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Nothing farther was known to the public concerning these papers, till the journey of Mr Fox to Paris in 1802. By bis inquiries, three material points were ascertained ;-that the Memoirs of James, placed in the Scotch College after his death, and which were there at the time of the French Revolution, consisted of ten volumes, a number corresponding to the marginal references in the narrative before us ; *-ihat Macpherson' never saw the original Memoirs, from which he wished his readers to believe that all his extracts were made ;-and that all the mournals of James the Second, together with all the Stuart Papers in the Scotch College, except a copy of the narrative of the Life, had been committed to the flames at the country-house of M. Charpentier, near St Omers, where they had been sent from Paris, for the purpose of safe transmission to England. This gentleman, dreading the consequences which, in the horrible tyranny of 1793, might have been brought upon him by the custody of the MSS. of a King, richly bound and decorated by the Royal arms, thought their destruction necessary to his safety. Earl Gower, then the British Embassador at Paris, had offered to Principal Gordon to take charge of King James's pa pers, and lo deposit them in some place of safety in Britain. Bishop Cameron, who communicated this information to Lord Holland, did not know what answer was returned ; ! but nothing was done. The truth is, that Principal Gordon said that the papers could not be sent, unless Lord Gower would also undertake to convey to England the plate, &c. of the College. A condition, which, in the state of France at that time, must have endangered the secure return of the embassy, was naturally declined. Notwithstanding some' obscure surmises to the contrary, it seems but too probable, that these curious materials of English history are now to be considered as for ever lost. The descendants of Jacobite emigrants in France still possess some papers of more or less curiosity and importance. A duplicate of the Life of James escaped the destruction of the Royal Jour nals at Si Omers, and found its way into the hands of Dr Cameron, a respectable Catholic Prelate, who resides in Edinburgh. Before quitting this part of the subject, it is proper to call the attention of the public more distinctly to the circumstance, that Mr Fox ascertained, beyond all doubt, from the testimony of the principal persons of the Scotch College, that Macpherson never saw the original Journals;' and to add, that
* The narrative mentions distinctly nine volumes of Memoirs in the text, and, besides Letters, refers to another MS. by James, entitled • Loose Sheets,' making up the number of ten.
the testimony of these respectable persons, which requires no corroboration, is supported by a comparison of Macpherson's extracts with the present narrative.
When the destruction of the most important papers of the Stuart family remaining in France was thus ascertained, curiosity was naturally directed towards Italy, which, during the greater part of the eighteenth century, had been the asylum of the last Princes of that House. At the death of Charles, the last person known in our laws by the designation of Pretender, he bequeathed his papers, neither to his widow the Countess of Albany, nor to his brother the Cardinal, but to his daughter by a Scotch Lady, with whom he had contracted an unavowed and irregular marriage. This daughter, on whom he had conferred the title of Dutchess of Albany, at her death bequeathed the papers to the Abbaté Waters, Procurator-General of the English Benedictines in Italy. Sir John Cox Hippisley having seen these papers during his residence in that country, suggested the propriety of their being purchased by the Prince of Wales, who, having consulted Mr Fox on the subject, authorized that gentleman to direct Sir John Hippisley to purchase the, MSS. from Waters. That direction was conveyed in Mr Fox's letter to Sir John, of the 5th October 1804. The papers were, in consequence, purchased from Waters, for an annuity of 1001., of which he lived to receive only the first half yearly payment. They were immediately removed to Civita Vecchia, where they were deposited in the hands of a British merchant. But such was the rigour of the Continental system, that notwithstanding the utmost efforts of the British officers serving in the Mediterranean, it was found impossible, during the succeeding six years, to convey these Manuscripts to England. It was not accomplished at last without much toil, and some risk. Mr Bonelli, a picture-dealer, was despatched into Italy in 1810. He found means, by the assistance of the Abbaté Macpherson, to convey them to Leghorn; from thence by a Tunisian vessel to Tunis; and from Tunis, by Malta, to London, where they finally arrived about the beginning of 1813.
All the confidential papers of the Stuart family, from 1688 to -1712, appear to have been left at Paris, with King James's Memoirs, a copy of the life compiled :rom them, and of the advice of that Prince to his son. A considerable number of confidential papers, from 1712 to 1719, were also kept in France by Nairne, who was the Queen Dowager's Secretary till her death. No
copy of the King's Memoirs appears to have been sent to Italy. But a duplicate of the Life, and a copy of the advice of James to his son, with some formal papers and ceremonial letters between 1688 and 1712, and the greater part of the confidential correspondence after 1712, and the whole after 1719, were in the possession of Prince Charles Stuart, and, in the manner already described, came into the library of the Prince Regent. The duplicate of the life, and the copy of the advice, are the materials of the present publication.
When the life was compiled, and who was the compiler, are questions which naturally present themselves to every reader. The second it is not possible to answer with much precision. The solution of the first is not very difficult, with respect at least to all the part of it which is subsequent to 1678. The following passage in the narrative of the year 1660, is important in this view.
• We must not forget to mention, in this year, so extraordinary a passage in the Duke's life, as was his first marriage with the Lord Chancellor's daughter. Extraordinary, indeed, both in itself, and in the consequences, both good and bad, which, in process of time, fol. lowed from it.' Ist Life James II. p. 387.
