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Bonnie Scotland
Auld Reekie


"Auld Reekie," as it is fondly called, still raises its smokiest chimneys and most weathered walls along the "hoary ridge of ancient town" that culminates in the Castle Rock, looking across a long central line of gardens to the farther swell of land on which stands the New Town of Scott's day. But New Town now seems a misnomer, since the cramped site of the old city, itself much sweetened and aerated by innovations, is surrounded by newer towns expanding in other directions. Southwards, of late years, Edinburgh has grown more rapidly up to the foot of the hills that here edge the suburbs of Newington, Grange, and Morningside. Westwards she spreads out towards Corstorphine Hill and Craiglockhart. On the east her progress is barred by the mass of Arthur's Seat, but round the base of this creep rows of tall houses that will soon connect her with Portobello, that minor Margate of the capital, now comprised within her municipal boundaries. Northwards, she goes on "flinging her white arms to the sea," which she almost touches at Granton and Trinity; and a long unlovely street leads to the Piraeus of this modern Athens, Leith, still stiffly standing aloof in civic independence. Including Leith, which refuses to be included, the Scottish metropolis began the century with a population not far short of 400,000.

On high in the midst of these modern settings, the charms of Old Edinburgh are thrown into becoming relief, as the medley smartness of Princes Street is enhanced by its facing the grim backs of the High Street "lands." Ruskin and other critics have said hard things of the New Town's architects; but their strictures do not go without question. What, at all events, must strike strangers is an imposing solidity of the modern buildings, whether tall "stairs"—Anglicé flats—or roomy private houses, nearly all built of a grey stone that seems in keeping with the atmosphere; and this not only in the central streets and squares, but in outer suburbs, innocent of brick and stucco. If a too classical regularity has been aimed at, this is tempered by the unevenness of the ground, breaking up the " draughty parallelograms," giving vistas into the open country, and at night such long panoramas of glittering lights displayed on slopes and crests. The place, says R. L. Stevenson, who has so well caught the picturesque points of his native city, "is full of theatre tricks in the way of scenery. . . . You turn a corner, and there is the sun going down into the Highland hills. You look down an alley, and see ships tacking for the Baltic." And if the city fathers have been ill advised in the past, its municipality may claim the credit of being first in the kingdom to take powers for disinfecting it against the plague of mendacious and hideous advertisements that are too much allowed to pock our highways and byways.

Edinburgh from "Rest and be Thankful"
Edinburgh from "Rest and be Thankful"

A peculiar feature of the city is its "Bridges," by which certain streets span others at different levels, physically and socially. From the unique Dean Bridge, in the heart of the West End, one overlooks what might be taken for a Highland glen but for the lines of mansions that edge it above. When I came to Edinburgh as a homesick little schoolboy, appalled by the "boundless continuity" of street, I devoted my first Saturday freedom to an attempt at discovering the open country. This was happily before the days of schoolboys being driven and drilled to play. Striking the Water of Leith at Stockbridge, I turned along the path leading into this glen that might well satisfy desires for a green solitude. But on reaching the village of Dean, embedded below the bridge, I climbed up to find myself beside the dome of St. George's Church, lost deeper than ever in that bewildering city. Still, a little trimmed and tamed, an oasis of wooded bank shuts in the rushing stream, now purified and stocked with trout, where we were content to catch loaches and sticklebacks.

What a loss to this city was the classically-minded Gothicism or carelessness through which came to be rooted up so many noble trees that once dotted the parks of Drumsheugh and Bellevue! But Edinburgh has been well endowed afresh with open spaces and shrubberies, those that separate the blocks of the New Town mainly private joint-stock paradises, yet serving for public amenity. The Old Town is enclosed between the noble stretch of the Princes Street Gardens on the north, and on the south the open Meadows, with its "Philosopher's Walk" of Dugald Stewart's and Playfair's days, rising into the Bruntsfield Links. Then the city is almost ringed about by parks, more than one of them including grand features of natural scenery. Philadelphia is the only city I know which has such wild scenes at her very doors, in her case collected together in the Fairmount Park, where miles of hill and river landscape have been left almost untouched among the streets and suburbs, yet boasting no points so noble as the head of Arthur's Seat, with its girdle of crags, screes, and lakes.

