ページの画像
PDF
ePub

invader than the natives, wło could want no with little regard to convenience, and writh none such directions on their own waters; for a to elegance or pleasure. It was sufficient for a watch-tower, a cottage on a hill would have been laird of the Hebrides, if he had a strong house, better, as it would have commanded a wider view. in which he could hide his wife and children

If they be considered merely as places of re- from the next clan. That they are not large treat, the situation seems not well chosen ; for nor splendid, is no wonder. It is not easy to the laird of an island is safest from foreign ene- find how they are raised, such as they are, by mies in the centre : on the coast he might be men who had no money, in countries where the more suddenly surprised than in the inland parts; labourers and artificers could scarcely be fed. and the invaders, if their enterprise miscarried, | The buildings in different parts of the islands might more easily retreat. Sonne convenience, show their degrees of wealth and power. I behowever, whatever it was, their position on the lieve that for all the castles which I have seen sbore afforded; for uniformity of practice sel beyond the Tweed, the ruins yet remaining of dom continues long without good reason. some one of those which the English built in

A castle in the islands is only a single tower Wales, would supply materials. of three or four stories, of which the walls are These castles afford another evidence that the sometimes eight or nine feet thick, with narrow fictions of romantic chivalry had for their basis windows, and close winding stairs of stone. the real manners of the feudal times, when every The top rises in a cone, or pyramid of stone, lord of a seignory lived in his hold lawless and encompassed by battlements. The intermediate unaccountable, with all the licentiousness and floors are sometimnes fraines of timber, as in insolence of uncontested superiority and uncommon houses, and sometimes arches of stone, principled power. The traveller, whoever he or alternately stone and timber; so that there might be, coming to the fortified habitation of a was very little danger from fire. In the centre chieftain, would, probably, have been interroof every floor, from top to bottom, is the chief gated from the battlements, admitted with room, of no great extent, round which there are caution at the gate, introduced to a petty monnarrow cavities, or recesses formed by small arch, fierce with habitual hostility, and vigilant vacuities, or by a double wall. I know not with ignorant suspicion ; who, according to his whether there be ever more than one fire-place. general temper, or accidental humour, would They had not capacity to contain many people, have seated a stranger as his guest at the table, or much provision ; but their enemies could or as a spy, confined him in the dungeon. seldom stay to blockade them; for if they failed Lochbuy means the Yellow Lake, which is in their first attack, their next care was to es- the name given to an inlet of the sea, upon cape. .

which the castle of Mr. Maclean stands. The The walls were always too strong to be shaken reason of the appellation we did not learn. by such desultory hostilities; the windows were We were now to leave the Hebrides, where too narrow to be entered, and the battlements we had spent some weeks with sufficient amusetoo high to be scaled. The only danger was at ment, and where we had amplified our thoughts the gates, over which the wall was built with a with new scenes of nature, and new modes of square cavity not unlike a chimney, continued life. More time would have given us a more to the top. Through this hollow the defendants distinct view, but it was necessary that Mr. let fall stones upon those who attempted to break | Boswell should return before the courts of justhe gate, and poured down water, perhaps scald- tice were opened ; and it was not proper to live ing water, if the attack was made with fire.

too long upon hospitality, bowever liberally imThe castle of Lochbuy was secured by double parted. doors, of which the outer was an iron grate. Of these islands it must be confessed, that

In every castle is a well and a dungeon. The they have not many allurements, but to the use of the well is evident. The dungeon is a mere lover of naked nature. The inhabitants deep subterraneous cavity, walled on the sides, are thin, provisions are scarce, and desolation and arched on the top, into which the descent is and penury give little pleasure. through a narrow door, by a ladder or a rope, so The people, collectively considered, are not that it seems impossible to escape, when the rope few, though their numbers are small in proporor ladder is drawn up. The dungeon was, Ition to the space wbich they occupy. Mull is suppose, in war a prison for such captives as said to contain six thousand, and Sky fifteen were treated with severity; and in peace, for thousand. Of the computation respecting Mull, such delinquents as had committed crimes with 1 can give no account; but when I doubted the in the laird's jurisdiction ; for the mansions of truth of the numbers attributed to Sky, one of many lairds were, till the late privation of their the ministers exhibited such facts as conquered privileges, the halls of justice to their own ten my incredulity.

