UISTORICAL INCIDENTS AFTER THE RESTORA TION. 115 ancient building had been preserved ; the heads, in basso relievo, which surmounted seven of. the arches, have been referred, by eminent antiquaries, to the remote era of the lower empire. Four of these were placed by Mr Walter Ross, in his tower at Deanhaugh, and on its demolition in 1814, they were secured by Sir Walter Scott, along with a large shallow stone basin, which served as the fountain from whence wine was distributed at the Crosa on occasions of festivity. All of these objects are now among the antiquities at Abbotsford. The ancient pillar which surmounted the octagonal building, has been described by Arnot,’ and most of his mccessors, as a “column consisting of one stone upwards of twenty feet high, spangled with thistles, and adorned with a Corinthian capital.” It is still preserved on the Drum estate, near Edinburgh, whither it was removed by Lord Somerville in 1756, but it in no way * corresponds with this description.’ It is an octagonal gothic pillar, built of separate stones, held together by iron clamps, with a remarkably beautiful gothic capital, consisting of dragons. with their heads and tails intertwined, and surmounted by a battlemented top, on which the unicorn was formerly seated, holding an iron cross. From this ancient edifice, rogd proclamations, and the more solemn denunciations of the law, were announced; and here also the chief pageants were displayed on occasions of public rejoicings. Before the art of printing was invented, all Acts of Parliament and other matters of public interest were published from it to the people, and from thence also the mimic heralds of the unseen world, cited the gallant James and the nation’s chivalry to the domains of Pluto, immediately before the Battle of Flodden. No incident in history appears to us more strongly to mark the perversion of taste, and the total absence of the wholesome spirit of veneration, that prevailed during the eighteenth century, than the demolition of this most interesting national monument. The love of destructiveness could alone instigate the act, for its site was in the widest part of the High Street, at a time when the Luckenbooths narrowed the upper part of that thoroughfare to half its breadth, and immediately below it stood the guard-house, “ a long, low, ugly building, which, to a fanciful imagination, might have suggested the idea of a long black snail crawling up the middle of the High Street; and deforming its beautiful esplanade.”’ No such haste, however, was shown in removing this unsightly building. Its deformity gave no offence to civic taste, and it continued to encumber the street till near the close of the century. Propositions have been. made at various times for the restoration of the City Cross. \$ 1 Arnot, p. 303. * Restored in front of St Giles’s Cathedral, 1869. Heart of Mid-Lotbian, vol. i. p. 247. VmNErrE-The c a p i d of the City Croua.
I 16 MEMORIALS OF EDINBURGH. We shall only add, that until our civic rulers manifest, by some such act, 8 regard for the monuments of antiquity committed to their care, they must take their unenviable share in the minstrel’s curse :- Dun Edin’s Cross, a pillar’d stone, Rose on a turret octagon ; But now is razed that monument, Whence royal edict rang, And voice of Scotland‘s law was sent In glorious trumpet clang. Oh I be his tomb as lead to lead, Upon its dull destroyer’s head. !- A minstrel’s malison is said? Large portions of the city wall have been demolished from time to time, owing to the extension of the town and the many alterations that have been made on the older portions of it, so that only a few scattered fragments remain. These, however, are sufficient to show the nature of the aucient fortifications. No part of the earliest wall, erected under the charter of James II., in 1450, is now visible, if we except the fine old ruin of the Wellhouse tower, at the base of the Castle rock, which formed 8 strong protection at that point where the overhanging cliff might have otherwise enabled an enemy to approach under its shelter. A fragment of this wall, about fifty feet long and twenty feet in height, was found in 1832, about ten feet south from the Advocates’ Library: when digging for the foundations of a new lock-up-house, in connection with the Parliament House ; and, in 1845, another considerable portion was disclosed to the east of this, on the site of the old Parliament Stairs, in making the more recent additions to the same building. Both of these fragments have been closed over by the new buildings, and may in all probability continue to exist for centuries. The next addition to the fortifications of the city is the well-known Flodden wall, reared, as already described, by the terrified citizens in 1513.’ Of this there still remains the large portion forming the north side of Drummond Street; an interesting little fragment at the back of the Society, at Bristo Port, cnripusly pierced for windows and other openings; and, lastly, the old tower in the Vennel, already alluded to, which, thankpl to the zealous efforts of Dr Neill, has been preserved from destruction, when the Town Council had already prouounced its doom as a useless encumbrance. We furnish a view of its in- Marmion, canto v. v. 25. Minor Antiquitiee, p. 73, ’ Ante, p. 35. VIGNETTE-hteriOr of the Tower in the Vennel.