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The Scot in England
Chapter IV - A Festival of Race Hatred


Bemoaning the state of affairs in England at the middle of the eighteenth century, a gloomy critic remarked in the presence of Doctor Samuel Johnson: "Poor old England is lost!" "Sir," retorted the crusty old oracle severely, "it is not so much to be lamented that old England is lost, as that the Scotch have found it!"

The Scots had, indeed, found England, and Johnson's jibe reflected the feeling which had arisen in England towards the invaders. The animosity which the English entertained against the competitors from beyond the Cheviot Hills had hardened into race hatred of a type almost comparable with the insensate malice which has pursued another wandering and acquisitive race in many parts of the world since the dawn of the Christian era.

One searches in vain for valid reasons for the Englishman's inflamed state of mind. It might as well be admitted at once that a considerable number of the Scots were mean, snivelling, uncouth fellows, fired with the overmastering desire to make money in the soft south. In point of fact, the majority of them were meanly-equipped pedlars. So numerous were these beggarly vendors of cheap trinkets and trivial household devices that the term "Scotchman" replaced the term pedlar along the Great North Road. When an English child saw a man with a pack on his back in those days, and for many years afterwards, it would run to its parents with the announcement that "a Scotchman was coming to the door". Still, it must be remembered that a great many of these pedlars were worthy men who were so poor when they set out for London that they made their living on the road by selling goods. Their mode of entry into the new country was not a dignified one, but they did not molest the people whose trifling patronage they solicited. They were, however, constantly under the notice of the English, and harmless though they were, had a great deal to do with fixing the unpleasant picture of the Scottish race which developed in the minds of the inhospitable people among whom their lot had been cast.

Smollett tells us that, when travelling to and from Scotland, he found, "from Doncaster downwards, all the windows of the inns scrawled with doggerel rhymes in abuse of the Scottish nation". Other revilers of the race were more subtle. John Wilkes told a friend at table, who was admiring the demagogue's stewed pigeons, that he had tried to establish an improved breed of that bird by importing several pairs from France and other Continental countries, but they always flew back to their Continental cotes. At last, however, he solved the problem. He imported pigeons from Scotland, and the Scottish birds never showed the slightest inclination to fly back to their own country!

Old Doctor Samuel Parr expressed his opinion of the Scots in canine terms. "I hate Scotch dogs!" he snarled. "They prowl like lurchers, they fawn like spaniels, they thieve like greyhounds; they're sad dogs, and they're mangy into the bargain, and they stink like pugs!"

It has been shown that this fever of hatred against the Scots took possession of the English during the regime of Lord Bute, and it was during that unsavoury period that the most notable lampooners of the race came to the front. At that time London was overrun with half-starved writers. Among them were stars like Samuel Johnson, Oliver Goldsmith, and Lamb, but for the most part the gaunt and ragged army consisted of obscure meteors who flickered dimly across the literary firmament for a moment, to fade into oblivion. The latter were a colourful feature of London life, making Grub Street a place to be reckoned with. Their audacity reached the point where it became almost sublime. They wrote on any subject under the sun, if there was a buyer ready to pay them a few shillings for their labour. With no knowledge of art, they composed erudite essays on art. They dashed off barbed reviews of books they had never read. They penned virulent satires around the characters of men they had never met, and turgid encomiums about mountebanks who were willing to pay for a leg-up in society. They even translated languages of which they had only a superficial knowledge.

These industrious scamps, some of whom were Scots, were willing to act as literary assassins for a good dinner. They were particularly active when a new book appeared, and, unless placated by trivial bribes, were sure to pursue the author and his sponsors with venomous abuse. Fielding tells us that one bookseller, Lintot, hit on the happy idea of silencing the dogs by throwing them bones while he launched a new book. He would invite them to a dinner, stuffing them with beef and pudding and cheap ale. It was sufficient to keep them quiet for a while. Lintot was the first man to discover that literary nonentities can be successfully bribed by the mere shadow of a reward, and his rather crude method of reaching their consciences by way of their stomachs has been employed ever since, in a more elaborate form, by certain types of men who wish to take the edge off hostile Press criticisms.

