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ROYAL EDINBURGH

HER SAINTS, KINGS, PROPHETS AND POETS


'Mine own romantic town.' MARMION



BY
MRS. OLIPHANT
AUTHOR OF 'MAKERS OF FLORENCE,' 'MAKERS OF VENICE,' ETC.

WITH ILLUSTRATIONS
BY
GEORGE REID, R.S.A.


LONDON
MACMILLAN AND CO.
AND NEW YORK

1891

_All rights reserved_

* * * * *

_First Edition (Medium 8vo) 1890_
_Second Edition (Crown 8vo) 1891_

* * * * *

[Illustration: ST. GILES'S FROM THE LAWNMARKET]

* * * * *


TO MY OLD FRIEND

ALEXANDER MACMILLAN




CONTENTS


PART I
PAGE
MARGARET OF SCOTLAND, ATHELING--QUEEN AND SAINT 1


PART II

THE STEWARDS OF SCOTLAND

CHAPTER I

JAMES I. POET AND LEGISLATOR 38

CHAPTER II

JAMES II: WITH THE FIERY FACE 80

CHAPTER III

JAMES III: THE MAN OF PEACE 126

CHAPTER IV

JAMES IV: THE KNIGHT-ERRANT 155

CHAPTER V

JAMES V: THE LAST OF THE HEROIC AGE 200


PART III

THE TIME OF THE PROPHETS

CHAPTER I

UNDER THE QUEEN REGENT 258

CHAPTER II

UNDER QUEEN MARY 310

CHAPTER III

THE TRIUMPH AND END 350

CHAPTER IV

THE SCHOLAR OF THE REFORMATION 374

PART IV

THE MODERN CITY

CHAPTER I

A BURGHER POET 435

CHAPTER II

THE GUEST OF EDINBURGH 471

CHAPTER III

THE SHAKSPEARE OF SCOTLAND 491




LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS


PAGE

ST. GILES'S FROM THE LAWNMARKET _Frontispiece_

ROYAL EDINBURGH xiv

QUEEN MARGARET'S CHAPEL, EDINBURGH CASTLE 1

PILLAR IN NAVE, DUNFERMLINE ABBEY 5

DUNFERMLINE ABBEY 7

WEST TOWER, DUNFERMLINE ABBEY 11

THE NAVE, DUNFERMLINE ABBEY--LOOKING WEST 13

QUEEN MARGARET'S CAVE 15

WEST DOORWAY, DUNFERMLINE ABBEY 17

INTERIOR OF QUEEN MARGARET'S CHAPEL, EDINBURGH CASTLE 25

ARMS OF QUEEN MARGARET OF SCOTLAND 37

THE BASS ROCK 53

HOLYROOD 77

EDINBURGH CASTLE FROM THE SOUTH-WEST 81

INNER BARRIER, EDINBURGH CASTLE 87

EDINBURGH CASTLE FROM THE VENNEL 97

ST. ANTHONY'S CHAPEL AND ST. MARGARET'S LOCH 115

MONS MEG 123

THE CANONGATE TOLBOOTH 127

ARMS OF JAMES IV OF SCOTLAND 155

OLD HOUSE IN LAWNMARKET 161

ST. ANTHONY'S CHAPEL 165

OLD HOUSES AT HEAD OF WEST BOW 171

BAKEHOUSE CLOSE 183

WHITE HORSE CLOSE 195

SALISBURY CRAGS 201

REID'S CLOSE, CANONGATE 211

DOORWAY, SIR A. AITCHESON'S HOUSE 217

LINLITHGOW PALACE 227

FALKLAND PALACE 253

ST. ANDREWS 287

KNOX'S HOUSE, HIGH STREET 307

HOLYROOD PALACE AND ARTHUR'S SEAT 311

LOCHLEVEN 331

QUEEN MARY'S BATH 335

WEST DOORWAY, HOLYROOD CHAPEL 341

DOORWAY, HOLYROOD PALACE 349

MORAY HOUSE, CANONGATE 359

THE PENDS, ST. ANDREWS 365

INTERIOR OF ST. GILES'S 369

KNOX'S PULPIT 372

NORTH DOORWAY, HERIOT'S HOSPITAL 381

STIRLING CASTLE 417

GREYFRIARS CHURCHYARD 433

EDINBURGH: GENERAL VIEW 437

ALLAN RAMSAY'S SHOP 439

CROWN OF ST. GILES'S 445

SMOLLETT'S HOUSE 453

ALLAN RAMSAY'S HOUSE 461

ALLAN RAMSAY'S MONUMENT 469

DOORWAY, LADY STAIR'S CLOSE 471

LADY STAIR'S CLOSE 477

DUGALD STEWART'S MONUMENT 483

BURNS'S MONUMENT 489

ST. GILES'S FROM PRINCES STREET 493

THE UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH 497

PLAYFAIR'S MONUMENT, CALTON HILL 503

SIR WALTER SCOTT'S HOUSE 515

GEORGE STREET, EDINBURGH 519

SIR WALTER SCOTT 520

[Illustration]




ROYAL EDINBURGH

[Illustration: QUEEN MARGARET'S CHAPEL, EDINBURGH CASTLE.]




PART I

MARGARET OF SCOTLAND, ATHELING--QUEEN AND SAINT


It is strange yet scarcely difficult to the imagination to realise the
first embodiment of what is now Edinburgh in the far distance of the
early ages. Neither Pict nor Scot has left any record of what was going
