Search just our sites by using our customised search engine
Unique Cottages | Electric Scotland's Classified Directory

Click here to get a Printer Friendly PageSmiley

More Leaves from the Journal
Visit to Invertrossachs 1 Sept 1869

Wednesday, September 1, 1869

We got up at half-past seven, breakfasted at eight, and at half-past eight left Balmoral with Louise, Beatrice, and and Churchill (Brown as always, unless I mention to the contrary, on the box), for Ballater. A high and rather cold wind, but very bright sun, dreadfully dusty. Colonel Jonsonby met us at the railway station. Emilie Uittweiler and Annie Macdonald, Ocklee (for the two girls), Jane Churchill’s maid, Charlie Thomson, and the footman Cannon, went with us: Blake, Spong with the luggage, A. Thomson, with Sharp (my faithful collie dog), and Annie Cordon (housemaid), Kennedy, Arthur Grant, and Hiley (the groom) with the ponies, all went yesterday, and three cooks came from London. We had a saloon carriage, but not my own. It grew hot in the railway train. We stopped at Aberdeen and the Bridge of Dun, where Jane Churchill got into our carriage, and had luncheon with us; but we could have no one to help to pack and unpack it, which is now so comfortably arranged in my own railway carriage where there is a communication with the attendants.

Stopping a moment at Cupar-Angus, we passed through Perth, and had another short halt at Dunblane, where the people crowded very much. Here we got a view of the old Cathedral, and turned off to Callander, which we reached at a quarter-past three. There was a very well-behaved crowd at the quiet station. Mr, and Lady Emily Macnaghten, to whose house (which they had most kindly lent us) we were going, and Sir Malcolm and Lady Helen MacGregor (she is Miss MacGregor’s nephew, she Lady Emily Macnaghten’s niece), received us there. Their little girl gave me a nosegay. We at once got into our celebrated sociable, which has been to the top of the Furca in Switzerland, etc., and had been sent on before, Colonel Ponsonby and Brown going on the box. We drove off at once with post-horses through the small town of Callander, which consists of one long street with very few shops, and few good houses, but many poor ones. Poor Kanne (who was to have managed everything, but had fallen ill) was still laid up there. We drove on, and, after about three-quarters of a mile’s drive, came to Loch Vennachar, a fine lake about four miles long, with Ben Ventte and other high and beautiful mountains rising behind and around it. The road is thickly wooded with oak, birch, beech, mountain-ash, etc. The house stands extremely well on a high eminence, overlooking the loch and surrounded by trees, and you drive up through evergreens and trees of all kinds. Half an hour brought us to the door of the house, Invertrossachs, which is small and comfortable. At the entrance is a nice little hall in which there is a small billiard table; to the left, beyond that, a very nice well-sized dining-room with one large window. To the right of the hall is the drawing-room, very much like the one at Inrermark (Lord Dalhousie’s); altogether the house is in that style, but larger. The staircase is almost opposite the hall-door, and there is a narrow passage which goes on to the left and right, along which are Louise’s, Baby’s (Beatrice’s), my sitting-room (a snug little room), and my bedroom (very good size); and out of that, two little rooms which I use as dressing and bathrooms, and Emilie Dittweiler’s. Further on, round a corner as it were, beyond Louise’s, are Lady Churchill’s, her maid’s, and Colonel Ponsonby’s. rooms, all very fair sized and comfortable. Close to my dressing-rooms is a staircase which goes upstairs to where Brown and our other people live. The rooms are very comfortably and simply furnished, and they have put down new carpets everywhere. In the absence of poor Kanne, whom we are so sorry for, Jungbluth, the cook, acts as steward, and showed us over the rooms.

