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MELROSE ABBEY.--KELSO ABBEY.

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key-stones and buttresses were executed by their own hands ?* In the French and Italian monasteries, the manual and ingenious labours of the brotherhood are often shown and applauded; and as many of the monks secluded in Melrose were, probably, men who had been educated in countries where they had been familiar with the highest state of the arts, it may be inferred that the more elaborate finish of Melrose Abbey was the result of a long-continued effort on the part of its religious inmates, and not emanating from the liberality and taste of the royal founder. Always ambitious of adorning their habitations with great architectural works, the designs were frequently made on a scale of magnificence far surpassing their means, so that their completion was the labour of many successive generations. Hence those deviations in style and execution which are so often observed in religious houses, in which every century is characterised by its own peculiar features. The monastic chronicle of Melrose -continued from the middle of the eighth to near the close of the thirteenth century-is the most authentic record now extant of early Scottish history.

In this vicinity, the banks of the Tweed are richly embellished with villas and stately mansions. Of these, Abbotsford, already presented in this work, is no less famous for its present than Melrose for its ancient glory. Both are places of daily pilgrimage, and closely associated with all that is wonderful in the achievements of art, or admirable as the productions of genius. From this seclusion, the emanations of Scott's mind went forth to surprise and delight the world. Here his happiest hours were spent, and here every object wears the stamp of his genius, and seems to address us in his own words.

Kelso is proverbially known as one of the most attractive spots in Scotland. The beauty of its scenery, the cultivated state of its society, its historical associations, fertile soil, and genial climate, have been the subjects of frequent panegyric among those who have founded their observations on a personal residence. Charmingly situated near the confluence of the Tweed and the Teviot, the town commands a luxuriant and picturesque landscape, many features of which conjure up the lays and legends of other days, and thus captivate the mind and eye with a twofold charm.t

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The monks of Tiron, in France, who improved upon the rules of St. Benedict, were far from passing that life of indolence so often ascribed to them. In order to preserve them from the corrupting power of idleness, and to provide, at the same time, by useful industry, for the general support of the establishment, it was required that each of the brotherhood should practise, within the convent, whatever mechanical art he knew.-Monastic Annals, Morton. Statist. Acc. Melrose, Thomson. The monks of Kelso were of this reformed class of the Benedictine order.

+ One of the most approved points of view in which this enchanting landscape is seen, is from the bridge-itself a noble and perfect work of architecture.

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