ページの画像
PDF
ePub

Blazed battlement and pinnet high

Blazed every rose-carved buttress fair-
So still they blaze when fate is nigh

The lordly line of high St. Clair.” At the south-east corner of the chapel, immediately under the high altar, is a flight of twentyfour steps, much broken, which conducts to a subterraneous chapel, supposed to have been used as a vestry.

A kind of melancholy steals over one while wandering amid ruins like these. Every chiseled column and elaborately carved capital must have been the result of patient industry and untiring genius. The whole building was probably the labor of many years for hundreds of men, and, though the work of their hands remains, yet who can tell aught of the workmen ? When completed, thousands thronged these now deserted aislesgeneration of worshipers succeeded generationbut now, though the temple where they congregated remains, they have become as the clods of the valley. The hope of immortality is the only relief to this dark picture ; and though their religion was one of superstition and ignorance, yet we are not without hope that some of them may have found the way of life, and are now rejoicing in that temple “ not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."

“After satisfying our curiosity among these interesting scenes, we turned our steps once more toward Loanhead, where we arrived about six o'clock, somewhat fatigued with our long walk, but ready to do justice to a substantial meal which we found awaiting us. After enjoying for a short time the Christian intercourse of the clergyman's family, we bade him farewell, and, mounting once more the top of the coach, were soon whirled into Edinburgh. Thus ended my pleasant ramble through the picturesque dell of the river Esk-a ramble which included much fine scenery, some of which, though rough and rugged, was, at the same time, as beautiful and romantic as any I ever beheld.

Linlithgow.

Of all the palaces so fair,

Built for the royal dwelling,
In Scotland, far beyond compare,

Linlithgow is excelling."

ABOUT half way between Edinburgh and Glasgow lies the venerable old town of Linlithgow, on the shore of the beautiful lake (or loch, as it is called in Scotland,) of the same name. The name signifies " the lake of the broad valley,” from the fact that it is situated in the centre of a fine fertile plain, and not surrounded with rocks and hills, as sheets of water like this usually are.

Like many old towns, it consists of but one street, and that a very crooked one, of about three quarters of a mile in length, containing a population of 4,000 souls. Few places are more intimately associated with Scottish history than this. It was connected with the wars of Wallace and Bruce—was the birthplace of Queen Mary—while its palace was long the residence of the Stuarts. Too much cannot well be said of the exceeding beauty of the lake ; while upon its banks, on a charming grassy knoll, one of the most lovely positions that could well be imagined, stands the ruins of the old palace. The town itself is a queer looking place ; most of the houses are very old and venerable—some standing with their gable ends to the street. One of these bears the date of 1597, and has for a motto, “ Ve Big Ye Se Varly,” (we build you see securely.) Some of the houses are finished inside with stuccoed ceilings and wainscoated walls, and are vaulted with stone on the ground floor-having been, in former times, the residences of the nobility. One old edifice near the railway station belonged to the Knights Templars, and afterward to the order of St. John.

I was much interested in wandering through this strange old town: it is the best preserved speci. men of the past I have ever seen. The railway seemed to be the only prominent modern interpo. lation. This town is celebrated for its fine water, with which it is bountifully supplied. Surmount. ing one of the hydrants, stands a statue of St. Michael (to whom the town is dedicated), with the inscription below, “St. Michael is kind to strangers.” In front of the townhouse stands the

Cross Well, a very curious and elegant piece of work. The present structure was built in 1807, but it is said to be a fac simile of the original, erected in 1670. The sculpture is very elaborate, and the water is made to flow in large quantities from the mouths of a multitude of grotesque figures. These figures evidently have some satirical reference to the Monks and Friars of that time. What is very remarkable, this curious work was chiseled the last time, by a man who had but one hand, his mallet being fastened when at work to the stump of his arm.

The palace is of square form, with a large court in the centre. At each corner is a high tower, with a narrow winding stair leading to the top. I ascended one of these stairs to “ Queen Margaret's bower,” a small roorn in the turret, overlooking the country for many miles, where Queen Margaret sat watching for her husband James the IV., while absent at Flodden field. Over the door is cut in the stone, the following lines from Marmion :

“His own Queen Margaret, who in Lithgow's bowers

All lonely sat and wept the weary hours.” In the kitchen, on the first floor, is one of those

« 前へ次へ »