who had been a regent in the imiversity of St An-
drews, and left Scotland at the establishment of the
Reformation, to which he was hostilef . The greater
part of the Scots who retired to the continent from
attachment to the old religion entered into the so-
ciety of the Jesuits, in which they ordinarily ob-
tained promotion ; owing to the ardour of their
^eal, and a desire to allure converts from a king-
The other universities of France were, in proportion to
their extent, still more generally infected with heresy. In Bour-
ges eight professors were suspected of Lutheranism. Bayle, Diet.
art. Dauren. The magistrates of Paris, in 1568, enforced their
petition for the opening of a class for Civil Law, by urging the
danger to which their sons were exposed of being infected with
heresy by studying at other universities. Bulseus, vi. 668.
* Bulaeus, vi. 562, 583.
T See List of Persons educated at St Andrews j in Appendix.
Crawfurd says he was the son of Peter Hay of Meggins, ances-
tor of the Earls of Kinnoul. (OjKcers of State, p. 157.) Rut
he seems to have confouniled the Jesuit with a person of the same
name who was an Advocate. There is no evidence that the for-
mer ever followed the profession of Law (as Crawfuid asserts) : he
had left Scotjand in 1560, or at any rate was in France in 1564,
and continued, till his death, to hold a distinguished place among
the Jesuits in that country. Mr Edmund Hay, advocate, was one
LIFE OF ANDREW MELVILLE, 27
dom that liad so suddenly and universally made de-
fection from the Catholic Church. Hay was entitled
to these honours by the respectability of his character
no less than the sacrifices which he had made. He
afterwards became Rector of the Academy which
the Jesuits erected at Port-a-JNIousson, Provincial of
the Brethren in France, and Assistant to Claudius
Aquaviva, the General of the whole order *.
The knowledge which Melville at this time ob-
tained of the designs of the Jesuits prompted him
to exert himself afterwards in putting the universi-
ties of Scotland or such a footing, as to render it
unnecessary for young men to seek education a-
broad, where they were in the greatest danger of
being seduced by these active and artful zealots of
Home f .
Melville also heard Francis Baldwin the lawyer,
who, at this time, delivered occasional or extraordi-
of the Counsel for tbe Earl of Bothwell, on his trial for the mur-
der of Darnly, and in the process of his divorce. Buchanan's
Detection, k, 2. GoodalPs Examination, i. 368. And he signs
a Contract as a procurator, Jan. 2. 1572. Register-Book of Con-
tracts of the Commissariotof St Andrews.^Dempster has stated,
with more probability, that father Edmund Hay was descended
from the family of Dal gaty, in Buchan. Hist. Eccles. Scot. lib. 8.
* Ribadeneira, Illustr. Script. Societ. Jas. Catal. p. 49. Lugd.
1609. Dempst. ut. supra. A letter from Edmund Hay, ('* ex
Paris, ibid, Feb. 1564,") in which he gives an account of the suc-
cessful commencement of instruction in the college of Clermont,
and of the opposition it had met with, is inserted by Bulteus.
Histor. Univers. Paris. Tom. vi. p. 588.
t In 1594 the Jesuit's Seminary had nearly depopulated the
colleges in the university of Paris, Bulceus, ut supra, p. 847.
28 LIFE OF ANDREW MELVILLE.
nary lectures on Civil Law at Paris *. There was
not then, nor for a considerahle time after, a regular
class for this science in the university of Paris, and
it was not without strenuous opposition from the
other learned corporations in France that its erec-
tion was obtained f . INIelville had no intention of
practising law, but he was anxious to devote his
attention to it as connected with a complete course
of education. With this view he left Paris in 1566,
and went to the university of Poitiers.
Such was the reputation which he had gained,
that, though a stranger, and only twenty-one years
of age, he was on his arrival at Poitiers made a re-
gent in the college of St Marceon. There was
great rivalship between it and the college of St
Pivareau, the students of each endeavouring to
excel those of the other in the composition of verses,
and in the delivery of orations. In these literary
contests the college of St Marceon carried away the
palm, as long as Melville was connected with it.
In this situation he continued for three years, pro-
secuting at the same time the study of jurispru-
dence i. The civil war between the Catholics and
Protestants, >vhich was renewed in 1567, continued
* Melville's Diary, p. 33. Bayle states that Balduln, about
the period here referred to, read lectures upon parts of the Pan-
dects, at Paris, to a large audience, and with great applause.