This miniature Ben, imposing as it looks, is under 1000 feet high, and easily climbed. Those almost past their climbing days may seek Blackford Hill on the south side, where Scott tells us that he bird's-nested as a truant boy, and speaks of it as at a later day brought under cultivation ; but it has relapsed again to its native wildness, laid out as a rough park and as site for the squat domes of the new Observatory. From this eminence one gets Marmion's view of the city, now grown up to its foot, shut in between Arthur's Seat and the wooded ridge of Corstorphine, and bounded to the north across the Firth by the heights of Fife, above which, in clear weather, stand up the blue bastions of the Highlands. Behind Blackford, one may keep up the wooded hollow of the Hermitage, by a public path following the stream, and thus gain the Braid Hills, overlooking the city a little farther back. Keeping along their edge, at some risk from flying golf balls, one can hold on to the hotel built between the old and the new south roads. Here, at the terminus of suburban trams, looking to the Pentlands up the valley of the Braid Burn, by which runs a field path towards Swanston, the country home of R. L. Stevenson, one might hardly guess oneself so near a great city, but for the lordly poorhouse and fever-hospital buildings to the back of Craiglockhart Hill.

In the very heart of the city are view-points fine enough to content hasty travellers, from the battlements of the Castle, from the spire of Scott's Monument, from the slopes of the Calton Hill, with its array of ready-made ruins and monuments with which Edinburgh has sought to live up to her classical pretensions. This rises beyond the east end of Princes Street, opposite the battlemented gaol, and a little way past that Charing Cross of Auld Reekie, where its main ways meet between the Post Office, the Register House and the tower of a new North British Hotel looking down upon the glass roofs of the sunken Waverley Station. At the other end of Princes Street, an opening before the Caledonian Station may be called Edinburgh's Piccadilly Circus, radiating into its Mayfair quarter. This end is dominated by the Castle, suggesting to Algerian travellers a duodecimo edition of that wonderful rock-set city Constantine. It shows little of the modern fortress, rather a pile of ugly barracks which a Japanese cruiser could knock to pieces from the Firth; but one understands how in old days its site made it a Gibraltar citadel, that often could hold out when the town was overrun by foemen taking care to keep themselves beyond range of the Castle guns. Taylor, the Water Poet, who had seen something of war in his youth, judged it "so strongly grounded, bounded, and founded, that by force of man it can never be confounded." The King himself did not gain admittance on his recent visit without a ceremony of summons by the Lord Lyon King of Arms; but all and sundry, at reasonable hours, may stroll across its drawbridge to lounge on the ramparts, to be conducted over historic relics by veteran ciceroni, or to wait for the stunning report of the gun, which, fired from Greenwich at one o'clock, brings every watch within hearing to the test.

From this "Maiden Castle," safe refuge for princesses of the good old times, a conscientious tourist makes for Holyrood by the long line of High Street and Canongate, bringing him past most of the historic sites and monuments—the "Heart of Midlothian," the Parliament House, the swept and garnished Cathedral of St. Giles, beside which John Knox now lies literally buried in a highway, as was Dr. Johnson's pious wish for him ; the restored Market Cross, the Tron Church, Knox's House, which counts rather among Edinburgh's Apocrypha, and many another ancient mansion, once alive with Scotland's proudest names, now degraded to an Alsatia of huge dingy tenements, swarming forth vice and misery at nightfall. The way narrows through an unsavoury slum as it approaches the deserted home of kings, beyond which opens a park such as no king has at his back door.

Holyrood was originally an abbey, founded by David I. "in gratitude," says the legend, "for his miraculous deliverance from a stag on Holy Rood Day, and prompted thereto by a dream." Similar stories are told of many another prince less disposed to ecclesiastical benefactions than David, that "sair saint to the crown"; even John of England founded one abbey, at Beaulieu, as an act of grace prompted by nightmare visions. Beside David's Abbey of the Holy Cross sprang up a palace that, as well the sacred precincts, suffered much in the troubles of the Stuart reigns, being frequently burned or spoiled by

Edinburgh Evening, from Salisbury Crags
Edinburgh Evening, from Salisbury Crags

English tourists of their period, on the last occasion "personally conducted" by one Oliver Cromwell, who had small respect either for palaces or abbeys. In Charles II.'s time it was rebuilt somewhat after the style of Hampton Court, while the Abbey, devastated by a Presbyterian mob, came to be refitted with a too heavy roof that crushed it into utter ruin. The present building is thus modern, but for the ruins behind, and the restored portion incorporating Queen Mary's apartments. The name of the Sanctuary opposite was no vain one up till about half a century ago, when impecunious debtors used to take asylum within its bounds, privileged to issue free on Sundays, else venturing forth to feast or sport only at the risk of thrilling adventures with bailiffs.

