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experience of another. And we pre
ment to the foot. You now come, all fer the homely account given by Sir
at once, to the brink of a precipice on John Sinclair, more than half a cen
the north-east of the mountain, almost tury ago :
perpendicular, certainly not less than four hundred or five hundred yards,
perhaps more. A stranger is astonish“It is easily ascended by a ridge of ed at the sight of this dreadful rock, the mountain, towards the west, about which has a quantity of snow lodged in a quarter of a mije up the river Nevis. its bosom through the whole year. The There is good pasture for sheep here, sound of a stone thrown over the cliff as well as on the surrounding hills, for a to the bottom cannot be heard when it great way up. The view
is entirely falls, so that the height of the precipice confined within Glenevishill, till you cannot be ascertained by that easy exhave got up about 500 yards, perpen. periment. Looking to the east, Loch dicular. The valley, though confined, Laggan appears, and to the south-east, presents an agreeable prospect; the Loch Rannoch, in Perthshire, &c. The vista is beautified with a diversity of whole of the great glen of Scotland, bushes, shrubs, and birch-woods, the from Fort George to the Sound of Mull, seats of roes and deer, besides many love- is at once in view ; comprehending the ly spots of green. A river at the bottom fresh-water lakes of Ness, Oich, and of the vale, which, after being broken by Lochy, and all the courses of these rivers, a heap of mis-shapen stones, glides away from their source to the place where in a clear stream, and wandering they enter into salt-water, running in through woods, vales, and rocks, loses opposite directions--the one, north-east, itself in the sea. This is such a prospect the other, south-west. The extent of as must expand the heart, and delight view, on the horizon of the sea, is about the spectator, attached to the charms eighty miles. One sees, at once, across of nature ; and recall to the mind the the island, eastward, to the German days of old, when princes and prin- Sea, and westward, to the Atlantic cesses are said to have tended their Ocean. The high hills on each side, herds and flocks, amidst the beauties of opening like huge walls or ramparts on Arcadia.
every hand, yield a curious variety of * Upon ascending above this height, agreeable, wild prospects, the vast the prospect opens and enlarges to- windings whereof make the several wards the south-west, and you behold turnings of the mountains rather dithe strait of Corran, the islands of Shu- versify the scene than obstruct the eye. na and Lismore, the south-east part of Their extremities, declining gradually Mull, together with the islands of Suile from their several summits, open into and Kerrera, on the opposite coast of Ar- valleys, where one has variegated views gyle. At this altitude, two elevated of woods, rivers, plains, and lakes. The hills make their appearance over these torrents of water, which here and there isles; which, by their shape declare them- tumble down the precipices, and in many selves to be the Paps of Jura. Turn- places break through the cracks and ing to the west, you see the small isles, cliffs of the rocks, arrest the eye, and particularly Rum and Canna, and the suspend the mind in awful astonishment. sound that seperates them from Skye; In a word, the number, the extent,
the and beyond all these, the Cullin hills. variety of the several prospects-the From the altitude of 600 or 700 yards irregular wildness of the hills, the upward, there is no vegetation at all, rocks, and precipices—the noise of rivu. but merely rocks and stony parts, with- lets and torrents, breaking and foamout even a mixture of earth. These ing among the stones in such a diversity parts are called Scarnachs; they are of shapes and colours-the shining quite flat, and may be walked over smoothness of the seas and lakes, the without any detriment. Upon entering rapidity and rumbling of the rivers, into them, some excellent springs of falling from shelve to shelve, and forcing water are to be found.
