« ZurückWeiter »
The Irish justly pride themselves on ed to the purpose of pure ornament the beauty of their metropolis ; but should, as much as possible, be brought it is, perhaps, as much to the fortu- together. And it this be true in genate combination of circumstances neral, of none may it so truly be said which have bronght the Bank, the as of the proposed Monument to Lord University, the Post-Office, the pillar Melville, which is of a kind to form of Nelson, and the Custom-House, so one of the most splendid objects in any near to each other in the centre of combination of architectnral scenery. this city, as to the elegance of these Now the proposed situation of this edifices themselves, that this effect is Monument, in the centre of Melvilleowing. No one has visited Athens street, though doubtless striking with without feeling the imposing effect reference to that single street, appears which the combination of ruined mag. to be eminently defective with a view nificence on the Acropolis produces; to the general embellishment of the an effect greater than any single edi- city. It can never be seen from any fice, however perfect, could possibly of the principal streets in the New occasion; and, notwithstanding the town, on account of the vast mass of stately buildings which adorn our own St George's, which lies so directly in metropolis, it is certainly more to the its front. Its summit will merely be happy nature of their situation, which discernible at a great distance, from bring them all into view at once from the Calton hill. A few outside passthe Calton Hill, than to their intrin- engers, in the Mail coach going to sic excellence, that its well known ce- Glasgow or Aberdeen, may get : lebrity is to be ascribed.
glimpse of it as they drive past MelProceeding, therefore, on the prin- ville-street or the Coats Crescent, but ciples which experience has proved to the inhabitants in general will have no be well founded in other cities, it is opportunity of enjoying its beauties ; of the utmost moment to combine, as and the strangers who visit our metromuch as possible, the ornamental édi- polis will, not improbably, in many infices of Edinburgh into one centre; stances at least, take their departure and to aid the natural effect of its sic without knowing even of its existence
. tuation, by assembling, into one view, And thus, while the level and monoall that the public spirit of its citizens tonous streets of the New Town are can produce of the beautiful in archi- universally observed to require some tectural design. This object, momen- elevated buildings to vary their oultous in every city, is more especially line, will one of the noblest pillars in 50 in this, from the straggling form the world be thrown away in a situawhich the town is every day assuming, tion, where it is incapable of affording and the great width of all the new that relief, which, in its immediate streets, which threatens, in a short neighbourhood, is so grievously ree time, to deprive it of the character of quired. å populous and great metropolis.. This is on the supposition that the There is no man of taste, who has proposed streets round Melville-street ever seen the view from the Calton are all completed, and the town, in Hill, who has not lamented the wide that quarter, entirely finished : but gap which lies between the Old and every body knows that this is very far New Town. And it is on this account from being likely; that the tendency that the new buildings on the North of the city to extend in the direction Bridge, though by no means unexcep- of Leith Walk, has been long observ. tionable in themselves, have been so ed; and the proposed edifices on the often considered by men of the most Calton Hill, with the matchless advanapproved judgment, as a decided im- tages which the houses on its northern provement to the picturesque effect of side will possess, must, in all probathe city. For the same reason, the bility, determine the propensity. If proposed structure on the Mound, if this be the case, the ultimate comdone with taste, and not suffered to pletion of Melville-street must be rise too high, will add greatly to its postponed, in the most favourable beauty. But with a view to correct view, for a very long period. How this obvious defect, and concentrate, unfortunate, then, would it be, if this as much as possible, the effect of our noble Monument were to be placed ornamental edifices, it is absolutely in a situation where, during a great necessary that those which are destin- many years at least, it will be
surrounded only with rubbish, and severed parts. To a stranger entering mason's sheds, and stone quarries, either from the east or the west, it amongst half-finished streets and emp- would form the first object which ty houses ? And yet, that such will would strike the eye, and in both be the case, is rendered highly pro- would possess the inestimable adbable by the difficulty which several vantage of having its whole outline proprietors in Melville-street, who displayed on the sky. It might be wish to dispose of their houses, have, combined in the most beautiful manfor many years past, experienced in ner with the edifices which are now finding purchasers.