Everyone who has been to Edinburgh knows the sights of this show place: the portraits of Scottish kings, more or less mythical, "awful examples" as works of art, the whole gallery, it is said, done by a Dutch painter of the seventeenth century for a lump sum of £250; the tapestried rooms of Darnley; the Queen's bedchamber; and the dark stain on the flooring where Rizzio is believed to have gasped out his life, after being dragged from the side of his mistress. Every reader must know Scott's story of the traveller in some patent fluid for removing stains, who pressed the use of his nostrum on the horrified custodian. What every stranger does not know is how this "virtuous palace where no monarch dwells" is still used for functions of state. Annually, in May, the Lord High Commissioner takes up his quarters here as representative of the Crown in the General Assembly of the Church, when green peas ought to come into season to make their first appearance on the quasi-royal table. Ireland, that makes such loud boast of her grievances, basks in the smiles of a Lord-Lieutenant all the year, while poor patient Scotland has a blink of reflected royalty for one scrimp fortnight, during which the old palace wakes to the life of levees, drawing-rooms, and dinners, where black gowns and coats are more in evidence than in most courtly circles. The Commissioner's procession from the palace to open the Assembly lights up the old Canongate with a martial display; and more or less festivity is held within the walls according to the wealth or liberality of the Commissioner, who, like the Lord Mayor of London, should be a rich man to fill his office with due eclat. But when King Edward VII. recently visited Edinburgh, to the regret of the citizens, he did not take up his quarters in the palace, pronounced unsuitable by the prosaic reason of its drains being somewhat too Georgian, a matter that has now been amended.

A more occasional function fitly transacted here is the election of representative peers for Scotland in a new parliament. As every schoolboy ought to know, our Constitution admits only sixteen Scottish peers to sit in Parliament, most of them indeed having place there in virtue of British peerages—the Duke of Atholl as Lord Strange, for instance, the Duke of Montrose as Lord Graham, and so forth. Of those left out in the cold, sixteen are "elected" by a somewhat cut-and-dried process very free from the heat and excitement of popular voting. As I have seen it, the ceremony seemed to lack impressiveness. Some dozen gentlemen in pot hats and shooting jackets assembled in the Picture Gallery before an audience chiefly consisting of ladies, more than one of these legislators in mien and appearance suggesting what Fielding says about Joseph Andrews, that he might have been taken for a nobleman by one who had not seen many noblemen. Each of the privileged order, in turn, wrote and read out a list of the peers for whom he voted, usually ending "and myself." Certain practically-minded peers sent in their votes by post. The most moving incident was the expected one of an advocate in wig and gown rising to put in for a client some unrecognised claim to a title or protest as to precedency, duly listened to and noted down. The whole ceremony struck one as rather a waste of time; but perhaps the same might be said of most ceremonies. One thing has to be remembered about these unimposing lords, that they are a highly select body in point of blue blood, all representing old families, as the fount of their honour was dried up at the Union, and the king can make an honest man as soon as a Scottish peer.

The tourist who comes in for any of such functions will realise the truth of what R. L. Stevenson says for his native city:—

"There is a spark among the embers; from time to time the old volcano smokes. Edinburgh has but partly abdicated, and still wears, in parody, her metropolitan trappings. Half a capital and half a country town, the whole city leads a double existence; it has long trances of the one and flashes of the other; like the king of the Black Isles, it is half alive and half a monumental marble. There are armed men and cannon in the citadel overhead; you may see the troops marshalled on the high parade; and at night after the early winter evenfall, and in the morning before the laggard winter dawn, the wind carries abroad over Edinburgh the sound of drums and bugles. Grave judges sit bewigged in what was once the scene of imperial deliberations. Close by in the High Street perhaps the trumpets may sound about the stroke of noon; and you see a troop of citizens in tawdry masquerade; tabard above, heather-mixture trowser below, and the men themselves trudging in the mud among unsympathetic bystanders. The grooms of a well-appointed circus tread the streets with a better presence. And yet these are the Heralds and Pursuivants of Scotland, who are about to proclaim a new law of the United Kingdom before two-score boys, and thieves, and hackney-coachmen."

