"An Intimate Picture of Wilfred Campbell"

by Faith L. Malloch


 

Chapter IV


"Dear Mamma:-
     We had a great time today. This morning papa got a letter from Lord Dundonald asking us to see him at ten o’clock. We went to his house in Portman Square after breakfast. It is just a typical London house outside, but a perfect mansion inside full of lovely things and old paintings. Everything was done up in linen dust covers and he seemed to be living there all alone with out [sic] his family. He was very nice but seemed rather sad. Papa thinks he must have had some trouble for he is not even in the English army now."

During the time Lord Dundonald was in Canada as chief of the Canadian staff, my father saw a great deal of him. In my father’s eyes he was a British soldier serving that Empire for which they both had such a patriotic love, and also he was a member of the English army who had seen active service, and knew of the actions of the home Government in London, which was the great heart of the Empire from where she had been controlled for centuries. Here was a man my father had approached with searching eyes; looking for those things he had expected of him and had not been disappointed. They had many discussions, and made many plans, and if these were not taken seriously on Lord Dundonald’s part, my father did not find it out. I remember his going to Alexandria with Lord Dundonald for some Highland games and military manoeuvres there, and coming back so elated. The people had given Lord Dundonald a wonderful reception there. All their plans were nipped in the bud, however, and the home government was asked to recall Lord Dundonald. We shan’t go into the details of the issue, and perhaps their plans were a bit out of place in a new country, that still did not know its own mind, but it was a great heartbreak to my father, and must have been also to Lord Dundonald. He certainly had won the sympathy of the soldiers and people, for when he went away they gave him a wonderful send off. The streets where he was to pass were lined with people, and the soldiers took the horses from his carriage, and drove him to the station themselves. His life was spent doing what he thought would build up the Empire, in whose service he was prepared to spend and be spent to the uttermost. The letter continues:–

"From Lord Dundonald’s house we went to the High Commissioner’s office, where we had an engagement with Boyce MacKenzie at 11.30. He is such a fine looking man, and a cousin of my mother’s. He asked us to visit him in Tonbridge Wells. While we were talking to him, some queer woman came rushing in, grabbed papa by the hand and addressed him as the Mayor of Ottawa who had written poetry on the Indians. She described some exciting experiences she had had in Labrador, and said she was nearly killed hanging on to the side of a ship with her photograph under her arm, her only possession apparently worth saving in a shipwreck. Papa’s agonized expression was too funny, and he made his escape as soon as possible. Boyce MacKenzie roared with laughter. This lady wanted to be written up and be a heroine poor dear. One meets a good many people travelling about over here of that type, people who have literary or other aspirations, and are seeking for some outlet to express them, poor humans chasing that elusive thing just beyond them.
     We went to the Army and Navy for lunch and after to the Tate Gallery and Westminster Abbey—Westminster Abbey with its soaring Arches, lovely and ethereal of line, yet withal so massive—the resting place of our sleeping great ones."

My father loved pictures, especially the portraits of the British school of portrait painting, of that marvelous period Lord Ernest Hamilton writes so charmingly about in "Old Days And New." He says:–

"In the field of painting alone it is thought almost beyond the reach of our reeling brains, that no more than fifty years of civilized life separate Millais from the matchless galaxy of great painters who immortalized the features of our great-grandmothers. Perhaps we may stretch our pedigrees a little farther and say the features of our grandmamma’s grandmamma, during the reigns of the third and forth Georges. Within twelve years of the close of the last century a patron of the Art might have organized a party during which he would have enjoyed the Society of Reynolds, Gainsborough, Hoppener, Romney, Raeburn, Opie, Morland, Turner, Coustable and Lawrence. All of these immortal artists might have sat round the same dinner table, and quaffed the same red wine in 1788."

During that time my father thought the Gods walked the earth, and deemed these artists such. He adored their pictures with their wonderful natural colorings, so foreign to modern futuristic and cubest paintings. He was very proud of the fact that a great, or great great uncle of his, John Stephen Berridge was a famous pupil of Sir Joshua Reynolds, and painted pictures of sufficient merit to have engravings from them at the National Portrait Gallery in London. There is an engraving there of a portrait he painted of his sister, Faith Henrietta Berridge as Diana. The letter continues:—

"Today we received an invitation to go to lunch with Lady Frances Balfour, then to go and see Mr. Alex Fisher the artist, and after to have tea with Mrs. George Noble. (He is now Sir George[.]) We also got an invitation to go to the House of Lords on Friday. We were to go to Tunbridge Wells on Friday but shan’t go till Monday. Yesterday we went calling, and on Monday and Tuesday we went to see the editors. Mr. Gwyne of the "Standard" was very nice."

                                                                  Tunbrige Wells

"Dear Mamma:–
     We arrived here yesterday at noon, and Mrs. Mackenzie is just as nice as she can be. (Boyce Mackenzie is a cousin of my mother’s[.]) They have a fine house in a nice garden, and there is a little boy Ian of seven at home who has a governess. The baby Eileen is three with hair like guinea gold. There are three older boys at school. Mrs. MacKenzie is Irish and in the evenings after dinner plays the harp and sings very sweetly to it. Ian dictates poetry to me by the yard to write down for him. It is lovely here, and we couldn’t have chosen a nicer place to have a perfect rest in.
     The people in London were so kind, and just showered us with invitations, but we had to refuse them as we had already postponed our visit here. The Duchess of Sutherland invited us to an "At Home" for this afternoon and Mrs. Noble asked us to one tomorrow, and the Duchess again on Monday. We were also invited to a party at Lord Strathcona's, and a dinner at the Bishop of Ripon's at his London house. It has been just like this ever since they have known we were here. The ten days we were in London were a perfect rush, and papa got so tired, that we came here refusing all invitations till next Monday when we go to London. The Bishop and Mrs. Boyd Carpenter have invited us to visit them at Ripon in August.
     I had a very nice time at Lady Frances Balfour's on Sunday. She has four children and a nice house with a garden. The eldest girl Joan is younger than I am, and seems to feel it such a bore that she is not yet grown up, and that her hair is still down. She asked me if I had a maid, and when I said no, she wondered how I could possibly manage without one. She kept referring to the Princess as Aunt Louise. They were nice, but I was not thrilled with Joan, though Lady Frances is a brilliant woman with a quick wit and a ready answer. She is an ardent suffragette, and smokes cigarettes (not so much done in those 1906 days).
     The other afternoon we called on Mr. Garvin the editor of the "Outlook" (now of the Sunday Observer) to whom Lord Grey had given papa a letter. He is [a] fine clever looking man and a great wit. He had two assistent editors, Mr. Buch, and Mr. Greig (so good looking).
     We went to the House of Lords last Friday. There is not much difference between it and our Canadian Senate, just a few old men arguing without much formality. The most of them were feeble looking and did not stand very straight. We saw Lord Reay, and the wife of the Archbishop of Canterbury was there with us and papa had a talk with her."

