
and, invested with the cap and bells of a fool, he took his place 
in the chapman's wallet alongside Lothian Tom, and Paddy 
from Cork. " At first sight," writes Dr. Wallace, " one might 
imagine that" the collection "had been put together by an 
enemy of Buchanan, but its brutish zeal in holding up 
Buchanan as a desperately clever fellow who was continually 
turning the tables and raising a laugh against people who wished 
to take him off, and who were generally English, and often 
English nobles, bishops or other clergy, shows that it was 
earnest in its admiration according to its dim and dirty lights." 
The decay of chap-book literature has done something to 
restore Buchanan to his rightful place in history. For at least 
a generation he has ceased to be a jester to any great extent, 
and his witty and entertaining exploits are fast being forgotten. 
Those that are not positively indecent have become associated 
with other men notorious for humour, and in this way survive 
for the delectation of later readers. Stories that made " the 
rafters dirl " a century ago when told of Buchanan now provoke 
mirth as they are narrated of Watty Dunlop of Dumfries or 
Robert Shirra of Kirkcaldy. Thousands have enjoyed the 
humour of Buchanan's observation to the French King in the 
art gallery three hundred and fifty years ago ; in a recent volume 
of Scottish anecdote the reader is assured that the conversation 
took place between Bishop Murdoch of Glasgow and " Hawkie " 
the gangrel, and the incident is set forth with a wealth of local 
colour and pictorial embellishment that almost defies criticism ! 
Verily, in modern collections of Scottish humour there are 
stories " both good and new, but what is good is not new, and 
what is new is not good." 

W. H. 


The Portraits of George Buchanan, 

IN addition to many prints, framed and in books, the 
exhibition in the University Library contained eight oil 
paintings of Buchanan. One of these is the property of the 
University of St. Andrews, two were lent by the University of 
Aberdeen, two by the University of Edinburgh, one by the 
Buchanan Society, one by the Duke of Sutherland, and one by 
George A. Buchanan, Esq., Cawder House, Bishopbriggs. 
Perhaps on no previous occasion have so many portraits of 
Buchanan been brought together, and a better opportunity 
afforded for a comparative study of his portraiture. Other 
paintings of him are known to be in existence, but there were 
either difficulties in the way of getting them brought to St. 
Andrews, or their authenticity was too doubtful to make it 
worth while to borrow them. There is indeed room for reason- 
able doubt as to the genuineness of some of those exhibited. 
Nor is this to be wondered at when it is borne in mind that 
the portraits of Buchanan's great contemporary, John Knox, 
have given rise to much discussion and difference of opinion 
and that no authentic portraits at all of such men as Andrew 
Melville and Samuel Rutherford are known to exist. That 
Buchanan was painted by more than one artist in his later 
years, may be taken for granted ; but there appears to be no 
absolute certainty that any one of the existing portraits was 
actually painted from life. 

The oldest portraits exhibited were those lent by the 
University of Edinburgh. One of these is painted on a wooden 
panel measuring 19J inches in height by 12 inches in width. 
The picture itself gives no clue to its date nor to the name of 
the artist who painted it. It has been in the possession of the 
University from time immemorial and it certainly looks old 
enough to be a contemporary portrait. Buchanan is repre- 
sented as an old and rather sad looking man, wearing a black 

226 The Portraits of George Buchanan 

gown, large white collar, and close-fitting black skull-cap, with 
a roll of paper in his right hand. This painting has generally 
been accepted as an authentic picture, and has been selected by 
Mr. James L. Caw for reproduction in his excellent series of 
" Scottish Portraits." 1 The other Edinburgh University 
portrait is painted on canvas and purports to represent 
Buchanan at the age of 73, but it has not the appearance of a 
contemporary portrait. The head is not unlike that of the 
older picture, but the eyes, nose, mouth and beard differ, and 
altogether the face is much less pleasing. Buchanan appears 
to be seated behind a desk or lecture-table, and is wearing 
a coat or gown with fur collar and facings. In his right 
hand he holds an open book; his left hand rests on the desk, 
and the fingers of both hands are spread out in a stiff and 
awkward manner, reminding one of Carlyle's phrase, " a tied- 
up bundle of carrots supporting a kind of loose little volume," 
in his description of Beza's portrait of Knox. 

The Aberdeen University portraits are evidently enlarged 
and uniform copies of the Edinburgh ones. By themselves they 
make a most interesting pair, but they do not contribute 
anything to the original portraiture of Buchanan. The small 
head in the possession of the Duke of Sutherland has apparently 
no known history. It is painted on wood and appears to have 
been well done, but it shows signs of blistering and will soon 
require to be carefully restored. A full front face is shown, 
with rather small eyes, short nose and stunted beard. It is 
probably a copy of the Porbus portrait to be afterwards 

The paintings belonging to the University of St. Andrews 
and to the Buchanan Society introduce another type of 
Buchanan portraiture about which there is considerable 
dubiety. The University portrait was purchased at Edinburgh 
in 1884 in the belief that it was either by or after Titian. It 
is painted on wood, and was then in a rather faded condition, 
but has since been renovated. The "Titian" portrait of 
Buchanan appears to have been first heard of in the beginning 
of the nineteenth century and was discovered by David, 
eleventh Earl of Buchan. His Lordship is said to have been 
very proud of his discovery and had the portrait engraved as a 
frontispiece to the " Philosophical Magazine," edited by 
Alexander Tilloch, vol. 34, July-Dec. 1809. It is stated to be 

1 See Frontispiece. ED. 

Facsimile oj the Woodcut in " Le.s Portraits des Hommt* 
Illuxlres," 1673. 

The Portraits of George Buchanan 227 

engraved by T. Woolnoth at Edinburgh " from the original 
picture by Titian in the possession of the Earl of Buchan." 
There is no reference to it in the text of the volume. In July 
of the following year the Earl of Buchan, through the Earl of 
Kelly, presented a framed copy of the engraving to the 
University of St. Andrews, where it is still preserved in the 
University Library. The " original picture by Titian " has 
disappeared and cannot now be traced. It is just possible that 
it is the same as that now in possession of the University, but 
there is no proof either one way or the other. The University 
picture could scarcely be a copy of the Earl of Buchan's, for 
in its original state it had the appearance of having been 
painted long before 1809. It certainly bears a close 
resemblance to Woolnoth's engraving and belongs unques- 
tionably to the " Titian " type. 

The portrait lent by the Buchanan Society was specially 
painted for the Society by Sir Henry Raeburn and is known 
to be a copy of the portrait of Buchanan then in the possession 
of the Earl of Buchan. Writing from Edinburgh on 13th 
December 1814 to Mr. Archibald Buchanan, Glasgow, Sir 
Henry announced that the portrait had been sent off carefully 
packed. " Lord Buchan," he added, "is of opinion that the 
original was painted by Titian. I am not well enough 
acquainted with the history of George Buchanan to be able to 
say whether he had an opportunity of being painted by that 
Master, but it is not unlike his style, and at all events is an 
excellent picture. I have been at great pains to make the copy 
like, and I hope the Society will be pleased with it." 
Raeburn's picture is a very much finer piece of work than the 
University one, and if copied from it, or from another one like 
it, must have undergone considerable improvement in the 
process. But the question arises, is it a portrait of Buchanan 
at all? Unfortunately, Lord Buchan's judgment was not 
always to be relied upon, and it has long been current that the 
' ' original picture by Titian " in his possession was not a 
portrait of Buchanan, but of M. le President Pierre Jeannin 
(1540-1622) finance minister to Henry IV. of France. There 
is certainly a striking resemblance between Woolnoth's engrav- 
ing of Buchanan and the engraving of M. Jeannin as it appears 
in Perrault's " Hommes Illustres," published at Paris in 1696. 
Titian (1477-1576) was much older than either Buchanan or 

228 The Portraits of George Buchanan 

Jeannin, but he was for a time their contemporary and might 
have painted either or both of them. Meanwhile proof is 
lacking that either gave sittings to the great Italian painter; 
and whether or not Lord Buchan mistook a portrait of 
Jeannin for one of Buchanan, the balance of evidence appears 
to be against his Lordship's picture being a genuine portrait of 
the Scottish humanist. 1 

In connexion with the Titian portrait, mention may be 
made of two curious framed drawings exhibited by the Faculty 
of Advocates. The one represents " the upper part of the head 
of Buchanan by Titian in the collection of the Earl of Buchan 
with a view to compare with the skull of that learned man " ; 
while the other is an " exact representation of what remains 
of the skull believed to be that of the learned George Buchanan, 
the historian and poet, which was taken out of his grave in the 
Greyfriars Kirkyard at Edinburgh about fifty years after his 
decease and is exhibited in the museum of the University of 
Edinburgh." Both drawings were made by Alexander 
Chisholm in March 1816 and are signed " Buchan." The 
comparison was probably made in the hope of dispelling doubt 
as to the genuineness of his Lordship's discovery. Front and 
side views of Buchanan's skull, drawn and engraved by W. and 
D. Lizars, Edinburgh, were published by William Blackwood 
in 1815, and may be seen in the second edition of Irving's 
" Memoirs of Buchanan " (1817). 

The large painting belonging to Mr. George A. Buchanan 
is one of the series of Scottish historical pictures painted by the 
late James Drummond, R.S.A., Edinburgh. It represents 
Buchanan teaching young King James the Sixth in the Palace 
at Stirling in presence of the Countess of Mar and her little 
boy and girl. The grouping and technique of the picture are 
excellent, and the artist's conception of the learned pedagogue 
is very satisfactory, although the picture was painted long 
before he had made a special study of the portraiture of Knox 
and Buchanan. 

1 The renaming of old portraits is a practice of long standing and still goes 
on. At the opening of Queen's College, Belfast, a portrait bearing the in- 
scription " Georgius Buchananus " was presented to the College by its architect, 
Mr. Lynn. About fifty years afterwards, when it was found necessary to 
entrust the picture to a restorer, it was discovered that it had been tampered 
with, and that it was really the portrait of a German clergyman named 
Johannes Carolus, 


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The Portraits of George Buchanan 229 

The accompanying plate shows at one view the group of 
these eight portraits as exhibited in the Senate Room. It will 
be at once noticed that there are at least three distinct types 
of portraits. There are first of all the two Edinburgh 
University portraits (of which the Aberdeen University ones 
are copies) representing Buchanan in extreme old age. 
Although differing in detail, these two portraits may be classed 
together as they have a general resemblance to each other. 
Then there is the Duke of Sutherland's portrait (which may be 
taken along with Mr. Buchanan's) in which the poet and 
historian appears as a somewhat younger man. Lastly, there 
are the two so-called Titian portraits, in which Buchanan is 
perhaps shown at a still earlier period of his life. 1 

Turning now to the engravings, the oldest that has been 
discovered is that contained in part III. of the " Icones 
Virorum Illustrium " of Jean Jacques Boissard, published at 
Frankfort in 1598. Boissard was not an artist himself, and the 
engravings in his book are chiefly the work of Theodore de Bry, 
whose sons continued and completed it, and bestowed upon its 
originator the title of " Antiquariorum nostri seculi facile 
princeps." 2 But Boissard was Buchanan's contemporary and 
outlived him a good many years (1528-1602), and may 
have had little difficulty in obtaining the use of an 
original portrait for reproduction in so important a work 
as the " Icones." As the engraving represents Buchanan 
at the age of 76, it is clear that it must have been 
taken from a portrait painted in Scotland shortly before his 
death. 3 The Boissard engraving has much in keeping with 

1 In the plate the two Edinburgh portraits are shown resting on chairs, 
with the Duke of Sutherland's portrait between them. The large picture in 
the centre is Mr. Buchanan's, with the Aberdeen portraits on either side. 
Above are the two "Titian" portraits, the one with the label being the 
property of the University of St. Andrews, and the other the property of the 
Buchanan Society. The production of this plate, in spite of much care, has 
not been quite successful, but the position of the portraits in the Senate Room 
made it difficult for the photographer to obtain a satisfactory negative. 

2 The portrait of Buchanan is marked " P. C. H. f." It is different in style 
and setting from all the rest and has evidently been engraved by another 

3 Irving (" Memoirs," 1817, p. 309) says that Buchanan " expired a short 
while after five o'clock in the morning of Friday, the twenty-eighth of Sep- 
tember 1582, at the age of seventy-six years and nearly eight months." It 
ia just possible, however, that he may have been a year younger. I drew 

230 The Portraits of George Buchanan 

the later Edinburgh University portrait, except that the hands 
and book are wanting. The attire is very similar, but the 
features are rather more strongly marked. It cannot be 
described as an attractive portrait. Still it is full of character, 
and taken in conjunction with the older Edinburgh University 
painting, may be regarded as a fairly accurate likeness of 
Buchanan in his old age. The same portrait, on a 
much smaller scale, with the face greatly altered 
and looking the opposite way, was used by Dr. Paul 
Freher in his " Theatrum Virorum Eruditione Clarorum," 
published at Nuremberg in 1688, and it has been 
reproduced with more or less exactness in various subsequent 
publications. It forms the frontispiece to Professor Hume 
Brown's Life of Buchanan (1890) and also to the Rev. Dr. 
Donald Macmillan's (1906). It appeared as a small wood-cut 
in Anderson's "Scottish Nation" (1862); and in a slightly 
enlarged form it illustrates the Rev. J. Rolland McNab's 
article on Buchanan in "Morning Rays" for July 1906. In 
Garnett and Gosse's " English Literature," vol. 2 (1903), there 
is a small portrait of Buchanan ' ' from an old engraving " of 
the Boissard type, but with the face turned the other way. 

The next most typical engraving is that used as a 
frontispiece to the first edition of the English translation of 
Buchanan's Rerum Scoticarum Historia, published at London in 
1690, in folio. It was engraved by Robert White, and 
purports to be from the original preserved in the museum of 
Dr. Thomas Povey. The same plate, folded, was issued with 
the second and third editions of this translation published 
respectively in 1722 and 1733, in octavo. It is a bust giving a 
full face view of Buchanan, who is robed in a black gown 
buttoned down the front, and wears a large, white, folded 
collar. The head is high and bald, and the face somewhat 
stolid and expressionless. A very similar portrait was engraved 
by Jacobus Houbraken, of Amsterdam, in 1741, from a painting 
by Francis Porbus in the collection of Dr. Mead; and still 

attention to this more than a year ago, but at the suggestion of Professor Hume 
Brown I agreed not to raise the question of the exact date of Buchanan's birth 
in connexion Math the Quater-Centenary Celebration, which had by that time 
been fixed for 1906. But as the question has since been discussed elsewhere, 
it may not be amiss to mention here that there are good grounds for arguing 
that, according to modern reckoning, Buchanan's birth-year was 1507 and not 

(From Boissartf.\ 

By kind permittion of Mr. G. A. Morton, Publisher, Edinburgh. 

The Portraits of George Buchanan 231 

another was engraved by Edward Scriven in 1833 for Charles 
Knight's " Gallery of Portraits," " from a picture by Francis 
Pourbus, senior, in the possession of the Royal Society," and 
reprinted on a smaller scale in the fourth volume of his "Cabinet 
Portrait Gallery of British Worthies " (1845), and again in 
" Old England's Worthies " (1847). The same portrait has also 
been engraved by J. B. Bird, and appears in Anderson's 
" Scottish Nation" (1862) and elsewhere. As engraved by W. 
Penny the Porbus portrait assumes a somewhat different form. 
The face is longer and thinner and Buchanan is shown seated in 
a high -backed chair with his hands resting upon a large book 
lying open across his knees. This plate has been used to 
illustrate Dr. Wylie's quarto edition of the " Scots Worthies" 
published by Mackenzie. 

Unhappily the Porbus (or Pourbus) portrait is no more 
authentic than the others. There is no proof whatever that 
this Flemish artist was ever in Scotland and no certainty that 
Buchanan visited the Continent at a time when Porbus 
(who died in 1581) could have painted him. There is 
of course Ruddiman's statement (" Anticrisis," 1754, p. 139) 
that he had heard it related a hundred times that 
Buchanan, when Principal of St. Leonard's College at 
St. Andrews, without acquainting any of his friends of it, 
did make a voyage to France. If the many stories of 
this voyage could be substantiated by a single reliable 
document, the Porbus portrait would acquire additional 
interest, in St. Andrews at all events, as it would show what 
manner of man Buchanan was during his residence there. 

Some degree of authority is lent to the Porbus portrait by 
the fact that it has been followed in all the editions of 
Buchanan's Poemata printed in Holland, viz., 1628 
(Leyden, Elzevir 1 ); 1641 (Amsterdam, Jansson) ; 1676 (Am- 
sterdam, Elzevir); 1687 (Amsterdam, Wetsten). These are all 
medallion portraits drawn on a very small scale. Mr. 
Drummond was of opinion that they agreed with Boissard's 
head, but they agree even more with Porbus's. They are all 
full face, the head is bald or nearly so, they show the same 
collar and very nearly the same gown two having buttons and 

1 An enlarged photographic reproduction of the portrait in this edition 
appears in M. Ernest Gaullieur's "Histoire du College de Guyenne," Paris, 

232 The Portraits of George Buchanan 

two not. The frontispiece of another edition of the Poemata 
published at Amsterdam in 1665, " apud Joannem a Waesberge 
et Elizeum Weyerstraet," shows Buchanan seated at a table, 
on which is placed a small writing desk. He holds a pen in his 
right hand, and his face is turned to the spectator. It shows a 
head resembling in some points both the Boissard and Porbus 
types, but the gown and collar belong to the latter. In none 
of these five engravings is there any appearance of fur. 

Among other examples of the Porbus type of portrait 
(which has been the most popular among book illustrators) the 
following were among the exhibits : An undated print 
engraved by A. Bell and inserted in Sibbald's " Commentarius 
in vitam Georgii Buchanani " (1702), but probably not issued 
with that work; another undated print, apparently of the 
eighteenth century, without the name of the engraver; the 
elaborate frontispiece engraved by Van der Gucht for 
Ruddiman's edition of Buchanan's Works (1715), which 
introduces a small portrait of the Porbus type, but influenced 
to some extent by the Boissard or Edinburgh type ; the frontis- 
piece to the edition of the Historia published by Paton at 
Edinburgh in 1727, engraved by R. Cooper; the fourth and 
sixth editions of the English translation of the Historia 
(1751 and 1766), giving a new version of the Porbus portrait 
engraved by T. Phin; the frontispiece to Robertson's "Life 
of Buchanan " (1812) ; the frontispiece to the edition of 
the Historia in English, published in 1827 and again 
in 1843, giving an engraving by " H. Meyer from a 
painting by F. Pourbus." The same portrait sometimes from 
the same plate or block has also done duty in Hume Brown's 
"Buchanan and his times" (1906), the quater-centenary 
edition of Wallace and Campbell Smith's sketch of Buchanan 
written for the " Famous Scots Series," and in various 
periodical publications issued within the last few months. A 
very good undated print was lent by Lt.-Col. Playfair, St. 
Andrews, taken " from the original by F. Porbus, late in the 
Mead collection." 

Quite a different type of portrait forms the frontispiece to 
the seventh edition of the English translation of the Historia, 
published at Glasgow in 1799. It was engraved by K. 
Makenzie, London, from an original picture in Anderson's 
Institution, Glasgow. This picture is now in the possession of 


"A. ,5 7 /. 

(From Ponrbuti.) 

The Portraits of George Buchanan 233 

the Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College, and a 
copy of it belongs to Dr. Freeland Fergus, Glasgow. Its 
authenticity, however, is so open to question that it was not 
thought worth while to include it in the exhibition of paintings. 
It represents Buchanan as a younger man than any of the 
others and is not devoid of resemblance to the Porbus portraits. 
Another portrait, not unlike this Glasgow one, is given in 
Pinkerton's " Scottish Gallery," 1799, Vol. 1, plate 17. It is 
described as " from an original at Hamilton," and is lettered 
" Buchaniae Comes delt. E. Harding sc. Published Novr. 
1, 1797, by I. Herbert." In the notice of Buchanan it is said 
' The portrait is in the Duke of Hamilton's house at 
Hamilton : and is the only one which represents Buchanan when 
young. It is probably genuine ; but its authenticity is supposed 
to rest on tradition only." Drummond 1 calls it " an absurd 
head," but it had evidently at one time found favour with the 
Earl of Buchan. 

The older Edinburgh University portrait was engraved by 
T. Woolnoth for the second edition of Irving's " Memoirs of 
Buchanan " (1817) ; and ten years later it was engraved by 
R. Scott for Aikman's translation of the Historia. In 1854 
it appeared in Chambers's " Biographical Dictionary of 
Eminent Scotsmen," engraved by Samuel Freeman. As already 
remarked, it has more recently been included in Mr. Caw's 
" Scottish Portraits." It is this portrait, sometimes looking one 
way, sometimes another, which has been associated with the 
cover and title-page of " Blackwood's Magazine" since its com- 
mencement in 1817. 

Engravings similar to the later Edinburgh University 
portrait (with hands and book introduced) have been published 
more than once. The earliest exhibited was an undated 
engraving, which some previous owner of a copy of the 1583 
edition of the Historia has inserted as a frontispiece. It 
bears to have been painted by I. C. W. and engraved by 
C. van Sichem. Another version of it, by Ja. Clark, 
is given in Mosman's edition of the Historia published at 
Edinburgh in 1700. In these engravings the age has been 

1 In " The portraits of John Knox and George Buchanan," Edinburgh, 
1875, reprinted, with additions, from the " Transactions of the Antiquarian 
Society." To this critical and suggestive paper are appended lists of engrav- 
ings of Buchanan. It also gives excellent reproductions of the Boissard and 
Porbus portraits. 

234 The Portraits of George Buchanan 

changed from 73 to 76, making it the same as in the 
Boissard engraving. The bust in the frontispiece to Burman's 
edition of the Opera Omnia (1725) follows the same type, 
with skull-cap and fur collar, but omits the hands and book. 

Among the illustrations in Chambers's " Cyclopaedia of 
English Literature," vol. 1 (1901), there is a picture of 
Buchanan (aetatis 76, an. 1581) " from the portrait in the 
National Portrait Gallery." It belongs to the Edinburgh type, 
but differs in several respects from those already described. 
Buchanan is represented standing at a small covered table, with 
his left hand resting upon it. In his right hand is an open 
book from which he looks pensively away. 1 

The " Titian " portrait does not appear to have been re- 
engraved or reissued since 1809. 

1 The painter of this portrait is unknown. It is a small picture, measur- 
ing 13i by 11$ inches, and was transferred to the National Portrait Gallery 
from the British Museum in June 1879. 

J. M. A. 

From the Paintintj in the National Portrait Gallery, London. 

Buchanan Memorials. 

A statement was recently made in the columns of a high-class 
literary weekly that Scotland had no worthy memorial of 
Buchanan. Whether this remark was, in some degree, 
significant of the general lack of acquaintance with Buchanan's 
life and work, or whether it was a mild criticism of the 
indifference of Scotsmen to the scholarship of their famous 
countryman, is not quite certain. The latter probability, how- 
ever, can scarcely be entertained by those whose pilgrim journey 
has led them from the busy haunts of men into the peace and 
quiet of the valley of Strathendrick, into the land of Buchanan. 
From far and near there may be seen towering from the ridge 
on which the village of Killearn stands a well-proportioned 
obelisk, symbolic, in its dignified isolation, of the place occupied 
by the great scholar in the memory of Scotchmen. The people 
of Buchanan's native district have always been proud of his 
learning, and near the end of the eighteenth century a plan was 
suggested by a Robert Dunsmore, Esq., 1 whereby a fitting and 
permanent memorial should be raised. That gentleman out- 
lined the scheme to a large company assembled in the house of 
a gentleman of the district, in which assemblage was Professor 
Richardson, " well known as a successful cultivator of polite 
literature." 2 A subscription list was opened, to which the 
guests present on that occasion contributed, the share of one of 
them a Mr. Craig, a nephew of Thomson being the 
architectural design. The monument, which is said 8 to have 
been fashioned after the model of that which commemorates the 
Battle of the Boyne, is an obelisk nineteen feet square at the 
base, extends to the height of one hundred and three feet, and 
is built of white millstone-grit which was found at a short 
distance from the village. The foundation was laid in June 

1 Irving'a Memoirs, p. 312. 


s New Statistical Account of Scotland. 

236 Buchanan Memorials 

1788 by one who had taken a prominent part in the movement 
Rev. James Graham, Minister of Killearn Parish, and at 
this ceremony a hermetically sealed bottle, containing a silver 
medal with the following inscription was deposited under the 
foundation-stone 1 : 


Georgii Buchanani, 

Poetae et Historic! Celeberrimi : 

Accolis hujus loci, ultro conferentibus, 

Haec columna posita eat, 1788. 
Jacobus Craig Architect. Edinburgen. 

It seems, however, that the monument was without a visible 
inscription till 1850, when a marble tablet, bearing the following 
Latin eulogium composed by Professor William Ramsay of 
Glasgow University, was inserted in the base: 

Memoriae Aeternae 


Inter Fortos Fortis 

Inter Doctos Docti 

Inter Sapientes Sapientissimi, 

Qui Tenax Propositi, 

Impiorum sacerdotium minas ridens, 

Tyrannorum saevorum minas spernens 

Purum Numinis Cultum 


Jura Human! Generis 

A Pessima Superstitione atque ab infima servitute 
Imperterritus Vindicavit 

Hoc Monumentum, 

Domum Paternam et Natalia Rura Prospectans, 

Sumptibus et Pietate Popularium 

Olim Extructum 

Aetas Postera 

Reficiendum Curavit, 

Anno Christi D.N. 


There thus stands, overlooking his ancestral home and the scene 
of his birth, a memorial of Buchanan's genius which is in itself 
a pillar of affection from his fellow-countrymen and to which 
not a few travellers ' resort with veneration and enthusiasm.' 
Nor was it erected without evoking approval and praise. Dr. 
David Doig, inspired by the loyalty to Buchanan thus shown, 

1 Nimmo's History of StirlinrjKhire (1st edit.), p. 697. 

hi/ Valentine a- Soils, Dunde 


Buchanan Memorials 237 

wrote the following lines, which were communicated by the 
Right Rev. Bishop Gleig to Dr. Irving who printed them as an 
Appendix to his Memoirs : 

En Buchanane ! pii, longo post tempore, cives 
Ingenio statuunt haec monumenta tuo. 
Sootia to natum, to Gallia jactat alumnum ; 
Te canit Europe, qua plaga cunque patet. 
Nil opus est saxo, nil indice : laeta sonabunt 
Carmine Levinium saecula cuncta decus. 
Seu decoras Latio divina poemata cultu, 
Seu recinis nugas, ludicra, festa, sales ; 
Grandia seu tragico devolvis verba cothurno, 
Seu reseras varii claustra viasque poli ; 
Aemula seu capias Patavi praeconia linguae, 
Foedera dum patriae, bella virosque refers ; 
Eloquio, gravitate, sono, vi, lumine, verbis 
Aequiparas veteres, exsuperasque novos. 
Quod Graii potuere simul, quod Komula virtus, 
Tu solus nuraeris, arte, lepore potes. 
Sin aliqua titubas patriae labefactus amore, 
Aut nimium vera pro pietate pius, 
Ipsa notam lecti Libertas porat alumni ; 

Ipsa tegit lauri Calliopea comis. 
Saepe nitor veri spissis latet obrutus umbris, 
Nee semper Lynceus cuncta videnda videt. 

The citizens of Edinburgh had always been fully cognisant 
of Buchanan's ability, and they never wholly allowed his memory 
to fade. One of their number, and a kinsman of Buchanan 
James Buchanan, Esq., Moray Place, and father of the present 
Member of Parliament for East Perthshire caused a Memorial 
Window to be placed in the wall of Old Greyfriars Church, 
Edinburgh. This three-light window, which is the last one from 
the pulpit on the south side of the church, was designed by 
James Ballantine. It contains in the centre panel the portrait 
of Buchanan and the arms of the Buchanan family, as well as 
the following inscription, which forms the last two lines of 
Joseph Scaliger's laudatory Elegy : 

Imperil fuerat Romani Scotia limes : 

I Ionian i eloquii Scotia finis erit. 

(Where Scotland curbed the march of conquering Rome 

The Latian Muse will find her final home.) 

On the other two lights are imprinted the notice: 

<( Georgius Buchananus 

Mortuus est .... 28 Spt. 1582, 
Edinburgi aetatis suae 76." 

238 Buchanan Memorials 

On a disc on each of the extreme panels there is the St. 
Andrews Cross and the Scottish Lion, with a motto which is 
occasionally attributed to Buchanan. This phrase nemo me 
impune lactsslt was first found on the thistle merks and half- 
merks of James VI. ; it is possible that Buchanan suggested 
its use, but it was not original. According to Dr. George 
Macdonald, Honorary Curator of the Hunter Coin Cabinet, 
Glasgow, a motto much similar had been used a hundred years 
before in Italy. A similar criticism applies to the phrase 
Pro me si inereor in me, which ornamented the so-called ' sword 
dollars' first minted in 1567. " Hoc lemma," says Ruddiman, 
" (quo et suum adversus reges ingenium prodit) Georgium 
Buchananum Jacobi VI. praeceptorem subministrasse omnes 
consentiunt." 1 The motto was certainly suggested by the saying 
attributed to Trajan by Dio Cassius and others, but no 
authority can be found for saying that its use on the coinage 
was due to Buchanan's advice. 

Scots abroad, having fully realised the reputation which 
their countryman of a former century had earned among scholars 
throughout Europe, have been inspired, no doubt by Buchanan's 
contribution to the national sentiment of independence and by 
his honesty in withstanding the wrath of the king " and all his 
Kin's," to aid in perpetuating his memory. On the 12th 
September, 1887, a statue of Buchanan was unveiled in the 
Wallace Monument, near Stirling. It was presented by the 
Caledonian Club, Forte Wayne, Indiana, in compliment to the 
Rev. Charles Rogers, LL.D. Five years afterwards it was to 
the memory of Dr. Rogers a graduate of St. Andrews and 
for some time Secretary and Historiographer to the Royal 
Historical Society, that these Scotsmen in America presented 
a bust to the Wallace Monument " to mark its appreciation of 
his enthusiasm for Scottish history and patriotism." 

A less elaborate but more noteworthy memorial is to be seen 
in Greyfriars Churchyard, Edinburgh, where Buchanan was, 
according to Dr. David Laing, " the first person of celebrity" 
to be buried. The history of Buchanan's last days does not 
redound to Scotland's credit. He died shortly after five o'clock 
in the morning of Friday, 28th September, in Kennedy's 
Close, " first court thereof on your left hand, first house in the 

1 Anderson! Selectu* Diplomatum et Numismatum Scotiae Tliesaurus, 
Edinb. 1739. 


Buchanan Memorials 239 

turnpike above the tavern there." 1 He was buried the next 
day at the city's expense, and Calderwood records that the 
funeral was attended " by a great company of the faithful." 
Irving believed with a Mr. Callender that Buchanan's " un- 
grateful country never afforded his grave the common tribute 
of a monumental stone," but the Records of Edinburgh Town 
Council give evidence that the poor wandering scholar who 
had often asked for bread and received a stone. 2 In 1701, 
however, the stone could not be seen, and the Council, 
supposing that the stone had sunk, gave orders to the 
Chamberlain that it should be raised ; but if this was ever done, 
it had again disappeared by 1794. According to Dr. Laing, the 
stone was found before 1867, having been appropriated and 
raised to the memory of a grave-digger. Thus it is certain that 
no inscription had been engraved on it, although Chalmers, 
at that time unaware of the misappropriation of the stone 
and misinterpreting a sentence in Sir Robert Sibbald's 
Commentarius in Vitam Georgii Buchanani, states in his Life of 
Ruddiman that the inscription was written by John Adamson, 
Principal of Edinburgh University in 1623. He quotes the 
Adamson "inscription" which, had he read carefully, would 
have proved that no words had been engraved on the stone. 
This Epigram to Buchanan's memory is as follows : 

Marmorese cur stant hie omni ex parte columnae, 

Signaque ab artificium daedala facta manu ? 

Ut spectent oculis monumenta insignia vivi, 

Per quae defunctis concilietur honos. 

Talia nonne etiam debet Buchananus habere, 

Doctius aut melius quo nihil orbis habet ? 

Gloriolas vivus qui contemnebat inanes, 

An cupiet divus se decorent lapides ? 

lllis fas pulchro nomen debere sepulchre, 

Qui nil quo melius nobilitentur habent. 

Per te olim tellus est nobilitata Britanna, 

Et decus es tumulo jam, Buchanane, tuo. 

It was the author of the above epigram who, according to the 
Librarian to the University of Edinburgh about 1697, 
procured what is supposed to be Buchanan's skull and which 
is now preserved in the University Anatomical Museum. 

The spot where Buchanan was buried is not even known. 

1 From a note by George Paton, the antiquary, and quoted by Prof. 
Hume Brown, George Buchanan, Humanist and Reformer, p. 353. 

2 Ibid. p. 353. 

240 Buchanan Memorials 

An iron tablet which is affixed to a rod rising from the grass and 
is said to have borne " a suitable inscription," is supposed to 
mark the grave near the north-eastern boundary, although the 
exact spot is considered by some to be nearer the eastern wall. 
It is more than thirty years since this tablet was placed, at his 
own expense, by a humble blacksmith named Ritchie, who was 
an elder in New Grey friars Church. After his death his son 
carefully looked after the grave and the tablet, on which the 
letters of the inscription are almost illegible, although their 
general effect is " Geo. Buchanan, 16th Century, interred in this 

Towards the west end of this ' Scottish Campo Santo ' a 
monument was erected by the late Dr. David Laing in 1878. 
This cenotaph consists of a large pedestal with bronze bust of 
life-size inserted in high relief. The bust, after the Boissard 
engraving, was executed by D. W. Stevenson, B.S.A., who was 
also responsible for the bust in the Wallace Monument. There 
is no inscription, however, on the monument, a defect 
which, it is hoped, will soon be remedied. There ought also to 
be no objection to insert in Westminster Abbey a bust or 
medallion. " Buchanan, Scott, Burns, and Carlyle are the 
four men of first-rate genius whom Scotland has as yet 
produced," and Buchanan and Carlyle might equally well be 
commemorated beside Scott and Burns. 

More striking, though less substantial, than these monu- 
ments of " brass, glass or marble," which, according to Irving, 
" contribute more to the honour of the living than of the dead," 
are the letters and tributes which the acquaintances of 
Buchanan wrote to him or about him. Therein lies the revela- 
tion of his noble attributes, and he is revealed to us as a man 
of generous and friendly disposition. His loyalty to his friends 
in the hour of trial, his commemoration of the tender care and 
skill with which he was cured of a severe illness, the zeal he 
exhibited in the promotion and well-being of young Scottish 
scholars, his instructions that his last savings should be given to 
the poor, all prove that though his distinction as a scholar and 
his intolerance of an impure ecclesiasticism appealed to the head, 
his judgment of men and affairs lean to the charity that 
emanates from a man of such integrity and piety as is none 
the less sincere because of its uneffusiveness. It is sad to think 
that in his last days the fame and noble aspirations of one who, 


Buchanan Memorials 241 

by his efforts to mould the thought of his time and exchange the 
bright glare of the old for the feeble light of the new order, 
commanded the admiration of the civilised world of his earlier 
days, should only have been understood by the few. These few 
did not relax in their efforts to keep his memory fresh in the 
minds of the Europe of after centuries, for in the words of 
D. G. Barclay, M.D., 

Beza et Turnebus, Scaliger Pater atque Josephus 

Te, Buchanane ! super sidera laude locant. 

Frustra igitur verhis famam detraxerit ullus 

Nee Grain tinctis Ausoniove sale. 1 

No one, however, has celebrated Buchanan more often and with 
greater zeal than his great colleague in the University reform 
movement Andrew Melville, one of the most distinguished 
Principals of St. Mary's College, St. Andrews. In congratulat- 
ing him on his recovery from a severe illness, Melville wrote 
some sympathetic lines, of the latter part of which a close 
translation is here given : 

This lay to thee, I say, I have rough-drawn 

Buchanan, leader of the skilful Nine ; 

Unwrought, to till it thou ; rough, thou to smooth, 

Who in thy single self art match for all ; 

As deals the tiller with his up-torn field, 

Ploughing, re-ploughing, ploughing yet again 

Or as the artificer with his hammered steel, 

Filing and polishing and perfecting : 

That, turned not once, but turned again, again, 

Replaced upon thy anvil, it comes back, 
Not such as the enfeebled sisters can, 

Abated, thin of accent, void of charm, 

But such as in sound health the Muses wont, 

Lofty and mighty-toned, of charm supreme. 2 

Melville has here addressed Buchanan as his preceptor and the 
parent of the Muses, " preceptor " not necessarily implying that 
Buchanan had been Melville's regent, which was hardly 
possible. Having come under Buchanan's influence perhaps as 
a private pupil, and having been associated with him in after 
years, he felt moved at Buchanan's death to pay a tribute to the 
great scholar : 

Ergo silent magni Buchanan! in funere Musae ? 

Nee Vatum Aonidum flet pia turba suum ? 

An secum Buohananus habet montem, unde Camoenae, 

1 Poetarum Scot-arum Muxae. Sacrae. 

8 This translation is by the Rev. Archibald Brown, minister of Legerwood. 

242 Buchanan Memorials 

Devolvunt moestos murmura trunca modoe ? 

An secum Buchananus habet fontem, untie Pogtae 

Pieriis poti collacrimantur aquis ? 

Aonio frustrk quaeruntur vertice Musae : 

Castalio frustdt e fonte petuntur aquae. 

Pro monte est coelum, pro fonte est Christus : utrumque 

Et Christum et coelum nunc Buchananus habet. 

Hausisti hinc sacros latices, Divine Poeta ! 

Fudisti hinc sumino carmina digna Deo. 

Hauriat hinc quisquis Buchanani in funere moeret ; 

Ut Vatum fundat carmina digna Deo. 

Turnebe praised Buchanan's great knowledge of Latin, 1 
whilst Beza and Scaliger, whom, along with De Thou, the 
scholarly Casaubon, in one of his letters, calls " the three suns 
of the learned world," have all expressed their admiration for 
the Scottish ' man-of-letters,' as Prof. Hume Brown aptly 
describes Buchanan. In his correspondence with our great 
humanist, Beza describes him as "a true lover of all good 
men " ; in the same letter he beseeches Buchanan's blessing and 
continues "I, in turn, pray Him that He may bless with 
increasing blessing the happiness of your old age. 2 

Buchanan's last letter was addressed to Beza, and he there 
mournfully apologises " that all my senses dying before me, 
what now remains of the image of the former man testifies, not 
that I am, but that I have been alive ; especially, as I can 
neither cherish the hope of contracting new intimacies, nor of 
continuing the old." 3 It was this same sentiment, conveyed in 
one sentence of a letter to Vinet that especially appealed to De 
Thou as being memorable : ' ' Nunc id unum satago, ut minimo 
cum strepitu, ex inaequalium meorum, hoc est, mortuus e 
vivorum contubernio demigrem." 4 Thus in his closing days, 
Buchanan's noble traits seem to have come forth, and this spirit 
of magnanimity and independence, in which Buchanan left his 
circle of friends behind, Joseph Scaliger has realised and 
expressed in Latin verses which have often been quoted, and of 
which something of the sentiment remains in a translation 
published by Robert Macfarlan, M.A., in 1799. 5 

1 Ruddiman, Bitchanani Opera, Vol. II., p. 104. 

2 Hume Brown, Biography, p. ,342. 
8 Irving's Memoirs, p. 280. 

4 Epistola xxxvii. 

s George Bttchanan's Dialogue concerning the Rights of the Croivn of 8cot~ 
land : unth two Dissertations prefixed. 


(From the bv#t in Wallace Monument.) 

By kind permiitfion of Mr. William Middlettm, Curator, Wallace Monument. 

Buchanan Memorials 243 

"The country blest, Buchanan, in thy fame, 
And every region honouring thy name, 
Thou diest declining mad ambition's ways, 
To wealth superior and to vulgar praise ; 
Of Phoebus and his choir the favourite son, 
Who every prize in every contest won. 
The rare memorials of a soul refin'd 
Which in thy works admiring nations find, 
No bard shall equal of the Gallick breed, 
And of th' Italick none could e'er exceed. 
Raised to her zenith, poetry no more 
Beyond thee tries on daring wing to soar, 
Bounds to her empire, Rome in Scotland found, 
And Scotland, too, her eloquence shall bound. " 

Whilst being a man of genius whose scholarship and 
brilliant conversational powers endeared him to the scholars of 
his time, his simplicity of life and the value he attached to 
elevation of character marked Buchanan as ever and always a 
true Scot. The emphasis he gave to purity of life was the 
result of a strong and burning patriotism. For such expression 
he was made to endure the stings of hostile criticism ; this fact 
and the recent history of his native country alike prove him 
to have been not only a writer, but a maker, of history. 
Having in the evening of his days repaid his native land with 
services which have been so slightly acknowledged, even by those 
who admired him as an intellectual aristocrat, he well deserved 
the tribute which was composed by John Johnston, 1 Professor 
of Hebrew in St. Mary's College, 1593, and differs somewhat 
from other elegies in its reasons for praise : 

Scotia quern genuit, fovit, cum Pallade Musa 

Diva beat, tanto sese hospite Gallia jactat, 

Ingensque ingentem Tellus miratur et Aether, 

Seu canit Historiam, seu grandi carmina plectro : 

Quern decorant Reges, qui ipsos decorat quoque Reges 

Et Solymse et propriae gentis : Quique entheus almi 

Facta Dei, laudesque virum, qui sidera dixit ; 

Exiguo magnus sub cespite Buchananus 

Hie Vates recubat. Nomen viget alite fama, 

Atque orbem immensum complet. Jamque arduus ipse 

Coelum habet, et gaudet permistus Coelitibus Diis. 

Buchanan loved his country, and devoted his thoughts and 

1 Johnston in 1587 was studying at the Univerbity of Helmstadt, whence 
he sent a MS. copy of Buchanan's Sphaera to Pincier who published a second 
edition of that poem, with two epigrams by Johnston, in 1587. M'Crie's Lift 
of Andrew Melville, p. 153. 

244 Buchanan Memorials 

earnest endeavours to leave her better than he found her. He 
made a brave struggle for human freedom, and voiced the cause 
of culture and progress. The spirit of his work has never died, 
and although his reputation may not have been so deeply rooted 
in the hearts of his countrymen as that of the other great sons 
of Scotland, it is to be hoped that in this year, when four 
hundred years have hurried into the past since Buchanan was 
born, justice and fair-mindedness will permit all to estimate 
fully the brilliance of one of the foremost of Scotland's great 
scholars, who, in words attributed to Andrew Melville, was : 

Clams in Historiae campo, clarusque Poesi, 

Nomen ad aeternos fers, Buchanane, dies. 

Scotia luce tua perfusa celebrior audet, 

Rex disciplinae gaudet honore tuae. 

Maximus es meritis. Quid Patria Rexve rependet, 

Quando tuis meritis hie sit et in ilia minor? 1 

To these many memorials of him who first kept for Scotsmen 
the citadel of their fame, is added this volume. As an 
appreciation of work done and a record of praise for that work, 
it is hoped that it will be a memorial in some small degree 
worthy of one whose fate it was to receive more honour from 
the nations among whom he was a stranger than from that in 
which he was born and which rewarded his services with scanty 
sympathy and support. Time has changed many opinions, and 
this year of grace allows us to read Buchanan's writings in a 
fresh and strong light, for we must ever remember with Horace : 

' Neque uno Luna rubens nitet vultu.' 

1 These verses were written below the dedication in M'Crie's copy of 
Melville's Carmen Mosis. The handwriting is not Melville's. M'Crie's Life 
of Andrew Melville, p. 42. 


To George Buchanan 245 

To George Buchanan. 

GOOD old Buchanan, my heart warms to thee, 
So long hast thou companioned my lone hours; 
And I have felt thee to be near to me, 

And pleasant as the breath of summer flowers 
So oft thy words of truth and wisdom stirred 
My soul, responsive to the tones it heard : 
No stranger thou, far centuries apart ; 
Thy speech was as a friend's, and heart to heart. 

Thy voice is in the silence of the night; 

I hear thee when all other sounds are still, 
Upholding what is true and just and right, 

Sounding the sacred lyre with matchless skill. 

I honoured thee as patriot, scholar, bard 
Chiefly as bard, of many a varied lay, 
Wherewith full oft I have beguiled my way, 

Dreaming enchanted dreams in daylight hard ; 

The shocks and troubles of the world dispelled 

By the sweet spell wherein my soul was held. 

What titles shall I heap on thee to pay 
The debt I owe thee, due this many a day ? 
To thine own titlepage I turn, and there 
Of academic titles find thee bare : 
One title only wilt thou deign to claim 
I read it, kindling with an inward flame : 
Instead of many a letter, many a dot, 
This only read I, GEORGE BUCHANAN, SCOT. 

SCOTUS ! exclaims an old encomiast, 

Tossing his Greek about with airy sleight; 

Not thou art ^KOTOS, though that name thou hast ; 
Not SKOTOS thou, but rather Aorta's light. 

Yet SCOTUS wert thou to thy inmost core; 

A patriot fire burned there with fervent heat ; 
And though thy country drove thee from her shore, 

And made thee long the bread of exile eat, 
Lovedst thou still the rugged land that bore 

Thy fathers' race, and sepulchred their dust 

A land that ill repaid thy faith and trust. 

246 To George Buchanan 

For thou art still a banished man, denied 
The harbour and the hearth of kindred Scot: 

Thy name may linger, but thy words abide 
In dusty volumes which men handle not : 

Thy name is famous yet, but all beside, 
Save to a dwindled number, is a blot. 

Yet greater son than thou thy country ne'er 
Nursed in her bosom and sent forth to fame ; 

Born child of genius, of endowments rare, 
The world once echoed with thy lauded name: 

Now, the last echoes all are fallen low, 

And few there be thy glowing words that know. 

Ephemeral leaves in myriads strew the land; 

Thine own immortal pages are unread 
Conjured away as by enchanter's wand ; 

Unseen and unremembered as the dead. 
And yet thy pages shall not die but live; 

There is no death to an immortal thing : 
Their root is in the ground, and time will give 

New growth, new verdure and new blossoming. 

Thy glorious star, high in the azure set, 

In splendour shone through many lives of men : 
Dark clouds obscured it, and obscure it yet 

Shall not its lustre yet shine out again ? 
Thou earnest back from thy long banishment ; 

Shall thy long banished strains not yet return ? 
Is not the night of thy neglect far spent? 

Shall but a loyal few revere thy urn? 

Four hundred years ago thy infant feet 

Trod the green sward beside thy native stream ; 
And when thou hadst o'erpast life's troubled dream, 
Old and renowned, they wrapt thee in thy sheet, 
And laid in Scottish soil and hallowed ground, 
Where many of earth's noblest sleep around. 
Rest well, beloved master, rest in peace, 
Where fame has followed, and where troubles cease. 

A. B. 


Poems and Translations. 

Quam Misera Sit Conditio Docentium Literas 
Humaniores Lutetiae. 

(Elegiarum Liber I.) 

IN this Elegy, which is probably the first of his compositions, Buchanau gives 
valuable information as to student and professional life in the College of 
Ste. Barbe, where he taught for three years. It was first published at Paris 
in 1567. 

The French translation or adaptation here given is by Joachim du Bellay 
(1525-1560), who was an Angevin of good birth. As a French poet, he ranks 
as one of the best of the celebrated Pleiade of seven writers who in their day 
sought to shape French poetry on classical models. Some of his smaller 
poems, one of which Spenser translated into English, are very beautiful. 
Du Bellay was also a writer of forcible prose. The present adaptation is 
taken from an edition of his works published at Paris in 1568, a copy of 
which was found by Rev. R. M. Lithgow in the Library of the ancient 
Hermitage Chapel of Saint Thiago, Cintra, Portugal. In the same volume 
was a translation of another of Buchanan's poems Ad Henricum II. Franciae 
Jtegem du soluta urbis Alediomatricum obsidione. The French poem here given 
is not wholly a translation. While Buchanan's Latin poem expatiates on the 
misery of a teacher's life, du Bellay makes no reference to a teacher's life, 
and takes as his theme the misery of a poet's life. The first fifty-four are 
faithfully translated from the first twenty-eight lines of Buchanan's Latin. 
Then du Bellay omits quite a large part of the Latin, and interpolates. The 
lines beginning Sept villes dt, (Jrece are a close translation ; these are followed 
by another interpolation. A few more lines are closely translated, and then 
the latter part is a paraphrase of Buchanan's five words " Nos alio sort 
animusqite vocat." 

Ite leves nugae, sterilesque valete Camoenae, 

Grataque Phoebaeo Castalis unda choro. 
Ite, sat est : primes vobiscum absumsimus aunos, 

Optima pars vitae deperiitque meae. 
Quaerite quern capiat jejuna cantus in umbra : 

Quaerite qui pota carmina cantet aqua. 

250 Poems and Translations 

Dulcibus illecebris tenerum vos fallitis aevum, 

Dum sequitur blandae carmen inerme lyrae. 
Debita militiae molli languescit in umbra, 

Et fluit ignavis fracta juventa sonis. 
Ante diem curves senium grave contrahit art us, 

Imminet ante suum mors properata diem : 
Ora notat pallor, macies in corpore toto est, 

Et tetrico in vultu mortis imago sedet. 
Otia dum captas, praeceps in mille labores 

Irruis, et curis angeris usque novis. 
Nocte leves somnos resolutus compede fossor 

Carpit, et in mediis nauta quiescit aquis : 
Nocte leves somnos carpit defessus arator, 

Nocte quies ventis, lonioque mari : 
Nocte tibi nigrae fuligo bibenda lucernae, 

Si modo Calliopes castra sequenda putes : 
Et tanquam Libyco serves curvata metallo 

Robora, et Herculea poma ferenda manu, 
Pervigil in lucem lecta atque relecta revolves, 

Et putri excuties scripta sepulta situ. 
Saepe caput scalpes, et vivos roseris ungues, 

Irata feries pulpita saepe manu. 
Hinc subitae mortes, et spes praerepta senectae, 

Nee tibi fert Clio, nee tibi Phoebus opem. 
Si caput in cubitum lassa cervice recumbat, 

Et sopor exiguus lumina fessa premat: 
Ecce, vigil subito quartam denuntiat horam, 

Et tonitru horrifico lumina clausa quatit : 
Excutit attonito somnos 1 sonus aeris acuti, 

Admonet et molli membra levare toro. 
Vix siluit, jam quinta sonat ; jam janitor urget 

Cymbala, tirones ad sua signa vocans: 
Mox sequitur longa metuendus veste magister, 

Ex humero laevo mantica terga premit. 
Dextera crudeli in pueros armata flagello est : 

Laeva tenet magni forte Maronis opus. 
Jam sedet, et longis clamoribus ilia rumpit, 

Excutit implicitos ingenioque locos. 

1 Griffin's London edition of 1686, the 1677 Edinburgh edition of Cairns 
who employed printers from Holland, as well as more recent editions, have 

Elegia I. 251 

Corrigit, ct delet, mutat, vigilata labore 

Promit, in obscuro quae latuere diu. 1 
Magna, nee ingeniis aevi explorata prioris, 

Emit, inventas nee sibi celat opes. 
[Ignava incerta 2 stertit plerumque juventus, 

Cogitat aut curae multa priora suae.] 
Alter abest, petiturque alter, mercede parato 

Qui vocet, et fictos condiat arte dolos. 
Ille caret caligis, huic rupta calceus alter 

Pelle hiat: ille dolet, scribit et ille domum. 
Hinc virgae, strepitusque sonant, fletuque rigantur 

Ora, inter lacrymas transigiturque dies. 
Dein nos sacra vocant, dein rursus lectio, rursus 

Verbera: sumendo vix datur bora cibo. 
Protinus amota sequitur nova lectio mensa, 

Excipit hanc rursus altera, coena brevis: 
Surgitur, in seram noctem labor improbus exit, 

Ceu brevis aerumnis hora diurna foret. 
. Quid memorem interea fastidia mille laborum, 

Quae non ingenua mente ferenda putes? 
Ecce tibi erronum 3 plenas ex urbe phalanges, 

Terraque ferratis calcibus icta tremit : 
Turba ruit, stolidasque legentibus applicat aures, 

Quales Phoebaeae Phryx dedit ante lyrae. 
Et queritur nullis onerari compita chartis, 

Esse et Alexandrum 4 nullo in honore suum : 
Nee gravidum pleno turgescere margine librum, 

Neglectumque premi vile Guidonis opus. 
Curritur ad montem magno cum murmure acutum, 

Aut alias aedes, sicubi beta sapit. 
Quid referam quoties defenditur acer Orestes, 

Carmina vel nutneris cum caruere suis ? 

1 The edition published at Edinburgh in 1615 by Andrew Hart gives situ 
instead of diu. 

2 This couplet is not inserted in any edition except in Iluddiman's, 
Burmann's, and Hart's Edinburgh edition of 1615 where interea is given 
instead of incerta. 

3 The errone* were elderly students who worked very little, were very 
unruly, and merely attended classes for many years for no more definite 
purpose than "killing time." They were known in Paris as galoches, "so- 
called," Professor Hume Brown says, " from the galoshes which they wore in 

4 Alexander of Villa-dei, a grammarian of the Middle Ages. 

252 Poems and Translations 

Arcadico juveni quod laeva in parte mam iliac 

Nil salit, i rat us clamat uterque parens : 
Conqueritur nullo labentia tempora fructu, 

Totque diu sumtua deperiisse suos. 1 
[Quin etiam in libros nati consumta talenta 

Supputat: et damnum flagitiumque vocat.] 
Aestimat et nostros non aequa lance labores : 

Temporis et nulla damna rependit ope. 
Adde, quod Aonidum paupertas semper adhaerens 

It comes, et castris militat ipsa suis: 
Sive canas acies in Turcica bella paratas, 

Sive aptes 2 tenui mollia verba lyrae : 
Sive levi captas populi spectacula socco, 

Turgidus aut tragico syrmate verris humum : 
Denique quicquid agis, comes assidet improba egestas, 

Sive poema canis, sive poema doces. 
Bella gerunt urbes septem 3 de patria Homeri : 

Nulla domus vivo, patria nulla fuit. 
Aeger, inops patrios deplorat Tityrus agros, 

Statius instantem vix fugat arte famem. 
Exul Hyperboreum Naso project us ad axem, 

Exilium Musis imputat ille suum. 
Ipse Deus vatum vaccas pavisse Pheraeas 

Creditur, Aemonios et numerasse greges. 
Calliope longum coelebs cur vixit in aevum ? 

Nempe nihil doti 1 quod numeraret, erat. 
Interea celeri cursu delabitur aetas, 

Et queritur duram tarda senecta famem : 
Et dolet ignavis studiis lusisse juventam, 

Jactaque in iniidam semina moeret humum : 
Nullaque maturis congesta viatica canis, . 

Nee faciles portus jam reperire ratem. 
Ite igitur, Musae steriles, aliumque ministrum 

Quaerite: nos alio sors animusque vocat. 

1 This couplet is found only in Hart's Edinburgh edition, Ruddimaif s 
1715, and Burmann's 1725. 

2 The first edition, 1567, has aptas, evidently an error. 

5 Edinburgh edition of 1615 gives this line Septem bella geruiU urbes. 
4 In the Amsterdam edition published by Henry Wetsten, 1687, dotis is 
given instead of doti. 

Elegia I. 253 


(by T. D. Robb, M.A., Paisley). 

YE barren books, I've played the fool too long, 

Tending your trivial vanities of song! 

I'm growing old, and ask, What is to me 

Apollo with his nymphs of Castalie? 

He lures to thankless toil, and now appears 

My Will o' the Wisp above the marsh of years. 

Can any mortal breakfast on a verse, 

Or quench his drouth with water, and rehearse 

The vinous classic song ? If any choose, 

Go seek him out to fill my empty shoes. 

Right pleasantly does song allure the young, 
Sweet song that leaves the manly lyre unstrung. 
Their country, calling them to bow and blade, 
Finds them relaxed in some delightful shade, 
Marring their youth in metring idle sound ; 
So, ere their life has run the ample round, 
They bow enfeebled limbs; nay, while the years 
Count them yet young, Death tolls upon their ears 
His quick approach ; nor is he far to seek, 
Seated on shrunken form and withered cheek. 

The dream of lettered leisure ! I and you 
Yearn over it, then, plunged in work, pursue 
A thousand toils with troubles ever new. 

Night comes for sleep. Poor clowns that turn the sod 

Leave spade or plough and straight begin to nod ; 

Tired mariners upon the middle deep 

Find wave and wind a lullaby to sleep; 

Yea, oft with night will roughest storms give o'er, 

And surges cease along the Ionian shore. 

But you that think to serve the Muse of Song, 

Drink reek of sooty lamp the whole night long, 

Sleepless as e'er the dragon lay of old, 

Warden beneath those boughs that bent with gold : 

(How vainly sleepless, too, since Hercules 

Must yet the golden apples cull at ease). 

