house is yet standing. A great part of Elgin is built with small piazzas to the lower story. We went on to Foris, over the heath where Macbeth met the witches, but had no adventure; only in the way we saw for the first time some houses with fruit trees about them. The improvements of the Scotch are for immediate profit; they do not yet think it quite worth their while to plant what will not produce something to be eaten or sold in a very little time. We rested at Foris.

"A very great proportion of the people are barefoot; shoes are not yet considered as necessaries of life. It is still the custom to send out the sons of gentlemen without them into the streets and ways. There are more beggars than I have ever seen in England; they beg, if not silently, yet very modestly.

"Next day we came to Nairn, a miserable town, but a royal burgh, of which the chief nual magistrate is styled lord provost. In the neighbourhood we saw the castle of the old Thane of Cawdor. There is one ancient tower with its battlements and winding stairs yet remaining; the rest of the house is, though not modern, of later erection.

"We came somewhat late to Fort Augustus, where the lieutenant-governor met us beyond the gates, and apologised that at that hour he could not by the rules of the garrison admit us otheran-wise than at a narrow door, which only one can enter at a time. We were well entertained and well lodged, and next morning, after having viewed the fort, we pursued our journey.

"On the 28th we went to Fort George, which is accounted the most regular fortification in the island. The major of artillery walked with us round the walls, and showed us the principles upon which every part was constructed, and the way in which it could be defended. We dined with the governor, Sir Eyre Coote, and his officers. It was a very pleasant and instructive day, but nothing puts my honoured mistress out of my mind.

"At night we came to Inverness, the last considerable town in the north, where we stayed all the next day, for it was Sunday, and saw the ruins of what is called Macbeth's castle. It never was a large house, but was strongly situated. From Inverness we were to travel on horseback.

they are in part covered with trees, and exhibit a kind of dreadful magnificence-standing like the barriers of nature placed to keep different orders of being in perpetual separation. Near this bridge is the Fall of Fiers, a famous cataract, of which, by clambering over the rocks, we obtained a view. The water was low, and therefore we had only the pleasure of knowing that rain would make it at once pleasing and formidable; there will then be a mighty flood, foaming along a rocky channel, frequently obstructed by protuberances and exasperated by reverberation, at last precipitated with a sudden descent. and lost in the depth of a gloomy chasm.

"At a bridge over the river, which runs into the Ness, the rocks rise on three sides, with a direction almost perpendicular, to a great height;

"Our way now lay over mountains, which are not to be passed by climbing them directly, but by traversing, so that as we went forward we saw our baggage following us below in a direction exactly contrary. There is in these ways much labour but little danger, and perhaps other places of which very terrific representations are made are not in themselves more formidable. These roads have all been made by hewing the rock away with pickaxes, or bursting it with gunpowder. The stones so separated are often piled loose as a wall by the way-side. We saw an inscription importing the year in which one of the regiments made two thousand yards of the road eastward.

"After tedious travel of some hours, we came to what I believe we must call a village, a place where there were three huts built of turf, at one of which we were to have our dinner and our bed, for we could not reach any better place that night. This place is called Enock in Glenmorrison. The house in which we lodged was distinguished by a chimney, the rest had only a hole for the smoke. Here we had eggs, and mutton, and a chicken, and a sausage, and rum. In the afternoon tea was made by a very decent girl in a printed linen. She engaged me so much that I made her a present of Cocker's arithmetic."


"August 30th. We set out with four horses. We had two Highlanders to run by us, who were active, officious, civil, and hardy. Our journey was for many miles along a military way made upon the banks of Lough Ness, a water about eighteen miles long, but not I think half a mile broad. Our horses were not bad, and the way was very pleasant; the rock out of which the road was cut was covered with birch trees, fern and heath. The lake below was beating its bank by a gentle wind, and the rocks beyond the water on the right stood sometimes horrid and wild, and sometimes opened into a kind of bay, in which there was a spot of cultivated ground yellow with corn. In one part of the way we had trees on both sides for perhaps half a mile. Such a length of shade perhaps Scotland cannot show in any other place.

