« ПретходнаНастави »
The king replied that he was amazed at such a request from a man who could neither shape nor
“ Sir,” rejoined the poet, “ that maks nae matter; for you have given bishoprics and benefices to mony standing here about you, and yet they can nouther teach nor preach; and why may not I as weill be your taylor, thocht I can nouther shape nor sew; seeing teaching and preaching are nae less requisite to their vocation than shaping and sewing to ane taylor?" James immediately perceived the object of his petition, and scrupled not to divert himself at the expence of the enraged ecclesiastics'.
Lindsay's hostility to the church of Rome is generally considered as the principal source of his disappointments. The Reformation was now advancing with gradual steps: and at an early stage of its progress he had boldly avowed his attachment. “ The Scotch,” says a celebrated writer, “ from that philosophical and speculative cast which characterises their national genius, were more zealous and early friends to a reformation of religion than their neighbours in England. The pomp and elegance of the catholic worship made no impression on a people whose devotion sought only for solid gratification ; and who had no notion that the interposition of the senses could with any propriety be admitted to coöperate in
i H. Charters, Preface to Lindsay's Warkis.
an exercise of such a nature, which appealed to reason alone, and seemed to exclude all aids of the imagination'."
To the consummation of this glorious undertaking, whose benignant influence we at the present moment feel and acknowledge, the literary compositions, and personal consequence of Lindsay seem to have contributed with powerful effect. His writings tended to prepare the public mind for a systematic attempt towards the overthrow of papal superstition, and the establishment of the more rational doctrines and forms of Protestantism. The Papists regarded him as an adversary not less dangerous than Buchanan and Knoxk. His learning and experience qualified him for regulating the unsteady views of those who possessed zeal without knowledge : and it is probable that he assisted the Reformers in many of their important deliberations. He is enumerated among those who in 1547 counselled the ordination of John Knox'; in whom his penetration must readily have discovered that energy of mind which qualified him for the arduous task which he was destined to perform. Knox, it is
· Warton's Hist. of English Poetry, vol. ii. p. 321.
k “ Knoxii, Lindsayi, Buchanani, Villoxii, aliorum, impia scripta in, cautorum manibus teruntur : opus erat antidoto, ne latiùs venenum sera peret."
DEMPSTER. Scotia Illustrior, p. 54. Lugd. Bat. 1620, 8vo. 1 Knox's Historie of the Reformatioun, p. 76.
true, was not elevated above the frailties incident to humanity ; but he was undoubtedly a man of undaunted fortitude, of undeviating probity, and of fervent piety; a man who pursued the splendid object in view with an ardour of mind which no opposition could quench, and with a steadiness of perseverance which no danger could diminish. Of the character of an individual who had so conspicuously distinguished himself at the downfall of a church, whose unholy priests had long been accustomed to revel amid the precious spoils of a deluded nation, it would have been unreasonable to expect that a disappointed faction should exhibit a very favourable representation": but when in the present age those who aspire to the prostituted title of philosopher, begin to vie with each other in loading a public benefactor with opprobrious epithets, they evince themselves to be swayed by such prejudices as beset the most igncrant of mankind. Let Knox be judged by the maxims of his own age, and his character will be pronounced illustrious.
In the year 1531 Lindsay had the honour to be employed on an embasy to the Emperor Charles the Fifth ; whom he found residing at Brussels". This important trust affords sufficient grounds for concluding that he was then regarded with a more favourable eye. And in 1537, when Mary of Guise landed in Scotland, he exercised his ingenuity in contriving the pageants which were displayed at St Andrews.
m James Laing, a Doctor of the Sorbonne, has drawn the character of Knox with matchless liberality: “ Vix excesserat jam ex ephebis, cùm patris sui uxorem violarat, suam novercam vitiarat, et cum ea, cui reverentia potissimùm adhibenda fuerat, nefarium stuprum fecerat.---Rumor erat impium hæreticum nocturnos conventus et clandestina colloquia cum cocodæmone, cui se totum dederat, sæpenumero habuisse, ita quòd ejus meretrix forte eum interrogaret, quis esset ille niger homo cum quo nocte superiori locutus fuerat; quod verbum tam iniquo animo tulit, quòd illa proximo die esset extincta, sed quomodo id acciderat nemo intellexit. Tamen nihilominus vix elatum fuit funus, cùm ille taurus quartæ aut quintæ meretricis novo inflammatur amore. At impudentissimus maximeque lascivus caper, cùm jam gelidus totus heberet sanguis, satis etiam tardante senectâ, nec non frigerent languidæ et effætæ in corpore vires, cæpit principum et nobilium virorum filias quærere, cum quibus publice scortari posset.” Laingæus De Vita et Maribus Hæreticorum, f. 113. b. Paris. 1581, 8vo.) These observations are too gross to be entitled to a serious refutation from any writer of the present age. A similar character of Knox has been exhibited by Archibald Hamilton, in his dialogue De Confusione Galvinana Sectæ apud Scotos, Paris. 1577, 8vo: but the impotent malignity of such writers is zealously exposed by Principal Smeton. ( Ad Virulentum Hamiltonii Dialogıım Orthodoxa Responsio. Edinb.
6. She was received,” says Robert Lindsay, " at the New Abbey-gate ; upon the east side thereof there was made to her a triumphant arch by Sir David Lindsay of the Mount, Lyon Herald, which caused a great cloud come out of the heavens above the gate, and open instantly; and there appeared a fair lady most like an angel, having the keys of Scotland in her hands, and delivered them to the queen in sign and token that all the hearts of Scotland were open to receive her Grace ; with certain orations and exhortations made by the said Sir David Lindsay to the queen, instructing her to serve her God, obey her husband, and keep her body clean, according to God's will and commandments.”
n Pinkerton's Hist. of Scotland, vòl. ii. p. 310.
When the Earl of Arran was appointed regent, hopes seem to have been entertained that he would approve himself a steady friend to the cause of reformation; but the facility of his disposition rendered him too apt to veer from one party to another. Lindsay is enumerated among those who adhered to him while he continued to act in conformity to the principles which they avowed?.
After that period he appears to have lived in a state of dignified retirement. Spotswood informs us that he“ died in a good age”: but Mackenzie, I know not on what authority, affirms that he “ died towards the latter end of the year 1553, being very aged?.” This statement is
probably erroneous. During that year Lindsay was engaged in the composition of his dialogue, or, as it is commonly termed, The Monarchie. Computing the probable duration of the world, he reckons, according to the vulgar calculation, five thousand five hundred and fifty-three years from
* Lindsay's History of Scotland, p. 250. p Spotswood's Hist. of the Church of Scotland, p. 73. 97. 9 Mackenzie's Lives of Scots Writers, vol. iii. p. 37.