264 Poems and Translations 

Even such are you that hear the early chimes, 

Still pondering what you've read a score of times, 

Eager to sweep the obscuring dust away 

From antique lore. Oft till the dawning day 

You bite your nails to the quick, and scratch your head, 

And bang your desk, but never win to bed. 

What guerdon for it all ? Long years and glory ? 
In no wise does the Muse of song or story 
So royally reward. An early death 
Is all the comfort that she promiseth. 

For sleep's denied. The tired neck may bow, 
And on the pillowed elbow droop the brow, 
A little sleep may cool your burning sight, 
When sudden clamour fills the startled night. 
Wildly you wake, unnerved for what dread shock, 
And hear the night-watch bellowing " Four o'clock! 
With brazen din he deafens night around, 
Warning day's bondmen not to sleep too sound. 
Scarce is he silent, scarce your eyelids close, 
When "Five o'clock!" shatters your last repose. 
Clang goes the bell ! The porter sleepless ass ! 
Is ringing scholars to your morning class. 

Prompt at the call, and dreadful in the frown 

He wears to match his flowing Roman gown, 

Behold the master follow forth to school. 

He clutches what proclaims a sceptred rule, 

And looks as he'd out-tyrannise the Turk ; 

In the other hand he holds the morning's work, 

Virgil perchance, so great, yet thus so mean. 

Now at his desk he eyes the restless scene, 

And cracks his cheeks with shouting. Say he wins, 

And quiet most comparative begins ; 

He takes his task, unravelling some skein 

Of tangled Latin, seeking to make plain 

To careless boys the questionable text 

That had his midnight vigil so perplext. 

He changes this and that, with skill to note 

Errors the classic author never wrote, 

And vindicates the readings that may be, 

From lore long latent in his memory. 

Elegia I. 255 

He scatters knowledge with a lordly hand ; 
Things that no former age could understand 
Are his attainment ; and he casts away 
Those treasures of his cornucopia, 
But casts to slothful swine. A steady snore 
Comes from the crowd that study on the floor : 
And those who seem awake in studious wise 
Are knaves that listen only with their eyes. 

Some one is truant ; another has taken care 
To hire some rascal with a specious air 
To have him called away. Or, this cold morn, 
One has no boots ; another's boots are worn 
To sandals. In that corner over there, 
Some booby blubbers for a mother's care ; 
Or there is one that lets his fancy roam, 
And, 'stead of writing notes, is writing home. 

Wherefore the switch is busy, and the sound 

Of frequent lamentation floats around ; 

Tears channel youthful cheeks; and, when 'tis run. 

The record of the hour is Nothing done. 

Then comes the call to prayers; after which 

Another hour of Latin and the switch. 

Then breakfast ; but the board is hardly set 

When it is borne away. We only whet 

Our appetites ere clangs the bell again, 

Renewing the futility and pain 

Of Latin lessons. When that weird is o'er 

Comes dinner, and as breakfast proved before, 

'Tis but a snack ere we are called away. 

Whither ? The tired to sleep, the fresh to play ? 

No, Latin lends small heed to set of sun, 

And we are deep in night ere work is done, 

Such work as 'tis. Why should I court your scorn 

Telling the thousand degradations borne 

In classes crowded with an adult crew 

Too old to birch, yet seeking nothing new, 

Nor even come to keep their learning green. 

All day the city's nuisance they have been. 

Now from the streets dusk-driven, where so well 

256 Poems and Translations 

Ensconce themselves and make a childish hell 

As in those rooms where once they suffered woe? 

So, foolishly indulged to come and go 

At their sweet will, into the class they pour 

With clogs that well-nigh clatter through the floor, 

A graceless rabble ! Making no pretence 

To listen, for their dull indifference 

Is God's own blame ; they fail in heavenly fire, 

As the Phrygian failed when Phoebus charmed his lyre. 

Yet they'll complain : ' ' Why are no posters out 

To tell us what the lectures are about ? " 

Or, " This new grammar! Why have you forsook 

Old Alexander ? Never a better book ! 

Do you fancy that we bothered with his notes!" 

Nay, even neglected Guido has their votes ! 

So, with a hue and cry for Latin grammar 

The sound old style ! they rush with rowdy clamour 

To Montaigu, or whereso they shall find 

An atmosphere to suit the idle mind. 


Then there's the angry parent, whose dear boy, 

A dull Arcadian, disappoints the joy 

His father thought to find. " 'Tis all a sell ! " 

He'll coarsely shout, and even the coppers tell 

That books have cost. But one thing has no place 

In his brute cries of Swindle and Disgrace \ 

He never counts the time and trouble spent 

By the poor teacher of his innocent. 

Yet one thing more. The servant of the Muse 
Has one companion he shall never lose, 
Even poverty. That lean vivandiere 
Campaigns with him ever ; he must fare 
As she provides, yet find a soul for song. 
And whatsoe'er the mood, or sweet or strong, 
Whether smooth carol to the lightsome lyre, 

1 Two lines omitted, Quid referam qiiotiea, etc., easy to translate literally, 
but of obscure interpretation. No editor has yet given an explanation that is 
not open to objections. 

Elegia I. 257 

Or battle-song a Turkish war to fire, 

Or motley matter for the comic stage, 

Or swelling syllables of tragic rage, 

It profits nothing. Teach or make such song, 

The one reward is poverty life-long. 

Homer in life had home or country none, 

Now seven cities claim him for their son. 

Where once his fathers held their flocks at feed 

The j:uined Virgil filled his forlorn reed 

With*sick complaint. Though Statius o'er and o'er 

Polished good verse, the wolf kept at his door. 

Ovid, an exile in the utter north, 

Must blame his Muse. 'Tis even given forth 

How once Apollo, lord of minstrelsy, 

Drove kine and counted sheep in Thessaly. 

Why must Calliope live a maid so long? 

Her only dowry was the gift of song. 

So 'tis to-day. Our youth is quickly o'er, 
And all the song is hardship at threescore. 
Gray-haired, we mourn the barren years of toil, 
Harvesting nothing from a well-sown soil ; 
Or, after buffeting with every gale, 
Finding no happy port to strike the sail. 

Avaunt ye, then, and find some other slave, 
Ye thankless Muses ! What I have to save 
Of years and strength craves higher destiny; 
My star, my soul, command that I be free. 


(by Joachim du Bellay, 1568). 

Adieu ma Lyre, adieu les sons 
De tes inutiles chansons : 
Adieu la source, qui recree 
De Phebus la tourbe sacree. 
J'ay trop perdu mes jeunes ans 
En vos exercices plaisans : 
J'ay trop a vos jeux asservie 
La meilleure part de ma vie. 
Cerchez mes vers, et vous aussi 
O Muses, jadis mon soucy, 

258 Poems and Translations 

Qui a vos douceurs nompareilles 
Se laisse flatter les oreilles : 
Cerchez, qui sous 1'oeil de la nuict 
Enchante par vostre doux bruit, 
Avec les Nymphes honorees 
Danse au bal des Graces dorees. 
Vous trompez, o mignardes soeurs, 
La jeunesse par vos douceurs : 
Qui fuit le Palais, pour elire 
Les vaines chansons de la Lyre : 
Vous corrompez les ans de ceux, 
Qui sous 1'ombrage paresseux 
Laissent languir effeminee 
La force aux armes destinee. 
L'hyver, qui naist sur leur printemps, 
Voulte leur corps devant le temps: 
Devant le temps 1'avare parque 
Les pousse en la fatale barque. 
Leur teint est tousjours pallissant, 
Leur corps est tousjours languissant, 
De la mort 1'effroyable image 
Est tousjours peinte en leur visage. 
Leur plaisir trayne avecques luy 
Tousjours quelque nouvel ennuy : 
Et au repos ou ils se baignent, 
Mile travaux les accompaignent. 
Le miserable pionnier 
Ne dort d'un sommeil prisonnier: 
Le nocher au milieu de 1'onde 
Sent le commun repos du monde : 
Le dormir coule dans les yeux 
Du laboreur laborieux : 
La mer ne sent tousjours Forage : 
Les vents appaisent leur courage : 
Mais toy sans repos travaillant, 
Apres Caliope baillant, 
Quel bien, quel plaisir as-tu d'elle, 
Fors le parfum d'une chandelle ? 
Tu me sembles garder encor' 
Les chesnes se courbans sous Tor, 
Et les pommes mal attachees, 

Elegia I. 259 

Par \es mains d'Hercule arrachees. 

Jamais le jour ne s'est leve 
Si matin, qu'il ne fait trouve 
Revant dessus tes poesies 
Toutes poudreuses et moisies. 
Souvent, pour un vers allonger, 
II te fault les ongles ronger: 
Souvent d'une main courroucee 
L'innocente table est poussee. 

Ou so it de jour, ou soit de nuict, 
Ceste rongne tousjours te cuit. 
Jamais ceste humeur ne se change : 
Tousjours le style te demange. 
Tu te distilles le cerveau 
Pour f aire un poeme nouveau : 
Et puis ta Muse est deprisee 
Par 1'ignorance autorisee. 
Pendant la mort qui ne dort pas, 
Haste le jour de ton trespas: 
Adonques en vain tu t'amuses 
A ton Phebus et a tes Muses, 
Le Serpent, qui sa queue mord 
Nous tire tous apres la mort. 
O fol, qui haste les annees, 
Qui ne sont que trop empennees ! 
Adiouste a ces malheurs icy, 
De pauvrete le dur soucy, 
Pesant fardeau, que tousjours porte 
Des Muses le vaine cohorte : 
Ou soit, que tu ailles sonnant 
Les batailles d'un vers tonnant : 
Ou soit, que ton archet accorde 
Un plus doux son dessus ta chorde, 
Soit, qu'au theatre ambicieux 
Tu monstres au peuple ocieux 
Les malheurs de la Tragedie, 
Ou les jeux de la Comedie. 

Sept villes de Grece ont debat 
Pour 1'auteur du Troyen combat: 
Mais le chetif, vivant n'eut onques 
Ny maison, ny pais quelconques. 

260 Poems and Translations 

Tytire pauvre et malheureux, 
Regrette ses champs plantureux : 
Le pauvre Stace a peine evite 
De la faim Timportune suyte. 
Ovide du Getique seiour, 
Falche de la clarte du jour, 
De son bannissement accuse 
Ses yeux, ses livres, et sa Muse. 
Mesmes le Dieu musicien 
Sur le rivage Amphrysien 
D'Admete les boeufs mena paistre, 
Et conta le troppeau champestre. 
Mais fault-il pour les vers blasmer 
Nombrer tous les flots de la mer, 
Et toute 1'arene roulante 
Sur le pave d'une eau coulante ? 
Malheureux, qui par 1'univers 
Jetta la semence des vers : 
Semence digne qu'on evite 
Plus que celle de 1'aconite. 
Malheureux, que Melpomene 
Veit d'un bon oeil, quand il fut ne, 
Luy inspirant des sa naissance 
De son scavoir la cognoissance. 
Si le bon heur est plus amy 
De celuy qui n'a qu'a demy 
Des doctes soeurs 1'experience, 
O vaine et ingrate science ! 
Heureux et trois et quatre fois 
Le fort des armes et des lois : 
Heureux les gros sourcils encore,. 
Que le peuple ignorant adore. 
Toy que les Muses ont eleu, 
Dequoy te fert-il d'estre teu, 
Si pour tout le gaing de ta peine 
Tu n'as qu'une louange vaine ? 
Tes vers sans fruict, laborieux 
Te sont voler victorieux 
Par 1'esperance, qui te lie 
L'esprit d'une douce folie. 
Tes ans, qui coulent ce pendant, 

Elegia I. 261 

Te laissent tous jours attendant: 
Et puis ta vieille lamente 
Sa pauvrete, qui la tormente: 
Pleurant d 'avoir ainsi perdu 
Le temps aux livres despendu: 
Et d'avoir seme sur 1'arene 
De ses ans la meilleure grene. 

" Donne conge, toy qui es fin 
Au cheval, qui vieillit, a fin 
Que pis encor ne luy advienne, 
Et que poussif il ne devienne. 
Que songes-tu? le lendemain 
Du corbeau, n'est pas en ta main. 
Sus donq', la chose commencee, 
Est plus qu'a demy avancee. 

Malheureux, qui est arreste 
De vieillesse et de pauvrete. 
Vieillesse, ou pauvrete abonde, 
C'est la plus grand' peste du monde." 
C'est le plaisir, que vous sentez 
O pauvres cervaux evantez: 
C'est le profit, qui vient de celles, 
Que vous nommez les neuf pucelles. 
Heureuses Nymphes, qui vivez 
Par les forests, ou vous suynez 
La saincte vierge chasseresse, 
Fuyant des Muses la paresse. 
Soit donq' ma Lyre un arc turquois, 
Mon archet devienne un carquois : 
Et les vers, que plus je n'adore 
Puissent traicts devenir encore. 
S'il est ainsi, je vous suyuray 
O Nymphes, tant que je vivray: 
Laissant dessus leur double croppe 
Des Muses 1'ocieuse troppe. 



(Fratres Fraterrimi XXXIV.) 

THIS poem, which was prompted by various arguments held with some 
ecclesiastic in Scotland, and was written during his leisure moments, was of 
importance in determining Buchanan's career. Such is the satire that ren- 
dered him extremely obnoxious to the Franciscans against whom it was 
levelled, while it commended him to the attention of the king, who encouraged 
him to renew his attacks. The Somnium is based on a poem by William 
Dunbar, which is here quoted from the MS. of George Bannatyne, pub- 
lished in 1568. Buchanan's poem was probably published at Paris in 1566 by 
"Henri Estienne." The translation of Buchanan's poem by Robert M'Farlane, 
M.A., was published in the historical dissertation prefixed to a translation of 
Buchanan's De Jure Regni (1799). 

How Dunbar was desyred to be ane Frier. 

(by William Dunbar). 

This nycht befoir the dawning cleir 
Methocht Sanct. Francis did to me appeir, 
With ane religious abbeit in his hand, 
And said, In this go cleith the my servand, 
Refuse the warld, for thow mon be a freir. 

With him and with his abbeit bayth I skarrit, 
Like to ane man that with a gaist wes marrit : 
Methocht on bed he layid it me abone ; 
Bot on the flure delyverly and sone 
I lap thairfra, and nevir wald cum nar it. 

Quoth he, quhy skarris thow with this holy weid? 
Cloith the tharin, for weir it thow most neid ; 
Thow that hes lang done Venus lawis teiche, 
Sail now be freir, and in this abbeit preiche: 
Delay it nocht, it mon be done but dreid. 

Somnium 263 

Quoth I, Sanct Francis, loving be the till, 
And thankit mot thow be of thy gude will 
To me, that of thy clayis are so kynd ; 
Bot thame to weir it nevir come in my mynd : 
Sweet confessour, thow tak it nocht in ill. 

In haly legendis have I hard allevin, 
Ma sanctis of bischoppis, nor freiris, be sic sevin; 
Of full few freiris that has bene sanctis I reid ; 
Quhairfoir ga bring to me ane bischopis weid, 
Gife evir thow wald my saule gaid unto hevin. 

My brethir oft hes maid the supplicatiouns, 
Be epistillis, sermonis, and relatiounis, 
To take the abyte ; bot thow did postpone ; 
But ony process cum on ; thairfoir anone 
All circumstance put by and excusationis. 

Gif evir my fortoun wes to be a freir, 
The dait thereof is past full mony a yeir ; 
For into every lusty toun and place, 
Off all Yngland, from Berwick to Calice, 
I haif into thy habeit maid gud cheir. 

In freiris weid full fairly haif I fleichit, 
In it haif I in pulpet gone and preichit 
In Derntoun kirk, and eik in Canterberry ; 
In it I past at Dover our the ferry, 
Throw Piccardy, and thair the peple teichit. 

Als lang as I did beir the freiris style, 
In me, God wait, wes mony wrink and wyle ; 
In me wes falset with every wicht to flatter, 
Quhilk mycht be flemit with na haly watter ; 
I wes ay reddy all men to begyle. 

This freir that did Sanct Francis thair appeir, 
Ane fieind he wes in liknes of ane freir; 
He vaneist away with stynk and fyrrie smowk; 
With him methocht all the house end he towk, 
And I awoik as wy that wes in weir. 

264 Poems and Translations 


Mane sub auroram nitidae vicinia lucis 

Pallida venture cum facit astra die : 

Arctior irriguos somnus complectitur artus, 

Demulcens placido languida membra sinu : 

Cum mihi Franciscus nodoso cannabe cinctus, 

Astitit ante torum stigmata nota gerens. 

In manibus sacra vestis erat, cum fune galerus, 

Palla, fenestratus calceus, hasta, liber : 

Et mihi subridens, Hanc protinus indue, dixit, 

Et mea dehinc mundi transfuga castra subi. 

Linque voluptates cum sollicitudine blandas, 

Vanaque continui gaudia plena metus. 

Me duce, spes fragiles et inanes despice curas : 

Et superum recto tramite limen adi. 

Obstupui subita defixus imagine, donee 

Vix dedit hos tandem lingua coacta sonos. 

Pace, inquam, vestri liceat depromere verum 

Ordinis, baud humeris convenit ista meis. 

Qui feret hanc vestem, fiat servire paratus: 

At mihi libertas ilia paterna placet. 

Qui feret hanc, ponat perfricta fronte ruborem : 

At non ingenuus nos finit ista pudor. 

Qui feret hanc, fallat, palpet, pro tempore fingat : 

At me simplicitas nudaque vita juvat. 

Nee me Phthiriasis, nee rancida cantio terret, 

Inque diem ignavae vivere more ferae : 

Ostia nee circum magno mugire boatu, 

Si tamen his nugis aetheris aula patet. 

Pervia sed raris sunt coeli regna cucullis : 

Vix Monachis illic creditur esse locus. 

Mentior, aut peragra saxo fundata vetusto 

Delubra, et titulos per simulacra lege : 

Multus honoratis fulgebit Episcopus aris, 

Kara cucullato sternitur ara gregi. 

Atque inter Monachos erit haec rarissima vestis : 

Induat hanc, si quis gaudeat esse miser. 

Quod si tanta meae tangit te cura salutis, 

Vis raihi, vis animae consuluisse meae ? 

Quilibet hac alius mendicet veste superbus: 

At mihi da mitram, purpureamque togam. 

Somnium 265 


(by Robert McFarlan, M.A., 1799). 
At dawn, when frighted by the solar ray 
The stars turn pale at the approach of day, 
Francis in knotty dowlas clad, and red 
With recent lashes, stood before my bed. 
The sacred vestments all he held in hand, 
Hat, cord, book, robe, and bursten shoe and wand, 
And smiling said, " At once these badges wear, 
Forsake the world, and to my camp repair, 
The anxious blandishments of pleasure spurn, 
And from her fearful joys repentant turn. 
Vain hopes and cares I'll teach you to despise, 
And tread the paths strait leading to the skies." 

Fix'd in amaze I at this vision hung, 
And scarce these sounds could issue from my tongue; 
1 ' Without offence may I the truth declare ? 
That garb my shoulders are unfit to bear. 
The wearer must in cringing slavery bend ; 
I hail paternal freedom, as my friend. 
The wearer's brazen front no blush must know ; 
That I'm forbid by nature's honest glow. 
He must deceive, coax, feign and temporize; 
I love simplicity without disguise. 
Me nor your lice nor rancid songs dismay, 
Nor prowling lives like those of beasts of prey; 
Nor bellowing roars, when at each gate you bawl ; 
If such vain arts can move th' ethereal hall. 
The way to heaven the cowl can seldom find ; 
For monks, 'tis thought, no place is there assign'd. 
Survey all temples rear'd with ancient stone, 
And read o'er monuments th' inscriptions strown, 
You many a bishop's honour'd shrine will view, 
Scarce one erected to the hooded crew. 
Let then this garb with monks be rare and fine, 
And those who love in penury to pine. 
But if my welfare lie so near your heart, 
Would you save me, or save my better part; 
Let others traverse all the country o'er 
Proud of this dress, and beg from door to door: 
The trade I like not, nor the monkish frown, 
Give me a mitre and a purple gown." 


Ad Juventutem Burdegalensem 

( Misccllcmeorum Liber IX.) 

THIS Sapphic Ode exemplifies Buchanan's zeal and enthusiasm in the education 
of youth. Addressed to the youth of Bordeaux, it warns them of the dignity 
and importance of a liberal education, and particularly of "that art which 
he had himself cultivated with such eminent success." 

The French translation is the work which gained one of the prizes 
generously offered by Dr. Steele (of Florence) for translations of certain of 
Buchanan's poems. 

Ad Juventutem Burdegalensem 267 

Ad Juventutem Burdegalensem. 

Vasconis tellus, genitrix virorum 
Fortium, blandi genitrix Lyaei, 
Cui parens frugum favet, et relictis 

Pallas Athenis. 

Te licet claris decoret triumphis 
Martius belli labor, et vetusti 
Nominis splendor, seriesque longum 

Ducta per aevum : 
Ni tamen doctas foveas Camoenas 
Et bonas artes opera fideli, 
Spes tuas vano studio in futuros 

Porrigis annos. 

Non enim moles Pariae columnae, 
Phidiae aut vivax ebur, aut Myronis 
Aera mansurae poterunt sacrare 

Nomina famae. 

Obruet longos cita mors labores, 
Obruet claros titulos opesque ; 
Saxa findentur vitiata serae 

Dente senectae. 

Mulciber quamvis et iniqua Juno 
Verterint urbem Priami superbam, 
Ilia Smyrnaeis inimica pensat 

Fata Camoenis : 
Nee suo mallet cineri superstes 
Ilium Eois dare jura terris, 
Qua patent nigros 1 Rhodope ab nivosa 

Usque sub Indos. 
Sola doctorum monumenta vatum 
Nesciunt fati imperium severi, 
Sola contemnunt Phlegethonta, et Orci 

Jura superbi. 2 

1 Taurinua Edition gives fwco* instead of nigro*. 
8 Taurinua Edition gives instead of mperbi. 

268 Poems and Translations 


(By Richmond S. Charles, United College, St. Andrews). 

Navarre, nurse of heroic sons, 

Land of the generous vine, 
Thee Ceres dowers, Minerva shuns 

For thee her Grecian shrine. 

Of what avail the stricken field 
With brilliant triumph crowned, 

The fame that olden glories yield 
In series long renowned ? 

If from the Muse thou turn away, 

Nor Learning's gifts acclaim, 
Vain is the zeal that would essay 

To win enduring fame. 

No Parian columns towering high, 

Nor Myro's bronze hath power, 
Nor Phidias' long-lived ivory, 

To 'scape Oblivion's hour. 

Man's laboured work Death levels low, 

Power fails, pomp disappears, 
The rocks asunder cleft must bow 

To all-devouring years. 

Though Vulcan and the Queen of Heaven 

Conspired proud Ilium's fall, 
In Homer's muse see guerdon given, 

Atonement made for all. 

Now Troy resurgent would disdain, 

In lieu, imperial sway 
From farthest India's fervid plain 

To snows of Rhodope. 

The Poet's art alone can rise 

Above Fate's stern decree, 
Alone Oblivion despise 

And Hell's dread mastery. 

Ad Juventutem Burdegalensem 269 


(By R. de la Vaissiere de Lavergne, University of Bordeaux.) 

Gascogne dont le sol enfante tour a tour 

Et des vins delicats, et des coeurs sans faiblesse, 
Terre que des nioissons protege la deesse, 

Pallas de*daigne Athene et t'elit pour sejour. 

Mais, si tu meritas dans la lutte guerriere, 

Chere au dieu Mars, Fhonneur des triomphes fameux ; 
Et si, de siecle en siecle, a tes fils valeureux 

Succedent d'autres fils dans la noble carriere, 

Garde-toi cependant de ne point rejouir 

Par un culte constant le chceur des doctes Museg ; 
Aime les arts ; sinon, 1'espoir dont tu t'abuses 

Tend en vain ton effort vers les ans a venir. 

C'est en vain que Paros eleve ses colonnes ; 

L'ivoire est vainement par Phidias sculpt^ ; 
Vainement tes airains, Myron, out me'rite' 
Les applaudissements des Grecs et leurs couronnes. 

De tous ces longs travaux rien ne demeurera ; 

La mort effacera les titres sur la pierre ; 

Les marbres les plus durs tomberont en poussiere ; 
Le temps qui ronge tout les ane'antira. 

Mais, si le dieu du feu, si Junon ennemie 

Ont detruit de Priam 1'orgeuilleuse cite" ; 

Le poete de Smyrne a pour rdternite" 
Su, malgre* les destins, lui confe'rer la vie. 

Un aussi memorable aneantissement 

Plait mieux a Troie, encor, que de vivre en sa gloire, 
Et d'avoir, du neigeux Rhodope a 1'Inde noire, 

L'Orient tout entier sous sou coramandement. 

Car, seul, le monument qu'uri poete e*difie 
N'a point 4 redouter le sombre Phle'ge'ton ; 
II me'prise les lois de 1'orgueilleux Pluton, 

Et jamais le Destin ne termine sa vie. 

Calendae Maiae. 

( Miscellaneorum Liber XI.) 

THIS poem is one of Buchanan's finest works. Wordsworth refers to it as 
' ' equal in sentiment, if not in elegance, to anything in Horace. " Professor 
Hume Brown thinks that "Buchanan's Ode, by its true poetic quality, is 
worthy of Horace when he transcends himself. " 

The two translations are given, both having being placed equal for 
Dr. Steele's prize. 

Calendae Maiae 271 

Calendae Maiae* 

Salvete sacris 1 deliciis sacrae 
Majae Calendae, laetitiae, et mero, 
Ludisque dicatae, jocisque 

Et teneris Charitum choreis. 
Salve voluptas, 2 et nitidum decus 
Anni recurrens perpetua vice, 
Et flos renascentis juventae 

In senium properantis aevi. 
Cum blaiida veris temperies novo 
llluxit orbi, primaque secula 
Fulsere 3 flaventi metallo, 

Sponte sua sine lege justa : 
Talis per omnes continuus tenor 4 
Annos tepenti rura Favonio 
Mulcebat, et nullis feraces 

Seminibus recreabat agros. 
Talis beatis incubat insulis 
Felicis aurae perpetuus tepor, 
Et nesciis campis senectae 

Difficilis, querulique morbi. 
Talis silentum per taciturn nemus 
Levi susurrat murrnure spiritus, 
Lethenque juxta obliviosam 
Funereas agitat cupressos. 
Forsan supremis cum Deus ignibus 
Piabit orbem, laetaque secula 
Mundo reducet, talis aura 

Aethereos animos fovebit. 
Salve fugacis gloria seculi, 
Salve secunda digna dies nota, 
Salve vetiistae vitae imago, 
Et specimen venientis aevi. 

1 Taurinus Edition gives Jestis. 

2 Taurinus Edition has venustas. 

3 The same edition gives fluxere. 

4 Decor is given in the Taurinus Edition. 

272 Poems and Translations 


(By Lionel S. Charles, United College, St. Andrews.) 

This is the day when joy divine is seen 

And brimming cups, and Pleasure crowned queen ; 

This is the day of jest and gambolling, 

And gentle Graces dancing on the green. 

This is the day of joyaunce ; Spring's sweet prime 
Comes back to us with soft recurring chime, 
And Youth, like some sweet flower, is born again 
Between the old and hurrying feet of time. 

When the first Spring the new-born world beheld, 
From Earth's glad heart such store of joyaunce welled ; 
And the first age shone bright with yellow gold, 
Flushing the hills at pleasure, uncompelled. 

Such gentle breezes in the long ago, 
For long, long years through the still wheat did go, 
Arid softly stirred through all that Paradise 
The fruitful fields, when there was none to sow. 

Such is the breeze that in the distant West, 
Broods o'er the placid islands of the blest, 
Where never came complaining voice of Eld, 
And fields, of sickness ever undistressed. 

And such a breath, in groves that spirits know, 
Passes in gentleness, and whispers low, 
And by the sleepy river of the dead 
Stirs the dark cypress softly to and fro. . 

I think when He shall purge the earth with fire, 
And bring again the famished world's desire, 
Perchance e'en such a blessing and a breeze 
Shall fan the angels in their starry choir. 

Pride of the age that passes still away ! 
Day of fair mark ! and we who greet thee say : 
" Such shall the life of our to-morrow be, 
Such was the life of that tar yesterday." 

Calendae Maiae 273 


(By Victor F. Murray, United College, St. Andrews.) 

Hail to thee, May-day ! Thou to sacred glee 
Sacredly kept, ever the devotee 

Of wine ; jest, pastime, merriment and the dance 
Where tender Graces bear us company. 

Hail to thee, Joyance ! and the glorious year, 
Made by the eternal change to re-appear 

In vernal loveliness : for fleet decay, 
Lo ! youth's emblossoraed flower, sweet and clear. 

When springtime's pleasant warmth first dawned upon 
The new-born world and ages primal shone 

By no true law save of their own sweet will 
Yellow with gold ; through all those years agone 

In such a stream as this, continuous 

In flow, the wind, Favonian, languorous, 

Soothed all the land and quickened every field 
To rich luxuriance unsown of us. 

Glad breezes ! lasting temperateness ! yea, theirs 
This lot perpetual ours to-day ; for airs 

Brood o'er our isles, while neither fretful age 
Nor querulous disease our calm impairs. 

A light breath such as this amid the grove 
Enwrapt in silence where the Silent move, 

Faint o'er oblivious Lethe whispering 
Ruffles the cypresses of death above. 

Perchance this breath, when God will purify 
The world in final tire, and joyfully 

Lead happier ages to the universe, 
Will clasp celestial souls caressingly. 

Welcome ! sweet glory of bygone centuries, 
Welcome ! sweet day deserving of all praise, 

The mirrored beauty of an ancient life, 
Welcome ! and earnest of the nearing days. 


Desidcrium Lutetiae. 

(SUvae III.) 

THIS beautiful poem was apparently composed before his departure from 
Portugal. He pathetically bewails his absence from " Amaryllis," which is 
to him an allegorical name for Paris, and hopes that his return may not 
be long delayed. 

The translation here given was written last summer for the Glasgow 
High School Magazine. 

O Formosa Amarylli, tuo jam septima bruma 
Me procul aspectu, jam septima detinet aestas : 
Sed neque septima bruma nivalibus horrida nimbis, 
Septima nee rapidis eandens fervoribus aestas 
Exstinxit vigiles nostro sub pectore curas. 
Tu mihi mane novo carmen, dum roscida tondet 
Arva pecus, medio tu carmen solis in aestu, 
Et cum jam longas praeceps nox porrigit umbras : 
Nee mihi quae tenebris condit nox omnia vultus 
Est potis occultare tuos, te nocte sub atra 
Alloquor, amplector, falsaque in imagine somni 
Gaudia sollicitam palpant evanida mentem. 
At cum somnus abit, curis cum luce renatis 
Tecta miser fugio, tanquam mihi tecta doloris 
Semina subjiciant, et solis moestus in agris, 
Qua vagus error agit feror, et deserta querelis 
Antra meis, silvasque et conscia saxa fatigo 
Sola meos planctus Echo miserata gementi 
Adgemit, et quoties suspiria pectore duco, 
Haec quoque vicino toties suspirat ab antro. 
Saepe super celsae praerupta cacumina rupis 
In mare prospiciens, spumantia coerula demens 
Alloquor, et surdis jacto irrita vota procellis : 

Desiderium Lutetiae. 275 

O mare ! quaeque maris vitreas, Nereides, undas 
Finditis, in vestros 1 placidae me admittite portus : 
Aut hoc si nimium est, nee naufragus ire recuso, 
Dummodo dilectas teneam vel naufragus oras. 
O quoties dixi Zephyris properantibus illuc, 
Felices pulchram visuri Amaryllida venti, 
Sic neque Pyrene duris in cotibus alas 
Atterat, et vestros non rumpant nubila cursus, 
Dicite vesanos Amaryllidi Daphnidos ignes. 
O quoties Euro levibus cum raderet alis, 
Aequora, dicebam, Felix Amaryllide visa, 
Die mihi, Num meminit nostri ? num mutua sentit 
Vulnera 1 num veteris vivunt vestigia flammae ? 
Ille ferox contra rauco cum murmure stridens 
Avolat irato similis, mihi frigore pectus 
Congelat, exanimes torpor gravis alligat artus. 
Nee me pastorum recreant solamina, nee me 
Fistula, Nympharumque leves per prata choreae, 
Nee quae capripedes modulantur carmina Panes : 
Una meos sic est praedata Amaryllis amores. 

Et me tympana docta ciere canora Lycisca, 
Et me blanda Melaenis amavit, Iberides ambae, 
Ambae florentes annis, opibusque superbae : 
Et mihi dotales centum cum matribus agnos 
Ipsi promisere patres, mihi munera matres 
Spondebant clam multa : meum nee munera pectus, 
Nee nivei movere suis cum matribus agni, 
Nee quas blanditias tenerae dixere puellae. 
Nee quas delicias tenerae fecere puellae. 
Quantum ver hyemen, vietum puer integer aevi, 
Ter viduam thalamis virgo matura parcntem, 
Quam superat Durium Rhodanus, quam Sequana Mundam, 
Lenis Arar Sycorim, Ligeris forrnosus Iberum, 
Francigenas inter Ligeris pulcherrimus amnes : 
Tantum omnes vincit Nymphas Amaryllis Iberas. 
Saepe suos vultus speculata Melaenis in unda 
Composuit, pinxitque oculos, finxitque capillum, 
Et voluit, simul et meruit formosa videri. 
Saepe mihi dixit, Animi male perdite Daphni, 

1 After these words in Hart's Edinburgh edition there is added the line 
" Et date Celtarum incolumi contingere portus." 

276 Poems and Translations 

Cur tibi longinquos libet insanire furores? 

Et quod ames dare nostra potest tibi terra, raccmos 

Collige purpureos, et spes ne concipe lentas. 

Saepe choros festos me praetereunte, Lycisca 

Cernere dissimulans, vultusque aversa canebat 

Haec, pedibus terrain, et manibus cava tympana pulsana; 

Et Nemesis gravis ira, atque irritabile numen, 

Et Nemesis laesos etiam punitur amores. 

Vidi ego dum leporem venator captat, echinum 

Spernere, post vanos redeuntem deinde labores, 

Vespere nee retulisse domum leporem nee echinum. 

Vidi ego qui mullum peteret piscator, et arctis 

Retibus implicitam tincam sprevisset opimam, 

Vespere nee retulisse domum mullum neque tincam. 

Vidi ego qui calamos crescentes ordine risit 

Pastor arundineos, dum torno rasile buxum 

Frustra amat, (interea calamos quos riserat, alter 

Pastor habet), fragiles contentum inflare cicutas 

Sic solet immodicos Nemesis contundere fastus 

Haec et plura Melaenis, et haec et plura Lycisca 
Cantabant surdas frustra mihi semper ad aures. 
Sed canis ante lupas, et tauras diliget ursas, 
Et vulpem lepores, et amabit dama leaenas, 
Quam vel tympana docta ciere canora Lycisca 
Mutabit nostros vel blanda Melaenis amores. 
Et prius aequoribus pisces, et montibus umbrae, 
Et volucres deerunt silvis, et murmura ventis, 
Quam mihi discedent formosae Amaryllidos ignes: 
Ilia mihi 1 rudibus succendit pectora flammis, 
Finiet ilia meos moriens morientis amores. 


(By A. L. Taylor, M.A., Glasgow High School.) 

O beauteous Amaryllis, now from thee 

Seven weary years have kept my feet afar ; 
Yet not those winters, howsoe'er it be 

They to the snow-storms dread the gates unbar, 
Nor all those summers, when the sun's bright car 

Burns with devouring heat, have power to slay 

1 In all editions, except Hart's Edinburgh edition, Kuddiniau's, and 
Burmann'a, meum is wrongly given instead of mihi. 

Desiderium Lutetiae 277 

The watchful cares that in my bosom are : 

My heart's deep longing time can not allay, 
And that so distant date seems but as yesterday. 

Thou art my song at dawning, when the dew 

Lies on the fields where nibbling flocks do stray : 
At noon my song and I the strain renew 

When the long shadows mark the dying day : 
And night, that hideth all in dark array, 

Hides not from me thine eyes that beauteous beam : 
In the black night I name thy name alway, 

And fold thee to my breast, and this doth seem 
To solace my sad heart although 'tis but a dream. 

But ah, when sleep departs, with morning light 

Those cares reborn, my home I sadly flee, 
As though its dreadful walls of this my plight 

So piteous the sombre source might be. 
In the lone fields I wander dolefully 

Wherever chance may turn my careless feet, 
And, as I make my plaint, forlorn for thee, 

The desert caves, each woodland wild retreat 
And all the listening rocks the echo sad repeat. 

Echo alone that hears how I complain 

Mourns with me when I mourn, and when I sigh, 
From forth the neighbouring caves he sends again 

Each sad lament and each despairing cry, 
And ofttimes from a rock's steep summit high 

I cast mine eyes forlorn upon the sea, 
And the wild foaming waves all frenziedly 

I call aloud and the wild winds that flee 
Heedless of all ray prayers that unavailing be. 

" O sea, and you, ye Nereids that do cleave 

The sea's bright waves, ah, be ye gentle now, 
And me within your havens safe receive, 

Or if ye may not with such grace endow, 
Even shipwrecked shall I go, if ye allow 

That shipwrecked I may win the shores so dear." 
How often I have made my solemn vow 

To the soft western winds that I did hear 
Hastening towards the land where I was fain to steer : 

278 Poems and Translations 

" Ye happy winds that all so soon shall see 

My Amaryllis, may Pyrene ne'er 
With its harsh rocks a horrid barrier be 

To vex your gentle wings against them there, 
As ye to Amaryllis shall declare 

The burning flames that tire her Daphnis' breast." 
Ah me, how many times with anxious care 

The wings of Eurus I would fain arrest, 
As o'er the waves he flew, with sorrowful request. 

" Wind that my Amaryllis late hast seen, 

O happy wind, hath she remembrance still? 
Tell me, O wind, if yet her heart hath been 

Filled with the love that doth my bosom fill. 
Or have the embers of that love grown chill ? " 

But he flies from me like a man in ire 
With raucous murmurs loud and fierce and shrill, 

Freezing with cold my heart that was afire ; 
My lifeless limbs are bound as if in torpor dire. 

And now the things that shepherds do delight 

Not solace me, the tabor hath no joy : 
Along the grassy mead the dances light 

Of the sweet nymphs do but my heart annoy ; 
For me the goat-foot forest gods deploy 

The wonders of their sylvan notes in vain ; 
And every rapture now hath some alloy ; 

For Amaryllis all my love hath ta'en 
And I all other loves reject in sad disdain. 

Sweet-voiced Lycisca of such skill to sound 

The harmonious timbrels, sweet Melaenis fair, 
Iberians both, have loved me, both renowned 

For youth and wealth, but not for these I care; 
Albeit their sires that wealth with me would share : 

A hundred lambs they promised as their dower, 
With their own ewes, and secret gifts and rare 

Their mothers preferred : vain was all their power 
To draw my heart away from its true love an hour. 

Nor snowy lambs with their own ewes could move 
This heart of mine, nor could the maidens sweet 

Desidenum Lutetiae 279 

With all their flatteries fair allure my love, 

Nor all their charms with that one charm compete. 

As spring surpasses winter, as the heat 
Of youth outvies age, weak and withered, 

As the fair maiden now for marriage meet 
Her mother far outvies thrice widowed, 

Beauty and grace now gone and all her fairness fled ; 

As Rhine the Douro, as the lordly Seine 

Outvies Mondego, as the beauteous stream 
Of the smooth Arar doth the stream disdain 

Of Segne, as the lovely Loire doth seem 
Fairer than Ebro Loire men fairest deem 

Of all the waves fair France sends to the sea, 
Even so my Amaryllis I esteem 

Fairer than all the maids that beauteously 
Move o'er Iberia's meads, howe'er they beauteous be. 

Ofttimes Melaenis gazing in the sea 

Adorns her face, adorns her lovely hair ; 
Makes bright her eyes in eagerness to be 

Fair to behold and to behold is fair ; 
Ofttimes my heart she subtly seeks to share : 

" O frenzied Daphnis, wherefore passion so ! 
For distant loves thy fui'ious longings spare, 

The things thou lovest here thy heart may know, 
Pluck the bright grapes and let the vain illusions go." 

Oft as I passed the festal company 

Lycisca who had seen would turn away 
Her countenance as one that doth not see ; 

And then as though with menace to dismay, 
She, as she beat the earth in dances gay 

And as she beat the hollow timbrels loud, 
Sang as in warning : " Terrible alway 

The wrath of Nemesis, and lovers proud, 
That scorned sweet love, hath still with punishment endowed." 

And I have seen the huntsman, who in scorn 

Had passed the hedgehog while the hare he sought, 

At eventide with Holeful steps return, 

His bag with neither hare nor hedgehog fraught ; 

280 Poems and Translations 

And I have seen the fisherman, that caught 

A goodly tench in his close-woven net, 
Eager for mullet wisdom sadly taught 

When at the eventide, his basket yet 
Of tench and mullet void, he told his vain regret. 

And I have seen the herd that did deride 

The growing reeds what time he sought in vain 
The polished boxwood that afar doth hide 

(Meantime the reeds that he did so disdain 
Another shepherd wins) content to gain 

The fragile hemlock : so doth Nemesis 
Beat down the proud : these things and more the twain, 

Lycisca and Melaenis, well I wis 
Would sing to me, but still their songs the mark would miss. 

Dogs with she-wolves, with she-bears bulls will mate, 

The hare with fox, with lion fierce the hind, 
Or e'er sweet-voiced Lycisca compensate 

My heart's desire or sweet Melaenis kind : 
Birds shall desert the wood, and sighs the wind, 

Fishes the sea, and shades the shadowy hill, 
Ere Amaryllis be by me resigned ; 

With love so strong she doth my bosom fill ; 
And when death stills her heart, my heart shall be as still. 


Advcntus in Galliam. 

(Fratrea Fraterrimi XXVIII.) 

As a fitting sequel to the previous poem, De.sidt.rium Lutetiae, the poet here 
gives expression to his sentiments on revisiting France. 

The French translation is the work that won the Steele Prize offered to 
students of Bordeaux. 

Jejuna miserae tesqua Lusitaniae, 
Glebaeque tantum fertiles penuriae, 
Valete longum. At tu beata Gallia 
Salve, bonarum blanda nutrix artium, 
Coelo salubri, fertili frugum solo, 
Umbrosa colles pampini molli coma, 
Pecorosa saltus, rigua valles fontibus, 
Prati virentis picta campos floribus, 
Velifera longis amnium decursibus, 
Piscosa stagnis, rivulis, lacubus, mari; 
Et hinc et illinc portuoso littore 
Orbem receptans hospitem, atque orbi tuas 
Opes vicissim non avara impertiens; 
Amoena villis, tuta muris, turribus 
Superba, tectis lauta, cultu splendida, 
Victu modesta, moribus non aspera, 
Sermone comis, patria gentium omnium 
Communis, animi fida, pace florida, 
Jucunda, facilis, Marte terrifico minax, 
Invicta, rebus non secundis insolens, 
Nee sorte dubia fracta, cultrix numinis 
Sincera, ritum in exterum non degener: 
Nescit calores lenis aestas torridos, 
Frangit rigores bruma flammis asperos, 

282 Poems and Translations 

Non pestilentis pallet Austri spiritu 
Autumnus aequis temperatus flatibus, 
Non ver solutis amnium repagulis 
Inundat agros, et labores eluit. 
Ni patrio te amore diligam, et colam 
Dum vivo, rursus non recuso visere 
Jejuna miserae tesqua Lusitaniae, 
Glebasque tantum fertiles penuriae. 


(By Andrte Waltz, University of Bordeaux.) 

O maigre Portugal, ingrate et triste terre, 
Dont les champs n'ont produit jauiais que la misere, 
Adieu pour plus d'un jour ! Et toi, terre des Francs, 
Salut, toi qui souris aux Beaux Arts, tea enfants ! 
Ton ciel est doux, ton sol fe*cond ; le pampre ombrage 
Tes fortunes coteaux de son moelleux feuillage. 
Ici les gras troupeaux paissent au flanc des monts ; 
Les sources d'onde pure arrosent tes vallons ; 
La fleur brille en tes pre"s comme au ciel les e'toiles ; 
Tes grands fleuves partout bercent les blanches voiles ; 
Mille et mille poissons pullulent dans tes eaux, 
Peuplant tes mers, tes lacs, tes e tangs, tes ruisseaux ; 
Les ports hospitallers de tes divers rivages 
Accueillent 1'univers ; aux plus lointains parages 
D'innombrables vaisseaux prodiguent tes tre'sors ; 
Tes riantes villas, tes fieres tours, tes forts, 
Tes splendides palais, le luxe de tes villes, 
Ton accueil bienveillant, tes coutumes faciles, 
Ton aimable parler, ta paix, ta bonne foi, 
Charment les etrangers : tous les peuples en toi 
Ont une autre patrie. Aux ennemis terrible, 
Tu jouis sans orgueil de ta force invincible ; 
Aux jours douteux tu vois le peril sans terreur ; 
Ta pie'te' reste sourde a I'e'trangere erreur. 
L'Ete*, qu'un frais Zephyr ici toujours re*frene, 
Ne connait pas les feux de la terre Africaine, 
L'Hiver, que de ton ciel attie'dit la chaleur, 
Du Nord n'apporte pas ici 1'apre rigueur ; 

Adventus in Galliam 283 

L'Automne, temper^ par des vents salutaires, 
De 1'Auster ne craint pas les souffles dele"teres ; 
Et jamais, au Printemps, les torrents de'borde's 
Et sans frein se ruant sur les champs inonde"s 
N'engloutissent soudain la moisson qu'on espere. 
Si, tant que je vivrai, inon cceur ne te reVere 
Et ne te garde pas un filial amour, 
O France, je consens a revoir quelque jour 
Du maigre Portugal 1'ingrate et triste terre, 
Dont les champs n'ont produit jamais que la misere. 


(by T. D. Robb, M.A., Paisley}. 

FAREWELL, thou wretched land, whose soil 
Bemocks the famished peasant's toil. 
Heaven hold what else for me in store, 
But Lusitania never more! 

Hail, happy France ! Thy gentle care 

Tends every art that makes life fair. 

Thy heaven breathes health; thy peasants sow 

Furrows where fattened harvests grow, 

Or rear on basking hills the shade 

Of vines. Thine, too, the well-browsed glade, 

Vales flowing with well-waters, plains 

That every meadow-blossom stains, 

And rivers that with easy sweep 

Bear barges to the greater deep, 

Where mariners with every gale 

In many a harbour strike the sail, 

To find, with all the wealth they bring, 

From thee no niggard bartering. 

Hail ! where the lords of land reside 
In charm of grange or towered pride; 
And hail ! where many a dainty roof 
Gleams safe mid rampart towns, war-proof. 
Pleasant thy speech, thy graces shine 
In tasteful manners that refine 
The coarser world, whose travellers own 
A common love to thee alone. 

284 Poems and Translations 

Sound heart at all times ! Whether Peace 

Freshen thy fields in sweet surcease 

Of foray, or terrific War 

Come trampling o'er them from afar; 

So light, so gay thy peaceful mood, 

So dauntless in the day of blood. 

Nor vain in happiness and power, 

Nor cast down in thy evil hour, 

God is thy God, and still to thee 

As in thy pristine piety, 

A noble worship undefiled. 

Blest land ! thy summer ever mild, 

Thy mellow winter, put to shame 

Untempered climes of frost and flame. 

No plagues from the wan-stricken South 

Breathe from thy Autumn's wholesome mouth, 

Spring sets no ice-bound rivers free 

To drown the seedling husbandry 

That quickens o'er thy laboured earth. 

My fatherland ! even though my birth 

Chanced elsewhere when my feet shall roam 

Thankless, to find a dearer home, 

God send me to that wretched soil 

That mocks the famished peasant's toil, 

And curse me, as he cursed before, 

On Lusitania's barren shore. 


Ad Invictissimum Franciae Regem Henricum IL 
Post Victos Caletes. 

(Liber Miscellaneorum I.) 

THIS very fine poem was first published in 1558 by Robert Stephanus or 
Stephen, but under another title De Caleto nuper ab Henrico II. Francorum 
JRege invictias. recepta. In that edition, however, the last four lines of the 
poem are not given. It refers to the capture of Calais by the Duke of Guise 
in 1558, which occasion also moved De 1'Hdpital, Turnebus, and others to 
verse. All these are printed in the Basel edition of Buchanan's Franciscanus 
et Fratren, and some of them in Paradin's De Motibus Galliae et vxpugmato 
receptoque Itio Culetorum anno 1558, printed in Rerum Germanicorurn scriptores 
by Schrader, III. pp. 9-30 (1673). The English Translation here given is by 
Rev. Francis Mahony, S.J. ("Father Prout"). 

It again shows how remarkable was Buchanan's attachment to the 
French people and how much he was interested in their welfare. His refer- 
ence to pater Romanus is, moreover, a sign that the Lutheran reformers have 
not yet secured his sympathy. 

286 Poems and Translations 

Ad Invictissimum Franciae Regcm Henricum II. 
Post Victos Caletes. 

Non Parca .fati conscia, lubricae 
Non sortis axis sistere nescius, 
Non siderum lapsus, sed unus 
Rerum opifex moderatur orbem : 

Qui terrain inertem stare loco jubet, 
Aequor perennes volvere vortices, 
Coelumque nunc lucem tenebris 
Nunc tenebras variare luce: 

Qui temperatae sceptra modestiae 
Dat, et protervae frena superbiae : 
Qui lacrymis foedat triumphos, 
Et lacrymas hilarat triumphis. 

Exempla longe ne repetam : en jacet 
Fractusque et exspes, quern gremio suo 
Fortuna fotum, nuper omnes 
Per populos tumidum ferebat. 

Nee tu, secundo flamine quern super 
Felicitatis vexerat aequora, 
Henrice, virtus, nesciisti 

Imbriferae f remit um procellae. 

Sed pertinax hunc fastus adhuc premit, 
Urgetque pressum : et progeniem sui, 
Fiducia pari tumentem 

Glade pari exagitat Philippum. 

Te, qui minorem te superis geris, 
Culpamque fletu diluis agnitam, 
Mitis parens placatus audit, 
Et solitum cumulat favorem : 

Redintegratae nee tibi gratiae 
Obscura promit signa. Sub algido 
Nox Capricorno longa terras 
Perpetuis tenebris premebat ; 

Post Victos Caletes 287 

Rigebat auris bruma nivalibus, 
Amnes acuto constiterant gelu, 
Deformis horror incubabat 
Jugeribus viduis colono: 

At signa castris Francus ut extulit 
Ductorque Franci Guisius agminia, 
Arrisit algenti sub Arcto 
Temperies melioris aurae. 

Hiems retuso languida spiculo 
Vim mitigavit frigoris asperi : 
Siccis per hibernum serenum 
Nube cava stetit imber arvis. 

Stravit quietis aequora fluctibus 
Neptunus, antris condidit Aeolus 
Ventos, nisi Francas secundo 
Flamine qui veherent carinas. 

Per arva nuper squalida, et ignibus 
Adhuc BniTANNis pene calentia, 1 
Cornu benigno commeatus 
Copia luxurians profudit. 

Idem ut reductas abdidit oppidis 
Francus cohortes, mitis hiems modo 
Se rursus armavit procellis, 
Et positas renovavit iras. 

Stant lenta pigro flumina marmore, 
Canisque campi sub nivibus latent, 
Diverberatum saevit aequor 
Horriferis Aquilonis alis. 

Ergo nee altis tuta paludibus 
Tulere vires moenia Gallicas, 
Nee arcibus tutae paludes 
Praecipitem tenuere cursum. 

1 Stephen's Edition of 1558 gives this line as " Adhuc Britanni pent, 

288 Poems and Translations 

Loraene princeps, praecipuo DEI 
Favore felix, praecipuas DEUS 
Cui tradidit paries, superbos 
Ut premeres domitrice dextra. 

CJnius anni curriculo, sequens 
Vix credet aetas promeritas tibi 
Tot laureas, nee si per auras 
Pegasea veherere penna. 

Cessere saltus ninguidi, et Alpium 
Inserta coelo culmina, cum pater 
Romanus oraret, propinquae ut 
Subjiceres humeros ruinae. 

Defensa Roma, et Capta Valentia, 
Coacta pacem Parthenope pati, 
Fama tui Segusianus 

Barbarica face liberatus. 

Aequor procellis terra paludibus, 
Armis BRITANNUS, moenia seculis 
Invicta longis, insolentes 

Munierant aninios Caletum : 

Loraena virtus, sueta per invia 
Non usitatum carpere tramitem, 
Invicta devincendo, famam 
Laude nova veterem refellit. 

Ferox BRITANNUS viribus antehac, 
Gallisque semper cladibus imminens, 
Vix se putat securum ab hoste 
Fluctibus Oceani diremtus. 

Regina, pacem nescia perpeti, 
Jam spreta moeret foedera, jam Dei 
Iram timet sibi imminentem, 
Vindicis et furiae flagellum. 

Gives et hostes jam pariter suos 
Odit pavetque, et civium et hostium 
Hirudo communis, cruorem 
Aeque avide sitiens utrumque. 

Post Victos Caletes 289 

Huic luce terror Martius assonat, 
Diraeque caedis mens sibi conscia, 
Umbraeque nocturnae quietem 
Terrificis agitant figuris. 

Sic laesa poenas Justitia expetit, 
Fastus superbos sic Nemesis premit, 
Sic mitibus justisque praebet 
Mitis opem Deus atque iustus. 


(by H. Bonnevie, L-es-L., University of Paris). 

Ce n'est ni le fuseau des Parques, ni la roue / 

De la fortune helas ! qui va toujours tournant, 

Ni les astres brillants dont la course se joue 

Au ciel le plus profond, d'un vaste glissement, 

C'est le seul Createur qui gouverne le monde, 

C'est lui seul qui maintient toujours aux memes lieux 

La terre ou nous vivons, lui qui commande a 1'onde 

De faire tournoyer sans cesse ses flots bleus, 

Lui qui fait succeder dans la celeste nue 

La nuit sombre au jour clair, le jour clair a la nuit, 

Lui qui fait triompher la vertu retenue 

Et punit la superbe insolente ; c'est lui 

Qui trouble la victoire en y melant des larmes, 

Et donne le succes pour egayer les pleurs. 

L'exemple en est recent : il a brise les armes . 

De ce roi, maintenant courbe sous les malheurs, 

Que jadis dans son sein la Fortune frivole 

Endormait mollement, et dont le nom heureux 

De peuple en peuple allait comme 1'oiseau qui vole. 

Toi-meme, roi fra^ais, Henri tres valeureux, 

Dont la nef si longtemps, poussee a pleine voile 

Par un zephyr clement, evita tout ecueil, 

Le destin quelquefois fit palir ton etoile. 

Mais lui s'est entete dans un coupable orgueil, 

L'orgueil qui perd aussi son fils le roi d'Espagne 

Pareillement enfle d'orde presomption 

Et toi qu'une vertu si modeste accompagne, 

1 This and the following French translation were placed equal for the 
Steele Prize offered to students at the University of Paris. 

290 Poems and Translations 

Toi qui gardes toujours 1'humble condition 

D'homme soumis aux Dieux, toi qui pleures tea fautes 

Quand tu les reconnais, Dieu te cherit, t'entend 

Et te comble a plaisir des faveurs les plus hautes. 

Meme il t'en a donne plus d'un signe eclatant: 

La nuit developpait ses longs voiles funebres 

Sous le bouc encorne, plongeant ces pays froids 

Dans le deuil attriste d'eternelles tenebres; 

L'apre hiver raidissait les branches dans les bois; 

Les vents charges de neige a travers le ciel bistre 

Galopaient ; les cours d'eau geles ne coulaient plus ; 

Sur les champs desertes 1'Horreur pesait, sinistre . . . , 

Mais des que les Fran9ais se furent resolus, 

Sous le comraandement du noble due de Guise, 

A mener hors des camps leurs gonfanons vainqueurs, 

Un Zephyre riant vint pourchasser la bise, 

Et 1'hiver moins piquant tempera ses rigueurs ; 

Sur les sillons seches creverent les nuages ; 

Neptune retablit le calme dans les flots, 

Eole, son second, apaisa les orages 

Et les tint desormais dans leurs antres enclos ; 

II ne laissa dehors qu'une brise clemente 

Pour pousser des Fran9ais les nefs sur 1'Ocean ; 

Aux champs ou les Anglais, en leur fureur demente, 

Avaient porte le feu, le mort et le neant, 

L'Abondance vida sa corne, bienveillante. 

Mais lorsque les cites eurent donne 1'abri 

De leurs epais remparts a la troupe vaillante 

Qui sous Guise marchait, vite 1'hiver reprit 

Son courroux. De nouveau les tempetes surgissent, 

Les fleuves arretes en marbre sont figes, 

Les champs, abandonnes, sous la neige blanchissent, 

Et 1'horrible Aquilon, mena9ant de dangers 

Bat a nouveau les flots de ses ailes rapides .... 

