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utilities, and set stepping stones, however necessary, eren for the passage of a king. I will, therefore, in my character as a fellow tourist, and not with my special function as a mountain bird, take you by the hand for a few minutes, and conduct you geographically from point to point of my lyrical stations, that you may feel with a firm prosaic certainty that I know what I am talking about, and, like an old soldier, am entitled to be eloquent on battles.

But first let me tell you how I came to know so much about the Highlands. Some forty years ago or more I made a vow that I would visit some district of my own country every year; and this vow I have conscientiously kept once or twice indeed, from the stress of circumstances, in the meagre way of visiting a different corner of the same district, but compensating amply for this defect by going to many of the more attractive parts of the country twice or thrice, or even a whole dozen of times. In this way, it has come to pass that there are very few districts of my native land, from the green graves of the two drowned Margarets in Wigtoun, to the bleak and black savageness of Cape Wrath, and the Fuggla ruck in hetland, which I have not visited ; and, as my way of travelling has generally been either wholly pedestrian, or largely mixed up with that most natural, most profitable, most poetical, and most salubrious of all methods of locomotion, it has happened that the features of many of our most beautiful

Highland districts, under their most beautiful aspects, with all the best emotions which a familiarity with them can create, and all the patriotic associations with which they are intertwined, have become part of my life and of the atmosphere which I breathe, to an extent and with an intensity that has fallen to the lot of very few of you, my fellow tourists, from the south of the Tweed, or even of the most itinerant of my own countrymen.

I am therefore, naturally, not without hope that the pictures of natural scenery and the historical reminiscences which this little book contains, fanned into existence by the fresh breath of the strong Highland Bens, and Aushed with the native purple of the heather-wild flowers, to use a phrase of the botanists, plucked and described in situmay be serviceable in helping you to transmute into a permanent possession of your inner nature, what might otherwise have been permitted to flit grandly, but vaguely, before your outer sense like views in a revolving panorama.

In order to follow the range of my sketches, the most convenient point of departure will be that great pivot of Highland touring-Oban. We shall, therefore, if you please, start from Glasgow : for, till the railway from Callander to Oban shall have been completed (which may the Fates as long as possible retard !), very few tourists from England or the South of Scotland will find their way to what an eloquent female friend of mine calls “the Celtic Naples," otherwise than from the basis of the Caledonian Liverpool; and even, after the land route shall have been opened, none but persons of extremely queasy stomachs and weak nerves will be willing to sacrifice the rich and shifting beauties of the voyage by the Kyles of Bute and the Crinan Canal for the barren gain of a few hours' additional celerity. You will, therefore, if you are wise, sail from the Broomielaw, Glasgow, or, if it suits you better, two hours later from Greenock, in Mr. Hutchinson's magnificent steam-boat, the Iona — “ urbis opus,” in Virgilian phrase, "a town, not a ship "--and find yourself in Oban, weary with nothing but the continual feast of picturesque novelty to the eye, in time for a very early London dinner—that is to say, about 6 o'clock —after a sail of about nine or ten hours. But, if you have time to spare, I advise you, before leaving your basis of operations so far behind, to take a peep at the Island of Arran on your way: and for this purpose you may stop a night at Dunoon or Rothesay, or any other port, from which you are within an hour's call of an Arran boat. For it is one of the primary conditions of profitable touring that, as far as possible, you do not shoot merely, in railway style, from one terminus to another, but halt at intermediate stations, so that by living experience, the grand bearings of the country, and some of its prettiest outs and ins, may become part of your

familiar associations. Stay then for a day, or if possible a

week in Arran, and meditate with me (if the midges will allow you) to a Wordsworthian tune in the longdrawn loneliness of Glen-Rosa, or among the giantfronted heights of Ben Gnuis, behind Brodick, where once, on a lovely Sunday, I indulged in the contemplations which you will find at page 185 of this volume. Or, if you are not disposed for pious meditation among the mountains--which, however, I strongly advise you to cultivate, as, whether, on Sunday or Saturday, far more profitable, at least for British natures, than that eternal French rattle and jingle, or the heavy atmosphere of German tobacco and beeriness—then you may turn scientific eyes upon the rocks, and geologize ; for which fashionable and healthy recreation there is no better field in the three kingdoms than this little Island of Arran-being, in fact, a repetition on a small scale of the whole geology of Scotland, and only wanting the clay and gravel, chalk and lime formations of the South Eastern section of England, to be an epitome of the whole crust of Great Britain.

And let me give you here a small bit of advice, if your education in physical science, as too often happens with young Englishmen, has been altogether neglected. If you wish to know as much of geology as will enable you to put questions to the experts in the science, and understand the answer, you may

do so, if you are a tourist, at the very smallest expense. Just use your eyes, as Mr. Ruskin teaches the painters to use theirs, and, with the assistance of one of those


maps of the stratified surface of the country, which you may purchase for a few shillings, you will soon learn to read the true order out of the most confused jumble of rocky matter, much more easily than many a schoolboy extracts plain English out of the luxuriant roll of a Platonic sentence or the terse involutions of Thucydides. Be particular to note the various aspects of the stones at the mouth of the mountain torrents or on the sea beach ; and, better still, on the ready-made stone dykes, so common in Scotland, where the work of the hammer has been already performed to your eye. Where the beach is white and sandy, be sure that you have either granite, or gneiss, or sandstone in the adjacent rocks, or at least that the sea bottom, covered with the poundings of these rocks from no very distant locality, has been spumed up into the nooks and broad winding hollows of the land, and overspread the native rocky foundation with a cake of foreign material ; where the beach and river channels are black, or brownish black, you are in a trap district; where, again, the pebbles in the river's bed, as at Glencoe, are spotted with various colours, be sure that the adjacent crags, which frown so sternly over head, will reveal to close inspection the native Mosaic of a beautiful porphyry. But close inspection is not always necessary to ascertain the materials of which a landscape is composed. The diverse features of the picturesque Isle of Skye, for instance, are composed of three diverse

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