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well as upon the general state of that church, before and at the tiine of the Reformation. An English reader, however, who has the least curiosity concerning the ancient state of the draina in that country, must be agreeably amused with the following quotation.
• From the time of the Reformation, it is supposed that every ordinance of the church is known, and every historical fact, concerning the church, ascertained; and yet how few are there who ever peruled the Book of ihe universal kirk, in which many ordinances and historical facts, not to be found elsewhere, are recorded.
• I subjoin a specimen of curious particulars in it, all relating to one subject,
• March 1574. “ It is thought meit and concludit, that na clerk-playes, comedies or tragedies, be maid of the canonical Jcriptures, new as auld, on Sabboth-day nor wark-day, in time coming : The contraveners hereof, if they be ininifters, to be secludit fra the function; and if they be utheris, to be punished be the discipline of the kirk. And ordaines an article to be given into fick as sitts upon the policie, that for uther playes; comedies, tragedies, and utheris profaine playes, as are not maid upon authentic pairtes of the scriptures, may be confidered before they be proponit publicklie; and i hat they be not played upon the Sabóolb dayes;" p. 145.
1576. “ The aficmbly refuses to give liberty to the Bailie of Dunfermline, to play upon the Sonday afternoon a certain play, whilk is not made mepon she canonical parts of fcripture; in respect of the act part in the contrair;" p. 161.
1577. Proposal to the Regent, “ That his Grace would discharge the plays of Robin-buid, King of May, and fick utheris, on the Sabboth day ;' p. 168.
1579. Quær. from the synodallis. “ Quhat ought to be done to sik persones, that after admonition, will pass to Mayplayes; and specially elders and deacones, and utheris quha beares offices within the kirk? Ans. They aucht not to be admittit to the facraments without fatisfa&tion; in special, elders and deacons.” We are too apt to figure to ourselves the reformers of that age as persons of impolitic and inflexible auIterity'
As a speciinen of our author's impartiality, we Mall juft mena tion his being so much diverted of religious prepofleffions, that upon his accusing Knox's history for being exceedingly partial and erroneous, in an account of certain canons, he subjoins the following not..
• This is a strong charge; and I will make it good. Whea ther the passage here cenfured be the work of an interpolator,
or of Knox himself, is nothing to me. I seek truth where I can find it: if I am successful in my search, I am happy; if not, unfortunate. I am willing to admit that Knox was zealous in a good cause ; but no zeal can justify a man for misrepresenting an adversary. My freecom may offend; but if we are to be governed by names and authorities of man, why did we leave the church of Rome, where there are as good names and auihorities of mani'
The canons of the church of Scotland are accompanied with many useful notes, which serve to elucidate the civil as well as ecclesiastical history of that kingdom. By the 23d canon it apie rs that the celibacy of the Scotch clergy was of a very extraordinary kind, and that their concubines were in reality their wives, though they and their children were disabled from holding lay estates and houses. The editor has given us the canon itself in Latin as follows.
“XXIII. Item falubri provisione decrevimus, ut clerici beneficiati de cætero domus aut poffefliones laicas ad opus concubinarum et filiorum suorum emere non præsumant, nec etiam ad opus eorum domos conftruant in feodo laicali ; sed nec etiam pecuniam ministrent ad bujufinodi emenda, ad opus illoruin, ut fic eis fubtrahatur occalio malignandi, Si quis super hoc habeatur juftâ ratione suspecius, nisi ad arbitrium fuperioris fe purgaverit, ipsius arbitrio puniatur. Præterea, licet testamenta legitima clericorum beneficiatorum decedentium volumus obfervari, nolumus tamen quod concubinis aliquid in teltanento luo relinquant. Quod si de cætero factum fuerit, totum illud in uilum ecclefiæ quam rexit defuncius, Episcopi arbitrio con'crtatur.'
As Sir David has not thought proper to oblige us with a translation of this curious canon we shall attempt one.