"You are not to suppose that here are to be any more towns or inns. We came to a cottage which they called the general's hut, where we alighted to dine, and had eggs and bacon, and mutton with wine, rum and whiskey. I had


"Skie, 14th September, 1773. "The post, which comes but once a week into these parts, is so soon to go that I have not time to go on where I left off in my last letter. I have been several days in the island of Raarsa, and am now again in the Isle of Skie, but at the other end of it.

"Skie is almost equally divided between the two great families of Macdonald and Macleod, other proprietors having only small districts. The two great lords do not know within twenty square miles the contents of their own territories. kept up but ill the reputation of Highland hospitality. We are now with Macleod, quite at the other end of the island, where there is a fine young gentleman and fine ladies. The


1 [Sir Alexander Macdonald.-ED.]

ladies are studying Erse. I have a cold, and | in them, though we had put on our own sheets; am miserably deaf, and am troublesome to Lady at last we ventured, and I slept very soundly in Macleod. I force her to speak loud, but she will the vale of Glenmorrison, amidst the rocks and seldom speak loud enough. mountains. Next morning, our landlord liked us so well, that he walked some miles with us for our company, through a country so wild and barren, that the proprietor does not, with all his pressure upon his tenants, raise more than four hundred pounds a year for near one hundred square miles, or sixty thousand acres. He let us know that he had forty head of black cattle, an hundred goats, and an hundred sheep, upon a farm that he remembered let at five pounds a year, but for which he now paid twenty. He told us some stories of their march into England. At last he left us, and we went forward, winding among mountains, sometimes green and sometimes naked, commonly so steep as not easily to be climbed by the greatest vigour and activity. Our way was often crossed by little rivulets, and we were entertained with small streams trickling from the rocks, which after heavy rains must be tremendous torrents.

"Raarsa is an island about fifteen miles long and two broad, under the dominion of one gentleman, who has three sons and ten daughters: the eldest is the beauty of this part of the world, and has been polished at Edinburgh. They sing and dance, and without expense have upon their table most of what sea, air, or earth can afford. I intended to have written about Raarsa, but the post will not wait longer than while I send my compliments to my dear master and little mistresses."

"About noon we came to a small glen, so they call a valley, which compared with other places appeared rich and fertile; here our guides desired us to stop, that the horses might graze, for the journey was very laborious, and no more grass would be found. We made no difficulty of compliance, and I sat down to take notes on a green bank, with a small stream running at my feet, in the midst of savage solitude, with mountains before me, and on either hand covered with heath. I looked around me, and wondered that I was not more affected, but the mind is not at all times equally ready to be put in motion. If my mistress and master and Queeney had been there, we should have produced some reflections among us, either poetical or philosophical; for though soli tude be the nurse of woe, conversation is often the parent of remarks and discoveries.

"In about an hour we remounted, and pursued our journey. The lake by which we had travelled for some time ended in a river, which we passed by a bridge, and came to another glen, with a collection of huts, called Auknashealds. The huts were generally built of clods of earth, held together by the intertexture of vegetable fibres, of which earth there are great levels in Scotland, which they call mosses. Moss in Scotland is bog in Ireland, and moss-trooper is bog-trotter. There was, however, one hut built of loose stones, piled up with great thickness into a strong though not solid wall. From this house we obtained some great pails of milk; and having brought bread with us, were very liberally regaled. The inhabitants, a very coarse tribe, ignorant of any language but Erse, gathered so fast about us, that if we had not had Highlanders with us, they might have caused more alarm than pleasure; they are called the Clan of Macrae.


"Skie, 21st September, 1773. "I am so vexed at the necessity of sending yesterday so short a letter, that I purpose to get a long letter beforehand by writing something every day, which I may the more easily do, as a cold .makes me now too deaf to take the usual pleasure in conversation. Lady Macleod is very good to me; and the place at which we now are is equal in strength of situation, in the wilderness of the adjacent country, and in the plenty and elegance of the domestick entertainment, to a castle in Gothick romances. The sea with a little island is before us. Cascades play within view. Close to the house is the formidable skeleton of an old castle, probably Danish; and the whole mass of building stands upon a protuberance of rock, inaccessible till of late but by a pair of stairs on the sea-side, and secure in ancient times against any enemy that was likely to invade the kingdom of Skie.

