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Full text of "In praise of Edinburgh, an anthology in prose and verse"

IIRGI: 




Presented to the 

LIBRARY of the 

UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO 

by 



JOSEPH BUIST 



IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 



BY THE SAME AUTHOR 

GENERAL 

Use and Abuse of English. 

Lives of Pollok and Aytoun (' Famous Scots ' Series). 
Edinburgh (Painted by JOHN FULLEYLOVE, R.I.). 
Edinburgh (' Peeps at Many Lands ' Series). 
Wordsworth (Forthcoming). 

NOVELS 
In Our Town. 
The Transgressors. 
My Poor Niece. 
A Departure from Tradition. 
Leslie Farquhar. 
Our Bye -Election. 
Nina. 



tl 

IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

AN ANTHOLOGY 
IN PROSE AND VERSE 



SELECTED AND EDITED BY 

o 

ROSALINE MASSON 

AUTHOR OF ' EDINBURGH ' (ILLUSTRATED BY JOHN FULI.EYLOVE, R.I.) 
'EDINBURGH' ('PEEPS AT MANY LANDS' SERIES) ETC. ETC. 



LONDON 
CONSTABLE AND COMPANY LTD. 

10 ORANGE ST. LEICESTER SQUARE W.C. 
1912 




' . . . Mine own ancient city, 
among my own neighbours, 
my own fellow-citizens, and 
my own friends. ' 

Speech, gtk October 1896. 



PREFACE 

THE extracts gathered in this book include comments on 
Edinburgh from that of Ptolemy in the second century to that 
of King George v. in the twentieth. Inevitably there must be 
very many regrettable omissions. 

The extracts have been arranged, as far as possible, in the chrono- 
logical order of their subjects ; contemporary accounts thus coming 
in the chronological order of their writers. This arrangement 
would seem the most satisfactory to the historical sense, for it 
tends to present a consecutive story, or set of pictures, of 
Edinburgh. 

Just as the Edinburgh that was praised in the sixteenth century 
is not the same Edinburgh that was praised in the nineteenth 
century, so the nature of the praise changes with the centuries as 
does the city. For instance, if we except Gavin Douglas's delicious 
observations of Nature not always praise it is interesting to note 
how perception of scenic beauty does not creep into the descrip- 
tions of Edinburgh until about the middle of the eighteenth 
century, when the Bishop of Meath, writing to his sister, tells her 
of the view of the Forth and the country. Pennant, whom Johnson 
called observant, notices the views also, a few years later. Until 
that period travellers comment on the strength of the position of 
the Castle, and are uniform in their admiration of the ' one fair 
street,' and the height of the houses in Parliament Close. 

It may also be noticed that our French visitors are generally 
eulogistic ; but that some of our English guests as Henry m.'s 
daughter in 1255, Sir Anthony Weldon in 1617, Dr. Johnson in 
the eighteenth century and John Ruskin in the nineteenth, can 
only be quoted by considering their remarks to have been inspired 
by home-sickness or by jealousy, and therefore to be accepted as 
praise in disguise. 

Within the chronological barriers, an attempt has been made to 
present occasional continuity of subject matter, or sharp clash of 
contrasting opinion. 

The ballads have, except where they referred to any actual 
incident, been disposed where they seemed appropriate or orna- 



viii PREFACE 

mental, and not according to any alleged date of authorship ; for 
that way controversy lies. 

I take this opportunity of expressing my indebtedness and 
gratitude to Mrs. Doughty, for help given out of the fulness of her 
knowledge ; and to Mr. Walter B. Blaikie, for his continual and 
greatly valued kindness in helping and advising me. 

I have also to thank Dr. Hew Morrison, who has made the 
compilation of this book possible to me by his kindness in keeping 
me supplied with generous relays of books from the Reference 
Department of the Edinburgh Public Library; Mr. Nicholson, 
Chief Librarian of the University Library ; and Mr. Addis Miller, 
Secretary of the Philosophical Institution, for very kind help ; and 
the Assistant Librarians of the Public Library, the Advocates' 
Library, and the Signet Library, where I have had the privilege 
of reading. 

ROSALINE MASSON. 
EDINBURGH, 1911 



ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 

I BEG leave to tender my thanks to the following authors, 
literary executors, editors, and publishers, and to acknowledge my 
indebtedness to them with regard to the inclusion in this volume 
of copyright work : 

To Mr. Balfour; Mr. J. M. Barrie; Mr. Walter B. Blaikie ; Pro- 
fessor Hume Brown ; Mr. Oscar Browning ; Mr. Carnegie ; Mr. 
G. K. Chesterton ; Miss Alice Dowden ; Mr. John Geddie ; M-r. 
Henry Johnstone; Miss Maria Lansdale; The Very Rev. Sir 
James Cameron Lees; Mr. W. D. M'Kay; Miss Flora Masson; 
Professor Morgan ; Mr. Alfred Noyes ; Mr. Will H. Ogilvie ; Mrs. 
Riggs ('Kate Douglas Wiggin'); Mr. R. Ellis Roberts; Lord 
Rosebery; Mrs. Sellar; Mr. G. W. Smalley; Mr. Oliphant Smeaton ; 
and Miss Margaret Warrender ; for their very kind permissions to 
quote from their writings. 

To Mr. Alexander Carlyle for leave to include several extracts 
from the works of Thomas Carlyle ; to Mrs. Crispe, for sanction to 
quote a short passage from Recollections, by the late T. C. Crispe, 
K.C. ; to Mr. Francis Darwin, for leave to quote from a letter of 
Charles Darwin's ; to Sir Ludovic Grant, for permission to include 
a passage from Sir Alexander Grant's History of the University of 
Edinburgh ; to Professor Kurt Hensel, Marburg, for permitting the 
quotation from a letter of Felix Mendelssohn's ; to Mr. Alexander 
Kennedy, for permission to give a poem by Alexander Anderson 
('the Surfaceman'); to Miss Rose Kingsley, for sanction to quote 
from Letters and Memories, by the Rev. Charles Kingsley ; to Miss 
Agnes Smith and Mrs. Carlyle, for allowing me to give a poem by 
the Rev. Dr. Walter Smith ; to Lady Strachey, for permission to 
include extracts from Memoirs of a Highland Lady ; and to Sir 
George Trevelyan, for allowing the inclusion of extracts from Lord 
Macaulay's writings. 

To Mr. Edward Arnold (Maria EdgewortKs Letters); Messrs. 
Wm. Blackwood & Sons (Recollections and Impressions by Mrs. 
Sellar, and North of England and Scotland) ; Mr. Wm. Brown 
(A Journey to Edenborough) ; Cassell & Company (Stevenso'n's 



x ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 

Catriond); Messrs. Chatto & Windus (Stevenson's Ilk Ter- 
rarum, My Old Familiars, and extract from The Scot Abroad} ; 
Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, Stuttgart (Briefe des General Feld- 
marschalls Grafen von Moltke); Mr. David Douglas (several 
extracts from Professor Hume Brown's Early Travellers in 
Scotland, a passage from Miss Warrender's Walks near Edinburgh, 
and a passage from Gray Days and Gold, by William Winter) ; 
Mr. Thomas Fraser, Dalbeattie (poem from The Land We Love, by 
Will H. Ogilvie) ; Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston (Penelope's 
Experiences in Scotland, by Kate Douglas Wiggin) ; Mr. John Lane 
(poem by William Watson); Messrs. Longmans, Green & Co. 
(Recollections of Past Life, by Sir Henry Holland) ; Mr. Maclehose 
(Biographical Sketch of the Right Rev. John Dowden, Bishop of 
Edinburgh, by Alice Dowden, appended to The Mediaeval Church 
in Scotland, by the Right Rev. John Dowden) ; The Macmillan 
Company (Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, Letters and 
Memories, by Rev. Charles Kingsley, and The Wizard's Son, by 
Mrs. Oliphant) ; Messrs. Methuen (extract from letter given in Mr. 
Graham Balfour's Life of R. Z. Stevenson); Mr. John Murray 
(Memoirs of a Highland Lady, and Autobiography of James 
Nasmytti); Messrs. Nimmo, Hay & Mitchell (Alexander Smith's 
A Summer in Skye and his Last Leaves); Messrs. Oliphant, 
Anderson & Ferrier (Scotland, Historic and Romantic, by Maria 
Lansdale) ; Herr Georg Reimer, Berlin (Die Familie Mendelssohn) ; 
Messrs. Samson, Low, Marston & Co. (William Black's Strange 
Adventures of a Phaeton, and Our Hundred Days in Europe, by 
Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes) ; Messrs. Seeley, Service & Co. (R. L. 
Stevenson's Picturesque Notes) ; Messrs. Smith & Elder (quotation 
from article in Cornhilt); and the Editor of the Daily News 
(quotation from article by Mr. G. K. Chesterton in that paper). 

ROSALINE MASSON. 
EDINBURGH, 1911. 



CONTENTS 

I'A(.E 

From Andrew of Wyntoun's Orygynale Cronykil. (The founding of 

Edinburgh) ........ I 

From John Stow's Chronicle. (The founding of Edinburgh in 

9898.0.) . . . . . . . . I 

From Ptolemy's Geography, circa 150 A. D. . . . . 2 

From John of Fordun's Chronicle. (Account of the death of Margaret, 

Queen of Malcolm Canmore, in 1093) .... 2 

A Complaint of Margaret, Queen of Alexander III. and daughter of 

Henry HI., in 1255 ....... 3 

From Voyage of Kynge Edwarde into Scotland. (The siege of Edinburgh 

.Castle in 1295) ....... 3 

From The Queen's Wake. James Hogg. (Edinburgh in the days of 

the Bruce) ...... 3 

From Froissart's Chronicles, 1385 ... 3 

Ancient ballad. (The ' Black Dinner ' in the Castle in 1440) . . 4 

From Arnot's History of Edinburgh. (Edinburgh's hospitality to the 

dethroned King of England, 1462-4) .... 4 

Brief of Pope Paul II. erecting St. Giles's into a Collegiate Church in 

1467 .... 4 

William Dunbar's Drtgy to James IV. at Stirling . 5 

From Maitland's History of Edinburgh. (Edinburgh in 1500) . 8 

William Dunbar's To the Merchants of Edinburgh . . IO 

From The Church of St. Giles, by the Very Rev. Sir James Cameron 

Lees. (Gavin Douglas made Provost of St. Giles's in 1501) . 12 

From Gavin Douglas's Prologues to translation of the ALneid : 

(1) A Winter Evening in 1512 . . 12 

(2) A Winter Morning in 1512 . 14 

(3) A May Morning in 1513 . *5 
From Sir Walter Scott's Marmion. (Edinburgh before Hodden, 



From Aytoun's Lays of the Scottish Cavaliers. ('Edinburgh after 

Flodden') ..... .20 

From fohn Major, 1521 . .22 

From Diurnal of Occurrents, 1524 . . . .22 

From A lane or Alesius, 1529 .... .23 



xii IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

PACK 

From Diurnal of Occurrents, 1533 . .24 

From Bellenden's Translation of Boece's Croniklis, 1533 . 24 

From Diurnal of Oc currents. (James v. receives the Order of the 

Garter at Holyrood in 1535) . . . . 24 

From Lindesay of Pitscottie's History. (The landing of Queen Mag- 
dalene in 1537) ..... 24 

From Diurnal of Occurrents. (The landing and death of Queen 

Magdalene) . . . . . -25 

Sir David Lyndsay's Dtploratioun of the Deith of Quene Magdalene . 25 
From Diurnal of Occurrents. (The landing of Marie of Guise in 

1539) . . 26 

From Diurnal of Occurrents. (The death of Marie of Guise in 1560) . 27 
From Diurnal of Occurrents. (State entry of Mary, Queen of Scots, 

in 1561) ...... 27 

From Scotland in the Time of Queen Mary, by Professor Hume Brown . 28 
Ballad of Marie Hamilton ...... 29 

From Edinburgh Sketches and Memories, by David Masson. (' Queen 

Mary's Edinburgh ') . . . . . . -33 

From Sir Walter Scott : The Abbot -'. . . . -34 

In Edinburgh Castle. Poem by Rev. Walter C. Smith ... 35 
From Lamentation of the Commons of Scotland. Robert Sempill . 37 

From Diary of fames Melville. (The last days of George Buchanan) . 37 
From The Church of St. Giles, by the Very Rev. Sir James Cameron 

Lees. (A scene in St. Giles's in 1586) . . . -37 

From Edinburgh and its Story, by Oliphant Smeaton. (James vi.'s 

marriage in 1590) ....... 38 

The Laird o' Logie. Ballad ...... 39 

From Fynes Moryson's Itinerary, 1598 . . . . '43 

The Laird of IVaristoun. Ballad ..... 44 

From Edinburgh Sketches and Memories, by David Masson. (King 

James vi. 's farewell to Holyrood, 1603) . . . .47 

From MS. Extracts from Criminal Record. (King James vi.'s return 

to Holyrood, 1617) ....... 49 

From Sir Anthony Weldon's MS. ..... 49 

A line of Ben Jonson's ....... 50 

From The Pennyless Pilgrimage of Taylor, the ' Water-Poet,' 1618 . 50 
From Edinburgh's Vertues, by W. M. . . . .52 

From Thomas Carlyle : Historical Sketches. (Charles l.'s State entry, 

1633) S3 

A Panegyricke to the Most High and Mighty Monarch Charles, by 

Walter Forbe? . . . . . . 55 

From Brereton's Travels, 1636 ...... 56 

From The Church of St. Giles, by the Very Rev. Sir James Cameron 

Lees. (The Jenny Geddes Riot in 1637) . . . -59 



CONTENTS xiii 



PAGE 



Mistress Jenny Geddes. Ballad by Professor John Stuart Blackie . . 59 
A Prouerbe. William Drummond of Hawthornden . . .61 

From James Ho well's Familiar Letters, 1639 . . . .61 

Encomia Urbium : Edinburgum. Arthur Johnston . . .62 

Prose translation of Edinburgum, by Sir William Geddes . . 62 

Edinburgh. William Drummond of Hawthornden. (Free translation 

of Edinburgum) ....... 62 

From Thomas Carlyle : Historical Sketches . . . .63 

From My Voyage from Holy Ylande to Strathboggie, by Gilbert Blakhal. 

(A Sunday in Edinburgh in 1643) . . . . .63 

The Banishment of Poverty. Verses by Francis Sempill . . 64 

Letters of Oliver Cromwell. (Description of the surrender of the Castle 

of Edinburgh in 1650) ...... 65 

From Walks near Edinburgh, by Margaret Warrender. (The Borough- 

muir, the Napiers, and Montrose) . . . . .65 

From Aytoun's Lays of the Scottish Cavaliers. ('The Execution of 

Montrose ') . . . . . . .67 

From Frances Memoirs, 1656 ...... 68 

From the Journal of George Fox, 1657 ..... 69 

From David Buchanan's description of Edinburgh . . .71 

From Antiquarian Repertory, Jorevin de Rocheford. (1661) . . 74 

Jock of Hazelgreen. Old ballad ...... 76 

From James Brome's Travels, 1669 . . . . -79 

Verse of Old Song ....... 82 

From Thomas Kirk's Tour in Scotland, 1677 . . . .82 

Bonnie Dundee. Sir Walter Scott. (1689) . . . .83 

From Scotch Presbyterian Eloquence. (A prayer in Edinburgh in 

1693) . . ... 84 

from A Short Accottnt of Scotland, \>y ~Rtv. Ihom&s Clover. (1702) . 84 
' My wife sail hae her will '...... 89 

From North of England and Scotland. Joitrnall. (A rare book, 

1703) .... ..... 89 

From A Journey to Edenborough, by Joseph Taylor. (1705) . . 91 

From An Historical Account of My own Life, by the Rev. Edmund 

Calamy. (1709) ....... 91 

The City of Edinburgh's Salutation to the Marquis of Carnarvon. Allan 

Ramsay. (1720) . . . . . . -93 

From A Journey through Scotland, by J. Macky. (1723) . . 94 

From A Tour Through the Whole Island of Great Britain. Daniel 

Defoe. (1724) ..'.... 98 

Mally Lee. Ballad . . . . . . 102 

From Diary of a Tour, by John Loveday .... 103 

From Autobiography of the Rev. Alexander Carlyle. (The Porteous Riot 

in 1736) . . . . . . . . 104 



xiv IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

PAGB 

From Sir Walter Scott : The Heart of Midlothian. (The Porteous 

Riot) .......... 108 

'Twas within a Mile of Edinburgh Town. (With verse of D'Urfey't 

older version) . . . . . . . .113 

From Robert Chambers's History of the Rebellion of 1745-6. (Prince 

Charlie's entry into Edinburgh in 1745) . . . .114 

From Edinburgh at the Time of the Occupation of Prince Charles, by 

Walter B. Blaikie . . . . . . .116 

From Lady Oxford's Journey into Scotland, 1745 . . .119 

From A Journey through Part of England and Scotland. Along -with the 

Army under the Command of H. R. H. the Duke of Cumberland, 1 747 1 20 
from Journal of the Rev. John Wesley, 1751 .... 124 
From Autobiography of the Rev. Alexander Carlylt. (David Hume in 

Edinburgh) . , . . . . . . 124 

From Eloge de la Ville d'Edimbourg, par le Sieur de Forbes . .126 

A letter of Oliver Goldsmith's, 1753 - . 126 

From Autobiography of the Rev. Alexander Carlyle. (Reception of 

Home's Douglas by the Edinburgh clergy of 1756) . . . 127 

Last Speech of the Cross. Verses by ' Claudero.' (The pulling down of 

the City Cross in 1756) . . , . . .128 

Verses by Dr. Benjamin Franklin in 1759 .... 129 

From Richard Pococke's Tours ; 1760 ... . . .130 

From The Romaunt of S. Mary's Wynd, by Alexander Leighton . 131 

Letter from Thomas Gray in 1764 . ... . 133 

From Guthrie's Grammar, 1770 . . . . . 133 

The King 's Birth-day in Edinburgh. Robert Fergusson . 135 

From Humphrey Clinker. Tobias Smollett . . . .136 

To the Tron Kirk Bell. Robert Fergusson . . . 141 

From Thomas Pennant's Tour, 1771 .... 142 

Caller Oysters. Robert Fergusson . . . . 145 

From Sir Walter Scott's Provincial Antiquities of Scotland . . 147 

From Letters from Edinburgh, by Captain Topham. (Edinburgh's 

beaut y) . . . .148 

From Auld Reekie. Robert Fergusson ... ie o 

From Letters from Edinburgh, by Captain Topham. (Edinburgh's 

Iadies > . . . 156 

From Boswell's /ournal of Tour to the Hebrides. (Dr. Johnson in 

Edinburgh) . . . . . . . .157 

From Letters from Edinburgh, by Captain Topham. (Edinburgh's 

hospitality) . ....'. 159 

Two sentences of Dr. Johnson's ... ,6! 

From Gait's Annals of the Parish. (Edinburgh Assembly Week in 

W). 161 

From \hc Journal of the Rev. John Wesley, 1 780 . . ^ 2 



CONTENTS xv 



PA(,K 



Edina, Scotia's Darling Seat. Robert Burns .... 162 
From Lockharl's Lift of Scott. (The meeting of Burns and Scott in 

1786) .164 

From the Journal of the Rev. John Wesley, 1788 . . . .165 

From Sir Alexander Grant's History of the University of Edinburgh. 

(Laying the foundation-stone of the University Old Buildings 

in 1789) 165 

From Robert Louis Stevenson's Catriona .... 168 

My Name. Verses. Rosaline Masson . . . . .168 

From Traditions of Edinburgh, by Robert Chambers. (The last days 

of Old Edinburgh and the beginning of the New) . . . 169 

From the Autobiography of James Nasmyth. (The building of the New 

Town) ........ 172 

Sonnet. Arthur Hallam . . . . . . .172 

From Edinburgh and its Neighbourhood, by Hugh Miller . .173 

From the Autobiography of James Nasmyth. (The volcanic origin of 

Edinburgh) . . . . . 173 

From Henry Skrine's Tours, 1793 . . . . .174 

From Life and Correspondence of the Rev. Sydney Smith, by Lady 

Holland. (1797) ... . . 175 

From Samuel Rogers and his Circle, by R. Ellis Roberts . .177 

From The Pleasures of Hope. Thomas Campbell . . -177 

From Observations on a Tour, 1802. Charles Dibdin . . .178 

War Song of the Royal Edinburgh Light Dragoons. Sir Walter 

Scott ......... 179 

From Dorothy Wordsworth's Recollections of a Tour made in Scotland, 

1803 ......... 180 

From William Wordsworth's Excursion . . . . .181 

The Change of Edinburgh. Sir Alexander Boswell . .181 

Letters of Sydney Smith's to Lord Jeffrey, 1803-5 . . .182 

From Peter's Letters to his Kinsfolk . . . . .182 

From Recollections of Past Life by Sir Henry Holland . . .186 

Health to Lord Melville. Sir Walter Scott . . . .188 

From Thomas Carlyle's Reminiscences. (Carlyle's first visit to Edin- 
burgh in 1809) ....... 188 

fiom Journal during the years 1810-11, by a French Traveller. Louis 

Simond ........ 190 

From Sir Walter Scott's Provincial Antiquities of Scotland . . 190 

From Lord Cockburn's Memorials . . . . .191 

Edinburgh, or the Ancient Royalty . Sir Alexander Boswell . . 194 

From Jefferson Hogg's Life of Shelley ... . 194 

From Penelope's Experiences in Scotland, by Kate Douglas Wiggin . 198 
From Memoirs of a Highland Lady, 1814-15 . . . .198 

From Holiday House. Catherine Sinclair .... 201 



xvi IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 



PAGE 



From Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe's Correspondence. (Letter of Kirk- 

patrick Sharpe, and letter to him from Lady Gwydyr) . . 202 

Doggerel street verse ....... 202 

From Memoirs of a Highland Lady, 1815-18 .... 202 

From Washington Irving's Correspondence, 1817 . . . . 205 

From Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe's Correspondence. (Letter to Sir 

Walter Scott about the pulling down of the Tolbooth in 1817) . 206 
From the Autobiography of James Nasmyth. (Sir Walter Scott watch- 
ing the pulling down of the Tolbooth) .... 206 

From Nodes Ambrosiana, by ' Christopher North ' (Professor Wilson) . 208 
From the Autobiography of B. R. Hay don . . . . .211 

From Sir Walter Scott : The Heart of Midlothian . . .213 

From Lavengro. George Borrow . . . . .214 

From Voyage en Ecosse. L. A. Necker de Saussure . . .216 

An Historical Account of George iv.'s Visit to Edinburgh in 1822 . 219 

From the Journal of the Rev. George Crabbe, 1822 . . . 222 

From Life and Letters of Maria Edge-worth, 1823 . . . 222 

From Lockhart's Life of Scott + . . . . . 223 

The Scott Monument. Sonnet by William Watson . . . 224 

From My Schools and Schoolmasters. Hugh Miller . . . 224 
From Walks in Edinburgh, by Robert Chambers (with quotation from 

'Grecian Williams') . . . . . . . 226 

From Hugh Miller's Essays ... . . . . 228 

From Life and Letters of Charles Darwin .... 228 

Verse by Thomas Campbell . . . . . . 229 

From Marriage, by Susan E. Ferrier ..... 229 

From Thomas Carlyle's Reminiscences. (Jeffrey at Craigcrook) . . 230 
Craigcrook Castle, by Gerald Massey . . . . .231 

From Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe's Correspondence, 1827-8 . .231 

Letters of Lord Macaulay's in 1828 ..... 234 

From Roundabout Papers. W. M. Thackeray .... 235 

From Mansie Wauch, by David Macbeth Moir (' Delta') . . 235 

Verse by David Macbeth Moir ('Delta') . .... 236 

Letter of Felix Mendelssohn (and translation) in 1829 . . . 336 
Edimburg -von Weitem. Doggerel verses by Karl Klingemann, 1829 

(and translation) ....... 237 

Fareweel, Edinburgh. Lady Nairne ..... 237 

From Tour in Scotland, by William Cobbett, M. P. . . . 238 

From Memories of Sixty Years, by Oscar Browning . . . 239 

From Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes'sy<?>-a/, 1834 . . . 240 

From Tour in Scotland in 1838, by the Rev. Thomas Frognall Dibdin . 240 

To Edinburgh. Sonnet, by A. M. A. . . . 242 

From a Speech of Lord Macaulay's in 1839 . . . 242 

From Charles G'Malley, by Charles Lever .... 2^ 



CONTENTS xvii 

PAGE 

From Critical and Historical Essays, by Lord Macaulay . . 243 

From the National Record of the Visit of Queen Victoria to Edinburgh 

in 1842 ........ 243 

A Reminiscence of 1842. Verses ...... 247 

From a letter of Queen Victoria's (to the King of the Belgians) in 1842 . 248 
Letters of Charlotte Bronte's in 1850 . . . . .248 

From Ruskin's Lectures on Architecture and Painting (given in Edin- / 

burgh in 1853) ....... 249 

The Daisy. Alfred Tennyson . . . . . .251 

From Edinburgh Sketches and Memories, by David Masson . . 252 
From Sunny Memories. Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe, 1854 . . 253 
From Letters and Memories, by the Rev. Charles Kingsley, 1854 . 254 
From a letter of Count von Moltke's in 1855 (and translation) . . 254 
From T. E. Crispe's Recollections. (Anecdote of Thackeray in Edin- 
burgh) ... ... 255 

A letter of John Ruskin's in 1857. (The Castle Rock) . . .255 

From Edinburgh Dissected . . . . ,256 

From Mrs. Sellar's Recollections and Impressions .... 258 

From Scottish Homes and Haunts of Robert Louis Stevenson, by Flora 

Masson. ( Cornhill Magazine) ..... 258 

From a speech by Charles Dickens in 1858 . . . . 260 

From a speech by the Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone in 1 860 . . 260 

From Mrs. Sellar's Recollections and Impressions . . . . 260 

From a speech by Lord Rosebery in 1871 .... 261 

The Magic Mirror. Professor Wilson ..... 262 

From A Summer in Skye, by Alexander Smith . . . . 262 

From Dr. John Brown's Horce Subsecivce. (Thackeray in Edinburgh) , 265 

Last Leaves. Alexander Smith ...... 265 

Ille Terrarum. Robert Louis Stevenson ..... 267 

From London Letters, by George W. Smalley. (Gladstone in Edin- 
burgh in 1879) ....... 269 

From Robert Louis Stevenson's Picturesque Notes , . . 270 

Edinburgh. Poem. Alexander Anderson . . . .271 

From The Wizard's Son, by Mrs. Oliphant . . . .271 

From The Strange Adventures of a Phaeton, by William Black . . 272 

From An American Four-in-Hand in Britain, 1883. Andrew Carnegie 273 

From a speech by Lord Rosebery in 1883 .... 273 

From London Letters, by George W. Smalley. (Gladstone in Edin- 
burgh in 1884) ....... 274 

From Better Dead. J. M. Barrie ..... 275 

Edinburgh University Chancellor Inglis. Verses by Sir Douglas 

Maclagan ........ 276 

From Chancellor Inglis's Address at the Tercentenary of Edinburgh 

University in 1884 ....... 278 

b 



xviii IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

PACE 

From Sermon delivered by the Rev. Professor Flint in St. Giles's at the 

Tercentenary of Edinburgh University . . . 279 

Speech by Robert Browning. (His only speech. Given in Edinburgh) 280 

From An Edinburgh Eleven. J. M. Barrie .... 280 

From Biographical Sketch of the Right Rev. John Dowden, Bishop of 
Edinburgh, by Alice Dowden. (The Founding of the Scottish 

History Society in 1 886) ...... 284 

From A Midnight Visit to Holyrood, by the Countess of Caithness . 284 

Holyrood Palace. Victor Hugo ...... 285 

From a letter of Robert Louis Stevenson's .... 286 

From The Early Home of R. L. Stevenson , by John A. Ross. (Good 

Words) . . ', 286 

From Robert Louis Stevenson's Picturesque Notes . . . . 286 

From The Church of St. Giles, by the Very Rev. Sir James Cameron Lees 290 
Scotland's Shrine. Poem. Will Ogilvie . . . .291 

From Our Hundred Days in Europe, by Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes . 292 

From Gray Days and Gold, by William Winter .... 293 

From The Scot Abroad. Robert Louis Stevenson . . . 294 
Edinburgh in Winter. Poem. Henry Johnstone . . . 295 
From speech by H.M. King Edward during his State visit to Edin- 
burgh in 1903 . . . . - . . . . 295 

From Scotland, Historic and Romantic, by Maria Homer Lansdale, . 295 

From Romantic Edinburgh, by John Geddie .... 297 

From Kit Kennedy, by S. R. Crockett ..... 297 

To My Old Familiars. Robert Louis Stevenson . . . 298 

From speech delivered in Edinburgh in 1905 by the Right Hon. Arthur 

James Balfour, M. P. . . . . . . . 299 

On the Dean Bridge in June. Poem. Henry Johnstone . . 302 

From The Way to the Stars, by G. K. Chesterton. (Daily News) . 303* 

From Penelope's Experiences in Scotland, by Kate Douglas Wiggin . 304 
From An Edinburgh Election in 1910, by Professor J. H. Morgan. 

(Westminster Gazette) ...... 304 

To Edinburgh. Verses. Rosaline Masson .... 306 

Edinburgh and the Fine Arts, by W. D. M'Kay, R.S.A. . . 306 

Edinburgh. Poem. Alfred Noyes ..... 308 

From a speech delivered in Edinburgh in July 1911 by H.M. King 

George V. . . . . . . . 308 



LIST OF AUTHORS 



ANONYMOUS 

4, 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 29, 39, 44, 49, 

76, 82, 89, 102, 113, 120, 202, 219, 

243, 247, 256, 

A. M. A.' (igth Century), . . 242 
Alane or Alesius, Alexander 

(15001565), .... 23 
Anderson, Alexander ('The Sur- 
faceman') (1845 1909), . . 271 
Arnot, Hugo (1749 1786), . . 4 
Aytoun, William Edmonstoune 
(18131865) 20, 67 

Balfour, Right Hon. Arthur J. - 299 

Barrie, J. M. . . 275, 280 

Bellenden, John (1494 (?) 1589), . 24 

Black, William (1841 1898), . 272 

Blackie, Professor (18091895), . 59 

Blaikie, Walter B. . . 116 

Blakhal, Gilbert ( (?) 1667 (?)), . 63 

Boece, Hector (1465 (?) 1536), . 24 

Borrow, George (18031881), . 214 
Boswell, Sir Alexander 

(17751822), . . . 181, 194 

Boswell, James (i 740 1795), . 157 

Brereton, Sir William ( 1 789 1 864), 56 

Brome, James ((?)! 7 19)> ' 79 

Bronte, Charlotte (18161855), . 248 

Brown, Professor Hume . 28 

Brown, Dr. John (18101882), . 265 

Browning, Oscar . . . 239 

Browning, Robert (18121889), . 280 

Buchanan, David ( 1 595 (?) 1652 (?), 71 

Burns, Robert (17591796), . 162 



PAGE 

Caithness, Countess of (d. 1895), . 284 
Calamy,Rev.Edmund(i67l 1732), 91 
Campbell, Thomas (1777 1844), 177, 229 
Carlyle, Rev. Alexander 

(17221815), . . 104, 124, 127 
Carlyle, Thomas (17951881), , 

53, 63, 188, 230 

Carnegie, Andrew . . 273 

Chambers, Robert (18021871), 

114, 169, 226 

Chesterton, G. K. . . 303 

'Claudero'(i8th Century), . . 128 
Cobbett, William, M.P. 

(1762-1835), .... 238 
Cockburn, Lord (1779 1854), . 191 
Crabbe, Rev. George (17541832), 222 
Crispe, Thomas Edward, K.C. 

(18331911), .... 255 

Crockett, S. R. . . .297 

Cromwell, Oliver (15991658), . 65 

Darwin, Charles (18091882), . 228 

Defoe, Daniel (16591731), . . 98 
' Delta ' (see Moir, D. M.). 

Dickens, Charles (18121870), . 260 

Dibdin, Charles (1745 1814), . 178 
Dibdin, Rev. Thos. Frognall 

(1776-1847), .... 240 

Douglas, Gavin (14751522), . 12-15 

Dowden, Alice . . 284 

Drummond, William, of Hawthorn- 
den (15851649), . . .61, 62 

D'Urfey, Thomas (1653 1723), . 113 

Dunbar, William (1460 (P)I520(?)), 5, 10 



XX 



IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 



PAGE 
222 



Edgeworth, Maria (17671849), 

Edward I. of England (12391307), 3 
Edward, His Majesty King 

(18411910), . . . 295 

Fergusson, Robert (17501774), 

135, 141, 146, 150 

Ferrier, Susan E. (17821854), . 229 

Flint, Rev. Professor (18381911), 279 

Forbes, le Sieur de (i8th Century), 126 

Forbes, Walter ( 1 7th Century) , 5 5 

Fordun, John of ((?)-! 386), . 2 

Fox, George (16241690), 69 

Franck, Richard (1624 (?) 1708), . 68 

Franklin, Benjamin (1706 1790), . 129 

Froissart, Jean (13371410), . 3 

Gait, John (17791839), 161 

Geddie, John ... 297 

Geddes, Sir William (1828-1900), . 62 
George v., His Majesty 

King, Whom God Preserve, . 308 
Gladstone, Right Hon. W. E. 

(18091898), .... 260 

Goldsmith, Oliver (17281774). I26 

Grant, Sir Alexander (18261884), 165 

Gray, Thomas (17161771), . . 133 

Guthrie, William (17081770), . 133 
Gwydyr, Lady (d. 1828), 202, 233, 234 

Hallam, Arthur (18111833), . 172 

Haydon, B. R. (1786 1846), . 211 
'Highland Lady, The' (Miss 
Grant of Rothiemurchus), ( 1 797 

1885) 198, 202 

Hogg, James (1770 1835), . . 3 

Hogg, Jefferson (17921826), . 194 

Holland, Sir Henry (17881873), 186 

Holland, Lady (d. 1866), . . 175 
Holmes, Dr. Oliver Wendell 

(1809 1904), . . . 240, 292 

Howell, James (1594 (?) 1666), . 61 

Hugo, Victor (1802 1885), . . 285 



Inglis, Right Hon. John 

(18101891), .... 278 

Irving, Washington (17831859), . 205 

Johnson, Dr. Samuel (1709 1784), 161 

Johnston, Arthur (15871641), . 62 
Johnstone, Henry - . . 295, 302 

Jonson, Ben (15741637), 5 



Kingsley, Rev. Charles 

(1819-1875) ..... 
Kirk, Thomas (1650 1706), . . 
Klingemann, Karl (igth Century), 



254 

82 

237 



Lansdale, Maria H. - . . 295 
Lees, Very Rev. Sir James 

Cameron - . . 12, 37, 59, 290 
Leighton, Alex. (18001874), *3 r 
Lever, Charles (18061872), . 243 
Lockhart, John Gibson (1794 1854), 

164, 182, 223 

Loveday, John (1711 1787), . 103 
Lindesay, Robert, of Pitscottie 

(circ. 1500 Vr. 1565), . . 24 
Lyndsay, Sir David (1490 1557), . 25 

Macaulay, Lord (1800 1859), 

234, 242, 243 

M'Kay, W. D., R.S.A. - . 306 
Macky, J. ( 1 8th Century), . . 94 
Maclagan, Sir Douglas (1812-1900), 276 
Maitland, William (i6th Century, 

beginning of), .... 8 

Major, John (1469 1550), . . 22 
Margaret (Queen of Alexander III. 
and daughter of Henry in.) 
( 1240 (?) 1275 (?)), ... 3 

Massey, Gerald (1828 1908), . 231 
Masson, David (1822 1907), 33, 47, 252 
Masson, Flora - . . . 258 
Melville, James (1556 1614), . 37 
Mendelssohn, Felix (1809-1847), . 236 
'W. M.'(i7th Century), . . 52 
Miller, Hugh (18021856), 173, 224, 228 



LIST OF AUTHORS 

PAGE 



Moir, David Macbeth (17981851), 

235. 236 



Moltke, Count von (1800-1891), . 
Morer, Thomas (l8th Century, be- 
ginning of), . 

Morgan, Professor J. H. 

Moryson, Fynes(is66 1614), 



254 



84 

304 
43 



237 



Nairne, Baroness (1766 1845), 
Nasmyth, James (1808 1890), 

172, 173, 206 
'North, Christopher' (see Wilson, 

Professor). 
Noyes, Alfred . . .308 

Ogilvie, Will . . .291 

Oliphant, Mrs. (18281907), . 271 
Oxford, Lady (1693 I7S5), n 9 

Paul II., Pope (Pietro Barbo) 

(14641471), .... 4 

Pennant, Thomas (17261798), . 142 
Pitscottie (see Lindesay, Robert, of 

Pitscottie) (1500 (?) 1565 (?)), . 24 

Pococke, Richard (17041765), . 130 

Ptolemy, Claudius (139161), . 2 

Ramsay, Allan (16851758), . 93 

Roberts, R. Ellis . . .177 

Rocheford, Jorevin de (i7th 

Century) 74 

Rosebery, Right Hon. the Earl 



of 



261, 273 



Ross, John A., .... 286 
Ruskin, John (1819 1900), . 249, 255 



Saussure, Necker de (igth Century), 
Scott, Sir Walter (17711832), 



216 



15, 34, 83, 108, 147, I79 188, 190, 213 



Sellar, Mrs. 



258, 260 
64 



Sempill, Francis (circ. 1616 1682), 
Sempill, Robert (1530 (?) 1595), . 37 
Sharpe, Charles Kirkpatrick 
(1781 (?) 1851), . 202, 206, 231 



xxl 

FACE 
190 



Simond, Louis (igth Century, 
beginning of), 
Sinclair, Catherine (18001864), . 201 
Skrine, Henry (i8th Century, 



174 

269,274 
. 38 



end of) 

Smalley, George W. - 
Smeaton, Oliphant - 
Smith, Alexander (18301867), 262, 265 
Smith, Rev. Sydney (17691845). l82 
Smith, Rev. Walter C. (1824 1908), 35 
Smollett, Tobias (17211771), . 136 
Stevenson, Robert Louis (18501894), 

168, 267, 270, 286, 294, 298 
Stow, John (1525 1605), . . I 

Stowe, Mrs. Harriet Beecher , 

(18111896), .... 253 



Taylor, John ('The Water-Poet '), 
(15801654), .... 
Taylor, Joseph (l8th Century, be- 
ginning of), .... 
Tennyson, Alfred, Lord (1809 1892), 251 
Thackeray, W. M. (18111863), 2 35 
Topham, Captain (i8th Century), 

148, 156, 159 

Victoria, Her Majesty Queen 

(18191901), .... 248 



9 1 



Warrender Margaret . . 65 

Watson, William . . . 224 

Weldon, Sir Anthony ( (?) 1649(7)), 49 
Wesley, Rev. John (17031791), 

124, 162, 165 

Wiggin, Kate Douglas 198, 304 

Wilson, Professor (17851854) 208, 262 

Winter, William . . .293 

Wordsworth, Dorothy(i77i 1855), 180 
Wordsworth, William(l77o 1850), 181 
Wyntoun, Andrew of (circ. 

1350 1420 (?)), .... I 



IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 



IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 



His sone Ebrawce in hys stede 
Regnyd, quhen }>at he wes dede ; 
He fwndyd Yhork fat gret Cyte, 
And Kayrbroye it callyd he ; 
He byggyd Edynburgh wytht-alle, 
And gert paim Allynclowd it calle 
De Maydyn castell, in sum plas 
De Sorowful Hil, it callyd was. 

Andrew of Wyntoun. 
Orygynale Cronykil. 

EBRAUKE, the sonne of Mempricius, was made ruler of Brytaine, 989 B.C. 
he had xxi wives, of whom he received xx sonnes, and xxx 
daughters : which were sent by their father to Alba Siluius, the 
fourth king of Albanois in Italy, to bee maried to the 
Albanes. This Ebrauke first after Brutus attempted to invade 
France with an armie, as lacobus Bergomas saieth in his sixt of 
his Chronicles, and lacobus Qessabeus in the description of 
Renault affirmeth the same, and that he was driven backe by 
Brunchildis, Lord of Renault, with no small losse of his men. 
Affaracus, the second sonne of Ebrauke, with the rest of his 
yonger brethren, 18 at the least, by the aide of Alba Siluius, 
conquered all Gerinanie, which was then no great matter, for then 
Europe was rerie smally inhabited, save onely about the Sea 
coasts, as Dalmatia, Italic, and the coasts of France, as in reading 
the histories may easily be seen how the East people at sundry 
times came swarming into Europe. Of these brethren had 
Germanic the name, a Germany's patribus, that had subdued it. 
Ebrauke was a founder of many Citties (saith Bergomas) as Alcliud 
in Albania (now Scotland), which is after Hector Boetius, Dun- 
bretain, but often thinke the same to bee cleane destroied. He 
made the Castell of Maidens called Edenbrough. 

John Stow. 

Chronicle. 
A 



2 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

160 A.D. UTT& &* T ^5 KaAr?Sovi'ovs 

Trap' o?s 

Bavvarta 5' V0' L" 

Ta/u'a *' y0' y" 

IlTe/)a>Tov o-rpaTOTreSov *' 8" i>0' 7" 

Tovctrts ' L"5" v0' s". 

Ptolemy's Geography, Bk. ii. cap. 3, 8. 

Translation : 

Beneath the Caledonians [i.e. on the map] are the Vacomagi, 
whose towns are as follows : 

Bannatia 24 593<>' 

Tamia 25* 59 20' 

The Winged Camp 2 7 15' 592o' 

Tuesis 2645' 59 10 '- 

1093 WHEN the queen, 1 who had before been racked with many 

infirmities, almost unto death, heard this 2 or, rather, foreknew it 
through the Holy Ghost she shrived, and devoutly took the 
Communion in church ; and, commending herself unto God in 
prayer, she gave back her saintly soul to heaven, in the Castle of 
Maidens (Edinburgh), on the i6th of November, the fourth day 
after the king. Whereupon, while the holy queen's body was still 
in the castle where her happy soul had passed away to Christ, 
whom she had always loved, Donald the Red, or Donald Bane, 
the king's brother, having heard of her death, invaded the kingdom, 
at the head of a numerous band, and in hostilewise besieged the 
aforesaid castle, where he knew the king's rightful and lawful heirs 
were. But, forasmuch as that spot is in itself strongly fortified by 
nature, he thought that the gates only should be guarded, because 
it was not easy to see any other entrance or outlet. But those 
who were within understood this, being taught of God, through 
the merits, we believe, of the holy queen, they brought down her 
holy body by a postern on the western side. Some, indeed, tell 
us that, during the whole of that journey, a cloudy mist was round 
about all this family, and miraculously sheltered them from the 
gaze of any of their foes, so that nothing hindered them as they 

1 Margaret, grand-niece of Edward the Confessor, and second wife of 
Malcolm Canmore. 

2 That her husband and eldest son had both been killed whilst besieging 
Alnwick Castle. 



PTOLEMY: FORDUN: FROISSART 3 

journeyed by land or by sea ; but they brought her away, as she 
had herself before bidden them, and prosperously reached the 
place they wished namely, the church of Dunfermline, where she 

now rests in Christ. 

John of Fordun. 

Chronicle of the Scottish Nation. 

Translation by Felix J. H. Skene. 



' A SAD and solitary place, without verdure, and, by reason of its 1255 
vicinity to the sea, unwholesome.' 

Margaret, Queen of Alexander in. and daughter of Henry m. of England. 
Part of a complaint which she sent to her father, whilst she was living 
at Edinburgh Castle in her very early youth. (From Matthew Paris.) 



THE Wednesdaie to Edenbrough the abbey, and causid ther to 1295 
be set up iij engyns castyng into the Castell day and nyght; 
and the V th daie thei spake of pees. . . . 

' The Voyage of Kynge Edwarde into Scotland,' 

Archieologia, vol. xxi. p. 478. 
From Professor Hume Brown's Early Travellers in Scotland. 



SEE yon little hamlet, o'ershadow'd with smoke ; Edinburgh in 

See yon hoary battlement throned on the rock : *J e jf ays of 

} J the Bruce 

Even there shall a city in splendour break forth, 

The haughty Dun-Edin, the Queen of the North ; 
There learning shall flourish, and liberty smile, 
The awe of the world, and the pride of the isle. 

James Hogg. 
Queen's Wake. 



EDINBURGH, notwithstanding it is the residence of the king, and 1385 
is the Paris of Scotland, is not such a town as Tournay or 
Valenciennes ; for there are not in the whole town four thousand 
houses. Several of the French lords were therefore obliged to take 
up their lodgings in the neighbouring villages, and at Dunfermline, 
Kelso, Dunbar, Dalkeith, and in other villages. 

Jean Froissart. 

A French Army in Scotland, vol. ii. chaps. 2 and 3. 
From Professor Hume Brown's Early Travellers in Scotland. 



1440 



IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

EDINBURGH Castle, toune and toure, 

God grant thou sink for sinne ! 
And that even for the black dinoir 

Erl Douglas gat therein. 1 

Ancient ballad, given by Hume of Godscroft. 



Edinburgh's 
Hospitality 
to the 
Dethroned 
King of 
England 

1462-4 



Brief of 
Pope Paul II. 

1467 



THE conduct of the city of Edinburgh towards Henry vi., the 
unfortunate and exiled King of England, at this time received the 
most ample testimonial for humanity and politeness ; namely, a 
grant by King Henry, setting forth the humane and honourable 
treatment he had received from the Provost, Ministers, and 
Burgesses of Edinburgh, during his long residence there, after 
having been expelled from England by his rebellious subjects; 
and therefore granting to the citizens of Edinburgh liberty to trade 
in all his ports of England, subject to no other duties than those 
payable by his citizens of London. This testimonial, however, was 
more honourable than advantageous ; for, as Henry never regained 
the throne, the grant was never confirmed. 

Hugo Arnot. 
History of Edinburgh. 

To the judges, that they may by apostolic authority confirm the 
erection of the Church of St. Giles, in the town of Edinburgh, 
into a collegiate church, made by the Magistrates of the said 
town. 

Paul, Bishop, etc., to our venerable brother, the Bishop of 
Whithorn, and our beloved son, the abbot of Holyrood, without 
the walls of Edinburgh, of the diocese of St. Andrew, greeting : . . . 

Seeing, therefore, that a petition lately presented to us on behalf 
of our beloved sons the provost, bailies, and councillors, laies and 
university (or community) of the town of Edinburgh, of the diocese 
of St. Andrew, purported that they, prudently considering that the 
aforesaid town, in which the present King of Scots, and many 
bishops, abbots, and other nobles of the kingdom of Scotland have 
been accustomed chiefly to reside, is famous and remarkable among 
the other towns of that kingdom for its populousness, and that the 

1 In 1440 the guardians of the boy king, James II., feared the menace offered 
by the power and state of the chief noble, the young Earl of Douglas. They 
therefore invited him and his brother to Edinburgh Castle, excluded his retinue, 
and, while the feast was in progress, a black bull's head the ancient Scottish 
symbol of death was placed on the table. The young Douglases sprang up and 
drew their swords, but were overpowered, and, in spite of the little king's en- 
treaties, taken out, tried, and executed on the Castle Hill. R. M. 



ARNOT:POPEPAULII. rDUNBAR 5 

multitude of the people of the realm gather together thereto ; and 
that the parish church of St. Giles of that town, which exists by 
right of the patronage of the said king, is sufficiently enriched in 
its fruits, rents, and prevents ; and that the number of ecclesias- 
tical persons attending therein on the divine praises, might, the 
Lord approving, be increased in it, they, with consent of the said 
king, to the praise, glory, and honour of Almighty God, and of 
his mother Mary, and of all the other Saints, pre-eminently of the 
said St. Giles, and for the felicity and adornment of the said town, 
and the welfare of the souls of the king, his progenitors, the 
Bishops of St. Andrew for the time being, particularly James, of 
good memory, formerly Bishop of St. Andrew, and of many others 
of the nobles of the said kingdom, and others of the faithful dead, 
have founded and erected, albeit de facto, the aforesaid church into 
a collegiate church, with collegiate rights and ensigns, and therein 
one provosty for one provost, and two offices namely, the sacristy 
and the ministry of the choir and fourteen district prebends for 
so many canons; also, among the rest, that the said provosty 
should be the principal dignity therein ; and that the provost of 
the said church for the time being should be bound to keep a 
perpetual vicar, having the cure of the souls of the parishioners of 

that church. . . . 

Given in the Very Rev. Sir James Cameron Lees's 
The Church of St. Giles. 



WE that ar heir in Kevins glory, The Dregy 

To yow that ar in purgatory, of Dunoar 

Commendis ws on our hairtly wyiss ; *V ^ aMB 

I mene we folk in parradyis, tne pyi ft 

In Edinburch with all mirriness, being in 

To yow of Striuilling in distress, Striuilling 

Quhair nowdir plesance nor delyt is, 

For pety this epistill wrytis. 

O, ye heremeitis and hankersaidilis, 

That takis your pennance at your tabilis, 

And cites nocht meit restoratiue, 

Nor drynkis no wyn comfortatiue, 

Bot aill and that is thin and smal ; 

With few coursis into your hall, 

But cumpany of lordis and knychtis, 

Or ony vder gudly wichtis, 

Solitar walkand your [way] allone, 

Seing no thing bot stok and stone ; 



IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

Out of your panefull purgatory, 

To bring yow to the bliss and glory 

Of Edinburch, the mirry toun, 

We sail begyn ane cairfull soun ; 

Ane dergy devoit and meik, 

The Lord of bliss doing beseik 

Yow to delyuer out of your noy, 

And bring yow sone to Edinburchis joy, 

For to be mirry amangis ws ; 

And sa the dergy begynis thuss. 

Lectio Prima 

The Fader, the Sone and Haly Gaist, 
The mirthfull Mary, virgene chaist, 
Of angellis all the ordouris nyne, 
And all the hevinly court devyne, 
Sone bring yow fra the pyne and wo 
Of Striuilling, every court-manis fo, 
Agane to Edinburchis joy and bliss, 
Quhair wirschep, welth and weilfar is, 
Play, plesance and eik honesty : 
Say ye amen, for cheritie. 

Responsio, Tu autem Domine 

Tak consolatioun in your pane, 
In tribulatioun tak consolatioun, 
Out of vexatioun cum hame agane, 
Tak consolatioun in your pane. 

Jnbe Domine benedic\ere\ 

Oute of distress of Striuilling toun 

To Edinburchis bliss, God mak yow boun. 

Lectio Secunda 

Patriarchis, profeitis and appostillis deir, 
Confessouris, virgynis and martiris cleir, 
And all the saite celestiall, 
Devotely we vpoun thame call, 
That sone out of your panis fell, 
Ye may in hevin heir with ws dwell, 
To eit swan, cran, pertrik and plever, 
And every fische that swymis in rever ; 



DUNBAR 

To drynk with ws the new fresche wyne, 
That grew upoun the rever of Ryne, 
Ffresche fragrant clairettis out of France, 
Of Angerss and of Orliance, 
With mony ane courss of grit dyntie : 
Say ye amen, for cheritie. 

Responsorium, Tu autem Domine 

God and Sanct Jeill heir yow convoy 
Baith sone and weill, God and Sanct Jeill 
To sonce and seill, solace and joy, 
God and Sanct Jeill heir yow convoy. 

Jube Domine benedicerc 

Out of Striuilling panis fell, 

In Edinburchis joy sone mot ye dwell. 

Lectio Tertia 

We pray to all the Sanctis of hevin, 

That are aboif the sterris sevin, 

Yow to deliuer (out) of your pennance, 

That ye may sone play, sing and dance 

Heir in to Edinburch and mak gud cheir, 

Quhair welth and weilfair is, but weir ; 

And I, that dois your panis descryve, 

Thinkis for to vissy yow belyve ; 

Nocht in desert with yow to dwell, 

Bot as the angell Sanct Gabriell 

Dois go betwene fra hevinis glory 

To thame that ar in purgatory, 

And in thair tribulatioun 

To gif thame consolatioun, 

And schaw thame quhen thair panis ar past, 

They sail till hevin cum at last ; 

And how nane deservis to haif sweitness 

That nevir taistit bittirness. 

And thairfoir how suld ye considdir 

Of Edinburchis bliss, qhen ye cum hiddir, 

Bot gif ye taistit had befoir 

Of Striuilling toun the panis soir ? 

And thairfoir tak in patience 

Your pennance and your abstinence, 



8 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

And ye sail cum, or Yule begyn, 
Into the bliss that we are in ; 
Quhilk grant the glorius Trinitie ! 
Say ye amen, for cheritie. 

Responsorium 

Come hame and dwell no moir in Striuilling ; 
Frome hiddouss hell cum hame and dwell, 
Quhair fische to sell is non hot spirling ; 
Cum hame and dwell no moir in Striuilling. 

Et ne nos inducas in temptationem de Striuilling : 

Sed libera nos a malo ejusdem. 

Requiem Edinburgi dona eijs, Domine, 

Et lux ipsius luceat eijs, 

A porta tristitiae de Striuilling, 

Erue, Domine, animas et corpora eorum. 

Credo gustare vinum Edinburgi, 

In villa vinentium. 

Requiescant statim in Edinburgo. Amen. 

Domine, exaudi orationem meam, 

Et clamor meus ad te veniat. 

Oremus 

Deus qui justos et corde humiles 

Ex omni corum tribulatione liberare dignatus es 

Libera famulos tuos apud villam de Stirling versantes 

A pcenis et tristitijs ejusdem, 

Et ad Edinburgi gaudia eos perducas, 

Vt requiescat Striuilling. Amen. 

Heir endis Dunbaris Dergy to the King, 

bydand to lang in Stirling. 

William Dunbar. 

1500 I THINK it will not be amiss to shew the Wages of Masons at this 

Time, whereby the Hire of other Workmen may be guessed at. 
The Common Council of the City having resolved to rebuild the 
Tower or Steeple of the old Tolbooth, the wages of John Marser, 
Master-Mason, was Ten Shillings, and the Journeymen each Nine 
Shillings, Scotishe Money Weekly. 

At this time the Common Council ordered the Penny Loaf of 
Wheat Bread to weigh one Pound; and the Penny Cake one 



MAITLAND 9 

Pound eight Ounces, both Scottish Weight and Money ; and Ale 
to be sold at Sixteen Pence the Gallon, both the same ^Money and 
Measure. 

King James iv. having, by his Charter of 6th October anno 1508, 
impowered the Edinburghers to set or lett in Fee-farm their 
common Lands called the Borough-Moor, and their common Marsh, 
denominated the Common Myre ; the Citizens were no sooner in 
Possession of this Grant, than they set about clearing the Ground, 
by cutting down a vast number of large Trees; whereby the 
Quantity of Wood in their Hands on that Occasion was so very 
great, that they could not dispose of it : Wherefore, to encourage 
the Inhabitants to purchase the said Wood the Town-Council 
enacted, That whoever should buy a Quantity thereof sufficient to 
new front the Tenement he, she, or they dwelt in, should be 
allowed to extend the said new Front, the Space of seven Feet into 
the Street; whereby the High-Street was reduced fourteen Feet 
in its Breadth ; and the Buildings which before had Stonern Fronts, 
were now converted into Wood, and the Burgh into a wooden 
City. 

In this Year divers of the Arts or Crafts in Town, petitioned 
the Common Council to have six or eight of their Number taken 
into the said Council; and that they might be eligible to be 
chosen Bailies and other Officers of the City : To which Answer 
was returned, That they would make no Innovation in the Govern- 
ment of the Town without the Consent of Parliament. This I 
take to be the first Time of the Trades applying to be admitted 
into the Town-Council. 

A great and dreadful Plague raging in Edinburgh, the Town 
Council to prevent its Progress, ordered all Shops to be shut up, 
during the Space of fifteen Days, and neither Doors or Windows 
to be opened within that Time, but on extraordinary Occasions ; 
and nothing to be dealt in but Necessaries for the immediate 
Support of Life. 

Remark. This certainly was a very wrong Step ; for by shutting 
up the People in their Houses, the Distemper, by Heat and want 
of Air, was thereby increased. 

... the Daughters of the Citizens of Edinburgh, by the antient 
Constitutions of the City, were entitled to the Freedom of the 
Town, as were all Non-freemen who married them. . . . 

William Maitland. 

History of Edinburgh. 



To the 

Merchants of 
Edinburgh 



io IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

QUHY will ye, merchantis of renown 
Lat Edinburgh, your nobill Town, 
For laik of reformatioun 
The commone proffeitt tyne and fame ? 

Think ye nocht schame 
That onie uther regioun 
Sail with dishonour hurt your name ! 

May nane pass through your principall gaittis 
For stink of haddockis and of scaittis ; 
For cryis of carlingis and debaittis 
For fensum flyttingis of defame : 

Think ye nocht schame, 
Befoir strangeris of all estaittis 
That sic dishonour hurt your name ! 

Your stinkand stile that standis dirk 
Holdis the lycht fra your Parroche Kirk ; 
Your fore-stairis makis your housses mirk 
Lyke nae cuntray bot heir at hame. 

Think ye nocht schame, 
Sa litill polesie, to work, 
In hurt and slander of your name ? 

At your hie Croce, quhair gold and silk 
Suld be, thair is bot crudis and milk ; 
And at your Trone but cokill and wilk, 
Pannches and pudingis of Jok and Jame. 

Think ye nocht schame, 
Sen as the world sayis that ilk 
In hurt and slander of your name ? 

Your commone Menstrallis hes no tune 
But ' Now the day dawis ' and ' Into Joun ' ; 
Cuningar men maun serve ' Sanct Cloun,' 
And nevir to other craftis clamb : 

Think ye nocht schame 
To hauld sic mowaris on the moon 
In hurt and slander of your name ? 

Tailyouris, Soutteris, and craftis vyll 
The fairest of your streitis dois fyll ; 
And Merchantis at the stinkand styll 
Are hamperit in ane hony-came. 



DUNBAR ii 

Think ye nocht schame 
That ye have nether witt nor wyll 
To win yourselff ane bettir name ? 

Your Burgh of beggaris is ane nest ; 
To schout thai swenyouris will nocht rest ; 
All honest folk they do molest, 
Sa piteouslie thai cry and rame 
Think ye nocht schame 
That for the poore has nothing drest, 
In hurt and slander of your name ? 

Your proffeit dailie dois incress, 
Your godlie workis less and less ; 
Through streittis nane may mak progress 
For cry of cruikit, blind, and lame. 

Think ye nocht schame 
That ye sic substance dois possess, 
And will nocht win ane bettir name ? 

Sen, for the Court and the Session, 
The great repair of this regioun 
Is in your Burgh, thairfoir be boun 
To mend all faults that ar to blame, 

And eschew schame : 
Gif thai pas to ane uther toun, 
Ye will decay, and your great name ! 

Thairfoir, strangeris and lieges treit ; 
Tak nocht ower meikle for their meit ; 
And gar your merchantis be discreit, 
That na extortiounnes be proclaime, 

Offerand ane schame. 
Keip ordour ; and poore nychtbouris belt, 
That ye may gett ane better name ! 

Singular proffeit so dois yow blind, 
The common proffeit gois behind. 
I pray the Lord remede to fynd, 
That died into Jerusalem ; 

And gar yow schame 
That sometyme resson may yow bind 
For to reconqueis your guid name. 

William Dunbar. 



12 



IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 



1501 THE greatest benefit which the king conferred on St. Giles was 

the appointment of a new provost to the church, in succession to 
William Forbes. He called to the post from rural retirement one 
who is still remembered as a distinguished Scotsman, and who 
was probably the most celebrated ecclesiastic connected with the 
church during its long history. This was Gawin Douglas, who 
seems to have ascended the provost's chair in 1501. He was of 
noble birth, a son of Archibald called ' the great Earl of Angus,' 
and who bore the well-known name of ' Bell-the-Cat.' 

. . . The poet, from the window of his chamber in the provost's 
house, which stood to the west of the church and commanded a 
wide view, describes the aspect of nature around the trees 
destitute of foliage, rivers in heavy flood, and the little rills, so 
sweet and quiet in summer, turned into torrents tearing down their 
banks. The earth is barren, hard, and unlovely, and the decay 
of nature begins to remind man of ' wintry age and all-subduing 
death.' One can almost imagine him looking out from his 
elevated residence upon Arthur's Seat, the Pentland Hills, and the 
shores of Fife, as they still appear on a snowy December 
morning 

Incessant rains had drenched the floated ground, 
And clouds o'ercast the firmament around, 
White shone the hills involved in silver snow, 
But brown and barren are the hills below ; 
On firm foundations of eternal stone. 

The Very Rev. Sir James Cameron Lees. 
The Church of St. Gilts. 



A Winter 
Evening in 
Edinburgh 
in 1512 



THE frosty region ringes l of the year 
The time and season bitter cauld and pale, 
They short dayes that clerkes clepe brumale ; 2 
When that brim blastes of the northern art 
O'erwhelmit had Neptunus in his cart, 
And all to-shake the leaves of the trees. 
The rage and storm o'erwalterand wally seas 
Rivers ran red on spate with water brown, 
And burnes hurles all their bankes down. . . . 

The soil y-soupit into water wack, 
The firmament o'ercast with rokes black, 
The ground fadit, and fauch wox all the fields, 
Mountain-tops sleekit with their snaw ower-heilds 

1 Reigns. 2 Latin, brutna, winter. 



CAMERON LEES: GAVIN DOUGLAS 13 

On ragged rockes of hard harsk whin-stane, 
With frozen fronts cauld clinty clewes shane. 1 
Beauty was lost, and barren shew the lands ; 
With frosty hair o'er-fret the fieldes stands. 
Sour bitter bubbes and the showers snell 
Seemed on the sward ane similtude of Hell, 
Reducing to our mind in every stead 
Ghostly shadows of eild and grisly dead ; 
Thick drumly scugges 2 darkened so the heaven. 

Dim skyes oft forth warpit fearful levin, s 
Flagges of fire, and mony feloun flaw, 4 
Sharp sops of sleet and of the snipand snaw. 
The dowie dikes were all dank and wet ; 
The low valley was flooderit all with spate ; 
The plain streetes and every high way 
Was full of flushes, dubbes, mire, and clay 
Laggerit leas wallowit femes 5 shew ; 
Brown moors kithit their wizzened mossy hue ; 
Bank, brae, and bottom, blanched wax and bare ; 
For gurll weather gruit beastes hair ; 
The wind made wave the red weed on the dike. 
Bedoven 6 in dankes deep was every sike ; 7 
O'er cragges and the front of rockes sere 
Hung great ice-shockles, lang as ony spear ; 
The ground stood barren, withered, dusk, and grey ; 
Herbs, flowers, and gersses wallowit away. . . . 

Widewhere with force so ^Eolus shouts shrill 
In this congealit season sharp and chill, 
The caller air, penetrative and pure, 
Dazing the blood in every creature, 
Made seek warm stoves and bien fires hot, 
In double garment clad and wily-coat, 
With michty drink and meates comfortive, 
Against the stormy winter for to strive. 

Repaterit weel, and by the chimney beikit, 
At even, betime, abed doun I me streikit ; 
Wrapped my head, cast on claithes three-fauld, 
For till expel the perilous piercand cauld. 
I crossed me, syne bounit for to sleep ; 
Where, gleamand through the glass I did take keep 8 
Latonia, 9 the lang irksome nicht, 
Her subtle blinkes shed and watery licht, 

1 Cold splintery cliffs shone. 2 Shadows. * Lightning. 4 Blasts. 
6 Faded ferns. 6 Sunk. 7 Kill. 8 Observe. 9 The moon. 



14 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

Full high upwhirlit in her regioun . . . 
Horned Hebawd, which clepe we the nicht-owl, 
Within her cavern heard I shout and howl, 
Laithly of form, with crooked cam show beak : 
Ugsome to hear was her wild eldritch shriek. 
The wild geese, claiking eke by nichtes tide, 
Attour 1 the city fleeand heard I glide. 2 

Gavin Douglas. 
From Prologue to Book vn. of his Translation of the sEntid. 



A Winter 
Morning in 
Edinburgh 
in 1612 



ON slumber I slaid full sad, and sleepit sound, 

White the Orient upward gan rebound. 

Phoebus' crowned bird, the nichtes orlogere, 3 

Clappand his winges, thrice had crawen clear. 

Approaching near the breaking of the day, 

Within my bed I wakened where I lay ; 

So fast declines Cynthia the Moon ; 

And kaes 4 caickles on the roof aboon . . . 

Fast by my chamber, in high wizzened trees, 

The soir gled 5 whistles loud with mony ane pew, 

Whereby the day was dawen weell I knew ; 

Bade beit 6 the fire, and the candle alicht ; 

Syne blessit me, and in my weedes dicht ; 

Ane shut window unshut, a little on jar ; 

Perceivet the morning blae, wan, and haar, 

With cloudy gum and rack o'erwhelmed the air. . . . 

Branches brattling, and blackened shew the braes 

With hirstes harsk of wagging windle-strays ; 

The dew-droppes congealed on stubble and rind ; 

And sharp hailstanes, mortfundit of kind, 

Hopping on the thatch and on the causey by. 

The shot I closed, and drew inward in hie, 

Shivering for cauld, the season was so snell. 

Gavin Douglas. 
From Prologue to Book vn. of his Translation of the sEneid. 

1 Round about. 

2 Owls are still heard occasionally in Edinburgh, and wild geese have been 
seen flying over the city. R. M. 

3 The cock, the night's time-piece. * Jackdaws. 5 Red kite. 
6 Make-up. 



GAVIN DOUGLAS: SCOTT 15 

, . . FOR to behold, it was a gloir to see A May 

The stabled windes and the calmed sea, Morning in 

The soft seasoun, the firmament serene, 

The lowne illumined air, and firth amene, 

. . . The swardit soil enbroud with selcouth hues, 

Wood and forest odumbrat with their bews, 

Whose blissful branches, porturat on the ground 

With shadows sheen, shew rockes rubicund. 

Towers, turrets, kirnels, pinnacles hie 

Of kirks, castells, and ilke fair city 

Stood painted, every fyall, fane, and stage, 

Upon the plain ground by their own umbrage. . . . 

Gavin Douglas. 
From Prologue to Book xn. of his Translation of the ^Eneid. 



XXIII 

EARLY they took Dun-Edin's road, On the Eve [of 

And I could trace each step they trode : Fiodden 

Hill, brook, nor dell, nor rock, nor stone, 
Lies on the path to me unknown. 
Much might it boast of storied lore ; 
But, passing such digression o'er, 
Suffice it that the route was laid 
Across the furzy hills of Braid. 
They pass'd the glen and scanty rill, 
And climb'd the opposing bank, until 
They gain'd the top of Blackford Hill. 

XXIV 

Blackford ! on whose uncultured breast, 

Among the broom, and thorn, and whin, 
A truant-boy, I sought the nest, 
Or listed, as I lay at rest, 

While rose, on breezes thin, 
The murmur of the city crowd, 
And, from his steeple jangling loud, 

Saint Giles's mingling din. 
Now, from the summit to the plain, 
Waves all the hill with yellow grain ; 

And o'er the landscape as I look, 



16 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

Nought do I see unchanged remain, 

Save the rude cliffs and chiming brook. 
To me they make a heavy moan, 
Of early friendships past and gone. 

xxx 

Still on the spot Lord Marmion stay'd, 

For fairer scene he ne'er survey'd. 
When sated with the martial show 
That peopled all the plain below, 
The wandering eye could o'er it go, 
And mark the distant city glow 
With gloomy splendour red ; 
For on the smoke-wreaths, huge and slow, 
That round her sable turrets flow, 
The morning beams were shed, 
And tinged them with a lustre proud, 
Like that which streaks a thunder-cloud. 

Such dusky grandeur clothed the height, 

Where the huge Castle holds its state, 
And all the steep slope down, 

Whose ridgy back heaves to the sky, 

Piled deep and massy, close and high, 
Mine own romantic town ! 

But northward far, with purer blaze, 

On Ochil mountains fell the rays, 

And as each heathy top they kiss'd, 

It gleam'd a purple amethyst 

Yonder the shores of Fife you saw ; 

Here Preston-Bay and Berwick-Law : 
And, broad between them roll'd, 

The gallant Frith the eye might note, 

Whose islands on its bosom float, 
Like emeralds chased in gold. 

Fitz-Eustace' heart felt closely pent ; 

As if to give his rapture vent, 

The spur he to his charger lent, 
And raised his bridle hand, 

And, making demi-volte in air, 

Cried, * Where 's the coward that would not dare 
To fight for such a land ! ' 

The Lindesay smiled his joy to see ; 

Nor Marmion's frown repress'd his glee. 



SCOTT 17 

XXXI 

Thus while they look'd, a flourish proud, 
Where mingled trump, and clarion loud, 

And fife, and kettle-drum, 
And sackbut deep, and psaltery, 
And war-pipe with discordant cry, 
And cymbal clattering to the sky, 
Making wild music bold and high, 

Did up the mountain come ; 
The whilst the bells, with distant chime, 
Merrily toll'd the hour of prime, 

And thus the Lindesay spoke : 
' Thus clamour still the war-notes when 
The King to mass his way has ta'en, 
Or to St. Katharine's of Sienne, 

Or Chapel of Saint Rocque. 
To you they speak of martial fame ; 
But me remind of peaceful game, 

When blither was their cheer, 
Thrilling in Falkland-woods the air, 
In signal none his steed should spare, 
But strive which foremost might repair 

To the downfall of the deer. 



XXXII 

' Nor less/ he said, ' when looking forth, 
I yiew yon Empress of the North 

Sit on her hilly throne ; 
Her palace's imperial bowers, 
Her castle, proof to hostile powers, 
Her stately halls and holy towers 

Nor less,' he said, ' I moan, 
To think what woe mischance may bring, 
And how these merry bells may ring 
The death-dirge of our gallant King ; 

Or with the larum call 
The burghers forth to watch and ward, 
'Gainst southern sack and fires to guard 

Dun-Edin's leaguer'd wall. 
But not for my presaging thought, 
Dream conquest sure, or cheaply bought ! 

Lord Marmion, I say nay : 
B 



i8 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

God is the guider of the field, 

He breaks the champion's spear and shield, 

But thou thyself shalt say, 
When joins yon host in deadly stowre, 
That England's dames must weep in bower, 

Her monks the death-mass sing ; 
For never saw'st thou such a power 

Led on by such a King.' 
And now, down winding to the plain, 
The barriers of the camp they gain, 

And there they made a stay. 
There stays the Minstrel, till he fling 
His hand o'er every Border string, 
And fit his harp, the pomp to sing 
Of Scotland's ancient Court and King, 

In the succeeding lay. 

True, Caledonia's Queen is changed, 
Since on her dusky summit ranged, 
Within its steepy limits pent, 
By bulwark, line, and battlement, 
And flanking towers, and laky flood, 
Guarded and garrison'd she stood, 
Denying entrance or resort, 
Save at each tall embattled port ; 
Above whose arch, suspended, hung 
Portcullis spiked with iron prong. 
That long is gone, but not so long, 
Since, early closed, and opening late, 
Jealous revolved the studded gate, 
Whose task, from eve to morning tide, 
A wicket churlishly supplied. 
Stern then, and steel-girt was thy brow, 
Dun-Edin ! O, how alter'd now, 
When safe amid thy mountain court 
Thou sit'st, like Empress at her sport, 
And liberal, unconfined, and free, 
Flinging thy white arms to the sea, 
For thy dark cloud, with umber'd lower, 
That hung o'er cliff, and lake, and tower, 
Thou gleam'st against the western ray 
Ten thousand lines of brighter day. 



SCOTT 19 

So thou, fair City ! disarray'd 
Of battled wall, and rampart's aid, 
As stately seem'st, but lovelier far 
Than in that panoply of war. 
Nor deem that from thy fenceless throne 
Strength and security are flown ; 
Still, as of yore, Queen of the North ! 
Still canst thou send thy children forth. 
Ne'er readier at alarm-bell's call 
Thy burghers rose to man thy wall, 
Than now, in danger, shall be thine, 
Thy dauntless voluntary line ; 
For fosse and turret proud to stand, 
Their breasts the bulwarks of the land. 
Thy thousands, train'd to martial toil, 
Full red would stain their native soil, 
Ere from thy mural crown there fell 
The slightest knosp, or pinnacle. 
And if it come, as come it may, 
Dun-Edin ! that eventful day, 
Renown'd for hospitable deed, 
That virtue much with Heaven may plead, 
In patriarchal times whose care 
Descending angels deign'd to share ; 
That claim may wrestle blessings down 
On those who fight for The Good Town, 
Destined in every age to be 
Refuge of injured royalty ; 
Since first, when conquering York arose, 
To Henry meek she gave repose, 
Till late, with wonder, grief, and awe, 
Great Bourbon's relics, sad she saw. 

Truce to these thoughts ! for, as they rise, 
How gladly I avert mine eyes, 
Bodings, or true or false, to change, 
For Fiction's fair romantic range, 
Or for tradition's dubious light, 
That hovers 'twixt the day and night : 
Dazzling alternately and dim, 
Her wavering lamp I 'd rather trim, 
Knights, squires, and lovely dames to see, 
Creation of my fantasy, 



20 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

Than gaze abroad on reeky fen, 
And make of mists invading men. 
Who loves not more the night of June 
Than dull December's gloomy noon ? 
The moonlight than the fog of frost ? 
And can we say, which cheats the most ? 



VII. 

Old Holy-Rood rung merrily, 
That night, with wassel, mirth, and glee : 
King James within her princely bower, 
Feasted the Chiefs of Scotland's power, 
Summon'd to spend the parting hour ; 
For he had charged, that his array 
Should southward march by break of day. 
Well loved that splendid monarch aye 

The banquet and the song, 
By day the tourney, and by night 
The merry dance, traced fast and light, 
The maskers quaint, the pageant bright, 

The revel loud and long. 
This feast outshone his banquets past, 
It was his blithest and his last. 

Sir Walter Scott. 

Marmion. 

Edinburgh NEWS of battle ! news of battle ! 

after Flodden Hark ! 'tis ringing down the street : 

1513 And the archways and the pavement 

Bear the clang of hurrying feet. 
News of battle ! who hath brought it ? 

News of triumph ? Who should bring 
Tidings from our noble army, 

Greetings from our gallant King ? 
All last night we watched the beacons 

Blazing on the hills afar, 
Each one bearing, as it kindled, 

Message of the opened war. 
All night long the northern streamers 

Shot across the trembling sky : 
Fearful lights that never beckon 

Save when kings or heroes die. 



AYTOUN 21 

News of battle ! Who hath brought it ? 

All are thronging to the gate ; 
' Warder warder ! open quickly ! 

Man is this a time to wait ? ' 
And the heavy gates are opened : 

Then a murmur long and loud, 
And a cry of fear and wonder 

Bursts from out the bending crowd. 
For they see in battered harness 

Only one hard-stricken man ; 
And his weary steed is wounded, 

And his cheek is pale and wan : 
Spearless hangs a bloody banner 

In his weak and drooping hand 
God ! can that be Randolph Murray, 

Captain of the city band ? 

The elders of the city 

Have met within their hall 
The men whom good King James had charged 

To watch the town and wall. 
'Your hands are weak with age,' he said, 

'Your hearts are stout and true; 
So bide ye in the Maiden Town, 

While others fight for you. 
My trumpet from the Border-side 

Shall send a blast so clear, 
That all who wait within the gate 

That stirring sound may hear. 
Or, if it be the will of Heaven 

That back I never come, 
And if, instead of Scottish shouts, 

Ye hear the English drum, 
Then let the warning bells ring out, 

Then gird you to the fray, 
Then man the walls like burghers stout, 

And fight while fight you may. 
'Twere better that in fiery flame 

The roofs should thunder down, 
Than that the foot of foreign foe 

Should trample in the town ! ' 



22 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

And up then rose the Provost 

A brave old man was he, 
Of ancient name, and knightly fame, 

And chivalrous degree. 
He ruled our city like a lord 

Who brooked no equal here, 
And ever for the townsman's rights 

Stood up 'gainst prince and peer, 
And he had seen the Scottish host 

March from the Borough-muir 
With music-storm and clamorous shout, 
And all the din that thunders out 

When youth 's of victory sure. 
But yet a dearer thought had he, 

For, with a father's pride, 
He saw his last remaining son 

Go forth by Randolph's side, 
With casque on head and spur on heel, 

All keen to do and dare ; 
And proudly did that gallant boy 

Dunedin's banner bear. 

William Edmonstoune Aytoun. 
Lays of the Scottish Cavalitrs. 

j52i THE chief city in Scotland is Edinburgh. It has no river flowing 

through it, but the Water of Leith, half a league distant, might at 
great expense be diverted for the purpose of cleansing the city ; but, 
after all, the city itself is distant from the ocean scarce a mile. 
Froissart compares Edinburgh to Tournay or Valenciennes ; for a 
hundred years, however, the kings of the Scots have had their 

residence almost constantly in that city. 

John Major. 
History of Greater Britain. 

1524 VPOUN the xxij day of August, the king maid his solempnit entree 

with the lordis in the tolbuytht of Edinburghe, with sceptour, 
crovne and sword of honour ; and that same day, James Betoun, 
archebischope of Sanclandrois, chancellare of this realme, and 
Gawin Dunbar, bischope of Aberdene, wer wardit in the castell of 
Edinbrughe, becaus thej wald not renunce the feillis and sub- 
scriptioune maid to them of befoir be Johne duke of Albanie, and 
the rest of all the lordis renunceand ; quhairfoir all the kirkis of 
thar dyocies wer interdyted induring thair wairding. . . . 

Diurnal of Occumnts in Scotland. 



ALANE 23 

EDINBURGH, like Prague, is situated on a hill, and is a Roman mile 1529 
in length, and half a mile in breadth. It is longest from east to 
west. At the western extremity of the city rises a hill and a steep 
rock, and on the rock a fortress, with a deep valley on all sides 
except towards the city. Except from the east side, therefore, the 
fortress is impregnable. It cannot even be scaled with ladders, so 
steep and hard is the rock, in which vultures are in the habit of 
building. Enterprising youths are let down from the castle in 
baskets to rob their nests. This fortress is known as the ' Maidens' 
Castle,' and forms the western limit of the city. At the eastern 
extremity is the splendid monastery of the Holy Rood, adjoining the 
royal palace, and delightful gardens, enclosed by a lake at the base 
of Arthur's Seat. In this mountain are found precious stones 
(specially diamonds), which glitter in the sunlight. Two great 
ways lead from the Maidens' Castle to the monastery and the royal 
palace, paved with square stones, King's Street 1 being the more 
notable . . . the city itself is not built of brick, but of natural 
stones squared, so that even the private houses may bear a com- 
parison with great palaces. In the centre of the city are the town- 
house 2 and the Collegiate Church of S. Giles. The bishops, dukes, 
earls, barons, and the chief men of the whole kingdom all live in 
palaces of their own, when they are summoned to the meetings of 
Parliament. The King's Palace, a spacious and magnificent build- 
ing, and one broad way, known as King's Street, connect it with the 
Maidens' Castle. This street, it should be said, is wider near the 
castle and narrower near the monastery, and on each side of it are 
noteworthy houses, the more ambitious being built of polished 
stone. Another oblong street (reckoned as a suburb), the Canon- 
gate, is somewhat narrower, and is separated from King's Street by 
a wall, a gate, and towers. From King's Street to north and south 
extend numberless lesser streets, all adorned with imposing build- 
ings, such, for example, as the Cowgate, where the nobility and the 
chief men of the city reside, and in which are the palaces of the 
officers of state, and where is nothing mean or tasteless, but all is 
magnificent. Among the greater churches of Edinburgh, after the 
surpassing basilica of the monastery, that of S. Giles in the centre 
of King's Street holds the first place. In the street that separates 
Edinburgh from the Cowgate and suburb is a magnificent church 
called the Queen's College within the Walls. Also, between the 
monasteries of the Franciscans and the Preaching Friars is the 

1 High Street. 

2 Capitolium. The Bannatyne Club editor objects, and says there was none 
before 1861. 



24 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

Church of S. Mary in the Fields, where is likewise a college of 
priests. Under the rock of the Maidens' Castle is the new parish 

church of S. Cuthbert. 

Alexander Alane, or Alesius. 

Written for Sebastian Munster's Cosmographia, published at Basel in 1550. 
The above translation taken from Scotland before 1700, by Professor Hume 
Brown. 

1533 VPON the sevintene day of Maij, the 3eir of God J*^ v c xxxij 

3eiris, thair was ane fingulare battill in the palice of Halyrudhous, in 
prefence of the kingis grace, betuix Johne Dowglas of Drumlanrick 
and [the laird] of Hempiffield, defendare, and was fmderit without 
fkaith, and aggreit at that tyme at the kingis command. 

Diurnal of Occurrents in Scotland. 

1533 ON the south side of Forth lyis Louthiane ; callit, with that name, 

fra Loth, ane of the principall kingis of Pichtis. Louthiane is maist 
plentuus ground of Scotland. In it ar mony abbayis, castellis, and 
townis ; as Hadingtoun, Dunbar, North Berwik, Leith : bot Edin- 
burgh passis thaim all, baith in polese, reparation, wisdome, and 

riches. 

Hector Boece. Translated by John Bellenden. 
Croniklis of Scotland. 

1535 VPOUN the xxj day of Februare, the kingis grace reffauit the ordour 

of the gairter in the abbay of Halyrudhous, with greit solempnitie. 

Diurnal of Occurrents in Scotland. 

1537 AND thus the king of Scotland depairtit out of France and fre the 

court and king thairof and come to the new hewin besyde Deip 
and thair remanit ane day or tua quhill the wind was fair ; syne 
inbarkit in his navie and pullit wpe saillis and came stoutlie throw 
the Pace of Calies 1 and landit on the fyft day at the schoir of 
Lejrtht witht all his navie quhilk was to the number of lordis of 
fyeftie schippis of frenchemen and Scottis and wtheris strangeris 
that convoyit the king throw the sie. Be thus the king landit on 
the schoir of Leytht, and so did his quen Magdallen, and quhene 
scho come on Scottis ground scho bowit and inclynnit hir self to 
the earth and tuik the mullis z thairof and kissit, syne thankit God 
that he had saiflie brocht hir witht hir husband till thair awin 
contrie giueand him laude and gloir thairfor. Syne passit to the 
Abbay of Hallierudhouse to the kingis palice, and thair to remaine 
quhill hir treumph of hir entreis was maid. . . . Bot neverthales, 

1 Pas de Calais. 2 Mould or earth. 



SIR DAVID LYNDSAY 25 

thair great ioy and mirrienes and treumph haistalie was all turnit in 
murning and dollour ffor displesour of the quen ffor scho depairtit 
that same day [xiii dayis] that scho landit ; and thairfor all thair 
great blythnes ioy of hir comming, phraissis 1 and playis that sould 
hawe bene maid to hir, war all turnit in saull messes and dereegies, 
quhair throw thair 5eid sic murning throw the contrie and lamenta- 
tioun that it was great pettie for to heir ; and also the kingis prievie 
and heavie meane that hir husband maid for hir was greatter nor 

all the laif. 

Robert Lindesay of Pitscottie. 
The History and Cronicles of Scotland, 

Scottish Text Society. 
Edited by M. J. G. Mackay. 

VPOUN the xvij day of Maij, being Whitsonday evin, the 3eir of God 1537 
jr^ yC xxxv ij geiris, the kingis grace with his quene, quha schippit 
at Deip of befoir, was convoyit be the admirall of France throw the 
seyis, and wer all, to the nomber of xv schippis, with ane gailjeoun 
full of artailjery, landit at Leith ; and come to Edinburgh with ain 
greit cumpany of Frenfchemen and Frenfche ladyis. The quenis 
grace decessit within the palice of Halyrudhous, vpoun the sevint 

of Julij nixt thairefter. 

Diurnal of Occurrents in Scotland. 



O CREWELL Deith ! too greit is thy puissance, The 

Devorar of all erthlie levying thingis : Deploratioun 

A j ^.t. *. r v t_ of the Deith 

Adam, we may thee wyit of this mischance, f 

In thy default, this cruell tyrane ringis ; Magdalene 

And sparis nother Empryour, nor Kingis : 1537 

And now, allace ! hes reft furth of this land, 

The flour of France, and comfort of Scotland. 

Thief ! saw thow nocht the greit preparatyvis 

Of Edinburgh, the nobill famous town ; 
Thow saw the peple, labouring for thair lyvis, 

To mak triumphe, with trump, and clarioun ; 

Sic plesour was never, in to this regioun, 
As suld have bene the day of hir entrace ; 
With greit propynis, gevin till hir Grace. 

Thow saw makand rycht costlie scaffalding 
Depayntit weill, with gold, and asure fine, 

1 Farces. 



26 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

Reddie preparit for the upsetting, 

With fontanis, flowing watter cleir, and wyne, 
Disagysit folkis, lyke creaturis divyne, 
On ilk scaffold, to play ane syndrie storie, 
Bot, all in greiting turnit thow that glorie. 

Thow saw mony ane lustie fresche galland, 
Weill ordourit for resaving of thair Quene : 

Ilk craftisman, with bent bow, in his hand, 
Full gal^eantlie in schort clething of grene : 
The honest Burges, cled thow suld have sene, 

Sum in scarlot, and sum in claith of grane, 

For till have met thair Lady Soverane. 

Provest, Baillies, and Lordis of the toun, 
The Senatouris, in order consequent, 

Cled into silk of purpure, blak, and broun ; 
Syne the greit Lordis of the Parliament, 
With mony knychtlie Barroun, and Banrent, 

In silk, and gold, and colouris confortable ; 

Bot thow, allace ! all turnit into sable. 1 

Sir David Lyndsay. 

VPOUN the xvij day of the 3eir of God, J*^ v c 

xxxviij seris, the lord Maxwell past ambaflatour to France, for 
treiting of mariage with the duke of Loraneis dauchter ; quhome he 
1539 brocht to Scotland on Trinitie fonday, and landit at Sanc~landrois ; 
and thair the kingis grace and the said Marie wer fpousit ; quhair 
the archbifchope of Glasgow with greit glorie, and mony of the 
nobill men of Scotland wer present. On Sandl Margaretis day 
thairefter, sho maid her entres in Edinburgh with greit trivmphe, 
and als with ordour of the haill nobillis ; hir grace come in firft at 
the West Port, and raid doun the hie gate to the abbay of 
Halyrudhous, with greit fportis playit to hir grace throw all the 
pairtis of the toun. . . . 

Vpoun the last day of Februar, thair was ane certane of perfones 
accufit for herefie in abbay kirk of Halyrudhous ; and thair was 
condempnit twa blak freris, ane channon of San6landrois, the vicar 
of Dollour; 2 ane preift and ane lawit man duelt in Stirling, wer 
brynt the same day on the castell hill of Edinburgh. . . . 

1 The death of Queen Magdalene, James v.'s fiist wife, who died seven weeks 
after her landing in Scotland, was the first occasion in which mourning was used 
in Scotland. 

2 Dean Thomas Forret, Canon of S. Colme's and Vicar of Dollar. 



DIURNAL OF OCCURRENTS 27 

Wpoun the tent day of Junij, the 5eir foirfaid, Marie quene 1560 
dowriare and regent of this realm of Scotland, at 12 houris at evin, 
deceiffit in the castell of Edinburgh. . . . 

