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said he is allowed a thousand pounds a-year for the expences of the office: it may be so; but we have heard that the citizens of the black and smoky town of Newcastle give their chief magistrate two thousand pounds, a splendid equipage, and a superb mansion. The very sight of the Mayor of Bristol, in the pride, pomp, and circumstance of office, would astonish the worthy deacons of the different crafts, who are so largely implicated in the object of our complaint.
Now we would ask why such things should be, and overcome us like a summer cloud, without our special wonder? For surely, saving and excepting London, there is no other town under such obligations to exhibit her chief magistrate, with appropriate splendour, as the ancient capital of the oldest of all the British monarchies. What makes the shame of the thing more striking is, that the whole of what is wanted might be easily obtained, and in a style too, which would even bear comparison with the corpulent and cumbrous magnificence of the London appointments. But, before stating them, we would beg to lay it down as a principle, that ALL PUBLIC OFFICERS SHOULD, IN THEIR OFFICES, BE APPROPRIATELY MAINTAINED, and therefore a judicious economy would discern between the paraphernalia requisite to the dignity of the provost, and the ministration to the personal pomposity or vanity of the individual occupying the station. Nothing, in our opinion, can, for example, be more absurd than the vulgar ostentation of the Mansion-house of London, where, for a year, every year, some honest, thrifty, and prudent family are afflicted with the necessity of mimicking the style and manners of the nobility. While we would therefore recommend a Mansion-house to be provided for the Lord Provost, we must beg to be understood not to mean a residence, but only a proper place where he could entertain illustrious strangers, or perform those hospitable courtesies to his fellow-citizens and assistants in the magistracy,-courtesies which constitute no inconsiderable portion of his public duty. For this purpose, it occurs to us, that, at an inconsiderable expence, a very splendid suite of apartments might be easily constructed within the same pile
where the sittings of the Council are held, and in them, on all corporation occasions, the ordinary entertainments of the Lord Provost should be given. The inauguration banquet, as we have already said, should be held in the Parliament-house.
We would also seriously recommend the hint of our ingenious corre spondent, Mr Christopher Columbus, with respect to a state-coach, to be gravely considered, though we disap prove entirely of his Tontine scheme, of sending our Provost to dwell so far from the centre of Auld Reekie. Can any thing, for example, be more ridicu lous than a batch of elderly, well fed, perhaps gouty gentlemen, struggling against the wind, and grinningas if they would bite off the nose of Boreas, endeavouring to make their way towards the door of an inn, to give the freedom of the city to some renowned or illustrious character. The proper way of bestowing such honours-the most obvious and the most flattering, is to invite the personage on whom it is intended to be conferred, to meet the magistrates; but if circumstances render this inconvenient, as was the case when Prince Esterhazy was lately here, then, and in such cases, the ProVOst, with suitable officers, emblems, and ensigns of authority, should be enabled to represent the rank and dignity of the city. It is, we are aware, not very easy to speak gravely to many minds on such subjects, but our well-known free and desultory style had never a more suitable topic; and although many wise, many learned, &c. bodies of gentlemen have been accustomed to think with much levity of city usages, the gingerbread coach, and the big bellies of Aldermen and Bailies, the acquiescent homage paid in all ages to those invested with the trappings of visible grandeur, is a moral demonstration that the decorations of office are agreeable to the common sense of mankind. The great object is, to take care that they are in unison with the taste and spirit of the age in which they are assumed. But when once assumed, they ought to be preserved in their original state, as consecrated things.