their streams through a multitude of “Here one is deceived with the appear- obstructions—the serenity of the azure ance of a high post, which seems to be skies, and the splendour of the glorious the top of the hill. The deception re- sun, riding in the brightness of his maturns, and is repeated twice or thrice jesty, have something so charmingly before you reach the summit, which is wild and romantic, and so congenial to flat, and bears some resemblance to the the contemplative mind, as surpasses all segment of an arch, held in a horizontal description, and presents a scene, of position. The left side appears to be which the most fervid imagination can ihe highest, hence you walk with ease scarcely form an idea. The traveller over the flat, weather-beaten stones who is so callous as to behold all this, that lie close to each other, with a gen- and not feel the greatness and majesty tle declivity, and form an easy pave- of the Almighty architect impressed
upon his heart, must, indeed, be
versing, extends to the north of High strangely void of taste, of sense, and of Bridge about ten miles. It gradually sentiment. It affords a lesson, worthy becomes narrower for fourteen miles, of travelling up the mountain to learn. Few can perform a journey to the top
until the whole breadth, a little above of Ben Nevis, and make proper obser? Keppoch, is occupied by the bed of vations, going and returning, in less
the rapid river Spean—three miles than seven hours ; and still fewer, with. above that, it begins to widen again, out feeling in their limbs the effects of and terminates at the west end of the fatigue for a day or two after.” Loch Laggan. The hills forming the
northern boundaries of this glen, are However much we might regret the not so majestic, nor so continuous as loss of all this picturesque mountain
those on the south side. Nothing scenery, the disappointment was not
astonishes the traveller so much as the without its advantages. Our limbs
varied aspect of the country, had undergone no fatigue, and we had On approaching it, one is apt to gained a day, which allowed us to pre
conclude that he is entering a wild repare an excursion to Loch Laggan. gion of barren and heath-covered The whole of this route is extremely mountains, unfitted by nature for the beautiful and romantic. On the brink
So dreary and of a tremendous precipice, overlooking gloomy is the scene, that he is ready the river Lochy, are the remains of Tor to imagine he has left behind him Castle, a place of great antiquity, and every spot in which human wit and alleged, by tradition, to have been the industry can be exercised to any beneresidence of Banquo. The parish kirk
And his surprise is is on the opposite side of the canal; and increased when, amidst this barrenness at no great distance from it, is a monu- and desolation, he occasionally gets a ment, a handsome obelisk, erected to the glimpse of green vales and fertile memory of Colonel John Cameron, el- fields ; particularly about the bridge dest son of Sir Ewen Cameron of Fass- of Spean, where it is joined by the fern, who closed a life of twenty years' river Roy. The space between is active military service on the memora- well cultivated, and boasts of several ble 16th of June, 1815. The obelisk, good farm houses, such as that of overshalowed by a clump of trees, Keppoch. The chieftains of this clan stands on the margin of Loch Eil, (Macdonalds) have always been disopposite the entrance to the Caledo- tinguished for their bravery, and frenian Canal. This parish (Kilmalie) quently shown the mettle of the hardy has been long celebrated as a nursery
mountaineers. Beyond the bridge of for the army, and has produced many Roy the channel of the Spean gets brave soldiers; and, amongst other deep and rocky, the cultivated region natives who have distinguished them- disappears, and a bleak moorland, selves, was the identical Samuel Came- studded with coppice and birch, conron, who struck down, with his enor. tinues to the margin of Loch Laggan. mous Lochabar axe, the brave and Here, however, the scenery is really pious Colonel Gardiner, at the battle splendid and imposing. The Benalder of Prestonpans, in 1745. He and his hills to the south, rise in sharp preci. comrades on that occasion used to pitous peaks, one above another, as if allege, that they acted in self-defence, they had been torn asunder and as the Colonel attacked them, gallop- thrown into their fantastic attitudes ing up to set an example to his men. by some violent convulsion of nature. In the rebellion of that year, the Ben Nied towers above the loch, and Camerons followed their chief, who the lodge of Ardverikie, with dark joined Prince Charles—a measure, of woods covering its base, and green which they had sufficient cause to repent.