VPOUN the xix day of Auguft Ixj, Marie, quene of Scottis, 1561 
oure fouerane ladie, arryvit in the raid of Leith, at fex houris in 
the mornyng, accumpanyit onlie with tua gallionis. . . . 

Vpoun the xxiiij day of August, quhilk wes Sonday, the quenes 
grace caufit fay mes in hir hienes chappell within hir palace of 
Halyrudhous, quhairat the lordis of the congregatioun wes 
grittumlie annoyit. . . . 

Vpoun the secund day of September Ixj, the quenes grace maid 
hir entres in the burgh of Edinburgh in this maner. Hir hienes 
depairtit of Halyrudhous, and raid be the lang gait on the north 
fyid of the faid burgh, vnto the tyme fcho come to the caftell, 
quheir wes ane 3et maid to hir, at the quhilk fcho, accumpanijt 
with the maist pairt of the nobilitie of Scotland except my lord 
duke and his fone, come in and raid vp the caftell bank to the 
caftell, and dynit thairin ; and quhen fcho had dynit at tuelf 
houris, hir hienes come furth of the faid caftell towart the faid 
burgh, at quhilk depairting the artai^erie fchot vehementlie. And 
thairefter, quhen fho was rydant doun the caftellhill, thair met hir 
hienes ane convoy of the soung mene of the faid burgh, to the 
nomber of fyftie, or thairby, thair bodeis and theis coverit with 
5eallow taffateis, thair armes and leggs fra the kne doun bair, 
cullorit with blak, in maner of Moris, vpon thair heiddes blak 
hattis, and on thair faces blak vifouris, in thair mowthis rings, 
garnefit with intellable precious ftaneis, about thair neckkis, leggis 
and armes infynit of chenis of gold ; togidder uith faxtene of the 
maift honeft men of the toun, cled in veluot gownis and veluot 
bonettis, berand and gangand about the paill wnder the quhilk her 
hienes raid; quhilk paill wes of fyne purpour veluet lynit uith 
reid taffateis, frein3iet with gold and filk ; and efter thame wes ane 
cart with certane bairnes, togidder with ane coffer quhairin wes the 
copburd and propyne quhilk fuld be propynit to hir hienes ; and 
quhen hir grace come fordwart to the butter trone of the said burgh, 
the nobilitie and convoy foirfaid precedand, at the quhilk butter 
trone thair was ane port made of tymber, in maist honourable maner, 
cullorit uith fyne cullouris, hungin uith findrie armes ; vpon the 
quhilk port wes singand certane barnies in the maist hevinlie wyis ; 
vnder the quhilk port thair wes ane cloud opynnand with four levis, 
in the quilk was put ane bony barne . . . and the barne discendit 
doun as it had bene ane angell, and deliuerit to hir hienes 



28 



IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 



the keyis of the toun, togidder with ane bybill and ane psalme 

buik. 

Diurnal of Occurrents in Scotland. 



Scotland in 
the time of 
Queen Mary 



BY the time of Mary Edinburgh was far and away the most im- 
portant place in Scotland first in wealth, in population and 
political significance. It was only for about a century, however, 
that it had been distinctively pre-eminent among other Scottish 
towns. According to Froissart, at the close of the fourteenth 
century it was less than Tournai and Valenciennes, and did not 
contain more than four hundred houses. A remark of John Major, 
who wrote in the beginning of the fifteenth century, may explain 
how it was that Edinburgh took the first place among its rivals. 
For about a hundred years before his day, Major tells us, the kings 
of Scotland almost continuously resided there ; and the fact was 
decisive in the fortunes of the town. As the permanent residence 
of the Court, it gradually became the centre where national 
business was transacted. At the beginning of the fifteenth century, 
Parliaments, and General Councils, and Conventions rarely met in 
Edinburgh ; at its close they seldom met elsewhere. By the reign 
of Mary, Edinburgh had likewise become the permanent seat of the 
supreme Court of Law. The Court, known as the ' Session/ which 
had been set up by James i., had met at intervals in different towns 
of the kingdom, but the 'Judicial Council,' founded in 1504 by 
James iv., and, still more decisively, the creation of the College of 
Justice by James v. in 1533, made Edinburgh the headquarters 
of law in Scotland. Already in 1482 James in. could speak of 
Edinburgh as ' the principal burgh in our kingdom,' and by the 
reign of Mary, it was not only without a rival but even without a 
worthy second. 

We have many descriptions of the appearance which Edinburgh 
presented in the sixteenth century, but these descriptions are for 
the most part based on native authorities. It may be interesting, 
therefore, to note the impression which the city made on the eyes of 
strangers who would naturally remark what specifically distinguished 
it from the cities of other countries. . . . 

The one feature of the city which arrested the attention of every 
stranger and excited their admiration, was the great street that 
stretched then, as it does now, from the Castle to Holyrood. Its 
length, its spaciousness, and the cleanness of the thoroughfare 
struck English and Continental visitors alike as unique in their 
experience of cities. Their testimony on this point is so unani- 
mous that we cannot doubt that they recorded their genuine 



HUME BROWN 29 

impressions. From these testimonies it is clear that the Princes 
Street of to-day does not impress the stranger more vividly than 
the High Street with its continuations impressed the stranger of 
the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. 

Professor Hume Brown. 
Scotland in the Time of Queen Mary. 

MARIE HAMILTON to the kirk is gane, Marie 

Wi' ribbons on her hair ; Hamilton 

The king thocht mair o' Marie Hamilton 
Than ony that were there. 

Marie Hamilton to the kirk is gane, 

Wi' ribbons on her breist ; 
The king thocht mair o' Marie Hamilton 

Than he listened to the priest. 

Marie Hamilton to the kirk is gane, 

Wi' gloves upon her hands ; 
The king thocht mair o' Marie Hamilton 

Than the queen and a' her lands. 

But word 's gane to the kitchen, 

And word 's gane to the ha', 
That Marie Hamilton gangs wi' bairn 

To the hichest Stewart o' a'. 

And she 's gane to the Abbey garden 

To pu' the Savin-tree ; 
But, for a' that she could say or do, 

The babie wadna dee. 

She rowed it in her apron, 

And set it on the sea : 
1 Now sink ye, swim ye, bonnie babe, 

Ye 'se get nae mair o' me ! ' 

Queen Marie, she cam doun the stair, 

Wi' the gowd strings in her hair ; 
Saying : ' Marie, where 's the little babie 

That I heard greet sae sair ? ' 

' Oh, haud your tongue, my noble queen, 

Think no such thing to be ; 
'Twas but a stitch into my side, 

And sair it troubles me.' 



3 o IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

Oh, baud your tongue, Marie Hamilton ! 

Let all those words go free. 
Where, tell me, is the little babie 

That I heard greet with thee? ' 

' I rowed it in my apron, 

And set it on the sea. 
I bade it sink, I bade it swim ; 

It would get nae mair o' me.' 

' Oh, wae be to thee, Marie Hamilton, 

And an ill deith may ye dee ! 
If you had saved the babie's life, 

It micht have honoured thee. 

' But busk ye Marie Hamilton, 

Oh, busk ye to be a bride ; 
For I am going to Edinburgh toun, 

Your gay wedding to byde. 

' Ye maun neither put on your robes o' black 

Nor yet your robes o' broun ; 
But you maun put on your yellow gold stuffs, 

To shine through Edinburgh toun.' 

Oh, slowly, slowly rase she up, 

And slowly put she on ; 
And slowly rode she out the way, 

Wi' monie a weary groan. 

The queen was clad in gay scarlet, 

Her merry maids all in green ; 
And Marie sae shone abune them a', 

They took her for the queen. 

' Ride hooly, ride hooly now, gentlemen ; 

Ride hooly now wi' me ! 
For never, I 'm sure, a wearier burd 

Rade in your corapanie.' 

But little wist Mary Hamilton, 

When she rade on the broun, 
That she was gaun to Edinburgh, 

And a' to be put doun. 



BALLAD 3I 

1 Why weep ye sae, ye burgess wives, 

Why weep ye sae on me ? 
O, I am going to Edinburgh toun, 

A rich wedding to see.' 

When she gaed up the Parliament Stairs 

The corks frae her heels did flee ; 
But, ere that she cam doun again, 

She was condemned to dee. 

When she gaed up through the Netherbow Port, 

She laucht loud laughters three ; 
But when that she cam doun again, 

The tear blinded her e'e. 

As she gaed doun the Canongate, 

The Canongate sae free, 
Monie a ladie look'd ower her window, 

Weeping for sweet Marie. 

' Oh dinna weep for me, ladyes, 

Ye needna weep for me ! 
Had I not killed my ain dear bairn, 

This death I wadna dee. 

' What need ye hech and howe, ladyes, 

What need ye howe for me ? 
Ye never saw grace at a graceless face ; 

Queen Marie has nane to gie ! ' 

' Gae forward, gae forward,' Queen Marie she said ; 

' Gae forward that ye may see ; 
For the very same words that ye hae said, 

Sail hang ye on the gallows tree ! ' 

O, when she gaed up through the Netherbow Port, 

She laucht loud laughters three ; 
But when she cam to the gallows fit, 

The tear blinded her e'e. 

' Cast off, cast off my goun,' she said, 

c But let my petticoat be ; 
And tye a napkin ower my face, 

That the gallows I mayna see. 



32 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

' Yestreen the queen had four Maries ; 

This nicht she '11 hae but three ; 
There was Marie Seton, and Marie Beatoun, 

And Marie Carmichael, and me. 

' O, aften hae I dressed my queen, 

And put gowd in her hair ; 
But now I 've gotten for my reward 

The gallows tree to share. 

' O, aften hae I dressed my queen, 

And aften made her bed ; 
But now I 've gotten for my reward 

The gallows tree to tread. 

' O, happy, happy is the maid 

That 's born of beauty free : 
It was my dimpling, rosie cheeks 

That 's been the dule o' me. 

' I charge ye all, ye mariners, 

When ye sail ower the faem, 
Let neither my father nor mother wit 

But that I 'm comin' hame ! 

' Ye mariners, ye mariners, 

When ye sail ower the sea, 
Let neither my father nor mother wit 

I hung on the gallows tree ! 

' Oh, little did my mother think, 

That day she cradled me, 
What lands I was to travel ower, 

What death I was to dee ! 

1 Oh, little did my father think, 

That day he held up me, 
That I, his first and fairest hope, 

Sould hing upon a tree ! ' l 

1 This version is taken from Chambers's Collection of Scottish Songs and 
Ballads. There is no historic foundation for the story. The allusion to four 
Maries seems to connect it with Queen Mary's time. 



DAVID MASSON 33 

No one really knows a city who does not know it by night as 
well as by day. Night obscures much that day forces into notice, 
and invests what remains with new visual fascinations, but still so 
that the individuality of any city or town is preserved through its 
darkened hours. Every town or city has its own nocturnal char- 
acter. Modern Edinburgh asserts herself, equally by night as by 
day, as the city of heights and hollows. From any elevated point 
in her centre or on her skirts, if you choose to place yourself there 
latish at night, you may look down upon rows of lamps stretched 
out in glittering undulation over the more level street spaces ; or 
you may look down, in other directions, upon a succession of tiers 
and banks of thickly edificed darkness, punctured miscellaneously 
by twinkling window-lights, and descending deeply into inscrutable 
chasms. More familiar, and indeed so inevitable that every tourist 
carries it away with him as one of his most permanent recollections 
of Edinburgh, is the nightly spectacle from Princes Street of the 
northern face of the Old Town, starred irregularly with window- 
lights from its base to the serrated sky-line. Perhaps this is the 
present nocturnal aspect of Edinburgh which may most surely 
suggest Old Edinburgh at night three hundred years ago. For, 
though we must be careful, in imagining Old Edinburgh, to confine 
ourselves strictly and exactly to as much of the present Edinburgh as 
stands on the ancient site, and therefore to vote away Princes Street, 
the whole of the rest of the New Town, and all the other accretions, 
this aspect of the Old Town at night from the north cannot 
have changed very greatly. A belated traveller passing through 
the hamlets that once straggled on the grounds of the present New 
Town, and arriving at the edge of the North Loch, in what is now 
the valley of Princes Street Gardens, must have looked up across 
the loch to much the same twinkling embankment of the High 
Street and its closes, and to much the same serrated sky-line, 
lowering itself eastward from the shadowy mass of the Castle Rock. 
If the traveller desired admission into the town, he could not have 
it on this side at all, but would have to go round to some of the 
ports in the town-wall from its commencement at the east end of 
the North Loch. He might try them all in succession, Leith Wynd 
Port, the Nether Bow Port, the Cowgate Port, the Kirk of Field Port, 
Greyfriars Port, and the West Port, with the chance of finding that 
he was too late for entrance at any, and so of being brought back 
to his first station, and obliged to seek lodging till morning in some 
hamlet there, or else in the Canongate. He could perform the whole 
circuit of the walls, however, in less than an hour, and might have 
the solace, at some points of his walk, of night views down into 

C 



34 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

the luminous hollows of the town, very different from his first view 
upward from the North Loch. 

While the belated traveller was thus shut out, the inhabitants 
within might be passing their hours till bed-time comfortably 
enough, whether in the privacy of their domiciles, or in more or 
less noisy loitering and locomotion among the streets and wynds. 
If it were clear moonlight or starlight, the wynds, and especially the 
stately length of the High Street, would be radiantly distinct, and 
locomotion in them would be easy. But even in the darkest nights 
the townsmen were not reduced to actual groping through their 
town, if ennut\ or whim, or business, or neighbourly conviviality 
determined them to be out of doors. Not only would they carry 
torches and lanterns with them for their own behoof, especially if 
they had to find their way down narrow closes to their homes ; not 
only were there the gratuitous oil-lights or candle-lights from the 
windows of the fore-tenements in the streets and wynds, sending 
down some glimmer into the streets and wynds themselves ; but, 
by public regulation, the tenants in the fore-stair houses in the 
principal thoroughfares were bound to hang out, during certain hours 
of the evening, lamps for the guidance of those that might be pass- 
ing. One has to remember, however, that people in those days kept 
very early hours. By ten o'clock every night Auld Reekie was 
mostly asleep. By that hour, accordingly, the house-lights, with 
some exceptions, had ceased to twinkle ; and from that hour, save 
for bands of late roysterers here and there at close-mouths, and for 
the appointed night-watches on guard at the different ports, or 
making an occasional round with drum and whistle, silence and 

darkness reigned till dawn. 

* David Masson. 

Edinburgh Sketches and Memories. 



'THIS, then, is Edinburgh?' said the youth, as the fellow-travellers 
arrived at one of the heights to the southward, which commanded 
a view of the great northern capital ' this is that Edinburgh of 
which we have heard so much ? ' 

' Even so,' said the falconer ; ' yonder stands Auld Reekie ; you 
may see the smoke hover over her at twenty miles' distance, as the 
goss-hawk hangs over a plump of young wild ducks ; ay, yonder is 
the heart of Scotland, and each throb that she gives is felt from the 
edge of Solway to Duncansbay Head. See, yonder is the old 
Castle; and see to the right, on yon rising ground, that is the 
Castle of Craigmillar, which I have known a merry place in my time.' 



WALTER SMITH 35 

1 Was it not there,' said the page in a low voice, 'that the Queen 
held her court ? ' 

'Ay, ay,' replied the falconer ' Queen she was then, though you 

must not call her so now. . . .' 

Sir Walter Scott, The Abbot. 

WHERE the wall its shadow cast In Edinburgh 

As the sun went redly down, Castle 

To and fro Grange and Lethington passed, 
While the light upon Arthur Seat faded fast, 
And on grey St. Giles's crown. 

The siege drew nigh its close, 

For hemmed in on every side, 

Each new morning of late they rose 

To a famine of bread, and a feast of blows, 

And many had pined and died. 

Grange was a soldier brave, 

Maitland was crafty and keen ; 

They had tried by their wits to guide the wave, 

And to ride the tide when the storm did rave, 

And bring back the captive Queen. 

Said Maitland, ' The end draws near, 
And they '11 strike, and will not spare ; 
When we render the place, if they find us here 
They will hang us over the battlements clear 
For the corbies to pick us bare. 

But I mean not to give them the chance : 
Life is sweet, yet I fear not Death 
If it comes in due course, as the years advance, 
Or by stroke of a sword, or thrust of a lance, 
Or a billet that stops your breath. 

But the men of the long black robe 

Have a method from which I shrink 

A running noose, and a howling mob, 

And a grumbling hangman who bungles his job, 

And I 'd rather the old Roman drink. 

To-morrow the game will be up, 

On the whole we have played it ill; 

But we Ve lost. And what say you with me to sup 

This evening, and share in a farewell cup 

That will settle our share of the bill ? 



36 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

The food will be scant, for I think 

Our rations have come to a close ; 

But we shall not complain of the wine that we drink, 

For we still have a flask that will bubble and wink, 

And mock at our well-baffled foes. 

You will not ? You don't mind the rope ? 

Or is it religion restrains? 

And have we got rid of the old-fashioned Pope, 

But to cling all the more to the fear and the hope 

Which were the mainspring of his gains. 

So the Queen has been driven from her throne 
And the Kirk has been robbed of its lands, 
And Mitres, Madonnas, and Masses are gone, 
And Knox, o'er the ruin exalted alone, 
Plays Pope, and our nobles commands. 

But I '11 none of his orders, nor yet 

The gallows he means for my throat, 

So long as I know how to pay the old debt 

With a fair cup of wine after supper, and get 

To the end of all uncertain thought. 

That supper did never take place, 

For the Castle was rendered that day 

And the rebels obtained neither favour nor grace, 

But were haled to the prison, and looked in the face 

Of a great howling mob all the way. 

Only Maitland one morning was found 

With a flask near his white finger-tips, 

Lying low in his cell on the rush-covered ground, 

With a sweet sickly smell hanging heavily round, 

And a cynical smile on his lips. 1 

Walter C. Smith, Ballads from Scottish History. 

1 The ballad refers to the year 1573, when the cause of Mary, Queen of Scots, 
became hopeless, and Kirkaldy of Grange, who had held Edinburgh Castle 
for two years for her, at length, after a final desperate struggle, surrendered. 
Both Grange and Maitland of Lethington appealed to Queen Elizabeth for their 
lives ; but she left them to their fate at the hands of the Earl of Morton, to 
whom they had surrendered. Maitland of Lethington died, presumably by his 
own act, in July 1573 ; and Kirkaldy of Grange was executed in Edinburgh in 
the following month. R. M. 



ROBERT SEMPILL: MELVILLE 37 

NA vther lyfe we pure men bade of better 

Nor with our Naiggis to gane to Edinburgh sone, 

With Peittis, with Turnis and money turse of Hedder ; 

Ay gat gude saill, syne lap, qhen we had done, 

For mirrynes ; and with the licht of Mone 

We wald ga hame. 

Robert Sempill, Lamentation of the Commons of Scotland. 
Printed 1572. 

1 THAT September in time of vacans, my uncle Mr. Andrew, Mr. James 
"homas Buchanan and I, hearing that Mr. George Buchanan was Melville's 
reak, and his Historic under the press, past over to Edinbruck g^orge 81 
mes errand (expressly) to visit him and see the work. When we Buchanan 
came to his chalmer we found him sitting in his chair, teaching his 1532 
young man that servit him in his chalmer, to spell a, b, ab, and 
e, b, eb, etc. Efter salutation Mr. Andro says, " I see, sir, ye are 
not idle." "Better this," quoth he, "nor stealing sheep or sitting' 
idle which is as ill." Thereafter he shew us the Epistle Dedicatorie 
to the King, the which when Mr. Andro had read he told him that 
it was obscure in some places, and wanted certain words to perfeyt 
the sentence. Sayes he, " I may do na mair for thinking on an- 
other matter." "What is that?" sayes Mr. Andro. "To die," 
quoth he ; " but I leave that and manie more things for you to 
help." 

' We went from him to the printer's workhouse, whom we found 
at the end of the 17 book of his Cornicle at a place which we 
thought verie hard for the tyme, which might be an occasion for 
staying the haill work, anent the burial of Davie. Therefore 
staying the printer from proceeding, we came to Mr. George again, 
and fand him bedfast by his custom, and asking him how he did 
'Ever going the way of weilfare," says he. Mr. Thomas, his 
cousin, shawes him of the hardness of that part of his Storie, that 
the King would be offendit with it, and it might stay all the work. 
"Tell me, man," says he, "gif I have told the truth ?" "Yes," 
says Mr. Thomas, " Sir, I think so." " I will bide his feud and all 
his kin's then " ; quoth he. " Pray, pray to God for me, and let 
him direct all." So by the printing of his Cornicle was endit, that 
maist learned, wyse, and godly man endit this mortal life." 

James Melville, Diary. 

WHEN it became known in Scotland that the unhappy Mary, 1586 
Queen of Scots, was likely to be put to death by Elizabeth, the 
king requested the ministers of Edinburgh to remember her in 



38 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

their prayers, ' that it might please God to illuminate her with the 
light of His truth, and save her from the apparent danger wherein 
she was cast.' To this surely natural and reasonable request the 
ministers sent a refusal. The king intended coming to the church 
next Sunday, and appointed Archbishop Adamson to preach and 
offer prayers for his mother. On his arrival he found a Mr. John 
Cowper in the pulpit, it being his turn to preach as one of the 
ministers of the city. The king rose in his seat and addressed 
him, 'Mr. John,' he said, 'that place was destined to-day for 
another, but if you will remember the charge that has been given, 
and remember my mother in your prayers this day, you may go 
on.' Cowper answered that ' he would do what the Spirit of God 
directed him.' He was then ordered to leave the pulpit, which he 
did, 'uttering his miscontent in these words, "that he would make 
accompt one day to the Great Judge of the world for such deal- 
ing."' The rest of the scene we may give from the words of one 
who was present and witnessed it (Row, p. 115) : 'The Bischop of 
St. Androis went up and (after the Englishe form) began to beck 
in a low courtesie to the king, whereas the custome of this kirk 
was first to salute God, to doe God's work, and then after sermon 
and divine worship closed, to give reverence and make curtesy to 
the king; but soon after that the B,ischop was entered the pulpit, all 
the people in the Great Kirk of Edinburgh gave a showt and loud 
cry so as nothing could be heard, and all almost ran out of the 
kirk, especiallie women ; none almost remained but they who were 
with the king, and some of the nobilitie and gentry in the Lord's 
Loft, also the provest and council of Edinburgh sat still in their 
loft. This carriage of the people made the king rise and cry out, 
"What divill aills the people that they may not tarie to heare a 
man preache ? " He taught indeed that day but with great fear 
(the writer being an eye and ear witness of all this), and then was 
putt among the king's guard that none should do him harme, and 
thus guarded was taken doune to the abbey. . . .' 

The Very Rev. Sir James Cameron Lees. 
The Church 6f St. Giles. 

The Marriage THE next gay pageant which delighted the Edinburghers was the 
of James VI. we i come home ' to James and his newly wedded Danish bride. 
The king had done a very courageous thing for him ! Gales 
having delayed the lady's start for Scotland, the monarch fearing 
the fickle fair might back out of the business, embarked for 
Denmark, despite storms and witches' incantations, married the 
lady of his love and started homeward. Naturally such a display 



SMEATON 39 

of courage on the part of the ' Lord's anointed ' deserved a 
triumphal pageant, and he got it! On the ist of May 1590, the 
royal pair landed at Leith, where they were welcomed by their 
subjects with every demonstration of joy. Much the same order 
of procession was observed as had been the case in the ' welcome 
to Scotland ' tendered to James's mother, nine and twenty years 
before, when she returned to begin her six years of stormy rule. 

James was at this time exceedingly poor, and some of his shifts 
to make a good appearance before the Danish ambassadors are 
very amusing. From the Earl of Mar he borrowed a pair of silk 
stockings for his own wear, saying in his letter, ' Ye wudna wish 
that your king suld appear a scrub on sic an occasion.' John 
Boswell of Balmuto lent the impecunious James 1000 marks 
(about ^55), induced to do so perhaps by the king's artful appeal 
to his patriotism, ' Ye will rather hurt yersel very far, than see the 
dishonour of your prince and native country, with the poverty of 
baith set down before the face of strangers.' 

The townsmen evidently were neither poor nor stingy ; for they 
provided for the young queen a carriage richly gilt, lined with 
crimson velvet. Her maids of honour were with her, and the king 
(carefully packed on a side saddle), rode on horseback by the door 
of the carriage, and in that way they reached Holyrood. Two 
days after the arrival, Queen Anne made a tour of the town in her 
coach, accompanied by the king, and the ladies and gentlemen of 
the Court; the fountain at the Cross again flowed claret. Just 
above the Netherbow there was a pageant enacted representing the 
royal marriage. But what would appeal to James most of all, 
from the summit of the port was let down a casket containing 
20,000 crowns (about .8,500), a present from the town of Edin- 
burgh to the good Queen Anne ! 

Oliphant Smeaton. 
Edinburgh and its Story. 



O I WILL sing, if ye will hearken, The Laird 

If ye will hearken unto me ; o' Logie 

The king has taen a puir prisoner, 
The wanton young Laird o' Logie. 

Young Logie 's laid in Edinburgh chapel, 

Carmichael 's keeper o' the key ; 
And May Margaret 's lamenting sair, 

A' for the love o' young Logie. 



40 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

When news cam to our gudely queen, 
She sich'd, and said richt mournfullie, 

' O what will come o' Lady Margaret, 
Wha beirs sic love to young Logie ? ' 

May Margaret tore her yellow hair, 
When as the queen told her the same : 

( I wis that I had ne'er been born, 
Or ne'er had known young Logie's name ! ' 

' Lament, lament na, May Margaret, 
And of your weeping let me be ; 

For ye maun to the king himsell, 
To seek the life o' young Logie.' 

May Margaret has kilted her green cleiding, 
And curlit back her yellow hair j 

1 If I canna get young Logie's life, 
Fareweel to Scotland evermair ! ' 

When that she cam before the king, 
She kneelit lowly on her knee : 

' O what 's the matter, May Margaret ? 
And what needs a' this courtesie ? ' 

' A boon, a boon, my noble liege ! 

A boon, a boon, I beg of thee ! 
And the first boon that I come to crave, 

Is to grant me the life o' young Logic.' 

' O na, o na, May Margaret, 
Forsooth, and so it maunna be ; 

For a' the gowd in fair Scotland 

Shall not save the life o' young Logie. 

May Margaret she gaed doun the stair, 
I wat she gaed richt mournfullie : 

' Oh, a' the money in fair Scotland 
Wadna save the life o' young Logie ! ' 

And sae she tore her yellow hair, 
Kinking her fingers ane by ane ; 

And cursed the day that she was born, 
Or that she heard o' Logie's name ! 



BALLAD 41 

' Lament, lament na, Margaret, 

And of your weeping let me be ; 
And I will to the king mysell, 

To seek the life o' young Logic.' 

The queen she trippit up the stair, 

And lowly knelt upon her knee : 
' A boon, a boon, I crave, my liege ! 

Grant me the life o' young Logic ! ' 

' If you had asked me castles and towers, 

I wad hae gien them, twa or three ; 
But a' the money in fair Scotland 

Wadna buy the life o' young Logic ! ' 

The queen she trippit doun the stair, 

And doun she gaed richt mournfullie : 
' Oh, a' the money in fair Scotland 

Wadna buy the life o' young Logic.' 

Lady Margaret tore her yellow hair, 
When as the queen tauld her the same : 

' I '11 tak a knife, and end my life, 
And be in the grave as sune as him.' 

' O, fie ! na, na ! ' then spoke the queen ; 

' Fie, na ! fie, na ! this maunna be ! 
I '11 set ye on another way 

To win the life o' young Logic.' 

May Margaret has taen the king's redding-kame, 
Likewise the queen her wedding-knife ; l 

And sent the tokens to Carmichael, 
To cause young Logic get his life. 

She sent him a purse o' the red gowd, 

Another o' the white monie ; 
She sent him a pistol for each hand, 

And bade him shoot when he gat free. 

When he cam to the tolbooth stair, 

There he let his volley flee ; 
It made the king in his chamber start, 

E'en in the bed where he micht be. 



42 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

And when he cam to the queenis window, 

Whaten a joyfu' shout ga'ed he ! 
Saying : ' Peace be to our royal queen, 

And peace be in her companie ! ' 

' O whaten a voice is that? ' quo' the king ; 

' Whaten a voice is that ? ' quo' he : 
1 Whaten a voice is that ? ' quo' the king ; 

' I think it 's the voice of young Logic. 

' Gae out, gae out, my merry-men a', 
And bid Carmichacl come, speik to me ; 

For I '11 lay my life the pledge o' that, 
That yon 's the voice o' young Logie.' 

When Carmichael cam before the king, 
He fell doun low upon his knee ; 

The very first word that the king spoke, 
Was, ' Where 's the young Laird o' Logie ? ' 

Carmichael turned him round about, 

(I wat the tear blinded his e'e), 
' There came a token frae your grace 

Has ta'en the laird away frae me.' 

' Hast thou played me that, Carmichael ? ' he said 
' And hast thou played me that ? ' quo' he ; 

' The morn, therefore, at twelve o'clock, 
Your men and you shall hangit be.' 

' Ah, na ! fie, na ! ' then quoth the queen ; 

' Fie, my deir love ! this canna be : 
If ye be gaun to hang them a', 

Indeed ye maun begin wi' me.' 

Carmichael is gane to Margaret's bower, 

Even as fast as he micht drie : 
' O if young Logie be within, 

Tell him to come and speik with me ! ' 

May Margaret turned her round about ; 

I wot a loud lauch lauchit she : 
' The egg is chippit ; the bird is flown ; 

Ye '11 see nae mair o' young Logie.' 



FYNES MORYSON 43 

The tane is shippit at the pier o' Leith, 

The tother at the Queen's Ferric ; 
And now the lady has gotten her luve, 

The winsome young Laird o' Logic ! l 



FROM the said Village fishrawe, I rode the rest of the way, being 1598 
four miles, and so in one dayes journey (as I said) came to 
EdenborroWi seated in Lodoney 2 (of old called Pictland), the most 
civill Region of Scotland^ being hilly and fruitfull of corne, but 
having little or no wood. This City is the seat of the King of 
Scotland, and the Courts of Justice are held in the same. . . . 
This City is high seated, in a fruitfull soyle, and wholesome air, 
and is adorned with many Noblemens Towers lying about it, and 
aboundeth with many springs of sweet waters. At the end towards 
the East, is the Kings Pallace joyning to the Monastery of the 
Holy Crosse, which King David the first built, over which, in a 
Parke of Hares, Conies, and Deare, an high mountaine hangs, 
called the chaire of Arthur (of Arthur, the Prince of the Britanes, 
whose monuments, famous among all Ballad-makers, are for the 
most part to be found on these borders of England and Scotland). 
From the Kings Pallace at the East, the City riseth higher and 
higher towards the West, and consists especially of one broad and 
very faire street (which is the greatest part and sole ornament 
thereof), the rest of the side streetes and allies being of poore 
building and inhabited with very poore people, and this length 
from the East to the West is about a mile, whereas the bredth of 
the City from the North to the South is narrow, and cannot be 

1 There are two versions of this ballad, one in Herd's collection, in which 
the hero is 'The Laird of Ochiltree,' and the other in the Border Minstrelsy. 
The above is a combination of the two, and is taken from Chambers's Collection 
of Scottish Songs and Ballads. 

The ballad is founded on an actual incident which took place in James VI. 's 
reign, before he left Scotland. One of Danish Queen Anne's Danish gentlewomen 
was Margaret Twynstoun (so spelt in old Scottish records) and was betrothed to 
Wemyss of Logic. Logic was sentenced to death as ' a traffecker with Francis, 
Earl of Bothwell,' but was saved by his sweetheart in an even cleverer and 
bolder manner than that described in the ballad, and possibly with the queen's 
connivance. She was in waiting on the queen, and was, on the night of her 
lover's accusation, to sleep in the queen's room. When the king was in the 
room, she slipped out and commanded the guard to convey Logic to the royal 
presence. This they obeyed without doubting ; but Margaret met them at the 
door, bade the guard wait, took Logic to a window, and gave him a 'long 
corde.' Thus he escaped from the very presence of the sleeping king. R. M. 

8 Lothian (Loudonia). 



44 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

halfe a mile. At the farthest end towards the West, is a very 
strong Castle, which the Scots hold unexpugnable. . . . And from 
this Castle towards the West, is a most steepe Rocke pointed on 
the highest top, out of which this Castle is cut : But on the North 
and South sides without the wals, lie plaine and fruitfull fields of 
Corne. In the midst of the foresaid faire streete, the Cathedrall 
Church is built, which is large and lightsome, but little stately for 
the building, and nothing at all for the beauty and ornament. . . . 

Fynes Moryson, Itinerary , Part I, Book iii. Chap. 5. 
From Professor Hume Brown's Early Travellers in Scotland. 



The Laird of DOWN by your garden green 

Waristoun gae merrily as she gaes ! 

She has, I wis, twa weel-made feet, 
And she trips upon her taes. 

She has twa weel-made feet, 
Far better is her hand. 

She is as jimp in the middle 
As ony willow wand. 

It was at dinner as they sat 

And when they drank the wine, 

How happy were the laird and lady 
Of bonnie Waristoun ! 

But he has spoken a word in jest ; 

Her answer was not good ; 
He threw a plate at her face, 

Made it a' gush out o' blude. 

She wasna frae her chamber door 
A step, but barely three, 

When up and at her richt hand 
There stood Man's Enemie ! 

' Gif you will do my bidding, lady, 
At my bidding for to be, 

I '11 learn you a richt skeely wile, 
Avenged for to be. 



BALLAD 45 

'At evening, when ye sit and sup, 

And when ye drink the wine, 
See that you fill the glass weel up 

To the Laird o' Waristoun.' 

The Foul Thief he has knist the knot 

She lift his head on hie ; 
And the false nourice drew the knot, 

That Waristoun garred die. 

Then word has gane to Leith, 

And up to Edinbro toun 
That the lady she has slain the laird, 

The Laird of Waristoun. 

And they 've taen her and the fause nourice, 

And in prison hae them boun' ; 
The nourice she was hard of heart, 

But the lady fell in a swoon. 

In it came her brother dear ; 

A sorry man was he : 
1 1 wad gie a' the lands I hae 

Bonnie Jean, to borrow 1 thee.' 

c O borrow me, brother ! borrow me ! 

O borrowed sail I never be ; 
For I garred kill my ain gude lord. 

And life is nae pleasure to me.' 

In it came her mother dear ; 

A sorry woman was she : 
' I wad gie my white money and gowd, 

Bonnie Jean, to borrow thee.' 

1 Borrow me, mother ! borrow me ! 

O borrowed sail I never be ; 
For I garred kill my ain good lord, 

And life 's nae pleasure to me.' 

1 Ransom. 



46 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

Then in it came her father dear ; 

A sorry man was he : 
' Ochon, alas, my bonnie Jean ! 

If I had you at hame wi' me ! 

1 Seven daughters I hae left at hame, 

As fair as fair can be ; 
But I would gie them a', ane by ane, 

O Jean, to borrow thee.' 

' O borrow me, father ! borrow me ! 

Borrowed sail I never be ; 
I that is worthy o' the death 

It 's richt that I suld die. 

1 Warristoun, I was your wife 

These nine years, running ten ; 
And I never lo'ed ye half sae weel 

As now when ye 're lying slain ! 

' Cause tak me out at nicht, 

Let the sun not on me shine, 
And on yon heiding hill strike aff 

This dowie heid of mine. 

' But first tak aff my gowd brocade ; 

Let only my petticoat be ; 
And tie my mantle ower my heid ; 

For the fire I daurna see.' 

Sae they 've taen her to the heiding hill, 

At morn, afore the sun ; 
And wi' mournfu' sighs they 've taen her life, 

For the death o' Waristoun.' J 

1 From Chambers's Collection of Scottish Ballads composed out of three 
fragments, from the collections of Jamieson, Kinloch and Buchan, respectively. 
The ballad is founded on fact. The story, as told in footnote in Chambers's 
collection, is shortly this: John Kincaird, Laird of Warristoun, was murdered 
on the 2nd July 1600, at the instigation of his wife, Jean Livingstone, daughter 
of the Laird of Dunipace. It is said Jean was only twenty-one (though this 
scarcely tallies with her statement in the ballad that she had been married 
nearly ten years) and was much younger than her husband, and that he had 
treated her badly, and bitten her arm. The man who actually did the deed 
was John Weir, a servant of Lady Warristoun's father. Lady Warristoun had 
sent for him, and he was hidden in a cellar, whence the lady herself conducted 
him in the middle of the night to the hall, and then went to her room ; but at 



DAVID MASSON 47 

IT is a Saturday evening in Holyrood, the evening of Satur- King James's 
day, the 26th of March 1603. All is dull and sleepy within 
the Palace, the King and Queen having retired after supper, and 
the lights in the apartments now going out one by one. Suddenly, 
hark ! what noise is that without ? There is first a battering at the 
gate, and then the sound of a horse's hoofs in the courtyard, and 
of a bustling of the palace servants round some late arriver. It is 
the English Sir Robert Gary, brother of Lord Hunsdon. He had 
left London between nine and ten o'clock in the forenoon of the 
24th ; he had ridden as never man rode before, spur and gallop, 
spur and gallop, all the way, through that day and the next and 
the next, the two intervening nights hardly excepted ; and here he 
is at Holyrood on the evening of the third day, an incredible 
ride ! His horse, the last he has been on, is taken from him all 
a-foam ; and he himself, his head bloody with a wound received 
by a fall and a kick from the horse in the last portion of his. 
journey, makes his way staggeringly, under escort, into the aroused 
King's presence. Throwing himself on his knees before his half- 
dressed Majesty, he can but pant out, in his fatigue and excite- 
ment, these words in explanation of the cause of his being there so 
unceremoniously : c Queen Elizabeth is dead, and your Majesty is 
King of England.' . . . 

Next day was Sunday; and, whatever whispers of the great 
event there may have been round King James himself in Holyrood, 
it does not appear that there was any hint of it that day among 
the congregations of the lieges in the Edinburgh churches. It is 
hardly possible that on the following day, when the proclama- 
tions of the new sovereign were palpitating northwards through 



the sound of the first scream repented, and ran out into the hall, but no further. 
Weir escaped, but Lady Warrietoun and her child's nurse, an accomplice, were 
taken 'red-handed,' that is, at the moment of their crime, so that no proof 
was needed, and according to Scottish law they were immediately tried by the 
magistrates of Edinburgh. They were sentenced to be strangled and burnt 
at the stake. The Laird of Dunipace was a favourite of James vi., but 
failed to obtain a pardon for his unfortunate daughter, only the alteration of 
her sentence to beheadal. She was beheaded thirty-seven hours later, at four 
in the morning on July 5th, at the Watergate, near Holyrood House ; and the 
nurse was at the same hour burnt to death on the Castle Hill. One of the 
ministers of Edinburgh has left an account of Lady Warristoun's death, and 
tells that she died converted and repentant, incessant in the utterance of pious 
exclamations. Possibly a more enlightened age would have accounted for the 
tormented creature's terrible deed as the act of temporary insanity, probably 
produced by her husband's ill-treatment of her, the sight of which perhaps 
also caused her servants' devotion to their mistress. 



48 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

England, with huzzas from town to town, in the very track of 
Sir Robert's ride (he had himself ordered them in Northumberland), 
the community of Edinburgh could still have remained ignorant 
of what had happened. There could be no public recognition 
of it, however, till after the arrival of the authorised envoys of 
the English Privy Council ; and they did not arrive the laggards ! 
till the morning of Tuesday, the 29th of March. . . . 

What commotion in Edinburgh through the next few days ! 
The King's leave-taking had to be hurried ; and it was on Sunday 
the 3rd of April that, rising from his place in St. Giles's Church 
after the sermon, he made what had to pass as his farewell speech 
to all his Scottish subjects. It was a speech intended to console 
them for their grievous loss. ' There is no more difference,' he said, 
' betwixt London and Edinburgh, yea, not so much, as betwixt Inver- 
ness or Aberdeen and Edinburgh ; for all our marches are dry, and 
there be no ferries betwixt them ' ; and, after delating somewhat 
further on the undeniable fact of the geographical continuity of 
his new kingdom with his old, he mentioned one of its probable 
consequences. 'Ye mister [need] not doubt,' he said in con- 
clusion, ' but, as I have a body as able as any king in Europe, 
whereby I am able to travel, so I sail visie you every three year at 
the least, or ofter as I sail have occasion.' On Tuesday, 5th April, 
all being ready for his departure, there was the long procession, 
amid thunders of cannon from the Castle, which conducted him 
out of Edinburgh. . . . 

From and after the 5th of April 1603 Holyrood, though not 
quite left to the rats, was no longer the home of royalty. King 
James's parting promise that he would revisit his native kingdom 
at least once every three years passed out of his mind ; and not 
till 1617, fourteen years after the ecstatic delight of his removal to 
the banks of the Thames, did he find it worth while to recross the 
Tweed. Holyrood, with the other royal palaces of Scotland, was 
then refurbished for his temporary accommodation ; but with that 
exception, and the further exception of two subsequent visits of 
Charles I. to Edinburgh, there was to be no sight of a sovereign 
face for many a day in the towered edifice under Arthur Seat. . . . 
' This I must say for Scotland, and may truly vaunt it,' said King 
James in a speech of rebuke to his somewhat troublesome English 
Parliament on the 3ist of March 1607 : 'here I sit and govern it with 
my pen; I write, and it is done; and by a clerk of the council I govern 
Scotland now which my ancestors could not do by the sword.' 

David Masson. 
Edinburgh Sketches and Memories. 



WELDON 49 

' THE following memorandum is on one of the leafles before the King James'3 
beginning (of the Record): On the 16 of May 1617 the K. Mai: Return to 
entred at the West Port of Edinb : wheir the Provost, the four Hol y rood 

Ifil 7 
bailzies, the haill counsell of the toune, with a 100 honest men 

besyde, were all assembled in black gownes, lined with black 
velvet, and their haill apparel ware of black velvet : at whilk tyme, 
first the proveist, William Nisbet, made a harangue welcoming his 
Mai : to his onne city ; then a harangue was made by Mr. John 
Hay, toune clerk, in name of the haill citizens : then a purse con- 
taining 500 double angells laid in a silver basin double over gilt 
was proponed to his Mai : who with a mild and gracious counte- 
nance receaved them, with their propine : their after came throw 
the city to the kirk, wheir ane sermon was made by the Arrchbp. of 
St. Androis, Spotswood : their after came directly doun the streit 
towards his palace of Halyrudhous, being convoyed by the haill 
honest men of the toun to the croce called St. Jone's croce, wheir 
drawing forth his sword, the King knighted the Provost, &c., &c. 
The last of Junii 1617 he departed from Halirudhous to Stirling.' 

From Lord Fountainhall's MS. Extracts from the Criminal Record. 
Quoted in Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe's Correspondence. 



FOR his majesty's entertainment, I must needs ingenuously confess, 1617 
he was received in the parish of Edinburgh (for a city I cannot call 
it), with great shouts of joy, but no shews of charge for pageants ; 
they hold them idolatrous things, and not fit to be used in so 
reformed a place. . . . For the religion they have, I confess they 
hold it above reach, and, God willing, I will never reach for it. 

They christen without the cross, marry without the ring. . . . 
They keep no holy-days, nor acknowledge any saint but St. 
Andrew. . . . Their Sabbath exercise is a preaching in the fore- 
noon, and a persecuting in the afternoon. . . . They think it 
impossible to lose the way to heaven, if they can but leave Rome 
behind them. . . . 

To conclude, the men of old did no more wonder that the great 
Messias should be born in so poor a town as Bethlem in Judea, 
than I do wonder that so brave a prince as King James should be 
borne in so stinking a toun as Edinburgh in lousy Scotland. 

Sir Anthony Weldon (?) 

From A Perfect Description of ths People and Country of Scotland. MS. in 

Bodleian Library (Tanner's MSS. , No. 23), ascribed by some to James 

Howell, but by others, including Professor Hume Brown, to Sir Anthony 

Weldon, who accompanied James vi. on his return to Scotland in 1617. 

D 






50 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

' Edinborough The heart of Scotland, 

Britaine's other eye.' 1 

Ben Jonson. 

1618 THE day being no sooner come, and having but fifteene miles 

to Edenborough, mounted upon my ten toes, and began first to 
hobble, and after to amble, and so being warm, I fell to pace by 
degrees ; all the way passing thorow a fertill countrey for corne 
and cattle : and about two of the clocke in the afternoone that 
Wednesday, being the thirteenth of August, and the day of Clare 
the Virgin (the signe being in Virgo), the moone foure dayes old, 
the wind at west, I came to take rest, at the wished, long expected, 
ancient, famous city of Edenborough, which I entred like Pierce, 
pennilesse, 2 altogether monyles. . . . 

Walking thus doune the street (my body being tyred with travell, 
and my minde attyred with moody, muddy, Moorditch melan- 
choly), my contemplation did devoutly pray, that I might meete 
one or other to prey upon, being willing to take any slender 
acquaintance of any map whatsoever ; viewing and circumviewing 
every man's face I met, as if I meant to draw his picture, but all 
my acquaintance was Non est inventus, I swear by priscians pari- 
cranion? an oath which I have ignorantly broken many times. 
At last I resolv'd, that the next gentleman that I met withall, 
should be acquaintance whether hee would or no : and presently 
fixing mine eyes upon a gentleman-like object, I looked on him, as 
if I would survay something through him, and make him my 
perspective : and hee, much musing at my gazing, and I much 
gazing at his musing, at last he crost the way and made toward 
me, and then I made downe the street from him, leaving to 
encounter with my man, who came after me leading my horse, 
whom he thus accosted, My friend, (quoth he), doth yonder 
gentleman (meaning me) know me, that he lookes so wistly on me? 
Truly Sir, said my man, I thinke not, but my master is a stranger 
come from London, and would gladly meete some acquaintance to 
direct him where he may have lodging and horse meate. Presently 
the gentleman (being of a generous disposition) over-tooke me with 
unexpected and undeserved courtesie, brought me to a lodging, 
and caused my horse to bee put into his owne stable, whilest we 
discoursing over a pinte of Spanish, I related as much English to 
him, as made him lend him tenne shillings (his name was Master 

1 One line the only remaining line of his lost poem, Edinburgh. It may be 
observed that it is a mixed metaphor. R. M. 

2 Pitrce Pennile;se, by Thomas Nash, 1592. 

3 'To break the head of a Priscian,' to break the rules of grammar. 



JOHN TAYLOR 51 

John Maxwell), which money I am sure was the first that I handled 
after I came out the walls of London : but having rested two houres 
and refreshed myselfe, the gentleman and I walked to see the city 
and the castle, which as my poore unable and unworthy pen can, I 
will truly describe. 

The castle on a loftie rock is so strongly grounded, bounded, 
and founded, that by force of man it can never be confounded ; 
the foundation and walls are unpenetrable, the rampiers impreg- 
nable, the bulwarkes invincible, no way but one to it is or can be 
possible to be made passable. In a word, I have seen many 
straights and fortresses in Germany, the Netherlands, Spaine, and 
England, but they must all give place to this unconquered castle, 
both for strength and scituation. 

Amongst the many memorable things which I was shewed there, 
I noted especially a great peece of ordnance of iron ; l it is not for 
batterie, but it will serve to defend a breach, or to tosse balles of 
wilde-fire against any that should assaile or assault the castle ; it 
lyes now dismounted ; and it is so great within, that it was told me 
that a childe was once gotten there ; but I, to make tryall crept 
into it, lying on my backe, and I am sure there was roome enough 
and spare for a greater than my selfe. 

So leaving the castle, as it is both defensive against any opposi- 
tion, and magnificke for lodging and receite, I descended lower to 
the city, wherein I observed the fairest and goodliest streete that 
ever mine eyes beheld, for I did never see or heare of a street of 
that length (which is halfe an English mile from the castle to a 
faire port which they call the Nether-bow), and from that porte, 
the streete which they call the Kenny-hate 2 is one quarter of a 
mile more, downe to the king's palace, called Holyrood-house, the 
buildings on each side of the way being all of squared stone, five, 
six, and seven stories high, and many by-lanes and closes on each 
side of the way, wherein are gentlemens houses, much fairer then 
the buildings in the high-street, for in the high-street marchants 
and tradesmen do dwell, but the gentlemens mansions and good- 
liest houses are obscurely founded in the aforesaid lanes : the walls 
are eight or tenne foote thicke, exceeding strong, not built for a 
day, a weeke, or a moneth, or a yeere; but from antiquity to 
josteritie, for many ages ; there I found entertainment beyond my 

'Mons Meg,' still on the ramparts. It was taken to England in 1758 by 
mistake as unserviceable, and remained in the Tower of London seventy-five 
years, and was then, through Sir Walter Scott's influence, brought back to 
Edinburgh Castle. 
2 Canongate. 



52 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

expectation or merit, and there is fish, flesh, bread and fruit, in 
such variety, that I thinke I may offencelesse call it superfluity, or 
saciety. The worst was, that wine and ale was so scarce, and the 
people were such mizers of it, that evrey night before I went to 
bed, if any man had asked me a civill question, all the wit in my 
head could not have made him a sober answer. 

I was at his Majesties palace, a stately and princely seate, 
wherein I saw a sumptuous chappell, most richly adorned with all 
appurtenances belonging to so sacred a place, or so royall an owner. 
In the inner court, I saw the kings armes cunningly carved in stone, 
and fixed over a doore aloft on the wall, the red lyon being the 
crest, over which was written this inscription in Latine, 

Nobis hcec invicta miserunt 106 proavi. 

I enquired what the English of it was ? It was told me as followeth, 
which I thought worthy to be recorded : 

106 fore-fathers have left this to us unconquered. 

This is a worthy and memorable motto, and I think few kingdomes 
or none in the world can truly write the like, that notwithstanding 
so many inroades, incursions, attempts, assaults, civill warres, and 
forraigne hostilities, bloody battles, and mighty foughten fields, that 
maugre the strength and policy of enemies, that royall crowne and 
scepter hath from one hundred and seven descents, kept still uncon- 
quered, and by the power of the King of Kings, (through the grace 
of the Prince of peace), is now left peacefully to our peacefull king, 
whom long in blessed peace, the God of peace defend and governe. 1 

John Taylor ('The Water-Poet'). 

Tht Pennyless Pilgrimage, or the Moneylesse Perambulation of John 
Taylor, alias, the King's Majesties Water-Poet. How he travailed on 
foot from London to Edenborough in Scotland, not carrying any 
Money to or fro, neither Begging, Borrowing, or asking Meate, 
Drinke, or Lodging. 



. . . FOR in some measure, I can let you know, 
How that all vertues heere doe overflow, 
For h5ere Religion, and all clairgie bee, 
The young in learning, are brought up yee fee, 
The poor maintaind, the sicke finds comfort to, 
Kirkes are erected, and such workes they doe : 

1 The old palace of Holyrood was destroyed by fire whilst Cromwell's soldiers 
were quartered there in 1650, thirty-two years after this, the latest description 
we have of it, was written. 



CARLYLE S3 

And though that I were blind as any bat, 

I may say some thing, for to witnesse that, 

Which fame doth spread abroad and mount on hie, 

To let us heare although wee could not see, 

For as the winde, doth blow out from their shore, 

It brings their vertues, to appear the more, 

And when it doth, returne its course heeretill, 

It brings them thankes for their approv'd good will, 

Thus then the winde thinkes that they doe deserue, 

That it should still bee ready them to serue, 

As als the Ocian thinkes it is its part, 

To serue them friendly for their true desert. 

When since the winde, the earth, and eeke the sea, 

Doth in their kinde, them thanke most willingly, 

Why should not then, this Kingdome with the rest, 

Pray for their welfare and account them blest : 

And thus, I tak my leaue now of you all, 
Protesting that, in reverence I shall, 
Bee ready alwayes, as rny power shall bee, 
To serue this Good Towne, in sinceritie 

And this I vow, heere by a Souldiers hand, 

As I have promisde, by my word to stand. 

Edinburgh's Vertues, by W. M. ; 1632. ' A true description of the Con- 
sciencious, Literall, and Learned properties of the truely renowned 
Citizens, of the most worthie and famous Citie of Edinburgh.' 

So many things are hidden in that dead abyss of Past Time j only 'A Scotch 
here and there a glimpse of actuality recoverable from the devour- Coronation 
ing night. And of these few the meaning and meanings are so ^ ^ 
hard to seize! For so it stands in this dark Life of ours. The 
figure of the actuality you may see ; but the spirit of it ? . . . 

On Saturday i5th June, 1633, by a singular chain of accidents, 
I obtain some view of the ancient city of Edinburgh ; and discern 
a few things there in a quite visual manner, several of which it 
would gratify me to understand completely. But sure enough the 
June sun shines on that old Edinburgh, clear as it does on the new 
and newest ; and men are alive and things verily extant there, and 
even a state of excitation is discoverable among them. Curious to 
see. Westward on its sheer blue rock towers up the Castle of 
Edinburgh, and slopes down eastward to the Palace of Holyrood ; 
old Edinburgh Town, a sloping high-street and many steep side lanes, 



54 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

covers like some wrought tissue of stone and mortar, like some 
strong rhinoceros skin of stone and mortar, with many a gnarled 
embossment, church steeple, chimney-head, Tolbooth, and other 
ornament or indispensability, back and ribs of that same eastward 
slope, after all not so unlike some crowned couchant animal, of 
which the Castle were crown, and the life-breath those far-spread 
smoke-clouds and vapour-clouds rising up there for the last 
thousand years or so. At the distance of two hundred years or 
more this thing I see. Rhinoceros Edinburgh lies in the mud : 
southward a marshy lake or South Loch, now about to be drained ; 
northward a marshy lake or North Loch, which will not be 
drained for the next one hundred and thirty years. 

Faring westward from Dalkeith comes a cavalcade somewhat 
notable : a many-footed tramp of stately horses, a waving grove 
of plumes, scarfs, cloaks, embroideries ; it is the choicest cavalcade 
that could be got up in these Northern parts; and in it ride 
Church and State, Charles Rex namely and William Laud, 
Archbishop, who in ordinary papers signs himself ' Wil. Cant.' . . . 
Truce, therefore, to the antecedencies of this same Royal Progress, 
sufficient that thou seest the Progress itself; and sufficient for 
the day is the evil thereof. Ambling along by the South-western 
roots of Arthur's Seat; through the green June country towards 
Edinburgh, tower-crowned, blue-cloaked, whither, as extreme, 
compressed agitation is reigning there, may we as well run and 
announce at last the King t's coming ? . . . 

Strolling along these holiday streets of Edinburgh, a number of 
questions suggest themselves. Some answerable, too many of 
them unanswerable. For, see, not only at the West Port, where 
Mr. Archibald Clark with his Bailie retinue sits, thick-breathing ; 
but here, at the West Bow, an inner closed gate, at the head of 
that tortuous street, stand orators, nay, I think stand Allegories, 
judging by their personations ; and then again, as we emerge into 
the High-street, what are these in sky-blue cloaks and plumes, 
rarious as the rainbow, as sky messengers newly alighted to con- 
gratulate the King's Majesty? The old Tolbooth and all St. Giles's 
Cathedral never looked so brave. In the bowels of the High 
Cross fountain there circulates, impatiently demanding egress, a 
lake of Claret. Judge if this decoration is a popular one ! And 
a little further on, at the public Weigh-house, what the Scotch 
call Tron, not yet a Church, but a public Weigh-house, see, the 
blunt edifice, by plaster, planks, draperies and upholstery, is 
changed to an Olympus, on which hover the Nine Muses of 
Antiquity, and much else ! These, too, are to congratulate the 



CARLYLE 55 

King's Majesty ; in verses as melodious as possible, apprise him 
that he is King by 108 descents, counting from the first Fergus, 
and prophesy that 108 or more shall descend from him in like 
manner. Of a new set of Allegories at the Nether Bow or lowest 
gate, of all that is going forward in the interior of Holyrood, and 
chapels with tapestry, bed-hangings and furnishings, etc., and the 
cooking and furbishing that goes and has gone on there, my 
patience fails me to speak. . . . 

An historical secret that will interest, this pageantry has all 
been got up by Mr. William Drummond of Hawthornden, a 
gentleman of much genius who lives 'vacant for the Muses,' as 
he calls it, out at Hawthornden. . . . 

Pageants are of small moment to us : nevertheless we must look 
on this occasion how it stands with Mr. Archibald Clark at the 
West Port. The heart of the man beating thick with painful 
expectancy, his breathing fluttered into a series of sighs. Edin^ 
burgh waits, with Mr. Clark at its head, in painful expectance 
of the King's Majesty. Hark, see far overhead : the old Castle 
has heard his Majesty's trumpet, and answers from her metal 
throats, in thunder, in rolling smoke-clouds barred with long 
spears of fire. Fifty shots of their great ordnance : 'fore Heaven 
a very handsome salute. And there, aye there, Mr. Archibald; 
loud knock at this thy West Port door, Majesty knocking for 
entrance : thou must rise, bestir thee, for the hour is come ! 
Pageants are a thing valueless as dreams ; records of Pageants are 
like the dream of a dream. Nevertheless, as this old Edinburgh 
Gate opens, flung back by old Edinburgh beefeaters, the Lord 
Provost kneeling, presents his oration, and the keys of the City in 
a silver bason, having first shaken into it a purse of a thousand 
gold coins ; which Marquis Hamilton as Master of the Horse and 
Grand Chamberlain of Scotland, receives ; and the King's Majesty 
listens, and Earth is attentive, and Heaven ; the June sun looks 
down on it, and two centuries have fled since then ; while all this 
goes on, I say, and the plumed cavalcade fares slowly through the 
Grassmarket, West Bow and along its upholstery orbit, looked on 
by a hundred thousand eyes, the light of which is gone two 
centuries ago, I could like to institute a few general reflexions. . . . 

Thomas Carlyle, Historical Sketches, 

GREAT love's vice-gerent, looke with kind aspect 
On my emporium Edinbvrgh, direct 
No oblique rayes, accept in love her showes, 
Her verdant glory which so brauely goes, 



56 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

To doe thee service, all her cost compense 
With kind acceptance, with her faults dispense, 
And if in her omission shall be found 
Let her endeavours braue, defects confound. 

Walter Forbes. 

A Panegyricke to the Most High and Mighty Monarch Charles, 
King of Great Britaine, France, and Ireland, etc. 

1535 ABOUT nine o'clock at night we came into Edenborough, where, 

by reason of the foot-boy's negligences, we were put upon great 
straights, and had our lodging to seek at ten o'clock, and in con- 
clusion, were constrained to accept of mean and nasty lodging, for 
which we paid one shilling and eight-pence ; and the next morning, 
Saturday, 27 Junii, we went to the Towle-boothe, where are the 
courts of justice, which are six. . . . This Saturday, after dinner, 
I took a view of the castle here, which is seated very high and 
sufficiently commanding . . . upon the wall of the castle, towards 
the top, is this insculpsion, part thereof gilt, a crown and sceptre, 
and dagger placed under it cross-wise, with this superscription : 
'Nobis hsec invicta miserunt, 106 proavi'; the same arms and 
inscription is placed upon the front of the abbey, which is the 
king's house. . . . Hence you may take a full view of the situation 
of the whole city, which is built upon a hill nothing oversteep, but 
sufficiently sloping and ascending to give a graceful ascent to the 
great street, which I do take to be an English mile long, and is the 
best paved street with bowther 1 stone (which are very great ones) 
that I have seen : the channels are very conveniently contrived on 
both sides of the streets, so as there is none in the middle ; but it 
is the broadest, largest, and fairest pavement, and that entire, to go, 
ride, or drive upon. 

Here they usually walk in the middle of the street, which is a 
fair, spacious, and capacious walk. This street is the glory and 
beauty of this city : it is the broadest street (except in the Low 
Countries, where there is a navigable channel in middle of the street) 
and the longest street I have seen, which begins at the palace, the 
gate whereof enters straight into the suburbs, and is placed at the 
lower end of the same. The suburbs make an handsome street ; 
and indeed the street, if the houses, which are very high, and 
substantially built of stone (some five, some six stories high), were 
not lined to the outside and faced with boards, 2 it were the most 
stately and graceful street that ever I saw in my life ; but this face 
of boards, which is towards the street, doth much blemish it, and 
1 Boulder. 2 See p. 9, second paragraph. 



BRERETON 57 

derogate from glory and beauty ; as also the want of fair glass 
windows, whereof few or none are to be discerned towards the 
street, which is the more complete, because it is as straight as may 
be. This lining with boards (wherein are round holes shaped to 
the proportion of men's heads), and this encroachment into the 
street about two yards, is a mighty disgrace unto it, for the walls 
(which were the outside) are stone ; so, if this outside facing of 
boards were removed, and the houses built uniform all the same 
height, it were the most complete street in Christendom. This 
city is placed in a dainty, healthful pure air, and doubtless were a 
most healthful place to live in, were not the inhabitants most 
sluttish, nasty, and slothful people . . . only the nobler and better 
sort of them brave, well-bred men, and much reformed. This 
street, which may indeed deserve to denominate the whole city, is 
always thronged with people, it being the market place, and the 
only place where the gentlemen and merchants meet and walk, 
wherein they may walk dry under foot though there hath been 
abundance of rain. Some few coaches are here to be found for 
some of the great lords and ladies, and bishops. 

Touching the fashion of the citizens, the women here wear and 
use upon festival days six or seven several habits and fashions ; 
some for distinction of widows, wives and maids, others apparelled 
according to their own humour and phantasy. Many wear 
(especially of the meaner sort) plaids. . . . Some ancient women 
and citizens wear satin straight-bodied gowns, short little cloaks 
with great capes, and a broad linen boun-grace coming over their 
brows, and going out with a corner behind their heads ; and this 
boun-grace is, as it were, lined with a white stracht cambric suitable 
unto it. Young maids not married all are bareheaded; some with 
broad thin shag ruffs, which lie flat to their shoulders, and others 
with half bands with wide necks, either much stiffened or set in 
wire, which comes only behind; and these shag ruffs some are 
more broad and thick than others. . . . 

I was this day with an intelligent, understanding man, who told 
me there were about sixty back lanes or streets, which were placed 
in the side of this street, and went out of it narrow and inconvenient 
straight lanes, some wider, some narrower, some built on both 
sides, others only on one side; and enquiring what number of 
persons might be in this city, I found that it was generally com- 
puted that they were no more than sixty thousand persons, because 
there are only four parish churches in this city, and it is observed 
that there are no more than about four thousand communicants in 
every parish. . . . 



58 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

Upon the top of the Toole-boothe stands the head of Gawrie. 
Here are pies (whereof I have had some this day to dinner) which 
are sold twelve for a penny English. Here upon the Toole-boothe 
stands the head of Earl Gawrie. Many Highlanders we observed 
in this town in their plaids, many without doublets, and those who 
have doublets have a kind of loose flap garment hanging loose 
about their breech, their knees bare ; they inure themselves to cold, 
hardship, and will not diswont themselves; proper, personable, 
well-complectioned men, and able men; the very gentlemen in 
their blue caps and plaids. . . . 

There are some officers made choice of to take notice of, and to 
apprehend all those that loiter in the streets upon the Lord's day, 
during service and sermon-time, these are punished by being com- 
mitted to the Toll-bowth ; and if any are found in any house 
tippling, or gaming in church-time, they are committed to prison. 
Those also called to account that are met walking fromwards the 
church, and are detained in durance until they be brought before 
the bailiffs of the town, who punisheth them severely. . . . 

Bought in Edenburgh; Thanksgiving Sermon upon birth of 
Prince, 1 and the Itinerary of Scotland and Ireland : two pair of 
pistols, which cost eight rix dollars, which is ji, i8s. 4d. ; a 
dudgeon-hafted dagger and knives, gilt, 35. 8d. ... I paid here for 
my horses two rix dollars, and for our lodging for six persons, three 
beds every night, is. 6d. ; for victuals, Saturday, 75. 26. ; Sunday, 
Monday, Tuesday, breakfast about ^i, 53.; washing, is. 8d. ; 
rewards to the maid and cook, as. . . . 

The discipline of the Church of England is much pressed and 
much opposed by many pastors and many of the people. The 
greatest parts of the Scotts are very honest and zealously religious. 
I observed few given to drink or swearing ; but if any oath, the 
most ordinary oath was, ' Upon my soul.' The most of my hosts I 
met withal, and others with whom I conversed, I found very sound 
and orthodox, and zealously religious. In their demands they do 
not so much exceed as with us in England, but insist upon and 
adhere unto their first demand for any commodity. I observed 
few bells rung in any of their churches in Edenborough, and, as I 
was informed, there are but few bells in any steeple, save in the 
Abbey Church Steeple, which is the king's palace. Herein is a 
ring of bells erected by King Charles immediately before his coming 
into Scotland, Anno Dom. 1635, but none here knew how to ring 
or make use of them, until some came out of England for that 

1 Probably James, afterwards James vil., and n. of England. 



CAMERON LEES: BLACKIE 59 

purpose, who hath now instructed some Scotts in this art. . . . 
Junii 30. About twelve hour we left Edenborough. . . . 

Sir William Brereton, Travels, p. 94 ; Chatham Society). 
Taken from Professor Hume Brown's Early Travellers in Scotland. 

ABOUT ten o'clock the Bishop of Edinburgh, with James Hanna, 1637 
the Dean, entered the church, the latter taking his seat in the 
reader's desk, and the former proceeding to the pulpit above him. 
The Dean then began to read the new prayer-book, or, as it was 
generally called, the service-book. 

The scene that ensued has had many narrators. They differ in 
some small particulars, but they are all at one as to the greatness 
of the tumult. As the Dean went on with the prayers there were 
openly expressed murmurs of discontent. Some of the expressions 
used have come down in the narratives, and they are not very 
savoury : ' False antichristian,' ' beistlie bellie-god,' ' crafty fox,' 
'ill-hangit thief,' 'Judas,' are among them. The women present 
were among the most demonstrative, and they seem to have 
mustered in great numbers for the occasion. The Bishop from the 
pulpit, who watched the rubric to see that it was rightly followed, 
asked the audience to be calm, and allow the service to proceed, 
and turning to the Dean told him to go on to the collect for the 
day. At this, a herb-woman, Jenny Geddes by name, who had 
a market-stall near where the Tron Kirk now stands, started up 
in wrath, and catching the word ' collect ' which the Bishop had 
used, shouted aloud, ' Deil colic the wame of thee ; out, thou 
false thief! dost thou say mass at my lug?' and snatching up the 
stool on which she sat, hurled it at his head, ' intending to have given 
him a ticket of remembrance, but jouking became his safeguard 
at that time.' Others followed this woman's example. . . . Seldom 
has there been a popular tumult that led to greater results than 
this one within St. Giles. 'It not only suppressed the English 
liturgy almost until the nineteenth century, but it gave an impulse 
to the civil war of England, which ended in the overthrow of 
church and monarchy ' (Stanley's Lectures on the Church of 

Scotland^ p. 72). 

The Very Rev. Sir James Cameron Lees. 
The Church of St. Gilts. 

SOME praise the fair Queen Mary, and some the good Queen 

Bess, 
And some the wise Aspasia, beloved by Pericles ; 



60 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

But o'er all the world's brave women, there 's one that bears the 

rule, 

The valiant Jenny Geddes, that flung the three-legged stool. 
With a row-dow at them now ! Jenny fling the stool/ 

'Twas the twenty-third of July, in the sixteen thirty-seven, 

On Sabbath morn from high St. Giles the solemn peal was given : 

King Charles had sworn that Scottish men should pray by 

printed rule ; 
He sent a book, but never dreamt of danger from a stool. 

With a row-dow yes, I trow ! there 's danger in a stool! 

The Council and the Judges, with ermined pomp elate, 
The Provost and the Bailies in gold and crimson state, 
Fair silken-vested ladies, grave Doctors of the School, 
Were there to please the King, and learn the virtue of a stool. 
With a row-dow yes, I trow ! there 's virtue in a stool I 

The Bishop and the Dean came in wi' mickle gravity, 

Right smooth and sleek, but lordly pride was lurking in their e'e ; 

Their full lawn sleeves were blown and big, like seals in briny 

pool; 

They bore a book, but little thought they soon should feel a stool. 
With a row-dow ye s, I trmv ! they 'II feel a three-legged 

stool! 

The Dean he to the altar went, and, with a solemn look, 
He cast his eyes to heaven, and read the curious-printed book : 
In Jenny's heart the blood upwelled with bitter anguish full ; 
Sudden she started to her legs, and stoutly grasped the stool ! 
With a row-dow at them now ! firmly grasp the stool / 

As when a mountain wild-cat springs on a rabbit small, 

So Jenny on the Dean springs, with gush of holy gall ; 

c Wilt thou say mass at my lug, thou Popish-puling fool? 

No ! no ! ' she said, and at his head she flung the three-legged 

stool. 
With a row-dow at them now I Jenny fling the stool I 

A bump, a thump ! a smash, a crash ! now gentle folks beware ! 
Stool after stool, like rattling hail, came tiding through the air, 
With, Well done, Jenny ! bravo, Jenny ! that 's the proper tool ! 
When the Deil will out, and shows his snout, just meet him 

with a stool ! ' 
With a row-dow at them now 1 there 's nothing like a stool ! 



HOWELL 61 

The Council and the Judges were smitten with strange fear, 

The ladies and the Bailies their seats did deftly clear, 

The Bishop and the Dean went, in sorrow and in dool, 

And all the Popish flummery fled, when Jenny showed the 

stool ! 
With a tow-dow at them now I -Jenny show the stool ! 

And thus a mighty deed was done by Jenny's valiant hand, 

Black Prelacy and Popery she drave from Scottish land ; 

King Charles he was a shuffling knave, priest Laud a meddling 

fool, 
But Jenny was a woman wise, who beat them with a stool ! 

With a row-dow yes, I trow 1 she conquered by the stool ! l 

Professor John Stuart Blackie. 

GOD neuer had a church, but there, men say, A Prouerbe 

The diuell a chapell hath rais'd by some wyles. 

I doubted of this saw, till on a day 

I westward spied great Edenbrough's Saint Gyles. 

Drummond of Hawthornden. 

MY Lord, I have seen now all the King of Great Britain's 'To My Lord 

dominions ; and he is a good traveller that hath seen all his JJf rd> 

. , ,. Edinburgh' 

dominions. I was born in Wales, I have traversed the diameter of (1639) 

France more than once, and now I am come through Ireland into 
this Kingdom of Scotland. This town of Edinburgh is one of the 
fairest streets that ever I saw (excepting that of Palermo in Sicily), 
it is about a mile long, coming sloping down from the castle (called 
of old the Castle of Virgins, and of Pliny, 2 Castrum Aletum) 
to Holyrood house, now the royal palace; and these two begin 
and terminate the town . . . there are better French wines here 
than in England and cheaper, for they are but a groat a quart, 
and it is a crime of a high nature to mingle or sophisticate any 
wine here. . . . There is a fair Parliament house built here lately, 
and it was hoped his Majesty would have taken the maiden head 
of it, and come hither to sit in person; and, they did ill who 
advised him otherwise. 

James Howell, The Familiar Letters. 
Taken from Professor Hume Brown's Early Travellers in Scotland. 

1 Professor Blackie used to sing this song himself, and always illustrated the 
last line by flinging a stool across the room. R. M. 
3 Error for Ptolemy. See page 2. 



62 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

1642 COMMINUS ut spectet superos caeloque fruatur, 

Edinburgum Montis in acclivi surgit Edina ingo. 

Ancillatricem Cererem Nymphasque ministras, 

Et vectigalem despicit inde Thetin. 
Hie ubi nascentis se pandunt lumina Phoebi, 

Sede sub Arturi regia tecta vides, 
Solis ad occasum surgens, arx imminet urbi : 

Haec habet Arctoi tela tremenda lovis. 
Adspicis in medio templum, decus urbis et orbis, 

Hac pietas stabilem fixit in aede larem. 
Cuncta nitent intus ; regalis more coronae 

Plexilis aurato marmore lucet apex. 
Virginia Astraeae domus est contermina templo, 

Digna Polycleti Praxiletisque mana. 
Tecta colunt cives solis heroibus apta, 

Nullius ilia minas, nullius arma timent. 
Albula Romuleam, Venetam mare territat urbem, 

Quas regit, undarum ridet Edina minas. 
Crede mihi, nusquam vel sceptris aptior urbs est, 

Vel rerum domina dignior urbe locus. 

Arthur Johnston. 1 
Celebriorum Aliquot Scotiac Urbium Encomia. 

' To enjoy her heavenly view, Edina rises on her sloping ridge, 
looking down on rich domains of Ceres and the Nymphs and eke 
on the tributary sea. To the East under Arthur's Seat the Palace 
is beheld. To the West the Castle commands the city with its 
thunderbolts of war. In the midst there stands a temple, ornament 
of the city and the world, the abode of Piety : resplendent within 
and surmounted by a regal crown of fretted stone. The abode of 
justice adjoins, worthy of Polycletus and Praxiteles. The burghers 
dwell in noble mansions fit for heroes and fear no threats of danger. 
Tiber puts Rome in terror, and the sea threatens Venice : at such 
threats Edina smiles. No city worthier of the sceptre ; no site 
more suited for the lordship of the land.' 

Translation of Arthur Johnston's Edinburgum ; taken from Sir Wm. Geddes's 
Musa Latino. Aberdontnsis, vol. xi. of the New Spalding Club. 

Edinburgh INSTALL'D on hills, hir head neare starrye bowres, 

Shines Edinburgh, proud of protecting powers. 
Justice defendes her heart ; Religion east 
With temples, Mars with towres doth guard the west ; 

1 Arthur Johnston, an Aberdonian, was King's Physician, and the most 
celebrated Latin scholar of his day. R. M. 



DRUMMOND OF HAWTHORNDEN: CARLYLE 63 

Fresh nymphes and Ceres seruing, waite upon her, 
And Thetis tributarie doth her honour. 
The sea doth Venice shake, Rome Tiber beates, 
Whilst she bot scornes her vassall watteres' threats. 
For scepters no where standes a towne more fitt, 
Nor place where towne world's queene may fairer sitt. 
Bot this thy praise is, aboue all, most braue, 
No man did e're diffame thee bot a slave. 

William Drummond of Hawthornden. 
Free translation of Arthur Johnston's Latin sonnet, Edinburgum. 



POOR old Edinburgh, it lies there on its hill-face between its 
Castle and Holyrood, extremely dim to us at this two-centuries' 
distance; and yet the indisputable fact of it burns for us with a 
strange illuminativeness ; small but unquenchable as the light of 
stars. Indisputably enough, old Edinburgh is there; poor old 
Scotland wholly, my old respected Mother ! Smoke-cloud hangs 
over old Edinburgh, for, ever since ^Eneas Sylvius's time and 
earlier, the people have had the art, very strange to ^Eneas, of 
burning a certain sort of black stones, and Edinburgh with its 
chimneys is called ' Auld Reekie ' by the country people. Smoke- 
cloud very visible to the imagination : who knows what they are 
doing under it ! Dryasdust with his thousand Tomes is dumb as 
the Bass Rock, nay dumber, his Tomes are as the cackle of the 
thousand flocks of geese that inhabit there, and with deafening 
noise tell us nothing. The mirror of the Firth with its Inchkeiths, 
Inchcolms and silent isles, gleams beautiful on us ; old Edinburgh 
rises yonder climbing aloft to its Castle precipice ; from the rocks 
of Pettycur where the Third Alexander broke his neck, from all 
the Fife heights, from far and wide on every hand, you can see the 
sky windows of it glitter in the sun, a city set on a hill. But what 
are they doing there ; what are they thinking, saying, meaning 
there ? O Dryasdust ! The gallows stands on the Borough Muir ; 
visible, one sign of civilisation. . . . 

Thomas Carlyle, Historical Sketches. 

TWELFE houres chopped as I did enter in Leith, and our Puritans 1643 
were at that time more as halfe Jewes ; for they had forbidden al 
servile work to be done from Saterday at noone, until the next 
Monday, under great penaltyes ; so that a boate durst not go upon 
ferries to pass any man over, what pressant affair soever he could 
have; and, therefore, I could not pass at Leith, or returne back 



6 4 



IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 



again to Edenbrough, specially upon their day of general com- 
munion, because theis dayes they send searchers to al the innes 
to sie who are their absent from their churches ; and, if any be 
found, the hostes are finned for loging them or suffering them to 
be absent. So I did choose rather to be in the fields then in any 
town ; and, therfor did ridde up the water to Queenes ferry, wher 
I found that same prohibition in vigour. I offered a shilling for a 
boate, which cost but two pens ordinarily, but, if I would have 
given tenne pounds, the pouer fellowes durst not sette a boate to 
sea; wherfor I resolved to ridde to the Bridge of Sterling, four 
and twenty miles out of my way, rather than stay in any of theis 
puritanical litle tounes, which are much more zealous then the 
greatest. . . . 

Gilbert Blakhal, priest of the Scots Mission in France, in the Low 

Countries, and in Scotland. 
' My Voyage from Holy Ylande to Strathboggie in the North of Scotland.' 

From A Brief Narration of the Services Done to Three Noble Ladyes. 



The Banish- 
ment of 
Poverty 



WE held the Lang-gate x to Leith Wynd, 
Where poorest purses use to be ; 

And in the Calton 2 lodged syne, 
Fit quarters for such company. 

Yet I the High-town fain would see, 
But my comrade did me discharge ; 

He willed me Blackburn's ale to pree, 
And muff my beard that was right large. 

The morn I ventured up the Wynd, 
And slunk in at the Netherbow 

Thinking that troker for to tyne 3 
Who does me damage what he dow. 

His company he doth bestow 

On me to my great grief and pain ; 

Ere I the thrang could wrestle through 
The loun 4 was at my heels again. 



1 Lang-gate, or dykes : now Princes Street. 
3 To part with the familiar. 



2 Calton Hill. 
4 rascal. 



FRANCIS SEMPILL CROMWELL 65 

I grained to gang on the plain-stanes l 

To see if comrades wad me ken : 
We twa gaed pacing there our lanes, 2 

The hungry hour 'twixt twelve and ane. 

Then I kenned no way how to fen 3 
My guts rumbled like a hurl-barrow ; 

I dined with saints and noblemen, 

Even sweet Giles and Earl of Murray. 4 

Francis Sempill. 

For the Honourable William Lenthall, Speaker of the Parliament of 

England: These. 

EDINBURGH, zafh December 1650. 

RIGHT HONOURABLE, It has pleased God to cause this Castle 
of Edinburgh to be surrendered into our hands, this day, about 
eleven o'clock. I thought fit to give you such account thereof as 
I could, and as the shortness of time would permit. 

I sent a Summons to the Castle upon the 1 2th instant ; which 
occasioned several Exchanges and Replies, which, for their 
unusualness, I also thought fit humbly to present to you. Indeed 
the mercy is very great, and seasonable. I think, I need to say 
little of the strength of the place; which, if it had not come in 
as it did, would have cost very much blood to have attained, if 
at all to be attained ; and did tie up your Army to that incon- 
venience, that little or nothing could have been attempted whilst 
this was in design; or little fruit had of any thing brought into 
your power by your Army hitherto, without it. I must needs say, 
not any skill or wisdom of ours, but the good hand of God hath 
given you this place. 

I believe all Scotland hath not in it so much brass ordnance as 
this place. I send you here enclosed a List thereof, 5 and of the 
arms and ammunition, so well as they could be taken on a sudden. 
Not having more at present to trouble you with, I take leave, and 

rest, Sir, Your most humble servant, 

OLIVER CROMWELL. 
Taken from Thomas Carlyle's Life of Cromwell, 

LET us call back the past as it was two hundred and fifty years 
ago, and what a different scene rises before our eyes; an open, 

1 I longed to go on the pavement. 2 by ourselves. 

3 feed, manage. 

4 S. Giles and the Earl of Murray were both starved to death. 

8 This list included 'the great iron murderer called Muckle-Meg.' 

E 



66 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

undulating muirland, covered with whin and broom, and with 
thickets of thorn and natural oak growing in the more sheltered 
hollows. This is the great Boroughmuir, which stretches far away 
to the hills of Braid, and in more remote times formed part of the 
ancient forest of Drumselch. A long winding loch lies between us 
and the town, in the low ground which future generations were to 
call the Meadows. Its placid waters and reed-fringed shores 
are the haunts of innumerable wild fowl. The moor is bare and 
desolate, but here and there rises a stern, grey tower, half fortress, 
half dwelling-house, with a few humble cottages clustering round 
it for protection and defence. Such is the Wryteshouses, the 
ancient home of the Napiers, its walls enriched by quaint carvings 
and inscriptions, which crowns the gently rising ground at the 
south-west corner of the loch. The evening breeze no longer 
brings us the sweet sound of St. Catherine's vesper bell, for long 
before the day whose story is unrolled before us, the tide of the 
Reformation had swept wildly through the land ; but the shattered 
walls still remain to bear witness to the piety of an elder generation. 
St. Roque's Chapel is in ruins, but the victims of the plague still 
find a large resting-place near the shrine of their patron saint. 

Such, then, was the Boroughmuir two hundred and fifty years 
ago, the great gathering ground on which so many troops had 
assembled before marching against the Southron, and where so 
many skirmishes had taken place in the civil wars that rent the 
country in Queen Mary's time. But it requires an effort of the 
imagination to realise it all now ! . . . 

The true fruit of Napier's years of toil and study appeared in 
1614, when he produced his book of logarithms, which he dedicated 
to Prince Charles (afterwards Charles I.) and which rapidly made 
his name famous over Europe. He died at Merchiston in 1617, 
and was succeeded by his eldest son, Archibald. This was the 
first Lord Napier. He married Montrose's sister, and for some 
years he acted as tutor to his illustrious brother-in-law, who was 
left fatherless very young. It was his son, the second Lord 
Napier, who was Montrose's faithful companion and friend. He 
married Lady Elizabeth Erskine, and when he passed into the 
exile from which he never returned, she remained for some time 
at his castle of Merchiston, and was there when Montrose was 
executed. From there she sent the faithful servant, who at the 
dead of night stole to the unhallowed spot on the Boroughmuir 
where the mutilated trunk of the dead hero had been hastily 
buried. He carefully and reverently extracted the heart ; and, 
wrapping it in a piece of fine linen, which to this day is treasured 



WARRENDE R A Y T O U N 67 

in the Napier charter-chest, he brought it to his mistress, who had 
it skilfully embalmed. It was then enclosed in a steel box made 
of the blade of Montrose's sword, and preserved as a precious 
relic. Montrose had always felt a deep affection for his nephew 
and his wife, and had promised at his death to leave his heart to 
Lady Napier, and so the pledge was redeemed. . . . 

Margaret Warrender, Walks near Edinburgh. 

THEY brought him to the Watergate, ' The 

Hard bound with hempen span, Execution of 

. .. ,., , , , ,. ., Montrose.' 
As though they held a lion there, 

And not a fenceless man. 
They set him high upon a cart 

The hangman rode below 
They drew his hands behind his back, 

And bared his noble brow. 
Then, as a hound is slipped from leash, 

They cheered the common throng, 
And blew the note with yell and shout, 

And bade him pass along. 

It would have made a brave man's heart 

Grow sad and sick that day, 
To watch the keen malignant eyes 

Bent down on that array. 
There stood the Whig west-country lords, 

In balcony and bow ; 
There sat their gaunt and withered dames, 

And their daughters all a-row. 
And every open window 

Was full as full might be 
With black-robed Covenanting carles, 

That goodly sport to see ! 

But when he came, though pale and wan, 

He looked so great and high, 
So noble was his manly front, 

So calm his steadfast eye ; 
The rabble rout forbore to shout, 

And each man held his breath, 
For well they knew the hero's soul 

Was face to face with death. 



68 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

And then a mournful shudder 

Through all the people crept 
And some that came to scoff at him 

Now turned aside and wept. 

William Edmonstoune Aytoun. 
From Lays of the Scottish Cavaliers. 

1656 Arnoldus. O, how sweetly the weather smiles, the horizon looks 

clear, the sky is serene, and the birds you may see them beat the 
ambient air with their tunable notes ! Come, Theophilus, let us 
mount our horses, and lift up your eyes to behold those lofty 
embellishments of Edinburgh. 

Theophilus. They are obvious enough, half an eye may see them. 

Arnoldus. Welcome to these elevated ports, the princely court 
of famous Edinburgh. This city stands upon a mighty scopulous * 
mountain, whose foundations are cemented with mortar and stone ; 
where the bulk of her lofty buildings represent it a rock at a reason- 
able distance, fronting the approaching sun ; whose elevations are 
seven or eight stories high, mounted aloft in the ambient air. But 
the length, as I take it, exceeds not one mile, and the breadth on 't 
measures little more than half a mile ; nor is there more than one 
fair street, to my best remembrance. But then it 's large and long, 
and very spacious, whose ports are splendid, so are her well-built 
houses and palaces, corresponding very much to compleat it their 
metropolis. 

Theophilus. What fabrick is that on the east of Edinburgh ? 

Arnoldus. Hallirood-House, the regal court of Scotland. 

Theophilus. But there 's yet another great fabrick, that presents 
westward. 

Arnoldus. That's Edinburgh-Castle, elevated in the air, on an 
impregnable precipice of rocky earth, perpendicular in some parts, 
rampir'd and barrocadoed with thick walls of stone, and graffs pro- 
portionable, to contribute an additional strength. So that you are 
to consider this inaccessible castle shines from a natural as well as 
an artificial product, because part of it you see contiguous with the 
rock ; but the other part, because affixed by cemented stone, which 
inoculates and incorporates them so firmly together, that the whole 
mass of building is of such incredible strength, that it's almost 
fabulous for any man to report it, or sum up the impregnable lustre 
and beauty of this fair fortress, that defies all attempts, except 
famine, disease, or treachery be conduct; so that culverins and 
1 Scopulosus, full of rocks ? 



FRANCK 69 

cannons signify but little, without bombs and carcasses. On the 
other hand, the defendants must not be too liberal, lest their water 
forsake them sooner than their ammunition ; so inevitably draw 
upon them the foregoing consequence, and incommode them with 
a thousand inconveniences. True it is, many arguments of art 
and artillery have been sent to examine this impregnable castle, 
but none were ever found more successful than hunger and disease, 
or the golden apples of the Hesperides. Such kind of magnets 
muzzle mercenaries, and make them a golden bridg to pass over. 

Theophilus. Is this fair fabrick the Parliament-House where the 
grandees sit on national affairs ? 

Arnoldus. Yes, this is their palace where the parliament sits to 
accommodate the kingdom ; whose famous ports we now relinquish 
to take a review of the bars of Musselburg. But that on our right 
hand is delicate Dalkeith, surrounded with a park ; and that on our 
left hand is Preston-pans, where the natives make salt from the ' 
brine of the ocean. That other town before us is the corporation 
of Haddington ; and this is the Brill ; but the Bass you may see is 
a prodigious rock, that makes an island on the skirts of the ocean. 

Richard Franck, Memoirs. Scott's Edition. 

