« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
the river Nilus; gipsies; Methuselah; the food of John the Baptist; the cessation of oracles; Friar Bacon's brazen head that spoke; the poverty of Belisarius; and the wish of Philoxenus to have the neck of a crane. In 1658, Browne published his Hydriotaphia, or Urn Burial; a Discourse on the Sepulchral Urns Lately Found in Norfolk, a work not inferior, in ideality of style, to the Religio Medici.' Here the author's learning appears in the details which he gives concerning the modes in which the bodies of the dead have been disposed of in different ages and countries; while his reflections on death, oblivion, and immortality, are, for solemnity and grandeur, probably unsurpassed in English literature. The occasion would hardly have called forth a work from any less meditative mind. In a field at Walsingham were dug up between forty and fifty urns, containing the remains of human bones, some small brass instruments, boxes, and other fragmentary relics. Coals and burnt substances were found near the same plot of ground, and hence it was conjectured that this was the Ustrina, or place of burning, or the spot whereon the Druidical sacrifices were made. Furnished with a theme for his philosophic musings, Sir Thomas Browne then comments on that vast charnel-house, the earth.
their tombs, the Romans affected the rose, the Greeks amaranthus and myrtle; that the funeral pyre consisted of sweet fuel, cypress, fir, larix, yew, and trees perpetually verdant, lay silent expressions of their surviving hopes; wherein Christians, which deck their coffins with bays, have found a more elegant emblem-for that it seeming dead, will restore itself from the root, and its dry and exsuccous leaves resume their verdure again; which, if we mistake not, we have also observed in furze. Whether the planting of yew in churchyards hold not its original from ancient funeral rites, or as an emblem of resurrection, from its perpetual verdure, may also admit conjecture.' Among the beauties of expression in Browne, may be quoted the following eloquent definition: Nature is not at variance with art, nor art with nature-they being both the servants of his providence. Art is the perfection of nature. Were the world now as it was the sixth day, there were yet a chaos. Nature hath made one world, and art another. In belief, all things are artificial, for nature is the art of God.' This seems the essence of true philosophy. To the Hydriotaphia' is appended a small treatise, called The Garden of Cyrus; or the Quincuncial Lozenge, or Network Plantations of the Ancients, Artificially, Naturally, and Mystically Considered. Nature,' he says, hath furnished one part of This is written in a similar style, and displays much the earth, and man another. The treasures of time of the author's whimsical fancy and propensity to lie high, in urns, coins, and monuments, scarce be- laborious trifling. One of the most striking of these low the roots of some vegetables. Time hath end- fancies has been often quoted. Wishing to denote less rarities, and shows of all varieties; which re- that it is late, or that he was writing at a late hour, veals old things in heaven, makes new discoveries he says that the Hyades (the quincunx of heaven) in earth, and even earth itself a discovery. That run low-that we are unwilling to spin out our great antiquity, America, lay buried for a thousand awaking thoughts into the phantasms of sleep-that years; and a large part of the earth is still in the to keep our eyes open longer were but to act our urn unto us. Though, if Adam were made out of antipodes-that the huntsmen are up in America— an extract of the earth, all parts might challenge a and that they are already past their first sleep in restitution, yet few have returned their bones far Persia.' This is fantastic, but it is the offspring of lower than they might receive them; not affecting genius. Browne lived in a world of ideal contemthe graves of giants, under hilly and heavy cover-plation, but before surrendering himself up to his ings, but content with less than their own depth, reveries, he had stored his mind with vast and mulhave wished their bones might lie soft, and the earth tifarious learning. In presenting its results to the be light upon them; even such as hope to rise again public, he painted to the eye and imagination more would not be content with central interment, or so than he conveyed to the understanding. Among his desperately to place their relics as to lie beyond dis- posthumous pieces is a collection of aphorisms, encovery, and in no way to be seen again; which titled Christian Morals, to which Dr Johnson prefixed happy contrivance hath made communication with a life of the author. He left, also, various essays, our forefathers, and left unto our view some parts on antiquarian and other subjects. Sir Thomas which they never beheld themselves.' Browne died in 1682, at the age of seventy-seven. He was of a modest and cheerful disposition, retiring in his habits, and sympathised little with the pursuits and feelings of the busy multitude. His opinions were, in some respects, tinged with the credulity of his age. He believed in witchcraft, apparitions, and diabolical illusions; and gravely observes, that to those who would attempt to teach animals the art of speech, the dogs and cats that usually speak unto witches may afford some encouragement.'
