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The Social and Industrial history of Scotland, from the Union to the present time
Nineteenth Century: 11. Culture


Besides the direct influence of education on Scottish intellectual life, literature and the Press played in the nineteenth century their distinctive part in moulding that larger domain of the spirit which we may term the culture of a people. In literature there is apparent a widening of the horizon. There is still Scottish literature, and in Scott it produces a master in, say, The Heart of Midlothian, or Waverley, or Rob Roy, and the Scottish language, or, must we say, dialect, is made the vehicle of masterly delineations of national character and history. But Scott roams in wider scenes than the land of his sires, and in Ivanhoe, Kenilworth, Quentin Durward, depicts the life and manners of a larger world. Thomas Carlyle, the other great literary genius, who wielded such an influence on the thought of his countrymen, is frankly cosmopolitan in the subjects he treats. Stevenson, sufficiently notable as a writer to merit mention after these elect of literature, is also a cosmopolitan. These writers carry over the expanding outlook of the eighteenth century into the nineteenth, and in them Scottish literature sheds its national shell and merges in the great stream of English literature. Scottish literature, strictly so called, survives, but only in minor writers, who continue to represent national life and character in the homely language of the people, though there is no reason why another great genius should not arise to depict these (in prose or poetry) in what is still the language of common life among the masses. Culture, as reflected in literature, becomes "liberal," not only in the sense of the study of the classics, which Scotland inherited from the Renaissance, but in the increasing interest in the thought and life of the modern world.

Literature in the more ephemeral form of the periodical and daily press underwent a great development throughout the century. In this department also we note the presence of a wider outlook, a larger life. In The Edinburgh Revieiv, in its rival Blackwood's Magazine, and The Quarterly Review, which, though published in London, was inspired from Edinburgh, the Scottish capital held for long the leadership in the United Kingdom in literary criticism and political discussion, whilst the leading Scottish journals in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee, and Aberdeen vied with those of London and some of the English provincial towns as exponents of current opinion.

Scott's childhood was troubled by ill-health, which necessitated frequent removals from Edinburgh, where he was born in 1771, to the Border region. It interfered with his studies at the High School and the University, but contributed to the self-education which consisted in wide reading and a widening knowledge of men, and which he continued after his school and college days, lie adopted his father's profession of the law, and passed from his father's office to the Bar, to which he was called in 1792. He preferred literature to the practice of the law, and he was fortunate in obtaining a couple of appointments, first, in 1798, as Sheriff Depute of Selkirkshire, and some years later as principal clerk of Session, which yielded him a substantial income and gave him leisure for literary pursuits.

His first important compositions were poetic—The Lay of the Last Minstrel, Marmion, The Lady of the Lake, Rokeby, in addition to the ballad collection, The Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border. He is the master story-teller, in verse as well as prose, and these romantic epics took an astonished world by storm, though by the time that Rokeby appeared (1812) Byron was emerging as a formidable rival for the popular favour, and the enthusiasm was less effusive.

Two years after Rokeby, Waverley, the first of the long series of novels, appeared (1814). In this precursor of the series, as in those that followed—Guy Mannering, Old Mortality, Rob Roy, The Heart of Midlothian, The Bride of Lammermoor, A Legend of Montrose—to mention only some of those referring to Scottish life and history, Scott showed himself the master craftsman in depicting national character and national history, under the form of the romantic-historical novel, as no one had done before, and none has done since. His knowledge of Scottish human nature and of Scottish history, and customs, and manners, was as penetrating as it was extensive, and the skill, the vigour, with which he unfolds both character and incident in the course of the story, are inimitable. The humour and the pathos, the comedy and the tragedy of Scottish life and history are so realistically presented that the persons and the times live as if the reader were in touch with the events and characters portrayed. So living is the unfolding picture that, barring the introductions, which the unlearned are apt to find tedious, the reader is held and carried forward through the narrative with an impelling interest and expectation to the end. Waverley, like the rest of the series, was anonymous, and within six months after its publication in three volumes, on the 7th July, 1814, four editions, totalling 5,000 copies, were called for. By 1829 about 40,000 copies had been sold. His mastery of the craft appears further in the rapidity with which he poured forth out of the fullness of his knowledge and his genius as a story-teller one after another of these tales. The second half of Waverley was written in three weeks; the whole of Guy Mannering in six weeks. Seven of the later ones were produced within the five years from 1821 to 1820—among them The Fortunes of Nigel, Quentin Durward, Red Gauntlet. But this overstrenuous production, even for a writer of Scott's facile powers, was telling on his health, and the strain was intensified by the financial crisis which involved him and his printers and publishers—the Ballantynes, in whose business he was a partner—in bankruptcy in the beginning of 1820. He had made the mistake of entering into partnership with the Ballantynes twenty years before and neglecting to control the financial conduct of the business, which was radically amiss. It was a bad example of a man with a genius for letters entangling himself in a commercial venture for which he had neither time nor aptitude, and he has been severely blamed for handicapping himself by projects of mere moneymaking. But he nobly redeemed his fault by labouring titanically to pay the creditors of the firm by the sweat of his brow throughout the few remaining years of failing health, when he redoubled his output with such productions as The Tales of a Grandfather, The Fair Maid of Perth, The Life of Napoleon, etc.,—the last mentioned a tour de force of limited historical value.

