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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. III


I 26 ? OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. [PrinerSSma. The tower, as originally designed, terminated in an open lantern, but this fell during a tempest of wind in January, 1818. In a letter to his friend, Willie Laidlaw, Sir Walter Scott refers to the event thus :-?I had more than an anxious thought about you all during the gale of wind. The Gothic pinnacles were blown from the top of Bishop Sandford?s Episcopal chapel at the end of Princes Street, and broke through the roof and flooring, doing great damage. This was sticking the horns of the mitre into the belly of the church. The devil never so well deserved the title of Prince of Power of the Air since he has blown down this handsome church, and left the ugly mass of new buildings standing on the North Bridge.? The bishop referred to was the Rev. Daniel Sand- ? ford, father of the accomplished Greek scholar, Sir Daniel Keyte Sandford, D.C.L., who was born at Edinburgh in February, 1798, and received all the rudiments of his education under the venerable prelate, who died in 1830. The interior of St. John?s Church is beautiful, and presents an imposing appearance ; it contains a very fine organ, and is adorned with richlycoloured stained-glass windows. The great eastern window, which is thirty feet in height, contains the figures of the twelve apostles, by Eggington of Birmingham, acquired in 1871. There is also a magnificent reredos, designed by Peddie and Kinnear. In this church ministered for years the late Dean Ramsay, the genial-hearted author of ? Reminiscences of Scottish Life and Character.? A small cemetery, with two rows of ornamented burial vaults, adjoin the south side of this edifice, the view of which is very striking from the West Churchyard. In these vaults and the little cemetery repose the remains of many persons eminent for rank and talent. Among them are the prince of Scottish portrait painters, Sir Henry Raeburn, the Rev. Archibald Alison, the wellknown essayist on ?? Taste,? Dr. Pultney Alison, his eldest son, and brother of the historian, Sir Archibald. The Doctor was professor successively of the theory and practice of physic in the university, author of several works of great authority in medical science, and was one of the most philanthropic men that ever adorned the medica! profession, even in Edinburgh, where it has ever been pre-eminently noble in all works of charity ; and he was the able antagonist of Dr. Chalmers in advocating the enforcement of a compulsory assessment for the support of the poor in opposition to the Doctor?s voluntary one. There, too, lie James DonaldsoIi, founder of the magnificent hospital which bears his name j the Rev. Andrew Thomson, first minister of St. Geoge?s Church in Charlotte Square, in his day one of the most popular of the city clergy; Sir Williani Hamilton, professor of moral philosophy in the university, and a philosopher of more than European name ; Catherine Sinclair, the novelist j Macvey Napier, who succeeded Lord Jeffrey as editor of the Zdiaburgh Rm2wY and, together with James Browne, LL.D., conducted the seventh edition of the ?? Encyclopaedia Britannica?; Sir William Arbuthnot, who was Lord Provost in 1823; Mrs. Sligo of Inzievar, the sister of Sir James Outram, ? the Bayard of India?; and many more of note. Nearly opposite is a meagre and somewhat obstn,uztive edifice of triangular form, known as the Sinclair Fountain, erected in 1859 at the expense of Miss Catherine Sinclair, the novelist, and daughter of the famous Sir John Sinclair of Ulbster, a lady distinguished for her philanthropy, and is one of the memorials?of her benefactions to the city. Among the many interesting features in Princes Street are its monuments, and taken seriatim, according to their dates, the first-and first also is consequence and magnificence-is that of Sir Walter Scott This edifice, the design for which, by G. M. Kemp (who lost his life in the canal by drowning ere its completion), was decided by the committee on the 30th of April, 1840, bears a general resemblance to the most splendid examples of monumental crosses, though it far excels all its predecessors in its beauty and vast proportions, beirig 180 feet in height, and occupying a square area of 55 feet at its base. The foundation stone was laid in 1840, and in it was deposited a plate, bearing the following inscription by Lord Jeffrey, remarkable for its tenor :- ?This Graven Plate, deposited in the baseof a votive building on the fifteenth day of August, in the year of Christ 1840, and mcr bRry io see tk I&& apin td2 aZ2 tlu surrounding strucfwu have crumbZrd fo dwt the d.ay 01 time, w by human OY ekmmzal vibZence, may then testify to a distant posterity that his countrymen began on that day to raise an effigy and architectural mohnent, TO THE MEMORY OF SIR WALTER SCOTT, BART., whose admirable writings were then allowed to have given more delight and suggested better feeling to a larger class of readers in every rank of society, than those of any other author, with the exception of Shakespeare alone, and which were therefore thought likely to be remembered long after this act of gratitude on the part of the first generation of his admirers should be forgotten. ?? HE WAS BORN AT EDINBURGH, I5TH AUGUST, 1771, AND DIED AT ABBOTSFORD, ZIST SEPTEMBER, 1832,? Engravings have made us familiar with the
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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
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