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size of the fine parks with which public spirit and enterprise have adorned it.

NOTE II.-Borodino, p 128.

THE battle of BORODINO of the 7th of September 1812, at which General Baron Driesen was wounded. was the most obstinately disputed and terrible battle recorded in history. The Russians lost one of their best Generals, Bagrathion, two other generals killed, and thirty wounded; fifteen thousand troops killed, thirty thousand wounded, and two thousand prisoners. Of the French, Generals Montbrun, Caulaincourt, and many more were killed, and thirty wounded; their total loss being twelve thousand killed and thirty-eight thousand wounded. The Russians not

withstanding this terrific onslaught, retired towards Moscow in good order and with seventy thousand men undaunted, and under arms. Had they known that the provisions and ammunition of the French were nearly exhausted they might have renewed the fight, with the assurance of victory, but with the sacrifice of many more lives. It was the critical battle of the war, followed by the heroic burning of Moscow, the ancient capital, sacrificed to save the country by the inevitable retreat of the invaders, amid the snows of a Russian winter which completed the overthrow of Napoleon's vast army.


On the arrival and hearty welcome in England of the Duke of Edinburgh and his bride the Russian Princess, knowing how much the descriptions given in the newspapers of their reception in England would interest my Russian relations, I sent several extracts relating to it, and also the Bridal Ode of the Poet Laureate, as soon as they appeared. My eldest niece to whom they were sent having been one of the Maids of Honour during her father's lifetime, at the court of



the Emperor Nicolas, when my letter arrived was writing to Her Imperial Majesty, and having hastily read my letter she sent Mr. Tennyson's Ode as my composition!

This brought a letter from the private Secretary of the Empress, to

THE BARONESS VON KAULBARS "Gracious Lady Baroness,

I had the pleasure of receiving your honoured letter on the 9th of this month, and of forwarding it to Her Majesty the Empress, and (after replying to her own letter), the Secretary requested her "to take the "trouble of conveying in her Majesty's name to your dear uncle mentioned in the same letter, P. F. "Aiken, Esq., residing at Bristol, her most gracious "thanks for the memorial by him in a poetical form, of moments not to be forgotten by the Imperial "family," &c., &c.

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(Signed), MAURITZ.

St. Petersburg, 14th March, 1874.

The above date in the old style would be the 26th of March, and when the original German letter was forwarded to me, I was in great consternation at my undeserved elevation to the rank of Poet Laureate, and lost no time in giving honour to Mr. Tennyson, to whom the honour was due, whose beautiful poems. with myriads of my countrymen I greatly admired, and from whose wreath I should have been sorry to pluck a single leaf.

I sent therefore the following letter to the Baroness von Kaulbars who forwarded it to Her Majesty the Empress of Russia by whom it was read and acknowledged.

Wallcroft House, Durdham Down,
Bristol, 10th April, 1874-

My dear Alexandrine,

Immediately after the public entry of the

Duke of Edinburgh and his Russian bride into London,

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I sent to you from a newspaper a description of the reception of the Russian Princess by the inhabitants. of our great metropolis, and also a copy of the poem composed for the occasion by Mr. Tennyson, our most celebrated living poet, whose special duty it was to write it, as being Poet Laureate, an officer appointed for the celebration in verse of such happy events. Along with your own congratulations you sent the poem to Her Majesty the Empress of Russia, and said by mistake that I was the author of it. Her Majesty, with kind condescension has transmitted to you, a gracious message through her private secretary, General Mauritz, and to myself also, as the supposed author of the poem, of which however I am unworthy.