In the year following the financial crash—only five years before his death in 1832—he publicly announced his authorship of this marvellous literary creation. Critics like Stevenson have found fault with his style, and one who wrote so much and with so facile a pen could hardly escape such criticism. He was not a master of English prose, for English was still somewhat of a foreign language to the Scottish author of his time. Other critics have dwelt on the imperfections of some of his character sketches, the feebleness of the plots of some of the novels, and of most of their conclusions, the too great liberties taken with history in deference to the exigencies of story-telling. In such a vast array of character and incident criticisms of this kind can legitimately find scope enough, and Scott himself realised the fact better than any of the critics. Like the great writer that he was, he did not hesitate at times to give expression to it. But taking his work as a whole, where is there another such achievement of its kind in any language—an achievement in which national character of such variety of type and national history in so many of its phases are depicted with such masterly handling and with such saving grace of humour ? Even from Scott, however, one must not expect more than he had to give. His mind moved in the olden times, where manners, and customs, and conflicts, and policies, and points of view seem in some respects alien to our time. His love of those old feudal days, and his romantic delineation of then, have become somewhat of an anachronism to us to whom war and the fighting man are relics of barbarism, N over which, especially with our experience of the madness and misery of brute force in the settlement of international disputes, it is difficult to enthuse ourselves, and against which every cultured man and woman must feel a deep revulsion. We are now intensely interested in things and causes that Scott could perhaps little comprehend and even greatly disliked. He is somewhat conventional, even commonplace in his likes and dislikes, his principles and prejudices. But what is human in it all is perennial and this Scott has re-created in a literary gallery that is immortal.

Carlyle's upbringing at Ecclefechan, in Annandale, was of the simple, rigid type common in the Scottish Calvinist household of the period. The Covenanting tradition and influence survived in the home of James Carlyle, his father, and Margaret Aitken, his mother, who had destined their son for the ministry. The son's predilection was, however, for literature, and by way of a period of schoolmastering at Annan and Kirkcaldy after the close of his career at Edinburgh University (undistinguished except in Mathematics), he ultimately found his true vocation. It was a long struggle with himself, his hopes, and his circumstances. Literary work that was worth doing and would at the same time bring him a living wage was difficult to find, and Carlyle made it more difficult by his rather untractable ways, his contentious, rather doctrinaire spirit, his strong antipathies, and his extreme style of giving expression to them. He could not harness himself to any regular profession except the unsalaried one of writing books, and in this he showed a really gigantic energy and perseverance in doing and enduring. His main study was history as a branch of literature and practical philosophy, and great books in this branch can only be produced by immense application and even drudgery, united with genius. Even so they take years to write, and before the production of the first of them, The French Revolution, which appeared in his forty-third year, the problem of how to live was sometimes well-nigh desperate. A Life of Schiller, translations from the German, including Wilhelm Meistcr, and articles on German literature had preceeded it, and show his deep interest in and admiration for this literature, which he shared with Scott.

With Scott, too, he shared the merit of introducing it to British readers. Merit it still is, in spite of the recent explosion of indiscriminate and unjust abuse of everything German which the war has provoked in ill-balanced minds, and the reviling of those, who, like Carlyle, take the broad as opposed to the narrow insular view of literature.

