Footsteps of Dr. Johnson (Scotland)/Chapter 4

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St. Andrews (August 18-20).

Coming as they did through the darkness to St. Andrews, they saw nothing of that "august appearance" which the seat of the most ancient of the Scotch universities presented from afar. "It appears," said an early traveller, "much like Bruges in Flanders at a distance; its colleges and fine steeples making a goodly appearance."[1] They arrived late, after a dreary drive, but "found a good supper at Glass's Inn, and Dr. Johnson revived agreeably." Who was Glass and which was his inn I could not ascertain. The old Scotch custom of calling a house not after its sign but its landlord, renders identification difficult. Wherever it was they found it full; but "by the interposition of some invisible friend," to use Johnson's words, "lodgings were provided at the house of one of the professors." The invisible friend was a relation of that "most universal genius," Dr. Arbuthnot,
St. Leonard's College
whom Johnson once ranked first among the writers in Queen Anne's reign. Their host was Dr. Robert Watson, the author of the History of Philip II. and Philip III. of Spain, "an interesting, clear, well-arranged, and rather feeble-minded work," as Carlyle described it.[2] His house had formerly been part of St. Leonard's College, but had been purchased by him at the time when that ancient institution, by being merged in St. Salvator's, lost its separate existence. A traveller who had visited St. Andrews about the year 1723 saw the old cells of the monks, two storeys high, on the southern side of the college. "On the west was a goodly pile of buildings, but all out of repair."[3] Wesley, who came to the town three years after Johnson, does not seem to have known how large a part of the old buildings had been converted into a private house, for he wrote that "what was left of St. Leonard's College was only a heap of ruins." [4] Of the inside of the ancient chapel Johnson could not get a sight:

"I was always, by some civil excuse, hindered from entering it. A decent attempt, as I was since told, has been made to convert it into a kind of green-house, 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 something, that its present state is at least not ostentatiously displayed. Where there is yet shame, there may in time be virtue."

The virtue was somewhat slow in coming. Saint-Fond, who got a peep into the chapel, inferred that it was used for a winter store-house for the carrots and turnips which grew in the kitchen-garden that surrounded it. It has of late years been cleared of rubbish and restored to decency, which, perhaps, is all the restoration that is desirable. Some shrubs and overhanging trees have been allowed to throw a graceful veil over man's neglect. One strange sight the old monkish cells had witnessed earlier in the century. A man of liberal views had been elected Rector of the University. In his honour "the students made a bonfire at St. Leonard's Gate, into which they threw some of the Calvinistic systems which they were enjoined to read."[5] Not very many years before this innocent and even meritorious sacrifice was made, the terrible flames of religious persecution had blazed up in this city dedicated to piety and learning. It is possible that Johnson passed in the streets some aged man who in his childhood had seen a miserable woman burnt to death for withcraft on the Witch Hill. So late as the seventh year of the present century a gentleman was living who had known a person who had witnessed this dreadful sight.[6]

In Dr. Watson's house the two travellers "found very comfortable and genteel accommodation." The host "wondered at Johnson's total inattention to established manners;" but he does not seem to have let his wonder be discovered by his guest. "I take great delight in him," said Johnson. How much delight Watson took in him we are not told. "He allowed him a very strong understanding;" and as well he might, for he heard some "good talk." It was at his breakfast-table that Johnson proudly pointed out how authors had at length shaken themselves free of patrons. "Learning," he said, "is a trade. We have done with patronage. If learning cannot support a man, if he must sit with his hands across till somebody feeds him, it is as to him a bad thing." It was here, moreover, that he gave that amusing account of the change of manners in his lifetime. "I remember (said he) when all the decent people in Lichfield got drunk every night, and were not the worse thought of." That smoking had gone out seemed to him strange, for it was "a thing which requires so little exertion, and yet preserves the mind from total vacuity."