AFTER this we returned to Edinburgh, where many thousands were 1657 
gathered together, with abundance of priests among them, about 
burning a witch, and I was moved to declare the day of the Lord 
amongst them. ... I mentioned before, that many of the Scotch 
priests, being greatly disturbed at the spreading of truth, and the 
loss of their hearers thereby, were gone to Edinburgh, to petition 
the council against me. Now, when I came from the meeting to 
the inn where I lodged, an officer belonging to the council brought 
me the following order : 

' Thursday, the 8//fc of October, 1657, at his Highness' 's 
Council in Scotland. 

ORDERED, That George Fox do appear before the Council on 
Tuesday, the i3th of October next, in the forenoon. 

E. DOWNING, Clerk of the Council? 

When he had delivered me the order, he asked me, 'whether 
I would appear or not ? ' I did not tell him whether I would or 
not ; but asked him ' if he had not forged the order ' : he said, 
' no, it was a real order from the council, and he was sent, as their 
messenger, with it.' When the time came I appeared, and was 
conducted into a large room, where many great persons came and 



70 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

looked at me. After a while the door-keeper lead me into the 
council-chamber ; and as I was going in he took off my hat. I 
asked him ' why he did so, and who was there, that I might not 
go in with my hat on ? ' for I told him ' I had been before the 
Protector with it on.' But he hung it up, and lead me in before 
them. When I had stood awhile, and they had said nothing to me, 

I was moved of the Lord to say, ' Peace be amongst you ; wait in 
the fear of God, that ye may receive his wisdom from above, by 
which all things were made and created ; and that by it ye may all 
be ordered, and may order all things unto your hands to God's 
glory.' They asked me 'what was the occasion of my coming into 
that nation ? ' I told them, ' I came to visit the seed of God, which 
had long lain in bondage under corruption ; and the intent of my 
coming was, that all in the nation, that professed the Scriptures, 
the words of Christ, and of the prophets, and apostles, might come 
to the light, Spirit, and power, which they were in, who gave them 
forth; that so in and by the Spirit they might understand the 
Scriptures, know Christ and God aright, and have fellowship with 
them, and one with another.' They asked me ' whether I had any 
outward business there ? ' I said, ' nay.' Then they asked me how 
long I intended to stay in the country? I told them 'I should 
say little to that ; my time was not to be long, yet in my freedom 
in the Lord, I stood in the will of him that sent me.' Then they 
bid me withdraw, and the doorkeeper took me by the hand, and 
led me forth. In a little time they sent for me again, and told me, 

I 1 must depart the nation of Scotland by that day seventh night.' 
I asked them, ' Why, what had I done ? What was my trans- 
gression, that they passed such a sentence upon me to depart out 
of the nation ? ' They told me, ' they would not dispute with me.' 
Then I desired them ' to hear what I had to say to them ' : but they 
said, ' they would not hear me.' I told them, Pharaoh heard Moses 
and Aaron, and yet he was a heathen and no Christian, and Herod 
heard John the Baptist ; and they should not be worse than these. 
But they cried, 'withdraw, withdraw.' Whereupon the door-keeper 
took me again by the hand, and led me out. Then I returned to 
my inn, and continued still in Edinburgh, visiting Friends there 
and thereabouts, and strengthening them in the Lord. . . . 

I went from Leith to Edinburgh again . . . when we were come 
to the city, I bid Robert Widders follow me ; and in the dread and 
power of the Lord we came up to the first two sentries ; and the 
Lord's power came so over them, that we passed by them without 
any examination. Then we rode up the street to the market-place, 
by the main-guard out at the gate by the third sentry, and so clear 



GEORGE FOX 71 

out at the suburbs, and there came to an inn and set up our horses, 
it being the seventh day of the week. Now I saw and felt that we 
had rode, as it were, against the cannon's mouth, or the sword's 
point ; but the Lord's power and immediate hand carried us over 
the heads of them all. Next day I went to the meeting in the city, 
Friends having notice that I would attend it. There came many 
officers and soldiers to it, and a glorious meeting it was ; the ever- 
lasting power of God was set over the nation, and his Son reigned 
in his glorious power. All was quiet, and no man offered to meddle 
with me. When the meeting was ended, and I had visited Friends, 
I came out of the city to my inn again ; and next day, being the 
second day of the week, we set forward towards the borders of 
England. 

George Fox, Journal. 

IF we include the suburbs of the canons, either side of the slope 
from summit to base is lined with lofty buildings, a long line of 
them stretching in a spacious street along the middle of the ridge 
from one extremity to the other. The buildings are separated 
from each other by streets and closes, almost all of which are 
narrow. The houses on the opposite sides of the street, therefore, 
are so close that there is hardly space for fresh air, and for this 
reason they are mutually harmful. I am not sure that you will 
find anywhere so many dwellings and such a multitude of people in 
so small a space as in this city of ours. 

There were two main causes in former times which occasioned 
the growth of the city to its present extent. In the first place, our 
kings from the earliest times dwelt longer here than elsewhere ; 
in the second, during the last century, James v., following the 
example of France, established here the supreme civil court, 1 
which before that time had been held in different parts of the 
country. . . . Towards the south the city has been extended in 
breadth much beyond its ancient limit, as it has in length towards 
the east ; for at the present time the Grassmarket and the Horse- 
market are within the city walls, which, according to national 
custom, are not so strong as to resist cannon-balls the custom of 
the Scots being to defend their cities with arms and not with 
walls. . . . The castle has been carefully repaired by late kings, 
and strengthened by breastworks on the east. There is one great 
church in the city which is at present separated into three distinct 
buildings for sacred purposes, the eastern, the middle, and the 
western, to each of which pertains its own parish. Near the 

1 College of Justice, founded by James v., 1533. 



72 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

church is the edifice known as the Parliament House, where the 
Three Estates meet to deliberate on grave affairs of State, and 
where also the Courts of Justice meet. Towards the south, 
beyond the Cowgate, is a pile of new buildings of elegant con- 
struction, known as Heriot's Hospital 1 from the name of its 
founder. Towards the east, and not far from the hospital, is the 
church of the Gray Friars (so called from their mixed colour), 
where is the public cemetery of the city within the walls. On the 
south also at present stands the University of the city, magnifi- 
cently enlarged and adorned with buildings. Behind it is a new 
church, called Yester's, lately built at the expense of the Lady of 
Yester. Near it is the public school, where humane letters are 
taught. 2 To the south of the Great or High Street is a magni- 
ficent new building near the old weighing-machine, for which 
reason it is called the weigh-house. On the north side of the great 
church and close to it is the public prison, where was the ancient 
tolbooth. 3 In the middle of the great street is the public cross, 
where all public proclamations are wont to be made by the voice of 
a herald. From the Netherbow with a gentle descent stretches a 
long street, commonly called the Canongate, which extends to the 
Abbey of Holyrood. This street, also, is adorned on either side 
and throughout its whole length with elegant buildings, forming a 
continuous row. In this street is an elegant tolbooth, where is the 
public prison. About the middle of the street a cross is erected, 
at which the market of the suburb is held on stated days ; for this 
street and way of the canons is within the walls of the city. And 
nearer the Abbey another cross is erected, which is known as the 
Cross of the Precincts, 4 because between it and the Abbey a 
certain space is marked off, which was formerly kept as an asylum 
for those who dared not venture abroad on account of the rigour 
of the law or the injustice of the supreme law. Since last century 
the Abbey has been turned to other uses, for there is there an 
elegant palace built by James v., although the work has not been 
completed. The houses of the Canons are set apart for the use of 
those in attendance on the court. There is here also a church of 
elegant construction, but partly in ruins. On the south side of the 
Canongate, not far from the public cross, are the house and 
gardens of the Earl of Moray, of such elegance, and cultivated 

1 Begun 1628, finished 1659. 

2 Old High School, built 1554, demolished 1777. 

3 Demolished 1561. 

4 The ' Girth Cross,' ancient boundary of the Sanctuary. 



DAVID BUCHANAN 73 

with such diligence, that they easily challenge comparison with the 
gardens of warmer climates, and almost of England itself. And 
here you may see how much human skill and industry avail in 
making up for the defects of nature herself. Scarcely would one 
believe that in severe climates such emenity could be given to 
gardens. But to return to the Netherbow of the city. Running 
northward from it is a sloping street, called Leith Wynd, because 
it forms the road to Leith. At the foot of this street is a gate near 
which is a tolerably fine church, called the College Church, from 
the College of the Canons, who, in the time of the Roman super- 
stition, performed the religious ceremonies there. This church was 
built by the widow of James in. 1 It is beside my present purpose 
to specify the different periods when these additions were made to 
the city, and from what princes it received its privileges on the 
occasion of this increase. The affairs of the city are in the hands 
of a provost, who for some time past has been chosen every year 
from the number of the citizens, while formerly some neighbouring 
noble held this office. The provost has assessors, an ex-provost, 
and four magistrates, whom they call bailies ; and these also are 
chosen every year from the well-to-do citizens. Occasionally the 
provost and bailies are continued in office beyond the year. The 
suburb of the Canongate is under the provost of the city, from 
which it receives a bailie and a clerk, or keeper of the register. 
Leith also has of late been under the provostship of Edinburgh, 
which every year assigns it bailies and a keeper of the register. 
The suburb beyond the West Port has also its own bailie. The 
whole municipality comprises not only the city within the walls, 
but expressly the two largest suburbs the suburb beyond the 
West Port, the Canongate, and Leith. Edinburgh is our noblest 
centre of trade, where not only home products are sold to those 
living at hand, but home and foreign products are also sent to 
every part of the country. The whole city is divided into eight 
districts or neighbourhoods called the quarters of the city. In 
each district or quarter the youths have their own leader or 
captain, lieutenant, and standard-bearer, whom they follow. 

David Buchanan. 

This translation taken from Professor Hume Brown's Scotland before 1700. 
(The original was written in Latin to accompany Gordon of Rothiemay's 
plan of Edinburgh, and is ascribed to between 1647 and 1652, but, 
according to Professor Hume Brown, is of date later than 1660. It 
was published from the MS. by the Bannatyne Club Miscellany.) 

1 Trinity College Church, founded by Mary of Gueldres in 1462, and de- 
molished by the North British Railway Company in 1845. R. M - 



74 



IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 



1661 ? ... EDINBURGH is the capital town, and the handsomest of the 

kingdom of Scotland, distant only a mile from the sea, where Leith 
is its sea-port. It stands on a hill, which it entirely occupies. 
This hill, on the side whereon the castle is built, is scarped down 
as steep as a wall, which adds to its strength, as it is accessible only 
on one side, which is therefore doubly fortified with bastions, and 
a large ditch cut sloping into the rock. I arrived by the suburbs, 
at the foot of the castle where at the entry is the market-place, 
which forms the beginning of a great street in the lower town, 
called Cougnet. On coming into this place, one is first struck with 
the appearance of a handsome fountain, and, a little higher up, with 
a grand hospital or alms-house for the poor : there is no one but 
Heriot's would at first sight take it for a palace. You ascend to it by a 

Hospital long staircase, which ends before a platform facing the entry at the 
great gate. The portico is supported by several columns, and the 
arms and statue of the founder, with a tablet of black marble, on 
which there is an inscription, signifying, that he was a very rich 
merchant, who died without children. There are four large 
pavilions, ornamented with little turrets, connected by four large 
wings, forming a square court in the middle, with galleries sustained 
by columns, serving for communications to the apartments of this 
great edifice. One might pass much time in considering the pieces 
of sculpture and engraving in these galleries, the magnitude of its 
chambers and halls, and the good order observed in this great 
hospital. Its garden is the walk and place of recreation for the 
citizens, but a stranger cannot be admitted without the introduc- 
tion of some inhabitant. You will there see a bowling-green, as in 
many other places in England: it is a smooth even meadow, 
resembling a green carpet, a quantity of fruit-trees, and a well-kept 
kitchen-garden. From thence I proceeded along this great street to 
see some ancient tombs in a large burial-ground, and, farther on, 
the college of the university. I was shown a pretty good library, 
but the building is not remarkable ; it has a court, and the schools 
are round about it. This lower town is inhabited by many work- 
men and mechanics, who, though they do not ennoble the quarter, 
render it the most populous. Here are a number of little narrow streets 
mounting into the great one, that forms the middle of the town, 
and which from the castle extends gently to the bottom of the hill, 
that seems on two sides enclosed by a valley, which serves for a 
ditch ; in one is what we have called the lower town, and in the 
other are the gardens, separated from the town by a great wall. I 
lodged at Edenburgh in the house of a French cook, who directed 
me to the merchant on whom I had taken a bill of exchange at 



JOREVIN DE ROCHEFORD 75 

London. He took me into the castle, which one may call impreg- 
nable, on account of its situation, since it is elevated on a rock 
scarped on every side, except that which looks to the town, by 
which we entered after having passed the drawbridge, defended by 
a strong half-moon, where there is no want of cannon. This brings 
to my mind one l seen in entering the court, which is of so great a 
length and breadth, that two persons have laid in it as much at 
their ease as in a bed. The people of the castle tell a story of it 
more pleasant than true : they say it was made in order to carry to 
the port of Lyth against such enemies as might arrive by sea ; we 
saw several of its bullets, of an almost immeasurable size. This 
court is large, with many buildings without symmetry. There are 
some lodgings, pretty well built, which formerly served for the 
residence of the kings of Scotland, and at present for the viceroys, 
when the King of England sends any ; for at the time I was there, 
there was only the Grand Chancellor, who had almost the same 
authority and power as a viceroy. 

Descending from this castle by the great street, one may see its 
palace, and, a little before the great market-place, the custom-house, 
where are the king's weights. This street is so wide that it seems 
a market-place throughout its whole extent. The cathedral church 
is in the middle ; its only ornament is a high square tower. Beside 
it is the parliament-house, where the chancellor resides. There are 
several large halls, well covered with tapestry, where the pleadings 
are held, and a fine court. In the great hall are several shop- 
keepers, who sell a thousand little curiosities. There is besides a 
large pavilion, having a little garden behind it, where there is a 
terrace commanding a view over all that part of the town called 
the Cougnet, at the foot of the palace and pavilion where the 
chancellor resides. This fine large street serves for the ordinary 
walk of the citizens, who otherwise repair to the suburbs of 
Kanignet, in the ancient palace of the kings of Scotland. 

This suburb is at the end of the great street, where there is 
another of the same size, and almost as handsome, which adjoins 
to the palace called the king's house, said to have been formerly an 
abbey, great appearances thereof being still remaining. In enter- 
ing, you pass the first great court surrounded with lodgings for the 
officers ; and from thence into a second, where appears the palace, 
composed of several small pavilions, intermixed with galleries and 
turrets, forming a wonderful symmetry; but it has been much 
damaged by fire. 2 There is likewise the church, the cloisters, and 
the gardens of this ancient abbey. This suburb is separated from 
1 Mons Meg. 2 By Cromwell's troops, 1650. 



76 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

the town by a gate with a bell tower, wherein is a clock ; and on 
one side appears the little suburb of Leyth-oye, the way leading 
to the port of Leyth. 

Jorevin de Rocheford. 

From Professor Hume Brown's Early Travellers in Scotland: Travels, 
printed from Antiquarian Repertory, vol. iv. p. 599. (Translation 
from a very scarce book published at Paris in 1672.) 



Jock of As I went forth to take the air, 

Hazelgreen Intill an evening clear, 

I spied a ladye in a wood, 

Making a heavy bier ; 
Making a heavy bier, I wot, 

While the tears drapped frae her een ; 
And aye she siched, and said ' Alas, 
For Jock o' Hazelgreen ! ' 

The sun was sinking in the west, 

The stars were shining clear, 
When through the thickest o' the wood 

An auld knicht did appear. 
Says, ' Wha has done ye wrang fair maid, 

And left ye here alane ? ' 
' Oh, nobody has done me wrong ; 

I weep for Hazelgreen.' 

' Why weep ye by the tide, ladye ? 

Why weep ye by the tide? 
How blythe and happy micht he be, 

Gets you to be his bride ! 
Oh, wha has done ye wrang, fair maid, 

And left ye here alane ? ' 
1 Oh, naebody has dune me wrang ; 

I weep for Hazelgreen ! ' 

' What like a man was Hazelgreen, 

Fair May, pray tell to me ? ' 
' He is a comely, proper youth, 

I in my sleep did see; 
His shoulders broad, his arms long, 

Sae comely to be seen ! ' 
And aye she loot the tears doun fa' 

For Jock o' Hazelgreen. 



BALLAD 77 

1 Now baud your tongue, fair May,' he says ; 

' Your weeping let alane ; 
I '11 wed ye to my eldest son, 

And ye '11 be ca'd, My Dame.' 
' It 's for to wed your eldest son, 

I am a maid ower mean ; 
I '11 rather choose to stay at hame, 

And dee for Hazelgreen.' 

' If you '11 forsake this Hazelgreen, 

And go along with me, 
I '11 wed you to my youngest son, 

Make you a lady free.' 
' It's for to wed your youngest son, 

I am a maid ower mean ; 
I '11 rather stay at hame, and dee 

For Jock o' Hazelgreen. 

' Young Hazelgreen, he is my love, 

And ever mair shall be ; 
I '11 no forsake young Hazelgreen, 

Though him I ne'er should see.' 
And aye she siched, and said ' Alas ! ' 

And made a piteous meane ; 
And aye she loot the tears doun fa' 

For Jock o' Hazelgreen. 

And he has ta'en her up behind 

And spurred on his horse ; 
Till ance he cam to Edinbruch toun, 

And lichtit at the Cors. 
He 's ta'en her to the Luckenbooths, 

Coft l her a braw new goun ; 
A handsome feather for her hat, 

A pair o' silken shoon. 

1 Young Hazelgreen he is my love, 

And ever mair shall be ; 
I '11 no forsake young Hazelgreen 

For a' the claes ye '11 gie.' 
And aye she siched, and said ' Alas ! ' 

And made a piteous meane ; 
And aye she loot the tears doun fa' 

For Jock o' Hazelgreen. 

1 Bought. 



78 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

Then he has coft for this fair May 

A fine silk riding-goun ; 
And he has coft for this fair May 

A steed, and set her on ; 
Wi' meugie feathers in her hat, 

Silk stockings and siller shoon ; 
And they have ridden far athort, 

To seek young Hazelgreen. 

When they did come to Hazelyetts, 

They lichtit doun therein ; 
Monie were the brave ladyes there, 

Monie ane to be seen. 
When she lichtit doun amang them a', 

She micht hae been their queen. 
But aye she loot the tears doun fa' 

For Jock o' Hazelgreen. 

Then forth there came young Hazelgreen, 

To welcome his father free : 
1 Ye 're welcome here, my father dear, 

And a' your companie.' 
But, when he saw this lady fair, 

A licht lauch lauchit he : 
Says, ' If I getna this ladye, 

It 's for her I maun dee. 

This is the very maid,' he cried, 

' I ance saw in a dream, 
A-walking through a pleasant shade, 

As she had been a queen. 
For her sake I did vow a vow 

I ne'er should wed but she. 
Should this fair ladye cruel prove, 

I '11 lay me doun and dee.' 

' Now haud your tongue, young Hazelgreen, 

And let your folly be : 
If ye be sick for that ladye, 

She 's thrice as sick for thee : 
She 's thrice as sick for thee, my son, 

I 've heard her sae compleen ; 
And a' she wants to heal her woe 

Is Jock o' Hazelgreen.' 



BALLAD 79 

He 's ta'en her in his arms twa, 

Led her through bouir and ha' ; 
' Cheer up your heart, my dearest May, 

Ye 're lady ower them a'. 
The morn shall be our bridal day, 

This nicht 's our bridal e'en. 
Ye 'se never mair hae cause to mourn 

Frae Jock o' Hazelgreen.' 

Taken from the version in Robert Chambers's Collection of Scottish Songs 
and Ballads, which is compiled from that in Kinloch's collection 
and that in Buchan's collection, one which Mr. Chambers took down 
from recitation, and another shown him in MS. by Mr. Kinloch. 
It was on the third stanza of this old ballad that Sir Walter Scott 
founded his 'Jock o' Hazeldean.' 

OUR next quarters we took up at Edinburgh, which is the 1669 
metropolis of Scotland. . . . 'Tis situated high, and extends above 
a mile in length, carrying half as much in breadth, it consists of 
one fair and large street with some few narrow lanes branching out 
of each side, 'tis environed on the east, south, and west with a 
strong wall, and upon the north strengthened with a loch; 'tis 
adorned with stately stone buildings, both private and publick, some 
of which houses are six or seven stories high which have frequently 
as many different apartments and shops, where are many families 
of various trades and calling, by reason of which 'tis well throng'd 
with inhabitants, and is exceeding populous, which is the more 
occasioned by the neighborhood of Leith which is a commodious 
haven for ships, and likewise, because as 'tis the seat of their kings 
or vice-roys, so 'tis also the oracle or closet of the laws, and the 
palace of justice. 

On the east side or near to the monastery of St. Cross x that was 
a holy rood, is the king's palace, which was built by King David 
the First, 2 but being much ruinated and impaired in the late 
unhappy broils betwixt the two kingdoms, it hath been since 
enlarged and beautified, and is now become a stately and magni- 
ficent structure : And not far from this house, within a pleasant 
park adjoyning to it, riseth a hill with two heads called of Arthur, 
the Britain Arthur's Chair. 

A little further stands the college founded and endowed by that 
most famous favourer of learning, the wise and learned King James 

1 Holyrood. 

3 The Abbey was founded by David I., but there was no palace attached till 
James v.'s time. Of course the Abbey afforded Royal lodging. R. M. 



8o IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

the Sixth l ; though afterwards the magistrates and citizens of this 
place proved likewise very considerable benefactors to it, and upon 
their humble address to the same prince, it was made an uni- 
versity, A.D. 1580, but the privileges hereof were not fully con- 
firmed and thoroughly perfected till the year 1582,2 and have 
been since the same with those of any other university in this 
kingdom. 

The dignity of Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor doth reside in 
the Magistrates and Town Council of Edenburgh, who are the 
only patrons ; neither was the dignity, they say, as yet ever con- 
ferred upon any simple person : the persons endowed were a 
Principal or Warden, a Professor of Divinity, four Masters or 
Regents, for so they are called, of Philosophy, a Professor or Regent 
of Humanity or Philology : Since the first foundation the town 
hath added a Professor of Hebrew, i64o, 3 and the city of Eden- 
burgh hath since added a Professor of Mathematicks. 

The library was founded by Clement Little, one of the officials 
or comissaries for Edenburgh, A.D. 1635, 4 since which time it is 
much increased both by donatives from the citizens, as also from 
the scholars, who are more in number, than in any other college in 
the kingdom ; and here were presented to our view two very great 
rarities, the one was a tooth taken out of a great scull being four 
inches about, and the other was a crooked horn taken from a 
gentlewoman of the city who was fifty years old, being eleven inches 
long, which grew under her right ear, and was cut out by an 
eminent chirurgeon then living in the town, who presented it to 
the college. 

About the middle of the city stands the cathedral, which is now 
divided into six sermon houses, for which service there are seven 
other kirks set apart besides, and not far from the cathedral is the 
Parliament House, whither we had the good fortune to see all the 

1 It was founded and endowed partly with a bequest of 8000 merks left by 
Robert Reid, Abbot of Kinloss and Bishop of Orkney, who died in 1558, 
which money was used to purchase the site and the buildings on it which 
were at first utilised ; and partly by donations and subscriptions given subse- 
quently. It was not till 1616, thirty-four years after the college had been in 
existence, that King James, during his first visit to Scotland after he had suc- 
ceeded to the English Crown, gave it the name of King James's College, and a 
' Royal Godbairn gift' of lands and tithes in Lothian and Fife. R. M. 

a The charter was signed by James vi. in April 1582. 

8 It was in 1642. 

4 Clement Little, an advocate and commissary, left his library in 1580 to 
'Edinburgh and the Kirk of God thair to remain,' and the magistrates appro- 
priated this bequest for the college. R. M. 



BROME 81 

flower of the nobility then to pass in state, attending Duke Lauder- 
dale who was sent down High Commissioner. And indeed it was 
a very glorious sight. 

In the Castle Queen Mary was brought to bed of a son, who was 
afterward christened at Sterling, and called James, who at last 
became the happy uniter of the two crowns ; and in that chamber 
in which he was born are written upon the wall these following 
verses, in an old Scotch character : 

JAMES (6 Scot.) (i England). 

Laird Jesu Christ, that crownit was with thorns, 
Preserve the birth quhais badgie here is borne, 
And send hir son succession, to reign still 
Lange in this realm, if that it be thy will, 
Als grant (O Laird) quhat ever of hir proceed, 
Be to thy glory, honour, and praise, so beed. 

July 19, 1566. 

A little below the castle is a curious structure built for an 
hospital by Mr. Herriot, jeweller to the aforementioned King 
James, and endowed with very great revenues for the use of poor 
orphans, and impotent and decrepit persons, but by the ruinous 
and desolate condition it seem'd at that time to be falling into, it 
became to us a very doleful spectacle, that so noble a heroick 
design of charity should be so basely perverted to other evil ends 
and purposes, contrary to the will and intention of the donor. 

The city is governed by a Lord Provost, who hath always a 
retinue befitting his grandeur; and for the punishing delinquents 
there is a large tolbooth, for so they call a prison or house of 
correction, where all malefactors are kept in hold to satisfie the law 
as their offences shall require. 

Within seven miles round the city there are of noble and gentle- 
mens palaces, castles, and strong builded towers and stone houses, 
as we were inform'd, above an hundred, and besides the houses of 
the nobility and gentry within it, here dwell several merchants of 
great credit and repute, where because they have not the con- 
veniency of an exchange as in London, they meet about noon in 
the High Street, from whence they adjourn to their changes, i.e. 
taverns, or other places where their business may require them to 
give their attendance. 

The fortune of this city hath in former ages been very variable 
and inconstant ; sometime it was subject to the Scots, and another 
while to the English, who inhabited the east parts of Scotland, 

F 



82 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

until it became wholly under the Scots dominion about the year 
960, when the English being overpowered and quite oppressed by 
the Danes were enforced to quit all their interest here, as unable to 
grapple with two such potent enemies. . . . 

James Brome. 

(A clergyman of the Church of England.) 
From Professor Hume Brown's Early Travellers in Scotland. 



ARTHUR'S SEAT shall be my bed, 

The sheets shall ne'er be press'd by me ; 

S. Anton's well shall be my drink, 
Sin' my true-love ! s forsaken me. 

Old Song. 

1677 FROM hence to Edinburgh. The streets were almost melted with 

bonfires, and full of tradesmen and apprentices, every one straightly 
imprisoned in stiff new clothes and so feathered with ribbons, that 
they would all have flown like birds of paradise, had they not been 
fast tied to cold iron, a musket and a sword to secure them. The 
continual noise of the great guns from the Castle and the flame 
that enclosed them on every side hardened them so much, that 
they attempted to fire their own engines, which they then did with so 
much freedom and carelessness that they could fire one way and 
look another. We lighted at the foot of the Canny-gate ; and, 
after we had drunk as much as we thought would secure us from 
the flame, we ventured to run the gauntlet of fire, swords, pikes, 
and guns : with much ado we passed it once with safety ; but on 
our return, we scaped very narrowly, the smoke having like to 
overcome us. Such a confusion, I must needs say, I never saw 
before, every day while we stayed there. We frequently met here 
a sword, there a pike or gun walking home to their own masters, 
and the poor holiday heroes were as much deplumed as ^Esop's 
jay, having no feathers remaining, but a knot of red and yellow, or 
blue, hanging loosely on the cock side of their bonnets, which if 
they held together, must be worn till this time twelvemonth, 
whereby they are to challenge their places. We washed ourselves 
with wine, for fear some sparks should remain to destroy, and 
ventured to bed : the bottom of my bed was loose boards, one laid 
over another, with sharp edges, and a thin bed upon it. I ken I 

got but little sleep that night. 

From Thomas Kirk's Tour in Scotland. 
Edited by Prof. Hume Brown. 



SCOTT 83 

To the Lords of Convention 'twas Claver'se who spoke, Bonnie 

1 Ere the King's crown shall fall there are crowns to be broke ; Dundee 
So let each Cavalier who loves honour and me, 1689 

Come follow the bonnet of Bonny Dundee. 

' Come fill up my cup, come fill up my can, 
Come saddle your horses, and call up your men ; 
Come open the West Port, and let me gang free, 
And it 's room for the bonnets of Bonny Dundee ! ' 

Dundee he is mounted, he rides up the street, 
The bells are rung backward, the drums they are beat ; 
But the Provost, douce man, said, ' Just e'en let him be, 
The Gude Town is weel quit of that Deil of Dundee.' 

Come fill up my cup, etc. 

As he rode down the sanctified bends of the Bow, 

Ilk carline was flyting and shaking her pow ; 

But the young plants of grace they look'd couthie and slee, 

Thinking, ' Luck to thy bonnet, thou Bonny Dundee ! ' 

Come fill up my cup, etc. 

With sour-featured Whigs the Grassmarket was cramm'd 
As if half the West had set tryst to be hang'd ; 
There was spite in each look, there was fear in each e'e, 
As they watch'd for the bonnets of Bonny Dundee. 

Come fill up my cup, etc. 

He spurr'd to the foot of the proud Castle rock, 

And with the gay Gordon he gallantly spoke ; 

1 Let Mons Meg and her marrows speak twa words or three, 

For the love of the bonnet of Bonny Dundee.' 

Come fill up my cup, etc. 

The Gordon demands of him which way he goes 
' Where'er shall direct me the shade of Montrose ! 
Your Grace in short space shall hear tidings of me, 
Or that low lies the bonnet of Bonny Dundee. 

Come fill up my cup, etc. 



84 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

' There are hills beyond Pentland, and lands beyond Forth, 
If there 's lords in the Lowlands, there 's chiefs in the North ; 
There are wild Duniewassals, three thousand times three, 
Will cry hoigh I for the bonnet of Bonny Dundee. 

Come fill up my cup, etc. 

' There 's brass on the target of barken'd bull-hide ; 
There 's steel in the scabbard that dangles beside ; 
The brass shall be burnish'd, the steel shall flash free, 
At a toss of the bonnet of Bonny Dundee. 

Come fill up my cup, etc. 

' Away to the hills, to the caves, to the rocks 
Ere I own an usurper, I '11 couch with the fox ; 
And tremble, false Whigs, in the midst of your glee, 
You have not seen the last of my bonnet and me ! ' 

Come fill up my cup, etc. 

He waved his proud hand, and the trumpets were blown, 
The kettle-drums clash'd, and the horsemen rode on, 
Till on Ravelston's cliffs and on Clermiston's lea, 
Died away the wild war-notes of Bonny Dundee. 

Come fill up my cup, come fill up my can, 
Come saddle the horses, and call up the men, 
Come open your gates, and let me gae free, 
For it 's up with the bonnets of Bonny Dundee ! ' 

Sir Walter Scott. 

1693 ' ^ R- ARESKINE prayed in the Tron Church last year, " Lord, 

have mercy on all fools and idiots, and particularly on the Magis- 

trates of Edinburgh." ' 

From Scotch Presbyterian Eloquence. 



1702 I T * s now tne y a l City, having the King's Palace, the Courts of 

Justice, and the Parliament House, which was before the Reign of 
K. James the 5th, held indifferently at Perth, Stirling, or Forfar. 
It is seated on an Hill, and consists chiefly of one Fair Street from 
West to East, about a Mile long from the Castle to Halt-rood 
House: But then we include Cani-Gate, or Canon Gate, tho' a 
distinct Corporation; and, in strictness, is rather the Suburbs of 
Edinburgh, than any part of the City it self, like London and 
Westminster, and has the Name of Cani-Gate, from a Society of 



MORER 85 

Canons who formerly dwelt in it. The Street is wide and well 
paved, and the Scotchman is apt to say that it is sike another as 
Cheapside : it swells in the middle, the Kennels x being made on 
each side, so that 'tis commonly very clean, and is thereupon their 
Parade, tho' the natural Descent, and its Situation on an Hill con- 
tributes more to keep it so, than any Industry or Care of the 
People. 

Their Old Houses are cased with Boards, and have Oval 
Windows (without Casements or Glass) which they open or shut 
as it stands with their Conveniency. Their New Houses are made 
of Stone, with good Windows modistely framed and glazed, and so 
lofty, that Five or Six Stories is an ordinary heighth ; and one Row 
of Buildings there is near the Parliament-Close with no less than 
Fourteen, The reason of it is, their Scantness of room, which not 
allowing 'em large Foundations, they are forced to make it up in. 
the superstructure, to entertain Comers, who are very desirous to 
be in, or as near as they can to the City. 

Most of the Houses, as they are parted into divers Tenements, so 
they have as many Landlords as Stories; and therefore have no 
dependance on one another, otherwise than as they stand on the 
same Foundation, so that in this respect they may be compared to 
our Students Apartments at the Inns of Court, which are bought 
and sold without regard to the Chambers above or below 'em. 

Their Stairs are unsightly and inconvenient : For being built out 
of the Street, for the Service of every Story, they are sometimes so 
steepy, narrow, and fenceless, that it requires Care to go up and 
down for fear of falling. But in their New Houses the Contriv- 
ance is better; and the Stair-Case being made within the Yard, or 
Foundation of the Building, the Ascent and Descent is more 
decent and easie. . . . 

The City is Govern'd by a Lord Provost and Four Bailiffs, who 
with the assistance of some substantial Citizens, in the nature of 
our Common- Council, manage all Publick Affairs relating to the 
Benefit of the Corporation or Peace of the City. 

The Pride of Edinburg is the Parliament- Yard, or Close as they 
call it. In the midst whereof is the Effigies of King Charles n. on 
Horse-back, a well proportion'd Figure of Stone, and natural 
enough. The Yard is Square and well paved, Beautified with 
good Buildings round about it ; and the only fault is, that it is no 
bigger, the height of the Houses bearing no correspondence to the 
dimensions of the Area. Its Western boundary is the Parliament- 
House, a large Room and high Roofed. Over the Entrance is the 

1 Channels. 



86 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

Scotch Arms with Mercy and Truth on each side, like Two 
Supporters, and this Inscription Slant his Felicia Regna These 
Vertues make Kingdoms happy. Under the Arms was, Unio 
Unionum the Union of Unions Meaning not only the Union of 
the Two Kingdoms, but that to the Uniting of Kingdoms Good 
Advice is necessary, which is the business of that Place. Within 
the Room on the South of it, is an high Throne, and on each side 
several Benches; one above another, the uppermost whereof is 
level with the Throne, and the lowest reaches the Pit, well 
furnished with Forms, for the conveniency and ease of the 
Members. Opposite to the Throne, and without the Area, is a 
Pulpit, for Sermons in Sessions of Parliament, upon special 
Occasions. Behind the Pulpit is a large Partition, where Strangers 
stand and hear the Sermon; and sometimes the Delater of the 
House, which to my thoughts were not managed with Gravity 
enough, but was next door to wrangling. 

East of this House, but South of the Square is the Privy-Council- 
Chamber. And not far from it, the Royal-Exchange, made up of 
a Double Row of Shops, very small and meanly furnished. There 
is also another Exchange, inferior to this, but both above Stairs, 
and without any piece of Magnificence to distinguish them from 
the other Buildings. 

In the first Floors level with the Yard, are three or four Book- 
sellers^ and as many Goldsmiths, whose Shops are sufficiently 
stockt, to let us see their Occupations and Trades. 

The Northern Boundary is the Wall of the High-Church, which 
with a few Shops joining to it, (leaving room for Coaches to pass to 
the Parliament-House), concludes the Figure of this Close, the 
Beauty of their City. 

On the West of the High-Street and a Musket-shot distance 
from the Houses, stands the Castle built near 2020 Years ago. . . . 

South of the Castle, and not far distant from it, we have the 
beautiful Front of a large Hospital, built by one Hariot, a Gold- 
smith, for the Education of 40 Boys, who, if they take to Learning, 
and go to the College, have an Exhibition, each of ^ sterling, or 
thereabouts; if put to Trades, about 200 Marks, or about > \\ 
sterling, for the incouragement of their Masters. 

South of the Cow-Gate, and on a Rising stands the College, con- 
sisting of one small Quadrangle, and some other Lodgings without 
Uniformity or Order, built at several times, and by divers Bene- 
factors, who thought probably to be better distinguish'd by this 
variety of Forms and Situations in those Buildings. In the midst 
hereof is the Library, a large and convenient Room made about 



M O R E R 87 

60 Years ago for that purpose. The Roof is covered with Lead, 
and is neatly kept within ; well furnish'd with Books, and those 
put in very good Order, and Cloister'd with Doors made of Wire 
which none can open but the Keeper, and which is thought a 
better way than our multitude of Chains incumbering a Library, 
and are equally troublesome and chargeable to us. It has (as all 
other Publick Libraries) many Benefactors, whose Books are difc- 
tinguish'd by their several Apartments, and the Donors Names set 
over 'em in Golden Letters. A Device grateful and honourable 
enough for the Parties concern'd, incourages others to follow their 
Examples ; such especially who may be charmed to the doing of a 
Good Work, tho' not always upon a Principle of Goodness. Over 
the Books are hung the Pictures of divers Princes, and most of the 
Reformers, as Luther, Melanothon, Quinglius, Calvin, etc., and 
near them Buchanan's Scull, very intire, and so thin that we may 
see the Light through it. And that it is really his, appears from 
hence, because one Mr. Adamson, Principal of the College, being a 
young Man of 24 Years of Age when Buchanan was buried, either 
out of Curiosity or Respect to the Dead, brib'd the Sexton some 
time after to procure him the Skull, which being brought, he 
fastened these Verses to it, and at his Death left it and them to the 
College. . . . 

The first cause of building this College, was the Legacy of one 
Mr. Clement Little, a Commissary, who bequeathed his valuable 
Study to Edinburgh and the Kirk of God, 1580. Whereupon the 
Citizens were obliged to build a convenient place for 'em, and 
accordingly did so the Year following. After which Additions were 
made from time to time, till the whole came to the bulk we 
now see it in. 1 Among the rest is a Chappel use by the French 
Protestants in and about the City, and a spacious Garden for the Pro- 
fessors in Common, to walk and divert themselves in the Evening. 

There are in the College a Principal and Eight Professors. 

1. A Divinity Professor. 

2. A Professor of the Eastern Languages. 

3. A Professor of the Mathematicks. 

4. Four Professors of Philosophy. 

5. A Professor of Philology or Humanity, who teaches Classick 

Authors, and is a kind of School-Master to prepare Youth 
for a more solid Learning. 

What the Principal's Income is, as Principal, I know not, but as 
a Divinity Professor, which he always is, his Stipend is lool. per 
Annum Sterling. The Mathematick Salary is loool. Scotch, near 
1 See page 80, footnote I. R. M. 



88 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

Sol. in English Money. The Language Professor has i ooo Marks 
Scotch, or about 58!. with us. The Philosophy Professors 400 
Marks each of Scotch Coin, or i61. 135. 46. But they help it by 
their Pupils, and raise it to a good Subsistence. There are also 50 
Pursers more like our Exhibitioners than Scholars of Houses'. 
These have lol. per Annum each towards their Maintenance, yet 
are not forced to College Attendance except in Term time, when 
they and the other Students meet together. These Students are 
divided into four Classes, as at Glasgow. 

In the first Class was taught Greek. 

In the second Logick. 

In the third Ethicks, Physicks, and some Mathematicks, and 
then they had the Degree of Batchelor of Arts. 

In the fourth Geometry and Geography, and then they Commence 
Masters, the highest Degree of that College. 

They have but One Term in the Year, beginning October 
the io th , and ending July the 12 th , which is the time of their Act 
or Commencement. So that their Vacation being short, and the 
Term continued so many Months (all which while the Professors 
are very diligent) they make some amends for the Years wanting 
in our Account to make up the Stated Terms for Receiving 
Degrees. And so much for the College of Edinburgh ; which, as 
an University, has the Lord Provost of the City for its Chancelhur, 
and the Principal his Vice-Chancellour to Govern it and dispatch 
Business. . . . 

On the North of the City in a Bottom, is the Physic-Garden with 
2700 sorts of Plants, as the Keeper of it told me. But then this 
variety of Plants is all its Beauty, having no Walks, and but little 
Walling or good Hedges to recommend it ; and is (to my thinking) 
the rudest piece of Ground I ever saw with that Name. The 
Manager of it, I suppose, guest at my thoughts, and told me, that 
he was taking a much more convenient Field a little farther off, 
which he design'd to Fence with a large Brick Wall, and removing 
his Plants thither, digest 'em into such a Method as might make 
it a Pleasant as well as Useful Garden. . . . 

Here is no Cathedral', and tho' there be a Chapter when there 
is a Bishop, yet the Prebendaries are little more than nominal, the 
Stipends being deduced out of the Bishops Revenue, which being 
not great in it self, very ill affords those Defalcations. And tho' the 
Prebendaries demand not above 8 or lol. yearly each of 'em, yet 
are seldom paid, and thereupon sometimes murmur : But the 
reason of that neglect I take to be this; That because these 
Prebends are not given by the King, or Bishops, but are Append- 



'JOURNALL' 89 

ages to the Neighbouring Benefices and follow the Presentation to 
such Living, therefore the Bishop thinks he is not bound to take 
that notice of 'em, as he might otherwise do, were they Creatures 
of his own : And so much for Edinburg. 

Rev. Thomas Morer. 

(Minister of St. Anne's, Aldgate, London. At one time 

chaplain to a Scottish regiment.) 

A Short Account of Scotland. 

IF my dear wife should chance to gang, My wife sail 

Wi' me, to Edinburgh toun, hae her wm 

Into a shop I will her tak, 

And buy her a new goun. 
But if my dear wife should hain the charge, 

As I expect she will, 
And if she says, The auld will do, 

By my word she sail hae her will. 

Old Ballad. 

Now help me, Art, to describe this mighty city and vniversity, the 1703 
metropolis of this ancient kingdom of Scotland, that tooke me vp 
a full halfe day to see thoroughly. This town extends itselfe east 
and west in length, and consists chiefly of one wide streete of tall 
building, with some piazzas of the sides. Its scituation is on a 
steep hill between 2 larger hills, and so the ffronts of the houses 
towards the streetes are not so high as the backward parts are, 
they being left further down the sides of the hill, according to the 
precipice of the hill on which part they stand. And some of these 
houses are 7 and 8 storys high towards the streete; and more 
backward, and in the Parliament Close, it seems there were houses 
14 stories high before they were burnt down by a late fire ; but I 
suppose it was of the back parts they were so high, for the hill 
there is very steep. 

On the east end of this town stands the Queen's house, called 
the Abbey, or Holy Road House, a regular handsome square 
building of free stone ; 'tis built about a square court, which is in 
the middle of it, with piazzas about it, but it is but small for such 
a queen : the rooms of it are good for what there are of them, and 
the Duke of Hamilton inhabits there now. 

Of the west end of this town is a large castle on a steep stone 
rock, they say the strongest in the world, unless that at Namur 
outdoes it, but they have no water in it other than which falls 
from the clouds, by reason of its situation. At the entrance into 
it is placed a vast large gun they call Muns Megg. . . . Here is 



90 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

likewise in this castle a brass gunn they call the Green Dragon, 
which they say shoots the best of any gun in Europe, with a great 
many other fine pieces both of brass and iron. Here is also a 
good armory, and the castle seems very strong, and is well 
fortified, especially of the south side. 

Of the upper end of the great streete, towards this castle, is the 
Parliament House, where the Lords and Comons sitt together in 
the form of an halfe moon below stairs ; and above stairs sitt the 
Commissioners for hearing causes ; and in another room the Lords 
of the Treasury meet about their business. 

Of the back side of this building (the Parliament House) is a 
small open square they call the Change, and of the fore part of it 
a larger, called the Parliament Close ; and further behind it is a 
large library, called the Advocates Library. 

Of the fore part (another side) of the Parliament House is a church 
they call the High Church, which was a cathedrall, but is now 
divided into 4 parts, and serves 4 severall parishes. On the tower 
of this church is fine arch'd work, with 4 supporters, which repre- 
sents a crown every way, and I think is before that on St. Nicholas 
Church at Newcastle. 

This town consists of 8 parishes, and the High Church serving 
for 4 parish churches, there are but 4 more, which are of no great 
note, and so there are, in all this city, but 5 churches. 

On the hill of the south side of the town is a pretty bagnio and 
a hall, belonging to the Society of Chirurgions. This hall is newly 
built, and the rooms of it are hung round with pictures of some of 
the great men of the country, and of most of the surgeons belong- 
ing to it, and here is somewhat of a collection of anatomys, etc. 

On the same hill is the college belonging to the vniversity of this 
citty, which is a large but ordinary building, and has in it a good 
library. The scholars do not inhabit this college, but are lodged 
about the town. 

On this same hill, more westward, and over against the castle, is 
a fine stone building, founded by one Harett for the education of 
poor boys. I had good French wine at this town, and payd 2od. 
a quart for Burdeaux wine, and 4od. for Burgundy and Champaign. 

This town is very populous, and has abundance of poor people 
in it, so that the streetes are crowded with beggars ; but I dont 
take it to be so large as York or Newcastle, tho' indeed neither of 
them have so wide a streete, or are of so tall buildings as the great 
streete here. The people here are very proud, and they call the 
ordinary tradesmen merchants ; there is no large rivers up to this 
town, but of the north side of it, at some distance, is a small one. 



JOSEPH TAYLOR 91 

Att the best houses here they dress their victuals after the ffrench 
method, tho' perhaps not so cleanly, and a soop is comonly the 
first dish, and their reckonings are dear enough. The maid servants 
attended without shoes or stockings. . . . 

From a very rare little book entitled North of England and Scotland. 
Journall. 1703. First published from the original MS. (formerly in 
the possession of the late Mr. Johnes of Hafod, the well-known 
translator of Froissart, Joinville, etc.) by William Black wood, Edin- 
burgh. MDCCCXVIII. 

THERE 's nothing else worth notice, Except the excellent Chimes 1705 
in every steeple, which play a Quarter of an hour together, and the 
fine Monuments in the Churchyards, built after the manner of 
Mausoleums, of the best marble, under which are convenient Vaults ; 
I shall therefore give a small account of their Constitution and 
Courts of Justice. . . . 

It hapned whilst we were at Edenborough, that the Act for a 
treaty of union, between England and Scotland, was upon debate, 
and having the honour to have severall Lords and Members of 
parliament often dine with us, they inform'd us of the grand day 
when the Act was to be past or rejected, and by speciall favour of 
my Lord high Commissioner, we had leave to stand upon the 
throne by his right hand. . . . Now the whole Act being finish'd, 
the Vote was put whether it should be carry'd approven, or no, and 
'twas carry'd approven, by 34 voices. As soon as this was over, 
we left the house, and that night Collonell Ogilby, the Lord 
Chancellor's brother, the Lord Hardress, 1 and severall Lords and 
parliament men, came to our lodgings, and embrac'd us with 
all outward marks of love and kindness, and seem'd mightily 
pleas'd at what was done ; and told us we should now be no more 
English and Scotch, but Brittons. And thus we merrily spent the 
night, in drinking to the Success of the treaty and happy union. 

Joseph Taylor. 

From A Journey to Edenborough in Scotland, by Joseph Taylor, late of the 
Inner Temple, Esq. (Printed from the original MS. by William 
Cowan, and published by William Brown, 26 Princes Street, Edinburgh. 
MCMIII.) 

. . . LEAVING my company behind in bed, I, the next morning, 1799 
(Saturday) with Mr. Lowe and my servant, rode to Edinburgh to 
get lodgings, before the rest arrived. We got there by ten o'clock, 
and were soon provided, and by three o'clock the rest arrived. We 

1 No such title. 



92 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

had presently a great number of visitors ; ministers, gentlemen 
and citizens, vying with each other who should show us most 
civility. . . . 

I took opportunities, as they offered, of seeing what was most 
curious in Edinburgh. The principal street, I must own to be 
the finest (of a single street) that I ever saw. The houses are 
commonly seven stories high ; and in ' the Parliament Close,' 
several are fourteen stories, all built of stone. For its bigness, 
this city is reckoned as populous as any in Europe. At the end 
of it stands the royal palace of Holyrood House, a handsome 
building. . . . 

I saw there, among other things, the long gallery in which are the 
pictures of the Kings of Scotland, down from Fergus the I st . I 
saw also the Castle, which stands on so high, hard, and steep a 
rock, at the other end of the city. . . . 

In this castle, since the Union of the two kingdoms, they keep 
the crown, sceptre, and sword of state, in an iron chest, with 
several locks and keys. They are not to be seen, unless they that 
keep the several keys are all present at the same time, which, I was 
informed upon the spot, had never been known since the Union. 
I saw also Herriot's Hospital, which is well endowed, carefully 
managed, and justly esteemed a noble charity ; and the Anatomy 
Hall, very commodious for the purpose. We forgot (I know not 
how) to see the Physic Garden, which I have been informed 
(allowing for its northern situation) is extremely well provided. 

I saw also the Library belonging to the College, well furnished 
with printed books of all sorts, ancient and modern; and some 
manuscripts. I there viewed the skull of the famous and eminently 
learned George Buchanan, of whom the nation so much glories. 
It is so very thin, that a man may see through it : also the original 
of the Bohemian Protest against the Council of Constance, for 
burning John Husse, and Jerome of Prague, in 1415, with one 
hundred and five seals of the great men of Bohemia, Moravia, etc., 
hanging at it. It was brought from abroad by a Scottish gentleman, 
who procured it in his travels. 

The College is a good building, with three courts. There is a 
high tower over the great gate, which looks to the city. The 
public schools are large and convenient. There are also accom- 
modations in the College for a number of students to lodge, 
though they are seldom made use of, but by those in meaner 
circumstances. There are also handsome dwellings for the 
Professors and Principal, with good gardens. 

At another time, I spent an afternoon in the Advocates' Library, 



CALAMY 93 

which is large and well furnished. There is, also, a large collection 
of medals and coins, made by Mr. Southerland, some of which are 
very nice and curious. 

One passage, as to their Parliament House, I must not forget. 
Walking, one afternoon, in the close adjoining, a man stepped to 
me with a key in his hand, asking if I was disposed to take a view 
of their Parliament House. I presently made answer, that I fully 
intended to have a sight of it before I left Edinburgh ; but that 
was not a convenient time, because I was expecting a gentleman 
whom I had appointed to meet me there. He replied that he 
would leave a youth upon the spot, with orders to let any gentleman 
he should observe walking there know how I was employed, and 
that I should be with him presently. He added, it would be a 
pleasure to him to gratify a stranger (as he perceived me to be) 
with the sight. . . . 

After taking leave of my friends at Edinburgh, with hearty 
thanks for all their civilities, and a cold treat given the Principal 
and Masters of the College one evening, (which was all that I 
could prevail with them to accept) I left that city, to go to 

Aberdeen. . . . 

Edmund Calamy, D.D., 
An Historical Account of My own Life. 



WELCOME, my Lord : Heav'n be your guide, 1720 

And further your intention, The City of 

To whate'er place you sail or ride; Edinburgh's 

,_ , . . . . Salutation to 

To brighten your invention. tne MarquiB 

The book of mankind lang and wide of Carnarvon 

Is well worth your attention ; 
Wherefore please some time here abide, 

And measure the dimension 

Of minds right stout. 


O that ilk worthy British peer 

Wad follow your example, 
My auld grey head I yet wad rear 

And spread my skirts mair ample. 
Should London poutch up a' the gear ? 

She might spare me a sample: 
In troth his Highness should live here, 

For without oil our lamp will 

Gang blinken out/ 



94 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

Lang syne, my Lord, I had a court 

And nobles fill'd my cawsy ; 
But, since I have been fortune's sport, 

I look nae hawff sae gawsy, 
Yet here brave gentlemen resort, 

And mony a handsome lassy : 
Now that you 're lodg'd within my port, 

How well I wat they '11 a' say, 

Welcome, my Lord. 

For you my best cheer I '11 produce 

I '11 no mak muckle vaunting ; 
But routh for pleasure and for use, 

Whate'er you may be wanting, 
You 's hae at will to chap and chuse, 

For few things am I scant in ; 
The wale of well-set ruby juice, 

When you like to be rantin, 

I can afford. 

Than I, nor Paris, nor Madrid, 

Nor Rome, I trow 's mair able, 
To busk you up a better bed, 

Or trim a tighter table. 
My sons are honourably bred, 

To truth and friendship stable : 
What my detracting faes have said, 

You '11 find a feigned fable, 

At>the first sight. 

May classic lear and letters belle, 

And travelling conspire, 
Ilk unjust notion to repel, 

And god-like thoughts inspire ; 
That in ilk action, wise and snell, 

You may shaw manly fire ; 
Sae the fair picture of himsel 

Will give his Grace, your Sire, 

Immense delight. 

Allan Ramsay. 

1723 FOR giving you the Description of Edinburgh^ I will begin at the 

East End, where stands the Royal Palace, and go up Hill to the 
West, where stands the Castle. 



M A C K Y 95 

The Palace of Holy Rood was formerly a Monastery of Canons 
Regular; but being all burnt down, except the Church, it was 
afterwards, by reason of its Nearness to Edinburgh, converted into 
a Royal Palace. 1 

You enter into the outer Court of the Palace under a large Arch 
(or Pend in Scots) a-top of which is the Apartment of the Porter 
or House-keeper, consisting of eight good Rooms, and where the 
Dukes of Hamilton, Hereditary Keepers of this Palace, us'd to 
reside before the Union of the Crowns ; but now they have apart- 
ments in the Palace. 

The outer Court is as large as the Meuse in London, and Coach- 
houses and Stables dispos'd round it as there. On the North side 
of this Bass Court is a fine Garden, still well kept, and since the 
Kings went to live in London, converted into a Physic Garden, 
with an allowance of fifty pounds a Year to the Keeper. I am no 
Botanist, so will not pretend to give you any Account of the 
Herbs in this Garden ; but there is a fine Dial erected by Mary 
Queen of Scots, and repair'd by King Charles the First when he 
was here. 

On the South side of this Court is another larger Garden, which 
Duke Hamilton as House-keeper lets out to Gardiners in several 
Branches. 

King Charles the Second pull'd down the old Palace, except two 
double Towers, which were built by King James the Fifth on the 
South and North side of the Entry into the Palace ; and by that 
great Architect Sir William Bruce built this new one all of free 
stone in the Form of a Square, supported by Pillars, as the Royal 
Exchange at London, and adorn'd with the several Orders of 
Architecture. It consists of two noble Stories, besides Garrets 
a-top and Offices below. 

You enter this Palace from the outer Court between the four 
Towers I formerly mention'd under a Cupola in the Form of an 
Imperial Crown, ballustraded on each side of the Cupola a-top, 
and supported with Pillars below. 

You turn to the right to mount to the Royal Apartments, as at 
St. James's at London, and the Stair-case and Rooms of State run 
exactly as there, only the Guard Room here is near twice as big 
as that at St. James's; the Drawing Room, the Presence, Anti- 
Chamber, and other Rooms of State both higher and larger ; and 
in a Suite from the West through the South and East side of the 
Palace you go to the Gallery, which taketh up intirely the North 
Side of the Palace, and is adorn'd with all the pictures of the 
1 See page 79, footnote. 



96 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

Kings of Scotland^ from Fergus their first King, 320 Years before 
the Birth of Christ, down to the Revolution. Those Kings that 
were eminent, and all the Race of the Stewarts, are whole Lengths, 
the others are but Bustos. . . . 

King Arthur's Seat is the highest, and is near half a Mile to the 
top. They tell you, that Arthur the British King was here, and 
us'd to view the Country from thence, and ever since it 's call'd his 
Seat. 

This Palace and Park is the best Sanctuary for Debtors in the 
World ; for nothing but the King's express Order can take a Man 
out there. You know, that within the Verge of the Court in 
England, the Board of Green Cloth will give leave to arrest a Man ; 
but here there 's no such thing, except I should carry off another 
Man's Goods and take Sanctuary with them. Here the Lords of 
the Session may exert their Authority as they say ; but there is 
no Example. 

The Suburb, which leads from hence in a direct Line to the 
City Gate, is call'd the Canon Gate, or the Street of the Canons 
Regular, who first founded the Abbey ; but since the Abbey was 
converted into a Royal Palace, the prime Nobility built their 
Palaces in this Street, and those that were oblig'd to attend the 
Court, took Lodgings here; so that nothing can be suppos'd to 
have suffer'd so much by the Union as this street. . . . 

The Netherbow is a Gate finer than Ludgate in London, having 
towers on each Side of the Gate, and a Spire a-top. It is called 
the Netherbow, because there is an upper Bow or Descent that 
goeth from the Castle-Hill to the Grass-Market. There are but 
six Gates by which you can enter this City, this and the Cowgatc 
Port or Gate to the East, two to the South, one to the West, and 
one to the North. At the East end of the Lake there runs an old 
Roman Wall, kept in good Repair, quite round the City, except 
on the North, which is guarded by a Lake or Loch. 

The High-Street of Edinburgh, running by an easy Ascent from 
the Netherbow to the Castle, a good half Mile, is doubtless the 
statliest Street in the World, being broad enough for five Coaches 
to drive up a-breast ; and the Houses on each Side are propor- 
tionably high to the Broadness of the Street ; all of them six or 
seven Story high, and those mostly of free Stone, makes the Street 
very august. 

Half way up this Street stands St. Giles's Church, the ancient 
Cathedral of this City, in the Form of a Cross; but since the 
Reformation it is turned into four convenient Churches, by 
Partitions, called the High Kirk, the Old Kirk, the Tolbooth 



MACKY 97 

Kirk, and Haddock's Hole. 1 A-top of this Church is erected, a 
large open Cupola, in the Shape of an imperial Crown, that is a 
great Ornament to the City, and seen at a great Distance. King 
David erected a Copy after this over St. Nicholas's Church in 
Newcastle, but does not near come up to it. ... 

To the South of St. Giles's Church is a fine Square, with an 
Equestrian Statue of King Charles the Second in the middle. In 
this Square stands the Parliament-House, where their Parliaments 
were kept: Also the Council and Treasury, and all the other 
publick Offices. It's a fine modern Building of Free Stone 
finished by Charleston First in 1636. Underneath this Building 
is kept the Lawyer's Library, where there is a fine Collection of 
Books, of Medals, and of ancient Coins, the largest of English and 
Scots Coins I ever saw. I could not perceive that the Scots bore 
the Lion Rampant in a Tressor of Flow er-de- Luces on their Coins, 
till the Stewarts. 

Joining to this Library is the Register, where are kept all the 
Deeds and Securities of the Nation, as a common Bank. Here is 
also a very good Bank for Money, whose Notes go current all over 
the Nation. There is also a fine Room in this Square for the 
meeting of the Royal Boroughs, adorned with Pictures. 

In this great Street are several Stone Fountains of Water, 
brought in Pipes at three Miles Distance, disposed at convenient 
Distances to supply the whole City with Water ; and on each Side 
of this Street are Lanes, or Wynds as they are called here, that run 
down to the bottom. 

This made an English Gentleman, that was here with the Duke of 
York, merrily compare it to a double wooden Comb, the great Street 
the Wood in the middle, and the Teeth of each Side the Lanes. 

These Lanes lead you to a Street below, called the Cowgate, 
which runs the whole Length East and West of the other, but is 
neither half so broad nor well built. The High-Street is also the 
best pav'd Street I ever saw. I will not except Florence. One 
would think the Stones inlaid ; they are not half a Foot square ; 
and notwithstanding the Coaches and Carts, there is not the least 

Crack in it. . . 

J. Macky. 

A Journey through Scotland. In Familiar Letters from a Gentleman 
there, to his Friend Abroad. Being the Third Volume which Com- 
pleats Great Britain. By the Author of The Journey Thro' Eng- 
land. London : Printed for J. Pemberton, at the Buck and Sun, and 
J. Hooke, at the Flower-de-Luce, both against St. Dunstan's Church 
in Fleet Street. MDCCXXIII. 

1 Haddo's Hole, so called after the Cavalier, Sir John Gordon of Haddo, whom 
the Covenanters incarcerated there, and then put to death at the Cross. R.M. 

G 



98 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

1724 ' I AM now at the Gates of Edinburgh ; but before I come to 

describe the Particulars of that City, give me leave to take it in 
Perspective, and speak something of its Situation, which will be 
very necessary with respect to some Disadvantage which the City 
lyes under on that Account. 

When you stand at a small Distance, and take a View of it from 
the East, you have really but a confus'd Idea of the City, because 
the Situation being in Length from East to West ; and the Breadth 
but ill proportion'd to its Length, you view under the greatest 
Disadvantage possible; whereas if you turn a little to the Right 
Hand towards Leith, and so come towards the City, from the 
North you see a very handsome Prospect of the whole City, and 
from the South you have yet a better View of one Part, because 
the City is encreased on that Side with new Streets, which, on the 
North Side, cannot be. 

The particular Situation then of the whole is thus. At the 
Extremity of the East End of the City stands the Palace or Court, 
call'd Haly-Rood House ; and you must fetch a little Sweep to the 
right Hand to leave the Palace on the left, and come at the 
Entrance, which is called the Water Port, and which you come at 
thro' a short Suburb, then bearing to the left again, South, you 
come to the Gate of the Palace which faces the great Street. 

From the Palace, West, the Street goes on in almost a straight 
Line, and for near a Mile and a half in Length, some say full 2 
measur'd Miles, thro' the whole City to the Castle, including the 
going up the Castle in the Inside; this is, perhaps, the largest, 
longest, and finest Street for Buildings and Number of Inhabitants, 
not in Bretain only, but in the World. 

From the very Palace Door, which stands on a Flat, and level 
with the lowest of the plain Country, the Street begins to ascend ; 
and tho' it ascends very gradually at first, and is nowhere steep, 
yet 'tis easy to understand that continuing the Ascent for so long a 
Way, the further Part must necessarily be very high ; and so it is ; 
for the Castle which stands at the Extremity West, as the Palace 
does East, makes on all the three Sides, that only excepted, which 
joins it to the City, a frightful and impassable Precipice. 

Together with this continued Ascent, which, I think, 'tis easy to 
form an Idea of in the Mind, you are to suppose the Edge or Top 
of the Ascent so narrow, that the Street, and the Row of Houses 
on each Side of it, take up the whole Breadth ; so that which Way 
soever you turn, either to the Right, or to the Left, you go down Hill 
immediately and that so steep, as is very troublesome to those who 
walk in these Side Lanes which they call Wynds, especially if their 



DEFOE 99 

i 

Lungs are not very good : So that, in a Word, the City stands' 
upon the narrow Ridge of a long ascending Mountain. . . . 

The City suffers infinite Disadvantages, and lies under such 
scandalous Inconveniences as are, by its Enemies, made a Subject 
of Scorn and Reproach ; as if the People were not as willing to 
live sweet and clean as other Nations, but delighted in Stench and 
Nastiness : whereas, were any other People to live under the same 
Unhappiness, I mean as well of a rocky and mountainous Situa- 
tion, throng'd Buildings, from seven to ten or twelve story high, a 
Scarcity of Water, and that little they have difficult to be had, and 
to the uppermost Lodgings, far to fetch ; we should find a London, 
or a Bristol as dirty as Edinburgh, and, perhaps, less able to make 
their Dwelling tolerable, at least in so narrow a Compass ; for, tho' 
many Cities have more People in them, yet, I believe, this may be 
said with Truth, that in no City in the World so many People live 
in so little Room as at Edinburgh. 

On the North Side of the City, as is said above, is a spacious, 
rich, and pleasant Plain, extending from the Lough, which as 
above joins the City, to the River of Leith, at the mouth of which 
is the Town of Leith, at the distance of a long Scots mile from the 
City. And even here, were not the North side of the Hill, which 
the City stands on, so exceeding steep, as hardly, (at least to the 
Westward of their Flesh-Market) to be clamber'd up on Foot, much 
less to be made passable for Carriages. But, I say, were it not so 
steep, and were the Lough fill'd up as it might easily be, the City 
might have been extended upon the Plain below, and fine beautiful 
Streets would, no Doubt, have been built there ; nay, I question 
much whether, in Time, the high Streets would not have been 
forsaken, and the City, as we might say, run all out of its Gates to 
the North. . . . 

From the Palace Gate, Westward, this Street is call'd the 
Cannon-gate, vulgarly the Cannigate, which Part, tho' a Suburb, is 
a kind of Corporation by itself, as Westminster to London; and 
has a Toll-Booth, a Prison, and a Town-Guard by itself, tho' under 
the Government of the Provost and Bailiffs of Edinburgh, as Leith 
itself also is. In this Part of the Street, tho' otherwise not so well 
inhabited as the City itself, are several very magnificent Houses of 
the Nobility, built for their Residence when the Court was in 
Town, and on their other Occasions, just as was the Case in the 
Strand between London and Whitehall, before the Encrease of the 
City prompted the building those fine Houses into Streets. 

Of these the Duke of Queensberry's, the Earl of Wintouris, the 
Duke of Roxburgh's and the Earl of Murray's are the chief; the 



ioo IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

first and last are very magnificent, large and princely Buildings, 
all of Free-stone, large in Front, and with good Gardens behind 
them, and the others are very fine Buildings, too many to be 
describ'd. 

At the upper, or West End of this Street, and where it joins to 
the City, is a Gate which, just as Ludgate, or Temple Bar, stands 
parting the City itself from the Suburb, but not at all discontinuing 
the Street, which rather widens, and is more spacious when you 
are thro' the Gate than before. 

This Gate, or Bow, is call'd the Nether-Bow, or, by some, the 
Nether-Bow Port. 

Just at this Port, on the Outside, turn away two Streets, one 
goes South to a Gate or Port which leads out of the City into the 
great Road for England, by the Way of Kelso, and is call'd 
St. Mary Wynde', and, on the right Hand of it, another Port 
turns away West, into the low Street, mention'd before, where was 
a Lough formerly fill'd up, and is called the Cow-Gate, because, by 
this Street, the Cattle are driven to and from the great Market- 
place, call'd the Grass Market, where such Cattle are bought and 
sold, as also where is a Horse-Market weekly, as in Smith field. 
This Street, call'd the Cow-Gate, runs parallel with the high Street, 
but down in a Bottom, as has been said. 

But to go back to the Nether-Bow Port, as this turning is on the 
left Hand going into the City, so on the right Hand goes another 
Street, which they call Leith-Wind, and leads down to a Gate 
which is not in the City Wall immediately, but adjoining to a 
Church called the College-Kirk, and thro' which Gate, a Suburb 
runs out North, opening into the Plain, leads to Leith; and all 
along by the Road Side, the Road itself pav'd with Stones like a 
Street, is a broad Causeway, or, as we call it, a Foot Way, very 
firm, and made by Hand at least 20 Foot broad, and continued to 
the Town of Leith. This Causeway is very well kept at the 
publick Expence, and no Horses suffer'd to come upon it. 

At the turning down of this Street, without the Nether-Bow Port, 
which they call the Head of the Canon-gate, there stood a very 
great Pile of Building which went both Ways, Part made the East 
Side of the Turning call'd Leith- Wynd, And Part made the North 
Side of the Cannon-gate ; the whole was built, as many such are, 
for private dwellings, but were stately, high, and very handsome 
Buildings, seven or eight Stories : But great Part of this fine Pile 
of Building was very unhappily burnt a few Years ago, whether 
they are yet fully rebuilt, I cannot say. 

We now enter the City, properly so call'd; in almost the first 



DEFOE 101 

Buildings of Note on the North Side of the Street, the Marquess of 
Tweedale has a good City House, with a Plantation of Lime-trees 
behind it, instead of a Garden, the Place not allowing Room for a 
large Garden ; adjoining to which are very good Buildings, tho' in 
the narrow Wynds and Alleys, such as if set out in handsome 
Streets, would have adorn'd a very noble City, but are here 
crouded together, as may be said, without Notice. 

Here the Physicians have a Hall, and adjoining to it a very good 
Garden ; but I saw no Simples in it of Value, there being a Physick 
Garden at the Palace which furnishes them sufficiently : But they 
have a fine Musceum, or Chamber of Rarities, which are worth 
seeing, and which, in some Things, is not to be match'd in Europe. 
Dr. Balfour, afterwards Knighted, began the Collection. Sir 
Robert Sibbald has printed a Catalogue of what was then deposited 
in his Time. The Physicians of Edinburgh have preserved the. 
Character of Able, Learned, and Experienc'd, and have not been 
outdone by any of their Neighbours : And the late Dr. Pitcairn, 
who was the Ratdiff 'of Scotland, has left large Testimonies of his 
Skill in Nature and Medicine to the World. . . . 

On the West End of the great Church, but in a different 
Building, is the Tolbooth, or common Prison, as well for Criminals 
as Debtors, and a miserable Hole it is, to say no worse of it ; tho', 
for those that can pay for it, there are some Apartments tolerable 
enough, and Persons of Quality are sometimes confin'd here. 

The great Church and this Prison also standing in the middle of 
the Street, the Breadth and Beauty of it is for some Time in- 
terrupted, and the Way is contracted for so far as these Buildings 
reach on the North Side. 

But these Buildings past, the Street opens again to a Breadth 
rather wider than before, and this is call'd the Land-Market, but 
for what Reason I know not. This Part is also nobly built, and 
extends West to the Castle-Hill, or rather to a narrower Street 
which leads up to the Castle. 

At the upper End of this Land-Market is a Stone Building, 
appropriated to several publick Offices of lesser Value, and is 
call'd the Weigh-house ; for below Stairs are Warehouses, with 
publick Weights and Scales for heavy Goods. 

Here the high Street ends, and parting into two Streets, one 
goes away South West, and descending gradually, leads by the 
West Bow, as 'tis called, to the Grass-market. This Street, which 
is call'd the Bow is generally full of wholesale Traders, and those 
very considerable Dealers in Iron, Pitch, Tar, Oyl, Hemp, Flax, 
Linseed, Painters' Colours, Dyers, Drugs and Woods, and such like, 



102 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

heavy Goods, and supplies Country Shopkeepers, as our Wholesale 
Dealers in England do: And here I may say, is a visible Face of 
Trade, most of them have also Warehouses in Leith> where they 
lay up the heavier Goods, and bring them hither, or sell them by 
Patterns and Samples, as they have Occasion. 

Daniel Defoe. 

A Tour Through the Whole Island of Great Britain, etc., by a Gentleman. 
Vol. iii. page 29. (Printed in 1727. First vol. in 1724.) 

Madly Lee As Mally Lee cam' doun the street, her capuchin did flee ; 

She coost a look behind her, to see her negligee. 

And we 're a' gaun east and wast, we 're a' gaun agee, 
We 're a' gaun east and wast, courtin' Mally Lee. 

She had twa lappets at her head, that flaunted gallantlee, 
And ribbon knots at back and breast of bonnie Mally Lee. 
And we 're a' gaun east and wast, we 're a' gaun agee, 
We 're a' gaun east and wast, courtin' Mally Lee. 

A' doon alang the Canongate were beaux o' ilk degree ; 

And mony ane turned round to look at bonnie Mally Lee. 
And we 're a' gaun east and wast, we 're a' gaun agee, 
We 're a gaun east and wast, courtin' Mally Lee. 

And ilka bob her pong-pong gi'ed, ilk lad thocht ' that 's to me,' 
But feint an ane was in the thocht o' bonnie Mally Lee. 
And we 're a' gaun east and wast, we 're a' gaun agee, 
We 're a' gaun east and wast, courtin' Mally Lee. 

Frae Seton's Land a countess fair looked owre a window hie, 
And pined to see the gently shape o' bonnie Mally Lee. 
And we 're a' gaun east and wast, we 're a' gaun agee, 
We 're a' gaun east and wast, courtin' Mally Lee. 

And when she reached the palace porch, there lounged erls three ; 

And ilk ane thocht his Kate or Meg a drab to Mally Lee. 
And we 're a' gaun east and wast, we 're a' gaun agee, 
We 're a' gaun east and wast, courtin' Mally Lee. 

The dance gaed through the palace ha', a comely sight to see, 
But nane was there sae bright or braw as bonnie Mally Lee. 
And we 're a' gaun east and wast, we 're a' gaun agee, 
We 're a' gaun east and wast, courtin' Mally Lee. 



LOVEDAY 103 

Though some had jewels in their hair, like stars 'mang clouds 

did shine, 
Yet Mally did surpass them a' wi' but her glancin' e'en. 

And we 're a' gaun east and wast, we 're a' gaun agee, 
We 're a' gaun east and wast, courtin' Mally Lee. 

A prince cam' out frae 'mang them a', wi' garter at his knee, 
And danced a stately minuet wi' bonnie Mally Lee. 1 

And we 're a' gaun east and wast, we 're a' gaun agee, 
We 're a' gaun east and wast, courtin' Mally Lee. 

Given in Mr. Robert Chambers's Traditions of Edinburgh. 



WEDNESDAY & Thursday, 1 6 and 17. [i732(?)] Edinburgh, the 1732 
Metropolis, & largest City in Scotland, reaches from E. to W. ab fc 
i mile, and two Streets run y e whole Length of it. One of 'em 
the High Street, leading from y e Castle to y e Abbey is (as You go- 
on East-ward) the broadest Street (they say) in Europe ; but What 
seemingly takes-off much from it's Width, is y e great heigth of y e 
houses, All either 6 or 7 Stories high, & in w ch perhaps are very 
often as many Families as Stories. . . . In y e high Street are 
several handsome Fountains, y e best of water brought to 'em from 
3 miles distance. There are many Wynds (we call 'em Lanes) 
from y e Street. The Glosses are deep Alleys (in w ch several Tene- 
ments) are enter'd between houses. These closses go-in so far, y fc 
tho' there be not One cross-Street running N. and S. yet y e breadth 
of y e whole town will be half a Mile. There is scarce any wooden 
building in Edinburgh, for y e frequent fires occasion'd an Act of 
y e Town -Council prohibiting Timber -buildings in y e City or 
Suburbs ; Those in y e High-Street are of hewn-Stone. On y 6 W. 
a Rock mounts-up to a great heigth, steep & inaccessible on all 
sides, but that tow ds y e City. On this, y e Castle with it's several 
Batteries, &c. is thought impregnable ; 'tis properly a Citadel, for 
It both hangs over & commands y e Town. It is kept in most 
excellent repair, y e Whole of large Compass. The very highest of 
it's buildings (for some parts of it are on a much higher foundation 
than Others) is all still upon y e vast impenetrable Rock. . . . The 
Officers & Soldiers lie within y e Castle ; y e latter in a large room, 
w ch was formerly y e Parliament-house, it's roof of Irish Oak. 2 The 

1 The original of ' Mally Lee ' was Mrs. Sleigh, who afterwards married Lord 
Lyon. R.M. 

2 The great hall. Used for banquets, parliaments, etc. 



104 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

Regalia of y e Ke dom kept und r many locks & keys in a strong 
place here, have not been to be seen ever since y e Union ; by y e 
24 th Article of which 'tis provided ' that the Crown, Scepter, and 
Sword of State, continue to be kept as they are within that part 
of the United Kingdom now called Scotland; and that they shall 
so remain in all time coming, notwithstanding the Union.' A 
little room they shew You where James vi. was born. . . . The 
situation of Edinburgh is so uncommon, y* y e first building of a 
Fort here seems to have given Rise to y e town, & to have en- 
couraged people to fix under y e protection of it ; so y* y e houses 
& inhabitants by little & little encreasing, it is brought-down to 
y e very foot of y e Ascent toward the East, where the farthest build- 
ing in the High-Street (w ch ' 'tis to be observ'd, is not a Mile long, 
or anything like it, within y e Gates) is the Abbey or Holy-ruid-house, 
the Palace. The old Gate-way of y e Abbey of Austin canons is 
still remaining. . . . The House burnt by Ol: Cromwell was nobly 
reedify'd by Charles n. . . . The Royal Chapel (of w ch y e Bp. of 
Dumblane was from y e time of James vi. always Dean) is an elegant 
& noble Structure, consisting of a large mid-Isle with a lofty & 
beautiful stone-arch'd Roof; two side-Isles low, have a Stone-Roof 
also. It is at present in a poor nasty condition, it's Pavement gone, 
& every kind of Ornament, w th all y e Lofts, &c. Part of y e King's 
Loft stands on y e Ground, I 6 R and 1577 carv'd on it. East in 
y e S. Isle is a kind of Royal Vault, in w ch lies y e body of James v. 
some of his flesh on still; he dy'd in 1542. Queen Magdalen, his 
first Wife, a daughter of France, lies by Him ; She liv'd but a few 
months after marriage. . . . Here also, only y e Sceleton remaining 
of Henry L d Darnley ; I measur'd Him ; He is much about 7 foot 
high. . . . The reforming Mob broke-into y e Vault, and us'd y* 
Dead, as y e Principles of Mob-Reformacon taught 'em to do. 
Persons of prime quality & distinction bury here now ; there are 
many Hatchm u hung-up for 'em. . . . M r Peareth and Myself 
were charged one shilling apiece per night for our beds at y e Red 
Lion, & were told It was always y e Custom here; upon w ch we 
made bold to introduce another Custom, not to give y e Servants 
one halfpenny. 

John Loveday of Caversham. 
Diary of a Tour. 

Cause of the I WAS witness to a very extraordinary scene that happened in the 

Forteous Riot month of February or March 1736, which was the escape of 

!736 Robertson, a condemned criminal, from the Tolbooth Church in 

Edinburgh. In those days it was usual to bring the criminals who 



'JUPITER CARLYLE' 105 

were condemned to death into that church, to attend public 
worship every Sunday after their condemnation, when the clergy- 
man made some part of his discourse and prayers to suit their 
situation; which, among other circumstances of solemnity which 
then attended the state of condemned criminals, had no small 
effect on the public mind. Robertson and Wilson were smugglers, 
and had been condemned for robbing a custom-house, where some 
of their goods had been deposited; a crime which at that time 
did not seem, in the opinion of the common people, to deserve so 
severe a punishment. I was carried by an acquaintance to church 
to see the prisoners on the Sunday before the day of execution. 
We went early into the church on purpose to see them come in, 
and were seated in a pew before the gallery in front of the pulpit. 
Soon after we went into the church by the door from the Parlia- 
ment Close, the criminals were brought in by the door next the 
Tolbooth, and placed in a long pew, not far from the pulpit. Four 
soldiers came in with them, and placed Robertson at the head of 
the pew, and Wilson below him, two of themselves sitting below 
Wilson, and two in a pew behind him. 

The bells were ringing and the doors were open, while the 
people were coming into the church. Robertson watched his 
opportunity, and, suddenly springing up, got over the pew into 
the passage that led in to the door in the Parliament Close, and, 
no person offering to lay hands on him, made his escape in 
a moment so much the more easily, perhaps, as everybody's 
attention was drawn to Wilson, who was a stronger man, and 
who, attempting to follow Robertson, was seized by the soldiers, 
and struggled so long with them that two who at last followed 
Robertson were too late. It was reported that he had maintained 
his struggle that he might let his companion have time. That 
might be his second thought, but his first certainly was to escape 
himself, for I saw him set his foot on the seat to leap over, when 
the soldiers pulled him back. Wilson was immediately carried 
out to the Tolbooth, and Robertson, getting uninterrupted through 
the Parliament Square, down the back stairs, into the Cowgate, 
was heard of no more till he arrived in Holland. This was an 
interesting scene, and by filling the public mind with compassion 
for the unhappy person who did not escape, and who was the 
better character of the two, had probably some influence in pro- 
ducing what followed : for when the sentence against Wilson came 
to be executed a few weeks thereafter, a very strong opinion 
prevailed that there was a plot to force the Town Guard, whose 
duty it is to attend executions under the order of a civil magistrate. 



io6 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

There was a Captain Porteous, who by his good behaviour in 
the army had obtained a subaltern's commission, and had after- 
wards, when on half pay, been preferred to the command of the City 
Guard. This man, by his skill in manly exercises, particularly the 
golf, and by gentlemanly behaviour, was admitted into the company 
of his superiors, which elated his mind, and added insolence to his 
native roughness, so that he was much hated and feared by the 
mob of Edinburgh. When the day of execution came, the rumour 
of a deforcement at the gallows prevailed strongly; and the 
Provost and Magistrates (not in their own minds very strong) 
thought it a good measure to apply for three or four companies of 
a marching regiment that lay in the Canongate, to be drawn up in 
the Lawnmarket, a street leading from the Tolbooth to the Grass- 
market, the place of execution, in order to overawe the mob by 
their being at hand. Porteous, who, it is said, had his natural 
courage increased to rage by any suspicion that he and his Guard 
could not execute the law, and being heated likewise with wine 
for he had dined, as the custom then was, between one and 
two became perfectly furious when he passed by the three 
companies drawn up in the street as he marched along with his 
prisoner. 

Mr. Baillie had taken windows in a house on the north side of 
the Grassmarket, for his pupils and me, in the second floor, about 
seventy or eighty yards westward of the place of execution, where 
we went in due time to see the show ; to which I had no small 
aversion, having seen one at Dumfries, the execution of Jock 
Johnstone, which shocked me very much. When we arrived at 
the house, some people who were looking from the windows were 
displaced, and went to a window in the common stair, about two 
feet below the level of ours. The street is long and wide, and 
there was a very great crowd assembled. The execution went on 
with the usual forms, and Wilson behaved in a manner very 
becoming his situation. There was not the least appearance of 
an attempt to rescue; but soon after the executioner had done 
his duty, there was an attack made upon him, as usual on such 
occasions, by the boys and blackguards throwing stones and dirt 
in testimony of their abhorrence of the hangman. But there was 
no attempt to break through the Guard and cut down the prisoner. 
It was generally said that there was very little, if any, more violence 
than had usually happened on such occasions. Porteous, how- 
ever, inflamed with wine and jealousy, thought proper to order his 
Guard to fire, their muskets being loaded with slugs ; and when 
the soldiers showed reluctance, I saw him turn to them with 



'JUPITER CARLYLE 1 107 

threatening gesture and an inflamed countenance. They obeyed, 
and fired ; but wishing to do as little harm as possible, many of 
them elevated their pieces, the effect of which was that some 
people were wounded in the windows; and one unfortunate lad, 
whom we had displaced, was killed in the stair window by a slug 
entering his head. His name was Henry Black, a journeyman 
tailor, whose bride was the daughter of the house we were in. She 
fainted away when he was brought into the house speechless, where 
he only lived till nine or ten o'clock. We had seen many people, 
women and men, fall on the street, and at first thought it was 
only through fear, and by their crowding on one another to escape. 
But when the crowd dispersed, we saw them lying dead or 
wounded, and had no longer any doubt of what had happened. 
The numbers were said to be eight or nine killed, and double the 
number wounded ; but this was never exactly known. 

This unprovoked slaughter irritated the common people to the 
last ; and the state of grief and rage into which their minds were 
thrown, was visible in the high commotion that appeared in the 
multitude. Our tutor was very anxious to have us all safe in our 
lodgings, but durst not venture out to see if it was practicable to 
go home. I offered to go; went, and soon returned, offering to 
conduct them safe to our lodgings, which were only half-way down 
the Lawnmarket, by what was called the Castle Wynd, which was 
just at hand, to the westward. There we remained safely, and 
were not allowed to stir out any more that night till about nine 
o'clock, when, the streets having long been quiet, we all grew 
anxious to learn the fate of Henry Black, and I was allowed to go 
back to the house. I took the younger Maxwell with me, and 
found he had expired an hour before we arrived. A single slug 
had penetrated the side of his head an inch above the ear. 

The sequel of this affair was, that Porteous was tried and con- 
demned to be hanged ; but by the intercession of some of the 
Judges themselves, who thought his case hard, he was reprieved by 
the Queen-Regent. The Magistrates, who on this occasion, as on 
the former, acted weakly, designed to have removed him to the 
Castle for greater safety. But a plot was laid and conducted 
by some persons unknown with the greatest secrecy, policy, and 
vigour, to prevent that design, by forcing the prison the night 
before, and executing the sentence upon him themselves, which to 
effectuate cost them from eight at night till two in the morning ; 
and yet this plot was managed so dexterously that they met with 
no interruption, though there were five companies of a marching 
regiment lying in the Canongate. 



io8 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

This happened on the 7th of September 1736; and so pre- 
possessed were the minds of all persons that something extra- 
ordinary would take place that day, that I, at Prestonpans, nine 
miles from Edinburgh, dreamt that I saw Captain Porteous hanged 
in the Grassmarket. I got up betwixt six and seven, and went to 
my father's servant, who was thrashing in the barn which lay on 
the road side leading to Aberlady and North Berwick, who said 
that several men on horseback had passed about five in the 
morning, whom having asked for news, they replied there was 
none, but that Captain Porteous had been dragged out of prison, 
and hanged on a dyer's tree at two o'clock that morning. 

This bold and lawless deed not only provoked the Queen, who 
was Regent at the time, but gave some uneasiness to Govern- 
ment. It was represented as a dangerous plot, and was ignorantly 
connected with a great meeting of zealous Covenanters, of whom 
many still remained in Galloway and the west, which had been 
held in summer, in Pentland Hills, to renew the Covenant. But 
this was a mistake ; for the murder of Porteous had been planned 
and executed by a few of the relations or friends of those whom he 
had slain ; who, being of a rank superior to mere mob, had carried 
on their design with so much secrecy, ability, and steadiness as 
made it be ascribed to a still higher order, who were political 
enemies to Government. 

Rev. Alexander Carlyle 

('Jupiter Carlyle,' minister of Inveresk). 

A utobiography. 

The Porteous THE rioters left a small party to observe the West Port, and 
Blot. directed the waiters, as they valued their lives, to remain within 

their lodge, and make no attempt for that night to repossess them- 
selves of the gate. They then moved with rapidity along the low 
street called the Cowgate, the mob of the city everywhere rising 
at the sound of their drum and joining them. When the multitude 
arrived at the Cowgate Port, they secured it with as little opposition 
as the former, made it fast, and left a small party to observe it. ... 
The mob, at first only about one hundred strong, now amounted 
to thousands, and were increasing every moment. They divided 
themselves so as to ascend with more speed the various narrow 
lanes which lead up from the Cowgate to the High Street; and 
still beating to arms as they went, and calling on all true Scotsmen 
to join them, they now filled the principal street of the city. 

The Netherbow Port might be called the Temple Bar of Edin- 
burgh, as, intersecting the High Street at its termination, it divided 
Edinburgh, properly so-called, from the suburb named the Canon- 



SCOTT 109 

gate, as Temple Bar separates London from Westminster. It was 
of the utmost importance to the rioters to possess themselves of 
this pass, because there was quartered in the Canongate at that 
time a regiment of infantry, commanded by Colonel Moyle, which 
might have occupied the city by advancing through this gate, and 
would possess the power of totally defeating their purpose. The 
leaders therefore hastened to the Netherbow Port, which they 
secured in the same manner, and with as little trouble, as the other 
gates, leaving a party to watch it, strong in proportion to the im- 
portance of the post. 