                                                                  July 7th.
"We have been nearly two weeks, and are going to stay till Wednesday when we go to London to dine with the Bishop of Ripon and Mrs. Boyd Carpenter.
     On Saturday we are going to a garden party at Lord Strathcona’s place, "Knebworth." It is Bulwer Lytton’s old home, and Lord Strathcona has rented it. We will be in London about a week, then Mrs. MacKenzie wants me to come back here, while papa attends to his affairs. A good many editors and literary men wish to see him. He spoke at a garden party yesterday in Tunbridge Wells and read, "Show the Way England."
     Miss Grey has asked us to spend a couple of days with them at Moreton Pinkey Manor on our way north. (A cousin of Lord Grey and a daughter of Admiral Grey[.])
     Papa spent an afternoon with Rudyard Kipling at his place Burwash here in Kent. He was very much taken with Mr. Kipling and seemed to think it was mutual.
     We won’t be able to go to Skibs as Mr. Carnegie's little girl is very ill. She had an accident, and they are not at the castle."

Andrew Carnegie had a special edition of 500 volumes of my father’s "Collected Poems" published to present to his different libraries in Canada and the States. Here is an interesting quotation from one of his letters written to my father in January 1912.

"Many thanks for the copy of your latest. You do indeed strike upon the real tragedy of Man; but I console myself with this: "All is well since all grows better." We should seek not in this life to make heaven our home, but to make home our heaven."

Letter continues:—

"The other day we drove to an old castle Penshurst where the Sydneys lived. It has lovely old furniture, a spinet, china and paintings. There are special apartments that were Queen Elizabeth’s when she stayed there.
     We have only had two dark days since we came to England, and the roses and weather are lovely."

                                                                  July 13th.
"We left Tunbridge Wells on the 11th. coming up to London where we found very good lodgings. On Wednesday we dined with the Bishop of Ripon and Mrs. Boyd Carpenter at eight o’clock. It was a very fashionable dinner of fourteen people. Mrs. Boyd Carpenter was very nice and kind and looked quite like Lady Drummond only older. The Bishop, his wife and two of their daughters made up the house party, while the visitors were Lord and Lady Levin (who since have restored Holyrood) Mr. Courtney a prominent editor, a French gentleman and his wife, and the Bishop’s son-in-law, who took me in to dinner. Mrs. Boyd Carpenter said to me, "Where did you come from, out of the schoolroom?"
     All the ladies were beautifully dressed and wore diamonds, Lady Levin wore a diamond tiara. The bishop is a short man, with a very strong kind face, and grey curly hair; most picturesque. He wore a purple coat to his knees, knee breeches, and a black thing in front to his knees like an apron. His daughters were both very nice, especially the older. The youngest was rather simply dressed in a white net dress, but it had been washed and starched, I could see that. She wore a gold chain with a jewel pendant, and a couple of bracelets in the way of jewelry. Mrs. Boyd Carpenter was so kind and spoke to everybody about papa’s poetry, and said that Lord Grey had written asking them to do their best to make it known in this country, and how much they themselves admired it. She took his book off the drawing-room table where it was lying, and showed it to them, and asked them to read particularly his "Sagas of Vaster Britain," and last of all but not least "Unabsolved." She asked Mr. Courtney to send for a copy of papa’s poetry, and he said he would at once. When we were leaving she again asked us to visit them later. She said she would have a house-party of young people, and that I would be sure to enjoy myself.
     When we got back to our lodgings the other night, the land-lady met us in the hall very mysteriously and said, "The Duke of Argyll is waiting up stairs in your sitting-room. He has been here twice before to-day to see you." That was my first meeting with that great hearted gentleman, and as I was all prepared to love him, and there was no reason why I shouldn’t I promptly did. My father had not seem him for five years, so he had come to call and ask us to go to Scotland with him when he went in August. We were thrilled, and I thought of the wonder of going to the castle of our ancestors in the country that had bred them for centuries, a country simply saturated with their history and legends. To go there with and as the guest of our hereditary chief, was all that one could ask. He said he was "The Ancient—my ancestor," that was his little farewell joke.

 

                                                                 8 Greville Road
                                                                 St. John’s Wood
                                                                 July 21st.
"At present I am with Mrs. Swainston (a cousin of my paternal grandfather)[.] She is so kind and takes me to all kinds of places in London that papa has not got time to get to. I was quite tired of going round all day with him to the publishers, and was so pleased when Mrs. Swainston asked me to visit her.
     You have no idea how hot and dirty London can be, as you were not here when they had these dreadful motor buses. They have been running for nine months now and they say [they] have made London a different place. Everybody is against them (an echo of dear old Mrs. Swainston, and it makes me laugh after all these years, when motors are everywhere even in the air) and dreadful accidents happen everyday, and London houses go down in value for people keep moving out all the time. So it is very nice out here, and you get away from the dirt and noise, and yet you are within close enough distance of London. We dined at Miss Green’s (Mrs. Swainston’s sister) and papa said, that he had got on much better that day without me.

