Internal ID: 0054 [see the .xml file]
Identifier: NLS MS. 6322
Editors: Edited with an Introduction by Alex Deans
Cite:


Copy
Inscription on Mural Monument in Dr. Gregory's Burying Grounds, in Chapel of Ease to St. Cuthberts Church
Edinburgh

Hoc in agello sunesto ^Sepultae sunt Reliquiæ
JACOB PATTISSON de Witham in Comitatu de Essex
Qui in ACADEMIA EDINENSI
Non minus sauste, quam diligenter, in rem Medicam Incumbebat
Florentum Ætate.
Ob ingenii Acumen moresque imprimis amabiles
omnibus quibus notus Carissimum
Febris Lethalis aggressa
Procul patria domo, inter lachrymas ac Suspiria Sociorum
Subito oppressit.
Hocce Monumentum tres Societates
REGIAMEDICA, nempe, SPECULATIVA et PHYSICA
Quarum omnium simul PRÆSES suit
Non ut samae ejus consulerent, quippe illius parum indigæ opis
Sed ut animos nec Amicitiæ nec meriti insignis
Immemores ostenderent
Conjunctim Exstruendum curarunt
Obiit III Idus Martii A.D. 1782 An. Æt 23.


ii

Jacob Pattisson Junrs Scotch Highlands — 1780


See page 50th. August. 17th. 17801


iii

A Tour
Through Part of the
Highlands of Scotland
in
1780
By Jacob Pattisson (Junior) of University of Edinburgh

NB. Written while Robt. Burns was Burness
& before he had ever visited Auld Reekie
While Walter Scott was a Boy
and before Henry Brougham was three years old.)
& J. P. jrs Brother Wm. Henry E Pattisson 5 years old by.
Jacob. H Pattisson
LL.M. Cantab



No1. 1

Augt. 9th. Stirling. 1780.

Between the forming a Resolution & the execution, Time generally places a few circumstances as hints to review what perhaps was determined in passion, or without sufficient Foresight. If a man fairly gets rid of these with honour, & feels a sense of Victory within, why then is his time if booted & spurr'ed, to get upon his horse, & make the best of his way. Lest in the present case the contest might be doubtful, it appear'd the best piece of generalship to get up early & set off before we were quite awake, that at breakfast yet 10 miles off, we might consider the matter coolly. The consequence of which was as might be expected, there was no doubt stated either of the propriety, or possibility, of executing our plan. Warm'd with riding, & cherished by a good breakfast, difficulties appeared trifles light as air,2 & to have return'd would have been attended with more ignominy than we cared to meet with — therefore we were forced to go on. –––––

In passing to Queen's Ferry to breakfast we saw a girl of about the age of 16, standing with a poor elderly blind man by the side of a brook — she had a little oatmeal in one hand & was putting some water to it with the other, she then mixed it up a little, & fed him with it — as we check our Horses a little we saw her give him several pieces before we had got past her, & as it was pity she should ever want


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meal, we gave here a trifling donation — this was probably his Daughter, & surely engaged inob an office at which Humanity must feel a glow of approbation — it was however too soon as yet to meet with adventures, & after thinking that the Dutch were perfectly justifiable in making it death for every person who killed a Stork,3 we rode briskly on — There is as yet Virtue in the world, says Lister — After breakfast we had to cross a Ferry full two miles wide over the Firth — as it is much passed we had our wherry quite full of Carts, & Horses, & bullocks, & people — in going over we passed by a little Island about in the middle, on which are the ruins of an old castle called Garvey — now the habitation of Sea Gulls — it appears to have ^been pretty extensive, & with Cannon would command the Firth — After landing we were called into a house by a woman who knew something of Lister to give our advice upon a sick Child — this we did most readily, & you will believe me when I tell you to the best of our Abilities — We were happy in having this early opportunity of doing good — we certainly meant it as part of our embassy —

We now enter Fife shire, & ascending some of the Hills up a good road command an extensive view of the Firth below, with several little Fishing towns upon its Skirts — the Castle of Dumferline is within our view. I believe I should have done more justice in calling it a monastery, but it is so ruined now that you may call it almost what you please —4 Sir James Preston has a pleasing modern


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built house about half a mile from the road — the grounds are totally laid out, but the wood seems mostly natural — we pass thro Culross & Torryburn two neat little Towns & arrive at Kincardine to dinner — we were here not likely to get any meat unless we would eat some part of Sheep which we then saw fleaing — we had it stew'd & made a tolerable dinner — as some time elapsed before it could decently be got ready, we took a walk into that resort of the living & the dead the Churchyard, not without thinking as we cast our eyes upon some painted Tomb stones, 'that a living Dog is better than a dead Lion.'5 As stones are easily procured in Scotland almost every grave has one, & as the Idea of being remember'd is not so transient as the thing itself, people in general, we found, had only put the initials of their names upon the Stones, with this line in passant upon every one of them "Memento more." Why can we not as well be serious in english at once, & speak out "Remember Death"?

Our ride after dinner was very pleasing — altho the morning had been foggy, the Sun now bore some power, & altho the clouds quitted the Hills with reluctance, yet they were forced to it — as we could look down upon the Firth, we could plainly discern several small clouds resting upon it — dissipating by degrees — we arrived about 7 at Stirling to which we had been guided for some miles by a view of the castle — as soon as we had put up our horses, we rushed up to the castle to take a view of the Country below —


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The sun was just peeping over Moncrief Hills6 & the evening was tolerably clear — we had a noble view of the windings of the the Firth,7 which within 4 miles of Stirling is said to run a circling course of 20 miles — the country on both sides is rich, & upon some slight eminences in this delightful Vale you see the remains of two old abbies, & a castle; the first nearly obscured by trees — the monks always seemd to know which point of the Country was most fruitful, & at a time when there were devils, & witches, it was necessary those who had to combat them should be well supplied — you may here see the towns on both coasts, & it is said on a clear day you may see Edinburgh Castle 35 miles distance, which from the situation I should suppose very possible — As we return from the Castle we view the remains of an old royal palace the lurking place of the old Scotch Kings — it was a place of some strength, & such places were often necessary when a kingdom so weakly connected as was Scotland, was in trouble — over the gateway without side [sic] are placed figures of Devils, or gnomons — nunns, & false Cannon, which must have been pretty modern — over the gate within side of an amazing thick wall is placed the bravado to those who are without

8 How this was to be known to those without side I do not understand.

Stirling is a tolerable old town & well situated; and enter it which way you please you pass thro a row


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of good Trees — we passed over a good bridge, which is built over the Firth, in that part very narrow —

As I stood over the Door of the Stable, I had the pleasure of being taken by one of the Fraternity for a Manchester rider — as it was pity a man should be disappointed who had made so serious an attack, I held a discourse with him for a few minutes upon the loss of trade, & of the little I knew of their manufactures — whether I gave him any satisfaction, or no, I do not know, but he seem'd very well contented — he was a perfect Flat & a person must be strangely out to make discord with him. —

I saw a great number of Girls at Stirling exceedingly beautiful, which I think is in great measure to be attributed to the manner of their wearing their hair — it is long & combed back before, & being carefully twisted up behind is fastened upon the top of the head with a comb — they wear no cap or ribband on it whatever — it is by no means dissimilar to the old grecian way ––––– Adieu –––––


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August 10th. Luss.

We set out from Stirling very early in the morng. & go over two miles on the wrong road — it is next to impossible for an englishman to be understood; we however were fortunately rectified by a man & forced to go past the very house we had set off from — it was in vain to be angry, altho we were much disposed to it — Where every person thinks himself a land surveyor, & a calculator of Distances, no wonder we should meet with different accounts — from Stirling to Baglivy altho we asked almost every person we met, we did not receive two accounts alike — some called it by the scotch mile which is 1½ english — some by the english — but more by their own computation — a person need only be tired when he measures a distance, & he scarce ^knows where to set bounds to it — habit afterwards, & the persecution of his neighbours for his mistaken notion, render it sacred to him —

The Scotch are said to be very inquisitive after news — a little Farmer on a hobby attacked Lister who was jogging on before, by asking him what news — how the crops were southward, & whether many cattle were gone to Haddington Fair — I do not know what answers Lister gave him, but the man rode whistling contentedly past me — After riding six or seven miles most of which was rather ascending, we came within view of Ben Lomond to the right of us — this is supposed the 2d.


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mountain ^in Scotland for height — his head was far above a thick horizon of distant clouds — there is an amazing long chain of mountains connected with him, & as some of them are high they take off from his real height, altho they are by no means equal to him — we now passed thro a country altho not very rich well cultivated & I am informed that Labourers in the fields receive from 6 to 8 a day — as we were now upon a very high ground we saw some clouds hanging by the side of a hill above us & floating within ^an 100 yards of us — as the sun shone upon them their shade varied & now & then we received a few drops from them —

The Farm houses around have a very good appearance — they have each a few trees around them & the lands are not divided by walls, or hedges, so that if any person puts our a horse, or Cow, to feed he fastens it by a long line to some spot — sufficient space is allowed to graze & no inconvenience ensues — it is not uncommon to see Horses, Cows, Hogs, & sheep thus all tied up together — & as it is in general not approved by all, the mixture of voices makes the purest discord.

At Baglivy where we breakfasted there is a little manufactory of Linnen carried on — generally of Coarse Cloths which are wove for little more than 2d a yard — 'tho the price differs as it is more or less fine — you will smile, when I tell you, that I observed here a particular species of Hens, with very short Legs, & which wadled like Ducks — they had not feathers upon their wings legs, but were in every respect


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like other fowls — I could get not information concerning them, or as you are guardian of a little dutch colony would have informed you —

We had a long & a very hot ride to the Ford o' Balloch to Dinner — in our way we saw at a distance a large modern house belonging to the Duke of Montrose — it seems placed on the south side of those high mountains I have mentioned & a noble serpentine River rolls before ^it — it commands a good view of the Country — not far from the road we see the Remains of Kilmaranock Castle, nearly obscured by trees. It is impossible to look upon these reliques of greatness, without figuring to ourselves the state of those persons who once inhabited them, when in their glory — Sovereigns of the plains below, & not allowing or not having any equal but ^at a distance, they ruled their vassals with an iron hand. Fosterd in pride by a perpetual view of their own greatness, & taught a spirit of Cruelty by their enemies, they could set no bounds to their passions. It was fortunate for the peace of Scotland, when the King could gain so much power as to check & control these petty disturbers of mankind. –––––

As we approach the Ford the Country becomes more bold, & mountainous, & in consequence more barren. The crops are thin & few & intirely oats — There is however a considerable quantity of Lint grown hereabouts — the Country suits it, & it is convenient for the large Linnen manufactory at paisley. — They have very little notion of the advantages of a wheel carriage in this part of the Country — instead of which they use large baskets fastened upon two sticks — the short ends of which serve as wheels, & drag on the ground — the long as shafts — they cut a droll appearance & we mett with vast numbers of them mostly driven by women,


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who in this country carry the whip — as a badge of Slavery. It is true we mett with a few with wheels, but they were exceedingly awkward, and generally made of the slice of a large Tree cut horizontally, & a whole cut in the middle for the axle — They were solid or nearly so & it is probable not unlike what the Grecian Heroes used to manage with so much dexterity — I wished for Antilochus to inform me. —

We had a most wretched Dinner at the Ford,, Oatmeal, Bannocks, & Salmon that very far from being sweet — but as we expected this we did not regard it — our philosophy came in to our aid & whisper'd to us, that few were the necessaries of Life — & that what we had seen every where else was in reality — the Luxuries.

––––– After dinner we pass the River Leven in a boat — it is narrow but so deep that it is not prudent to attempt it without — We soon got into the great Road that leads North from Glasgow, & which is exceedingly good — it was lined by trees, which as the sun shone made it shady, & agreable — We rode up by the Side of Loch Lomond, the largest & most beautiful Lake in Scotland — it is no less than 24 miles in length, & in some parts 8 miles over. — it is fresh water, & there are a great number of Islands in it, many of which are coverd with wood. The largest is called Inch Murray, & belongs to the Duke of Montrose — there are several Houses on it & it is well stocked with Deer — on the further side of the Lake, & stretching to the north are a ridge of very high mountains of which Ben Lomond is the Tyrant — to the high left the ground is high & barren — As you ride along the scene is perpetually altering, new Islands appear or you see the old ones in different points of view — Within about 4 miles of Luss, upon a promontory projecting into the Loch, is a


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house belonging to Sir James Colquhoun — it is well situated, & seems to command the noblest view of the Lake —

Evening now came on apace. & the last Rays of the Sun blended with the pure light of the Moon gave an soothing serenity to every thing around us — it was in vain to attempt, nor was it to be desired, to shut out a pleasing kind of melancholy which insensibly took possession of the Soul.



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We were informed that upon one of the Islands there is a madhouse10 — I know of no situation so fitted for it — secluded from the gay & busy hum of men — barr'd from society by the loss of the noblest powers of the Soul — to retreat & dwell unknown among the wonders of nature, must surely temper madness itself — if not it can never become the object of dread, or of Ridicule —here the Tears of Dotage might flow from Marlborough in silence, & Swift might drivel in oblivion.11

When we arrived at Luss the Inn was full, but as we had a Letter to the minister of the parish12 we at least thought of getting a bed — we were beside informed that he was a sensible man, & would give us much information — he was however not at home, & the house was locked up — as after such a journey as we had had it was impossible to go 20 miles further, so it seemed highly improbable that we should get any bed at all — at length after much solicitation we procured two straw beds, & as we had clean Linnen slept exceedingly well; occasionally chanting as the straw pricked us

"Not costly robes, or beds of Down
"Or all the gems &c –––––

After we had fixed upon our Beds, & orderd Supper, we


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sallied forth to take a walk beside of the Loch — The moon shone bright, & the winds were hushed — the shade of the mountains & gentle motion of the Loch created a scene worthy the contemplation of a rational being — No man in the world ever knew better how to manage such a set of Circumstances as Lister — he was attuned to the evening & Seemed the very voice of meditation — we wandered two or three miles, & return'd about 10 oClock, & I can truly say I returnd refreshed. –––––

Would it had been possible to have had some of my friends by the arm — or that they taking hold of mine, could have with us saunter'd along the shores of Loch Lomond — how would their bosoms have fired at the Scene, & had it been possible an affection purer than what we now hold, would have gone forth — as it is I entreat your reflections upon it — & could I have given you a more lively view of the scene, I should have been happier — good night –––––


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Augt. 11th. Inverary

When a man is tolerably tired it little matters what he sleeps upon — you may if you please compliment him with a soft, & easy bed — but I do assure you he can sleep as well upon straw — We were not however disposed for laying longer than 6, & so got up & set off for Tarbot to breakfast — the road was most delightful all the way by the side of the Loch, & thro a vista of Trees. After we had travell'd about 2 miles Lister recollected that he had left one of the Girths behind him — as both of us need not return I after he had Let off back, pulled my Virgil out of my pocket & soon fell in love with Amaryllis. A highland woman coming past, disturbed my reverie, by wanting to know what I was about — I found the woman wanted to get into discourse with me, & I had not objection — she was about 60, of a sensible, healthy countenance, & could speak English very well — she soon let me know that she had 3 sons; two in the navy & one in the army they were she said, 'all good, & dutiful boys, & all of them well provided for' — she had received an account of the Destruction of Langara's fleet, by Rodney,13 from one of them, which I suppose she had got by heart as she gave it me very minutely. I believe she was going to begin the Tale of the Soldier, when Lister came up, & we were obliged to redeem the Time we had lost –––––

The Country is now become mountainous, & barren — the rocks are in many places quite naked,


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& the Strata of them in a regular direction — all of them equally oblique. here if I was disposed to conjecture I might talk of Chrystillization &c but I am not writing to Alchymists —

"But pray Dr. did you go to the Top of Ben Lomond?" Indeed my dear Miss P. , I did not — it was a hot Day, & the height I thought was at least indefinite — Still I found the following Lines scratched upon a pane of Glass in our breakfast room, & which as they were quite sufficient for me I hope you will be satisfied with — altho they are long yet I think them worth Transcribing

Stranger if oe'r this pane of Glass perchance
Thy roving eye should cast a casual glance;
If Taste for grandeur, & the dread sublime
Prompt thee Ben Lomond's fearful height to climb,
Here, list attentive, nor with scorn refuse
The friendly Rhymings of a tavern muse
Fore thee that muse this rude Inscription plan'd
Prompted for thee her humble poets hand.
Heed thou the poet, he thy steps shall lead
safe o'er yon towring Hills aspiring head.
Attentive then to this informing Lay
Read how he dictates, as he points the way. —
Trust not at first a quick advent'rous pace
Six Miles the top points gradual from the base;
Up the high rise with panting haste I past
More prudent thou when once you pass the deep*i
With measur'd pace & slow ascend the steep,
Oft stay thy steps — oft taste the cordial drop
And rest — o rest — long, long, upon the Top. —
There hail the breezes, nor with toilsome haste
Down the rough slope thy needed vigour waste,
So shall they wondring sight at once survey
Vales, Lakes, Woods, mountains, Islands, Rocks & Sea.
Huge hills that heap'd in crowded order stand
Sketch'd o'er the northern & the western Land.
Vast, humpy groups — while Ben who often shrouds
His loftier summit in a veil of Clouds
High o'er the rest displays superior state
In proud preeminence, sublimely great.
One side all awful to the gazing Eye
Presents a steep 300 Fathom high;
The Scene tremendous shocks the startled sense
With all the pomp of dread magnificence.
All these & more transported shalt thou see
And own a faithful monitor in me. –––––

These Lines are tolerable & if a few words were alter'd might really be called good — you will probably think his opinion of the matter the best who had placed a little under the above lines

––––– relentless Hills, adieu!
Hail green abodes — rejoiced I fly to you

In inquiring after the price of Labour here I am informed that it is from 10d to 12d a Day — & the cause assign'd is that there are so few people, & those mostly employd to procure subsistence to themselves — for where money can not easily be spent, it is not of much worth — The Road which we now take to the west is exceedingly mountainous; but still as we cast our eyes back Ben Lomond seems to follow us, & it is a long time before we intirely lose sight of him — after about 6 miles slow riding we arrive in a vale called Glencrow, — about a mile &½ long


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& one would suppose nearly that depth from the Top of the surrounding hills — there is a river running along the bottom of it, & a good road thro it — as you enter it there is a little twist of the Road, & when you arrive at about the middle you seem shut out from all nature — the heights & nakedness of the rocks around, the noise of some waterfalls precipitating down, now small from the great Drought we have had, renders Glencrow the most awful & sublime place I ever enterd. I can however conceive it still more so, when in winter the Torrents are roaring down its sides — or in declining autumn the Tempest vents his rage on the surrounding Hills — here the Fates might hold a secure retreat while they spin, or cut the thread of mortal beings –––––

In going out of this Vale you pass a very steep hill — the road was cut by the military at an immense trouble — about the middle a stone is erected with this inscription "Rest & be thankful." which we accordingly did, as we were obliged to lead out Horses up. We pass along afterwards by the side of Loch Long15 — There is hereabouts little or no cultivation; & if they did not grow potatoes I cannot conceive how the poor people could live at all — 'tho they must have lived before these were imported I suppose they could make as good a shift now — indeed it was sometime before they would cultivate them at all — 'their Fathers lived without & why could not they' — this was by no means conclusive, & every house now has a small piece of potatoe land — they have become exceedingly fond of them — The little hay which they have grows among their houses — this they cut & toss about & afterwards lay up for winter, but from what we saw there was not sufficient to keep a Cow a fortnight —


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We pass by several reliques of old houses. the inhabitants when tired of one place remove with great facility to another — it is only carrying the wood of the roof along with them, & placing a few stones in a half regular order, again placing on the wood & covering it with Turf, & the house is made — they sometimes remove this for the sake of feeding their cattle in the Summer — sometimes for better neighbourhood — they have no chimnies in their houses but the smoke escapes from the middle of the house which way it can — they rarely have any floor, but the earth, — or beds, them dry'd braken or hether. as they talk nothing but Erse, we could only discourse with them by signs — We met several Families going from Mull &c into the Lowlands for harvest, & it is said that frequently what they earn there lasts them till the next harvest. —

I met with a drover going with a great number of Lambs to market — the price of which he informed me was 2s/. a head — they get as many of them off as they can before winter — they can at present only keep a set quantity, 'till a greater spirit of improvement has taught them to plant turnips for their cattle, as well as potatoes for themselves.

Just as we came to Cairndow we passed the house of Sir James Campbell which has a number of plantations around it, is well defended from the winds, & has a noble view of Loch Finne — After Dinner at Cairndow we pass round the head of Loch Finne, & along the west side of it to Inverary. The road is all the way flat, shady, & agreable —


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we had a good view of Inverary at a distance, & to the right of it, the Duke of Argyles — he has made improvements here upon the most extensive plan — there are whole Forrests of young trees, by the side of which we pass — the Loch reaches nearly up to his house, & as vessels come up it, forms a pleasing view — The Dukes house is a kind of modern Castle — it was built during last rebellion, & there are evidently the signs of dread about it — He is rever'd as a prince in this country — the Campbells have the intire sway in Argyleshire, & by what we can learn of his Character, he is a just & an honest man —

The house at Inverary is again full — Lister is obliged to sleep out of the house, & I over the Kitchen in the waiter's bed — I believe they kept a great Fire in the Kitchen all night, for I was never so hot in my life — when I placed my hand upon the Floor it was like a maltkiln — to remedy which I was obliged to set the window open, which looked into the Stable yard, the consequence was that by the morning I was nearly destroyed by the Gnats — the Loch is of Saltwater & they are bred here in as great abundance as at Thorp Hall — we had a Letter to a Mr Campbell who behaved very politely, asked us to breakfast, & engaged to show us all the wonders of the place — we were obliged to decline it as we purposed setting off early in the morning — as we had had a hot day we enjoy'd the pleasures of a cool Evening — altho I confess I could not sleep in my stove — Adieu —16 [...]


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August 12th. Oban.

Were I disposed, & had it in my power to gratify my revenge upon any man, I would place him in the hot room at Inverary, & leave the window open — surely the old poets had no notion of what was painful, or uncomfortable, when they employed Ixion to turn the wheel, or Sisyphus to Roll the Stone — these it is true were tedious, & that was all — but to want to go to sleep, half parched, & yet to ^be kept awake by the buzz, & the stings of a myriad of Gnats, was by a degree above intolerable. — however I slept at length in spite of them till the Hostler informed me it was 6 oClock, when I left my room with as much pleasure as St Laurence would have left his gridiron. —

It would perhaps have been as well if Time had permitted us to view the inside of The Duke of Argyles House, but altho the situation, & the surrounding improvemts are the most noble you can conceive, we were informed the inside did not altogether correspond — so leaving it to the right we pass for several miles thro large, & long plantations. We at length came in sight of Loch Or which as we were upon high ground afforded a good prospect — It is impossible to conceive unless you had view'd mountainous Countries the effects of the Shades of the Clouds upon the mountains — every moment varying in appearance both from their gentle motion by the wind & the unequal density of the Vapour

— The road for two miles before we came to Portsonnachan, where we were to cross the Loch, was thro two rows of Trees


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upon the side of the Loch — it was hot, & required a shade & we had not seen a tree to 8 miles, since we had left the Duke of Argyles

We pass'd the Loch which is about a mile over, & after ascending thro a most horrid Track, for road it was not, for about two miles we arrived at a place called Killechrannan — It was impossible for a village to have resembled the appearance of Indian wigwams more than this — twenty kind of houses, miserable to the last degree, placed in an irregular circle round a running stream, & no appearance of cultivation near but a few potatoes — Fourteen or 15 of the Inhabitants old & young were some sitting, some rolling on a spot of Grass about the middle of their huts — in wretched attire, & showing evident marks of surprize at the sight of us — they arose & fix'd their eyes upon ^us; as what they said to one another was in Erse there could be no understanding of them — There was a little kind of public ^house at which we got a good breakfast of bannocks, & Eggs — our host seemd a sharp sensible fellow, & could speak english tolerably well — this was the time we thought to inquire a little about the business of the Country — & behold the result. — by no means, Miss P. of such a nature as to tempt you to look over the next paragraph

The Country round is only fitted & only used for the pasturage of Cattle, of which we meet with great numbers on the hills, attended by the herdsmen — I am informed that the price of a year old is from 20s/ to 30 s/— of a two or three years old from 40/ to 50/ — As there are no proper limits to the land, the rent is levied according to the head of Cattle each farmer grazes — & which for


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horned cattle is about 5/ or 6/ ^pr Head for the summer — many spots of Land are however rented as farms — many of which let for 5£ pr. ann: — A sheep of 2 or 3 years old, I am told, sells for 5/ I cannot say what they give by the score for the feed of them on the hills. — It has been a long time since I have seen any wheat — the oats are few & very scanty — the barley much more so, & they grow an inferior kind — The men are in general employ'd in attending the Cattle, & the women in seeing the calves suckled, & the business of a little dairy, which however from the great awkwardness of everything keeps them sufficiently employed — About eight miles from this there is a large work for melting, & making Pig Iron; it is situated at the foot of a very large mountain,17 & the place is called Bornaro — as our road did not lay past it, I can give no particular account of it — It is carried on by some English gentlemen in Lancashire at a considerable expence — the Scotch are not so much inclined to tempt Fortune — & I am informed the reason why they carry it on at this distance, is the readiness with which they procure charcoal — & perhaps the cheapness of the Labour — it is said that a good part of the Iron stone is bought from Lancashire — There is constantly 200 men employed & as many of them are from Lancashire, it is quite an english Colony –––––

It now began to be time to make some Inquiry concerning Ossian, & as the man seemed sufficiently gnostic I could not omit the opportunity — he said he had frequently heard the songs sung in the Galic, which Mcpherson had translated — but by no means so regular as Mcpherson hath made them — People who could neither read, or write, got them by heart, & many could say several hundred — the


21

man said thousand of Lines. he said they were translated with great difficulty, on account of the conciseness of the Erse language. — upon the whole he did not speak well of Mcpherson, & the poems as for him might as well be any body's else as Ossian's. ––––– From Killechrannan we passed for 12 miles over the most uncultivated, & horrid Country, that ever was crossed by man — we neither saw a house nor met a person during the whole way — we passed indeed two or three little huts, erected by the herdsmen to shelter themselves in the evening — one of which we had the curiosity to go into; it is made intirely of earth & is something in form of a centinel's box. we had to pass up, & down, mountains all the way a foot pace [sic] — thro difficult, & sometimes dangerous tracks, & what added to our feelings was that we did not know whether we had not got into a wrong one — we could only steer due West as we had got^carried a Book or two in our pockets, when we had got about half-way we say on the ground, & amused ourselves for half an hour — without Fear of being disturbed, & as every object inspir'd Veneration, & taught us dependance, it was not half an hour spent in vain — it was only permitting the objects to have their proper effect upon you, & you became at once serious, & thoughtful at length we came into a rich & pleasing vale which was watered by a Loch, & seem'd the habitation of some happier race — it is called the Vale of Lorne & gives the title of Marquis of Lorne to the duke of Argyles eldest Son. after passing about two miles thro it, we arrive at Kilmoor18 altho' rather tired we had been well entertained by the novelty, and grandeur, of the objects we had seen, & I am sure we felt sensations unknown before.


