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they shut out much of this imposing expanse of magnitude, form a deep and concentrating framework, in whose centre some one isolated fragment assumes a character of sublimity, that seems almost to throw the wider field of variety and splendour into temporary shade. I have at last given up the attempt; and am contented to let

my admiration be as impartial as the charm is universal.

In every point of view, however, the main centre of attraction is the Castle of Edinburgh. From whatever side you approach the citywhether by water or by land—whether your foreground consist of height or of plain, of heath, of trees, or of the buildings of the city itself—this gigantic rock lifts itself high above all that surrounds it, and breaks upon the sky with the same commanding blackness of mingled crags, cliffs, buttresses, and battlements. These, indeed, shift and vary their outlines at every step, but every where there is the same unmoved effect of general expression—the same lofty and imposing image, to which the eye turns with the same unquestioning worship. Whether you pass on the southern side, close under the bare and shattered blocks of granite, where the crumbling turrets on the summit seem as if they had shot out of the kindred rock in some fantastic freak of Nature--and where, amidst the overhanging mass of darkness, you vainly endeavour to descry the track by which Wallace scaled or whether you look from the north, where the rugged cliffs find room for some scanty patches of moss and broom, to diversify their barren grey- and where the whole mass is softened into beauty by the wild green glen which intervenes between the spectator and its foundations - wherever you are placed, and however it is viewed, you feel at once that here is the eye of the landscape, and the essence of the grandeur.

Neither is it possible to say under what sky or atmosphere all this appears to the greatest ad vantage. The heavens may put on what aspect they choose, they never fail to adorn it. Changes that elsewhere deform the face of nature, and rob her of half her beauty, seem to pass over this majestic surface only to dress out its majesty in 'some new apparel of magnificence. If the air is cloudless and serene, what can be finer than the calm reposing dignity of those old towers-every delicate angle of the fissured rock, every loop-hole and every lineament seen clearly and distinctly in all their minuteness? or, if the mist be wreathed around the basis of the rock,

and frowning fragments of the citadel emerge only here and there from out the racking clouds that envelope them, the mystery and the gloom only rivet the eye the faster, and half-baffled Imagination does more than the work of Sight. At times, the whole detail is lost to the eyeone murky tinge of impenetrable brown wraps rock and fortress from the root to the summit all is lost but the outline; but the outline atones abundantly for all that is lost.--The cold glare of the sun, plunging slowly down into a melancholy west beyond them, makes all the broken labyrinth of towers, batteries, and house-tops paint their heavy breadth in tenfold sable magnitude upon that lurid canvass.-At break of day, how beautiful is the freshness with which the venerable pile appears to rouse itself from its sleep, and look up once more with a bright eye into the sharp and dewy air At the “ grim and sultry hour” of noon, with what languid grandeur the broad flag seems to flap its long weight of folds above the glowing battlements ! When the day-light goes down in purple glory, what lines of gold creep along the hoary brow of its antique strength! When the whole heaven is deluged, and the winds are roaring fiercely,

snow and hail, and stormy vapour,” are



let loose to make war upon his front, with what an air of pride does the veteran citadel brave all their well-known wrath, “ cased in the unfeeling armour of old time!" The Capitol itself is but a pigmy to this giant.

But here, as every-where, moonlight is the best. Wherever I spend the evening, I must always walk homewards by the long line of Prince's-Street; and along all that spacious line, the midnight shadows of the Castle-rock for ever spread themselves forth, and wrap the ground on which I tread in their broad repose of black

It is not possible to imagine a more majestic accompaniment for the deep pause of that hour. The uniform splendour of the habitations on the left opening every now and then broken glimpses up into the very heart of the modern city--the magnificent terrace itself, with its stable breadth of surface—the few dying lamps that here and there glimmer faintly-and no sound, but the heavy tread of some far-off watchman of the night-this alone might be enough, and it is more than almost any other city could afford. But turn to the right, and see what a glorious contrast is there. The eternal rock sleeping in the stillness of nature its cliffs of granite--its tufts of verdure

all alike steeped in the same unvarying hue of mystery-its towers and pinnacles rising like a grove of quiet poplars on its crest—the whole as colourless as if the sun had never shone there, as silent as if no voice of man had ever disturbed the echoes of the solemn scene. Overhead, the sky is all one breathless canopy of lucid crystal blue here and there a small bright star twinkling in the depth of æther-and full in the midst the Moon walking in her vestal glory, pursuing, as from the bosom of eternity, her calm and destined wayand pouring down the silver of her smiles upon all of lovely and sublime that nature and art could heap together, to do homage to her radiance. How poor, how tame, how worthless, does the converse even of the best and wisest of men appear, when faintly and dimly remembered amidst the sober tranquillity of this heavenly hour! How deep the gulf that divides the tongue from the heart—the communication of companionship from the solitude of man! How soft, yet how awful, the beauty and the silence of the hour of spirits !

I think it was one of the noblest conceptions that ever entered into the breast of a poet, which made Goethe open his Faustus with a scene of moonlight. The restlessness of an intellect wea

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