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Title: Sir Thomas Urquhart of Cromartie, Knight
Author: Willcock, John
Language: English
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                     SIR THOMAS URQUHART

                         OF CROMARTIE

              [Illustration: SIR THOMAS URQUHART.]


                          SIR THOMAS


                         OF CROMARTIE


                        JOHN WILLCOCK




                      EDINBURGH & LONDON


                      ANDERSON & FERRIER


                   [_All Rights Reserved_]



                           A. B. W.





Few persons who take an interest in general literature are wholly
unacquainted with the name of Sir Thomas Urquhart, as that of the
translator of a great French classic. Only the more erudite can tell how
the name of another literary man, Pierre Antoine Motteux, comes to be
associated with his in connexion with the translation in question, and
are aware that the Scottish knight is the author of original
compositions in such diverse departments as poetry, trigonometry,
genealogy, and biography, and that he played a prominent part in the
public life of his time.

It has been my object to bring together in the following volume all the
materials which are available for giving a vivid picture of the
personality of Sir Thomas Urquhart, and of the circumstances in which
his life was passed, as I think it would be a pity if his romantic,
fantastical figure were to pass into oblivion. The materials for his
life are fairly abundant, though they have to be sought for in many
out-of-the-way corners. The slight but fairly accurate sketch prefixed
to his _Works_ in the Maitland Club edition, and the carefully written
articles in Dr Irving's _Scottish Writers_, and the _Dictionary of
National Biography_, contain the only previous attempts which have been
made to give his history. The limits within which the authors of these
notices had to work, have, however, prevented their giving more than a
bare outline of his career. I have attempted, with what success it is
for my readers to say, to clothe the skeleton with sinews and flesh, and
to impart to the figure some measure of animation.

As I have had to do my work at a great distance from public libraries, I
have been obliged to enlist the services of friends, more fortunately
situated, in the task of looking up multitudinous references and
allusions, which bore upon the history of the person in whom I was
interested, or of the time in which he lived. Miss Kemp, James Walter,
Esq., and Alexander Middlemass, Esq., Edinburgh, have been extremely
serviceable to me in this way.

A variety of details of historical and biographical interest has been
furnished me by Dr. Milne, King-Edward; Garden A. Duff, Esq., Hatton
Castle, Turriff; Capt. Douglas Wimberley, Inverness; J. L. Anderson,
Esq., Edinburgh; and P. J. Anderson, Esq., of Aberdeen University

Professors Crum Brown, Saintsbury, Butcher, and Eggeling of my own _Alma
Mater_ have been very willing to give the information I have sought from
them; and through Professor Grierson of Aberdeen I have had the loan of
many books containing material of value for my purpose. Sheriff
Mackenzie, Wick, and Sheriff Shennan, Lerwick, have aided me in
questions of literary taste and of legal information; and from W. F.
Smith, Esq., Fellow of St John's College, Cambridge, I have received
valuable help in writing the chapter on the translation of Rabelais.
From the latter's scholarly volumes upon the great Frenchman I have
borrowed some notes, which appear with his initials attached to them. To
Professor Ferguson of Glasgow I am indebted for the photograph of
Urquhart's handwriting.

In the work of correcting proofs--a somewhat laborious task in the
present case--I have had kindly assistance from Dr Milne, above
mentioned, and also from A. J. Tedder, Esq., London, Rev. T. Mathewson,
Rev. D. Houston, M.A. and J. M. Goudie, Esq., Lerwick.

If I have omitted the name of any helper, or if by frivolous comment I
have done wrong to the shade of Sir Thomas, I would adopt the language
of Mr Collins in _Pride and Prejudice_. "We are all liable to err," he
says. "I have certainly meant well through the whole affair; ... and if
my manner has been at all reprehensible, I here beg leave to apologize."

                                JOHN WILLCOCK.




PREFACE                                                       xi

                          CHAPTER I
 The Urquharts and their Predecessors in Cromartie--Sir
     Thomas Urquhart, senior--Birth of our Author--School
     and University Days--Pecuniary and other Troubles at
     Home--The Castle of Cromartie--Our Author's Studious
     Bent--Foreign Travel--The Englishman Abroad--The Scot
     Abroad                                                    1

                          CHAPTER II

 Recalled Home--The Covenanting Movement--The Trot of
     Turriff--Our Author escapes to England--Is
     Knighted--Publishes his _Epigrams_--His Father's
     Embarrassments increase--Lesley of Findrassie--Death
     of Sir Thomas Urquhart, senior--Our Author struggles
     in vain to keep his Creditors at bay--Other Wrongs and
     Losses--On bad Terms with the Church                     30

                         CHAPTER III

 Unsuccessful Rising in the North--Sir Thomas makes his
     Peace with the Church--Return of Charles II. to
     Scotland--Invasion of England--Battle of
     Worcester--Sir Thomas a Prisoner in the Tower--Makes
     Friends--Is liberated on Parole--Great Literary
     Activity--Revisits Scotland--Dies--Later History of
     the Urquharts of Cromartie--Characteristics of our
     Author--Glover's Portraits of him                        69

                          CHAPTER IV


                          CHAPTER V


                          CHAPTER VI

     UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE                                      148

                         CHAPTER VII

 TRANSLATION OF RABELAIS                                     184

 APPENDICES                                                  209


 1. PORTRAIT OF SIR THOMAS URQUHART               _Frontispiece_

 2. SIGNATURE OF SIR THOMAS URQUHART                  _Page_ vii

 3. THE POET SURROUNDED BY THE MUSES         _Facing page_   109

 4. FAC-SIMILE OF HIS HANDWRITING                   "        116

 5. SCULPTURED STONE AT KINBEAKIE HOUSE             "        137

                     SIR THOMAS URQUHART

                          CHAPTER I

 The Urquharts and their Predecessors in Cromartie--Sir Thomas Urquhart,
     senior--Birth of our Author--School and University Days--Pecuniary
     and other Troubles at Home--The Castle of Cromartie--Our Author's
     Studious Bent--Foreign Travel--The Englishman Abroad--The Scot

The right of Sir Thomas Urquhart of Cromartie to be included in the
list of famous Scots will scarcely be granted by many of his
fellow-countrymen without some inquiry into the grounds upon which it is
based. He himself, undoubtedly, would not have been backward in
asserting his claim to such honourable distinction, though he would have
entered a protest against the presence of some of those in whose company
he would find himself. In the ecclesiastical and political controversies
of the first half of the seventeenth century, he was, as an Episcopalian
and a Cavalier, connected with the losing side, and, consequently, it
is not to be expected that posterity should be so impartial as to
cherish his name along with those of the victors in the conflict. It is
to his literary, and not to his martial achievements, that he owes his
fame. His translation of Rabelais is probably the most brilliant feat of
the kind ever accomplished, and casts all his own original writings into
the shade. The fantastical character of his own compositions, indeed,
both in regard to their subject-matter and the diction in which they are
clothed, forbids their ever having a large circle of readers. An author
whose phraseology is like a combination of that used by Ancient Pistol
with that of Sir Thomas Browne may have enthusiastic admirers, but they
are almost certain to be few in number. Yet his works contain much
interesting matter, and to them we are indebted for many details of the
life of their author.

Though it is hard to believe Sir Thomas Urquhart's assertion that the
connexion of the Urquharts with the north-west of Scotland dates as far
back as the year B.C. 554, when an ancestor of his named Beltistos
crossed over from Ireland, and built a castle near Inverness, the family
was of considerable antiquity, and for many generations was one of the
most distinguished in that part of the country. Nisbet, the great
authority on heraldry, says that "they enjoyed not only the honourable
office of hereditary Sheriff-Principal of the Shire of Cromartie, but
the far greater part, if not the whole of the said shire did belong to
them, either in property or superiority, and they possessed a
considerable estate besides in the Shire of Aberdeen."[1] The admiralty
of the seas from Caithness to Inverness also belonged to them.

The Urquharts were not, however, the earliest to bear rule in the part
of Scotland with which their name is connected. Cromartie was originally
the Crwmbawchty (or Crumbathy) of which Macbeth was reputed thane,
before he became king. Wyntown in his _Cronykil_ relates Macbeth's dream
that he was first Thane of Cromartie, then Thane of Moray, and then King
of Scotland.[2] After the first and second titles had been conferred
upon him, he took steps to secure the third. Probably the mote-hill of
Cromartie was the site of his official residence as thane of the
district when he was at the beginning of his ambitious career.

In the thirteenth century the family of Mouat (then _de Monte Alto_)
were in possession,[3] but early in the following century the estate had
accrued to King Robert the Bruce, probably because the Mounts had
submitted to the English king, Edward I. King Robert granted Cromartie
to Sir Hugh Ross, eldest son of William, Earl of Ross, in 1315, and by
him it was afterwards, in the reign of King David Bruce (1329-70), given
to an Adam of Urquhart ("de Vrquhartt"),[4] with whose descendants it
remained for many generations. In 1357 he got from the Crown the
hereditary sheriffdom of Cromartie, and eight years later the same Hugh
Ross gave him the estate of Fisherie, in King-Edward, Aberdeenshire.
This Adam is the first of the family to emerge from the darkness of
antiquity into the light of history, and probably his name, as the
founder of the Urquhart fortunes, suggested the still more famous
progenitor to whom our Sir Thomas traced back his pedigree link by link,
as our readers will afterwards hear.

Our author's father, also a Thomas, and the first of his line who was a
Protestant in religion, was born in 1585. He succeeded to the property
in 1603, and in 1617 was knighted by James VI. in Edinburgh. As he was
left an orphan at an early age, he was brought up under the care of his
grand-uncle, John Urquhart of Craigfintray, who has been commonly called
from this circumstance "the Tutor of Cromartie."[5] His
great-grandnephew, our Sir Thomas, has celebrated his praise in very
high terms. "He was," he says, "over all Britain renowned for his deep
reach of natural wit, and great dexterity in acquiring of many lands and
great possessions, with all men's applause."[6]

From all accounts, it seems that the "Tutor" was faithful in the
discharge of all the duties belonging to his office,[7] though he did
not succeed in imparting to his pupil the secret of acquiring landed
property, either with or without applause.

Sir Thomas Urquhart, senior, received his estates, we are informed,
"without any burthen of debt, how little soever, or provision of
brother, sister, or any other of his kindred or allyance wherewith to
affect it."[8] He married Christian, the fourth daughter of Alexander,
fourth Lord Elphinstone (1552-1638), and received with her a dowry of
nine thousand merks Scots (_i.e._ £500 Sterling). The date of our
author's birth is given by Maitland as 1605, but it is now certain that
this is an error, and that the true date is 1611.[9] Sir Thomas was the
eldest of the family, and he tells us that he was born five years after
the marriage of his parents. He also informs us that his mother's
father, Lord Elphinstone, held the office of High Treasurer in Scotland
at the time of the marriage. As that nobleman was High Treasurer only
from just before 19th April, 1599, till 22nd September, 1601, it would
not have been unreasonable to fix the date of the marriage as probably
some time in 1600, if we had no other information on the subject. But it
so happens that the marriage-contract is in existence,[10] and is dated
the 9th of July, 1606, and consequently Sir Thomas's birth would fall in
the year 1611. Our author must therefore have been in error in
describing his grandfather as being High Treasurer at the time of his
daughter's marriage. He had, indeed, occupied this office some years
before. Sir Thomas should have said "had been," instead of "was," but
his lordly disposition of mind would probably make him contemptuous of
such trifles.

In 1611, James VI. was drawing near to the end of the first period of
his reign, during which he had been under the influence of the
traditions of the days of Elizabeth and Burghley, and had not yet passed
into his own keeping, and the hands of profligate favourites. Bacon was
still in the shade of distrust, from which, however, he was soon to
emerge: he was now, indeed, Solicitor-General, but his ambition was not
satisfied by this post. The heir-apparent to the throne was Prince
Henry, who died in the following year. Charles, his brother, was now
eleven years of age. Shakespeare brought out this year his play of _The
Winter's Tale_, and Ben Jonson his _Catiline_. Sir Walter Raleigh was a
prisoner in the Tower, and was busily engaged in writing his _History of
the World_, which he completed in the following year, though it was not
published until 1614. The Authorised Version of the English Bible
appeared this year. Milton was now a child of scarcely three years old,
and Cromwell a boy of twelve.

The birthplace of our author is unknown; for though the castle of
Cromartie was the official residence of the sheriffs, Sir Thomas
Urquhart, senior, is known to have had several other manor-houses, one
of which was Fisherie,[11] in the parish of King-Edward, Aberdeenshire,
in which he resided from time to time. It is probable that the future
translator of Rabelais laid the foundation of the erudition by which in
after years he was distinguished, in Banff,[12] which then possessed a
grammar-school, rather than in the more northern town which is
associated with his name.

Sir Thomas was only eleven years old when, in 1622, he entered the
University of Aberdeen,[13] but there is no reason to believe that the
average age of the "men" of his year would be in excess of his own.
Donne was the same age as Urquhart when he entered Oxford. The famous
Crichton went up to St Andrews at the age of ten, though up to that time
he had not given evidence of any extraordinary precocity. A generation
before, Montaigne had already completed his collegiate course when he
attained his thirteenth year. It seems strange to us that boys of such
tender age should have been found able to pass through a university
curriculum; and we are forced to conclude either that the boys of those
days were intellectually superior to those with whom we are familiar, or
that the studies which occupied them were less deep and severe than
those which are now pursued in seats of learning. The latter is probably
the true explanation of the matter. University education in Scotland
had been remodelled, and adapted to the requirements of the time and of
a Protestant society in the previous generation, and in this work Andrew
Melville had a very notable part. In 1583 a new constitution had been
drawn up for the University of Aberdeen, and the arrangements prescribed
by it may have existed there when our author was a student. The
Principal, according to this constitution, was Professor of Theology, as
well as incumbent of the parish of Old Machar, and was responsible for
the government and discipline of the college.[14] Under him were four
Regents, one of whom was Sub-Principal, and to them was assigned the
duty of training students in various departments of learning. Thus
physiology, geography, astrology, history, and Hebrew were assigned to
the Sub-Principal. Another Regent explained "the principles of reasoning
from the best Greek and Latin authors, with practice in writing and
speaking"; while a third lectured upon Greek, and read the more
elementary Latin and Greek authors. The fourth Regent taught arithmetic
and geometry, and, along with them, a portion of Aristotle's _Organon,
Ethics, and Politics_, and Cicero's _De Officiis_. This attempt to
assign special departments to the various regents respectively, was a
marked improvement upon the older system, under which they were each
responsible for teaching all the subjects included in the curriculum.

The students paid fees, which varied in amount according to their
social standing. On entering the university they were required to take
an oath of loyalty to the Reformed religion. None were allowed to carry
arms, or to converse in any other tongue than Greek or Latin. Perhaps,
however, this latter rule was merely an attempt to restrain the
measureless tide of human speech. And in order that nothing might
interfere with the progress of the students, the _Nova Fundatio_, or new
constitution of Aberdeen University, abolished all holidays ("omnes
consuetas olim a studiis vacationes aboleri penitus").[15]

Sir Thomas Urquhart's name does not appear in the list of graduates in
1626, so that there are no means of determining from the records of
King's College how many years he spent there. For the city in which he
had received his education he ever afterwards had a high regard. Thus he
says of it: "For honesty, good fashions, and learning, Aberdeen
surpasseth as far all other cities and towns in Scotland, as London doth
for greatness, wealth, and magnificence, the smallest hamlet or village
in England."[16]

He gives unmeasured praise to some of those eminent men who were
associated with the fame of Aberdeen University in what has been called
its "Augustan age"--the first four or five decades of the seventeenth
century. Thus, according to him, William Lesley, D.D.,[17] was "one of
the most profound and universal scholars then living"--like Socrates in
having published no works, but, unfortunately, unlike that philosopher
in not having among his disciples a Plato and an Aristotle to receive
their master's knowledge and transmit it to future generations.[18] Of
his successor in the principalship, Dr William Guild, he says: "He
deserveth by himself to be remembered, both for that he hath committed
to the press many good books, tending to the edification of the soul,
and bettering of the minde; and that of all the divines that have lived
in Scotland these hundred yeers, he hath been the most charitable, and
who bestowed most of his own to publike uses."[19] At the time when he
wrote these estimates of the sages at whose feet he had sat as a
student, some of his old friends were under a cloud, and he had to be
careful not to compromise them by his praise. And so he says of "Master
William [?] Seaton," who had been his tutor, "[he was] a very able
preacher truly, and good scholar, and [one] whom I would extoll yet
higher, but that being under the consistorian lash, some critick
Presbyters may do him injury, by pretending his dislike of them, for
being praised by him who idolizeth not their authority."[20]

At the time of the marriage of Sir Thomas Urquhart, senior, Lord
Elphinstone, who was fully acquainted with the prosperous condition of
his son-in-law's affairs, made him pledge himself to manage his property
so that it might descend to his heir as he had himself received it.
Unfortunately this pledge was not fulfilled. Through mismanagement and
neglect his affairs got into disorder, and the later years of his life
were troubled by pecuniary difficulties.[21] His son says of him: "Of
all men living [he was] the justest, equallest, and most honest in his
dealings, [and] his humour was, rather than to break his word, to lose
all he had, and stand to his most undeliberate promises, what ever they
might cost; which too strict adherence to the austerest principles of
veracity, proved oftentimes dammageable to him in his negotiations with
many cunning sharks, who knew with what profitable odds they could scrue
themselves in upon the windings of so good a nature.... By the
unfaithfulnes, on the one side, of some of his menial servants, in
filching from him much of his personal estate, and falsehood of several
chamberlains and bayliffs to whom he had intrusted the managing of his
rents, in the unconscionable discharge of their receits, by giving up
one account thrice, and of such accounts many; and, on the other part,
by the frequency of disadvantagious bargains, which the slieness of the
subtil merchant did involve him in, his loss came unawares upon him, and
irresistibly, like an armed man; too great trust to the one, and
facility in behalf of the other, occasioning so grievous a misfortune,
which nevertheless did not proceed from want of knowledge or abilitie in
natural parts, for in the business of other men he would have given a
very sound advice, and was surpassing dextrous in arbitrements, upon
any reference submitted to him, but that hee thought it did derogate
from the nobility of his house and reputation of his person, to look to
petty things in matter of his own affairs."[22]

One of the ways in which the elder Sir Thomas succeeded in impoverishing
himself and his family was in becoming bail for people who absconded;
so, at least, we would infer from an entry in the Court-book of the
Burgh of Banff under date of 21st April, 1629, in which we find that
"Sir Thomas Urquhurt of Cromarty, having become caution for the
appearance of Alexander Forbes, merchant in Balvenye, alleged
forestaller, and the said Alexander not having appeared, Sir Thomas is
decerned to pay £40 Scots (£3, 6s. 8d. Sterling)."[23]

In 1637 we find that he was obliged to appeal to his sovereign against
the urgency of his creditors, and a Letter of Protection was issued in
his favour. It ran as follows: "Letter of Protection granted by King
Charles the First, under his great seal, to Sir Thomas Urquhart of
Cromarty, from all dilligence at the instance of his creditors, for the
space of one year, thereby giving him a _persona standi in judicio_,
notwithstanding he may be at the horn, and taking him under his royal
protection during the time. Dated at St James's, 20th March, 1637."[24]
A somewhat humorous situation is suggested by this document. The
creditors might "put him to the horn," _i.e._, according to the usual
legal form, order him in the king's name to pay his debts on penalty of
being outlawed as a traitor, while the king himself authorised him to
take no notice of the proceedings.

In the same year we have intimation of the elder Sir Thomas's pecuniary
misfortunes being aggravated by domestic strife, for we find him
instructing a high legal functionary to raise an action against his
sons, Thomas and Alexander, for their unfilial conduct. The charge was
that of "putting violent hands on the persone of the said Sir Thomas
Urquhart of Cromartie, Knycht, their father, taking him captive and
prissoner, and detening him in sure firmance within ane upper chalmer,
callit the Inner Dortour, within his place of Cromertie, _tanquam in
privato carcere_, fra the Mononday to the Fryday in the efter none
therefter, committit in the moneth of December last, 1636." The case
came up for trial before the Court of Justiciary on the 19th of July,
and was postponed for a week, when it was abandoned. The Lords of
Council had appointed a commission to settle all differences between the
father and sons and on receiving their report the Court dismissed the
case.[25] We have no particulars as to the causes of disagreement which
led to such all unhappy state of affairs, but we are not likely to be
far wrong in assuming that the sons wished to prevent their father's
taking some legal step which they considered would be detrimental to his
and their interests. The affectionate terms in which our author
describes his father's character ten years after his death, in the words
above quoted, make us sure that he sincerely regretted any wrong towards
him of which he may have been guilty at this time.

The old castle of Cromartie has now long disappeared, the stones of
which it was built having been used for the erection of a modern house
in 1772, after the estate had passed, by purchase, from the family of
Urquhart to Mr George Ross. It was a building of considerable antiquity.
In 1470 a royal grant was made by James III. to William Urquhart of the
Motehill, or Mount of Cromartie, with permission to erect on this a
tower or fortalice. Advantage was taken of this permission to fortify
the family mansion, and it was converted into a castle of considerable
strength.[26] Sir Thomas says of it: "The stance thereof is stately, and
the house it selfe of a notable good fabrick and contrivance."[27] An
interesting description of the building as it was just before its
demolition is given by Hugh Miller. "Directly behind the site of the old
town," he says, "the ground rises abruptly from the level to the height
of nearly a hundred feet, after which it forms a kind of table-land of
considerable extent, and then sweeps gently to the top of the hill. A
deep ravine, with a little stream running through it, intersects the
rising ground at nearly right angles with the front which it presents to
the houses; and on the eastern angle, towering over the ravine on the
one side, and the edge of the bank on the other, stood the old castle of
Cromarty. It was a massy, time-worn building, rising in some places to
the height of six storeys, battlemented at the top, and roofed with grey
stone. One immense turret jutted out from the corner, which occupied the
extreme point of the angle, and looking down from an altitude of at
least one hundred and sixty feet on the little stream, and the
struggling row of trees which sprung up at its edge, commanded both
sides of the declivity and the town below." Of the interior we are told
by the same writer, on the authority of an old woman who, as a child,
had lived in the castle, that "two threshers could have plied their
flails within the huge chimney of the kitchen; and that, in the great
hall, an immense, dark chamber, lined with oak, a party of a hundred men
had exercised at the pike."[28]

The elder Sir Thomas had also a winter residence in Banff.[29] In the
Court-book of the Burgh of Banff we have the following entry: "1630,
July 21st, Sir Thomas Urquhart of Cromartie gave in ane Act of the
Session of Banff, geiveing licence to him to erect ane desk and loft in
the kirk of Banff (seeing he is both a parochiner and resident within
the said toun) for his accomodatione. The brethren gave their
approbatione with express provision that neither the edifice nor lichtes
of the said kirk suld be deteriorat."[30]

Beyond the bare fact of his having been a student in the University of
Aberdeen, we have no information concerning the manner in which the
earlier years of our author's life were passed, or the circumstances in
which he acquired the miscellaneous erudition which his writings
display. The only remark he makes about the education he received is to
the effect that his father laid out but a very insignificant portion of
his income upon this item of family expenses. Yet, however little the
expenditure may have been, Urquhart evidently profited fully by the
education which he had received, and attained to something more than a
gentlemanly acquaintance with some of the abstruser departments of

The special bent of his mind in early years, and his love for study
rather than sport, are shown in the following reminiscence of his youth,
which he narrates with his characteristic diffuseness. "There
happening," he says, "a gentleman of very good worth to stay awhile at
my house, who, one day amongst many other, was pleased, in the deadst
time of all the winter, with a gun upon his shoulder, to search for a
shot of some wild-fowl; and after he had waded through many waters,
taken excessive pains in quest of his game, and by means thereof had
killed some five or six moor fowls and partridges, which he brought
along with him to my house, he was by some other gentlemen, who chanced
to alight at my gate, as he entered in, very much commended for his love
to sport; and, as the fashion of most of our countrymen is, not to
praise one without dispraising another, I was highly blamed for not
giving my self in that kind to the same exercise, having before my eys
so commendable a pattern to imitate; I answered, though the gentleman
deserved praise for the evident proof he had given that day of his
inclination to thrift and laboriousness, that nevertheless I was not to
blame, seeing whilst he was busied about that sport, I was imployed in a
diversion of another nature, such as optical secrets, mysteries of
natural philosophie, reasons for the variety of colours, the finding out
of the longitude, the squaring of a circle, and wayes to accomplish all
trigonometrical calculations by sines, without tangents, with the same
compendiousness of computation,--which, in the estimation of learned
men, would be accounted worth six hundred thousand partridges, and as
many moor-fowles."

There can be little doubt that Sir Thomas had the best of the argument.
But he was not satisfied with this: for nothing less would content him
than vanquishing his opponent on his own ground, as well as with the
weapons of logic. With the same lordliness of temper which had led him
to re-capitulate the dignified subjects which had occupied his studious
mind--the squaring of the circle being but one of them--he chose the
breaking-in of a horse as a set-off against his friend's achievements of
the day before. The success of the scientific student and the
discomfiture of the mere sportsman are told in the conclusion of the
story. "In the mean while," he says, "that worthy gentleman, being wet
and weary after travel, was not able to eat of what he had so much
toyled for, whilst my braine recreations so sharpened my appetite, that
I supped to very good purpose. That night past, the next morning I gave
six pence to a footman of mine, to try his fortune with the gun, during
the time I should disport my self in the breaking of a young horse; and
it so fell out, that by [the time] I had given my selfe a good heat by
riding, the boy returned with a dozen of wild fouls, half moor foule,
half partridge, whereat being exceeding well pleased, I alighted, gave
him my horse to care for, and forthwith entred in to see my gentlemen,
the most especiall whereof was unable to rise out of his bed, by reason
of the Gout and Sciatick, wherewith he was seized for his former daye's

In the early years of his manhood, before our author felt himself
qualified to take part in public life, he spent some time in foreign
travel. The kind of figure cut by a young _English_ gentleman of that
period upon the Continent we know from the testimony of Portia, for it
can scarcely be that much change had taken place in the interval of a
generation, between her time and the end of the first quarter of the
seventeenth century. He was generally unversed in the languages of the
countries he visited, and, from his lack of Latin, French, or Italian,
was apt to fail in understanding the natives, or in making himself
understood by them. He might be handsome in figure, but conversation
with him was reduced to the level of a dumb-show. His dress was often
very odd, and his manners eccentric, as though he had bought his doublet
in Italy, his round hose in France, his bonnet in Germany, and his
behaviour--everywhere. A strong contrast to him in the matter of
language was the young Scotchman of the period, if Sir Thomas Urquhart
is to be taken as at all an average specimen of his nation, and if his
account of himself can be relied upon. He says of himself that when he
travelled through France, Spain, and Italy, he spoke the languages to
such perfection that he might easily have passed himself off as a native
of any one of these countries. Some advised him to do so, but his
patriotic feelings were too strong to allow him to follow such a course:
"he plainly told them (without making bones thereof), that truly he
thought he had as much honour by his own country, which did contrevalue
the riches and fertility of those nations, by the valour, learning, and
honesty, wherein it did parallel, if not surpass them."[32]

It is somewhat difficult for the mind to grasp the idea of a Scotchman
in those days, when so many of the things which we now associate with
the nationality were not in existence--when his Church was Episcopalian
in constitution, the Shorter Catechism not yet written by Englishmen for
his use, Burns unborn, and distilled spirits not extensively used as a
beverage. We could scarcely even know him by his costume. For no
self-respecting representative of that country would assume the Highland
garb which so many Englishmen believe to be generally worn north of the
Tweed, if we are to credit the authoritative statement of Macaulay to
the effect that "before the Union it was considered by nine Scotchmen
out of ten as the dress of a thief."[33] The characteristics by which "a
Scot abroad" in those days was recognised, were, from some accounts,
not shrewdness in making bargains, economical habits, indomitable
perseverance, and unsleeping caution, but the pride and
high-spiritedness which made him keen in detecting and swift in avenging
slights that might be cast upon the country from which he came. So deep
was the impression made by these peculiarities upon foreign nations,
that they became proverbial. "He is a Scot, he has pepper in his
nose!"[34] said they, somewhat familiarly, yet with a touch of fear,
when they noticed the flashing eye, and the hand instinctively seeking
the sword-hilt. "High-spirited as a Scot!"[35] they exclaimed with
admiration, when among themselves some soul was moved to unwonted
courage. Such, at least, is the impression produced upon the mind by
some of those novels in which Scott and his imitators trace the
wanderings of their fellow-countrymen through European lands in those
earlier times. That there is some foundation of truth for the lofty
superstructure is rendered credible by the case of Sir Thomas Urquhart.
"My heart,"[36] he says, "gave me the courage for adventuring in a
forrain climat, thrice to enter the lists against men of three severall
nations, to vindicate my native country[37] from the calumnies wherewith
they had aspersed it; wherein it pleased God so to conduct my fortune,
that, after I had disarmed them, they in such sort acknowledged their
error, and the obligation they did owe me for sparing their lives, which
justly by the law of arms I might have taken, that, in lieu of three
enemies that formerly they were, I acquired three constant friends, both
to my selfe and my compatriots, whereof by severall gallant testimonies
they gave evident proofe, to the improvement of my country's credit in
many occasions."[38]

The fair critic, whose estimate of the young Englishman has been
referred to, gives her opinion also of his Scottish rival; but,
strangely enough, she observes in him qualities of a kind opposite to
those displayed by Sir Thomas Urquhart. She was struck by his
neighbourly charity, "for he borrowed a box of the ear of the
Englishman, and swore he would pay him back again when he was able."[39]
Can it be that the words put into her mouth are merely the ribald wit of
an envious Southron, or are we to understand that the spirit which
triumphed over so many inferiors was yet wise enough to discern when it
stood in the presence of a mightier than itself?

How a young man on his travels should occupy his time, had been laid
down in a little volume which had been published just before Urquhart
set out to see the world abroad. In this he might read a list of the
things which should engage his attention, drawn up in sonorous language
by no less a personage than a late Lord Chancellor of England--a man who
was ready to give advice to all his fellow-creatures in all conceivable
circumstances. "The things," says Lord Bacon, "to be seen and observed
are: the courts of princes, especially when they give audience to
ambassadors; the courts of justice, while they sit and hear causes; and
so of consistories ecclesiastic; the churches and monasteries, with the
monuments which are therein extant; the walls and fortifications of
cities and towns, and so the havens and harbours; antiquities and ruins;
libraries, colleges, disputations and lectures, where any are; shipping
and navies; house and gardens of state and pleasure near great cities;
armories, arsenals, magazines, exchanges, burses, warehouses; exercises
of horsemanship, fencing, training of soldiers, and the like; comedies,
such whereunto the better sort of persons do resort; treasuries of
jewels and robes, cabinets and rarities; and, to conclude, whatsoever is
memorable in the places where they go.... As for triumphs, masks,
feasts, weddings, funerals, capital executions, and such shows, men
need not be put in mind of them; yet they are not to be neglected."[40]

To what extent Urquhart followed a plan of this kind it is impossible to
say; for, though his writings are so discursive that we might expect to
find in them allusions to anything remarkable he had seen or heard, he
has very little to say about his foreign experiences. Dr Johnson spoke
with contempt of an English peer, who had extended his travels as far as
Egypt, but who had brought back only one small contribution to the
general stock of human information--the fact that he had seen "a large
serpent in one of the pyramids of Egypt." Urquhart was not quite so
poverty-stricken as this; for he seems to have observed examples of
mental infirmity, illustrations of which he might doubtless have found
nearer home.

"I saw at Madrid," he says, "a bald-pated fellow who beleeved he was
Julius Cæsar, and therefore went constantly on the streets with a laurel
crown on his head; and another at Toledo, who would not adventure to goe
abroad unlesse it were in a coach, chariot, or sedane, for fear the
heavens should fall down upon him. I likewise saw one in Saragosa, who,
imagining himself to be the lawfull King of Aragon, went no where
without a scepter in his hand; and another in the kingdome of Granada,
who beleeved he was the valiant Cid that conquered the Mores. At
Messina, in Sicilie, I also saw a man that conceived himself to be the
great Alexander of Macedone, and that in a ten years space he should be
master of all the territories which he subdued; but the best is, that
the better to resemble him he always held his neck awry, which naturally
was streight and upright enough; and another at Venice, who imagined he
was Soveraign of the whole Adriatick Sea, and sole owner of all the
ships that came from the Levante. Of men that fancied themselves to be
women, beasts, trees, stones, pitchers, glasse, angels, and of women
whose strained imaginations have falne upon the like extravagancies,
even in the midst of fire and the extremest pains fortune could inflict
upon them, there is such variety of examples, amongst which I have seen
some at Rome, Naples, Florence, Genua, Paris, and other eminent cities,
that to multiply any moe [more] words therein, were to load your ears
with old wives' tales, and the trivial tattle of idly imployed and
shallow braind humorists."[41]

He also tells, though not in the same connexion, of his having been
witness of the honour and admiration lavished upon one of his
fellow-countrymen, Dr Seaton, by the _élite_ of Parisian society. "I
have seen him," he says, "circled about at the Louvre with a ring of
French lords and gentlemen, who hearkned to his discourse with so great
attention, that none of them, so long as he was pleased to speak, would
offer to interrupt him, to the end that the pearles falling from his
mouth might be the more orderly congested in the several treasures of
their judgements."[42]

Part of his time abroad was devoted to the fascinating occupation of
book-hunting, and he had great pleasure in the spoils he had won. When
they were set in order on shelves in the library of the castle of
Cromartie, he looked on them with the joy which only book-collectors
know. "They were," he says, "like to a compleat nosegay of flowers,
which, in my travels, I had gathered out of the gardens of above sixteen
several kingdoms."[43]


[1] _System of Heraldry_, ii, 274.

[2] Wyntown's narrative is as follows (quoted in Sir William Fraser's
_Earls of Cromartie_):--

    "A nycht he thowcht in hys dreming,
    Dat syttand he wes besyd þe Kyng
    At a Sete in hwnting; swà
    Intil his Leisch had Grewhundys twà.
    He thowcht, quhile he wes swà syttand,
    He sawe thre wemen by gangand;
    And þai wemen þan thowcht he
    Thre werd Systrys mást lyk to be.
    De fyrst he hard say gangand by,
    'Lo yhondyr þe Thayne of Crwmbawchty.'
    De toyir woman sayd agayne,
    'Of Morave yhondyre I se þe Thayne.'
    De thryd þan sayd, 'I se þe Kyng.'
    All þis he herd in hys dreming."

                Wyntown's _Cronykil_, i. 225.

Wyntown's date is about A.D. 1395. Macbeth was killed at Lumphanan by
Macduff, 5th December A.D. 1056.

[3] A charter of lands in Cromartie granted by William de Monte Alto,
between 1252 and 1272, is still in existence. The granter of the
charter, having been owner of Cromartie, was claimed by Sir Thomas
Urquhart as one of his Urquhart ancestors, but with no better authority
than the earlier ancestors who figure in our author's _Pedigree_. See
_Earls of Cromartie_, by Sir William Fraser.

[4] It would seem from this that Urquhart was originally a place-name,
probably Gaelic. There were two parishes of Urquhart in the old province
of Moray--one with a priory near Elgin, and the other with a castle in
what is now Inverness-shire.

[5] "Tutor" here simply means "legal guardian"--for boys until fourteen
years of age, and for girls until twelve. After these ages and before
that of twenty-one such wards are in the charge of "Curators." Owing to
our author's having the same Christian name as his father, the mistake
is often made of asserting that John Urquhart was _his_ tutor.

[6] _Works_, p. 172. In a MS. volume of unpublished poems by Sir Thomas,
which is described on p. 116, there is the following:--"Upon the tutor
of Cromarty, my great-grandfather's younger brother, and my father's

    "The present tyme, the preterit, nor futur
    T' ourselves, our fathers, nor posteritie,
    Do now, have yet, nor will produce a tutor,
    For's Pupils weil of more dexteritie,
      For he left free th' estate he had in charge:
      And by meer industrie did's own enlarge" (iii. 7).

We are sorry to quote a poem of Sir Thomas's at this early stage, before
the atmosphere has been created which is needed for perceiving and
appreciating its true value. The judicious reader will, however, return
to it with interest when that process has been completed.

[7] John Urquhart, "the Tutor of Cromartie," died in 1631, at the age of
eighty-four, and was buried in the old church of King-Edward,
Aberdeenshire, where there is a marble monument to his memory.

[8] _Works_, p. 340.

[9] Another erroneous date is in the edition of the _Tracts_ of 1774,
where 1613 is given as the year of our author's birth.

[10] This is now amongst the Gardenston papers, having been formerly in
the possession of Mr. Dunbar. All account of its contents is given in
_Antiquarian Notes_, by C. Fraser Mackintosh, p. 195. An independent
corroboration of the above date of the marriage is by a document now in
the Register House in Edinburgh (_Aberdeen Sasines_), in which Sir
Thomas Urquhart, senior, gives sasine of the barony of Fisherie to Lady
Christian Elphinstone. The "precept," or clause in the marriage-contract,
which directs the notary to give sasine of the estate settled on the
bride, is also dated the 9th of July, 1606, and in it she is described
as being _in suâ purâ virginitate_. Probably the marriage took place
either on that day or very soon afterwards. The bridegroom was just of
age, while Lady Christian was under sixteen, the date of her birth being
19th December, 1590 (_The Lords Elphinstone_, Fraser, i. 167).

The issue of this marriage were at least the following sons and
daughters:--(l) THOMAS; (2) Alexander; (3) George; (4) John; (5) [name
unknown]; (6) Henry; and (7) Jane, _m._ Sir Alexander Abercromby of
Birkenbog; (8) Helen, _m._ Sir James Gordon of Lesmoir; (9) Annas, _m._
Alexander Strachan of Glenkindie; (10) Margaret, _m._ John Irving of
Brucklay; (11) [name unknown], _m._ ---- Campbell of Calder.

[11] Fisherie is about six miles from Banff.

[12] It is quite possible, however, that, in the parish school of
King-Edward, our author could have got the rudiments of a classical
education. In 1649 (15th Nov.), Mr James Petrie, who was school-master
there, applied for the school of Banff and, as a test of his power, "was
ordeined to teache the sext satyr of Persius to-morrow in the school of
Banf be nyne hours in presence of the bailyies and others in the toune
who wer scholars." He passed through the test successfully, and was
appointed to the office (_Annals of Banff_, ii. 30, New Spalding Club).

[13] The entry of his name as a student on the roll is in the following
terms: "In Academiam regiam Aberdonensem recepti sunt adolescentes
quorum nomina sequuntur, præceptore Alexandro Lunano, Anno 1622.

                        .   .   .

                 Thomas Urquhardus de Cromartie.

                        .   .   .
                                     _Fasti Aberdonenses, 1854._"

[14] _King's College: Officers and Graduates_, by P. J. Anderson, M.A.,
pp. 347, 348.

[15] An "eminent Yorkshire educationist" introduced the same rules into
the establishment under his charge. It is probable, however, that in Mr
Squeers's case the arrangement was the result of independent research
into methods of education, rather than a hint borrowed from Andrew
Melville. "No holidays--none of those ill-judged comings home twice a
year that unsettle children's minds so!" (_Nicholas Nickleby_, chap.

It is only fair to say that there are doubts as to how far the
arrangements under the _Nova Fundatio_, as above described, were in
force in Sir Thomas Urquhart's student days. If the older system were
still in operation, the Alexander Lunan, who is mentioned as his
preceptor, would virtually have taught our author all the subjects
contained in the curriculum through which he passed. As there is no
proof that Alexander Lunan was another Admirable Crichton, the fact of
his doing so would strengthen what we have said above as to the
comparative slightness of the erudition imparted in a university
education in those days. Sir Thomas Urquhart speaks of having "learned
the elements of his philosophy" in the University of Aberdeen under
William Seaton (_Works_, p. 263). It has been suggested that it is an
error for John Seaton, and that it indicates that our author, like many
other students of King's College, took a session or two at Marischal
College (see Anderson's _Fasti Acad. Marisc._ ii. 34, 588).

[16] _Works_, p. 395.

[17] Dr Lesley was successively Humanist, Regent, Sub-Principal, and
Principal of King's College. In 1639 he was deprived of his office by
the Covenanting party.

[18] _Works_, p. 262.

[19] _Works_, p. 263. The editor of the _Book of Bon Accord_ gives a
lower estimate of Dr Guild's character: he says that his works are of no
literary merit, and that he got fame by his wealth and ostentatious
liberality. He was minister of King-Edward before he went to Aberdeen;
and his widow, Catharine Rolland, founded a bursary at the university
for young men belonging to that parish.

[20] _Ibid._ p. 263: see p. 11, note.

[21] Lord Elphinstone died 14th January, 1638. During the four preceding
years his son-in-law had "made ducks and drakes" of his ancestral
possessions. His portrait, which is still preserved at Carberry Tower,
is engraved in Sir William Fraser's work, _The Lords Elphinstone_. It
gives one the impression of a grave, melancholy man. He had fourteen
sons and five daughters. It is to be hoped that none of his sons and no
other of his sons-in-law had the faculty for getting into difficulties
which Sir Thomas Urquhart, senior, displayed.

[22] _Works_, p. 336.

[23] The offence of _forestalling_ consisted in buying merchandise,
victuals, etc., before they appeared in a fair or market-place for sale,
or in taking steps to raise the prices of such things, or in dissuading
anyone coming to market from carrying his goods thither. The amount of
fine for a first offence was, as above, £40 Scots (or £3, 6s. 8d.
Sterling); for a second offence, 100 merks (or £5, 11s., 1d. Sterling);
while for a third offence it was forfeiture of movable goods.

[24] M'Farlane's _Genealogical Collections_, ii. 283. MS. Advocates'

[25] Records of the Court of Justiciary.

[26] It was built in the old turreted style, and defended on the south
by a moat and high wall. When it was taken down, in the surrounding
ground were found human skeletons, and urns containing human remains,
both enclosed in graves made of flags (_Old Stat. Account_).

[27] _Works_, p. 312. "The situation appears in every view most
delightful" (Pococke's _Tour_, 1760).

[28] _Scenes and Legends of the North of Scotland_, pp. 78, 80.

[29] This was a fortalice-tower, with gardens, orchards, dovecots, etc.,
in the south part of Banff, which afterwards came into the possession of
the Earl of Airlie. The bounds are thus described: "The common vennel at
the north, the loch called the Saltlochs at the east, the lands called
Little Guishauch at the south, and the road to Overak at the west."
Shortly before its demolition it was the headquarters of the Duke of
Cumberland's army on its passage to Culloden. Besides this house and the
castle of Cromartie, the Urquharts occasionally occupied their
mansion-house of Fisherie. This stood a few yards to the south-west of
the present farmhouse of Mains of Fisherie. It was taken down some sixty
years ago. Some old trees still stand near the site of the house and

[30] _Annals of Banff_ (New Spalding Club), ii. 28. The old church in
which Sir Thomas had a "desk" or pew, and a "loft" or small gallery, is
now in ruins. Only the south transept is standing. In the parish church
of King-Edward, Aberdeenshire, the handsome silver communion cups bear
an inscription to the effect that they were a joint present from Dr
William Guild, the then incumbent of the parish, Sir Thomas Urquhart,
and his uncle John Urquhart of Craigfintray. That the Sir Thomas
Urquhart here named is not our author but his father, is evident from
the date of the incumbency of his fellow-donor, Dr Guild, who was
minister of King-Edward from 1608 to 1631. The cups bear date of 1619.

[31] _Works_, p. 331.

[32] _Works_, p. 272.

[33] _History of England_, chap. xiii.

[34] "_Scotus est, piper in naso_," Mediæval proverb.

[35] "_Fier comme un Ecossais_," French proverb.

[36] It may be as well to warn our readers at this point that Sir Thomas
Urquhart's vanity, or what would be called vanity in any other man, was
unbounded. So calm and unconscious is it, that it often seems to betray
a disordered mind. Those who seek in his estimates of himself for
illustrations of the grace of humility will seek in vain. They may,
however, find other things, which, if not so edifying, are far more

[37] The reader who has sufficient curiosity and leisure may compare
with the above the account which his contemporary, Lord Herbert of
Cherbury (1581-1648), gives of his duels in his _Autobiography_. That
nobleman was a kind of Sir Thomas Urquhart in water-colour, and his
single combats are surrounded with a proportionately milder glow of
romance. Indeed, they seem to have been generally undertaken in order to
compel impudent young men to give back pieces of riband to charming
young ladies from whom they had snatched them.

[38] _Works_, p. 311.

[39] _Merchant of Venice_, Act I. Scene ii.

[40] _Essays, Civil and Moral_, xviii.

[41] _Works_, p. 364.

[42] _Ibid._ p. 256.

[43] _Works_, p. 402.

                          CHAPTER II

 Recalled Home--The Covenanting Movement--The Trot of Turriff--Our
     Author escapes to England--Is Knighted--Publishes his
     _Epigrams_--His Father's Embarrassments increase--Lesley of
     Findrassie--Death of Sir Thomas Urquhart, senior--Our Author
     struggles in vain to keep his Creditors at bay--Other Wrongs and
     Losses--On bad Terms with the Church.

While Urquhart was engaged in foreign travel, the ecclesiastical and
political controversies in Scotland came to such a height, that it was
evident that matters could only be settled by an appeal to the sword,
and, accordingly, he returned home to assist the party to which his
family adhered. He, doubtless, like Milton, considered it disgraceful
that, while his fellow-countrymen were fighting at home for liberty, he
should be travelling abroad for amusement and intellectual culture. His
father, who had been the first of the Urquharts to give up Roman
Catholicism for Protestantism, took the unpopular side in the conflict
that agitated the Church of Scotland. He was a staunch Episcopalian, and
refused to accept the National Covenant, when those who had voluntarily
and enthusiastically entered into it attempted to coerce others into
following their example, and so turned it into an instrument of tyranny.

The determined efforts of Charles I. and his advisers to make the Church
of Scotland in all respects like the Church of England, were fiercely
opposed, and, for a time, the party which was resolved to make them as
dissimilar as possible prevailed. Episcopacy, liturgy, ancient
ecclesiastical customs and rites, and all that savoured of Prelacy or
Popery, were swept away by the rising flood. Yet, without committing
oneself to the doctrine of passive obedience, it may be doubted whether
the course of policy followed by the Covenanters was either wise or
scriptural. For, notwithstanding the vehement protestations of loyalty
expressed in the National Covenant, armed resistance to the royal
authority was not obscurely hinted at in it. "We," said the subscribers,
"promise and swear by the great name of the Lord our God to continue in
the profession and obedience of the said religion; and that we shall
defend the same, and resist all those contrary errors and corruptions,
according to our vocation, and to the utmost of that power which God
hath put into our hands, all the days of our life." It is quite
possible, it may be hoped, for one to be in sympathy with a certain
political party, and yet to regret that the Church should identify
itself with that party; and it certainly was not in the end a good thing
for the cause of religion that it should have been so closely allied as
it was with party politics in the seventeenth century. "My kingdom is
not of this world," said Christ; "if My kingdom were of this world, then
would My servants fight." "Put up again thy sword into his place," He
said to St Peter, "for all they that take the sword, shall perish with
the sword." It is difficult to see how these clear and emphatic
utterances can be made to harmonise with the resolution not only to use
force in the correction of ecclesiastical abuses and religious errors,
but also to coerce those who were not prepared to follow the same course
of policy.[44]

The Covenanting party were successful beyond their hopes. The influence
of the Marquis of Argyle secured the allegiance to the cause of the
Highlanders in the west of Scotland; while, in Inverness and the region
north of the Moray Firth, the movement was enthusiastically welcomed.
Only one district in Scotland held aloof--that of which Aberdeen was the
centre. The community there had probably but little sympathy with the
innovations which Laud was bent upon bringing in, but they had still
less with the Covenant. They were attached to the modified form of
Episcopacy which had now existed in Scotland since the Reformation
(with the exception of the years between 1592 and 1610), in which the
bishops were little more than permanent moderators of Presbyteries, and
were subject to the General Assembly, and in which the ritual was of a
very simple character.

As a University and Cathedral city, and the residence of a large number
of wealthy landed proprietors, Aberdeen occupied a position of great
importance in Scotland, and was by no means under the command of the
capital. The heads of the Covenanting party very speedily found it
necessary to take steps for bringing this corner of the kingdom into
subjection to themselves. They could scarcely hope to succeed in
overcoming the powerful forces at the command of the English Government,
if they were to allow this enemy to remain undisturbed in their rear.