He then successively describes and comments upon the different modes of interment and decomposition-whether by fire (some apprehending a purifying virtue in fire, refining the grosser commixture, and firing out the ethereal particles so deeply immersed in it'); by making their graves in the air, like the Scythians, who swore by wind and sword;' or in the sea, like some of the nations about Egypt. Men,' he finely remarks, have lost their reason in nothing so much as their religion, wherein stones and clouts make martyrs; and since the religion of In the writings of Sir Thomas Browne, the pracone seems madness unto another, to afford an ac- tice of employing Latin words with English termicount or rational of old rights, requires no rigid nations is carried to such excess, that, to persons reader. That they kindled the pyre aversely, or acquainted only with their native tongue, many turning their face from it, was a handsome symbol of his sentences must be nearly unintelligible. Thus, of unwilling ministration; that they washed their speaking in his Vulgar Errors' of the nature of bones with wine and milk; that the mother wrapt ice, he says: Ice is only water congealed by the them in linen and dried them in her bosom, the first frigidity of the air, whereby it acquireth no new fostering part, and place of their nourishment; that form, but rather a consistence or determination of they opened their eyes towards heaven, before they its diffluency, and amitteth not its essence, but conkindled the fire, as the place of their hopes or origi-dition of fluidity. Neither doth there anything nal, were no improper ceremonies. Their last vale- properly conglaciate but water, or watery humidity; diction, thrice uttered by the attendants, was also for the determination of quicksilver is properly fixavery solemn, and somewhat answered by Christians, tion, that of milk coagulation, and that of oil and who thought it too little if they threw not the earth unctious bodies only incrassation.' He uses abunthrice upon the interred body. That, in strewing dantly such words as dilucidate, ampliate, manu
duction, indigitate, reminiscential evocation, farraginous, advenient, ariolation, lapifidical.
Those who are acquainted with Dr Johnson's style, will at once perceive the resemblance, particularly in respect to the abundance of Latin words, which it bears to that of Sir Thomas Browne. Indeed there can be no doubt that the author of the Rambler' acquired much of his fondness for pompous and sounding expressions from the writings of the learned knight of Norwich. Coleridge, who was so well qualified to appreciate the writings of Browne, has numbered him among his first favourites. Rich in various knowledge, exuberant in conceptions and conceits; contemplative, imaginative, often truly great and magnificent in his style and diction, though, doubtless, too often big, stiff, and hyperLatinistic. He is a quiet and sublime enthusiast, with a strong tinge of the fantast: the humorist constantly mingling with, and flashing across, the philosopher, as the darting colours in shot silk play upon the main dye.' The same writer has pointed out the entireness of Browne in every subject before him. He never wanders from it, and he has no occasion to wander; for whatever happens to be his subject, he metamorphoses all nature into it. We may add the complete originality of his mind. He seems like no other writer, and his vast and solitary abstractions, stamped with his peculiar style, like the hieroglyphic characters of the East, carry the imagination back into the primeval ages of the world, or forward into the depths of eternity.
What song the syrens sang, or what name Achilles assumed when he hid himself among women, though puzzling questions, are not beyond all conjecture. What time the persons of these ossuaries entered the famous nations of the dead, and slept with princes and counsellors, might admit a wide solution. But who were the proprietaries of these bones, or what bodies these ashes made up, were a question above antiquarianism; not to be resolved by man, nor easily perhaps by spirits, except we consult the provincial guardians, or tutelary observators. Had they made as good provision for their names as they have done for their relics, they had not so grossly erred in the art of perpetuation. But to subsist in bones, and be but pyramidally extant, is a fallacy in duration. Vain ashes, which, in the oblivion of names, persons, times, and sexes, have found unto themselves a fruitless continuation, and only arise unto late posterity, as emblems of mortal vanities, antidotes against pride, vain-glory, and maddening vices. Pagan vain-glories, which thought the world might last for couragement for ambition, and finding no Atropos ever, had enunto the immortality of their names, were never damped with the necessity of oblivion. Even old ambitions had the advantage of ours, in the attempts of their vain-glories, who, acting early, and before the probable meridian of time, have by this time found great accomplishment of their designs, whereby the ancient heroes have already outlasted their monuments and mechanical preservations. latter scene of time we cannot expect such mummies But in this unto our memories, when ambition may fear the prophecy of Elias; and Charles V. can never hope to live
within two Methuselahs of Hector.2
And therefore restless inquietude for the diuturnity of our memories unto present considerations, seems a vanity almost out of date, and superannuated piece of folly. We cannot hope to live so long in our names
I That the world may last but six thousand years. Ilector's fame lasting above two lives of Methuselah, before that famous prince was extant.
