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OBSERVATIONS ON THE LITERATURE
Alexander Arbuthnot, who studied in OF SCOTLAND IN THE AGE OF A. France, and was, in 1668, made Prin
cipal of the University of Aberdeen.
He was skilled in mathematics, medi“ The settlement of Melville at cine, law, and theology, and was Glasgow forms an era in the literary withal a person of the most amiable, history of Scotland." The confusions
He published a work on of the country had checked the study the dignity of law. Thomas Smeton of letters introduced by the Reforma- was the friend and associate of Mele tion, so that a new impulse behoved ville. He studied abroad, where he to be given to the public mind, which became a convert to the tenets of the the reputation of this highly gifted Reformed. He taught a school for a individual, fresh from the continental while in Essex, and was afterwards seminaries of the highest celebrity, minister of Paisley. He was well acserved to impart. Under his autho- quainted with the ancient languages, rity improvements were introduced wrote Latin with great purity, and at Glasgow, which rapidly extended composed in his native tongue with themselves over the kingilom. Clas-much propriety. Archbishop Adamsical learning, Biblical criticism, and son gave early proofs of his talents by universal history, were then cultivated the publication of several works; he with enthusiasm, all of which, before was a polite scholar, an elegant poet, this period, were either entirely ne- and a most persuasive and attracting glected or treated in the most super- of Melville's class-fellows, and the in
preacher. Thomas Maitland was one ficial manner.
Before this period, however, there timate friend of Arbuthnot and Smewere eminent scholars in Scotland, ton; and belonged to a family, even among whom Buchanan was the most the females of which were addicted conspicuous; he, assisted by Peter to literary pursuits. Maitland was a Young, had the charge of the king, poet of no mean genius. John Daand of several young men of rank who vidson, the minister first of Libberton were trained along with him. John and then of Prestonpans, was also a Rutherford, who had studied in France, poet, and drew upon himself some was at this time the most celebrated trouble by a poem on pluralities. teacher of scholastic philosophy in
Long before the Reformation all Scotland. William Ramsay, Ruther- the principal towns had grammar ford's colleague in St Andrews, culti- schools in which the Latin language vated polite letters along with divini- was taught.” The vernacular tongue ty and philosophy. The teaching of was cultivated at what were called Civil Law had commenced in Scotland
“ lecture, schools." After the Reforat the Reformation ; but in 1556 a mation the means of education were pension was granted to Alexander extended over the country; and where Syme to be the Queen Regent's read- regular schools were not established, er in Laws and Sciences in whatever the readers in the churches taught the place she might appoint. “ William youth to read the catechism and the Skene was the first authorized to scriptures. The grammar school of teach as a civilian at St Andrews, and Glasgow was founded at an early peto substitute the Institutes and Pan- riod of the fourteenth century, and dects in room of the sacred Canons depended on the Cathedral Church; and Decretals.”. Edward Henryson that of Edinburgh was originally conpublished several works, which made nected with Holyroodhouse, and the his name known to the learned. By appointment of the teachers was transhis translations from the Greek he ferred from the abbots to the magiscontributed to the diffusion of polite trates of the city.' literature ; and his law tracts are al
The University of St Andrews, the lowed to have considerable merit. oldest and long the most celebrated One of the most distinguished of the in Scotland, was founded by Pişhop men who then joined the study of Wardlaw in 1411, and was formed on polite letters to that of theology was the model of those of Paris and Bo
logna. Among its privileges was that
of purchasing victuals free from cusSee Remarks on the Life of Melville tom within the city and regality of in our last Number.
the abbey. ' Its members were divid. VOL. VII.
