Obrazy na stronie

from the throne and expelled the Bishops from their Dioceses.

This ancient chapel, after a period of desuetude of nearly a hundred years, was re-opened for divine service on the Feast of St Michael and All Angels, 1866. The ceremonial of the day commenced with a solemn service of benediction, composed for the occasion by the Bishop of Brechin. The office concluded with the celebration of the holy communion, according to the old Scottish rite.

The second service, or Matins, followed soon thereafter, with the Benedicite sung as a processional chant by a full and well-trained choir, among whom were the Countess of Strathmore, Lady Elizabeth Arthur, Lady Constance Hay, and other of the guests at the Castle, along with several of the domestics. The clergy in their surplices, and the Bishop

in his robes closed the procession.

The chants used were Gregorian, and the anthem was the Dedication Hymn "Christ is made the sure Foundation." The musical service for the Holy Communion was "Marbeck's Plain Song." The effect of the fine chant, as heard in the chapel when the procession wound slowly from the crypt, up the grand stair-case, and through the ancient hall, was strikingly solemn and impressive, reminding one of old times, when

"No sound of busy life was heard amid the cloisters dim,

Save the tinkling of the silver bell, and the sister's holy hymn." Previous to the re-opening of the hallowed shrine, great alterations had taken place in the interior arrangements and finishings of the chapel. The raised dais and box pews with all their graduated scale of rank, had disappeared, and in their stead were simple benches and chairs. In place of the old diminutive altar, there now arose a new one of large dimensions, splendidly vested in white silk, and richly embroidered in crimson and gold. On the super-altar was displayed a beautifully jewelled cross in all its symbolic significance with ornate vases of variegated flowers expressive of the

beauty of God's great creation. The heavy black panels in which the paintings are framed have been gilt, and the pictures themselves cleaned and varnished without, in the least, interfering with the air of antiquity which characterises the place.

The sermon by the Bishop of Brechin, from the appropriate text-Joshua xxiv. 15,-“But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord," was a very eloquent and impressive one -concluding thus

"When I look upon this church I am called back to the recollections of the past. I see here a great religious effort upon the part of that strong-willed and predominant race who have so long inhabited this venerable Castle. I see here the first effort, after the doubts and difficulties of the Scotch Reformation, to raise a temple in the appropriate spirit to God. I see here the results of that short-lived period of civilization. -of high cultivation-which from the time of the accession of King James to the English throne, till the troubles about the Prayer-book, distinguished Scotland. I see here the dedication of Christian art to the services of the sanctuary— not, indeed Christian art after the spiritual glories of the Italian Schools, but still they did what they could, and those who decorated the church were, at least, no puritans. I see here almost the last act of our Bishops in its consecration just before the dis-establishment of our church. And I see where, in the time of our depressed position, the litany used to be said, and prayers arose to God, till at last the French Revolution came, and all became coldness, and the voice of prayer and praise ceased. These days, thank God, are gone for ever. I should be mis-using this place were I to use it as a vehicle for praise and flattery. We are all in the presence of Almighty God, answerable for those talents, for those powers, for those opportunities which God gives us, and when we have done all we are unprofitable servants. But, still, I do believe that this will be a day much to be remembered in the future annals of this ancient house-that done in the true

spirit of religion and in the love of God, to-day's act may draw down many blessings from heaven, so that, continuing in God's fear and love this family may cast its roots deeper and spring to a more vigorous existence than ever, leavening, by its example, those around it, and impetrating fresh blessings from the Lord and God of all good things."

The Castle, apart from association altogether, is the noblest and most perfect specimen of feudal architecture in the kingdom-so grand and majestic as a whole, and so perfect in its every detail, that no description, however elaborate, can convey any just or adequate idea of its great magnitude and unique beauty. Embosomed among sombre and extensive woods, this vast pile proudly rears its castellated towers, the lowness of its situation and the level nature of the surrounding grounds, however, preventing its being seen from any great distance. The surprise and awe, therefore, experienced is so much the greater when, entering the long and beautiful avenue by which it is approached from the south, the feudal pile in all its solemn grandeur bursts suddenly upon

the view.

