« EelmineJätka »
the left hand and in front. We desired our We did not perceive that this tract was pos-
But we visited the place at an unseasonable joying the benefit of their labours, begged leave
ANOCH. the rest of the way easy and delightful, deprived Early in the afternoon we came to Anoch, a us of the pleasure expected from the Fall of village in Glenmollison of three huts, one of Fiers. The river having now no water but what which is distinguished by a chimney. Here we the springs supply, showed us only a swift cur- were to dine and lodge, and were conducted rent, clear and shallow, fretting over the asperi- through the first room, that had the chimney, ties of the rocky bottom; and we were left to into another lighted by a small glass window. exercise our thoughts, by endeavouring to con- The landlord attended us with great civility, and ceive the effect of a thousand streams poured told us what he could give us to eat and drink. from the mountains into one channel, struggling I found some books on a shelf, among which for expansion in a narrow passage, exasperated were a volume or more of Prideaux's Connection. by rocks rising in their way, and at last dis This I mentioned as something unexpected, charging all their violence of waters by a sudden and perceived that I did not please him. fall through the horrid chasm.
praised the propriety of his language, and was The way now grew less easy, descending by answered that I need not wonder, for he had an uneven declivity, but without either dirt or learned it by grammar. danger. We did not arrive at Fort Augustus By subsequent opportunities of observation I till it was late. Mr. Boswell, who, between found that my host's diction had nothing pecuhis father's merit and his own, is sure of recep- liar. Those Highlanders that can speak Engtion wherever he comes, sent a servant before to lish, commonly speak it well, with few of the beg admission and entertainment for that night. words, and little of the tone, by which a ScotchMr. Trapaud, the governor, treated us with that man is distinguished. Their language seems to courtesy which is so elosely connected with the have been learned in the army or the navy, or military character. He came out to meet us be- by some communication with those who could yond the gates, and apologized that, at so late an give them good examples of accent and pronunhour, the rules of a garrison suffered him to give ciation. By their Lowland neighbours they us entrance only at the postern.
would not willingly be taught; for they have FORT AUGUSTUS.
long considered them as a mean and degenerate
These prejudices are wearing fast away; In the morning we viewed the fort, which is but so much of them still remains, that when much less than that of St. George, and is said to asked a very learned minister in the islands, be commanded by the neighbouring hills. It which they considered as their most savage clans: was not long ago taken by the Highlanders. « Those," said he, “that live next the Loolands." But its situation seems well chosen for pleasure, As we came hither early in the day, we had if not for strength; it stands at the head of the time sufficient to survey the place. The house lake, and, by a sloop of sixty tons, is supplied was built like other huts, of loose stones; but from Inverness with great convenience.
the part in which we dined and slept was lined We were now to cross the Highlands towards with turf and wattled with twigs which kept the the western coast, and to content ourselves with earth from falling. Near it was a garden of such accommodation, as a way so little fre- turnips, and a field of potatoes. It stands in a quented could afford. The journey was not glen or valley, pleasanily watered by a winding formidable, for it was but of two days, very un- river. But this country, however it may delight equally divided, because the only house where the gazer or amuse the naturalist, is of no great we could be entertained was not farther off than advantage to its owners. Our landlord told us a third of the way. We soon came to a high of a gentleman who possesses lands eighteen hill, which we mounted by a military road, cut Scotch miles in length, and three in breadth ; in traverses, so that, as we went upon a higher a space containing at least a hundred square stage, we saw the baggage following us below in English miles. He has raised his rents, to the a contrary direction.
