thigh bones, mermaids, hour-glasses and tears. Scotch undertakers and sculptors are universally inclined, through a borrid taste, to adorn hearses, coffins, and monuments with these disgusting and discordant objects. In their representations of tears they are very profuse. At first I could conceive of nothing to which they bore any resemblance except tadpoles or young frogs, but my error was corrected by a friend, who informed me that they were intended to represent the tears of the mournful survivors.

Among these numerous monuments, we observed here and there some “grassless graves;” these were protected from the depredations of resurrection-men, which occur frequently in consequence of the number of medical students in the neighbourhood, by substan

al iron frames, called « mort safes.” sunk into the earth sufficiently deep to enclose the coffins. These safes remain in the ground several weeks after the interment, and the expence incurred by the relatives is, I should suppose, trifting, the safes being generally the property of the church, and made of very durable materials.

The solidity and antiquity of the Catbedral, rather than any peculiar beauty of architecture, or extent of ruins, is its chief boast. The structure, merely as a Cathédral, is paltry, when compared with any of the English; but as one of the two Scotch Cathedrals which alone escaped the devasting hand of John Knox, the reformer, it claims a more important station than it would otherwise deserve. Two towers, or steeples, rise from the roof, one at the western end, the other in the middle, in the former is the bell, which being accidentally cracked in the year 1789, by some persons who had gained admission to the steeple, was sent to London and cast anew, with the following inscription on its outside:

“ In the year of grace 1594, Marcus Knox, a merchant of Glasgow, zealous for the interest of the reformed religion, caused me to be fabricated in Holland, for the use of his fellow citizens in Glasgow; and placed me, with solemnity, in the tower of their Cathedral. My function was announced by the impress on my bosom, Me audito venias doctrinam sanctam ut discas, and I was taught to proclaim the hours of uns heeded time. 195 years had I sounded these awful warnings, when I was broken by the hands of inconsiderate and unskilful men. In the year 1790, I was cast into the furnace, refounded at London, and returned to my sacred vocation. Reader, thou also shalt know a resurrection, may it be unto eternal life. Thomas Mears, fecit, London, 1790.”

To attempt à description of the Cathedral I then gazed upon would be folly, since that in Rob Roy has been perused by almost every reader. I shall, therefore, not enter into any particulars respecting it, referring the reader to the second volume of the novel!

As the projecting ornaments of the windows, and the crevices in the walls, widened by the incessant decay of the stone, afforded us a footing, we grasped the old iron bars, and clambering up the half blockaded windows, obtained a view into the long range of gloomy vaults, beneath the body of the church, used forty years since as a place of worship, now the dismal receptacle of the dead, “ full of dead men's bones and of all uncleanness.”

“The gloomy aisles Black plaster'd and hung round with shreds of 'scutcheons And tatter'd coats of arms."

· BLAIR. It was bere that the loquacious and staunch presbyterian, Andrew Fairservice, drew Osbaldiston, from whose description of the place, I cannot refrain making a short extract:

“So saying he, (Andrew) entered a small low-arched door, secured by a wicket, which a grave looking man seemed on the point of closing, and descended several steps as if into funeral vaults beneath the church. It was even so: for in these subterraneous precincts, why

for such a purpose I know not, was established a very singular place of worship.

Conceive, Tresham, an extensive range of low-browed, dark, and twilight vaults, such as are used for sepul chres in other countries, and had long been dedicated to the same purpose in this, a portion of which was seated with pews, and used as a church. The part of


the vaults then occupied, though capable of contaitiing a congregation of many hundreds, bore a small proportion to the darker and more extensive caverns which yawned around what may be termed the inhabited space. In those waste regions of oblivion, dusky banners and tattered escutcheons, indicated the graves of those who were once doubtless princes in Israel ! Inscriptions, which could be read only by the painful antiquary, in language as obsolete as the act of devotional charity which they implored, invited the passengers to pray for the souls of those whose bodies rested beneath."

A reverend gentleman advanced in years, whom I had the pleasure of accompanying, bore his testimony to the veracity of this account, having often “entered the small low arched door,” and descended “ into these funeral vaults," when a student at Glasgow College. Of, “ the dusky banners and tattered 'scutcheons” we discerned nothing, as the scanty light which glimmered through the diminutive apertures between the intersecting gothic work of the windows, scarcely rendered distinguishable the outlines of the pillars and arches in this extensive and gloomy crypt, leaving our imaginations at liberty to trace the steps of Rob Roy, swifily gliding through these yawning caverns,” from the pursuing eyes of Osbaldiston. . .