"Macleod has offered me an island. If it were not too far off, I should hardly refuse it. My island would be pleasanter than Brighthelmstone, if you and my master could come to it; but I cannot think it pleasant to live quite alone,

Oblitusque meorum, obliviscendus et illis.

That I should be elated by the dominion of an island to forgetfulness of my friends at Streatham I cannot believe, and I hope never to deserve that they should be willing to forget me.

"It has happened that I have been often recognized in my journey where I did not expect it. At Aberdeen I found one of my acquaintance professor of physick; turning aside to dine with a country gentleman, I was owned at table by one who had seen me at a philosophical lecture; at Macdonald's I was claimed by a naturalist, who wanders about the islands to pick up curiosities; and I had once in London attracted the notice of Lady Macleod. I will now go on with my ac


"The Highland girl made tea, and looked and talked not inelegantly. Her father was by no means an ignorant or a weak man. There were books in the cottage, among which were some volumes of Prideaux's Connexion. This man's conversation we were glad of while we staid. He had been out, as they call it, in forty-five, and still retained his old opinions. He was going to America, because his rent was raised beyond what he thought himself able to pay.

"At night our beds were made, but we had some difficulty in persuading ourselves to lie down

We had been told that nothing gratified the Highlanders so much as snuff and tobacco, and had accordingly stored ourselves with both at Fort Augustus. Boswell opened his treasure, and gave them each a piece of tobacco-roll. We had more bread than we could eat for the present, and were more liberal than provident. Boswell cut it in slices, and gave them an opportunity of tasting wheaten bread for the first time. I then

'got some halfpence for a shilling, and made up the deficiencies of Boswell's distribution, who had given some money among the children. We then directed that the mistress of the stone house should be asked what we must pay her: she, who perhaps had never before sold anything but cattle, knew not, I believe, well what to ask, and referred herself to us. We obliged her to make some demand, and one of the Highlanders settled the account with her at a shilling. One of the men advised her, with the cunning that clowns never can be without, to ask more; but she said that a shilling was enough. We gave her half-acrown, and she offered part of it again. The Macraes were so well pleased with our behaviour, that they declared it the best day they had seen since the time of the old Laird of Macleod, who I suppose, like us, stopped in their valley as he was travelling to Skie.

"Towards night we came to a very formidable hill called Rattiken, which we climbed with more difficulty than we had yet experienced, and at last came to Glanelg, a place on the sea-side opposite to Skie. We were by this time weary and disgusted; nor was our humour much mended by our inn, which, though it was built of lime and slate, the Highlander's description of a house which he thinks magnificent, had neither wine, bread, eggs, nor any thing that we could eat or drink. When we were taken up stairs, a dirty fellow bounced out of the bed where one of us was to lie. Boswell blustered, but nothing could be got. At last a gentleman in the neighbourhood, who heard of our arrival, sent us rum and "We were mentioning this view of the High- white sugar. Boswell was now provided for in lander's life at Macdonald's, and mentioning the part; and the landlord prepared some mutton- * Macraes with some degree of pity, when a High-chops, which we could not eat, and killed two land lady informed us that we might spare our hens, of which Boswell made his servant broil a tenderness, for she doubted not but the woman limb, with what effect I know not. We had a who supplied us with milk was mistress of thir- lemon and a piece of bread, which supplied me teen or fourteen milch cows. with my supper. When the repast was ended, we began to deliberate upon bed. Mrs. Boswell had warned us that we should catch something, and had given us sheets for our security; for and she said, came back from Skie so scratching themselves. I thought sheets a slender defence against the confederacy with which we were threatened, and by this time our Highlanders had found a place where they could get some hay. I ordered hay to be laid thick upon the bed, and slept upon it in my great coat. Boswell laid sheets upon his bed, and reposed in linen like a gentleman. The horses were turned out to grass, with a man to watch them. The hill Rattiken and the inn at Glanelg were the only things of which we, or travellers yet more delicate, could find any pretensions to complain.


