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Blearie's Stane." Marjory (so the story is told) on an autumn day was following the sport she loved, chasing the fallow deer in her husband's oak forest of Paisley, when she was thrown from her horse, not far from her own castle, and lifted, with dead young face, from among the drifted leaves. They raised the cross of stone on the spot where the Princess fell. Long after every vestige of the oak forest was gone, among the low tufts of broom and wild roses stood this old solitary cross. If ever inscription was carved upon it, it was long worn away, but the fond tradition of its name lingered tenaciously around it, not to be dispelled by any reasoning that Marjory was not a Queen. After having been preserved for four centuries the cross was demolished. Some hundred years ago, when Pennant wrote, part of it formed the lintel of a neighbouring barn-a vandalism not to be wondered at when the Abbey itself was despoiled, and its images, even then, lay broken in the open cloister among the rank neglected grass (p. 110). Imagination, it is mentioned elsewhere, can hardly realise the despoiling of the Abbey by commmand of the reforming lords-how the monks fled from their convent through the eager streets, gray old men who had almost forgotten how the outside world fared, whose grandfathers remembered Paul Crawar, the Bohemian, and his burning at St. Andrew's Cross; and men in their early prime, who were youths when Wishart, the gentle laird, preached on the Mauchline Moor among the broom and the May flowers; and as vainly, it may be asked, how the young Abbot Claude demeaned himself among his flying monks- how he brooked to see the crowd of townsmen assail his convent gates, and to hear his voice derided and ignored within his own Abbey wallshow he saw with helpless hands all the wealth of the shrines scattered, and scorned by the meanest there as an unholy thing-scorned by poor weak men and women who had often crept to the gate of the monastery, taken their dole from the hands of the monks, and asked their blessing and their prayer. The work of that August day laid choir and north transept in ruins, shattered the house of the abbot, the guestan-house, library, scriptorium, filled the cloister-court with the debris of the beautiful still retreat; but it left the nave entire, desolate,
profaned indeed, but with no mark of violence. It left a church for the people -a church for worship in the new form amidst the ruins of the old (p. 270). Under some such conditions were the sacred shrines thrown down, and the pleasant gardens laid waste. The splendour of the fabric may be inferred from the circumstance that the mason work was held in charge by the same craftsman who looked after Melrose and Glasgow-that Melrose, whose chroniclers gave their old abbot no undue praise when they wrote "Jocelinus episcopus sedem episcopalem dilatavit et Sancti Kentegerni ecclesiam gloriose magnificavit." The work of the despoiler in these days was authorised by a missive commanding certain of those to whom it was addressed to pass incontinent to the kirk, "and tak' doun ye haill images yrof, and bring furth till ye kirkyard, and birn them oppingly, and syklyk cast doun ye alteris and picturis, and purge ye said kirks of all kinds of monuments of idolatry." For much pleasant gossip concerning those who bore rule in the Abbey, Abbot Shaw among the rest, for the erection of the chapel dedicated to St. Mirren, and for the early burghal life of Paisley, the "lichens" themselves must be turned over and the old-world fragrance inhaled. Less is made of some of the Abbey benefactors than might have been expected-pre-eminently of the great House of Lennox-Saxon most likely in origin, but swarming in a century or two with Celtic Donalds and Gilchrists. In consideration of various pious motives set forth in charters, certain Earls of the first Lennox succession granted lands in different parts of their wide domain to the stately Abbey on the Cart, and gave the monks beside many valuable fishing rights within the rivers Clyde and Leven. By one charter, dated on the day of St Valentine the Martyr (14th February), 1273, Earl Malcolm granted to the Abbey and Convent of Paisley certain fishings in the Leven, with land adjoining the highway to Dumbarton; also wood from his grove of Bonhill, pasture for eight oxen, and such wood and stone as might be required to carry on the fishing. Other charters provide for the protection of the monks when passing through lonely places to look after their Leven or other fishings,
To readers who care about contrasting times past with times present, Paisley Abbey has an interest apart from even its own old chronicles.
It is not only one among the few ecclesiastical foundations spared from pre-Reformation times, but it presents the still rarer distinction of preserving some measure of its seemliness amid all the noise, activity, and change incident to that modern commerce by which it is so closely hemmed in and overshadowed. With most other old abbeys this is not the case. Lincluden, Dundrennan, and New Abbey, in the south, are only so many charming ruins in their still wooded solitudes; Crossraguel, a former dependency of Paisley, is as undisturbed by trade as when Abbot Allan was roasted "quick" by Gilbert, the wicked Earl of Cassilis. A transept gable at Kilwinning, the masonic glory of Hugh de Morville-the honoured mother of a wide-spread family-still represents, amid quiet graves, the crafts concerned in the rearing of that temple where
No workman steel, no ponderous axes rung,
Like some tall palm the noiseless fabric sprung.