We took tea and rested a little, and at twenty minutes to six drove out with the two girls (sweet Beatrice very happy and very good, the first time she had been without a governess) and Lady Churchill. We drove along the loch, which has always to be done, as there is no road on the Inverirossacks side further than Inverirossacks itself, and crossed over the bridge at Coilcetogleford celebrated in the “Lady cf the Lake,” then to the right down a steep hill and over the bridge by' Kilmahog, where there are a few cottages and a turnpike, on through the Pass oj Liny, which is now (like every other burn and river) nearly dry, overhung by beautiful trees with very grand hills, reminding me much of Switzerland from their greenness, the rugged rocks, and the great amount of Wood which grows at their base and a good way up. It reminded Louise and me very much of Pilatus with its meadows and fine trees or. the way to Hergessryl. We vent as far as the beginning of Loch Lubnaig, a very fine wild, grand-looking loch ; turning there and going back the same way. The view of Ioch Vennachar, with the beautiful deep blue of Ben Venue and the other hills, was lovely. We came in at half-past seven.

Darling Beatrice took her supper on coming in, but she came and sat with us while we were at dinner for a short while. Only four at dinner. We went out for a moment afterwards. Very mild and starlight. Louise went to bed. Jane read a little to me in the drawing-room, but I went upstairs soon, as I was tired.

Thursday, September 2

A very fine, bright, warm morning. We decided to go on an expedition, but not to Loch Lomond, as we should have to start so early. Breakfasted in the drawing-room with Louise and Beatrice. Then writing, etc. At twenty minutes to twelve I started in the sociable with Louise, Beatrice, Jane Churchill, and Colonel Tonsonby and Brown on the box, and drove (excellent post-horses, always only a pair) to Callander, but turned to the right short of it, and went on some little way. On coming to the top of a hill we saw Ben Ledi, a splendid hill; to the north Be.i Voirlich, and to the east the heights of Uam Far, a pink heathery ridge of no great elevation; and in the distance, rising up from the horizon, Dun My at, and the Wallace Monument on the Abbey Craig, near Stirling. We went across a moor, and then soon passed Loch Ruskie, quite a small lake. The country about here is rather lowland, but as we proceeded it was extremely pretty, with very fine trees and cornfields, and harvesting going on ; and soon after, descending a hill, we came upon the Loch of “Menteith” (the only loch in Scotland which is ever called lake). It reminds one very much of Loch Kinnord near Baliater, and very low blue and pink hills rise in the distance. There are two or three islands in it; in the large one, Lochmahome, you perceive amongst the thick woods the ruins of the ancient priory. Queen Mary lived there once, and there are monuments of the Menteiths to be seen on it. To the right we passed the ruin of Rednock Castle, and to the left the gate’s of the Park of Rednock, with very fine large trees, where Mr. Graham, the proprietor, was standing. We went on and passed the Clachan of Aberfoyle (renowned in Sir Walter Scott’s “Rob Roy”), and here the splendid scenery begins— high, rugged, and green hills (reminding me again of Pilatus), very fine large trees and beautiful pink heather, interspersed with bracken, rocks, and underwood, in the most lovely profusion, and Ben Lomond towering up before us with its noble range. We went on perhaps a quarter of a mile, and, it being then two o’clock, we got out and lunched on the grass under an oak at the foot of Craig Mere. It was very hot, the sun stinging, but there were many light white clouds in the blue sky, which gave the most beautiful effects of light and shade on this marvellous colouring. After luncheon and walking about a little, not finding any good view to sketch, we got into the carriage (our horses had been changed), but had not gone above a few yards when w'e came upon Loch Ard, and a lovelier picture could not be seen. Ben Lomond, blue and yellow, rose above the lower hills, which were pink and purple with heather, and an isthmus of green trees in front dividing it from the rest of the loch. We got out and sketched. Only here and there, far between, were some poor little cottages with picturesque barefooted lasses and children to be seen.