The French Revolution is a masterly drama of men and events, though historic research has, of course, left it well behind. It is a living presentation of character and action, with the ringing refrain all through that rulers that 60w the wind will perforce reap the whirlwind, and that ill-regulated liberty must lead to despotism. In Cromwell's Letters and Speeches he has depicted a great personality, though the comments are at times obtrusive and tiresome, and one could do with less of interpretation and apostrophe. The determination to make a hero of him all through, to gloss the forbidding features of the man and his regime, especially in his later phase, is overdone. Too much is made of the successful innovator, success of the strong and highhanded type of man being for Carlyle all too extensively the criterion of greatness. The History of Frederick the Second is a masterpiece of word painting of personalities and events, and especially of Frederick's battles. But Frederick is a different type from Cromwell, the type of the beneficent despot so dear to the writer, and his statecraft is not worthy of all the glamour that Carlyle has thrown over it. He had difficulty in keeping up the appearance, and had at times more than a suspicion that he was wasting his power on him. His apology for the Macht-politik is far from wholesome, and its influence has been by no means an unmixed good. Macchiavelli in politics has had far too long a sway in the government of the world, and one would prefer that he had chosen Luther and the Reformation instead of Frederick and the godless politics of the eighteenth century as the type of German hero and the subject of his magnum opus.

He had not many ideas, though he had a matchless power of reiterating them in vivid language throughout these and other works. He was a great literary artist, a painter in words, rather than a great thinker. God, duty, work, sincerity, devotion to truth at all hazards as he conceived it, are the main contents of his message, which, delivered with prophetic fire and earnestness, wielded an ever widening influence. He braced the younger generation in particular to effort in the practical realisation of these verities. He believed, too, in great men as the formative influence in the world—a belief to which he gave specific expression in his Heroes and Hero Worship, and there is inspiration to high thinking and earnest living in the dramatic exposition of the role of the great man in the various departments of life. But he exaggerates this belief without duly taking account of the progressive growth of forces and ideas which the great man, to whom this progressive growth affords his opportunity, helps materially to translate into achievement. He forgot that with the spread of education, and enlightenment, and power from the few to the many, the great man in his sense becomes less and less operative, and the effect of mass opinion and power becomes ever more so. Unfortunately, too, in his over-emphasis on the right of his " hero " to dominate, he strove to popularise the doctrine that might is right, and however speciously he might clothe the doctrine in the splendour of his rhetoric, he took his role of moralist far too seriously in this respect. The success of the "hero" is far too much the test of his divine right and mission, though success in the vulgar sense is not his idea of it. He swerved in his later years ever farther from the Liberalism of his earlier period, and came to denounce much that Liberalism stands for. He rightly exposed some of the weak points of the individualism in industry and the national life of his day, with its egotistic proneness to laissez faire, and its adherence to the competitive system, which left too many millions in a state of chronic poverty, whilst enriching the comparatively few at the expense of the many. But many of his deliverances on current progressive social and political movements are those of the prejudiced doctrinaire and can only be described as obscurantist and reactionary. In particular, in his defence of the absolutist autocratic system of government against democratic progress, he would have put back the clock to the Middle Ages, or at least to the so-called enlightened despotism of the eighteenth century, which ended in the crash of the French Revolution, and which this crash had shown to be a complete failure. In spite of his thunderings, democracy was the trend of the present and the future. Had he lived to witness the awful catastrophe into which the lingering autocratic absolutist system of government helped to precipitate the world in the dawning years of the twentieth century, he would have found ample reason to modify his political gospel and his exaggerated estimate of the "hero" in the form of the political and military super-man, with whom the world, if it is wise, will henceforth have nothing to do. He was, too, strangely reactionary in his prejudiced fulminations against science, which he denounced in the spirit of the obscurantist doctrinaire, though his protest against its overweening tendency to dogmatise on matters outside its special sphere had no little force. "Laws without a lawgiver, matter without spirit is a gospel of dirt."

His characteristic command of language and mode of expression he seems to have inherited from his father; his irascible nature, his prolixity, his dour opinionativeness are traceable to the same source. His weak digestion and his excessive sensitiveness contributed to his all too habitual ill-humour with himself and his situation. With that consummate command of words and that faculty of thinking pictorially he was, in such a humour, a terrible censor of men and things—arrogant, ill-natured, mordant, jealous, and often unfair and ungenerous. He was not given to weighing the good points with the bad, or repressing his prejudices, his likes and dislikes under the sense of his own limitations, or of the demands of a tolerant charity. Yet this is not the whole of Carlyle, who could be kind-hearted, generous, and affectionate when his egotism and his dyspeptic imagination left the better impulses of a deep, if somewhat rugged, soul their due scope.

