The Garden Guide

Book: Gardening tours by J.C. Loudon 1831-1842
Chapter: Northern England and Southern Scotland in 1841

Dalkeith Estate Cottages

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Aug. 5.-Dalkeith and Dalhousie Castle to Edinburgh. Walked to some magnificent viaducts for facilitating the transit of coals to Edinburgh by railroad, which have been erected by the Duke of Buccleugh; and we cannot help expressing the great satisfaction that we felt at seeing the various public works at Dalkeith and Granton erected by this nobleman. They will not only greatly benefit his own property, but prove beneficial to the public. Would that His Grace were imbued with similar ideas to ours on the subject of increasing the comforts of the labourers on his extensive estates, by improving their dwellings, adding gardens to them, providing schools for educating their children, and taking care, as in Germany, that they were all educated, and bearing in mind the wants of the aged and infirm ! Would that His Grace had the same ideas as the Rev. Dr. Gilly, and the late Rev. William Gilpin, on the subject of improving the condition of the cottager ! "Suppose," says Dr. Gilly, "70l. to be the average cost of a substantially good cottage, will the comfort of a faithful dependant and his family be heavily bought at this price ? [The average of what Lord Roseberry's cottages have cost.] Why is the happiness of rural life to be nothing more than a romance, a poetical image, when it is in the power of so many land-proprietors to realise all that is imagined of smiling gardens, and snug habitations, and contented cottagers ? The true beauty of a landscape, as Gilpin has said in his Forest Scenery, consists, not 'in the mere mixture of colours and forms, but in the picture of human happiness presented to our imagination and affections in visible and unequivocal signs of comfort.' "Oh, when will the law of love be felt in its supremacy?