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Return fond muse frae haunts sae fair,
*The reference here is to the residence, or rather imprisonment of Mary in Lochleven Castle.
† Roslin Castle, on the banks of the Esk, about seven miles from Edinburgh.
‡ Brow, in Scotland, is often pronounced as if spelt brue.
While steel-clad vassals wont to wait
How exquisite, and how entirely and peculiarly Scottish is the following:
"Now tent the Pentlands westlin's seen,
Steals gurgling down its mossy hill;
On bonny braes o' Woodhouselee."
The genius of Scotland is one of freedom, of independent thought, and unfettered action in matters civil and religious. This produced the Reformation; this generated the recent secession from the Kirk' this characterizes the literature of the nation. We cannot, therefore, refrain from making one more quotation, which breathes the lofty spirit of freedom:
"Alas! sic objects to behold,
Brings back the glorious days of old,
* Ewes, pronounced as if it were yowes.
For dearest independence bled,
So o'er yon mountains stretching lang,
Frae Grampia's blood-stained heights did flee,
Walk to the Castle-The old Wynds and their Occupants—
LET us now descend into the city. We will not linger long in old Holyrood Palace, interesting as it is, nor dwell upon "the stains" of Rizzio's blood in Queen Mary's room, as these have been described a thousand times, and are familiar to every one. Neither will we spend time in gazing upon the spot where once stood that quaint old gaol, called "The Heart of Midlothian," made classic by the pen of Scott, in the beautiful story of Jeanie Deans. Neither will we visit the old "Parliament House" and the "Advocates' Library;" but we will pass right up through High Street, amid those colossal buildings, rising, on either side, to the height of six, seven, and even eight and ten stories, swarming with inhabitants; and dive into one or two of those close, dark wynds, where reside, in countless multitudes, the poorest and most vicious of the people. Here, it must be confessed, are some strange sights and appalling noises. Yet it is not quite so bad as some have represented it. All large cities have their poor and vicious inhabitants, and although those of the Scottish metropolis are tolera
bly dirty and vastly degraded, they bear no comparison to the lazzaroni of Naples and the beggars of Rome. Some of the streets and wynds are narrow enough and vile enough, but they contain, after all, many worthy people, who own a Bible, and read it too; and were you only to become thoroughly acquainted with them, you would be surprised to find how much of honesty and kindly affection still dwell in their hearts. In ancient times the houses in these very "closes" or "wynds" were inhabited by the nobility and gentry. Hence Grey's Close, Morrison's Close, Stewart's Close, &c. They built their houses in these narrow streets in order to be more secure from the attacks of their enemies, and to be the better able to defend the principal thoroughfares into which they opened. In Blythe's Close may be seen the remains of the palace of the Queen Regent, Mary of Guise. In another stand the old houses of the Earls of Gosford and Moray. One of the largest old palaces is now inhabited by beggars and rats.
It would be a great improvement if these miserable dwellings could be removed, and replaced by better streets and houses; a still greater one, if the people could only be induced to abandon the use of whiskey, for then they would abandon their hovels as a matter of course. Their besetting sin is the love of strong drink, though this has been gradually diminishing for the last few years throughout Scotland. It is to be hoped that the pious and moral portion of the community will unite in a strong effort to reclaim this degraded class of their fellow