[There is a note in Klinck’s handwriting here that reads: "In MSS these words are stroked out (‘) Don’t be discouraged if you get a depressive letter from him for if we have had as’."]

     We heard the Bishop of Ripon preach at St. Paul[’]s last Sunday night, and it was the finest sermon I have ever heard. They say he is the strongest and most eloquent preacher in England. There were hundreds of people and it was marvelous to see the power he had over them, and to hear his voice in the stillness of that vast palace. The Bishop is a literary man and writes himself.
     A week ago we were at a garden party at Knebworth, Lord Strathcona’s place that he rents from Lord Lytton. It was purely a colonial affair with Lord Dundonald, and the Duke of Argyll to represent the aristocracy as my knowledge of the British aristocracy was not very extensive, this statement may, or may not be correct, as I would not have recognized many of its members it they had been there)[.]

 

                                                                  July 24th.
"Papa and I had tea with Miss Trowbridge yesterday. She played "The Dirge" and a new thing she had just composed. She played most beautifully, and you couldn’t imagine it possible that anyone could get so much out of that dirge. She is setting "Beyond The Hills of Dream" to music. (My father was a great lover of music though he had no knowledge of it.)
     The other day papa got a letter from the Bishop of Ripon telling him to send his poems at once to the King with a letter direct instead of through the usual channels these things go, which he did. Also he has been asked to compose a poem as a companion to one Rudyard Kipling is to write on the same subject. His novel will be published next month in book form by his Edinburgh publishers. He has interviews with papers all the time that are continually writing articles about him and quoting his verse.
     Lord Percy invited papa to tea on the terrace at the House of Commons. He had a very nice time, and he has been invited to lunch at Sion House a famous old historical place with Lord Percy’s mother, The Duchess of Northumberland who is a sister (Edith) of the Duke of Argyll."

 

                                                                 Moreton Pinkey Manor
                                                                 August 4th.

"We are with Miss Grey now at Moreton Pinkney. It is a lovely place with nice gardens, and some fine old family portraits. We came here yesterday and go to London on Wednesday, when we go north with the Duke to Inverary. We are leaving the Ripon visit till Sept. as we could not manage it any earlier. Mrs. Boyd Carpenter seemed to prefer it too.
     Last Wednesday week we lunched with Captain and Lady Margery Sinclair (now Lord and Lady Pentland) in town. Lady Margery was very pleasant, and is really good looking with a very sweet face and manner. They have a little baby, and there were several baby things lying about the drawing-room, among them a large grey elephant on the arm of one of the sofas, such a nice atmosphere. At lunch the only other guest was a good looking young man, Mr. Lamont a member for Bute. He asked us if we would like to go to the house of Commons. As it is quite difficult to get admission to, especially for ladies, we accepted though papa already had two tickets for himself. At four o’clock we went, but it was rather dull as there was nothing particular on."

 

                                                                  August 6th.

"There are four dear little children here grand-nieces of miss Grey’s the Wykern Mosgroves. They departed this afternoon with their maid and governess. We went to the station with them, and after to see Canon’s Ashley a very old place that belonged to Dryden the poet. It is an estate of some hundred acres, and there is an old church on the property that was built in the time of William the conqueror. The dining-room is paneled in oak, and there are several tapestried rooms, and a large hall with old armour and furniture where we had tea. We could see little spotted deer from the window, they were so tame, and came so close. The poet died in this house.
     On Saturday we drove to Culworth and saw the old manor where Dorothy Danvers (some relative) was born, and the old church. Papa was most anxious to see this. From there we went to Sulgrave Manor where George Washington’s family came from, and we also saw the old church where his ancestors were buried." (Sulgrave Manor has since been taken charge of and restored by the Americans)[.]

 

                                                                 Roseneath
                                                                 August 10th.

"We left Moreton Pinkney on Wednesday at noon, traveling part way with the Greys who were going to visit their sister. In the afternoon we had tea at Claridge’s hotel in London with Katharine Bruce, (American cousin) and the same night we went north with the Duke to Scotland. We met him at King’s Cross station at nine o’clock and he had our state-rooms engaged three in a row in a corridor car, not like the sleeping cars in Canada. His man looked after our luggage. I was so happy to be with the Duke and to know that we were to be with him for some time. I loved his kindly genial face and felt as if I had known him all my life. We retired as soon as we went aboard the train after inspecting our state-rooms. I sat wondering and listening for ages, while the train rushed northward to Scotland.
     In the morning when we got to Glasgow we walked to the North British hotel for breakfast, so we saw a very little of the city. I was not present when the Duke ordered breakfast but he much have asked papa what I liked to drink, for when I appeared he presented me with a large two pound tin of Fry’s cocoa, and remarked that it was for Miss Cocoa Campbell. When we got on the train again he had this tin of cocoa sticking out of one coat pocket, and an old cap sticking out of the other to wear when we were on the boat. He was such a dear and looked it. That tin of cocoa appeared on the table for breakfast and lunch every day during our visit, and as I was the presiding lady I made it with boiling water when I made the tea. After breakfast we took the train to Greenrock, and from there we came by steamer to Roseneath. The Duke says that Roseneath castle is of the Italian school of architecture, and it faces right on the Gairloch. The housekeeper, an elderly person in a black silk dress with a gold chain and locket about her neck, was waiting to receive us when we arrived. She and a small black and white dog called Chintzy, an Italian spitz belonging to the Princess, seemed so glad to see the Duke. The Princess is in Germany. The house as the Duke explained it is done up in curlpapers or linen dust covers. There is a very fine library here, but this is not the original castle as it was burnt and rebuilt in the time of the present Duke’s grandfather I think. There is still part of it unfinished inside.
     We leave here on Saturday for Inverary having been here just two days. The Duke brought us here because he wanted to show us Roseneath, and we are very quiet and just read and drive or walk about the place. The book-room as the Duke calls it [is] in the tower at the back of the castle [and] is full of books. There is one particular avenue that has its ghostly lady who walks up and down it at certain times, and there is one tree with a such a lovely smooth trunk to it, that when "Dizzy" (Disraeli) was visiting here he remarked that it looked like the leg of a beautiful woman in a grey silk stocking. Scott writes about Roseneath in "The Heart of Midlothian."