as some have done in their persons; one face of Janus TO 1649. be ambitious. The great mutations of the world are holds no proportion unto the other. It is too late to acted, or time may be too short for our designs. To extend our memories by monuments, whose death we daily pray for, and whose duration we cannot hope, without injury to our expectations, in the advent of the last day, were a contradiction to our beliefs. We, whose generations are ordained in this setting part of time, are providentially taken off from such imaginations; and being necessitated to eye the remaining particle of futurity, are naturally constituted unto thoughts of the next world, and cannot excusably decline the consideration of that duration, which maketh pyramids pillars of snow, and all that is past a moment.
and the mortal right-lined circle must conclude and Circles and right lines limit and close all bodies, shut up all. There is no antidote against the opium of time, which temporally considereth all things. Our fathers find their graves in our short memories, and sadly tell us how we may be buried in our survivors. tions pass while some trees stand, and old families Grave-stones tell truth scarce forty years. Genera last not three oaks. To be read by bare inscriptions like many in Gruter,2 to hope for eternity by enigmatical epithets, or first letters of our names, to be studied by antiquaries who we were, and have new consolations unto the students of perpetuity, even by names given us, like many of the mummies, are cold everlasting languages.
To be content that times to come should only know there was such a man, not caring whether they knew more of him, was a frigid ambition in Cardan; paraging his horoscopal inclination and judgment of dishimself, who cares to subsist, like Hippocrates' patients, tions, without deserts and noble acts, which are the balsam of our memories, the entelechia and soul of our or Achilles' horses in Homer, under naked nominasubsistences. To be nameless in worthy deeds exceeds an infamous history. The Canaanitish woman lives more happily without a name than Herodias with one. And who had not rather have been the good thief,
Poppy, and deals with the memory of men without
since bad have equal durations; and Thersites is like
of men be known? or whether there be not more re
markable persons forgot than any that stand remem
bered in the known account of time? Without the
favour of the everlasting register, the first man had
be content to be as though they had not been; to
The number of
And since death must be the Lucina of life; and even
1 The character of death.
2 Gruteri Inscriptiones Antiquæ.
since our longest sun sets at right descensions, and makes but winter arches, and therefore it cannot be long before we lie down in darkness, and have our light in ashes; since the brother of death daily haunts us with dying mementos, and time, that grows old in itself, bids us hope no long duration; diuturnity is a dream, and folly of expectation.
Darkness and light divide the course of time, and oblivion shares with memory a great part even of our living beings; we slightly remember our felicities, and the smartest strokes of affliction leave but short smart upon us. Sense endureth no extremities, and sorrows destroy us or themselves. To weep into stones are fables. Afflictions induce callosities; miseries are slippery, or fall like snow upon us, which, notwithstanding, is no unhappy stupidity. To be ignorant of evils to come, and forgetful of evils past, is a merciful provision in nature, whereby we digest the mixture of our few and evil days; and our delivered senses not relapsing into cutting remembrances, our sorrows are not kept raw by the edge of repetitions. A great part of antiquity contented their hopes of subsistency with a transmigration of their souls-a good way to continue their memories, while, having the advantage of plural successions, they could not but act something remarkable in such variety of beings; and, enjoying the fame of their passed selves, make accumulation of glory unto their last durations. Others, rather than be lost in the uncomfortable night of nothing, were content to recede into the common being, and make one particle of the public soul of all things, which was no more than to return into their unknown and divine original again. Egyptian ingenuity was more unsatisfied, contriving their bodies in sweet consistencies to attend the return of their souls. But all was vanity, feeding the wind, and folly. The Egyptian mummies, which Cambyses or time hath spared, avarice now consumeth. Mummy is become merchandise; Mizraim cures wounds, and Pharaoh is sold for balsams.
Pious spirits, who passed their days in raptures of futurity, made little more of this world than the world that was before it, while they lay obscure in the chaos of pre-ordination and night of their fore-beings. And if any have been so happy as truly to understand Christian annihilation, ecstacies, exolution, liquefaction, transformation, the kiss of the spouse, gustation of God, and ingression into the divine shadow, they have already had a handsome anticipation of heaven: the
glory of the world is surely over, and the earth in ashes unto them.
