1828 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. James Scott

John Bowyer Nichols, in Joseph Cradock, Literary and Miscellaneous Memoirs (1828) 4:229n.



When a preacher was very obnoxious to the students [at Cambridge], it was the custom for them to express disapprobation by scraping their feet. Such disgraceful conduct once occurred during one of the eloquent discourses of Dr. James Scott, notice in p. 273. The learned Doctor, not intimidated by such unmelodious notes, signified his intention of preaching against the practice of scraping; which he very shortly afterwards performed, taking for his text these words, "Keep thy foot when thou goest to the House of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools; for they consider not that they do evil." On its announcement, the galleries became one scene of confusion and uproar; but Dr. Scott called to the Proctors to preserve silence. This being effected, he delivered a discourse so eloquent, as to extort universal approbation. The practice is, I believe, now entirely abandoned.