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death for the king's murder, cleared Mary with turies have been considered as originals, by the their last words.
enemies of Mary's memory, are now discovered The letters were first declared to be sub- to be forgeries, and acknowledged to be transscribed, and were then produced without sub- lations, and, perhaps, French translations of a scription.
Latin translation. And the modern accusers They were shown during the conferences at of Mary are forced to infer from these letters, York privately to the English commissioners, which now exist, that other letters existed forbut were concealed from the commissioners of merly, which have been lost in spite of curiosity, Mary,
malice, and interest. Mary always solicited the perusal of these let- The rest of this treatise is employed in an enters, and was always denied it.
deavour to prove, that Mary's accusers were the She demanded to be heard in person by Eliza- murderers of Darnley: through this inquiry it beth, before the nobles of England, and the is not necessary to follow him; only let it be ambassadors of other princes, and was refuged. observed, that, if these letters were forged by
When Mary persisted in demanding copies of them, they may easily be thought capable of the letters, her commissioners were dismissed other crimes. That the letters were forged, is with their box to Scotland, and the letters were now made so probable, that perhaps they will
never more be cited as testimonies. The French letters, which for almost two cen
ecen no more.
WESTERN ISLANDS OF SCOTLAND
I ran desired to visit the Hebrides, or West-f affords a southern stranger a new kind of pleaern Islands of Scotland, so long, that I scarcely sure to travel so commodiously without interremember how the wish was originally excited; ruption of tollgates. Where the bottom is rocky, and was in the Autumn of the year 1773 in- as it seems commonly to be in Scotland, duced to undertake the journey, by finding in smooth way is made indeed with great labour, Mr. Boswell a companion, whose acuteness but it never wants repairs; and in those parts would help my inquiry, and whose gayety of con- where adventitious materials are necessary, the versation and civility of manners are sufficient ground once consolidated is rarely broken for to counteract the inconveniences of travel, in the inland commerce is not great, nor are heavy countries less hospitable than we have passed. commodities often transported otherwise than by
On the eighteenth of August we left Edin-water. The carriages in comron use are small burgh, a city too well known to admit descrip-carts, drawn each by one little horse; and a tion, and directed our course northward, along man seems to derive some degree of dignity and the eastern coast of Scotland, accompanied the importance from the reputation of possessing a first day by another gentleman, who could stay two-horse cart. with us only long enough to show us how much we lost at separation.
ST. ANDREWS. As we crossed the Frith of Forth, our curio- At an hour somewhat late we came to St. Ansity was attracted by Inch Keith, a small island, drews, a city once archiepiscopal; where that which neither of my companions had ever visited, university still subsists in which philosophy was though, lying within their view, it had all their formerly taught by Buchanan, whose name has lives solicited their notice. Here by climbing as fair a claim to immortality as can be conferred with some difficulty over shattered crags, we by modern latinity, and perhaps a fairer than the made the first experiment of unfrequented coasts. instability of vernacular languages admits. Inch Keith is nothing more than a rock covered We found, that by the interposition of some with a thin layer of earth, not wholly bare of invisible friend, lodgings had been provided for grass, and very fertile of thistles. A small herd us at the house of one of the professors, whose of cows grazes annually upon it in the summer. easy civility quickly made us forget that we It seems never to have afforded to man or beast were strangers; and in the whole time of our a permanent habitation.
stay we were gratisied by every mode of kindWe found only the ruins of a small fort, notness, and entertained with all the elegance of 80 injured by time but that it might be easily lettered hospitality. restored to its former state. It seems never to In the morning we arose to perambulate a have been intended as a place of strength, nor city, which only history shows to have once was it built to endure a siege, but merely to af- flourished, and surveyed the ruins of ancient ford cover to a few soldiers, who perhaps had magnificence, of which even the ruins cannot the charge of a battery, or were stationed to give long be visible, unless some care be taken to presignals of approaching danger. There is there- serve them; and where is the pleasure of prefore no provision of water within the walls, serving such mournful memorials? They have though the spring is so near, that it might have been till very lately so much neglected, that been easily enclosed. One of the stones had every man carried away the stones who fancied this inscription: “Maria Reg. 1564.” It has that he wanted them. probably been neglected from
the time that the The cathedral, of which the foundations may whole island had the same king.
