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More Leaves from the Journal
Visit to Inveraray 21 Sept 1875


Tuesday, September 21, 1875

We had a family dinner at twenty minutes to nine. At a quarter past ten left Balmoral with Beatrice and Jane Churchill, Brown on the rumble. We reached Ballater by eleven, when we took the railroad. General Ponsonby and Sir W. Jenner met us there. Emilie, Annie, Morgan (for Beatrice), Francie Clark, and the footmen, Cannon, Charlie Thomson, and Heir, went in attendance, as well as Baldry and three men of the police. The horses (six) with Bourner, Hutchinson, and Goddard with the luggage, had gone on in advance. We started immediately, and very soon after lay down. We went steadily and slowly, but I did not sleep very well.

Inveraray, Wednesday, September 22

At eight we reached Tyndrum, a wild, picturesque, and desolate place, in a sort of wild glen with green hills rising around. Here we breakfasted in the train, Brown having had the coffee heated which we had brought made with us, and some things coming from the nice-looking hotel. The morning was beautiful, just a little mist on the highest hills, which cleared off. There are a few straggling houses and a nice hotel at this station, where we got out and where Lord and Lady Breadalbane met us, as this is his property. The day was beautiful.

We got into the sociable (that is, Beatrice, Jane Churchill, and I) with a pair of posthorses, Brown and Francie Clark on the box, the two gentlemen and four maids in a waggonette following, and further behind the unavoidable luggage with the footmen, etc. The road lay up a broad glen, with green hills on either side, on one of which are lead mines belonging to Lord Breadalbane. It was very winding, very rough, and continually up and down, and we went very slowly. Looking back, behind Tyndrurn was a fine range of hills which are in the forest of the Black Mount. Passed the entrance of a broad glen with many trees called Glenorchy (the second title of Breadalbane), and saw all along where the railway is being made. A small stream flows at the bottom. To the left we saw Ben Luie; then, as we descended, the country became more and more beautiful, with trees and copsewrood sprinkled about, till we came to Dalmally, lying embosomed in trees, with Ben Cruachan and its adjacent range rising close before us, with the bluest shadows and tints on all the heights, and the sky pure and bright with a hot sun, though a good deal of air. Looking back, we still saw the other green hills from which we had come.

As it approaches Dalmally the road goes under trees till you reach the inn, which stands quite alone. The church is beautifully situated at the bottom of the glen, and is surrounded by trees. There was no large crowd here, and the people behaved very well. Dalmally is thirteen miles from Tyndrum. Four horses were put on here to drag us up the first hill, which was long and high, and brought us in view of Lock Awe, which looked beautiful. Here the leaders were taken off. Lock Awe extends back a good way, and we could just see Kilchurn Castle, of historic celebrity, and the beautiful head of the loch with high hills on the right, and the islands of Inniskail and Ardchone, besides many smaller ones. On the first-named of these is said to be buried an ancestor of the Argylls. The loch is thirty miles in length, and as it stretches out and widens the hills become much flatter. We drove quite round the head of Loch Asue, then passed Gladich, and here the ground became very broken, and high hills were seen in the background, towering above the nearer ones. Bracken with birch and oak, etc., grow profusely among the green hills and rocks, much as they do near Inverlochy, Loch Eil, etc. Here and there were small knots of people, but not many. About five or six miles before Inveraray, at a place called Crais-na-Schleacaich, at the foot of Glen Aray, where the Duke’s property begins, four of our own horses were waiting, and here dear Louise and Lorne met us, looking pleased and well. Lorne rode, and dear Louise got into her pony-carriage and drove after us. We soon after came to an arch with a Gaelic inscription—“Ceud mille Failte do’n Bhan Rhighinn do Inerara” (A hundred thousand welcomes to the Queen to Inveraray). A very stout tenant’s wife, Mrs. McArthur, presented me with a nosegay, which a child she held in her arms gave me.

