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shall see that some of her sons exercised remarkable influence in other countries, never could brook foreign influence within her own soil. Her acknowledged gratitude to France did not extinguish the loathing she felt at the touch of despotic hands. Albany could not rule his nephew James' country, because he had lived on the Continent; and the regency of Queen Mary's mother, by its reactionary influence, hastened on the Reformation. And as to an actual foreign stranger holding rule among us, there stands, as a case in point, the fate of the first who tried it, the Sieur de la Bastie, whose head was remorselessly cut off for the same, and strung by its long curls at the saddle-bow of a Border chief.
The Scot had nothing but his energy and force of character to make him a good statesman or diplomatist. He wanted altogether the subtle ingenuity which, under the title of State-craft, was so infinitely valuable to profligate and ambitious rulers. For such purposes, the land of Machiavelli's precepts, and the practice of the Borgias, proved a successful rival to Scotland in the labour market. Three foreigners have successively had the destinies of France in their hands. Two of them were Italians; one was a Scot, of whom more hereafter.
We must go back to the period of the War of Independence against England, to find the commencement of those diplomatic relations with the Continent, which connected Scotland with the Hanse Towns, created the French alliance, and gave our country that peculiar footing in Holland which lasted to the days of the author of Douglas, who, after he had ceased to be the Rev. John Home of Athelstaneford, became "The Lord Conservator of Scots privileges at Campvere." There is good ground for believing that this policy was commenced by Wallace, whose far-stretching sagacity embraced the necessity of protecting Scotland from the ambition of the Norman kings of England, by making common cause with the foreign states which might be involved in a like danger. From the popular notion of his prowess, he is so com
monly ranked as an Achilles or a Paladin, that we cannot easily believe him to have been also the Ulysses of the war. But the man who presided over and held together so many conflicting elements, must have been a great statesman and ruler, as well as a captain. In Mr Tytler's History of Scotland, we find the echo of certain partly traditional records of Wallace's diplomatic_visit to the Court of France. Sir Francis Palgrave curiously confirms the statement, by showing that one of the articles of accusation on which he been found in his possession letters was put to death was, that there had of safe-conduct from Philip, king of France. The letters were thus held, gressor, to prove a treasonable interaccording to the doctrine of the agthe king's enemy. A similar charge course, by a subject of England, with and Wishart of Glasgow, "the warwas made against Bishop Lamberton, like bishop," who fortified his cathedral, absolved Bruce for the slaughter of the Red Comyn, and crowned him at Scone. In each instance the like Wallace, in his power, comaggressor, not having the prelates, plained to the Court of Rome that they had gone abroad and plotted, with others of the Scottish nobility, against their liege lord the King of thus begun, placed many Scotsmen England. The external relations in conspicuous places on occasions of the French struggle for indepengreat peril and excitement. During dence, the Earl of Buchan held the office of High Constable of France. It was not a mere decorative titleit made him director of the national councils in all matters of war, and the light function at any time, but of surmaintenance of a military force-no passing moment during such a crisis.
