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tween these two distinct parts of the kingdom. Within this range, as every classical reader knows, is the scene of that noble stand for liberty and independence, made by the Caledonians against the invasion of the Romans. The physical structure of the Grampian boundary is as remarkable as the general direction is striking, regular, and continuous. It forms, as it were, a lofty and shattered rampart, commencing north of the river Don, in the county of Aberdeen—extending across the kingdom in a diagonal direction, till it terminates in the south-west, at Ardmore, in the county of Dumbarton—and presenting to the Lowlands throughout, a front bold, rocky, dark, and precipitous. The Grampian range consists of rocks of primitive formation. The front towards the south and east presents, in many places, a species of breccia. In the centre, and following the line of the range, is a remarkable bed of valuable limestone, • containing many strata of marble f and slate. In the districts of Fortingall, Glenlyon, and Strathfillan, are found quantities of lead and silver ore; and over the whole extent are numerous detached masses of red and blue granite, garnets, amethysts, rock crystals, and pebbles of great variety and brilliancy.
The continuation of this great chain, which at a distance appears uninterrupted, is broken by straths and glens, formed originally by the rivers and torrents to which they
• This great bed of limestone is first seen in Aberdeenshire. It sometimes rises to the surface for many miles, then sinks and disappears, following, as it were, the direction of the surface of the mountainous country through which it passes. It runs from Brae-Mar to Atholc, through the great forest, crossing the river Garry at Blair Castle, and the Tummel near the foot of Shichallain; and, taking a southwesterly direction, by Garth, Fortingall, and Brcadalbane, passes through the centre of Loch lay, and the west end of Lochearn, and thence stretches through Monteith and Dumbartonshire, till it is lost in the Atlantic, north of the Clyde.
•f This marble takes a fine polish. The prevailing colours are blue, green, and brown, intermixed with streaks of pure white. In Glentilt, within the forest of Atholc, a quarry of the green marble has lately been opened, and wrought to advantage.
now afford a passage. The principal straths are on the rivers Leven, Earn, Tay, and Dee. But besides these great straths, there are many other glens and valleys, whose lower entrances are so rugged and contracted, as to be almost impassable till opened by art. These are known by the name of Passes, and are situated both on the verge of the outward line, and in the interior of the range. The most remarkable are Bealmacha upon Lochlomond, Aberfovle and Leny in Monteith, the Pass of Glenalmond above Crieff, the entrance into Athole at Dunkeld, and those formed by the rivers Ardle, Islay, and South and North Esk. These passes, formerly so difficult to penetrate, furnish, by the excellent roads now constructed along their sides, the easiest entrance for horses, and the only one for carriages. Immediately within the external boundary, are also many strong and defensible passes, such as Killikrankie, and the entrances into Glenlyon, Glenlochy, Glenogle,
On the line of the Grampians, are many insulated mountains of considerable altitude, such as Benlomond, Benlawers, Shichallain, &c. The views of the Highlands obtained from the summits of these mountains are peculiarly imposing and magnificent. Covered with clouds, or skirted with mists, their summits are often scarcely distinguish
• An apology may be necessary for stating facts so generally known. But these boundaries constituted one of the principal causes which preferred the Highlanders a distinct race from the inhabitants of the plains. For seven centuries, Birnam Hill, at the entrance into Athole, has formed the boundary between the Lowlands and Highlands, and between the Saxon and Gaelic languages. On the south and east sides of the hill, breeches are worn, and the Scotch Lowland dialect spoken, with as broad an accent as in Mid-Lothian. On the north and west sides are found the Gaelic, the kilt, and the plaid, with all the peculiarities of the Highland character. The Gaelic is universal, as the dialect in common use among the people on the Highland side of the boundary. This applies to the whole range of the Grampians; as, for example, at General Campbell's gate, at Monzie, nothing but Scotch is spoken, while at less than a mile distant, on the hill to the northward, we meet with the Gaelic.
able from the vapours which envelope them; while their bleak and barren aspect, and the deep rocky channels with which they are furrowed, testify the violence of the tempests which have swept over them. Towards their pointed summits there is little vegetative mould; but lower down we meet with a thin covering of stunted heath, inhabited by birds of prey only, and by the white hare and ptarmigan. Still farther down is the region of the mountain deer and muirfowl, producing more luxuriant heath intermixed with nourishing pasture, and supporting numerous flocks of sheep. Towards the base are many romantic glens, watered by mountain streams, or diversified by winding lakes, and in some places beautifully wooded, and capable of producing various kinds of grain. Many of these glens contain a crowded population, and an unexpected number of flocks and herds, the principal riches of the country.
