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dabbled in English grammar, is more fork, a la mode de Paris to read with consequential than if he had com- the English accent, &c. &c. posed the Cratylus of Plato. This, Thus accoutred I set forward for as I said before, is absolutely neces. my
final destination. sary, for were either the one or the
(To be concluded in our next.) other, to see themselves in the same light in which they must be seen by well-shaped and well-learned men, On the Changes which time has effected their existence would be intolerable. Commerce has turned every thing up
on the face of the Country in the
WEST HIGHLANDS of SCOTLAND. sided own. Icinstills mercenary views, and is suited to the meanest capacity. SIR, It has eradicated every thing virtuous from the heart, and every thing solid THIS desultory paper is submitand substantial from the head. You ted to you from a belief that the have acted the fool long enough in principal subject of it-the surpriendeavouring to stem a torrent, to sing changes which time has effected which all the virtue and good sense upon the face of this country, have of the kingdom is inadequate. If hitherto escaped notice, the parents of the present day choose The wild magnificence of the sceto have their children made fools and nery of the West Highlands of Scotblockheads, it is no blame of yours.- land is peculiarly characteristic, and ,
, Come along with me to the town of exhibits an interesting series of phewhere there is a celebrated uni- nomena in the order of nature, of
a versity, and several academies, and complicated and multifarious arrangewhere I have some influence, and can put you on the plan of earning a com- The bold outline of the mountains fortable subsistence. To conclude, I forms the most striking feature ofithe must plainly tell you, unless you country, while the partially wooded adapt yourself to the present times, valleys and lakes with which it is inand particularly study that cardinal terspersed, the tumultuary streams virtue, which Thomson calls “ firm which roll along its surface, and the “ but pliant virtue ;'' - which Swift castellated habitations of former calls o modern discretion;" and which haughty barons, variously disposed, I call “ downright fraud and hypo- on steep promontories, or insulated crisy,” you will never have it in your rocks, present to the eye an assempower to be of two-pence worth of blage of objects highly impressive and service to yourself or to any body picturesque. else,”
The excessive ignorance which forI was a good deal startled at the merly enveloped these regions was in concluding part of his speech, but
a great measure owing to the differknowing of no decent alternative, a- ence of language, and to the total greed to accompany him. In ten days want of roads, two strong barriers, we set out for England. We stop. which, skutting them up in their ped a month at a small town on the fastnesses, sequestered the natives frontiers of England, in order to qua- from the more enlightened parts of lify me for my new situation, and the kingdom; and while their ungo. here I learned to assume a look of vernable disposition, and rude man. importance to make an obsequious ners, were inimical to an intercourse bow-to open and shut a door grace- with strangers, the country was un. fully-to hold my spoon, knife, and favourable to the researches of specu
lative philosophy, and to the intro. risprudence, and produce a censura. duction of useful knowledge ; and on ble neglect of police. this account it has only recently at- Any account, therefore, which can tracted attention.
be collected of the subject of this The impenetrable obscurity in which communication, is from tradition, the history of the remote periods of which is always so dubious and fanthe Highlands is involved, has render. çiful as not to deșerve attention : ined it impossible to procure informa. deed the operations of nature, for the tion respecting the various natural most part, go forward by such siuw and artificial changes which the sur- and imperceptible degrees, as, to esface appears to have undergone ; for cape the notice of man, as the time in those dark ages the lives of the requisite for effecting them must nenatives were individually a succession cessarily occupy a lapse of several of turbulent contention and rapacity, ages, while others of her phenomena and, collectively, were entirely dedi. proceed by such evanescent and ra. cated to predatory warfare, mutually pid steps, as equally to plude obser: carried on by one clan upon another, yalion. so that ihere was left neither leisure The coast of the West Highlands nor inclination for observation or se. is exceedingly irregular, and greatly rious reflection, self preservation, the indented with arms of the sea, several strongest propensity of man, being in of which extend many leagues into a country constantly distracted by the interior of the country. the prosecution of such fierce and sa- tremities and borders of these lochs, vage practices, the predominant con. as they are called, receive a multipli. sideration. T. support the chief. city of mountain streams of various tains in their extravagant and licen- sizes, which in their descent have octious plans, was the glory of their fe- casioned such amazing effects as could rocious followers. Those barbarous only be produced by the incessant associations led to all the mischief and irresistible force of water. which arose from private animosity Along the shore the land is in and partial war, and for centuries general high and rocky, often termiirade the country the seat of merci. nating in the sea in bold and precipiless and sanguinary discord; but the tous promontories. calamities of that infamous system, In the interstices of the hills, term. which in those days obtained so uni- ed glens, chiefly at the heads of the versally, are now happily done away, salt, and ends of fresh-water lakes, although it was unwillingly relin- since the abolition of the feudal sys. quished by those who proudly stiled tem, inany of the modern houses of themselves Chiefs, some of whose de the lairds are laid down, frequently scendants would still incline to assume without taste, and
destitute of any such'an unjust superiority, were the other crnament than what nature has inhabitants of these mountains, for. sparingly bestowed upon
the scenery. merly denominated their vassals, but The receding of the sea from the now more rational and independent, coast is a curious and unaccountable disposed to submit to such illegal circumstance in the natural history and oppressive authority. It is to of this country, and to whatever be regretted as an unfortunate cir- cause it is to be attributed, there is cumstance in the political economy of no question as to the fact, as the the Highlands, that some antient most indubitable evidence of its hav. feudal antipathies and habitudes ing once covered some considerable should still prevail in such force as parts of the land is visible every sometimes to become injurious to ju. where.
