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reconnoitre. It was daylight, but the sun was not up.* Lord George, looking earnestly about him, observed a fold-dike, or wall of turf, which had been begun as a fence for cattle, but left unfinished. He ordered his men to follow, and draw up behind the dike, but at such a distance from one another that they might make a great show, having the colours of both regiments flying in front. He then gave orders to the pipers—for he had with him the pipers both of the Athol men and the Macphersons—to keep their eyes fixed on the road from Blair, and the moment they saw the soldiers appear, to strike up with all their bagpipes at once. It happened that Agnew's regiments came in sight just as the sun rose; and that instant the pipers began to play one of their most shrill and rousing pibrochs. Lord George and his Highlanders, both officers and men, whilst drawing their swords, brandished them about their heads. Sir Andrew, after gazing awhile at this spectacle, ordered his men to the right about, and without farther question marched back to the Castle of Blair. Lord George kept his post till several of his parties came in, and then marching forward with about three hundred, laid siege to the castle.
“ Land of the pibroch and the plaid;
Land of the henchman and the raid ;
The county of Inverness is the most extensive in Scotland, and, like that we have just left, peculiarly rich in all that can interest the mind, or waken the imagination of strangers. The expanse and character of its lakes—the wild sublimity of its mountains—its pastoral hills, fertile valleys, and waving forests—the venerable monuments of religion-the mouldering fastnesses of its Celtic chiefs—the gloom of its Alpine passes, and the smiling landscapes that encircle its lakes-all that is most effective in painting, or famous in the page
• Home. Anderson. Stewart's Sketches. Statistics of the County.
of history, invite the traveller to its recesses, and furnish ample materials for reflection and improvement. The barren heath displays on its breast the imperishable records of strife; the frowning rock, its once impregnable fastness; the forest, its druidical altars; the heath, its cairns ; and the softer features of the landscape, its well-stocked folds, thriving hamlets, and cultivated farms. Lordly mansions, embosomed in their picturesque domains ; villas and country seats, that have rapidly multiplied within the last twenty years ; villages, that have risen into towns, and towns that far outstep their former limits, bear flattering testimony to the progress of industry, and the extension of those natural resources which form the great mine of domestic wealth.
This magnificent county is bounded on the north by Ross-shire, and part of the Moray Frith; on the east by the shires of Elgin, Moray, and Aberdeen ; on the south by Perth and Argyll; and on the west by the Atlantic Ocean. It comprehends a variety of districts; a considerable portion of the Hebrides, with the smaller islands sprinkled along the coast; and, exclusive of these, presents a territory of more than ninety miles in length, by nearly fifty in breadth. The great distinguishing feature of this county is, its natural division into two parts, by what is called the Great Glen, or Valley of Albyn, which runs from its north-western extremity to that on the north-east-a direction nearly parallel with that of the Grampians. This immense fissure, opening between two distinct chains of lofty mountains, and occupied by a succession of lakes, suggested the great national undertaking of the Caledonian Canal, which now connects the Atlantic with the German Ocean.*
To the tourist, this canal presents the greatest facilities for an extensive survey of those romantic regions from which he was formerly debarred by the imperfect state of the roads, 'or could only reach by a very circuitous route. The country through which it passes is often of the most striking and varied character, alternately presenting all the gradations of lake and mountain scenery, from the cultivated farm to the cloud-capt palaces of Nature, and the wild magnificence with which she has invested the Celtic Alps. The fare by the weekly steam boats, which perform the trip between Inverness and Glasgow in forty hours, or less, is only twenty-five shillings; while to the weak or invalid traveller, the comfort
• The survey was made by Messrs. Telford and Jessop, civil engineers, in 1803, and the following year; and after nearly twenty years' labour, and an enormous expenditure, the canal was finally opened in October, 1822. A splendid fête-given on board the steam vessel with which the late. Charles Grant, Esq., the county member, and his friends, proceeded from sea to sea, a distance of sixty miles-commemorated the event. From that time a regular communication has been kept up between Inverness, Glasgow, and the west coast, by means of steam boats, which have opened a new source of convenience and emolument to those engaged in forcign and domestic trade. For particulars, see ANDERSON'S " Highlands," pp. 231-9.
and convenience of such means of transport from one side of the kingdom to the other are inestimable. ;
The city of Inverness, the Highland metropolis, occupies a station highly advantageous for trade, being traversed by the waters of the Ness, and in immediate contact with the great canal, where it joins the Moray Frith. The buildings, extending along the banks of the river, are generally handsome, and such as bespeak the ancient importance and modern improvements of a commercial capital. From the bridge, a handsome structure of seven ribbed arches, * the principal street extends eastward at right angles to the river; and from it two others diverge northward towards the harbour. At the angle of Churchstreet, one of these, is the prison, built at the close of the last century, and ornamented with a lofty steeple, which adds greatly to its effect as a public edifice. Nearly opposite are the exchange, the town-house, and the ancient market-cross, at the base of which lies the Clach-na-cuddin, or stone of the tubs, on which, in former times, the maid-servants, on drawing water from the river, were wont to rest their tubs, or pitchers. This antiquity, ornamented with the royal and city arms, is reckoned the palladium of the town, and recalls a period of national history which recognized none of those “ water-companies” which have since banished the classic "pitcher," or, at least, confined it to the painter's canvass. The square tower of the High Church was built by Cromwell; and the sweet, clear-toned bell which tolls the curfew, was transported hither by his order from the cathedral of Fortrose, where it had long summoned to its altars the followers of a more imposing ritual.
The various churches and chapels, which give a pleasing effect to the general architecture of the city, are numerous-compared with the population-well attended, and the service performed by able and conscientious pastors. In addition to those of the Establishment in English and Gaëlic, the town contains Episcopalian, Seceder, Independent, Methodist, and Roman Catholic chapels-all of which, in the full enjoyment of religious toleration, present a most gratifying
• One of the arches encloses a vault formerly used as a prison, and latterly as a madhouse, which, says Mr. Anderson, “has only been closed up within the last twenty years." The narrow iron grating through which the unhappy captive caught a distant glimpse of the hills, and of the river, which rushed under his dismal cell, is still visible. The roar of waters, the rolling of wheels, the trampling of horses over the arched roof, or the chime of the evening bell, were the only sounds that reached him in his dreary receptacle; and the only face which nad become familiar, was that of the grim attendant who doled out the stinted means of prolonging a miserable existence. The "prison of Chillon was a palace, and “Bonnivard" almost enviable, when compared with this breathing sepulchre on the Ness. It is a melancholy reflection that this dungeon was not abandoned till the last miserable tenant had been nearly devoured by rats-a fact which recalls the “ratten-thurm" on the Rhine. In the present day, a gratifying revolution has taken place in this particular administration, and a humane distinction drawn between the maniac and the malefactor.