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however went round, and were glad when the At night we came to Bamff, where I remem circuit was completed. ber nothing that particularly claimed my atten tion. The ancient towns of Scotland have generally an appearance unusual to Englishmen. The houses, whether great or small, are for the most part built of stones. Their ends are now and then next the streets, and the entrance into them is very often by a flight of steps, which reaches up to the second story; the floor which is level with the ground being entered only by stairs descending within the house.
When we came down to the sea, we saw some boats, and rowers, and resolved to explore the Buller, at the bottom. We entered the arch, which the water had made, and found ourselves in a place, which, though we could not think ourselves in danger, we could scarcely survey without some recoil of the mind. The basin in which we floated was nearly circular, perhaps thirty yards in diameter. We were enclosed by a natural wall, rising steep on every side to a The art of joining squares of glass with lead height which produced the idea of insurmount is little used in Scotland, and in some places is able confinement. The interception of all late- totally forgotten. The frames of their windows ral light caused a dismal gloom. Round us was are all of wood. They are more frugal of their a perpendicular rock, above us the distant sky, glass than the English, and will often, in houses and below an unknown profundity of water. If not otherwise mean, compose a square of twe I had any malice against a walking spirit, in- pieces, not joining like cracked glass, but with stead of laying him in the Red Sea, I would one edge laid perhaps half an inch over the condemn him to reside in the Buller of Buchan.other. Their windows do not move upon hinges, But terror without danger is only one of the but are pushed up and drawn down in groves, sports of fancy, a voluntary agitation of the yet they are seldom accommodated with weights mind that is permitted no longer than it pleases. and pulleys. He that would have his window We were soon at leisure to examine the place open, must hold it with his hand, unless what with minute inspection, and found many cavi- may be sometimes found among good contrivers, ties which, as the watermen told us, went back- there be a nail which he may stick into a belt, ward to a depth which they had never explored. to keep it from falling. Their extent we had not time to try; they are said to serve different purposes. Ladies come hither sometimes in the summer with collations, and smugglers make them storehouses for clandestine merchandise. It is hardly to be doubted but the pirates of ancient times often used them as magazines of arms, or repositories of plunder.
What cannot be done without some uncommon trouble or particular expedient, will not often be done at all. The incommodiousness of the Scotch windows keeps them very closely shut. The necessity of ventilating human habitations has not yet been found by our northern neighbours; and even in houses well built, and elegantly furnished, a stranger may be sometimes forgiven, if he allows himself to wish for fresher air.
To the little vessels used by the northern rowers, the Buller may have served as a shelter from storms, and perhaps as a retreat from enemies; the entrance might have been stopped, or guarded with little difficulty, and though the vessels that were stationed within would have been battered with stones showered on them from above, yet the crews would have lain safe in the caverns.
Next morning we continued our journey, pleased with our reception at Slanes Castle, of which we had now leisure to recount the grandeur and the elegance; for our way afforded us few topics of conversation. The ground was neither uncultivated nor unfruitful; but it was still all arable. Of flocks or herds there was no appearance. I had now travelled two hundred miles in Scotland, and seen only one tree not younger than myself.
We dined this day at the house of Mr. Frazer of Streichton, who showed us in his grounds some stones yet standing of a Druidical circle, and what I began to think more worthy of notice, some forest-trees of full growth.
These diminutive observations seem to take away something from the dignity of writing, and therefore are never communicated but with hesitation, and a little fear of abasement and contempt. But it must be remembered, that life consists not of a series of illustrious actions or elegant enjoyments; the greater part of our time passes in compliance with necessities, in the performance of daily duties, in the removal of small inconveniences, in the procurement of petty pleasures; and we are well or ill at ease, as the main stream of life glides on smoothly, or is ruffled by small obstacles and frequent interruption. The true state of every nation is the state of common life. The manners of a people are not to be found in the schools of learning, or the palaces of greatness, where the national character it obscured or obliterated by travel or instruction, by philosophy or vanity: nor is public happiness to be estimated by the assemblies of the gay, or the banquets of the rich. The great mass of nations is neither rich nor ga; they whose aggregate constitutes the people, are found in the streets and the villages. in the shops and farms; and from them, có
lectively considered, must the measure of gene- | nificence, and we are in danger of doing that
deliberately, which the Scots did not do but in
Those who had once uncovered the cathedrals,
Elgin seems a place of little trade, and thinly inhabited. The episcopal cities of Scotland, I believe, generally fell with their churches, though some of them have since recovered by a situation convenient for commerce. Thus Glasgow, though it has no longer an archbishop, has risen beyond its original state by the opulence of its traders; and Aberdeen, though its ancient stock had decayed, flourishes by a new shoot in another place.