Tourists are too much in the way of seeing no more of Edinburgh than its historic lions and rich museums, as indicated in the guide-books. I would invite them to pay more attention to the suburbs straggling on three sides into such fine hill scenery as is the environment of this city. Open cabs are easily to be had in the chief thoroughfares; and Edinburgh cabmen have the name of being rarely decent and civil, as if the Shorter Catechism made an antidote to the human demoralisation spread from that honest friend of man, the horse. Give a London Jehu something over his fare, and his first thought seems to be that you are a person to be imposed upon; but I, for one, never had the same experience here. I know of a stranger who took a cheaper mode of finding his way through Edinburgh; he had himself booked as an express parcel and put in charge of a telegraph messenger, who would not leave him without a receipt duly signed at his destination. But the wandering pedestrian is at great advantage where he seldom has out of sight such landmarks as the Castle and Arthur's Seat. There is no better way of seeing the city than from the top of the tramcars that run in all directions, the main line being a circular

Craigmillar Castle, near Edinburgh
Craigmillar Castle, near Edinburgh

route from the Waverley Station round the west side of the Castle, then through the south suburbs, and back beneath Arthur's Seat to the Post Office. Public motor cars also ply their terror along the chief thoroughfares. The trams are on the cable system, invented for the steep ascents of San Francisco, but out of favour in most cities. The excuse for its adoption here was that bunches of overhead wires would spoil such amenities as are the city's stock in tourist trade. It has the objectionable habit of keeping up along the line a rattle disquieting to nervous people, while the car itself steals upon one like a thief in the night; but it appears that accidents to life and limb are not so common as hitches in the working.

The trams now run on Sunday, an innovation that shocks many good folk, brought up in days when the streets of a Scottish city were as stricken by the plague, unless at the hours when all the population came streaming on foot to and from their different places of worship. A few years ago, I felt it my duty to correct the late Max O'Rell, who had gathered some wonderful stories supposed to illustrate the manners of Scotland. As he related how, getting into an Edinburgh tramcar on Sunday, his companion insisted on their riding inside not to be seen of men, one was able to inform him that since the days of Moses no public vehicle had disturbed Edinburgh's Sabbath quiet. It is not so now; and all the old stories about "whustlin' on the Sabbath" and so forth will soon be legends, so fast is the peculiar observance of Scottish piety melting away.

R. L. Stevenson humorously called himself "a countryman of the Sabbath," but this institution is not so clearly a native of Scotland as has been taken for granted. John Knox played bowls on Sunday; and the rigidity that came in later was due as much to English Puritanism as to the thrawnness of Scottish revolt against Catholic practices. Whatever its origin, Sabbatarianism once weighed heavily on human nature north of the Tweed. "Is this a day to be talking of days!" was the rebuke of the Highlander to a tourist who ventured to remark that it was a fine Sunday. Not so many years ago, I have known a Highland farmer refuse the loan of a girdle to bake scones for a breadless family, "not on the Sabbath"; yet this orthodox worthy and his sons, living as far from a church as from a baker's shop, seemed to spend most of the day of rest lying by the roadside smoking their pipes and reading the newspaper. An exiled Scot, in far distant lands, has told me how the shadow of the coming Sabbath began to fall on his youth as early as Wednesday night. The holy day was a term of imprisonment for juvenile spirits, its treadmill two long services, chiefly sermon, sometimes run into one, or separated by only a few minutes' interval, to economise short winter light in which worshippers might have to trudge miles to church. It is in the Highlands and other out-of-the-way parts, of course, that such austerities linger, while the urban populations more readily adopt English compromises on this head.

In Edinburgh one generation has seen a great thawing of the Sabbath spirit. I can remember the excitement caused all over Scotland by a sermon in which Dr. Norman Macleod proclaimed that there was no harm in taking a walk on Sunday. The Scotsman, a paper that has never much flattered its readers' prejudices, came out with a sly humorous article headed "Murder of Moses' Law by Dr. Norman Macleod," and it is said that some good people read this in the sense that the "broad" divine had actually committed homicide. Even earlier, Edinburgh people had tacitly sanctioned a walk to a cemetery, as echoing the teachings of the pulpit. The story went that the present King, when at Edinburgh University, was sternly denied admission to the Botanic Gardens on Sunday; but he might unblamed have taken a stroll through the adjacent tombs of Warriston. From the Dean Cemetery, the West End ventured on extending its Sunday ramble as far as "Rest and be Thankful" on Corstorphine Hill; then it was a fresh scandal when a very Lord of Session came to show himself on this road in tweeds, instead of the full phylacteries that might attest previous church-going. Of another judge living at Corstorphine it is told that he once sought to mend the morals of a cobbler helplessly drunk at his gate on Sunday afternoon, but was met by the hiccoughed repartee, "Wha's you, without your Sabbath blacks?"

