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John Stuart Blackie
Chapter XVI. Pilgrim Years 1870 - 1872


A TOUCH of vertigo bewilders us as we try to follow the Professor through the maze of interwoven activities which he so nimbly threaded during these years. We enter upon a period of cession to the interest of the moment, of suspense from concentrated effort, of varied study, of enjoyment, acquisition, expansion. The pressure of life had relaxed for a time; Commissions and Parliaments relieved him from the strain of lifting up his voice in the unredeemed wilderness of education; he scarcely cared to swell the chorus, the burden of whose song he had manfully raised. For some years, therefore, we are concerned with a multitude of matters, important and purposely useful, but demanding no longer the strenuous heroism of earlier tasks. Something of abandonment to personal enjoyment may be discovered in this period, involving work, social life, travel, and study in temperate proportions.

The level is broken by one stirring enterprise, to which he was impelled partly by circumstances, partly by the influence of his summer studies, ungoaded by professional demands. These had necessarily supplied much of the stimulus to his Æschylean and Homeric labours, but their claims were satisfied, and he was free in his own words - "to let things take their natural course."

The Franco-German war of 1870-71 engaged his interest to a degree seldom effected by political occurrences, which he generally disregarded. Two impulses accounted for this, both personal to himself. These were the fighting instinct, which in his case was rather mental than physical, and the part which German influence had played in his education. War was always attractive to him, whether past or present. He had accepted the theory of its value both for individuals and for nations, and his enthusiasm for the war-makers seems, at this distance of time, to border on extravagance. His sympathies were wholly German. Germany was the native country of his mind and of its nurture, and a constant current of filial and patriotic fervour repaid the debt which his heart acknowledged.

He knew little or nothing of the French. Misled by the tawdry triumphs of the Third Empire, he mistook for that industrious, thrifty, brave, enduring, ingenious nation, the hysterical melee of its worst elements then in the capital. And since all his emotions had to get themselves into rhyme and stanza, he busied himself in autumn, during rambles on the Oban heights, with a collection of 'War-songs from the German,' which was published towards the end of the year, and appropriately dedicated to Thomas Carlyle, the apostle of strength.

The songs go thundering along [wrote his old friend] with a furious tramp of battle in them; and I Suppose, if one could sing, would be very musical and heart-inspiring. I especially applaud the clear and vigorous historical summary, which will be instructive to so many dark people here at home. As for the Dedication, what can I say but drop a veil over my blushing face and answer by expressive silence! Good be with you always, dear Blackie."

A copy of the little book was accepted by the Queen, and he had the further honour of presenting one to the Crown Princess of Germany.

The composition of the historical introduction, which reviewed the first Napoleon's outrages upon Germany, wound him up to a resolve that he would see for himself the triumphal return of the German troops to Berlin in the summer of 1871.

The session over, the cause of the lady students duly defended, the inclusion of the burgh schools in the new scheme of educational reform rather impatiently handled, and other matters dismissed, he started for London on April 19, took up his familiar quarters at Phillimore Gardens for ten days, and fired off a rousing lecture on War to a Sunday evening audience. He lectured at the Royal Institution as well at a Friday evening function, and seems to have ventured on the burning topic of Darwinism in the presence of its luminaries. But the vicissitudes of species were not "far ben" in his thoughts, and after a whirl of dinners he sailed for Antwerp on the last day of the month.

To see Germany in its hour of triumph; to penetrate its mood; to learn the pros and cons of this stupendous change, as they were in the vernacular, not in the crude transcripts and shallow versions which reached the English ear; to know how historians and philosophers and the men of thought regarded this avatar of the men of action; to see the men of action themselves,— these were the purposes which moved him.

He rested at Cologne for a day and a night, and then dropped in on Professor Bernays at Bonn, to sip Rhine wine " and to hold all sorts of profound and profitable disputations about English Philosophy and German Politics" for two hours.

A. "wander" to the Drachenfels and up some of the peaks at its back gratified his restless feet next day, and sent him back to Bonn fatigued enough for his content. The day after he visited Bunsen's grave, in the same churchyard as that of Moritz Arndt. it was a shrine for the Professor, who, growing old, felt his heart glow with gratitude to Providence, who had "led his blind unpractised foot to great-souled Bunsen." Upon the headstone lie read, " Let us walk in the light of the Eternal "—a message from that pure spirit who had attained above what he sought below.