On we went along Glen Aray, the road as we approached Inveraray Castle being bordered on either side by trees. When we reached the gate there were two halberdiers, whilst others were posted at intervals along the approach, dressed in Campbell tartan kilts with brown coats turned back with red, and bonnets with a black cock’s tail and bog-myrtle (the Campbell badge). With them were also the pipers of the volunteers. In front of the house the volunteers in kilts and red jackets, and the artillery-volunteers in blue and silver, of whom Lorne is the colonel, were drawn up, and a good many spectators were assembled. The Duke and Duchess of Argyll and their six girls were at the door: the outside steps are now under glass and made into a sort of conservatory.

The Duke and Duchess took us upstairs at once to our rooms, part of which are Louise’s and very comfortable, not large but cheerful, and having a beautiful view of Loch Fyne. It was one when we arrived, and we lunched at two, only Louise, Beatrice, and Lorne, in a nice room (in fact, the Duchess’s drawing-room) with tapestry, at the foot of the stairs. Brown (who has attended me at all the meals since we came here) waited, helped by two or three of the Duke’s people. After lunch we went into the large drawing-room, next door to where we had lunched in 1847, when Lorne was only two years old. And now I return, alas! without my beloved Husband, to find Lorne my son-in law!

In the drawing-room I found Lord and Lady Dufferin (who are staying here) as well as Sir John and Lady Emma McNeill. She is the Duke’s only sister, and he a very fine old man (now eighty), who was formerly my minister in Persia. Went upstairs to rest and sketch the splendid Ardkingless Hills, from the window of the little turret which forms my dressing-room. Then had tea, and at half-past five drove out with Louise and Beatrice by the lodge called Creitabhille, through part of the wood or forest where the beeches are splendid, as also the spruces, on past Ballachanooran, by the upper road, green hills, trees, oaks, ferns, and broken ground all along, like at Loch Etl, past Achnagoul, a little village lying close under the hill, to the Douglas Water, a small rapid stream. Here we turned back and went along this pretty little mountain stream, past some cottages and a small farm and then came upon the shore of Loch Fyne, the drive along which is lovely. As we drove, the setting sun bathed the hills in crimson,—they had been golden just before,—the effect was exquisite. Looking up and down the shores, the view was lovely, and the reflections on the calm surface of the lake most beautiful.

We drove back through the small town of Inveraray, which is close to the gates of the Castle, and looks pretty from my window with its small pier, where we landed in 1847, and near to which there is a curious old Celtic cross. There are two inns, three churches, and a jail, for it is a county town. On coming home we walked a little in the garden close to the house, and came in at ten minutes past seven. Resting. Writing. Dinner at half past eight in the room in which we lunched. The Duke and Duchess, Louise, Beatrice, and Lady Churchill dined with me. Then went for a short while into the drawing room, where, besides the family, which included Lord Colin, were Dr. MacGregor, Mr. Donald Macleod, and Mr. Story (all clergymen staying in the house), and the following gentlemen: Lord Ardmillan (who was there for the assizes), Mr. Campbell, of Stonejield (Convener of the county of Argyll), Mr. and Mrs. Hector Macneal, of Ugadale, etc. Mr. Macneal showed me a brooch which had some resemblance to the Brooch of Lorne, and had been given by King Robert Bruce to one of his ancestors.

Thursday, September 23

This sad anniversary, when my beloved sister was taken from me, whom I miss so continually, returns for the third time.

A line morning. Breakfasted in my sitting-room at a quarter to ten with Louise and Beatrice. My sitting-room is generally Louise’s bedroom, which had been specially arranged by her for me, and in the recess the Duchess had placed a picture of Balmoral, copied from A. Becker’s picture. This opens into a small apartment, generally used as Lorne’s dressing room, in which my maid Annie sleeps and the two maids sit, next to which comes the bedroom, at the end of which is the nice cozy little turret-room with two windows, one of which looks on the loch with the very fine Ardkinglass Range in front, and the other on the front door, the bridge, and splendid trees. My dresser, Emilie Dittweiler, is next door to my bedroom, and Beatrice next to her in Louise's sitting-room.

