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The Scot Abroad
Chapter 3 - The Statesman - Part 1


Reputations, Living and Dead—Gustavus Adolphus’s Secretary-at-War—Sir William Lockhart—Lord Stair—John Law—William Paterson.

OF all forgotten celebrities, the author has been, at least since the invention of printing, the most easily tracked by the biographical detective; what of himself he has let out in his books is always available, if we have nothing else. The soldier has less chance of resuscitation. If he has been a patriot hero, his name does not require it. His image lives in the eyes of all his countrymen, at least as large as life, and each successive generation proclaims, with louder and louder tongue—

"Though thou art fallen while we are free,
Thou shalt not taste of death;
The generous blood that flowed from thee
Disdained to sink beneath.
Within our veins its currents be,
Thy spirit in our breath.
Thy name our charging hosts along,
Shall he the battle-word!
Thy fate the theme of choral song
From virgin voices poured;
To weep would do thy glory wrong—
Thou shalt not be deplored."

On such an idol the detective generally, indeed, has to do the unpleasant duty of stripping him of false plumage. It is an entirely different affair, as we have seen, with the soldier who has lent his arm to the stranger. The materials which heap themselves over and bury his memory have already been considered; and I refer to the matter here, only to remark that they generally bury the memory of the statesman still more effectually. In the warrior’s career there are battles and other stormy events that cannot be entirely concealed; but of the man of council who "shapes the whisper of the throne," it may be said, as Sergeant Pike said of the collier, that he has no visible occupation, but works under ground.

There is, for instance, in the possession of some collectors, an engraved portrait of a hard-featured, sagacious-looking Scot, the Latin inscription around which makes it valuable as identifying a frequent name in the history of Europe during the Thirty Years’ War. It is Alexander Erskine, who was eminent both in camp and council. He was minister-at-war to Gustavus Adolphus—no trivial function—and a representative of Sweden in the conferences about the Treaty of Westphalia. He held many governorships and other offices—was a patron of letters, and had a magnificent library. Yet no biographical dictionary, so far as I am aware, affords him a square inch; and in Ersch and Grubers’ Encyclopedia—where one finds everything that is neglected elsewhere—the perfection of German diligence has been able to add nothing material to what the ordinary historians tell us of him, except that he studied at Königsberg, and that he died childless in the campaign of 1657, at Zamosc, whence his body was brought and buried in great state in the Cathedral of Bremen. Another Scotsman of the same name, who represented Russia in some of her Eastern negotiations, and had vast influence at the Court of the Czar, has left still scantier traces in accessible sources of biographical information. He belonged to the family of Erskine of Alva, in Clackmannanshire, a fact which I discovered one day by noticing the extreme richness of the crimson silk window-curtains in the drawing-room of one of his descendants. These were the hangings of a tent given to him by one of the Tartar princes with whom it was his function to treat.

It is against the chance of any country presenting a distinguished list of statesmen who have won their reputations abroad, that the services of foreigners are more unwillingly received in the cabinet than even in the camp. No nation in a healthy condition, indeed, tolerates the interference of foreign influence at its very heart. To whisper a suspicion of such a thing has always been sufficient to set England in a blaze. Poor Lord Bute was almost ostracised because he was so much of a foreigner as to have been born in Scotland a nation not so well amalgamated with its neighbour a hundred years ago as it is now. The protests of Scotland against foreign administration were pretty well expressed in the history of Mary of Medici and the fate of La Bastie. We have seen that Albany failed as Governor of Scotland because he had too much of the Frenchman in him, and we have also seen that he and his father, though they had still more of the Scot—the father, indeed, was a pure native—had great influence at the French Court. In peering into the minute specialties of his position, it is suggestive to find him acting the part of the statesman on an occasion when there was outbreak against some illegitimate influence being at work in the state, while his own, though that of a foreigner, seems to have passed unquestioned. We are told by Felibien, in his profuse circumstantial History of Paris, that Louis de Berquin was sacrificed as the person who introduced des Livres dangereux de Leuther, and that there was an insurrection in the streets of Paris, with bloodshed, because the municipality thought fit to resist the royal decree raising to the great office of Lieutenant-General of the Isle of France, a prelate and a courtier of the Pope—Pierre Filhoti, archbishop of Aix. Then we are told the King held a Lit de Justice, in which the Duke of Albany, Prince of Scotland, was inaugurated, and sat between the Duke of Alençon and the Bishop duke of Langres. On that occasion, the King spoke of removing the Parliament to Poictiers, on account of the turbulence of the Parisian mob, and the perversity of the municipality. It would be difficult, as we read the story in Felibieils circumstantial narrative, to invent a closer parallel to the scene in Edinburgh, some fifty years later, when James VI. was scared away by the vehement clergy, and threatened to take the Parliament, with its appurtenances, to that quiet and decorous place, Stirling. At the crisis of the battle of Pavia, Albany was sent on a mission to bring over Naples to the cause of France; or perhaps it might more accurately be said, to create a revolution there in favour of the French interest.