Accordingly, at a very early stage in the proceedings, they attempted to
gain over to their side the great territorial magnate of the district,
the Marquis of Huntly, who, from his rank and wealth and hereditary
loyalty to the throne, was likely to be the leader of the King's party
in the North. Had they succeeded, they would virtually have had the
whole country at their back, for the community of Aberdeen, and the few
neighbouring lairds, who, like Sir Thomas Urquhart, refused to accept
the Covenant, would not have dared to resist the national policy by
force of arms. In the negotiations between the Covenanting leaders and
the Marquis of Huntly, we have an illustration of the very muddy roads
along which religion is dragged, when it forms an alliance with a
political party. It is certainly with somewhat of a shock that one who
is under the impression that all the Covenanters were saints of a very
spiritually-minded type, learns of the grim option which they offered to
their possible opponent. Colonel Robert Munro, who had seen service in
Germany, was appointed to wait upon the Marquis at Strathbogie, and to
acquaint him with the resolutions to which the Covenanters had come.
"The sum of his commission to Huntly was," we are told, "that the
noblemen Covenanters were desirous that he should join with them in the
common cause; that, if he would do so, and take the Covenant, they would
give him the first place, and make him leader of their forces; and,
further, they would make his state and his fortunes greater than ever
they were; and, moreover, they should pay off and discharge all his
debts, which they knew to be about one hundred thousand pounds sterling;
that their forces and associates were a hundred to one [in comparison]
with the king; and, therefore, it was to no purpose to him to take up
arms against them, for if he refused this offer and declared against
them, they should find means to disable him for to help the king; and,
moreover, they knew how to undo him, and bade him to expect that they
will ruinate his family and estates." The hands were, perhaps, the hands
of Christian, the voice was certainly the voice of Mr Worldly Wiseman!

The reply of the Marquis was admirable for the spirit of generosity and
chivalry which it breathed. "To this proposition," we are told, "Huntly
gave a short and resolute repartee, that his family had risen and stood
by the kings of Scotland; and for his part, if the event proved the ruin
of this king, he was resolved to lay his life, honours, and estate under
the rubbish of the king's ruins."[45]

Though Sir Thomas Urquhart, senior, was a staunch Episcopalian and a
devoted Royalist, the circumstances in which he was placed forbade his
aiding the ecclesiastical and political causes which were dear to him
with more than good wishes. He was surrounded by neighbours of the
opposite party,[46] and isolated from those with whom he would gladly
have co-operated. Consequently, it remained for his eldest son, our
author, who apparently was residing at that time at Balquholly Castle,
in Aberdeenshire, where the adherents of the Royalist cause were
numerous, to play a more heroic part.

Between the date of the signing of the Covenant and that of the meeting
of the General Assembly in Glasgow in 1638, The Tables, for such was the
name by which the executive government established by the revolutionary
party was designated, decided to subdue the city of Aberdeen and the
neighbouring country, and to compel the people there to accept the
Covenant. Before resorting to force, however, an attempt was made to
persuade. A committee of three eminent clergymen, Henderson, Dickson,
and Cant, with the Earl of Montrose as president, was sent north to deal
with the somewhat unimpressible Aberdonians. The hospitable corporation
of the northern city invited the visitors to a banquet of wine, but
their invitation was scornfully declined. The deputation "would drink
with none till first the Covenant was subscribed." Such incivility was
new in the history of the city, and a very satisfactory rebuke was given
to it by the materials for the proposed banquet being distributed among
the poor. It can be easily imagined that after this unsatisfactory
beginning the sermons delivered by the clerical deputation fell upon
unsympathetic ears, and made but few converts. "The commissioners had
one powerful ally in the town, in the person of Earl Marischal, the son
of the founder of the College, who had died in 1623; and, when they were
refused licence to preach in the city churches, they adjourned to his
residence at the north end of what is now Marischal Street. The mansion
consisted of several buildings with galleries surrounding a courtyard,
and from these galleries the three Covenanting ministers held forth from
eight o'clock in the morning till four in the afternoon, trying to
convince the people of the truth of the Covenant. The children of
granite, however, proved absolutely impervious to the 'apostles,' whom
they scornfully pelted with mud."[47]

A paper-war, which attracted considerable notice, sprang up between the
commissioners and six of the Aberdeen clergy--popularly designated in
contemporary literature as "the Aberdeen Doctors."[48] In this warfare
the representatives of the Covenanting party came off rather badly. "The
position taken by the Doctors," says John Hill Burton, "is the
unassailable one of the dry sarcastic negative. Whatever the Covenant
might be--good or bad--and whatever right its approvers had to bind
themselves to it, how were they entitled to force it on those who
desired it not? And when their adversaries became eloquent on its
conformity to Scripture and the privileges of the Christian Church, the
Doctors ever went back to the same negative position--even if it were
so, which we do not admit, yet why force it upon us?"[49]

Early in the following year, 1639, The Tables resolved to suppress the
northern Malignants, as they were called, before preparing to enter on a
campaign against their enemy in the south, and thus save themselves
from the dangers involved in having an enemy in their rear. The Earl of
Montrose went north at the head of a considerable body of troops, and
took possession of Aberdeen. The opponents of the Covenant fled from the
city, and Huntly, the leader of the Royalists, felt unable to offer
effective resistance. In spite of a safe-conduct granted him by Montrose
on his coming in to a conference, he was taken prisoner to Edinburgh and
lodged in the Castle.

This kidnapping of the Royalist chief caused great irritation; and upon
a rumour of the fleet's coming to the Firth of Forth, and of the Royal
army's approach to the Scottish border, the northern Royalists, of whom
our Sir Thomas Urquhart was one, resolved to take arms on the King's
side. The first mention of our author in history is in connexion with
this rising; and the annalist Spalding relates two exciting incidents
that occurred in one week, in both of which he took part.

The first, which happened on Friday, the 10th of May, was an attempt
made by him and some of the other Royalist lairds or "barons," as they
are called,[50] to take the castle of Towie-Barclay,[51] in
Aberdeenshire. It seems that the lairds of Delgatie and Towie-Barclay
had plundered the house of Balquholly,[52] which was occupied by our
author, and carried off a large supply of "muskets, guns, and
carabines." Sir Thomas was not a man to submit quietly to such an
outrage as this; and, doubtless, to his desire for vengeance was added a
strong wish to get possession of the firearms, now that there was a good
cause to be defended and brave men to use the weapons. They had intended
to surprise the castle, but when they came to it they found the gates
shut, and the place strongly guarded. Lord Fraser and the eldest son of
Lord Forbes had already known that an attempt was to be made to recover
the weapons, and had manned the castle so effectually that the idea of
storming it was out of the question. A few shots were exchanged, and
then the attacking party rode away. The only casualty was the death of a
David Prott, who was a servant of the laird of Gight,[53] one of
Urquhart's friends. "This," the historian remarks, "was the first time
that blood was drawn here since the beginning of the Covenant."[54]

Four days after, a more serious encounter took place between the two
forces. The Covenanters of the north had decided to assemble in force,
and fixed upon Turriff, in Aberdeenshire, as their headquarters. The
Royalists drew to a head at Strathbogie, some eleven miles off, and
resolved to disperse their opponents. The Covenanting party was about
twelve hundred strong, and the Royalists about eight hundred, but the
latter had four brass cannon, which very materially strengthened them as
an attacking force. They were under the leadership of skilful officers,
among whom Arthur Forbes of Blacktown [in King-Edward] is specially
mentioned. Sir Thomas himself informs us that, "having obtained, though
with a great deal of pain, a fifteen hundreth [hundred] subscriptions to
a bond conceived and drawn up in opposition of the vulgar [popular]
Covenant, he selected from amongst them so many as he thought fittest
for holding hand to [taking in hand] the dissolving of their committees
and unlawful meetings."[55]

About ten o'clock on the night of Monday, the 13th of May, they started
for Turriff, marching in a "very quiet and sober manner," and by
daybreak managed to steal upon the village by an unguarded path. The
sound of trumpets and of drums aroused the unsuspecting Covenanters to
the fact that they had been fairly surprised. "Some were sleeping,
others drinking, and smoaking tobacco, others walking up and down." A
few volleys of musketry, and a few shots discharged from the cannon,
served to disperse them, and the village was taken possession of by the
attacking force. It was but a slight skirmish,[56] in which three men
were killed, two of the Covenanters, and one of the Royalists; but it
was the first of the battles in the great Civil War, which raged for so
many years, and deluged with blood so many fruitful plains in each of
the three kingdoms. On this account "the Trot of Turriff," as it was
called, should not be forgotten.

After this victory, the Royalists being masters of the village, the
common soldiers, who were hungry after their night's march, plundered
the houses of those they thought were Covenanters, and supplied
themselves with meat and drink. The greatest loss fell upon the
minister, Mr Mitchell, who, however, received very liberal compensation
from Parliament in the following year. They next gathered as many of the
inhabitants of Turriff together as they could find, and made them accept
and subscribe the King's Covenant.[57] This device for securing
adherents was, however, ineffectual, for, a few weeks later, those who
had sworn to the King's Covenant, on a declaration that they had acted
under compulsion, were solemnly absolved by their minister from all
obligation to keep it.

The Royalist leaders now began to think of further projects, as the
number of their followers increased after the victory at Turriff. They
lost no time in marching upon Aberdeen, and in quartering themselves
upon its inhabitants, especially upon those who were known to belong to
the Covenanting party. In a few days, however, they found their position
untenable. A considerable number of their Highland forces disbanded, and
marched away to their homes, plundering as they went--"a thing," the
historian remarks, "verye usuall with them." The others retreated from
Aberdeen, when the Covenanting army under the Earl Marischal entered the
city, on the 23rd of May, 1639.

A small number of prominent Royalists,[58] of whom our Sir Thomas was
one, now resolved to leave Scotland, where the cause to which they were
devoted was at such a low ebb. A ship, belonging to one Andrew Findlay,
had been kept in readiness for an emergency like this, and on it they
embarked hastily, and sailed away to England, to offer their services to
Charles I. "Urquhart," says Dr Irving, "who professes to have launched
forth in the view of six hundred of his enemies, was, within two days,
landed at Berwick, where he found the Marquis of Hamilton, and delivered
to him a letter from the leaders of the northern Royalists. He had
likewise undertaken to be the bearer of despatches to the King,
containing the signatures of the same chieftains; and, having proceeded
to the royal quarters, he obtained an audience of His Majesty, and
explained to him their past exertions and future plans for his service.
He appears to have been satisfied with his own reception, and the
written answer 'gave great contentment to all the gentlemen of the north
that stood for the king.'"[59]

In one of our author's tracts, published in 1652, we have a pedigree of
the family of Urquhart. Under his own name he states that "he was
knighted by King Charles, in Whitehall Gallery, in the yeer 1641, the 7
of April." In the same year he first made his appearance as an author in
the publication of his three books of _Epigrams, Moral and Divine_, of
which a fuller notice will be found in a later chapter. Let us now for a
little leave Sir Thomas, happy in his sovereign's favour, his head
encircled with the ivy-wreath that clothes the brows of learned poets,
and his eye fixed upon a prominent crag of Mount Parnassus as henceforth
specially his own, and turn to his father, whose golden dreams have long
since fled away, and left him but the dreariest and shabbiest prose.

For thirty-six years the elder Sir Thomas had been in possession of the
ample estates of the house of Urquhart, and during nearly the whole of
this time the country had been at peace, so that he had no one but
himself to blame for the impoverished condition in which they were when
his son received them. The latter described the state of matters in the
following terms: "All he bequeathed unto me, his eldest Son, in matter
of worldly means, was twelve or thirteen thousand pounds sterling of
debt, five brethren all men, and two sisters almost mariageable, to
provide for, and lesse to defray all this burden with by six hundred
pounds sterling a year, although [_i.e._ even if] the warres had not
prejudiced me in a farthing, then [than] what for the maintaining of
himself alone in a peaceable age he inherited for nothing."[60]

So exasperated was the old man by the importunity of his creditors, that
at last, we are told, the sound of one of their voices was in his ears
as "the hissing of a basilisk." The great Civil war itself, which
brought calamity and grief to so many homes, was almost welcomed by him
for the relief it brought him from the "hornings" and "apprisings," and
other legal processes, which threatened him in times of peace. "The
disorderly troubles of the land," says his son of him, "being then far
advanced, though otherways he disliked them, were a kind of refreshment
to him, and intermitting relaxation from a more stinging disquietnesse.
For that our intestin troubles and distempers, by silencing the laws
for a while, gave some repose to those that longed for a breathing time,
and by hudling up the terms of Whitsuntide and Martimass, which in
Scotland are the destinated times for payment of debts, promiscuously
with the other seasons of the year, were as an oxymel julip wherewith to
indormiat them in a bitter sweet security."[61]

The most importunate of all the creditors, or, as Urquhart describes
them, "the usurious cormorants," who harassed the unhappy proprietor of
Cromartie, was a certain Robert Lesley of Findrassie. He held a mortgage
upon the estate, and though he was indebted to its owner for many acts
of kindness, he had been the first to foreclose upon the property, and
had persuaded other creditors to join with him in taking this step. The
annoyance and mortification caused by these proceedings hastened Sir
Thomas's death. Two days before that event, animated by regret for the
wrong he had done his heir by the impoverishment of the family property,
he assembled his younger children, and bound them, "under pain of his
everlasting curse and execration," to do all in their power to help
their elder brother. The terms of this extraordinary bond, his son tells
us, were these: "to assist, concur with, follow, and serve me, to the
utmost of their power, industry, and means, and to spare neither charge
nor travel, though it should cost them all they had, to release me from
the undeserved bondage of the domineering creditor, and extricate my
lands from the impestrements wherein they were involved; yea, to bestow
nothing of their owne upon no other use, till that should be done; and
all this under their own handwriting, secured with the clause of
registration to make the opprobrie the more notorious in case of
failing, as the paper itself, which I have _in retentis_, together with
another signed to the same sense, by my mother, and also my brothers and
sisters, Dunbugur [Dunlugas][62] only excepted, will more evidently
testifie."[63] Sir Thomas Urquhart, the elder, died in April [?], 1642,
after a long and lingering illness.[64]

Our author now returned home to enter on possession of his estates, and
to attempt to reduce to something like order the chaos in which the
family affairs were. He resolved to commit the management of his
property to trustees, who, after paying his mother's jointure, were to
devote the whole of the rest of the rents to the reduction of debt. He
himself went to live on the Continent, in the hope that in a few years
he would be able to return home and enjoy his inheritance unencumbered
by debt. These proceedings, with the disappointing results that followed
them, are related in a passage of his _Logopandecteision_, which is
worth quoting. "Immediately after my father's decease," he says, "for my
better expedition in the discharge of those burthens, having repaired
homewards, I did sequestrate the whole rent (my mother's joynture
excepted) to that use only, and, as I had done many times before, betook
myself to my hazards abroad, that by vertue of the industry and
diligence of those whom, by the advise and deliberation of my nearest
friends, I was induced to intrust with my affairs, the debt might be the
sooner defrayed, and the ancient house releeved out of the thraldome it
was so unluckily faln into. But it fell out so far otherwayes, that
after some few years residence abroad, without any considerable expence
from home, when I thought, because of my having mortified and set apart
all the rent to no other end then [than] the cutting off and defalking
of my father's debt, that accordingly a great part of my father's debt
had been discharged, I was so far disappointed of my expectation therin,
that whilst, conform to the confidence reposed in him whom I had
intrusted with my affairs, I hoped to have been exonered and relieved of
many creditors, the debt was only past over and transferred from one in
favours of another, or rather of many in the favours of one, who, though
he formerly had gained much at my father's hands, was notwithstanding at
the time of his decease none of his creditors, nor at any time mine; my
Egyptian bondage by such means remaining still the same, under task
masters different only in name, and the rents neverthelesse taken up to
the full, to my no small detriment and prejudice of the house standing
in my person. The aime of some of those I concredited [committed] my
weightiest adoes [affairs] unto, being, as is most conspicuously
apparent, that I should never reap the fruition nor enjoyment of any
portion, parcell, or pendicle of the estate of my predecessors, unlesse
by my fortune and endeavours in forrain countries, I should be able to
acquire as much as might suffice to buy it, as we say, out of the
ground. And verily," he concludes, "though not in relation to these
ignoble and unworthy by-ends, it was my purpose and resolution to have
done so, which assuredly, had not the turbulent divisions of the time
been such as to have crossed and thwarted the atchievements of more
faisible projects, I would have accomplished two or three severall ways
ere now."[65]

One is inclined to wonder what the two or three lucrative undertakings
were, which this Highland gentleman had in view when he spoke in this
way of the practicability of making enough money to purchase back his
estates. "What song the syrens sang," says Sir Thomas Browne, "or what
name Achilles assumed when he hid himself among women, though puzzling
questions are not beyond all conjecture." But even as wise a man as Sir
Thomas Browne might well pause before venturing on a conjecture in
connection with this matter.

In one of the official records of the time,[66] there is an entry which
shows that Urquhart was resident in London in 1644. On the 9th May of
that year he is assessed for a forced loan at £1000; and, on the 16th of
the same month, there is an order for him to be brought up in custody to
pay his assessment; while, on the 21st, it is noted that his assessment
is "respited till he shall speak with the Scottish committee and take
further orders, be engaging to appear whenever required." He no doubt
proved to the committee that he had no property in London, but was only
a sojourner there, and was accordingly virtually discharged. His place
of residence in London at this time was Clare Street,[67] then newly
erected upon St Clement's Inn Fields, on the east side of Drury Lane,
and called after John Holles,[68] second Earl of Clare, whose town-house
was near by.

Sir Thomas Urquhart now resolved to take the management of his own
affairs, and, if possible, so to conduct matters as to secure
subsistence for himself, as well as satisfaction for his father's
creditors; and, in the year 1645, he went to live in the ancestral home
at Cromartie. His rental still amounted to £1000 Sterling a year, which
represents about £7000 in our time, but a debt of twelve or thirteen
years' income was a very serious burden upon such an estate.

There can be little doubt that the entanglement in which the financial
affairs of the house of Urquhart were involved became none the less
confused and confusing when the gallant knight applied himself to
unravel it. That was scarcely a task for which he was fitted. Much more
appropriate would it have been for him to draw the sword, like
Alexander, and cut the Gordian knot. Perhaps his failure, as in another
well-known case,[69] is partly to be attributed to his not having had a
legal adviser, familiar with the intricacies of the law, and able to
prevent his creditors getting more than their pound of flesh, if not to
save even that from them. Charles I. once said that he knew as much law
as a gentleman ought to know. Sir Thomas Urquhart seems to have had a
somewhat similar acquaintance with the same subject, and this, like that
of the person mentioned in the footnote on the preceding page, was
probably acquired "as a defendant on civil process." There can be no
doubt that he "made an effort" more than once. In vain did he have
recourse to "pecunial charms, and holy water out of Plutus' cellar."[70]
The charms were indeed potent, but they were not applied long enough;
the holy water was composed of the right ingredients, but there was too
little of it in the cellars at Cromartie. He could not, with all his
struggles, succeed in curing what the Limousin scholar in Rabelais calls
"the penury of pecune in the marsupie" [_i.e._ the want of money in the
purse]--that complaint which is so mortifying to the pride of any
gentleman, but which is specially exasperating to a Highland gentleman.
His cares and distresses, or, as he calls them, his "solicitudinary and
luctiferous discouragements," were enough "to appall the most undaunted
spirits, and kill a very Paphlagonian partridge, that is said to have
two hearts."[71]

Probably Sir Thomas Urquhart was harshly dealt with by his father's
creditors, though, of course, it is possible that in the story as told
by them they would appear in a more favourable light. They had to do
with a man who was unpractical and fantastical in the highest degree,
and morbidly sensitive in all matters that seemed to lower his dignity
or to cast a slur upon his honour. His brains seethed with plans for the
improvement of agriculture, trade, and education, but none of these did
the importunity of his creditors permit him to carry into effect. "Truly
I may say," he complains, "that above ten thousand severall times I have
by these flagitators been interrupted for money, which never came to my
use, directly or indirectly one way or other, at home or abroad, any one
time whereof I was busied about speculations of greater consequence then
[than] all that they were worth in the world; from which, had I not been
violently pluck'd away by their importunity, I would have emitted to
publick view above five hundred several treatises on inventions never
hitherto thought upon by any."[72] Before his imagination there floated
the dream of what he might have been, and his mind alternated between
passionate remonstrances against his unfortunate circumstances and
delusive hopes and anticipations.

The editor of the Maitland Club edition of Urquhart's works truly
remarks that there is a melancholy earnestness, almost approaching
insanity, in his wild speculations on what he might have done for
himself and his country but for the weight of worldly incumbrances.
"Even so," he says, "may it be said of myself, that when I was most
seriously imbusied about the raising of my own and countrie's reputation
to the supremest reach of my endeavours, then did my father's creditors,
like so many millstones hanging at my heels, pull down the vigour of my
fancie, and violently hold that under, what [which] other wayes would
have ascended above the sublimest regions of vulgar conception."[73]

So convinced was he that the schemes and inventions with which his
thoughts were occupied were of immense value, that he declared that he
ought to have the benefit of that Act of James III. (36th statute of his
fifth Parliament) which provides that the debtor's movable goods be
first "valued and discussed before his lands be apprised." He claimed
this as a right from the State; "and if," he says, "conform to the
aforesaid Act, this be granted, I doe promise shortly to display before
the world, ware of greater value then [than] ever from the East Indias
was brought in ships to Europe."[74] But unfortunately the Philistines
were too strong for him.

To these pecuniary difficulties were added annoyances and wrongs, which
the meekest of mankind, among whom Sir Thomas is not to be reckoned,
would have found it hard to bear.

Mention has already been made of Robert Lesley of Findrassie, the most
relentless of all the creditors, who, according to Sir Thomas
Urquhart's account of matters, made life bitter for him, and defeated
his many schemes for the benefit of the human race. The injurious
proceedings of this man form a subject which our author can never leave
for any length of time, and to which it is necessary for his biographer
to revert occasionally. His unfortunate debtor found a certain grim
satisfaction, as well as an opportunity for gratifying his taste for
genealogical research, in tracing Robert's descent from a celebrated
murderer--that Norman Lesley whose hands were dipped in the blood of
Cardinal Beaton. It is certain, however, that there was no real
foundation for this opinion.[75]

Unless Robert Lesley is a much-maligned man, his conduct towards the son
of his patron was both rapacious and ungrateful. On one occasion at
least he acted in a very high-handed manner. "With all the horse and
foot he was able to command," says Sir Thomas, "he came in a hostile
manner to take possession of a farm of mine called Ardoch; unto which
... he had no more just title then [than] to the town of Jericho
mentioned in the Scriptures; and at the offer of such an indignity to
our house, some of the hot-spirited gentlemen of our name would even
then have taken him, with his three sons, bound them hand and foot, and
thrown them within the flood-mark, into a place called the Yares of
Udol, there to expect the coming of the sea in a full tide, to carry him
along to be seized in a soil of a greater depth, and abler to restrain
the insatiableness of his immense desires, then [than] any of my lands
within the shire of Cromartie." Sir Thomas, according to his own
account, hindered the perpetration of this violence, and gave his enemy
and those who accompanied him "a pass and safe-conduct to their own

Yet so far was the caitiff creditor from being touched by this proof of
magnanimity on the part of his debtor, that he applied himself with
renewed vigour to the concoction of schemes for his total destruction.
So at least Sir Thomas would have us believe. On one occasion Lesley
tried to inveigle him to Inverness, with the intention of having him
arrested at the suit of an accomplice--James Sutherland, "Tutor of
Duffus"--and kept in durance until he had satisfied all his enemy's
demands. On another occasion Lesley managed to get a troop of horse
quartered upon the tenants of Cromartie, till, says our author, "I
should transact for a sum, of money to be paid to his son-in-law; which
verily was the greater part of his portion."[77] In addition to this, a
garrison was stationed for nearly a year in the castle of Cromartie,
where they conducted themselves in a way calculated to wound and
humiliate the proud spirit of its proprietor. Among other wrongs and
losses inflicted upon him was the sequestration of his library, which he
had collected with such pains. Sir Thomas says that he sought eagerly
to be allowed to purchase back the precious volumes, but was hindered by
the spitefulness and indifference of those to whom he made application,
and was ultimately able to secure only a few of them, which had been
stolen from the collection and dispersed through the country.[78]

In an amusing passage in the _Logopandecteision_, our author gives us a
specimen of the peculiarities of speech which distinguished his
arch-enemy, Lesley of Findrassie. As we read it we seem to hear the very
tones in which he enunciated or defended his "felonious little plans."
"Several gentlemen of good account," he says, "and others of his
familiar acquaintance, having many times very seriously expostulated
with him why he did so implacably demean himself towards me, and with
such irreconciliability of rancor, that nothing could seem to please him
that was consistent with my weal, his answers most readily were these:
'I have (see ye?) many daughters (see ye?) to provide portions for, (see
ye?), and that (see ye now?) cannot be done, (see ye?) without money;
the interest (see ye?) of what I lent, (see ye?), had it been termely
[regularly] payed, (see ye?), would have afforded me (see ye now?)
several stocks for new interests; I have (see ye?) apprized[79] lands
(see ye?) for these summes (see ye?) borrowed from me, (see ye now?),
and (see ye?) the legal [time] being expired, (see ye now?), is it not
just (see ye?) and equitable (see ye?) that I have possession (see ye?)
of these my lands, (see ye?), according to my undoubted right, (see ye
now?)?' With these over-words of 'see ye' and 'see ye now,' as if they
had been no less material then [than] the Psalmist's _Selah_, and
_Higgaion Selah_, did he usually nauseate the ears of his hearers when
his tongue was in the career of uttering anything concerning me; who
alwayes thought that he had very good reason to make use of such like
expressions, 'do you see' and 'do you see now,' because there being but
little candour in his meaning, whatever he did or spoke was under some

It must have been very hard for the proud-hearted chieftain to see his
farms devastated, his tenants maltreated, his library thrown to the
winds, a garrison placed in his house, and troops of horse quartered
upon his lands without any allowance, in addition to all the misery and
impoverishment which his father's wastefulness and neglect had brought
down upon his head.

In 1647 an event occurred which seriously affected the interests of our
author, and placed him in a still more humiliating position. Sir Robert
Farquhar[81] of Mounie had "apprised" the estate and sheriffship of
Cromartie, and was now confirmed in the possession of them. He proceeded
to sell his rights to (Sir) John Urquhart of Craigfintray, the
great-grandson of the Tutor of Cromartie. Immediately upon this (Sir)
John purchased a commission from Charles I. to become hereditary Sheriff
of Cromartie. In this way the ancestral domains and jurisdiction of
which Sir Thomas Urquhart was so proud virtually passed out of his
hands. It was not, however, till after the Restoration apparently that
the new proprietor entered into possession. He evidently allowed his
claims to lie dormant until the death of his cousin, Sir Thomas, and
then put them in force. Even if our author had no other troubles to
contend with, the knowledge that this Damoclean sword was suspended
above his head would have been enough to destroy his peace.

No doubt Sir Thomas sometimes thought that he was the most unlucky
chieftain the Urquhart race had yet known,--that such a multitude of
misfortunes had never come upon one who bore his name since that day
when, on a sunny plain in Achaia, wild armed men first raised Esormon
"aloft on the buckler-throne, and with clanging armour and hearts"
hailed him as "fortunate and well-beloved."[82] Sir Theodore Martin,
indeed, says that Urquhart's statements with regard to his misfortunes
should not be construed to the letter, any more than should the
announcements of his wonderful inventions and designs. They were both,
he considers, in a great degree pet objects on which he had permitted
his imagination to rest, till they had been transfigured into a
magnitude to which the reality probably bore but a faint
resemblance.[83] There is, however, ample evidence in what we have
already quoted, to show that certain of the grievances he complained of
were by no means imaginary. It is beyond dispute that he suffered
heavily in his property in consequence of his adherence to the Royalist
cause. In 1663 his brother, Sir Alexander, presented a petition asking
compensation for the losses suffered in the time of his father and
brother. The Commissioners appointed to examine into these claims
reported that, before 1650, the damage inflicted upon the Urquhart
property amounted to £20,303 Scots, and during 1651-52 to £39,203
Scots--in all £59,506 Scots, which is almost £5000 Sterling.[84]

The relations of Sir Thomas Urquhart with the ministers of the churches
of which he was patron were unfortunately of a painful character. The
grounds of misunderstanding and dispute were numerous. In addition to
political and ecclesiastical differences of opinion between the
ministers of the three parishes[85] (of which Sir Thomas was the sole
heritor) and himself, there were disputes about augmentation of
stipends,[86] which they thought inadequate but with which he had no
fault to find, the abolition of his heritable right to the patronage of
these churches, the legal proceedings taken by the incumbents to compel
him to agree to arrangements decided upon by the Presbytery with regard
to stipends and the upkeep of buildings, and there were also personal
quarrels with the ministers themselves. In the following passage he
tells his side of the story, and gives us a vivid, though not an
edifying glimpse of the parochial politics of that far-off time and
remote corner of Scotland. It is to be noticed that Sir Thomas writes
of himself in the third person. "I think," says the supposed anonymous
writer of him, "there be hardly any in Scotland that proportionably hath
suffered more prejudice by the Kirk then [than] himself; his own
ministers (to wit, those that preach in the churches whereof himself is
patron, Master Gilbert Anderson, Master Robert Williamson, and Master
Charles Pape by name, serving the cures of Cromartie, Kirkmichel, and
Cullicudden), having done what lay in them for the furtherance of their
owne covetous ends, to his utter undoing; for the first of those three,
for no other cause but that the said Sir Thomas would not authorize the
standing of a certain pew (in that country called a desk), in the church
of Cromarty, put in without his consent by a professed enemy to his
House, who had plotted the ruine thereof, and one that had no land in
the parish, did so rail against him and his family in the pulpit at
several times, both before his face and in his absence, and with such
opprobrious termes, more like a scolding tripe-seller's wife then [than]
good minister, squirting the poyson of detraction and abominable
falshood (unfit for the chaire of verity) in the cares of his tenandry,
who were the onely auditors, did most ingrately and despightfully so
calumniate and revile their master, his own patron and benefactor, that
the scandalous and reproachful words striving which of them should first
discharge against him its steel-pointed dart, did oftentimes, like
clusters of hemlock or wormewood dipt in vinegar, stick in his throat;
he being almost ready to choak with the aconital bitterness and venom
thereof, till the razor of extream passion, by cutting them into
articulate sounds, and very rage it self, in the highest degree, by
procuring a vomit, had made him spue them out of his mouth into rude,
indigested lumps, like so many toads and vipers that had burst their

"As for the other two, notwithstanding that they had been borne, and
their fathers before them, vassals to his house, and the predecessor of
one of them had shelter in that land, by reason of slaughter committed
by him, when there was no refuge for him anywhere else in Scotland; and
that the other had never been admitted to any church had it not been for
the favour of his foresaid patron, who, contrary to the will of his owne
friends and great reluctancy of the ministry it self, was both the
nominater and chuser of him to that function; and that before his
admission he did faithfully protest he should all the days of his life
remain contented with that competency of portion the late incumbent in
that charge did enjoy before him; they nevertheless behaved themselves
so peevishly and unthankfully towards their forenamed patron and master,
that, by vertue of an unjust decree, both procured and purchased from a
promiscuous knot of men like themselves,[88] they used all their utmost
endeavours, in absence of their above recited patron, to whom and unto
whose house they had been so much beholding, to outlaw him,[89] and
declare him rebel, by open proclamation at the market-cross of the head
town of his owne shire, in case he did not condescend [consent] to the
grant of that augmentation of stipend which they demanded, conforme to
the tenour of the above-mentioned decree; the injustice whereof will
appeare when examined by any rational judge.

"Now the best is, when by some moderate gentlemen it was expostulated,
why against their master, patron, and benefactor, they should have dealt
with such severity and rigour, contrary to all reason and equity; their
answer was, They were inforced and necessitated so to do by the synodal
and presbyterial conventions of the Kirk, under paine of deprivation,
and expulsion from their benefices: I will not say, κακου κόρακοϛ
κακὸν ὠόν [an evil egg of an evil crow], but may safely think that a
well-sanctified mother will not have a so ill-instructed brat, and that
_injuria humana_ cannot be the lawfull daughter of a _jure divino_

Sir Thomas Urquhart is not to be taken as infallible in the opinions
which he formed and expressed concerning the quality of the sermons
which were delivered from the Presbyterian pulpits of his time. But
there can be no doubt that he hits upon one great fault by which many of
them were marred--that of being rather political harangues than
exhortations to godliness after the Pauline fashion. Indeed, he goes so
far as to say that, as a rule, the preachers of his time seldom gave
such exhortations, as they were "enjoyned by their ecclesiastical
authority [authorities?] to preach to the times,[91] that is, to rail
against malignants and sectaries, or those whom they suppose to be their
enemies."[92] Preaching "to the times" Sir Thomas found meant in his
neighbourhood preaching against _him_; and one may be allowed, it is to
be hoped, without unduly wounding the feelings of those who admire the
Covenanters, to think sympathetically of his sufferings. Sydney Smith
once spoke of a form of capital punishment in which the victim was to be
"preached to death by wild curates." If the above description of Mr
Gilbert Anderson's sermons be true, he certainly was eminently qualified
to officiate as one of the executioners in carrying out such a death

But though Sir Thomas Urquhart was a Royalist in politics, and an
Episcopalian in religion, he was certainly no bigot in his devotion to
the King or the Church. In a passage in _The Jewel_, he plainly declares
his belief "that there is no government, whether ecclesiastical or
civil, upon earth that is _jure divino_, if that divine right be taken
in a sense secluding all other forms of government, save it alone, from
the privilege of that title."[94] Indeed, he treats such an idea as
merely a pious fraud, by which despotism is established and maintained
at a very cheap rate over tender consciences by threatening them with
the vengeance of Heaven in case of disobedience. Such a man was not
likely to be a blind partisan of any cause. Differences in religious
beliefs and practices he attributed to differences of temperament among
individuals, and to climatic and national peculiarities; and in no
obscure terms he hints that he was of the opinion of Tamerlane, "who
believed that God was best pleased with diversity of religions, variety
of worship, dissentaneousness of faith, and multiformity of
devotion."[95] However powerfully such opinions may appeal to a certain
class of minds, it is hard to conceive of their being associated with
deep religious feeling; and accordingly we can scarcely be wrong in
concluding that one of the reasons why Sir Thomas Urquhart held aloof
from the Covenanting movement was that he was at the antipodes to the
majority of his fellow-countrymen in the matter of religious belief. A
certain measure of aversion, suspicion, and horror is still manifested
by many towards those whose creed is supposed to be of too limited and
negative a character; and we can easily believe that in the middle of
the seventeenth century this attitude was taken up even more openly and
emphatically. On a later occasion, when, as we shall relate, Sir Thomas
Urquhart applied to the Commission of the General Assembly to pardon his
having taken part in the capture of Inverness, his case was referred to
the minister of that town, Mr John Annand, "that he might confer with
him [Sir Thomas] concerning some dangerous opinions, which, as is
informed, he hes sometimes vented."[96] In the view of the Commission of
Assembly the guilt of cherishing "dangerous opinions" was as great as
that of rekindling the flames of civil war, if, indeed, it did not
surpass it.


[44] The utter chaos which resulted from the fusion of religion and
politics may be estimated from the fact that, in the October of 1650,
there were in the narrow bounds of Scotland four different armies, at
enmity with each other, and each prepared to maintain with the sword a
different cause, namely, the Scottish (Presbyterian) army under General
Lesley, for King and Covenant combined; the English (Independent) army,
under Cromwell, which was against both; the Highland army, under General
Middleton, which was for the King without the Covenant; and the
Westland, or ultra-Covenanting army, which was for the Covenant without
the King.

[45] Gordon's _Scots Affairs_, i. 49, 50. James Gordon (? 1615-1686) was
minister of Rothiemay in Banffshire. His _History of Scots Affairs from
1637 to 1641_ is one of the principal authorities for this period. It
has no pretensions to style, but is correct and impartial. It was first
published in 1841 by the Spalding Club.

[46] Early in the year 1638 some account was given to King Charles of
the chief persons in the north of Scotland whom he might regard as
faithful to his cause. "In Rosse," it was said, "Sir Thomas Urqhward,
Sheriff of Cromerty, with his following, but they [are] environed with
Covenanters, ther neighbours" (_ibid._ i. 61).

[47] _A History of the University of Aberdeen, 1495-1895_, by J. M.
Bulloch, p. 110.

[48] These courageous worthies were the bishop's son, Dr John Forbes,
Professor of Divinity in King's College; Dr Robert Baron, Professor of
Divinity, and minister in Aberdeen; Dr Alexander Scrogie, minister of
Old Aberdeen; Dr William Leslie, Principal of King's College; and Drs
James Sibbald and Alexander Ross, both ministers in Aberdeen.

[49] _History of Scotland_, vi. 235.

[50] See note on p. 123.

[51] Towie-Barclay is the name of an estate in the south-east corner of
Turriff parish, Aberdeenshire, near Auchterless Station, and four and a
half miles south-east of Turriff. The castle is supposed to have been
built in 1593. It remained pretty perfect till 1792, was re-roofed in
1874, and retains a fine baronial hall with vaulted ceiling. From at
least the beginning of the fourteenth century till 1733, the estate
belonged to the Barclays, one of whose line was the celebrated Russian
general, Prince Michael Barclay de Tolly (1759-1818). In 1792 it was
sold to the governors of Gordon's Hospital, Aberdeen, for £21,000. Towie
is a corruption of Tolly. See Billing's _Baronial Antiquities_, vol. iv.

[52] Balquholly, now Hatton Castle: a Square, castellated mansion of
1814, with finely wooded grounds, in Turriff parish, three and a quarter
miles south-east of Turriff. It comprises a considerable fragment of the
ancient baronial castle of Balquholly (Gael. _bailecoille_, "town in the
wood"), the seat of the Mowats from the thirteenth century till 1729,
when the estate was sold to Alexander Duff, Esq. Sir Thomas Urquhart
must either have rented the house from the Mowats, or have obtained
leave to keep arms there. The cellars in which the arms were probably
kept are exactly as they were in 1638, except that the old loop-holes
are partly filled up. The name of the mansion was changed to Hatton
Lodge in 1745, and to Hatton Castle in 1814, when the modern part was
built--Hatton being the name of the property in Auchterless, which
previously belonged to the Duff family. The present proprietor is Garden
Alexander Duff, Esq., who succeeded to the estates in 1866. There is
behind Hatton Castle a small croft called Cromartie (see Ordnance Map),
probably from our author's occupancy of Balquholly or connexion with it.

[53] An ancestor of Lord Byron.

[54] Spalding's _Memorials_, i. 185. Until within living memory the
exact site of Prott's [or Pratt's] grave was pointed out; but it is now
quite obliterated by being ploughed over repeatedly.

[55] MS. _Epigrams_: The Animadversion.

[56] "Ther fell only two gentlemen upon the Covenanters syde: one Mr
James Stacker, a servant to the Lord Mucholles; and one Alexander
Forbesse, servante to Forbesse of Tolqhwone: upon the Gordons syde, one
common foote souldiour killed, (by the unskilfullnesse of his owne
comerades fyring ther musketts, as was thoughte), whom the Gordons
caused burye solemnly, that day, out of ane idle vante, in the buriall
place of Walter Barcley of Towey, within the church of Turreffe; not
without great terror to the minister of the place, Mr Thomas Michell,
who all the whyle, with his sonne, disgwysd in a womans habite, had gott
upp and was lurkinge above the syling of the churche, whilst the
souldiours wer discharging volleyes of shotte within the churche, and
peircing the syling with ther bulletts in severall places" (Gordon's
_Scots Affairs_, ii. 258). The reader will keep in mind that Gordon was
the family name of the Marquis of Huntly.

[57] This was originally the King's Confession, and was drawn up in 1580
by John Craig, minister of Holyrood House, and subscribed by James VI.
and his household on 28th January, 1580-81. It is printed at length in
Row's _Historie of the Kirk of Scotland_. It reaffirms the Confession of
Faith of 1560, but contains also a solemn renunciation in great detail
of the errors of Popery. It was approved by the General Assembly in
April, 1581. A "General Band [Bond] for Maintenance of the true
Religion" was added in 1588. The National Covenant of 1637 was an
amplification of the previous Confessions, containing in addition an
abjuration of Episcopal Church-government, as the King's Confession did
of Popery. In September, 1638, Charles I. issued a proclamation for the
Scottish people to subscribe this King's Confession and General Band,
but the Covenanters regarded this as a subtle plot to divide them, and
destroy the National Covenant, and, therefore, protested against the
proclamation. The Confession and Band so subscribed, for it was
subscribed by some, got the name of the "King's Covenant." It did not,
of course, contain the abjuration of Episcopal Church-government. Those
who adhered to it were called Malignants; while the name Covenanters was
applied to those who subscribed the National Covenant.

[58] Among those who made their escape from Aberdeen along with Urquhart
were Adam Bellenden, the bishop of the diocese; Alexander Innes,
minister of Rothiemay; Alexander Scrogie, a Regent of King's College;
together with the bishop's son, nephew, and servant (Spalding's

[59] _Lives of the Scottish Writers_, vol. i.; Urquhart's MS.
_Epigrams_: The Animadversion.

[60] _Works_, p. 340.

[61] _Works_, p. 346.

[62] Dunlugas is in the parish of Alvah, close by the river Deveron, on
the east side.

[63] _Works_, p. 341.

[64] "He was alive last Whitsuntide! said the coachman....
Whitsuntide!--alas! cried Trim.... What is Whitsuntide, Jonathan, or
Shrovetide, or any tide or time past, to this!" (_Tristram Shandy_, vol.
v. chap. vii.).

Our author states (_Works_, p. 341) that "his father's death occurred in
August in the year 1642, some four yeares after the hatching of the
Covenant." He is, however, very careless in details of fact, and is in
error concerning this date. Sir Thomas Urquhart, senior, is termed
"_umqll_" (_i.e. "the late"_) in the Burgess Roll of Banff, on 14th
June, 1642 (_Annals of Banff_, ii. 418). Perhaps the date was April
instead of August. The Covenant was signed 1st March, 1638.

[65] _Works_, pp. 346, 347.

[66] _Calendar of Proceedings of Committee for Advances of
Moneys-Taxes_, i. 381.

[67] The neighbourhood is now a cluster of narrow, dirty streets and
passages, lined chiefly with butchers' and grocers' shops, which
overflow into the adjacent streets, and are supplemented by fishmongers
and miscellaneous stalls and barrows--a crowded, noisy, and unsavoury
place on Saturday nights. In 1640, Charles I. granted his licence to
Thomas York, his executors, etc., to erect as many buildings as they
thought proper upon St Clement's Inn Fields, the inheritance of the Earl
of Clare. He issued another licence in 1642, permitting Gervase Holles,
Esq., to make several streets of the width of thirty, thirty-four, and
forty feet. These streets still retain the names and titles of their
founders--Clare Street, Denzil Street, and Holles Street. Clare Street
is somewhat rich in interesting associations. There is a letter of
Steele's to his wife, dated from the Bull Head Tavern in this street,
24th August, 1710. It seems likely that he was hiding there. Mrs
Bracegirdle, a celebrated actress of that time, "was in the habit of
going into that neighbourhood, and giving money to the poor
basket-women, insomuch that she could not pass without having thankful
acclamations from people of all degrees." It was to Clare Street and
Clare Market that Jack Sheppard went, after his escape from Newgate: he
there bought a butcher's frock and woollen apron, which he was wearing
when captured at Finchley. Here was Johnson's Hotel, celebrated for
upwards of seventy years for its _à la mode_ beef. Isaac Bickerstaffe,
too, lived in this street.

[68] John Holles, created Baron Houghton of Houghton, in the county of
Nottingham, in 1616, and Earl of Clare in 1624.

[69] "If I had known that young man [Uriah Heep]," said Mr Micawber, "at
the period when my difficulties came to a crisis, all I can say is, that
I believe my creditors would have been better managed than they were"
(_David Copperfield_, chap. xvii.).

[70] _Works_, p. 347.

[71] _Ibid._ p. 346. For the authority on which this interesting
ornithological statement is made the reader will overhaul his Pliny (_H.
N._ xi. chap. 3).

[72] _Works_, p. 326.

[73] _Works_, p. 328.

[74] _Ibid._ p. 325.

[75] Norman Lesley, Master of Rothes, eldest son of George, fifth Earl
of Rothes, died without issue in 1554. This disposes of Sir Thomas
Urquhart's statement. The Lesleys of Findrassie themselves claimed to be
descended from Robert, the fourth son of Earl George. See _Scotch
Peerage Law_, by J. Riddell, p. 190.

[76] _Works_, p. 379.

[77] _Ibid._ p. 380.

[78] One of these volumes containing the signature of our author is
still in existence. It is a copy of Arthur Johnston's Latin poems,
printed at Aberdeen by Raban, 1632, and is in the possession of the Rev.
J. B. Craven, Kirkwall. It is a very fragile volume. The signature in
this volume, and two others, attached to legal documents, are all that
are known to be extant. We give a fac-simile of one of the latter on p.

[79] "_Apprizing_" is a legal process to which Sir Thomas several times
refers with great horror, and it may be as well to explain to our
readers what it was, for fortunately it is now a thing of the past. It
was for long the only method of attaching a debtor's heritable property.
By the Act, 1469, c. 36, when payment of a debt could not be obtained
out of the debtor's movables (including rent), "the King's letters might
be obtained, under which a debtor's land might be sold by the Sheriff to
the amount of his debts, and the creditor paid out of the proceeds. If
within six months no purchaser could be found, a portion of the land
equal to the debt was to be apprised by thirteen men chosen by the
sheriff, and the portion apprised by them was to be made over to the
creditor." The debtor could redeem within seven years. This procedure at
first took place in the head burgh of the shire, where the jury probably
knew enough to make a fair valuation of the land. But after a time the
proceedings often took place in Edinburgh, where the jury had no special
knowledge, and might be packed by the creditor. So that large estates
were sometimes carried off in payment of trifling debts. The appriser at
once entered into possession, and was not obliged to account for the
rents (until 1631, c. 6). It was thus a powerful engine of oppression.
If A. wished B.'s land, and B. owned land and nothing else, it was
possible for A., if he could only get B. as his debtor even in a small
sum, so to work matters that for the debt he might apprise all B's land.
Being then in right of B.'s rents, he had B. completely in his power,
and B. had no resources for gathering together the amount of the debt
which he must pay in order to redeem his lands within the seven years
allowed. The law was much relaxed by the Act, 1621, c. 6, but the above
will enable us to understand how an unscrupulous creditor might get an
easy-going, thriftless man into his clutches, and impoverish him and his

[80] _Works_, p. 382. The evident meaning of the last sentence is that
Lesley's ways were so dark that it was highly necessary for him often to
ask, "See ye?" Yet one cannot help feeling that this relentless creditor
may not have been solely animated by malignant hatred of his debtor.
Even in the above speech there seem to be claims which cannot be lightly
brushed aside. One is again reminded of Mr Micawber, and of the sudden
and unexpected glimpse of a better nature in his most truculent
creditor, which was vouchsafed him when he got his discharge in
bankruptcy. "Even the revengeful bootmaker," we are told, "declared in
open court that he bore him [Mr M.] no malice, but that when money was
owing to him he liked to be paid. He said he thought it was human
nature" (_David Copperfield_, chap. xii.). An eminent American
philosopher has said that there is a great deal of human nature in man.
There seems at any rate to have been a great deal in Mr Lesley of

[81] In one of his queer _Epigrams_, after comparing the insatiable
demands of his creditors to those of the grave and of the sea, he closes
with the following alliterative litany:

          "Free me from Farcher, Fraser, Fendrasie."

[82] "His subjects and familiars surnamed him [Esormon] ουροχἀρτοϛ,
that is [to] say, 'fortunate and well-beloved'" (_Works_, p. 156).

[83] Rabelais, p. xv.

[84] _Acts of the Parliament of Scotland_, vol. vii. 479, _a_, _b_.

[85] The parish of Cromartie consists of the north-east portion of the
peninsula called the Black Isle, terminating eastward in the precipice
called the Southern Sutor, and stretches for about four miles along the
shore of the Moray Firth on the east, and about six along that of the
Firth of Cromartie on the north and west. To the west of the parish of
Cromartie were situated the joint parishes of Kirkmichael and
Cullicudden, on the southern shore of the Cromartie Firth. In Sir Thomas
Urquhart's time these were separate parishes, but they were united in
1662, and a new church was built at Resolis, in Kirkmichael, near the
border of Cullicudden. The newly constituted parish bore and still bears
the name of Resolis.