To make this way, the danger of depopulating his farms, and he fells his rock has been hewn to a level, with labour that timber, and by exerting every art of augmenmight have broken the perseverance of a Roman tation, has obtained a yearly revenue of four legion.
hundred pounds, which for a hundred square The country is totally denuded of its wood, miles is three halfpence an acre, but the stumps both of oaks and firs, which are Some time after dinner we were surprised by still found, show that it has been once a forest of the entrance of a young woman, not inelegant large timber. I do not remember that we saw any either in mien or dress, who asked us whether animals, but we were told that, in the mountains, we would have tea. We found that she was there are stags, roebucks, goats, and rabbils. the daughter of our host, and desired her to
make it. Her conversation, like her appear-monly bog, through which the way must be ance, was gentle and pleasing. We knew that picked with caution. Where there are hills, the girls of the Highlands are all gentlewomen, there is much rain, and the torrents pouring and treated her with great respect, which she down into the intermediate spaces, seldom find received as customary and due, and was neither so ready an outlet, as not to stagnate, till they elated by it, nor confused, but repaid my civili- have broken the texture of the ground. ties without embarrassment, and told me how Of the hills, which our journey offered to the much I honoured her country by coming to sur- view on either side, we did not take the height,
nor did we see any that astonished us with their She had been at Inverness to gain the com- loftiness. Towards the summit of one, there mon female qualifications, and had, like her was a white spot, which I should have called a father, the English pronunciation. I presented naked rock, but the guides, who had better eyes, her with a book, which I happened to have and were acquainted with the phenomena of the about me, and should not be pleased to think country, declared it to be snow. It had already that she forgets me.
lasted to the end of August, and was likely to In the evening the soldiers, whom we had maintain its contest with the sun, till it should be passed on the road, came to spend at our inn the reinforced by winter. little money that we had given them. They had The height of mountains philosophically co
conthe true military impatience of coin in their sidered, is properly computed from the surface pockets, and had marched at least six miles to of the next sea; but as it affects the eye or ima. find the first place where liquor could be bought. gination of the passenger, as it makes either a Having never been before in a place so wild and spectacle or an obstruction, it must be reckoned anfrequented, I was glad of their arrival, because from the place where the rise begins to make a I knew that we had made them fricnds; and to considerable angle with the plain. In extensive gain still more of their good will, we went to continents the land may, by gradual elevation, them where they were carousing in the barn, and attain great height, without any other appear added something to our former gift. All that we ance than that of a plane gently inclined, and if gave was not much, but it detained them in the a hill placed upon such raised ground be debarn, either merry or quarrelling, the whole scribed as having its altitude equal to the whole night, and in the morning they went back to space above the sea, the representation will be their work, with great indignation at the bad fallacious. qualities of whiskey.
These mountains may be properly enough We had gained so much the favour of our measured from the inland base ; for it is not host, that, when we left his house in the morn- much above the sea. As we advanced at evening, he walked by us a great way, and entering towards the western coast, I did not observe tained us with conversation both on his own the declivity to be greater than is necessary for condition, and that of the country. His life the discharge of the inland waters. seemed to be merely pastoral, except that he dif We passed many rivers and rivulets, which fered from some of the ancient Nomades in hav- commonly ran with a clear shallow stream over ing a settled dwelling. His wealth consists of a hard pebbly bottom. These channels, which one hundred sheep, as many goats, twelve milk- seem so much wider than the water that they cows, and twenty-eight beeves ready for the convey would naturally require, are formed by drover.
the violence of wintry floods, produced by the From him we first heard of the general dissa- accumulation of innumerable screams that fall in tisfaction which is now driving the Highlanders rainy weather from the hills, and bursting away into the other hemisphere; and when I asked him with resistless impetuosity, make themselves a whether they would stay at home, if they were passage proportionate to their mass. well treated, he answered with indignation, that Such capricious and temporary waters cannot no man willingly left his native country. Of the be expected to produce many fish. The rapidity farm, which he himself occupied, the rent had, in of the wintry deluge sweeps them away, and twenty-five years, been advanced from five to the scantiness of the summer stream would hardly twenty pounds, which he found himself so little sustain them above the ground. This is the rea. able to pay, that he would be glad to try his for- son why, in fording the northern rivers, no fishes tune in some other place. Yet he owned the are seen, as in England, wandering in the water. reasonableness of raising the Highland rents in Of the hills many may be called, with Haa certain degree, and declared himself willing to mer's Ida, abundant in springs, but few can de pay ten pounds for the ground which he had serve the epithet which he bestows upon Pelion, formerly had for five.
