« 前へ次へ »
the priest of Eigg used to perform the Roman catholic service, most of the islanders being of that persuasion. A huge ledge of rocks rising about half way up one side of the vault, seryed for altar and pulpit; and the appearance of a priest and highland congregation in such an extraordinary place of worship, might have engaged the pencil of Salvator."
Note VI. the group of islets gdy
That guard famed Staffa round.--St. X. p. 141. It would be unpardonable to detain the reader upon a wonder so often described, and yet so incapable of being understood by description. This palace of Neptune is even grander upon a second than the first view. The stupendous columns which form the sides of the cave, the depth and strength of the tide which rolls its deep and heavy swell up to the extremity of the vault-the variety of tints formed by white, crimson, and yellow stalactites, or petrifactions, which occupy the vacancies between the base of the broken pillars which form the roof, and intersect them with a rich, curious, and varie gated chasing, occupying each interstice—the corresponding variety below water, where the ocean rolls over a dark-red or violet-coloured rock, from which, as from a base, the basaltic Columns arise—the tremendous noise of the swelling tide, mingling with the deep-toned echoes of the vault,--are cir. cumstances elsewhere unparalleled.
Nothing can be more interesting than the varied appearance of the little archipelago of islets, of which Staffa is the most remarkable.' This group, called in Gaelic Tresharnish, affords a thousand varied views to the voyager, as they appear in different positions with reference to his course. The variety of their shape contributes much to the beauty of these effects..
· Note VII. Scenes sung by him who sings no more !--St. XI. p. 143. The ballad, entitled “ Macphail of Colonsay, and the Mermaid of Corrievrekin," was composed by John Leyden, from a tradition which he found while making a tour through the Hebrides about 1801, soon before his fatal departure for India, where, after having made farther progress in oriental literature than any man of letters who had embraced these studies, he died a martyr to his zeal for knowledge, in the island of Java, immediately after the landing of our forces near Batavia, n September, 1811.'
Note VIII. Up Tarbať's western take they bore, Then dragg‘d their bark the isthmus o'er.-St. XII. p. 144.
The peninsula of Cantire is joined to South Knapdale by a very narrow isthmus, formed by the western and eastern Loch of Tarbat. These two salt-water lakes, or bays, en, croach so far upon the land, and the extremities come so
near to each other, that there is not above a mile of land to divide them.
" It is not long," says Pennant, “ since vessels of nine or ten tons were drawn by horses out of the west loch into that of the east, to avoid the dangers of the Mull of Cantyre, so dreaded and so little known was the navigation round that promontory. It is the opinion of many, that these little isthmuses, so frequently styled Tarbat in North Britain, took their name from the above circumstance; Tarruing, signifying to draw, and Bata, a boat. This too might be called, by way of pre-eminence, the Tarbat, from a very singular circumstance related by Torfæus. When Magnus, the barer footed King of Norway, obtained from Donald-bane of Scot. land the cession of the western isles, or all those places that could be surrounded in a boat, he added to them the penin. sula of Cantyre by this fraud : he placed himself in the stern of a boat, held the rudder, was drawn over this narrow track, and by this species of navigation wrested the country from his brother monarch.”-PENNANT'S Scotland, London, 1790, p. 190.
But that Bruce also made this passage, although at a period two or three years later than in the poem, appears from the evidence of Barbour, who mentions also the effect produced upon the minds of the highlanders, from the prophecies current amongst them :
“ But to King Robert will we gang,
When he had convoyed to the sea
And when they that in the isles were,
1 Were obliged to.
2 Supposed entangled.
3 Caused. o Confounded.
And present right to the king.
BARBOUe's Bruce, vol. III, Book XV. pp. 14, 15.
And bade Loch-Ranza smile.-St. XIII. p. 145.
“ The approach was magnificent: a fine bay in front, about a mile deep, having a ruined castle near the lower end, on a low far-projecting neck of land, that forms another harbour, with a narrow passage ; but within has three fathom of water, even at the lowest ebb. Beyond is a little plain watered by a stream, and inhabited by the people of a small village. The whole is environed with a theatre of mountains; and in the back-ground the serrated crags of Grianan-Athol soar above." -PENNANT'S Tour to the Western Isles, p. 191, 2.
Ben-Ghaoil, “ the mountain of the winds," is generally known by its English, and less poetical name, of Goatfield.