28 SEPTEMBER 1844, Page 8


The weeks have passed pleasantly and teehquilly- UlairAtholl Castle. "1. with the Queen at "....y rising, constant exercise in the open air, freedom from the usual trammels of court etiquette, have had their proper effect in the rude health which appears to have visited the Royal cheek ; and not the Royal cheek alone, for the other visiters are de- scribed as benefiting by the change of air and life. Although the utmost pains are taken to maintain the privacy of the grounds, by stationing in every part foresters who warn off intruders, yet indeed the private life of the illustrious recluse comes out more than ever. The very fact of the greater privacy begets a more piercing curiosity. Pepys raises a smile when he remarks that the Duke of York caressed his boy " like any private father of a child " ; but the curiosity and the satisfaction are not quite idle : it is something for honest folks of dull imagination to learn that human instincts and sentiments are not to be accounted be-

- Death even such exalted stations ; and for the more considerate to be assured, that from those the sweetest enjoyments of human existence state restraints do not debar monarchs and princes if they choose to in- dulge them. Our readers, however, will expect some sample of the anecdotes in- dustriously gleaned on the outskirts of Blair Atholl's privacy. Here is an illustration of the daily life-

4‘ Her Majesty seldom allows the sun to be up and stirring before her ; and by the time that the rosy-fingered morn' has expelled the mists from the sur- rounding hills, her Majesty may be seen walking about the grounds, accom- panied by her illustrious consort and the Princess Royal. The young Princess IS always mounted on her Shetland pony when she accompanies her Royal parents in their morning walk ; but Prince Albert occasionally takes her in his arms, and points out to the Princess any object within view that might attract the wandering fancy of a child. Her Majesty's piper, Mackay, who came over in the Stromboli in order to attend her Majesty during her sojourn at Blair Athol!, has orders to play the pibroch under her Majesty's window every morn- ing at seven o'clock ; and at the same early hour a bunch of fresh heather, with some of the icy cold water from the celebrated spring at Glen Tilt, are pre- sented to her Majesty." The Dundee Advertiser furnishes a story of an early visit to a sleep- ing Lord— "One morning about seven o'clock, a lady, plainly dressed, left the Castle; who, though observed by the Highland guard on duty, was allowed to pass un- noticed, until after the had proceeded a considerable distance ; when some one having discovered that it was the Queen, a party of the Highlanders turned out as a Royal Body-guard. Her Majesty, however, signified her wish to dis- pense with their services, and they all returned to their stations. The Queen in the mean while moved onwards through the Castle-grounds alone, until she reached the lodge, the temporary residence of Lord and Lady Glenlyon; where, upon calling, with the intention, as was understood, of making some arrangements as to a preconcerted excursion to the Falls of Bruer, she was in- formed that his Lordship had not yet arisen. The surprise of the domestic may be conceived when her Majesty announced who was to be intimated as having called on his Lordship. On her return, her Majesty, having taken a different route, and finding herself bewildered by the various roads which in- tersect the grounds in every direction, applied to some reapers whom she met to direct her to, the Castle by the nearest way. They, not being aware to whom they spoke, immediately did so, by directing her Majesty across one of the parks, and over a paling which la s before her ; and which she at once passed, and reached the Castle—a good deal amused, no doubt, with her morn- ing's excursion." The Highlanders have been relieved by the Queen from their trou- blesome duty of presenting arms every time they see one of the Royal personages: they are to present arms to her Majesty twice each day, to Prince Albert once, to the Princess Royal once. An amusing instance of their discipline and fidelity occurred lately. The pass.word is changed every day, and DO one who is not able to give it is allowed to traverse the domain : Mr. Murray, Lord Glenlyon's brother, arrived on a visit ; and not being duly provided with the pass-word, he was stopped at the gate: he explained who he was ; but the Highlander onguard exclaimed, that, Lord's brother or not, he could not pass with- out the word ; and for it he had to wait.

