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liness of the thing, we would go up the old, ruined staircase into the long galleries, that
“Midway thread the abbey wall.”
We got about half way up, when there came into our faces one of those sudden, passionate puffs of mist and rain which Scotch clouds seem to have the faculty of getting up at a minute’s notice. Whish! came the wind in our faces, like the rustling of a whole army of spirits down the staircase; whereat we all tumbled back promiscuously on to each other, and concluded we would not go up. In fact we had done the thing, and so we went home; and I dreamed of arches, and corbels, and gargoyles all night. And so, farewell to Melrose Abbey. That Milton read and admired Shakspeare is evident from his allusion to him in L'Allegro. It is evident, however, that Milton's taste had been so formed by the Greek models, that he was not entirely aware of all that was in Shakspeare ; he speaks of him as a sweet, fanciful warbler, and it is exactly in sweetness and fancifulness that he seems to have derived benefit from him. In his earlier poems, Milton seems, like Shakspeare, to have let his mind run freely, as a brook warbles over many-colored pebbles ; whereas in his great poem he built after models. Had he known as little Latin and Greek as Shakspeare, the world, instead of seeing a wellarranged imitation of the ancient epics from his pen, would have seen inaugurated a new order of poetry.
An unequalled artist, who should build after the model of a Grecian temple, would doubtless produce a splendid and effective building, because a certain originality always inheres in genius, even when copying ; but far greater were it to invent an entirely new style of architecture, as different as the Gothic from the Grecian. This merit was Shakspeare's. He was a superb Gothic poet; Milton, a magnificent imitator of old forms, which by his genius were wrought almost into the energy of new productions.
I think Shakspeare is to Milton precisely what Gothic architecture is to Grecian, or rather to the warmest, most vitalized reproductions of the Grecian ; there is in Milton a calm, severe majesty, a graceful and polished inflorescence of ornament, that produces, as you look upon it, a serene, long, strong ground-swell of admiration and approval. Yet there is a cold unity of expression, that calls into exercise only the very highest range of our faculties: there is none of that wreathed involution of smiles and tears, of solemn earnest
the author of several works which have excited attention ; but perhaps you will remember him best by his treatise on the Advancement of Society in Religion and Knowledge. He is what is called here a “laird,” a man of good family, a large landed proprietor, a zealous reformer, and a very devout man.
We went early to spend a short time with the family. I was a little surprised, as I entered the hall, to find myself in the midst of a large circle of well-dressed men and women, who stood apparently waiting to receive us, and who bowed, courtesied, and smiled as we came in. Mrs. D. apologized to me afterwards, saying that these were the servants of the family, that they were exceedingly anxious to see me, and so she had allowed them all to come into the hall. They were so respectable in their appearance, and so neatly dressed, that I might almost have mistaken them for visitors.
We had a very pleasant hour or two with the family, which I enjoyed exceedingly. Mr. and Mrs. Douglas were full of the most considerate kindness, and some of the daughters had intimate acquaintances in America. I enjoy these little glimpses into family circles more than any thing else ; there is no warmth like fireside warmth.
In the evening the rooms were filled. I should think all the clergymen of Edinburgh must have been there, for I was introduced to ministers without number. The Scotch have a good many little ways that are like ours; they call their clergy ministers, as we do. There were many persons from ancient families, distinguished in Scottish history both for rank and piety; among others, Lady Carstairs, Sir Henry Moncrief and lady. There was also the Countess of Gainsborough, one of the ladies of the queen's household, a very beautiful
woman with charming manners, reminding one of the line of Pope
“Graceful ease, and sweetness void of pride.”
I was introduced to Dr. John Brown, who is reckoned one of the best exegetical scholars in Europe. He is small of stature, sprightly, and pleasant in manners, with a high, bald forehead and snow-white hair.
There were also many members of the faculty of the university. I talked a little with Dr. Guthrie, whom I described in a former letter. I told him that one thing which had been an agreeable disappointment to me was, the apparent cordiality between the members of the Free and the National church. He seemed to think that the wounds of the old conflict were, to a great extent, healed. He spoke in high terms of the Duchess of Sutherland, her affability, kindness, and considerateness to the poor. I forget from whom I received the anecdote, but somebody told me this of her - that, one of her servants having lost a relative, she had left a party where she was engaged, and gone in the plainest attire and quietest way to attend the funeral. It was remarked upon as showing her considerateness for the feelings of those in inferior positions.
About nine o'clock we left to go to the temperance soirée. It was in the same place, and conducted in the same way, with the others which I have described. The lord provost presided, and one or two of the working men who spoke in the former soirée made speeches, and very good ones too. The meeting was greatly enlivened by the presence and speech of the jovial Lord Conynghame, who amused us all by the gallant manner in which he expressed the warmth of Scottish It seems that the inscription has not been without its use, in averting what the sensitive poet most dreaded; for it is recorded in one of the books sold here, that some years ago, in digging a neighboring grave, a careless sexton broke into the side of Shakspeare's tomb, and looking in saw his bones, and could easily have carried away the skull had he not been deterred by the imprecation.
There is a monument in the side of the wall, which has a bust of Shakspeare upon it, said to be the most authentic likeness, and supposed to have been taken by a cast from his face after death. This statement was made to us by the guide who showed it, and he stated that Chantrey had come to that conclusion by a minute examination of the face. He took us nto a room where was an exact plaster cast of the bust, on which he pointed out various little minutiæ on which this idea was founded. The two sides of the face are not alike; there is a falling in and depression of the muscles on one side which does not exist on the other, such as probably would never have occurred in a fancy bust, where the effort always is to render the two sides of the face as much alike as possible. There is more fulness about the lower part of the face than is consistent with the theory of an idealized bust, but is perfectly consistent with the probabilities of the time of life at which he died, and perhaps with the effects of the disease of which he died.
All this I set down as it was related to me by our guide; it had a very plausible and probable sound, and I was bent on believing, which is a great matter in faith of all kinds.
It is something in favor of the supposition that this is an authentic likeness, that it was erected in his own native town within seven years of his death, among people, therefore, who