[86] In his _Logopandecteision_ he speaks of the "stipauctionarie tide"
which began to overflow the land. He thought "with sufficient bulwarks
of good argument to have stayed the inundation thereof from two of his
churches"; but, he says, "I was violently driven like a feather before a
whirlewind, notwithstanding all my defences, to the sanctuary of an
inforced patience" (_Works_, p. 352). He does not, however, appear to
have stayed long in this sanctuary, or else the shelter it afforded was
but imperfect. His "_stipauctionarie_" (_i.e._ stipend-increasing)
reminds us of Mr Micawber's calling his salary his "_stipendiary

[87] The attention of the reader is specially directed to the marvellous
felicity and vigour of the above description. Sir Thomas himself has
never written anything better in its way.

[88] We fear that this is meant as a description of a presbytery.

[89] The reference is to the process of "horning" described on p. 16.

[90] _Works_, p. 280-282.

[91] That Sir Thomas Urquhart is not exaggerating matters in speaking of
such injunctions being given by ecclesiastical authorities, is proved by
the following well-known passage in the memoir prefixed to the _Works_
of Archbishop Leighton:--"It was a Question asked at [of] the Brethren,
both in the classical and provincial Meetings of Ministers, twice in the
Year, If they preached the Duties of the Times? And when it was found
that _Mr Leighton_ did not, he was quarrelled [_sic_] for this Omission,
but said, _If all the Brethern have preached to the_ TIMES, _may not one
poor Brother be suffered to preach on_ ETERNITY?"

[92] _Works_, p. 280.

[93] The notice given us by Sir Thomas of Mr Anderson's preaching makes
us desirous of knowing more about him; but, unfortunately, only a very
few facts concerning him are known. He was born in 1597; he graduated at
Aberdeen in 1618; was settled at Cawdor, near Nairn, some time before
30th October, 1627; was transferred to Cromartie between 5th October,
1641, and 11th January, 1642; died in November, 1655, and was succeeded
in the benefice by his son Hugh (Scott's _Fasti_).

[94] _Works_, p. 276.

[95] _Ibid._ p. 261.

[96] See p. 83.

                         CHAPTER III

 Unsuccessful Rising in the North--Sir Thomas makes his Peace with the
     Church--Return of Charles II. to Scotland--Invasion of
     England--Battle of Worcester--Sir Thomas a Prisoner in the
     Tower--Makes Friends--Is liberated on Parole--Great Literary
     Activity--Revisits Scotland--Dies--Later History of the Urquharts
     of Cromartie--Characteristics of our Author--Glover's Portraits of

Shortly after the news of the execution of Charles I. reached Scotland,
a rising on the part of some of the leading Cavaliers in the north took
place, with the view of restoring the Royal Family. The most prominent
person in this attempt was Thomas Mackenzie of Pluscardine, a younger
brother of George, the second Earl of Seaforth, who for nearly ten years
past had managed the affairs of the family, and was looked up to, both
on account of his ability and also on account of the great territorial
influence he represented. He had seen a good deal of service abroad, and
was at one time governor of Stralsund.[97] Along with him, and only
second to him, was our Sir Thomas Urquhart, to whom even civil war was
scarcely more fraught with anxiety and danger than was the life he had
been forced to lead for some time past. Together with them were
associated eight other Royalists of good standing,--among whom Colonel
Hugh Fraser of Belladrum and John Munro of Lemlair had a certain
pre-eminence,--and these ten formed a kind of revolutionary committee
for the control of the movement they had set on foot, and the government
of the district that might become subject to them.

Montrose had determined, on hearing of the execution of the King, to
renew the war in Scotland, but Pluscardine and his associates did not
wait for his arrival. Charles was beheaded on Tuesday, the 30th of
January, 1649, and, by the 22nd of the next month, the Scottish
gentlemen in the north had already taken the field, and captured
Inverness. Four days after, on Monday, 26th February, a meeting of the
Committee of War was held in that town, the minutes of which are still
in existence,[98] and contain the name of our author next in order to
that of Pluscardine himself.

The Committee passed certain enactments, by which they took into their
own hands the customs and excise of the six northern counties--Inverness,
Sutherland, Cromartie, Caithness, Nairn, and Elgin. An inventory of all
the ammunition of the garrison was ordered to be taken. It was also
decided that Sir Thomas's house at Cromartie should be put in a state of
defence, and that the work should be carried out by the tenants of Sir
James Fraser, a bitter Parliamentarian, and opponent of the Stuarts in
the north, and by those of our knight's old enemy, Lesley of
Findrassie.[99] It is easy for unregenerate human nature to understand
the pleasure with which the members of the Committee of War would give
this last order. By another enactment, the Committee declare that they
consider it expedient for their safety that the works and forts of
Inverness be demolished and levelled with the ground, and they ordain
that each person appointed to this work should complete his proportion
of it before eight days have passed, "under pain of being quartered upon
and until the said task be performed."

On the 2nd of March, Mackenzie of Pluscardine, Sir Thomas Urquhart, and
their associates, were proclaimed as rebels and traitors by the Estates
of Parliament,[100]--as "wicked and malignant persouns intending so far
as in thaine lyes, for their own base ends to lay the foundation of a
new bloodie and unnaturall warre within the bowells of this their native
country," etc. etc.

On the 1st of March the Commissioners of the General Assembly had
written to Pluscardine and his associates expressing their wonder and
grief at such a rising in the interests of "the Popish, Prelaticall and
Malignant party," and threatening the penalty of excommunication within
ten days if they would not "desist from and repent of that horrid
insurrection."[101] The reply to this letter came in due time, and was
signed by the principal leader in the insurrection, and by some other
members of the Clan Mackenzie, and is, it must be confessed, a
distinctly prevaricating and hypocritical document. For one sentence at
least in it our author was responsible, though he neither signs the
letter nor is named in it. His pedantic phraseology reveals his hand in
the construction of the reply to the Commissioners' remonstrances and

The letter is addressed "to the Honourable and Right Reverend," and
begins as follows:--"Wee have lately received yours of the first of
Merch, 1649, for the which and your wisdomes Christian care of ws, and
your fatherly admonition to ws, we humbly and heartily rander yow all
possible thanks." This lamb-like tone is maintained with admirable
gravity all through the epistle, and is combined with a canting
phraseology which was meant to be impressive, but which must have
entertained any members of the Commission of the General Assembly who
originally possessed and still retained a sense of humour. "And quheras
[whereas]," so it goes on, "your wisdomes taks it a matter of no lesse
wonder then [than] greife that we, being vnder the oath of God and tye
of our Nationall Covenant, would make insurrection and take armes
against the Lords people, certainly, if it were so, we acknowledge your
wisdomes had reason to wonder and to be grieved. And it is no lesse
winder and griefe to ws, being wnder the said oath and tye of Covenant,
furthering the same with all our power and meanes, and at all occasions
desireing nothing els then [than] the enjoying of the liberty of the
subject, and proprietie of our goods, intended and promised in and by
our Covenant." No one who has read any of Sir Thomas Urquhart's original
works can doubt that the next sentence was either composed or revised by
him. The two phrases which we have taken the liberty of putting into
italics could scarcely have occurred to any other member of the
Committee of War. "Yet we find, that evill willers and envyous
vnderminers, _in a singular and prœtextuous way_ aiming at our ruine,
doe spend _the quintessence of their witts_ to find out means whereby,
under specious pretences of the publick [good?] to extermine ws with
povertie, and by inventing fresh occasions to make ws odious, and bring
ws vpon fresh stages [_sic_] vnder the base name of Malignancy." It is
unnecessary to quote the whole of the letter, but a couple of sentences,
which describe what the insurgents had done at Inverness, deserve
notice. "But the whole countrey of all degrees, being sensible of the
oppression and insolency of the vnnecessary and vnprofitable garison of
Innernes to Church or State, did heartily and vnanimously contribute to
the demolishing thereof, which being done, all disbanded peaceablie, and
the people retired peaceablie to their owne homes, without offence to
any nighbour of any degree or condition.... And now, when the said
garison is dismantled, we shall be found not only disposed to live
peaceablie, bot also ready to obey all publick ordours for the good of
the Kingdome." The writers ask that "the taxes and impositions," which
pressed with special severity on the class to which they belonged,
should be remitted, and liberty given them to lead that religious,
peaceful life, to which both by nature and by deliberate choice, they
seem to say, they were strongly inclined. The sting of the letter is in
its closing words. If these "evill willers" succeed in persuading the
Commissioners of Assembly to go on with the sentence of excommunication,
as fully deserved, they (the writers) formally appeal against such a
decision from the Commission to the next General Assembly.[102]

The ecclesiastical court to which the above letter was sent _may_ have
contained a goodly sprinkling of fanatics, but it is certain that in it
there were but few, if any, imbeciles; so that the communication from
the Committee of War did not succeed in imposing upon those to whom its
contents were read. They did not condescend to answer it, but at once
issued a pamphlet, entitled _A Declaration and Warning to all Members of
this Kirk_, "to recover, if possible, the disturbers of the peace of
God's people out of the snare of Sathan, and to prevent others from
falling therein." The document displays very genuine indignation and
dismay at the possibility of the negotiations which were being carried
on for restoring Charles II. as a "covenanted king" to the throne of his
ancestors, being defeated, and of his coming back as an arbitrary ruler
and oppressor of the Church. Those who have any doubt about the
deterioration of both religion and politics when they are fused
together, should read this and other State Papers of the period, and
their eyes would be opened. The calm assumption by the writers that
political opponents are the enemies of God, the claim to knowledge of
the Divine purposes and counsels, the free use of the most sacred words
of Scripture, the dark fanaticism which inspires so many of the
utterances, and the intense passion which makes so many of them sound
like mere raving--all combine to make these documents very painful
reading. A circular letter of warning and exhortation was sent to
Presbyteries, attempts were made to persuade individuals to disconnect
themselves from the insurrectionary movement, and a message of
encouragement was sent to Lieutenant-General David Lesley to strengthen
his hands in the work of putting it down by fire and sword.[103]

The insurgents, after demolishing the fortifications of Inverness,
retired before the troops sent to suppress them, and took refuge among
the mountains of Ross-shire. Lesley advanced to Fortrose and garrisoned
the castle there, and then proceeded to endeavour to make terms with the
leaders of the insurrection. The only one who would listen to no
accommodation was Mackenzie of Pluscardine. Immediately on Lesley's
return south, he descended from the mountains, and attacked and took the
castle of Chanonry. Our Sir Thomas Urquhart was now safely out of the
conflict, but our readers may wish to know what became of the
insurrectionary movement which he had such a large share in setting on
foot, and from which he found it prudent to retire at an early stage.

Mackenzie's force was brought up to eight or nine hundred men by the
accession of his nephew, Lord Reay, with three hundred followers. Soon
afterwards he was joined by General Middleton and Lord Ogilvie, and
advanced into Badenoch, with the view of raising the people in that and
the neighbouring districts. In what is called the Wardlaw MS. a very
vivid picture is given of the behaviour of the Highlanders from the Reay
country, when they poured into Inverness on the morning of Sunday, the
2nd of May, 1649. "They crossed the bridge of Ness," says the Royalist
minister of Kirkhill, "on the Lord's Day in time of divine service, and
alarmed the people of Inverness, impeding God's worship in the town. For
instead of bells to ring in to service I saw and heard no other than
the noise of pipes, drums, pots, pans, kettles, and spits in the streets
to provide them victuals in every house. And in their quarters the rude
rascality would eat no meat at their tables until the landlord laid down
a shilling Scots upon each trencher,[104] calling this '_airgiod
cagainn_' (chewing-money), which every soldier got, so insolent were

The campaign was a very brief one. The Royalists, joined by the Marquis
of Huntly, attacked and took the castle of Ruthven, but, soon after,
being hardly pressed by Lesley, they turned southwards and took up their
quarters in Balvenie Castle. General Middleton and Mackenzie were
despatched to treat with Lesley, but before they reached their
destination, the troops from Fortrose, after a rapid march, surprised
the Royalist forces at Balvenie. A fierce engagement took place, in
which both sides suffered severely.[105] Eighty of the insurgents fell
in defence of the castle. The Highlanders were dismissed to their homes
on swearing never again to take up arms against the Parliament; while
their leaders were sent as prisoners to Edinburgh, where most of them
were set free soon after, on payment of fines, and on giving security
that they would keep the peace. By sharp and vigorous action the
remaining sparks of insurrection in the north were stamped out, and
fresh bodies of troops were stationed in the principal strongholds of
that part of the country. Thus ended a rising which would probably have
had a very different result, if it had been postponed until the arrival
of Montrose.

The same writer[106] who gave an account of the riotous and insolent
demeanour of the Highland soldiers in Inverness, furnishes us with a
companion-picture--that of them on their way back to their homes after
their defeat at Balvenie. It is as follows:--"Next twenty horse, and
three companies of foot, were ordered to convey the captives back over
the Spey, and through Moray to Inverness, where I saw them pass through;
and those men who, in their former march, would hardly eat their meat
without money, are now begging food, and, like dogs, lap the water which
was brought them in tubs and other vessels in the open streets. Thence
they were conducted over the bridge of Ness, and dismissed everyone
armless and harmless to his own house. This is a matter of fact which I
saw and heard."

The profound feelings of anxiety which this abortive attempt at
insurrection had excited in the minds of the ecclesiastical rulers of
Scotland are very clearly indicated by the exuberance of joy with which
the tidings of the victory at Balvenie were received by the Commission
of Assembly.[107] They instantly decided to appoint a solemn Day of
Thanksgiving, on the 25th of May, for "the Lord's mercifull defeat of
the enemies of the peace of this land."[108] They tacked on a postscript
to the above-mentioned _Declaration and Warning_, containing a
statement of the causes of the Thanksgiving, and ordered both to be read
from all the pulpits in Scotland. Letters of congratulation were
despatched to the victorious officers, and to others who had been
faithful in the recent crisis, and full particulars of what had taken
place were sent to the Commissioners of Scotland at the Hague, who were
engaged in the negotiations with "the young man, Charles Stuart." In the
last-mentioned document there is a flicker of grim humour, as the
writers send intelligence of the destruction of the hopes which news of
the rebellion might have excited in the minds of Charles and his
friends. The last sentence in the letter can scarcely have been written
or read without a smile. "We have appointed," they say, "the twenty-fift
day of Maij for a solemn thanksgiving for this and other late mercies,
wherewith we thought good to acquaint yow, that yow manage this to the
best advantage of the work in your hands, according as yow shall thinke
fitt."[109] It was once said of a good man that he would have been
better if he had had a little more of the devil in him; and one is
inclined to think more highly of these good men for the touch of malice,
which relieves the sombre character of their communication.[110]

The threatened bolt of excommunication was not launched, but our author
found it necessary to apply to the Commission of General Assembly in
order to make his peace with the ecclesiastical power. Accordingly, on
the 22nd of June, 1650, he appeared in Edinburgh before this body, and
presented his "supplicatioun" for pardon for the guilt of taking part in
the Northern insurrection, and of assaulting and razing the walls of

The Commission met, doubtless, in that "little roome of [off] the East
Church" of St Giles, which Baillie describes as having been "verie
handsomelie dressed for our Assemblies in all time coming,"[111] and
from which, three years later, the English officers, under Cromwell's
order, ejected the members of the General Assembly. The Commission on
that day, when our author appeared before them, consisted of twenty-four
members--the most distinguished divines and politicians in Scotland of
the Covenanting party. The moderator, or chairman, was Robert
Douglas,[112] "a great State preacher," who had been chaplain to the
Scots troops in the service of Gustavus Adolphus, and had won the esteem
of that monarch, and who in little more than six months' time would
officiate at the coronation of Charles II., for whom Sir Thomas Urquhart
had prematurely drawn the sword. Beside him was Samuel Rutherford, the
Principal of St Andrews, whose fervid piety has found no lack of
admirers in every generation since his time. Robert Baillie, the writer
of the _Letters_ which contain so many vivid pictures of events in that
stirring period; David Dickson, Professor of Divinity in Glasgow, whose
name we have heard as one of the deputation to persuade the people of
Aberdeen to take the Covenant; and James Guthrie, who died as a martyr,
the year after the Restoration, were present there that day. The
contrast between these grave, dignified, saintly Covenanting leaders,
and the brilliant Cavalier, Sir Thomas Urquhart, is one which, by its
picturesqueness, strongly impresses the imagination.

The Commission, after hearing the petitioner's statements, did not,
apparently; treat the matter as of very serious moment. The dangerous
crisis was over, and they could afford to be merciful. They seem to have
condoned the political offence, but referred Sir Thomas to Mr John
Annand, minister of Inverness, one of their number, "that he might
confer with him concerning some dangerous opinions which, as was
informed, he had sometimes vented." If these could be explained away,
and no further complicity in disloyal schemes were brought home to him,
Mr Annand was empowered, acting at all times under the advice of the
Presbytery of Inverness, to receive his public "satisfaction" in the
church of that city. How the matter ended we do not know. But there is
very little doubt that Sir Thomas's nebulous heterodoxy proved no bar to
his being freed from ecclesiastical censure, and that, in due course,
according to the custom of that time, he stood, as a penitent, before
the congregation of the Parish Church, in that city the walls of which
he had assisted to assault and overthrow.

A fortnight after Sir Thomas Urquhart's appearance before the Commission
of the General Assembly, Charles II. landed in Scotland, and was
accepted, though at first not without deep misgivings, as "covenanted
King." The party to which our author belonged was for a time excluded
from all share in public life; and even the army, which was to defend
the sovereign against the English sectaries, was carefully sifted, to
remove those whose presence might bring a curse upon it. So that, though
the land resounded with war and the rumour of war, Sir Thomas remained
in an enforced quietude in his castle at Cromartie. The effect of the
battle of Dunbar (3rd September) was to depress the faction which had
excluded the Royalist partisans from the army, and kept the King himself
in something very like bondage. Charles II., indeed, is said to have
given thanks to God for the victory of Cromwell over the Covenanting
forces at this battle, and the only difficulty in the way of believing
this statement lies in the fact that he so seldom gave thanks for

The Royalist party now began to rally about their sovereign. Charles II.
was crowned at Scone on the 1st January, 1651, and in due time an army,
which included many of the so-called Malignants, was ready for trying
conclusions once again with the terrible English General. And now for
the third time our author took up arms on behalf of the Stuarts. After
some months of endless marchings and counter-marchings, in which
Cromwell evidently endeavoured to provoke his enemies into a repetition
of the blunder by which they had lost the battle of Dunbar, the Scottish
forces found an opportunity of marching into England.

The latter, under David Lesley, had taken up a strong position on the
height of the Tor Wood, between Stirling and Falkirk, from which they
refused to be drawn out to battle; and Cromwell resolved to take up his
post on the other side of the Royalist army. Accordingly, he crossed the
Forth at Queensferry, and, after defeating an attempt to intercept him
at Inverkeithing, reached and occupied Perth. The way to England was now
open, and the Scottish army swiftly and silently entered upon it,
resolved to stake everything upon a great battle.

Sir Thomas Urquhart left his castle of Cromartie, and took part in this
expedition, though apparently he held no position of command in the
army, and was very much out of sympathy with many of those who journeyed
with him. Indeed, his unfortunate prejudices against the Presbyterian
and Covenanting party come out in the statement he makes, that many of
those who started out to smite "the Midianites and Philistines," when it
came to the push, managed to make their way home, "being loth to hazard
their precious persons, lest they should seem to trust to the arm of
flesh."[113] The mass of those, however, who formed the Scottish army
were of very different mettle, and the battle in which they staked and
lost everything was one of the fiercest in the whole of the great Civil

The course of their journey southward was through Biggar and Carlisle,
and then through Lancashire. To their disappointment, they received no
great accession of Royalists, nor of any others who were inclined to
join them in the attempt to overthrow the Commonwealth. "They marched,"
says the historian, "under rigorous discipline, weary and uncheered,
south through Lancashire; had to dispute ... the Bridge of Warrington
with Lambert and Harrison, who attended them with horse-troops on the
left; Cromwell with the main army steadily advancing behind. They
carried the Bridge at Warrington; they summoned various Towns, but none
yielded; proclaimed their King, with all force of lungs and heraldry,
but none cried, God bless him. Summoning Shrewsbury, with the usual
negative response, they quitted the London road; bent southward towards
Worcester, a City of slight Garrison and loyal Mayor; there to entrench
themselves, and repose a little."[114] Yet but slight opportunity for
this was given them. The course taken by Cromwell was through York,
Nottingham, Coventry, and Stratford-on-Avon, and when he arrived at
Worcester with his army from Scotland, and with the county militias, who
had risen at his summons, his forces numbered over thirty thousand men
as against the enemy's sixteen thousand.

Meantime Sir Thomas Urquhart had taken up his quarters in Worcester, in
the house of a Mr Spilsbury, "a very honest sort of man, who had an
exceeding good woman to his wife." His luggage, which was stored in an
attic, consisted, besides "scarlet cloaks, buff suits, and arms of all
sorts," of seven large "portmantles," three of which were filled with
unpublished works in manuscript, and other valuable documents--the
amount of which he gives us in quires and quinternions, but which need
not be repeated here. "Peace hath her victories no less renowned than
war," sang Milton in his sonnet to the Lord General Cromwell; and
perhaps Sir Thomas Urquhart hoped, after achieving victory in war, to
win a second set of laurels by means of the contents of the three

On the evening of the 3rd September, the anniversary of the battle of
Dunbar, and afterwards to be the date of Cromwell's own death, the
battle of Worcester was fought, and the Royalist cause utterly
shattered. "The fighting of the Scots," says Carlyle, "was fierce and
desperate. 'My Lord General did exceedingly hazard himself, riding up
and down in the midst of the fire; riding, himself in person, to the
Enemy's foot to offer them quarter, whereto they returned no answer but
shot.' The small Scotch Army, begirdled with overpowering force, and cut
off from help or reasonable hope, storms forth in fiery pulses, horse
and foot; charges now on this side of the River, now on that;--can on no
side prevail. Cromwell recoils a little, but only to rally and return
irresistible. The small Scotch Army is, on every side, driven in again.
Its fiery pulsings are but the struggles of death: agonies as of a lion
coiled in the folds of a boa. 'As stiff a contest,' says Cromwell, 'for
four or five hours as ever I have seen.'"[115]

The conquered lost six thousand men, and all their baggage and
artillery; and Charles only with difficulty, and after many romantic
adventures, succeeded in escaping to the Continent when the fight was
over. Ten thousand prisoners, including eleven of the Scottish nobility,
were taken. The sufferings of many of these brave men were severe in the
extreme. Some perished from want of food and from gaol diseases, and
large numbers of the survivors were shipped for the plantations, and
sold as slaves.

Sir Thomas Urquhart, and, apparently, more than one of his brothers,
were among the prisoners, but appeared to have fared better than many of
their companions in arms. The greatest of the misfortunes that fell upon
him was, in his estimation, the sad fate that overtook his precious
manuscripts. The whole story, related in his own inimitable style, may
be read in Chapter VI. It is enough to say here that a party of
marauders broke into his quarters in search of valuables, that they
forced open the "portmantles" and turned their contents out upon the
floor, and afterwards carried off the papers to use them for wrapping up
articles of plunder, and for lighting their pipes. Fortunately some
bundles of these papers were afterwards picked up in the streets and
brought back to him, and in due time found their way to the printer's.

After the battle of Worcester, Sir Thomas Urquhart and some of the other
Scottish gentlemen who had been taken prisoners there were confined in
the Tower of London. He seems to have speedily gained the favour of his
captors, and to have been treated with remarkable leniency. Indeed, he
speaks in terms of affectionate respect of various officers of the
Parliamentary army from whom he had received kindness, and acknowledges
courtesies extended towards him by the Lord General himself. Thus he
places on record his indebtedness to a "most generous gentleman, Captain
Gladmon," for speaking in his favour to the Protector. And of another,
whom he calls the Marshal-General, in whose charge he had been placed,
he has set down the praise in the following elaborate sentence:--"The
kindly usage of the Marshal-General, Captain Alsop, whilst I was in his
custody, I am bound in duty so to acknowledge, that I may without
dissimulation avouch, for courtesies conferred on such as were within
the verge of his authority, and fidelity to those by whom he was
intrusted with their tuition [oversight of them] in that restraint, that
never any could by his faithfulness to the one and loving carriage to
the other bespeak himself more a gentleman, nor in the discharge of that
military place acquit himself with a more universally-deserved applause
and commendation."[116]

The severity of his imprisonment was soon abated; and he was removed
from the Tower to Windsor Castle,[117] and not long after, by the orders
of Cromwell, was paroled _de die in diem_.[118] The comparative liberty
he now enjoyed enabled him to repair the loss of his manuscripts after
the battle of Worcester, and he set himself to make the best of the
fragments he had recovered, and to prepare them for publication, as well
as to compose new material. A paragraph in the Epilogue of one of his
works, in which he describes his warm appreciation of the measure of
freedom he now enjoyed, is worth quoting. "That I, whilst a prisoner,"
he says, "was able to digest and write this Treatise, is an effect
meerly proceeding from the courtesie of my Lord General Cromwel, by
whose recommendation to the Councel of State my parole being taken for
my true imprisonment, I was by their favour enlarged to the extent of
the lines of London's communication; for had I continued as before,
coopt up within walls, or yet been attended still by a guard, as for a
while I was, should the house of my confinement have never been so
pleasant, or my keepers a very paragon of discretion, and that the
conversation of the best wits in the world, with affluence of all manner
of books, should have been allowed me for the diversion of my minde, yet
such all antipathie I have to any kinde of restraint wherein myself is
not entrusted, that notwithstanding these advantages, which to some
spirits would make a jayl seem more delicious then [than] freedom
without them, it could not in that eclipse of liberty lie in my power to
frame myself to the couching of one sillable, or contriving of a fancie
worthy the labour of putting pen to paper, no more then [than] a
nightingale can warble it in a cage, or linet in a dungeon."[119]

Another friend whom Sir Thomas Urquhart found in the time of need was
the celebrated Roger Williams, the apostle of civil and religious
liberty, and the founder of the settlement of Providence, Rhode Island,
and missionary to the Indians. In the Epilogue to the _Logopandecteision_
he thus acknowledges his obligations to him: "[I cannot] forget my
thankfulness to that reverend preacher Mr Roger Williams of Providence,
in New England, for the manifold favours wherein I stood obliged to him
above a whole month before either of us had so much as seen other, and
that by his frequent and earnest solicitation in my behalf of the most
especial members both of the Parliament and Councel of State; in doing
whereof he appeared so truely generous, that when it was told him how I,
having got notice of his so undeserved respect towards me, was desirous
to embrace some sudden opportunity whereby to testifie the affection I
did owe him, he purposely delayed the occasion of meeting with me till
he had, as he said, performed some acceptable office worthy of my
acquaintance; in all which, both before and after we had conversed with
one another, and by those many worthy books set forth by him, to the
advancement of piety and good order, with some whereof he was pleased to
present me, he did prove himself a man of such discretion and
inimitably-sanctified parts, that an Archangel from heaven could not
have shown more goodness with less ostentation."[120]

The years 1652 and 1653 form a period of astonishing literary activity
on the part of our author, for no fewer than five separate works were
then published by him, two of which were of very considerable bulk. The
motive that had led him to bring out his two former works--the
_Epigrams_ and _The Trissotetras_--had been a desire to benefit mankind
and to advance the glory of his native land. But now he had to consider
his own interests, and to exert himself to promote them. Accordingly,
his present aim was to convince his captors of his extraordinary merits
and gifts, and of the incomparable glory of that family which he had the
honour of representing.

In 1652 he issued his ΠΑΝΤΟΧΡΟΝΟΧΑΝΟΝ; _or, a Peculiar Promptuary
of Time_, of which a detailed description is given in Chapter V. The
object of this treatise is to show the Protector and the English
Parliament that the family of the Urquharts could be traced back, link
by link, to the red earth out of which Adam was made, and to suggest how
lamentable it would be, if the ruling power extinguished a race which
had successfully resisted the scythe of Time, and was capable of
rendering great services to the State.

This small treatise was closely followed by a more important production,
upon which Sir Thomas's fame as an author largely rests--his
ΕΚΣΚΥΒΑΛΑΥΡΟΝ; _or, The Discovery of a most Exquisite Jewel_. The
title of this work is intended to be an abbreviation of a Greek
phrase--"_Gold from a dunghill_"--and contains an allusion to the fact
that the first half of it was, in its manuscript form, one of the
bundles of paper which the soldiers treated with such disrespect after
the battle of Worcester, and which, indeed, was found next day in a
kennel of one of the streets of that city. This book, a fuller account
of which we give later on, consists of an introduction to a work on a
Universal Language, to which is added a rhapsodical panegyric on the
Scottish nation, and an account of his fellow-countrymen who had been
famous as scholars or soldiers during the previous fifty years.

In the course of the early part of 1652 Urquhart had in some way excited
the suspicions of the Government, and in the month of May his papers
were seized by the authorities. Nothing treasonable, however, was found
among them, and probably the harmless character of his pursuits, which
was thus brought to light, made a favourable impression upon the Council
of State. For, a few weeks later, he was allowed, in answer to a
petition which he presented to the Council, and which was referred to
Cromwell, to return to Scotland to arrange his private affairs, and to
be absent for five months.[121] The only condition imposed upon him was
that during this time he should do nothing to the prejudice of the

Sir Thomas Urquhart's creditors had been told that he had been killed
at the battle of Worcester, and, as he says in his own characteristic
way, "for gladness of the tidings [they] had madified [moistened] their
nolls to some purpose with the liquor of the grape,"[122] and had
possessed themselves of all his property. When they were assured by
letters from himself that he was still alive, they claimed payment for
debts which had been long discharged, under the impression that the
receipts had perished along with other papers after the battle. They
even plotted, we are assured, to arrest our author in London, after he
had been liberated upon parole. By the thoughtful discretion of a
Captain Goodwin, of Colonel Pride's regiment, the receipts in question
had been saved out of the spoil of Worcester, and Sir Thomas Urquhart
was able to display them to the unjust creditors. "And when," he says,
"they saw that those their acquittances ... were produced before them,
they then, looking as if their noses had been ableeding, could not any
longer for shame retard my cancelling of the aforesaid bonds."[123]

In the midst of so many complaints of the iniquity of creditors, it is
gratifying to find Sir Thomas acknowledging that there was one of that
class who treated him with forbearance and even with kindness. His
thankfulness at discovering this green oasis in the arid desert in which
so much of his life had been passed, is expressed in his own
characteristic way. "But may," he says, "William Robertson of Kindeasse,
or rather _Kindnesse_ (for so they call this worthy man), for his going
contrary to that stream of wickedness which carryeth head-long his
fellow-creditors to the black sea of un-christian-like dealing, enjoy a
long life in this world, attended with health, wealth, a hopeful
posterity, and all the happiness conducible to eternal salvation; and
may his children after him, as heires both of his vertues and means,
derive [transmit] his lands and riches to their sons, to continue
successively in that line from generation to generation, so long as
there is a hill in Scotland, or that the sea doth ebbe and flow. This
hearty wish of mine, as chief of my kinred [kindred], I bequeath to all
that do and are to carry the name of Urquhart, and adjure them, by the
respect they owe to the stock whence they are descended, for my father's
love and mine to this man, to do all manner of good offices to each one
that bears the name of Robertson."[124]

His old enemy, Lesley of Findrassie, endeavoured in vain to persuade the
officers of the English garrison, then stationed in Urquhart's house at
Cromartie, to arrest him as a prisoner of war, and keep him in
confinement "till he [Lesley] were contented in all his demands."[125]
An attempt was also made to apprehend him at Elgin; but he escaped all
these machinations, and, after travelling in safety through many of the
principal towns of Scotland, returned to London within the specified
time, and gave himself up to the Council of State.

In the course of the year 1653 Sir Thomas Urquhart published the last of
his original works--his _Logopandecteision_, and the translation of the
first two books of Rabelais, in connection with which his name is best
known. The object of the former of these was to suggest a wonderful
scheme for a universal language, with the idea of being restored by the
Government to the full possession of his liberty, and of being
reinstated in the position of power and wealth, which he maintained was
his by hereditary right, in order to carry out the scheme. His hopes and
anticipations of success in this appeal to the English Government were
not daunted by the fact that to do what he required would need several
legislative changes, a reversal of proceedings in Scottish courts of
law, and a substantial grant from the Treasury. This, after all, he
considered, was a very small price to pay for the benefits he would
thereby confer upon the world. That the appeal was not successful needs
scarcely be told. Probably in no country in the world, and at no period
in history, could any be found more likely to turn a deaf ear to such
requests, than such men as Cromwell, Fleetwood, and Overton. Men like
these were too practical, and of too hard a nature, to be impressed by
any such visionary schemes as those which their prisoner delighted in

A veil of obscurity hangs over the closing years of our author's life.
His last appearance before the public was in the issuing of the books
above mentioned. The only further record of him is in the continuation
of the Pedigree of the Urquharts, which is contained in the Edinburgh
edition of his Tracts. In this we read that "he was confined for several
years in the Tower of London; from whence he made his escape, and went
beyond seas, where he died suddenly in a fit of excessive laughter, on
being informed by his servant that the King was restored."[126] If this
account of matters be true, it would seem that Sir Thomas had forfeited
some of those privileges which he had won so soon after he had become a
State prisoner. It is quite possible that this was in consequence of
having joined in some Royalist plot against the Commonwealth and for the
restoration of Charles II.

In the preface to the second book of Rabelais, Sir Thomas promises very
speedily to translate the three remaining books of that author, so that
the whole "Pentateuch of Rabelais," as he calls it, might be in the
hands of English readers. But this design was never completed. The
translation of the third book was found among his papers, and was
published in 1693 by Pierre Antoine Motteux, but it is probable that the
editor himself had some share in the work as issued to the public.

Sir Theodore Martin considers that there is a strong presumption against
the truth of the above account of Sir Thomas's death, in his entire
silence during the long period which elapsed between the publication of
his last work and 1660, the date of the Restoration of Charles II.
"Men," he says, "so deeply smitten with the _cacoëthes scribendi_ as
Urquhart was, do not thus readily cast the pen aside; nor was the lack
of a publisher likely to have stood in the way of his literary career.
His writings, if for no other cause but the number of his friends, must
always have been a safe speculation for a printer, at a time when
printing was cheap and readers numerous. But the imperfect state of his
translation of Rabelais is perhaps the best evidence of the inaccuracy
of the current belief.... Motteux says that Urquhart's version 'was too
kindly received not to encourage him to English the three remaining
books, or at least the third, the fourth and fifth being in a manner
distinct, as being Pantagruel's voyage. Accordingly he translated the
third book, and would have finished the whole, had not death prevented
him.' This bears hard against the supposition of that event having
occurred upwards of six years after the two first books had been given
to the world. It is probable that he died much sooner, a victim in all
likelihood to that fiery restlessness of spirit,

    'Which o'er-informs its tenement of clay,
    And frets the pigmy body to decay.'"[127]

This conjecture is, however, improbable. A petition from our author's
brother, Sir Alexander Urquhart, is still in existence, in which he asks
for a new commission of hereditary Sheriffship of Cromartie to be made
out for him, on the ground of his being the eldest surviving son of the
Sir Thomas Urquhart who died in 1642.[128] Though this document is
undated, it is assigned by the editor of the volume of State Papers in
which it is to be found, to August of 1660. If this date be
trustworthy, we may be almost sure that the traditional statement as to
the year of our author's death is correct.

The cause of his giving up his literary labours, and of omitting to
carry through the work of translation on which he had entered, is, of
course, unknown to us. His health, physical or mental, may have become
seriously impaired, or his spirits may have been too much depressed by
the misfortunes that crowded upon him, to allow him to engage in
literary work. Indeed, the alleged cause of death from violent agitation
of feeling caused by hearing of the Restoration of Charles II., argues
in itself a previous condition of great physical weakness.

There seems at first, a certain grotesqueness in such a fatal exuberance
of joy in connexion with such an event as Charles II. regaining the
crown which his father had lost, and of which in another generation all
of his blood were to be deprived. But we have to keep in mind that Sir
Thomas was not alone in his folly, if folly it were; for a great wave of
exultation swept over the three kingdoms at that time. Our author had,
like many of his fellow-Royalists, staked and lost everything he
possessed in the defence of the House of Stuart, and one can have little
difficulty in understanding how the announcement of the triumph of the
cause, which was so dear to him, should have agitated him

Sir Alexander Urquhart failed to recover possession of either the barony
or the Sheriffship of Cromartie, and a year after the supposed date of
his petition, he is said to have ratified his cousin's rights,[130] and
in 1663 he formally "disponed" the estate (_i.e._ his title to it) to
Sir John.[131] The new possessors were, however, as unfortunate as
their immediate predecessors, for in no very long time they were
overwhelmed by distresses like those which had burdened and embittered
the lives of our author and his father. In 1682 the celebrated Sir
George Mackenzie, whose name, like that of Queen Mary of England, is
usually associated with an unenviable epithet, as that of a cruel
persecutor,[132] "apprized" the estate from Sir John's[133] son,

No one who knows what this means[135] will be surprised to hear that it
soon afterwards passed into his possession. On his elevation to the
peerage (1685) as Viscount Tarbat, first Earl of Cromartie, he put his
third-born son, Sir Kenneth, into possession of the estate, with the
view of establishing a branch of his family to be known as the
Mackenzies of Cromartie. This plan was doomed to be defeated, for Sir
Kenneth's son George had no family, and sold the estate to Captain
William Urquhart of Meldrum in 1741.[136] The lands were again sold to
Patrick, Lord Elibank,[137] in 1763, and by him to George Ross of
Pitkerrie, nine years afterwards. Mr Ross had amassed a large fortune in
England as an army agent,[138] and part of this he expended in the
purchase of the estate, and in the extensive improvements which he
effected in it. One wishes he had not thought it desirable to pull down
the picturesque old castle, which had stood on the mote-hill of
Cromartie for three hundred years, and which had sheltered so many
generations of the Urquhart family. Let us now, however, return to our

In telling the story of Sir Thomas Urquhart's life, some of his most
striking peculiarities have been displayed and illustrated, so that no
one who has read the foregoing pages is altogether dependent upon what
may now be said for forming an estimate of his character. His vanity is
perhaps the most striking trait in it; but only a very hard-hearted
moralist would call it a vice in his case, for it is as artless as it is
boundless, and is combined with so much kindness of heart and generosity
of feeling, that we are more entertained by it than indignant at it. No
one who looks into his works can doubt the intensity of his patriotism.
Indeed, his passionate longing after personal fame is in all cases
combined with the wish to confer additional glory upon the land of his
birth. His devotion to the Royalist cause[139] is of the purest and most
heroic type, and the general tone of his character, as revealed to us in
his books, is elevated and noble. At the same time there is an element
of the grotesque in it, so that in his disinterested and chivalrous
disposition he reminds us of Don Quixote,[140] while in his frequent
allusions to struggles with pecuniary difficulties, as well as in his
use of magniloquent language, he distinctly recalls Wilkins Micawber. A
lively fancy, a strain of genuine erudition beneath his pedantry, and
some sparks of insanity, are other elements in his fantastical
character. Only a mind like his own could trace the maze of its windings
and turnings, and fathom the depths of its eccentricity. In his thoughts
"truth is constantly becoming interfused with fiction, possibility with
certainty, and the hyperbolical extravagance of his style only keeps
even pace with the prolific shootings of his imagination."[141]

It is perhaps expected that one should, in a measure, apologize for the
eccentricities of Urquhart's character and literary style, by explaining
that he was a humourist. But, unfortunately, humour is a quality in
which Urquhart was lacking, unless we understand by the word mere
fantastical quaintness of thought and speech. In one passage of his
works he speaks with contempt of "shallow-brained humourists,"[142] and
we should wrong his ghost by putting him among those whom he abhorred.
Not a single trace of that subtle, graceful play of fancy and of feeling
which enters into our conception of humour is to be found in his
works.[143] His readers may smile as they turn over his pages, but he
is always in deadly earnest. The quality of wit he occasionally
manifests in the form of keen sarcasm, when he gives full vent to his
feelings of scorn and contempt; as when, for example, he describes those
who went out to fight, "but did not hazard their precious persons, lest
they should seem to trust to the arm of flesh."[144]

He can never give a simple statement of matters of fact. Thus in his
account of the Admirable Crichton, instead of saying that the rector of
the university addressed a few complimentary sentences to Crichton, and
that the latter replied in the same vein, he says: "In complements after
this manner, _ultro citroque habitis_, tossed to and again, retorted,
contrerisposted, backreverted, and now and then graced with a quip or a
clinch for the better relish of the ear, being unwilling in this kind of
straining curtesie to yeeld to other, they spent a full half-hour and
more."[145] Everything must be dressed up "with divers quaint and
pertinent similes" before it is fit to be introduced to the reader's
notice. To quote again from the most accomplished literary critic who
has written upon him: "History, philosophy, science, literature are
ransacked for illustrations of the commonest subject. His fancy is ever
on the alert, and you are constantly surprised by some incongruous
image, begotten in its wanton dalliance with knowledge the most
heterogeneous. He has always an eye to effect. His own learning must be
brought into play, rhetorical tropes must flourish through his periods,
'suggesting to our minds two several things at once,' and, of course, as
diverse as possible, that 'the spirits of such as are studious in
learning may be filled with a most wonderful delight.'"[146] His style
reacts upon and controls his thoughts, and often carries him, as
Ariosto's Hippogriff carried Astolfo, up into the skies, whither those
are unable to follow him who are mounted on humbler animals, or have no
other means than those with which they were born for plodding along the
dusty roads of earth.

If we can trust the two engraved portraits of Sir Thomas Urquhart which
have come down to us, he was a man of handsome presence, and accustomed
to deck himself in all the splendour of costume to which so many of his
brother-cavaliers were addicted. George Glover, the famous engraver,
drew both the portraits of him which are extant. One of these appears as
a frontispiece to the _Epigrams_ and to the _Trissotetras_. It is a
small whole-length, and represents Sir Thomas in rich dress,[147]
holding out his hand to receive from some allegorical personage a
laurel wreath "for Armes and Artes."[148] On a table beside him are his
hat and embroidered cloak. In the vacant spaces on each side of the
upper part of the figure are his name and titles: "S^r Thomas Urchard,
Knight, of Bray and Udol, etc., Baron of Ficherie and Clohorby, etc.,
Laird Baron of Cromartie and Heritable Sheriff thereof, etc." The
portrait is described as taken from the life, and engraved in 1641;[149]
and beneath it is a couplet by W. S., as follows:

    "Of him whose shape this Picture hath design'd,
    Vertue and learning represent the Mind."

Who W. S. was we do not know. The date forbids our identifying him with
the Bard of Avon. He was probably one of those mysterious personages,
who were always at hand to write epistles of commendation to works by
Sir Thomas, and to testify on their "book-oath" to his gifts and graces.

The second engraved portrait is of great rarity, and only one impression
of it is known to be in existence. It was probably meant to be a
frontispiece to the unpublished volume of Epigrams described on p. 116,
the title of which was to have been _Apollo and the Muses_, but which
never found its way into print. In this engraving Sir Thomas is depicted
as seated with great complacency upon Mount Parnassus, in the midst of
the Muses, seven of whom are pressing upon his attention wreaths of
laurel of which he is worthy, "for Judgment, Learning, witt, Invention,
sweetness, stile." At his feet is the sacred fountain of Castalia or
Hippocrene, into the waters of which the other two Muses are sportively
dipping "sprinklers" or asperges. One of them seems inclined to give Sir
Thomas a sprinkling, but refrains, either because it was unnecessary or
for fear of spoiling his nice clothes. In the background, the winged
horse Pegasus is flying sufficiently low down to allow a woman to pluck
a couple of feathers from his wings.[150] These are no doubt intended
to provide pens for Sir Thomas's next literary undertaking. In the
further distance are several feathered creatures, which are probably
meant for poetical swans, but which bear a painful likeness to prosaic
geese. At the foot of the picture in one corner we have Apollo, playing
on his lyre; and on the ground in front are a half-starved dragon and a
snake, writhing in impotent rage, as they witness the triumph of Sir
Thomas. We can hardly be mistaken in concluding that these last are
symbolical representations of envious and carping critics.

[Illustration: The Poet surrounded by the Muses.]


[97] _Antiquarian Notes_, by C. Fraser-Mackintosh, p. 156.

[98] _Antiquarian Notes_, pp. 155-158; _History of the Clan Mackenzie_,
by Alex. Mackenzie.

[99] The enactment in question runs as follows:--"It being thought
expedient by the said Committee that the house of Cromartie be put in a
posture of defence, and that for the doing thereof it is requisite some
faill [turf] be cast and led, the said Committee ordains all Sir James
Fraser's tenants within the parochins [parishes] of Cromartie and
Cullicudden, together with those of the Laird of Findrassie, within the
parochin of Rosemarkie, to afford from six hours in the morning to six
hours at night, one horse out of every oxengait [= about 13 Scotch
acres] daily for the space of four days to lead the same faill to the
house of Cromartie." Of this enemy, Sir James Fraser, our author
remarked at a later time with regrettable bitterness, that he knew only
one good thing about him, and that was that he was dead.

[100] _Acts of the Parliament of Scotland_, vi. 392.

[101] _General Assembly Commission Records_, 1648-49, p. 220.

[102] _General Assembly Commission Records_, 1648-49, pp. 249, 250.

[103] _General Assembly Commission Records_, 1648-49, pp. 252-262.

[104] Strangely enough, in Hope's _Anastasius_, a Tatar messenger
travelling through Asia Minor to Constantinople is described as acting
in the same insolent manner. "He would not," says Anastasius, "even
after the daintiest meal in the world, forego the douceur he expected
for what he used to call the wear and tear of his teeth" (ii. 320).

[105] An account of the battle is given in a letter addressed by the
victorious generals, Ker, Halket, and Strachan, to the Moderator of the
Commission of Assembly, dated 9th May, 1649. In it they say: "We were in
Innernes vpon Sunday at night, when we received intelligence that the
enemie were come from Torespay to Balvine, presently to discusse ws
(_sic_). We could not hear from the Livetennent-Generall [Lesley], and
the enemy was making himselfe strong in many severall quarters in [the]
countrie. We conceived it better to suppresse nor [than] to be
suppressed. We in our weak maner beged the Lords direction, that His
blissing might wait His owne and our labours, and, with great freedome
concluded to march with all expedition to Torispay, intelligence having
come certaine that they were lyeing in Balveine at a wood, where we
engaged with them; and there the Lord delivered them vnto our hands. We
were not abone six score fighting horsemen and tuelfe muskiteires. We
had some more, but they were wearied. We have at this tyme about 800
prisoners, betuixt 3 or 4 scoir killed, and tuo or thrie hundred fled.
My Lord Rae and all the officers are, according to the capitulatioun,
prisoners; the rest are to be conveyed to their countrey, after we
receive order from the publick; and therefore we shall expect such
further directions from you as you shall thinke fit, for securing and
obliging, by oath, such as shall returne to their countrey" (_General
Assembly Commission Records_, 1618-49, p. 263). There is a genuine
Cromwellian ring about the phrases "beged the Lord's direction," and
"the Lord delivered them vnto our hands," which we cannot help admiring;
and there is a beauty of its own in the phrase "with great freedome" in
the connection in which it stands.

[106] Wardlaw MS.

[107] The Commission of the General Assembly is each year nominated by
that body, and is responsible to it, and is empowered to dispose of all
items of business remitted to it, and to act in the interests of the
Church during the months between the meeting of the Assembly which
nominated them, and that to which they report their proceedings. They
are authorised to meet on certain specific days, and oftener, when and
where they think fit. The next General Assembly may reverse their
sentences, if they have exceeded their powers, or have acted in any way
which is considered prejudicial to the interests of the Church.

[108] _General Assembly Records_, 1648-49, p. 264.

[109] _General Assembly Records_, 1648-49, p. 270. The instructions
given to the Commissioners suggest the process known to us in modern
times as "rubbing it in" (the phrase is a technical one).

[110] In March of the following year, 1650, occurred the descent of
Montrose on the north of Scotland, which ended so disastrously for him.
After spending a few weeks in the Orkneys, where he collected a few
recruits, he landed in Caithness, and proceeded into Sutherland, where
he suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of Strachan and Halket, the
generals who had successfully suppressed the insurrection in the north
in the previous year. Montrose was taken prisoner, and was executed in
Edinburgh, on Tuesday, 21st May, 1650.

[111] Baillie's _Letters_ (Edinburgh, 1841), ii. 84.

[112] Robert Douglas (1594-1674) had been chaplain to a brigade of
Scottish auxiliaries, sent with the connivance of Charles I. to the aid
of Gustavus Adolphus, in the Thirty Years' War. He was minister of the
second charge of the High Church, Edinburgh, and then of the Tolbooth
Church, and was five times Moderator of the General Assembly (1642,
1645, 1647, 1649, and 1651). Wodrow says, "He was a great man for both
great wit, and grace, and more than ordinary boldness and authority and
awful majesty appearing in his very carriage and countenance." Burnet
affirms that he had "much wisdom and thoughtfulness, but was very silent
and of vast pride" (_Dictionary of Nat. Biog._ xv. 347).

