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hardly be over-estimated. His ' History' having been written at intervals, and amid the distractions of a busy life, much of it is in a confused and ill-digested state; but it is valuable for its information and for the public documents it contains, and it has passages of vigorous picturesque writing, humour, and satire.
Assassination of Cardinal Beaton. After the death of this blessed martyr of God [George Wishart], began the people, in plain speaking, to damn and detest the cruelty that was used. Yea, men of great birth, estimation, and honour, at open tables avowed, that the blood of the said Master George should be revenged, or else they should cost life for life. Amongst whom John Leslie, brother to the Earl of Rothes, was the chief, for he, in all companies, spared not to say: “That same whingar (shewing forth his dagger) and that same hand should be priests to the cardinal.' These bruits came to the cardinal's ears, but he thonght himself stout enough for all Scotland; for in Babylon--that is in his new block-house*—he was sure as he thought, and upon the fields he was able to match all his enemies. And to write the truth, the most part of the nobility of Scotland had either given unto him their bonds of manrent, or else were in confederacy and promised amity with him.
After the Pasche (Easter], he came to Edinburgh to hold the Seinze [Synod], as the papists term their unhappy assembly of Baal's shaven sort. It was bruited that something was purposed against him at that time by the Earl of Angus and his friends, whom he mortally hated, and whose destruction he sought, but it failed, and so returned he to his strength; yea, to his God and only comfort, as well in heaven as in earth. And there he remained without all fear of death, promising unto himself no less pleasure nor did the rich man, of whom mention is made by our Master in the Evangel; for he did not only rejoice, and say: 'Eat and be glad, my soul, for thou hast great riches laid up in store for many days;' but also he said : Tush, a fig for the feud, and a button for the bragging of all the heretics and their assistance in Scotland! Is not my Lord Governor mine? Witness his eldest son there, pledge at my table. Have not I the queen at my own devotion ? (He meant of the mother to Mary that now mischievously reigns.) Is not France my friend, and I friend to France ? What dinger should I fear ?' And thus in vanity the carnal cardinal delighted himself a little before his death. But yet he had devised to have cut off such as he thought might cubur hiin, for he had appointed the whole gentlemen of Fife to have met him at Falkland the Monday after that he was slain upon the Saturday. His treasonable purpose was not understood but by his secret council; and it was this: that Norman Leslie, sheriff of Fife, and apparent heir to his father, the Earl of Rothes, the said John Leslie, father-brother to Norman, the lairds of Grange, elder and younger; Sir James Lermond of D:rsie, and provost of St. Andrews; and the faithful laird of Raith ; should either have been slain or else taken, and after to have þeen used at his pleasure. This enterprise was disclosed after his slaughter, partly by letters and memorials found in his chamber, but plainly aihirmed by such as were of the council. Many purposes were devised how that wicked man inight have been taken away; but all failed, till Friday the 28th of May, anno 1510, when the aforesaid Norman came at night to St. Andrews. William Kirkcaldy of Grange, younger, was in the town hefore, awaiting upon the purpose ; list came John Leslie aforesaid, who was most suspected. What conclusion they took that night, it was not known, but by the issue that followed. But early upon the Saturday, in the inorning, the 29 of May, were they in sundry companies in the abbey kirkyard, not far distant, from the castle. First, the gates being open, and the drawbridge letten down, for receiving of lime and stones, and other things necessary for building-for Baligion was almost finished-first, we say, essayed William Kirkcally of Grange, younger, and with him six persons, and getting entrance, held purpose with the porter, "If my lord was waking ?' who answered : No.'
While the said Williain and the porter talked, sind his servants niade them to look at the work and the workinen,
* The archiepiscopal palace of St. Andrews, iu which the cardinal resided. was a forti. fied building, to which it appears, he had reccutly made some iiaportint additions for, further security.