in contemplation for that central si. The subscribers to this splendid un- tuation. These edifices must consist dertaking will doubtless be anxious of low buildings of one or two stories, that the work, which they have pro- with colonnades along their sides ; moted with such praise-worthy spirit, and it is with buildings of precisely should be placed in some central and the same description that the column conspicuous spot, where it may testify, of Trajan was surrounded in that in a public manner, the gratitude and splendid forum, whose ruins still expatriotic feeling of those who raised it. ist, to justify the admiration of anThe friends of the eminent States. cient times. Whoever has visited this man, whose departed worth it is in- spot since the form of the forum was tended to commemorate, and whose laid open by the excavations of the invaluable services in the navy have French, must have perceived, that the so long and universally been acknow. colonnades which surround the pillar ledged, will look, with anxious hope, bear a very close resemblance to those to the choice of a site where his mo- which it is proposed to construct on nument is to be raised. How grieve the Mound. It is no inconsiderable ously will both be disappointed, if, in advantage, therefore, that by placing place of finding it in a proud and con- the Monument in this situation, it spicuous situation, in the centre of will not only be fixed in one of the that metropolis which gave him birth, most central points of the city, but they find it buried behind St George's inay be combined with the very church, and raising its graceful form same edifices which the taste of anin a situation where no eye of taste tiquity had selected to enhance its can see it, and no patriotic heart be beauties. warmed by the recollections which it In the second place, a very fine si, should awaken!
tuation might be obtained at the head These considerations are so obvious, of Leith Walk, at the junction of that that they must have forced themselves street and Picardy Place. This situon every one's thoughts who has at- ation combines the advantage of being tended for a moment to the subject; conspicuous from Leith Walk, York and they would, we are persuaded, Place, and the New London Road, have led to the instant change of the with that of being placed in one of proposed site, were it not that a diffi- the most striking points and most frem culty is imagined to exist in finding a quented thoroughfares of the city. better. That this, however, is not the And the great width of the streets, in case, and that many situations, infin- that vicinity, removes the danger of itely preferable to that we have men- its being objected to, on account of tioned, might be obtained, seems too the obstruction which it might afford obvious to admit of a doubt.
to the passage of carriages. In the first place, a most noble In the third place, it might be and conspicuous situation might placed at the eastern side of Charlotte be obtained at the northern extre- Square, near the door leading into the mity of the Mound, on the spot garden from George Street. No one where the Peristrephic Panorama now surely can doubt, that this splendid stands. The advantages of this spot column, placed in that situation, are obvious. Placed in the very would be a great addition to the magcentre of the metropolis, between the nificence of the square ; and certainly Old and New Town, in front of the in no other point could the subscribers most frequented terrace in the city, hope to have it surrounded with so it combines the advantage of being elegant and ornamental a pile of proudly conspicuous, with that of buildings. From George Street it forming a link between its almost-dis- would form an object worthy of its great dimensions and princely air ; neither could form an ornament to any while, from every point round Edin- approach of the city, nor combine with burgh, it would afford an inestimable any of its finest features, or most strivariety to the level surface of the New king scenes. And we most earnestly Town. And if it be objected, that request the attention of the very disthe column would be sunk into insig- tinguished gentlemen who compose nificance by the mass of St George's the committee to this subject; and rising immediately behind, the recole from the knowledge which we have of lection of the obelisk in front of St the taste and judgment of many of Peter's, which preserves its altitude them, we are sure that if they take notwithstanding the colossal dome be- it up with a right feeling and in good fore which it stands, will immediately earnest, they will come to a determioccur to the travelled observer. nation, certainly satisfactory to their
In the fourth place, we understand fellow-citizens. that the governors of Heriot's Hospi- Since the preceding pages were writtal have, with their usual liberality, ten, we have heard with mingled grief offered ground for the site of this and astonishment, that the committee monument, immediately in front of have, by a meeting on the 9th current, the New Terrace, about to be .con- resolved on erecting the Monument at structed on the northern side of the the end of Melville-street; and that Calton Hill. This situation certainly this was done both after the whole obhas many advantages. Independently jections to its being placed in St Anof being placed in front of what will be drews-square were withdrawn by those by far the handsomest terrace in Edin- who had formerly made them, and in burgh, and of being surrounded by spite of a most vigorous and public beautiful public gardens, it will form spirited resistance on the part of many a most prominent object on the great of the leading characters in our city. London road, which is forming on the That the centre of St Andrew-square northern side of the hill, and become is out of all doubt the most eligible a central point in the New Town, situation that could be obtained, is too which is projected in that quarter. obvious for illustration; and we have Nor is it perhaps to be entirely forgot- mentioned the preceding ones on the ten, that on this point, it would not supposition of its being irretrievably only be conspicuous from the whole lost. In common with all persons northern side of the town, but would interested in the improvement of the form a leading object from the sea, metropolis, we deplored the narrow where the sailors who have so liberally motives or utter want of taste which contributed to this work of art, may prompted the resistance which was have an opportunity of contemplating formerly made to its being put in that the monument which their exertions admirable situation ; and in proporhave raised.
