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the family resemblance between the portraits of Merchiston and Dr Richard, he says " like is an ill mark, and the learned gentleman well knows that it is no evidence in law ; indeed, all the philosophers and wizards at the time, judging from their starched and owlish visages, as exemplified in pictures where the same costume and attitude are observed, bore a wonderful likeness to each other."
We cannot cope with Mr Riddell in irony and sarcasm ; but why is he so severe throughout upon us and our Coryphaeus? If the critics of this splenetic world were always to obtain credit, genealogists would fare no better than mathematicians, and antiquaries be as severely pictured as philosophers and wizards. It was the elegantly malicious author of the Memoirs of Grammont, who, when characterizing that strange person M. de Se'nantes, said of him that he was "fort en genealogie comme sont tons les sots qui ont de la memoire,"—a foolish saying, like Scaliger's; and for a spiteful picture, of that delightful and sacred character an antiquary, take that drawn by the little vicious Queen Ann's man:
But who is lie in closet closely pent,
One parting blow has the author of the Tracts at the poor biographer himself, whose antiquities he has so severely handled. He controverts, but fails to disprove, that Sir John Menteith was head of the house of Rusky; he says, " due praise must be awarded the author of the Memoirs for his manly and spirited vindication of Sir John Menteith;" and the praise he gives is this,—" the motive, therefore, for the defence of Menteith that has inspired the learned author of the Memoirs, being, alas! of an elusory kind, is somewhat akin to the veneration of the knight of La Mancha for his mistress,—or, to use a grander simile, like the fabric of a vision that leaveth not a wreck behind."
But who would not be proud to resemble thegallant and high-souled Don, and would not be likened to him rather than to one Signor Bachelor Samson Carrasco, who went out toreclaiin that memorable enthusiast, and was himself laid prostrate. But the Bachelor was more successful in his second crusade, and so may Mr Riddell be in a rejoinder. In the meantime, (to follow out his own illustration,) he of the Memoirs is, by right of conquest, entitled to dictate a penance to him of the Tracts. For a whole twelvemonth he shall go no more forth a picking pedigrees—or disenchanting genealogies—or rescuing charters in distress; but, putting off his antiquarian armour, and clothing himself in the humble habit of a repentant peerage writer, he shall perform a pilgrimage to Oxford, and there, at the shrine of the picture of the warlock, shall thrice proclaim in a loud voice to the assembled clerks and monks of Oxford, " The Inventor of Logarithms and Dr Richard Napier were brother's sons."
REPLY TO MR RIDDELL S THEORY THAT THE GRANT OF ARMS BY JAMES V. TO SCOTT OF THIRLESTANE IS FOUNDED ON
FORGERY ANTIQUITIES OF THE SCOTTS OF HOWPASLOT AND
In consequence of the marriage of Sir William Scott of Thirlestane to the heiress of Napier in 1699, their eldest son, Francis fifth Lord Napier, quartered his maternal coat, the Lennox arms of Merchiston, with the royal augmentation granted in 1.542 to John Scott of Thirlestane by James V. This grant was a reward for singular loyalty, and has been doubly endeared to the family in modern times, by the beautiful verse devoted to the incident in the Lay of the Last Minstrel. First and foremost in the gathering for Buccleuch,—
"From fair St Mary's silver wave,
His ready lances Thirlestane brave
The tressured fleur-de-luce he claims
To wreathe his shield, since royal James,
Encamp'd by Fala's mossy wave,
The proud distinction grateful gave
What time, save Thirlestane alone,
Of Scotland's stubborn barons none
And hence, in fair remembrance worn,
Yon sheaf of spears his crest adorn,
Hence his high motto shines revealed,
Sir Walter in his notes to this verse quotes from Lord Napier's charter-chest the precise words of what he conceived to be the original warrant, for this armorial augmentation, addressed at Fala by James V. to the Lord Lyon. Nesbit* also quotes the document without remarking that it bears unequivocal appearances of being a transcript merely, and not an accurate one. Mr Pinkerton, in his History of Scotland, says that James V. marched to Fala in the month of October 1542, and adds in a note this remark, " Nesbit in his Heraldry produces a charter to John Scot of Thirlestane, granting an addition to his arms, and the motto ready ay ready, to reward the support of the King at Soutra, when all the other chiefs desired to retreat. It is dated at Fala Moor, 27th July 1542, an error in the date, or a forged charter." He had not examined this document, however, and it is unbecoming in any historian thus vaguely to conjecture forgery. Francis Lord Napier, in his genealogy of Napier, published in Wood's Peerage, met the hasty insinuation with the following remark. "This warrant (says his Lordship) had been long considered as an original. Pinkerton started doubts of its authenticity from the date July 1542, as it was not till October that the King marched to Fala Moor ; and on a narrow inspection of the charter in the possession of Lord Napier, it appears to be only a copy with an error in the date by the transcriber. The grant certainly took place, as the augmentation and motto, as described in the charter, are borne by the family at the present day."
In reference to this subject, Mr Riddell suddenly flies
off from his critique of the antiquities of Merchiston, into a strange appeal to the attention of the public, involving a censure of the author for his ill-judged choice of a biographical subject in the Memoirs of Merchiston. "After all, however," (he exclaims,) "it must still be remembered, that the biographer of Merchiston, and his chief, are only Napiers in the female line; and it may be observed, that they perhaps might have a better soil to work upon, if they investigated into the descent of their male ancestors, the Scotts of Thirlestane; these Scotts, there is ground to conclude, are a branch of the Buccleuch family, from whom they may have sprung about the middle of the fifteenth century ; and there is a historical incident connected with them that is singular and curious; they bear, as is well known, the double tressure, a part of the royal insignia, round their arms, with other additions, in consequence, as is said, of the striking loyalty of an ancestor to James V. which is commemorated by Sir Walter Scott."
. j: 1 -i"
* Heraldry, Vol. i. p. 97
Having delivered this admirable reason for preferring memoirs of Thirlestane to those of the Inventor of Logarithms, our antiquary notices the document in question, Pinkerton's remark upon it, and Lord Napier's reply. He then brings forward the following valuable record, which had been lost sight of by the family.
"The author some years ago discovered in his Majesty's State Paper Office a warrant by King William, under the sign-manual, dated 18th December 1700, which throws further light upon the subject, and shows-under what title the high privilege alluded to is now enjoyed by the family. The authority sets forth that the Lyon had represented to his Majesty, ' That John Scott of Thirlestain, great-grandfather to Sir Francis Scott, now of Thirlestain, having assisted our royal progenitor James the V. King of Scotland, at Sautrey edge, with a troop