All speak Gaelic here. Louise and I sat sketching for half an hour, Beatrice running about merrily with Jane Churchill while we drew. We then drove on, and certainly one of the most lovely drives I can remember, along Loch Ard, a fine long loch, with trees of all kinds overhanging the road, heather making all pink; bracken, rocks, high hills of such a fine shape, and trees growing up them as in Switzerland; the road rough and bad, with very steep bits of hill (but the post-horses went remarkably well) overhanging the loch, which reminded me very much of the drive along the Lake Zug in Switzerland. Altogether, the whole drive along Loch Ard, then by the very small Loch Dow and the fine Loch Chon, which is very long, was lovely. The heather in full bloom, and of the richest kind, some almost of a crimson colour, and growing in rich tufts along the road. One can see, by the mounds or heaps of stone, all along Lock Chon, where the Glasgow waterworks are carried, but they have not disfigured the landscape.

Emerging from this road we came upon the Loch Lomond Road, having a fine view of Loch Arklet, on the banks of which Helen MacGregor is said to have been born. The scene of our drive to-day is all described in “Rob Roy.” Loch Arklet lies like I.och Gallater, only that the hills are higher and more pointed. Leaving this little loch to our left, in a few minutes we came upon Loch Katrine, which was seen in its greatest beauty in the fine evening light. Most lovely ! We stopped at Strunachlacliar, a small inn where people stay for a night sometimes, and where they embark coming from Loch Lomond and vice versa. As the small steamer had not yet arrived, we had to wait for about a quarter of an hour. But there was no crowd, no trouble or annoyance, and during the whole of our drive nothing could be quieter or mote agreeable. Hardly a creature did we meet, and we passed merely a very few pretty gentlemen’s places, or very poor cottages with simple women and barefooted long-haired lassies and children, quiet and unassuming old men and labourers. This solitude, the romance and wild loveliness of everything here, the absence cf hotels and beggars, the independent simple people, who all speak Gaelic here, all make beloved Scotland the proudest, finest country in the world. Then there is that beautiful heather, which you do not see elsewhere. I prefer it greatly to Switzerland, magnificent and glorious as the scenery of that country is.

It was about ten minutes past five when we went cn board the very clean little steamer “Rob Roy”—the very same we had been on under such different circumstances in 1859 on the 14th of October, in dreadful weather, thick mist and heavy rain, when my beloved Husband and I opened the Glasgow Waterworks. We saw the spot and the cottage where we lunched.

We took a turn and steamed a little way up tire bay called Glen Gyle, where there is a splendid glen beautifully wooded, which is the country of the MacGregors, and where there is a house which belonged to MacGregor of Glen Gyle, which, with the property, has been bought by a rich Glasgow- innkeeper of the same clan. We turned and went on, and nothing could be more beautiful than the loch, wooded all along the banks. The rugged Ben Venae, so famed in the “Lady of the Lake" (which we had with us as well as several guide-books, of which we find Black’s far the best), rises majestically on the southern side of the lake, and looking back you see the Alps of Arrochar, which well deserve the name, for they are quite pointed and most beautiful; their names are Ben Vean, Ben Voirlich, Ben Bint, and Ben Crash. Next came the well-known “Silver Strand,” “Helen's Isle’’ which is most lovely, and the narrow creek so beautifully wooded below' the splendid high hills, and the little wooden landing-place which I remembered so well; and very melancholy and yet sweet were my feelings when I landed and found on the path some of the same white pebbles which my dearest Albert picked up and had made into a bracelet for me. I picked up and carried off a handful myself.

We had taken our tea on board on deck. We now entered two hired carriages, the girls and I in the first, with Brown on the box, and Jane Churchill and Colonel Ponsonby in the second. The evening was lovely, and the lights and pink and golden sky as we drove through the beautiful Trossachs were glorious indeed—

So wondrous wild, the whole might seem
The scenery of a fairy dream —

and along Loch Achray—the setting sun behind Ben Vetiue, -which rose above most gloriously, so beautifully described by Sir W. Scott:

The western Waves of ebbing day
Rolled o’er the glen the level way.
Each purple peak, each flinty spire
Was bathed in floods of living fire.

