Page images

Menage, who has written one in the anan, as well as himself, was indebted very same terms, affirms that Buch- to the prose of Libanius.

Μα εμε λοιδορεις, μάψ, Ζωίλε, και σε επαινώ

Ου γάρ εμοίς, ου σοίς πίστις ένεστι λόγοις.

As Commendator of the Priory of St of the preceptors of the young King, Andrews, the Earl of Murray had the then only four years of age.

Various right of nominating the Principal of St anecdotes are told of Buchanan's seveLeonard's College, and about 1566 rity; and the impression he left on the he appointed Buchanan to that office, mind of his pupil appears to have been Buchanan sat as a member of the Ge- anything but an agreeable one. Franneral Assembly of the National Church, cis Osborne (Advice to a Son, p. 19) convened at Edinburgh on the 25th of relates that King James used to say of December 1563, and was appointed one a person in high place about him, that of the commissioners for revising “The he ever trembled at his approach, it Book of Discipline.” He was also a minded him so of his pedagogue. There member of the Assembly which met at is no saying how far the severity of the Edinburgh on the 25th of June, 1567, pedagogue, taken along with other cirand on that occasion, though a layman, cumstances connected with his birth, he was chosen moderator.

may have tended to produce that exThe conduct of Queen Mary had ex- treme timidity of character which markcited against her the just indignation ed the royal pedant through life. All of a large portion of her subjects; and the tutor's pains, though they may have Buchanan, who had formerly praised forced into him some “glancings and her immoderately, now attacked her in nibblings of knowledge,” did not, how, terms equally unmeasured, heaping up- ever, succeed in imparting any love for on her all the stores of invective which his principles of government. King his copious vocabulary afforded. We James regarded his History of Scotland are no admirers of that weak and flagi- as an infamous invective; and admotious woman; but Buchanan had been nished his heir-apparent to punish such treated by her with courtesy and kind- of his future subjects as should be guilness--had even received very consider- ty of retaining it in their custody. able benefits at her hands; and assum- It may be said that it would have ing that his former praises were sin- been no easy matter to have made a cerely bestowed, because he believed hero, or even an average king, out of them merited, when the object of those such materials as were to be found in praises had put on a character the re- the character of James, from whatever verse of that for which they were in- parentage inherited. Still we cannot tended, though neither his defence nor help thinking that Buchanan must have even his approbation of her new char- committed some grievous faults in his acter would by any reasonable person education ; for he evidently had it in have been required; yet the exposure, his power to produce some impression the reprobation, and punishment of her —and the impression he made was enfaults, her follies, and her crimes, would tirely of the genus pedant. Homer have come more becomingly from an- tells us that the precept which Peleus other hand than his.

impressed particularly upon his son In 1570 Buchanan was appointed one Achilles was—

Αλέν αριστεύειν, και υπείροχον έμμεναι άλλων And the sorts of excellence which he have carefully read some of his works, sought after were such as might be sup- and we cannot agree with his panegyposed to have been pointed out to him rists that they exhibit any degree of by his tutors, his father Peleus, and the excellence, except perhaps that of procentaur Chiron. James, too, had some ducing a laugh by their transcendent vague glimmering of an idea of excel- absurdity. As to the “purity of style” ling--but of excelling in what? in writ- which some have found in them, we can ing bad prose and worse verse--for we only say that to us the style or language appear on a level with the logic, tion. In short, James's idea of his vowhich is of the most despicable descrip- cation was

“ To stick the doctor's chair into the throne,
Give law to words, or war with words alone,
Senates and courts with Greek and Latin rule,

And turn the council to a grammar school.” And a very poor grammar school it enter; but we refer the readers to Dr would have been of which he was mas- Irving's judicious remarks on it. ter. Not forgetting also

Shortly before Buchanan's death, “ The right divine of kings to govern wrong."

some of his friends having gone to the About the same time that he was no

printing office to look at his history, minated preceptor to the king, Buchanan found the impression had proceeded as received the appointment of director of far as the passage relative to the inthe Chancery, which he held but a short terment of David Rizzio ; and being time. Soon after, the office of keeper of alarmed at the boldness with which the thePrivySealwas conferred on him. This historian had there expressed himself, office, which he held for several years, en

they returned to Buchanan's house, titled him to a seat in Parliament.

whom they found in bed, and stated to In his dialogue, “ De Jure Regni him their apprehensions respecting the apud Scotos,” with a dedication to consequences. “ Tell me, man,” said King James, dated at Stirling, Jan.