tion to our former indignation, is our If none of these situations be selecte gratitude to the individuals who have ed, we conceive the pillar might be now, from a sense of their error, come placed with great effect in the point forward and abandoned it. It is a strong where Frederick Street intersects indication of the force of public senGeorge Street; and perhaps there timent, and of the progress which good is no situation in which its effect could feeling and right views have made be more admirable. To those who re- amongst us; for it is not to be forgotcollect how.great an improvement the ten, that to retract an error is a nobler portico of the Assembly Rooms made measure than to abstain from it; and on the uniform line of this street, that many men who would never have it is unnecessary to dwell on the ad- opposed a public improvement, have vantages which this superb column not sufficient magnanimity, when that would confer.
opposition has been begun, to abanThese are a few situations which don it. have occurred to ourselves, as well But in proportion to our gratitude fitted for the proposed edifice; and we for this public-spirited amende honourhave no doubt, that on some of them able on the part of the St Andrewthe committee would have no difficulty square proprietors, is our grief for the in placing it. Any of them appears to want of taste or momentary predomibe preferable to that which has been nance of splenetic feeling, with which proposed in Melville Street, where it this offer has now been refused. That the members of the naval committee edifice, who will support the proposed should feel no inclination to promote situation, we shall willingly give up the ornament of a square, from the our own opinion. proprietors of which they have former- Should it however happen, contrary ly received such ill treatment, we can to our hopes and expectations, that easily understand ; and we readily and this situation is finally adopted, we fully enter into their wish, to be guid- anticipate one good effect from the ed by their own judgment, in selecting measure. When Lord Nelson's fleet the site of an edifice towards the con- was bearing down upon the French, in struction of which they have principally the bay of Aboukir, the grounding of contributed. But we cannot under- the Culloden, though it disabled that stand, why, in the prosecution of this vessel, with its gallant captain, from feeling, they should defeat their own bearing a part in that glorious victory, objects, and deliberately sacrifice for was yet attended with this beneficial ever, the noble Monument, to which effect, that it served as a beacon for they have so essentially contributed, to the succeeding vessels, to avoid the the gratification of momentary ill-hu- track which had proved so dangerous. mour. Let them recollect that, while Deplorably, indeed, as all the objects they think they are making others feel of this Monument will be sacrificed the effects of their resentment, they if this situation be adhered to: grievare in fact punishing themselves and ously as the expectations of all the the whole contributors, with whose in- friends and admirers of Lord Melterests they are entrusted ; and that ville will be disappointed, when they centuries after the petty squabbles discover the obscure site which has about St Andrew-square are buried in been chosen for his Monument; the oblivion they deserve, the succeeding yet this good effect may be anticigenerations of our country will continue pated towards our metropolis, that, to lament the unfortunate situation in from the excess of the public regret at which, from that circumstance, they this circumstance, we may obtain some have buried one of its finest ornaments. security that similar errors in future Let them recollect, too, that the fame will not be committed; and that, if of Lord Melville is destined to survive monuments to other great men shall all momentary or party dissensions ; ever be erected, they will obtain those and that they will ill discharge their conspicuous and prominent situations duty, as the erectors of a Monument to one of which he was so fully entitled. to his memory, if they suffer them- And, with a view to the future emselves to be guided by any considera- bellishment of our city, we earnestly tion less permanent than those with hope, that the promoters of all those which posterity will regard his patrio- great and public undertakings which tic services.
are in contemplation amongst us, will We cannot anticipate, however, that take care, that the persons who are enthis hasty and ill-advised resolution trusted with their management, are of the committee will be adhered to those who are capable of appreciating Between this and the 1st of April, the merits of architectural design ; when the foundation of the Monu- that they will recollect, that because ment is to be laid, we ardently hope a man may be a gallant admiral, or that the matter will be reconsidered, a great landholder, it does by no and an opportunity taken of collecting means follow, that he should have the opinions of men of taste on the si- the smallest knowledge of subjects tuation which should be adopted. We of taste; and, that the only means are induced to trust in this, from the of directing the public spirit of the good sense and gentleman-like feel- country to beneficial or splendid puring of the members of this committee, poses, 'is, to be guided in the choice when their cool judgment is permitted of situations and designs by persons to operate. And if they can discover a who have devoted their talents to such single person, versed in the fine arts, subjects, and learned from an acquaintand alive to the beauties of architec- ance with foreign countries, the printure, unconnected with the squabbles ciples on which the embellishment of which have occurred in regard to this our own must depend.