Nor do these feelings lessen in intensity as we gradually approach its classical and hallowed precincts. There is such a rare combination of the various styles of the different ages of Scotch baronial architecture, harmonising strangely enough with the florid productions of the French architectural school, that our admiration intensifies and deepens the nearer we approach the imposing edifice. The great tower in the centre, upwards of 100 feet high, with its round-roofed vaults, narrow orifices, and great, thick, massy walls, is nearly of the earliest period of castellated masonry. The rich cluster of cone-topped turrets, again, with the spiral staircase in one of the angles of the building, and the wings which crouch beneath the great tower, are said to be the work of Inigo Jones.

The whole of the immense pile is in fine preservation, and contains some relics of great antiquity and general interest.

Besides the chapel, already noticed, there are some valuable historical portraits in the great hall; several specimens of old armour; some court dresses of the seventeenth century; and the motley raiment of the family fool, to the cap and other parts of which the bells are still attached.

The ornate and beautiful iron railing round the central tower was erected in 1682. The view obtained from this tower is of the most magnificent and attractive description. Indeed, it is scarcely possible to conceive a prospect of greater loveliness or more luxuriant beauty. The whole Strath, in its length and breadth, lies stretched out beneath and around you, while the Sidlaws on the one hand, and the Grampians on the other, form most fitting back-grounds to the picture, adding a mystic, weird-like sublimity to the fairy scene.

Here-Catlaw, like a sentinel grim,

Lone guards the Grampian Mountains dim,
Which stretch across from sea to sea,
In glorious, solemn majesty.
There-cleaving high ethereal air,

Loom Cairn-a-Month and dark Mount Blair;
And in the glack of yonder glen,

The wild woods wave in Airlie Den;
While rugged hills of dreamy hue,
Dim mingle with the azure blue,
And reach, in misty gloom afar,
The confines dark of Lochnagar.

In the surrounding grounds there were to be seen within the last fifty or sixty years a number of statues and sculptured ornaments, most of which were erected by Patrick, third Earl of Kinghorn, and first Earl of Strathmore, who did much to encourage the cultivation of a taste for the fine arts. None of these now remain, except a curious and richlyfinished sun dial with its many faces to the sun, an object of great attraction to the antiquary, as, indeed, it is of general interest to all admirers of this classic spot.

To the eastward of the Church of Glamis there is a large stone or obelisk of rude design erected, as is generally

supposed, to commemorate the murder of Malcolm II., King of Scotland. In the northern part of the Hunter Hill, to the south of the village, there is also an ancient obelisk, in the midst of a large cairn of stones, called King Malcolm's gravestone. Near a place called Cossins, about a mile north-east of the Castle, there stands another obelisk, called St Orland's Stone, evidently meant to perpetuate the same event. these suggestive and interesting memorials will be noticed more at length when we introduce the legend of Malcolm's murder in the wood near Thornton, this brief reference to them here may in the meantime suffice.

Judging from the print of Glamis Castle by Slezer in Charles II.'s reign, it appears to have been anciently much more extensive, being a large quadrangular mass of buildings, with several circles of defensive boundaries, at each of which the sleepless sentinel kept watch and ward. Sir Walter Scott bitterly lamented the subsequent landscape-gardening operations, which, sweeping down all the exterior defences, left the clustered tower standing alone, in the middle of a park, unprotected, like a modern peaceful mansion. "A disciple of Kent," he says, "had the cruelty to render this splendid old mansion more parkish, as he was pleased to call it; to raze all those external defences, and to bring his mean and paltry gravel walk up to the very door, from which, deluded by the name, we might have imagined Lady Macbeth (with the form and features of Siddons) issuing forth to receive King Duncan."

Previous to the approaches being modernised, the Castle was the theme of admiring wonder of all who beheld it. The Pretender, the Chevalier St George, slept one night in the Castle, in 1715, when on his way to his coronation at Scone; and is said to have declared this ancient residence to be the finest he had ever seen.

"It is," says De Foe, "one of the finest old built palaces in Scotland, and by far the largest. When you see it at a distance, it is a pile of turrets and lofty buildings, spires and

« PoprzedniaDalej »