be still traced, and a small part of the wall is We left this little island with our thoughts em- standing, appears to have been a spacious and ployed a while on the different appearance that majestic building, not unsuitable to the primacy it would have made, if it had been placed at the of the kingdom. of the architecture, the poor same distance from London, with the same faci- remains can hardly exhibit, even to an artist, a lity of approach; with what emulation of price sufficient specimen. It was demolished, as is a few rocky acres would have been purchased, well known, in the tumult and violence, of and with what expensive industry they would Knox's reformation. have been cultivated and adorned.
Not far from the cathedral, on the margin of When we landed, we found our chaise ready, the water, stands a fragment of the castle, in an! passed through Kinghorn, Kirkaldy, and which the archbishop anciently resided. It was Cowpar, places no: unlike the small or strag: never very large, and was built with more attengling market-towns in those parts of England tion to security than pleasure. Cardinal Beawhere commerce and manufactures have not yet toun is said to have had workmen employed in produceu opulence.
improving its fortifications, at the time when he Though we were yet in the most populous part was murdered by the ruffians of reformation, in of Scotland, and at so small a distance from the the manner of which Knox has given what he capital, we met few passengers.
himself calls a merry narrative. The roads are neither rough nor dirty: and it! The change of religion in Scotland, eager and
rchement as it was, raised an epidemical enthu- | present professors ; nor can the expense of an siasm, compounded of sullen scrupulousness and academical education be very reasonably objectwarlike ferocity, which in a people whom idle- ed. A student of the highest class may keep ness resigned to their own thoughts, and who, his annual session, or as the English call it, his conversing only with cach other, suffered no term, which lasts seven months, for about fifteen dilution of their zeal from the gradual influx of pounds, and one of lower rank for less than ten ; new opinions, was long transmitted in its full in which board, lodging, and instruction aré strength from the old to the young, but by trade all included. and intercourse with England, is now visibly The chief magistrate resident in the univerabating, and giving way too fast to that laxity sity, answering to our vice-chancellor, and to of practice, and indifference of opinion, in which the rector magnificus on the continent, had commen, not sufficiently instructed to find the mid-monly the title of Lord Rector; but being ada dle point, too easily shelter themselves from dressed only as Mr. Rector in an inauguratory ngour and constraint.
speech by the present chancellor, he has fallen The city of St. Andrews, when it had lost its from his former dignity of style. Lordship wils archiepiscopal pre-eminence, gradually decayed: very liberally annexed by our ancestors to any one if its streets is now lost; and in those that station or character of dignity: they said, the remain, there is the silence and solitude of inac- Lord General, and Lord Ambassador; so we tive indigence and gloomy depopulation. still say, my Lord, to the judge upon the circuit,
The university, within a few years, consisted and yet retain in our Liturgy, the Lords of the of three colleges, but is now reduced to two; the Council. college of St. Leonard being lately dissolved by In walking among the ruins of religious the sale of its buildings, and the appropriation of buildings, we came to two vaults over which had its revenues to the professors of the two others. formerly stood the house of the sub-prior. One The chapel of the alienated college is yet stand- of the vaults was inhabited by an old woman, ing, a fabric not inelegant of external structure: who claimed the right of abode there, as the but I was always, by some civil excuse, hin- widow of a man whose ancestors had possessed dered from entering it. A decent attempt, as the same gloomy mansion for no less than four was since told, has been made to convert it into generations. The right, however it began, was a kind of greenhouse, by planting its area with considered as established by legal prescription, shrubs. This new method of gardening is un- and the old woman lives undisturbed. She successful; the plants do not hitherto prosper. thinks however that she has a claim to some. To what use it will next be put, I have no plea- thing more than sufferance; for as her husband's sure in conjecturing. It is something, that its name was Bruce, she is allied to royalty, and present state is at least not ostentatiously dis- told Mr. Boswell, that when there were perplayed. Where there is yet shame, there may sons of quality in the place, she was distin. in time be virtue.
