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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. I


Curs?d be the wretch who seized the throne, And marred our Constitution ; ,4nd curs?d be they who helped on That wicked Revolution. ?? Curs?d be those traitorous traitors who By their perfidious knavely, Have brought our nation now unto An everlasting slavery. Curs?d be the Parliament that day, Who gave their confirmation ; And cursed be every whining Whig, For they have damned the nation ! ? We have shown what the representation of Scotland was, in the account of the Riding of the Parliament. By the Treaty of union the number was cut down to sixty-one for both Houses, and the general effects of it were long remembered in Scotland with bitterness and reprehension, and generations went to their grave ere the long-promised prosperity came. Ruin and desolation fell upon the country; in the towns the grass grew round the market-crosses ; the east coast trade was destroyed, and the west was as yet undeveloped ; all the arsenals were emptied, the fortresses disarmed, and two royal palaces fell into ruin. ?The departure of the king to London in 1603 caused not the slightest difference in Edinburgh ; but the Union seemed to achieve the irreparable ruin of the capital and of the.nation. Of the? former Robert Chambers says :-?? From the Union, up to the middle of this century, the existence of the city seems to have been a perfect ? blank ! No improvements of any sort marked the period. On the contrary,. an air of gloom and depression pervaded the city, such as distinguished its history at 7zu former period. A tinge was communicated even to ;the manners and fahions of society, which were ,remarkable for stiff reserve, precise moral carriage, and a species of decorum amounting almost to moroseness, sure indications, it is to be supposed, of a time of adversity and humiliation. . . . In short, this may be called, no less appropriately than emphatically, the dark age of Edinburgh.? 1 Years of national torpor and accepted degradation followed, and to the Scot who ventured south but a sorry welcome was accorded ; yet from this state of things Scotland rose to what she is to-day, by her own exertions, unaided, and often obstructed. A return made to the House of Commons in 1710 shows that the proportion of the imperial revenue contributed by Scotland was only z.4 per cent., whereas, by the year 1866, it had risen to 14; per cent. During that period the revenue of England increased 800 per cent, while that of Scotland increased 2,500 per cent., thus showing that there is no country in Europe which has made such vast material progress ; and to seek for a parallel case we must turn to Australia or the United States of America ; but it is doubtful if those who sat in the old Parliament House on that 25th of March, 1707, least of all such patriots as Lord Banff, when he pocketed his AI I zs., could, in the UNION CELLAR.
Volume 1 Page 165
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