31 MAY 1930, Page 15


SIB,—With the meeting of the General Assembly of the

Church of Scotland this month and the attendant receptions and levees of the Lord High Commissioner at Holyrood Palace, Edinburgh puts on her royal robes and appears a very queen of cities. Princes Street, .aglow with flags, has at this time somewhat the air of a Continental boulevard and the heart of the Scottish nationalist beats quicker as he gazes upon the crowd of visitors, many from across the Atlantic, who throng the capital agape with enthusiasm and delight. It is at this time of the year that one is tempted to speculate upon the influence of climatic conditions on the development of civilization. Edinburgh is at her best in the sun. If only we had a little more sunshine, what a city might she not be ! A shadow has been cast upon the theatrical world in the thy by the death at his Edinburgh home of Mr. F. W. P. Wyndham. His decease marks the end of an interesting epoch in the dramatic history of the city. He was a partner in the celebrated firm of Howard and Wyndham and his name recalls Toole and Irving and the days of the stock company at the Adelphi Theatre (on the site of the present Theatre Royal) where they served their apprenticeship to the stage. Mr. Wyndham was a conspicuous and popular personality, a great man and a great actor who loved his art with an abiding passion until the end. The coming of the Masque Players to Edinburgh is now an

eagerly awaited annual event. They are now at the Lyceum for a ten weeks' season, and are presenting, in addition to several established favourites such as A Hundred Years Old, The Constant Wife, and Quality Street, a play, attributed to Tchekov, which has never before, been performed on any stage. All lovers of serious drama in Edinburgh are deeply indebted to the Masque Theatre. Its performances reach a high standard of excellence and, in view of the fact that Edinburgh has at times to go for weeks on end without the opportunity of seeing a good " straight " play, the Masque Players are indeed a godsend for which we are very truly thankful.

The installation of Mr. Baldwin as Chancellor of St. Andrews

University gave Scotland the opportunity of hearing one of the most scholarly and statesmanlike speeches that we have had in academic circles for some years. In emphasizing, as he did, the value, of wisdom as opposed to mere knowledge- " that surfeit of mere knowledge which brings unfaith and confusion," it is to be hoped that he did something towards the exorcising of that spirit of the cram-shop which threatens to possess some universities in these days of feverish " job hunting " and over specialization. " A proper sense of perspective with a corresponding sense. of values —to) quote Mr. Baldwin's words—cannot be acquired in a mere knowledge- factory. The Scottish universities, with their fine humanistic traditions, are in less danger than some of the more recent foundations, but the danger is a very real one, nevertheless.

Edinburgh University is at present faced with the task of electing a new Chancellor in the place of the late Earl of Balfour, who held the office for more than forty years. The tommiitee appointed by the General Council nominated the Marquis of Linlithgow. The other nominees were Sir James Barrie and Lord Macmillan. The latter having withdrawn, the contest lies between Lord Linlithgow and Sir James. A contested election, while not without precedent, is possibly a little unfortunate, but Edinburgh will, in either case, be lucky in the result.

An appeal has recently been made to all Scotsmen through- out the world by the Sir Walter Scott Centenary Committee for support in connexion with the forthcoming celebrations in 1932. It is proposed, among other things, to publish a com- memorative volume of articles on Sir Walter Scott or his works and to found a Lectureship in Scottish Literature in the University of Edinburgh. The Secretary of the Committee is Mr. James Milligan, W.S., 15 York Place, Edinburgh, who Will give any information on request.—I am, Sir, &c., YOUR EDINBURGH CORRESPONDENT.