We passed the fine Trossachs Inn where Louise had stopped with Alice and Louis in 1865, and a lovely little church in a most picturesque position, and lastly the Brig of Turk. It is a long way round Lock Vennachar to dnve to Trossachs: you see the house for three-quarters of an hour before you can get to it. Home at eight. The drive back was lovely, for long after the sun had set the sky remained beautifully pink behind the dark blue hills. A most successful day. Dinner as yesterday. I felt very tired.

Friday, September 3

A very dull, dark thick morning, and the hills beyond Callander hardly visible. Still, no rain. Went up to my room and wrote a little, and at twelve took a walk in a very pretty wood quite close below the house, from several points of which there are beautiful views, but the atmosphere was too thick to see them to-day. . . . We lunched all together. ... At half-past three we started again (just as yesterday), and drove up the noble Pass of Leny, past Kilmahog, where a little boy tried to give me a nosegay which was fixed to a pole, and in trying to catch it Colonel Ponsonby let it fall. The little boy screamed “Stop, stop!” and ran in such an agony of disappointment that I stopped the carriage, and took it from him to his mother’s great delight. On our way we saw on a hill among woods Liny House (belonging to Mr. Buchanan Hamilton), where Sir W. Scott lived when he wrote “Rob Roy.”

We went along that truly beautiful Loch Lubnaig, driving along its windings like the Axenstrasse on the Lake of Lucerne, the high, jagged, and green hills rising precipitously from it. It is four miles long, and very romantic. There is a railway unfinished, only a single line, on the western side, and as it ran along the loch it again reminded me of the Axenstrasse at the points where it goes low near the water. The road leads under beautiful sycamore trees. We passed on the right a farmhouse called Ardhullary, where formerly the Abyssinian traveller Bruce used to live, and next entered Straihyre, a fine broad open strath, wooded and with cornfields, the heather on the hills quite pink. The village of Strathyre is composed of a row of a few peasants’ houses, with very poor people, and a nice well-built little inn. A little way on again you come to a picturesque little inn called the lung’s House, covered with pretty creepers and convolvulus, and here you turn short to the left and go up Balquhidder, another most lovely glen, with a beautiful view of Loch Voilwith its beautiful sweeping green hills, the Braes of Balquhidder, the strath itself very rich with its fine trees and cornfields, the small river Balvaig running through it. We drove about two miles, passing some pretty cottages covered with creepers like the inn I mentioned, and stopped outside a neat-looking little village, the Kirkton of Balquhidder (twelve miles from Callander)composed of only a few cottages. We got out and walked up a steep knoll over hanging the road, on which, under a splendid plane tree (we passed some most beautiful limes just before), is the old kirk-yard with the ruins of the old church. We went at once to look at the tomb of Rob Roy—a flat stone on which is carved a figure in a kilt, and next to it a stone where his wife is buried, and on which a sword is rudely carved. [These stones are supposed to be very ancient, and carved centuries before they were adapted to their present use.] His son’s tomb is next to his, but looks far more modern. We went on to look at a very curious old font, and then at two or three other tombstones. On one of these were some verses, which Mr. Cameron, the schoolmaster, an intelligent young man, recited, and afterwards wrote out for me.

We afterwards went into the very pretty new church, which is close to theoldruin. Nothing can surpass the beauty of the position of this spot, for it overlooks Loch Voil and a glen, or rather mere ravine or corry, with a hill rising behind it. We walked down again and re-entered our carriage, driving back the same way, and passing about half a mile from the Kirkton, on our road back, the present burial-place of the MacGregors (whose country this is, or. alas ! rather was), which is a chapel standing in a wood, the whole enclosed by a wall and iron gateway. We drove past the lung's House a very short way, and then got out, scrambled up the hillside, sat down on a bank overhanging a burn, kindled a fire, and had our tea. This was on Lord Barcadalbane’s property. We got home from this very interesting and beautiful drive by a quarter. The words of the inscription are :—

Stones weep tho' eyes were dry;
Choicest flowers soonest die :
Their sun oft sets at noon,
Whose fruit is ripe in June.
Then tears of joy be thine,
Since earth must soon resign
To God what is divine.
Nasci est cegrotare, vivere est scepe mori, et raori est vivere
Love and Live.

past eight. The day had not been bright—dark and dull, but quite clear enough to see everything in this truly beautiful country.