Cependant les remparts de marais entoures 

Ne purent resister aux elans intrepides 

Des soldats d'Henri deux. Vainement les marais 

Entoures de remparts dresserent leur barriere 

Centre eux : car ils allaient irresistiblement. 

Et toi, prince fameux dont la Lorraine est fiere, 

Post Victos Caletes 291 

Mignon tant fortune de notre Dieu clement, 

Toi dont il a choisi les armes redoutables 

Pour chatier 1'orgueil, les ages a venir 

Peut-etre kesiteront a croire veritables 

Les exploits qu'en un an tu sus faire tenir. 

Us douteraient encor, meme si sur ses ailes 

Pegase t'avait pris et porte par les airs. 

Tu vainquis 1'Alpe enorme aux neiges eternelles, 

Dressant jusques au ciel 1'orgueil des monts deserts, 

Et courus empecher de tes fortes epaules 

Que du saint pape Paul, le puissance tombat. 

Ta vaillance eut tot fait de renverser les roles : 

Rome put respirer, Valence succomba, 

Naples n'obtint la paix qu'a force de suppliques, 

Et de tous tes hauts faits le bruit dans Tair epars 

Sauva le Piemont des brandons germaniques 

Les flots tempetueux, les marais, les remparts 

Dont nul n'avait jamais viole la ceinture, 

Avaient mis la superbe au coeur des Calaisiens. 

Ton merite pourtant sut en cette aventure 

Par un nouvel exploit eclipser les anciens. 

Car tu vaincs et n'es pas vaincu ; car ton courage 

Sait trouver des chemins inconnus jusqu'a toi . . . 

Done Calais est repris ; 1'Anglais pleure de rage, 

Lui, toujours le vainqueur, lui, 1'eternel effroi 

De la France du Nord, il fuit et c'est a peine 

Si sur les flots marins il se peut delivrer 

De la peur des Fran9ais. Cependant que la reine 

Qui detesta la paix, lors se prend a pleurer 

D'avoir des vieux traites viole la promesse ; 

Elle craint de son Dieu le mena9ant courroux, 

Elle craint d'Alecton la fureur vengeresse, 

Les Fran9ais, ses sujets, elle craint tout et tous; 

Elle a soif de leur sang, comme une hydre feroce; 

Mars lui fait redouter que le Fra^ais vainqueur 

Batte encor ses soldats, le souvenir atroce 

De ses crimes passes vient bourreler son coeur. 

Et, quand la nuit enfin developpe son ombre, 

C'est en vain qu'elle attend Foubli du doux Sommeil; 

Elle voit se dresser des fantomes sans nombre, 

Des fantomes blafards, taches de sang vermeil .... 

292 Poems and Translations 

Et c'est ainsi que Dieu, dans sa puissance auguste, 
Salt chatier 1'orgueil au front trop haut monte, 
C'est ainsi qu'il cherit le mortel bon et juste 
En sa toute justice et sa toute bonte. 


(reprinted from " Reliques of Father Prout " in Bohn'i 
Illustrated Library, 1866) 

Henry ! let none commend to thee 


Or STAR in heaven's high canopy, 

With magic glow 
Shining on man's nativity, 

For weal or woe. 

Rather, O king ! here recognise 

A PROVIDENCE all just, all wise, 

Of every earthly enterprise 

The hidden mover ; 
Aye casting calm complacent eyes 

Down on thy Louvre. 

Prompt to assume the right's defence, 
Mercy unto the meek dispense, 
Curb the rude jaws of insolence 

With bit and bridle, 
And scourge the chiel whose frankincense 

Burns for an idol. 

Who, his triumphant course amid, 
Who smote the monarch of Madrid, 
And bade Pavia's victor bid 

To power farewell? 
Once Europe's arbiter, now hid 

In hermit's cell. 

Thou, too, hast known misfortune's blast ; 
Tempests have beat thy stately mast 
And nigh upon the breakers cast 

Thy gallant ship : 
But now the hurricane is past 

Hushed is the deep. 

Post Victos Caletes 293 

For PHILIP, lord of ARAGON, 

Of haughty CHARLES the haughty son, 

The clouds still gather dark and dun, 

The sky still scowls ; 
And round his gorgeous galleon 

The tempest howls. 

Thou, when th' Almighty ruler dealt 
The blows thy kingdom lately felt, 
Thy brow unhelmed, unbound thy belt, 

Thy feet unshod, 
Humbly before the chastener knelt, 

And kissed the rod. 

Pardon and peace thy penance bought; 
Joyful the seraph Mercy brought 
The olive-bough, with blessing fraught 

For thee and France; 
God for thy captive kingdom wrought 


'Twas dark and drear ! 'twas winter's reign ! 
Grim horror walked the lonesome plain; 
The ice held bound with crystal chain 

Lake, flood, and rill; 
And dismal piped the hurricane 

His music shrill. 

But when the gallant GUISE displayed 
The flag of France, and drew the blade, 
Straight the obsequious season bade 

Its rigour cease ; 
And, lowly crouching, homage paid 

The Fleur de Lys. 

Winter his violence withheld, 
His progeny of tempests quelled, 
His canopy of clouds dispelled, 

Unveil'd the sun 
And blithesome days unparalleled 

Began to run. 

294 Poems and Translations 

'Twas then beleaguered Calais found, 
With swamps and marshes fenced around 
With counterscarp, and moat, and mound, 

And yawning trench, 
Vainly her hundred bulwarks frowned 

To stay the French. 

Guise ! child of glory and Lorraine, 
Ever thine house hath proved the bane 
Of France's foes ! aye from the chain 

Of slavery kept her, 
And in the teeth of haughty Spain 

Upheld her sceptre. 

Scarce will a future age believe 

The deeds one year saw thee achieve: 

Fame in her narrative should give 

Thee magic pinions 
To range, with free prerogative, 

All earth's dominions. 

What were the year's achievements? first, 
Yon Alps their barrier saw thee burst, 
To bruise a reptile's head, who durst, 

With viper sting, 
Assail (ingratitude accurst ! ) 

Rome's Pontiff-King. 

To rescue Rome, capture Flaisance, 
Make Naples yield the claims of France, 
While the mere shadow of thy lance 

O'erawed the Turk: 
Such was, within the year's expanse, 

Thy journey-work. 

But Calais yet remained unwon 

Calais, stronghold of Albion, 

Her zone begirt with blade and gun, 

In all the pomp 
And pride of war; fierce Amazon! 

Queen of a swamp ! 

Post Victos Caletes 295 

But even she hath proven frail, 
Her walls and swamps of no avidl; 
What citadel may Guise not scale, 

Climb, storm, and seize? 
What foe before thee may not quail, 

O gallant Guise ! 

Thee let the men of England dread, 
Whom Edward erst victorious led, 
Right joyful now that ocean's bed 

Between them rolls 
And thee! that thy triumphant tread 

Yon wave controls. 

Let ruthless Mary learn from hence 
That Perfidy's a foul offence; 
That falsehood hath its recompense, 

That treaties broken 
The anger of Omnipotence 

At length have woken. 

May evil counsels prove the bane 
And curse of her unhallowed reign ; 
Remorse, with its disastrous train, 

Infest her palace ; 
And may she of God's vengeance drain 

The brimming chalice. 


(by H. Petitmangin, Paris University). 

Ce n'est ni du destin les Parques confidentes, 
Ni la fortune avec ses caprices divers, 
Ni le pouvoir secret des etoiles mouvantes, 
C'est le Dieu createur qui mene I'Univers. 

Sur sa base immobile il affermit la terre, 
II roule incessamment les tourbillons des eaux, 
Par lui 1'obscurite succede a la lumiere, 
Par lui le jour renait avec des feux nouveaux. 
1 Steele Prize Translation. 

296 Poems and Translations 

Au coeur humble et paisible il donne la puissance, 
Son frein salt moderer 1'impetueux orgueil, 
II fait couler les pleurs des vainqueurs qu'on encense, 
Le triomphe, par lui, vient rejouir le deuil. 

N'en aliens pas chercher une preuve lointaine: 
II git, brise, dechu de ses ambitions, 
Celui que la Fortune attentive et sereine 
Promenait glorieux parmi les nations. 

Et toi, que la vertu, comme un vent favorable, 
Dirigeait sur la mer de la felicite, 
Henri, tu sais aussi le fracas effroyable 
Des tempetes soufflant sous le ciel irrite. 

Mais 1'autre est sans repit puni de son audace, 
II git sous les debris de son f aste pervers ; 
Et voici que Philippe, heritier de sa race, 
Enfle du meme orgueil, sent les memes revers. 

Pour toi, qui sais qu'au ciel appartient la puissance, 
Que la faute ne peut s'effacer sans les pleurs, 
Dieu, paternel et doux, comble ton esperance 
Et joint a ses bienfaits de nouvelles faveurs. 

II montre maintenant, par des preuves certaines, 
Que sa grace est rendue a tes efforts heureux : 
L'hiver avait longtemps etendu sur les plaines 
D'une eternelle nuit le voile tenebreux ; 

Pleins de neige les vents fendaient 1'air froid et morne, 
Les fleuves s'arretaient sous le poids des gla9ons, 
La sombre horreur planait a 1'horizon sans borne, 
Sur les champs desoles que fuyaient les colons. 

Mais lorsque de son camp une troupe fra^aise 
Sortit armee, avec Guise pour general, 
Au temps meme ou froid sur la terre encor pese, 
On sentit la tiedeur d'un air moins glacial. 

L'hiver sans aiguillon, se soutenant a peine, 
De son apre froidure amoindrit les dangers, 
Les champs resterent sees : 1'atmosphere sereine 
Retint la pluie au fond des nuages legers. 

Post Victos Caletes 297 

Neptune se calma sur la plaine liquide ; 
Eole, emprisonnant tous ses vents apaises 
Dans son antre profond, ne lacha plus la bride 
Qu'a ceux qui dirigeaient les navires f ratals. 

La campagne naguere etait sterile et morne, 
Elle f umait des feux qu'allumaient les Anglais ; 
Mais bientot 1'Abondance eut verse de sa corne 
De riantes moissons sur les champs desoles. 

Et des que le Fran9ais fut rentre dans ses forts, 
L'hiver, auparavant si clement et si doux, 
De tempetes s'arma pour de nouveaux efforts, 
Et reprit, plus terrible encore, son courroux. 

Les fleuves sous la glace en vain cherchent passage ; 
Sous leur linceul de neige au loin dorment les champs ; 
Sous 1'Aquilon strident les Oceans font rage 
Fouettes par 1'aile horrible et sifflante des vents. 

Us n'ont done pu briser les efforts de la France, 
Ces remparts defendus par Feau de toutes parts, 
Us n'ont point arrete 1'elan de sa vaillance, 
Ces fosses proteges par d'orgueilleux remparts. 

O favori du ciel, o Prince de Lorraine, 

Toi qui re9us de Dieu le role glorieux 

De courber sous le poids de ta main souveraine 

De tes fiers ennemis les fronts audacieux, 

Les siecles a venir voudront a peine croire 
Que ta valeur durant le cours de douze mois, 
Ait pu recueillir tant de lauriers et de gloire, 
Lors rneme que Pegase eut hate tes exploits. 

Des Alpes les sommets neigeux, leur haute chaine, 
Qui menace le ciel, t'ont ouvert un chemin, 
Quand le Romain sentant sa ruine prochaine 
Te demandait 1'appui de ta vaillante main. 

Tu sauvas Rome et tu t'emparas de Valence; 
Parthenope rebelle enfin dut t'obeir ; 
Au seul bruit de ton nom devant sa delivrance 
Suze, du feu sauvee, a vu 1'ennemi fuir. 

298 Poems and Translations 

Sur mer, lea ouragans, du cote de la terre, 
L'enceinte des fosses, les troupes des Anglais, 
Des remparts, si longtemps invincible barriere, 
Avaient nourri 1'orgueil confiant de Calais. 

Mais ton courage a qui rien n'est inaccessible, 
S'ouvrant dans 1'inconnu de glorieux sentiers, 
Fait oublier, ardent a vaincre 1'invincible, 
Les lauriers d'autrefois par de nouveaux lauriers. 

Les Anglais jusqu'alors si fiers d'une puissance 
Dont la France attendait toujours quelque malheur, 
A peine maintenant mettent leur confiance 
Dans les flots dont les ceint 1'ocean protecteur. 

Leur reine a qui la paix pesait si fort naguere, 
Pleure d'avoir trahi ses traites, la terreur 
Lui montre dans le ciel la divine colere 
Qui plane, et la Furie avec son fouet vengeur. 

Son coeur etant gonfle de craintes et de haines, 
Non moins pour ses sujets que pour ses ennemis, 
Elle mele, sangsue attachee a leurs veines, 
Le sang des etrangers au sang de ses amis. 

Durant le jour, Mars jette en une terreur sombre 
Son coeur, plein du remords de tant de sang verse, 
Et lorsqu'elle repose, a son chevet, dans 1'ombre, 
Quelque spectre, chassant le sommeil, est dresse. 

Tel est le chatiment que 1'injustice attire, 
Ainsi brise 1'orgueil Nemesis en courroux, 
Mais ceux que la douceur, que la justice inspire 
Sont proteges toujours par le Dieu juste et doux. 


Francisci Valesii et Mariae Stuartae, regum Franciae 
et Scotiae, Epithalamium. 


THIS was written on the marriage of Francis of Valois, Dauphin of France, 
with Queen Mary in 1558. It is one of his finest poems, and displays a 
"fertility of fancy and felicity of diction which preclude all comparison." 
His loyalty is expressed in his praise for his native land, and points out that 
the Dauphin would be by the marriage even a greater gainer than the Queen 
of Scots. He not only glorifies the Scots for their valour in war but their 
peaceful inclinations, and praises highly the bride's grace of mind and person. 

Poems and Translations 

Francisci Valesii et Mariae Stuartae, regum Franciac 
et Scotiae, Epithalamium. 

Unde repentino fremuerunt viscera motu ? 
Cur Phoebum desueta pati praecordia anhelus 
Fervor agit, mutaeque diu Parnassidos umbrae 
Turba iterum arcanis renovat Paeana sub antris ? 
Nuper enim, memini, squalebat rnarcida laurus, 
Muta chelys, tristis Phoebus, citharaeque repertor 
Areas, et ad surdas fundebam vota sorores. 
Nunc Phoebi delubra patent, nunc Delphica rupes 
Panditur, et sacro cortina remugit ab antro. 
Nunc lauro meliore comas innexa sororum 
Turba venit, nunc Aoniae non invida lymphae 
Irrigat aeternos Pimplei ruris honores, 
Laetaque Pieriae revirescit gloria silvae. 
Fallimur ? an nitidae tibi se, Francisce, Camoenae 
Exornant ? tibi serta parant, tibi flore 1 recenti 
Templa novant ? mutumque diu formidine Martis 
Gaudent insolitis celebrare Helicona choreis? 
Scilicet baud alius nemoris decerpere fructus 
Dignior Aonii, seu quern numerare triumphos 
Forte juvat patrios, seu consecrata Camoenis 
Otia: sic certe est. Hinc laeto compita plausu 
Cuncta fremunt : legumque exuta licentia frenos 
Ludit : Hymen, Hymenaeus adest : lux ilia pudicis 
Exoptata diu votis, lux aurea venit: 
Venit. Habes tandem toties quod mente petisti, 
O decus Hectoridum 2 juvenis : jam pone querelas, 
Desine spes nimium lentas, jam desine longas 
Incusare moras, dum tardum signifer annum 
Torqueat, ignavos peragat dum Cynthia menses. 
Grande morae pretium fers : quod si prisca tulissent 
Secula, non raptos flesset Menelaus amores, 
Et sine vi, sine caede Phrygum Cytherea probatae 
Solvere Priamidae potuisset praemia formae. 
Digna quidem facies, quam vel trans aequoris aestus 
Classe Paris rapiat, vel conjurata reposcat 

1 Hart's Edinburgh edition gives fronde. 

2 Buchanan, according to poetic usage, has represented the French as 
Hectoridae. Mediaeval mythology makes out the Gauls to be sons of Francus, 
who was a son of the Trojan Hector. 

Epithalamium 301 

Graecia : nee minus est animi tibi, nee minor ardor 
Quam Phrygio Grajove duci, si postulet arma 
Conjugii tutela tui. Sed mitior in te 
Et Venus, et teneri fuit indulgentia nati, 
Qui quod ames tribuere domi : puerilibus annis 
Coeptus amor tecum crevit : quantumque juventae 
Viribus accessit, tanto se flamma per artus 
Acrius insinuans 1 tenerum pascebat amorem. 
Non tibi cura fuit, quae saepius anxia Regum 
Pectora sollicitat, longinquae obnoxia flammae : 
Nee metus is torsit, veri praenuntia fama 
Ne vero majora ferat, 2 dum secula prisca 
Elevat, et primum formae tibi spondet honorem : 
Cera nee in varias docilis transire figuras 
Suspendit trepidum dubia formidine mentem : 
Nee tua commisti tacitis suspiria chartis, 
Rumorisque vagam timuisti pallidus umbram. 
Ipse tibi explorator eras, formaeque probator, 
Et morum testis. Nee conciliavit amorem 
Hunc tibi luxuries legum indignata teneri 
Imperio, aut primis temerarius ardor ab annis: 
Sed sexu virtus, annis prudentia major, 
Et decori pudor, et conjuncta modestia sceptris, 
Atque haec cuncta ligans arcano gratia nexu. 
Spes igitur dubiae, lentaeque facessite curae; 
Ipse tuis oculis tua vota tuere, probasque : 
Speratosque leges sine sollicitudine fructus, 
Nullaque fallacis delusus imagine somni 
Irrita mendaci facies convicia nocti. 
Expectatus Hymen jam junget foedere dextras ; 
Mox etiam amplecti, mox et geminare licebit 
Basia, mox etiam non tantum basia: sed tu, 
Quamlibet approperes, animo moderare : beatum 
Nobiscum partire diem, tu gaudia noctis 
Solus tota feres : quanquam neque gaudia noctis 
Solus tota feres : et nos communiter aequum est 
Laetitiam gaudere tuam ; communia vota 
Fecimus, et sacras pariter placavimus aras, 

1 The Basel Edition has aecendens instead of insimtans. 

2 The older editions wrongly have printed what would be terat instead 
of ferat. 

302 Poems and Translations 

Miscuimusque preces, et spesque metusque tuosque 
Sensimus affectus : aegre 1 tecum hausimus una 
Taedia longa morae. Super! nunc plena secundi 
Gaudia cum referant, sensus pervenit ad omnes 
Laetitiae, mentemque ciens renovata voluptas 
Crescit, et exsultant trepidis praecordia fibris. 
Qualis ubi Eois Phoebus caput extulit undis 
Purus, et auratum non turbidus extulit axem, 
Cuspide jucundae lucis percussa renident 
Arva, micat tremulo crispatus lumine pontus, 
Lenibus aspirat flabris innubilus aer, 
Blanda serenati ridet dementia coeli : 
At si nubiferos effuderit Aeolus Austros, 
Et pluviis gravidam coelo subtexuit umbram, 
Moesta horret rerum facies, defonnia lugent 
Arva, tument fluctus, campis gravis incubat aer, 
Torpet et obductum picea caligine coelum : 
Sic ex te populus suspensus gaudia, curas, 
Moeroresque trahit : rosea nee sola juventa 
Florida, nee spatiis quae te propioribus aetas 
Insequitur, genio indulgent, vultuque soluto 
Lusibus exhilarant aptos juvenilibus annos; 
Hunc posita vultus gravitate severior aetas 
Laetatur celebrare diem, matresque verendae 
Non tacito hunc, tacitoque optat virguncula voto. 

Quid loquar humanas admittere gaudia mentes? 
Ipsa parens rerum totos renovata per artus 
Gestit, et in vestros penitus conspirat honores. 
Aspice jam primum radiati luminis orbem 
Semper inexhausta 2 lustrantem lampade terras, 
Ut niteat, blanda ut flagrantes mitiget ignes 
Temperie, ut cupidos 3 spectacula vestra tueri 
Purpureo vultus maturior exserat ortu, 
Serius occiduas currus demittat in undas, 
Ut gelidos repetens flamma propiore triones 
Contrahat aestivas angusta luce tenebras. 
Ipsa etiam tellus virides renovatur amictus, 

1 Stephen's 1567 edition and that of Pattiaon who had married the 
widow of Robert Stephen or Estienne, give aegrae instead of aegre. 

2 All editions, except Hart's and the London Edition of 1686, give 

3 All editions except Stephen's, Ruddiman's, and Burmann's give cupido. 

Epithalamium 303 

Et modo pampineas meditatur collibus umbras, 
Et modo messe agros, modo pingit floribus hortos 
Horrida nee tenero cessant mansuescere foetu 
Tesqua, nee armati spina sua brachia vepres, 
Nee curvare f eros pomis aviaria ramos : 
Inque omnes frugum facies bona copia cornu 
Solvit, et omniferum beat indulgentior annum, 
Pignoris hoc spondens felices omine taedas. 
Fortunati ambo, et felici tempore nati, 
Et thalamis juncti ! vestram concordia mundi 
Spem fovet, aspirat votis, indulget honori : 
Atque utinam nullis unquam labefacta querelis 
Conjugium hoc canos concordia servet in annos. 
Et (mihi ni vano fallax praecordia Phoebus 
Impulit augurio) quern jungit sanguinis ortus, 
Et commune genus proavum, serieque perenni 
Foedus amicitiae solidum, quern more vetusto 
Sancta verendarum committunt foedera legum, 
Nulla dies unquam vestrum divellet amorem. 
Vos quoque felici lucent quibus omine taedae, 
Quo studium, populique favor, quo publica regni 
Vota precesque vocant, alacres accedite : tuque, 
Tu prior, o Reges non ementite parentes, 
Hectoride juvenis, tota complectere mente 
Quam dedit uxorem tibi lex, natura sororem, 
Parentem imperio sexus, dominamque voluntas, 
Quam sociam vitae tibi conjunxere parentes, 
Et genus, et virtus, et forma, et nubilis aetas, 
Et promissa fides, et qui tot vincula nectens 
Firmius arctat amor totidem per vincula nexus. 
Si tibi communi assensu connubia Divae 
Annuerent, Paris umbrosa quas vidit in Ida, 
Permittantque tuo socias tibi jungere taedas 
Arbitrio, quid jam, voti licet improbus, optes 
Amplius ? Eximiae delectat gratia formae ? 
Aspice quantus honos frontis, quae gratia blandis 
Interfusa genis, quam mitis flamma decoris 
Fulguret ex oculis, quam conspirarit amico 
Foedere cum tenera gravitas matura juventa, 
Lenis et augusta cum ma j estate venustas. 
Pectora nee formae cedunt exercita curis 

304 Poems and Translations 

Palladiis, et Pierias exculta per artes 

Tranquillant placidos Sophia sub judice 1 mores. 

Si series generis longusque propaginis ordo 

Quaeritur: haec una centum de stirpe nepotes 

Sceptriferous numerare potest, haec regia sola est, 

Quae bis dena suis includat secula fastis ; 

Unica vicinis toties pulsata procellis, 

Externi immunis domini : quodcunque vetustum 

Gentibus in reliquis vel narrat fama, vel audet 

Fabula, longaevis vel credunt secula fastis 

Hue compone, novum est. Ampla si dote moveris 

Accipe dotales Mavortia pectora Scotos. 

Nee tibi frugiferae memorabo hie jugera glebae 

[Aut saltus pecore, aut foecundas piscibus undas, ] 2 

Aut aeris gravidos et plumbi pondere sulcos, 

Et nitidos auro montes, ferroque rigentes, 

Deque metalliferis manantia flumina venis, 

Quaeque beant alias communia commoda gentes. 

Haec vulgus miretur iners, quique omnia spernunt 

Praeter opes, quibus assidue sitis acris 3 habendi 

Tabifico oblimat praecordia crassa veneno. 

Ilia pharetratis est propria gloria Scotis, 

Cingere venatu saltus, superare natando 

Flumina, ferre famem, contemnere frigora et aestus; 

Nee fossa et muris patriam, sed Marte tueri, 

Et spreta incolumem vita defendere famam ; 

Polliciti servare fidem, sanctumque vereri 

Numen amicitiae, mores, non munus amare. 

Artibus his, totum fremerent cum bella per orbem 

Nullaque non leges tellus mutaret avitas 

Externo subjecta jugo, gens una vetustis 

Sedibus antiqua sub libertate resedit. 

Substitit hie Gothi furor, hie gravis impetus haesit 

Saxonis, hie Cimber superato Saxone, et acri 

Perdomito Neuster Cimbro. Si volvere priscos 

Non piget annales, hie et victoria fixit 

Praecipitem Romana gradum : quern non gravis Auster 

Reppulit, incultis non squalens Parthia campis, 

1 In Hart's edition praeside is given instead of jwlice. 

2 This line is not in any other editions than Hart's, Ruddiman's, and Bur- 

'Since Hart, the recent editions except Rmldiman and Burmann have 
aeris instead of acris. 

Epithalamium 305 

Non aestu Meroe, non frigore Rhenus et Albis 
Tardavit, Latium remorata est Scotia cursum: 
Solaque gens mundi est, cum qua non culmine mentis, 
Non rapidi ripis amnis, non objice silvae, 
Non vasti spatiis campi Romana potestas, 
Sed muris fossaque 1 sui confinia regni 
Munivit : gentesque alias cum pelleret armis 
Sedibus, aut victas vilem servaret in usum 
Servitii, hie contenta suos defendere fines 
Roma securigeris praetendit moenia Scotis : 
Hie spe progressus posita, Carronis ad undam 
Terminus 2 Ausonii signat divortia regni. 
Neve putes duri studiis assueta Gradivi 
Pectora mansuetas non emollescere ad artes, 
Haec quoque, cum Latium quateret Mars barbarus orbem, 
Sola prope expulsis fuit hospita terra Camoenis. 
Hinc Sophiae Grajae, Sophiae decreta Latinae, 
Doctoresque rudis formatoresque juventae 
Carolus 3 ad Celtas traduxit : Carolus idem 
Qui Francis Latios fasces, trabeamque Quirini 
Ferre dedit Francis, conjunxit foedere Scotos : 
Foedere, quod neque Mars ferro, nee turbida possit 
Solvere seditio, aut dominandi insana cupido, 
Nee series aevi, nee vis ulla altera, praeter 
Sanctius et vinclis foedus propioribus arctans. 
Tu licet ex ilia numeres aetate triumphos, 
Et conjuratum cunctis e partibus orbem 
Nominis ad Franci exitium, sine milite Scoto 
Nulla unquam Francis fulsit victoria castris, 
Nulla unquam Hectoridas sine Scoto sanguine clades 
Saevior oppressit : tulit haec communiter amnes 
Fortunae gens una vices: Francisque minantes 
Saepe in se vertit gladios. Scit belliger Anglus, 
Scit ferus hoc Batavus, testis Phaethontias unda, 4 

1 This refers to the Antonine Wall that extended from the Forth to the Clyde. 

2 Dr. Longmuir (1871) says: " There was standing in Buchanan's time a 
round tower near the Carron, which he supposed to be a temple of Terminus. 
A stone erected by the legions on the wall is to be seen in the Antiquarian 
Museum in Edinburgh." 

3 This refers to Charlemagne. 

4 Buchanan was staying with the Marechal de Brissac when he wrote this 
poem, and the reference here is to one of de Brissac's expeditions to Italy and 
hie operations on the River Po. 


306 Poems and Translations 

Nee semel infaustis repetita Neapolis armis. 
Hanc tibi dat conjux dotem, tot secula fidam 
Conjunctamque tuis social! foedere gentem, 
Auspicium felix thalamis concordibus, armis 
Indomitos populos per tot discrimina, felix 
Auspicium bellis, venturaeque omina palmae. 

At tu conjugio, Nymphe, dignata superbo, 
Te licet et Juno, et bellis metuenda virago, 
Et Venus, et Charitum larga indulgentia certet 
Muneribus decorare suis, licet ille secundus 
Spe votisque hominum Francae moderator habenae, 
Et solo genitore minor, tibi Regia sceptra 
Submittat, blando et dominam te praedicet ore, 
Sexum agnosce tamen, dominaeque immunis habenae 
Hactenus imperio jam nunc assuesce jugali : 
Disce jugum, sed cum dilecto conjuge, ferre : 
Disce pati imperium, victrix patiendo futura. 
Aspicis Oceanum saxa indignatus ut undis 
Verberet, et cautes tumida circumf remat ira : 
Rupibus incursat, demoliturque procellis 
Fundamenta terens, scopulisque assultat adesis : 
Ast ubi se tellus molli substravit arena, 
Hospitioque Deum blande invitavit amoeno, 
Ipse domat vires, placidusque et se minor ire 
In thalamos gaudet non torvo turbidus ore, 
Non spumis fremituque minax, sed fronte serena 
Littus inoffensum lambit, sensimque relabens 
Arrepit facilis cerni, et, ceu mollia captet 
Oscula, ludentes in littore lubricat undas. 
Cernis ut infirmis hedera enitatur in altum 
Frondibus, et molli serpens in robora. flexu 
Paullatim insinuet sese, et complexibus haerens 
Emicet, et mediis pariter caput inserat astris. 
Flectitur obsequio rigor, obsequioque paratur 
Et retinetur amor. Neu te jactura relictae 
Sollicitet patriae, desideriumque parentis : 
Haec quoque terra tibi patria est, hie stirpe propinqui, 
Hie generis pars magna tui, multosque per annos 
Fortunatorum series longissima Regum, 
Unde genus ducis, rerum moderatur habenas. 
Quoquo oculos vertes, quoquo vestigia flectes, 

Epithalamium 307 

Cognatis pars nulla vacat, locus exhibet omnis 
Aut generis socios, aut fastis inclyta gentis 
Ostentat monumenta tuae. Jam ut caetera mittam, 
Hie te, qui cunctis merito praeponderat unus, 
Expectat longe pulcherrimus Hectoridarum, 
Pene tibi stirpis communis origine f rater: 
Mox etiam fratrem quod vincat amore futurus, 
Et matrem, et quicquid consanguinitate verendum 
Lex facit, et, legum quam jussa valentior ulla, 
Naturae arcanos pulsans reverentia sensus. 
Hie quoque (ni justis obsistent numina votis, 
Falsaque credulitas frustra spem nutrit inanem) 
Filius ore patrem referens, et filia matrem 
Sanguine communi vinclum communis amoris 
Firmabunt, brevibusque amplexi colla lacertis 
Discutient blando curarum nubila risu. 

Hunc vitae mihi fata modum concedite, donee 
Juncta Caledoniae tot seclis Gallia genti 
Officiis, pactisque, et legum compede, fratrum 
Subdita dehinc sceptris animo coalescat : et undis 
Quos mare, quos vastis coelum spatiisque solumque 
Dividit, hos populum concordia nectat in unum, 
Aequaeva aeternis coeli concordia flammis. 


(By Lionel S. Charles, United College, St. Andrews.) 

Ah, whence this burst of passionate ecstasy ? 
"Pis long since Phoebus poured his grace on me. 
And whence doth our Parnassus mute so long 
In antres dark renew his Triumph-song 1 

But late I marked the wan, sad laurel fall, 

And silence in fair places musical, 

Song's spirits bowed in grief, the tuneful Nine 

Turned but deaf ears to every prayer of mine. 

And now the gates of Delphi open swing, 

In Phoebus' grot I hear the tripod ring. 

Their locks entwined with laurels greener grown 

The sister-choir advance, and Helicon 

Unenvious sees again the fountain spring, 

308 Poems and Translations 

PimpJea's fount, that dowers the gift to sing, 
And glad Pieria's grove, haunt of the Muse, 
Her verdurous glory once again renews. 

Am I deceived t For thee, fair prince, for thee 

The Muses deck themselves right royally ; 

For thee they garlands bring, with fresh-blown flowers 

The shrines renew ; and the unaccustomed bowers 

Round Helicon, long mute while War they dread, 

See them again the choral-dances lead. 

And who more worthy, by the Muses' shrine 

Or kingly sires, and all the laurelled line 1 ? 

A thronging people, and a nation's prayer 

Fill the wide ways ; and loyal love is there. 

The day is with us, day of all the year 

Most loved, most wooed ! Thy heart's desire is here, 

Thy heart's desire is with thea Ah, away 

With hope so long deferred and coy delay ! 

No more bewail the progress of the skies 

Circling the world in tardy galaxies. 

The meed of patience thine, patience repaid 

With rich reward. Oh ! had the old world made 

The like, fair peace had lulled the Spartan king 

In Helen's arms and Helen's comforting. 

Venus in peace had blessed the Phrygian's bed, 

Nor Phrygia in adulterous quarrel bled. 

Such beauty Troy might harry o'er the main, 

Such beauty Greece in arms demand again ; 

And were there need to draw the avenging sword 

For wrongs of hers, true love and loving lord, 

The world had seen thee, champion of her right, 

Like Paris woo, like Menelaus fight. 

But Love was kind to thee, and Love's sweet pain 
Thy boy-heart filled, and fired thy growing vein. 
Not thine, my Prince, to give a loveless hand 
To some sad stranger from an alien land ! 
Ah me ! how oft a care past comforting 

Epithalamium 309 

Dwells in the bosom of a hapless king, 

That he must clasp some stranger to his breast, 

By envoys wooed, but by himself possessed. 

Ah me ! how oft delusive beauties shine 

In the false wax, and blur the flattering line, 

How oft sad princes, for a distant flame, 

Sigh in a parchment to a stranger's name. 

Face to sweet face you stood ! Yourself approved 

Your heart's fair saint ; you came, you saw, you loved. 

Say, was it wayward pride, too great to obey, 

And wilful ways that charmed thy heart away ? 

Truly I ween no light of evil fire 

Shone in her face, no arrogant desire ; 

No insubmissive spirit that could not brook 

Control of law, no hard and fearless look, 

No bitter scorn ; nay, she is good with more 

Than woman's goodness, wiger than the store 

Of all youth's wisdom ; in her port we see, 

With modest beauty, crowned humility, 

And sweetest grace in all. Ah ! sigh no more, 

Fair pride of France ! the long delay is o'er, 

Thy heart's desire is with tbee. Ah ! away 

With hope so long deferred and coy delay. 

Face to sweet face you stood ; the young blood rang 
Triumph ; the bounding pulse her beauty sang. 
(Ah me ! how oft the promise mocks the sight 
For kings ; deceived they curse the faithless night.) 
Soon shalt thou feel, at Love's divine command 
The little hand creep softly to thy hand, 
Soon shalt thou share all joy of love the kiss, 
And all love's joyaunce yet more deep than this, 
All heart's desire. Yet, passionate lover, stay 
And share with us the joyaunce of the day ; 
The joyaunce of the day the night is thine ; 
Nay, all is ours ; we at the self-same shrine 
Have sought the gods with sacrifice and prayer, 
And with our offerings filled the votive air. 
Thy fears and hopes were ours ; the long delay 

310 Poems and Translations 

Was bitter, and our strength consumed away. 
But Heaven relenting brings us joy again ; 
Our bounding hearts confess the blissful reign. 

Even so if Phoebus in his Orient car 

Climb the steep sky, what time no shadows mar 

His perfect radiance, all the fields are bright, 

Struck with the shaft of his exceeding light ; 

A sweet, soft light is flickering on the seas, 

And from the azure comes a gentle breeze. 

But if the South with tempests in her womb 

Come cloud-engirdled, comraded of gloom, 

The fields are wrapped in shade, the seas are given 

To tumult, and to pitchy dark the heaven. 

Even so thy people veer. Suspense and care 

And joy and grief alike with thee they share, 

And deem not thou that rose-flushed youth alone 

Joys in thy joyaunce, knows thy bliss her own, 

Her red, red rose. For age with kindly zeal 

Blesses the joys it is not hers to feel. 

The maiden's whispered prayer ascends the skies, 

The matron's blessings, not in whispers, rise. 

Such is the joyaunce of the human kind 

And is this all 1 Nay, Nature's mighty mind 

Is one with thine ; she shares the joy with thee ; 

Her heart is bounding with thy ecstasy. 

Look to the presence of the Eastern gate ! 

In the white morn with longing passionate 

Swift Phoebus comes and hears thy glory's call ; 

Loth he departs at the still evenfall. 

Loth he departs ; to the far North he goes 

Glorying, and bids the sullen darkness close 

And yield to light. Earth dons a mantle green 

And on the shadowy hills the vines are seen ; 

And in the wilderness where briars spread 

She decks with fragrant blooms the enamelled mead ; 

In white pomegranate trees the love-birds sing, 

With tuneful joy the hills and valleys ring. 

From Plenty's horn the copious fruits appear, 

Epithalamium 311 

Abundance smiles to bless tbe mellowing year 
With fair increase oh prosperous auspices 
Of wedded love and happy auguries ! 

happy pair in prosperous season sprung ! 

O wedded pair, in love and hope so young ! 

All, all around, a world in happy peace 

Smiles on your hope and bids your joys increase. 

Fair, happy pair, for ever, ever dear ! 

Away complaint ! false Discord come not near ! 

By plighted faith and holy law allied, 

No day shall part them, nothing shall divide. 

A nation's hope, and loyal love is there ; 

And kindly Heaven receives a nation's prayer. 

On, on to bliss ! the auspicious tapers shine, 

And point the way to Love's own secret shrine. 

On, on to bliss, by Truth and Honour led, 

Fair wedded pair ! Lord Francis, thou hast wed 

Thy sister-soul in nature ; womanhood 

Makes her obedient, with all power endued 

By thy consent ; and tender parent-hands 

Give her to thee, and Love with all the bands 

That ever Love supreme hath power to bind, 

Ever in closer union intertwined. 

Her maiden youth, her long ancestral line, 

And her troth plighted, make the fair saint thine. 

Yea, had the Three, whom Paris on the side 
Of woody Ida met, given thee thy bride, 
Ah, nothing in their gift could equal this ! 
Faint were the rapture, doubtful were the bliss 
Compared to her. If beauty be thy care 
Mark her proud form ! mark her imperial air ! 
The stately brow, the cheek of blushing rose 
(Ah, how the mantling colour comes and goes), 
O maiden youth ! O queen's serenity ! 
And gentle grace, and princely majesty ! 
And Pallas' self hath taught her every art, 
And Poesy hath informed her gentle heart, 
And Wisdom guided all. 

312 Poems and Translations 

And old descent 

Is hers ; a hundred ancestors have sent 
Her crown to her ; and twice a thousand years 
Stretches the line of those august compeers. 
This hath no rival ; shrinks each ancient throne 
Dwarfed by the giant greatness of our own. 
Bright, bright the rays of each time-honoured crown 
And throne primeval Scotia shines them down. 
And if thy heart desire a princely dower 
'Tis here ; 'tis Scotia's embattled power. 
She boasts not, she, the harvest's golden store, 
Nor rivers gleaming with the yellow ore. 
Not hers the flocks that mountain pastures feed, 
For her no finny tribes the waters breed. 
Not hers the iron lode, the leaden vein, 
Slaves of the mine, and craven thralls of gain. 
Others, I ween, may bow to wealth's control, 
While gold, contagious, dulls the hireling soul ; 
But Caledonia's sons, a sinewy race, 
Urge the wild wood, and wing the arrowy chase, 
To beat and cold inured ; the rivers wide 
Bar not their course, they swim the foaming tide. 
Not ditch nor rampart guard our country's bound, 
But valiant hearts and patriot swords are found ; 
And life is little ; is not Honour great ? 
And Truth abides, and Virtue guards the state, 
And Friendship's holy power. Small marvel then 
When Desolation shook the towers of men 
And bruised them with the yoke, if uncontrolled 
She kept her ancient liberty of old. 

The Saxon vanquished fell before the Dane, 
In turn the victor felt the Norman's chain ; 
But Scotia dwelt apart. 'Gainst Rome's attack 
She stood : the screaming eagles fluttered back. 
Though Rome might pass to Meroe's tropic plain, 
Traverse unchecked bleak Parthia's wild domain ; 
Nor Rhine nor Elbe her rapid course could stay 
For all their frosts ; yet Scotia barred the way. 
Deem ye a lofty mount between them rose? 
Did some resistless river interpose ? 

Epithalamium 313 

Some pathless forest, some waste solitude ? 

A ditch, a rampart 'gainst the unsubdued 

Rome's one resource ; and while she still could chase 

Each other nation from its ancient place, 

Here 'twas enough to ward the clans' attacks, 

And bar the wall 'gainst Scotia's battle-are. 

" Thus far our course," she cried, " advance no more," 

And fixed her eagles by the Carron shore. 

Yet think not thou that Scotia's fame is known 

On trampled fields of crimson death alone : 

Wisdom has smiled on us, and gentle Peace 

In seraph-tones bids War's rude trumpet cease. 

When Desolation shook the towers of men, 

The arts of Greece and Rome revived again 

In Scotia's bosom ; here they found a home 

While Vandal darkness overshadowed Rome. 

To Charlemagne, on his dim Celtic shore 

She sent Hellenic light, Ausonian lore, 

Charlemagne, who donned in his far Frankish home 

The purple mantle of Imperial Rome. 

And the proud emblems of the Latian reign 

Crowned his endeavour with distinguished gain. 

He bound our Scotia in a loyal league, 

Strong 'gainst all force, and strong 'gainst all intrigue, 

No years can waste it, and change comes not near 

Save for a holier love, a bond more dear. 

Ambition fails ; War's fury breaks not down 

Our Scotia's union with the lily crown. 

When France, all desolate, crashed with a world 

In angry concourse on her banners hurled, 

Ever she heard our battle-trumpets blow, 

Ever with her we met the coming foe. 

And well to France may Scotia's Genius say : 
" We shared each triumph, each disastrous day ; 
In victory, or when the field was wet 
With blood of France, and banners overset, 
But undishonoured, I was at thy side ; 
As one we conquered, or as one we died. 
How firm our faith let gallant Albion show, 

314 Poems and Translations 

And wild Batavia, and the crimsoned Po. 
Say, Naples, if we knew faint heart or fear, 
Lost city, wooed so long, and wooed so dear ! " 

Such is the dower that Marie brings her lord, 
(Presage of harmony and sweet accord), 
A power so long conjoined fair auspices 
Of prosperous fields and happy victories. 

But thou, though Beauty arm thy form divine 
With every grace, and every art be thine 
From the fair Lady of the battlefield, 
And Juno's emulation will not yield 
To Pallas, yet beware high heart of pride, 
Let wisdom govern, and sweet patience guide. 
Though he profess to wear a subject-chain, 
Proud of the yoke, of Love's own fetters vain, 
Yet deem not thy weak woman-hand can guide 
The imperial rein, and shun the voice of Pride. 
Let Love be lord, and tread ambition down ; 
Be patience thine for Patience wears a crown. 

The Ocean, where the rocky ramparts frown, 
Saps the strong wall and drags the bastion down ; 
All hoarse and rude his battle-trumpets blow, 
Rolling his angry crests upon the foe ; 
His fury batters down the ancient wall, 
The deeps are shaken, and the great rocks fall. 
But where he sees a gentle hostess-hand 
Bidding him enter on the kindly sand, 
His rage is gone ; she sees her lover come, 
Not in chill scorn and insolence of foam ; 
He comes her lover ; no rude fortalice 
Bars his advance ; he shares a lover's kiss. 

So round the oak the ivy's tendrils twine, 
Raised to the starry sky and height divine. 
'Tis soft Obedience bends the ruler's rod, 
And Love still follows where her footsteps trod. 

And think not thou, fair queen of all the fair, 
Though reft unwilling from a mother's care, 

Epithalamium 315 

Yet think not thou an alien shore to see, 

Lands none of thine, and kindred strange to thee. 

Let History speak, what monarchs of thy line, 

Prosperous and great, in Gallia's annals shine. 

And in thy coming she again shall know 

The blood that swayed her in the long-ago. 

'Tis no strange land that waits thee ; everywhere 

Thy kindred gather, and thy friends are there, 

And the memorials of their deeds appear, 

Dear to their kindred, to their allies dear ! 

And one there is, dearer than all beside, 

Fair France's fairest son awaits his bride, 

All but a brother in his ancestry, 

More than a brother in his love to thee, 

More than a mother, and than all beside, 

By Love within the heart's own heart allied, 

Love holier, stronger than a mortal band 

Though this shall bind, yet Love hath power beyond 

Love, holy Love ! in Nature's inmost frame, 

With passionate thrill thy call imperial came. 

With fair increase, if kindly fates ordain, 

Daughter and son shall bless your equal reign, 

And in inheritors of either line, 

Marie, thy traits shall rise, and, Francis, thine. 

Faces angelical shall smile away 

The fleeting sorrow of an evil day ; 

Ah, many a time shall clouding Sorrow's bands 

Fall at the touch of those soft angel-hands. 

Oh, be it mine to hail the auspicious day 

When Gaul and Scotia join beneath the sway 

Of brothers ; long in faith and truth allied 

Stand they at length in union side by side 

Though seas dispart them far, and alien skies divide. 

One throne be theirs, and loyalty set sure 
While the strong sun and all the stars endure. 


Joannis Calvini Epiccdium 

( Miscellaneorum Liber XXIV.). 

THIS Dirge was written on the death of Calvin in 1564. In poetic form 
Buchanan endeavours to blend the old heathen mythology with the Calvinistic 
theology. " There ought to be no grief over Calvin's death," he says, 
" because he will always live with us, his genius and fame being present in 
the Reformed religion. Filled with a 'draught of deity' (numinis haustu), 
he merely lives in an eternal and nearer enjoyment of God." Buchanan 
endeavours to explain the spiritual work of regeneration, but his brief and 
theistic references to matters of faith show that he was not zealous in the 
Reformed doctrines. 

In the following pages are given two translations, the first of which 
secured the First Steele Prize, and the next the Second Prize. 

Joannis Calvini Epicedium 317 

Joannis Calvini Epicedium. 

Si quis erit nullos superesse a funere manes 
Qui putet, aut si forte putet, sic vivit ut Orcum 
Speret, 1 et aeternas Stygio sub gurgite poenas, 
Is merito sua fata fleat, sua funera ploret 
Vivus, et ad caros luctum transmittat amicos. 
At nos, invitis quanquam sis raptus amicis 
Ante diem, magnis quamvis inviderit ausis 
Mors, te flere nefas, Calvine, et funera vanae 
Ludibrio pompae, et miseris onerare querelis. 
Liber enim curis, terrenae et pondere molis, 
Astra tenes, propiusque Deo, quern mente colebas, 
Nunc frueris, puroque vides in lumine purum 
Lumen, et infusi satiatus Numinis haustu 2 
Exigis aeternam sine sollicitudine vitam : 
Quam neque dejiciunt luctus, nee tollit inani 
Ebria laetitia spes, exanimantve timores, 
Quaeque animo offundit morbi contagia corpus. 
Hanc ego quae curis te lux exemit acerbis 
Natalem jure appellem, qua raptus in astra 
In patriam remeas, et post fastidia duri 
Exilii, mortis jam mens secura secundae, 
Fortunae imperio major, primordia longae 
Ingreditur vitae. Nam ceu per corporis artus 
Quum subiit animus, pigrae vegetatque movetque 
Molis onus, funditque agilem per membra vigorem ; 
Quum fugit, exanimum jacet immotumque cadaver, 
Nee quicquam est luteae nisi putris fabrica massae : 
Sic anirni Deus est animus, quo si caret, atris 
Obruitur tenebris, specieque illusus inani 
Fall aces rectique bonique amplectitur umbras. 
Ast ubi divini concepit Numinis haustum 
Diffugiunt tenebrae, simulacraque vana facessunt, 
Nudaque se veri facies in luce videndam 
Exhibet aeterna, quam nullo vespere claudit 
Septa caput furvis nox importuna tenebris. 
Hunc ergo in portum coelo plaudente receptus 

1 Perhaps it should be xpernat. 

2 Ruddiman's text gives haustum, although in a note he prefers haustu to 
be substituted. 

318 Poems and Translations 

Tu licet in placida tranquillus pace quiescas, 
Non tain on omnino potuit mors invida totum 
Tollere Calvinum terris ; aeterna manebunt 
Ingenii monumenta tui : et livoris iniqui 
Languida paullatim cum flamma resederit, omnes 
Relligio qua pura nitet se fundet in oras 
Fama tui. Ut nuper falso te nomine Clemens, 
Te Pauli duo, flagitiis et fraude gemelli, 
Te Juli timuit rabies, te nobilis una 
Fraterna impietate Pius : sic nominis umbram 
Ingeniique tui effigiem post fata timebit 
Vana superstitio : quique olim in sede Quirini 
Triste furens, fiammaque minax ferroque tyrannus 
Transtulit inferni cuncta in se munia regni, 
Imperio Pluto, foedis Harpyia rapinis, 
Eumenis igne, Charon naulo, triplicique corona 
Cerberus, immissi stupefactus lumine veri, 
Terrificoque tuae dejectus fulmine linguae, 
Transf eret infernas in se post funera poenas : 
Inter aquas sitiens, referens revolubile saxum, 
Vulturibus jecur exesus, cava dolia lymphis 
Frustra implens, Ixioneum distentus in orbem. 


(By Lionel S. Charles, United College, St. Andrews.) 

Well may he weep, if there be one 
Who thinketh death the end of all, 
Or fears what penance may befall 
In silent gulfs of Acheron. 

Well may he weep before his end, 
Still shrinking from the doom to be, 
And share his sorrow's mystery 
With every loved and loving friend. 

Calvin, for thee we may not weep, 
Though loth that thou should'st leave us so 
Before thy day ; no painted woe 
Shall mock thee in thy holy sleep. 

1 First Prize Translation. 

Joannis Calvini Epicedium 319 

Far from the burden of the clod, 
And from our dull terrestrial care, 
Joyful thou climb'st the starry stair 
To freer heights, and nearer God. 

'Tis thine the Light-in-Light to see, 
The Light serene, untouched of stain ; 
'Tis thine the Godhead-cup to drain 
In thine unvexed eternity. 

And Hope, with her insensate drink, 
Comes not to thee ; Grief breaks not down 
The angel of the starry crown, 
Nor Fear that makes the heart-blood sink. 

Thou passest from the taint of earth, 
And far from bitter Sorrow's breath, 
Thou scalest the stars. And is this death ? 
This is thy day of second birth. 

In highest heaven, thy fatherland, 
From weary banishment set free, 
Armoured in immortality, 
Stronger than Fortune thou dost stand. 

Thou standest in thine ancient home. 
Our very clay, a lifeless mass. 
When into it the soul doth pass 
Doth stronger, brighter still become. 

Strong streams of being onward roll, 
But if the soul be fled away, 
'Tis crumbling dust and senseless clay ; 
So God is of the soul the soul. 

Without Him night is round it made, 
And darkness in the things that seem ; 
And good is but a passing dream, 
And evil but a fleeting shade. 

When Man hath drained the Godhead-cup, 
Their flight the dark illusions wing ; 
And truth shines out, and the dayspring 
Shines on her, deepening on and up. 

320 Poems and Translations 

On her no twilight comes ; no night 
In her dull robe of hodden-gray 
Breaks down, breaks down the golden day, 
And robs of truth the spirit's sight. 

And peace that none interpreteth 
Comes on thee in their loud acclaim, 
Yet think not that below thy name 
Is compassed of the shades of death. 

The voice of envy waxes dumb, 
The fire of envy reels and faints ; 
And soon on all the lands of saints, 
Like some great tide thy fame shall come. 

As Clemens of the barren name, 
As the twin Pauls, who sinned alway, 
And Julius, like a beast of prey, 
And Pius of the impious fame ; 

As all these feared thee, all shall fear ; 
These souls of shame shall know thy power ; 
And thou art with them in this hour ; 
Their painted sham shall know thee near. 

And on his proud Quirinal hill 
That grim old lord of steel and flame 
And shall my song rehearse his name ? 
These are the signs that point him still. 

The Charon-coin he loved so well ; 
The fury with the torch of flame ; 
The Harpy's ravin without name, 
And the three-headed hound of Hell. 

All powers of Hell were his desire ; 
Yet in his kingdom of the night, 
Dazed by the onset of the light, 
And blasted by the bolt of fire, 

All his shall be the pains of Hell, 
And his the thirsty Lydian's lake, 
Rolling for his old evil's sake 
Rocks up the hills unscalable, 

Joannis Calvini Epicedium 321 

Or doomed to be the vulture's meal, 
Or doomed the hollow sieve to fill 
With water running, running still, 
Or stretched upon Ixion's wheel. 


(By R. K. Winter, United College, Si. Andrews.) 

Saith one to me, ' Beyond the grave 
The soul doth die ' : perchance he saith 
' The spirit liveth, let that faith 

Guide me in life ' : for he would have 

The pit of Hell his goal, and pain 

For aye beneath the Stygian pool ; 

Yet all deserving, let the fool 
Bemoan his fate ! let him again 

Make mourning for his coming death, 
While yet on earth : let him bestow 
On every man his gift of woe, 

Yea on his friends, the best he hath ! 

And thee O Calvin, tho' thy day 

Was scarcely spent, that Jealous One, 
For that thou valiant deeds hadst done, 

From friends unwilling snatched away. 

Yet were it wrong thy death to mourn, 

To load thy bier with empty show 

Of pageant-mockery, or woe 
That doth bespeak the heart forlorn. 

For thou art free from cares, and free 
From blind Earth and her travailing : 
'Mid stars thou'rt nearer to the King, 

Thy earthly mind did shew to thee. 

Thou dost enjoy Him : yea 'tis thine 

To see in light unmarred by shade 

The very light of God display'd, 
And slake thy thirst with draught divine, 

1 Second Prize Translation. 

322 Poems and Translations 

That comforteth. And so for aye 
An endless life that hath no care 
Thou livest : nor can sad Despair 

Those lasting pleasures sweep away : 

Nor Hope dethrone, the drunken-blind 
With empty joy, nor Fear can kill, 
Nor body that our souls doth fill, 

And filling breeds distempered mind. 

The day that took thee from the gall 
Of sorrow, 'mid the stars to stand, 
To see again thy Father's land, 

Thy birthday feast I rightly call. 

And after exile's loathed chain 
No Death in store thy soul is free 
From grinning Fortune's tyranny, 

And hath begun its endless reign. 

Within our membered frame the breath 
Thro' sluggish mass its way doth take, 
That so bestirred it may awake, 

Fed by the life that quickeneth. 

And if that breath hath fled away 

The corse lies dead a senseless frame, 
A loathed thing without a name, 

A worthless heap of crumbled clay. 

Thus God the soul's breath is ; the mind 
That hath Him not, is plung'd in night, 
Lays hold on wraiths of good and right 

But mocking shapes of truth to find. 

But waking to that fairest day 
Thy majesty O Lord to see 
Then break those gloomy clouds and flee, 

The mocking visions haste away. 

Unswathed by guile, in endless light, 
Pure Truth her fairest form doth show : 
No closing eve that day doth know, 

Nor sable-crowned, churlish night. 

Joannis Calvini Epicedium 323 

The haven reached, the bar is crost, 

The sky resounds with joyful psalm ; 

Now may'st thou lie in quiet calm 
Yet Calvin's name shall ne'er be lost. 

Tho' jealous Death hath taken thee, 
Thy deeds below will ever claim 
Their mem'ry's due : and when the flame, 

That fitful flare of enmity, 

Hath laid to rest her flickering, 

Then every shore whereon there gleams 
The torch of faith with purest beams, 

Shall Calvin's name in glory sing. 

Foul brethrens' twin-deceit thy word 

Dismay'd, and Clement false in name, 

Pius renowned 'mid brother's shame ; 
Mad Julius feared, and owned thee lord. 

So hast thou wrought : the very shade 

Of that thy name, thy spirit's ghost 

Live on, and mad Belief's vain host 
Shall look on thee and be afraid. 

The tyrant breathing flame and sword, 
Against himself with raving burned, 
The panoply of Hell hath turned, 

E'en he that sate before the Lord. 

The Arch-fiend, with his world below, 

The Harpies with foul robbery, 

With fire the Furies, with his fee 
The Ferryman, Hell's every woe 

Against himself will each one bring 

Mark Cerberus with the triple crown, 

Amazed at truth revealed, cast down 
By Calvin's speech fierce-thundering. 

Thirsting 'mid streams, adown the hill 
Rolleth the stone, birds rend his heart, 
Teareth the wheel his limbs apart, 

Filling the cruise that none can fill. 


Gcncthliacon Jacob! Sexti Regis Scotorum. 

Silvae VII., not VIII. as Ruddvman has numbered it. 

THIS birthday-ode, written on the birth of James in 1566, is noteworthy in BO 
far as it helps to clear away some misapprehension. It shows at once that 
Buchanan's opinions had changed or were changing, and Queen Mary was 
almost of necessity bound to recognise that her own position was threatened. 
The poem is really in verse what the De Jure is in prose, and had the same 
effect. Buchanan apostrophises the infant prince as the hope of all who 
desired peace, but parents are advised, "in verse of Virgilian elevation and 
beauty," as to the upbringing of children, and especially of princes. The 
poem is also of value to educational reformers, who realised in Buchanan one 
who sought to accomplish good results rather than fame. 

