« 前へ次へ »
ber nothing remarkable, and mounting our chaise again, came about the close of the day to Aberbrothick.
The monastery of Aberbrothick is of great renown in the history of Scotland. Its ruins afford ample testimony of its ancient magnificence : Its extent night, I suppose, easily be found by following the walls among the grass and weeds, and its height is known by some parts yet standing. The arch of one of the gates is entire, and of another only fo far dilapidated as to diversify the appear
A square apartment of great loftinefs is yet standing, its use I could not conjecture, as its elevation was very disproportionate to its area. Two corner towers particularly attracted ourattention. Mr Boswell, whose inquisitiveness is secondeu by great activity, scrambled in at a high window, but found the stairs within broken, and could not reach the top. Of the other tower we were told that the inhabitants sometimes climbed it, but we did not iminediately discern the entrance, and as the night was gathering upon us, thought proper lo desist. Men skilled in architecture might do what we did not attempt : They might probably form an exact ground-plot of this venerable edifiće. They may from some parts yet ftanding conjecture its general form, and perhaps by comparing it with oiher buildings of the fame kind, and the same age, attain an idea very near to truth. I should scarcely have regretted my journey, had
it afforded nothing more than a fight of Aberbrothick.
Leaving these fragments of magnificence, we travelled on to Montrose, which we surveyed in the morning, and found it well built, airy, and clean, The town-house is an handsome fabric with a portico. We then went to view the English chapel, and found a small church, clean to a degree unknown in any other part of Scotland, with commodious galleries, and, what was yet less expected,
with an organ.
At our inn we did not find a reception such as we thought proportionate to the commercial opulence of the place; but Mr Boswell desired me to obferve that the inn-keeper was an Englishman, and I then defended him as well as I could.
When I had proceeded thus far, I had opportunities of observing what I had never heard, that there are many beggars in Scotland. In Edinburgh the proportion is, I think, not less than in London, and in the smaller places it is far greater than in English towns of the fameextent. It must, however, be allowed that they are not importunate, nor clamorous. They folicit filently, or very modestly, and therefore though their behaviour may strike with more force the heart of a stranger, they are certainly in danger of missing the attention of their
countrymen. Novelty has always some power, an unaccustomed mode of begging excites an unaccustomed degree of pity. But the force of novelty is by its own nature foon at an end ; the efficacy of outcry and perseverence is permanent and certain.
The road from Montrose exhibited a continua. tion of the fame appearances. The country is still naked, the hedges are of stone, and the fields fo generally plowed, that it is hard to imagine where grass is found for the horses that till them. The harvest, which was almost ripe, appeared very plentiful.
Early in the afternoon Mr Boswell observed that we were at no great distance from the house of Lord Monboddo. The magnetism of his conversation easily drew us out of our way, and the entertainment which we received would have been a sufficient recompense for a much greater deviation.
The roads beyond Edinburgh, as they are less frequented, must be expected to grow gradually rougher ; but they were hitherto by no means incommodious. We travelled on with the gentle pace of a Scotch driver, who having no rivals in expedition, neither gives himself nor his horses unnecessary trouble. We did not affect the impa.. tience we did not feel, but were satisfied with the company of each other, as well riding in the chaise, as sitting at an inn. The night and the
day are equally folitary and equally fafe ; for where there are so few travellers, why should there ble robbers ?
We came somewhat late to Aberdeen, and found the inn fo full, that we had some difficulty in obtaining admission, till Mr Boswell made himself known : His name overpowered all objection, and we found a very good house, and civil treatment.
I received the next day a very kind letter from Sir Alexander Gordon, whom I had forinerly known in London, and after a cellation of all intercourse for near twenty years met here profeffor of physic in the King's College. Such unexpected renewals of acquaintance may be numbered among the most pleasing incidents of life.
The knowledge of one professor foon procured. me the notice of the rest, and I did not want any token of regard, being conducted wherever there was any thing which I defired to fee, and entertained at once with the novelty of the place, and the kindness of communication.
To write of the cities of our own island with the folemnity of geographical description, as if we had been caft upon a newly-discovered coait, has the appearance of very frivolous oftentation ; yet as Scotland is little known to the greater part of those who may read these observations, it is not fu
perfluous to relate, that under the name of Aberdeen are comprised two towns, standing about a mile diftant from each other, but governed, I think, by the fame magiftrates.
Old Aberdeen is the ancient episcopal city, in which are still to be feen the remains of the cathedral. It has the appearance of a town in decay, having been fituated in times when commerce was yet unftudied, with very little attention to the commodities of the harbour.
New Aberdeen has all the bustle of prosperous trade, and all the fhow of increasing opulence. It is built by the water side. The houses are large and lofty, and the streets spacious and clean. They build almost wholly with the granite used in the new pavement of the streets of London, which is well known not to want hardness, yet they shape it easily. It is beautiful, and must be very lasting.
What particular parts of commerce are chiefly exercised by the merchants of Aberdeen, I have not inquired. The manufacture which forces it. self upon a stranger's eye is that of knit stockings, on which the women of the lower class are visibly employed.
In each of these towns there is a college, or, in stricter language, an university ; for in both there are profeffors of the fame parts of learning, and the colleges hold their sessions and confer degrees separately, with total independence of one on the other.