Diet. art. Baudouin, And it would appear that, as early at
1546, he and Hottoman prelected on Civil Law in the schools
du Decret. Ibid. art. Hotman (Francois) note M.
f See Note F. % Melville's Diary, ut supra.
LIFE OF ANDREW MELVILLE. 29
to spread through the kingdom, and extended its
baleful influence to the seats of leaniing. In 1568,
Admiral Coligni, at the head of the protestant army,
laid siege to the city of Poitiers, which was vigor-
ously defended by the young Duke of Guise. The
classes in the university being broken up, IVIelville
entered into the family of a Counsellor of Parliament
as tutor to his only son. When he was making rapid
improvement in his education, this promising boy
was prematurely cut off. Coming into his room one
day, Melville found his little pupil bathed in blood,
and mortally wounded by a cannon ball from the
camp of the besiegers which had pierced the house.
He lingered for a short time, during which he
employed the religious instructions which he had
received in comforting his afflicted parent; and
expired in his tutor's arms, pronouncing these
words in Greek, j^I^xvkuxi^ t«j» ^^c^i^v fut nnxntcx —
Master, I have finished my course. IVIelville con-
tinued to retain the most lively recollection of this
affecting scene, to which he never could allude with-
out tears *.
During the siege Melville found himself exposed
to danger in a diflPerent way. He had taken no
part in tlie political dissentions of the country, and
prudently avoided giving offence to the Roman
Catholics with whom he was obliged to associate.
But his inclinations as to religion were not altogether
* Melville's Diary, p. 33, 4.
so LIFE OF ANDREW MELVILLE.
unknown *, and any mercenary or officious informer
might deprive him of his liberty, or even his life, in
a place which w^as under martial law\ There was a
small company of soldiers stationed as a guard to
the Counsellor's house, and INIelville had raised the
suspicions of the subaltern officer who commanded
them, by reading the Bible and by other devotional
acts, which were usually regarded by the French
soldiery as the discriminating marks of the Hugonots
or Cliristaudins f . An alarm being one day given
that the enemy intended an assault, the officer, with
a stern voice, challenged him as a Hugonot, who
would betray the city to the enemy, and whom he
durst not trust at liberty. IMelville repelled this
charge with warmth, armed himself with the ut-
most expedition, and taking a horse from the stable,
prepared to mount it. His stout reply, and the
alacrity which he displayed, staggered the soldier,
who requested him to desist from his preparations.
" No, no ; (answered Melville) I will shew myself
this day to be as honest and as brave a man as you."
Upon this the poor fellow had recourse to entreaties,
begging him not to inform the master of the house
of W'hat he had done ; for if the matter came to the
ears of his superior officer he would lose his place
* There had been a reformed church in Poitiers for several
years, and its minister sat in the first National Synod of the pro-
testants of France. In 1560 the second National Synod was
held in that city. Quick, i. 2, 12.
t The Catholics of France were accustomed at this time t*
•pply both these names to the protestants. Bulseus, vi. 483.
LIFE OF ANDREW MELVILLE. 3l
for molesting so loyal and good a subject. And he
ever after treated Melville with the most profomid
The siege being raised, Melville resolved to quit
France, and repair to Geneva for the prosecution of
theological studies. Great caution was necessary
in carrying this purpose into execution ; for it was
reported that foreign troops were coming to the as-
sistance of the Admiral, and the governors of the
provinces adjoining to Switzerland and Germany
had received strict orders from court to suiFer none
to leave the kingdom without passports. Having
concerted his journey with a young Frenchman
who wished to accompany him, he left his books
and other effects behind him, and set out on foot
with a small Hebrew Bible slung from his belt.
This was a mode of travelling to which he w^as par-
tial, and the usual way in which he equipped him*-
self for it. Being light in body, and full of spirits,
he performed the journey with great ease ; and
when his fellow traveller, exhausted with fatigue,
had thrown himself on bed, he sallied forth, and
examined whatever was worthy of being seen in the
places at which they stopped. By avoiding the
public roads and fortified towns, they passed the
frontiers^ of France without meeting with any inter-
ruption. Night had set in when they reached
Geneva, and the city was strictly guarded on ac-
count of the confusions of France, and the multitude
of strangers who came from it. When questioned
by the guard, the Frenchman replied that they were
32 LIFE OF ANDREW MELVILLE,
poor scholars from France. The countenance of
tlie soldier expressed his thoughts as significantly as
if he had said aloud, ' We have got too many per-
sons of your description already.' Melville, perceiv-
ing this, assured him that they had enough of
money to pay for all that they required, and shew-
ing him the letters which they had for Monsieur
Beza, begged to know where they would find that
minister: upon which the gates w^re opened to
At their first interview Beza was highly pleased
with JNIelville, and talked of him to his colleagues
as a person who appeared well qualified to fill the
chair of Humanity which happened to be then
vacant in their Academy. Accordingly he was put
on trials within a few days after his arrival, and,
being examined on Virgil and Homer, acquitted
himself so much to the satisfaction of his judges,
that he was immediately admitted. A quarter of
a year's salary was paid him at his admission, which
proved a very seasonable relief ; for, notwithstanding
his courageous language to the guard, the joint
funds of the two travellers did not exceed a crown
when they entered Geneva. He was now able to
support himself creditably, and also to maintain his
desponding companion until such time as he obtain-
ed a situation.