It was this scabrous legion of London scribblers who, during the regime of Lord Bute and his merry men, stirred up the storm of animosity that broke upon the heads of the Scots. The most notable of all were the notorious John Wilkes and his poet-laureate, Charles Churchill. As types of the period in which they blossomed forth, they deserve to be enshrined in the history of England. Wilkes, viewed from this distance, appears as nothing more than a dangerous demagogue and profligate. He left abundant evidence of his tawdry character in the annals of his time, but he became popular and powerful because he led the rabble against Parliament, and because he was the central figure in the vicious drive against the Scots. He had the demagogue's ability to ride a wave of popular passion, wielded a vitriolic pen, and talked convincingly. Like all demagogues, he ended up in the shallows, but while the wind was in the shoulder of his sail he was the idol of the London apprentices. His fiery protests and vulgar defiances broke down the despotism of the House of Commons to some extent, tore the veil of secrecy from parliamentary proceedings, and established the right of the Press to discuss public affairs. He deserves credit for these achievements, but seldom, in the history of any nation, have reforms been brought about by the efforts of such a shallow windbag.

Wilkes' outrageous libels and defiances of constituted authority had made him an idol, but they also involved him in grave charges. He was obliged to flee to France in the year 1764. At the conclusion of a discreet period of exile in that country, however, he returned to England and was elected to Parliament for Middlesex. The King had not forgotten the misdemeanours of his troublesome subject, however, and Wilkes was clapped into prison as an outlaw. His supporters rose up in wrath, and serious riots resulted. At that time the Scots Guards were stationed in London. They were called out by the terrified authorities, and, in quelling the ugly disturbances, killed one man. Instead of being thanked for knocking some sense into the heads of the rioters, these heroes of Hougomont were denounced as inhuman murderers —because they were Scots! [Scotsmen have continued to play a big part in maintaining law and order in the metropolis. To-day London's Chief Magistrate is Sir Rollo Graham-Campbell, of Argyllshire, and John Gilbert H. Hackett, a Perthshire man, is Metropolitan Police Magistrate for Marylebone.]

The demagogues had frightened the Government, and with appropriate noise they tried to secure an acquittal for Wilkes by vilifying the Earl of Mansfield, who represented the implacable power of the law. Mansfield's ability and courage were far above the ordinary—so much so that he was the raison d'etre of Johnson's famous remark: "Much may be done with a Scotchman, if he be caught young!" Mansfield had been educated in England.

This distinguished Scot became Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench in 1756, and when he presided at the famous trial of Wilkes the English mob attempted to terrorize him. The apprentices had picked the wrong man, for Mansfield met the storm of abuse with an unruffled temper, and faced a succession of dire threats with calm disdain. He was a great judge. "I honour the King and respect the people," he declared, "but many things acquired by the favour of either are, in my account, objects not worth ambition. I wish popularity, but it is that popularity which follows, not that which is run after!"

[Lord Mansfield is frequently listed as Lord Chancellor, but he never occupied that office, although the Seals were repeatedly offered to him. The error probably arises from the fact that he became Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1757. The list of Scotsmen who have served as Lord Chancellors is as follows :

Alexander Wedderburn (Lord Loughborough), 1793-1801.
Thomas Erskine, Lord, 1806-1807.
Henry, Lord Brougham and Vaux, 1830-1834.
John Campbell, Baron, 1859-1868.
Hugh McCalmont (Lord Cairns), 1868.
Robert T. Reid (Lord Loreburn), 1905-1912.
Richard Burdon (Viscount Haldane of Cloan), 1912-15, 1924.
Robert Bannatyne (Viscount Finlay), 1916-1919.]

The cold courage and judicial poise of this man upheld the honour of the law in the face of a popular and dangerous rebellion that had put terror into the hearts of weaker characters, but he was pursued by malicious slander and race hatred for years afterwards. As late as 1780, when London was almost overpowered by banditti, his house was burned down.

The cause of all the turmoil came before the bar of the House of Commons in 1769, was charged with libel, and solemnly expelled from Parliament. As a politician, however, he had as many lives as the proverbial cat. He appealed to his constituents, and Middlesex promptly re-elected him, despite the stigma of expulsion. Parliament again dealt with him, ruling, "That Mr. Wilkes, having been in this session of parliament expelled the House, was and is incapable of being elected a member to serve in the present parliament."