by waving their leaves. They exhibit very little Our host, having amused us for a time, ro- variety; being almost wholly covered with dark signed us to our guides. The journey this heath, and even that seems to be checked in its day was long, not that the distance was great, growth. What is not heath is nakedness, a litbut that the way was difficult. We were now tle diversified by now and then a stream rushing in the bosom of the Highlands, with full leisure down the steep. An eye accustomed to flowery to contemplate the appearance and properties of pastures and waving harvests, is astonished and mountainous regions, such as have been, in repelled by this wide extent of hopeless sterility. many countries, the last shelters of national dis. The appearance is that of matter incapable of tress, and are every where the scenes of adven- form or usefulness, dismissed by Nature from tures, stratagems, surprises, and escapes. her care, and disinherited of her favours, left in
Monntainous countries are not passed but its original elemental state, or quickened only with difficulty, not merely from the labour of with one sullen power of useless vegetation. climbing; for to climb is not always necessary: It will very readily occur, that this uniformity but because that which is not mountain is com- 1 of barrenness can afford very little amusement
to the traveller; that it is easy to sit at home road from the hihs on the other hand. These and conceive rocks, and heath, and waterfalls ; currents, in their diminished state, after several and that these journeys are useless labours, dry months, afford, to one who has always lived which neither impregnate the imagination, nor in level countries, an unusual and delightful enlarge the understanding. It is true, that of spectacle; but in the rainy season, such as far the greater part of things, we must content every winter may be expected to bring, must ourselves with such knowledge as description precipitate an impetuous and tremendous flood. may exhibit, or analogy supply; but it is true, I suppose the way by which we went is at this likewise, that these ideas are always incom- time impassable. plete, and that, at least, till we have compared
GLENSHEALS. them with realities, we do not know them to be just. As we see more, we become possessed of
The lough at last ended in a river broad and more certainties, and consequently gain more shallow like the rest, but that it may be passed principles of reasoning, and found a wider basis when it is deeper, there is a bridge over it. Be. of analogy.
yond it is a valley called Glensheals, inhabited Regions mountainous and wild, thinly inha- by the clan of Macrae. Here we found a village bited, and little cultivated, make a great part of called Auknasheals, consisting of many huts, the earth, and he that has never seen them, must perhaps twenty, built all of dry-stone, that is, live unacquainted with much of the face of na- stones piled up without mortar. ture, and with one of the great scenes of human We had, by the direction of the officers at Fort existence.
Augustus, taken bread for ourselves, and toAs the day advanced towards noon, we en- bacco for those Highlanders who might show us tered a narrow valley not very flowery, but any kindness. We were now at a place where sufficiently verdant. Our guides told us, that we could obtain milk, but must have wanted the horses could not travel all day without rest bread if we had not brought it. The people of or meat, and entreated us to stop here, because this valley did not appear to know any English, no grass would be found in any other place. and our guides now became doubly necessary as The request was reasonable, and the argument interpreters. A woman, whose hut was distincogent. We therefore willingly dismounted, guished by greater spaciousness and better arand diverted ourselves as the place gave us op- chitecture, brought out some pails of milk. The portunity.
villagers gathered about us in considerable numI sat down on a bank, such as a writer of bers, I believe, without any evil intention, but romance might have delighted to feign. I had, with a very savage wildness of aspect and manindeed, no trees to whisper over my head, but a ner. When our meal was over, Mr. Boswell clear rivulet streamed at my feet.
sliced the bread, and divided it amongst them, was calm, the air was soft, and all was rudeness, as he supposed them never to have tasted & silence, and solitude. Before me, and on either wheaten loaf before. He then gave them little side, were high hills, which, by hindering the pieces of twisted tobacco, and among the chileye from ranging, forced the mind to find enter- dren we distributed a small handful of halfpence, tainment for itself. Whether I spent the hour which they received with great eagerness. Yet well I know not; for here I first conceived the I have been since told, that the people of that thought of this narration.
