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30.08 56 65
27 9 54
Fr. 30 11 17
For SEPTEMBER 180S. Apparent time at Edinburgh.
D. H. M.
Full Moon, 4. 10. 29. even. Last Quar. 13. 2. 18. morn. New Moon, 20. 7. 15. morn. First Quart. 26. 10.45. even.
Quantity of Rain, 7.51
EDINBURGH LITERARY MISCELLANY,
FOR AUGUST 1808.
Description of CRICHTON CASTLE. T HE remains of this ancient edifice lie in the parish of Crichton, Mid Lothian, about 7 miles Southeast of Edinburgh. It is a fine ruin, and has recently derived illustration from the pen of Mr Scott, who, in his celebrated poem of Marmion, has made it the scene of some striking adventures. We cannot give its history and description better than in the words of Mr Scott himself, who in forms us, that "it was built at different times, and with a very differing regard to splendour and accommodation. The older part of the building is a narrow keep, or tower, such as formed the mansion of a lesser Scottish Baron; but so many additions have been made to it, that there is now a large court-yard, surrounded by buildings of different ages. The eastem front of the court is raised above a portico, and decorated with entablatures, bearing anchors. All the stones of this front are cut into diamond facets, the angular projections of which have an uncommonly rich appearance. The inside of this part of the building appears to have contained a gallery of great length and uncommon elegance. Access was given to it by, a magnificent stair-case, now quite destroyed. The soffits are ornamented with twining cordage, and rosettes; and the whole seems to have been far more splendid than was usual in Scottish castles. The castle belonged original
ly to the Chancellor Sir William Crichton, and probably owed to him its first enlargement, as well as its being taken by the Earl of Douglas, who imputed to Crichton's counsels the death of his predecessor Earl William, beheaded in Edinburgh Castle, with his brother, in 1440. It is said to have been totally demolished on that occasion; but the present state of the ruins shews the contrary. In 1483 it was garrisoned by Lord Crichton, then its proprietor, against King James III. whose displeasure he had incurred by seducing his sister Margaret, in revenge, it is said, for the Monarch having dishonoured his bed. From the Crichton family, the castle passed to that of the Hepburns, Earls Bothwell; and when the forfeitures of Stewart, the last Earl of Bothwell, were divided, the barony and castle of Crichton fell to the share of the Earl of Buccleugh. They were afterwards the property of the Pringles of Clifton, and are now that of Sir John Callender, Bart. It were to be wished the proprietor would take some pains to preserve these splendid remains of antiquity, which are at present used as a fold for sheep, and wintering cattle; altho' perhaps there are very few ruins in Scotland which display so well the stile and beauty of ancient architecture. The castle of Crichton has a dungeon vault, called the Massy More." See fourth Canto of Marmion, and notes to it. Afte
LONDON, i. e. Lon-dun, i. e. the Marsh Fort. Most of our ancient towns took their names from places of strength, such as Dun-dee, Dun-edin, Dun-dalk, &c. This etymology is also strongly corroborated by the Thames, i. e. Tam-ess, i. e. the Ship, Hill, or Fort. Lon-dun and Tam-ess are only two different words, signifying one and the saine thing. Many collateral instances might be adduced, but I shall rest satisfied with one.Dun-staidh-naoiag, by the Monks latinized Dun-staffnagium, whence the present name Dunstaffnage, literally signifies the Hill, or Fort of the Ship
A due want of attention to a necessary custom of our ancestors has led our modern antiquarians into many a foolish blunder. Wherever they found a canoe, a boat, or an anchor, they immediately concluded that place to have been one day a navigable arm of the sea. The ships (canoes) of the ancient Gael were of small size, and easily portable. In times of danger, they not only withdrew them from the sea, but actually carried them into their forts. Cæsar himself having lost the greater part of his fleet in a sea storm on the coast of Kent, actually hauled the remainder completely aground, and took them into his Camp. I shall not attempt to drive M. M. out of his Yellow Moss, but after a perusal of the above plain and natural analysis, I make no doubt but he will voluntarily relinquish it.
ALBION, i.e. Alb-aon, i.e. the High
The Gael, in their migrations from Asia to Europe, have every where left permanent memorials behind them.Alb, Ailb, Alp, and Ailp, in the Gaelit, are synonimous, and signify High. We have the authority of a Roman author of the first respectability. "That Alba Longa was so named from its being built on a high dorsum or ridge. Albania, Alpes, Alba Longa, Albion, Albin, &c. are evidently derived from the Gaelic Alb or Alp. Most Philologists have observed a strong resemblance betwixt the Gaelic Albion and the Latin Albus, without being able to discover the real cause. The fact is, the Gaelic All is the radix of both. These high hills, whether from the hoariness of their cliffs, or the snow with which they were almost perpetually covered, presented to the mind, along with the idea of elevation, also that of whiteness. The Gaelic Alb, and the Roman Albus, are therefore synonimous, with this difference, that the Gael have retained the original, and the Romans the metaphorical signification; for what I have before said respecting the city of Alba Longa, clearly evinces, that the ancient Latins, by the word Albus, did not mean white, but high.
As M. M. has been kind enough to enwrap our ancestors in a hairy mantle, it is not my intention to pull it off, as I would not wish to expose even their ashes to the inclemency of the weather. I believe that, like other nations, they sheltered themselves as well as they could from the cold.The history of John the Baptist, who constantly wore a leathern girdle about his loins, and of Hercules, with his tegmine fulvi Leonis, (Lion's skin)