These things took place in one of France’s many periods of difficulty and danger. We have seen that, in the time of her greatest strait of all—the Hundred Years’ War—the Constable Buchan, and Douglas Duke of Touraine, had great influence in the national councils. At periods subsequent to the history of the Ancient League, the destinies of France were occasionally ruled by foreigners, and among these Scotland had, as we shall presently see, a good share—more, perhaps, than Italy, deemed the workshop of statesmen, had in Cardinal Mazarin; unless, indeed, we shall count that the empire is at present under the rule of an Italian dynasty.

Oliver Cromwell has the reputation of disliking Scotland, but he was in some respects a good friend to the country. True, he closed the door of the General Assembly, and placed a couple of troopers to keep it shut; but there are other statesmen who would do the same service to ecclesiastical bodies if they had the power. A service it was, for it prevented two opposite protesting and detesting parties from rushing into contest, and tearing away till the one had annihilated the other. It is usually said that he put Scotland under the English judges; but, on finding that the Court of Session was thoroughly corrupt, what he really did was to appoint a commission of justice to supersede it. On this commission there were some English names; but that was part of his system of amalgamation. He professed to fill his offices impartially from the United Protectorate, and, in fact, made one of the Scots judges, Johnston of Warriston, chairman of his House of Lords.

Within his deep mind he had shaped the policy of appointing a Scotsman to represent the Commonwealth at the Court of France. It was the best tie that he could establish between the new republic and the ancient monarchy, that one from the nation who had ever been so much at home in France should now go thither. He found the proper man in Sir William Lockhart, the brother of that Lord President Lockhart who was slain in the High Street by Chiesly of Dalry, for compelling him to support his family. The ambassador had a turn of character still more haughty, brave, and independent, even than the judge. He was on his way to France to seek his fortune, disgusted by what he considered the conversion of his country into a mere province, when Oliver caught him up. He probably thought it a very fair acknowledgment of the equality and independence of his countrymen, that he should be himself chosen for the most important mission which the Protector had to give. He came afterwards into closer alliance with his master by marrying Miss Rubina Sewster, a niece of the Protector. The authorship of the following testimony to the character of the ambassador, in a recent work on Cromwell, will be at once recognised. It is what, in the author’s native language, is expressively called ‘kenspeckle:’ "it is thought that in Lockhart the Lord Protector had the best ambassador of that age; a man of distinguished qualities, of manifold adventures and employments; whose biography, if he could find any biographer with real industry, instead of sham industry—and, above all, with human eyes instead of pedant’s spectacles, might still be worth writing in brief compass."

It was in 1656 that Lockhart went over as ambassador from the republic to the Court of France, and his principal function was to make the influence of Cromwell supreme at the Cabinet of Paris, and crush any effort to co-operate with the exiled children of Charles I. Clarendon tells us that "he was received with great solemnity, and was a man of great address in treaty, and had a marvellous credit and power with the Cardinal Mazarin." His negotiations may be pretty completely traced through the fifth and sixth volumes of Thurloe’s State Papers. It was part of the policy of the Cardinal that Cromwell’s ambassador should at all events be received with distinguished courtesy on his touching the shore of France. Lockhart describes his landing at Dieppe on the 24th of April, and his reception by the Governor. "He said that he had commands from the Duke of Longueville to receive me with as much respect as possibly he could; that all Englishmen were likewise welcome to this port, but more especially a person coming from his Highness the Lord Protector, qualified with a public character; and that he did very much rejoice it was his good fortune to be the first to have an opportunity to testify to me the readiness of the French nation to express the good correspondence and amity they desired to hold with England. With these and several other the like discourses he did entertain me till we came to my lodging—to which there had been a great difficulty of access, through the multitude of people who flocked out to see me land, with great acclamations in their mouths of welcome, and desires that God might preserve me and mine from all danger, had not the Governor’s servants made way for my passage."