• Likewise by a falutary provision we have decreed that bene. ficed clergymen shall not presume to buy houses or lay cstates for the use of their concubines or their fons; nor Thall they build houses for them upon a lay fief; neither are they to furBill them with money for buying such houses, that occafion of Ilander may be thus taken away. If any one mall, upon just grounds, be suspected on this head, unless he fall purge him. ke if to the satisfaction of his superior, let him be punished at liis pleasure. Farther, although we are willing that the lawful testaments of beneficed clergymen who are dead, hould be ob. surved, yet we prohibit their leaving any thing by their last will to their concubines. If such a thing should be done, let the whole of it be converted at the pleasure of the bishop to the use of the church where lie presided.'
In the 34th canon mention is made in a charter, so carly as the time of William the Lion, of the tythe of sea filh. If we miltake not, such a tythe is mentioned by Sir Robert Sibbald, in his history of Fife, to have been established even before that time by David I. of the felchs at Kinghorn, payable to the abbey of Dumfermling.
The 63d canon gives us a curious inventory of the utensils that every priest had a right to in the parsonage house when he came to his living. There were, firft, in the hall or dining room, a sufficient table with treffels or wooden supporters, a bason and a ewer, a napkin and a towel ; fecond, in the kitchen, a brass-pot, a pan, a stool, a kettle crock, a chain from which the kettle hung, a pestle and a mortar. In the brewhouse, a man-vat, a trough, a vat, a sa, (what utenfil that was we know rot) and a barrel.
Ourvuthor in his examination of some of the arguments for the high antiquity of the Regiam Majeftatem, attacks the fidelity of Skene, the editor of that work ; to all appearance, says he, Skene was a careless if not an unfaithfui publisher ;' and he hints that the vast labour he was at in preparing from old worn out manuscripts a correct copy for the press, was a difficulty of his own making. A copy of the Regiam Majeftatem presented by the first earl of Cromerty, which antiquaries think to be the oldest manuscripts extant in Scotland, is lupposed, by Sir James Dalrymple, to be written in the days of Robert I. who was contemporary with Edward II. of England, and lived to the reign of Edward III. but his' name. fake, this writer, seems to be of a different opinion. One of his reasons is, that he could not perceive the fimiliarity between the writing of the manuscript, and any writing he had seen of the age of Robert I. As we know nothing of the fact, we are very lorry that this author did not order a few lines from that manuscript to be engraved, which might be done at a very triling expence; and as we never have observed any difference between the hand-writing of the same age published by Anderson, and Madox, and others, the doubt might have been ascertained, and perhaps the decision final upon an intuitive comparison between the Scotch and English hand-writings.
Our author next proceeds to Mow his reasons for doubting of the care and fidelity of Skene in his edition of that work.
• He thus publishes that celebrated passage, Regiam Majeftatem, l. 2. c. 33. “ Cum quis autem moritur habens filium postnatum, et ex primogenito filio, jam mortuo, nepotem, magna juris folet effe dubitatio, uter eorum præferendus fit in illa successione, scilicet utrum filius vel nepos --Dicunt quidam, filium poftnatum reéliorem effe hæredem, quam nepotem
talem ; eâ fcilicet ratione, quia filius primogenitus, cum more tem patris non expectavit, nec etiam expectavit quod ejus eflet hæres; et ideo, cum filius postnatus fupervixerit tam patrem quam hæredem, rectè, ut dicunt, patri succedit. Airis vero vilum est contrarium ; videlicet, talem nepotem de jure patruo, effe præferendum.”
Thus Skene, and to the word aliis he adds this marginal note, “ ut Glanv. 1. 7. C. 3."
When this passage, as published by Skene, is compared with the MSS. a most extraordinary variation will be discovered.
"Lord Cromerty's MS. has these words, “ Aliis vero visum est contrarium."- There follows, “ ut Ricardo de Lucy, et R. de Glanvilla, talem nepotem de jure patruo cffe præferenz dum."