[113] _Works_, p. 279.

[114] Carlyle's _Oliver Cromwell_, iii. 148.

[115] Carlyle's _Oliver Cromwell_, iii. 154.

[116] _Works_, p. 408.

[117] _Cal. State Papers, Dom._

[118] _Ibid._

[119] _Works_, p. 408.

[120] _Works_, p. 419. Roger Williams (c. 1600-c. 1684) was himself a
remarkable man. He was a native of Wales, was educated at Oxford, and
entered into holy orders; but his aversion to the government and
discipline of the Church of England led him to seek for greater freedom
in America. He was a strenuous asserter of religious toleration at a
time when it was little understood and less practised anywhere. His
liberty of thinking and speaking led to his being banished from
Massachusetts; and, thereupon, he purchased a tract of land from the
Indians, and founded a settlement, which he named Providence. At the
time when he generously interceded in favour of Sir Thomas Urquhart, he
was residing in London as the agent of the new settlement, of which he
was afterwards chosen president. He was on intimate terms with Cromwell,
Milton, and other leading Puritans, and consequently would be in a
position to render great service to his friend Urquhart.

[121] The leave granted was for five months from the 14th of July, 1652.
Before the expiration of this time, Sir Thomas asked for liberty to stay
for six weeks longer in Scotland, and this was granted (_Acts of
Parliament_, vol. vi. pt. 2, p. 748_b_).

[122] _Works_, p. 377.

[123] _Ibid._ p. 378.

[124] _Works_, p. 384.

[125] _Ibid._ p. 380.

[126] P. 37.

[127] _Rabelais_, p. xiv.

[128] _Cal. State Papers, Domestic_, 1660-61, p. 237.

[129] In the preface to a new translation of Rabelais by W. F. Smith,
Esq., Fellow of St John's College, Cambridge, some doubt is cast upon
the above narrative of Sir Thomas's death. Mr Smith remarks, "This looks
something like an imitation of Rabelais in his account of the death of
Philemon." The reference is to the following passages in Rabelais, who
alludes to the story no fewer than three times. In Book i. 10, we read:
"Just so the heart with excessive joy is inwardly dilated, and suffereth
a manifest resolution of the vital spirits, which may go so farre on,
that it may thereby be deprived of its nourishment, and by consequence
of life itself, by this Pericharie or extremity of gladnesse, as Galen
saith ... and as it hath come to passe in former times ... to Philemon
and others, who died with joy." In chap. xx. some more particulars are
given of the case: "As Philemon, who, for seeing an asse eate those
figs, which were provided for his own dinner, died with force of
laughing." But in Book iv. 17, we are told the whole story: "[Neither
ought you to wonder at] the death of Philomenes, whose servant, having
got him some new figs for the first course of his dinner, whilst he went
to fetch wine, a straggling ... ass got into the house, and, seeing the
figs on the table, without further invitation, soberly fell to.
Philomenes coming into the room, and nicely observing with what gravity
the ass eat its dinner, said to his man, who was come back, 'Since thou
hast set figs here for this reverend guest of ours to eat, methinks it
is but reason thou also give him some of this wine to drink.' He had no
sooner said this, but he was so excessively pleased, and fell into so
exorbitant a fit of laughter, that the use of his spleen took that of
his breath utterly away, and he immediately died." The story is taken
from Lucian (μακροβιυι, c. 25) or from Valerius Maximus (ix. 12), in
which in the Paris folio edition (1517) the name is given as Philomenes.
There is undoubtedly a resemblance between the account of Philemon's
death and that of our author, but we think it can only be accidental.
The editor of the Edinburgh edition of the Tracts is, as I have said,
our only authority for the story of Urquhart's death; but there is no
adequate reason for doubting it. He seems to have been well versed in
the history of the Urquhart family, which he brings up to date, and must
have derived his information from some members of it. It would be
strange if in little more than a century after our author's death, an
utterly mythical account of it should have sprung up and found a place
among the details of family history. According to Lowndes's
_Bibliographer's Manual_, the editor of the volume was David Herd, the
well-known antiquary. If this statement be correct, we have all the more
reason to rely upon the supplementary information the volume contains,
as Herd's acquaintance with Scottish history and biography was very
extensive and accurate. In one of the _Notes Ambrosianæ_ (_Blackwood's
Magazine_, September, 1832), a highly extravagant version is given of
Urquhart's death. It is intended to be humorous, but is merely flat and
silly. Only those can smile at it who have been trained up to believe
that the _Notes_ contain exquisite humour, and who have, therefore, been
accustomed to welcome passages from it as mirth-inspiring. The statement
made in this mention of Urquhart, that his death was caused by excessive
alcoholic celebration of the happy event of the Restoration, is utterly
baseless and offensive; and it is a pity that in Allibone's _Dictionary_
and in the _Dictionary of National Biography_ this article in
_Blackwood's Magazine_ should be referred to as one of the sources of
information concerning Urquhart. The author of it had not access to any
other account of Sir Thomas's death than that given in the
above-mentioned edition of the Tracts.

[130] _Acts of Parliament_, vii. 70.

[131] _Inverness Sasines._ The date when Sir Alexander Urquhart received
knighthood seems to be approximately fixed by the fact that in a grant
under the Privy Seal of 5th March, 1661, he is called Alexander, and in
a notice of him of the 29th of the same month and year he appears as Sir
Alexander (_Acts of Parliament_, vii. 93). From the fact that in this
year the succession to the estates and hereditary Sheriffship of
Cromartie were entered upon by his cousin Sir John Urquhart of
Craigfintray, it was taken for granted by the editor of the Tracts
(Edinburgh, 1774) that Sir Alexander had died. This error is repeated by
Hugh Miller, and by most of those who have made any reference to him. He
was still alive in 1667, for during that year he sold his salmon
fishings in Over-rak and the King's Water to John Gordon (see also _Acts
of Parliament_, vii. 537). He is spoken of as _quondam_ in a charter of
certain lands which had belonged to him, 19th June, 1668. His cousin,
Sir John Urquhart, received knighthood about the same time; at least he
appears in Parliament as Sir John, 1st January, 1661 (_Acts of
Parliament_, vii. 4).

[132] "There was the Bluidy Advocate Mackenyie, who, for his worldly wit
and wisdom, had been to the rest as a god" ("Wandering Willie's Tale"
_Redgauntlet_, chap. xi.).

[133] There is said to have been some tragedy in connection with the
death of this Sir John Urquhart. According to Wodrow, as quoted by Hugh
Miller, after having posed as an ultra-Presbyterian, he became the
friend and counsellor of the Earl of Middleton, Charles II.'s
Commissioner for Scotland, under whom Presbyterianism was overturned and
Episcopacy set up in its place (1661). Tradition says that "about eleven
years after the passing of the Act, he fell into a deep melancholy, and
destroyed himself with his own sword in one of the apartments of the old
castle. The sword, it is said, was flung into a neighbouring draw-well
by one of the domestics, and the stain left by his blood on the walls
and floor of the apartment was distinctly visible at the time the
building was pulled down" (_Scenes and Legends of the North of
Scotland_, p. 111). Tradition is wrong, however, in saying eleven years
after 1661; for on August 7th, 1677, Sir John, along with others,
received a commission "for putting the laws against conventicles and
other disorders into execution" (_Wodrow_, ii. p. 366).

[134] On the death of Jonathan's son, Colonel James Urquhart, in 1741,
the shadowy honour of the headship of the family passed to the Urquharts
of Meldrum, who were descended from the Tutor of Cromartie by a third
marriage with Elizabeth Seton, only daughter of Alexander Seton of
Meldrum, and ultimately heiress of that estate. The last male
representative of this line was Major Beauchamp Colclough Urquhart, who
closed a promising career by a heroic death at the battle of Atbara, in
the Sudan, on 8th April, 1898. His sister, Isabel Annie, is wife of
Garden Alexander Duff, Esq., Hatton Castle, Turriff.

[135] See p. 58.

[136] Pococke, in his _Tour through Scotland_ (1761), says of the castle
of Cromartie: "It has fallen into the hands of one Mr Urquhart, who had
commanded a Spanish Gally, and died a Convert to Popery; which slip his
son, now eighteen years old, has in some degree recovered, by conforming
to the Church of England" (p. 176; _Scottish History Society_).

[137] In the old Statistical Account of Cromartie, and in the preface to
the Maitland Club edition of Urquhart's Works, the estate is said to
have passed into the hands of Sir William Pulteney.

[138] Mr Ross is mentioned in the _Letters_ of Junius (see those of 29th
November and 12th December, 1769). He was succeeded by his nephew, from
whom the present proprietor of Cromartie, Major Walter Charteris Ross,
is descended.

[139] Our Sir Thomas's memory should be cherished by defenders of the
name and fame of Mary Queen of Scots, for he goes so far as to say that
"ignorance, together with hypocrisie, usury, oppression, and iniquity,
took root in these parts [Scotland], when uprightness, plain-dealing,
and charity, with Astrœa, took their flight with Queen Mary of Scotland
into England." Probably few of her admirers would be so daring as to
assert this, though many of them doubtless would be glad to hear the
assertion made.

[140] We take the liberty of extracting those few sentences from the
letter of a friend, who has taken great interest in the execution of
this work;--"Sir Thomas would have been an original character in almost
any surroundings--a kind of literary Quixote, with what may be called a
'parenthetical' genius, branching off at every comma into the fresh
images furnished by a teeming imagination. He was more than a translator
of Rabelais--he seems to have been a kind of Rabelais himself."

[141] Sir Theodore Martin, _Rabelais_, p. xix.

[142] See p. 28.

[143] A different opinion is expressed in the preface to W. Harrison
Ainsworth's capital novel of _Crichton_. "Sir Thomas," he says, "is a
joyous spirit--a right Pantagruelist; and if he occasionally

         'Projicit ampullas et sesquipedalia verba,'

he has an exuberance of wit and playfulness of fancy that amply redeem
his tendency to fanfaronade." Our readers have abundance of material
before them for coming to a decision upon this question.

[144] See p. 85.

[145] _Works_, p. 226.

[146] Sir Theodore Martin, _Rabelais_, p. xx.

[147] In Granger's _Biographical Dictionary_ (1779), this portrait is
described erroneously, as Sir Thomas Urquhart is said in it to be
dressed in armour. Probably the description was given from memory. In
the second volume of Bohn's edition of _Rabelais_, the frontispiece is a
half-length portrait of the translator, evidently reproduced from the
above. The effect, however, is highly disagreeable, and the likeness
must have produced an unfavourable opinion of our author in the minds of
most of those who have looked upon it.

[148] In this engraving, which is our frontispiece, the Greek
inscription runs thus: τοις σε πεμψασιυ και προστατασιυ ειχαριστω, and
means, "_I thank those who sent you and gave the order_." These words
are, of course, addressed to the messenger who has been commissioned by
the Muses to convey the wreath to Sir Thomas. Above the wreath itself is
an obscure phrase--Mουσαρυ[μ] στόλοϛ--which is evidently a mixture of
Latin and Greek, musarum στολοϛ (=ἀπόστολοϛ?), "_messenger of the
muses_." It may, however, be that στολος is to be taken as "_equipment_"
or "_decoration_," as referring to the wreath. The courage with which
Greek and Latin forms are mixed up, and an old word despatched on its
way with a new meaning, of which this brief phrase gives evidence, is
highly characteristic of Cromartian Greek. For further illustration of
the peculiarities of this local variety or Hellenic speech, see p. 149.

[149] Sir Thomas, therefore, claims by anticipation the titles of Baron
and Sheriff, which were afterwards to be his.

[150] This use of the quills is referred to in the following passage in
Sir Thomas Urquhart's _Epigrams_ (MS.):--

                   "The Invocation to Clio.
                           Book 2.

    Wench wholly martial, to whose inspiration
    The Colophonian Pöet ow'd his skill:
    Let my verse merit no Lesse estimation,
    Then [than] if the point of a Pegasid quill,
        Dip'd in the sacred fontain Caballine,
        Character'd the Impression of each Line."

The "Colophonian Poet" is--"not to put too fine a point upon it"--Homer,
who, according to some, was born at Colophos, in Asia Minor. The phrase
"Pegasid quill" in this passage strengthens our opinion that this second
portrait of Sir Thomas, which we give here, was intended to be a
frontispiece to a second volume of poems. The similarity of diction
between this "Invocation" and the speeches of Ancient Pistol is very

                          CHAPTER IV


In 1641, Sir Thomas Urquhart published his first work--a volume of
poems, entitled "EPIGRAMS: DIVINE AND MORAL,"[151] and dedicated to the
Marquis of Hamilton. The poems are divided into three books, two of
which contain forty-five epigrams, while the third contains forty-four.
Most of them are in iambic pentameters, and are for the greater part
sextets in form; but though the versification is occasionally smooth,
these compositions do little credit to the Muse who inspired them. They
are, without an exception, pointless; and an epigram without a point is
about as useless and exasperating as a needle without one.[152] It is
somewhat remarkable that in his prose compositions the imagination of
Sir Thomas seems quite unfettered, while in his poems it is under some
such restraining influence as a strait-waistcoat is said to exercise
upon a certain class of patients.

A wild legend, the origin of which is unknown, but which is utterly
baseless, asserts that Urquhart "was laureated poet at Paris before he
was three and twenty years of age."[153] We could hardly conceive of any
responsible authorities being so far "left to themselves" as to do a
deed like this. The story may be either the misapplication to Urquhart
of some vague tradition of one of the feats of his hero, the Admirable
Crichton, or of what he himself has actually recorded of the poet,
Arthur Johnston.[154]

A modern critic, who has given Urquhart a full measure of praise, finds
himself unable to say a word in favour of his poems. "This slender
volume," he remarks, "gives not the slightest promise of talent. Its
stanzas are indistinguished and indistinguishable. There is no reason
why anyone should have written them, but, on the other hand, there is no
reason why anyone should not. They express the usual commonplaces: the
inevitableness of death, and the worth of endeavour. A mildly Horatian
sentiment is dressed up in the tattered rags of Shakespearianism, and
the surprise is that the author, whose prose is restrained by no
consideration of sound or sense, should have deemed it worth while to
print so tame a collection of exercises."[155]

A favourable specimen of the _Epigrams_ is the following from the first

                          OF VERTUE.

    "The way to vertue's hard, uneasie, bends
    Aloft, being full of steep and rugged alleys;
    For never one to a higher place ascends,
    That always keeps the plaine, and pleasant valleyes:
        And reason in each human breast ordaines
        That precious things be purchased with paines."

Or take this from the opposite page:--


    "As the glow-worme shines brightest in the darke
    And frankincense smells sweetest in the fire;
    So crosse adventures make us best remarke
    A sincere friend from a dissembled lyer;
        For some, being friends to our prosperity,
        And not to us, when it failes, they decay."

The fault of obscurity, of which the poet Browning has been accused,
could not be laid to the charge of Sir Thomas Urquhart. Nor can it be
said of him that he neglects truths that are obvious, and occupies
himself in discovering and bringing forward those that are recondite.
The sentiments to which he gives utterance seem those which
spontaneously occur to the average mind; on reading the subject of the
poem, as given in the title, and then the poem itself, we think

               "A said whot a owt to 'a said,"

and we come away without any feverish mental agitation or accelerated
movement of pulse.[156]

The sentiments which, from his own account, had, on more occasions than
one, filled his mind, are expressed in the piece entitled "THE GENEROUS
SINGLE COMBAT." They are as follows:--

    "Though with my raper, for the guerdon
    Your fault deserveth, I may pierce ye,
    Your penitence in craving pardon,
    Transpassions my revenge in mercy;
        And wills me both to end this present strife,
        And give you leave in peace t' enjoy your life."

Another Epigram, which one critic regards as Urquhart's _chef d'œuvre_
in this kind of composition, is the following:--

    "Take _man_ from _woman_, all that she can show
    Of her own proper, is nought else but _wo_."[157]

In a letter of commendation prefixed to his next work, _The
Trissotetras_, Sir Thomas Urquhart says of himself: "This Mathematicall
tractate doth no lesse bespeak him a good Poet and Orator, then [than]
by his elaboured poems he hath showne himselfe already a good
Philosopher and Mathematician." This self-criticism is all that could be
desired. A work on mathematics that proves an author's possession of
poetical and rhetorical gifts, and a volume of poetry which leads one to
think that the singer is an accomplished mathematician, are gifts with
which the world is but seldom favoured, and as it is likely that their
merits will not instantly be observed, the zeal of the author in calling
our attention to them is by no means unnecessary. But when he goes on to
say, still speaking of himself in the third person, "The Muses never yet
inspired sublimer conceptions in a more refined stile then [than] is to
be found in the accurate strain of his most ingenious Epigrams," we feel
that he is less felicitous. His first shot has hit the blank, but the
second is wide of the target altogether.

In his dedication of the volume to "the Marquis of Hamilton, Earle of
Arren and Cambridge, etc.," he describes its contents as "but flashes of
wit." A modern reader will probably, however, be inclined to think that
this modest opinion of them is far too flattering. At times there is a
faint suggestion of a possible gleam of brightness, but this is
instantly followed by Egyptian darkness, and one is reminded of a
revolving light that has somehow gone wrong.

The volume closes with the somewhat liturgical formula, "Here end the
first three Bookes of Sir Thomas Vrchard's Epigrams," and with a
doxology, the latter being almost the only trace of matter in it to
justify the use of "Divine" in the title. The author was evidently
prepared to go on with more "bookes" of the kind, if he got any
encouragement from publishers or public, but, probably, both thought it
about time for him to stop. The fact that, in five years after this
volume of poems had appeared, a second edition should apparently have
been brought out, would seem at first to indicate that there must have
been some little run upon the _Epigrams_. But the truth of the matter
is, that one "William Leake" had evidently got the "remainder," and
issued them in 1646 with a new title-page.

In the Introductory Notice to Sir Theodore Martin's edition of Rabelais,
some information is given concerning a folio volume of unpublished
Epigrams by Urquhart, which is still in existence.[158] It consists of
ten books, called after Apollo and the Muses, each containing 110
Epigrams, except the last, which has 113. The MS. is dedicated to the
Marquis of Hamilton; but, in addition to this, each book has a separate
dedication to some one of the author's political associates or friends.
The persons thus honoured are the Marquis of Huntly, the Earl of
Arundel, the Earl of Northumberland, the Earl of Pembroke, the Earl of
Dorset, the Earl of Holland, the Earl of Newcastle, the Earl of
Stafford, Lord Craven, and Lord Gaurin (Gowran). According to the custom
of that time, the reader finds his progress barred by several prefaces,
respectively named, in this instance, as the "Isagoge," or
"Introduction," the "Premonition," and the "Prolog," and cannot get away
without a "Corollarie," an "Animadversion," several extra leaves of
verses, "A Table for the more easie finding out of such Epigrams as
treat of one subject," an "Index," and a "List of proper names." For one
of these latter he has reason to be grateful to Sir Thomas, for the
"Index" is a glossary of "the harshest and most difficult words
contained in the preceding Epigrams."

[Illustration: Fac-simile of Sir Thomas Urquhart's handwriting
considerably reduced.]

The general character of the unpublished Epigrams does not seem to be
higher than that of those which have seen the light of day, and
consequently there is little likelihood of any anxiety being expressed
by the general public for a sight of them. Some of them also are of a
sportive turn, and are more in accordance with the standard of taste and
manners which prevailed in the middle of the seventeenth century than
with that, of our own day. From the "Animadversion" it seems that
Urquhart "contryved, blocked, and digested these eleven hundred epigrams
in a thirteen weeks tyme." This surely breaks the record in the matter
of speed in producing epigrams. Had the results been better, one would
have had more pleasure in supporting Sir Thomas against all-comers.

The second literary venture made by Sir Thomas Urquhart was the
publication of a scientific work, entitled "THE TRISSOTETRAS"[159]--a
treatise which professed to simplify trigonometry. Yet, notwithstanding
the statement on the title-page that the new method of working problems
in that department of mathematical science would be found invaluable by
soldiers, sailors, architects, astronomers, and others, the volume seems
to have dropped at once into the depths of oblivion, without even having
produced a ripple upon the surface of the waters. No one is known to
have read it or to have been able to read it. Lord Bacon, indeed, says
that things solid and weighty are drowned in the river of time, while
things that are light and blown-up are carried down by its current.[160]
A very comfortable theory would this be for those of us who write books
that are found unreadable and drop at once out of notice, if only some
trustworthy person could be found who would certify to the truth of Lord
Bacon's assertion.

The editor of the Maitland Club edition of Sir Thomas Urquhart's Works
has some qualms of conscience about reprinting this treatise. With a
touch of humour, which only true Philistines will fully appreciate, he
says that some apology may appear necessary, _even to an Antiquarian
Club_,[161] for reprinting a work apparently so unintelligible and
useless; and accordingly he shelters himself behind the opinion of Mr
Wallace, the Professor of Mathematics in the University of Edinburgh at
that time (1834). "I have," says Mr Wallace, who had been asked to
examine the work, "looked at Sir Thomas Urquhart's _Trissotetras_, but I
hardly know what to think of it. The book is not absolute nonsense, but
is written in a most unintelligible way,[162] and so as never book was
written before nor since. On this account it is truly a literary
curiosity. There appears to have been a perverted ingenuity exercised in
writing it, and I imagine that, with some patience, the author's plan
might be understood, but I doubt if any man would take the trouble; for,
after he had overcome the difficulty, there is nothing to reward his
labour. I presume the object of the author was to fix the rules of
Trigonometry in the memory, but no writer since his time has adopted his
invention. Indeed, I do not observe the least mention of his book in the
history of mathematical science. Yet, for his time, he seems not to have
been a bad mathematician. Urquhart speaks in terms of great praise of
Napier, yet not greater than he deserved. I infer from this that he was
well acquainted with the subject as then known. The book in question is
certainly a _curious_, if not a valuable relic of Scottish genius in
the olden time, and it is a good specimen of the pedantry and fantastic
taste of the Author. If, therefore, by reprinting his works, it be
intended to give a true portraiture of him, _The Trissotetras_ should on
that account, and I see no better reason, again pass through the

The volume is dedicated "To the right honourable and most noble lady, my
dear and loving mother, the Lady Dowager of Cromartie." The "Epistle
Dedicatory" is couched in the high-flown language which others would
have had difficulty in concocting, but which seems to flow with ease
from the lips of Sir Thomas. "Thus, Madam," he says, "unto you doe I
totally belong; but so as that those exteriour parts of mine, which by
birth are from your Ladiship derived, cannot be more fortunate in this
their subjection, notwithstanding the egregious advantages of bloud and
consanguinity thereby to them accruing, then [than] my selfe am happy,
as from my heart I doe acknowledge it, in the just right your Ladiship
hath to the eternall possession of the never-dying powers of my soule."
The following passage from the same "Epistle" reminds one of the
adulatory terms in which Sir Walter Raleigh and Spenser addressed Queen
Elizabeth: "By vertue of your beloved society, your neighbouring
Countesses, and other great dames of your kindred and acquaintance,
become more illustrious in your imitation [_i.e._ in imitation of you];
amidst whom, as Cynthia amongst the obscurer planets, your Ladiship
shines, and darteth the angelick rayes of your matchlesse example on
the spirits of those who by their good Genius have been brought into
your favourable presence to be enlightened by them." The concluding
passage in his Dedication is still more remarkable: "I will here," he
says, "in all submission, most humbly take my leave of your Ladiship,
and beseech Almighty God that it may please his Divine Majesty so to
blesse your Ladiship with continuance of dayes, that the sonnes or those
whom I have not as yet begot, may attaine to the happinesse of
presenting unto your Ladiship a braine-babe of more sufficiencie and

The ordinary reader who looks into the volume cannot fail to be appalled
by the new and mysterious terms with which its pages are crowded. Words
like "proturgetick," "quadrobiquadræquation," "sindiforall,"
"eathetobasall," "loxogonosphericall," and "zetetick," are freely used,
and many others equally hard and thorny. Even the author himself finds
it necessary to append to the work a glossary, containing an explanation
of a number of the words of which he had made use. "Being certainly
perswaded," he says, "that a great many good spirits [_i.e._ worthy
souls] ply Trigonometry that are not versed in the learned tongues, I
thought fit for their encouragement to subjoyne here the explication of
the most important of those Greek and Latin termes, which for the more
efficacy of expression I have made use of in this Treatise."[165]

In some cases, however, the "explication," instead of dispelling the
darkness, only renders it more visible, as when, _e.g._, we are told
that "_cathetobasall_ is said of the concordances of loxogonosphericall
moods, in the datas of the perpendicular and the base, for finding out
of the maine quæsitum." "_Inversionall_," we are told, "is said of the
concordances of those moods which agree in the manner of their
inversion; that is, in placing the second and fourth termes of the
analogy, together with their indowments, in the roomes of the first and
third, and contrariwise." Probably only those who are able to follow the
statement that "_oppoverticall_ is said of those moods which have a
catheteuretick concordance in their datas of the same cathetopposites
and verticall angles," will be qualified to give an intelligent assent
to the statement that "_sindiforall_ is said of those moods the fourth
terme of whose analogie is onely illatitious to the maine

Besides the Epistle of Dedication to the author's mother, there are two
Epistles and some Latin verses addressed to the reader. The former of
these last-mentioned Epistles is signed by Sir Thomas, and consists of a
glowing tribute of respect to Napier, the inventor of logarithms. "To
write of Trigonometry," he says, "and not make mention of the
illustrious Lord Neper[167] of Marchiston, the inventer of Logarithms,
were to be unmindfull of him that is our daily benefactor; these
artificiall numbers by him first excogitated and perfected, being of
such incomparable use,[168] that by them we may operate more in one day,
and with lesse danger of errour, then [than] can be done without them in
the space of a whole week; a secret which would have beene so precious
to antiquity that Pythagoras, all the seven wise men of Greece,
Archimedes, Socrates, Plato, Euclid, and Aristotle, had, if coævals,
joyntly adored him, and unanimously concurred to the deifying of the
revealer of so great a mystery." He concludes with the splendid sentence
that Napier's "immortall fame, in spite of time, will out-last all ages,
and look eternity in the face."[169]

The second Epistle to the reader is of a very startling kind. It
professes to be by some one whose initials are J. A., and it is written
in commendation of the book and its author, but there can be no doubt
that it is the production of Sir Thomas himself. He could no more
disguise his style of writing than Sir Piercie Shafton could lay aside
his Euphuistic English. After reading the laudatory sentences bestowed
upon the inventor of logarithms, it is very amusing to find J. A.
remarking of Sir Thomas Urquhart, that "the praise he hath beene pleased
to confer on the learned and honourable Neper, doth, without any
diminution, in every jot as duly belong unto himselfe."[170] As all our
author's eulogies are constructed on a vast scale, it is not surprising
to read that the new method of measuring triangles, as compared with the
old, is like the sea-journey between the Pillars of Hercules ("commonly
called the Straits of Gibraltar"), as compared with the land-journey
from the one to the other. In the one case, we have a short voyage of
not more than six hours' sail; in the other case, a walk of some seven
thousand long miles. The two concluding paragraphs of the Epistle are
so extraordinary and so characteristic of our author, that we must be
allowed to quote them at length.

"The secret unfolded in the following book," says J. A., "is so
precious, that [the author's] countrey and kindred would not have been
more honoured by him had he purchased [procured] millions of gold, and
severall rich territories of a great and vast extent, then [than] for
this subtile and divine invention, which will out-last the continuance
of any inheritance, and remaine fresh in the understandings of men of
profound literature, when houses and possessions will change their
owners, the wealthy become poor, and the children of the needy enjoy the
treasures of those whose heires are impoverished. Therefore, seeing for
the many-fold uses thereof in divers arts and sciences, in speculation
and practice, peace and war, sport and earnest, with the admirable
furtherances we reape by it in the knowledge of sea and land, and heaven
and earth, it cannot be otherwise then [than] permanent, together with
the Author's fame, so long as any of those endure; I will, God willing,
in the ruines of all these, and when time it selfe is expired, in
testimony of my thankfulnesse in particular for so great a benefit, if
after the resurrection there be any complementall [complimentary]
affability, expresse myselfe then as I doe now, The Author's most
affectionate, and most humbly devoted servant, J.A."[171]

Why our author should have resorted to this device for recommending
himself and his book, we cannot tell. Perhaps he felt that some strong
affirmations were needed in the case. Probably he agreed with the old
saying that, if you wish work to be thoroughly done, you had better do
it yourself. The moral aspect of the matter we leave in the hands of our
readers for discussion.

In five Latin elegiac couplets of a very neat and polished kind,
Alexander Ross[172] recommends _The Trissotetras_ to the reader, and
assures the author that Scotia, whom by his writings he was exalting to
the stars, looked down upon him with a benignant smile. Ross himself is
now only known to most of us from the mention made of him in _Hudibras_,
in the well-known passage--

    "There was an ancient sage philosopher
    Who had read Alexander Ross over."

It is to be feared that Alexander Ross had not performed the same feat
with regard to Sir Thomas Urquhart's treatise; for his verses[173] would
have been equally appropriate if the subject of them had been a
flying-machine or a water-tricycle invented by his friend.

At the end of the glossary in which the hardest words in _The
Trissotetras_ are explained, the author addresses a word in season to
the persons into whose hands his book may fall. He expects that "learned
and judicious mathematicians" will welcome it, and he promises them more
of the same kind. His dignified attitude towards carping critics is very
impressive. "But as for such," he says, "who, either understanding it
not, or vain-gloriously being accustomed to criticise on the works of
others, will presume to carp therein at what they cannot amend, I pray
God to illuminate their judgments and rectifie their wits, that they may
know more and censure lesse; for so by forbearing detraction, the venom
whereof must needs reflect upon themselves, they will come to approve
better of the endeavours of those that wish them no harme."[174]


[151] "EPIGRAMS: DIVINE AND MORAL. _By Sir Thomas Urchard, Knight._
London: Printed by Barnard Alsop and Thomas Fawcet, in the Yeare 1641."

[152] It is only fair, however, to Urquhart to remember that his idea of
an Epigram was probably different from ours. In modern times point or
"bite" is regarded as essential to such kind of compositions. The
original idea of them was that they should contain a single distinct
thought, and be brief enough to serve as inscriptions.

[153] Granger's _Biographical History_, iii, 160.

[154] _Works_, p. 263.

[155] Charles Whibley, _New Review_, July 1897.

[156] A school-girl once wrote in a copy of _Moral Tales_, which she
used for her Italian lessons, that they were "moral to the last degree."
The same may be said of Sir Thomas Urquhart's _Moral Epigrams_.

[157] This reminds one of Alice's subtraction sum. "Take a bone from a
dog. What remains?... The dog's temper would remain" (_Through the
Looking-Glass_, chap. ix.). A somewhat different and more sombre turn of
thought than the above was suggested to Southey's Dr Dove by the
resemblance between the words. "_Woman_," he says, "evidently meaning
either _man's woe_--or abbreviated from _woe to man_, because by woman
was woe brought into the world" (_The Doctor_, chap. ccviii.).

[158] The title is as follows:--"_Ten Books of Epigrams: the Curiositie
whereof, for Conception, stile, instruction, and Other mixtures of show
and substance, being no lesse fruitfull then [than] pleasing to the
diligent Peruser, are entitled_ APOLLO _and the_ MUSES. _Written by the
Right Worshipfull_ SIR THOMAS URCHARD, _Knight_." The volume is now in
the possession of Professor Ferguson, of Glasgow University. From it our
specimen of his handwriting is taken.

[159] The title-page, according to the custom of the time, gives a
somewhat elaborate account of the contents of the volume. It runs as
follows:--"THE TRISSOTETRAS; Or, _A most Exquisite Table_ for Resolving
all manner of Triangles, whether plain or sphericall, Rectangular or
Obliquangular, with greater facility, then [than] ever hitherto hath
been practised: Most necessary for all such as would attaine to the
exact knowledge of Fortification, Dyaling, Navigation, Surveying,
Architecture, the Art of Shadowing, taking of Heights and Distances, the
use of both the Globes, Perspective, the skill of making Maps, the
Theory of the Planets, the calculating of their motions, and all other
Astronomicall Computations whatsoever. Now lately invented, and
perfected, explained, commented on, and, with all possible brevity and
perspicuity, in the hiddest and most researched mysteries, from the very
first grounds of the Science it selfe, proved, and convincingly
demonstrated. By Sir Thomas Urquhart of Cromartie, Knight. Published for
the benefit of those that are mathematically affected. _London_, Printed
by James Young. 1645."

[160] _Advancement of Learning._

[161] The italics are ours.

[162] Sir Theodore Martin remarks that this conclusion nearly resembles
that of Socrates, upon being asked his opinion of the book of Heraclitus
the Obscure. "Those things," he said, "which I understood were
excellent; I imagine so were those I understood not; but they require a
diver of Delos" (_Rabelais_, p. xviii.).

[163] _Works_, p. xvi.

[164] _Works_, pp. 55-57.

[165] _Ibid._ p. 131.

[166] The author of the above sentences is one of the very few persons
in history or fiction known to us who would have been qualified to join
in the conversation of the pleasant company in Illyria, when they began
"to speak of Pigrogromitus, and of the Vapians passing the equinoctial
of Queubus" (_Twelfth Night_, Act II. Sc. iii.)--the allusion to which
has caused so many German commentators on Shakespeare to spend sleepless
nights in their libraries.

[167] John Napier, of Merchiston (1550-1617), who published his
invention in 1614. Our author calls him Lord Napier, but we are to
understand the title as simply equivalent to "_laird_." He calls himself
on one of his title-pages _Baro Merchistonii_, but that phrase is merely
the designation of the superior of a barony, or lord of a manor. In the
old Scottish Parliament men of this rank sat as "_lesser barons_."

[168] The subject of logarithms is perhaps one of those things which the
ordinary render might safely be presumed to know something about. In
these days of higher education for women, it would be an act of
impertinence to provide information on this point for that class of our
readers. The following explanations are, therefore, intended for those
members of the inferior sex whose education on the mathematical side has
been neglected. The idea of logarithms arose in the mind of Napier from
the wish to simplify the processes of multiplication and division, by
making addition and subtraction take their place. To effect this,
connect together a series of numbers increasing by arithmetical
progression with a series increasing by multiplication or by
mathematical progression.

 Thus: 0.  1.    5.  32.    10.  1024.
       1.  2.    6.  64.    11.  2048.
       2.  4.    7. 128.    12.  4096.
       3.  8.    8. 256.    13.  8192.
       4. 16.    9. 512.    14. 16384.

To multiply, say, 64 by 256, that is to find the products of the 6th and
8th powers of 2, we must take the (6+8)th or 14th power, which from the
table is 16384. To divide 8192 by 256, or the 13th power of 2 by the
8th, we must take the (13-8)th or 5th power, which from the table is 32.
By means of this principle calculations can by made by persons whose
business it is to do so, and stored up apart for use. The vast saving to
mental labour by this simple and beautiful adjustment of numbers may be
estimated by a glance at any collection of tables of logarithms. In a
science like astronomy, progress would be terribly impeded if
calculations had to be conducted by the ordinary methods.

[169] _Works_, p. 59.

[170] _Ibid._ p. 61.

[171] _Works_, p. 63.

[172] Alexander Ross (1590-1654) was a believer in centaurs and
griffins, in nations of giants and pygmies, and also, of course, in
witches. In short, a pretty accurate statement of his intellectual creed
might be constructed by turning into the articles of a confession of
faith the list of "Vulgar Errors" controverted by Sir Thomas Browne. It
is interesting to know that he was probably the last person in Scotland
who heard the voice of the water-kelpie. "One day," he says, "travelling
before day with some company near the river Don in Aberdeen, we heard a
great noise and voices calling to us. I was going to answer, but was
forbid by my company, who told me they were spirits, who never are heard
there but before the death of somebody; which fell out too true, for the
next day a gallant gentleman was drowned, with his horse offering to
swim over" (Quoted in _Lives of Eminent Men of Aberdeen_, by J. Bruce).

[173] They begin--

    "Si cupis ætherios tutò peragrare meatus,
    Et sulcare audes si vada salsa maris," etc.

A friend, who knows

         "Himself to sing and build the lofty rhyme,"

has given me the following metrical translation of Ross's verses:--

    "Wouldst thou in safety trace ethereal ways,
    Or plough with daring keel the briny deep;
    Shouldst thou earth's wide expanses long to span,
    Come hither, make this learned book thine own.
    By it, without Dædalian wings, canst fly,
    And without Neptune, through the depths canst swim;
    By it thou canst subdue the Lybian heat,
    And bear the cruel cold of Scythian skies.
    On, Thomas! Scotia, whom unto the stars
    Thy writings raise, will yet rejoice in thee."

[174] _Works_, p. 146. _N.B._--The attention of professional critics is
respectfully directed to the above passage.

                          CHAPTER V


One of the most characteristic of Sir Thomas Urquhart's works is his
ΠΑΝΤΟΧΡΟΝΟΧΑΝΟΝ: or, A Peculiar PROMPTUARY of TIME.[175] This contains a
complete pedigree of the Urquhart family from the creation of the world
down to the year A.D. 1652. Prefixed to it is a letter to the reader by
"a well-wisher," whose initials are G. P., into whose hands the pedigree
had fallen by mere chance, and who had thought himself bound in duty to
the public to see it safely through the press. According to the
statements of this disinterested philanthropist, the work in question
was but one of a large number of papers of very great importance,
forming part of the author's baggage, which he had to abandon after the
battle of Worcester. It is the habit, we know, of impecunious and
importunate wayfarers to carry about with them documents of interest to
which they solicit attention; but why a man in Sir Thomas Urquhart's
position should have gone on a campaign, encumbered by various
unpublished works in manuscript, it is difficult to say. Perhaps the
simplest explanation is that he was different from other people.

The soldiers of Cromwell, we were told, made but light of this portion
of the enemy's baggage, after "the fatal blowe given to the Royal party
at Worcester"; indeed, but for "a surpassing honest and civil officer of
Colonel Pride's regiment," the pedigree of the Urquharts would have been
used by "a file of musquettiers to afford smoak to their pipes of

The fame of Sir Thomas as an author and as a soldier moved G. P., as he
tells us, to commit this treatise to the press. With considerable
ingenuity he remarks that, though the author is now in prison as a
Royalist, he understands that his position is by no means "so desperate
as that he thereby will be much endangered." If any doubt up to this
point existed as to who G. P. might be, it is set at rest by the terms
in which he pleads for favourable conditions being granted to the
prisoner. "It is humbly desired," he says, "and, as I believe, from the
hearts of all that are acquainted with him, that the greatest State in
the world stain not their glory by being the Atropos to cut the thred of
that which Saturne's sithe hath not been able to mow in the progress of
all former ages, especially in the person of him whose inward abilities
are like to produce effects conducible to the State of as long
continuance for the future."[177] Only Sir Thomas Urquhart himself had
the secret of what we may call the "spacious" manner of self-eulogy,
which by its very grandeur seems lifted up above all such petty feelings
as pride or vanity.

The concluding passage in the address to the reader is also worth
quoting, as it illustrates the magnanimous spirit in which the captive
deprecates severity towards himself on the ground of the injury which
would thereby redound to the State. "Considering," it says, "how
formerly he hath been a Mæcenas to the scholar, a patron to the
souldier, a favourer of the marchant, a protector of the artificer, and
upholder of the yeoman, it were a thousand pities that by the austerity
of a State, which dependeth in both its _esse_ and _bene esse_ upon the
flourishing of these worthy professions, effects so advantagious
thereto, should, by not conferring deserved courtesies on him, be
extinguished in the very brood."[178]

In the _True Pedigree and Lineal Descent of the Most Ancient and
Honourable Family of the Urquharts in the House of Cromartie_, we have a
brief but surprisingly complete history of the family from the time of
Adam[179] down to A.D. 1652. The line runs through the Sethite and not
the Cainite branch of the human race, and, among the sons of Noah, it
passes through Japhet. The story is told of a marginal note being found
in the history of some ancient Highland family, to the effect that
"about this time the Flood took place." Something like this is to be
found in the document before us, for, under the date B.C. 2893, Sir
Thomas adds to a mention of his ancestor Noah, a remark to the effect
that "the Universal Deluge occurred in the six hundreth yeer compleat of
his age."

The good fortune of his ancestors in their inheritances, marriages, and
friendships is very remarkable. To one of them, Japhet, fell the
inheritance of "all the regions of Europe"; Japhet's grandson Penuel was
"a most intimate friend of Nimrod, the mighty hunter and builder of
Babel"; while his great-grandson Tycheros was chosen by "Orpah, the
daughter of Sabatius Saga, Prince of the Armenians, to be her husband,
because of his gallantry and good success in the wars."[180]

The name Urquhart came into use at the comparatively late period of B.C.
2139, when the family had been in existence for over eighteen hundred
years. It was first borne by Esormon. "He," we are told, "was soveraign
Prince of Achaia. For his fortune in the wars, and affability in
conversation, his subjects and familiars surnamed him ουροχαρτος, that
is [to] say, fortunate well-beloved. After which time, his posterity
ever since hath acknowledged him the father of all that carry the name
of Urquhart.[181] He had for his arms, three banners, three ships, and
three ladies, in a field _d'or_, with a picture of a young lady above
the waste, holding in her right hand a brandished sword, and a branch of
myrtle in the left, for crest; and for supporters, two Javanites, after
the souldier-habit of Achaia, with this motto in the scroll of his
coat-armour, ταυτα τα τρια αξιοθεατα; that is, These three are worthy to
behold. Upon his wife Narfesia, who was soveraign of the Amazons, he
begot Cratynter."[182]

The habits of the Urquharts to form alliances and friendships with
persons afterwards famous in sacred and secular history is very marked.
Thus, one of them, Phrenedon Urquhart, "was in the house of the
Patriarch Abraham at the time of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrha."
At a later period, another, named Hypsegoras Urquhart, married a
daughter of Herculus Lybius; while a descendant of theirs, Pamprosodos
Urquhart, married Termuth, "who was that daughter of Pharaoh Amenophis
which found Moses among the bulrushes, and brought him up as if he had
been her own childe."

Another ancestor, Molin Urquhart (_c._ B.C. 1534), married Panthea, "the
daughter of Deucalion and Pyrrha, of whom Ovid maketh mention in the
first of his Metamorphoses." The genealogist goes on to say that "in
that part of Africk which, after his name, is till this hour called
Molinea, by cunning and valour together he killed in one morning three
lions;[183] the heads whereof, when in a basket, presented to his lady
Panthea, so terrified her, that (being quick with childe) for putting
her right hand to her left side, with this sudden exclamation, O
Hercules, what is this? the impression of three lions' heads was found
upon the left side of the childe as soon as he was born." In consequence
of this incident, the three banners, three ships, and three ladies in
the Urquhart arms were exchanged for three lions' heads.

A century later, we find that Propetes Urquhart married Hypermnestra,
"the choicest of Danaus' fifty daughters." This must have been some time
after the little affair happened for which forty-nine of her sisters
were condemned to draw water in sieves; for, as every schoolboy knows,
the fifty daughters of Danaus were married to their cousins, the fifty
sons of Ægyptus, and all of them, but one, at the bidding of their
father, murdered their husbands on the evening of the marriage-day.
Hypermnestra, however, had pity upon her cousin and husband, Lynceus,
and spared him.[184] He must have died shortly after, probably from
natural causes, as it is recorded in the work before us that she married
Propetes Urquhart, and became the mother of Euplocamos Urquhart.

The thought of what the family to which Hypermnestra belonged were
capable when their blood was up, must, one would think, have cast a
slight shadow of apprehension upon the married life of Propetes
Urquhart. A more cheerful tone must have pervaded that of his descendant
Cainotomos Urquhart, for he, we are told, "took to wife Thymelica, the
daughter of Bacchus, in recompense of his having accompanied him in the
conquest of the Indies." Further interesting particulars, which are not
elsewhere recorded, are related of this ancestor of Sir Thomas. On his
return from the expedition in which he assisted Bacchus to conquer
India, he "passed through the territories of Israel, where, being
acquainted with Debora the Judge and Prophetess, he received from her a
very rich jewel, which afterwards by one of his succession was presented
to Pentasilea, that Queen of the Amazons that assisted the Trojans
against Agamemnon."

Their son Rodrigo Urquhart (_c._ B.C. 1295) was, we are told, invited
over by his kindred the Clanmolinespick,[185] the principal clan in
Ireland, and "bore rule there with much applause and good success"--the
one solitary instance of the kind, we suppose, which is to be found in
the history of that "most distressful country." "From him," it is said,
"is descended the Clanrurie,[186] of which name there were twenty-six
rulers and kings of Ireland before the days of Ferguse the first, King
of Scots in Scotland."

A slight degree of uncertainty hangs about the identity of the wife of
Mellessen Urquhart (_c._ B.C. 1049). Her name was Nicolia, and before
her marriage she "travelled from the remote Eastern countries to have
experience of the wisdom of Solomon, and by many[187] is supposed to
have been the Queen of Sheba." Her husband, however, must have
considered that, though she loved wisdom, she had not acquired much of
it, or, at any rate, of the kind which is needed for bringing up a young
family; for the historian goes on to say that "Mellessen Urquhart
nevertheless sent some of his children to Ireland and Britain, to be
brought up with the best of his own father and mother's kindred."

Amongst other celebrated persons who had the honour of being enrolled
amongst the ancestors of Sir Thomas Urquhart are Pothina, a niece of
Lycurgus; Æquanima, the sister of Marcus Coriolanus; Diosa, the daughter
of Alcibiades; and Tortolina, the daughter of King Arthur. It is
observable that for a good many generations immediately preceding the
author's time, the ladies who figure in the genealogy are of
comparatively lowly birth--seldom, indeed, do they reach the rank of
an earl's daughter. Either the supply of princesses was by this time
somewhat exhausted, or the demands of the Urquharts were less
exorbitant. The high-spirited character of the most remarkable scion of
the family who drew up the genealogy forbids us to think that, with the
lapse of time, they had suffered any diminution of courage. It rather
seems as though the world had entered upon a less heroic stage. Perhaps,
like Sir Thomas Browne in a later age, they had concluded that "it was
too late to be ambitious, for the great mutations of the world were


In the time of Vocompos (A.D. 775) a further change took place in the
arms of the Urquharts, which gave them their final form. "Vocompos," we
learn, "was the first in the world that had the bears' heads to his
arms, being induced to exchange, by the instigation of King Solvatius,
his arms of three lions' heads, for the three bears' heads, razed,
because of the great exploit, in presence of the King, done by him and
his two brothers, in killing, one morning, three wild bears, in the
Caledonian forrest: the supporters were also changed into two
greyhounds: the crest and impress remaining still the same as it was
since the days of Astioremon."[188]

An alleged ancestor of our author, William de Monte Alto (Mouat),[189]
took part in the patriotic resistance of Scotland against English
oppression which is associated with the names of Bruce and Wallace, and
the faint local traditions of that time partly corroborate Urquhart's
statements. "This William," he says, "caried himself so lovingly towards
King Robert, that when almost all Scotland was possest by King Edward's
faction, and his lands at Cromartie altogether overrun by them, and his
house garrisoned and victualed with three yeers provision of all
necessaries for one hundred men, he by a stratagem gained the castle,
and with the matter of fourty men, keept it out against the forces of
Edward for the space of seven yeers and a half, during which time all
his lands there were totally wasted, and his woods burnt; so that,
having nothing then he could properly call his own but the mote-hill
onely of Cromartie, which he fiercely maintained against the enemies, he
was agnamed _Gulielmus de Monte Alto_. At last William Wallace came to
his relief, but, as I conceive, it was the brother's son of the renowned
William, who in a little den [or hollow] within two miles of Cromartie,
till this hour called Wallace Den, killed six hundred of King Edward's
unfortunate forces. Afterwards, raising the siege from about the
mote-hill of Cromartie by the assistance of his namesake the other
William, the shire of Cromarty was totally purged of the enemy."[190]

Tradition, according to Hugh Miller, is silent respecting the siege, but
relates many details of the battle. The Scottish forces lay in ambuscade
in the ravine or hollow which is still, or was until recently, called by
Wallace's name, and attacked a large body of English troops on their way
to join some of their countrymen, who were encamped on the peninsula of
Easter Ross. The English were surprised and panic-struck, and left six
hundred dead on the field of battle. The survivors were unacquainted
with the country, and were under the impression that there was
continuous land between them and their countrymen on the opposite shore.
"They were only undeceived," we are told, "when, on climbing the
southern Sutor, where it rises behind the town, they saw an arm of the
sea more than a mile in width, and skirted by abrupt and dizzy
precipices, opening before them. The spot is still pointed out where
they made their final stand; and a few shapeless hillocks, that may
still be seen among the trees, are said to have been raised above the
bodies of those who fell; while the fugitives, for they were soon beaten
from this position, were either driven over the neighbouring
precipices, or perished amidst the waves of the Firth."[191]

Sir Thomas does not let us off easily. After subjecting our credulity to
a severe strain by one kind of statement, he unexpectedly increases the
tension by another. Thus he says that an ancestor in the fifteenth
century, Thomas Urquhart, had by his wife Helen Abernethie, daughter of
Lord Salton, five-and-twenty sons, who grew up to manhood, and eleven
daughters, all of whom found husbands. It would only have been kind of
him to have reduced these numbers a little. But on one point he has
spared us: we are not asked to believe that there were others who died
in infancy.

