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reasonably be expected that they should drink what they are pleased to term poison, merely because it happens to be prepared according to law; and that if they cannot procure the smuggled whiskey, they can drink no whiskey at all, a very hard alternative for them, and of no use to the public or the legal distiller. An act was passed two or three years ago, which promised to be of considerable use in checking this practice of illicit distillation. Small stills were to be licensed, the border regulation confining highland-made whiskey to the highlands was to be abrogated ; and the distiller, instead of paying a large annual sum certain for his licence, was to pay only 10l. with a duty on the quantity of spirits actually distilled, which would have enabled him to discontinue at unfavourable periods, without much loss. If the plan were to succeed, these small regular distillers would prove the most efficient excise officers, , without additional expense to the public. But it does not seem to have been adopted so generally as was expected, owing in some degree, perhaps, to the very unfavourable season for the distilleries, at which it was first attempted to be brought into operation, but in a much greater measure probably to a more permanent cause, the inveterate habit, among such multitudes, of
distilling without payment of duty, and the enormous profits attending the evasion of so heavy a tax. The general adoption of the plan would be the more desirable, because, at these little distilleries, a good article of the kind would probably be manufactured. It is said that in Athol, and probably in other districts on the borders of the lowlands, many of the smugglers have been compelled to discontinue, and others to distil legally upon the abovementioned plan.
Defile of the ridge-house--Remarkable improvement in high
land inns and roads—Public money granted for the construction of roads and bridges in the highlands, and plan of applying it—Highland pastures in connexion with lowland farms—Argyleshire, general description of the county-Argyleshire Lochy, river and glen-Macgregors-Glenurchay, river-Glencouglas-Mountains, Ben-our, Bendouran, Bendoe-Duncan Bane, the bard—Moor of Rannoch—-Lochtally--Lochlyddoch--Natural woodsBlack mountain-Buachailetie-Glenetie-Etie riverTyanree (King's house)-Roots of decayed pine trees seen along the road-Ancient forests of Scotland-Causes of their destruction-Cut down by orders of Severus, of Lancaster, of General Monk-Flocks of sheep on the road, proceeding to Falkirk tryste, all of the speckled or black and white-faced kind-Linton, and aboriginal breeds--Minerals.
THE narrow pass in which Tyandrum is situate is the highest hollow of the elevated side
of the plane of Scotland, and the highest inhabited ground in Great Britain ; and as this is the only communication opened by nature among the surrounding, stupendous, and closely crowded masses between the long valley of the Tay in the east, and the deep dells leading to the Atlantic, it is probable that a ridgehouse, which has given name to the place and the village, had in remote times been here established for the accommodation of travellers, although not so well adapted for the purpose as the present ridge-house, which is a very good inn. It is a remarkable circumstance, in the progress of improvement, that in the highlands of Scotland, where within the memory of man neither a good road nor a good inn were to be found, the roads are now among the best, and the inns among the most convenient and comfortable in the whole world.
From the commencement of the reign of King William, till 1745, the highlands had been the focus of rebellion in favour of the Stuart family, which the almost inaccessible state of the country rendered it difficult to suppress. It was therefore deemed expedient to attempt to form a more open communication between these mountains and the low country; and between the years 1726 and 1737, the first regular
roads and bridges in the highlands were made by a party of 500 soldiers, under the directions of General Wade. After the rebellion in 1745, government caused some additional roads to be made by the military, to open an easier passage for troops to those points of the highlands where garrisons were maintained ; and upon these roads, with the same view, were established at convenient stages victualling or ale-houses, many of which came afterwards to be good inns. Whether the ridge-house had this origin, or existed previously, this pass, through which the military road from Perth to Inver Lochy in Lochaber was carried, was a suitable situation for one of these houses. When the importance of good roads for the purposes of commercial intercourse came to be better understood, the highland proprietors were naturally anxious to enjoy those advantages from an increased number and better construction of roads, which they saw possessed by the landed proprietors in the south. But from the wide extent of the highlands, compared with the population, and the long stretch of road necessary for the conveyance to market of the produce of their farms and fisheries, it was impossible that the requisite roads could be formed by means of the ordinary resources of the statute labour, commuted