« PreviousContinue »
latter days. The present Lord M. married Miss Martin, daughter to the late archbishop of York. The motto on his coat of arms is “ uni æquus virtuti," which, by the way, is applicable to very few men, and less to noblemen
The castle of Scone is termed Gothic, although it has none of that fairy lightness, and exquisitely carved workmanship, which distinguish that species of architecture. The floors are laid with pieces of oak, and waxed over in the Parisian style. The drawing room is adorned with paintings by the first masters. Among others, I noticed one by Teniers, representing monkeys imitating human gestures and actions; they are variously dressed, and occupied in different ways, some tapping a beer-barrel, others smoking, &c. What a severe and misanthropic satire is hidden under this ludicrous performance! Many reliques of queen Mary's early taste and splendour are shown in the castle. There are some pieces of embroidery, which are said to be from the Gobelins at Paris; but they bear no comparison with the magnificent tapestry which is now executed at the splendid Parisian manufactory. Lady Mansfield herself is something of an artist, and has painted most of the glasses in the windows. The library is large, and answers the description given of a similar one, by the Scotch novelist" a large Gothic room, with double arches and a gallery, contained that miscellaneous and extensive collection of vo
lumes usually assembled together, during the course of 200 years, by a family which have been always wealthy, and inclined of course, as a mark of splendour, to furnish their shelves with the current literature of the day.”
The mausoleum is hedged in by new walls, and all the interior is new. Within a funereal urn are the hearts of the first Lord Stormount and his lady. It was his lordship who saved king James's life from the Gowries. Near this mausoleum, the monarchs from various parts emptied the earth from their boots, which they had brought from home with them, intending to stand on their own ground, while they saw the coronation! If one of the “profane vulgar" should take it into his head to "cut such fan. tastic tricks before high heaven," he would be (and very deservedly,) clapped into Bedlam. Such wretched puerilities can only be suffered in royal buffoons!
Early yesterday morning, we walked to Dunkeld, about 14 miles from Perth. We passed through Birnam wood, which is only remarkable because spoken of by Shakspeare:
“I look'd towards Birnam, and anon methought
The wood began to move". In our approach to Dunkeld, the Grampian hills gradually became more distinct; till at length we found ourselves in the midst of delightful scenery.
The romantic mountains presented their gray fronts on all sides, and were agreeably, contrasted with smaller hills
smiling in their green livery. The lap of Nature was not yet beautified by that verdant carpet which so pleasingly attracts the eye, in scenery less grand, less romantic, but more rural and picturesque. Only the vales and smaller hillocks presented the charms of the coming spring; at some distance the elegant Tay flowed in a silvery flexure, and its waves were brightened by the sun-beams that appeared to repose upon
them, The river was of that pale gray transparency which we sometimes admire in the light of an evening sky, when the twilight assumes the sober livery of declining day. As I left the belvidere, I often looked back, and closed my eyes to open them again, as if to use the words of an elegant writer,) as if repetition could better impress the landscape*upon remembrance than continuity; the delight I felt was mingled with sorrow by a sense of transitoriness
it was painful to behold scenes so beautiful, knowing that I should never behold
Dunkeld is not unlike Lodève near Montpellier; it is situated on the arena of an amplitheatre of mountains. The scenery about it is uncommonly beautiful, and unites all the charms of the romantic and picturesque land
scape. The bridge over the Tay, which is į modern and of a beautiful architecture, and the
new buildings are improvements of the Duke of Athol's, whose estate is in the vicinity.
The walks over his grace's grounds extend
above 70 miles. The park and lawns present too much the appearance of art to please a lover of wild Nature; and this studied cultivation shrinks in comparison with the surrounding mountainous scenery. The luxuriant beauty and the majestic appearance of the uncultivated parts of the country, seemed even more striking, when brought in parallel with those favoured spots which were adapted to agricul. tural improvement; and thereby impressing irresistibly the mind of the spectator, (says the author of Old Mortality,) with a sense of the omnipotence of Nature, and the comparative inefficacy of the boasted means of amelioration which man is capable of opposing to the disadvantages of climate and soil.
We accompanied our Cicerone to visit the curiosities along the banks of the Braan, amidst very beautiful scenery. The Braan reminded me of the river Sorgue at Vaucluse. It flows amid masses of rock, against which it dashes with an agreeable murmur.- We at length arrived at Ossian's Hall, near which a bridge of one arch stretches over the Braan; here the river precipitates itself “ with impetuous recoil and jarring sound,” into beds and clifts of rock. It arrives at the head of the precipice foamingly in motion, and then rushes down into a narrow but deep basin, where it is so perfectly silent and motionless,
“ That the waters scarcely seem to stray,
: There are a few picturesque rocks in the entre, finely clothed with wood and moss. These divide the fall, but the spray rising from pelow, conceals their bases entirely, and thus produces an effect which sets all description at lefiance. Indeed, my imagination is so entirey taken up with a splendid passage of the
grand infernal peer," that I beg you to accept his appropriate and poetic imagery, ininstead of my humble prose:
“ The fall of waters! rapid as the light,
The hall, or hermitage, near this romantic fall, is ornamented with mirrors, both plain and convex, which reflect the magnificent scenery, and produce the most complete deception I ever witnessed. The continual dashing of the
water, the foliage of the adjoining woods, and
the clouds floating over the landscape, present a most beautiful picture viewed in the glasses, Mirrors fixed in the ceiling show the foaming precipice, with its gray rocks and rich foliage, inverted; whilst the roaring voice of the cataract renders the delusion perfect.
A mile from Ossian's Hall, there is another precipice, which recalled to my mind the classic fountain of Vaucluse: it is the Rumbling Bridge, so called from the peculiar noise which