The childhood and boyhood of Robert Louis Stevenson, who was born in 1850, were victimised by chronic bronchitis, and his education was largely a thing of hazard. Schools he intermittently attended—among them the Edinburgh Academy—but he had no love of regular school instruction, though a very bright boy. His father before him had shared this carelessness of school work, and was very indulgent. The University he also attended without any assiduity or distinction in his studies, and in due course made trial of his father's profession of engineering—also without appreciation. His bent was towards literature, and at twenty-one he definitely abandoned engineering for the law as an avenue towards his prospective goal, rather than as a practical means of livelihood. He was called to the Scottish Bar in 1875, but he had really been serving his apprenticeship in letters by reading in a wide range of literature. He was also learning to write by the indefatigable effort to express himself in the style of the great writers he read. He made his debut about 1874 as an author with a number of articles for the magazines, especially the Cornhill, whose editor, Mr Leslie Stephen, was a discerning friend. He had been compelled by a serious attack of his old malady, which clung to him through life, and at last brought his days to a premature end in 1894 in far-off Samoa, to winter at Mentone in 1874, and his frequent wanderings in search of health in the ensuing years afforded him much material for the works which henceforth came thick and fast from his pen.

He was an attractive soul, and he made and retained many friendships—in this respect a contrast to Carlyle. His fund of cheerfulness was remarkable, considering that his life was for the most part that of an invalid who spent a great portion of it in bed or indoors when he would much rather have been outside. He just managed to live till he was in his 45th year, and seldom or for long experienced the happy feeling of being really well. Nevertheless, it is a buoyant, bracing spirit that breathes in his letters and books, and made him such a companionable, lovable friend. He was very responsive to life, a man who felt intensely throughout its routine, and possessed the power of communicating the vitalising quality to whatever he wrote. His range was wide—the novel, history, biography, plays, essays, poetry, the didactic—and he reached a high literary standard in all that he essayed, though he did not work all with the same effect. History, for instance, he could only treat in the lightest literary vein, and his application for the chair of Constitutional History at Edinburgh must be regarded almost as a joke or a freak of audacity. The recent establishment of a Stevenson Society proves the continuance of his influence as a literary force, though the admiration of his disciples in this corporate form is perhaps rather overdone.

For his Scottish tales he drew on the eighteenth century—not a very inspiring one on the whole, but one which, with its intermixture of Jacobite fervour and Whig "douceness," gave sufficient scope for that facility in depicting the romantic and the prosaic sides of life in which he excelled. Kidnapped is a masterpiece of the adventure type of story. The succession of incidents in the course of David Balfour's experiences in the brig, with its crew of desperadoes, and with Alan Breac among the Highland mountains, moors, and glens, with the ubiquitous redcoats on their track, arouses and maintains the breathless interest of the reader. The atmosphere of the period of "The Forty-Five" is there, and the dialogues fit the leading characters and reflect the times to the life. The plot is, however, slight, and the grand creative power of a Scott is lacking. But the story is thrilling from beginning to end, and Alan Breac is the very incarnation of a fighting Highlander with a long pedigree and the characteristic strain of Jacobite loyalty and dare devilry. There is more body in its continuation, Catriona, the scene of which is laid for the most part in Edinburgh and its environs. It unravels and exposes the political and personal influence that was allowed so flagrantly to interfere with the dispensation of justice in eighteenth century Scotland, especially in the Jacobite period. It hits off the shifts of Prestongrange, the Lord Advocate of the time, to bring to trial and condemn innocent and guilty alike, who happened to be obnoxious to the Duke of Argyll as well as King George, and in David Balfour points the case for conscientious honour and evenhanded justice against such shifts. "This is a conspiracy, not a case," hits the nail on the head, as a description of the method of the crown and its creatures of applying the law against persons obnoxious to the government. Weir of Hermiston—the unfinished work which he left behind at his death—deals in part also with the administration of justice in the closing years of the eighteenth century, though here the theme is the harsh methods and the coarse personality of the notorious hanging judge, Lord Braxfield, who is drawn with a vivid, yet discerning touch. The Master oj Ballantrae is a weird tale of "The Forty-Five" period, in which he works the sensational vein for all it is worth. Whilst the historical setting, with its picture of pirates and smugglers and other rascaldom, is real enough, the tale is too much of the melodramatic type. One feels that the artist is laying on the colours with a reckless bravoure in order to make the hair stand on end. Melodrama is not tragedy.

