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the great men to whom it had given birth, or whose genius it had fostered, I knew to be legion; so that when its lofty spires at last burst upon my sight, I felt a thrill of pleasurable emotion vibrating in every vein. And truly no other city presents such a view to the eye of a stranger. Most cities seem to owe their origin to accident, but the locality of Edinburgh must have been selected. For picturesque appearance and panoramic effect, the new town of Edinburgh stands unrivaled.
Immediately on my arrival, I called on a gentleman to whom I had a letter of introduction. After glancing over the letter, he extended to me his hand, and instead of saying, as we are only too apt to do here, that he would be happy to see me when I found time to call, with all the cordiality of a Scotchman and the politeness of a citizen of her metropolis, he invited me to make his house my home during my stay. I accepted the invitation, and the pleasure of my visit was no little heightened by the kind attentions and Christian intercourse of that gentleman and his most excellent lady. Another letter introduced me to an old resident, and withal an antiquarian-a man to whom all the old buildings and interesting localities about Edinburgh are as familiar as the alphabet. Many a stroll we had together. I caught eagerly from him a portion of his enthusiastic love of antiquity, as in company we scrambled up the old stone stairs, to the fourteenth story of some of those high houses, which are the relics of another age-houses once the mansions of knights and earls, and now occupied by the lowest class of society.
The general architecture of the city is very imposing, whether as regards the picturesque disorder of the buildings in the old town, or the symmetrical proportions of the streets and squares in the new. There is none of that squalid misery in its suburbs which is so often found in the neighborhood of large cities; but the approach to Edinburgh, from every side, is over fine roads, which are lined with suburban villas, the residences of those doing business in the city. Some of the squares in the new town are truly magnificent, and the uniformity, insisted on by law, adds much to the general effect.
It is curious to see how characteristic of the people are the placards posted up around the city. Instead of theatre bills, you will find notices of some missionary meeting; instead of the advertisement of a vile newspaper, that of some religious book; instead of notices of auctions, or the sailing of steamers, those of the meetings of some religious body.
The construction of the houses differs greatly from ours. In the new town the mansions of the wealthy nobles are sumptuous palaces, built of beautifully cut stone, and very large ; in the suburbs are smaller houses, occupied by the wealthier class of business men; but the construction of the houses in which the great bulk of the merchants, lawyers, literary men, &c., reside, are essentially different from both. These buildings, which are built of stone, are often from seventy-five to one hundred feet front, by perhaps one hundred and fifty feet in depth. An entry goes back to the centre of the house, from which a circular stone stair ascends to the uppermost story. The houses generally consist of four or five stories. At the landing place on each story one door leads to the right, and another to the left. You enter the one to the right, and find a complete house, consisting of a dining-room, drawing-room, several bed-rooms, kitchen, pantries, &c., all on one floor. You take the door to the left, and you find the
same thing ; so that there are in fact for all practical purposes two complete and distinct houses on each floor. Sometimes these buildings are owned by one individual, and let out to the different tenants; but it not unfrequently happens that each householder owns the premises he occupies, and there are thus often eight property holders in one building. The stair leading up to all these different.dwellings is lighted by a skylight at the top during the day, and by gas at night. The introduction of gas is much more general than in New York. Scarcely a house, office, shop, or store, either in cities or country towns, but is lighted with it.
On the summit of an abrupt and rocky hill overlooking the city stands Edinburgh Castleone of the strongholds of Scotland, and, before the discovery of gunpowder, considered impregnable. It can be approached only from one side, the remaining three sides being very precipitous; some parts, it has been observed by a wit, being more than perpendicular. Its elevation is about three hundred and eighty-three feet above the level of the sea. It contains accommodations for two thousand soldiers, and its armory affords space for
thirty thousand stands of arms. Having procured an order from the Lord Provost to see the Regalia, (which are here deposited,) I proceeded one fine morning to examine this celebrated fortress. After ascending the hill and passing through the massive gateway into the interior, I was shown a small room, resembling a vault or cave, built in the wall, which is of great thickness, where these emblems of Scottish royalty are kept. This room is lighted with gas. A white marble table stands in the centre, covered with a velvet cushionupon this lie the crown, the sceptre, and the sword of state. The crown is the same which Bruce wore when he delivered his country from the thraldom of the English, and it graced the brow of every Scottish monarch, from that period till the union of the two kingdoms. They are less splendid than the Regalia of England, but much more ancient, and possessed of far greater historical interest. They were concealed in a large oaken chest, which still stands in this room, for one hundred and seventeen years; the room having been built up, it was supposed to be a part of the wall, and the existence of these ancient relics was unknown for that period, until dis