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by rocks rising in their way, and at last dig. charging all their violence of waters by a sudden fall through the horrid chasm.
EARLY in the afternoon we came to Anoch, a The way now grew less easy, descending by village in Glenmollison of three huts, one of an uneven declivity, but without either dirt or which is distinguished by a chimney. Here we danger. We did not arrive at Fort Augustus were to dine and lodge, and were conducted till it was late. Mr. Boswell, who, between through the first room, that had the chimney, his father's merit and his own, is sure of recep- into another lighted by a small glass window. tion wherever he comes, sent a servant before to Tbe landlord attended us with great civility, beg admission and entertainment for that night. and told us what he could give us to eat and Mr. Trapaud, the governor, treated us with drink. I found some books on a shelf, among that courtesy which is so closely connected with which were a volume or more of Prideaux's the military character. He came out to meet Connection. us beyond the gates, and apologized that, at so This I mentioned as something unexpected, late an hour, the rules of a garrison suffered him and perceived that I did not please him. I to give us entrance only at the postern.
praised the propriety of his language, and was
answered that I need not wonder, for he had FORT AUGUSTUS.
learned it by grammar.
By subsequent opportunities of observation I In the morning we viewed the fort, which is found that my host's diction had nothing pecumuch less than that of St. George, and is said liar. Those Highlanders that can speak En. to be commanded by the neighbouring hills. It glish, commonly speak it well, with few of the was not long ago taken by the Highlanders. words, and little of the tone, by which a ScotchBut its situation seems well chosen for pleasure, man is distinguished. Their language seems to if not for strength; it stands at the head of the have been learned in the army or the navy, or lake, and, by a sloop of sixty tons, is supplied by some communication with those who could from Inverness with great convenience.
give them good examples of accent and pronunWe were now to cross the Highlands towards ciation. By their Lowland neighbours they the western coast, and to content ourselves with would not willingly be taught ; for they have such accommodations, as a way so little fre-long considered them as a mean and degenerate quented could afford. The journey was not These prejudices are wearing fast away; formidable, for it was but of two days, very un- but so much of them still remains, that when I equally divided, because the only house where asked a very learned minister in the islands, we could be entertained was not farther off than which they considered as their most savage a third of the way. We soon came to a high clans : “ Those,” said he, “ that live next the Lowbill, which we mounted by a military road, cut lands." in traverses, so that, as we went upon a higher As we came hither early in the day, we had stage, we saw the baggage following us below in time sufficient to survey the place. The house a contrary direction. To make this way, the was built like other huts, of loose stones; but rock has been hewn to a level, with labour that the part in which we dined and slept was lined might have broken the perseverance of a Roman with turf and wattled with twigs, which kept legion.
the earth from falling. Near it was a garden The country is totally denuded of its wood, of turnips, and a field of potatoes. It stands in but the stumps both of oaks and firs, which are a glen or valley, pleasantly watered by a windstill found, show that it has been once a forest ing river. But this country, however it may of large timber. I do not remember that we delight the gazer or amuse the naturalist, is of saw any animals, but we were told that, in the no great advantage to its owners. Our landlord mountains, there are stags, roebucks, goats, and told us of a gentleman who possesses lands rabbits.
eighteen Scotch miles in length, and three in We did not perceive that this tract was pos- breadth ; a space containing at least a hundred sessed by human beings, except that once we square English miles. He has raised his rents, saw a corn-tield, in which a lady was walking to the danger of depopulating his farms, and he with some gentlemen. Their house was cer- fells his timber, and by exerting every art of tainly at no great distance, but so situated that augmentation, has obtained a yearly revenue of we could not descry it.
four hundred pounds, which for a hundred Passing on through the dreariness of solitude, square miles is three halfpence an acre. we found a party of soldiers from the fort, Some time after dinner we were surprised by working on the road under the superintendence the entrance of a young woman, not inelegant of a sergeant. We told them how kindly we either in mien or dress, who asked us whether bad been treated at the garrison, and as we were we would have tea. We found that she was mnjoying the benefit of their labours, begged the daughter of our host, and desired her to pave to show our gratitude by a small present. make it. Her conversation, like her appear-, Ance, was gentle and pleasing. We knew that to contemplate the appearance and propertis et the girls of the Highlands are all gentlewomen, mountainous regions, such as have been, in And treated her with great respect, which she many countries, the last shelters of national disreceived as customary and due, and was neither tress, and are every where the scenes of ada elated by it, nor confused, but repaid my civili. tures, stratagems, surprises, and escapes. bies without embarrassment, and told me how Mountainous countries are not passed be much I honoured her country by coming to sur- with difficulty, not merely from the labour el vey it.
