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are to be traced to causes, which owe their existence chiefly to the views and speculations of private individuals. Into the order of these causes, and their practical operations and effects, I shall now proceed to inquire.
PRESENT STATE, AND CHANGES OF CHARACTER AND MANNERS.
Influence of political and economical arrangements—Change in the character of the dam—Introduction of fanaticism in religion.
It will be perceived that the preceding Sketch of the customs, manners, and character of the inhabitants of the Highlands of Scotland refers rather to past than present times. A great, and, in some respects, a lamentable change has been produced; and the original of the picture which I have attempted to draw is suffering daily obliterations, and is, in fact, rapidly disappearing. Much of the romance and chivalry of the Highland character is gone. The voice of the bard has long been silent, and poetry, tradition, and song, are vanishing away. To adopt the words of Mrs Grant, '' The generous and characteristic spirit, the warm affection to his family, the fond attachment to his clan, the love of story and song, the contempt of danger and luxury, the mystic superstition equally awful and tender, the inviolable fidelity to every engagement, the ardent love of his native heaths and mountains," will soon be no longer found to exist among the Highlanders, unless the change of character which is now in rapid progress be effectually checked.
Of this change there was no symptom previous to the year 1745, and scarcely a faint indication till towards the year 1770. The Union, which has had the happiest effect in contributing to the prosperity of both kingdoms, seemed, indeed, at first, and for many years afterwards, to paralyze the energies, and break the spirit of Scotchmen. The people in general imagined, that, by the removal of their court and parliament, they had lost their independence. Nor did the subsequent decrease of trade contribute to reconcile them to that measure. From this period, the country seems to have remained stationary, if not to have retrograded, till about the commencement of the late reign, when a spirit of improvement, both in agriculture and in commerce, and a more extensive intercourse with the world, infused new life and vigour into the general mass of the population.
While this was the effect of the Union in the southern and lowland parts of Scotland, its operation upon the north was much slower and more imperceptible. There the inhabitants retained their ancient pursuits, prejudices, language, and dress, with all the distinguishing peculiarities of their original character. But a new era was soon to commence. The primary cause, both in time and importance, which contributed to produce a remarkable change in the Highlands, was the legislative measures adopted subsequent to the year 1745. This cause, however, had so little influence, that, as I have already noticed, its operation was for many years imperceptible; yet an impulse was given which, in the progress of events, and through the co-operation of many collateral and subordinate causes, has effected it revolution, which could not be fully anticipated, or indeed thought possible in so short a period of time. This change appears in the character and condition of the Highlanders, and is indicated, not only in their manners and persons, but in the very aspect of their country. It has reduced to a State of nature, lands that had long been subjected to the plough, and which had afforded the means of support to a moral, happy, and contented population; it has converted whole glens and districts, once the abode of a brave, vigorous and independent race of men, into scenes of desolation; it has torn up families which seemed rooted, like Alpine plants, in the soil of their elevated region, and which, from their habits and principles, appeared to be its original possessors, as well as its natural occupiers; and forced them thence, pennyless and unskilful, to seek a refuge in manufacturing towns, or, in a state of helpless despair, to betake themselves to the wilds of a far distant land. The spirit of speculation has invaded those mountains which no foreign enemy could penetrate, and expelled a brave people whom no warlike intruder could subdue.
I shall now briefly advert to the circumstances which have led to the system of managing Highland estates, recently adopted by many proprietors, adding a few observations on the manner in which it has been carried into effect, and on its certain or probable consequences, as these affect the permanent prosperity of the landlord, improve or deteriorate the character and condition of the people, and influence their loyalty to the king, respect for the laws, and attachment to the higher orders.
A striking feature in the revolutionized Highland character is, the comparative indifference of the people towards chiefs and landlords. Formerly, their respect and attachment to their chiefs formed one of the most remarkable traits in their character; and such, indeed, were their reverence and affection for their patriarchal superiors, that, to swear by the hand of their chief, was a confirmation of an averment; and "May my chief have the ascendant," was a common expression of surprise. * It is remarkable how little this kindly disposition of the people was, for many years after the abolition of the hereditary jurisdictions, influenced or impaired by an act which deprived the chiefs of their power, and released the clans from all compulsive obedience to these patriarchal rulers. Notwithstanding this, they still performed their services as before, and admitted the arbitration of their chiefs, when they had no more power or authority over them, than gentlemen of landed property in England or Ireland possessed over their tenants.
* Martin says, " The islanders have a great respect for their chiefs and heads of tribes, and they conclude grace after every meal, with a petition to God for their welfare and prosperity. Neither will they, as far as to them lies, suffer them to sink under any misfortune, but, in case of decay of estate, make a voluntary contribution in their behalf, as a common duty to support the credit of their families."
When a chief, his son, or friends, wished to raise a regiment, company, or lesser number of men, to entitle him to the notice of government, the appeal was seldom made in vain. The same attachment was even displayed towards those whose estates were confiscated to government, and who, as outlaws from their country, became the objects of that mixture of compassion and respect which generous minds accord to the victims of principle. The rights of their chiefs and landlords, in these unhappy circumstances, they regarded as unalienable, unless forfeited by some vice or folly. * The victims of law were not merely respected as
* We have instances of this generous support of the families of their chiefs, even where they did not think the individual who was the head of it worthy of their esteem. Campbell of Glenlyon, who commanded at Glenco, was, soon after that deplorable event, reduced to great difficulties, from which he could not be relieved without the sale of his estate. In this extremity, his tenants consulted among themselves, and agreed to raise a sum equal to half the debt, offer it as a free gift, and lend the otbcr half, to be paid in better times: but, on this condition, that the estate should be transferred to bis eldest son, in order to preserve it in the family, who were innocent of the stigma which their father had brought upon them, and, consequently, ought not to suffer for his conduct. Owing to some interference of the Atboll and Breadalbane families, each of which was anxious to purchase the estate, the proposed negotiation did not take effect, and the Marquis of Atboll got possession of that part of the Glenlyon estate which belonged to Campbell, the rent of which is now upwards of L.4000 a-year. To recover an estate of this value, was no common sacrifice on the part of the tenants, who showed themselves so grateful for