Edinburgh university; a sketch of its life for 300 years

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1884 - 80 pages

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Page 48 - It is remarkable, that in the year 1784, when the great actress Mrs. Siddons first appeared in Edinburgh, during the sitting of the General Assembly, that court was obliged to fix all its important business for the alternate days when she did not act, as all the younger members, clergy as well as laity, took their stations in the theatre on those days by three in the afternoon.
Page 30 - I was extremely pleased with the day's entertainment and conversation. One thing that gave a peculiar relish was the entire freedom and harmony between the principal and the masters of the college, they expressing a veneration for him as a common father, and he a tenderness for them as if they had all been his children.
Page 55 - Dr Blair was a different kind of man from Robertson, and his character is very justly delineated by Dr Finlayson, so far as he goes. Robertson was most sagacious, Blair was most na'if. . Neither of them could be said to have either wit or humour. Of the latter Robertson had a small tincture — Blair had hardly a relish for it. Robertson had a bold and ambitious mind, and a strong desire to make himself considerable; Blair was timid and unambitious, and withheld himself from public business of every...
Page 40 - Edinburgh continued still to be wonderfully cheap, as there were ordinaries for young gentlemen, at fourpence a head for a very good dinner of broth and beef, and a roast and potatoes every day, with fish three or four times a week, and all the small beer that was called for till the cloth was removed.
Page 54 - I have read over Dr. Blair's first sermon with more than approbation ; to say it is good, is to say too little.
Page 11 - In the brief period of his rectorship Henderson gave an immense stimulus to the College of Edinburgh. He was the ablest educationist and the man of clearest insight of all who had had to do with the College since its foundation. He saw what was wanted, and had the energy and the tact necessary for securing it. It would have been an inestimable advantage for the universities of Scotland if his life could have been prolonged for twenty years.
Page 65 - What is called the college," wrote an Italian traveller in 1788, "is nothing else than a mass of ruined buildings of very ancient construction. One of them is said to be the house which was partly blown up with gunpowder at the time it was inhabited by Lord Darnley, whose body was found at some distance, naked, and without any signs of violence. The college serves only for the habitation of some of the professors, for lecture rooms, and for the library. Here resides, with his family, the celebrated...
Page 56 - Go and dress yourself, Doctor, and I shall read this novel ; for I am resolved .to see the Duchess of Leinster's granddaughters, for I knew their father and grandfather." This being settled, the young ladies, with their governess, arrived at one, and turned out poor little girls of twelve and thirteen, who could hardly be supposed to carry a well-turned compliment which the Doctor gave them in charge to their grandmother.
Page 38 - M'Laurin was at this time a favourite professor, and no wonder, as he was the clearest and most agreeable lecturer on that abstract science that ever I heard. He made mathematics a fashionable study, which was felt afterwards in the war that followed in 1743, when nine-tenths of the engineers of the army were Scottish officers.
Page 55 - Blair was timid and unambitious, and withheld himself from public business of every kind, and seemed to have no wish but to be admired as a preacher, particularly by the ladies. His conversation was so infantine that many people thought it impossible, at first sight, that he could be a man of sense or genius. He was as eager about a new paper to his wile's drawing-room, or his own new wig, as about a new tragedy or a new epic poem.

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