The Scotch are so queer they stare at us morning till night, whenever we go into the street we are the centre of all eyes & in the hotels at our meals we are awfully annoyed. They are so stupid we have almost as much trouble in making them understand as if we spoke a different language.
We took the train this morning for Melrose a ride of two hours, a beautiful run sat on the marble slab where Sir Walter sat “a Scottish Monarch slept below” (Alexander 2nd) before the t[word unknown] of Robert Bruce there were odd little galleries around the Abbey. It was built in 1128 by King David 10th [?]. We took carridge from there & went through a pretty country to Abbotsford the home of Sir Walter Scott, his library & other rooms are just as he used them in his life time saw some fine old family portraits & busts of himself & many interesting relics he had collected, The only authentic portrait of Mary Queen of Scots hangs in one room just her head after she was beheaded, there is another one like it in the Museum at Heidelberg Castle. The home is on the Leven the river he loved so well. From Abbotsford we took the train for Dalkeith where is the estate of the Earl of Buccleuch, the family were home so we could not get access to the house or grounds, were met at the gate by an old English butler in dress coat brass buttons & light yellow breeches. Returned to Edinburgh where we again met Mr Arnold & Mr Jeannerett.
Aunt M & I tried to see the Cathedral but owing to the Scotch mist which came down in torrents we returned to our hotel & took an early train for Edinburgh passing Lithlingow saw the ruins of the castle where Mary Queen of Scots was born. The houses of the village & towns we passed were quaint old pointed affairs with tiled roofs, some in ruins looked as if they were as old as the places themselves. Arrived in Edinburgh about 12 mid-day, had a glimpse as we came in of the grand old Castle & Arthurs Seat. Took rooms at the Waverly House directly in front of Scott’s Monument & the Prince’s gardens. After resting & lunching took a cab for Arthur’s Seat & Holyroad Palace through the Queen’s drive. On the way stopped at Jeannie Dean’s cottage of two rooms besides the but & the ben as the Scotch girl said who lived there, meaning the dairy & the stable all under one roof. The same door & stone in hall & stone steps leading to the dairy as when Jeannie occupied it.
From there we drove to Holyroad Palace, alighted at the grand entrance opening into a square courtyard. The broad stair case led us into the audience chambers, then to Queen Mary’s rooms which she & Lord Darnley occupied. They were exceedingly interesting to visit as they contained relics belonging to her, but most of the rooms were miserable poke holes of places dark narrow stone stairways & low ceilings, no wonder there were so many mysterious murders in those days. The little room or closet where the Queen sat with Riggio (?) when the murderers dragged him forth to his death was shown us & the stain on the floor said to have been made by his blood.
In the royal chapel of the Abbey, which is now roofless are the graves of many of the Scottish kings. We stood on the spot where Mary & Darnley were supposed to have been married. By saying we were Americans, which is an open sesame to many doors abroad, we were allowed to see Queen Victoria’s state apartments in the palace, used when she visits Scotland, her last visit was in 1876. The walls are covered with beautiful Gobllins [?] & the furniture with tapestry worked by Queen Mary & her maidens, the colors as fresh as when first done, In the Chapel we met some of our streamer friends Mr & Mrs Hilliard & Mr & Mrs Campbell.