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THE IMPERIAL MAGAZINE.
JAIL-GOVERNOR'S HOUSE, EDINBURG IT.
(With an Engraving.) DURING the last year, we introduced to the notice of our readers two views, immediately connected with this once imperial city, but which, since its union with England, appears to have gained more in genuine greatness, than it has lost in royalty. These engravings, which represented Holyrood House, and a view of High-street, having been received by our numerous subscribers in a flattering manner, we now venture on a third, which we hope will not prove less satisfactory.
The Calton Hill, on which this edifice, exhibited in the engraving, stands, presents to the spectator many objects of powerful attraction. In its vicinity are several splendid streets, and elegant monuments, commemorative of celebrated individuals or remarkable events of national and general interest ; and from many points, the prospects are both extensive and admirable, George's-street cannot fail to attract attention by its grandeur and elegance. Queen-street, which, facing the north, exposes its inhabitants to the chilling breezes of winter, is compensated by a view of the Forth, and a prospect, both extensive and varied, which render it one of the noblest streets in the New Town of Edinburgh. At the east end of this street, York Place, in all its modern splendour, has arisen out of a green park, during the late war. At the eastern extremity of this division, stands the Calton Hill, round which a path has been cut, and formed into a promenade, whence there is a beautiful prospect of the Forth; and of such varying scenery, as to render it one of the most splendid landscapes in Europe. An elegant bridge of one arch now joins Calton Hill to Prince'sstreet, which forms a magnificent entrance into Edinburgh from the great London road.
A little south of the Theatre is situated the Orphan Hospital, where more than one hundred children, eligible from all parts, are maintained and educated. The late benevolent Howard mentions this as one of the most useful charities in Europe. In this vicinity stands the venerable structure of the college church, also the Trinity Hospital for the support of old and infirm persons, and likewise the elegant chapel erected by Lady Glenorchy, from which latter place the annexed view was taken.
On a part of Calton Hill is a large burying-ground, in which many elegant monuments have been erected. Among these, one of the most remarkable is the tomb of the celebrated David Hume. It is a round tower, occupying the south-west corner of the field. Another, still more deserving attention, is a naval monument erected in honour of the immortal Nelson, who fell in the engagement at Trafalgar.
Upon the south side of the hill, on a level spot, stands the Bridewell, for the reception of culprits, who are provided with more comforts than their 20. SERIES, no. 15.- VOL. II.
deserts generally merit. These include the necessaries of life, and the means of religious instruction ; but the prisoners are constrained to labour at different employments, while every method is adopted to reclaim them from their vices, and to inculcate principles of virtue, that, on their discharge, they may be restored to that rank in society, which, by their criminal conduct, they had lost. This New Bridewell, or House of Correction, was finished in 1796. It is on a large and liberal scale, and includes many of those improvements which were recommended by the illustrious Howard. Its situation is admirable, and in most respects it is a perfect contrast to the old prison, known by the name of the Tolbooth.
The governor's house, or captain of the jail, as he is here called, is placed upon an eminence which overlooks the prison. · It is a very picturesque building, in the gothic style of architecture, and contains apartments for the governor, and a committee-room for the jail commissioners. The summit is considerably elevated, as may be observed in the engraving. From many parts of the city, it is a conspicuous object; and the extensive view from the platform on the top of the house, has been very much and very deservedly admired. The Bridewell and Prison, with which this house is immediately connected, are on its other side, and in the present view are concealed from observation.
On each side of the entrances are rooms for the turnkeys who keep the three gates. The platform over the gate-way was formerly intended as a place for the execution of convicts, but we have not heard that it has ever been thus appropriated. The turnkeys' lodges are so constructed, that the occupiers can see into all the airing-ground at once, and therefore have an eye continually fixed on the prisoners, to observe their conduct, and watch their every movement.