22

It was rather late in the Afternoon when we arrived at Kilmoor. It was the day for the administration of the Sacrament, which in these parts is only done once a year, & the country for a great number of miles around had sent its inhabitants in all their best attire — it seem'd a general day of rejoicing — & men were kissing one another with all due affection, who, I suppose, had not seen one another for at least a year before — This was rather a new scene, & had it not been for the extreme ignorance of the people in every other respect, we should perhaps have looked upon it with purer affections — As the minister had not finished we went in, & heard a Sermon in English by a Mr Smith. Translator of several Galic poems, & which I suppose from the peculiarity of the expression was a mere galic translation too. It is customary to preach one part of the day in english, the other galic, & as goverment [sic] has fixed English Schools through the highlands, there are many who can understand both — I suppose there were not less at that time than 400 people, all in the highland dress, & many who could not understand English were gone home — after service was ended, we were entreated to dine at a good ordinary, at a neighboring House — which we had no objection too — two or three of the Elders were there, & we had a very orderly, & civil dinner — people are by no means enthusiastically religious hereabouts, they have sufficient to point out their Duty, but little to kindle up their affections — in consequence of which you see little impropriety of behaviour among them & dishonest practices are altogether unheard of — the oldest among thm can scarce remember anything like a robbery –––––

We were not permitted to pay for our dinner.


23

We had now an easy ride of about four miles to Oban, which we took in the evening in the middle of several of our new friends. I have the food fortune to ride along with a sensible old fellow whose belief & opinion of the works of Ossian were only equalld by the simplicity, & Candour with which he spoke of them — he allowed there were no writings in Galic above 200 years old, & modestly supposed that they came the other 1100 years thro the pure channel of Tradition — the word God in Erse is evidently derived from the roman, Deus — it is called Deusch — how spelt I do not know –––––

As we ascended the hills in our way to Oban we had a noble view of the Sound of Mull — there were, at that time, no ships passing thro it — it was evening, & we could scarcely discern Mull itself thro the mist — we still however flatterd ourselves that we could dimly see the high coasts of Morvern, the abode of Fingal — altho it was probably only clouds yet we did not wish ourselves undeceived — we can still see behind us the Hill of Bornaro which is very high, & has a double point.19 We found at Oban good beds, & civil treatment which in one good night's rest all the trifling inconveniences, we had rather met with, than suffer'd ––––– And must have tired you with this days Journey I need make no apology for bidding you adieu –––––


24

August 13th. Oban

As we had a letter to Macdougal, the Laird of that family, which we thought we could not well present before eleven or 12 oClock we took a little walk with a person of great civility about oban. We were now come into the Land where we expected to collect something about the second sight, of which we had heard, & expected so much. —

All that we could learn upon inquiry was, that it was still believed by many, & that a story ^of an affair which had happened in the late Rebellion, had now gained universal Credit. The Servant of a Captain then employed against the Rebels, begg'd of his Master not to go to the engagement at Culloden, for he feared he would be killed — the gentleman as Captain persisted — it must be mere Fancy, & what had Soldiers to do with Fancy. The man in vindication of himself acquainted his Friends that he had seen the appearance of his master, a few days before, slain, & the blood running down from his Forehead — the Captain however would not be intimidated, & fell at Culloden, by a ball entering the place precisely as the Servant foretold — There are a number of similar stories, which I suppose, have equal claim to our Credulity. In the western Islands it is said to be much more believed, & indeed it is credited in proportion to the distance, or obscurity of the place, & the consequent ignorance of the people. –––––

A little to the right of Oban upon a steep projecting eminence, a few years ago an urn was dug up. It was about eight Feet under ground, & contained in a large stone box, of which the Lid now graces a Blacksmiths


25

Forge. Within the urn were found a brown earth, some small pieces of Bone, & some ashes — the urn was made of dry'd Clay, & some sculptur'd Figures yet remained upon it. It was carried to a neighboring gentleman's house intire but the wife insisted upon the immediate burial of it — it was sacrilege — it was accordingly replaced, broke & buried — There are several appearances near which would justify a search, & we wished sincerely for spades, & permission to begin. — They are called Cairns & are composed of either one piece of Rock, or several laid together, & we are informed that it was the custom with the old highlanders, as they passed by one of these, always to lay a stone to the heap already collected. In some parts this custom is still continued, where any murder hath been committed, or any thing remarkable occurred.

Upon this eminence in days of Yore we are likewise informed, that a court of Justice was held by some of the old Scotch Kings, for the tryal of various offences; & there is still part of a stone projecting from the side of this rock on which, Justice immediately suspended the culprit by a twist of heath, if he was found guilty —

— In our return to Oban we passed thro a good piece of Oats — the height of several of the Stems were 5 Feet, & they had between 80 & 100 grains upon each — this was certainly very different from any thing that we had before seen —

I again make inquiry concerning Ossian, & am again told that there are several people that can speak long passages with facility — his name is well known, but we can learn nothing for certain —

The Spirit of the feudal System, which so frequently deluged Scotland in blood, is now disappearing daily.


26

The several severe acts of Parlaiment, the luxury & inattention of the lairds, & the increasing commerce of many of the little Towns near the Sea, have much contributed to destroy the spirit of Clanships. There are many Salt water Lochs which run up into the heart of the Country, & which render communication easy; & the poorer people paying rent instead of service for their Lands, will by degrees tend effectually to break the trammels of Dependency & Slavery. Still however the Campbells, the Fraziers, &c are capable of doing a great deal by their names, & connexions — & I should think it a proper Question how far it would be consistent with national policy to break the present ties — as by this means the best troops can be raised with the utmost facility — on the other hand it favours rebellion & ––––– but we are not to prescribe to the nation, without hope of Fee or Reward

The use of the Dirks or daggers are now nearly laid aside — it was not long since every Labourer wore it by the side of his sickle, &, that even hospitality must have endured to see it lye by the side of the Feast. It is said that a few years ago an english gentleman dining in company at a Lairds, observed this custom, & every man coolly pulling out his Dagger, with astonishment. he immediately withdrew, & as he had a pair of Horse pistols upon his Saddle, brought them in, & laid them down on each side of him with equal Composure — & I should think had a much better appetite for his Dinner. ––––– They used likewise to go to the Kirk completely accoutre'd, & he whose arms were the most bright or numerous was the most genteel — the others, it is presumed, supplied the dire deficiency by Looks — this was surely taking Heaven by Violence. –––––


27

As we were taking a view from an eminence of the Isles of Carrera, Lismore &c we espied Macdougal coming along in the vale beneath, with a little white Terrier before him — he was going to one of his Farms to see after his Cattle — we hastned down to present him with the Letter which Lister had for him. He received us with much ease, & Civility, & engaged to afford us every assistance — He made several apologies for his appearance, which I am sure If he knew how well it became him, he would certainly not have done — it was a frock well worn yet neat & clean, his stockings & shoes were what every Farmer should wear — we should not however have observed these, if he had not pointed them out himself — we were looking at Macdougal, & not at his clothes —

The Family of the Macdougals are^is antient & respectable — it is now not numerous — unfortunately the Father of the present Laird enter'd into the last rebellion, in consequence of which his Lands were given to the Duke of Argyle, who, not many years ago return'd them to the present Laird — it was a deed worthy of him, & Macdougal, I am convinced from hearing him speak of the Argyle Family, feels the obligation with the gratitude of a man, who at the same time had not given up his Independence. The Estate is said to be worth between 6 & 800£ a year, & when it came into the hands of Macdougal, was much impoverished. He has continued to live upon it, & as he is a very prudent man, & a good Farmer, he is redeeming fast the riches & Honours of his Family — besides this he holds a Farm or two of the Duke of Argyle & grazes a great number of Cattle20


28

He is said to be in his 70th year, altho he has but few of the marks of age about him — his countenance is open, & his behaviour liberal — there is however a kind of harshness which people naturally acquire from seeing few equals; and a little of the Feudal Spirit yet beams in his eye. — He invited us to breakfast ^next morning, & promised to have a boat ready to carry us over to Mull. —

In the morning we set off to see Castle of Dunstaffage, formerly a royal residence — it is about 3 miles distant, & an agreable ride. The Castle is placed upon a rock, near a Loch, which as it stands high it seems to command. the outward walls yet remain pretty intire, & it was during the last rebellion the Line of Conveyance from Glasgow, to Fort William — It has a drawbridge which was made use of in 1745. A great number of fine old Trees are placed near it, & the walls are coverd with Ivy. When we came near the castle we saw the Laird in the midst of his haymakers — he step'd forward, & greeted us. He then took us to an old Chappel now in ruins, but near which from the situation of a neighboring rock, there is a remarkable Echo — so that if a Dog is called on one side of the Chapple he immediately runs to the other. it has not been long discover'd, but is well worth hearing. The Laird still continues to bury in one end of the Chappel. He insisted upon our accompanying him to the Castle, which we ascend by a number of steps, & we enter it thro an immense thick wall —this entry is well defended by a Strong gate, & draw bridge — & it is accessible on no other side — He has built himself a good modern house with the Castle. He informed us that there had been a well dug in the top of the Rock 35 Fathom deep, & which he had filled up — I presume they were short Fathom.


29

From the top of the walls we had a noble view, a little obscured by evening, of the sound of mull to the west — to the north, cross the Loch, Beregonium the small remains of an antient roman colony; & to the east the Fall of Connel, & the high hills of Bornaro — we afterwards stept in, & drank a bottle of wine with him. He seems much interested for Macpherson, & says that he procured him some of Ossian's poems, which Mc.pherson has not done justice to; what he meant by this I do not know. He says that when he was a child, he recollects to have heard in Erse long, & connected Tales, for 6 or 7 Hours together — he confesses that they cannot have been written long — but thinks the race of the bards, quite sufficient, to have transmitted them pure. upon the whole I was not better satisfied with his account, that the rest that I met with — We took leave of him about 10 & returnd peacably to Oban.

It is really singular how anxious every body seems to support Ossian, & how little they have got to say in his defence. From the Laird of Dunstaffnage I think we might have expected more; but what can a man do who wants evidence — & to support the dignity of 1700 years requires some plausible evidence, or reasoning at least — but perhaps it is not to be met with —

Every proprietor of an estate is now called a Laird — & a man who merely rents Land, a Taxman. The difference in appearance consists in little more than a Laird's wearing ruffles, & Breeches instead of Fillibegs —


30

August. 14th. Scarlasdale.

I wish my dear Miss P, it had been in my power to have got ^made myself better acquainted with the characters of the people, of whose goodness, & civility to us, I can but speak in general terms. It is true that where there is little diversity of action required, little is met with — where Education does not interfere, characters arise as first stamp'd by nature, & a few traits are often sufficient — where there there are few people example soon produces a similarity; for it is only by the access of Knavery, or the ease of Ignorance that men are induced to practise the one, or remain contented in the other — Every Laird that we met with seemd to possess a spirit of Intolerance, or rather a warm sense of Independence — used to controul the vassals on their estates, & to command the services of others without fear of Denial, they enter the Hall with a roughness, & Freedom that excites admiration, & commands respect. The civility of many proceded from a generous disposition, & a real warmth of Soul — in others we thought we perceived a constraint, & it is not improbable that with many that hospitality which was once supported as a virtue, is now as a habit; & that in a few years the highlanders may intirely lose that, for which many uncivilized nations have been so ^as justly applauded ––––– Macdougal's Invitation was of the right kind.

Macdougal resides at Donolly castle


31

which is situated upon a rock, near the Sea, & about a mile from Oban. In our way thither we pass'd by a very singular Rock, standing near the Sea, & seperated not less than 12 yards from the neighboring Cliff. It is about 30 Feet high, & 20 round, & in form somewhat resembles a nine pin, standing on its wrong end. It is covered over with a long white moss, & at a little distance has a venerable appearance. It consists of what is called plumbpudding stone, of which likewise the rocks near this coast for several mile are form'd. The Bishop of Derry who a few years ago visited these parts, supposes, & with some degree of probability, that this kind of stone must be owing to some former Volcanoes — but at what date he had not the modesty to hint. As Tradition however affords no supports to this conjecture, & to interfere with the present Chronology would be a presuming, & a silly attempt, you will excuse my saying any more about it — I shall not indeed excuse you from conjecturing how stones in every respect like those which lay near the Sea, of every size, & hardness, should have been fixed in a dark kind of Cement resembling Lava petrified, & piled up to immense heights. —

As we approach the Castle we pass thro some exceeding good pasturage, where there is a great deal of natural Clover, & ascending this a flourishing avenue of Trees, arrive at the house which the present Laird has built at some small distance from the Castle — as it is defended by the hill on which the Castle stands on one side, & trees on the other, it is secure from the violent winds which are otherwise here much to be dreaded. The Castle itself was originally


32

built without mortar, & it is now in a very ruinous state. About 30 years ago, during a thunder storm, a great piece of it was knock'd down, & the Stones driven to an amazing distance.

Dr. Johnson has somewhere remarked "Sup where you will, breakfast in the Highlands."21 & we now found the justness of the remark — A large breakfast Table, sometime in getting ready, at length shone in full luxuriance — every thing that could please the eye or tempt the palate made its appearance there — suppose I attempt a sketch of it.
The Tea
Things
Butter
Honey Oatcake Eggs
Marmalade. Barley b'. Cream
Bread . Jelly. Biscuit
Ham.22 and you will very well suppose, we were not at a loss for a good Breakfast. The Laird's Sister an agreable woman of about 50 sat at the head of the table. she was sensible, & talkative — Lady Macdougal appeared something older. she has all the behaviour of a well educated, & genteel woman — her conversation was easy, sprightly & unaffected. She was rather [...] but appeared to have none of the failings of [...] people. The Laird was exceedingly sociable, & jocular, and as Dr. Johnson is a never failing topic of Discourse we found enough to laugh at. Lady Macdougal informed us of a recent anecdote which is worth repeating. At a place called Port Re a little to the northward, a privateer's boat landed some men to rob the neighboring Houses — an old man, seeing them approach called a few of his neighbours into his house, which, they were resolutely resolved to defend — when their ^enemy came near he called out


33

to them from a window, begging them to desist — that they should not enter the house, while there was an Inch of it above his head ^knee, or he was alive — they then shew their arms, at the windows, & as they seem'd firm, the privateers men retreated in haste — they however went further up the shore & pillaged the house of a son of this old Highlanders since which the old Fellow will neither see nor speak to him, declaring he would rather he had died than suffer such an insult –––––

We took boat with our horses at the Foot of the Castle, after receiving two Letters from Macdougal, & promising to call as we returned. The boat was large, but altho we had four stout men to row, & a woman occasionally, yet from the resistance of the Tide we were 5 Hours going over. It was only 9 miles & the Sea was tolerably Smooth. Where we landed it was rocky, & we had a disagreable ride on Mull for about 2 miles to Auchnacraig, where we dined on Eggs, & procured a guide with an intention of going to Aross. It was between 5 & 6, when we set off, & we had 18 miles to ride in what we afterwards found to be tolerable Road. As we pass along we have the pleasure of seeing three ships pass thro the sound of mull, which we found to be part of a Fleet that had escaped us — After 6 miles journeying, we came to a little place called Scarlasdale where we had a letter to present at a considerable Taxman's named Maclean, who as night seem'd fast approaching pressed us very much to stay; which we thought it prudent to do. Mac [...] Father of Maclean's wife, the head of a very antient Family, but, who has squander'd away


34

a good estate was now there. He has now some trifling commission in the army, & has lately return'd from America. He appears the dross of a man of spirit — has nothing to say unless you talk to him of the bore of a Cannon, or the affair of Penobscot.23 He has that kind of discontent about him which attends a man sensible of his folly, when his fortune is irretrievable — To meet with misfortune when so far as we know we are pursuing what is right is often hard to sustain — it requires all the Philosophy the Soul can exert — but to be the cause of those troubles which common sense might have foreseen, & common prudence avoided, adds weight to affliction, & is one of the greatest Evils that the human breast can suffer — it is a Disease of all others to be the most deprecated & we may say with the Ajax of Sophocles

'Tis better far to die than hopeless still
Of Cure, to languish under sore disease,
When mortals suffer such distinguish'd ill
The Silent Tomb is Liberty, & Ease.

As we are now opposite the ecchoing Hills of Morven, we are again tempted to inquire concerning the poems of Ossian, & altho they are believed here with a degree of tenacity, which only Ignorance could produce, yet, I do assure you we could gain no intelligence at all worth communicating. It is true a gentleman of our acquaintance had lately been traversing the country, & collecting such scraps as fell in his way, & we were entertained with a translation of two or three of them; but, what with fiddles, & Cupids, the spirit of Ossian had so evaporated, that as dregs of the last Century they could only become fit subjects of Ridicule. I fortunately


35

had a close imitation of Ossian in my pocket, which I pulled out, & read, feigning that it had originated in the highlands, & begging to know whether they had ever heard any thing similar — 'yes' — & the gentleman, whose curiosity they much applauded, had picked up the very same — they recollected it well' — this was certainly want of Recollection, or from a worse motive, for it was not easy to conceive how that which was written at Colchester, could have come from the mouth of a highland bard, or pass thro the maze of 1300 years — this may serve as a specimen how little we could rely upon the account of those people, whose interest led them to support Ossian, & whose honesty was no bar to the use of improper weapons. –––––

They have still a great number of red Deer upon the mountains, or in the woods of Mull — they are exceedingly shy, & altho they have dogs of great strength & speed, yet they rarely catch any of them — they sometimes lay in wait for them as they come down to feed upon the young potatoes, of which they are very fond, & shoot them. A Fawn was killed in this manner the morning we were there. We saw here a remarkable strong, & swift breed of Dogs, of which we are informed there are but very few now in the country — it seems of the greyhound breed, but much stronger. They still continue to name the Dogs after Ossians manner, as Branno, Ryno, &c & with great familiarity have given the names of Ossians heroes to some of them, as Oscar & Toscar. –––––

In our way to Scarlasdale, I observed our guide to stoop, & picking up a stone, throw it upon a heap which he passed by — this heap I found upon inquiry to be a cairn, but, whether it was placed there in memorial of some murder — or that some Laird was


36

buried there, or for something more worthy of it, neither our guide, nor any body else whom we asked, could inform us. We could do no less than get off our horses, & add our mark of respect to what might be the Tomb of a departed Hero.

— The coast of Morven nearly opposite Scarlasdale is rather flat, & we could plainly discover a few houses, trees & Oxen. The Island of Mull is in many places well stocked with Trees, mostly of the birch kind — There is very little Corn grown, scarcely sufficient for the people, & we could not get a grain for our Horses, all the time we were in Mull. The Land well suits with grazing — We at one time purposed to have left our horses at Oban, & to have purchased or hired two horses of the Country to have gone over Mull with; but as it was probable these would not be easily procured, & the expence would certainly be greater, we made our own horses do very well — These horses are small & are called Sheltees: & are said to have some of the Spanish breed in them, from a few which escaped the wreck of one of the Ships of the Spanish Armada — as they are never shod they clamber the mountains like a goat — altho we needed them much yet we never tried them. –––––

We again hear Dr. Johnson liberally abused, & however we might be inclined to favour him, it was not now the proper time — we could only endeavour to keep the torrent in its banks ––––– Adieu.

[...]


37

[...]


38

August 15th. Toerloesk.

As we had nothing as all to do with politics at Mull, we endeavourd to turn the discourse at breakfast to something more entertaining — this we thought we found on renewing our Inquiries after second sight. It meets we find with a greater degree of Credit here than on the Continent, and Macquarry24 (who is by the by very superstitious) relates an instance he himself knew of a young man being drown'd, after being repeatedly warn'd not to enter the boat — As no conquest is so pleasing as that of Infidelity, he seconds his own tale by another, which he had heard of, & piously believed — a minister who not having long left the College came shorn of his prejudice, & with a hearty contempt for second sight, saw one evening the apparent corpse of his Sister, stretched out as on a bier — She was at that time in health, but died within a few days — the minister was convinced of his error; '& we should all think as thinks the minister' — as it was in vain to argue against matter of Fact — [...] , we smiled, & disbelieved the whole.

After breakfast we continued our Route to Aross thro a pleasing, & agreable Track. we had the prospect of the sound of Mull to the right, & the Hills of Morven, & to the left lofty rocks "half viewless"25 from a great number of birch Trees which grew wild about them — now & then a naked rock thrust forth his white head, & added much to the surrounding green. About half a mile from the shore, & still less from our road we observed the appearance of a Cave, cut in a Rock. We rode up to it, & found we were not deceived. There was a considerable Cave cut in a manner nearly regular, apparently


39

the work of some discontented Fellow. We found no pieces near it, which had the least appearance of having ever come out of it. Altho it is now nearly filled up with Nettles & Brambles, yet, we were not prevented from going into it — it is about 12 Feet high, & as many deep in the rock, & of a form that appeared to us to owe little to Chance. On the further side we found placed a stone which had been square. but was render'd a little irregular by time — it was about 5 Footlong, & 3 thick, & seemed to have served as a seat — We attempted to remove it but in vain. A little further on we saw another of the same kind, but not so large — & there was no stone within it. I should have added that the square stone which was in the first Cave appeared of a very different nature from the Rock itself. To what these caves could have formerly have been appropriated we were at a loss to determine, altho not scrupulous to conjecture — & from Tradition we could receive no assistance. —

Just after passing thro a fine natural Grove of Birches, we met with a smart Mull Farmer whose Eyes sparkled at the sight of us, & whose ears tingled for Information — his address was hasty, & short & the second Sentence was to know 'how matters were going on in our world.' It was difficult to determine what answer to make whether on politics, agriculture, or Religion — We said that Geary was still blocking up the French — that Lord George Gordon26 was yet confined in the Tower, & that the Harvest was begun in the low Country — He seemed perfectly content with the answer, & after walking a little way back with us quitted us without taking leave — O Novelty how dost thou govern the world! –––––


40

About 5 miles distance from Aross we arrive at what Johnson calls "the reliques of Humanity." the ruins of an antient Chappel.27 It was placed high & must have commanded an extensive view of the Country. Several Families still continued to bury here, altho every defence for the protection of the dead was removed. Cattle may graze here with Impunity, & perhaps a parsimonious Son might think that his ancestry were now turned to some account –––––

Few men can boast of meeting with very great trials in the passage thro life — it is often the little & the unexpected that harrass, & torment us, & often our miseries take a tincture from conceit the most trifling circumstances, or from conceit itself — who would put yellow, & red Ribbon upon a dress Cap — or suffer one side of the hoop to be one inch longer than the other. — my horse had been without his shoe for the last 6 miles & we had now an opportunity — by going 2 miles out of our way to have it put on again — walking over rocky roads had nearly lamed the horse, & it was necessary either to go so far out of the road or lead the horse ^him for the rest of the Day. It was soon determined to go to Kilbig for that was the places name. After passing thro bad road we reached the village, into which, I believe, never Englishman had set his Foot before. while the Smith was putting on the Shoe the people came about us with a stupid kind of Curiosity, without being able to say a word — Lister walked up to two women who were sitting at a little distance upon the ground — they looked at him held forth their hands, & mutterd "bawbie" which is scotch for a halfpenny — he gave them one a piece, & they burst into the most violent & repeated


41

fits of Laughter — & went on with some kind of work they were about, without taking any further notice of him — At this time a young fellow well made, & of easy mien stept out of one of the nearest huts, & asked us in english to walk in — he had been once or twice to Edinburgh with cattle, & spoke english very well — we could not refuse, & he begged of us to eat some bannock, & drink a draught of warm milk from the Cow; which we gladly did. The floor of the house was the earth, & upon two or three poles laid across some hether was laid, [sic] which with his plaid formed his Bed. He had a little Library intirely of english books, among which we found — a vol. of Blackstones Commentaries — a book of Scotch Law — Home's Douglas, & a bible — at once sufficient for his entertainment, & Instruction. "It was not improper he said, that a highlander should know Law." ––––– We afterwards returned into our Road & dined about 3 at Aros. ––––– we were here brought some salt dry salmon without any vinegar, which as it was impossible to eat we were contented in dining on bannocks, & two eggs a piece which was all we could get. –––––

We had now no time to lose — we had twelve long miles over very bad road to Toerlosk, & as we were to sleep at a private house, we wished to get there in time. We therefore took another guide, who, that he might get along quicker was mounted on his Sheltee — he however was soon obliged to quit this as the roads were too bad for the Sheltee's Feet, & he could not get him along without difficulty — he jumped off, pulled a long cord out of his pocket, with which he fastened the horse to a piece of Rock, & left him to feed till his return — he then run on before & we followed as fast as we could.


42

We passed thro the most horrid of all Roads that from Killechrannan to Kilmoor excepted. What of waterfalls, the sides of mountains, precipices, & large rolling stones, we were in perils oft — probably more fear than real danger, & nothing was to stop, however it might retard our Progress: After travelling about 8 miles we have a view of the Western Ocean from the top of an eminence, & a Loch that runs from it, into a long, & pleasing vale — the meadows near it were full of grass, of the finest verdure — We soon after passed thro two tolerable Villages, which belong to the Laird of Toerloesk. We have seen little or no corn, & the people are in considerable numbers lazyly making the little Hay the rocks afford. Many of them followed for a piece of Tobacco, of which they are excessively fond, & of which we had had the precaution to carry a good quantity in our pockets —

Within a mile of Torloesk from the top of a high mountain we can see the Islands of Ulva, Barra, Staffa & some others below. The ocean

"diffusèd
In glassy breadth, seem'd thro delusive lapse
Forgetful of its course."

28

The Sun had set about 20 minutes, & a glow yet strong painted the western sky — we no longer felt the fatigues of the past Toils, but a sudden Serenity, & ease took possession of us, & did not quit us 'till we arrived at Toerloesk. The Laird saw us coming towards his house & ran to meet us. I never felt so strongly the force of a first impression, & never had less reason to repent it — Lister presented our Credentials which were for his Lady — to whom immediately after welcoming us, we were introduced — & we now saw & felt what no antient hospitality ever before produced.