There was another election in Middlesex, and Wilkes was again returned with an emphatic majority! Once again Parliament expelled him. Once again the matter was referred back to the people, and once again Wilkes went back to Parliament with a whacking majority. Parliament, however, had the last word, and it was determined to cast out the troublesome intruder. It ruled that Colonel Luttrell, the man who had been defeated by Wilkes, was the legal representative of Middlesex. In doing that, of course, Parliament had gone too far itself. Middlesex county rose up in wrath against the dubious ruling, and Wilkes was elected an Alderman of London. It was the first move of this colourful trouble-maker towards oblivion. He had had his fling. The rabble soon forgot him, and without a rabble at his back he was just a forlorn figure moving through the obscuring fogs of London.

In his campaign against the Scots, Wilkes was ably assisted by Charles Churchill. This poet, who had a strong infusion of Scottish blood in his veins, rose to fame as a satirist. It was the quickest way to gain literary fame in those days, for the English public had a voracious appetite for everything that was mean and cruel, and their idols, pompous fops like Garrick, were excessively sensitive to adverse criticism. The day of Pope had passed. That of Byron had not yet dawned. It is a fitting commentary of the low state of English morals and mentality at the time that a satirist of Churchill's mediocre talents should have been accepted as the connecting link between the star that preceded him and the still more glittering one that succeeded him.

He was born in Vine Street, Westminister, in the year 1731, and was the eldest son of the Reverend Charles Churchill, rector of Rainham, in Essex. Young Charles was educated at Westminster School, where he rubbed shoulders with Warren Hastings, Cowper, and George Colman. At the early age of eighteen he made an unfortunate marriage, and from that time onward struggled in obscurity and penury. At last the elder Churchill took the young couple under his wing, providing them with their greatest need—food and a roof over their heads. It was decided that Charles should prepare himself for Holy Orders. He was ordained a deacon, and his first curacy was South Cadbury, in Somersetshire. He officiated there until the year 1756, but the Church cramped his style. He left holy affairs to holier men, and became a teacher. Years of poverty followed, during which he was dogged by duns and bailiffs, but at long last his old schoolmaster came to his rescue. His creditors were scattered, and Charles took to writing poetry.

He had found himself, but he did not find sympathetic publishers. His first effort, The Bard, came back to him. His second, The Conclave, a satire on the Dean and Chapter of Westminister, was declared good but held out of print because it was deemed too libellous. It must have been vicious! His third effusion, The Rosciad, raised him to sudden fame. The Rosciad was a defence of the theatre, and its barbed stanzas contained a biting reference to the lordly Garrick, who was then strutting across the stage in vainglorious absurdity. The attack suited the depraved appetite of the London public. Garrick lampooned ? It was the talk of the taverns, and Churchill found himself a celebrity. There were counterblasts, of course. Churchill's shady past was raked up by the pamphleteers. It was pointed out by one of Garrick's hired literary gunmen that Churchill had let two corpses lie for hours in a churchyard awaiting burial because he, the officiating clergyman, had been in the orchestra of Drury Lane when he ought to have been at the graveside reading the Burial Service. Another blast from the Garrick camp pointed out that Churchill was severe on actors "because they had the impudence to dine on fish and fowls in a superb apartment, while he was obliged to duck into a cellar in St. Giles, where the knives and forks were chained to the table for fear the company should steal them, and there dine sumptuously upon ox-cheek"!

All this exchange of delicate criticism only stirred the great English satirist to fresh efforts, and when next he deigned to discuss Garrick it was in these words:

Let the vain tyrant sit amidst his guards, His puny green-room wits and venal bards, Who meanly tremble at the puppet's frown, And for a playhouse freedom lose their own.

The poetic dart may not have carried the sting of one launched by Pope or Byron, but it put panic into the breast of Garrick. He had had enough. Calling his hired wits and venal bards to heel, he called off the fight and cringed to the poet. Churchill was made. A thousand pounds in royalties came to him. Could it be true ? In a daze he got rid of his clerical garb, replacing it with a blue coat with metal buttons, a gold-laced waistcoat, and a gold-laced hat and ruffles. In this brave livery of moral and intellectual emancipation he strutted around London, carrying a stout cudgel as a restraining hint to the men he had satirized.