At a little after eleven I walked out with Louise and Beatrice along the approach, and then turned up through the wood and up the lower walk of Dunaquoich, the hill opposite the house, which is wooded nearly to the top, on which is a toiver, and walked along under magnificent trees, chiefly beeches and some very fine spruces, that reminded me of Windsor Park and Reinhardtsbrunn. We walked on some way, passed a well and a small cottage, where the poultry is kept, where there is a funny good-natured woman called Mrs. McNicholl, who kissed Louise’s hand and knelt down when I came up, and said to Louise, when she heard I was coming, “How shall I speak to her?” We went into the little cottage, where another old woman of eighty lives. She looked so nice and tidy with a clean white mutch. We then walked down and came back along the river, which flows quite close to the house into the sea, and is full of fish. We were in at twenty minutes to one. Luncheon at two, just like yesterday. The day was dull, but quite fair and clear. Drawing and painting.

At a quarter-past four drove out with Louise, Beatrice, and the Duchess, ip my waggonette, driven by Bourner. After going for some distance the same way as yesterday afternoon, we turned into a wooded drive, leading to the Glen of Essachosan, where there are the most beautiful spruces, and some silver firs which reminded me in height and size of those on the road to Eberstein, near Baden, and on by what they call the Queen's drive, made for me in 1871, past Lechkenvohr, whence there is a fine view of the loch and surrounding hills, Ben Een, Ben Buie, etc. The road is very steep going down to the Curling Pond and Black Bull Cottage; then over Carlonnan Bridge down to some falls, and back along the approach to the Dhu loch, under the avenue of fine old beeches, which, joining as they do, almost form an aisle. Eleven, alas ! were blown down two years ago: they were planted by the Marquis of Argyll two hundred years ago. You come rapidly upon the Dhu Loch, a small but very pretty loch — a complete contrast to our Dhu Loch, for this is surrounded by green and very wooded hills, with the extremely pretty and picturesque Glen Shira in the background, which is richly wooded. We drove along the right bank of the Shira River, up as far as the small farm of Drum Lee, most prettily situated on the hillside some way up, passing one or two other farms—one especially, a very strange old building. We took our (made) tea, and Elizabeth (the Duchess) greatly admired the convenient arrangement (viz. the bag into which cups etc. are fitted), and then drove back the same way and along the shore road. Home at ten minutes to seven. A charming drive, but there was a very high and cold wind.

Louise, Beatrice, the Duchess of Argyll, Lord and Lady Dufferin, and Sir John and Lady Emma McNeill dined with me, as yesterday. Went again for a short while into the drawing-room, where the Duke presented some other people—the sheriff, Mr, F. A. Irvine of Drum (in Aberdeenshire), Mr. J Malcolm of Poltalloch (a fine-looking man, whose son, a tall large man, dined here yesterday, and whose daughter has just married Mr. Gathorne Hardy’s son), and Sir G. and Lady Home, who live just outside the town: he is sheriff-depute, and she a niece of Sir F. Grant. Went upstairs with Beatrice and Jane Churchill, Louise always remaining below.

Friday, September 24

Raining and blowing. Breakfasted with my two dear daughters. The rain ceased, and at a little past twelve I walked with Louise and Beatrice up by the lodge at the stables, which are in the “Cherry Park,” and looked at our horses and Louise’s, and saw a little dog, the daughter of Louise’s poor old Frisky; and then walked along at the back of the stables, where the trees are very fine—most splendid silver firs—and then back by the kitchen-garden and the straightest path, past a magnificent Scotch fir of great height and circumference. In at twenty minutes past one. It was dull and dark.

At a quarter-past five, after tea, started with Louise, Beatrice, and Jane Churchill in the rain, whicb turned to a heavy downpour. We drove up the way we had previously walked, by the private road, under trees the whole way, to Lynn a Gluthen, the highest fall of the Aray, which is very pretty. There we had to get out to walk over a wooden bridge, which Louise said they did not like to drive over, and came back by the high road. By this time the weather had quite cleared, and so we drove on past the Inn of Inveraray, through a gate which is always left open, and up what is called the "Town Avenue,” consisting entirely of very old beeches joining overhead and nearly a mile long, at the back of the town. We came back by the lime avenue in the deer park, and in by a gate close to the pleasure-ground at half-past six. The halberdiers, all tenants of the Duke, kept guard the whole day.

