92 GRASS-GROWN STREETS. Another traveller, who came a little later, praised " the noble wide street," but lamented that most of the houses were " disfigured by what is termed a fore-stair that is, an open staircase on the out- side, carried in a zigzag manner across the front of the house." Before most of them was heaped up a huge dunghill. 2 A young English student fresh from Eton, the grandson of Bishop Berkeley, who entered the University about the year 17/8, on seeing "this dreary deserted city, wept to think that he was to remain there three long years." So fond nevertheless did he become of the place that "he shed more tears at leaving than at entering." : Saint-Eoncl saw grass growing in all the streets : " Tout y est triste, silencieux ; le peuple, y vivant dans 1'ignorance des arts et du com- merce, offre rimage de 1'insouciance et cle la langueur." 4 I was told by an old inhabitant that not a single new house was built till after the year 1851, and that not long before that time sheep might be seen feeding in the grass-grown streets. Our travellers were touched by the general gloom. "It was," said Bos well, " some- what dispiriting to see this ancient archiepiscopal city now sadly deserted." " One of its streets," wrote Johnson, " is now lost ; and in those that remain there is the silence and solitude of inactive in- digence and gloomy depopulation." This loss of a street seems to have been imaginary. He was speaking, no doubt, of the road known under the name of The Scores, which runs in front of the Castle, and follows the line of the coast. But along its course Nevertheless the desolation was very great. Over one ruin, how- ever, a good man might have justly exulted. In the archbishops' castle on the edge of the sea is shown the dreadful pit in which the unhappy prisoner, far below the level of the ground, spent his weary days in wretchedness and darkness, listening to the beating of the waves. Here ofttimes he waited for the hour to come when he should be raised by a rope to the surface, as if he were a bucket of water, and not a man, and dragged off to die before the people. Sometimes those poor eyes, grown weak by a darkness which was never broken, of a sudden had to face, not only the light of day, but
1 Ton i- in S, -at/am/, ii. 189. The population ' / \yagc en Angleterre, i>r., ii. 238.
he estimated at about two thousand. //<. ' My informant is Dr. John Paterson, of
P- 196- Clifton Bank, St. Andrews, to whose extensive
1 Poems of G. M. Berkeley, Preface, p. Ixi. knowledge as a local antiquary and most friendly
' J fl>. p. Ixii. assistance I am indebted.