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ABERDEEN :-STREET ARCHITECTURE IN THE SCHOOLHILL.
Castlegate, the Shiprow, and the Nether Kirkgate, with a large quadrangular edifice in the Guestrow, supposed to have been the bishop's town residence. The disposal of these old streets shows that our ancestors were not so utterly ignorant as they are supposed to have been of the art of congregating numbers into towns with the smallest sacrifice of health and convenience. The place chosen for a town was generally the ridge of a hill. The main street might be narrow enough, but its houses had the open country and free air on the other side, and the central marketplace—the only street surrounded by others—was generally broad and airy. On the slopes of the hill, usually outside the wall, the citizens had their gardens, with large summer-houses at their extremities. Of this disposal specimens may yet be seen in Aberdeen. The Gallowgate is sufficiently crowded and filthy, to be sure; but on either side its inhabitants had-as many of them still have-gardens stretching into the country.
The inquiries of local antiquaries have failed to throw any light on the old mansion in the Schoolhill, the object of the accompanying engraving; and there remains nothing but a tradition-probably founded on its vicinity to the church and Kirkgate—that it was the manse of St Nicholas. Over the arched doorway there is a Latin inscription-Domus optima coelo. Its elliptical form is a sore puzzle to the junior students of the neighbouring grammar-school, where Byron first imbibed Latin ; and the venerable building has been, to the successive generations of schoolboys who have trooped passed it, an object of admiration and mysterious awe. The corners produced by the projecting tower afforded, of old, snug accommodation to certain wellknown mendicants; and one of these recesses was the favourite resort of a brawny, bawling, old blind sailor, who was known by the formidable title of “ Thunder and Lightning." He obtained this designation from a never-failing feature in a tale of horrors and misfortunes, which he roared forth from his favourite corner in a manner that left few passers-by the excuse of remaining ignorant of them. The invariable climax of his statement was, that he had lost his “ precious eyesight at Kingston, in Jamaica, with a heavy flash of thunder and lightning." The old man had a failing which, like the infirmities of mendicants in general, contributed in a great measure to his income: If interrupted in any part of his narrative, he would resume it precisely where he had left off. The schoolboy's great hit was to interrupt him by tossing a coin into his hat just as he came to his climax, so that it might immediately follow the intercalary blessing, thus: “ Heaven bless and reward you, my dear young friend—with a heavy flash of thunder and lightning.” Whether the old man knew what he was about in all this, it might be hard to say; but many an urchin sacrificed the coin, which purer principles of charity would not have extracted, to procure this equivocal benediction.