We dined at a quarter-past eight on account of the ball —only Louise, Beatrice, Jane Churchill, and I. Went into the drawing-room for a moment, where the Duke presented Sir Donald Campbell of Dunstaffnage and his wife, and J. A. Campbell of New Inverawe {Loch Awe). Sir Donald Campbell is deputy-keeper of Dunstaffnage Castle, and wears a key in consequence. He is between forty and fifty, and wore a kilt, as did also Malcolm of Poltalloch and the other gentlemen. At a quarter-past ten we drove across to the temporary pavilion, where the ball to the tenants was to take place. Louise, Beatrice, and Jane Churchill went with me in the Duke's coach. The Duke, Lorne, and Colin received us, and the Duchess and all the girls and the other ladies were inside at the upper end on a raised platform, where we all sat. It is a very long and handsome room, I believe a hundred and thirty feet long, and was built at the time of Louise’s marriage. It was handsomely decorated with flags, and there were present between seven and eight hundred people—tenants with their wives and families, and many people from the town; but it was not like the Highland balls I have been accustumed to, as there were many other dances besides reels. The band could not play reels (which were played by the piper), and yet came from Glasgow! The ball began, however, with a reel; then came a country dance, then another reel. Louise danced a reel with Brown, and Beatrice with one of the Duke’s foresters; but the band could only play a country dance tune for it. Another reel with pipes, in which Jane Churchill danced with Brown, and Francie Clark with Annie (Mrs. Macdonald, my wardrobe maid), Louise and Beatrice dancing in another reel with one of the other people and Mr. John Campbell. Then came a schottisike, which seemed to be much liked there, and more reels, and lastly a “temple,” in which Louise and Beatrice danced. In the early part a Gaelic song was sung by some of the people, including Mr. John Campbell. I remember some which were sung by the boatmen on Loch Tay in 1842. After the “temple" we came away at nearly half-past twelve.

Saturday, September 25

A pouring morning. Breakfasted as usual with my two dear children—dear Louise so kind and attentive, so anxious I and all my people should be comfortable, thinking of everything. It cleared, and at half-past eleven I walked out with Louise (Beatrice walked with Jane Churchill and the girls) to the kennel, along the River Arav, which had risen a great deal since Thursday, when it was as low as possible. We went to the kennel and saw the dogs and the eagle; from here we went to the kitchen-garden, which is large. There are very fine peaches and a wonderful old laurel and thula, which have spread to an immense size. Home at twenty minutes to one. Luncheon as before.

Louise introduced me to a good old lady, a Miss McGibbon, who was too ill to come out and see me; she patted Louise on the shoulder and said, “We are all so fond of the Princess; she is a great pet.” Louise said, “Lorne was her great pet" and she answered, “Yes ; he is, and so you are a double pet.” [She died soon after]

At ten minutes past four drove out with Louise, Beatrice, and the Duke in the waggonette, and took a charming drive, the afternoon being very fine and bright. We went out the same way we had been on Wednesday, and once or twice besides, along the avenue called Ballachanooran, by the deer park (a great many gates having to be opened, as they must be kept locked to prevent the deer getting out), and struck into the Lochgilphead Road beyond Cromalt. We then passed, as on the first day, Dalchenna and Kilhan, Achnagoul and Achindrain. The last two places are old Highland villages, where a common old practice, now fallen into disuse, continues, of which the Duke gave me the following account:—

In the Highlands of Scotland up to a comparatively recent date the old system of village communities prevailed as the common system of land tenure. Under this system the cultivators were collected into groups or villages, the cottages being all built close together on some one spot of the farm. The farm itself was divided into pasture land and arable land. The pasture land was held in common by all the families, and the arable land was divided by lot every year, so that each family might get its turn or its chance of the better and the worse qualities of soil. This very rude system is quite incompatible with any improved culture, but is an extremely ancient one. Sir Henry Maine has lately published a very interesting little book on the subject, showing that it once prevailed all over Europe, and does still actually prevail over the greater part of India. It has now almost entirely disappeared in the Highlands, where such crofters or very small cultivators as remain are generally separate from each other—each living on his own croft —although there are still remaining many cases of pasture or hill land held in common among several crofters.

