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We hired a dung-cart, in which we jogged along quite merrily; our gayety being only disturbed by an occasional thump against a stone, which was no relief to our fatigued limbs! We saw nothing whatever at Blair to answer the description of our rascally guide. We passed through the insignificant rooms of Athol-house, and left the place in a great passion against the lying valet; and I, like Maître Corbeau in the fable,
" Jurai, mais un peu tard, qu'on ne m'y prendrait plus."
We hired a coarse vehicle, and driving over a wretched hilly country, we at length arrived at Tummel-Bridge, near the river of that name. Close by a house which we passed, rises a hill covered with oak, with grotesque masses of rock staring from among their trunks, resem. bling, (says Gray,) the sullen countenances of Fingal and all his family, frowning on the little mortals of modern days: from betwixt this hill and the adjacent mountains, pent in a nar
row channel, comes roaring out the river Tum7 mel, and falls headlong down involved in white foam, which rises into a mist all around it.
Near the river, I observed a barren heath, so overshadowed by the high mountains, that it is never cheered by the rays
of the sun; indeed, it gave me the most complete idea of an
Ossianic desert that I ever had; and I am not $ surprised that the superstitious natives have
peopled it with malignant spirits and all the unreal beings of their singular mythology!
From this romantic spot, we walked to Kenmore, a village situated on an isthmus projecting into the eastern extremity of Loch Tay. We walked over the earl of Breadalbane's grounds, but we found nothing there worthy of description. His lordship is a member of the Opposition, which is one cause of the va. riance between him and the duke of Athol; his grace being, (like most of the Scotch peers,) an advocate of ministerial principles. The castle of Taymouth is in an unfinished state; when this edifice shall receive the last touch, and
" Ebur et aurium
it will deserve the traveller's visit much more than it does at present.
Yesterday we left Kenmore very early, and breakfasted at Killin, near Loch Tay, which is considered as one of the most beautiful of the Scotch lakes, although, (I must confess,) I could see nothing about it so extremely fascinating. Gray calls it “a glorious lake, 15 miles long and one and a half broad.” At the N. E. it terminates in the river Tay. We arrived at Callander this morning, under a very heavy shower. This town is surrounded by interesting landscapes; it is situated on the banks of the river Teith, and a short distance from that sublime scenery which has been immortalized in the “ Lady of the Lake.” This evening we will walk to Stewart's house near the Trosachs, where we will stop till we have visited en dé
tail Loch Katrine and its surrounding beauties. Hitherto we have had no cause to complain of the weather; but we have every thing to expect
“ From the charming month of May, When the breezes fan the treeses
Full of blossoms fresh and gay!”
Forms such as Nature moulds, when she would vie
Stewart's, May 19th, 1819. JAMES STEWART is the Cicerone of the Tro. sachs; he keeps boats upon Loch Katrine, and rowers to accompany travellers in their aquatic excursions. His house and accommodations are not in the most elegant style, which is very disagreeable; as, after the mental feast which the scenery affords, the fatigued pedestrian will have a longing for refreshments of a substantial and enlivening nature. What a luxury a copious repast, and a good bottle of wine is after a long walk! It has always appeared to me a very silly thing in Mahomet, to represent his Paradise as being an unvaried scene of kissing and twining and panting, of soft downy banks, and images of impurity.* We
« A long round of blissés,
would soon get tired of running round the paltry circle of even the most delicious immora. lity.
We sallied out at early dawn, to enjoy a view of the Trosachs. Already there was a tinge of dazzling lustre on the brow of the hills, and Aurora smiled on the landscape in all the freshness of. a summer morning. As yet, not a single wreath of smoke rose from the buildings, and the delicious morning air gave me an accurate idea of that sweetly expressive line,
“ The innocent brightness of the new-born day." After a short walk, we came to Loch Vennachar, near which Roderick Dhu sunk under the prowess of Fitz-James.. The lake is a beautiful expanse of about 5 miles in length. The landscape about it is very fine, and is described by Scott with the most charming imagery.
At Milntown, near this spot, there is a very picturesque cascade, in which the prismatic colours may be viewed as distinctly as in the optical instrument which divides the sunny ray into the primitive hues.
We afterwards arrived at the Trosachs, which consist of a series of unconnected rocks, through which the road winds. It seems as if a whole mountain had been torn in pieces, and frittered down by a convulsion of the earth, and the immense fragments and hills were feathered over by subsequent foliage. The hil
locks were covered “ with boughs that quake at every breath.” The ash and the fir-tree displayed their fringed tops in a series of natural amphitheatres, and the oak (says Ossian,) lifted its broad head to the storm, and rejoiced in the course of the wind.
After having passed through the Trosachs, and our minds not yet sated with its varied beauties, Loch Katrine opened suddenly and unexpectedly to view. Here a boat waited for us; having taken our seats, we sailed along with high hopes of being gratified by its farfamed scenery. The first appearance of Loch Katrine does not give one the idea of that magnificence which soon afterwards unfolds itself. It commences by a contracted body of water which stretches out as you proceed. Scott has well described it as
“ A narrow inlet still and deep,
Benan “heaves high his forehead bare” above the mountains of the Trosachs. For several hundred yards from the top, it is perfectly pyramidal, but it soon reclines on its shapeless basis, from which are detached huge masses of rock. These descend into the lake, and their black sides can be viewed for a certain distance in the transparent stream.
When the lake made a bend, “ Ellen's Isle" suddenly showed itself. It is clothed with the richest verdure, and with trees which present