Open main menu

Page:Footsteps of Dr. Johnson.djvu/79

This page needs to be proofread.

other nations and a reproach upon the manners and police of this country, has a manifest tendency to corrupt the hospitality and to destroy all intercourse between families. They resolved that from and after the term of Whitsuntide next every member of the Society would absolutely prohibit his own servants to take vails or drink-money, and that he would not offer it to the servants of any person who had agreed to this resolution." Like resolutions followed from the Faculty of Advocates, the Society of Clerks to His Majesty's Signet, the Heritors of Mid-Lothian headed by the Earl of Lauderdale, the Grand Lodge of Freemasons, headed by the Earl of Leven, and the Honourable Company of Scots Hunters headed by the President, the Earl of Errol. 3 The same good change was attempted a few years later in England, but apparently without success. The footmen, night after night, raised a riot at Ranelagh Gardens, and mobbed and ill-treated some gentlemen who had been active in the attempt. " There was fighting with drawn swords for some hours ; they broke one chariot all to pieces. The ladies go into fits, scream, run into the gardens, and do everything that is ridiculous "

That " felicity" which England had in its taverns and inns was not equally enjoyed in Scotland. Certainly it was not in Edin- burgh that was to be found " that throne of human felicity a tavern chair." 4 Yet in the Lowlands generally the fare in the inns was good and the accommodation clean. Along both the eastern and the western roads John Wesley was well pleased with the entertain- ment with which he met. " We had all things good, cheap, in great abundance, and remarkably well dressed."' In the Gentleman s Magazine for December, 1771, a curious list is given of the inns and innkeepers in Scotland. According to this account the fare generally was good, while everywhere was found " excellent clean linen both for bed and board." The traveller did well, however, who had his sheets toasted and his bed warmed, for the natives, used as they were to sleeping in their wet plaids, were careless about a damp bed. Goldsmith, on the other hand, spoke as ill of the Scotch inns as he did of the Scotch landscape. In them, he

1 Edinburgh Chronicle for 1760, p. 495. a Walpole's Memoirs of 1 lie Keignof.Ueorge III.,

Jl>. pp. 503, 518, 583, 623. The Scots ii. 3, and Letters of the First Earl of Malnus-

Hunters were, I suppose, the same as the Royal luuy, \ 108-9.

Hunters a body of gentlemen vohmteeis who 4 Boswell's Johnson, ii. 452.

am! served under General Oglcthorpe.


�� �