Achnagoul, near Inveraray, is one of the old primitive villages, where all the houses are built close together, and where, as late as the year 1847, the old rude practice still held—that of an annual casting of lots for the patches of arable land into which the farm was divided. At that time there were sixteen families, and each of them cultivated perhaps twenty different patches of arable land separated from each other. About that year the families were persuaded with much difficulty to give up this old semi-barbarous system and to divide the arable land into fixed divisions, one being assigned to each tenant, so that he could cultivate on an improved system. But the village remains as it was, and is one of the comparatively few of that class which now remain in the Highlands. They are said to be the only two villages of the kind in existence in the Highlands. The inhabitants are very exclusive, and hardly ever marry out of their own villages.

We went on between curious, rather low, grass hills on either side, some higher than others, and several of which have small lochs at the tops with excellent trout, as the Duke told us. He showed us some farms and other glens, and had something to say about each place. We next turned to the left, where we got into oak woods, passing some powder mills belonging to Sir G. Campbell, and a small village called Cumlodden, or rather a row of huts in which the people employed at the mills live, and from here turned to the village of Furnace, inhabited by the men who work the Duke’s great quarries close to the sea, and which is so called from a number of furnaces which were used in the last century for smelting down lead brought from England. The Duke showed us one remaining, though in ruins, and we passed a quarry. The drive went by the shore of Loch Fyne, much reminding me of the drive along Loch Eil beyond Banavie, between trees on either side, oak, ash, beech, etc., with much underwood, hazel, bramble, etc., and we stopped at a point called Pennymore, where there is a small battery where Lorne’s volunteers practise; and here the view, looking down the loch towards the sea and the Kyles of Bute with finely-shaped hills, was very beautiful. The more distant hills were those above Ardnshaig I tried to sketch here after we had taken our tea. We went along by Kenmore, Kilbrydt and Dalchenna (again), and it was a lovely evening, with such soft tints on the distant hills, and the town in front backed by trees. I took another sketch (only very slight, in pencil) of this view from the Duchess’s new school house, called Creggatis School.

We got home by half-past six. Besides our two daughters and the Duke and Duchess, Lady Dufferin and Colin Campbell dined with me. Went as usual into the drawing-room for a little while, and then went upstairs to my room. Beatrice remained with Jane and me.

Sunday, September 26

The morning was very wet, so decided after our usual nice breakfast not to go out, but wrote, etc. At a quarter to twelve we attended divine service in the house, in the large dining-room, which is a long room. Dr. MacGregor performed the service. Went afterwards into the drawing room and the two libraries, the newer of which had been arranged by Louise and Lorne. There are some fine pictures in the drawing-room—one of the Marquis of Argyll who was beheaded, of Field-Marshal Conway by Gainsborough, of Duke Archibald, who built the house, etc., also of the present Duke’s handsome grandmother, who married first a Duke of Hamilton, secondly a Duke of Argyll.

Luncheon as usual. Then upstairs, and at twenty minutes to four walked out with Louise, Beatrice, and Jane Churchill, and went along by the river, which had been over the road in the night, on to the “Miller's Lynn,” the first falls, which are very pretty and were very full, but are not near as high as the Garbhalt. We met some of the party coming back, and then some way farther up the river got into the carriage and drove to the “middle fall” or Essachlay, where we got out and walked to look at the fall; then drove to Lynn a Gluthen and saw the third fall, after which we drove some distance up Glen Aray, beyond Stronmagachan to Tullich Hill, then back again past the stables, and on through the Town Avenue back, and in by ten minutes past six.

