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Autumnal Rambles Among The Scottish Mountains
A Fortnight on Deeside, Edinburgh, Perth, Glammis, &c.

Edina! Sootia’s darling seat!
All hail thy palaces and towers;
Where once beneath a monarch’s feet
Sat legislation’s sovereign powers.”—Bums.

The numerous attractions of Edinburgh are so universally admitted, that dwelling upon them is altogether superfluous. If, even in the time, of our great poet Bums—half a century ago—these drew forth nis warmest encomiums, what would he have thought of them now, heightened as they have been by all the resources of nature and art. Her “palaces and towers” have since been increased tenfold, with all the improvements of modem architecture; while the most captivating pleasure-grounds have been substituted for those waste pestilential swamps which then surrounded the city, spreading their nauseous effluvia through all its streets and squares. Prince’s Street Gardens, the Meadows, the ground under Salisbury Crags, afford striking instances of what has now been remarked; and what splendid interesting burying-grounds axe now to be seen in almost every direction! While formerly visitors could only approach by a tardy process, through narrow, dirty, winding streets and lanes, they are now ushered into the very heart of the city all at once, as if by magic, by four different channels, each of which presents to their admiring gaze some of the most grand and imposing features of our unrivalled northern capital

Through one of these, on the 19th August last, along witn a friend, I proceeded northwards, principally with a view of climbing some of the lofty mountains at and near the source of the Dee, Aberdeenshire. We were whirled through below the New Town and to Granton Pier, in little more time than formerly would have been taken by the coach-guard to arrange his toggery and call out, "All right.” This instantaneous start, at the moment fixed, is a beautiful improvement upon the old system of hanging on till lazy loiterers chose to make their appearance, thereby causing the active and business-like to do penance for their indolence and sloth. The day, throughout Scotland, proved extremely boisterous, so that, in crossing to Burntisland, the fierce nor’-wester drove the sea over us from stem to stem, to the no small dismay of such as were arrayed in their holiday finery to do credit to their friends in the kingdom of Fife. One gentleman, after a convulsive grasp at his denuded knowledge-box, lost a smart new hat; while many similar casualties amused those who had been more provident in the protection of their moveables. We were particularly tickled with the gyrations of a certain facetious-looking gentleman, with a most extraordinary wide-awake, or tyle, nailed on his attic. After several eccentric evolutions across the slippery deck, he was, by a sudden lurch, snugly ensconced in a coil of rope, luckily stem-foremost; where he remained immoveable for the rest of the passage^ and from which it required no little ingenuity to extricate himself on reaching port.

There was much bustle and no little confusion at Burntisland, before we got all fairly seated in the train. And here I would advert, generally, to the perplexity into which many, especially the uninitiated, are thrown for want of distinct intimation as to their taking their places. Many seemed quite at a loss where to go, and whom to apply to for information; while, at the various stopping-places, their names were so indistinctly pronounced that it was with difficulty even those familiar with the names could ascertain them. On one occasion—I think at Dysart—a woman and child lost so much time in getting out, owing to what I have stated, that they, and the man helping them, were all thrown down by the moving off of the train, and very nearly run over. Surely these things should be remedied.

On the first part of our transit through Fife, we progressed but slowly, though afterwards we got on with rapidity. There is much cutting through very hard rock for eight or ten miles, which must have rendered this part of the work very expensive, the ascent and descent betwixt the Friths of Forth and Tay being very considerable. We passed close to the pretty Loch of Lindores, on which the Grand Caledonian Curling Club mean to play their great annual match next winter, and a more commodious spot could hardly be named, there being abundance of space for frozen water, and the trams running dose to the margin of the lake. Since I have adverted to this subject, I may suggest that the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway would be a far more judicious line of demarcation betwixt the champions of the north and south of Scotland than that last fixed on, which was evidently most disadvantageous to the south.

The approach to Newburgh is very interesting, as you have that pretty little town in the foreground, the Frith of Tay, with the fertile Strath of Earn and Carse of Gowrie, for the central part of the scene, backed by the Sidlaw Hills ana the more remote Grampians. On a truly fine evening, this forms a landscape scarcely, if at all, to be surpassed. The well-wooded hills of Moncreiffe and Kinnoul add much to the attractions of this part of the route; but the near approach to, and first view of, the “ Fair City” have been dreadfully injured by the tunnel. Formerly, the sight of Perth from this quarter was surpassingly fine; now, you are hurried into it through a dark hole miles in length, and, from the railway, can only see that part of the city which is the least interesting, as being farthest from the noble river, and consisting of the meanest and dirtiest streets. Whoever merely passes Perth by rail will be miserably disappointed; but let the tourist climb Kinnoul Hill and others adjoining, and he will acknowledge this scene to be well worthy of all the fame it has acquired, even that bestowed on it by the ancient Romans, when they exclaimed that the Tay reminded them of their beloved Tiber.

On arriving at the Perth Station, we found we were too late for the train which should have carried us on to Glammis, to which we were booked in Edinburgh. Other two gentlemen were in the same predicament, as far as Cupar-Angus. Upon making our case known, insisting on the importance of our time, and our claim of remaining in Perth at the expense of the Company, they agreed to. forward us by a special, which carried us to our destination at something like forty miles in the hour. We were struck with the poverty of the soil and crops on the Cupar side of Perth. Within a few miles of the latter, the soil is shallow and gravelly, far better adapted for bearing heath than any other crop—a striking contrast to what we saw in Fife and Stratheam. In passing through Fife, I was much struck with the danger to which the ripe com was exposed from the fire of the engines. These were constantly emitting live coals, which had obviously, in many places, ignited the dry grass on the steep banks, so that the adjoining crops must have been in imminent danger. In the event of any such conflagration, the Railway Company would surely be responsible, which ought certainly to make them more careful as to the construction of their grating.

We arrived in good time at Glammis to walk round the towers, and mark well the bulwarks of its very large and interesting castle, by far the finest of its land in Scotland. It was originally a royal residence, and was granted by Robert H. to the ancestors of the present proprietor, the Earl of Strathmore. The height of the castle is prodigious, and its style of architecture quite different from that of any other that I have seen. Though very old, it is quite in a habitable state, and contains many suits of armour and other curiosities well worthy of the attention of the antiquarian. As part of the family were residing there, we could not be gratified to the extent we wished, though my companion, by dint of very early rising and the application of a silver key, got admission to the battlements next morning, from which there is an excellent view of Strathmore and the adjoining hills. This magnificent structure is on the hanks of the small river Dean, which is said to be an admirable fronting stream, and is a branch of the Isla, one of the principal feeders of the Taj. The Bailway Inn afibids very good accommodation to any who may have a few days at their disposal for piscatory pursuits.

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