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��INTRODUCTION.

��Breadalbane's park," ' and Pennant, " the venerable oaks, the vast chestnuts, the ash trees, and others of ancient growth, that gave solemnity to the scene at Finlarig Castle." : A love of planting, which began about the time of the Union, was gradually extending. Defoe noticed the young groves round the gentlemen's houses in the Lothians, and foretold, that in a few years Scotland would not need to send to Norway for timber and deal. 3 The reviewer of Pennant's Tour in the Scots Magazine for January, 1772, rejoiced to find that the spirit of planting was so generally diffused, and looked forward to the advantages arising from it, which would be enjoyed by posterity. 4 Sir Walter Scott defended Johnson against the abuse which had unjustly been cast on him. The east coast, if the young plantations were excepted, was as destitute of wood as he had described it/' Nay, to his sarcasms he greatly ascribed that love of planting which had almost become a passion . It was not for nothing, then, that Johnson had joked over the loss of his walk- ing-stick in Mull, and had refused to believe that any man in that island who had got it would part with it. " Consider, Sir, the value

The modern traveller who, as he passes through the Lothians or Aberdeenshire, looks with admiration on farming in its perfec- tion, would learn with astonishment how backward Scotch agricul- ture was little more than one hundred years ago. While in Eng- land men of high rank and strong minds were ambitious of shining in the characters of farmers, in Scotland it was looked upon as a pursuit far beneath the attention of a gentleman. Neither by the learned had it been made a study. 8 There were those who attri- buted this general backwardness to the soil and climate ; but it was due, said Lord Kames, " to the indolence of the landholders, the obstinate indocility of the peasantry, and the stupid attachment of both classes to ancient habits and practices." 9 The liberal inter- course between the two countries, which was an unexpected result of the Rebellion of i 745, greatly quickened the rate of improve- ment.

" Before that time the people of Northumberland and the Merse, who spoke dialects of the same language, and were only separated by a river, had little more

1 Gray's Works, iv. 59. ' Croker's Boswcll (Svo. ed.), p. 285.

2 Pennant's Tour in Scotland, ii. 21. " Croker's Correspondence, ii. 34.

3 Defoe's Tour through Great Britain: Ac- 7 Bos\ve\\'s Johnson, v. 319.

anint of Scotland, Hi. 15. * Topham's Letters from Edinburgh, p. 366.

4 Scots Afagazine, 1772, p. 25. " Tytler's Life of Lord Kames, i. 112.

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