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this Sir Richard, was among the number of the Scottish chiefs who fell in the fatal field of Flodden, in 1513. He was married to Martha, daughter of George Lord Seaton, by whom he left a son and daughter, Sir Richard Maitland, who became as distinguished in the arts of peace, as the old Sir Richard was in those of war; and Janet, who was afterwards married to Hugh Lord Sommerville. In the person of Sir Richard's grandson, the family was subsequently raised to the peerage by the title of Lauderdale, which it still deservedly enjoys.

Sir Richard Maitland was born in 1496; was educated at St. Andrews; and studied law in France. On his return to Scotland, he became a favorite with James the Fifth, and served the queen of that prince, Mary of Guise, in some office of trust, as appears from a poem which he afterwards addressed to the unfortunate Mary, on her arrival in Scotland, 1561.

Madame, I was true servand to thy mother,
And in her favour stud ay, thankfullie, &c.

From the same poem, we learn, that Sir Richard, now in his sixty-fifth year, had become afflicted with that acutest of the deprivations of age, loss of sight.

And thoch that I to serve be nocht sa abil
As I was wont, becaus I may not see;
Yet in my hairt I sall be ferme and stabil
To thy Hieness with all fidelitie.
Ay, pray and God for thy prosperitie;
And that I heir thy people, with hie voice
And joyful hairtis, cry continuallie
Viva Marie tre nobil reyne d'Ecoss!

Mackenzie says, that as early as 1553, Sir Richard had been appointed an extraordinary Lord of Session; but of this there seems some doubt. It is certain, however, that on the 12th November, 1561, he was appointed one of the ordinary Lords of Session, or as they are otherwise termed, Senators of the College of Justice. Sir Richard assumed, on this elevation, the title of Lord Lethington. On the 20th December, 1562, he was farther promoted to be a Lord of Council and Lord Privy Seal. The latter of these situations he was, in 1567, permitted to resign in favour of John, his second son; but the duties of his other offices he continued to discharge through all the troublesome minority of James the Sixth, till 1584, when, borne down with weight of years, he retired wholly from public life. He survived this event only about two years, dying on the 20th March, 1586, at the advanced age of ninety.

Sir Richard was married to Mary, daughter of Thomas Cranston of Corsly, who appears, by the following couplet, written by their second son, John Lord Thirlstane, to have expired on the same day with her husband.

Unus hymen, mens una: duos mors una diesque Junxit: ut una caro, sic cinis unus erit.

By this marriage, he left three sons, William, celebrated in history as Secretary Lethington; John, afterwards Lord Thirlestane and chancellor ; and Thomas, chiefly known as the prolocutor with Buchanan, in his Treatise De Jure Regni ; as also four daughters, all of whom were respectably married, and left a numerous offspring.

PART 3.]


Sir Richard possessed among his contemporaries a high character for talents, learning, and moral worth. He is never mentioned by writers but with respect, except by Knox, who rashly charges him with having taken a bribe to prevail on his kinsman, Lord Seaton, in whose castle Cardinal Beaton was confined, to liberate that crafty prelate after the death of James the Fifth. Sir Ralph Sadler, who was much better acquainted than Knox with the secret intrigues of the Scottish court, assures us, that Arran the regent, gave Lord Seaton orders to set the cardinal at liberty, though, to save appearances with England, he affected to throw the blame on Seaton and his relatives.

It is fortunate for the character of Sir Richard, that it is thus cleared of the only stain attempted to be cast upon it; for the release of Beaton was attended with consequences which might well make it a reproach to any man's memory. No sooner was the cardinal at liberty, than he had the address entirely to defeat a treaty which had just been concluded by the commissioners of England and Scotland, for a marriage betwixt Queen Mary, and Edward Prince of Wales; an auspicious project, which had the wishes of all the wise and good of both countries, and which, had it been accomplished, might possibly have averted a torrent of calamities from both.

The writings of Sir Richard, from which we can now perhaps best estimate his real worth, are such as do him unexceptionable honour. They shew knowledge of the world, a strong sense of virtue, a feeling and generous disposition. In one of his pieces, entitled "On the Malyce of Poetis," he expresses warmly his detestation of those who make the muses

subservient to purposes of "detractioun and slander;" and adds those precepts by which he appears to have been himself uniformly guided in his poetic lucubrations.

Put not in writ, what God or man may grieve;
All vertew love; and all vices reprieve.
Or mak sum myrrie toy, to gude purpose,
That may the herar and redar bayth rejoyse:
Or sum frutful and gude moralité

Or plesand things, may stand with charrité.
Despyteful poets suld not tholit be

In common weils, or godlie cumpanie,
That sort ar redie ay to sow sedition,
And put gude men into suspitioun.

In the piece from which we have just quoted, there is a couplet remarkable for its similarity in thought to Shakespeare's celebrated passage: "He who steals my purse," &c.

"To steal ane manis fame is gritter sin
Nor ony gear that is the warld within."

Mr. Pinkerton remarks, that though the thought is the same, "there was no possibility of Shakespeare seeing these poems;" to which it may, with equal truth, be added, that there is nothing in the sentiment so peculiar, that it night not have occurred to all the world beside. The merit of the passage in Shakespeare turns wholly on the vigour and felicity of the expression.

Mr. Pinkerton, to whom Scottish literature is indebted for the revival of Sir Richard Maitland's poe

tical remains from a long oblivion, has not deemed more than twenty-seven, out of a much greater number of short pieces extant, deserving of republication; and of these, there are a few which seem to have strong claims to the benefit of his apology, that "he made it a point rather to give three or four pieces that might perhaps have been omitted, than to err on the other side." Of the whole of them, indeed, considered critically as claiming poetical rank, it must be confessed, that there is little, if any poetry in them. They are sensible moral lessons conveyed in very scholar-like rhymes; but more cannot be said in their praise. Almost the only instance in which he has ventured on a poetic image, (and how can there be poetry without imagery?) occurs in his poem "On the Folye of Ane Auld Man's Mary and Ane Young Woman," where the necessity of talking covertly on a subject, which " ane auld man" of eighty had better have let alone, has driven him to make one of the lowest uses of imagery, to which it can be made subservient.

It would be contrary to nature, perhaps, to look for much poetic fancy in a writer who paid his court to the Muses at so late a period of life as Sir Richard Maitland. Pinkerton says, that he does not seem to have written a line of poetry till he had reached his sixtieth year; and though a La Fare commenced poet at the same age, and a Haley not many years earlier; neither of them has been so successful as to make it doubtful whether the sunshine of life is really the season of fruits and flowers.

Two of the best of Sir Richard's pieces are a "Satire on the Age," and a Supplication "Agains Op

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