 

                                                                  Inverary
                                                                  August 14th.
"We are having a wonderful time. On Saturday at nine o’clock we left Roseneath, and came by boat to Inverary. It is a lovely trip and the locks and hills with their atmospheric effect are beautiful. We were on the steamer from nine till two-thirty, and had lunch on board. The captain’s cabin was put at the Duke’s disposal, and the steward was so anxious to show him some attention that he kept bowing and scrapeing and going over a list as long as your arm to see if there was possibly anything he could do for us. All this attention rather annoyed the Duke who refused everything, so the steward turned to me and said, "Would you most gracious lady accept a box of chocolates?" which I most kindly did to the Duke’s displeasure and got rid of the man, so the box of chocolates joined the tin of cocoa on its tour through the Kyles of Bute and Arran to Inverary.
     There was an Irishman on board "The Lord of The Isles" Mr. Cumming Macdonagh who was coming also to stay with the Duke at Dalchenna. He is the most amusing man with such a constant fund of amusing stories of which a great many were at his own expense. He had a pair of field glasses which he presented to me and a map of the Argyll country. The Duke’s nephew Frank Balfour was also on board. He was going to visit his other uncle Lord George Campbell who has rented the castle from the Duke at Inverary. He is about 18 or 19 and looks not unlike his sister Joan. He was very curious and I noticed him investigating us when he thought nobody was looking. He informed me that he had been to a dance the night before, and really he had met so many girls that he could not remember their names, and had to put them down on his programme under such headings as "Pink ribbon["] or "Blue Dress." I suppose he thought I was impressed.

Dalchenna is a small place about two miles below the castle, where the Duke liked to go with any friends he wished to have with him for a quiet holiday. He loved this place and said it was much more like home than living in a palace. He was so domesticated, and I don’t think anybody would have enjoyed their children more than he, had he had any. At Roseneath he showed me a table that held some special treasures under a glass top, among which was his wife’s wedding fan. Dalchenna is right on the shore of Loch Fyne, and from there all you can see is miles of hills and loch and sky lines. Sometimes it rains on the water while the sun shines through the clouds on the heather on this hills, causing a rainbow atmosphere veiled by a purple mist indescribably beautiful. My father gives you descriptive touches of this Highland scenery in his ballad "Glen Eila":

 

"Cradled in loneliness, splendor and clouds
Where the grim mountains life up their headlands

Hushed in its rain mists walled from the world
Dreams the glad vale of Glen Eila."

"Lone are its hills to the edge of the world

With their brows flame-tipped with the heather."
                    •          •          •
"’Til I stand once again ’mid the sun and the rain

Where the mountains slope down with their heather."

It is many years since we were at Dulchenna but I can still recall the impressions I had as I stood on the shore of Loch Fyne with my father and the Duke absorbing all this atmosphere. Gradually we seemed to become a part of it all and were lost in visions of the past. We lived again in scenes of strife and heard the sob and skirl of the pipes as they urged us into battle, led by a proud and haughty chieftain. Then the scene changes and we see a lonely shepherd on the hills visioning things as he watched his sheep. All was bleak and still under a pale grey mist, and the call of the gull was so lonely that you wanted to go into the house and close the door, shutting the warmth within lest it escape you. The shepherd was musing on the beauty of his surroundings, when suddenly he saw his brother Colin and heard him call for help. Colin who was thousands of miles away in some far colony. Oh, the agony of that cry and the shepherd’s powerlessness to reach his brother. Then seeing that Colin has gone beyond all need of him, the shepherd knows that he must wait for weeks perhaps, till some ship beings him news of his brother’s death. We going in the house and up the stairs meet Colin on the landing and pass on.

As a race the Highlander produces a good many poets and prophets, and in the past these seers were supposed to be endowed with second sight, which enabled them to see more clearly, and to have uncanny premonitions of things before they actually happened.

My father’s love for Scotland was one of the greatest factors in his life, a love all most unbelievable in this modern struggle for existence. It is all expressed in "The Answer" and "The World Mother[.]" The letter continues:—

"We drive a great deal and the Duke is teaching me to play golf and billiards. With the help of the gard[e]ner, some flower pots, and some bits of red cotton for flags, we have laid out a rough sort of links on the shore of the loch where we play every day. The Duke and I always play against papa and Mr. Macdonagh, and we share one wooden club between us, a brassie, which we use on most occasions. It is such fun, and keeps one keyed up to a top pitch, and the air is heady and stimulates you like wine. One seems like the favored and beloved of the Gods. Mr. Macdonagh says golf clubs should be hollow, and contain liquid nourishment in the form of whisky to be consumed on the links. He is a fat old man but so witty that he keeps us in fits of laughter all the time. I call him the Duke’s jester. He has been all over the world in many capacities. He was once in holy orders, and said that he had to leave the church, and country for marrying the wrong couple, he married the bride to the best man, or the groom to the bridesmaid, so he says. Anyways he drove a charbane in the Andes in South America for seven years to escape the penal servitude the law allowed for this offence. He was also a member of parliament, and when his son was old enough to study law, he studied with him and read for the bar. He spins out yarn after yarn till in the midst of our laughter we wonder where truth begins and fiction ends. He says he has formed a society called the "Gay Golfers" of which I’m to be a member the idea of which is to be natural expressed in music thus