In my youth the police would put a stop to skating or such like diversions on Sabbath; but now Sunday bicycles flit over the country; the iniquity of a Sunday band is tolerated in the parks; while a society is suffered to promote Sunday concerts and lectures indoors. Another sign of the times is that Christmas in Edinburgh begins to be almost as much observed as the national festival of New Year's Day, whereas orthodox Presbyterianism once made a point of ignoring fasts and feasts sanctioned by prelacy or popery. As for its own fasts, they have long been transmuted into junketings; and the sacramental "preachings" of large towns are now frankly abolished in favour of public holidays answering to the English saturnalia of St. Lubbock, observed only by banks across the Tweed. The Communion, in old days administered but once or twice a year, and regarded in some parts with such awe that few ventured to put themselves forward as participants, is now a frequent rite in Presbyterian Churches, whose congregations are throwing off their horror of ornament and ceremony, as may be seen in St. Giles. Old-fashioned English rectors of the Simeon school have been known to shake their heads at the services now read in the ears of descendants of that Jenny Geddes who so forcibly testified against a prayer-book declared by ribald jesters hateful to Scotland through its too frequent mention of "Collect."

The honest stranger, then, has nothing to fear from the austerity of Scottish morals, not even the supposed risk of being married by mistake. It will be his own fault if he fail to find a welcome across the Tweed. Effusive manners are not the Scot's strong point, and he may be accused of a certain suspicion of offence, kept sharp by the careless and not ill-natured insolence of southrons who are so free with their jovial jests about "bawbees" and such like, well-worn and rusty pleasantries coined in the days of Bute's unpopularity and Johnson's bearish dogmatism. Among the baser sorts of Scots are still current inverse sarcasms against English "pock-puddings," conceived as fat and greedy; but they would have to be fished up from a low social stratum by the travelling gent who cannot understand that, however little disposed

Linlithgow Palace
Linlithgow Palace

Sandy may have been to hang his head for honest poverty, he ill relishes its being flung in his face. "A sooth bourd is nae bourd," says the old proverb; but now, what with tourists, and trade, and Scotsmen who come back again, bringing the spoils of the world with them, the reproach of poverty ceases to be so sore a one.

Though in the eyes of busy Glasgow Edinburgh may pass as a retired capital, living on its means of attraction, it has; in fact several industries from which to earn a livelihood. Along with the lodging and amusing of strangers, it must do a good business in the tartans, pebbles, silver-work, and other showy wares displayed in Princes Street shop windows. "Edinbury Rock," done up in tartan wrappers, is much pressed upon the notice of tourists; the same indeed, being sold in other towns under their own name. As for shortbread, scones, biscuits, and other manufactures of the "Land of Cakes," these have invaded London, where every baker not a German is like to be a Scot. It will be noted by Cockney revilers as a proof of Scotch thriftiness, which might bear another interpretation, that what costs a penny in a London baker's shop is here sold for a halfpenny. Well known to strangers are the Princes Street confectioners' shops, several of them extensive restaurants like that one which, crowning its storeys of accommodation, has a roof garden looking upon the Castle opposite.

The staple trades of Edinburgh have come to be printing and publishing, and, as the nettle grows near the dock, brewing and distilling. The great Scottish publishing firms have of late years shown a tendency to gravitate towards London; but more than one still keeps its headquarters here, beside some of the largest and best printing establishments in the kingdom. It must be confessed that what is spoken of as "the trade," is whisky, too much consumed about the premises, as visitors are apt to note. The worst shame a Scotsman need take for Scotland is on account of what Englishmen specially distinguish as "Scotch." I never heard sadder jest than the laughing comment of a group of Dundee lasses, as they passed a braw lad wallowing in the gutter at mid-day—"He's having his holidays!" Yet as to this reproach, something might be said in plea for mitigation of judgment. Something to the purpose was said by that experienced toper who explained how "whusky makes ye drunk before ye are fu', but yill makes ye fu' before ye are drunk." The whisky drunk by the lower classes here is a demon that takes no disguise. It seems that, while there is more brutal intoxication in Scotland, there may be less toping sottishness than in England. Men seen so helplessly overcome at the ninth hour of a holiday are perhaps of ordinarily sober habits, all the more readily affected by occasional indulgence in fiery spirit. A woman frequenting public-houses implies a lower depth of degradation. In the north, a larger proportion of the population are abstainers; young people and the class of domestic servants for instance, drink water where in English families they would expect beer. In all classes, there are still too many Scotsmen religious in the worship of their native Bacchus, vulgar and violent deity as he is; but every year adds to the number of Protestants against this perverted fanaticism. By the Forbes Mackenzie Act, all public-houses are