Dinner as before. We always sit in the drawing-room, and Jane read out the newspaper to us.

Saturday, September 4

Up by half-past seven, and breakfasting at a quarter to eight. Got on my pony Sultan at nine, the others walking, and went through the wood to the loch’s edge, where tve three got into a small boat and were rowed across to the other side by the keeper and underkeeper, Drown sitting in the bow, Colonel Ponsonby and Jane Churchill going across in another very small boat rowed by one man. Here we got into our carriage as before. Dear Beatrice enjoys it all very much, and is so good and cheerful.

We drove on through the beautiful Trossachs to Loch Katrine. It was a very dark thick morning; no distance to be seen at all, and Ben Venue very imperfectly. We embarked by ten o’clock on board the steamer “Rob Roy,” and steamed off for Stronacklachar. No distant 1 view was visible, and the colour of the sky was really that of a thick November fog. However, by the time we reached Stronacklackar, it was much lighter to the left, tow'ards where we were going.

Here we got into two hired carriages again, Jane and Colonel Ponsonby preceding us this time. We drove along Loch Arklet, a lovely drive with, pink heathered hills to the right, and gradually the mist cleared off, and allowed us to see rugged peaks above and in front of us.

We met (as we had done from the first) several large coaches, but with only outside seats, full of tourists. This reminded me, as did the whole tour this day and on Thursday, of Switzerland and our expeditions there, especially now when we suddenly came upon Loch Lomond and drove down a very steep hill to Larersnaid, where there is only one house (a small inn), and saw high mountains, looking shadowy in the mist (dry mist), rising abruptly from the loch. We went at once on board the fine steamer “Prince Consort” (a pleasant idea that that dear name should have carried his poor little wife, alas! a widow, and children, on their first sail on this beautiful lake which he went to see in 1847). She is a fine large vessel, a good deal larger than the “Winkelried” (in which we used to go on the Lake of Lucerne), with a fine large dining-cabin below, a very high upper deck, and a gallery underneath on which people can stand and smoke without incommoding the others above. The following people were on board: Mr. A. Smollett, late M.P., Mr. Wylie, factor to Sir I Colquhoun, and Mr. Denny, the auditor, and Mr. Young, the secretary.

We steamed southward, and for the first half nothing could be finer or more truly Alpine, reminding me much of the Lake of Lucerne; only it is longer—Loch Lomond being twenty-two miles long. We kept close to the east shore, passing under Ben Lomond with its variously called shoulders—Cruachan, Craig a Bochan, and Ptarmigan—to Rowardennon pier, where there is a pretty little house rented from the Duke of Montrose (to whom half Loch Lomond belongs) by a Mr. Mair, a lovely spot from whence you can ascend Ben Lomond, which is 3,102 feet high, and well wooded part of the way, with cornfields below. After you pass this, where there are fine mountains on either side, though on the west shore not so high, the lake widens out, but the shores become much flatter and tamer (indeed to the east and south completely so); but here are all the beautifully wooded islands, to the number of twenty-four. Some of them are large; on Lochlonaig Island the yews are said to have been planted by Robert Bruce to encourage the people in the use of archery. Another, Inch Calliach, is the ancient burial-place of the MacGregors.

