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consequence, to unite to his most Christian crown that of Ireland," laquelle," as is modestly expressed by O'Donnel in the compact, "n'est pas à mépriser." In less, however, than a month after this treaty, which was dated the 23rd February, 1550, peace was concluded between England and France, (21st March;) and the Irish chiefs were abandoned by their new sovereign.
The manuscript, from which these circumstances are extracted, is intituled-" Discours jour par jour du voyage et exploit que firent Messieurs de Montluc et de Fourquevaux au Royaume d'Hirlande, par commandement du feu Roy Henry, en l'année 1549, selon que le dict Fourquevaux s'en peut souvenir." The writer served in Scotland under Léon Strozzi, who commanded the troops sent by Henry II., in aid of the Scotch, against Edward VI., of England, (Robertson's Scotland, vol. i., p. 97, 4to.;) but his companion, de Montluc, brother to the Marshal, whose Commentaries, (Paris, 1760, 4 vols., 12mo.,) called by Henri Quatre, "La Bible des Soldats," are amongst the best records of that age, was a much more remarkable personage. A Dominican friar-prothonotary and chancellor of Scotland, (so stated,)—a bishop— a renegade, and, finally, a penitent, his versatile abilities were called into action on repeated occasions. Robertson (vol. i., p. 198,) represents him as inferior to no person of that age in address and political refinement; and, in 1560, he was, accordingly, appointed to encounter the sagacious Cecil in diplomatic contest. "Hi (Cecilius......... cujus consilio tum maxime res Anglica nitebatur, et Nich. Wottonus).......jussi cum Randano et Montlucio, Gallis, de pacis legibus con
fere," says Buchanan, (Hist. Scot., p. 594, ed. Elzev. 1668,) when the Lords of the Congregation, in conjunction with the English under Lord Gray, besieged Leith, then held by the adherents of the Queen Regent (Mary of Guise,) and the French auxiliary army. The ascendancy of such a man over the unpolished rulers of Ulster, would be little surprising, even if he had undertaken a more arduous mission; but he found ready converts to his views in those, to whom the English name and creed-both identified in the Irish appellation-were equal objects of aversion.
Although MacGeoghegan has borrowed largely from Fourquevaux's narrative, he unfortunately thought proper to omit all that it contained, descriptive of the manners of the country, "On a supprimé aussi la relation des mœurs de ce pays rapportée dans le manuscrit, parceque le séjour de dix jours dans un pays étranger, sans y avoir pénétré plus loin que dix lieues, ne suffit pas pour s'en instruire." And, doubtless, a sojourn so limited in time and space, could not have furnished a very accurate or extensive statement; but we may still regret that, such as it was, it should have been withheld; for, to the reader of the present day, the slightest sketch would not be without attraction.* The probability is, that it did not quite respond to the Abbé's patriotic sympathies; though it would seem that the foreigners had no cause to complain of their reception-" et les reçurent le dit Hirois (O'Donnel) et pareillement sa femme, le moins mal civilement
Hume in reference to this very era, says-" Even trivial circumstances, which show the manners of the age, are often more instructive as well as entertaining than the great transactions of war, and negotiations, which are nearly similar in all places, and in all the countries of the world.”