Took tea with Beatrice and Louise, who came in rather late, afterwards read and wrote. Besides Louise and Beatrice, Lorne, Elizabeth Campbell, Jane Churchill, and Colonel Ponsonby dined with me. We went into the drawing-room for a short while as usual.

Monday, September 27

It was a dreadfully rough night, pouring and blowing fearfully, and we heard it had thundered and lightened. After our nice little breakfast and writing, I went out at eleven with Louise, and met the Duke and the rest in the pleasure-grounds, where I planted a small cedar of Lebanon, the seed of which Lady Emma McNeill had brought back from the East. Then went on a little farther to where the road turns near the river, and planted a small silver fir, opposite to a magnificent one which my beloved Albert had admired in 1847. Beatrice walked up meanwhile with Jane Churchill, Evelyn, and Frances Campbell, to the top of the fine hill of Dunaqiwich, opposite the Castle, after seeing the trees planted, and was to plant one herself when she came down. I drove off with Louise past the Creitabhllle Lodge, the granite quarry (not, of course, the large ones which we saw on Saturday in the deer forest), and then got out and walked up a long steep path in the wood to obtain a view, of which, however, we did not see much, I am sure we walked a mile and a half up to the top, and it was a long pull, but I walked well. However, in going down, the wet grass and moss made me slip very much, having no nails to my boots, and twice I came down completely.

We drove back by Essachosan as quickly as we could at a quarter to one. The trees are wonderfully thick, and the tangled undergrowth of fern etc. is almost like a jungle. We had hardly any rain. Luncheon as usual. Drawing. The views from my room were so fine. While I was dressing to go out, Louise brought in Archibald Campbell’s two lovely little children, little Neil, a dear pretty fair boy of three, very like Archie as a child, and the baby, Elspeth, who is beautiful: brown curly hair, enormous dark blue eyes fringed with very long dark eyelashes, and a small mouth and nose.

At ten minutes to four drove off in the waggonette with Louise, Beatrice, and Lorne, out by the approach along the foot of Dunaqtwich, past the yew and chestnut avenue, over the Garonne Bridge, along the lochside, an excellent road, much wooded, and commanding a beautiful view of the opposite shore and hills of Ardkinglass, past the Strone Point, Achnatra, and the ruins of the old castle or tower of Dunderave, which formerly belonged to the McNaghtons, who subsequently settled in Ireland, on to the head of Loch Fyne. Here we turned up to the left and drove up Glen Fyne, a very wild narrow glen with hardly any trees, and the water of the Fyne running through it. The high green hills with rugged grey rocks reminded me of the Spital of Glenshee and of Altanour (Lord Fife’s). We drove up to a very small shooting-odge, the property of Mr. Callander, brother in law to Lord Archibald, where a keeper with a nice wife lives. As it was beginning to rain, we went into the house and took our (made) tea, and I sketched. Janie Campbell (Lady Archibald) and her two sisters lived here for some time. The Duke was their guardian. We drove back the same way, and encountered a tremendous shower, which only ceased as we were quite near home. We were home at twenty minutes to seven. Besides Louise and Beatrice, the Duke and Duchess and Sir John and Lady Emma McNeill dined with me. Mr. D. Macleod gone; the others remain.

Tuesday, September 28

Bright and then showery. At a little past eleven drove with Louise and Beatrice along the sea-shore as far as Douglass Water Point, where we stopped to sketch between the frequent showers, the view being lovely and the lights so effective. Home through the town, by a quarter to one.