heather spreading high up its sides ; The present mansion of Locheil is while the Aberarder range towards Achnacarry, near the small bay of the north, appear to lose themselves in Arkaig, on the north side of Loch the rugged heights of Corryarick. Lochy. Close beside the modern The situation of Ardverikie is building, are the walls of the old man- truly romantic; and if its internal sion, which was burnt, in 1746, by the
accommodations at all correspond Duke of Cumberland.
with the scale of its erection, it might The glen which we were now tra- be a residence fitting for a Queen, for
it is said to pay taxes for sixty win- went out to meet his pursuers. The dows. The loch is eight or nine miles officer gave him his horse to hold, in length, and about one and a half in while he and the party made search breadth. The extensive wood (Coill- for the obnoxious chief within ; and more) on the south side, is said to be a after the search was over, he rewarded remnant of the Caledonian forest, him with half-a-crown for his pains! which was a famous hunting-place, Among other contrivances, he had abounding formerly with deer and roe. a small hiding-hole, formed of sticks This is probable enough, as memo. and turf, in the salient angle of a rials of this royal sport are still asso- wooded hill, and with so much art ciated with the spot. Two small is- that the soldiers stationed in the dis. lands in the loch, near Ardverikie, are trict, though they suspected he was in called Eilan an Righ, the king's is- concealment very near them, and, of land ; and Eilan nan Con, the dog's course, kept a good look-out, were island, where it is supposed the ani. never able to discover his place of mals were kennelled or secured after retreat. But at length he became the chase. Here, too, is a place held so adventurous, as frequently to in. sacred from the most remote antiquity, dulge in the pleasures of his family and said to mark the graves of seven fire-side, and in this way his pursue's kings of the Caledonians, about the got notice of his movements. A party period when the Scots were driven by was dispatched to the place, and as the Picts beyond the Tay, and had Cluny had plied his glass rather freely, their seat of government at Dunkeld. they might have easily secured their
The house of Cluny is one of the prey, had not a kindly messenger given most distinguished in the district. An timely intelligence of the enemys apancestor of the present chief figured proach. Hastily wrapping hit in a in the rebellion of 1745, and many plaid, his domestics carried hin out, anecdotes are told of the singular and concealed themselves in the brush. artifices by which he contrived to wood which skirted the river, till the secrete himself, after the battle of red-coats, who had just gained the Culloden, for many years, in the neigh- opposite bank, crossed the fard, and bourhood of his own castle. At first proceeded to the castle, when they he was in the king's service, but being passed in safety. In this humble re. taken prisoner, he consented to join treat, Cluny had another very narrow the Prince's standard. When Charles escape-one of his clansmen having marched south, Cluny accompanied accidentally stumbled through the him to Edinburgh, was present with roof of his chieftain's bower, was his regiment at the battle of Preston- astonished to discover that the in. pans, followed him to England, bad mate was the “laird himsel." The the rear-guard in the skirmishes of recognition was mutually surprisClifton and Penrith; and, with about ing.“ What! is this you, Cluny? 