approached Norman Leslie with his company; and because they were in great number, they easily gat entrance. They address them to the midst of the close ; and immediately came John Leslie, somewhat rudely, and foar persons with him. The porter, fearing, would have drawn the bridge; but the said .John, being entered ther20n, stayed it, and lap in; and while the porter made him for defence, his head was broken, the keys taken from hin, and he cast into the fosse, and so the place was seized.' The shout arises; the workmen, to the number of inore than a hundred, ran off the walls, and were without hurt put forth at the wicket-gate. The first thing that ever was done, William Kirkcaldy took the guard of the privy postern, fearing lest the fox should hive escaped. Then go the rest to the gentlemen's chambers, and without violence done to any man, they put more than fifty persons
the gate; the number that enterprised an did this was but sixteen persons. The cardinal awakened with the shouts, asked from his window : What meant that voise?' It was answered, that Norman Leslie had taken his castle: which understand, he ran to the postern, but perceiving the passage to be kept without, he returned quickly to his chamber, took his two-handed sword, and caused his chamberchild cast chests and other impediments to the door. In this meantime came John Leslic unto it, and bids open. The cardinal asking: Who cails ?' he answers : “My name is Leslie.' He re-demands : Is that Norman?' The other saith:
Nay; my name is John.' 'I will have Norman,' says the cardinal, “ for he is my friend Content yourself with such as are here, for other shall ye get nane.' There were with the said John, James Melvin, a man familiarly acquainted with Master George Wishart, and Peter Carmichnel, a stout gentleman. Iu this meantime, while they force at the door, the cardinal hides a box of gold under coals that were laid in a secret corner. At length he asked : Will ye save my life?? The said John answered : 'It may be that we will.' Nay,' says the cardinal; - swear unto me by God's wounds, and I will open to yon.' Then answered the said Jolin :
It that was said is unsaid; and so cried : Fire, Fire'--for the door was very stark-and so was brought a chimley full of burning coals; which perceived, the Cardinal or his chamber-child-it is incertain-opened the door, and the cardinal sat down in a chair, and cried: 'I am a priest, I am a priest; ye will not slay me.' The said John Leslie-according to his former vows-struck him first ance or twice, and so did the said Peter. But James Melvin-1 man of nature most gentle and most modest-perceiving them both in choler, withdrew them, and said : This work and judgment of God-although it by secret-ought to b: done with greater gravity;' and presenting unto him the point of the sworil, said: 'Repent thee of thy former wicked life, but especially of the shedding of the blood of ihat notable instrument of God, Master George Wishart, which albeit the fame of fire consumed before men, yet cries it for vengeance upon thee, and we from God are sent to revenge it. For here, before my God, I protest, that neither the hatred of tly person, the love of thy riches, nor the fear of any trouble thou couldst have done to me in particular, moved nor moves me to strike thee; but only because thou hast been, and remains, ane obstinate enemy against Christ Jesus and his holy Evangel.' And 80 he struck him twice or thrice through with a stog-sword [.2 stabbiny-sword] : and so he fell, never wo heard out of his mouth, but, I am a priest, I am a priest; fie, fie, all is gone.'
While they were thus occupied with the cardinal, the fray rises in the town; the provost assembles the community, and comes to the fosse-side, crying: “What have ye done with my lord cardinal? where is my lord cardinal? have ye siain my lord cardinal? let us see my lord cardinal.' They that were within answered gently :
Best it were unto you to return to your own houses, for the inan ye call the cardinal hath received his reward, and in his own person will trouble the world no more. But then more enragedly they cry : We shall never depuit till that we see him. And 80 was he brought to the east block-house lead, and shewed dead over the wall to the faithless multitude, which would not believe before they saw, and so they departed withont Requiem aeternam, and Requiescant in pace, sling for liis soul. Now: h:cause the weather was hot-for it was in May, us ye have heard--and his funerals could not suddenly be prepared, it was thought best, to keep him from stilking, to give him great salt enongh, a cope of lead, and a nook in the bottom of the sea-tower -a place where many of God's children had beeu imprisoned before-to await what exequies his brethren the bishops would prepare for him. These things we write merrily, but we would that the reader should observe God's just judgments, and how that he can deprehend the worldly-wise in their own wisdom, make their table to be a snare to trap their own feet, and their own presupposed strength to be their own destruction. These are the works of our God, whereby he would admonish the tyrants of this earth, that in the end he will be ruvenged of their cruelty, what strength soever they make in the contrary.
We shall add a short specimen of the orthograplıy of Knox's 'History. In 1562, he had a memorable interview with Mary Queen of Scots, to defend himself from the charge of preaching against the queen's dancing, &c. Mary, he says, made a long barangue or oration, and Knox answered at length, shewing that he had been misrepresented :
Interview with Mary Queen of Scots. The Queyn looked about to some of the reaportaris, and said: 'Your wourdis ar scharpe yneuch as ye have spocken thame: but yitt thei war tald to me in ane uther maner. I know,' said sche, that my uncles and ye ar pott of ane religioun, and thairfoir I can nott blame you albeit you have no good opinion of thame. But yf ye hear anythiug of myself that myslykis you, come to myself and tell me, and I shall hear you.'
