FAMOUS SCOTS SERIES
The following Volumes are now ready:—
- THOMAS CARLYLE. By Hector C. Macpherson.
- ALLAN RAMSAY. By Oliphant Smeaton.
- HUGH MILLER. By W. Keith Leask.
- JOHN KNOX. By A. Taylor Innes.
- ROBERT BURNS. By Gabriel Setoun.
- THE BALLADISTS. By John Geddie.
- RICHARD CAMERON. By Professor Herkless.
- SIR JAMES Y. SIMPSON. By Eve Blantyre Simpson.
- THOMAS CHALMERS. By Professor W. Garden Blaikie.
- JAMES BOSWELL. By W. Keith Leask.
- TOBIAS SMOLLETT. By Oliphant Smeaton.
- FLETCHER OF SALTOUN. By G. W. T. Omond.
- THE BLACKWOOD GROUP. By Sir George Douglas.
- NORMAN MACLEOD. By John Wellwood.
- SIR WALTER SCOTT. By Professor Saintsbury.
- KIRKCALDY OF GRANGE. By Louis A. Barbé.
- ROBERT FERGUSSON. By A. B. Grosart.
- JAMES THOMSON. By William Bayne.
- MUNGO PARK. By T. Banks Maclachlan.
- DAVID HUME. By Professor Calderwood.
- WILLIAM DUNBAR. By Oliphant Smeaton.
- SIR WILLIAM WALLACE. By Professor Murison.
- ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON. By Margaret Moyes Black.
- THOMAS REID. By Professor Campbell Fraser.
- POLLOK and AYTOUN. By Rosaline Masson.
- ADAM SMITH. By Hector C. Macpherson.
- ANDREW MELVILLE. By William Morison.
- JAMES FREDERICK FERRIER. By E. S. Haldane.
- KING ROBERT THE BRUCE. By A. F. Murison.
- JAMES HOGG. By Sir George Douglas.
- THOMAS CAMPBELL. By J. Cuthbert Hadden.
- GEORGE BUCHANAN. By Robert Wallace. Completed by J. Campbell Smith.
BY ROBERT WALLACE
COMPLETED BY J CAMPBELL SMITH
FAMOUS SCOTS SERIES
PUBLISHED BY OLIPHANT ANDERSON & FERRIER
EDINBURGH AND LONDON
The designs and ornaments of this volume are by Mr. Joseph Brown, and the printing from the press of Messrs. T. and A. Constable, Edinburgh.
The concluding chapter of the book I intended to serve the purpose of prologue and epilogue, but on reflection I find that readers both in and out of Scotland may desire to be told a little more about Robert Wallace, M.A., D.D., and M.P., a collocation of titles of honour, so far as I know, unexampled. He was a minister of the Church of Scotland from the summer of 1857 to the autumn of 1876; was in succession the minister of Newton-on-Ayr, of Trinity College Church, Edinburgh, and of Old Greyfriars’, Edinburgh, in which last he succeeded Dr. Robert Lee, as also in the leadership of the Liberal Party of the Church of Scotland. The degree of D.D. was conferred upon him by the University of Glasgow, pretty much, it was believed, through the influence of Dr. Caird, the most eloquent preacher and one of the most profound theologians of our day. After Dr. Wallace became editor of the Scotsman he resigned his chair of Church History, his church, and even his licence to preach, and he left in abeyance the title of D.D., and became in his time, as a barrister-at-law, plain Mr. Robert Wallace. But the degree of a university is, I believe, indelible, and he will always be Dr. Wallace to me. His degree of M.A., like mine, was conferred by the University of St. Andrews in April 1853 after four years’ study, during which we attended simultaneously every Humanity class. He was first in every literary class, and by far the best classical scholar of my day. Dr. Alexander, the venerable professor of Greek, who had taught for thirty years, pronounced him the best student he had ever taught.
His splendid classical attainments, the erudition necessary to the chair of Church History, his extensive and distinguished practice as a debating gladiator in Church Courts, especially the General Assembly, perhaps even his experience in the solid, stolid, non-mercurial House of Commons, all fitted him, as few men have been fit, to do justice to the life, labours, and supreme European culture of George Buchanan.
To equal fitness I do not pretend. To the best of my ability I have tried to complete the unfinished task of my friend, with whom I at intervals interchanged ideas since the beginning of our college career in October 1849. I am not sure he would have agreed with all I say in the last chapter. For the views expressed therein I alone am responsible.
From one error in fact and a doubtful assumption as to Buchanan’s relation to Montaigne, the ‘representative’ sceptic, I have been saved by Dr. P. Hume Brown, the author of the best life of Buchanan, whose knowledge of the history of Buchanan and his contemporaries is probably unrivalled. He read the proof-sheets, and for his friendly, disinterested attention Dr. Wallace’s representatives and I are greatly obliged to him, as all readers ought to be, for they have the assurance that the most enlightened eye on the subject of Buchanan examined what they are expected to believe.
J. CAMPBELL SMITH.
Dundee, December 1899.
|Preliminary and General