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The Laird of Toerloesk is named Maclean. but as every gentleman hereabouts is called by the name of his estate, he is always known merely by the name of Toerloesk. There are but a few names in the highlands the Mcleans, Frazier, Campbell, & a few others — hence it would be impossible to find out any one, unless his estate was mentioned, & as the sound of the estate is not the least disagreable of the two, that at length is soon mentioned alone –––––

Mrs. Mclean was an englishwoman, & having had a genteel education with great goodness of Temper was well qualified to add that to Hospitality, which alone can endear the sound. Mrs. Mclean was a Sensible woman, & altho she could have seen but little of the world since her residence at Toerloesk, yet she had known it well before, & was now capable from a facility of expression & an agreable turn of Thought, of enlivening & improving Discourse — she never let conversation sink for want of a subject, or deviate into puerilities for want of Correction — As her manners were easy, she diffusd a placidity around her, & you felt at all times a necessity of acting in her presence ^as what you ought to be, rather than what you were — you felt yourself ^however sometimes in constraint more than was quite agreable, but, perhaps not more than was necessary –––––

We enjoy'd ourselves in the evening & had almost forgot the prosecution of our plan, when Toerloesk informed us we could not have the boat on the morrow but, it would be at our Service early on Friday morning. We had no objection to a day of Rest — Adieu


44

August. 16th. Toerloesk

It is with peculiar pleasure that I recollect this Day which I passed at Toerloesk. as I thought I had made myself tolerably well acquainted with the Characters of Toerloesk and his family, I felt myself at ease, & trust that my countenance expressed as well the feelings of my heart, as what I found in these good people. Lister whose attention to Character is of the most delicate kind, wore a countenance that shewd his judgement of the matter, & while his eyes glistened with the generous treatment that we met with, he seem'd anxious to let them know by his manner how much he felt it. –––––

A Niece of Torleosk, Mrs Campbell, was at this time upon a visit there. Altho she had been educated at Edinburgh, yet she had received more from nature than from Art. She appeard about the age of 21. her person was genteel & her manners unaffected — she was dressed in mourning, & her countenance seem'd just recovering from that kind of Melancholy, which a Sister should feel from the untimely loss of a brother. whom she loved. Her voice was soft, & her expression clear, & distinct. Altho she had no objection to talk, yet she knew that silence became her, & unless, when after breakfast she was telling me the Tale of her brother's being wreck'd, & lost on the rocks of Cape Breton, she never appeard once confused, or at a loss for words. the Tear then crept as if unwillingly from her Eye — but she had two other brothers yet in America, for whose safety she could but have some apprehensions "& surely, Sir,' says She 'not without reason, for they are good, & kind — & so was he." –––––


45

Toerloesk himself had been in the Sea Service near 30 year, & was now come to finish his Days in peace at his paternal estate. He might be about 60 years of age — his Locks were becoming gray, & he knew it — "it was natural, he said, and altho the morning had been tempestuous, yet the evening was calm." His manners are what you would wish in a sailor rough, open & sensible. His anxiety to oblige us gave a warmth, & force to his actions, that could but interest us. He had a kind of natural levity about him, which was ever temper'd with prudence — He was never jocose at the expence of Delicacy, & he had that reverence for Religion which is rarely ^to be met with ^in a Sailor. His acquaintance with other parts of the world, render'd him less attach'd to his own — He thought with ease, & Spoke with Freedom "It is my opinion, says he, that 200 years ago, the Highlanders lived in a manner equally bad with the Eskimaux."

There were two other gentlemen here relations of the Laird s. One of them who came from Morven, & who had married Sr. Allan Mclean's Daughter, gave us a very pressing Invitation to his house, which we should certainly have accepted, it we had not unfortunately left some of our Luggage at Oban.

We passed half the Forenoon in a kind of Fascination, with the breakfast things before us — when the Laird offerd to accompany us in a walk. we took a view of the western Sea from an Eminence where the eye was only bounded by an horizon of Clouds — or here, & there an Island darkening the mist — among which were Tyree & Col — we afterwards took a view of some out houses he is building, & then of the ground where he proposes to erect a house for himself — as his present one is old & inconvenient, & the spot which he has chosen is well


46

situated for plantations on the neighbouring Hills. –––––

From the Liberality of our Friends, & Mrs. Mclean being an English Woman, Dr. Johnson is here treated with much civility. They however related a number of anecdotes of him with great pleasantry — When the boat with Dr Johnson arrived at Icolmkill, the shore was of such a kind that it was impossible for him to step to land — & as he scorned or perhaps feared the consequence of being carried to shore, as he is of an immense bulk, he endeavourd to get out of the boat easily into the water — but whether the boat was moved by design, or in any other way, this deponent saith not — but in went Dr Johnson wig & all — to the no small entertainment of the Isle of Icolmkill, if not of his Friends ––––– At Icolmkill he was obliged to sleep upon hay, or rather in it, for he wrapped himself like a great mummy & as he never slept with any cap on, his bald head, & the rest of his appearance made him together a complete object of Ridicule –––––

Dr Johnson is some of his thoughtful moments would sit with his hands folded his eyes upon the ground, & waving his body to & fro — in this position he was sufficiently formidable — but whether from train of thinking the motion had grown less, or that the Dr. had fallen a sleep, but at Macquarry's four little children had passed by him into the room, so that the Dr. sat between them & the door — the slight noise had rather disturbed the Dr. but only to increase his undulating motions — this was too much for the Children & they all at once set up the most horrid trick imaginable — the Drs Reverie was at once at en end, & he gently begg'd of them to keep the Children out ––––– When the Dr. was at Inverary, he had the honour of dining with the Duke of Argyle, but, as no company could always keep Johnson at home, he politely in the middle of his dinner begg'd to


47

know of the Duke what was the name of his Family — and I dare say it would be difficult to convince him it was an improper Question. —

Mr. Mclean of Morven informed us, that he lately heard there was a very large Scull dug up on one of the western isles — he had not seen it himself, but from the accounts he had received had every reason to believe it — but — the giants have had their day —

— We here inquired after Ossian for the last time, but could derive no kind of Satisfaction —they were ^by no means zealous in his defence, & their account of Macpherson was by no means ^not at all favourable — From the whole of the evidence we have been able to collect, I do not know whether we are not justified in concluding — that probably for the last 2 or 300 years, the highland poetry had assumed the form in which we now find it — that the objections to its passing thro the former 1000 years are innumerable & that from the present state of the highland poetry a man of genius, & Cunning who was acquainted with the manners &c of his Ancestors, might devise, or imitate, 'till he had produced the six books of Fingal, & the long & regular epic of Temora

As when we were upon the top of the Eminence the Laird pointed out to me a fine bay for bathing I thought I could not render myself a greater pleasure than making use of it — It was about a mile from the house, & from the form of the rocks was totally shut out from your view, unless you came very near it, or was on very high ground behind. It was the most comfortable & refreshing enjoyment I ever felt. I am informed by the Ladies that they make frequent use of it & that the week before they had gone in every day — there is near, an excavation as the rock, which is well suited to dress & undress in — it is on the whole a shot in which the Nereids may gambol without a blush.


48

The post arrived in the evening & brought us news — it was then we first thought of politics & as soon as the news were laid out of hand, politics were no more. The Laird thought that government had been unsuccessful, but yet government ought to be supported —

As we meant to rise early in the morning, we received the good wishes of the Ladies, & retired to our room at eleven, charmed with an hospitality that was blended with the ease, & elegance of a genteel, & kind behaviour, & glowing with Sentiments of respect & regard —

We could not excuse the Laird from engaging to see us weigh anchor in the morning. ––––– Adieu.


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August. 17th. Toerloesk.

We arose about 6 in the morning, & found a variety of Stores ready to be carried down to the boat. These consisted of Ham, Chickens, Wine &c all of which it seems were necessary, or we were scarce likely to meet with any thing till we returned. The morning was fair, & promis'd a fine Day, & the boat was ready — we had now only to take leave of the Laird who soon appeared, & gave us his benediction, advising us by all means, if possible, to return in the evening. He kissed us both, & wished us a good voyage. This was a salute we little expected, altho we had been informd of the custom, & had indeed seen it at Kilmoor. We stood the brush very well, altho I believe not without an expression in our countenances that shewd we were very little used to it –––––

The Sea was smooth, the boat light, & the highlanders strong & active — One of them was could speak a little english, & was the mouth of the rest — he soon asked us whether they should not sing some Erse Songs, which we found was what they wanted — as it gave them spirits, & they could keep tolerable time with the oars. we were not a little entertained with with the songs, altho we could not understand them, & they confessed they could not translate them. I know not whether it is conceit, or the real structure of the language but those highlanders who know english, said, it was impossible to give the full meaning of a great number of Erse words. we had therefore little else to expect besides the music from our friends in the boat. It was easy


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to tell whether they were singing war, or love songs — the one were manly, rough, & in a sharp Key —the other in a flat, & many of them peculiarly soft, & soothing — one of them in general began, & after singing two or three lines was joined by the rest in a Chorus [...] It was 12 miles to Staffa from the place at which we took boat — this the men continued to shorten by running us up a creek, which separates Ulva from another Island, the name of which I have forgotten,29 & then calling two or three men to assist, they got out of the boat, & dragged us along for at least ¼ of a mile over a very rocky shallows — as we gave them plenty of Tobacco they perform'd this laborious work with great spirit — & we arrived at the north end of Staffa about half past 10. –––––

The appearance of the Island at this part hath nothing very remarkable — it is high, & rocky, & we could not & then see some broken pillars, & others which had an irregular appearance — there were likewise several small Caverns. After cruizing about half a mile, & turning a point towards the East we saw standing Jutting out from the island a large collection of pillars as it were piled up & laying in very regular directions. I confess I never could have supposed such an appearance, & we look'd at one another with a new kind of Surprize. the pillars were perfectly naked & differ'd very little in size — all seemed of the same composition which was of a dark ferreginous nature — most of them were pentagons & they were about 2 Feet in Diameter — there were several small islands of them, which the sea washed over, & which from the surf in bad weather render this part exceedingly dangerous. We found we were to land here at a place which was rather low, & to walk over the tops of some broken pillars about 100 yards before we could get a view of Fingal's Cave, which was still out of sight & lay further to the east. –––––


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The place over which we passed was not unattended with dangers, but at present we had nothing to do with fear. We had sent the boat round to meet us at the mouth of the Cave, & proceeded on with as much expedition as a necessary caution would allow. As we approached the Cave, the pillars upon the rock towards the island became much more regular & conspicuous — many of them were from 30 to 50 Feet high, perpendicular, & seem'd to Support the Island — we sat down upon some broken pillars & contemplated this Scene with surprize — but what was our astonishment when after walking a few paces we came to a sudden view of Fingal's Cave! We did not speak the first five minutes, but alternately look'd at one another & then at the Cave — high as our expectations had been raised they were exceeded, & with a mixture of pleasure, & dread we could but reflect how small! how trifling! were the triumphs of Art. It is alone by sight that any just Idea of the Sublimity, & majesty of this Cave can be conveyed. — At the entrance it is about 40 Feet high, & 17 broad — the pillars at the side strait, & the top pointing somewhat in the gothic stile — it grows irregularly narrower as you enter in, & according to Mr Banks30 it is above 300 Feet long The Sea goes constantly in to the end of it, & I believe is never less than from 10 to 18 Feet deep — there are broken pillars, by the side on which some of the men walked to near the end, but [...] not without great danger Lister peeled off his ^boots with an intention of following them, but Minerva put them on again for him, & he was content to wait till the boat came round. We soon enterd the boat, & as the Sea was calm, & favourable, ventured up it, filled with sentiments of Reverence, & Awe, which were much increased from the sound of our Oars, & our voices in the cave — the sound was not merely more violent but

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continued long — A number of Seal Fowl, old Tenants of the Cave, hastily quitted it & we were not a little surprized to find a number of pigeons quitting their nests in the higher parts of the Cave. The Sea was perfectly transparent, & we could see Crabs, & other shell fish moving along upon beds of variegated Coral — it was still 12 Feet Deep, & there is little reason to suppose that the whole Humane Society would have been able to have recovered us if we had popped in — this however we had no intention of doing if we could help it — we proceeded so far as to touch the end of the cave, altho, I thought not without danger, for a sudden swell of the Sea often lifted us up 4 Feet, & it required much dexterity to keep the keel of the boat off the rough broken pillars by the sides. There were one or two Elevations that I confess I thought would have been our last — but as the men said there was no danger, I sacrificed my fears, & sang three or four loyal Songs, in which I was joined by a full Chorus — The effect from innumerable & long continued Echos was most astonishing — After thanking Mr Banks for his discovery, we quitted the Cave. The mind was agitated & alarmed & yet endeavourd to tune itself to praise, & to express itself with a reverential decency — we were now less afraid, & in consequence not less disposed to attend to those feelings, which Novelty, & which sublimity inspired.

After passing round a regular projection of Pillars we enter'd a second Cave, not nearly so large as the first, but as it was the middle Cave, & the entrance was an even square, it look'd full as well at a little distance. — it was far more irregular withinside, tho it was neither so deep, nor so dangerous — a great number of different sorts of Sea fowl flew out, & the men diverted themselves with getting one or two young ones, while we in vain attempted to obtain some beautiful Coral which lay deep in the water.


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After passing round a projection precisely similar to the former we enter'd a third cave, still less than the second. at the end under the water there is an appearance of the continuance of the Cavern, & it is supposed to pass under the Island; & to communicate with the sea on the other side. During high winds, & rough Seas the Inhabitants informed us they were very sensible of the Islands shaking. This indeed I could hardly give credit ^to, & you I presume at a distance will be still less disposed to it.

The pillars which are placed from one cave to another are placed in regular order, & are all of them from 30 to 50 Feet high, & of nearly the Same bulk — the pillars support about 30 or 40 Feet of a whitish kind of Stone — at a little distance at Sea this part of the Isle appears like a large, magnificent grecian temple, but infinitely more noble. They could give no reason for calling on of the Caves, the Cave of Fingal. –––––

As we now stood in need of some refreshment we landed, & ascended a rugged steep place into the Island. There is only one Family live upon it, & the reliques of another, in all eight persons, five of whom were Children. The man could speak a little English, & one of the women, & when they found we purposed dining there they pointed out to us a little hill upon which we might sit, & sent some of the Children to fetch up the Cows. It was a very fine Day & we enjoyed our dinner — just as we had finished, a large wooden dish of milk was brought us & near half a basket of boiled potatoes, whether cook'd on purpose for us I cannot say — the boatmen made a good meal of them — the man, the women, & the children with the boatmen encircled us while at dinner. –––––

The Island we find lets for about £10. a year feeds a few Cows, & grows a sufficiency of Potatoes, & Oats, for the man & his Family. They rarely see any body during the winter months, & are themselves exposed to great Severity of weather — the Sea sometimes almost washing over them.


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one of the women made us understand, that she had heard a few days before that Lord Gordon was imprison'd, but she added with a resolute tone, that if they dared to do any thing to him the Uist Fencibles, in which her Son was, would immediately march up to London — We asked the man of what Religion he was. he said he did not know — he rarely heard any thing about it — however he always carried his Children to be baptized at the nearest Kirk. he knew some people who were Roman Catholics, & some who went to Church, but he saw no difference in them — one were as good as the other, & every one said his own was the best. Suppose, says he, getting up, & stretching forward his right hand, with which he pointed as he spoke to three parts of the Island, every one of which, by the by, as far as I could see was by a direct precipice — 'Suppose, says he, there were three ways of going off this Island, & you said one was the best, & he, pointing to Lister said another was the best, & I said that the other was the best — why, do ye see, says he somewhat warmly; we could not be judge of one anothers, & we should all probably get off well enough' ––––– there was no reasoning ^is no reasoning against this, says Lister.

After we had finished our repast, & drank some new milk, & eaten a potatoe by way of desert, we returnd to the boat by the same way we came, attended by the whole Island, who wished us a good Voyage, & hoped we would call as we came back. We had pushed off from the Shore by one, & as the Sun shone exceedingly bright, & we had Icolmkill full in view we had a very agreable Voyage — we could see a number of Islands at a distance, Tyree, Col, the Dutchmans Cap, form its resemblance, & some other — there was likewise a great variety of Sea fowl swimming around us — Several porpusses were observed rolling upon the water — but what diverted us, in terror, was the sight of a young whale, which here they call a pollock, & which we were told at


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this time of the year was not uncommon in these Seas. he was spouting up water to the height of 4 or 5 Feet; of what size he was I cannot say I am sure, I saw full 20 Feet of his Back, the men said 26. this was perhaps too much — as we returned we either saw another or the same within 50 yards of the boat, & as his head was rather pointed towards us, when we lost sight of him we did not know whether he would not come up, & make a morsel of us boat & all, which he might very well have done — we kept looking by the side of the boat in a half serious expectation, but fortunately the next time we saw him he was 40 or 50 yards the other side of us. —

It was a little past 3 when we landed at Icolmkill. & as we had nothing else to do than go, & view the ruins, & were resolved not to take much trouble in understanding the Inscriptions, & Superscriptions & all that, with which we were likely to be plagued, we informed the men we should ^be in the boat by 5. –––––

It is impossible to set your Foot upon Icolmkill without feeling an uncommon degree of Veneration & Respect. The Soul hurries back into the past, & views the pompous parade of an unfeigned Superstition with peculiar emotions. It traces those principles which could first induce, & those fears which could continue, it, & in both it sees an anxiety that prompts to mankind to seek enjoyment superior to the present. At a time when Churches themselves could be render'd sacred, & any spot of ground could be consecrated, it is little to be wondered at that the neighboring chiefs, forgetting their former animosities, should seek to be interred in holy ground — there was something soothing to humanity, & to be remembered for a length of Time in those prayers, which were believed ever to find enterance [sic] to the divine ear, most often have calmed that bosom which could have no pretensions to it from [...] repetition on its ^own past deeds —


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An old pert Schoolmaster, the most learned man in the Island, took the charge of us to point out the most remarkable things. Full charg'd with a kind of Knowledge, & a sort of Speculation, we were soon obliged to lay an embargo upon his Tongue — we were rather contented to be profoundly ignorant, than listen to the most absurd, & foolish conjectures. — The buildings seem to have been formerly very extensive, & there are now the remains of seven Chappels, in which I include what was probably nunneries, & monasteries. One of them appears much larger than the rest (altho none of them seem ever to have been very high) & a plan of this is said to be laid by St. Colomba himself, who did not live to build it. Within side the walls of many of these places are deposited, the remains of Saints, & heroes; & the crozier, & the sword were alike worthy of being engraven on the stone, & it was only possible to conjecture from the emblems which yet remain upon some, tolerably intire, in what the bones underneath had been employed. The ground within the walls, & between the chappels is full of Tombstones, at this time nearly coverd with nettles, & other weeds; we could get a sight of as many as we wanted, & upon one or two we thought we could dimly discover the Crown, & the Sceptre. Tradition, viâ the old Schoolmaster, says that several Kings from Scotland, Denmark, & two or three from France have been buried here — & it is not improbable but there might be a kind of Fashion in it, or, perhaps they thought their bodies would be long secured from deserved Insult in that place, where prayers & incense were ever ascending to Heaven — There are three crosses still standing intire, which are called the crosses of sts. peter, John, & Martin. Several others, we find, have been lately removed, to render a market place honest, & sacred. — We are shown likewise the black Stone, upon which the chieftans of old use to kneel, & ratify their agrements with each other — & it was very rarely they ever broke them. It is pleasing to find the Hearts of barbarians

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holding anything as sacred, & restraining their swords when opportunity ^offerd, because they had made an oath — The buildings appear to have had a kind of regularity, for there is evidently the remains of a good Street running thro them — We were requested to return seven small square stones round towards the Sun, that we might meet with prosperity; but as this was not what we wanted unless Heaven should think it best, we could but smile in the fellows face, & walk on. The fellow could give no account of the origin of this old custom as he called it, & we strongly suspected it was his own.

This Island is called, Eye, by the Inhabitants & people upon the neighbouring Coasts, & the reason of its being called so they informed us, was, that when St Colomba set sail from Ireland in search of a place to build a Church in, one of his people who first saw this Island, called out "Eye" which is "I see" — "& 'Eye,' shall it be called, said the Saint.31 The Island is not large, but exceedingly fertile, & in comparison with most of the Islands very populous. The Schoolmaster had lately taken an account of the Inhabitants, which now amount to 260. exclusive of 20 lately gone to the west Fencibles. It belongs to the Duke of Argyle who we were told had lately been to visit it —

A most brisk female of about 19, who could speak a little english, wanted to return with us — She had obtained her mothers leave, & would assist in rowing the boat; 'tho as she seem'd sufficiently delicate, I think it was an employment she could not have been used to. We were highly pleased with the frankness of the Girl, & the good nature of the mother, but as we thought she might be rather an Incumberance to us in the prosecution of our plan, we left her behind, not a little disgusted at our refusal. She continued to look after us 'till we had got a considerable distance from the Shore.

It was very little past 5 when we set sail on our return, & as we receded from the Island the different views of the ruins raised sentiments that were both pleasing & awful. When you are upon the Island they are really


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ruins too ruined — by [...] a little distance this is obviated. we ^thought, we lost a considerable degree of pleasure, by not having made ourselves sufficiently acquainted with this Island before we set out; & yet as amongst the present scene of Confusion, & Obscurity — little more than conjecture can be expected, Perhaps, we had not much to blame ourselves for. –––––

After we had sailed about 2 mile from Icolmkill, we laid the Cloth cross our knees, & demolished the remaining Chicken — we prepar'd this kind of Dinner, as dining on shore would have considerably detained us — the men at the same time took their refreshment, rowing alternately while they eat it — We were in hopes as it had been so fine a day, that the Sun would have went down ^set in a clear Sky — it was unfortunately rather misty, but yet as there were no clouds it was a noble, & singular appearance It appeared like a vast body of Fire. the rays from which illumin an immense trembling polish'd surface, & we could but contemplate it with admiration, & astonishment. — While there yet continued a rich glow in the western Sky, far excelling the poor imitations of a Lorraine, we approached Staffa, in full view of all its sublimity heighten'd by the silence, & severity of the surrounding Scene — It looked like a Temple of the noblest Order, & sacred to the most divine of purposes, rising out of the waves, heaven form'd.

— The Shades of Evening now increase & the Land which was distant has now intirely disappeared — we are at leisure to listen to the shrill shrieks of numberless Sea Fowls, & the murmurs of the Sea from the rocks, & echoing Shores.

"Hence vain deluding Joys,
The brood of Folly without Father
How little you bested
Or fill the Fixed mind with all your Toys.
But Haill! thou goddess sage, & holy
Hail divinest melancholy —
Come pensive nun devout, & pure
Sober, stedfast, & demure —
Come but keep thy wonted state,
With even step, & musing gait,
And looks commercing with the Skies
This rapt Soul sitting in thine eyes."

ii


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— 'twas not in vain we sought her — she came, & with a serene, & easy countenance, half smiling as she saw us sit enraptured, pointed with her right hand in the most graceful manner to Heaven, while her left lightly held close her sable robe — she spake not, but gradually raising her eyes to heaven fixt them there — we follow'd her example, & for an hour enjoyed what would not have been beneath an angel to have felt. –––––

It was now 8 oClock when the moon gradually arising from the Top of an eastern Hill, in some measure dispell'd the shades that had insensibly gathered around us, & in [...] fragments call'd back our minds to an attention to terrestrial Objects. To the north the Aurora Borealis were sporting in the Evening — the songs of the men with the sound of the Oars were in harmony, & altho from the fatigues of the Day we were rather tired, yet it was of a kind that we hardly wished ourselves freed from — the mind was oppressed with the vanity, & greatness of the object we had beheld —

We arrived at Toerloesk by 11 & were received, & saluted by our worthy friend the Laird with that warmth, & honesty, which opens the heart by force — he knew we were fatigued, & would not question us 'till the morning — we took a biscuit, & a glass of Punch & I believe were fast locked in the Arms of Sleep by 12 —


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August 18th. 1780. — Aross.

In the morning we found that Toerloesk's Family had been increased by a Lady Mcdonald, & her Sister Miss Campbell. Lady Mcdonald had head in the way, that two gentlemen had gone to Toerloesk, with an intention to go from thence to Staffa, & as she had never seen Staffa, she made all possible haste to arrive at Toerloesk before we had embarked. She was unfortunately two hours too late — would she could have divined our setting off, & have arrived two hours ten minutes earlier. –––––

It was a fine morning, & we had an agreable walk in the garden for an hour before breakfast. Lady Mcdonald rallied us for our complaisance, as we had received some hints that she was expected — but Toerloesk immediately tucked about in our defence, & whirling a little Sailor hat which he had on his Head half round, said, that there was no waiting for women upon a cruise, & that through the overflowing of his Complaisance, he had lost the wind for several days in the Mediterranean ––––– this was to the point —

I should guess Lady Mcdonald was in her 28th Year she was of a form that was elegant, & well adapted to the exertions of a spirit full of vivacity — at the same time that her manner was easy, her speech was flowing, & sprightly — her wit, & her wisdom were never at variance — her eye was quick, & piercing & often conveyed to you the sentiments she was about to utter before her tongue could express them — she was talkative, without being tedious, & lively without being ridiculous — when the Discourse turned upon the late Riots against popery, she spoke with a delicate & yet a sensible Freedom — she seemed sensible of the importance of the Subject, & treated it with respect, & deference, as was


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truly becoming — She had seen the Husban Colonel her Husband but once, during the whole american war — he was young in the army when his regiment was order'd over, & he has since arrived by service, & the Fortune of War, at that rank he now holds — she spoke of him with affection, at the same time she said "he was wedded to Honour as well as to her" — Altho she has mostly resided at Edinburgh during the six years absence of the Coll., yet she has not appeared once at any public place — I thought I discovered something warm, & jacobitish in her principles when speaking of government, & I afterwards found not without reason. the Father of her husband had joined Prince Charles — whether he was in the right, or wrong, it was not for her to say — he had engaged in it thro the persuasion of his brother, who was with the prince, & when he had once enterd he was not so base as to retract — the consequence was that he was obliged to fly into France, his castle was demolished, his house burnt, & his estates forfeited — Her husband, by the spirit which he has shown in the army, & his interest in raising men has had some, if not most, of his Lands restored, & he was ^is in hopes of having the whole — "the ruins of the Castle she said look'd chilly, & uncomfortable, — but the Race of the Macdonalds is not yet extinct." –––––

Her Sister Miss Campbell was either silent thro necessity, or complaisance to her Sister — true it is she scarce open'd her Lips during breakfast. —

We sat in the most pleasing chat till near one, & it was with difficulty we could prevail upon ourselves to adhere to a resolution we had formed, of returning back as far as Aross to Dinner. We arose, & after breaking with reluctance thro the most pressing invitations for the sake of our plan, we were permitted to order our horses to the Door. We now took leave of this good family, with the most warm & hearty prayers, that they might enjoy every good which a kind


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and indulgent Heaven could bestow. We were again saluted by Toerloesk, who bid us Farewell with a warmth, & fervour, that could only come from the Heart. –––––

We returned by the same rough, untrodden path that we had come, & as we had no new scenes to contemplate we enjoyed that silence, & those reflections which persons must feel who are leaving those for ever, who have just begun to interest them — It was in vain to attempt to get into any consistent chat about the badness of the Roads, altho we felt it to the full; & what renderd our progress more tedious, & solemn was, that within about three miles of Aross one of our horses lost his shoe, & we were oblig'd to walk the remainder of our Journey. It was past 4 when we arrived at Aross, & altho we had purposed to have proceeded at least as far as Scarlasdale, yet there was no going with a lame Horse — & we were obliged to send him three miles to have his Shoe put on, & submit to the necessity of staying at Aross that night, & enjoy the ride the next day of 20 miles thro the severest rain I ever passed thro in my life — this last however we did not expect, or I question whether we should have eaten our dinners with so much glee —

Blindness to the future's kindly givén
That each may run the Circle mark'd by heavén,

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In the evening we took a walk to see the ruins of an old Castle at Aross, which formerly belonged to the Maclean's — it is situated upon a rock, that projects into the Sea, & seems to have been very strong. As the evening approached with all its gathering clouds, we saunter'd along the Sea Shore listening to the breaking of the waves, against the neighboring rocks or as they sullenly seem'd to retreat from the Shore. It was now no more than 3 miles over to Morven, the rocks were high, & barren, the Clouds were heavy & moved slowly along their Summits —

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Long did we lay musing upon some Rocks, that are found by the Shore, 'till the moon arose to alight us home — surely nothing can equal the rising of the moon in the a mountainous Country, when you behold it near the Sea — the Top of the mountain is silverd, while the shade extends over a vast expanse of water — as she advances higher, her beams seem to sport upon the ruffled wave, & the objects seen are gradually illumin'd around. Silence reigns over all; save when the cavern'd shores reecho with the murmurs of the Sea & but inform you how still, how tranquil, how charming is the evening ^Scene. –––––

As we began to take our walk we found many poor people getting in hay — when we asked them questions, they always looked at one another, & laughed — it was difficult to conjecture from what cause, unless our Ignorance; as we could not be angry we laugh'd too, & thought ourselves amply revenged ––––– Adieu. –––––


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August 19th. Auchnacraig

Well, my dear Miss P. & what do you think of our Tour thus far? I suppose you begin to find yourself fatigued with riding, of walking, & boating, & seeing — but with a fair Sky, & in pursuit of Novelty every thing is tolerable, at least, & however tired we may be, let her, or him blush that first confesses it. How shall I conduct you thro the next two days — we are to pass over ground we have before review'd — to have no Sun to enlighten us — to be wet, & uncomfortable, & cold — you will stand in need of all your Cloaks, & all your philosophy.