During the ten years which had elapsed since
its erection, the University, or, as it is commonly
called, the Academy of Geneva, * had flourished
* The magistrates of Geneva having applied to the king of
LIFE OF ANDREW MELVILLE. 33
under the fostering care of the magistrates and
ministers of that energetic republic. It was at this
time furnished with teachers who were inferior to
those of no titled university in Europe, and had at-
tracted students from every protestant country. The
professorship which Melville had obtained was chiefly
valued by him as it put it in his power to avail him-
self of the talents of these excellent men in the pro-
secution of his studies. With true literary ardour
he waited on their public instructions as a scholar,
at the same time that he was honoured with their
friendship and admitted to their private society
as a colleague.
It was at this time that he made that progress
in oriental literature for which he was afterwards
distinguished. Rodolph Chevalier *, the first pro-
fessor of Hebrew in the academy, had lately left
Geneva, and was succeeded by Cornelius Bertramus.
The talents and erudition of Bertram were superior
to those of his predecessor. His book on the Jewish
Polity is still a standard woi'k ; and his Com-
parison of the Hebrew and Aramean languages
France to obtain the privileges of a university to their academy,
his majesty, after consultation, refused the request, upon this
ground, that *' Universities were found to be the nurseries of
heresy." Senebier, Histoire Literaire de Geneve, i. 35.
* Antoine-Rodolphe Chevalier (Cevalerius) was Queen Eliza-
beth's tutor in the French language j and at a late period of his
life he appears to have taught Hebrew in England. Among the
Baker MSS. vol. xiii. 36. is " Account of Cevalerius, Hebrew
reader, and his issue." Biogr. Britan. vol. i. p. 524. 2d edit,
Teissier, Eloges, torn. ii. p. 438.
VOL. I. C
34} LIFE OF ANDREW MELYILLE.
discovers an acquaintance with grammatical an-
alogy very uncommon at that period*. Melville
acquired from him the knowledge of Syraic, which
had hut recently become a subject of study among \
Europeans, and which is so useful to a divine from
its near affinity to the original of the Old Testament,
and the ancient and valuable version of the New i
Testament which exists in it. '
The Greek chair in the academy was then filled j
by Franciscus Portus, a native of the island of
Candia f . Portus is well known to the learned by \
his commentaries on ancient authors. He had re-
sided at the court of Renee, the accomplished i
Dutchess of Ferrara, and retired to Geneva for the i
sake of enjoying the freer exercise of the reformed i
religion. Enthusiastically attached to Grecian |
literature, from patriotism as well as profession, j
Portus was charmed with the progress which Mel- i
* Four recommendatory poems by Melville are prefixed to this
work. Its title is : " Comparatio Grammaticae Hebraicae et ^
Aramicae. Auctore Bonaventura Cornelio Bertramo, vtriusque !
linguae Professore. Apud Evstathivm Vignon. 1574." 4to. Ber- j
tram was the editor of the Polyglot Bible, published by Commelin I
in 3 vols. fol. 1586. Le Long, Bibliotheca Sacra, torn. i. part. i.
p. 384 — 5. edit. Masch. For his other works, Bayle, Teissier, i
and Colomesius (Gallia Orientalis, p. 68.) may be consulted.
t Isaac Casaubon, the first Greek scholar of the age in which
he lived, was a pupil of Portus, and has pronounced the highest
eulogium on his master. *' Sincera pietas, virtus excellens, et
singularis doctrina, bonis omnibus venerabilem reddebant." Ex-
ercitationes ad Apparat. A.nnal. Baronii, p. 37. edit. 1663. See
also Vita Casauboni, pp. 4, 5. edit. Almeloveen. Several Greek j
poems by Portus are in the edition Bezice Poematum, anno 1569.
