Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

After leaving Kinross, there is some fine scenery, particularly near Perth, where I arrived about half-past two. It is a large and handsome town, on the banks of the Tay. In my first walk through it, I noticed, as rather singular, a number of fair maids.' There is one, however, an innkeeper's daughter, who seems to bear the palm, and is distinguished, I was told, par excellence, as The Fair Maid of Perth.' I saw several vessels, coaches, etc., thus named; and yet I could not find in the whole town a single copy of Scott's novel! Wandering down to the river, I saw a steamboat just starting for Dundee,* twenty-two miles' sail on the beautiful river and frith of Tay, and the fare nine-pence! So, not being very particular in my destination, I jumped on board, and was off in a trice, without my dinner, which I had ordered at the hotel. The trip was very pleasant, for it was a lovely day; and at six o'clock I dined in the best style, on three courses and a dessert,' in a handsome parlor, at the Royal Hotel, Dundee, for two shillings-the cheapest dinner and trip I have had in His Majesty's dominions. Dundee is a very large and flourishing place, and carries on more trade and commerce than any other town in Scotland, Glasgow perhaps excepted. It is admirably situated, and has quite a city-like appear. ance. The docks would be an honor to New-York. After dinner, I walked out to Broughty Ferry, four miles, along the banks of the Frith, to call on Dr. Dick, the author of the Christian Philosopher, and several other very

6

*The 'Fairport' of the Antiquary.' Within the last twelve years it has doubled in size and importance.

Perth-Dundee-Dr. Dick.

able and popular works. He has a little of the pedagogue in his appearance and conversation, but seems to be a very plain, kind-hearted man. He is very much interested in our country and its literature, and had inany questions to ask respecting his American correspondents. He thinks we are far before Great Britain on the score of education; and says that such a work as Burritt's Astronomy would be quite too deep and scientific to be used in schools there. Of course, he touched upon slavery. He did not understand why the blacks should not be admitted into society, and considered as equals in intellect with the whites! In the little attic room, are a variety of scientific instruments, orreries, etc. Among the books were his last one, ‘The Mental Illumination and Moral Improvement of Mankind,' English and American editions. After tea, it being ten o'clock, and yet light enough in this northern latitude to read without a candle, the doctor kindly escorted me nearly three miles on my way back to Dundee.

Thursday morning, at six o'clock, I mounted a coach returning to Perth, with a fine clear sky, and the warmest day I have experienced in Britain. The road is along the banks of the Tay, and is very quiet and pleasant, passing several splendid seats; among them Kinfauns Castle, (Lord Gray,) in the midst of a grove on an elevation, fronting the water. Near this, on the banks, are found fine onyxes, cornelians, and agates. There is a handsome stone bridge over the Tay at Perth. This is a lovely river, the current being very swift, and the water deep, clear, and dark, After breakfast, I walked two miles along the banks north

135

to the palace of Scone, where the Scottish kings were formerly crowned. I saw the celebrated stone on which they were crowned, in Westminster Abbey, whither it was removed by Edward I. in 1296. The present palace is a modern and very splendid edifice, the finest I have seen of the kind, situated in an extensive park or lawn sloping to the banks of the river. It is occupied by the Earl of Mansfield, grand-son of the famous Lord Mansfield. The apartments on the ground-floor are very magnificent, particularly the drawing-room, which I imagine is the ne plus ultra of modern elegance. The tables and cabinets are inlaid with brass, the ceiling carved with great taste, and the walls covered with superb silk furniture, embroidered in the richest manner. It is as large as four or five good sized parlors. The library is of the same size. This, and some other rooms, contain paintings by Lady Mansfield herself, which are vastiy creditable to her ladyship, and would be to a professed artist. There is also a noble gothic gallery, one hundred and fifty feet long, with a floor of polished oak, and a large organ. In the chambers, are bed-curtains, etc., wrought by Mary, Queen of Scots, when at Loch Leven.

Rode in the afternoon to Dunkeld, fifteen miles. Near this town, we enter the grand pass to the highlands, which here commence in all their beauty and grandeur. On the road, we passed Birnam Wood, which it seems has not all 'moved to Dunsinane,' a mountain twelve miles distant, and seen from the top of Birnam.* Dunkeld is beautifully *See Shakspeare; Macbeth.

[ocr errors]

Palace of Scone-Dunkeld.

137

situated, in a vale on the banks of the Tay, which is here even fairer than at Perth, surrounded by lofty and pictur esque mountains, which closely overlook the town. The scenery here exceeds any thing I have seen; yet this is but the mere gate to the highlands; and I may as well reserve my enthusiasm.

The principal landed proprietor in this region, is the Duke of Athol, whose pleasure-grounds alone are said to extend fifty miles in a straight line. We walked through the charming garden on the banks of the river, to the halffinished palace which had been commenced by the present duke, but now remains in statu quo; for the ' poor rich man' became insane, and is now confined in a mad-house near London. Crossing the rapid current of the river in a boat, we climbed up to 'Ossian's Hall,' a pretty bower on the brink of a deep precipice, and in front of a beautiful waterfall, which comes tumbling down a rocky ravine from an immense height, and is enchantingly reflected in the mirrors of the bower.* From this height is a fine view of the Grampian Hills, where

"My father feeds his flocks."

Stirling, June 17, P. M.-The Abbey of Dunblane and the battle-field of Sheriff-Muir were the only objects of interest during the ride from Perth: and there is little to excite curiosity in the old and irregular town of Stirling,

*See Colton's description of this romantic spot. Also Waverley,' the early scenes of which are in these same Highlands of Perthshire; and perhaps this is the very spot described as the bower of the high-souled Flora McIvor.

[ocr errors]

6

except its noble castle, scarcely second to that of Edin. burgh in fame and importance. Entering the esplanade, I happened to meet the commanding officer, who inquired if I was a stranger, and politely escorted me to every part of the extensive fortification. In that room,' said he, ' James VI. was born;' this palace was built by James V., (the 'Knight of Snowdon, James Fitz James,') who often travelled alone in various disguises. In those dungeons the prisoners were confined after the battle of Bannockburn. The views from the ramparts of the castle are very extensive, and in many respects have been pronounced unrivalled. They reach from Arthur's Seat, on one side, to the highlands of Loch Katrine and Loch Lomond on the other, a distance of sixty-five miles. Eleven counties, comprising most of the places celebrated in Scottish history, may be seen from these battlements. On the south, two miles distant, is the memorable field of Bannockburn, where thirty thousand Scotchmen under Bruce, routed the English army of one hundred thousand men, thirty thousand of whom were killed. During the battle, when victory was yet doubtful, the boys (gillies') who had charge of the Scotch luggage, curious to know the result of the contest, came with their carts to the top of the hill near by, and the English, supposing them to be a fresh army, took fright and scampered. So the place is called 'Gillies' Hill,' to this day.

6

At five P. M., set off for Callender, fifteen miles, crossing the Forth, and passing the Banks and Braes of Bonnie Doune,' (but not Burns',) and the ruins of Doune Cas

[ocr errors]
« PoprzedniaDalej »