To advertise his consuming hatred of the Scots, he hit on the device of dressing his little boy in a plaid. Curious people would sometimes stop to ask the poor child why he was dressed in such an outlandish manner. The boy would parrot: "Sir, my father hates the Scotch, and does it to plague them!"

Charles Churchill had broken with the past. He was a new man, glorying in his success. He got rid of his humdrum wife and became a gay dog, emulating the profligate Wilkes, who boasted that he could seduce any woman he chose to seduce. Churchill did not display the amatory finesse of his master, however, for at the very outset of his career of freedom he seduced a stone-cutter's daughter with results that involved him in deeper trouble than his cast-off wife had ever caused him.

In the meantime, he had turned his poisoned pen against the hated Scots, and from it came, in 1763, his masterpiece, entitled, The Prophecy of Famine. This long and bitter diatribe may not be great poetry, but it has this distinction—it is the most sustained hymn of hate that has ever been sung against Scotland and the Scottish race, and it reposes on the dusty shelves of literature as evidence of the intense hatred of the English people of that period towards the invaders from the north.

As a rule, bitter and uncompromising denunciations of a country and its people percolate into that dark and stagnant cesspool of literature which is fed by scurrilous and fugitive writings. Because of its curious historical significance, Churchill's masterpiece narrowly missed that fate, and while the dust gathers on its yellowed pages it has a perennial interest.

It appeared in January of 1763, was inscribed to John Wilkes, Esq., and the second edition carried this heading: "Nos patriam fugimus-Virgil.'" ["We all get out of our country as fast as we can."] We are not surprised, therefore, when, after warming to his task, Churchill addresses the hated race as follows :

To Northern climes my happier course I steer,
Climes where the goddess reigns throughout the year;
Where, undisturbed by Art's rebellious plan,
She rules the loyal laird, and faithful clan.
To that rare soil, where virtues clust'ring grow,
What mighty blessings doth not England owe!
What waggon-loads of courage, wealth, and sense,
Doth each revolving day import from thence!
To us she gives, disinterested friend,
Faith without fraud, and Stuarts without end.
When we prosperity's rich trappings wear,
Come not her generous sons and take a share?
And if, by some disastrous turn of Fate,
Change should ensue, and ruin seize the State,
Shall we not find, safe in that hallow'd ground,
Such refuge as the holy martyr found?
Nor less our debt in science, though denied,
By the weak slaves of prejudice and pride.
Thence came the Ramsays, names of worthy note,
Of whom one paints, as well as t'other wrote:
Thence, Home, disbanded from the sons of prayer,
For loving plays, though no dull dean was there:
Then issued forth, at great Macpherson's call,
That old, new, epic pastoral, Fingal
[James Macpherson, born 1738, who published his spurious Epic poems of Fingal Temora in 1763, and who was scathingly denounced by Doctor Samuel Johnson.]

Thence Malloch, friend alike of Church and State, Of Christ and Liberty, by graceful Fate, Raised to rewards, which, in a pious reign, All daring infidels should seek in vain.

Having scarified a few of the Scots who were enjoying a dubious fame in London, the poet turns his heavy guns towards the north:

