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Scotland Before 1700

Scotland Before 1700

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Excerpt from Scotland Before 1700: From Contemporary Documents

The present Volume seems the natural sequel to one which I published two years since, entitled "Early Travellers in Scotland." The picture these travellers gave of the country between the 13th and 18th centuries was in many respects so unflattering that a good Scotsman was bound to ask to what extent the picture was true. In the case of such visitors as Thomas Kirk and the author of "The Perfect Description of the People and Country of Scotland," their intention was so manifestly to make odious and ridiculous everything connected with Scotland, that what they say is to be taken only with the largest reserves. With visitors from France it was different. From the longstanding friendship between Scotland and their own country they were disposed to receive favourable impressions, and to magnify the attractions and resources of their ancient ally. And it is the fact that the accounts of Scotland by the different Frenchmen who visited the country are much more favourable than the accounts of Englishmen who came about the same period. Kirk and Jorevin de Rocheford saw Scotland, the one in 1677 and the other about 1661, but from their respective reports of the state of the country and its people, we might fancy that centuries lay between the dates of their visits.

But if Frenchmen were fully disposed to magnify the greatness and glory of Scotland, they could not but in their own minds make comparisons between it and the country they came from.

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