or the club badge or paper, the combined G’s in the crest



representing gay golfers with the motto underneath. He dubs himself convener of the "Gay Golfers." I was also presented with his photograph taken years ago when he was quite slim. He is very fond of his dinner and his wine, and tucks his table napkin under his chin across his shirt front when he eats his soup. Altogether he is a scream. In the evening at billiards the Duke gives him a papa a handicap of 50, and when we beat them which we always do Mr. Macdonagh does not like it. The first night after dinner I went in to the drawing room alone to wait for the men, but I got so tired waiting for them that I went back and knocked on the dining room door. I have never heard the end of it, and I am not allowed to leave the dining room now till the men do. Mr. Macdonagh seems to know and have known all the distinguished people of his day. The Duke is most abstemious, and drinks nothing but hot water with his meals, and sometimes a little claret at dinner. He even watches what I eat and chooses my portions of meat when the footman passes it at lunch or dinner. He says I am not to eat anything at tea time because it will spoil my dinner, and at half past four every day there is the most scrumptious tea laid out in the drawing room with every kind of Scotch bap, bun, cake or scone imaginable, and strawberry jam. I am afraid sometimes when we come in from one of our walks I go right to the drawing room before the Duke appears, for when he does of course I am always there to make the tea for him. (Smug cat full of cakes and strawberry jam[.]) We walk a great deal in the rain, and the Duke carries a rain coat on his arm, that eventually drags on the ground, and the old cap that was stuffed in his pocket on the train on his head. No matter how many times I tell him the coat is dragging and he adjusts it, it always goes back the same way, so now we let it drag by mutual consent. This morning we drove round the head of Lock Fyne to Arkinglass on the other side to call on Sir Andrew & Lady Noble. They brought Arkinglass from the Callanders. Lady Archibald Campbell was a Callander. Lady Georgia Campbell, who is a dear, and her eldest daughter, who is a beauty, came to call on us and asked us to lunch at the castle. Joan is about 18, and is very nice. The four young Balfours are staying with Lady Georgie. After lunch we were shown all over the castle, and saw the Queen’s room where Queen Victoria slept. Then we climbed Duni-Quoich, the tallest peak on the hills round here, and saw an old watch tower on top of it. All the men were out shooting, so there was only our party for lunch, besides Lady Georgie, her two daughters Joan and Enid and Joan and Alison Balfour. They wear any old clothes here in the daytime, because it rains so much, but in the evenings, on the contrary, the ladies wear most lovely things, and the men are gorgeously arrayed in the gay tartans of their clans if they have the honour to be a Highlander, otherwise they go clothed, as other dull mortals do. The Duke does not wear a kilt any more. He says he is too old, but then he looks so distinguished anyway, that all the gay trappings in the world are quite unnecessary. The Duke had his carriage and horses here and we were driving. Lady G. drove with us but the others rode their bicycles. Joan Balfour said that at their place in Berwick they had motors, and a special car just for climbing hills.
     We met Arthur Elliott, a brother of Lord Minto, with his son, when we were out one day. They were on a fishing tour up the loch, and came and had tea with us. He was the Duke’s best friend at Eton.
     There are to be some Highland games at the castle tomorrow, and people came from quite a distance to see them. To night Niel Munro the novelist is coming to dinner. He has a house at Inverary. I am reading one of his novels written about an old castle we saw this morning, "Castle Doom". The Duke has a pianola that I am so fond of playing, and he says any book I want he will telegraph to London for immediately. He introduces himself to everybody as my ancestor, and says he is the father of all the Campbells. He gives me all the parcels to open that come by post, because he says women are so curious and like opening things."

                                                                 August 15th.

     "The four of us here at Dachenna make a nice cosy party that just fills the carriage for our little excursions up and down the loch. We are having a wonderful time, I never enjoyed myself so much, and papa loves every minute of it. This afternoon we went to the castle to see the Highland games that are held there every year. They were very good especially the dancing. Lord Archibald’s son Neil Campbell (the present Duke) is the Duke’s heir. He made a special speech and Lady Georgie presented the prizes[.] Neil has a small shooting box across the loch and comes over for breakfast sometimes. He is fine looking and seems very nice."

 

                                                                  August 17th.

     "Every day we do something, and yesterday we went fishing. We had a man in the boat trawling, and each of us had a line, but I was the only one who caught a fish, a Loch Fyne herring. We ate it for breakfast this morning. After lunch we climbed a steep hill to see a large waterfall from the top. The burns are a lovely amber color, and there are two quite close: the Aray beside the castle, (they call it a river which seems so absurd after our large rivers in Canada) and the Douglas Water below Dalchema. They flow down the side of the hills in lovely waterfalls into Loch Fyne, forming pools in places where salmon are to be found. After we called at a croft where the Duke’s old nurse used to live, but there was nobody there but a dirty old woman. She curtsied to the Duke, and was so glad to see him. She wanted to give us something to drink which the Duke refused.
     Young Campbell of Killberry is staying with us now for the Highland games. He lives farther down the loch. He is a very handsome tall dark man, and he and all the young men here wear th kilt with tweed coat and waist coats in the daytime, and dress ones at night. They look simply stunning, but that great tall man staying with us is like a very small boy, for he hates being beaten. The first night at billiards when the Duke and I played against him and papa and Mr. Macdonagh with the usual handicap and beat them he was furious. He said he was going to stay another night so he could beat us. He did stay, but we beat him again and he was not a bit pleased. As he walks, and leans over the billiard table to use his cue, his kilt has such a swing to it, and his costume is so handsome, dark broadcloth coat and waistcoat with silver buttons, the Campbell tartan kilt and stockings, and shoes with great silver buckles. They say he is devoted to Joan Campbell who is a beautiful girl and a great belle, but it does not seen to be mutual. Perhaps that is why he does not like being beaten at billiards.
     Lord George has one son Ivor who is still at Eton, he wears a black velvet coat and scarlet waistcoat in the evening to wear with his kilt. Lord George is a small man and wears a monocle Enid Campbell their youngest daughter is only a child and spends her time with the Balfours. The Balfours are here still so we have seen a good deal of them. The other night we went to the castle after dinner to hear the Campbell pipers play. It was quite a sight to see all these men in the tartan in the great hall of the castle with its high ceiling, upper galleries, old portraits, and armour which gave it quite a feudal air. The chief was there, the ancestor as he styles himself and all the men of his family in full dress to do him honour as they might have done in the olden times. Papa must have been satisfied for he felt that he was in his would be native atmosphere, the realistic heights of his ancestral imaginings. I was thrilled with it all. Mr. and Mrs. Philip Noble, Lady Arthur Butler, and her two nieces, with the Balfours made up Lady George’s house party. Mr. Noble is a son of Sir Arthur Noble. They have invited us to visit them in Northumberland on our way south."