The ovation accompanied him to the foot of the throne, and did not stop there. But Lockhart had gone not to be covered with honours and distinctions, but to do business, and that of a very serious kind. The continued distinctions received by him, especially when they were driven to the length of compelling him in the service of his country to attend balls on the "Lord’s day," irritated instead of conciliating him, and he soon suspected that these profuse distinctions and kindnesses were heaped on him to stifle his utterance. But both from temper and sagacity he was eminently a man not to be trifled with. "Remember he is a courtier and Italian," is the policy towards Mazarin which he impressed on others and practised bimself. He allowed the minister no repose. On the 28th of June we find him writing: "All my late addresses to his Eminence for audience have brought me no other return but delays and new promises, which are paid in no better coin than that of renewed excuses." And on the 24th July: "It seems the Court here will spend so much time in resolving what to do next that they will lose all opportunity of doing anything, and I am even wearied out with their delays and excuses."

At length he got his opportunity, and employed it to some purpose. Though he finally devoted himself to the promotion of national interests, his first efforts were in favour of a poor and persecuted people ;—it was by his bold diplomacy that Britain was enabled to stretch out a helping hand to the Protestants of Piedmont. When he passed from this matter to the more immediate relations of France and England, the French had nothing of a practical nature to propose. No matter;—Lockhart himself had a proposition of a very specific character.

The Protector was ready to aid France in her war with Spain for a consideration. A French army under Turenne with an English auxiliary force would take Mardyke and Dunkirk from the Spaniards, and these acquisitions should be given over to the Protector. The Cardinal was staggered by the distinctness and greatness of the demand. Compromising offers were made for a division of the spoil, but the ambassador was obstinate. These two fortified towns were what the Protector especially demanded, and France must let him have them, or look to it. Even after a concession of Lockhart’s demand, one difficulty following another intercepted its fulfilment. Turenne, whom Lockhart claimed as the right man for the work, "did absolutely refuse to undertake the siege of Dunkirk," but was brought to reason. To the question, who should command the English on the occasion, there was a simple and immediate answer — Lockhart undertook it himself, and he seems to have done so in the conviction that no other person could be trusted to play out any part of the game with the wily Italian.

At length, in the words of Clarendon, after "such lively instances with the Cardinal, and complaints of their breach of faith, and some menaces that his master knew where to find a more punctual friend," an allied army under Turenne and Lockhart besieged Dunkirk. The French appear to have sent at first ten thousand men. Lockhart’s force numbered six thousand, and it was remarked that none of them were the countrymen of the commander, who were in use to serve with the French, but all were Englishmen, acting for the time in alliance with their old hereditary foes, "their natural enemies."

It is extremely curious, after the history of our latest European war, to peruse even the dull official records of a siege in which Frenchmen and Englishmen fought side by side almost exactly two hundred years before they were to do so again. It is, for instance, incidentally curious to find in Lockhart’s despatches such an appreciation of the prowess of his allies as they have rarely received from a British pen until the Russian war. In a common attack made by the French and English, each on the counterscarp opposite to their own approach, he says, that "the French, at their lodging upon their point of the counterscarp, were discovered to our men that were lodged upon the fort Leon—ours was not so; and to give your Lordship a true account of what passed, I must say the French made the better lodgement, though that we made stood us dearer than theirs did them; howsoever, I thank God for it, both goes on reasonable well now; for when we came short of them in the night, we made up by working in the day. The seamen, from whom I expected much, did nothing extraordinary: and in-deed our people wanted several things that would have contributed to their cheerful going through with their business, for which I could not prevail, though twice or thrice I importuned M. Turenne about it. I am this day preparing a battery and platform for our mortar pieces," &c. And so it was in 1658 as in 1856; the English soldier is deficient in many things needful to his achievements, but one thing he always has and gives freely, his own blood; and he makes his lodgment as effectually as his better-provided ally, though it costs him dearer.

Lockhart’s own letters convey unmistakable evidence that he was a vigilant purveyor. "If eight hundred or one thousand beds could be sent, it would be a great accommodation to our soldiers, of whom a great many sicken daily." Again, "We have not here one bit of coals: the soldiers cannot be restrained from burning the deal-boards that are in their houses; to send them a few coals will save his Highness treble their price in boards." There is much solicitude about the supply of hay, as to which Lockhart distrusts the French promises. "The Cardinal promised to send me an express from England to-morrow, who shall see the hay shipped, and will bring a list of such provisions as they will need, and bills of exchange upon London to pay for them: but that must not be trusted to, for the Cardinal being ready to depart, he is so pressed with multiplicity of business, as seldom he remembers anything, save just in the moment he is spoke to. So that if this express do not come, I must beseech your Lordship to take care that the hay be at Mardyke by the first of May, new style, and I must beg the same thing for the recruits."