"Thoughts of Bunsen and Arndt sink deep, and are the most profitable of meditations," he wrote; and his pondering by their graves was shaped into a sonnet.

A shrine less holy attracted him to Cassel, and he took train up the lovely Lahnthal to reach it. This was Wilhelmshöhe, about three miles from the little city on the Fulda. He strolled through the palace grounds and gay saloons, inspected the mark of Louis Napoleon's half-burned cigars upon his writing-table, no venerable relic of the captivity, gossiped about the captive's looks and occupations with the castellan, and packed his reflections into a couple of sonnets as he loitered back to Cassel. They record a man and a doom all unheroic, and are wasted ingenuity.

Gottingen and a new professoriate claimed his next sojourn, which lasted a week. During this time Dr Pauli was his hospitable entertainer, and the student of forty-four years earlier found himself a lion in the scene of his first aspirations after academic dignity. He attended lectures with diligence, was anew smitten with wrath at the immense gap between the matured learning of the German and the scrambling pedagogy of the Scottish Universities, and was increasingly impressed with the essential goodness and rationality of German scholars. One little criticism he ventured to make, which indicates a change in himself of which he was doubtless unaware. He liked their homeliness less than in his student days, and would have preferred "some show of manners and external presentation." From his host he gained much information with regard to the great historical epoch in progress, and with the help of German books on public questions, he was strengthened in his natural leaning towards the Prussian side of the whole question.

From Gottingen he branched off to Luther's country, visited Eisleben and Wittenberg, meeting at the former place a train of French soldiers released and returning to France, and at the latter outbreaking into the regulation fourteen lines on the twin Reformers of Germany. Even more immediately impressive than their dust were the graves of 150 Frenchmen, the toll left to death by the contingent of prisoners who had Just been released. On this monument of utterable sorrow he laid a tribute of tears—better than the unshapen verses, which failed to express his real emotion.

Berlin was the goal of this journey, and his object was not to see the city but to see the Emperor, Bismark, and Moltke. Of the three, Bismark was naturally the most magnetic; and although he did not attain to the honour of an introduction to him, he was enabled by the good offices of Mr George Bunsen to attend the sittings of the Diet, and both to see and hear the Chancellor. The story tells best in his own words :-

On Friday, about 2 P.M., I went down the Leipziger Strasse to the Parliament House, and took my seat in the Strangers' Gallery. The bench on the opposite side of the House, which is occupied by members of the Upper House—who sit along with the Lower House, only not voting—was as usual almost empty; and I looked for Bismark in vain. Only Moltke sat amid the Lower House throng, as quiet and meditative as an English professor. Shortly, however, turning my eye again to the Bench of Magnates, I found the central seat occupied by a broad-chested, commanding-looking figure, whom I more than half recognised, and who turned out to be Bismark. He sat more than half an hour signing papers and spending a few significant sentences on those who sat near; then he sent across the House a note to the Speaker, by which I guessed that lie had some intimation to make to the House. And so it was. This was good luck, to hear the most powerful man in Europe open his mouth, and see how lie opened it. So the Neptunianbreasted hero arose, and looked exactly like the one man who had a right to command everybody there; nevertheless, what he said was given forth in a very quiet, modest way, being, in fact, only an intimation that the Peace had been signed at Versailles, and that he had been ordered by the King to depart immediately for Frankfort to set his final seal to the business there. This was the whole; only I saw him quite close on the street afterwards, with his military cloak, and with his white cuirassier cap on his head, as if he wished to keep down his lofty presentment as much as possible by a humble top-piece.

A descriptive sonnet expressed the Professor's homage, and this was forwarded to the great Chancellor, with what effect is not recorded.

