The nineteenth of April, 2011: a few gipsies encamped in the chief thoroughfare

A lovely little line on Edinburgh by Robert Louis Stevenson:

By all the canons of romance, the place demands to be half deserted and leaning towards decay; birds we might admit in profusion, the play of the sun and winds, and a few gipsies encamped in the chief thoroughfare; but these citizens with their cabs and tramways, their trains and posters, are altogether out of key.

From Edinburgh: Picturesque Notes (1878), “the classic account of the city whose climate he hated but that always haunted his imagination” (DNB). Thanks to the always-awesome Literature Network.

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