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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. III


Princes Street. THE sco-rr MONUMENT. 127 - - Beattie, James Thomson, and John Home, adorn the west front j those of Queen Mary, King James features of this beautiful and imposing structure, the design of a self-taught Scottish artisan, The four principal arches supporting the central tower resemble those beneath the rood-tower of a cruciform church, while the lower arches in the dia- ! gonal abutments, with their exquisitely-cut details, resemble the narrow north aisle of Melrose. ? The groined roof over the statue is of the same design as the roof of the choir of that noble abbey church so niuch frequented and so enthusiastically admired by Sir Walter. The pillars, canopies of niches, pinnacles, and other details, are chiefly copied from the same ruin, and magnificent views of the city in every direction are to be had from its lofty galleries. It cost A15,650, and from time to time statuettes of historical and other personages who figure in the pages of Scott have been placed in its numerous niches. Among these are Prince Charles Edward, who directly faces Princes Street, in the Highland dress, with a hand on his sword; the Lady of the Lake; the Last Minstrel and Meg Merrilies-these are respectively ou the four centres of the first gallery; Mause Headrigg, Dominie Sampson, Meg Dods, and Dandie Dinmont, are respectively on the south, the west, the north, and the east, of the fourth gallery ; King James VI., Magnus Troil, and Halbert Glendinning, occupy the upper tier of the south-west buttress ; Minnie Trofi, George Heriot, and Bailie Nicol Jarvie, are on the lower tier of it; Amy Robsart, the Earl of Leicester, and Baron Bradwardine, are on the upper tier of the northwest buttress ; Ha1 0? the Wynd, the Glee Maiden, and Ellen of Lorn, are on the lower tier thereof; Edie Ochiltree, King Robert I., and Old Mortality, are on the upper tier of the north-east buttress; Flora MacIvor, Jeanie Deans, and the Laird of Dumhiedykes, are on the lower tier of it; the Sultan Saladin, Friar Tuck, and Richard Cceur de Lion, are on the upper tier of the south-east buttress ; and Rebecca the Jewess, Diana Vernon, and Queen Mary, are on its lower tier. On the capitals and pilasters supporting the roof are some exquisitely cut heads of Scottish poets : those of Robert Bums, Robert Fergusson, James Hogg, and Allan Ramsay, are on the west front; those of George Buchanan, Sir David Lindsay, Robert Tannahill, and Lord Byron, are on the south front; those of Tobias Smollett. Tames sonal form of memorial-namely, great genius, distinguished patriotism, and the stature and figure of a demi-god.? To his contemporaries chisel of Sir John Steel, procured at the cost of ;62,000, was inaugurated under the central arches in 1846. Sir Walter is represented sitting with a Border plaid over his left shoulder, and his favourite highland staghound, Maida, at his right foot. A staircase in the interior of the south-west cluster of pillars leads to the series of galleries to which visitors are admitted on the modest payment of twopence. It also gives access to the Museum room, which occupies the body of the tower, and therein a number of interesting relics were deposited at its inauguration in April, 1879. These are too numerous to give in detail, but among them may be mentioned a statuette of Sir Walter, by Steel, a bust of George Kemp, the illfated architect, with his first pencil sketch of the monument, and a number of models and paintings of historical interest ; and on the walls are placed eight alto-relievo portraits in bronze (by J. Hutchison, R.S.A.) of Scottish characters of mark, including James V., James VI., Queen Mary, John Knox, George Buchanan, the Regent Moray, the Marquis of Montrose, and Charles I. In the cdlection are some valuable letters in the handwriting of Sir Walter Scott ; and the walls are adorned with some of the old flint muskets, swords, and drums of the ancient City Guard. The statue of Professor John Witson, ?? Christopher North,? at the western corner of the East Gardens, is the result of a subscription raised shortly after his death in 1854. A committee for the purpose was appointed, consisting of the Lord Justice General (afterwards Lord Colonsay), Lord Neaves, Sir John Watson Gordon, and others, and three years after Sir John Steel executed the statue, which is of bronze, and is a fine representation of one who is fresh in the recollection of thousands of his countrymen. The careless ease of the professois ordinary dress is adopted; a plaid which he was in the habit of wearing supplies the drapery, and the lion-like head and face, fill of mental and muscular power, thrown slightly upward and backward, express genius, while the figure, tall, massive, and athletic, corres ponds to the elevated expression of the countenance.. At its inauguration the Lord President Inglis said, happily, that there was ?in John Wilson every element which gives a man a claini to this per- I., King James V., and Drummond of Hawthornden, are on the north front. The white marble statue of Scott, from the this statue vividly recalls Wilson in his every-day aspect, as he was wont to appear in his class room or on the platform in the fervour of his
Volume 3 Page 127
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