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As we crossed the Firth of FORTH, our curiosity was attracted by Inch Keith, a small island, which neither of my companions had ever visited, though, lying within their view, it had all their lives solicited their notice. Here, by climbing with some deficulty over shattered crags, we made the first experiment of unfrequented coasts. Inch Keith is nothing more than a rock coverid with a thin layer of earth, not wholly bare of grass, and very fertile of thistles. A small herd of cows grazes annually upon it in the summer.
It seems never to have afforded to man or beast a permanent habitation.
We found only the remains of a small fort not so injured by time but that it might be easily restored to its former state. It seems never to have been intended as a place of strength, nor was built to endure a siege, but merely to afford cover to a few soldiers who perliaps had the charge of a battery, or were stationed to give signals of approaching danger. There is therefore no provision of water within the walls, though the spring is so near, that it might have been easily enclosed. One of the stones had this inscription: “Maria Reg. 1564." It has probably been neglected from the
time that the whole island had the same king.
We left this little island with our thoughts employed a while on the different appearance that it would have made, if it had been placed at the same distance from London, with the same facility of approach; with what emulation of price a few rocky acres would have been purchased, and with what expensive industry they would have been cultivated and adorned.
When we landed, we found our chaise ready, and passed through KINGHORN, KIRKALDY, and CowPAR, places not unlike the small or 'straggling market towns in England, where commerce and manufactures have not yet produced opulence.
Though we were yet in the most populous part of Scotland, and at so small a distance from the capital, we met few passengers.
The roads are neither rough nor dirty; and it affords a southern stranger a new kind of pleasure to travel so commodious. ly without the interuption of toll-gates. Where the bottom is rocky, as it seems commonly to be in Scotland, a smooth way is made indecd with great labour, but it never wants repairs; and in those parts where advcntitious materials are necessa. ry, the ground once consolidated is rarely broken; for the inland commerce is not great, nor are heavy commodities often transported otherwise than by water. The carriages in common use are small carts drawn each by one little horse; and a man seems to derive some degree of dignity and importance from the reputation of possessing a two horse cart.
At an hour somewhat late we came to St Andrews, a city once archiepiscopal ; where that university still subsists in which philosophy was formerly taught by Buc. hanan, whose name has as fair a claim to immortality as can be conferred by modein latinity, and perhaps a fairer than the instability of vernacular languages admits.
We found, that by the interposition of some invisible friend, lodgings had been provided for us at the house of one of the professors, whose easy civility quickly made us forget that we were strangers; and in the whole time of our stay we were gratified by every mode of kindness, and entertained with all the elegance of letter: ed hospitality
In the morning we rose to perambulate a city, which only history shews to have once flourished, and surveyed the ruins of ancient magnificence, of which even the ruins cannot long be visible, unless some care be taken to preserve them; and where is the pleasure of preserving such mournful memorials? They have been till very lately so much neglected, that every man carried away the stones who fancied that he wanted them.
The Cathedral, of which the foundations may be still traced, and a small part of the wall is standing, appears to have been a spacious and majestic building, not unsuit. able to the primacy of the kingdom. Of the architecture, the poor remains can hardly exhibit, even to an artist, a sufficient specimen. It was demolished, as is well known, in the tumult and violence of Knox's reformation.
Not far from the cathedral, on the mar. gin of the water, stands a fragment of the castle, in which the archbishop anciently resided. It was never very large, and was built with attention more to security than pleasure.
Cardinal Beatoun is said to have had workmen employed in improving its fortiEcations at the time y. hen he was murdered by the ruffians of reformation, in the manner of which Knox has given what he himself calls a merry narrative.
The change of religion in Scotland, eager and vehement as it was, raised an epidemical enthusiasm, compounded of sullen scrupulousness and warlike ferocity, which in a people whom idleness resigned to their own thoughts, and who conversing only with each other, suffered no dilution of their zeal from the gradual influx of new opinions, was long transmitted in its full strength from the old to the young, but trade and intercourse with England, is now visibly abating, and giving way too fast to their laxity of practice and indifference of opinion, in which men, not sufficiently instructed to find the middle point, too easily shelter themselves from rigour and constraint.
The city of St Andrews, when it had lost its archiepiscopal pre-eminence, gradually decayed: One of its streets is now lost; and in those that remain, there is the silence and solitude of inactive indigence and gloomy depopulation.
The university, within a few years, con. sisted of three colleges, but is now reduced to two; the college of St Leonard being latcly dessolved by the sale of its buildings