15 MAY 1880, Page 21

Old Glasgow : the Place and the People, from the

Roman Occupation to the Eighteenth Century. By Andrew MacGeorge (Blackie.)—Mr. MacGeorge's handsome volume is worthy, both within and without of the great town whose growth it describes. There aro certain faults of arrangement through which the vast materials collected are presented in a leas orderly way than might be desired ; and there are one or two errors by misprinting or otherwise, as when we have taxatus for taxatis, on page 69; and on page 108, the curious spelling of " empyrics " ; but, on the whole, the volume is most creditable to the author, and, indeed, to all concerned in preparing it. Glasgow is not, of course, to be compared with Edinburgh for the historical interest that is associated with it. Its name, indeed, scarcely appears in Scottish history. But a good fortune has preserved a fair store of the record of its past, and a sufficiently graphic picture of the social life of the peat can be constructed out of them. It has been from early times the seat of a Bishop or Archbishop, and some of the most curi- ous incidents here given are connected with the sway which these prelates exercised, even down as far as the latter part of the seven- teenth century, over the city. A splendid memorial of this state of things remains in the Cathedral. Thanks to the Glasgow "Trades," who assembled in arms to defend it, the Cathedral escaped the bigoted rage of the Reformed minister. It is a pity that the altered manners of the age did not permit the same interference when a destructive vandalism, disguised under the name of "taste," levelled some of its most beautiful architecture to the ground. Glasgow has also been long the habitation of a University which, though now resembling the other Universities of Scotland, seems in earlier days to have had something more of the English type about it. It would be long to give even a brief sketch of the varied contents of the volume, and of the curious scenes of life in the past which it brings before us ; its feasts when porpoise and grampus were pieces de resistance; its despotic paternal government, forbidding women to wear plaids over their heads, imposing on all intending bridegrooms the necessity of learning the Lord's Prayer, the Ten Commandments, and the Belief; and taking care of the bodies of its subjects by such measures as pay- ing a "mountebank "£5 for cutting off a man's leg. Of this kind of reading there is plenty in this stately volume, and it is also set off by a number of excellent illustrations.