To subsist in lasting monuments, to live in their productions, to exist in their names, and predicament of chimeras, was large satisfaction unto old expectations, and made one part of their elysiums. But all this is nothing in the metaphysics of true belief. To live indeed is to be again ourselves, which being not only a hope but an evidence in noble believers, 'tis all one to lie in St Innocent's churchyard, as in the sands of Egypt; ready to be anything in the ecstacy of being ever, and as content with six foot as the moles of Adrianus.
I thank God I have not those strait ligaments There is nothing strictly immortal but immortality. or narrow obligations to the world, as to dote on life, Whatever hath no beginning may be confident of no or be convulsed and tremble at the name of death. end, which is the peculiar of that necessary essence Not that I am insensible of the dread and horror that cannot destroy itself, and the highest strain of thereof, or, by raking into the bowels of the deceased, omnipotency to be so powerfully constituted as not to continual sight of anatomies, skeletons, or cadaverous suffer even from the power of itself; all others have a relics, like vespilloes, or grave-makers, I am become dependent being, and within the reach of destruction. stupid, or have forgot the apprehension of mortality; But the sufficiency of Christian immortality frustrates but that, marshalling all the horrors, and contemplatall earthly glory, and the quality of either state after ing the extremities thereof, I find not anything therein death makes a folly of posthumous memory. God, able to daunt the courage of a man, much less a wellwho can only destroy our souls, and hath assured our resolved Christian. And therefore am not angry at resurrection, either of our bodies or names hath the error of our first parents, or unwilling to bear a directly promised no duration; wherein there is so part of this common fate, and like the best of them much of chance, that the boldest expectants have to die, that is, to cease to breathe, to take a farewell found unhappy frustration, and to hold long subsist- of the elements, to be a kind of nothing for a moment, ence seems but a scape in oblivion. But man is a to be within one instant of a spirit. When I take a noble animal, splendid in ashes, and pompous in the full view and circle of myself, without this reasonable grave, solemnising nativities and deaths with equal moderator and equal piece of justice, death, I do conlustre, nor omitting ceremonies of bravery in the in-ceive myself the miserablest person extant. Were famy of his nature. there not another life that I hope for, all the vanities Pyramids, arches, obelisks, were but the irregula- of this world should not intreat a moment's breath rities of vain-glory, and wild enormities of ancient for me; could the devil work my belief to imagine I magnanimity. But the most magnanimous resolution could never die, I would not outlive that very thought; rests in the Christian religion, which trampleth upon I have so abject a conceit of this common way of expride, and sits on the neck of ambition, humbly pur-istence, this retaining to the sun and elements, I cansuing that infallible perpetuity, unto which all others not think this is to be a man, or to live according must diminish their diameters, and be poorly seen in to the dignity of humanity. In expectation of a betangles of contingency. ter, I can with patience embrace this life, yet in my best meditations do often desire death. I honour any man that contemns it, nor can I highly love any that is afraid of it: this makes me naturally love a soldier, and honour those tattered and contemptible regiments, that will die at the command of a sergeant. For a Pagan there may be some motives to be in love with life; but for a Christian to be amazed at death, I see not how he can escape this dilemma, that he is too sensible of this life, or hopeless of the life to come.
It is a brave act of valour to contemn death; but where life is more terrible than death, it is then the truest valour to dare to live; and herein religion hath taught us a noble example. For all the valiant acts of Curtius, Scævola, or Codrus, do not parallel or match that one of Job; and sure there is no torture to the rack of a disease, nor any poniards in death itself, like those in the way or prologue to it. nolo, sed me esse mortuum nihil curo'-['I would not die, but care not to be dead']. Were I of Caesar's religion, I should be of his desires, and wish rather to go off at one blow, than to be sawed in pieces by the grating torture of a disease. Men that look no further than their outsides, think health an appurtenance unto life, and quarrel with their constitutions for being sick; but I that have examined the parts of man, and know upon what tender filaments that fabric hangs, do wonder that we are not always so; and considering the thousand doors that lead to death, do thank my God that we can die but once. It is not only the mischief of diseases, and villany of poisons, that make an end of us we vainly accuse the fury of guns, and the new inventions of death; it is in the power of every hand to destroy us, and we are beholden unto every one we meet he doth not kill us. one comfort left, that though it be in the power of the There is, therefore, but weakest arm to take away life, it is not in the strongest to deprive us of death: God would not exempt himself from that, the misery of immortality in the flesh; he undertook not that was immortal. Certainly there is no happiness within this circle of flesh, nor is it in the optics of those eyes to behold felicity; the first day of our jubilee is death. The devil hath therefore failed of his desires; we are happier with death, than we should have been without it. There is no misery but in himself, where there is no end of misery; and so, indeed, in his own sense, the stoic is in the right. He forgets that he can die who complains of misery; we are in the power of no calamity while death is in
[Study of God's Works.]