It was very sad leaving Inverary, it was like coming to the beloved home after years of wandering to realize that one must after a time pick up and still go on. I am afraid I wept in the night at the thought of our departure.

The Duke wrote to me on August 28th.

"I was very glad to hear from you, and to know that you are enjoying your tour. Please tell your father that I have written to the Duke of Sutherland about him, and also to Principal Laing. The Duke says he will be very glad, The Principal ditto—but that he is only allowed to make a few presentations to the King, and that these are already alloted, so I have written to Lord Knolleys who remains in England while the Kind is away, and who is the King’s secretary to see if any presentation at Aberdeen can be managed. I am not going to Aberdeen myself, having excused myself from being again "doctored."
     With many good wishes and hoping I may sometime have you as my guest again."

 

My father was chosen to represent The Royal Society of Canada at the Centenary of Aberdeen University, and the opening of the New building in September. It was to be a big affair, and there were to be delegates from all over the world. The Duke was trying to arrange for my father’s presentation to the King there.

The Duke was such a dear, with a whimsical sense of humour. I will quote some extracts from his letters written to me after our return to Canada.

 

                                                                  September 9th. /07.

"Here I am at the little house whose sitting room became such a place of trial in the evening after dinner when the gentlemen of the party are not present. There is only one lady here, Mr. Russell Stephenson’s daughter, but she has as yet (after two evenings) not made any such demonstration as attended your brief withdrawal from the dining-room—perhaps because we have hitherto accompanied her in her retirement.
     "I am looking forward to seeing some more of your father’s work. The Canadian book is very readable, and is the best for a comprehensive account of the country. I wish you were here and that I could carry you both off tomorrow to Oban, whither we go for the annual games regatta and balls tomorrow. There is to be a warship there, and all the girls desire to have the officers presented to them,—a strange fatuity for sailors being a characteristic of the species."

 

Then again on December 23rd./08 he writes—

 

"My Dear Faith:—
I think you must get that "funny story" from that A.D.C. What have they been saying behind my back I wonder. I shall look to you to see that they don’t "tread on the tail of m[y] coat" otherwise they will have your brother Basil back from training on their backs to reinforce your remonstrances.
     It is a pleasure to send you and your father greetings this Yule Tide. I shall look out for the brace of volumes you tell me are to appear from his pen."— "We have four Canadian Cabinet ministers in England, and I saw all four round a nervous little English Poet Master General the other day, and he looked like a Scots Terrier surrounded by four Mastiffs. I think he is still alive, but his hair is distinctly whiter. Now let me wish you all the blessings of the New Year."

 

                                                                 July 22/08

"My Dear Faith:—
     Poor MacDonagh is gone the way of all flesh, and has been cremated over a year. Chintzy presents her compliments to you and is quite well and fat.
     I hope you will have been able to see some of the Quebec proceedings. Here we have had "Pageants" without end, and they have much amused and also instructed the people. I shall be very anxious to see the novel and hope it may be a great success.
     Wonderful Lord Strathcona started off at a moment’s notice when Sir Wilfred said he would like him to be present at Quebec. (for the pageant there)— I shall miss you this Autumn at Dalchenna. With many messages to your father."

 

                                                                  December 21/09

"Thanks for your nice letter, I am very sorry your father and you could not manage to visit the old country during this last year—but it will keep and you will find it still afloat tho rather water logged. I can imagine you firing much ammunition of eloquence at your Debating Society (nay Court Club) where we had political debates which became so hot they had to be abandoned) I hope the young ladies will allow their ministerial or Parliamentary fathers some peace from discussions at home. I met 18" [sic] beyond Sea Dominion Editors the other day at Lord Rosebery’s. I found they were all keen about the subject you mention namely Naval Support—but they had 18 different ways of giving that support. It will pan out all right. If the ships be given by Canada, you and all the girls will have to do what has been done here—namely get a good piece of plate for each ship given by the girls to the officers, to be shown in a conspicuous place on the deck when nothing can be washed away. My country ship the Cruiser "Argyll" won the 1st. prize at Jamestown last year in the Navy competitions against all the International fleet there. Rather good wasn’t it?"

 

•          •          •

 

Through all our wanderings among these people, Wilfred Campbell was ever thinking and discussing with them his hopes and fears for the British Empire and her people. Such fancies and schemes he wove for their betterment and welfare, the last fancy to be quickly forgotten in the glories of painting the newer, and always he was in the forefront of the battle as a prophet, knight, or soldier in their cause.

 

                                                                 August 22
"Dear Mamma:—
     We arrived in Edinburgh on Monday evening. Right up to the last the Duke was extremely kind and accompanied us to the boat when the time came for our departure. We travelled all the way to Edinburgh with Mrs. Philip Noble who was one of Lady George’s guests. She is a sister-in-law of the Mrs. Noble Lord Grey gave us a letter to, and a daughter-in-law of Sir Andrew Noble who has the estate Arkinglars just across Loch Fyne from Inverary. It used to belong to Lady Archibald’s people the Callanders. Mrs. Noble has invited us to stay with them at their place in Northumberland. A daughter of Sir Andrew’s is married to the Mr. Cochrane Lord Grey wrote to about Basil. Papa and Mrs. Noble became good friends, and he sent her a book of his poetry.
     Mr. Macdonagh came with us as far as Glasgow. He is very amusing, in fact so much so that papa is going to put him in a book. He gave me his photograph and said that when we were in Liverpool he would put us up.
     Niall Campbell the Duke’s heir came to see us off. He is a fine looking young man who takes a great interest in the family and gave papa some trees he had made himself.
     One evening we went up to the castle to hear the Campbell pipers play. The three pipers were in the Campbell tartan with banners waving over their shoulders with the boar’s head on them. It was a full dress affair, in fact every night is, so I wore my white and pink several times. The Duke is sending some framed pictures of Inverary straight to Ottawa for me. Neil Munro is sending me a book which is also going to Ottawa. The Duke asked me to write to him, which I am very glad of, because I think most likely we will go back before we return home. We go to Ripon on the 4th."