The New Prison stands on the south side of the new approach to the city, and immediately to the west of the Bridewell. It is in the Saxon style of architecture; was founded in September, 1815, and was finished for the reception of prisoners in September, 1817. This building is 194 feet in length, by 40 feet deep, and is divided into six classes of cells, four for men, and two for women, besides a division containing condemned cells, and an airing-ground attached. Each of these classes has on the ground floor a day-room, with a fire-place, an open arcade, for exercise in wet and stormy weather, and an airing ground, supplied with water. Each class has a common staircase, and, under it, a water-closet. The staircase leads up to the cells in the second floor. The size of each cell is eight feet by six, and is intended to contain one prisoner. An elm plank is fixed into the wall for a bed; the window is glazed, and grated with iron, but a sufficient ventilation is obtained by perforations through the interior walls. The number of cells is fifty-eight in both stories. The chapel is in the centre of the building, above the entrance, and occupies two stories. It is divided, in the lower story, into separate boxes, which contain the felons according as they are classed ; and above is a gallery for debtors. A central passage communicates with all the cells and the chapel ; and, at each division of the classes, is an iron swing-door. At the top of the building are four infirmary rooms for the sick.
The whole of these buildings is surrounded with a boundary-wall, about twenty feet in height, which is formed on a plan calculated to admit a still greater number of inmates than at present occupy the interior, should an increase, either of crime or misfortune, render additional accommodations necessary.
Edinburgh, which is remarkable for the deformity of the Old Town, and
the beauty of the New, is still more distinguished for the number and importance of its charitable institutions. It is not our province, however, on the present occasion, to trace their history, or to delineate them in detail; yet one, among the many, we cannot omit to notice.
In January, 1801, a new House of Industry was opened, for the reception of poor and destitute females, who were willing to work, but unable to procure employment; and, also, for poor children, who were taught lacemaking. The whole of their earnings is regularly paid ; they have a warm comfortable room in which to work; have their dinners gratis; and, such women as have young children receive an additional sixpence weekly.
All the other benevolent establishments of Edinburgh partake of the same liberal character. They communicate instruction, promote industry, soften the rigours of distress, and cherish an exalted tone of moral feeling ; without which, all that is valuable in human nature will languish and expire. These institutions are supported, partly by ancient endowments, and partly by voluntary contributions—but we hear of none suffered to perish through the want of pecuniary support—and their beneficial effects may be perceived in the general conduct of the population, which, in the census of 1821, amounted to 138,235.
The dreadful cholera morbus, which, originating on the banks of the Hooghly, in India, has traversed the Continent, and, visiting the northern districts of England, for some months past ravaged several towns in the vicinity of Edinburgh, and menaced this populous city with an awful visitation, has lately forced a passage through its gates. Some decisive cases of India cholera have appeared ; they are, however, but few in number; and the disease does not spread with any alarming rapidity. The fears, however, of all ranks have been most powerfully excited, and precautions have been adopted to check its progress, and prevent it from spreading among the inhabitants. The issue, however, nothing but time can develop; and summer must arrive, before the apprehensions of danger, every where entertained, can be expected to subside. Both Edinburgh and London, as well as every other place, are under the superintendence of Divine Providence, which can alone lay an embargo on “the pestilence that walketh in darkness, and the destruction which wasteth at noon-day.”
THE LAST BRANCH.
led me to fountains of living waters, at
which I now drink : and never shall I MR. EDITOR,
thirst again. And now that I have, as I SIR, -If the history of one, who through feel assured, nearly finished my course the whole course of a long life has been here, I can exultingly exclaim, “Sorrow tried in the furnace of affliction, can be of may endure for a night, but joy cometh in any service to you, mine will not, I trust the morning." prove altogether unacceptable. I have That night is far spent, that day is at now lived sixty years in this troublesome hand, when, though my sun shall set in scene : and the afflictions which it has this world, it shall rise more glorious in pleased my heavenly Father to send upon the next, where it shall no more go down : me, have been scattered over the greater there the Lord shall be my everlasting part of half a century: truly, “Man is born light, and the days of my mourning shall unto trouble, as the sparks fly upwards.". be ended.
But though the Lord afflict, yet doth he I was born in the year 1770, in the not cast off for ever : he will not afflict county of D, where my father poswillingly, nor grieve the children of men : sessed a considerable estate, and had early and I trust these my sorrows have not been in life been married to my mother, who in vain : for while I sought to quench my was the daughter of a baronet. I had a thirst at the cisterns of the world, the Lord brother who was two years older than my
and of his great mercy self, and also a sister, both of whom I
took them all away,