In the chief street of Elgin, the houses jut over the lowest story, like the old buildings of timber in London, but with greater prominence; so that there is sometimes a walk for a considerable length under a cloister, or portico, which is now indeed frequently broken, because the new houses have another form, but seems to have been uniformly continued to the old city.
FINDING nothing to detain us at Bamff, we set
The ruin of the cathedral of Elgin afforded
A paper was here put into our hands, which deduced from sufficient authorities the history of this venerable ruin. The church of Elgin had, in the intestine tumults of the barbarous ages, been laid waste by the irruption of a Highland chief, whom the bishop had offended; but it was gradually restored to the state of which the traces may be now discerned, and was at last not destroyed by the tumultuous violence of Knox, but more shamefully suffered to dilapidate by deliberate robbery and frigid indifference. There is still extant, in the books of the council, an order, of which I cannot remember the date, but which was doubtless issued after the reformation, directing that the lead, which covers the two cathedrals of Elgin and Aberdeen, shall be taken away, and converted into money for the support of the army. A Scotch army was in those times very cheaply kept; yet the lead of two churches must have borne so small a proportion to any military expense, that it is hard not to believe the reason alleged to be merely popular, and the money intended for some private purse. The order, however, was obeyed; the two churches were stripped, and the lead was shipped to be sold in Holland, I hope every reader will rejoice that this cargo of sacrilege was lost at sea.
Let us not, however, make too much haste to despise our neighbours. Our own cathedrals are mouldering by unregarded dilapidation. It seems to be part of the despicable philosophy of
At Nairn we may fix the verge of the Highlands; for here I first saw peat fires, and first heard the Erse language. We had no motive to stay longer than to breakfast, and went forward to the house of Mr. Macaulay, the minister, who published an account of St. Kilda, and by his direction visited Calder Castle, from which Macbeth drew his second title. It has
the time to despise monuments of sacred mag-been formerly a place of strength. The draw
CALDER. FORT GEORGE.
We went forwards the same day to Fores, the
We had now a prelude to the Highlands. We began to leave fertility and culture behind us, and saw for a great length of road nothing but heath; yet at Fochabars, a seat belonging to the duke of Gordon, there is an orchard, which in Scotland I had never seen before, with some timber-trees, and a plantation of oaks.
At Fores we found good accommodation, but nothing worthy of particular remark, and next morning entered upon the road on which Macbeth heard the fatal prediction ; but we travelled on, not interrupted by promises of kingdoms, and came to Nairn, a royal burgh, which, if once it flourished, is now in a state of miserable decay; but I know not whether its chief anuual magistrate has not still the title of Lord Pro
bridge is still to be seen, but the moat is now
We were favoured by a gentleman, who lives in the castle, with a letter to one of the officers at Fort George, which being the most regular fortification in the island, well deserves the notice of a traveller, who has never travelled before. We went thither next day, found a very kind reception, were led round the works by a gentleman, who explained the use of every part, and entertained by Sir Eyre Coote, the Governor, with such elegance of conversation, as left us no attention to the delicacies of his table.
Of Fort George I shall not attempt to give any account. I cannot delineate it scientifically, and a loose and popular description is of use only when the imagination is to be amused. There was every where an appearance of the utmost neatness and regularity. But my suffrage is of little value, because this and Fort Augustus are the only garrisons that I ever
We did not regret the time spent at the fort, though in consequence of our delay we came somewhat late to Inverness, the town which may properly be called the capital of the Highlands. Hither the inhabitants of the inland parts come to be supplied with what they cannot make for themselves: hither the young nymphs of the mountains and valleys are sent for education, and, as far as my observation has reached, are not sent in vain.
INVERNESS was the last place which had a regular communication by high roads with the southern counties. All the ways beyond it have, I believe, been made by the soldiers in this century. At Inverness therefore Cromwell, when he subdued Scotland, stationed a garrison, as at the boundary of the Highlands. The soldiers seem to have incorporated afterwards with the inhabitants, and to have peopled the place with an English race; for the language of this town nas been long considered as peculiarly elegant.
Here is a castle, called the castle of Macbeth, the walls of which are yet standing. It was no very capacious edifice, but stands upon a rock so high and steep, that I think it was once not accessible, but by the help of ladders, or a bridge. Over against it, on another hill, was a fort built by Cromwell, now totally demolished; for no faction of Scotland loved the name of Cromwell, or had any desire to continue his
Yet what the Romans did to other nations, was in a great degree done by Cromwell to the
Scots; he civilized them by conquest, aud introduced by useful violence the arts of peace. I from Cromwell's soldiers to make shoes and to was told at Aberdeen, that the people learned plant kail.
guess; they cultivate hardly any other plant for How they lived without kail, it is not easy to common tables, and when they had not kail they probably had nothing. The numbers that barefoot are still sufficient to show that shoes may be spared; they are not yet considered as necessaries of life; for tall boys, not otherwise meanly dressed, run without them in the streets; and in the islands the sons of gentlemen pass several of their first years with naked feet.