climbing; for to climb is not always necessary She had been at Inverness to gain the com. but because that wbich is not mountain is ees. mon female qualifications, and had, like her fa- monly bog, through which the way out be ther, the English pronunciation. I presented picked with caution. Where tbere are bilar
, her with a book, which I happened to have there is much rain, and the torrents pouring about me, and should not be pleased to think down into the intermediate spaces, seldom to that she forgets me.
so ready an outlet, as not to stagnate, till the In the evening the soldiers, whom we bad have broken the texture of the ground. passed on the road, came to spend at our inn the Of the hills, which our journey offered to es little money that we had given them. They view on either side, we did not take the beight
, had the true military impatience of coin in their nor did we see any that astonished us witb the pockets, and bad marched at least six miles to loftiness. Towards the summit of one, the find the first place where liquor could be bought. was a white spot, which I should bave called a Having never been before in a place so wild and naked rock, but the guides, who had better eja: unfrequented, I was glad of their arrival, be- and were acquainted with the phenomena er cause I knew that we had made them friends; the country, declared it to be snow. It bad & and to gain still more of their good will, we ready lasted to the end of August, and we went to them where they were carousing in the likely to maintain its contest with the sun, 11 barn, and added something to our former gift. it should be reinforced by winter. All that we gave was not much, but it detained The height of mountains philosophically cethem in the barn, either merry or quarrelling, sidered, is properly computed from the surise the wbole night, and in the morning they went of the next sea ; but as it affects the eye or ima back to their work, with great indignation at gination of the passenger, as it makes either a the bad qualities of whisky.
spectacle or an obstruction, it must be reckoned We had gained so much the favour of our from the place where the rise begins to make : host, that, when we left his house in the morn-considerable angle with the plain. In extensive ing, he walked by us a great way, and enter-continents the land may, by gradual elevation. tained us with conversation both on his own attain great height, without any other appear. condition, and that of the country. His life ance than that of a plane gently inclined, and i seemed to be merely pastoral, except that he dif- a bill placed upon such raised ground be de fered from some of the ancient Nomades inscribed, as laving its altitude equal to the whale having a settled dwelling. His wealth consists space above the sea, the representation will be of one hundred sheep, as many goats, twelve fallacious. milk-cows, and twenty-eight beeves ready for These mountains may be properly enough the drover.
measured from the inland base; for it is Dean From bim we first heard of the general dissa- much above the sea. As we advanced at erestisfaction which is now driving the Highlanders ing towards the western coast, I did not observe into the other hemisphere; and when I asked the declivity to be greater than is necessary for him whether they would stay at home, if they the discharge of the inland waters. were well treated, he answered with indigna- We passed many rivers and rivulets, which tion, that no man willingly left his native coun- commonly ran with a clear shallow stream over try. Of the farm, wbich he himself occupied, a hard pebbly bottom. These channels, which che rent had, in twenty-five years, been ad- seem so much wider than the water that they vanced from five to twenty pounds, which he convey would naturally require, are formed by found himself so little able to pay, that he would the violence of wintry floods, produced by the be glad to try his fortune in some other place. accumulation of innumerable streams that fall Yet he owned the reasonableness of raising the in rainy weather from the hills, and bursting Highland rents in a certain degree, and declared away with resistless impetuosity, make them. himself willing to pay ten pounds for the ground selves a passage proportionate to their mass. which he had formerly had for five.
