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The High Street continues a considerable way to the westward, approaching nearly to the suburb of Dovecoatland, (where formerly stood a monastery of Carmelites), beyond which a causeway is continued to the Town's Muir, a large tract of land which belonged to the community, and on which wood was annually felled to a considerable amount. This property, within these few years, has been feued out, and great part of it is now under crops, surrounding the handsome houses of the feuers.
Paul Street leads us northward to the town's corn and flour mills. These were royal property, until assigned by Robert III. to the town. They are driven by a canal, or lead, from the river Almond, of
very remote antiquity. The water is taken off about three miles above Perth, and was originally employed to fill the ditch that surrounded the fortifications. Now, besides driving the wheels of the flour mills, it supplies the tables of the inhabitants. It were most devoutly to be wished, that the water for the latter use was procured from a different source : that of the town's aqueduct has no unwholesome property, but it is so liable to be contaminated by the poisonous liquids that are used in immense quantities at the bleachfields and printfields through which it passes, that the use of it is frequently dangerous. But, although this damning reason did not exist, the circumstance of its being rendered so excessively turbid by the slightest rains, would operate decisively with magistrates who were desirous of satisfying the demands of utility be. fore they studied adornment. We return to the High Street through the Mill C.%
Wynd. On the right hand, proceeding eastward, is the meeting-house of the Burghers, and, on the left, that of the Antiburghers, both plain buildings. Farther, on the right, is the Guildhall; and continuing, we pass the court in which the Parliament-house anciently stood. We are now returned to the Cross, after having completed the tour of the city.
The preceding pages are supposed to have occupied the afternoon of arrival. The next day must be devoted to the environs. A ride should be the business of the morning ; and, although the country is pleasant on every hand, the following is the route which we would recommend to preference Retracing the Edinburgh road rather more than a mile, we strike off to the left, by a path which leads entirely round the Hill of Moncrieff. As far as we ride eastward, we accompany the Tay, which flows smoothly under the sublime crag of Kinnoul, with which it unites to form a scene of uncommon grandeur. As the road turns round the hill, the view, formerly confined, now magnificently expands. The luxuriant plain of Gowrie is extended for more than twenty miles under the eye, the waving line of its boundary marked, on one hand, by the widening river, and fixed, on the other, by a chain of hills. Below, on the left, is Elcho, recently a strong castle containing a nunnery, but now a ruin *. Immediately below, the
Tay * " Elcho is a large and strong castle, on the south side of the
Tay receives the tributary streams of Earn, against the course of which our way now leads. The south side of Moredun hill is extremely steep and craggy, but, being clothed with wood wherever there is soil, the effect is charming. Close under its towering rocks the path winds, and, crossing again the great road, continues onward to Duplin, along the bases of hills, which are all ploughed to the top, or covered with thriving plantations. Throughout the ride westward, the prospect is continually changing, and presents to the delighted eye a rich and varied succession of ban
river, about a mile below Kinfauns. It belongs to the Earl of Wemyss, and gives the title of Lord to the eldest son of that family.
“ The nunnery of Elcho was founded by David Lindsay of Glenesk, and his mother; and from this family the Earls' of Crawford are descended. Madoch, Earl of Strather, gave the lands of Kinnaird, in Fyfe, to the nunnery, which were afterwards feued out to Alexander Leslie, by Magdalen, Prioress of this place.
“ When Wallace returned from France, he landed above the mouth of Earn, and ordered a ship to be sunk in the narrow pas. sage, to prevent the English ships from sailing up the river; and, with about twenty men, he came to Elcho park, among whom was Thomas a Longueville. The English governor at Perth received intelligence of their arrival, and ordered Butler, with a strong party, to surprise them. Wallace slew him, cut his way through his troops, and marched to Methven, from thence to Birnham wood, where he met with his friend William Ruthven, sheriff of Perth, who was banished by the English. He proceed. ed with his small company to the Highlands, where he collected an army, returned and besieged Perth, and cbliged the English govemor to surrender it up."-CANT.
quets. The mansions which ornament the country are numerous, but we think it unnecessary to particularise them, as we are ignorant of any that contain either libraries, or specimens of art, of consequence enough to excite the curiosity of the traveller. The seat of the Earl of Kinnoul, at Duplin, is, however, an exception : this noblemen has here a collection of books of considerable value, comprising many fine editions of the Greek and Roman classic writers, and others which are scarce. The pictures also are numerous, and some of them by eminent masters.
If, after having surveyed this mansion and its pleasure-grounds, enough of the day remains, the ride should be prolonged to the northward. Proceeding by Tibbermuir towards Methven, we traverse a country which, if not marked by picturesque scenery, offers a prospect of improving cultivation which cannot fail to interest and to please. A view is obtained, on this part of the ride, of a wider range of the sublime Grampians than any other spot commands. Here too, casting the eye to the eastward, the summits of Dunsinnan * are seen rearing themselves above the high grounds that rise from the Tay.
* “ Near this we did perceive where proud Macbeth
(Who to the furies did his soul bequeath)
METHVEN CASTLE-BESSY BELL AND MARY GRAY. 89
Methven witnessed a bloody battle in 1306, when Robert Bruce was defeated by Edward's general, Sir Aymer de Vallance. On a beautiful slope, in front of an extensive wood, stands Methven castle, where the sister of Henry VIII. and widow of James IV. died the wife of Lord Methven *. Past this building, our way leads to the romantic bridge of Dalcrue, near to which is the grave of Bessy Bell and Mary Gray,
Then tyrannizing rag'd as Nimrod wild ;
any horse should overtake him there ;
The Muses' THRENODIE.
*“ Margaret, eldest sister of Henry VIII. was first married to James IV. After his fatal death at Floudon, she married Ar. chibald Douglas, the second Earl of Angus of that name, to whom she bore Lady Margaret Douglas, mother of Lord Darnly, who was father of James VI. The Queen remained in England at her brother's court about a year after Lady Margaret's birth, and then returned home. Having got intelligence that Angus, during her absence, had a daughter by a daughter of Lord Traquair, who was afterwards married to Patrick Lord Ruthven, the Queen would not be reconciled to Angus, and procured a divorce, contrary to the advice of her brother Henry. She afterwards married Henry Stewart, son to Lord Evandale, whom her son James V. created Lord Methven, and made him General of the Ordnance ; she died about the end of the year 1539, at Methven castle, and was buried with great funeral pomp at the Charter-house Monastery in Perth, near the tomb of James I. and his Queen Jane. The King, accompanied hy ma. ny of the nobility, attended the funeral.”-CANT,