« 前へ次へ »
itself from the yacht, darting through the mumerous vessels which covered the bay, and conducting the monarch to land. He was received with acclamations, which were redoubled as soon as it was perceived that he had added to his cockade the thistle and heath of Scotland. After the usual set speeches from the magistrates of Leith and some dignitaries of Edinburgh, the retinue proceeded ; at the head of it," with his heralds, was lion king at arms, wearing the costume described in Marmion; his crown, and scarlet mantle reaching to the ground, his embroidered boots, his golden spurs, &c. &c.; he was followed by a not less brilliant groupe, the lord marshal with his six squires. Following as they did these splendid representatives of Scotland, in the middle ages, the detachments of infantry in modern uniforms, and even that of the Scotch Greys, those terrible grey horses, as it is alleged Buonaparte called them at the battle of Waterloo, attracted less remark; but in the midst of the pomp, the variegated costume of the Highlanders appeared still more picturesque. The King came in an open carriage, surrounded by archers, and by the tail of the Glengarries, who had resolutely contended for the participation of this honour. The dukes, the earls, the barons, on horseback, and the carriages filled with nobles and magistrates, contributed to the eclat of the procession. Among the vehicles there was one which excited a momentary mirth when it passed before the place where I was seated; it was that of the Baillie of Glasgow; it was Baillie Nicol Jarvie, some one said, and this popular name was
repeated with ironical acclamations. A feeling of mockery is connected with the recollection of Rob Roy's cousin, which the very name of manufacturing Glasgow often excites in lordly Edinburgh.
The military music, the Scottish airs, performed on the bagpipe, and the popular acclamations, soon drowned the noise of this isolated scene. After seeing the keys of the town offered to the King, under the triumphal arch of Picardy-place, I had time to go and choose a new post of observation on Calton Hill, and to admire the effect of the magnificent procession, defiling from the grand terrace of Princes-street, to Holyroodhouse, where the King alighted. At this moment, the cannon, planted on the tops of the different hills, fired volleys, which were reverberated by a hundred echoes; those hills might have been compared to volcanoes, declaring war against each other. Meanwhile, the Frith of Forth, gilded by a beautiful sun, exhibited a fine contrast to the tumultuous city; its water sparkling with the motion of a multitude of barks, which had surrounded the royal flotilla in the morning.
On reverting to the palace; within whose precinct the prince had just been received, the eye was struck with the trite effect of those old gothic walls, flanked with four battlemented, but inelegant turrets, and which the ruins of the chapel render still more sombre. I should have been pleased with following the triumph of George IV. into these apartments, the solitude of which had struck me as so solemn. In the long series of
portraits of the kings of Scotland, which a fortnight back were the only tenants of those tragic halls, have any been concealed with a veil, which were calculated to awaken troublesome and fatal ideas in a festival; such as the pictures which represent Charles I.’s family,” or the unfortunate Mary Stuart? Has the blood been at length erased from the floor which flowed from the heart of that queen's favourite, David Rizzio 2 The King is only to make a short halt at Holyrood; he is to sleep at Dalkeith Castle. Istood for some time contemplating from the top of Calton Hill, the crowds who were retracing their way, and then descended into Princes-street, mingling with the less numerous throng, and hearing their spontaneous expressions of joy. Every Scotchman appeared proud of so fine a spectacle, in which he had participated. I again stopped on the pavement at a few paces from Hume's tomb, when a miserable object approached me, who absorbed the whole of my attention. He was an old bagpipe player, blind, and in highland costume; but the tartan of his philibeg and vest was torn in several places; one of his withered hands occasionally pressed the bladder of his bagpipe, while the fingers of the other successively moved over the holes of the pipe, while the streamers which once adorned the instrument were faded and in tatters. He vainly attempted to change the broken tune of a dirge, for the
*"Charles I. and his queen, with the famous dwarf of Peveril of the Peak, Sir Geoffrey Hudson, holding a spaniel in a leash.
slower motions and complicated variations of the pibroch, or the brisk and jigging air of a reel. No passenger stopped to lend an ear to the national airs performed by a begging minstrel; the least hurried avoided him in order to save their holiday clothes from contact with his worn out garments; others in their more hasty progress, elbowed without seeing him; the poor blind man had a dog with dirty and wiry hair, holding his master's pouch in his teeth, but apparently ashamed, as if he understood the disdain of which he was the object; he walked with his head down, and seemed to wish to drag his master away from the spot, by the string which attached him to the blind man's arm. This scene affected me, and I reflected that the blind musician, like the last minstrel of Sir Walter Scott, had, perhaps, "known better days." Then reproaching myself for this barren sentiment of pity, I slipped into the empty pouch the traveller's mite,—a shilling, adorned with the effigy of the royal visitor George IV.
August 16. Yesterday, the celebration of the King's entry was limited to a display of fireworks, which I shall not describe, because I have seen better at Tivoli. The bonfire lighted on Arthur's Seat, produced a very different impression on my imagination. I have already compared the hills of Edinburgh to volcanoes. Arthur's Seat reminded me still more at midnight of an eruption of Vesuvius. This evening was fixed for the general illumination; it is near midnight, and I have just returned to my lodging with my eyei dazzled. In a town situated as Edinburgh ia, an illumination, it may be easily conceived, is an unique spectacle; every body participated in it, the little and the great. In Scotland and in England, the lamps and tapers are placed within the casements; the light consequently is transmitted more purely through the windows, and it is not obscured by its own smoke. Transparencies, and coloured lamps were not forgotten, and I amused myself in collecting some devices and allegorical emblems, which expressed naturally, or burlesquely, in a noble or trivial manner, the enthusiasm of the moment. Having met Sir Walter Scott and his family, I followed them for an hour through the crowd, and remarked, that wherever he was recognised, the crowd readily made way, in order to give him room to pass. I quitted him in order to go and station myself on Calton Hill, and there enjoy whatever grandeur there exists in a great conflagration, without experiencing'any of the terrors it occasions. The Old Town, like the New Town, the public edifices, the columns, the domes and steeples on all sides, glowed with the most brilliant light. Edinburgh, in short, appeared enveloped in a mantle of fire. In the less enlightened angles, the intersection of the luminous rays accurately represented the floating folds of the new species of imperial purple, with which this most picturesque of cities was invested.