valley are not indigent; and when we mentioned We were in this place at ease and by choice, them afterwards as needy and pitiable, a Highand had no evils to suffer or to fear; yet the land lady let us know, that we might spare our imaginations excited by the view of an unknown commiseration ; for the dame whose milk we and untravelled wilderness are not such as arise drank, had probably more than a dozen milkin the artificial solitude of parks and gardens, a
She seemed unwilling to take any price, flattering notion of self-sufficiency, a placid in- but being pressed to make a demand, at last dulgence of voluntary delusions, a secure ex- named a shilling. Honesty is not greater, where pansion of the fancy, or a cool concentration of elegance is less. One of the by-standers, as we the mental powers. The phantoms which haunt were told afterwards, advised her to ask more, a desert are want, and misery, and danger ; the but she said a shilling was enough. We gave evils of dereliction rush upon the thoughts ; man her half-a-crown, and I hope got some credit by is made unwillingly acquainted with his own our behaviour; for the company said, if our weakness, and meditation shows him only how interpreters did not flatter us, that they had not little he can sustain, and how little he can per- seen such a day since the old laird of Macleod form. There were no traces of inhabitants, passed through their country. except perhaps a rude pile of clods called á The Macraes, as we heard afterwards in the summer-hut, in which a herdsman had rested in Hebrides, were originally an indigent and subthe favourable seasons. Whoever had been in ordinate clan, and having no farms nor stock, the place where I then sat, unprovided with pro- were in great numbers servants to the Maclel. visions, and ignorant of the country, might, at lans, who, in the war of Charles the First, took least before the roads were made, hare wandered arms at the call of the heroic Montrose, and among the rocks, till he had perished with hard were, in one of his battles, almost all destroyed, ship, before he could have found either food or The women that were left at home, being thus shelter. Yet what are these hillocks to the deprived of their husbands, like the Scythian ridges of Taurus, or these spots of wilderness to ladies of old, married their servants, and the the deserts of America ?
Macraes became a considerable race. It was not long before we were invited to mount, and continued our journcy along the
THE HIGHLANDS. side of a lough, kept full by many streams, which As we continued our journey, we were at with more or less rapidity and noise crossed the I leisure to extend our speculations, and to inves.
tigate the reason of those peculiarities by which | Trent. A tract intersected by many ridges of such rugged regions as these before us are ge- mountains naturally divides its inhabitants into nerally distinguished.
petty nations, which are made, by a thousand Mountainous countries commonly contain the causes, enemies to ench other. Each will exalt original, at least the oldest, race of inhabitants, its own chiefs, each will boast the valour of its for chey are not easily conquered, because they men, or the beauty of its women, and every must be entered by narrow ways, exposed to claim of superiority irritates competition ; injuevery power of mischief from those that occupy ries will sometimes be done, and be more inthe heights; and every new ridge is a new for- juriously defended; retaliation will sometimes tress, where the defendants have again the same be attempted, and the debt exacted with too advantages. If the assailants either force the much interest. strait, or storm the summit, they gain only so In the Highlands it was a law, that if a robmuch ground; their enemies are fled to take ber was sheltered from justice, any man of the possession of the next rock, and the pursuers same clan might be taken in his place. This stand at gaze, knowing neither where the ways was a kind of irregular justice, which, though of escape wind among the steeps, nor where the necessary in savage times, could hardly fail to bog has firmness to sustain them: besides that, end in a feud; and a feud once kindled among mountaineers have an agility in climbing and an idle people, with no variety of pursuits to descending, distinct from strength or courage, divert their thoughts, burnt on for ages, either and attainable only by use.
sullenly glowing in secret mischief, or openly If the war be not soon concluded, the invaders blazing into public violence. Of the effects of are dislodged by hunger; for in those anxious this violent judicature, there are not wanting and toilsome marches, provisions cannot easily memorials. The cave is now to be seen, to be carried, and are never to be found. The which one of the Campbells, who had injured wealth of mountains is cattle, which, while the the Macdonalds, retired with a body of his own men stand in the passes the women drive away. clan. The Macdonalds required the offender, Such lands at last cannot repay the expense of and being refused, made a fire at the mouth of conquest, and therefore, perhaps, have not been the cave, hy which he and his adherents were so often invaded by the mere ambition of domi- suffocated together. nion, as by resentment of robberies and insults, Mountaineers are warlike, because by their or the desire of enjoying in security the more feuds and competitions they consider themselves fruitful provinces.