On the mainland we passed Cornick Hill, and could just see Buchanan House, the Duke of Montrose’s, and to the right the island of Inch Murrin, on which the Duke has his deer preserve. The sun had come out soon after we went on board, and it was blowing quite fresh as we went against the wind. At two o'clock we stopped off Fortnellan for luncheon, which we had brought with us and took below in the handsome large cabin, where fifty or sixty people, if not more, could easily dine. Colonel Ponsonby also lunched with us.. . . This over, we went to the end of the lake to Balloch, and here turned. It became very warm. To the left we passed some very pretty villas (castles they resembled) and places, amongst others Cameron (Mr. Smollett's), Arden (Sir J. Lumsden’s, Lord Provost of Glasgow), Ross-Dhu (Sir J. Colquhoun’s), the road to Glen Bruin, the islands of Inch Connachan, Inch Taranach, the point of Stob Gobhlach, Buss, a very prettily situated village, the mountain of Ben Dubh. and the ferry of Inreruglas, opposite Rowardennan. Then Tarbet, a small town, where dearest Albert landed in 1847, and here began the highest and finest mountains, with splendid passes, richly wooded, and the highest mountains rising behind. A glen leads across from Tarbet to Arrochar on I,och Long, and here you see that most singularly shaped hill called the Cobbler, and a little further on the splendid Alps of Arrcchar. All this ard the way in which the hills run into the lake reminded me so much of the Nasen on the lake of Lucerne.

The head of the lake with the very fine glen (Glen Fetlock), along which you can drive to Oban, is magnificent. We (Louise and I) sketched as best we could, but it is most difficult to do so when the steamer keeps moving on; and we were afterwards much vexed we had not asked them to go more slowly, as we had to wait again for the “Rob Roy” steamer at Stronachlachar, From the head of Lock Lomond (where is the Hotel of Inverarnan) we turned; we were shown a hole in the rock, on the east side, which they called Rob Boy’s Cave, and landed at Inversnaid. The people (quite a small crowd) threw bunches of heather as we passed. Heather is everywhere the decoration, and there is indeed no lovelier, prettier ornament. It was in such full bloom. The mountains here are peculiarly fine from the sharp serrated outline and wonderful clothing of grass and trees. It w’as a very bright warm evening, and the drive back, which we had to take slowly, not to arrive too soon, was extremely pretty. At Stronachlachar, both on embarking and disembarking, there were a few people collected. On board we had again our tea, and Mr. Blair, the very obliging gentlemanlike host of the Trossachs Inn ("and possessor of the Loch Katrine steamer), who was in attendance each time, gave us some clotted cream.

It was a splendid sail over this most lovely loch, and delightful drive back by the Trossachs. We got into the boat again where we left it this morning, and rowed across; but this time it was most unpleasant, for it blew-and was very rough, and the little boat rolled and danced. The second smaller one with the two others shipped water. Rode back and got up to the house by half-past seven. This was the only contretemps to our most successful, enjoyable day. How dearest Albert would have enjoyed it!

Dinner just as before, Jane reading the newspapers. This day year we went to the Brunig Pass.

Sunday, September 5

A dull muggy morning. Decided not to go to kirk, as it would have been very public. So at eleven rode (on Sultan) with dear Beatrice (on her little Beatrice) for an hour, first up at the back of the farm, and then a little way on the beautiful pink heathery and bracken hills just behind the house, and saw Loch Drunkie almost dry from the drought, and looked over to the Brig of Turk, then back by the stables to the house. Read the collect, epistle, and gospel, and the second lesson for the day, with the two girls, Beatrice reading the last-named.

While we were at luncheon it rained, but it soon ceased, and the afternoon became quite fine and was very warm. At half-past five walked out with Louise, Beatrice, and Jane Churchill, stopping at the lodge where Mclsaacs, the keeper, and his wife live. Walked some way on, and then drove with Beatrice round a short way on the Trossachs Road, coming home at half-past seven.