Such capricious and temporary waters cannot Our host, having amused us for a time, re- be expected to produce many fish. The rapidity signed us to our guides. The journey of this of the wintry deluge sweeps them away, and the day was long, not that the distance was great, scantiness of the summer stream would hardly but that the way was difficult. We were now sustain them above the ground. This is t'e in the bosom of the Highlards, with full leisure reason why, in fording the northern rivers,
fishes are seen, as in England, wandering in hour well I know not ; for here I first conthe water.
ceived the thought of this narration. Of the hills many may be called, with We were in this place at ease and by choice, Homer's Ida, abundant in springs, but few can and had no evils to suffer or to fear; yet the deserve the epithet which he bestows upon imaginations excited by the view of an unknown Pelion, by waving their leaves. They exhibit and untravelled wilderness are not such as arise very little variety; being almost wholly covered in the artificial solitude of parks and gardens, a with dark heath, and even that seems to be flattering notion of self-sufficiency, a placid inchecked in its growth. What is not beath is dulgence of voluntary delusions, a secure ex. nakedness, a little diversified by now and then a pansion of the fancy, or a cool concentration of stream rushing down the steep. An eye ac
the mental powers. The phantoms which customed to flowery pastures and waving har-haunt a desert are want, and misery, and danvests, is astonished and repelled by this wide ex- ger;
the evils of dereliction rush upon the tent of hopeless sterility. The appearance is thoughts; man is made unwillingly acquaiuted that of matter incapable of form or usefulness, with his own weakness, and meditation sbows dismissed by Nature from her care, and disin- him only how little he can sustain, and how herited of her favours, left in its original ele- little he can perform. There were no traces of mental state, or quickened only with one sullen inbabitants, except perhaps a rude pile of clods power of useless vegetation.
called a summer hut, in which a herdsman had It will very readily occur, that this unifor-rested in the favourable seasons. Whoever had mity of barrenness can afford very little amuse- been in the place where I then sat, unprovided ment to the traveller ; that it is easy to sit at with provisions, and ignorant of the country, home and conceive rocks, and heath, and water- might, at least before the roads were made, have falls ; and that these journeys are useless la- wandered among the rocks, till he had perished bours, which neither impregnate the imagina- with hardship, before he could have found either tion, nor enlarge the understanding. It is true, food or shelter. Yet what are these hillocks to that of far the greater part of things, we must the ridges of Taurus, or these spots of wildercontent ourselves with such knowledge as de- ness to the deserts of America ? scription may exhibit, or analogy supply; but It was not long before we were invited to it is true, likewise, that these ideas are always mount, and continued our journey along the incomplete, and that, at least, till we bave com- side of a lough, kept full by many streams, pared them with realities, we do not know them which with more or less rapidity and noise to be just. As we see more, we become pos- crossed the road from the hills on the other sessed of more certainties, and consequently band. These currents, in their diminished gain more principles of reasoning, and found a state, after several dry months, afford, to one wider basis of analogy.
who has always lived in level countries, an unRegions mountainous and wild, thinly in- usual and delightful spectacle; but in the rainy habited, and little cultivated, make a great part season, such as every winter may be expected to of the earth, and he that has never seen them, bring, must precipitate an impetuous and tremust live unacquainted with much of the face mendous flood. I suppose the way by which of nature, and with one of the great scenes of we went is at this time inipassable. human existence.
As the day advanced towards noon, we entered a narrow valley not very flowery, but sufficiently verdant. Our guides told us, that The lough at last ended in a river broad and the horses could not travel all day without rest shallow like the rest, but that it may be passed or meat, and entreated us to stop here, because when it is deeper, there is a bridge over it. no grass would be found in any other place. Beyond it is a valley called Glensheals, inThe request was reasonable, and the argument habited by the clan of Macrae. Here we found cogent. We therefore willingly dismounted, a village called Auknasheals, consisting of many and diverted ourselves as the place gave us op- huts, perhaps twenty, built all of dry-stone, that portunity.
