Page images
PDF
EPUB

I was showed the anti chamber in which that savage, John Knox, insulted his Queen in his vile puritanical jargon. Near the bed room is the passage through which Darnley and his associates rushed to murder David Rizzio—and adjoining, is the small closet in which Mary was at supper with her favourite and the countess of Argyle. The old woman who accompanied me, pointed out the spot where Rizzio fell, and said that the stains on the floor are the indelible marks of poor David's blooa!

The count d'Artois and his sons lived for several years in this palace, with a pension of 30001.; notwithstanding, they were continually getting into debt-but, happily for them, insolvent debtors find an asylum from the persecution of creditors in Holyrood house. I noticed the Prie-dieu used by Monsieur, and some other specimens of Bourbon sense and devotion!

Yesterday I paid a visit to the Edinburgh Castle, which appears to grow from the rock at its basis. From a view of this fortress, one would be apt to conclude that it was impreg. nable. “The pond'rous wall and massy bar, (says Burns,) grim rising o'er the rugged rock,” have often withstoood the most formi. dable attacks, and during the troubles which agitated the kingdom, when Queen Mary was in captivity, the brave Kirkaldy, with a few determined associates, defended the Castle against the Regent. The buildings on the east were formerly used as royal apartments, and,

in one of them, Mary was delivered of her only son, whom she had soon afterwards baptized, according to the rites of the Romish church. The castle is now used for barracks. The new buildings, erected for that purpose, are extremely well calculated for the accommodation of soldiers; but the picturesque effect of the ancient works, is much hurt by the regular appearance of the barracks.

From whatever side you approach Edinburgh, the Castle appears the centre of attraction, and its frowning fragments are seen clearly in all their minuteness; in every point of view can be distinguished

" Those ruin'd shrines and towers that seem

The relics of a splendid dream.To the north the shattered blocks of granite frown in sullen pomp over patches of deep green moss, which afford a relief to the eyebut on the southern side, the citadel is “cased in the unfeeling armour of old time.” Whether the sky is cluudless, or the mist circle around the fissured rocks, the effect is always sublime, and the image lofty and imposing. At break of day, in the still reposing beauty of every thing around, the veteran pile seems to awake from its sleep, and look up with freshness into the almost visible air which hangs about it. When the sun sinks his golden disk below the top of Arthur's seat, the hoary brow of the citadel appears to kindle into an orb of glory; but it is at night that the Castle-rock

VOL. ).

F

presents the sublimest scene that nature and art ever formed. I often enjoy this prospect in a fine evening,

“Quando nel ciel parean le stelle. "'* A view so romantic, joined to the bracing influence of the frosty atmosphere, always elevates my spirits and invigorates my nerves. The moon silvers the peaks and precipices which the mist leaves visible, and twinkles with all the vivacity of the clear cold air in a winter evening; while her beams, piercing the fleecy vapour, give it a sort of filmy transparency, resembling the finest veil of silver gauze.

The beams of the Queen of Night are generally in these evenings shaded by a silvery haze, through which twinkle the countless host of "softly burning stars." I often watch the little fleecy clouds scattered over the horizon, and occasionally floating over the moon; and I recal to mind the exquisite description which Southey gives of one melting like a wreath of snow, till it was suspended

“In folds of wavy silver round, and clothed
The orb with richer beauties than her own,
Then passing, left her in her bright serene.”

* When evening star its milder lustre sheds. Politiano.

[ocr errors][merged small]

his pr

As cleapness requires attention and industry, the cleanness of some savages must be the work of nature; and the dirtiness of others must proceed from indolence counteracting nature. In fact, cleanness is agreeable to all, and nastiness disagreeable: no

person presers dirt; and even those who are the most accustomed the to it, are pleased with a cleanly appearance in others. alwa

LORD KAIMES. Το JOHN D

mje

prer nd the old a piercia ny

T2 Elvergi ght ar

Don; 2

Edinburgh, February 1, 1819. A WANT of due attention to cleanliness may be considered as characteristic of the lower orders of the Scotch. Let a stranger walk through the

narrow streets of “ Auld Reekie,” and he y as will see filth and misery combined in perfecntles: tion. The poor children are dressed in tatWatcttered weeds; they go barefoot in all weathers, e hori and a man may experience every variety of

climate in one day at Edinburgh! I have alion : ready noticed the amazing height of the houwreat ses in the old town. Every story, it

seems,

is a complete house, occupied by a separate family; and the stair being common to them all, is generally in such a nasty condition that, (as Matt. Bramble says,) a man must tread with

great circumspection to get safe with unpollutBlitian ed shoes; however, (continues he) the inhabi

tants of Edinburgh find a particular pleasure in breathing their own atmosphere, which is always impregnated with stercoraceous effluvia! The situation of the families above, should fire break out in the lower stories, may easily be

[ocr errors]

imagined, and I think with Bramble, that it would be a good plan to open a communication from one house to another on every story, by which people might fly from such a terrible visitation.

Few of the houses have that necessary article, a temple of Cloacina. The building in which Mrs. Campbell keeps her boarding house, has one temple to the entire edifice; but, to get at it, one is obliged to march down three pair of stairs, and open a door with a large key; then walk down a dark subterraneous passage, open another door, and finally that of the water.closet, which emits “the vilest compound of villainous smell that ever offended nostril!”

I have before spoken of a dirty trick very common in the "

gude city”-A few nights ago, I was walking towards home, with my umbrella hoisted, when I felt something heavy plump upon it from above; on looking at this present, I found it to be

you may imagine what!* I observe that Peter Pindar was correct, in his description of the travellers who

“ March'd thro' fair Edinburgh's Pactolean show'rs,
Which Cloaciua bountifully pours;
Those gracious show'rs that fraught with fragrance flow,
And gild, like gingerbread, the world below.”

* The resident in Edinburgh runs a risk of suffering missortunes similar to that which befel Diego (in Gil Blas,) who had his best clothes soiled, as he was proceeding at night to a faishionable party: “ Je marchai à tâtons dans la rue, et j'avais fait peut-être la moitié de mon chemin, lorsque d'une fenêtre on me coiffa d'une cassolette qui ne chatouillait point l'odorat: je puis dire même que je n'en perdis rien, tant je fus bien ajusté!"

« PreviousContinue »