Pent in this barren corner of the isle,
Where partial fortune never deign'd to smile;
Like nature's bastards, reaping for our share,
What was rejected by the lawful heir;
Unknown among the nations of the earth,
Or only known to raise contempt and mirth;
Long free, because the race of Roman braves,
Thought it not worth their while to make us slaves;
Then into bondage by that nation brought,
Whose ruin we for ages vainly sought,
Whom still with unslacked hate we view, and still,
The power of mischief lost, retain the will:
Consider'd as the refuse of mankind,
A mass till the last moment left behind,
Which frugal nature doubted, as it lay,
Whether to stamp with life, or throw away;
Which, form'd in haste, was planted in this nook,
But never enter'd in Creation's book;
Branded as traitors who for love of gold,
Would sell their God, as once their King they sold,
Long have we borne this mighty weight of ill,
These vile injurious taunts, and hear them still;
But times of happier note are now at hand,
And the full promise of a better land;
There, like the sons of Israel, having trod,
For the fixed term of years ordain'd by God,
A barren desert, we shall seize rich plains,
Where milk with honey flows, and plenty reigns;
With some few natives join'd, some pliant few,
Who worship interest and our track pursue;
There shall we, though the wretched people grieve,
Ravage at large, nor ask the owner's leave.
For us, the earth shall bring forth her increase,
For us, the flocks shall wear a golden fleece;
Fat beeves shall yield us dainties not our own,
And the grape bleed a nectar yet unknown;
For our advantage shall their harvests grow,
And Scotsman reap what they disdain'd to sow;
For us, the sun shall climb the eastern hill;
For us, the rain shall fall, the dew distil;
When to our wishes, nature cannot rise,
Art shall be task'd to grant us fresh supplies,
His brawny arm shall drudging labour strain,
And for our pleasure suffer daily pain;
Trade shall for us exert her utmost powers,
Hers all the toil, and all the profit ours;
For us the oak shall from his native steep,
Descend, and fearless travel through the deep:
The sail of commerce, for our use unfurled,
Shall waft the treasures of each distant world;
For us, sublimer heights shall science reach;
For us, their statesmen plot, their churchmen preach;
Their noblest limbs of council we'll disjoint,
And, mocking, new ones of our own appoint!

Here we shall leave the good Charles and his poisoned quill, for he had become a great man. England made him her poet-laureate. It was not because she had no other poets to turn to. While Churchill ranted, a shaggy and threadbare poet called Oliver Goldsmith was working in the back shop of Ralph Griffiths, the bookseller, for his board and lodging. Griffiths, oddly enough, was not an exploiting Scot ! Samuel Johnson was in a worse plight, for about this time he was not getting enough to eat, and he tells us how he walked around St. James's Square one chilly night, with the luckless Savage—because they had no place to sleep—inveighing against the minister, but "resolved to stand up for the country". What a country!

Charles Churchill died at Boulogne, France, in his thirty-third year, while paying a visit to Wilkes. His body lies in St. Martin's, Dover, and is marked by a tombstone that bears this enigmatic and sardonic inscription :

Here lie the Remains
of the celebrated
C. CHURCHILL
Life to the last enjoy'd, here Churchill lies

Let him lie. "He has shown more fertility than I expected," Samuel Johnson said of him. "To be sure, he is a tree that cannot produce good fruit, he only bears crabs. But, sir, a tree that produces a great many crabs is better than a tree which produces only a few!"

So violent was the English prejudice against Scotsmen at this period that many timid immigrants from the north deemed it prudent to anglicize their names. David Malloch, for example, changed his to Mallet, which was probably a good thing—for Scotland. Mallet was, beyond doubt, one of the most successful literary buccaneers then residing in London, and his casual cheek and downright dishonesty tinged his career with humour. In 1744 this brazen customer got wind of the fact that the old Duchess of Marlborough had put aside a thousand pounds to cover the cost of preparing a laudatory biography of the Duke. Mallet was the biographer chosen—a most appropriate choice, considering the nature of the task. He entered upon his duties. The enthusiastic Duchess advanced him money and arranged a pension for him. Mallet took up his quill. Several years passed. The Duchess made inquiries from time to time. Mallet was busy. A really great biography was not written in a day. Patience, Your Grace! The Duchess was indeed patient, for Mallet devoted himself to the biography for twenty years, and at the end of that period had not produced one chapter. It is quite possible that Mr. Winston Churchill feels grateful for the fact.

Other Scotsmen of more consequence than Mallet saw fit to change their names. Meikle, the translator of the Lusiad, changed his to Mickle. William Strachan, the famous London publisher, changed his to Strahan—a poor shift. John MacMurray, another Scot who opened up a shop in Fleet Street, cut himself adrift from his Mac, and became plain John Murray. John MacMillan, who published James Thomson's Winter, also dispensed with the Scottish prefix to his name, and prospered as John Millan— obviously an unnecessary precaution, because another Scot called MacMillan won enduring success in London as a publisher without doing damage to his good name. When Garrick produced Home's Fatal Discovery in London, he was so nervous about the unpopularity of the Scots that he decided to conceal the fact that a Scot had written the play. This was accomplished by the shady device of naming an Oxford University undergraduate as the author. The play was a success until the public learned that a Scot wrote it. The discovery was indeed fatal, for The Fatal Discovery died as soon as it was linked with its real author.

