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Stirling Castle-Bannockburn, etc.

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tle, a strong fortress, where Waverley was confined.
little farther, we ride along the Teith, and pass the seat of
Buchanan, where Scott spent much of his boyhood, and his
taste for the sublime and beautiful ir nature was inflamed
into a noble passion, by contemplating the scenery spread

before him.

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Callender is a retired and quite a rude little village, at the south-west entrance to the highlands, and is the usual stopping place for tourists. The people here generally spcak Gaelic, and the children wear the highland kilt. The inn is the only decent house in the place. Joined an agreeable party from Edinburgh, and walked out to Bracklinn Bridge, and a beautifully-romantic waterfall. For eigh teen hours out of the twenty-four, at this place, at present, (June) it is light enough to read without a candle; and at eleven P. M., it is as light as our twilight.

139

IX.

rary.

SCOTLAND-HIGHLANDS, ETC.

Scenery of the Lady of the Lake'-Lochs Vennachar, Achray, and
Katrine-The Trosachs-Lochs Lomond, Long, and Fine-Inve-

Stewart's Inn, Lock Achray, Friday eve.--This has been a most delightful day. It was a soft and brilliant morning, and we walked eight miles before breakfast to the celebrated Pass of Leven, one of the grandest in the

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highlands. Ben Ledi, the Hill of God,' (where the natives are said to have worshipped the sun,) lifts its lofty summit on one side, and at its base are two lovely little lakes, their glassy surface reflecting clearly the splendid picture

around.

After an excellent breakfast, M'Gregor, our host, furnished us with the Rob Roy' car, and we were soon ushered into the classic and romantic region of the Lady of the Lake;' Ben Ledi being on our right, Ben An and Ben Venue frowning upon us in front. Riding along the banks of Loch Vennachar, on our left we passed Coilantogle Ford, where was the combat,' in which Fitz James mastered Roderick Dhu:

"By thicket green and mountain gray,
A wildering path! they winded now
Along the precipice's brow,
Commanding the rich scenes beneath
The windings of the Forth and Teith,
And all the vales between that lie,
Till Stirling's turrets melt in sky."

Our course was the same as that of the Knight of Snowdon, reversed; and every turn of the road brought new beauties to view, in the splendid landscape. On the opposite shore of Loch Vennachar, we saw the Gathering Place of Clan Alpine' where, at the shrill whistle of Roderick Dhu, and to the surprise of Fitz James:

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"Instant through copse and heath arose
Bonnets, and spears, and bended bows;
On right, on left, above, below,
Sprang up at once the lurking foe:
From shingles gray their lances start,
The bracken bush sends forth the dart;

Scenery of the Lady of the Lake.'

·

The rushes and the willow-wand

Are bristling into axe and brand;
And every tuft of broom gives life
To plaided warrior, armed for strife."

141

Every visiter here must remark the singular accuracy of the pictures of scenery throughout this poem. So closely has the bard copied nature, and the peculiarities of identical places and things which, you supposed, existed only in his imagination, one would almost conclude that he had more talent than genius in this case-i. e. taking the doctor's definition, 'genius invents, talent combines.'

The 'plaided warriors' are now scarcely to be seen this side of the Bracs of Balquiddar. How similar is their case to that of our American Indians! Like them, they were the original possessors of the soil, and roved in law. less freedom:

"Far to the south and east, where lay
Extended in succession gay,

Deep waving fields and pastures green,
With gentle slopes and groves between;
These fertile plains, that softened vale,
Were once the birth right of the Gael;
The stranger came, with iron hand,
And from our fathers reft the land."

And as Roderick continues, addressing the king:

"Think'st thou we will not sally forth
To spoil the spoiler as we may,
And from the robber rend the prey ?"

A short distance beyond Loch Vennachar, we came to Loch Achray, about half a mile long, and so placid and

beautiful, that an Englishman took it for a work of art, and remarked that it was very well got up!' On the banks of this lovely lake, surrounded by the grand and lofty Trosachs, is the rustic little inn of Ardchinchrocan, where we stopped for the day. It takes' a Scott to do justice to this charming spot, and the wild but majestic. scenery around. It seems far removed from the noise and trouble of the work-day world.'

After dinner, we took a walk to Loch Katrine, through the most sublime and difficult of all the passes through the Grampians-that formed by the Trosachs, or bristled territory.' All that is wild and stupendous in mountain scenery here unites :

'

"High on the south, huge Ben Venue,
Down to the lake its masses threw ;

Crags, knowls, and mounds, confusedly hurl'd,
The fragments of an earlier world."

Not a shrub nor a plant can be seen on these heights. Their rough, gloomy sides form a strange contrast to the green vales below. The echo from them is remarkably dis. tinct. We passed through the shady ravine, where the green knights' 'gallant gray' fell, exhausted after 'the chase.' A few steps from this, the charming Loch Katrine suddenly appears. The upper part only is visible at first, 'the Island' obstructing the view, so that new and varied beauties are discovered at every step. The scene is calculated to inspire and clevate the nobler feelings of the visiter. Passing along the banks, we came to 'the

Loch Katrine-The Trosachs.

beach of pebbles white as snow,' opposite the Island,' where Fitz James first saw Ellen:

'I well believe.' the maid replied,

As her light skiff approached the side, 'I well believe that ne'er before

Your foot hath trod Loch Katrine's shore.'

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The promontory,' the bay,' the brake,' the pebbles,' are all here; and to enliven the scene, there was an old man who might have been Allan Bane, playing wildly on a flute; and he gave us some fine old Scotch airs, which were quite a treat. We had a thunder. shower, too, and taking shelter in a cave, we heard ' heaven's artillery' echoed through these mighty mountains, with most impressive grandeur. On our return, with much exertion, I at length achieved the summit of one of the minor heights, and was amply repaid by the prospect therefrom. It was at sunset; and the whole of the three Lochs Katrine, Achray, and Vennachar, with the snowcapped Grampians on the north, and the distant ocean on the west, were distinctly scen. The cattle on the nearest mountains appeared not larger than cats.

Inverary, Head of Loch Fine, Saturday, 11 P. M.With the moon. lit lake under my window, I resume my disjointed narrative. Yesterday we had seen the Trosachs in the clearest atmosphere, but to-day they were encircled with the mists which rolled majestically along their sides, while their summits were bright with the beams of the morning sun.' Our hostess at Loch Achray

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