Page:Footsteps of Dr. Johnson.djvu/130

This page needs to be proofread.


98 A DECLINING UNIVERSITY.

or links, as they call them, for exercising the scholars." l The golfers who now throng the links and boast that when professors by their learning could not save the ancient city from sinking into decay, they by their idleness have lilted it into prosperity, must have been numerous even in Johnson's time. Of all the old manufactures, that of golf-balls alone was left, and it maintained, or rather helped to destroy, several people. " The trade," says Pennant, " is commonly fatal to the artists, for the balls are made by stuffing a great quantity of feathers into a leathern case, by help of an iron rod with a wooden handle pressed against the breast,

��t>

��which seldom fails to bring on a consumption.'"' To Johnson, though he makes no mention of the Links, " St. Andrews seemed to be a place eminently adapted to study and education." Never-

���OOI.F AT ST. ANDREWS.

��theless, he had to grieve over a declining university. The fault was not, he said, in the professors ; the expenses of the students, moreover, were very moderate. For about fifteen pounds, board, lodging, and instruction were provided for the session of seven months for students of the highest class. Those of lower rank were charged less than ten. Percival Stockdale, who was there in i 756, says that " for a good bedroom, coals, and the attendance of a servant, he paid one shilling a week." At this period an Oxford commoner, Johnson says, required a hundred a year and a petty scholarship " to live with great ease." 4 To anyone who could pay for what he bought in ready money, living was made cheaper by the system of giving a discount of a shilling in the pound. A Scotch gentleman who resided much in England finding that this

��1 Macky's Journey through Scotland, p. 93. Pennant's Tour in Scotland, ii. 197.

��J Stockpile's Memoirs, i. 238. ' Boswell's Johnson, vi. xxx.

�� �