Painting. Luncheon as each day, after which again painting. At a quarter to four started off in a shower in the waggonette, with Louise, Beatrice, and Jane Churchill, for Glen Shira. We drove by the approach through the fine old avenue of beeches which suffered so much two years ago. This time along the right side of the Loch, which is three-quarters of a mile long, up to the head of Glen Shira, which is seven miles distant from the upper end of the loch, and is lovely. We had driven up a good way last Thursday, as far as Drumlee. It is a lovely glen, wilder and much shut in as you advance, with fine rocks appearing through the grassy hills, and thickly wooded at the bottom. We passed two farms, and then went up to where the glen closes, and on the brae there is a keeper's cottage, just above which are the remains of a house where Rob Roy lived for some time concealed, but on sufferance. His army or followers were hidden in Glen Shira.

We got out here to look at some fine falls of the river Shira, a linn falling from a height to which footpaths had been made. Then drove on a little farther, and stopped to take our tea. We stopped twice afterwards to make a slight sketch of this lovely green glen, so picturesque and peaceful-looking, and then to take another view from the lower end of the Dhu Loch, in which Louise helped me. She also sketched the glen, and had done a sketch this morning. She has such talent, dear good child, and I felt so sad to leave her. The evening was quite fine, it having cleared up and all the heavy clouds vanished when we arrived at the head of the glen. In at twenty minutes past six. Busy arranging papers, painting, etc. Besides Louise and Beatrice, the Duke and Duchess, Lady Dufferin and Mr. J. Campbell dined with me. Went again into the drawing room and took leave of the Dufferins, who were to go next day. He starts on the 8th for Canada. Dear Louise came up with me to my room, and stayed a little while talking with me.

Wednesday, September 29

Vicky’s and Fritz’s engagement day—already twenty years ago! God bless them!

Got up before eight, and at half-past eight breakfasted for the last time with dear Louise and Beatrice. Then dressed before half-past nine and went downstairs. The early morning was fair, though misty, but unfortunately by half-past eight the mist had come down and it rained. It was decided that the horses should go back overland (having had such a terrible journey from the difficult embarkation and landing) by Dalmally, stopping all night at Tyndrum and coming on next day. The van was to go by sea. Some of the things belonging to our toilettes (which were in far too cumbrous boxes) we kept with us. I took leave of the whole family, including the McNeills, and, with a heavy heart, of my darling Louise. It rained very much as we drove off, and for some time afterwards, to make it more melancholy.

We left Inveraray at half-past nine, and drove out by the same gateway as on our arrival, but afterwards went along the sea-shore to the head of the loch. We then turned to the right, still along the lochside, and changed horses at twenty minutes to eleven at a small inn called Cairndow, where the dear little Campbell children are staying, and who were at the window—such lovely children! There were a few people collected, and the harness as well as the horses had to be changed, and a pair of leaders put on to pull us up the long steep ascent in Glenkinglass. This caused a delay of ten minutes or a quarter of an hour. It rained rather heavily, the mist hanging over the hills most provokingly. We passed Ardkinglass (Mr. Callanderis), and then turned up to the left through the very wild and desolate Glenkinglass. The high green hills with hardly any habitations reminded me of the Spital of Glenshee. The mist lifted just enough to let one see the tops of the hills below which we were passing. The road was steep, and, just as we were getting near the top, the leaders, which had repeatedly stopped, refused to pull any farther, reared and kicked and jibbed, so that we really thought we should never get on, and should perhaps have to sleep at some wayside inn. But we stopped, and Brown had the leaders taken off near a small tarn, called loch Restel, and he and Francie walked. We then got on much better. A little farther on we passed a few scattered huts, and at last we reached the top of this long ascent. The rain, which had been very heavy just when our plight was at its worst, stopped, and the day cleared.

At the summit of the pass is the spot called 'Rest and be thankful', from an inscription cut upon a stone by the regiment that made the road, which was one of the military roads to open up the Highlands constructed by Government under the superintendence of Marshal Wade. The stone still remains, but the words are much defaced. Here we came upon the splendid steep wild pass of Glen Croc, something like Glencoe, but not so fine and the road much steeper. It reminds me of the Devil's Elbow, and even of the Devil's Bridge in the Goschenen Bass on the St. Gothard. We got out and walked down the road, which goes in a zigzag. A few people who had walked up from the coach were standing there. As at Glencoe the stream flows in the hollow of the pass, and there were some cattle and a house or two. The sun even came out all at once and lit up the wild grand scene. We got into the carriage near the bottom, and drank Fritz and Vicky’s healths.

