Raeburn often joined my father in his afternoon walks round Edinburgh -- a relaxation so very desirable after hours of close attention to artistic work. They took delight in the wonderful variety of picturesque scenery by which the city is surrounded. The walks about Arthur's Seat were the most enjoyable of all. When a boy I had often the pleasure of accompanying them, and of listening to their conversation. I thus picked up many an idea that served me well in after life. Indeed, I may say, after a long experience, that there is no class of men whose company I more delight in than that of artists. Their innate and highly-cultivated power of observation, not only as regards the ever-varying aspects of nature, but also as regards the quaint, droll, and humorous varieties of character, concur in rendering their conversation most delightful. I look back on these walks as among the brightest points in my existence. I have been led to digress on this subject. Although more correctly belonging to my father's life, yet it is so amalgamated with my own that it almost forms part of it, and it is difficult for me to separate the one from the other.

And then there were the pleasant evenings at home. When the day's work was over, friends looked in to have a fireside crack -- sometimes scientific men, sometimes artists, often both. They were all made welcome. There was no formality about their visits. Had they been formal, there would have been comparatively little pleasure. The visitor came in with his "Good e'en", and seated himself! The family went on with their work as before. The girls were usually busy with their needles, and others with pen and pencil. My father would go on with the artistic work he had in hand, for his industry was incessant. He would model a castle or a tree, or proceed with some proposed improvement of the streets or approaches of the rapidly expanding city. Among the most agreeable visitors were Professor Leslie, James Jardine, C.E., and Dr. Brewster. Their conversation was specially interesting. They brought up the last new thing in science, in discovery, in history, or in campaigning, for the war was then raging throughout Europe.

The artists were a most welcome addition to the family group. Many a time did they set the table in a roar with their quaint and droll delineations of character. These unostentatious gatherings of friends about our fireside were a delightful social institution. The remembrance of them lights up my recollection of the happiest period of a generally happy life. Could I have been able to set forth the brightness and cheerfulness of these happy evenings at my father's house, I am fain to think that my description might have been well worth reading. But all the record of them that remains is a most cherished recollection of their genial tone and harmony, which makes me think that, although in these days of rapid transit over earth and ocean, and surrounded as we are with the results of applied scientific knowledge, we are not a bit more happy than when all the vaunted triumphs of science and so-called education were in embryo.

The supper usually followed, for my father would not allow his visitors to go away supperless. The meal did not amount to much. Rizard or Finnan harddies, or a dish of oysters, with a glass of Edinburgh ale, and a rummer of toddy, concluded these friendly evenings. The cry of "Caller Aou" was constantly heard in the streets below of an evening. When the letter r was in the name of the month, the supply of oysters was abundant. The freshest oysters, of the most glorious quality, were to be had at 2s. 6d. the hundred! And what could be more refreshing food for my father's guests? These unostentatious and inexpensive gatherings of friends were a most delightful social institution among the best middle-class people of Edinburgh some sixty or seventy years ago. What they are now I cannot tell. But I fear they have disappeared in the more showy and costly tastes that have sprung up in the progress of what is called "modern society."

No part of my father's character was more admirable than his utter unselfishness. He denied himself many things, that he might give the greater pleasure to his wife and children. He would scarcely take part in any enjoyment, unless they could have their fair share of it. In all this he was faithfully followed by my mother. The admirable example of well-sustained industry that was always before her, sustained her in her efforts for the good of her family. She was intelligently interested in all that related to her husband's business and interests, as well as in his recreative enjoyments. The household affairs were under her skilful guidance. She conducted them with economy, and yet with generous liberality, free from the least taint of ostentation or extravagance. The home fireside was a scene of cheerfulness. And most of our family have been blest with this sunny gift. Indeed, a merrier family circle I have never seen. There were twelve persons round the table to be provided for, besides two servants. This required, on

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