The periodical literature represented by the reviews that sprang up in the first quarter of the nineteenth century was largely influenced by the political currents of the time. Toryism had long been supreme under the dictatorship of Henry Dundas, the first Lord Melville, the colleague of Pitt, the dispenser of patronage, and therefore the moulder of Scottish political opinion. The franchise was exercised by a couple of thousand county voters and the burgh councils in the Tory interest. Rut the advancing prosperity of the country and the influence of the French Revolution were, at the opening of the century, bringing a stirring of life into the body politic, and the rising Whig reaction was acquiring a hold on the younger generation, as represented especially by the younger spirits of the Parliament House. Jeffrey, Horner, Brougham, with whom Sidney Smith was temporarily associated, were winning their spurs as ardent party men on the Whig side as well as able pleaders. This coterie of daring young wits startled the drowsy Tory atmosphere with the explosion of The Edinburgh Review, which, established in 1802, ere long became the aggressive champion of Whig principles. Under Jeffrey's editorship, which lasted till 1829, it became a force to be reckoned with in both politics and literature, though its editor and contributors yielded too much to the temptation, then so strong, to judge of books and men from the party standpoint. They adopted the slashing style which comes so natural to those possessed of infallible opinions, both literary and political. Everything must be good or bad as judged from this standpoint—an essentially uncritical attitude. But in the hands of Jeffrey and his able band of co-workers, it invested the Revietv with an extraordinary power in the moulding of opinion, and it unquestionably contributed to raise the standard in literature. Naturally it produced a Tory rival in The Quarterly Review, with Gifford as editor, which dates from 1800, and another in Blackwood's Magazine, launched, under the name of The Edinburgh Monthly Magazine, by the Edinburgh bookseller and publisher and rival of Constable, the publisher of The Edinburgh. Blackwood's Magazine was as lively and slashing on the Tory side as Lockhart, Wilson, and Hogg, and other anonymous contributors could make it. These three have survived into the twentieth century. So has the more popular Chambers's Journal, founded by the brothers Chambers in 1832. But Tait's Magazine, which was started in the same year and championed more advanced Liberal views, only lived fourteen years. The North British Review, which espoused the same cause and combined with it a religious element, flourished from 1844 to 1871.

The nineteenth century also witnessed a marked extension of the newspaper. Several of the older Edinburgh journals survived from the eighteenth century till far into the nineteenth, among them being The Edinburgh Advertiser, whose proprietor, James Donaldson, left his fortune to build and endow the Hospital of this name; The Caledonian Mercury; The Edinburgh Weekly Journal, of which Sir Walter Scott and Mr James Ballantyne became the proprietors; and The Edinburgh Evening Courant, which expired in 1886. Among the numerous newcomers one of the most important was, and still is, The Scotsman, started in 1817 by Mr Charles Maclaren and Mr William Ritchie as the organ of the Reform party, to which it rendered yeoman service in spite of the obloquy heaped upon it by Blackwood. J. R. MeCulloch acted for a couple of years as editor, when Mr Maelaren took his place and continued his editorial function till 1845. He was followed by Mr Alexander Russell, among the most hard hitting and facetious of editors, who greatly increased its circulation after it became, in 1855, a daily. A kindred spirit took his place as editor in 1876 in Robert Wallace, who had previously occupied the chair of Ecclesiastical History in Edinburgh University, and ultimately became a barrister and member of Parliament for East Edinburgh, and was succeeded by Dr Charles A. Cooper, who in 1906 was followed by Mr J. P. Croal. In addition to the ability of its editors, the enterprise of its proprietors, Mr John R. Findlay and Mr James Law, in the application of improved methods for the production and distribution of the paper materially contributed to its wide circulation. The reduction of the price to a penny in 1855, the starting of The Scotsman Express to Glasgow in 1872 and to Hawick in 1898, the establishment of its own telegraphic communication with the London office, the substitution for the middleman, in the shape of the wholesale agent, of the local agent for the sale of the paper were among the factors that built up the large circulation of to-day. It has, consequently, become a great advertising medium, the number of advertisements in a single issue rising at times to 5,000, filling over 90 columns of the paper. In politics it swerved, towards the end of the century, from the doughty Liberalism of former days. Since the Home Rule controversy of 1880 it has flown the Unionist flag, and might now be described as, to all intents and purposes, a Conservative organ, as the term is understood nowadays. Its present more staid tone and its more exclusively political character are among the fruits of this transformation. It devotes less space to literature and to the general interest type of article than was the case in the days of its more exuberant period. It has, however, outlived all its daily rivals—the venerable Courant, The Witness, which, under the brilliant editorship of Hugh Millar, flourished in the period of the Disruption controversy; The Daily Revieiv, The Scottish Leader—and still reigns supreme as the leading Edinburgh daily paper. The Evening Dispatch, which issues from the same office, has also a large circulation. The only other Edinburgh daily, which succeeded in obtaining a large circulation and was established in 1873 by the Messrs Wilson, is the Liberal Evening News.