The exact spot where he was so comfortably lodged is doubtful. In the Hebrides some of the chambers in which he slept are still known. In a University, where the traditions of a scholar should surely linger long, the very house has been forgotten. It is believed, however, that Dr. Watson occupied that part of the ancient building which had once been Buchanan's residence. Some portion of that great scholar's study still remains, having outlived both time and change. Yet that Johnson should not have been informed of a fact which to him would have been so interesting, or that being informed he should not have mentioned it, is indeed surprising. His admiration for Buchanan's genius seems almost unbounded. If the city attracted him because it had once been archiepiscopal, so did the University, because in it Buchanan had once taught philosophy. "His name," he adds, "has as fair a claim to immortality as can be conferred by modern latinity, and perhaps a fairer than the instability of vernacular languages admits." Sir Walter Scott loved him almost as much as Johnson. "He was his favourite Latin poet as well as historian."[7]

Our travellers rose "much refreshed" from their fatigue, and to the enjoyment of a very fine day. They went forth to view the ruins not only of a cathedral, but almost of a city and a University. That it had once flourished as a city was shown by history: its ancient magnificence as the seat of a great archbishopric was witnessed by "the mournful memorials" which had escaped the hands of the devastator. Of its three Colleges only two were standing. It was "the skeleton of a venerable city," said Smollett.[8] Many years earlier a traveller, applying to it Lord Rochester's words, had described it as being "in its full perfection of decay." Pennant, who visited it only the year before Johnson, on entering the West Port, saw a well-built street, straight, and of a vast length and breadth, lying before him; but it was so grass-grown, and so dreary a solitude, that it seemed as if it had been laid waste by pestilence.[9] Another traveller, who came a little later, praised "the noble wide street," but lamented that most of the houses were "disfigured by what is termed a fore-stair—that is, an open staircase on the outside, carried in a zigzag manner across the front of the house." Before most of them was heaped up a huge dunghill.[10] A young English student fresh from Eton, the grandson of Bishop Berkeley, who entered the University about the year 1778, on seeing "this dreary deserted city, wept to think that he was to remain there three long years." So fond nevertheless did he become of the place that "he shed more tears at leaving than at entering."[11] Saint-Fond saw grass growing in all the streets: "Tout y est triste, silencieux; le peuple, y vivant dans l'ignorance des arts et du commerce, offre l'image de l'insouciance et de la langueur."[12] I was told by an old inhabitant that not a single new house was built till after the year 1851, and that not long before that time sheep might be seen feeding in the grass-grown streets. Our travellers were touched by the general gloom. "It was," said Boswell, " somewhat dispiriting to see this ancient archiepiscopal city now sadly deserted." "One of its streets," wrote Johnson, "is now lost; and in those that remain there is the silence and solitude of inactive indigence and gloomy depopulation." This loss of a street seems to have been imaginary. He was speaking, no doubt, of the road known under the name of The Scores, which runs in front of the Castle, and follows the line of the coast. But along its course neither pavements nor foundations have ever been discovered.[13] Nevertheless the desolation was very great. Over one ruin, however, a good man might have justly exulted. In the archbishops' castle on the edge of the sea is shown the dreadful pit in which the unhappy prisoner, far below the level of the ground, spent his weary days in wretchedness and darkness, listening to the beating of the waves. Here ofttimes he waited for the hour to come when he should be raised by a rope to the surface, as if he were a bucket of water, and not a man, and dragged off to die before the people. Sometimes those poor eyes, grown weak by a darkness which was never broken, of a sudden had to face, not only the light of day, but the blaze of the torch which was to kindle the martyr's pile. Thinking on all this—on Patrick Hamilton, on Henry Forrest, on George Wishart, and on Walter Milne, who for their faith suffered death

Footsteps of Dr. Johnson-131.jpg

Docks.

by fire at St. Andrews—who does not rejoice that this dismal den was shattered to pieces, and that where once "an atheous priest" made the good tremble by his frown, now on the pleasant sward innocent children play about, and strangers from afar idly dream an hour away?

None of these thoughts came into the minds of the two travellers. They did not see this dreadful dungeon, for it was hidden beneath the rubbish of the ruined walls. The sight of it would, I hope, have moved Johnson to write otherwise than he did. Had he looked down into its gloomy depths, he would scarcely have said that "Cardinal Beaton was murdered by the ruffians of reformation." Never surely was a more righteous sentence executed than that whereby this murderer of George Wishart, in the very room where, lolling on his velvet cushion, he had looked forth on the martyr's sufferings, was himself put to death.

