Open main menu

Page:Footsteps of Dr. Johnson.djvu/167

This page needs to be proofread.


AN ELGIN FUNERAL- 1SILL. jy

judge by the following entries in an Elgin "funeral bill," dated Sept 26, 1742 :

"One dozen strong old claret (bottles being returned) . 14.1-. o,L

4 Ib. 12 oz. of sugar ........ 3^-. ^d.

five dozen eggs ........ $d.

six hens . . ....'... 2$. oJ." l

One pound of sugar, it will be noticed, cost as much as two hens, and a little more than eight dozen eggs. With sugar at such a price it must have given a shock to a careful Scotch housewife to

���see well-sweetened lemonade flung out of the window merely be- cause a waiter had used his dirty fingers to drop in the lumps.

To Johnson Elgin seemed " a place of little trade and thinly inhabited." Yet Defoe, writing only fifty years earlier, had said : " As the country is rich and pleasant, so here are a great many rich inhabitants, and in the town of Elgin in particular, for the gentlemen, as if this was the Edinburgh or the Court for this part of the island, leave their Highland habitations in the winter, and come and live here for the diversion of the place and plenty of provisions." '

1 Dimbar's Social Life in Former Days, \. Defoe's Tunr t/iron^/i Great Britain : Ac-

276. count of Scotland, iu. 193.

�� �