Monday, September 6

Misty early, then beautiful and clear and very hot. Got up with a bad headache. At five minutes to eleven rode off with Beatric e, good Sharp going with us and having occasional “collie-shangies” with collies when we came near cottages (A. Thomson and Kennedy following). We rode out the same way we came back yesterday, and then up the same hill overlooking Loch Drunkie— which really is nearly dry—and on down the other side of the hill, as fast as we could go along a rough but very pretty road, which brought us, over perfumed pink heather interspersed with bracken, to a spot where you get a lovely glimpse of Loch Ackray and Ben Venue. We then continued along a wood past a few miserable cottages, but as private as if I were riding at Balmoral, out into the high road just at the Brig of Turk, and stopped at what is called “Fergusson's Inn," but is in fact the very poorest sort of Highland cottage. Here lives Mrs. Fergusson, an immensely fat woman and a well-known character, who is quite rich and well dressed, but will not leave the place where she has lived all her life selling whisky. She was brought out and seemed delighted to see me, shaking hands with me and patting me. She walks with a crutch, and had to sit down. We only stopped a very few minutes, and then went home as fast as we came, and got back by one. But Brown and the at her two men were as hot as the day we went up the right, and it was indeed very hot. Our ride must have )een eight miles altogether. My head still aching.

At three, after luncheon, we started just as yesterday, and drove the same way as last Friday up the Pass of Leny by Loch Lubnaig, Strathyre and the King’s House: here, instead of turning to the left to Balquhidder, we went straight on for four miles, till we came to Lock Earn Head it was a beautiful and very hot afternoon. We stopped at the inn, which is quite a small place commanding a beautiful view of Loch Earn, which was splendidly lit up, the loch deep blue and the hills all lilac and violet. Sir Malcolm and Lady Helen MacGregor with their two little children received us at the door and took us up upstairs. They have got a very pretty little drawing-room (looking on to the loch), which they have arranged nicely and comfortably. The two little girls are dear little things, Malvina four and Margaret two years old. Sir Malcolm wore the kilt. He is a captain in the Navy, and showed us some curiosities brought home from New Zealand, also a bottle which is said to have belonged to Rob Roy, and was given to Lady Helen by an old man in the parish, and a silver quaich out of which Prince Charles Edward had drunk, and which had belonged to Sir Malcolm’s great-great-grandfather. Lady Helen is the late Lord Antrim’s only child. Both were most kind and gave us some tea, and at half-past five we left on our return. There was a small friendly crowd collected at the door, who cheered both when we arrived and when we left. We changed horses here, or at least very near, in 1842 on our way back from Taymouth. They said I mentioned the circumstance in my book. We drove through the grounds of Edinchip, which belongs to Sir Malcolm MacGregor (but was then let), on the way home, and came back the same road, reaching home by half-past seven.

My headache, which had been very bad all day, got much better just before we got home.

Tuesday, September 7

Received a letter from Colonel Elphinstone, dated 22nd from Halifax, with excellent accounts of dear Arthur The passage had been a very good one; he had mixed with every one on board, and been a general favourite—three hundred emigrants on board.

Walked, and rode a little, while the others walked. Tired and feeling ill. It turned wet and continued so all the evening. We, however, determined to go to Loch Katrine, having ordered the steamer, and boats to row to the Silver Strand. So off I went with the girls and Lady Churchill just as on the other days, but when we got there it was too wet to do anything; so we only went on board the steamer, took our tea in the cabin below, and then drove back again by half-past seven.