That repeated and probably some
not of this formation, are more or what extensive volcanic convulsions less shelving. In such places the formight have had some share in produ. mer action of the sea is
very evident, cing such a phenomenon, is not the soil being washed away, and be cienied ; but independent of such banks formed, regularly of the same influence, the sea has retreated, and elevation above the present high is now many feet below the level it ter mark, and often running along once occupied. There are some in. for several miles. dications of recent yolcano, or This is particularly striking on least of partial effects of heat, in dif- the western shore of the extensive peferent places on the shore, but these ninsula of Kintyre, along the road appear to have been anterior to the from Mackribanish bay in the mouth subsiding of the water.
of Loch Tarbert, a distance of more By following the line of coast up. than twenty miles, where the land is
map, from the estuary of the lower and less rocky than any other Clyde into Loch Tyne, round the part of the county, In this tract great head-land of Kintyre, along many acres of ground have been gainthe west coast of Scotlaod to Fort ed by the retreating of the sea, espeWilliam, from thence to the point of cially a large fiat of many square Ardnamurchan, and stretching as far miles called Runachuran has been left North as Cape Wrath, comprehead. dry. ing the shores of the counties of Ar- As the coast extends northward gyll, Inverness, Ross, and Suther. it becomes more rocky and irregular, land, including in this range the im- displaying, in a more eminent degree, mense group of islands, and taking the wonderful and inexplicable openotice of the innumerable lochs and rations in which nature has been embays with which the whole is stud. ployed during a vast series of ages, ded, the stranger will have an idea of in effecting various changes upon the its astonishing length. It takes up face of the country. several hundred leagues.
The rocks along the shore are ag. In this very extensive course there gregates, composed of many genera is no variation in the height to which and species variously combioed, and the sea formerly rose, the ancient arranged in every possible diversity marks by which it was bounded be- of strata. The pudding stone rock, ing distinct, and still easily pointed which is rarely met with on this out; and these give reason to believe coast, forms however an extensive that the water fell off suddenly, as in part of it in this immediate vicinity. many parts appearances favour such It is generally in immense masses, an opinion, though it certainly must without any intermixture, and of it. have continued at i:s original level for self composes many hills of consideramany centuries before such indelible ble eminence upon the shore, but it proofs could have been produced, to is not to be found at any distance shew that it then flowed about forty from it. feet higher than at present.