Cresce puer patriae auspiciis felicibus orte, 
Exspectate puer, cui vatum oracla priorum 
Aurea compositis promittunt secula bellis: 
Tuque peregrinis toties pulsata procellis, 
Pene tuo toties excisa Britannia ferro, 1 
Exsere laeta caput, cohibe pacalis olivae 
Fronde comam, repara flammis foedata, ruinis 
Convulsa, et pulso cole squalida tecta colono: 
Pone metum, aeternam spondent tibi sidera pacem. 
Jam neque Saxonidae Scotos, nee Saxona Scotus 
Infestus premet, et cognato sanguine ferrum 
Polluet, et miseras praedando exhauriet urbes. 
Sed quibus ante feri tractabant arma Gradivi, 
Jam dehinc pacatis conjungent foedera dextris. 
Vos quoque felices felici prole parentes, 
Jam tenerum teneris puerum consuescite ab annis 
Justitiae, sanctumque bibat virtutis amorem 
Cum lacte ; et primis pietas comes addita cunis 

1 In recent editions this verse has been transposed so as to come after the 
line beginning " exsere laeta ..." which here follows it. 

Genethliacon 325 

Conformetque animum, et pariter cum corpore crescat. 

Non ita conversi puppis moderamine clavi 

Flectitur, ut populi pendent a Principe mores. 

Non career, legumque minae, torvaeque secures 

Sic animos terrent trepidos formidine poenae, 

Ut verae virtutis honos, moresque modesti 

Regis, et innocui decus et reverentia sceptri 

Convertunt mentes ad honesta exempla sequaces. 

Sic ubi de patrio redivivus funere phoenix 

Aurorae ad populos redit, 1 et cunabula secum 

Ipse sua, et cineres patris inferiasque decoris 

Fert humeris, quacunque citis adremigat alis, 

Indigenae comitantur aves, celebrantque canoro 

Agmine : uon illas 2 species incognita tantuui, 

Aut picturatae capiunt spectacula pennae, 

Quam pietas, pietas etiam intellecta volucrum 

Sensibus : usque adeo recti natura per omnes 

Diffudit rerum vivacia femina partes. 

Sic in Regem oculos populus defigit, et unum 

Admirantur, amant, imitantur, seque suosque 

Ex hoc ceu speculo tentant effingere mores. 

Quod non sanguinei metuenda potentia ferri 

Exprimet, et nitido florentes aere phalanges, 

Hoc praestabit amor : certat cum Principe vulgus 

Officiis, et amat cum se deprendit amari, 

Et domino servit, quia non servire necesse est: 

Quasque bonus Princeps laxat sponte, arctat habenas, 

Deposcitque jugum quod vi cogente metuque 

Rejecturus erat : contra indulgentior ille 

Rexque paterque suis adimit, subit ipse labores, 

Quaeque jubet primus praeit, et legum aspera jussa 

Mollia parendo facit, erratisque suorum 

Parcere non durus, sibi inexorabilis uni. 

Ille nee in cultu superet mensaque domoque 

Quern posuit natura modum, nee more ferarum 

In Venerem praeceps, sed certo fine pudoris 

Casta colat sancti genialia foedera lecti. 

Quis bombyce ausit cultus foedare viriles, 

1 Hart's Edinburgh edition gives Memphin ab A urora petit. 

2 In all editions except those of Stephen, Patisson, Ruddiman, and 
Burmann, ilia is given. Illas is, however, a better reading. 

326 Poems and Translations 

Si ferat indigenam majestas regia vestem ? 

Quis de lege tori, tanquam fit dura, queratur, 

Cum teneat Regem? Cui non temulentia turpis 

Principe sub sicco ? patrios quis frangere mores 

Audeat, ignavoque animum corrumpere luxu, 

Ipse voluptatum cum Princeps frena coercet, 

Et nimium laetam vitiorum comprimit herbam ? 

Talem Romulidae tranquilla pace fruentem 

Sacrificum videre Numam, Solomonta potentem 

Palmifer Euphrates : non illis lethifer onsis, 

Non bellator equus firmavit regna, nee axis 

Falcifer, aut densis legio conferta 1 maniplis, 

Sed pietatis amor, sed nulli noxia virtus, 

Fretaque praefidio majestas juris inermi. 

At qui gemmiferos victor penetravit ad Indos 

Dux Macedum, quique Ausoniam tenuere superbo 

Imperio Reges, aut ferro aut tabe veneni 

Effudere animas, et caedem caede piarunt. 

Scilicet humano generi natura benigni 

Nil dedit, aut tribuet moderate Principe majus, 

In quo vera Dei vivensque elucet imago. 

Hanc seu Rex vitiis contaminet ipse pudendis, 

Sive alius ferro violet vel fraude, severas 

Sacrilego Deus ipse petet de sanguine poenas, 

Contemtumque sui simulacri haud linquet inultum. 

Sic Nero crudelis, sic Flavius ultimus, 2 et qui 

Imperio Siculas urbes tenuere cruento, s 

Effigiem foedare Dei exitialibus ausi 

Flagitiis, ipsa periere a stirpe recisi. 

Sic qui se justi macularunt sanguine Servi, 4 

Et qui legitimos ferro flammaque petivit 

Rectores patriae Catilina nefarius, acti 

In furias misero vix tandem funere vitam 

1 Thus Andrew Hart's Edinburgh edition, Ruddiman's, and Burmann'a, 
but all others have conferta. 

2 The reference is presumably to Titus Flavius Domitian, who was slain 
by his freedman, A.D. 96. 

3 Superbo is given in all the editions, except in Andrew Hart's, Ruddiman's, 
and Burmann's, where cruento is employed as above. Only a few lines before, 
the phrase ttnuere mperbo is given. 

4 Servius, sixth King of Rome, who perished in consequence of having 
been flung down the steps of the Senate House by Tarquin. 

Genethliacon 327 

Invisam posuere, ignominiaque perenni 
Foedavere suam ventura in secula gentem. 

Haec tenero 1 addiscat, mature exerceat aevo, 
Et regnare putet multo se latius, orae 
Hesperiae fuscos quam si conjunxerit Indos, 
Si poterit rex esse sui. 2 [Dum firmior art us 
Vis reget atque animum, puerilia murmura dulces 
Interea Charites atque eluctantia verba 
Component, Musisque dabunt rude pectus alendum: 
Inde notas discet, per quas absentibus absens 
Quid juvet aut doleat caris exponat amicis : 
Quae dirimant verum a falso discrimina certa : 
Quae quibus aut pugnent, aut non invita sequantur : 
Quod genus eloquii flammatas leniat iras, 
Quod refides acuat : quae vis regat aetheris orbes : 
An sponte aeternos volvat natura meatus. 
Turn de Socraticis sese cognoscere chartis 
Incipiet, si Socraticae modo pandere chartae 
Vera queant : mox coeligenis se firmior aetas 
Conformet Musis, dignoscere sacra profanis 
Apta quid intersint : sumet praecepta rebelles 
Hinc domitura animos ; et bello et pace regendi 
Imperii veram sacris de fontibus artem 
Discet. Ad hanc omnes normam si sedulus actus 
Finxerit in patrias felix succedet habenas.] 


(by J. Longmuir, LL.D., Aberdeen, 1871). 

Grow, with glad omens for thy country born, 

Desired boy, to whom the oracles 

Of former seers promise a golden age, 

Wars hush'd to rest. And thou, Britannia, beat 

So oft by foreign tempests, and so oft 

By thine own weapon almost quite destroy 'd, 

Lift gladden'd now thy head, thy hopes confirm'd, 

1 The Basel edition, Stephen's and Patisson's give tener, the Commelinian 
edition (1594) and Andrew Hart's give tenera, while all other and more recent 
editions support the reading in the text. 

2 All editions, except Hart's Edinburgh edition, finish the poem with this 
line Si poterit Rex esse sui, Rzx esse feuarum. Hart's, along with Ruddiman's 
and Burmann's, omit Rex es-ie suoram, and add the remaining lines here given. 

328 Poems and Translations 

With boughs of peaceful olive bind thy hair, 
Repair thy dwellings blackened with flames, 
And trim, foul with neglect, the dwellers fled : 
Dismiss thy boding fears, thy troublous cares, 
The stars now promise thee eternal peace. 
Now neither shall the Saxon's sons the Scot, 
Nor hostile Scot the Saxon shall oppress, 
And stain with kindred blood the deadly steel, 
And wretched cities waste by siege and sack. 
But who aforetime fierce Gradivus' arms 
Were wont to wield in conflict shall henceforth 
In treaties join, and clasp right hands in peace. 

Ye happy parents of a happy offspring, 
Bless'd twain, from tender years the tender boy 
Accustom unto justice, let him drink 
The holy love of virtue with his milk; 
Let piety, companion of his life, 
From his first cradle even on him wait, 
And mould his mind and with his body grow. 
Less steers the ship her course at government 
Of the turn'd helm, than on the Prince depend 
The people's manners. Not imprisonment, 
Nor threats of laws, nor headsman's axes grim 
So frighten with the fear of punishment 
Their trembling minds, as honour of true worth, 
And gentle manners of a Prince, and grace 
And awful reverence of harmless sceptre 
Their pliant wills much imitative bend, 
And draw to an example honourable. 
Thus when the Phoenix, from his father's dust 
Arisen, returns to Memphis from the dawn, 
And with him bears his cradle, with him bears 
Upon his shoulders, sparkled with bright hues, 
His father's ashes and due offerings, 
Where'er with nimble wings he oars the sky, 
The native birds accompany in flocks, 
And sing his praises in resounding train ; 
Them not so much the species unknown, 
And spectacle of pictured pens attract, 
As piety, piety even known 
By wild-bird's senses: to so great degree 

Genethliacon 329 

Hath Nature throughout all her parts diffused 

The living seeds of right. So on the King 

The people fix their eyes, and him alone 

Admire, love, imitate, and by this glass 

Endeavour, as it were, to form themselves 

And all their manners. What not the dread power 

Of bloody sword, nor phalanx blossoming 

In sheeny brass, shall out of them wring, that 

Affection will make good : when with the Prince 

In offices of love the vulgar vie, 

And love when they perceive that they are loved, 

And serve their lord because they need not serve; 

And the reins tighten, which the gracious Prince 

Spontaneously relaxes, and demand 

The yoke, which, were it urged by force or fear, 

They would reject: he, on the other hand, 

A more indulgent father and a King 

Takes the yoke off, himself toil undergoes, 

And in whatever he commands precedes, 

And by obedience makes the harsh behests 

Of statutes easy, nor is stern, nor loth 

To spare transgressions by his subjects done, 

Inexorable to himself alone ; 

Nor let him overpass in dress, in board, 

In house, the measure Nature hath laid down, 

Nor headlong in the manner of wild beasts 

To lechery rush, but within sure bounds 

Of blushful modesty preserve the chaste 

And genial league of holy marriage bed. 

Who durst demean the manly dress with silk, 

If Royal Majesty wear native robes? 

Who of the law of marriage bed complain, 

Though it be hard, when it doth bind the King? 

To whom would drunkenness not shameful seem 

Under a sober Prince ? Who dare to break 

Ancestral customs, and the mind debauch 

With lazy luxury, when the Prince himself 

The bridle of his pleasures tight holds in, 

And checks the too luxuriant herb of vices. 

Such an one saw the sons of Romulus, 

Numa the Priest enjoying tranquil peace; 

330 Poems and Translations 

Palmy Euphrates, potent Solomon : 

For them not deadly sword, nor warrior steed 

The realm maintained, nor scythe-bearing car, 

Nor legion thronged with dense maniples, 

But love of piety, virtue hurting none, 

And Majesty on the unarm'd defence 

Of right reliant, and unsullied faith. 

But who victorious, through the lands of Dawn, 

The leader of the Macedonian host, 

To the gem-bearing Indi penetrated, 

And Kings who held Ausonia in proud sway, 

Or poured forth their lives by sword, or stain 

Of blood-corrupting poison, and by death 

For deaths innumerable caused atoned. 

Nought better surely Nature hath conferr'd 

Upon the human race, nor greater will, 

Then a devout and temperate Prince, in whom 

The true and living image of God shines. 

That whether he himself by shameless vice 

Contaminate, or other violate 

By sword or treachery, God will exact 

Severest punishment in his wicked blood, 

Nor leave his spurned likeness unavenged. 

Thus cruel Nero, thus last Flavius, 

And they who the Sicilian cities held 

'Neath bloody sceptre, daring to pollute 

The image of God with pernicious vices, 

Perish'd entirely, to the root cut off. 

So who them stain'd with righteous Servius' blood, 

And wicked Catiline, who sought by sword 

And flame his country's lawful magistrates, 

Driven into fury, scarce at length laid down 

Their hated lives by a most wretched death, 

And with an everlasting ignominy 

Disgraced their nation to all coming time. 

These precepts let him learn in tender age, 

And practise in mature, and let him deem 

He reigns more widely, than if he conjoin'd 

The dusk Hindoos to the Hesperian shore, 

If of himself, and of his passions King. 

When firmer strength shall rule his limbs and mind, 

Genethliacon 331 

His boyish murmurs, and his struggling words 

The Graces sweet will fashion, and will give 

His rude breast to the Muses to be train'd ; 

Thence will he learn the marks, by which what grieves 

Or pleases, he, though absent, may express 

To absent friends beloved ; what certain marks 

Discriminate the specious from the true; 

What contradicts, or necessarily follows; 

What kind of language soothes inflamed wrath, 

What kindles it when smouldering; what force rules 

The orbs of heaven; or whether Nature rolls 

Her maze eternal of her proper force. 

Next he'll begin by the Socratic chart 

To know himself, if by Socratic chart 

Truth can indeed be known : now firmer age, 

Fit to distinguish sacred from profane, 

Adapts him for the heaven-begotten Muses : 

Thence will he get the precepts that subdue 

Rebellious passions; from the sacred fount 

Learn the true art of ruling commonwealths 

In peace and war. If careful to this rule 

He all his acts conform, he will succeed 

And happily to his forefathers' throne. 


Miscellaneous Poems and Translations. 

I. Hymnus Matutinus ad Christum (Ruddiman, Folio tome II., p. 101) 
II. In Aulum (Epiyrammatum Liber I. /.). 

III. Coena Gavini Archiepiscopi Glascuenais (Epigrammatum Liber I. 


IV. In Doletum (Epigrammatum Liber I. LXIV.). 

V. Joanni Areskino, Comiti Marriae, Scotorum Proregi (Mificellaneorum 

Liber XXV.). 

VI. Ad Alisam e Morbo pallidam et macilentam (Elegiarum Liber VI.). 
VII. Patricio Buchanano fratri (Epigrammatum Liber II. XXIII.). 
VIII. Petro Planoio Parisiensi (Epigrammatum Liber II. XX. ). 
IX. In Castitatem (Miscellaneorum Liber II. ). 
X. De Equo Eulogium (Silvae VI., not VII. as Ruddiman has numbered 

it, although in his Index it is rightly numbered). 
XI. Hymnua in Christi Ascensionem (Miscellaneorum Liber XXXVI.). 

Hymnus Matutinus 333 

I. Hymnus Matutinus ad Christum. 

Proles parentis optimi, 
Et par parent! maximo, 
De luce vera vera lux, 
Verusque de Deo Deus: 

En nox recessit, jam nitet 
Aurora luce praevia, 
Coelum solumque purpurans, 
Et clausa tenebris detegens. 

Sed fuscat ignorantiae 
Caligo nostra pectora, 
Et nubilis erroribus 
Mens pene cedit obruta. 

Exurge sol purissime, 
Diemque da mundo suum : 
Nostramque noctem illuminans 
Erroris umbram discute. 

Dissolve frigus horridum ; 
Arvumque nostri pectoris, 
Galore lampadis tuae, 
Humore purga noxio : 

Ut irrigetur coelitus 
Roris beati nectare, 
Et centuplo cum foenore 
Coeleste semen proferat. 


(By Rev. Dr. A. Gordon Mitchell, Killearn.) 

Son of God Who wield'st by right 

Equal sovran rod, 
Very Light of very Light, 

Very God of God, 
Lo ! the morn bids night begone, 

And her shadows fly, 
As the rosy -fingered dawn 

Gilds the earth and sky. 

334 Poems and Translations 

But our wildered breasts remain 

Ever dark and blind, 
And a cloud of errors vain 

Broods upon our mind. 
Dawn upon our darksome night, 

Sun of peerless ray ! 
Shining as the morning light 

To the perfect day. 

Melt our hearts, and purge their soil 
With Thy kindly flame 

From the mists that round them coil- 
Mists of death and shame ; 

That Thy dew may bless Thy field- 
Draught of heavenly wine 

Till an hundred-fold it yield 
Fruit of seed divine. 

II. In Aulum. 

Mnam mihi promissam iubeo numerare Calenum : 

Abnuit ille : Aulum consulo caussidicum. 

Is mihi iudicio suadet contendere : caussam 

Suscipit: hac quicquam justius esse negat, 

Quam mihi dum peragit decimumque extendit in annum, 

Pene decem decies iam peri ere minae. 

Ne lis quod superest exhauriat aeris et aevi, 

Vito reum pariter caussidicumque meum. 

Certum est nil posthac promittentive Caleno, 

Hortanti aut aulo credere. Caussa vale. 

Quaeris utrum fugiam magis ? Aulum : namque Calenus 

Verba dare, ast Aulus vendere verba solet. 


(by " Rufus" in " Notes and Queries," April 6th, 1860). 

Calenus owed a single pound, which yet 
With all my dunning I could never get. 
Tired of fair words, whose falsehood I foresaw, 
I hied to Aulus, learned in the law. 

Gavini Archiepiscopi Glascuensis 335 

He heard my story, bade me " Never fear, 

There was no doubt no case could be more clear : 

He'd do the needful in the proper place, 

And give his best attention to the case." 

And this he may have done for it appears 

To have been his business for the last ten years, 

Though on his pains ten times ten pounds bestow'd 

Have not regain'd that one Calenus owed. 

Now fearful lest this unproductive strife 

Consume at once my fortune and my life, 

I take the only course I can pursue, 

And shun my debtor and my lawyer too. 

I've no more hope from promises or laws, 

And heartily renounce both debt and cause 

But if with either rogue I've more to do, 

I'll surely choose my debtor of the two ; 

For though I credit not the lies he tells, 

At least he gives me what the other sells. 

III. Coena Gavini Archiepiscopi Glascuensis. 

Praesulis accubui postquam conviva Gavini, 

Dis non invideo nectar et ambrosiam. 
Splendida coena, epulae lautae ambitione remota, 

Tetrica Cecropio seria tincta sale : 
Coetus erat Musis numero par, nee sibi dispar 
Doctrina, ingenio, simplicitate, fide. 
Ipse alios supra facundo prominet ore, 

Qualis Castalii praeses Apollo chori. 
Sermo erat aetherei de majestate tonantis, 

Ut tulerit nostrae conditionis onus: 
Ut neque concretam Divina potentia labem 

Hauserit in fragili corpore tecta hominis: 
Nee licet in servi Dominus descenderit artus, 

Naturam exuerint membra caduca suam. 
Quisquis adest dubitat scholane immigrant in aulam, 

An magis in mediam venerit aula scholam. 
Juppiter Aethiopum convivia solus habeto, 

Dum mihi concedas Praesulis ore frui. 

336 Poems and Translations 


(by T. D. Robb, M.A., Paitley). 

I'VE dined with Gavin, Glasgow's great High-Priest, 
And never more may grudge the gods their feast 
Of nectar and ambrosia. The board 
Was richly served, yet all in rare accord 
With simple taste; and, finely gracing it, 
Discourse severe enlived with Attic wit. 

In number we were equal to the Nine; 

And, equal in ourselves, none might outshine 

The wit and learning of his company ; 

And each in other felt delight to see 

An equal truth and honour. If one might boast 

Preeminence, we yield it to our host, 

Who, in his easy eloquence supreme, 

Led us, as Phoebus by Castalia's stream 

Leads round the tripping ringlets of his choir. 

We spoke of Heavenly Love, that could inspire 
The mighty God to leave his lofty throne, 
And take our mean condition for His own ; 
And marvelled how in tenement of clay 
No coarse infection soiled Him, no decay 
Crumbled the Majesty that dwelt within; 
How, like the lowest, He felt desire of sin 
Trouble His frailty, yet His lordly soul 
Triumphed, and held its Godhead pure and whole. 

So high our converse; yet so light a grace 
Relieved it, that we doubted if the place 
Were court or college; whether a banqueting 
Of courtly scholar or of scholar-king. 

Let Jove in sandy Ammon choose to dine 
When Ethiopians heap his bloody shrine ; 
Far though he fare, yet would I thrice so far 
Only to feast on words with great D unbar. 

Joanni Areskino 337 

IV, In Doletum. 

Carmina quod sensu careant, mirare, Doleti ? 
Quando qui scripsit carmina, mente caret. 


(by J. 0. W. H. in " Notes and Queries," Aug. 3rd, 1850). 

Boletus writes verses and wonders ahem 

When there's nothing in him, that there's nothing in them. 

V. Joanni Areskino, Comiti Marriae, Scotorum 

Si quis Areskinum memoret per bella ferocem, 

Pace gravem uulli, tempore utroque pium ; 
Si quis opes sine fastu, animum sine fraude, carentem 

Rebus in ambiguis suspicione fidem ; 
Si quod ob has dotes saevis jactata procellis 

Fugit in illius patria fessa sinum ; 
Vera quidem memoret, sed non et propria: laudes 

Qui pariter petet has unus et alter erit. 
Illud ei proprium est, longo quod in ordine vitae 

Nil odium aut livor quod reprehendat habet. 


(by Rev. Dr. A. Gordon Mitchell, Killearn). 

Should any say that worthy Mar 
Was tneek in peace and brave in war, 
That both whene'er he drew the sword 
And sheathed it, still he feared the Lord ; 
Should we his character extol 
As a rich man of humble soul, 
Able but guileless, and without 
Suspicion, where was room for doubt ; 
And should we add, his native land, 
Betossed by storms on every hand, 
To his great spirit looked for rest 
And found a haven in his breast 

338 Poems and Translations 

We nothing but the truth should tell, 
Yet should we not pourtray him well ; 
For other names than his might claim 
For equal virtues equal fame. 
But here is his peculiar praise 
That in the course of all his days 
Nor hate, nor envy of his fame 
Can find in him a fault to blame. 

VI. Ad Alisam e Morbo Pallidam et Macilentam, 

Verane te facies miseranda ostendit Alisa, 

Anne oculos fallax decipit umbra meos? 1 
Sed neque decipiunt oculos modus oris et artuum, 

Et Charitum quales vix rear esse pedes : 
Et tua qui semper sequitur vestigia, sive 

Discere vult gestus, sive docere, decor. 
Sed quota, me miserum, pars haec illius Alisae est, 

Inter Hamadryadas quae modo prima fuit ? 
Heu color, et vultus sine rusticitate modesti, 

Et lepor, et blandis ira proterva minis ! 
Heu ubi lethiferas spirantia lumina flammas, 

Et matutinis aemula labra rosis ! 
An tibi Thessalici vis perniciosa veneni 

Torret ad arcanos cerea membra focos ? 
Aemulus an livor te perdidit ? et venus ipsa 

Indoluit formae dicta secunda tuae ? 
At tibi ego infelix senium deforme timebam, 

Et cum rugosis pallida labra genis, 
Et quaecunque olim longinqui temporis aetas 

Invida formosis damna parare solet. 
Sed tenero securus eram de flore, nee unquam 

Credideram tantum fata ego posse nefas. 
Vos o, quas penes est vitaeque necisque potestas, 

Sortitae nimium regna superba Deae, 
Quale decus primo fraudatis flore juventae? 

Debuit hoc vestris non licuisse colis. 
Si vos forte juvant fletus prope busta recentes, 

1 Robert Stephen's and Patisson's editions wrongly print tuos. 

Ad Alisam 339 

Et semper lacrymis tincta 1 favilla novis: 
Carpite inaturosque scnes, vetulasque rigentes, 

Sparsaque vix raris tempora cana comis : 
Carpite quos inopis torquent 2 fastidia vitae, 

Quique velint anuos praecipitare suos. 
Parcite formosis, breve ver dum transvolet aevi, 

Parva mora haud parvi muneris instar erit. 
O fera Persephone, nimium 3 dilecta tyranno, 

Quern luctus miseri, vinclaque saeva' 1 juvant, 
Non ego te facie credo placuisse marito, 

Saevitia captus palluit ille tua. 
Tune potes virides annos fraudare juventa? 

Et modo nascentem praesecuisse comam ? 
Totque animas anima perdes crudelis in una? 

Heu frustra votis saepe vocata piis ! 
At puto non longum laetabere, si modo verum est 

Ditis inhumani pectus amore capi. 
Sit licet et ferro, sit durior aere rigenti, 

Asperior furiis sit licet ille suis : 
Hanc semel adspiciat, feritas placata quiescet, 

Atque hunc, qui vincit omnia, vincet Amor. 
Turn tibi praelatam neglecta dolebis Alisam, 

Et viduum flebis frigida sero torum. 
Quin animum nostris frange exorata querelis, 

Victuraeque brevem temporis adde moram. 
Quod tibi das, nobis poteris tribuisse videri: 

Et lacrymas nobis, et tibi deine metum. 


(by T. D. in " Blackwood's Magazine," Nov. 1822). 

Hath death that cheek of all its bloom bereaved ? 

Art thou some shade that visits earth again ? 
No, in that form I cannot be deceived 

That step of which the Graces might be vain; 

1 Andrew Hart's edition gives sparsa instead of tincta. 

2 In the editions of Robert Stephen and Patisson capiant is given instead 
of torquent. 

3 Basel Edition gives merito instead of nimium. 

* Stephen and Patisson reverse the order of the words in this phrase 
saevaque vincla. 

340 Poems and Translations 

Those orbs, whose radiance sorrow cannot kill, 

For ever gentle never, yet, too free 
The modesty that waits upon thee still, 

Though not to teach but learn to look like thee; 

Oh ! they bespeak Alisa but those sighs, 

What mean they? and that face, how changed its hue- 
Where is the joy that lived within those eyes 

The lips like early roses dipt in dew? 

That healthful glow, still elegant the while 
That pride becoming pensiveness serene, 

Where are they ? where the fascinating smile, 

And every charm that form'd the maiden Queen? 

Doth some foul sorceress mould each matchless limb 
In wax, to waste before the lingering fire ? 

Doth Venus' jealousy thy beauties dim, 
No longer, now, the goddess of desire ? 

Such was the flower. How hard, methought, it seem'd, 
That it must yield to time to age unkind ! 

But still methought the bud was safe, nor dream 'd 
That fate would be so pitiless or blind. 

Oh ! hags, who shape the thread of all our years, 
And grudgingly mete out our span of day, 

This life was not intended for your shears 
Ye should have sought for some maturer prey. 

If ye delight in tears for ever new 

Take still the fruit but let the blossom live; 

Call but on those whose debt of breath is due 
Who bow them to the sentence that ye give. 

Ruthless Persephone thy boasted charms 

Ne'er conquer'd Pluto he but loved thy frown 

'Twas this that brought thee to the tyrant's arms 
Yes to thy cruelty thou owest thy crown, 

Else wouldst thou turn aside the murderous dart 
From her whose fragile life is scarce begun, 

Nor give to sorrow many a bleeding heart, 
And, reckless, kill a thousand souls in one. 

Patricio Buchanano 341 

Beware, hard Queen thine Empire may be brief; 

If Love the gloomy heart of Dis can stir ; 
Take heed thou seest not an unlook'd-for grief, 

And feelst thyself deserted, and for her. 

Beware in time oh, jealous Queen, beware ! 

For it may hap thy close of power is near ; 
In prudence seem to listen to our prayer 

To give to Pity, what thou yieldst to Fear. 

VII, Patricio Buchanano fratri. 

Si mihi private fas indulgere dolori, 

Ereptum, f rater, te mihi jure fleam : 
Nostra bonis raros cui protulit artibus aetas, 

Et nivea morum simplicitate pares. 
At si gratandum laetis est rebus amici, 

Gratulor immensis quod potiare bonis. 
Omnia quippe piae 1 vitae et sinceriter actae 

Praemia securus non peritura tenes. 


(by Rev. Dr. A. Gordon Mitchell, Killearn). 

If it be right to give a fee-grief scope, 

Well may I weep thee, brother, torn apart, 
With whom in culture few indeed could cope, 
Or in thy snowy purity of heart ; 
But if to gratulate on good be part 
Of friend, I thee congratulate on this : 

That dreadless now thou boldest where thou art 
The meed eterne of holy life in bliss. 

VIIL Petro Plancio Parisiensi. 

Fessus Atlantiades toties transmittere nubes, 

Taenariam toties ire, redire viam : 
Ante Jovem supplex stetit, et finire labores 
Postulat, aut socium qui relevaret onus. 
1 Perhaps pie. 

342 Poems and Translations 

Aequa petis, (ait ille) petisque in tempore, nam te 

Qui juvet, aut nemo, aut Plancius unus erit. 
Saepe ego per tenebras vidi sum scanderet Alpes 

Concretae gelidum findere marmor aquae: 
Vidi cum fessos cursu praeverteret Euros, 

Et Zephyri lentos antevolaret equos. 
Non labor insomnis, non saevae injuria brumae, 

Non sitis aestiferi cum furit ira canis: 
Non salebris colles, non coeno undante paludes, 

Non scopulis torrens impediebat iter. 
Quid referam ingenium, magnaeque capacia curae 

Pectora, custodem depositique fidem ? 
Eloquiumque potens mandatis addere pondus, 

Comere res tenues, promere difficiles ? 
Et facilem quamvis ad caetera munia mentem, 

Difficilem falli muneribusque capi ? 
Hunc age : 1 quam primum volat ille, et mole relicta 

Corporis, Eridanus qua Ligus urget aquas, 
Astra, Deum plaudente choro, novus incola scandit 

Plancius, et superum jussa minister obit. 
Sis felix licet, 2 usque tuis decus, et dolor ingens, 

Ultima nos donee mittet in astra dies. 

Cura, fides, labor, ingenium, vigilantia, Planci, 

Fecerunt carum civibus esse tuis. 
Jam virtus, hominumque favor spondebat honores, 

Et meritis regum conciliatus honor. 
Sed vulgaris honos meritis minor : ergo abiisti 

Illo, ubi virtuti verus habetur honos. 


(by H. Bonnevie, L-es-L., Paris University). 

Fatigue de courir par les airs, et tres las 
D'avoir fait tant de fois le chemin de Tenare, 
Le messager des Dieux, le descendant d' Atlas, 

1 In all editions except Ruddiman's and Burmann's there is no punctua- 
tion mark after age. Ruddiman considered that the meaning of the passage 
required it. 

2 There seemed some uncertainty as to whether the comma should be after 
licet or after tisqite. 

3 The two French translations given were placed equal for the Steele 
Prize offered to students of Paris University. 

Petro Plancio Parisiensi 343 

S'en va vers Jupiter, suppliant, lui declare 
Qu'il est extenue : ' ' Termine mes travaux 
Ou me donne un compain pour alleger ma peine." 
' ' Ton placet est f onde, dit Jupiter ; tu vaux 
D'etre ecoute . . . Pour toi vraiment la bonne aubaine, 
Le Fran9ais Pl'ancius viendra bientot t'aider. 
Lui seul le peut. Mes yeux, qui percent les nuits sombres, 
Ont vu, combien de fois ! . . . . cet homme escalader 
Les monts italiens aux gigantesques ombres, 
Briser a grand ahan le marbre des glaciers, 
Fatiguer de 1'Eurus les escadrons rapides, 
Et du Zephyr trop lent depasser les coursiers. 
Rien n'arretait jamais ses elans intrepides, 
Ni la nuit, ni le froid qui mord cruellement, 
Ni 1'estivale soif, quand la chaleur fait rage, 
Ni du mont orgueilleux le haut escarpement, 
Ni le marais bourbeux, ni le torrent sauvage, 
Roulant parmi ses eaux des rocs a grand fracas. 
a A quoi bon rappeler la ressource infinie 
De son esprit, egal aux plus graves tracas, 
Sa ferine bonne foi nette de felonie, 
Et son parler subtil, habile a menager 
Le poids de 1'eloquence aux mandats de son prince, 
Aux sujets embrouilles donnant un tour leger, 
Sauvant par 1'agrement le sujet le plus mince ? . . . 
Je passe cependant nombre d'autres talents 
Ou 1'or ne pouvait rien, ni la fausse grimace 
Des vils menteurs .... Vers vous, astres etincelants, 
Ayant laisse du corps la trop pesante masse 
Aux pays d'outre-mont ou coule a flots presses 
L'Eridan ligurien, deja Plancius grimpe. 
Et vous, celestes Dieux, en choeur applaudissez 
Ce nouvel habitant du sejour de 1'Olympe, 
De vos ordres sacres ce serviteur accort. 
Sois heureux, que ton sang de toi se glorifie, 
Moi je te pleurerai jusqu'a ce que la mort 
Aux astres m'envoyant me surprenne a la vie. 

Air Mfc.MK. 

Tes soucis Plancius, ton labeur incessant, 
Tes talents qui seront d'eternelle memoire 

344 Poems and Translations 

T'ont valu des Frar^ais 1'amour reconnaissant . . . 
Les hommes et les rois te promettaient la gloire; 
Mais quel vulgaire honneur pourrait-il egaler 
Les si rares vertus que ton grand cceur abrite? 
Done ton ame a voulu dans les cieux s'en aller. 
Pour trouver des honneurs dignes de ton merite. 


(by W. H. Hamilton, United College, St. Andrews). 

Wearied with long cloud-lofty wayfarings, 
Tired of the star-white way of beating wings, 
With prayerful feet nigh Jove the swift god came 
Craving but rest, or proffering mild claim 
For one to share his labours. 

" Happy thou," 

Cried Jove, " to find so fit an hour as now; 
For one can aid thee Plancius alone ! 
Him oft these eyes 'neath the night-murk have known 
Scaling the Alps, shiv'ring the crystal ice ; 
Seen him outstrip the east wind in a trice 
Or fly the falling zephyrs. Wakeful toil 
Nor bitter-wounding winter gave recoil ; 
Nor parching burns of summer, nor any height, 
Nor muddy tarns, nay not the sheer crag's might 
Could give him pause. What tongue with what great art 
Should praise his wit and his great faithful heart ? 
His words that made commander of his will, 
And smoothed the rough, and the mean with worth could fillt 
His mind alive to Duty, assayed in vain 
By guile and gold ? " 

Forthwith he speeds amain 
O'er Italy, a spirit freed of earth. 
The singing spheres loud hail his heavenly birth, 
Upraising lauds in choir, as through the sky 
Comes Plancius forth to serve the gods most high. 
There be thou happy, O glory and grief of thy kin, 
Till once we too thy timeless haunt may win. 

* * * * # 

Thy loyal labours, wit, and watchful care 

Petro Plancio Parisiensi 345 

Won thee thy country's love ; and virtue rare 
Conspired with men and monarchs to advance 
Thy worthiness to high inheritance. 
Too poor were all our honours ; thou art there 
Where valour hath at last the wages fair. 


(by H. Petitmangin, Paris University). 
Mercure fatigue de voler vers la terre, 
D'aller et de venir sur 1'infernal chemin, 
Supplia Jupiter de finir sa misere 
Ou d'accorder quelqu'un qui lui pretat la main. 
" C'est justice et tu fais a propos ta requete: 
" Car un seul peut t'aider, Pierre Planche est son nom, 
" Repond le dieu. Souvent la nuit, gagnant la crete, 
" Des alpes je 1'ai vu fouler le dur gla9on ; 
" Je 1'ai vu depasser 1'Eurus, et le Zephyre 
" Pour lui semblait porte par des chevaux trop lents. 
" Un travail sans repos, 1'hiver cruel, ni 1'ire 
" De 1'ete, quand la soif nait des soleils ardents, 
" Ni le marais fangeux, ni la rude montee, 
" Ni 1'ecueil du torrent, rien n'arretait ses pas. 
' ' Pourquoi de son esprit rappeler la portee ? 
" Cette discretion qui ne se lassait pas, 
" Ce ton persuasif dont il savait tout dire, 
" Ornant tous les sujets, ne laissant rien d'obscur? 
" Son genie a tout faire et si prompt et si sur, 
" Pourtant si difficile a tromper ou seduire? 
" Prends-le." Lui, sans tarder, vole. Au meme moment 
Laissant son corps aux lieux ou le P6 se promene 
Pierre, agree des Dieux, s'eleve au firmament 
Et devient messager de leur voix souveraine. 
Sois heureux, toi, 1'honneur des tiens, leur deuil cruel, 
Jusqu'au jour ou la mort nous ouvrira le ciel. 


Diligent, sur, actif, adroit et vigilant, 
Planche, tu meritas 1'amour de ta patrie. 
Les peuples et les rois gagnes sans flatterie 
Allaient bientot d'honneurs couronner ton talent. 
Cette gloire etait peu : la sachant tot fletrie 
Tu fus chercher au ciel un honneur plus constant. 
1 Steele Prize Translation. 

346 Poems and Translations 

IX. In Castitatem. 

Castitas blandi domitrix amoris, 
Castitas vitae specimen prioris, 
Labe cum puras soboles colebat 
Aurea terras. 

Castitas vitae specimen futurae 
Morte cum victa, sociata membris 
Pura mens puris radiantis aulam 
Incolet aethrae. 

Una nee certam Veneris sagittam, 
Jura nee fati metuis severi, 
Quippe quae rursus moriente major 
Morte resurges. 

Pura cum puris agites ut aevum 
Angelis, quorum studium secuta 
Colliges fructus socios secundae 
Reddita vitae. 


(by Rev. Dr. A. Gordon Mitchell, Killearn). 

Chastity, victress of amorous wile, 

Chastity, relic of life as it came 
Fresh from the heavenly Maker, the while 

Earth was untainted and man without blame : 

Chastity, earnest of life yet to be, 

When over death shall be victory won, 

And the soul, in a frame from corruption set free 
Shall dwell in the temple that shines as the sun : 

Thou alone never dreadest the arrow of love, 
Thou alone never tremblest at statutes of fate, 

Inasmuch as thou risest from death, and above 
Thou passest to glory, by dying more great : 

To dwell with the angels in vesture of white, 
Whom ever thou lovedst to reap in the sky 

Thy harvest of friendship and stainless delight, 
Restored to a life that can nevermore die. 

De Equo Elogium 347 

X. De Equo Elogium. 

Caetera rerum opifex animalia finxit ad usus 
Quaeque suos, equus ad cunctos se accommodat unus : 
Plaustra trahit, fert clitellas, fert esseda, terrain 
Voraere proscindit, dominum fert, sive natatu 
Flumina, seu fossam saltu, seu vincere cursu 
Est salebras opus, aut canibus circundare saltus, 
Aut molles glomerare gradus, aut flectere gyros, 
Libera seu vacuis ludat lascivia campis. 
Quod si bella vocent, tremulos vigor acer in artus 
It, domino et socias vomit ore et naribus irae, 
Vulneribusque offert generosum pectus, et una 
Gaudia, moerores 1 sumit ponitque vicissim 
Cum domino : sortem sic officiosus in omnem, 
Ut veteres nobis tarn certo foedere junctum 
Crediderint mixta coalescere posse figura, 
Inque Pelethroniis Centauros edere silvis. 


(by ,7. Longmuir, LL.D. y Aberdeen, 1871). 

The heavenly artist, who with life profuse 
The world endow'd, for some particular use 
All creatures form'd, except the horse alone, 
Who, fit for all, makes every part his own : 
He draws the waggons, wheels the chariot forth, 
The panniers carries, cleaves the fertile earth 
With ploughshare ; bears his master, whether need 
Rough roads to cross, or length of journey speed, 
Or deep ditch leap, or swim the river's tide, 
Or with the hounds surround the forest wide; 
Or round the race-course wheels in rapid flight, 
Or falters on the way with footfall light, 
Or gambols joyous loosen'd from the rein 
In wanton freedom o'er the open plain. 
But if to war the martial trumpet sounds, 
Through every member sprightly vigour bounds ; 
When rage and wrath his master's soul inspire, 

1 All editions, except Hart's, Ruddirnan's and Burmanivs, have moerorem. 

348 Poems and Translations 

His mouth and nostrils foam a kindred ire; 
His generous breast amid the press of arms 
Presents the foe, and dares their deadly harms; 
Prompt with his lord alike to take or lose 
The oft vicissitudes of joys and woes. 
So many aids have men from him received, 
That it is said the ancient world believed 
That he to us by league so certain joined, 
Could in a mix'd form mingle with mankind ; 
And they relate how in their solitudes 
The Centaurs haunt the Pelethronian woods. 

XL Hymnus in Christi Ascensionem. 

Io triumphe, Ecclesia, 
Jam victor hostium tuus 
Dux templa scandit aetheris, 
Adversa patri vulnera 
It et coronam ostendere, 
Qualis redit de praelio 
Tabo decoro sordidus. 
Demissa nubes se explicat 
Sub Imperatoris pedes : 
Reclusa coeli janua 
Invitat omnem exercitum : 
Vox Angelorum cantibus 
Venire Regem nunciat: 
Aether nitescit gaudio, 
Timore pallent Tartara, 
Mundus stupet spectaculo 
Suspensus ante incognito : 
Mors victa flet, spes praemii 
Levat labores militum. 
Cum Patre Proles unica, 
Et ex utroque Spiritus, 
Adeste sic pugnantibus, 
Ut sint triumphi compotes. 

Hymnus in Christ! Ascensionem 349 


(by Rev. Dr. A. Gordon Mitchell, Killearn). 

Church of Christ the Saviour, 

Sing thy triumph-song ! 
Now the mighty victor 

Of the hostile throng 
He, thy glorious Captain 

To the Father hies 
Climbs the shining temple 

Of the ageless skies. 

Like a faithful soldier, 

Soiled with noble stains 
From the field of battle, 

He the sky regains, 
Wearing still his wound-prints 

From the deadly close, 
And His crown of glory 

To the Father shows. 

Lo ! a cloud descending 

Spreads itself abroad, 
'Neath the feet Imperial 

Of our Saviour God ; 
Hands unseen fling open 

Wide the gates of Heaven ; 
To the host celestial 

Access free is given. 

Hark ! the holy angels 

Through the portals wing, 
And with raptured voices 

Hail the ascending King. 
Now a tide of glory 

Floods each heavenly sphere ; 
Hell's abysmal regions 

Pale with gloomy fear. 


Poems and Translations 

In the central spaces 

Balanced, to her core 
Earth is awed by wonders 

Never seen before. 
Vanquished death is weeping, 

And, through conflict hard, 
Cheerfully Christ's soldiers 

Press to their reward. 

God the eternal Father, 

God the only Son, 
And, from both proceeding, 

Spirit, Three in One, 
Help us in our conflict 

So the cross to bear, 
That Thy heavenly glory 

We at last may share. 


Selections from the " Baptistes," 

With Translations by Lionel S. Charles, University of 
St. Andrews (Steele Prize']. 

BUCHANAN'S Baptistes, considered as a stage play, is inferior to his Jephthes. 
It is remarkable, however, for the contrasts of character it displays and the 
prominence into which it thrusts forward the figure of the prophet. To use 
the words of Dr. Gordon Mitchell, "the play is a voice in a setting of 
whispers." To appreciate fully the extracts here given, the reader will find 
Chapter XIII. of this volume valuable, but new light has recently been 
ttfrown on this drama. In his Defence in the Inquisition Buchanan has stated 
that when he wrote the Baptistes, he had Sir Thomas More in mind. (See 
Appendix I. A. and footnotes). Thus the play is now seen to be a protest 
against the tyranny of Henry VIII. 

The numbering of the Scenes here used is that employed by Mr. Alexander 
Gibb in his translation of the Baptistes (1870). 

I. Queen Herodias incites Herod to slay John, because he had reproved them 

for their incestuous marriage. (Scene III. ) 

II. Herod desires John to cease disturbing the public peace, and after John 

vindicates his preaching, the Chorus reminds God of what He has done 
for His people, and calls on Him to look on their present evil condition 
and rescue them from misery. (Scene V. ) 

III. John, in sublime words, declares he is ready to die, and hopes for an 

immortal life of blessedness. Chorus bids him farewell. (Scene X.). 

IV. Chorus moralises on the wickedness of Jerusalem in slaying the prophets, 

and anticipates the judgments of God. (Scene XIII.) 

V. Announcement of the death of John. (Scene XIV.) 

352 Poems and Translations 

Selections from the " Baptistes." 

I. Queen Herodias incites Herod to slaughter John. 

Tanto in tumultu nihil agendum est aspere, 

Quum concitatur mobilis vulgi furor; 

Leges, religio, auctoritasque principis 

Contemta, plebi est infimae ludibrio ? 

Cave, lenitatis falsa species avocet 

Tibi mentem ab aequo : quae videtur lenitas, 

Propius tuenti summa erit crudelitas. 

Dum parcis uni factioso et perdito, 

Is perditum omnes, in caput quos hie tuum 

Armare satagit. Finge fieri, quod fore 

Tandem necesse est, concitari mobile 

Ad arma vulgus, cuncta passim lugubri 

Ardere bello, vasta linqui praedia, 

Urbes cremari, virgines per vim rapi, 

Manusque dubia conseri victoria ; 

Quum frena legum ruperit licentia, 

Damnabis istam sero turn clementiam. 

Atque ecce coram pestis et mali caput. 

Hie censor ille est. Hunc roga, plura audies 

(Ni fallor) ab eo, fama quam vulgaverit. 

Nee miror esse sceptra qui spernant tua; 

Quando ipse pravos lenitate provocas. 


Listen, my king, and all rash thoughts refuse, 

In Salem's streets Sedition cries aloud, 

And giant Treason fires the shrieking crowd. 

My king, let never mercy's painted show 

Seduce thy heart from justice. Mercy ? No ! 

Look closer, closer ! 'Tis all cruelty 

To spare one rebel in his guilt ! And he 

Arms thy poor lieges' hands against thy life 

To their own ruin ; mercy fires the strife, 

Thy mercy, king. So it must be. Think well; 

Oh hearken : To your tents, Israel ! 

They burn in wrath ; they change with bitter flame 

Cities to ashes, maidenhood to shame. 

Baptistes 353 

Ah cease ! bethink thee of the evil day 
When giant Discord breaks her bonds away; 
When host and host in breaking battle close, 
Too late then mourn thy mercy and thy woes, 
Too late, too late, too late ! 

Ah, he is here, 

The rigid censor and the judge severe, 
The source of all our bane. He'll tell you more, 
I think, than rumour told your ears before. 
'Tis little marvel if they mock the throne, 
The king shows mercy, and the fault's his own. 

II. The Appeal of the Chorus to Heaven. 

O spatiosi conditor orbis, 
Cujus trepidant omnia nutum, 
Coelum nitidis ignibus aptum, 
Tellus vario florida cultu, 
Tumidum refluis aestibus aequor: 
Nonne ad nostras pertulit aures 
Fama prioris conscia saecli, 
Aevi splendida facta prioris? 
Cum tu, validae robore dextrae, 
Auro atque opibus regna superba 
Ipsa exstinxti a stirpe revellens, 
Illorum ut nos agro insereres, 
Agro, haud ense, aut jaculis nostris, 
Aut consilio vique parato. 
Sed nos coeli favor omnipotens, 
Per fera tutos agmina duxit. 
Non tu Rex ille Isacidarum ? 
Non tu gentis Deus Hebraeae? 
Cujus ductu perfida castra 
Proculcavimus, hoste perempto : 
Non confisi robore nostro, 
Sed duce et auspice te, praeclaras 
Saepe retulimus patriae palmas. 
Nunquid penitus deseris, olim, 
Genitor, populum tibi delectum? 
Nunquid f abula linquimur hosti ? 
Spreta est pietas : religio jacet : 

354 Poems and Translations 

Fraus purpurea regnat in aula : 
Populus, tanquam victima, sanctus 
Dat pia saevae colla securi: 
Vates pereunt ense tyranni : 
Nostris gaudent luctibus hostes : 
Et pietatia sub praetextu, 
Meriti poenas regna gubernant: 
Meritos regnum poena coercet. 
Exsurge, tuo populo fer opem : 
Exsurge parens optime, et hoati 
Da te talem cernere, qualem 
Te viderunt aequore patres 
Rubro Pharios mergere currus : 
Qualem vatis fatidici olim 
Te puer oculis vidit apertis, 
Dantem igniferis frena quadrigis, 
Totis flammas spargere campis. 
Te, caligine pulsa erroris 
Humanae qui lumina mentis 
Obruta caeca nube recondit, 
Et quae primo sole tepescit 
Tellus, et quae mergere ponto 
Cernit rutilae lumina flammae, 
Unum agnoscat cuncta potentem. 


The heaven alight with a golden flame, 

And the earth where roses blow, 

And the sea, with a tide that none can tame, 

Tossing to and fro, 

All these bow down to Thy deathless name 

Who madest all things below. 

Have we not heard (the tale is ours), 

The tale of an ancient day, 

How Thy hand smote down the heathen's powers, 

And gavest them for a prey. 

They were purple-clad in their golden towers, 

In cloth of gold were they. 

It was not the shaft or the sword 
That saved us in that day; 

Baptistes 355 

The strength and the grace of the Lord 
Were on us and swept our way 
Through the savage host and the heathen horde 
And the sword that was raised to slay. 

Thou art the King of Juda's race, 

Lord over Israel's seed ; 

On through the guilty citadel 

We saw Thy right hand lead ; 

Ay, where Thy right hand pointed red 

We saw the heathen bleed. 

It was no strength of ours 

That saved us in that day ; 

We leaned on our God, and His powers 

Were as a shield and stay, 

And He crowned us with power and glory 

And many a wreath of bay. 

Wilt Thou leave us a scorn to Thy foeman ? 

For faith is past away 

In the purple court, and no man 

Hath care for his God to-day, 

And Thy folk, fast-bound at the altar, 

Waits for the sword to slay. 

And the evil sit in high places, 

Clothed in a holy show ; 

There is dust on Thy people's faces, 

There is joy for the heathen foe. 

Oh hearken, O kind All-father, 

Oh, rise and Thy folk set free! 

As when Thou didst cast the chariots 

Of Pharaoh into the sea; 

As the son of the prophet of old 

Beheld Thee with purged sight, 

When the flames of Thy chariot rolled 

Through the fiery fields of night, 

Give ear to us; our tale is told; 

Bring forth Thy power to light. 

And I know, when the darkness closes 
That severs our souls from Thee, 

356 Poems and Translations 

The waves where the sun reposes 
And the lands by the eastern sea 
Shall know Thy power and Thy glory, 
Ruler eternally ! 

III. John declares he is ready to die. 

Non desero, sed potius ab eis deseror. 
Namque, institutam ab initio mundi viam, 
In fata curro. Nempe lege hac nascimur, 
Quicunque lucis fruimur almae munere, 
Conditio cunctos una cohibet, tendimus 
In mortem : eo nos singuli ducunt dies. 
Mortem esse poenam voluit improbis Deus, 
Bonisque portum .... 

lam prope peractae liber e vitae freto 
Prospicio terram : de peregrino solo 
Domum revertor, optimum primum patrem 
Visurus : ilium nempe patrem, qui solum 
Revinxit undis, induit coelum solo ; 
Regitque certas mobilis coeli vices : 
Servator, auctor, rector unus omnium : 
Cui cuncta vivunt viva juxta ac mortua. 
Ut flarama sursum sponte volvit vortices, 
Undae deorsum perpeti lapsu ruunt, 
Propriumque pergunt ire cuncta ad fomitem 
Jamdudum anhelat spiritus coelo editus. 

Non, si pruinis obstet horrens Caucasus, 

Aer procellis, unda tempestatibus, 

Tractusque nimiis invius caloribus, 

Eo ire pergam ? non, tot ut videam duces, 

Reges, prophetas, judices pios, via 

Rumpenda, vel si mille mortes obstruant? 

Ergo recluso corporis de carcere, 

Eo evolare spiritus liber cupit, 

Quo cunctus ibit orbis, serius, ocius. 

Nam longa vita nil, opinor, aliud est, 

Quam lenta duro servitus in carcere. 

Baptistes 357 

O mors laboris una laxamen gravis ! 
O mors doloris portus, et mali quies ! 
Notumque paucis commodum mortalibus. 
Formido pravis, et bonis votum ! tuo 
Sinu recepta naufragum hoc corpusculum, 
Et sempiternae due quietis in domum, 
Quo non sequetur vis, dolus, calumnia, 


O te beatum hac pectoris constantia ! 
O nos misellos, quos iners animi metus, 
Felicitatis privat hoc consortio ! 
Quando igitur ipse quod opus est facto tenes, 
Salve valeque sempiternum dicimus. 


I leave them not; they will no longer stay. 

My soul is going on its ancient way 

Through gates predestined since God's world began, 

His law is heavy on the soul of man. 

For a brief season in the kindly light 

We pass, but ever onward to the night. 

Ah, for the base 'tis penance; for the saints 

It heals the weary flesh, the soul that faints. 

From seas storm-stricken, waters desolate 
I yearn for land, for land ! I see Thy gate, 
My father's house. My father He hath given 
The lucent azure of the inarching heaven, 
Around the earth He clasped the ancient sea, 
And the primaeval stars keep memory 
Of His commands ; their courses know Him still 
Author of all, and all obey His will. 

All things return where first they saw the day, 
As waters ever seek the downward way; 
As flames aspiring ever upward rise, 
The soul indignant claims her native skies. 

Though Caucasus itself should bar my way 

With icy horror, yet I would not stay, 

Though storms should fill the sea and storms the air, 

358 Poems and Translations 

And wastes of tropic sands, and blinding glare 

Lay all between. On, onward to the goal! 

Burst through a thousand deaths, unvanquished soul ! 

There are the righteous judges, kings and seers, 

Of ancient days ; there are their warrior peers 

Who led God's people in the battle-line ! 

Fare forth my soul, and wing thy way divine 

Bursting thy prison-house ! And soon or late 

All, all the world must pass that equal gate. 

What is a body with long life endued 

Save a drear prison-house of servitude? 

But there is one that holds the prison-key, 

O Death, fair Death ; and still we turn to thee. 

'Tis thine to hush our pain with soft caress. 

Haven of peace ! storm-stricken in the stress 

Of Life's sad ocean, still to thee we turn, 

Thy arms receive us, and thy beacons burn. 

Few know thy kindness to the just a vow, 

To sin a curse. Oh, give me shelter now ! 

From this sad cave of Guile and Force release 

And guide me to the eternal House of peace. 


Oh, thou art happy in thy generous vow, 

As we are base, we who are fain to bow 

To craven fear ; we linger in distress ; 

We are not worthy of thy happiness. 

Thou knowest what must be, and what must cease. 

A last farewell ! Oh pass, and pass in peace. 

IV. The Chorus on God's judgment of the wicked. 

Davidis regnum, Solymaeque turres, 
Et locupletis Solomonis arces, 
Unde tarn dirus furor in prophetas? 
Sanguinis justi sitis unde saeva? 
Quern decet nor mam pietatis esse, 
Unicum est vitae specimen scelestae. 
Furta, vis, caedes, dolus ac rapinae 
Sunt tuae tirocinium palaestrae. 

Baptistes 359 

Non sacerdoti pietas nefandis 
Fraudibus suadet cohibere dextras. 
Cultor idoli populus reliquit 
Omnium return Dominum et parentem, 
Pro Deo lignum colitur lapisque: 
His calent arae vitulis et agnis : 
Et suae dextrae simulacra adorat 
Artifex: vitam sine lege truncum 
Poscit, a muto eloquium precatur: 
Pauperi dives, dominus ministro 
Supplicat : ritus pereunt vetusti. 
Te prophetarum cruor innocentum 
Judicis magni rapit ad tribunal : 
Pauperes clamant, viduaeque coelum 
Questibus implent. 
Ergo te justae manet ultionis 
Poena non mendax, nisi fallor augur. 
Namque, qui fastus premit insolentes 
Arbiter coeli, maris atque terrae, 
Spectat ex alto, lacry masque plebis 
Et preces tristes meminit, manuque 
Vindice infandi sceleris propinquas 
Exiget poenas: quibus intumescis, 
Insolens victor tibi vertet arces : 
Barbarus miles tua possidebit 
Praedia: externo domino refundet 
Vinitor f ructus tuus : alta qua nunc 
Surgit in coelum Solomontis aedes, 
Exterus messem faciet colonus. 
Ergo dum praebet tibi poenitendi 
Numinis favor spatium, relictis 
Turpiter vitae vitiis peractae, 
Exteri ritus simulacra pelle. 


City of David's righteousness ! 

City of holy hands ! 

Thou art a light of scarlet sin 

To all the sinful lands, 

And blood and theft and guile are all 

Thy spirit understands. 

360 Poems and Translations 

And the folk have turned from their God, 

To an idol they bow the knee ; 

And they leave the kind All-father, 

To worship the stone and tree; 

And the lambs and steers on their altars burn 

To the gods of heathenry. 