No I. The Bondspiell of Closeburn and Lochmaben. The Seasons have their peculiar and the latter dashed down upon me appropriate recommendations, even to with sidelong wing, and the other boyhood. The bird nests of Spring made use of her feet“ right nimbly,” in the fishing excursions of Summerthe eluding my search, the discovery I was nutting holidays of Harvest-and the aiming at, would soon be made. The ice and snow amusements of Winter- young of the Partridge, too, I have present a continuous play, of four started, whilst the shell yet adhered acts, in which boyhood is no idle spec- to their extremities, and have pur. tator. How frequently, when the green sued, in much simplicity, the seemingleaf began to freshen over the saugh, ly broken winged and limping mother. and the hazel, and the goose-berry In Summer, I have fished, as you al. bush-whilst yet the oak and the ash ready know, up. Glenwhargan-in retained their winter nakedness Harvest, I have gathered nuts from the have I sallied forth, of a Saturday scrogs of Tynron--and in winter, I afternoon, in quest of discoveries to have played, as I did only a few days me as interesting and important as any ago, at “. Curling." which a Park or a Humboldt could Into this train of feeling I have make; and rushing through thickets, been insensibly led, by the late rapid and over briar, and bramble, have transition, from all the severe magni. detected the very first rudiments of ficence of a winter storm, to the freshthe future nest. How often, when the ness and exhilarating promise of a rethree or four little blue or spotted lenting, and almost reviving atmos eggs, gave all their delightful reality phere. I do not remember any occato my view—have I reasoned with as sion, on which the powerful influence much accuracy, from the effects visi- of a thaw wind was more marked. ble to the cause invisible, as if I had On the evening immediately preceding actually caught the parent bird in the the change, the frost continued unattitude of incubation. I have peeped usually severe, and the wind which, through the separated branches of the towards dusk, began to set in westerhawthorn-at the merled neck, and ly, brought along with it, over mounta smooth breast of the Maivis, as she ain and plain, a penetrating and even continued to eye me steadily, or slipt suffocating yird-drift. A rich, and as with noiseless wing from my view, only yet unstained drapery, hung suspended to linger on an adjoining twig, till my from the rock, and the ever-shifting departure. Over the clay-lined nest wreath fashioned itself under the shel of the Blackbird, I have watched, till ter, into varying edgings and ridges. the dam became stupified with star- The new moon was descending in silent ing-suffering me to pass my hand dimness, looking down mildly and gently along the sooty softness of her chastely upon the departing sun. There back. I have caught the little Wren was not as yet the slightest approximain its cabin, and felt its impotent, but tion to thaw. During the night, howvalorous nibble, as it bumped with ever, it suddenly freshened, and blewin its whole littleness against the hollow fits and gusts, a perfect hurricane, and of my hand. The cleughs, and the on the following morning, the melted cliffs, and the precipices, I have scaled snow came down in torrents, the iceand searched in quest of fiercer na- bergs sounding like discharges of artures--of the Corbie, the Glede, and tillery; the vale which had but the Hawk; and have carried off in my yesterday acknowledged the broom and hat, under the curses of parental affec- the cheer of the Curler, now presenttion, their screaming and struggling ed one scene of noisy devastation. On young. The Crow, and the Pyet,
could the day following the pale and sickly not elude my search, though the wheat peeped forth under the softening one selected the most extreme branch air,the half famished sheep began to of the loftiest fir-tree, and the other seek, in painful alacrity, the green pasnestled amidst a munition of thorns. ture, whilst the weather-side of every Over the heathy-fell I have coursed, little eminence looked fresh and inviin pursuit of the Whaup and the Pease- ting. In fact, the revolution of two weep; foolishly imagining, that whilst suns, had conveyed us from the