Edinburgh Bookshelf

Edinburgh Past and Present


. LEITH. I01 employs the dreariest and darkest epithets in the language : In the memory of man,' he says, that day of the year has never seen a more dolorous face of the heaven than was at her arrival, which two days after did so continue ; for besides the surface wet, a corruption of the air, the mist was so thick and dark, that scarse might any man espy another the length of two pair of buttis, The sun was not seen to shine two days before nor two days after.' Dark and gloomy as the weather appears to have been, however, and whatever effect it may have had upon her spirits, it does not seem to have damped or dulled the spirits of her subjects. As soon as it was known that the Queen had arrived, all classes of the community hastened $eZZ-meZZ shorewards to manifest their joy and give expression to their Ioyalty. Cannon boomed, bells rang, men shouted, and women screamed ; the vessels in the harbour too were all gaily decked with bunting, while flags and banners were hung out on all the public places and houses of note. Landing at ten in the morning, she would have immediately proceeded to Holyrood; but the laggard state of the preparations for her conveyance thither necessitated her detention in the town for a few hours, during which, as me learn, she was visited by the Lord James, the Earl of Argyle, and other noblemen. At length things being got into something like order, the procession moved forwards. Mary, mounted on her palfrey-there were no carriages in those days-advanced through the Links and up the Easter Road towards Holyrood, preceded and followed by all the great and the noble of the land, and amid the shouts and acclamations of a happy and loyal people. Light on her airy steed she sprung ; Around with golden tassels hung ; No chieftain there rode half so free, Or half so light and gracefully. Slowly she ambled on her way, Amid her lords and ladies gay ; Priest, abbot, layman, all were there, And presbyter with look severe. There rode the lords of France and Spain, Of England, Flanders, and Lorraine ; While serried thousands round them stood, From shore of Leith to Holyrood.' Mary's return to her kingdom revived a little the drooping spirits of the Leithers, and led them to entertain the hope that something mbstantial would now be done for them. They deserved well of her. They had aided
Volume 11 Page 154
  Shrink Shrink   Print Print