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MY DEAR SISTER:
To-day a large party of us started on a small steamer, to go down the Clyde. It has been a very, very exciting day to us. It is so stimulating to be where every name is a poem. For instance, we start at the Broomielaw. This Broomielaw is a kind of wharf, or landing. Perhaps in old times it was a haugh overgrown with broom, from whence it gets its name; this is only my conjecture, however.
We have a small steamer quite crowded with people, our excursion party being very numerous.
In a few minutes after starting, somebody says,
“O, here's where the Kelvin enters." This starts up,
“Let us haste to Kelvin Grove."
Then soon we are coming to Dumbarton Castle, and all the tears we shed over Miss Porter's William Wallace seem to rise up like a many-colored mist about it.
The highest peak of the rock is still called Wallace's Seat, and a part of the castle, Wallace's Tower; and in one of its apartments a huge two-handed sword of the hero is still shown. I suppose, in fact, Miss Porter's sentimental hero is about as much like the real William Wallace as Daniel Boone is like Sir Charles Grandison. Many a young lady, who has cried herself sick over Wallace in the novel, would have been in perfect horror if she could have seen the real man.
Still Dumbarton Castle is not a whit the less picturesque for that.
Now comes the Leven, — that identical Leven Water known
- and on the right is Leven Grove. “ There,” said somebody to me, “is the old mansion of the Earls of Glencairn." Quick as thought, flashed through my mind that most eloquent of Burns's poems, the Lament for James, Earl of Glencairn.
“ The bridegroom may forget the bride
Was made his wedded wife yestreen;
This mansion is now the seat of Graham of Gartmor.
Now we are shown the remains of old Cardross Castle, where it was said Robert Bruce breathed his last. And now we come near the beautiful grounds of Roseneath, a green, velvet-like peninsula, stretching out into the widening waters.
“ Peninsula !” said C- “ Why, Walter Scott said it was an island.”
Certainly, he did declare most explicitly in the person of Mr. Archibald, the Duke of Argyle's serving man, to Miss Dollie Dutton, when she insisted on going to it by land, that Roseneath was an island. It shows that the most accurate may be caught tripping sometimes.
Of course, our heads were full of David Deans, Jeanie, and Effie, but we saw nothing of them. The Duke of Argyle's Italian mansion is the most conspicuous object.
IIereupon there was considerable discussion on the present Duke of Argyle among the company, from which we gathered
that he stood high in favor with the popular mind. One said that there had been an old prophecy, probably uttered somewhere up in the Highlands, where such things are indigenous, that a very good duke of Argyle was to arise having red hair, and that the present duke had verified the prediction by uniting both requisites. They say that he is quite a young man, with a small, slight figure, but with a great deal of energy and acuteness of mind, and with the generous and noble traits whih have distinguished his house in former times. He was a pupil of Dr. Arnold, a member of the National Scotch Kirk, and generally understood to be a serious and religious
He is one of the noblemen who have been willing to come forward and make use of his education and talent in the way of popular lectures at lyceums and athenæums; as have also the Duke of Newcastle, the Earl of Carlisle, and some others. So the world goes on. I must think, with all deference to poetry, that it is much better to deliver a lyceum lecture than to head a clan in battle ; though I suppose, a centu
I ry and a half ago, had the thing been predicted to McCallummore's old harper, he would have been greatly at a loss to comprehend the nature of the transaction.
Somewhere about here, I was presented, by his own request, to a broad-shouldered Scotch farmer, who stood some six feet two, and who paid me the compliment to say, that he had read my book, and that he would walk six miles to see me any day. Such a flattering evidence of discriminating taste, of course, disposed my heart towards him; but when I went up and put my hand into his great prairie of a palm, I was as a grasshopper in my own eyes. I inquired who he was, and was told he was one of the Duke of Argyle’s farmers. I thought to myself, if all the duke's farmers were of this pat
tern, that he might be able to speak to the enemy in the gates to some purpose.
Roseneath occupies the ground between the Gare Loch and Loch Long. The Gare Loch is the name given to a bay formed by the River Clyde, here stretching itself out like a lake. Here we landed and went on shore, passing along the sides of the loch, in the little village of Row.
As we were walking along a carriage came up after which were two ladies. A bunch of primroses, thrown from this carriage, fell at my feet. I picked it up, and then the carriage stopped, and the ladies requested to know if I was Mrs. Stowe. On answering in the affirmative, they urged me so earnestly to come under their roof and take some refreshment, that I began to remember, what I had partly lost sight of, that I was very tired; so, while the rest of the party walked on to get a distant view of Ben Lomond, Mr. S. and I suffered ourselves to be taken into the carriage of our unknown friends, and carried up to a charming little Italian villa, which stood, surrounded by flower gardens and pleasure grounds; at the head of the loch. We were ushered into a most comfortable parlor, where a long window, made of one clear unbroken sheet of plate glass, gave a perfect view of the loch with all its woody shores, with Roseneath Castle in the distance. My good hostesses literally overwhelmed me with kindness; but as there was nothing I really needed so much as a little quiet rest, they took me to a cozy bedroom, of which they gave me the freedom, for the present. Does not every traveller know what a luxury it is to shut one's eyes sometimes? The chamber, which is called “Peace,” is now, as it was in Christian's days, one of the best things that Charity or Piety could offer to the pilgrim. Here I got a little brush from the wings of dewy-feathered sleep.
After a while our party came back, and we had to be moving. My kind friends expressed so much joy at having met me, that it was really almost embarrassing. They told me that they, being confined to the house by ill health, and one of them by lameness, had had no hope of ever seeing me, and that this meeting seemed a wonderful gift of Providence. They bade me take courage and hope, for they felt assured that the Lord would yet entirely make an end of slavery through the world.
It was concluded, after we left here, that, instead of returning by the boat, we should take carriage and ride home along the banks of the river. In our carriage were Mr. S. and myself, Dr. Robson and Lady Anderson. About this time I commenced my first essay towards giving titles, and made, as you may suppose, rather an odd piece of work of it, generally saying "Mrs." first, and "Lady" afterwards, and then begging pardon. Lady Anderson laughed, and said she would give me a general absolution. She is a truly genial, hearty Scotch woman, and seemed to enter happily into the spirit of the hour.
As we rode on we found that the news of our coming had spread through the village. People came and stood in their doors, beckoning, bowing, smiling, and waving their handkerchiefs, and the carriage was several times stopped by persons who came to offer flowers. I remember, in particular, a group of young girls brought to the carriage two of the most beautiful children I ever saw, whose little hands literally deluged us with flowers.
At the village of Helensburgh we stopped a little while to call upon
Mrs. Bell, the wife of Mr. Bell, the inventor of the steamboat. His invention in this country was about the same