Imagens das páginas



conceived to be the castle, on an insulated rock. A beautiful plain lay before us, varied with inequalities, groves of trees, and country-houses; a hollow road with rocks and hanging wood on each side, and a murmuring stream brought us to that plain. We soon perceived that what we had taken for the castle, was the bare summit of the mountain called Arthur's Seat, near the foot of which the Castle-hill could now be distinguished. It rained and it blew, and the sun shone bright, alternately, every quarter of an hour; and we had thus an early sample of the tempestuous and variable climate of Edinburgh. Houses became more numerous ; and we drove into a populous suburb, by a good-looking street full of shops. Six magnificent columns on the left attracted our curiosity; they belong to a large edifice half-finished,—the College. By means of a bridge of only one arch, we passed over a deep subterranean street, then to another bridge long and lofty, traversing a sort of valley, like the bed of a river left dry. This bridge leads to the new town, separated from the old by the valley, and

a long line of quay or terrace, and houses of a neat and modern appearance, with less noise and activity than the old town, through which we had just passed. Proceeding along this fine quay, the retrospect of the old town presented a confused heap of ancient houses, one over the other, very dingy and high, like towers of eight or ten stories, with windows innumerable; and the castle perched on its rock overlooking the whole. Leaving the quay, we penetrated into the new town by a wide street, leading to a large and regular square, then another street, also regular, -a public building, in a very good style of architecttre, on our left, and a handsome church on our



right. This was the street we were looking for, and here we are in commodious lodgings, seated by a blazing fire-which is extremely pleasant, (10th August), although it is not cold, but fire is like an old friend, it has the warmth of friendship, and makes you welcome.

August 13.-— The inhabitants of Edinburgh are fond of the country; most of those for whom we had letters, and some we had known in America, are absent. The two Messrs. J. have undertaken most kindly to do the honours of their town, and give us as much of their time, as if they had nothing else to do with it. We have seen, under their guidance, all there is to be seen.

This is a town of 90 or 100,000 inhabitants* (the tenth part of London), in three distinct divisions; the old and the new town side by side, with the wide ditch between; then the port, (seaport) at about a mile distance, on the Frith of Forth.

The shops, tradesmen, and labourers, are mostly in the old town. The college is there also, but learning begins to be attracted by politeness, and the professors come to live in the region of good dinners and fine ladies. From a height (Calton Hill) in the new town, which overlooks the dark, dull, and dirty assemblage of the old houses of the old town, strangers are shewn, with a mixture of pride and pity, the back of the humble abode of Adam Smith, and the place where he composed, walking to and fro, his work on the Wealth of Nations. Not far off, the house, lately inhabited by another celebrated professor, but who, happily for his country, has not taken his place yet among the great men who are no more.

* In 1687, Edinburgh had only 20,000 inbabitants. It is an increase nearly equal to our




The environs of Edinburgh, as well as the site on which it is built, present accidents of high geological interest; masses of rocks protruding the soil, rise abruptly to great heights. Calton Hill, already mentioned, in the new town, is 350 feet high; the rock of the castle, in the old town, about as much; and close to the town Arthur's Seat, near 800 feet high. In the space of two or three miles, south and west, the surrounding country is herissé with eight or ten similar protuberances, each 400 or 500 feet high. These masses are of a basaltic nature, and assume, in many places, the prismatic form ordinary to that substance. These rocks are less interesting to the painter than to the naturalist, they do not unite well with the country, and are either too uniform or too grotesque.

This is, in every respect, a singular town. The new part is placed in the middle of a beautiful and fertile country, without suburbs, or shabby approach, like other towns which have grown by degrees. This one was cast in a mould,

created all at once, within the memory of half its inhabitants; for, when this fine bridge which now unites the two towns, was built, in 1769, the new town did not exist, or only three or four houses of it. Houses are shewn in the old town where persons of the first consequence lived not a great many years ago, now only deemed fit for the lowest tradesmen or labourers. I find in the statistical progress of the capital of Scotland, by Sir John Sinclair, comparing its state respectively in the years 1763 and 1793, several very curious facts. Lord Drummore's house was left by a chairman for want of accommodations, that of the Duke of Douglas is now occupied by a wheelwright; Oliver Cromwell once lived in the late gloomy chamber of the Sheriff's

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clerk; the great Marquis of Argyll's house was possessed by a hosier, at the rent of L. 12 per annum. These are indications of a great revolution in the manner of life of all ranks of people,-a revolution which most people of an advanced age deplore,which the new generation exults in,—and which has its advantages and disadvantages; the former, however, undoubtedly preponderate. There cannot be any great harm in having a little more space and cleanliness in their dwellings; in spending their evenings at plays and concerts, rather than at taverns ; in dining at the hour in which they used to sup, and in using umbrellas in a country where it rains so often. The great change noticed in the same work, in the use of ardent spirits, is of a much more alarming nature. It has increased digiously, while that of beer has diminished nearly in the same proportion. In 1708 there were 51,000 gallons of spirituous liquors distilled in. Scotland; in 1791, 1,696,000 gallons; in 1720, 520,478 barrels of beer were brewed; and in 1784, only 97,577. Independently of the bad consequences of the change, the grain necessary to make beer was a valuable resource in case of scarcity ;-distillation answers that purpose in a less degree.

That fertility, for which volcanic countries are remarkable, prevails in this part of Scotland, which, although without volcanoes, presents geological phenomena sufficiently analagous to account for the richness of the soil. All the country south-east of Edinburgh is the granary of Scotland. The author already quoted meritions, that, in 1781, the fleet of Admiral Parker, composed of fifteen line of battle ships, nine frigates, and six hundred merchant vessels, cast anchor in the Frith of Forth,


267 and remained there seven weeks, without raising sensibly the price of provisions. The crews attacked by the scurvy were cured by the plentiful use of vegetables, and particularly by strawberries, of which extraordinary quantities grow in the neigh-, bourhood.

In 1763, the few carriages used at Edinburgh came from London. In 1783, they were so well constructed on the spot, as to form an object of exportation ; and an order from Paris for one thousand carriages was actually executed at Edinburgh in that year; and I think I recollect having met them travelling in a long file from Rouen to Paris the following summer (1784).

In eight years, the tonpage of the port of Edinburgh (Leith) has increased from 42,000 tons to 130,000 tons, and yet there are few manufactures, only glass and paper ;-no considerable river in the neighbourhood,—no rich productions :--but industry, frugality, and good-order are the mines whence they draw their wealth.

Besides the bridge, there is another communication between the two towns,-a stupendous causeway near a hundred feet high, and two hundred feet wide at the top, formed entirely of the ground dug out for the foundations of the new town, projected en talus across the immense ditch. The wind, which is often. here a hurricane, blows with peculiar violence along this hollow, sweeping the causeway and the bridge in its passage, and might: carry off passengers, or annoy them extremely, if they were not guarded by a stone wall seven or eight feet high, built for that purpose the whole length of it; and the open balustrade of the bridge having been found an insufficient protection, the interstices have been walled


The causeway

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