the same history. Let us go on to another stage in shortly before the fatal battle of The time is Pavia, where all was lost but honour, in Spain. The nations are pressing and King Francis became a captive in on France on all sides with hostile menace, as they did after the retreat from Russia. The traitor Bourbon has laid his plans for co-operating with the enemies of his king. In that same year, 1522, as Felibien tells us
in his profuse circumstantial History of Paris-a history in folios, written long before Paris had achieved the maturity of its notoriety--we are told that Louis de Berquin was sacrificed as the person who introduced des Livres dangereux de Luther, and that there was an insurrection in the streets of Paris, with bloodshed, because the municipality thought fit to resist the royal decree raising to the great office of Lieutenant-General of the Isle of France, a prelate and a courtier of the Pope--Pierre Filhoti, archbishop of Aix. Then we are told the King held a Lit de Justice, in which the Duke of Albany, Prince of Scotland, was inaugurated, and sat between the Duke of Alençon and the Bishop duke of Langres. On that occasion, the King spoke of removing the Parliament to Poictiers, on account of the turbulence of the Parisian mob, and the perversity of the municipality. It would be difficult, as we read the story in Felibien's circumstantial narrative, to invent a closer parallel to the scene in Edinburgh, some fifty years later, when James VI. was scared away by the vehement clergy, and threatened to take the Parliament, with its appurtenances, to that quiet and decorous place, Stirling. The Duke of Albany, known in our history as the inefficient Regent of Scotland, repeatedly makes his appearance in Continental history during this volcanic period. At the crisis of the battle of Pavia, he was sent on a mission to bring over Naples to the cause of France; or perhaps it might more accurately be said, to create a revolution there in favour of the French interest. There is a good deal of mystery and suggestion connected with this embassy. Belcarius, in his Commentarii Rerum Gallica rum, thinks it of importance to say that, while the French historian Bellay, and the Italian Capella, consider that the embassy was suggested by Pope Clement, he, Belcarius, must support Guicciardini in the contrary belief, because his brother, John Belcarius, who was a domestic in the Duke of Albany's family, told him that he there learned how the Pope had ever advised Francis not to divide his army until he had entirely sub
dued Milan. The question might afford room for a valuable archæolo gical paper. A second might be made out of another French embassy into Italy, which we should have noticed earlier had we given strict attention to chronological order-that of Everard Stewart, lord of Aubigny, in 1594. It was preparatory to the invasion of Italy for the purpose of conquering Naples, and was, it must be confessed, an attempt to bully some of the smaller Italian states, as Comines lets us see, by the gently sarcastic turns with which he mentions the modest disinclination of the Venetians and Florentines to offer any counsel, or profess to provide any warlike assistance worthy of acceptance to so great a man as the King of France. Though it may be our pride that they were our countrymen, yet the reflection again forces itself on us, that the nations which thus employed foreign statesmen were ill off. Every one knows the noble rebuke offered by the dying Bayard, when Bourbon, his old companion in arms, professed to condole with him as he lay bleeding at Romagnano-" It is not I, dying as I am, a true man, on the field of honour, that should be pitied, but thou who art a traitor to thy country and allegiance." It is not a safe thing to palliate conduct so recklessly selfish as Bourbon's was. Yet, before we can demand patriotism of a man, he should have a country, and that is not given to him, in the moral sense, by his merely living in a certain territory where a king reigns. That land where a stranger could sit in the highest places of council, was not fitted to nourish patriots; and, though it may be a just object of pride that many of our countrymen have held rule among others, like Joseph among the Egyptians, yet they show us that the nation where foreign influence prevails, will have kings like Pharaoh, and subjects like Bourbon.
When it was destined that the young Queen of Scots should reign also in France, and be attached by close connection with the powers which swayed the Vatican, it was, of course, expected that new fields would be opened to Scottish adventurers. But the introduction to them
was inauspicious. When the commissioners from Scotland, who negotiated the marriage, had reached Dieppe on their way home, one of them, Reid, the bishop of Orkney, died suddenly. Two days only elapsed ere a second, the Earl of Rothes, also died suddenly. Then followed, at brief intervals, Cassillis and Fleming -four out of seven falling mysteriously on that foreign shore. They had just performed a great service to their own country, but one very unwelcome to the prevailing powers in France, by defeating the projects for annexing Scotland as an appanage to the French Crown. It was the classic age of poisonings, and they were in the power of the vindictive Guises. Could people help suspecting that they had come to a foul end? And yet it is difficult to see what motive there could remain for such a deed, after the Commissioners had accomplished their end, unless the preposterous design had been formed of obliterating all testimony that Scotland had been successfully protected.
It would lead us into too much historical detail to trace the multitudinous influences exercised by our countrymen in various parts of Europe, during the contests of the Reformation and the Thirty Years' War. There were Scotsmen at the Court of Rome, and at MadridSetons, Semples, Colvilles, and others -plotting for the restoration of Queen Mary and the old religion. There were others in Germany, the Low Countries, and France, propagating the principles of the Reformation, as they had become triumphant at home. The influence of this class of men was concentrated in France, where there is little doubt that they were very instrumental in infusing into the Huguenot party that spirit of resistance, and indeed of domination, which made them at one time appear likely to be as successful as their reforming brethren had been in Scotland. For a good type of the wanderings and doings of a political Scotsman in the sixteenth century, we would refer to that highly amusing volume, The Memoirs of his own Life, by Sir James Melville of Hallhill.