Of the newspapers published in Glasgow at the beginning of the nineteenth century the most important were The Herald, The Courier, and The Chronicle. Of these The Herald has maintained a vigorous life up to the present, and vies with The Scotsman as the leading Scottish daily. It is the older of the two, having been founded in 1783, under the title of The Glasgow Advertiser. Its founder was John Mennons, a printer who migrated from Edinburgh to Glasgow, and assumed as partners, first Richard Cameron, then his son, Thomas Mennons, and, in 1803, Samuel Hunter. Mr Hunter acted as editor till 1837, and his effigy as an anti-Reformer was on several occasions burned at the Cross by his political opponents. It survived its unpopularity over the Reform Bill, and under his successor, G. Outram, who began life as a briefless member of the Scottish Bar and occupied the editorial chair for nearly twenty years, it was again in hot water owing, this time, to its support of Free Trade, which alienated many of its Tory readers. In 1859 it expanded from a tri-weekly into a daily paper, under the editorship of James Pagan. From 1870 it passed under the direction of a succession of men of eminent ability in W. Jack, afterwards Professor of Mathematics in Glasgow University; Dr Stoddart, Dr Russell, Dr Wallace, and its present editor, Sir Robert Bruce. Under Dr Stoddart's auspices the Liberal tendency of its politics became more marked. But, like The Scotsman, it took the anti-Gladstonian side in the Home Rule controversy, though, like it, it has come round to the Home Rule legislation of the present Government, which its former Liberal opponents may perhaps regard as a sign of grace ! It has adopted the successive improvements in machinery from the hand-worked press to the Hoe press, electrically driven. In the collection, production, and distribution of its material, it is second to none among the British Press, having, like The Scotsman, its private wires from London, and in addition to its large staff of sub-editors and reporters, its correspondents not only throughout the country, but in many parts of the world. It, too, is an advertising medium of the first rank. It has its special trains connecting with the south, east, and north of Scotland, and in virtue of the rapidity of this communication, it is obtainable every day at Aberdeen at 7.80 a.m.; Inverness, 9.85; Stranraer, 6.10; Belfast, 8.55; Carlisle, 8.18; Newcastle, 9.40; and London, 4.10 p.m. It issues in The Evening Times a widely-read evening paper, whose circulation on special occasions reaches a total of between 300,000 and 400,000, and in The Bulletin a daily picture paper. Besides being a first-class organ of political opinion, which might be described as moderately Conservative, it has long been a weighty authority on industrial, shipping, and commercial questions, and has also devoted considerable space to the discussion of literary and historical subjects.

The leading Glasgow Liberal paper during the second half of the nineteenth century was The North British Mail, founded in 1847. At its decease its place as the exponent of Liberal opinion was taken, in 1901, and is still held, by The Daily Record. The evening papers, The Citizen, a Conservative organ, and The Evening News, which may be described as Independent, are also important exponents of opinion. Dundee and Aberdeen, as centres of a large population, also possess newspapers of more than local importance in the direction of public opinion. The Dundee Advertiser, which was established in 1801, deservedly maintained a high reputation throughout the century as the champion of advanced Liberalism, and has done much to diffuse its political creed among the masses through The People's Journal, largely read in the rural districts of Scotland. The Dundee Courier, which was started in 1816 as a Conservative organ, has also a considerable circulation in central Scotland. To The Aberdeen Journal, founded in 1746, belongs the distinction of being the oldest existing Scottish daily. The first number contained an account of the Battle of Culloden, fought nearly 100 miles to the west of the city two days before its issue. In politics it was neutral, and it was long without a rival in the north-east until The Aberdeen Chronicle was started by John Booth in 1800 to advocate advanced Liberal views. Sixteen years later the latter was merged in The Aberdeen Herald, which was later overshadowed and ultimately displaced by The Aberdeen Free Press, founded by Mr McCombie in 1855 in the Liberal interest, and, like the Journal, still maintaining a vigorous life. It is not too much to say that intellectually The Free Press stands in the forefront of Scottish journalism. Besides these outstanding organs of public opinion all the Scottish provincial towns have their local press, such as The Banffshire Journal, The Inverness Courier, The Fife Herald, The Perthshire Advertiser, The Perthshire Courier, The Ayr Advertiser, The Dumfries Standard, The Galloway Advertiser.


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