The party have made repeated visits to the beautiful Glen Tilt ; the Queen riding in a carriage or pony-phaeton, Prince Albert driving or riding on horseback. While the Queen and her companions were

riding in Glen Tilt, on Thursday, the foresters drove a vast herd of deer up the glen and along a ridge of the hills : as the majestic brutes passed along on the heights, headed, as usual, by a leader, the effeet was very grand. None of them were shot on that occasion.

At times, the Royal couple ride on ponies up the hills within the' Castle demesnes, attended only by a servant. " Her Majesty proves herself a bold and expert horsewoman ; disdaining the broad winding paths of the hills, and venturing upon more direct roads with obstacles that would deter many even of the D atives of the district."

The Queen, however, has not been quite unpersecuted by intruders. The description of the scene in the village church on Sunday last is in. perfect contrast with the unobtrusive quiet and decorum of that day. week- " On the former Sunday, it was not known that the Queen would be present ;. only the usual motive, therefore, could have drawn the congregation to the spot through the pelting rain ; and w hen the villagers assembled, they showed that they knew how to behave themselves. Last Sunday, it was all changed : the Queen had gone to church in bad weather, and would of course go in fair; there was a sure opportunity of seeing the Sovereign ; and accordingly, great numbers- of people from Perth, Dundee, Dunkeld, and places in all directions, poured into Blair Atholl on Saturday night and Sunday morning. They were of all classes, from the gentry to the cottager and people of the hills. The gay- flaunting attire of the greater part of them, and the number of vehicles about the place, gave the usually quiet village quite an animated appearance : there- was very little to remind one of a Scottish Sabbath-day. The doors of the church were opened long before the hour at which the service was to commence;. but for some time previous many persons bad crowded round the building, for the purpose of getting in early and obtaining the best seats. The Scottish people are usually most attentive to strangers visiting their churches; you rarely have to wait a minute before some one offers his seat, or points one out : on this occasion, the good-nature and forbearance of the usual congrega- tion were taxed to the utmost : the 'fishers, more intent perhaps on sight- seeing than on the solemn office of the day, had taken possession of most of the- seats which commanded the best view of the Royal pew ; and the real owners or- customary occupants of them were in many cases left without. The aspect of the congregation was more like that of an audience at the theatre. So great. were the pressure and heat, that long before the Queen's arrival it was found: expedient to open all the windows,—a work apparently of some difficulty, as they were all securely cemented with paint ; and the whole operation of scraping, chiselling, hammering, and pushing, was necessarily resorted to, to the edification of the sight-seers, although it might just as well have been done the previous day. At a few minutes before twelve the opening of the door behind the Royal pew occasioeed quite a sensation. Most of the persons in the galleries rose,. and many of those in the body of the church ; and there were loud exclamations. of Hush, hush!' from the more sober part of the congregation : it turned out to be merely some of the attendants. Shortly afterwards the solemnity of the place was again disturbed by the entrance of her Majesty, leaning on Prince Albert's arm. The Queen was evidently surprised at the bustle which her entrance occasioned, so different from that of the previous Sunday; and after one or two keen and observant glances round the church, she took the seat which she had occupied on the former occasion, to the right of the pew. The rest of the party also disposed themselves much in the same order as before. The' Queen was wrapped in a large shawl of shepherd's plaid ; which seemed to be conveniently warm : for she rose shortly afterwards, and it was taken from her' shoulders by Lady Canning. Her Majesty then appeared in a black silk dress' and scarf, with a. small collar of white crape and a white drawn bonnet trimmed with large roses of white crape. She crape; extremely well, and her' face appeared somewhat embrowned by the sun and exposure to the keen mountain-air of the Highlands. Prince Albert wore a black frock and trousers. Meanwhile, the bustle among the audience was by no means edifying.. Curiosity so far got the better of decorum, that almost all who had not advan- tageous seats stood up, both in the body of the church and in the galleries. In. some cases persons even stood upon the seats. This general movement, of course, produced a great noise and confusion. It was the more surprising, that in Scotland especially, where the people pride themselves on the respect they pay to all religious observances, a proceeding so out of character with the sa- cred building in which it took place, and with the object of her Majesty's pre- sence there, should have been allowed to occur. It is due to the people of the' immediate neighbourhood to say that they did all that in them lay to preserve decorum. The strangers were the real offenders; and what made it worse was, that they remained crowding and peering over at her Majesty, even after the general sound of Hush!' and a whispered remonstrance had gone round the church. During the service, too, many persons, and those well-dressed per- sons, were to be seen staring fixedly at the Queen, when, during the prayer, she stood up ; and there were some in the dress of gentlemen who in this respect conducted themselves in a way that would not be tolerated if a private gentle" woman were the object of annoyance.