The Bass Rock - A Tranquil Evening
The Bass Rock - A Tranquil Evening

closed on Sunday, when, however, if all stories be true, a good deal of shebeening or illicit drinking goes on in the cities. It is not unreasonable to suppose that the austerity of Scottish Sabbatarianism has driven many into vicious indulgence; and much is to be hoped from the churches taking an interest in honest amusement as a help and not a hindrance to religion. But a sneer often thrown out by strangers against the supposed hypocrisy of Scotsmen, only shows ignorance of a country where those most concerned about Sabbath observance have long been the deadliest enemies of drinking habits.

Whisky, as well as golf, has now so masterfully invaded England, that this can no longer be called "Scottish Drink," as it was not by Burns. In his day, home-brewed beer was the Lowland beverage, of which a Cromwellian soldier complained as more like brose for its thickness. Up to our day "Edinburgh Ale" made the capital's chief contribution to the heady gaiety of nations. Whisky came in from the Highlands, its name a contraction of uisgebeatha, "water of life," which Burns and Scott write usquebaugh, the Celtic word for water being the same that appears in so many river names Esk, Usk, Exe, Axe, and so forth. Even in the Highlands, this mountain dew would seem to have supplanted beer within historic times; and old writers admire the temperance as much as the honesty and courage of Highlanders. Both Highland and Lowland gentlemen preferred brandy, in the days when, as Lord Cockburn tells us, claret was hawked about the Edinburgh streets in a cart, a jug of any reasonable size being filled for sixpence.

Firm and erect the Caledonian stood,
Old was his mutton, and his claret good.
Let him drink port! a beef-fed statesman cried.
He drank the poison and his spirit died.

The preference for French wine and spirits before the days of Hanoverian fiscalities, relates to the old alliance with France, which has left its mark also on Scottish speech. That warning cry "Gardy-loo" (gardez I'eau), which gave such scandal to early English tourists, was of course a survival of a far-spread practice in cities before the days of drainage or even of ash-buckets (baquets). Many French household words are used in Scotland at this day, as "caraff" (carafe), "ashet" (assiette), a "jiggot" of mutton (gigot), a "haggis" (hachis); and Burns's "silver tassie" was of course a tasse. A "cummer" (commère) "canna be fashed" (sefacher) to step out to the "merchant's," who may be "douce" or "dour" and an "honest" man (honnete), though sharp in his bargains. "Ma certie (certes), that's a braw (brave) vest!" quoth a lass to her lad, a word here used like the French garcon or gars, while gosse will be distinguished as a "laddie," who grows to be a "young lad" in spite of orgies on sour "grozers" or "grozets" and "gheans," which in France are groseilles and guignes, but in England gooseberries and wild cherries. French names too have taken root in Scotland, Janet (Jeannette) being very common with one sex, as Louis or Ludovic is not unknown in the other. For the matter of that, one might string together instances of how the well of Old English flows undefiled by time in the north.

Then brought to him that maiden meek
Hose
and shoon and sark and breek.

These words are used to this day in every Scottish cottage, as once in the stately style of an early southron minstrel. Shakespeare and the Bible show many picked phrases which are now wild flowers in the north; and high example might be found for the shalls and wills that here run loose from the enclosures of modern grammarians. But as Mr. David MacRitchie suggests in an interesting pamphlet "to doubt that one is colded and can't go to the church" seem rather specimens of French idioms transplanted during the three centuries or so that Capets and Stuarts stood together against the Plantagenets.

