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It is said to be capable of containing fifty fiudents; but more than one must occupy a chamber. The library, which is of late erectio.., is not very spaci. ous, but elegant and luminous.
The doctor, by whom it was shewn, hoped to irritate or subdue my English vanity, by telling me, that we had no fuck repository of books in England.
Saint Andrews seems to be a place eminently adapted to study and education, being situated in a populous, yet a cheap country, and exposing the minds and manners of young men neither to the levity and dissoluteness of a capital city, nor to the grofs luxury of a town of commerce, places naturally unpropitious to learning ; in one, the defire of knowledge easily gives way to the love of pleatu.e, and in the other, is in danger of yielding to the love of money..
The students however are represented as at this time not exceeding a hundred. Perhaps it may be fome obstruction to their increase that there is no episcopal chapel in the place. I saw no reason for imputing their paucity to the present professors ; nor can the expence of an academical education be very reasonably objected. A student of the highest class may keep his annual feflion, or, as the English call it, his term, which lasts feven months, for about fifteen pounds, and one of lower rank for less than ten; in which, board, lodging, and instruction, are all included. The chief magistrate resident in the university,
answering to our vice-chancellor, and to the rector magnificus on the continent, had commonly the title of Lord Rector ; but being addreffed only as Mr Rector in an inauguratory fpeech by the present chancellor, he has fallen from his former dignity of style. Lord ship was very liberally annexed by our ancestors to any station or character of dignity : They faid, the Lord General, and Lord Am. baffador ; fo we still say, my Lord, to the judge upon the circuit, and yet retain in our Liturgy the Lords of the Council.
In walking among the ruins of religious buildings, we came to two vaults, over which had formerly stood the house of the sub-prior. One of the vaults was inhabited by an old woman, who claimed the right of abode there, as the widow of a man whose ancestors had poffeffed the fame gloomy mansion for no less than four generations. The right, however it began, was considered as established by legal prescription, and the old woman lives undisturbed. She thinks, however, that she has a claim to fomething more than fufferance; for, as her husband's name was Bruce, she is allied to royalty, and told Mr Boswell, that when there were persons of quality in the place, she was distinguished by fome notice ; that indeed she is now neglected, but the spins a thread, has the. company of her cat, and is troublesome to nobody,
Having now seen whatever this ancient city of fered to our curiosity, we left it with good wishes,
having reason to be highly pleased with the attention that was paid us. But whoever surveys the world must see many things that give him pain. The kindness of the Professors did not contribute to abate the uneasy remembrance of an university declining, a college alienated, and a church profaned and hastening to the ground
St Andrews indeed has formerly suffered more atrocious ravages and more extensive destruction, but recent evils affect with greater force. We were reconciled to the fight of archiepiscopal ruins. The distance of a calamity from the present time seems to preclude the mind from contact or fympathy. Events long past are barely known; they are not considered. We read with as little emotion the violence of Knox and his followers, as the irruptions of Alaric and the Goths. Had the university been destroyed two centuries ago, we fhould not have regretted it; but to see it pining in decay, and struggling for life, fills the mind with mournful images and ineffectual wisñes.
As we knew forrow and wishes to be vain, it was now our business to mind our way. The roads of Scotland afford little diversion to the traveller, who seldom sees himself either encountered or overtaken, and who has nothing to contemplate but grounds that have no visible boundaries, or are fe
parated by walls of loose stone. From the bank of the Tweed to St Andrews I had never seen a single tree, which I did not believe to have grown up far within the present century. Now and then about a gentleman's house ftands a small plantation, which in Scotch is called a policy, but of these there are few, and those few all very young. The variety of fun and fhade is here utterly unknown. There is no tree for either shelter or timber. The oak and the thorn is equally a stranger, and the whole country is extended in uniform nakedness, except that in the road between Kirkaldy and Cowpar, I paffed for a few yards between two hedges. A tree might be a show in Scotland as a horse in Venice. At St Andrews Mr Boswell found only one, and recommended it to my notice; I told him that it was rough and low, or looked as if I thought so. This, said he, is nothing to another a few miles off. I was still less delighted to hear that another tree was not to be seen near. er. Nay, said a gentleman that stood by, I know but of this and that tree in the country.
The Lowlands of Scotland had once undoubtedly an equal portion of woods with other countries. Forests are every where gradually diminished, as architecture and cultivation prevail by the increase of people and the introduction of arts. But I be. lieve few regions have been denuded like this, where many centuries must have passed in waste without the least thought of future fupply. Da
vies observes in his account of Ireland, that no Irishman had ever planted an orchard. For that negligence some excuse might be drawn from an unsettled state of life, and the instability of property; but in Scotland poffeffion has long been fecure, and inheritance regular, yet it may be doubted whether before the Union any man between Edinburgh and England had ever fet a tree.
Of this improvidence no other account can be given than that it probably began in times of tumult, and continued because it had begun. Established custom is not easily broken, till some great event shakes the whole system of things, and life seems to recommence upon new principles. That before the Union the Scots had little trade and little money, is no valid apology; for plantation is the least expensive of all methods of improvement. To drop a feed into the ground can coft nothing, and the trouble is not great of protecting the young plant till it is out of danger; though it must be allowed to have some difficulty in places like these, where they have neither wood for palisades, nor thorns for hedges.
Our way was over the Frith of Tay, where, tho’ 'the water was not wide, we paid four shillings for ferrying the chaise. In Scotland the neceffaries of life are easily procured, but fuperfluities and elegancies are of the same price at least as in England, and therefore may be considered as much dearer. We stopped a while at Dundee, where I remem