guished by some notice; that indeed she is now The dissolution of St. Leonard's College was neglected, but she spins a thread, has the comdoubtless necessary; but of that necessity there pany of a cat, and is troublesome to nobody. is reason to complain. It is surely not without Having now seen whatever this ancient city just reproach that a nation, of which the com- offered to our curiosity, we left it with good merce is hourly extending, and the wealth in- wishes, having reason to be highly pleased with creasing, denies any participation of its pro- the attention that was paid us. But whoever perity to its literary societies; and while its surveys the world, must see many things that merchants or its nobles are raising palaces, suf- give him pain. The kindness of the professors fers its universities to moulder into dust. did not contribute to abate the uncasy remem
Of the two colleges yet standing, one is by brance of a university declining, a college alienthe institution of its founder appropriated to di-ated, and a church profaned and hastening to vinity. It is said to be capable of containing the ground. fifty students; but more than one must occupy St. Andrews indeed has formerly suffered a chamber. The library, which is of late erec- more atrocious ravages, and more extensive detion, is not very spacious, but elegant and lumi-struction ; but recent evils affect with greater nous.
force. We were reconciled to the sight of arThe doctor, by whom it was shown, hoped to chiepiscopal ruins. The distance of a calamity irritate or subdue my English vanity, by telling from the present time seems to preclude thu me, that we had no such repository of books in mind from contact or sympathy. Events long England.
past are barely known ; they are not considered. St. Andrews seems to be a place eminently We read with as little emotion the violence of adapted to study and education, being situated Knox and his followers, as the irruptions of in a populous, yet a cheap country, and exposing Alaric and the Goths. Had the university been the minds and manners of young men neither to destroyed two centuries ago, we should not have the levity and dissoluteness of a capital city, nor regretted it; but to see it pining in decay, and to the gross luxury of a town of commerce, struggling for life, fills the mind with mournful places naturally unpropitious to learning; in images and ineflectual wishes. one the desire of knowledge easily gives way to the love of pleasure, and in the other, is in dan
ABERBROTHICK. ger of yielding to the love of money.
As we knew sorrow and wishes to be vain, it The students however are represented as at was now our business to mind our way. The this time not exceeding a hundred. Perhaps it roads of Scotland afford little diversion to the may be some obstruction to their increase that traveller, who seldom sees himself either en. there is no episcopal chapel in the place. I countered or overtaken, and who has nothing ta saw no reason for imputing their pauc'y the contemplate but grounds that have no vizib's boundaries, or are separated by walls of loose found by following the walls among the grasa stone. From the bank of the Tweed to St. and weeds, and its height is known by some Andrews, I had never seen a single tree, which parts yet standing. The arch of one of the gates I did not believe to have grown up far within is entire, and of another only so far dilapidated the present century. Now and then about a as to diversify the appearance. A square aparigentleman's house stands a small plantation, ment of great loftiness is yet standing; its use which in Scotch is called a policy, but of these I could not conjecture, as its elevation was very there are few, and those few all very young. disproportionate to its area. Two corner towers The variety of sun and shade is here utterly un- particularly attracted our attention. Mr. Bas. known. There is no tree for either shelter or well, whose inquisitiveness is seconded by great timber. The oak and the thorn is equally a activity, scrambled in at a high window, but stranger, and the whole country is extended in found the stairs within broken, and could not uniform nakedness, except that in the road be- reach the top. Of the other tower we were told tween Kirkaldy and Cowpar, I passed for a few that the inhabitants sometimes climbed it, but yards between two hedges. A tree might be a we did not immediately discern the entrance, and show in Scotland, as a horse in Venice. At St. as the night was gathering, upon us, though: Andrews, Mr. Boswell found only one, and re- proper to desist. Men skilled in architectur: commended it to my notice; I told him that it might do what we did not attempt; they migt was rough and low, or looked as if I thought probably form an exact ground-plot of this vene 80. This, said he, is nothing to another a few rable edifice. They may, from some parts ye miles off.' I was still less delighted to hear that standing, conjecture its general form, and perhap: another tree was not to be seen nearer. Nay, by comparing it with other buildings of the same said a gentleman that stood by, I know but of kind and the same age, attain an idea very near this and that tree in the county,