The first sentence was evidently written after the second marriage of James; and the second sentence seems to allude to the conduct of his daughters Mary and Anne at the Revolution. At least it is not very obvious to what other distant bad consequences of the second marriage the writer can allude. It is evident, that the extracts given to the Cardinal de Bouillon in 1696 and 1705 were from the King's own Memoirs -- from which it seems probable that the life was not compiled at either of these periods. More precise information is afforded by a passage of the present work, in which the writer vents his indignation against the story of the supposititious birth of the son of James,
Never child had a greater resemblance of his parents, both in body and mind, than his present Majesty has of the late King his Father, and of the Queen his Mother.' 2d Life James II.
It is perfectly certain that the above sentence was written after the death of King James, and before the death of his Queen. * This brings the composition within the first seventeen years of the 18th century. Some other circumstances narrow it still farther. By the quotation from the third volume of Lord Clarendon's History, in vol. II. p. 610, it appears, that it was not at least concluded till before the publication of that vo
* Not, as the worthy Editor supposes, ' after the death of James II, and that of his Queen,' which would have left us without any means of conjecturing how modern the Life might be.
lume, which was not until 1704. The total absence of all allusion to the House of Hanover, is a decisive proof that it was composed before their accession to the Throne. A Jacobite writer at St Germains, after the accession of George I., could not have resisted the temptation of indulging himself in those angry allusions and acrimonious invectives against the Brúnswick fanily, which were then universally prevalent among his party. The same feelings which prompt him to inveigh against William III. and the Princesses Mary and Anne, for the deposition of James II, would not have been inactive at the preference of so distant a branch of the Royal Family over the legitimáte pretensions of James III. From the tone of acrimony in which Queen Anne is treated, we may almost certainly conclude, that the work was finished before the change of administration and of principles in 1710, after which a Jacobite would undoubtedly have spoken of her with more Jenity. All these considerations combine to render it highly probable, that this narrative was written between 1704 and 1710; and as we find that the King's Memoirs were removed by warrant from his son to St Germains in January 1707, for some months, where in fact they appear to have remained till November in that year, it does not seem an improbable conjecture that the compilation was then completed.
There are much fewer means of conjecturing the name of the writer. The tradition of the Scotch College which ascribes it to Mr Thomas Innes, deserves great respect. That gentleman was Sub-principal of the College in 1734. The chain of tradition from that period to 1802 is not composed of many links. Mr Thomas Innes, the author of ' a Critical Essay on the Ancient Inhabitants of Scotland,' was the first who introduced reason and sound criticism into Scottish antiquities, in which he has unfortunately had very few followers. 'He las ments, in his Preface to the Essay, ' that by a long residence in a foreign country, he had lost the purity and facility of his native language.' It is singular that so little should be known of a person, who certainly possessed considerable talents,' and whose work made an epoch in one branch of the historical literature of Scotland. His claim to be the compiler of this narrative is liable to no serious objection, but that which arises from Edgar's letter to Carte, in which it is said to be writ by Mr Dicconson ;'-a gentleman, we believe, of a Catholic family in Lancashire, who followed James II. into exile; was appointed Sub-governor to his son in October 1701, afterwards became Sub-treasurer to the Queen-dowager, and is said to have died at St Germains between 1730 and 1740. Edgar might mean
only, that the Life was copied by Mr Dicconson ; though the more natural import of his letter is, that it was composed by that gentleman, whose station did not make it likely that he should be a copyist. As the custody of the papers was committed to Lewis Innes, merely in his official character as Principal of the Scotch College, it was no mark of personal confidence, and no presumption that he was the writer. There is one Scotticism wbich might have been a proof of the country of the writer, if it had not been found in the part which is copied from the original memoirs of James himself. My Lord DartJouth had been to the westward to look out for the enemies fleet in Torbay; he got the length of that Bay.' 2d Life James II. p. 230, from King Jam. Mem. tom. 9. p. 242. There are many other deviations from English use, as ' accustomated,' espace,'' rassured, '&c.—but they are faults into which, from disuse of the language, and the habit of speaking another might have betrayed an Englishman, nearly, if not quite as soon as a Scotchman. It is indeed probable, that offences of this sort would have been more abundant, if the narrative, according to the tradition of the College, had not been revised by Charles Dryden, the son of the Poet.
The result of these few remarks is, that we know not the compiler of the narrative; that it probably was either Dicconson or Innes, and that the balance inclines to the side of In
The present editor indeed speaks frequently and fami. liarly of a person whom he designates as the King's Private Secretary,' and to whom he chooses to ascribe the compilation. But the reader must not infer from this language, that either the editor or any other person knows any thing of the matter, and is in the least entitled to assert, or even to guess, that the writer was a Secretary, or a person who wrote under the King's directions, or that the principal part of the narrative was written during the King's life. We have already seen that the contrary is certain of a considerable part, and probable concerning the far larger portion.
Different parts of the narrative are so variously composed, that the dissimilarity may lead to a suspicion of the whole not being the work of the same hand. Generally speaking, it consists of three unequal parts, without a careful discrimination of which it is impossible to form an estimate of its value. The first consists of extracts from the Memoirs of King James, referring to the volume and page from which they are extracted, and marked as literal quotations by inverted commas. In the second, the narration of the text is supported by reference to the volume and page of the King's Memoirs as the authority, though without