Hearing that the triumphal return of the Prussian army to Berlin would not take place till the middle of June, Professor Blackie decided to utilise the intervening weeks in a rapid survey of St Petersburg and Moscow,—a plan which he had made at the outset, but reserved for favouring occasion, as it was secondary to his main intentions. He left Berlin on May 23 for Köuigsberg, where a halt refreshed him for the further journey, ended on the 26th. He had letters of introduction to the English Ambassador, Sir Andrew Buchanan, and to the Consul; and these gentlemen provided him with a week's social experiences, while by dint of diligent map-study and of a native faculty for the points of the compass he filled his mornings with sight-seeing, unhelped and unhindered by compassion. He dined one day with Count Orloff Davidoff, who had been a student in Edinburgh forty-five years earlier, a member of the Greek class under Professor Dunbar; and he was permitted to be a spectator of a very brilliant procession at TsarkoeSelo, described in a letter to his wife:-

You must understand there was yesterday a grand display here on occasion of the baptism of one of the Imperial babies; and I got a letter from the Minister of Education to Prince Galitzin, the Master of Ceremonies, and drove out in the railway with a whole host of princes, grafs, generals, and generalissimos to the Palace of Tsarkoe-Selo, fifteen miles to the south. Prince Galitzin could not get inc into the chapel where the royal baby was baptised, but he got me an excellent station in the lobby of the Palace, where I looked out from behind a glass door right iii front of a long gallery, down which the Emperor and all the procession of notables came after the baptism to refresh their imperial mortality with a little lunch. I had two princesses beside me to prevent any appearance of improper humiliation. I wished you had been there fully to appreciate not only the general splendour, as I did, but the beauty of the details. I never saw such a show, well worth a journey of some two or three thousand miles.

From the northern capital he travelled early in June to Moscow, where good fortune awaited him in the form of an old student of his own, already an experienced Muscovite, and now the most distinguished of our authorities on matters of internal Russian polity, Sir Daniel Mackenzie Wallace. Together they visited the lions of Moscow, inspecting the "jewelled religiosity" of its churches, the marvellous view from the Kremlin, and the huge Foundling Hospital with its strange statistics. In the Cathedral the animated, rapid, inquiring figure of the Professor roused curiosity in the worshippers, and they crowded after him, and raised a report in the newspapers that he was Monsieur Jules Favre.

By June 5 his glance at Moscow was over, and he was on his way back, by moor, fen, and forest, to St Petersburg, where he wandered about the city till he knew its streets as well as he knew Old Edinburgh. A week later he fled from its banquets and palaces, its cloisters and splendours, to Warsaw, where he rested on his way back to Berlin.

The triumphal entry was fixed for June 16. He was invited to stay with Mr and Mrs George Bunsen, and saw the procession from a comfortable seat, which cost him three dollars. "It was a wonderful sight," he wrote, "to see billow after billow of armed warriors coming out of the Linden and spreading to a glittering ocean in the great open square." The decorations, the masses of well-satisfied Berlinese, the illuminations, all contributed to the blaze of the moment, and completed this festival of a new empire, for which the mourning mothers of Germany had paid the reckoning.

The spectacle well over, Professor Blackie went home by Hamburg and Leith, with his mind full of memories. "What I have seen," he said, "will require a whole summer to digest." His health was affected by fatigue and by the bad weather, which dogged his steps up to the last, although the sun shone on the procession. An ailment, which had long been in abeyance, irritated his skin and obliged him to take medicine. The "thorn in the flesh" he called it, and it persisted throughout the two months of his absence from home.

Mrs Blackie was at Altnacraig, and after a few days spent in Edinburgh, collecting books upon the political problem of the Franco-German war, he followed her thither. He left orders with his publisher to forward copies of 'Homer' to the friends in Berlin and St Petersburg whose hospitalities he so much enjoyed; and before starting for Oban he bought a bulky parcel of white-foxglove seed, to be sowed by his own hand in all the nooks and crannies of his rocky domain.

Be found Mrs Blackie far from well. She was suffering from nervous depression, to which she had become more than ever prone, and which robbed her of much enjoyment and made this summer in the Highlands a toilsome round of housekeeping cares and duties. At the best of times catering in Oban was difficult before the railway reached so far, and to keep a house full of visitors supplied in all the dainty variety and hospitable fulness which were her delight taxed even her ingenuity.