The next object of these hardy insurgents was at once to disarm 
the City Guard and to procure arms for themselves ; for scarce any 
weapons but staves and bludgeons had been yet seen among them. 
The guard-house was a long, low, ugly building (removed in 1787), 
which to a fanciful imagination might have suggested the idea of a 
long black snail crawling up the middle of the High Street, and 
deforming its beautiful esplanade. This formidable insurrection 
had been so unexpected that there were no more than the ordinary 
sergeant's guard of the city corps upon duty; even these were 
without any supply of powder and ball; and, sensible enough 
what had raised the storm, and which way it was rolling, could 
hardly be supposed very desirous to expose themselves by a valiant 
defence to the animosity of so numerous and desperate a mob, to 
whom they were on the present occasion much more than usually 
obnoxious. 

There was a sentinel upon guard who, that one town-guard 
soldier might do his duty on that eventful evening, presented his 
piece, and desired the foremost of the rioters to stand off. The 
young amazon, whom Butler had observed particularly active, 
sprung upon the soldier, seized his musket, and after a struggle 
succeeded in wrenching it from him, and throwing him down on 
the causeway. One or two soldiers, who endeavoured to turn out 
to the support of their sentinel, were in the same manner seized 
and disarmed, and the mob without difficulty possessed themselves 
of the guard-house, disarming and turning out of doors the rest of 
the men on duty. It was remarked that, notwithstanding the city 
soldiers had been the instruments of the slaughter which this riot 
was designed to revenge, no ill-usage or even insult was offered to 
them. It seemed as if the vengeance of the people disdained to 
stoop at any head meaner than that which they considered as the 
source and origin of their injuries. 

On possessing themselves of the guard, the first act of the 
multitude was to destroy the drums, by which they supposed an 



i io IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

alarm might be conveyed to the garrison in the Castle ; for the 
same reason they now silenced their own, which was beaten by a 
young fellow, son to the drummer of Portsburgh, whom they had 
forced upon that service. Their next business was to distribute 
among the boldest of the rioters the guns, bayonets, partizans, 
halberds, and battle or Lochaber axes. Until this period the 
principal rioters had preserved silence on the ultimate object of 
their rising, as being that which all knew, but none expressed. 
Now, however, having accomplished all the preliminary parts of 
their design, they raised a tremendous shout of ' Porteous ! 
Porteous ! To the tolbooth ! To the tolbooth ! ' 

They preceded with the same prudence when the object seemed 
to be nearly in their grasp as they had done hitherto when success 
was more dubious. A strong party of the rioters, drawn up in 
front of the Luckenbooths, and facing down the street, prevented 
all access from the eastward, and the west end of the defile formed 
by the Luckenbooths was secured in the same manner; so that 
the tolbooth was completely surrounded, and those who undertook 
the task of breaking it open were effectually secured against the risk 
of interruption. 

The magistrates, in the meanwhile, had taken the alarm, and 
assembled in a tavern, with the purpose of raising some strength 
to subdue the rioters. The deacons, or presidents of the trades, 
were applied to, but declared there was little chance of their 
authority being respected by the craftsmen, where it was the object 
to save a man so obnoxious. Mr. Lindsay, member of parliament 
of the city, volunteered the perilous task of carrying a verbal 
message from the Lord Provost to Colonel Moyle, the commander 
of the regiment lying in the Canongate, requesting him to force 
the Netherbow Port, and enter the city to put down the tumult. 
But Mr. Lindsay declined to charge himself with any written order, 
which, if found on his person by an enraged mob, might have cost 
him his life; and the issue of the application was, that Colonel 
Moyle, having no written requisition from the civil authorities, and 
having the fate of Porteous before his eyes as an example of the 
severe construction put by a jury on the proceedings of military 
men acting on their own responsibility, declined to encounter the 
risk to which the Provost's verbal communication invited him. 

More than one messenger was despatched by different ways to 
the Castle, to require the commanding officer to march down his 
troops, to fire a few cannon-shot, or even to throw a shell among 
the mob, for the purpose of clearing the streets. But so strict and 
watchful were the various patrols whom the rioters had established 



SCOTT in 

in different parts of the street, that none of the emissaries of the 
magistrates could reach the gate of the Castle. . . . The ma- 
gistrates, having assembled their officers and some of the citizens 
who were willing to hazard themselves for the public tranquillity, 
now sallied forth from the tavern where they held their sitting, and 
approached the point of danger. Their officers went before them 
with links and torches, with a herald to read the Riot Act, if 
necessary. They easily drove before them the outposts and videttes 
of the rioters ; but when they approached the line of guard which 
the mob, or rather, we should say, the conspirators, had drawn 
across the street in the front of the Luckenbooths, they were 
received with an unintermitted volley of stones, and, on their 
nearer approach, the pikes, bayonets, and Lochaber axes of which 
the populace had possessed themselves were presented against 
them. . . . The magistrates, after vain attempts to make them- 
selves heard and obeyed, possessing no means of enforcing their 
authority, were constrained to abandon the field to the rioters, and 
retreat in all speed from the showers of missiles that whistled 
around their ears. 

The passive resistance of the tolbooth gate promised to do 
more to baffle the purpose of the mob than the active interference 
of the magistrates. The heavy sledge-hammers continued to din 
against it without intermission, and with a noise which, echoed 
from the lofty buildings around the spot, seemed enough to have 
alarmed the garrison in the Castle. ... At length a voice was 
heard to pronounce the words, 'Try it with fire.' The rioters, 
with an unanimous shout, called for combustibles, and as all their 
wishes seemed to be instantly supplied, they were soon in possession 
of two or three empty tar-barrels. A huge red glaring bonfire 
speedily arose close to the door of the prison, sending up a tall 
column of smoke and flame against the antique turrets and strongly 
grated windows, and illuminating the ferocious and wild gestures 
of the rioters who surrounded the place, as well as the pale and 
anxious groups of those who, from windows in the vicinage, 
watched the progress of this alarming scene. The mob fed the 
fire with whatever they could find fit for the purpose. The flames 
roared and crackled among the heaps of nourishment piled on the 
fire, and a terrible shout soon announced that the door had 
kindled, and was in the act of being destroyed. The fire was 
suffered to decay, but long ere it was quite extinguished the most 
forward of the rioters rushed, in their impatience, one after another, 
over its yet smouldering remains. Thick showers of sparkles rose 
high in the air as man after man bounded over the glowing embers 



ii2 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

and disturbed them in their passage. It was now obvious to 
Butler and all others who were present that the rioters would 
instantly be in possession of their victim, and have it in their 
power to work their pleasure upon him, whatever that might be. 
. . . . . 

They had suffered the unfortunate Porteous to put on his night- 
gown and slippers, as he had thrown off his coat and shoes in 
order to facilitate his attempted escape up the chimney. In this 
garb he was now mounted on the hands of two of the rioters, 
clasped together, so as to form what is called in Scotland 'The 
King's Cushion.' . . . The procession now moved forward with a 
slow and determined pace. It was enlightened by many blazing 
links and torches; for the actors of this work were so far from 
affecting any secrecy on the occasion that they seemed even to 
court observation. Their principal leaders kept close to the person 
of the prisoner, whose pallid yet stubborn features were seen 
distinctly by the torch-light, as his person was raised considerably 
above the concourse which thronged around him. Those who 
bore swords, muskets, and battle-axes marched on each side, as if 
forming a regular guard to the procession. The windows as they 
went along, were filled with the inhabitants, whose slumbers had 
been broken by this unusual disturbance. Some of the spectators 
muttered accents of encouragement ; but in general they were so 
much appalled by a sight so strange and audacious, that they 
looked on with a sort of stupefied astonishment. No one offered, 
by act or word, the slightest interruption. 

The rioters, on their part, continued to act with the same air of 
deliberate confidence and security which had marked all their 
proceedings. When the object of their resentment dropped one 
of his slippers, they stopped, sought for it, and replaced it upon 
his foot with great deliberation. As they descended the Bow 
towards the fatal spot where they designed to complete their 
purpose, it was suggested that there should be a rope kept in 
readiness. For this purpose the booth of a man who dealt in 
cordage was forced open, a coil of rope fit for their purpose was 
selected to serve as a halter, and the dealer next morning found 
that a guinea had been left on his counter in exchange : so anxious 
were the perpetrators of this daring action to show that they 
meditated not the slightest wrong for infraction of law, excepting 
so far as Porteous was himself concerned. 

Leading, or carrying along with them, in this determined and 
regular manner, the object of their vengeance, they at length 
reached the place of common execution, the scene of his crime, 



SCOTT 113 

and destined spot of his sufferings. Several of the rioters (if they 
should not rather be described as conspirators) endeavoured to 
remove the stone which filled up the socket in which the end of 
the fatal tree was sunk when it was erected for its fatal purpose ; 
others sought for the means of erecting a temporary gibbet. . . . 

'Away with him away with him ! ' was the general cry. ' Why 
do you trifle away time in making a gallows ? that dyester's pole 
is good enough for the homicide.' 

The unhappy man was forced to his fate with remorseless 
rapidity. Butler, separated from him by the press, escaped the 
last horrors of his struggles. ... A loud shout proclaimed the 
stern delight with which the agents of the deed regarded its 
completion. Butler then, at the opening into the low street called 
the Cowgate, cast back a terrified glance, and by the red and dusky 
light of the torches he could discern a figure wavering and 
struggling as it hung suspended above the heads of the multitude, 
and could even observe men striking at it with their Lochaber 
axes and partizans. . . . 

Nothing was spoke of for some time save the measure of 
vengeance which should be taken, not only on the actors of this 
tragedy, so soon as they should be discovered, but upon the 
magistrates who had suffered it to take place, and upon the City 
which had been the scene where it was exhibited. On this 
occasion, it is still recorded in popular tradition that her Majesty * 
in the height of her displeasure, told the celebrated John, Duke 
of Argyle, that, sooner than submit to such an insult, she would 
make Scotland a hunting-field. ' In that case, Madam,' answered 
that high-spirited nobleman, with a profound bow, 'I will take 
leave of your Majesty, and go down to my own country to get my 
hounds ready.' 

Sir Walter Scott. 
The Heart of Midlothian, 

'TWAS within a mile of Edinburgh town 'Twas within 

In the rosy time of the year ; a Mile of 

Sweet flowers bloom'd, and the grass was down, _, m ur ^ 11 

And each shepherd woo'd his dear. 
Bonny Jockey, blythe and gay, 
Kiss'd sweet Jenny, making hay, 

The lassie blush'd, and frowning, cried, ' Na, na, it winna do ; 
I canna, canna, winna, winna, maunna buckle to.' 

1 Queen Caroline, who had reprieved Porteous's death sentence. 
H 



114 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

Jockey was a wag that never would wed, 

Though long he had followed the lass ; 
Contented she earned and ate her brown bread 
And merrily turned up the grass. 
Bonny Jockey, blythe and free 
Won her heart right merrily : 

Yet still she blush'd, and frowning, cried, ' Na, na, it winna do ; 
I canna, canna, winna, winna, maunna buckle to.' 

But when he vow'd he would make her his bride, 

Though his flocks and herds were not few, 
She gave him her hand, and a kiss beside, 
And vow'd she 'd for ever be true. 
Bonny Jockey, blythe and free, 
Won her heart right merrily : 

At church she no more frowning cried, ' Na, na, it winna do ; 
I canna, canna, winna, winna, maunna buckle to.' l 

CHARLES approached Holyrood House by the same path over 
which George iv., seventy-seven years after, was drawn thither in 
his daily progress from Dalkeith. As he was parading along, the 
Duke of Perth stopped him a little, while he described the limits 
and peculiar local characteristics of the King's Park. It was 
observed on this occasion by an eye-witness, that during the whole 
five minutes the Duke was expatiating, Charles kept his eye bent 
sideways on Lord Elcho (who stood aside at a little distance), and 
seemed lost in a mental speculation about that new adherent. 
As the procession for such it might be termed moved along 
the Duke's Walk, the crowd greeted the principal personage with 
two distinct huzzas, which he acknowledged with bows and smiles. 
The general feeling of the crowd seemed to be a very joyful one, 

1 There are some verses by Thomas D'Urfey of which this, the first, is 
similar, and has given the refrain to, the later and well-known song : 

'Twas within a Furlong of Edinborough Toun, 

In the Rosie time of year when the Grass was doun ; 

"Bony Jockey Blith and Gay, 

Said to Jenny making Hay, 
Let's sit a little (Dear) and prattle, 

'Tis a sultry Day : 

He long had Courted the Black-Brow'd Maid, 
"But Jockey was a Wag and would ne'er consent to wed ; 
Which made her pish and phoo, and cry out it will not do, 
I cannot, cannot, cannot, wonnot, monnot Buckle to. 



CHAMBERS 115 

arising in some cases from the influence of political prepossessions, 
in many others from gratified curiosity, and perhaps in still more 
from the satisfaction with which they had observed the fate of the 
city so easily decided that morning. Many had previously con- 
ceived Charles to be only the leader of a band of predatory 
barbarians, at open warfare with property, and prepared to commit 
any outrage for the accomplishment of his purposes. They now 
regarded him in the interesting light of an injured prince, seeking, 
at the risk of life, one single noble object, which did not very 
obviously concern their personal interests. All, more or less, 
resigned themselves to the charm with which the presence of 
royalty is so apt to be attended. Youthful and handsome; 
gallant and daring ; the leader of a brave and hardy band ; the 
commander and object of a most extraordinary enterprise; un- 
fortunate in his birth and prospects, but making apparently one 
manly effort to retrieve the sorrows of his fate; the descendant 
of those time-honoured persons by whose sides the ancestors of 
those who saw him had fought at Bannockburn and Flodden ; the 
representative of a family peculiarly Scottish, but which seemed 
to have been deprived of its birthright by the machinations of the 
hated English Charles was a king calculated to excite the most 
fervent emotions amongst the people who surrounded him. The 
modern sovereign, as he went over the same ground in his 
splendid chariot, was beheld with respect, as the chief magistrate 
of the nation ; l but the boot of Charles was dimmed, as he passed 
along, with kisses and tears. 

A remarkable instance of the effect of these feelings occurred 
as Charles was entering the palace. When he had proceeded 
along the piazza within the quadrangle, and was just about to 
enter the porch of what are called the Hamilton apartments, the 
door of which stood open to receive him, a gentleman of mature 
age stepped out of the crowd, drew his sword, and, raising it aloft 
marshalled the way before him up stairs. James Hepburn, of 
Keith, in East Lothian, who adopted this conspicuous mode 
of enlisting himself, did not act altogether under the influence of 
a devoted attachment to the Stuart family, but was stimulated by 
a sense of the injustice of the Union, which he said had ruined his 
country. . . . 

The Prince being thus established in his paternal palace, it was 

the next business of his adherents to proclaim his father at 

the Cross. The party which entered the city in the morning had 

taken care to secure the heralds and pursuivants, whose business 

1 The reference is to George iv. See pp. 219-221. 



ii6 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

it was to perform such ceremonies. About one o'clock, therefore, 
an armed body was drawn up around the Cross; and that 
venerable pile, which, notwithstanding its association with so 
many romantic events, was soon after removed by the magistrates, 
had the honour of being covered with carpet for the occasion. 
The officers were clothed in their fantastic, but rich old dresses, 
in order to give all the usual eclat to this disloyal ceremony. 
David Beatt, a Jacobite teacher of Edinburgh, then proclaimed 
King James, and read the commission of regency, with the 
declaration dated at Rome in 1743, and a manifesto in the name 
of Charles Prince Regent, dated at Paris, May 16, 1745. An 
immense multitude witnessed the solemnity, which they greeted 
with hearty but partial huzzas. The ladies, who viewed the scene 
from their lofty lattices in the High Street, strained their voices 
in acclamation, and waved white handkerchiefs in honour of the 
day. The Highland guard looked round the crowd with faces 
expressing wild joy and triumph, and, with the license and 
extravagance appropriate to the occasion, fired off their pieces 
in the air. The bagpipe was not wanting to greet the name of 
James with a loyal pibroch ; and during the ceremony, Mrs. 
Murray of Broughton, whose enthusiasm was only surpassed by 
her beauty, sat on horseback beside the Cross, with a drawn sword 
in her hand, and her person profusely decorated with white 
ribbons, which signified devotion to the house of Stuart. 

Robert Chambers. 
History of the Rebellion 0/1745-6. 

1745 THE same day Prince Charles and the rest of his army marched by 

the foot of the Braid Hills and Prestonfield to the King's Park, the 
Prince stopping on the way at Grange House to drink a glass of 
wine. The army encamped in the Park, and the Prince rode 
forward by St. Anthony's Well and the Duke's Walk to Holyrood, 
where he was met by an immense crowd, twenty thousand people 
it is said ; and amid the wildest enthusiasm, the true heir of the 
ancient royal house entered the palace of his ancestors. . . . 

At noon the heralds, clad in their robes of state, and with all due 
solemnity, proclaimed King James vm. and Charles Prince Regent 
at the old Market Cross. . . . 

The day after the battle x was Sunday, and the Jacobite army 
marched in triumph through Edinburgh, headed by a great array 
of pipers playing the Prince's favourite air, ' The King shall enjoy 
his own again.' The clans were followed by the prisoners, who 

1 Prestonpans. 



BLAIKIE 117 

were half as numerous as the whole Highland army ; the rear was 
brought up by the carts conveying the wounded. The Prince 
took no part in this triumph ; on the contrary, he issued a proclama- 
tion forbidding any demonstration of public joy, as the victory had 
been obtained over his father's misguided subjects. It is stated 
by one of those who fought against him that he remained for hours 
on the battlefield giving orders for the relief of the wounded of 
both armies, and preserving every appearance of moderation and 
humanity; that night he lay at Pinkie House, and next day 
returned quietly to Edinburgh. 

By this victory Prince Charles became practically Sovereign of 
Scotland : only the castles of Edinburgh and Stirling, and three 
Highland forts two of which he afterwards captured held out 
against him, and he reigned in Holyrood for seven weeks. 

There was nothing which surprised the good folks of Edinburgh 
so much as the wonderful behaviour of the dreaded Highlanders, 
whose appearance was so wild and tatterdemalion. . . . The chiefs 
were most courteous gentlemen, well educated, many of them fond 
of letters, and I like to think of them wandering through the High 
Street, dropping into the book-shops and into Allan Ramsay's library 
in the Lawnmarket to see the latest books and magazines. 

Among them was Alexander Robertson, the aged chief of Struan, 
himself no mean poet in Gaelic and in English. William Hamilton of 
Bangour, a well-known poet, was another of the Jacobite officers. 
A Linlithgowshire laird and a man of fashion, he had been brought 
up a Whig, for his mother had married President Dalrymple, the 
great Whig judge. His conversion to Jacobitism took place while 
travelling in Italy. One day, when he was sauntering about the 
Capitol in Rome, a hand was laid on his shoulder by a young 
man, who said with a pleasant smile, ' Mr. Hamilton, whether do 
you like this prospect, or the one from North Berwick Law, the 
best ? ' Hamilton recognised Prince Charles, and from that time 
became his devoted follower. 

But it was not only the higher officers who had literary tastes. 
Bishop Forbes tells of a Highland officer, the younger brother of 
a subordinate chieftain from a small island in the westermost 
Hebrides, who, nursing his wounds after Culloden, concealed in 
caves and fast places, occupied his enforced leisure in composing 
Horatian odes in Latin. The Bishop, amazed at his classical 
learning, discovered that he had never gone further for his schooling 
than the island of Skye. When an army of Hessians came over in 
the spring of 1746 to help King George, and was quartered in 
Perthshire, the only language in which they could communicate 



Ii8 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

with the Highlanders was Latin, in which all the innkeepers of the 
Atholl district were able to converse. It was in Latin, too, that 
Lord George Murray communicated with his Hessian adversaries. 
How many Highland innkeepers, how many generals, with all our 
' improved ' education, could do this to-day ? . . . 

When Lochiel, on the morning of the capture, burst into 
Edinburgh and had quartered his Camerons in the Lawnmarket, 
though the inhabitants plied them with hospitality, offering them 
meat and drink in abundance, not a man of them would taste 
spirits, because their chief had forbidden them to do so before they 
marched. . . . 

Throughout the occupation of Edinburgh there was little excess or 
oppression bythe Highland soldiers; it is on record that there were no 
riots in the streets, and not so much as a drunk man to be seen. . . . 

Edinburgh had to make contributions in tents, military stores, 
and arms, for which the inhabitants were assessed 23. 6d. in the^i 
on their rental. The chief magistrates of the boroughs, the Collector 
of Taxes, the Controller of Customs, were all summoned to Holyrood 
'upon pain of rebellion and high treason,' and most of them had 
to come. . . . 

For some time after the battle of Prestonpans everything seems 
to have gone on very quietly in Edinburgh, and business was con- 
ducted as usual. The Post went out and came in regularly ; the 
newspapers and magazines were published as usual, and citizens 
received their English and foreign news exactly as before . . . 
During the occupation, the inhabitants of Edinburgh appear to 
have accepted the situation with remarkable equanimity, and 
Whig and Jacobite to have lived in amity and good-fellowship. 
As Sir Walter Scott has pointed out, party feeling has never 
interfered with social friendliness in Edinburgh. . . . Until the 
English came on the scene, our forefathers seem to have looked on 
the whole business as a political quarrel, not a civil war, and if 
political, there was no need for personal animosity. . . . 

I have as yet said nothing about the central figure of this 
romantic drama. All the other actors moving about Old Edinburgh 
I can picture to myself, but the Prince I cannot see. . . . 

The few glimpses to be gathered are for the most part from Lord 
Elcho. Prince Charles held court at the palace with great splendour 
and magnificence, receiving his officers every morning. At ten 
o'clock he held a council, and an unruly council it often was. Then 
he dined in public with his principal gentlemen while a crowd of 
all sorts of people watched him. After dinner he rode out with his 
Life-guards and inspected the troops, returning to Holyrood, where 



LADY OXFORD 119 

he received the ladies of fashion who came to his court. He supped 
in public, when there was generally music, and after that dancing. 

There are few old Jacobite families who have not a traditional 
ancestress who danced with Prince Charlie at Holyrood, but I fear 
no such claim can be allowed. We are expressly told that at 
Edinburgh he never danced ; and what is more, that at Holyrood 
he did not wear the kilt, but when in Highland costume he dressed 
in tartan coat and breeches, and always wore boots. 

An Edinburgh Whig lady writes to her daughter in London : 
'The young gentleman that we have got among us, busses the 
ladies so, that he gains our hearts.' On the other hand, Lord 
Elcho says : ' There came a great many ladies of fashion to kiss 
his hand, but his behaviour to them was very cool : he had not 
been much used to women's company, and was always embarrassed 
when he was with them.' After supper he took refuge from court 
embarrassments with his army. He generally went to the camp at 
Duddingston to spend the night under canvas with his soldiers, 
and there he always slept in his clothes. . . . 

Charles had the royal gift of remembering faces, even of the 
humblest. At Holyrood he was accessible to all, and spoke 
familiarly to the meanest Highlanders ; while after Prestonpans he 
talked kindly to his unfortunate prisoners. His public acts were 
dignified and kingly. Everything he did while in Scotland inclined 

to humanity and mercy. 

Walter B. Blaikie. 

' Edinburgh at the Time of the Occupation of Prince Charles.' 
Printed in The Book of the Old Edinburgh Club, 1909. 

May IT., Saturday. . . . From thence came through Musselburgh 1745 
and over the sand to Edinburgh, dined at Mrs. Walker's, an ex- 
ceeding good and clean tavern. In the afternoon went to our 
lodgings at Mrs. Urquahart's by the Cross, up two pair of stairs, 
very good lodgings. 

May 12, Sunday. Lady Oxford went to Lady Leven and went 
with her to the Kirk, heard a lecture and a preaching from a High- 
land man. Dined with the Lord Commissioner, a very fine dinner, 
the first course fifteen, the second course eighteen, and the dessert 
thirty dishes. Went to the Kirk again in the afternoon and then 
came home. My Lady visited by Lady Glenorchy, Lady Mary 
Creyton, Mr. and Mrs. Hope. 

May 13, Monday. Dined again at Lord High Commissioner's, 
the same number of dishes as the day before. In the afternoon 
my Lady was visited by Lord and Lady Hopetoun, Lord Desford, 
Lady Somerville, Lady Glenorchy, and Mrs. Hope. 



120 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

May 14, Tuesday. Went to Hope Park and to see Holyrood 
House, the King's Palace. The State apartments are very fine 
rooms but extremely out of repair. Duke Hamilton lives in the 
Queen's apartment, which is very well kept. Lord Breadalbane's 
lodgings are over them and are very fine rooms and extremely well 
furnished and command a fine view of the sea. Dined with Lady 
Glenorchy, a very elegant dinner. . . . 

Lady Oxford's Journey through Yorkshire, etc., into Scotland. 1 (Printed 

by the Historical MSS. Commission in the Report on the MSS. of 

the Duke of Portland : Welbeck Abbey.) 

THIS City, in Regard of its high Situation, the Goodness of the 
Air, and Fertility of the Soil, so many seats of the Nobility lying 
round it, its being watered with Excellent Springs, and reaching, 
from East to West, a Mile in Length, and Half so much in 
Breadth, is, upon these Accounts, justly esteemed the Metropolis 
of Scotland. It is strongly walled, and adorned with publick and 
private Buildings, well peopled, and frequented, for the Advantage 
of the Sea, which the neighbouring Port of Leith affords ; and, as 
it was formerly honoured with the King's Residence, so is it the 
Sacred Repository of the Records, and the Chief Tribunal of 
Justice. . . . The Castle is situated on so high a Rock, strongly 
fortified with a great Number of Towers, that it is looked upon as 
impregnable. This the Britain* called Castle Myned Agned ; the 
Scots, the Maidens Castle, and the Virgin Castle, because the 
Maiden Princesses of the Blood-Royal of the Picts were kept here, 
in old Time. The Ascent upon which the City stands, has, on the 
North-Side, a Pool, called the North-Loch, and was, formerly, 
guarded by another, on the South, called the South-Loch ; but this 
last is drained many years ago, and upon the Banks of it are built 
two several Tracts of Houses. The Magistrates have also, with 
Great Expence, brought one of the best Springs of Scotland into the 
City, which they did by Leaden Pipes, from a Hill, at about Three 
Miles Distance ; and, to make it more convenient, they have erected 
several stately Conduits in the Middle of the High Street, to serve 
the Town with Water. . . . About Midway, between the Nether- 
Bow and the Castle, stands the Great Church, which, before the 
Reformation, was Collegiate, and dedicated to St. Giles; but it 
was afterwards divided into several Preaching Places ; and Districts 
of the City were allotted to them, so as to be Parochial. When 
King Charles the First erected a new Bishoprick at Edinburgh, 

1 Henrietta Cavendish, only daughter and heir of John (Holies), 1st Duke of 
Newcastle ; and widow of Edward Harley, Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer. 



'JOURNEY' 121 

which before that Time was in the Diocese of St. Andrews, it was 
made a Cathedral, and the Dean was Forenoon Minister of that 
Part of it called the New Kirk, which is the Choir, Chancel, or 
Eastern Part. The Great Cross, under the Tower, is called the 
Old Kirk; and the Front, or West-Part of the Great Church, is 
divided into two Parts : that on the South is called the Tolbooth- 
Kirk, and that on the North, Haddo's Hole, from the Laird of 
Haddo, who, being a great Royalist, and Anti-covenanter, was kept 
Prisoner in a Vault there, till he was beheaded. The Steeple, in 
the Middle, is very high, and of good Architecture ; the Summit 
of it resembles an Imperial Crown. Here they have a Sett of 
Bells, which are not rung out, as in England (for that Way of 
Ringing is not known in this Country) but are played upon by the 
Hand, with Keys, like a Harpsichord, the Person playing having 
great Leather Covers to his Fists, by which he is able to strike with 
the more Force; and, for the larger Bells, there are Treddles, 
which he strikes with his Feet. They play all Manner of Tunes, 
very musically; and the Town gives a Man a yearly Salary for 
playing upon them, from Half an Hour after Eleven, till Half an 
Hour after Twelve, every Day, Sundays and Holydays excepted. 
The same Sort of Musical Bells are also common all over Flanders 
and Holland. 1 . . . 

Near the West-End of the Great Church, stands the Tolbooth, 
or Common-Prison, as well for Criminals, as for Debtors. It 
was formerly the Place of Residence for the Provost of St. 
Giles, as most of the adjacent Houses were for the Canons 
and Choristers of that Church. The Great Church, and this 
Prison, both standing in the Middle of the Street, the Breadth 
and Beauty of it is, for some Space, interrupted ; but, beyond those 
Buildings, and a Middle Row, called the Lucken-Booths, the Street 
opens again to its former Breadth, and is now called the Lawn 
Market, from the Linnen-Market being kept here. This Part of 
the Street extends West, to a narrower one, which leads to the 
Castle Hill. At the upper End of it is a Stone Building, appro- 
priated to several Publick Offices, of lesser Note, called the Weigh- 
House, for, Below-stairs, are Ware-Houses, with publick Weights 
and Scales, for weighing heavy Goods. In this place, the Rebels 
kept a Guard, when they endeavoured to besiege the Castle, but 
1 These bells were cast in 1698 by John Meikle, Castlehill, Edinburgh, Deacon 
of the Hammermen of Edinburgh, who received the order from the Town Council 
to ' mak a guid and sufficient chime or sette of musical bells for the use of the 
City of Edinburgh.' They were of bronze, and continued to chime till 1865, 
when a set of steel bells were presented in their place. The old brass bells and 
their steel supplanters were taken down in 1890 and sold by auction. R. M. 



122 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

some Cannon being pointed to it from the Castle, beat a Part of 
it down, and dispersed their Guard. 

. . . The next remarkable Buildings, are, First, Heriofs Work, 
which is really a large and stately Building, adorned with a conse- 
crated Chapel, and pleasant Gardens : It was built by the Reverend 
Doctor Balcauquhal, to whom George Heriot, Jeweller to King 
fames vi., left near seventeen thousand Pounds, to be disposed 
of in pious Uses ; which that worthy Dean did, by building and 
endowing this House, and giving Statutes to it, which he ordered 
should be unalterable. It is a Nursery for an indefinite Number 
of the Sons of Freemen, who are maintained, cloathed, and 
educated in useful Learning, till they are fit for Apprentiships, or 
to go to the University, where they are allowed handsome Salaries 
and Exhibitions. The next most remarkable, is the Royallnfirmary t 
lately erected, but not quite finished or filled, but by our sick and 
wounded Soldiers; it has great number of Conveniences, and a 
beautiful large Building ; the Amphitheatre for Operations is also 
the grandest, and best designed, of any I had before seen : It was 
built by the liberal Contributions of many well disposed Persons, 
and there was so general a good-will to the Work, that the like 
spirit has hardly ever been known anywhere. The Proprietors of 
several Stone Quarries made Presents of Stone to it, others of 
Lime, Merchants contributed Timber. The Wrights and Masons 
were not wanting in their Contributions also : The neighbouring 
Farmers agreed to carry Materials gratis: His Majesty was also 
pleased to give one hundred Pounds towards it. The following is 
the Inscription on the First Stone, The Royal Infirmary at Edin- 
burgh, founded August 2, 1738. Earl Cromarty, G.M. Next is 
the Royal Palace, a very handsome Building, rather convenient 
than large ; it was formerly both a Royal Palace and an Abbey, 
founded by King David the first, for the Canons Regular of Saint 
Austin, who named it Holyrood-House, or the House of the Holy 
Cross, which was burnt by Oliver Cromwell, but nobly re-edified 
by King Charles the Second . . . whereof Sir William Bruce was 
Architect. The inner Court is very stately, all of Freestone, well 
hewed, with a Colonade round it, from whence are Entries into 
the several Apartments ; but above all, the long Gallery is very 
remarkable, being adorned with the pictures of all the Scots Kings, 
from Fergus i. done by masterly Hands. This served as a lodging 
Room for our Soldiers, upon Straw, as were most of the other 
Rooms. The adjoyning Park belonging to this Abbey before 
mentioned, is about four Miles in Circumference ; but what is very 
odd, there is neither Deer nor Tree in it ; and though it be very 



'JOURNEY' 123 

mountainous, affords good Pasture for Cattle, excepting the mighty 
craggy Rock in it, near half a Mile to the Top, called Arthur's 
Seat, from Arthur the British King, who, they say, used to view 
the adjacent Country from thence. This Palace, or Abbey, and 
Park, are a Sanctuary for Debtors. Close to this Abbey, is a neat 
Physic Garden, abounding with great variety of curious Plants, 
with Stoves, under the direction of Doctor Charles Alston, the 
present Botanical Professor, a most learned and curious Gentleman. 
Next, and lastly, is the College, or University, which stands near 
the Potter-row-port} it consists of three Courts, two lower, and one 
higher, equal to the other two ; these Courts are incompassed with 
neat Buildings, for the use of such Students as please to lodge in 
them ; for they do not live in common, nor are they obliged to 
reside, but only to attend their Classes at certain Hours. There is 
a high Tower over the great Gate looking to the City. The fortune 
of this City hath in former Ages been very variable and inconstant, 
sometimes it was subject to the Scots, and otherwhiles to the 
English, who inhabited the East Parts of Scotland, until it became 
wholly under the Scots Dominion, about the Year 960, when the 
English being over-powered, and quite oppressed by the Danes, 
were enforced to quit all their Interest here, as unable to grapple 
with two such potent Enemies. Edinburgh is certainly a fine City, 
and, I believe, can boast of the highest Houses in Europe not- 
withstanding, it has its Faults. . . . 

The Women here use the Scots Plaids about their Heads and 
Shoulders, exactly of the Shape, and worn after the same manner 
with the Flemmingers Veils ; only these are of different Colours, 
made of Worsted, and the Foreigners always black Silk. . . . Great 
numbers of the Ladies of Edinburgh are very handsome, light 
haired, and fair Complexions, with Freckles : along the Streets, 
they have a noble Walk and erect Deportment ; you must, at the 
same Time, understand that Edinburgh is to Scotland, as London 
to England, where all the Beauties of the distant Counties come 
for Education, which makes their Numbers seem much more, than 
otherwise it would be : They are also very industrious, and take 
great Pride in having most part of their Cloaths the product of 
their own working; they are great Admirers of white thread Stock- 
ings, and also of shewing them upon their Legs ; but what is still 
better, they make them themselves, for it is a very great Rarity 
to see a Scotch Woman sit idle ; nay, over the Tea-Table, they are 
generally at work, either upon their Thread to make their Linnen or 
Plaids, or else knitting themselves Stockings or Gloves, most 
curious and fine ; a piece of Industry that our English Ladies take 



124 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

no care after ! but more the Pity, and their Men, on the contrary, 
live as idle. . . . Three fourths of Edinburgh are supposed to be 
Jacobites; and those of the Town who pretend to be staunch 
Whigs, even tell us so. And the Ladies in general, are in love 
with the Pretender's Son's Person, and wear, white Breast-Knots 
and Ribbons in his Favour, in all their private Assemblies. We 
are too, most miserably accommodated, and meet with innumer- 
able Hardships from the Inclemency of the Weather. . . . 
Edinburgh, Jan. 30, 1746. 

A Journey through Part of England and Scotland. Along with the Army 
under the. Command of His Royal Highness the Duke of Cumberland. 
Wherein the Proceedings of the Army, and the Happy Suppression of 
the Rebellion in the Year 1746 Are particularly described. By a 
Volunteer. Comprised in several letters to a Friend in London. The 
Second Edition. London : Printed for T. Osborne, in Gray's Inn. 
MDCCXLVII. 1 

Thursday 25 [of April, 1751]. We rode to Edinburgh, one of 
the dirtiest cities I had ever seen, not excepting Colen in Germany. 
... I preached again at six, on Seek ye the Lord, while he may be 
found. I used great plainness of speech towards them, and they 

received it in love. . . . 

Rev. J ohn Wesley. 

Journal. 

AT this period, when he [David Hume] first lived in Edinburgh, 
and was writing his History of England, his circumstances were 
narrow, and he accepted the office of Librarian to the Faculty of 
Advocates, worth ^40 per annum. But it was not for the salary 
that he accepted this employment, but that he might have easy 
access to the books in that celebrated library ; for, to my certain 
knowledge, he gave every farthing of the salary to families in dis- 
tress. . . . His economy was strict, as he loved independency; 
1753-62 and yet he was able at that time to give suppers to his friends in 
his small lodging in the Canongate. He took much to the com- 
pany of the younger clergy, not from a wish to bring them over to 
his opinions, for he never attempted to overturn any man's prin- 
ciples, but they best understood his notions, and could furnish him 
with literary conversation. Robertson and John Home and 
Bannatine and I lived all in the country, and came only peri- 
odically to the town. Blair and Jardine both lived in it, and 
suppers being the only fashionable meal at that time, we dined 
where we best could, and by cadies assembled our friends to meet 
1 This book plagiarizes extensively from Defoe's Tour. The part about 
Edinburgh is mostly word for word the same. R. M. 



'JUPITER CARLYLE' 125 

us in a tavern by nine o'clock ; and a fine time it was when we 
could collect David Hume, Adam Smith, Adam Ferguson, Lord 
Elibank, and Drs. Blair and Jardine, on an hour's warning. I 
remember one night that David Hume, who, having dined abroad, 
came rather late to us, and directly pulled a large key from his 
pocket, which he laid on the table. This he said was given him 
by his maid Peggy (much more like a man than a woman) that she 
might not sit up for him, for she said when the honest fellows came 
in from the country, he never returned home till after one o'clock. 
This intimacy of the young clergy with David Hume enraged the 
zealots on the opposite side, who little knew how impossible it was 
for him, had he been willing, to shake their principles. 

As Mr. Hume's circumstances improved he enlarged his mode 
of living. ... As the New Town was making its progress west- 
ward, he built a house in the south-west corner of St. Andrew 1770 
Square. 1 The street leading south to Princes Street had not yet got 
its name affixed, but they got a workman early one morning to 
paint on the corner-stone of David's house 'St. David's Street,' 
where it remains to this day. 2 ... At this time David Hume 
was living in Edinburgh and composing his History of Great 
Britain. He was a man of great knowledge, and of a social 
and benevolent temper, and truly the best-natured man in the 
world. He was branded with the title of Athiest, on account 
of the many attacks on revealed religion that are to be found 
in his philosophical works, and in many places of his History 
the last of which are still more objectionable than the first, 
which a friendly critic might call only sceptical. Apropos of 
this, when Mr. Robert Adam, the celebrated architect, and his 
brother, lived in Edinburgh with their mother, an aunt of Dr. 
Robertson's, and a very respectable woman, she said to her son, 
c I shall be glad to see any of your companions to dinner, but I 
hope you will never bring the Athiest here to disturb my peace.' 
But Robert soon fell on a method to reconcile her to him, for he 
introduced him under another name, or concealed it carefully from 
her. When the company parted she said to her son, ' I must con- 
fess you bring very agreeable companions about you, but the large 

1 He had removed in 1762 from Jack's Land, Canongate, to James's Court, 
where, with an interval of several years abroad, he lived till he removed to the 
New Town. 

2 There are several versions of this story. Burton's makes Miss Nancy Ord 
herself chalk the name on the wall, and it adds the good ending : ' Hume's 
" lass," judging that it was not meant in honour or reverence, ran into the house 
much excited, to tell her master how he was made game of. " Never mind, 
lassie," he said, " many a better man has been made a saint of before.'" R. M. 



126 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

jolly man who sat next me is the most agreeable of them all.' 
'This was the very Athiest,' said he, 'mother, that you were so 
much afraid of.' 'Well,' says she, 'you may bring him here as 
much as you please, for he 's the most innocent, agreeable, facetious 

man I ever met with.' . . . 

Rev. Alexander Carlyle 

('Jupiter Carlyle,' minister of Inveresk). 

A utobiography. 

JE chante les Honneurs, et la Ville fameuse 
Qui se nomme Edimbourg, la grande et glorieuse. 
Dont les siecles passez ont vu que de son Sein 
Tant de Rois sont sortis, le Sceptre dans la Main. 
Qui, promenant par tout sa belliqueuse Audace 
Fit sentir sa Valeur jusqu'a 1'Ourse de glace. 
Et qui dans 1'Univers, rempli de ses Exploits, 
Fit redouter sa Gloire, et le Nom de ses Rois ! 

II faut qu' avec Loisir et d'un Esprit tranquille, 
J'admire les Beautes de cette grande Ville ! 
Ou 1'un et 1'autre Bout menagez avec Art, 
Offrent 1'un un Palais, et 1'autre un Boulevard. 
Que cette Ville est grande, et qu'il faut qu'on se lasse, 
Si Ton vouloit d'abord la courir a la Trace. 

Eloge de la Ville d 1 Edimboiirg, par le Sieur de Forbes. 
A Edimbourg : MDCCLII. 

To ROBERT BRYANTON, at Balymallon, Ireland. 

EDINBURGH, Sept. 26, 1753. 

MY DEAR BOB, . . . From their pride and poverty, as I take it, 
results one advantage this country enjoys ; namely, the gentlemen 
here are much better bred than among us. ... The men here 
have generally high cheek bones, and are lean and swarthy, fond 
of action, dancing in particular. Now that I have mentioned 
dancing, let me say something of their balls, which are very fre- 
quent here. When a stranger enters the dancing-hall, he sees one 
end of the room taken up by the ladies, who sit dismally in a group 
by themselves ; and in the other end stand their pensive partners 
that are to be ; but no more intercourse between the sexes than 
there is between two countries at war. The ladies indeed may 
ogle, and the gentlemen sigh ; but an embargo is laid on any closer 
commerce. At length, to interrupt hostilities, the lady directress, 
or intendant, or what you will, pitches upon a lady and gentleman 
to walk a minuet; which they perform with a formality that 



GOLDSMITH 127 

approaches to despondence. After five or six couple have thus 
walked the gauntlet, all stand up to country dances, each gentleman 
furnished with a partner from the aforesaid lady directress ; so they 
dance much, say nothing, and thus concludes our assembly. I 
told a Scotch gentleman that such profound silence resembled the 
ancient procession of the Roman matrons in honour of Ceres ; and 
the Scotch gentleman told me (and, faith, I believe he was right) 
that I was a very great pedant for my pains. 

Now I am come to the ladies; and to show that I love 
Scotland, and everything that belongs to so charming a country, I 
insist on it, and will give him leave to break my head that denies 
it that the Scotch ladies are ten thousand times finer and hand- 
somer than the Irish. To be sure, now, I see your sisters Betty 
and Peggy vastly surprised at my partiality, but tell them flatly, I 
don't value them or their fine skins, or eyes, or good sense, a. 
potato ; for I say, and will maintain it ; and as a convincing proof 
(I am in a great passion) of what I assert, the Scotch ladies say it 
themselves. But to be less serious ; where will you find a language 
so prettily become a pretty mouth as the broad Scotch ? And the 
women here speak it in its highest purity ; for instance, teach one 
of your young ladies at home to pronounce the ' Whoar wull I 
gong?' with a becoming widening of mouth, and I'll lay my life 

they '11 wound every hearer. . . . 

Oliver Goldsmith. 
Quoted in Prior's Life of Goldsmith, 

IT was in the end of this year, 1756, that Douglas was first acted 
in Edinburgh. Mr. Home had been unsuccessful in London the 
year before, but he was well with Sir Gilbert Elliot, Mr. Oswald of 
Dunnikier, and had the favour and friendship of Lord Milton and 
all his family ; and it was at last agreed among them that, since 
Garrick could not yet be prevailed on to get Douglas acted, it 
should be brought on here ; for if it succeeded in the Edinburgh 
theatre, then Garrick could resist no longer. . . . 

The play had unbounded success for a great many nights in 
Edinburgh, and was attended by all the literati and most of the 
judges, who, except one or two, had not been in use to attend the 
theatre. The town in general was in an uproar of exultation that 
a Scotchman had written a tragedy of the first rate, and that its 
merit was first submitted to their judgement. There were a few 
opposers, however, among those who pretended to taste and 
literature, who endeavoured to cry down the performance in 
libellous pamphlets and ballads (for they durst not attempt to 



128 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

oppose it in the theatre itself), and were openly countenanced by 
Robert Dundas of Arniston, at that time Lord Advocate, and all 
his minions and expectants. The High-flying set were unanimous 
against it, as they thought it a sin for a clergyman to write any 
play, let it be ever so moral in its tendency. Several ballads and 
pamphlets were published on our side in answer to the scurrilities 
against us, one of which was written by Adam Ferguson, and 
another by myself. . . . 

It is remarkable, that in the year 1784, when the great actress 
Mrs. Siddons first appeared in Edinburgh, during the sitting of 
the General Assembly, that court was obliged to fix all its im- 
portant business for the alternate days when she did not act, as all 
the younger members, clergy as well as laity, took their stations 
in the theatre on those days by three in the afternoon. Drs. 
Robertson and Blair, though they both visited this great actress 
in private, often regretted to me that they had not seized the 
opportunity which was given them, by her superior talents and 
unexceptionable character, of going openly to the theatre, which 
would have put an end to all future animadversions on the 

subject. 

Rev. Alexander Carlyle 
('Jupiter Carlyle,' minister of Inveresk). 
Autobiography. 

'The Last Speech and Dying Words of the Cross, which was 
Hanged, Drawn, and Quartered on Monday, the I5th of March 1756, 
for the horrid crime of being an Incumbrance to the Street.' 

I WAS built up in Gothic times, 
, And have stood several hundred reigns ; 
Sacred my mem'ry and my name, 
For kings and queens I did proclaim. 
I peace and war did oft declare, 
And roused my country ev'rywhere : 
Your ancestors around me walk'd, 
Your kings and nobles 'side me talk'd, 
And lads and lasses with delight 
Set tryst with me to meet at night ; 
No tryster e'er was at a loss, 
For why, /'// meet you at the Cross. 
I country people did direct 
Through all the city with respect, 
Who missing me will look as droll 
As mariners without the pole. 



'CLAUDERO': DR. FRANKLIN 129 

On me great men have lost their lives 
And for a maiden left their wives . . , 
Professions many have I seen, 
And never have disturbed been ; 
I 've seen the Tory party slain, 
And Whigs exulting o'er the plain. 
I 've seen again the Tories rise, 
And with loud shouting pierce the skies, 
Then crown their king and chase the Whig 
From Pentland Hill to Bothwell Brig. 
I 're seen the Covenant by all sworn, 
And likewise seen them burnt and torn. 
I neutral stood as peaceful Quaker, 
With neither side was I partaker. 
I wish my life had longer been, 
That I might greater ferlies seen, 
Or else like other things decay, 
Which time alone does waste away. 

'Claudero.' 
From Miscellanies of Pros t and Verse. 

JOYS of Prestonfield, adieu ! 
Late found, soon lost, but still we '11 view 
Th' engaging scene oft to these eyes 
Shall the pleasing vision rise. 

Hearts that warm towards a friend, 
Kindness on kindness without end, 
Easy converse, sprightly wit, 
These we found in dame and knight. 

Cheerful meals, balmy rest, 
Beds that never bugs molest, 
Neatness and sweetness all around 
These at Prestonfield we found. 

Hear, O Heaven ! a stranger's prayer ! 
Bless the hospitable pair! 
Bless the sweet bairns, and very soon 
Give these a brother, those a son ! 

Dr. Benjamin Franklin. 
Verses written by him in 1759, after a visit 

to Prestonfield, Edinburgh. 

Given in Walks near Edinburgh, by Margaret Warrender. 
I 



130 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

EDINBURGH, Stpr. i$th, 1760. 

1760 DEAR SISTER, Edinburgh is most pleasantly situated, and consists 

chiefly of two streets, one up the ridge of a hill about a measured 
mile long finely built and paved, many of the houses being of hewn 
stone, and all with stone window Coins, and six or seven stories 
high to the Street, and some of them more backward, even to 14 
stories. It terminates at one end with the Esplanade before the 
Castle on the highest ground, which is a fine walk, commanding a 
view of the Frith and Leith and of the Country to the South. 
The other street, the Cowgate, is about half as long ; at the end of 
which about the middle of the other, St. Mary's Wynd and Leith 
Wynd cross it at right angles. And there are several small streets 
to the south of the Cowgate. 

Charles the ist in 1633 made Edinburgh a Bishop's See and 
appointed for the Diocese all the parts of the Arch Bishoprick of 
St. Andrews to the South of the Frith of Forth in the Shires of 
Edinburgh, Haddington, Linlithgow, Sterling, Berwick and Lauder- 
dale, and made St. Giles's Church the Cathedral; to have pre- 
cedence of all Suffragans and to be Suffragan to St. Andrews : But 
in 1639 Episcopacy was abolished in Scotland, restored at the 
Restoration, and was again altered to Presbytery under K. William 
on account of the adherence, though a weak one, of the Bishops to 
the Interest of James the 7th, for they would not take the Oath of 
Abjuration, but in other respects were willing to submit to the 
Government. . . . 

Stpr. ijth, 1760. 

DEAR SISTER, I went to see the Castle at Edinburgh which con- 
tains six English acres. It is said that the Kingdom of Northum- 
berland did extend to the Frith of Forth, and as Simon of Durham 
in the 9th Century calls it Edwinesburgh or Castle, and David the 
ist in 1128 calls it Edwines burg, so he supposed it was built by 
K. Edwin about 626, it is on a rock of black whinstone, a sort of 
granite composed of small grains : The Esplanade before it is 274 
feet above the Sea, about 90 feet above the Grass market, and 120 
above the north Lough. . . . 

The streets of Edinburgh are finely paved like St. Jame's Square, 
with a gutter on each side near the walking place, which is cut in a 
Semicircular form in hewn stone about 8 inches broad, through 
which the water runs that overflows the reservoir towards the 
Castle, which is supplyed by water brought from the Pentland hills 
by pipes ; and is kept full for use in case of fire. There are flag 
stones for foot people on each side of the street, with stones set up 
to keep off the carriages which is a late improvement. 



POCOCKE: ALEX. LEIGHTON 131 

The first hill I mentioned to the north is to be divided into 
three streets from East to West, and the houses to be only three 
stories high, which will make it a most noble City. . . . 

Richard Pococke. 

Tours in Scotland, by Richard Pococke, Bishop of Meath. Printed by the 
Scottish History Society from the original MS. in the British Museum. 



OF Scotland's cities, still the rarest 

Is ancient Edinburgh town ; 
And of her ladies, still the fairest 

There you see walk up and down ; 
Be they gay, or be they gayless, 

There they beck and there they bow, 
From the Castle to the Palace, 

In farthingale and furbelow. 

Says Lady Jane to Lady Janet, 

1 Thy gown, I vow, is stiff and grand ; 
Though there were feint a body in it, 

Still I trow that it would stand.' 
And Lady Janet makes rejoinder : 

1 Thy boddice, madam, is sae tend, 
Thy bonny back may crack asunder, 

But, by my faith, it winna bend.' 

But few knew one both fairer, kinder, 

The fair maid of St. Mary's Wynd ; 
Among the great you will not find her, 

For she was of the humbler kind. 
For her minnie, spinning, plodding, 

She wore no ribbons to her shune, 
No mob-cap on her head nid-nodding, 

But aye the linsey-woolsey goun. 

No Lady Jane in silks and laces 

How fair soever she might be, 
Could match the face, the nature's graces 

Of this poor, humble Marjory : 
Her eyes they were baith mirk and merry, 

Her lire was as the lily fair, 
Her lips were redder than the cherry 

And flaxen was her glossy hair. 



132 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

Ye bucks who wear the coats silk-braided, 

With satin ribbon at your knee, 
And cambric ruffles starched and plaited, 

With cocked bonnets all ajee, 
Who walk with mounted canes at even, 

Up and down so jauntilie, 
Ye would have given a blink of heaven 

For one sweet smile from Marjory. 



He 's now within the ancient borough ! 

He sought the well-known White Horse Inn, 
And there he laid him down in sorrow. 

Some strengthening confidence to win ; 
Then up the street, with none to greet him, 

He held his sad and sorrowing way, 
When lo ! who should there be to meet him 

But Friar John ! * who slunk away. 

Strange thing ! but lo ! the sacred sheiling 

In that old wynd of St. Marie 
The window where with mirthful feeling 

He tap't the sign to Marjory ; 
He sought the lobby dark and narrow, 

Groped gently for the well-known door, 
Where he might hear of his winsome marrow 

Who died there many years before. 

He drew the latch, and quietly entered : 

There someone spinning merrilie ! 
A faltering question then he ventured : 

' My name, kind sir, is Marjory.' 
' Great God ! ' he cried, in voice all trembling, 

And sank upon a crazy chair, 
And tried to trace a strange resembling 

In her who sat beside him there. 

A maiden she still young and buxom, 

Nor change but what ten years may bring, 

Her hair still of the glossy flaxen, 
Her eyes still blue as halcyon's wing. 

1 Friar John, left in charge, had sent him false news of Marjory's death. 



GRAY 133 

He traced the lines, he knew each feature 

Of all her still unfaded charms ; 
And now this long lost, worshipped creature 

Is locked fast in his loving arms. 

Alexander Leighton. 
Tales of the Borders. 

in Mid-Lothian 

EDINBOROUGH A miserable Inns, noble views from the castle. 
Holy-rood House, some of it 200 years old at least, but mostly 
built by S r W m Bruce 100 years later, here in the Earl of 1764 
Braidalbin, & Duke Hamilton's lodgeings are a number of 
pictures, room where Rizzio was murther'd shewn here. Nave of 
ye Abbey Church standing, but ready to fall now repair'd went out 
of Town. . . . 

Thomas Gray. 

Letter from Gray and his Friends^ edited 
by Duncan C. Tovey. 

EDINBURGH, the capital of Scotland, naturally takes the lead in this 1770 
division. . . . The castle, before the use of artillery, was deemed 
to be impregnable by force. It was probably built by the Saxon 
king Edwin. . . . 

Facing the castle, at a long mile's distance to the east, stands 
the abbey, or rather palace, of Holyrood-house. The inner quad- 
rangle of this palace, which was begun by James v. and finished by 
Charles 11., is of magnificent modern architecture, built according 
to the plan, and under the direction of Sir William Bruce, a Scotch 
gentleman of family, and undoubtedly one of the greatest architects 
of that age. Round the quadrangle runs an arcade, adorned with 
pilasters ; and the inside contains magnificent apartments for the 
Duke of Hamilton, who is hereditary keeper of the palace, and 
other noblemen. . . . James VH. when Duk of York, intended 
to have made great improvements about this palace. . . . The 
chapel belonging to the palace, as it stood when repaired and 
ornamented by that prince, is thought to have been the most 
elegant piece of Gothic architecture in Europe. It was the con- 
ventual church of the old abbey. Its roof is lofty and round ; it 
ran two rows of stone galleries supported by curious pillars. Its 
inside was demolished and rifled of all its rich ornaments, by the 
fury of the mob at the Revolution, which even broke into the 
repositories of the dead, and discovered a vault, till that time 
unknown, which contained the bodies of James v., his first queen, 
and Henry Darnley. 



134 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

The hospital, founded by George Herriot, goldsmith to James vi., 
commonly called Herriot's work, stands to the south east of the 
castle, in a noble situation. It is the finest and most regular 
specimen which Inigo Jones, whom James vi. of Scotland brought 
over from Denmark, has left us of his Gothic manner, and far 
exceeding anything of that kind to be seen in England. . . . 

The modern edifices in and near Edinburgh, such as the 
Exchange, its hospitals, bridges, and the like, demonstrate the 
vast improvement of the taste of the Scots in their public works. 
Streets and squares are opened in grounds to the north, where, a 
few years ago, sheep and cattle grazed. Those squares and houses, 
and likewise many to the south-east and west of the city, are laid 
out and built in the most elegant taste, with all the conveniences 
that render those of England so delightful and commodious ; but 
as those great schemes are yet incomplete, we shall not pretend to 
describe them farther. 

Edinburgh is governed by a lord provost, four bailiffs, a dean of 
guild, and a treasurer, annually chosen from the common-council. 
Every company, or incorporated trade, chooses its own deacon ; 
and here are fourteen ; namely, surgeons, goldsmiths, skinners, 
furriers, hammer-men, wrights or carpenters, masons, taylors, bakers, 
butchers, cordwainers, weavers, fullers, and bonnet-makers. The 
lord provost is colonel of the town-guard, a military institution to 
be found in no part of his majesty's dominions but at Edinburgh : 
they serve for the city watch, and patrole the streets, are useful in 
suppressing small commotions, and attend the execution of sentences 
upon delinquents : they are divided into three companies, and 
wear an uniform; they are immediately commanded by three 
officers, under the name of captains. Besides this guard, Edin- 
burgh raises sixteen companies of trained-bands, which serve as 
militia. The revenues of the city consist chiefly of that tax which 
is now common in most of the bodies corporate of Scotland, of two 
Scotch pennies, amounting in the whole to two thirds of a farthing, 
laid upon every Scotch pint of ale (containing two English quarts) 
consumed within the precincts of the city. This is a most judicious 
impost, as it renders the poorest people insensible of the burden. 
Its product, however, has been sufficient to defray the expence of 
supplying the city with excellent water, brought in leaden pipes at 
a distance of four miles ; of erecting reservoirs, enlarging the 
harbour of Leith, and compleating other public works of great 
expence and utility. 

Edinburgh may be considered, notwithstanding its castle, and 
an open wall which encloses it on the south side, of a very modern 



FERGUSSON 135 

fabric but in the Roman manner, as an open town ; so that in fact, 
it would have been impracticable for its inhabitants to have 
defended it against the rebels, who took possession of it in 1745. 

A certain class of readers would perhaps think it unpardonable, 
should I omit mentioning that Edinburgh contains a playhouse, 
which has now the sanction of an act of parliament ; and that 
concerts, assemblies, balls, music-meetings, and other polite amuse- 
ments, are as frequent and brilliant here, as in any other part of 
his majesty's dominions, London and Bath excepted. 

William Guthrie. 

A New Geographical, Historical, and Commercial Grammar ; and present 
state of the several Kingdoms of the World, by William Guthrie, Esq. 
London: printed for J. Knox at No. 148 near Somerset House, in the 
Strand. MDCCLXX. 

I SING the day sae aften sung, Tne King's 

Wi' which our lugs hae yearly rung, Birth-day in 

In whase loud praise the Muse has dung Edinburgh 

A' kind o' print ; 
But, wow ! the limmer 's fairly flung ; 

There 's naething in 't. 

I 'm fain to think the joys the same 
In London town as here at hame, 
Whaur fouk o' ilka age and name, 

Baith blind and cripple, 
Forgather aft, O fy for shame ! 

To drink and tipple. 

O Muse ! be kind, and dinna fash us 
To flee awa beyont Parnassus, 
Nor seek for Helicon to wash us, 

That heath'nish spring ; 
Wi' Highland whisky scour our hawses, 

And gar us sing. 

Begin, then, dame ! ye 've drunk your fill ; 
You wouldna hae the tither gill ? 
You '11 trust me, mair would do you ill, 

And ding ye doitet : 
'Troth, 'twould be sair against my will 

To hae the wyte o 't. 



136 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

Sing, then, how on the fourth o' June 
Our bells screed aff a loyal tune : 
Our ancient castle shoots at noon, 

Wi' flag-staff buskit, 
Frae which the sodger blades come doun 

To cock their musket. 

Oh willawins ! Mons Meg, for you ; 
'Twas firm' crack'd thy muckle mou' ; 
What black mishanter gart ye spew 

Baith gut and ga' ! 
I fear, they bang'd thy belly fu' 

Against the law. 

Right seenil am I gien to bannin' ; 
But, by my saul, ye was a cannon 
Could hit a man, had he been stannin' 

In shire o' Fife, 
Sax lang Scots miles ayont Clackmannan, 

An' tak' his life. 

Robert Fergusson. 

YESTERDAY we dined at Haddington, which has been a place of 
some consideration, but is now gone to decay; and in the evening 
arrived at this metropolis, of which I can say very little. It is 
very romantic, from its situation on the declivity of a hill, having 
a fortified castle at the top, and a royal palace at the bottom. 
The first thing that strikes the nose of a stranger shall be nameless ; 
but what first strikes the eye is the unconscionable height 
of the houses, which generally rise to five, six, seven, and eight 
stories, and, in some places, I am assured, to twelve. This manner 
of building, attended with numberless inconveniences, must have 
been originally owing to want of room. Certain it is, the town 
seems to be full of people ; but their looks, their language, and 
their customs are so different from ours, that I can hardly believe 
myself in Great Britain. . . . 

If I stay much longer in Edinburgh, I shall be changed into a 
downright Caledonian. . . . You cannot imagine how we have been 
caressed and feasted in the good town of Edinburgh, of which we 
are become free denizens and guild-brothers, by the special favour 
of the magistracy. . . . 

While Mr. Bramble holds conferences with the graver literati of 
the place, and our females are entertained at visits by the Scotch 
ladies, who are the best and kindest creatures on earth, I pass my 



SMOLLETT 137 

time among the bucks of Edinburgh, who, with a great share 
of spirit and vivacity, have a certain shrewdness and self command 
that is not often found among their neighbours in the heyday of 
youth and exultation. Not a hurt escapes a Scotchman that can 
be interpreted into offence by any individual of the company ; and 
national reflections are never heard. In this particular, I must 
own, we are both unjust and ungrateful to the Scotch ; for, as far 
as I am able to judge, they have a real esteem for the natives of 
South Britain ; and never mention our country but with expressions 
of regard. Nevertheless, they are far from being servile imitators 
of our modes and fashionable vices. All their customs and regula- 
tions of public and private economy, of business and diversion, are 
in their own style. This remarkably predominates in their looks, 
their dress, and manner, their music, and even their cookery. Our 
squire declares, that he knows not another people on earth so strongly 
marked with a national character. Now we are on the article 
of cookery, I must own some of their dishes are savoury, and even 
delicate ; but I am not yet Scotchman enough to relish their 
singed sheep's-head and haggis, which were provided at our 
request one day at Mr. Mitchelson's, where we dined. The first 
put me in mind of the history of the Congo, in which I read of 
negroe's heads sold publicly in the markets ; the last, being a mess 
of minced lights, livers, suet, oatmeal, onions, and pepper, enclosed 
in a sheep's stomach, had a very sudden effect on mine. . . . 

All the diversions of London we enjoy at Edinburgh in a small 
compass. Here is a well-conducted concert, in which several 
gentlemen perform on different instruments. The Scots are all 
musicians. Every man you meet plays on the flute, the violin, or 
violoncello ; and there is one nobleman whose compositions are 
universally admired. Our company of actors is very tolerable; 
and a subscription is now on foot for building a new theatre : 
but their assemblies please me above all other public exhibitions. 

We have been at the hunters' ball, where I was really astonished 
to see such a number of fine women. The English, who have 
never crossed the Tweed, imagine, erroneously, that the Scotch 
ladies are not remarkable for personal attractions; but I declare 
with a safe conscience I never saw so many handsome females 
together as were assembled on this occasion. At the Leith races, 
the best company comes hither from the remoter provinces; so 
that, I suppose, we had all the beauty of the kingdom concentrated 
as it were into one focus; which was indeed so vehement, that my 
heart could hardly resist its power. . . . 

I never saw such a concourse of genteel company at any races 



138 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

in England, as appeared on the course of Leith. Hard by, in the 
fields called the Links, the citizens of Edinburgh divert themselves 
at a game called golf, in which they use a curious kind of bats 
tipped with horn, and small elastic balls of leather, stuffed with 
feathers, rather less than tennis-balls, but of a much harder 
consistence. This they strike with such force and dexterity from 
one hole to another, that they will fly to an incredible distance. 
Of this diversion the Scots are so fond, that when the weather will 
permit, you may see a multitude of all ranks, from the senator of 
justice to the lowest tradesman, mingled together, in their shirts, 
and following the balls with the utmost eagerness. Among others, 
I was shown one particular set of golfers, the youngest of whom 
was turned of fourscore. They were all gentlemen of independent 
fortunes, who had amused themselves with this pastime for the 
best part of a century, without having ever felt the least alarm 
from sickness or disgust; and they never went to bed, without 
having each the best part of a gallon of claret in his belly. Such 
uninterrupted exercise, co-operating with the keen air from the sea, 
must, without all doubt, keep the appetite always on edge, and 
steel the constitution against all the common attacks of distemper 
. . . believe me to be ever yours, J. MELFORD. 

The civil regulations of this kingdom and metropolis are taken 
from very different models from those of England, excepting 
in a few particular establishments, the necessary consequences 
of the union. The college of justice is a bench of great dignity, 
filled with judges of character and ability. I have heard some 
causes tried before this venerable tribunal, and was very much 
pleased with the pleadings of their advocates, who are by no means 
deficient either in argument or elocution. The Scottish legislation 
is founded, in great measure, on the civil law ; consequently their 
proceedings vary from those of the English tribunals : but I 
think they have the advantage of us in their method of examining 
witnesses apart, and in the constitution of their jury. . . . 

The University of Edinburgh is supplied with excellent professors 
in all the sciences ; and the medical school, in particular, is 
famous all over Europe. The students of this art have the best 
opportunity of learning it to perfection, in all its branches, as there 
are different courses for the theory of medicine, and the practice 
of medicine; for anatomy, chemistry, botany, and the materia 
medica, over and above those of mathematics and experimental 
philosophy ; and all these are given by men of distinguished 
talents. What renders this part of education still more complete, 
is the advantage of attending the infirmary, which is the best 



SMOLLETT 139 

instituted charitable foundation that I ever knew. Now we are 
talking of charities, here are several hospitals exceedingly well 
endowed, and maintained under admirable regulations : and these 
are not only useful, but ornamental to the city. Among these, 
I shall only mention the general workhouse, in which the poor 
not otherwise provided for are employed, according to their 
different abilities, with such judgment and effect, that they nearly 
maintain themselves by their labour; and there is not a beggar 
to be seen within the precincts of this metropolis. It was 
Glasgow that set the example of this establishment, about thirty 
years ago. Even the Kirk of Scotland, so long reproached with 
fanaticism and canting, abounds at present with ministers cele- 
brated for their learning, and respectable for their moderation. 
I have heard their sermons with equal astonishment and pleasure. 
The good people of Edinburgh no longer think dirt and cobwebs 
essential to the house of God. Some of their churches have 
admitted such ornaments as would have excited sedition, even in 
England, a little more than a century ago ; and psalmody is here 
practised and taught by a professor from the cathedral of Durham. 
I should not be surprised, in a few years, to hear it accompanied 
with an organ. 

Edinburgh is a hot-bed of genius. I have had the good fortune 
to be made acquainted with many authors of the first distinction : 
such as the two Humes, 1 Robertson, Smith, Wallace, Blair, 
Ferguson, Wilkie, etc., and I have found them all as agreeable in 
conversation, as they are instructive and entertaining in their 
writings. These acquaintances I owe to the friendship of Dr. 
Carlyle, who wants nothing but inclination to figure with the rest 
on paper. The magistracy of Edinburgh is changed every year by 
election, and seems to be very well adapted both for state and 
authority. The lord provost is equal in dignity to the lord mayor 
of London ; and the four baillies are equivalent to the rank of 
aldermen. There is a dean of guild, who takes cognisance 
of mercantile affairs ; a treasurer, and a town-clerk ; and the 
council is composed of deacons, one of whom is returned every 
year in rotation, as representative of every company of artificers 
or handicraftsmen. Though this city, from the nature of its 
situation, can never be made either very convenient or very cleanly, 
it has, nevertheless, an air of magnificence that commands respect. 
The castle is an instance of the sublime in site and architecture. 
Its fortifications are kept in good order, and there is always in it 
a garrison of regular soldiers, which is relieved every year ; but 
1 David Hume and John Home, pronounced the same. R. M. 



I 4 o IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

it is incapable of sustaining a siege carried on according to the 
modern operations of war. The Castle-hill, which extends from 
the outward gate to the upper end of the High-street, is used 
as a public walk for the citizens, and commands a prospect, equally 
extensive and delightful, over the county of Fife, on the other 
side of the Frith, and all along the sea coast, which is covered 
with a succession of towns, that would seem to indicate a consider- 
able share of commerce ; but if the truth must be told, these towns 
have been falling to decay ever since the union, by which the 
Scots were in a great measure deprived of their trade with France. 
The palace of Holyrood-house is a jewel in architecture, thrust 
into a hollow where it cannot be seen; a situation which was 
certainly not chosen by the ingenious architect, who must have 
been confined to the site of the old palace, which was a convent. 
Edinburgh is considerably extended on the south side, where 
there are divers little elegant squares, built in the English manner ; 
and the citizens have planned some improvements on the north, 
which, when put in execution, will add greatly to the beauty and 
convenience of this capital. 

The sea-port is Leith, a flourishing town, about a mile from the 
city, in the harbour of which I have seen above one hundred ships 
lying all together. You must know I had the curiosity to cross 
the Frith in a passage-boat, and stayed two days in Fife, which 
is remarkably fruitful in corn, and exhibits a surprising number of 
fine seats, elegantly built, and magnificently furnished. There 
is an incredible number of noble houses in every part of Scotland 
that I have seen : Dalkeith, Pinkie, Yester, and Lord Hopetoun's, 
all of them within four or five miles of Edinburgh, are princely 
palaces, in every one of which a sovereign might reside at his ease. 
I suppose the Scots affect these monuments of grandeur. If I 
may be allowed to mingle censure with my remarks on a people 
I revere, I must observe, that their weak side seems to be vanity. 
I am afraid that even their hospitality is not quite free of 
ostentation. I think I have discovered among them uncommon 
pains taken to display their fine linen, of which indeed they have 
great plenty, their furniture, plate, house-keeping, and variety of 
wines, in which article, it must be owned, they are profuse, if not 
prodigal. A burgher of Edinburgh, not content to vie with a 
citizen of London who has ten times his fortune, must excel him 
in the expense as well as elegance of his entertainments. . . . 
We shall set ou. in two days, and take Stirling on our way, well 
provided with recommendations from our friends at Edinburgh, 
whom, I protest, I shall leave with much regret I am so far 



FERGUSSON 141 

from thinking it any hardship to live in this country, that, if I was 
obliged to lead a town life, Edinburgh would certainly be the head- 
quarters of yours always, MATT. BRAMBLE. 

Tobias Smollett. 

Humphrey Clinker. 

TO THE TRON KIRK BELL. 1 
WANWORDY, crazy, dinsome thing, 
As e'er was fram'd to jow or ring, 
What gar'd them sic in steeple hing, 

They ken themsel' ; 
But weel wat I, they couldna' bring 

Waur sounds frae hell. 

What deil are ye ? that I should ban ; 
You 're neither kin to pat nor pan ; 
Nor ulzie pig, nor maister-can, 

But weel may gie 
Mair pleasure to the ear o' man 

Than stroke o' thee. 

Fleece-merchants may look bauld, I trow, 
Sin' a' Auld Reekie's childer now 
Maun stap their lugs wi' teats o' woo, 

Thy sound to bang, 
And keep it frae gaun through and through 

Wi' jarrin' twang. 

Your noisy tongue, there 's nae abidin 't ; 
Like scauldin' wife's, there is nae gudein 't ; 
When I 'm 'bout ony business eident, 

It 's sair to thole ; 
To deave me, then, ye tak a pride in 't, 

Wi' senseless knoll. 

! were I provost o' the toun, 

1 swear by a' the powers aboon, 
I 'd bring ye wi' a reesle doun ; 

Nor should you think 
(Sae sair I 'd crack and clour your croun) 
Again to clink. 

1 This Tron Kirk Bell, which Fergusson anathematises, was erected in 1763, 
the year the building of the Tron Kirk was completed, and cost 1400 merks. 
In 1824, during the ' great fires ' in the Old Town, that destroyed ' Parliament 
Close' and many other buildings, the Tron steeple caught fire and the bell was 
melted. Pieces of this metal, as it lay in melted masses, were collected by 
admirers of Robert Fergusson, and made into little mementoes of him. 




i 4 2 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

For when I 've toom'd the meikle cap, 
And fain would fa' owre in a nap, 
Troth, I could doze as sound 's a tap, 

Were 't no for thee, 
That gies the tither weary chap 

To wauken me. 

I dreamt ae night I saw Auld Nick : 
Quo' he ' This bell o' mine 's a trick, 
A wily piece o* politic, 

A cunnin' snare, 
To trap fouk in a cloven stick, 

Ere they 're aware. 

' As lang 's my dautit bell hings there, 
A' body at the kirk will skair : 
Quo' they, gif he that preaches there 

Like it can wound, 
We donna care a single hair 

For joyfu* sound.' 

If magistrates wi' me would free 
For aye tongue-tackit should you be ; 
Nor fleg wi' anti-melody 

Sic honest fouk, 
Whase lugs were never made to dree 

Thy doolfu' shock. 

But far frae thee the bailies dwell, 
Or they would scunner at your knell ; 
Gie the foul thief his riven bell, 

And then, I trow, 
The byword bauds, ' The deil himsel' 

Has got his due.' 

Robert Fergusson. 

1771 A CITY that possesses a boldness and grandeur of situation beyond 

any that I have ever seen. It is built on the edges and sides of a 
vast sloping rock, of a great and precipitous height at the upper 
extremity, and the sides declining very quick and steep into the 
plain. The view of the houses at a distance strikes the traveller 
with wonder ; their own loftiness, improved by their almost aerial 
situation, gives them a look of magnificence not to be found in any 



PENNANT 143 

other part of Great Britain. All these conspicuous buildings form 
the upper part of the great street, are of stone, and make a hand- 
some appearance : they are generally six or seven stories high in 
front; but, by reason of the declivity of the hill, much higher 
backward; one in particular, called Babel, had about twelve or 
thirteen stories, before the fire in-iyoo, but is now reduced to ten 
or eleven. Every house has a common staircase, and every story 
is the habitation of a separate family. ... It must be observed, 
that this unfortunate species of architecture arose from the turbu- 
lence of the times in which it was in vogue: everybody was 
desirous of getting as near as possible to the protection of the 
castle; the houses were crowded together, and I may say, piled 
upon one another, merely on the principle of security. 

The castle is antient, but strong, placed on the summit of the 
hill, at the edge of a very deep precipice. Strangers are shewn a 
very small room in which Mary Queen of Scots was delivered of 
James VI. 

From this fortress is a full view of the city and its environs ; 
a strange prospect of rich country, with vast rocks and mountains 
intermixed. On the south and east are the meadows, or the public 
walks, Herriofs hospital, part of the town overshadowed by the 
stupendous rocks of Arthur s seat and Salisbury Craigs, the 
Pentland hills at a few miles distance, and at a still greater, those 
of Muirfoot, whose sides are covered with verdant turf. 

To the north is a full view of the Firth of Forth, from Queen's 
Ferry to its mouth, with its southern banks covered with towns 
and villages. On the whole the prospect is singular, various, 
and fine. 

The reservoir of water for supplying the city lies in the Castle- 
street, and is well worth seeing : the great cistern contains near 
two hundred and thirty tuns of water, which is conveyed to the 
several conduits, that are disposed at proper distances in the 
principal streets ; these are conveniences that few towns in North 
Britain are without. 

On the south side of the High-street, is the Parlement Close, a 
small square, in which is the Parlement House, where the Courts 
of justice are held. Below stairs is the Advocate's library founded 
by Sir George Mackenzie, and now contains above thirty thousand 
volumes, and several manuscripts : among the more curious are 
the four Evangelists, very legible, notwithstanding it is said to be 
several hundred years old. . . . 

The old cathedral is now called the New Church, and is divided 
into four places of worship; in one the Lords of the Sessions 



144 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

attend: there is also a throne and a canopy for his Majesty 
should he visit this capital, and another for the Lord Commis- 
sioner. There is no music either in this or any other of the Scotch 
churches, for Peg still faints at the sound of an organ. This is the 
more surprizing, as the Dutch, who have the same established 
religion, are extremely fond of that solemn instrument ; and even 
in the great church of Geneva the psalmody is accompanied with 

an organ. 

The part of the same called St. Giles's church has a large tower, 
oddly terminated with a sort of crown. . . . 

At the end of the Cannongate-street stands Holy-Rood palace, 
originally an abby founded by David I. in 1128. . . . 

Near this palace is the Park, first inclosed by James v. ; within 
are the vast rocks, known by the name of Arthur's Seat and 
Salusbury's Craigs ; their fronts exhibit a romantic and wild scene 
of broken rocks and vast precipices, which from some points seem 
to over-hang the lower parts of the city. Great columns of stone, 
from forty to fifty feet in length, and about three feet in diameter, 
regularly pentagonal, or hexagonal, hang down the face of some of 
these rocks almost perpendicularly, or with a very slight dip, and 
form a strange appearance. Beneath this stratum is a quarry of 
free-stone. Considerable quantities of stone from the quarries 
have been cut and sent to London for paving the streets, its great 
hardness rendering it excellent for that purpose. Beneath these 
hills are some of the most beautiful walks about Edinburgh, com- 
manding a fine prospect over several parts of the country. 

On one side of the Park are the ruins of St. Anthony's chapel, 
once the resort of numberless votaries; and near it is a very 
plentiful spring. . . . 

On the north side of the city lies the new town, which is planned 
with great judgment, and will prove a magnificent addition to 
Edinburgh; the houses in St. Andrevfs square cost from i8oo; 
to 2ooo; each, and one or two 4000 or 5000^. They are all 
built in the modern style, and are free from the inconveniences 
attending the old city. 

These improvements are connected to the city by a very beautiful 
bridge, whose highest arch is ninety-five feet high. 

In the walk of this evening, I passed by a deep and wide hollow 
beneath Calton Hill, the place where those imaginary criminals, 
witches and sorcerers, in less enlightened times, were burnt ; and 
where, at festive seasons, the gay and gallant held their tilts and 
tournaments. At one of these, it is said that the Earl of Bothwell 
made the first impression on the susceptible heart of Mary Stuart, 



PENNANT 145 

having galloped into the ring down the dangerous steeps of the 
adjacent hill ; for he seemed to think that 

Woman born to be control'd 
Stoop to the forward and the bold. 

... At a small walk's distance from Calton Hill, lies the new 
botanic garden, consisting of five acres of ground, a green-house 
fifty feet long, two temperate rooms, each twelve feet, and two 
stoves, each twenty-eight : the ground rises to the north, and 
defends the plants from the cold winds: the soil a light sand, 
with a black earth on the surface. It is finely stocked with plants, 
whose arrangement and cultivation do much credit to my worthy 
friend Dr. Hope, Professor of Botany, who planned and executed 
the whole. It was begun in 1764, being founded by the muni- 
ficence of his present Majesty, who granted fifteen hundred pounds 
for that purpose. 

During this week's stay at Edinburgh, the prices of provisions 
were as follow : 



Beef, from 5d. to 

Mutton, from 4d. to 

Veal, from $d. to 3d. 

Lamb, 2d|. 

Bacon, 7d. 

Butter, in summer, 8d.; in winter, is. 

Pigeons, per dozen, from 8d. to 55. 

Chickens, per pair, 8d. to is. 

A fowl, is. 2d. 

Green goose, 33. 

Fat goose, 25. 6d. 

Large turkey, 45. or 55. 

Pig, 2S. 

Coals, 5d. or 6d. per hundred, delivered. 

Many fine excursions may be made at a small distance from 
this city. . . . 

Left Edinburgh^ and passed beneath the castle, whose height 
and strength, in my then situation, appeared to great advantage. 
The country I past through was well cultivated, the fields large, 
but mostly inclosed with stone walls ; for hedges are not yet 
become universal in this part of the kingdom : it is not a century 
since they were known here. ... . 

Thomas Pennant. 

Tour in Scotland. 

K 



i 4 6 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

Caller OF a' the waters that can hobble 

oysters A fishin' yole or sa'mon coble, 

And can reward the fisher's trouble, 

Or south or north, 

There 's nane sae spacious and sac noble 
As Frith o' Forth. 

In her the skate and codlin sail ; 
The eel, fu' souple, wags her tail ; 
Wi' herrin 1 , fleuk, and mackarel, 

And whitens dainty ; 
Their spindle-shanks the labsters trail, 

Wi' partans plenty. 

Auld Reekie's sons blythe faces wear ; 
September's merry month is near, 
That brings in Neptune's caller cheer, 

New oysters fresh ; 
The halesomest and nicest gear 

O' fish or flesh. 

When big as burns the gutters rin, 
If ye hae catch'd a droukit skin, 
To Luckie Middlemist's l loup in, 

And sit fu' snug 
Owre oysters and a dram o' gin, 

Or haddock lug. 

When auld Saunt Giles, at aught o'clock, 
Gars merchant louns their shopies lock, 
There we adjourn wi' hearty fouk 

To birle our bodies, 
And get warewi' to crack our joke, 

And clear our noddles. 

At Musselbrough, and eke Newhaven, 
The fisherwives will get top livin', 
When lads gang out on Sundays' even 

To treat their joes, 
And tak o' fat Pandores a prieven 

Or mussel brose. 

Robert Fergusson. 
1 Luckie Middlemist kept a famed oyster-cellar in the Cowgate. 



SCOTT 147 

HITHERTO the domestic establishments of Edinburgh much more ' General 
nearly resembled those of Paris, than that complete system of Account of ^ 
comfort long since adopted in London. In the lofty castles of the 
Old Town, family resided above family, each habitation occupying 
one story of the tall mansion, or land. . . . Each inhabitable space 
was crowded like the underdeck of a ship. Sickness had no nook 
for quiet, affliction no retreat for solitary indulgence. In addition 
to these inconveniences, it is scarce worth mentioning, that every 
drop of water used in a family had to be carried up these intermin- 
able stairs on a porter's shoulders ; that the hearing was constantly 
assailed by the noise of neighbours above and below ; that many 
of the rooms were dark even at noon-day, or borrowed but a gleam 
from some dark alley ; and that in ordinary houses there was 
scarcely space enough for the most necessary articles of household 
furniture. 

Still, with all its inconveniences, this style of living was long 
looked back to with fond regret by many who survived that great 
change, which might be said to commence about sixty years ago. 1 
The close neighbourhood into which they were previously formed 
gave the Scotch, a proud and poor people, the means of maintain- 
ing frequent and genteel society, without incurring much expense. 
All visits were made in sedan-chairs, and even a large circle of 
acquaintance could be maintained at a trifling expense. The 
ladies entertained only at tea ; for dinner parties, except on extra- 
ordinary occasions, were confined to near relations. Much is said, 
and no doubt with truth, of the display of fashion and elegence, 
which assembled on these occasions ; and wealth having compara- 
tively little means to display itself, birth and breeding claimed and 
obtained more general respect than is paid to them in the modern 
more public and promiscuous assemblies. In society of a class 
somewhat lower, the closeness of residence had also its advantages. 
Neighbours were so dependent on each other for mutual comfort 
and assistance, that they were compelled to live on terms of kind- 
liness and harmony, which soon became habit, and gave a tone of 
social enjoyment to the whole system, which perhaps conduced as 
much to general happiness as do the feelings of sturdy indepen- 
dence and indifference, with which the owner of a ' house within 
itself ' usually regards his next neighbours. In an Edinburgh land, 
a sort of general interest united the whole inhabitants, from the top 
to the bottom of these lofty tenements. Love and friendship 
might communicate through cielings (sic} no thicker than the wall 
of Pyramus ; and as the possessors were usually of very different 

1 Written 1834. 



I 4 8 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

ranks, charity had not far to travel from home ere she found fitting 
objects of her regard. 

Such are the advantages which the poor and aristocratic gentry 
of Scotland used to ascribe to the old system of Edinburgh 
manners, when they found that new wants, and a different set of 
habits, rendered it difficult for them to maintain their ground in 
that by which it was superseded. But the progress of society 
cannot be suspended, and while it moves on, must display new 
advantages and inconveniences as the wheel gradually revolves. 

Sir Walter Scott 
Provincial Antiquities tf Scotland. 

1774 THE situation of Edinburgh is probably as extraordinary an one 

as can well be imagined for a metropolis. The immense hills, on 
which great part of it is built, tho' they make the views uncom- 
monly magnificent, not only in many places render it impassable 
for carriages, but very fatiguing for walking. The principal or great 
street runs along the ridge of a very high hill, which, taking its 
rise from the palace of Holyrood House, ascends, and not very 
gradually, for the length of a mile and a quarter, and after opening 
a spacious area, terminates in the Castle. On one side, far as the 
eye can reach, you view the sea, the port of Leith, its harbour and 
various vessels, the river of Firth, the immense hills around, some 
of which ascend above even the Castle ; and on the other side you 
look over a rich and cultivated country, terminated by the dark, 
abrupt, and barren hills of the Highlands. 

You have seen the famous street at Lisle, la Rue royale, leading 
to the Port of Tournay, which is said to be the finest in Europe ; 
but which I can assure you is not to be compared either in length 
or breadth to the High Street at Edinburgh. . . . The style of 
building here is much like the French : the houses, however, in 
general are higher, as some rise to twelve, and one in particular to 
thirteen stories in heighth. But to the front of the street nine or 
ten stories is the common run ; it is the back part of the edifice 
which, by being built on the slope of an hill, sinks to that amazing 
depth, so as to form the above number. This mode of dwelling, 
tho' very proper for the turbulent times to which it was adapted, 
has now lost its convenience : as they no longer stand in need of 
the defence from the Castle, they no more find the benefit of being 
crowded together so near it. The common staircase which leads 
to the apartments of the different inhabitants, must always be 
dirty, and is in general very dark and narrow. It has this advantage, 
however, that as they are all of stone, they have little to apprehend 



TOP HAM 149 

from fire, which, in the opinion of some, would more than com- 
pensate for every other disadvantage. In general, however, the 
highest and lowest tenaments are possessed by the artificers, while 
the gentry and better sort of people dwell in fifth and sixth stories. 

In London you know such an habitation would not be deemed 
the most elligible, and many a man in such a situation would not 
be sorry to descend a little lower. The style of building here has 
given rise to different ideas : Some years ago a Scotch gentleman, 
who went to London for the first time, took the uppermost story of 
a lodging-house, and was very much surprised to find what he 
thought the genteelest place in the whole at the lowest price. His 
friends who came to see him, in vain acquainted him with the 
mistake he had been guilty of; ' He ken'd vary wed] he said, 
' what gentility was, and when he had lived all his life in a sexth 
story, he was not come to London to live upon the groond' 

From the right of the High-street you pass over a very long 
bridge to the New Town. Before this bridge was built you had 
a very steep hill to descend and to ascend, which was found 
extremely inconvenient. A subscription therefore was entered 
into to build one ; and a most stupendous work it is indeed : it is 
thrown over this immense valley; and by having no water run 
under it, you have the whole effect of its height. From it, you 
have a fine view up and down the vale, and the prospect through 
the middle arch is inconceivably beautiful. Not long ago a part 
of this bridge gave way, and many people who were upon it sunk 
into the chasm, and were buried in the ruins. Many others, who 
were likewise upon the bridge, saw the fate of their unfortunate 
companions, without being able to assist them. All was terror and 
consternation ; every one fled from this scene of death as fast as 
possible, expecting the bridge to sink under them at every step, 
and themselves to be crushed to pieces. When the bridge was 
cleared, and the general consternation had a little subsided, it was 
found that only a small part had given way ; which they are now 
repairing, and making stronger than ever. But so great was the 
fear it occasioned amongst all ranks of people, that many of them 
look upon it with terror even to this day, and make it an objection to 
residing in the New Town, that they must necessarily pass over it. 