ed into four faculties, according to students of divinity were in priests the sciences that were taught. And, orders, were obliged to attend the lecattracted by the novelty of the insti- tures regularly, and to preach three tution, or animated by a thirst for times a year in public. knowledge, students came to it from “ While the religious controversy every part of the kingdom. Robert was keenly agitated, the academical de Montrose gave a house to the
stu- exercises were interrupted, and the dents of theology; and Bishop Ken- number of students diminished.” nedy appropriated to the classes of And on the triumph of the Reformaphilosophy certain buildings, which tion every thing connected with the retained the name of the pædagogium, Roman Catholic worship was remov. until it was erected into St Mary's ed; but the mode of teaching philoCollege. King James I. who had re- sophy continued nearly on the former ceived a good education during his footing. All the students entering captivity in England, confirmed the the College at the same time formed privileges of the University by a royal a class under the tuition of a regent, charter; and in 1450, Bishop James each of whom was in general bound Kennedy founded the College of St to continue till he had taught two Salvator. This new erection consist- classes; but at St Andrews regents ed of three professors of divinity, retained the profits of their situation called the provost or principal, the li- till provided for in the church. The centiate, and the bachelor, four mas- regular course of study lasted four ters of arts, and six poor scholars. years; the session began on the 1st Two of the masters of arts were chosen of October and ended in August. The annually as regents to teach logic, regent explained the books of Aristophysics, and metaphysics. The Col- tle to his students three hours every lege of St Leonard rose out of an an- day. The students were often ema cient hospital for the reception of ployed in disputations; and the prinpious strangers within the precincts cipal frequently read lectures, which of the Abbey. The charter of foun- all the students in the College were dation was executed by John Hep- bound to attend. In the third year burn, prior of the Abbey, and con- of their course they entered on trials firmed by Archbishop Stewart and by for the degree of bachelor ; and for King James IV. This College was laureation when they had completed intended for the support and educa- their course. The examinations were tion of twenty poor scholars. Besides similar in both cases, and were con-. these two Colleges, there were both ducted by three regents, one being taprofessors and students who belonged ken from each college. The examito the pædagogium, and here George nation for laureation extended to the Buchanan and other celebrated indi- whole circle of arts, and the candi. viduals received their education. Arch- date was obliged to defend a thesis. bishop Stewart intended to have given The theological faculty assembled it a collegiate form, but fell in the along with their students at the openfield of Flowden before he had put ing of the session, when an approhis design into execution ; nor was it priate sermon was delivered. The erected into a College till 1554, when bachelors and masters met and arArchbishop Beaton obtained a Bull ranged the subjects of their lectures from Pope Julius III. authorizing him during the year. The scriptures for to alter at his pleasure the arrange- that end were usually divided into ments made by his predecessor. It five parts, namely, the Pentateuch or now assumed the name of St Mary's Legal, books—the Historical books College, and had four professors of di- the Sapiential books—the Prophetical vinity, namely, the provost, licentiate, books--and the books of the New bachelor, and canonist; eight students Testament. The students were exerof theology; three professors of phi- cised once a week in theological exer. losophy, and two of rhetoric and gram- cises from the 1st of July to the end mar, sixteen students of philosophy, of September. The lectures were deà priveser, cook, and janitor. The livered by those students who were principal was bound to lecture or proceeding in their theological degrees. preach every Monday, the licentiate At the commencement of each part of four times a week, and the canonist their course they delivered a probafive times a week on canon law. The tory discourse before the faculty, which was viewed as a specimen of the year 1579, when the General Astheir mode of teaching. The lecturer sembly had attacked the Episcopal offirst celebrated the wisdom of God fice, and drawn up the model of Presbydisplayed in the book on which he tery, the design of founding a College was to prelect- gave a summary of in Edinburgh-was revived." In the end its contents-selected a particular pas- of the year 1583, classes were opened sage-started a question, stating the under the patronage of the Town opinions on either side-laid down Council, and the sanction of a royal and illustrated propositions and fic charter. By donations from indivinally solved objections. A lecturer duals and public bodies, and a legacy on the legal books was called a cur- bequeathed by Bishop Reid, the pasory bachelor-on the prophetical trons were enabled to extend the ben books a forned bachelor-and on the nefits of the institution. Many stuNew Testament a confirmed bachelor. dents resorted to it, and though it Lectures composed by students of di- sustained a heavy loss in the death of vinity of three years standing must, Rollock, its principal, yet it was in a of course, have been far from recon- prosperous state when Melville was dite: the plan, however, was well removed from Scotland. A school fitted for exciting to industry, and af- was established at Kirkwall by the forded ample scope for the display of munificence of Bishop Reid, for the original talent, and acquired know- benefit of the youth in bis diocese : ledge. The system of teaching was, it was also in agitation to erect a colhowever, soon remodelled and im- lege in the Orkney Islands. The proved. Different schemes for that end same year in which Presbytery were from time to time proposed, but obtained a legal establishment, the none of them were adopted, till it foundation of a University was laid was resolved to bring Melville from by Sir Alexander Frazer in the town Glasgow. Robert Hamilton, provost of Frazerburgh. The Parliament rae of St Mary's, was enjoined by the tified the institution, and Charles General Assembly to demit that of- Ferme, a Regent in the College of fice, that its duties might not inter- Edinburgh, was chosen Principal ; rupt the discharge of those which de- but a period was put to his labours, volved on him as minister of St An- by his being imprisoned for keeping drews. Two persons also of the name the General Assembly at Aberdeen, of Hamilton, in like manner, vacated and it does not appear that he had their places in the same seminary, by any successor. About the same time, avowing themselves Roman Catholics. the Earl of Marischal endowed a Cola
The professors of law and mathema- lege at Aberdeen, which had better tics in St Mary's College were trans- success. These facts are sufficient to ferred to that of St Salvator. And shew, that the public attention had such of the regents as chose to re- been awakened to the importance of main were allowed to do so as bursars education, and that a strong passion of theology. At this time several for literary pursuits was felt through eminent men were connected with the nation. the University of St Andrews; but the number of students is supposed land at this period, is another important
“ The resort of foreign students to Scot. not to have exceeded two hundred.
