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THE

Scots 9gagazine,

AND

EDINBURGH LITERARY MISCELLANY,

For SEPTEMBER 1813.

Description of CASTLECARY. ing erect, about two feet in length,

and bearing evident marks of fire. THE remains of this very ancient They appeared to have been designed

fortress are situated four miles to support some vessel, under which west of Falkirk, on the borders of the fire was put, and perhaps the place county of Stirling, where it joins that might have been once a Roman Balof Dumbarton. It lies immediately 'neum.

In the middle of the station, to the South of the Roman wall, built where the Prætorium stood, large by Antoninus Pius, and extending ruins were also discovered; but the from the Firth of Forth to that of men not finding stones for their purClyde ; and it forms one of the forts pose, soon gave over digging, erected by Agricola for the defence The outer wall of the fort has of that frontier. Its situation, as been surrounded with a double ditch, usual in such stations, is high, and or vallum, which is still filled with commanding an extensive prospect. water upon the south side, where the It is of a square form, and surrounded entry was formed by a large causeway with a high wall, enclosing several intersecting the ditch.

Upon the acres of ground. The whole space west is a steep descent into a glen, within the wall has been occupied by through which a rivulet runs; and, buildings, the ruins of which, having on the north, lies a low and barren raised the ground ten or twelve feet muir, where is a free stone quarry, above its original level, give to the out of which the stones of the fort fort the appearance of the top of a have been dug, as appears from their hill surrounded with a sunk fence; being of the same grain, the rubbish above the stones has been ploughed, and yielded tolerable crops.

In 1770, while the great canal On a recent Mode of celebrating BRIwas building, Castlecary being in its

TISH VICTORIES. vicinity, workmen were employed to search in the ruins for stones, that might be applied to its use. They

SIR, then discovered sundry apartments I AM far from wishing to convey built with stone and lime, in one of

any censure on our Magistrates, which were a number of stones stand for wishing to give some public tes

TO THE EDITOR.

timony of their exultation at the suc- Defence of the Situation of the New cesses of the British arms. On the

POLICE OFFICE. great occasion of Vittoria, they were

TO THE EDITOR. accused of being somewhat remiss in Sir, this particular. But they have cer- YOU are certainly right to be imtainly, on recent occasions, shewn an partial in taking notice of any extraordinary zeal to wipe off this Improprieties, either in the intended aspersion. I only incline to doubt if Improvements or Police of this mesome of the methods taken be exactly tropolis ; at the same time, this very suited to the dignity of their station, impartiality will equally incline you or to the reputation of this learned to admit of any explanation, or vindiand famous city. I allude particular- cation of public measures, in favour of ly to the pasting up of placards, and the party who is accused. above all of such placards as have been I am led into this remark by obrecently exhibited. The following, serving, in the two last numbers of which is the last, I will venture to your useful periodical publication, say, can produce only one sentiment some pretty severe strictures on our in the mind of any person who has Magistrates for converting the north the least idea of taste or elegant com- aisle of St Giles's Church into a Poposition. All attempts to illustrate lice Office. Tho' I have no connecthe beauties of this production were tion with these gentlemen, or look superfluous; they must be obvious to for any favour from them, yet justice the most superficial reader. I con- obliges me to take their part on this .tent myself, therefore, with transmit. occasion. ting a simple copy of it, preserving that The writer of these papers endeaarrangement of breaks and capitals vours to point out how sacrilegeous on which the pungency and emphasis it is to convert any part of a building, of the composition materially depends. originally intended for sacred purpoVICTORY!

ses, into an office for civil use. He

appears, however, to have altogether THE THE LORD PROVOST AND forgot, that this part of the building MAGISTRATES Congratu- turies, been occupied as such, thougla

has, it is believed, for those two cenjate their Fellow Citizens upon the in a different way; and it seems to FALL of ST SEBASTIANS,

he of very little consequence, whether

it is now to be used as one Law ofWhich was accomplished upon 9th

fice or another. instant by assault, and added fresh

Your correspondent is also pleased honours to the name of BRITISH

to remark, that there was no occasion SOLDIERS. The Spaniards alone had previously Office, from a place so well adapted

whatever, for changing the Police defeated Soult in an attempt to re

for its purposes, to its new station. lieve the place, and gained the ap

With regard to the former Office, plause of the

I need hardly remark, that altho' it GREAT FIELD-MARSHAL WELLINGTON

may have made a shift to answer for for their most distinguished Gallantry. useful and necessary establishment, it

a temporary accommodation for this The ALLIED ARMIES in the for it. Besides the narrowness of the

was by no means an eligible situazioa NORTH are following the Bright entry into it, I have observed that Career of BRITAIN in PAIN.

the Court Room was too small and inCouncil Chamber, Sept. 17. 1819. convenient.