And he prays to the work of his hand, 

And the prayer on his lips is sin ; 

Of the block that his brain hath planned 

He asketh his life to win ; 

And he asketh speech of the stone where God 

Bade no speech enter in. 

Each rite that is old thou must doff it, 

But the Judge hath an eye to see; 

And the blood of each guiltless prophet 

Is loud in its cry on thee ; 

And the widows raise the wail, and the poor men fill the tale 

Of misery. 

But a vengeance doth abide ; for a jealous Judge of pride is 

lord of the earth and sea, 
And He rules in heaven above, and He hears his folk with love, 

and He keeps in memory 
Their bitter tears and prayer ; with a hand that shall not spare 

He will surely slay thy sin, 
And the victor in his wrath shall tread an iron path through 

the towers thou vauntest in, 
And the alien shall abide in thy meadows rich and wide, and 

thy husbandmen shall yield to him the grape, 
And the wise king's temple fair, proud and eminent in air, shall 

fall and shall not 'scape 
From the stroke of heathen plough. Oh, arise, bethink thee 

now, while yet thy God in mercy guards the blow ; 
Cast thine images away, that the heathen make of clay, and 

leave the sins that thou hast loved so ! 

V. A messenger announces the death of John. 

Si flenda mors est, mortuos illi fleant 
Quorum sepultae spes jacent cum corpore; 
Qui post soporis terminum brevissimi 

Baptistes 361 

Reditura membra non putant, et alteram 
Superesse vitam. Mortuos miseri fleant, 
Miserosque tantum : neminem facere potest 
Fortuna miserum: similis insontem licet 
Sontemque maneat terminus vitae, tamen 
Male morietur nemo, qui vixit bene. 
De genere miseros exitus si judices, 
Miseros putabis tot patres sanctos, quibus 
Crux, ensis, unda, flamma clausit spiritum. 
Nam veritatis qui satelles occidit 
Pro religione, patriisque legibus, 
Ominibus ilium prosequi bonis decet, 
Votisque vitae poscere similem exitum. 


Vere profecto es elocutus omnia. 
At nos, opinio quos et errores trahunt, 
Dum fata fugimus, fata stulti incurrimus. 
Ignis pepercit, unda mergit : aeris 
Vis pestilentis aequori ereptum necat : 
Bello superstes tabidus morbo perit. 
Differre, non vitare fata dat Deus : 
Et foeneramur mortis in dies moras 
Morbis, periclis, luctibus, molestiis. 
Nee longa vita est aliud ac longi mali 
Catena, mortis nexa ad usque terminum 
Serie perenni. Nee legati hoc vinculo 
Servire miseri nos putamus : exitum 
Quam servitutem potius exhorrescimus. 


Weep not for him ; tears may beseem their eyes 

Whose hopes are buried where the body lies; 

Who know not how from slumber souls are sped 

Re-born. Ah, weep alone the unhappy dead ! 

Weep none who live not in unhappiness 

Far from the touch of the White Comfortress ! 

The just and unjust have their fates assigned, 

And all is one ; yet no ill end they find 

Who live not ill; and nought to mar his peace 

Dwells in the fashion of his soul's release. 

362 Poems and Translations 

Else many a saint were pitied in his death 
When cross, or sea, or flame consumed his breath. 
Warrior of truth, Warrior of God he fell 
Guarding the holy laws of Israel. 
Fair speech attend him, and fair auspices 
Attend him. God, make Thou our end like his! 


'Tis true, 'tis true ! But all is nought to us, 

We are but reeds, shaken of perilous 

Sad winds; we fly, we fly and meet our death. 

If flame is kind, wild ocean stops our breath, 

Or winds of pestilence destroy, in vain 

Snatched from the menace of the stormy main. 

Unscathed we ride from the dim battlefield, 

Unscathed till to disease the victors yield. 

God deigns the fatal summons to defer 

" For certain months and days," but will not spare. 

In perilous breath and daily misery 

We pay grim Death a bitter usury. 

His chain is heavy on the soul of man; 

Our sorrow's measure is our being's span. 

Ah ! think not that we fear to wear his chain ; 

So we but live, we count our thraldom gain. 


Paraphrase of the Psalms of David. 

THK Paalmorum Davidia Paraphratsia Poetica is the work for which Buchanan 
earned the greatest distinction in his life-time. This was a common exercise 
of the Humanists, but there is the authority of Le Clerc, Pere Bourbon, 
Cowley, Arthur Johnston, and Henri Estienne, for saying that Buchanan's 
versions were superior to all. " All France, Italy, and Germany have since 
subscribed to the same opinion," says Maittaire. 1 " Buchanan seems to have 
consulted the Hebrew text with the interpretation of his friend Vatablus 
and the Commentators, and he probably used these as subsidiary to the 
Vulgate, the Septuagint, and the modern translation." 2 It is, nevertheless, 
true that his version is free, and, as is shown in the following pages, uses 
varieties of metre mostly unknown in Hebrew. Though Buchanan has set 
himself to build a classical temple in honour of the true God, and though his 
work, with " its European charm of form," at times recalls too closely its 
classical models, he has preserved something of the "Syrian depth of feeling." 
The whole of the work is unequal in parts, but there are at times exquisite 
pieces of composition. The best are here given, and comparison made with 

I. The Paraphrase of Psalm CXXXVII. is undoubtedly the finest part of the 

whole work. In spite of the fact that the true spirit of Hebrew poetry 
is not felt, " there is thorough power, yet perfect ease ; a quiet finished 
classical tone throughout, but no mosaic, no centroism." 3 The para- 
phrase by Lord Grenville will enable the reader to see the difference 
between a man of genius writing in Latin and " an accomplished modern 
gentleman who can write Latin verses." 

II. Psalm CXXI. as paraphrased by Buchanan and M. Antonio Flaminio 
provides the distinction between the learned Latinist who could rise into 
a higher atmosphere, and the poet whose ability for sustained thought 
had been weakened. Flaminio a great Latin poet of the modern 
school was above all "a man of virtue and simple tastes, who ardently 
desired a return to purer ideals on the part of the Church. " 4 In other 
words his main purpose is to build up piety and to mould the thought of 

1 Quoted by Hallam, Literature of the Middle Ages, vol. ii. p. 147, and 
by Hume Brown, George Buchanan, Humanist and Reformer, p. 146. 

2 North British Review, March 1867. 

3 North British Review, March 1867. 

4 Hume Brown, George Buchanan, Humanist and Reformer, p. 142. 

364 Poems and Translations 

the young, his appeal being wholly to the heart of man. He would 
insert nothing in his translations of which David would disapprove, and 
yet he sought to add grace to the beauty of his verse ; 

"... virgini pulcherrimae 
Quale decus addunt arte purpureae rosae, 
Violaeque flavis crinibus circumdatae. " 

("even as rich-hued roses and violets, garlanding her golden locks, add 
grace to some beautiful maiden "J. 1 Buchanan, on the other hand, is not 
merely a translator, but has completed the thought where in the original 
there were merely a " series of disjointed utterances." Buchanan is here 
the thinker as well as the poet, Flaminio is the man of feeling whoso 
purity of language, not superior to Buchanan's, is his especial recom- 

III. The paraphrase of Psalm CIV. is another of the best of Buchanan's 
compositions. One of his critics, Dr. Eglisham, " had the vanity to 
suppose himself capable of executing a paraphrase superior to that of his 
illustrious countryman, and was even so infatuated as to exhibit a version 
of Psalm CIV. in contrast with his." 2 We give Eglisham's version here, 
that all Latinists may judge for themselves. Both Dr. Barclay and Dr. 
Johnston exposed the puerility of Eglisham's paraphrase, and severely 
attacked him, the latter in two severely satirical pieces. 

VI. The Paraphrase of Psalm XXVII. shows us Buchanan's favourite metre, 
one frequently used by Horace. Compared with Buchanan's version 
is that of his great rival of after years Dr. Johnston, of which much has 
already been said in these pages. 

The translations of Buchanan's Paraphrasis into English verse, which 
are here given, are by John Eadie, who is described as a preacher of the 
Gospel, and who probably secured his M. A. degree at Glasgow in 1820. While 
these translations are not at all of great merit, they prove that even in the 
early part of the last century, Buchanan's work was well known. In the 
following pages are given notes and explanations by Chytraeus and Yule. 
Nathan Chytraeus has served to spread Buchanan's fame. He was born in 
1543, and was rector of the gymnasium at Bremen, and introduced Buchanan's 
Paraphrasis into the German schools. In Chytraeus' edition, the translations 
are set to music composed by Statius Olthovius. Yule, latinised Julius, is 
said to have been a graduate of St. Andrews, and, as has already been 
mentioned in these pages, was at one time rector of Stirling High School. 
It is stated that Buchanan had given some explanations of his translations of 
the Psalms to his nephew, Thomas Buchanan. These were at the time noted, 
and these notes were given by the son of Thomas Buchanan to Yule, who 
was himself a poet. These notes are given because they lend an additional 
interest to the following specimens of George Buchanan's work, for in the 
words of John Keble (Pradect. Acad. I. 76 J, 

"Qualia sunt ilia sanctissimi Vatis vivide a Buchanano expressa." 

1 Hume Brown, George Buchanan, Humanist and Seformer, p. 143. 
a Irving, Memoirs, 2nd edit. , p. 113. 

Psalm CXXXVII. 365 


(Paraphrase by George Buchanan,) 

Dum procul a patria moesti Babylonis in oris, 

Fluminis ad liquidas forte sedemus aquas: 
Ilia animum subiit species miseranda Sionis, 

Et nunquam patrii tecta videnda soli. 
Flevimus, et gemitus luctantia verba repressit; 

Inque sinus liquidae decidit imber aquae. 
Muta super virides pendebant nablia ramos, 

Et salices tacitas sustinuere lyras. 
Ecce ferox dominus Solymae populator opimae 

Exigit in mediis carmina laeta malis : 
Qui patriam exilio nobis mutavit acerbo, 

Nos jubet ad patrios verba referre modos, 
Quale canebamus, steterat dum celsa Sionis 

Regia, finitimis invidiosa locis. 
Siccine divinos Babylon irrideat hymnos ? 

Audiat et sanctos terra profana modos ? 
O Solymae, O adyta, et sacri penetralia templi, 

Ullane vos animo deleat hora meo ? 
Comprecor, ante meae capiant me oblivia dextrae, 

Nee memor argutae sit mea dextra lyrae : 
Os mihi destituat vox, arescente palato, 

Haereat ad fauces aspera lingua meas : 
Prima mihi vestrae nisi sint praeconia laudis; 

Hinc nisi laetitiae surgat origo meae. 
At tu (quae nostrae insultavit laeta rapinae) 

Gentis Idumaeae tu memor esto, pater. 
Diripite, ex imis evertite fundamentis, 1 

Aequaque (clamabant) reddite tecta solo. 
Tu quoque crudeles Babylon dabis impia poenas: 

Et rerum instabiles experiere vices. 
Felix qui nostris accedet cladibus ultor, 

Reddet ad exemplum qui tibi damn a tuum. 
Felix qui tenero consperget saxa cerebro, 

Eripiens gremio pignora cara tuo. 

Ruddiman draws attention to this line. 

366 Poems and Translations 


(by John Eadie, Glasgow, 18S6). 

While banished from our native land, 

To Bab'lon's hostile shore, 
We by the flowing river sit, 

And all our woes deplore ; 

Sion's lost form, to be bewailed, 

Appears before our eyes, 
Our native lands ne'er to be seen, 

In our grieved minds arise. 

We wept, and groans our words suppressed, 

Tears o'er our bosoms rain, 
Our harps now dumb the branches green 

And leafy twigs sustain. 

Our lyres on boughs of willow trees 

Aside from us were hung, 
And mourning much we left them there, 

All silent and unstrung. 

Behold, our Lord, the spoiler fierce 

Of Solyma's great power, 
Commands us to sing joyful songs, 

Where griefs our souls devour. 

And he who drove us from the land 

To us so long endeared, 
Where we were born and lived in joy 

While us our parents reared, 

And from it far us captive led, 

To feel the exile's pains, 
Requires us now to suit our songs 

To our sweet native strains, 

Such as we sung when Sion stood 

In lofty regal state, 
And all the nations round admired 

Our happiness so great. 

Should Babylon deride the hymns 

To God Almighty sung? 
Should in a heathen land profane 

Such sacred sounds be rung? 

Psalm CXXXVII. 367 

O Solyma! O temple's shrines, 

Of the most holy place ! 
Shall any length of fleeting time 

You from my mind efface? 

May my right hand forget to raise 

The harp's melodious sound, 
May my voice cleave to my mouth's roof, 

May my parched tongue be bound, 

If I am not the herald first 

Of your high-sounding praise, 
If you are not the origin 

Of all my joyful lays; 

But thou, our Father, bear in mind 

The Idumean race, 
Who at the desolation scoffed 

Of our dear native place. 

The wall's foundations raze, they said, 

Lay level with the ground 
The houses all, and spoil, they cried, 

To the land's utmost bound. 

Thou, likewise, Babylon, shalt feel 

A sad reverse of state, 
Punished because thou mad'st us groan 

'Neath misery's galling weight. 

Happy he'll be who shall advance 

Th' avenger of our wrong, 
Who, just as thou hast done to us, 

Shall make thee suffer long. 

Happy he'll be who'll tear by force 

From breasts of mothers dear 
The children that in 'midst of thee 

They tenderly uprear. 

And sprinkle all their scattered brains 

Dashed on the sharp rough stone, 
That thus thou may'st for all thy crimes, 

To us oppressed, atone. 

368 Poems and Translations 


(By Lord Grenville, 1846.) 

Euphratis ripae acclines, ubi, limite longo 

Porrecta, Assyriae tristia culta patent, 
Amissam memores patriam, sanctumque Siona 

Flevimus, et summi diruta templa Dei. 
At qua moesta salix invisam offuderat umbram, 

Pendebant tacitae, pristina cura, lyrae. 
Saepe illic Solymae evcrsae captiva propago 

Impia victoris probra rainasque tulit : 
Saepe illic, pompas inter ritusque nefandos, 

Ingemuit, patrios jussa referre modos. 
Ergone solennes virgo Solymaea choreas 

Captiva et patriis finibus exul agat? 
Ergo et nunc poterit, Babylonis moenia propter, 

Sacra Davideae tangere fila lyrae, 
Qua Siloa, altuaque Hermon, Libanusque sonabant, 

Praesentique Patris numine plena Salem ? 
Cara Salem, quascunque ferar vagus exul in oras, 

Ecquando possim non memor esse tui ? 
At mihi defixa obmutescat lingua palato, 

At citharam, et solitum dextra recuset opus, 
Si mentem non una meam tua torquet imago, 

Una Salem, luctus laetitiaeque comes. 

IL Psalm CXXL. 

(Paraphrase by George Buchanan.) 

Dum ferox armis inimicus instat, 

Ad montes vaga lumina 
Proximos circumfero, si quid illinc 

Forte appareat auxili. 
At mihi coeli Dominus solique 

Certam solus opem feret. 
Ille (quid vano trepidans tumultu 

Cor pulsas mihi pectora?) 
Ille sanctorum (mihi crede) custos 

Noctes excubat et dies : 

Psalm CXXI. 369 

Victa nee blandi illecebris soporis 

Unquam lumina dimovet : 
Leniter passis tibi semper alia 

Umbrae more supervolat; 
Ne cutem soils violentioris 

Urant spicula de die, 
Nocte ne lunae nebulosioris 

Artus degravet halitus. 1 
Seu domi clausus lateas, latentem 

Clausis servat in aedibus : 
Seu foris pacis obeas amicae, 2 

Seu belli fera munera, 
Sospitem e cunctis Dominus periclis 

Semper te bonus eruet. 


(by John Eadie, Glasgow, 1836). 

While th' en'my fierce threatens with arms, 

Around mine eyes I throw, 
On mountains near, if thence perhaps, 

Aid its approach should show. 

The Lord of heaven and earth alone 

Assistance sure will grant, 
He, (why heart beating in my breast, 

Dost thou with vain fear pant?) 

He, be assured, the watchful guard 

Of saints his chief delight, 
Beholds them with unsleeping eye, 

Both in the day and night. 

He is awake, and them he loves 

In view will ever keep : 
For his all-seeing eye ne'er yields 

To slumb'ring or to sleep. 

1 Yule paraphrases this line aa "should make the body sluggish or weak." 
8 This may be paraphrased, according to Yule, "or beyond the house 
thou performest duties of pleasant tranquillity." 
A 1 

370 Poems and Translations. 

O'er thee, my soul, his shading wings 

He ever gentle lays : 
Lest that by day thou should'st be hurt, 

By the sun's scorching rays; 

Lest the cool moon shining through clouds, 
Thy wearied limbs should chill, 

When shifting vapours, during night, 
The air with coldness fill. 

Whether thou art retired at home, 

Enjoying private peace, 
He'll cause that thou in safety may'st 

Obtain thy secret ease ; 

Or if thou should'st, in tranquil state, 

Perform of civil life 
The duties quiet, or dang'rous deeds, 

Of horrid war and strife, 

The bounteous Lord will thee preserve, 

From dangers all secure ; 
Salvation will begin on earth 

Endless in heaven t' endure. 


(by M. Antonius Flaminius, 1559). 

Periculis in maximis vates docet, 
. Ease exciendam opera Dei. 

Duin me cruentus hostis urget, lumina 

Montes ad altos sustuli, 
Unde ille rerum praepotens pater omnium, 

Terrae, polique conditor, 
Frustratus hostem barbarum, mittet mihi 

Opem benigno numine. 
Nunquam ille saevis impiorum incursibus 

Tuam sinet constantiam 
Labare victam : dormiet nunquam tuae 

Salutis ille neligens : 
Qui civitati praesidet sanctissimae, 

Nunquam profecto dormiet 
Haerebit ille semper ad dextrum latus 

Fidissimus comestuum : 

Psalm CIV. 371 

Umbraculique tecum amabilis vice 

Fungetur optimus pater, 
Ne fervidus te tangat aut Sol, aut gravi 

Luna insalubris luraine. 
Quodcunque ages, ubicunque eris, domi, foris 

In urbe, in agro, tecum erit 
Semper beatus caelitum rex, et pater, 

Fortunet ut tibi omnia : 
Suasque ducet tandem ad domos, ubi 

Aeterna vives secula. 

HI. Psalm CIV. (xiii.-xxvti.). 

(Paraphrase by George Buchanan.) 

Tu pater aerios montes, camposque jacentes 
Nectare coelesti saturas, foecundaque rerum 
Semina vitales in luminis elicis oras. 1 
Unde pecus carpat viridis nova pabula foeni : 
Unde olus humanos geniale assurgat in usus : 
Quaeque novent fessas cerealia munera 2 vires, 
Quaeque hilarent mentes jucundi pocula vini, 
Quique hilaret vultus 3 succus viridantis olivi. 
Nee minus arboribus succi genitabilis 4 humor 
Sufficitur: cedro Libanum frondente coronas, 
Alitibus 5 nidos : abies tibi consita surgit, 
Nutrit ubi implumes peregrina ciconia foetus. 

1 In some editions auras is given instead of oras. 

2 "Cerealia munera was a poetical phrase for -pro frugilnis." Chytraeus. 
The Goddess Ceres has been referred to by nearly all poets, but of her David 
could not have known. 

3 In the 1620 London edition of the Paraphrasis Psalmorum, edited by 
Yule, vultum is given. 

4 Chytraeus points out that this word was used by Varro and Lucretius. 
The latter certainly uses it for genitalis, Et reaerata vi.yet genitabilis anra 
Favoni (I. 11). Uut Varro is only quoting Lucilius when he uses the word. 
Chytraeus seems to attribute to Virgil the line of Lucretius. 

6 Chytraeus notes that in the interpretations of the ancients some birds 
were called oscme, and others alitex or praepetex. The former were con- 
sidered to denote forebodings of some event by their voice and song, the 
latter by their flight. This note of Chytraeus seems to be borrowed from 
Servius who, however, distinguishes only between oscines and praepetes. 
Cp. Virgil (Aen. III. 361) Qui volucrum linguns, qui praepetis omina pennae. 

372 Poems and Translations 

Tu timidis montes damis ; cava saxa dedisti, 
Tutus ut abstrusis habitaret echinus 1 in antris. 

Tu lunae incertos vultus per tempera certa 
Circumagis: puroque accensum lumine solem 
Ducis ad occiduas constanti tramite metas : 
Inde superfusis cuncta involventibus umbris, 
Per tacitas spargis nocturna silentia terras. 
Turn fera prorepit latebris, silvisque relictis. 
Praedator vacuis errare leunculus arvis 
Audet, et e coelo mugitu pabula rauco 
Te patrem exposcit : dein rursus sole renato, 
Abditur occultis praedatrix turba cavernis : 
Inque vicem subeunt hominumque boumque labores, 
Donee sera rubens accendat lumina vesper. 

Sic, pater in cunctos didis 2 te commodus 3 usus. 
Nee tantum tellus, genitor, tua munera sentit, 
Tarn variis foecunda bonis: sed et aequora ponti 
Fluctibus immensas circumflectentia terras, 
Tarn laxo spatiosa sinu : tot millia gentis. 
Squamigerae tremula per stagna liquentia cauda 
Exsultant : tot monstra ingentia et horrida visu 
Veliferas circumnant puppes : grandia cete 
Effingunt molles vitreo sub marmore 4 lusus. 
Atque adeo quae terra aivis, quae fluctibus aequor 
Educat, a te uno pendent, pater optime, teque 
Quaeque suo proprium poscunt in tempore victum. 


(by John Eadie, Glasgow, 1836). 

They're sated with provision meet, 
And quench their thirst with waters sweet. 
The river sweeps with wand'ring waves, 
The woods and devious rocks it laves, 

1 There were, according to Chytraeus, two kinds. Some had a snout, as 
a hog, others were of the dog-tribe. 

2 Didere is explained by Chytraeus as a poetical usage for distribuerc or 
the digerere of Lucretius ; also used by Horace. It is ante-classical. 

3 Some editions have providm for commodity. 

4 Chytraeus calls this a Virgilian usage for mart, and "quotes" from 
II. Georg., Infidum remis impellere marmor. Virgil certainly uses it in 
Aeneid (VII. 28 and 718, X. 218), but the phrase marmor infidum is found in 
Silius, XIV. 464. 

Psalm CIV. 373 

Where the wild ass all lonely dwells, 
And drinks it as it freshly swells. 
Along its banks the trees arise, 
With lofty branches to the skies, 

Where fowls that skim along the air, 
To build their nests in flocks repair, 
And soothe, with warbling plaintive note, 
The solitary wilds remote. 

Thou, Father, pourest o'er the plains 
And mountains high, ethereal rains, 
Whence seeds fertility obtain, 
And soon with life cover the plain. 

The growing tribes are all alive, 
Whence moving creatures food derive. 
The herbage fresh covers the ground, 
And cattle feed the fields around. 

The genial plants, for human use, 
Supply mankind with food profuse. 
Abundant bread man now obtains, 
That long in health his frame maintains. 

The gen'rous wines his mind excite, 
And cheer the heart with true delight. 
Thus he's refreshed from varied toil, 
And his face shines with perfumed oil. 

A balmy juice pervades the trees, 
Growing by which their trunks increase. 
Their leafy boughs spread far and wide, 
And they from age to age abide. 

The cedar Lebanon invests, 
Among whose leaves birds build their nests. 
Ash trees, the planting of the Lord, 
To young of storks shelter afford. 

Their parents them with food supply, 
Till wings enable them to fly. 
On tim'rous deer thou has bestowed 
The mountains for a safe abode. 

374 Poems and Translations 

Thou mak'st 'mong rocks dark hollow caves, 
The urchin there itself long saves. 
The moon thou wheelest in her range 
Around the earth, with reg'lar change. 

The sun thou clothest with pure light, 
With which he shines, till coming night 
Succeed the day, in reg'lar turn, 
Lest constant heat should nature burn. 

Then all her works thou cover'st round 
With shades and silence most profound. 
The wild beasts then their dens forsake, 
And rush abroad their prey to take. 

The lion young then leaves the wood, 
And roams the fields to seize his food, 
He sends to heaven his hollow roar, 
That, Father, thee he may implore, 

That nourishment thou may'st provide, 
By which he may in life abide. 
The rising sun relumes the sky, 
And beasts of prey to coverts fly. 


(by George Eglisham, 1618). 

Ambrosio montes irrorant astra liquore, 
Muneribus satiata tuis, pecorique virisque 
Aptas obsequiis, alimentis dulcibus aptas. 
Promit humus teneris gemmantes floribus herbas, 
Pampineos animis nectentes gaudia succos, 
Et baccas oleae fragrantis ut ora serenent, 
Et cererem valido firmantem corda vigore. 
Arboreos foetus, tineis impervia cedri 
Robora tu saturas, Libani quae consita celso 
Vertice, progeniem volucrum nidosque tuentur. 
Nee minus est felix abies, hac vimine texta 
Pendula castra novat clangente cicoria rostro. 
At lepori silices, pavidis juga senta recessum 
Concilias damis : constanti temporis ortu 
Inconstans lunare decus renovare figuras, 

Psalm XXVII. 375 

Occiduoque jubes pelago decumbere solem. 
Tecta soporiferos picea caligine vultus 
Nubila diffundis tacitam ducentia noctem. 
Proruit interea speluncis acre ferarum 
Agmen, et auxilium coeleste leunculus escam 
In praedam exorans, rugitibus aethera pulsat. 
Sole recens orto latebrosis invia dumis 
Antra subit: remeant alacres ad plaustra coloni, 
Donee purpureus det sera crepuscula vesper. 
Sancte opifex ! quanto moliris cuncta decore, 
Consilioque struis ! Moles terrena tuarum 
Dives opum exsultat; late circumsonat ingens 
Oceanus ; seu parva lubet, seu jnagna ciere 
Corpora squamigerum, vitrea complectitur alvo 
Innumeras pinna fluitantes remige turbas. 
Pandentes levibus naves cita carbasa ventis, 
Marmoreoque sinis balaenas gurgite passim 
Carpere jucundos placido molimine saltus. 
In te, summe Parens ! haec inclinata recumbunt 
Omnia, temporibus victum poscentia certis. 

IV.-Psalm XXVII. (ix.-xiv.). 

(Paraphrase by George Buchanan.) 

Ne conde vultus lumen a me amabilis, 

Neu me in tenebris desere. 
Servum per iram ne sine opprimi tuum : 

Vitamque, quam debet tibi, 
Tuere ab hoste, et e periclis eripe, 

O spes salutis unica. 
Me cari amici, me propinqui, me pater, 

Me blanda mater liquerat : 
At non reliquit, qui pios in asperis 

Non deserit rebus, Deus. 
Parens benigne, me vias doce tuas, 

Rectaque deduc semita: 
Ne vis metusque ab hoste me deterritum 

De calle recti detrahat. 
Ne me impiorum obnoxium libidini 

Relinque. Testes impii 

376 Poems and Translations 

Fingunt maligne falsa de me crimina, 

Armantque se mendaciis. 
Meus victa tantis iam fatisceret 1 mails, 

Ne spes foveret me tuae 
Benignitatis, post labores anxios 

Mox affuturum gaudium. 
Vivusque vivos inter ipse commoda 

Vitae beatae praestolor. 
In rebus ergo turbidis ne concide, 

Sed f ortis usque sustine : 2 
Te roborabit Dominus, et cor fulciet ; 

Tu f ortis usque sustine. 


(by John Eadie, 1836). 

My dearest friends had fled from me, 

Relations had all gone, 
My father had forsaken me, 

And I was left alone. 

My loving mother had me left ! 

But God yet left not me : 
For he the pious ne'er forsakes, 

But them from ill sets free. 

Father benign, teach me thy ways, 

Lead me in righteous path, 
From it let foes deter me not, 

Nor even the fear of death. 

The wicked falsely me accuse, 

With cruelty and hate, 
And crimes untrue against me, they 

Audaciously relate. 

1 Chytraeus considers that fatixco may have the sense of perior as in 
Virgil Accipiunt inimicum imbrem rimiaque fatiscunl ; or it may signify what 
is deficient or weak, as in Lucretius Animae natura fatixcit Feesa aero. In 
the first place Chytraeus seems wrong, because fatisci cannot mean what 
perior may signify. Then the quotation from Lucretius is incorrectly given. 
Fatiscit should be fatiaci, Lucretius, III. 458. It is a deponent verb, and in 
Lucretius, V. 308, its other meaning is given. 

2 Yule paraphrased these two lines as meaning " While therefore troubles 
prevail, do not lose courage." 

Psalm XXVII. 377 

Long ere now my heart had failed, 

By such dire ills enclosed, 
Unless thy goodness unto me 

Had future joys disclosed. 

Yet living, 'mong the living, I 

A happy life expect, 
Then bear your ills and let not them 

Your troubled hearts deject. 

Attend unto my suppliant voice, 

And me oppressed relieve, 
By heavenly favour, may I vexed 

Deliverance receive. 

My longing soul pants after thee, 

I look with earnest face, 
That I thy count'nance may behold, 

And may obtain thy grace. 

Of thy bright face to be desired, 

Hide not the saving light, 
Leave me not to be overwhelmed, 

In darkness of the night. 

Let not thy servant be oppressed 

By thy wrath's grievous load. 
Preserve the life from enemies 

Thou hast on me bestowed. 

O thou, who art the only hope 

Of my salvation sure, 
Deliver me from dangers, which 

So often I endure. 

The Lord to thee will give great strength, 

And will support thy heart : 
Then patient bear affliction's load, 

And duteous act thy part. 

378 Poems and Translations 


(by Arthur Johnston, M.D., 1637). 

Lumina deflectens famulum ne respue, tristem 

Ne fuge, qui vitae spes mihi semper eras. 
Me licet horreret pater et patris aemula mater, 

Dextra tamen, spero, me tua toilet humo. 
Tu, quod iter subeam, monstra ; facilemque clienti, 

Ilostis ut evitem spicula, pande viam. 
Subtrahe me populi furiis, qui crimine ficto 

Me preinit, immani spirat et ore minaa. 
Spem mihi tu reparas, venturae gaudia vitae 

Dum recolo, et coeli quae bona civis habet. 
Fide Deo, firmaque fidem ; sunt praemia praesto : 

Erigit et mentes sustinet ille pias. 


Appendix I. 

(Page 70.) 

Among the documents discovered in 1893 by Senhor 
Henriques in the Archives of the Inquisition at Lisbon is 
Buchanan's Defence, written in Latin. There were then found 
ninety-four pages, some in French and most of them in 
Portuguese, and all were docquetted : "Jorge Buquanano 
escorses, e nao vellio," i.e., " George Buchanan a Scotchman, 
and not old." This defence, which is here presented in modern 
spelling, must have been written in two days, and this in itself 
'is evidence of Buchanan's ability. For further enlightenment 
on the trial of Buchanan there are added notes, some being 
based on the information obtained, by kind permission, from 
Senhor G. J. 0. Henriques' translations of the records, although he 
gives no translation of the Latin. The textual errors are also 
here noted but the paragraphing remains as copied from the 

It was Senhor Henriques of Carnota who first made known 
the existence of the whole series of documents relating to 
Buchanan's trial by the Inquisition. This gentleman has done 
good service to his country by writing the lives of several of its 
worthies connected with the pleasant district in which he has 
his own estate. And it was when making investigations in 
regard to one of them who had been tried by the Lisbon 
Inquisitors that Senhor Henriques came across the Buchanan 
documents. Lately, in connection with the Buchanan Quater- 
century celebrations, Senhor Henriques has extended his investi- 
gations in regard to Buchanan among the Inquisition papers 
preserved at Coimbra, and given the benefit of the truth he has 
thus elucidated to English readers in a quarto volume entitled 
George Buchanan in the Lisbon fnqtiisition, and in his contribution 
to this Memorial Volume. 

Saint Bento's Convent within the city gates, at Xabregas, 

382 Appendix 

which was destroyed by tire on the night of 1st July, 
was the scene of Buchanan's seven months' imprisonment by 
decree of the Inquisition, and part of this better known Saint 
Bento within the City forms that repository of the national 
archives called the Torre do Tombo, wherein are preserved the 
records of the Lisbon Inquisition. A whole room in this build- 
ing, the entrance to which adjoins that of the Chamber of 
Deputies, is devoted to these Inquisition papers. They fill the 
phalanx of little pigeon holes which line three of its walls. The 
Buchanan papers consist of forty-seven folios of antique reddish 
yellow paper stitched together. To the ordinary scholar one- 
half of their contents is quite unintelligible, being the report in 
the fanciful shorthand of the time of the four several examina- 
tions to which Buchanan was subjected by the Holy Office. In 
the matter of legibility these pages contrast forcibly with the 
two Latin statements written out by Buchanan in a very clear 

The archival staff, acquainted as they are with the general 
character of these Inquisition documents, expressed great 
appreciation of the courage and calmness shewn in the 
calligraphy and composition of this Scotch victim's statement, 
in which to share fully one needs the sight of such another 
attempt at this as a neighbouring record in the room affords. 
Here the writer, in a wild fashion that makes the blood creep, ex- 
presses his absolute inability in the circumstances he is placed in 
to collect his thoughts at all, or to remember in any way what he 
had said or done with a view to his defence. In a shaking 
scribble he begs urgently for mercy, a mercy vainly thus sought, 
for a note written on the other side of the paper by the Cardinal 
Inquisitor himself states that the note was only handed him by 
the executioner when its writer was already at the stake. It 
needs a tragic touch like this to make one realise the horrors 
surrounding our Scotch worthy when making his defence in the 
dungeon of the Inquisition, and the perils which his coolness and 
sagacity so helped him to escape. 

" Ego Georgius Buchananus natione Scotus, diocesis 
Glasguensis, aio cum anno domini 1539 quaestio in Lutheranos 
decreta esset, mihi timuisse ob has causas. Primum biennium 
fere ante fuit mihi disputatio cum Franciscano quodam de forma 
iudicii rerum capitalium in Scotia et praecipue in causa haer- 


eseos. 1 Nam cum e Gallia turn venirem ac magis Galileos quam 
nostrorum mores tenerem, mirabar imprimis 2 homines damnari 
testibus ignotis, atque etiam interdum hostibus, neminem enim 
esse tarn innocentem qui circumveniri possit si modo inimicos, 
aut invidos haberet. Recens erat cxemplum ob oculos raercatoris 
cuiusdam, qui petierat a iudicibus ut certi homines inimici 
capitales sui reiicerentur, nee datus erat ei reiectionis locus. Is 
igitur Franciscanus cum circumstantibus in ea disputatione non 
satisfecisset, multa de me in vulgus suspitiose seminabat. Ego 
invicem ut me ultiscerer epigramma vetus nostrate lingua 
scriptum in latinos versus transtuli, 3 cuius sententiam vobis ante 
retuli, post id tempus odiis, et convitiis res utrinque acta est, 
multa proba utrinque iactata citra ullam rem quae ad 
religionis calumniam attineret. Incidit interea in aula crimen 
coniurationis,' 1 de qua multa scire Franciscanos rex arbitrabatur. 
Itaque iratus illis, cum non ignoraret, mihi cum illis esse 
inimicitias, me iussit, atque etiam coegit, ut sciunt viri aliquot 
clarissimi, nee ipsi Franciscani ignorant, carmen in eos scribere. 5 
Illi interea non cessarunt omnibus concionibus me traducere. 
itaque paulo etiam quam destinaveram acerbius scripsi, sed 

1 This disputation seems to have been conducted during Buchanan's stay 
with the young Earl of Cassillis. In the Examination after this defence was 
submitted, Buchanan was questioned as to the form of the tribunal discussed 
with the Franciscan. He, however, merely asserts that it appeared to him to 
be unjust to condemn men without giving them an opportunity of contra- 
dicting their enemies' testimony. 

2 Henriques' text gives imprimi. 

3 Buchanan refers to his Somnium which was a translation of Dunbar's 
poem, "How Dunbar was desyred to be ane frier." During his first exam- 
ination Buchanan very carefully pointed out that the King had not asked him 
to write this poem, although he asked him, even compelled him, to write the 
Palinodia and the Franciscanus. 

4 In 1536 the Master of Forbes was accused of an attempt to shoot the 
King at Aberdeen, and on this accusation was beheaded two years later ; 
"nothing is accurately known of this affair of Forbes, and there is no reason 
to believe that the Franciscans were in any way his accomplices," Hume 
Brown, George Buchanan, Humanist and Reformer, page 92. 

5 Buchanan gives almost the same account in Vita Sua, except that there 
he says that the King was ignorant of the strained relationship between him 
and the Franciscans, "Rex Buchananum, forte turn in aula agentem, ad so 
advocat, et ignarus offensionis quae ei cum Franciscanis esset, jubet adversus 
eos carmen scribere." Irving asks us to read gnaru* or non ignarus instead of 
ignarus, because " it was the King's knowledge, not his ignorance, of the poet's 
warfare with the Franciscans that must have suggested him as already pre- 
pared to second his own resentment." 

384 Appendix 

eerie citra religionis christianae contumeliam etiam cum ilia 
protestatione me nihil adversus ordinem dicere aut in 
bonos Franciscanos, quales veteres fuerunt, sed in homines 
nostri temporis dissolutos, et qui a veterum institutia 
destituissent : l ea res mirum in modum odia accendit. Itaque 
antequam carmen ostendere conatus sum deprecari regem 
per homines in aula notos ne tantam iuvidiam mihi 
conflaret : fore enim videbam, ut Franciscani solicitarent 
episcopos, 2 episcopi regem aliquando a me averterent. Cum vero 
rex omnibus modis exigeret a me carmen, partem eius turn dedi, 
ut si ea contentus esset reliquum turn supprimerim, quod etiam 
factum est: neque quisquam ex me nisi rex exemplar accepit. 3 
Interea Franciscani amicam regis mulierem nobilem, et maxime 
apud regem potentem in me inflammant iam an tea sua sponte 
iratam. Nam cum antea de me sparsisset rumores varies, 4 
ego ab episcopo loci indicium de iniuria postulavi. Episcopus 
etsi turn 5 rex aberat in Gallia potentiam mulieris reveritus de 
ea re ius dicere non est ausus. 

Per idem tempus amicus quidam meus gravissimo morbo 
laborabat : neque in extreme periculo carnem attingere audebat 
diebus veneris ac sabbati. Ego non solum hortatus sum ilium 
ut carnem ederet, sed etiam quo libentius id faceret una cum 
illo edi idque simpliciter, ac bona fide adhuc actum est. 6 

Mulier cum id rescisset, rem ad Dominicanos quosdam 
retulit. Id nos postea ex uno eorum rescivimus, qui non solum 

1 Henriques, deafaiissent. 

2 Henriques, episcopus. 

3 The fact that the King only got a copy of a part of the poem and that 
the rest was temporarily suppressed accounts for the poem Franciscanus not 
taking final shape till after 1560. 

4 In the Examination which followed Buchanan was asked what were the 
reports which he here says a lady spread concerning him. In reply he stated 
that he was with some one in Scotland who was reading, in the " Ecclesiastes 
of Solomon, about so many collecting riches for others. The reader began to 
laugh, and called his, Master George's, attention to the place where he was 
reading, upon which he also began to laugh because he called to mind sundry 
individuals to whom the words of Solomon were applicable ; and that the 
lady in question, seeing them reading and laughing, presumed that they were 
reading either some Lutheran books or the New Testament which the lower 
orders take to be only read by Lutherans, and for this it was that she spread 
about that they were Lutherans." 

'Henriques, tarn. 

" In a previous examination he says he partook of meat solely to induce 
his sick friend, on Fridays and Saturdays, to eat thereof, as he was in a 
dangerous condition. 

Appendix 385 

factum excusabat, sed etiam ulteriora audere compulit ut 
scilicet semel atque iterum in quadraytsima rarnibus vesceremur. 
Valuit 1 apud nos autoritas hominis, apud suos summa autoritate 
ut qui prior conventus aliquando fuisset et concionator imprimis 
clarus, ac praeter multa alia dictitabat etiam Christum cum 
apostolis agnum in quadragesima edisse. Unde opinor fabula 
ilia agni paschalis nata est : de qua hodie primum audivi : 
atque hinc mihi prima mali labes, ac primum commercium cum 
Lutberanis fuit. Nam quae ante id tempus acta fuerunt, nihil 
penitus ad earn causam attinebant. 

Interea quaestio decreta est. Ego regem per amicos in aula 
deprecari sum conatus, quod per ilium, ac eius potissimum 
impulsu in id mali incidissem. Ille me accitum ad se tribus 
aulicis interrogandum de his rebus dedit, 2 quibus omnia ut acta 
erant simpliciter atque ex fide sum confessus. Cum illi mihi 
multa minarentur, ac nullam spem veniae ostenderent si quicque 
negarem, cumque eos etiam viderem meae adversariae intimos 
esse, et totam quaestionem a patre eius regi plura etiam quam 3 
facta sunt dixi nequid causari possent. Ea nocte cum iam 
admodum serum esset apud secretarium regium, apud quern 
haec acta sunt fui. Postridie rex me iussit in hospitium meum 
liberum abire cum bona spe fore pollicitus omnium praeteri- 
torum veniam. 

Per id tempus maxime praeparabatur bellum in Anglos a 
pontifice, ac vicinis regibus, spe coniurationis quae turn fere 
etiam in Anglia detecta est. Rex Scotiae cum quaedam explorare 
vellet in Anglia me maxime ad id putavit idoneum, ut qui videri 
possem sectae causa ad illos transisse. Quod adeo verum fuit ut 
paulum abfuerit quin 1 Angli me rursus in Scotiam ad 
explorandas res Scotorum dimitterent, cum ego adfirmarem mihi 
amicos esse per quos quidvis secreto transigi posset. Rex igitur 
Scotiae (ut illuc redeam) me per aulicum quendam admonuit 
quae in rem essent, ac ita discedere iussit quasi clam fuga 

1 Underlined in the original, as well as the other words which will be 
found in italics further on. 

2 According to Senhor Henriques' translation of the Lisbon documents, 
the three examiners appointed by the King to hear Buchanan's case were 
Thomas Esquem (Askew?) one of the King's secretaries, John of Nestam an 
ecclesiastic, and Thomas Escot. When asked what it was that he divulged 
to the examiners, he said that he divulged to them that he had eaten meat on 
prohibited days more often than he really had. 

3 Henriques, que. * Henriques, gum. 

386 Appendix 


elapsus essem. 1 Haec ego hactenus caelaveram quod non ignorem 
si rescita fuerint quantum mihi instet periculum et ab Anglis, 
et a Scotia qui turn in Anglia exulabant, nunc vero domi 
plurimum, ac potius omnia possunt. Deinde quod non 
existimaveram magnopere interesse vestra ea scire praesertim 
cum ad causam non magnopere pertineant. 

Voluntatis regiae erga me inditium id fuit multis, quod 
postridie demum illius die post meridiem iusserit persequi qui 
me comprehenderent cum ego iam in Anglia esse possem quippe 
quae triginta millia passuum tantum absit. 

Quod famulum meum ex itinere retractum iusserit dimitti. 

Quod notos homines interrogarit an me vidissent Londini. 

Quid illic agerem. 

Quod omnia secunda de me libenter audiret ac imprimis 
illud quod iam Burdegalae essem. 

Quod multis repugnantibus fratrem meum 2 in locum 
substituerit, semper comiter allocutus sit, atque humaniter 

Itaque illo vivo nemo Scotus mihi facessere negocium est 
ausus, cum id quod erat aliqua ex parte suspicarentur. 

Igitur cum principio lanuarii discessissem e Scotia, multum 
in itinere vexatus, ac spoliatus, et pro speculatore aliquot locis 
retentus, vix tandem Londinium sub initium quadragesimae 
veni. 3 Ibi multorum conciones in diversa trahentium animos 
auditorum audivi, ex quibus vacillabat interdum infirma mens 
et rationum fluctibus modo in hanc, modo in illam partem 

1 Thus Buchanan's statement in the second examination by the Inquisition 
officials that he had never been imprisoned in his own country seems to be 
justified. It is seen that James skilfully planned Buchanan's departure, and 
so Cardinal Beaton perhaps never had Buchanan in his power. 

2 This may refer to Patrick Buchanan. It is well to point out here that 
the Inquisition records do not confirm the statement that Patrick became a 
professor at Coimbra. The names of those professors who went to Portugal 
are given, but he is not mentioned. This might be another proof against 
Buchanan writing what is known as Vita Sua. 

s Henry VIII. had just passed the Statute of the Six Articles, and the 
result was as Buchanan tells us in Vita Sua : " Sed ibi turn omnia adeo erant 
incerta, ut eodem die ac eodem igne utriusque faetionis homines cremarentur." 
From one of his epigrams and Sir Thomas Randolph's letter to Sir Peter 
Young, we gather that Buchanan was befriended by a Sir John Rainsforde in 
times when he was, as he describes himself in a poem addressed to Thomas 
Cromwell, a wanderer, an exile, needy, tossed about by land and sea. 

Appendix 387 

ferebatur quarum rerum capita inferius quantum suggeret 
memoria exponam. 1 

Multos item utriusque partis libros 2 legi. Multa fuerunt 
mihi simulanda, ac dissimularifla pro persona quam gerebam. 
Sub quadragesimam rumor belli increbruit ac paucis post diebus 
nunciatum est circiter centum naves Hollandicas in proximo ad 
anchoras stare expectantes siquis motus popularium fieret. 

Porro ad eum nuncium tota Anglia in armis erat. Nullam 
igitur de egressu meo mentionem ausus sum facere donee is 
motus plane sedatus est sub finem aestatis ac turn etiam 3 Anglis 
persuaseram mihi iter in Germaniam esse uni hiberno ausus sum 
profiteri me in Galliam proficisci cum quo una Luteciam veni 
mense Augusto. Burdegalam deinde Septembri profectus sum 
quod per id tempus plurimae naves Scotorum et Anglorum 
convenire illuc soleant. 

1 Buchanan had in a previous examination stated how he was influenced 
by the various preachers. In the examination that followed this Defence, he 
aid "that he remembered one of the preachers, who was called Jerome and 
who was a layman, and in his sermon he argued upon the words of Saint 
Paul, hare nunc tempu* acceptabile, asserting that those who said that Lent 
was the period more acceptable than another to God were in error, because 
Saint Paul said the same of all the period of Grace ; being asked if he, 
Master George, agreed with the preacher that Saint Paul spoke of all the 
period of Grace, he replied in the affirmative, but added that it appeared to 
him that the preacher's argument did not convince one that there was not, in 
the period of Grace, one time more acceptable than another, and that, "as 
regarded the time of Lent as being more acceptable to God than any other, he 
had no fixed idea in his heart." Henriqties. 

2 In the subsequent examination Buchanan was asked if the books he had 
read when in England had also created doubts in his mind. He stated in 
reply that "one of them treated of Justification, and the other of Purgatory, 
and that it was owing to reading them that the doubts that he has mentioned 
arose in his mind ; and that, as he has confessed it, it appeared to him that 
the Catholics and the Lutherans were agreed upon the manner of Justification 
and the article of Purgatory." In the first Examination, 18th August 1550, 
he stated that " when passing through England, where he was for six months, 
he read many books of the Lutheran Sect, which treated of Justification and 
other books in which there were many things offensive to the ecclesiastics 
and the Pope, as is the book the title of which is Of the Traders, in which all 
the ecclesiastics are called traders, because they sold the Sacraments, and the 
other things of the Church, because Our Lord drove the dealers out of the 
Church," Henriques. 

3 Henriques, istatis ac turn etaeam. 

388 Appendix 

Ibi cum accepissem Regem Scotiae cum classe profectum 
ease ad compescendos motus insulanorum statui earn hyemem 
Burdegalae expectare dum nuncium de reditu ab eo acciperem, 
neque enim eius iniussu redire aut audebam aut volebam. 
Interim conditionem ab Andrea Goveano accepi. 1 

Ilia hyeme semina belli inter Scotos et Anglos iacta sunt, 
quod bellum ad hunc usque annum 1550 duravit. 

Haec sunt igitur capita quaestionum de quibus me aut 
dubitasse aut hesitasse memini. 

De libero arbitrio haec ego semper prae me tuli : 

Nee me intelligere posse deum sine providentia, nee hominem 
sine libero arbitrio. Quomodo vero ilia inter se conveniant non 
putavi mihi anxie disquirendum esse, nee unquam in disquisi- 
tionem vocavi nisi in scholis quomodo vulgo fieri solet. Nee 
memini me postquam ex Anglia veni de ea re disseruisse nisi 
nuper in scholis Conimbricae adversus eos qui ponebant facta 
posse esse infecta. 

De votis scripto in tragsedia de voto Jepthe meam sententiam 
ostendi cuius disputationis haec summa est : vota quae licite fiunt 
omnia servanda ac multi etiam sciunt Conimbricae me orationem 
Barpt. Latomi super hac re contra Bucerum et legere libenter 
solitum, et semper laudare. 

Ego omnium religionum receptarum instituta probavi, 
multorum hominum mores non probavi. Multos religiosos atque 
eorum instituta nominatim saepe et multis in locis laudavi ut 
Conimbricae Bernardinos et Eligianos de quibus nunquam nisi 
honorifice sum loquutus, qui viri mihi videntur vere antiques 
mores referre. 

De his vero qui apostoli vocantur non id unum reprehendi 
quod pueros impuberos solicitarent contra morem aliarum 
religionum, sed alia quaedam quae de eis iactabantur: quarum 
rerum querelas ad Jacobum Goveanum gymnasiarcham saepe 
detuli, nunquam in vulgus effudi. Contra vero in institutis 
eorum plurima etiam probavi et laudavi, ut nemo nisi malignua 
interpres in odium religionis ea dicta fuisse existimet quae 
culpabam. Quod si etiam in hoc genere errarim id certe ita 
modeste feci ut non petulantia sed simplicitate peccarim. 

1 This was the invitation to join the professional staff at the College of 
Ouyenne at Bordeaux, where the best scholars of the time were engaged. 

Appendix 389 

Burdegalae vero cum occurrissem Jo. Pinario 1 qui ante paucos 
dies Tolosae 2 Dominicanus factus erat ut vulgo certe ferebatur, 
quod aegre ferret se minus laute quam volebat vestitum conspici ; 
cui opinioni cum mores hominis antea mihi noti congruere 
viderentur, coepi liberius iocari cum illo pro antiqua familiari- 
tate. Quid autem dixerim non memini. Certe nihil opinor me 
dixisse quod non soleat in Gallia vulgo dici, ac possit libere 
ubique inter amicos. Et tamen ilium notabiliter offensum sensi 
quod mihi qui eum paulo ante noveram non tarn gravis visus 
quam ipse omnibus se videri volebat. 

Eiusdem Gallicae libertatis erat illud quod homini molesto 
quern videbam causam 3 disputandi quaerere roganti quis fecit 
primus monachos ego forte respondi tonsor et vestiarius. Is qui 
fuerit certe non memini, hoc autem scio in Gallia nusquam 
homines huiuscemodi verbis offendi solere. 

Scripsi Burdegalae dialogum qui publice exhibitus est, et 
privatim apud multos actus, a nemine quod sciam reprehensus, 
in quo reprehendebantur patres, qui liberos suos invitos ad 
monachatum adigunt, nihil animadvertentes idonei sint, necne, 
"ad id institutum. Cuius scribendi occasio haec erat; nobilis 
quidam in Santonibus monsieur de Mirambeau duas habebat 
filias ex priore uxore, ad quas proveniebat hereditas opulenta 
ex morte matris. Pater autem arguebatur eas invitas intrusisse 
in monasterium eius hereditatis causa, nam in Santonibus 
parentibus liberi, et liberis parentes succedunt. Hae autem 
puellae turn maxime adversus patrem litigabant in senatu 

1 Joam Pinheiro was a nephew of the Bishop of Tangiers, and had been 
one of Buchanan's pupils. On 6th September Buchanan states that the brief 
discussion which he had at Bordeaux, with Friar Joam Pinheiro, was, " as to 
whether the monks of Saint Dominic were bound not to eat meat when 
travelling, and that he, Master George, held that they were not so bound, 
because he thinks that he had heard so from old monks of Saint Dominic ; and 
that he also, joking with Pinheiro, remarked that his Habit was better than a 
Silken Coat, and this he said because he had heard at Bordeaux that the said 
Friar Joam Pinheiro had become a monk, because he was refused a Silken Coat." 
This Pinheiro was perhaps the originator of the persecution of Buchanan, Teives, 
and Costa. His evidence given at Paris was the cause of Buchanan and the 
others being arrested. All three had told him that men had instituted Advent 
and Lent, and that Christ had ordained that there should be no difference in 
victuals. They had also said that men had instituted the Religious Orders. 

2 Buchanan's reference here to Toulouse, and again on p. 391 (tholosam) do 
not quite confirm the belief that Buchanan had been there, although in his 
History (p. 11) he mentions that he was there in 1544. 

3 Henriques, ausam. 

390 Appendix 

Burdegalensi. 1 Is dialogus turn 2 ncminem quod sciam offen- 
derat : neque quicquam continebat quod in Gallia non agi et 
dici et liceat et soleat. 3 

De matrimonio sacerdotum hoc sensi ; votum his qui fecissent 
servandum sed certe minus scandali futurum si, ut solebat anti- 
quitus, presbyteri, hoc est seniores, tantum ordinarentur, aut 
permitteretur eis matrimonium. 4 

An vero quisquam sine speciali gratia possit caste vivere 
quaestionem earn putavi magis pertinere ad medicos quam ad 
theologos, ac de ea re fuit mihi sermo cum Nicolao Pichoto 
medico Burdegalensi homine docto qui mihi plane persuasit 
libidinem arte et diaeta niinui multis rationibus posse. 

De veste vero Franciscanorum an tantam vim habeat quantam 
vulgus credit, hoc est, liberos a poenis fore et omnino remitti 
eis peccata qui in ea sepeliuntur 3 nunquam mihi uecessario cred- 
enduin putavi quippe cum id nee scripturis sit traditum nee ab 
ecclesia sancitum. 6 

1 On 21st August in the second Examination he was asked if he had ever 
censured or laughed at people for entering the Religious Orders. He 
remembered that at Coimbra before four or five persons he had said that the 
Jesuits were wrong in persuading young people to enter their Order, before 
they had attained years of discretion. He said, however, that he had never 
felt badly disposed towards the Order. 

2 Henriques, tarn. 

3 This dialogue raised the anger of the Catholic Clergy, and thus 
helped to cause Buchanan's flight from Bordeaux. From an item in Pinheiro's 
evidence, it has been conjectured that a Lutheran, a friend of Garanta (or 
Guerente), was burned as a martyr at Bordeaux, and so Buchanan took 
warning and fled. 

4 In a succeeding examination when he was asked if he at any time had held 
that formerly priests were free to marry, he replied, that he had thought he 
had, but that he had never taught this, nor would he advise any one iu 
Holy Orders to marry. He had also heard another preacher in England, 
a Catholic named Stephen, Bishop of Winchester, who had argued that 
marriage had two objects, prolem et vitationcm fornicatioms, and that the 
second was of less importance. Before that, another Lutheran whose name 
he does not know had preached that the object of matrimony was the avoiding 
of fornication. In the light of these facts, it is not surprising that Buchanan 
with his broad-mindedness should have recoiled from both sides, and after- 
wards refrained from any religious reforming fervour. 

5 Henriques has a footnote which, when translated from the Portuguese, 
evidently means " written in the margin with reference to the passage." 

6 In the subsequent examination he said that he believed that those who 
are buried in the Franciscan Habit will obtain all the indulgences granted to 
them by the Pope, but he was unaware that these indulgences had been 
given. His opinion was that the said indulgences were derived from the 
promise of St. Francis, and not from the Pope. He had doubted about that 
promise of St. Francis, because no mention was made of it in his biography. 

Appendix 391 

Atque ut obiter id attingam nunquam putavi mihi ease necesse 
ut fidem adhiberem miraculis, nisi his praesertim quae gravia- 
simis autoribus confirmata essent, non quod credam non posse 
per sanctos, atque ttiam per diabolum opera mirabilia saepe 
praesentari std quod ex uno ficto miraculo plus fit mali si res 
fiat palam, quam ex multis veris boni. 1 Id ego multis exemplis 
edoctus dico. Fratrum Bernensium multis nota est historia, 
quae turbavit Helvetios. Infinita huius generis uno tempore 
prodierunt, quae totam subverterunt Angliam. 

Aureliae in Gallia Franciscani, prope Tholosam sacerdotes, in 
suburbio Luteciano procurator Benedictorum quautos tumult us 
excivissent nisi nigrantus 2 severe animadvertissent. 

In Scotia purgatorio multum fidei detraxit Gulielmus Langius 
Franciscanus dum purgatorium miraculo vult confirmare. 3 

De purgatorio vero nunquam dubitavi quin crederem esse 
locum poenae aeternae, ac alium poenae temporalis post mortem 
cum nullum peccatum sit quod non aliquam poenam mereatur 
etiamsi culpa condonetur. 