The world was made to be inhabited by beasts, but studied and contemplated by man; it is the debt of our reason we owe unto God, and the homage we pay for not being beasts; without this, the world is still as though it had not been, or as it was before the sixth day, when as yet there was not a creature that could conceive, or say there was a world. The wisdom of God receives small honour from those vulgar heads that rudely stare about, and with a gross rusticity admire his works; those highly magnify him whose judicious inquiry into his acts, and deliberate research into his creatures, return the duty of a devout and
I believe that the whole frame of a beast doth perish, and is left in the same state after death as before it was materialed unto life; that the souls of men know neither contrary nor corruption; that they subsist beyond the body, and outlive death by the privilege of their proper natures, and without a miracle; that the souls of the faithful, as they leave earth, take possession of heaven; that those apparitions and ghosts of departed persons are not the wandering souls of men, but the unquiet walks of devils, prompting and suggesting us unto mischief, blood, and villany, instilling and stealing into our hearts; that the blessed spirits are not at rest in their graves, but wander solicitous of the affairs of the world; but that those phantasms appear often, and do frequent cemeteries, charnel-houses, and churches, it is because those are the dormitories of the dead, where the devil, like an insolent champion, beholds
with pride the spoils and trophies of his victory over Adam.
That mass of flesh that
relate were not a history, but a piece of poetry, and For my life it is a miracle of thirty years, which to world, I count it not an inn but a hospital, and a would sound to common ears like a fable. For the place not to live but to die in. The world that I regard is myself; it is the microcosm of my own frame that I can cast mine eye on-for the other I use it but like my globe, and turn it round sometimes for my recreation. respect of the heavens above us, but of that heavenly The earth is a point not only in and celestial part within us. circumscribes me, limits not my mind. That surface that tells the heavens it hath an end, cannot persuade me I have any. thing more than the great. There is surely a piece I am a microcosm or little world, I find myself someWhilst I study to find how of divinity in us--something that was before the heavens, and owes no homage unto the sun. Nature tells me I am the image of God as well as Scripture. He that understands not thus much, hath not his inalphabet of man. troduction or first lesson, and hath yet to begin the
not so narrow a conceit of this virtue, as to conceive that to give alms is only to be charitable, or think a But to return from philosophy to charity: I hold piece of liberality can comprehend the total of charity. Divinity hath wisely divided the acts thereof into many branches, and hath taught us in this narrow way many paths unto goodness: as many ways as we there are infirmities, not only of body, but of soul and fortunes, which do require the merciful hand of our may do good, so many ways we may be charitable; abilities. I cannot contemn a man for ignorance, but behold him with as much pity as I do Lazarus. It is no greater charity to clothe his body, than apparel the nakedness of his soul. It is an honourable object to their borrowed understandings do homage to the see the reasons of other men wear our liveries, and bounty of ours. another without obscuring itself. To be reserved and and, like the natural charity of the sun, illuminates It is the cheapest way of beneficence, caitiff in this part of goodness, is the sordidest piece of covetousness, and more contemptible than pecuniary avarice. To this (as calling myself a scholar) I am obliged by the duty of my condition: I make not, therefore, my head a grave, but a treasure of knowledge; I intend no monopoly, but a community in learning; I study not for my own sake only, but for theirs that study not for themselves. I envy no man that knows more than myself, but pity them that know less. I instruct no man as an exercise of and keep it alive in mine own head, than beget and my knowledge, or with an intent rather to nourish propagate it in his; and in the midst of all my endeavours, there is but one thought that dejects ine, that my acquired parts must perish with myself, nor not fall out, or contemn a man for an error, or concan be legacied among my honoured friends. I canceive why a difference in opinion should divide an affection: for controversies, disputes, and argumentations, both in philosophy and in divinity, if they meet with discreet and peaceable natures, do not infringe the laws of charity. In all disputes, so much as there is of passion, so much there is of nothing to the purpose; for then reason, like a bad hound, spends upon a false scent, and forsakes the question first started. And this is one reason why controversies are never determined; for though they be amply proposed, they are scarce at all handled, they do so swell with unnecessary digressions; and the parenthesis on the
party is often as large as the main discourse upon nued his exertions in behalf of Protestantism, which, the subject.
by the aid of an English army, finally triumphed in the following year. He died in 1572, and when laid in the grave, was characterised by the Earl of Morton as one who never feared the face of man.'
