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Memorials of Edinburgh in the Olden Time


324 MEMORIALS OF EDINBURGH. led to a very handsome stone turnpike on the first floor. The fine doorway was finished with 'very rich mouldings, and encircled with the following inscription, of which the woodcut furnishes a fac-simile-a specimen of genuine vernacular which may possibly puzzle some able linguists :- GIF . VE . DEID . AS . VE . SOVLD . VE . MYCHT . EUIF . AS . VE . VALD . Literally rendered into modern English, it is, If we did as me should, me miyiit Rave as me mould. There can be no question, from the style and character of this inscription, that the building was of great antiquity, and had probably formed the residence of some eminent ecclesiastic, or a noble of the court of James V. It possessed an interest, however, from a recent and more humble occupant. There was the printing establishment of Bhdrew Symson, a worthy successor of Chepman and Myllar, the first Scottish typographers, whose printing presses were worked within a hundred yards of this spot. Symson was a man of great learning and singular virtue, who, though one of the curates ejected at the Revolution, had escaped the detraction to which nearly all his fellowsufferers were subjected. We have his own authority for dating that he received a University education, and was a condisciple of Alexander, Earl of Galloway, by whose father he was presented to the parish of Kirkinner, in Wigtonshire. He was an author as well as a printer ; and his most elaborate work, a poem of great length, and of much more learned ingenuity than poetic merit, is announced in the preface as issued bb from my printing-house at the foot of the Horse Wynd, in the Cowgate, Feb. 16, 17D5." It is entitled TRIPATRIARCHI;C OorN, The Lives of the Thee Patriarch, AhraAam, Isauc, and Jacob, extracted fort4 of the sacred story, and digested into English verse. Before this, however, he had acted as amanuensis to the celebrated Lord Advocate, Sir George Mackenzie ; and in 1699 he edited and published a new edition of Sir George's work on the Laws and Customs of Scotland, a presentation copy of which still exists in the Advocates' Library in good condition. It is elegantly bound in calf, and bears on the boards the following inscription in gilt Roman characters :-DONUMA NDRESY~M SOANM, . YD. MD. The Horse Wynd no doubt derived its name from its being almost the only descent from the southern suburbs by which a horse could safely approach the Cowgate ; and as a spacious and pleasant thoroughfare, according to the notions of former times, it was one of the most fashionable districts of the town. About the middle of the wynd, on the west side, an elegant mansion, finished with a pediment in front surmounted with urns, was known in former years as Galloway House, long the residence of Lady Catherine, Countess of Galloway, who formed the subject of one of Hamilton of Bangour's flattering poetical tributes. She is referred to in a different style in the Ridotto of Holyrood House, a satirical and very free ballad, written about a century ago by three witty ladies, who were wont to bear their part in such gay scenes as it satirises.l Lady Galloway is described as " A lady well known by her aira, Who ne'er goes to revel but after her prayers ! " 1 The Ridotto, which afforda a curious aample of the notions of propriety entertained by the fair wits of last century, wad the joint production of Lady Bruce of Kinrosu, her sister-in-law, the wife of J. R. Hepburn, Esq., of Keith and Riccarhn, and Miss Jenny Denoon, their niece, who was counted a great wit in her own day. Some of the most interesting stanza are quoted in the Traditions, vol. ii. p. 39.
Volume 10 Page 352
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