on so far south in the days when the king's daughters, primitive
princesses with their rude surroundings, were placed for safety in the
_castrum puellarum_, the maiden castle, a title in after days proudly
(but perhaps not very justly) adapted to the supposed invulnerability of
the fortress perched upon its rock. Very nearly invulnerable, however,
it must have been in the days before artillery; too much so at least for
one shut-up princess, who complained of her lofty prison as a place
without verdure. If we may believe, notwithstanding the protest of that
much-deceived antiquary the Laird of Monkbarns, that these fair and
forlorn ladies were the first royal inhabitants of the Castle of
Edinburgh, we may imagine that they watched from their battlements more
wistfully than fearfully, over all the wide plain, what dust might rise
or spears might gleam, or whether any galley might be visible of reiver
or rescuer from the north. A little collection of huts or rude forts
here and there would be all that broke the sweeping line of Lothian to
the east or west, and all that width of landscape would lie under the
eyes of the watchers, giving long notice of the approach of any enemies.
"Out over the Forth I look to the north," the maidens might sing,
looking across to Dunfermline, where already there was some royal state,
or towards the faint lines of mountains in the distance, over the soft
swelling heights of the Lomonds. No doubt Edinburgh, Edwinesburgh, or
whatever the antiquaries imagine it to have been, must have been sadly
dull if safe, suspended high upon the rock, nearer heaven than earth. It
is curious to hear that it was "without verdure"; but perhaps the young
ladies took no account of the trees that clothed the precipices below
them, or the greenness that edged the Nor' Loch deep at their feet, but
sighed for the gardens and luxuriance of Dunfermline, where all was
green about their windows and the winding pathways of the dell of
Pittendreich would be pleasant to wander in. This first romantic aspect
of the Castle of Edinburgh is, however, merely traditional, and the
first real and authentic appearance of the old fortress and city in
history is in the record, at once a sacred legend and a valuable
historical chronicle, of the life of Margaret the Atheling, the first of
several Queen Margarets, the woman saint and blessed patroness of
Scotland, who has bequeathed not only many benefits and foundations of
after good to her adopted country, but her name--perhaps among
Scotswomen still the most common of all Christian names.

No more moving and delightful story was ever written or invented than
the history of this saint and Queen. She was the daughter of Edward,
called the Outlaw, and of his wife a princess of Hungary, of the race
which afterwards produced St. Elizabeth: and the sister of Edgar
Atheling, the feeble but rightful heir of the Saxon line, and
consequently of the English throne. The family, however, was more
foreign than English, having been brought up at the Court of their
grandfather, the King of Hungary, one of the most pious and one of the
richest Courts in Christendom; and it was not unnatural that when
convinced of the fact that the most legitimate of aspirants had no
chance against the force of William, they should prefer to return to the
country of their education and birth.



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