Madam,' quod he, “I am assured that your uncles ar enemyes to God, and unto His Sone Jesus Christ; and that for manteanance of their awin pompe and worldlic Orie, that thei spair not to spill the bloode of many innocents; and thairfoir I am sured that thair interpryses shall have no better successe than otheris baif had that foir thame have done that thei do now. But as to your awin personage, Madam, I
ald be glade to do all that I could to your Grace's contentment, provided that I exwithin the Kirk of Guu, com appointed by God to rebuk the synnes and vices of Githin the longis
of my vocatioun. I am called, Madam, to ane publict functioun all. I am not appointed to come to two man in particular to schaw him his offeuse; for that laubour war infinite. Yf your Grace proven to frequent the publict sermonis, then doubt I not but that ye shall fullie understand boyh what I like avd myslike, als weall in your Majestie as in all otheris. Or yļ your Grace vill assigne unto me a certane day and hour when it will please you to hear the forme anl.substance of doctrin whiche is proponed in publict to the churches of this realme, I wil nost gladlie await upoun your Graco's pleasur, tyme, and place. But to wait upou. your chalmer doore or ellis whair, and then to have no further libertie but to whispei ay inyud in your Grace's care, or to tell you what otheris think and speak of you, I ather will my conscience nor the vocatioun whairto God hath called me suffer it. FG: albtit at your Grace's commandiment, I am heare now, yitt can not I tell what eteer men shall judge of me, that at this tyine of day am absent from iny book, and Wapting upoun the courte.'
You will not alwayis,' said sche, 'be at your book'—and so turned hir buck. And the said Johne Knox departed with a reasonable meary countenunce; whairat some Papists offended, said: “He is not effrayed.' Which heard of him, he answered: Why should the pleasing face of a gentiil woman effray me?' I have looked in the faces of many angrie men, and yit have nott bene effrayed above messure.' And so left he the Quone and the courte for that tyme.
Iu the following interesting extract from Knox's ' History,' we have modernised the spelling:
Another Interview with the Queen. The queen, in a vehement fume, began to cry out that never prince was handled as she was. ? I have,' said she, .borne with you in all your rigorous manner of' speaking, baith against myself and against my uncles ; yea, I have sought your frvours by all possible meals. I offered into you presence and audience, when oever it, pleased you to admonish me, and yet I cannot be quit of yon. I avow to God I shall be anes (once) revenged. And with these words scarcely could Marnock, her secret chamber-boy, get napkins to hold her eyes dry for the tears; and the owling, besides womanly weeping, stayed her speech.
The said John did patiently abide all the first fume, and at opportunity answered : •Trae it is, Madam, your Grace and I have been at diverse controversies, into which I never perceived your Grace to be offended at me. But when it shall please God to deliver you from that bondage of darkness and error, in the which ye have been nourished, for the lack of true doctrine, your majesty will find the liberty of my tongue nothing offensive. Without the preaching place, Madam, I think few have occasion to be offended at me, and there, Madam, am not master of myself, but man (must] obey Him who commands me to speak plain, and to flatter no flesh upon the face of the earth.'
• But what have ye to do,' said she, 'with my marriage ?'
• If it please your majesty,' said he, 'patiently to hear me, I shall shew the truth in plain words. I grant your Grace offered me more than ever I required; but my answer was then, as it is now, that God hath not sent me to await upon the courts of princesses, nor upon the chambers of ladies; but I am sent to preach the evangel of Jesus Christ to such as please to hear it; and it hath two parts--repentance and faith. And now, Madam, in preaching repentance, of necessity it is, that the sins of men be so noted, that they may know
wherein they offend; but so it is, that the most part of your nobility are so addicted to your affections, that neither God, His word, nor yet their commonwealth, are rightly regarded. And therefore, it becomes me so to speak, that they may know their
duty.' What have ye to do,' said she, with my marriage? Or what are ye within this commonwealth "
• A subject horn within the same,' said he, Madam. And, albeit I neither be earl, lord, nor baron within it, yet has God made me-how abject that ever I be in your eyes--a profitable member within the same. Yea, Madam, to me it appertains no less to forewarn of such things as may hurt it, if I foresee them, than it does to any of the nobility; for both my vocation and conscience craves plainness of me. And therefore, Madam, to yourself I say that which I speak in public place : -whensoever that the nobility of this realın shall consent that ye be subject to ane unfaithful husband, they do as much as in them lieth to renounce Christ, to banish his truth from them, to betray the freedom of this realm, and perchance shall in the end do small comfort to yourself.'
