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instead of porridge had a pullet with some prunes in the broth.” 45
Wine was the chief beverage of all persons of substance, and in drinking it, the same observer tells us, the Scots did not flavour it with sugar like the English, though at banquets they followed the French fashion of qualifying it with comfits. The general drink of the people was ale, 47 and there was no more prosperous class in town or village than the brewers. As far as was in the power of the municipal authorities both its price and quality were carefully regulated. It was the duty of the official ale-tasters to see that no inferior concoction was foisted on the lieges, and at stated intervals its price was fixed as in the case of all other commodities. Besides wine and ale, aqua vite must have been largely manufactured and drunk. In 1579 it was alleged that the consumption of malt in its manufacture was one of the chief causes of the existing dearth of victual, and all persons were prohibited from brewing it except earls, lords, barons, and gentlemen, and these only from their own malt and for the use of themselves and their friends. 48
We have already seen that in Scotland, as in other countries, drunkenness must have been a common vice among the mass of the people. But the Englishman just quoted delicately hints that even the Scotch nobles and gentry were not remarkable for their abstemiousness, and in this respect
contrasts them unfavourably with the same classes in England. In support of his allegation he notes that in Scotland it was the custom for a host to send his guests to bed with a "sleeping cap," and that at suppers the wine passed round so freely that he had to make an express condition with one of his entertainers that he would be protected from "large drinking." But these accusations of intemperance brought by one nation against another must be taken for what they are worth. In France it was the general opinion that the English were a bibulous nation ; and we have it on the word of Montaigne that it was a necessary qualification for a French ambassador in London that he should possess a head strong and well-seasoned.
a In this survey of the condition of the Scottish people in the time of Mary, one class—a class that we have always with us—has been left out of account; the class, namely, that had no security for the barest necessaries of life. The condition of this section of the population, however, and the efforts made to remedy it, will be more fitly considered in another connection. With regard to the mass of Mary's subjects the foregoing description of their general social activities—of the organisation of trade and commerce, of the rivalries of the different classes, of the vigorous life in the towns, of the provision everywhere existing for varying toil with pleasure—undoubtedly gives the impression of a nation that had done its best with the resources at its disposal. Throughout the Middle Ages Scotland had followed the various lines of development that had been opened up by the countries more highly favoured by nature and circumstances than herself. But in the sixteenth century, and especially in its latter half, several of these countries were making new departures in every field of activity which were to issue in the conditions of the society we now see around us. To what extent did Scotland partake in these new movements which were inaugurating a new era in Western Europe? It is to the consideration of this question that the last lecture of this course will be mainly devoted.
ECONOMIC TRANSITION IN THE TIME OF MARY-THE
REFORMATION AND THE NATIONAL CHARACTER
the importance of its contribution to the
national development, the reign of David I. is the only one in our history that can be compared to the reign of Mary. The reign of David definitively created the social order under which the Scottish nation existed throughout the later Middle Age; and the reign of Mary in large degree broke up that order and gave a new direction to the nation's ideals and aspirations. Mary's reign abounds with picturesque and tragic incidents as well as with striking individualities, but it is as an epoch at once of violent revolution and of gradual transition that it commands our special attention in any serious view of the national destinies.
The breach which Scotland made with its ancient religion may be fairly called a revolution, whether we have regard to the importance of its issues or to the process by which it was accomplished. It was out of the religion of Rome that the existing social order had arisen, and the one could not be rejected without an eventual transformation of the
other. So intimately were the two interwoven that their disjunction involved a new adjustment and co-relation of all the forces that go to constitute national life. But besides the revolution that shook the foundations of the kingdom there were other
processes at work, which, though less obvious, were eventually not less powerful in transforming the aims and ideals of the nation. It is now a commonplace that economic and religious movements are invariably associated and act and re-act on each other. The sixteenth century saw the great schism from the Church of Rome, and it saw an equally decisive breach with the economic system which had grown up under the auspices of that Church. In the case of religion the breach with its past was nowhere more complete than in Scotland. For reasons, which will afterwards be noted, however, the change in its economic system could not be so rapid and fundamental as in the case of certain other countries. It was the increasing volume of trade and commerce in these countries that necessitated a new departure alike in industry and commerce.
But in Scotland the general development had not been so great as to constrain the nation to modify in the same degree the economic system it had inherited from the Middle Age. Yet, in the reign of Mary, and still more notably in the reign of her successor, there were many indications that the nation was fully alive to the economic developments in other countries. Let us