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Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 07.djvu/196

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Buchanan's ‘Detection,’ expressly says that ‘the book was written by him, not as of himself nor in his own name, but according to the instructions to him given by common conference of the privie counsel of Scotland, by him only for his learning penned, but by them the matter ministered,’ and this, though coming from a source not beyond suspicion, appears probable. As to the letters themselves, the preponderating opinion of impartial writers now is against their genuineness, though Mr. Hosack's ingenious theory suggested by Miss Strickland that some are letters to Darnley is not more than a conjecture. The mystery cannot be said to be solved until the forger is discovered. Assuming their falsity, it is difficult to stop short of the further conclusion, that Buchanan must have shut his eyes to the inquiry which would have produced the necessary knowledge. He returned to Scotland with Moray early in January 1568–9, and at once resumed his position as principal of St. Andrews. Buchanan does not refer either in his ‘Detection’ or in his ‘History’ to the examination at St. Andrews, on 9 and 10 Aug., of Nicholas Huber, commonly called French Paris, which attributes to Mary full knowledge of the conspiracy to murder her husband, and even of the particular mode devised for carrying it out. It cannot, however, be reasonably concluded from the omission that he disbelieved it; for it was not the method of either work to be precise in the citation of authorities, and the Latin edition of the ‘Detection,’ first printed in 1571, was probably written before Paris was examined, as the ‘Book of Articles’ on which it is founded certainly was. Before that publication events occurred which heightened if possible the virulence of the war of parties, both in Scotland and in England. On 23 Jan. 1570 the regent Moray, Buchanan's patron and friend, was shot at Linlithgow by Hamilton of Bothwellhaugh. Shortly before this the plot for the marriage of Mary to the Duke of Norfolk, and the rising in the north of England for her liberation, had been discovered, and Norfolk had been sent to the Tower. It was at this juncture that Buchanan produced his only writings in the vernacular. These must be regarded as party pamphlets. One was entitled ‘Ane admonition direct to the tre Lordis Maintenaris of Justice and obedience to the Kingis Grace,’ and the other ‘Chamæleon,’ a satire against Maitland of Lethington, who had now openly gone over to Mary's side. The ‘Admonition’ is an invective against the house of Hamilton, the principal opponents of the late regent, one of whom was his murderer, and an exhortation to the true lords to support the cause of the young king, on which the great issue of protestantism against papacy depended. The ‘Chamæleon’ is a curious sample of the sudden changes of this age of intrigues, as little more than a year before the satirist and the object of his satire had acted together in the accusation of Mary. Shortly after the assassination of Moray, Buchanan, by an act of council dated August 1570 (Lord Haddington's MS., Advocates' Library), was appointed tutor to the king, then in his fourth year; and as it was necessary that he should reside at Stirling, where James was kept under the guardianship of the Earl of Mar, he resigned his office of principal. In the following year the ‘Detection’ was published in London, first in Latin and then in the Scottish dialect. In it the charges against Mary in the ‘Book of Articles,’ in the form of a judicial paper, are reiterated and adapted to the purposes of a polemic. The date of the English edition is fixed by a letter of Cecil of 1 Nov. 1571, which states that it is newly ‘printed in Latin, and I hear is to be translated into English, with many supplements of like condition.’ Next year it was reprinted in Scotch at St. Andrews by Lekprevik, and a French edition was put out, purporting to be printed ‘à Edinburg, ville capitale d'Ecosse, le 13 Fevrier 1572, par moi Thomas Watters,’ a fictitious name, for in reality it was published at Rochelle by a Huguenot editor. After all allowance for party spirit and the well-founded belief of the reformers that Mary was a subtle and a dangerous enemy, the ‘Detection’ must be deemed a calumnious work, which not only sought out doubtful and trivial incidents to blacken her character, but invented others for which there was no warrant. Buchanan charges Mary with an attempt to make Darnley and Moray quarrel, in the hope of ridding herself of both; with encouraging Darnley to seduce Moray's wife; with shameless adultery with Bothwell, both in Edinburgh and at Jedburgh; with a design to poison Darnley, and with the intention, gradually formed, to murder not only Darnley but her own child. For these charges there is no evidence, and they have been silently dropped even by historians who believe her capable of any wickedness. We cannot wonder that she describes this work, when Elizabeth, with peculiar spite, sent her a copy of the ‘Detection’ instead of the priest she asked for, as ‘a defamatory book by an atheist, Buchanan, the knowledge of whose impiety had made her request a year before that he should not be left near her son, to whom she heard he had been given as preceptor’ (Letter from Sheffield to La Mothe Fénelon, 22 Nov.