The next demand is for three ministers, who are to have £180 a-year each, which he thinks is encouragement enough to any honest man who hath zeal for his Master’s service; and he is of opinion that "the popish priests who go a-begging to vend their errors, will rise up in judgment against our ministers, who cannot be yet persuaded, even upon reasonable terms, to preach the glad tidings of salvation to their poor countrymen, who have some longing after the ordinances of God."

After the fashion of the period, his piety is minutely dovetailed into his practical sagacity. "There is one part," he says, "of the general of ammunition that I must speak particularly to, and that is hand-grenades. I know they have not been much used in our English war, but I can assure your Lordship—and my former opinion is confirmed by my present experience—that nothing can be more essential either as to attack or defence; and if you have not any considerable number of these shells in store, two or three thousand can be bought in Holland, till you can provide more at your iron-works. A soldier, with half-a-score grenades in his scrip, looks like a David, before whom a Goliath, though armed, cannot stand." And continuing his detailed criticism on garrison stores, he says all signifies little if there be not sufficient tools and material for temporary fortification; "and I can reckon nothing on this head so material as palisadoes; it’s one of the best magazines can be in garrison; and he that hath men and store of them, may dispose of every inch of ground under the command of his cannon, and the spirit which must move and inform this confused and great body, composed of a great many more individuals than I can at present muster up, must be money; which, as Solomon saith, under the protection and blessing of God, will answer all things."

On the 3d of June there was a great battle—Condé, Don John of Austria and the exiled Duke of York heading an attack for the relief of the garrison, on the besieger’s army, led by Turenne and Lockhart. This brought on a battle, eminent in the French histories as the battle of the Dunes, because it was fought among the long range of sandhills eastward of Dunkirk. It is seldom recognised in history as one of the battles from which England derives honour. Yet the contemporary French accounts—of which Sismondi provides a good abridgment—describe the sanguinary and obstinate nature of the conflict on the fortified ridge of the principal sand-hill, stormed by the English, who there began the battle, and astonished both their Spanish opponents and their French allies by the resolute and persevering obstinacy with which they struggled through the natural difficulties in the ascent of a sandhill, and fought at the summit, when they should have been exhausted with their labours. The allies were victorious; and as the official report says, "the French acknowledge to our nation the honour of this victory." "As to the siege of Dunkirk," says Lord Fauconberg, writing to Thurloe, "by the little discount I have had with the Duke de Crequi, Chevalier Gramont, and others, I find they infinitely esteem my Lord Lockhart for his courage, care, and enduring the fatigue beyond all men they ever saw."

On the 25th of June, Lockhart writes conclusively, in that godly style which had become official among the Cromwellian generals: "By the goodness of God your servant is now master of Dunkirk—and indeed it is a much better place than I could have imagined—blessed be God for His great mercy; and the Lord continue His protection to his Highness, and His countenance to all his other undertakings." But final success only renewed the diplomatic disputes with the ally, who acted as if the acquisition were common to both nations. Lockhart met this claim in the face, and extracted from the Cardinal an acknowledgment that "His Highness (the Protector) had the only title to all that can be claimed of jurisdiction over the town, as Prince and Sovereign, and that he alone hath right to all the powers, profits, and emoluments, that were due to any of their former princes."

It is picturesquely told, in Kennet’s History, how one morning Cromwell sent suddenly to desire the presence of the French ambassador at Whitehall, where he was upbraided with the treachery of his master, in having given secret instructions to Turenne, "to keep Dunkirk from the Englishman if he could." The ambassador, with truth, protested his innocence and his ignorance, "upon which," we are told, "Cromwell, pulling a paper out of his pocket, ‘Here,’ says he, ‘is the copy of the Cardinal’s other; and I desire you to despatch immediately an express to let him know that I am not to be imposed upon; and that if he deliver not up the keys of the town of Dunkirk within an hour after it shall be taken, tell him I'll come in person and demand them at the gates of Paris.’ This is one of the Mephistopheles stories which frightened our great-grandfathers into superstitious fancies about the ubiquity of Old Noll. Whether there is any truth in it or not, it is pretty certain, from the documentary evidence, that Lockhart put the matter right at his own hand.