There is a kind of Sympathy which every Traveller expects to meet with from his host, in case of bad weather, which 'tho it be truly of an inferior order he would not care to lose altogether — Our host in the morning told us with a smiling kind of pity that it looked very cloudy — that it rained a little — there was something in the manner of telling us, that shewd a barbarous kind of Joy — but we were not to be detained — 'if it rains water,' says I, 'we will set off directly' — 'there is no living with a man,' says Lister, 'who seems to rejoice at our misfortunes' —

We mounted our horses, & had the pleasure of being completely wet thro in 15 minutes — we had buttoned our coats at first, & tied on our handkerchiefs & seated ourselves snug upon the saddles, with a resolution to be dry — but it was all in vain — We had now 10 long miles to go, before there was any probability of getting out of it — a considerable part of which, from the badness of the roads, we must walk — it was not thro Showers we past, but thro close & well set Clouds, water spouts, & whirl pools. The wind lay directly in our Faces & not a word sometimes for a mile together, could be distinctly heard from us — save broken groans, & deeply interrupted sighs.


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We were sometimes, it is true, seen to smile at our situation, but it was by no means that easy kind of simper, which a person has when dry — there was something horribly entertaining in it.

After a ride of three hours we arrive at Scarlasdale nearly stiff, but not very cold — we expected to have had some little opportunity of drying ourselves, but unfortunately we found the house full of people, met together to got to a Sacrament about 5 mile ^off — they were too much taken up with their own fears, to pay much attention to us — however as we visitors, we exacted a kind of attention, & altho I do not think, that at this time we were very welcome, yet as we were very hungry we were resolved to exact ^have a breakfast. — we took a dram by way of preparation — you would have smiled to have seen what state we were in — our clothes, wet, & stiff, our faces becoming of a purple red from cold, & the pelting of the rain, & our hair wet & standing out at two & thirty points. The dye of Listers Coat, which was red had washed out upon his stock, & he look'd precisely as if his ill fortune had driven him to despair. I believe I had nothing to balance this. In this trim we were introduced to some of the greatest men upon the Island, & among the rest to shake hands with Sir Allan Maclean, the Laird of the family — we were not to be intimidated, & went thro our exercise like veterans, resolving to show as little of our state as it was possible. I was placed on one side of the Table next the Lady of the house, & Lister on the opposite side next Sir Allan. — one Maccanter, a kind of refugee parson, said grace in a manner that shewd his familiar ignorance, & in a posture had it been upon a less serious occasion which would have excited our laughter — he was a contemptible fellow, & had no suspicion of it himself —

We received very respectful Invitations from two Lairds who breakfasted with us. —


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Sir Allan Mclean appears a very genteel man — his address was his easy, & courteous. he seem'd rather pleased, that as he had very lately returned from London, he could tell us the last news, rectify that which went before — & prophecy what we were to expect — he was listen'd to with attention, & spoken too [sic] with deference — this was not unobserved by him. As he had been used to it himself, & I presume, supposed that we were not, he endeavour'd to conceal it, & discoursed with Lister who sat next him with the greatest affability, & freedom — He should have been happy to have seen us at his House.

In what manner shall I describe the charms [...] natural, & artificial, of Miss Flora Mc quarry, a daughter of the Lairds — "Descend from heaven Urania" — I believe I shall do it as well myself — To a person naturally plain but ignorant of it, conceive added one fourth of an Education, two fourths of pert highland Ignorance, & make up the rest with conceit — then dress her hair up as high as the tether will admit, & let it be spotted over with flour — but let not any cap be placed upon it — instead of that get some of the most paltry artificial flowers, & stick one here, & there, up that pyramid of wool — then put a little blush thro a Skin that is naturally brown, as if sensible of the finery, & a joseph upon the remaining part of the figure — & you will have made up Miss Mcquarry full as well as I should have described it. –––––

It continued to rain as hard as ever, & as were were very little drier than when we got off, it was not with much reluctance [sic] that we remounted our horses. We had only 6 miles to ride to Auchnacraig, at which place we were resolved to get ourselves perfectly dry. Our friends at Scarlasdale were not to be frightned by the rain, & altho they had to cross a ferry of 3 miles over to Morven. set off with becoming composure. Their plaids were a tolerable defence — but what they could do with Miss Flora's head, I am at a loss to conceive — we took our leave, & made the best of our way. —


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The Country we passed thro was very agreable, but we had hardly time to look at it. we had to go by the side of some lofty mountains, where the clouds literally spouted upon us, & we had no kind of defence but our Integrity — this we trust remained dry. We went out of our road three times but had the good fortune to be rectified. It was one, when we arrived at auchnacraig. We could not help laughing at our mutual appearance — it was quite in the Quixote & Sanchopancha stile.35

We orderd a large fire to be made, thinking we would stop, & dry ourselves before it — they brought in a bushel of wet peats, & laid over a little blaze — Lister was appointed to [...] improve it — it only smoked; & the more he blew the more he it smoked — "this is being drowned in sight of Land, says he" — he fixed his eyes upon the smoke in despair, while his body from the cold had drawn itself into the most laughable contractions — I believe he did not think so, for he was serious — "We had better go to bed says he". this was the most fortunate suggestion in the world, & into bed we hied without speaking scarce a word to each other — We were naked, & cold, but by covering ourselves up close, & taking a dram we soon became warm, & if people knew what a luxury there was in the glow of warmth, I know not whether rainy weather would be so much abused. We orderd our things to be dried, & in the mean time begged them to lend us shirts &c. The people were exceedingly civil, & we wanted nothing they could lend us, we did not get up however till dinner was ready about 4 oCk.

— It was impossible we found to get this night to Oban. — As there were but one pair of breeches in the house, & these rather small, I found I must either wear petticoats or Fillibegs — I preferr'd the latter, & I complimented myself with appearing like a very bonny Highlander — altho every body else laugh'd at me.

––––– We made a most excellent dinner on some flesh of Red deer stewed into soop — and afterwards we were treated with what we least expected, some Rowanberries, & Cream. –––––


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The person's name at whose we were was Maclaughlan, a highlander in principle, as well as in appearance; he was about the age of 50, & of a countenance which 'tho rather emaciated, yet was of a ruddy & healthy cast — his hair was short, & in the true Roman cut, & there was something in his manners which shewd that he rarely employed himself in trifles. His eye was not variable, it easily fixed itself on any object, & seemed to me the Certificate of a resolute, & independent spirit. I had not reason to alter my opinion of him. After dinner he saunter'd into the room where we were, evidently with an intention of having some discourse with us & we had not objection — some how or other we soon began talking of the transactions of 1745 — 'I had heard, I said, that the prince (for pretender I durst not call him), had been much attached to women — so much as to injure his Interests & affront his Friends' — 'Thats a Lie, says he, his eye kindling as he spoke, & they that told you so knew nothing about him — he was a sober, & a virtuous man, & if he is not so now it is owing to his misfortunes — he had few real friends, continued he — he was deceived." — I could only make a gentle reply, for I found he knew more about the matter than I did. He enlarged upon the Cruelty of The Duke of Cumberland, & seem'd well satisfied with the Retaliation he had made, as it was by no means a pleasing topic, I turned the discourse as soon as I could to an Inquiry, about the productions of the Island; as the result was of a nature which you will probably think not much more pleasing, I would advise you to rest a little from your Labour, take another cup of Chocolate, & put the Letter for a minute or two, into my Fathers hand ––––– Mull with some of the other Islands is, I believe, comprehended in Argyleshire. it is equally mountainous, & unfitted for growing corn. The people employ themselves in rearing a vast number of Horned Cattle, & Horses, which about this time of the year they send to the South, & generally to Dunbarton Fair. Bullocks this year, he said, were very low at Dunbarton from 40/ to 70/. this was to be attributed in part to the scarcity of money among the farmers, but perhaps more to the great numbers of Cattle which are imported into England from Ireland, & which, he said feelingly,

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must injure Scotland greatly. It was however necessary to sell many of them, as the keeping them thro another winter was highly inconvenient, & dangerous, & it was scarcely probable that the increased price of the ensuing year would pay them for it. The horses he says, were not sold at all — there were very few buyers, & in consequence bid very low. He thinks it probable this last branch will be given up intirely — Altho he could in some respect blame the war for the effects which he had just mentioned, yet there was one article in which the war had been of the greatest benefit to them — this was the making of Kelp, which was very much encouraged by government, & well paid for by those who needed it. This article had been mostly imported from America, or the better sort from Spain, both of which channels are now stopped. The kelp which is formed here is of an inferior kind, but it answers very well in the end, & it is said to be improving — It at present sells for £7. r £8. a Ton. It is made from the Sea weeds on the coast, which are just dried, & then burnt. The Taxmen and Farmers allow to those that make it about 30/. a Ton. — There is not much Kelp made upon this part of the Coast, but as ^we were going to Staffa, we saw the smoke ascending from several Islands which we were informed was from the burning of Kelp. ––––– He answerd every question put to him with great frankness & seemed well pleased he could give us any kind of Information —

The night continued rainy & windy, & as we were not above a mile from the Sea, we had the full effects of it. We were well coverd & had comfortable beds but we felt commiseration of the purest kind for those poor souls "whose latticed, & windowed nakedness could not keep out the pelting of this pittiless Storm".36 ––––– The roaring of the Sea composed us to sleep — & then our troubles, & our cares were no more. Adieu.


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August 20th. Oban.

In my last I entertained you with 'moving accidents, by flood & field',37 & to day did not pass without its perils — What would Life be without variety? & what would variety be without a share of Inconvenience? To pass the Life of a muscle was certainly never intended for man. His activity, strength, & inclination all point to a Life of Exertion. This curiosity prompts, what his Judgement wishes should be essayed, & his Fancy frequently leads him in the pursuit of Truth. To study himself in the actions & operations of others, to observe the motives which actuate, & influence the conduct of men, & to learn from thence to avoid what is mean or wicked, & to follow after what is becoming & honourable, what is consistent with reason, & religion, is merely the best, & noblest employment of his nature; — if in this pursuit he should meet with disapointment, or with danger, it is no more than what he might have expected from the nature of things, & if on this account he quits the chace he is no longer worthy of the name, & shall never enjoy the feelings of a Man ––––– you have probably by this time a presentiment that it was again a cloudy, & a rainy morning. it was both when we first got up, but by the time we had breakfasted it became tolerably fine & we had some reason to expect it would continue — but Maclaughlan shook his Head, & we insensibly buttond our Coats — we took leave of him with many thanks for his civility, but not one for his prophecy. –––––

The Isle of Carrera, to which our first Boat was to conduct us, was about 6 miles off. The Boat carried a Sail which in some respect incommoded the Horses, & as it was not very large, & the sea rough, we thought it no mark of Cowardice to be occasionally a little fearful — perhaps we had no reason to be so — but, I confess, I did not admire the waves now & then wetting the seat on which I sat.


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Only one of the Boatmen could speak a little english, & as the rest often spoke to one another in Erse, the Tones of which are by no means soothing, we were not the less anxious to be satisfied of our state. We asked him if there was any Danger as the wind seem'd to increase. — he said 'the Sea was rough' — was there any Danger? — 'not if the horses stood still' — this was certainly precarious — we were by no means disposed either to founder, or dash against a Rock, without timely notice, which it was scarce probable we should have from people who did not rightly understand us. Upon the whole the voyage over was not disagreable. We had not proceeded many yards into the Island when it began to rain, and as it was foolish to think of sheltering ourselves where there were neither houses, not Trees, we were soon wet through without resistance. –––––

The Shower was heavy, & soon over, & left us at leisure to cross over an Island for its size, populous & well cultivated, & in appearance by far the most pleasing we had seen. It was in this part about two miles broad. After turning up by the side of two or three hills, we entered, by about half a dozen small neat houses, into a small plain, thro which a rivulet found its way. The mountains around were not lofty, but of a most lively verdure, & near the top of one of them which we were to pass over, several women & Children had driven together a great number of Cows, & Sheep, to suckle, & milk them. We rode up near them, & without saying a word to any of them, were immediately presented with two large wooden bowls of milk — it may well be supposed it was the best we ever drank. As they could not understand a word of English, we could ^only express our gratitude by signs, which by this time we had learn'd to do tolerably well. They smiled, & mutterd a little Erse, which produced a Compliment of English from us. As They perceived we did not well know the way, & they sent a little Girl to shew us. As we ascended this hill the Sun in his beauty broke thro the Clouds, & we could not forbear looking back with a


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kind of envy at a people, whose Virtue was Simplicity, & who receiving all the necessaries of Life, freely again bestowed them with a liberal hand. — By looking back when we were at the top of the hill, we had a fine view of the rich vale beneath, & of the people, who forgetting us had resumed their attention & Toil. In journeying to the other Coast we passed thro several barley fields, & two small villages which were agreably shaded by trees. There appears scarce a part of the Island which is not useful. A Satisfaction reigned in every countenance, & the men seemed to look upon us with a degree of Contempt, which Lister said he envied. The plains of arcadia might amuse the grecian youth, but the vales of Carrera would charm its old men — Aristides, & Themistocles would forget their banishment, nor would Socrates wish for a better Elysium. He might here hold a closer conference with that Dæmon by which he professed he was guided, & sublime those notions which he entertained of Deity, to far greater purity, & with a nobler spirit of Devotion. When age hath placed wrinkles on the brow & the Locks grow few & gray, when Desire fails, '& the grasshopper becomes a burden,'38 may that peace & silence which seems to dwell in Carrera be around me, & those [...] elevating, & truly divine affections which its scenes are formed to excite, be within me. –––––

Just as we arrived at the second Ferry, which was near a mile over, it began to look again very cloudy, & before we had got over we were nearly we through. We were rowed over by a man & woman, & our horses becoming much used to it stood perfectly still — We had after this a long two-miles ride to Oban, thro the severist rain I was ever in, & as the roads do not permit any very rapid motion we might be said to enjoy it — we jogged along with the most peaceful composure, & serenity for wet clothes had now lost their power of discomposing our Spirits — we arrived in about half an hour at Oban, & in ten minutes more were literally naked & between the sheets. –––––


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Just as we were dismounting, Donolly, who was returning from his Farm close wrapt in his plaid, came up, & inviting us to Tea would detain us no longer in chat "you have been singularly fortunate says he in the fine weather you have met with — 'till within this last 10 Days we have not had a day free from rain this Summer, & often very violent — we are in no want of water I do assure you, Mr Lister." — this we felt. —

We arose to Dinner about 4 oClock, & found that riding in the rain had very little injured our appetites — our things were tolerably dry, & stiff — a little motion soon removed this — & however we appeared we did not feel ourselves uncomfortable; & were steel'd against catching cold. —

At Macdougal's we again met with his Lady, & Sister, who received us with the most engaging hospitality. We told them a short history of our travels which they seem'd to enter into with spirit, as they had not seen Staffa — They smiled when we began to deplore the rain which had made us so serious — what they were so much conversant with, they were by no means disposed to think of as an evil. There is nothing so bad which habit does not render tolerable or even endear to many. To be half frozen, half drowned, & half starved, is only worthy of a smile. — Macdougal gave us a letter to the governor to Fort William, & would have given us a letter to the governor of Fort George, but as we had one it was not necessary. We were much indebted to Macdougal, & shall ever entertain the highest sentiments of Respect for him & his family. –––––

The eldest Son of Macdougal return'd part of the way to Oban with us. His opinion of the Rock that I before mentioned was, that it had separated, & fell from the neighbouring Cliff — He endeavour'd to point out the place which, I confess, did not satisfy me, & the rock itself seem'd too firm at the bottom — Novelty had very little impaired our admiration, when we reviewed this rock a second time —

We went to bed in time, & got a good nights Rest.


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August 12st.

Fort William Lister whose attention to every appearance in Nature, which could produce, or excite a new, or a noble emotion in the soul was truly admirable, tempted me to a walk yesterday evening upon the shore of Oban. Altho it did not rain, yet the Clouds seemed weighty & low, & brought on as if reluctantly an early evening — a glow thro the broken spaces of the Clouds still continued in the west, upon which the clouds ill form'd & dark seem'd to float like the wrecks of Chaos, confusedly sublime, many of the distant Isles were, at intervals, dimly discern'd thro the mist, & upon the mountains which were near us we could plainly discern the white clouds float around, shaded as the light could pass thro those clouds ^which were suspended, & moving in the Air. The Shore murmur'd with the retreating Tide, while the shrieks of the seafowl around upon the distant waves, added an horror to the Scene. The Darkness as we slowly walk'd along increased, & with it our thoughtfulness. It was not time for trifling, & if folly ever quitted our nature it was now. Every thing around us was serious, & interesting. sometimes we were silent, & sometimes we faintly expressed to each other what at the same time that it oppressed, charmed, & improved the Soul. You my dear Miss P., can easily conceive what thoughts should arise in such a situation — such, I trust, are those which we felt, & should in vain attempt to express. –––––

As we expected a long & a tedious day's journey we arose early. It rained a little but fortunately soon held up, & we had not more rain for several Days. As we passed to the Falls of Connel, we had a noble view of Dunstaffage, which stands upon a rock, is well shaded by trees, & seems to command the Loch beneath. The Falls of Connell are remarkable, not from their height, which is not above 8 or 9 Feet, but on account of their being Salt water, & the excessive rapidity of the Ebb of a spring tide. As this could not occur often in a month we had not now the luck to find it — the Stream was however excessively rapid, & eddied with considerable violence over the irregular rocks, which form the Fall. It is about a mile over in this part — it was some way below where we cross'd, & was at least


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two miles over — there was no danger in passing. There is a kind of natural hole, about 10 or 12 yards over in the Rock, by the side of the stream in which at a certain time of year a great number of Salmon are caught — the water is in general quiet here, & as it is a fine white rock bottom, when the salmon come in, as it is supposed tired, they are easily perceived, & caught with nets. Such numbers are caught in this manner as to make it well worth attending to. — when the Salmon are in here they are said to be often seen with their heads very obliquely downwards, & remaining fix'd thus a considerable time, only quivering their Fins — some suppose they sleep in this way, others, with full as much probability, suppose that they are merely at rest. –––––

After we had crossed the Ferry we found an exceeding good Road, & had many pleasing, & extensive prospects. Mr Campbell Laird of Lochnell has an elegant modern House situated upon the opposite banks of the Loch — there were numerous, & flourishing plantations around it — near it upon a mountain a small Tower hath been lately placed which can be seen from a great distance — The Laird who is at present very young is said to have estates to the amount of 1500£ a year — which in this country implies, that at least they are very extensive. To think of quitting this abode of Independence, & Respect to search for the tinsel Honours of a Court, to meet with neglect, or contempt, must be folly or madness — he surely little considers his own advantage who upon any expectation whatever, condescends to become the tool or the slave of another. There is a natural equality in man which rejects with disdain, such a connection, & whether it deserve the appellation of pride, or a more noble name, every Briton has it in a great degree in his power, & ought to maintain it — but none that I know of have so many advantages connected with it as a Highland Laird. —

We leave the ruins of Birkaldy castle to the right, & soon after come to the Ferry of Schien, which it was necessary to pass over — a man, & a young woman came into the Boat with an intention to row us over. She was of a form that might be called genteel, & of a countenance placid, & graceful, & she could not I am sure have been much used to Feats of Strength.


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It was two miles over & would probably be a laborious Row — perhaps she had been used to it, but she must have felt it severely. I was now resolved that she should not touch the Oar while we were in the boat, & telling her to stand against my horse rowed over myself she could speak a little English, & often begg'd to row over ^take the oar, — it was laborious work she said — indeed I found so for [...] ^by the time I had got over my hands were blister'd — but to have seen her toiling would have been far worse injury. — It was near 12 when we arrive at portnacross to breakfast — we were rather fatigued, & very hungry, having rode 18 miles & cross'd two ferries by no means inconsiderable.

After breakfast we passed by the house, & thro the Grounds of a Mr Siton, a very considerable wine merchant in London, who is said to have several very large estates — The House was good, & being seated on a Flat the ground around was laid out quite in the english Taste — there was an extensive park with several clumps of Trees in it, & altho mostly surrounded by a stone wall, yet there was paling in many parts — in one view from the house, there were several fragments of a whitish rock, round which several twists of rope were tied, & some honey suckles were set to grow over them — they had already arisen a considerable way, & had a pleasing effect — if the Improvements are continued in the same style in which they are now going on, in a few years this will be a most delightful spot. — About 10 miles distant from portnacross we arrived at a ferry called Balguadulich, near which was a house — we made a miserable kind of Dinner here on Bannocks, & cheese — the bannocks were smoky, & the cheese was new, & poor — but whisky, a liquor which is distilled in the Highlands from barley, supplied every defect — there is not a house in this country without it, & it was often 'our solace & our stay.' — We continued our Route thro a very good road, & arrived at Fort William about 8 — Altho it was very little more than 40 miles ^distant from Oban, yet it was the most tedious Day we passed thro.

It was a good Inn at Fort Wm. at which we put up, & we rejoiced to meet wheaten bread once more having never seen ^any since we left Inverary unless in the form of dry, & hard cakes — At Dunolly's I believe there was a small piece which was left out of compliment, & to shew our affection for this Land of Oats.


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— on our way to the Fort I thought I saw an Eagle — it was soaring high, & I think from its flight, & appearance I could not be mistaken. — Fort William is a considerable Town, & English is spoken with great readiness — in general the Highlanders, who can speak english, pronounce it with much greater propriety than the Lowlanders — they learn it grammatically, & have not that disagreable Tone which renders the Scotch Tongue so infamous. — The Highlanders generally speak of the Lowlanders with contempt, & prefer the English — thus every nation is disposed to be at enmity with its neighbour, & a traveller may be pleased when his own is not altogether the object of detestation. –––––

I had the pleasure of sleeping with two strangers in the same room, & my bed was said hard I believe Straw, & very uncomfortable — but as it was neither over the kitchen, nor were there any gnats to torment, I soon went to sleep & found it as good a thing for the purpose as ever I slept ^laid upon. ––––– Adieu –––––


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August. 22d. Bolesken.

A considerable part of our Road yesterday lay by the side of Loch Linne, and Fort William is placed at the head of it. The Fort itself has of late been suffered to fall into decay — a considerable portion of one of the bastions has fallen down — it is now garrison'd only by a few Invalids — we took a view of it by starlight, when a perfect silence reigned within as without — over the Fosse which surrounds it a draw bridge is thrown, which was formerly drawn up every night — as this work would be now tedious, & toilsome to the Veterans it is altogether neglected — why should they raise suspicions in the minds of a peaceable neighbourhood? —

In the morning we passed by the ruins of the Castle of Inverlochiel, formerly a place of great strength but how long it has been in its present state, we met with no one that could inform us. What is singular is that it is placed upon a perfect Flat, different from every other Fort we had hitherto met with — it was however placed near a River on one side, & we thought we could perceive the appearance of a Ditch, now nearly filled up, on the other — this was sufficient to secure them from surprize — We now passed by the highest mountain in Scotland called Ben Nevis, without seeing it — the morning was rather cloudy, and his head was deep concealed in the Clouds — The appearance of his base, as connected with other mountains, gave us no kind of satisfaction. By the sides of the hills the clouds were floating in easy motion along, & as our Road at intervals led us under them, they now & then shook a little Dew upon us — as we had little apprehension of Rain, we were not disposed to think this uncivil.

We breakfasted at a house about 14 miles from Fort William — it was rather an uncomfortable one as we could get neither milk nor butter — & Bannocks, & cheese we had had


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quite enough of. Fortunately the goats were brought up before we set off, & we had a most excellent draught of Goat's milk which amply compensated for every other inconvenience — Happy is that situation in the which those things which are disdainfully called the necessaries, become the Luxuries of Life — & there is a choice of a barley Cake, or a bannock of Oats! — The Road to Fort Augustus was made intirely by the military, & it is called the Kings Road — it is a broad & even one, & several carriages might pass abreast. The Country itself is rather hilly, & cover'd over with hether — The spots which were cultivated were very few, & could ill have repaid the Labour — I much question whether it is capable of Improvement — we only saw here & there a few Sheep, or goats browzing, attended by a shepherd whose appearance we were little disposed to envy — There was in his countenance a simplicity, bordering on Stupidity, & a contentment, the genuine offspring of Ignorance. It was little recommendation to us that kings once occupied his Station. If the Crown of England had not been engaged, I know not whether it might not have been upon his Head with equal Honour ^ with[...] Kings — he might soon have learn'd to smile, & simper, — learn a speech, & make a Lord; & what has the King of Great Britain to do more? — It would be cruel to take him from a slumber upon the Hether, to the cares of a Throne, & the curses of a nation. —

As we were jogging along discoursing upon that Fancy & Elegance, which taught Virgil to point with so msuch exquisite Taste the pastoral Scene, even in a Court, we were overtaken by a young highland Drover, who, as he could speak english very well, immediately began to chat with us. This Familiarity we found was supported by good sense — he was well informed, & readily answer'd any questions we put to him. He pointed to us the estates of Cameron of Lochiel which were forfeited for Rebellion in 1745. Lochiel is said to have been worth 3 or 4000£ a year, & to have joined the pretender with 2000 men. — His house ^which was well situated in a fine glen, with large plantations around it, had been pull'd down to the ground by royal order in 1746.