Illud vero aliquando dubitavi an indulgentiae pertinerent 
etiam ad mortuos. Nee alia res nisi determinatio ecclesiae me eo 
scrupulo liberavit. De qua dicam inferius. 

De iustificatione putavi diversis verbis idem dicere vos et 
Lutheranos cum alteri dicerent hominem iustificari ex fide et 
operibus, alteri ex fide peroperante. 4 Ac in tarn tenui discrimine 
dolebam eos non convenire de re maxima. Quod si quando 
simpliciter ex fide iustificari nos dicebant, id ita accipiebam ac si 
dicerent fide perfecta quae coniunctam habet charitatem quae 
otiosa non est. 3 

1 When questioned regarding the miracles often presented both by the 
saints and the devil, he stated that at a certain time he had believed that the 
wonders worked by the saints were on an equality with the others, because he 
had wrongly interpreted some things which he had read. The master-priest, 
Friar Hieronimus, had, however, " made things clear to him." 

2 Henriques, nigrantue. 4 Henriques, per operanle. 

8 In reference to this miracle performed by William Languis or Lang, 
in order to prove the existence of Purgatory, Buchanan afterwards stated that 
" according to popular report, and as was afterwards proved before the King, 
Langius conspired with another man, that he should say that a departed soul 
had appeared to him which was eventually found to be false." 

5 He was afterwards examined on the question of justification, and a 
straight question put to him. He was asked if he held that the sinner was 
justified through faith in Christ, so that charity only would follow, or that the 
sinner justified himself by faith formally. His reply was in favour of the 
former condition, ita quod Charitas consequebatur. He also considers that 

392 Appendix 

Cum in Scotia legerem libros Augustini de doctrina Christiana 
ac in locum incidissem libro. 3. ubi quaedam eo pertinentia verba 
explicat, ostendi locum fratri Dominicano primi nominis apud 
nostros ac interrogavi quid sibi videretur. I lie nihil de re dixit 
sed me apud alios passim traducebat tanquam sacramentarium, 
quae res multiplex malum mihi creavit, nam et dubium multo 
magis quam antea remisit, et sum mam vulgo infamiam mihi 
conflavit, et fecit ne postea si qua in re dubitarem cuiquam me 
aperire auderem. Cur autem id fecerit novit deus: quid alii 
suspicati sint, non attinet scribere. 1 

Accesserunt postea alii Augustini loci qui vehementius animum 
meum commoverunt ac maiorem iniecerant scrupulum, ita ut 
plane Augustinus ab adversariis stare videretur cui ego semper 
plurimum tribuebam. Interea si de ea re incident sermo fieri 
potest ut ego meam de Augustino sententiam aperirem. Nam id 
nunquam dissimulavi, sed ita ut ipse nunquam ausus sim definire 
quicquam. Neque enim ita ei assentiebar, ut plane illi crederem, 
sed ut tanti viri autoritas turbaret animum. Earn hesitationem 
meam per otium feriis paschalibus antequam communicarem ad 
And. Goveanum retuli. Is mihi primus ostendit in sacramento 
eucharistiae et corpus esse et signum, neque contra. Quod 
responsum eius cum varie confirmaret, turn mihi omnino satis- 
fecit postea vero animum plane confirmarunt scripta Roffensis et 
Clithovei 2 ea potissimum quae de autoritate ecclesiae disputant 
non solum in hac parte sed in omnibus aliis. Accesserunt 
conciones doctorum virorum Luteciae atque etiam Burdegalae, 
quae mihi satisfecerunt. 

Cum de eucharistia dubitabam quod tempus coepit sub meum 

Catholics and Lutherans are agreed on this point, that faith cannot exist 
without works. In other words, he considered, that though faith and charity 
were different things in themselves, they could not be present independently 
of one another. Perfect faith belief in the history of the Holy Scripture and 
the confidence that through Christ we have access to God could not be without 

1 The influence of Augustine, whose works he had carefully read, was 
shown in the conversations with Pinheiro, who in his evidence stated that 
Buchanan had tried to prove and show him, that according to St. Augustine's 
De Doctrina Christiana, the body of our Lord " was in the Eucharistic 
Sacrament per modum signitatem." It was Augustine's sincerity in this belief 
that inclined Buchanan to accept it. 

2 We learn both here and in another passage that " his doubts have been 
removed by attending the lessons of the Catholics and by reading Rofense and 
Aclitoben. " Henrique*. 

Appendix 393 

ex Anglia discessum usque ad proximum pascha (nam in 
Scotia magis disquirebam etiam quam disputabam et in Anglia 
de ea re vetitum erat disputare) necesse erat etiam de missa an 
esset sacrificium disputare, praesertim cum haec inter se connexa 
sint. Neque memini tamen unquam in ulla disputatione hanc 
rem a me agitatam nisi in disputatione quadam publica ad 
quam me et alios provocaverat Melchior Flavius Franciscanus. 
Argumenta vero quibus usus sum illic, agitavi cum aliis ac 
postea quibusdam recitavi, idque simpliciter. 

Unane missa debeat esse an plures nunquam interposui meam 
sententiam. Illud saepe dixi multas res esse quae minus venera- 
tionis haberunt ex frequentia. Dixi me libentius audire mag- 
nam missam in secreto aliquo templo quam frequenti, quod in 
templis celebrioribus eo tempore plures contractus transigi 
viderem, quam in foro. 

Ex his verbis quid maligni interpretes collegerint nescio, neque 
etiam id praestare possum. 

Missas vero qui plures audiat quam ego in tantis occupationi- 
bus puto esse neminem, cuius rei testem habeo totam viciniam. 

Missas autem a privatis dici imperari pro furto inveniendo ac 
aliis id genus absurdum putavi. 1 

Orationem rem longe sanctissimam esse sentio. Multa tamen 
saepe dixi in eos qui temere orant, hoc est, non animadvertunt 
quid dicant, item in eos qui vel evangelium vel alias orationes 
quasi carmen magicum ad usus profanos applicant, ac certis 
verbis f ebrim depelli vel alios morbos credant : qua in re multos 
offendi vel qui fiduciam in his rebus collocant, vel qui quaestum 
hinc faciunt. 2 

In his erant qui clavem vertendo de furto divinant, qui salicis 
virgam fissam certis verbis coire faciunt, ac ex ea crucem depel- 
lendae febri faciunt, ac alia multa id genus. Hi cum reprehen- 
duntur statim Lutheran! nomen reprehensoribus obiiciunt. 

Delectum ciborum, vestium, et confessionem auricularem certo 
tempore et modo ex institutione humana omnia sed utilia semper 
putavi, quae si quis non observet peccare quidem ex inobedientia 

1 Henriques has a footnote which, when translated, means " in margin 
without reference to the text." 

8 When Buchanan was afterwards asked if he held that all who prayed 
without attention thereby sinned, he replied, that in his opinion, those people 
grievously sinned who mechanically spoke the words of the prayer and there- 
by thought that sufficient. He, in the above passage, severely criticises those 
who expect disease to be expelled simply by using words, even if they be 

394 Appendix 

cum non solum ecclesiae sed etiam principum legibus obediendum 
sit, sed leve id peccatum esse si sine scandalo fieret, cum ad 
mores regeudos tanquam leges civiles sint. 1 

In cibis illud sensi : non cibum ipsum inquinare hominem sed 
vel inobedientiam, vel scandalum. Usus autem sum cibis promis- 
cue cum incidebat occasio fere per biennium : postquam vero ab 
Auglia egressus sum nunquam quod sciam nisi valetudinis causa 
quae magna ex parte mihi adversa fuit ex gravissimo Burdegalae 
coelo, unde longum morbum contraxi distillationis, qui nunquam 
nisi hac aestate intermisit. 

Confessione semper usus ex more ecclesiastico etiam in Anglia, 
quanquam ibi non communicavi, cum in maximis rebus ab eis 
dissentirem . 

Videlicet pontificis potestate quam semper maximam esse prae 
me tuli, sed ita ut pontificem in potestate concilii dicerem esse, 
quae res saepe canonici iuris studiosos offendit, aeque atque 
illud quod dicebam canonistaium scientiam esse periculis 
obnoxiam, quae concilii generalis uno decreto possit eis auferri. 

Item quod aliquando dixerim pontificem praeter clavem Petri 
aliam hoc est multas rationes colligendae pecuniae habere qua 
omnium loculos aperiret. 

Dissentiebam item ab Anglis de praeceptis humanis cum 
existimarem etiam profanorum ingrantuum 2 leges et iussa sub 
poena peccati observanda : item quod nunquam persuadere mihi 
poterant Regem Angliae caput esse ecclesiae Anglicae. 

Item de purgatorio, de libero arbitrio, de potestate pontificis, 
de votis, de ecclesia, in qua se nunquam mihi explicare poterant 
quid esset, aut quae. Itaque cum primum potui ut illinc evasi 
meam senteutiam de Anglis explicavi, in ea tragoedia quae est de 
Jo. Baptista, in qua quantum materiae similitude 3 patiebatur, 

1 Buchanan was much questioned regarding his views on Confession. He 
stated that it was a Divine law, that man should confess to the priest, that the 
time for doing so was fixed by human law, that the precept of confession was 
human. He considered that it was not a sin to fail to confess at the times 
ordered by the Church if scandal was not caused thereby, at least it was a 
venial sin. It was venial as compared with sins which are contrary to human 
laws ; it was not an unpardonable sin to disobey human laws, if neither scandal 
nor injury to one's neighbour arose therefrom. 

2 Henriques, ingrantuum. 

1 The phrase, in qua aimilititdo, is repeated in Henriques' text. 

Appendix 395 

mortem et accusationem Thomae Mori repraesentavi, et speciem 
tirannidis illius temporis ob oculoa posui. 1 

Haec sunt quae memoria suppetvmt mihi in quibus animus fere 
per biennium in Scotia et Anglia haesit aut interdum male 
sensit, aut in quibus cum male sentientibus consensi, et coivi 

Burdegalae vero quicquid fui temporis illud in vero disquirendo 
consumpsi, adeo ut cum edoctus f uissem ex Roffensi et Clichtoveo, 
quanta esset orthodoxae ecclesiae autoritas protinus mecum 
statuerem in posterum minus mihi credere, atque ut rationes 
humanas in profanis disciplinis quaererem, in rebus sacris 
autoritati scripturae crederem cuius neminem interpretem 
1 The statement, as here made, is perhaps the most important in the whole 
defence. It is certainly the most startling and throws new light altogether 
on the motive of Buchanan's drama, the Baptistes. In spite of his heresies, 
Buchanan was faithful to the Catholic Church in its principles of government, 
if not in its methods and interpretations. Henry VIII. 's claim to be head of 
the Church was repugnant to Buchanan, as well as being an example of the 
tyranny of kings. Professor Hume Brown with his insight into the historical 
conditions of the times was certainly justified in inferring that the leading 
sentiments in the drama express the strong leanings of the writer, but his 
surmises as to the personalities represented were not correct, however near they 
may have been. Buchanan's confession in the above defence shows that Sir 
Thomas More was the prototype of Buchanan's Johannes. Professor Hume 
Brown suggests a fiery reformer of Buchanan's time, e.g. Berquin, while Pro- 
fessor De la Ville de Mirmont, suggests Patrick Hamilton (see p. 122 of this 
volume). We may presume that it is equally wrong to say that "Herod could 
hardly but suggest Francis I. : s past attitude towards the religious difficulties 
of the day," while Louise of Savoy was considered the prototype of Herodias. 
Again Professor De la Ville de Mirmont makes Herod to represent the James V. 
of Scotland, and Herodias to be Mary of Guise. Howsoever these happy 
suggestions may have been in conformity with Buchanan's drama, we must now 
consider them as improbable. Herod was evidently meant to represent Henry 
VIII., and Herodias was evidently Anne Boleyn. Then again, Professor 
De la Ville de Mirmont agrees with Buchanan's greatest biographer in saying 
that Malchus "undoubtedly stood in Buchanan's mind for his own relentless 
pursuer, Cardinal Beaton." It is now to be accredited to Buchanan that he 
did not vituperate his greatest foe to the extent that students of his works 
expected him to do. Malchus must thus represent Cromwell, and undoubtedly 
the representation is complete. Professor Hume Brown has no suggestion to 
make concerning Gamaliel, but Professor de la Ville de Mirmont has suggested 
Charles de Grammont, Archbishop of Bordeaux (see p. 122) and gives his 
reasons, which are strangely opposite to the suggestion of Professor Hume 
Brown that this Archbishop might seem to the people of Bordeaux to represent 
Malchus. We however are much clearer on this point, and the character seems 
to represent Cranmer. Then the Queen's daughter might be interpreted as 
a prophetic representation of the character of Anne's daughter, though the 
prophecy wag not fulfilled in Elizabeth's actions. 

396 Appendix 

praeter ecclesiae catholicae consensum suscipercm. Quae cogitatio 
adeo animum meum fregit ut per postremum biennium quod fui 
Burdegalae nullum insolentius verbum ex me audiium arbitrer 
cuius non esset mihi facilis ratio in Gallia ubi scrmonis in iocando 
et comediarum in agendo summa libertas est non modo in alios 
sed etiam in regem ipsum. Itaque durissimae inquisitionis tem- 
poribus nmo me unquam levissima suspitione aspersit. 

Sub flnem anni 1543 Luteciam profectus sum 1 omnino ea mente 
[ut] in Scotiam redirem ac me restituerem ecclesiae. Ibi cum a 
Paulo pontifice maximo bulla veniae generalis promulgata esset 
omnibus qui se reconciliare veUent ecclesiae, earn ego turn veniam 
lib enter amplexus sum, quippe qui omnes rationes sum secutus 
ut non modo crimen sed etiam suspitionem criminis a me 
removerem. Neque propterea destiti in patriam velle reverti, ut 
de scandalo quod illic excitarem omnibus publice satisfacerem, 
neque enim animo illic habitandi redire volebam, sed me pur- 
gandi. Nam praeter poenitentiam a sacerdote mihi indictam ego 
mihimetipsi aliam indixi mea sponte ut videlicet perpetuum 
mihi exilium consciscerem ubi me semel purgassem, praeterea ut 
meus labor ecclesiae semper deserviret nee ullos honores unquam 
aut fructus ex ecclesia perciperem. 

Interea Luteciae usus sum consuetudine eorum hominum qui 
longissime a suspitione abessent. Cum Jo. Ershin priore coenobii 
divi Colmoci, ac fratre illius mulieris quae mihi creavit omnes 
molestias, familiarissime vixi, cum Gulielmo Cranstono, 2 qui 
nunc opinor est doctor theologus, cum Davide Panitario 3 turn 
legato qui nunc est archiepiscopus Glascuensis ac legatus 
Scotorum in Gallia qui me saepe humaniter mensa sua excepit 
et cui praelecturus fueram literas Graecas 1 nisi mihi morbus 
impedimento fuisset. Denique nullus fuit alicuius nominis turn 
Luteciae Scotus cuius familiari consuetudine non sim usus. 

Verum cum ex destillatione in morbum articularem in omnes 
corporis artus diffusum incidissem, qui me tota aestate et autumno 
detinuit affixurn lecto mea profectio in patriam irupedita est. 

Successit tempus illud quo per factiones domesticas Scotorum 
Angli magnam partem Scotiae armis obtinuerunt, ac totam 
occupaturi videbantur ut iam nee si possem redire liceret. 5 

1 It is now certain that Buchanan did not leave Bordeaux until 1543. 

2 Appointed Principal of St. Salvator's College, St. Andrews, 1551. 

1 Presumably David Panter, Commendator of Cambuskenneth Abbey. He 
was vicar of Carstairs, near Glasgow ; latterly Bishop of Ross, not of Glasgow. 

4 Buchanan stated earlier in the Inquisition that he had studied Greek, as 
well as Latin, Letters and Philosophy at Paris ; he was not therefore self- 
taught in Greek, aa has been supposed. 5 Heuhques, liberet. 

Appendix 397 

Itaque omnino de patria repetenda animum abieci et qui antea id 
solum cogitabara turn conditionem requirendam putavi ubi des- 
perata salute patriae longissime ab eius malis audiendis abessem. 

Offerebant mihi in Gallia amplas conditiones Abbas Jueriaci 
homo nobilissimus qui me etiam in morbo pecunia benigne 
iuverat, in Vasconibus item Episcopi Tarbellensis, et Condo- 
mensis, in aula regia Card. Lothoring, et Card. Giuriacensis, 
et Franciae Cancellariua suasu Jo. Gagnei theologi et lazari Bayfii, 
quorum domestica consuetudine usus sum aliquot menses in aula. 

Ego tamen tenuiorem hie secutus sum, ut quam longissime, ut 
dixi, a patriae malis abessem. Hoc demum anno cum pacem 
cum Anglis factam audissem statueram iterum in patriam redire 
ac omnibus quod in me esset satisfacere. 

Superiore ergo illo triennio multa per ignorantiam multa per 
negligentiam, iuvenilis aetatis impetum, pravam consuetudinem 
et dixi et feci, quae nequiter perverse et impie facta intelligo, 
quorum ego cum poenitentiam egissem anno 1544 putavi ea 
apud homines oblivione perpetua sepultum iri quemadmodum 
apud deum sepulta esse arbitror et spero. Quorum rationem 
mihi nunc non putavi reddendam. Neque singillatim reddere 
possum neque dubito tamen quin multo plura sint quam hie a 
me perscribantur. Novem vero posteriores annos ita egi et cum 
his hominibus, in luce Christiani orbis ut nee fingendis criminibus 
locum me praebuisse opiner cuius rei testem neminem fugio qui 
me familiariter novisse poterat. Qui fuerunt multi, et illustres 
homines, quorum non solum familiaritate, sed etiam convictu sum 
usus quadriennio proximo antequam in Lusitaniam venissem. 1 Ita 
enim vixi ut pauci admodum eo tempore me notiores fuerint Luteciae. 

De mea vita et oratione postquam in Lusitaniam veni nullum 
testem reiicio. Quod si novem annorum inoffensus cursus perpetuo 
vitae tenore non satis magnum mutatae vitae inditium habet, 
si regressus ad ecclesiam et venia impetrata apud tales homines 
non valent, nescio quis portus est ad quern miseri confugere 
possunt. Ego vero confiteor me graviter in deum atque homines 
peccasse, scandalo fuisse ecclesiae Dei, idemque testor me cum 
saepe alias turn promulgatis indulgentiis peccata me confessum 
esse, ab eo tempore semper cavisse ne quern ulla in re quoad 
possem offenderem, et si quid in praesentia omiserim id me in- 
firmitate memoriae, non alia ratione fecisse. Protestor item me 
nullam poenam etiam nunc recusare, donee omnibus quod in me 
est satisfaciam. Sin minus mihi hie in aliqua re creditur, illud a 
1 Also from a passage at foot of p. 401 we are assured that he was in Paris 
until he left for Portugal, and thus the problem of the years 1545-1547 is solved. 

398 Appendix 

vestra humanitate peto, ut hie de Lusitanicis peccatis statuatis 
quod vobis visum fuerit severissima iudicii 1 forma. De his quae 
in Gallia a me admissa dicuntur vinctus in Galliam mittar ut 
illic ubi asperrime iudicia exercentur dem poenas, neque enim 
ego meis testibus uti possum neque adversariorum hie testimonia 
refutare neque notos homines allegare: multa praetera hie 
criminosa esse video quae in Gallia ne suspitionem quidem 
criminis habent. 

In Britannia vero quae acta sunt non solum deprecor sed 
etiam ea detestor atque abominor. Vos autem viri doctissimi 
interim hoc expendere velim quam infirma sit iuventa non solum 
suapte natura sed etiam provocata contumeliis, ambitione 
inflammata, contentione accensa, callidorum hominum insidiis 
circumventa, doctorum hominum opinione et suasu impulsa, 
irarum impetu in praeceps plerumque proruens, insidiis diaboli 
impedita, 2 consuetudine pravorum hominum corrupta, illecebris 

De me vero sic habetote. Quae mihi causa fuerat ad lapsa 
praecipua, eadem fuit ad odium praeteritae vitae potissima. Nam 
cum ab ineunte aetate in grammatica rhetorica et dialectica male 
institutum me intellexissem, statui mihi omnium opiniones 
audiendas, in nullius magistri verba iurandum. Ea ratio me 
provexit longius ut nihil non audiendum in quavis re putarem. 
Itaque cum .Lutherani freti adversariorum ignorantia sese 
ostentarent, Christiani homines quae ipsi firma et solida 
putarent in disquisitionem vocari moleste ferrent, et convitiar- 
entur magis quam responderent, factum est plerumque ut 
infirmiorum animi nutarent quod inopia probationum eos ad 
convitia descendere crederent, et ob eandem causam suos sensus 
non auderent omnibus nudare. Dum auxilium petere non aude- 
bant in luto haerebant. Postquam vero in Galliam veni aeque 
facile veritatem auditam arripui, nee ulla in re unquam pertin- 
aciter egi. Me autem non esse pertinacem in ulla re cum omnes 
alii Conimbricae turn mei discipuli sciunt, a quibus facile me 
admoneri patior si quid interpretando errarim, aut siquid 
posterius occurrit de aliqua re quod melius dici possit, sine ulla 
ambitione detego meum errorem. Neque quicque in quo dubito 
ulla ex parte me plane profiteer scire. Eorum vero quae superius 
explicavi si quid pro explorato tenuissem, non erat cur ex Anglia 
discederem ubi nee opes, nee honores, nee securitas mihi defutura 
1 Henriques, indicii. 2 Henriques, impetita. 

Appendix 399 

erant: non recusassem ire in Daniam, quo me vocabat in spem 
maximae hereditatis maior amita mea, mulier orba, provecta 
aetate, et notae opulentiae omnibus exteris qui mare Balthicum 

Non toties infelici eventu reditum in patriam tentassem. 

Non temporibus turbulentis redire recusassem. 

Non ita rationes meas constituissem ut, dum commodum 
revertendi tempus expecto, nullis certis sedibus haeream, aut 
certe me munissem literis pontificiis adversus invidiam potius 
quam simplici indulgentia, cuius ego etiam nunc vim earn esse 
volo ut meae conscientiae in solatium prosit. Quod reliquum est 
totum misericordiae Dei ac vestrae committo neque ullam 
poenam qua vos me dignum statueritis recuso. Illud tantum 
vos oro ne hominem qui nullam satisfaciendi rationem hactenus 
omisit, quod in se fuit, potius perditum quam servatum velitis 

Orationes ad sanctos 1 veteri more semper probavi quibus vel 
oramus ut intercedant pro nobis, vel per memoriam eorum aliquid 
a deo petimus. Multae novae mihi visae sunt superstitiosae, ut 
quae a sanctis simpliciter petunt ea quae a deo peti debent quae 
putantur ad certa mala afferre remedium, ut adversus vulnera 
febrim, etc. 

Picturae comparatio pontificis cum Christo, qui non ingreditur 
per ostium, etc., . . omnis arbor non faciens fructum, etc., 
. resurrectio Christi in qua religiosi omnium ordinum 
custodiunt sepulchrum ac dolent ubi senserunt Christum 
surrexisse 2 . . . picturas varias in Anglia vidi quas in 
Gallia interdum explicabam expetentibus, e quibus aliquas in 
Scotiam delatas vidi per episcopum sancti Davidis Anglum cum 
esset legatus in Scotia quae nonnulos commoverunt. 

De imaginibus probavi id quod turn vidi fieri in Anglia: ut 
hae quae superstitiose colebantur velut imago crucifixi quae 
vultu risus et alios affectus fingebat et imago darvel gadezim 3 
tollerentur, caeterae permanerent, utque quater in anno ad 

1 Buchanan afterwards stated that the saints ought not to be asked for 
that which only God gives, which is the life eternal and the remission of sins, 
and that he had always advised to go direct to God, because no saint was so 
merciful as God. The saints should only be our intercessors with God. 

2 This picture compared the Pope with Christ and was inscribed with the 
texts " He who entereth not in by the gate " and " Every tree that beareth 
not fruit," and to a picture of the Resurrection of Christ, which represented 
the monks of every order as guarding the sepulchre and expressing their 
grief on discovering that Christ was risen indeed. " These were probably 
German prints." The passage is quite corrupt. 3 See p. 71, footnotes. 

400 Appendix 

minimum sacerdos interpretaretur populo quid sibi vellent 
imagines ac caeterae cerimoniae quae videbantur populo 

De Judaismo nunquam cogitavi. Anabaptistarum quae sit 
secta adhuc ignore. 

Epicureos in omni conventu semper detestatus sum nee verbo 
solum sed etiam carminibus interdum. 

Libros nee habeo ullos nisi vetustos, nee aliud est de quo 
diligentius admoneo scholasticos in omni loco quam ut a lectione 
novorum librorum in omni genere doctrinae absistant donee 
veteres plane perlegerint. 

Babylonem quae describitur in apocalipsi aliquando Romam 
putavi, ac earn etiam designari per mulierem. Verum cum mecum 
reputarem in prophetis de re futura omnem interpretationem 
ease periculosam, quippe cum maxima pars turn demum intelli- 
gatur ubi eventus est manifestus, statim in ea re suspendi 
sententiam ac facile passus sum me cum multis id ignorare. 

Georg. Buchanan mea manu omnia scripsi et signavi. 

After the first Defence was received Buchanan had to undergo 
a severe examination. After that was over, he wrote the 
following, which is mainly autobiographical : 

" Tria fere tempora esse video, in quibus omnis mea versatur 
accusatio. Primum a postremis incipit annis quibus in Scotia 
fui, usque ad id tempus quo ex Anglia in Galliam veni, ac per 
aliquot menses legendo et audiendo quoad potui animum 
repurgavi, ac deinde communicavi quod fuit circiter quindecim 
dies post pascha anno domini 1541 si recte memini. Hoc ego 
totum tempus quoad memoria suppetebat, vobis ante descripsi. 
Multa autem ut fateor in Anglia et Scotia a me parum pie 
dicta et facta sunt. Nam in Gallia nihil memini nisi siquis me 
rogaverit de rebus Anglicis forte responderim. 

Non dubito tamen quin ad vos in rebus Scoticis multo acerbiora 
vero delata sunt omnia, praesertim cum gravissimis factionibus 
absens oppugnarer. Praeterea cum ego e familia non adeo opul- 
enta sim, sed certe nota et factiosa, non solum mea privata odia 
in me incubuerunt, sed ab inimicis etiam familiae communibus 
oppugnabar. Quanto autem odio prosequebatur meam familiam 
eius familia qui nunc est prorex in Scotia, quoties iudiciis 
capitalibus, quoties ferro totam nostram gentem petiverint, 
nemini opinor ignotum est qui res Scoticas noverit. 

Appendix 401 

Accedebat commune nominis Lutherani odium quod secundis 
populi auribus, summam fingendi licentiam hominibus invidis et 
malitiosis dabat. 

Haec ego non ideo dico ut me purgem sed nequis vestrum 
admiretur si eadem quae ego facta fateor aut paulo aliter, aut 
etiam asperius facta ab aliis dicantur, praesertim cum hi 
quibus negocium datur ut inquirant de talibus rebus eorum testi- 
monia recipiant libentissime, qui criminosissime, et acerbissime 
loquantur. Neque enim iudicum sed accusatorum partes sibi 
demandatas intelligunt. Itaque dura crimina omnia sine dis- 
crimine libenter arripiunt , malunt alienae saluti periculum 
creare, quam ipsi videri in quaerendo parum diligentes fuisse. 

Quae omnia refutandi mihi in praesentia non video locum. 
Sed odio invidiae et malignis rumoribus praebendae sunt aures, 
apud eos auditores, qui 1 quid sit veri in re ipsa nosse non 

Ut in Galliam veni omne tempus quoad potui in excutiendo 
vero posui, usque ad pascha proximum. 

Et cum id quod concionibus et libris legendis nondum satis 
axplicatum putabam ad And. Goveanum retulissem, ille partim 
negociis impeditus, partim disputando et docendo rem protrax- 
isset in XV. diem post pascha, eo tempore liber omni scrupulo 

Proximum fuit tempus ab eo paschate donee in Lusitaniam 
veni, quo tempore nullam occasionem satisfaciendi deo et hominibus 
quoad eius fieri 2 potuit omisi. Nam quod meae conscientiae con- 
solandae debebam id omnibus modis exsecutus 8 sum, legendo 
audiendo, ecclesiae omni ex parte parendo et publicum et privatam 
absolutionem accipiendo. 

Quod vero ad homines attinet cum in Gallia neminem me 
ostendisse dicto vel facto mihi conscius essem, non eram ea de re 
solicitus. Scotis vero quos publice offenderam ut satisfacerem 
publice semper id unice cupienti occasio est erepta de manibus. 
Quos vero ita convenire familiariter potui ut meam voluntatem 
exponerem eis abunde satisfactum puto. 

Hoc totum tempus prope sex annorum fuit, quo partim 
Burdegalae, partim Luteciae fui, et cum honoratissimo quoque 
qui in his locis erant familiariter vixi. 4 Neque reor me in 
offensionem cuiusquam incurrisse. 

1 Henriques gives quid 2 Henriquea /reri. s Henriques execntns. 
4 This statement proves that Buchanan left Paris to go to Portugal. 

402 Appendix 

Tamen cum in tanta malignitate hominum difficile sit invidiam, 
difficillimum linguas malas effugere, video quod in Gallia mihi 
facillimum foret, idem hie mihi fore difficillimum, 1 ut cum 
testibus ignotis confligam, apud eos qui nee me, nee illos nosse 
potuerunt, inter mores longe diversissimos cum occulta invidia 

Itaque quod antea petii nee iniquum esse nee novum existimo 
id etiam nunc peto, ut apud severissimos Galliae iudices, ubi ius 
severissime dicitur liceat mihi cum illis experiri. Quod si fiat 
facile polliceor non magis mihi nunc ausuros molestiam exhibere 
quam per tot annos in Gallia praebere ausi sunt. 

Tertium est tempus hoc quadriennium prope, 2 quod in 
Lusitania sum. De quo hoc tantum dico quoad per valetudinem 
licuit meam semper domum meum cubiculum noctes et dies 
patuisse, nihil clausi, nihil caelati apud me fuit : neque dicta, 
neque facta obscura sunt de quibus rebus facile vos cognoscere 
potestis praesertim cum neminem testem recusem. 

Quam vero libere et clare haec nunc apud vos de hoc tertio 
tempore pronuntis, tarn libere apud Gallos iudices de tempore 
quo in Gallia fui pronuntiarem neque enira qui clam nunc me 
oppugnant (si qui sunt) suam impudentiam prodere auderent ubi 
facile redargui possent palam." 


When Buchanan and his colleagues Teive and Costa were 
arrested by the Inquisition at Lisbon, the Doctors and Deputies 
visited their rooms and examined their possessions. When they 
visited Teive's room, they found money and one book John 
Calvin's Christianae Religionis Institiitio (1536). The books of 
the other two prisoners were more numerous, and it is especially 
interesting to learn what books they had been cherishing. For 
information on this point we are indebted to Senhor Henriques, 
who gives an account of the Record given by the notary : 

" And at once the said Doctors, together with me, the Notary, 
went to the lodgings of Master Joamo da Costa, Principal of the 

1 Henriques prints facilimum and difficilimum. 

2 Buchanan must have come to Portugal at the beginning of 1547 or at the 
end of 1546. 

Appendix 403 

said College, who is said to be at His Highness's Court, and, 
search having been made for all of his papers and books, the 
following were found, that is to say : Two volumes, the title of 
which is Precationes Cristiana; 1 ITEM, another volume, the title 
of which is Unio Discedentium ; another volume, the title of 
which is Inquiridion Salmorum; 2 ITEM, another volume, the 
title of which is Prases Divini Escriture; ITEM, another volume, 
with the covers wanting, the title of which is Anotaciones 
Sebastiane Monsteri; ITEM, another volume, the title of which 
is Dictionario Ebraico, composed by Monstero; ITEM, another 
volume, the title of which [is] Works of Clement Marot; another 

volume of the Brivia , 3 in the French language. 

And, at once, all the said senhores Deputy and Doctors went 
with me, the Notary, to the lodgings of the said Master George 
Buchanan, and, upon all of his books and chests being searched, 
there was found among them a volume, the title of which is 
Greci Literature de Colampadio; another volume, the title of 
which is Arismetica Integra* with the preface of Philip 
Melancthon ; ITEM, another volume, the title of which is 
Gicero's Oration pro Milone, with an exposition by Philip 
Melancthon ; ITEM, another volume, the title of which is 
Orations of Julius, with expositions by Philip Melancthon ; all 
of which books the said Doctor Jorge Gon9alves, Deputy, ordered 
to be placed in safety, and he took charge of them." 

THE INQUISITION IN BUCHANAN'S Rerum Scoticarum Historia. 5 

PASSAGES, phrases, and single words deleted by the Inquisition in 
George Buchanan's Rerum Scoticarum Historia, 2nd edition of 
Alexander Arbuthnot, Edinburgh, 1583 (1st 1582), as seen in the 
copy 16 xii. 20 now in the Library of the Royal Ajuda Palace, 
Lisbon (Real Bibliotheca d' Ajuda). 

1 Evidently Precationes Christianas. 

2 This should be Enchiridion Pnalmorum. 

3 Writing here is almost illegible, but Senhor Henriques suggests that the 
book referred to was the Bible. 

4 Should be Arithmetica Integra. Whether this book was returned to 
Buchanan or not, is not known, but it is certain that among the books he 
presented in later years to the University of St. Andrews there was a copy of 
this edition. 

6 Drawn up and sent by Rev. R. M. Lithgow, Lisbon. 



Folio lOv, lines 51-2, 2 words. 
36v, 9-13. 
42, 49-50. 
45, 45. 
46, 19-25. 
50v, 18. 
57, 44-7, 49-50. 

., 63 v, lines 45-6. 
65, 33-48. 
68v, ,, 14-5, 21 6, 28-9, 30 

41, 46-53. 
70, 9. 
71, 2352. 
80, 14-5, 17, 49-53. 
80v, 1-2, 15-17. 
,, 83v, 26, 52-3. 
84, 1-2, 10, 14. 

99v 2. 

102v, 25-30, 41-53. 

103, 1-39. 

lllv, 26. 

113v, 15, 18-22. 
192v v 4 

,, IffiEV, ,, -*. 

123v, 35. 

124v, 49-50. 

129, 45. 

129r, 2-5. 

137, 33-42. 

,, 138, 51. 

145 v, 26-34. 

146, 33-37. 

147, 13-51. 

149, 44-5. 

149v, 19. 

150, 3-5, 22-3, 25, 34-5, 


151, 33-6. 

162, 28-9, 38-9. 

152v, 4-8, 14, 20-2. 

163v, 14, 20, 54. 

154, 1. 

156, 4,6. 

156v, 28-31, 37-8, 53. 

157, 1-3, 8-10, 13-5, 19, 


157v, 4, 22-46, 53. 

,, 158 and 158v, this folio excised. 

159, lines 6, 32-5, 39-40, 50-1. 

Folios 187-194 are excised, and a 

Folio 159v, lines 50. 

160, 48-9, 52-3. 

160v, 37-9. 

161, S-8. 

,, 161v, 5. 

,, 162v, lines 38-53. 

,, 163, whole page deleted. 

166v, lines 42-4, 49-50. 

167, 1,5,7,11,14,15,17, 

19, 36, 40, 47 (single 

167v, 4-11, 15, 21, 24, 26- 

7, 29 34. 
168, 23, 31, 49, 50 (single 


168 v, 6, 7-16, 22, 40, 48. 
169, ,, 1, 2, 15, 19, 31, 46 

(single words). 

169v, 6, 7, 8, 17, 22, 47. 
170, 21-2, 23, 25, 27, 29- 

170v, 7-12, 15-7, 21, 24-5, 

29, 37, 39, 40. 
172, 21. 
172v, 48. 
173, 1, 8. 
173v, 41. 
174v, 9, 10. 
174, 18, 49, 52. 
176, 45, 46, 47. 
176v, 42. 
178v, 8-9,12,14,15,31,32. 
179, 13-4, 16, 18, 19,21 


179v, 27. 
180, 53. 
180r, 3, 4, 5, 21, 22. 
181v, 43. 
182, 16-20,24-6. 
183, 7,40-1,42,45,47-51 
184, ,, 27, 29, 31 to the end 

of page. 
184v, ,, All save last 11 

words deleted. 
185, 4-8. 
185v, ., 1-2, 44-50, 52-3. 
186, 1-4. 
186v, 19-24, 31-8, 43-8, 53. 

long note follows on margin of next page. 

Appendix 405 

It begins " Hie libr qui totus scatebat evidentibus mendacijs et atrocibus in 
optimam reginam contumelijs excisus est." 

Folio 195, lines 1-3, 19-31, 34-38, 43-4, Folio 203v, lines 35, 36, 39. 

49. 204, 6, 30-2, 34, 42-3, 60. 

195v, 12-14. 204v, 31-2, 40, 44. 

,, 196v, 27-31, 44-5. 205, 22-3, 32-3. 

197, 1-2, 7-18, 19-21, 23-4. 206, 19, 21, 22, 27-8, 31-2. 

197v, lines 32. 209v, lines 25-29, 35,36. 

199, 32, 36, words deleted ; 210v, 1,2,3,4. 

41, 42 words added. 211, 27,28. 

199v, 10-15, 32, 33. 212, 22-49. 

,, 200, ,, 24-37, addition to 52. ,, 212v, 52-53. 

200v, 2-4, 6-7, 10-12, 14, 16, 213, 1-3, 5-13, 31-3. 

21-3, 45-8. 213v, 6-6, 13-17. 

201v, 13-15, 26. 216, 32, 43-8. 
202, 2-7, 13-14, 20, 36-7. 

For these words deleted fol. 172, 1. 21, 3rd word ; fol. 172 v, 48, 5th ; fol. 
173, 1, 4th ; fol. 173v, 41, penult ; fol. 174, 18, 8th, 49-52, penult, catholica is 
substituted, and for fol. 173, 8, 4th and 22, 3rd word, nona is substituted, and 
for fol. 174v, 9, last word nolebat. For fol. 179v, 27, 4th last word, lutherane 
is substituted ; for fol. 197v, 32, penult, 2 words sectae lutlierae, and catholicos 
for fol. 180, 53, 3rd and 183, 7, 7th word. 


Folio 22v, lines 15-16. Folio 29, 63, lines 1-19. 

23v, ,,36. C2 (34v), last half line. 

25v, 1, 23-31. C3 (35), lines 1-20, 34-45. 

28, 62, last 2 words of 270 and C3v (35v), 3-23. 

all but 3$ lines here. Dv (37v), 37-50. 

Last 11 lines of verses " Ad eundem " (2 sets) excised. 

The well bound volume in the Library of the Royal Palace of 
the Ajuda in Lisbon, in which the above deletions are found, has 
written upon it, " De S. Roque dado per Lopo Scares," from which 
it would appear to have come from the Convent of that name. The 
deleted words, save in the Latin verses at the close of the volume, 
cannot be read, and in many places the chemical used has quite 
burnt the part away. 

406 Appendix 

Appendix II. 

(Page 181.) 

[BRIEF statement concerning the earliest known translation of the 
first part of the De Jure Regni recently discovered in a MS. of the 
16th or early 17th century, by Professor I. Gollancz, the Secretary 
of the British Academy, in whose possession is the MS., and 
who allowed it to be brought to St. Andrews, so that it might be 
considered by those interested in the problem.] 

This newly discovered translation of a portion of the De Jure is 
in a MS. volume containing a most interesting and unique 
MS. version of the play of Af^lstapha by Fulke Greville, Lord 
Brooke, the friend of Sir Philip Sydney, the play (in its later 
expanded form first printed in 1633, though a fragmentary corrupt 
quarto edition appeared in 1609) may actually be in the handwrit- 
ing of John Davies of Hereford, writing-master and poet, who wrote 
a sonnet in praise of Mustapka "as written, not printed." The 
evidence of calligraphy seems strongly in favour of this suggestion. 
The writing of the translation of the De Jure is in a less beautiful 
hand, and, if by the same scribe, was written more hurriedly and with 
less care. The interesting fact of the two works being in the same 
volume may be explained by the close connection of certain principles 
enunciated in the play with the principles set forth in Buchanan's 
treatise, much in the same way as Buchanan's Baptistes set forth 
in dramatic form the views of the De Jure. It is a commonplace 
of literature that " the Tragedies of Lord Brooke might with more 
propriety have been called political treatises." 

It is well known that in 1664 the Privy Council of Scotland 
issued a proclamation prohibiting the circulation of copies of a MS. 
translation of the De Jure, and ordering the confiscation and 
destruction of all copies the original work itself was suppressed by 
an Act of Parliament in 1584, i.e. five years after its first publication. 

No copy of an early translation has hitherto been discovered ; the 
earliest version known is that printed in 1680. The newly dis- 
covered text may well be assigned to the Elizabethan period, or the 
very beginning of the seventeenth century. As to its authorship, 
nothing is known. The subject is one that would have appealed to 
Fulke Greville himself, but without further investigation nothing 
definite can be said on this point. As a specimen of the translation 
the first part of the Dedication is here given in modernised spelling : 

Appendix 407 

" I had written many years since, when your kingdom was in 
trouble, a dialogue concerning the right of the Kings of Scotland in 
which, even from the beginning, I have desired to lay down what right 
and what power belongeth both to the Kings as to the Subjects, 
which book might seem at that time somewhat profitable to stop the 
mouths of those which followed the State of those times with 
violent and importunate clamours, rather than weighing directly 
what was just or right. Notwithstanding, I kept it for more 
peaceable times, and willingly dedicate it to our public quietness. 
For of late, looking over my waste papers, by chance I lighted upon 
this dialogue, and reviewing it methought I saw many things in it 
fit for your age, and therefore purposed to publish it that it might 
be a witness of my care and loyalty towards you, as also to admonish 
you of your 1 duty towards your subjects. Many things do assure me 
that this my labour will not be vainly bestowed ; first, your age 
which is nob yet corrupted with false opinions, and above that your 
towardliness hasting of its own accord to the understanding of those 
things which are most excellent ; besides this, your willingness in 
receiving the admonitions and instructions, not only of your teachers, 
"but of all those which are accounted men of judgment and 
discretion ; to these I join also your great diligence and judicious- 
ness in examining your own businesses in which I know no man's 
authority or greatness is available to persuade you unless it be 
joined with probable and sound reason," etc., etc. 

Appendix III. 

(Page 24.) 


Sir Robert Sibbald in his Commentaries in Vitam Bnchanani 
(Edin. 1702) says: " Est etiam in eo collegio librorum, eidem 
a Buchanano donatorum, catalogus : qui omnes adhuc in biblio- 
theca extant." With regard to these books, research has been 
made by the Rev. Dr. Lee, at one time Professor of Ecclesi- 
astical History in St. Mary's College and Rector of the 
University, and he was only able to come across nine of the 
books referred to. He, moreover, considered that there were 
not many more of Buchanan's books in the Library. The 

408 Appendix 

following are Dr. Lee's remarks upon the volumes, which were 
printed as an Appendix to Irving's Memoirs of Buchanan (2nd 
Edition) : 

1. Hieronymi Osorii de Gloria libri V. Conimbr. a 
Francisco Correa, A.D. MDXLIX. This volume has this inscrip- 
tion at the bottom of the title : ' ' Ex libris communis 
bibliothecae Collegii Leonardini, ex dono doctissimi Magistri 
Georgii Buchanani, principals ejusdem." The inscription is 
repeated at the end of the volume in the same handwriting, not 
Buchanan's own, it is almost unnecessary to add. 

2. IlavAou 'Aiyii/jyrov 'larpov dpurrov /3i(3\ia kirra. Venetiis, 
in aedibus Aldi et Andreae Asulani soceri, MUXXVIII. fol. This 
is a very beautiful copy of the editio princeps. 

3. Homeri Poetarum Supremi Ilias per Laurent ium 
Vallensem in Latinum Sermonem traducta : accuratissime ac 
solerti cura impressum ac emendatum hoc opus per venerabilem 
d. presbyt. Baptistam Farfengam, impensa vero d. Francisci 
Laurini civis Brixiani, MCCCCLXXXXVII. With regard to the 
accuracy of the impression, the following specimens taken from 
fol. I. may suffice : ' Agros ' for ' Argos,' ' gratia ' for ' grata,' 
' fasta ' for ' festa,' ' orgis ' for ' rogis,' ' innuet ' for ' juvet.' 
These errors are corrected on the margin, in Buchanan's hand- 
writing I think. I see many others corrected in the handwriting 
of Professor Francis Pringle. 

4. Marci Antonii Sabellici Annotationes veteres et recentes, 
ex Plinio, Livio, et pluribus authoribus. Philippi Beroaldi 
annotationes centum. Angeli Politiani Miscellaneorum centuria, 
etc. (eight other tracts). Impressit volumen hoc Jacobus 
Pentius de Leuco, Impressorum omnium accuratissimus MDII. 
Many marginal notes in this volume seem to be in our poet's 

5. Augustini Steuchi Eugubini Bibliothecarii contra 
Laurentium Vallam de falsa Donatione Constantini libri duo. 
Ejusdem de Restituenda Navigatione Tiberis. Ejusdem de 
Aqua Virgine in Urbem Revocanda. Lugd. ap. Seb. Gryphium, 
MDXLVII. These three last are in folio. 

6. Arithmetica Integra, authore Michaele Stifelio, cum 
praefatione Philippi Melanchthonis. Norimbergae, ap. Johan. 
Petreium, anno Christi MDXLIIII. A quarto of 640 pages. 

7. Terentiani Mauri venustissimus de Literis, Syllabis, et 
Metris Horatii Liber. (Johan Petit.). Venundantur Parisiis 

Appendix 409 

in vico Divi Jacob! sub leone argenteo, apud Joannem Parvum. 
Bound up with this is Probi Grammatici Instituta Artium. 

8. Ephemerides Nicolai Simi, Mathematici Bononiensis, ad 
annos xv. incipientes ab anno Christi MDLIIII. usque ad annum 
MDLXVIII. cum meridiano inclytae civitatis Bononiae dili- 
gentissime collatae, etc. Venetiis, ex officina Erasmiana 
Vincentii Valgrisii, MDLIIII. 

9. Le Epistole Famigliari di Cicerone, tradotte secundo i 
veri sensi dell' autore, et con figure proprie, della lingua volgare. 
Con privilegio del ommo Pontifice et della illustrissima signoria 
di Venezia, MDLII (8vo). All these books are marked in the 
same manner as No. 1, both on the first and the last page. 

There is also a copy of Buchanan's translation of Linacre's 
Rudiments, printed at Paris in 1540, with a great number of 
interlineations and marginal notes written in a very small 
hand, whether Buchanan's or not, I am not able to ascertain. 

OF GLASGOW (Page 15.) 

Eustathii Commentarii in Homerum, quatuor volurainibus, Grace, in folio, 

Romas, 1549. 

Plutarchi Opera, 1 Grace, duobus voluminibus, fol. Basil, Frobenitis, 1542. 
Platonis Opera, Grace, fol. Basil. 1534, Valderua. 
Procli in Platouis Tym. [Timteum] Commentarii, Grace, fol. Basil. 
Demosthenis Opera, cum Commentariis Ulpiani, Grace, fol. Basil. 1532, 

Lycophronis Cassandra, Graece, cum Commentariis Tzetzze, fol. Basil. 1546, 

Commentarii Graci in Aristotelis Rhetoricam anonymi, fol. Parisiis, Neobar. 


Apollonii Argonautica, Grace, in quarto, Florentia;, 1496. 
Aristophanes cum Commentariis, Greece. 
Basilii Opera, Grace, fol. Basil. 1532, Froben. 
Euclidcs cum Commentariis, Graece. 
Stephanus Byzantinus de Urbibus, Grace. 

Omnes ex dono viri optimi et doctissimi Georgii Buchanani, regii magistri. 
Strabo, Grace, fol. 
Athenaeus, Grace, fol. Basil. 1535. 
Suidas, Grace, fol. Venetiis, Aldus, 1514. 

Manuelis Moschopuli de Ratione Examinandae Orationis Libellus, Grace. 
Ex dono pariter Georgii Buchanani, re^ii magistri. 

1 "This book," says Professor Muirhead of Glasgow, " ought to have been 
entitled Moralia Opuscula." The above list is taken from the Annales Cottegii 
Olatguensis torn. 1, f. 166-7, and printed as an appendix in Irving's Memoirs 
(2nd Edit.) 

410 Appendix 

Appendix IV, 

(Page 24-) 


(From a MS. in t/te Advocates' Library.) 

THIS is one of the few specimens of Buchanan's writing in the 
vernacular, and was first printed by Dr. Irving (Memoirs, 2nd edit., 
Appendix III.). It has, however, been thoroughly revised by 
Professor Hume Brown for the Scottish Text Society. As the 
original MS. could not recently be found in the Advocates' Library, 
we are indebted to Professor Hume Brown for allowing us to 
reproduce his text. The original MS. is not in Buchanan's hand- 
writing, as is evident from the variations in the spelling of 
certain words, but must have been transcribed since Buchanan's 
time, during which the MS. was certainly never published. 
The original must have been written some time between 1563 
and 1567, although the transcriber considers the year 1579 as 
the time of its composition. This, however, must be a mistake, as 
Mary was then no longer Queen, and the document makes reference 
to her still being on the throne: "Item, that the Queen's grace, 
and lordis of the parlement, be requirit to pas ane act," etc. Thus 
it is reasonable to believe that the original was written after the 
Commission of 1563 was appointed, and not for the Commission of 
1579. It has been doubted whether this is Buchanan's work or 
not. We see, however, throughout the work suggestions and terms 
which could only be familiar to one who had studied at the Uni- 
versity of Paris. He refers to portionists, a term applicable to 
those who, as at St. Barbe, boarded with the principal or regent. 
Then the reference to pedagogis comes from one who is acquainted 
with the methods of private tutoring employed at Bordeaux ; whilst 
the authors which Buchanan here prescribes for study are those 
who are read in his old Bordeaux College of Guyenne. These 
points alone would mark the work as that of Buchanan. 

The whole scheme outlined here bears a striking resemblance 
to that of the College or School which had been founded at Geneva 
in 1536. 

Appendix 411 


The Principal. 
Ane Lectour Publik. 
Vj Regentis. 

The Principal ij. 
The Lectour Public ane. 
The Cuik. 
The Porter. 
The Stewart. 
The Pant ri man. 

For the Principal and ij fervantis ij quartis of ayl, ij bread, of 
xvj vnce the bread, ane quartar of mouton, or equiualent in fylver, 
or the fifche day, ij f. 


Of niault, xij gallons the bol, . xv blis and ane half. 

In bread of quheit, 6 blis. 

For kytchyn meat, xxxv Ibis. 

The public lectour j quart of ayl, ane bread and ane half. 

Item half ane quartar of mouton at the principals table. And 
he be maryit, or hald hous out of the college, that it falbe leful to 
hym to haif ane burdit in the college at the principalis table in his 
place, or ellis the pryce of the buirding abuve written. 


Of mault, vij blis 3 f. 

In bread, .... 4 blis 2 f. 
In fylver, .... xviij Ibs. 

The vj regentis euery man tlire chopins of ayl, and xx vnce of 
bread dayly, and amangi.s thaynie ane quartar of mouton and ane 
half, or equiualent ; that is, for fifche or flefche on the day v f. ; vz. 
on the tifche day ij course of tifche, and every man ane eg at the 
mailteth, or ane heryng, eftyr the feafon and oportunite. 


Of mault, . . xxxv blis. 
Of quheit, . . xxii blis, j f. 
Of fylver, . . Ixxxxj pundis v f. 

412 Appendix 

The cuik, stewart, portar, and panfcriraan, ilk ane of thayme 
ane bread, ano pyint of ayl the day, and half ane quartar of mouton, 
or equiualent, amang thayme, ane cours of fyfche at mailteth, xvi d 
the day. 


Of mault, . . xj blis 2 f. 2 p. 

Of ait tueil, . xv blis. 

Of fylver, . . xxiiii Ibs vi fh. 8 d. 

Wages of the Personis. 

The principal ane hundreth pund. 

The publik lectour ane hundreth markis. 

The sex regeutis fex scoir of pundis, to be diuidit at the princi- 
palis discretion, and paction maid with thayme. 

The cuik and portar xij marks. 

The steuart to be payit be the principal off the profet of the 

For colis, napre, vefchel, and other extraordinaris concerning 
the hal and kitching xl pund 5eirly. 

For reparation of the place xl pund 5eirly. 

Of the quhilk reparation the principal fal geif coumpt jeirly to 
the cenfouris and rectour for the tyme. 

The Hail Soume. 

In drynk of mault . . Ixix blis iij f. ij pkis. 

In quheit xxx j blis j f. 

In filver ..... five hundret xlvij Ibs. x f x d. 

Item for ilk bursar, fa mony as falbe thocht necessair to be in 
the College of Humanite, ane bread and ane pyint of ayl on the day, 
the fext part of ane quartar of mouton, or the valour thairof. 

The Ordre of the College of Humanite. 

The scholaris that cumis of new fal addrefse thayme to the 
principal, quha fal caufe thayme to compone, and examine thayme, 
and eftyr thair capacite send thayme to ane regent with hys signet, 
and the regent fal writ thayme in hys rol, and assigne thayme place 
in hys classe diuidit in decuriis. 

The bairnis of thys college fal heir na other lessons bot thair 
regentis, and the lectour public in humanite sa mony as falbe fund 

Appendix 413 

able be the principal. And that quhilk is red in thys college sal 
nocht be red in otheris. 

The bairnis of thys college fal nother ga furth be themselves 
nor 3it with ane regent without the principalis leif. Al other 
thyngis partenyng to discipline scolastic to be doin as commodite 
and tyme occurris. 

The nombre of the classis at the leist sex. 

The lawast class 1 is for thaynie that suld declin the namis, and 
the verbes actives, passives, and anomales, and eftyr that lear 
Terence and the rudimentis of grammar as followis. Thay sal bring 
to the classe paper and ink, and the regent sal cause thayuie to writ 
twa or thre lynis of Terence, tellyng nocht only to thayme the 
lettres and the word but als the accent in sik lasar that the bairnis 
may easely writ eftyr his pronunciation. 

And efter that he sal geif the interpretation in Scottis corres- 
pondant to the Latin, garryng thayme all writ. Syne he sal declair 
euery word, and cause thayme to writ severally all the nounes and 
the verbes that be in thair lesson, geif command to lear thayme 
against the nixt lesson, and als bring that lesson quhilk was maid 
in the classe without ony fait writtin. The nomenclatouris to haif 
charge to gather the lessons writtin, euery ane in hys awyne decurio, 
and bring thayme to the regent, and schaw hym quha has faltis. 
And geif the regent find fait quhairof the nomenclator has nocht 
advertysit hym, than he sal punyss baith the writar and the 
nomenclator, to mak thayme mair diligent in tyme to cum. And 
na man sal mend othoris faltis vntil thay cum to the regent. In 
thys classe thay salbe constranit to speik Latin, and dayly to com- 
pone sum smal thyng eftyr thair capacite. 

The F. Classe. 

Thys classe sal reid Terence, and sum of the maist facil epistles 
of Cicero, alternatirn, and als the reulis of grammar assignat to 
thayme, without commentair, bot only the expresse wordis and 
sentence of the reul : and thay sal writ baith Terence and Cicero, 
euery man with hys awyn hand. 

The IV. Classe. 

Thys classe sal reid of Terence and Cicero sum thyng mair than 
the classis onder thayme, and als de constructions octo partium ; 

1 The lowest Class would be Class; VI. There were seven classes in the 
school or gymnasium at Geneva. 

414 Appendix 

and the latter half of the $eir sal reid snm epistles of Guide, or other 
of hys elegyis, and als writ al tliair lessons, except the grammar, and 
compone largear themes than the nether classis. And al thyr 
clasais salbe vesiit euery quarter of 3eir, and prornovit hyear efter 
thair meritis. 

The IIT. Classe. 

Thys classe sal reid the grammar in Grek, the epistles of Cicero, 
and sum of the maist facil orations, with sum buik of Guide, and 
the quail titeis of syllabes, and sum introduction of rhetorik, and 
sum of the bukis of Linaceris grammar, and salhe mair exercisit 
in composition than the otheris lawar. 

The Secund and Fyrst Class. 

Thyr classis sal reid the rethorikis of Cicero, and hys orationis, 
and for poetis, Vergil, Horace, Guide, and sum of Homer or Hesiode. 
The auditouris salbe diligently exercisit in verse, and oration, and 
declamation euery moneth, ilk ane thair cours about. Item, 
generaly disputations to be had euery Satterday fra ane efternone 
to four houris, ane classe aganis ane other, fixing themis alternatim, 
and syne componing on themis ditit be regentis of other classis or 
other maisters. 