Indeed, few men have better exemplified the household precept that he who would have a thing done well should do it himself. That there might be no question about the vigilance and sagacity of the besieging general, the ambassador, as we have seen, took that office on himself. After the place was taken and a governor was required, he took that office also. He wrote to Thurloe a long, anxious letter about the proper person to appoint as fort-major, and about the difficulty of finding a deputy-governor who should act for the governor if he fell ill, or had important calls elsewhere; but he seems never to have supposed it an open question, that any one could be governor of the new acquisition but he who had been the means of acquiring it.

Since the fall of Calais, England had possessed no spot of earth on the European continent, and the government of a province, which might possibly be the nucleus of further British acquisitions, was an important matter. Lockhart reported to Secretary Thurloe administrative arrangements to which few in the present day would object. He says he considers himself bound to "reserve to the inhabitants the enjoyment of their property, the liberty of their conscience, and the administration of justice according to their usual laws and customs, in all matters of difference between man and man. This," he continues to say, "is all his Highness is bound to by his treaty with France; which being just in itself, I make it my study that all their privileges of this nature be inviolably preserved—and, in so doing, give full satisfaction both to the magistrates and inhabitants." A body of "Jesuites, Capauchins, and Recollects," troubled him with difficulties about the oath to reveal all plots against the supremacy of the Protectorate, and its inconsistence with the privileges of the Confessional. But they found themselves in honest hands, and gave little annoyance. In the Governor’s practice the soldier and the gentleman got the better of the Puritan. He kept his bargain apparently both in letter and in spirit, and the Romish priests could not be safer, for all temporal purposes, than in the hands of their honest religious enemy.

As ambassador he seems to have had his share of the troubles caused by the pertinacity of the Quakers, who were then in a very restless state, spreading themselves over the world in search of martyrdom, and generally succeeding in finding it. The historian of their persecutions praises him for the protection extended by him to one of their number, who, exceedingly indignant that certain amusements should be tolerated by law, lifted up his testimony against such toleration. "At Morlaix, another of them (William Salt) being in prison for reproving their maskings which are tolerated by law, and his life vehemently sought after by the bailiff of the town for so doing: I shall find the King, upon the information thereof by the English ambassador Lockhart, by means of a merchant of that town whom God stirred up in the thing—I say I shall find the King sending a letter, under his hand and seal, to set him presently at liberty— taking notice, in the said letter, that he was imprisoned for reproving of maskings tolerated by law; and when the King was informed that he was not set at liberty, I shall find him sending another letter to the Duke of Millan to see it effected: and that upon it he was freed; he being, as it were, become but as the shadow of a man through the hardship of his sufferings."

At the treaty of the Pyrenees, to which Charles II. came as a humble suppliant, Lockhart was received with high distinction as the representative of a great European power. But the times were soon to change, and it was to be seen who should revolve with the wheel, and who should remain steadily anchored to their own fixed principles. None came better forth from the revolution of the Restoration than Lockhart. Disregarding sell-interest, and those abstract questions about monarchy and republicanism which can be so easily bent to the service of self-interest, he threw himself on the simple code of military fidelity. Dunkirk was the place where Charles desired to meet his friends; and Lockhart, by receiving him there, might have rivalled Monk in his claims on the new monarch. But he answered with brief simplicity that he had been trusted with the fortress by the republic, and he would hold it for the republic; and the joyful band of royalists had to seek a less convenient place of assemblage at Breda. Hume, who says that Lockhart was nowise averse to the King’s service, and that he resisted very urgent persuasions, says, rather characteristically, "This scruple, though on the present occurrence it approaches towards superstition, it is difficult for us entirely to condemn."

There were, according to Clarendon, other overtures which he probably had still less hesitation in rejecting. It would have been extremely convenient to France to have got possession of Mardyke and Dunkirk in the mêlée of the Restoration: "certain it is," says Clarendon, "that at the same time that he refused to treat with the King he refused to accept the great offers made to him by the Cardinal, who had a high esteem for him, and offered to make him Marshal of France, with great appointments of pensions and other emoluments, if he would deliver Dunkirk and Mardyke into the hands of France; all which overtures he rejected." And yet, strangely enough, it had been better for the subsequent honour of England if he had acceded to them.