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Lochiel fled to France & died there. His Son, since the commencement of the american war, applied to the King for leave to raise a company of Men for his service — it was granted, & young Lochiel was no sooner arrived at the Estates, than that number immediately offer'd themselves — they were arm'd, & immediately order'd to embark for America. Lochiel was taken ill at the time, & not one Highlander would set his Foot into a Transport — they would fight, & die, with him — & absolutely refused going unless he went — He was constrained to go, & soon after died in America. —

About two miles from the Ruins of Lochiel we enter'd a vale — it was long, & from its appearance seem'd capable of great improvement — the hether which we had met with for the last two days Journey, gave way to a coarse kind of Grass, which was formed into a kind of Hay, & reserved for the Cattle in the winter. In this vale I told at one view Sixty little Houses, most of them inhabited, & the remainder serving as outhouses — it was impossible from the appearance to distinguish one from the other, for neither of them had Chimnies, nor glass in their windows — they were not other buildings, than the Just effort of Necessity would put together — & I am convinced that there can have been no improvement made in the place for the last 1000 years. This vale we were told together with another which lays to the right of it, belongs intirely to a small Clan of the MacMartins, which, as it was at ^in league with the Camerons, joined in the last rebellion, & suffered in some degree with them — the Lands were not forfeited — All the Inhabitants of this vale, which old & young could not be less than 200, bear the name of their chief Mac-martin — many of the people were laying upon the grass near their Huts in the most inactive, lazy state, alone capable, I suppose, of being stimulated by Honour & the bagpipe. Honour is a word which the Highlanders are well acquainted with, & pay infinite respect to. A Highlander was called upon at Inverness to give evidence in some cause. he took the oath, & was very positive in every thing he asserted — he was commanded by the Court to confirm it upon his Honour — this he refused. "I cannot," says he, "stake my Honour to a falsity" –––––


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We did not meet with any scene, which we could with half so much reason suppose to retain the appearance of the feudal times, as the present — it is said they still continue to pay their rent by their services, & as they are not oppressed they do not seem at all inclined to change — it is one great family, whose friendships & resentments are mutual, who are united by every tye, & who upon any pressing occasion, would with the utmost alacrity sacrifice their Lives — it is said, & from every reason I should think it true, that at this time many of them are ignorant who reigns in Britain — "it is somebody," they say, "who overcame the prince". many of the songs which they now sing were made in the rebellion, & however the Laird may have changed his principle from Necessity, there is no reason to suppose that one of the Clan has followed his example. ––––– Just as we began to be attach'd to our highlander for his openness, & freedom of speech, & his great intelligence he took leave of us after informing us that we were now within two miles of Glenco a place ever remember'd by the highlanders for the most horrid Massacre, which was committed there in King William's reign — as it was out of our way, & we were informed there was nothing to be seen, we made what speed we could to Fort Augustus.

Fort Augustus is the smallest of the three Forts, it has 24 Cannon 6 pounders, & a company of Invalids — it is nobly situated at the head of Loch Ness & as we took a walk round it we found it to be a very neat intire Fort. We could have went over it but we wanted Time, & Inclination, & we expected to obtain the most perfect Idea of a Fort from Fort George. There is a very pleasant green at the back of the Fort, & there are trees within side it, & numerous Conveniences for the Governour — the walls answer exceeding well for the ripning of Wall Fruit, of which there is abundance. To the west of the Fort there is a fine plain thro which the River Ness runs — its banks were coverd with oats, & potatoes, or a fine verdure — to the north a few small


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hills were placed, upon ^one of which is said to be the ruins of a Fort made by Oliver Cromwell — to the east is a fine view of the Loch which is strait, & reaches almost down to Inverness; & to the south east is a lofty range of mountains, which stretch along by the side of the Loch — upon the whole it is a pretty Fort & prettily Situated, & as it keeps up a communication with the opposite Coasts it may be deem'd an important one. neither this nor Fort William were taken during the Rebellion, & Fort George has been made since.

From Fort Augustus we had 14 miles to ride to a house called the General's Hut, at which we purposed staying the night — we were told it was a very indifferent house, & might easily be passed in the dark. We rode over a tolerable good mountainous Road for about 20 miles thro a barren, bleak country, when we found that Night was coming on apace — we had long lost the Sun behind the mountains, but he now seem'd to have betaken himself quite into Thetis's Lap. The Shades at his departure were not so sever as we expected — the Sky was clear, & the stars numerous & bright — the Aurora Borealis play'd vividly before us — Struck with the beauty & majesty of the Scene we permitted our horses to go at their pleasure — we soon enterd a grove of which we had no expectation — it was composed of aspen Trees, & Birch, & the road which was good had innumerable windings. Nature would here have been perfectly at rest, had not a gentle breeze waving the topmost branches of the Aspen produc'd a murmur divinely solemn. The path thro which we had to pass was at intervals dimly discerned, so thick was the surrounding shade — again ^sometimes from the appearance of Light some little way before, you would have supposed you were soon to quit the grove, but you were enticed to a severer gloom, & often to a Darkness that "might be felt".39 After passing about a mile we were at once alarmed with the rushing of water which hoarsely ecchoed among the trees around. This was the Fall of Fiers, of which we had heard much, & altho as it was a little distance from the road, & the darkness prevented our seeing, yet we felt there had been no exaggeration in the accounts we had received. To describe the Sensations which must now arise in every thinking mind at a Scene like this would be impossible. Awe, & adoration at once excluded Fear, & Superstition & we passed slowly along in a silent solemn Reverie, often stopping our horses to listen to a Harmony that would


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have made the simpering Face of Folly blush, & the canker'd Heart of Guilt to beat with unusual Terrors. — We had now proceeded as near as we could guess a mile & half in the wood, & there seem'd no probability of our getting out — the darkness increased, & as we could not well distinguish ^the road, we were obliged to go very slow. As we had not been told of this wood, it struck us, that we had either mistaken the Road, or passed the House we intended to sleep at — either of which would have been highly disagreable in our circumstances — it was now past 10, & there was little probability of our finding any house, or if we should it was still less likely we should make them understand, either to show us the way, & or permit us to sleep in their hut during the night. What before had been pleasing from its Novelty, & the Serenity which it produc'd, now increased our anxiety, & diquiet — 'When Generals begin to fear they think it prudent to hold a council of War' — we turned our horses heads towards one another, to advise with serious deliberation. It was said, that if we had mistaken the Road nobody knew were [sic] we might go to — that if we had pass'd by the House it was a long 18 miles to Inverness, & as we knew not a step of the road there was every chance of losing ourselves, if-that-was-not already the case — that to hasten on to Inverness with ourselves & our horses already fatigued, & jaded, would be next to impossible — beside we should miss the Fall of Fiers, one of the prime objects of our Tour — What must be done? — We did not recollect having passed any house, & as we had not seen one the chance was, that if we did not meet with the right we should sooner find another ^if we went on than by returning. To think of staying where we were was Ignominy, & Danger — For we had not as yet learn'd either to sleep abroad, or to despair. Our doom seem'd inevitable, & sever, but we resigned ourselves, to Necessity, & resolved at least not to scold — For what alas! what would untimely Reflections, & or mournful sighs have availed us, which nothing but Rocks, & the murmuring grove would have smiled at! — The result of our council was to go on, & to call up the people the first house we came to. The wood seem'd lengthening as we went, & it was a

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long mile & half further before we had intirely got clear of it. From the light which the Stars & the Aurora Borealis afforded us we could see a kind of Road which led us into a barren plain — this we were resolved to pursue, & had just turned our Horses when we heard a dog bark — this, & the crowing of a Cock, we had found to be infallible marks of a house being near, we immediately turned our horses & fortunately soon after arrived at the house we were seeking for. The coarsest Entertainment & the hardest beds were Luxuries we did not expect to meet with — they were thrice valuable to men whose toils, & anxieties had render'd them singularly the objects of Compassion — Lister however needed none, for he fell asleep before he had finished a miserable Supper — when the beds were ready, I awoke him, & he hurried into Bed as fast as he could, muttering something about the Fall of Fiers, as he enter'd the Land of Silence, & of Shades — As I was unwilling he should go without me I nodding followed — Farewell the Toils of Travel ––––– Welcome Rest. –––––

August. 243th. Inverness. —

There is a state of Mind, the effects of which upon the Body are equal to the severest of Labour — The body becomes incapable of its proper exertions, & sinks under an oppression induced by the vehement, & constant toil of the thinking Faculty. I could entertain you with an explanation from various Theories of the Nerves, which have employed the abilities, & exercised the Faith of the wise, & the credulous — but I am sure, my dear Miss P., you would laugh at them & with justice too. ––––– It could not be merely the distance that we travell'd yesterday, that tired so much. The variety of Objects that we met with might have had some effect — but it was the exertions which the mind made, made when under the greatest Anxiety, suddenly ceasing when no longer necessary, which produced that inclination to Sleep not to be overcome. While on horseback, & expecting nothing less than a ride to Inverness, we did not feel in the least drowsy — we had no sooner quitted our horses than we fell asleep —

Whether it was that the Imagination was not inclined to be at rest within the roar of the Fall of Fiers — or that our beds were so hard and uncomfortable as to permit no more slumber than was absolutely necessary, this deponent saith not, — but certain it is that we rose with the Sun, and as it was but two short miles back to the Fall we were resolved to walk to it. We needed no guide to show us — we were conducted by the Sound, which the Rocks, & groves around reechoed. We soon enter'd the grove which the uncertainty of evening before had deprived of half its charms. The boughs met from either side of the Road, & formed a delightful avenue — the road was serpentine, & there were several gently rising Hills — the morning was cool, & serene, & the Sun rising in his strength threw a majesty upon the whole — we walked along arm in arm reflecting upon that goodness which had provided us with


a resting place so near the Fall of Fiers. — It was impossible to have as good a view from the Road as we wished, we therefore descended a steep craggy place, by the side of the Road, for about 70 yards — this was effected not without danger, & difficulty, but we were richly recompensed by the view of the Fall which we thus obtained — we clung by a tree which grows upon a Rock opposite to the Fall, & commands it intirely. every time we lookd down the precipice at our feet, which could not be less than 80 Feet, we felt a chilliness, & Horror, which we should never have expected, if a desire of Safety could have overcome the spirit of Novelty. The Fall itself is about 50 Feet high, and rushes down a very steep rock, without any interruption, into an irregular bason formed of huge pieces of Rock, which seem to have been driven down by the force of former torrents — the water of the bason looks dark, & it imperceptibly finds its way out, under the Fragments of Rock which surround it — just at the bottom of the Fall a cloud of mist seems constantly to hang, sometimes, it is said, in great measure to prevent your seeing the Fall. The noise which it makes is excessive —

Altho the weather has of late been remarkably dry, yet the water which pours down is by no means small, what it must be when the bed of the River which supplies it is full from repeated, & violent Rains, exceeds any conception — it must be one of the most awful objects in Nature — surrounded by lofty Rocks, rugged & bare, between two of which the stream over numerous obstructions forces its resistless way, & carrying with it large stones, & broken pieces of Rock increasing as it goes, roars & rushes headlong down this monstrous precipice — while the storm howls around, & hoary winter on the darkning wings of Evening, hastes to congratulate in grissly Horrors, this gloomy Habitation of Despair — Death did he want a place more horrid, might quit the Cimmerian Vales for this, & brooding over the Fates engender Discord, pestilence, & War. —

We returned & breakfasted at the General's Hutt, so called, because the officer who had the command of the military when they were making this road, caused a temporary house to be erected near this for his residence. We afterwards passed


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along the side of Loch Ness, a most beautiful Lake, & about a mile & a half broad. The road is exceedingly good, & for at least eight miles is shaded with birch trees — we had been informed of the ride, & had raised our expectations rather too ^high — it is true it is pleasant, but there is a kind of Sameness which prevents the pleasure, which moderate road, & raised prospects produce — The Loch is beautifully clear, & altho Fresh water, is said never to freeze; which a man of whom we inquired the reason endeavoured to account for by saying, there was brimstone in it — where Nature has thrown an ill she ever casts an Antidote. —

We had a view of an old Castle on a promontory, on the opposite side of the lake,40 beyond which seem'd a rich, & fertile vale — there is a good modern house not far from the Castle, & well shaded by trees, & which, I supposed, the Liberality of the Times has induced the present Laird to occupy. — As you advance towards Inverness, the mountains on both sides of the Loch become much less, & at 7 miles distance you have a good view of Inverness upon a plain, & a noble river winding its way towards it. — The plain is extensive, & altho for the most part barren, yet we saw a much greater Quantity of Corn, & better in quality than we had met with for the last 200 miles — Upon a Hill as it were in the Town is the ruin of some old Barracks, which the Rebels knocked down in /45. — Macbeth is said to have had a castle upon this spot. We were near 6 Hours in passing from General's Hutt to Inverness, we walked our horses all the way, & met with sufficient Incidents to engage our attention, or employ our tongues.

We dined, & took a view of the Town, which is supposed by far the best in the Highlands — it is certainly by much the best town we saw since we left Stirling — They are said to speak much purer English here, than in any Town in Scotland, to which we truly agree — tomorrow we purpose entering Culloden Muir & Fort George ––––– Adieu –––––


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August. 24th.Inverness

It was impossible to enter a town, which a few years ago might be termed the Centre of Rebellion, without making some inquiry concerning the persons &c, who were the principal Actors in it. The army to which in England we ever affix the name of Rebels, is here called the French Army, & the person whom we call the pretender, is never known by any other name than the Prince. It was not for us to attempt the alteration of Names, which Time & a closer connection than we could pretend to, had render'd sacred.

It is said that when the ^army of the Duke of Cumberland encamped one Night at Nairn, the prince's army marched towards it, if possible, to surprize it in the Night, or to get past it again to the South — but they found the Duke so well prepared that they were obliged to hasten back again immediately, & arrived at their Camp after a march of near 30 miles jaded, & hungry — as they had not sufficient victuals in the Camp, Lord G. Murray, the Commander, permitted numbers of them to go to Inverness to get provisions, engaging them to return at a certain hour — some it is said did return, but many did not. The Duke knowing their distress, by a forced march from Nairn compell'd them to come to an Engagement about 11 in the Forenoon. a dispute is said to have taken place in ^the prince's army between the McDonalds & the Mckintoshes, which sh^d have the honour of the right wing — which the Mckintoshes were commanded to take — The Duke knew that several bodies of Highlanders were upon the march to join them, & particularly the Clan of the Mcphersons to the amount of 1000, were within 3 miles — they were already more numerous than him — this pressed him to engage immediately, which he accordingly did, & as it was impossible half armd, half starved, & despairing among themselves to stand long; they all fled


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within half an hour, most of them at the first Charge — The Mckintoshs on the right wing maintained their ground, & behaved nobly. As if the causes which weakend the princes army were not sufficient to insure a defeat, when engaged with veteran troops, they accuse Ld G. Murray of Treachery, which they say is proved by his harrassing his troops, sending some into the town, not hastning the McPhersons, & his at length receiving the royal pardon — on any impartial representation Ld Murray seems to have done his best, — but it would be base to permit a Friend to fall by a less, or even an equal force, therefore every circumstance is collected to make the force of Hell, if not of Heaven, act against him. The Duke is here reprobated, & accused of Cruelty; but as (& I was very particular too) I could hear of none cooly murder'd, there is great reason to suppose that every [...] ^severity that was exacted was necessary, & unjustifiable; & it is not improbable but we are at this moment enjoying the good effects of it — that, you will say, is speaking like an Englishman —

In our way to Fort George we turned our Horses two miles out of the Road, to see upon Culloden Muir the place where the Battle was fought, & in our way we passed by Culloden House, which is now rebuilding — it is agreably shaded by trees, & bids fair to be a noble edifice — it belongs to the Family of the Forbes, who sufferd much for their adherence to the King in 1745. The Country around is a good campaign country but the Muir which is very extensive is exceedingly barren — it consists of regular easy elevations, & is coverd over intirely with hether, a sure sign of its wretchedness — About a mile from Culloden House we met with a man who engaged to point out the spot to us where the battle was fought — he said, that as he himself had buried most of the slain, he knew best where to find them again. His Ideas of government we found were by no means favourable to the prince. "His ancestors, says he, had broken the Laws, & the Laws ought to rule Kings, as well as meaner men — therefore he justly forfeited the Crown" — where he had learn'd this notion it was in vain for us to inquire — it could not be instinct, for he was a Mcpherson.


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About half a mile from the place in which we met with our guide, he pointed out to us a number of irregular open spots, with a few stones laid upon them, under which he informed us he had laid numbers of the dead. The places were very distinct — as hether grew upon the spot, & the grass which grew over them was of a bright lively green, & to appearance unmixed with weeds — under some of these spots he said were 8 or 10 bodies, under others 40 or 50, for as they found two or three, or heaps, lay together, they dug the hole proportionably, & collecting those bodies that lay within a certain circle, put them in, & cover'd them up. As the country did not Receive orders to bury the dead till 5 Days after the battle, most of them were strip'd naked by the harpies which follow armies, & what he called the Red coats or English, & the Highlanders, were buried promiscuously —

The place where Barrel's Regiment was cut to pieces by the Mckintoshes, is clearly ascertained, by the number & the size of the spots — the major who commanded the Mckintoshes, is said to have been found dead upon a heap of the red Coats — if the left wing had behaved as nobly, we should not have heard much of the Dukes cruelty. The summer after the bodies of many which had been but slightly cover'd — [...] were torn up by the Dogs — they were however collected again, & decently interred. Most of the officers who were slain were carried, & buried in the Church yard at Inverness

To review the ground where contested Royalty was fought for, & where if Victory had weigh'd down the contrary Scale events ^changes of the most serious nature might have arisen — from the events of which day the discontented might have few hopes, but the friends of a just & equal Constitution much to fear, strikes the mind with singular force, & makes the knee tremble as it passes over the tombs of the delude, & the brave. I should not do them justice, nor my own feelings, if I did not transcribe here a most simple, & pathetic Ode, written by that best of poets, Collins, in the year 1746 —& I presume upon this occasion. ––––– as you probably have never seen it I cannot afford you a greater pleasure. ––––– How sleep the brave who sink to rest, By all their country's wishes blest! When Spring, with dewy fingers cold, Returns to deck their hallowed mold, She shall there dress a sweeter sod Than Fancy's Feet have ever trod.

By fairy hands their knell is rung; By forms unseen their dirge is sung; There Honour comes a pilgrim gray, To bless the Turf that wraps their clay, And Freedom shall a while repair, To dwell a weeping Hermit there. –––––^Ode written in the beginning of the year MDCCXLVI
by William Collins
Jacob H P. LL. M.

It was with some difficulty that we recover'd the road leading to Fort George, & it was 12 when we arrived at Campeltown, which is within a mile & half of the Fort. We breakfasted here — The Town is of a tolerable size, & has been intirely formed since Fort George has received that degree of military eminence, which renders it unrivalled in Britain, unless by Portsmouth. It is a very agreable walk to the Fort by the side of the Firth of Murray, & there is no high ground near it, altho we were informed that there was a rising or two, which we did not observe, that commanded the Fort.

The ground upon which the Fort stands was made a presented of to government, by the Laird of Calder, & the Fort itself was built upon a plan, & by the direction of General Skinner. It is situated upon a point of Land which intirely commands the entrance of the Firth, as the shot can with ease reach the opposite shore. About 70 pieces of Cannon are mounted upon it from 32 to 6 pounders, & several more lay ready if there should be occasion. The barracks in the garrison which are built in the most regular order are capable of lodging with ease 5000 en: altho at present there are only the 2d Battn. [Battalion] of the 42d. & two companies of Invalids. —


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you enter the Fort over two draw bridges both of which are commanded by the Guns from the bastions, & thro & th two passages the gates of which are double, & of an immense thick wood well fenced with Iron. The walls are exceedingly thick — after two or three winding passages you enter a large kind of square, in the middle of which are placed the Governors House &c & the barracks — on each side as if were under the walls are houses for the ammunition. At the most distant part from which you enter is placed the Chapel, & which strikes you at first view thro an opening thro the middle of the Fort. It serves either for Scotch, or English Service, as suits the Regiment in garrison — We were not permitted to see the Magazine, which is walled round, & has Iron windows. The armoury is small, & neat not containing at this time more than 3000 stand of Arms. we ascended about 30 steps, & took an agreable walk upon a smooth green platform all round the Fort. The Cannon were placed upon this, & seem'd to command every point; they are coverd by a breastwork thick, & strong, & which having a step or two up admits of the use of small arms over it, if needs be, with security. We had won the pleasure of seeing bastions, & Curtains, & Sally ports, & every thing which the Ingenuity & art of man could suggest for his defence — It is not improbable that Vauban himself might survey this Fort & reap instruction. It was begun soon after the last Rebellion, & seems well situated, & furnished to prevent another — It seems an intire little Town there are a great number of women within side of it, & the post arrives every day. We had a Letter to present to the Lieutenant Governor who unfortunately was not at home, but we had no difficulty with respect to seeing the Fort on this account — we merely gave in our Names, & places of Residence & the captain of the guard immediately appointed one of the Invalids to accompany us round. We could not help showing our admiration repeatedly at the excessive strength of the place, but the invalid checked us by giving an account of Ft. St. Phillips in Minorca, which by his account was much larger, & better fitted for making a defence — however I think Security may safely erect her canopy in the centre of Fort George, & folding her velvet nest around her, sleep in peace. –––––


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We walked back to Campelltown to dinner, & as our heads were full of sieges, & Battles we found sufficient to entertain one another a la militaire — there was scarce an engagement we did not mention from the battle of Granicus to the affair of Bunker's hill — how each was lost or won, & how by a different position of their forces each might have been reversed — The causes of fine valour were not passed by unnoticed, & we gloried in assigning to every ruler his true merit — It was Slavery that unnerved the noble breast, enfeebled its arm & taught it how to yield — while "the mountain Nymph, Sweet Liberty" set Athens free at Marathon, & taught Hannibal that Rome was not ruined by defeats. We follow'd Charles the 12th. to the fatal Battle of Pultowa smiled at his rashness, — but soon grew serious with reflecting that he had only

" — left a name at which the world grew pale
To point a moral, or adorn a tale."

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In the evening we returned sedately to Inverness. we passed by the seat of the Earl of Murray, called Stuart castle. It appears an antient regular building, stands rather high, but is nearly concealed by a great number of lofty trees which surround it — it appears rather built for convenience than defence. The evening was calm & serene –––––

We returned soon enough to Inverness to take another little walk about the Town. There is a noble bridge of 7 Arches over a wide, & rapid river. The highland rivers are in general very shallow, or irregularly deep, as they depend rather upon the rainy seasons, & the attraction of the mountains than any settled or permanent source. sometimes full to their banks, at others you may pass over a few large stones dry shod –––––

––––– The House in which the prince resided when at Inverness well suits with Royalty in despair. I am sure he could have no temptation to stay there, after Hope had fled — Adieu. –––––


42



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August 25th. Fochabers. After we had heard that so many officers had been buried in one of the Kirk yards,43 we could not take leave of the Town before we had view'd their graves. I sallied forth therefore early in the morning, with a person who knew well were they lay, & who seem'd to think it happy for the dead, that the Bed of Honour was for once made up in holy ground. Whether the Town's folk were jealous of having so many armed men lay so near them, or no, I cannot say, true it is that one corner of the burial ground had been intirely devoted to them. There were few Tombstones erected, & as people quit at Death their public, as well as private enmities, there were no reliques of them engraved — It was their interest to add the honest man to that of the Soldier, which I think is done in a becoming manner in the four following Lines by much the best in the Churchyard. —

Here lays interr'd a Soldier piece in arms,
Yet form'd to relish Peace in all her charms:
An honest man, warm-hearted, generous, kind,
As Country, Friends, or spouse employ'd his mind. –––––

We often find a mixture of Vanity in that which should be the most serious — several Tombstones, not indeed of the officers, were edged round with blue, green or red paint. People seem anxious of securing themselves places, long before their decease, for we saw several stones stone set up in the Church yard which mark'd a certain space for the property of divers consideraable^te persons — many stones were erected with the name of the person, & his occupation, with blanks for his age, & the time of his decease — to have completed it an epitaph should have been added, which we had not the good fortune to find. Perhaps this mode of disposing of themselves before Death, may have a good effect upon their living conduct, & a walk of a Sunday Evening in the Church may have as good an effect upon them, as three sermons a day. –––––


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After leaving Inverness we rode 18 miles to breakfast, & it was near 11 when we arrived at Nairn. The change of the appearance of the Country, becomes every hour more remarkable. it is now open, & a great number of small farming houses are seen, half concealed by a little clump of Trees that surrounds them. The Hills rise with the most easy slope, & the views from the top of one is ^are rarely obstructed by the next. our Ride however to Nairn did not speak much for the Cultivation — a black regular heath, now, & then, broke in upon by a few small farms, was our only object to the right, & to the left was the Firth of Murray. The Country improves much as we approach, & from a rising hill within about three miles of the Town, we had a most charming view of the Town & its neighbourhood. The Country was in many parts inclosed, & was now loaded with harvest, as a part of which we found here & there a field of Wheat which I believe we had not seen before since we left Stirling, altho we had travell'd thro 250 miles of Country. The Trees scatterd in different parts were in their utmost verdure, & Nairn , a small but flourishing Town was situated in the middle of an extensive plain — these were sufficient to excite surprize, & admiration, in any person, but much more ^in those who had been so long sojourners in a most mountainous, & barren country, which absolutely refused the necessaries of Life unless at the expence of a Labour, which excluded every enjoyment of them. — we for a moment doubted whether we were in Scotland — it must be visionary, & delusive; we found however that there was substance as well as we breakfasted at Nairn upon the best bread I think I ever ate –––––

The Tolbooth or prison in every borough, cuts the most conspicuous figure at a distance — it has a spire something like an english Steeple, & I suppose designd for a terror to the Country around; & perhaps may act more directly for the keeping of an honest neighbourhood, than all the Cathedrals that the Religion of Rome ever constructed — Sister peggy herself who 'mortally' detested the Fringings of her Brother peter's Coat, goes almost naked here, or at least so simply clad, that were it not for the visages of her Children, you would scarce find any vestiges of Religion at all. ––––– 44


51

We thought we observed that the people in general are much larger in stature ^on this than on the west coast; & I am sure in this we could not be mistaken. This was by no means so observable with respect to the men, as the women, who upon average could not be less than 3 Inches taller, than those women who are most strictly termed highlanders — It seemed by no means easy to account for this appearance. It was conjectured that as all animals which are bred, & nourished in very mountainous countries are of a more diminutive size, than those which are bred & receive their food from the plains, so it might be the case with respect to man, when in a mere state of Nature, & before those changes took place which are consequent upon Agriculture, & the arts of life — From the greater severity of Climate, & difficulty of procuring subsistence this opinion seem'd in some measure strengthened — & the growth might be stinted, for altho moderate exercise invigorates, & enlarges, that which is excessive cramps, & destroys. This last we thought would in particular apply to the women — in the highlands the most laborious work, & drudgery is performed by the women from their earliest age, — in the east country there is a greater civilization, & altho women are by no means freed from Labour, yet it is of such a kind, & so equally shared with the men, that is contributes to render them more healthy, & robust — if they had less to do, or were more employ'd in domestic occupations probably neither their heath would be so good, nor their stature so much worthy of Observation. –––––

The speech, & manners of the people have now become much more agreable to the english — fillibegs & Erse are rare — we still persisted to call it the Highlands, which the people will by no means allow "— what do you call a low Country says a man to us in angry tones — here are no mountains — would you have it a bog?" ––––– The women cut down most of the corn, & it is pleasing to see with how much activity, & spirit, they use the sickle — if there are any men at work with them the women always take the lead — Their dress is a short petticoat, and a light short upper nightgown, instead of Stays, which are rarely warn by the poorer sort in Scotland unless on Sundays — their pockets are tied directly behind them.


