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Salisbury Crags, whose varied tints harmonised with the grey, time-worn turrets of the ancient palace, and which stood nature's colossal guardianbarriers to a royal residence that seems coeval with themselves; the dark and dimly-seen arcades of the chapel, under the northern shadows of the palace, receded in gloomy grandeur far into the east, as if anxious to escape notice, and hide its dishonoured, unroofed chancel and cloisters; the expectant square was animated with gallant bands of foot and horse; the Highlanders and royal archers-most in character with the scenewere drawn up in front of the vestibule, while the civil authorities and officials, in their scarlet robes and cocked hats, stood on either side of the gateway, in excellent keeping. The time at which the Queen was expected had arrived, when an electric whisper announced that it would be nearly an hour more before she could reach Holyrood. I never felt a delay in such a situation pleasurable before, but on this occasion it only prolonged the enjoyment of the day. The platform on which we sat was not more crowded than a drawing-room, and we could move at pleasure throughout the whole; we at last got into delightful coteries, and talked away as if we had been old acquaintances. In the front of the one I had joined, we had in the foreground, as before-mentioned, a group of lovely, merry-hearted lasses, seated on the wall-top in Asiatic fashion--the palace beyond them--and, under, the clear, open square, with its troops drawn up in silent state, like burnished statuary. There was something regal in the golden afternoon sky, that threw an Eastern splendour over the whole. All were pleased in themselves, and therefore disposed to be pleasing to others; a calm joyousness and an accommodating amenity pervaded the happy assemblage.
“ Ladies and gentlemen," said I, "allow me, during this interregnum, to relate as an episode a queenly story of Ind.”
“Hear, hear!” was cheeringly given.
“You have all read · Lalla Rookh,' and are therefore acquainted with the illustrious and enchanting Noormehal, the beautiful queenconsort of Jehanguire; but perhaps you are not so well aware of an interesting incident that occurred to her when an infant, and how little there was between her grave being in the sand of the desert, or in a majestic mausoleum. 8er father, Shaja Ayaz, a soldier of fortune, was travelling in quest of employment, from Persia to India, with his wife. In crossing the great desert, she was delivered of a girl, and they journeyed on. Their supply of water being expended, they were at last reduced to such extreme weakness, that they found they must either give up all farther attempts to proceed, or abandon their child. Arriving at a solitary palm-tree in the waste of sand, amid conflicting and agonising feelings, they came to the heartrending alternative of leaving the unconscious sleeping babe at that spot. Laying it at the root of the tree, they wept their last adieu, tore themselves from the place, and hurried on. On turning to take a last look, the palm seemed the tomb of their child. They again proceeded, but, as evening began to close upon them, a mother's love for her child was too powerful for the love of life. She declared she would return and die with her infant, and, followed by her husband, she retraced her steps to the guiding palm. On their arrival, they found the babe still sleeping unscathed, and, to their surprise, beheld a huge cobra da capello seated at its head, with its outspread dazzling crest harmlessly overshadowing its face. This the husband considered as an omen of future royalty to their child. Soon after, they were relieved by a caravan, and the child lived to become the Queen of India, under the title of Noormehal—the light of the palace. If my gentle listeners will indulge me a little longer, I will rehearse the event as a dramatic sketch.”
“Hear, hear!” again was kindly given.
(Runs on, followed by Shaja,
[Sees the serpent.
Fear not, my love; no serpent ere was known
Herself, her husband, and her darling child ! I had scarcely finished my legend, when the first gun from the castle sternly shook the palace and its vicinity. Following, a nearer and nearer roll of cheering, from the unseen multitude in the Queen's Park, announced the approach of the Majesty of England. Not more thrilling and far less morally sublime was the spectacle when the mountain side was peopled with armed and plaided warriors at the whistle of Roderick Dhu, than when the vast multitude rose en masse on King Arthur's Hill, in all the ecstatic devotion of loyal and loving lieges, as the Queen entered her own fair Park, and was welcomed with burst after burst of heartfelt acclaim. And who in the midst of that dense crowd, like a summer sea with all its glad waves, could fail to perceive the electric effect of these shouts of patriotic zeal on the “ Observed of all observers?” Where could a meeter platform for such an occasion have been found than nature's green hillside, overhanging the vestibule to the Palace of her Mountain Metropolis ? That scene is stamped from henceforth with immortality. Soon after, the royal carriage swept round the southern turret, amid a fresh acclaim, and stood in front of the royal porch ; and, as I reverently raised my hat, I followed, in solemn imagination, the steps of our beloved Queen, as she entered the dwelling sacred to royalty, glimmering with visions of the kingly glory of her ancestral line, while its echoes rung with the solemn anthem. I retired, dwelling on the interesting ceremony. The memory of the past continued through the evening to mingle with the realities of the day; and, as I laid my head on my humble pillow, I wished for our sovereign
rosy dreams and slumbers light” in the chambers of Holyrood,
Where no more the savage throng,
Rushing in the midnight, scares,
The assassin-dagger glares :
She, amidst a nation's prayers,
Her fair face no sorrow wears,
Save for Mary's fate a tear. There is not a heart in Scotland that does not to-night respond to the loyal aspiration of
“GOD SAVE THE QUEEN!”