is, stones piled up without mortar. I sat down on a bank, such as a writer of We bad, by the direction of the officers a. romance might have delighted to feign I had, Fort Augustus, taken bread for ourselves, and indeed, no trees to whisper over my head, but a tobacco for those Highlanders who might show clear rivulet streamed at my feet. The day us any kindness. We were now at a place was calm, the air was soft, and all was rude where we could obtain milk, but must have ness, silence, and solitude. Before me, and on wanted bread if we had not brought it. The either side, were high hills, which, by hindering people of this valley did not appear to know any the eye from ranging, forced the mind to find English, and our guides now became doubly entertainment for itself. Whether I spent the necessary as interpreters. A woman, whose
der had to
hut was distinguished by greater spaciousness bog has firmness to sustain them : besides that, and better architecture, brought out some pails mountaineers have an agility in climbing and of milk. The villagers gathered about us in descending, distinct from strength or courage, considerable numbers, I believe, without any and attainable only by use. evil intention, but with a very savage wildness If the war be not soon concluded, the inof aspect and manner. When our meal was vaders are dislodged by hunger; for in those over, Mr. Boswell sliced the bread, and divided anxious and toilsome marches, provisions canit amongst them, as be supposed them never to not easily be carried, and are never to be found. have tasted a wheaten loaf before. He then The wealth of mountains is cattle, which, while gave them little pieces of twisted tobacco, and the men stand in the passes the women drive among the children we distributed a small away. Such lands at last cannot repay the exhandful of halt pence, which they received with pense of conquest, and therefore, perhaps, hare great eagerness. Yet I have been since told, not been so often invaded by the mere ambition that the people of that valley are not indigent; of dominion, as by resentment of robberies and and when we mentioned them afterwards as insults, or the desire of enjoying in security the needy and pitiable, a Highland lady let us know, more fruitful provinces. that we might spare our commiseration; for the As mountaineers are long before they are condame whose milk we drank, had probably more quered, they are likewise long before they are than a dozen milk-cows. She seemed unwill-civilized. Men are softened by intercourse muing to take any price, but being pressed to make tually profitable, and instructed by comparing a demand, at last named a shilling. Honesty their own notions with those of others. Thus is not greater, where elegance is less. One of Cæsar found the maritime parts of Britain made the by-standers, as we were told afterwards, less barbarous by their commerce with the advised her to ask more, but she said a shilling Gauls. Into a barren and rough tract no stran. was enough. We gave her half-a-crown, and iger is brought either by the hope of gain or of hope got some credit by our behaviour; for the pleasure. The inhabitants having neither comcompany said, if our interpreters did not flat-modities for sale, nor money for purchase, selter us, that they had not seen such a day since dom visit more polished places; or if they do the old laird of Macleod passed through their visit them, seldom return. country.
It sometimes happens that by conquest, interThe Macraes, as we heard afterwards in the mixture or gradual refinement, the cultivated Hebrides, were originally an indigent and subor. parts of a country change their language. The dinate clan, and having no farms nor stock, were mountaineers then become a distinct nation, eut in great numbers servants to the Maclellans, off by dissimilitude of speech from conversation who, in the war of Charles the First, took arms with their neighbours. Thus in Biscay, the oriat the call of the heroic Montrose, and were, ginal Cantabrian, and in Dalecarlia, the old in one of his battles, almost all destroyed. The Swedish still subsists. Thus Wales and the women that were left at home, being thus de- Highlands speak the tongue of the first inbabiprived of their husbands, like the Scythian ladies tants of Britain, while the other parts have reof old, married their servants, and the Macraes ceived first the Saxon, and in some degree afterbecame a considerable race.
wards the French, and then formed a third language between them.
That the primitive manners are continued
where the primitive language is spoken, no daAs we continued our journey, we were at leisure tion will desire me to suppose, for the manners to extend our speculations, and to investigate of mountaineers are commonly savage, but they the reason of those peculiarities by which such are rather produced by their situation than derugged regions as these before us are generally rived from their ancestors. distinguished.
Such seems to be the disposition of man, that Mountainous countries commonly contain the whatever makes a distinction produces rivalry. original, at least the oldest, race of inhabitants, England, before other causes of enmity were for they are not easily conquered, because they found, was disturbed for some centuries by the must be entered by parrow ways, exposed to contests of the northern and southern counties ; every power of mischief from those that occupy so that at Oxford the peace of study could for the heights ; and every new ridge is a new for. a long time be preserved only by choosing antress, where the defendants have again the same nually one of the proctors from each side of the advantages. If the assailants either force the Trent. A tract intersected by many ridges of strait, or storm the summit, they gain only so mountains naturally divides its inhabitants into much ground; their enemies are Hed to take petty nations, which are made by a thousand possession of the next rock, and the pursuers causes enemies to each other. Each will exalt stand at gaze, knowing neither where the ways its own chiefs, each wil boast the valour of its of escape wind among the steeps, nor where the men, or the beauty of its women, and every
claim of superiority irritates competition; in- / access, that they are very little under the in juries will sometimes be done, and be more influence of the sovereign, or within the reach ) juriously defended; retaliation will sometimes national justice. Law is nothing withuid be attempted, and the debt exacted with too power; and the sentence of a distant court much interest.