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In passing to Nairn we saw near the road several very large stones, which had been placed in very regular order — we turned out of the road, & took a view of them — two of them were remarkable, & intire — they are placed upon a small eminence in the middle of a plain. the first consisted of three circles of Stones, about 6 yards distance from each other, & from 15 to 20 in a circle — the stones were of different sizes, & most of them seem'd to have been formed into a long square, & set up on one end — some stood now in that direction, but most of them were fallen down — The three circles were very distinct, & the circumference of the greater circle appeared about an 120 yards. — The second which we examined did not appear quite so perfect — it was situated like the other, but the stones were larger, & there were two of them evidently of greater size than the rest, standing together upright, which was ^were placed towards the east. It is singular that the soil is very light, & sandy, & there is no rock very near from which these stones could have been brought — for brought they must have been, & placed up at considerable toil. We saw several ruins of them at a distance, & I believe most of them were within sight of the Sea. There is no trace of there every having been any wood around them & it does not appear to have been a country ever capable of producing much — at present it is very thinly scatterd. We saw no appearances at all similar to these in the Highlands. –––––

The people can give no satisfactory account of them, but say, they were the places of worship of the Picts — this they probably got from some gentleman, whose knowledge he presumed gave him some title to conjecture — it can by no means be taken as evidence in this case. The true cause of these appearances is involved in the greatest of obscurity, & altho Religion may perhaps be assigned as one, & with great plausibility yet I confess I am not altogether for the exclusion of others. perhaps they were placed on account of some signal victory obtained, or as the burial place of some of their chiefs: — for at the time when they had frequent Invasions from the Danes, & their only missile weapons were a kind of dart, & slings — many engagements must often happen'd close


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together — The coast is here low, & seems to tempt an Invasion, & we met with no appearance of these stones further in the Country. besides I do not know what foundation we have to suppose our pictish ancestry were so exceedingly religious —there are no appearances which favour such a notion from the present appea conduct of the people, & it is moreover supposed that the most recluse, & woody places were thought most proper for the Invocation of their Deities. It does not seem evident from Ossian that Fingal had much if any Religion at all at the Court at Selma, & stones were placed always around the Tomb of Heroes — perhaps in number according to the dignity of the person deceased, & in form according to the fashion of the times ––––– I should not I confess have hazarded so much on a subject which I am sure I do not understand, if that notion of the piety of the antients, had not bereligioned every relique of design which remains — a place is sooner found, which is confessedly not at all understood, but a dissertation on the Druids (who are much indebted to these ingenious authors) is supposed to clear up the point — & silence, in veneration to our forefathers, gives a sanction to the whole. ––––– I must beg your pardon, my dear Miss P., for this tedious discussion which you have probably smiled ^at, & granted already in commiseration to the labour I have taken

"To waft a feather, or to drown a Fly."

45

We journey'd on to Forres thro an agreable country & good Road, for this is the great coast Route to Inverness, & as it is one of the public Roads is kept in exceeding fine order. We had the felicity of being taken for english Riders, by a pretty little gentleman who overtook us, & who rode with us to Forres; but we soon convinced him to the contrary. He seem'd well enough acquainted with the Country & pour'd out sparingly the little he knew, as we jogged along. The general price of Labour, I found was about 8d. p. day — in Harvest the women were allowed only 6d/ & the men 1d/. I could not learn the cause of the distinction — for I am sure it is not natural. Most of these Towns on the Coast have some small Manufacture, either in Linnen, coarse stuff, or stockings the price of working which is very various –––––


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We dined at Forres, & inquired if any thing yet remained which was supposed to belong to Macbeth, & we were informed that there are still the remains of two castles near, which are called Macbeth's Castles — they were at some distance from the Road, & they were neither worthy of being seen, nor had we time to spare — this was strictly classic ground, & the scene of one of Shakespear's best tragedies Birnam wood was not far distant, but still however kept its station with respect to Dunsinane;46 sufficient of it, it seemed had once been in motion to terrify the Tyrant, & establish the credit of Witchcraft. –––––

The road to Elgin our next stage was often flat, & sandy, & as it was a fine day the breezes of ^from the Sea by the side of which we rode, were singularly agreable, We could observe upon the Sea Shore two large mountains of Sand, which we were told, were occasioned by the violence of the winds upon this coast at certain times of the year — that they are often removed or some sometimes intirely to disappear.47 To see them in their Journey from one part to another must be noble, but one would wish to be secured from meeting them. I could but think of Gaudentio de Lucca's travel cross the sands of Lepiea,48 which Romantic as it may appear, raised emotions in me as real, as if Truth had raised the blast, & removed the mountain. –––––

The Country is well cultivated. There are no hedges, & even stone walls are rare, owing to the difficulty of obtaining stones in a soil so light, & sandy we passed over but a small space of Heath in our way, & that had received the first marks of attention: we could plainly distinguish in some places fields marked out by the plough, in others by the spade — when once a people have felt the pleasure, & the profit of Industry, it is not trivial impediments that will prevent their eager pursuit after gain —

We passed by three tolerable modern seats, but could only learn the name of the gentleman to whom one of them belonged — a Mr Brodie in whose house there was nothing extraordinary — nor indeed in him except that the ^he would ride a better horse than the


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Duke of Gordon. The approach to a gentleman's house is generally known by a vanity of plantations, long before you have a view of it: sometimes these are miles in extent, & in this part mostly of Fir.

Elgin appears a town far preferable to Inverness it is large, & well built but like the towns which we have lately gone thro, all the houses stand with gable end — or narrowest part towards the best street, & so form a great number of little streets on each side — the defence that they have for this singularity is, that they take up less room — this, I confess, I could not clearly understand, nor if I had, would it have satisfied me as an Englishman. Red Tiles are used upon most of the houses instead of Slate, & there were a few houses of red brick, which, upon the whole gave the town an english dress. The huts of the poor, which we had passed by in our last ride, were made intirely of Turf, very neat, & much larger, & more convenient, than those miserable things we had seen on the west coast — they no longer let out the smoke, & let in the light, at the same door ––––– After a slight refreshment at Elgin, we set off for Fochabers. —

To the left as we pass out of Elgin the ruins of a large abbey are very conspicuous, & form a noble view — the name of it is Chenery ^Abbey,49 but we could get no intelligence concerning it, & the ground near serves as a burial ground. we pass'd it with reluctance, but evening was hastening on so fast, that it was most prudent to make the best of our way. Near the road about a mile from Elgin to the left, & in the middle of a cornfield stands a flattish pillar of one stone,50 & which as near as I could guess (for I rode thro the corn to take a view of it) could not be less than 20 Feet high. A number of little awkward male, & female figures in strange dresses, & placed as if in procession were cut on one side of this pillar, & on the other a chequer'd kind of ornament. On the inferior part was an inscription, nearly obliterated, which I believe was Saxon from the only letter which I could make out, a C. — Tradition says some danish King was buried here, & it is not for me to contradict her — shall we say it was a place of worship? —


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It soon after this became exceedingly dark, & as we knew nothing of the Road, & were fearful of missing the way we proceeded but slowly. The Aurora Borealis, our good friend, once more came to our assistance with a more than common lustre, & formed a Cone almost around us. The Stars twinkled in merriment thro the luminous veil which was thrown over them, & we passed cheerily along. We had however nearly exhausted our spirits when we arrived at the Banks of the River Spey. It was very wide, rapid, & in many places deep, & altho in everyday weather it is crossed on horseback, yet after a slight rain a Ferry is often necessary. We rode down to the River, & looked at it with dismay. We returned to two or three little houses which were near, to inquire whether it might be forded, & which part was the least dangerous. We could only find a poor woman, & she ^Her we had disturbed in her first sleep, for she was both tetchy, & ignorant, & we returned to the River as wise as before. The account which the woman gave had by no means elevated our spirits, & the roaring of the River disturbed a conference which became necessary — we look'd at the River, & then at one another; we thought; we knew there was danger — it must be attempted, & if we found the Depth too great or the Current too violent, why — it possible, we were to return — it was a forlorn hope of our beds, & supper & everything that was worth encountering Danger in a tired, & hungry traveller, was on the other side — It was resolved to proceed — Just as we were entering, & had proceeded a little way, in as serious a mood as we ever had been in our lives, we though we obscurely perceived something moving on a different part of the River — it was impossible to discern the form thereof — we stopp'd our horses, & soon after calling out as loud as we could — "was it a resolute & determined Note, Doctor?" — indeed Miss P. I cannot be positive — there was that mixture of Danger, & uncertainty about us, that I cannot say whether it was a Flat, sharp, or natural — I believe it was a Flat — it proved to be a man wading over up to his middle — we called him to us & told him our intention of going over at that place — He said it was impossible — but that if we would follow him, he would conduct us over — & so saying he immediately tacked about, & bid us follow him which we accordingly did, & he led us along way

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down the stream, up to the horses belly — he did not seem at all inclined to turn over, & we wanted to know where he was going to lead us — & — we were only answerd "follow me". — we were all apprehension — to be at 10 oClock of a dark night, in the middle of a great rapid River, & following a man whom we knew nothing at all of, was a Novelty, but it had nothing of the pleasing in it — add to this that the horses slipping now, & then on the large stones & beat by the vehemence of the stream behind, began to snortle, & show signs of Fear. — it was not time to philosophize, our minds were already made up, & we were resolved to live as long as we could — The fellow fortunately turn'd soon after, & at once removed from our shoulders a weight unknown before — Had I any revenge against any man & power to gratify it, I would set him on my horse, & place his best friend upon Lister's, & the fellow who was before us, should have led them a quarter of a mile further down the stream —

We were not long in crossing over after he had turned — we thank'd him for his caution, & Care, & paid him for his trouble, & had the satisfaction to find he was nearly as happy as we were — He put us into the road, pointed out to us a Light which was Fochabers, & then left us — the Clock struck 11 as we dismounted our horses at Fochabers — we travelled more than 50 miles this Day — & if you have any commiseration upon us, after what we have met with, you will excuse an hasty Goodnight —

— adieu. –––––

[...]


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August 26th. Turriff.

There was a circumstance occurr'd at Fort William, which as I have not mention'd before, now becomes necessary, as it in some measure answers a question which had I been present you would probably have put to me long ago. — The scotch make use of Guinea Notes instead of Coin, & prefer them — they always go for a guinea, & there is no danger of want of weight — I offerd our Host at Fort William one of these to exchange, which he refused saying it was not a good time ^one, & at the same time searching every muscle of my Face Face if possible to find an honest Fibre — I produced another, which he return'd. I was ashamed — it look'd as if I had designs to cheat the man — upon Inspection I found, that the Note wanted the name of the person to whom it was to be paid — it had been written in red Ink, & the repeated drenchings I had met with had washed it out as clear, as if it had never been written — The first Note I looked at was but a copy of the rest — there was not one of seven of them which we dare put off, without our Integrity being suspected, & which if we had attempted to remedy, a charge of Forgery might have exalted ^us in the grass market at Edinburgh. Lister fortunately had two five pound Notes in his pocket which were intire. This altho not much more than to carry us home, thro an expensive Country, did not prevent a serious deliberation at Inverness, to pass to Caithness see John o' Groats house, & — what dares not ambition! visit the Orkneys. — we took a little map we had with us out of our pocket, & nothing appear'd more easy, & upon Inquiry we found it might with the greatest ease be effected, but at the same time we were told there was nothing at all worth seeing — The Country itself had not a mountain which deserved the name after what we had seen, & we were not to expect Novelty from a country so fertile, & highly cultivated, as that thro which we were now passing. To have gone might have gratified our vanity, but that was not the only thing which we set off ^to please — It was unanimously resolved not to go — At Fort George


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our resolution began to fail us, & at the sight of Cromartie Firth we had half engaged a boat to go ––––– we were now however incontestably at Fochabers. –––––

early in the morning we took a walk of about half a mile to see Gordon Castle, a large, noble, modern building, very extensive, & well situated — The ground upon which it stands is by many call'd too low, & if as it is said many of the rooms are constantly damp, it is certainly inconvenient. I should suppose this could be remedied, & then the prosperity, & beauty, of its situation cannot be questioned. As you pass thro a park towards the house, not indeed very large, but of a verdure uncommon in such places, you have a view to the left of a number of large, wideshading trees, & pleasing walks, in an extensive pleasure ground — here & there the top of a grot, or bower, was seen, & numerous small cascades seem'd murmuring as they fell. The house itself was by far the best we had seem, & would have done honour upon english ground. I cannot however, I confess, think it by any means equal to Lord Petre's, which with me is a standard of good Architecture. There is one Irregularity in Gordon Castle which, I think, adds to the grandeur of the building — a part of the old castle which was lofty, still remains about the middle of the building, which is now coverd over with the same stone as the rest, & forms a well connected part of it. we were reconnoitring, & walking round the house before six in the morning, & might have been very well taken up on suspicion — we had no defence in our appearance — nor was it needed — The people at Fochabers did not seem to have much respect for Lord George Gordon, they said "the cause was good." —

We had a view of Cullen which is situated upon the side of a Hill, long before we enter'd it. it had a very neat, & pleasing appearance, which is much increased by a good old House belonging to The Earl of Findlater, which stands as it were in the Town, & is in great measure surrounded with lofty Trees — we breakfasted at Cullen ,& met with a singular Phenomenon — a London Buck — he was first discovered by Lister who took him up upon suspicion — The set of the curls, the brilliancy of the waistcoat, the cut of the Coat & the pretty insignificancy of the countenance, were sufficient grounds, but when he open'd his mouth every doubt vanished for he spoke


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"an infinite deal of nothing", or nonsense, if you please, much to Lister's entertainment, who had fallen into discourse with him. The civility extended so far as to promise us his company to Bamff, if we would stay a little while — we could not stay that little while & consequently lost his company with little regret. — As it was Sunday we purposed if possible to arrive at Bamff by Service time, this however we did not, for we were deceived with respect to the Hour, & I do not believe we should have gain'd more than by a serious review of our thoughts. –––––

The Country between Cullen, & Bamff is rich, & beautiful, & the fields were now clothed with yellow. the harvest was in some few places begun. About four miles from Cullen, we dismounted to take a walk a little way from the road, to see the Remains of Byne Castle. It stands in a vale upon a rocky eminence about 150 yards from the road — it is Indeed nearly concealed by an orchard, which at this time grows upon higher ground before it. One end of the vale terminates in the Sea at about half a mile distance. The Rocks at some small distance around are coverd with old Trees. We passed thro the orchard which is well stored in going to it, & were permitted by the old man who accompanied us to take a liberal supply of apples, which I do assure you, we found a most refreshing thing on our Journey. — The Castle belonged, & the ruins of it I believe are now restored, to the Ogilvy Family, & was knocked down for the attachment of its master to the pretender in 1715. The ruins are large, & noble, & altho from its appearance it must have been very antient, yet I think it would have defied Time another Century or two — but Rebellion is quicker in its consequences — the battle of Sherifmuir51 is an era from which most of the people date their nativity, marriage, or the more important events of Life — Our guide was born two years before the battle of Sherifmuir, & was married 18 years after it. This mode of Calculation appears exceedingly natural, & in the lesser concerns of Life we always make use of something equivalent — it little therefore to be wonder'd at that this man should so calculate, who by his appearance & stupidity, I dare say had neither heard of Adam ^or the Deluge, & was as likely to date from the Hejirâ as Anno Domini. —


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As the Country is open, every town is for the most part seen long before you come at it. This was not the Case with Bamff — a rising Hill prevented the view, till we came within two short miles of it. Our Eyes had been before intent on a Town, called Down, on the opposite shore which we had mistaken for Bamff, so that we came upon Bamff by surprize. The Town is long, & tolerably well built, & we had to pass directly thro it before we arrived at our Inn. After Dinner we attempted to get a view of the seat & grounds of the Earl of Fife [...] which was prohibited, altho the woman who had done it, seem'd to repent of it afterwards. We should not have been so anxious if we had not been told that it was equal if not superior to the Duke of Gordon's, which is by no means the case. We afterwards passed a good bridge, & ascended a hill not far from the house of which we had a tolerable View, from a kind of rough Temple, set up as a view from the house. It has no pretension to stand in any competition with Gordon Castle — it is a lofty square house placed upon a Flat with no Trees near it, & no sensible road up to it. It has no proper Fronts, & a few paltry bake houses or offices, which are placed naked at one corner, turn to you at ever view. The house was of white stone cover'd with Slate, but the little huts, were of hewn stone coverd with fine burnished red Tiles. –––––

We purposed to have slept to Night at a place call'd Chapple Liggot: but before we had got half way there, my horse lost his Shoe, & soon became so lame that I was obliged to get down & walk — it was quite dark when we arrived at Turriff, where, not unwelcome guests we took up our Quarters for the night — It is true the bed was hard, &, I believe, of matted Straw, but it was large, & that was sufficient — Lister who slept in another room thinks he slept upon a board, which indeed with clean Linnen over it, serves very well when it is once warmed, & might with propriety be deemed a Luxury to a man who had been used to sleep upon a Rock; but in every other case it bears the name, & the reality of a hardship — 'tho Lister did not feel it. — Adieu.


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August 27th.Aberdeen.

There is one advantage to sleeping upon a hard bed, that your dreams are never like to be of a warm, & fiery nature — there is not that heat which sets the blood in a ferment, & does more to disturb the Imagination, than all the Sylps [sic], & Gnomes which Baxter has invented, let them be in their nature ever so venemous, or their probosces of a length equal to the Elephants; or what perhaps would better suit with Mr Baxter, equal to that of a bumble Bee, or a large Blue bottle Fly.52 The Blood is not generally obstructed, & the breathing is not impeded — in short if you think right when you go to bed, you may be sure of thinking the same almost all night long — which is by no means the case in a feather Bed — you are not in that total kind of stupefaction, & Fraction, which has been justly termed a kind of Death — for the hardships of the Body, keep the soul in some sort of Obedience to the will — & the will being granted in the first instance to be right, it follows that all its operations must be so. I need scared add that there is no temptation to lay long in the morning, which to a traveller might often be attended with Inconveniences, & to one that sleeps at home is an inducement to neglect his Employ. The antients had little merit in that old Maxim He that would thrive Must rise by five. It would be difficult to lay longer upon a hard bed — which appears to me to be the cause of the Celebrity — of our renowned Ancestors, who by this kind of Regimen could not fail to have clear Heads, warm breasts, & nervous arms; & may we not account for all the failings of these degenerate times by the use of soft Beds? The warm soft Bed is certainly neither an encourager of Morality, or Industry, & this at once becomes a public as well as a private concern, & if our men of parliament who profess to


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assemble, & deliberate for the good of their country, would but once act up to the spirit of their station, they would bring in a bill for the prohibition of soft beds under certain regulations. Could you not hint this to Mr. Strutt who, I am sure, has as much the good of this flourishing Kingdom at heart, as any man — What a new set of Faces, & manners should we soon have? & I trust there would soon be a man rise worthy to take Lord North's station. If Mr. Strutt does not think this a proper time to bring in the bill, 'tho, I confess, I can see no reason why, perhaps he could persuade his Lordship to try the experiment. The nation I am sure would be much obliged to Mr. S., as it really appears the only thing which can save us from perdition. –––––

We arose early, & refreshed, & were resolved to redeem the misfortune of yesterday by a ride of eighteen long miles to breakfast. (While I was copying my Journal from my memory in a room at Aberbrothic, I was disturbed by the 'harmonyd wine' of two priggs, playing at back gammon in the same Room. I find by journal I was very angry at the time, & had a great mind in revenge to take down their occassional remarks. Their alternate success, & disgrace was the source of much laughter, & libation, on one side, & on the other the most violent & ill intended attacks upon Fortune, as if she, who was ever blind, could be partial. I was too ill temperd to write nonsense, & I had not knibb'd my pen broad enough for [...] ^Resentment. I could not write any thing, that was clear — so I arose & walk'd up & down the Room singing with as much ease as suited the occasion, a song, & in such a Key note as I though would give them most disturbance. This, I believe, had its proper effect for they grew silent by degrees which I interpreted to ^the kindly influence of my music — I increased half a note, & in about 15 minutes had the pleasure of seeing them retreat in confusion — they were literally defeated — I hymn'd an ode of triumph, took up my pen, returned to Turriff, & the Journal went on as follows.) ––––– Our Landlord took us to see the hunting Lodge, a small neat building, built erected by a Club of Gentlemen, of which the Duke of Gordon is president. It consists merely of a large Dinner Room, & an elegant card Room, in this latter are placed the portraits of


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persons, whose merit it was to live some thirty or forty years beyond the common measurement. The man indeed is said to have lived to the age of 131 years, & enjoy'd the faculties of an old man till the last. — I am much inclined to doubt the calculation of a poor man with respect to his age, & especially where as in Scotland there seems no legal way of ascertaining it — where priests are scarce, & people not religious, baptism is scarcely though of as necessary; & even should that be the case the Register may be improperly marked, or a forefather, or namesake may easily be taken for the person, whose age is in dispute — add to this the vanity which a man has in his age — it proves his regularity; & Temperance, flatters the long life of his offspring — his neighbours are pleased with the Rocks, & the Oats, & the Climate, which can cherish, & support such a phenomenon, & nobody can contradict his authority. Wisdom is in all cases allowed to comfort the feelings of a gray infirmity — for it is clear, they might have been wise — many of them are reputed so with Justice, all of them as a compliment. In nations uncivilized their consequence is astonishing, & if he who has instructed two generations is wise how much more so must he be who has taught four! — in short as we did not covet the age of Methuselah, we had reasoned ourselves into a belief that none exceed fairly 90, or 100 at most — we felt a satisfaction in our Infidelity, & were riding along as persons do in such circumstances with an ease, & uprightness, that we thought became us, when we overtook an old man walking along a tolerable pace. he was quite blind with age, and was led by a string by a little girl. his face was the most perfect antique, & we should certainly have taken him for Time if he had not been blind, or we could have seen his hour Glass — we spoke to him, & he heard with ease & answerd with firmness. His name was Charles Leslie an old soldier & he was born 30 years before the battle of Sherifmuir, — he must therefore now be 95 years old. We should certainly have been instantly converted if we had not reasoned upon it before, & even as it was — we had equal mind to alter our opinion — I believe we did not. — for says Lister he can never live four years longer, & then he would be within the 100 — true, says I, & he has no Register but his Face: ––––– we rode on & were silent –––––

The Town of Old Meldrum has like the rest of the rest of the Towns on the east coast we passed thro, a fine appearance at a distance — it was not large, but seem'd to contain a number of Inhabitants.


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All the old people, & most of the Children were employed in knitting, which as it is an easy work, & admits of much gossiping, is approved by the old, & the young have no objection to their absence. In many of the Fields near the Town little circles were formed on the grass, &, I dare say, the news of the parish discussed with much fervor, & sincerity to improve it, as at a Coterie in St James, or in a company of prattlers at Mrs. _____.

— I will certainly learn to knit before I grow old, that if it please Heaven I should arrive at that honourable station, I may have some kind of amusement, or at least be in a small degree profitable to the world, while by my experience I may entertain; or instruct it — "& when" says Lister who has formed the same Resolution "we feel ourselves tetchy, & vexed, with the behaviour, & actions of an untoward generation, instead of permitting our Choler to discharge itself upon the young, & the lively, it shall run off, like the electrical spark, from the points of the knitting pins into the Stocking — & that you know ill not be the worse for a gowty Foot". –––––

Our Ride from Old Meldrum to Aberdeen, was thro a country full as populous as we had past, thro but by no means so well cultivated. The soils appears lighter, & much more stony, & it abounds with more hills. The Sun shone bright, & the German Ocean to our left was of a most beautiful Cerulean tinge, & so even that it might have served as a bowling green to the Tritons — or even Madame Amphitrite herself might have been tempted to dance a Reel, while Amphion on his Dolphin near should have taught the monsters of the deep to listen with attention, & with pleasure. — when I said the ground was light, & stony I meant only the ground which was near me, for I cannot suppose that when Ten Oxen were fixed to one plow, which was the case in a field at a little distance from the road, that it could be anything less than the most unyielding Clay, or perhaps Rock itself. One Man had hold of the plough, & there seem'd to be two boys on each side of the Oxen, to manage them, & after all the motion was scarcely perceptible — you may inform Cousin H.N.P. from me, that Captn. Piggots notion of getting 10 steers to plough with, is only worthy of him, & that if he had been placed upon his little Hobby near me, which my heart sincerely wishes had been the case, & taken a view of the Labours of the 10 Oxen


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& the 5 persons, he would never have thought of introducing Oxen into his Farm in lieu of Horses. —

Aberdeen is situated near the Shore, & has a far more venerable appearance than any Scotch Town I have yet seen. The Kings College has a noble aspect, & there are two or three Stone Churches that have very lofty steeples — they share the distant Honours of the place with the Tolbooth. In entering into Old Aberdeen we crossed the River Don, over a good bridge. The Gallows is so situated on a hill to the left as to be at all times seen from every part of the City. Surely honesty is much indebted to the worthy magistrates of Aberdeen. ––––– . —

It was near 6 when we shaked the crumbs from our Laps, & sallied forth to take a view of Aberdeen — our Inn was in the New Town, which we preferred as more convenient. It is well built, & has a good square, & a market place upon which all the heads of the kings of the Stuart Race are engraved in wood — Let not Loyalty see a charm which seems to be vacant for the head of another of them. — much doth it grieve me lest the chaste citizens of Aberdeen should be suspected. — We were informed every stranger should take a view of the new pier, as we professed ourselves but sojourners, & pilgrims, we could do no less. It is a noble work, & well worthy the spirit of a great commercial Town. It projects near a quarter of a mile into the Sea in a direction rather curved so as to be more strong, & better resist the force of the waves. It is made of a peculiar hard kind of Stone, & has been more than 5 years building it is presumed it will be finished this Summer. There is a small Fort of 10 twelve pounders, situated near the pier, but which from the building of the pier can be of no use in that point at all — a plan is in agitation at present for a better, which when it is completed will add much to the appearance of the Town, & be a defence to a place, which from its distance can have but a small share of royal protection —

When we were down at the Coast the Tide was coming at in, at which time there were a number of boats out laying their nets to catch Salmon. The Fish come up with the


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Tide, & are seen in their progress by a slight ruffling of the water. The Fishermen can tell by this appearance which way the Fish are going, & manage their nets accordingly — we were pointed to some at a distance, which unfortunately went to the southward — we saw only 3 caught to night, altho we were informed it was not uncommon to catch 50, or 60, most of which were ^are salted afterwards

What Edinburgh is to London, Aberdeen is to Edinburgh. Those persons whose fortunes will not permit them to pass a gay winter in Edinburgh, content themselves with being the first at Aberdeen — & many a Laird has a city house, whose wealth

"A few paternal Acres bound,"

53 to which he retires from the severity of an inhospitable Clime, for the sake of good company, & scotch coal, instead of peat. many it is true make Aberdeen a Retreat for a nobler purpose, the education of their children — & from the present appearance & happy ^good regulation of the Colleges it is happily adopted to that end — There are several female boarding schools in high reputation, in which little misses leave the Erse, to lisp a language which will be never understood at home — at least for two or three generations. —

The Tone of the people at Aberdeen does not much differ from ^that at Edinburgh — a highlander laughs at the twang of both. In walking over the Town in the evening we lost ourselves, & to inquire the way back to our Inn was a compliment to the City, we paid with reluctance. It was however forced from us, & we return'd to our House to condole with the London merchants on the loss of that very valuable Fleet, which the Gazette announced a few days after in about half a dozen lines54 — Adieu. –––––

August 28th. Stonehive After breakfast we set off for the Old College which was about a mile distance. The old & new Town are seperated by a kind of Causeway, but are now nearly joined by the building of several Houses. The spirit of building seems universal in Scotland, & as it is provided with the best materials, as Riches increase new & beautiful Towns do & will rise. The College is a fine intire old building, & is said to have been saved with difficulty, when the righteous overturning system of Reformation had fir'd the Main, & steel'd the arm of the Enthusiast. There are many marks of Romish superstition about — We did not see any Images remaining either within, or without, & in the place where the Romish Alter had stood our Sister Peggy had erected a plain kind of fir Throne, for the head of a Synod which occasionally meets, & transacts business in this part of the College.