Her husband consulted his books, refreshed his leisure with Ossian and the history of clan badges, and corrected the proofs of 'Four Phases of Morals,' a book which gave to the reading public the amended and amplified substance of his lectures on Socrates, Aristotle, Christianity, and Utilitarianism, delivered the year before in London. In commemoration of their original purpose the Professor dedicated the book to Sir Henry Holland, President of the Royal Institution. Its issue dated about the end of October 1871, and the book met with wide acceptance: an edition appeared in New York during the following year, and a second issue was called for in 1874.

This work stands amongst its author's most popular, vigorous, and characteristic efforts. He was at home on Socrates and Aristotle, and we are justified iii expecting from him the lucid and large - minded estimate which he gives of these Hellenic apostles of truth and moderation. But his chapter on Christianity had an even greater value at the time of its publication, as correlating the new law of Christian love with the needs and longings articulate in the best minds of the ancient world, and as contrasting with the failures of man's many religious inventions the divine force for salvation born again into the world to conquer the world only so far as it is permitted a free course.

Perhaps the lecture on lJtilitarianisin betrays the rash courage of a free-lance, undisciplined to the onset and the brunt of orderly attack, and resenting more by instinct than conviction conclusions which the teachers of its school have left exposed to such attack. It needs more than the spelling out of sundry books upon the subject to furnish a mind emphatically antagonistic with arguments which can lay bare the insufficient area of utilitarian postulates and the deliberate exaggeration of their practical philosophy.

The materialistic nightmare [wrote Mr Froude] will disappear, as it has disappeared before. It has its periods as comets have, but you do excellently well to call it by its right name. [This and other quotations from the letters of Mr J. A. Froude to Professor Blackie are made by kind permission of Mr Froude's executors.]

Another literary labour of this autumn was a revisal of his translation of 'Faust,' and his morning's achievement was read to the fireside circle in the evening,—a circle often widened by sympathetic outsiders.

In a letter written to his Aunt Manic—now a very old lady, but in full possession of her faculties, and living iii Edinburgh with Miss Christina Blackie—he dilates on the comforts of Altnacraig:

The sun is dominant, with occasional whiffs of rain sufficient to encourage vegetation but not to prevent perambulation: inside all is taste, elegance, and grace, the natural fair effect of the fair cause who has organised the establishment. It is worth while coming here if but to feel the comfort of the circular, velvet-bottomed chairs which furnish forth the drawing-room. These chairs by their circular form indicate a feeling of security out of which a maim cannot be shaken, and by their softness produce a sensation of comfort to which it is impossible to imagine that Olympus with its couches of rosy clouds contains anything more luxurious. We have a henhouse made by Mr Ross in the most fashionable style of rusticity, in which there are at the present moment eight fighting cocks and two hens! Every morning at breakfast we eat huge turkey-eggs, and in the evening we make ourselves comfortable with whisky toddy and a fine blazing fire from logs cut out of the thinnings of the large and rich forest which surrounds us. Oh ! what you lose by not coming to Altnacraig!

The winter session passed without more than the usual quota of social events, of which the presence of Dean Stanley at a meeting of the Hellenic, and a visit from "Orion,"—both celebrities having come to lecture at the Philosophical Institution,-are most worthy to be noted.

Many of the letters which the Professor received were from Highlanders at home and abroad, whose love and admiration were setting towards him in a current unstinted and almost uninterrupted to the end of his life. He loved what they loved—the mighty Bens, the peat-brown torrents, time open moors, the fragrant forests of birch and pine and fir. And above all, he loved the clachan and the croft, and cared to smell the pungent reek of the cotter's fire, and to learn from the cotter's lips the names for all needs of home and husbandry. He loved their language, its literature, its legends old as the myths of Rome, its tender homeliness "shot" with the gold of imagination. He denounced their wrongs, and his heart bled for their exile: what wonder that they loved him?

The talk in spring 1872 was of 'Olrig Grange' and the mystery of its authorship, not impenetrable to the Professor, who had paid just assignment of tribute towards the end of April, when he was due in London.

