Open main menu

Page:Footsteps of Dr. Johnson.djvu/156

This page needs to be proofread.


poet. Hut in the state of degradation into which the English Universities were sunk, what was more natural than that young Englishmen should be sent to places where the Professors still remembered that they had a duty to perform as well as a salary to receive ? I have seen in the Royal Society of Edinburgh a manu- script letter written by Dr. Hlair from that town to David Hume in i 765, in which he says : " Our education here is at present in high reputation. The Englishes are crowding down upon us every


��season, and I wish may not come to hurt us at last." Excellent though the Aberdeen Professors were as teachers, yet before the great Englishman they seemed afraid to speak. Johnson, writing to Mrs. Thrale, said : " Boswell was very angry that they would not talk."

In Marischal College scarcely a fragment remains of the old building which our travellers saw, except the stone with the curious inscription : " Thay haif said ; quhat say thay ; lat thame say." In the spacious modern library is shown, however, a famous picture

�� �