REMINISCENCES OF ROME AND ROMANISM,
DURING THE DAYS OF THE LAST REPUBLIC.
Romanism and the Fine Arts.
The soft purple beams of an Italian summer's evening sky were pouring over the scene of revolutionary strife, as, in haste, I left it. It was, indeed, in haste; for, like the Egyptian Israelites, strangers in the papal city had, at that time, to stand ready girt, with shoes on their feet and staff in hand, and march hurriedly forth, lesta change in the enemy's movements should again close the city gates, and render void their permission of exit. As the foot withdrew from Rome, and the eye reverted to the city, fear and suspense being over, the lofty, serious form of St Peter's, rising a clear head (if one may so describe the dome) above the other objects of the scene, seemed, despite notorious history, to become dissociated from all sectarian despotism, and to stand, for a moment, as the type of Christianity overlooking, and eventually overruling, all the turmoil and confusion of cities and the world. The feeling, however, in this case, although depending on fancy, grew radically out of impressions received in Rome, and which tend, curiously enough (yet extremes oftener meet than we imagine), to make equally Protestant and Papist suspend hostilities, and join in reverence of a purer idea than either, as member of a sect, is contending for.
It was not till the writer was climbing the Apennines, and when the whole impression of his stay in Rome returned with something of the freedom of the mountain airs, that he could fairly analyse this feeling, and explain to himself why the capital of the Papacy, historically the very focus of Romish sentiment, should, even in its works of religious art (called into existence by ardent popes, and bent in every possible way to the support of the system under whose shadow they were produced), do more to nullify than substantiate the claims with which it exists in connection. In fact, a sensible Protestant resorting to Rome for education, and studying wisely the treasures of the Vatican, would inspire more strength to resist the superstitions of the creed with which
they are identified, than a Romanist, visiting Rome for the same purpose, could extract for fortifying himself in them. The inner spirit of art, as seen in the great papal collections, is completely at variance with the outer forms in which it is clothed; the subjects, in short, though for the most part treated after the Romish conception, and intended to prop a narrow dogma, are, in their largest impression, Christian. The twofold reference which they thus possess explains how pilgrims of both the great divisions of Christendom, however different may be their aims and motives, find their account in Rome; and, in connection with other things, it throws light on the fact, that the Roman revolution, as we have already indicated, was much less a religious than a political movement: that, indeed, it was scarcely at all religious, properly so called, but a contest between the people and the ecclesiastics, so far, and so far only, or almost only, as the ecclesiastics wished to retain a temporal power, whieh the people, for almost every reason, had resolved to wrest from their hands. The papacy, therefore, and not Romanism (according to the explanation of the difference which we shall give in the course of these remarks), was endangered by the republic: a fact, however, which connects itself so intimately with the general character of the papal capital, that no adequate exposition of it can be given without making some critical allusions to the city itself.
The thing which, apart from all momentary conditions of affairs, as whether a pope or a republic is in power, whether the city is open or under siege, whether the carnival or the ceremonies of the holy week occupy the senses of the inhabitants—the thing which arrests the eye of a stranger (and here, once for all, we must say, that we write as dispassionate observers, not as theologians) is the ecclesiastical, or, if the phrase be fairer, the religious, coating which the papacy has given everything within the walls. From Rome, spreading wherever the pope bas gained children, the same feature has been imported into every Catholic town and country, with success varying with the devotion of the people; but the depth of the sentiment is greatest at Rome, and by far the most remarkable. Romanism is most sincere in Florence, most superstitious in Naples, and most rational and moderate in Rome; yet the tone of greater restraint, if we may so say, which the Romish idea imposes on itself there, is only the means by which it takes, in fact, a more potent hold of the mind: the impression of religious temperance arises from the anomalous character of the objects over which the sentiment is spreadobjects of Pagan and Christian origin, of fabulous and historical spirit, new and old, of every epoch, persecuting, reviving, victorious.
The prodigious network which the papacy-somewhat spider-like, we should perhaps say-has thus cast and woven over everything, so as to entangle some of every species of mind which may yet stand remote enough from its central covert, is most curiously displayed in its appropriation of works of ancient pagan art. Romanism, much more than Protestantism, has clutched to its bosom the faith, that the earth, and the fulness thereof, belongs to the church : consequently, so far from finding anything suspicious in the procedure, it has taken into its crop the most incongruous materials, and however, in some sense, ludicrously distorted, has given to itself the semblance of having assimilated them. As you enter the papal city from the south, and would pass into the in