Essays in Biography

Cover of book Essays in Biography
Categories: Nonfiction

Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: GEORGE BUCHANAN B


uchanan was the type and exemplar of the wandering Scot. He was of the adventurous band which once made its country's name glorious for arms and arts from one end of Europe to another. If the hard life of an inhospitable land sent forth the many profound scholars and brave soldiers who taught and fought wherever there was a professor's rostrum or a field of battle, the kindlier soil of France or High Germany encouraged the growth both of learning and courage. The Scots abroad proved themselves as nimble with their swords as with their brains. They were as ready to enter a quarrel as to begin an argument. Fier comme ung Escossois passed into a commonplace; and it is not surprising, when we remember how quick to anger and valiant in combat were the heroes of the sixteenth century. There was Thomas Dempster, for instance, who not only professed the humanities at Toulouse and Paris, at Pisa and Bologna, but who was so stout a man of his hands that he once made prisoners three soldiers sent to castigate him. And there was Francis Sinclair, who fought mathematically, andmathematicised like a soldier. And there was James Crichton, Scotus Admirabili whose prowess in the schools and in the tourney has been celebrated by the most eloquent of his compatriots, and who for three centuries has inhabited the gracious realm of romance. Thus from the Netherlands to Muscovy the Scots met the scholars of all nations on equal terms. The world, sharply divided by politics, knew no boundaries of intelligence, and as Latin was the universal language, human intercourse was not hindered by diversity of speech. There was no essential difference, save in the quality of the professors, between the colleges of Scotland and France. And George Buchanan, in leaving his own land, changed...

Essays in Biography
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