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“The wondrous Michael Scott;
The readers of that poem will recollect that it was opened by William of Deloraine, and from the grasp of the corpse was taken the book of magic with the iron clasps.
“ Then Deloraine in terror took
From the cold hand the mighty book,
A large cross is cut in the stone that covers his . grave.
The choir, which is built in the form of half a . Greek cross, is very magnificent; the eastern window is particularly so. Scott says of it :
“The moon on the east oriel shone,
By foliaged tracery combined :
In many a freakish note had twined;
Under the spot where the high altar stood is the grave of Alexander II., of Scotland. Here also is interred the heart of King Robert the Bruce, which Douglas, agreeably to a promise exacted from him by the king while on his death-bed, was carrying to Palestine, when he was killed bravely fighting the Moors of Spain. The followers of Douglas brought back the monarch's heart with the body of their lord, and they were here laid together in their last resting place.
On the key-stone of the arch over the altar is sculptured our Saviour on the cross, surrounded by the Roman soldiers. The carving in every direction is exquisite, and as perfect as though newly cut. Statues of the founder, King David I., and his consort, surmount the window by the altar. Pedestals still remain on which statues of Christ and his twelve apostles stood, but the statues have been destroyed. Of these sculptured figures there is a vast number; the subjects of the greater part are taken from Sacred History, but there are also representations of flowers and fruit, of various kinds. Originally every key-stone had its statue or sculptured ornament; and as the arches seem almost interminable, the richness of the abbey in statuary and sculpture must have been very great. In one corner a narrow winding stair has led to the top of the abbey, but the upper part being destroyed, I could only ascend half way. At one of the landing places on this stair a large flat stone covers a little vault, in which the monks deposited their treasures. Near the foot of the stair, a little below ground, is the vault in which the wax candies were kept. Skillful artists must have been employed in the construction of this wonderful edifice; and it seemed remarkable to me, accustomed as I have been to so much wood being used in our American erections, to see a building of this prodigious size, without a single piece of wood in or about it. Floor, walls, ceiling, window sashes, are all of stone. There are some very old grave-stones in the church-yard. One of them appeared to me so beautiful and striking, that I transcribed it :- .
“The earth goeth on the earth,
Glistering like gold,
Sooner than it wold,
Castles and towers,
All things are ours.”
This abbey was founded by David I., by whom it was munificently endowed. The foundation was laid in 1136, and finished in 1146, when it was dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The monks were of the reformed class called Cistertians. It now belongs to the Duke of Buccleuch, to whom great credit is due for rescuing it from decay.
Near Melrose we passed the Eildon Hills, which, it is said, were formerly but one cone, till divided, as they are at present, into three peaks, by the wizard Michael Scott. On the summit of one of them may still be traced the marks of a Roman encampment, while down its steep side is distinctly seen the ridge built by the Romans as a road, to enable them to ascend. It was a well chosen site for their purpose, as it commands an extensive view of the surrounding country. The ancient Britons were a comparatively feeble race, and soon gave way before the Roman Eagle ; but the hardy Picts and Scots were not so easily subdued ; and, in fact, were never conquered.
From Melrose I drove to Abbotsford, where once dwelt the great magician of the North, Walter Scott. " It is about three miles from Melrose.
“It was a painful thing to see
Trim Abbotsford so gay,
And he, their lord, away.”
I passed through a little gate, down a steep bank, to the house, about an hundred and fifty yards from the road. I was shown by the housekeeper into a hall, round which hung many antiquities and curiosities, collected by a hand that delighted in the work, and was indefatigable in it. They consisted chiefly of ancient armor, military implements, &c.; among other things, were a complete set of Sikh armor, a suit of chain mail, and a set of Chinese armor, made of silk, thickly padded. In this room are also the body clothes last worn by Sir Walter-his white hat, brown coat, light vest, plaid pantaloons, and shoes; they are enclosed in a glass case. I was next shown into his study, where his armchair, covered with black leather, and his desk, stand as when he last used them. The next room is the library, containing some twenty thousand volumes of valuable books, and is the largest room in the house. In the drawingroom are the black ebony chairs and cabinet presented to him by George IV. The armory is a small room, full of curiosities; into which, how