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I heard say,
fore the king's eyes, and in presence of all the lords that were about him for the time, this man vanished away, and could noways be seen nor comprehended, but vanished away as he had been a blink of the sun, or a whip of the whirlwind, and could no more be seen. Sir David Lindsay, Lyon Herald, and John Inglis, the Marshall, who were at that time young men, and special servants to the King's Grace, were standing presently beside the king ; who thought to have laid hands on this man, that they might have speired further tidings at him: but all for nought: they could not touch him ; for he vanished away betwixt them, and was no more seend."
This ghostly visiter seems to vie with the Evil Genius of Brutus. Some of the nobles probably had recourse to the agency of an apparition, in order to divert the king from his pernicious project of invading England. The figure which thus entered the church must have been composed of something more substantial than either a spectre or a phantasm of the brain. When Brutus fancied he saw a hideous apparition, he was sitting alone in his pavillion at the dead of night', and might easily be deluded by his own sombre imagination: but James, it is said, was surrounded by his courtiers, and the figure visible to others as well as to himself. That such an incident actually happeri*ed at Linlithgow, cannot reasonably be disputed : Buchanan has related it on the authority of Sir David Lindsay, whom he extols as a man of unblemished integrity.
d Lindsay's History of Scotland, p. 172. edit. Edinb. 1778, 12mo. ? Plutarchi Opera, vol. v. p. 408. edit. Reiske.
According to Mackenzie, Sir David “ was made one of the Gentlemen of the King's Bed-chamber, and the care of the young prince, King James the Fifth, was committed to him, as a person well seen in all the customs, manners, and languages, of the nations through which he had travelled.” But as the evidence for his early travels has been found defective, we must also receive this information with caution. It is produced without any authority, and therefore entitled to little credit. From the dedication of his Dreme to King James, it would however appear that he had enjoyed some office in the royal household :
Quhen thow was zoung, I bure thé in my arme
Full tenderlie til thow begouth to gang,
With lute in hand sine sweitly to thé sang :
Sum time in dansing feircely I flang,
f« In iis fuit David Lindesius Montanus, homo spectatæ fidei et pro. bitatis, nec à literarum studiis alienus, et cujus totus vitæ tenor longissime à mentiendo aberat ; à quo nisi ego hæc, ut tradidi, pro certis accepissem, ut vulgatam vanis rumoribus fabulam omissurus eram.”
BUCHANAN. Rerum Scoticarum Historia, p. 251.
In The Complaint directit to the Kingis Grace, he again alludes to his faithful services :
How as ane chapman beiris his pack,
Dr Mackenzie supposes that in his dedication of The Dreme the poet insinuates that he had enjoyed the accumulated offices of lyon king of arms, steward of the household, purse-master, treasurer, usher, and gentleman of the bed-chamber: “ all which places,” he adds, 66 he was deprived of in the year 1533, saving that of lyon
king at arms, which he enjoyed till his death." In support of these assertions, he appeals to two passages in Lindsay's works: but the interpretation of the first evidently is, that the affection of the young prince induced him to employ Lindsay in services of every description; and the second only contains a general complaint of his unrequited attendance at court. Mackenzie might have discovered a more appropriate passage :
Bot I, allace ! or euer I wist,
The only preferment which it is certain that he obtained was the office of lyon king of arms. He was installed in the year 15428: and he apparently retained his situation till the time of his death. The above expressions may therefore be understood as referring to a temporary lapse from the royal favour. Had he been deprived of some office; the emolument would also have been withdrawn.
Of James the Fifth he always speaks in terms of affection : and although it appears from his own works that he experienced occasional mortifications, yet his attachment continued without diminution. He was one of the few courtiers who were present at the king's premature death". The enemies of whom he complains were probably found among the dignified clergy; whom he has satirized with unparalleled boldness, and whom he sometimes admonished of their duty with a degree of freedom which must have excited the keenest resentment. The king being one day surrounded by a numerous train of nobility and prelates, Lindsay approached him with due reverence, and began to prefer a humble petition that he would instal him in an office which was then vacant. “ I have,” said he, “ servit your Grace lang, and luik to be rewardit as others are: and now your maister taylor, at the plesure of God, is departit; wherefore I wald desire of your. Grace to bestow this little benefite upon me.”
& Sir David Lindsay's Blazonings; MS. h Lindsay's
's History of Scotland, p. 276.