Protestantism availed to draw Scotland from the arms of France into those of England; then Prelacy and Presbytery set the near neighbours again at odds. For some generations, the young Scotsmen who had once sought the Catholic schools of the Continent, were more in the way of finishing their education at Dutch or German Universities. Scotland had also an old connection, chiefly in the way of trade, with Scandinavia and Poland, in both of which countries Scottish family names are naturalised, as Swedish Dicksons and Polish Gordons. Scots students of our day still look to Germany, under whose professors they are apt to forget the Shorter Catechism for the categories of Kant and the secret of Hegel. The Union was not fully consummated till Macs began to make themselves at home in Oxford and Cambridge, while for a time the renown of Scottish philosophy drew some of the promising English youth to Edinburgh, whose medical school kept up the attraction. In the last generation or two, Scotsmen have been only too ready to go south for education, seeking a stamp of Anglified gentility as well as better qualities which were perhaps not to be had from those rude old dominies under whom the young laird and the barefoot loon once sat together in friendly hatred of "carritch" and rudiments.

Such foreign communications cannot but help young Scotsmen to put their native prejudices in due proportion, and to doubt if the sun of truth has always shown most clearly in the sky of one small people much beset by mists and east winds. Yet Scottish parents seem much "left to themselves" in sending their sons and daughters beyond Edinburgh for schooling. One of the most important industries of this city has come to be education. It abounds in teaching of all kinds, from its venerable University to spick and span board schools. Those who believe the fable of Scotch niggardliness should consider that no place in the United Kingdom, unless it be Bedford, is so rich in educational endowments, and palatial charity schools, which have long ceased to be charities. Edinburgh, indeed, suffered from such an embarrassment of benefactions of this kind, that in our time, several of them have been turned into day-schools, giving a complete education to thousands of boys and girls of the better class. The latest large endowment, that of Sir William Fettes for the children of necessitous families, was applied to building a sumptuous pile, handed over per saltum to the upper class as a seminary on the model of English public schools, which only in the course of generations came so far from the intention

Loch Achray, The Trossachs, Perthshire
Loch Achray, The Trossachs, Perthshire

of their pious founders. This competition has but set on their mettle the once "New" Academy, for the best part of a century the chief school in Scotland, and the old High School that nursed so many generations of distinguished Scotsmen.

So, as at Bedford, where marriageable damsels complain of the hims as being either too ancient or too modern, the population of the Scottish capital is increased by a selection of retired family-fathers, and a swarm of youngsters who appear to thrive on the easterly winds and haars. This hint about the weather is let slip unhappily, since I am about to put forward a bold pretension for "mine own romantic town," in a character not obviously associated with it. In case of seeming too presumptuous on its behalf, I will quote from Black's Guide to Edinburgh, which ought to be well informed on such matters:—

"In the holiday season, when Edinburgh is deserted by the upper class of its inhabitants, why should it not be sought as a pleasant change by the inhabitants of more grimy cities or less inspiring scenes? It may seem strange to mention the capital of Scotland as a health resort; yet, when one comes to think of it, 'Auld Reekie' has more claim to this extra title than many less famous places which flourish in full reputation for gay and picturesque salubrity. The fact is, that had Edinburgh not been a great city, it might well be a Clifton or a Scarborough, and its ancient dignity need not be allowed to overshadow its other merits. To begin with, the climate is airy and bracing, notoriously rather too much so at most seasons, but the sea-breezes cool the heat of summer, and the moderate rainfall is soon carried off on the sloping streets. Practically it stands on the sea, the shore being hardly farther from the centre of Edinburgh than from some parts of Brighton. By train or tram one can run down at any hour to Portobello, where are sands, donkeys, crowds, bathing-machines, pleasure-boats, and ornamental pier to satisfy the most fastidious Margateer. At Craiglockhart, a mile or so from the outskirts of the town, there is a first-class hydropathic establishment, nestling under the wild scenery of the Pentland Hills. Nor is mineral water wanting, if that be desired. In the valley of the Water of Leith, below the stately mansions of Moray Place, a sulphurous spring may be found dispensed in a little classical temple that elsewhere would pass for a creditable pump-room, though many citizens of Edinburgh, perhaps, know nothing about it. Bands play almost daily in one or other of the parks; and even nigger minstrels, no doubt, might be found, if that feature seemed indispensable to the character of a holiday resort. There is no want of theatrical and other performances. Then, as we have shown, few cities are so well off for coach, steamboat, and railway excursions which would bring one back in a day from a round through half of Scotland."


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