Later in the season, Anthony Trollope and his wife paid their first visit to this place. They stayed at Strathtyrum with John Blackwood.1 Trollope tried to play golf. It is a silent game, by long tradition: but Trollope’s voice was heard all over the Links. One day, having made a somewhat worse stroke than usual, he fainted with grief, and fell down upon the green. He had not adverted to the fact that he had a golf ball in his pocket: and falling upon that ball, he started up with a yell of agony, quite unfeigned. On 19 August a large party dined at Strathtyrum to meet him: among them Chambers and Tulloch.2 The charming Last Chronicle of Barset, surely as sunshiny a picture of English country life as ever was written, was then delighting us all.3 While preparing for dinner, I had stuck up the work where I could read it: and I glanced at several of the most beautiful passages, and at one or two of the most powerful. Filled with the enthusiasm of one who had very rarely met a popular author, I entered Strathtyrum that day. The sight of the great novelist was a blow. He was singularly unkempt, and his clothes were wrinkled and ill-made. His manner was a further blow. We listened for the melodious accents which were due from those lips: but they did not come. Indeed, he was the only man I had heard swear in decent society for uncounted years.
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