Indeed, the fact that so many astute Scots in England changed their names during this period has completely obliterated a great deal of the history attending the success of Scots in England during the succeeding century.

The complaint of the English was that the wealth of their country was being gobbled up by the invading Scots. "While they confine their benevolence, in a manner, exclusively to those of their own country," said Doctor Samuel Johnson to Boswell, "they expect to share in the good offices of other people. Now, this principle is either right or wrong; if right, we should do well to imitate such conduct, if wrong, we cannot too much detest it."

The lexicographer, of course, belittled the Scottish people at every opportunity, and bemoaned the fact that they were waxing fat in the country of their adoption, while Englishmen went hungry. That view, however, did not square with the facts of history. England was not a land flowing with milk and honey at the middle of the eighteenth century. Her own most distinguished literary figures were on the verge of starvation. Unemployment was a stark and insoluble problem. Hordes of hungry soldiers, demobilized and thrown upon the thin charity of a thankless country following Pitt's wars, roamed the country. Agriculture was in a primitive and un-prosperous condition. Factories were hovels of inefficiency, and the wages paid to the workers who toiled in them were scarcely sufficient to keep body and soul together. Foul contagious diseases swept the population in recurrent pandemics. England, indeed, was "a fen of stagnant waters". There were less than 6,000,000 people in the country, and out of this number every fifth person was dependent upon parochial charity in order to live. England, we repeat, was no Promised Land for the Scot, but there is this astounding fact to be added—all the deplorable conditions just enumerated were swept away by the constructive genius of the invaders against whom the English railed.

The case of Doctor Samuel Johnson himself is a striking enough illustration of the thin justice which Scotsmen received at the hands of Englishmen during the period under discussion. No man has been more gleefully quoted against the Scots than the crusty old scholar. His lusty lunges at the alleged barbarisms of Scotland and its people have been the stock-in-trade of Englishmen who seek sound authority for belittling the northern race. True, there is no malice in Johnson's blows, and we have it on the authority of his famous biographer that, "All these quick and lively sallies were said sportively, quite in jest, and with a smile which showed that he meant only wit," but:

The Moving Finger writes; and having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit,
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.

Justifying his perennial prejudice against the Scots, Johnson put it in these words to the attentive Boswell: "When I find a Scotchman to whom an Englishman is as a Scotchman, that Scotchman shall be as an Englishman to me." That algebraic statement implied, of course, that the lexicographer was suffering cruelly, like other Englishmen, at the hands of the Scots. Let us look at the record.

It has already been noted that Lord Bute, a Scot, granted Johnson a pension that rescued him from poverty, a generous act curiously at variance with the shabby treatment which the lexicographer received at the hands of his own countrymen. When Johnson began the monumental task of compiling the First English Dictionary, he employed six scholarly amanuenses and five of the six were Scots—the two MacBeans, Shiels, Stewart, and Maitland. When the Earl of Chesterfield, with calculated malice, called him "a respectable Hottentot", Englishmen were silent, but a Scotsman, the great Sir David Dalrymple, arose to defend insulted genius.

Scotsmen, in fact, became Johnson's guardian angels, probably because the Scot has always been quick to recognize and venerate scholarship. The experiences of the lexicographer with London publishers were pathetic, until he made contacts with Scotsmen who had entered the publishing field in the metropolis. From that moment onward Samuel Johnson's fortunes took a decided upturn. Mr. Andrew Millar, a Scot, took the principal charge of conducting the publication of the great dictionary, and he remained the trusted friend of its author. The same may be said of William Strachan, who, in addition to being Johnson's banker and friend throughout his life, tried to get his idol a seat in Parliament.

