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Leaves from the Journal
The Gathering 12 Sept. 1850


September 12, 1850.

We lunched early, and then went at half-past two o'clock, with the children and all our party, except Lady Douro, to the Gathering at the Castle of Braemar, as we did last year. The Duffs, Farquharsons, the Leeds’s, and those staying with them, and Captain Forbes and forty of his men who had come over from Strath Don, were there. Some of our people were there also. There were the usual games of “putting the stone,” “throwing the hammer” and “caber,” and racing up the hill of Craig Cheunnich, which was accomplished in less than six minutes and a half; and we were all much pleased to see our gillie Duncan, who is an active, good looking, young man, win. He was far before the others the whole way. It is a fearful exertion. Mr. Farquharson brought him up to me afterwards. Eighteen or nineteen started, and it looked very pretty to see them run off in their different coloured kilts, with their white shirts (the jackets or doublets they take off for all the games), and scramble up through the wood, emerging gradually at the edge of it, and climbing the hill.

After this we went into the castle, and saw some dancing; the prettiest was a reel by Mr. Farquharson’s children and some other children, and the “Ghillie Callum” beautifully danced by John Athole Farquharson, the fourth son. The twelve children were all there, including the baby, who is two years old.

Mama, Charles, and Ernest joined us at Braemar. Mama enjoys it all very much: it is her first visit to Scotland. We left after the dancing.


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