The New Town has been built upon one uniform plan, which is 
the only means of making a city beautiful. Great part of this 
plan as yet remains to be executed, though they proceed as fast as 
their supplies of money will allow them. The rent of the houses 
in general amount to ^100 per annum, or upwards, and are most 
of them let to the inhabitants by builders, who buy the ground, 



150 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

and make what advantage they can of it. The greatest part of the 
New Town is built after the manner of the English, and the houses 
are what they call here, ' houses to themselves.' Tho' this mode 
of living, one would imagine, is much preferable to the former, yet 
such is the force of prejudice, that there are many people who 
prefer a little dark confined tenement on a sixth story, to the con- 
venience of a whole house. One old lady fancies she should be 
lost if she was to get into such an habitation ; another, that she 
should be blown away in going over the new bridge ; and a third 
lives in the old style, because she is sure that these new fashions 
can come to ' nae gude.' But different as these sentiments are in 
regard to living, they are not more different than the buildings 
themselves. In no town that I ever saw can such a contrast be 
found betwixt the modern and antient architecture, or anything 
that better merits the observation of a stranger. 

The pavement of the whole town is excellent ; the granite, which 
long supplied London till Jersey and Guernsey robbed them of 
those advantages, is dug from the hills close to the town, and 
brought at very small expcnce. Maitland, in his history of this 
town, calls it 'grey marble'; but without disputing about the 
propriety of the name, every one must allow it is the very best 
stone possible for the purpose. They finish it with an exactness 
which the London workmen are indifferent about, and which 
indeed London would not admit of, from the number of weighty 
carriages that continually go over it 

From the left of the High-street you pus down by a number of 
different allies, or as they call them here, Wynds and Closes, to 
the different parts of the old town. They are many of them so 
very steep, that it requires great attention to the feet to prevent 
falling; but so well accustomed are the Scotch to that position 
of body required in descending these declivities, that I have seen 
a Scotch girl run down them with great swiftness in pattens. . 

Captain Topham. 
Lttttnfrtm RdMntrgk. 

AULD REEKIE. 
AULD REEKIE ! wale o* ilka toun 
That Scotland kens beneath the moon ; 
Where couthy chiels at e'enin' meet, 
Their biz/in' craigs and mous to weet ; 
And blythely gar auld care gae by 
Wi' blinkit and wi' bleerin' eye. 
Ower lang frae thee the muse has been 



FERGUSSON 151 

Sae frisky on the simmer's green, 

When flowers and go wans wont to glent 

In bonnie blinks upon the bent ; 

But now the leaves o } yellow dye, 

Peel'd frae the branches, quickly fly ; 

And now frae nouther bush nor brier 

The spreckled mavis greets your ear; 

Nor bonnie blackbird skims and roves 

To seek his love in yonder groves. 

Then, Reekie, welcome ! Thou canst charm, 

Unfleggit by the year's alarm. 

Not Boreas, that sae snelly blows, 

Dare here pap in his angry nose ; 

Thanks to our dads, whase biggin' stands 

A shelter to surrounding lands ! 

Now morn, wi' bonnie purple-smiles 
Kisses the air-cock o' St. Giles ; 
Rakin' their een, the servant lasses 
Early begin their lies and clashes. 
Ilk tells her friend o' saddest distress 
That still she bruiks frae scoulin' mistress ; 
And wi' her joe, in turnpike stair, 
She 'd rather snuff the stinkin' air, 
As be subjected to her tongue, 
When justly censured in the wrong. 

On stair, wi' tub or pat in hand, 
The barefoot housemaids lo'e to stand, 
That antrin fouk may ken how snell 
Auld Reekie will at mornin' smell : 
Then, wi' an inundation big as 
The burn that 'neath the Nor' Loch brig is, 
They kindly shower Edina's roses, 
To quicken and regale our noses. 
Now some for this, wi' satire's leesh, 
Hae gien auld Edinburgh a creesh : 
But without sowrin' nought is sweet ; 
The mornin' smells that hail our street 
Prepare and gently lead the way 
To simmer, canty, braw, and gay. 
Edina's sons mair eithly share 
Her spices and her dainties rare, 
Than he that 's never yet been call'd 
Aff frae his plaidie or his fauld. 



i 5 2 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 
Now stairhead critics, senseless fools, 

Censure their aim, and pride their rules, 

In Luckenbooths, wi' glowrin' eye, 

Their neibour's sma'est faults descry. 

If ony loun should dander there, 

O' awkward gait and foreign air, 

They trace his steps, till they can tell 

His pedigree as weel 's himsel'. 

When Phoebus blinks wi' warmer ray, 

And schools at noon-day get the play, 

Then bus'ness, weighty bus'ness, comes ; 

The trader glowers he doubts, he hums. 

The lawyers eke to Cross repair 

Their wigs to shaw, and toss an air ; 

While busy agent closely plies, 

And a' his kittle cases tries. 

Now night, that 's cunzied chief for fun, 

Is wi' her usual rites begun : 

Through ilka gate the torches blaze, 

And globes send out their blinkin' rays. 

The usefu' cadie plies in street, 

To bide the profits o' his feet ; 

For, by thir lads Auld Reekie's fouk 

Ken but a sample o' the stock 

O' thieves, that nightly wad oppress, 

And mak baith goods and gear the less. 

Near him the lazy chairman stands, 

And wats na how to turn his hands, 

Till some daft birkie, rantin' fou, 

Has matters somewhere else to do ; 

The chairman willing gies his light 

To deeds o' darkness and o' night. 

If kail sae green, or herbs, delight, 
Edina's street attracts the sight : 
Not Covent-garden, clad sae braw, 
Mair fouth o' herbs can eithly shaw ; l 
For mony a yard is here sair sought, 
That kail and cabbage may be bought, 
And heathfu' salad to regale, 
When pamper'd wi' a heavy meal. 

1 A vegetable market was held in those days in the High Street, between the 
Tron Kirk and St. Giles's. 



FERGUSSON 153 

Glour up the street in simmer morn, 

The birks sae green, and sweet-brier thorn. 

Wi' spraingit flowers that scent the gale, 

Ca' far awa' the morning smell 

Wi' which our ladies' flower-pat 's fill'd, 

And every noxious vapour kill'd. 

Oh ! Nature ! canty, blythe, and free, 

Where is there keeking-glass like thee ? 

Is there on earth that can compare 

Wi' Mary's shape, and Mary's air, 

Save the empurpled speck, that grows 

In the soft faulds o' yonder rose ? 

How bonny seems the virgin breast, 

When by the lilies here carest, 

And leaves the mind in doubt to tell, 

Which maist in sweets and hue excel. 

Gillespie's l snuff should prime the nose 
O' her that to the market goes, 
If she wad like to shun the smells 
That float around frae market cells. 

On Sunday here, an alter'd scene 
O' men and manners meets our een. 
Ane wad maist trow some people chose 
To change their faces wi' their clo'es 
And fain wad gar ilk neibour think 
They thirst for goodness as for drink ; 
But there 's an unco dearth o' grace, 
That has nae mansion but the face, 
And never can obtain a part 
In benmost corner o' the heart. 
Why should religion mak us sad, 
If good frae virtue 's to be had ? 
Na, rather gleefu' turn your face, 
Forsake hypocrisy, grimace ; 
And never have it understood 
You fleg mankind frae being good. 

In afternoon, o' brawly briskit, 
The joes and lasses loe to frisk it. 
Some tak a great delight to place 
The modest bon-grace owre the face ; 

1 A famous snuff miller in Edinburgh, who made a fortune and founded 
Gillespie's Hospital.' 



I 54 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

Though you may see, if so inclined, 
The turning o' the leg behind. 
Now Comely-garden and the Park 
Refresh them, after forenoon's wark ; 
Newhaven, Leith, or Canon mills, 
Supply them in their Sunday gills ; 
Where writers aften spend their pence, 
To stock their heads wi' drink and sense. 

While danderin' cits delight to stray 
To Castlehill or public way, 
Where they nae other purpose mean, 
Than that fool cause o' being seen, 
Let me to Arthur's Seat pursue, 
Where bonnie pastures meet the view, 
And mony a wild-lorn scene accrues, 
Befitting Willie Shakespeare's muse. 
If fancy there would join the thrang, 
The desert rocks and hills amang, 
To echoes we should lilt and play, 
And gie to mirth the lee-lang day. 

Or should some canker'd biting shower 
The day and a' her sweets deflower, 
To Holyrood-house let me stray, 
And gie to musing a' the day ; 
Lamenting what auld Scotland knew, 
Bien days for ever frae her view. 
O Hamilton, for shame ! the Muse 
Would pay to thee her couthy vows, 
Gin ye wad tent the humble strain, 
And gie 's our dignity again : 
For, oh, wae 's me ! the thistle springs 
In domicile o' ancient kings, 
Without a patriot to regret 
Our palace and our ancient state. 

Blest place ! where debtors daily run, 
To rid themsels frae jail and dun. 
Here, though sequester'd frae the din 
That rings Auld Reekie's wa's within ; 
Yet they may tread the sunny braes 
And bruik Apollo's cheery rays ; 
Glowr frae St. Anthon's grassy height, 
Ower vales in simmer claes bedight ; 
Nor ever hing their head, I ween, 



FERGUSSON 155 

Wi' jealous fear o' being seen. 
May I, whenever duns come nigh, 
And shake my garret wi' their cry, 
Scour here wi' haste, protection get, 
To screen mysel' frae them and debt ; 
To breathe the bliss o' open sky, 
And Simon Eraser's bolts defy. 1 

Now gin a loun should hae his claes 
In threadbare autumn o' their days, 
St. Mary, broker's guardian saunt, 
Will satisfy ilk ail and want ; 2 
For mony a hungry writer there 
Dives doun at night, wi' cleedin' bare, 
And quickly rises to the view 
A gentleman, perfite and new. 
Ye rich fouk, look na wi' disdain 
Upon this ancient brokage lane, 
For naked poets are supplied 
Wi' what you to their wants denied. 

Peace to thy shade, thou wale o' men, 
Drummond ! 3 relief to poortith's pain : 
To thee the greatest bliss we owe, 
And tribute's tear shall gratefu' flow ; 
The sick are cured, the hungry fed, 
And dreams o' comfort tend their bed. 
As Jang as Forth meets Lothian's shore, 
As lang 's on Fife her billows roar, 
Sae lang shall ilk whase country's dear, 
To thy remembrance gie a tear. 
By thee, Auld Reekie thrave and grew 
Delightfu' to her childer's view ; 
Nae mair shall Glasgow striplings threap 
Their city's beauty and its shape, 
While our new city spreads around 
Her bonny wings on fairy ground. 

But provosts now, that ne'er afford 
The sma'est dignity to lord, 
Ne'er care though every scheme gae wild 
That Drummond's sacred hand has cull'd. 

1 The keeper of the Tolbooth. 

2 S. Mary's Wynd many old-clothes shops there. 

3 Lord Provost Drummond, to whom Edinburgh owed its InBrmary, and the 
plan of extension of the City, resulting in the ' New Town.' 



I 5 6 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

The spacious brig 1 neglected lies 

Though plagued wi' pamphlets, dunn'd wi' cries ; 

They heed not, though destruction come 

To gulp us in her gaunting woanb. 

Oh, shame ! that safety canna claim 

Protection from a provost's name ; 

For hidden danger lies behind, 

To torture and to fleg the mind. 

I may as weel bid Arthur's Seat 

To Berwick Law mak gleg retreat, 

As think that either will or art 

Shall get the gate to win their heart : 

For politics are a' their mark, 

Bribes latent, and corruption dark. 

If they can eithly turn the pence 

Wi' city's good they will dispense, 

Nor care though o' her sons were lair'd 

Ten fathom i' the auld kirkyard. 

Reekie, fareweel ! I ne'er could part 
Wi' thee, but wi' a dowie heart : 
Aft frae the Fifan coast I 've seen 
Thee towerin' on thy summit green ; 
So glour the saints when first is given 
A favourite keek o' glore and heaven. 
On earth nae mair they bend their een, 
But quick assume angelic mien ; 
So I on Fife wad glour no more, 

But gallop to Edina's shore. 

Robert Ferjusson. 

1774 THE Scotch Ladies also are peculiarly attentive in their own houses, 

and "discharge the duties of their families with much ease, ceconomy, 
and politeness. At their tables, they share with their husbands the 
greatest assiduity to entertain, and show more desire to make [every 
thing free from ceremony, than in any nation with which I have 
yet been conversant. The men, in general, are neither disposed 
for gallantry, nor formed for it, from their education or temper- 
They rather pay too little attention to the ladies, which is partly 
occasioned by habit, partly by their genius. Notwithstanding, they 
associate together more, perhaps, than in some other countries; 
you seldom see a Scotchman putting himself to an inconvenience 
1 The North Bridge. It fell. 



BOSWELL 157 

to accommodate or find in him any anxiety to please the other 
sex. . . . 

Were any man of my acquaintance desirous of seeing the sub- 
lime and beautiful in perfection, according to Mr. Burke's definition 
of them, I would bring him into Scotland. For the beautiful, for 
the softer, and more finished charms, I would shew him the Ladies? 
who are, in my humble opinion, the most beautiful objects in the 
creation. For the sublime, I would deliver him to all the naked 
wildness and extended desolation of the country. . . . 

Captain Topham. 
Letters front Edinburgh. 

WE walked out, that Dr. Johnson might see some of the things 1773 
which we have to shew at Edinburgh. We went to the Parliament- 
House, where the Parliament of Scotland sat, and where the 
Ordinary Lords of Session hold their courts; and to the New 
Session-House adjoining to it, where the Court of Fifteen (the 
fourteen Ordinaries^ with the Lord President at their head,) sit as a 
court of Review. We went to the Advocates' Library, of which 
Dr. Johnson took a cursory view, and then to what is called the 
Laigh (or under) Parliament-House, where the records of Scotland, 
which has an universal security by register, are deposited, till the 
great Register Office be finished. I was pleased to behold Dr. 
Samuel Johnson rolling about in this old magazine of antiquities. 
There was by this time, a pretty numerous circle of us attending 
upon him. Somebody talked of happy moments for composition ; 
and how a man can write at one time and not another. 'Nay 
(said Dr. Johnson), a man may write at any time, if he will set 
himself doggedly to it.' 

I here began to indulge old Scottish sentiments, and to express 
a warm regret, that, by our Union with England, we were no more ; 
our independent kingdom was lost. Johnson. ' Sir, never talk of 
your independency, who could let your queen remain twenty years 
in captivity, and then be put to death, without even a pretence of 
justice, without your ever attempting to rescue her; and such a 
queen too ! as every man of any gallantry of spirit would have 
sacrificed his life for.' Worthy Mr. James Kerr, Keeper of the 
Records. 'Half our nation was bribed by English money.' 
Johnson. ' Sir, that is no defence : that makes you worse.' Good 
Mr. Brown, Keeper of the Advocates' Library. ' We had better say 
nothing about it.' Boswell. ' You would have been glad, however, 
to have had us last war, sir, to fight your battles ! ' Johnson. ' We 
should have had you for the same price, though there had been no 
Union, as we might have had the Swiss, or other troops. No, no, 



158 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

I shall agree to a separation. You have only to go home? Just as 
he had said this, I to divert the subject, shewed him the signed 
assurances of the three successive Kings of the Hanover family, to 
maintain the Presbyterian establishment in Scotland. ' We '11 give 
you that (said he) into the bargain.' 

We next went to the great church of St. Giles, which has lost its 
original magnificence in the inside, by being divided into four 
places of Presbyterian worship. ' Come, (said Dr. Johnson jocu- 
larly to Principal Robertson,) let me see what was once a church ! ' 
We entered that division which was formerly called the New 
Church^ and of late the High Church^ so well known by the 
eloquence of Dr. Hugh Blair. It is now very elegantly fitted up ; 
but it was then shamefully dirty. Dr. Johnson said nothing at the 
time ; but when we came to the great door of the Royal Infirmary, 
where, upon a board, was this inscription, ' Clean your feet! ' he 
turned about slyly, and said, 4 There is no occasion for putting this 
at the doors of your churches ! ' 

We then conducted him down the Port-house stairs, Parliament 
close, and made him look up from the Cow-gate to the highest 
building in Edinburgh (from which he had just descended,) being 
thirteen floors or stories from the ground upon the back elevation ; 
the front wall being built upon the edge of the hill, and the back 
wall rising from the bottom of the hill several stories before it 
comes to a level with the front wall. We proceeded to the College, 
with the Principal at our head. DC. Adam Fergusson, whose 
' Essay on the History of Civil Society ' gives him a respectable 
place in the ranks of literature, was with us. As the College 
buildings are indeed very mean, the Principal said to Dr. Johnson, 
that he must give them the same epithet that a Jesuit did when 
shewing a poor college abroad : ' Hie miseria nostra: Dr. Johnson 
was, however, much pleased with the library, and with the conver- 
sation of Dr. James Robertson, Professor of Oriental Languages, 
the Librarian. We talked of Kennicot's edition of the Hebrew 
Bible, and hoped it would be quite faithful. Johnson. 'Sir, I 
know not any crime so great that a man could contrive to commit, 
as poisoning the sources of eternal truth.' 

I pointed out to him where there formerly stood an old wall 
enclosing part of the College, which I remember bulged out in a 
threatening manner, and of which there was a common tradition 
similar to that concerning Bacon's study at Oxford, that it would 
fall upon some very learned man. It had some time before this 
been taken down, that the street might be widened, and a more 
convenient wall built. Dr. Johnson, glad of an opportunity to 



TOPHAM 159 

have a pleasant hit at Scottish learning, said, 'they have been 
afraid it never would fall.' 

We shewed him the Royal Infirmary, for which, and for every 
other exertion of generous publick spirit in his power, that noble- 
minded citizen of Edinburgh, George Drummond, will be ever 
held in honourable remembrance. And we were too proud not to 
carry him to the Abbey of Holyrood-house, that beautiful piece of 
architecture, but, alas ! that deserted mansion of royalty, which 
Hamilton of Bangour, in one of his elegant poems, calls 

' A virtuous palace, where no monarch dwells.' 

I was much entertained while Principal Robertson fluently har- 
angued Dr. Johnson, upon the spot, concerning scenes of his 
celebrated History of Scotland. We surveyed that part of the 
palace appropriated to the Duke of Hamilton, as Keeper, in which 
our beautiful Queen Mary lived, and in which David Rizzio was 
murdered ; and also the State Rooms. Dr. Johnson was a great 
reciter of all sorts of things serious or comical. I overheard him 
repeating here, in a kind of muttering tone, a line of the old ballad, 
Johnny Armstrong's last Good-Night : 

' And ran him through the fair body ! ' * 

James Boswell. 
Tour to the Hebrides, 

EVEN in Edinburgh, the same spirit [of hospitality] runs through 1774 
the common people ; who are infinitely more civil, humanized, and 
hospitable, than any I ever met with. Every one is ready to serve 
and assist a stranger ; they shew the greatest respect to a person 
superior to them; and you never receive an impertinent answer. . . . 

I have continued in this City ever since you last heard from me, 
and find it so agreeable, that I foresee it will be with difficulty I 
shall prevail on myself to leave it. The inhabitants have so much 
civility and hospitality, and the favours I receive are so many, that 
it would argue a want of acknowledgement, and that I am unworthy 
of the good opinion they are so kind to entertain, did I wish to 
hasten my departure. ... I find here everything I can wish ; and 
must own, I never spent my time more to my satisfaction. The 
gentlemen of this nation (pardon my impartiality) are infinitely 

1 The stanza from which he took the line is 

' But then rose up all Edinburgh, 

They rose up by thousands three ; 
A cowardly Scot came John behind, 
And ran him through the fair body ! ' 



160 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

better calculated for an agreeable society than Englishmen ; as 
they have the spirit of the French without their grimace, with much 
more learning, and more modesty, mixed with that philosophic 
reserve, so distinguishable in our countrymen. They are extremely 
fond of jovial company ; and if they did not too often sacrifice to 
Bacchus the joys of a vacant hour, they would be the most enter- 
taining people in Europe : but the goodness of their wine, and the 
severity of their climate, are indeed some excuse for them. In 
other pleasures they are rather temperate, careful, and parsimonious, 
though avarice is seldome known amongst them ; nor is any vice 
carried to a great excess. Their pride, which is not little, makes 
them too much prejudiced in favour of their country, and one 
another. They are neither deficient in judgment, or memory; 
they possess design and craft, though no deep penetration ; and are 
honest, and courageous. As to temper ; active, and enthusiastic 
in business, persevering, and liberal, affable, and familiar; and, 
notwithstanding a roughness in their outward deportment, they 
are peculiarly possessed of the art of persuasion. They spend 
most of their time in reading, study, and thinking ; and you find 
few of the common people very illiterate, though the first of their 
literati are no great scholars. They have little invention ; and 
are no poets. Wit and humour are not known ; and it rarely 
happens that a Scotchman laughs at ridicule. The men in general, 
in their persons, are large and disproportioned, with unfavourable, 
long, and saturnine countenances, which, perhaps, are encouraged 
by their education, and their seldom exerting their risible muscles. 
But, I think, there never was a nation, whose faces shewed their 
characters more strongly marked, or physiognomies, from whose 
lineaments you might so easily guess their internal conceptions. 
The women are more to be admired than the men, and when 
young, are very beautiful. . . . The beauty of the women of this 
country seems to bear the same proportion to the beauty of the 
women in ours, that Scotch literature does to that of South Britain. 
Here all the young women are handsome, but none that would be 
chosen by a Guido or a Titian : here none of the men are without 
some learning, but you rarely meet with a great and deep scholar. 
The disposition of the women is much inclined to sociability : they 
are free, affable, modest, and polite ; fond of admiration, and 
flattery, and pleasure. . . . 

But the virtue which is peculiarly characteristic of the Scotch 
nation, is Hospitality. In this they excel every country in Europe : 
both the men and the women equally share in it ; and indeed vie 
with each other in shewing politeness and humanity to strangers. 



DR. JOHNSON: GALT 161 

When once you are acquainted with a family, you are made part 
of it, and they are not pleased unless you think yourself so. ... 

Captain Topham. 
Letters from Edinburgh. 

1 1 CAN smell you in the dark ! ' 

Dr. Johnson. 

'A CITY too well known to admit description.' 

Dr. Johnson. 

I WAS named in this year for the General Assembly, and Mrs. 1779 
Balwhidder, by her continual thrift, having made her purse able 
to stand a shake against the wind, we resolved to go into Edin- 
burgh in a creditable manner. Accordingly, in conjunct with 
Mrs. Dalrymple, the lady of a major of that name, we hired the 
Irville chaise, and we put up in Glasgow at the Black Boy, where 
we stayed all night. Next morning, by seven o'clock, we got into 
the fly coach for the capital of Scotland, which we reached after a 
heavy journey, about the same hour in the evening, and put up at 
the public where it stopped, till the next day ; for really both me 
and Mrs. Balwhidder were worn out with the undertaking, and 
found a cup of tea a vast refreshment. 

Betimes, in the morning, having taken our breakfast, we got a 
caddy to guide us and our wallise to Widow M 'Vicar's, at the head 
of the Covenanter's Close. She was a relation to my first wife, 
Betty Lanshaw, my own full cousin that was, and we had advised 
her, by course of post, of our coming and intendment to lodge 
with her, as uncos and strangers. But Mrs. M'Vicar kept a cloth 
shop, and sold plaidings and flannels, besides Yorkshire superfines, 
and was used to the sudden incoming of strangers, especially visi- 
tants, both from the West and the North Highlands, and was withal 
a gawsy furthy woman, taking great pleasure in hospitality, and 
every sort of kindliness and discretion. She would not allow of 
such a thing as our being lodgers in her house, but was so cagey 
to see us, and to have it in her power to be civil to a minister, as 
she was pleased to say, of such repute, that nothing less would 
content her, but that we must live upon her, and partake of all the 
best that could be gotten for us within the walls of 'the gude 
toun.' 

When we found ourselves so comfortable, Mrs. Balwhidder and 
me waited on my patron's family, that was, the young ladies, and 
the laird, who had been my pupil, but was now an advocate high 
in the law. They likewise were kind also. In short, everybody in 

L 



162 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

Edinburgh were in a manner wearisome kind, and we could 
scarcely find time to see the Castle and the palace of Holyrood 
house, and that more sanctified place, where the Maccabeus of the 
Kirk of Scotland, John Knox, was wont to live. 

John Gait. 
Annals of the Parish. 



WEDNESDAY 17 [May 1780]. In the evening I endeavoured to 
preach to the hearts of a large congregation at Edinburgh. We 
have cast much bread upon the waters here. Shall we not find it 
again, at least, after many days. . . . 

Saturday 20. I took one more walk through Holyrood house, 
the mansion of ancient kings : but how melancholy an appearance 
does it make now! The stately rooms are dirty as stables: the 
colours of the tapestry are quite faded ; several of the pictures are 
cut and defaced. The roof of the royal chapel is fallen in ; and 
the bones of James the fifth, and the once beautiful Lord Darnley, 
are scattered about like those of sheep or oxen. Such is human 
greatness ! Is not a living dog better than a dead lion ? 

Sunday 21. The rain hindered me from preaching at noon 
upon the castle-hill. In the evening the house was well filled, and 
I was able to speak strong words : but I am not a preacher for the 
people of Edinburgh : Hugh Saunderson and Michael Fenwick are 
more to their taste. 

Tuesday 23. A gentleman took me to see Roslin-castle, eight 
miles from Edinburgh. It is now all in ruins, only a small dwell- 
ing-house is built on one part of it. The situation of it is exceed- 
ingly fine, on the side of a steep mountain, hanging over a river, 
from which another mountain rises, equally steep and clothed 
with wood. At a little distance is the chapel, which is in perfect 
preservation, both within and without. I should never have 
thought that it had belonged to anyone less than a sovereign 
prince! The inside being far more elegantly wrought, with a 
variety of Scripture-histories, in stone work, than I believe can be 
found again in Scotland, perhaps not in all England . . . 



Rev. John Wesley. 
Journal. 



EDINA ! Scotia's darling seat ! 

All hail thy palaces and towers, 
Where once beneath a monarch's feet 

Sat Legislation's sovereign powers. 



BURNS 163 

From marking wildly scattered flowers, 

As on the banks of Ayr I strayed, 
And singing, lone, the lingering hours, 

I shelter in thy honoured shade. 

Here wealth still swells the golden tide, 

As busy trade his labour plies ; 
There Architecture's noble pride 

Bids elegance and splendour rise ; 
Here Justice, from her native skies, 

High wields her balance and her rod ; 
There Learning, with his eagle eyes, 

Seeks science in her coy abode. 

There, watching high the least alarms, 

Thy rough, rude fortress gleams afar, 
Like some bold veteran grey in arms, 

And marked with many a seamy scar : 
The pondrous wall and massy bar, 

Grim rising o'er the rugged rock, 
Have oft withstood assailing war, 

And oft repelled the invader's shock. 

With awe-struck thought, and pitying tears, 

I view that noble, stately dome, 
Where Scotia's kings of other years, 

Famed heroes ! had their royal home. 
Alas, how changed the times to come ! 

Their royal name low in the dust ! 
Their hapless race wild-wandering roam, 

Though rigid law cries out 'Twas just ! 

Wild beats my heart to trace your steps, 

Whose ancestors, in days of yore, 
Through hostile ranks and ruined gaps 

Old Scotia's bloody lion bore : 
Even I who sing in rustic lore, 

Haply, my sires have left their shed, 
And faced grim danger's loudest roar, 

Bold following where your fathers led ! 

Edina ! Scotia's darling seat ! 

All hail thy palaces and towers ! 
Where once beneath a monarch's feet 

Sat Legislation's sovereign powers ! 



i6 4 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

From marking wildly scattered flowers, 
As on the banks of Ayr I strayed, 

And singing, lone, the lingering hours, 
I shelter in thy honoured shade. 



Robert Burns. 



The Meeting As for Burns, I may truly say, Virgilium vidi tantum. I was a 
of Burns and lad of fifteen in 1786-7, when he came first to Edinburgh, but had 
Scott sense and feeling enough to be much interested in his poetry, and 

1786-7 W ould have given the world to know him ; but I had very little 
acquaintance with any literary people, and still less with the gentry 
of the west country, the two sets that he most frequented. Mr. 
Thomas Grierson was at that time a clerk of my father's. He 
knew Burns, and promised to ask him to his lodgings to dinner, 
but had no opportunity to keep his word, otherwise I might hare 
seen more of this distinguished man. As it was, I saw him one 
day at the late venerable Professor Fergusson's, where there were 
several gentlemen of literary reputation, among whom I remember 
the celebrated Mr. Dugald Stewart. Of course we youngsters sate 
silent, looked and listened. The only thing I remember which 
was remarkable in Burns' manner, was the effect produced upon 
him by a print of Bunbury's, representing a soldier lying dead on 
the snow, his dog sitting in misery on the one side, on the other 
his widow, with a child in her arms. These lines were written 
beneath : 

' Cold on Canadian hills, or Minden's plain, 
Perhaps that parent wept her soldier slain ; 
Bent o'er her babe, her eye dissolved in dew, 
The big drops, mingling with the milk he drew, 
Gave the sad presage of his future years, 
The child of misery baptized in tears.' 

Burns seemed much affected by the print, or rather the ideas 
which it suggested to his mind. He actually shed tears. He asked 
whose the lines were, and it chanced that nobody but myself re- 
membered that they occur in a half-forgotten poem of Langhorne's, 
called by the unpromising title of ' The Justice of the Peace.' I 
whispered my information to a friend present, who mentioned it to 
Burns, who rewarded me with a look and a word, which, though of 
mere civility, I then received, and still recollect, with very great 
pleasure. 

Sir Walter Scott. 
Given in Lockhart's Life 0} Scott. 



JOHN WESLEY 165 

MONDAY 19 [May 1788]. I went to Edinburgh, and preached 1788 
to a much larger congregation than I used to see here on a week 
day. I still find a frankness and openness in the people of 
Edinburgh which I find in few other parts of the kingdom. I 
spent two days among them with much satisfaction : and I was 
not at all disappointed in finding no such increase, either in the 
congregation or the society, as many expected from their leaving 
the kirk. 

Thursday 22. The house of Dalkeith being far too small, even 
at eight in the morning, to contain the congregation, I preached in 
a garden, on Seek ye the Lord while He may be found: 1 and, from 
the eager attention of the people, I could not but hope that some 
of them would receive the truth in love. . . . 

Rev. John Wesley. 
Journal. 

AFTER twenty-one years of expectation, on the i6th November 1739 
1789, the foundation-stone of 'the New College of Edinburgh,' 
as it was called at the time, was laid with great pomp and rejoicing 
by Lord Napier, as Grand Master Mason of Scotland, in presence 
of the Provost and Magistrates; the Principal, Professors, and 
Students of the University ; ' many of the Nobility and Gentry ' ; 
and about ' thirty thousand spectators,' as it was computed, though 
this number would have exhausted more than half the population 
of the City. As recorded in the pages of the Scots Magazine, this 
was a great public ceremony, though, it must be confessed, not 
equal to those popular rejoicings which had hailed the foundation 
of the University of St. Andrews 376 years previously. 

There was a procession from the Parliament House to the east 
face of the future buildings, in what is now South Bridge Street, in 
the following order : 

* The Lord Provost, Magistrates, and Council in their robes, with 
the City Regalia carried before them. 

' The Principal and Professors of the University, in their gouns, 
with the Mace carried before them. 

' The Students, with green laurel in their hats ; a band of Singers, 
conducted by Mr. Scherkey. 

1 The different Lodges of free and accepted Masons, with their 
proper insignia. 

'A band of instrumental music.' 

With musical accompaniments this procession moved slowly 
along through streets lined with soldiers of the 2$th Regiment and 
1 Compare with page 124. R. M. 



166 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

with the City Guard, and occupied nearly an hour on its route. 
The north-east, or proper Masonic corner, having been found 
unsuitable for laying a foundation-stone, a site further to the south, 
one of the corners of the present entrance to the University quad- 
rangle, was chosen, and the scene which there presented itself has 
been depicted in a contemporary caricature. The usual Masonic 
rites having been duly performed, Lord Napier delivered an address 
full of congratulation and high compliment, first to the Lord 
Provost and Magistrates, and secondly to the Principal and Pro- 
fessors. Lord Prorost Elder and Principal Robertson replied. 
The latter said : 4 From very humble beginnings, the University of 
Edinburgh has attained to such eminence as entitles it to be ranked 
among the most celebrated seminaries of learning. Indebted to 
the bounty of several of our Sovereigns ; distinguished particularly 
by the Gracious Prince now seated on the British throne, whom, 
with gratitude, we reckon among the most munificent of our Royal 
benefactors ; and cherished by the continued attention and good 
offices of our Honourable Patrons, this University can now boast 
of the number and variety of its institutions for the instruction of 
youth in all branches of literature and science.' After dilating 
upon the 'one thing still wanting,' and now to be supplied, 
namely, sufficient and suitable buildings, Dr. Robertson added : ' I 
regard it as my own peculiar felicity, that by having remained in 
my present station much longer than any of my predecessors, I 
have lived to witness an event so beneficial to this University, the 
prosperity of which is near to my heart, and has ever been the 
object of my warmest wishes.' 

Under the foundation-stone were deposited the usual coins and 
newspapers, and together with them 'seven rolls of vellum, con- 
taining a short account of the original foundation and present state 
of the University.' The account of the original foundation appears 
to have been chiefly taken from Craufurd's Memoirs, and is not 
very accurate. It says that 'in the year 1581, a grant was 
obtained from King James vi., for founding a College or Uni- 
versity within the City of Edinburgh ' ; and ' next year, a Charter 
of confirmation and erection was obtained also from King James 
vi., from which the College to be built did afterwards derive all 
the privileges of a University.' The person probably Dr. 
Robertson who wrote this sentence can hardly have been 
acquainted with King James's Charter of 1582, which certainly 
does not correspond with the description here given of it. But 
we have before shown reasons for believing that the real Charter 
of erection and foundation of the College was at an early period 



SIR ALEXANDER GRANT 167 

lost, and this circumstance has put historians who were unaware of 
it into a false position ever since, by leading them to seek in the 
Charter of 1582 what is not to be found there. 

For the rest, the vellum which lies under the University gateway 
states that the college was taught by Regents ' till about the year 
1710, when the four Regents began to be confined each to a 
separate profession,' and that ' under the care of the Magistrates, 
new Professorships have been from time to time instituted, as the 
public seemed to demand them.' It adds that 'in all its diplomas 
and public deeds,' the College bears the name of ' the College of 
King James.' It gives a list of the Senatus Academicus, as con- 
stituted in 1789, containing many brilliant names; and records, 
for the information of the New Zealander who may excavate the 
ruins of the University of Edinburgh, that 'in processions, the 
Principal with the Professor of Divinity on his right hand, and the 
Professor of Church History on his left, walks foremost, preceded 
by the Mace. The rest of the Professors follow according to their 
seniority.' It is doubtful whether this table of procedure would 
be accepted at the present day. At all events it ignores the 
possible presence of a Chancellor and a Lord Rector in a Uni- 
versity procession. The buried vellum next gives a statement of 
the number of Students during the Winter Session of 1788-89, as 
follows : 

Students of Divinity, . . .130 
Law, .... 100 

Physic, . . 440 

General Classes, . . 420 

1090 

And it ends by saying that ' the Old Buildings being very mean 
and unfit for the reception of so many Professors and Students, 
the Lord Provost and Magistrates, with the concurrence of the 
Right Hon. Henry Dundas, Treasurer of the Navy, resolved to set 
on foot a subscription, according to an advertisement,' of which a 
copy was subjoined. 

The proceedings at the foundation-stone terminated with the 
singing of an anthem; then came a procession in reverse order 
back to the Parliament House; and afterwards an 'elegant and 
sumptuous entertainment ' (people in Edinburgh dined about three 
o'clock in those days) 'was given by the Lord Provost and 
Magistrates, in the George Street Assembly Rooms to above 500 
persons, including the Grand Master of the Masons and repre- 



168 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

sentatives of the different Lodges, several of the nobility, and the 

principal inhabitants of the City.' 

Sir Alexander Grant. 

History of the University of Edinburgh, 

HERE I was in this old, black city, which was for all the world like 
a rabbit-warren, not only by the number of its indwellers, but the 
complication of its passages and holes. It was indeed a place 
where no stranger had a chance to find a friend, let be another 
stranger. Suppose him even to hit on the right close, people 
dwelt so thronged in these tall houses, he might very well seek a 
day before he chanced on the right door. The ordinary course 
was to hire a lad they called a caddie^ who was like a guide or 
pilot, led you where you had occasion, and (your errands being 
done) brought you again where you were lodging. But these 
caddies, being always employed in the same sort of services, and 
having it for obligation to be well informed of every house and 
person in the city, had grown to form a brotherhood of spies ; and 
I knew from tales of Mr. Campbell's how they communicated one 
with another, what a rage of curiosity they conceived as to their 
employer's business, and how they were like eyes and fingers to the 
police ... it chanced I had scarce given him the address, when 
there came a sprinkle of rain nothing to hurt, only for my new 
clothes and we took shelter under a pend at the head of a close 
or alley. Being strange to what I saw, I stepped a little further 
in. The narrow paved way descended swiftly. Prodigious tall 
houses sprang up on each side and bulged out, one story beyond 
another, as they rose At the top only a ribbon of sky showed in. 
By what I could spy in the windows, and by the respectable persons 
that passed out and in, I saw the houses to be very well occupied ; 
and the whole appearance of the place interested me like a tale. 

Robert Louis Stevenson. 
Catriona. 

I KEN a toon, wa'd roond, and biggit weel, 

Where the women 's a' weel-faured, and the men 's brave and leal, 

And ye ca' ilka ane by a weel-kent name ; 

And when I gang to yon toon, I 'm gangin' to my hame ! 

I ken a toon : it 's gey grim and auld ; 

It 's biggit o' grey stane, and some finds it cauld ; 

It 's biggit up and doon on heichts beside the sea ; 

But gif I get to yon toon I 'se bide there till I dee ! 

Rosaline Masson. 
Edinburgh. 



CHAMBERS 169 

EDINBURGH was, at the beginning of George m.'s reign, a pictur- 
esque, odorous, inconvenient, old-fashioned town, of about seventy 
thousand inhabitants. It had no court, no factories, no commerce ; 
but there was a nest of lawyers in it, attending upon the Court of 
Session ; and a considerable number of the Scotch gentry one of 
whom then passed as rich with a thousand a year gave it the 
benefit of their presence during the winter. Thus the town had 
lived for some ages, during which political discontent and division 
had kept the country poor. A stranger approaching the city, 
seeing it piled 'close and massy, deep and high' a series of 
towers, rising from a palace on the plain to a castle in the air 
would have thought it a truly romantic place ; and the impression 
would not have subsided much on near inspection, when he would 
have found himself admitted by a fortified gate through an ancient 
wall, still kept in repair. Even on entering the one old street of 
which the city chiefly consisted, he would have seen much to 
admire houses of substantial architecture and lofty proportions, 
mingled with more lowly, but also more arresting wooden fabrics ; 
a huge and irregular, but venerable Gothic Church, surmounted by 
an aerial crown of masonry; finally, an esplanade towards the 
castle, from which he could have looked abroad upon half a score 
of counties, upon firth and fell, yea, even to the blue Grampians. 
Everywhere he would have seen symptoms of denseness of popula- 
tion ; the open street a universal market ; a pell-mell of people 
everywhere. The eye would have been, upon the whole, gratified, 
whatever might be the effect of the clangor strtpitusque upon the 
ear, or whatever might have been the private meditations of the 
nose. It would have only been on coming to close quarters, or to 
quarters at all, that our stranger would have begun to think of 
serious drawbacks from the first impression. For an inn, he would 
have had the White Horse, in a close in the Canongate; or the 
White Hart, a house which now appears like a carrier's inn, in the 
Grassmarket. Or, had he betaken himself to a private lodging, 
which he would have probably done under the conduct of a ragged 
varlet, speaking more of his native Gaelic than English, he would 
have had to ascend four or five stories of a common stair, into the 
narrow chambers of some Mrs. Balgray or Luckie Fergusson, 
where a closet bed in the sitting-room would have been displayed 
as the most comfortable place in the world ; and he would have 
had, for amusement, a choice between an extensive view of house- 
tops from the window, and a study of a series of prints of the four 
seasons, a sampler, and a portrait of the Marquis of Granty, upon 
the wall. 



i;o IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

On being introduced into society, our stranger might have dis- 
covered cause for content with his lodging, on finding how poorly off 
were the first people with respect to domestic accommodations. 
I can imagine him going to tea at Mr. Bruce of Rennet's, in 
Forrester's Wynd a country gentleman and a lawyer (not long 
after raised to the Bench), yet happy to live with his wife and 
children in a house of fifteen pounds of rent, in a region of pro- 
found darkness and mystery, now no more. Had he got into 
familiar terms with the worthy lady of the mansion, he might have 
ascertained that they had just three rooms and a kitchen ; one 
room, ' my lady's ' that is, the kind of parlour he was sitting in ; 
another, a consulting-room for the gentleman ; the third, a bed- 
room. The children, with their maid, had beds laid down for 
them at night in their father's room ; the housemaid slept under 
the kitchen dresser ; and the one man-servant was turned at night 
out of the house. Had our friend chanced to get amongst trades- 
people he might have found Mr. Kerr, the eminent goldsmith in 
the Parliament Square, stowing his menage into a couple of small 
rooms above his boothlike shop, plastered against the wall of 
St. Giles's Church ; the nursery and kitchen, however, being placed 
in a cellar under the level of the street, where the children are said 
to have rotted off like sheep. 

But indeed everything was on a homely and narrow scale. The 
College where Munro, Cullen, and Black were already making 
themselves great names was to be approached through a mean 
alley, the College Wynd. The churches were chiefly clustered 
under one roof; the jail was a narrow building, half-filling up the 
breadth of the street ; the public offices, for the most part, obscure 
places in lanes or dark entries. The men of learning and wit, 
united with a proportion of men of rank, met as the Poker Club in 
a tavern, the best of its day, but only a dark house in a close, to 
which our stranger could have scarcely made his way without a 
guide. In a similar situation across the way, he would have found, 
at the proper season, the Assembly ; that is, a congregation of 
ladies met for dancing, and whom the gentlemen usually joined 
rather late, and rather merry. The only theatre was also a poor 
and obscure place in some indescribable part of the Canongate. 

The town was, nevertheless, a funny, familiar, compact, and not 
unlikeable place. Gentle and semple living within the compass of 
a single close, or even a single stair, knew and took an interest in 
each other. Acquaintances might not only be formed, Pyramus- 
and-Thisbe fashion, through party-walls, but from window to 
window across alleys, narrow enough in many cases to allow of 



CHAMBERS 171 

hand coming to hand, and even lip to lip. There was little 
elegance, but a vast amount of cheap sociality. Provokingly 
comical clubs, founded each upon one joke, were abundant. The 
ladies had tea-drinkings at the primitive hour of six, from which 
they cruised home under the care of a lantern-bearing, patten-shod 
lass ; or perhaps, if a bad night, in Saunders Macalpine's sedan- 
chair. Every forenoon, for several hours, the only clear space 
which the town presented that around the cross was crowded 
with loungers of all ranks, whom it had been an amusement to the 
poet Gay to survey from the neighbouring windows of Allan 
Ramsay's shop. The jostle and huddlement was extreme every- 
where. Gentlemen and ladies paraded along in the stately attire 
of the period ; tradesmen chatted in groups, often bareheaded, at 
their shop doors; caddies whisked about, bearing messages, or 
attending to the affairs of strangers ; children filled the kennel 
with their noisy sports. Add to all this, corduroyed men from 
Gilmerton, bawling coals and yellow sand, and spending as much 
breath in a minute as could have served poor asthmatic Hugo 
Arnot for a month ; fishwomen crying their caller haddies from 
Newhaven; whimsicals and idiots going along, each with his or 
her crowd of listeners or tormentors ; sooty men with their bags ; 
town-guardsmen with their antique Lochaber axes ; water-carriers 
with their dripping barrels; barbers with their hair-dressing 
materials ; and so forth and our stranger would have been dis- 
posed to acknowledge that, though a coarse and confused, it was 
a perfectly unique scene, and one which, once contemplated, was 
not easily to be forgotten. 

A change at length began. . . . There was a wish to expatiate 
over some of the neighbouring grounds, so as to get more space 
and freer air; only it was difficult to do, considering the physical 
circumstances of the town, and the character of the existing out- 
lets. Space, space ! air, air ! was, however, a strong and general 
cry, and the old romantic city did at length burst from its bounds, 
though not in a very regular way, or for a time to much good 
purpose. . . . 

It is curious to cast the eye over the beautiful city which now 
extends over this district, the residence of as refined a mass of 
people as could be found in any similar space of ground upon 
earth, and reflect on what the place was a hundred years ago. 

Robert Chambers. 
Traditions of Edinburgh. 



172 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

A GREAT change was about to take place in the residences of the 
principal people of Edinburgh. The cry was for more light and 
more air. The extension of the city to the south and west was not 
sufficient. There was a great plateau of ground on the north side 
of the city, beyond the North Loch. But it was very difficult to 
reach ; being alike steep on both sides of the Loch. At length, 
in 1767, an Act was obtained to extend the royalty of the city over 
the northern fields, and powers were obtained to erect a bridge to 
connect them with the Old Town. 

The magistrates had the greatest difficulty in inducing the 
inhabitants to build dwellings on the northern side of the city. 
A premium was offered to the person who should build the first 
house ; and 20 was awarded to Mr. John Young on account of 
a mansion erected by him close to George Street. Exemption 
from burghal taxes was also granted to a gentleman who built the 
first house in Princes Street. My grandfather l built the first house 
in the south-west corner of St. Andrew Square, for the occupation 
of David Hume the historian, as well as the two most important 
houses in the centre of the north side of the same square. One of 
these last was occupied by the venerable Dr. Hamilton, a very 
conspicuous character in Edinburgh. He continued to wear the 
cocked hat, the powdered pigtail, tights, and large shoe buckles ; 
for about sixty years after the costume had become obsolete. 
All these houses are still in perfect condition, after resisting the 
ordinary tear and wear of upwards of a hundred and ten northern 
winters. The opposition to building houses across the North Loch 
soon ceased ; and the New Town arose, growing from day to day, 
until Edinburgh became one of the most handsome and picturesque 
cities in Europe. 

James Nasmyth. 
Autobiography. Edited by Samuel Smiles. 

EVEN thus, methinks, a city rear.ed should be, 
Yea, an imperial city that might hold 
Five times a hundred noble towers in fee, 
And either with their might of Babel old, 
Or the rich Roman pomp of empery, 
Might stand compare, highest in arts enrolled, 
Highest in arms, brave tenement for the free 
Who never crouch to thrones, nor sin for gold. 
Thus should her towers be raised ; with vicinage 

1 James Nasmyth's grandfather was a builder and architect, as his father and 
grandfather had been before him. The old family tomb of the Naesmyths, dated 
1614, where all these generations are buried, is in Greyfriars Churchyard. R. M. 






ARTHUR HALLAM 173 

Of clear bold hills that curve her very streets, 

As if to vindicate, 'mid choicest seats 

Of Art, abiding Nature's majesty ; 

And the broad sea beyond, in calm or rage 

Chainless alike, and teaching liberty. 

Arthur Hallam. 
Sonnet to Edinburgh. 

THE Scottish capital is one of the few great cities of the empire 
that possess natural features, and which, were the buildings away; 
would, while it ceased to be town, become very picturesque country. 
And hence one of the peculiar characteristics of Edinburgh. The 
natural features so overtop the artificial ones, its hollow valleys 
are so much more strongly marked that its streets, and its hills and 
precipices than its buildings, Arthur's Seat and the Crags look so 
proudly down on its towers and spires, and so huge is the mass, 
and so bold the outline of its Castle rock and its Calton, compared 
with those of the buildings which over-top them, that intelligent 
visitors, with an eye for the prominent and distinctive in scenery, 
are led to conceive of it rather as a great country place than as a 
great town. It is a scene of harmonious contrasts. Not only does 
it present us with a picturesque city of the grey, time-faded past, 
drawn out side by side, as if for purposes of comparison, with a 
gay, freshly-tinted city of the present, rich in all the elegancies and 
amenities; but it exhibits also, in the same well-occupied area, 
town and country ; as if they, too, had been brought together for 
purposes of comparison, and as if, instead of remaining in uncom- 
promising opposition, as elsewhere, they had resolved on showing 
how congruously, and how much to their mutual advantage, they 

could unite and agree. 

Hugh Miller. 
Edinburgh and its Neighbourhood. 

THE volcanic origin of the beautiful scenery round Edinburgh was 
often the subject of their l conversation. Probably few visitors are 
aware that all those remarkable eminencies, which give to the city 
and its surroundings so peculiar and romantic an aspect, are the 
results of the operation, during inconceivably remote ages, of 
volcanic force penetrating the earth's crust by disruptive power, 
and pouring forth streams of molten lava, now shrunk and cooled 
into volcanic rock. The observant eye, opened by the light of 
Science, can see unmistakable evidences of a condition of things 

1 Scientific men, such as Sir James Hall, Professor Leslie, Dr. Brewster, 
and others. 



174 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

which were in action at periods so remote as, in comparison, to 
shrink up the oldest of human records into events of yesterday. 

I had often the privilege of standing by and hearing the 
philosophic Leslie, Brewster, and Hall, discussing these volcanic 
remains in their actual presence ; sometimes at Arthur's Seat and 
on the Gallon Hill, or at the rock on which Edinburgh Castle 
stands. Their observations sank indelibly into my memory, and 
gave me the key to the origin of this grand class of terrestrial 
phenomena. When standing at the 'Giant's Ribs,' on the south 
side of Arthur's Seat, I felt as if one of the grandest pages of the 
Earth's history lay open before me. The evidences of similar 
volcanic action abound in many other places near Edinburgh ; 
and they may be traced right across Scotland from the Bass Rock 
to Fingal's Cave, the Giant's Causeway in Antrim, and Slievh 
League on the south-west coast of Donegal in Ireland. 

James Nasmyth. 
Autobiography. Edited by Samuel Smiles. 

1793 THREE pleasant miles on the sea shore brought us to the Queen's- 

fery house ; and soon after we drove into Lord Roseberry's park at 
Barnbugle, which covers a charming neck of undulating ground, 
projecting into the bay, and adorned with much fine wood. The 
magnificent pile of Edinburgh Castle soon became visible, and 
the country growing more inhabited and cultivated, indicated our 
approach to that metropolis. The new town occupies the whole 
of a gentle rising ground on the north ; and as we entered on that 
side, we were most agreeably surprised to find ourselves trans- 
ported into the most regular and superb city that any country can 
boast ; the streets all intersect each other at right angles, and the 
buildings are of the finest white stone, constructed in the most 
perfect uniformity. St. Andrew's Square would vie with most of 
the London squares in extent, and exceed them in regularity : 
George-street, 115 feet wide, and of a vast length, leads into the 
centre of this square, in which are the assembly-rooms, St. Andrew's 
Church, and a beautiful edifice with a rich Corinthian portico, 
intended for the physicians' hall. The superb building of the 
register-office, executed with all the elegance of a Grecian temple, 
fronts that stupendous and magnificent work which connects the 
old and new town, in the form of a bridge of three mighty stone 
arches, thrown over the deep valley between them. The old city 
is totally distinct from the new, both in position and appearance ; 
and forms a striking contrast in the irregularity of its streets, and 
the singularity of its buildings. It covers the steep ridge of a hill, 



SKRINE 175 

sloping into a deep valley on each side, and extending for above 
a mile from the castle to the palace ; so that every street partakes 
in some degree of the declivity. The High-street, which pervades 
the whole town, would exhibit the singularly lofty and antique 
fronts of its houses to great advantage, were it not for several 
ranges of irregular buildings that obstruct its passage. 1 . . . 

But the glory and boast of Edinburgh is its castle, proudly 
occupying the summit of a vast rock, to which the town ascends, 
and commanding the country below from its inaccessible walls. 
It is now made use of as a garrison ; and the modern system of 
fortification, however it may add to the security of the place, does 
not please the eye like the bastions and turrets of the ancients. 
The prospect from its highest point is incomparable, extending to 
the western Highlands on the left, and taking in the whole compass 
of the Firth of Forth and its islands, with the sea in full front, 
bounded by the curving shore of Fifeshire. Immediately below, 
the new town displays its whitened fronts, drawn up in the regular 
array of an army ; and beyond it, beneath a high hill on which the 
observatory is placed, Leith, the port of Edinburgh, stretches into 
the sea, crowded with a forest of masts, and enveloped in perpetual 
smoke. Towards the east the great city of Edinburgh descends 
into the dark and gloomy hollow, from which the prodigious rock 
of Arthur's Seat rises into the clouds, while the impending cliffs of 
Salisbury Crags frown over it like the battlements of a vast fortifica- 
tion. The sea appears distinctly beyond them all ; and the lofty 
cone of North Berwick, ascending from a flat coast, terminates 
the prospect at a great distance. A wide extent of a hilly and 
cultivated country stretches far towards the south, except where the 
grassy and indented summits of the Pentland hills contract the view. 

Henry Skrine, of Warley, in Somersetshire. 
Tours in the North of England and a great part of Scotland. 

IN the year 1797, the period, I believe, at which my father 2 1797 
arrived at Edinburgh with his pupil, Mr. Beach, that city was 
rich in talent, full of men who have acted important parts whilst 
they lived, and many of whom have left names that will live after 
them: Jeffrey, Horner, Playfair, Walter Scott, Dugald Stewart, 
Brougham, Brown, Murray, Leyden, Lord Webb Seymour, Sir 
James Hall, and many others. 

Society at that time in Edinburgh was upon the most easy and 
agreeable footing ; the Scotch were neither rich nor ashamed of 
being poor, and there was not that struggle for display which so 
1 The Tolbooth, taken down in 1817. 2 Sydney Smith. 



i;6 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

much diminishes the charm of London society, and has, with the 
increase of wealth, now crept into that of Edinburgh. Few days 
passed without the meeting of some of these friends, either in each 
other's houses, or (in what was then very common) oyster-cellars, 
where, I am told, the most delightful little suppers used to be given, 
in which every subject was discussed, with a freedom impossible in 
larger societies, and with a love of truth which is only found where 
men fight for truth and not for victory. 

Into this soil, then, so congenial to his mind and tastes, my father 
was transplanted ; and, though a perfect stranger, the kindness with 
which he was received is best shown by the strong attachment he 
ever attained for his Scotch friends, though far removed from them 
in after-life, and by the pleasure with which he always looked back 
to this period. I believe he kept up, with hardly any exception, 
the friendships then formed. 

Though truly loving them, his quick sense of the ludicrous made 
him derive great amusement from the little foibles and peculiarities 
of the Scotch ; and often has he made them laugh by his descrip- 
tions of things which struck his English eye. He used to say ' it 
required a surgical operation to get a joke well into a Scotch under- 
standing ' ; that ' their only idea of wit, or rather that inferior variety 
of this electric talent which prevails occasionally in the North, and 
which, under the name of wot, is so infinitely distressing to people 
of good taste, was laughing immoderately at stated intervals.' That 
no nation had so large a stock of benevolence of heart : if you met 
with an accident, half Edinburgh immediately flocked to your door 
to inquire after your/wr* hand or your pure foot, and with a degree 
of interest that convinced you their whole hearts were in the 
inquiry. That they usually arranged their dishes at dinner by the 
points of the compass; "Sandy, put the gigot of mutton to 
the south, and move the singet sheep's head a wee bit to the nor- 
wast." That if you knocked at the door you heard a shrill female 
voice from the fifth flat shriek out, " Wha's chapping at the door ? " 
which was presently opened by a lassie with short petticoats, bare 
legs, and thick ankles. That his Scotch servants bargained they 
were not to have salmon more than three times a week, and always 
pulled off their stockings the moment his back was turned. 
'Their temper,' he said, 'stood anything but an attack on their 
climate ; even the enlightened mind of Jeffrey could not shake off 
the illusion that myrtles flourished at Craig Crook. In vain I 
represented to him that they were of the genus Carduus, and 
pointed out their prickly peculiarities. In vain I reminded him 
that hackney coaches were drawn by four horses in the winter, on 



LADY HOLLAND: ELLIS ROBERTS 177 

account of the snow ; that I had rescued a man blown flat against 
ray door by the violence of the winds, and black in the face ; that 
even the experienced Scotch fowls did not venture to cross the 
streets, but sidled along, tails aloft, without venturing to encounter 
the gale. Jeffrey stuck to his myrtle illusion, and treated my attacks 
with as much contempt as if I had been a wild visionary, who had 
never breathed his caller air, nor lived and suffered under the rigour 
of his climate, nor spent five years in discussing metaphysics and 
medicine in that garret of the earth that knuckle-end of England 
that land of Calvin, oat-cakes, and sulphur. 

Lady Holland. 
Lift and Correspondence of the Rev. Sydney Smith. 

ONE effect of Rogers' improved position was evidently to increase 
the amount of his holidays, and the next three years of his life are 
chiefly notable for the journeys out of England one to Scotland, 
and the other to France. 

Scotland, or rather that little portion of Scotland generally 
travelled over by the English, and Edinburgh in particular, was at 
this time very full of metaphysicians, philosophers, historians and 
critics, and possessed besides one incomparable poet. It was in 
Edinburgh, as Sydney Smith said, that people were metaphysical 
even while making love. ' I overheard,' said Smith, 'a young lady 
of my acquaintance at a dance in Edinburgh exclaim, in a sudden 
pause of the music, ' What you say, my Lord, is very true of love in 

the abstract, but ' here the fiddlers began fiddling furiously, and 

the rest was lost. Rogers does not seem to have found Edinburgh 
society too overpowering, and as a young literary man he was glad 
to meet so many of the lions of the day, though the roaring of the 
younger ones through the Edinburgh Review was not to begin 
till 1802. Among the more considerable people he called upon were 
Dr. Robertson, Adam Smith, the Piozzis, Henry Mackenzie, author 
of The Man of Feeling-, but there is no record of any particularly 
prominent incident, and in failing to meet Burns he lost an 
opportunity that was not to return. 

R. Ellis Roberts. 
Samuel Rogers and his Circle. 

AT summer eve, when Heav'n's aerial bow 
Spans with bright arch the glittering hills below, 
Why to yon mountain turns the musing eye, 
Whose sunbright summit mingles with the sky ? 
Why do those cliffs of shadowy tint appear 
More sweet than all the landscape smiling near ? 
M 



i;8 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

Tis distance lends enchantment to the view, 
And robes the mountain in its azure hue. 1 

Yet, ere Oblivion shade each fairy scene, 

Ere capes and cliffs and waters intervene, 

Ere distant walks my pilgrim feet explore, 

By Elbe's slow wanderings, and the Danish shore, 

Still to my country turns my partial view, 

That seems the dearest at the last adieu ! 

Ye lawns and grottos of the clustered plain ; 
Ye mountain- walks, Edina's green domain ; 
Haunts of my youth, where oft, by fancy drawn 
At vermeil eve, still noon, or shady dawn, 
My soul, secluded from the deafening throng, 
Has wooed the bosom-prompted power of song : 
And thou, my loved abode, romantic ground, 
With ancient towers and spiry summits crowned ! 
Home of the polished arts and liberal mind, 
By truth and taste enlightened and refined ! 
Thou scene of Scotland's glory, now decayed, 
When once her Senate and her Sceptre swayed, 
As round thy mouldered monuments of fame 
Tradition points an emblem and a name 
Lo ! what a group Imagination brings 
Of starred barons, and of throned kings ! 
Departed days in bright succession start, 
And all the patriot kindles in my heart i 

Thomas Campbell. 

The Pleasures of Hope. 

1801-2 WK had a pleasant passage over the Forth, during which I had an 
opportunity of seeing all the various effects of this noble harbour, 
my view growing into distinction as we approached, till at length 
as we neared that immense collection of natural and artificial 
beauty, I conceived it little less than profanation to painting not to 
wish that Canaletti had been alive and on the spot. The glass- 
houses, docks, store-houses, and other objects of commerce and 
industry that give sobriety and solemnity to Leith, chequered by 
the vessels in the offing ; the Tron-Church, and the buildings in 
the elevated part of the Old Town, reposing as it were in the bosom 
of Arthur's-Seat, and gracefully terminated by the observatory upon 
the Calton-Hill, the clean and uniform appearance of the New 
Town, with St. Andrew's church, and the whole governed by the 
1 These opening lines of The Pleasures of Hope were said to have been inspired 
by the views from round Arthur's Seat. R. M. 



CAMPBELL: DIBDIN: SCOTT 179 

castle in all its magnificence : all these delineated by such a pencil 
would make no mean stand against the best views of Venice or 
Naples. . . . 

I heard on the morning I was in the Court of Sessions an argu- 
ment of considerable consequence, in which the fifteen lords 
delivered their opinions separately. I had therefore an oppor- 
tunity of getting at some idea of Scotch eloquence, and I must 
confess I should be happy to see it imitated in England. Never 
was the word economy more worthily applied to the Scotch. I 
heard no shifting, no trifling, no beating about the bush. The 
facts were laid down simply and argued on powerfully. The elo- 
quence was not a torrent, it was an even stream; it did not 
bewilder you, it moved you to admiration. . . . 

It was now my business to leave Edinburgh, that combination of 
art and nature, which for originality and magnificence cannot be 
excelled. Arthur's Seat, Salisbury crags, the Calton hill, Pentland, 
Braid, and Blackford hills, Craigmillar, Craiglockhart, and other 
magnificent objects that surround the two towns, from which their 
various elevations throw the Frith of Forth in such a number of 
beautiful directions, that the eye is never tired of admiring its 
grand and majestic effect, certainly lend a most peculiar novelty to 
this truly delightful spot, with which I was so transported that it 
will never cease to be among my most pleasurable contemplations 
that I have seen this charming-place with all the admiration due to 

its merits. . . . 

Charles Dibdin. 1 

Observations on a Tour through almost the whole of England and a con- 
siderable fart of Scotland, in a Series of Letters addressed to a large 
number of Intelligent and Respectable Friends. 

To horse ! to horse ! the standard flies, war Song of 

The bugles sound the call ; the Royal 

The Gallic navy stems the seas, SHJj 8 * 

The voice of battle 's on the breeze, Dragoons 
Arouse ye, one and all ! 

From high Dunedin's towers we come, 

A band of brothers true j 
Our casques the leopard's spoils surround, 
With Scotland's hardy thistle crown'd 

We boast the red and blue. 2 

Sir Walter Scott. 

1 Charles Dibdin, the dramatist and song writer, was the younger brother of 
the Rev. Thos. Frognall Dibdin, who is quoted on pages 240-242. R. M. 

2 Written when he was Quartermaster of the Edinburgh Light Cavalry. 



180 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

1803 Thursday, September 15^.. . . Arrived at Edinburgh a little 

before sunset. As we approached, the castle rock resembled that 
of Stirling in the same manner appearing to rise from a plain of 
cultivated ground, the Firth of Forth be.ing on the other side, and 
not visible. Drove to the White Hart in the Grassmarket, an inn 
which had been mentioned to us, and which we conjectured would 
better suit us than one in a more fashionable part of the town. It 
was not noisy, and tolerably cheap. Drank tea, and walked up to 
the Castle, which luckily was very near. Much of the daylight 
was gone, so that except it had been a clear evening, which it was 
not, we could not have seen the distant prospect. 

Friday -, September \6th. The sky the evening before, as you 
may remember the ostler told us, had been ' gay and dull ' 1 and 
this morning it was downright dismal : very dark, and promising 
nothing but a wet day, and before breakfast was over the rain 
began, though not heavily. We set out upon our walk, and went 
through many streets to Holyrood House, and thence to the hill 
called Arthur's Seat, a high hill, very rocky at the top, and below 
covered with smooth turf, on which sheep were feeding. We 
climbed up till we came to St. Anthony's Well and Chapel, as it is 
called, but it is more like a hermitage than a chapel, a small 
ruin, which from its situation is exceedingly interesting, though in 
itself not remarkable. We sate down on a stone not far from the 
chapel, overlooking a pastoral hollow as wild and solitary as any in 
the heart of the Highland mountains : there, instead of the roaring 
of torrents, we listened to the noises of the city, which were 
blended in one loud indistinct buzz, a regular sound in the air, 
which in certain moods of feeling, and at certain times, might have 
a more tranquillizing effect upon the mind than those which we are 
accustomed to hear in such places. The castle rock looked exceed- 
ingly large through the misty air : a cloud of black smoke overhung 
the city, which combined with the rain and mist to conceal the 
shapes of the houses, an obscurity which added much to the 
grandeur of the sound that proceeded from it. It was impossible 
to think of anything that was little or mean, the goings-on of trade, 
the strife of men, or every-day city business : the impression was 
one, and it was visionary ; like the conceptions of our childhood of 
Bagdad or Balsora when we have been reading the Arabian Nights' 
Entertainments. Though the rain was very heavy we remained 
upon the hill for some time, then returned by the same road by 
which we had come, through green flat fields, formerly the plea- 
sure-grounds of Holyrood House, on the edge of which stands the 
1 ' Gey and dull ' (?). 



DOROTHY WORDSWORTH : WORDSWORTH 181 

old roofless chapel, of venerable architecture. It is a pity that it 
should be suffered to fall down, for the walls appear to be yet 
entire. . . . 

When we found ourselves once again in the streets of the city, 
we lamented over the heavy rain, and indeed before leaving the 
hill, much as we were indebted to the accident of the rain for the 
peculiar grandeur and affecting wildness of those objects we saw, 
we could not but regret that the Firth of Forth was entirely hidden 
from us, and all distant objects, and we strained our eyes till they 
ached, vainly trying to pierce through the thick mist. We walked 
industriously through the streets, street after street, and, in spite of 
wet and dirt, were exceedingly delighted. The old town, with its 
irregular houses, stage above stage, seen as we saw it, in the obscurity 
of a rainy day, hardly resembles the work of men, it is more like a 
piling up of rocks, and I cannot attempt to describe what we saw 
so imperfectly, but must say that, high as my expectations had been 
raised, the city of Edinburgh far surpassed all expectation. . . . 

Dorothy Wordsworth. 
Recollections of a Tour madt in Scotland, 

AND from long banishment recal Saint Giles, 

To watch again with tutelary love 

O'er stately Edinborough throned on crags. 

A blessed restoration, to behold 

The Patron, on the shoulders of his priests, 

Once more parading through her crowded streets 

Now simply guarded by the sober powers 

Of science, and philosophy, and sense ! 

William Wordsworth. 
Excursion, Book iv. 

HECH ! what a change hae we now in this toun ! The Change 

A' now are braw lads the lassies a' glancin' ; of Edinburgh 

Folk maun be dizzie gaun aye in the roun', 

For deil a haet 's done now but feastin' and dancin'. 

Gowd 's no that scanty in ilk siller pock, 

When ilka bit laddie maun hae his bit staigie ; 
But I kent the day when there was nae a Jock 

But trotted about upon honest shanks-naigie. 

Little was stoun then, and less gaed to waste, 

Barely a mullin for mice or for rattens ; 
The thrifty housewife to the Flesh Market pac'd, 

Her equipage a', just a gude pair o' pattens. 



182 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

Folk were as good then, and friends were as leal, 
Though coaches were scant, wi' their cattle a-cantrin' ; 

Right air we were telt by the housemaid or chiel, 
Sir, an' ye please, here 's your lass and a lantern. 

The toun may be clouted and piec'd till it meets 
A' neebours benorth and besouth without haltin', 

Brigs may be biggit ow'r lums and ow'r streets 
The Nor-loch itsel' heaped heigh as the Gallon. 

But whar is true friendship ? And whar will you see 
A' that is gude, honest, modest, and thrifty? 

Talc' grey hairs and wrinkles, and hirple wi' me, 
And think on the seventeen hundred and fifty. 

Sir Alexander Boswell. 



To Francis Jeffrey Eyre. 

TOXFORD, 1803. 

MY DEAR JEFFREY, Your very kind letter I received at the very 
moment of departure. I left Edinburgh with great heaviness of 
heart : I knew what I was leaving, and was ignorant to what I was 
going. My good fortune will be very great, if I should ever again 
fall into the society of so many liberal, correct, and instructed men, 
and live with them on such terms of friendship as I have done with 
you, and you know whom, at Edinburgh. . . . 

SYDNEY SMITH. 

(No date, but believed to be about 1805.) 

MY DEAR JEFFREY, . . . I shall always love Edinburgh very 
dearly. I know no man of whose understanding and principles I 
have a higher opinion than I have of yours. I will come and 
visit Edinburgh very often if I am ever rich, and I think it very 
likely one day or another I may live there entirely. . . . 

SYDNEY SMITH. 
From Sydney Smith's Correspondence, 



. . . THERE is no lack of food for enthusiasm even here. Here is 
the capital of an ancient, independent, and heroic nation, abounding 
in buildings, ennobled by the memory of illustrious inhabitants in 
the old times, and illustrious deeds of good and of evil ; and in 
others, which hereafter will be reverenced by posterity, for the 
sake of those that inhabit them now. Above all, here is all the 



ALEXANDER BOSWELL: SYDNEY SMITH 183 

sublimity of situation and scenery mountains near and afar off 
rocks and glens and the sea itself, almost within hearing of its 
waves. I was prepared to feel much ; and yet you will not wonder 
when I tell you, that I felt more than I was prepared for. . . . 

I know no city, where the lofty feelings, generated by the ideas 
of antiquity, and the multitude of human beings, are so much 
swelled and improved by the admixture of those other lofty, 
perhaps yet loftier feelings, which arise from the contemplation of 
free and spacious nature herself. Edinburgh, even were its popula- 
tion as great as London, could never be merely a city. Here 
there must always be present the idea of the comparative littleness 
of all human works. Here the proudest of palaces must be 
content to catch the shadows of mountains ; and the grandest of 
fortresses to appear like the dwellings of pigmies, perched on the 
very bulwarks of creation. Everywhere all around you have 
rocks frowning over rocks in imperial elevation, and descending, 
among the smoke and dust of a city, into dark depths, such as 
nature alone can excavate. The builders of the old city, too, 
appear as if they had made nature the model of their architecture. 
Seen through the lowering mist which almost perpetually en- 
velopes them, the huge masses of these erections, so high, so 
rugged in their outlines, so heaped together, and conglomerated 
and wedged into each other, are not easily to be distinguished 
from the yet larger and bolder forms of cliff and ravine, among 
which their foundations have been pitched. There is a certain 
gloomy indistinctness in the formation of these fantastic piles, 
which leaves the eye, that would scrutinize and penetrate them, 
unsatisfied and dim with gazing. . . . 

I proceeded at once to take a look of this superb city from a 
height, placed just over the point where the old and new parts of 
the town meet. These two quarters of the city, or rather these 
two neighbouring but distinct cities, are separated by a deep green 
valley, which once contained a lake, and which is now crossed 
at one place by a huge earthen mound, and at another by a 
magnificent bridge of three arches. This valley runs off towards 
the oestuary of the Forth, which lies about a mile and a half from 
the city, and between the city and the sea there rises on each 
side of it a hill to the south that called Arthur's Seat to the 
north the lower and yet sufficiently commanding eminence on 
which I now stood the Calton Hill. 

This hill, which rises about 350 feet above the level of the sea, 
is, in fact, nothing more than a huge pile of rocks covered with a 
thin coating of soil, and, for the most part, with a beautiful 



i8 4 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

verdure. It has lately been circled all round with spacious 
gravelled walks, so that one reaches the summit without the least 
fatigue. It seems as if you had not quilted the streets, so easy is 
the ascent ; and yet where did streets or city ever afford such a 
prospect ! The view changes every moment as you proceed ; yet 
what grandeur of unity in the general and ultimate impression ! 
At first, you see only the skirts of the New Town, with apparently 
few public edifices, to diversify the grand uniformity of their 
outlines ; then you have a rich plain, with green fields, groves, and 
villas, gradually losing itself in the sea-port town of Edinburgh, 
Leith. Leith covers, for a brief space, the margin of that magni- 
ficent Frith, which recedes upwards among an amphitheatre of 
mountains, and opens downward into the ocean, broken everywhere 
by green and woody isles, excepting where the bare brown rock of 
the Bass lifts itself above the waters midway to the sea. As you 
move round, the Frith disappears, and you have Arthur's Seat in 
your front In the valley between lies Holyrood, ruined desolate 
but majestic in its desolation. From thence the Old Town 
stretches its dark shadow up, in a line to the summit of the 
Castle rock a royal residence at either extremity and all between 
an indistinguishable mass of black tower-like structures the con- 
centrated ' walled city,' which has stood more sieges than I can 
tell of. 

Here we paused for a time, enjoying the majestic gloom of this 
most picturesque of cities. A thick blue smoke hung low upon 
the houses, and their outlines reposed behind on ridges of purple 
clouds ; the smoke, and the clouds, and the murky air, giving yet 
more extravagant bulk and altitude to those huge strange dwellings, 
and increasing the power of contrast which met our view, when a 
few paces more brought us once again upon the New Town 
the airy bridge the bright green vale below and beyond it and, 
skirting the line of the vale on either side, the rough crags of the 
Castle rock, and the broad glare of Princes Street, that most 
superb of terraces all beaming in the open yellow light of the 
sun steeples and towers, and cupolas scattered bright beneath 
our feet and, far as the eye could reach, the whole pomp and 
richness of distant commotion the heart of the city. 

Such was my first view of Edinburgh. I descended again into 
her streets in a sort of stupor of admiration. . . . 

I should be very much at a loss, if I were obliged to say 
positively, either at what hour or from what point of view the 
external appearance of this city is productive of the noblest 
effect. 



PETER'S LETTERS 185 

In every point of view, however, the main centre of attraction 
is the Castle of Edinburgh. From whatever side you approach 
the city whether by water or by land whether your foreground 
consist of height or of plain, of heath, of trees, or of the buildings 
of the city itself this gigantic rock lifts itself high above all that 
surrounds it, and breaks upon the sky with the same commanding 
blackness of mingled crags, cliffs, buttresses, and battlements. 
These, indeed, shift and vary their outlines at every step, but 
everywhere there is the same unmoved effect of general expression 
the same lofty and imposing image, to which the eye turns with the 
same unquestioning worship. Whether you pass on the southern 
side, close under the bare and sheltered blocks of granite, where 
the crumbling turrets on the summit seem as if they had shot out 
of the kindred rock in some fantastic freak of Nature and where, 
amidst the overhanging mass of darkness, you rainly endeavour to 
descry the track by which Wallace scaled or whether you look 
from the north, where the rugged cliffs find room for some scanty 
patches of moss and broom, to diversify their barren grey and 
where the whole mass is softened into beauty by the wild green 
glen which intervenes between the spectator and its foundations 
wherever you are placed, and however it is viewed, you feel at 
once that here is the eye of the landscape, and the essence of the 
grandeur. 

Neither is it possible to say under what sky or atmosphere all 
this appears to the greatest advantage. The heavens may put on 
what aspect they choose, they never fail to adorn it. Changes 
that elsewhere deform the face of Nature, and rob her of half her 
beauty, seem to pass over this majestic surface only to dress out 
its majesty in some new apparel of magnificence. If the air is 
cloudless and serene, what can be finer than the calm reposing 
dignity of those old towers every delicate angle of the fissured 
rock, and frowning fragments of the citadel emerge only here and 
there from out the racking clouds that envelope them, the mystery 
and the gloom only rivet the eye the faster, and half-baffled 
Imagination does more than the work of Sight. At times, the 
whole detail is lost to the eye one murky tinge of impenetrable 
brown wraps rock and fortress from the root to the summit all is 
lost but the outline; but the outline atones abundantly for all 
that is lost. The cold glare of the sun, plunging slowly down into 
a melancholy west beyond them, makes all the broken labyrinth of 
towers, batteries, and house-tops paint their heavy breadth in 
tenfold sable magnitude upon that lurid canvass. At break of 
day, how beautiful is the freshness with which the venerable pile 



186 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

appears to rouse itself from its sleep, and look up once more with 
a bright eye into the sharp and dewy air! At the 'grim and 
sultry hour ' of noon, with what languid grandeur the broad flag 
seems to flap its long weight of folds above the glowing battlements! 
When the day-light goes down in purple glory, what lines of gold 
creep along the hoary brow of its antique strength ! When the 
whole heaven is deluged, and the winds are roaring fiercely, and 
'snow and hail, and stormy vapour,' are let loose to make war 
upon his front, with what an air of pride does the veteran citadel 
brave all their well-known wrath, ' cased in the unfeeling armour 
of old time ! ' The Capitol itself is but a pigmy to this giant. 

But here, as everywhere, moonlight is the best. Wherever I 
spend the evening, I must always walk homewards by the long line 
of Princes-Street ; and along all that spacious line, the midnight 
shadows of the Castle-rock for ever spread themselves forth, and 
wrap the ground on which I tread in their broad repose of black- 
ness. It is not possible to imagine a more majestic accompani- 
ment for the deep pause of that hour. The uniform splendour of 
the habitations on the left opening every now and then broken 
glimpses up into the very heart of the modern city the magnificent 
terrace itself, with its stable breadth of surface the few dying 
lamps that here and there glimmer faintly and no sound, but the 
heavy tread of some far-off watchman of the night this alone 
might be enough, and it is more than almost any other city could 
afford. But turn to the right, and see what a glorious contrast 
is there. The eternal rock sleeping in the stillness of nature its 
cliffs of granite its tufts of verdure all alike steeped in the same 
unvarying hue of mystery its towers and pinnacles rising like a 
grove of quiet poplars on its crest the whole as colourless as if the 
sun had never shone there, as silent as if no voice of man had ever 
disturbed the echoes of the solemn scene. Overhead, the sky is 
all one breathless canopy of lucid crystal blue here and there a 
small bright star twinkling in the depth of cether and full in the 
midst the Moon walking in her vestal glory, pursuing, as from the 
bosom of eternity, her calm and destined way and pouring down 
the silver of her smiles upon all of lovely and sublime that nature 
and art could heap together to do homage to her radiance. 

From Peter's Letters to his Kinsfolk. 

1806 I WENT to Edinburgh, as already stated, at the close of 1 806. . . . 

Edinburgh at this period was justifiably proud of the many eminent 
persons forming its society. Brougham, Sydney Smith, and Homer 
had indeed very recently departed ; but there remained (taking the 



SIR HENRY HOLLAND 187 

names as they occur to me at this moment) Walter Scott, Dugald 
Stewart, Playfair, Jeffrey, Henry Erskine, Murray, Alison, Dr. 
Gregory, Henry Mackenzie, Dr. Thomas Brown, Jameson, Leslie, 
Sir James Hall, Lord Webb Seymour, Brewster, etc. a society 
well worthy of being denoted and remembered. It was partially 
dissevered indeed by the political feelings still strong in Scotland 
at this time, and now further excited by the sudden advent and 
singular success of the Edinburgh Review as the organ of one 
party. Edinburgh had not become large enough to neutralise 
through other and independent interests the feelings engendered 
by political rivalry a rivalry too which involved at that time, much 
more than it does now, the possession of political power in 
Scotland. . . . 

The Society of Edinburgh at this time was not surpassed by 
that of any city of similar rank in Europe. Though merely a 
student myself in the medical classes of the University, my good 
fortune made me more or less intimate with all the men whom I 
have named above, and gave me habitual admission into the 
several circles of their society. This was especially the case in the 
third winter I passed in Edinburgh, succeeding my voyage to Iceland 
with Sir George Mackenzie. Foreign travel of any kind was rare 
and difficult in those days, when the usurpations of Napoleon had 
dissevered England almost wholly from the rest of Europe. But 
this Icelandic voyage gained greater reputation in Edinburgh from 
the scheme having originated there, and in a certain connection 
with the geological controversies just mentioned. . . . This little 
inroad into Northern Antiquities brought me into closer intimacy 
with Walter Scott ; at that time known to the world at large only 
by his poetry ; but well recognized in the society of Edinburgh, 
even by his political adversaries, as one of its most agreeable and 
accomplished members. I still hold in happy memory the little 
suppers (a meal now lost to social life) at his house in Castle Street, 
of which he himself was the soul and spirit; his countenance, 
heavy in its ordinary aspect, kindling suddenly into life and merri- 
ment at the racy Scotch stories, which he ever had at hand to point 
and illustrate the matter of converse, whatever it might be. Many of 
these, as he told them, might have been transferred almost literally 
to those wonderful novels which were at this time but in embryo 
existence. A little political sarcasm now and then stole into his 
conversation, but rarely if ever showed itself in any harsh or 
ungenerous personality, a feeling alien, as I believe, to his nature, 
though I hare heard him accused of it. Frequently too at this 
period, I saw him when listening with enthusiastic enjoyment to 



i88 



IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 



.' Lochinvar ' and other of his ballads, set to music and sung to 
him by Miss Clephane (afterwards Lady Northampton), with the 
fine accompaniment of her harp. This made a picture in itself. 
It was the poet revelling in the musical echo of his own poetry. 
These are my early recollections of Walter Scott in Edinburgh. 

Sir Henry Holland. 
Recollections of Past Lift. 



Health to 
Lord Melville 

Sung at a 
Public Dinner 
given at 
Edinburgh 
In honour of 
the acquittal 
of Lord 
Melville. 
June 1800. 
The Town 
Council had 
refused an 
application to 
illuminate 
the City 



SINCE here we are set in array round the table, 

Five hundred good fellows well met in a hall, 
Come listen, brave boys, and I '11 sing as I 'm able 
How innocence triumph'd and pride got a fall. 
But push round the claret 
Come, stewards, don't spare it 
With rapture you '11 drink to the toast that I give ; 
Here, boys, 
Off with it merrily 
Melville for ever, and long may he live ! 

And since we must not set Auld Reekie in glory, 

And make her brown visage as light as her heart ; 
Till each man illumine his own upper story, 
Nor law-book nor lawyer shall force us to part. 
In Grenville and Spencer, 
And some few good men, Sir, 
High talents we honour, slight difference forgive ; 
But the Brewer we '11 hoax 
Tally ho to the Fox, 
And drink Melville for ever, as long as we live ! 

Sir Walter Scott. 



Carlyle's first 
Visit to 
Edinburgh 
in 1809. 



MENTONK, yd January 1867. 

... I HID my sorrow and my weariness, but had abundance of it, 
chequering the mysterious hopes and forecastings of what Edin- 
burgh and the Student element would be. Tom and I had entered 
Edinburgh, after twenty miles of walking, between two and three 
P.M. ; got a clean-looking, most cheap lodging (' Simon Square ' the 
poor locality) ; had got ourselves brushed, some morsel of dinner 
doubtless ; and Palinurus Tom sallied out into the streets with me, 
to show the novice mind a little of Edinburgh before sundown. 
The novice mind was not excessively astonished all at once ; but 



SCOTT: CARLYLE 189 

kept its eyes well open, and said nothing. What streets we went 
through, I don't the least recollect ; but have some faint image of 
St. Giles's High-Kirk, and of the Luckenbooths there, with their 
strange little ins and outs, and eager old women in miniature shops 
of combs, shoe-laces and trifles ; still fainter image, if any whatever, 
of the sublime Horse-Statue in Parliament Square hard by; 
directly after which Smail, audaciously (so I thought) pushed open 
a door (free to all the world), and dragged me in with him to a 
scene which I have never forgotten. 

An immense Hall, dimly lighted from the top of the walls, and 
perhaps with candles burning in it here and there ; all in strange 
chiaroscuro, and filled with what I thought (exaggeratively) a 
thousand or two of human creatures ; all astir in a boundless buzz 
of talk, and simmering about in every direction, some solitary, 
some in groups. By degrees I noticed that some were in wig and 
black gown, some not, but in common clothes, all well-dressed ; 
that here and there on the sides of the Hall, were little thrones with 
enclosures, and steps leading up ; red-velvet figures sitting in said 
thrones, and the black-gowned eagerly speaking to them, Advocates 
pleading to Judges, as I easily understood. How they could be 
heard in such a grinding din was somewhat a mystery. Higher up 
on the walls, stuck there like swallows in their nests, sat other 
humbler figures : these I found were the sources of certain wildly 
plangent lamentable kinds of sounds or echoes which from time to 
time pierced the universal noise of feet and voices, and rose un- 
intelligibly above it, as if in the bitterness of incurable woe; 
Criers of the Court, I gradually came to understand. And this 
was Themis in her Outer House ; such a scene of chaotic din and 
hurly-burly as I had never figured before. It seems to me there 
were four times or ten times as many people in that Outer House 
as there now usually are, and doubtless there is something of fact 
in this, such have been the curtailments and abatements of Law 
Practice in the Head Courts since then, and transference of it to 
the County jurisdictions. Last time I was in that Outer House 
(some six or seven years ago, in broad day -light), it seemed like a 
place fallen asleep, fallen almost dead. 

Notable figures, now all vanished utterly, were doubtless wander- 
ing about as part of that continual hurly-burly, when I first set foot 
in it, fifty-seven years ago. Great Law Lords This and That, great 
Advocates alors c'eftbres (as Thiers has it) : Cranstoun, Cockburn, 
Jeffrey, Walter Scott, John Clerk ; to me at that time they were 
not even names ; but I have since occasionally thought of that 
night and place where probably they were living substances, some 



190 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

of them in a kind of relation to me afterwards. Time with his 
tenses, what a miraculous Entity is he always ! . . . 

Thomas Carlyle. 
Reminiscence* : Professor Norton's edition. 

1810-11 THE amusements and way of life in Edinburgh are, as may be 

supposed, as close an imitation of the customs and fashions of 
London, as relative circumstances of wealth, numbers, etc., can 
admit. London is the head-quarters of trade, of financial opera- 
tions, and the focus of factions. Edinburgh is not only a stranger 
to trade and money-matters, but the only political party there is the 
party of obedience and loyalty. . . . You hear as little here about 
political traffic as about commercial traffic ; nothing is either 
bought or sold ; none of those vile passions which elsewhere dis- 
figure society have here an aliment. People live in comparative 
mediocrity, without fear of losing what they have, or much hope of 
improving their fortune otherwise than by prudence and economy ; 
those who thirst for riches must seek them elsewhere. The result 
of all this is a certain general impression of peace and tranquillity, 
very striking to strangers; but this repose is not slumber, a 
pursuit of sufficient interest remains, literature and the sciences, 
which are cultivated with zeal and success. . . . 

After a residence of three months, we are going to leave Edin- 
burgh, with feelings of regret and gratitude for the many marks of 
good will and kindness we have received. Taken altogether, I do 
not know any town where it would be pleasanter to live. It is, in 
a great degree, the Geneva of Britain. 

Louis Simond. 

Journal of a Tour and Residence in Great Britain during the 
years 1810 and i8li, by a French Traveller. 

UPON the whole, those whose health can support a climate so 
variable and so trying as that of Edinburgh, will find few more 
eligible places of residence. The inhabitant of this ancient capital 
' Scotland's darling seat,' as the city was termed by her best poet, 
is surrounded by the noblest scenery, and ruins of antiquity ; and 
may have, at every step, a companion capable of detailing the 
beauties of the one, and the history of the others. His mornings 
may be spent in study, for which there is every species of assistance 
within his reach; and his evenings with friendship or with beauty. 
If he has children, he has within his reach the first means of educa- 
tion. If he is gay, there are at his command all the usual varied 
sources of amusement. He may live, if he will, in a palace, with 
a handsome suite of apartments, for less than would rent a 'dungeon 



SIMOND: SCOTT: COCKBURN 191 

in the Strand ' ; and fare sumptuously every day for half the rate 
which is exacted for a bad dinner in an English inn. To be more 
particular, ^3000 a year is, in Edinburgh, opulence ^2000, ease 
and wealth 1000 a handsome competence and even ^500, 
well managed, will maintain a large family with all the necessaries 
and decencies of life, and enable them to support a very creditable 

rank in society. 