 

                                                                   August 25th.
"Dear Mamma:
     Edinburgh is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and is called modern Athens for its situation on seven hills. This morning we went to St. Giles and saw the tomb of the great Marquees of Argyll and also Montrosé’s tomb. They were rivals in the church question in Charles V time and Montrose defeated him at the battle of Inverlochy. We went to see the picture galleries and we saw some of each of the great Venetian painters whose lives I read about in the History of Venice you gave me to read last winter which made them doubly interesting."

 

                                                                   August 29th.
"Dear Mamma:—
     From this you will see that we are at Mrs. Noble’s. We left Edinburgh on Tuesday having been there exactly one week. I was very pleased with it and found it much above my experience.
     The Nobles we are staying with now have a beautiful old manor house in Northumberland. The house is beautifully furnished, and Mrs. Noble is good looking. Her husband is also young and one of the handsomest men I’ve ever seen. They have four children. The eldest is nine. She dresses beautifully but is very sensible about it. Altogether they are very nice. There is a certain amount of gush about all these fashionable women but one must allow for that. It was very kind of her to ask us as she had only met us at Inverary one night, and happened to come to Edinburgh with us."

(Reading these letters after all the years, one rather smiles at the decided opinions of the young, for at 17 one had not had much experience of fashionable ladies.)

We have breakfast and tea right outside in the lovely old garden, lunch in the hall and dinner in the dining-room. The whole downstairs except the drawing-room is paneled in old oak. Mrs. Noble sings and plays the piano very well. This morning papa and I drove twenty miles in the motor to the other Mrs. Noble’s, the one Lord Grey wanted papa to meet, and had lunch there. They have one pretty child a girl Veronica. We drove very quickly from 25 to 30 miles an hour. This Mrs. Noble is rather a more handsome woman than our hostess, but her husband is not good looking. They have another fine old Manor house in Northumberland. She (Mrs. George Noble) was dressed as a Kate Greenaway girl and looked awfully nice but our Mrs. Philip Noble said it was a mere pose and the fad in London at present. Just the same I liked her immensely and she was very nice. Her hobby is bookbinding, and she has a work shop where she did some most beautiful work in tooled leather. She said she must bind a copy of papa’s work. After lunch we drove 12 miles farther on to Chillingham castle, that has been rented by Sir Andrew Noble, and had tea with Lady Noble and Miss Noble. This castle is one of the most famous in England. It has a court yard in the center and wonderful old paintings. We met several people Sir Benjamin Brown and his wife, one or two young ladies and Mr. Cochrane who married the younger Miss Noble. After tea we went outside, and were fortunate to see the famous herd of white cattle in the distance. We could not go too near in case we frighten them. We had to drive home 40 miles for dinner, and were late. There was a gentleman for dinner[,] a young barrister from London. Tomorrow we are going to Newcastle and papa is going over the Armstrong works, and is to show Basil’s drawings to an expert there. This visit came in very nicely as the Macfarlans were leaving Edinburgh and we are not going to Ripon till the 4th. also this is on the way there.
     Papa is to be doctored as the Duke puts it at Aberdeen and will get his degree of LL.D. there. He is very pleased about it. I wrote to the Duke the other day. You will be very much surprised, but since I’ve been with the Duke I’ve taken to papa’s fondness for the family and have been reading Campbell history ever since. Papa’s publishers presented him with a large handsome copy of the life of the Great Marquess. On Monday we had tea with old Professor Masson. His daughter who is an old maid and writes books gushed away to papa, and when the Professor came into the room and we rose to shake hands with him, she said to me so everybody could hear her. "Is he your brother or your father, for he might be either?"

 

                                                                  The Palace Ripon
                                                                  September 4th.

"I got your letter this morning and also one from Margery. Papa has made some very strong friends over here, so have I. The one I like the best and likes me the best is the Duke of Argyll. I got a lovely long letter from him this morning. Mrs. Boyd Carpenter and the Bishop are very nice. There are two daughters at home one little girl is 13 and another 20 who sings rather well. The other visitors are Mrs. Darcy Hutton, a very handsome old lady and a Professor Campbell and his wife and a Captain, a young man with a very red face. They live very simply and my clothes are quite as good as Miss Boyd Carpenter’s, and for my age are quite good enough so don’t worry about them. The Palace is a huge place with a quaint little chapel where we have prayers twice a day. It is worth one’s while to stay here if only for the opportunity of hearing the Bishop in the pulpit. He is a man with a wonderful personality. Mrs. Boyd Carpenter is very like Lady D., so you must have already guessed that I like her very much.
     This morning papa, Mrs. Hutton, and I drove to Clifton Castle for lunch. We met Lady Knowles who resides there. All the rest of the family were away except two grandchildren, children of Lord Admiral Curzon whose wife was a daughter of Lady Knowles, a new baby a few weeks old and a girl of about ten. Lady Knowles is a great friend of Lord Grey’s and she and papa had quite a few friends in common. Tomorrow we go to see Fountains Abbey one of the most famous ruins in the world. We were with Mrs. Noble just a week. She was very kind to us, and took us a great many places. We will be home soon now I expect. The "Virginian" sails on the 11th. of October, and as papa wants a few days in Ireland, it will be just about the time we will be ready to go."

