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Leaves from the Journal
Ascent of Morven 14 Sept. 1859

September 14, 1859.

I felt very low-spirited at my dearest Albert having to leave at one o’clock for Aberdeen, to preside at the meeting of the British Association.

I with Alice, the two ladies, Lord Charles Fitzroy, and Brown, left shortly before for Morven. We took posthorses at the foot of Gairn, and drove by the right side of the glen, along a new good road, avoiding the ford, and by half-past two we were at the foot of Morven, not far from the shooting-lodge there. Here we mounted our ponies, and our caravan started with the gillies—Jemmie Coutts, an old acquaintance, now keeper of the lodge, leading the way. About half-way, at a bum-side, we stopped, seated ourselves on plaids on the fine springy turf, and took luncheon; then walked about, sketched, mounted our ponies, and rode up to the top, which was rather steep and soft,—“foggy,” as Brown called it, which is the Highland expression for mossy,—my little pony, being so fat, panted dreadfully. Morven is 2,700 feet high, and the view from it more magnificent than can be described, so large and yet so near everything seemed, and such seas of mountains with blue lights, and the colour so wonderfully beautiful. We looked down upon the Duke of Richmond’s property, and saw the mountain called the Buck of Cabrach, and still further on the Slate

Hills; to the east, Aberdeen and the blue sea, and we could even see the ships with the naked eye : the tableland between Tarland and Ballater; and stretching out below, due south, Mount Keen. To the south-west, Loch-na-Gar; to the west, Ben Alan and Ben-na-Bhourd,— “the land of Gairn,” as they call it, and Muich; and Deeside in the foreground. It was enchanting! We walked down to where we had lunched, and rode to the bottom. Here we found a fire, also tea with cakes, &c., which had been very kindly prepared for us by a lady and gentleman, the daughter and son of Sir J. G. Ratcliff, living in the shooting-lodge. We drank the tea, and left in the carriage at half-past six o’clock, reaching Balmoral at half-past seven. So sad not to find my darling Husband at home.

The Prince’s Return from Aberdeen.

September 15, 1859.

I heard by telegram last night that Albert’s reception was admirable, and that all was going off as well as possible. Thank God. I ascended Loch-na-Gar with Alice, Helena, Bertie, Lady Churchill, Colonel Bruce, and our usual attendants, and returned after six o’clock. At ten minutes past seven arrived my beloved Albert. All had gone off most admirably; he had seen many learned people; all were delighted with his speech; the reception most gratifying. Banchory House (Mr. Thomson’s) where he lodged (four miles from Aberdeen) was, he said, very comfortable.

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