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before that period, had no means of crossing" the river ex-
cepting- by an old, ill-constructed wooden bridge at Cal-
lander, some miles distant. Though this goodly edifice was
a work of charity, and intended exclusively for their con-
venience, the common people could not help regarding- it
with the suspicion and dislike which they too often enter-
tain respecting attempts at improvement, comfort, or decora-
tion. While they took advantage of the expensive work
erected for their service, they could not help thinking, with
affectionate admiration, of the good old bridge of Callan-
der ; and this sentiment seems to have extended itself into
a comparison between the old and the new bridges, much
to the disadvantage of the latter. The rhyme in which this
sentiment was embodied has been preserved by tradition,
though the object of its flattery is supposed not to have
been in existence since the time of the Reformation.
The new brig o' Doune, and the auld brig o' Callander —
Four-and-twenty bows in the auld brig o' Callander !
This may be supposed to allude to the circumstance of there
having been no fewer than the extraordinary number of
twenty-four arches in the ancient bridge, a peculiarity of
structure which would by no means recommend it to a
committee of modern architects, whatever might have been
thought of its magnificence in former times. The reader
will remark the curious coincidence between what is above
recorded and the subject matter of Burns's poem. The Twa
Brigs, where the popular opinions respecting" bridges, an-
cient and modern, are brought into contrast in a style sin-
gularly happy and fanciful.
Between the camp at Ardoch and the Greenan-Hill o' Keir,
Lie seven kings' ransoms for seven hunder year.
This is the present popular version of a rhyme otherwise
g-iven by Mr Gordon in his Itinerarium Septentrionale, as
follows : —
From the Fort of Ardoch
To the Grinnan-Hill of Keir,
Are nine kings' rents
For nine hundi-ed year.
The camp at Ardoch is supposed to be the most complete

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