Of the proportion which the product of any As these fortifications were the productions region bears to the people, an estimate is conof mere necessity, they are built only for safety, muuly made according to the pecuniary price of the necessaries of life; a principle of judgment difficulties; for, I think, we had amongst us bus which is never certain, because it supposes, one bridle. We fed the poor animals liberally, what is far from truth, that the value of money and they performed their journey well. In th is always the same, and so measures an un-latter part of the day we came to a firm ani known quantity by an uncertain standard. It smooth road, made by the soldiers, on which we is competent enough when the markets of the travelled with great security, busied with consame country, at different times, and those times templating the scene about us. The night came not too distant, are to be compared; but of very on while we had yet a great part of the way to little use for the purpose of making one nation go, though not so dark but that we could discern

ants.

acquainted with the state of another. Provi- the cataracts which poured down the hills on one 5 aions, though plentiful, are sold in places of side, and fell into one general channel that ran

great pecuniary opulence for nominal prices, to with great violence on the other. The wind which, however scarce, where gold and silver are was loud, the rain was heavy, and the whistling yet scarcer, they can never be raised.

of the blast, the fall of the shower, the rush of In the Western Islands there is so little in the cataracts, and the roar of the torrent, made a ternal commerce, that hardly any thing has a nobler chorus of the rough music of nature than krown or settled rate. The price of things it had ever been my chance to hear before. The brought in, or carried out, is w be considered as streams which ran across the way from the hills that of a foreign market; and even this there is to the main current, were so frequent, that after some difficulty in discovering, because their de- a while I began to count them; and, in ten nominations of quantity are different from ours; miles, reckoned fifty-five, probably missing and when there is ignoran

rance on both sides, no some, and having let some pass before they appeal can be made to a common measure. forced themselves on my notice. At last we

This, however, is not the only impediment. came to Inverary, where we found au inn, not The Scots, with a vigilance of jealousy which only commodious, but magnificent. never goes to sleep, always suspect that an Eng- The difficulties of peregrination were now at lishman despises them for their poverty, and an end. Mr. Boswell had the honour of being to convince him that they are not less rich than known to the duke of Argyle, by whom we were their neighbours, are sure to tell him a price very kindly entertained at his splendid seat, and higher than the true. When Lesley, two hun- supplied with conveniences for surveying his dred years ago, related so punctiliously, that a spacious park and rising forests. hundred hen's eggs, new laid, were sold in the After two days' stay at Inverary we proceeded islands for a penny, he supposed that no infer-southward over Glencroe, a black and dreary ence could possibly follow, but that eggs were region, now made easily passable by a military in great abundance. Posterity has since grown road, which rises from either end of the glen by wiser; and having learned, that nominal and an acclivity not dangerously steep, but sufficiently real value may differ, they now tell no such laborious. In the middle, at the top of the hill, stories, lest the foreigner should happen to col- is a seat with this inscription, Rest, and be thanklect, not that eggs are many, but that pence are ful. Stones were placed to mark the distances, few.

which the inhabitants have taken away, resolvMoney and wealth have, by the use of com- ed, they said, to have no new miles. mercial language, been so long confounded, that In this rainy season the hills streamed with they are commonly supposed to be the same; waterfalls, which, crossing the way, formed and this prejudice has spread so widely in Scot- currents on the other side, that ran in contrary land, that I know not whether I found man or directions as they fell to the north or south of woman, whom I interrogated concerning pay- the summit. Being, by the favour of the duke, ments of money, that could surmount the illibe- well mounted, I went up and down the hill with ral desire of deceiving me, by representing every great convenience. thing as dearer than it is.

