no A VILLAGE LIBRARY.
almost the founder of this thriving village, " had furnished the inn with a collection of books, that travellers might have entertain- ment for the mind as well as the body. Dr. Johnson praised the design, but wished there had been more books, and those better chosen." The inn still stands with the library adjoining it. Round the room is hanging a series of portraits in French chalk of Gardenston's " feuars," or tenants, who, after the laird, were the chief people of the place when Johnson and Boswell passed through. Many of the books remain on the shelves, though some have been lost through carelessness or the dishonesty of travellers. There are among them a few works of light literature such as Dryden's Virgil, and Gil Bias in French, but the solid reading which most of them afford makes us think with a feeling of respect that almost amounts to awe, of the learning of the Scotch travellers in those good old days. Tavern chairs were no thrones of human felicity in Laurencekirk if such works as the following were com- monly perused by those who chanced to fill them :
Magno's Observations on Anatomy, in Latin. Keill's Introduction to the Study of Astronomy. Aristophanes, with Latin notes.
Boerhaave's Commentaries on the Aphorisms of Diseases, natu- ralized into English.
Tull's Horse-hoeing Husbandry. Watt's Logic. Newton's Principia. Clarke's Sermons.
In Marischal College, Aberdeen, there is a portrait of Lord Gardenston in his judge's robes. He has a somewhat conceited look, such as we might expect in a man who " wrote a pamphlet upon his village, as if he had founded Thebes," and who provided such improving reading for his weary fellow-creatures.
A mile or two off the road from Laurencekirk to Aberdeen lived the famous old Scotch judge, James Burnett, Lord Monboddo. " I knew," wrote Boswell, "that he and Dr. Johnson did not love each other; yet I was unwilling not to visit his Lordship, and was also curious to see them together. I mentioned my doubts to Dr. Johnson, who said he would go two miles out of his way to see
1 This information I owe to the kindness of my friend Mr. Arthur Gallon.