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the mottled tartan is most frequent; but among the greater number, this stuff is so ragged, that one would be inclined to regard the absence of breeches as an economical expedient. The children, indeed, run about here half naked, like little savages.
A tolerable inn, with the head of the laird who founded it for a sign, (the Laird of Macnab) terminates Callander towards the east. We took a repast there, which was almost limited to an excellent slice of salmon.*
The landlord boasted, as one of the wonders of the district, of the cascade, which at the distance of a mile and a half from Callander forms a torrent called the Keltic We took as our guide thither a little girl, who gaily led us to the spot, no doubt in expectation of obtaining the customary shilling. While she ran lightly before us, without following the beaten path, but gambolling with the giddiness of childhood through the mountain heath, I thought of the little girl who served as a guide to Morton, when he went to visit Balfour of Burley in the cave of Lenklater. This recollection brought to my mind that of the landscape described by Sir W. Scott, and I was agreeably surprised to recognise its principal features. I made the remark to my companion, at first attributing this coincidence to my imagination only;
* Salmon is generally delicious in Scotland: it is the standing dish. It is so abundant, that it is said some servants, on entering families, make terms not to be dined upon it more than three times per week.
but at length we could no longer doubt that we were traversing the same spots as Morton; and almost as fortunate as the traveller Bruce, in discovering the long sought sources of the Nile, I exclaimed—There is the cascade of Blacklin !— While I said this, the resounding accents of the torrent drowned ours, and we were obliged to speak lip to ear in order to communicate our ideas. A rustic bridge has superseded the oak which Burley threw from one rocky bank to the other. The little Scotch girl passed it rapidly, and we passed it after her; but when we threw back our eyes on the bank we had just quitted, we were at once charmed and affrighted at our boldness, so fragile and insecure did the unparapeted bridge appear, extending over a gulph of near a hundred feet in depth. We then attempted to measure the abyss with our eyes through the humid vapour, which continually escapes from it. On either side, the unequal projections of the rock appear on the point of jostling, as if to stifle the torrent which ploughs a passage through its entrails. The surges, chafing at the resistance which this narrow gorge opposes to their hurried passage, dash over each other, and as often as they are repelled by the obstacle of some rocky point, return to struggle and hurl themselves against the less forward waves of the cataract. Such as are able to escape this sort of running conflict fall, diffuse themselves in foam over a wider expanse, till other abrupt impediments renew their rage against the rock and against themselves. The roaring of the tor
merited billows, has something terrible in its effect when contrasted with the surrounding silence and seclusion. The spectator has no difficulty in persuading himself with Morton, thathecandistinguish cries, exclamations, and even articulate words, as if the demon of the hell of waters mingled his complaints with the voice of his furious waves. As soon as we had satiated our eyes with all of terrible and poetic which this spectacle and the view of the adjacent site derives from being associated with the imposing narrative, which it invests with a double degree of interest, we repassed the bridge, and resumed the way to Callander; our young guide, still preceding us with untired gaiety, and often pointing with her finger, in order to prevent us losing any interesting view of the torrent, whenever we stopped to listen to the decreasing tumult of the waterfall of Blacklin.
Before quitting the Trosachs and Loch Katrin, we re-asccnded the pass of Leney, by the side of the rapid current which rushes from Lochlubraig. This defile is what is here called a Ghaut—a narrow ravine, which is the only means of communication between the heights and the plain. It is necessary to preserve a little of our admiration for the numerous scenes which remain to be visited. The pass of Leney, however, would well deserve describing, so numerous are the variations of its windings, so delightful was it to lose ourselves among its sinuosities; sometimes pausing to observe the torrent falling from cataract to cataract, ourselves, meanwhile, seated on an abrupt pinnacle
of its bank ; sometimes descending into the middle of its bed and sustaining ourselves, by a fragment of rock, the foot of which alone was bathed by the surges, and which only waited the approximating erosion of the waters, to roll down with tumultuous violence to the plain.
The grandest spectacle of the environs of Callander, is the aspect of the gigantic Ben Ledi, (the mountain of God); but we are about to pay it a closer visit in proceeding to the Trosachs.
P. S. Will you allow me to suggest to you the subject of a painting worthy cf your palette. Do you recollect, as Morton and Burley return together from the inn at Niel, the old woman, who, seated at an elbow of the road, and wrapped in a red mantle, rises, approaches the puritan fanatic, and tells him in a mysterious tone, "Do not pass that way, your life is in danger there; a lion is in ambush," &c.
Generally speaking, the various scenes of Scotch partizanship are of all the scenes in the Scotch novels, those which interest us the most. It is a Scotch history; but it is, moreover, a faithful mirror of sundry epochs in ours.
TO M. DE FAUCONFRET.
Tarbet, August 1, 1822. — I write to you from an inn, adjoining the marvellous lake of "floating isles, of breezeless waves, and finless fishes," enclosed by high mountains, which sometimes abruptly terminate their sterile ramparts on its banks, and sometimes appear to fly each other, leaving at their feet the most enchanting vallies of Scotland. On turning my head, I can distinguish among these mountains the pyramidal cone of Ben Lomond, which gives its name to the lake formerly distinguished by the more euphonous name of Lyncalidor. We have already performed the exploit—nor is there aught exaggerated in the word—of climbing the summit of the king of Caledonian mountains; but I should not forget that we have left behind us Loch Katrine and the Trosachs. Let us proceed in an orderly manner. I cannot, however, resist my inclination of describing to you a singular scene which has just occurred on the threshold of the Tarbet-inn, and which will demonstrate that the Stuarts still retain a remnant of their devotees among the people of the mountains. I fancied myself for a moment transported