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ject worthy of inquiry. The closest investigation only confirmed the opinion I had before entertained, that the strongly marked difference between the manners and conduct of the mountain clans and those of the Lowlanders, and of every other known country, originated in the patriarchal form of government, which differed so widely from the feudal system of other countries. I, therefore, attempted to give a sketch of those manners and institutions by which this distinct character was formed; and, having delineated a hasty outline of the past state of manners and character, the transition to the changes that had been produced, and the present condition of the same people, was obvious and natural. Hence I have been led on, step by step, from one attempt to another, till the whole attained its present form.

A work thus undertaken, as it were by accident, and without any previous plan or design, one part of the subject naturally leading to the other, may claim some indulgence for a writer whose only qualification is a tolerably intimate knowledge of the subject, conjoined with a great and earnest desire to do it justice. I trust, therefore, that, from the enlightened reader who takes these circumstances into consideration, and reflects on the difficulties which a plain soldier, unaccustomed to composition, had to encounter, in making such an attempt as that now respectfully, and with great diffidence, submitted to the Public, I shall meet with that liberal share of indulgence which I so much require, and which, all circumstances considered, will not, I trust, be denied me.

Garth, 2*M April 1821.

PREFACE

TO THE SECOND EDITION.

These Sketches, which, with extreme diffidence, I lately submitted to public notice, having met with a more favourable reception than I could ever have ventured to expect, and a large impression having been rapidly disposed of, I am now encouraged to offer a Second Edition, with a degree of satisfaction which I could neither have hoped for nor anticipated. I have been farther gratified, by receiving numerous communications, confirming the general correctness of the great multiplicity of facts and circumstances which I have had occasion to detail. In a few instances, indeed, the friendly observations of others have enabled me to correct some errors of no great importance, being principally mistakes in dates and omissions of names, of which I have gladly availed myself in this edition. It cannot but be satisfactory, that more numerous alterations have not yet proved necessary; as, in the great mass of statements I have heard, not always coinciding in terms or in

circumstances, I frequently experienced extreme difficulty in detailing military operations in such a manner, as to afford satisfaction, or appear correct, to all who were present; every movement, every change of position, often assuming a different aspect, according to the distance, particular station, and capability of the observer to form a correct judgment of what passed under his notice. 1 therefore publish the Second Edition without any material alterations, except a few additional anecdotes and observations, which, from the necessity of compression, and other circumstances, I was obliged to leave out in the first impression of the work.

Edinburgh, June 25. 1822.

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