There was no more heavy rain, though there were frequent showers succeeded by most brilliant sunshine. We drove on under and by trees, and saw high hill-tops, including the peak of Ben Lomond, and then came upon Loch Bong, a sea loch, which we sailed up in 1847, and drove part of the way along the shore, on the opposite side of which lie Arrochar and several pretty villas. We went round the head of the loch, where stood Lady Welby (formerly Victoria Wortley) and her children, and drove along under an arch near the bridge, passing through the village of Arrochar, which is in Dumbartonshire, and here had a very good view of the celebrated Cobbler, of Ben Arthur. We next changed horses at Tarbet, quite a small village, where there was a sort of arch, composed of laurels and flowers stretched across the road. There were a good many people here, who pressed in upon us a good deal. Here General Ponsonby presented Mr. H. E. Crum Ewing, Lord-Lieutenant of Dumbartonshire. He preceded us a little way in his carriage, and then followed us.

The drive along Loch Lomond, which we came upon almost immediately after Tarbet, was perfectly beautiful. We wound along under trees on both sides, with the most lovely glimpses of the head of the loch, and ever and anon of Loch Lomond itself below the road; the hills which rose upon our right reminding me of Aberfoyle, near Loch Ard, and of the lower part of the Pilatas. Such fine trees, numbers of hollies growing down almost into the water, and such beautiful capes and little bays and promontories! The loch was extremely rough, and so fierce was the wind, that the foam was blown like smoke along the deep blue of the water. The gale had broken some trees. The sun lit up the whole scene beautifully, but we had a few slight showers. It reminded me of Switzerland. I thought we saw everything so much better than we had formerly done from the steamer. As we proceeded, the hills became lower, the loch widened, and the many wooded islands appeared. We next changed horses at Luss, quite a small village—indeed the little inn stands almost alone, and they drove us close up to it, but there was a great crowding and squeezing, and some children screamed with fright; two presented nosegays to Beatrice and me, and a poor woman offered me a bag of "sweeties.”

From here we drove along past the openings of Glen Luss and Glen Finlas, which run up amongst the fine hills to the right, the loch being on our left, and the road much wooded. There are slate quarries close to Luss. About two miles from Luss we drove through Sir J. Colquhoun’s place, Rossdhu, which commands a beautiful view of Ben Lomond and the loch, and drove up to the house, where Highland volunteers were drawn up, and where we stopped without getting out of the carriage, and I received a nosegay from a little girl, and a basket of fruit. Sir J. Colquhoun’s father was drowned two years ago in the loch, crossing over from an island where he had been shooting, and the body was not found for a fortnight; the keepers with him were also drowned. We drove on, passing several other places, and everywhere were arches of flowers, flags, etc., and the poorest people had hung out handkerchiefs for flags. We were followed by endless “machines” full of people, and many on foot running, and our horses were bad and went very slowly. However, as we approached Balloch, through which we did not pass, but only went up to the station, though the crowds were very great, perfect order was kept. The militia was out, and we got quite easily into the train at a quarter-past three.

Here again a nosegay was presented, and Mr. A. Orr Ewing, member for the county, and Mr. Smollett, the Convener, whom we had seen on board the steamer six years ago, were presented. Balloch is a manufacturing place for dyeing, and is connected with the trade in Glasgow. We had some cold luncheon as soon as we got into the train.

Our next stoppage was at Stirling, where there was an immense concourse of people, and the station prettily decorated. The evening was very fine, the pretty scenery appearing to great advantage, and the sky lovely. After this it got rapidly dark. We stopped at Perth and at the Bridge of Dun, where Jane Churchill got into our carriage and we had some tea; and then at Aberdeen, where it poured. At twenty minutes to ten we arrived at Ballater, and at once got into our carriage, and reached Balmoral at twenty-five minutes to eleven.


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