Oliver Cromwell did not like the
Scots; but in his deep mind he saw the policy of appointing a Scotsman to represent the Commonwealth at the Court of France. It was the best tie that he could establish between the new republic and the ancient monarchy, that one from the nation who had ever been so much at home in France should now go thither. He found the proper man in Sir William Lockhart, the brother of that Lord President Lockhart who was slain in the High Street by Christy of Dalry. The ambassador had a turn of character still more haughty, brave, and independent, even than the judge. He was on his way to France to seek his fortune, disgusted by the conversion of his country into a mere province, when Oliver caught him. thought it a very fair acknowledgHe probably ment of the equality and independence of his countrymen, that he should be himself chosen for the most important mission which the Protector had to give; and Cromwell, to do him justice, could risk his prejudices when a valuable servant was to be obtained, for he made a Scotsman the chairman of his House of Lords. How powerfully Lockhart executed his commission in France is attested by Richelieu's close alliance with the English Commonwealth, and the flight of Charles II. from that Court, which was afterwards the natural refuge of exiled English royalty. Lockhart married Miss Rubina Sewster, a niece of the Protector. In a work about Cromwell, published a very few years ago, we find it said of the ambassador: "It is thought that in Lockhart the Lord Protector had the best ambassador of that age;
ties, of manifold adventures and ema man of distinguished qualiployments; whose biography, if he could find any biographer with real industry, instead of sham industryand, above all, with human eyes instead of pedant's spectacles, might still be worth writing in brief compass." We need not tell where we got this-it is, according to a useful old Scottish word, "kenspeckle." We only recommend that no adventurous youthful biographer should be so ambitious as to attempt writing this biography with his human eyes in
stead of pedant's spectacles, lest, peradventure, he find himself denounced before the world as a purblind, opaque flunky, or a solemn sham that keeps a respectability-gig.
Lockhart, when his mission was repeated under the reign of Charles II., would have to transact business with one scarcely less bold and farsighted than his dead master, the great financier Colbert. We cannot claim him as a Scotsman, any more than France can claim Romilly; but Moreri tells us that he came of a Scottish stock, and gives us the inscription on his ancestor's tomb :
"En Ecosse je us le berceau,
Et Rheims m'a donné le tombeau."
But though we must resign Colbert, no one will deny our right to the next statesman who in France carried out his principle of stimulating commerce and colonial enterprise to an extreme degree of excitement and activity-the renowned John Law.
On the Plutarchian system of comparison, John Law and William Paterson should pair off together. Law had proposed certain projects to the Parliament of Scotland, which, being in a cautious humour, they declined to adopt, and he then carried his genius abroad. Paterson's schemes were all directed to the aggrandisement of his own country, and therefore he does not appear, at first sight, within the category of those Scotsmen whose genius and achievements have been exhibited among foreigners. But Paterson during a large part of his life was busy abroad. His information on foreign countries--whether he had acquired it, according to his enemies, as a pirate in the Spanish main, or, according to the version of his friends, in his labours as a Christian missionary among heathens and papists -guided the Darien Company and the Scottish Parliament in all their operations. When his scheme was at its climax, he directed some very important negotiations on the Continent, where he in some measure tried his strength against the power of William III. The cause of the calamities of Scotland at that time was the determination of the Dutch King to sacrifice everything to his European system. To
this end, when he had to consider whether he should be just to Scotland, or propitiate the great trading interests of England, he chose the latter alternative. The Darien Scheme, as most people are aware, was a plan to enable Scotland to have a foreign trade, and colonies of her own, since the Navigation Act made her a foreign country to England, not entitled to participate in the English shipping privileges and colonial trade. The projectors of the Darien Scheme naturally enough courted English capital, and established an office in London. This was denounced as a breach of the privileges of the East India Company, as well as in various other shapes offensive, and the eminent men who represented the Company in London were hunted out of England as criminals. Paterson conceived that, as Scotland was deemed a foreign country, incapable of participating in the trading privileges of England, she was, as a converse, not only entitled, but invited to treat with her old friends on the Continent, without asking leave of her imperious yoke-fellow. It was arranged that the Company should fill up the shares which the English merchants had subscribed, but were obliged to abandon, in that old burghal community which had been long associated with Scotland-the Hanse Towns. But that foreigners should enter in the field of enterprise from which their own jealous laws excluded themselves, was intolerable to the English capitalists, and they had interest enough to get instructions issued to the representatives of England in foreign courtsScotland could not afford to have representatives that the Company disposing of its shares was not countenanced by the king, and any communities giving encouragement to it would encounter his displeasure. The Burgomasters of Hamburg indignantly repudiated the King of England's right to menace them, if they traded as they pleased; but the Hamburgers did not take stock.