With far different feelings are we animated as we look at "the poor remains of the stately Cathedral." If we do not grieve for the rooks, nevertheless we mourn over the wild folly which struck down so glorious a rookery. Would that that fair sight still caught the sailor's eye which met John Knox's gaze when, "hanging tired over his oar in the French galley, he saw the white steeples of St. Andrews rising out of the sea in the mist of the summer morning!"[14] Desolate as is the scene of ruin now, it was far more desolate when Johnson saw it. The ground lay deep in rubbish. The few broken pillars which were left standing were almost hidden in the ruins heaped up around them. The Cathedral until very lately had been made a common quarry, "and every man had carried away the stones who fancied that he wanted them." Now all is trim. The levelled ground, the smooth lawn, the gravelled paths, the gently sloping banks, the trees and the shrubs, all bear witness to man's care for the venerable past, and to his reverence for the dead who still find their last resting-place by the side of their forefathers. The wantonness of the destruction, however, mocks at repair. The work was too thoroughly done by those fierce reformers, and by the quiet quarrymen of after ages. In all the cities of Scotland there were craftsmen, but it was in Glasgow alone that they rose to save their beloved Cathedral. Yet everywhere the people should have felt—to use Johnson's homely words—as, "wrapt up in contemplation," he surveyed these scenes—that "differing from a man in doctrine is no reason why you should pull his house about his ears." We may exclaim, as Wesley exclaimed at Aberbrothick, when he was told that the zealous reformers burnt the Abbey down, "God deliver us from reforming mobs!"[15]

In the ruined cloisters as our travellers paced up and down, while the old walls gave "a solemn echo" to their steps and to Johnson's strong voice, he talked about retirement from the world. For such a discourse there could not easily have been found a more fitting scene.

"I never read of an hermit (he said) but in imagination I kiss his feet: never of a monastery, but I could fall on my knees and kiss the pavement. But I think putting young people there, who know nothing of life, nothing of retirement, is dangerous and wicked. It is a saying as old as Hesiod—

"Εργα νέων, βoυλαί δε μέσων, εὐχαἰ δἐ γερόντων.'[16]

That is a very noble line: not that young men should not pray, or old men not give counsel, but that every season of life has its proper duties. I have thought of retiring, and have talked of it to a friend; but I find my vocation is rather to active life."

Here, too, it was a different scene upon which he looked from that which meets our view. The gravestones which are now set against the walls of the cloisters were then buried beneath the rubbish of the cathedral. On the other side of this wall, in the grounds of the priory, were situated those "two vaults or cellars" where our travellers found a strange inmate.

"In one of them (writes Johnson) lives an old woman, who claims an hereditary residence in it, boasting that her husband was the sixth tenant of this gloomy mansion in a lineal descent, and claims by her marriage with this lord of the cavern an alliance with the Bruces. Mr. Boswell staid a while to interrogate her, because he understood her language; she told him that she and her cat lived together; that she had two sons somewhere, who might perhaps be dead; that when there were quality in the town notice was taken of her, and that now she was neglected, but did not trouble them. Her habitation contained all that she had; her turf for fire was laid in one place and her balls of coal dust in another, but her bed seemed to be clean. Boswell asked her if she never heard any noises, but she could tell him of nothing supernatural, though she often wandered in the night among the graves and ruins; only she had sometimes notice by dreams of the death of her relations."

I made as diligent an inquiry as I could after this kinswoman of the royal family of Scotland, but all in vain.

"The glories of our blood and state
Are shadows, not substantial things."

The memory has been preserved of "some cellar-looking places," but no tradition of human habitation has come down to our time.

"Dr. Johnson wanted to mount the steeples (writes Boswell), but it could not be done. One of them, which he was told was in danger, he wished not to be taken down; 'for (said he) it may fall on some of the posterity of John Knox; and no great matter.'"

Among the posterity was to be born eight-and-twenty years later a little girl, destined to become famous as the wife of Thomas Carlyle.[17] What was the hindrance to the ascent of St. Rule's Tower I could not ascertain. The staircase, which is perfect, has
West door, St. Andrews.
in no part a modern appearance, but nevertheless, it is possible that some of the steps were missing. Saint-Fond, nevertheless, went up it not long after Johnson's visit. Sir Walter Scott, a few years before his death, visiting the ruins, wrote that he had not been strong enough to climb the tower.

"When before did I remain sitting below when there was a steeple to be ascended? I sat down on a grave-stone, and recollected the first visit I made to St. Andrews, now thirty-four years ago. What changes in my feelings and my fortunes have since then taken place!—some for the better, many for the worse. I remembered the name I then carved in runic characters on the turf beside the Castle Gate, and I asked why it should still agitate my heart."[18]

As we wander among these ancient ruins it is pleasant to think not only on the days when the cathedral stood in all its magnificence, and on those other days when the wild mob raved through it, but also on old Samuel Johnson, wrapped up in contemplation or preaching about retirement, and on Walter Scott resting on a gravestone and dreaming of his first love. We may pause, too, for one moment in the old chapel beneath the tower, at the spot where that good man and good antiquary Robert Chambers lies in everlasting rest. From the top of the tower I looked with pleasure on the long row of young trees planted along the main street. The reproach of bareness will not long hang over the town. Indeed, much had been done to remove it by an earlier generation, for this noble street was adorned not many years ago by a fine group of trees. Unfortunately a reforming provost arose, who swept them away. Near the cathedral I noticed an inscription which might have called forth Johnson's sarcastic wit had he chanced to see it. It bore the date of 1712, and was in memory of "John Anderson who was Minister of the Gospel of St. Andrews."