In a postscript Sir Thomas Urquhart explains that he has just given his
readers a sketch of the history of his family, but hopes to furnish them
with a complete narrative as soon as he obtains his release from his
parole, and is at liberty to attend to this and to other matters of
greater importance. The thought of the delightful book in store for
mankind is so attractive to him that he cannot help dilating upon it.
"In the great chronicle of the House of Urquhart," he continues, "the
aforesaid Sir Thomas purposeth, by God's assistance, to make mention of
the illustrious families from thence descended, which as yet are in
esteem in the countries of Germany, Bohemia, Italy, France, Spain,
England, Scotland, Ireland, and several other nations of a warmer
climate, adjacent to that famous territory of Greece, the lovely mother
of this most ancient and honourable stem."[192] He also intends not to
omit the name of any family with which at any time the aforesaid house
has contracted alliance.

The concluding paragraph is very amusing; for in it our author promises
to give proof of the statements he has made, by quoting from the works
of respectable chroniclers of past ages, though the degree of certainty
which the reader may thereby expect to reach falls short of that given
by Holy writ or the works of Euclid. "And finally," he says, "for
confirmation of the truth in deriving of his extraction from the Ionian
race of the Prince of Achaia, and in the deduction of all the
considerable particulars of the whole story, [the author] is resolved to
produce testimonies of Arabick, Greek, Latin, and other writers of such
authentick approbation, that we may boldly from thence infer
consequences of no less infallible verity then [than] any that is not
grounded on faith by means of a Divine illumination, as is the story of
the Bible, or on reason, by vertue of the unavoidable inference of a
necessary concluding demonstration, as that of the Elements of Euclid;
which being the greatest evidence that in any narration of that kinde is
to be expected, the judicious reader is bid farewel, from whom the
Author for the time most humbly takes his leave."[193]

It is needless to say that the scheme of filling out the sketch of the
history of the Urquhart family was never carried out, if ever it had
been seriously entertained by Sir Thomas; and we are left in ignorance
of the names of the Arabic, Greek, Latin, and other authors on whose
testimony our belief in the authenticity of the narrative was to have
been firmly based. In the absence of this our judgment is left in
suspense, unless, indeed, we conclude that, as the genealogy begins and
ends with the names of actual persons,[194] the intermediate part is not
likely to have been a mere fabrication. If the links are sound in the
places where we can test them, it requires no very great exercise of
credulity to believe that they are the same throughout.

Matthew Arnold on one occasion laid down the principle, that a book
should either "edify the uninstructed," or "inform the instructed." Sir
Thomas Urquhart's "ΠΑΝΤΟΧΡΟΝΟΧΑΝΟΝ" certainly justifies its existence
according to this standard of judging literature; for if it does not
serve to edify the uninstructed, it _does_ inform the instructed, since
the information it contains is not to be found in any other

One's faith in the credibility of his narrative is, however, a little
shaken by finding that in the second book of his favourite author,
Rabelais, the genealogy of the giant Pantagruel is carried up to a
period far beyond the Flood. It may be a mere coincidence, but it is one
of those coincidences that make us very thoughtful.[196]

At the time when Sir Thomas Urquhart wrote, Scotland was supposed to
have had a dynasty of kings and a connected political history dating
far back before the birth of Christ. The impudent fictions of Hector
Boece, whose history of Scotland was published in 1526, had been
accepted by the public, and were regarded as genuine facts even by such
literary personages as Erasmus and Paulus Jovius. Perhaps Sir Thomas
thought that a credulity which had endured the considerable strain which
Boece had put upon it might be trusted to bear a still greater weight.
Indeed, he interwove the story of his family with that which was current
as the genuine history of his native land.

According to the mythical history of Scotland, Gathelus, a Grecian
prince, having quarrelled with his father Miol, took refuge in Egypt,
and married Scota, a daughter of the Pharaoh who perished in the Red
Sea. The young people came west and founded Portugal (_i.e._ Port of
Gathelus), and then journeyed north to Scotland, bringing with them, as
part of their baggage, the coronation-stone yet to be seen in
Westminster Abbey. Their descendant Fergus, "the father of a hundred
kings," was the founder of the Scottish monarchy. These shadowy persons
appear again, "with the moonlight streaming through them," and play
their parts in the genealogy of the Urquharts.

Some have thought that Sir Thomas believed devoutly in the genealogy
himself, and was the dupe of his own imagination. One would be sorry to
form so low an opinion of his mental endowments. If the book in question
were not an elaborate joke, it can only have been intended to impose
upon the English people by convincing them of the extraordinary dignity
and grandeur of their captive. If this were indeed the case, he must
have had an humbler opinion of the intellectual faculties possessed by
the average Englishman than even the majority of his fellow-countrymen

A very amusing reference to this book of Sir Thomas Urquhart's is to be
found in the Decisions of the Court of Session, under date of 23rd to
25th January, 1706.[197] In that year an action was brought by the Earl
of Sutherland against the Earls of Crawford, Errol, and Marischal, to
determine the question of precedency in the rolls of Parliament. The
pursuer asserted that he was lineally descended from an Earl of
Sutherland living in 1275, while his opponents' ancestors were not Earls
till about 1399. The pursuer laid stress upon the fact that, in 1630, a
formal inquiry into this matter had been held at Inverness, and that the
decision had been in his favour. The persons who conducted the inquiry
were, he said, of undoubted credit, and well versed in the particulars
investigated, and "might have had good information from old men and
writs, which in the course of time and through accidents had long
disappeared." The advocate for the defenders replied that the
"Chancellor of the Inquest" had been Sir Thomas Urquhart, who might have
traced the pursuer's descent from Noah, as he had deduced his own
genealogy from Adam, and that the decision arrived at was of no more
value than "his fanciful derivation of his own pedigree. For the members
of the Inquest seemed to have sworn rashly upon matters of greater
antiquity than they could certainly know." "It is true," was the
pursuer's reply, "the defender in his gaiety objects against Sir Thomas
Urquhart as an ill genealogist; and it is owned that his derivation from
Adam and Noah was fantastic enough, and indeed but _lusus ingenii_; but,
after all, the defender's criticism will not hinder him to pass for a
most knowing gentleman." The case was decided in favour of the Earl of
Sutherland, so far as some of his contentions were concerned. But it is
somewhat curious that his advocate overlooked the fact that the Sir
Thomas Urquhart of 1630, who had been the "Chancellor of the Inquest,"
was not the author of the book containing the genealogy of the
Urquharts, but that it was written by his son. It is quite possible,
however, that it was a matter of notoriety that the elder Sir Thomas had
been a believer in the long pedigree which his more famous son had,
years after, elaborated and published.[198]


[175] The full title of the work is as follows:--ΠΑΝΤΟΧΡΟΝΟΧΑΝΟΝ: or, A
Peculiar PROMPTUARY of TIME; Wherein (not one instant being omitted
since the beginning of motion) is displayed A most exact DIRECTORY for
all particular _Chronologies_ in what Family soever: And that by
deducing the true Pedigree and Lineal descent of the most ancient and
honourable name of the VRQVHARTS, in the house of CROMARTIE, since the
Creation of the world, until this present yeer of God, 1652. London,
Printed for Richard Baddeley, and are to be sold at his shop, within the
Middle-Temple-Gate, 1652.

[176] _Works_, p. 151.

[177] _Works_, p. 152.

[178] _Ibid._ p. 152.

[179] Poor Sir Thomas thought that he was going back to the beginning
when he traced his descent up to Adam, or, to be more exact, to the red
earth of which the "protoplast" was made. The late Charles Darwin
carried back the pedigree of man a prodigious length, though he lowered
its quality. There can be little doubt that our author would have
disdained to accept what used to be called "the lower animals" as, in
any sense, ancestors of mankind, or, at any rate, of the dignified
family of Urquhart.

[180] _Works_, p. 156.

[181] In one respect, at any rate, we have legitimate ground of triumph
over our ancestors--we spell better than they did. Charles Lamb once
lent a volume of the old dramatists to a friend, and asked him his
opinion of it. The reply was that it contained a considerable amount of
bad spelling! The name Urquhart, as thus written, occurs here in Sir
Thomas's "Pedigree," and is, doubtless, the correct form of the name. In
the Latinised shape of Urquhardus it occurs on the register of the
University of Aberdeen, at which our author studied. Yet Urchard seems
to have been

      "The name our valiant Knight
    To all his challenges did write."

The unbridled licence in the matter of spelling prevalent at that period
is still further illustrated by the historian Gordon, who wrote the
_History of Scots Affairs_, and who gives us the name in the form of
Wrqhward! This, one would think, was as far as it was possible to get in
the way of bad spelling, without altogether taking leave of the sounds
to be expressed by alphabetical signs. After it the spelling Wrwhart, as
we find it in an Act of Parliament of 1663, seems rather poor.

[182] _Works_, p. 156.

[183] _Works_, p. 159.

[184] Horace gives us the speech in which she told Lynceus of his
danger, and urged him to make his escape--

    "'Wake!' to her youthful spouse she cried,
      'Wake! or you yet may sleep too well:
    Fly--from the father of your bride,
              Her sisters fell:
    They, as she-lions bullocks rend,
      Tear each her victim: I, less hard,
    Than these, will slay you not, poor friend,
              Nor hold in ward:

    Me let my sire in fetters lay
      For mercy to my husband shown:
    Me let him ship from hence away,
              To climes unknown.
    Go; speed your flight o'er land and wave,
      While Night and Venus shield you; go
    Be blest: and on my tomb engrave
              This tale of woe.'"

    _Odes_, iii. 11 (Conington's Translation).

Her sad forebodings concerning her own fate, it is satisfactory to know,
were not fully realised. Perhaps she was shipped away to Cromartie, or
Ireland, or Portugal, or Africa, or wherever it was that the head of the
Urquhart family was then reigning. Instead of Lynceus having the
melancholy satisfaction of putting an inscription on her tombstone, it
is probable that she performed that office for him.

[185] Clanmolinespick is, we believe, more correctly
_clann-maol-an-easbuig_ (the last pronounced _cspick_), and means "the
clan" or "family of the servant of the bishop." They are probably the
Irish ancestors of the Macmillans of Knapdale in Argyleshire. The word
"_maol_," "a tonsured servant," occurs in Malise (_maol-Josa_), "a
servant of Jesus," a family name of the old Earls of Strathearn; and
_easbuig_ in Gillespie or Gillespic, "a servant" or "gillie of the

[186] Clanrurie is "the clan" or "family of Roderick." These are the
Macrories and Fullartons, their eponym having been Rory or Roderick, one
of the two sons of Reginald, whose father in almost prehistoric times
was Somerled, Lord of the Isles. They settled in Bute and Arran, and
about Ardnamurchan and the islands there.

[187] This phrase--"by many"--is very delightful.

[188] _Works_, p. 168. A curious stone lintel now at Kinbeakie gives a
representation of the Urquhart coat of arms, such as it was in Sir
Thomas's own time. It was no doubt executed at his orders and under his
direction, for inscribed on it are the names of some of those worthies
who appear in the above genealogical history. The representation which
we give of this stone is from a photograph specially taken for the
illustration of this work. As the porch in the wall of which the slab is
set is very narrow, it was impossible, even with the use of a wide-angle
lens, to get a more satisfactory photograph than that which is here
reproduced. Our readers will therefore kindly excuse the distortion of
shape which is only too apparent, and accept as a measure of
compensation the vividness with which the details of the engraved stone
are brought out. "This singular relic," says Hugh Miller, "which has,
perhaps, more of character impressed upon it than any other piece of
sandstone in the kingdom, is about five feet in length by three in
breadth, and bears date A.M. 5612, A.C. 1651. On the lower and upper
edges it is bordered by a plain moulding, and at the ends by belts of
rich foliage, terminating in a chalice or vase. In the upper corner two
knights in complete armour on horseback, and with their lances couched,
front each other, as if in the tilt-yard. Two Sirens playing on harps
occupy the lower. In the centre are the arms--the charge on the shield
three bears' heads, the supporters two greyhounds leashed and collared,
the crest a naked woman holding a dagger and palm, the helmet that of a
knight, with the beaver partially raised, and so profusely mantled that
the drapery occupies more space than the shield and supporters, and the
motto MEANE WEIL, SPEAK WEIL, AND DO WEIL. Sir Thomas's initials, S. T.
V. C., are placed separately, one letter at the outer side of each
supporter, one in the centre of the crest, and one beneath the label;
while the names of the more celebrated heroes of his genealogy, and the
eras in which they flourished, occupy in the following inscription the
space between the figures:--ANNO ASTIOREMONIS, 2226; ANNO VOCOMPOTIS,
LUTORCI, 2000; ANNO ESORMONIS, 3804. It is melancholy enough that this
singular exhibition of family pride should have been made in the same
year in which the family received its deathblow--the year of Worcester
battle" (_Scenes and Legends of the North of Scotland_, chap. vii.). The
arms of the Urquhart family in their later form, as associated with
those of the Meldrum and Seton families, are given in the 1774 edition
of the ΠΑΝΤΟΧΡΟΝΟΧΑΝΟΝ, and are as follows:--"_Arms_, Or, three
Bears-heads, erazed, gules, langued azure. _Crest_, a demy Otter issuing
from the wreath sable, crowned with an antique Crown, or, holding
betwixt his paws a crescent gules. _Motto_ above, _Per mare et Terras_,
and below, _Mean, speak, and do well_. _Supporters_, two grayhounds,
proper collared gules, and leashed." There can be no doubt that the
Urquhart arms should be the three _bears'_ heads, though they are often
described as three _boars'_ heads. The records of 1742 and 1760 in the
Lyon Register make this quite certain. Probably the close resemblance
between the two words is the principal cause of the confusion with
regard to the matter which exists. In the sculptured coat of arms, of
which we give a representation, the heads certainly have a superficial
resemblance at least to those of boars. A correspondent who takes an
interest in this question remarks, however, that "though the heads have
tusks worthy of any boar, they (_i.e._ the heads) are set at right
angles to the necks in a way in which no boar could be represented." On
the other hand, the snouts of the animals have that distinctly
_retroussé_ shape which we associate with pigs, both wild and
domesticated. The question is, therefore, not so simple as at first
sight it appears, and can scarcely be adequately dealt with in a mere
footnote. Accordingly we leave our readers to discuss and settle the

[189] See p. 4, _supra_.

[190] _Works_, p. 170.

[191] _Scenes and Legends of the North of Scotland_, Hugh Miller, p. 48.
This battle is supposed to be mentioned by Blind Harry, who has
celebrated the achievements of Wallace in the following uncouth lines:--

    "Wallace raid throw the northland into playne.
    At Crummade feill Inglismen thai slew.
    The worthi Scottis till hym thus couth persew.
    Raturnd agayne and come till Abirdeyn,
    With his blith ost apon the Lammess ewyn"

                              (vii. 1084-88).

[192] _Works_, p. 174.

[193] _Works_, p. 175.

[194] The editor of the 1774 edition of the Tracts of Sir Thomas
Urquhart says that he had compared the genealogy with the records kept
by the Lord Lyon of Scotland, which go back as far as the reign of
Alexander II. (A.D. 1214-1249), and had found it strictly correct from
that period. In Appendix I., which contains the lists of names of Sir
Thomas's ancestors, we have taken the liberty of indicating the names on
which reliance can be placed, by printing them in italics (see p. 211).

[195] Sir Thomas is said to have remarked about "_the Pedigree_," that
by the first generation of readers it would be received with scoffs,
that the second generation would have their doubts about it, but that
the third generation would be heavily inclined to believe it. Time has
moved somewhat more slowly, however, than he anticipated, and probably
but few of us have as yet got past the second stage.

[196] In the article on Crichton in the _Biographia Britannica_, Dr
Kippis subjects our author to grave censure (see p. 158). With respect
to Urquhart's present work he says: "Of his total disregard to truth
there is incontestible evidence in another work of his, entitled _The
True Pedigree_, etc. In this work it is almost incredible what a number
of falsities he has invented, both with respect to names and facts.
Perhaps a more flagrant instance of imposture and fiction was never
exhibited; and the absurdity of the whole pedigree is beyond the power
of words to express. It can only be felt by those who have perused the
Tract itself." It is to be feared that Dr Kippis was mentally akin to
the Irish bishop who remarked of _Gulliver's Travels_ when it appeared,
that "all was not gospel that was in that book."

Some one has said that the names of Urquhart's ancestors, at any rate on
the male side, are very likely those of the giants and heathen in the
_Amadis of Gaul_; and certainly Famongomadan, Cartadaque, Madanfabul,
Arcalaus, and Basagante remind one of chiefs and heroes of the Cromartie
line. In the female line the resemblance is much closer; for Asymbleta,
Eromena, and Gonima distinctly recall the Darioleta, Brisena, and
Madasima of the romance.

[197] Fountainhall, _Decisions_, ii. 265 and 315; Morrison, _Dictionary
of Decisions_, xxvii. 11304.

[198] In some ways the elder Sir Thomas reminds us of the pedantic and
undignified monarch, James VI., from whom he received knighthood. Both
were the first Protestants of their respective houses, both were
attached to prelacy rather than to Presbyterianism, and both were
wasteful and slovenly in money matters. If the above conjecture be well
founded, they had a further point of resemblance to each other, in their
interest in fabulous genealogies. And it may be said of them both that
they prepared a series of misfortunes for their chivalrous,
high-spirited sons.

                          CHAPTER VI


Sir Thomas Urquhart's previous excursions into literature had been of a
somewhat tentative kind, and calculated to whet the desire of a
judicious reader for him to enter upon more serious undertakings. He had
appeared in the world of letters in several different aspects,--as a man
of science, and as the representative and poet, as historian of a family
which, for long descent and glorious achievements, could not be
rivalled, if his statements concerning it were to be credited,--but no
one could forecast, from what he had already published, the nature of
his next literary exploit.

The volume which followed the Pedigree of the Urquharts has the strange
name above printed,[199] but most of those who have occasion to mention
it more than once find it more convenient to call it "The Jewel."[200]
Its contents are of such a character that one who had read it carefully
would find it difficult to state off-hand or in a single sentence what
they were. A Scottish Divinity professor of somewhat erratic habits
began, on one occasion, a lecture in which he was to deal with several
miscellaneous items, with the words, "Gentlemen, my subject to-day will
be hotch-potch." This is an exact description of _The Jewel_, and those
to whom nature has given the mental apparatus needed for appreciating
Sir Thomas Urquhart will rejoice and not repine at the fact that the
feeding laid before them is of a confused character. Accordingly no
logical sequence will be allowed to mar the symmetry of this chapter in
which _The Jewel_ is described.

The main contents of the work are lists of the ancestors, male and
female, of the Urquhart family from the beginning down to the year 1652,
taken from the Pedigree; a narrative of the sad fate that overtook the
author's manuscripts after the battle of Worcester; some pages of one of
them which contained a scheme for a Universal Language; a denunciation
of the "unjust usurpation of the Presbyterian Clergy, and the judaical
practices of some merchants" by which discredit had been cast upon the
Scottish name; an account of Scotsmen famous for martial exploits or for
learning during the previous half-century; a statement of personal
wrongs inflicted upon the author by ministers of his own parishes;
arguments in favour of the union of Scotland and England; and apologies
for the simple and unadorned strain in which the work is written. All
through the volume Sir Thomas is spoken of in the third person, and the
signature of "Christianus Presbyteromastix" is attached to the preface,
or "the Epistle Liminary," as it is called, but there is scarcely any
attempt made to keep up the pretence of anonymity. The object of the
writer is to try to obtain for the prisoner of war restoration to
complete liberty and the enjoyment of his property, and he seeks to
correct the evil impression, which the conduct of certain persons in
Scotland had produced upon the English people, by narrating the martial
and literary achievements of more worthy representatives of his nation.

The rapidity with which the work had been produced is described by the
writer in the following terms. "Laying aside all other businesses," he
says, "and cooping my self up daily for some hours together, betwixt the
case and the printing press, I usually afforded the setter copy at the
rate of above a whole printed sheet in the day; which, although by
reason of the smallness of a Pica letter, and close couching thereof, it
did amount to three full sheets of my writing; the aforesaid setter,
nevertheless (so nimble a workman he was), would in the space of
twenty-four hours make dispatch of the whole, and be ready for another
sheet. He and I striving thus who should compose fastest, he with his
hand, and I with my brain; and his uncasing of the letters, and placing
them in the composing instrument, standing for my conception; and his
plenishing of the gally, and imposing of the form, encountering with the
supposed equi-value of my writing, we would almost every foot or so jump
together in this joynt expedition, and so neerly overtake other in our
intended course, that I was oftentimes, (to keep him doing), glad to
tear off parcels of ten or twelve lines apeece, and give him them, till
more were ready;[201] unto which he would so suddenly put an order,
that almost still, before the ink of the written letters was dry, their
representatives were, (out of their respective boxes), ranked in the
composing-stick; by means of which great haste, I writing but upon the
loose sheets of cording-quires, which, as I minced and tore them,
looking like pieces of waste paper, troublesome to get rallyed, after
such dispersive scattredness, I had not the leisure to read what I had
written, till it came to a proof, and sometimes to a full revise. So
that by vertue of this unanimous contest, and joint emulation betwixt
the theoretick and practical part, which of us should overhye other in
celerity, we in the space of fourteen working daies compleated this
whole book, (such as it is), from the first notion of the brain to the
last motion of the press; and that without any other help on my side,
either of quick or dead, (for books I had none, nor possibly would I
have made use of any, although I could have commanded them), then [than]
what, (by the favour of God), my own judgment and fancy did suggest unto

The account which our author gives of the plunder of his manuscripts
after the battle of Worcester, and of the strange series of accidents by
which some of the documents which make up _The Jewel_ were preserved, is
so odd and amusing that it would be a pity to deprive our readers of it,
though it is related by Sir Thomas at great length. "No sooner," he
says, "had the total rout of the regal party at Worcester given way to
the taking of that city, and surrendring up of all the prisoners to the
custody of the marshal-general and his deputies, but the liberty,
customary at such occasions to be connived at in favours of a victorious
army, imboldened some of the new-levied forces of the adjacent counties
to confirm their conquest by the spoil of the captives. For the better
atchievement of which designe, not reckoning those great many others
that in all the other corners of the town were ferreting every room for
plunder, a string or two of exquisite snaps and clean shavers
[snappers-up and plunderers?] (if ever there were any), rushing into
Master Spilsbury's house, (who is a very honest man, and hath an
exceeding good woman to his wife), broke into an upper chamber, where
finding, (besides scarlet cloaks, buff suits, arms of all sorts, and
other such rich chaffer, at such an exigent escheatable to the
prevalent soldier[203]), seven large portmantles ful of precious
commodity; in three whereof, after a most exact search for gold, silver,
apparel, linen, or any whatever adornments of the body, or pocket
implements, as was seized upon in the other four, not hitting on any
things but manuscripts in folio, to the quantity of six score and eight
quires and a half, divided into six hundred fourty and two quinternions
and upwards, the quinternion consisting of five sheets, and the quire of
five and twenty; besides some writings of suits in law, and bonds, in
both worth above three thousand pounds English, they in a trice carried
all whatever els was in the room away save those papers, which they then
threw down on the floor as unfit for their use; yet immediately
thereafter, when upon carts the aforesaid baggage was put to be
transported to the country, and that by the example of many hundreds of
both horse and foot, whom they had loaded with spoil, they were
assaulted with the temptation of a new booty, they apprehending how
useful the paper might be unto them, went back for it, and bore it
straight away; which done, to every one of those their camarads whom
they met with in the streets, they gave as much thereof, for packeting
up of raisins, figs, dates, almonds, caraway, and other such like dry
confections and other ware, as was requisite; who, doing the same
themselves, did together with others kindle pipes of tobacco with a
great part thereof, and threw out all the remainder upon the

"Of those dispersedly-rejected bundles of paper, some were gathered up
by grocers, druggists, chandlers, pie-makers, or such as stood in need
of any cartapaciatory utensil, and put in present service, to the utter
undoing of all the writing thereof, both in its matter and order. One
quinternion, nevertheless, two days after the fight on the Friday
morning, together with two other loose sheets more, by vertue of a
drizelling rain, which had made it stick fast to the ground, where there
was a heap of seven and twenty dead men lying upon one another, was by
the command of one Master Braughton taken up by a servant of his; who,
after he had (in the best manner he could) cleansed it from the mire and
mud of the kennel, did forthwith present it to the perusal of his
master; in whose hands it no sooner came, but instantly perceiving by
the periodical couching of the discourse, marginal figures, and breaks
here and there, according to the variety of the subject, that the whole
purpose was destinated for the press, and by the author put into a garb
befitting either the stationer or printer's acceptance; yet because it
seemed imperfect, and to have relation to subsequent tractates, he made
all the enquiry he could for trial whether there were any more such
quinternions or no; by means whereof he got full information that above
three thousand sheets of the like paper, written after that fashion, and
with the same hand, were utterly lost and imbezzeled, after the manner
aforesaid; and was so fully assured of the misfortune, that to gather up
spilt water, comprehend the windes within his fist, and recover those
papers again, he thought would be a work of one and the same labour and

The anonymous personage who gives the above account says that he heard
of Mr Braughton's discovery of these remarkable documents, and also of
"the great moan made for the loss of Sir Thomas Urquhart's manuscripts,"
and, putting the two facts together, resolved to ask Sir Thomas if the
papers found at Worcester belonged to him. He examined them, and
identified them as part of the preface to a grammar and lexicon of a
Universal Language, of which he was the inventor. The loss of a work of
such a size and of such great importance did not greatly depress him. He
stated that if he got but encouragement and time, freedom and the
enjoyment of his ancestral estates, he doubted not but that he could
supply the missing sheets--the originals of which had come to such base
uses and disastrous fate at Worcester. The papers, therefore, found by
Mr Braughton are published in order that the readers may see the
reasonableness of giving Sir Thomas what he asked, in view of the
astounding benefits which he would in return confer upon them. This is
put with great clearness and brevity in a couplet prefixed to the above

    "He should obtain all his desires,
    Who offers more than he requires."

The fragment of the treatise concerning the Universal Language, which
was picked up out of the gutter of Worcester streets, wiped clean, and
presented to the public in _The Jewel_, was republished with additions
in Sir Thomas Urquhart's next work, so that we may here pass it over
without further notice and allude to some of the other matters treated

In order to vindicate the honour of his country, Sir Thomas Urquhart
tells at considerable length of the fame won by various compatriots of
his in war in every part of Europe, during the earlier half of the
seventeenth century, and he draws the attention of his readers to the
fact that, at no battle in the period named, were all the Scots that
fought overthrown and totally routed. The explanation of this statement
is that there were always Scots on both sides, so that, if some were
defeated and taken prisoners, others of that nation were victorious and
givers of quarter. This part of the work is of great historical value,
and, as Burton remarks, is not liable to the reproach of Urquhart's
usual wandering profuseness of language--its leading defect, on the
other hand, being its too great resemblance at times to a muster-roll.

The choicest and most remarkable passage in Sir Thomas Urquhart's
original works is, undoubtedly, the description he gives in _The Jewel_
of his fellow-countryman "the Admirable Crichton," who belonged to the
latter part of the sixteenth century. In an appendix[205] our readers
may find a long extract from it, in which that hero's feats are related.
But for fear of making the appendices out of all proportion to the size
of this volume, the whole sketch might have been given. To most people
the name of "the Admirable Crichton" is now a mere proverbial phrase to
describe a universal genius, and whether the person who bore it is a
historical or a mythical character, is a matter of some uncertainty. If
any who are possessed of only this amount of information on the subject
seek for more by reading our author's description of Crichton, the
probability is that they will decide that he is quite mythical. The
extraordinary flightiness, turgidity, and bombast which mark the
narrative, in spite of its many conspicuous merits, make it seem a mere
piece of burlesque, rather than a genuine history;[206] and yet there is
ample evidence of an unimpeachable kind of the truthfulness of the main
statements which it contains. Sir Thomas Urquhart's narrative was for a
long time one of the principal sources of information concerning the
brilliant young Scotchman, and the result was that a general disbelief
in the whole history became prevalent.[207] As Burton says, "It was
from the hands of Sir Thomas Urquhart that the world accepted of an idol
which, after a period of worship, it cast down, but so hastily, as it
was discovered, that it had again to be set up, but rather in surly
justice than the old devout admiration."[208] Tytler, in his _Life of
the Admirable Crichton_, gives full proof from contemporary writers that
the accomplishments and feats ascribed to that personage are authentic.

James Crichton was born in 1560, of a noble family, at Eliock, in
Perthshire. At the age of ten he became a student at St. Andrews, then
the most famous university in Scotland. Before he was fifteen years of
age he graduated as Master of Arts, and stood third in order of merit
among the students of his year. After leaving the university he spent
three years in the pursuit of learning, devoting himself to one after
another of the various branches of the science and philosophy of his
time, until he had gone through nearly the whole of them; and, by force
of natural ability, aided, no doubt, by intense application, he acquired
the use of ten different languages.

Some time probably in the year 1578 he began his foreign travels, with
the desire not only to enlarge his experience of the world, but also to
display the extent of his learning in those public disputations which
were still in fashion at the continental universities. In form and
countenance he is said to have been a perfect model of manly beauty;
whilst in all the accomplishments of his time he was as well versed as
in the branches of learning. He was a skilful swordsman, a bold rider, a
graceful dancer, a sweet singer, and a cultivated musician. Soon after
his arrival in Paris he set up, in accordance with a custom of the time,
in various parts of the city, challenges to literary and philosophic
disputation, and announced that he would present himself on a certain
day at the College of Navarre, to answer any questions that might be put
to him "in any science, liberal art, discipline, or faculty, whether
practical or theoretic," and this in any one of twelve specified
languages--Hebrew, Syriac, Arabic, Greek, Latin, Spanish, French,
Italian, English, Dutch, Flemish, or Selavonian. Our readers may find in
the appendix a full narrative in Sir Thomas Urquhart's inimitable style
of this extraordinary episode. Though Crichton seemed to make no
preparation for the learned encounter, to which he had challenged the
most scholarly men in France, he acquitted himself in such a manner as
to astonish all beholders, and to receive the congratulations of the
president and professors of the University of Paris. From this display
of his intellectual powers and acquirements, as well as from the
brilliant figure he cut at the balls and tournaments, which were such
favourite employments of the Court of France at that time, he acquired
the title by which he is now universally known--that of "the Admirable

It is worth while to compare the passage in Rabelais which describes the
similar feats of the giant Pantagruel with the account Sir Thomas
Urquhart gives of Crichton's intellectual tournaments.[210] To us there
seems something very ridiculous in the practice of posting up placards
on the walls, challenging all-comers to disputation, but in the
sixteenth century it would not necessarily appear in this light.
Rabelais, indeed, laughed at it; but then he laughed at many things
which the people of his time did not think absurd. John Hill Burton is
of the opinion that Sir Thomas Urquhart, in describing the way in which
Crichton conducted himself on the field which had witnessed Pantagruel's
feats, had the ridicule of Rabelais in view, and that, in spite of his
laudations, we cannot help having the impression that his tongue is all
the time in his cheek. We think that this is unfair to Sir Thomas. There
is no reason why those who looked on in admiration at a real tournament
should not also enjoy seeing a burlesque one. So that it is quite
possible that our author smiled while he translated the French satire,
and that he glowed with honest pride and admiration as he recounted his
fellow-countryman's exploits before the University of Paris.

After serving for a couple of years in the French army, Crichton
journeyed into Italy, and in the month of August, 1580, arrived in
Venice. He made the acquaintance of the famous printer, Aldus Manutius,
who introduced him to the principal men of learning and note in that
city. Here he maintained the reputation he had acquired in Paris, and
lives of him were written and published. From Venice he proceeded to
Padua, and from thence to the Court of Mantua, where the adventure
occurred with which Sir Thomas Urquhart begins the narrative of his
celebrated fellow-countryman's exploits, namely, the defeat and death of
the travelling bravo, whose challenge he had accepted. Sir Thomas is the
only authority for this incident in Crichton's history. As there is no
reason to believe that he invented it, we are at liberty to suppose that
he found it in some one of the lives of Crichton which he met with in
his Italian travels, but which has not come down to us, or that he heard
of it from some of those who witnessed it. For, as Urquhart was born
only twenty-three years after Crichton's death, he must, in the course
of his continental travels, have met some who were his contemporaries.[211]

In consequence of this achievement, and also of the brilliant reputation
acquired by Crichton, he was appointed by the Duke of Mantua, companion
and tutor to his son, Vincenzio de Gonzaga, a young man of some literary
culture, but of furious temper and dissolute morals. Very soon after,
Crichton met his death in a tragical manner. He was walking home one
evening in the streets of Mantua, from a visit to his mistress, and was
playing a guitar, when suddenly he was attacked by a riotous party of
men in masks, whom, however, he speedily put to flight. He seized the
leader of the party, overpowered him, and tore off his mask, and found
to his horror that it was his own pupil, the son of the Duke of Mantua.
He instantly dropped upon one knee, and, in a spirit of romantic
devotion, took his sword by the blade, and presented its hilt to the
prince. Vincenzio, heated with wine, irritated at his discomfiture, and
also, it is said by some, inspired by jealousy, took the sword and
plunged it into Crichton's heart. The brilliant young Scotsman was but
twenty-two years of age when he thus met his fate.

The narrative which Sir Thomas Urquhart gives of the death of his hero
is marked by the same richness of description as is to be found in the
account of his exploits as a scholar, a swordsman, and an actor. In
language of astonishing luxuriance and frequent happiness of phrase, he
enlarges upon the incidents of the last evening of Crichton's life, and
depicts the tender intercourse of the lovers before the sudden and
bloodly close of their courtship. With a minuteness which, as Tytler
remarks, reminds one of the multitude of particulars by the enumeration
of which Mrs Quickly sought to bring to Falstaff's remembrance his
promise to marry her,[212] Sir Thomas Urquhart depicts the lovers in the
"alcoranal paradise" in which they were embowered on that evening.
"Nothing," he says, "tending to the pleasure of all the senses was
wanting; the weather being a little chil and coldish, they on a blue
velvet couch sate by one another towards a char-coale fire burning in a
silver brasero, whilst in the next room adjacent thereto a pretty little
round table of cedar wood was a covering for the supping of them two
together; the cates prepared for them, and a week before that time
bespoke, were of the choisest dainties and most delicious junkets that
all the territories of Italy were able to afford, and that deservedly,
for all the Romane Empire could not produce a completer paire to taste

A tragical note rings through the description of the lamentation of the
hapless girl over her murdered lover. "She, rending her garments and
tearing her haire, like one of the Graces possest with a Fury, spoke
thus: 'O villains! what have you done? you vipers of men, that have thus
basely slaine the valiant Crichtoun, the sword of his own sexe and the
buckler of ours, the glory of this age, and restorer of the lost honour
of the Court of Mantua: O Crichtoun, Crichtoun!'"[214]

The sequel of the story is in the same vein of florid eloquence. "The
whole court," says Sir Thomas, "wore mourning for him full three
quarters of a yeer together. His funeral was very stately, and on his
hearse were stuck more epitaphs, elegies, threnodies, and epicediums,
then [than], if digested into one book, would have outbulk't all Homer's
works; some of them being couched in such exquisite and fine Latin, that
you would have thought great Virgil, and Baptista Mantuanus, for the
love of their mother-city, had quit the Elysian fields to grace his
obsequies; and other of them, besides what was done in other languages,
composed in so neat Italian, and so purely fancied, as if Ariosto,
Dante, Petrark, and Bembo had been purposely resuscitated, to stretch
even to the utmost their poetick vein to the honour of this brave man;
whose picture till this hour is to be seen in the bed-chambers or
galleries of the most of the great men of that nation, representing him
on horseback, with a lance in one hand and a book in the other; and most
of the young ladies likewise, _that were anything handsome_,[215] in a
memorial of his worth, had his effigies in a little oval tablet of gold
hanging 'twixt their breasts, and held, for many yeers together, that
metamazion, or intermammilary ornament, an as necessary outward pendicle
for the better setting forth of their accoutrements, as either fan,
watch, or stomacher. My lord Duke, upon the young lady that was
Crichtoun's mistres and future wife, although she had good rents and
revenues of her own by inheritance, was pleased to conferr a pension of
five hundred ducats a yeer. The Prince also bestowed as much on her
during all the days of his life, which was but short, for he did not
long enjoy himself after the cross fate of so miserable an accident. The
sweet lady, like a turtle bewailing the loss of her mate, spent all the
rest of her time in a continual solitariness."[216]

After giving a long list of his fellow-countrymen who had won fame in
foreign lands by their valour, learning, or skill, in order to put to
silence those who maligned his nation, Sir Thomas Urquhart takes up a
less pleasing topic--that of contemporary politics. In the plainest and
most forcible manner he repudiates the whole policy of the dominant
party in Scotland, and declares that a true Royalist or Malignant like
himself had much more in common with an Independent, than either of them
had with a Presbyterian; and he enlarges upon the turbulent disloyalty
with which so many of the last-named party had, in his opinion,
conducted themselves towards their sovereigns since Queen Mary's time,
evidently in forgetfulness for the moment that his newly-found friends,
the Independents, had executed Charles I. and abolished monarchy.

His account of the mode in which the Presbyterian or "Consistorian"
party were in the habit of treating their kings is very amusing. "Of a
king," he says, "they onely make use for their own ends, and so they
will of any other supreme magistracie that is not of their own erection.
Their kings are but as the kings of Lacedemon, whom the Ephors presumed
to fine for any small offence; or as the puppy [puppet] kings, which,
after children have trimmed with bits of taffata, and ends of silver
lace, and set them upon wainscoat cupboards besides marmalade and
sugar-cakes, are often times disposed of, even by those that did pretend
so much respect unto them, for a two-peny custard, a pound of figs, or
mess of cream. Verily, I think they make use of kings in their
Consistorian State, as we do of card kings in playing at the hundred;
any one whereof, if there be appearance of a better game without him,
and that the exchange of him for another incoming card is like to
conduce more for drawing of the stake, is by good gamesters without any
ceremony discarded: or as the French on the Epiphany-day use their _Roy
de la Febre_, or king of the bean; whom, after they have honoured with
drinking of his health, and shouting _Le Roy boit, le Roy boit_, they
make pay for all the reckoning; not leaving him sometimes one peny,
rather then [than] that the exorbitancie of their debosh should not be
satisfied to the full. They may be likewise said to use their king as
the players at nine-pins do the middle kyle, which they call the king;
at whose fall alone they aim, the sooner to obtain the gaining of their
prize; or as about Christmas we do the King of Misrule, whom we invest
with that title to no other end but to countenance the bacchanalian
riots and preposterous disorders of the family where he is installed.
The truth of all this appears by their demeanour to Charles the Second,
whom they crowned their king at Sterlin, and who, though he be for
comeliness of person, valour, affability, mercy, piety, closeness of
counsel, veracity, foresight, knowledge, and other vertues both moral
and intellectual, in nothing inferior to any of his hundred and ten
predecessors, had nevertheless no more rule in effect over the
Presbyterian Senate of Scotland, then [than] any of the six foresaid
mock-kings had above those by whom they were dignified with the
splendour of royal pomp."[217]

The passage in _The Jewel_ which tells of the faults of the clergy, as
illustrated by the conduct of the ministers of the parishes of which Sir
Thomas was patron, has already been given in these pages, and therefore
need not be repeated here; but room must be found for the paragraph in
which he denounces those who by their covetousness had cast a slur upon
the Scottish name. The art of writing such English perished with him,
its inventor; and one cannot be too thankful for such a passage as the
following. "Another thing there is," he says, "that fixeth a grievous
scandal upon that nation in matter of philargyrie, or love of money, and
it is this: There hath been in London, and repairing to it, for these
many years together, a knot of Scotish bankers, collybists, or
coine-coursers, of traffickers in merchandise to and againe, and of men
of other professions, who by hook and crook, _fas et nefas_, slight and
might, (all being as fish their net could catch), having feathered their
nests to some purpose, look so idolatrously upon their Dagon of wealth,
and so closely, (like the earth's dull center), hug all unto themselves,
that for no respect of vertue, honour, kinred, patriotism, or whatever
else, (be it never so recommendable), will they depart from so much as
one single peny, whose emission doth not, without any hazard of loss, in
a very short time superlucrate beyond all conscience an additionall
increase to the heap of that stock which they so much adore; which
churlish and tenacious humor hath made many that were not acquainted
with any else of that country, to imagine all their compatriots infected
with the same leprosie of a wretched peevishness, whereof those
_quomodocunquizing_ clusterfists and rapacious varlets have given of
late such cannibal-like proofs, by their inhumanity and obdurate
carriage towards some, (whose shoe-strings they are not worthy to unty),
that were it not that a more able pen then [than] mine will assuredly
not faile to jerk them on all sides, in case, by their better demeanour
for the future, they endeavour not to wipe off the blot wherewith their
native country, by their sordid avarice and miserable baseness, hath
been so foully stained, I would at this very instant blaze them out in
their names and surnames, notwithstanding the vizard of Presbyterian
zeal wherewith they maske themselves, that like so many wolves, foxes,
or Athenian Timons, they might in all times coming be debarred the
benefit of any honest conversation."[218]

After suggesting a number of ways in which the tone of society in
Scotland might be raised and sweetened--one of which is the
establishment of "a free schoole and standing library in every
parish"[219]--Sir Thomas proceeds to argue in a very sensible and
convincing manner for complete union between Scotland and England. The
subject is introduced by lengthy quotations from speeches by Bacon,
delivered by him in Parliament as far back as the year 1608, in which
the advantages of such an arrangement are set forth.

The style of our author is seen at its worst in the peroration to _The
Jewel_, in which he apologizes for the comparative simplicity, if not
baldness, by which, in the opinion of some, it might be thought to be
characterised. "I could truly," he says, "have enlarged this discourse
with a choicer variety of phrase, and made it overflow the field of the
reader's understanding, with an inundation of greater eloquence; and
that one way, tropologetically, by metonymical, ironical, metaphorical,
and synecdochical instruments of elocution, in all their several kinds,
artificially affected, according to the nature of the subject, with
emphatical expressions in things of great concernment, with
catachrestical in matters of meaner moment; attended on each side
respectively with an epiplectick and exegetick modification; with
hyperbolical, either epitatically or hypocoristically, as the purpose
required to be elated or extenuated, with qualifying metaphors, and
accompanied by apostrophes; and lastly, with allegories of all sorts,
whether apologal, affabulatory, parabolary, ænigmatick, or paræmial. And
on the other part, schematologetically adorning the proposed theam with
the most especial and chief flowers of the garden of rhetorick, and
omitting no figure either of diction or sentence, that might contribute
to the ear's enchantment, or perswasion of the hearer. I could have
introduced, in case of obscurity, synonymal, exargastick, and
palilogetick elucidations; for sweetness of phrase, antimetathetick
commutations of epithets; for the vehement excitation of a matter,
exclamation in the front, and epiphonemas in the reer. I could have
used, for the promptlier stirring up of passion, apostrophal and
prosopopœiel diversions; and, for the appeasing and settling of them,
some epanorthotick revocations, and aposiopetick restraines. I could
have inserted dialogismes, displaying their interrogatory part with
communicatively pysmatick and sustentative flourishes; or proleptically,
with the refutative schemes of anticipation and subjection, and that
part which concerns the responsory, with the figures of permission and
concession. Speeches extending a matter beyond what it is, auxetically,
digressively, transitiously, by ratiocination, ætiology, circumlocution,
and other wayes, I could have made use of; as likewise with words
diminishing the worth of a thing, tapinotically, periphrastically, by
rejection, translation, and other meanes, I could have served

He goes on for a long time in this strain, and is at pains to explain
that, if the work had been written in this more elaborate manner, it
would not necessarily have been found tedious even by young ladies. "I
could have presented it to the imagination," he says, "in so spruce a
garb, that spirits blest with leisure, and free from the urgency of
serious employments, would happily have bestowed as liberally some few
houres thereon as on the perusal of a new-coined romance, or strange
history of love adventures. For although the figures and tropes above
rehearsed seem in their _actu signato_, (as they signifie meer notional
circumstances, affections, adjuncts, and dependencies on words), to be a
little pedantical, and to the smooth touch of a delicate ear somewhat
harsh and scabrous, yet in their exerced act, (as they suppone for
things reduplicatively as things in the first apprehension of the minde,
by them signified), I could, even in far abstruser purposes, have so
fitly adjusted them with apt and proper termes, and with such
perspicuity couched them, as would have been suitable to the capacities
of courtiers and young ladies,[221] whose tender hearing, for the most
part, being more taken with the insinuating harmony of a well-concerted
period, in its isocoletick and parisonal members, then [than] with the
never-so-pithy a fancy of a learned subject, destitute of the
illustriousness of so pathetick ornaments, will sooner convey perswasion
to the interior faculties from the ravishing assault of a
well-disciplined diction, in a parade of curiously-mustered words in
their several ranks and files then [than] by the vigour and fierceness
of never so many powerful squadrons of a promiscuously-digested
elocution into bare logical arguments; for the sweetness of their
disposition is more easily gained by undermining passion then [than]
storming reason, and by the musick and symmetry of a descourse in its
external appurtenances, then [than] by all the puissance imaginary of
the ditty or purpose disclosed by it."[222]

The last of Sir Thomas Urquhart's original works was his
portion of which, as already mentioned, had been embedded in the
conglomerate mass of _The Jewel_. The idea of a universal language was
not originated by Urquhart, for it is said that something of the kind
had been planned a generation earlier by the celebrated William Bedell
(1570-1642), the Bishop of Kilmore and Ardagh, who is better known for
promoting the translation of the Bible into the Irish tongue. We are
told by Burnet, who wrote his life, that he had in his diocese a
clergyman named Johnston, a man of ability, but, unfortunately, of
"mercurial wit." In order to give him adequate employment, and to keep
him, we suppose, out of mischief, Bedell planned out a scheme for a
universal character, which should be understood by all nations as
readily as the Arabic numerals or the figures in geometry, and started
Johnston upon the task of completing it. He made, we are told,
considerable progress with the scheme, but his labours were interrupted,
and the results of them destroyed, by the frightful rebellion of 1641.

The _Logopandecteision_[223] is divided into six books, which bear names
of the remarkable kind which seem to come so readily to Urquhart's
tongue, and are so hard to be compassed by the tongues of others. The
"Epistle Dedicatorie" is an elaborate piece of writing, and is animated
by considerable bitterness of spirit. It is addressed to Nobody--the
person who has assisted him in his labours, pitied him in his sorrows,
and relieved him in his penury. It is only the first book--entitled
"Neaudethaumata, or Wonders of the New Speech"--which makes a pretence
of dealing with the professed subject of the volume, and of laying the
great scheme before the reader. Much to the gratification of the
judicious student of the work, Urquhart rambles off in the remaining
books into autobiographical details, from which we have already gleaned
heavily in the earlier chapters of this volume, and the only connexion
between them and the Universal Language is that they show the
difficulties which prevented the author from carrying out his plan. The
sources from which these difficulties arose are vaguely indicated in the
titles of the books: thus, the second is called "Chrestasebeia, or
Impious Dealing of Creditors"; the third, "Cleronomaporia, or the
Intricacy of a Distressed Successor or Apparent Heir"; the fourth,
"Chryseomystes, or the Covetous Preacher"; and the fifth,
"Neleodicastes, or the Pitiless Judge." While the sixth book is entitled
"Philoponauxesis, or Furtherance of Industry," and tells of the
marvellous benefits which would accrue to all branches of trade,
manufacture, and industry in Scotland, if the writer's demands were
granted, and he were at liberty to carry out the multitudinous schemes
with which his mind was filled. The volume concludes with requests or
"proquiritations" from thirty-two distinct petitioners, who modestly
conceal themselves from public notice under the shelter of the initial
letters of their names, that the State would, for the various weighty
reasons which they allege, grant the desire of Sir Thomas to be set
free, and to be established in possession of the estates and honours
which his family had enjoyed from time immemorial. This section of the
work suggests failure in ingenuity on the part of the author, for few
persons above the condition of idiocy could surely be found capable of
believing that the reasons and initials alike were anything else than
the concoction of Sir Thomas himself.