as surrounded with enemies, and are always As mountaineers are long before they are con prepared to repel incursions, or to make them. quered, they are likewise long before they are Like the Greeks in their unpolished state, decivilized. Men are softened by intercourse mu- scribed by Thucydides, the Highlanders, till tually profitable, and instructed by comparing lately, went always armed, and carried their their own notions with those of others. Thus weapons to visits, and to church. Cæsar found the maritime parts of Britain made Mountaineers are thievish, because they are less barbarous by their commerce with the Gauls. poor, and having neither manufactures nor comInto a barren and rough tract no stranger is merce, can grow richer only by robbery. They brought either by the hope of gain or of pleasure. regularly plunder their neighbours, for their The inhabitants having neither commodities for neighbours are commonly their enemies; and sale, nor money for purchase, seldom visit more having lost that reverence for property by which polished places; or if they do visit them, seldom the order of civil life is preserved, soon consider return.
all as enemies whom they do not reckon as It sometimes happens that by conquest, inter- friends, and think themselves licensed to invade mixture or gradual refinement, the cultivated whatever they are not obliged to protect. parts of a country change their language. The By a strict administration of the laws, since mountaineers then become a distinct nation, cut the laws have been introduced into the Highoff by dissimilitude of speech from conversation lands, this disposition to thievery is very much with their neighbours. Thus in Biscay, the repressed. Thirty years ago no herd had ever original Cantabrian, and in Dalecarlia, the old been conducted through the mountains without Swedish, still subsists. Thus Wales and the paying tribute in the night to some of the clans; Highlands speak the tongue of the first inhabi- but cattle are now driven, and passengers travel, tants of Britain, while the other parts have re- without danger, fear, or molestation. ceived first the Saxon, and in some degree after Among a warlike people, the quality of highwards the French, and then formed a third lan- est esteem is personal courage, and with the guage between them.
ostentatious display of courage are closely conThat the primitive manners are continued nected promptitude of offence, and quickness of where the primitive language is spoken, no na- resentment. The Highlanders, before they tion will desire me to suppose, for the manners were disarmed, were so addicted to quarrels, of mountaineers are commonly savage, but they that the boys used to follow any public proare rather produced by their situation than de cession or ceremony, however festive or howrived from their ancestors.
ever solemn, in expectation of the battle, which Such seems to be the disposition of man, that was sure to happen before the company diswhatever makes a distinction produces rivalry. persed. England, before other causes of enmity were Mountainous regions are sometimes so remote found, was disturbed for some centuries by the from the seat of government, and so difficult of contests of the northern and southern counties; access, that they are very little under the inso that at Oxford the peace of study could for a fuence of the sovereign, or within the reach of long time be preserved only by cho g an- national justice. Law is nothing without power; mually one of the proctors from each side of the and the sentence of a distant court could not be
easily executed, nor perhaps very safely promul- I will preserve local stories and hereditary preju. gated, among men, ignorantly proud and habitu- dices. Thus every Highlander can talk of his ally violent, unconnected with the general system, ancestors, and recount the outrages which they and accustomed to reverence only their own lords. suffered from the wicked inhabitants of the next It has therefore been necessary to erect many valley. particular jurisdictions, and commit the punish Such are the effects of habitation among ment of crimes, and the decision of right, to the mountains, and such were the qualities of the proprietors of the country who could enforce Highlanders, while their rocks secluded them their own decrees. It immediately appears that from the rest of mankind, and kept them an such judges will be often ignorant, and often unaltered and discriminated race. They are now partial; but in the immaturity of political esta- losing their distinction, and hastening to mingle blishments no better expedicnt could be found. with the general community. As government advances towards perfection, provincial judicature is perhaps in every empire gradually abolished.