and interesting fact in the history of our It has already been observed, that national literature. Formerly no instance Melville was installed as principal of of this kind had occurred. On the conSt Mary's College in the month of trary, it was a common practice for the December 1580. And it may here be youth of this country, upon finishing their noticed, that he held the situation up- course of education at one of our colleges, wards of twenty-six years. During to go abroad, and prosecute their studies at that period the interests of learning one or more of the universities on the conand science advanced with a steady tinent. Nor did any one think himself en. progress. Three of the Universities titled to the honourable appellation of a of Scotland were founded by patriotic
learned man, who had not added the ad. prelates, “ that of Edinburgh;” (says tic education.
vantages of a foreign to those of a domes.
But after the reformation Dr M‘Crie, who loves in his heart of the universities of St Andrews and to have an opportunity of giving a Glasgow, and the erection of the college of blow to the bishops,)“ owed its erec- Edinburgh, this practice became gradually tion to the fall of Episcopacy.” “In less frequent, until it ceased entirely except with those who wished to attain pro- the reign of James I. shews the imficiency in law or in medicine. If students provement which had taken place in in languages, the arts, or divinity, now the department of jurisprudence. Sir left Scotland, it was generally to teach, and Thomas Craig's book, De Feudis, was not to be taught, in foreign seminaries.' Vol. Il. pp. 289, 290.
the first regular treatise on law com
posed in Scotland. Wellwood, ProMany Scotsmen distinguished them- fessor of Law at St Andrews, also selves as teachers in the foreign Uni- published several valuable legal treaversities. Among these, James Ful- tises, particularly his Ecclesiastical lerton; and James Hamilton, who ob- Forms of Process. Wellwood's name tained professorships in Trinity Col- is also associated with the improvelege, Dublin, deserve to be particu- ment of physics and the arts. The larly mentioned. In this situation, chronology of Pont confirms the tesArchbishop Usher was among their timony borne to his skill in mathefirst pupils. Fullerton was afterwards matics and astronomy. Napier, the knighted, was admitted of the inventor of logarithmic calculation, is Bed chamber, and usually resided at a name sufficient to give celebrity to Court after the accession of James. the age in which he lived, and to the Hamilton
was created Viscount Clane- country which has the honour to own boy, and afterwards Earl of Clan- him as a son. Medical knowledge at brissel. Fullerton was one of Mel. this time, and down to a much later ville's scholars, and was distinguished period, was acquired chiefly at foreign by his friendship: Hamilton is also schools ; but Dr Peter Lowe, and Ďr supposed to have been his pupil ; but Duncan Liddel, were then authors on the fact has not been distinctly ascer- that subject, tained.
Among the miscellaneous writers of It is a mistakc to suppose that the this age, Hume of Godscroft, one of parochial schools of Scotlard owed Melville's intimate friends, deserves their origin to Parliamentary enact- to be particularly mentioned. He ments. The persuasions of the mini- possessed an extensive knowledge of sters, and the authority of the church ancient and modern languages, theo courts, were, in a multitude of instan- logy, politics, and history; wrote his ces, sufficient to determine heritors or Apologia Basilica in refutation of the parishioners to endow schools. As Princeps of Machiavel ; and his Hisa every minister examined his people, tory of the Houses of Douglas and he was careful to have a schoolmaster Angus in illustration of public events, for the instruction of youth. Sta- and of the manners of the times, tutes were subsequently of great ad- Poetry was then, as it is still, assiduvantage, but would have for ever re- ously cultivated. Montgomery, Hume, mained a dead letter, had it not been Lady Culross, Cockburne, Drumfor the exertions of the church. Clasé mond of Hawthornden, Sir Robert sical schools were also increased in Ayton, the Earl of Stirling, and Sir number, and many of them were ably David Murray, are among the poets conducted. “ Before the year 1616, of the period, and the names and a fifth class was taught in the High works of some of them are still, we School of Edinburgh, and during their presume, familiár to many of our attendance on it, the boys were ini- readers. Latin poetry was then espetiated into Greek grammar."