to truth. I should scarcely have regretted my The Lowlands of Scotland had once undoubt journey, had it afforded nothing more than the edly an equal portion of woods with other coun-sight of Aberbrothick. tries. Forests are every where gradually diminished, as architecture and cultivation prevail,
MONTROSE. by the increase of people, and the introduction Leaving these fragments of magnificence, we of arts. But I believe few regions have been travelled on to Montrose, which wc surveyed in denuded like this, where many centuries must the morning, and found it well built, airy, and have passed in waste, without the least thought clean. The townhouse is a handsome fabric of future supply. Davies observes in his ac- with a portico. We then went to view the Enge count of Ireland, that no Irishman had ever lish chapel, and found a small church, clean to a planted an orchard. For that negligence some degree unknown in any other part of Scotland, excuse might be drawn from an unsettled state with commodious galleries, and, what was yet of life, and the instability of property; but in less expected, with an organ. Scotland possession has long been secure, and in- At our inn we did not find a reception such as heritance regular, yet it may be doubted whether we thought proportionate to the commercial upis before the Union any man between Edinburgh lence of the place; but Mr. Boswell desired me and England had ever set a tree.
to observe that the inkeeper was an Englishman, of this improvidence no other account can and I then defended him as well as I could. be given than that it probably began in times of When I had proceeded thus far, I had opportumult, and continued because it had begun. tunities of observing what I had never heard, Established custom is not easily broken, till that there were many beggars in Scotland. In some great event shakes the whole system of Edinburgh the proportion is, I think, not less things, and life seems to recommence upon new than in London, and in the smaller places it is principles. That before the Union the Scots far greater than in English towns of the same had little trade and little money, is no valid apo- extent. It must, however, be allowed, that ihey logy; for plantation is the least expensive of all are not importunate, nor clamorous. They solicit methods of improvement. To drop a seed into silently, or very modestly, and, therefore, though the ground can cost nothing, and the trouble is their behaviour may strike with more force the not great of protecting the young plant, till it is heart of a stranger, they are certainly in danger out of danger; though it must be allowed to of missing the attention of their countryme have some difficulty in places like these, where Novelty has always some power; an unaceus. they have neither wood for palisades, nor thorns tomed mode of begging, excites an unaccustomedi for hedges.
degree of pity. But the force of novelty is by Our way was over the Firth of Tay, where, its own nature soon at an end; the efficacy though the water was not wide, we paid four of outcry and perseverance is permanent and shillings for ferrying the chaise.' In Scotland certain. the necessaries of life are easily procured, but The road from Montrose exhibited a continussuperfluities and elegances are of the same price tion of the same appearances. The country at least as in England, and therefore may be con- is still naked, the hedges are of stone, and the sidered as much dearer.
fields so generally ploughed, that it is hard to imaWe stopped a while at Dundee, where I re- gine where grass is found for the horses that call member nothing remarkable, and mounting our them. The harvest, which was almost ripe, ap chaise again, came about the close of the day to peared very plentiful. Aberbrothick.
Early in the afternoon Mr. Boswell observed, The monastery of Aberbrothick is of great that we were at no great distance from the house renown in the history of Scotland. Its ruins of Lord Monboddo. The magnetism of his conafford ample testimony of its ancient magnifi- versation easily drew us out of our way, and the cence: its extent might, I suppose, easily be entertainment which we received would have
WESTERN ISLANDS, &c.
been a sufficient recompense for a much greater grees separately, with total independence of one
on the other.
but his fabulousness and credulity are justly
blamed. His fabulousness, if he was the author ABERDEEN.
of the fictions, is a fault for which no apology We came somewhat late to Aberdeen, and can be made ; but his credulity may be excused found the inn so full, that we had some difficulty in an age when all men were credulous. Learnin obtaining admission, till Mr. Boswell made ing was then rising on the world; but ages so himself known: his name overpowered all ob- long accustomed to darkness, were too much jection, and we found a very good house, and dazzled with its light to see any thing distinctly. civil treatment.