He travelled thither in beguiling intercourse with a Sanskrit grammar, finding welcome at his brother-in-law's house in Holland Park. His lecture at the Royal Institution was delivered on April 26, and was devoted to the "History and Growth of Modern Greek." Amongst his auditors was Cardinal Manning, who had written to him on the subject of the 'Four Phases of Morals' as follows:-

Your lecture pleased me greatly from its indignant Theism. What are we doing? We are letting a handful of men talk Atheism, and "their tongue goeth through the world." And our men of culture are reviving gnosticism and sophistry. I rejoice, therefore, when any one speaks to them as you do.

The Professor met the Cardinal after the lecture, and they had an interesting talk.

Between Manning and inc there exists a wonderful sympathy in our views of English philosophy since Locke. The agreement consists simply in this, that we prefer Socrates and St Paul to Bentham and Hume, and consider the English generally as not a thinking people.

A lunch with the Cardinal followed shortly.

We got on swimmingly; he says my book is written in excellent English, and always clear and distinct., and he sympathises with my Theism and with my Aristotelian sanity.

He breakfasted with Mr Gladstone on May 9,

when the conversation being long, I did not get. away till 11.30. He was very frank and agreeable. There were present only the family, a Lord Noel, and a beautiful little creature, very eloquent about the law of copyright, about which I professed myself very careless. She lectured both Gladstone and me in a very charming style on the subject. But I am not the man to enter into an agitation because a pretty woman asks me.

His quarters were changed to Green Street, where he found himself in the heart of a spiritualistic circle, and wasted some time on lectures and seances occupied with the hysterical futilities of the craft.

I hear strange talk about these spirits every day, but sit quietly keeping myself apart from them and their ways. I have schooled myself to he perfectly content with what reason can teach me, and feel comfortable only in an atmosphere of sobriety and intelligibility.

He must have invited Carlyle to be present at one of these foolish functions, for a scrap of paper records the indignant sage's refusal.

No, a thousand times no! Spiritualism = Ultra-Brutalism and Liturgy of Apes by the Dead Sea! Let not such things be once named among you!

The Professor

walked down to Chelsea, and spent two agreeable hours with the grey old prophet and his brother. As usual, he laid about him all round. However, we managed to get on, as he was willing to take all the talk to himself. On departure he gave me a nice present of the two big volumes of his 'Apprenticeship and Travels of Wilhelm Meister,' with an inscription in his own hand.

A whirl of breakfast and dinner parties absorbed him to the end of May,—with Mr Froude, Mr Haweis, Mrs Thistlethwayte, Mr Stopford Brooke, Mr Torn Taylor, Lady Burdett Coutts, and many others. It was a relief to pay a quiet visit to Dr and Mrs Kennedy at Stepney, after which lie went for a week to Phillimore Gardens, to stay with Mr and Mrs Archer, in a home always congenial to him, where the interests were real and not feverish, and where the "sweet influences" of art and nature calmed and enriched the social life.

Mr Archer was invalided, and sent his guest to represent him at the Artists' Fund Dinner.

Prinsep made a telling speech, and the Pro, also came off with flying colours. I had not the least intention of making a speech, but the health of the strangers and visitors having been put on the programme, my name was specialised, perhaps as the most talkative, and I certainly did not find it difficult to make them feel that a Scotch Professor can speak English as well as spell Greek. I saw Millais, Graham, the Faeds, President Grant, and many more.

In the intervals left by his social engagements he kept several appointments with Mr Isbister, to whom he had submitted the MS. of the 'Lays of the Highlands and Islands.' That gentleman liked the poems, and proposed that those on St Columba should first appear in 'Good Words,' and afterwards take their place in a volume, which lie was willing to prepare for issue in time for the tourists' season. The Professor undertook to write a preface serviceable as an itinerary to those tourists who cared to see the Highlands in the spirit of their historic and romantic associations, and this w.ork occupied his mornings after leaving town.

Perhaps his final fling there was a second breakfast with Mr. Gladstone.

We had Torn Taylor, Lord Lyttelton, Lord Houghton, and an artistical gentleman called Pennington, who declaimed very well one of Macaulay's ballads; also Knowles, an architect. I forgathered specially with Lord Lyttelton, who is Hellenistic.

