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Buchanan
Buchanan
193


in Edinburgh. They found him teaching his servant to read, and after they had spoken of his industry he showed them his epistle of dedication to the king. Andrew Melville pointed out some defects in it. ‘Sayes he,’ James Melville writes in his diary, ‘“I may do na mair for thinking on another mater.” “What is that?” sayes Mr. Andro. “To die,” quoth he, “but I leave that and many ma things for you to helpe.” We went from him to the printars' wark hous, whom we fand at the end of the 17 Buik of his Cornicle, at a place quhilk we thought verie hard for the tyme, quhilk might be an occasion of steying the haill werk onent the buriall of Davie. Therefor steying the printer from proceiding, we cam to Mr. George again and fund him bedfast by his custome, and asking him how he did, “Even going the way of weilfare,” says he. Mr. Thomas his cusing schawes him of the hardness of that part of his Storie, that the king wald be offendit with it, and it might stey all the wark. “Tell me man,” sayes he, “giff I have tauld the treuthe?” “Yes,” sayes Mr. Thomas, “sir, I think sa.” “I will byd his fead and all his kins then,” quoth he. “Pray to God for me, and let him direct all.” Sa be the printing of his Cornicle was endit that maist lerned, wyse, and godlie man endit this mortall lyff.”’

The history of Buchanan has not escaped severe criticism, but the most acute of his critics, Father Innes, while successful in impugning the earlier portions as wanting in research and accuracy, fails to establish the point of his attack, that the whole was written to support a republican theory of government. Buchanan did not survive the publication of this work, and the death which he had long calmly anticipated came on 29 Sept. 1582, about five months before his seventy-seventh birthday. He died poor; a sum of 100l. due to him from his pension of Crossraguel is the whole of his means in the inventory of his testament. He was buried in the churchyard of Grey Friars in Edinburgh, but the place of his tomb is unknown. Tradition dating from a short period after his death ascribes to him the skull preserved in the Anatomy Museum of the university, of which there is a print in Irving's life, and which certainly resembles the best authenticated portraits of him which have been preserved, that by Boinard, engraved in Beza's ‘Icones,’ and of which a copy is in the university of Edinburgh. On the continent his name is mentioned with respect for his learning, and the epitaph of the younger Scaliger has been often quoted. When the universities of foreign countries greeted the college founded by his royal pupil at Edinburgh on its three hundredth anniversary, many of them recalled his memory. While his title to learning is thus beyond dispute, the rest of his character has been the subject of vehement controversy. Nor is it a character easy to read. Some points will be generally allowed. With him the love of education was not merely a virtue but a passion, early conceived and never abandoned. But he was not only a professor but a man of the world. The world in which he lived was distracted by the deepest and widest controversy in modern history; between tradition and the new learning, between absolute and constitutional government, between the romanist and the reformed doctrines and discipline. In this controversy, not only in the field of literature, but of action, Buchanan took a prominent part on the side of the reformers. He is still deemed a traitor, a slanderer, and an atheist by some, while to others he is a champion of the cause of liberty and religion, and one of its most honoured names. His character may perhaps be more justly represented as combined of strange contradictions; he was at the same time humane and vindictive, mirthful and morose, cultured and coarse, fond of truth, but full of prejudices. It is these contradictions and his great learning and literary power which make him so striking a figure in the history of Scotland and of literature.

[Irving's Life, 2nd edition, 1817, contains one of the best literary histories of the time, and portraits of Buchanan, his contemporaries, and friends. A work of much learning, it needs supplementing from records published since Irving wrote, and is now largely superseded by P. Hume Brown's Biography, 1890. The best editions of the works are those of Ruddiman, 1715, reprinted by Burman, Lugduni Batavorum, 1735, where a full bibliography of Buchanan will be found. Irving gives a list of the chief publications relating to him, p. 427; Chalmers's Life of Ruddiman contains a sketch of some value; the brief fragment of a life by Buchanan himself, often printed, should also be referred to; there is an able, but too favourable sketch of Buchanan in the North British Review, No. xlii., by Hannay; an account of his portraits is given in Drummond's monograph on the Portraits of Knox and Buchanan, 1875.]

Æ. M.

BUCHANAN, GEORGE (1790?–1852), civil engineer of Edinburgh, third son of David Buchanan, a printer and publisher at Montrose (1715–1812) [q. v.], was born about 1790. His father was a Glasite and an accomplished classical scholar, who published numerous edition of the Latin classics, which were in high repute for the accuracy. George