While the travellers were strolling about "dinner was mentioned. 'Ay, ay,' said Johnson. 'Amidst all these sorrowful scenes I have no objection to dinner.'" They were to be the guests of the professors, who entertained them at one of the inns.

"An ill-natured story was circulated (says Boswell) that, after grace was said in English, Johnson, with the greatest marks of contempt, as if he had held it to be no grace in an university, would not sit down till he had said grace aloud, in Latin. This would have been an insult indeed to the gentlemen who were entertaining us. But the truth was precisely thus. In the course of conversation at dinner, Dr. Johnson, in very good humour, said, 'I should have expected to have heard a Latin grace, among so many learned men: we had always a Latin grace at Oxford. I believe I can repeat it."

This grace had been written by the learned Camden for Pembroke College, "to which," to use Johnson's own words, "the zeal or gratitude of those that love it most can wish little better than that it may long proceed as it began."

In the afternoon they went to see the monument to Archbishop Sharpe. His great granddaughter they met at supper. Saint-Fond, confounding him with Cardinal Beaton, says: "Il parâit que les parens du Cardinal Beaton n'ont pas voulu déguiser la paternité du saint archevêque, puisque sa fille est représentée toute en pleurs, les bras tendus vers son père."[19]

The two colleges which formed the University greatly interested Johnson. The natural advantages of St. Andrews for a seat of learning had been pointed out by an earlier traveller, who maintained that it had the best situation he had ever seen for an University, "being out of all common roads, and having fine downs or links, as they call them, for exercising the scholars."[20] The golfers who now throng the links and boast that when professors by their learning could not save the ancient city from sinking into decay, they by their idleness have lifted it into prosperity, must have been numerous even in Johnson's time. Of all the old manufactures, that of golf-balls alone was left, and it maintained, or rather helped to destroy, several people. "The trade," says Pennant, "is commonly fatal to the artists, for the balls are made by stuffing a great quantity of feathers into a leathern case, by help of an iron rod with a wooden handle pressed against the breast, which seldom fails to bring on a consumption."[21] To Johnson, though he makes no mention of the Links, "St. Andrews seemed to be a place eminently adapted to study and education." Nevertheless,

Footsteps of Dr. Johnson-136.jpg

Golf at St. Andrews.

