Trip to the Worth.


"Sweet bird of Scotia's tuneful clime;

So beautiful and dear,
Whose music gushed as genius taught
With heaven's own quench less spirit fraught,

I list, thy strain to hear."

Taking for Aberdeen the steamer New Haven, a splendid boat, which performs the distance from Edinburgh to that city, (110 miles) in six hours, I was once more afloat.

In traveling I make it a point to select some person, the one usually whose countenance indicates the greatest amount of intelligence and frankness, and endeavor to form a conversational acquaintance. In this way many an hour is pleasantly and profitably employed, which otherwise might have been intolerably tedious. Finding just such a gentleman on board this steamer, we were soon deeply engaged in conversation. “Sometimes,” said he, “ circumstances bring antagonistic and uncongenial elements together. As the two

Assemblies (the on eof the Established Church and the other of the Free Church of Scotland,) have just broken up, many of the passengers in this boat are clergymen returning home from the sessions of these two ecclesiastical bodies. That gentleman, leaning against the bulwark of the steamer, was the established minister in one of the churches in Aberdeen, till the disruption, when he came out with the Free Church, leaving Kirk and Manse behind him; and that fleshy little gentleman seated astern, is the person who stepped into his shoes and is now the incumbent of the parish. As might be expected, they are not on the most friendly terms."

A great part of the journey we were out of sight of land; when about half way, we passed the Light House on the famous 66 Bell Rock," or Inch Cape Rock, which, from the earliest time, has been the cause of numerous shipwrecks. The top of the rock, being visible only at low water, many years ago the good Abbots of Aberbrotheck attached to it a framework and a bell, which being rung by the waves, warned mariners to avoid the fatal reef. A tradition respecting this bell has been embodied by Southey in his ballad of “Ralph

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

the Rover.” A famous pirate of this name is said to have cut the bell from the framework, “ to plague the Abbot of Aberbrotheck," and some time after to have received the just punishment of his malice by being shipwrecked on the spot. An elegant Lighthouse now stands on this rock, one hundred and fifteen feet high, and which cost $300,000. It is one of the most prominent and useful beacons on the Scottish shore. It stands twelve miles from the nearest land, and is kept by two men, who communicate with the shore in fine weather, by means of a boat.

Early in the afternoon we were landed at Aberdeen. This city ranks next to Edinburgh and Glasgow in importance, and is considered the capital of the north. It is situated on the northern bank of the river Dee, just where its waters unite with the German Ocean. The principal thoroughfare, Union street, will compare favorably with any in Britain, as far as architecture and uniformity go. It is built the whole length with a beautiful gray granite, which, from its entire uniformity, I should judge must have come from one quarry. It is a great commercial mart. Large stearners ply regularly from here to London, Leith,

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

and Hull. The population is upwards of 60,000 The principal public buildings are the North of Scotland Bank and Marischal College. Old Aberdeen, about a mile to the north, contains the Chathedral and King's College, to both of which I gave but a cursory examination. About a mile from Old Aberdeen, I crossed the river Don by the far-famed “Brig of Balgownie,” celebrated by Lord Byron in the following lines :

" As auld lang syne brings Scotland, one and all,
Scotch plaids, Scotch snoods, the blue hills and clear streams,
The Dee, the Don, Balgownie's Brig's black wall,
All my boy-feelings, all my gentler dreams,
Of what I then dreamt, cloth'd in their own pall,
Like Banquo's offspring.

“ The Brig of Don,” says the poet in a note, “ near the auld town of Aberdeen, with its one arch, and its black, deep salmon stream below, is in my memory as yesterday. I still remember, though perhaps I may misquote, the awful proverb which made me pause to cross it, and yet lean over it with a childish delight, being an only son, at least by the mother's side. The saying, as recollected by me, was thus :

“Brig of Balgownie; black ’s your wa,

Wi' a wife's ae son, doon ye shall fa'!"

[blocks in formation]

This bridge is said to have been built in the days of Robert the Bruce, by Bishop Cheyne. It consists of one Gothic arch, spacious and pointed, which rests on a rock at each side. It is in perfect order, and bids fair to stand many centuries more.

Early the following day I left Aberdeen for Perth. In the cars I met a very intelligent young man, from whom I learned some interesting facts relative to the scenes through which we were passing. In the conversation, I dropped a hint which led him to suppose that I was from America. He eagerly inquired about things on the Yankee side of the water, and evinced almost New England curiosity about American affairs. A woman sitting by me, overhearing our conversation, said :“I hear you are from America, Sir; were you ever in Canada ?” I replied in the affirmative. 56 Weel,” says she, “ye'll maybe ken my brother Jock.” I had to plead ignorance of the gentleman's acquaintance, but excused myself by saying that I had only visited that region. This was the most illiterate woman I met in Scotland. Generally I found all around me intelligent and cominunicative ; and it was no small addition to the

« 前へ次へ »