any other nation, for " high and low, rich and poor, they were remarkable for cleanness all the world over." Matthew Bramble, in Smollett's Humphry ('.linker, notices the same change. "The boors of Northumberland," he wrote, " are lusty fellows, fresh- complexioned, cleanly and well-clothed ; but the labourers in Scot- land are generally lank, lean, hard-featured, sallow, soiled and shabby. The cattle are much in the same style with their drivers, meagre, stunted, and ill-equipt." ' Topham, in his Letters from Edinburgh, asserts the misery, but denies the idleness. Tempe- rance and labour were, he says, in the extreme ; nevertheless, on all sides were seen, " haggard looks, meagre complexions, and bodies weakened by fatigue and worn down by the inclemency of the seasons." Neither were the poor of the capital any better off. Their wretchedness and poverty exceeded, he thought, what was to be found anywhere else in the whole world. But though as a A traveller through the country in i 766 goes so far as to maintain that the common people in outward appearance would not at first be taken to be of the human species. Though their indigence was extreme, yet they would rather sufier poverty than labour. Their nastiness was greater than could be reported. Happily their rudeness was beginning to wear off, and in the trading towns where the knowledge of the use of money was making them eager enough to acquire it, they were already pretty well civilized and indus- trious. 1 Wages were miserably low. The Scotch labourer received little more than half what was paid to the Englishman; yet grain was dearer in Scotland than in England:" The historian of Edinburgh thus sums the general condition of the labouring poor :
" The common people have no ideas of the comforts of life. The labourers and low mechanics live in a very wretched style. Their houses are the receptacles of nastiness, where the sp'der may in peace weave his web from generation to generation. A garden, where nothing is to be seen but a few plants of coleworts or potatoes, amidst an innumerable quantity of weeds, surrounds his house. A bit of flesh will not be within his door twice a year. He abhors industry, and has no relish for the comforts arising from it." l
Lord Elibank's famous reply to Johnson's definition of oats had
1 Kames's Sketches of the History of Man, i. Wealth of Nations, i. 100. See also Arnot's
265. History of Edinburgh, p. 557, and Knox's 'Jour,
- Humphry Clinker, ii. 213. p. cxviii.
3 Letters from Edinburgh, pp. 279, 361. " Arnot's History of Edinburgh (ed. 1779),
1 Gentleman's Magazine, 1766, p. 209. p. 353.