But

But this is not all. Was there no Edinburgh Improvement Bill to be bardship in subjecting the several brought into Parliament, impowering private families in the neighbourhood them to purchase, by valuation of a to all the noise and trouble, which jury, this old tenement, and of rethey have put up with for years past, building it in the same form with the rather than complain, when they were other houses of this commodious court. satisfied, that the first proper oppor- And I can have little doubt, (from tunity would be gladly embraced by what I know of the prices lately the Magistrates to rid them of so given for some houses in the square,) great a disturbance, as the conveyance that the city would be refunded by of prisoners to and from the office, the sale of the first two flats for a net to mention the greater nuisance Coffee - house, Banking - house, or of some of these unhappy persons, wholesale Ware-house ; of the two knocking and crying, night and day, upper storeys for dwelling-houses; at the windows of the apartment in and of the sunk flats for cellars ; which they were confined this I my. while light could still be preserved to self have witnessed. Nay, further, I the stair in the corner, by one or two know a respectable family in the grated windows sunk in the extended close, who were obliged to remove to pavement. I am, another house, solely on account of

SIR, this troublesome neighbour ! Your correspondent further propo

Your most obedient Servant, ses still to remove this establishment

4. B. to the Signet Office. After what I Edinburgh, 9ih Sept. 1813. have just now mentioned, however, I suppose he would be inclined to stop short with this suggestion, and not wish to see a still more respectable Biographical Sketch of THOMSON, the neighbourhood distressed with it. · Poei of KENLEITH, with a desulAnd, indeed, considering that the tory description of his celebrated situation of the new Office prevents

PARNASSUS. it from annoying any citizen's family, Pull many a gem, of purest ray serene, it is just in the very part of the town The dark unfathom'd caves of ocean beár ; which answers best for the purpose Full many a flower but springs to blush unin the centre betwixt the Council

And waste its sweetness on the desart air. Chamber, and the intended new prison and county hall.

As to the expence which he com. MEN situated in private life selplains has been incurred in fitting up dom attract observation, unless the new office, it would have cost by the coincidence of accidental cisthe community more than triple the cumstances. Far from tbe noise and sum, to have, purchased ground in an bustle of the world, their days glide equally eligible place, and to have on in a calm uniformity, till at last erected the walls of the building. they drop into the grave, “ unnoticed

There is still a greater objection, and unknown." But when the inhowever, to the Signet Office being herent spark of genius is elicited by converted into the Police Office. I the collision of a kindred mind; trust our respectable Magistracy will when the horizon is lighted up by not let slip the present favourable op- the first dawnings of intellectual greatportunity of, in some mcasure, complet- ness, we gaze with wonder and astoring the plan of the Royal Exchange, ishment on the prodigy, and, anxious by introducing a clause into the first for the result, watch its approximation

to

seen,

GRAY.

to the meridian with the utmost soli. the very lowest classes of the comcitude and care. Such was the ap- munity can enter more immediately pearance of that great high priest of into the beauties of those romances Nature: warm from the plough, he and legends, which give a particular burst upon the world like a star of cast to the mind, feelingly alivo to the first magnitude ; the wise and the the sublime and pathetic descriptions learned beheld him ascend, with sen of war and love. Possessed of a detiments little short of devotion, nor gree of curiosity corresponding to have succeeding ages found it at all the education they have received, they necessary to detract from that high naturally embrace every opportunity veneration paid him, to form a just of becoming more enlightened. The and merited picture of the effusions oral traditions and tales of their foreof this unrivalled Son of Song, fathers are handed down, and, with “ Hand facile emergunt, quorum Virtu- the most ardent enthusiasm, chanted tibus obstat

to those simple melodies, the characRes augusta domi"

teristic of the Scottish music, and had long been proverbial in the dog- the aboriginal inhabitant of her p25mas and disquisitions of the antiqua- toral and agricultural departments

. ted pedant. Burns was a glorious The impression (says an accurate foil to controvert this opinion, nor and elegant critic) which the airs of are we without numberless and bril- Caledonia have made on the minds of liant examples, even in these our the people, is deepened by its union days, of innate genius rising superior, with their national songs, particularly by its own exertions, to the storms of those of a mild and melancholy strain; adversity, to the critic's frown. Wit- as several productions in this departness a Hogg and a Bloomfield, names ment are to be met with, which stampt with every virtue, elegant breathe the true spirit of romantic and great, who have diffused a lustre, tenderness and affection, unrivalled brilliant indeed, round the sphere in perhaps by the most chaste and claswhich they were destined to move, sic composition of modern times. and have added 'an unperishable gem Having endeavoured, in these preto the literary crown of this land of fatory remarks, to shew that Genius is * High Romance and Minstrelsie." not always to be found in the gloom