The flow of capital from Northern Europe was in fact effectually checked by the intervention of William. Paterson showed on the occasion his versatile resources, and looked at once to the other side of the Conti
nent. He proposed terms to the Armenian merchants, the great masters of Eastern trade, whose chain of connections passed from Hindostan to Lapland. These men, so remarkable for their honesty, sagacity, and substantiality, would fain have aided the Scots, had they not, through their subtle channels of intelligence, known that the Darien Company was not countenanced by the king who reigned over Scotland. Thus was frustrated a plan by which Paterson and his friends projected an overland traffic to India, and the establishment in the Eastern Peninsula of factories which should rival those of the East India Company. We cannot but regret that both the beginning and the conclusion, with many portions of Paterson's life, are so dark to the world. A systematic biography of him is, we see, announced, and we can only hope that the author will be able successfully to fill up the blanks. So saying, we return to the other and greater projector.
The French, who are said to forget their great men after a generation has passed over their tombs, still take a lively interest in the history of John Law. Probably there is something peculiarly adapted to their ardent taste in its meteoric character. Every historian who tells them the history of the regency, from Voltaire to Sismondi, braces himself up to the full tension of his powers of description and excitation as he approaches the great Mississippi scheme. But it is perhaps the most remarkable testimony to the popularity of the subject that we should be able to pick up for a couple of francs, in the French Railway Library (the Bibliothèque des Chemins-de-fer), an amusing volume, called Law son Système et son Epoque, par P. A. Cochut. It must be admitted that the French historians are not always complimentary to the pilot of that storm. They had many provocations to attack him, and he offered, in the conditions by which he was surrounded, many avenues of attack. If a nation will submit to feel grateful for the services of a foreigner-a rare occurrence-it will never patiently endure injuries or calamities at his hands. The social position of John Law was not fixed
VOL. LXXX.-NO. CCCCLXXXIX.
on a sufficiently lofty pedestal to stand the fastidious criticism of a people who were the most aristocratic in Europe, down to the period of reaction, when it became a sin against democracy to speak of a Regent and Comptroller-general. M. Cochut says: "Etait-il ou non gentilhomme?" a question which, he says, caused much serious and determined debate at one time, and is not without its interest now. The fact is, that he was in the position which we so well understand in this country, but which foreigners cannot comprehend,-where a person is a gentleman or not, just as he possesses, or is deficient in, certain qualities of the head and heart, promoted by certain petty indefinable social advantages. To those who chose to believe in him as a gentleman, he was Law de Lauriston, with a significant patronymic title, while his enemies could say, that any man rich enough to buy an estate in Britain could call his land and himself by what name he pleased; or even, like that ingenious historian who called himself Monteith de Salmonet, in honour of his father's trade as a fisherman, create a territorial title out of nothing. He was an Edinburgh silversmith, which sounded ill abroad, but had little significancy here. As in some other trades, it did not tell whether its owner was a mere retailer, or a merchant who dealt in large affairs, and was more likely than a provincial squire to be a gentleman. He might be a mere vendor of toothpicks and pencil-cases; but, on the other hand, he might be a large dealer in bullion and money, whose transactions affected the monetary system in his country. George Heriot, his predecessor in his profession, married into the titled family of Rosebery; and Law married, without apparently any consciousness of inequality, the Lady Catherine, daughter of the Earl of Banbury; while, in the days of his pride and power, the house of Argyll was glad to claim kindred with him, through his mother, who was a Campbell.
After his fall, it was, however, ominously remarked against him that, even during the height of that pride and power, one fellow countryman kept at haughty distance from him.