288 MEMORIALS OF EDINBURGH. deemed it prudent to renounce the orders that had been tarnished by a composition 60 unwonted and unclerical. The more recent history of the Edinburgh stage is characterised by no incidents of very special note, until the year 1768, when it followed the tide of fashionable emigration to the New Town, and the Theatre Royal was built in the Orphan’s Park,’ which had previously been the scene of Whitfield’a labours during his itinerant visits to Edinburgh. The eloquent preacher is said to have expressed his indignation in no measured terms when he found the very spot which had been so often consecrated by his ministrations thus being set apart to the very service of the devil. The front land in the Canongate through which the archway leads into the Play-house Close is an exceedingly fine specimen of the style of building prevalent in the reign of Charles I. The dormer windows in the roof exhibit a pleasing variety of ornament, and a row of storm windows above them gives a singular, and, indeed, foreign air to the building, corresponding in style to the steep and picturesque roofs that abound in Strasbourg and Mayence. A Latin inscription on an ornamental tablet, over the doorway within the close, is now so much defaced that only a word or two can be deciphered. The building where Ryan, Digges, Bellamy, Lancashire, and a host of nameless actors figured on the stage, to the admiring gaze of fashionable audiences of lad century, has long since been displaced by private erections. Nearly fronting the entrance to this close, a radiated arrangement of the paving indicates the site of St John’s Cross, the ancient eastern boundary of the capital. It still marks the limit of its ecclesiastical bounds on the south side of the street, and here, till a comparatively recent period, all extraordinary proclamations were announced by the Lion Heralds, with sound of trumpets, and the magistrates and public bodies of the Burgh of Canongate joined such processions as passed through their ancient jurisdiction in their progress to the Abbey. A little further eastward is St John’s Close, an ancient alley, bearing over an old doorway within it, the inscription in bold Roman characters :-THE . LORD . IS . ONLY. MY. ~VPORT. Immediately adjoining this is St John Street, a broad and handsome thoroughfare, forming the boldest scheme of civic improvement effected in Edinburgh before the completion of the North Bridge, and the rival works on the south side of the town. This aristocratic quarter of last century was in progress in 1768, as appears from the date cut over a back doorway of the centre house j and soon afterwards the names of the old Scottish aristocracy that still resided in the capital-Earls, Lords, Baronets, and Lords of Session-are found among its chief occupants. Here, in No. 13, was the residence of Lord Monboddo, and the lovely Miss .Burnet, whose early death is so touchingly commemorated by the Poet Burns, a frequent guest at St John Street during his residence in the capital; and within a few daors of it, at No 10, resided James Ballantyne, the partner and confidant of Sir Walter Scott in the literary adventures of the Great Unknown. Here was the scene of those assemblies of select and favoured guests to whom the hospit- ’ So called from ita vicinity to the Orphan’s Hospital, a benevolent institution which obtained the high commendations of Howard and the aid of Whitfield during the repeated visits made by both to Edinburgh. A very characteristic portrait of the latter is now in the hall of the new Hospital erected at the Dean. The venerable clock of the Nether Bow Port has also been transferred from the steeple of the old building to an elegant site over the pediment of the new portico, where, notwithstanding such external symptoms of renewing ita youth, it still asserts ita claim to the privileges and immunitiea of age by frequent aberrations of a very eccentric character.
SM.OLLE;TIX HO U SE ST JOHN STl%EET. CANONGATE.