The fame of the man of science, of the porch, or amongst the dusty er of arts, is in general destined to cobwebs of the schools; but that she survive only in the history of that frequently descends to the low abodes particular department to which his of poverty and unadorned virtue; studies had been directed ; the let me now presume to introduce to triumphs of his invention soon be the notice of your readers, one who, came shadowy and imperfect, like in the humblest walk of life, has yet the phantoms of a passing dream.- found leisure to woo the Rirel Mast, But ihe fame to be derived from min. nor hath she disdained to listen to strelsy, depends not on the fortuitous his artless effusions. The person for coincidence of time or pilace: no, the whom 1 am anxious to procure this range of worlds is the stage on which notice, is James Thomson, the poetithe bard exhibits, and eternity the cal weaver of Kenleith; a man, simple bound of that fame which he hath so and unaffected in his manner, yet justly laboured to establish. The fraught with all that is respectable peasantry of Scotland have generally in the composition of a worthy, ho'been acknowledged to possess a de- nest, and industrious mind. Born to gree of intellectual improvement, sui no inheritance but poverty, even in perior to every nation upon earth; that state be has found the means of

making himself respected and es- proportion of Mid-Lothian, lie in teemed. During the intervals from perspective before you. Edinburgh his more laborious occupations, he appears in all her glory, with the would wander aloof from the noisy Castle and New Barracks, towering, sons of dissipation and riot ; there, all like the crown of this grand Empoalone, by the margin of his native rium, or justly-denominated Queen of rills, or under the shade of his prime- the North. The house itself is fitval bowers, indulge his mind in cul- ted up with all the neatness and eleling a few wild flowers from the foot gance which art could bestow upon of that visioned mount, and roam, in a situation so little susceptible of the the extacy of his soul," from Nature, gentler beauties of nature. The up to Nature's God.

small Gothic windows embowered A few of these his earlier effusions with honeysuckle and ivy ; parterres were handed about in MS., and were of roses, and other sweet-smelling so well received, that a small volume flowers, incircle its walls; and a sopha, was got up by subscription, to which such as princes might deem it a a very appropriate narrative was pre- luxury to repose upen, is placed upon fixed by his worthy friend and patron a gentle declivity at the end of the the late George Maclaurin, Esq. house, covered with the finest velvet (himself a poet, and whose produc- turf, and richly garnished with a covtions, together with those of his father, ering of the most beautiful evergreens: have recently been published.) From descending the garden by a rude stair the profits arising from the sale of of a serpentine form, thro' bushes and this volume, he was enabled to rear patches of natural wood, you arrive a small neat cottage in the village of at the brink.of a gently purling rill, Kenleith, in the parish of Currie, overhung with hazel and sloethorn : about 6 or 7 miles S. W. from Edin winding a few yards along its margin, burgh, and which he bas very appro- you come to what is very aptly called priately designated by the title of his Helicon. It is a well of the utMount Parnassus.

most coolness, bubbling up through a The scite of Thomson's Parnassus stone-bason, to which is chained a is at once elevated and romantic. To small iron'ladle, with an inscription the West, you have one of the most, in brass sunk into the handle. Over extensive and finely variegated pros- the well is prefixed a large broad pects to be met with in the South of stone, with a poetical inscription, inScotland. Below you, as on a map, viting the pilgrim to partake of its is delineated, the well-wooded, and salutary draught, and warning him fertile county of West Lothian; a little against the dangers of inebriety and beyond, is part of Peebles, Lanark, intemperance. The whole is encirStirling, and Dumbartonshire, (for, cled with a range of romantic rocks, in a clear day, the top of Benlomond overshadowed with dark embowering is visibly discerned, fading like an trees. Further up in this romantic glen azure streak amid the otherwise bound. he has form'd less horizon.) To the North, the eye

A pool breast-deep, wanders over the gentle declivities of where, Fife, Clackmannan, Kincardine, with Between twa birks, out o'er a little lin, the distant mountains of Perthshire; The burnie fa's, and mak's a singand din. the Forth winding along like an On either side, bowers, sacred to inland sea, with the white sail veering Love, to Friendship, and to Hospitality to and fro upon its tide. To the are reared with all the nicety of taste East, the whole of Haddingtonshire, and truth. In the largest of these a part of Berwick, and the greater is placed a rural table, where the

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