We come to the final chapter in this strange record of the generosity and loyalty of Scotsmen towards their greatest detractor. We know what Johnson said about the Scots because an Ayrshire laird, James Boswell of Auchinleck, recognized his genius and set down the small gossip of his life with meticulous and loving care. Boswell's Life of Johnson is recognized as the greatest biography in our language. It preserves, for England and the world, the revealing conversation of the man who organized our language and added to its lustre. All the harsh things that he uttered about our little Scotland are preserved because a Scotsman preserved them. Without Boswell the Scot, Johnson the Englishman would be merely a name, an obscure scholar who wrote a dictionary.

It would be idle to deny that the Englishman had some justification for his prejudice against the Scots. Authentic records of the period indicate that too many of the invaders were mean, greedy fellows who were so desperately anxious to "get along" that they were contemptuous of all the rules of conduct generally observed by civilized people. Marching south with these were a goodly number of sententious windbags who considered themselves scholars, snivelling sycophants who ousted Englishmen by their ability to fawn, and hard-headed, rapacious scoundrels who simply shouldered their future competitors aside in the scramble for fortune. We hear about these types in the complaints of the English who were jostled by them on the Great North Road, but we do not hear, until later, about the kindly, honourable, industrious, and immensely capable Scots who really formed the peaceful army of whom the objectionable types we have mentioned were merely the camp-followers.

The real reason for the Englishman's animosity towards the Scots lay deeper than the surface irritations mentioned. It was psychological. Two races had clashed in London. One was proud, easy-going, and a little jaded, with a system of education that left its lower classes illiterate and ignorant. The other was proud too, but it was also immensely virile and practical, and its poorest representatives were educated. In spite of poverty, Scotland had built up a system of free schools that gave every child, however poor, a chance to receive a sound elementary education. The humble parish school, and the able and devoted "dominies" who ruled them, became one of the glories of Scotland, and the chief bulwark of its democratic, independent, and enlightened character. In these modest little stone buildings, all children were equal before the master, and they were taught to work hard and to think clearly. Put through these sound and democratic little workshops of education, the Scottish child received a training in citizenship that years of polishing in private schools never completely eradicated; it made him, if he was sound at the core, for ever a part of Scotland.

"Sir," said Doctor Johnson to Boswell, in discussing Scottish education, "their learning is like bread in a besieged town; every man gets a little, but no man gets a full meal. There is a diffusion of learning, a certain portion of it widely and thinly spread. A merchant has as much learning as one of their clergy."

There was a grain of truth in Johnson's remarks, but what higher praise could be given a poor country than to point out that it had placed education within the reach of all? It is this principle of the Scottish educational system that makes Scotland a truly educated nation; it is this principle that has been the immovable corner-stone of her democratic social structure.

[A few weeks before this book was published, we were shown through the Glasgow High School by the Depute Rector. Among the portraits of former pupils of this ancient and democratic school which hang on the walls of "the hall" were those of Sir Colin Campbell, Sir John Moore, and Sir Thomas Munro, the great soldiers; Andrew Bonar Law and Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, who served the country with distinction in the office of Prime Minister; Viscount Bryce, the great diplomatist; Thomas Campbell, author of "Ye Mariners of England"; George Buchanan, the erudite tutor of King James I of England; Sir William Hamilton, the distinguished philosopher; Sir James Guthrie, the famous painter; the Very Rev. P. McAdam Muir, D.D., the distinguished churchman; Professor Hales, the distinguished educationist of King's College, London; William Gunion Rutherford, the famous headmaster of Westminster School; John C. Watt, Master of Jesus College, Cambridge; Sir Malcolm Watson, the distinguished authority on tropical medicine; Lord Weir, the famous ironmaster, and Lord Maclay, the equally famous shipping magnate.

In this abbreviated list of names of former pupils of Glasgow High School we catch yet another glimpse of the immeasurable contribution which Scottish public schools have made to the development of England— and we also catch a glimpse of the true glory of Scotland.]

This was the power that the Scots took with them down the Great North Road. A lean, penniless, and determined breed. They had to succeed, and they did succeed. Deep down, the Englishman knew that these earnest and resourceful men from beyond the Cheviots were the stronger breed, and it was the impact of the disturbing fact upon his subconscious mind that caused him to cry out upon them, and gnash his teeth.


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