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tier of smaller and more fanciful ones, one or two of which have that light touch of the Moorish in their form which gives such a singular and poetic effect in many of the old Gothic ruins. Out of these wild arches and windows wave wreaths of ivy, and slender harebells shake their blue pendants, looking in and out of the lattices like little capricious fairies. There are fragments of ruins lying on the ground, and the whole air of the thing is as wild, and dreamlike, and picturesque as the poet's fanciful heart could have desired.
Underneath these arches he lies beside his wife ; around him the representation of the two things he loved most — the wild bloom and beauty of nature, and the architectural me
morial of by-gone history and art. Yet there was one thing I felt I would have had otherwise ; it seemed to me that the flat stones of the pavement are a weight too heavy and too cold to be laid on the breast of a lover of nature and the beautiful. The green turf, springing with flowers, that lies above a grave, does not seem to us so hopeless a barrier between us and what was warm and loving; the springing grass and daisies there seem types and assurances that the mortal beneath shall put on immortality; they come up to us as kind messages from the peaceful dust, to say that it is resting in a certain hope of a gloriouş resurrection.
On the cold flagstones, walled in by iron railings, there were no daisies and no moss; but I picked many of both from the green turf around, which, with some sprigs of ivy from the walls, I send you.
It is strange that we turn away from the grave of this man, who achieved to himself the most brilliant destiny that ever an author did, -raising himself by his own unassisted efforts to be the chosen companions of nobles and princes, obtaining all that heart could desire of riches and honor, we turn away and say, Poor Walter Scott! How desolately touching ,
! is the account in Lockhart, of his dim and indistinct agony the day his wife was brought here to be buried ! and the last part of that biography is the saddest history that I know; it really makes us breathe a long sigh of relief when we read of the lowering of the coffin into this vault.
What force does all this give to the passage in his diary in which he records his estimate of life!—“What is this world ? a dream within a dream. As we grow older, each step is an awakening. The youth awakes, as he thinks, from childhood; the full-grown man despises the pursuits of youth as visionary; Bishop Cheyne, of whom all that I know is, that he evidently had a good eye for the picturesque.
After this we went to visit King's College. The tower of it is surmounted by a massive stone crown, which forms a very singular feature in every view of Aberdeen, and is said to be a perfectly unique specimen of architecture. This King's College is very old, being founded also by a bishop, as far back as the fifteenth century. It has an exquisitely carved roof, and carved oaken seats. We went through the library, the hall, and the museum. Certainly, the old, dark architecture of these universities must tend to form a different style of mind from our plain matter-of-fact college buildings.
Here in Aberdeen is the veritable Marischal College, so often quoted by Dugald Dalgetty. We had not time to go and see it, but I can assure you on the authority of the guide book, that it is a magnificent specimen of architecture.
After this, that we might not neglect the present in our zeal for the past, we went to the marble yards, where they work the Aberdeen granite. This granite, of which we have many specimens in America, is of two kinds, one being gray, the other of a reddish hue. It seems to differ from other granite in the fineness and closeness of its grain, which enables it to receive the most brilliant conceivable polish. I saw some superb columns of the red species, which were preparing to go over the Baltic to Riga, for an Exchange; and a sepulchral monument, which was going to New York. All was busy here, sawing, chipping, polishing; as different a scene from the gray old cathedral as could be imagined. The granite finds its way, I suppose, to countries which the old, unsophisticated abbots never dreamed of.
One of the friends who had accompanied us during the morning tour was the celebrated architect, Mr. Leslie, whose conversation gave us all much enjoyment. He and Mrs. Leslie gave me a most invaluable parting present, to wit, four volumes of engravings, representing the “ Baronial and Ecclesiastical Antiquities of Scotland,” illustrated by Billings. I cannot tell you what a mine of pleasure it has been to me. It is a proof edition, and the engravings are so vivid, and the drawing so fine, that it is nearly as good as reality. It might almost save one the trouble of a pilgrimage. I consider the book a kind of national poem ; for architecture is, in its nature, poetry ; especially in these old countries, where it weaves into itself a nation's history, and gives literally the image and body of the times.
thing which Scott never felt. Nevertheless, I believe that he was perfectly sincere in saying that he would, “if necessary, die a martyr for Christianity.” He had calm, firm principle to any extent, but it never was kindled into fervor. He was of too calm and happy a temperament to sound the deepest recesses of souls torn up from their depths by mighty conflicts and sorrows. There are souls like the “ alabaster vase of ointment, very precious," which shed no perfume of devotion because a great sorrow has never broken them. Could Scott have been given back to the world again after the heavy discipline of life had passed over him, he would have spoken otherwise of many things. What he vainly struggled to say to Lockhart on his death bed would have been a new revelation of his soul to the world, could he have lived to unfold it in literature. But so it is: when we have learned to live, life's purpose aswered, and we die !
This is the sum and substance of some conversations held while rambling among these scenes, going in and out of arches, climbing into nooks and through loopholes, picking moss and ivy, and occasionally retreating under the shadow of some arch, while the skies were indulging in a sudden burst of emotion. The poor woman who acted as our guide, ensconcing herself in a dry corner, stood like a literal Patience on a monument, waiting for us to be through; we were sorry for her, but as it was our first and last chance, and she would stay there, we could not help it.
Near by the abbey is a square, modern mansion, buionging to the Earl of Buchan, at present untenanted. There were some black, solemn yew trees there, old enougli to have told us a deal of history had they been inclined to speak; as it was, they could only drizzle.