qu'ils sçurent." The Scotch lords and highland chieftains (Ecossois Saulvages) gave little encouragement to the embassy, depicting Ireland in colours of exaggerated barbarism, (difficult as any exaggeration may appear of belief,) and interested mis-statement; of which the Frenchmen were too shrewd not to penetrate the motives.-" Macconnel (MacDonnel) et autres Ecossois saulvages faisant l'allée du dict (sic) Hirlande encore plus hazardeuse que les dicts Seigneurs......de crainte qu'il (the French king) prît trop de pied et de fondement pour s'établir Roy d'Ecosse, ou bien, qu'ils doutoient que Sa Majesté tint moindre compte de défendre le dict Ecosse pour étendre la dicte conqueste nouvelle, et que les Princes Hirlandois deubsent avoir les pensions et récompenses que les dicts Ecossois espéroient." Even the captain hired for the voyage by the French gentlemen, on learning that their destination was Ireland, refused to proceed, and returned the earnest he had received,-" disant qu'il aimoit autant perdre tout son bien comme de passer en Hirlande, où il n'y-avoit que trahitres et meurtres." Another conveyance was, however, procured. That the native Irish were remote from the civilization, imperfect as it was in that age, of Italy, France, England, and Spain, may well be granted, and a derogatory comparison authorised,"Loripedem rectus derideat, Æthiopem albus."-(Juv. ii., 23.) But it is ludicrous to observe a people, sunk in deepest rudeness of manners and utmost ferocity of character, as history exhibits the Scots at that epoch, assume a tone, and claim pretensions, of superiority over any other nation."I think marvellously of the wisdom of God," writes Randolph to Cecil, "that gave this
unruly, inconstant, and cumbersome people, no more power nor substance. For they would otherwise run wild." (Hume v., p. 38.) Von Raumer, we may remark, in his "Contributions to Modern History,' letter iii., under date of 1561, repeats these words, already and long since published in Keith and Hume, as if first discovered or extracted by himself; nor is this the sole instance of Von Raumer's setting forth a stale communication for a novelty. Robertson, adverting to nearly the same period, (1567,) after enumerating the accumulated horrors of the assassination of Darnley-the marriage of Mary with his murderer, &c., adds "Such a succession of incidents, so singular and detestable, in the space of three months, is not to be found in any other country. They left in the opinion of foreigners a mark of infamy on the character of the nation." (vol. i., page 366.) And a once celebrated Calvinist minister, in extenuation of some not very meek or charitable acts of John Knox, ascribes them to-"Scoticanæ gentis præsertim fervido ingenio, et ad audendum prompto ...... quippe ex eo constat quod, ex centum quinque regibus suis usque ad Mariam, tres exautorarunt, quinque expulerant, et triginta duos necarunt."-(Andreas Rivetus, Op. t. iii., in Epist. ad Balzacum, 539.) What is here stated of the fate of so many kings is derived from Buchanan; but whether magnified and fabulous in number, or not, (see Robertson, vol. i. page 4,) the reproach or insinuation of lawlessness came with a bad grace from a people so steeped in crime, as the Scots of that day unquestionably were; and it must be observed, that the negotiation between the Irish chieftains and the French was conducted in Latin-at
least the written part of it—a fact inconsistent with the imputed barbarism; but probably the act of the priests.
Yet what a glorious revolution has the process of time effected in the moral being of Scotland, and how nobly does her present undisputed elevation in the social scale contrast with the hideous portraiture presented to us of the nation, two or three centuries ago! "Rebus cunctis inest quidam velut orbis, ut quemadmodum temporum vices, ita morum vertantur." (Tacit. Annal. iii. 55.) Nor has Ireland, I am happy to add, altogether slumbered,—
"Come quel ch'or apre, or chiude
Gli occhi, mezzo tra 'l sonno e'l esser desto."
(Tasso, Gier. Lib. cant. viii., 26.)
though, no doubt, and for obvious reasons, less forward in her course. May an honourable rivalry in the race of improvement thus ever exist!
The only allusion made by Leland, in his History of Ireland, to this embassy, is in a short note to volume ii., p. 191, (4to ed.) stating that " Melvil, who accompanied Montluc, mentions some ridiculous circumstances of this prelate, which were more noticed by the barbarous Irish than the purpose of his negotiation."—O'Donnell's letter to Henry II., proves, however, that respect and attention were paid to Montluc. Leland had no other information on a subject, which appeared to us of sufficient interest to form the groundwork of a blended historical and romantic narrative, illustrative at once of the French, Scotch, and Irish manners of those times. We had it, accordingly, hinted, many years ago, through a mutual friend, the late Arthur Clifford, to him who was