Very slight indeed can be the notice which we are able to give of the
proposed Universal Language, the description of which, as set forth in
the early part of the _Logopandecteision_, is more like an incoherent
dream than anything else. There is no evidence that Sir Thomas Urquhart
ever really made a grammar or vocabulary of the new language. Indeed, he
writes about it in such a manner as to lead one to think that he had
made no way in the real working out of the scheme, but merely dreamed of
what he was going to do. In the new tongue which was to supersede all
others there were to be twelve parts of speech, all words would have at
least ten synonyms, nouns and pronouns would have eleven cases and four
numbers--singular, dual, plural, and redual--and verbs would have four
voices, seven moods, and eleven tenses. "In this tongue," says the
author, "there are eleven genders,[224] wherein," he truthfully adds,
"it exceedeth all other languages." "Every word in this language," we
are told, "signifieth as well backward as forward, and however you
invert the letters, still shall you fall upon significant words, whereby
a wonderful facility is obtained in making of anagrams.... Of all
languages, this is the most compendious in complement, and consequently
fittest for courtiers and ladies.... As its interjections are more
numerous, so are they more emphatical in their respective expression of
passions, then [than] that part of speech is in any other language
whatsoever."[225] And finally Sir Thomas vouches for its conciseness in
a hyperbole which it would be difficult to excel. "This language," he
says, "affordeth so concise words for numbering, that the number for
setting down, whereof would require in vulgar arithmetic more figures in
a row then [than] there might be grains of sand containable from the
center of the earth to the highest heavens, is in it expressed by two
letters."[226] A considerable revenue might be secured if the rule found
at the end of some of Grimm's _Household Tales_ were applied to this
statement, and strictly enforced: "Whosoever does not believe this must
pay a thaler." In a very innocent manner our author excuses himself for
the extravagant praise he has poured out upon his own invention. "Why it
is," he exclaims, "I should extoll the worth thereof, without the
jeopardy of vaine glory, the reason is clear and evident, being
necessitated ... to merchandise it for the redintegrating of an ancient
family, it needeth not be thought strange, that in some measure I
descend to the fashion of the shop-keepers, who, to scrue up the buyer
to the higher price, will tell them no better can be had for mony, 'tis
the choicest ware in England, and if any can match it, he shall have it
for nought.... [And so] I went on in my laudatives, to procure the
greater longing, that an ardent desire might stir up an emacity [a
propensity to buy], to the furtherance of my proposed end." One is
obliged sadly to assent to his further statement about such
conduct--"whereof ... there wanteth not store of presidents

Hugh Miller, animated by the patriotic zeal which prompts one North
Briton to stand by another, and with the desire to make out the best
case possible for one who was not only a fellow-countryman, but also a
fellow-townsman, speaks in high terms of Urquhart's inventive powers as
displayed in the _Logopandecteision_. "The new chemical vocabulary," he
says, "with all its philosophical ingenuity, is constructed on
principles exactly similar to those which he divulged more than a
hundred years prior to its invention, in the preface to his Universal
Language."[228] This is a statement which it is rather difficult to
understand. The only indication of the nature of the new tongue which we
can glean from Sir Thomas's description of it, is that every letter of
every word in it would have a meaning, so that when anyone who knew the
principles of the language heard a word for the first time, he would
understand it.[229] Now, of course, it is true that anyone who knows the
principle of the nomenclature of salts, to which, we suppose, Hugh
Miller refers, can tell a good deal about a salt from the name of it,
say, nitrate of potassium, KNO_{3}, but it would be impossible to invent
a systematic nomenclature of which this would not be true.

The same author is also very much impressed by the fact that the new
language was to contain the dual, and regards this, on Lord Monboddo's
authority, as a proof of philosophical acumen on the part of the
inventor. He does not take any notice of the "redual," which the
language was also to contain, and which might have been taken as an
indication of double-distilled wisdom. Lord Monboddo (1714-1799) says of
the Greek language that if there "were nothing else to convince him of
its being a work of philosophers and grammarians, its dual number would
of itself be sufficient; for as certainly as the principles of body are
the point, the line, and the surface, the principles of number are the
monad and the duad, though philosophers only are aware of the fact." The
idea that this venerated instrument for the expression or concealment of
thought was the concoction of a committee of primitive sages, and that
they deliberately invented the dual, and added it as another spike to
the _chevaux-de-frise_ through which our young people, of both sexes,
have to struggle[230] on their way to the Temple of Learning, is truly
revolting. One would not like to think that the ancient Greeks were
quite so malicious as to do a thing like that. It is more probably the
case that, like other Aryans, they received the dual as part of the
inheritance of the past, handed down to them, and retained it; while in
some of the cognate languages[231] it was gradually rubbed off, very
much in the same way as Lord Monboddo's men lost their tails, when they
gave up their arboreal habits, and betook themselves to sedentary


[199] Its title-page is as follows:--ΕΚΣΚΥΒΑΛΑΥΡΟΝ: Or, The Discovery of
A MOST EXQUISITE JEWEL, more precious then [than] DIAMONDS inchased in
Gold, the like whereof was never seen in any age; found in the kennel of
_Worcester_-streets, the day after the Fight, and six before the
Autumnal Equinox, _anno_ 1651. Serving in this place, To Frontal a
VINDICATION of the honour of SCOTLAND, from that Infamy, whereinto the
Rigid _Presbyterian party_ of that Nation, out of their Covetousness and
ambition, most dissembledly hath involved it. _Distichon ad Librum
sequitur, quo tres ter adæquant Musarum numerum, casus et articuli._

    _voc._      _nom._   1 _abl._   2 _abl._    _dat._
      O  thou'rt  a  Book  in  truth  with  love  to  many,

         3 _abl._  4 _abl. acc._                 _gen._
      Done  by  and  for  the free'st spoke Scot  of  any.

_Efficiens et finis sunt sibi invicem causæ._ LONDON, Printed by Ja:
Cottrel; and are to be sold by _Rich. Buddeley_, at the
Middle-Temple-Gate. 1652.

[200] ΕΚΣΚΥΒΑΛΑΥΡΟΝ is supposed to be the Greek for "_Gold out of the
dirt_." Dr Irving, the author of a very carefully-written memoir of Sir
Thomas Urquhart, in his _Lives of Scottish Writers_, vol. ii., is a
little puzzled by this extraordinary name. The latter part of it was, he
thought, perhaps connected with αυριον--"to-morrow"--in allusion to the
fact that this "exquisite Jewel" was taken out of the kennel _the
morrow_ after the battle of Worcester. But the word is evidently
αυρον--the Lat. _aurum_, "gold." In the "Postilla" to the Pedigree of
the Urquharts, our author says that "the shire of Cromartie ... hath the
names of its towns, villages, hamlets, dwellings, promontories,
hillocks, temples, dens, groves, fountains, rivers, pools, lakes, stone
heaps, akers, and so forth, of pure and perfect Greek." We need not be
surprised that Sir Thomas's Greek has more affinity with the vernacular
form of the language current in the Cromartie of his time than with the
Attic of the age of Pericles,

         "_For Greke of Athenes was to him unknowé._"

Probably in this northern dialect of the Greek tongue αὑρον was used
instead of the more classical χρυσὁς. Another indication of the
difference between the Cromartian and Attic forms of speech is given by
Sir Thomas in the same treatise in the name Αλεξἁνδηρ, which Thucydides
would have written Αλἑξανδρος.

[201] Sir Egerton Brydges, Bart., an author who combines a great many of
the peculiarities of the two Sir Thomas Urquharts, the father and the
son, and who has recorded his experiences in an _Autobiography_, lays
stress in like manner upon this quality of speed in composition. Thus he
says of his little novel, _Mary de Clifford_ (published in 1792), "it
was written with a fervent rapidity, which no one seems to
believe;--begun in October, 1791, and the sheets sent to the press by
the post, as fast as they were scribbled." The passage in which he
refers to the vexations to which he had been subjected is worth quoting,
on account of its similarity to our Sir Thomas's story. "I have
suffered," he says, "a hundred times more disappointments, and crosses,
and insults, and wrongs, and deprivations, than Chatterton, yet my
spirit, though bent and sunk, was never broken. I am calm and defiant,
though not hopeful, in proportion as the storm presses me;--and what
trials have I not undergone? I do not mean to relate all these trials;
it would involve the conduct of obscure individuals, many of whom are
still living" (_Autobiography_, pp. 8, 9).

[202] _Works_, p. 181.

[203] _I.e._ at such an extremity liable to be forfeited to the
victorious soldier.

[204] _Works_, pp. 189, 190.

[205] Appendix II. p. 215.

[206] "This part is written in a euphuistic, rhapsodical vein, and
affords an indication of the saturation of Urquhart's mind with the
style of Rabelais. It might almost be pieced together from the meeting
of Pantagruel with the Limousin scholar, the discomfiture of Thaumast by
Panurge, and the meeting of Pantegruel and his party with Queen
Entelechia" (W. F. Smith's Introduction to _Rabelais_).

[207] Dr Kippis, the editor of the _Biographia Britannica, or Lives of
the Most Eminent Persons who have Flourished in Great Britain and
Ireland_ (1789), had a bad time in writing the notice of Crichton that
appears in it. He says that he entered upon the task with diffidence,
and even with anxiety. On the one hand, he was desirous not to detract
from Crichton's real merit, and, on the other, he wished to form a just
estimate of the truth of the facts which are recorded concerning him.
Part of his perturbation of mind was due to the indignation which he
felt towards our author, whose narrative of Crichton's adventures he
regarded as utterly untrustworthy. At an early stage in the article he
remarks: "And here it must be observed that no credit can be granted to
any facts which depend upon the sole authority of Sir Thomas
Urquhart.... I must declare my full persuasion that Sir Thomas Urquhart
is an author whose testimony to facts is totally unworthy of regard; and
it is surprising that a perusal of his works does not strike every mind
with this conviction. His productions are so inexpressibly absurd and
extravagant, that the only rational judgment which can be pronounced
concerning him is, that he was little, if at all, better than a madman.
To the character of his having been a madman must be added that of his
being a liar. Severe as this term may be thought, I apprehend that a
diligent examination of the treatise which contains the memorials
concerning Crichton would show that it is strictly true." The censure
uttered by Dr Kippis _is_ very severe, but some excuse for him is easily
found. He was anxious to make his dictionary of biography a mine of
facts on which the public could rely with absolute confidence; and he
saw before him the danger of quoting as an authority a writer like
Urquhart, who so palpably elongated facts and embroidered them with
fancies. His opinion with regard to the _Pedigree_ of the Urquharts is
given on p. 144.

[208] _The Scot Abroad_, p. 256. In the _Adventurer_, No. 81, Dr Johnson
has reproduced Sir Thomas Urquhart's narrative of the career of
Crichton, but has toned down its glowing colours.

[209] The reader will remember that this simply meant the "Wonderful
Crichton"--this use of the word "admire" being now archaic.

[210] The passage in Rabelais is as follows:--"Pantagruel ... would one
day make trial of his knowledge. Thereupon in all the Carrefours, that
is, throughout all the foure quarters, streets and corners of the city,
he set up Conclusions to the number of nine thousand seven hundred sixty
and foure,[A] in all manner of learning, touching in them the hardest
doubts that are in any science. And first of all, in the
Fodder-street[B] he held disputes against all the Regents or Fellowes of
Colledges, Artists or Masters of Arts, and Oratours, and did so
gallantly, that he overthrew them, and set them all upon their tailes.
He went afterwards to the Sorboune, where he maintained argument against
all the Theologians or Divines, for the space of six weeks, from foure a
clock in the morning until six in the evening, except an interval of two
houres to refresh themselves, and take their repast. And at this were
present the greatest part of the Lords of the Court, the Masters of
Requests, Presidents, Counsellors, those of the Accompts, Secretaries,
Advocates, and others: as also the Sheriffes of the said town, with the
Physicians and Professors of the Canon-Law. Amongst which it is to be
remarked, that the greatest part were stubborn jades, and in their
opinions obstinate; but he took such course with them, that, for all
their ergo's and fallacies, he put their backs to the wall, gravelled
them in the deepest questions, and made it visibly appear to the world,
that, compared to him, they were but monkies, and a knot of mufled
calves. Whereupon everybody began to keep a bustling noise, and talk of
his so marvellous knowledge, through all degrees of persons in both
sexes, even to the very laundresses, brokers, rostmeat-sellers,
penknife-makers, and others, who, when he past along in the street,
would say, This is he! in which he took delight, as Demosthenes the
prince of Greek oratours did when an old crouching wife, pointing at him
with her fingers, said, That is the man"[C] (ii. chap. 10).

[A] Pico della Mirandola in the winter of 1486-87 offered to maintain at
Rome 900 theses _de omni scitili_ (W. F. S.).

[B] _Rue de la Feurre_ (near the Place Maubert) was the street in Paris
where the poorer students used to lodge. It got its name because straw
served them for beds and furniture. Dante says in _Par._ x. 137:

    "Essa è la luce eterua di Sigieri,
    Che, leggendo nel vico degli strami,
    Sillogizzo invidiosi veri."


[C] Cf. "At pulchrum est, digito monstrari, et dicier: Hic est" (_Pers._
i. 28). (_Ibid._)

[211] He says in reference to the whole history of Crichton: "The verity
of this story I have here related, concerning this incomparable
Crichton, may be certified by above two thousand men yet living, who
have known him" (_Works_, p. 244). There can scarcely have been so many,
unless centenarians were much commoner then than now.

[212] "Thou didst swear to me upon a parcel-gilt goblet, sitting in my
Dolphin-chamber, at the round table, by a sea-coal fire, upon Wednesday
in Wheeson week, when the prince broke thy head for liking his father to
a singing-man of Windsor; thou didst swear to me then, as I was washing
thy wound, to marry me and make me my lady thy wife. Canst thou deny it?
Did not good-wife Keech, the butcher's wife, come in then and call me
gossip Quickly? coming in to borrow a mess of vinegar; telling us she
had a good dish of prawns; whereby thou didst desire to eat some;
whereby I told thee they were ill for a green wound! And didst thou not,
when she was gone down stairs, desire me to be no more so familiarity
with such poor people; saying that ere long they should call me madam?
And didst thou not kiss me, and bid me fetch thee thirty shillings? I
put thee now to thy book-oath: deny it, if thou canst" (_2 Henry IV._
II. i.).

[213] _Works_, p. 234.

[214] _Ibid._ p. 243.

[215] The italics are ours.

[216] _Works_, p. 224. At one of Charles Lamb's Wednesday evenings in
Mitre Court Building, Hazlitt tells us, "the name of the Admirable
Crichton was suddenly started as a splendid example of _waste_ talents,
so different from the generality of his countrymen." A North Briton
present declared himself descended from that prodigy of learning and
accomplishment, and said he had family plate in his possession as
vouchers for the fact, with the initials engraved upon them of A.
C.--"Admirable Crichton!" A phrenological report upon this gentleman by
Charles Lamb would have enlarged "the public stock of harmless

[217] _Works_, p. 277. The charity which "believeth all things and
hopeth all things," or the credulity which persuades itself of the truth
of the things which it wishes to believe, is manifest in Sir Thomas
Urquhart's estimate of the character of Charles II. Less charitable or
more impartial critics are probably inclined to the opinion that the
existence in that sovereign of a number of the above-mentioned virtues
was as mythical as that of a good many of his "hundred and ten
predecessors." So far as "comeliness" is concerned, Charles II. at a
later period had a much humbler view of the matter than Sir Thomas here
expresses. For he complained that when they wished to represent a
villain on the stage they made up a figure somewhat like himself. See
Cibber's _Apology_, p. 111.

[218] _Works_, p. 212.

[219] His unhappy prejudices against the Presbyterian clergy are
irrepressible, for immediately after suggesting "a standing library in
custody of the minister of the parish," he adds, "with this proviso,
that none of the books should be embezeled by him or any of his
successors" (_Works_, p. 282).

[220] We have reason to be thankful to Sir Thomas for his kindness in
refraining from the style of composition which he here indicates, for we
can scarcely credit his assurance that the results would have been less
terrifying than the description of the processes by which they would
have been reached. There is no need for an apology, for he has really
done pretty well as it is. Mr Ruskin had once a vision of ten thousand
school-inspectors assembled on Cader Idris. What horror would seize such
a company, if they were treated as a class in elementary English, and
the above passage were read out as an exercise in dictation! Nay, it is
to be feared that even the more august assembly in Dover House, the
Lords of Education themselves, would be panic-stricken at such a task.
Only Macaulay's "schoolboy" would probably be found to enter upon it
with unblenched countenance, and to accomplish it successfully.

[221] This reminds us of Bottom the weaver. "I will roar that I will do
any man's heart good to hear me.... [Yet not to frighten the ladies.] I
will aggravate my voice so that I will roar you as gently as any sucking
dove: I will roar you an 'twere any nightingale" (_Midsummer-Night's
Dream_, I. ii.).

[222] _Works_, pp. 292, 293.

[223] _Logopandecteision_, or an INTRODUCTION to the UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE.
Digested into these Six several Books, Neaudethaumata, Chrestasebeia,
Cleronomaporia, Chryseomystes, Neleodicastes, and Philoponauxesis. By
Sir Thomas Urquhart of _Cromartie_, Knight. Now lately contrived and
published, both for his own utilie, and that of all pregnant and
ingenious Spirits. _Credere quaerenti nonne haic justissima res est? Qui
non plura cupit, quam ratio ipsa jubet._ _Englished thus_, To grant him
his demands, were it not just? Who craves no more, then [than] reason
says he must. _London._ Printed, and are to be sold by _Giles Calvert_
at the _Black Spread Eagle_ at the west-end of _Pauls_; and by _Richard
Tomlins_ at the Sun and Bible near Pye-corner. 1653.

[224] Eleven genders seem nine more than are necessary, and the use of
such a large number suggests to one that in Sir Thomas's Universal
Language the distinctions in question were to receive an undue amount of
attention. At the same time, fault has been found with our English
language for being somewhat defective in accentuating these
distinctions; and an attempt to correct this shortcoming, to a certain
extent, has been made by Southey in _The Doctor_. He proposed to
anglicise the orthography of the female garment, "which is indeed the
sister to the shirt," and then to utilise the hint offered in its new
form: thus _Hemise_ and _Shemise_. In letter-writing every person knows
that male and female letters have a distinct character; they should
therefore, he thought, be generally distinguished thus, _Hepistle_ and
_Shepistle_. And as there is the same marked difference in the writing
of the two sexes, he proposed _Penmanship_ and _Penwomanship_. Erroneous
opinions in religion being promulgated in this country by women as well
as men, the teachers of such false doctrine may be divided into
_Heresiarchs_ and _Sheresiarchs_, so that we should speak of the
_Heresy_ of the Quakers and the _Sheresy_ of Joanna Southcote's people.
The troublesome affection of the diaphragm, which every one has
experienced, is, upon the same principle, to be called, according to the
sex of the patient, _Hecups_, or _Shecups_, which, upon the principle of
making our language truly British, is better than the more classical
form of _Hiccups_ and _Hæcups_. In its objective use the word becomes
Hiscups or Hercups; and in like manner Histerics should be altered into
Herterics, the complaint never being masculine. It is perhaps a little
surprising that this suggestion should have lain before the British
public for half a century, and have been left unutilised.

[225] _Works_, pp. 316-318.

[226] _Works_, pp. 316-318.

[227] _Ibid._ p. 332.

[228] _Scenes and Legends_, chap. vii.

[229] A somewhat similar project was described in the Marquis of
Worcester's _Century of the Names and Scantling of ... Inventions_
(1663), in which the steam-engine is anticipated. The passage is as
follows:--"32. How to compose an universal character, methodical, and
easie to be written, yet intelligible in any language; so that if an
Englishman write it in English, a Frenchman, Italian, Spaniard, Irish,
Welsh, being scholars, yea, Grecian or Hebritian, shall as perfectly
understand it in their owne Tongue, as if they were perfect English,
distinguishing the Verbs from the Nouns, the Numbers, Tenses, Cases as
properly expressed in their own Language as it was written in English."

A writer in _Blackwood's Magazine_ in 1820 affirms that he has good
reasons for believing that the above volume was really by Sir Thomas
Urquhart, and was dishonestly put forth as the work of the Marquis of
Worcester. He does not give us any of his reasons. The style of the
little volume bears no resemblance to that of our author, and this fact
is of itself almost conclusive proof that Sir Thomas Urquhart had
nothing to do with it. The Scottish knight could scarcely open his lips
without revealing his identity. It is rather difficult to believe, too,
that a manuscript lost by Sir Thomas in the streets of Worcester should
have been picked up by the Marquis of Worcester. The coincidence would
be a very extraordinary one.

[230] Hear Heine's angry allusions to his early scholastic experiences,
in which he suggests another and less honourable origin of the Greek
tongue: "Vom Griechischen will ich gar nicht sprechen--ich ärgere mich
sonst zu viel. Die Mönche im Mittelalter hatten so ganz Unrecht nicht,
wenn sie behaupteten, dass das Griechische eine Erfindung des Teufels
sei" (_Das Buch Le Grand_, vii.).

[231] Sanskrit, Old Persian, Lithuanian, and old Slavonic have the dual
both in declension and conjugation, and in the first of these it is used
much more frequently than in Greek. Faint traces of it in declension are
to be found in Teutonic speech, though in conjugation it is only in the
Gothic that the dual is used. In old Gaelic the dual is a regular
feature of declension, but not of conjugation.

                         CHAPTER VII

                   TRANSLATION OF RABELAIS

The foundation on which Sir Thomas Urquhart's literary fame securely
rests is his translation into English of the first three books of the
works of Rabelais. Of these the first and second appeared in two
separate volumes in the year 1653--exactly a century after the death of
the great French satirist--and the third was published by Pierre Antoine
Motteux in 1693, long after Sir Thomas's own death.[232]

The difficulty, singularity, and obscurity of the writings of Rabelais
had probably been hindrances in the way of their being presented to the
English public in their own tongue; for, though the register of the
Stationers' Company preserves a record of two attempts at translation,
these seem to have been but fragmentary, and to have dropped still-born
from the press. The works themselves are not known to be extant, and
nothing more than the bare name of them survives.

The difficulties which lie in the way of the ordinary reader who wishes
to become acquainted with the works of Rabelais are very
considerable.[233] The fantastical style of the satirist, his countless
allusions to contemporary persons and events, his out-of-the-way
learning, the care with which he conceals at such length the seriousness
of his purpose, and the incredible grossness of manners which so often
disfigures his pages, are obstacles which can with difficulty be
surmounted. The last-mentioned characteristic is, indeed, a grave and
ingrained fault, which must for ever be a slur upon the writer's fame.
Yet we may say of him what Don Pedro says of Benedick, "The man doth
fear God howsoever it seems not in him by some large jests he will
make"; or what Mrs Blower in _St Ronan's Well_ says of her deceased
husband, "He was a merry man, but he had the root of the matter in him
for a' his light way of speaking." Coleridge--"the brother," according
to Mr Birrell, "whose praise is throughout all the churches"--speaks of
Rabelais in very high terms indeed; "Beyond a doubt," he says, "he was
among the deepest, as well as boldest thinkers of his age. His
buffoonery was not merely Brutus' rough stick, which contained a rod of
gold: it was necessary as an amulet against the monks and legates.[234]
Never was there a more plausible, and seldom, I am persuaded, a less
appropriate line than the thousand times quoted

            'Rabelais laughing in his easy chair'

of Mr Pope. The caricature of his filth and zanyism show how fully he
both knew and felt the danger in which he stood. I could write a
treatise in praise of the moral elevation of Rabelais' work, which would
make the church stare and the conventicle groan,[235] and yet would be
truth, and nothing but the truth. I class Rabelais with the great
creative minds of the world, Shakespeare, Dante, Cervantes, etc."

François Rabelais was born in Touraine, according to the date usually
given, and which there is no reason to question, in the same year as
Luther and Raphael, A.D. 1483, and died in Paris in 1553. His father had
a small estate, and was an apothecary (or, as some say, a tavern-keeper)
in the town of Chinon, at the foot of the castle where, three centuries
before, our Henry II. had died, and whither, a little more than fifty
years before François was born, Joan of Arc had come with promises of
supernatural aid to Charles VII. He was the youngest of five sons, and,
as was often the case in those days, was provided for by being made a
monk, while the other members of the family divided amongst them the
paternal estate. In one passage in his works he speaks of mothers who
"cannot bear their children nor brook them in their houses nine, nay
often not seven years, but by putting a shirt over their robe, and by
cutting a few hairs on the top of their head ... they transform them
into birds," _i.e._, get rid of them as soon as possible, and thrust
them into monasteries. This seems to have been his own sad fate.

In course of time, after the schoolboy period of his life was past, he
entered the order of Franciscan monks at the convent of
Fontenay-le-Comte in Poitou, and took holy orders; and it was here,
during the next fifteen years (1509-1524), that he devoted himself to
the acquisition of everything in the shape of literature or learning,
and laid the foundation of the astonishing erudition which his works
display. His long residence in the monastery had inspired Rabelais with
a deep hatred of monasticism and monks, and, after being allowed to
exchange the Franciscan for the Benedictine order, he laid down the
regular habit and took that of a secular priest, and left the convent
without the sanction of his superior--a breach of ecclesiastical
discipline which exposed him to severe censure. After wandering hither
and thither in the pursuit of medical knowledge, he entered the
University of Montpellier, graduated as a physician, and practised there
with credit and success. After being Hospital Physician at Lyons, he
spent some time in Rome, as a medical attendant upon Jean du Bellay,
Bishop of Paris. While here he succeeded in making his peace with the
Church, and by a papal Bull (17th January 1536) was allowed to return to
the Benedictine order and to practise physic according to canonical
rules, _i.e._, to charge no fees and to use neither fire nor knife. This
release from ecclesiastical disabilities allowed him to be appointed to
a place in the abbey of St Maur-des-Fosses, near Paris. After another
period of exile and wandering he was nominated curé of Meudon, an office
which he resigned after two years. Three months afterwards he died in
Paris (9th April, 1553), and was buried in the cemetery of the parish of
St Paul's.

The publication of the satirical writings of Rabelais was spread over a
long series of years, from 1532 or 1533, when the first installment, in
his _Gargantua_, was brought out, down to 1564, eleven years after his
death, when the fifth and concluding book of his _Pantagruel_ was issued
in its entirety. The main object of his satire was what used to be
called "the intolerance, superstition, and disgusting follies and vices
of the Romish Church," but, incidentally, pretenders to knowledge of
every kind come under his lash. For when imposture, folly, and humbug
grow too rank and noisome, there arise, it can scarcely be by accident,
men like Lucian, Rabelais, and Voltaire, whose calling it is to cut them
down. That theirs is an ill-requited office is sufficiently plain from
the odium which, in spite of their beneficent labours, is often
associated with their names. "[Hast thou] only a torch for burning, no
hammer for building?" says the somewhat wearisome Herr Teufelsdröckh to
the last named of these satirists, "take our thanks, then, and--thyself
away."[236] Yet the torch for burning is as necessary as the hammer for
building, if the site for the Temple of Truth is to be prepared. It may
well be that burning down and rooting up are needed before building can
be begun, and some of those who have endeavoured to benefit mankind
have felt themselves called to the one sort of work rather than to the

The form which Rabelais chooses for the frame-work of his satire is the
burlesque adventures of the giant Gargantua, of whom many legends were
current in Touraine, and of his son Pantagruel, sometimes spoken of as
also a giant, and at others as a wise and virtuous prince of ordinary
proportions. Along with the strange, tangled, and chaotic story of their
exploits the writer from time to time enunciates admirable ideas, which
must have seemed revolutionary to his contemporaries, and some of which
even we have not yet realised.

The translation of Rabelais by Sir Thomas Urquhart is his great literary
achievement. "It is impossible," says Tytler, "to look into it without
admiring the air of ease, freshness, and originality which the
translator has so happily communicated to his performance. All those
singular qualifications which unfitted Urquhart to succeed in serious
composition--his extravagance, his drollery (?), his unbridled
imagination, his burlesque and endless epithets--are in the task of
translating Rabelais transplanted into their true field of action, and
revel through his pages with a licence and buoyancy which is quite
unbridled, yet quite allowable. Indeed, Urquhart and Rabelais appear, in
many points, to have been congenial spirits, and the translator seems to
have been born for his author."[237]

As might have been expected, the translation is not marked by painful
exactness of rendering. On the contrary, evidences of carelessness and
inaccuracy are by no means uncommon, but yet the work is, as some one
calls it, "one of the most perfect transfusions of an author from one
language to another,[238] that ever man accomplished." The great merits
of the translation consist in its preserving the very air and style of
the original, and in the astonishing richness of vocabulary which it
manifests. Where Rabelais invents a word, Sir Thomas invents one, or
two, or three; and if the former has a list of twenty or thirty
epithets, the latter has no hesitation in supplying his readers with
forty or sixty, which seem quite as good as the original stock which he
thus enlarges. Sometimes, too, as Mr W. F. Smith, a very distinguished
student of Rabelais, remarks, "in translating a single word of the
French he often empties all the synonyms given by Cotgrave into his

Mr Tytler, in the above-quoted criticism on Urquhart's translation,
speaks of the peculiarities of his style as "revelling through his pages
with a licence and buoyancy which is quite unbridled, yet quite
allowable." One is obliged to demur to the last adjective. A translator,
like a compositor, should be under some obligation to adhere to the text
before him; and, as a matter of fact, the success of Urquhart's version
is occasionally interfered with by this same "unbridled revelling." The
style of Rabelais is graphic and vigorous, and at times exceedingly
graceful, and occupies a high place in French literature. Any tampering
with it, therefore, in the way of alteration or addition, was not likely
to be an improvement.

But, even after all deductions are made, the praise bestowed upon
Urquhart's work has been fully deserved. "The buoyancy and unembarrassed
sweep of its general character," says Sir Theodore Martin, "which gives
his Rabelais more the look of an original than of a translation, its
rich and well-compacted diction, the many happy turns of phrase that are
quite his own, have fairly earned for it the high estimation in which it
has long been held. His task was one of extreme difficulty, and there
have perhaps been few men besides himself that could have brought to it
the world of omnigenous knowledge which it required. It was apparently
Urquhart's ambition to realise in his own person the ideal of human
accomplishment, to be at once

    'Complete in feature and in mind,
    With all good grace to grace a gentleman.'

He had left no source of information unexplored, few aspects of life
unobserved, and, in the translation of Rabelais, he found full exercise
for his multiform attainments. Ably as the work has been completed by
Motteux, one cannot but regret that the worthy Knight of Cromarty had
not spared him the task."[239]

The merits of the translation can scarcely be exhibited in selections
torn from their context, and perhaps only partly intelligible; but
perhaps the following may be welcome to the reader. Let us take these
extracts from the graceful and charming sketch of the Abbey of Thelema,
which was to be different from all other monastic communities, and was
to be the home of a society of young people living together in all
innocence and joy, free from sordid cares, and devoted to the studies,
exercises, and accomplishments which are appropriate to refined and
noble spirits.

"'First, then,' said Gargantua, 'you must not build a wall about your
convent, for all other abbies are strongly walled and mured about....
Moreover, seeing there are certain convents in the world, whereof the
custome is, if any woman come in, I mean chaste and honest women, they
immediately sweep the ground which they have trod upon;[240] therefore
was it ordained, that if any man or woman, entered into religious
orders, should by chance come within this new abbey, all the roomes
should be thoroughly washed and cleansed through which they had passed.
And because in all other monasteries and nunneries all is compassed,
limited, and regulated by houres, it was decreed that in this new
structure there should be neither clock nor dial, but that, according to
the opportunities and incident occasions, all their hours should be
disposed of; for,' said Gargantua, 'the greatest losse of time, that I
know, is to count the hours. What good comes of it? Nor can there be any
greater dotage in the world then [than] for one to guide and direct his
courses by the sound of a bell, and not by his owne judgement and

"Item, Because at that time they put no women into nunneries, but such
as were either purblind, blinkards, lame, crooked, ill-favoured,
misshapen, fooles, senselesse, spoyled, or corrupt; nor encloystered any
men, but those that were either sickly, ill-bred lowts, simple sots, or
peevish trouble-houses; ... therefore was it ordained, that into this
religious order should be admitted no women that were not faire, well
featur'd, and of a sweet disposition; nor men that were not comely,
personable, and well conditioned.

"Item, Because in the convents of women men come not but under-hand,
privily, and by stealth, it was therefore enacted, that in this house
there shall be no women in case there be not men, nor men in case there
be not women.

"Item, Because both men and women, that are received into religious
orders after the expiring of their noviciat or probation-year, were
constrained and forced perpetually to stay there all the days of their
life, it was therefore ordered, that all whatever, men or women,
admitted within this abbey, should have full leave to depart with peace
and contentment, whensoever it should seem good to them so to do.

"Item, for that the religious men and women did ordinarily make three
vows, to wit, those of chastity, poverty, and obedience, it was
therefore constituted and appointed, that in this convent they might be
honourably married, that they might be rich, and live at liberty.

"In regard of the legitimat time of the persons to be initiated, and
years under and above which they were not capable of reception, the
women were to be admitted from ten till fifteen, and the men from
twelve till eighteen."[241]

After an elaborate description of the magnificence of the abbey and of
its endowments, and of the apparel worn by the members of the new order,
we are told of "_how the Thelemites were governed, and of their manner
of living_." "All their life," we read, "was spent not in lawes,
statutes, or rules, but according to their own free will and pleasure.
They rose out of their beds, when they thought good; they did eat,
drink, labour, sleep, when they had a minde to it, and were disposed for
it. None did awake them, none did offer to constrain them to eat, drink,
nor to do any other thing; for so had Gargantua established it. In all
their rule, and strictest tie of their order, there was but this one
clause to be observed,

                      DO WHAT THOU WILT;

Because men that are free, well-borne, well-bred, and conversant in
honest companies, have naturally an instinct and spurre that prompteth
them unto vertuous actions, and withdraws them from vice, which is
called honour. Those same men when by base subjection and constraint
they are brought under and kept down, turn aside from that noble
disposition, by which they formerly were inclined to vertue, to shake
off and break that bond of servitude, wherein they are so tyrannously
inslaved; for it is agreeable with the nature of man to long after
things forbidden, and to desire what is denied us.[242]

"By this liberty they entered into a very laudable emulation, to do all
of them what they saw did please one. If any of the gallants or ladies
should say, Let us drink, they would all drink. If any one of them said,
Let us play, they all played. If one said, Let us go a-walking into the
fields, they went all. If it were to go a-hawking or a-hunting, the
ladies mounted upon dainty, well-paced nags, seated in a stately palfrey
saddle,[243] carried on their lovely fists, miniardly begloved every one
of them, either a sparhawk, or a laneret, or a marlin, and the young
gallants carried the other kinds of hawkes. So nobly were they taught,
that there was neither he nor she amongst them but could read, write,
sing, play upon several musical instruments, speak five or sixe several
languages, and compose in them all very quaintly, both in verse and
prose. Never were seen so valiant knights, so noble and worthy, so
dextrous and skilful both on foot and a horseback, more brisk and
lively, more nimble and quick, or better handling all manner of weapons
then [than] were there. Never were seene ladies so proper[244] and
handsome, so miniard and dainty, lesse froward, or more ready with their
hand, and with their needle, in every honest and free action belonging
to that sexe, then [than] were there. For this reason, when the time
came, that any man of the said abbey, either at the request of his
parents, or for some other cause, had a minde to go out of it, he
carried along with him one of the ladies, namely, her whom he had before
that chosen for his mistris,[245] and [they] were married together. And
if they had formerly in Theleme lived in good devotion and amity, they
did continue therein and increase it to a greater height in their state
of matrimony: and did entertaine that mutual love till the very last day
of their life, in no lesse vigour and fervency, then [than] at the very
day of their wedding."[246]

Such is the dream which floated before the mind of Rabelais, but,
unhappily, it is still an airy fancy, and has never received a local
habitation and a name. Mrs Grundy, the vegetarians, the teetotallers,
the anti-tobacco people, and the enemies of "rational costume" have up
to the present forbidden the erection of any such building.

One of the most prominent figures in the story of Pantagruel is his
favourite, Panurge, who is a rogue, a drunkard, a coward, and a
malicious scoundrel, but who yet, like Falstaff, in spite of all his
moral deficiencies, manages to appear as an amusing personage. Into his
lips is put, with a fine disregard of congruity, an eloquent speech,
which begins in praise of debt, and ends by setting forth the
interdependence of all things in the universe. Panurge is represented as
having threescore and three ways of making money, and two hundred and
fourteen of spending it, so that he is always poor, and his sovereign
Pantagruel remonstrates with him on account of his prodigal habits.

He replies as follows: "Be still indebted to somebody or other, that
there may be somebody always to pray for you; [to pray] that the giver
of all good things may grant unto you a blessed, long, and prosperous
life; fearing, if fortune should deal crossly with you, that it might be
his chance to come short of being paid by you, he will always speak good
of you in every company, ever and anon purchase new creditors unto you;
to the end, that through their means you may make a shift by borrowing
from Peter to pay Paul,[247] and with other folk's earth fill up his
ditch. When of old in the region of the Gauls, by the institution of the
Druids,[248] the servants, slaves, and bondmen were burnt quick at the
funerals and obsequies of their lords and masters, had not they fear
enough, think you, that their lords and masters should die? For, per
force, they were to die with them for company. Did not they uncessantly
send up their supplications to their great God Mercury,[249] as likewise
unto Dis, the Father of Wealth,[250] to lengthen out their days, and
preserve them long in health? Were not they very careful to entertain
them well, punctually to look unto them, and to attend them faithfully
and circumspectly? For by those means were they to live together at
least until the hour of death. Believe me your creditors with a more
fervent devotion will beseech [Providence] to prolong your life, they
being of nothing more afraid than that you should die.... I, in this
only respect and consideration of being a debtor, esteem myself
worshipful, reverend, and formidable. For, against the opinion of most
philosophers, that of nothing ariseth nothing, yet, without having
bottomed on so much as that which is called the First Matter [Primary
Matter], did I out of nothing become such [a] maker and creator, that I
have created--what?--a gay number of fair and jolly creditors. Nay,
creditors, I will maintain it, even to the very fire itself
exclusively,[251] are fair and goodly creatures. Who lendeth nothing is
an ugly and wicked creature.... You can hardly imagine how glad I am,
when every morning I perceive myself environed and surrounded with
brigades of creditors,--humble, fawning, and full of their reverences.
And whilst I remark that, as I look more favourably upon, and give a
chearfuller countenance to one than to the other, the fellow thereupon
buildeth a conceit that he shall be the first dispatched, and the
foremost in the date of payment; and he valueth my smiles at the rate of
ready money.... I have all my lifetime held debt to be as an union or
conjunction of the heavens with the earth, and the whole cement whereby
the race of mankind is kept together;[252] yea, of such vertue and
efficacy, that, I say, the whole progeny of Adam would very suddenly
perish without it."

He then goes on to describe a world in which there are no debtors and no
debts. There will be no regular course among the planets, but all will
be in disorder. Jupiter, reckoning himself to be nothing indebted to
Saturn, will go near to thrust him out of his place; Saturn and Mars
will combine to promote the confusion; Mercury, being debtor to no one,
will no longer serve any; Venus, because she shall have lent nothing,
will no longer be venerated. "The moon," he says, "will remain bloody
and obscure. For to what end should the sun impart unto her any of his
light?[253] He owed her nothing. Nor yet will the sun shine upon the
earth, nor the stars send down any good influence,[254] because the
terrestrial globe hath desisted from sending up their wonted nourishment
by vapours and exhalations, wherewith Heraclitus said, the Stoicks
proved, Cicero maintained, they were cherished and alimented.... No rain
will descend upon the earth, nor light shine thereon; no wind will blow
there, nor will there be in it any summer or harvest.... Such a world
without lending will be no better than a dog-kennel, a place of
contention and wrangling.... Men will not then salute one another; it
will be but lost labour to expect aid or succour from any, or to cry
fire, water, murther, for none will put to their helping hand. Why? He
lent no money, there is nothing due to him. Nobody is concerned in his
burning, in his shipwrack, in his ruine, or in his death; and that
because he hitherto hath lent nothing, and would never thereafter have
lent anything. In short, Faith, Hope, and Charity would be quite
banish'd from such a world--for men are born to relieve and assist one

"But, on the contrary," he went on to say, "be pleased to represent
unto your fancy another world, wherein every one lendeth, and everyone
oweth, all are debtors, and all creditors. O how great will that harmony
be, which shall thereby result from the regular motions of the heavens!
Methinks I hear it every whit as well as ever Plato did.[255] What
sympathy will there be amongst the elements! O how delectable then unto
nature will be our own works and productions! Whilst Ceres appeareth
loaden with corn, Bacchus with wines, Flora with flowers, Pomona with
fruits, and Juno fair in a clear air, wholsom and pleasant. I lose
myself in this high contemplation. Then will among the race of mankind,
peace, love, benevolence, fidelity, tranquillity, rests, banquets,
feastings, joy, gladness, gold, silver, single money [small change],
chains, rings, with other ware, and chaffer of that nature, be found to
trot from hand to hand. No suits at law, no wars, no strife, debate, nor
wrangling; none will be there an usurer, none will be there a
pinch-penny, a scrape-good wretch, or churlish hard-hearted refuser.
Will not this be the golden age in the reign of Saturn?--the true idea
of the Olympick regions, wherein all [other] vertues cease, charity
alone ruleth, governeth, domineereth, and triumpheth? All will be fair
and goodly people there, all just and vertuous. O happy world! O people
of that world most happy! Yea, thrice and four times blessed is that
people! I think in very deed that I am amongst them."[256]

In one curious passage Sir Thomas Urquhart amplifies the text of the
author whom he translates, and supplies his readers with an astonishing
list of onomatopœic words, many of which will probably be new to those
who have not come across this passage before. Rabelais has nine of these
words, but the translator[257] enlarges the list to seventy-one.
Pantagruel is arguing against fasting and solitude as aids to a
contemplative life, and quotes the authority of his father Gargantua.

"He [Gargantua] gave us also," he said, "the example of the philosopher,
who, when he thought most seriously to have withdrawn himself unto a
solitary privacy, far from the rusling clutterments of the tumultuous
and confused world, the better to improve his theory, to contrive,
comment, and ratiocinate, was, notwithstanding his uttermost endeavours
to free himself from all untoward noises, surrounded and environ'd about
so with the barking of currs [bawling of mastiffs, bleating of sheep,
prating of parrets, tatling of jack-daws, grunting of swine, girning of
boars, yelping of foxes, mewing of cats, cheeping of mice, squeaking of
weasils, croaking of frogs, crowing of cocks, kekling of hens, calling
of partridges, chanting of swans, chattering of jays, peeping of
chickens, singing of larks, creaking of geese, chirping of swallows,
clucking of moorfowls, cucking of cuckos, bumling of bees, rammage of
hawks, chirming of linots, croaking of ravens, screeching of owls,
whicking of pigs, gushing of hogs, curring of pigeons, grumbling of
cushet-doves, howling of panthers, curkling of quails, chirping of
sparrows, crackling of crows, nuzzing of camels, wheening of whelps,
buzzing of dromedaries, mumbling of rabets, cricking of ferrets, humming
of wasps, mioling of tygers, bruzzing of bears, sussing of kitnings,
clamring of scarfes, whimpring of fullmarts, boing of buffaloes,
warbling of nightingales, quavering of meavises, drintling of turkies,
coniating of storks, frantling of peacocks, clattering of mag-pyes,
murmuring of stock-doves, crouting of cormorants, cigling of locusts,
charming of beagles, guarring of puppies, snarling of messens, rantling
of rats, guerieting of apes, snuttering of monkies, pioling of
pelicanes, quecking of ducks], yelling of wolves, roaring of lions,
neighing of horses, crying of elephants, hissing of serpents, and
wailing of turtles, that he was much more troubled than if he had been
in the middle of the crowd at the fair of Fontenay or Niort."[258] In
spite of the amplification of the original text of Rabelais, two of the
sounds are omitted--"the braying of asses," and the noise made by
grass-hoppers (_sonnent les eigales_), which we might have called
"chirping," if the swallows and sparrows had not taken possession of
that term.

As already stated, the first two books were all that were published in
the lifetime of Sir Thomas Urquhart. They appeared as separate volumes
in 1653. The unsold stock of each was reissued in 1664, in one volume,
an additional title-page, an extra preface, and a life of Rabelais being
prefixed to them. The volume became very scarce, and in 1693-94 Pierre
Antoine Motteux, a Frenchman, who was master of exceedingly racy and
idiomatic English, published an edition containing the third book. This
was extremely inaccurate, so far as typography was concerned, and gave
the public the version of Sir Thomas Urquhart with certain unspecified
changes made by the editor in order to impart to it additional
"smartness." In 1708 Motteux published a complete translation of
Rabelais, the version of the fourth and fifth books being supplied by
himself,[259] as supplementary to Urquhart's work. After the death of
Motteux, a somewhat pretentious editor named Ozell[260] brought out the
combined versions, with notes principally taken from the French of
Duchat, and this has been reprinted time after time since its first
appearance in 1737.

At least seventeen editions of Urquhart's work, either by itself or with
Motteux's supplementary matter, have been issued since his day, and
there is no sign of its fame waxing dim through the lapse of time; and
therefore the immortality after which he longed has in a measure been
won by him. And so, once more before we take our leave of him, we look
again into the twilight of the past, and see his striking figure--the
soldier, the scholar, and the author--crowned with the wreath which his
own hands have placed upon his brows, but which succeeding generations
declare him worthy to bear.


[232] The title-page of the first book does not contain Sir Thomas
Urquhart's name, but on it is his motto ("Mean, speak, and do well"). It
runs as follows:--"The first Book of the Works of MR. FRANCIS RABELAIS,
Doctor in Physick: Containing Five Books of the Lives, Heroick Deeds,
and Sayings of GARGANTUA and his Sonne PANTAGRUEL. Together with the
Pantagrueline Prognostication, the Oracle of the divine Bacbuc, and
response of the bottle. Hereunto are annexed the Navigations unto the
sounding Isle and the Isle of the Apedefts: as likewise the
Philosophical cream with a Limosin Epistle. All done by Mr. Francis
Rabelais, in the French Tongue, and now faithfully translated into
English. ευνοει εὑλογε καἱ εὑπραττε. London, Printed for Richard
Baddeley, within the Middle Templegate. 1653." On the title-page of the
second book are the translator's initials, S, T. V. C. (Sir Thomas
Urquhart of Cromartie). While on that of the third book we have his name
in full: "Now faithfully translated into English by the unimitable pen
of Sir Thomas Urwhart, Kt. and Bar. The Translator of the Two First
Books. Never before Printed. London: Printed for Richard Baldwin, near
the Oxford Arms in Warwick Lane, 1693." Copies of the first and second
books of the above date are in the British Museum, but erroneously
catalogued--not under Urquhart, but only under C., S. T. V. A second
edition of them both seems from the Bodleian Catalogue to have been
published in 1664. Both are very rare, it is said, owing to the
destruction caused by the fire of London in 1666.

[233] For those who are not special students, adequate information
concerning Rabelais and extracts from his works are to be got in Sir
Walter Besant's luminous and charming volume in the series of Foreign
Classics for English Readers (Blackwood), and in Morley's _Universal
Library_ (Routledge). In one of his poems Browning describes the steps
taken by a reader to banish the memory of a dreary pedant, whose book he
had been perusing. He says:

    "Then I went indoors, brought out a loaf,
      Half a cheese, and a bottle of Chablis;
    Lay on the grass, and forgot the loaf
      Over a jolly chapter of Rabelais."

Some have turned over Rabelais and searched for the jolly chapter in
vain, and have, perhaps, attributed their failure to the want of a
bottle of Chablis.

[234] This is somewhat doubtful. The Sorbonne and the Parliaments might
have been moved by ultra-orthodox opponents to prosecute Rabelais on
this account. The true explanation seems to be that the form of his book
was popular, and the popular French literature of the Middle
Ages--fableaux, farces, and burlesque romances--can hardly be exceeded
in the matter of coarseness (_Ency. Brit._, "Rabelais").

[235] This is surely an early allusion to the superior sensitiveness on
some points of the "_Nonconformist Conscience_." The fact alluded to
should inspire joy rather than call forth sneers, for when a conscience
becomes sensitive on some points there are reasonable hopes of its
becoming sensitive on others.

[236] _Sartor Resartus_, chap. ix.

[237] _Life of Crichton_, p. 182.

[238] In addition to any aid Urquhart may have received from friends who
were intimately acquainted with the French language, he was deeply
indebted to Cotgrave's French Dictionary, published in 1611, and
dedicated to "Sir William Cecil, Knight, Lord Burghley, and sonne and
heir apparant unto the Earle of Exeter," _i.e._, the grandson of Queen
Elizabeth's Lord Burghley.

[239] _Rabelais_, p. xxi.

[240] _I.e._ the Carthusians: like their impudence!