600 Macphersons, put two regimenta I'm glad to see you." “ Bu, I'm no of the Duke of Cumberland's dragoons glad to see you, Donald,” was the to flight. He was not at Culloden, reply. The clansman vowed secrecy, but after that battle he became the but the chief, knowing the story would object of the Duke's special vengeance. spread like wild-fire, thought it the Nevertheless, in spite of all that he more prudent course to change his and his spies could do, the chief con- abode. He succeeded, at last, in tinued to set their vigilance at defiance, making his escape to France, where and to conceal himself for nine years he died. The estate was forfeited, in Laggan. He had, however, many but afterwards restored, as others have narrow escapes, in which he evinced been since. much adroitness and presence of mind. By far the most remarkable natural On one occasion, when residing at a features in the valley of the Spean, gentleman's house, a party of soldiers are the celebrated parallel roads of was seen approaching ; escape was im- Glenroy, which have puzzled and perpossible ; but having quickly equipped plexed geologists, since the time of the himself in the habiliments of one of the deluge. It lies entirely out of our gillies of the house, with hands and face province to enter upon these discushalf blackened for the occasion, and sions, farther than to convey some with head and legs quite bare, he idea of their singular structure. These
“ roads" are said to be composed of side, the hills are bold, sprinkled with sand and gravel, and run longitudi- green pasture and grey rock. They nally along each side of the glen, at are often intersected by lateral valleys, various heights, forming those slightly and here afford a great diversity of marked lines, and exactly parallel to sky and shore outline. Loch Linnhe each other. At some parts they are is a beautiful expanse of water, and not to be seen, such as where they as we ploughed its surface, we expecross the bare, hard rock, where loose rienced, in looking back towards the soil or gravel would not rest, and huge Ben vis, and “the adle where the surface of the hill is gently the rebellion," something of the feel. inclined. Very often, the appearance ings of the exiled Cameron, when is so faint, that a spectator may find compelled to bid adieu to his wild himself standing on one, without be- fastnesses, and seek refuge on the ing aware of its existence_but, at continentother parts, they swell out into pretty broad terraces; and, what seemed
" To his blue hills, that rose in view,
As o'er the deep his galley bore, obscure to a spectator in juxta-posi
He often look'd, and sighed . adien!' tion with it, becomes more distinct,
We'll never see Lochaber more." when seen from the opposite side of the valley, where the eye takes in the At Corran, where there is a ferry, lines for the length of some miles. the loch swells out very considerEach of these terraces, by the test of ably. Farther to the left is the village the level, have been found to be ex- of Onich, the last of the Lochaber actly horizontal with each other-and, country; and some few miles to the also, as regards the corresponding eastward, is Ballaheellish ferry, which terraces on the opposite side. The crosses Loch Leven, and joins the first, or lowest terrace, is 972 feet road that traverses the celebrated pass above the level of the sea ; the second of Glencoe. The broad Linnhe is is 1,184 feet; and the third, 1,266 studded with islands, the largest of feet. When viewed from the entrance which is Shuna and Lismore. On to Glen Roy, which is a lateral branch the left it is bounded by the craggy of Glen Spean, they appear like a belt
knolls of Appin ; on the opposite of ropes, running horizontally along side, by the green shores and purple the sides of the hills, and stretching hills of Morven. Lower down, at the far up the steep narrow ravine. mouth of Loch Leven, there is a con
The origin, or structure of these siderable extent of level ground on curious terraces, has long been a theme both sides, skirted by wooded crags, of scientific discussion; nor is the and planted with several gentlemen's question yet settled; but to those who seats, embosomed in pleasure-grounds, wish to study the subject, we recom- and adorned with full-grown trees. mend the latest published work that Among these sequestered residences treats of it-" Chambers's Ancient are Castle Stalker, an old square buildSea-margins."