These rocks are of every imagina. As the land is mountainous and ble shape, and exhibit a different exrugged, there is little or no part of terior according to the manner in the coast low or very even, and which they are disposed, and have when viewed from the sea it ap- resisted the force of the waves in a pears altogether of a bleak and bar. greater or less degree as they have ren surface, the few flat spaces being been exposed to their operation in a lost in the deep shade of the moun- shelving or perpendicular direction ; ļains, and whatever portions of it are and wherever these rocks rise, or for
merly rose, upright or nearly so, from it, and followed as far as the eye can the water's edge, whether they pre. survey. sent smooth, fissured, or unevenly The same curious circumstance is fractured surfaces, the ancient height universal
every w where on the shores of the tide can very readily be deter- of the numerous Hebrides, as well as mined by them. The reason is, that on that of the main land. Were of a corresponding elevation with the there only a solitary proof of this banks produced by the same cause at theory to be mentioned it might be other parts of the shore, the rocks inconclusive; but as it is founded uphave been flattened, hollowed, and on general principles, a simple enu. frequently deeply excavated by the meration of the places - where the action of the sea. This effect is not powerful agency of water has in this so conspicuous where the water at way been exerted, seems sufficient to the base of a rock is very deep, but establish it, and to set aside the ne. is chiefly observable where it was cessity of more comprehensive desmore shallow, and where probably cription. the loose stones of the bottom were The beautiful and grotesque excadriven against it by the consecutive vations principally alluded to are of impulsion of the waves. That this congenerous formation, and being all unceasing attrition has gradually worn of the same elevation in situations away the solid rock, in the state it opposed to the violent impetus of the now appears, is as incontestible as it waves, are certainly to be ascribed to must remain an assurance to future the force with which they were im. generations, that the sea was at one pinged. At the Moil, and on the time forty feet higher upon the shore coast of Kintyre, Jura, Belnahuay, than it is at present, and, that, con-. Mull, Egg, Rum, and Cana; at the sequently it fowed over many of the castles of Goalan, Dunollie, and most valuable pieces of land now dry Dunstaffnage, many such effects may
The higher parts of these rocks be seen. where the water did not reach still To those beneficial changes which display undecayed all the rugged ir- the receding of the sea hath occaregularity of their original forma. sioned at the extremities of the inlets fion; and this destruction of them is which so numerously intersect the invariably greatest, where most ex- coast, are to be added the ravages of posed to the furious dashing of the large and rapid rivers which enter uninterrupted swell of the Allantic. them during the floods caused by the
For fifteen miles along this shore, sudden melting of snow, or the exwhich is very bold, and principally cessive torrents of rain to which this composed of pudding stone rock of climate is liable from its local situadifferent altitudes, ifom 50 to 130 tion. These deluges having stripped feet, this surprising fact is perfectly and washed the soil, and loose stones satisfactory, for over the whole of from the lateral declivities of the that range these hollows and excava. mountains, sweeped them along to tions rise equally forty feet above the the valleys and heads of bays, where, present tides, and in a line quite ho. b.ing, gradually accumulated, they rizontal, accurately agreeing with si assisted the retiring of the water in
. milar signs, and the banks of earth such places, formed considerable flats which constituted the old shore in of new land, and filled up such cavi. other places, and ibis alternate line ties and covered such rocks as were of excavated rocks and earthy banks formerly occupied by the sea.
. can be traced over the whole coast, All the extensive portions of level and may be taken up at any part of land on this coast are only to be seen
in such situations, and the good qua- ried down into this bay must have
At the beads of all the lochs over
Character of the most eminent SCOTS
WRITERS of the present day. shore, this formation of new land has taken place, for there are none with. Translated from a French work entitled, out one or more rivers entering them.
“ Londres & les Anglais ;" by Terri de St
MONG living authors who have the stones of every size found in such written ancient history, we may places being round, having been so distinguish Messrs Ferguson and Gil. shaped by great and long continued lies ; the former, who was the coun
: friction against each other.
tryman and friend of Hume and In such situations, anciently co. Robertson, holds, as an historian, an vered with water, now stand the honourable place by their side. In Towns of Campbeltown, Ioverary his “ History of the Progress and and its Castle, the villages of Loch. Termination of the Roman Repub. gilphead, Tarbert, Beaumore in lic," he has profited by the works of Islay, Fort William, and Oban ; and those who preceded him ; but, from many thousand acres have in the a fund which appeared exhausted, same way been left dry, particularly he has drawn an infinite variety at Crinan, now an immense stretch of of new matter. The philosophical barren moss. In different places of spirit by which he is guided, leaves this amazing collection, the bottom a great distance between him and has been dug up, and fossils, sea sand, his predecessors. It were to be wishand stones been discovered, showing ed however that Mr Ferguson's style that the sea had once occupied the possessed more elegance, and somespace now taken up with this moss, times more clearness. and formed an extensive shallow bay, Mr Gillies was first known by a with a narrow opening into the wes- translation of Lysias and Isocrates. tern sea. That it increased subse- Instead of an ordinary preface, he quently to the withdrawing of the wa. prefixed to his translation a “Dis. ter is certain, but originally it must course upon the General History of have taken its rise from the moss and Greece,” which proved that the auearth brought into the bay by two thor was capable of treating with suclarge rivers, one of them issuing from cess this interesting subject. This has a great fresh water lake, extending been confirmed by his « History of 30 miles into the interior, and which Greece," published in 1785. The Jake is supplied by several large rivers first part comprehends the history of descending from mountains at a dis- the Greeks from their origin till the tance of twenty miles more, so that period in which they lost their liberthe quantity of these substances car- ty. Mr Gillies does not treat his