Sir Walter Scott. 
Provincial Antiquities of Scotland, 

THE more immediate changes in Edinburgh proceeded chiefly ' State of 
from the growth of the city. The single circumstance of the Manners and 

Socictv 

increase of the population, and its consequent overflowing from the 
old town to the new, implied a general alteration of our habits. It 
altered the style of living, obliterated local arrangements, and 
destroyed a thousand associations, which nothing but the still 
preserved names of houses and of places is left to recal. 

It was the rise of the new town that obliterated our old peculi- 
arities with the greatest rapidity and effect. It not only changed 
our scenes and habits of life, but, by the mere inundation of 
modern population, broke up and, as was then thought, vulgarised 
our prescriptive gentilities. 

For example, Saint Cecilia's Hall was the only public resort of 
the musical, and besides being our most selectly fashionable place 
of amusement, was the best and the most beautiful concert-room I 
have ever yet seen. And there have I myself seen most of our 
literary and fashionable gentlemen, predominating with their side 
curls, and frills, and ruffles, and silver buckles; and our stately 
matrons stiffened in hoops and gorgeous satin ; and our beauties 
with high-heeled shoes, powdered and pomatumed hair, and lofty 
and composite head-dresses. All this was in the Cowgate ! the 
last retreat now-a-days of destitution and disease. The building 
still stands, though raised and changed, and is looked down upon 
from South Bridge, over the eastern side of the Cowgate Arch. 
When I last saw it, it seemed to be partly an old clothesman's 
shop and partly a brazier's. The abolition of this Cecilian temple, 
and the necessity of finding accommodation where they could, and 
of depending for patronage on the common boisterous public, of 
course extinguished the delicacies of the old artificial parterre. 

Our balls, and their manners, fared no better. The ancient 
dancing establishments in the Bow and the Assembly Close I know 
nothing about. Everything of the kind was meant to be annihilated 
by the erection (about 1784) of the handsome apartments in 



i 9 2 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

George Street. Yet even against these, the new part of the old 
town made a gallant struggle, and in my youth the whole fashion- 
able dancing, as indeed the fashionable everything, clung to George 
Square; where (in Buccleuch Place, close by the south-eastern 
corner of the square) most beautiful rooms were erected, which, 
for several years, threw the New Town piece of presumption 
entirely into the shade. And here were the last remains of the 
ball-room discipline of the preceding age. Martinet dowagers 
and venerable beaux acted as masters and mistresses of cere- 
monies, and made all the preliminary arrangements. No 
couple could dance unless each party was provided with a ticket 
prescribing the precise place in the precise dance. If there 
was no ticket, the gentleman, or the lady, was dealt with as an 
intruder, and turned out of the dance. If the ticket had marked 
upon it say for a country dance, the figures 3.5 ; this meant that 
the holder was to place himself in the third dance, and fifth from 
the top ; and if he was anywhere else, he was set right, or excluded. 
And the partner's ticket must correspond. Woe on the poor girl 
who with ticket 2.7, was found opposite a youth marked 5.9 ! It 
was flirting without a license, and looked very ill, and would pro- 
bably be reported by the ticket director of that dance to the 
mother. Of course parties, or parents, who wished to secure 
dancing for themselves or those they had charge of, provided 
themselves with correct and corresponding vouchers before the 
ball day arrived. This could only be accomplished through a 
director; and the election of a pope sometimes required less 
jobbing. When parties chose to take their chance, they might do 
so ; but still, though only obtained in the room, the written per- 
mission was necessary ; and such a thing as a compact to dance, 
by a couple, without official authority, would have been an outrage 
that could scarcely be contemplated. Tea was sipped in side- 
rooms ; and he was a careless beau who did not present his partner 
with an orange at the end of each dance ; and the oranges and the 
tea, like everything else, were under exact and positive regulations. 
All this disappeared, and the very rooms were obliterated, as soon 
as the lately raised community secured its inevitable supremacy to 
the New Town. The aristocracy of a few predominating indivi- 
duals and families came to an end ; and the unreasonable old had 
nothing for it but to sigh over the recollection of the select and 
elegant parties of their youth, where indiscriminate public right 
was rejected, and its coarseness awed. 

Yet, in some respects, there was far more coarseness in the 
formal age than in the free one. Two vices especially, which have 



COCKBURN 193 

been long banished from all respectable society, were very prevalent, 
if not universal, among the whole upper ranks swearing and 
drunkenness. Nothing was more common than for gentlemen 
who had dined with ladies, and meant to rejoin them, to get 
drunk. To get drunk in a tavern seemed to be considered as a 
natural, if not an intended consequence of going to one. Swear- 
ing was thought the right, and the mark, of a gentleman. And, 
tried by this test, nobody, who had not seen them, could now be 
made to believe how many gentlemen there were. Not that 
people were worse tempered then than now. They were only 
coarser in their manners. . . . The naval chaplain justified his 
cursing the sailors, because it made them listen to him; and 
Braxfield apologised to a lady whom he damned at whist for bad 
play, by declaring that he had mistaken her for his wife. This 
odious practice was applied with particular offensiveness by those 
in authority towards their inferiors. In the army it was universal 
by officers towards soldiers ; and far more frequent than is now 
credible by masters towards servants. 

The prevailing dinner hour was about three o'clock. Two 
o'clock was quite common, if there was no company. Hence it 
was no great deviation from their usual custom for a family to dine 
on Sundays ' between sermons ' that is between one and two. The 
hour, in time, but not without groans and predictions, became 
four, at which it stuck for several years. Then it got to five, 
which, however, was thought positively revolutionary; and four 
was long and gallantly adhered to by the haters of change as ' the 
good old hour.' At last even they were obliged to give in. But 
they only yielded inch by inch, and made a desperate stand at 
half-past four. Even five, however, triumphed, and continued the 
average polite hour from (I think) about 1806 or 1807 till about 
1820. Six has at last prevailed, and half an hour later is not 
unusual. As yet this is the farthest stretch of London imitation, 
except in country houses devoted to grouse or deer, where the 
species called sportsmen, disdaining all mankind except them- 
selves, glory in not dining till sensible people have gone to bed. 
Thus, within my memory, the hour has ranged from two to half- 
past six o'clock ; and a stand has been regularly made at the end 
of every half hour against each encroachment ; and always on the 
same grounds dislike of change and jealousy of finery. 

Lord Cockburn. 
Memorials. 



N 



' Edinburgh 
or the 
Ancient 
Royalty. 
A Sketch' 



1811 



194 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

O'ER draughts of wine the Writer penn'd the will ; 
And Legal Wisdom counsel'd o'er a#r7/: 
White Wine and Marmalade was then the rage, 
It sooth'd the youngster, and regal'd the sage. 

Ye ' fashioned ' youths, who while away the noon, 
And balance, lightly, on a silver spoon 
The trembling fragments of the amber pile- 
Yes ! o'er a glass of jelly whilst ye smile 
Blush for your flimsy and degenerate food ! 
With patriot palates seek your Country's good ; 
O call the ancient beverage in aid ; 
Call Virtue back White Wine and Marmalade ! 

These were the days of comfort and of glee ! 

When met to drink a social cup of tea 

The chequer'd chairs, in seemly circle placed ; 

The Indian tray, with Indian china graced ; 

The red stone Tea-pot with its silver spout ; 

The Tea Spoons numbered, 1 and the tea ///'</<?// 

Sir Alexander Boswell. 

THE lakes of Cumberland, or Scotland ? By the assistance of maps 
and guide-books, I was trying to decide the question, when Shelley's 
letter announcing his marriage came, and at once carried the point 
in favour of Scotland. Book and map concurred in this, that 
making Edinburgh our temporary home, and the centre of our 
operations, we might in virtue of long walks, and with the aid 
possibly of an occasional lift, visit many remarkable and interesting 
localities. 

MY DEAREST FRIEND, Direct to the Edinburgh Post Office 
my own name. I passed to-night with the Mail. Harriet is with 
me. We are in a slight pecuniary distress. We shall have seventy- 
five pounds on Sunday, until when can you send ;io? Divide it 
in two. Yours, PERCY SHELLEY. 

To T.J. H. 

This letter was written by my friend at York, in passing through 
at midnight ; it did not come to me by the post, but was brought 
to my lodgings the next morning from the inn. I wrote immediately 
to Shelley detailing my projects, and promising to be with him 
almost as soon as my letter. I took my seat on the outside of a 

1 This was done to ensure the second cups of tea, which were all dispensed 
together, being given each to its proper owner. R. M. 



SIR ALEX. BOSWELL: JEFFERSON HOGG 195 

stage-coach, a front seat carpet bags were not yet discovered, but 
I saw my small leathern portmanteau placed in the front boot. . . . 

Nor did I want for information and instruction. At the back of 
the coach sat a little, serious, middle-aged man, whom we picked 
up somewhere after entering Scotland ; he, learning that I was a 
stranger, and that this was my first visit to a region which he assured 
us was the finest, happiest, most refined and civilised country in 
the known world, kindly took upon himself the trouble of informing 
and indeed of forming my mind. He stood up at his place, behind 
a stack of luggage, and continually addressed me across the roof of 
the coach. He discoursed, or rather, I may say, lectured con- 
cerning the excellence of the district and of its inhabitants ; of the 
agriculture of the Lothians, and its vast and infinite superiority to 
all other farming. Having discovered that I was going to Edin- 
burgh, he expounded the admirable nature and character of that city, 
and told me all that I ought to see, and to believe on his authority. 

' You will find it a most remarkable city ; by far the most remark- 
able under the heavens, without any exception ! ' 

' Yes ! And it has a Review, as remarkable as itself ! ' 

At that time, the Edinburgh Review had attracted general 
attention. The quarrel with Byron, and other persons of more 
or less distinction, and the protracted controversy with the 
University of Oxford, which was in full vigour whilst I resided 
there, sundry pedantic performances redolent of heavy pleasantry 
having been published by certain slow-witted dullards of that place, 
had brought the Review into notice. I was tempted, therefore, 
to try my loquacious little instructor on that popular theme. I had 
sounded the keynote. The Review, during the rest of the journey, 
wholly engrossed his organs of speech in one unceasing peroration 
concerning the critical journal, which soon became exceedingly 
tiresome ; and not only tiresome, but painful, physically painful ; 
for I could not show my back with any decency to so powerful an 
orator ; and I was obliged, in courtesy, to bend my neck and to try 
to look the petulant little haranguer in the face. 

Mr. Pennant, with all the gravity of a Welshman and a naturalist, 
writes in perfect seriousness : ' Asses are very rare in Scotland ; 
there are none in the north.' But a greater and a graver than 
Pennant was there ; and he asseverated that Oxford was for ever 
silenced : that University was totally annihilated ; she could never 
show her face again, never hold up her head ; she was extin- 
guished; she must at once retire; she must leave the work of 
education to abler hands than her own. Shoals of students would 
come flocking thence by thousands to Edinburgh, to Aberdeen, to 



196 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

St. Andrews, and to the other renowned Scottish Universities. He 
spoke much about the Oxford Strabbo, without appearing at all to 
know what he meant. I longed to ask him, what he supposed the 
Oxford Strabbo really was ; but I did not venture. He talked very 
largelyof 'Mr. Francis Jeffrey, of Edinburgh.advocate'; buthe did not 
seem to be personally acquainted with him ; and indeed he admitted, 
in answer to my question, that he was not. ' Mr. Francis Jeffrey, 
of Edinburgh, advocate,' for he always gave the name of the 
learned editor in full, with the additions, ' is a little man, and a 
very clever man.' Both these facts are undoubted. I had after- 
wards abundant opportunity to verify them myself. . . . 

We entered Edinburgh in the dark, through mean, narrow stnvts, 
the aspect of which, by the faint light of dim lamps ill accorded 
with the magnificent promises of the splendour of the proud metro- 
polis of the whole earth, of the capital of social elegance, and of 
perfect refinement. 

I remained for the night at the wretched inn where the coach 
stopped, for I knew of no other, although it was a disgusting place. 
Nobody appeared to regard me. I didn't understand what they 
said ; neither could I make the people understand me. In truth, 
they did not care to know what I wanted : . . . 

If such be, in very deed, the beauteous city of Minerva, the 
chosen residence of Apollo and the Muses, the true abode of 
Beauty, of the Loves and Graces, I wish I were back again 
at my lodgings in York, or at one of the inns near the Lakes, 
which tourists report as comfortable ! But a sound refreshing 
sleep soon put an end to all reflections, wishes, and regrets : . . . 
When I awoke in the morning, it was quite light. ... I put on 
my clothes, and went downstairs into a common room, an uncom- 
monly dirty, dingy hole ; here I procured some breakfast, which 
was not so much amiss. I then sallied forth to discover if the rest 
of the New Jerusalem was as mean and shabby as what I had 
already seen; I more than half suspected that it was. I soon 
emerged from the narrow streets ; and then, O ! glorious spectacle, 
by force of contrast made still more noble, more glorious; I 
wandered about, lost in admiration. I ascended the Castle-hill, 
the Calton-hill, my delight still increasing. . . . 

Having at once satisfied and inflamed my curiosity, I began to 
think of the main purpose of my long journey, my college friend. 
I had written to him that I would join him here, but I had not 
given him any address, for I did not know any, neither had I 
received a direction from him. Was there a better, a speedier 
course, than the hope of a chance meeting in the streets of a large 



JEFFERSON HOGG 197 

city? I bethought me of the post-office; he might have sent 
a letter for me thither. I was standing musing on the bridge 
which connects the New Town with the Old : a grave, white, 
middle-aged man was passing. I enquired of him for the post- 
office. 

' Come with me, I am going there myself. You are a stranger ? ' 

'Yes.' 

' You never saw so fine a bridge before, as this is, I am very 
sure. It is the finest in the known world ! ' 

' I have seen a finer river ; one with more water in it.' 

He seemed much disconcerted. I told him how I was situated. 

' They will give you the address you require at the post-office, 
they are sure to have it ; we will go to the post-office together ; 
but you must first see our new University, as you are a stranger.' 

We passed the post-office and came to a large building, not only 
unfinished, but not in progress. It appeared that the work had 
ceased for want of funds. 

' What do you think of that, sir ? ' 

' When it is completed it will be a very handsome building, and, 
I dare say, very commodious.' 

' Not only that, but if all the buildings at Oxford and Cambridge 
were moulded and amalgamated together into one edifice, the effect 
would not be the same ; it would be far inferior ! ' 

I had learned that it was most discreet to be silent. . . . 

I soon set foot in George Street, a spacious, noble, well-built 
street ; but a deserted street, or rather a street which people had 
not yet come fully to inhabit. I soon found the number indicated 
at the post-office. I have forgotten it, but it was on the left side 
the side next to Princes Street. I knocked at the door of a hand- 
some house ; it was all right ; and in a handsome front-parlour I 
was presently received rapturously by my friend. . . . 

On looking from the windows, we saw the grave Presbyterians, 
with downcast looks, like conscience-stricken sinners, slowly crawl- 
ing towards their place of gathering. We were admonished for 
Shelley said, one Sunday, ' Let us go and take a walk ' that it was 
not lawful to go forth to walk purposely and avowedly on the 
Sabbath, a day of rest and worship ; but if a man happen to find 
himself in the streets casually, he may walk a little with perfect 
innocence, only it is altogether unlawful to go out from his door 
with the mind of taking a walk of pure pleasure. 

After this serious and edifying warning we sometimes casually 
found ourselves without the house on a Sunday, and walked about 
a little, as we believed, innocently. We were taking such a harm- 



198 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

less stroll, by mere accident, in Princes Street ; Bysshe laughed 
aloud, with a fiendish laugh, at some remark of mine. 

'You must not laugh openly, in that fashion, young man,' an 
ill-looking, ill-conditioned fellow said to him. ' If you do, you will 
most certainly be convened ! ' 

'What is that?' asked Shelley, rather displeased, at the rude 
interpellation. 

' Why, if you laugh aloud in the public streets and ways on the 
Christian Sabbath, you will be cast into prison, and eventually 
banished from Scotland. . . .' 

It was the year of the famous comet, and of the still more famous 
vintage, the year 1811 ; the weather was fine, and often hot; not 
one drop of rain fell all the time I was in Edinburgh. The nights 
were clear and bright ; we often contemplated the stranger comet 
from Princes Street; and not only the comet, but the ordinary 
array of the shining hosts of heaven. . . . 

I soon found, to my sorrow, that my project of making pedes- 
trian excursions from Edinburgh was quite impracticable; my 
friend could not possibly leave his young bride alone : to have 
gone by myself, which I would willingly have done, if I might, 
would have been unpopular, being accounted unkind : . . . con- 
sequently I know nothing more of Scotland than the little which 
I could learn during my first and only visit to its majestic and 

picturesque capital. 

Thomas Jefferson Hogg. 
The Life of Percy Bysske Shelley. 

RELIGION in Edinburgh is a theory, a convention, a fashion (both 
humble and aristocratic), a sensation, an intellectual conviction, 
an emotion, a dissipation, a sweet habit of the blood ; in fact, it 
is, it seems to me, every sort of thing it can be to the human 
spirit. . . . 

I have never seen such attention, such concentration, as in these 
great congregations of the Edinburgh churches. As nearly as I 
can judge, it is intellectual rather than emotional ; but it is not a 
tribute paid to eloquence alone, it is habitual and universal, and is 
yielded loyally to insufferable dulness when occasion demands. 

Kate Douglas Wiggin. 
Penelope's Experiences in Scotland. 

1814-15 IT was cold wretched weather, snow on the 'hills, frost in the plains, 
a fog over the ferry. We were none of us sorry to find ourselves 
within the warm cheerful house that Miss Baillie had taken for us, 



KATE D. WIGGIN: ELIZABETH GRANT 199 

No. 4 Heriot Row. The situation was pleasant, though not at all 
what it is now. There were no prettily laid out gardens then 
between Heriot Row and Queen Street, only a long strip of un- 
sightly grass, a green, fenced by an untidy wall and abandoned to 
the use of the washer-women. It was an ugly prospect, and we 
were daily indulged with it, the cleanliness of the inhabitants being 
so excessive that, except on Sundays and 'Saturdays at e'en,' 
squares of bleaching linens and lines of drying ditto were ever 
before our eyes. Our arrival was notified to our acquaintance 
and the public by what my father's brethren in the law called 'his 
advertisement, a large brass plate on which in letters of suitable 
size were engraved the words 

MR. GRANT, Advocate. 

My father established himself with a clerk and a quantity of law- 
books in a study, where he soon had a good deal of work to do. 
He went every morning to the Parliament-house, breakfasting before 
nine to suit William, who was to be at Dr. Hope's chemistry class 
at that hour, and proceed thence to Dr. Brown's moral philosophy, 
and then to Mr. Playfair's natural philosophy. A tutor for Greek 
and Latin awaited him at home, and in the evenings he had a good 
three hours' employment making notes and reading up. Six 
masters were engaged for us girls, three every day ; Mr. Penson 
for the pianoforte, M. Elouis for the harp, M. L'Espinasse for 
French, Signor something for Italian, and Mr. I forget who for 
drawing, Mr. Scott for writing and ciphering, and oh ! I was near 
forgetting a seventh, the most important of all, Mr. Smart for 
dancing. I was to accompany my father and mother occasionally 
to a few select parties, provided I promised attention to this 
phalanx of instructors, and never omitted being up in the morning 
in time to make breakfast. . . . 

Our visiting began with dinners from the heads of the Bar, the 
Judges, some of the Professors, and a few others, nearly all Whigs, 
for the two political parties mixed very little in those days. The 
hour was six, the company generally numbered sixteen, plate, fine 
wines, middling cookery, bad attendance and beautiful rooms. 
One or two young people generally enlivened them. They were 
mostly got through before the Christmas vacation. In January 
began the routes and balls. . . . 

The intimate friends of my father were among the cleverest of 
the Whigs ; Lord Gillies and his charming wife, John Clerk and 
his sister, Sir David and Lady Brewster more than suspected of 
Toryism, yet admitted on account of the Belleville connection and 



200 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

his great reputation Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey, John Murray, Tommy 
Thomson, William Clerk. There were others attached to these 
brighter stars, who, judiciously mixed among them, improved the 
agreeability of the dinner-parties. . . . We had had the wisdom to 
begin the season with a ball ourselves, before balls were plenty. 
All the beaux strove for tickets, because all the belles of the season 
made their first appearance at it. It was a decided hit, my mother 
shining in the style of her preparations, and in her manner of 
receiving her company. Every one departed pleased with the 
degree of attention paid to each individually. 

It struck me afterwards, in more reflecting days, that this ball 
and my father's fir-forest had no small share in my successful 
campaign. . . . 

The return to the Bar had answered pretty well ; fees came in 
usefully. We gave dinners of course, very pleasant ones, dishes 
well dressed, wines well chosen, and the company well selected. 
My dress and my mother's came from London, from the little 
Miss Stewarts, who covered my mother with velvet, satin, and 
rich silks, and me with nets, gauzes, Roman pearl trimmings and 
French wreathes, with a few substantial morning and dinner 
dresses. Some of the fashions were curious. I walked out like a 
hussar in a dark cloth pelisse trimmed with fur and braided like 
the coat of a staff-officer, boots to match, and a fur cap set on one 
side, and kept on the head by means of a cord with long tassels. 
This equipment was copied by half the town, it was thought so 
exquisite. 

We wound up our gaieties by a large evening party, so that all 
received civilities were fully repaid to the entire satisfaction of 
everybody. 

This rout, for so these mere card and conversation parties were 
called, made more stir than was intended. It was given in the 
Easter holidays, or about that time, for my father was back with us 
after having been in London. He had gone up on some appeal 
cases, and took the opportunity of appearing in his place in the 
House of Commons, speaking a little, and voting on several 
occasions, particularly on the Corn Law Bill, his opinion on which 
made him extremely unpopular with the Radical section of his 
party, and with the lower orders throughout the country, who kept 
clamouring for cheap bread, while he supported the producer, the 
agriculturist. His name as a Protectionist was remarked quickly 
in Edinburgh where there was hardly another member of Parlia- 
ment to be had, and the mob being in its first excitement the very 
evening of my mother's rout, she and her acquaintance came in for 



ELIZABETH GRANT : CATHERINE SINCLAIR 201 

a very unpleasant demonstration of its anger against a former 
favourite. 

Our first intimation of danger was a volley of stones rattling 
through the windows, which had been left with unclosed shutters 
on account of the heat of the crowded rooms. A great mob had 
collected unknown to us, as we had music, and much noise from 
the buzz of conversation. By way of improving matters, a score of 
ladies fainted. Lady Matilda Wynyard, who had her senses always 
about her, came up to my mother and told her not to be frightened; 
the General, who had had some hint of the mischief, had given 
the necessary orders, and one of the company, a Captain 
Macpherson, had been already despatched for the military. A 
violent ringing of the doorbell, and then the heavy tread of soldiers' 
feet announced to us that our guard had come. Then followed 
voices of command outside, ironical cheers, groans, hisses, a sad 
confusion. At last came the tramp of dragoons, under whose 
polite attentions the company in some haste departed. Our guard 
remained all night and ate up the refreshments provided for our 
dismayed guests, with the addition of a cold round of beef which 
was fortunately found in the larder. . . . 

Memoirs of a Highland Lady. The Autobiography of Elizabeth Grant 

of Rothiemurchus, afterwards Mrs. Smith of Balteboys. Edited by 

Lady Strachey. 

THERE were many happy, joyous faces to be seen that evening in Edinburgh 
the streets, admiring the splendid illumination ; but the merriest illuminated 
party of all was composed of Frank, Harry, and Laura, under the ^g 110 ^ 111 of 
command of Uncle David, who had lately suffered from a severe O f Waterloo 
fit of the gout ; but it seemed to have left him this night, in honour 
of the great victory, when he appeared quite as much a boy as either 
of his two companions. For many hours they walked about in the 
streets, gazing up at the glittering windows, some of which looked 
as if a constellation of stars had come down for a night to adorn 
them ; and others were filled with the most beautiful pictures of 
Britannia carrying the world on her shoulders ; or Mars showering 
down wreaths of laurel on the Duke of Wellington, while Victory 
was sitting at his feet, and Fame blowing a trumpet at his ear. 
. . . Nothing, however, occasioned the party such a burst of 
delightful surprise, as when they first beheld the line of blazing 
windows more than a mile long, from the bottom of the Canongate 
to the highest pinnacle of the Castle, where they seemed almost to 
meet the stars shining above in their perpetual glory. 'You see,' 
remarked Major Graham, when he pointed them out to his young 



Doggerel 
street verse 



1815-17 



202 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

companions, ' there is a fit emblem of the difference between earth 
and heaven. These lights are nearer and brighter to us at present, 
but when they have blazed and glittered for one little hour, they 
come to an end ; while those above, which we see so dimly now, 
will continue to shine for ages and generations hereafter, till time 

itself is no more.' 

Catherine Sinclair. 
Holiday house. 



IF I .AI'.V 



stay in Edin., she should take up her residence 

upon the Mound, and be shown as a rara avis a black swan for 
she will be the only woman of her station in the whole town totally 
devoid of character. I look upon Edin. as the chastest place in 
the whole world. . . . Here is another perfection of Edin. all 
the children there are well bred. They do not treat people of my 
age and head of hair as the unmannerly little boys of Bethel used 
the prophet Elisha; but the old, crusty, wearisome men of our 
metropolis combine both the boys and the bears. . . . 

. . . BUT, dear madam, I still fear another reverse, even tho' Mad. 
de Stacl hath taken pen in hand to rouse the energies of the whole 
male creation. We have long understood that she has fixed upon 
Edin. as the favoured scene of her future life, as the abode of solid 
learning and true philosophy, as exemplified in the writings and 
conversation of our most celebrated Scottish Professors, and now 
I hear that she is to arrive directly ; but from the mala famu 
attached to her principles and general tone of discourse, I think 
the magistrates of the good town should certainly forbid her land- 
ing at Leith ; she might be permitted to repair to that conspicuous 
rock, the Bass, which emerges from the Firth, and there, at the 
very pinnacle, assume the character of Fame personified. 

Charle* Kirkpatrick Sharpe. 
Corrtsfoitdtnet. 

Braid burn Towlies 

Morningside Swine 
Tipperlinn 's the bonnie place 

Where a' the leddies dine. 1 

WE put all our home affairs in order for our long absence, and 
then we set out for Edinburgh. My father had taken there the 
most disagreeable house possible ; a large gloomy No. 1 1 in Queen 
Street, on the front of which the sun never shone, and which was 

1 The three places mentioned are all within a stone's throw of one another. 
R. M. 



KIRKPATRICK SHARPE: ELIZABETH GRANT 203 

so built against behind that there was no free circulation of air 
through it. It belonged to Lady Augusta Clavering, once 
Campbell, one of the handsome sisters of the handsome Duke 
of Argyll, who had run off from a masquerade with a lover who 
made her bitterly repent she ever took him for a husband. It was 
comfortable within, plenty of rooms in it, four good ones on a floor, 
but they did not communicate. The drawing-room was very large, 
four windows along the side of it. There were, however, no 
convenient rooms for refreshments for evening parties, so during 
our stay in it nothing could be given but dinners, and very few 
of them, for none of us were in very good-humour. . . . 

We were inundated this whole winter with a deluge of a dull 
ugly colour called Waterloo blue, copied from the dye used in 
Flanders for the calico of which the peasantry made their smock- 
frocks or blouses. Everything new was 'Waterloo,' not unreason- 
ably, it had been such a victory, such an event, after so many 
years of exhausting suffering ; and as a surname to hats, coats, 
trousers, instruments, furniture, it was very well a fair way of 
trying to perpetuate tranquillity ; but to deluge us with that vile 
indigo, so unbecoming even to the fairest ! It was really a 
punishment; none of us were sufficiently patriotic to deform 
ourselves by wearing it. ... 

In November 1816 we travelled back to Edinburgh to take 
possession of Sir John Hay's house in George Street, an infinitely 
more agreeable winter residence than Lady Augusta Clavering's 
very gloomy old barrack in Queen Street. It was an excellent 
family house, warm, cheerful, and airy, with abundant accommoda- 
tion for a larger party than ours; but there was the same fault 
of only one drawing-room and a small study off it. Perhaps my 
father wanted no space for a ball. The town was much fuller than 
it had been before, of course gayer, many very pleasant people 
were added to our society. War was over, all its anxieties, all its 
sorrows had passed away, and though there must have been many 
sad homes made for ever, in a degree, desolate, those individual 
griefs did not affect the surface of our cheerful world. The 
bitterness of party still prevailed too much in the town, estranging 
many who would have been improved by mixing more with one 
another. Also it was a bad system that divided us all into small 
coteries; the bounds were not strictly defined, and far from 
strictly kept ; still, the various little sections were all there, apart, 
each small set overvaluing itself and undervaluing its neighbours. 
There was the fashionable set, headed by Lady Gray of Kinfauns, 
Lady Molesworth unwillingly admitted, her sister Mrs. Munro, 



204 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

and several other regular party-giving women, teeming to live for 
crowds at home and abroad. Lady Molesworth, the fast daughter 
of a managing manoeuvring mother, very clever, no longer young, 
ran off with a boy at college of old Cornish family and large 
fortune, and made him an admirable wife for he was little beyond 
a fool and gave him a clever son, the present Sir William 
Molesworth. Within, or beyond this, was an exclusive set, the 
Macleods of Macleod, Cumming-Gordons, Shaw-Stewarts, Murray* 
of Ochtertyre, etc. Then there was a card-playing set, of which old 
Mrs. Oliphant of Rossie was the principal support, assisted by her 
daughters Mrs. Grant of Kilgraston and Mrs. Veitch, Mr. and Mrs. 
Massie, Mr. and Mrs. Richmond (she was sister to Sir Thomas 
Liddell, Lord Ravensworth), Miss Sinclair of Murkle, the Duchess 
of Gordon's first cousin and the image of her, Sam Anderson and 
others. By the bye, Mrs. Richmond was the heroine of the 
queer story in Mr. Ward's Trtmairu, and she actually did wear 
the breeches. Then there was the quiet country-gentleman set, 
Lord and Lady Wemyss, all the Campbells, Lord and Lady 
Murray, Sir James and Lady Helen Hall, Sir John and Lady 
Stewart Hays, and so forth. A literary set, including college 
professors, authors and others pleased so to represent themselves ; 
a clever set with Mrs. Fletcher; the law set; strangers, and 
inferiors. All shook up together they would have done very well. 
Even when partially mingled they were very agreeable. When 
primmed up, each phalanx apart, on two sides of the turbulent 
stream of politics, arrayed as if for battle, there was really some 
frar of a clash at times. We were so fortunate as to skim the 
cream, I think, off all varieties; though my father publicly was 
violent in his Whiggism he did not let it interfere with the 
amenities of private life, and my mother kept herself quite aloof 
from all party work. 

The Lord Provost of Edinburgh was seldom in any of these 
sets; he was generally a tradesman of repute among his equals, 
and in their society he was content to abide. This year the 
choice happened to fall on a little man of good family, highly 
connected in the mercantile world, married to an Inverness Aives, 
and much liked. I don't remember what his pursuit was, whether 
he was a banker, or agent for the great Madras house his brother 
George was head of, but he was a kind hospitable man, his wife 
Mrs. Arbuthnot very Highland, and they were general favourites. 
He was chosen Provost again when his three years were out, so 
he received the king, George iv., on his memorable visit, and was 
made a baronet. . . 



ELIZABETH GRANT: WASHINGTON IRVING 205 

In May we removed to Charlotte Square, a house I found the 
most agreeable of any we had ever lived in in Edinburgh; the 
shrubbery in front, and the peep from the upper windows at 
the back, of the Firth of Forth with its wooded shores and 
distant hills, made the outlook so cheerful. We were in the 
midst, too, of our friends. . . . 

Early in July we moved to a large house in Picardy Place, No. 8, 
with four windows in front, a great many rooms all of a handsome 
size, and every accommodation, as the advertisements say, for a 
family of distinction. My father took a lease of it for three years, 
hiring the furniture from Mr. Trotter. It was a sad change to 
us young people, down in the fogs of Leith, far from any country 
walk, quite away from all our friends, and an additional mile from 
Craigcrook too, measuring both ways. We had got very intimate 
with Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey, Jane and I, and we had frequently from 
Charlotte Square walked out to their beautiful old place on Cor- 
storphine Hill, 1 spent the day there, and returned late when 
anyone was with us, earlier when alone. . . . 

Memoirs of a Highland Lady. The Autobiography of Elizabeth Grant 
of Rothiemurckus, afterwards Mrs. Smith of Balteboys. Edited by 
Lady Strachey. 

August 26, 1817. 

. . . EDINBURGH is perfectly deserted, so that I shall merely have 
to look at the buildings, streets, etc., and then be off. I am 
enchanted with the general appearance of the place. It far 
surpasses all my expectations ; and, except Naples, is, I think, the 
most picturesque place I have ever seen. . . . 

August 27//4. A gloomy morning, with a steady, pitiless rain. 
What a contrast to the splendour of yesterday, which was a warm 
day, with now and then a very light shower, and an atmosphere 
loaded with rich clouds through which the sunshine fell in broad 
masses; giving an endless diversity of light and shadow to the 
grand romantic features of this town. It seemed as if the rock 
and castle assumed a new aspect every time I looked at them ; 
and Arthur's Seat was perfect witchcraft. I don't wonder that 
anyone residing in Edinburgh should write poetically; I rambled 
about the bridges and on Gallon height yesterday, in a perfect 
intoxication of the mind. I did not visit a single public building ; 
but merely gazed and revelled on the romantic scenery around 
me. The enjoyment of yesterday alone would be a sufficient 

compensation for the whole journey. . . . 

Washington Irving. 

Correspondence. 
1 Craigcrook. 



206 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

To Sir Walter Scott, 

93 Princes .Street, Sunday Morning. 
[October 1817.] 

MY DEAR SCOTT, . . . Apropos^ the Tolbooth was sold two days 
ago for the sum of two hundred and some odd pounds, to my 
huge regret; for as to beautifying the old town of Edin., the 
idea is ridiculous. Every invasion of this nature destroys its 
character ; and though the Tolbooth is not a very ancient building, 
it is interesting from the numerous historical details connected 
with it, were it only the scene where Queen Marie, with her 
targetted tail, pronounced a pointed oration which made the 
people exclaim ' The voice of Diana ! ' and enraged Knox so 
bitterly. I would not move one stone of it. My only comfort 
is, that you are to have the door-case and niche. For my part, 
I should like to get the stone wherein the pike was fixed, upon 
which the traitor heads of both parties were placed ; but I suppose 
that it is not now possible to discover it. ... 

I have not been able to learn whether the Town Guard was 
knocked down with the Tolbooth. Had I but fortune, I'd make 
Raeburn paint full-lengths of the whole corps, and furnish a 
gallery with them were it only to rival our series of kings at 

Holyrood House. 

Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe. 
Correspondence. 



. . . ON many occasions, when I was taking a daunder through 
these historic houses in the wynds and closes of the Old Town, I 
have met Sir Walter Scott showing them to his visitors, and listened 
to his deep, earnest voice while narrating to them some terrible 
incident in regard to their former inhabitants. 

On other occasions I have frequently met Sir Walter sturdily 
limping along over the North Bridge while on his way from the 
Court of Session (where he acted as Clerk of the Records) to his 
house in Castle Street. In the same way I saw most of the public 
characters connected with the Law Courts or the University. Sir 
Walter was easily distinguished by his height, as well as his limp or 
halt in his walk. My father was intimate with most, if not all, of 
the remarkable Edinburgh characters, and when I had the pleasure 
of accompanying him in his afternoon walks, I enjoyed being able to 
look at them and hear them in the conversations that took place. 

I remember, when I was with my father in one of his walks, that 
a young English artist accompanied us. He had come across the 



KIRKPATRICK SHARPE: NASMYTH 207 

Border to be married at Gretna Green, and he brought his bride 
onward to Edinburgh. My father wished to show him some of the 
most remarkable old buildings of the town. It was about the end 
of 1817, when one of the most interesting buildings in Edinburgh 
was about to be demolished. This was no less a place than the 
Old Tolbooth in the High Street, a grand but gloomy old building. 
It had been originally used as the city palace of the Scottish kings. 
There they held their councils and dispensed justice. 1 But in 
course of time the King and Court abandoned the place, and it had 
sunk into a gaol or prison for the most abandoned of malefactors. 
After their trial the prisoners were kept there waiting for execution, 
and they were hanged on a flat-roofed portion of the building at its 
west end. 

At one of the strongest parts of the building a strong oak chest, 
iron-plated, had been built in, held fast by a thick wall of stone and 
mortar on each side. The iron chest measured about nine feet 
square, and was closed by a strong iron door with heavy bolts and 
locks. This was the Heart of Midlothian^ the condemned cell of 
the Tolbooth. The iron chest was so heavy that the large body of 
workmen could not, with all their might, pull it out. After stripping 
it of its masonry, they endeavoured by strong levers to tumble it 
down into the street. At last, with a ' Yo ! heave ho ! ' it fell down 
with a mighty crash. The iron chest was so strong that it held 
together, and only the narrow iron door, with its locks, bolts, and 
bars, was burst open, and jerked off amongst the bystanders. 

It was quite a scene. A large crowd had assembled, and 
amongst them was Sir Walter Scott. Recognising my father, he 
stood by him, while both awaited the ponderous crash. Sir Walter 
was still The Great Unknown, but it was pretty well known who 
had given such an interest to the building by his fascinating novel, 
The Heart of Midlothian. Sir Walter afterwards got the door and 
the key for his house at Abbotsford. 

There was a rush of people towards the iron chest, to look into 
the dark interior of that veritable chamber of horrors. My father's 
artist friend went forward with the rest, to endeavour to pick up 
some remnant of the demolished structure. As soon as the clouds 
of dust had been dispersed, he observed, under the place where the 
iron box had stood, a number of skeletons of rats, as dry as 
mummies. He selected one of these, wrapped it in a newspaper, 
and put it in his pocket as a recollection of his first day in 
Edinburgh, and of the total destruction of the ' Heart of Midlothian.' 

1 And the Scottish parliaments have met here, as, before the Parliament 
House was built in 1639, the parliament met wherever the King was. R. M. 



208 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

This artist was no other than John Linnell, the afterwards famous 
landscape painter. ... I was so much impressed with the events 
of the day, and also with the fact of the young artist having taken 
with him so repulsive a memento as a rat's skeleton, that I never 
forgot it. More than half a century later, when I was at a private 
view of the Royal Academy, I saw sitting on one of the sofas a 
remarkable and venerable-looking old gentleman. On inquiring 
of my friend, Thomas Webster, who he was, he answered, ' Why, 
that's old Linnell ! ' I then took the liberty of sitting down beside 
him, and, apologising for my intrusion on his notice, I said it was 
just fifty-seven years since I had last seen him ! I mentioned the 
circumstance of the rat-skeleton which he had put in his pocket at 
Edinburgh. He was pleased and astonished to have the facts so 
vividly recalled to his mind. At last he said, ' Well, I have that 
mummy rat, the relic of the Heart of Midlothian, safe in a cabinet 
of curiosities in my house at Redhill to this day.' 

James Nasmyth. 
Autobiography. Edited by Samuel Smiles, 

' Noctes Shepherd. I 'm out o' breath. Ane o' you tak up the thread o' 

Ambrosia**' the discoorse, or rather spin a new yarn. Mr. North, sir, gie's ane 
o' your gran' speeches. I want to fa' asleep. 

North. Yes, Edina, thou art indeed a noble city, a metropolis 
worthy the Land of Mountain and of Flood, Glen, Forest, Loch, 
and long-winding arms of Ocean ! Queen of the North ! which of 
thy august shrines dost thou love best the Castle-Cliff, within 
whose hoary battlements Kings were born the Green Hill looking 
down on deserted Holyrood the Craigs smitten into grandeur and 
beauty by time and the elements or the Mountain, like a lion 
couchant, reposing in the sky ? 

Shepherd. Losli me ! that 's beautifu' language. 

North. The glorious works of Nature everywhere overshadow 
those of man's hands, and her primeval spirit yet reigns, with 
paramount and prevailing power, over the region that art has 
made magnificent with spires and obelisks, towers, temples, and 
palaces ! 

Shepherd. Nane o' your astmatic coughs on wi' ye on wi' ye 
ye deevil. 

North. Wheel round the city as on eagle's wing, skimming the 
edge of the smoke, and the din, and the tumult, in itself a world, 
yet bordered how beautifully by another world of plains, woods, 
and ranges of hills, and that glorious Firth all silent, serene, 
sublime and overhead a heaven swept into cloudless azure by the 



CHRISTOPHER NORTH 209 

sea-blasts, and stretching out an ample circumference for the path 
of the sun ! 

Shepherd. Eh ? Was ye speakin to me ? Ou ay, it 's a gude jug. 

North. Eastward those are ships hanging afar off between wave 
and weathergleam ; westward those are not clouds, but snow-capt 
mountains, whose sides are thundering with cataracts, and round 
whose bases lie a hundred lakes. 

Shepherd. Whoo ah uch awe ! 

North. The eye needs not, here, the aid of Imagination : but 
Imagination will not, in such a scene, suffer the eye to be without 
her aid. The past and the future she makes to darken or brighten 
on the present the limits of the horizon she extends afar and 
round 'stately Edinborough, throned on craggs,' arises a vision of 
old Scotland from sea to sea ! 

Shepherd (starting). Lord, sirs, I thocht I had coupit ower a 
precipice just then. 

North. What think ye, James, of this plan of supplying Edin- Fishwives 
burgh with living fish ? 

Shepherd. Gude or bad, it sail never hae my countenance. I 
couldna thole Embro' without the fishwives, and gin it succeeded, 
it would be the ruin o' that ancient race. 

Tickler. Yes, there are handsome women among these Nereids. 

Shepherd. Weel-faured hizzies, Mr. Tickler. But nane o' your 
winks for wi' a' their fearsome tauk, they're decent bodies. I 
like to see their well-shaped shanks aneath their short yellow petti- 
coats. There 's something heartsome in the creak o' their creeshy 
creels on their braid backs, as they gang swinging up the stey streets 
without sweetin, with the leather belt atower their mutched heads, 
a' bent laigh doun against five stane load o' haddocks, skates, cods, 
and flounders, like horses that never reest and, oh man, but mony 
o' them hae musical voices, and their cries afar aff make my heart- 
strings dirl. 

North. Hard-working, contented, cheerful creatures, indeed, 
James, but unconscionable extortioners, and 

Shepherd. Saw ye them ever marchin hamewards at nicht, in a 
baun of some fifty or threescore, down Leith Walk, wi' the grand 
gas-lamps illuminating their scaly creels, all shining like silver ? And 
heard ye them ever singing their strange sea-sangs first half-a- 
dizzen o' the bit young anes, wi' as saft voices and sweet as you 
could hear in St. George's Kirk on Sabbath, half singin and half 
shoutin a leadin verse, and then a' the mithers and granmithers, 
and ablins great-gran mithers, some o' them wi' voices like verra men, 

O 



Bathing at 
Portobello 



Winter and 
Summer in 
Edinburgh 



210 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

gran' tenors and awfu' basses, joinin in the chorus, that gaed echo- 
ing roun' Arthur's Seat, and awa ower the tap o' the Martello 
Tower, out at sea ayont the end o' Leith Pier ? Wad ye believe 
me, that the music micht be ca'd a hymn at times sae wild and 
sae mournfu' and then takin a sudden turn into a sort o' queer 
and outlandish glee? It gars me think o' the saut sea-faem and 
white mew-wings wavering in the blast and boaties dancin up and 
down the billow vales, wi' oar or sail, and waes me waes me o' 
the puir fishing-smack, gaun down head foremost into the deep, and 
the sighin and the sabbin o' widows, and the wailin o' fatherless 
weans ! 

Tickler, But, James, I saw it asserted in a printed circular that 
there had never been a perfectly fresh fish exposed to sale in Edin- 
burgh since it was a city. 

Shepherd. That 's been in what they ca* a prospectus. 

Shepherd. Oh, sir ! Isna Embro' a glorious city ? Sae clear the 
air, yonner you see a man and a woman staunin on the tap o' 
Arthur's Seat ! I had nae notion there were sae mony steeples, and 
spires, and columns, and pillars, and obelisks, and domes, in 
Embro' ! And at this distance the ee canna distinguish atween 
them that belangs to kirks, and them that belangs to naval monu- 
ments, and them that belangs to ile-gas companies, and them that 's 
only chimley-heids in the auld toun, and the taps o' groves, or 
single trees, sic as poplars ; and aboon a' and ahint a', craigs and 
saft-broo'd hills sprinkled wi' sheep, lichts and shadows, and the 
blue vapoury glimmer o' a Midsummer day het, het, het, wi' the 
barometer at ninety ; but here, to us twa, bob-bobbin amang the 
fresh, cool, murmurin, and faemy wee waves, temperate as the air 
within the mermaid's palace. Anither dive ! 

North. Thank heaven ! my dear Shepherd, Winter is come again, 
and Edinburgh is beginning once more to look like herself, like her 
name and her nature, with rain, mist, sleet, haur, hail, snow I hope, 
wind, storm would that we could but add a little thunder and 
lightning The Queen of the North. 

Shepherd. Hoo could you, sir, wi' a' your time at your ain com- 
mand, keep in and about Embro' frae May to December ? The 
city, for three months in the dead o' simmer, is like a tomb. . . . 

North. Where were we, James ? 

Shepherd. I was abusin Embro' in simmer. 

North. Why? 

Shepherd. Whey ? a' the lums smokeless ! No ae jack turnin 



CHRISTOPHER NORTH: B. R. HAYDON 211 

a piece o' roastin beef afore ae fire in ony ae kitchin in a' the New 
Toon ! Streets and squares a' grass-grown, sae that they micht be 
mawn ! Shops like bee-hives that hae dee'd in wunter ! Coaches 
settin aff for Stirlin, and Perth, and Glasgow, and no ae passenger 
either inside or out only the driver keepin up his heart wi' 
flourishing his whup, and the guard, sittin in perfect solitude, playin 
an eerie spring on his bugle-horn ! The shut-up playhouse a' 
covered ower wi' bills that seem to speak o' plays acted in an 
antediluvian world ! Here, perhaps, a leevin cretur, like an emage, 
staunin at the mouth o' a close, or hirplin alang, like the last relic 
o' the plague. And oh ! but the stane-statue o' the late Lord 
Melville, staunin a' by himsel up in the silent air, a hunder and 
fifty feet high, has then a ghastly seeming in the sky, like some 
giant condemned to perpetual imprisonment on his pedestal, and 
mournin ower the desolation of the city that in life he loved so 
well, unheeded and unhonoured for a season in the great metro- 
politan heart o' the country which he ance rejoiced to enrich and 
beautify, telling and teaching her how to hold up her head bauldly 
among the nations, and like a true patriot as he was, home and 
abroad caring for the greatest and the least of all her sons ! 

North. He was the greatest statesman ever Scotland produced, 
James ; nor is she ungrateful, for the mutterings of Whig malice 
have died away like so much croaking in the pouchy throats of 
drought-dried toads, and the cheerful singing and whistling of 
Industry all over the beautifully cultivated Land, are the hymns 
perpetually exhaled to heaven along with the morning dews, in 
praise and commemoration of the Patriots who loved the sacred soil 
in which their bones lie buried. 1 

Shepherd. That 's weel said, sir. 

c Christopher North' (Professor John Wilson). 
Nodes Ambrosiance. First published in Blackwood's Magazine. 

I CAME to Edinburgh late, and slept at an hotel in Princes Street. 1820 
I rose and looked out : never to my last hour shall I forget the 
castle and the old town right opposite, enveloped in the sunny 
mist of morning. 

Always in a new city secure lodgings before you call on your 
friends, or else you are plagued with recommendations. I de- 
termined to secure lodgings and a room for my picture. I took 
Bruce's room in Waterloo Place, and got lodgings with a Mrs. 
Farquharson in Princes Street. She had been an old housekeeper 
of Lord Buchan's, who had furnished her house from his old 

1 See quotations from Macaulay and Thackeray, p. 235 and note. 



212 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

stock. The chairs were so heavy you could not lift them, but were 
obliged to beckon to your friends to go to one. . . . 

We brought by the mail the news of the Queen's triumph, and 
Edinburgh was in an uproar. I had gone to bed very fatigued, 
and had fallen sound asleep, when I was awakened by Mrs. 
Farquharson screaming and thumping at my door 'to light up.' 
She had a candle in her hand : I got up, scarce awake, when 
bump came a stone against my bedroom window, and tinkle went 
the falling glass. The shout of the crowd was savage. They were 
coming out of the wynds of the old town with a hollow drum, just 
like the mob in The Heart of Midlothian. In my confusion I took 
the candle from Mrs. Farquharson, who was screaming for her 
drawing-room glass, and put it against the place where the window 
had been broken : in came the wind and out went the candle, and 
bang came another shower from the roaring mob, so that I shut 
up the shutters, and they battered till there was not a pane left. A 
pretty reception for me, I thought. After smashing all the glass 
right and left of us, the drum beat, and away roared the mob into 
St. Andrew's Square certainly a more ferocious crowd than a 
London one. . . . 

Sir William Allan was an old friend of mine, and to him I 
went. . . . The next man I dined with was Sir Walter. I called 
on him, and heard him stamping down. At the head of his first 
landing he waved his stick, and cried, ' Hurrah ! welcome to 
Scotland, Haydon.' He then came down, squeezed, in fact 
griped, my hand, ' How d' ye like Edinburgh ? ' ' It is the dream of 
a great genius,' said I. ' Well done,' said Sir Walter, ' when will 
ye dine with me ? ' A day was fixed : I went, Allan was there, and 

L and Terry were also of the party, with Miss Scott, Mrs. 

L , and Lady Scott. 

Sir Walter said, in taking wine with me, ' I say to you, as Hogg 
said to Wilkie, I am happy to see you are so young a man.' 

Sir Walter showed a button that belonged to the waistcoat of 
Balfour of Burleigh. I happened to say that I had been on 
Salisbury crags. ' Ah ! ' said he, quite forgetting himself, * when I 
was a youth, I have often sat there thinking of my prospects in 
life. It is a glorious place.' "Gad,' I thought, 'I remember that 
in one of the novels !' and next morning, sending for all of them, 
I pitched on the passage where Butler escaping from the Porteus' 
mob gets up to Salisbury crags, and sitting down muses on his 
future prospects. 1 

I had a letter to Wilson, 2 and he also made up a large party at 
1 See quotation from Scott, pages 213-214. * 'Christopher North.' 



B. R. HA YDON: SCOTT 213 

which we had a splendid set-to ; Wilson looked like a fine Sand- 
wich Islander who had been educated in the Highlands. His 
light hair, deep sea-blue eye, tall athletic figure, and hearty hand- 
grasp, his eagerness in debate, his violent passions, great genius, 
and irregular habits, rendered him a formidable partisan, a furious 
enemy, and an ardent friend. . . . 

The season in Edinburgh is the severest part of winter. Princes 
Street in a clear sun-set with the Castle and the Pentland Hills in 
radiant glory, and the crowd illumined by the setting sun, was a 
sight perfectly original. 

First you would see limping Sir Walter, talking as he walked 
with Lord Meadowbank ; then tripped Jeffrey, keen, restless, and 
fidgety ; you next met Wilson or Lockhart, or Allan, or Thompson, 
or Raeburn, as if all had agreed to make their appearance at once. 
It was a striking scene foreigners were impressed like myself. I 
wonder Allan never thought of it as the subject of a picture. It 
would make a fine one. 

I never had a complete conception of Scotch hospitality till I 
dined at Geddes' with Sir H. Raeburn and Thomson (who set 
Burns' songs to music), and a party of thirty at least. 

Thomson sang some of the songs of Burns with great relish and 
taste, and at the chorus of one, to my utter astonishment, the whole 
company took hands, jumped up, and danced to the tune all round 
till they came to their seats again, leaving me sitting in wonder. 1 

B. R. Haydon. 

Autobiography. 

IF I were to choose a spot from which the rising or setting sun 
could be seen to the greatest possible advantage, it would be that 
wild path winding around the foot of the high belt of semicircular 
rocks called Salisbury Crags, and marking the verge of the steep 
descent which slopes down into the glen on the south-eastern side 
of the city of Edinburgh. The prospect, in its general outline, 
commands a close-built, high-piled city, stretching itself out 
beneath in a form which, to a romantic imagination, may be 
supposed to represent that of a dragon ; now a noble arm of the 
sea, with its rocks, isles, distant shores, and boundary of mountains ; 
and now a fair and fertile champaign country, varied with hill, 
dale, and rock, and skirted by the picturesque ridge of the Pent- 

1 Probably they were singing Auld Lang Syne, at one verse of which, where 

the lines occur 

' Then here 's a hand, my trusty friend, 
And gie 's a hand o' thine,' 
the ceremony of taking hands is usually gone through. R. M. 



2i 4 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

land Mountains. But as the path gently circles around the base 
of the cliffs, the prospect, composed as it is of these enchanting 
and sublime objects, changes at every step, and presents them 
blended with, or divided from, each other in every possible variety 
which can gratify the eye and the imagination. When a piece of 
scenery so beautiful, yet so varied, so exciting by its intricacy, and 
yet so sublime, is lighted up by the tints of morning or of evening, 
and displays all that variety of shadowy depth, exchanged with 
partial brilliancy, which gives character even to the tamest of 
landscapes, the effect approaches near to enchantment. This path 
used to be my favourite evening and morning resort, when engaged 
with a favourite author or a new subject of study. . . . 

Sir Walter Scott. 
Tkt Heart of Midlothian. 

IT was not long before we found ourselves at Edinburgh, or 
rather in the Castle, into which the regiment marched with drums 
beating, colours flying, and a long train of baggage- waggons behind. 
The Castle was, as I suppose it is now, a garrison for soldiers. 
Two other regiments were already there ; the one an Irish, if I 
remember right, the other a small Highland corps. 

It is hardly necessary to say much about this Castle, which 
everybody has seen ; on which account, doubtless, nobody has ever 
yet thought fit to describe it at least that I am aware. Be this as 
it may, I have no intention of describing it, and shall content 
myself with observing, that we took up our abode in that immense 
building, or caserne, of modern erection, which occupies the 
entire eastern side of the bold rock on which the Castle stands. 
A gallant caserne it was the best and roomiest that I had hitherto 
seen rather cold and windy, it is true, especially in the winter, but 
commanding a noble prospect of a range of distant hills, which I 
was told were ' the hieland hills,' and of a broad arm of the sea 
which I heard somebody say was the Firth of Forth. . . . 

To scale the rock was merely child's play for the Edinbro' 
callants. It was my own favourite diversion. I soon found that 
the rock contained all manner of strange crypts, crannies, and 
recesses, where owls nestled, and the weasel brought forth her 
young ; here and there were small natural platforms, overgrown 
with long grass and various kinds of plants, where the climber, if 
so disposed, could stretch himself, and either give his eyes to sleep 
or his mind to thought ; for capital places were these same plat- 
forms either for repose or meditation. The boldest features of the 
rock are descried on the southern side, where, after shelving down 



BORROW 215 

gently from the wall for some distance, it terminates abruptly in a 
precipice, black and horrible, of some three hundred feet at least, 
as if the axe of nature had been here employed cutting sheer down, 
and leaving behind neither excrescence nor spur a dizzy precipice 
it is, assimilating much to those so frequent in the flinty hills of 
Northern Africa, and exhibiting some distant resemblance to that of 
Gibraltar, towering in its horridness above the neutral ground. . . . 

My brother, who, for some years past, had been receiving his 
education in a certain celebrated school in England, was now with 
us ; and it came to pass, that one day my father, as he sat at table, 
looked steadfastly on my brother and myself, and then addressed 
my mother : c During my journey down hither I have lost no 
opportunity of making inquiries about these people, the Scotch, 
amongst whom we now are, and since I have been here I have 
observed them attentively. From what I have heard and seen, I 
should say that upon the whole they are a very decent set of 
people ; they seem acute and intelligent, and I am told that their 
system of education is so excellent, that every person is learned 
more or less acquainted with Greek and Latin. There is one 
thing, however, connected with them, which is a great drawback 
the horrid jargon which they speak. However learned they may 
be in Greek and Latin, their English is execrable. . . . Were it not 
for the language, which, if the boys pick it up, might ruin their 
prospects in life, were it not for that, I should very much like to 
send them to a school there is in this place, which everybody talks 
about the High School, I think they call it. Tis said to be the 
best school in the whole island ; but the idea of one's children 
speaking Scotch broad Scotch ! I must think the matter over. 

And he did think the matter over ; and the result of his delibera- 
tion was a determination to send us to the school. Let me call 
thee up before my mind's eye, High School, to which, every 
morning, the two English brothers took their way from the proud 
old Castle through the lofty streets of the Old Town. High 
School ! called so, I scarcely know why ; neither lofty in thyself, 
nor by position, being situated in a flat bottom ; oblong structure 
of tawny stone, with many windows fenced with iron netting with 
thy long hall below, and thy five chambers above, for the reception 
of the five classes, into which the eight hundred urchins, who 
styled thee instructress, were divided. Thy learned rector and his 
four subordinate dominies ; thy strange old porter of the tall form 
and grizzled hair, hight Boee, and doubtless of Norse ancestry, as 
his name declares. . . . Yes, I remember all about thee, and how 
at eight every morn we were all gathered together with one accord 



216 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

in the long hall, from which, after the litanies had been read (for so 
I will call them, being an Episcopalian), the five classes from the 
five sets of benches trotted off in long files, one boy after the other, 
up the five spiral staircases of stone, each class to its destination ; 
and well do I remember how we of the third sat hushed and still, 
watched by the eye of the dux, until the door opened, and in 
walked that model of a good Scotchman, the shrewd, intelligent, but 
warm-hearted and kind dominie, the respectable Carson. And in 
this school I began to construe the Latin language, which I had 
never done before, notwithstanding my long and diligent study of 
Lilly, which illustrious grammar was not used at Edinburgh, not 
indeed known. Greek was only taught in the fifth or highest class, 
in which my brother was ; as for myself, I never got beyond the 
third during the two years that I remained at this seminary. I 
certainly acquired here a considerable insight in the Latin tongue; 
and, to the scandal of my father and horror of my mother, a 
thorough proficiency in the Scotch. . . . 

George Borrow. 
Lavengro. 

1821 J'AI voulu aussi essayer de donner quelque idle de la socie*te 

d'Edimbourg, societe si remarquable par la parfaite aisance, la 
cordialit^ et la veritable amabilitd qui y regnent ; societe a la tete 
de laquelle brillent encore aujourd'hui les savans, les litterateurs et 
les poetes qui en e"toient 1'ornement lorsque j'ai eu le bonheur d'y 
etre admis. On verra que, soit par ses institutions, soit par le genre 
de vie de ses habitans, Edimbourg n'est pas indigne des litres 
d'Athenes du Nord et de Capitale de la pensle que lui ont donne 
plusieurs ecrivains modernes. 

La rue nomme'e Georges Street et les deux belles places carries 
qui la terminent, offrent un spectacle imposant et seroient bien 
plus remarquables encore, si elles etoient plus animees ; mais dans 
la belle saison les proprietaires de ces elegans hdtels habitant leurs 
terres, ces longues rues deviennent desertes ; et chaque etc" on voit 
croltre 1'herbe dans ces quartiers abandonncs qui deviennent alors 
le sejour du silence et de la tristesse. 

Queen Street ou la rue de la reine, situ^e sur la pente septen- 
trionale de la colline, s'ouvre sur une magnifique perspective. De 
la on voit le Golfe de Forth, ses rivages, ses lies verdoyantes, la 
rade de Leith et ses nombreux vaisseaux, la pleine mer d'un cdte", 
les monts Grampiens de 1'autre. Autrefois on jouissoit de cette 
vue dans toute 1'etendue de Queen Street, longue d'un mille et 



NECKER DE SAUSSURE 217 

plus. Aussi dans les belles soirees de 1'ete une foule nombreuse 
venoit y chercher la fraicheur et admirer en se promenant le coup 
d'oeil enchanteur de ce beau paysage eclaire des derniers rayons du 
soleil couchant. Mais depuis peu d'annees un nouveau quartier, 
qui s'eleve sur le penchant de la colline, a prive une grand partie 
de cette rue d'un si brillant tableau. 

La rue nommee Princes Street fait le pendant de celle dont je 
viens de parler. Le rocher sauvage surmonte de la forteresse, le 
ravin couronne par les antiques batimens de la vieille ville, les 
collines pittoresques d'Arthur's Seat, de Salisbury-Craigs et du 
Calton hill, forment le point de vue dont on jouit dans toute la 
longueur de cette rue. Etant ouverte au midi, elle offre en hiver un 
promenoir fort agreable. Les maisons en reflechissant les rayons 
du soleil et en abritant des vents glaces du nord maintiennent une 
chaleur douce et salutaire. C'est la que depuis deux heures jusqu'a 
quatre, pendant les mois d'hiver, tout Edimbourg se rassemble. 
Cette rue presente alors le coup d'ceil le plus vivant. Les larges 
trottoirs sont remplis d'hommes bien mis, de femmes elegamment 
parees; un passage continuel d'equipages brillans, de chaises de 
postes, de diligences anime le milieu de la rue qui est aussi la 
grande route de Glascow et de 1'Ouest de 1'Ecosse. J'ai souvent 
admire dans les belles nuits du printems 1'effet romantique du 
chateau, vu de Princes Street. Les formes apres et escarpees du 
sombre rocher se dessinent sur les derniers reflets du couchant, les 
murailles et les batimens de la forteresse semblent toucher le Ciel, 
les antiques edifices de vieille ville, couverts des ombres de la nuit, 
paroissent comme des rocs sauvages decoupe's en mille formes 
bisarres par la main du temps. Quelques rayons d'une foible 
lumiere s'echappent parfois d'une petite fenetre dans la partie la 
plus elevee du chateau et semblent partir de la lampe qui eclaire 
un malheureux prisonnier dans son donjon obscur, et les sons 
melodieux du bugle ou cor qui se font entendre du haul de ces 
murailles comme le signal de la retraite, rappellent les temps de la 
chevalerie et du moyen age. 

II est difficile de trouver des femmes plus aimables et plus 
denuees de toute espece d'affectation que ne le sont les Ecossaises. 
Aussi ce naturel, cette grace, cet engouement qu'elles portent jusque 
dans leur maniere de danser, rendent les bals a Edimbourg 
extremement animes. . . . 

Cependant, malgre cet amour pour le plaisir qui fait que les fetes 
et les divertissemens se succedent sans interruption, les Ecossais 



218 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

n'oublient jamais la saintete du dimanche. Ce jour-la, non- 
seulement tout travail, mais mme tout amusement est interdit ; 
il n'y a point de visites, point d'invitations ; le moindre jeu seroit un 
peche, la musique de tout genre est severement proscrite. Apres 
avoir passe une partie de la matinee dans les e"glises, chacun 
retourne chez soi sans bruit, et n'en sort plus de toute la journee. 
Le soir, les families se rassemblent et celebrent en commun un 
service domestique. Ainsi, par ce respectable attachement au 
culte presbyterien, dans toute son austerite", on previent les incon- 
veniens que pourroit avoir pour les mceurs nationales la dissipation 
des autres jours de la semaine. 

On voit souvent pendant 1'hiver, surtout dans les mois de 
Decembre, Janvier et FeVrier le plus brillant et le plus beau des 
phe'nomenes atmosphe'riques, 1'aurore boreale. J'en ai vu frequem- 
ment pendant les deux hivers que j'ai passes a Edimbourg, mais 
j'observai la plus-remarquable le 14 Janvier 1807. Ayant aperc,u 
ce jour-la vers huit heures du soir une lueur tres-prononcee au 
nord, je me rendis dans la rue nommee Queen street, d'oii la vue 
sur la partie septentrionale du ciel est entierement de"couverte, et 
Ik je jouis d'un des plus beaux spectacles que Ton puisse imaginer. 
Une lumiere jaunatre qui ne peut fitre compared pour la couleur et 
Pintensite" qu'a celle que reflechissent ces lagers nuages qui passent 
sur la disque de la lune ou dans les environs, s'e"tendoit le long de 
1'horizon et au-dessus des collines du comte de Fife. Elle varioit 
a chaque instant; tantdt elle formoit deux ou trois grands arcs 
concentriques, tantdt une bande parallele & 1'horizon, quelquefois 
on croyoit voir un nuage irre"gulier vivement eclair^ par la lune. II 
y avoit dans cette lumiere un mouvement et une agitation continu- 
elles, souvent des jets d'une lueur foible et bleuatre partoient de 
la grande masse lumineuse en se dirigeant perpendiculairement 
jusqu'au zenith, puis disparoissoient tout-a-coup, pour faire place a 
d'autres jets semblables qui se succedoient sans interruption. Ce 
qu'il y avoit de remarquable dans cette soiree c'est que la lune 
dans son septieme jour brilloit dans le c6t oppose d'un ciel pur et 
serein, et que sa lumiere ne diminuoit en aucune maniere 1'efFet 
brillant que produisoit 1'aurore boreale. Apres avoir contemple ce 
magnifique spectacle on congoit aisement que les anciens peuples 
du nord aient cru voir dans les aurores boreales un rassemblement 
des fe"es et des ge"nies de 1'air, celebrant des jeux et des danses 
dans la partie la plus elevee de Patmosphere. 

L. A. Necker de Saussure. 
Voyage en cosse et aux ties Htbridts. 



GEORGE IV.'S ENTRY 219 

THE King, as he approached his ancient city, was welcomed, not George iv.'s 
by cheers, but by one running cheer along the whole line of pro- Entry into} 
cession from Leith to his palace. By means of the scaffolding, "^ 

the spectators along Leith Walk were, in a great measure, divided 1822 
into distinct but contiguous masses. By each mass, as the King 
proceeded, he was saluted by a loud and cordial cheer, which, 
subsiding as he passed, was taken up by those next in advance, 
and thus was continued until the King was withdrawn from the 
view of his subjects. The waving of hats and handkerchiefs that 
accompanied the cheering contributed greatly to the imposing 
effect of the scene. 

The King was evidently much moved by these demonstrations 
of affection to his sacred person. Along the whole road he fre- 
quently raised his hat and bowed to the people, whom he regarded 
with fixed attention. . . . The mottoes on the triumphal arches at 
Leith, and upon the different flags along the road, arrested the eye 
of his Majesty. Upon the toll-house was an elegant crown, and 
beneath it the words, ' Descendant of the immortal Bruce, thrice 
welcome ! ' which the King perused with marked emotion. 

As the procession advanced towards the city, the Lord Provost, 
Magistrates, and Town Council of Edinburgh proceeded from the 
house of Mr. Craufuird to the barrier (from which was suspended 
a variety of flags) ; and immediately ordered the gates to be shut, 
and then took up their station upon a platform provided for their 
accommodation. In about ten minutes after, the Depute Lyon 
King at Arms and the Usher of the White Rod, preceded by two 
Heralds, gallopped up to the gate ; and, after a flourish of trumpets, 
the Usher of the White Rod knocked three times at the gate, which 
was answered by the City Officer, to whom it was communicated, 
that his Majesty desired to visit his ancient city of Edinburgh. An 
answer was made by the Chamberlain, that the gates would be 
opened to his Majesty, which was immediately done; when the 
Depute Lyon King at Arms and Usher of the White Rod, along 
with Heralds, returned with the answer, and took their places in 
the procession. 

Upon his Majesty's carriage coming within the barrier, it was 
drawn up, when the Lord Provost, followed by the Magistracy, 
approached near to the south side of the royal carriage; and, after 
they had made their obeisances, his Majesty stood up uncovered, 
and leaned towards the Lord Provost, who, holding the cushion on 
which the keys of the city were placed, addressed his Majesty. . . . 

His Majesty, dropping the keys upon the cushion, replied, 

' My Lord Provost, I return you these keys, being perfectly con- 



220 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

vinced that they cannot be placed in better hands than in those of 
the Lord Provost and Magistrates of my good city of Edinburgh.' 

The Lord Provost and Magistrates then returned to their 
carriages, and took their appointed places in the procession, as 
had been arranged, immediately after the Lord Lieutenant of the 
county, and preceded by their officers. Loud cheers from the 
immense assemblage collected around the barrier followed this 
ceremony, by which the King was formally received within his 
ancient city. 

The royal carriage, at the conclusion of the ceremony, moved 
slowly forward about fifty yards, to the point at the end of Picardy 
Place, where Leith Street on the left, and York Place on the right, 
are distinctly seen. The magnitude of the buildings, the rising 
ground in front, appearing like a huge amphitheatre divided into 
sections, crowded by a well-dressed multitude, and resounding with 
their acclamations, the splendour of the windows, occupied by 
our fair countrywomen, and the waving of their handkerchiefs, 
altogether had such an effect, that his Majesty held up his hands, 
and looked around, as if with joy and wonder. . . . 

The procession advanced along Picardy Place, York Place, 
and North and South St. Andrew's Street. As the royal carriage 
entered St. Andrew's Square, a different scene, but one of equally 
unique character, presented itself. The noble square, adorned by 
so many proofs of wealth and taste; the Melville Monument, 
standing in the centre in solitary grandeur ; the magnificent vista 
on the right, formed by George Street, and terminated by the lofty 
dome of St. George's Church ; and in front the smoky piles of the 
Old Town, towering in irregular majesty; the whole of this scene 
was beheld by the King, who withdrew his eyes from it only to 
return the salutations of his loyal subjects. 

On reaching Princes Street, a new scene presented itself in 
front, the old town, overlooking, with proud and lofty crest, the 
more regular, but less romantic avenues of its modern accessary, 
the Castle (which, as his face was from it, was pointed out to his 
Majesty by one of his attendants) rearing her ancient battlements 
to the skies ; and, in front, the noble buildings in Waterloo Place, 
the precipitous front of the Calton, supporting Nelson's pillar, 
around which was clustered a new multitude, preserving an attitude 
as firm as the rock on which they stood, such a scene, which 
might have subdued the indifference of a stoic, and inspired him 
with sensations of delight and astonishment, burst at once upon 
our monarch, who exclaimed, ' How superb ! ' As he approached 
the hill, his feelings were so overpowered, that he waved his hat to 



GEORGE IV.'S ENTRY 221 

the crowd upon the summit, who rent the air with their acclama- 
tions. His Majesty was yet to witness another scene which, though 
neither of art nor inanimate nature, was more sublime than is to 
be found in the region of either. As his carriage winded round 
the Calton Hill, and while looking down, with emotions which 
may well be conceived, upon the gilded spires of the palace of his 
ancestors, a shout was raised so loud and so prolonged, that his 
Majesty, withdrawing his eyes from an object of such solemn con- 
templation, looked to the left, and beheld high above him, on the 
side of the hill, which hitherto had been concealed from his view, 
thousands and thousands of hats waved in the air by a solid mass 
of people, whose numbers defied all power of calculation. His 
Majesty recoiled, if we may use the term, with wonder from the 
sight, but instantly looked up again, and betrayed in his counten- 
ance the deepest emotion. This was by far the most picturesque 
and most national feature in the whole spectacle, and one which 
seemed most to interest his Majesty, who gave indulgence to his 
feelings by the unreserved and gracious returns which he made to 
the acclamations of the people. At this stage of the procession 
' God Save the King ' was sung by the people, the sound of which 
was soon drowned in the cheers of the more advanced multitude. 

The procession now descended the Abbeyhill, and in a few 
minutes was in front of the palace. Here were stationed the flank 
companies of the regiments in the Castle, and the Sutherland 
Highlanders; and within the grand entrance was stationed a 
squadron of Celts. The staircase was guarded by the beef-eaters. 
At the head of the staircase were stationed five archers with their 
bows upright ; and leading from the staircase into the royal closet 
were seven archers, and two of the royal pages. When his Majesty 
arrived in front of the palace, he was saluted by the whole military 
and Highlanders assembled ; and ' God Save the King ' was struck 
up by their bands of music. But the procession was not yet com- 
pleted. An act remained to be performed, which was watched 
with the deepest anxiety by the thousands assembled on the Calton 
and the adjoining eminences. They seemed to consider the 
entrance of his Majesty within the palace as completing the solemn 
inauguration of him as King of Scotland, as the actual revival, 
under a modified form, of the Scottish monarchy, and an open 
recognition of all their public rights. The moment that the King 
was within the porch, a deafening shout of triumph ascended from 
the multitude, which was responded to by a royal salute fired from 
the guns of the Castle and on the Crags, on both of which waved 
proudly the royal banner. 

An Historical Account of His Majesty's Visit to Scotland. 



222 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

uBt x "EDINBURGH is really a very interesting place, to me very 

1822 singular. How can I describe the view from the hill that over- 
looks the palace; the fine group of buildings which form the 
Castle; the bridges uniting the two towns; and the beautiful view 
of the Firth and its islands ? 

1 But Sunday came, and the streets were forsaken ; and silence 
reigned over the whole city. London has a diminished population 
on that day in her streets ; but in Edinburgh it is a total stagnation 

a quiet that is in itself devout.' 

Rev. George Cimbbe. 
Journal, quoted in Lift of Crabbt, by his sen. 

EDINBURGH, 32 ABKRCROMBY PLACE, 
June 8, 1823. 

1823 . . . THE drive from Linlithgow to Edinburgh is nothing extra- 
ordinary, but the road approaching the city is grand, and the first 
view of the castle and ' mine own romantic town ' delighted my 
companions; the day was fine and they were sitting outside on 
the barouche seat a seat which you, my dear aunt, would not 
have envied them with all their fine prospects. By this approach 
to Edinburgh there are no suburbs; you drive at once through 
magnificent broad streets and fine squares. All the houses are of 
stone, darker than the Ardbraccan stone, and of a kind that is little 
injured by weather or time. Margaret Alison l had taken lodgings 
for us in Abercromby Place finely built, with hanging shrubbery 
garden, and the house as delightful as the situation. As soon as 
we had unpacked and arranged our things the evening of our 
arrival, we walked, about ten minutes' distance from us, to our 
dear old friends, the Alisons. We found them shawled and 
bonneted, just coming to see us. Mr. Alison and Sir Walter 
Scott had settled that we should dine the first day after our arrival 
with Mr. Alison, which was just what we wished ; but on our return 
home we found a note from Sir Walter : 

' DEAR Miss EDGEWORTH, I have just received your kind note, 
just when I had persuaded myself it was most likely I should see 
you in person or hear of your arrival. Mr. Alison writes to me 
you are engaged to dine with him to-morrow, which puts Roslin 
out of the question for that day, as it might keep you late. On 
Sunday I hope you will join our family-party at five, and on 
Monday I have asked one or two of the Northern Lights on pur- 
pose to meet you. I should be engrossing at any time, but we shall 
be more disposed to be so just now, because on the i2th I am 

1 Mrs. Alison, wife of Professor Alison, and daughter of Dr. James Gregory. 



CRABBE: MARIA EDGEWORTH 223 

under the necessity of going to a different kingdom (only the 
kingdom of Fife) for a day or two. To-morrow, if it is quite 
agreeable, I will wait on you about twelve, and hope you will 
permit me to show you some of our improvements. I am always, 
Most respectfully yours, WALTER SCOTT.' 

When we wakened in the morning, the whole scene of the pre- 
ceding night seemed like a dream ; however, at twelve came the 
real Lady Scott, and we called for Scott at the Parliament House, 
who came out of the Courts with joyous face, as if he had nothing 
on earth to do or to think of, but to show us Edinburgh. Seem- 
ing to enjoy it all as much as we could, he carried us to Parliament 
House Advocates' Library, Castle, and Holyrood House. His 
conversation all the time better than anything we could see, full 
of b-propos anecdote, historic, serious or comic, just as occasion 
called for it, and all with a bonhomie and an ease that made us forget 
it was any trouble even to his lameness to mount flights of eternal 
stairs. Chantrey's statues of Lord Melville and President Blair are 
admirable. There is another by Roubillac, of Duncan Forbes, 
which is excellent. Scott is enthusiastic about the beauties of 
Edinburgh, and well he may be, the most magnificent as well as the 

most romantic of cities. 

Maria Edgeworth. 

Life and Letters of Maria Edge-worth. 
Edited by Augustus T. C. Hare. 

SCOTT managed to give and receive such great dinners as I have 
been alluding to, at least as often as any other private gentleman 
in Edinburgh; but he very rarely accompanied his wife and 
daughters to the evening assemblies, which commonly ensued 
under other roofs for early to rise, unless in the case of spare-fed 
anchorites, takes for granted early to bed. When he had no dinner 
engagement, he frequently gave a few hours to the theatre; but 
still more frequently, when the weather was fine, and still more, I 
believe, to his own satisfaction, he drove out with some of his 
family, or a single friend, in an open carriage ; the favourite rides 
being either to the Blackford Hills, or to Ravelston, and so home 
by Corstorphine ; or to the beach of Portobello, where Peter was 
always instructed to keep his horses as near as possible to the sea. 
More than once, even in the first summer of my acquaintance with 
him, I had the pleasure of accompanying him on those evening 
excursions ; and never did he seem to enjoy himself more fully 
than when placidly surveying, at such sunset or moonlight hours, 



The Scott 

Monument, 

Princes 

Street, 

Edinburgh 



1824 



224 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

either the massive outlines of his 'own romantic town,' or the 
tranquil expanse of its noble estuary. He delighted, too, in passing 
when he could, through some of the quaint windings of the ancient 
city itself, now deserted, except at midday, by the upper world. 
How often have I seen him go a long way round about, rather 
than miss the opportunity of halting for a few minutes on the 
vacant esplanade of Holyrood, or under the darkest shadows of the 
Castle rock, where it overhangs the Grassmarket, and the huge 
slab that still marks where the gibbet of Porteous and the 
Covenanters had its station. His coachman knew him too well to 
move at a Jehu's pace amid such scenes as these. No funeral 
hearse crept more leisurely than did his landau up the Canongate 
or the Cowgate ; and not a queer tottering gable but recalled to 
him some long-buried memory of splendour or bloodshed, which, 
by a few words, he set before the hearer in the reality of life. His 
image is so associated in my mind with the antiquities of his native 
place, that I cannot now revisit them without feeling as if I were 
treading on his gravestone. 

John Gibson Lockhart. 
Life of Scott. 

HERE sits he throned, where men and gods behold 
His domelike brow a good man simply great ; 
Here in this highway proud, that arrow-straight 
Cleaves at one stroke the new world from the old. 
On this side, Commerce, Fashion, Progress, Gold ; 
On that, the Castle Hill, the Canongate, 
A thousand years of war and love and hate 
There palpably upstanding fierce and bold. 
Here he sits throned ; beneath him, full and fast, 
The tides of Modern Life impetuous run. 
O Scotland, was it well and meetly done ? 
For see ! he sits with back turned on the Past 
He whose imperial edict bade it last 
While yon grey ramparts kindle to the sun. 

William Watson. 

THE great fires of the Parliament Close and the High Street were 
events of this winter. A countryman, who had left town when the 
old spire of the Tron Church was blazing like a torch, and the 
large group of buildings nearly opposite the Cross still enveloped 
in flame from ground-floor to roof-tree, passed our work-shed, a 
little after two o'clock, and, telling us what he had seen, remarked 
that, if the conflagration went on as it was doing, we would have, 



HUGH MILLER 225 

as our next season's employment, the Old Town of Edinburgh to 
rebuild. And as the evening closed over our labours, we went in 
to town in a body, to see the fires that promised to do so much 
for us. The spire had burnt out, and we could but catch between 
us and the darkened sky the square abrupt outline of the masonry 
a-top that had supported the wooden broach, whence, only a few 
hours before, Fergusson's bell had descended in a molten shower. 1 
The flames, too, in the upper group of buildings, were restricted 
to the lower stories, and flared fitfully on the tall forms and bright 
swords of the dragoons, drawn from the neighbouring barracks, as 
they rode up and down the middle space, or gleamed athwart the 
street on groups of wretched-looking women and ruffian men, who 
seemed scanning with greedy eyes the still unremoved heaps of 
household goods rescued from the burning tenements. The first 
figure that caught my eye was a singularly ludicrous one. Removed 
from the burning mass but by the thickness of a wall, there was a 
barber's shop brilliantly lighted with gas, the uncurtained window 
of which permitted the spectators outside to see whatever was 
going on in the interior. The barber was as busily at work as if 
he were a hundred miles from the scene of danger, though the 
engines at the time were playing against the outside of his gable 
wall; and the immediate subject under his hands, as my eye rested 
upon him, was an immensely fat old fellow, on whose round bald 
forehead and ruddy cheeks the perspiration, occasioned by the 
oven-like heat of the place, was standing out in huge drops, and 
whose vast moutlj, widely opened to accommodate the man of the 
razor, gave to his countenance such an expression as I have some- 
times seen in grotesque Gothic heads of that age of art in which 
the ecclesiastical architect began to make sport of his religion. 
The next object that presented itself was, however, of a more 
sobering description. A poor working-man, laden with his favourite 
piece of furniture, a glass-fronted press or cupboard, which he had 
succeeded in rescuing from his burning dwelling, was emerging 
from one of the lanes, followed by his wife, when, striking his foot 
against some obstacle in the way, or staggering from the too great 
weight of his load, he tottered against a projecting corner, and the 
glazed door was driven in with a crash. There was hopeless 
misery in the wailing cry of his wife ' Oh, ruin, ruin ! it 's lost 
too ! ' Nor was his own despairing response less sad : ' Ay, ay, 
puir lassie, it 's a' at an end noo.' Curious as it may seem, the 
wild excitement of the scene had at first rather exhilarated than 
depressed my spirits; but the incident of the glass cupboard 
1 See page 141 and note. 
P 



226 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

served to awaken the proper feeling; and as I came more into 
contact with the misery of the catastrophe, and marked the groups 
of shivering houseless creatures that watched beside the broken 
fragments of their stuff, I saw what a dire calamity a great fire 
really is. Nearly two hundred families were already at this time 
cast homeless into the streets. Shortly before quitting the scene 
of the conflagration for the country, I passed along a common 
stair, which led from the Parliament Close towards the Cowgate, 
through a tall old domicile, eleven stories in height, and I after- 
wards remembered that the passage was occupied by a smouldering 
oppressive vapour, which, from the direction of the wind, could 
scarce have been derived from the adjacent conflagration, though at 
the time, without thinking much of the circumstance, I concluded 
it might have come creeping westwards on some low cross current 
along the narrow lanes. In less than an hour after that lofty 
tenement was wrapt in flames, from the ground story to more than 
a hundred feet over its tallest chimneys, and about sixty additional 
families, its tenants, were cast into the streets with the others. 
My friend William Ross afterwards assured me, that never had he 
witnessed anything equal in grandeur to this last of the conflagra- 
tions. Directly over the sea of fire below, the low-browed clouds 
above seemed as if charged with a sea of blood, that lightened 
and darkened by fits as the flames rose and fell ; and far and wide, 
tower and spire, and tall house-top, glared out against a back- 
ground of darkness, as if they had been brought to a red heat by 
some great subterranean, earth-born fire, that was fast rising to 
wrap the entire city in destruction. The old church of St. Giles, 
he said, with the fantastic masonry of its pale grey tower bathed 
in crimson, and that of its dark rude walls suffused in a bronze 
umber, and with the red light gleaming inwards through its huge 
mullioned windows and flickering on its stone roof, formed one 
of the most picturesque objects he had ever seen. 

Hugh Miller. 
My Schools and Schoolmasters. 

THAT Edinburgh resembles Athens was first pointed out by the 
Athenian Stuart, whose opinion has been confirmed by various 
succeeding travellers. Dr. Clarke speaks decidedly to the same 
effect ; and finely adds, that the neighbourhood of Athens is just 
the Highlands of Scotland, enriched with the splendid remains of 
art. One of the latest travellers, Mr. H. W. Williams, whose 
beautiful drawings of the scenery and ruins of Attica have lately 
furnished by far the most exquisite specimen of the arts ever pro- 
duced in Scotland, in various parts of his Travels confirms the 



HUGH MILLER: CHAMBERS 227 

statements of his predecessors, and says, moreover, that, ' suppose 
the lakes of Scotland were plains, he knows no country so 
like the illustrious Greece.' This gentleman has also said, 'the 
distant view of Athens from the ^Egean Sea, is extremely like that 
of Edinburgh from the Firth of Forth, though certainly the latter 
is considerably superior.' In addition to and in confirmation of his 
printed opinions, Mr. Williams has kindly contributed, for the use 
of this work, a brief comparison of the two cities ; and we announce, 
with great pleasure, that it is the design of this gentleman, to 
publish two uniform engravings, representing the Ancient and the 
Modern Athens, as seen from the points where their resemblance 
is most conspicuous. 

The epithets ' Northern Athens ' and ' Modern Athens ' have 
been so frequently applied to Edinburgh, that the mind uncon- 
sciously yields to the allusion awakened by these terms, and 
imagines that the resemblance between these cities must extend 
from the natural localities, and the public buildings, to the streets 
and private edifices. The very reverse of this is the case : for, 
setting aside her public structures, Athens, even in her best days, 
could not have coped with the capital of Scotland. The truth is, 
that the comforts of the Athenians were constantly sacrificed to 
the public benefit ; and the ruins which still remain to attest the 
unrivalled magnificence of the temples of Athens, afford no criterion 
by which we may judge of the character of her private dwellings. 
Athens as it now exists, independent of its ruins, and deprived of 
the charm of association is contemptible : its houses are mean, 
and its streets scarcely deserve the name. Still, however, f when 
distance lends enchantment to the view,' even the mud-walls of 
Athens assume features of importance, and the modern city appears 
almost worthy of the Acropolis which ornaments it. It is when 
seen under this advantage, that the likeness of Edinburgh to 
Athens is most strikingly apparent. 

There are several points of view, on the elevated grounds near 
Edinburgh, from which this resemblance is almost complete. 
From Tor-Phin, in particular, one of the low heads of the 
Pentlands, immediately above the village of Colinton, the land- 
scape is exactly that of the vicinity of Athens, as viewed from the 
bottom of Mount Anchesmus. Close upon the right, Brilessus is 
represented by the mound of Braid ; before us, in the abrupt and 
dark mass of the Castle, rises the Acropolis ; the hill Lycabetus, 
joined to that of the Areopagus, appears in the Calton; in the 
Firth of Forth, we behold the ^Egean Sea in Inchkeith, ^Egina ; 
and the hills of the Peloponnesus are precisely those of the opposite 
coast of Fife. Nor is the resemblance less striking in the general 



228 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

characteristics of the scene; for, although we cannot exclaim, 
' these are the graves of the Academy, and that the Sacred Way ! ' 
yet, as on the Attic shore, we certainly here behold 
'. . . A country rich and gay 

Broke into hills, with balmy odours crowned, 

And . . . joyous vales, 

Mountains, and streams, . . . 