 

                                                                  The Palace Ripon
                                                                  September 4th.
"Dear Margery:—
     Your letter came this morning and I was very glad to get it. About the child Miss Grey said that if it were a girl she would like her called Diana.
     I am having a lovely time. We stayed with Mrs. Philip Noble, a sister[-]in[-]law of Lord Grey’s Mrs. Noble. We met the whole family Sir Andrew and Lady Noble and the two daughters Miss Noble and Mrs. Cochrane. We liked Mrs. Philips immensely. She had the most beautiful voice I’ve ever heard and played the piano not with a great deal of skill in technique, but made it fairly sing with such expression. She and papa were great friends. She kept up more style than any place we’ve stayed at. Her house is beautiful and most artistic.
     You have heard I suppose that papa is to get a degree at Aberdeen. The Bishop is going to be there too and will get a D.D. which he has already had five times. The Boyd Carpenters are most delightful people. We have made a great many friends here. The Duke wants me when I am married to come and buy a place in Argyllshire which I certainly intend to do, in fact I shan’t marry any man who won’t."

•     •     •

 

Here is a letter from Wilfred Campbell written to my mother, that I discovered among mine.

 

                                                                 The Palace Ripon
                                                                 September 4.

"Dear Mary:—
     We arrived here today from Whalton where I wrote you last. We had a nice week with the Nobles who have a fine old Manor House. Mr. Noble is a son of Sir Andrew Noble who is general manager of the Elswick Works. Frank Balfour took me over the works last week where they make cannon and—He took Basil’s drawings, and is to leave them with an expert who is to judge them, and he will report to me.
     We will go from here back to Edinburgh and up to Creich where we will stay till the Aberdeen affair is over. My novel will appear early in October.
     Faith is enjoying herself and learning much. The Bishop and Mrs. Carpenter are both nice. He is a good deal of a Campbell and a North of Ireland one, and is a cousin of ours and also McNeill’s. He is one of the greatest men in the church. He and I are both to get degrees at Aberdeen."

                                                                  Creich House
                                                                  September 11.
"Dear Mamma:—
     I am going to Aberdeen with Papa for several reasons, first it is a long trip and we have no time to come back, then it is a great social function, and delegates from all over Europe will be there and I will see the King and Queen. Dr. Fraser has invited both of us to stay with him, and it will cost very little as we have passes most of the way."

 

                                                                  September 19th.

"We went to Dunrobin today for lunch saw the castle, drove to see a technical school that the Duchess of Sutherland and Mr. Carneigie had built them. Then we came back[,] saw the gardens[,] had tea, and then back to Creich. The Duke and Duchess were at their shooting lodge much farther North so we did not see them, but Miss James the private secretary invited us. The Duke had written to the Duke of Argyll saying he would be glad to see Papa, but we came too early. The Duke of Argyll has been so very kind to us. It was he who arranged for Papa’s presentation to the King and got one of the Professors to invite us to stay with him. All this he did of his own accord with out our knowing anything about it, except Papa happened to mention that he would like to meet the King. The kindness of this man exceeds all imagination. He used to say to me pointing to Papa, "Don’t you think he should be Sir Wilfred," and he always calls him Sir Wilfred.
     Mr. Carnegie asked me to tea this week. Papa called and he said how sorry he had been about our visit to them, but his little girl had been very ill. Papa heard from Mr. King and we are to meet him in London. Mr. King says he hopes to have a good time with us. He can only stay a few weeks so we may have the pleasure of crossing with him. We go to Aberdeen on Monday having been here just two weeks. The next letter I write will be from Aberdeen telling you all about it."

 

                                                                  Aberdeen
                                                                  September 26th.

"Dear Mamma:—
     We are in Aberdeen. Dr. Fraser is an old bachelor, but such a nice man. He has a fine house on the main street with an automobile, gramophone and pianola so I am in my glory. (These things were not so common in those days.) Sir Norman and Lady Lockyer with ourselves make up the house party. Sir Norman is an astronomer. We have a great many invitations, but we have to decline a good many as our time is already taken up. This is our second day. Yesterday was the reception of the delegates, and it really was a great sight to see and hear learned men from all over the world. Tell Mrs. L. that I heard the Principal of Heidelberg speak in German. Today they were capped, and tomorrow the King and Queen open the new building, and the presentations are to be made. Papa is very popular, and a good deal in demand consequently. He [has] got [the] most gorgeous robes, scarlet bound with sky blue. The city is packed with crowds of prominent people, and there is not a room or a carriage to be had for love or money. The city decorations are very fine, and it is as gay as a great pageant or carnival to see all these delegates driving around, arrayed in their different bright college robes and hoods, or ancient orders. Sir Norman and Lady Lockyer are very nice, and she and I go to all the functions together. From nine in the morning till eleven at night the men are on the go, but we ladies don’t do so much. It is really one of the greatest things they have had in Scotland for a long time. They say that it is the most famous list of degrees ever known to be given at one time. Lord Strathcona, The Bishop of Ripon and Andrew Carnegie are here among the delegates. We go from here to Edinburgh for a few days, and then to London where Papa is to lecture, and we will meet Mr. King."

 

That is the last of the letters of that summer of 1906 that my Mother kept. I can vaguely recall certain scenes, and incidents that happened to us in Aberdeen. I remember sitting in that vast place, and waiting with such exciting anticipation for my first view of King Edward and Queen Alexandria and also to hear the King’s voice as he declared the building open. It was after this that the presentations were made.

I also remember our running into some adventurous looking gushing literary lady who presented Papa with a book of hers that we tried hard to lose on our way home from some expedition where we met her. We threw it away, and it was carefully picked up and brought to us by some kind person who thought we had dropped it. Then we left it on the seat in the train and the porter came running after us with it. There were all sorts of celebrations, and the city and neighboring estates opened all their doors to entertain the delegates.