The theological works of Knox are numerous, but his chief production is a History of the Reformation of Religion within the Realm of Scotland, printed after his death. Although, from having been written at intervals, and amid the distractions of a busy life, much of it is in a confused and ill-digested state, it still maintains its value as a chief source of information on the ecclesiastical history of the eventful period during which the author lived; and, though sometimes inaccurate, and the production of a parti
zan, it has, in the main, been confirmed by the researches of later historians. As a specimen of this celebrated work, we select the account of the
The Scottish prose writers of this period are few, and, in general, not only in language and style, but in the extent of their learning and whole strain of their genius, they fall strikingly below the first class of their English contemporaries.
At the commencement of the period, we find the name of a writer whose true eminence lies in a different field, that of vigorous political movement. JOHN KNOX, the celebrated reformer, was born at Haddington, in 1505. Bred a friar, he early embraced the doctrines of the Reformation, and while
Birthplace of Knox.
disseminating them at St Andrews, was carried prisoner to France in 1547. Being set at liberty two years afterwards, he preached in England till the accession of Mary in 1554 induced him to retire to the continent, where he resided chiefly at Geneva and Frankfort. Visiting Scotland in 1555, he greatly strengthened the Protestant cause by his exertions in Edinburgh; but at the earnest solicitation of the English congregation in Geneva, he once more took up his abode there in 1556. At Geneva he published The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women, directed principally against Mary of England and the queen regent of Scotland. Returning to Scotland in 1559, he conti
1 Regimen or government.
[Assassination of Cardinal Beaton.]
After the death of Master Wishart, the cardinal was cried up by his flatterers, and all the rabble of the corrupt clergy, as the only defender of the Catholic Church, and punisher of heretics, neglecting the authority of the sluggish governor. And it was said by them, that if the great prelates of latter days, both at home and abroad, had been so stout and zealous of the credit of the Catholic Church, they had not only suppressed all heretics, but also kept under the laymen, who were so froward and stubborn. On the other side, when that the people beheld the great tormenting of that innocent, they could not withhold from piteous mourning and complaining of the innocent lamb's slaughter. After the death of this blessed martyr of God, began the people in plain speaking to damn and detest the cruelty that was used; yea, men of great birth, and estimation, and honour, at open tables avowed, that the blood of the said Master George should be revenged, or else it should cost life for life. And that, in a short time, they should be like hogs kept for slaughter, by this vicious priest, which neither minded God nor cared for man. Amongst those that spake against the cardinal's cruelty, John Lesley, brother to the Earl of Rothes, was chief, with his cousin Norman Lesley, who had been a great follower of the cardinal, and very active for him, but a little before fell so foul with him, that they came to high reproaches one with another. The occasion of their falling out was a private business, wherein Norman Lesley said he was wronged by the cardinal. On the other side, the cardinal said he was not with respect used by Norman Lesley, his inferior. The said John Lesley in all companies spared not to say, that that same dagger (showing forth his dagger), and that same hand, should be put in the cardinal's breast. These bruits came to the cardinal's ears; but he thought himself stout enough for all Scotland; for in Babylon, that is, in his new block-house,* he was sure, as he thought, and upon the fields he was able to match all his enemies. * * Many purposes were devised how that wicked man might have been taken away; but all faileth, till Friday the 28th of May, anno 1546, when the aforesaid Norman came at night to Saint Andrews. William Kirkcaldy of Grange, younger, was in the town before, waiting upon the purpose. Last came John Lesley, as aforesaid, who was most suspected. What conclusion they took that night, it was not known, but by the issue that followed. But early upon the Saturday, in the morning, the 29th of May, were they in sundry companies in the abbey churchyard, not far distant from the castle.
*The archiepiscopal palace of St Andrews, in which the cardinal resided, was a fortified building, to which, it appears, he had recently made some important additions for farther security.