The cause which essentiallycontributed to denude the magistracy of Edinburgh of their ancient costume and municipal pomp, was undoubtedly the removal of the court to Eng
land. Had the monarch continued to reside here, or condescended to pay us an occasional visit, we have no doubt, that, instead of those sable suits, in which so many of our esteemed friends appear, as if in constant mourning for some hanged thief or other, we should have seen them apparelled as in the days of Provost Maccalzean, when the Town-council entertained Queen Mary; namely, in coats of black velvet, doublets of crimson satin, and hose of the same colour; for we hold the recommendation of the Council in 1718, by which the magistrates were advised to wear coats of black velvet, (and in consideration thereof, ten pounds Sterling were ordered to be paid to each of the Bailies, Dean of Guild, and Lord Treasurer, yearly,) to have been a corrupt job of modern degeneracy. And we beg, by the way, to know if the said ten pounds continue to be still regularly paid; if so, where are all the velvet coats? The Provost is the only one we have ever seen so dressed. Let the Reformers look to this.
In contemplating the probability of a visit from the King, we would advise Mr Arbuthnot, and his friends in the magistracy, to imitate their worthy predecessors in Queen Mary's time, and forthwith equip themselves accordingly, in order to give his Majesty some notion of the olden time of this his most ancient kingdom.
But alas! Scotland has survived her royalty. When the King comes, where shall we put him? We shudder to think of the squalour and misery that have thrust their pale faces and dirty lean hands into the most revered recesses of the palace. What an avenue must he pass to the well-sung towers of Holyrood, in his descent by the Canongate.
"There oft are heard the notes of infant
The very thought of such a sight, to shew a King, and a King of such refinement as George IV. is hideous. For God's sake, Bailies and Deacons of Edinburgh, set to work instantly. Let all your shovels, barrows, and besoms, be put in requisition. Commissioners of Police, Whigs, Tories, and Radicals, up and at it. Though you should want drink for a month, wash the causeway." Seize every nocturnal vase, boyne, tub, and crock, or by whatever other name they may be known; and instead of the Flowers of Edinburgh, let them be filled with earth, and planted with fragrant shrubs and odoriferous balms, and placed in rows, from the Tron Kirk to the Abbey gate, to subdue the irremediable odours-the breath of abomination, that taints the air from every wall and corner round the defiled and deserted home of royalty.
And brandy and tobacco shop is near,
But though the magistrates of Edinburgh do their part ever so well, what is to be done with the palace itself? Had it been the property of any private nobleman, instead of belonging to the crown, is it probable that so fine a mansion would have been allowed to sink into such absolute decay? We know not how the Dukes of Hamilton have been able to reconcile to their honour, as men, the neglect and ruin which, without remonstrance, they have allowed to fall upon this venerable and interesting edifice, the more especially, as it is still required for several national purposes. The election of the Peers of Scotland is still held there, and the Chapel Royal is the place where the Knights of the Thistle can alone be installed. It is indeed inconceivable, how the royal residences of Scotland, from Dunstaffnage of immemorial antiquity, to Linlithgow and Holyroodhouse, should have been allowed to sink into ruin-the latter in particular, when the preservation of it might not only have been honourable to the country, but a source of wealth and of pleasure to the metropolis. The environs of Holyroodhouse are singularly picturesque, and, with very little trouble, the cliffs and the mountains might have been so adorned with trees, that the King's Park would have become one of the finest walks that the vici
nity of any city could boast of;—as it is, nobody that is not actuated by some strong motive of necessity, or of antiquarian curiosity, can bear the thoughts of approaching a place so 3 L
desolate, wild, and melancholy. We have often wondered that the spirited boys of the High School have never thought of laying out some of their pocket-money in buying hazelnuts to plant the Salisbury Crags. The speculation would redound to the infinite profit of their successors; and by so simple a process as occasionally throwing a few handfulls of forest tree seeds down the steeps, they might clothe those naked rocks, and create a woody and picturesque effect, of which the finest landscape painters only dream in their most poetical moods. It is, however, of no use to talk or to suggest on this subject, while those whose duty it is to attend to all that may be said, are seemingly alike insensible to the ancient renown and modern glory of their country;-who move as if they felt not the inspiring influence of hallowed places, and were incredulous to the power of that solemn and affecting genius which presides over the ancestral abodes of chivalry and pa