• The MS. 1488, part 2. C. 31. bears, " Dicunt:quidam, viz. Rainulphus de Glanvilla,” &c.
In like manner the MS. 1528, part 2. c. 67. bears, “ Dicunt quidam, viz. Rainulphus de Glainvilla.”
· The MSS. 1439 and 1520, mention in the margin, " Rainulphus de Glanvilla.” This is in the same hand with the rest of the writing.
Lord Auchinleck's MS. l. 2. c. 39. bears, " Dicunt quidamn, viz. Raynulphus, quod filius poftnatus rectior eft hæres,” &c.
Mr. Crosbie's MS. 1. 2. C. 32. bears, ". Dicunt quidam, viz. Ranulphus de Glenwiila."
• I have had no opportunity of consulting the Yelverton MS. it is however so recent, that no inference could be drawn from it, either one way or other.
• Thus all the seven MSS. of Regiam Majefiatem that are preserved in Scotland, uniformly bear reference to Glanville, although the eldest MS. alone does truly express his opinion.
• It is strange if the fatal name of " Ranalphus de Glanvilla!". did not appear in any one of the MSS. from which Skene formed his edition ; if it did, it is no less strange that Skene suppressed it.--His marginal note seems to Thew that he knew too well what might be implied by aliis. I presume that “ R. de Glanvilla" was not one of the various readings which in his preface he considers as “luce ac memoriâ indigna."
• If the words “ R. de Glanvilla'l be not an interpolation, the controversy, Whether Regiam Majeftatem, or the work of Glanville, is the original, which will be brought to a short issue? for a treatise composed in the reign of David I. could not make any reference to Glanville's treatise.'
We have already given our opinion concerning the Regiam Majeftatem * ; but as the question now comes to a matter of fact, which we shall not difpute, we shall only beg leave to ask what is the consequence--Skene held a place of great eminence, we mean for those times, in the law of Scotland. He advanced that he published this work from such old moth-eaten manuScripts, that the publication was a kind of Augean stable, and that, through the carelessness of transcribers, many passages were so disjointed and confused, as either to corrupt or anni. hilate the sense. If we are not mistaken, his publication was at the national cost; and he lived at the time when lawyers and other antiquaries were not wanting in Scotland, capable to have detected and exposed any such infidelity as this author suspects him guilty of. It is the more reasonable to believe this, as Craig, who was a feudist, and did honour to the learning of his country, was of a direct contrary opinion; and it is unreasonable to suppose that he had not his followers among the faculty of lawyers.
An interpolation of the text therefore, which this gentleman supposes, is quite out of the question in this controversy. He leaves the age of its oldest manuscript doubtful; and the other manuscripts he mentions are of no kind of validity, being all within the era of printing, excepting one, dated 1439. He supposes, and we think very candidly, Cromerty's manuscript to be later than the end of Robert I. Why therefore might not Skene have printed from an older manuscript where no notice in the text was taken of Glanville? We shall, however, be glad to be resolved of the following fact, whether this Cromerty's manuscript contains all that is to be found in the copy printed by Skene? If it does not, we think the presumption very strong that Skene printed from an older manuscript. In fhort, we cannot upon the whole imagine, that the omission of the words mentioned by this author, is a proof of Skene's infidelity; and we must be of opinion, that it would be a most dangerous doctrine in literature, if, since the art of printing was discovered, an omislion of this kind in so important a publication, should be charged on the memory of an editor, who publishes his works in his own life-time, and in what we may call a juridical capacity.
If the mention of the decretals of Gregory IX. and Boni. face VIII. in the manuscript, are the genuine text, we must admit, that it gi es far towards a reprobation of the Regiam Majefo tatem being coeval with David I. but till the genuine text can be ascertained, which is not at all improbable may happen, the verdict of critical learning must undoubtedly be in Skene's favour. * See Vol. xxiv. p. 84. B 4