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9. The ridged and chimneyed bulk of blackness, with splendour bursting out of every pore, is the wonderful Old Town, the centre of Scottish history. By night, the castle and its rock are always in dark gloom; but by day they look down upon the double city with stern peacefulness.
10. The rock with its brown cliffs, trees and bushes, and the fortress with its gray batteries, cast a deep shadow at noon over those beautiful gardens where the children play and the railway engine sends up its shriek; but grander still are all the effects of the broken masses of light and shade, when the golden sunset is fading behind the dark hills of Corstorphine.
11. From Princes Street northward the eye wanders over a vast wilderness of roofs and spires, to the villas, woods, and gardens that are bordered by the blue Forth, studded with sails and the smoke of funnels, to where, in the distance faint and dim, lie the far-stretching shores of Fife, with all their bays and headlands.
12. Southwards, one looks from the ridge of the Pentlands, the wooded crest of Craiglockhart, the round hill of Blackford, and the grassy glens of Braid to the mount that, like a lion resting, seems to watch the whole scene, for close at its feet are the cities old and new, and all that are in them. Well might the Celts of old—the Caledonians or men-of-the-woods—have called the towering crags close by it "the ridge of the beautiful view.”
1. A visitor to Edinburgh is sure to turn first to the Palace of Holyrood, that ancient and royal abode of so many stirring memories. 1 Adapted from Picturesque Europe, by permission of Messrs. Cassell & Co.
2. The time when the Abbey of the Holy Cross became a palace is not known. The abbey is said to have had its origin in a miracle. David I. was hunting, as the tale goes, in the forest on the site of ancient and modern Edinburgh, when he was unhorsed by a stag at bay, and would have been gored to death, but suddenly a flaming cross came into his hand, at the sight of which the stag fled.
memory of this he founded an abbey in honour of the Holy Rood (or cross), in the year 1128. Of the Abbey Church, the nave, which became the Chapel Royal of the Palace, still exists, but it is in ruins. The present palace was built by Charles II.
4. Before approaching the palace, in descending the Canongate, we draw near the spot where once stood the Girth Cross of the sanctuary of Holyrood, within which no debtor, at the present hour, can be arrested. Close by is the White Horse Hostel, a quaint old building named after a favourite white palfrey of Queen Mary, which had been stalled there when the stabling was used by the Scottish kings.
5. In Edinburgh, as in other places throughout all Scotland, the style of houses, ancient and modern, has a foreign aspect. In towns, a house had often of old an inner stone fabric for strength, with a wooden front some seven feet in advance, formed on projecting beams, like some of the houses still to be seen in the old German towns. To these town-houses the barons migrated for the winter from their fortresses in the country.
6. On descending an ancient street called the Pleasance, we come in sight of one thoroughfare, St. Mary's Wynd, which joins the foot of the Cowgate, and which, from being a narrow lane between hedge-rows, became about the year 1500 the fashionable quarter of Edinburgh.
7. Not far from this spot, about the middle of the quaint, narrow, and withal pleasing Cowgate, so striking with its pointed roofs, outside stairs, and odd corners, was the archbishop's palace. Close by lived the Earl of Orkney, whose dame, when she rode into town from Roslin, was always attended by “75 gentlewomen, whereof 53 were daughters of nobles, clothed in velvets and silks, with chains of gold.”
8. In ascending the Blackfriars Wynd, one side of which has been lately pulled down, and turning westward up the broad old thoroughfare named the High Street, after passing the great church of St. Giles, we come upon the site of the ancient Tolbooth.
9. This building, fancifully named, "The Heart of Midlothian," so long the grim abode of sighs, of tears, of torture, and of death, stood in the High Street. The dark-coloured, dismal-looking, five-storeyed pile of tower, turret, and gable, was first intended for a Parliament House as well as for the High Courts of Justice, and at the same time for the confinement of prisoners for debt, or crime.
10. But after 1640, when the present Parliament House was built, it was used as a prison only. From the eastern platform of the building the gallows beam projected. The gateway, through which many a hapless creature has passed to misery and death, is now at Abbotsford, with all its heavy, clumsy fastenings.
11. Within it was a chamber called the Iron Room, a dreary vault of stone-work, with here and there a rusty chain hanging from the walls; the floor was paved, the door a mass of locks, bolts, and bars.
12. On an iron spike, upon the chief gable of the building, in 1581, the head of the Earl of Morton was exposed; there too in 1650 was fixed the head of the gallant Montrose, and eleven years after, that of his enemy, Argyle.
13. Southward of Edinburgh, some seven miles or so, at the foot of the Pentland Hills, lie Roslin Castle and the House of Hawthornden, amidst the finest woodland scenery in the south of Scotland. Here is preserved a two-handed sword of Robert Bruce. In the solid rock beneath the house are some caverns which are said to have been a stronghold of the Pictish kings.
LESSON 19.-COUNTIES AND TOWNS.—I.
1. The division of Scotland into counties is of much later date than that of England, and hence the boundaries are less natural. This is especially noticeable with Cromarty (Crom'-ar-ty), Kinross (Kin-ross'), and Clackmannan (Clack-man'-nan). Cromarty consists of 14 detached portions dotted about the county of Ross, and was formed at the request of an Earl of Cromarty, who wished that all his lands might be united into one county.
2. There are 33 counties, 15 of them being wholly or partly in the Highlands, and 18 in the Lowlands.
3. The counties of the northern and western coasts areOrkney and Shetland, Caithness, Sutherland, Ross, Cromarty, Inverness, Argyle, Bute. These counties embrace the greater part of the Highlands and almost the whole of the Scottish islands. Inverness is the largest county in Scotland.
4. The principal town of the islands is Kirkwall, the capital of the Orkneys. It is a port, and has a little boat-building, sail and rope making. The Cathedral of St. Magnus is one of the best preserved specimens of ancient architecture in Scotland.
5. Wick, on the east coast Caithness, is a town the inhabitants of which are mainly engaged in fishing. It