could not be easily executed, nor perhaps very In the Highlands it was a law, that if a rob- safely promulgated, among men, ignorantly ber was sheltered from justice, any man of the proud, and habitually violent, unconnected with same clan might be taken in his place. This the general system, and accustomed to reverence was a kind of irregular justice, which, though only their own lords. It has therefore been necessary in savage times, could hardly fail to necessary to erect many particular jurisdictions, end in a feud ; and a feud once kindled among and commit the punishment of crimes, and the an idle people, with no variety of pursuits to decision of right, to the proprietors of the coun divert their thoughts, burnt on for ages, either try who could enforce their own decrees. sullenly glowing in secret mischief, or openly immediately appears that such judges will blazing into public violence. Of the effects of often ignorant, and often partial; but in tb this violent judicature, there are not wanting immaturity of political establishments no better memorials, The cave is now to be seen, to expedient could be found. As government adwhich one of the Campbells, who had injured vances towards perfection, provincial judicature the Macdonalds, retired with a body of his own is perhaps in every empire gradually abolished. clan. The Macdonalds required the offender, Those who had thus the dispensation of law, and being refused, made a fire at the mouth of were by consequence themselves lawless. Their the cave, by which he and bis adherents were vassals had no shelter from outrages and opsuffocated together.
pressions; but were condemned to endure, Mountaineers are warlike, because by their without resistance, the caprices of wantonness feuds and competitions they consider themselves and the rage of cruelty, as surrounded with enemies, and are always In the Highlands, some great lords had an prepared to repel incursions, or to make them. hereditary jurisdiction over counties ; and some Like the Greeks in their unpolished state, de chieftains over their own lands; till the final seribed by Thucydides, the Highlanders, till conquest of the Highlands afforded an opporlately, went always armed, and carried their tunity of crushing all the local courts, and of weapons to visits, and to church,
extending the general benefits of equal law to Mountaineers are thievish, because they are the low and the high, in the deepest recesses, poor, and having neither manufactures nor and obscurest corners. commerce, can grow richer only by robbery. Wbile the chiefs bad this resemblance of They regularly plunder their neighbours, for royalty, they had little inclination to appeal, on their neighbours are commonly their enemies; any question, to superior judicatures. A claim and having lost that reverence for property by of lands between two powerful lairds was de. which the order of civil life is preserved, soon cided like a contest for dominion between consider all as enemies whom they do not reckon sovereigo powers. They drew their forces into as friends, and think themselves licensed to in the field, and right attended on the strongest. vade whatever they are not obliged to protect. This was, in ruder times, the common practice,
By a strict administration of the laws, since which the kings of Scotland could seldom conthe laws have been introduced into the High- trol. lands, this disposition to thievery is very much Even so lately as in the last years of king repressed. Thirty years ago no herd had ever William a battle was fought at Mull Roy, on a been conducted through the mountains without plain a few miles to the south of Inverness, bepaying tribute in the night to some of the clans; tween the clans of Mackintosh and Macdonald but cattle are now driven, and passengers travel, of Keppoch. Colonel Macdonald, the head of without danger, fear, or molestation.
a small clan, refused to pay the dues demanded Among a warlike people, the quality of high- from him by Mackintosh, as his superior lord. rhii esteem is personal courage, and with the They disdained the inter position of judges and Astentatious display of courage are closely con- laws, and calling each his followers to maintain nected prompitude of offence, and quickness of the dignity of the clan, fought a formal battle, resentment. The Highlanders, before they in which several considerable men fell on the were disarmed, were so addicted to quarrels, side of Mackintosh, without a complete victory that the boys used to follow any public pro- to either. This is said to have been the last fession or ceremony, however festive or how- open war made between the clans by their own Frer solemn, in expectation of the battle, which authority. was sure to happen before the company dis- The Highland lords made treaties, and formed persed.
alliances, of which some traces may still by Mountainous regions are sometimes so remote found, and some consequences still remain ay from the seat of government, and so difficult of lasting evidences of petty legality. The terms