He went to Oxford on June 1, but except a talk with Mr Jowett and a dinner with Dr Bradley, had little to record of an uninteresting visit, and left, after two days' stay at the Mitre Inn, for Nailsworth in Gloucestershire, and the hospitalities of his friends Mr and Mrs Dobell. He found them both in frail health, but "dainty, delicate, saintly, odd, and altogether original." He was storm-stayed part of the time.

The weather continues Obanesque: much wind, much rain, many clouds, little sunshine, and no heat. Who could have thought of such ail of the elemental Old Adam here?

The 'Times' of June 18 brought him the sorrowful tidings of Dr Norman Macleod's death. "It is a blow to my soul. To think that Scotland should thus have her noblest son struck down." His "Itinerary" was finished, and already proof- sheets of the 'Lays' pursued him on his pilgrimage. He left for Gloucester, where he lectured and was lionised, and whence he journeyed to Exeter, inspected the Cathedral there, and took train for Truro. Here he made his headquarters in the Red Lion Inn for some days, and the spell of bad weather being over, footed it merrily through Cornwall, "jumping about from shore to shore," and returning to his nest again. On one of these excursions lie walked twenty-seven miles within the limits of twelve hours, resting during three of the twelve.

Wales and Ireland had been included in his plan for this summer, but both had to be given up, as he was expected at Inverness early in July, and had, besides, to keep within a reasonable distance front his publisher's office. So lie returned to Gloucester, where his host, Dr Evans, received him with enthusiasm, the staid proprieties of the little city having been pleased to approve of the frolicsome old gentleman, whose snowy locks and academic reputation mediated successfully for his unconventional deportment.

Neither I nor any one else [wrote Dr Evans to Mr Dobell] ever saw or heard the like before; his ways are as endless and startling as his learning and eloquence, and make him only the more taking and attractive. He fascinates without flattery, and tells the truth without offence.

From Gloucester to Edinburgh, from Edinburgh to Oban, and from Oban to Inverness, formed the next sequence of flights, and returning by the Caledonian Canal, he wrote an account of his doings to his aunt, Miss Manie Stodart. Most of his letters to her were written on board one or other of the Highland steamers, and this one is dated Gondolier, Fall of Foyers, July 13:-

I have spent a very pleasant week in Inverness. 1 harangued several splendid audiences on Gaelic, and Nationality, and Depopulation, and came off with volleys of applause; but I wish not only to entertain, but to stir up noble ideas that will fructify. Besides speechification, we had Highland songs, and Highland dances, and a Gaelic oration from one of the ministers. Then there was the great Inverness wool-market, and a display of brawny figures. To be altogether in the element, I went to the dinner in the afternoon; there I felt myself, strange enough, sitting at the right hand of Highland lairds and highland M.P.'s.

In August the 'Lays of the Highlands and Islands' appeared, dedicated to Lady Burdett. Coutts, and receiving a welcome from the public, expressed in many letters, amongst them appre ciative thanks from Professor Campbell Shairp, Sir Andrew Ramsay, Sir Theodore Martin, Dr Halley, and, of exceptional interest, from Charles Edward d'Albanie, one of the Sobieski Stuarts well known in Scotland during the early half of the century. Some sentences may be quoted from the first and last of these letters.

MY DEAR BARD [wrote Professor Campbell Shairp from Aberfeldy],—Thank you very much for sending me your 'Lays.' Coming at this golden time of the year, there is less leisure to read them carefully, as I have been all day long on the hills, and only have time to look at them when I come in tired in the evening. Still I have dipped into some of the shorter ones, and find a fine, breezy exhalation in them. They are certainly like yourself, and that is a main thing. The longer poems I shall keep for closer reading, when, in your own words, late September makes us

"Heap up the logs and trim the lamp, and bring
Our winter friends, our long-neglected books."