Cambuskenneth still flings its lone shadow across the quiet links of Forth; the mouldering cloisters of Tironensian Lindores may still be seen on the edge of the majestic Tay looking out from her own sequestered hamlet of Newburgh across to the sylvan quietness of Errol; Dryburgh and Melrose, Kelso and Jedburgh, all exist more or less amid the pastoral surroundings in which they were first planted. With Paisley Abbey all is changed-nothing but contrasts between what was and is. The once rippling and silvery Cart now a sluggish and pestilent drain; the trim gardens of the monks, the richly-laden fruit trees, the waving grain and rich pasture land, the browsing cattle and frisking lambs, have all been edged out of the scene by such modern conditions of life as made their existence impossible. At Paisley Station any railway passenger may take in at a glance from the train the most important elements in the past and present forces of social life. On one side the ruined Abbey, rich with the memory of portly abbots, and still fragrant in imagination with the good cheer of the
refectory; on the other a typical illustration of the triumphs of modern sciencean iron shipbuilding yard full of noise and bustle, and requiring ingenious appliances in the way of machinery, none the less that room is scarce and the situation unfavourable. Closer still to the traveller there is (1880) on one side of the bridge a prison, rendered partly necessary by the want, misery, and temptation which may be presumed to exist low down on the other side. When the last School Board fight was at its keenest the poor and weary denizens at this point on the Cart might have been seen basking with their bairns in that late spring sunshine, visiting them as bountifully as when abbots bore sway, and enjoyed as gratefully as when there was no prison to control their liberty or school board to vex their ignorance. The Abbey fabric itself presents much of the contrast we are indicating between the past and present. The zeal of the Reformers spared the nave, still used on Sundays, but the choir and transept, the library and scriptorium, the abbot's house and the guests' chamber, were all so far destroyed as only to be useful in reminding the student of days when churches could be filled without "Revivals," and no part of the graceful fabric be considered useless or unnecessary in the service :—
Behold a stately fane, by pious builders
Within its long, withdrawing aisles
Attendant monks in slow procession go,
Chanting praise of Him who died upon the Cross.
On festal days the people crowd its sacred courts,
And join in that triumphant hymn of Praise
To "God the Father," and to "Christ the King of Glory,"
Which still swells the heart of gladdened worshippers,
And sends them home renewed in vigour for their daily life.
With a minuteness not likely to be thought tedious by any connected with Paisley, the enthusiasm of ex-Provost Brown in the cause of his old "Pedagogue" incited him to draw up a history of the Burgh Grammar School, not more remarkable for accuracy of detail than profusion of illustration and order in arrangement. From the old charter of foundation to a record so ephemeral as a
prize list; from a portrait of King James to a portrait of the janitor, not omitting the author; from a statement of old endowments to speeches by new subscribers -all have been gathered into a volume certain to be treasured by many as a memorial of days when they "were boys together," and useful to others at the same time as a book of reference on all matters relating to the school. Nor is it the least praise due Mr. Brown to mention that, while the teachers are introduced to the reader primarily, of course, in connection with their work, he also takes frequent occasion to notice their private or social accomplishments, so that old pupils may renew acquaintance with a master and not be quite overwhelmed by that severe dignity naturally associated with a real rector in office like Peddie, or Hunter, or Brunton. Of James Peddie, an English school pupil so distinguished as "Christopher North" describes. his jubilee dinner as only a fitting reward to a man as blameless as he was useful, and whose whole life had been devoted to the training of youth in habits of decorum and rectitude. Most others also appear to have shown the utmost consideration for their pupils, or, like Goldsmith's teacher, "if severe in aught, the love they bore to learning was in fault." Paisley Grammar School, to which the larger portion of Mr. Brown's volume is devoted, was founded by King James VI., in 1576, the tenth year of his reign and the tenth of his birth, this being probably due to the mediation of the Rev. Patrick Adamson, first Reformed minister of the Abbey Parish, but at the date of the grant acting as chaplain to the Regent Morton. The deed provides for the government of the school by the magistrates and councillors of the burgh, and for its erection and support grants to their successors for ever, the altarages of St. Mirren and Columba, of St. Ninian, of St. Mary the Virgin, St. Nicholas, St. Peter, St. Catherine, and St. Anne, the chapel of St. Roque or St. Rollox, and seven roods of ground adjacent, with the pittances of money, obit silver, and commons formerly possessed and lifted by the monks of Paisley monastery, as appears from a stone still preserved but removed from time to time as the building was changed. The first fabric was erected in 1586, and the site Mr. Brown concludes, after some hesitation, was on the south side of the Old