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The Life and Letters of John Gibson Lockhart
Chapter 4: 1815-17
John Gibson Lockhart to Jonathan Christie, 3 January 1816

Vol. I. Preface
Vol. I Contents.
Chapter 1: 1794-1808
Chapter 2: 1808-13
Chapter 3: 1813-15
Chapter 4: 1815-17
Chapter 5: 1817-18
Chapter 6: 1817-19
Chapter 7: 1818-20
Chapter 8: 1819-20
Chapter 9: 1820-21
Chapter 10: 1821-24
Chapter 11: 1817-24
Chapter 12: 1821-25
Chapter 13: 1826
Vol. II Contents
Chapter 14: 1826-32
Chapter 15: 1828-32
Chapter 16: 1832-36
Chapter 17: 1837-39
Chapter 18: 1837-43
Chapter 19: 1828-48
Chapter 20: 1826-52
Chapter 21: 1842-50
Chapter 22: 1850-53
Chapter 23: 1853-54
Chapter 24: Conclusion
Vol. II Index
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Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Produced by CATH
Edinburgh, 9 George Street,
January 3rd, 1816.

My dear Christie,—I would have answered your kind and amusing epistle more in proper
course, but have been spending the holidays at home, which must be my excuse. I found the good folks of Glasgow just recovering from the sensation occasioned by the visit of two Archdukes. The Faculty of the College at Glasgow issued a primitive enough edict on the occasion, thus:—1 ‘Q. F. F. Q. S. Senatus Academicus Togatis et non Togatis salutem. Ab Altissimo et Potentissimo Principe
Marchione de Douglas

1 May it be lucky! The Senatus Academicus salutes the gowned and the gownless. Being informed by the Most High and Puissant Prince, the Marquis of Clydesdale and Douglas, that their Imperial Highnesses, the Archdukes John and Louis of Austria, intend to-day to honour us with a visit, we are pleased to issue the following rules, by which all are to govern themselves, and whosoever fails to observe them shall be most severely punished afterwards:

1. Their Imperial Highnesses will take a cold collation, in the first Hall, with the Principals and Professors (in their gowns), and some gentlemen of the city and district, about noon, at the expense of the Faculty.

2. Students who have beards must shave them, and wash, as on Sundays.

3. All students must put on clean shirts, as when the Duke of Montrose was here.

4. Students of Theology must be combed, and wear black breeches and coats, and decent gowns, like ministers.

5. All must be in a state to be seen by the Archdukes and the honourable persons with them, and must decently and quietly form two lines between the first and the common Hall when the procession is walking. The juniors must not laugh, or make faces, when they see the foreigners.

6. In the common Hall, Professor Jardine, who was formerly in France, will speak in French to them, for Professor Richardson is dead.

7. One of the Professors of Physics will pronounce an English oration, and Principal Taylor will pray in Latin; and then dismiss yourselves without making a noise.

et Clydesdale certiores facti, quod eorum altitudines imperiales Archiduces
Johannes et Ludovicus de Austria, hodie nos visitatione honorare intendunt nobis placuit hasce regulas generales emittere quomodo omnes se sunt gerere—et quicunque eas observare non vult severrime punitus erit postea.

“‘1. Eorum Imperiales Altitudines Archiduces J. et L. de Austria, capient frigidam collationem in aula priore cum Principali et Professoribus (in togis suis), et generosis quibusdam hominibus ex urbe et vicinitate circa horam meridianam impensis Facultatis.

“‘2. Studentes qui barbas habent tondeant eas et lavant sese ut in die dominico.

“‘3. Studentes omnes nitida indusia induant secuti quum Dux Montis-Rosarum erat hie.

“‘4. Studentes Theologies omnes pectantur et nigras braccas et vestes induant et pallia decentia quasi Ministri.

“‘5. Omnes in statu sint videri per Archiduces et persones honorabiles qui cum iis sunt—et decenter et cum quiete et ordine duas lineas faciant inter aulam Priorem et aulam communem cum Processio ambulat, et juniores ne rideant nee faciant facies cum Peregrinos vident.

“‘6. In aula communi Professor Jardine qui olim in Gallia fuit Francisce illis locutus erit nam Professor Richardson est mortuus.

“‘7. Aliquis ex Physicis sermonem anglicam pro-
nunciabit et
Principalis Taylor Latine precabitur et sine strepitu dismissi estotis.—Per nos,

“‘Decanus Facultatis, &c., &c.’

“When Jardine’s French speech was over, John observed to Louis, ‘Ah! que c’est une vile langue cet ecossais——’

“By way of qualifying myself for forming a sane judgment on a subject more than once discussed between us, I have lately read over all Wordsworth—prose and verse. The ‘Doe’ is certainly wretched, but not quite so bad as ‘The Force of Prayer.’ The ‘Excursion’ I enjoyed deeply—particularly the character of the Solitary, and the description of the Churchyard and its inhabitants. One of these sketches pleased me more than anything of this day’s poetry I have ever read, unless it be O’Connor’s Child and Michael; it was that of the young man ‘all hopes Cherished for him who suffered to depart—Like blighted buds; or clouds that mimicked land—Before the sailor’s eye; or Diamond drops—That sparkling decked the morning grass, or aught—That was attractive, and had ceased to be.’ The whole picture is exquisite. The Examiner has well characterised Wordsworth as a poet—who, had he written but half of what he has, would have deserved to be immortal. He certainly has more
prosing and less variety than I thought it possible for a man of genius and learning, such as his.

“As you don’t read the Examiner, I may as well transcribe one of Leigh Hunt’s last sonnets

“‘Were I to name out of the times gone by
The poets dearest to me, I should say,
Pulci for spirits and a fine free way;
Chaucer for manners and close silent eye,
Milton for classic taste and harp strung high,
Spenser for luxury and sweet silvan play,
Horace for chatting with from day to day,
Shakespeare for all, but most society.
But which take with me, could I but take one?
Shakespeare, as long as I was unoppressed
With the world’s weight making sad thoughts intenser.
But did I wish out of the common sun
To lay a wounded heart in leafy rest,
And dream of things far off and pealing—Spenser.’

“Was there ever such a letter as this for quotations? Expect one of a different stamp forthwith. Meantime a good New Year to you, my friend, and farewell,

J. G. L.

“Compliments to Nicoll.

“P.S.—Riddel has just told me he heard from you lately, and that you are spending the vacation in Balliol. What means this? Is Connor with you? Write to me, and as soon as the bursar is in College transmit me the ready.1

“J. G. L.”