Page images

4. Chess not with your wife unless you can give her odds, and then take care rather to over-match yourself.

5. Play not into the small hours,' lest the duties of the next day should suffer from scanty rest or late rising.

6. Do not commend your adversary's play when you have won, or abuse your own when you have lost. You are assuming in the first case, and detracting in the second.

7. Strive to have no choice as to board, pieces, &c., but, if you have any, never mention it after a defeat.

8. Mr. Penn recommends you not to be alarmed if your adversary, after two or three lost games, should complain of a bad headache.' We add-beware of attempting to alarm him by the like complaint in like case.

Lastly. Idolize not chess. To hear some people talk, one might think there was nothing else remarkable beneath the visiting moon.' Chess is not a standard for measuring the abilities of your acquaintance-nor an epitome of all the sciencesnor a panacea for all human ills-nor a subject for daily toil and nightly meditation. It is simply a recreation, and only to be used and regarded as such. The less selfish you are in its pursuitthe clearer head-the more patience-the better temper you bring to the practice of it, the better will you illustrate the merits of chess as the most intellectual of games, and establish your own character as a philosopher even in sport.

ART. IV.—1. The Baronial and Ecclesiastical Antiquities of Scotland, illustrated by Robert William Billings and William Burn. Parts I-XXVII. Edinburgh. 1847-9.

2. Descriptive Notices of some of the Ancient Parochial and Collegiate Churches of Scotland. By T. S. M. London and Oxford. 1848.

3. Ecclesiological Notes on the Isle of Man, Ross, Sutherland, and the Orkneys; or, a Summer Pilgrimage to S. Maughold and S. Magnus. By a Member of the Ecclesiological Society.



4. On the Ecclesiastical Antiquities of Argyllshire. By John Saul Howson, M.A., Trin. Coll., Cam. Published in the Transactions of the Cambridge Camden Society. Parts II. and III. Cambridge. 1842-5.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

WHEN the loss of a horseshoe brought the Queensferry Diligence' to a stand, almost at its journey's end, the Laird of Monk barns congratulated himself and his young fellow-traveller on the opportunity thus offered of examining a very curious



and perfect specimen of a Picts' camp or round-about.' An archæologist of another nation would have remembered rather that he was in the neighbourhood of a fine Romanesque church —it would have been called Saxon in those days, and Norman five years ago and would have found more attraction in the sculptured doorway and semicircular apse of Dalmeny, than in the misshapen ditches of an aboriginal hill-fort. But Sir Walter drew from the life. At the very time when his pen was tracing the characteristics of The Antiquary,' the most ponderous of Scotch antiquaries was travailing in the birth of overgrown quartos, in which the remains of the Medieval architecture of the north were held up as things beneath the regard of intelligent men. 'Ancient castles, religious houses, places of worship'-so Mr. George Chalmers declared-those modern antiquities, which are all subsequent to the twelfth century, supply to well-informed minds scarcely any amusement, and still less instruction.'*

It would be unfair to charge this heresy, in its full enormity, on the general assembly of Scottish archaeologists. But it is not to be denied that some such doctrine was long prevalent among them, and its influence seems still manifest in the bent which their studies have taken beyond the Tweed. While other branches have been cultivated with success, not only have architectural antiquities been neglected, but what little has been done for them has been accomplished chiefly by strangers. The works named at the head of our paper are all of any note that have of late years appeared on this subject; and it will be observed that, with a single exception, they are published in England; while of that exception-certainly a very signal one-we have to add, that, though the book owes much to the enterprise of its Scottish publishers, the principal (if not sole) author is an Englishman, in whom the cathedrals of Durham and Carlisle trained those faculties which are now devoted to the illustration of Kirkwall and Holyrood. Thus it is in our day; and even so it has been from the beginning.

During the Great Rebellion, James Gordon, parson of Rothicmay, made a few drawings of Scottish buildings, which were transferred to copper in Holland, and have recently been engraved again by the Bannatyne and Spalding Clubs. These plates must be spoken of with gratitude; but it was not until after the lapse of nearly half a century that an attempt was made to bring together, in one volume, a set of views of the memorable places of the north. The author of the undertaking was a German adventurer, John Abraham Schlezer, whom some chance

* Caledonia, vol. iii. p. 573. Cf. vol. ii. pp. 94, 406, 569, 844, 971.


of travel landed in Scotland a few years after the Restoration. His Theatrum Scotia' appeared in 1693, but in an imperfect state, containing no more than 57 views. The impression was limited to 157 copies, of which, at the end of three years, more than half were unsold. We dare not say that this fate was undeserved. The work--though now possessing a certain interest for its representations of objects that have perished or are marvellously changed-is ill executed in every way. The German seems to have been conscious of this, and, in proposals for another edition, he pledged himself to turn out seven or eight plates, the prospects of little mean things, or else not well done at all,' and to give about a hundred new engravings. The Scottish Parliament encouraged him by a small grant, but his design never reached further than the execution of twelve plates, and these appeared in such guise that it is matter of dispute what the places are which some of them profess to figure. The fate of Schlezer and his book served to deter any one from venturing upon the same field for nearly a hundred years. It was in 17691 that Pennant made the first of those tours which awakened public interest in the scenery and antiquities of Scotland. The first volume of his work-which, antiquated as it is, will remain, per-; haps, in more than one point of view, the most respectable book of Scottish travel, until Mr. Murray shall persuade some competent person to undertake a scholarly Hand-Book for Scotland' -appeared at Chester in 1772, the same year in which the author set out on his second tour, the account of which was published in 1774. The effect of these works was signal. We are tempted to believe that it was Pennant's First Tour which incited Johnson to fulfil his long-cherished intention of a voyage among the West Isles. It is certain that it was immediately after the publication of the book that the Doctor made up his mind to the expedition; and that he proclaimed himself, on all occasions, a devout admirer of the Welshman :-' He's a Whig, sir; a sad dog; but he's the best traveller I ever read; he observes more things than any one else does.' We may note, as perhaps another fruit of Pennant's volume, that the year following its publication saw the first of those Etchings, chiefly of Views in Scotland,' by which the ingenious John Clerk of Eldin-for whom is claimed the invention of breaking the line' in sea warfare-amused his leisure, and which, even in an imperfect collection, is now among the rarest of Bannatyne books. It was confessedly the example of Pennant which produced in 1780 the Antiquities and Scenery of the North of Scotland,' by Charles Cordiner, a priest in English orders. This work was followed, at the distance of fifteen years, by another of greater