" As soon as the Royal party were seated, the precentor, Mr. Peacock, pub.. lished the bans of marriage, for the third and last time,' between the Re- verend Mr. Irvine, the minister of the parish, and a young lady of the neigh- bourhood. The Prince, it is remarked, appeared somewhat puzzled at the an- nouncement, and applied to her Majesty for an explanation. After a delay of about five minutes, caused by the pressure of the crowd, the Reverend Norman hi'Leod, of Glasgow, made his way to the pulpit, and the service proceeded. The Doctor took for his text the 11th to the 14th verses of the 2d chapter- of Titus. The sermon was delivered in a broad Scotch accent : the preacher' deprecated religious rancour and animosity, vindicated the superiority of the Established Church of Scotland over the schismatics, and defended the doctrines of Calvinism. The sermon contained no allusion to the Savereign present. Not so the prayer ; in which Dr. APLeod separately named all the members of. the Royal Family; and his hearty, fervid eloquence, in praying for the welfare of the Queen, on earth and in the life to come, is said deeply to have affected her. "The usual contribution for the poor having been made, the Royal party rose to leave the church. There was an immediate rush to the doors, to obtain a good view of her Majesty on going out ; and the crowd would have pressed upon the Queen on her way to her carriage, in their eagerness to obtain an.s. other look, but for the Atholl Highlanders; a party of whom drew up in lane- on either side to salute, and to guard the path. "The crowd of vieiters from a distance had come merely to see the Queen; they could obtain no accommodation in the village-inns; and in a short time Blair was again uncrowded and in peace."

While Lord Aberdeen and Lord Liverpool were walking in the Pass' of Hilliecrankie, on Thursday, the Marquis of Breadalbane drove up in his carriage, alighted, and returned with them to the Castle. He came,. it is understood, to invite the Queen to Taymouth Castle ; but her Ma- jesty did not wish to extend her excursion beyond the neighbourhood.- The Marquis left Blair on Saturday.

The 1st of October is named as the day of departure. "Lord Adol- phus Fitzelarence has been up to Perth, examining the charts of the Tay, to see whether it would be possible to take the Royal yacht up tcr the fair city '; but it is feared that she draws too much water to do so in safety. It is therefore settled for her Majesty to reembark at Dun-

dee ; but she will probably vary her route to that port, and pus through Perth on her way towards the sea." It is given out that the Queen wishes to return to Blair Athol] often-

" Her Majesty has expressed a desire to take a permanent residence in this part of the Highlands, and to lease a forest, to which the Court might make a pilgrimage every year, in order to afford Prince Albert an opportunity of en- joying the noble sport of deerstalking. Her Majesty, it is said, has also directed her physician to collect statistical details and make inquiries respecting the diseases which are most prevalent in the Highlands. Sir Tames Clark has, we believe, drawn up his report, by which it appears that the Highlands have ob- tained a clean bill of health, with the exception of a fever arising from too copious libations of whisky. This is the only known prevailing epidemic; but there is every reason to hope that her Majesty and Prince Albert, and even the Royal children, might escape the infection ; notwithstanding her Majesty's avowed penchant for Athol' brose—a very pleasant composition, which consists of honey, whisky, and tio.7 teaspoonsjed of water." (The editor of the Morning Post here corrects his own reporter, fromwhom our extract is quoted ; sa)ing that he has never been able to detect any water in the composition of Atholl brose.]

The story of a Scotch peasant's having intruded into the Royal pre- sence, last week, is contradicted. A carter was rude to Lord Glenlyon, and was takeu into custody by the Police ; and that seems to be the only foundation for the tale.