Buchanan, “ if I have told the truth ?” 10, 1579 (in which dedication he cer

“ Yes, Sir," replied his cousin, “I tainly administers a dose of something think so.”. “Then,” rejoined the dyvery like flattery to the young King, ing historian, “I will abide his feud, when he tells him that “he perceives and all his kin's. Pray to God for me, that by a kind of natural instinct he and let him direct all.” Buchanan exabhors flattery, the nurse of tyranny"), pired a little after five in the morning Buchanan maintains that all power is

on Friday the 20th September 1582, derived from the people ; that it is

in the 77th year of his age. more safe to entrust our liberties to buried in the cemetery of the Greythe definite protection of the laws, friars; and, says Dr Irving, “his unthan to the precarious discretion of the grateful country never afforded his King; that the King is bound by those grave the common tribute of a monuconditions under which the supreme

mental stone.power was originally committed to his It was unfortunate for Buchanan hand ; that it is lawful to resist and

that his country's language was so rude even to punish tyrants. During the

and unformed at the time he wrote, for minority of King James, several coins no writer, we apprehend, can hope to were struck with a naked sword on one

live, who writes in any other but his own side, supporting a crown on its point,

“ land's language.” But Buchanan, if and surrounded with this legend, Pro. for nothing else, cannot fail to be held me. si. mereor. in. me : furnished, it in lasting remembrance as a man who

bearded kings when it was something may be inferred, by Buchanan. In the 74th year of his

to beard them; and who, though but a Buch

age, anan composed a brief sketch of his poor scholar, when a scholar was little own life. His last production was his

more than a despised menial, spoke history of Scotland; into the merits or

defiance with his dying breath against demerits of which we cannot now

the whole race of the Stuart kings.

He was


Sound Io Poean, Hellas !--the cloud is scattered now:
Thy shielded Pallas leaps with joy on Sunium's sacred brow;
Rend, rend thy robe, proud Xerxes, and curse thy coward slaves,
Flee while the chastised Hellespont is trembling ʼmid his caves.
To Susa's towers thine eagle back may bear his wounded wing,
But Asia's million widows deep will curse her ruthless King.

They came in clustered thousands, like locusts on our shore,
And Europe bridged with Asia to let her myriads o'er ;
From India's golden rivers—from Bactra's wastes of sand ;
From green Arabia's pearly Isles, and sage Chaldea's land ;
From where the Scythian wanders by Maeotis' lonely shore;
From where the wild Chalybian lists, the Euxine's wilder roar;
From Syria’s cedar'd mountains, and Damascus' gardens fair ;
And the children of the lotus'd Nile, with brutish gods were there,
And rich Phenicia's oaken oars, their falcon swiftness lent,
Cilicia's weight of gleaming prows the burdened ocean bent.

But vain from Babylonian towers, Chaldea's flattering seers Read fortune in the eyes of heaven-her eyes were red with tears.. And mystic Mithras flamed in vain, amid his burning zone; For Father Zeus his thunder grasped, and scathed is Persia's throne, And Phoebus girded for the fight, and Delphi's rocks can tell, The Pythian God protects his shrine both warily and well.

They came with chains and slaughter-they drank our rivers dry, And Tempe's swains o'er wasted fields, and trampled vineyards sigh. But little dreamt the millions of those many coloured bands, The wit of quick Athenian brain, the weight of Spartan hands; Break down the mountains, tyrant, and chain the subject sea, But freedom's adamantine heart is rock too hard for thee.

No tears for good Leonidas-he died upon his shield; And sweet is death in such a cause, on such a battle field. His mother's brow is garlanded, and proud is she to tell, Her son, on red Thermopylæ, for Spartan freedom fell. Deep from the Pythian Adytum the voice of Fate was sent,“ Heracleid blood for Greece must flow." "I go,” he said, and went, Aye, blythe to battle went he, as to banquet reveller goes ; For well the doom-devoted King did love the feast of blows. The old Heracleid blood is bright with everlasting fame; And Sparta in her heart of hearts will write her hero's name.

