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We have had a week's delightful enjoyment in old Edinburgh and vicinity, going one day a few miles out of town to visit Roslin Castle, only the ruins of which remain. The Chapel near by, however, has been preserved, and is much admired for its exquisite architecture, including what is called the “Apprentice's Pillar," which has been reproduced in plaster in the South Kensington Museum, London. Nothing could be more charming than the scenery surrounding the Castle, and through Hawthornden, the home of the poet Drummond in the the time of Shakspeare.
“Here, too, are labyrinthine paths
To caverns dark and low,
Found refuge from his foe.” Edinburgh is conspicuous not only for its solid stone edifices, but also for its monuments. In Parliament Square is a fine equestrian statue of Charles II. In one street are statues of Pitt, George IV., John, the fourth Earl of Hoptonn, and a column, one hundred and thirty-six feet in height, to Lord Melville, surmounted with his statue; and, then, on Calton Hill are Nelson's monument, two hundred feet in height, Dugald Stewart's monument, and an unfinished national monument, after the style of the Parthenon, erected in honor of the heroes of Waterloo. Besides these monuments on Calton Hill, which overlooks the city, there is an observatory from which a splendid view is had of the surrounding country, embracing Arthur's Seat, Lammermoor, and Pentland Hills.
“ Traced like a map the landscape lies
In cultured beauty stretching wide;
There ocean with its azure tide,
A distant giant range
North Berwick Law, with cone of green,
And bass amid the waters." But the most graceful monument, perhaps, in Europe is that to Sir Walter Scott in Princess street garden. It takes two hundred and eighty-seven steps to reach its top. Under the canopy is a statue of Sir Walter in a sitting posture, his faithful dog by his side. The niches are filled from characters in Scott's novels, such as Prince Charles, Meg Merrilies, the Lady of the Lake, and the Last Minstrel. At a short distance from this monument is a bronze statue of John Wilson, (Christopher North,) and a little further on is a white marble statue of Allan Ramsay.
In the Canongate churchyard we saw the stones that mark the graves of Adam Smith, author of the -- Wealth of Nations," Dugald Stewart, David Allan, artist, and Ferguson, the poet. That over the grave of Ferguson was erected by Robert Burns, "to remain forever sacred to the memory of Robert Ferguson, born September 5, 1751, died October 16. 1777," to which record are added these lines:
“ No sculptured marble here, nor pompous lay;
No storied urn, nor animated bust
To pour her sorrow o'er her poet's dust." The White House Inn, now in a dilapidated condition, is another object of curiosity, as the house where Dr. Johnson put up when he visited Edinburgh in 1773, and where he met that "unlucky specimen of Scottish cleanliness” referred to by Boswell: “He asked to have his lemonade made sweeter, upon which the waiter, with his greasy fingers, lifted up a lump of sugar and put it into it. The Doctor, in indignation, threw it out of the window.” This reminds one of Daniel Webster's throwing overboard his tooth-brush, greatly to the surprise of a “greenhorn” fellow-passenger, who had requested merely the loan of it - which was granted!
The large Gallery of paintings and extensive Museum here afforded us much pleasure. So, likewise, the view of the Parliament House and Library, St. Giles' Church, and a ramble on Calton Hill. On a Sunday we listened to what we thought a rather dry sermon from the writer of hymns, Horatius Bonar, who is pastor of a small church in the suburbs of the city. He is about sixty, and resembles Martin Van Buren at that age. In the evening we heard the Rev. Dr. Alexander, a more distinguished divine.
In Holyrood Palace, “the ancient residence of Scottish royalty,” we were brought again, as could but feel, very near the unfortunate Queen Mary. We first entered the picture Gallery, “upon the walls of which are suspended De Witt's fanciful portraits of one hundred and six Scottish Kings in a style of art truly barbarous, an interesting portrait of Mary, Queen of Scots, excepted.” There are also other portraits of more or less historical interest. We were next shown the rooms of Lord Darnley, in which, among other portraits, are one of the youthful Lord Darnley, and one of his brother. From these rooms is a private stairway leading to the Queen's rooms above. Next we came to the tapestry room, the walls of which are hung with old tapestry;
and in one of the rooms we saw the bedstead of Charles I. The large, old fire-places in some of the rooms are very curious. Queen Mary's apartments were the most interesting. It is said they remain in nearly the same state as when she left them. In her bed-room are her bed and other ancient furniture. “On one side of the room is the door of the secret passage by which the conspirators entered, and adjoining is the cabinet or closet where they found their victim, Rizzio. It is said that he was dragged out from this to the door of the audience chamber, where he was finally dispatched, and the exact spot where the body lay is identified by marks of blood, still visible," and which we saw. Another account states that Lord Darnley, “who himself headed the conspirators, first entered, and casting his arm fondly round the Queen's waist, seated himself beside her at table. Lord Ruthven followed in complete armor, looking pale and ghastly, as one scarcely recovered from long sickness. Others crowded in after them, till the closet was full of armed men. While the Queen demanded the purpose of their coming, Rizzio, who saw that his life was aimed at, got behind her and clasped the folds of her gown, that the respect due to her person might protect him. The assassins threw down the table and seized on the unfortunate object of their vengeance, while Darnley himself took hold of the Queen and forced Rizzio and her asunder. It was their intention, doubtless, to have dragged Rizzio out of Mary's presence, and to have killed him elsewhere; but their fierce impatience hurried them into instant murder. George Douglas, a natural brother of the Earl of Morton, set the example by striking Rizzio with the dagger which he had snatched from Darnley's belt. He received many other blows. They then dragged him through the bedroom and anteroom, and dispatched him at the head of the staircase with no less than fifty-six wounds. The Queen continued to beg his life with prayers and tears; but when she learned that he was dead, she dried her tears and said: I will now study revenge.""
From the Queen's apartments we descended to the Chapel, which was founded in 1128, and is now in beautiful ruins - the walls only remaining. tablet in the wall is the following inscription, placed there at the instance of Charles I.:
BASILICAM HANC, SEMI RUTANI,
the throne of His kingdom forever. In the belfry tower is a marble monument to Lord Belhaven, (1639,) and in one corner of the Abbey "is the royal vault, in which are deposited the remains of David II., James II., James V., and Magdalen, his Queen; Henry, Lord Darnley, and other illustrious persons.” Rizzio's grave and the tombs of many others of the Scottish nobility are located in different parts of the Abbey. While examining the inscriptions on these old tombs we were happily surprised at the appearance of a friend from Washington, Mr. J. H. Wilkinson, of the Treasury Department, who, about to return home, kindly offered to report in person to our friends on his arrival.
Rising immediately from Holyrood Palace, which is on the eastern edge of the city, Arthur's Seat, eight hundred and twenty-two feet in height, is conspicuous; and one fine day we walked to its rocky