he had to grieve over a declining university. The fault was not, he said, in the professors; the expenses of the students, moreover, were very moderate. For about fifteen pounds, board, lodging, and instruction were provided for the session of seven months for students of the highest class. Those of lower rank were charged less than ten. Percival Stockdale, who was there in 1756, says that "for a good bedroom, coals, and the attendance of a servant, he paid one shilling a week."[22] At this period an Oxford commoner, Johnson says, required a hundred a year and a petty scholarship "to live with great ease."[23] To anyone who could pay for what he bought in ready money, living was made cheaper by the system of giving a discount of a shilling in the pound. A Scotch gentleman who resided much in England finding that this was not done in that country, "was in the habit when he purchased anything of putting the cash in a piece of paper, on which he wrote what it was to pay. This lie kept in his desk twelve months, saying that the English traders are a set of rascals."[24] The poorer Scotch students, however, had to bear great privations. "The miserable holes which some of them inhabit," writes a young English traveller, "their abstemiousness and parsimony, their constant attendance to study, their indefatigable industry, border on romance."[25] At St. Andrews they often were too poor to buy candles, and had to study by fire-light.[26] In spite of the extraordinary cheapness of the life their numbers were dwindling. They did not at this time exceed a hundred, says Johnson. Three years later Wesley was told that there were only about seventy.[27] "To the sight of archiepiscopal ruins," Johnson was reconciled, he said, by the remoteness of the calamity which had befallen them. "Had the University been destroyed two centuries ago we should not have regretted it; but to see it pining in decay and struggling for life fills the mind with mournful images and ineffectual wishes." Some improvement, nevertheless, had of late been made. Defoe, in the year 1727, had described the whole building of St. Salvator's College "as looking into its grave.[28] The account given by Boswell of the fabric is much more cheerful. "The rooms for students," he writes, "seemed very commodious, and Dr. Johnson said the chapel was the neatest place of worship he had seen." Nevertheless, at the beginning of this century some of the lecture-rooms were described as being places "in which a gentleman would be ashamed to lodge his hacks or his terriers."[29] It was fortunate for the reputation of the College that our two travellers had not visited it earlier in the summer, otherwise they would have had to report a disgraceful sight which three years later shocked John Wesley. It was soon after the beginning of the Long Vacation that he was there, before the glaziers had repaired the wreck which marked the end of the yearly course. It was the custom, he was told, for the students to break all the windows before they left. "Where," asks Wesley, indignantly, are their blessed Governors in the mean time? Are they all fast asleep?"[30] The young Etonian, Bishop Berkeley's grandson, had the merit of putting an end to this bad practice. On entrance he was required to deposit a crown for window-money; when, model of virtue as he was, he objected that he had never yet broken a window in his life, and was not likely to begin, he was assured that he would before he left St. Andrews. The College porter, who collected "these window-croons," told him of a poor student who had shed tears on being called on to pay. His father, a cottar, had sold one of his three cows to find money for his education at the university, and had sent him up with a large tub of oatmeal, a pot of salted butter, and five shillings in his pocket. Sixpence of this money had already been spent, and the rest the porter took.[31] When the window-breaking time came on, and Berkeley was summoned to take his part in the riot, he refused. As a boy at Eton, he said, though sometimes with more wine in his head than was good for him, he had never performed such a valiant feat, and he was not therefore going to begin as a young man. His comrades yielded to his remonstrances, and the windows were no longer broken.[32]

At St. Mary's College Johnson was shown the fine library which had been finished within the last few years. Dr. Murison, the Principal, was abundantly vain of it, for he seriously said to him, "You have not such a one in England." Johnson, though he has his laugh at the Doctor for hoping "to irritate or subdue his English vanity," yet admits that if "it was not very spacious, it was elegant and luminous." It is not, of course, to be compared with the largest libraries at Oxford. "If a man has a mind to prance" it is not at St. Andrews, but at Christ Church and All Souls, that he must study.[33] Nevertheless it confers great dignity on the University, and with its 120,000 volumes there is no English College that it would disgrace. Murison's vanity had therefore some excuse. He was, however, a man "barely sufficient" for the post which he held. Over his slips in Latin the lads sometimes made merry. In the Divinity Hall he one day rebuked a student for delivering a discourse which was too high-flown and poetical. "Lord help him, poor man!" said the indignant youngster, "He knows no better."[34] On the second day of our travellers' stay "they went," says Boswell, "and saw Colonel Nairne's garden and grotto. Here was a fine old plane tree.[35] Unluckily the Colonel said there was but this and another large tree in the country.[36] This assertion was an

Footsteps of Dr. Johnson-139.jpg

St. Mary's College Library.

excellent cue for Dr. Johnson, who laughed enormously, calling to me to hear it." The Colonel's father, Lord Nairne, had been "out in the '45," while the son, who fought in the King's army, had been sent to batter down the old castle of his forefathers. George II. wished to reward his fidelity with the command of a regiment, but was hindered by the Duke of Cumberland, "who told the King that it was impossible that a man who had suffered so much could ever forget or forgive it."[37] His garden and grotto were at the back of the Chapel. The grotto has disappeared with its "petrified stocks of trees," unless perchance some remains of it are seen in a small building, which looks like a private chapel, and which might have been transformed by that ingenious collector of curiosities, the Colonel. The plane tree survived till about the beginning of the century. An old gentleman still living was told by his grandfather that in the branches a wooden platform had been built, on which tea-parties were held.[38] I remember seeing in my boyhood a similar platform in a large willow-tree overhanging Isaac Walton's sedgy Lea. That the good people of St. Andrews have not in their traditions made Johnson drink a dozen or two cups of tea in this airy summer-house is a proof either of their truthfulness or of the sluggishness of their imagination.