At these words, owling was heard, and tears might have been seen in greater abundance than the matter required. John Erskine of Dun-a man of ineek and gentle spirit-stood beside, and entreated what he could to mitigate her anger, and gave unto her many pleasing words of her beauty, of her excellence, and how that all the princes of Europe would be glad to seek her favours. But all that was to cast oil in the flaming fire. The said John stood still, without any alteration of countenance, for a long season, while that the queen gave place to her inordinate passion, and in the end he said: Madame, in God's presence I speak: I never delighted in the weeping of any of God's creatures ; yea, I can scarcely well abide the tears of my own boys, whom iny own hand corrects, much less can I rejoice in your majesty's weeping. But, seeing that I have offered unto you no just occasion to be offended, but have spoken the truth, as my vocation craves of me, I man sustain, albeit unwillingly, your majesty's tears, rather than I dare hurt my conscience, or betray my commonwealth through my silence.'
Herewith was the queen more offended, and commanded the said John to pass forth of the cabinet, and to abide further of her pleasure in the chamber. The Laird of Dun tarried, and 'Lord John of Coldingham came into the cabinet, and so they both remained with her near the space of ane hour. The said John stood in the chamber, as one whom men had never seen-so were all effrayed-except that the Lord Ochiltree bare him company; and therefore began he to forge talking of the ladies, who were there sitting in all their gorgeous apparel, which espied, he merrily said: '0 fair ladies, how pleasant were this life of yours if it should ever abide, and then in the end that we might pass to heaven with all this gay gear! · But fie upon that knave Death, that will come whether we will or not. And when he has laid ou his arrest, the foul worms will be busy with this flesh, be it never so tender; and the silly soul, I fear, shall be so feeble, that it can neither carry with it gold, garnishing, targeting, pearl, nor precious stones.' And by such means procured he the company of women and so passed the time till that the Lairit of Dun willed him to depart to his house.
ht. Burton suggests that these dialogues between Kuox and the Queen were in
DAVID CALDERWOOD--JOHN ROW-SIR JAMES MELVIL. A work similar to that of Knox, but ou a much more extensive scale, was written by DAVID CALDERWOOD, another eminent Scottish divine (1575–1050). An abridgement, entitled 'The True History of the Church of Scotland,' was printed in 1646; and the complete work, printed from the manuscript in the British Museum, was given to the world in eight volumes, Edinburgh, 1841-49, published by the Wodrow Society. Calderwood was a stern unyielding Presbyterian, resolutely opposed to Episcopacy, for which be suffered persecution and imprisonment 'A Historie of the Kirk of Scotland' from 1588 to August 1637, was written by John Row (1563–1646), and, with a continuation to July 1639, by his son, of the same name, was published in 1842 by the Wodrow Society.
SIR JAMES MELVIL, privy-councillor and gentleman of the bedchamber 10 Mary Queen of Scots, was born at Hall-laill, in Fifeshire, about the year 1535, and died November 1, 1607. He left in manuscript an historical work, which for a considerable time lay unknown in the Castle of Edinburgh, but having at length been discovered, was published in 1983, under the title of Memoirs of Sir James Melvil of Hall-hill, containing an Impartial Account of the most Remarkable Affairs of State during the List Age, not inentioned by other Historians; more particularly relating to the Kingdoms of England and Scotlanil, under the Reigns of Queen Elizabeth, Mary Queen of Scots, and King James. In all which Transicions the Author was personally and publicly concerned.' This work is esteemed for the simplicity of its style, and as the sole authority for the history of many important events. But Dr. M Crie, Die biographer of Knox, points out several errors in Melvil's narrative of the transactions of that period, and is of opinion that all our historians have given too easy credit to Melvil, both in his statements of' fact and in his representations of character. In 1564, Melvil was despatched to the English court by Mary Queen of Scots, and in his Memoirs le gives a lively and graphic account of his interviews with Queen Elizabeth. We subjoin a part of this description :
Melvil's Interview with Queen Elizabeth. She appeared to be so affectionate to the queen her good sister, that she expressed a great desire to see her. And because their so much by lier desired meeting could not so hastily be brought to pass, she appeared with great delight to look upon her majesty's picture. She took me to her bed-chamber, and opened a little cabinet, wherein were divers little pictures wrapped within paper, and their names written with her own hand upon the papers. Upon the first that she took up was written
My lord's picture. I held the candle, and preased to see that picture so damel : she appeared loath to let me see it, vet my importunity prevailed for a sight thereof; and I found it to be the E:url of Leicesters picture. I desired that I might have it to carry home to my queen, which she retused, alleging that she had but that one picture of his. I said: 'Your majesty hath here the original;' for I perceived him at the forFrench, not in the languago in which Knox reports them. Mary's habitual language was French, and Knox bad lived and preached in France. Seo Burton's History of Scot, land, iv, 211,