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Queen Mary’s Child-Garden
by [?]

What is this? it is called in the guide-books Queen Mary’s Bower; but besides its being plainly not in the least a bower, what could the little Queen, then five years old, and “fancy free,” do with a bower? It is plainly, as was, we believe, first suggested by our keen-sighted and diagnostic Professor of Clinical Surgery,[1] the Child-Queen’s Garden, with her little walk, and its rows of boxwood, left to themselves for three hundred years. Yes, without doubt, “here is that first garden of her simpleness.” Fancy the little, lovely royal child, with her four Marys, her playfellows, her child maids of honor, with their little hands and feet, and their innocent and happy eyes, pattering about that garden all that time ago, laughing, and running, and gardening as only children do and can. As is well known, Mary was placed by her mother in this Isle of Rest before sailing from the Clyde for France. There is something “that tirls the heartstrings a’ to the life” in standing and looking on this unmistakable living relic of that strange and pathetic old time. Were we Mr. Tennyson, we would write an Idyll of that child Queen, in that garden of hers, eating her bread and honey–getting her teaching from the holy men, the monks of old, and running off in wild mirth to her garden and her flowers, all unconscious of the black, lowering thunder-cloud on Ben Lomond’s shoulder.

[Footnote 1: The same seeing eye and understanding mind, when they were eighteen years of age, discovered and published the Solvent of Caoutchouc, for which a patent was taken out afterwards by the famous Mackintosh. If the young discoverer had secured the patent, he might have made a fortune as large as his present reputation–I don’t suppose he much regrets that he didn’t.]

“Oh, blessed vision! happy child!
Thou art so exquisitely wild;
I think of thee with many fears
Of what may be thy lot in future years.
I thought of times when Pain might be thy guest,
Lord of thy house and hospitality.
And Grief, uneasy lover! never rest
But when she sat within the touch of thee.
What hast thou to do with sorrow,
Or the injuries of to-morrow?”

You have ample time to linger there amid

“The gleams, the shadows, and the peace profound,”

and get your mind informed with quietness and beauty, and fed with thoughts of other years, and of her whose story, like Helen of Troy’s, will continue to move the hearts of men as long as the gray hills stand round about that gentle lake, and are mirrored at evening in its depths. You may do and enjoy all this, and be in Princes Street by nine P.M.; and we wish we were as sure of many things as of your saying, “Yes, this is a pleasure that has pleased, and will please again; this was something expected which did not disappoint.”

* * * * *

There is another garden of Queen Mary’s, which may still be seen, and which has been left to itself like that in the Isle of Rest. It is in the grounds at Chatsworth, and is moated, walled round, and raised about fifteen feet above the park. Here the Queen, when a prisoner under the charge of “Old Bess of Hardwake,” was allowed to walk without any guard. How different the two! and how different she who took her pleasure in them!

Lines written on the steps of a small moated garden at
Chatsworth, called


“The moated bower is wild and drear,
And sad the dark yew’s shade;
The flowers which bloom in silence here,
In silence also fade.

“The woodbine and the light wild rose
Float o’er the broken wall;
And here the mournful nightshade blows,
To note the garden’s fall.

“Where once a princess wept her woes,
The bird of night complains;
And sighing trees the tale disclose
They learnt from Mary’s strains.

“A. H.”