I know not whether it be not peculiar to the Scots to have attained the liberal, without the manual arts, to have excelled in ornamental knowledge, and to have wanted not only the clegances, but the conveniences of common life. Literature, soon after its revival, found its way to Scotland, and from the middle of the sixteenth century, almost to the middle of the seventeenth, the politer studies were very diliPoetarum Scotorum would have done honest gently pursued. The Latin poetry of Delicie May's Supplement, the English had very little to any nation; at least till the publication of to oppose.
Yet men thus ingenious and inquisitive were by which human want are supplied, and to content to live in total ignorance of the trades supply them by the grossest means. Till the Union made them acquainted with English manners, the culture of their lands was unskil ful, and their domestic life unformed; their tables were coarse as the feasts of Eskimeaux, and their houses filthy as the cottages of Hot
Since they have known that their condition useful knowledge has been rapid and uniform. was capable of improvement, their progress in What remains to be done they will quickly de, and then wonder, like me, why that which wa so necessary and so easy was so long delayed. English that elegance and culture, which, if But they must be for ever content to owe to the they had been vigilant and active, perhaps the English might have owed to them.
Here the appearance of life began to alter. I had seen a few women with plaids at Aberdeen; but at Inverness the Highland manners are common. There is, I think, a kirk in which only the Erse language is used. There is likewhere on Sunday we saw a very decent congrewise an English chapel, but meanly built, gation.
We were now to bid farewell to the luxury of perhaps no wheel has ever rolled. travelling, and to enter a country upon which indeed have used our postchaise one day tonghĩ. | We could
along the military road to Fort Augustus, but we | field, which served to impress more strongly the
At Inverness therefore we procured three horses for ourselves and a servant, and one more for our baggage, which was no very heavy load. We found in the course of our journey the convenience of having disencumbered ourselves by laying aside whatever we could spare; for it is not to be imagined without experience, how in climbing crags, and treading bogs, and winding through narrow and obstructed passages, a little bulk will hinder, and a little weight will burden; or how often a man that has pleased himself at home with his own resolution, will, in the hour of darkness and fatigue, be content to leave behind him every thing but himself.
Lough Ness, though not twelve miles broad, is a very remarkable diffusion of water without islands. It fills a large hollow between two ridges of high rocks, being supplied partly by the torrents which fall into it on either side, and partly, as is supposed, by springs at the bottom. Its water is remarkably clear and pleasant, and is imagined by the natives to be medicinal. We were told, that it is in some places a hundred and forty fathoms deep, a profundity scarcely credible, and which probably those that relate it have never sounded. Its fish are salmon, trout, and pike.
It was said at Fort Augustus, that Lough Ness is open in the hardest winters, though a lake not far from it is covered with ice. In discussing these exceptions from the course of nature, the first question is whether the fact be justly stated. That which is strange is delightful, and a pleasing error is not willingly detected. Acre-curacy of narration is not very common, and there are so few rigidly philosophical, as not to represent as perpetual, what is only frequent, or as constant, what is really casual. If it be true that Lough Ness never freezes, it is either sheltered by its high banks from the cold blasts, and exposed only to those winds which have more power to agitate than congeal, or it is kept in perpetual motion by the rush of streams from the rocks that enclose it. Its profundity, though it should be such as is represented, can have little part in this exemption; for though deep wells are not frozen, because their water is secluded from the external air, yet, where a wide surface is exposed to the full influence of a freezing atmosphere, I know not why the depth should keep it open. Natural philosophy is now one of the favourite studies of the Scottish nation, and Lough Ness well deserves to be diligently examined.
We took two Highlanders to run beside us, partly to show us the way, and partly to take back from the sea-side the horses, of which they were the owners. One of them was a man of great liveliness and activity, of whom his companion said, that he would tire any horse in Inverness. Both of them were civil and readyhanded. Civility seems part of the national character of Highlanders. Every chieftain is a monarch, and politeness, the natural product of royal government, is diffused from the laird through the whole clan. But they are not commonly dexterous: their narrowness of life confines them to a few operations, and they are accustomed to endure little wants more than to move them.
Lough Ness is about twenty-four miles long, and from one mile to two miles broad. It is remarkable that Boethius, in his description of Scotland, gives it twelve miles of breadth. When historians or geographers exhibit false accounts of places far distant, they may be forgiven, because they can tell but what they are told; and that their accounts exceed the truth, may be justly supposed, because most men exaggerate to others, if not to themselves: but Boethius lived at no great distance; if he never saw the lake, he must have been very incurious, and if he had seen it, his veracity yielded to very slight temptations.