"I cannot forbear to interrupt my narrative. Boswell, with some of his troublesome kindness, has informed this family and reminded me that the 18th of September is my birthday. The return of my birthday, if I remember it, fills me with thoughts which it seems to be the general care of humanity to escape. I can now look back upon threescore and four years, in which little has been done, and little has been enjoyed; a life diversified by misery, spent part in the sluggishness of penury, and part under the violence of pain, in gloomy discontent or importunate distress. But perhaps I am better than I should have been if I had been less afflicted With this I will try to be content.

mountains; but we found only goats in the road, and had very little entertainment as we travelled either for the eye or ear. There are, I fancy, no singing birds in the Highlands.

"In proportion as there is less pleasure in retrospective considerations, the mind is more disposed to wander forward into futurity; but at sixty-four what promises, however liberal, of imaginary goods, can futurity venture to make? yet something will be always promised, and some promises will always be credited. I am hoping and I am praying that I may live better in the time to come, whether long or short, than I have yet lived, and in the solace of that hope endeavour to repose. Dear Queeney's day is next. I hope she at sixty-four will have less to regret. "I will now complain no more, but tell my mistress of my travels.


"After we left the Macraes, we travelled on through a country like that which we passed in the morning. The Highlands are very uniform, for there is little variety in universal barrenness. The rocks, however, are not all naked some have grass on their sides, and birches and alders on their tops and in the valleys are often broad and clear streams, which have little depth, and commonly run very quick the channels are made by the violence of the wintry floods: the quickness of the stream is in proportion to the declivity of the descent, and the breadth of the channel makes the water shallow in a dry season.

"There are red deer and roebucks in the

"September 2d, I rose rustling from the hay, and went to tea, which I forget whether we found or brought. We saw the Isle of Skie before us, darkening the horizon with its rocky coast. A boat was procured, and we launched into one of the straits of the Atlantick ocean. We had a passage of about twelve miles to the point where resided, having come from his seat in the middle of the island to a small house on the shore, as we believe, that he might with less reproach entertain us meanly. If he aspired to meanness, his retrograde ambition was completely gratified; but he did not succeed equally in escaping reproach. He had no cook, nor I suppose much provision, nor had the lady the common decencies of her tea-table: we picked up our sugar with our fingers. Boswell was very angry, and reproached him with his improper parsimony: I did not much reflect upon the conduct of a man with whom I was not likely to converse as long at any other time.

"You will now expect that I should give you some account of the Isle of Skie, of which, though I have been twelve days upon it, I have little to

1 [Sir Alexander Macdonald.-ED.]


say. It is an Island, perhaps fifty miles long, so much indented by inlets of the sea that there is no part of it removed from the water more than six miles. No part that I have seen is plain: you are always climbing or descending, and every step is upon rock or mire. A walk upon ploughed ground in England is a dance upon carpets compared to the toilsome drudgery of wandering in Skie. There is neither town nor village in the island, nor have I seen any house but Macleod's, that is not much below your habitation at Brighthelmstone. In the mountains there are stags and roebucks, but no hares and few rabbits; nor have I seen any thing that interested me as a zoologist, except an otter, bigger than I thought an otter could have been.

"You are perhaps imagining that I am withdrawn from the gay and the busy world into regions of peace and pastoral felicity, and am enjoying the reliques of the golden age; that I am surveying Nature's magnificence from a mountain, or remarking her minuter beauties on the flowery bank of a winding rivulet; that I am invigorating myself in the sunshine, or delighting my imagination with being hidden from the invasion of human evils and human passions in the darkness of a thicket; that I am busy in gathering shells and pebbles on the shore, or contemplative on a rock, from which I look upon the water, and consider how many waves are rolling between me and Streatham.

both English and Latin. Company gathered about us, and we heard some talk of the secondsight, and some talk of the events of forty-five, a year which will not soon be forgotten among the islanders. The next day we were confined by a storm. The company, I think, increased, and our entertainment was not only hospitable but elegant. At night, a minister's sister, in very fine brocade, sung Erse songs: I wished to know the meaning, but the Highlanders are not much used to scholastick questions, and no translations could be obtained.