Stout soldier, Eurybiades-receive the wreath thy due,
Thy hand and heart are quick to wrath, but quick to justice too.

Smile, sacred Justice, from thy heaven on thy peculiar child,
Him of unswerving spirit-yet of eye so calm and mild;
His hands are pure, his shield is bright, and good betides the cause
In whose behalf his righteous sword just Aristides draws.

Strew, strew your flowers, Athenian maids, shed the triumphal wine ! Welcome Themistocles, ye sons of Cecrops' golden line ! Sing, silver springs of Castalie !--sing fount of Hippocrene ! Descend bright-voiced Calliope, the Muses’ tuneful Queen! Come with thy flowery wealth of song, the saviour youth to hail ; Citheron, nod thy wild woods all, and wake thy every gale! The key of his bright mind hath oped the destiny of Greece; And from its stormy chambers brought the olive branch of peace.

Ye sun-walked rocks of Salamis, amid your caves rejoice ; And thou, our old Ægean, laugh with thy multitudinous voice ! Oh, well may leap thy gleaming waves, like goats on Detas' hills, As o'er their purple tumult far our Io Poean thrills,


To the Editor of Lowe's Magazine.

MORNINGSIDE, December 1846. the kind of Sabbath service that should Dear SIR,-In your last number I be provided, and how the attendance promised a few sentences on the way in upon it might be fostered and recruited which I thought that the home mission from the various seminaries in the ary work might be effectually carried on place-above all, the immense efficacy in Edinburgh-that is, by the ministers and charm which lay in the visits of a of various denominations, each assuming well-appointed, because a well-princia district, and by the aid of his own pled agency, each assuming his own church, who might furnish him with the little group of households, and convertmeans and the agency, providing as far ing it into a home-walk for all the as in them lay for its religious and edu

duties and charities of the gospel. cational wants. I farther hinted at We do hope that our Free Church the arrangement of these ministers ministers will freely and fully take part meeting by rotation in each other's in such a glorious combination. We houses, but not for the purpose of know that many of them have already control, and only for that of mutual selected their districts for the work counsel and encouragement. I would and labour of love which we have now bave each to operate in his own sphere specified. Let all who are thus engaged with the full, the unimpaired sense, of meet together as we have ventured to an individual and independent vitality recommend, and in our town of Edin—nor would I have this feeling check- burgh we could have a miniature Evaned or overborne by the authority of any gelical Alliance. Were such to be superintending body whatever. This formed in other towns also, we might would just land us in the delays and thus have a basis of induction suffiother disadvantages of an unwieldy ciently extensive and firm, on which to committeeship, and restrain the hand rear an edifice of greater promise than of immediate action from setting forth we can at all look for from any atupon its task. Yet there were a mighty tempts which have been made hitherto. benefit in these meetings, though not

There is one great benefit that would vested with any power. The right as

ensue from such an intercommunion signation of new districts would require between the Free Church ministers and the knowledge of what had been pre- those of other denominations. They viously done, and could be easily settled might come to see from our example, in the course of friendly deliberation. what I am persuaded they do not yet And they could compare each other's fully comprehend—the mighty advanmethods, and profit by each other's tage of a general fund. Without this, experience, and devise more effectual we should never have been able to ways for speeding onward the work; maintain our church as it came out at and in these as well as a thousand other the Disruption, and far less should we nameless respects, could mightily encou- have been able to extend it. Even as rage each other's hearts and strengthen it is, and though we have made an adeach other's hands. And many are the dition of about two hundred regular interesting questions that would fall charges in less than four years, we have to be discussed upon such occasions not yet overtaken the supply of our the proper size and population for a own adherents, and never made any district—the immense good of a female inroad at all on the outfield territory. superadded to a general school the Let us not then feel independent of education that would best tell on the aid from others in this great work, or domestic habits of comfort and cleanli- think that by the strength of our own ness--the adoption of sanatory ex- solitary arm we shall conjure up the pedients by the reinoval of nuisances- means for so vast an achievement as


[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][graphic][merged small][merged small][subsumed]
« PreviousContinue »