At the end of the 3eir, in the moneth of August or thairby, all 
the haill classis sal propone themis oppinly, and affix thayme vpon 
the college wallis, or in the great schol or hallis. The principal sal 
cheis ane certain of the best of the fyrst classe and secund, and send 
thayme to sum of the honest men of other collegia, or sum other 
lernit man beyng present for the tyme, and desire that he propone 
thayme ane theme in prose and ane other in verse. Thair salbe twa 
bonnittis proponet to be given solemnly to the twa that makis best 
composition, with honorable wordis to encourage otheris in tyme to 
cum to emulation ; and that the honest and principal personis of the 
vniversitie assistand, and exhortyng the studentis to be diligent, 
and raise thair curage. 

Heir efter because the maist part of the countrey will be glaid 
to se thair bairnis, and mak thayme clathys, and provid to thair 
necessiteis the rest of the 3eir, thair may be gevin sum vacans on to 
the first day of October, on the quhilk day al lessonis begynnis 
againe in al collegis. At the quhilk day naine salbe promovit to na 
classe without he be examiuat be the principal and regentis com- 
iiiittit thairto. 

Appendix 415 

The principal salbe diligent that euery regent do hys devtie, and 
that the bairnis be obedient, and to that effect mak sum particular 
reulis sik as salbe fund gud be the rectour and censouris for peccable 
governing of the college ; arid at the begynning of October, the 
principal sal present befor thayme the said regentis ; and geif ony 
inlak be seiknes or other necessite, he sal present ane qualefyit 
persone to thayme. And geif the principal inlak, the vniversitie 
and conservatour or hys deputis sal convein, and cheiss of the hail 
vniversitie four of the best qualefyit personis to that office, and writ 
thair names : and eftyr prayer maid, that God of his gudenes wald 
send the sort apon hym that war habliast to exerce that estat to hys 
glore and common weil, ane barne sal draw of the four ane, the quhilk 
salbe principal, and thys to put away al deception and ambition. 

The principal sal support the defectis of absens of the public 
reidar and regentis. And siklyk in the principalis absence, euery 
man in hys ordre sal haif hys jurisdiction and correction of the 

The portar sal abyd continualy at the 3et, and receave the 
principalis signet of thayme that desiris to pas furth. Item, in 
sommer he sal ryng dayly at v houris to the rising ; at sax to the 
lesson public ; before viij, twys to the ordinar lection ; at ten he sal 
knel ; at half houre to xi knel ; at xi ryng to the dennar ; at grace 
knel ; to repetition eftyr grace ring ; or iij howris ring twyiss ; at 
half houre to five knel ; at v ryng. 

Al the studentis remanyng in the college salbe distribut be 
chalmeris onder cure of the principal or sum regent or pedagogis 
lernit and of jugement, quha sal haif cure of thayr studie and 
diligens ; bot nocht to reid ony particular lection to thayme, bot to 
cause thayme to geif compt of it that thay reid in the classe. Nor 
3it sal it bo leful to the said pedagogis to ding thair disciples, bot 
only to declair the fait to the principal, or to thair regent, and refer 
the punition to thayme. 

In thys college nayne sal persever regent in humanite abuve 
the space of vij or viij 3eir. 

The thre law 1 classis sal nocht be subject to cum to preaching 
or exercise public, except on the Sonday. The other preachyng and 
exercise days, ane regent salbe committit to se that thay be dewly 
exercisit and specialy in lerning to writ. 

1 In modern English this phrase would be " the three low classes," i.e., 
Classes IV., V., and VI. 

416 Appendix 


Ane Principal. 

Ane Reidar in Medicine. 

And Regents iiij. 


The Principal ij. 
The Medicine j. 
The Cuik. 
The Portar. 
The Stewart. 
The Pantriman. 

The Principalis portion and salair as in the College of Humanite. 
The Medicins as the Lectour Public in Humanite. 
The rest vt supra proportionately. 


In bread. 

In drink. 

In sylver. 

The bursaris 12 vt supra, euery ane xvi Ibis the 3eir, or vt 

For colis, candil, napre, and veschel, xl pund 3eirly. 

For reparation of the place, xl pund 301 rly. 

The hayl subject to compt vt supra. 

The principal to be ane man of iconomie, and sufficient doctrine 
to supple the regentis absens in redyng in thair seikness or lauful 
besynes. Item, to haif al sik autorite on regentis, and studentis, 
and servants of the college, and to geif compt to the rectour and 
censoris as forsaid is in the College of Humanite at euery visitation. 

The first regent reid the dialectic, analitic, and moralis, in the 
first 3eir and half ; and the other 3eir and half, the natural philoso- 
phic, metaphysik, and principis of mathematik. Swa in thre 3eris 
thyr regentis sal pas be degreis the hail cours of dialectic, logic, 
physik, and metaphysik ; the rest of the tyme to repet and pas thair 
actis. They sal reid sik bukis of Aristotil, or other philosophes as 
the principal sal praescrive to thayme. 

Na man salbe admittit at the begynning of the 3eir to the 
philosophie that has nocht passit be the first or second classe of 

Appendix 417 

humanite, or geif he hi- ane strangoar, be jugit worthy of the first or 
secund classe be trial of composition in verse and prose. 

The Ordre of Redyng. 

All the regentis sal begyn baith soinmer and winther at vi howris 
in the mornyng to thair ordinar lessons, and at the begynning sal 
mak ane schort prayer for promotion of lernyrig and the estat of 
the common weil. Thay sal reid vnto viij houris, the quhilk being 
strokin, the bel sal ryng to the medicinis lesson, quha sal reid on to 
ix houris ; and fra ix to ten salbe intermission. In the rest of the 
howris thay salbe exercisit in disputyng and reidyng as the College 
of Humanite ; and the regent in euery classe sal cause the ane part 
to disput aganis the other. On Satterday euery classe sal propone 
certaine propositions, quhilk afoir none sal be examinat and disput 
againe be the regentis betuix viij and xj howris ; and eftyr none the 
disciples of the superiour clasae sal disput aganis the inferiour betwix 
ane and thre howris. 

The Promotion of Thayr Degreis. 

At the end of the first ij jeiris thay salbe maid bachelaris, 
quhair nocht only thay sal declair publicly quhat thai haif profettit 
be thair Industrie and labouris, but alswa thay sal ansuer priuatly to 
iiij examinatouris, deput be the vniversite, of the dialectic, logic and 
moralis ; and quha beis nocht fund liable, salbe deposit to ane lowar 
classe. And siklik, at the end of the 3eir and half followyng, to be 
examinat of the natural philosophie, metaphysik, and mathematik. 
The examinatouris salbe gradual, ane in theologie, ane that has red 
in philosophie, ane of profession of medicine passit maister, and ane 
regent in humanite ; quha, on thair conscience, sal declair to the 
rectour and censouris quha ar worthy of promotion or nocht. Efter 
the quhylk declaration, the rectour sal decerne the onworthy to be 
deposit for tyme convenient to ane inferiour classe, swa that na man 
be admittit to resave degre except that he haif promouit in lettres. 

To the banquettis of actis of bachelar and licence the riche sal 
nocht pay abuve xl f, the puir ten f, to augment the common portion 
of the college ; swa that the convention of honest men of the vniuer- 
sitie he with modestie and temperance. Item, sa mony of the 
assistandis to thys act as be graduat in divinite, lawis, or medicine, 
or presently regentis in philosophe or humanite, sal haif for thair 
presens and decoryng of the act, ane pair of gluvis. And the 


418 Appendix 

principal of the said college sal tak head that thyr thyngis be per- 
forunit, as he wil ansuer to the jugenient of the rectour and censouris. 

The nombre of bursaris xxiiij, susttmit as is praescrivit in the 
College of Ilumanite. 

Nayne sal persevere regent in thys college langar than the space 
of twa coursis. 

The medicine sal reid iiij days in the weik, ane hore euery day 
in medicine ; and geif he inlakis, the principal sal deduce sa mekle 
of hys gagis to be vsit to the common profet of the college. 


Ane Principal, to be Reidar in Hebrew. 
Ane Lawer. 


The Principal ij. 

The Lawer j. 





Thair expensis vt supra. Vz. the principal as other principalis 
The lawer 40 Ibis. The cuik, portar, stewart, and pantriman, vt 
supra. Bursaris xviij of thaynie, sex in law and xij in theologie, 
thair expensis vt supra. In thys collegia, because that the studentis 
ar in nombre fewaf and of gretar age than in the otheris, the 
principal and lectour in Hebrew may be ane persone ; the quhilk 
sal reid iiij days euery weik. 

The Thursday ane student in diuinite sal expone ane pas of the 
Scripture, the space of ane hore ; and that being doin, sal anso r to 
the objections of euery man that pleasis to disput aganis hym the 
space of ane hore and half. The principal sal se that gud ordre be 
kepit in disputing, without superfluite of wordis nothyng partening 
to the propos, without dinrie or pertinacite in contention ; and that 
euery auditour in diuinite ansver hys cours about, as aalbe ordanit 
by the principal. To speik in the publik exercise, and expone the 
Scripture, sal entice nocht only the auditouris of diuinite, sik as sal 
be thoucht expedient, bot als the regentis in other faculteis. 

Appendix 419 

The lawar sal reid dayly ane hore in law, except on the 

Thair sal be xviij bursaris in thys college ; vz. sex in law, and 
xij auditouris in diuiuite. 

Ane Rectour. 

The rectour most be ane discreit and grave person, doctor or 
bachelar in the hyear faculteis, or principal of ane college, or 
presently regent in diuinite, law or medicine, of age abuve thretty 
jeris ; and salbe chosiu be the hayl graduattis of the vniuersite, 
within ane of the thre collegia, the conservatour or hys deput being 
present ; quha sal requir the convention in thair conscience, that out 
of euery college thair be ane chosin, quha sal declair the votis of the 
college faithfully gadderit, and declair hym rectour quha has moniast 
votis, swa that he haif nocht been rectour within twa jeris afoir. 
The rectouris tyme to be ane 3eir, without continuation ; and geif, 
be ambition or otherway, the maist part of the votis contenew hyna, 
al thayr votis that tendis to continuation, to be nul. 

The rectouris office is principaly in keping of the discipline 
scolastic, as in visitation of the collegis twyss or thryis in the 5eir, 
to se that the ordre be kepit in teching, in mutations of classis, 
in disputations priuat and publik ; item, that the rentis of the 
vniuersite be nocht inisspendit, that na idle person be haldiii on the 
gagis or expensis of the vniuersite, nor onworthy promovit to degre, 
and mak ane registre of al that entres in the nombre of the 
vniuersite, and sal enjoy the priuelege thairof. 


The conservatour of priuilege most haif autorite to cal befor 
hym al actions or questions movit be thayme of the vniuersite 
again is ony personis in materis twiching studentis, as being studentis; 
and hys decreit sal haif redy execution, notwithstanding ony appel 
lation, without delay or appellation out of the vniuersite. Hys 
gagis to be payit to hym or hys deput of the archdenry ; because in 
tymes by past the archidene, or bischeppis, war conservatouris, or 
sum deput for thayme, and now is raisonable that thay susteine the 
samyn charge. 

The thesaurar salbe chosin anis in the 3eir, the samyn day that 
the censouris beis chosin, and sal geif compt at the 3eris end to the 
censouris the day afor the cheising of the new censouris. 

420 Appendix 

The salair of the rectour, thosaurar, and censouris, to be payit 
of the casualiteis of the vniuersite, as it that cumis of the entrcs of 
the studentis in the rectouris bukis, and of the degreis. Als the 
beddel to be payit of the samyn. The gagis of the rectour, censourisj 
thesaurar, and beddel, and als al thyr casualiteis, to be sa moderat 
that thay be nocht excessiue in na qualite. 

Item, that the Quenis grace, and lordis of the parlement, be 
requirit to pas ane act that thre 5eris efter the performing of thys 
reformation, na man be providit to susteine office of preachour or 
techour in the kyrk, except thay haif beine dewly graduat in the 

The Rental of St. Leonardos College. 

In sylver, . . .132 Ibis. 2f. 4d. 

Qwheit, . 2 chald. 12 blis. 

Bear, . . .13 chald. 11 blis. 2f. 2p. 

Ait meil, . . . 8 ch. 8 blis. 

Sanct Salvatouris, Al being fre. 

In sylver, . . . 642 Ibis. 

Qwheit, . . . 3 ch. 13 blis. 

Bear, . . . 8 ch. 2 blis. 

Aitis, . . . 19 ch. 3 blis. 

The New College, 1 Al being fre. 

In sylver, besyid Tannadyss 

quhen it sal vaik, . 510 Ibis.-' 

Qwheit, . . . 3 ch. 8 blis. 

Bear, . . .6 ch. 

Atis, . . 5 ch. 

The Hayl Soume. 

In sylver, . . .1284 Ibis 2f. 4d. 

Qwheit, . . . 10 ch. 1 blis. 

Bear, . . . 27 ch. 13 blis. 2f. 2p. 

Ait meil, . . .8 ch. 

Aitis, . . . 24 ch. 3 b. [8 blis.]. 

1 By "New College" is meant what is now known as "St. Mary's College." 

2 Irving gives it as 110 Ibis, and yet his total is the same as that given in 
Prof. Hume Brown's text. Irving, however, spells aits uniformly throughout 
the Opinion. 

Appendix 421 

Appendix V, 

(Page 105.) 

Rernm Scotlcanim Historia. 

In the British Museum is "A History of the State of 
Scotland by George Buchquhanane, a Scotchman " (Hart. MSS. 
7539). This copy, though incomplete, is in 88 paper folios, 
and contains Books xn. to xix., the last being unfinished. It is 
written in a clear, but very small hand, and the lines are so 
close together and so interspersed with corrections (three or four 
versions of a phrase are frequently given) that many parts are 
difficult to read. The MS. is in good preservation, but is 
discoloured at the edges. The hand is of the early 17th century 
style, and the spelling is more English than Scottish. The 
writing is on both sides of the folios, and there are many 
marginal headings. The opening words are : 

" James the 2d [the hundred and fourth king] as we have 
related was kild in the field." The words in brackets are written 
above the line and have been inserted later. The closing words 

' ' But the lie was not likely to have credit long ; therefore 
she feigned that the Protectour, to bring the kingdom of 
Scotland under " The narrative breaks off here. 

There is another complete translation in the British Museum 
(Add. MSS. 4218) along with a Refutatio libri de iure Regni 
apud Scotos, and both are in an 18th century hand. 

The History was translated into the Scottish language 
and this translation, which is in the Glasgow University Library, 
was made by John Reid, or Read ; who, according to 
Calderwood's MS., was " servitur and writer to Mr. George 
Buchanan." The MS., which appears to have been completed 
on 12th December 1634, and is clearly written, bears the 
following inscription: " The Historic of Scotland, first written 
in the Latine tungue by that famous and learned man George 
Buchanan, and afterwards translated into the Scottishe tungue 
by John Read, Esquyar, brother to James Read, person of 
Banchory Ternam whyle he liued. They both ly interred in the 
parishe church of that towne, seated not f arre from the banke 

422 Appendix 

of the river of Dee, expecting the general resurrection, and the 
glorious appearing of Jesus Christ there redimer." 1 

Another translation is to be found in the Mitchell Library, 
Glasgow. It is contained in a large folio and is beautifully 
written. It is a complete translation of the History, 
" Interpreted by an English gentleman." The date given is 
1659, and the MSS. is supposed to be the translation which was 
being printed in London about the Restoration time, and 
publication of which was prohibited by an order of Council, 
7th of June, 1660. Irving, however, says that the proposed 
publication was " a translation of Buchanan's history and 
dialogue." This Glasgow MS. seems to be a free translation 
rendered into fairly good English. The folio formerly belonged 
to a John Buchanan and bears on the fly-leaf the words: " Ex 
libris Johannes Buchananus de Auchnaven." 

Appendix VI. 

(Page 186.) 

The following letter, addressed to ' Monsieur de Sigongues, 
Chevalier de 1'Ordre, et Capitaine et Gouverneur de la Ville et 
Chasteau de Dieppe,' is the only specimen of Buchanan's writing 
in French : 

" Monsieur, ce que j'ay tant differe* de vous escrire a este 
pour 1'occasion des troubles qui ont universellement regne, tant 
en ces quartiers, qu'en la France, au grand prejudice des deux 
royalmee. Et comme par la grace de Dieu nous avons en la fin 
quelque relasche de nos maux, il me semble (je le dis avec 
regret) que les vostres ne font que recommencer. Mais pour 
laisser ce propos, la presente sera pour me recommander 
humblement a vostre bonne grace, ensemble ce present Porteur 
Thomas Fairlie, qui est fort de mes amys, et autant amy 
qu'ayme de tous les miens. Le bien et plaisir que vous luy 
ferez, je 1'estimeray fait a moy mesme, comme je fais celuy 
qu'avez par le passe fait a tous ceux que je vous ay recommande 
qui se lonent grandement de vostre faveur, pour laquelle je 
vous demeure tres oblige ; vous asseurant, Monsieur, que si je 
puys quelque chose pour vous par deca, ou pour les vostres, que 
vous me pouvez livrement commander, comme celui qui sera 
tous jours prest a vous obeyer et fair service. A Sterlin, ce 
dousieme de Janvier, 1573, celui qui est de tout vostre, 

1 Irving*s Memoirs, p. 282, 2nd edit. 

Appendix 423 

Appendix VII. 

(Page 218.) 

The Testament Datiue, & Inuentar of ye 

Maister gudis, geir, soumes of money, fc dettis, 

George Buchannane pertening to vmquhile ane rycht venerabill 

Vigesiuno Febi >H man, Maister George Buchannane, precep- 

1582. tour to ye kingis uiajestie the tyme of his 

deceis, quha deceist vpouii ye xxix day 

of September, 1 the zeir of God j m v c lxxxii 

zeris, faithfullie maid & gevin vp be Jonet 

Buchannane, relict of vmquhile Mr Thomas 

Buchannane of Ibert, his bruyer gone, 

executrix datiue, decornit to him be de- 

creit of ye commissaris of Ed r as ye same 

decreit of ye date ye xix day of December, 

the zeir of God foirsaid, at lenth proportis. 

In the first, ye said vmquhile Maister George Buchannane, 
preceptour to ye kingis majestie, had no uyer gudis nor geir (except 
ye dett vndirwrittin) pertening to him as his awin proper dett ye 
tyme of his deceis foirsaid : viz. Item, yair wes awand to ye said 
vmquhile Mr George be Robert Gourlaw, custumar burges of Ed r 
for ye defunctis pensioun of Corsraguell, restand of ye Whitsonday 
terme in anno j m v c Ixxxii zeris, the souine of ane hundreth pundis. 

Summa of ye inuentar j 1. 

No diuisioun. 

Quhairof ye quot is gevin gratis. 

We, Maisteris Eduard Henrysoun, Alex r Sym, & Johne 
Prestoun, commissaris of Ed r specialie constitut for confirmatioun 
of testamentis, &c. vnderstanding yat efter dew summonding <fc 
lauchfull warning maid be forme of editt oppenlie, as efferis, of ye 
executouris intromettouris with ye gudis <fc geir of vmquhile Mi- 
George Buchannane, & of uyeris hafand entreis, to compeir judiciale 

1 To Buchanan's short autobiographical sketch (if it is his), which Professor 
Hume Brown and Dr. Irving include in their respective works, a note has 
been added to the effect that Buchanan died on 29th September, not on the 
28th, as given here. This Testament Dative was taken from the records of 
the Commissary Court. Dr. Irving considers the record incorrect, so far as 
the above date is concerned. 

424 Appendix 

befoir us at ane certane day bypast, to heir & sie executouris datiuia 
decernit to be gevin, admittit, & confermit be us in <fe to ye gudis 
& geir quhilk justlie pertenit to him ye tyme of his deceis, or ellis to 
schaw ane caus quhy, &c. we decernit yairintill as our decreit gevin 
yairupoun beris ; conforme to ye quhilk we in our soverane lordis 
name & autoritie makis, constitutis, ordanis, & confermes ye said 
Jonet Buchannane in executorie datiue to ye said Mr George, with 
power to hir to intromet, vptak, follow &, perseu, as law will, ye 
dett & souine of money abone specifeit, & yairwith outred dettis to 
creditouris, and generalie all <fe sindrie vyer thingis to do, exerce, 
& vse yat to ye office of executorie datiue is knawin to pertene; 
prouiding yat ye said Jonet, executrix foirsaid, sail ansuer <fe render 
compt vpoun hir introuiissioun quhan and quhair ye samin salbe 
requirit of hir, & yat ye said dett t souine salbe be furthcumand to 
all parteis haifand entres, as law will ; quhairvpoun scho hes fundin 
cautioun, as ane act rnaid yairvpoun beris. 

Appendix VIIL 

(Page 244-) 


Buchanan when Principal of St. Leonard's College occupied 
a room in the house now occupied by the Headmistress of St. 
Leonard's School. Dr. Lee, in his researches, came across an 
inventory 1 of this chamber as it was in the year 1544 : 

" In camera quae est prima versus orientem proximior 
templi in parte australi, fuerunt haec bona communia pertinentia 
ad locum collegii. In the first, twa standard beds, the foreside 
of aik, and the northside and the fruits of fir. Item, ane 
feather bed, and ane white plaid of four ells, and ane covering 
woven o'er with images. It. another auld bed of harden, 
filled with straw, with an covering of green. It. ane cod. 
Item, an inrower of buckram of five breds, part green, part red 
to zaillow. Item, ane Flanders counter of the middling kind. 
It. ane little buird for the studie. It. ane furm of fir, and ane 
little letterin of aik on the side of the bed, with an image of 
St. Jeromfl. It. an stool of elm, with an other chair of little 

1 Printed in the Appendix of Irving's Memoirs of Buchanan, 2nd Edit. 

Appendix 425 

price. It. an chimney weighing .... Item, an chandler 
weighing . . . ."' 

In connection with this it may be of interest to know some- 
thing of the College buildings. In the year 1599, the furniture 
of the College is as follows : 

" Impr. In the hall four fixed boards. The hale beds 
almaist fixt. In every chamber ane board and ane furme 
pertainarid thereto, w* glassen windows, and the maist part of 
all the chambers ciellered aboue, and the floors beneath laid 
with buirdis. 

Compt. of Vessels. 

2 Silver pieces, ane maizer, w l common cups and stoups. 

3 Doz. silver spoons, ane silver saltfat, a water basin, an 
iron chimney fixed in the hall. 

In the kitchen, an iron chimney, w* sic vessels as is necessar 
therein, with fixed boards and almeries." 

Despite the number of letters which Buchanan addressed 
from Stirling and the importance of the work he conducted 
there, little interest has been shown by Buchanan's biographers 
in his connection with that town. They have presumed that 
Buchanan, in his later years, resided within the Castle, 
although there is a local tradition that he lived in a house of 
his own in the Castle Wynd. There was certainly a study 
provided for Buchanan in the Castle, but it haa been supposed 
that he had a private residence not far away ; indeed, a house 
in the Castle Vennal was popularly known as George 
Buchanan's House or " Ludging." That he had no private 
house in the vennal, however, is now quite clear. Recent 
examination of records and title-deeds prove that there was only 
one large tenement in the Vennal, and it has been shown that 
one of the houses there belonged to David Erskine, 
Commendator of Dry burgh and Prior of Inchmahome. From 
an examination of the title-deeds held by the Town of Stirling, 
the following extract in modern spelling proves that Erskine 
had been resident there : 

" Sas., 1626, taken by John Norrie, in favor of Christopher 
Russel and Margt. Howson his spouse of ' All and whole that 
Great tenement of land houses and stable and yard thereof 
sometime pertaining to the deceased David Commendator of 
Dryburgh and Prior of Inchmahom and lying within the said 

1 Some part illegible. 

426 Appendix 

Burgh of Stirling in the wynd called the Castle Wynd thereof 
on the eist (west) side of the same between the land of the 
deceased John Kinloch on the west, and the Castle Wynd on the 
west and north parts.' ' This description is repeated in a 
subsequent Disposition and Bond of Annual Rent of same 
tenement, dated 27th February 1742, by John Watson to 
Andrew Neilson who acquired it from an Andrew Wood, and it 
is described as on the west side of the Castle Wynd, and the 
High Street on the east and north bounds it. 1 

The examination of the whole title-deeds referring to the 
west side of the Vennal on which Buchanan's alleged " House " 
was situated reveals not one single owner or occupier of the 
name of Buchanan. Erskine was one of the superintendents of 
the young King's training in bodily exercises and accomplish- 
ments, and consequently local historians consider that "it is 
not difficult to understand how the Prior's Manse or a portion 
of it should have been assigned as a residence to His Majesty's 
preceptor." Thus the matter stands, and Buchanan may have 
lodged in this old building which is reminiscent of the period. 
A controversy concerning this alleged residence of Buchanan was 
conducted by the Town Council of Stirling when it was proposed 
to demolish the structure, one member finally believing that if 
the shade of George Buchanan himself were to stand forth at 
the table, it would be the first to vote for the removal of the 
dilapidated pile. 

Professor Hume Brown in his George Buchanan: Humanist 
and Reformer (page 353) has inserted a footnote which is almost 
the only information to be had concerning the scene of 
Buchanan's last days. " The following note was extracted about 
sixty years ago from a memorandum-book kept by George 
Paton, the antiquary : ' George Buchanan took his last illness 
and died in Kennedy's Close, first court thereof on your left 
hand, first house in the turnpike above the tavern there ; and 
in Queen Ann's time this was told to his family and friends, 
who resided in that house, by Sir James Stewart of Goodtrees, 
Lord Advocate.' Kennedy's Close was the second close above 
the Tron Church, and is now absorbed into Hunter Square." 

Dr. Irving in his Memoirs of Buchanan refers to a note 
written on the cover of a book and in a hand which appears to 

1 This information was kindly communicated by J. S. Fleming, Esq. , 
F.S.A. (Scot.), Stirling. 

Appendix 427 

have been formed in the earlier part of the eighteenth century. 
The note is " Scheriffhall, near Dalkeith, said to be the place of 
Buchanan's residence, where he wrote his history : this room is 
pointed out to the visitors of the place." 

Appendix IX. 

St. Andrews, 6th and 7th July 1906. 

AFTER many centuries the city of the " college of the scarlet 
gown " on Friday 6th July cast aside its gay, holiday attire 
to don temporarily the garments of academic aspect 
reminiscent of winter that it might the more appropriately 
obtain precedence in the national commemoration of George 
Buchanan, a man of European fame. As poet, humanist, and 
historian he had conferred such lustre upon his Alma Mater 
having been for some time one of her distinguished principals 
that the importance of the occasion and the fame of the 
man who had lived in the "old grey city" in historic days 
stirred the interest of all students of letters, and attracted a 
large gathering of scholars and educationists from all parts of 
the United Kingdom and from the Continent of Europe. Side 
by side at the shrine the Alma Mater of learned men and 
women were men of letters and representatives of the old 
Scottish loyalists and hero-worshippers, several of the latter 
having travelled from the most remote parts of Scotland to 
support Scotland's earliest centre of learning in her 
vigorous and successful endeavour to keep in remembrance and 
recall to the public notice the high national place Buchanan 
occupies as scholar and humanist. That the University should 
have inaugurated these celebrations as representative in 
character as was possible is to her credit, for she owes not a 
little of her prestige to the roll of distinguished men who, in 
days of yore, were associated with her fortunes. 


The Celebration proceedings opened with a service in the 
University Chapel, St. Salvator's. The limited accommoda- 

428 Appendix 

tion was fully utilised by a gathering consisting of the 
professors and lecturers of the University, graduates and 
undergraduates, and members of the public. To the right and 
left of the chancel sat the representatives of learned bodies at 
home and abroad, and in the professorial stalls places were 
reserved for the Rector (Dr. Carnegie), Principal Donaldson, 
Lord Reay, Lord Provost Bilsland (Glasgow), Lord Provost 
Longair (Dundee), and Provost Murray (St. Andrews). The 
service was appropriate, solemn, and brief, and included the 
singing of ' that noble Lutheran hymn,' " A safe stronghold 
our God is still." The Very Rev. Principal Stewart, D.D., 
conducted the service, in which he was assisted by Rev. 
Professors Menzies, Herkless, and Kay. The praise was 
magnificently led by a special choir, consisting of young ladies 
from St. Leonard's School and students, and under the direc- 
tion of Mr. R. K. Hannay, M.A., who acted as organist. 


The principal event of the day was Lord Reay's Oration on 
" George Buchanan." This was delivered in the Hall of the 
United College, which was filled to its utmost seating capacity 
with a representative gathering of members of the various 
Universities, public men, and St. Andrews citizens. Preceded 
by the maces, the members of the Senatus of the University, 
together with the distinguished visitors, entered the Hall in 
procession and took the seats reserved for them. Amongst 
those present were : 

Members of the University Court of St. Andrews Principal 
Donaldson ; Very Rev. Principal Stewart ; Dr. John Ross, 
Dunfermline ; Provost Murray, St. Andrews ; Dr. Barrie Dow, 
Dunfermline ; Rev. Dr. Blair, Dunblane; Dr. George A. 
Gibson, Edinburgh ; Professor Herkless ; Professor Lawson ; 
Mr. E. Morrison, Bonny town. 

Members of the Senatus of St. Andrews Professors Butler, 
Purdie, Menzies, Musgrove, Kay, Edgar. 

Representing the General Council of St. Andrews Dr. 
James Browning, Edinburgh ; Rev. Dr. Campbell, Balmerino ; 
Rev. Dr. Irvine Robertson, Clackmannan; Rev. George 
Johnston, Newburgh ; Messrs. J. E. Grosset, Cupar; John 
Scott, Edinburgh ; Walter G. Mair, Thomas Carmichael, 
Edward King, and D. Bayne Meldrum. 

From a photo by Valentine ,( So/w, Ltd., Dundee. 


Appendix 429 

Representing the University Court of Glasgow Dr. David 
Murray, Mr. Alan E. Clapperton. 

Representing the Senatus of Glasgow Professor Ferguson 
and Professor Latta. 

Representing the General Council of Glasgow Mr. William 
Graham, Rev. Dr. Donald MacMillan, Rev. John Anderson, 
Mr. Archibald Craig. 

Representing the University Court and Senatus of Aberdeen 
Professor Baillie. 

Representing the General Council of Aberdeen Mr. Patrick 
Cooper and Sir William J. Sinclair, M.D., Manchester. 

Representing this University Court of Edinburgh Dr. 
David F. Lowe. 

Representing the Senatus of Edinburgh Professor Hume 

Representing the General Council of Edinburgh Mr. David 
D. Buchan, S.S.C. 

Representing the Edinburgh Students' Representative 
Council Mr. J. B. Forbes Watson. 

Representing the University of Paris M. Bonet-Maury, 
Professor of Protestant Theology, and M. Salles, Professor au 
Lycee Janson de Sailly. 

Representing the University College, Dundee Sir George 
W. Baxter, LL.D., and Mr. George Ogilvie. 

Representing the Town Council of St. Andrews Bailies 
Ritchie and Todd, Judge Balsillie, Treasurer Wilson, and Dean 
of Guild Grubb. 

Representing the Buchanan Society Mr. A. W. Gray 
Buchanan, Polmont. 

Representing the Franco-Scottish Society Mr. James 
Macdonald, W.S., Depute-Keeper of the Great Seal of 

Representing the Faculty of Advocates Sheriff C. N. 
Johnston, K.C. 

Representing the Society of Writers Sir Henry Cook, 
W.S., Edinburgh. 

Representing the Society of Solicitors Mr. John Campbell, 
S.S.C., and Mr. Thomas Liddle, S.S.C., Edinburgh. 

Representing the Educational Institute Mr. A. T. Watson, 
LL.D., Dumbarton. 

Representing the Society of Antiquaries Mr. J. Maitland 
Thomson, LL.D., Edinburgh. 

430 Appendix 

The others present were : Lord Provost Longair, Dundee ; 
Mr. J. Peddie Steele, M.D., LL.D.; Mr. D. Hay Fleming, 
LL.D., Edinburgh; Mr. Alex. Menzies, LL.D., Kirriemuir; 
Rev. Alex. Gordon Mitchell, Killearn ; Mr. Hew Morrison, 
LL.D., Edinburgh; Mr. J. S. Reid, Litt.D., Cambridge; 
Mr. J. Maitland Anderson, Sheriff Armour, Sir R. Rowand 
Anderson; Mr. G. W. Blackwood, Edinburgh; Dr. Buchanan, 
Glasgow; Miss E. Buchanan, Stirling; Rev. Dr. R. Menzies 
Fergusson, Bridge of Allan; Lady Helen Munro Ferguson; 
Rev. George Galloway, Kelton; Mr. W. S. Hamilton, W.S., 
Edinburgh ; Mrs. Haldane ; Mr. William Low of Blebo ; Mr. 
J. L. Low, St. Andrews; Mr. John McKcnzie, Madras College; 
Mr. Robert Munro, LL.D., Largs; Sir H. N. Maclaurin, 
Sydney; Rev. P. M. Playfair; Principal Peterson, Toronto; 
Mr. T. D. Robb, Paisley; Mr. Robert Smeaton, LL.D., 
London; Rev. W. Connan, Aberdeen; Mr. John A. Trail, 
LL.D., Edinburgh; Rev. Allan Wilson, Aberdeen; Mrs. 
Younger, Mount Melville; Mrs. Riddel Webster; Mrs. Rodgei, 
Southcourt, St. Andrews. 

The Rector (Dr. Carnegie), who presided, in introducing 
Lord Reay, said : " Last year Scotland celebrated the 400th 
anniversary of the birth of its greatest reformer, John Knox. 
We are met to-day to celebrate the similar anniversary of its 
greatest constitutional reformer, George Buchanan (applause). 
Both were sons of St. Andrews University and contemporaries. 
Such a gathering as this, 400 years after his birth, proved he 
was entitled to this great honour. The winnowing fan of time 
had dispersed all that was perishable ; it had separated the 
dross from the gold, and there was revealed still before them 
not only the greatest poet of his time and a great scholar, but 
the founder of constitutional government. It was Buchanan 
who first in Britain proclaimed the divine, right of the people 
and denounced the divine right of kings, he even advocated 
their election by the people. He was thus the founder of the 
principles of liberty which prevailed in crowned and uncrowned 
Republics alike. Wherever the English community settled, 
there was government of the people for the people and by the 
people, as Buchanan advocated. To-day Buchanan the poet 
and Buchanan the scholar was no longer a vital force, but 
Buchanan the statesman and constitutional reformer had grown 
and must grow as the principles of constitutional liberty spread 

Appendix 431 

throughout the world (hear, hear). Just as John Knox's title 
to fame immortal fame was finally to be this sentence, " I 
shall never rest until there is a parish school in every parish in 
Scotland," so was Buchanan to receive evidence among the gods, 
holding out in his hand this sentence, ' ' The people is the source 
of all power, and kings are to be allowed to reign only as they 
obey the will of the people and promote their good " 
(applause). There was no question about Buchanan's place 
among the immortals, and as long as those principles of liberty 
and of popular government which characterised our race 
wherever it settled, endured, Buchanan's fame would endure 
(applause). They were now to hear about this extraordinary 
man from the lips of a distinguished Peer, a linguist, and an 
able Governor in India, and who, as a statesman, was known 
to them as Lord Reay, but in the Highlands was known by the 
old and more enduring title ' The Mackay ' ' (laughter and 

Lord Reay, who was cordially received, said: "My Lord 
Rector, Mr. Vice-Chancellor, Members of the Senate, Ladies 
and Gentlemen, when you did me the honour to invite me to 
address you on this memorable occasion, I felt no little 
diffidence in accepting your gracious invitation, for on the 
subject of George Buchanan so much has been written, and 
his biography by Professor Hume Brown is so exhaustive and 
so admirable that no further tribute can add anything of 
value. It was, however, natural that this ancient University 
should wish to commemorate the striking career of the 
great scholar, so intimately associated with its early history. 
As your representative, I venture to pay dutiful tribute 
to one of the most illustrious of our countrymen, and to 
recall events which have exercised a lasting influence on the 
character of the nation. And even now, four centuries after 
Buchanan's birth, our generation has much to learn from the 
record of a life devoted to high aims and distinguished by its 
patriotism and constant self-sacrifice. 

Buchanan was about fourteen when, in 1520, he was sent to 
the University of Paris, where at that time there would be at 
least two hundred Scotch students among the ten thousand 
students who attended its fifty colleges. Unfortunately, the 
University of Paris did not accept the reforms which Humanism 
and Lutheranism introduced ; but Scholasticism was discredited, 

432 Appendix 

and the literature of Greece and Rome inspired those who 
desired to shake off the unreality of the Schoolmen. Almost 
simultaneously the Reformers undertook their great struggle 
against the Church. This was the atmosphere into which 
Buchanan was thrown, and he accepted both Humanism and 
Lutheranism after long and patient inquiry. During his first 
two years of residence in Paris, he devoted himself mainly to the 
writing of Latin verse. His progress was hampered by ill- 
health and poverty. He returned to Scotland and joined the 
army, so that he might become acquainted with military 
matters. He served in the expedition of the Duke of Albany 
against the English Army, which ended in retreat ; he returned 
home, and for a time he was forced to rest. Another incident in 
his life shows that Buchanan had natural military instincts. 
When he was tutor to the Marshal de Brissac's son, he chanced 
to hear the Marshal discussing matters with his staff ; Buchanan 
muttered disapproval. He was called in, and all present 
agreed that he was right. Moreover, the result justified his 
intervention. Buchanan returned to Paris as Bursar of the 
Scots College, an office that barely saved him from the trials 
of cold and hunger. In March 1528 he graduated as Master, 
and in the following year was on the teaching staff of Ste. 
Barbe, the most famous of the Colleges, where he met Jacques 
de Gouvea, the Portuguese scholar, who was Principal. Al- 
though he was now in receipt of a salary, his life was by no 
means one of comfort. His more important achievements 
during this period were certain reforms in the teaching of Latin, 
and the publication of the Latin translation of Linacre's 
Grammar; this went through seven editions. 1 

After three years he left Ste. Barbe to become tutor to the 
Earl of Cassilis, and in 1535 returned with him to Scotland. 
At that time he began to use satire as a weapon against the 
abuses of the Monastic orders. The Somnhim, the two 
Palinodes and the Franciscanus, the two latter written at 
the request of James V., show his great powers of invective in 
combination with his rare scholarship. They naturally pro- 
voked the fiercest hostility on the part of the dignitaries of the 

1 After his return to Scotland he was President of a Committee of four 
scholars who undertook to edit a Latin Grammar, and he took upon himself 
the part dealing with prosody. 

Appendix 433 

Church, and in 1539 Buchanan was exiled ; he escaped from 
his guards while they were asleep, and, finding Paris unsafe 
(Cardinal Beaton was there on an Embassy), he went to 
Bordeaux, where he and Elie Vinet were appointed to two 
vacancies at the College de Guyenne, under Jacques de Gouvea 
as Principal. Montaigne thought this College " the best in 
France " ; Latin was the principal study, while Logic, Philo- 
sophy, Greek, and the Bible, held a secondary place. Greek was 
not recognised by the University of Paris till 1600. Montaigne 
was one of the students of the College and afterwards spoke of 
Buchanan with admiration. Buchanan translated into Latin 
the Medea and Alcestis of Euripides, and wrote two original 
plays, Baptistes and Jephthes. In the Baptistes his political 
views were first made known. 

Buchanan left Bordeaux in 1543, and in 1544 we find 
him acting as Regent in the College du Cardinal Lemoine 
in Paris, where he had as colleagues Turnebe and Muret. He 
fell dangerously ill, and on his recovery found himself, at forty, 
without any assured source of income. Such is the picture of 
this Scot abroad. He was surrounded by devoted friends; and 
he loved Paris, as we know from his Desiderium Lutetiae. In 
1545 he left that city, and in 1547 accompanied Andre de 
Gouvea to establish a great school in Coimbra, where King John 
the Third was reconstituting a University. Buchanan got 
an appointment on the teaching staff for his brother Patrick. 
Everything went well with this centre of humanism until the 
death of the Principal in 1548. The Jesuits were determined 
to bring the University under their direct influence, and 
Buchanan and his colleagues were charged before the Inquisition. 
After a trial which lasted a year and a half, Buchanan was sent 
to a Monastery to be instructed by the monks. He made use of 
this incarceration by translating the Psalms into Latin verse 
a task which the Jesuits imposed upon him as a penance. The 
version, in the opinion of Le Clerc, was " incomparable." In 
the 17th and 18th centuries it was a text-book in many of the 
best schools in Scotland. The rendering of the 104th and 
137th Psalms is still universally admired. The dedication of 
this masterpiece to Queen Mary " every Scotsman ought to have 
by heart," according to James Hannay : 

" daughter of a hundred kings 

That boldest 'neath thy happy sway 

484 Appendix 

This ancient realm of Caledon ; 

Whose worth outstrips thy destiny ; 

Whoso mind thy sex ; whose grace thy peers ; 

Whose virtues leave behind thy years 

Behold in Roman garb I bring 

The work of Israel's prophet king. 

Rude is my song as born afar 

From the Muse- haunted founts of Greece, 

Under the frigid Northern star ; 

And but that aught that pleases thee 

Must ne'er displeasing seem to me, 

It had not looked on eyes save mine ; 

Yet such a virtue flows from thine, 

Perchance my sorry child may own 

Some graces that are thine alone ! " l 

Almost at the same time, Knox, a slave in the French 
galleys, edited Balnave's ' Treatise on Justification.' In their 
school of adversity, Knox and Buchanan were being educated 
for their great task of emancipating Scotland. Although the 
King of Portugal wished Buchanan to remain, when he was 
set at liberty, and even supplied him with means, he left 
Portugal and sailed for England. England, however, was too 
disturbed, and in 1553 he again returned to Paris and acted as 
Regent in the College Boncourt. In 1555 he was appointed 
by the Marshal de Brissac (to whom he addressed a fine ode on 
the capture of Vercelli) as tutor to his son. For five years he 
was happy in the family of this great soldier, and his duties 
were congenial. Timoleon du Cosse, his pupil, was only twelve 
years of age; he was killed at the siege of Mucidan at the age 
of twenty-six. Buchanan accompanied de Brissac on his many 
expeditions between France and Italy. During this period he 
began his great poem, De Sphaera; it was never completed. 
He also devoted a great part of his time to the study of the Holy 
Scriptures. At last, in 1561, he came home to Scotland at the 
age of fifty-five, after an exile of twenty-two years. 

When Buchanan returned to Scotland, he enrolled himself a 
member of the Scottish Church. This step was due to his 
critical study of the Scriptures during the last five years of his 
residence on the Continent. Until that time, he was ostensibly 
a Roman Catholic. But he was by no means a theologian, 
he was a humanist; he was imbued with the spirit of Greek 

1 Translated by Professor Hume Brown. 

Appendix 435 

and Roman literature. The negative side of the Reformation 
was probably its chief attraction for him. There is no evidence 
that he took part in any of the dogmatic struggles of his 
time. As a Protestant he was tolerant ; as he had himself been 
the victim of persecution, he was not prepared to interfere with 
the exercise of private judgment. It is greatly to the credit 
of the leaders of the Scottish Church that they made him a 
Member of the Assembly which met on the 29th December 
1563, and also of subsequent Assemblies, and that in 1567 he 
was appointed Moderator. He served also on most of the 
important Committees. In 1574 the General Assembly ap- 
pointed Buchanan, with Peter Young, Andrew Melville, and 
James Lawson, to revise Adamson's Latin version of the Book 
of Job. 

Knox, in 1566, wrote: "That notable man, Mr. George 
Bucquhanane, remains to this day, in the year of God 1566 
years, to the glory of God, to the great honour of the nation, and 
to the comfort of those that delyt in letters and virtue." It 
shows the sagacity of Knox that he did not alienate Buchanan, 
with whom he had very little in common. To the cause of 
Protestantism the allegiance of Buchanan gave additional 
strength. The exclusion of Buchanan would have been a great 
error. As Sir James Melville aptly put it, Buchanan was " of 
gud religion for a poet." 

Soon after his return to Scotland, Buchanan enjoyed the 
privilege of reading Livy with Queen Mary after her dinner, 
and we may take it for granted that their conversation must 
often have turned to France, which both loved so well. Sir 
James Melville has left it on record that Buchanan was " pleas- 
ant in conversation, rehearsing on all occasions moralities short 
and instructive, whereof he had abundance, inventing where he 
wanted" . . . "a Stoick philosopher, who looked not far 
before him." 

Moreover, as Queen Mary had so strong a preference for St. 
Andrews, where Buchanan generally resided, he must have had 
many opportunities of meeting the Queen. He undertook also 
the functions of Court poet, writing Latin masques for the 
Court on the return of Mary from France, on her marriage 
with Darnley, and on the baptism of her son James. 

It is painful to record that Buchanan, " despising wealth" 
according to Joseph Scaliger, had no fixed income and was 

436 Appendix 

reduced to such ignominious appeals to the Queen as the well- 
known epigram, where wit feebly conceals want: 

" I give you what I have, 

I wish you what you lack ; 
And weightier were my gift 
Were fortune at my back. 

" Perchance you think I jest? 

A like jest then I crave : 
Wish for me what I lack, 

And give me what you have." 1 

In 1570 he was appointed Director of Chancery, and in the 
same year Keeper of the Privy Seal, which office he resigned in 
1578 in favour of his nephew Thomas. This position gave him a 
seat in the Privy Council and in Parliament. By the latter 
he was appointed a Member of a Commission to examine a 
book on the " Policy of the Kirk." 

Buchanan brought with him to Scotland a thorough know- 
ledge of the French system of higher education. His admira- 
tion for all things French found expression in his Adventus 
in Galliam. It was quite natural that Moray, as Prior of the 
Abbey, should appoint him Principal of the College of St. 
Leonard at this University in 1566. In 1563 the number of 
students at St. Mary's was ten, at St. Leonard's ten, and at St. 
Salvator's eleven. Canon law, the logic and metaphysic of the 
Schoolmen, and Latin, formed the chief elements of the curricu- 
lum. Greek was unknown. It is rather remarkable in connection 
with the hold of Greek on the older English Universities, that at 
Oxford the study of Greek only gradually made its way against 
the most determined opposition. But Oxford and Cambridge 
accepted the new order, while the University of Paris was still 
opposed to both Renaissance and Reformation. In April, 1560, 
Knox was asked to draw up what is known as the 
First Book of Discipline, and by the autumn of that year the 
work was completed. It deals with the government, with the 
discipline and organisation of the Church, with education, and 
with pauperism. Lately, in our own time, the Church has 
taken up social questions. In so doing, it is undertaking duties 
which Knox and Chalmers considered to be essential to the 
maintenance of its vitality. Against the accusation that 
Calvinism is severe, this concern for the poorer brethren 

1 Translated by Professor Hume Brown. 

Appendix 437 

shows that Knox was fully alive to the paramount precept 
of Christianity charity. The success of the Reformation 
was probably due to the recognition of this duty, neglected 
by the Church in pre-Reformation days. The democratic char- 
acter of the Reformation was illustrated by the provision made 
for public education. But we must remember that, as far back 
as 1494, by an Act of James IV., the barons and freeholders were 
ordered to keep their heirs at school until they had learned 
" perfyt Latyn." Some of the burghs maintained elementary 
and secondary schools. There were also elementary Church 
schools, in many cases taught by women, and ordinary 
private schools. Knox proposed that every parish should 
have its elementary school. Education was to be com- 
pulsory. " All must be compelled to bring up their 
children in learning and virtue." In every town and 
cathedral city secondary schools were to be established, in 
which logic, rhetoric, Latin, and Greek, were to be taught. 
Latin Grammar and Latin Literature were excluded from the 
University curriculum. Bursaries and scholarships were to pro- 
vide for capable boys. At St. Andrews, one college should 
provide a course in Philosophy, the second a course in Law, and 
the third a course in Divinity. The object was to make the 
Universities institutions of higher education and to alter their 
mediaeval character. The degree of Doctor of Divinity could 
not be taken before the age of thirty-five. The Book of 
Discipline reduced this to twenty-four, and for the Doctorate 
in Law the age was also shortened. The absence of Latin and 
Greek Classics from the University course, and the fact that 
they were to be taught only at secondary schools, which students 
would leave at sixteen or seventeen, show that the right 
enthusiasm for humanism did not inspire the authors of the 
Book of Discipline. Indeed, Scotland did not so wholly yield 
itself to the influence of Humanism as did other countries of 
Europe. Theology was the cardinal factor in the Reformation 
here, whereas in England the Italian Renaissance played a 
great part in stimulating the national life. The scheme of the 
Book of Discipline was not carried out ; it has not been 
carried out even yet. It was a bold attempt to place the 
intellectual life of Scotland on a broad foundation. By an Act 
of Parliament, in 1563, Commissioners were appointed to 
investigate matters in the University of St. Andrews. Moray, 

438 Appendix 

Maitland, and Buchanan, were the most important among the 
Commissioners. They produced a scheme which has been 
attributed to Buchanan. One of the Colleges was to be a 
Secondary School with six successive classes, in which Latin 
and Greek were to be taught, Greek only in the three highest 
classes. The rule for the Saturday disputations, and the 
rule that the Regent was not to give lessons, were the same 
as those of the College at Bordeaux with which Buchanan was 
acquainted. The second College was to supply a three years' 
course of Philosophy and Medicine. The staff was to consist of 
a Principal, four Regents, and a Reader in Medicine. The 
third College was to teach Divinity and Law, with a Principal 
who would lecture on Divinity, and a Reader in Law. 
Buchanan must have felt that this scheme was wholly 
inadequate, but he had limited means at his disposal. 

In 1579 another Commission was appointed, of which 
Buchanan and Andrew Melville were members. Their scheme 
made St. Salvator's and St. Leonard's Arts Colleges, the former 
with Regents in Law and Medicine. St. Mary's was to deal 
exclusively with Theology and to have five Professors. The 
first Professor was to teach Hebrew, Chaldee, and Syriac, the 
first year ; the second to apply these languages to the critical 
explanation of the Pentateuch and historical books ; the third 
to apply them to the prophetical books ; the fourth to compare 
the Greek Testament with the Syriac Version ; and the fifth to 
lecture on Systematic Divinity. One omission is striking, there 
is no reference to Church History. The students were to have 
a holiday only in September, and the course was to extend over 
a period of four years. Parliament ratified this scheme, but the 
University did not reap much benefit from it. As compared 
with the present state of things, with a faculty of Divinity only 
numbering four Professors and a much shorter course, the 
earlier scheme shows a better appreciation of the immense 
importance of the study of Theology than we moderns can 
claim credit for. The Church of Scotland, which at all times 
has had such eminent men among its Professors and Ministers, 
should take steps to secure better equipment, a more adequate 
representation of the various branches of Theology, at the 
Universities ; the situation in England is no doubt worse, and 
lately an appeal has been made, I believe, by the Bishop of 
Birmingham, to remedy the evil. It is impossible to exaggerate 

Appendix 439 

the importance of giving proper training to the clergy, if the 
Church is to exercise the potent influence which it alone 

Buchanan was Principal of St. Leonard's from 1566 till 
1570. Very little is known of his life during those four 
years. He was one of the electors, assessors, and deputies 
of the Rector, his name being entered as " poetarum nostri 
mecnli facile princeps." He was never either Rector or 
Dean of the Faculty of Arts. In 1566 and 1567 no students 
were enrolled at St. Leonard's, but in 1568 more students 
entered St. Leonard's than St. Mary's, and in 1569 the number 
enrolled for the first time in St. Leonard's was twenty four, 
at St. Mary's only eleven, and at St. Salvator's only eight. 
It is natural to attribute to Buchanan this ascendency of St. 
Leonard's. The Principal of St. Leonard's was bound to 
deliver divinity lectures every Wednesday and Friday, and it 
is very much to be deplored that no record exists of these 
lectures. By the Book of Discipline a weekly exercise of 
" prophesying" was to be held, at which Ministers and learned 
men of the neighbourhood were expected to appear, and it is 
probable that Buchanan was present at these exercises. With 
regard to his merits as a teacher we have this testimony : 
" Buchanan was of such flexibility of mind that with boys he 
became a boy : he had alike the faculty and the will to adapt 
himself to every time of life, yet always in such a way as never 
to forfeit the respect due to himself." His affection for young 
men is shown by the letter of introduction which he gave Jerome 
Groslot to Beza, and by two poems in memory of Alexander 
Cockburn, who died in 1564, at the age of twenty-eight, and 
whose early death he seems to have considered as a loss to the 
literature of the country. 

Buchanan always took a keen interest in the University of 
Glasgow, and it is probable that he induced Queen Mary to 
confer grants on the University, and, in the new foundation of 
the College of Glasgow made by the town in 1572, Buchanan 
took an active part. The ' Erectio Regia ' was also probably 
due to the influence of Buchanan with Morton. Buchanan is 
mentioned in the deed as " our dear Privy Councillor, 
Pensioner of Crossraguel, and Keeper of the Privy Seal." A 
valuable gift of Latin and Greek books to the College is further 
evidence of Buchanan's desire to promote its efficiency. 

440 Appendix 

The Privy Council in 1570 appointed Buchanan tutor to 
James VI. who was then only four years old. A number of 
able men were appointed to train the young king, and four 
young nobles were selected as his companions. The Privy 
Council and Buchanan realised how much of the future of the 
United Kingdom was involved in the education of James. 
The appointment of Buchanan was significant; the Privy 
Council must have known the advanced views with which 
he would imbue the king's mind. He had no thought of 
ingratiating himself with his Royal pupil ; his one thought was 
how best to ingratiate him with his subjects. His programme 
of studies for a boy of eight or ten is certainly alarming, and 
I do not think that an Inspector of our Education Department 
would give his sanction to the time-table. After morning 
prayers the young prince read Greek, the New Testament, 
Socrates or Plutarch, and he was exercised in the rules of 
grammar. After breakfast came Cicero, Livy, Justin, or 
Modern History; in the afternoon he applied himself to 
composition, and, when time permitted, to Arithmetic, or 
Cosmography, which included Geography, or Logic and Rhetoric. 
David and Adam Erskine, Commendators of Dryburgh and 
Cambuskenneth, relatives of the Earl of Mar, were appointed 
to superintend his training in bodily exercises and accomplish- 
ments. We may think the scheme rather too ambitous, but at 
any rate it reflects credit on the rulers of Scotland as showing 
their determination that the king should have every advantage 
deemed necessary to prepare him for his grave responsibilities. 
The scholarship of the king was remarkable, though Buchanan 
fully realised that this was not of primary importance. 
In a poem addressed to Randolph, the English 
Resident, we have his views thus set forth : 
"You often urge me to paint for you what manner of king I 
should wish, were God to grant one according to my prayer. 
Here, then, is the portrait you want. In chief, I would have 
him a lover of true piety, deeming himself the veritable image 
of highest God. He must love peace, yet be ever ready for war. 
To the vanquished he must be merciful, and when he lays down 
his arms he must lay aside his hate. I should wish him to be 
neither a niggard nor a spendthrift, for each I must think 
works equal harm to his people. He must believe that the king 
exists for his country and not for himself, and that he is in 

Appendix 441 

truth the Common Father of the State. When expediency 
demands that he shall punish with a stern hand, let it appear 
that he has no pleasure in his own severity. He will ever be 
lenient if it is consistent with the welfare of his people. His 
life must be the pattern for every citizen, his countenance the 
terror of evildoers, the delight of those that do well. His mind 
he must cultivate with sedulous care, his body as reason 
demands. Good sense and good taste must keep in check 
luxurious excess." 

In these lines of Seneca appended to the dedication of the De 
Jure, the same thought is tersely expressed : 

" Rex est, qui metuit nihil, 
Rex est, qui cupiet nihil 
Hoc regnum sibi quisque dat." 

In his Birthday Ode, Buchanan had laid down for the 

' felices felici prole parentes " of James what he considered to 

be their duty. The opening lines of the poem gave expression 

to the satisfaction felt at the prospect of union with England, 

which in every respect was preferable to the French alliance. 

These are the lines: "Grow and be strong, long wished- 
for boy, happy pledge for thy country's weal, to whom ancient 
bards have promised the peaceful glories of the golden age. 
And thou, happy Britain, joyfully lift up thy head, thou so 
often stricken by foreign foes, so often on ruin's brink from 
the swords of thy own children : bind thy hair with olive, and 
repair thy ruined homes, for the stars now promise thee eternal 
peace. Now Saxon oppresseth not Scot, nor Scot Saxon, nor 
stain their swords with the blood of their kindred, nor make 
the cities of the other their prey. They whose delight was 
mutual war now join right hands in peace. And ye, happy 
parents of this happy child, train him from his tenderest years 
to virtue and justice. Let piety be his companion from the 
cradle, moulding his thoughts and growing with his years." 