But I feel grateful for the intended honour, and am glad that I have been the instrument of bringing before Her Majesty a composition of superior merit, by which she has been pleased and interested. In every beautiful sentiment of that welcome, I can agree more completely than most Englishmen can do; because my sister was the wife of your dear father, and both of them acknowledged as their friend and benefactor, the late Emperor Alexander; and while they lived at Oranienbaum, more especially, had frequent interviews with their Imperial Majesties. Hence my interest in Russia and its Imperial families extends to nearly the beginning of this century, during the whole of which my life has been prolonged. I remember the battle of Borodino in which my brotherin-law, then a General in the Russian army received his wound, and the retreat of the French Emperor Napoleon and his army from Moscow, which checked the ambitious career of the greatest enemy of Russia and of England, and led to his downfall which was completed at Waterloo.

Let us hope that the auspicious alliance of the Royal families of two great and powerful nations, will tend to their closer union and friendship, and to the preservation of the peace and happiness of all other nations.

Your very affectionate uncle.



NOTE III.-Edinburgh, p 141.

WHEN Burns wrote his Ode to Edinburgh soon after his arrival, in December, 1786, the North Loch, as it was called, must have extended from the base of the grand old Castle-" grim rising o'er the rugged rock," -to near the North bridge, and but a very small part of the New Town could have been built.


Many of the gentry still lived in the old city, in the High Street, with its houses of ten or twelve stories, and even in courts and closes of the Canongate; the better and more agreeable residences being towards the south of that long street which extends from the Castle Hill to Holyrood palace. Twenty-seven years afterwards, at seven o'clock on a cold, dark November morning, I left Simpson's" noted inn, at the end of the old bridge of Ayr, whence the coach for Glasgow started at that hour. It was heavily laden before we arrived at the place for breakfast, a way-side inn on a bleak moor, where a scanty crop of oats was still in sheaves in a field exposed to the weather. We reached the appointed hotel in Glasgow at two o'clock, and were joined at dinner by an unfortunate traveller who had been an outside passenger about six weeks before. The coach having upset, fell upon his ancle, which was so injured that he was only able to pursue his homeward journey that day. At four we started, and arrived at the west end of Prince's Street about ten at night. My boyish admiration of the long line of lamps, though dimly lighted with train oil, was great, and of the wide and regular streets still greater.

One night a considerable number of those lamps in Leith walk, which connects Edinburgh with its harbour at Leith, were extinguished by a crew of Greenlanders or Finlanders, who after strolling about the city, when returning to their ship, climbed the lamp posts and refreshed themselves with the oily beverage which gave us light before gas was invented. There were watchmen in those days, who carried lanterns and called out the time of night and the state of the weather to



disturb sleepers and warn thieves to get out of the way of that infirm patrol. The North Loch was then a marsh in wet weather. The inhabitants of the old town used to cross it at certain points instead of going round by the North Bridge. I have often heard a story about Hume, the historian and doubting philosopher, whose person was well-known to the washerwomen who dried their clothes on the banks of the lake which was formerly beneath the castle rock. He sank in the marshy ground, and being in what the Americans call a fix, called for help to one of the washerwomen. She came, and it was said, she gave him an earnest and reproachful exhortation to piety from her pulpit on the solid ground before she stretched forth her brawny arms to pull the philosopher out of the mire.

The earthen mound was completed when I first saw it in 1813, but not consolidated so as to be built upon, and there was a wall with occasional openings to afford some shelter in crossing that much frequented thoroughfare.

The New Town of Edinburgh is built on one of the best sites that can be imagined, considering the extent, beauty and grandeur of the views of sea and land—the Calton Hill, the Salisbury Crags, Arthur's seat, the Forth, its noble bay and Islands, the Ochils and the Grampians, the Braid and the Pentland Hills. Those who planned it have certainly avoided the narrow streets of our old. cities, and of many foreign towns, but they have also avoided their picturesque variety of form and colour.

The uniformity of Prince's Street was originally a complete contrast to the old town opposite, not less remarkable by night than by day. It was very strikingly brought out at the time of the visit of George the Fourth, in August, 1822, when the candles put in the windows of the lofty tenements in the Old Town inhabited by the working classes were the best part of the illumination.

At that time the New Town mainly consisted of Prince's Street and its extension westward, George Street, Queen Street, and York Place, Heriot Row,

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