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THE

Scots Magazine,

AND

EDINBURGH LITERARY MISCELLANY,

FOR AUGUST 1808.

Description of CRICHTON CASTLE. TH 'HE remains of this ancient edifice lie in the parish of Crichton, Mid Lothian, about 7 miles Southeast of Edinburgh. It is a fine ruin, and has recently derived illustration from the pen of Mr Scott, who, in his celebrated poem of Marmion, has made it the scene of some striking adventures. We cannot give its history and description better than in the words of Mr Scott himself, who informs us, that "it was built at differnt times, and with a very differing regard to splendour and accommodation. The older part of the building is a narrow keep, or tower, such as formed the mansion of a lesser Scottish Baron; but so many additions have been made to it, that there is now a large court-yard, surrounded by buildings of different ages. The eastru front of the court is raised above portico, and decorated with entablaures, bearing anchors. All the stones of this front are cut into diamond faets, the angular projections of which have an uncommonly rich appearance. The inside of this part of the building -ppears to have contained a gallery of reat length and uncommon elegance. Access was given to it by a magnificent stair-case, now quite destroyed. The soffits are ornamented with twining cordage, and rosettes; and the whole seems to have been far more splendid than was usual in Scottish Castles. The castle belonged original

ly to the Chancellor Sir William Crichton, and probably owed to him its first enlargement, as well as its being taken by the Earl of Douglas, who imputed to Crichton's counsels the death of his predecessor Earl William, beheaded in Edinburgh Cas tle, with his brother, in 1440. It is said to have been totally demolished on that occasion; but the present state of the ruins shews the contrary. In 1483 it was garrisoned by Lord Crichton, then its proprietor, against King James III. whose displeasure he had incurred by seducing his sister Margaret, in revenge, it is said, for the Monarch having dishonoured his bed. From the Crichton family, the castle passed to that of the Hepburns, Earls Bothwell; and when the forfeitures of Stewart, the last Earl of Bothwell, were divided, the barony and castle of Crichton fell to the share of the Earl of Buccleugh. They were afterwards the property of the Pringles of Clifton, and are now that of Sir John Callender, Bart. It were to be wished the proprietor would take some pains to preserve these splendid remains of antiquity, which are at present used as a fold for sheep, and wintering cattle; altho' perhaps there are very few ruins in Scotland which display so well the stile and beauty of ancient architecture. The castle of Crichton has a dungeon vault, called the Massy More." See fourth Canto of Marmion, and notes to it." An

Answer to GAELIC ETYMOLOGIES. (Feb. Mag. 1808.) To the Editor.

SIR,

Request the favour you will insert the following remarks, in reply to M. M., and oblige, SIR,

Yours, &c.

Dunkeld, 10th July, 1808.

CUCHULLIN.

LONDON, i. e. Lon-dun, i. e. the Marsh Fort. Most of our ancient towns took their names from places of strength, such as Dun-dee, Dun-edin, Dun-dalk, &c. This etymology is also strongly corroborated by the Thames, i. e. Tam-ess, i. e. the Ship, Hill, or Fort. Lon-dun and Tam-ess are only two different words, signifying one and the same thing. Many collateral instances might be adduced, but I shall rest satisfied with one.Dun-staidh-naoiag, by the Monks latinized Dun-staffnagium, whence the present name Dunstaffnage, literally signifies the Hill, or Fort of the Shiphead.

A due want of attention to a necessary custom of our ancestors has led our modern antiquarians into many a foolish blunder. Wherever they found a canoe, a boat, or an anchor, they immediately concluded that place to have been one day a navigable arm of the sea. The ships (canoes) of the ancient Gael were of small size, and easily portable. In times of danger, they not only withdrew them from the sea, but actually carried them into their forts. Cæsar himself having lost the greater part of his fleet in a sea storm on the coast of Kent, actually hauled the remainder completely aground, and took them into his Camp. I shall not attempt to drive M. M. out of his Yellow Moss, but after a perusal of the above plain and natural analysis, I make no doubt but he will voluntarily relinquish it.

ALBION, i.e. Alb-aon, i. e. the High

or Mountainous Country. The an cient Phoenicians or Greeks who traded to Cornwall for Tin, in all probability borrowed the name Alb-aon from the natives, and rendered it in the Greek language, with very little alteration, Albion.

