A letter like this, clear cut in its thought, teeming with ideas emanating from an unique religious experience, and admirably adjusted to known situations, bears on the face of it the marks of genuineness even without recourse to the unusually excellent external attestation.
It must, however, be remarked that the genuineness of this letter, in which Gerbert to some extent foreshadows the temporal claims of Hildebrand and Innocent III., has been hotly contested, and that the original document has long been lost.
The genuineness of these so-called translations from the works of a 3rd-century bard was immediately challenged in England, and Dr Johnson, after some local investigation, asserted (Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland, 1775) that Macpherson had only found fragments of ancient poems and stories, which he had woven into a romance of his own composition.
The substantial genuineness of the discourses is now accepted by the great body of critics.
On the 10th of June 1688 she was present at the birth of the prince of Wales and gave evidence before the council in favour of the genuineness of the child.