The first race of scholars in the fifteenth century, I received the next day a very kind letter from and some time after, were, for the most part, Sir Alexander Gordon, whom I had formerly learning to speak, rather than to think, and were known in London, and after a cessation of all therefore more studious of elegance than of truth. intercourse for near twenty years, met here pro- The contemporaries of Boethius thought it suffifessor or physic in the King's College. Such un- cient to know what the ancients had delivered. expected renewals of acquaintance may be num- The examination of tenets and of facts was rebered among the most pleasing incidents of life. served for another generation.
The knowledge of one professor soon procured Boethius, as president of the university, en me the notice of the rest, and I did not want any joyed a revenue of forty Scottish marks, about token of regard, being conducted wherever there two pounds, four shillings, and sixpence, of sterwas any thing which I desired to see, and enter- ling money. In the present age of trade and tained at once with the novelty of the place, and taxes, it is difficult even for the imagination so the kindness of communication.
to raise the value of money, or so to diminish the To write of the cities of our own island with demands of life, as to suppose four and forty shilthe solemnity of geographical description, as if lings a year an honourable stipend; yet it was we had been cast upon a newly-discovered coast, probably
equal, not only to the needs, but to the has the appearance of a very frivolous ostenta- rank of Boethius. The wealth of England was tion; yet as Scotland is little known to the undoubtedly to that of Scotland more than five greater part of those who may read these obser- to one, and it is known that Henry the Eighth, vations, it is not superfluous to relate, that under among whose faults avarice was never reckoned, the name of Aberdeen are comprised two towns, granted to Roger Ascham, as a reward of his standing about a mile distant from each other, learning, a pension of ten pounds a year. but governed, I think, by the same magis- The other, called the Marischal College, is in trates.
the new town. The hall is large and well lighted. Old Aberdeen is the ancient episcopal city, in One of its ornaments is the picture of Arthur which are still to be seen the remains of the ca- Johnston, who was principal of the college, and thedral. It has the appearance of a town in who holds among the Latin poets of Scotland, decay, having been situated, in times when com- the next place to the elegant Buchanan. merce was yet unstudied, with very little atten- In the library I was shown some curiosities; tion to the commodiousness of the harbour. a Hebrew manuscript of exquisite penmanship,
New Aberdeen has all the bustle of prosperous and a Latin translation of Aristotle's Politics, by trade, and all the show of increasing opulence. Leonardus Aretinus, written in the Roman chaIt is built by the water-side. The houses are racter, with nicety and beauty, which, as the art large and lofty, and the streets spacious and of printing has made them no longer necessary, clean. They build almost wholly with the gra- are not now to be found. This was one of the nite used in the new pavement of the streets of latest performances of the transcribers, for AretiLondon, which is well known not to want hard- nus died but about twenty years before typograness, yet they shape it easily. It is beautiful, phy was invented. This version has been printed, and must be very lasting.
and may be found in libraries, but is little read; What particular parts of commerce are chiefly for the same books have been since translated exercised by the merchants of Aberdeen, I have both by Victorious and Lambinus, who lived in not inquired. The manufacture which forces an age more cultivated, but perhaps owed in part itself upon a stranger's eye, is that of knit stock to Aretinus that they were able to excel him. ings, on which the women of the lower class are Much is due to those who first broke the way to visibly employed.
knowledge, and left only to their successors the In each of these towns there is a college, or in task of smoothing it. stricter language, a university; for in both there In both these colleges the methods of instrucare professors of the same parts of learning, and tion are nearly the same; the lectures differing the colleges hold their sessions, and confer de-I only by the accidental difference of diligence, or