LIFE OF ANDREW MELVILLE. 35
ville had made in it, and took great pleasure in
pointing out to him the various beauties of his
native tongue, and in discussing ^vith him those
nicer questions in philology about which critics
were then divided. On these occasions Melville
sometimes ventured to oppose the favourite opinions
of his master, either from conviction, or with the
view of eliciting fuller information on the subject.
In a dispute as to the proper pronunciation of the
language, and the power of the accents, he happened
one day to push his objections rather too freely,
upon which the jealous Candian grew warm, and
testily exclaimed, Fos Scot/, vos harhari, docehitis
nos GrcBcos pronunciationem nostrce Ungues, sci-
licet ! — You Scots, you harharians, will teach ns
Greeks how to pi^onounce our own language, for-
sooth * /
But the person to whom Melville felt the strongest
attraction at Geneva, was the celebrated Theodore
Beza, who performed the duty of professor of divinity
in the academy along vA\h that of a minister of the
city. After the death of Calvin, Beza was un-
questionably the brightest ornament, and the most
powerful champion of the Keformation. Equally
distinguished as a divine, a poet, an orator, and a
critic, no individual contributed more to enlighten
and adorn the age in which he lived f . His editions
* Melville's Diary, p. 35.
t Casaubon, in one of his letters, calls Beza, Scaliger, and
Thuanus, *' the three suns of the learned world." Epist. p. 68,
36 LIFE OF ANDREW MELVILLE.
of the Greek New Testament, accompanied with a
Latin translation and notes, whatever defects may
now be discovered in them, were by far the most
valuable works which had then appeared in that
department of literature ; and no person who is
well acquainted with the history of sacred criti-
cism and interpretation will allow himself to speak
of them with disparagement *. Of his poetical
productions it is sufficient to say, that they were
admired by the best judges among his contempora-
ries, and met with the applause of two eminent indi-
viduals, who like himself had courted the muse by
— *' Slloa's brook, and Jordan's hallow'd tide."
On reading his poems, Flaminius exclaimed, " I see
that the muses have at length crossed the Alps f," and
Buchanan hesitated not to pronounce him "one of the
most singular poets that had been of a long time^." i
When we consider these unequivocal testimonies of
approbation, we will not feel disposed to pay im-
plicit regard to the caustic remark of the critic, that
Beza, by printing his version of the Psalms along j
with Buchanan's, " led to a comparison which he !
* " Quod vero ante eum (Bezam) nemo instltult, ut codices i
consuleret et crisin Novi Testament! tractaret, id et ipsum prsesti- |
tit ille, nactus quosdam codices. Sic parva quidem et tenula, tamen
initla sunt facta Critlces N. T., eaque valde laudabilia." Sam.
I'rid. N. Mori Hermeneutica Novi Test, cura H. C. A^ Eich- j
stadt, torn. ii. p. 292. Lips. 1802. j
t Theodori Bezse Poemat. Item ex Georgio Buchanano j
allisque — poetis Excerpta. Epist. Dedic. p. 7. Henr. Steph. 1569. j
X See the letter of Buchanan to Sir Thomas Randolph 5 print- |
ed in tlie Appendix. ;
LIFE OF ANDREW MELVILLE. 37
ought not rashly to have hazarded *." The mag-
nanimity which prompts a man of genius to enter
into competition with his iUustrious contempo^'aries
prevents him from being meanly mortified when he
is excelled by them ; and he may at the same time
be conscious, and gratified with the consciousness,
that his productions are not unworthy of being
associated with those to which he willingly yields
the palm of superiority. The history of letters,
during the period of which we speak, affords many
pleasing examples of this species of noble strife and
amicable rivalship, to which honourable fame in-
cites her votaries.
Her Temple's everlasting doors unbarr'd,
Desert is various, various the reward.
No little jealousy, no ill-timed sneer,
No envy there is found, or rival fear.
To these talents and acquirements, and to the most
unquestioned piety, Beza added great politeness
and affability of manners, which rendered his society
and conversation agreeable as well as instructive.
He was well born and well educated ; and had been
admitted to the company both of the great and the
learned. By the inhabitants of the city to which he
* Le Clerc, Bibliotheque Choisie, torn. viil. p. 12S. He
should have said that Beza permitted this j for it was Henrj
Stephens who first published them in the same volume. " Vides,
lector, Henr. Stephanum non sine causa BezaePoematibus Buch-
anani et Flaminii ejus familial ium poemata sociavisse." Mait-
taire, Stephanorum Hjstoria, p. 345.