cially cultivated by our countrymen, In logic, the writings of Ramus as the collection entitled Delitice Poetsupplanted those of Aristotle, or at arum Scotorum bears ample testileast prevented them from being re- mony; so that, “ if this was not the garded as infallible oracles, as hither- classic age of Scotland, it was at least to had been the case. Bacon's merit the age of classical literature in it.” as a philosopher also began to be ap- In this department Melville himself preciated. No collections of sermons holds a conspicuous place; and behad appeared in Scotland till those of sides Ayton and Hume, names alRollock and Bruce were published. ready mentioned, Sir Thomas Craig, As à composition Archbishop Spots- Hercules Rollock, John and Arthur wood's History of the Church of Scot- Jonston, deserve also to be mentioned. land is a work highly creditable to the Buchanan may be regarded as betalents of its author. Sir John Skene's longing to an earlier age; yet he died cdition of the acts of Parliament from after Melville had taken up his residence at St Andrews. The greater want of spirit in her inhabitants, or to the part of Melville's writings consist of genius of her ecclesiastical constitution. Latin poems, many of which are short “ In asserting that Melville had the chief and occasional, others are of greater influence in bringing the literature of Scotlength,
and of more permanent inte land to that pitch of improvement which it rest. Though he was the avowed and reached at this time, I am supported by the formidable enemy of the form of site parties, as well as by facts which have
testimony of contemporary writers of oppochureh government established in been stated in a former part of this work. England, yet Isaac Walton, though His example and instructions continued and displeased with the freedoms which increased the literary impulse which his he took with his favourite church, arrival from the Continent first gave to the does justice to his talents.
minds of his countrymen. In languages, “ He was,” says he, “ master of a great composition which was then most practised
in theology, and in that species of poetical wit, full of knots and clenches ; a wit sharp and satirical ; exceeded, I think, by, rect and acknowledged. And though he did
among the learned, his influence was dinone of that nation, but their Buchanan."
not himself cultivate several of the branches And a modern English divine (Dr ing sketch, yet he stimulated others to cul.
of study which are included in the precedZouch) speaks of him thus :
tivate them by the ardour' with which he “ The learning and abilities of Mr Mel- inspired their minds, and by the praises, ville were equalled only by the purity of which he was always ready to bestow on his manners, and the sanctity of his life. their exertions and performances.” Vol. His temper was warm and 'violent; his II. p. 335, 336. carriage and zeal perfectly suited to the times in which he lived. Archbishop Spotswood is uniformly unfriendly to his
REMARKS ON MATURIN's SERMONS. memory. He seems to have been treated by his adversaries with great asperity.” The author of these Sermons has
And having quoted Duport's poem already acquired an extensive celebriagainst him, he continues
ty from the publication of various
works of fiction, especially from his “ Let it not, however, be inferred from powerful, but ill-imagined, drama of these verses, that Andrew Melville always Bertram,” and his very singular nosought to dip his pen in gall; that he was vel of “ Women, or Pour et Contre.” principally delighted with the severity of In addition to these, and several other satire and invective. He occasionally di- pieces, both in poetry and proše, we verted his muse to the subject of just pane observe that a new set of Tales are gyric. In many of his epigrains he has celebrated the literary attainments of his announced as just about to make their contemporaries. He has endeared his name appearance from his prolific pen. This to posterity by his encomium on the pro- association of the theatre with the found learning of the two Scaligers, and church, and of fictitious tales with the classic elegance of Buchanan his pre- pulpit discourses, is, we believe, someceptor, and the parent of the muses. His thing new in the history of literature. Latin paraphrase of the song of Moses is The tragedy of Douglas, it is true, was truly excellent, exquisitely beautiful.” Vol. the production of a clergyman, but II. pp. 468, 469.
we are not aware that he ever pub
lished sermons. We shall conclude with one quota- the author of a drama, but his ser
Mr Logan, too, was tion more.
mons were not printed till after his “ The facts which have been pointed out death. Swift was a deservedly popuin the course of this brief review, will, it lar writer of fiction and of political is hoped, assist the reader in forming an satire, but if we take his own word, his idea of the state of our national literature sermons became nothing but pamphat this period. They may perhaps con- lets. Sterne, as every one knows, is rince him, that Scotland was not so late in the author of a most amusing novel, literary improvement as is commonly ima
and also of very impressive sermons, gined ; that she had advanced at the time of which we write, nearly to the same stage
but he never aspired to the drama; in in this honourable career with the other this respect, therefore, the author of nations of Europe ; and that, if she did not afterwards make the progress which was to * Serrnons, by the Reverend Charles be expected, or if she retrograded, this is Robert Maturin, Curate of St Peter's, Dubto be imputed to other causes than to lin, 1 Vol. 8vo. London, 1819.