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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. VI


Hawthornden. 1 THE CAVERNS. 355 Druminond wrote most of his works in Hawthornden. In the year 1643 he met accidentally Elizabeth Logan, daughter of Sir Robert Logan of Restalng, who so closely resembled the girl he had loved and mourned so deeply, that he paid his addresses to and married her, When the civil war broke out Drummond espoused the cause of the king, not in the field with the sword, but in the closet with his pen. He was constantly exposed, in consequence, to hostility and annoyance from the Presbyterian party. On leaving the house visitors are conducted round the precipitous face of the rock on which it stands, by a mere ledge, to a species of cavern. There are seen an old table and seat. It was the poet?s favourite resort, and in it he composed him Cypress Grove,? after recovering from a danger. ous illness. No place could be better adapted foi poetic reveries. ? In calm weather the sighing oi the wind along the chasm, the murmur of the stream, the music of the birds around, above, beneath, and the uttqr absence of an intimation ol the busy world, must have often evoked the poet?: melancholy, and brought him back the delightful hopes that thrilled his youthful heart. There werz other times and seasons when it must indeed haw been awful to have sat in that dark and desolatt cavern: when a storm was rushing through tht glen, when the forked lightning was revealing it! shaggy depths, and when the thunder seemed tc shake the cliff itself with its reverberations.? Drummond was the first Scottish poet who wrotc in pure English ; his resemblance to Milton, whon he preceded, has often been remarked. Thc chivalrous loyalty that filled his heart and inspire( his muse received a mortal shock by the death o Charles I., and on the 4th of December, 1649, hi died where he was born, and where he had spen the most of his life, in his beautiful house of Haw thornden, and was buried in the sequestered ant Iree-shaded churchyard of Lasswade, on the soutl slope of the brae, and within sound of the murmu of his native Esk. An edition of his poems was printed in 165t 8vo ; another appeared at London in 1791 ; whil since then others have been published, notabl that under the editorship of Peter Cunninghau London, 1833, An edition of all his works, undc the superintendence of Ruddiman, was brougk out at Edinburgh in folio in 17 I I. Over the door of the modem house, which j defended by three loopholes for musketry, and is th only way by which the edifice can be approachec are the arms of the Right Reverend Williar Lbernethy, titular Bishop of Edinburgh ; and near hem is a panel with an inscription, placed there by the poet when he repaired his dwelling. ??DIVINO MUNERE GULIELYUS DRVYYONDUS JOHANNIS URATI FILIUS Ur HONESTO OTIO QUIESCERET SIB1 ET UCCESSORIBUS INSTAURAVIT, ANNO 1638.? In the house is preserved a table with a marble lab, dated 1396, and bearing the initials of King tobert 111. thereon, with those of Queen Anna- ,ells Drummond, and on it lies a two-handed word of Robert Bruce, which is five feet two nches in length, with quadruple guard which neasures eleven inches from point to point. There s also a clock, which is said to have been in the amily since his time; there are a pair of shoes md a silk dress that belonged to Queen Anna- Iella; the long cane of the Duchess of Lauderlale, so famous for her diamonds and her furious emper; and a dress worn by Prince Charles in 1745. Below the house are the great caverns for which 3awthomden is so famous. They are artificial, md have been hollowed out of the rock With xodigious labour, and all communicate with each ither by long passages, and possess access to a vel1 of vast depth, bored from the courtyard of he mansion. These caverns are reported by radition and believed by Dr. Stukeley to have xen a stronghold of the Pictish kings, and in three nstances they bear the appropriate names of the King?s Gallery, the King?s Bedchamber, and the Suard-room ; but they seem simply to have been hewn out of the solid rock, no one can tell when x by whom. They served, however, as ample and secret places of refuge and resort during the destructive wars between Scotland and England, especially when the troops of the latter were in possession of Edinburgh ; and, like the adjacent caves of Gorton, they gave shelter to the patriotic bands of Sir Alexander Ramsay of Dalhousie and the Black Knight of Liddesdale, and, by tradition, to Robert Bruce, as a ballad has it :- ?Here, too, are labyrinthine paths To caverns dark and low, Found refuge from the foe.? Wherein, they say, King Robert Bruce The profusion of beautiful wood in the opulent landscape around Hawthornden suggested to Peter Pindar his caustic remark respecting Dr. Johnson, that he ?Went to Hawthornden?s fair scenes by night, Lest e?er a Scottish tree should wound his sight.? Half a niile up the Esk is Wallace?s Cave-so called by tradition, and capable of holding seventy
Volume 6 Page 355
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