38 LIFE OF ANDREW MELVILLE.
had devoted his services he was held in veneration ;
and the manner in which he uniformly received the
public and flattering expressions of this feeling con-
tributed to set the purity of his character, and the
generosity of his dispositions, in the most striking
Besides attending the sermons and the academical
prelections of this eminent individual, IVlelville had
the happiness of being admitted at all times to his
private society. The learning, wit, vivacity, and
candour, which Melville possessed, would of them-
selves have recommended him to the notice of one
who was so susceptible of impressions from these
qualities ; but there were other circumstances which
contributed to facilitate his access to the good graces
of Beza. That reformer was uniformly partial to
Scotsmen. He admired the ecclesiastical constitu-
tion of Scotland. He had long maintained an in-
* Anton. Fayiis, Vita Tlieod. Bezae. Bayle, Diet. art. Beoie.
Teissier, Eloges, iv. 484 — 506. In 1570 the plague raged at
Geneva, and one was chosen by lot from the company of ministers
to visit those who •were infected with that dreadful malady.
The Council gave an order that Beza should be exempted from
the lot, upon which he appeared before them, and begged that
they would withdraw their order, as he looked upon the service
as a part of his ministerial function. Accordingly his name was
included among those of his brethren. In 1572, the Churches
of France requested his assistance at the National Synod of
Nismes. The magistrates of Geneva did not think it safe for
liim to undertake the journey, and proposed that he should send
them his advice in writing. Beza convinced them that this would
not answer the purpose, and after a long debate they consented
that he should go. Recueil de diverses particularitez concernant
Orneve : 20 Feb. 1570 ; and 21 Apr. 1572. MS.
LIFE OF ANDREW MELVILLE. 39
timate friendship with two of the most illustrious
individuals in that nation, Knox and Buchanan.
And there was at that time in Geneva another
Scotsman, a relation of Melville, with whom he had
lived for many years as a colleague, and whom he
revered for his talents and virtues.
This was Heniy Scrimger, whose exertions for
the revival of letters reflected great honour on Scot-
land, although his name is now known to few of his
countiymen. He was the son of Walter Scrimger
of Glasswell, a branch of the honourable family of
Diddup, in which the offices of Royal Standard-bearer
and of Constable of Dundee, had long been heredi-
tary. Having finished his course of education with
applause at St Andrews *, he went to the university
of Paris, from which he removed to Bourges to pro-
secute the study of Civil Law under Baro and Dua-
ren. By the recommendation of the celebrated
Amiot, then professor of Greek at Bourges, and
afterwards raised to the highest offices, he became
tutor to the children of Secretary Boucherel. In
this situation he gave such satisfaction that he was
chosen private secretary to the bishop of Renues,
upon his appointment as ambassador from the court
of France to different states of Italy. During
a visit to Padua he saw the noted Francis Spira,
who died under great horror of mind in consequence
of his recantation of the protestant religion. This
scene produced the same effect upon Scrimger'e
* See Note G.
40 LIFE OF ANDREW MELVILLE.
mind which it did on Vergerius, bishop of Capo
d'Istria, and Gribaldus, a lawyer of Padua ; and he
determined to sacrifice the prospects which his pre-
sent situation held out to him, and to return to
Switzerland, where he might profess the reformed
sentiments with safety. Being invited to Augs-
bourg by the Fuggers, a family who had raised a
princely fortune from the mines of the Tyrol, and
expended it in the advancement of literature*,
Scrimger furnished the library of Ulrich Fugger
with the rarest books and manuscripts. During his
travels in Italy he had collected ample materials for
correcting the works of the ancients, and particularly
those of Greece f. He published an edition of
the NovellcB Const'itutiones of Justinian in Greek,
which was prized by the first lawyers of the
time ; and the editions of several of the classics
published by Henry Stephens were enriched with
the various readings and remarks which he liberally
communicated to that learned printer. In 1563,
Calvin persuaded him to come to Geneva. The
magistrates conferred on him the freedom of the
city; and, after he had taught for two years as pro-
fessor of philosophy, they appointed him to the
newly erected chair of the Civil Law, which he filled
till his death |.
* Shelhorn, Amoenitates Hi§t. Ecclesiastlcae, i. 719. The
same author has collected various facts respecting this family
in his Amctnitaies Ltterarice,
t See under Note G.
% Maittaire. Hist. Step ban, passim. Senehier, Catalogue
LIFE OF ANDREW MELVILLE. 41
As Melville's elder brother had been married to
a sister of Scrimger, he had the readiest access to
the conversation of his venerable countryman, which
was highly valuable from the knowledge which he