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naturally have been tall, but he was condemned by the infirmity of a club foot to limp aukwardly on a stick at every step. His deportment was characterised by something of the robust and plebeian--I may even say rustic. He wore a green coat* with short skirts, wide trowsers. In a word, there was nothing remarkable in his costume; for I cannot bring myself to describe it, piece by piece, like one of those knights so minutely depicted by the poet's pencil, whether in verse or prose. Nothing graceful, neither in the oval of his countenance, nor in his features : florid with health ; high coloured, perhaps by walking ; grey eyes, with projecting eyebrows, which gave a hard expression to his look; a large forehead ; but at the moment in question bathed with perspiration ; thinly scattered hair, ash coloured, and growing grey, with a natural tendency to curl ; the superior lip out of proportion ; in fine, all the lower part of the figure ordinary; such were the personal characteristics of the author of the Lady o, the Lake.
I am now anxiously enquiring of myself whether, notwithstanding the reputation he bears for amenity, wit, and charming gaiety of conversation, I do not run some risk, in desiring to see him closer still, of destroying the last relic of an agreeable illusion. In the meanwhile I already detect
* It was one of those habits, vestes, recently introduced at Paris under the name of Three per Cents., or Villèle coats; for little men leave their names to little things.
myself making an effort to dignify his vulgar traits in my recollection. I strive to think that I have probably surveyed them at an unfavourable moment, when some disagreeable reminiscence injured their expression. I farther recalled to mind that I had in the same manner, on first sight, incorrectly judged the features of one of our greatest geniuses, who was in a cotton night-cap when he deigned to receive me in his apartment.
I shall see Sir Walter again. I may be enabled to trace a more agreeable portrait of him, without being less true. If any person thinks these details puerile, it is not for such as him that I am writing ; I address myself to those who enthusiastically study the bust of a great man, and endeavour to detect there, in common with Dr. Gall, the indications of his genius in the least protuberances of his cranium. I hope, therefore, to return to the subject; meantime I shall conduct you through the old town.
At the foot of Salisbury's Craig, Edinburgh commences with the castle of Holyrood, whither I have not yet extended my walk. From the court of this palace, a long street ascends to the castle, which street the citizens of Edinburgh pronounce the finest in the world; it traverses a space of 5570 feet, its greatest width being ninety. It is there that it is called High-street. From Holyrood to that point its name is Canongate. In the the midst of Canongate formerly stood two crosses, one of which, named Garth Cross, served to mark
the limits of the sanctuary of Holyrood. This sanctuary still enjoys its ancient privileges.Debtors find within its bounds an inviolable asylum, subjected solely to the jurisdiction of the Duke of Hamilton, the hereditary governor. If they contract new debts within the precincts, they may be sued by their new creditors, who may obtain the right of taking their persons : but with regard to their exterior creditors, they are in perfect security throughout the entire suburb; and in what is called the King's Park, which comprehends Arthur's Seat and Salisbury's Craig within its purlieu.
. The highest part of Canongate is composed of houses very ancient, and particularly ill built in the midst of their eccentric irregularity. But on the grey and sombre walls are seen carvings, more or less mutilated, of coats of arms, which attest that it was in the houses now rented out to the lower classes where formerly resided those proud Scottish barons, whose descendants have deserted the vicinity of the palace, since it has been merely occupied by the vain representations of royalty. Advancing to that part of the street which takes the name of High-street, and where some noble escutcheons still attract admiration, we encounter the house where was born the famous John Knox, that seditious apostle of Scottish reform, who caused the feudal ceilings of Holyrood, even in the presence of Mary Stuart, to echo to the harshest tone of remonstrance. On each side, the main street is intersected by lateral streets, or little narrow alleys, wherein the Pyramuses and Thisbes of Edinburgh may squeeze each others hands from the opposite windows. Let us hasten by them; for occa sionally from these loopholes in the walls, which usurp the names of windows, some of those fatal showers sometimes fall which are called passa res* at Marseilles, and here gardez-los.
This expression, derived from French, (Gare Le'au), is a cry of warning which much more often follows than precedes the descent of the liquid. In real fact, one is threatened with the same danger, not only amidst the twilight of the lateral lanes of the High-street, but even in the wider streets of the New Town. In the colours of the houses, and along the exterior walls, moreover, you perceive the presence of perfumes in a solid form. I warned you that we were going to traverse a domain of prose.
The modern embellishments of this part of High-street may be conceived, where near the quadrangular base of Tron Church, you have on
* Passa res? is no body passing? is a fatal signal. You generally hear it when it is too late. The inhabitants of beautiful Marseilles often make singular barters with each other. You may often, evening and morning, see the servant of one house depositing the contents of her slop-pail on the other side of the laundry gutter, and the servant of the opposite house the next moment comes to repay the debt in the same manner. While referring to the filthy customs, which in our southern towns render the approach to our most magnificent monuments so dangerous, one is reminded of the remark of Joseph II., when visiting the arenas of Nismes. “M. Le Consul, is this also a work of the Romans ?"
your left what is called Southbridge-street, leading to the university, the hospital, &c.; and on your right, Northbridge-street, uniting the Old with the New Town. These streets and bridges produce singular surprises. You hear a murmur beneath the arches, and you lean over the parapet in order to survey the river which flows beneath ; but you look in vain ; it is the murmur of a third town situated in the ravine. This ravine was formerly filled with water; it is called North Loch. There commences the line of those lofty houses, the eleventh and twelfth stories of which appear like hawks' nests, constructed by the birds of Aristophanes. The height of these houses may be thus explained :-From the ravine to the level of the bridge, they are not above four or five stories ; but instead of roof, a new house is superadded to the former.
Pursuing our way towards the castle, we vainly search for the tollbooth, or ancient prison, also called the Heart of Midlothian. It was levelled in 1817, as an old ruin, and the operation uncovered one of the angles of St. Giles's church, the belfry of which has so picturesque an effect from a distance. On a near view, this church exhibits nothing but a heavy mass of masonry uncharacterized by any style, and the colour of which is rather dirty than grey. The ancient gothic cross, whence formerly the royal proclamations were issued, has disappeared, and no trace remains of it, in common with the prison, but the description which