Buchanan dedicated three books to his Royal pupil : the 
Baptistes, the De Jtire Regni, and the History. The Baptistes 
was written in 1540-41. In 1576 he dedicated it to James, 
who was only ten, and he tells His Majesty: " This little work 
must seem to have a peculiar interest for yourself, inasmuch as 
it sets before you in the clearest manner what torments and 
miseries tyrants endure, even when they appear to be most 
prosperous. And this lesson I deem not merely beneficial, but 

442 Appendix 

absolutely necessary for you, so that you may early begin to 
detest what it must be always your duty to avoid. Moreover, 
I wish my book to be a standing witness with posterity that 
not with your teachers but with yourself rested the fault, if, 
impelled by evil counsellors or your own undue desire for 
power, you should ever depart from the lessons you have 

In 1579, when the king was thirteen, he dedicated to him 
the De Jure Regni. He praises him for the brightness 
of his abilities, his intellectual interests, his independence of 
judgment while enquiring into the truth of things and opinions. 
He congratulates him on his aversion to flattery, " tyrannidis 
nutricula, et legitimi regni gravissima pestis," " naturae 
quodam instinctu oderis solaecismos et barbarismos aulicos " 
affected by the " elegantiae censores." 

Hallam remarks that " the three great sources of a free 
spirit in politics, admiration of antiquity, zeal for religion, 
and persuasion of a positive right, which animated separately 
La Boetie, Languet and Hottoman, united their stream to 
produce the treatise of George Buchanan, a scholar, a protestant, 
and the subject of a very limited monarchy." 

In the dedication of his History Buchanan states that miser- 
able ill health had prevented him from discharging his duties as 
tutor, and that this work would in some degree make amends 
for the unavoidable neglect. He urges James to follow the 
example of his good predecessors, especially of David I., and 
to eschew that of the bad. The admirable style of the 
History, as well as its contents, prove that Sir James Melville 
was wrong, when he stated that Buchanan " in his auld dayes 
was become sleperie and cairless," but he was right in saying 
that he " followed in many things the vulgair oppinion, for he 
was naturally populaire." If James had accepted the warnings 
of Buchanan, the history of the House of Stuart would have 
been very different from what it turned out to be. But 
although James was, according to Mark Pattison, " the only 
English Prince who has carried to the throne knowledge derived 
from reading or any considerable amount of literature," his 
mind was not amenable to liberal ideas, and he was a pedant 
and an absolutist by nature. He bitterly resented Buchanan's 
views, and Buchanan's death alone saved him from being tried 
for sedition at the instance of the King. Buchanan, however, 
was fully justified. He foresaw the course of things. 

Appendix 443 

His treatise, De Jure Regni apud Scotos, and his 
History of Scotland were condemned by Act of Parliament in 
1584, two years after his death. In 1664 the Privy Council 
of Scotland issued a proclamation prohibiting the circulation 
of a manuscript translation of the dialogue. 1 In 1688 this 
order was repeated, and in 1683 the University of Oxford 
publicly burned the political works of Buchanan, Milton, 
Languet, and others. Buchanan's fame gave to his treatise its 
abiding influence. During the 18th century three editions were 
published, in 1789 an English translation was published, and 
in 1843, the year of the foundation of the Free Church, 
another translation appeared. The ideas developed by Buchanan 
were not new. John Major had already in his History 
stated that, " As it was the people who first made kings, so the 
people can dethrone them when they misuse their privileges." 
Buchanan, however, admits that the people can make a king 
as little as they can make an artist or a physician, although 
they can choose him ; they can make and interpret the laws which 
the king preserves and administers. The function of the king 
js that of a physician. He preserves the health of society and 
restores it when it is lost. As far back as the 12th century, 
John of Salisbury said: " When he is the true image of God, 
the king should be loved, honoured, obliged ; when he is the 
image of all that is evil, he should in most cases be put to 
death." In the 13th century, Thomas Aquinas taught that the 
end of government is the good of the community. Duns Scotus 
represents the people as the sole source of political power, and 
Marsilius of Padua, at one time Rector of the University of 
Paris, in a pamphlet written about the year 1324, says: " est 
enim multitude dominus major," and the description given of 
the "multitude" in the De Jure Regni is: " Reliqua est 
imperita multitude, quae omnia nova miratur, plurima 
reprehendit neque quicquam rectum putat, nisi quod ipsa aut 
facit, aut fieri videt, quantum enim a consuetudine majorum 
receditur, tantum a justo et aequo recedi putat." In Switzer- 
land, I believe, the referendum has generally been exercised in 
a conservative sense. Gerson, the Chancellor of the University 
of Paris, quotes Seneca, who said that " There can be no more 
acceptable sacrifice to God than a tyrant," and Milton after- 
wards seems to have given his approval to this view. I may 

1 See Appendix V. 

444 Appendix 

conclude with a very apt definition given by Isidore of Seville 
in the ninth century : ' ' Reges a recte agendo vocati sunt, 
ideoque recte faciendo, regis nomen tenetur, peccando 
amittitur." The Reformers found a situation in which 
supremacy over kings was claimed by the Church, which alone 
had the power to loosen the bonds of allegiance. They had, 
therefore, to face the question of the limits of this allegiance. 
It is inaccurate to attribute as novel to the Reformers opinions 
which had been held before. 

Buchanan joined in the rebellion against Scholasticism. 
His mind was steeped in the literature of ancient Greece and 
Rome, but he applied its teachings to the problems of his own 
day. He drew lessons from the past in order that a better 
future might be secured to his countrymen. Humanism 
was incompatible with the dogmatic system of the 
Church. In so far as Humanism and the Renaissance 
asserted the right of " private judgment," they paved 
the way for the Reformation. Buchanan, in his History, 
looks upon the Reformers as " the champions of liberty." 
Protestantism represents to him the struggle for liberty. 
Queen Mary was certainly not justified in calling him an 
" Atheist." His Epicedium on the death of Calvin reveals 
his conception of the Calvinistic Theology, and his appreciation 
of the struggle in which Calvin was engaged. Calvin 
filled with a draught of Deity lives in an eternal and 
nearer enjoyment of God. God is the soul of the soul, and, 
when the draught of Deity has been taken, the soul, which 
before was shrouded in darkness, illusioned by empty appear- 
ance and grasping at mere shadows of the right and good, sees 
the darkness disappear, the vain simulacra cease, the unveiled 
face of Truth reveal itself in light. Buchanan could not have 
written thus had he not accepted the doctrines of the 
resurrection and of regeneration. Knox would have stated it 
differently. He was in a different position, as the leader 
of the Democracy ; he had to speak plainly so as to raise the 
Church on definite dogmatic lines and to denounce what he 
considered dangerous. The times were not favourable to a 
symposium ; the alternative was martyrdom. Buchanan had 
experienced the amenities of the Inquisition at Lisbon ; we 
may well marvel that he was so fair, in his History, to the 
Catholics. In dealing with the great problems of life, 

Appendix 445 

he had no other aim than the discovery of Truth. Being 
thoroughly in earnest, he made allowance for the errors of 
others. It was an exceptional attitude in those days. 

Buchanan wrote his History at the request of his friends 
who thought such a work " more worthy of his advanced years 
and of the expectation his countrymen had formed of him." 
In a letter to Tycho Brahe, in 1576, he had written that bad 
health had compelled him ' ' spem scribendi carminis in 
posterum penitus abjicere." He was here referring to the poem 
De Sphaera at which he intermittently worked at least 
for twenty-five years and which he left unfinished. 
Reluctantly, he writes to a friend in England, in 1579, he had 
abandoned his astronomical aims in poetry, " neque enim aut 
nunc libet nugari, aut si maxime vellem per aetatem licet. 
Accessit eo historiae scribendae labor." He gave up De Sphaera 
as being less serious than the History. In 1577 he writes to 
Randolph: " As for the present, I am occupied in writing of 
our historic, being assurit to content few and to displease many 
thairthrow. As to the end of it, yf ye gett it not or thys 
winter be passit, lippen not for it, 1 nor nane other writings 
from me. The rest of my occupation is wyth the gout, quhilk 
haldis me busy both day and nyt." 

In another letter to Randolph he says: "As to my 
occupation at this present time, I am bisy with our story of 
Scotland to purge it of sum Inglis lyis and Scottis vanite ; as to 
Maister Knoks, his historic is in hys freindis handis, and thai 
ar in consultation to mitigat sum part the acerbiti of certaine 
wordis and sum taintis quhairin he has followit to much sum 
of your Inglis writaris as M. Hal et suppilatorem ejus." 

As a historian, Buchanan must not be judged by the tests 
which we apply to the writers of history in our times. His 
History must be judged by the standard of Livy, Salust, and 
Tacitus, as in the first place a literary work. But we must give 
credit to Buchanan for expressing not only his own views in a 
brilliant style, but for introducing the arguments of the other 
side, so that the reader may be able to form his own 
judgment. The best example of this method is to be found in 
his quoting the letter which Queen Mary sent to France 
after her marriage with Bothwell. But the History shows 
an absolute want of appreciation of the Reformation as 
1 " Do not reckon on receiving it." 

446 Appendix 

a religious movement. He seems to have looked upon the 
Reformers chiefly in the light of v indices libertatis rather 
than of evaiujelici pro/essores. And as Knox, the greatest 
figure of the time, is only mentioned four times, Buchanan 
evidently had no idea of the position which would be 
assigned to his great contemporary by posterity. Buchanan 
enjoyed a European reputation, and probably considered him 
his intellectual inferior. Knox was a leader of men and was 
fighting a battle against tremendous odds, in which he had to 
set in motion popular forces and at the same time to control 
them. Buchanan approached the great problems from an 
academic point of view. That he strengthened, by his classical 
utterances, the great cause for which they both were doing 
battle, there can be no doubt. 

De Thou, who takes a very high rank among the historians 
of those days, states that " Buchanan in his old age undertook 
a History, which he wrote with such purity, sagacity, and 
insight (although from that inborn love of liberty, peculiar 
to his nation, somewhat severe on the pride of kings), that his 
work seems the production, not of one trained in the dust of 
the Schools, but of one who has passed his life in the conduct 
of affairs," and, a century after, Dryden paid his tribute to 
Buchanan, who, " for the purity of his Latin and for his 
learning, and for all other endowments belonging to an 
historian, might be placed among the greatest, if he had not 
leaned too much to prejudice and too manifestly declared 
himself a party of a cause, rather than an historian 
of it. Excepting only that (which I desire not to urge too far 
in so great a man, but only to give caution to his readers 
concerning it), our isle may justly boast in him a writer 
comparable to any of the moderns, and excelled by few of the 
ancients." Buchanan did not suppress his own strong convic- 
tions, and, with the personal knowledge he possessed of the rulers 
of Scotland and of the governing class, it could hardly have been 
expected that he would refrain from emphasising what he 
believed to be the truth. That he was fair-minded, his estimate 
of the character of the Queen Regent, Mary of Lorraine, may be 
adduced by way of evidence. He was perfectly justified in his 
adverse criticism of Cardinal Beaton and of the policy pursued 
by the House of Hamilton. 

Four editions of the History appeared during the sixteenth 

Appendix 447 

century, and three in the 18th, and many translations were 
made in England and Scotland during the 17th and 18th 
centuries. Altogether nineteen editions were published of the 
History, the last in 1762. 

Buchanan, as a typical representative of the New Learning 
of the first half of the 16th century, necessarily chose Latin as 
the medium for the expression of his thoughts. He thus 
addressed himself to the whole republic of learning. " Modern 
Languages," he would have held with a greater and later 
philosopher, " would play the very bankrupt with my 
works." His vernacular writings are perhaps only of value 
as reflecting the influences derived from the habitual use of the 
Latin idiom, and these writings, interesting as they are to the 
historian, cannot claim for Buchanan any important place 
among the men of letters of his country. It is then by his 
Latin works that his place must be adjudged, and from this 
standpoint his place is of very high rank in the history of 
Humanism. Perhaps the most fascinating of his contributions 
to this department of literature are his Latin plays. His 
Jsphthes is indeed the earliest specimen of a Senecan drama 
composed by a Northerner ; his Baptistes, similarly Senecan 
in form, is closely connected with the whole movement 
of the period, when the form of the later Roman Drama, 
Tragedy in particular, became associated with the pressing 
problems of Church and State, problems which, in Germany 
more especially, produced what has well been called 
"a Christian Terence" with a "Christian Seneca" as a 
counterpart. This play of Baptistes put in dramatic form the 
principles afterwards enunciated in the famous prose work, De 
Jure Regni. It is significant that both works received great 
attention during the middle of the 17th century, when kindred 
questions were agitating men's minds ; and that Milton, 
between whom and Buchanan there was much in common, 
seems to have been acquainted with both works . and to have 
been influenced by both. When one recalls the condition of the 
vernacular drama of Scotland at this time, with its indecorum 
and want of art, one feels how much the 16th century 
dramatists owed to the example of the Humanists, who 
preferred the declamatory and rhetorical drama of Seneca, 
with all its limitations, to the crude form of the native drama. 
Buchanan was too early in date to witness the fruition of 

448 Appendix 

Humanistic influences, so far as the vernacular literature was 
concerned. These results were to be for the next generation. 
It is enough for him, and for his assured place among his 
contemporaries, that his was the power ' ' to make King 
David speak the language of Horace and Virgil " ; that, 
according to one enthusiast, " Virgil never made better verses, 
and fifteen centuries were needed to produce another poet 
like Virgil " ; and that the licence of his amatory verse was 
strictly in accordance with the classic examples set by Catullus 
and Tibullus. Yet while so much of the form is derivative in 
the spirit of these Latin poems, we are constantly reminded of 
Scottish grim humour and satire, and Buchanan stands forth 
as another Dunbar, to mention but one of his great 
contemporaries who spoke in native Scots with all its grand 
vitality and Rabelaisian vigour; and withal, the joy and 
enthusiasm for the Scottish nation and his native land find full 
expression in Buchanan's verse, in spite of the formal style of 
the humanist: 

" The glory of the quivered Scots 
Is the bold heart and hardy frame 
That fear, nor want, nor toil can tame ; 
Whose joy is in their native woods 
To chase and strike the various game, 
And fearless breast their mountain floods ; 
Whose good right hands their soil can keep, 
Nor need high walls nor fosses deep ; 
Who count all gone, if honour's gone ; 
Whose faith can ne'er be bought nor sold ; 
Who deem a friend heaven's dearest boon ; 
Who barter not their soul for gold. " 1 

The esteem in which Buchanan was held by his contempor- 
aries is shown by Beza, who looks upon Buchanan as his 
superior, and by the following letter of Languet, the 
distinguished friend of Sir Philip Sidney: " So well are you 
known to the whole Christian world by your virtue and the 
many monuments of your genius, that there is hardly a lover 
of learning and sound instruction who does not pay you the 
tribute of his ardent reverence and admiration. I count it my 
great happiness that in Paris, some twenty years since, it was 
my good fortune not only to see you and to enjoy the benefit 

1 Lines 173-179 of Francisci Valesii et Mariae Stuartae, Regum Franciae, 
et Scotiae, Epithalamium, translated by Professor Hume Brown. 

Appendix 449 

of your learning and the delightful charm of your conversation, 
but also to entertain you as my guest along with others of the 
highest distinction, Turnebe, Dorat and others. We then 
heard much from you to our utmost profit and delight. Of all 
this I now write to see whether I can recall to you who I am, 
but be I who I may, be certain that your virtues are my 
profoundest admiration. For many years I lived with Philip 
Melanchtou, and I then thought myself happy. On his death, 
after many vicissitudes, I at length came to this country as to 
a safe port, finding none safer elsewhere, though here also for 
many years the storms of civil war have been raging. Never- 
theless, amid these storms the light of the gospel is shining, 
and the true way of salvation is preached to us, and superstition 
driven out of the churches to the great indignation of Spain, 
which is still under its dominion. It was by the command of 
the Prince of Orange, the chiefest ornament of our age, that I 
came here with himself. By his courage and genius he has till 
now so successfully coped with the mighty resources of the 
Spanish King that he has won for himself undying fame. . . . 
Erasmus was invited to undertake the education of Ferdinand, 
the brother of the Emperor Charles, but refused the task. 
You I count both more fortunate and more noble in consenting 
to the request of your countrymen to imbue the youthful mind 
of your prince with precepts which, if his manhood follow them, 
will lead to the highest happiness of himself and his subjects." 
This letter was written from Delft. 

To his old friend, Elie Vinet, Buchanan wrote: " Now in 
my 75th year, I sometimes recall through what cares and toils 
(passing every port where men are wont to find joy and 
refreshment), I have in my voyage of life at length struck on 
that rock beyond which, as it is most truly said in the 90th 
Psalm, nothing remains but labour and sorrow. The memory 
of friends, of whom you are almost the only survivor, this is 

now my one consolation I have long bidden farewell 

to literature, and my only thought now is, with as little noise 
as possible, to leave a generation with which I am no longer in 
sympathy, as one dead, that is to say, to leave the haunts of 
the living." De Thou always preserved in his memory this 
last sentence. 

Henri Estienne had called him " poetarum nostri saeculi 
facile princeps," and Joseph Scaliger said "that in Latin 

450 Appendix 

poetry Buchanan stood alone in Europe, and left everybody 
else behind " ; 

" Imperii fuerat Roniani Scotia limes ; 
Romani eloquii Scotia finis erit?" l 

Dr. Johnson said that he was " not only a very fine poet, 
but a great poetical genius." Finally, by way of specimen I 
cannot refrain from quoting Dr Hume Brown's charming 
tribute, to wit, his free translation of the Calendae Maiae, 
in its elegance equal to anything in Horace : 

" Hail ! sweetest day, 
Day of all pure delight ; 
Whose gracious hours invite 
To mirth and song and dance, 
And wine, and love's soft glance. 
Welcome ! with all thy bright hours bring 
Of quickened life and beauty's dower 
The certain heritage of Spring. 
In thee each year doth hoary Time 
Renew the glories of his prime ! 

When, still rejoicing in her birth, 
Spring brightened all the new-made earth, 
And in that happy golden age 
Men knew no lawless passion's rage, 
Thy train of joys embraced the year ; 
Soft breezes wooed the untilled field, 
Its blessings all unforced to yield. 

Even in such mildest atmosphere 
Forever bask those happy Isles, 
Those blessed plains that never know 
Life's slow decay or poisoned flow. 

Thus 'mid the still abodes of death 
Should steal the soft air's softest breath, 
And gently stir the solemn wood 
That glooms o'er Lethe's dreamless flood. 

And haply when made pure of stain 
By cleansing fire, the earth renewed 
Shall know her ancient joys again-, 
Even such mild air shall o'er her brood ! 

Thou crown of the world's failing age, 
Of life's sad book one happy page. 
Hail ! sweetest day memorial bright 
Of early innocent delight, 
And sure pledge of the coming day 
When it shall be eternal May." 

1 " Where Scotland curbed the march of conquering Rome 
The Lallan Muse will find his final home." 

Appendix 451 

We are justified in honouring the memory of Buchanan as 
the greatest scholar Scotland has produced. He was a typical 
Scot, his rugged independence of character, his love of liberty, 
his strenuous activity, his sense of duty to his king and country, 
his disinterestedness, his brilliant scholarship, his affection for 
his friends, his fortitude, his sincerity, and his simplicity, were 
remarkable. We can only think of granite in connection with 
such a heroic figure. Buchanan's life was a constant struggle, 
and he died penniless. He did not seek to win either the 
favour of princes or that of the " multitude." He was by nature 
averse to all that was mean. The nobility of his soul places him 
in the front rank of the men of whom we may well be proud. 
Scotland owes him a debt of gratitude. We can best acquit 
ourselves of this debt by following in Buchanan's footsteps. 
Strength of character, independence of judgment, scorn of 
luxury, fearless assertion of individual convictions, are perhaps 
more rare in our day than in the sixteenth century. Buchanan 
did not hesitate to tell his royal pupil truths which the latter 
warned his son Henry were " scandalous libels." The same 
courage is required to tell the leaders of the Democracy that 
"they are quite as liable to go astray as those who wield a 
sceptre. The Divine Right of Kings is no longer misused, but 
we have to oppose the insidious delusion that " vox populi est 
vox Dei." 

It would not be difficult to draw a picture of Buchanan 
addressing his countrymen from a platform in very outspoken 
accents. Buchanan entered a protest against the evils of his 
day and used the means which he considered appropriate. His 
own advancement he never considered, where the solus 
reipublicae et ecclesiae was at stake. Had he lived in these 
days, his scathing satire would have been directed against the 
evils of plutocracy and democracy, and the tyranny of public 
opinion. No worse form of Government can be imagined than 
a corrupt Democracy. Buchanan would not have spoken of 
Capital as the enemy, because he would not have been ignorant 
of political economy. Capital is essential to civilisation and to 
the welfare of every class of the community. It is the abuse 
of power, whether by Capital or by Labour, which constitutes 
the public peril. 

Every generation has to deal with the dangers which beset 
the Commonwealth ; it has the same proneness to error. Its 

452 Appendix 

safety depends on the wisdom and courage of those who 
understand the signs of the times and on its readiness to listen 
to them. History gives us ever recurring pictures of timely 
warnings unheeded and consequent disasters. The men who 
failed to convince their contemporaries are rehabilitated, and 
those who pandered to the passions of their contemporaries 
receive a just retribution in the verdict of history. We have 
come here as pilgrims to this venerable seat of learning to 
worship at the shrine of truth. We believe that this ancient 
University, as well as the other Universities of Scotland, will 
maintain the traditions bequeathed to us by such pioneers as 
Buchanan. To the vigorous assertion of their principles by 
Buchanan and his friends we owe the existence of our liberties. 
The Universities have no nobler duty than to inspire the rising 
generations of young Scots with the firm purpose to maintain 
these liberties, and to use them in such a manner as would have 
satisfied Buchanan that he had not lived in vain." 

Principal Donaldson, in proposing the hearty thanks of the 
gathering to Lord Reay for his " masterly, interesting, profit- 
able, and very valuable address," said: "The wise 
problems he has brought before us and the wise sayings he has 
uttered will be heartily pondered by us (applause). We 
might have had a larger number of humanists with us had it 
not been for the circumstance that in Germany and France 
the summer session was going on, and a number sent excuses 
saying they could not leave the examinations in which they 
were engaged. I have received from one Continental scholar 
the following message : 




aperas iVo/xvr//xa a rwv ayaOCtv dvSptav 
Senatus populusque ArginiB in decreto modo eruderato facto sub divo Marco. 

Tela quatit fera Jjarbaries : tu, Scotia, scuto 
Mundtim atque humanas protege munditias. 

Franciscus Buecheler professor Bonnensis IVnon. Jul. a. MCMVI. 

(President of British Academy.) 

Appendix 453 

The Greek, when roughly translated, reads : ' Honour done to 
good men is a beautiful commemoration of virtue and excel- 
lence.' The meaning of the verse in Latin cannot be rendered 
in English owing to the play upon words, but may be given 
thus : ' Barbarism hurls about its savage weapons. Thou, O 
Scotland, with thy shield do thou protect the world .and the 
refinements of mankind.'' 

The thanks of the meeting were cordially awarded to Lord 
Reay, as also to Dr. Carnegie for presiding, and this part of the 
proceedings came to an end. 


The Rector having vacated the Chair, Principal Donaldson, 
as Vice-Chancellor of the University, presided and officiated at 
a special Graduation Ceremonial. After the proceedings had 
been constituted with a prayer in Latin, - Professor Lawson, 
Dean of the Faculty of Arts, in presenting the various 
candidates for the LL.D. degree, said : 

"Mr. VICE-CHANCELLOR, on this historic occasion when we are met 
to do honour to the memory of our most famous Scottish Humanist, 
who was in youth a student of this University, and in later life 
Principal of one of its colleges, it has seemed fitting to the Senatus 
Academicus to select for laureation a number of eminent scholars 
whose life-work has had some connection with the favourite studies 
or accomplishments of George Buchanan. In the name of the 
Senate, therefore, Sir, I have to present to you, to-day, for the 
Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws, a group of men and women as 
eminent as any that ever, in the long history of the University, at 
one time received this academic distinction. The body of honorary 
graduands would have been larger and still more completely 
representative but for certain accidents of time and circumstance 
which have compelled some other illustrious scholars to forego the 
pleasure of our celebration. It would have been larger but for 
another circumstance which ought not, at such a time, to be over- 
looked. Those of our own alumni who are pre-eminent as classical 
scholars and who have done note- worthy work in classic fields such 
men, to name only three among many, as Mr. Andrew Lang, Dr. 
Gunion Rutherford, and Dr. John Masson the interpreter of 
Lucretius, are already enrolled among our honorary graduates. 
Though, for this sufficient reason, scholars of our own household are 
absent from this honourable company, those who are here, are, I 

454 Appendix 

believe, as completely representative as the most captious could 
desire. There are highly gifted interpreters of classical poetry, 
philosophy, history, oratory, and archaeology ; and, that the literae 
humaniores may not be too narrowly interpreted, there are other 
scholars who have accomplished something worthy of note in 
literature, history, and philosophy imbued with the classic spirit. 
They come from many Universities old and new, and from many 
countries. The pleasant land of France and the classic realm of 
Hellas send representative learned men, as do England, Ireland 
and Scotland. America, almost at the last moment, has failed us, 
to our great regret. 

By a happy chance, our severely democratic selection, according 
to the order of the alphabet, has brought first for presentation, 
among the pilgrims to the shrine of St. Andrew, Professor Gaston 
Bonet-Maury, the representative of France and of the University of 
Paris the land and university and city so intimately associated 
with the career of Buchanan, so dear to his heart, so justly 
celebrated in his verse. For to him the land was fair and bright, ' the 
gracious nurse of excellent arts,' and the city was Amaryllis, of whom 
he lovingly dreamt in absence, counting the west winds happy that 
were on the way to her presence. But, Sir, the first of our honorary 
graduands is not only eminent in his representative capacity as a 
Frenchman and a Professor in the University of Paris that mother 
university of northern Europe, whose fame has been invariably 
resplendent through an almost unequalled history he is himself a 
man of the very highest distinction as a scholar, as an educationist, 
and as a man of letters. Professor Gaston Bonet-Maury, Litt.D., 
S.T.D., is a member of the Faculty of Protestant Theology, and is 
at the head of the department of Ecclesiastical History in the 
University of Paris. A student of Geneva and Strasbourg, and 
destined for the ministry of the Reformed Church, Professor Bonet- 
Maury early shewed his zeal for learning as well as his special 
predilection, in his thesis Josias Bunsen: a Prophet of Modern 
Times. Throughout his long and versatile career he has investi- 
gated, by preference, work of precursors of the Reformation, 
and modern religious movements. He has written on Arnold of 
Brescia, Gerard de Groote, The Netherland Origins of the Imitation 
of Christ, and likewise on the Origins of Unitarian Christianity 
among the English, and on the Congress of Religions at Chicago 
in 1893. He has also done excellent work as a translator from the 
German The Emperor Akbar and Dollinger's Letters and 

Appendix 455 

Declarations on the subject of the Vatican Decrees. Professor 
Bonet-Maury has also been a diligent and learned contributor to 
many historical and theological journals ; he has taken an active 
part in library and educational administration, and he has, for long, 
been a member of the Commission charged with the selection and 
supervision of bursars sent to study in foreign countries. As a 
scholar, a historian, and an educationist, lie is appropriately sub- 
mitted to you at a Buchanan celebration. 

As the Scotsman who has the amplest claim to be honoured on 
this occasion Professor Peter Hume Brown, M.A., LL.D., Professor 
of Ancient Scottish History and Palaeography in the University of 
Edinburgh, is now presented to you. He has more than followed in 
the footsteps of Buchanan as the historian of his native country, 
alike in his succession of volumes Register o/ the Privy Council 
of Scotland, Early Travellers in Scotland, Scotland before 
1700, in the History of Scotland, now in course of publication 
and in his various monographs dealing particularly with the age in 
which Buchanan lived, Life of John Knox, The Scotland of 
Mary Stuart, and, above all, in George Buchanan, Humanist 
jand Reformer. This last work is at once the most complete and 
sympathetic life of Buchanan. It unites detailed and elaborate 
research with literary feeling and freshness, and the most ardent 
admirer of the great humanist will find, throughout, enthusiastic 
appraisement of his character and achievement. Our histories, no 
less than our history, may be starred with battlefields. On many 
great questions of public policy and human character we may debate 
keenly. But no student of history will deny to Professor Hume 
Brown just comprehension of the complex whole of Scottish national 
life, in civil struggle, love of poetry, and intensity of religious 
conviction ; nor will any fail to concede that he is worthy of the 
highest honour from his countrymen for his patient research, his 
clear exposition, and his genuine Scottish spirit. 

The next of our honorary graduands is a typical humanist of these 
later centuries Emeritus Professor Samuel Henry Butcher, Litt.D. 
of Dublin and Oxford, LL.D. of Glasgow and of Edinburgh, and one 
of the Members of Parliament for the University of Cambridge. A 
distinguished Cambridge student, Professor Butcher was elected a 
Fellow of Trinity College in his own University. Soon afterwards 
he was invited to Oxford, a most unusual honour at that time, and he 
became a Fellow of University College there. He lectured on 
Homer and Demosthenes and acquired great fame by his learning 

456 Appendix 

and eloquence. Called in 1882 to succeed Professor Blackie in the 
Greek Chair of Edinburgh University, he filled this position for 
almost twenty-one years, and had a popularity and success rarely 
equalled in Scotland. During his tenure of office he was a most 
efficient member of the Scottish Universities Commission. In ex- 
tension of his labours upon Homer and Demosthenes he translated 
the Odyssey, in conjunction with Mr. Andrew Lang, and edited 
the works of the great Greek orator. He translated and expounded 
the Poetics of Aristotle in one of the very finest editions 
of any ancient classic. He was recently elected a Member of 
Parliament for Cambridge University, and his first speech in the 
House of Commons will long be remembered for its fine combination 
of simple eloquence and sane statesmanship. It gave excellent 
justification for the application to Mr. Butcher, by his friends, of a 
compliment paid by Samuel Johnson, almost a century and a half ago, 
to his great countryman Edmund Burke : "Now, we, who know him, 
know that he will be one of the first men in the country." 

In Professor Samuel Dill, M.A., LittD. of Dublin, LL.D. of 
Edinburgh, Honorary Fellow of Christ Church, Oxford, and Pro- 
fessor of Greek in Queen's College, Belfast, I present to you another 
eminent Irishman who has gained in England the highest distinction 
as a scholar and classical teacher. He has filled important posts 
with signal success. He has been headmaster of Manchester 
Grammar School, and Governor of Owen's College, and a Professor 
at Belfast. He has made most valuable contributions to classical 
learning, and is best known as the author of two important treatises 
on Roman social life Roman Society in the Last Century of the 
Western Empire, and Roman Society from Nero to Marcus Aurelius. 

I have to ask you to confer the degree, in absentia, upon 
Robinson Ellis, Esq., Corpus Professor of Latin Literature in the 
University of Oxford. Professor Ellis has laboured in many 
portions of the great field of classical scholarship. He has edited 
the Minor Poems of Vergil, New Fragments of Juvenal, Orientii 
Carmina in the Vienna Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum 
as well as the works of Velleius Paterculus and Specimens 
of Latin Palceography, from MSS. in the Bodleian Library. But 
his chief and enduring title to fame rests upon his great edition of 
Catullus, and upon his poetic rendering into English, in the metres 
of the original of the work, of the great Latin lyrist. 

Professor Percy Gardner, Litt.D., F.S.A., whom I next present 
to you, is an eminent classical scholar, with somewhat different 

Appendix 457 

interests from those of Professor Ellis, but with kindred fame in his 
own special sphere of study. A brilliant student at Cambridge, 
after graduation he joined the Ancient Coin Department of the 
British Museum. He was Disney Professor of Archaeology from 
1880 to 1887, and in 1887 he succeeded Professor W. M. Ramsay at 
Oxford. He is one of the greatest authorities on ancient coins, and 
on many phases of ancient history. He has published A Numism- 
atic Commentary on Pansanias, New Chapters in Greek History, 
A Manual of Greek Antiquities, and A Grammar of Greek 
Art. He has not confined himself to these studies, however, but 
has published, also, Exploratio Evangelica, and Historic View 
of the New Testament. He has contributed to the Journal of 
Hellenic Studies, which he edited, and frequently, and on many 
subjects, to the Quarterly Review, Contemporary Review, and 
Hibbert Journal. 

Mr. Vice-Chancellor, I know you will count yourself fortunate, 
on this day when we commemorate one of the earliest translators 
of Euripides, that you have, among others, to promote to the degree 
of Doctor of Laws, an illustrious Greek scholar, diplomatist, and 
patriot, John Gennadius. His lineage, his learning, and his services 
to his country are alike distinguished. The descendant of " a 
Patriarch of Constantinople, who, in his lay days, had been present 
with the Emperor Palseologus at the Council of Ferrara held in the 
fifteenth century with a view to the reunion of the Eastern and 
Western Churches," the son of George Gennadius, the famous Greek 
scholar and patriot, who earned, during the War of Independence, 
the peerless designation, Saviour of the Country, Mr. Gennadius 
had every incentive to high-minded devotion to Hellas. He has 
amply fulfilled the most ardent hopes of his ancestors. From early 
youth to the present time he has devoted himself with keen 
enthusiasm and bright intelligence to the economic, political, and 
social liberation of Greece. He has been his country's representative 
in many lands, and he once enjoyed the unique distinction of being 
Envoy Extraordinary to three Courts simultaneously. In the 
stirring time before the Russo-Turkish War, and after its close, 
he was charged with most important diplomatic work, and he was 
able, at Berlin and at Constantinople, as well as in London, to 
render service to Greece of the highest, indeed of imperishable, 
worth. He has been a prolific and versatile, as well as a learned 
writer, and his articles and books deal with many subjects 
philological, economic, educational, literary, and devotional. He 

458 Appendix 

has received many honours. He i a D.O.L. of Oxford, and an 
honorary member of the International Congress of Orientalists, the 
Council of which, in 1891, awarded him a gold medal for a paper 
on The Influence of Greek Civilisation on Oriental Nations. 
He has the Grand Cordon of the Netherlands. He is a Grand 
Officer of the Order of the Danebrog of Denmark, Grand Officer of 
the lakowa of Servia, Commander of the Iron Crown of Austria, 
Officer of the Majidieh of Turkey, and Commander of the Greek 
National Order of the Saviour. In brief, Sir, I present to you Mr. 
Gennadius as a subject of the modern Hellenic kingdom, who recalls, 
by his courage, work, and wisdom, that Greece of old which is an 
inalienable possession of every cultured human spirit. 

I have now, Sir, to present to you two women scholars of the 
highest eminence, one of them, unhappily, in absence. They are 
Miss Elizabeth Saunderson Haldane and the Countess Ersilia 
Caetani Lovatelli. Miss Haldane is well known at St. Andrews 
and in Scotland. She has won great distinction as a philosopher 
and woman of letters, who has advanced the cause of learning and of 
pure thought. Her earliest work bears upon the philosophy of 
Hegel whose salient reflections upon the greatest subjects she has 
collected and edited in her Wisdom and Religion of a German 
Philosopher. She has also translated Hegel's Lectures on the 
History of Philosophy, thus making accessible to English students 
the most penetrating and compact history of philosophy ever 
written. Her latest and greatest book is an elaborate life of 
Descartes, which is admirable alike as a biography and as an 
exposition of the system of the great French thinker. While the 
ample learning, intellectual vigour, and rich human sympathy, 
manifest in this volume, must be regarded as Miss Haldane's highest 
and most just title to academic recognition, she will not least be 
remembered in St. Andrews for her excellent brief monograph on 
James Frederick Ferrier, whose picture looks down on our proceed- 
ings. In this she has done tardy justice to one of the finest 
speculative intellects of last century, and one of the most gifted 
professors who ever taught in this College. 

The Countess Lovatelli, whom I ask you to laureate in absence, 
is one of the most illustrious living classical philologists and arch- 
aeologists, and her works are as remarkable for poetic feeling and 
literary elegance as for wealth of erudition and accuracy of scholar- 
ship. For thirty years she has been writing on archaeological 
subjects, and her papers have appeared from time to time in various 

Appendix 459 

learned Italian journals. Typical contributions are her Marriage, 
of Helen and Paris on a bowl of the Esquiline, Cupid and 
Psyche, The Feast of Roses, and Ancient Monuments Illus- 
trated. Her latest work is called Varia, and was published in 
1905. "Her papers range over the entire field of antiquarian re- 
search in Rome, and they give many vivid pictures of the by-ways, 
sacred groves, and other places connected with the workship of the 
gods. They shew familiar knowledge of the classical writers to 
whom she appeals, and of the modern works in various languages 
which deal with Roman life and religion in ancient times." It 
would be difficult, Sir, to find any Italian scholar, man or woman, 
who could more appropriately be honoured on a day commemorating 
Buchanan, who was poet and man of letters, as well as historian. 

I have further, and fittingly after the Countess Lovatelli, to 
introduce to you Emeritus Professor John Pentland Mahaffy, M.A., 
D.D., Mus. Doc. (Dublin), D.C.L. (Oxon.), C.V.O. Dr. Mahaffy 
was formerly Professor of Ancient History in Trinity College, 
Dublin, and he is one of the most accomplished and versatile scholars 
and writers in a country noted for bright wit and keen intelligence. 
He has translated and expounded Kant, and he has written the life 
and discussed the teaching of Descartes. He has written on 
primitive civilisation, on Greek social life, and on Greek antiquities. 
He is the author of an admirable history of classical Greek literature, 
of a history of Alexander's Empire, and of the empire of the 
Ptolemies, and he has edited a translation of Duruy's History of 
Rome. Professor Mahaffy's vast learning and many accomplish- 
ments have won generous recognition from many famous foreign 
Academies and Societies. Rome, Athens, Berlin, and Vienna have 
been pleased to do him honour, and on such an occasion as this, our 
venerable University will honour herself in enrolling Dr. Mahaffy 
among her graduates. 

After a venerable Irish man of letters I present a most venerable 
English scholar, the Nestor of British Latin Scholarship, Professor 
John Eyton Bickersteth Mayor, of the University of Cambridge, 
D.C.L. of Oxford, LL.D. of Aberdeen, and D.D. of Glasgow. A 
distinguished Cambridge student and Fellow of St. John's College, 
Professor Mayor has filled his present Chair for more than a genera- 
tion. His wide fame as a Latin scholar rests upon his editions of 
Juvenal and of Cicero's Second Philippic, upon his Bibliographical 
Clue to Latin Literature, and upon his numerous contributions to 
the Classical Review, to the Journal of Classical and Sacred Philology, 

460 Appendix 

and to the Journal of Philology, which he at one time edited. 
While he is eminent among the Latin scholars of the world, Professor 
Mayor has not restricted his interest to ancient times, or to classical 
themes. He has edited the Sclioolmaster of Roger Aschnm, and 
the Speculum Historiale of Richard of Cirencester, as well as 
Two Lives of Nicholas Farrar, and The Autobiography of 
Matthew Robins, He has written upon the Spanish Reformed 
Church, and has published a volume of addresses and sermons On 
Plain Living and High Thinking. Ho thus takes his place as an 
illustrious classical scholar, who is eagerly enthusiastic about the 
deepest religious problems and the nearest concerns of the spiritual 

The next of our honorary graduands is a colleague of Professor 
Mayor. Like him, Professor James Smith Reid was a distinguished 
student of the University where he now fills the Chair of Ancient 
History. He is M.A., LL.M., and Litt.D. He has devoted the 
greater part of his leisure to the elucidation and interpretation of 
Cicero. He has edited many treatises and speeches of the famous 
Roman orator, and he appropriately takes his place on our Buchanan 
list, as Cicero, on whose works he has spent so much fruitful labour, 
was, par excellence, the teacher of the sixteenth century humanists 
in style, and not a little in substance. 

Professor William Rhys Roberts, M.A., Litt.D., is a repre- 
sentative of the learning which is to be found in the modern English 
universities, now taking so great a part in higher education and in 
scholarly and scientific research. As Professor of Classics in the 
University of Leeds, he is known as one of the most accomplished 
Greek scholars of the younger generation. He has not only taken 
an active part in modern university education, but has written upon 
it for the benefit of Wales, where he was formerly professor. He 
has also written on " The Ancient Boeotians." His most notable 
contributions to classical culture, however, are his learned and com- 
plete editions of certain great Greek treatises On aspects of Rhetoric : 
Longinus On the Sublime, Dionysius of Halicarnassus The 
Three Literary Letters, and Demetrius On Style. In these 
volumes Professor Rhys Roberts has not only done excellent critical 
work for students of Greek style and Greek literature, but he has 
given a vigorous impulse to study of literary theory in modern 
languages and literatures as well. 

As the last of the Senate's selected graduands I present to you 
Emeritus Professor Robert Yelverton Tyrrell, Litt.D., D.C.L, 

Appendix 461 

Fellow of Trinity College, Dublin. Professor Tyrrell occupied, in 
Dublin, successively the chairs of Latin, Greek, and Ancient History, 
and his pre-eminence as a scholar was fittingly recognised by his 
selection as one of the original Fifty Fellows of the British Academy 
of Letters. He has edited the Letters of Cicero, the Baccliae 
and Troades of Euripides, and the whole of Sophocles. He has 
rendered The Acharnians of Aristophanes into English verse, and 
he has done valuable work for the interpretation of Plautus and 
Terence. He excels as a writer of Greek and Latin verse, and is 
thus, in the manner of part of his work as in the spirit and body of 
the whole of it, a true follower of the humanists of the sixteenth 
century" (applause). 

Principal STEWART, Dean of the Faculty of Divinity, in present- 
ing the candidate for the degree of D.D., said : 

"I have pleasure, Mr. Vice-Chancellor, in presenting to you for the 
degree of Doctor of Divinity the Rev. Alexander Gordon Mitchell, 
Minister of the Parish of Killearn. On this important and interest- 
ing occasion, it is gratifying to the Senatus Academicus that it is 
possible to include among our Honorary Graduates one so closely 
connected with the place of George Buchanan's birth. The general 
grounds on which this degree is ordinarily conferred are in this case 
not wanting, for Mr. Mitchell is an excellent and much respected 
minister, discharging his pastoral duties with zealous care. But he 
has steeped himself in the associations of his parish, and, being an 
excellent Latin scholar, has rendered into English verse the Jephthes 
and Baptistes of George Buchanan, besides some of his minor pieces. 
Mr. Mitchell's prefaces and notes, as well as his translations, are 
executed in scholarly fashion, and altogether he has so identified 
himself with his author, that to confer upon him the honour which 
I ask for him at your hands, is at once most appropriate to the 
occasion, and a recognition of meritorious work." (Applause). 

After the graduation ceremony was completed, the Vice- 
Chancellor said: " It is usual for me at graduation ceremonies 
to address the graduates (laughter) but such an address 
would be totally superfluous on the present occasion. I regret 
that many scholars who would have gladly been present have 
been unable to do so through official engagements, but we are 
delighted to see so large a gathering of able men who have 
done much to elevate, reform, and soften the manners of this 
age, to spread the feeling of brotherhood among the nations of 
the earth, and to encourage unselfish exertions of the intellect 

462 Appendix 

and of the pursuit of the beautiful and true. May you long be 
able to continue the noble tasks you have set before you, and 
may you see your work prosper and bear fruit to your own joy 
and the good of all " (applause). 

The proceedings then terminated with the benediction. 


In the evening a dinner was held in the Hall of the Students' 
Union. The Vice-Chancellor presided, and the croupiers were 
Principal Stewart, and Professors Lawson and Herkless. After 
covers were removed, the Vice-Chancellor said : 

" Gentlemen, before proposing the first toast, I have to 
express my deep regret which is no doubt the regret of you 
all that the Chancellor of the University, Lord Balfour of 
Burleigh is not able to be with us (applause). He had 
made up his mind to be here, but a violent attack of 
gout has required him to go to distant waters. Then Principal 
Story is unable to be present owing to the state of his health. 
He is an old student of this University, and he would have 
liked to come back to the old place, which is quieter than 
Glasgow (laughter). We should have been delighted to hear 
him speak in his own graceful style on Buchanan who forms 
one of the many links that connect the University of 
Glasgow with the University of St. Andrews. I now 
come to the toast of " The King and the Royal Family." 
Buchanan had a difficult business with his King 
(laughter) and I am sorry to say he did not succeed 
altogether as could have been wished. It is a curious 
thing that the same experiment was tried with the present 
King, but with better results. His father had the high idea 
that his son would be much the better of hearing lectures on 
ancient history by a pupil of Niebuhr, and he brought teacher 
and pupil to Holyrood Palace. I saw much of the teacher at 
the time, and he said to me he tried to make a constitutional 
king of the prince. Whether he did it or not, certainly 
there has been success in the matter, for a better constitutional 
king never existed (applause). There is one peculiarity about 
him. He always says the right thing and he never does the 
wrong thing so far as a king is concerned (laughter). We 
have to be thankful for that and we have also to be thankful 
for the Royal Family. They are always ready to take part in 

From the portrait by Sir George Reid. 


( Convener of Buchanan Quatcr-Centenary Celeb rat ion." Committee.) 

Appendix 463 

charitable work, and they are quite willing to go to distant 
lands to represent the Throne and to conciliate native 
populations (applause) . 

The toast which I have now to propose is " The Memory 
of George Buchanan " (applause). I suppose that this toast 
has been entrusted to me because I am his successor in the 
office which he held in this University, but I have also this 
qualification, that I belong to a generation which was taught 
to reverence that memory from its earliest days. When we 
gathered round the fireside in the long wintry evenings to hear 
stories of adventure, the exploits of Wallace and Bruce were 
sure to be rehearsed, and our elders would tell us of the strange 
disguises and escapades of James V., and then would come in 
the anecdotes of George Buchanan, whom with delight and 
pride we were wont to call " Geordie " (laughter). These 
anecdotes did not include the scandalous stories fabricated by 
his contemporary, James Laing, a doctor of the Sorbonne, and 
men of a like stamp, who rejoiced in blackening the character 
of Luther and Calvin and of other heretics, amongst them 
Buchanan, whom they believed to be the children of the Devil. 
The tales told to us represented Buchanan as a man free from 
conventionalities, who was a Professor of St. Andrews College, 
who could match anyone in his knowledge of ancient and foreign 
languages and who delighted in humiliating the arrogant, in 
speaking the truth to kings and nobles and who was very witty 
in rebuking fools, of whatever rank they might be, that tried 
to make fun of him. We were particularly pleased, for 
instance, with the story of George and the Bishops. Three 
Bishops met the old man, the first said to him " Good-morrow, 
Father Abraham," the second " Good-morrow, Father Isaac," 
the third " Good-morrow, Father Jacob." George replied, " I 
am not Father Abraham, and not Father Isaac, and not Father 
Jacob, but I am Saul the son of Kish and have been sent to 
search for my father's lost asses, and lo ! I have found three 
of them " (laughter). 

Our ideas in regard to Buchanan underwent a transforma- 
tion when, at the age of 14 or 15, we reached the highest class of 
our Grammar School. There we had a religious lesson on every 
Monday morning, which we could prepare without sin on the 
previous Sunday (laughter). Our religious exercise was to 
translate Buchanan's Latin version of the Psalms into English. 

464 Appendix 

The teacher's introduction to this exercise made an indelible 
impression on us. He read the dedication of the book to Queen 
Mary, in the belief that it was the most beautiful dedication 
that had ever been penned. He lingered on each line of it, 
explained to us its beauties and showed to us how appropriate 
each word and phrase were, how graceful were the allusions in 
it and how the whole was in every way perfect. The absorbed 
pleasure which he took in the poem impressed us with the idea 
that there could be music in words as charming as the melodies 
composed by the most gifted musician (applause). Every 
Monday the same thought was brought home to us and there 
was a special rapture in his handling of the 137th Psalm, which 
he regarded as the most beautiful of Buchanan's renderings. 
We gladly committed it to memory. From the Psalms we 
passed by a circuitous route to the " History." Our teacher often 
framed his themes for translation from English into Latin out 
of that book, and, discovering this, we searched the volumes of 
the history for the passages on which he based his themes. It 
was thus that we learned the beauty of Buchanan's prose. 
That sense of beauty still remains with me (applause). I have 
lately read his account of the founder of this College in which 
we now are, and, in my opinion, nothing could be more 
exquisite than the description which he gives of Bishop 
Kennedy's noble character, or more masterly than the skill 
with which he has composed the great speech which he 
attributes to him. 

From the history we naturally passed to the study of the 
plays, especially Jephthea and Baptistes, and some of us 
tried our hands at translation. At this time (1845-6) Buchanan 
must have been in great repute, for several renderings of some 
of his poems and choruses appeared in journals. Especially 
there was a version of a chorus in Jepht/ies which was 
published in Chambers' Journal that struck us as being 
exceedingly good, and some of the lines remain in my memory 
to this day. One of the verses ran : 

When, O when, shall light returning 

Gild the melancholy gloom, 
And the golden star of morning 

Yonder solemn vault illume? 
When shall freedom, holy charmer, 

Cheer thy long benighted soul : 
When shall Israel, proud in armour, 

Burst the tyrant's base control ? 

Appendix 465 

AH this you will allow was a good preparation for forming 
a true estimate of Buchanan when we came, in later years, to 
study his works thoroughly (hear, hear!). And then and now 
'I was and am of opinion that Henricus Stephanus was right 
"when he put upon the title-page of his first print and the first 
edition of the Psalms, that Buchanan was " poetarum nostri 
soeculi facile princeps." Our University at once endorsed this 
opinion, for it was embodied in our Minutes when his name 
was mentioned (applause). It was confirmed by all the great 
scholars and literary men of that period. Indeed Henricus 
Stephanus was exceedingly well qualified to judge. He had 
taken special pains to acquire the power of writing Greek by 
varied exercises. He did the same with Latin. Like Buchanan 
he travelled far and wide, he knew the best scholars of his time 
in Europe, and he printed and exercised his critical faculty on 
nearly all the Greek and Latin Classics. Though he did not 
succeed in making remarkable verses himself, yet he knew well 
what was good poetry, and his verdict may be pronounced true 
for all ages. One age may become partially blind to the 
Excellences of another age. Frederick the Great regarded 
Shakespeare as a barbarous poet, and so did the literary men 
and the French Academy of the time. The reputations of our 
greatest poets have risen and fallen at different epochs, but 
there is a certainty that the truly great will receive full 
appreciation at some time or another, and Buchanan is one of 
these great (applause). If we do not appreciate him now, 
we should ask ourselves how it is that we differ so much from 
the remarkable men of the Sixteenth Century, who pronounced 
Buchanan easily the first of the poets of his own age. 

There is a peculiarity about the Latin of Buchanan which 
deserves special notice. It was not a patching together of 
fragments or choice bits from various Latin writers. He had 
made the language completely his own, and as Cicero, Livy 
and Tacitus had styles of their own, so Buchanan's style is 
the product of his own mind. In this matter he stands almost 
alone among modern writers of Latin poetry, the nearest to 
him being Jacob Balde, who was born 98 years after him and 
produced exquisite and powerful odes in the metres of Horace. 
In his honour the ecclesiastical and civil authorities of 
Ensisheim, his native place, are making arrangements for 
erecting a statue, and surely the countrymen of Buchanan 


466 Appendix 

ought not to be behind them in paying respect to the memory 
of their great poet. 

It seems to me that while we honour the poet, it is still 
more our duty to consider and honour the man. Here again 
we have not an imitator, but one who lived his own life, free 
from ambition or other like stimulus, simply because he could 
not but live that life. He was trained under the influences of 
the great writers of antiquity, and they unquestionably 
moulded him to a certain extent, but it was the living man 
that they moulded, not mere dull matter. He was not 
product of antiquity, but a powerful spirit of the sixteentL 
century, and in this view he deserves our attention (applause). 
He looked upon this life in all its concrete aspects, he enjoyed 
the beauty of nature, above everything he valued friendship 
with man. He bore inevitable ills courageously, he faced 
difficulties without flinching, he enjoyed the good that came to 
him, and he looked forward to his end with hopefulness and 
courage. He had religion, but it was free from superstition 
and fanaticism, and the trend of his thought was very different 
from that of the ecclesiastics in the midst of whom he lived. 
This comes out very strikingly in a portion of his autobiography 
where he laments the evil treatment which he received from 
great officials of the Church for his satire on the Franciscans. 
He believed that in this world the laughable and the serious 
were blended together and that it was the part of man to enjoy 
the laughable as well as to face the serious. Now in his age 
most of the monks were the real comedians of destiny. They 
professed to teach others and were grossly ignorant themselves. 
They took on them vows of poverty and amassed riches. They 
bound themselves to control the flesh and feasted on luxuries. 
They were sworn celibates, but their Leonoras were numerous. 
Was not all this ridiculous ? and why should there not be poems 
to exhibit the absurdity '( In Greece, poets sacred to the gods 
exhibited in their plays before vast multitudes caricatures of 
the gods, of Heracles and Dionysos for instance, and the gods 
were supposed to enjoy the fun. They also lampooned the 
greatest men of the day, and the great men laughed. The 
Roman soldiers jeered at their victorious general, when they 
marched in the triumphal procession along with him, and he 
was not offended. Why should the monks have done otherwise? 
Buchanan could not comprehend this. Their persecutions 

Appendix 467 

appeared to him altogether out of harmony with nature and 
utterly unreasonable. 

Buchanan delighted in the external world. His poems 
abound in allusions to groves and forests and bowers and 
rivers and fountains, with aptly descriptive epithets. He 
paints every aspect of land and sea and sky, but there 
is no mystic interpretation of nature. He delights in 
the external objects as they present themselves to the senses 
and does not look beyond this. In all his descriptions, man is 
in the foreground. He has written beautiful lines on the two 
countries which he knew best, Scotland and France. His 
picture of Scotland is that of a country where the people hunt 
and swim and endure hunger and are nerved to brave deeds by 
continual hardships, and he proudly thinks of the Scots as the 
nation which finally checked the forward movement of the 
Roman arms. France on the other hand smiles with every 
blessing, its climate is perfect, its inhabitants are cultured, 
polite, and brave, the land is fertile and the cities are beautiful. 
He evidently had a strong passion for " beata Gallia," and was 
always happy there. 

Buchanan's love of nature was subordinate to his love of 
man. Buchanan was a true lover of man. He loved men not 
philanthropically because they were destitute, but simply and 
heartily because they were lovable. Friendship was the moving 
power of his life. He liked to talk with his fellow men on all 
subjects that concerned them, and no man ever made a greater 
number of stedfast friends. He knew well nearly all the clever 
and cultured men of his age. They sought and enjoyed his 
society, and his epigrams show that he appreciated and praised 
their writings without a tinge of envy or rivalry. There is a 
very touching proof of the effect of friendship on him in one of 
his poems. He describes in strong language the horrors of the 
gout, with which he was tortured, and then tells how the 
agonies entirely disappeared when some of his intimate friends 
came to talk with him and look after his wants. 

One of the marked features of his life was his love of 
freedom. In reading the Greek writers he had imbibed a 
hatred of tyranny. He read in the history of Rome the 
gradual development and extension of the power of the people. 
He had drunk in from Cicero and Livy and other Latin writers 
a belief in the people and their rights, and he deeply 

468 Appendix 

sympathised with Tacitus when he expressed his sorrow that the 
Republic had disappeared. Curiously enough, too, he found 
in the fabulous portion of the history of Scotland, written 
before his time, the same development of the power of the 
people as in Livy. Inspired with this devotion to liberty, he 
wrote his masterly treatise De Jure, and though he did not 
persuade his kingly pupil to adopt his ideas, it is agreed on all 
hands that his work had no small share in guiding the 
movements which have culminated in our Constitutional 

Buchanan therefore seems to me a great poet, a true 
patriot, a man of sturdy independence of mind and character, 
the warmest of friends, and the glory of Scotsmen. In this 
belief, I ask you to drink enthusiastically the " Memory of 
George Buchanan " (applause). 

Professor Mahaffy said : When I was asked to propose the 
toast of " The University of St. Andrews," I was told to 
confine myself to within ten minutes. But if you, sir, can 
occupy twenty- five minutes speaking of one member of the 
University, how can I cover its history in less than ten 
minutes? (laughter). So you will excuse me if I say nothing 
about my utter unworthiness to attempt so high a duty. For 
that is a deduction which is seldom taken as serious, till the 
speaker has proved it by his speech. It is a signal instance of 
the insight of an Irishman who said there were a terrible lot of 
lies going about the world, and the worst of it was that more 
than half of them are true (laughter). 

When I reflect on its history there are two or three 
points on which I should like to dwell. The first 
and distinguishing feature of the University is its antiquity. 
I have seen a great number of new colleges, but every one of 
them lacked that peculiar flavour which is given by antiquity. 
The great difference between civilized man and the barbarian 
is that the civilized man has a respect for antiquity and a care 
for posterity, whereas the barbarous man has neither. The 
antiquity of this place is a great and noble feature, and shows 
that centuries ago there were civilized and great men here, and 
we do well to imitate their virtues and carry them on to our 
posterity. But as an old lady said to a Dublin cabman who was 
helping her into the cab, " You know I am very old." He 
gallantly replied, " No matter what age you are, you don't 

Appendix 469 

look it" (laughter). You all know the difficulties of age. 
Individuals when they become old become weak. But in 
Universities you have the constant infusion of youth every few 
years, and, above all, in St. Andrews we find the grace of youth 
with very few of the weaknesses of age. The next feature 
of this Universit