BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 213 placed.’ These are usually carried by a boy denominated a cadie;’ and the players are generally preceded by a runner, or foremdie, to observe the ball, so that no time may be lost in discovering it. Bets of a novel nature, which set the ordinary routine of the game entirely aside, are occasionally undertaken by the more athletic. An amusing and dacult feat, sometimes attempted from Bruntsfield Links, is that of driving the ball to the top of Arthur’s Seat I’ In this fatiguing undertaking, being a species of steeple chase, over hedges and ditches, the parties are usually followed by bottle-holders and other attendants, denoting the excessive exertion required. In 1798 bets were taken in the Burgess Golfing Society, that no two members could be found capable of driving a ball over the spire of St, Giles’s steeple. The late Xlr. Sceales of Leith, and Mr. Smellie, printer, were selected to perform this formidable undertaking. They were allowed to use six balls each. The balls passed considerably higher than the weathercock, and were found nearly opposite the Advocate’s Close. The bet was decided early in the morning in case of accident, the parties taking their station at the southeast corner of the Parliament Square. The feat is described as one of easy performance. was obtained by a barrel stave, suitably fixed ; and the height of the steeple, which is one hundred and sixty-one feet, together with the distance from the base of the Church, were found to be much less than a good stroke of the club. When confined to its proper limits, the game of golf is one of moderate exercise, and excellently calculated for healthful recreation, In the west of Scotland it is comparatively unknown.6 One cause for this may be the want of Commons, or Links, sufficiently large for the pastime to be pursued to advantage. In Glasgow a golf club was formed some time ago ; but we understand the members were under the necessity of breaking up, in consequence of having been prohibited the use of the green, part of which is preserved with great care for the purposes of bleaching. In Stirling two or three golfers may occasionally be seen playing in the King’s Park, but the game has evidently ceased to be The cadies, though generally boys, are in some instances professional players who continue the occupation in addition to some other calling. They are for the most part very skilful players, having a thorough knowledge of the game, which makes their services the more valuable, from tbe judicious advice they are capable of affording the player whose clubs they carry. 8 This does not appear to have been attempted prior to the period when Hugo h o t wrote his History of Edinburgh. In a critical note on the letters of Topham, who wrote in 1775, h o t remarks that the author “has been pleased to make the top of Arthur’s Seat, and those of the other hills in the neishbourhood of Edinburgh, fields for the game of the golf. This observation is still more unfortunate than the general train of his remarks. Were a person to play a ball from the top of Arthur’s Seat, he would probably have to walk upwards of half a mile before he could touch it again ; and we will venture to say, that the w?wk art of man could not play ths Wl back agaim.’’ This, however, has actually been done. For a bet a ball waa driven, aome yeam ago, by Mr. Donald M‘Lean, W.S., over Mdville’s Monument, in St. Andrew Square. 4 This remark does not apply now-Prestwick Linka, in Aphim, King one of the beat and moat f a ~ o u r i kfi elds for the game in Scotland. The required elevation 1 By the rules of the game (with certain exceptions) the ball must be struck where it lies. The elevation waa taken by Mr. Laidlaw, teacher of Mathematies in Edinburgh. ED. 1877.
21 4 B I0 GRAPH I CA L SI< ET C HE S. popular there. An attempt was at one time very injudiciously made to stop the players by the tacksman, but ineffectually. About Edinburgh, Musselburgh, Perth, St. Andrews, and other districts, where no restraints exist, golf maintains a decided superiority, and seems at the present time to be followed with new spirit. Indeed the game was never more popular. In addition to the old Clubs in the districts already mentioned, another was some time ago established at North Berwick, the meetings of which are numerously attended. St. Andrews, however, has been denominated the Doncaster of golfing. A great many of the nobility and gentry of the neighbouring counties are members of the Club, which bears the name of the tutelar Saint, and the autumn meeting may be said to continue for a week, during which the crack players from all quarters of the country have an opportunity of pitting their strength and skill against each other. On these occasions the Links, crowded with players and spectators, present a gay and animated scene. Two medals are played for-the one belonging to the Club, and the other a gift of King William the Fourth-which latter was competed for at the meeting in 1537 for the first time, and attracted a very great assemblage of the best golfers. At the ordinaries in the evening, the parties “ fight their battles o’er again,” and new matches are entered into. The day on which the King’s medal was played for terminated with a ball, given by the Club, which was numerously and fashionably attended. In London a society of golfers still exists, principally composed, we believe, of Scotsmen, called the “ Blackheath Golf Club,” which was established prior to the year 1745.’ I ALEXAXDEMR ‘KELLARt,h e “ Cock 0’ the Green”-whom the Print represents as abofit to strike the ball-was probably one of the most enthusiastic golfplayers that ever handled a clnb. When the weather would at all permit, he generally spent the whole day on Bruntsfield Links ; and he was frequently to be found engaged at the “ short holes ” by lamp light. Even in winter, if the snow was sufficiently frozen, he might be seen enjoying his favourite exercise alone, or with any one he could persuade to join him in the pastime. M‘Kellar thus became well known in the neighbourhood of the green ; and his almost insane devotion to golf was a matter of much amusement to his acquaintances. So thoroughly did he enter into the spirit of the game, that every other consideration seemed obliterated for the time. By the la’ Harry,” or “By gracious, this won’t go for nothing!” he would exclaim involuntarily, as he endeavoured to ply his club with scientific skill ; and when victory chanced to crown his exertions, he used to give way to his joy for a second or two by dancing round the golf hole. M‘Kellar, however, was not a member of any of the Clubs ; and, notwithstanding his incessant practice, he was by no means considered a dexterous player. This is accounted for by the circumstance of his having been far advanced in years before he had an opportunity of gaining a 1 For the best and most recent account of this game, see “ Golf : A Royal and Ancient Game,” with Illustrations. Edinburgh : R. & R. Clark. 1875.