And here we take liberty to controvert a notion that seems somehow to have got into circulation, that "the good town" shall not be able to give the King such a welcome as he received in Dublin. Certainly, if an attempt is made to follow modern devices, the thing will be a failure; but if we revert to the ancient customs of the kingdom, the Scots will beat the Irish out and out. Nothing, for example, in the King's public entry in to Dublin could compare with a revival, but in a modern taste, of the ancient weapon-shawing *, for the occasion; which would have the effect of turning the attention of the people from radical nonsense, and of making them emulous in loyalty. With this view, we would therefore recommend to the deacons of the trades, and the heads of other public bodies, to begin, as soon as the period is ascertained when his Majesty is likely to come, to provide themselves with banners, and appropriate ensigns of their crafts and professions, to march in procession before the King. The very interest which such an occupation would give to the minds of the multitude, could not fail to cure thousands
of those afflicted with the Radical distemper. The result, merely as a spectacle, would be one of the finest imaginable. It would, besides, afford the people an opportunity of seeing the King, in his state, as a monarch, in some appropriate balcony, rendering the procession, as it were, a levee holden to receive the homage of the hardy and industrious. Those who saw the King proclaimed will easily form some idea, though but a faint one, of the magnificent pageant which we contemplate. Let them suppose, for a moment, the fronts of the stupendous houses of the High Street all decorated with garlands and green boughs, and the windows filled with beauty,the balcony in front of the Royal Exchange occupied by musi cians, and the King, attended by his great officers and the magistrates, seated on an elevated platform in front of the Cathedral, commanding a view of the street to the Palace. Let them then paint to themselves the pavement, thronged with countless spectators, and the array of the citizens, glorious with waving plumes and banners, ascending to the foot of the royal platform, then defiling into the Lawnmarket, and counter-marching by the Parliament-Close back into the High. Street, with the clangour of all accorded instruments of sound, mingled with the shouts and acclamations of the people, and they must be convinced, that neither Dublin, nor any other town in Europe, can produce such a spectacle as that with which the loyal inhabitants of " the good town" might verify to their King their just right to that venerable appellation. Let Sir Patrick Walker marshall as he may the decorated or ders and ranks of nobility and knighthood, and Sir John Sinclair get all the Highlanders, in all their tartans, that the mountains of the North may send forth, we will stake our crutch, which we cannot move without, that a procession of the honest trades and crafts of Edinburgh, closing with the time-honoured pageantry of King Crispin, will present a scene of popu lar splendour, unexampled in the annals of all similar shows and processions.
• We do not mean, that the revival of the weapon-shawing should extend beyond the different corporations and citizens mustering in their best, and forming a properly marshalled array, to give his Majesty some idea of their numbers and respectability.
ON THE SCHOLASTIC DOCTORS.
DEAR CHRISTOPHER, I WAS some time ago looking over an old theological work, which, among many other curious things, expatiated considerably on the merits of the old Scholastic Doctors, and dwelt much on their several titles such as Irrefragabilis, Ponderosus, Subtilis, Profundus, and twenty others of equal celebrity and import. But what the author seemed particularly to take delight in, and indeed what gave me the greatest pleasure, was the collection of their different epitaphs and celebrated sayings, and the concentrating in one place so many quaintly-devised and crabbed specimens of the distorted ingenuity of those ages, I could not help thinking, Kitt, how amusing it must have been to behold one of these worthies, Tostatus for instance, of whom it was said,
Hic stupor est mundi, qui scibile, discutit
seated at work, in an easy-chair, with his doctor's cap pushed on one side of his head, his cloak thrown backwards from absolute sweating through excess of thought, his left hand pulling strongly his long grey beard,-his pen stuck for a moment in his inky girdle, -his right hand scratching the side of his head, his feet striking rapidly against the ground, and his long, thin, swarthy sour face contracted into as many wrinkles as your own round, fat, ruddy, good-humoured phiz would doubtless be seen forced into, in a fit of the rheumatism, if the mysterious veil which encompasseth it did not hide its features from mortal eyes. Would not you laugh downright at seeing him in this curious situation? I am sure you would, Kitt, notwith standing all you may say about huma nity, &c. But if you knew that all his travail would be set at nought, that his immense turmoil would be of no avail,—that the productions of his pen,
Cork, Nov. 6th, 1821.