"The use of travelling is to regulate imagination by reality, and instead of thinking how things may be, to see them as they are. Here are mountains which I should once have climbed; but to climb steeps is now very laborious, and to descend them dangerous; and I am now content with knowing that by scrambling up a rock I shall only see other rocks, and a wider circuit of barren desolation. Of streams we have here a sufficient number; but they murmur not upon pebbles, but upon rocks. Of flowers, if Chloris herself were here, I could present her only with the bloom of heath. Of lawns and thickets, he must read that would know them, for here is little sun and no shade. On the sea I look from my window, but am not much tempted to the shore; for since I came to this island, almost every breath of air has been a storm, and, what is worse, a storm with all its severity, but without its magnificence; for the sea is here so broken into channels, that there is not a sufficient volume of water either for lofty surges or a loud roar.

"On September 6th we left Macdonald's to visit Raarsa, the island which I have already mentioned. We were to cross part of Skie on horseback-a mode of travelling very uncomfortable, for the road is so narrow, where any road can be found, that only one can go, and so craggy that the attention can never be remitted: it allows, therefore, neither the gaiety of conversation, nor the laxity of solitude; nor has it in itself the amusement of much variety, as it affords only all the possible transpositions of bog, rock, and rivulet. Twelve miles, by computation, make a reasonable journey for a day.

"At night we came to a tenant's house, of the first rank of tenants, where we were entertained better than at the landlord's. There were books, 70*


"Next day, September 8th, the weather allowed us to depart; a good boat was provided for us, and we went to Raarsa under the conduct of Mr. Malcolm Macleod, a gentleman who conducted Prince Charles through the mountains in his distresses. The prince, he says, was more active than himself; they were, at least, one night without any shelter.

"The wind blew enough to give the boat a kind of dancing agitation, and in about three or four hours we arrived at Raarsa, where we were met by the laird and his friends upon the shore. Raarsa, for such is his title, is master of two islands, upon the smaller of which, called Rona, he has only flocks and herds. Rona gives title to his eldest son. The money which he raises annually by rent from all his dominions, which contain at least fifty thousand acres, is not believed. to exceed two hundred and fifty pounds; but as he keeps a large farm in his own hands, he sells every year great numbers of cattle, which add to his revenue, and his table is furnished from the farm and from the sea, with very little expense, except for those things this country does not produce, and of those he is very liberal. The wine circulates vigorously, and the tea, chocolate, and coffee, however they are got, are always at hand. "We are this morning trying to get out of Skie."

"Skie, 24th September, 1773. "I am still in Skie. Do you remember the song?

Every island is a prison Strongly guarded by the sea?

We have at one time no boat, and at another may have too much wind; but of our reception here we have no reason to complain. We are now with Colonel Macleod, in a more pleasant place than I thought Skie could afford. Now to the narrative.

"We were received at Raarsa on the sea-side, and after clambering with some difficulty over the rocks-a labour which the traveller, wherever he reposes himself on land, must in these islands be contented to endure-we were introduced into the house, which one of the company called the Court of Raarsa, with politeness which not the Court of Versailles could have thought defective. The house is not large, though we were told in our passage that it had eleven fine rooms; nor magnificently furnished, but our utensils were most commonly silver. We went up into a dining-room about as large as your blue room, where we had something given us to eat, and tea and coffee.

"Raarsa himself is a man of no melegant appearance, and of manners uncommonly refined.

Lady Raarsa makes no very sublime appearance for a sovereign, but is a good housewife, and a very prudent and diligent conductress of her family. Miss Flora Macleod is a celebrated beauty, has been admired at Edinburgh, dresses her head very high, and has manners so lady-like that I wish her head-dress was lower. The rest of the nine girls are all pretty; the youngest is between Queeney and Lucy. The youngest boy of four years old runs barefoot, and wandered with us over the rocks to see a mill. I believe he would walk on that rough ground without shoes ten miles in a day.

The Laird of Raarsa has sometimes disputed the chieftainry of the clan with Macleod of Skie; but being much inferior in extent of possessions, has, I suppose, been forced to desist. Raarsa and its provinces have descended to its present possessor through a succession of four hundred years without any increase or diminution. It was indeed lately in danger of forfeiture, but the old laird joined some prudence with his zeal, and when Prince Charles landed in Scotland made over his estate to his son, the present laird, and led one hundred men of Raarsa into the field, with officers of his own family. Eighty-six only came back after the last battle. The prince was hidden, in his distress, two nights at Raarsa; and the king's troops burnt the whole country, and killed some of the cattle.

