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without respect to rich or poor. I am told that Scotland has improved so much during his reign that it is worth three times more now than formerly, on account of foreigners having come to the country, and taught them how to live. They have more meat, in great and small animals, than they want, and plenty of wool and hides.
'Spaniards who live in Flanders tell me that the commerce of Scotland is much more considerable now than formerly, and that it is continually increasing.
'It is impossible to describe the immense quantity of fish. The old proverb says already "piscinata Scotia." Great quantities of salmon, herring, and a kind of dried fish, which they call stock fish (stoque fix), are exported. The quantity is so great that it suffices for Italy, France, Flanders, and England. They have so many wild fruits which they eat, that they do not know what to do with them. There are immense flocks of sheep, especially in, the savage portions of Scotland. Hides are employed for many purposes. There are all kinds of garden fruits to be found which a cold country can produce. They are very good. Oranges, figs, and other fruits of the same kind are not to be found there. The corn is very good, but they do not produce as much as they might, because they do not cultivate the land. Their method is the following: they plough the land only once, when it has grass on it, which is as high as a
man, then they sow the corn, and cover it by means of a harrow, which makes the land even again. Nothing more is done till they cut the corn. I have seen the straw stand so high after harvest, that it reached to my girdle. Some kind of corn is sown about the Feast of St. John, and is cut in August.
'The people are handsome. They like foreigners so much that they dispute with one another as to who shall have and treat a foreigner in his house. They are vain and ostentatious by nature. They spend all they have to keep up appearances. They are as well dressed as it is possible to be in such a country as that in which they live. They are courageous, strong, quick, and agile. They are envi
ous to excess.
Some of the
'There are four duchies in the kingdom. Three of them are in the possession of the King; the fourth is held by the eldest brother of the King, who is Duke of Ross and Archbishop of St. Andrews. There are fifteen Earls, not counting the younger brother of the King, who holds two counties. counties are in possession of the King. fifteen Earls are great men. I saw two of them come to serve the King in the last war with more than 30,000 men, all picked soldiers and well armed. And yet they did not bring more than one-half of their men. Many others came with five or six thousand followers; some with more, and some with less.
As I have already observed, this army does not cost
the King a penny.
'There are two principalities; one of them is the principatus insularum, and the other the principatus Gallividia. Both are held by the King. There are five-and-thirty great barons in the kingdom, without counting the smaller ones.
'There are two archbishoprics and eleven bishoprics, 63 monasteries, which they call abbeys, and many other religious houses, which are endowed with property and rents. The abbeys are very magnificent, the buildings fine, and the revenues great. All of them were founded by Kings. There are seventy seaports. The harbours between the islands are not included in this number, though they are said to be very secure. . .
'The women are courteous in the extreme. mention this because they are really honest, though very bold. They are absolute mistresses of their houses, and even of their husbands, in all things concerning the administration of their property, income as well as expenditure. They are very graceful and handsome women. They dress much better than here (England), and especially as regards the headdress, which is, I think, the handsomest in the world.
'The towns and villages are populous. The houses are good, all built of hewn stone, and provided with excellent doors, glass windows, and a
great number of chimneys. All the furniture that is used in Italy, Spain, and France, is to be found in their dwellings. It has not been bought in modern times only, but inherited from preceding ages.
'The Queens possess, besides their baronies and castles, four country seats, situated in the best portions of the kingdom, each of which is worth about fifteen thousand ducats. The King fitted them up anew only three years ago. There is not more than one fortified town in Scotland, because the Kings do not allow their subjects to fortify them. The town is a very considerable borough, and well armed. The whole soil of Scotland belongs to the King, the landholders being his vassals, or his tenants for life, or for a term of years. They are obliged to serve him forty days at their own expense, every time he calls them out. They are very good soldiers. The King can assemble, within thirty days, 120,000 horse. The soldiers from the islands are not counted in this number. The islands are half a league, one, two, three, or four leagues distant from the mainland. The inhabitants speak the language, and have the habits of the Irish. But there is a good deal of French education in Scotland, and many speak the French language. For all the young gentlemen' who have no property go to France, and are well received
Fijos dalgo, hidalgo,' son of somebody, as distinct from the nobodies.
there, and therefore the French are liked. Two or three times I have seen, not the whole army, but one-third of it assembled, and counted more than twelve thousand great and small tents. There is much emulation among them as to who shall be best equipped, and they are very ostentatious, and pride themselves very much in this respect. They have old and heavy artillery of iron. Besides this, they possess modern French guns of metal, which are very good. King Louis gave them to the father of the present King, in payment of what was due to him as co-heir of his sister, the Queen of Scotland.
LETTER ADDRESSED TO A BEAUTIFUL WOMAN.1
Dear Madam,—As you occupy a very handsome house, and are able to furnish it in a proper manner, will you excuse a friend who is anxious to give you a little advice on the subject?
Your building being formed of the finest materials, it will show in a moment any flaw or spot that may accidentally tarnish the surface. It is of a proper height, a well-proportioned size, and built on a regular plan. On the top stands a turret, of a globular form, with
1 From the Lounger's Common-Place Book, by Jeremiah Whitaker Newman, Esq., third edition, 1805.