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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. II


236 OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. [High Street. the printing office of this strange genius (who died in I 799, ?? and there the most eminent literary men of that period visited and superintended the printing of works that have made the press of the ?? 0 Willie, come sell your fiddle, Oh sell your fiddle sae fine ; 0 Willie, come sell your fiddle, And buy a pint 0? wine. If I should sell my fiddle, The warl? would think I was mad, For many a rantin? day My fiddle and I hae had. ?As I came by Crochallan, I cannily keekit ben- Rattlin?, roarin? Willie, Was sitting at yon board en?- Sitting at yon board en?, And amang guid companie ; Rattlin?, roarin? Willie, You?re welcome hame to In verse elsewhere me !? was accused by Sir Alexander Forbes of Tolquhoun of stealing a gilded drinking-cup out of his house, a mistake, as it proved, in the end. Eastward of this were, in succession, Geddes?s, W.R.-C.M. ; and the house immediately below it contained the only instance known to exist in Edinburgh of a legend over an interior doorway: AUGUSTA . NI. VSVM . AVGVSTA. W. F. B. G. 1 These were the initials of William Fowler, a merchant burgess of Edinburgh, supposed to be the author of ?The Triumph of Death,? and the others are, ot course, those of his wife. As to what this house was originally nothing is known, and the peculiarity of the legend has been a puzzle to many. Later it was the residence of Sir George liarities of his introducer, who had become, in middle life, careless of his Drummond, who in 1683 and 1684 was Lord costume and appearance :- 1 Provost of the city. In those days the lower Burns notes the pecu- LINTEL OF DOORWAY IN DAWNEY DOUGLAS?S TAVERN. (From a Sketclr &Y the Author.) ~~ To Crochallan came, The old cocked hat, the brown surtout the same ; His bristling beard just rising ill its might ; ?Twas four long nights and days to shaving night.? At the foot of the close there stood, till 1859, ground that sloped down to the North Loch appears to have been all laid out in pleasant gardens, wherein stood a summer-house belonging to Lord Forglen, who was Sir Alexander Ogilvie, Bart., a commissioner for the Treaty of Union, and who an advocate. Adjoining this is Mylne?s EY DOUGLAS?S TAVERN. Henry Mackenzie, h o t , Hume, and foremost among the host, the poet Burns.? Here was long shown an old time-blackened desk, at which these, and other men such as these, revised their proofs, and a stool on which Burns sat while correcting the proofs of his poems published between December, 1786, and April, 1787. Lower down the close, over the doorway of a house where the Bill Chamber stood for several generations, were carved the date, 1616, and the initials Square, the entrance to which bears the date of 1689, a lofty and gloomy court, having on its side a flight of steps to the North Bridge. This-the project of one of the famous masonic family of Mylne-was among the first improvements effected in the old town, before its contented burgesses became aspiring, and dreamt of raising a New Edinburgh, beyond the oozy bed of the bordering loch. Many distinguished people lived here of old. Among them was Charles Erskine of Alva, Lord
Volume 2 Page 236
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