"You may guess at the opinions that prevail in this country: they are, however, content with fighting for their king; they do not drink for him We had no foolish healths. At night, unexpectedly to us who were strangers, the carpet was taken up, the fiddler of the family came up, and a very vigorous and general dance was begun. As I told you, we were two-and-thirty at supper: there were full as many dancers; for though all who supped did not dance, some danced of the young people who did not sup. Raarsa himself danced with his children; and old Malcolm, in his filibeg, was as nimble as when he led the prince over the mountains. When they had danced themselves weary, two tables were spread, and I suppose at least twenty dishes were upon them. In this country some preparations of milk are always served up at supper, and sometimes in the place of tarts at dinner. The table was not coarsely heaped, but at once plentiful and elegant. They do not pretend to make a loaf; there are only cakes, commonly of oats or barley, but they made me very nice cakes of wheat flour. I always sat at the left hand of Lady Raarsa, and young Macleod of Skie, the chieftain of the clan, sat on the right.

"After supper a young lady, who was visiting, sung Erse songs, in which Lady Raarsa joined prettily enough, but not gracefully: the young ladies sustained the chorus better. They are very little used to be asked questions, and not well prepared with answers. When one of the songs was over, I asked the princess that sat next me, What is that about?' I question if she conceived that I did not understand it. For the entertainment of the company,' said she. But, madam, what is the meaning of it? It is a love-song.' This was all the intelligence that I


could obtain, nor have I been able to procure the translation of a single line of Erse. "At twelve it was bedtime.

I had a chamber to myself, which, in eleven rooms to forty people, was more than my share. How the company and the family were distributed is not easy to tell. Macleod the chieftain, and Boswell, and I, had all single chambers on the first floor. There remained eight rooms only for at least seven-and-thirty lodgers. I suppose they put up temporary beds in the dining-room, where they stowed all the young ladies. There was a room above stairs with six beds, in which they put ten men. The rest in my next."

"Ostich in Skie, S0th September, 1773. "I am still confined in Skie. We were unskilful travellers, and imagined that the sea was an open road which we could pass at pleasure; but we have now learned, with some pain, that we may still wait for a long time the caprices of the equinoctial winds, and sit reading or writing as I now do, while the tempest is rolling the sea, or roaring in the mountains. I am now no longer pleased with the delay. You can hear from me but seldom, and I cannot at all hear from you. It comes into my mind that some evil may happen, or that I might be of use while I am away. But these thoughts are vain: the wind is violent and adverse, and our boat cannot yet come. I must content myself with writing to you, and hoping that you will some time receive my letter. Now to my narrative.

"Sept. 9th, having passed the night as is usual, I rose, and found the dining-room full of company. We feasted and talked, and when the evening came it brought musick and dancing. Young Macleod, the great proprietor of Skie, and head of his clan, was very distinguishable-a young man of nineteen, bred awhile at St. Andrew's, and afterwards at Oxford, a pupil of G. Strahan. He is a young man of a mind as much advanced as I have ever known, very elegant of manners, and very graceful in his person. He has the full spirit of a feudal chief; and I was very ready to accept his invitation to Dunvegan. All Raarsa's children are beautiful. The ladies all, except the eldest, are in the morning dressed in their hair. The true Highlander never wears more than a riband on her head till she is married.

"On the third day Boswell went out with old Malcolm to see a ruined castle, which he found less entire than was promised, but he saw the country. I did not go, for the castle was perhaps ten miles off, and there is no riding at Raarsa, the whole island being rock or mountain, from which the cattle often fall and are destroyed. It is very barren, and maintains, as near as I could collect, about seven hundred inhabitants, perhaps ten to a square mile. In these countries you are not to suppose that you shall find villages or enclosures. The traveller wanders though a naked desert, gratified sometimes, but rarely, with the sight of cows, and now and then finds a heap of loose stones and turf in a cavity between rocks, where a being born with all those powers which education expands, and all those sensations which culture refines, is condemned to shelter itself from

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