« 前へ次へ »
long enough to fhew us how much we lost at feparation.
As we crofled the FRITH of FORTH, our curiofity was attracted by INCH KEITH, a small island, which neither of my companions had ever visited, though, lying within their view, it had all their lives folicited their notice. Here, by climbing with tome difficulty over shattered crags, we made the first experiment of unfrequented coafts. Inch Keith is nothing more than a rock covered with a thin layer of earth, not wholly bare of grass, and very fertile of thistles. A small herd of cows grazes annually upon it in the summer. It seems never to have afforded to man or beast a permapent habitation.
We found only the ruins of a small fort, not so injured by time but that it might be easily restored to its former state. It seems never to have been intended as a place of strength, nor was built to endure a siege, but merely to afford cover to a few soldiers, who perhaps had the charge of a battery, or were stationed to give signals of approaching danger. There is therefore no provision of water within the walls, though the spring is so near, that it might have been easily enclosed. One of the Itones had this inscription : “ Maria Reg. 1564." It has probably been neglected from the time that the whole island had the fame king.
We left this little island with our thoughts employed a while on the different appearance that it
would have made, if it had been placed at the same distance from London, with the fame facility of approach; with what emulation of price a few rocky acres would have been purchased, and with what expensive industry they would have been cultivated and adorned.
When we landed, we found our chaise ready, and pafled through KINGHORN, KIRKALDY, and COWPAR, places not unlike the small or straggling market-towns in England, where commerce and manufactures have not yet produced opulence.
Though we were yet in the most populous part of Scotland, and at so small a distance from the capital, we met few passengers.
The roads are neither rough nor dirty ; and it affords a southern stranger a new kind of pleasure to travel fo commodiously without the interruption of toll-gates. Where the bottom is rocky, as it seems commonly to be in Scotland, a smooth way is made indeed with great labour, but it never wants repairs; and in those parts where adventitious materials are necessary, the ground once confolidated is rarely broken; for the inland commerce is not great, nor are heavy commodities often tranfported otherwise than by water. The carriages in common use are small carts, drawn each by one little horse ; and a man seems to derive some degree of dignity and importance from the reputation of poftelling a two-horse cart.
St ANDREWS. Át an hour fomewhat late we came to St Andrews, a city once archiepiscopal; where that university fill subfifts in which philofophy was formerly taught by Buchanan, whose name has as fair a claim to immortality as can be conferred by modern latinity, and perhaps a fairer than the instalia lity of vernacular languages admits.
We found, that by the interpofition of some invisible friend, lodgings had been provided for us at the house of one of the profeffors, whose eafy civility quickly made us forget that we were strangers; and in the whole time of our stay we were gratified by every mode of kindness, and entertained with all the elegance of lettered hospitality.
In the morning we rose to perambulate a city, which only history thews to bave once fiourished, and surveyed the ruins of ancient magnificencc, of which even the ruins cannot long be visible, unless some care be taken to preserve them ;' and whcre is the pleasure of preserving such mournful memorials? They have been till very lately so much neglected, that every man carried away the stones who fancied that he wanted them.
The Cathedral, of which the foundations may be still traced, and a small part of the wall is standing, appears to have been a spacious and majestic building, not unsuitable to the primacy of the kingdom. Of the architceture, the poor remains
can hardly exhibit, even to an artist, a sufficient specimen. It was demolished, as is well known, in the tumult and violence of Knox's reforination.
Not far from the cathedral, on the margin of the water, stands a fragment of the castle, in which the archbishop anciently resided. It was never very large, and was built with more attention to fecurity than pleasure. Cardinal Beatoun is faid to have had workmen employed in improving its fortifications at the time when he was murdered by the ruffians of reformation, in the manner of which Knox has given what he himself calls a merry narrative.
The change of religion in Scotland, eager and vehement as it was, raised an epidemical enthufi. asm, compounded of sulien fcrupuloufness and warlike ferocity, which, in a people whom idleness refigned to their own thoughts, and who conversing only with each other, suffered no dilution of their zeal from the gradual influx of new opinions, was. long transmitted in its full strength from the old to the young, but by trade and intercourse with England, is now visibly abating, and giving way too fast to their laxity of practice and indifference of opinion, in which men, not fufficiently instructed to find the middle point, too easily shelter themselves from rigour and constraint.
The city of St Andrews, when it had lost its archiepiscopal pre-eminence, gradually decayed : One of its streets is now lost; and in those that
remain, there is the filence and solitude of inactive indigence and gloomy depopulation.
The university, within a few years, consisted of three colleges, but is now reduced to two ; the college of St Leonard being lately diffolved by the sale of its buildings and the appropriation of its revenues to the profeffors of the two others. The chapel of the alienated college is yet standing, a fabrick not inelegant, of external structure ; but I was always, by fome civil, excufe, hindered from entering it. A decent attempt, as I was since told, has been made to convert it into a kind of greenhouse, by planting its area with shrubs. This new method of gardening is unsuccessful; the plants do not hitherto prosper. To what use it will next be put I have no pleasure in conjecturing. It is fome. thing tirat its present state is at least not oftentati ously displayed. Where there is yet shame, there may in time be virtue.
The diffolution of St Leonard's College was doubtless neceffary,'but of that neceflity there is reason to complain. It is surely not without just reproach, that a nation, of which the commerce is hourly extending, and the wealth increasing, derties any participation of its prosperity, to its literary societies; and while its merchants or its nobles are raising palaces, suffers its universities to moulder into dust.
Of the two colleges yet ftanding, one is by the institution of its founder appropriated to divinity.