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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. I


I82 OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. [Parliament Close. for a considerable amount, binding themselves to support the Beacon, against which such strong proceedings were instituted that the print was withdrawn from the public entirely by the zznd of September. ?But the discovery of the bond,? continues the magazine just quoted, ?was nearly leading to more serious consequences, for, if report be true, Mr. James Gibson, W.S., one of those who had been grossly calumniated in the Beacon, had thought proper to make such a demand upon Sir Walter Scott as he could only be prevented from, ordinary scene for the indulgence of mirth and of festivity than this subterranean crypt or denfacetiously named the Greping O#ce-certainly could not well be conceived, nor could wit, poetry, and phgsic well have chosen a darker scene; yet it was the favourite of one whose writings were distinguished for their brilliancy and elegant htinity. He died in 1713, and was buried in the Greyfriars? Churchyard. In the fourth floor of the Zand overlooking the aforesaid cellar, there dwelt, about 1775, Lord to the justice of Heaven; but it seems scarcely credible, though such was the fact, that the still more calamitous fire of 1824, in the same place, was ?attributed by the lower orders in and near Edinburgh also to be the judgment of Heaven, specially commissioned to punish the city for tolerating such a dreadful enormity as-the Musical Festival ! ? . Early on the morning of the 24th of June, rF24, a fire broke out in a spirit-vault, or low drinkingshop, at the head of the Royal Bank Close, and it made great progress before the engines arrived, and nearly all the old edifices being panelled or wainscoted, the supply of water proved ineffectual to check the flames, and early in the afternoon the eastern half of the Parliament Square was a heap of blackened ruins. To the surprise of all who witnessed this calamity, and observed the hardihood and temerity displayed by several persons to save property, or to arrest the progress of the flames, the only individual who fell a sacrifice was a city oflicer named Chalmers, who was so dreadfully scorched that he died in the infirmary a few days after. liament Close, was attributed by the magistrates?is portrait of George 111. :- ? Well done, my lord ! With noble taste, You?ve made Charles gay as five-and-twenty, We may be xarce of gold and cam, ?But sure there?s lead and oil in plenty ; Yet, for a public work like this, You might have had some famous artist ; Though I had made each merk a pound, I would have had the very smartest. ? Why not bring Allan Ramsay down, From sketching coronet and cushion? ? And knows-the English Constitution. But why thus daub the man all over, The cream complexion of HANOVER? ? For he can paint a living khg, The mgk-white s#ed is well enough ; And to the swarthy STUART give In 1832, when a drain was being dug in the Parliament Square, close by St. Giles?s Church, there was found the bronze seal of a Knight of St. John of Jerusalem. It is now preserved in the Museum of Antiquities, and bears the legend, ? S. AERNAULD LAMMIUS.? the son of the poet, who had just painted the
Volume 1 Page 182
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