Every Scotchman, it was said long ago, thought it his duty once in his life to visit "the city of the scarlet gown" and to see the ruins of the great cathedral.[39] No longer, happily, is the mind of the pilgrim "filled with mournful images and ineffectual wishes;" no longer does he see "a University pining in decay and struggling for life;" no longer does he wander through grass-grown streets, listening to the sound of his own solitary steps. The town is thriving and animated; the University sees the number of its students steadily increasing. It had long been depressed by poverty; but a noble endowment happily has this very year[40] fallen to its lot. If it can never hope to attain to those stately avenues and lawns and gardens and buildings, as beautiful as they are venerable, which are the boast of Oxford, nevertheless in the bracing pureness of its air, in its fine situation on the shores of the northern sea, in its seclusion from that bustle which distracts the student's life, and from that luxury which too often makes poverty, however honest, hang its head, it has advantages which are not enjoyed by any other of our Universities.

  1. Macky's Journey through Scotland, p. 83.
  2. Early Letters of Thomas Carlyle, ed. 1886, i. 187.
  3. Macky's Journey through Scotland, p. 87.
  4. Wesley's Journal, iv. 77.
  5. Scotland and Scotsmen in the Eighteenth Century, i. 268. The popular rector was Archibald Campbell, the victim of the Rev. Dr. Innes's literary fraud described in Boswell's Johnson, i. 360, and the father of "Lexiphanes." Ib. ii. 44.
  6. St. Andrew's As it was and as it is, p. 161.
  7. Lockhart's Life of Scott, i. 175.
  8. Humphry Clinker, ii. 246.
  9. Tour in Scotland, ii. 189. The population he estimated at about two thousand. Ib. p. 196.
  10. Poems of G. M. Berkeley, Preface, p. lxi.
  11. Ib. p. lxii.
  12. Voyage en Angleterre, &c., ii. 239.
  13. My informant is Dr. John Paterson, of Clifton Bank, St. Andrew, to whose extensive knowledge as a local antiquary and most friendly assistance I am indebted.
  14. Froude's History of England, ed. 1870, vi. 233.
  15. Wesley's Journal, iii. 397.
  16. Translated by Boswell:

    "Let youth in deeds, in counsel man engage;
    Prayer is the proper duty of old age."

  17. Her descent from Knox is not fully established, though, says Carlyle, "there is really good likelihood of the genealogy." Reminiscences by Thomas Carlyle, ii. 103.
  18. Lockhart's Life of Scott, ix. 126.
  19. Voyage en Angleterre, &c., ii. 232.
  20. Macky's Journey through Scotland, p. 93.
  21. Pennant's Tour in Scotland, ii. 197.
  22. Stockdale's Memoirs, i. 238.
  23. Boswell's Johnson, vi. xxx.
  24. G. M. Berkeley's Poems, p. cccxcvi.
  25. Topham's Letters from Edinburgh, p. 208.
  26. G. M. Berkeley's Poems, p. cccxlix.
  27. Wesley's Journal, iv. 77.
  28. Tour through Great Britain: Account of Scotland, iii. 154. Defoe calls it St. Salvadore's, and wonders "how it was made to speak Portuguese." Boswell gives it the same name, though he spells it differently—St. Salvador's. By 1807 I find it called in Grierson's Delineations of St. Andrews, as it is at present, St. Salvator's.
  29. St. Andrews as it was and as it is, p. 157.
  30. Wesley's Journal, iv. 77.
  31. Berkeley and his friend, the young Laird of Kincaldrum, raised "a very noble subscription" for the poor lad.
  32. G. M. Berkeley's Poems, p. cccxlviii.
  33. "On my observing to Dr. Johnson that some of the modern libraries of the university were more commodious and pleasant for study [than the library of Trinity College], as being more spacious and airy, he replied, 'Sir, if a man has a mind to prance, he must study at Christ Church and All Souls.'" Boswell's Johnson, ii. 67, n. 2.
  34. Scotland and Scotchmen in the Eighteenth Century, i. 269, 547. The youngster was Jerome Stone, the author of a poem called Albin and the Daughter of Mey, mentioned by Boswell in his Life of Johnson, v. 171.
  35. It was probably a sycamore, for, as was pointed out by a writer in the Gentleman's Magazine for 1837, p. 343, what the Scotch call sycamores we call planes.
  36. The other tree, according to Sir Walter Scott, was probably the Prior Letham plane, measuring about twenty feet round. It stood in a cold exposed situation apart from every other tree. Croker's Boswell, p. 286.
  37. G. M. Berkeley's Poems, p. ccxii.
  38. This piece of information I owe to the kindness of Mr. J. Maitland Anderson, the Librarian of the University.
  39. In G. M. Berkeley's Poems, p. lvi, a story is told of some people who were at St. Andrews for only one night, and who, rather than miss the ruins, saw them "by the light of an old horn lantern."
  40. Written in 1889.