We left Auknasheals and the Macraes in the Those who had thus the dispensation of law, afternoon, and in the evening came to Ratiken, were by consequence themselves lawless. Their a high hill on which a road is cut, but so steep vassals had no shelter from outrages and
and narrow that it is very difficult. There is pressions; but were condemned to endure with now a design of making another way round the out resistance, the caprices of wantonness and bottom. Upon one of the precipices, my horse, the rage of cruelty.
weary with the steepness of the rise, staggered In the Highlands, some great lords had an
a little, and I called in haste to the Highlander hereditary jurisdiction over counties; and some
to hold him. This was the only moment of my chieftains over their own lands; till the final journey in which I thought myself endangered. conquest of the Highlands afforded an opportu
Having surmounted the hill at last, we were nity of crushing all the local courts, and of ex- told, that at Glenelg, on the seaside, we should tending the general benefits of equal law to the come to a house of lime and slate and glass. low and the high in the deepest recesses, and This image of niagnificence raised our expectaobscurest corners.
tion. At last we came to our inn, weary and While the chiefs had this resemblance of peevish, and began to inquire for meat and beds. royalty, they had little inclination to appeal, on
Of the provisions the negative catalogue was any question, to superior judicatures. “A claim yery copious. Here was no meat, no milk, no of lands between two powerful lairds was de- bread, no eggs, no wine. We did not express cided like a contest for dominion between sove much satisfaction. Here, however, we were to reign powers. They drew their forces into stay. Whiskey we might have, and I believe at the field, and right attended on the strongest. last they caught a fowl and killed it. We had This was in ruder times the common practice, some bread, and with that we prepared ourselves which the kings of Scotland could seldom control! to be contented, when we had a very eminent
Even so lately as in the last years of king proof of Highland hospitality. Along some William a battle was fought at Mull Roy, on a miles of the way, in the evening, a gentleman's plain a few miles to the south of Inverness, be- servant had kept us company on foot with very iween the clans of Mackintosh and Macdonald little notice on our part.
He left us of Keppoch. Colonel Macdonald, the head of Glenelg, and we thought on him no more till he a small clan, refused to pay the dues demanded came to us again in about two hours, with a from him by Mackintosh, as his superior lurd. present from his master of rum and sugar. The They disdained the interposition of judges and man had mentioned his company, and the genlaws, and calling each his followers to maintain tleman, whose name I think is Gordon, well the dignity of the clan, fought a formal battle, knowing the penury of the place, had this attenin which several considerable men fell on the tion to two men, whose names perhaps he had side of Mackintosh, without a complete victory not heard, by whom his kindness was not likely to either. This is said to have been the last to be ever repaid, and who could be recommend open war made between the clans by their owned to him only by their necessities. authority.
We were now to examine our lodging. Out The Highland lords made treaties, and formed of one of the beds on which we were to repose, alliances, of which some traces may still be started up, at our entrance, a man black as a found, and some consequences still remain as Cyclops from the forge. Other circumstances lasting evidences of petty ality. The terms of no elegant recital concurred to disgust us. of one of these confederacies, were, that each We had been frighted by a lady at Edinburgh, should support the other in the right, or in the with discouraging representations of Highland wrong, except against the king.
lodgings. Sleep, however, was necessary. Our The inhabitants of mountains form distinct Highlanders had at last found some hay, with races, and are careful to preserve their genea- which the inn could not supply them. I directed logies. Men in a small district necessarily them to bring a bundle into the room, and slept mingled blood by intermarriages, and combine upon it in my riding coat. Mr. Boswell being at last into one family, with a common interest more delicate, laid himself sheets, with hay over in the honour and disgrace of every individual. and under him, and lay in linen like a gentleThen begins that union of affections, and cooperation of endeavours, that constitute a clan.
SKY. ARMIDEL. They who consider themselves as ennobled by In the morning, September the twentieth, we their family, will think highly of their proge- found ourselves on the edge of the sea. Having nitors; and they who through successive gene- procured a boat, we dismissed our highlanders, rations live always together in the same place, I whom I would recommend to the service of any