Wednesday, September 8

A very bad night from a violent attack of neuralgia in my leg. I only got up after nine, and could hardly walk or stand, but was otherwise not ill. I took a little, but very little, breakfast, alone. I remained at home reading, writing, and resting on the sofa or in an arm-chair. I came down to luncheon, Brown helping me down and up, but took it alone with the children in the drawing room. Rested afterwards, and at twenty minutes to four took a quiet but enjoyable drive with Jane Churchill. It was not very bright, nor the distance very clear, but there were occasional gleams of bright sunshine which lit up the fine scenery. We drove to Loch Menteith, just the same way as on Thursday, and were surprised to find how short the distance was. After passing the gate of Rednock Castle we turned to the left and drove a short way close along the lochside past the kirk and small village (composed of only two or three houses) of Port Menteith, getting a good view of Inchmahome on the way. We stopped to take our tea (which had been made before we went out, but w'as quite hot still) outside Rednock grounds, and then drove back again, but took another turn through Callander, and then along a road (above which a number of pretty villas are built, and where you have a very pretty view) which comes out at Kibnahog Turnpike. Then home by a quarter past seven. Found Sir William Jenner, whom we had sent for, arrived. I dined below (hobbling along a little better and downstairs without help) in the drawing room with Louise and Jane Churchill.

Thursday, September 9

I had a really very fair night, and on getting up found 1 could walk much better, for which I was most thankful. I went down to breakfast as usual. Received again letters from dear Arthur and Colonel Elphinstone with excellent and favourable accounts of the good his presence had already done. At half-past eleven drove with Louise and Beatrice up the Pass of Leny as far as the commencement of Loch Lubnaig, intending to sketch, but it was too late. We met first two large coaches covered with people on the narrowest part of the bridge going to Kilmahog, and then endless droves of wild-looking, and for the most part extremely small, shaggy Highland cattle with their drovers and dogs—most wild and picturesque—going to Falkirk Tryst. They stop for nights on the road—we saw some droves grazing on the lower parts of the hills on our way to Loch Earn Head —and the drovers get shelter with friends in the cottages and villages about. Home at half-past one. Planted two (very small) trees in front of the house, as did Louise and Beatrice also. Luncheon as yesterday, only with the children. My leg very stiff, so that, with great regret, I had to give up going to Lvch Katrine for the last time, which I had so much wished. However, I did drive with Beatrice as far as the Trossachs Inn and back, and got a glimpse of the beautiful Trossachs and Loch Achray, with Ben Venue rising gloriously above it. I even made a slight outline of it, and returned, quite pleased at this, by half-past seven, stopping to make and take our tea not far from home, I remaining in the carriage. Felt better altogether, and was able to come to the usual dinner, to which also Sir W. Jenner came. Dear Beatrice sat with us during part of the dinner, as she had done almost every night. Brown (the only upper servant in attendance, as I brought no page), who waited at all my meals, and did all the outdoor attendance on me besides, with the greatest handiness, cheerfulness, and alacrity, and the three very good footmen, Blake, Cannon, and Charlie Thomson did all the waiting at dinner and luncheon. Good Sharp was always in the dining-room, but remained quietly lying down.

Friday, September 10

Raining early, which made me feel I had done right in giving up going by the Spited, as I had intended up to yesterday afternoon. Felt, however, better, and could walk with much greater ease. At half-past eleven we Ieft Invertrossachs, the recollection of the ten days at which—quiet and cozy—and of the beautiful country and scenery I saw in the neighbourhood, though the last two days were spoilt by stupid indisposition, will ever be a very pleasant one. The twro girls and I drove in a Callander carriage, with Brown on the box, perched up alarmingly high, Jane Churchill and the two gentlemen having preceded us to the station at Callander. All our luggage, ponies and all, went with our train. We stopped outside Perth for luncheon for a few minutes—and Jane Churchill came in again at Aberdeen for our tea—to enable Brown to come and help us. When we reached Ballater, where we got into two carriages, it began to rain.

Reached Balmoral at half-past six.

Return to Book Index Page


This comment system requires you to be logged in through either a Disqus account or an account you already have with Google, Twitter, Facebook or Yahoo. In the event you don't have an account with any of these companies then you can create an account with Disqus. All comments are moderated so they won't display until the moderator has approved your comment.

comments powered by Disqus