We mounted our steeds on the twenty-eighth of August, and directed our guides to conduct us to Fort Augustus. It is built at the head of Lough Ness, of which Inverness stands at the outlet. The way between them has been cut by the soldiers, and the greater part of it runs along a rock, levelled with great labour and exactness, near the water-side.
Most of this day's journey was very pleasant. The day, though bright, was not hot; and the appearance of the country, if I had not seen the Peak, would have been wholly new. We went upon a surface so hard and level, that we had little care to hold the bridle, and were therefore at full leisure for contemplation. On the left were high and steep rocks shaded with birch, the hardy native of the north, and covered with fern or heath. On the right the limpid waters of Lough Ness were beating their bank, and waving their surface by a gentle agitation. Beyond them were rocks sometimes covered with verdure, and sometimes towering in horrid naked-sometimes by breaking off protuberances, and Now and then we espied a little corn- sometimes by cutting the great mass of stone to
The road on which we travelled, and which was itself a source of entertainment, is made along the rock, in the direction of the lough,
a considerable depth. The fragments are piled in a loose wall on either side, with apertures left at very short spaces, to give a passage to the wintry currents. Part of it is bordered with low trees, from which our guides gathered nuts, and would have had the appearance of an English lane, except that an English lane is almost always dirty. It has been made with great labour, but has this advantage, that it cannot, without equal labour, be broken up.
Within our sight there were goats feeding or playing. The mountains have red deer, but they came not within view; and if what is said of their vigilance and subtilty be true, they have some claim to that palm of wisdom, which the eastern philosopher, whom Alexander interrogated, gave to those beasts which live farthest from men.
With the true pastoral hospitality, she asked us to sit down and drink whisky. She is religious, and though the kirk is four miles off, probably eight English miles, she goes thither every Sunday. We gave her a shilling, and she begged snuff; for snuff is the luxury of a HighToland cottage.
Near the way, by the water-side, we espied a cottage. This was the first Highland hut that I had seen; and as our business was with life and manners, we were willing to visit it. enter a habitation without leave, seems to be not considered here as rudeness or intrusion. The old laws of hospitality still give this license to a stranger.
A hut is constructed with loose stones, ranged for the most part with some tendency to circularity. It must be placed where the wind cannot act upon it with violence, because it has no cement; and where the water will run easily away, because it has no floor but the naked ground. The wall, which is commonly about six feet high, declines from the perpendicular a little inward. Such rafters as can be procured are then raised for a roof, and covered with heath, which makes a strong and warm thatch, kept from flying off by ropes of twisted heath, of which the ends, reaching from the centre of the thatch to the top of the wall, are held firm by the weight of a large stone. No light is admitted but at the entrance, and through a hole in the thatch, which gives vent to the smoke. This hole is not directly over the fire, lest the rain should extinguish it; and the smoke therefore naturally fills the place before it escapes. Such is the general structure of the houses in which one of the nations of this opulent and powerful island has been hitherto content to live. Huts however are not more uniform than palaces; and this which we were inspecting was very far from one of the meanest, for it was divided into several apartments; and its inhabitants possessed such property as a pastoral poet might exalt into riches.
years old, were at work in the wood.
When we entered, we found an old woman boiling goat's flesh in a kettle. She spoke little English, but we had interpreters at hand, and she was willing enough to display her whole system of economy. She has five children, of which none are yet gone from her. The eldest, a boy of thirteen, and her husband, who is eighty
Soon afterwards we came to the General's Hut, so called because it was the temporary abode of Wade while he superintended the works upon the road. It is now a house of entertainment for passengers, and we found it net ill stocked with provisions.
FALL OF FIERS.
TOWARDS evening we crossed, by a bridge, the river which makes the celebrated Fall of Fiers. The country at the bridge strikes the imagination with all the gloom and grandeur of Siberian solitude. The way makes a flexture, and the mountains, covered with trees, rise at once on the left hand and in front. We desired our guides to show us the Fall, and dismounting, clambered over very rugged crags, till I began to wish that our curiosity might have been gratified with less trouble and danger. We came af last to a place where we could overlook the river, and saw a channel torn, as it seems, through black piles of stone, by which the stream is obstructed and broken, till it comes to a very steep descent, of such dreadful depth, that we were naturally inclined to turn aside our eyes.
But we visited the place at an unseasonable time, and found it divested of its dignity and terror. Nature never gives every thing at once. A long continuance of dry weather, which made the rest of the way easy and delightful, deprived us of the pleasure expected from the Fall of Fiers. The river having now no water but what the springs supply, showed us only a swift current, clear and shallow, fretting over the asperities of the rocky bottom; and we were left to exercise our thoughts, by endeavouring to conceive the effect of a thousand streams poured from the mountains into one channel, struggling for expansion in a narrow passage, exasperated