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drink a glass of punch with him and his family that evening, at their lodgings hard by, they would give me an account of their expedition. He said, they found my description of things a very just one; and was pleased to add, that his wife and daughters had taken a great liking to me ever since the day we met at his friend Bearskin's. After this, it was impossible to resist his invitation, and I went to his lodgings in the evening accordingly, where I found all the family assembled, except Mr Edward, whom they accounted for in the history of their expedition.
I could not help making one preliminary observation, that it was much too early in the season for viewing the country to advantage; but to this Mr Blubber had a very satisfactory answer; they were resolved to complete their tour before the new tax upon post-horses should be put in execution.
The first place they visited after they left Edinburgh was Carron, which Mr Blubber seemed to prefer to any place he had seen; but the ladies did not appear to have relished it much. The mother said, “ She had like to have fell into a fit at the noise of the great bellows.” Miss Blubber agreed, that it was monstrous frightful indeed. Miss Betsy had spoiled her petticoat in getting in, and said it was a nasty place, not fit for genteel people, in her opinion. Blubber put on his widest face, and observed, that women did not know the use of them things. There was much the same difference in their sentiments with regard to the Great Canal ; Mr Blubber took out a bit of paper, on which he had marked down the lockage duty received in a week there; he shook his head, however, and said, he was sorry to find the shares were below par.
Of Stirling, the young ladies remarked, that the view from the castle was very fine, and the windings of the river very curious. But neither of them had ever been at Richmond. Mrs Blubber, who had been oftener than once there, told us, “ that from the hill was a much grander prospect; that the river Thames made two twists for one that the Forth made at Stirling ; besides, there was a wood so charming thick, that, unless when you got to a rising ground, like what the Star and Garter stands on, you could scarce see a hundred yards before you."
Taymouth seemed to strike the whole family. The number and beauty of the temples were taken particular notice of; nor was the trimness of the walks and hedges without commendation. Miss Betsy
Blubber declared herself charmed with the shady walk by the side of the Tay, and remarked, what an excellent fancy it was to shut out the view of the river, so that you might hear the stream without seeing it. Mr Blubber, however, objected to the vicinity of the hills, and Mrs Blubber to that of the lake, which she was sure must be extremely unwholesome. To this circumstance she imputed her rheumatism, which she told us, “ had been very troublesome to her the first night she lay'd there; but that she had always the precaution of carrying a bottle of Beaume de Vie in the chaise, and that a dose of it had effectually cured her.”
The ladies were delighted with the Hermitage. Mrs Blubber confessed, “ she was somewhat afeard at first to trust herself with the guide, down a dark narrow path, to the Lord knows where; but then it was so charming when he let in the light upon them."-"Yes, and so natural,” said her eldest daughter,
" with the flowers growing out of the wall, and the bear-skins so pure soft for the Hermit to sleep on."-" And their garter
blue colour so lively and so pretty,” said Miss Betsy; “ I vow I could have stayed there for ever.- -You wa'n't there, Papa.”-"No,” replied he, rather sullenly, 66 but I saw one of them same things at Dunkeld next day.”. - The young ladies declared they were quite different things, and that no judgment could be formed of the one from the other; upon which Mr Blubber began to grow angry; and Mrs Blubber interposing, put an end to the question; whispering me, at the same time, that her husband had fallen asleep, after a hearty dinner at the inn near Taymouth, and that she and her children had gone to see the Hermitage without him. I was farther informed, that Mr Edward Blubber had left their party at this place; having gone along with two English gentlemen whom he met there, to see a great many curiosities farther off in the Highlands. “ For my part,” said Blubber, “ though I was told it was a