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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. I


In that ancient street, long deemed the grand entrance to Edinburgh, we shall see once more the long lines of gilded sedans, attended by linkmen and armed servants, escorting belles and beaux, powdered and patched, proceeding in state to the .old Assembly Room ; and also the monarchs who have entered the city by that remarkable route, ascending it in succession, surrounded by all their bravery: James VI, and his bride, Anne of Den- market like a human surge, and strung him up to a dyer?s pole. In the old city there is not a street wherein blood has not been shed again and again, in war and local tumult, for it is the Edinburgh of those days when the sword was never in its scabbard; when to settle a quarrel d la mode d?Ea?hbourg was a European proverb; when the death-bed advice of Rruce was carried out, and truces were with gilded partisans ; Oliver Cromwell, with his grim Ironsides ; Charles II., before Dunbar was fought and lost ; and, lastly, James VII. of Scotland, when Duke of Albany and High Commissioner to the-Parliament. Down that steep street went a horde of unfortunates in early times to the place of doom; thus, it had acquired a peculiar character, till the hand of improvement changed it; and in later years down it came a victim of another kind, the frantic and shrieking Porteous, borne by that infuriated mob, which spread over all the spacious Grassand later times-a feeling that is embodied in the well-known Jacobite song, in which one of these mothers is made to say :- ?? I once had sons, I now hae nane, I bore them, toiling sairlie ; But I would bear them a? again, To lose them a? for Charlie ! ? W e are told that when David Home of Wedderbum, father of the historian of the Douglases, died, in 1574, of consumption, in his fiftieth year, he was the first of his race who had died a pub tavern inn coaching inn building royal mile canongate pub
Volume 1 Page 4
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