A woman, perceiving that we were examining the Cathedral, came up with the key, and let us into the interior of the building. It is now divided into three parts, two of which are handsomely fitted up as modern churches, or as they are here called kirks. The other part, which intervenes between the two kirks, is sufficiently wide to prevent any interruption arising from the services of the two congregations taking place at the same time. It is a curious fact, that here under one roof are three places of Worship, if we include the crypt. We found nothing to detain us long within these kirks, and having thoroughly grati, fied our curiosity relative to this interesting pile we returned into the town.

One morning I strolled along the banks of the canal, to see the aqueduct, in which the canal crosses over the river Kelvin, at the height of eighty-three feet. It consists of four great arches of mason work, and stretches across a valley 400 feet wide. · The canal itself must have been an immense undertaking. By uniting the rivers Forth and Clyde, and consequently the navigation on the eastern and western coasts of Scotland, it divides the country in two, so that the northern parts of it is a perfect island. The length of the canal, from the Forth to the Clyde, is thirty-five miles. In its course there are ten considerable aqueduct bridges, and thirty smaller ones, or tunnels. It is crossed by thirty-three drawbridges, and contains thirtynine locks.

A desire to witness the distribution of the college prizes, and the expectation of finding companions for my projected tour, detained me in Glasgow over another Sunday. Disappointed as to the latter, I made up my mind to trudge o'er hill and dale by myself, and fixed my departure for Monday morning. When the morning came, the rain fellin fast and heavy showers: I could now, however, nolonger brook delay; and therefore, thanking my generous and very hospitable entertainers, I bade them adieu. A young medical student, impelled by a wish to see and handle Wallace's sword, agreed to accompany me as far as Dumbarton castle, where this relic is preserved. Previous to my departure, I purchased a small oiled-skin knapsack, sufficiently capacious to contain a change of linen and some other articles. When we had left Glasgow some distance behind, I strapped it on my back, and with all my cares about me, became, for the first time, a sort of citizen of the world.

Our road ran along the banks of the Clyde, and consequently was to me possessed of little novelty, and had it been, the haziness of the day would not have allowed me to see much of it. The river, and a level country on the opposite, lay to our left. To our right, little hills, tolerably covered with trees, increasing in height, but decreasing in verdure, as they receded towards the Highlands, gave mesome idea of the country we were approaching.

Ten miles from Glasgow we passed through Kilpatrick, where the Roman wall built by Antoninus terminated. There are now extant but few remains of

this ancient barrier-the principal is a Roman bridge, in the line of the wall. I felt a strong inclination to view it, as it is only a mile and a half from the village; my friend, however, was too desirous to obtain a sight of the sword, to allow of such a deviation from the direct road to Dumbarton : with the hope of examining it at a future opportunity, I was obliged, therefore, to content myself for the present, with the description which I found in the guide that I carried in my pocket. From this book, I learnt there is still to be seen near the bridge, a sudorium or Roman Bath. A stone, with the name NERO upon it, which was found in this bath, has been preserved in the wall of a neighbouring cottage. This village gave birth to St. Patrick, the tutelar saint of Ireland.

A short distance beyond Kilpatrick, we came to the ruins of Dunglass Castle, part of 'whose walls is washed by the Clyde. It was blown up in 1640, through the treachery of an English boy, page to the Earl ot Haddington, who, with other persons of high rank, were destroyed by the explosion. The walls, which are the only remains of the castle, now enclose a small orchard.

Leaving Dunglass with Dumbarton in full view, we hastened toward Dumbarton castle, Castle it scarcely can be termed, as it merely consists of a few walls and batteries, enclosing the Governor's house, and some barracks for a few soldiers. The rock on which it stands is its chief strength, and the object which most attracts the attention of strangers. Rising from one solid base, a mile in circumference, it soon splits into two peaks, one 560 feet above the river, which runs immediately below it: the other does not attain so great a height. Its colour is black, where it is not enlivened by patches of short green grass. A long road, washed on both sides by the water, leads to the only accessible part of the rock. Tracing this, we arrived at the gateway, and ascending two or three steps, came to the governor's house, a plain comfortable mansion, which has nothing warlike in its appearance, if we except the surrounding cannons and castellated ramparts. A soldier, anticipating the intention of our visit, conducted' us into a little room, called the guard-room,

« ElőzőTovább »