Sobieski Stuart wrote in warm acknowledgment of verses which recalled to him the many Bens of Scotland,

upon which I have often slept, and from their summits seen the sun rise or sink. The poetry in which you have described these scenes fills me with delight and admiration. You have sent forth the feelings of a mind— elevated above the world, like the mountains which you describe lifting their foreheads towards heaven filled with glory and gratitude to Him, God I time Creator; and it fills my heart with profound consolation to feel that there are still in this age of unbelief some illustrious and kindred spirits to shine forth like the sun in Satan's face.

Towards the end of August the Professor went to Aberfeldy to pay Dr and Mrs Kennedy a short visit, and amongst the movements of the party there may be noted the ascent of Schiehallion in company with Professor Campbell Shairp and Mr Mime Home, "a stout old geologist engaged in a hunt for boulders." A visit to Ardgour, and a fall in one of the rocky glens which his restless feet explored, brought this summer's adventures to a close, and lie had to nurse a sprained ankle at Altnacraig until October, when he left for Edinburgh.

Soon after his return to Hill Street he received a gratifying letter from the East. The lecture on "Modern Greek" delivered in April at the Royal Institution had been noticed with cordial appreciation in the 'Neologos,' a Greek journal published at Constantinople, whose editors requested Mr John Gennadius to procure the address in its entirety, and to translate it into modern Greek for the benefit of their readers. The father of this gentleman had believed in and had taught the vitality of ancient Greek and its identity with the modern language, notwithstanding a vanishing foreign element and some provincial corruption in the latter. The son had inherited his father's faith, and now welcomed the Professor's advocacy of a rational view not merely of the development of modern from ancient Greek, but of the teaching of both languages as so related, and as, in fact, one and almost the same.

In the letter which requests the full text of Professor Blackie's lecture, with permission to translate it for the columns of the 'Neologos,' Mr Gennadius expresses his long-continued admiration for the learning, liberality, and enthusiasm with which the lecturer had for many years advocated the ideas and traditions of Greek scholars concerning their language.

I will consider it a great honour [he proceeds] to render into Greek anything emanating from so high an authority, from one who is respected and loved by all Greeks of any learning.

The editors, on whose behalf he wrote, desired to make the lecture widely known in Greece, and for this purpose proposed to include it in an annual volume issued by them at the beginning of the year, as well as to print it in the 'Neologos.'

Rhymed invitations were sent out for the Hellenic meeting, and provoked answers in kind —Greek, German, and English. Here is one from the pen of a learned Professor:-

And another runs:-

"The page of the Father of history,
With all his quaintness and mystery,
A song whatever its ring
(So that I am not asked to sing),
A supper that's sure to be good,
With varied potations and food,
Are attractions to me, one and all,
So I gladly respond to your call."

A scheme to raise a statue to John Knox interested Professor Blackie, to whom that fierce apostle was a hero, and he wrote far and wide to collect contributions. The business hung fire for some years, however, much to his disappointment; for the weft and woof of Scottish life was of varied texture and many colours, and there was no unanimous voice to do homage to the memory of the strong, crafty, unmerciful, shrewd, and victorious Reformer. Saints of such complexion are hard to recognise, and yet just such a stubborn warrior did Scotland need in that his day, and we may well be grateful for the work he did, even when we mislike the manner of its doing. Deliverance from formalism, and a noble national education, produced Robert Burns and Walter Scott, and Knox's truculent right arm effected the one and laid the foundations of the other. The characteristic heroism of the Scottish Reformer appealed to the Professor, himself a "happy warrior," and at this time full of resentment against the insidious influences which were sapping the national character and transforming its rugged idiosyncrasy into the imperturbable type prevailing in the south. Edinburgh was in its decadence. With flunkeyisrn and diners a la Russe, a sort of trivial fashionableness spread like a blight over its society. Decoration took the place of distinction, and the remnant of men and women who belonged to freer times either fled from the contamination, or shut themselves UI) in library and studio to remember the past and avoid the present. There was no such course possible for the Professor, who fell to spirited denunciation of the new drivelling gentility. For the next score of years Ave find him the champion of the old historic Scotland—the land of the white rose and Prince Charlie; of the brown bent and the Covenanters; of "grey St Andrews" and Wishart, Hamilton, and Myla; of old St Giles' and Jenny Geddes; the land made strong by endurance, noble by devotion, and free by resistance to the death.


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