His opinions and his early training inclining him to royalty, he resolved to lead the life of a quiet loyal subject. He began to teach his countrymen the English method of agriculture, but afterwards settled in Huntingdonshire, apparently to be far away from the wretched disputes which were tearing his own country. Proffers were made to him by the revolutionary party; if we may take Burnet’s authority, Algernon Sydney himself took pains to secure the co-operation of one whose courage was so valuable, and whose adherence to the cause of the Commonwealth had been so tenacious. All their proffers, however, were quietly but steadily rejected.

This honesty had the good fortune, rare in that age, not to go unrewarded. He was employed at the Courts of Brandenburg and Nuremberg at the time when King Charles entered on his celebrated secret alliance with Louis XIV. for the destruction of Holland. It is said that he suspected his mission to be virtually, though not avowedly, subservient to this alliance; and Burnet attributes his broken health, and his death a few years afterwards, to his mortification on this discovery. It is perhaps scarcely consistent with this supposition, that he was soon afterwards sent as King Charles’s ambassador to Paris. Again, as in the days of Dunkirk, he showed his high spirit as a public man, and his determination that the honour of England should not suffer in his hands. Two characteristic anecdotes have been preserved of this mission. According to one, he resolved to put down a practice of the French privateers in seizing English merchant vessels, and obtaining condemnation of them as Dutch vessels sailing under a fraudulent flag. Such a seizure had just been made, and the vessel lay at Dunkirk. Lockhart went to Court for an audience, and demanded her release. But the claim of the British Government was disavowed to the French ambassador at the recommendation of Pepys, the Secretary of the Admiralty, who said merchants were all rogues, and the British Government admitted the prize to be fair. A very black charge stands against the most candid and amusing of diarists, and it is said that he had actually an interest in the French privateer, which was built out of British navy stores purloined by him. It is very unlikely that Lockhart knew anything about such malicious gossip—he knew only that the majesty of England was insulted in his person, and he begged to be recalled if his own Court declined to support him in the position he had taken up. The Court of England did support him, and the vessel was restored. Another story of his last mission to France I shall give in the words of Burnet :—

"Lockhart had a French Popish servant who was dying, and sent for the sacrament, upon which it was brought, with the procession ordinary in such cases. Lockhart, hearing of this, ordered his gates to be shut; and upon that many were inflamed, and were running to force his gates; but he ordered all his family to stand to their arms, and if any force was offered to fire. There was a great noise made of this, but no force was offered. He resolved to complain first, and so went to Court and expostulated upon it. He said his house was his master's house, and here a public triumph was attempted on his master’s religion, and affronts were offered him; he said, if a priest had brought the sacrament privately he would have connived at it, but he asked reparation for so public an injury. The King of France seemed to be highly displeased at this, calling it the greatest indignity that had ever been done to his God during his reign. Yet the point did not bear arguing; so Lockhart said nothing to that. When Lockhart went from him, Pomponne followed him, sent after him by the King, and told him he would force the King to suffer none of his subjects to serve him. He answered he would order his coachman to drive the quicker to Paris to prevent that, and left Pomponne to guess the meaning. As soon as he came to his house he ordered all his French servants to be immediately paid off and dismissed. The Court of England was forced to justify him in all this matter. A public letter of thanks was written to him upon it; and the Court of France thought fit to digest it; but the French King looked on him ever after with great coldness, if not with aversion."

He died at his post as English Ambassador to the Court of France, in the year 1675. The only portrait of Lockhart I ever happen to have seen is in Harding’s ‘Biographical Mirror.’ Though, like the other engravings in that curious book, a meagre stipple, the attention of a casual inspector is sure to be arrested by the fine forehead, the full expressive eyes, the haughty intellectual lip, and a general air of handsome grandeur, which would remind one of the portraits of Marlborough, were there not more candour and earnestness in the expression.

A logically-minded reader will at once feel that a man like Lockhart does not come within the category of Scots abroad, as dealt with in my previous chapters. These were Scotsmen who had found employment among foreigners, and their respective careers are a united testimony to the propensity and qualifications of their countrymen to seek their fortunes in other lands. An ambassador, on the other hand, must of necessity be a man doing business in a foreign country while he is in the employment of his own. It is quite true—I admit the logical aberration, and have only to plead in excuse for having committed it with the intention of repeating it, that it led me to some picturesque little historical scenes which seemed worth noticing. One might, by the way, in the instance of Lockhart, escape on a technicality. He was doing one it least of his missions, in the service of a state foreign from his own, though both were under the same monarch.

When he was sent by Charles IL to the Court of France, he represented England only; Scotland, though still a separate nation, with separate and even hostile interests, was too poor to have an ambassador of her own.


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