The space which the Gaelic population occupied within the mountains, includes the counties of Sutherland, Caithness, Ross, Inverness, Cromarty, Nairn, Argyle, Bute, the Hebrides, and part of the counties of Moray, Banff, Stirling, Perth, Dumbarton, Aberdeen, and Angus. It may be defined by a line drawn from the western opening of the Pentland Frith, sweeping round St Kilda, so as to include the whole cluster of islands to the east and south, as far as Arran; then stretching to the Mull of Kintyre, re-entering the main land at Ardmore in Dumbartonshire, following the southern verge of the Grampians to Aberdeenshire, cutting off the Lowland districts in that country, and in Banff and Elgin, and ending on the north east point of Caithness. • Throughout its whole extent this country displays nearly the same features.
• The names of places in this country denote a considerable mixture of Gothic and Danish. The same thing applies to the Isle of Skye, although the language and manners of the people are as purely Celtic as any now in existence.
The means of subsistence are necessarily limited to the produce of mountain pasture, and to the grain that can be raised in a precarious climate; and that, too, only on detached patches of land along the banks of rivers, in the glens and plains, or on the sea-coast. Though the lakes in the interior, and the arms of the sea, with which the coast is indented, abound with fish, the distribution of this benefit among the general population is necessarily limited by the difficulties peculiar to so mountainous a region. The same cause precludes much intercourse with the Lowlands, and the importation of commodities so bulky as provisions. The inland parts of the country must therefore, in a great degree, depend on their own resources; and hence the number of inhabitants must be small in proportion to the area of territory.
From these circumstances, as well as from the sequestered situation in which the inhabitants were placed, a peculiar character and distinctive manners naturally originated. The ideas and employments, which their seclusion from the world rendered habitual,—the familiar contemplation of the most sublime physical objects,—the habit of concentrating their affections within the precincts of their own glens, or the limited circle of their own kinsmen,—and the necessity of union and self-dependence in all difficulties and dangers, combined to form a peculiar and original character. A certain romantic sentiment, the offspring of deep and cherished feeling,—strong attachment to their country and kindred,—and a consequent disdain of submission to strangers, formed the character of independence; while an habitual contempt of danger was nourished by their solitary musings, of which the honour of their clan, and a long descent from brave and warlike ancestors, formed the frequent theme. Thus, their exercises, their amusements, their modes of subsistence, their motives of action, their prejudices and their superstitions, became characteristic, permanent, and peculiar.
Firmness in decision, fertility in resource, ardour in friendship, and a generous enthusiasm, were the natural result of such a situation, of such modes of life, and of such habits of thought. Feeling themselves, in some manner, separated by Nature from the rest of mankind, and distinguished by their language, manners, and dress, they considered themselves the original possessors of the country, and regarded the Saxons of the Lowlands as strangers and intruders.
Whether the progenitors of this singular race of people were the aborigines of the Highlands of Scotland, is a question which it is now impossible to decide. But the earliest authentic records which history affords of the transactions of different tribes and nations, contain descriptions of the character, and accounts of the migrations of the Celts. Among this widely diffused race, though there were considerable varieties, arising from climate and situation, still, in the case of all those to whom the denomination was extended, there might be traced indelible marks of affinity, as well as a striking difference from other tribes. Caesar, in his Commentaries, informs us, that, in his time, they formed the most considerable portion of the population of Gaul. Indeed, many circumstances render it probable, that the Celtic tribes emigrated originally from the eastern provinces of Europe, retaining, in their progress westward, their religion, manners, and language. Traces of this migration may be discovered in the names of Albania, Iberia, Dalmatia, Caramania, * &c. as well as in many appellations which we still recognise in the western parts of Europe, all of which were once, and some still are, in part, inhabited by Celts.
The most luminous and distinct account of the government, manners, and institutions of this remarkable people, as they existed in Gaul, as well as the most authentic history of some of their enterprises and transactions, is to be
* Albani, Dalmat, Corrimoni, &c. are names well known, because common in the Highlands.