16 NOVEMBER 1907, Page 10


George Buchanan: Glasgow Quatercentenary Studies, 1906. (J. MacLehose and Sons, Glasgow. 12s. 6d. net.)—The quitter- centenary proper of George Buchanan, who was born in February; 1506, was celebrated at St. Andrews, where he was a student, and where for a time in later life he presided over St. Leonard's College, But Buchanan's glory belongs to all Scotland, where even devotees of Queen Mary honour him, and the near coincidence of his quatercentenary with that of the University of Glasgow, coupled with the fact that he was born within a few miles of the city, suggested a special commemoration. This handsome volume is the outcome. It gives an account of the "pilgrimage" to "The Moss," the modern house which is close to the site of the actual birthplace, and is owned by a descendant of Buchanan's brother. a poem in Latin elegiacs, somewhat strangely called an " Ode," recited by the Dean of Glasgow; an exhibition of books and relics ; a banquet, with speeches ; and finally the studies. The longest of these, putting aside Dr. David Murray's " Catalogue of Printed Books, Scc.," and, in a sense, the most important, is Mr. J. T. Brown's essay on an English translation of Buchanan's " Baptistes." In 1643 there was published in London what was practically a translation of it, no hint, however, being given that it was not an. original work. The book was entirely forgotten, but a copy came into the hands of Francis Peck (1692-1743), who discovered that, though printed like prose, it was really in verse. Peek restored it to its proper shape, and wrote an elaborate annotation, in which ho sought to make out that it was a political satire, Herod representing Charles I.; Herodias and her daughter, Henrietta Maria ; Malohus, Archbishop Laud, &c. He had nearly finished his -work when he heard for the first time of Buchanan's poem. Peck had now, of course, to abandon his belief that Milton was the author, but he stoutly maintained that he was the translator of the poem ; and this is Mr. Brown's opinion, shared, or at least 430matenaneed, it would seem, by the Rev. Walter Begley, the editor of "Nova Solyma." We cannot deal with his argument in detail. All that we have space for is a sample of the verse :— "Noblemen and kings Honour and fear him, where he past with pride

Thorough the madness of the multitude, New laws gives like another Noses, cleansing

Crimes with water, and presumes our ancient laws

With new rites to adulterate, and rends The Fathers with reproaches, to enjoy The people's mad affection with more ease, Who give them gentle hearing."

Can these have come from the pen which had already written :-

" 0 welcome pure-eyed Faith, white-handed Hope,

Thou hovering angel girt with golden wings; And thou, unblemished form of Chastity 1"

And could Milton about four years afterwards have written : " My mother bore me a speaker of what God made my own and not a translator" ? One interesting fact has been discovered. The " Baptistes " had a reference to history. Herod was really Henry VIII. and the Baptist Thomas More. " Mortem et accusa- tionem Thomas Mori repraesentavi," he said himself in his state- ment submitted to the Holy Office at Lisbon. We can but mention Principal Lindsay's admirable paper on " George Buchanan," and Mr. T. D. Robb's most meritorious essay on "Sixteenth Century Humanism as Illustrated by the Life and Work of George Buchanan."