which now reposes in his girdle, (untill suddenly pulled forth to indite the ingenious thought when arrived at maturity,) would sink into everlasting oblivion, I am sure your kind heart, far from indulging in mirth, would melt with grief on the occasion. At least mine would. It is with these feelings you must consider this letter, which is an attempt to rescue from forgetfulness some of the effusions aforesaid, by sending them to you. I am sure the ingenious writers will bounce with joy, when from the silent tomb they hear your mellow voice ordering Ebony to imprint their lays, and will cry out, in classic chorus, through the clay-cold caverns of the earth,
Ecce, vir Septentrionalis
Suo nam mandavit ore
which classic and appropriate chorus may be Englished thus, with equal elegance:
Behold! the mightie man, Kitt Northe,
Our verses that his prynter bolde
Already art thou celebrated on the earth by millions, and above the earth, in the garrets of hundreds. Be it your study now, to be celebrated and honoured under the earth, as infallibly thou shalst, by giving light to the productions of its inhabitants. But, besides these considerations of glory and humanity, they are really so curious in themselves as to deserve your notice, as you will perceive by the few following specimens. The first I give you is on Alexander Alensis, the celebrated Doctor Irrefragabilis. Here it is :
Conditur hoc tumulo, famam sortitus abundè Gloria Doctorum, decus et flos Philosophorum, Auctor scriptorum vir Alexander variorum. Inclitus Anglorum fuit Archilevita, sed horum Spretor cunctorum, fratrum collega minorum Factus egenorum, fit Doctor primus eorum.
What beauty!-What's your epitaph on Sir D. Donnelly to this?-What a majestic succession of orums! not to speak of the pretty compliment to your Southron friends in the second last line. How the writer must have worked to make out these verses! I ought to know something of his trouble, as I had a pretty fair tug myself at a few lines you inserted in your last ;
but I must fairly yield to him in the ingenuity with which he strings together that noble succession of sonorous cadences. What can be finer than the third line, when, after having raised our expectation to the highest by his encomiums in the two preceding verses, he suddenly and sublimely declares who the subject of them is :
"Auctor scriptorum vir Alexander variorum!"
All your modern nick-nacks are nothing to this! Lost in admiration as you doubtless are, at the above specimen, the next will far outdo both it, and all others I ever read, in quaint
ness, conceit, and moral instruction. It is written on Peter Comestor, (mind his surname,) the author of "Histo ria Scholastica." Read and admire!
"Petrus eram, quem petra tegit, dictusque Comestor,
What do you say to that, Kitt? As a
que Comestor, nunc comedor." What a sublime idea of retribution does not this contain. He who was called Eater, (and, haply, for a good reason,) is now eaten, by the worms, rats, &c. Also the continuance of his Doctorship in the grave, and the lecture he thence delivers to the world. Ah! the times are gone by when such things could be written. As for these degenerate days-Alas! I fear I may safely defy any one to match these lines, without the gauntlet being taken up!-I perceive I have not paper for much more; but I must give you one on a country, man, either of yours or mine, it is hard to say which, but he is
Richardus a Sto. Victore Scotus.
Moribus, ingenio, doctrinâ clarus et arte
Although some of your very classic readers will probably admire this more than any of the others, yet I must beg leave to differ with them. What can equal the concetti in the two first of those epitaphs? Besides, I think that although in the fourth couplet it is prophesied that his writings will obtain for him immortal fame, it will be to your mention of his epitaph that