From Glencroe we passed through a pleasant From Lochbuy we rode a very few miles to country to the banks of Loch Lomond, and were the side of Mull which faces Scotland, where, received at the house of Sir James Colquhoun, having taken leave of our kind protector, Sir who is owner of almost all the thirty islands of Allan, we embarked in a boat, in which the seat the loch, which we went in a boat next morning provided for our accommodation was a heap of to survey. The heaviness of the rain shortened rough brushwood; and on the twenty-second of our voyage, but we landed on one island planted October reposed at a tolerable inn on the main with yew, and stocked with deer, and on another land.

containing perhaps not more than half an acre, On the next day we began our journey south-remarkable for the ruins of an old castle, on wards. The weather was tempestuous. For which the osprey builds her annual nest. Had half the day the ground was rough, and our Loch Lomond been in a happier climate, it horses were still small. Had they required would have been the boast of wealth and vanity much restraint, we might have been reduced to to own one of the little spots which it incloses,

[ocr errors]

and to have employed upon it all the arts of em-1 Men bred in the universities of Scotland, care bellishment. But as it is, the islets, which not be expected to be often decorated with the court the gazer at a distance, disgust him at his splendours of ornamental erudition, but they approach, when he finds instead of soft lawns obtain a mediocrity of knowledge, between and shady thickets, nothing more than uncul- learning and ignorance, not inadequate to the tivated ruggedness.

purposes of common life, which is, I believe, Where the loch discharges itself into a river very widely diffused among them, and which, called the Leven, we passed a night with Mr. countenanced in general by a national combiSmollett, a relation of Dr. Smollett, to whose nation, so invidious, that their friends cannot memory he has raised an obelisk on the bank defend it, and actuated in particulars by a spirit near the house in which he was born. The of enterprise, so vigorous, that their enemies civility and respect which we found at every are constrained to praise it, enables them to place, it is ungrateful to omit, and tedious to find, or to make their way, to employment, repeat. Here we were met by a post-chaise, riches, and distinction. that conveyed us to Glasgow.

From Glasgow we directed our course to To describe a city so much frequented as Auchinleck, an estate devolved, through a long Glasgow, is unnecessary. The prosperity of its series of ancestors, to Mr. Boswell's father, the commerce appears by the greatness of many present possessor. In our way we found several private houses, and a general appearance of places remarkable enough in themselves, but alwealth. It is the only episcopal city whose ready described by those who viewed them at cathredal was left standing in the rage of re- more leisure, or with much more skill; and formation. It is now divided into many sepa- stopped two days at Mr. Campbell's, a gentlerate places of worship, which, taken all together, man married to Mr. Boswell's sister. compose a great pile, that had been some cen- Auchinleck, which signifies a stony field, turies in building, but was never finished; for seems not now to have any particular claim to the change of religion intercepted its progress, its denomination. It is a district generally level, before the cross aisle was added, which seems and sufficiently fertile, but, like all the western essential to a Gothic cathedral.

side of Scotland, incommoded by very frequent The college has not had a sufficient share of rain. It was, with the rest of the country, the increasing magnificence of the place. The generally naked, till the present possessor findsession was begun; for it commences on the ing, by the growth of some stately trees near tenth of October, and continues to the tenth of his old castle, that the ground was favourable June, but the students appeared not numerous, enough to timber, adorned it very diligently being, I suppose, not yet returned from their with annual plantations, several homes. The division of the academical Lord Auchinleck, who is one of the judges of year into one session, and one recess, seems to Scotland, and therefore not wholly at leisure for me better accommodated to the present state of doinestio business or pleasure, has yet found life, than that variegation of time by terms and time to make improvements in his patrimony. vacations, derived from distant centuries, in He has built a house of hewn stone, very which it was probably convenient, and still con- stately and durable, and has advanced the value tinued in the English universities. So many of his lands with great tenderness to his tenants. solid months as the Scotch scheme of education I was, however, less delighted with the ele joins together, allow and encourage a plan for gance of the modern mansion, than with the each part of the year: but with us, he that has sullen dignity of the old castle. I clambered settled himself to study in the college, is soon with Mr. Boswell among the ruins, which tempted into the country; and he that has ad afford striking images of ancient life. justed his life in the country, is summoned like other castles, built upon a point of rock, back to his college.