The Library is not very large but exceedingly neat, & contains several very valuable Books, & manuscripts, among the latter of which is a very elegant one written by Trevisa in the Reign of Rich: the second, & which is very clear & might if it were worth perusing (for it is something about Church History) be read without much difficulty. We saw another manuscript of Trevisa's, & which in the first page we opened informed us that there was a certain place in Irelonde; in which no person however old could die, but when he came, according to the opinion of his Friends, to be worn out he was convey'd out of this magic ground, & died soon after. I presume you will not wish to hear any more of Trevisa. — we afterwards saw Hollingshed — & a large elegant Hebrew Bible, in which I shewd my learning, by reading the 1st. v. of the 1st. Psalm much to the satisfaction of the porter of the College, & my own


edification — Lister said I blushed as I read it — was it not a mark of modesty? —

You are not always to expect by entering into a College to meet with every thing serious, & weighty. The Voluminous works of John Calvin are no longer shown as a curiosity, but by the pressure of Time, & the ravages of moths, follow their zealous master in oblivion to the Dust — they are concealed in a Corner, & alas ^are only produced upon the urgent need of so great an authority — The man told us he had something still to show us, & taking his key out of his pocket unlocked a draw with an air of Triumph — we could expect nothing less than the last Testament of King Achaius, or Fergus55 — when lo! the shoe of a chinese Lady made its appearance & else another from Japan, & a third from persia. The first of which is about 4 Inches long, & pointed at the Toe, with a clumsy wooden Heel, excuse me Miss P, like a pill box. The 2d was larger, but would puzzle a child of three years old to get it on, & give him corns into the bargain — The persian is of a proper size, elegant, but rather pointed at the Toe — We were likewise shown a piece of white sattin curiously wrought at the edges, & stamped with the university License of St. Andrews; as it was not two hundred years old, & came from a Town within a few miles of us we scarcely thought it worth notice. ––––– there is an intire piece of Scotch armour which altho Cast, did not exact the least part of our attention. –––––

We were afterwards taken into a large spacious Room, in which most of the business of the College is transacted. We found the Head of an Evangelist at each corner of the Room, executed in a tolerable style — you might see Luke had been a physician. — There are 5 or 6 horrible Kings heads that, I hope, are no resemblance of their owner, or I fear they are not yet out of purgatory — poor Mary Queen of Scots has got the head of a Medusa — had she really possessed such a one, Elizabeth her dearly beloved Cousin, would never have troubled herself to take it off — she might have been drown'd as a Witch.


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There are ten Sketches, or rather the Sketches of ten of the Sibyls, which I thought were pretty good, but Lister laughed at me for it, & I half suspected I was in the wrong: — & yet every countenance was so involved in that kind of mystical obscurity; & seem'd so full of Inspiration that I left them with great respect. I am sure I caught a few emotions from their countenances, which finer faces could never impart — It is not at all to be wonderd at that people should disagree in their opinions of the Sibyls, of whom so little is said to form any judgement — & yet surely as they were supposed to prophecy or write moral sentences upon leaves & cast them to the winds, in such an expression of Countenance necessary to such ^the divulging of ^such sublime matters, all should agree. The visage of a person contemplating the most divine of things, & as it were elate with the perception of its own powers, must have something peculiar, & striking in its appearance — you can conceive — you know what it is — & something of that kind altho probably rather faint was to be met with in the Sybils of Aberdeen. –––––

We met with a young Doctor of our Acquaintance from Edinburgh, who survey'd the College at the same time we did. We engaged him to dinner, & he in return mention'd us to one of the professors who engaged us to Tea. We had purposed to set off before Tea, but would not miss the opportunity of meeting Profsr. Gordon.56 As we return'd to dinner we were shewn an animal precisely like a large Grasshopper, & which with great solemnity was announced to us as the true locust. The Country had already taken the alarm — everybody was thankful that potatoes lay so deep underground. They are supposed to be brought over from Germany, by a strong east wind, which if it fails they are said to fall in shoals into the sea, & altho numbers of them are drowned some come over in a weakned state upon the backs of their deceased friends — they are washed on shore, & then make their escape into the Country — this is the story, which believe who can. I full believe the Locust was no more than a large Grasshopper, which perhaps being rare here, is a curiosity.


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We adjourned after Dinner, and drank Tea with the professor's Family, & some other company — we were treated with the greatest politeness, & Civility, but were obliged to refuse the professor's kind offer, of accompanying us him self around the College again — we had resolved to go to the next stage altho it began to grow dusky before we mounted our horses — & — we could not see more in the college, & it was not worth staying to be entertained by the professor himself — we sincerely return'd him our thanks for his kindness. His daughter Miss Gordon appeared a very agreable, genteel sensible woman — but both Lister, & I were so unhappily situated, as not to have it at all in our power to hold a tete a tete with her. Lister began to suspect that we were born under unfavourable planets. –––––

The manufactories of Aberdeen are principally stockings, & Linnen — & the people contained in the Old, & new Town, & parishes, are said to exceed according to a late Calculation of 22000. ––––– There is an excellent bleaching ground.

We met with a most violent storm of wind & Dust in our way to Stonehive, & from the darkness of the clouds apprehended a tempest, which did not take place. So-far as we could judge of a Country which we passed thro in shades it did not appear to have received much from the Hand of Cultivation. ––––– Adieu. –––––

[...]


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August. 29th.Aberb^rothic.

As I barely mentioned having seen a bleaching ground near Aberdeen, I cannot in justice pass on till I have given you some better account of it. The spot chosen is some even vale, thro which a stream of pure water runs naturally — sometimes a Canal is cut — at intervals little Rivulets are made to branch from the large one, & intersect the ground into such portions as may suit the bleaching of different sorts of Linnen, or perhaps different quantities. the ground is kept perfectly clean, & is of a most beautiful verdure — over the Canal in that of Aberdeen, little Chinese Bridges were thrown, which have a pleasing effect. a very considerable number of men, women, & Children, are employed in this work, who from their cleanliness, & the neatness of their appearance, seem quite of a different species. The women were most of them drest in short white nightgowns, & the men in short blue Frocks. The Linnen during the day is all stretched out upon the grass, & is perpetually sprinkled from the rills that run near it by means of small scoops. several thousand yards at once cover the plain & the Industry of the people in a fine day admits of little intermission.

— I have been told of some where in Perthshire which is very large, & intirely employs one considerable villages^e whose manners & Religion partake of the purity of their employment.57 The form of their religion, is like their masters, that of Sandeman's & as it admits of the women marrying at 15, & the men at 17 or 18 — they are exceedingly upon the increase, & very healthy — a great grandfather is a very common title. The Gentleman to whom this ground belongs if a man of Sense & acts as the guardian, & Father of this great Family, & if he is, as there is little reason to doubt, a man of feeling, he must be happy in the charge. — A man who was out with a cast of Linnen was lately impressed by some soldiers.58 it was no sooner known than 20 or 30 men of the village, armed themselves as well as they could, & pursued them. The gentleman did not know of it 'till they were gone — he instantly set off after


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them, & had the good fortune to overtake them just at a time they had commenced a quarrel with the Soldiers. He told the Lieutenant he must give up the man, as he must know it was contrary to Law, which he now found was back'd with force — if not he must take the consequences — he was prudent, & released him, & the bleachers carried him back in triumph to a happy, & rejoicing Village, who felt as with one heart their security & their happiness. –––––

Fascinated by the sound of a scraping Violin, & the hopes of a dance we stopt at a little petty Inn at Stonehive; but before we had finished the supper the dancing party had dispersed to our great, & heartfelt disappointment. We had still the satisfaction left to dance to a bed which tho hard, was not uncomfortable, & which had its charms to those that had slept upon straw, or upon planks. We arose very early that we might go two miles out of ^our road, & take a view of Dunoter Castle — a seat which belonged to Lord Marischall, & was destroyed for its noble master's being deeply concerned in the Rebellion of 1715. — The ruins are situated upon a Rock of the plumb pudding kind, which projects into the sea, & which partly on this account & partly on the height, & steepness of the Rock, are only accessible at one part. — At this place as a defence to the Castle, was placed a very high stone wall, thro which a small passage, easily defended, found its way into the Castle — before you arrived at the interior parts of the Castle, you had several of these gates to pass. Within side of the walls a vast number of other buildings in a most ruinous state were contained, which must have been capable of tenanting a Regiment or two, of men, or in days of yore of preserving in safety a very numerous Clan. The ruins of a Chappel upon a small spot of sacred ground are very evident. Altho the rubbish has half filled up most of a large range of vaults under the Castle, yet there still remains one very intire. it bears the name of Whig's Vault because a great number of the Covenanters were for a long time confined in it — many of whom are said to have died there — others to avoid an Ignominy they had little merited, jumped out of a small window if a mere hole to let in Light, might be called such, & perished in the Sea. It was but putting an end to a trouble far worse than Death, to men, who, were assured of their Integrity, & to whom Hope denied every other Freedom. The Cave in which they were confined seems to be merely excavated in the Rock, a strong artificial door was placed at the mouth of it, which were it


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shut Art, & Strength could attempt in vain to open — thro a hole at the other end, you had merely a view of the sea, which beating on the Rocks beneath formed a perpetual eccho in this Cave — with this sound enter'd light, & air, sufficient indeed to discover their misery, & to continue it — The cave itself was cold, & dreary, & damp; & the vapours which exhaled from it were of the most fœtid, & offensive nature — the poor miserables were allowed no seat on which to rest themselves — they were starved dispirited, diseased. Daniel would not have needed Lions in such a den, to have tried his fidelity to his God — there was every thing what could cause the heart of man to faulter under guilt, or to sink in despair — but where the Soul feels the sense of another Interest in heaven, where "neither moth nor rust shall corrupt"59 but angels shall guard the treasure of the upright, Soul when she finds the Sacred fire of Virtue, & of Deity kindle within, I can without difficulty conceive of a man's being placid, & calm, his affections immoveable, & his fortitude divine, even in this vault ––––– perhaps I have spoken with too much warmth — my nature seems to blush, & say "Is there any cause in which your mind could keep its peace in such confinement? Would your Religion, & your Virtue support you? — Lister felt the same & our answer was mutual "We trust there is such a cause — and we look for its support from God." –––––

We return'd from the vault serious, & ascended the wall which yet remain standing — we walked on the top of the loftiest parts not without great fear, altho little danger — we were told upon this highest place which is flat a centinel used to sit all night, to watch the motions of an enemy, or merely as a guard of the Gate, directly over which it is placed. There could be little danger of his sleeping when the slightest Inattention might have been attended with a trip of 80 Feet. There is said to be a communication under ground, to every Room in the castle; this is probably fabulous, but there is a hole into which no person ventures to trust himself, which is a sufficient ground for this, or a far more improbable Report — [...]^as Colchester Castle is said to join with [...] Hidingham. — The Castle is said to have been taken by cutting off the supply of water. As a place of so much strength might have been often offensive to government, unless under the Kings Care — it was intirely destroyed.


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We breakfasted at Birven after which we crossed the River Northesk, over a good bridge, which by a memorial placed near it we found had lately cost the Town of Montrose 6500$ to build it. The River was at this time very shallow, but from the depth, & width of its channel it must often be very deep, & rapid. We arrived at Montrose without meeting with one circumstance by the way worth relating — There was one observation, which occurrred to us ^as we past along that puzzled us. From what we could collect the Rebellion in 1715 had been principally among the gentlemen of the east Country, at least it is certain that most of the Castles on this coast were destroyed at that time, whereas the Rebellion of 1745 raged principally to the west, & the north — we endeavoured to assign several Reasons which were neither sufficient, nor satisfactory, & I have therefore sent it home as a subject of political Discussion to those who are better acquainted with the circumstances attending both. —

Montrose is a neat, well built Town, & has a Fort of 10 Guns to command the enterance of a Loch that runs up the side of the Town. After dinner we took a walk into the Churchyd. [Churchyard] hoping to pick up something, that was either diverting, or instructing — but scotch poetry is either of a very moderate kind or else every Family has a bard of its own, who must sing with or without Inspiration of which latter kind, I presume, you will think this Epitaph upon two or three Children The ravenous Eagle Death greedy of prey Whose piercing eyes found were these Infants lay; He crush'd them with his Talons, & then he convey'd Their souls to Heaven — & here's their ashes laid. Where they now rest in providence's store Till Time & Death & Tears shall be no more. This was really the best we met with, unless we except some that were more seriously dull in a little better kind of poetry –––––

We had to wait an hour & half, at the Ferry, for a boat to cross over — which rather discomposed the evenness of Temper & tranquillity of mind, which we flatter'd ourselves we had picked up in the Church yard. — We enter'd Aberbrothick about 10 & could dimly see the ruins of the Abbey as we passed along. — Adieu. –––––


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August. 30th.Perth.

The Ruins of the Abbey at Aberbrothick were by far the most lofty we had seen, & the reliques which remain shew evident marks of an attention to proportion, & Elegance. a number of the small pillars which yet remain supporting some of the smaller arches, are turn'd & worked with great delicacy but, I confess, I am not much an Architect as to know the Century it was built in by the form of the work — 'tho if I might conjecture It cannot have been very antient — The stones of which it was formed, seems not to have been of so durable a nature as many others we had seen — Dr Johnson says his Journey would have been well recompensed if he had seen nothing but the Ruins of Aberbrothic60 — we began to be tired of seeing the reliques of power, as well as of prelacy — they had lost their Novelty, & there is nothing in ruins beside which can lay equal claim to attention — & reflection upon human pride, & vanity, had been so often repeated, that it was agre'd to lay them under an embargo. We began however to think more seriously of that noble passage in our Shakespear The Cloudcapt Towers, the gorgeous palaces The Solemn Temples, the great Globe itself Yea; all which it inherits shall dissolve And like the baseless Fabric of a vision Leave not a wreck behind. –––––61 We saw that at present the wrecks of the former only remain, & shall soon intirely disappear. — at once a monuments of human ability, & human frailty. —

The ground around the abbey is still appropriated to the dead, & we who had so often visited the sick, & the dying, & administerd the best consolation we were capable of, thought we had some claim to either their last sentiments, or the b[...]^est of those of their Friends — The most common sentiment placed over the dead acquires new force. There is a silence, & solemnity, that gives mere propriety a sting —


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perhaps the Epicure might however be inclined to doubt the propriety of the first four short lines we met with, He that is born to day And dies tomorrow Loses some hours of Joy — But months of Sorrow. The Splenetic insist upon the Truth of it, & the Stoic laugh at both. Is it not a subject worthy of consideration, whether the perpetual endeavour of some men to set forth this world in the most disagreable point of view; is not prejudicial to the interests of Society, if not of Religion? We are certainly formed for this world, by being formed in it. It may be urged we are already too fond of attaching ourselves to it — but scolding will never make us quit it, & there is an attachment that is becoming, the source of our domestic felicity; & of the test of our acquiescence in the appointment of a kind, & a wise providence. — The next we thought worthy notice (but you must never inquire the reason why) was not so simple as the former. Awake, arise, behold thou hast Thy life, a leaf, thy breath a blast, At night lye down prepar'd to have Thy sleep, thy death, thy bed, thy grave, perhaps some would call this nervous — is it? ––––– What apology I shall make for inserting the next I do not know. be charitable, & say when you have read it, that it did not need one. it shows and affection, & sincerity which if real never want the support of Grammar, or poetry. — These children born virtuous ware But short time here they did remain That we are appointed once to dye The tenth of Hebrews makes it plain They breathed sweetly while they lived Great pleasure of them we did have All we can do since they are dead Is sett this stone up at their grave To mark the dust of the young babes That lie here now hid from our eyes While their immortal souls triumph The mansions bright above the skies. —

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The following article is set upon the same stone "This stone is set up also in memory of William who survives". — and at the bottom these two lines How happy they that's young call'd off the stage Their inconscious of the guilt that waits upon our age. — It surely is no proof of peculiar obduracy of disposition to smile at the above. Affection may degenerate to Nonsense, & yet prese^rve it being, & its name. Fie upon that person that would check the progress of a sincere love when its objects were no more, in whatever language it may express itself. –––––

Upon one tombstone is engraved a curious device which I think no one will be likely soon to forget. A wheel is engraved upon the stone, upon the top of which a little man is cut in a dancing posture, & who is supposed to say "I Reing." — another man on the wheel to the right "I am going down". — a third at the bottom "I did reing" — & a fourth ascending, "I shall reing." — and underneath Thus Fortune's wheel Shows all doth reel Our changing state We find too late. — If this but impresses upon every twentieth person who reads it, that as he is really going down he should act accordingly, I presume it will answer every thing that was intended by it —

There are a variety of Leontine [sic] verses in Latin placed for the most ^part over monks, or their sons. that you may have some Idea of them I shall write down one Non mihi sit durum, quod novi me moriturum, Nee mortem flebo, quia tecum, Christe, manebo. "It does not appear hard to me that I know I am about to die — neither will I weep at death, because, o Christ, I shall dwell with thee." –––––

When we returned to the Inn, the waiter informed us that there was a gentleman who not approving of a solitary breakfast wd. "be happy to have the honour, & all that — we could have no objection. We were puzzled to know what to make of him, by his appearance, & behaviour — he was severally a rider, a custom house officer, a gentleman taxman —there were intervals at breakfast when, I could have stood to it he was one of these gentlemen — he proved himself afterwards to be a mineral Engineer


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— He was going to Dundee we did not like him well enough to tell him we should be glad of his company, altho he gave several hints that he should be glad of ours — not one of which we thought binding upon us, for, (whether our late conference with the dead had deprived us of our manners is not as yet determined,) when he was gone out of the room, we meanly took the advantage, orderd our horses, mounted & made the best of our way to get away from him — it was however otherwise orderd — about two miles from Dundee ^Aberbrothic we enter'd a very sandy road — as we thought we were in safety, the spirit with which we set our had left ^us, our reins were slack, & at our ease we were comforting ourselves with the trick, we had play'd on him, & endeavoring to prove it was right, against a great majority of our feelings. As we concluded he would not follow us, we did not once look back — The road winded, it was still sandy, & without hearing or even suspecting him, we suddenly found Mr. Williams, a welshman & mineral Engineer within ten yards of us — we thought he had sprung a mine upon us. We must now submit to our doom, & after apologizing, not without a blush upon both our countenances, we jogg'd on together. —

I have often been told that I should not trust to appearances — but as in other cases so in this I have trusted to a different opinion because it was my own & been deceived, but never I think so much as in the present instance. Mr. Williams was neither a rider an excise officer, or a farmer, & I wonder in my heart how I could ever have taken him for such. he was a gentleman, of great gentleness affability, & intelligence. From the nature of his employ which was that of discovering, & examining Iron, & Lead works &c he was acquainted with many of the best Families in this part of Scotland. He informed us he had written a treatise on the appearances of the vitrified Forts in Scotland which, & I believe it is not contested, he was the first who had examined them closely, & assign'd so probable ^a cause.62 It appears that several ruin'd Forts have been discover'd, which have had the walls of a real glassy nature, & which as there is no such natural appearance must have been formed by Fire. These Forts have been found generally where there was no good Rock for building, — where but where all the stone near was of the plumb-pudding kind. Now it is likewise found that this kind of stone, when melted by a moderate Fire, makes a true vitrified appearance Resembling the ruin'd walls. Scotland beyond all doubt formerly abounded in wood. From these facts the following conclusion seems drawn with propriety.


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That at an immense Labour a quantity of the rock was broke off, & that a stratum of wood, & that a stratum of these materials were alternately heaped up to such a height as might be deemed necessary. it is likewise supposed that by the sides of these strata, two walls of a different kind of stone were placed, which would not so easily be affected by the Fire, & which would serve to support the materials, & add force to the fire by forming a narrow channel thro which the air might rush. The wood was then kindled, & the whole melted down. If the first was not of a sufficient height other materials were added & the operation repeated — Mr. W. informed us that he has seen several of these in the highlands, & always where there was the plumbpudding rock. He has not met with any beyond the Firth of Forth. The principal one is called Knock Farril, in Ross Shire & which he supposes from its size, & the name of several neighbouring places to have been the Selma of Fingall. Here is a river at only a small distance, still call'd the waters of Cona, which are frequently mentioned by Ossian. He has also observed that one of these Forts is always so placed as to see a second, & the second another, & so on — the reason for which appears to be the facility of communicating signals, & collecting in case of an Invasion. There are to be found the ruins of some Forts which he calls dry ones, because they consisted merely of stones laid one upon another, without any mortar. He supposes, & who shall contradict him? that therefore both these kind of Forts were built before the introduction of Lime, which took place about the time that Rome had establish'd its conquests in Britain. He is in some measure strengthned in this opinion, by observing, that when he has cut thro some of the Lime Forts, he has ^found that they have been built upon the ruins of the vitrified Forts. — — I could not avoid giving you this account which we received, altho I fear it has been tedious — The subject is so curious & shows at once so much the power & abilities of our ancestors that it surprizes, & interests; & I am convinced if you had known I had heard of it, you would not have excused my omitting it. —

Altho it was not 10 when we set off yet we did not arrive at Dundee only 18 miles, till three oClock so much had the good company of Mr. Williams fascinated us. We dined together; & really felt ourselves unhappy at taking leave of a man, of whose abilities we had now the greatest respect, & who in so short a space had insinuated himself deeply into or Esteem. –––––


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We had 24 miles to ride to Perth, & it was near five when we set off. We passed thro the Carse of Gowrie, the most rich, & populous vale in Scotland. It is impossible to do justice to a spot so truly delightful. Innumerable Farm houses, seem'd to give life to the Fields which were every where loaded with harvest: & you could at one view see not less than 150 or 200 persons employed in cutting down, or carrying away the corn. It was the close of a fine day, & the western sun sat in unusual Beauty — a silence & serenity succeeded to the busy hum of Harvest, & a new train of pleasurable Ideas flow'd into our minds. Antient Simplicity; & every thing which the poets had said of the golden days was before ^us, & we wished that the Inhabitants of the Carse of Gowrie might be truly sensible of the blessings which excited our admiration, & our envy — At a distance the Tay roll'd its Tide along, & seem'd like the Nile to these happy & fruitful Shores — The shades of evening insensibly shortned our views —

"Now fades the glimmering Landscape on the sight
And all the air a solemn stillness holds
Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight
And drowsy tinklings mark ^lull this distant folds."

63 This state which was in itself enchanting gradually introduced a darkness, & obscurity, that created anxiety, & chain'd the soul to Fear. We had a ride of 6 miles to perth thro a narrow road, that was deeply shaded, on one side by Trees, & on the other by lofty mountains, with Bushes projecting from them. So dark was it that often we could not see our horses heads, & as we knew nothing of the road we could only move slowly along — On our left hand close by the road the Tay hoarsly rushed along, & had it not been for a little reflected light now & then, from its waters which only served to render the "Darkness visible"64 & point out a danger, which with reason alarm'd us, we might have fall'n in & finished our Tour. Lister was a little before, & if I did not every minute or two hear his horses shoes on the gravel, I concluded, he had missd the Road, & sought a nights rest "in the banks of the Tay". It was agreed to call 'Soho' alternately, if possible to relieve our Anxiety & chear the drooping spirits — you would have smiled to have heard the Tone how low! how faint! We were not sure that the Road would have admitted of two abreast, & necessity alone forced us to adopt this Quixotic way of trailing ourselves from darkness, & from danger. –––––


123

A moderate gloom leads to thought, & to reflection; the body hath little reason to fear when the senses can exert themselves a little. A pleasing Melancholy prevails — the rays of the Soul are collected as it were to Forms — it is clear, distinct, consistent. But when the Darkness becomes excessive the Soul can no longer attend to its own operations, it is anxious for the preservation of the body, it fears, it trembles, it sinks. — Th [The] anxiety makes it exert itself at first, but anxiety like other affections &^if long continued, if^& violent, degenerates into its contrary — anxiety becomes despair — the mind loses all care for its own safety, & cannot make the use of Circumstances which might otherwise be highly advantageous. The antients in their petitions to Jove or Minerva used to pray for "an equal mind", & surely it is a gift worthy the request of Wisdom, & the magnificence of Deity to bestow. –––––

It was near 10 when we crossed the Tay over a most noble Bridge & enterd perth. It was so late, & dark that we could take no view of the Town –––––

A few miles to the west of perth, where the Tay becomes narrower, is supposed to be the place mentioned by Tacitus at which the Roman Soldiers threw down their arms, & exclaiming when they saw the Tay, "Ecce Tyberim". behold the Tiber — refused to march any further. — we in imitation of such an example equally fatigued with our dangers, & our Honours, threw our reins upon the horses necks at the sight of the Red Lion, & call'd out "Behold the Inn" absolutely refusing to proceed any further — Adieu. –––––

[...]


124

September. 1st. Stirling.