The Gael, in their migrations from Asia to Europe, have every where left permanent memorials behind them.Alb, Ailb, Alp, and Ailp, in the Gaelic, are synonimous, and signify High. We have the authority of a Roman author of the first respectability, "That Alba Longa was so named from its being built on a high dorsum or ridge. Albania, Alpes, Aba Lerga, Albion, Albin, &c. are evidently derived from the Gaelic Alb or Alp Most Philologists have observed a strong resemblance betwixt the Garlic Albion and the Latin Albus, without being able to discover the real cause. The fact is, the Gaelic Alb is the radix of both. These high hills, whether from the hoariness of their cliffs, or the snow with which they were almost perpetually covered, presented to the mind, along with the idea of elevation, also that of whitness. The Gaelic Alb, and the Roman Albus, are therefore synonimous, with this difference, that the Gael have re tained the original, and the Roma the metaphorical signification; what I have before said respecting the city of Alba Longa, clearly evinces, that the ancient Latins, by the wed Albus, did not mean white, but high.

As M. M. has been kind enough to enwrap our ancestors in a hairy mantle, it is not my intention to pali it off, as I would not wish to expor even their ashes to the inclemency d the weather. I believe that, like other nations, they sheltered themselves a well as they could from the coldThe history of John the Baptist, wh constantly wore a leathern girdle a bout his loins, and of Hercules, with his tegmine fulvi Leonis, (Lion's skin)

will perhaps convince him that the wearing of skins is peculiar to warm as well as cold climates.

BRITAIN, i. e. Bri-tan, i. e. the High Country. Bri-tan and Albaon, or Britain and Albion, are strictly and literally synonimous, and this very circumstance is of more weight than

They are as nearly related as later and Genitor, or Mater and Genctrix. M. M. renders Britain, the benefit of houses. If we may credit Caesar, the Gauls were much better lodged than the Britons. They had their regularly fortified towns, &c. The description he gives of a British town is neither very flattering nor very favourable to the hypothesis of M. M.

They are as follows:-Transition; Independent Coal; Newest Floetztrap; and Alluvial. When describing the different transition rocks, he alluded particularly to the granite of Fassnet, (described by Professor Playfair in his Illustrations of the Huttonian Theory*), which he proved to a hundred supposititious arguments.be a stratified bed of Transition Green stone. The description of the rocks of the newest floetz-trap formation was particularly interesting, not only on account of the beautiful transitions he pointed out, but also as it proved the existence of a considerable tract of these rocks in Scotland, where their occurrence had been disputed. He enumerated and described the following members of this formation:-traptuff; amygdaloid; clay-stone; basalt; porphyry-slate; and porphyry-slate inclining to greenstone. He found the trap-tuff, which is a coarse mechanical deposite, forming the lowest member of the series, and resting immediately on the coal-formation on this tuff rests amygdaloid, containing fragments: above this amygdaloid is common amygdaloid, free of fragments; this, in its turn, is covered with basalt: the basalt gradually passes into, and is covered with, porphyry-slate: and the porphyry-slate, in some instances, appears to pass into greenstone, which forms the uppermost portion of the formation:-So that we have thus a beautiful series of transitions from the coarse mechanical, to fine chemical; that is, from trap tuff to porphyry-slate inclining to greenstone. The Doctor also remarked, that the amygdaloid contains crystals of felspar, which have an earthy aspect; the basalt, crystals of felspar possessing the characters of common felspar; and the porphyry-slate, glassy felspar-facts which coincide with, and are illustrative of the increasing fineness of the solution, from the oldest to the newest members of the for

mation.

* Page 328.

In fine, before he can place his skinned tribe, or his benefit of houses, on even a probable basis, it is necessary that he establish the wearing of skins, or the dwelling in houses, to have been exclusively, or at least in a superior degree, peculiar to Great Britain.

Proceedings of the WERNERIAN Natural
History Society.

AT
T the last meeting of the Werne.
rian Natural History Society, (1st
Aug.) Dr Js. Ogilby of Dublin read a
very interesting account of the Miner-
alogy of East Lothian, which
appear-
ed to have been drawn up from a se-
ries of observations, made with
great
skill, and was illustrated by a suite of
350 specimens, laid upon the table.
As the county is in general deeply
covered with soil, and profusely cloth-
ed with vegetables, the determination
of the different formations must have
been a work of considerable labour;
and the skill, judgment, and perseve
rance of the observer, must have been
frequently put to the trial. The Doc-
tor, after describing the physiognomy
or external aspect of the county, gave

particular account of the different formations of which it is composed.

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