And clustering towns, and monuments of fame, 

And scenes of glorious deeds, in little bounds ! ' 

It is, indeed, most remarkable and astonishing, that two cities, 
placed at such a distance from each other, and so different in 
every political and artificial circumstance, should naturally be so 
like. Were the National Monument to be erected upon the site of 
the present Barracks in the Castle, an important additional feature 
of resemblance would be conferred upon the landscape ; that being 
the corresponding position of the Parthenon in the Acropolis. 

Robert Chambers. 
Walks in Edinburgh. 

EDINBURGH for about a hundred and thirty years after the Union 
continued to be in effect, and not in name merely, the capital of a 
kingdom, and occupied a place in the eye of the world scarcely 
second to that of London. . . . 

The high place which Edinburgh held among the cities of the 
earth it owed exclusively to the intellectual standing and high 
literary ability of a few distinguished citizens, who were able to do 
for it greatly more in the eye of Europe than had been done by its 
Court and Parliament, or than could have been done through any 
other agency, by the capital of a small and poor country. 

Hugh Miller. 
Essays. 

1825 MR. LEONARD HORNER also took me once to a meeting of the 

Royal Society of Edinburgh, where I saw Sir Walter Scott in the 
chair as President, and he apologised to the meeting as not feeling 
fitted for such a position. I looked at him and at the whole scene 
with some awe and reverence, and I think it was owing to this visit 
during my youth, and to my having attended the Royal Medical 
Society, that I felt the honour of being elected a few years ago an 
honorary member of both these Societies, more than any other similar 
honour. If I had been told at that time that I should one day 
have been thus honoured, I declare that I should have thought it 
as ridiculous and improbable, as if I had been told that I should 
be elected King of England. 

Charles Darwin. 
Autobiographical chapter of Lift and Letters of Charles Darwin. 



DARWIN: CAMPBELL: FERRIER 229 

FAREWELL, Edina ! pleasing name, 

Congenial to my heart 
A joyous guest to thee I came, 

And mournful I depart. Thomas Ca mpbell. 

THE day, though cold, was clear and sunny, and the lovely 
spectacle before them shone forth in all its gay magnificence. 
The blue waters lay calm and motionless. The opposite shores 
glowed in a thousand varied tints of wood and plain, rock and 
mountain, cultured field, and purple moor. Beneath, the Old 
Town reared its dark brow, and the New one stretched its golden 
lines, white, all around, the varied charms of Nature lay scattered 
in that profusion, which Nature's hand alone can bestow. 

' Oh ! this is exquisite ! ' exclaimed Mary, after a long pause, in 
which she had been riveted in admiration of the scene before her. 
'And you are in the right, my dear uncle. The ideas which are 
inspired by the contemplation of such a spectacle as this are far 
oh, how far! superior to those excited by the mere works of art. 
There, I can, at best, think but of the inferior agents of Providence. 
Here, the soul rises from Nature up to Nature's God.' 

' Upon my soul, you will be taken for a Methodist, Mary, if you 
talk in this manner,' said Mr. Douglas, with some marks of disquiet, 
as he turned round at the salutation of a fat elderly gentleman, 
whom he presently recognised as Bailie Broadfoot. 

The first salutations over, Mr. Douglas's fears of Mary having 
been overheard recurred, and he felt anxious to remove any un- 
favourable impression with regard to his own principles, at least, 
from the mind of the enlightened magistrate. 

' Your fine views here have set my niece absolutely raving,' said 
he with a smile ; ' but I tell her it is only in romantic minds that 
fine scenery inspires romantic ideas. I dare say many of the 
worthy inhabitants of Edinburgh walk here with no other idea than 
that of sharpening their appetites for dinner.' 

'Nae doot,' said the Bailie, 'it's a most capital place for that. 
Were it no for that, I ken nae muckle use it would be of.' . . . 

'And noo,' said the Bailie, . . . 'will ye step up to the Monu- 
ment, and tak a rest and some refreshment ? ' 

'Rest and refreshment in a monument!' exclaimed Mr. 
Douglas. ' Excuse me, my good friend, but we are not inclined to 
bait there yet awhile.' 

The Bailie did not comprehend the joke, and he proceeded in 
his own drawling humdrum accent, to assure them that the Monu- 
ment was a most convenient place. 



230 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

' It was erected in honour of Lord Nelson's memory,' said he, 
' and is let aff to a pastry cook and confectioner, where you can 
always find some trifles to treat the ladies, such as pies and custards, 
and berries, and these sort of things ; but we passed an order in 
the Cooncil that there should be naething of a spiritous nature 
introduced, for, if ance spirits got admittance, there's no saying 
what might happen.' . . . 

1 Though last, not least of Nature's works, I must now introduce 
you to a friend of mine,' said Mr. Douglas, as, the Bailie having 
made his bow, they bent their steps towards the Castle-Hill. 
' Mrs. Violet Macshake is an aunt of my mother's, whom you must 
often have heard of, and the last remaining branch of the noble 
race of Girnachgoul.' 

. . . ' An' wha thought o' seein* ye enoo' ? ' said she, in a quick, 
gabbling voice ; ' what 's brought you to the toon ? are ye come to 
spend your honest faither's siller, ere he 's weel cauld in his grave, 
puir man ? ' . . . 

'You must, indeed, have witnessed many changes,' observed 
Mr. Douglas, rather at a loss how to utter anything of a conciliatory 
nature. 

1 Changes ! weel a wat, I sometimes wunder if it 's the same 
waurld, an' if it 's my ain heed that 's upon my shoothers.' 

' But with these changes, you must also have seen many im- 
provements ? ' said Mary, in a tone of diffidence. 

' Improvements ! ' turning sharply round upon her, ' what ken 
ye about improvements, bairn ? A bonny improvement, or ens no, 
to see tyleyors and sclaters leavin', whar I mind Jeuks an' Yerls. 
An that great glowrin new toon there,' pointing out of her windows, 
1 whar I used to sit an* luck oot at bonny green parks, and see the 
coos milket, and the bits o' bairnies rowin' an' tummlin', an' the 
asses trampin' i' their tubs. 1 What see I noo, but stane an' lime, 
an' stoor an' dirt, an' idle cheels, an' duiket-oot madams prancin'. 

Improvements, indeed ! ' 

Susan Edmondstoune lerner. 

Marriage. 

1826-8 . . . JEFFREY'S acquaintanceship seemed, and was for the time, an 

immense acquisition to me ; and everybody regarded it as my 
highest good fortune, though in the end it did not practically 
amount to much. ... I remember pleasant strolls out to Craig- 
crook (one of the prettiest places in the world), where, on a 

1 This was the Scottish method of washing blankets, etc. women, barefooted, 
kneaded the clothes by tramping on them in the soapsuds. It is a custom com- 
mented on by many of the old travellers. R. M. 



CARLYLE: MASSEY: SHARPE 231 

Sunday especially, I might hope, what was itself a rarity with me, 
to find a companionable human acquaintance, not to say one of 
such quality as this. He would wander about the woods with 
me, looking on the Frith, and Fife Hills, on the Pentlands and 
Edinburgh Castls and City, nowhere was there such a view; 
perhaps he would walk most of the way back with me; quietly 
sparkling and chatting ; probably quizzing me in a kind way, if his 
Wife were with us, as sometimes happened. If I met him in 
the streets, in the Parliament House or accidentally anywhere, 
there ensued, unless he were engaged, a cheerful bit of talk and 
promenading. He frequently rode round by Comely Bank in 
returning home; and there I would see him, or hear something 
pleasant of him. He never rode but at a walk, and his little horse 
was steady as machinery : he on horseback, I on foot, was a 
frequent form of our dialogues. I suppose we must have dined 
sometimes at Craigcrook, or Moray Place, in this incipient period ; 
but don't recollect. Thomas Carlyle. 

Reminiscences. Professor Norton's edition. 

THE path runs down and peeps out in the lane Craigcrook 

That loiters on by fields of wheat and bean Cartl* 

Till the white-gleaming road winds city-ward. 

Afar, in floods of sunshine blending white, 

The City lieth in its quiet pride, 

With castled crown, looking on Towns and Shires, 

And Hills from which cloud-highlands climb the heavens : 

A happy thing in glory smiles the Firth ; 

Its flowing azure winding like an arm 

Around the warm waist of the yielding land. 

. . . And Morning like the birth of Beauty rose 

With sunny music up the sparkling heaven, 

While, at a rosy touch, the clouds that lay 

In sullen purples round the hills of Fife, 

Adown her pathway spread their cloaks of gold : 

The silvery-green-and-violet sheen o' the sea 

Changed into shifting opal tinct with gold : 

And like an Alchymist with furnace-face, 

The sun smiled on his perfect work, pure gold. 

Gerald Massey. 

C. Kirkpatrick Sharfe to Lady Gwydyr. 

DEAR MADAM, I should much sooner have troubled you with 
my best thanks for the honour of your last letter, and the excellent 
venison which you were so kind as to send me from Drummond 



232 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

Castle, had I not been watching the progress of an abomination at 
Holyrood house, which I intended to petition you about, had it 
proceeded as at first commenced. This was a huge heavy stone 
cornice, raised on the top of the old wall which forms the back 
part of the palace, in order to destroy the look of a French 
building, and the whole character of the court of K. Charles ad, 
which the abbey possesses. At sight of this, I began to skirl up 
the first outcry, and was joined by Sir Patrick Walker and one or 
two more. So, after a world of writing and scolding, the Barons 
of Exchequer and the King's wise architect have given way, and 
the cornice hath melted like snow off a dike. Had these stout 
worthies held out, I meant to have requested you to let his 
Majesty know what a hand they were making of his own mansion, 
expressly against his own oft-signified pleasure. 

The news you are so good as to communicate about Salisbury 
Crags are most delightful, and I can assure you that these rocks 
are in the very centre of his Majesty's park, and its principal 
beauty. King James the 6th made the Haddington family 
hereditary rangers of said park, but he certainly never intended 
that they should make it a quarry, under the very windows of his 
own palace. I hear that Lord Binning is very violent, and valiant, 
as to the rights of his papa, and perhaps may influence Lord 
Melville ; but if the King takes an interest in the matter, the thing 
is as good as done. And I think, dear madam, that by thus 
interposing to save these rough rocks, you have erected to yourself 
a much richer and nobler monument than could have been 
fashioned by Phidias out of the purest Parian marble. 

Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpc. 
Correspondence. 



C. Kirkpatrick Sharpe to the Editor of the ''Edinburgh 

Delenda est Carthago. ' [ 1 826. ] 

SIR, . . . Though I have lived to see, in the course of forty 
years, the old town lose much of its primitive features, from un- 
avoidable decay, from the rage for improvement, and the little less 
destructive element of fire ; though I have beheld Salisbury Craigs 
irretrievably injured, and the Gallon Hill utterly destroyed, yet 
never did I expect to witness such a bold attack as this upon the 
rock and Castle of Edinburgh. Surely our city projectors have 
forgot the adage of Drummond of Hawthornden, which should be 
remembered for more reasons than one: 'Les murailles et les 
fortresses sont au Roy personne ne peut abuser de son bien au 
prejudice de son souveraine.' . . . 



SHARPE: LADY GWYDYR 233 

Lady Gwydyr to C. Kirkpatrick Sharpe. 

([BRIGHTON] Wed. [Jan. 3, 1827].) 

HUZZA ! A rescue ! The Castle is saved. My answer arrived 
yesterday ; but I am desired to keep it private from what motive 
I cannot divine. But, dear Mr. Sharpe, let us not blab ; probably 
he does not wish to appear in those matters. I met Sir Geo. Clerk, 
who told me that Ld. Melville had arrived here yesterday, and 
that the improvements had received checkmate, as the Duke of 
Wellington w d not hear of them. But the King, in fact, had 
expressed himself so decidedly on the subject that it could not be 
done; his admiration for Edin r is so great that H.M. is determined 
to make the city his peculiar care. I am delighted. . . . 

C. Kirkpatrick Sharpe to Sir Walter Scott. 

Tuesday Night [1827]. 

MY DEAR SIR WALTER, I fear you will think me a worse plague 
than any bore that ever sprang in Egypt. But then consider how 
long I have presumed on your kindness without reproof; also, 
ingrained an antiquary and Scotchman I am. In a word, the 
danger of our Castle spoils my sleep. ' I repose as quietly as a 
mouse in a cat's ear ' ; and so I must disturb your comforts because 
I am uncomfortable myself a friendly reason. But to the point. 
I am sure that a word from you to a certain hero x would fix the 
affair as it should be ; there hath been penned a letter from the 
Provost to the Board, which is not yet answered. Now, if your 
undisputed verdict as to taste- and that is all that need be touched 
upon should reach the conqueror before the response is framed, 
we need be in no fear about the result ; so no time is to be lost. 
Pray, pray, kind sir, if you write at all, write directly. It seems 
Lord F. Somerset was the Goth who settled the affair originally 
with the late Provost, when the South (Sea) Scheme was in 
agitation two years ago, which plan, you know, was overthrown. It 
is like the Somerset family to favour such things, and the heads of 
all of them I ever knew would make admirable bulwarks ; only, I 
dare swear, Lord F. never thought twice of the matter for how 
can Londoners care for poor Edin. cits and their pitiful, remote 
Castle? . . . But you will say, Go flyte in Haddo's hole, where 
all the collie dogs in Edinr. dang doon the kirk yesterday ! And 
so I have done, casting the Castle and myself on your mercy, and 
being ever your obliged, faithful slave, 

C. K. S. 
1 The Duke of Wellington. 



234 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

Lady Gwydyr to C. Kirkpatrick Sharpc. 

[LONDON, May 31, 1827.] 

MY DEAR MR. SHARPE, I am in agony abt. the Castle. I have 
bored every Scot I have met, and they are all horrified ; but one 
of them will not move in its defence. Ld. Gower was so cold that 
I was shocked. This morng. I have written to Kinnoull and 
Rosebery. Gwdyr is willing to do anything, but he is not a man 
to put himself forward upon the business when so many ought. . . 
Pray tell me exactly what I am to do. In gt. haste, Yrs., 

C. S. D. GWYDYR. J 
Corrtspondtnte of Charles Kirkpalrick Sharpe. 

COURT HOUSE, POMFRET, 
April IS, 1828. 

MY DEAR MOTHER, . . . My Edinburgh expedition has given 
me so much to say that, unless I write off some of it before I come 
home, I shall talk you all to death, and be voted a bore in every 
house which I visit. I will commence with Jeffrey himself. . . . 
When absolutely quiescent, reading a paper, or hearing a conversa- 
tion in which he takes no interest, his countenance shows no 
indication whatever of intellectual superiority of any kind. But as 
soon as he is interested, and opens his eyes upon you, the change 
is like magic. There is a flash in his glance, a violent contortion 
in his frown, an exquisite humour in his sneer, and a sweetness and 
brilliancy in his smile, beyond anything that ever I witnessed. 
A person who had seen him in only one state would not know him 
if he saw him in another. For he has not, like Brougham, marked 
features which in all moods of mind remain unaltered. . . . He 
possesses considerable power of mimicry, and rarely tells a story 
without imitating several different accents. His familiar tone, his 
declamatory tone, and his pathetic tone are quite different things. 
Sometimes Scotch predominates in his pronunciation ; sometimes 
it is imperceptible. Sometimes his utterance is snappish and quick 
to the last degree ; sometimes it is remarkable for rotundity and 
mellowness. I can easily conceive that two people who had seen 
him on different days might dispute about him as the travellers in 
the fable disputed about the chameleon. . . . 

His house is magnificent. It is in Moray Place, the newest pile 
of buildings in the town, looking out to the Forth on one side, and 
to a green garden on the other. It is really equal to the houses 
in Grosvenor Square. Fine, however, as is the new quarter of 

1 Lady Gwydyr, eldest daughter of the third Duke of Ancaster, became, on 
the death of her brother, the fourth Duke, Baroness Willoughby de Eresby in 
her own right, and Hereditary Great Chamberlain of England. 



MACAULAY: THACKERAY: MOIR 235 

Edinburgh, I decidedly prefer the Old Town. There is nothing 
like it in the island. You have been there, but you have not seen 
the town : and no lady ever sees a town. It is only by walking on 
foot through all corners at all hours that cities can be really studied 
to good purpose. There is a new pillar to the memory of Lord 
Melville: very elegant, and very much better than the man deserved. 
His statue is at the top, with a wreath on the head very like a night- 
cap drawn over the eyes. It is impossible to look at it without 
being reminded of the fate which the original most richly merited. 1 

Lord Macaulay. 
From Life and Letters of Lord Macaulay. Sir George Trevelyan. 

' LATELY I saw that Melville column rising over Edinburgh; come, 
good men and true, don't you feel a little awkward and uneasy 
when you walk under it ? Who was this to stand in heroic places ? 
and is yon the man whom Scotchmen most delight to honour?' 1 

W. M. Thackeray. 
Roundabout Papers. 

TAKING my stick, I set out towards Edinburgh, as brave as a 
Highlander, in search of a journeyman's place. ... I found a 
place, on the very first day, to my heart's content, in by at the 
Grassmarket, where I stayed for the space of six calendar 
months. . . . The change from our own town, where every face 
was friendly, and where I could ken every man I saw by the cut 
of his coat at half a mile's distance, to the hum and bustle of the 
High Street, the tremendous cannons of the Castle, packed full of 
soldiers ready for war, and the filthy, ill-smelling atmosphere of the 
Cowgate, where I put up, was almost more than could be tholed 2 
by man of woman born. . . . To those, nevertheless, that take the 
world as they find it, there are pleasures in all situations ; nor was 
mine, bad though I allow it to be, entirely destitute of them ; for 
our workroom being at the top of the stairs, and the light of heaven 
coming down through skylights, three in number, we could, by 
putting out our heads, have a vizzy of the grand ancient building 
of George Heriot's Hospital, with the crowds of young laddies 
playing through the grass parks, with their bit brown coatees, and 

1 The statue of Henry Dundas, first Viscount Melville, stands high on its 
column over the city, in the centre of St. Andrew Square, Edinburgh, as does 
that of Nelson in London in Trafalgar Square. Dundas, born and educated in 
Edinburgh, held office all through the Tory administration of Lord North, was 
the colleague and adviser of Pitt, and from 1783 to 1806 was virtually King of 
Scotland, and must now be recognised as the central figure in the history of 
Scotland during that period. See quotation from Christopher North, page 211. 
R. M. 2 endured. 



236 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

shining leather caps, like a wheen puddocks, and all the sweet 
country out by Barrowmuirhead, and thereaway ; together with the 
Corstorphine Hills and the Braid Hills and the Pentland Hills 
and all the rest of the hills covered here and there with tufts of 
blooming whins, as yellow as the beaten gold spotted round about 
their bottoms with green trees and growing corn, but with tops as 
bare as a gaberlunzie's coat kepping the rowling clouds on their 
awful shoulders on cold and misty days ; and freckled over with 
the flowers of the purple heather, on which the shy moorfowl take 
a delight to fatten and fill their craps, through the cosy months 
of the blythe summer time. David Macbeth Moif ( , Deha , } 

Mansit Wauch. 

' TRACED like a map, the landscape lies 
In cultured beauty, stretching wide : 
Here Pentland's green acclivities, 
There ocean, with its swelling tide, 
There Arthur's Seat, and, gleaming through 
Thy southern wing, Dun Edin blue ! 
While in the Orient, Lammer's daughters, 
A distant giant range, are seen ; 
North Berwick Law with cone of green, 
And Bass amid the waters.' 

David Macbeth Moir ('Delta '). 

Jiy IN der tiefen Dammerung gingen wir heut nach dem Palaste, wo 

Konigin Maria gelebt und geliebt hat. . . . Der Kapelle daneben 
fehlt nun das Dach ; Gras und Epheu wachsen viel darin, und am 
zerbrochenen Altar wurde Maria zur Konigin von Schottland 
gekront. 1 Es ist da Alles zerbrochen, morsch, und der heitere 
Himmel scheint herein. Ich glaube, ich habe heut da den Anfang 
meiner Schottischen Symphonic gefunden.* Nun lebt wohl. 

Felix Mendelssohn. 
Die Familie Mendelssohn, Sebastian Hensel. 

Translation : 

We went to-day in the gathering twilight to the Palace, where 
Queen Mary lived and loved. . . . The chapel adjoining is now 
roofless, and is overgrown with grass and ivy, and the ruined Altar 
is where Mary Queen of Scots was crowned. 1 Everything is in ruins 
and mouldering, and the bright light of Heaven shines in. I 

1 Mary Queen of Scots was crowned at Stirling in 1543, before she went to 
France; but her marriage to Darnley in 1565, and her marriage to Bothwell 
in 1567, were both solemnised before this Altar at Holyrood Abbey. R. M. 



MENDELSSOHN: KLINGEMANN 237 

believe I have found the beginning of my Scottish Symphony there 
to-day. 1 Now Farewell ! 

WIR haben Dich gar liebgehabt Edimtrarg 

So lange wir mitten darinnen, T0 " ^i* 

Du hast uns gut und gern gelabt 
Zu Nutzen unserer Sinnen. 

Doch wurdest du endlich philistros 

Mit all Deinen Bildungsanstalten. 
Da wurden wir urplotzlich bos, 

Und liessen uns langer nicht halten. 

Und schauen Dich nun in weiter Fern 

In Duft und Nebelgewolke, 
Und haben Dich doch noch lieb u. gern 

Mit all Deinen gebildeten Volke. 8 

Karl Klingemann. 
Translation : 

Our hearts were full of love and praise Edinburgh 

Whilst with you we enjoyed from **** 

Genial hospitable ways, 

And found our minds employed. 

At length your pedantry and prose, 

Your worship of the Muse, 
Enraged us, and our gorges rose, 

We hastened our adieux. 

Now from afar we backward gaze 

Through mist and cloud and smoke, 
And once again we love and praise 

You, and your learned folk. 

FAREWEEL, Edinburgh, where happy we hae been, Fareweel, 

Fareweel, Edinburgh, Caledonia's Queen ! Edinburgh 

Auld Reekie, fare-ye-weel, and Reekie New beside, 

Ye 're like a chieftain grim and gray, wi' a young bonny bride. 

Fareweel, Edinburgh, and your trusty volunteers, 

Your Council, a' sae circumspect, your Provost without peers, 

1 The passage he then noted down was the first sixteen bars of the Intro- 
duction, which come at the end of the first movement, and may be said to form 
the text of the whole. R. M. 

8 One of the sets of doggerel verses attached to the sketches which 
Mendelssohn sent home to his parents during his tour in Scotland. Klingemann, 
Mendelssohn's friend, went the tour with him. The verses are given in a 
fascinating volume published in 1909 by Karl Klingemann, the son, containing 
the correspondence of his father and Felix Mendelssohn. R. M. 



238 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

The auld toun-guard, sae neat and trim, sae honest and sae sour, 
Aye stannin' near the auld St. Giles, that plays and tells the hour. 1 

Fareweel, Edinburgh, your philosophic men ; 

Your scribes that set you a' to richts, and wield the golden pen ; 

The Session-court, your thrang resort, big wigs and lang gowns a' ; 

An' if ye dinna keep the peace, it 's no for want o' law. 

Fareweel, Edinburgh, and a' your glittering wealth ; 

Your Bernard's Well, your Gallon Hill, where every breeze is 

health ; 

An' spite o' a' your fresh sea-gales, should ony chance to dee, 
It 's no for want o' recipe, the doctor, or the fee. 

Fareweel, Edinburgh, your hospitals and ha's, 

The rich man's friend, the Cross lang ken'd, auld Ports, and City 

wa's; 
The kirks that grace their honoured place, now peacefu' as they 

stand, 

Where'er they 're found, on Scottish ground, the bulwarks of the land. 
Fareweel, Edinburgh, your sons o' genius fine, 
That send your name on wings o' fame beyond the burnin' line ; 
A name that 's stood maist since the flood, and just when it 's forgot 
Your bard will be forgotten too, your ain Sir Walter Scott. 

Fareweel, Edinburgh, and a* your daughters fair ; 

Your Palace in the sheltered glen, your Castle in the air ; 

Your rocky brows, your grassy knowes, and eke your mountain 

bauld ; 

Were I to tell your beauties a', my tale would ne'er be tauld ; 
Fareweel, Edinburgh, whar happy we hae been ; 
Fareweel, Edinburgh, Caledonia's Queen ! 
Prosperity to Edinburgh wi' every risin' sun, 
An* blessin's be on Edinburgh till time his race has run ! 

Baroness Nairnc 
(born Carolina Olipbant, of Gask). 

1832 I NOW come back to this delightful and beautiful city. I thought 

that Bristol, taking in its heights and Clifton and its rocks and its 
river, was the finest city in the world ; but Edinburgh with its 
castle, its hills, its pretty little sea-port, conveniently detached from 
it, its vale of rich land lying all around, its lofty hills in the back 

1 Another version runs : 

'Your stately College stuffd wi' lear, your ranting High-Schule yard ; 
The jib, the lick, the roguish trick, the ghaists o' th' auld toun-guard.' 



NAIRNE: COBBETT : OSCAR BROWNING 239 

ground, its views across the Firth : I think little of its streets and 
its rows of fine houses, though all built of stone, and though every- 
thing in London and Bath is beggary to these ; I think nothing of 
Holyrood House; but I think a great deal of the fine and well- 
ordered streets of shops ; of the regularity which you perceive 
everywhere in the management of business ; and I think still more 
of the absence of all that foppishness, and that affectation of 
carelessness, and that insolent assumption of superiority, that you 
see in almost all the young men that you meet with in the fashion- 
able parts of the great towns in England. I was not disappointed ; 
for I expected to find Edinburgh the finest city in the kingdom. 
Conversations at Newcastle, and with many Scotch gentlemen for 
years past, had prepared me for this ; but still the reality has greatly 
surpassed every idea that I had formed about it. The/<?0/&, how- 
ever, still exceed the place ; here all is civility ; you do not meet 
with rudeness, or even with the want of a disposition to oblige, 
even in persons in the lowest state of life. A friend took me round 
the environs of the city : he had a turnpike ticket, received at the 
first gate which cleared five or six gates. It was sufficient for him 
to tell the future gate-keepers that he had it. When I saw that, I 
said to myself, ' Nota bene : gate-keepers take people's word in 
Scotland; a thing that I have not seen since I left Long Island? 

In this tour round the city we went by a very beautiful little 
country-house, at which Mr. Jeffrey, the Lord Advocate, lives. He 
did not do me the honour to attend my lectures, on account of ill- 
health, which cause I am very sorry for ; for it will require health 
and spirits, too, for him to buffet the storm that is about to spring 
up, unless his party be prepared to do a great many things of which 
they appear not as yet to have dreamed. In the course of this 
little tour I went to, and to the top of, the ancient Craigmillar 
Castle, which stands on a rock at about three miles from Edinburgh, 
and from which you see the castle and all the city of Edinburgh ; 
and you look across the Firth of Forth, and, beyond it, and over 
the county of Fife, and the Firth of Tay, see the Highlands 

nseup> ' ' ' William Cobbett,M. P. 

Tour in Scotland. 

I WAS a Liberal, even a Radical, as I am now, a great admirer of 
the Reform Bill of 1832, and I had the notion, how far correct I 
know not, that the Whigs who carried the Reform Bill of 1832 
were trained by Dugald Stewart at Edinburgh. 

Oscar Browning. 
Memories of Sixty Years. 



240 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

1834 MOST to be remembered, the incomparable loveliness of Edin- 

burgh. 

Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes. 
Notes of tour, contained in Introductory to Our Hundred Days in Europe. 

1838 THE day grew brightef and brighter, and at length the summits of 

the Pentland Hills betrayed themselves a noble range, as bold 
and lofty, but not quite so picturesque, as those of Malvern. Then 
stood out the precipitous rock of the Castle, as the lantern (at the 
vessel's stern) to light up the ancient city I was about to enter. 
And now, to the right, the Lion Couchant shewed his broad back 
all sharp and decided, against a bright blue sky. Rapidly, as 
the vehicle moved on, I wished for wings to perch upon the 
monster's head. There was Edinburgh ! which I had almost 
languished a full twenty long years to visit. The enthusiasm of 
boyhood seemed to possess me, as I thought of her Wallace, her 
Bruce, James the First and Fourth, and Mary ; of her Buchanan, 
Hume, and Robertson ; of her Adam Smith, Playfair, and Dugald 
Stewart; her Burns and her Scott. 'That, Sir, is the famous 
Roslyn Castle,' observed the guard, pointing to a short distance on 
the right. . . . Who that has read the Lay of the Last Minstrel 
would not long to see the 'glimmer of the dead men's mail' on the 
deserted pavement of its chapel? We had now cleared the last 
knoll of the Pentland Hills, and, accelerating our speed, quickly 
pounced down upon this Athens of the North. 

Whatever might have been my expectations of the first general 
appearance of this renowned City, a love of truth compels me to 
declare that they were greatly exceeded by a view of it. Our 
route of entrance was highly favourable for a gratifying impression. 
At a distance, and in front, skirting the northern division of the 
city, you discerned the blue waters of the Forth, sparkling in the 
sunbeam. To the right were Arthur's Seat and the Salisbury Craigs ; 
to the left, the precipitous and peering Castle ; while, on entering, 
you may be said to bisect the High Street, and to come down upon 
Waterloo Bridge, with a reach of street scenery on either side such 
as scarcely can be surpassed. On rolling over the South Bridge 
you look more than forty feet below, upon a street called the 
Cowgate, where the stream of a fruitful population may be 
said to be in full flow. A ravine, or broad cultivated fosse, once 
the North Loch, divides the Old Town from the New ; and from 
the period of the Jameses you enter on a sudden upon that of the 
Georges, of which the architecture is at once solid and proud, 
lofty and commanding. The Melville Column towers in the centre 



O. W. HOLMES: T. F. DIED IN 241 

of St. Andrew Square, over the tops of the houses of Princes Street, 
that most delightful of all sunny banks, composed of grey stone. 
Before you, is the magnificent Register House ; while, to the right, on 
the Calton Hill, are the public monuments of the illustrious dead. . . . 

On alighting at the Mail Coach Office, we soon made our 
acquaintance with a noddy, or a hackney coach ; and desired to be 
driven to the Royal Hotel, in Princes Street. It was entirely full ; 
when we drove on to Mackay's, in the same street, towards its 
western extremity. Here we were both comfortable and admirably 
situated. The afternoon was bright and beautiful ; and the whole 
city seemed to be encadred in a golden sunshine. Our first view 
of the opposite bank, or backs of the houses in High Street in the 
Old Town with the pinnacled summit of St. Giles's Church 
peeping above, naturally elicited expressions of surprise and delight. 
How lofty how old fashioned how mellowed in the grey tint of 
the sixteenth century ! What a contrast to the locality whence we 
surveyed it ! And then the Castle also immediately opposite how 
proudly it seemed to glory in its elevated situation ! What a 
history belonged to it. ... 

It was a fine mild cloudless evening. I threw up the sash, to 
gaze around me ; and to indulge a very natural train of reflections 
on the first evening of my visit to this celebrated city. The lights 
in the windows of the opposite bank of houses began to shew 
themselves by partial twinklings. The vast mass of stone was 
otherwise in deep shadow; presenting an uneven and most pic- 
turesque outline against a sky, which was getting brighter and 
brighter by a rising moon. That beauteous orb was two nights 
on the wane ; but her rising at the extreme left, towards the ocean, 
and moving on and high over the entire line of the High Street, 
had an indescribably soft and striking effect. The whole northern 
side of this elevated street was necessarily in a brown shadow; 
which, by contrast, approached to blackness. Meanwhile, the 
summit of the castle became tipt with the moon's silvery radiance, 
and presently one of its entire sides seemed to sleep in her soft 
and tranquil lustre. I had never before witnessed such a sight in 
the heart of a town. To add to the indelible impression made 
from this view, the clock struck nine, and the Evening Roll was 
heard from the castle-heights. For the first time, after a peace of 
twenty-one years, I heard the sounds of the drum and the fife now 
swelling in the breeze and now softened down by distance . . . 
but conveying to the listening ear and meditative mind emotions 
which are better felt than described. For nearly two hours was I 
contemplating the novel and interesting scene before me ; nor did 

Q 



242 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

the approach of midnight give a much keener edge to the air. I 

was now fairly in Scotland. . . . 

Rev. Thomas Frognall Dibdin. 1 

From A Bibliographical, Antiquarian, and Picturesque Tour in the 
Northern Counties of England and in Scotland, by the Reverend Thomas 
Frognall Dibdin, D.D., Chaplain in Ordinary to her Majesty. 1838. 

To Edinburgh QUEEN of fair cities Empress of the North 

How beautiful, beneath the summer sky, 
Dost thou, with all thy towers and turrets, lie ! 

Green hills look smilingly on thee ; the Forth 
In majesty reposes at thy feet 

Before thee swells the ocean ; while around 

Are woody heights, bold crags, and pastoral ground, 
Romantic villages, and villas neat. 

Centre of things so lovely ! not in vain 
Do I now gaze upon thee. Fancy's power 

Oft will unfold to me your charms again ; 
And the remembrance of this tranquil hour, 

Haply another fairy link shall be 

In the love-chain that binds my heart to thee ! 

A. M. A. 

Quoted in above Tour by the Reverend Thos. Frognall Dibdin, as 
' taken from an Edinburgh paper of which I have forgotten the title.' 

1839 FROM an early age I have felt a strong interest in Edinburgh, 

though attached to Edinburgh by no other ties than those which 
are common to me with multitudes ; that tie which attaches every 
man of Scottish blood to the ancient and renowned capital of our 
race ; that tie which attaches every student of history to the spot 
ennobled by so many great and memorable events ; that tie which 
attaches every traveller of taste to the most beautiful of British 
cities ; and that tie which attaches every lover of literature to a 
place which, since it has ceased to be the seat of empire, has derived 
from poetry, philosophy, and eloquence a far higher distinction 
than empire can bestow. 

Lord Macaulay. 
Speech delivered at Edinburgh election on 29th May, 1839. 

1 WELL,' cried Hampden, ' if I may be allowed an opinion, I can 
safely aver I know no quarters like Scotland. Edinburgh beyond 
anything or anywhere I was ever placed in.' 

1 The Rev. Dr. T. F. Dibdin was the younger brother of Charles Dibdin, 
author of the nautical songs, whose Tour is quoted on pages 178-179. R. M. 



MACAULAY: LEVER 243 

'Always after Dublin,' interposed Maurice, while a general 
chorus of voices re-echoed the sentiment. 

' You are certainly a strong majority,' said my friend, ' against 
me ; but still I recant not my original opinion. Edinburgh before 
the world. For a hospitality that never tires ; for pleasant fellows 
that improve every day of your acquaintance ; for pretty girls that 
make you long for a repeal of the canon about being only singly 
blessed, and lead you to long for a score of them ; Edinburgh, I 
say again, before the world.' 

Charles Lever. 
Charles G 1 Mallty. 



COMPARE Edinburgh and Florence. Edinburgh has owed less to 
climate, to soil, and to the fostering care of rulers than any capital, 
Protestant or Catholic. In all these respects, Florence has been 
singularly happy. Yet whoever knows, what Florence and Edin- 
burgh were in the generation preceding the Reformation, and 
what they are now, will acknowledge that some great cause has, 
during the last three centuries, operated to raise one part of 
European family, and to depress the other. 

Lord Macaulay. 
Critical and Historical Essays. 



ABOUT two o'clock on the morning of Thursday (ist of September), 1842 
the Royal Fleet anchored under the lee of Inchkeith. Before 
midnight, the Duke of Buccleuch, along with the Earl of Liverpool 
and Sir Robert Peel, had arrived at Granton, in expectation of 
tidings regarding the squadron, and remained throughout the 
night at the Pier Master's house. ... As the Royal yacht slowly 
approached Granton, her Majesty was seen on the deck conversing 
with Prince Albert, and occasionally very courteously with the 
officers of the ship. She was dressed in a black satin mantle, and 
a pink bonnet with white crape. She appeared to be in good 
health and spirits, conversing with all around her, and looked 
extremely well. At half-past eight o'clock, the Royal yacht 
approached Granton Pier, towed by the Black Eagle and Shear- 
water steamers ; in a few minutes the anchors were dropped ; the 
Duke of Buccleuch, Lord Liverpool, and Sir Robert Peel, shortly 
afterwards went on board the Royal yacht, and paid their ac- 
knowledgements to her Majesty and Prince Albert ; and prepara- 
tions for landing were immediately made. 

The first announcement of her Majesty's approach was made to 



244 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

the City by the firing of two guns from the Castle at half-past 
seven o'clock. It had been previously arranged, that whenever 
the Royal squadron hove in sight, a red flag should be displayed 
from Nelson's Monument, and that thereafter the guns should be 
fired. But, owing to some mismanagement or mistake, no flag 
had been provided. Although the guns at the Castle were loaded 
and the matches ready from day-break, yet, owing to the neglect at 
the Calton Hill, the preconcerted signal could not be given, and it 
was not until a gentleman, despatched by the Duke of Buccleuch 
from Granton, arrived on horseback at the Castle, that the intima- 
tion, which should have been given at a much earlier hour, was 
made to the inhabitants of the city. Immediately upon the guns 
being heard, the whole city was a scene of complete commotion. 
All the streets that led to the line, along which the procession was 
expected to pass, poured forth, as on the preceding day, a con- 
tinuous stream of people. Numbers also hastened to the Calton 
Hill, where they were gratified with a view of the Royal squadron 
majestically advancing from its anchorage. The road to Granton 
Pier, however, was the centre point to which the whole population 
tended; and it was, accordingly, almost choked up with a dense 
throng hurrying forward with anxious looks to catch a transient 
glimpse of the Royal train, while carriages of every description 
crowded the busy scene. The morning was gloomy and lower- 
ing. . . . The Queen was attired in a pale blue dress, with a pink 
satin cased bonnet, and a white lace shawl lined with pink. Her 
Majesty wore her hair braided. Prince Albert wore a large travel- 
ling cloak with red collar, and a white hat . . . 

The Duke of Buccleuch accompanied the Royal pair on horse- 
back. Mr. Sheriff Speirs rode in front of the Royal carriage, along 
with Captain J. D. G. Tulloch and other staff-officers, who assisted 
in clearing the way. . . . After the Royal party, followed a miscel- 
laneous crowd of carriages, filled with distinguished and undis- 
tinguished occupants, and all proceeding after the corftge in most 
admired disorder. . . . Sir Robert Peel wended his way towards 
the City very unpretendingly in an humble hackney, en route for 
Dalkeith Palace. Sir Robert had no slight difficulty in procuring 
the means of conveyance, as, on her Majesty's landing, not a 
carriage of any description could be obtained. ... At half-past 
nine o'clock, when her Majesty was passing the statue of George 
iv., in George Street, a Royal salute was fired from the Castle ; the 
Union flag, which had floated over its battlements since dawn of 
day, was at the same time lowered, and the Royal standard hoisted 
in its place. 



QUEEN VICTORIA'S VISIT 245 

Sir Neil Douglas, Commander of the Forces in Scotland, rode 
close to the Royal carriage, attended by several of the North 
British staff. The Royal Archers, the Queen's Body-Guard for 
Scotland, were on their march to meet her Majesty when the Royal 
carriage came in sight at Howard Place. They here drew up, and 
as the carriage passed they endeavoured to get close to it ; but the 
dragoons, ignorant of the high place as belonging to the Royal 
Company, pushed many of the gentlemen aside ; and Lord Elcho, 
the commander, having got inside the guard, was pressed against' 
the carriage by one of the dragoon's horses, by which his arrows 
were broken, and he was somewhat bruised. And here it may not 
be improper to mention, in justice to all the members of the Royal 
Archers, that they mustered at the Riding School, Lothian Road, 
fully equipped, so early in the morning as seven o'clock ; and their 
disappointment may be considered when, through no fault of theirs, 
but entirely in consequence of neglect on the part of some of the 
civic functionaries to give the proper signal from the Calton Hill, 
they were thus rendered so late in performing their duty to their 
Sovereign. This gallant corps continued afterwards incessant in 
attendance upon the Queen. . . . 

Her Majesty having landed at a earlier hour than was antici- 
pated, the City was taken entirely by surprise. In Inverleith Row, 
the first intimation of her Majesty's approach was given by some 
one or two persons running breathless with exertions to which staid 
sober citizens are not accustomed, to inform their friends that her 
Majesty was at hand. Still the seemingly interminable flood of 
human beings, of cabs, coaches, and omnibuses, rolled on ; and 
even after the tide had been turned by the potent influence of 
dragoons and policemen, a current continued to flow towards the 
point from which the Royal carriage was advancing at an easy 
ambling rate. But when at length the incredulity with which the 
news was first received was slowly converted, by the appearance of 
the military, into belief and conviction, a scene of ludicrous con- 
fusion ensued. Carriages of every description, and hundreds of 
the lieges on foot, hurried helter-skelter to the Barrier, which was 
deemed the greatest centre of attraction, next to the spectacle of 
her Majesty's landing at Granton. But, alas ! . . . The Magis- 
trates, expecting that the landing would not take place until two 
hours after the signal, were not at their post, and so there was no 
double or treble knock at the Barrier no inquiries from the civic 
authorities no demand for ' free ish and entry ' to the Queen no 
presentation of the silver keys no words of welcome for the 
Sovereign no gracious expression that the keys could not be 



246 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

entrusted to better keeping. The Barrier Gate stood invitingly 
open, and her Majesty passed onward unchecked in her progress, 
entering at once on one of the most magnificent approaches to the 
City, where the long avenue is crowned by the new Assembly Hall, 
over which, on this occasion, floated the Royal standard, forming 
the central point of a magnificent vista. . . . 

Her Majesty and Prince Albert, with their suite, left Dalkeith 
Palace about half-past ten o'clock on Saturday morning (3rd Sept- 
ember), escorted by a squadron of the Enniskillen Dragoons. The 
morning, though not brilliant, was fortunately fair ; and from an 
early hour the greatest possible bustle prevailed among the anxious 
crowds that hastened to occupy their places on the route by which 
her Majesty proposed to advance on her visit to the Metropolis, 
being determined to emulate the activity and punctuality of the 
Queen ; and besides the rural population, an immense multitude 
proceeded from the villages along the coast, to hail her on her 
approach. Having swept through the avenue of Dalkeith Palace, 
the Royal party proceeded amidst continuous acclamations, and at 
Parson's Green entered the Queen's Park about a quarter past 
eleven, where a dense crowd was assembled in the fields and on 
the adjoining heights, all manifesting, by their reiterated bursts of 
applause, the enthusiasm that animated their hearts. 

The Queen wore a dress of Royal tartan, with a large blue shawl, 
a white crape bonnet, and white ostrich feather. Prince Albert 
was plainly dressed in a brown coat. ... At length the intense 
desire of the multitude to behold their beloved Sovereign, and to 
welcome her with heartfelt greetings to the residence of her Royal 
ancestors, was fully gratified. About twenty minutes past eleven 
o'clock, the Royal carriage, drawn by four beautiful bays, and pre- 
ceded by a detachment of the Enniskillen Dragoons, approached 
the Palace Yard. ... A universal shout rent the air, the Craigs 
and Arthur's Seat resounding with a thousand echoes ; hats were 
uplifted, handkerchiefs were waved, and the expressions of enthusi- 
asm were literally boundless. . . . 

The Royal cortege then proceeded towards the Canongate. . . . 
At twenty-five minutes to twelve o'clock, the Queen's carriage . . . 
reached the Barrier ; and here a scene was presented which perhaps 
could not be equalled in any city in the world. Every person who 
has visited the Modern Athens knows its spacious High Street, 
with the lofty towering buildings which it contains. This street 
was filled in every part with such dense masses, that it required all 
the exertions of the civil and military force to keep the carriage- 
way clear, so eager were the crowds to get even a passing glimpse 



QUEEN VICTORIA'S VISIT 247 

of Royalty. The windows, galleries, etc., were also crowded, chiefly 
with ladies in gay attire. Even on the house-tops many of the 
more daring, though perhaps not more curious, of Queen Victoria's 
loyal subjects were visible. The shout of welcome which had 
begun at the Palace, and had continued, without intermission, as 
her Majesty advanced, swelled louder and louder, raised simul- 
taneously from many thousand lips ; the ladies waved their hand- 
kerchiefs incessantly ; and, in the general intoxication of delight, 
all control over their feelings seemed to be lost by the enthusiastic 
masses that greeted once more the presence of a beloved Sovereign 
in the metropolis of Scotland. . . . 

National Record of the Visit of Queen Victoria 
to Scotland in September, 1842. 

HEY, Jamie Forrest, are ye waukin' yet, A Reminls- 

And are yer Bailies snorin' yet ? cence of 1842 

If ye are waukin' I wud wit 

Ye 'd hae a merry, merry mornin'. 

The Queen she's come to Granton Pier, 
Nae Provost and nae Bailies here ; 
They 're in their beds, I muckle fear, 
Sae early in the mornin'. 

Hey, etc. 

The frigate guns they loud did roar, 
But louder did the Bailies snore, 
An' thocht it was an unco bore 
To rise sae early in the mornin'. 

Hey, etc. 

An' syne the Castle thundered lood, 
But kipper it is savoury food, 
An' that the Bailies understood, 
Sae early in the mornin'. 

Hey, etc. 

The Queen she 's come to Brandon Street, 
The Provost and the keys to meet, 
An' div ye think that she 's to wait 
Yer waukin' in the mornin' ? 

Hey, etc. 



248 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

My lord, my lord, the Queen is here, 
An' wow, my lord he lookit queer ; 
An' what sets her so soon asteer ? 
It 's barely nine in the mornin'. 
Hey, etc. 

Gae bring to me my robes of state, 
Come, Bailies, we will catch her yet. 
Rin, rin, my lord, ye 're ower late, 
She 's been through the toon this mornin'. 
Hey, etc. 

Awa' to Dalkeith ye maun hie, 
To mak' yer best apology. 
The Queen she '11 say, Oh fie ! oh fie ! 
Ye 're lazy loons in the mornin'. 
Hey, etc. 

1842 . . . ALBERT has told you already how successfully everything 

had gone off hitherto, and how much pleased we were with 
Edinburgh, which is an unique town in its way. 

H.M. Queen Victoria. 

Letter to the King of the Belgians, 1842, contained 
in Letters of Queen Victoria. 

HAWORTH./M// y>tk t 1850. 

1850 EDINBURGH compared to London is like a vivid page of history 

compared to a large dull treatise on political economy. 1 

. . . and who, indeed, that has once seen Edinburgh, with its 
couchant crag-lion, but must see it again in dreams, waking or 
sleeping ? My dear Sir, do not think I blaspheme when I tell you 
that your great London, as compared to Dun-Edin, 'mine own 
romantic town,' is as prose compared to poetry, or as a great 
rumbling, rambling, heavy epic compared to a lyric, brief, bright, 
clear, and vital as a flash of lightning. You have nothing like 
Scott's monument, or if you had that, and all the glories of archi- 
tecture assembled together, you have nothing like Arthur's Seat, 
and above all you have not the Scotch national character ; and it 
is that grand character after all which gives the land its true charm, 
its true greatness. 2 

September 5, 1850. 

The Queen, indeed, was right to climb Arthur's Seat with her 
husband and children. I shall not soon forget how I felt when, 
1 To Miss Laetitia Wheelwright. 2 To Mr. W. Smith \Villiams. 



CHARLOTTE B RO N T E : RU S K I N 249 

having reached its summit, we all sat down and looked over the 
city, towards the sea and Leith, and the Pentland Hills. No 
doubt you are proud of being a native of Scotland proud of your 
country, her capital, her children, and her literature. 1 

Charlotte Bronte. 
Life of Charlotte Bronte, by Mrs. Cask ell. 

I THINK myself peculiarly happy in being permitted to address the 1853 
citizens of Edinburgh on the subject of architecture, for it is one 
which, they cannot but feel, interests them nearly. Of all the 
cities in the British Islands, Edinburgh is the one which presents 
most advantages for the display of a noble building ; and which, 
on the other hand, sustains most injury in the erection of a 
commonplace or unworthy one. You are all proud of your city ; 
surely you must feel it a duty in some sort to justify your pride ; 
that is to say, to give yourselves a right to be proud of it. That 
you were born under the shadow of its two fantastic mountains, 
that you live where from your room windows you can trace the 
shores of its glittering Firth, are no rightful subjects of pride. 
You did not raise the mountains, nor shape the shores ; and the 
historical houses of your Canongate, and the broad battlements of 
your castle, reflect honour upon you only through your ancestors. 
Before you boast of your city, before even you venture to call it 
yours, ought you not scrupulously to weigh the exact share you 
have had in adding to it or adorning it, to calculate seriously the 
influence upon its aspect which the work of your own hands has 
exercised ? I do not say that, even when you regard your city in 
this scrupulous and testing spirit, you have not considerable 
grounds for exultation. As far as I am acquainted with modern 
architecture, I am aware of no streets which, in simplicity and 
manliness of style, or general breadth and brightness of effect, 
equal those of the New Town of Edinburgh. But your feelings 
of pleasure and pride in them are much complicated with those 
which are excited entirely by the surrounding scenery. As you 
walk up or down George Street, for instance, do you not look 
eagerly for every opening to the north and south, which lets in the 
lustre of the Firth of Forth, or the rugged outline of the Castle 
Rock ? Take away the sea waves, and the dark basalt, and I fear 
you would find little to interest you in George Street by itself. 
Now I remember a city, more nobly placed even than your 
Edinburgh, which, instead of the valley that you have now filled 
by lines of railroad, has a broad and rushing river of blue water 
1 To Mr. James Taylor. 



250 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

sweeping through the heart of it ; which, for the dark and solitary 
rock that bears your castle, has an amphitheatre of cliffs crested 
with cypresses and olive ; which, for the two masses of Arthur's 
Seat and the ranges of the Pentlands, has a chain of blue 
mountains higher than the haughtiest peaks of your Highlands ; 
and which, for your far-away Ben Ledi and Ben More, has the 
great central chain of the St. Gothard Alps : and yet, as you go 
out of the gates, and walk in the suburban streets of that city I 
mean Verona the eye never seeks to rest on that external scenery, 
however gorgeous; it does not look for the gaps between the 
houses, as you do here ; it may for a few moments follow the 
broken line of the great Alpine battlements ; but it is only where 
they form a background for other battlements, built by the hand 
of man. There is no necessity felt to dwell on the blue river or 
the burning hills. The heart and eye have enough to do in the 
streets of the city itself; they are contented there; nay, they 
sometimes turn from the natural scenery, as if too savage and 
solitary, to dwell with a deeper interest on the palace walls that 
cast their shade upon the streets, and the crowd of towers that rise 
out of that shadow into the depth of the sky. 

That is a city to be proud of, indeed ; and it is this kind of 
architectural dignity which you should aim at, in what you add to 
Edinburgh or rebuild in it. For remember, you must either help 
your scenery or destroy it ; whatever you do has an effect of one 
kind or the other; it is never indifferent. But, above all, 
remember that it is chiefly by private, not by public, effort that 
your city must be adorned. It does not matter how many 
beautiful public buildings you possess, if they are not supported 
by, and in harmony with, the private houses of the town. Neither 
the mind nor the eye will accept a new college, or a new hospital, 
or a new institution, for a city. It is the Canongate, and the 
Princes Street, and the High Street that are Edinburgh. . . . 

Well, but, you will answer, you cannot feel interested in archi- 
tecture : you do not care about it, and cannot care about it. I 
know you cannot. About such architecture as is built nowadays, 
no mortal ever did or could care. . . . Now, you all know the 
kind of window which you usually build in Edinburgh : . . . a massy 
lintel of a single stone, laid across from side to side, with bold 
square-cut paints in fact, the simplest form it is possible to build. 
It is by no means a bad form ; on the contrary, it is very manly 
and vigorous, and has a certain dignity in its utter refusal of orna- 
ment. But I cannot say it is entertaining. How many windows 
precisely of this form do you suppose there are in the New Town 



RUSKIN: TENNYSON 251 

of Edinburgh? I have not counted them all through the town, 
but I counted them this morning along this very Queen Street, in 
which your Hall is ; and on the one side of that street, 1 there are 
of these windows, absolutely similar to this example, and altogether 
devoid of any relief by decoration, six hundred and seventy-eight. 2 
And your decorations are just as monotonous as your simplicities. 
How many Corinthian and Doric columns do you think there are in 
your banks, and post offices, institutions, and I know not what else, 
one exactly like another ? and yet you expect to be interested ! . . . 
You will admit that there is neither romance nor comfort in 
waiting at your own or at any one else's door on a windy and 
rainy day, till the servant comes from the end of the house to open 
it. You all know the critical nature of that opening the drift of 
wind into the passage, the impossibility of putting down the 
umbrella at the proper moment without getting a cupful of water 
dropped down the back of your neck from the top of the door- 
way ; and you know how little these inconveniences are abated by 
the common Greek portico at the top of the steps. You know 
how the east wind blows through those unlucky couples of pillars, 
which are all that your architects find consistent with due observ- 
ance of the Doric order. Then, away with these absurdities ; and 
the next house you build, insist upon having the pure old Gothic 
porch, walled in on both sides, with its pointed arch entrance and 
gable roof above. Under that, you can put down your umbrella at 
your leisure, and, if you will, stop a moment to talk with your 
friend as you give him the parting shake of the hand. . . . 

John Ruskin. 
Lectures on Architecture and Painting,* 

WHAT more ? we took our last adieu, ' Tne Daisy,' 

And up the snowy Splueen drew, written at 

, . . Edinburgh 

But ere we reach d the highest summit 

I pluck'd a daisy, I gave it you. 

It told of England then to me, 
And now it tells of Italy. 

O love, we two shall go no longer 
To lands of summer across the sea ; 

1 Queen Street has only one side there are gardens on the other. 

2 Ruskin has included the continuations of Queen Street York Place and 
Picardy Place. And he does not include the windows which have mouldings, 
and thus gives the impression that all the windows are of this unadorned kind. 

3 The above lecture was delivered at the Philosophical Institution, Edinburgh, 
November i, 1853. 



252 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

So dear a life your arms enfold 
Whose crying is a cry for gold 

Yet here to-night in this dark city, 
When ill and weary, alone and cold, 

I found, tho 1 crush'd to hard and dry, 
This nurseling of another sky 

Still in the little book you lent me, 
And where you tenderly laid it by : 

And I forgot the clouded Forth, 
The gloom that saddens Heaven and Earth, 
The bitter east, the misty summer 

And gray metropolis of the North. 

Alfred Tennyson. 



WAS there ever another such city to live in as Edinburgh ? 

'And I forgot the clouded Forth, 
The gloom that saddens Heaven and Earth, 

The bitter east, the misty summer 
And gray metropolis of the North.' 

One regrets that this is all that our noble Laureate's experience of 
Edinburgh enabled him to say. The east winds do bite there fear- 
fully now and then, and blow a dust of unparalleled pungency in 
your eyes as you cross the North Bridge ; but, with that exception, 
what a city ! Gray ! why, it is gray, or gray and gold, or gray and 
gold and blue, or gray and gold and blue and green, or gray and 
gold and blue and green and purple, according as the heaven 
pleases, and you choose your ground ! But, take it when it is 
most sombrely gray, where is another such gray city? The 
irregular ridge of the Old Town, with its main street of lofty 
antique houses rising gradually from Holyrood up to the craggy 
Castle ; the chasm between the Old Town and the New, showing 
grassy slopes by day, and glittering supernaturally with lamps by 
night; the New Town itself, like a second city spilt out of the Old, 
fairly built of stone, and stretching downwards over new heights 
and hollows, with gardens intermixed, till it reaches the flats of the 
Forth ! Then Gallon Hill in the midst, confronted by the pre- 
cipitous curve of the Salisbury Crags ; Arthur Seat looking over all 
like a lion grimly keeping guard ; the wooded Corstorphines lying 
soft away to the west, and the larger Pentlands looming quiet in 
the southern distance ! Let the sky be as gray and heavy as the 
absence of the sun can make it, and where have natural situation 



MASSON:MRS. STOWE 253 

and the hand of man combined to exhibit such a mass of the city 
picturesque? And only let the sun strike out, and lo ! a burst of 
new glories in and around. The sky is then blue as sapphire over- 
head ; the waters of the Forth are clear to the broad sea ; the hills 
and the fields of Fife are distinctly visible from every northern 
street and window; still more distant peaks are discernible on either 
horizon ; and, as day goes down, the gables and pinnacles of the 
old houses blaze and glance with the radiance of the sunset. It is 
such a city that no one, however familiar with it, can walk out in 
its streets for but five minutes at any hour of the day or of the 
night, or in any state of the weather, without a new pleasure 
through the eye alone. Add to this the historical associations. 
Remember that this is the city of ancient Scottish royalty; that 
there is not a close or alley in the Old Town, and hardly a street 
in the New, that has not memories of the great or the quaint 
attached to it ; that the many generations of old Scottish life that 
have passed through it have left every stone of it, as it were, rich 
with legend. To an English poet all this might be indifferent ; 
but hear the Scottish poets : 

' Edina ! Scotia's darling seat ! 
All hail thy palaces and towers ! ' 

was the salutation of Burns, when first brought from his native 
Ayrshire to behold the Scottish capital. ' Mine own romantic 
town,' was the outburst of Scott, in that famous passage where, 
after describing Edinburgh as seen from the Braids, he makes even 
an English stranger beside himself with rapture at the sight. 

David Masson. 
Edinburgh Sketches and Memories. 

As the cars neared Edinburgh we all exclaimed at its beauty, so 1354 
worthily commemorated by Scott. . . . 

Edinburgh has had an effect on the literary history of the world 
for the last fifty years, that cannot be forgotten by anyone approach- 
ing her. The air seemed to be full of spirits of those who, no longer 
living, have woven a part of the thread of our existence. I do not 
know that the shortness of human life ever so oppressed me as it 
did on coming near to the city. . . . While we were passing the 
monument of Scott, I felt an oppressive melancholy. What a 
moment life seems in the presence of the noble dead ! What a 
momentary thing is art, in all its beauty ! Where are all these 
great souls that have created such an atmosphere of light about 
Edinburgh ? and how little a space was given them to live and to 
enjoy ! . . . 



254 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

We drove all over Edinburgh, up to the castle, to the university, 
to the hospitals, and through many of the principal streets, and 
shouts, and smiles, and greetings. Some boys amused me very 
much by their pertinacious attempts to keep up with the carriage. 
' Heck,' says one of them, ' that's Jur t see the courls.' 

Harriet Beecher Stowe. 
Sunny Memories. 

1854 EDINBURGH itself deserves all the praises which have been lavished 
upon it. The esplanade where I now sit is certainly the finest in 
Great Britain. The public buildings very splendid, and so are all 
the spires and churches, all of grey stone. The Castle is the centre 
of the city, and Arthur's Seat, with its basalt crags ; 800 feet 
high, ready to topple into the town. This afternoon I walked 
with F. Russell to the Corstorphine Hills, and got a noble view of 
the City, which there looked very like Oxford, with a huge Windsor 
Castle in the middle of it, and the Firth of Forth, with its islands 
and the Fifeshire Hills. Most beautiful, God knows, it was. The 

people very kindly. 

Rev. Charles Kingsley. 
Letters and Memories t vol. i. ' Letter to his Wife.' 

1855 Es war dichter Nebel, und ich sah die gewaltigen Hausermassen 
nur als Silhouette auf dem grauen Himmel. 

Abends ging ich auf der prachtvollen Princes Street umher und 
sah mir die glanzend erleuchteten Laden an. Ich kaufte vor 
Allem einen Hut und bestellte Visitenkarten. 

Heute, Freitag, bin ich von acht bis vier Uhr ununterbrochen 
herumgegangen urn Edimburgh anzusehen. Ich nahm Friedrich 
mit. Es ist wahr, dasz die schottische Hauptstadt unbedingt an 
Schonheit mit Neapel wetteifern kann, eine solche Mannigfaltigkeit 
von Meer und Land, Bergen und Thalern bietet die Umgegend 
dar. Aber wie schon auch die Erde, es fehlt der Himmel des 
Siidens, die klare, durchsichtige Luft, die warme Beleuchtung und 
mit ihr die Poesie der Landschaft. Es war Sonnenschein und 
doch Alles grau. 

Ich breche hier meinen Bericht ab, denn soeben, halb elf 
Abends, geht ein immediate telegraphic despatch ein, mit Bleistift 
geschrieben : ' The queen and prince wish you to come on to 
Balmoral immediately. Colonel Phepps.' Morgen friih acht Uhr 
reise ich ab, 150 miles to Aberdeen, dann posthorses 28 miles to 
Balmoral. Gute Nacht, du liebes, gutes Herz. 

Count von Moltke. 

From Brief e des General Feldmarsc halls Graf en Helmut h von Moltke 
an seine Braut und Fran. Letter dated 28th September 1855. 



KINGSLEY: MOLTKE: CRISPE 255 

Translation : 

There was a thick mist on my arrival, and I saw the great mass 
of houses only as a silhouette against the grey sky. 

In the evening I walked up and down magnificent Princes 
Street, and looked at the brilliantly lit up shops. First of all I 
bought a hat and ordered visiting-cards. 

To-day, Friday, I have gone about from eight till four o'clock 
without interruption in order to see Edinburgh. I took Frederick 
with me. 1 It is true that the Scottish capital can vie with Naples as 
to beauty ; the surroundings offer such a variety of sea and land, 
mountains and valleys. But however beautiful the land, the sky of 
the South is lacking here, the clear, transparent air, the warm light, 
and with it the poetry of landscape. There was sunshine, and yet 
all was grey. 

I here break off my report, for at this moment, half past ten at 
night, an immediate telegraphic despatch has arrived, written in 
pencil : ' The queen and prince wish you to come on to Balmoral 
immediately. Colonel Phepps.' I start early to-morrow morning, 
at eight o'clock, 150 miles to Aberdeen, then post-horses 28 miles 
to Balmoral. Good night, dear heart. 

HE was lecturing at the time in Edinburgh, and the wily Scot 1857 
had made a good bargain. The houses were crowded, the 
Northerners made money, and Thackeray was furious. Bell showed 
me a letter of discontent from him : it was laconic. It ran : 
' Dear Bell, I am in the hands of the Philistines. They have 
bought me for two hundred, and sold me for five. Yours, W. M. 
Thackeray.' 

T. E. Crispe, K.C. 
Recollections. 

Now, the Castle Rock of Edinburgh is, as far as I know, simply TO the Editor 
the noblest in Scotland conveniently approachable by any creatures of 'The 

but sea-gulls or peewits. Ailsa and the Bass are of course more I 71 *? ess '' 

i r i j T ^i TIT TT- , , September 

wonderful; and, I suppose, m the West Highlands there are 1357 

masses of crag more wild and fantastic ; but people only go to see 
these once or twice in their lives, while the Castle Rock has a 
daily influence in forming the taste, or kindling the imagination, 
of every promising youth in Edinburgh. Even irrespectively of 
its position, it is a mass of singular importance among the rocks 
of Scotland. It is not easy to find among your mountains a 'craig' 
of so definite a form, and on so magnificent a scale. Among the 

1 His servant. 



256 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

central hills of Scotland, from Ben Wyvis to the Lammermuirs, 
I know of none comparable to it ; while, besides being bold and 
vast, its bars of basalt are so nobly arranged, and form a series of 
curves at once so majestic and harmonious, from the turf at their 
base to the roots of the bastions, that, as long as your artists have 
that crag to study, I do not see that they need casts from Michael 
Angelo, or any one else, to teach them the laws of composition or 
the sources of sublimity. John Ruskin. 

PRINCES STREET is the grand promenade of the gay and fashion- 
able, the resort of young and old, of all who have nothing to do 
but to see and to be seen. Here are the fair ones of the Scottish 
metropolis, elegantly attired, the roses on their cheeks glowing with 
a deeper and lovelier tint from exposure to this bracing atmosphere. 
Here young fellows swagger along, with or without cigars, sporting 
moustaches, whiskers, and imperials, in every variety of shape, and 
in every stage of development. Here are Jews as well as Gentiles, 
of maturer years, with beards of patriarchal dimensions, suggesting 
the question whether, in the process of eating, they use pinafores 
for their chins. Occasionally a military officer in his regimentals, 
a dashing sergeant, or a brace of rank and file in Highland costume, 
more rarely the fez of a Turk, lends variety to the scene, while 
now and then the white cravat of some professional relieves the 
monotony of the black stock. Shops are here of every kind, dis- 
playing at their stately plate-glass windows, in forms the most 
alluring, all sorts of goods, wares, and merchandise drapers, 
goldsmiths, printsellers, milliners, and bazaarists, vying with each 
other in the beauty, the splendour, and attractiveness of the 
articles exhibited for sale ; dentists and photographists, not less 
eager to catch the public eye, displaying in glass cases the 
choicest specimens of their professional skill. But, besides the 
great saloons on a level with the pavement, or approached by a 
flight of steps, the sunk areas teem with small shops, where are 
vended a thousand useful and ornamental articles and nick-nacks, 
from a pin to a baby's dress or a cap for mamma; from a 
caoutchouc overcoat or air-cushion to a pair of gutta-percha feet- 
preservers; from a supple-jack or a wax doll to a miniature 
Laocoon, Venus, or Apollo. But the attractiveness of Princes 
Street is not due alone to its shops, nor to its hotels, or public 
offices, or splendid New Club-House. Its popularity, if I may so 
express it, as a promenade arises from a combination of causes. 
Extending in a straight line for nearly a mile from Register-House, 
on the east, to the beautiful Episcopal chapel of St. John's and 



RUSKIN: 'EDINBURGH DISSECTED' 257 

Hope Street, on the west, and almost on a dead level throughout, 
which is no small recommendation in a city so remarkable for the 
steepness of its streets; its spacious pavement; its fine southern 
exposure; and forming, as it does, the great connecting link, by 
means of the North Bridge and the Mound, with the Old Town, 
it should seem as if it had been expressly designed to be, what 
it is, the leading thoroughfare and rendezvous of Edinburgh. . . . 
But the crowning attractiveness of Princes Street to a stranger is to 
be found in the view which it commands of the Old Town, with 
its quaint and picturesque buildings, crowded together, and tower- 
ing to the skies, as if the aboriginal inhabitants had been prohibited 
from elsewhere erecting their domiciles ; the Waverley Monument, 1 
the buildings on the Mound, and, above all, the venerable Castle, 
each commanding its share of admiration ; not to speak of Calton 
Hill, by courtesy the Acropolis, with its graceful memorials to the 
great and good, which, as seen in walking from the west, appears 
to form the eastern terminus to the street. . . . 

What a charming privilege it is, when tired of perambulating the 
pavement, that one can vary the scene by a saunter or a seat in the 
gardens opposite, the eastern division of which, as mentioned in 
my first letter, is open to the public. Here are spacious terraces, 
with broad walks, and ample borders, planted with evergreens, 
herbaceous plants, and flowers; and grassy banks, sloping down 
to the bottom of the valley, which, as viewed from the terrace 
above, forms a picture of landscape and horticultural beauty sur- 
prising to behold in the very heart of a large city. Nor is this 
lovely landscape confined to the north side of the ravine. The 
southern slopes are not less embellished with every approved 
variety of evergreen and shrub ; and sequestered walks, too, are 
there, winding along the bank, and lined with trees, under whose 
shadowy shelter the wearied worker, whether with head or hand, 
in the warm summer evenings, may luxuriously recline ; or, if so 
disposed, he may indulge in the healthful and invigorating game 
of bowls, beautiful closely-shaven greens being here for the purpose. 
To think of all this innocent and instructive means of enjoyment 
being within reach of the poorest of the poor, subject only to one 
condition that the visitors conduct themselves properly, and 
keep on the walks is indeed matter for sincere gratulation ; and 
all thanks be to him with whom the happy idea originated of 
converting what before, I understand, was an unseemly morass, 
full of all uncleanness, into a scene of picturesque and varied 
beauty, upon which the most fastidious eye may gaze with pleasure. 
1 He means the Scott Monument. 
R 



258 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

From the success which has attended this salutory innovation on 
the exclusiveness of former days, it is to be hoped that the western 
division of the gardens will in like manner be thrown open to 
the public. 1 Edinburgh Dissected. 

IT would be strange to write about Edinburgh and take no notice 
of one of her most remarkable sons R. L. Stevenson. I had been 
his mother's bridesmaid, and I stayed with Mr. and Mrs. Stevenson 
in 1851, a year after they were married, in the house their baby 
was born in, 8 Howard Place, and a fractious little fellow he was ! 
though decidedly pretty, with his dark eyes and fair hair. This 
uncommon combination he inherited from his mother, from her 
also his light heart, which carried him bravely through the many 
years of delicacy that would have depressed most people into 
thorough invalidism. This was almost my first visit from home, 
and it was an intense interest to me to watch the development of 
my girl friend into a wife and mother, and to study the character 
of her grave scientific husband. He delighted in her livelier 
spirits, for, left to himself, life was ' full of sairiousness ' to him ; 
and had it not been for his strong sense of humour, which was 
a striking trait in his character, the Calvinism in which he had 
been brought up would have left its gloomy mark upon him. 

Among the pictures on the wall there was a fine engraving of 
David Hume, whose writings, in spite of his opinions, he greatly 
admired ; ' but,' he said, ' I shall take that down when the boy is 
old enough to notice it, for I should not like him to think Hume 
was one of my heroes.' He could not guess how far his son was 
to travel from the orthodox paths, and yet always to bear about 
him the indelible mark of the Shorter Catechism ! 

Mrs. Sellar. 
Recollections and Impressions. 

. . . HERIOT Row is still the same prosperous and dignified row of 
town houses that it was more than fifty years ago, when Mr. and 
Mrs. Stevenson went to live at No. 1 7 with their little seven-year- 

1 This has long since been done. The bowling-greens still exist on the 
southern side of the most easterly gardens. But the North British Railway line, 
which now runs through the entire valley, disfigures the gardens. The ' southern 
slopes,' on the further side of the railway further west, are ugly and neglected 
and deserted, and the 'sequestered walks' are muddy and ill-kept foot-paths 
among rank grass. But they command a gay and beautiful view of Princes 
Street and the Forth beyond, and they run along the very base of the Castle 
Rock, and lead through the ruins of the old Well House Tower ; and they 
might and surely one day may be made another source of pleasure and 
beauty in Edinburgh. R. M. 



MRS. SELLAR: FLORA MASSON 259 

old 'Smout.' It was, even then, half a century old, for it had 
been the earliest extension of the New Town, after the building 
of the three great streets Princes Street, George Street, and 
Queen Street on the northern slopes of the city towards the 
Firth of Forth, and it was the beginning of what was then called 
the 'Second New Town.' Queen Street, facing north, looks down 
on Heriot Row, and Heriot Row, facing south, looks up at Queen 
Street ; and between the two there is now a fine wide belt of public 
gardens, common to both. It is now in the centre of a city : roofs 
and spires and chimneys stretch away for miles, a blue-grey haze, 
in all directions. But Louis Stevenson's grandfather, the old 
minister of Colinton, liked to remember that he had played in 
the cornfields, and eaten strawberries and cream, on the very site 
of Heriot Row. Lord Cockburn and Jeffrey had stood in Queen 
Street on still nights and listened to the ' ceaseless, rural corncrake, 
nesting happily in the dewy grass.' . . . 

It is probable that Mr. Stevenson, with his delicate wife and 
child, chose his house for its southern exposure. To this day 
the pavement in front of Heriot Row is one of the sunniest walks 
in Edinburgh. No. 17 looks very much as it did when the 
Stevensons lived there; and it must be remembered that they 
lived there for thirty years, and that this was Louis Stevenson's 
home from childhood to manhood. The house was given up 
only after his father's death in 1887, when Louis Stevenson said 
goodbye to Edinburgh for the last time, and Mrs. Stevenson, 
shutting the door of her old home behind her, followed her son to 
the ends of the earth. 

There is the nursery window, looking out over the gardens 
to Queen Street above ! How often in those ' terrible long nights,' 
when the child could not sleep for coughing, has ' Gummy ' lifted 
him in her arms and carried him to that window to look out into 
the darkness, across the dark belt of gardens, at Queen Street, 
all dark too, save where here and there a little light shone out 
in some high-up window ; and ' they would tell each other ' that 
perhaps some other little helpless child was there, in its nurse's 
arms, waiting for morning and for the sounds of the carts 
coming in. 

Poor little idol ! This was your Temple ; you never had such 
another ! . . . 

What is called ' Edinburgh society ' never understood Louis 
Stevenson. It saw in him merely 'a queer lad in a velvet coat,' 
who let his hair grow uncomfortably long, disliked dinners and 
dances, was always alternating between Balzac and the Gospel 



260 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

according to St. Matthew, and made his father and mother 
wretched with his religious difficulties and his odd Bohemian ways. 
There were, of course, one or two exceptions. . . . 

Flora Masson. 

' Scottish Homes and Haunts of R. L. Stevenson,' 
Comkill Magazine , May 1911. 

1858 I NEVER have forgotten, and I never can forget, that I have the 

honour to be a burgess and guild-brother of the Corporation of 
Edinburgh. As long as sixteen or seventeen years ago, the first 
great public recognition and encouragement I ever received was 
bestowed on me in this generous and magnificent city in this city 
so distinguished in literature and so distinguished in the arts. You 
will readily believe that I have carried into the various countries I 
have since traversed, and through all my subsequent career, the proud 
and affectionate remembrance of that eventful epoch in my life ; 
and that coming back to Edinburgh is to me like coming home. 

Charles Dickens. 

Speech in acknowledgment of the presentation of a silver wassail cup l>y 
the Lord Provost of Edinburgh, when Dickens read his Christmas 
Carol to the Philosophical Institution, in the Music Hall, 1858. 

1860 IN the history of the University of Edinburgh we may clearly 

trace the national character of Scotland, we find there all that hardy 
energy, that gift of extracting much from little, and husbanding 
every available provision of supplying the defects of external 
appliances and means from within by the augmented effort and 
courage of man, that power to make an ungenial climate smile, and 
a hungry soil teem with all the bounties of Providence, which have 
given to Scotland a place and a name among men so far beyond 
what was due to her geographical extent or to her natural resources. 

Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone. 
Rectorial Address, Edinburgh University : 1860. 

1866 IN April 1866 there was great excitement in the Edinburgh 

University, as on the 29th, Carlyle whom the students had 
selected as their Lord Rector was coming down to give the 
accustomed speech on that occasion. . . . 

It was a sight I shall never forget, as the Chancellor and the 
Professors brought in the Lord Rector in his heavy robes, which, 
characteristically, he cast aside as soon as he began to speak, and 
stood before us, a world-famous man, in his plain everyday clothes. 
World-wearied he looked, as with weak voice he turned to address 



GLADSTONE: LORD ROSEBERY 261 

the students of the same University in which he himself had been 
a student fifty-six years before. Few but those beside him could 
have heard a word of the address ; but absolute silence reigned, 
as 'in soft earnest language, made picturesque by the form in 
which it was expressed, he proceeded to impress upon them the 
elementary duties of diligence, fidelity, and honest exertion in 
their present work as a preparation for their coming life.' But 
for this noble address one must go to his own published works. 
He wound up with Goethe's hymn, which he had called to Sterling 
' the marching music of the Teutonic nations,' and he finished with 
the words which, to the end, were so often upon his lips, Wir 
heissen euch hoffen. 

I think this was the most impressive scene I have ever witnessed : 
no one who was there could ever forget it, and it seemed burnt 
into one's memory, when ten days after one heard of his wife's 
tragically sudden death in London. 

Mrs. Sellar. 
Recollections and Impressions. 



ONE is constantly asked, ' What did Scotland give for all these 
benefits ? What did Scotland lose by the Union ? ' The question 
is enough to make Belhaven rise from his grave. She lost, except 
her Church only, all that she held most dear. She was very poor, 
and therefore intensely proud. She believed herself to be the 
equal of England in all but the fortuitous circumstances of climate 
and soil. She solaced herself in her troubles with the notion that 
she had given England her kings. The Union was passed, and 
the Scotch saw themselves, for the sake as they thought of some 
commercial advantages, which few understood and which the vast 
majority despised, reduced from a king-giving kingdom to a pro- 
vince without a Legislature ; with a haughty aristocracy ignored and 
deprived ; with a capital, inferior indeed in size to London or in 
refinement to Paris, but still famous and brilliant, shorn of its 
Court, its society, and its Parliament, descending to the level of a 
country town. And this is what Scotland lost. To us indeed 
these sacrifices may seem trivial. We can neither as subjects 
regret the Stuarts, nor as men of business the Scotch Legislature ; 
the aristocracy are no longer ignored ; and as for Edinburgh 
stripped of her Court, of her aristocracy, and her Estates, who 
shall say that we have not gloried in her ten times more since she 
lost those ornaments ; that had we to select the proudest period of 
Edinburgh's history, we should not choose the century that followed 



262 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

in preference to any that preceded the Union ? For a moment the 
dethroned beauty retired behind the veil, but only to reappear in 
the fairer attributes of renewed youth. During the splendid epoch 
which succeeded she sent forth perhaps more brave, more wise, ami 
more famous men than any other city in the world. Historians 
and lawyers, philosophers and statesmen, doctors and architects, 
soldiers and novelists, wits and economists, poets and rhetoricians 
all sprang from her fertile bosom. To one indeed she gave 
birth who was destined not merely to be the delight of every nation 
and every age, but to treble to his native country the benefits of 
the Union ; for while the treaty only bound England to Scotland, 
Scott united Scotland to the world. 

Lord Rosebery. 

From an Inaugural Address delivered at the Philosophical 
Institution, Edinburgh, 1871. 

YE lesser glories, in my spirit sleep I 

But proudly fling thy white arms to the sea, 
Queen of the unconquered North ! lo ! yonder deep, 

With all his subject waves, doth worship thee 1 
Stately thou sittest on thy mountain throne, 

Thy towers and temples like a cloudy sky ; 
And scarce canst tell what fabrics are thine own, 

Hung 'mid the air-built phantoms floating by. 
Oh ! ne'er may that bright diadem be shorn 
By thee, for many an age, majestically worn ! 

Nor dim and silent were thy regal halls 

(The mansion, now, of grief and solitude !) 
But mirth and music shook thy pictured walls, 

And Scotland's monarch reigned in Holy-Rood. 
Well did I know, 'mid banneret and peer, 

Star of the Stuart-line, accomplished James ! 
His graceful words I almost seemed to hear, 

As, lightly ranging 'mid those high-born dames, 
To each, in turn, some gallant wish he sighed, 
But lingered still near one, his ruin and his pride I 

Professor Wilson. 
The Magic Mirror. 

EVERY true Scotsman believes Edinburgh to be the most pictur- 
esque city in the world ; and truly, standing on the Gallon Hill at 
early morning, when the smoke of fires new-kindled hangs in azure 
swathes and veils about the Old Town which from that point 



WILSON: ALEXANDER SMITH 263 

resembles a huge lizard, the Castle its head, church-spires spikes 
upon its scaly back, creeping up from its lair beneath the Crags to 
look out on the morning world one is quite inclined to pardon 
the enthusiasm of the North Briton. The finest view from the 
interior is obtained from the corner of St. Andrew Street, looking 
west. Straight before you the Mound crosses the valley, bearing 
the white Academy buildings ; beyond, the Castle lifts, from grassy 
slopes and billows of summer foliage, its weather-stained towers 
and fortifications, the Half-Moon battery giving the folds of its 
standard to the wind. Living in Edinburgh there abides, above 
all things, a sense of its beauty. Hill, crag, castle, rock, blue 
stretch of sea, the picturesque ridge of the Old Town, the squares 
and terraces of the New these things seen once are not to be 
forgotten. The quick life of to-day sounding around the relics of 
antiquity, and overshadowed by the august traditions of a kingdom, 
makes residence in Edinburgh more impressive than residence in 
any other British city. I have just come in surely it never looked 
so fair before ? What a poem is that Princes Street ! The puppets 
of the busy, many-coloured hour move about on its pavement, 
while across the ravine Time has piled up the Old Town, ridge on 
ridge, gray as a rocky coast washed and worn by the foam of 
centuries ; peaked and jagged by gable and roof ; windowed from 
basement to cope ; the whole surmounted by St. Giles's airy crown. 
The New is there looking at the Old. Two Times are brought face 
to face, and are yet separated by a thousand years. Wonderful on 
winter nights, when the gully is filled with darkness, and out of it 
rises, against the sombre blue and the frosty stars, that mass and 
bulwark of gloom, pierced and quivering with innumerable lights. 
There is nothing in Europe to match that, I think. Could you but 
roll a river down the valley it would be sublime. Finer still, to 
place oneself near the Burns Monument and look toward the 
Castle. It is more astonishing than an Eastern dream. A city 
rises up before you painted by fire on night. High in air a bridge 
of lights leaps the chasm ; a few emerald lamps, like glow-worms, 
are moving silently about in the railway station below ; a solitary 
crimson one is at rest. That ridged and chimneyed bulk of black- 
ness, with splendour bursting out at every pore, is the wonderful 
Old Town, where Scottish history mainly transacted itself; while, 
opposite, the modern Princes Street is blazing throughout its 
length. During the day the Castle looks down upon the city as if 
out of another world ; stern with all its peacefulness, its garniture 
of trees, its slopes of grass. The rock is dingy enough in colour, 
but after a shower, its lichens laugh out greenly in the returning 



264 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

sun, while the rainbow is brightening on the lowering sky beyond 
How deep the shadow which the Castle throws at noon orcr t he- 
gardens at its feet where the children play! How grand when 
giant bulk and towery crown blacken against sunset ! Fair, too, 
the New Town sloping to the sea. From George Street, which 
crowns the ridge, the eye is led down sweeping streets of stately 
architecture to the villas and woods that fill the lower ground, and 
fringe the shore; to the bright azure belt of the Forth with its 
smoking steamer or its creeping sail ; and beyond, to the shores of 
Fife, soft blue, and flecked with fleeting shadows in the keen clear 
light of spring, dark purple in the summer heat, tarnished gold in 
the autumn haze; and farther away still, just distinguishable on the 
paler sky, the crest of some distant peak, carrying the imagination 
into the illimitable world. Residence in Edinburgh is an educa- 
tion in itself. Its beauty refines one like being in love. It is 
perennial, like a play of Shakespeare's. Nothing can stale its 
infinite variety. . . . 

Throned on crags, Edinburgh takes every eye ; and, not content 
with supremacy in beauty, she claims an intellectual supremacy 
also. She is a patrician amongst British cities, ' A penniless lass 
wi' a lang pedigree.' She has wit if she lacks wealth : she counts 
great men against millionaires. The success of the actor is inse- 
cure until thereunto Edinburgh has set her seal. The poet 
trembles before the Edinburgh critics. The singer respects the 
delicacy of the Edinburgh ear. Coarse London may roar with 
applause: fastidious Edinburgh sniffs disdain, and sneers reputa- 
tions away. London is the stomach of the empire Edinburgh the 
quick, subtle, far-darting brain. . . . 

Edinburgh is not only in point of beauty the first of British 
cities but, considering its population, the general tone of its 
society is more intellectual than that of any other. In no other 
city will you find so general an appreciation of books, art, music, 
and objects of antiquarian interest It is peculiarly free from the 
taint of the ledger and the counting-house. It is a Weimar without 
a Goethe Boston without its nasal twang. But it wants variety ; 
it is mainly a city of the professions. . . . 

On the intellectual man, living or working in Edinburgh, the 
light comes through the stained window of the past. To-day's 
event is not raw and brusque ; it comes draped in romantic colour, 
lined with ancient gules and or. And when he has done his six 
hours' work, he can take the noblest and most renovating exercise. 

Alexander Smith. 
A Summer in Stye. 



DR. JOHN BROWN: ALEX. SMITH 265 

WE cannot resist here recalling one Sunday evening in December Thackeray in 
when he was walking with two friends along the Dean Road, to the Edinburgh 
west of Edinburgh one of the noblest outlets to any city. It was 
a lovely evening, such a sunset as one never forgets ; a rich dark 
bar of cloud hovered over the sun, going down behind the High- 
land hills, lying bathed in amethystine bloom ; between this cloud 
and the hills there was a narrow slip of pure ether, of a tender 
cowslip colour, lucid, and as if it were the very body of heaven in 
its clearness, every object standing out as if etched upon the sky. 
The north-west end of Corstorphine Hill, with its trees and rocks, 
lay in the heart of this pure radiance, and there a wooden crane, 
used in the quarry below, was so placed as to assume the figure of 
a cross ; there it was, unmistakeable, lifted up against the crystal- 
line sky. All three gazed at it silently. As they gazed, he gave 
utterance in a tremulous, gentle, and rapid voice, to what all were 
feeling, in the word 4 Calvary ! ' 

The friends walked on in silence, and then turned to other 
things. All that evening he was very gentle and serious, speaking, 
as he seldom did, of divine things, of death of sin of eternity 
of salvation; expressing his simple faith in God and in his 

Saviour. 

Dr. John Brown. 
Horn Subseciva. Paper on Thackeray's death. 



EDINA, high in heaven wan, 
Towered, templed, Metropolitan, 

Waited upon by hills, 
River, and wide-spread ocean tinged 
By April light, or draped and fringed 

As April vapour wills, 
Thou hangest, like a Cyclops' dream, 
High in the shifting weather-gleam. 

Fair art thou when above thy head 
The mistless firmament is spread ; 

But when the twilight's screen 
Draws glimmering round thy towers and spires, 
And thy lone bridge, uncrowned by fires, 

Hangs in the dim ravine, 
Thou art a very Persian tale 
Oh, Mirza's vision, Bagdad's vale ! 



266 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

The spring-time stains with emerald 
Thy Castle's precipices bald ; 

Within thy streets and squares 
The sudden summer camps, and blows 
The plenteous chariot-shaken rose ; 

Or, lifting unawares 
My eyes from out thy central strife, 
Lo, far off, harvest-brazen Fife ! 

When, rain-drops gemming tree and plant, 
The rainbow is thy visitant, 

Lovely as on the moors ; 
When sunset flecks with loving ray 
Thy wilderness of gables grey, 

And hoary embrasures ; 

When great Sir Walter's moon-blanched shrine, 
Rich carved as Melrose, gleams divine, 

I know thee ; and I know thec too 
On winter nights, when, 'gainst the blue 

Thy high, gloom-wilder'd ridge 
Breaks in a thousand splendours ; lamps 
Gleam broadly in the valley damps ; 

Thy air-suspended bridge 
Shines stedfast ; and the modern street 
Looks on, star-fretted, loud with feet. 

Fair art thou, City, to the eye, 
But fairer to the memory : 

There is no place that breeds 
Not Venice, 'neath her mellow moons, 
When the sea-pulse of full lagoons 

Waves all her palace weeds 
Such wistful thoughts of far away, 
Of the eternal yesterday. 

Within thy high-piled Canongate 
The air is of another date ; 

All speaks of ancient time : 
Traces of gardens, dials, wells, 
Thy dizzy gables, oyster-shells 

Imbedded in the lime 
Thy shields above the doors of peers 
Are old as Mary Stuart's tears. 