From what we had seen in our Tour, we had little reason to expect any thing which would much alarm by its Novelty. Mountains above the clouds, rocky seas, rapid Rivers, fertile vales, ruined abbies, Castles, palaces, were objects we had been accustomed to — every common Reflection had been worn threadbare, & the new ones we flattered ourselves the first sensations had produced, had now shared the same Fate. We had still however a novelty left which was to pass thro a day without one single ^new occurrence. It is true it rained hard all they day, but that we had met with before — & we were wet thro for eight hours together, but that no claim to Novelty. The Country was neither rich or poor, populous or desolate — there were attempts at Cultivation which seem checked by Ignorance, or poverty, & yet the progress considering every difficulty seems to have been tolerable — it argued an attention, if not spirit, a desire if not the power to improve. If as a Journalist I might ass over any day in silence, it should be this — & perhaps you would think it sufficient if I were now to close this Letter a la mode de Logbook. "Wind. S.E. by E. sailed from harbour of perth to port o Stirling. All well." — — but I must double the point of this Letter, & say good night on the opposite side of the sheet.

As it was dark when we enterd Perth, & raind when we set out, we certainly could not see the Town to advantage nor do I think with the highest Sun, & clearest Day that ever this Hemisphere enjoyed, I should ever deem it a pleasing Town. it appears ill built, and the houses are dirty, it is true the streets are pretty wide, which makes the houses appear to much greater disadvantage The Language of the people at, & near Perth is far more disagreable than any we met with; the sounds deeply guttural, & the whines,


125

and half howling tones, majestically long — It was with the greatest difficulty we could understand them, altho most of what they said in any other mouths would have been merely bad english — We arrived at Crief to Dinner. We had been informed the ride from perth to Crief was thro a noble Country — it was scarcely tolerable after seeing the Carse of Gowrie — It is an open Country, & several Farm houses are seen at one view, but the corn was mostly oats, & thin — we saw a few furze hedges, which from their verdure had a pleasing effect but ^when we considerd them as substitutes for wood, we felt that disagreable sensation which naturally arises at the sight of poverty, & barreness of Soil, or untoward severity of Climate. —

We did ourselves as well as we could ^at Crief, & again set off in the rain for Stirling. As the road was good, & we could ride abreast we had not yet lost the power of entertaining one another, nor the inclination — we sooth'd each others misfortunes, and at length bore a wet shirt with all the philosophy of a Zeno, or a Socrates. — O how we did from our hearts laugh at those who must warm a pocket Handkerchief, or a Night Cap before they make use of them — The smile however that we put on would not have been taken by any person in tolerable ease, for a smile of Triumph — our Faces were stiffned by the wind, & Rain, & were not strictly subservient to the motions of the will but our feelings, & our hearts were as free & as sound as ever. —

There is a good ruin of a Castle at Dumblain,65 by the side of which a noble river run, [sic] now swell'd, & rushing with violence from the late rain — About 9 we enter'd our Inn at Stirling, wet & jaded, & cold, & hungry — but other great men had endured the same without the advantage which we met with, of a monstrous large Fire, a good Supper, & a comfortable bed — we made the best use of all three, & slept a long refreshing night without one Dream either to comfort, or discompose us — May every forlorn Traveller meet with equal consolation. Adieu. –––––


126

We had now strictly speaking completed our Tour — and had nothing to do but to pursue a different Road home, than that in which we had set out. We passed on the opposite side of the Firth, thro Falkirk &c to Edinburgh. and the things which we saw, & which we heard are they not written beneath for the entertainment of those who enjoy Novelty, or delight in wars — who sacrifice their feelings to their Curiosity, or to their Country? –––––

The Country between Stirling, & Edinburgh is in general cultivated, but the crops are thin, & poor — indeed the view of the Carse of Gowrie dwelt yet strong in our memories, & ruled every sense. At any other time I should probably have praised this Country as exceeding rich, & especially after our ride from Killechranan, to Kilmure. At present I do not think it deserves one sentence, at all tinctured with praise. The Harvest was by no means so forward here as we had lately met with it; we saw several Fields of Barley that were quite green. The Country on this South side of the Firth may be called low for a considerable extent; — there are, it is true, a few eminences but which in general admit of Corn upon them, or from their natural verdure add much to the view. That Land which in England we call Meadow, & deem best for Hay, is here for the most part sown with Grain, & produces the richest Crops. As we rode along upon elevated ground about 6 miles distance from the Firth we had at intervals a noble view of numerous Towns upon its Shores & a great number of vessels that were passing & repassing. on the opposite shore there is a range of mountains on the Tops of many of which the clouds rested or moved round with a kind of Sullen motion. These & the appearances of the Clouds above us threatened Rain the first Hours ride, but fortunately phæton assisted by Eolus prevailed, & sent the firstborn of Neptune on hasty wing to distant shores to bless other lands, & render other travellers uncomfortable –––––


127

We arrived about 9 at Carron, & breakfasted — Would, my dear Miss P. it were possible to give you any description of the vast works which are carried on here, at all adequate to what we saw & head — it would then fill you with astonishment, & Horror as it did us — & yet the weakness of my memory, & my pen may be deem'd fortunate for you — your mind cannot be tranquil but it will not be terrified — the calm may yet be ruffled, but the gale will soon pass over it & leave it to its former peace & quiet. —

We were at some distance apprized of our approach to Carron by a disagreable sulphurous smell, & the sight of vast vollies of Smoke slowly ascending & streak'd with livid flames. Every person we met seem'd to have some congruity with the place — they were dark, gloomy, surly & if I had it in my power to embody, & imbricate some of our worst passions ^& set them in the most detestable light for the benefit of mankind I would select the forms from Carron. They could not strictly be said to be inhabitants of Earth, unless those are called so who breathe sulphurous vapours — whose residence is by dayrk in darkness ill illum'd, & by night with surrounding Flames, hoarse murmuring as they ascend — Carron is certainly one of the noblest, & most sublime works of art. It puts one quite into conceit with myon^eself, as it shows upon the largest scale the Invention, & the power of man. It is almost impossible to conceive how much an assemblage of Machines, calculated for the greatest variety of purposes, & of bulk, & weight the most immense, could be so placed, & preserved as to execute their great offices with ease, & facility — & yet to reflect upon all this noble workmanship being much more for the destruction, than the advantage of mankind, palls the satisfaction it is otherwise fitted to give, & you detest that ambition which has led modern Heroes to inventions, replete with devastation, & death. –––––

You are not permitted to enter the walls without permission of one of the Directors which I am told is never refused — your name & place of abode is formally required, & a man attends you the thro all the works. We were first conducted to see the stores of boilers, pots, & cauldrons of an immense size, all of cast Iron. We were then led to see a vast variety of Bath Stoves, &c things of great utility, & Elegance which are very numerous, & laid in the most regular order.


128

We were informed that a great number of these are sent to London, many more abroad, which latter trade hath much declined since the War began. We passed thro four large storehouses of these conveniences of Life, in which we met with several new patterns & ingenious contrivances. All this was very pleasing, the advantages were obvious. —

You are next Conducted to view the stores of Ball, Grape shot, canister shot &c which are so numerous & well arranged, & of so many horrid forms, that you insensibly withdraw shuddering from a sight so pregnant with future Woe — we could at distance see the Widow, the Fatherless, & the kind parent deploring the cruel fate of those who were dearest to them — our Imaginations painted to us the wounds & the groans of the dying — yet dark as this scene was a blushing dawn seem'd to arise when we thought of Liberty, a reality, without which Life is not worth enjoying — What they call Canister Shot are a great number of Balls, or pieces of Nails &c, fastned slightly in a thin plate of Iron, & which immediately breaks either when discharged from a Cannon, or the first thing it strikes against — These are another kind of Shot composed of eight short bars of Iron fitted & slightly tied together which upon being discharged seperates as the above. These are of different forms, & are said now to be much in use for cutting the Rigging of Vessels — The most shocking of all is that to which they gave the name of Star shot. It consists of eight pieces of Iron adapted to each other, fastened at one end with a strong single, & having knots at the other, slightly connected by a fillet of thin Iron — each of these pieces is about 12 or 14 Inches long — The knots are closed, & first put into the Cannon — as soon as they are discharged they seperate, yet held by the single, they whizz along, & I should thing could rarely fail of doing execution. We are told that they are now coming into Fashion & are charitably supposed to be used merely for destroying the Rigging — the French may politely design no more — but the english are barbarians.

––––– We saw some balls of 68 lb each, which were made for some Carronades lately cast here — it is said a few of these are at present in the Navy, as they are not near so long as the Cannon formerly in use, their weight is not very great — We were next shown pieces of Cannon of all sizes. The request for these articles has been of late much greater than formerly. It is certain a considerable part of Europe are ^is supplied from the Foundry at Carron. We were informed from


129

the best authority, that the Dutch have within this last half-year purchased, & taken away more than an 100 pieces of Cannon, with provender for each — How far it is for the Interest of Government to permit such a Traffic during wars is not for me to say — but my Father to whom I refer this will readily acquaint you. More than 9000 pieces of Cannon of different sizes have been cast within the last 5 years, most of which are disposed of, as they are cheap & being light, are managed with fewer men — Government has a great many of them but they are mostly made use of by privateers. The man told us they had lately received a large order from the admiralty board. We examined several pieces closely — they are much shorter than the Cannon generally used, & they are said to be getting into discredit on this account for it is attested that they neither carry balls to so great a distance, nor do they hit with so great a certainty, as the longer ones. we did not receive this information within the works, altho we in vain endeavour'd to get it confirmed. —

We were fortunate to see some 32 lb balls cast. The Iron is first melted, & then pour'd into moulds a composition of Sand & Clay — when the ball is cool it is taken out & finished up — We here saw a large Cauldron of liquid Iron, of the most intense white heat: we approached near it, & could clearly see it boiling, We were told that this Furnace needs some regulation once a day which requires a man to go into it — it is cooled as much as it can be, but yet the poor fellow must enter it insufferably hot for 13s a week, most of which money ^he is obliged to expend in Liquor to keep any fluids at all in his body. The fellow came up to us, & told his story with a smile of satisfaction that surpized us — he seem'd sensible of the Injury he was doing himself, but it appears a standing topic of pride with him, & like his betters he had rather sacrifice his Life than his glory. His visage, & appearance is that of a skeleton — his eyes are sunk, his voice hollow, & in singing his tale of Triumph "he grinn'd horrible many a ghastly smile."66 He is very near dried up, & I think it is not difficult to foretell his Fate — the heat will certainly one day catch him like Tinder, or touch paper, & crackling he will disappear.


130

We afterwards walked into another office, & saw several moulds in which Cannon are cast — We were here likewise singularly fortunate, in seeing a six pounder run. The mould is placed perpendicular in sand with the mouth just appearing above the surface, & at about three yards distance from the Cauldron. A groove is then made in the Sand which leads to it, into which liquid Iron is pour'd, runs along and fills up the mould. it was filled up in two minutes. We stood as near the operation as we dare, & bold as we were we did not feel ourselves altogether free of Anxiety, & dread. All the Cannon are at first cast solid, & the bore is afterwards made by means of a water engine; which last operation no person is permitted to see. A twenty four pounder is said to be done in 10 or 12 hours. This boring hath not been long in practice — it was formerly the custom to cast them hollow —, by which means they not infrequently burst in the proving — this is said now to be very rarely the case.

We were next taken to see the bellows which kindle, & support those wondrous Fires we had seen — two or three gentlemen who were viewing the works with us, refused to follow us — it was truly dark, & dreadful, & not so dangerous but any one who had the spirit of a man, would take his chance for a peep. I am sure, Miss P., had you been there I should have the pleasure of conducting you wherever I chose to go myself, or the ardent zeal of Lister led me, & you would have been amply repaid. We blushed for the gentlemen, & followed our guide up a dark entry, over bits of old Iron, & Cannon ball, & soon arrived at the bellows, the noise of which prevented our hearing each other speak when near them.

––––– Four large Cylinders of cast iron about 12 Feet high, & 30 Inches Diameter were placed perpendicular, into which were fitted four pistons of an immense weight, & pressure —of which two were alternately going up, while the other two were sinking upon the air admitted with all their wight, so that two of the Cylinders are filled with air while the other two are discharging. This vast body of air is thus driven with the greatest violence thro a tube only two Inches, & a half in diameter, into the Furnace, with a noise that nearly stuns you. The appearance of the Fire at the point of the Tube is of the most dazzling white, & to fix the eye but a moment upon it pains the eye ^it for a considerable time. The piston is so nicely adapted to the Cylinder that it worked with as much ease at that of a pump. —


131

The whole of this process is set in motion by water, which works it not unlike a mill. Sure there never was a nobler assemblage of the elements bought about by human art, or Industry — Water Air & Fire, combined to melt the hardest part of Earth, & performing it with a majesty & ease that confounds — & you at once tremble & admire. —

There are five pair of bellows like those which I have attempted to give some Idea of. We afterwards saw them separating the metal from the Iron, which they bring from the neighboring mountains. The Quantity of Scoriæ that runs out is astonishing, & looks like a glassy Lava from a little volcanoe — We then past thro other Offices where they were forming less things, with much poorer fires — or re-smelting, & purifying the Ore. — A little to the back part of these offices are several furnaces in the ground, in which the coals, Lime &c are blended that serve as fuel for the greater Fires — The smoke ascends from these in clouds, often streaked with fire. — We were afterwards taken to see the Engine by which the water is raised for working the great bellows, & performing other offices. it is worked by Steam, & is an immense production of Art. I wished it had been in my power to have obtained as good an account of this as we desired, but our guide could give us little information, & we had not time to make any satisfactory observations ourselves. A vast bason of Water for all these purposes has been formed near these works, & is regulated by sluices from a neighbouring canal, which itself has not been long cut, & joins the Forth with the Clyde. —

The Carron Company is said to employ not less than 1200 men at these works. 400 of whom are constantly employed within the walls, & the rest in collecting coal, iron stone &c the appearance of those within are truly diabolic, most of them half naked, & as black as the region that they live in — they are said not to be very long lived — this is little to be wonder'd at, as most of them seem half parched. The Country around Carron is populous — but women & children, houses, & fields, have the same unnatural smoky appearance. There are always two or three directors upon the spot to conduct the works — their houses are tolerable, & placed at as great a distance as convenience will admit. –––––


132

We afterwards passed thro Falkirk, a neat country town. It was about two miles to the west of this Town, that the Rebels defeated a party of the Kings Dragoons in 174567 — we were pointed to the spot at a distance but as there was nothing worthy observation, & it was intirely out of the Road we were content to pass on. The Country around may perhaps be cultivated as well as the soil will admit, but it has a very poor appearance. Indeed after seeing the Carse of Gowrie, not Sicily, or Egypt with all their fertility, could have raised any new sensation — We dined at Linlithgow 17 miles from Edinburgh. we took a view of the Castle which is a lofty structure, & well situated. from the style in which it is built it cannot be very antient — it is now in ruins. there appears scarce to have been one large Room in the house. It was a kind of half way house to Stirling, & a hunting seat of the James's –––––

All the money we could muster at Linlithgow was half a guinea, & three shillings — the bill was 3s6, & the half guinea, refused as light — we could not pay the other d6/ nor give anything to the hostler or waiter — we made what defence we could, but still retreated with disgrace — we had four Turnpikes to pass thro, & not a farthing to pay if our half guinea was bad — When we came within sight of the first, a council of war was held in which it ^was resolved nem: con: 1. To offer the Kings coin however abused. 2 That while one was doing this the other should sneak thro the gate, & walk gently on. 3 That the office of Cajoler should alternate 4 That if it did not succeed, we were to ride to on as hard as we could — upon these resolutions we elevated ourselves on the stirrups, & advanced firmly to the Gate — the half guinea was accepted, & our resolutions like many other which cautious people form in their distress, dissolved in smoke — we went home rich.

We arrived about 9 in the Evening at Edinburgh in safety health & Spirits — We sat, & drank our Tea in Tranquillity, and departed from each other with that kind of pleasure, & satisfaction, which arises from becoming better acquainted with the Character, & Sincerity of a person whom you love, & esteem. ––––– I trust I did not go to sleep before I had felt the purest impressions of Gratitude for the guardian care, & protection of Heaven, & the civility, & generosity of those Friends, who had contributed in so high degree to render our Tour agreable. Nor were my dearer Friends at Witham less out of my mind — & you will believe that it is with the most unaffected Sincerity that I in particular subscribe myself
your affectionate Friend
Jacob Pattisson.



iv

See Notes & Queries — 3rd S.x July 14, 1866. page 31.

Dr Pattisson ––––– I have in my possession a Manuscript volume written by Dr Pattisson date 1777, originally belonging to Mr B(enjamin) Strutt, to whom some of the letters &c &c were addressed. Also some MSS by J(acob) G(eorge) Strutt. Can you oblige me by any information respecting the said Dr. Pattisson?
Edward Maskall
1. Copenhagen Street. N.

[The Writer of the letters in the manuscript volume possessed by our correspondent was no doubt Jacob Pattisson M.D., originally of Witham, in Essex. To prosecute his medical Studies, he removed to Edinburgh where he died in 1782. There too he was buried; and a Monument was raised for him at the expense of three Societies of which he was President — The Royal Medical, the Speculative, and the Physical. He contributed two papers to the Speculative Society. (1.) On Sleep the origin & Influence of the "Crusades". (2.) On Sleep and Dreaming — A manuscript Volume of his "Familiar Letters written during a Journey Through the Highlands of Scotland, 4to, 1780," occurs in the Catalogue of the Manuscript Library of the late Dawson Turner , lot 369, sold by Puttick & Simpson on June 8, 1859.]


Authorial notes

i. *Ben Lomond stands on the other side of the Loch. –––––
ii. Milton's Il Penseroso
Marginalia

Elizth. Pattisson Scripsistis haec titulum

To
Jacob Luand Pattisson
Admiralty, Somerset House
& Civil Service Club, St James Street, London S.h

(In memory of his Great Uncle Jacob Pattisson
Resident at same time, of the Royal Medical,
Physical, and Speculative Societies,
In the University of Edinburgh
when & where he died Æt.23 13 March 1782)

From his Father Jacob Howell Pattisson Master of Law
Cambridge

Tunbridge
Kent } February 11th. 1867.


Editorial notes

1. An engraving of Fingal's Cave based on John Cleveley's drawings has been pasted into the journal here.
2. Shakespeare, Othello, I.iii.326.
3. A reference to the belief that storks cared for their parents in old age.
4. Pattisson may be conflating Dunfermline Palace with the Cathedral.
5. Ecclesiastes 9:4.
6. Pattisson is probably confusing Moncreiffe Hill near Perth with the Campsies south West of Stirling; the former would not be visible from Stirling Castle.
7. Here and later in the journal, Pattisson continues to refer to the River Forth as the Firth.
8. A version of one of the inscriptions that appears on the arched gateway of the sixteenth-century structure known as Mar's Wark, rendered by Pennant as 'ESSPY. SPEIK. FURTH. I CAIR. NOTHT. /CONSIDIR. WEIL. I CAIR. NOTHT.', and said by him to be the Earl of Mar's response to those who criticised him from using the ruins of a chapel in the construction. See A tour in Scotland 1772, part II (London: 1776), p.225.
9. James Beattie, The Minstrel, 2 vols. (London: 1771-1774), i, LV.
10. John Stuart, minister for Luss, would later write that some of the islands of Loch Lomond 'prove, at times, commodious asylums to the disordered in mind.' John Sinclair, The Statistical Account of Scotland, 21 vols. (Edinburgh: 1791-1799), xvii, p.242.
11. A paraphrase of Samuel Johnson's 1749 poem, 'The Vanity of Human Wishes', lines 317-18: 'From Marlb’rough’s Eyes the Streams of Dotage flow,/ And Swift expires a Driv’ler and a Show.' The lines refer to John Churchil, first Duke of Marlborough, a soldier and courtier, and the writer Jonathan Swift, both of whom suffered from illness in old age.
12. The minister of Luss was then John Stuart, botanist, noted Gaelic scholar and former correspondent and travelling companion of Thomas Pennant.
13. A reference to admiral George Bridges Rodney's victory over the Spanish admiral Juan de Lángara, during a night-time battle off Cape St. Vincent on 7 January 1780.
15. In fact Pattisson and Lister had now arrived at the head of Loch Fyne, having passed Loch Long earlier in their journey between Tarbet and Glen Croe.
16. Folios 9v-10 blank.
17. Ben Cruachan.
18. Pattisson's route is unusual here: instead of proceeding directly to Oban from Bonawe, he and Lister seem to detour slightly to the south via the small settlement of Kilmore. That Pattisson deviates from the main route to Oban probably explains the poor quality of the roads he encounters here, and which he returns to comment upon later in the journal.
19. Pattisson is describing the neighbouring peaks of Cruachan and Stob Dearg, above Bonawe.
20. The MacDougalls of Dunollie were forfeited for their support of the 1715 Jacobite rising, and did not, as Pattisson believes, join the rebellion of 1745. Again contrary to Pattisson's account, the MacDougall estate was only restored subject to a hefty financial contract with the dukes of Argyll. For a very different account of MacDougall's recovery of his estate and relationship with the dukes of Argyll, see John MacGregor Murray's Tour of 1800.
21. A reference to Johnson's approval of Scottish breakfasts in his 1775 Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland: 'If an epicure could remove by a wish, in quest of sensual gratifications, wherever he had supped he would breakfast in Scotland.' See Ronald Black, To the Hebrides: Samuel Johnson's Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland and James Boswell's Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides (Edinburgh: Birlinn, 2007), p.123.
22. In the manuscript journal Pattisson sketches the relative positions of the above items within a rough circle representing a table top.
23. Lachlan Macquarrie of Ulva hosted Johnson and Boswell during their tour of 1773, and is named later in Pattisson's text, despite the deletion here. He served in the American wars of independence, hence Pattisson's reference to the Penobscot, a Native American tribe who sided with the revolutionaries against the British.
24. Possibly Lachlan Macquarrie of Ulva, whom Pattisson earlier mentions being present at his son in law's house at Scallastle.
25. A reference to Macpherson, Fingal (1762), where this idiom appears in two poems: 'The Songs of Selma' and 'Berrathon'.
26. In June 1780 London was consumed by anti-Catholic riots, instigated by Lord George Gordon's campaign to repeal the Catholic Relief Act of 1778.
27. Given Pattisson's account of his location en-route to Aros, this is unlikely to have been the chapel remarked upon by Johnson and identified by Black as Kilcolmkil or Kilmore in the north-west of Mull. See Black, p.347 and notes.
28. James Thomson, Spring (London: 1728), p.11.
29. Gometra.
30. Joseph Banks's account of Staffa appeared in Thomas Pennant, A tour in Scotland, and voyage to the Hebrides 1772 (Chester: 1774), 299-309.
31. A reference to Iona's Gaelic name, Ì Chaluim Chille, sometimes shortened to simply Ì. The etymology given by Pattisson is spurious.
33. Alexander Pope, 'An Essay on Man', Epistle I, ll.85-86.
34. This does not appear to be a direct quote from Macpherson's Ossian, but rather a stylistic imitation using Ossianic names and idioms, possibly created by Pattisson as a parody.
35. The title character and squire of Miguel de Cervantes' chivalric satire Don Quixote (1605-1615). The novel was an ubiquitous reference point in the eighteenth century, often synonymous with sentimental bathos.
36. Possibly a reference to Shakespeare, King Lear, III.iv.
37. Shakespeare, Othello, I.iii.134.
38. Ecclesiastes 12:5.
39. Exodus 10:21.
40. Urquhart Castle
41. Johnson, 'The Vanity of Human Wishes', ll.221-22
42. This folio consists of an insert on tracing paper depicting a crest.
43. Possibly the Old High Kirk of Inverness.
44. Sister Peg was a satirical personification of the Scottish national character, counterpart to the English John Bull, first imagined in John Arbuthnot’s allegorical The History of John Bull (1712). 'Brother Peter' refers to a personification of Catholicism in Jonathan Swift, A Tale of a Tub (1704). Pattisson seems to use Sister Peg or Peggy in a more explicitly sectarian sense in his tour, to refer to Scottish Presbyterianism. See Alasdair Raffe, 'John Bull, Sister Peg, and Anglo-Scottish Relations in the Eighteenth Century', in Gerard Carruthers and Colin Kidd (eds.), Literature and Union: Scottish Texts, British Contexts (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018), pp.41-60.
45. Edward Young, Night Thoughts (1742), i, l.153.
46. Birnam Wood and Dunsinane are near Dunkeld, far to the south west of Pattisson's location. His confusion probably arises from the historical king Macbeth's association with the region of Moray.
47. The 'inundation' by sand of coastal land in this part of Scotland was frequently noted by travellers during this period. Thomas Pennant describes the appearance of this phenomenon at Findhorn in A tour in Scotland 1769 (1771), pp.131-32.
48. An English utopian novel presented as a translation of an Italian travel narrative, widely read in the eighteenth century.
49. Possibly Pluscarden Abbey. The source of the name given by Pattisson is unclear.
50. The Pillar of Forres, also known as Sueno's Stone.
51. The Battle of Sherrifmuir in 1715 was a decisive clash between Jacobite forces led by the Earl of Mar, and the victorious government army led by the Duke of Argyll, and effectively ended James Francis Edward Stuart's attempt on the British throne.
52. A reference to the Scottish metaphysician Andrew Baxter, who argued in his 1733 work, An Enquiry into the Nature of the Human Soul that dreams and nightmares are caused by external beings invading and disordering the soul during sleep. Though clearly dismissive of Baxter's theory, Pattisson was interested in the subject, submitting an essay on 'Sleep and Dreaming' during his membership of the Speculative Society of Edinburgh. See History of the Speculative Society of Edinburgh (Edinburgh: 1864), p.148.
53. Pope, 'Ode on Solitude', l.2.
54. On 9 August 1780 a large convoy of British merchant vessels en route to the West Indies was apprehended by the combined French and Spanish fleets while under naval escort.
55. A reference to two mythical Scottish kings, likely both the invention of medieval chroniclers.
56. Professor Thomas Gordon had also met with Johnson and Boswell during their 1773 tour, and would later entertain the poet Robert Burns during his tour of 1787. See Black, pp.57-59.
57. Possibly Luncarty. See Eliza Dawson's account in her tour of 1786.
58. Military impressment, or the practice of forcing ostensible vagrants into service in the army and navy and navy was a subject of national controversy during this period, due to the pressures of the American wars of independence and the Naval Impressment Act of 1779 and Army Recruiting Acts of 1778-9.
59. Matthew 6:20.
60. In his Journey Johnson wrote: 'I should scarcely have regretted my journey, had it afforded nothing more than the sight of Aberbrothick.' Black, p.8.
61. The Tempest, IV.i.152-56.
62. The following passages are a summary of the Welsh mineral engineer John Williams's Account of Some Remarkable Ancient Ruins (1777): the antiquarian by-product of unsuccessful mineral surveys undertaken on behalf of the Board of Annexed Estates. See Fredrik Albritton Jonsson, Enlightenment's Frontier: The Scottish Highlands and the Origins of Environmentalism (New Haven; London: Yale University Press, 2013), pp.167-87.
63. Thomas Gray, Elegy Written in a Country Church Yard (1751), ll.5-8.
64. John Milton, Paradise Lost, Book I, l.63.
65. Likely a reference to nearby Doune Castle on the River Teith.
66. A reference to Milton's description of death in Paradise Lost, Book II, l.846.
67. A reference to the Jacobite victory at Falkirk in 1746. The government forces included a complement of dragoons.