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

scope, the Remarkable Ruins and Romantic Prospects of North Britain,' published by Cordiner in conjunction with his engraver, Peter Mazell. In the interval, Adam de Cardonnel had given to the world his etchings of Picturesque Antiquities of Scotland (1788-1793). It is to be lamented that this work was executed on a smaller scale than was at first intended: its diminutive size renders almost worthless what might otherwise have been a serviceable book. Contemporaneous with Cardonnel's etchings was the well-known Captain Grose's' Antiquities of Scotland' (178991); and for this—which, with all its grievous faults, was still the best work on the subject-the commonwealth of letters had to thank an Englishman.


[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

We pass at a step over the multitude of publications which thenceforth-more especially after Scott had begun to rekindle the decaying embers of nationality, colourishing old stamps which stood pale in the soul before'-showed that the callous north was at length shamed into some kind of interest in the architectural monuments of its elder time.* We make no account of the common herd of Views' and Scenes,' Beauties' and Pictures.' Even of works which took higher flight we content ourselves with merely naming one or two, such as the Views in Orkney and on the North-eastern Coast of Scotland' (1807), a set of spirited etchings by the late Duchess-Countess of Sutherland, circulated only among friends; the Border Antiquities of England and Scotland' (1814), to which Scott contributed an admirable introduction; the Provincial Antiquities and Picturesque Scenery of Scotland' (1825-6), which he enriched by a series of delightful essays that may be held up as models of what might be done for Scottish topography, with the greatly enlarged sources now open to the antiquary; and the picturesque etchings which Scott's early friend, Mr. Skene of Rubislaw, has published at divers times from the huge store of drawings which fill his portfolios.

[ocr errors]

But no one of these books, nor all of them taken together, can supply the materials necessary for even a superficial study of

If any one should surmise that we press too hard on our friends beyond the Border, let him read an indignant note in Ancient and Modern Art, Historical and Critical, by George Cleghorn, Esq.,' vol. i. p. 138. Edin. 1848. The incumbent of the parish, writing in 1836, thus accounts for the recent mutilation of the tombs of the Douglases under the very shadow of their ancestral towers, in their own church of St. Bride in Douglasdale: During the many years when Douglas Castle was deserted as a residence, the aisle was left open and unprotected; and the boys of the place, with the destructive propensity characteristic of the Scots, made it a favourite amusement to aim stones at the chisel-work' (New Statist. Acc.; Lanarkshire, p. 491). This is a melancholy commentary on the proud lines :

Hosts have been known at that dread name to yield,
And Douglas dead, his name has won the field.'


Scottish architecture. The range of the best is but limited; and their purpose, with scarcely an exception, is rather showy and general representation than that faithful and minute illustration which is indispensable for real or scientific use. The

Baronial and Ecclesiastical Antiquities' of Mr. Billings is the first work which, either in point of extent or of style, has any claim to be regarded as a collection worthy of the remains yet spared to Scotland. It undertakes to give at least one view of every ancient edifice worthy of notice, while the more remarkable are to be presented in the detail of two or more engravings. So far as the publication has proceeded-and it has now been in progress for more than two years-it is worthy of all praise. The plates are large enough to admit of the distinct delineation of minute peculiarities. Mr. Billings is a masterly draftsman, well skilled in the history and characteristics of architectural style, bearing an excellent eye for perspective, and uniting scrupulous fidelity to good taste and a knowledge of effect. His engravers do him justice; and altogether nothing can be more satisfactory than his representations.

Had this work been completed, we should have had less diffidence in attempting to trace an outline of the annals of ecclesiastical architecture in Scotland. If our sketch be meagre or inaccurate, let it be remembered that the materials are scanty and indigested. Only one Scottish county has had its ecclesiology in any way explored as a whole. Though eight summers have flown since Mr. Howson read his papersOn the Ecclesiastical Antiquities of Argyll' to the Cambridge Camden Society, not only has his example failed to find a follower, but, on a late visit, we found some of the best antiquaries of Edinburgh ignorant of the existence of these essays. We are encouraged to hope that this reproach may have since been removed-partly because, during a more recent walk in the Parliament House, our ears caught some such sounds as curious brass,' 'large matrix,'' fine rubbings'-partly because the painstaking author of the 'Descriptive Notices of some of the Ancient Parochial and Collegiate Churches of Scotland' dates from the Scottish capital. His work is very acceptable, as giving a multitude of facts, the fruit of laborious personal inquiry: it would have been still more valuable had his descriptions occasionally risen beyond bare inventories as we have heard them called-and had he known to avail himself of what has been printed by the Scottish Clubs for the elucidation of their church antiquities.* The latter portion


* We might extend this remark. The Scottish Chartularies, of which, under the editorial care of Mr. Cosmo Innes, about twenty volumes have now been printed,


« PreviousContinue »