and was, I believe, anciently surrounded with a Yet when I have allowed to the universities moat. There is another rock near it, to which of Scotland a more ratior al distribution of time, the draw-bridge, when it was let down, is said I have given them, so fai 6 my inquiries have to have reached. Here, in the ages of tumult informed me, all that they can claim. The and rapine, the laird was surprised and killed students for the most part, go thither boys, and by the neighbouring chief, who perhaps might depart before they are inen; they carry with have extinguished the family, had he not in a them little fundamental knowledge, and there- few days been seized and hanged, together with fore the superstructure cannot be lofty. The his sons, by Douglas, who came with his forces grammar-schools are not generally well sup- to the relief of Auchinleck. plied; for the character of a schoolmaster being At no great distance from the house runs a there less honourable than in England, is sel-pleasing brook, by a red rock, out of which has dom accepted by men who are capable to adorn been hewn a very agreeable and commodious it, and where the school has been deficient, the summer-house, at less expense, as lord Auchin. college can effect little.

leck told me, than would have been required to

It is, build a room of the same dimensions. The rock | believe more; a single word, or a short sentence, secms to have no more dampness than any other I think, may possibly be so distinguished. wall. Such opportunities of variety it is judi- It will be readily supposed by those that concious not to neglect.

sider this subject, that Mr. Braidwood's scholars We now returned to Edinburgh, where I spell accurately. Orthography is vitiated among passed some days with men of learning, whose such as learn first to speak and then to write, names want no advancement from my com- by imperfect notions of the relation between memoration, or with women of elegance, which letters and vocal utterance; but to those students perhaps disclaims a pedant's praise.

every character is of equal importance ; for The conversation of the Scots grows every | letters are to thein not symbols of names, but of day less unpleasing to the English : their pecu- things; when they write, they do not represent liarities wear fast away; their dialect is likely a sound, but delineate a form. to become in half a century provincial and rustic, This school I visited, and found some of the even to themselves. The great, the learned, the scholars waiting for their master, whom they ambitious, and the vain, all cultivate the En- are said to receive at his entrance with smiling glish phrase, and the English pronunciation, countenances and sparkling eyes, delighted with and in splendid companies Scotch is not much the hope of new ideas.

One of the young heard, except now and then from an old lady. ladies had her slate before her, on which I

There is one subject of philosophical curiosity wrote a question consisting of three figures, to to be found in Edinburgh, which no other city be multiplied by two figures. She looked upon has to show ; a college of the deaf and dumb, it, and quivering her fingers in a manner which who are taught to speak, to read, to write, and I thought very pretty, but of which I knew not to practise arithmetic, by a gentleman, whose whether it was art or play, multiplied the sum name is Braidwood. The number which at- regularly in two lines, observing the decimal tends him is, I think, about twelve, which he place; but did not add the two lines together, brings together into a little school, and instructs probably disdaining so easy an operation. I according to their several degrees of proficiency. pointed at the place where the sum total should

I do not mean to mention the instruction of stand, and she noted it with such expedition as the deaf as new. Having been first practised seemed to show that she had it only to write. upon the son of a constable of Spain, it was It was pleasing to see one of the most desafterwards cultivated with much emulation in perate of human calamities capable of so much England by Wallis and Holder, and was lately help; whatever enlarges hope, will exalt couprofessed by Mr. Baker, who once flattered me rage; after having seen the deaf taught arithwith hopes of seeing his method pablished. metic, who would be afraid to cultivate the How far any former teachers have succeeded, it Hebrides? is not easy to know; the improvement of Mr. Such are the things which this journey has Braidwood's pupils is wonderful. They not only given me an opportunity of seeing, and such speak, write, and understand what is written, are the reflections which that sight has raised. but if he that speaks looks towards them, and Having passed my time almost wholly in cities, modifies his organs by distinct and full utterance, I may have been surprised by modes of life and they know so well what is spoken, that it is an appearances of nature, that are familiar to men expression scarcely figurative to say they hear of wider survey and more varied conversation. with the eye. That any have attained to the Novelty and ignorance must always be recipropower mentioned by Burnet, of feeling sounds, cal, and I cannot but be conscious that my by laying a hand on the speaker's mouth, I thoughts on national manners are the thoughts know not; but I have seen so much, that I can of one who has seen but little.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]
« 前へ次へ »