ALEXANDER SMITH: STEVENSON 267 



Thou saw'st Montrose's passing face 
Shame-strike the gloating silk and lace, 

And jeering plumes that filled 
The balcony o'erhead ; with pride 
Thou saw'st Prince Charles bare-headed ride, 

While bagpipes round him shrilled, 
And far Culloden's smoky racks 
Hid scaffold craped, and bloody axe. 

What wine hast thou known brawl be-spilt ! 
What daggers ruddy to the hilt ! 

What stately minuets 
Walked slowly o'er thy oaken floors ! 
What hasty kisses at thy doors ! 

What banquetings and bets ! 
What talk, o'er man that lives and errs, 
Of double-chinned philosophers ! 

Great City, every morning I 
See thy wild fringes in the sky, 

Soft-blurr'd with smoky grace : 
Each evening note the blazing sun 
Flush luridly thy vapours dun 

A spire athwart his face : 
Each night I watch thy wondrous feast, 

Like some far city of the East. 

Alexander Smith. 
Last Leaves. 



FRAE nirly, nippin', Eas'lan' breeze, IUe Terrarum 

Frae Norlan' snaw, an' haar o' seas, 
Weel happit in your gairden trees, 

A bonny bit, 
Atween the muckle Pentland's knees 

Secure ye sit. 

Beeches an' aiks entwine their theek, 
An' firs, a stench, auld-farrant clique. 
A simmer day, your chimleys reek, 

Couthy and bien ; 
An' here an' there your windies keek 

Amang the green. 



268 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

A pickle plats an' paths an' posies, 
A wheen auld gillyflowers an' roses : 
A ring o' wa's the hale encloses 

Frae sheep or men : 
An' there the auld housie beeks an' dozes, 

A' by her lane. 

The gairdner crooks his weary back 

A' day in the pitaty-track, 

Or mebbe stops a while to crack 

Wi' Jane the cook, 
Or at some buss, worm-eaten-black, 

To gie a look. 

Frae the high hills the curlew ca's ; 
The sheep gang baaing by the wa's ; 
Or whiles a clan o' roosty craws 

Cangle thegither ; 
The wild bees seek the gairden raws, 

Weariet wi' heather. 

Or in the gloamin' douce an' grey 
The sweet-throat mavis tunes her lay ; 
The herd comes linkin' doun the brae; 

An' by degrees 
The muckle siller miine maks way 

Amang the trees. 

Here aft hae I, wi' sober heart, 
For meditation sat apairt, 
When orra loves or kittle art 

Perplexed my mind ; 
Here socht a balm for ilka smart 

O' humankind. 

Here aft, weel neukit by my lane, 
Wi' Horace, or perhaps Montaigne, 
The mornin' hours hae come an' gane 

Abu'ne my heid 
I wadna gi'en a chucky-stane 

For a' I 'd read. 



STEVENSON: G. W. SMALLEY 269 

But noo the auld city, street by street, 
A winter fu' o' snaw an' sleet, 
A while shut in my gangrel feet 

An' goavin' mettle ; 
Noo is the soopit ingle sweet, 

An' liltin' kettle. 

An' noo the winter winds complain ; 
Cauld lies the glaur in ilka lane ; 
On draigled hizzie, tautit wean 

An' drucken lads, 
In the mirk nicht, the winter rain 

Dribbles an' blads. 

Whan bugles frae the Castle rock, 
An' beaten drums wi' dowie shock, 
Wauken, at cauld-rife sax o'clock, 

My chitterin' frame, 
I mind me on the kintry cock, 

The kintry hame. 

I mind me on yon bonny bield ; 
An' Fancy traivels far afield 
To gaither a' that gairdens yield 

O' sun an' Simmer : 
To hearten up a dowie chield, 

Fancy 's the limmer ! 

Robert Louis Stevenson. 

... I MUST not say a word of the glorious scene that was about Mr. Gladstone 
us as we drove hurriedly from the Corn Exchange to the Waverley in Edinburgh 
Market, nor of the unmatched loveliness of Edinburgh on that in 1879 -*! 
evening ; with the full orb of the moon looking down on the count- 
less multitudes that filled the street ; on the Castle ; on the towering 
twelve-storied houses of the old town ; on the turreted roofs and 
pinnacles and spires and quaint gables and jutting windows from 
which sparkled innumerable lights ; or on any other of the myriad 
beauties which together make Edinburgh the most picturesque of 
European cities, even in its everyday dress. While we had been 
hearing Mr. Gladstone 4000 of us in the Exchange, a throng at 
least ten times as numerous was raging about Waverley Market. 

George W. Smalley. 
London Letters. 



270 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

. MEDITATIVE people will find a charm in a certain consonancy 
between the aspect of the city and its odd and stirring history. Few 
places, if any, offer a more barbaric display of contrasts to the eye. 
In the very midst stands one of the most satisfactory crags in 
nature a Bass Rock upon dry land, rooted in a garden, shaken by 
passing trains, carrying a crown of battlements and turrets, and 
describing its warlike shadow over the liveliest and brightest 
thoroughfare of the New Town. From these smoky beehives, ten 
stories high, the unwashed look down upon the open squares and 
gardens of the wealthy ; the gay people sunning themselves along 
Princes Street, with its mile of commercial all beflagged upon some 
great occasion, see, across a gardened valley set with statues, where 
the washings of the Old Town flutter in the breeze at its high 
windows. And then, upon all sides, what a clashing of architecture ! 
In this one valley, where the life of the town goes most busily 
forward, there may be seen, shown one above and behind another 
by the accidents of the ground, buildings in almost every style upon 
the globe. Egyptian and Greek temples, Venetian palaces and 
Gothic spires, are huddled one over another in a most admired dis- 
order ; while, above all, the brute mass of the Castle and the summit 
of Arthur's Seat look down upon these imitations with a becoming 
dignity, as the works of Nature may look down upon the monuments 
of Art, But Nature is a more indiscriminate patroness than we im- 
agine, and in no way frightened of a strong effect. The birds roost 
as willingly among the Corinthian capitals as in the crannies of the 
crag ; the same atmosphere and daylight clothe the eternal rock and 
yesterday's imitation portico; and as the soft northern sunlight 
throws out everything into a glorified distinctness or easterly mists, 
coming up with the blue evening, fuse all these incongruous 
features into one, and the lamps begin to glitter along the street, 
and faint lights to burn in the high windows across the valley the 
feeling grows upon you that this also is a piece of Nature in the 
most intimate sense; that this profusion of eccentricities, this 
dream in masonry and living rock, is not a drop-scene in a theatre, 
but a city in the world of every-day reality, connected by railway 
and telegraph-wire with all the capitals of Europe, and inhabited by 
citizens of the familiar type, who keep ledgers, and attend church, 
and have sold their immortal portion to a daily paper. 

Robert Louis Stevenson. 
Picturtsqut Notes. 



ANDERSON: MRS. OLIPHANT 271 

THOU city of my boyhood ere I dreamt Edinburgh 

My footsteps yet would be upon thy streets 

My thoughts were with thee, and thy name to me 

Was as a spell to waken up the great 

Who made thee great, and left behind the spell 

To draw the pilgrim. In my heart I heard 

The many voices speak that spoke to thee 

In the far past, and all their echoes rang 

From hill to hill of history. I became 

Familiar with thy face though never seen, 

And all my worship as a lover dreams, 

And pictures to himself some dear, sweet face 

To bend above his life was sweeter thus. 

Then in the pauses of my daily toil, 

In quiet moments when the village slept, 

I was with thee ; and in my nightly dreams 

I walked the storied pavement of thy streets ; 

And now I am a citizen of thine. 

Alexander Anderson ('The Surfaceman'). 

A Memorial Volume of Poems and Songs. 

THE old lawyer . . . got himself into his coat as he spoke, 
slowly, not without an effort. The sun was struggling through the 
mist as they went out again into the streets, and the mid-day gun 
from the Castle helped for a moment to disperse the haar, and show 
the noble cliff on which it rears its head aloft. Mr. Milnathort 
paused to look with tender pride along the line the houses and 
spires lifting out of the clouds, the sunshine breaking through, the 
crown of S. Giles's hovering like a visible sign of rank over the head 
of the throned city, awakened in him that keen pleasure and elation 
in the beauty of his native place which is nowhere more warmly 
felt than in Edinburgh. He waved his hand towards the Old Town 
in triumph. 

' You may have seen a great deal, but ye will never have seen 
anything finer than that,' he said. 

' I have seen very little,' said Walter; 'but everybody has heard 
of Edinburgh, so that it does not take one by surprise.' 

' Ay, that is very wisely said. If it took you by surprise, and you 
had never heard of it before, the world would just go daft over it. 
However, it is a drawback to a great reputation that ye never come 
near it with your mind clear.' 

Mrs. Oliphant. 
7%i? Wizard's Son. Macmillan's Magazine, vol. xlvii. 



272 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

The end of and in the g atherin g darkness we approach Edinburgh. 

a driving How long the way seemed on this last night of our driving! 

tour - The clear twilight slowly faded; and the over-arching heavens 

began to show faint throbbings of the stars. A pale yellow glow 
on the horizon told us where the lights of Edinburgh were afire. 
The road grew almost indistinguishable; but overhead the great 
worlds became more visible in the deep vault of blue. In a perfect 
silence we drove along the still highway, between the sombre 
hedges ; and clearer and more clear grew these white constellations, 
in the placid skies. What was my lady thinking of of Arthur, or 
her boys at Twickenham, or of long-forgotten days at Eastbourne 
as she looked up at all the wonders of the night ! There lay 
King Charles's Wain as we had often regarded it from a boat at sea, 
as we floated idly on the lapping waves. The jewels on Cassiopeia's 
chair glimmered faint and pale ; and all the brilliant stars of the 
Dragon's hide trembled in the dark. The one bright star of the 
Swan recalled many an evening in the olden times ; here, nearer at 
hand, Capella shone ; and yonder Cepheus looked over to the pole- 
star as from the distance of another universe. Somehow it seemed 
to us that under the vast and throbbing vault the sea ought to be 
lying around its cliffs ; but those were other masses we saw before 
us, where the crags of Arthur's Seat rose sharp and black into the 
sky. We ran in almost under the shadow of that silent bulk of 
hill. We drew nearer to the town ; and then we saw before us long 
and waving lines of flame the gas lamps of a mighty street. We 
left the majesty of the night outside, and were soon in the heart of 
the great city. Our journey was at an end. 

But when the horses had been consigned to their stables, and all 
arrangements made for their transference next day to London, we 
sat down at the window of a Princes Street hotel. The tables 
behind were inviting enough. Our evening meal had been ordered ; 
and at length the Lieutenant had the wish of his heart in procuring 
the Schaumwein with which to drink to the good health of our 
good horses that had brought us so far. But what in all the 
journey was there to equal the magic sight that lay before us as we 
turned to these big panes ? Beyond a gulf of blackness the old 
town of Edinburgh rose with a thousand points of fire into the 
clear sky of a summer night. The tall houses, with their eight or 
nine stories, had their innumerable windows ablaze ; and the points 
of orange light shone in the still blue shadow until they seemed to 
form part of some splendid and enchanted palace built on the 
slopes of a lofty hill. And then beyond that again we could see 
the great crags of the Castle looming dark ; and we knew, rather 



WILLIAM BLACK: CARNEGIE 273 

than saw, that there were walls and turrets up there, cold and 
distant, looking down on the yellow glare of the city beneath. 
What was Cologne with the coloured lamps of its steamers you 
see them cross the smooth waters of the Rhine when a full moon 
shines over the houses of Deutz or what was Prague with its 
countless spires piercing the starlight and its great bridge crossing 
over to the wooded heights of the Hradschin compared to this 
magnificent spectacle in the noblest city of the world ? The lights 
of the distant houses went out one by one. The streets became 
silent. Even the constellations grew paler ; but why was that ? A 
faint radiance, golden and soft, began to steal along the Castle-hill ; 
and the strange splendour touched the sharp slopes, the trees, and 
the great grey walls above, which were under the stars. 

' Oh, my dear,' says Tita, quite gently, to Bell, ' we have seen 
nothing like that, not even in your own country of the Lakes ! ' 

William Black. 
The Strange Adventures of a Phaeton. 

OUR route lay through Newington, that we might leave the young 1883 
artist at home. We tried to do it quietly, but our friend Mrs. H. 
was out and shaking hands with us ere we could drive off. Mr. 
Macgregor, of the Royal, had been mindful of us ; a grand sitting- 
room fronting on Princes Street and overlooking the gardens gave 
us the best possible view, the very choice spot of all this choice 
city. The night was beautiful, and the lights from the towering 
houses of the old town made an illumination, as it were, in honour 
of our arrival. That the travellers were delighted with Edinburgh, 
that it more than fulfilled all expectations, is to say but little ; and 
those who saw it for the first time felt it to be beyond all that they 
had imagined. Those of us who knew its picturesque charms were 
more than ever impressed with its superiority over all other cities. 
Take my word for it, my readers, there is no habitation of human 
beings in this world so fine in its way, and its way itself is fine, as 

this, the capital of Scotland. 

Andrew Carnegie. 
An American Four-in-Hand in Britain. 

. . . MY Lord Provost, you have alluded to the relations of my 1883 
family with this city. I am afraid those relations were closer in 
the seventeenth century than they are now, because my family at 
that time had the good fortune to live within your boundaries. . . . 
And, my Lord Provost, I have one further connection with Edin- 
burgh though that is a personal connection which is that I am, 
and shall be for a month or two longer, the Rector of its Uni- 

S 

S 



274 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

versity. . . . For the last fifteen years I have lived so much near 
this city and in this city, that I have got to feel myself to be a 
citizen of Edinburgh. The fact is that, as I now receive at your 
hands a formal acknowledgment of the fact, I become conscious 
of the circumstance that for the last fifteen years I have been an 
impostor. To-morrow I may have the true ring about me, but I 
am equally conscious that yesterday I was a wolf in sheep's 
clothing, mingling in your committees, promoting your objects, 
associated with your interests. . . . The faces round me are not 
strange ; they are faces of old friends. I could have found my 
way blindfold to-day along that road which I traversed from my 
home to this hall. I know every house and every tree upon it. 
Everything here is familiar. . . . My Lord Provost, it is said that 
enthusiasm is the privilege of youth ; as your youngest burgess I 
claim then the right to be enthusiastic, enthusiastic as long as life 
shall last, for the welfare and prosperity of the city of Edinburgh. 

Lord Rosebery. 

Speech on the occasion of his receiving the presentation of the Freedom of 
Edinburgh, July 21, 1883. 

Mr Gladstone A CROWD had found its way to the arrival platform ; a crowd 

in Edinburgh composed of the elect of Edinburgh ; her Lord Provost, her two 

in 1884 members, her Liberal managers, a few favoured ladies, and various 

representatives of municipal and political bodies. Not the least 

attempt had been made to decorate the place. Edinburgh, the 

most beautiful city in the north of Europe, delights to keep down 

the expectations of the arriving traveller, and prepares his mind 

for the splendour of her architecture and natural scenery by an 

approach through stations unsurpassed for meanness and discomfort 

and dirt. . . . 

The train which brought Mr. Gladstone reached Princes Street 
Station with that punctuality which distinguishes Scotch railways, 
forty minutes after the hour fixed. It was five o'clock. The 
crowd of respectabilities catching sight of the engine wreathed 
with evergreens and flowers, made its usual effort to get under the 
wheels, but were reminded by the few policemen present that 
Juggernaut is not an English fashion, and so with gentle violence 
were persuaded to stand back. A semicircular breathing space 
was left for Lord Rosebery, the Lord Provost, and other dignitaries. 
The train stopped cleverly with the door of Mr. Gladstone's saloon 
carriage just opposite this little group. Mr. Gladstone stepped 
out and the cheering broke loose. By the time Lord Rosebery's 
hand was in his, the greeting had been taken up outside, and the 



G. W. SMALLEY: J. M. BARRIE 275 

first notes of the multitude were mingling with the hurrahs of the 
interior. . . . 

And now, at last, we are to have a scene which equals or 
eclipses the most brilliant of those of 1879. It is half-past eight; 
Princes Street is a mass of Scotsmen. . . . The evening is sur- 
passingly beautiful. The full moon rides high in the cloudless, 
pale azure sky. The houses of the Old Town, climbing one above 
another on the swift slope beyond the ravine, their fronts un- 
touched by the moonlight, gaze across at the scene with eyes of 
fire. Every window is ablaze. The picturesque irregularity of 
that steep mass breaks in its restless outline against the delicate 
blue beyond. Steeples and domes rise out of the solid blackness. 
The very chimneys arrange themselves in fantastic groups so do 
the flying buttresses, or whatever they are, to the nondescript 
cathedral tower. Far below, the eye falls on the Doric colonnades 
and faultless proportions of that classic Edinburgh which Mr. 
Ruskin wants to pull down. Away to the west the Castle, stead- 
fast on its noble base of rock, admirable in its battlements and 
spite of its paltry barracks, thrusts its huge bulk into view. 
Princes Street opens for its whole length on the left to the gardens 
and the glen over against which the Old Town rises. Its single 
row of buildings, all hotels and stores and clubs, is so brilliant 
with light, its sleek shop-keeping prosperity so animated, its 
windows are so full of cheering spectators, that for once it almost 
rivals the incomparably finer and older city to the south. And 
Princes Street to-night has something more to show you. 

George W. Smalley. 
London Letters. 

. . . NEXT year he matriculated at Edinburgh, sharing one room 
with two others; studying through the night, and getting their bed 
when they rose. He was a failure in the classics, because they left 
you where you were, but in his third year he woke the logic class- 
room, and frightened the professor of moral philosophy. 

He was nearly rusticated for praying at a debating society for a 
divinity professor who was in the chair. 

' O Lord ! ' he cried, fervently, ' open his eyes, guide his tottering 
footsteps, and lead him from the paths of folly into those that are 
lovely and of good report, for lo ! his days are numbered, and the 
sickle has been sharpened, and the corn is not yet ripe for the 
cutting.' 

When Andrew graduated he was known as a student of mark. 

He returned to Wheens, before setting out for London, with a 
consciousness of his worth. 



276 



IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 



Clarrie rose to go, when she heard her name. The love-light 
was in her eyes, but Andrew did not open the door for her, for he 
was a Scotch graduate. Besides, she might one day be his wife. 

J. M. Barrie. 
Betttr Dead. 



Edinburgh 

University 
Chancellor 
Inglla 1 



I 'M pass'd, I 'm pass'd, 

And capp'd at last ; 
I 'm qualified and free now, 

On pasteboard neat, 

Or brass door-plate 
To write myself M.B. now. 

I'm full of joy, 

Without alloy, 
And my whole frame with pleasure tingles, 

For in gown and in hood, 

I Ve been capp'd by the good 
And magic hand of Chancellor Inglis ! 

How proud my mien 

When I hear the Dean 
Proclaim my name and nation ! 

How swells my heart 

When I play my part 
In this great graduation ! 

For there 's one with a pair 

Of blue eyes fair, 
Who from the rest my figure singles, 

And feels as if she 

Were a bit of me, 
When I am capped by Chancellor Inglis. 

How pleasant the tap 

Of the velvet cap, 
Which old tradition teaches 

Was made from the rear 

Of a half-used pair 
Of George Buchanan's breeches. 

I don't know well 

If in this tale 

1 The Right Honble. John Inglis, Lord Justice-General, and Chancellor of 
Edinburgh University. 



SIR DOUGLAS MACLAGAN 277 

The mythic with historic mingles, 

But the cap is a fact 

And so is the tact 
Of the erudite hand of Chancellor Inglis. 

I yet know not 

Upon what spot 
In practice I may settle, 

Or if folks will see, 

As they should in me, 
A man of sterling metal. 

But when the due 

Fees shall accrue, 
And the sovereign with the shilling jingles, 

Its pleasant little chime 

Will recall the time 
Of the magic touch of Chancellor Inglis. 

My future home 

May be in some 
Of England's rich domains now, 

Or in the North, 

Beyond the Forth, 
Among the mountain chains now ; 

Or it may by 

The Borders lie 
'Mong Johnstones, Elliots, Scotts and Pringles ; 

But wherever it be, 

I '11 teach them to see 
The worth of a man that was capped by Inglis. 

And who shall say 

But some fine day, 
When practice then increases, 

To my door there may come 

A neat little brougham 
And pair with smartish paces : 

And when folks spy 

My nags go by, 
Their collars, traces, reins, surcingles, 

They '11 say without doubt 

That 's a smart turn-out 
Of the man that was capped by Chancellor Inglis. 



278 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

And when I may 

On holiday, 
Enjoy release from duty, 

With a sweet little wife, 

The charm of my life, 
Admiring nature's beauty ; 

Then when we roam, 

Away from home, 
In sunny fields or bosky dingles, 

We '11 both of us know 

That the pleasure we owe 
To the magic touch of Chancellor Inglis. 

Now long may he 

Our Chancellor be ; 
Now let the glasses clatter 

To his health, and the fame 

Of the ancient dame 
That is our Alma Mater ; 

And as the Tay 

And mighty Spey 
Flow full streamed over rocks and shingles, 

Let the red wine now 

In rivers flow 
To the jolly good health of Chancellor Inglis. 

Sir Douglas Maclagan. 

1884 BUT, after all, the real and abiding strength of the University, 

alike in the past and in the present, has been and is the genius, the 
learning, and the devotedness of its professors. . . . But there is 
one essential characteristic of the Scottish University system which 
renders an increase in the number of students a necessary con- 
comitant of increase in the population and wealth of the country. 
Our students are drawn from the community at large. Our gates 
are freely opened to all classes and creeds and countries without 
distinction, the one qualification for admission being a healthy 
thirst for learning. The result has been, that our students are 
distinguished by a singularly manly and independent spirit. Early 
trained, many of them, in the school of adversity, or at least of 
poverty and thrift, unsparing in their assiduity to profit to the 
utmost by their University career, they bear with them into the 
world the natural fruits of both their home and their academical 
experiences, a stout heart and a well-trained mind, with such stores 



CHANCELLOR INGLIS: PROF. FLINT 279 

of knowledge as form the best foundation for the larger and more 
varied education which is the business of the whole after-life. 
The Scottish Universities have thus contributed largely to the 
formation and development of the national character; and this 
they have been able to do because they have formed, and acted 
on, a true conception of the relation of a University to the life of 
a nation. 

Once more I bid you all welcome. Welcome ! It is but a 
short word, and lacks force and emphasis when uttered by one 
feeble voice. But if you could hear the great voice of the 
University itself, of its 5000 graduates and 3000 students, you 
would better understand what our welcome means. No building 
can be found to contain them all. . . . 

Chancellor Inglis. 
Address at Tercentenary of Edinburgh University, 1884. 



WHAT has been contributed to the prosperity of the University by 1884 
patrons, protectors, and benefactors ; what measure of strength 
or renown it has received from achievements and distinctions of 
those who have filled its higher offices and its special chairs ; what 
literature, learning, science, philosophy, medicine, law, theology, 
owe to those who have taught in it or to those who have been 
trained in it ; what numbers have gone forth from it and what 
influence they have exerted ; how all bitter controversies within it are 
at length ended ; how its students have increased ; how its govern- 
ment has been widened ; these are things to which it would be 
unreasonable to do more in this place than simply refer, but they 
are among the things most appropriate for us to bear in mind, and 
things the contemplation of which may well deepen our sense of 
indebtedness to the wisdom and the goodness ever present, never 
failing, through the three hundred years of history which we com- 
memorate. . . . 

Obviously, one great reason why the University has grown and 
prospered is, that it has grown with the growth and participated in 
the prosperity of a life larger than its own. It has been received 
into and appropriated by the national life; and, placed here in 
this city at the very centre of that life, the organ has shared in the 
good fortune and well-being of the entire organism. . . . 

But is even this all ? Has the University lived only the life of 
Scotland ? Has it prospered only because it has been enriched 
with Scottish thought and sustained by Scottish energy? Nay. 
On the contrary, Scotland itself has lived and prospered only 



2 8o IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

because participant in a life larger than its own a life in which 
its Universities have specially served to connect it, the life which 
rules and works in universal humanity which binds together all 
generations and peoples which, during the last three hundred 
years, has been lifting up, not Scotland only, but all the nations of 
Europe into higher regions of thought, into a purer atmosphere of 
feeling, and marvellously revealing itself in the discoveries of 
science, in the development of art, in great social changes, in the 
increase of all kinds of knowledge, in the history of the human 
intellect and its ideas, of the human heart and its affections, of the 

human will and its energies. . . . 

Rev. Professor Flint. 

Sermon at St. Giles's Church on the occasion of the Tercentenary of the 
University of Edinburgh, 1884. 

1884 GENTLEMEN, the utter surprise with which this demonstration l fills 

me, and the embarrassment consequent upon it, must be my excuse 
for not attempting to do more adequately what, I am afraid, would 
in any case be done by me most imperfectly. I am usually accused 
of my writings being unintelligible. Let me, for once, attempt to 
be intelligible indeed, by saying that I feel thoroughly grateful to 
you for the kindness which, not only on this occasion, but during 
the last two or three days, I have experienced. I shall consider 
this, to the end of my life, one of the proudest days I have ever 
spent. The recognition you have given me, and all your kindness, 
I shall never forget. 

Robert Browning. 

Speech to the Edinburgh University students, at reception given by them 
to the guests at the University Tercentenary celebrations, April 1884. 

Lord THE first time I ever saw Lord Rosebery was in Edinburgh when 

Rosebery j was a stu( j ent) and I flung a clod of earth at him. He was a 
peer ; those were my politics. 

I missed him, and I have heard a good many journalists say 
since then that he is a difficult man to hit. . . . 

The ' Uncrowned King of Scotland ' is a title that has been made 
for Lord Rosebery, whose country has had faith in him from the 
beginning. . . . Such is the delight of the Scottish students in 

1 Mr. Browning was not amongst the speakers on the programme, and had 
stipulated that he should not be called on to make a speech, as he never did so. 
But at the end of all the speeches there was such an enthusiastic call for him, 
the hundreds of students filling the area of the large hall rising to a man, and 
shouting ' Browning ! Browning ! 'that he rose, and made the (as he said 
himself) one and only speech he had ever made in his life, in response to the 
enthusiasm and recognition of Edinburgh University undergraduates. R. M. 



BROWNING:]. M. BARRIE 281 

Lord Rosebery, that he may be said to have made the triumphal 
tour of the northern universities as their Lord Rector ; . . . His 
address to the Edinburgh undergraduates on ' Patriotism ' was the 
best thing he ever did outside politics, and made the students his 
for life. 

THOUGH a man might, to my mind, be better employed than in Professor 
going to college, it is his own fault if he does not strike on some Masson 
one there who sends his life off at a new angle. If, as I take it, 
the glory of a professor is to give elastic minds their proper bent r 
Masson is a name his country will retain a grip of. There are men 
who are good to think of, and as a rule we only know them from 
their books. Something of our pride in life would go with their 
fall. To have one such professor at a time is the most a university 
can hope of human nature, so Edinburgh need not expect another 
just yet. These, of course, are only to be taken as the reminis- 
cences of a student. I seem to remember everything Masson said, 
and the way he said it. 

LATELY I was told that Blackie one does not say Mr. Cromwell Professor 
is no longer Professor of Greek in Edinburgh University. What 
nonsense some people talk. As if Blackie were not part of the 
building ! . . . Did you ever watch him marching along Princes 
Street on a warm day, when every other person was broiling in the 
sun? His head is well thrown back, the staff, grasped in the 
middle, jerks back and forwards like a weaver's shuttle, and the 
plaid flies in the breeze. . . . Now, I believe, the Hellenic Club 
takes the place of the classroom. All the eminent persons in 
Edinburgh attend its meetings, and Blackie, the Athenian, is in 
the chair. The policeman in Douglas Crescent looks skeered when 
you ask him what takes place on these occasions. It is generally 
understood that toward the end of the meeting they agree to read 
Greek next time. 

CALDERWOOD contrives to get himself more in touch with the mass Professor 
of his students than some of his fellow professors, partly because Calderwood 
he puts a high ideal before himself, and to some extent because his 
subject is one that Scottish students revel in. Long before they 
join his class they know that they are moral philosophers ; indeed, 
they are sometimes surer of it before they enrol than afterwards. 
Their essays begin in some such fashion as this : ' In joining issue 
with Reid, I wish to take no unfair advantage of my antagonist ' ; 
or, ' Kant is sadly at fault when he says that ' ; or, ' It is strange 
that a man of Locke's attainments should have been blind to the 



Professor 

Tait 



Professor 
Fraser 



Professor 

Sellar 



282 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

fact.' When the Professor reads out these tit-bits to the class his 
eyes twinkle. . . . For purposes of exposition Calderwood has a 
bkckboard in his lecture-room, on which he chalks circles that 
represent the feelings and the will, with arrows shooting between 
them. In my class there was a boy, a very little boy, who had 
been a dux at school and was a dunce at college. He could not 
make moral philosophy out at all, but did his best. Here were his 
complete notes for one day : ' Edinburgh University, class of Moral 
Philosophy, Professor Calderwood, Lecture 64, Jan n, 18 . You 
rub out the arrow, and there is only the circle left.' 

NEVER, I think, can there have been a more superb demonstrator. 
I have his burly figure before me. The small twinkling eyes had a 
fascinating gleam in them ; he could concentrate them until they 
held the object looked at ; when they flashed round the room he 
seemed to have drawn a rapier. I have seen a man fall back in 
alarm under Tail's eyes, though there were a dozen benches 
between them. These eyes could be as merry as a boy's, though. 
... It comes as natural to his old students to say when they 
meet, ' What a lecturer Tait was ! ' as to Englishmen to joke about 
the bagpipes. 

I SEE him rising in a daze from his chair and putting his hands 
through his hair. ' Do I exist,' he said, thoughtfully, ' strictly so- 
called?' The students (if it was the beginning of the session) 
looked a little startled. This was a matter that had not previously 
disturbed them. Still, if the Professor was in doubt, there must be 
something in it. He began to argue it out, and an uncomfortable 
silence held the room in awe. If he did not exist, the chances 
were that they did not exist either. It was thus a personal ques- 
tion. The Professor glanced round slowly for an illustration. 
4 Am I a table ? ' A pained look travelled over the class. Was it 
just possible that they were all tables? . . . 

He would, I think, be a sorry creature who did not find some- 
thing to admire in Campbell Fraser. Metaphysics may not trouble 
you, as it troubles him, but you do not sit under the man without 
seeing his transparent honesty and feeling that he is genuine. In 
appearance and habit of thought he is an ideal philosopher, and his 
communings with himself have lifted him to a level of serenity that 
is worth struggling for. 

MR. JAMES PAYN, who never forgave the Scottish people for pull- 
ing down their blinds on Sundays, was annoyed by the halo they 
have woven around the name 'Professor.' He knew an Edin- 



J. M. BARRIE 283 

burgh lady who was scandalised because that mere poet, Alexander 
Smith, coolly addressed professors by their surnames. Mr. Payn 
might have known what it is to walk in the shadow of a Senatus 
Academicus, could he have met such specimens as Sellar, Fraser, 
Tait, and Sir Alexander Grant marching down the Bridges abreast. 
I have seen them : an inspiriting sight. The pavement only held 
three. You could have shaken hands with them from an upper 
window. . . . 

Who has thrilled as the student that with bumping heart 
strolls into Middlemass's to order his graduate's gown? He 
hires it five shillings but the photograph to follow makes it as 
good as his for life. Look at him, young ladies, as he struts to the 
Synod Hall to have M.A. tacked to his name. Dogs do not dare 
bark at him. His gait is springy ; in Princes Street he is as one 
who walks upstairs. Gone to me are those student days for ever, 
but I can still put a photograph before me of a ghost in gown and 
cape, the hair straggling under the cap as tobacco may straggle 
over the side of a tin when there is difficulty in squeezing down the 
lid. How well the little black jacket looks, how vividly the wearer 
remembers putting it on. He should have worn a dress-coat, but 
he had none. The little jacket resembled one with the tails off, 
and, as he artfully donned his gown, he backed against the wall so 
that no one might know. 

To turn up the light on old college days is not always the signal 
for the dance. You are back in the dusty little lodging, with its 
tattered sofa, its slippery tablecloth, the prim array of books, the 
picture of the death of Nelson, the peeling walls, the broken clock ; 
you are again in the quadrangle with him who has been dead this 
many a year. 

DURING the four winters another and I were in Edinburgh we Rev. waiter 
never entered any but Free Churches. This seems to have been c - Smith, D.D. 
less on account of a scorn for other denominations than because 
we never thought of them. We felt sorry for the ' men ' who knew 
no better than to claim to be on the side of Dr. Macgregor. Even 
our Free kirks were limited to two, St. George's and the Free 
High. After all, we must have been liberally minded beyond most 
of our fellows, for, as a rule, those who frequented one of these 
churches shook their heads at the other. It is said that Dr. Whyte 
and Dr. Smith have a great appreciation of each other. They, too, 
are liberally minded. . . . 

I met lately in London an Irishman who, when the conversation 
turned to Scotland, asked what Edinburgh was doing without Dr. 



284 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

Smith (who was in America at the time). He talked with such 
obvious knowledge of Dr. Smith's teaching, and with such affection 
for the man, that by and by we were surprised to hear that he had 
never heard him preach nor read a line of his works. He explained 
that he knew intimately two men who looked upon their Sundays 
in the Free High, and still more upon their private talks with the 
minister, as the turning-point in their lives. They were such fine 
fellows, and they were so sure that they owed their development to 
Dr. Smith, that to know the followers was to know something of 
the master. This it is to be a touchstone to young men. 

J. M. Barrie. 
AH Edinburgh Eleven. 

1886 IN spite of his extremely busy life, with its innumerable diocesan 

duties which naturally came first with him, he found time, or rather 
he made time for useful literary work of a different order, and when 
the Scottish History Society was formed in 1886 it is interesting 
to note what an active part he took in its formation. Indeed he 
had already discussed with the late Dr. T. Graves Law, Librarian 
of the Signet Library, the possibility of starting a society of a 
similar kind, when a letter from Lord Rosebery appeared in the 
Scotsman (February, 1 886), pointing out how useful a society would 
be which would give its attention to bringing out inedited matter 
of Scottish historical interest. My father took up the idea very 
warmly, and as Dr. Law said, ' generously offered to merge his own 
scheme in the broader one outlined by Lord Rosebery.' 

A Committee was then formed under the convenership of my 
father, and the Scottish History Society was started under the 
most favourable circumstances, with Lord Rosebery as its President, 
the late Professor David Masson as Chairman, and the late Dr. T. 
Graves Law, to whose indefatigable energy the Society owed so 
much, as honorary secretary. Its first meeting was held in the 
Theological College, Rosebery Crescent, and from the outset my 
father took the keenest interest in all its work and publications. 

Alice Dowden. 
Biographical Sketch of the Right Rev. John Dowden, Bishop of Edinburgh , 

appended to The Mediaeval Church in Scotland, by the Right Rev. John 

Dowden, D.D., LL.D., Bishop of Edinburgh. 

I DESIRED nothing better than to meet dear Marie alone, and also 
thought she would thus be more likely to come to me than if I 
went accompanied by another. And so I gathered my dress 
around me, and stepped reverently and solemnly over the graves 
of my husband's family, which occupy the centre of what was once 



COUNTESS OF CAITHNESS: VICTOR HUGO 285 

the nave, preferring this open space to the deeper shadows of the 
side aisles, which looked weird and awful in the darkness. 

It was an intensely dark night, and the brightness and brilliancy of 
the stars above only served to make the earthly darkness more visible. 

Never, never, I thought, could this once lovely chapel have 
looked more beautiful than it did at this moment ; instead of the 
peeling notes of the organ, sackbut, harp, lute, and dulcimer, and 
all the lovely instruments that once resounded through its many 
arches, it was now pervaded by a still more solemn silence"; 
instead of lighted torches and the innumerable wax tapers that 
once blazed upon its altars, it was now lighted alone by the stars 
of heaven, and these looked in upon me from all sides through each 
gothic window, and from the deep blue of the canopy that was 
my only roof, and their vast dwelling-place. 

Thus thinking, I reached the glorious eastern window where the 
high altar once stood, but which now looks down upon the green 
grass and a few broken stones. On one of these I knelt, and lifting 
up my eyes and my thoughts to heaven, prayed long and fervently for 
my sweet guardian, who had once, as she said, knelt on this very 
spot, decked in all the bravery of a bride, to plight her troth to the 
handsome Darnley. His gram now stood under the cloister close 
at my right hand, and that of the man he had made so celebrated, 
poor, murdered David Rizzio, I had passed near the entrance door. 

' Where are they all now ? ' I exclaimed aloud, and ' where are 
you, my own dear, ever beautiful, my precious Marie ? ' 

' Here, with you,' exclaimed a soft low voice at my side, and, as I 
turned, I beheld a faint and shadowy form, more like a cloud or a 
grey mist than a living being, but which gradually assumed a whiter 
and more tangible appearance. 

'You see, I have kept my word,' she continued, and from that 
moment she commenced and poured forth one of the most sublime 
and glorious addresses I have ever heard. . . . 

Countess of Caithness. 1 
A Midnight Visit to Holyrood. 

PALACE and ruin, bless thee evermore ! ' Hoiyrood 

Grateful we bow thy gloomy towers before ; Palace ' 

For the old Kings of France have found in thee 

That melancholy hospitality 

Which in their royal fortune's evil day 

Stewarts and Bourbons to each other pay. 

Victor Hugo. 

1 Marie, second wife of James Sinclair, F.R.S., fourteenth Earl of Caithness, 
1821-1881, and widow of General le Comte de Medina Pomar, and daughter of 
Don Jose de Mariategni. R. M. 



286 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

I WAS born within the walls of that dear city of Zeus, of which 
the lightest and (when he chooses) the tenderest singer of my 
generation sings so well. I was born likewise within the bounds 
of an earthly city, illustrious for her beauty, her tragic and 
picturesque associations, and for the credit of some of her brave 
sons. Writing as I do in a strange quarter of the world, and 
a late day of my age, I can still behold the profile of her towers 
and chimneys, and the long trail of her smoke against the sunset ; 
I can still hear those strains of martial music that she goes to bed 
with, ending each day, like an act of an opera, to the notes of 
bugles; still recall, with a grateful effort of memory, any one 
of a thousand beautiful and specious circumstances that pleased 
me, and that must have pleased any one, in my half-remembered 
past. It is the beautiful that I thus actively recall : the august 
airs of the castle on its rock, nocturnal passages of lights and trees, 
the sudden song of the blackbird in a suburban lane, rosy and 
dusky winter sunsets, the uninhabited splendours of the early 
dawn, the building up of the city on a misty day, house above 
house, spire above spire, until it was received into a sky of softly 
glowing clouds, and seemed to pass on and upwards, by fresh 
grades and rises, city beyond city, a New Jerusalem, bodily scaling 
heaven. . . . ROBERT Louis STEVENSON. 

Given in Graham Balfour's Lift of R. L. S. 



To all true Scotsmen, wherever their wanderings may have led 
them, Edinburgh will still be the centre of the Universe ; with the 
axletree sticking up visibly into space somewhere between the 
Castle and St. Giles Cathedral. 

John A. Ross. 
4 The Early Home of Robert L. Stevenson,' Good Words > 1895. 



OF all places for a view, this Calton Hill is perhaps the best ; 
since you can see the Castle, which you lose from the Castle, and 
Arthur's Seat, which you cannot see from Arthur's Seat. It is the 
place to stroll on one of those days of sunshine and east wind 
which are so common in our more than temperate summer. The 
breeze comes off the sea, with a little of the freshness, and that 
touch of chill, peculiar to the quarter, which is delightful to certain 
very ruddy organisations, and greatly the reverse to the majority 
of mankind. It brings with it a faint, floating haze, a cunning 
decolouriser, although not thick enough to obscure outlines near 



R. L. STEVENSON 287 

at hand. But the haze lies more thickly to windward at the far 
end of Musselburgh Bay ; and over the Links of Aberlady and 
Berwick Law and the hump of the Bass Rock it assumes the 
aspect of a bank of thin sea fog. 

Immediately underneath upon the south, you command the yards 
of the High School, and the towers and courts of the new jail a 
large place, castellated to the extent of folly, standing by itself on 
the edge of a steep cliff, and often joyfully hailed by tourists as the 
Castle. In the one, you may perhaps see female prisoners taking 
exercise like a string of nuns; in the other, schoolboys running at 
play and their shadows keeping step with them. From the bottom 
of the valley, a gigantic chimney rises almost to the level of the 
eye, a better and a shapelier edifice than Nelson's Monument. 
Look a little farther, and there is Holyrood Palace, with its Gothic 
frontal and ruined abbey, and the red sentry pacing smartly to and 
fro before the door like a mechanical figure in a panorama. By 
way of an outpost, you can single out the little peak-roofed lodge, 
over which Rizzio's murderers made their escape and where Queen 
Mary herself, according to gossip, bathed in white wine to enter- 
tain her loveliness. Behind and overhead, lie the Queen's Park, 
from Muschat's Cairn to Dumbiedykes, St. Margaret's Loch, and 
the long wall of Salisbury Crags ; and thence, by knoll and rocky 
bulwark and precipitous slope, the eye rises to the top of Arthur's 
Seat, a hill for magnitude, a mountain in virtue of its bold design. 
This upon your left. Upon the right, the roofs and spires of the 
Old Town climb one above another to where the citadel prints its 
broad bulk and jagged crown of bastions on the western sky. 
Perhaps it is now one in the afternoon ; and at the same instant 
of time, a ball rises to the summit of Nelson's flagstaff close at 
hand, and, far away, a puff of smoke followed by a report bursts 
from the half-moon battery at the Castle. This is the time- 
gun by which people set their watches, as far as the sea coast 
or in hill farms upon the Pentlands. To complete the view, 
the eye enfilades Princes Street, black with traffic, and has a 
broad look over the valley between the Old Town and the New : 
here, full of railway trains and stepped over by the high North 
Bridge upon its many columns, and there, green with trees and 
gardens. 

On the north, the Calton Hill is neither so abrupt in itself nor 
has it so exceptional an outlook ; and yet even" here it commands 
a striking prospect. A gulley separates it from the New Town. 
This is Greenside, where witches were burnt and tournaments held 
in former days. Down that almost precipitous bank, Bothwell 



288 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

launched his horse, and so first, as they say, attracted the bright 
eyes of Mary. It is now tesselated with sheets and blankets out to 
dry, and the sound of people beating carpets is rarely absent. 
Beyond all this, the suburbs run out to Leith ; Leith camps on the 
seaside with her forest of masts ; Leith roads are full of ships at 
anchor; the sun picks out the white pharos upon Inchkeith 
Island ; the Firth extends on either hand from the Ferry to the 
May ; the towns of Fifeshire sit, each in its bank of blowing smoke, 
along the opposite coast ; and the hills inclose the view, except to 
the farthest east, where the haze of the horizon rests upon the open 
sea. There lies the road to Norway : a dear road for Sir Patrick 
Spens and his Scots Lords ; and yonder smoke on the hither side 
of Largo Law is Aberdour, from whence they sailed to seek a 
queen for Scotland. 

' O, lang, lang may the ladies sit, 
Wi' their fans into their hand, 
Or ere they see Sir Patrick Spens 
Come sailing to the land ! ' 

The sight of the sea, even from a city, will bring thoughts of 
storm and sea disaster. The sailors' wives of Leith and the fisher- 
women of Cockenzie, not sitting languorously with fans, but crowd- 
ing to the tail of the harbour with a shawl about their ears, may 
still look vainly for brave Scotsmen who will return no more, or 
boats that have gone on their last fishing. Since Sir Patrick sailed 
from Aberdour, what a multitude have gone down in the North 
Sea ! Yonder is Auldhame, where the London smack went ashore 
and wreckers cut the rings from ladies' fingers ; and a few miles 
round Fife Ness is the fatal Inchcape, now a star of guidance ; and 
the lee shore to the east of the Inchcape, is that Forfarshire coast 
where Mucklebackit sorrowed for his son. 

These are the main features of the scene roughly sketched. 
How they are all tilted by the inclination of the ground, how each 
stands out in delicate relief against the rest, what manifold detail, 
and play of sun and shadow, animate and accentuate the picture, 
is a matter for a person on the spot, and turning swiftly on his 
heels, to grasp and bind together in one comprehensive look. It 
is the character of such a prospect, to be full of change and of 
things moving. The multiplicity embarrasses the eye ; and the 
mind, among so much, suffers itself to grow absorbed with single 
points. You remark a tree in a hedgerow, or follow a cart along a 
country road. You turn to the city, and see children, dwarfed by 
distance into pigmies, at play about suburban doorsteps ; you have 



R. L. STEVENSON 289 

a glimpse upon a thoroughfare where people are densely moving ; 
you note ridge after ridge of chimney-stacks running downhill one 
behind another, and church spires rising bravely from the sea of 
roofs. At one of the innumerable windows, you watch a figure 
moving ; on one of the multitude of roofs, you watch clambering 
chimney-sweeps. The wind takes a run and scatters the smoke ; 
bells are heard, far and near, faint and loud, to tell the hour ; or 
perhaps a bird goes dipping evenly over the housetops, like a gull 
across the waves. And here you are in the meantime, on this 
pastoral hillside, among nibbling sheep and looked upon by monu- 
mental buildings. 

Return thither on some clear, dark, moonless night, with a ring 
of frost in the air, and only a star or two set sparsedly in the vault 
of heaven ; and you will find a sight as stimulating as the hoariest 
summit of the Alps. The solitude seems perfect; the patient 
astronomer, flat on his back under the Observatory dome and 
spying heaven's secrets, is your only neighbour ; and yet from all 
round you there come up the dull hum of the city, the tramp of 
countless people marching out of time, the rattle of carriages and 
the continuous keen jingle of the tramway bells. An hour or so 
before, the gas was turned on ; lamplighters scoured the city ; in 
every house, from kitchen to attic, the windows kindled and 
gleamed forth into the dusk. And so now, although the town lies 
blue and darkling on her hills, innumerable spots of the bright 
element shine far and near along the pavements and upon the high 
facades. Moving lights of the railway pass and re-pass below the 
stationary lights upon the bridge. Lights burn in the Jail. Lights 
burn high up in the tall lands and on the Castle turrets, they burn 
low down in Greenside or along the Park. They run out one 
beyond the other into the dark country. They walk in a procession 
down to Leith, and shine singly far along Leith Pier. Thus, the 
plan of the city and her suburbs is mapped out upon the ground 
of blackness, as when a child pricks a drawing full of pinholes and 
exposes it before a candle ; not the darkest night of winter can 
conceal her high station and fanciful design ; every evening in the 
year she proceeds to illuminate herself in honour of her own 
beauty ; and as if to complete the scheme or rather as if some 
prodigal Pharaoh were beginning to extend it to the adjacent 
sea and country half way over to Fife, there is an outpost of 
light upon Inchkeith, and far to seaward, yet another on the 
May. 

And while you are looking, across upon the Castle Hill, the 
drums and bugles begin to recall the scattered garrison ; the air 

T 



290 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

thrills with the sound ; the bugles sing aloud ; and the last rising 
flourish mounts and melts into the darkness like a star : a martial 
swan-song, fitly rounding in the labours of the day. 

Robert Louis Stevenson. 
Picturesque Notes. 

IN the centre of the old town of Edinburgh stands the great church 
of St. Giles. From whatever point of view the city is looked at, 
the picturesque crown of the steeple is seen sharply outlined 
against the sky. Soaring aloft unlike every other spire in its 
neighbourhood, it seems like the spirit of old Scottish history 
keeping watch over the city that has grown up through the long 
years beneath its shadow. Edinburgh would not be Edinburgh 
without it. The exterior of the church itself is plain and unadorned, 
and it is evident that unsympathetic hands have been laid upon it 
and modernised it ; but when one enters the building, a vast and 
venerable interior is presented to him, and every stone seems to 
speak of the past. St. Giles is a church whose history is closely 
interwoven with the history of Scotland from the very earliest ages ; 
and it has been the scene of many remarkable events which have 
left their impress on our national character. . . . 

No church in Britain perhaps, if we except Westminster, is richer 
in historic association. Brave men have acted their part there ; 
brave words have been spoken there ; brave men lie buried there. 
It has been the home of all the shades of faith our country has seen 
Catholic, Presbyterian, Episcopalian, Independent, Bishop, Priest, 
Minister, stern Covenanter, wild Sectary, have each had their turn, 
and acted their part there. To guard that church carefully, and to 
maintain it as a cherished and venerated possession, will be the 
earnest desire of all who believe the past to be a mighty element 
in a nation's greatness. What a strange story its old gray crown, 
as it towers high above the city, tells out day by day to all who 
have ears to hear. It is the story of Scotland's poetry, romance, 
religion the story of her progress through cloud and sunshine, the 
story of her advance from barbarism to the culture and civilisation 
of the present day. 

' High, rugged rocks in frosty splendour shone. 
The hoary fields no vivid verdure wore, 
Frost wrapt the world, and beauty was no more ; 
Wild wasting winds that chilled the dreary day, 
And seemed to threaten Nature with decay, 
Reminded man, at every baleful breath, 
Of wintry age and all-subduing death.' 



CAMERON LEES: WILL OGILVIE 291 

From this dreary outlook the poet creeps back to his fireside, and 
finds consolation in the pages of his beloved Virgil. . . . l 

The Very Rev. Sir James Cameron Lees. 
The Church of St. Giles. 



I LEAVE the busy, crowded street Scotland's 

To step within your silent aisles, Shrine 

Where the dead hearts of centuries beat, 
Beneath your storied roof, St. Giles' ! 

Where choir and chapel void and vast 

Are filled with spirits of the Past ! 

In golden shafts and rainbow spears 

The light falls soft on oak and stone, 
So filters through nine hundred years 

The glory that is Scotland's own ; 
For these your sombre walls include 
Our country's pride of nation-hood ! 

The feet of heroes tread your pave 

While echo to their fame replies ; 
The voice of Knox still fills your nave ; 

Dead Stewart in your South Aisle lies ! 
Your roof and steeple once again 
Are rampart for Queen Mary's men ! 

The sound of trampling feet intrude 

A slow procession winds in state 
Out of the grey-towered Holyrood 

And up the mourning Canongate. 
'Tis great Montrose they carry home 
To his long rest beneath your dome ! 

Around me stand, Time's trusted fanes, 

The tributes to our later dead ; 
The triumph fadeth, there remains 

But grief the tears that Scotland shed ; 
And dark upon your splendid walls 
The stained old colours droop like palls ! 

1 The allusion is to Gavin Douglas, who, when Provost of St. Giles's, trans- 
lated Virgil's ^Lneid into the vernacular. The quotation is from one of his 
Prologues. 



292 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

Deep falls the early winter eve, 

And deeper grows the winding spell 
That old Romance will always weave 
Around the shrine we love so well ! 
Oh ! House of Heroes, proud, apart, 
How much you hold of Scotland's heart ! 

Will Ogilvie. 
The Land We Lovt. 

IN the year 1834, I spent several weeks in Edinburgh. I was 
fascinated by the singular beauties of that ' romantic town ' which 
Scott called his own, and which holds his memory, with that of 
Burns, as a most precious part of its inheritance. The castle with 
the precipitous rocky wall out of which it grows, the deep ravines 
with their bridges, pleasant Gallon Hill and memorable Holyrood 
Palace, the new town and the old town with their strange contrasts, 
and Arthur's Seat overlooking all, these varied and enchanting 
objects account for the fondness with which all who have once 
seen Edinburgh will always regard it. 

We were the guests 1 of Professor Alexander Crum Brown, a 
near relative of the late beloved and admired Dr. John Brown. 
Professor and Mrs. Crum Brown did everything to make our visit 
a pleasant one. We met at their house many of the best known 
and most distinguished people of Scotland. . . . 

On Friday, the 2 5th, I went to the hall of the university, where 
I was to receive the degree of LL.D. The ceremony was not 
unlike that at Cambridge, but had one peculiar feature : the 
separate special investment of the candidate with the hood, which 
Johnson defines as 'an ornamental fold which hangs down the 
back of a graduate.' There were great numbers of students 
present, and they showed the same exhuberance of spirits as 
that which had forced me to withdraw from the urgent calls at 
Cambridge. The cries, if possible, were still louder and more 
persistent ; they must have a speech and they would have a 
speech, and what could I do about it ? . . . My few remarks were 
well received, and quieted the shouting Ephesians of the warm- 
brained and warm-hearted northern university. 

In my previous visit to Edinburgh in 1834, I was fond of 
rambling along under Salisbury Crags, and climbing the sides of 
Arthur's Seat. I had neither time nor impulse for such walks 
during this visit, but in driving out to dine at Niddrie, the fine old 

1 The visit of which he is now writing'was in 1891. The visit of 1834 (see 
p. 240^ was a previous one. R. M. 



O. W. HOLMES: WILLIAM WINTER 293 

place now lived in by Mr. Barclay and his daughters, we passed 
under the crags and by the side of the great hill. I had never 
heard, or if I had I had forgotten, the name and the story of 
' Samson's Ribs.' These are the columnar masses of rock which 
form the face of Salisbury Crags. There is a legend that one day 
one of these pillars will fall and crush the greatest man that ever 
passes under them. It is said that a certain professor was always' 
very shy of 'Samson's Ribs,' for fear the prophecy might be ful- 
filled in his person. ... It seemed cruel to be forced to tear 
ourselves away from Edinburgh, where so much had been done to 
make us happy, where so much was left to see and enjoy. . . . 

Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes. 

Our Hundred Days in Europe. 

EDINBURGH, August 24, 1896. A bright blue sky, across which The Heart 
many masses of thin white cloud are borne swiftly on the cool of 
western wind, bends over the stately city, and all her miles of gray 
mansions and spacious, cleanly streets sparkle beneath it in a 
flood of summer sunshine. It is the Lord's Day, and most of the 
highways are deserted and quiet. From the top of the Calton Hill 
you look down upon hundreds of blue smoke-wreaths curling 
upward from the chimneys of the resting and restful town, and in 
every direction the prospect is one of opulence and peace. A 
thousand years of history are here crystallised within the circuit of 
a single glance, and while you gaze upon one of the grandest 
emblems that the world contains of a storied and romantic past, 
you behold likewise a living and resplendent pageant of the beauty 
of to-day. Nowhere else are the Past and the Present so lovingly 
blended. There, in the centre, towers the great crown of St. Giles. 
Hard by are the quaint slopes of the Canongate teeming with 
illustrious, or picturesque, or terrible figures of Long Ago. Yonder 
the glorious Castle Crag looks steadfastly westward its manifold, 
wonderful colours continuously changing in the changeful daylight. 
Down in the valley Holyrood, haunted by a myriad of memories 
and by one resplendent face and entrancing presence, nestles at 
the foot of the giant Salisbury Crag ; while the dark, rivened peak 
of Arthur's Seat rears itself supremely over the whole stupendous 
scene. Southward and westward, in the distance, extends the bleak 
range of the Pentland Hills ; eastward the cone of Berwick Law 
and the desolate Bass Rock seem to cleave the sea; and north- 
ward, beyond the glistening crystal of the Forth, with the white 
lines of embattled Inchkeith like a diamond on its bosom, the 
lovely Lomonds, the virginal mountain breasts of Fife, are bared 



294 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 
to the kiss of heaven. It is such a picture as words can but faintly 
suggest j but when you look upon it you readily comprehend the 
pride and the passion with which a Scotsman loves his native 
land. . . . 

Hundreds of travellers visit Edinburgh ; but it is one thing to 
visit and another thing to see ; and every suggestion, surely, is of 
value that helps to clarify our vision. This capital is not learned 
by driving about it in a cab ; for Edinburgh to be truly seen and 
comprehended must be seen and comprehended as an exponent of 
the colossal individuality of the Scottish character ; and therefore it 
must be observed with thought. Here is no echo and no imitation. 
Many another provincial city of Britain is a miniature copy of 
London ; but the quality of Edinburgh is her own . . . there is 
no audience more quick than the Scottish audience to respond 
either to pathos or to mirth ; there is no literature in the world so 
musically, tenderly, and weirdly poetical as the Scottish literature ; 
there is no place on earth where the imaginative instinct of the 
national mind has resisted, as it has resisted in Scotland, the 
encroachment of utility upon the domain of romance ; there is no 
people whose history has excelled that of Scotland in the display 
of heroic, intellectual, and moral purpose, combined with pas- 
sionate sensibility ; and no city could surpass the physical fact of 
Edinburgh as a manifestation of broad ideas, unstinted opulence, 
and grim and rugged grandeur. Whichever way you turn, and 
whatever object you behold, that consciousness is always present 
to your thought the consciousness of a race of beings intensely 
original, individual, passionate, authoritative, and magnificent. 

William Winter. 
Gray Days and CeU. 

... ITS quaint, grey, castled city, where the bells clash of a 
Sunday, and the wind squalls, and the salt showers fly and beat. 
I do not even know that I desire to live there ; but let me hear, in 
some far land, a kindred voice sing out, ' O why left I my hame ? ' 
and it seems at once as if no beauty under the kind heavens, no 
society of the wise and good, can repay me for my absence from 
my country. And though I think I would rather die elsewhere, 
yet in my heart of hearts I long to be buried among good Scots 
clods. I will say it fairly, it grows on me with every year : there 
are no stars so lovely as Edinburgh street-lamps. When I forget 
thee, Auld Reekie, may my right hand forget its cunning ! 

Robert Louis Stevenson. 
Tht Scot Abroad. 



HIS MAJESTY KING EDWARD 295 

SNOW on the Ochils and sun on the snow Edinburgh in 

Ha, my brave Winter, if you can bestow Winter 

Out of your penury treasures like these, 
Never grudge Summer her blossoms and bees ! 

Gardens in glory and balm in the breeze 
Ah, pretty Summer, e'en boast as you please ! 
Sweet are your gifts ; but to Winter we owe 
Snow on the Ochils and sun on the snow. 

Henry Johnstone. ' 

' ON behalf of myself and the Queen, I thank you sincerely for 
your dutiful Address, and I am deeply gratified by the loyal mani- 
festations of welcome which have greeted my arrival in the Capital 
of my ancient Kingdom of Scotland. 

' It is particularly agreeable to me to receive you in this historic 
Palace of Holyrood House. ... I shall always have at heart the 
welfare and interests of my good City of Edinburgh. . . .' 

His Majesty King Edward. 

Reply to an Address of Welcome from the Lord Provost, Magistrates, and 
Council of Edinburgh, on the occasion of the state visit of King Edward 
and Queen Alexandra in May 1903. From the Minutes of the Town 
Council of Edinburgh. 



IT is natural to begin a book about Scotland with Edinburgh ; 
for not only is Edinburgh the capital of the ancient kingdom 
which never gave up its independence, but its history is the history 
of Scotland. Glasgow may now have a greater population and 
may be the centre of a larger commerce and a more conspicuous 
art, but for centuries Edinburgh has been the brain, the heart of 
Scotland, the pivot round which all its history turned. ' Yonder 
stands Auld Reekie,' says Adam Woodcock to Roland Graeme as 
the two approach the city from Melrose ; ' you may see the smoke 
hover over her at twenty miles' distance, as the gosshawk hangs 
over a plump of young wild ducks. Ay, yonder is the heart of 
Scotland, and each throb that she gives is felt from the edge of 
the Solway to Duncan's-bay head.' 

It may be that this is not so true now as it was in the days 
of Queen Mary, for the union of the crowns in 1603 took the 
sovereign to London, and the union of the countries in 1707 took 
the Scottish Parliament to the same all-devouring centre. Yet 
none can view the matchless beauty of the city, surrounded by a 



296 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

wreath of hill and wood and sea, and blue mountains in the distance, 
and the nearer dull-grey stone towers and gables breaking the 
sky-line with ever-varied effect, without a sense of glamour and 
exaltation. And none can pace the ancient streets, on every foot 
of which some incident of history has been enacted, or look on 
the ancient buildings, of each of which some story of romance is 
told, or even gaze on the stately modern streets which surround 
the old Heart of Midlothian, without a feeling that this is indeed 
a royal city, the true capital of a freedom-loving people. . . . 

And this brings us down to the generation of men now living, 
and to the Edinburgh of the twentieth century. From that early 
British fortress perched upon its towering crag and hemmed in by 
a wilderness of forest and lochs to the radiant and smiling city of 
to-day from the Saxon Edwin, impressing his name and person- 
ality on that fortress, to the succession of brilliant men who have 
made their city famous in every branch of literature, science, and 
art, is a far cry. The crag is there and the eastward-looking ridge, 
but the forests have gone and the lochs too, giving place, one of 
them, to a railroad ! Well may one of her lovers speak of Edin- 
burgh's ' indestructible beauty,' for in view of the frequency and 
nature of the assaults made upon it from time to time, indestructible 
would indeed seem to be the proper word. For example, a plan 
to fill in the valley between the Old and New Towns was actually 
adopted in the first half of the nineteenth century and the work 
begun. Almost every ancient notable edifice in the town has been 
either injured by unnecessary alterations, or destroyed outright. 
The Princes Street Gardens, so exquisitely beautiful in themselves, 
instead of offering a quiet and refreshing refuge to weary souls as 
they should and could do, are marred and wellnigh spoiled by the 
shrieking, snorting engines of a railroad that spreads its hideous 
tracks and vile-smelling smoke through their very centre. And 
then there is the Castle itself, its picturesque skyline broken and 
marred by the unsightly insistent mass of barrack on the west. 
And yet, when all is said and done, Edinburgh remains serenely, 
triumphantly beautiful : first taking you by storm, capturing your 
admiration and your wonder, and then stealing into your very 
heart with all her winning attributes, her poetry and song, her tradi- 
tions and history, her quaint ceremonials, her teeming associations, 
and more potent charm probably than any or all of these 
the kindly, courteous, and hospitable ways of her sons and 
daughters. 

Maria Horner Lansdale. 
Scotland, Historic and Romantic. 



LANSDALE: GEDDIE: CROCKETT 297 

NOR has Edinburgh, or its ' New Town,' much reason to complain 
if the impression of its beauty be drawn from the aspect and 
situation of the street which is at once the favourite promenade 
and the centre of its business life. 

' Her face is her fortune,' some one had said of the Scottish 
capital; and if High Street be the deep heart, Princes Street is 
the fair face of Edinburgh. ' The most magnificent esplanade in 
Europe,' the citizens are fond of thinking it; and many widely- 
travelled strangers have promptly granted the claim. . . . But 
the glory of Princes Street, which gives it charm and distinction 
above other thoroughfares, is its prospect towards the south, its 
outlook over the valley which once held the Nor' Loch to the Old 
Town and the Castle. It was happy in being saved from the 
fate, destined for it by the vandals of a century ago, of being 
'built on both sides.' ... By doubling its front Princes Street 
would not merely have spoiled, it would have completely destroyed 
its character. As it is, the guests at its hotel windows and the 
passengers on its crowded foot pavements and on the broad stream 
of its cars and carriages look across, as from a platform built to 
yield them the prospect, to the huge and shadowy bulk of the 
Rock, the long verdant sweep of the Castle Braes, and the sky- 
climbing broken masses of the High Street houses, crowned by 
spire and dome and pinnacle, and separated from them only by a 
quarter of a mile of air and a light screen of foliage. 

John Geddie. 
Romantic Edinburgh. 

As the two youths swung out of the defile of high houses at the 
Bridges they emerged upon that astonishing panorama, which, seen 
at the hour of gloaming, never fails to excite a thrill in the most 
hardened and most unemotional in the lawyer escaping from the 
grinding monotony of Parliament House, and the engine-driver 
coming up from a twelve hours' spell upon the footplate. 

The Waverley Station was now no more a prosaic railway 
terminus. Common details were sunk in a pale, luminous, silver 
mist, through which burnt a thousand lights, warm, yellow, and 
kindly. The blue deepened beneath the Castle Rock. There it 
was indigo, with a touch of royal scarlet where the embers of the 
sunset lay broadly dashed in against the west. Princes Street, that 
noblest of earthly promenades, whose glory it is to be no mere 
street, lay along the edge of a blue and misty sea, bejewelled with 
scattered lights, festooned with fairy points of fire, converging, 
undulating, and receding, till they ran red as blood into the eye of 



298 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

the sunset. Above all towered the ancient strength of the Castle, 
battlemented from verge to verge, light as a cloud, insurgent as 
a ware, massive as its own foundations, etched bold and black 
against the spreading splendours of the west. 

' Oh, look ! ' said Kit, laying his hand impulsively on the arm of 
his companion, ' I did not know God had created anything half 
so beautiful ! ' S. R. Crockett. 

Kit Kennedy. 

To My old Do you remember can we e'er forget ? 

Tamilian How, in the coiled perplexities of youth, 

In our wild climate, in our scowling town, 
We gloomed and shivered, sorrowed, sobbed and feared ? 
The belching winter wind, the missile rain, 
The rare and welcome silence of the snows, 
The laggard morn, the haggard day, the night, 
The grimy spell of the nocturnal town, 
Do you remember ? Ah, could one forget ! 
As when the fevered sick that all night long 
Listed the wind intone, and hear at last 
The erer-welcome voice of chanticleer 
Sing in the bitter hour before the dawn, 
With sudden ardour, these desire the day : 
So sang in the gloom of youth the bird of hope ; 
So we, exulting, hearkened and desired. 
For lo ! as in the palace porch of life 
We huddled with chimeras, from within 
How sweet to hear ! the music swelled and fell, 
And through the breach of the revolving doors 
What dreams of splendour blinded us and fled ! 

I have since then contended and rejoiced ; 
Amid the glories of the house of life 

% Profoundly entered, and the shrine beheld : 

Yet when the lamp from my expiring eyes 
Shall dwindle and recede, the voice of love 
Fall insignificant on my closing ears, 
What sound shall come but the old cry of the wind 
In our inclement city ! what return 
But the image of the emptiness of youth, 
Filled with the sound of footsteps and that voice 
Of discontent and rapture and despair ? 
So, as in darkness, from the magic lamp, 
The momentary pictures gleam and fade 



R. L. STEVENSON: BALFOUR 299 

And perish, and the night resurges these 
Shall I remember, and then all forget. 

The tropics vanish, and meseems that I, 
From Halkerside, from topmost Allermuir, 
Or steep Caerketton, dreaming gaze again. 
Far set in fields and woods, the town I see 
Spring gallant from the shallows of her smoke, 
Cragged, spired, and turreted, her virgin fort 
Beflagged. About, on seaward-drooping hills, 
New folds of city glitter. Last, the Forth 
Wheels ample waters set with sacred isles, 
And populous Fife smokes with a score of towns. 

There, on the sunny frontage of a hill, 
Hard by the house of kings, repose the dead, 
My dead, the ready and the strong of word. 
Their works, the salt-encrusted, still survive ; 
The sea bombards their founded towers ; the night 
Thrills pierced with their strong lamps. The artificers, 
One after one, here in this grated cell, 
Where the rain erases and the rust consumes, 
Fell upon lasting silence. Continents 
And continental oceans intervene ; 
A sea uncharted, on a lampless isle, 
Environs and confines their wandering child 
In vain. The voice of generations dead 
Summons me, sitting distant, to arise, 
My numerous footsteps nimbly to retrace, 
And all mutation over, stretch me down 
In that denoted city of the dead. Robert Louis Stevenson> 

Song. s of Travel, 

I PROPOSE to speak as a Scotsman to those who are his country- 
men, and as one who has just become to most of them a fellow- 
citizen. I do not think that the conferring of the freedom of the 
capital of Scotland can be otherwise than a great honour to any 
man, be he whom he may, or however his nationality may be 
separated from our own ; but to one who is himself a Scotsman 
and who all his life has lived within sight of Arthur Seat, the 
honour which Edinburgh has done him must appeal in a manner 
which nobody who is not a Scotsman and not a neighbour of your 
great city can adequately feel. I know not, ladies and gentlemen, 
why it is that Edinburgh appeals with the special and peculiar 



3<x> IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

force with which doubtless it does appeal to every man who calls 
himself a Scotsman. It is not merely the beauty, the unequalled 
beauty, of its site, great as that is, and incapable as it seems of 
being spoiled either by the efforts of the railway engineer or the 
suburban architect. It certainly is not its climate for one of 
the most brilliant and not the least loyal of its sons, Robert Louis 
Stevenson, evidently felt that even his patriotism was somewhat 
chilled by Princes Street in an east wind. It is something more 
and above either its external advantages or its external dis- 
advantages which touches so deeply the springs of patriotic feeling 
which all Scotsmen here and abroad feel for the capital of their 
native country ; and I think the reason is partly to be found in 
the fact that Edinburgh, more than any other capital in the world, 
seems to express, doubtless in a softened and beautified form, the 
great characteristics of Scottish history. . . . 

What I want to call your attention to is the sudden blossoming 
out which followed the Revolution settlement and the union with 
our sister kingdom. 1 It was as some Alpine upland when the 
snows have disappeared bursting out into a carpet of wild and 
brilliant blossom ; so sudden, so immediate and so great was the 
change that took place. We did not love the union we must 
admit that. But we used it; and we used it to the infinite 
advantage of Scotland and of England, and of what is more than 
either Scotland or Englandof the British Empire. Immediately 
our countrymen took their places in the true succession, in the 
true literary succession of British literature. . . . But it is not 
merely in literature, it is in every department of activity that 
Scotland, which had done nothing up to the eighteenth century, 
after the eighteenth century began seemed almost to do everything. 
In commerce, in banking, in farming, on the material side of life, 
a country whose poverty was proverbial, where whole regions were 
starved by successive inroads of hostile invaders, Scotland took 
the lead. And it took the lead in many other ways. It is curious 
to reflect that we gave to England the greatest judge which I think 
she has ever possessed Lord Mansfield ; that we gave to England 
the greatest advocate she has ever possessed Lord Erskine ; that 
we gave to England a Lord Chancellor, of whose intellectual 

1 A portion of this speech referring more to Scotland than directly to Edin- 
burgh has been included, as it is required in order to bring out Mr. Balfour's 
argument that the Capital gives expression to the history of Scotland. In this 
connection it is noteworthy to observe that almost all the individual names 
Mr. Balfour mentions are those of men who have been citizens of Edinburgh, 
or closely connected with the life of Edinburgh. R. M. 



BALFOUR 301 

qualifications I could say much, but on whose moral qualifications 
I prefer to be silent ; that it was a Scotsman who was the only 
rival in eloquence to the elder Pitt; and that it was another 
Scotsman, afterwards Lord Melville, who was the right-hand man 
of the younger Pitt in his great Parliamentary struggles. But 
that is not all ; that is not, indeed, nearly all. We may truly say 
of philosophy that with the exception the great exception, as I 
admit it to be, of Bishop Berkeley, all British philosophy in the 
eighteenth century was Scottish philosophy, and that the title of 
Britain to take its rank among the thinking nations of the world 
was a title which it derived rather from those who were born north 
of the Tweed than from those who were born south of it. ... I 
do not wish to recall names which, though they will always retain 
their place in the history of our country, are relatively insignificant 
compared to other titles to the gratitude of Britain and the world. 
For, mark you, our intellectual activities did not merely burst the 
narrow barrier of Scotland and overspread England in that century, 
but within the hundred years or less which followed the union we 
produced at least five names whose fame was not merely Scotch, 
or merely English, or merely insular, but which took their places in 
different departments of history and civilisation. There was a man, 
I fancy some of you may never have heard of him, who was a great 
scientific physical chemist, nevertheless, and professor in this city, 
Black ; there was the great scientific engineer, Watt ; there was 
the great philosopher, Hume; there was the great poet, Burns; 
and I had almost omitted one, not the least famous of the five 
there was the great economist, Adam Smith. And those five 
names stand, and will always stand, as great landmarks in the 
history of human culture, as men who opened new epochs, each 
in his respective department; will stand not merely as useful 
labourers in the field, but as those who guided the labours of their 
successors. Now, is not this one of the most remarkable and 
most modern changes of which national history gives any record ? 
I at least know nothing like it. It is as sudden as the contrast 
between the cliffs on which the Castle stands, and the gardens of 
Princes Street into which they fall. And that brings me from my 
long and wandering parenthesis to what I hoped would be the 
theme of the few remarks which I intended to address to you. 
What I feel is that the history, the character of which I have thus 
indicated to you, finds permanent expression in this city as the 
history of no other country finds expression in its capital. In 
Rome, the mistress of the world, you will find no doubt its history, 
but you will find it by the aid of elaborate excavation, the work 



302 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

of antiquaries, vast expenditure, ingenious reconstruction. Paris 
which has had at least as close a connection with the history of 
France as had Edinburgh itself with the history of Scotland 
Paris has been improved out of all recognition, so that no man 
visiting that great capital would be able in imagination to picture 
to himself what the Paris was of, let us say, Francis i. or Henry m. 
or of the Fronde. It is not so with Edinburgh. Not, indeed, by 
our own labours, but by the mere physical formation of the city, 
we see the different epochs still represented before us. We see 
what was old and what is new. At a glance we can take in the 
limits and picture to ourselves the character of the old walled city, 
the Castle at one end of the long street, Holyrood at the other ; 
and can without any antiquarian assistance imagine the bloody 
and intolerant struggles which too often disgraced our streets. And 
at the same time we can see the new city spread out at its 
feet, we can see the whole evolution of Scottish civilisation, from 
the time when the pre-occupation of every Scotsman was how 
to defend his home from the overwhelming power of his nearest 
neighbour, till the present day, when, still dominated by the 
Castle, the New Town gives proof that we have joined in heart 
and in civilisation with our ancient antagonists, that we have 
learnt from them all that they had to teach us, and I would 
venture to say have largely improved upon the lessons of our 
masters. My Lord Provost, it is thoughts like these which have 
made me feel how great is the honour which you have done me in 
enrolling me formally among your burgesses. Always have I 
counted myself among your well-wishers ; always have I been your 
neighbour; always have I spent much of my time within your 
limits; . . . you have enabled me so long as life lasts to call 
myself henceforth, not merely a friend and a neighbour, but one 

of yourselves. 

The Right Honble. Arthur James Balfour, M.P. 

Speech delivered on the occasion of his receiving the presentation of the 
Freedom of Edinburgh, October 19, 1905. 

on the WHITE lamps the chestnut-tree adorn 

Dean Bridge The lilacs and the golden-rain 

in June , , 

The snowy and the rosy thorn 

Are rife with blossom once again. 

Though on this pleasance June bestows 
His gifts with such a lavish hand, 

Not like a beggar hence he goes ; 
His largess reaches all the land. 



HENRY JOHNSTONE: G. K. CHESTERTON 303 

But from the Bridge I lean and look, 

Going and coming, late and soon, 
And thank God for this flowery nook, 

The paradise of peerless June. 

Henry Jobnstone. 

THE beauty of Edinburgh as a city is absolutely individual, and The Way to 
consists in one separate atmosphere and one separate class of tlle starB 
qualities. It consists chiefly in a quality that may be called 
' abruptness,' an unexpected alternation of heights and depths. It 
seems like a city built on precipices : a perilous city. Although 
the actual ridges and valleys are not (of course) really very high or 
very deep, they stand up like strong cliffs ; they fall like open 
chasms. There are turns of the steep street that take the breath 
away like a literal abyss. There are thoroughfares, full, busy, and 
lined with shops, which yet give the emotions of an Alpine stair- 
It is, in the only adequate word for it, a sudden city. Great roads 
rush down hill like rivers in spate. Great buildings rush up like 
rockets. But the sensation produced by this violent variety of 
levels is one even more complex and bizarre. It is partly owing 
to the aforesaid variety, the high and low platforms of the 
place; it is partly owing to the hundred veils of the vaporous 
atmosphere, which make the earth itself look like the sky, as 
if the town were hung in heaven, descending like the New 
Jerusalem. 

But the impression is odd and even eerie: it is sometimes 
difficult for a man to shake off the suggestion that each road is a 
bridge over the other roads ; as if he were really rising by continual 
stages higher and higher through the air. He fancies he is on some 
open scaffolding of streets, scaling the sky. He almost imagines 
that, if he lifted a paving stone, he might look down through the 
opening, and see the moon. This weird sense of the city as a 
sort of starry ladder has so often come upon me when climbing the 
Edinburgh ways in cloudy weather, that I have been tempted to 
wonder whether any of the old men of the town were thinking of 
the experience when they chose the strange and splendid motto of 
the Scotch capital. Never, certainly, did a great city have a 
heraldic motto which was so atmospherically accurate. It might 
have been invented by a poet I might almost say by a landscape 
painter. The motto of Edinburgh, as you may still see it, I think, 
carved over the old castle gate, is 'Sic Itur ad Astra' 'This way 

to the stars.' . . . 

G. K. Chesterton. 
Daily News, December 5, 1905. 



304 IN P'RAISE OF EDINBURGH 

I AM the most peaceful person in the world, but the Castle was too 
much for my imagination. I was mounted and off and away from 
the first moment I gazed upon its embattled towers, heard the 
pipers in the distance, and saw the Black Watch swinging up the 
green steps where the huge fortress ' holds its state.' The modern 
world had vanished, and my steed was galloping, galloping, 
galloping back into the place of the things that are past, 
traversing centuries at every leap. . . . 

I hope those in authority will never attempt to convene a Peace 
Congress in Edinburgh, lest the influence of the Castle be too 
strong for the delegates. They could not resist it nor turn their 
backs upon it, since, unlike other ancient fortresses, it is but a 
stone's-throw from the front windows of all the hotels. They 
might mean never so well, but they would end by buying dirk hat- 
pins and claymore brooches for their wives, their daughters would 
all run after the kilted regiment and marry as many of the pipers 
asked them, and before night they would all be shouting with 
noble Fitx-Eustace : 

' Where 's the coward who would not dare 
To fight for such a land?' 

While I was rhapsodising, Salemina and Francesca were shopping 
in the Arcade, buying some of the cairn-gorms, and Tarn o' Shanter 
purses, and models of Burns's cottage, and copies of Marmion in 
plaided covers, and thistle belt-buckles, and bluebell penwipers, 
with which we afterwards inundated our native land. When my 
warlike mood had passed, I sat down upon the step of the Scott 
monument and watched the passers-by in a sort of waking dream. 
I suppose they were the usual professors and doctors and ministers 
who are wont to walk up and down the Edinburgh streets, with a 
sprinkling of lairds and leddies of high degree and a few Americans 
looking at the shop windows to choose their clan tartans ; but for 
me they did not exist. . . . 

Kate Douglas Wiggin. 
Penelopft Experiences in Scotland. 

THE city of Edinburgh like the Scottish temperament is 
secretive; she does not reveal herself to you all at once, nor 
capitulate without some parley ; you must know her to love her, 
but to love her is a liberal education. Her visible features, like a 
beautiful face, must be studied from many angles before you have 
possessed yourself of their perfection. To see her from the Castle 
Rock surely the fairest sight that ever delighted the eye of man 



J. H. MORGAN 305 

is not everything ; you must also study her profile from Arthur's 
Seat, and contemplate her mystery, veiled in smoke-wreaths, from 
Calton Hill. Even then you have not exhausted her charm, for, 
like every fascinating personality, she is full of delightful and 
wayward surprises at once austere and genial, contemplative and 
busy, secret and forensic, reflective and gay. There is a rare domestic 
contiguity between rich and poor, reminiscent of those eighteenth- 
century days when, in the lofty tenements of her wynds and courts, 
the same roof sheltered the countess and the tradesman and the 
artisan, each separated from the other by nothing more discrimina- 
ting than a floor and a flight of stairs. You can stand on Dean 
Bridge and look up the superb chasm on the brow of which stand, 
with a serenity that reminds you of Heidelberg, some of her 
stateliest mansions, and a backward glance over your shoulder will 
reveal to you the little village of the Water of Leith, with its 
pungent tanneries and its blacksmith's shop melodious with the 
clank of the anvil. Even her industries have a kind of noble 
pride ; you may walk down one of the narrow lanes that lie behind 
Princes Street, pass through an unpretentious door into one of the 
great printing-offices you must never call them ' works ' and you 
will be shown into a principal's room, which, in its exquisite and 
catholic taste, is a joy to the book-lover's eye. The principal a 
gentleman and a scholar will receive you with a courtesy, despite 
your political errand to his workmen, which is the more gracious 
as your political differences are the more acute, and will show you 
books printed by the firm, the type of which is as bold, clear, and 
eloquent as anything in the black-letter treasury of the Bodleian. 
You may pass down another street, and hard by an advocate's 
office you may find, if you are fortunate, a room on a second floor 
in which two craftsmen are at work carving in wood, with a truly 
loving diligence, lecterns not unworthy in their expressive beauty 
of the cunning hands which wrought the misericorde in Wells 
Cathedral. Silent men and shy, they are, as who should express 
themselves not colloquially, but with the dexterity of their hands. 
Speaking to them, while they work and answer you with a courteous 
gesture or a nod, you begin to understand what Viollet-le-Duc 
meant by calling the French sculpture of the Middle Age a freedom 
of speech. Or pass through one of the tailors' shops to the work- 
rooms at the back, and by the courtesy of the master, address the 
men on the articles of your political faith they will listen to you 
attentively and with gravity as they continue to sew, sitting cross- 
legged upon the floor, with their chalk and scissors beside them, 
their whole demeanour nothing if not polite, serious, and medita- 

U 



3 o6 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

tive. You cannot live in Edinburgh a week without being 
impressed with the conviction that its people, rich and poor, gentle 
and simple, learned and lay, have that quiet self-possession which 
is the hall-mark of good breeding and great traditions. 

Professor}. H. Morgan. 
'An Edinburgh Election,' Wtttmituttr Gtutttt, December 24, 1910. 

OH City of my memories ! 

Oh City of my heart 1 
I love the rain that lashes you, 

The wind that makes me smart ; 
Your beauty in the sunshine 

No mortal can forget, 
But most I love the smell of you 

When every stone is wet ! 

Your New Town's stately rhythm, 
Your Old Town's rugged rhyme ; 

How many scores of comedies 
You 've laughed at in your time ! 

In what a host of tragedies 
Your stones play silent part, 

Oh City of gray mists and dreams ! 

Oh City of my heart ! 

Rosaline Masson. 

Edinburgh EVERY one recognises the claims of its Learning, Science, and 

and the Literature as contributory elements in the attractiveness of Edin- 

burgh. Those of the Fine Arts are not so widely known. And 
yet, for more than a century the Scottish capital has had a succes- 
sion of capable exponents of those arts resident within its borders, 
and for over fourscore years the classic region of the Mound the 
very heart of the city has been associated with the arts of 
Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. . . . 

During the century which followed the advent of Raeburn (1780- 
1880), Scotland produced many artists of exceptional ability; but 
only those attained more than a local reputation who made London 
their headquarters. This explains why the Fine Arts are not 
included amongst Edinburgh's distinctions. Patrick Nasmyth, 
Sir David Wilkie, William Dyer, John Phillip, and the late Sir 
William Orchardson are all Scotsmen who crossed the Tweed ; but 
it must be remembered that there were, of those who remained at 
home in Scotland, many not unworthy to rank with these; Sir 



W. D. M'KAY 307 

George Harvey and David Scott, for example; and Thomas 
Duncan, the Lauders, Sir William Fettes Douglas, and George 
Paul Chalmers. But this isolation of Scottish art was not alto- 
gether a disadvantage. It gave a strongly individual character to 
the school; but in a world where facilities for intercourse were 
growing yearly it could not long continue. New art movements 
were in progress on the Continent, and, during the later decades of 
last century, an ever-rising tide of Scottish students flocked to 
Paris to learn the new methods taught in the studios of the great 
art cosmopolis. These furnished a nexus for all schools ; and, on 
their return to Edinburgh or to Glasgow, our young painters were 
not slow to avail themselves of the extended opportunities of 
making their art known, with the result that the Scottish school is 
now well known in continental exhibitions, and that many examples 
have been purchased for the national or municipal collections of 
the cities in which they have been shown ; a thing undreamt of in 
former times. The present situation is not without its dangers, for 
the survival of a school depends ultimately on the retention of its 
character and individuality; a fact that has been somewhat lost 
sight of under the levelling influences of modern methods. If our 
native art is to hold its own amongst rival schools its technique, 
whatever it be, must concern itself more with the interpretation 
and illustration of what is characteristic of Scotland and of the 
Scottish people, as did that of our less widely known painters of 
last century. 

Fortunately there is every reason to hope that this will be the 
case, for Scottish painters have never thrown tradition to the winds. 
. . . Amongst our rising artists are men of marked ability in their 
several departments whose enthusiastic and sympathetic tempera- 
ments will respond more and more fully to their surroundings, 
material or human; and with the wider scope afforded by the 
improved conditions, there seems every prospect that the Scottish 
school of the future will, at least, rival that of the past. For whilst 
it is true that no expansion of Galleries or facilities for training 
can supply the lack of native talent, it is puerile to hold that 
these are of little consequence. So far as Edinburgh is concerned, 
the handsome and spacious accommodation now provided for the 
Academy and for the National Gallery will afford to our citizens, 
and to the stranger within our gates, an opportunity of seeing to 
infinitely greater advantage what the art of Scotland is to-day, and 
what it has been in the past. And perhaps some may realise that 
both give an added distinction to the modern Athens. 

W. D. M'Kay, R.S.A. 



308 IN PRAISE OF EDINBURGH 

Edinburgh CITY of mist and rain and blown grey spaces, 

Dashed with wild wet colour and gleam of tears, 
Dreaming in Holyrood halls of the passionate faces 

Lifted' to one queen's face that has conquered the years, 
Are not the halls of thy memory haunted places ? 

Cometh there not as a moon (where the blood-rust sears 
Floors a-flutter of old with silks and laces), 

Gliding, a ghostly queen, thro' a mist of tears? 

Proudly here, with a loftier pinnacled splendour, 

Throned in his northern Athens, what spells remain 
Still on the marble lips of the Wizard, and render 

Silent the gazer on glory without a stain ! 
Here and here, do we whisper, with hearts more tender, 

Tusitala wandered thro* mist and rain, 
Rainbow-eyed and frail and gallant and slender, 

Dreaming of pirate-isles in a jewelled main. 

Up the Canongate climbeth, cleft asunder 

Raggedly here, with a glimpse of the distant sea 

Flashed thro* a crumbling alley, a glimpse of wonder ! 
Nay, for the City is throned on Eternity ! 

Hark ! from the soaring Castle a cannon's thunder 
Closeth an hour for the world and an aeon for me, 

Gazing at last from the war-swept heights whereunder 

Deathless memories roll to an ageless sea. 

Alfred Noyes. 

THE Queen and I have received the loyal address of the Edin- 
burgh University Union with great pleasure and interest. 

We rejoice to hear of the world- wide membership of your Union, 
as an evidence of the far-reaching influence and usefulness of the 
University of Edinburgh, and we appreciate the good offices of 
your Society in promoting good fellowship fcmong students of such 
manifold origin, being assured that it will help those who have 
come from distant homes in the British Dominions beyond the 
seas, in my Indian Empire, and in foreign lands, to look back on 
their Alma Mater with true filial affection. . . . 

His Majesty King George v. 

Reply to the loyal Address of the Edinburgh University Students' Union, 
presented during His Majesty's state visit to Edinburgh, July 1911. 



Printed by T. and A. COMSTAILE, Printer* to His Majesty 
at the Edinburgh University Prest 



IB