[241] Book i. chap. 52.

[242] "_Nitimur in vetitum, semper cupimus negata_" (Ovid, Amor. iii. 4,

[243] _Avec leur palefroy guorrier_--rather, "with their prancing
palfrey." Guorrier from Gr. γαυρος--haughty.

[244] Cf. Heb. xi. 23, "a proper child."

[245] _Celle laquelle l'auroit prins pour son devot_--rather, "her, who
had chosen him as her devoted servant."

[246] Book i. chap. 57.

[247] Fr. _faire versure_ = Lat. _facere versuram_ (Cic. Att. v. 1, §
2), to borrow money to pay another debt (F. W. S.).

[248] Caes. B. G. vi. 19.

[249] "_Deum maxime Mercurium colunt_" (B. G. vi. 17) (Ibid.).

[250] "_Galli se omnes ab Dite patre prognatos dicunt_" (B. G. vi. 18).
Dis is called _père des escuz_, as identical with Plutus, the god of
hidden wealth (_Ibid._).

[251] _Exclusively_, _i.e._, "I will affirm it, but not go to the stake
for it" (F. W. S.).

[252] A fine passage in one of South's _Sermons_ was evidently suggested
by the above chapter in Rabelais. "The World is maintained by
Intercourse; and the whole Course of Nature is a great Exchange, in
which one good Turn is and ought to be the stated Price of another. If
you consider the Universe as one Body, you shall find Society and
Conversation to supply the Office of the Blood and Spirits; and it is
Gratitude that makes them circulate. Look over the whole Creation, and
you shall see that the Band or Cement that holds together all the Parts
of this great and glorious Fabric is Gratitude, or something like it:
you may observe it in all the Elements, for does not the Air feed the
Flame? and does not the Flame at the same time warm and enlighten the
Air? Is not the Sea always sending forth, as well as taking in? And does
not the Earth quit scores with all the Elements, in the noble Fruits and
Productions that issue from it? And in all the Light and Influence that
the Heavens bestow upon this lower World, though the lower World cannot
equal their Benefaction, yet with a Kind of grateful Return, it reflects
those Rays that it cannot recompense: so that there is some Return
however, though there can be no Requital.... In short, Gratitude is the
great Spring that sets all the Wheels of Nature agoing; and the whole
Universe is supported by giving and returning, by Commerce and
Commutation. And now, thou ungrateful Brute, thou Blemish to Mankind,
and Reproach to thy Creation; what shall we say of thee, or to what
shall we compare thee? For thou art an Exception from all the visible
World; neither the Heavens above nor the Earth beneath afford anything
like thee: and therefore, if thou wouldest find thy Parallel, go to
Hell, which is both the Region and the Emblem of Ingratitude; for
besides thyself, there is nothing but Hell that is always receiving and
never restoring" (I. SERM. xi. "_Of the odious Sin of Ingratitude_").

[253] "Nec fratris radiis obnoxia surgere Luna" (Virg. _Georg._ i. 396)
(F. W. S.).

[254] _Influence_, much used as an astrological term. Cf. Milton:

                  "Taught the fix'd
    their _influence_ malignant when to shower."

                                         _Par. Lost_, x. 662.

 "Bending one way their precious _influence_."

                            _Hymn on the Nativity_, 71.

[255] _Plato_ never pretends that the "music of the spheres" can be
heard. He adopts the theory to some extent from the Pythagoreans.
Aristotle (_de Coelo_, ii. 9), that the noise caused by the movements of
the heavenly bodies is so prodigious and continuous, that, being
accustomed to it from our birth, we do not notice it. The only notice in
Plato that can be construed into a statement about audible music of the
spheres is in _Rep._ x., where he speaks of a siren standing upon each
of the circles of the planetary system uttering one note in one tone;
and from all the eight notes there results a single harmony (F. W. S.).

[256] Book iii. chaps. 3, 4.

[257] It is quite possible that Motteux, who published the third book of
Rabelais after Urquhart's death, is responsible for some of the

[258] Book iii. chap 13. _Fontenay le Comte_ in Lower Poitou and _Niort_
were noted for their busy yearly fairs. There can be doubt that the
above passage was suggested to Rabelais by what St Jerome records of the
experience of St Hilarion in the desert. "Sic attentuatus," he says,
"[jejunio et vigiliis], et in tantum exeto corpore, ut ossibus vix
haereret, quadam nocte cœpit infantum audire vagitus, balatus pecorum,
mugitus boum, planctum quasi mulierum, leonum rugitus, murmur exercitus,
et prorsus variarum portenta vocum," etc. (_Vita Sancti Hilarionis_). In
Burton's _Anatomy of Melancholy_ (iii. 4. 1. 2) there is the following
reference to the same passage: "Monks, Anachorites, and the like, after
much emptiness become melancholy, vertiginous, they think they hear
strange noises, confer with Hob-goblins, Devils.... _Hilarion_, as
_Hierome_ reports in his life, and _Athanasius of Antonius_, was so bare
with fasting, _that the skin did scarce stick to the bones_; for want of
vapours (_sic_) he could not sleep, and for want of sleep became
idle-headed, _heard every night infants cry, Oxen low, Wolves howl,
Lions roar (as he thought), clattering of chains, strange voices, and
the like illusions of Devils_." It is probable also that Rabelais had
read the following passage in the _Life of Geta_, by Ælius Spartianus
(c. A.D. 317): "Familiare illi fuit has quæstiones grammaticis
proponere, ut dicerent, singula animalia quomodo vocem emitterent,
velut, Agni balant, porcelli grumniunt, palumbes minurriunt, ursi
saeviunt, leones rugiunt, leopardi rictant, elephanti barriunt, ranæ
coaxant, equi hinniunt, asini rudunt, tauri mugiunt, easque de veteribus
approbare." Nor is it likely that Rabelais was unacquainted with the
verses in Teofilo Folengo's (1491-1544) _Merlini Cocaii Macaronicon_,
which run thus:

    "Nam Leo rugitum mittit, Lupus ac ululatum,
    Bos boat, et uitrescit equus, Gallusque cucullat,
    Sgnavolat et Gattus, baiat Canis, Ursus adirat,
    Rancagat Oca, rudit Mullus, sed raggiat Asellus;
    Denique quodque animal propria cum voce gridabat."

                                      _Macaronea_, xx.

[259] In the introduction to this volume Motteux says that Sir Thomas
Urquhart was "a learned physician." It is difficult to understand what
could have given rise to such a statement. Sir Thomas had many projects
for the benefit of the human race, but there is no evidence of his ever
having cherished that of combating disease. One cannot help thinking of
the magniloquent terms in which he would have extolled his remedies, if
the fates had led him to the concoction of patent medicines. It is
doubtful, however, whether he would have had what is technically known
as "a good bed-side manner." It is quite possible that Motteux simply
meant that Sir Thomas was well acquainted with medical science, and not
that he was a physician by profession. Yet his words have often been
understood as asserting the latter. Thus we find the erroneous statement
in Granger's _Biographical Dictionary_, the Amsterdam (1741) edition of
Rabelais, and Sir John Hawkins' _Life of Johnson_, p. 294.

[260] Both Ozell and Motteux figure in Pope's _Dunciad_, in i. 296, and
ii. 412, respectively.





     FATHERS; as by Authentick Records and Tradition they were from time
     to time through the various Generations of that Family successively
     conveyed, till the present yeer 1652 (p. 143).

     The ancestors of Sir Thomas, for whose existence there is evidence
     apart from his assertions, are indicated by their names being
     printed in italics. If the editor of the _Tracts_ (1774) were to
     believed, the italics would have to begin with George, No. 138 in
     the list. The fact that the names in this list are more numerous
     than those in the list which follows, is to be explained by
     brothers succeeding each other occasionally, when there was no son
     to inherit the dignity of chieftainship.

 1. _Adam._
 2. _Seth._
 3. _Enos._
 4. _Cainan._
 5. _Mahalaleel._
 6. _Jared._
 7. _Enoch._
 8. _Methusalah._
 9. _Lamech._
 10. _Noah._
 11. _Japhet._
 12. _Javan._
 13. Penuel.
 14. Tycheros.
 15. Pasiteles.
 16. Esormon.
 17. Cratynter.
 18. Thrasymedes.
 19. Evippos.
 20. Cleotinus.
 21. Litoboros.
 22. Apodemos.
 23. Bathybulos.
 24. Phrenedon.
 25. Zameles.
 26. Choronomos.
 27. Leptologon.
 28. Aglætos.
 29. Megalonus.
 30. Evemeros.
 31. Callophron.
 32. Arthmios.
 33. Hypsegoras.
 34. Autarces.
 35. Evages.
 36. Atarbes.
 37. Pamprosodos.
 38. Gethon.
 39. Holocleros.
 40. Molin.
 41. Epitomon.
 42. Hypotyphos.
 43. Melobolon.
 44. Propetes.
 45. Euplocamos.
 46. Philophon.
 47. Syngenes.
 48. Polyphrades.
 49. Cainotomos.
 50. Rodrigo.
 51. Dicarches.
 52. Exagastos.
 53. Denapon.
 54. Artistes.
 55. Thymoleon.
 56. Eustochos.
 57. Bianor.
 58. Thryllumenos.
 59. Mellessen.
 60. Alypos.
 61. Anochlos.
 62. Homognios.
 63. Epsephicos.
 64. Eutropos.
 65. Coryphæus.
 66. Etoimos.
 67. Spudæos.
 68. Eumestor.
 69. Griphon.
 70. Emmenes.
 71. Pathomachon.
 72. Anepsios.
 73. Auloprepes.
 74. Corosylos.
 75. Detalon.
 76. Beltistos.
 77. Horicos.
 78. Orthophron.
 79. Apsicoros.
 80. Philaplus.
 81. Megaletor.
 82. Nomostor.
 83. Astioremon.
 84. Phronematias.
 85. Lutork.
 86. Machemos.
 87. Stichopæo.
 88. Epelomenos.
 89. Tycheros (2).
 90. Apechon.
 91. Enacmes.
 92. Javan (2).
 93. Lematias.
 94. Prosenes.
 95. Sosomenos.
 96. Philalethes.
 97. Thaleros.
 98. Polyænos.
 99. Cratesimachos.
 100. Eunæmon.
 101. Diasemos.
 102. Saphenus.
 103. Bramoso.
 104. Celanas.
 105. Vistoso.
 106. Polido.
 107. Lustroso.
 108. Chrestander.
 109. Spectabundo.
 110. Philodulos.
 111. Pallidino.
 112. Comicello.
 113. Regisato.
 114. Arguto.
 115. Nicarchos.
 116. Marsidalio.
 117. Hedumenos.
 118. Agenor.
 119. Diaprepon.
 120. Stragayo.
 121. Zeron.
 122. Polyteles.
 123. Vocompos.
 124. Carolo.
 125. Endymion.
 126. Sebastian.
 127. Lawrence.
 128. Olipher.
 129. Quintin.
 130. Goodwin.
 131. Frederick.
 132. Sir Jasper.
 133. Sir Adam.
 134. Edward.
 135. Richard.
 136. Sir Philip.
 137. Robert.
 138. George.
 139. James.
 140. David.
 141. Francis.
 142. William.
 143. _Adam._
 144. _John._
 145. _Sir William._
 146. _William._
 147. _Alexander._
 148. _Thomas._
 149. _Alexander._
 150. _Walter._
 151. _Henry._
 152. _Sir Thomas._
 153. Sir Thomas.

     truth thereof being derived from the same Authentick Records and
     Tradition on which is grounded the above-written Genealogie of
     their male collaterals.

 1. _Eva._
 2. Shifka.
 3. Mahla.
 4. Bilha.
 5. Timnah.
 6. Aholima.
 7. Zilpa.
 8. Noema.
 9. Ada.
 10. Titea.
 11. Debora.
 12. Neginothi.
 13. Hottir.
 14. Orpah.
 15. Axa.
 16. Narfesia.
 17. Goshenni.
 18. Briageta.
 19. Andronia.
 20. Pusena.
 21. Emphaneola.
 22. Bonaria.
 23. Peninah.
 24. Asymbleta.
 25. Carissa.
 26. Calaglais.
 27. Theoglena.
 28. Pammerisla.
 29. Floridula.
 30. Chrysocomis.
 31. Arrenopas.
 32. Tharsalia.
 33. Maia.
 34. Roma.
 35. Termuth.
 36. Vegeta.
 37. Callimeris.
 38. Panthea.
 39. Gonima.
 40. Ganymena.
 41. Thespesia.
 42. Hypermnestra.
 43. Horatia.
 44. Philumena.
 45. Neopis.
 46. Thymelica.
 47. Ephamilla.
 48. Porrima.
 49. Lampedo.
 50. Teleclyta.
 51. Clarabella.
 52. Eromena.
 53. Zocallis.
 54. Lepida.
 55. Nicolia.
 56. Proteusa.
 57. Gozosa.
 58. Venusta.
 59. Prosectica.
 60. Delotera.
 61. Tracara.
 62. Pothina.
 63. Cordata.
 64. Aretias.
 65. Musurga.
 66. Romalia.
 67. Orthoiusa.
 68. Recatada.
 69. Chariestera.
 70. Rexenora.
 71. Philerga.
 72. Thomyris.
 73. Varonilla.
 74. Stranella.
 75. Æquanima.
 76. Barosa.
 77. Epimona.
 78. Diosa.
 79. Bonita.
 80. Aretusa.
 81. Bendita.
 82. Regalletta.
 83. Isumena.
 84. Antaxia.
 85. Bergola.
 86. Viracia.
 87. Dynastis.
 88. Dalga.
 89. Eutocusa.
 90. Corriba.
 91. Præcelsa.
 92. Plausidica.
 93. Donosa.
 94. Solicælia.
 95. Bontadosa.
 96. Calliparia.
 97. Crelenca.
 98. Pancala.
 99. Dominella.
 100. Mundala.
 101. Pamphais.
 102. Philtrusa.
 103. Meliglena.
 104. Philetium.
 105. Tersa.
 106. Dulcicora.
 107. Gethosyna.
 108. Collabella.
 109. Eucnema.
 110. Tortolina.
 111. Ripulita.
 112. Urbana.
 113. Lampusa.
 114. Vistosa.
 115. Hermosina.
 116. Bramata.
 117. Zaglopis.
 118. Androlema.
 119. Trastevole.
 120. Suaviloqua.
 121. Francoline.
 122. Matilda.
 123. Allegra.
 124. Winnifred.
 125. Dorothy.
 126. Lawretta.
 127. Genivieve.
 128. Marjory.
 129. Jane.
 130. Anne.
 131. Magdalen.
 132. Girsel.
 133. Mary.
 134. Sophia.
 135. Elconore.
 136. Rosalind.
 137. Lillias.
 138. _Brigid._
 139. _Agnes._
 140. _Susanna._
 141. _Catherine._
 142. _Helen._
 143. _Beatrice._
 144. _Elizabeth._
 145. _Elizabeth._
 146. _Christian._



"To speak a little now of his compatriot Crichtoun, I hope will not
offend the ingenuous reader; who may know, by what is already displayed,
that it cannot be heterogeneal from the proposed purpose, to make report
of that magnanimous act atchieved by him at the Duke of Mantua's court,
to the honour not only of his own, but to the eternal renown also of the
whole Isle of Britain; the manner whereof was thus:

"A certain Italian gentleman, of a mighty, able, strong, nimble, and
vigorous body, by nature fierce, cruell, warlike, and audacious, and in
the gladiatory art so superlatively expert and dextrous, that all the
most skilful teachers of Escrime, and fencing-masters of Italy, (which
in matter of choice professors in that faculty, needed never as yet to
yeild to any nation in the world), were by him beaten to their good
behaviour, and by blows given in, which they could not avoid, enforced
to acknowledge him their over comer; bethinking himself, how, after so
great a conquest of reputation, he might by such means be very suddenly
enriched, he projected a course of exchanging the blunt to sharp, and
the foiles into tucks. And in this resolution providing a purse full of
gold, worth neer upon four hundred pounds English money, traveled
alongst the most especial and considerable parts of Spaine, France, the
Low-Countryes, Germany, Pole, Hungary, Greece, Italy, and other places,
where ever there was greatest probability of encountring with the
eagerest and most atrocious duellists. And immediately after his arrival
to any city or town that gave apparent likelihood of some one or other
champion that would enter the lists and cope with him, he boldly
challenged them with sound of trumpet, in the chief market-place, to
adventure an equal sum of money against that of his, to be disputed at
the sword's point who should have both. There failed not several brave
men, almost of all nations, who, accepting of his cartels, were not
afraid to hazard both their person and coine against him; but, (till he
midled with this Crichtoun), so maine was the ascendant he had above all
his antagonists, and so unlucky the fate of such as offered to scuffle
with him, that all his opposing combatants, (of what state or dominion
soever they were), who had not lost both their life and gold, were glad,
for the preservation of their person, (though sometimes with a great
expence of blood), to leave both their reputation and mony behind them.
At last, returning homewards to his own country, loaded with honor and
wealth, or rather the spoils of the reputation of those forraginers,
whom the Italians call Tramontani, he, by the way, after his accustomed
manner of abording other places, repaired to the city of Mautua, where
the Duke, (according to the courtesie usually bestowed on him by other
princes), vouchsafed him a protection and savegard for his person; he
(as formerly he was wont to do, by beat of drum, sound of trumpet, and
several printed papers, disclosing his designe, battered on all the
chief gates, posts, and pillars of the town), gave all men to
understand, that his purpose was to challenge, at the single rapier, any
whosoever of that city or country, that durst be so bold as to fight
with him, provided he would deposite a bag of five hundred Spanish
pistols over against another of the same value, which he himself should
lay down, upon this condition, that the enjoyment of both should be the
conqueror's due. His challenge was not long unanswered, for it happened,
at the same time, that three of the most notable cutters in the world,
(and so highly cryed up for valour, that all the bravos of the land were
content to give way to their domineering, how insolent soever they
should prove, because of their former constantly obtained victories in
the field), were all three together at the court of Mantua, who, hearing
of such a harvest of five hundred pistols to be reaped, (as they
expected), very soon, and with ease, had almost contested amongst
themselves for the priority of the first encounterer, but that one of my
Lord Duke's courtiers moved them to cast lots for who should be first,
second, and third, in case none of the former two should prove
victorious. Without more adoe, he whose chance it was to answer the
cartel with the first defiance, presented himself within the barriers,
or place appointed for the fight, where, his adversary attending him, as
soon as the trumpet sounded a charge, they jointly fel to work; and,
(because I am not now to amplifie the particulars of a combat), although
the dispute was very hot for a while, yet, whose fortune it was to be
first of the three in the field, had the disaster to be first of the
three that was foyled; for, at last, with a thrust in the throat, he was
killed dead upon the ground. This, nevertheless, not a whit dismayed the
other two, for, the nixt day, he that was second in the roll gave his
appearance after the same manner as the first had done, but with no
better success; for he likewise was laid flat dead upon the place, by
means of a thrust he received in the heart. The last of the three,
finding that he was as sure of being engaged in the fight as if he had
been the first in order, pluckt up his heart, knit his spirits
together, and, all the day after the death of the second, most
couragiously entering the lists, demeaned himself for a while with great
activity and skill; but at last, his luck being the same with those that
preceded him, by a thrust in the belly, he within four and twenty hours
after gave up the ghost. These (you may imagine), were lamentable
spectacles to the Duke and citie of Mantua, who, casting down their
faces for shame, knew not what course to take for reparation of their
honour. The conquering duellist, proud of a victory so highly tending to
both his honour and profit, for the space of a whole fortnight, or two
weeks together, marched daily along the streets of Mantua, (without any
opposition or controulment), like another Romulus or Marcellus in
triumph; which, the never too much to be admired Crichtoun perceiving,
to wipe off the imputation of cowardise lying upon the court of Mantua,
to which he had but even then arrived, (although formerly he had been a
domestick thereof), he could neither eat nor drink till he had first
sent a challenge to the conqueror, appelling him to repair with his best
sword in his hand, by nine of the clock in the morning of the next day,
in presence of the whole court, and in the same place where he had
killed the other three, to fight with him upon this quarrel, that in the
court of Mantua there were as valiant men as he; and, for his better
encouragement to the desired undertaking, he assured him that, to the
aforesaid five hundred pistols, he would adjoyn a thousand more, wishing
him to do the like, that the victor, upon the point of his sword, might
carry away the richer bootay. The challenge, with all its conditions, is
no sooner accepted of, the time and place mutually condescended upon,
kept accordingly, and the fifteen hundred pistols _hinc inde_ deposited,
but of the two rapiers of equal weight, length, and goodness, each
taking one, in presence of the Duke, Dutchess, with all the noblemen,
ladies, magnificos, and all the choicest of men, women, and maids of
that citie, as soon as the signal for the duel was given, by the shot of
a great piece of ordnance of threescore and four pound ball, the
combatants, with a lion-like animosity, made their approach to one
another, and, being within distance, the valiant Crichtoun, to make his
adversary spend his fury the sooner, betook himself to the defensive
part; wherein, for a long time, he shewed such excellent dexterity in
warding the other's blows, slighting his falsifyings, in breaking
measure, and often, by the agility of his body, avoiding his thrust,
that he seemed but to play, while the other was in earnest. The
sweetness of Crichtoun's countenance, in the hotest of the assault, like
a glance of lightning on the hearts of the spectators, brought all the
Italian ladies on a sudden to be enamoured of him; whilst the sternness
of the other's aspect, he looking like an enraged bear, would have
struck terrour into wolves, and affrighted an English mastiff. Though
they were both in their linens, (to wit, shirts and drawers, without any
other apparel), and in all outward conveniences equally adjusted, the
Italian, with redoubling his stroaks, foamed at the mouth with a
cholerick heart, and fetched a pantling breath; the Scot, in sustaining
his charge, kept himself in a pleasant temper, without passion, and made
void his designes; he alters his wards from tierce to quart; he primes
and seconds it, now high, now lowe, and casts his body, (like another
Prothee), into all the shapes he can, to spie an open on his adversary,
and lay hold of an advantage, but all in vain; for the invincible
Crichtoun, whom no cunning was able to surprise, contrepostures his
respective wards, and, with an incredible nimbleness of both hand and
foot, evades the intent and frustrates the invasion. Now is it, that the
never before conquered Italian, finding himself a little faint, enters
into a consideration that he may be over-matched; whereupon a sad
apprehension of danger seizing upon all his spirits, he would gladly
have his life bestowed on him as a gift, but that, having never been
accustomed to yield, he knows not how to beg it. Matchless Crichtoun,
seeing it now high time to put a gallant catastrophe to that so long
dubious combat, animated with a divinely inspired servencie to fulfil
the expectation of the ladies, and crown the Duke's illustrious hopes,
changeth his garb, falls to act another part, and, from defender, turn
assailant; never did art so grace nature, nor nature second the precepts
of art with so much liveliness, and such observancie of time, as when,
after he had struck fire out of the steel of his enemie's sword, and
gained the feeble thereof with the fort of his own, by angles of the
strongest position, he did, by geometrical flourishes of straight and
oblique lines, so practically execute the speculative part, that, as if
there had been Remoras and secret charms in the variety of his motion,
the fierceness of his foe was in a trice transqualified into the
numbness of a pageant. Then was it that, to vindicate the reputation of
the Duke's family, and expiate the blood of the three vanquished
gentlemen, he alonged a stoccade _de pied ferme_; then recoyling, he
advanced another thrust, and lodged it home; after which, retiring
again, his right foot did beat the cadence of the blow that pierced the
belly of this Italian, whose heart and throat being hit with the two
former stroaks, these three franch bouts given in upon the back of the
other; besides that, if lines were imagined drawn from the hand that
livered them, to the places which were marked by them, they would
represent a perfect isosceles triangle, with a perpendicular from the
top angle cutting the basis in the middle; they likewise give us to
understand, that by them he was to be made a sacrifice of atonement for
the slaughter of the three aforesaid gentlemen, who were wounded in the
very same parts of their bodies by other such three venees as these,
each whereof being mortal; and his vital spirits exhaling as his blood
gushed out, all he spoke was this, That seeing he could not live, his
comfort in dying was, that he could not dye by the hand of a braver man;
after the uttering of which words, he expiring, with the shril clarcens
of trumpets, bouncing thunder of artillery, bethwacked beating of drums,
universal clapping of hands, and loud acclamations of joy for so
glorious a victory, the aire above them was so rarified by the extremity
of the noise and vehement sound, dispelling the thickest and most
condensed parts thereof, that (as Plutarch speakes of the Grecians, when
they raised their shouts of allegress up to the very heavens at the
hearing of the gracious proclamations of Paulus Æmilius in favour of
their liberty), the very sparrows and other flying fowls were said to
fall to the ground for want of aire enough to uphold them in their

"When this sudden rapture was over, and all husht into its former
tranquility, the noble gallantry and generosity, beyond expression, of
the inimitable Crichtoun, did transport them all againe into a new
exstasie of ravishment, when they saw him like an angel in the shape of
a man, or as another Mars, with the conquered enemie's sword in one
hand, and the fifteen hundred pistols he had gained in the other,
present the sword to the Duke as his due, and the gold to his high
treasurer, to be disponed equally to the three widows of the three
unfortunate gentlemen lately slaine, reserving only to himself the
inward satisfaction he conceived, for having so opportunely discharged
his duty to the House of Mantua.

"The reader perhaps will think this wonderful; and so would I too, were
it not that I know, (as Sir Philip Sydney sayes), that a wonder is no
wonder in a wonderful subject, and consequently not in him, who for his
learning, judgement, valour, eloquence, beauty, and good-fellowship was
the perfectest result of the joynt labour of the perfect number of those
six deities, Pallas, Apollo, Mars, Mercury, Venus, and Bacchus, that
hath been seen since the dayes of Alcibiades; for he was reported to
have been inriched with a memory so prodigious, that any sermon, speech,
harangue, or other manner of discourse of an hour's continuance, he was
able to recite without hesitation, after the same manner of gesture and
pronuntiation in all points, wherewith it was delivered at first; and of
so stupendious a judgment and conception, that almost naturally he
understood quiddities of philosophy; and as for the abstrusest and most
researched mysteries of other disciplines, arts, and faculties, the
intentional species of them were as readily obvious to the interiour
view and perspicacity of his mind, as those of the common visible
colours to the external sight of him that will open his eyes to look
upon them; of which accomplishment and Encyclopedia of knowledge, he
gave on a time so marvelous a testimony at Paris, that the words of
_Admirabilis Scotus_, the Wonderful Scot, in all the several tongues and
idiomes of Europ, were, (for a great while together), by the most of the
echos resounded to the peircing of the very clouds. To so great a hight
and vast extent of praise did the never too much to be extolled
reputation of the seraphick wit of that eximious man attaine, for his
commanding to be affixed programs on all the gates of the schooles,
halls, and colledges of that famous university, as also on all the chief
pillars and posts standing before the houses of the most renowned men
for literature, resident within the precinct of the walls and suburbs of
that most populous and magnificent city, inviting them all, (or any
whoever else versed in any kinde of scholastick faculty), to repaire at
nine of the clock in the morning of such a day, moneth, and yeer, as by
computation came to be just six weeks after the date of the affixes, to
the common schoole of the colledge of Navarre,[261] where, (at the
prefixed time), he should, (God willing), be ready to answer to what
should be propounded to him concerning any science, liberal art,
discipline, or faculty, practical or theoretick, not excluding the
theological nor jurisprudential habits, though grounded but upon the
testimonies of God and man, and that in any of these twelve
languages,[262] Hebrew, Syriack, Arabick, Greek, Latin, Spanish, French,
Italian, English, Dutch, Flemish, and Sclavonian, in either verse or
prose, at the discretion of the disputant; which high enterprise and
hardy undertaking, by way of challenge to the learndst men in the world,
damped the wits of many able scholars to consider whether it was the
attempt of a fanatick spirit, or lofty designe of a well-poised
judgment; yet after a few days enquiry concerning him, when information
was got of his incomparable endowments, all the choicest and most
profound philosophers, mathematicians, naturalists, mediciners,
alchymists, apothecaries, surgeons, doctors of both civil and canon law,
and divines both for controversies and positive doctrine, together with
the primest grammarians, rhetoricians, logicians, and others, professors
of other arts and disciplines at Paris, plyed their studys in their
private cels for the space of a moneth, exceeding hard, and with huge
paines and labor set all their braines awork how to contrive the
knurriest arguments, and most difficult questions could be devised,
thereby to puzzle him in the resolving of them, meander him in his
answers, put him out of his medium, and drive him to a _non plus_; nor
did they forget to premonish the ablest there of forraign nations not to
be unprepared to dispute with him in their own material dialects, and
that sometimes metrically, sometimes otherwayes, _pro libitu_.[263] All
this while the Admirable Scot, (for so from thenceforth he was called),
minding more his hawking, hunting, tilting, vaulting, riding of
well-managed horses, tossing of the pike, handling of the musket,
flourishing of colours, dancing, fencing, swimming, jumping, throwing of
the bar, playing at tennis, baloon, or long catch; and sometimes at the
house games of dice, cards, playing at the chess, billiards, trou-madam,
and other such like chamber sports, singing, playing on the lute and
other musical instruments, masking, balling, reveling; and, which did
most of all divert, or rather distract him from his speculations and
serious employments, being more addicted to, and plying closer the
courting of handsome ladyes, and a jovial cup in the company of
bacchanalian blades, then [than] the forecasting how to avoid, shun, and
escape the snares, grins [gins?], and nets of the hard, obscure, and
hidden arguments, ridles, and demands, to be made, framed, and woven by
the professors, doctors, and others of that thrice-renowned university.
There arose upon him an aspersion of too great proness to such like
debordings and youthful emancipations, which occasioned one less
acquainted with himself then [than] his reputation, to subjoyn, (some
two weeks before the great day appointed), to that program of his, which
was fixed on the Sorbone gate, these words: 'If you would meet with this
monster of perfection, to make search for him ... in the taverne ... is
the reedyest way to finde him.' By reason of which expression, (though
truly as I think, both scandalous and false), the eminent sparks of the
university, (imagining that those papers of provocation had been set up
to no other end, but to scoff and delude them, in making them waste
their spirits upon quirks and quiddities, more then [than] was fitting),
did resent a little of their former toyle, and slack their studyes,
becoming almost regardless thereof, till the several peals of bells
ringing an hour or two before the time assigned, gave warning that the
party was not to flee the barriers, nor decline the hardship of
academical assaults; but, on the contrary, so confident in his former
resolution, that he would not shrink to sustaine the shock of all their
disceptations. This sudden alarm so awaked them out of their last
fortnight's lethargy, that, calling to minde, the best way they might,
the fruits of the foregoing moneth's labour, they hyed to the forenamed
schoole with all diligence; where, after all of them had, according to
their several degrees and qualities, seated themselves, and that by
reason of the noise occasioned through the great confluence of people,
which so strange a novelty brought thither out of curiosity, an
universal silence was commanded, the Orator of the University, in most
fluent Latine, addressing his speech to Crichtoun, extolled him for his
literature, and other good parts, and for that confident opinion he had
of his own sufficiency, in thinking himself able to justle in matters of
learning with the whole university of Paris, Crichtoun answering him in
no less eloquent terms of Latine, after he had most heartily thanked him
for his elegies, so undeservedly bestowed, and darted some high
encomiums upon the university and the professors therein; he very
ingeniously [ingenuously] protested that he did not emit his programs
out of any ambition to be esteemed able to enter in competition with the
university, but meerly to be honoured with the favour of a publick
conference with the learned men thereof. In complements after this
manner, _ultro citroque habitis_, tossed to and again, retorted,
contrerisposted, backreverted, and now and then graced with a quip or a
clinch for the better relish of the ear, being unwilling in this kind of
straining curtesie to yeeld to other, they spent a full half hour and
more; for he being the centre to which the innumerable diameters of the
discourses of that circulary convention did tend, although none was to
answer but he, any of them all, according to the order of their
prescribed series, were permitted to reply, or commence new motions on
any subject, in what language soever, and howsoever expressed; to all
which, he being bound to tender himself a respondent, in matter and form
suitable to the impugners propounding, he did first so transcendently
acquit himself of that circumstantial kinde of oratory, that, by
well-couched periods, and neatly running syllables, in all the twelve
languages, both in verse and prose, he expressed to the life his
courtship [courtliness] and civility; and afterwards, when the Rector of
the university, (unwilling to have any more time bestowed on superficial
rhetorick, or to have that wasted on the fondness of quaint phrases,
which might be better employed in a reciprocacy of discussing
scientifically the nature of substantial things), gave direction to the
professors to fall on, each according to the dignity or precedency of
his faculty, and that conform to the order given. Some metaphysical
notions were set abroach, then mathematical, and of those arithmetical,
geometrical, astronomical, musical, optical, cosmographical,
trigonometrical, statical, and so forth through all the other branches
of the prime and mother sciences thereof; the next bout was through all
natural philosophy, according to Aristotle's method, from the
acroamaticks, going along the speculation of the nature of the heavens,
and that of the generation and corruption of sublinary things, even to
the consideration of the soul and its faculties; in sequel hereof, they
had a hint at chymical extractions, and spoke of the principles of
corporeal and mixed bodies, according to the precepts of that art. After
this, they disputed of medicine, in all its thereapeutick,
pharmacopeutick, and chirurgical parts; and not leaving natural magick
untouched, they had exquisite disceptations concerning the secrets
thereof. From thence they proceeded to moral philosophy, where, debating
of the true enumeration of all vertues and vices, they had most learned
ratiocinations about the chief good of the life of man; and seeing the
[that] œcumenicks and politicks are parts of that philosophy, they
argued learnedly of all the several sorts of governments, with their
defects and advantages; whereupon perpending, that, without an
established law, all the duties of ruling and subjection, to the utter
ruin of humane society, would be as often violated as the irregularity
of passion, seconded with power, should give way thereto. The Sorbonist,
canonical, and civilian doctors most judiciously argued with him about
the most prudential maximes, sentences, ordinances, acts, and statutes
for ordering all manner of persones in their consciences, bodyes,
fortunes, and reputation; nor was there an end put to those literate
exercitations till the grammarians, rhetoricians, poets, and logicians
had assailed him with all the subtleties and nicest quodlibets their
respective habits could afford. Now when, to the admiration of all that
were there, the incomparable Crichtoun had, in all these faculties above
written, and in any of the twelve languages wherein he was spoke to,
whether in verse or prose, held tack to all the disputants, who were
accounted the ablest scholars upon earth in each their own profession;
and publickly evidenced such an universality of knowledge, and accurate
promptness in resolving of doubts, distinguishing of obscurities,
expressing the members of a distinction in adequate terms of art,
explaining those compendious tearms with words of a more easie
apprehension to the prostrating of the sublimest mysteries to any vulgar
capacity, and with all excogitable variety of learning, (to his own
everlasting fame), entertained, after that kinde, the nimble witted
Parisians from nine o'clock in the morning till six at night; the Rector
now finding it high time to give some relaxation to these worthy
spirits, which, during such a long space, had been so intensively bent
upon the abstrusest speculations, rose up, and saluting the divine
Crichtoun, after he had made an elegant panegyrick, or encomiastick
speech of half an houre's continuance, tending to nothing else but the
extolling of him for the rare and most singular gifts wherewith God and
nature had endowed him, he descended from his chaire, and, attended by
three or four of the most especial professors, presented him with a
diamond ring and a purse ful of gold, wishing him to accept thereof, if
not, as a recompense proportional to his merit, yet as a badge of love,
and testimony of the universitie's favour towards him. At the tender of
which ceremony, there was so great a plaudite in the schoole, such a
humming and clapping of hands, that all the concavities of the colledges
there about did resound with the echo of the noise thereof.

"Notwithstanding the great honor thus purchased by him for his
literatory accomplishments, and that many excellent spirits, to obteine
the like, would be content to postpose all other employments to the
enjoyment of their studyes, he, nevertheless, the very next day, (to
refresh his braines, as he said, for the toile of the former day's
work), went to the Louvre in a buff-suit, more like a favourite of Mars
then [than] one of the Muses' minions; where, in presence of some
princes of the court, and great ladies, that came to behold his
gallantry, he carryed away the ring fifteen times on end, and broke as
many lances on the Saracen.

"When for a quarter of a yeer together he after this manner had
disported himself, (what martially, what scholastically), with the best
qualified men in any faculty so ever, that so large a city, (which is
called the world's abridgement), was able to afford, and now and then
solaced these his more serious recreations, (for all was but sport to
him), with the alluring imbellishments of the tendrer sexe, whose
_inamorato_ that he might be, was their ambition; he on a sudden took
resolution to leave the Court of France, and return to Italy, where he
had been bred for many yeers together; which designe he prosecuting
within the space of a moneth, (without troubling himself with long
journeys), he arrived at the Court of Mantua, where immediately after
his abord, (as hath been told already), he fought the memorable combat
whose description is above related. Here it was that the learned and
valiant Crichtoun was pleased to cast anchor, and fix his abode; nor
could he almost otherwise do, without disobliging the Duke, and the
Prince his eldest son; by either whereof he was so dearly beloved, that
none of them would permit him by any means to leave their Court, whereof
he was the only _privado_, the object of all men's love, and subject of
their discourse; the example of the great ones, and wonder of the meaner
people; the paramour of the female sexe, and paragon of his own. In the
glory of which high estimation, having resided at that Court above two
whole yeers, the reputation of gentlemen there was hardly otherwayes
valued but by the measure of his acquaintance; nor were the young
unmaryed ladies, of all the most eminent places thereabouts, any thing
respected of one another, that had not either a lock of his hair, or
copy of verses of his composing. Nevertheless it happening on a
Shrove-tuesday at night, (at which time it is in Italy very customary
for men of great sobriety, modesty, and civil behaviour all the rest of
the yeer, to give themselves over on that day of carnavale, as they call
it, to all manner of riot, drunkenness, and incontinency, which that
they may do with the least imputation they can to their credit, they go
maskt and mum'd with vizards on their faces, and in the disguise of a
Zanni or Pantaloon, to ventilate their fopperies, and sometimes
intolerable enormities, without suspicion of being known), that this
ever renowned Crichtoun, (who, in the afternoon of that day, at the
desire of my Lord Duke, the whole court striving which should exceed
each other in foolery, and devising of the best sports to excite
laughter, neither my Lord, the Dutchess, nor Prince, being exempted from
acting their parts, as well as they could), upon a theater set up for
the purpose, begun to prank it, _à la Venetiana_, with such a flourish
of mimick and ethopoetick gestures, that all the courtiers of both
sexes, even those that a little before were fondest of their own
conceits, at the sight of his so inimitable a garb, from ravishing
actors that they were before, turned them ravished spectators. O with
how great liveliness did he represent the conditions of all manner of
men! how naturally did he set before the eyes of the beholders the
rogueries of all professions, from the overweening monarch to the
peevish swaine, through all the intermediate degrees of the superficial
courtier or proud warrior, dissembled churchman, doting old man,
cozening lawyer, lying traveler, covetous merchant, rude seaman,
pedantick scholar, the amourous shepheard, envious artisan, vainglorious
master, and tricky servant; he did with such variety display the several
humours of all these sorts of people, and with a so bewitching energy,
that he seemed to be the original, they the counterfeit; and they the
resemblance whereof he was the prototype. He had all the jeers, squibs,
flouts, buls, quips, taunts, whims, jests, clinches, gybes, mokes,
jerks, with all the several kinds of equivocations, and other
sophistical captions, that could properly be adapted to the person by
whose representation he intended to inveagle the company into a fit of
mirth; and would keep in that miscelany discourse of his, (which was all
for the splene, and nothing for the gall), such a climacterical and
mercurially digested method, that when the fancy of the hearers was
tickled with any rare conceit, and that the jovial blood was moved, he
held it going with another new device upon the back of the first, and
another, yet another, and another againe, succeeding one another for the
promoval of what is a-stirring into a higher agitation; till in the
closure of the luxuriant period, the decumanal wave of the oddest whimsy
of all, enforced the charmed spirits of the auditory, (for affording
room to its apprehension), suddenly to burst forth into a laughter,
which commonly lasted just so long as he had leisure to withdraw behind
the skreen, shift off, with the help of a page, the suite he had on,
apparel himself with another, and return to the stage to act afresh; for
by that time their transported, disparpled, and sublimated fancies, by
the wonderfully operating engines of his solacious inventions, had from
the hight to which the inward scrues, wheeles, and pullies of his wit
had elevated them, descended by degrees into their wonted stations, he
was ready for the personating of another carriage; whereof to the number
of fourteen several kinds, (during the five hours space that at the
Duke's desire, the solicitation of the court, and his own recreation, he
was pleased to histrionize it), he shewed himself so natural a
representative, that any would have thought he had been so many several
actors, differing in all things else, save only the stature of the body;
with this advantage above the most of other actors, whose tongue, with
its oral implements, is the onely instrument of their minds'
disclosing, that, besides his mouth with its appurtenances, he lodged
almost a several oratour in every member of his body; his head, his
eyes, his shoulder, armes, hands, fingers, thighs, legs, feet, and
breast, being able to decipher any passion whose character he purposed
to give.

"First, he did present himself with a crown on his head, a scepter in
his hand, being clothed in a purple robe furred with ermyne; after that,
with a miter on his head, a crosier in his hand, and accoutred with a
paire of lawn-sleeves; and thereafter, with a helmet on his head, the
visiere up, a commanding stick in his hand, and arayed in a buff-suit,
with a scarf about his middle. Then, in a rich apparel, after the newest
fashion, did he shew himself, (like another Sejanus), with a periwig
daubed with Cypres powder; in sequel of that, he came out with a
three-corner'd cap on his head, some parchments in his hand, and
writings hanging at his girdle like Chancery bills; and next to that,
with a furred gown about him, an ingot of gold in his hand, and a bag
full of money by his side; after all this, he appeares againe clad in a
country-jacket, with a prong in his hand, and a Monmouth-like-cap on his
head; then very shortly after, with a palmer's coat upon him, a bourdon
in his hand,[264] and some few cockle-shels stuck to his hat, he look'd
as if he had come in pilgrimage from St Michael; immediately after that,
he domineers it in a bare unlined gown, with a pair of whips in the one
hand, and Corderius in the other; and in suite thereof, he
honderspondered[265] it with a pair of pannier-like breeches, a
mountera-cap on his head, and a knife in a wooden sheath dagger-ways by
his side; about the latter end, he comes forth again with a square in
one hand, a rule in the other, and a leather apron before him; then very
quickly after, with a scrip by his side, a sheep-hook in his hand, and a
basket full of flowers to make nosegayes for his mistris; now drawing to
a closure, he rants it first _in cuerpo_, and vapouring it with gingling
spurs, and his armes a kenbol like a Don Diego he strouts it, and by the
loftiness of his gate, plaies the Capitan Spavento; then in the very
twinkling of an eye, you would have seen him againe issue forth with a
cloak upon his arm, in a livery garment, thereby representing the
serving-man; and lastly, at one time amongst those other, he came out
with a long gray beard, and bucked ruff, crouching on a staff tip't,
with the head of a barber's cithern,[266] and his gloves hanging by a
button at his girdle.

"Those fifteen several personages did he represent with such excellency
of garb, and exquisiteness of language, that condignely to perpend the
subtlety of the invention, the method of the disposition, the neatness
of the elocution, the gracefulness of the action, and wonderful variety
in the so dextrous performance of all, you would have taken it for a
comedy of five acts, consisting of three scenes, each composed by the
best poet in the world, and acted by fifteen of the best players that
ever lived, as was most evidently made apparent to all the spectators in
the fifth and last hour of his action, (which, according to our western
account, was about six a clock at night, and by the calculation of that
country, half an hour past three and twenty, at that time of the yeer),
for, purposing to leave off with the setting of the sun, with an
endeavour nevertheless to make his conclusion the master-piece of the
work, he, to that effect, summoning all his spirits together, which
never failed to be ready at the call of so worthy a commander, did by
their assistance, so conglomerate, shuffle, mix, and interlace the
gestures, inclinations, actions, and very tones of the speech of those
fifteen several sorts of men, whose carriages he did personate into an
inestimable _ollapodrida_ of immaterial morsels of divers kinds,
suitable to the very ambrosian relish of the Heliconian nymphs, that, in
the peripetia of this drammatical exercitation, by the inchanted
transportation of the eyes and eares of its spectabundal auditorie, one
would have sworne that they all had looked with multiplying glasses, and
that, (like that angel in the Scripture whose voice was said to be like
the voice of a multitude), they heard in him alone the promiscuous
speech of fifteen several actors; by the various ravishments of the
excellencies whereof, in the frolickness of a jocund straine beyond
expectation, the logofascinated spirits of the beholding hearers and
auricularie spectators, were so on a sudden seazed upon in their risible
faculties of the soul, and all their vital motions so universally
affected in this extremitie of agitation, that, to avoid the inevitable
charmes of his intoxicating ejaculations, and the accumulative
influences of so powerfull a transportation, one of my lady Dutchess'
chief maids of honour, by the vehemencie of the shock of those
incomprehensible raptures, burst forth into a laughter to the rupture of
a veine in her body; and another young lady, by the irresistible
violence of the pleasure unawares infused, where the tender
receptibilitie of her too tickled fancie was least able to hold out, so
unprovidedly was surprised, that, with no less impetuositie of
ridibundal passion then [than], (as hath been told), occasioned a
fracture in the other young ladie's modestie, she, not being able
longer to support the well beloved burthen of so excessive delight, and
intransing joys of such mercurial exhilations through the ineffable
extasie of an overmastered apprehension, fell back in a swown, without
the appearance of any other life into her then [than] what, by the most
refined wits of theological speculators, is conceived to be exerced by
the purest parts of the separated entelechises of blessed saints in
their sublimest conversations with the celestial hierarchies; this
accident procured the incoming of an apothecary with restoratives, as
the other did that of a surgeon with consolidative medicaments.[267] The
Admirable Crichtoun now perceiving that it was drawing somewhat late,
and that our occidental rays of Phœbus were upon their turning oriental
to the other hemisphere of the terrestrial globe; being withall jealous
that the uninterrupted operation of the exuberant diversitie of his
jovialissime entertainment, by a continuate winding up of the humours
there present to a higher, yet higher, and still higher pitch, above the
supremest Lydian note of the harmonie of voluptuousness, should, in such
a case, through the too intensive stretching of the already super-elated
strings of their imagination, with a transcendencie over-reaching Ela,
and beyond the well concerted gain of rational equanimitie, involve the
remainder of that illustrious companie into the sweet labyrinth and
mellifluent anfractuosities of a lacinious delectation, productive of
the same inconveniences which befel the two afore-named ladies; whose
delicacie of constitution, though sooner overcome, did not argue, but
that the same extranean causes from him proceeding of their pathetick
alteration, might by a longer insisting in an efficacious agencie, and
unremitted working of all the consecutively imprinted degrees that the
capacity of the patient is able to containe, prevaile at last, and have
the same predominancie over the dispositions of the strongest
complexioned males of that splendid society, did, in his own ordinary
wearing apparel, with the countenance of a Prince, and garb befitting
the person of a so well bred gentleman and cavalier, κατ εξοχην full of
majestie, and repleat with all excogitable civilitie, (to the amazement
of all that beheld his heroick gesture), present himself to epilogate
this his almost extemporanean comedie, though of five hours continuance
without intermission; and that with a peroration so neatly uttered, so
distinctly pronounced, and in such elegancie of selected tearmes,
expressed by a diction so periodically contexed with isocoly of members,
that the matter thereof tending in all humility to beseech the
highnesses of the Duke, Prince, and Dutchess, together with the remanent
lords, ladies, knights, gentlemen, and others of both sexes of that
honourable convention, to vouchsafe him the favour to excuse his that
afternoon's escaped extravagancies, and to lay the blame of the
indigested irregularity of his wits' excursions, and the abortive issues
of his disordered brain, upon the customarily dispensed with priviledges
in those Cisalpinal regions, to authorize such like impertinencies at
Carnavalian festivals; and that, although, according to the meet
commonly received opinion in that country, after the nature of Load-him,
(a game at cards), where he that wins loseth, he who, at that season of
the year, playeth the fool most egregiously, is reputed the wisest man;
he, nevertheless, not being ambitious of the fame of enjoying good
qualities, by vertue of the antiphrasis of the fruition of bad ones, did
meerly undergo that emancipatorie task of a so profuse liberty, and to
no other end embraced the practising of such roaming and exorbitant
diversions but to give an evident, or rather infallible, demonstration
of his eternally bound duty to the House of Mantua, and all inviolable
testimony of his never to be altered designe, in prosecuting all the
occasions possible to be laid hold on that can in any manner of way
prove conducible to the advancement of, and contributing to, the
readiest means for improving those advantages that may best promove the
faculties of making all his choice endeavours, and utmost abilities at
all times, effectual to the long-wished-for furtherance of his most
cordial and endeared service to the serenissime highnesses of My Lord
Duke, Prince, and Dutchess, and of consecrating with all addicted
obsequiousness, and submissive devotion, his everlasting obedience to
the illustrious shrine of their joynt commands. Then incontinently
addressing himself to the Lords, ladies and others of that rotonda,
(which, for his daigning to be its inmate, though but for that day,
might be accounted in nothing inferior to the great Colisee of Rome, or
Amphitheater of Neems), with a stately carriage, and port suitable to so
prime a gallant, he did cast a look on all the corners thereof, so
bewitchingly amiable and magically efficacious as if in his eys had bin
a muster of ten thousand cupids eagerly striving who should most deeply
pierce the hearts of the spectators with their golden darts. And truly
so it fell out, (that there not being so much as one arrow shot in
vain), all of them did love him, though not after the same manner, nor
for the same end; for, as the manna of the Arabian desarts is said to
have had in the mouths of the Egyptian Israelites, the very same tast of
the meat they loved best, so the Princes that were there did mainly
cherish him for his magnanimity and knowledge; his courtliness and sweet
behaviour being that for which chiefly the noblemen did most respect
him; for his pregnancie of wit, and chivalric in vindicating the honour
of ladies, he was honoured by the knights, and the esquires and other
gentlemen courted him for his affability and good fellowship; the rich
did favour him for his judgment and ingeniosity; and for his liberality
and munificence he was blessed by the poor; the old men affected him for
his constancie and wisdome, and the young for his mirth and gallantry;
the scholars were enamoured of him for his learning and eloquence, and
the souldiers for his integrity and valour; the merchants, for his
upright dealing and honesty, praised and extolled him, and the
artificers for his goodness and benignity; the chastest lady of that
place would have hugged and imbraced him for his discretion and
ingenuity; whilst for his beauty and comeliness of person he was, at
least in the fervency of their desires, the paramour of the less
continent; he was dearly beloved of the fair women, because he was
handsome, and of the fairest more dearly, because he was handsomer: in a
word, the affections of the beholders, (like so many several diameters
drawn from the circumference of their various intents), did all
concenter in the point of his perfection. After a so considerable
insinuation, and gaining of so much ground upon the hearts of the
auditory, (though in a shorter space then [than] the time of a flash of
lightning), he went on, (as before), in the same thred of the conclusive
part of his discourse, with a resolution not to cut it, till the
overabounding passions of the company, their exorbitant motions and
discomposed gestures, through excess of joy and mirth, should be all of
them quieted, calmed, and pacified, and every man, woman, and maid
there, (according to their humour), resented in the same integrity they
were at first; which when by the articulatest elocution of the most
significant words, expressive of the choisest things that fancie could
suggest, and, conforme to the matter's variety, elevating or depressing,
flat or sharply accinating it, with that proportion of tone that was
most consonant with the purpose, he had attained unto, and by his verbal
harmony and melodious utterance, setled all their distempered pleasures,
and brought their disorderly raised spirits into their former capsuls,
he with a tongue tip't with silver, after the various diapasons of all
his other expressions, and making of a leg for the spruceness of its
courtsie, of greater decorement to him then [than] cloth of gold and
purple, farewel'd the companie with a complement of one period so
exquisitely delivered, and so well attended by the gracefulness of his
hand and foot, with the quaint miniardise of the rest of his body, in
the performance of such ceremonies as are usual at a court-like
departing, that from the theater he had gone into a lobie, from thence
along three spacious chambers, whence descending a back staire, he past
through a low gallerie which led him to that outer gate, where a coach
with six horses did attend him, before that magnificent convention of
both sexes, (to whom that room, wherein they all were, seemed in his
absence to be as a body without a soul), had the full leisure to
recollect their spirits, (which, by the neatness of his so curious a
close, were _quoquoversedly_ scattered with admiration), to advise on
the best expediency how to dispose of themselves for the future of that
[delightful] night."