ing in ruins ; Barcaldine Castle, a Quitting these wonderful roads, and lofty, heavy structure; and some miles leaving the old Fingalians and the nearer Loch Etive, are the remains modern philosophers to adjust their of a druidical circle, on the summit of conflicting theories between them, we an eminence, where antiquarians contook our departure for Fort William, jecture stood the famous city Bergan, resolved, next day, weather and steam or Beregonium of the later geographers. permitting, to push our adventures The island of Lismore, opposite the into the Hebrid Isles. Already, “the mouth of Loch Etive, is low and boat was rocking in the bay,” impatient fertile, carrying on a considerable to convey her freight of delighted trade in limestone, of which it is en. passengers to Oban. Travellers have tirely composed. On nearing the the option of proceeding by land or island of Kerrera, and before entering water : the former commands some the Bay of Oban, we pass two places charming scenery, but the latter is of historical celebrity-Dunstaffnage more convenient, and so we preferred Castle and Dunolly Castle. The it. The coasts about the junction of whole of this district is classic ground. Loch Eil, and Loch Linnhe, abound It was in the island of Kerrera that in romantic landscape views. On either Alexander II. died of a fever, when
engaged in wresting the sovereignty It was then possessed by Alexander, of certain islands from the Nor. father to John, the Lord of Lorn; wegians. He had gone on that expe- and, more than a century later, it was dition to compel Angus of Argyle to transferred to the knight of Lochan do homage to himself, and not to the (Campbell), the direct ancestor of the king of Norway, for his lands ; but family in whose possession as “Capexpired before effecting his object. tains of Dunstaffnage,” it has remained Tradition says, his body was buried to the present day. From that period, “ near the Horse-shoe harbour, where the castle has been carefully mainhis fleet lay at the time,” in a field, tained as the principal stronghold of still called Dalree, or the King's Field. the clan Campbell in that district, as Dunstaffnage Castle is of unknown a defence against the hostile incursions antiquity; and neither its founder nor of the warlike islanders, down to the the time of its construction are re- rebellions of 1715 and 1745, when it corded. It was, however, once the was garrisoned by the royal forces. seat of the British kings and Scottish This castle is of a square form, having princes ; and here, for a long time, round towers at three of the angles. was preserved the famous coronation The average height of the walls is stone, reckoned the palladium of Scot- sixty-six feet, and nine in thickness. land, brought, according to the le- The interior of the quadrangle is gend, from Spain, and alleged to have eighty-seven feet; and the external been Jacob's pillow. It was after- measurement of the walls two hunwards removed to Scone Palace, by dred and seventy feet. It has its enKenneth II., and carried thence to trance from the sea by a staircase; Westminster (where it now is) by but it is supposed that in former ages Edward I., among other sacred monu- the access was by means of a drawments of Scottish independence. The bridge. belief of the Scots in its mystical vir- To imagine that this castle was tues was cherished by an old monkish founded by a certain Pictish king, inscription, in doggrel Latin :
Evan, and called after him Evanum,
in the time of Julius Cæsar, would “ Ni fallat fatum, Scoti, quocumque locatum,
be to tax credulity rather severely. Invenient lapidem, regnare tenentur ibidem." The present building may have been
erected towards the end of the thirSome of the ancient regalia are teenth century, and was taken posses. still preserved by the owner of the sion of by Robert Bruce after his viccastle, Mr. Campbell, amongst which tory over the Lord of Lorn in the Pass are the spurs and stirrups of King of Awe; till the middle of the sevenRobert Bruce ; a battle-axe, and an teenth century, it was inhabited by the ivory image, mentioned by Pennant, lords of Argyle ; and during the wars who has given a drawing of it; and of Montrose, Macdonald of Colkitto which, he thinks, “was certainly cut (the left-handed) narrowly escaped in memory of the celebrated chair, falling into the hands of its ostile and appears to have been an inaugu- governor. Believing it to be held by ration sculpture: a crowned monarch his friends, he was, unsuspectingly, ap; is represented sitting in it, with a book, proaching it in a boat, when a faithful or scroll, in one hand, as if going to piper, then a prisoner in the castle, take the coronation-oath." The book struck up a well-known air, which beis supposed to contain the laws of the ing perfectly understood by Macdoland, which the monarch was swearing nald, he hastily shifted his course and to observe ; the mode of taking the escaped. The luckess piper was not oath being, not by kissing the bible, so fortunate, for so exasperated but by holding up the right hand. It the garrison at an incident which had was about the year 843 that Kenneth lost them a prisoner of distinction, M‘Alpine transferred the seat of go- that they wreaked their vengeance on vernment from Dunstaffnage to Scone; the faithful clansman.
On the battleand then it vanishes from history for ments are preserved the brass guns several centuries, till it rises again to which formerly belonged to the flagview in the eventful reign of Bruce, ship of the Spanish Armada (the who encountered many struggles and “ Florida,") when it was blown up at adversities in this part of Argyleshire. Tobermory. A portion of a plank of