[261] The College of Navarre was founded by Jeanne of Navarre, consort
of Philippe the Fair, in 1305. Throughout the fourteenth and fifteenth
centuries it was the foremost foundation of the University of Paris (F.
W. S.).

[262] John Hill Burton points out the somewhat curious fact that, among
the hero's linguistic accomplishments, Gaelic, which must have been
talked at his own door, does not appear.

[263] In the matter of length this is surely a record sentence.

[264] "_A bourdon in his hand_"--"A musical instrument resembling a
bassoon, in use with pilgrims who visit the body of St James at
Compostella" (Sir John Hawkins).

[265] "_Honderspondered_"--_i.e._ floundered. Fr. _hondrespondres_
(_Rab._ iii. 42)--"hundred-pounders," heavy, burly fellows.

[266] "_Barber's cithern_"--"The instrument now ignorantly called a
guitar. It was formerly part of the furniture of a barber's shop, and
was the amusement of waiting customers" (Sir John Hawkins).

[267] This incident reminds one of the effect produced upon the lawyers
in court when "Pantagruel gave judgment upon the difference of the two
lords." Our readers will remember that it is the author of the above
description who is the translator of the narrative which tells of that
wonderfully satisfactory decision. "As for the counsellors, and other
doctors in the law that were there present, they were all so ravished
with admiration at the more than humane wisdom of Pantagruel, which they
did most clearly perceive to be in him, by his so accurate decision of
this so difficult and thornie cause, that their spirits, with the
extremity of the rapture, being elevated above the pitch of actuating
the organs of the body, they fell into a trance and sudden extasie,
wherein they stayed for the space of three long houres; and had been so
as yet, in that condition, had not some good people fetched store of
vinegar and rose water to bring them again into their former sense and
understanding, for the which God be praised everywhere. And so be it."
(_Rabelais_, ii. 13.)


 Aberdeen, 43.
   Attitude towards covenant, 32, 36.

 "Aberdeen Doctors," 37.

 _Aberdeen Sasines_, 7 (note).

 Aberdeen University, 19.
   New constitution, 10, 11 (note).

 Abercrombie, Sir Alexander, 7 (note).

 Abernethie, Helen, wife of Thomas Urquhart, 141.

 Abraham, Patriarch, 133.

 _Acts of the Parliament of Scotland_, 61 (note 3), 71 (note 2), 93
   (note), 101 (notes).

 Adam, 130, 146.

 _Advancement of Learning_, 118 (note).

 Ægyptus' sons, 134.

 Æquanima, sister of Marcus Coriolanus, 136.

 Agamemnon, 135.

 Ainsworth, W. Harrison, _Crichton_, 105 (note 2).

 "_Airgiod cagainn_" (chewing-money), 77.

 Airlie, Earl of, 19 (note).

 Alcibiades, 136.

 Alexander of Macedon, 27, 51.

 Allibone, _Dictionary_, and Urquhart, 101.

 Alsop, Captain, treatment of Sir Thomas Urquhart, 89.

 _Amadis of Gaul_, 144 (note 2).

 _Anastasius_, quoted, 77 (note 1).

 Anderson, Gilbert, minister of Cromartie, 63, 66 (note 3).

 ---- Hugh, 66 (note 3).

 ---- P. J., 10, 11 (notes).

 _Annals of Banff_, quoted, 8 (note 2), 19 (note), 47 (note 3).

 Annand, John, minister of Inverness, and Sir Thomas Urquhart, 68, 82.

 _Antiquarian Notes_, 7 (note), 69 70 (note).

 _Apprizing_, 58 (note).

 Arcalaus, 144 (note).

 Archimedes, 124.

 Arduamurchan, 136 (note 1).

 Ardoch farm, 55.

 Argyll, Marquis of, and Covenanters, 32.

 Ariosto, 166.
   Hippogriff and Astolfo, 107.

 Aristotle, 124, 202 (note).
   _Organon, Ethics, and Politics_, 10.

 Arnold, Matthew, standard for judging literature, 143.

 Arran, 136 (note 1).

 Arren, Earle of, 115.

 Arundel, Earl of, 116.

 Astioremon, 137.

 Asymbleta, 144 (note).

 Atbara, battle of, 102 (note 3).

 Atropos, 129.

 Bacchus, 202;
   conquers India, 135.

 Bacon, Lord, Solicitor-General, 8.
   On fate of solid and weighty things, 118.
   Rules for young travellers in _Essays, Civil and Moral_, 26.

 Baddeley, Richard, 128 (note), 149 (note).

 Badenoch, 76.

 Baillie, Robert, _Letters_, 81 (note 1), 82.

 Baldwin, Richard, 185 (note).

 Balquholly Castle, 35, 39, 102 (note 3): now Hatton Castle.
   Account of, 39 (note 1).

 Balvenie, battle at, 77 (and note 2), 79.

 Banff, 8, 18.
   Entry in Court-book of Burgh, 15, 19.

 Barclay, Waiter, 41 (note 2).

 Barclays, 38 (note 2).

 Baron, Dr Robert, 37 (note 2).

 Basagante, 144 (note).

 Beaten, Cardinal, 55.

 Bedell, William, idea of universal language, 175.

 Belladrum, 70.

 Bellay, Jean du, Bishop of Paris, 188.

 Bellenden, Adam, 43 (note).

 Beltistos, 2.

 Bembo, 166.

 Berwick, 44.

 Besant, Sir Walter, 185 (note 2).

 Bickerstaffe, Isaac, 51 (note).

 Biggar, 85.

 Billing, _Baronial Antiquities_, 39 (note).

 _Biographia Britannica_, quoted, 144 (note 2), 158 (note 2).

 Birkenbog, 7 (note).

 Birrell, A., 186.

 Black Island, 62 (note 1).

 _Blackwood's Magazine_, quoted, 181 (note 2).
   (_See_ also names of subjects.)

 Boece, Hector, fictions, 145.

 _Book of Bon Accord_, 13 (note 1).

 Bracegirdle, Mrs, 50 (note 2).

 Braughton discovers Sir Thomas Urquhart's MSS., 155, 156.

 Brisena, 144 (note).

 Browne, Sir Thomas:
   Phraseology, 2.
   Quoted, 49, 137.
   _Vulgar Errors_, 126.

 Browning, Robert, 113.

 Bruce, James, 126 (note 1).

 ---- King David, 4.

 ---- King Robert, grants Cromartie to Sir Hugh Ross, 4.

 Bruklay, 7 (note).

 Brydges, Sir Egerton, _Autobiography_;
   _Mary de Clifford_, 152 (note 1).

 Bullock, J. M., _History of University of Aberdeen_, quoted, 36.

 Burghley, William Cecil, Lord, 191 (note).

 Burnet, quoted, 82 (note), 175.

 Burns, Robert, 23.

 Burton, John Hill:
   On "Aberdeen Doctors" in _History of Scotland_, 37.
   On description of Crichton's feats, 162, 223 (note 2).
   On Sir Thomas Urquhart's writings, 157, 159.
   _Scot Abroad_, quoted, 159.

 Burton, Robert, _Anatomy of Melancholy_, 205 (note).

 Cæsar, _De Bello Gallico_, 198 (note).

 Caithness, 3, 70, 80 (note 2).

 Calder, Campbell of, 7 (note).

 _Calendar of Proceedings in Committee for Advances of Moneys-Taxes_,
   50 (note).

 Calvert, Giles, 176 (note).

 Cambridge, Earl of, 115.

 Cant at Aberdeen, 36.

 Carberry Tower, 13 (note 3).

 Carlisle, 85.

 Carlyle, Thomas:
   _Oliver Cromwell_, quoted, 86, 87.
   _Sartor Resartus_, quoted, 189.

 Cartadaque, 144 (note).

 Castalia, 109.

 Cawdor, 66 (note 3).

 Chanonry Castle taken, 76.

 Charles I.:
   Endeavours to force Episcopacy on Scotland, 31.
   Execution of, 69, 70, 168.
   Letter of Protection to Sir Thomas Urquhart, senior, 15.
   Licence to T. York, 50 (note 2).
   On knowledge of law, 52.

 Charles II., 97, 99.
   Crowned, 84, 169.
   Lands in Scotland, 83.

 Charles VII., 187.

 Chatterton, 152 (note).

 Chinon, 187.

 "Christianus Presbyteromastix," 150.

 Cibber, _Apology_, 170 (note).

 Cicero, 201; _De Officiis_, 10.

 Cid, The, 27.

 Clan Mackenzie, 72.

 Clanmolinespick, 135 (and note).

 Clanrurie, 136 (note 1).

 Clare, Earl of, 50 (note 2).

 Clare Street, 50 (note 2).

 Clio, 109 (note).

 Coleridge, on Rabelais' writings, 186.

 College of Navarre, 160, 223 (note).

 "Colophonian Poet," 109 (note).

 Colophos, 109 (note).

 Commission of General Assembly, 72, 79 (and note 1), 81.

 Constantinople, 77 (note 1).

 Cotgrave, _French Dictionary_, 191.

 Cottrel, James, 149 (note).

 Court of Session, Decisions of, 146.

 Covenant signed, 47 (note 3).

 Covenanting Movement, 31.

 Coventry, 86.

 Craig, John, 42 (note).

 Craigfintray, 5, 19 (note), 60, 101 (note 2).

 Cratynter, 132.

 Craven, Earl of, 116.

 ---- Rev. J. B., 57 (note).

 Crawford, Earl of, 146.

 Crichton, James (the Admirable), 157, 158 (note 2).
   Age on entering St Andrews, 9.
   Sketch of, 159;
   Appendix ii, 215.

 Cromartie (Crwmbawchty or Crumbathy), 3, 70.

 ---- Castle, account of, 17 (and note 1), 18.
   Library, 29.
   Put in state of defence, 70, 71 (note 1).
   Siege of, 139.

 ---- estate, proprietors of, 103.

 ---- Lady Dowager of, 120.

 ---- parish, 62 (note 1).

 Cromwell, Oliver, 8, 32 (note), 84, 86, 96.

 Cullicudden, 62 (note 1), 63, 71 (note 1).

 Culloden, 19 (note).

 Cumberland's, Duke of, headquarters, 19.

 Curators, 5 (note).

 Danaus' daughters, 133.

 Dante, 166.
   Quoted, 161 (note).

 Darioleta, 144 (note).

 Darwin, Charles, 131 (note).

 _David Copperfield_, quoted, 51 (note 2), 59 (note), 62 (note).

 Debora, Judge and Prophetess, 135.

 Delgatie, Laird of, plunders Balquholly, 39.

 Delos, 119 (note).

 Demosthenes, 162 (note).

 Dickson, David, Professor of Divinity, Glasgow, 82.
   At Aberdeen, 36.

 _Dictionary of National Biography_, quoted, 82 (note), 101 (note).

 Diosa, daughter of Alcibiades, 136.

 Dis, Father of Wealth, 198.

 Don river, 126 (note 1).

 Don Quixote, 104 (and note 2).

 Donne, Age on going to Oxford, 9.

 Dorset, Earl of, 116.

 Douglas, Robert, Moderator of Commission of General Assembly, 81 (and
   note 2).

 Dove, Dr, 114 (note).

 Duchat, Notes on Rabelais, 206.

 Duff, Garden Alexander, 39, 102 (note 3).

 ---- Isabel Annie, 102 (note 3).

 Dunbar, Battle of, 83, 87.

 Dunlugas in Alvah, 47 (note 1).

 Edward, King, 138.

 Egypt, English peer in, 27.

 Elgin, 4 (note), 70, 95.

 Elibank, Patrick, Lord, buys Cromartie estate, 103.

 Eliock, Perthshire, 159.

 Elphinstone, Alexander, Lord, 6, 13 (and note 3).

 ---- Lady Christian, 6, 7 (note).

 Englishman abroad, 22.

 Entelechia, Queen, 158 (note).

 Episcopacy in Scotland, 32, 102 (note 2).

 Erasmus, 143.

 Eromena, 144 (note).

 Errol, Earl of, 146.

 Esormon, Prince of Achaia, 131.

 Euclid, 124, 142.

 Falkirk, 84.

 Famongomadan, 144 (note).

 Farquhar, Sir Robert of Mounie, and Cromartie creditors, 60.

 Fergus, King of Scots, 136, 145.

 Findlay, Andrew, 43.

 Findrassie. (_See_ Lesley, Robert.)

 Firth of Cromartie, 62 (note 1).

 ---- of Forth, 38.

 Fisherie, Barony of, 4, 8 (and note 1), 19 (note).

 Fleetwood, 96.

 Florence, 28.

 Folengo, T., _Macaronea_, 205 (note).

 Fontenay-le-Comte, 188, 204 (note).

 Forbes, Alexander, 15, 41 (note 2).

 ---- Arthur, of Blacktown, 40.

 ---- Dr John, 37 (note 2).

 Forestalling, 15 (note 2).

 Fortrose Castle garrisoned, 76.

 Fountainhall, _Decisions_, 146 (note).

 Fraser, (Colonel) Hugh, of Belladrum, and Rising in North, 70.

 ---- (Sir) James, 71 (note 1).

 ---- Lord, garrisons Towie-Barclay Castle, 39.

 ---- Sir William:
   _Earls of Cromartie_, quoted, 3 (note 2).
   _The Lords Elphinstone_, quoted, 7 (note), 13 (note 3).

 G. P., 128.

 Gardenstoun Papers, 7 (note).

 Gargantua, 190, 193.

 Gathelus, 145.

 Gaurin (Gowran), Earl of, 116.

 _General Assembly Commission Records_, 72 (note), 74 (note), 75 (note),
   78 (note), 79 (note 2), 80 (note).

 Genoa, 28.

 Gight, Laird of, 40.

 Gladmon, Captain, 88.

 Glasgow, General Assembly in, 35.

 Glenkindie, 7 (note).

 Glover, George, portraits of Sir Thomas Urquhart, 107.

 Gonima, 144 (note).

 Gonzaga, Vincenzio de, 164.

 Goodwin, Captain, 94.

 Gordon, James, _History of Scots Affairs_, 35 (notes), 41 (note 2),
   132 (note).

 ---- (Sir) James, of Lesmoir, 7 (note).

 ---- John, 101 (note 3).

 Granada, 27.

 Granger, _Biographical Dictionary_, 107 (note 2), 112 (note 1), 206
   (note 1).

 Grimm, _Household Tales_, 180.

 Guild, Dr William, 13 (note 1), 19 (note).
   Sir Thomas Urquhart's account of, 12.

 _Gulliver's Travels_, 144 (note 2).

 Gustavus Adolphus, 81 (note 2).

 Guthrie, James, 82.

 Halket, General, 77 (note 2), 81 (note).

 Hatton Castle. (_See_ Balquholly.)

 Hamilton, Marquis of, 111, 115.
   At Berwick, 44.

 Harrison, 85.

 Hawkins, Sir John, 232, 233 (notes).
   _Life of Johnson_, 206 (note).

 Hazlitt, quoted, 167 (note).

 Heine, _Das Buch Le Grand_, 182 (note).

 Henderson at Aberdeen, 36.

 Henry II., 187.

 Henry, Prince, 8.

 Heraclitus the Obscure, 119(note), 201.

 Herbert of Cherbury, Lord, _Autobiography_, 25 (note 1).

 Hercules Lybius, 133.

 Herd, David, 101 (note).

 Highland soldiers in Inverness, 76, 79.

 Hippocrene, 109.

 History of Clan Mackenzie, 70 (note).

 _History of Scotland._ (_See_ under Burton, J. H.)

 _History of Scots Affairs._ (_See_ Gordon, James.)

 Holland, Earl of, 116.

 Holles, Gervase, 50 (note 2).

 ---- John, Earl of Clare, 51 (and note 1).

 Homer, Birthplace of, 109.
   Works, 166.

 Hope, _Anastasius_, quoted, 77(note).

 Horace, _Odes_, quoted, 134 (note 1).

 Houghton, in Nottingham, 51 (note 1).

 _Hudibras_, Alexander Ross mentioned in, 126.

 Huntly, Second Marquis of, 116.
   Covenanters and, 33.
   Family name (Gordon), 41 (note 2).
   Taken prisoner, 38.

 ---- Third Marquis of, takes Ruthven Castle, 77.

 Hypermnestra, 133, 134.

 Innes, Alexander, 43 (note).

 Inverkeithing, 84.

 Inverness, 2, 32.
   Capture of, 68, 70, 81.
   Fortifications destroyed, 76.
   Highland soldiers at, 76, 78.
   _Sasines_, 101 (note 3).

 Irving, Dr:
   Account of Sir Thomas Urquhart leaving Scotland, 43.
   _Lives of Scottish Writers_, 44 (note), 149 (note).

 ---- John, of Bruklay, 7 (note).

 J. A., 124.

 James III.:
   Act of, 54.
   Grant of Motehill of Cromartie to William Urquhart, 17.

 James VI., 7, 147 (note).

 Japhet, 131.

 Jericho, 55.

 Joan of Arc, 187.

 Johnson, Dr, on--
   Crichton in _Adventurer_, 159 (note 1).
   Traveller in Egypt, 27.

 Johnston and Mr Bedell, 175.

 ---- Arthur, 112.
   Latin Poems, 57 (note).

 Jonson, Ben, _Catiline_, 8.

 Jovius, Panlus, 145.

 Julius Cæsar, 27.

 Ker, General, 77 (note 2).

 Kinbeakie, Stone lintel at, 137 (note).

 King-Edward, Aberdeenshire, 4, 8 (note 2), 19 (note).

 _King's College: Officers and Graduates_, 10 (note).

 King's Covenant, Account of, 42 (note 1).

 Kippis, Dr, 158 (note 2).
   On Urquhart's pedigree, 144 (note 2).

 Kirkhill, 76.

 Kirkmichael, 62 (note 1), 63.

 Lamb, Charles, 132 (note), 167 (note).

 Lambert, 85.

 Laud, Archbishop, 32.

 Leake, William, 116.

 Leighton, Archbishop, 66 (note 1).

 Lemlair, 70.

 Lesley, Lieut.-General David, 32 (note).
   March to England, 84.
   Message of encouragement to, 75.
   Takes Castle of Chanonry, 76.

 ---- Norman, 55 (and note 1).

 ---- Robert, of Findrassie, 59 (note), 71 (note 1).
   Conduct towards Sir Thomas Urquhart, 55, 95.
   Mortgage on Cromartie estate, 46.

 ---- Dr William, Sir Thomas Urquhart's account of, 12 (and note 2), 37
   (note 2).

 _Letters of Junius_, 103 (note 3).

 _Lives of Eminent Men of Aberdeen_, quoted, 126 (note 1).

 _Lives of Scottish Writers._ (_See_ under Irving, Dr.)

 Logarithms, 123 (and note).

 Lowndes, _Bibliographer's Manual_, 101 (note).

 Lucian, 100 (note), 189.

 Lumphanan, 3 (note 2).

 Lunan, Alexander, 11 (note).

 Luther, Martin, 187.

 Lynceus, 134.

 Macaulay, 174 (note).
   _History of England_, quoted, 23.

 Macbeth's titles, 3.

 Macduff, 3 (note 2).

 Mackenzie. Alexander, 70 (note).

 ---- (Sir) George, 102.

 ---- George, sells estate to Capt. W. Urquhart, 103.

 ---- (Sir) Kenneth, 103.

 ---- Thomas, of Pluscardine.
   Enters Inverness, 76.
   Proclaimed rebel and traitor, 71.
   Rising in North and, 69, 70, 76.

 Mackintosh, C. Fraser, (_See Antiquarian Notes._)

 Macmillans of Knapdale, 135 (n.).

 Madanfabul, 144 (note).

 Madasima, 114 (note).

 Madrid, 27.

 M'Farlane, Genealogical Collections, 16 (note 1).

 Maitland, on date of Sir Thomas Urquhart's birth, 6.

 Mantua, 163.

 Mantua, Duke of, 164, 215 _seqq._

 Mantuanus, Baptista, 166.

 Marischal College, 11 (note).

 Marischal, Earl, 36, 146.
   Enters Aberdeen, 43.

 Martin, Sir Theodore, on--
   _Trissotetras_, 119 (note).
   Unpublished Epigrams of Sir Thomas Urquhart, 116.
   Urquhart's account of his misfortunes, 61.
     Death, 97.
     Translation of Rabelais, 192.

 Mary Queen of Scots, 104 (note 1).

 Maubert, Place, 161 (note).

 Meldrum arms, 139 (note).

 Melville, Andrew, assists to remodel University education, 10, 11 (note).

 Mercury, 198.

 Messina, 27.

 Micawber, Wilkins. (_See David Copperfield._)

 Middleton, General, 32 (note).
   Joins Mackenzie's force, 76.

 ---- Earl of, 102 (note 2).

 Miller, Hugh, 102 (note 2).
   Description of Cromartie Castle, 18.
   On siege of Cromartie Castle, 140.
   On stone lintel at Kinbeakie, 138.
   On Urquhart's inventive powers, 180.
   Reference to Sir Alexander Urquhart, 101 (note 3).
   (_See_ also _Scenes and Legends of North of Scotland_.)

 Milton, John, 8, 30, 91.
   _Hymn on Nativity_, quoted, 201 (note 2).
   _Paradise Lost_, quoted, 201 (n. 2).
   Sonnet to Cromwell, quoted, 86.

 Miol, 145.

 Mitchell, Thomas, minister of Turriff, 41 (note 2), 42.

 Molinea, 133.

 Monboddo, Lord, on dual number, 182.

 Montaigne, age on completing collegiate course, 9.

 Montrose, Earl of, 36, 38, 78, 80 (note 2).

 _Moral Tales_, 113 (note).

 Moray, 3, 4 (note).

 Moray Firth, 32, 62 (note 1).

 Morley, _Universal Library_, 185 (note 2).

 Morrison, _Dictionary of Decisions_, 146 (note).

 Motteux, Pierre A., 97, 184, 203 (note 2).
   Completes Urquhart's Translation of Rabelais, 192, 206 (and note 1).
   On Urquhart's Translation of Rabelais, 98.

 Monat (de Monte Alto) family in Cromartie, 4 (and note 1).

 ---- William, takes part of King Robert Bruce, 138.

 Mounie, 60.

 Mucholles, Lord, 41 (note 2).

 Munro, John, of Lemlair, and rising in North, 70.

 ---- Colonel Robert, Mission to Marquis of Huntly, 34.

 Nairn, 70.

 Napier, John, of Merchiston, 119, 122 (and note 2), 124.

 Naples, 28.

 Narfesia, Sovereign of the Amazons, 132.

 National Covenant, quoted, 31.

 Newcastle, Earl of, 116.

 _Nicholas Nickleby_, quoted, 11 (note).

 Nicolia, 136.

 Nimrod, 131.

 Niort, 204 (note).

 Nisbet, on Urquhart's property, 2.
   _System of Heraldry_, 3 (note 1).

 Noah, 131, 146.

 _Noctes Ambrosianæ_ (Blackwood), version of Urquhart's death, 101 (note).

 "Nonconformist Conscience," 187.

 Northumberland, Earl of, 116.

 Nottingham, 86.

 Ogilvie, Lord, joins Mackenzie's force, 76.

 Old Machar, 10.

 Orkneys, 80 (note 2).

 Orpah, 131.

 Overton, 96.

 Ovid, 195 (note).
   _Metamorphosis_, 133.

 Ozell, edition of Rabelais, 206.

 Padua, 163.

 Pantagruel, 158 (note), 161, 190.
   (_See_ also Urquhart, Sir Thomas, Translation of Rabelais.)

 Panthea, daughter of Deucalion and Pyrrha, 133.

 Panurge, 158 (note), 197. (_See_ also Urquhart, Sir Thomas, Translation
   of Rabelais.)

 Pape, Charles, Minister of Cullicudden, 63.

 Paris, 28.

 Parnassus, Mount, 44, 109.

 Pegasus, 109.

 Pembroke, Earl of, 116.

 Pentasilea, Queen of the Amazons, 135.

 Penuel, 131.

 Pericles, 149 (note).

 Persius, 8 (note 2); quoted, 162.

 Perth, 84.

 Petrarch, 166.

 Petric, James, 8 (note 2).

 Pharaoh Amenophis, 133.

 Philemon (Philomenes), death of, 100 (note).

 Pillars of Hercules, 124.

 Pistol, Ancient, 2, 109 (note).

 Pitkerrie, 103.

 Plato, 124, 202 (and note).

 Pliny, 52 (note 2).

 Pluscardine. (_See_ Mackenzie, Thomas.)

 Plutus, 52, 198 (note).

 Pococke's _Tour_, 17 (note 2), 103 (note 1).

 Pope, Alexander--
   _Dunciad_, 206 (note 2).
   On Rabelais, 186.

 Portia, 22, 25.

 Portugal founded, 145.

 Pothina, niece of Lycurgus, 136.

 Prott, David, killed at Towie-Barclay, 40.

 Providence, Rhode Island, 90.

 Pulteney, Sir William, 103 (note 2).

 Pythagoras, 124, 202.

 Queen Elizabeth, 120.

 ---- Mary, of England, 102.

 ---- Mary, of Scotland, 104 (note 1), 168.

 Queensferry, 84.

 Raban, printer, Aberdeen, 57 (n.).

 _Rabelais_, 107 (note 2), 119 (note), 185 (and note 2), 192 (note),
   235 (note).

 Rabelais, François, sketch of, 187.
   _Gargantua_ and _Pantagruel_, 189.
   (_See_ Urquhart, Sir Thomas, Translation of Rabelais.)

 Raleigh, Sir Walter, 120.
   _History of the World_, 8.

 Raphael, 187.

 Reay, Lord, joins Mackenzie's force, 76, 78 (note).

 _Records of Court of Justiciary_, 16 (note 2).

 _Redgauntlet_, quoted, 102 (note 1).

 Resolis, 62 (note 1).

 Riddell, J., _Scotch Peerage Law_, 55 (note).

 Rising of Cavaliers in North, 69.

 Robertson, William, of Kindeasse, Sir Thomas Urquhart's account of, 94.

 Rolland, Catharine, 13 (note 1).

 Rome, 28.

 Ross, Alexander (1), minister in Aberdeen, 37 (note 2).

 ---- Alexander (2), 126 (note 1).
   Recommends _Trissotetras_, 126.
   Verses, 126, 127 (note).

 ---- George, of Pitkerrie, buys Cromartie estate, 17, 103.

 ---- (Sir) Hugh, owns Cromartie, 4.

 ---- (Major) Walter Charteris, of Cromartie, 103 (note 3).

 ---- William, Earl of, 4.

 Rothes, Earls of, 55 (note).

 Rothiemay, Banffshire, 35 (note 1), 43 (note).

 Row, _Historie of Kirk of Scotland_, 42 (note).

 Royalists escape to England, 43 (note 1).

 Ruskin, John, 173 (note).

 Rutherford, Samuel, Principal of St Andrews, 82.

 Ruthven Castle taken by Marquis of Huntly, 77.

 St Andrews, 82.

 St Hilarion, 204 (note).

 St Jerome, _Vita Sancti Hilarionis_, 204 (note).

 _St Ronan's Well_, quoted, 186.

 Salton, Lord, 141.

 Saragossa, 27.

 _Scenes and Legends of North of Scotland_, quoted, 18, 102 (note 2),
   139 (note), 141 (note).

 Scota, daughter of Pharaoh, 145.

 Scotch army marches into England, 84.

 _Scotch Peerage Law._ (_See_ Riddell, J.)

 Scotchman abroad, 24.

   Episcopacy in, 32, 102 (note 2).
   Four armies in, 32, (note 1).
   Mythical history of, 145.
   University education in, 9. (_See_ also Aberdeen University.)

 Scrogie, Dr Alexander, 37 (note 2), 43 (note).

 Seaforth, George, Earl of, 69.

 Seaton, Dr, in Paris, 28.

 ---- John, 11 (note).

 ---- William, 11 (note).
   Sir Thomas Urquhart's account of, 13.

 Seton, Alexander, of Meldrum, 102 (note 3).

 ---- arms, 139 (note).

 ---- Elizabeth, 102 (note 3).

 Shafton, Sir Piercie, 124.

 Shakespeare, William:
   _Henry IV._, 165 (note).
   _Merchant of Venice_, 25.
   _Midsummer Night's Dream_, 174 (note).
   _Twelfth Night_, 122 (note).
   _Winter's Tale_, 8.

 Shephard, Jack, 51 (note).

 Shrewsbury, 86.

 Sibbald, Dr James, 37 (note 2).

 Smith, Sidney, "preaching to death by wild curates," 66.

 ---- W. F., Translation of Rabelais, 158 (note 1), 99 (note 1), 191.

 Socrates, 119 (note), 124.

 Sodom and Gomorrha, 133.

 Solvatius, King, 137.

 Somerled, Lord of the Isles, 136 (note 1).

 South, _Sermons_, 199 (note).

 Southcote, Joanna, 179 (note).

 Southey, _Dr Dove_, 114 (note), 178 (note).

 Spalding, mentions Sir Thomas Urquhart, 38.
   _Memorials_, quoted, 40, 43 (note).

 Spartianus, Ælius, _Life of Geta_, 205 (note).

 Spenser, 120.

 Spilsbury, Sir Thomas Urquhart stays with, 86, 153.

 Stacker, James, 41 (note 2).

 Steele, Richard, 50 (note 2).

 Stirling, 84.

 Strachan, General, 77 (note 2), 81 (note).

 Strafford, Earl of, 116.

 Stralsund, 69.

 Stratford-on-Avon, 86.

 Strathbogie, 34.

 Strathearn, Earls of, family name, 135 (note).

 Sutherland, Earl of, action against Earls of Crawford, Errol, and
   Marischal, 146.

 ---- James, "Tutor of Duffus," 56.

 Tamerlane, 67.

 Tarbat, Viscount, First Earl of Cromartie, 103.

 Termuth, daughter of Pharaoh Amenophis, 133.

 Thaumast, 158 (note).

 _The Lords Elphinstone_, quoted, 7 (note), 13 (note 3).

 The Tables and Aberdeen, 35, 37.

 Thelema, Abbey of, 193 _seqq._

 Thelemites, 195 _seqq._

 _Through the Looking-Glass_, quoted, 114 (note).

 Thucydides, 149 (note).

 Thymelica, daughter of Bacchus, 135.

 Toledo, 27.

 Torespay, 77 (note).

 Tor Wood, 84.

 Tomlius, Richard, 176 (note).

 Towie-Barclay Castle, 38 (note 2).

 ---- laird of, plunders Balquholly, 39.

 _Tristram Shandy_, quoted, 47 (note 3).

 Trot of Turriff, 41 (and note 2).

 Turriff, 38.
   Inhabitants subscribe King's Covenant, 42.

 "Tutor," Meaning of, 5 (note 1).

 Tycheros, 131.

 Tytler, Patrick F.:
   _Life of the Admirable Crichton_, 159, 165, 190.
   On Urquhart's Translation of Rabelais, 190.

 University of Aberdeen, New Constitution, 10, 11 (note).

 Urquhart, Adam of, owns Cromartie, 4.

 ---- Sir Alexander, 16.
   Petition for compensation for losses, 61.
   Petition for Sheriffship of Cromartie, 98, 100.

 ---- Annas, 7 (note).

 ---- arms, 132, 133, 137 (and note 1).

 ---- (Major) Beauchamp Colclough, 102 (note 3).

 ---- Cainotomos, 135.

 ---- Euplocamos, 134.

 ---- family, descent of, 130 _seqq._

 ---- George, 7 (note).

 ---- Helen, 7 (note).

 ---- Henry, 7 (note).

 ---- Hypsegoras, 133.

 ---- Colonel James, 102 (note 3).

 Urquhart, Jane, 7 (note).

 ---- John, 7 (note).

 ---- Sir John, of Craigfintray, 101 (note 2).
   Hereditary Sheriff of Cromartie, 60.
   Death, 102 (note 2).

 ---- John, of Craigfintray, "the Tutor of Cromartie," 5 (and note 1),
   6 (and note 1), 19 (note), 102 (note 3).

 ---- Jonathan, 102.

 ---- Margaret, 7 (note).

 ---- Mellessen, 136.

 ---- Molin, 133.

 ---- Names of Chiefs and Primitive Fathers, Appendix i. 211.
   Names of Mothers of Chiefs, Appendix i. 213.

 ---- (de Vrquhartt), origin of name, 4 (note 2), 132 (note 1).

 ---- Pamprosodos, 133.

 ---- Phrenedon, 133.

 ---- Propetes, 133.

 ---- Rodrigo, 135.

 ---- SIR THOMAS (Urchard, Urquhardus, Wrqhward, Wrwhart), 132 (note).
   Account of Aberdeen and eminent men, 12.
   Account of Admirable Crichton, 157.
   Account of impoverished estates, 45.
   Ancestry, 2.
   At Worcester, 86, 129.
   Birth, 6.
   Birthplace unknown, 8.
   Book-hunting, 29.
   Characteristics, 53, 104 (and notes 1, 2), 105, 130, 144 (note 2).
   Conduct of creditors, 94.
   Death, 97, 99 (note 1).
   Description of his father's character, 14.
   Enters University of Aberdeen, 9 (and note 1).
   Escapes to England, 43.
   Foreign Travel, 22, 25, 27.
   Knighted, 44.
   Lesley and, 55.
   Liberated on parole, 89.
   Literary achievements, 2, 148.
   Lives at Cromartie--financial difficulties, 51.
   Loses ancestral domains and jurisdiction, 60.
   MS. of unpublished Poems quoted, 5 (note 2); described, 116.
   MSS. lost after Worcester, 88, 129, 154.
   On G. Anderson's preaching, 63, 66.
   Papers seized, 93.
   Portraits, 107.
   Praise of "the Tutor of Cromartie," 5 (and note 2).
   Prepares MSS. for publication, 89.
   Prisoner in the Tower, 88.
   Proclaimed rebel and traitor, 71.
   Relations with Ministers of Church, 61.
   Religious belief, 67.
   Reminiscence of his youth, 20.
   Rental, 51.
   Reply to Commissioners' remonstrances, 72.
   Resides in London, 50 (and note 2).
   Returns home, 30.
   Rising in North and, 69.
   Schemes and inventions, 53.
   Speed in composition, 117, 151.
   Succeeds to estates, 47.
   "Supplication" for pardon, 81.
   Takes up arms for Stuarts, 38, 69, 84.
   Vanity, 24 (note 3).
     ΕΚΣΚΥΒΑΛΑΥΡΟΝ: or, Discovery of a most exquisite Jewel, 92.
       Account of, 148 _seqq._ (and note 1).
       Description of Admirable Crichton, 157 _seqq._
     In contemporary politics, 168.
     On fame of Scots in battle, 157.
     Quoted, 67, 153, 165, 168, 170, 172, 174.
   _Epigrams_: Divine and Moral, 44.
     Account of, 111 _seqq._
     Dedication, 111, 115.
     Quoted, 60 (note), 113, 114.
     MS., quoted, 109 (note).
   _Logopandecteision_; or, An Introduction to the Universal Language:
     Account of, 175 _seqq._
     Published, 96.
     Quoted, 48, 57, 62 (note 2), 90.
   ΠΑΝΤΟΧΡΟΝΟΧΑΝΟΝ: Peculiar Promptuary of Time, 92.
     Account of, 128 seqq.
   Translation of Rabelais, 2, 96, 97, 161, 205.
     Account of, 184, 190 _seqq._
     Exploits of Pantagruel, 161 (note 2).
     Genealogy of Pantagruel, 144.
     Interpolations, 203.
     Panurge, Sketch of, 197.
     Sketch of Abbey of Thelema, 193.
     Various editions, 206.
   _Trissotetras_, 92, 114.
     Account of, 117 (and note 1).
   Unpublished Epigrams, Dedications of, 116.

 ---- Thomas, marries Helen Abernethie, their family, 141.

 ---- Sir Thomas, senior--
   Action against his sons, 16.
   Becomes caution for Alexander Forbes, 15.
   Believes in long pedigree, 147.
   Death, 47 (and note 3).
   "Desk" or Pew in Banff Church, 19 (and note 1).
   Episcopalian, 30, 33, 35.
   Marriage-contract, 7 (and note 1).
   Pecuniary difficulties, 13, 15, 45.
   Residence in Banff, 18 (and note 2).
   Sketch of, 5, 6.

 ---- (Captain) William, of Meldrum, buys Cromartie estate, 103.

 ---- William, receives grant of Motehill of Cromartie, 17.

 Urquharts of Meldrum, 102 (note 3).

 Valerius Maximus, 100 (note).

 Venice, 28, 163.

 Virgil, 166, 201 (note 1).

 Vocompos, arms of, 137.

 Voltaire, 189.

 Wallace, Professor of Mathematics, Edinburgh, on _Trissotetras_, 119.

 ---- William, and William Mouat, 139.

 Wardlaw MS., 76, 78 (note).

 Warrington Bridge, 85.

 Westminster Abbey, 145.

 Whibley, Charles, _New Review_, quoted, 112.

 Williams, Roger, Missionary to Indians, 90, 91 (note 1).

 Williamson, Robert, Minister of Kirkmichael, 63.

 Windsor Castle, Sir Thomas Urquhart removed to, 89.

 Wodrow, quoted, 81 (note 2), 102 (note 2).

 Worcester, 86.
   Battle of, 87.

 ---- Marquis of, _Century of the Names and Scantling of ... Inventions_,
   181 (note 2).

 Worldly Wiseman, 34.

 Wyntown's _Cronykil_, quoted, 3 (note 2).

 Yares of Udoll, 56.

 York, 86.

 ---- Thomas, 50 (note 2).

 Young, James, 118 (note).

                     BY THE SAME AUTHOR.

    Second Thousand. In Fcap. 8vo, 174 pp. Cloth, 2s. 6d.

          _A Shetland Minister of the 18th Century._

      Being Passages in the Life of the Rev. John Mill.

                    NOTICES OF THE PRESS.

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"Mr. Mill stands out as quite a remarkable man. Though the volume will
have a special interest to the people of the Shetland Isles, it will be
read with much interest on the mainland."--_Perthshire Advertiser._

"A succinct and readable account of Mill's life.... Nothing essential
has been omitted, and nothing unnecessary has been retained.... The
volume furnishes interesting reading from beginning to end."--_Shetland

"The book is eminently readable, and will well repay perusal.... A vein
of quiet humour, mingled with delicate satire, crops up every here and
there in its pages."--_Shetland Times._

_To be had from_

                 ST. MARY STREET, EDINBURGH;

                    "FAMOUS SCOTS" SERIES.

   _Post 8vo, canvas binding. 1s. 6d.; extra gilt binding,
                  gilt top, uncut, 2s. 6d._

=Thomas Carlyle.= By HECTOR C. MACPHERSON.

"One of the best books on Carlyle yet written."--_Literary World._

=Allan Ramsay.= By OLIPHANT SMEATON.

"Full of sound knowledge and judicious criticism."--_Scotsman._

=Hugh Miller.= By W. KEITH LEASK.

"Leaves on us a very vivid impression."--_Daily News._

=John Knox.= By A. TAYLOR INNES.

"There is vision in this book as well as knowledge."--_Speaker._

=Robert Burns.= By GABRIEL SETOUN.

"A very valuable and opportune addition to a useful series."--_Bookman._

=The Balladists.= By JOHN GEDDIE.

"One of the most delightful and eloquent appreciations of the ballad
literature of Scotland that has ever seen the light."--_New Age._

=Richard Cameron.= By Professor HERKLESS.

"Interesting study of Cameron and his times."--_National Observer._

=Sir James Y. Simpson.= By EVE BLANTYRE SIMPSON.

"It is indeed long since we have read such a charmingly-written
biography as this little Life of the most typical and 'Famous Scot' that
his countrymen have been proud of since the time of Sir Walter.... There
is not a dull, irrelevant, or superfluous page in all Miss Simpson's
booklet, and she has performed the biographer's chief duty--that of
selection--with consummate skill and judgment."--_Daily Chronicle._

=Thomas Chalmers.= By Professor W. GARDEN BLAIKIE.

"The most notable feature of Professor Blaikie's book--and none could be
more commendable--is its perfect balance and proportion. In other words,
justice is done equally to the private and to the public life of
Chalmers, if possible greater justice than has been done by Mrs.

=James Boswell.= By W. KEITH LEASK.

"One of the finest and most convincing passages that have recently
appeared in the field of British Biography."--_Morning Leader._

=Tobias Smollett.= By OLIPHANT SMEATON.

"Mr. Smeaton has produced a very readable and vivid

=Fletcher of Saltoun.= By G. W. T. OMOND.

"Unmistakably the most interesting and complete story of the life of
Fletcher of Saltoun that has yet appeared."--_Leeds Mercury._

=The "Blackwood" Group.= By Sir GEORGE DOUGLAS.

"Sir George Douglas, in addition to summarising their biographies,
criticises their works with excellent and well-weighed
appreciation."--_Literary World._

=Norman Macleod.= By JOHN WELLWOOD.

"Its general picturesqueness is effective, while the criticism is
eminently liberal and sound."--_Scots Pictorial._

=Sir Walter Scott.= By GEORGE SAINTSBURY.

"Mr. Saintsbury's miniature is a gem of its kind."--_Pall Mall Gazette._

=Kirkcaldy of Grange.= By LOUIS A. BARBÉ.

"A conscientious and thorough piece of work, showing wide and accurate
knowledge."--_Glasgow Herald._

=Robert Fergusson.= By A. B. GROSART, D.D., LL.D.

"It is a creditable, useful, and painstaking book, a genuine
contribution to Scottish literary history."--_British Weekly._

=James Thomson.= By WILLIAM BAYNE.

"The story of Thomson's claim to the disputed authorship of 'Rule
Britannia' is sustained by his countryman with spirit and in our
judgment with success."--_Literature._

                    "FAMOUS SCOTS" SERIES.


"Not only a charming life-story, if at times a pathetic one, but a vivid
chapter in the romance of Africa."--_Leeds Mercury._


"Fulfils admirably well the purpose of the writer, which was that of
presenting in clear, fair, and concise lines Hume and his philosophy to
the mind of his countrymen and of the world."--_Scotsman._

=William Dunbar.= By OLIPHANT SMEATON.

"A graphic and informed account not only of the man and his works, but
of his immediate environment and of the times in which he

=Sir William Wallace.= By Professor MURISON.

"Mr. Murison is to be heartily congratulated on this little book. After
much hard and discriminate labour, he has pieced together by far the
best, one might say the only rational and coherent, account of Wallace
that exists."--_Speaker._

=Robert Louis Stevenson.= By MARGARET M. BLACK.

"Certainly one of the most charming biographies we have ever come
across. The writer has style, sympathy, distinction, and understanding.
We were loth to put the book aside. Its one fault is that it is too

=Thomas Reid.= By Professor CAMPBELL FRASER.

"Supplies what must be allowed to be a distinct want in our literature,
in the shape of a brief, popular, and accessible biography of the
founder of the so-called Scottish School of Philosophy, written with
notable perspicuity and sympathy by one who has made a special study of
the problems that engaged the mind of Reid."--_Scotsman._

=Pollok and Aytoun.= By ROSALINE MASSON.

"Miss Masson tells the story of the lives of her two subjects in a
bright and readable way. Her criticisms are sound and judicious, and
altogether the little volume is a very acceptable addition to the
series."--_North British Daily Mail._


"I have learned much from your sketch of Adam Smith's life and work. It
presents the essential facts in a lucid and interesting way."--Mr.
HERBERT SPENCER _to the Author_.

=Andrew Melville.= By WILLIAM MORISON.

"The story is well told, and it takes one through a somewhat obscure
period with which it is well to be acquainted. No better guide could be
found than Mr. Morison."--_Spectator._

=James Frederick Ferrier.= By E. S. HALDANE.

"Ferrier the man, and even Ferrier the professor, Miss Haldane brings
near to us, an attractive and interesting figure."--_Scotsman._

"This biography of him will be highly esteemed because of the grace and
vigour with which Miss Haldane has done her work. To the 'Famous Scots'
series of volumes there have been many excellent contributions, but not
one of them is more interesting than this latest addition."--_Dundee

=King Robert the Bruce.= By Professor MURISON.

"Professor Murison has given us a book for which not only Scots, but
every man who can appreciate a record of great days worthily told, will
be grateful."--_Morning Leader._

"The story of Bruce is brilliantly told in clear and flexible language,
which draws the reader on with the interest of a novel. Professor
Murison is a most impartial and thoroughly reliable critic, and may be
followed with confidence by all who desire a truthful and unprejudiced
picture of this greatest of the Scots."--_Aberdeen Journal._

=James Hogg.= By Sir GEORGE DOUGLAS. With Sketches of Tannahill,
Motherwell, and Thom.

                30 ST. MARY STREET, EDINBURGH;

Transcriber's Notes: Hyphenation has been standardized, for instance,
"footnote" rather than "foot-note". Spelling has not been standardized,
for instance "Lieutenant-General" and "Lieutenant-Generall", or
"falsehood" and "falshood". The period following a royal's roman number
belongs, for instance, "King Charles. is".

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Sir Thomas Urquhart of Cromartie, Knight" ***

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