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a beautifully fringed appearance. We sailed round the Isle, and surveyed all its scenery, rendered so classical by Scott's well-known poem. I particularly noticed the aged oak, projecting from a rock, from which the Lady of the Lake was seen proceeding in her. skiff, by the chivalrous knight of Snowdoun. I ad. mired the isle's bold shore, thickly sprinkled with aspens,
firs and bushes, whose roots and tops entwine in the most luxuriant manner. To • the North, gray Ben-venue stretches in abrupt
masses, and presents a slope elegantly sprinkled with birches. It appears that by some convulsion of nature, huge masses of rock had been torn from its summit, and hurled confusedly along its sloping ridge, with a luxuriance and beauty which may be in some degree re. presented on canvas, but which no verbal description can exhibit. The lake lay expanded like a mirror of crystal before these immense masses of rock, sprinkled over with a grace and beauty unattainable by the hand of art. During this delightful excursion, we were favoured with the most charming weather:
“ And all about, a lovely sky of blue Clearly was felt, or down the leaves laugh'd thro'.” The view which we enjoyed produced the same sort of pleasure that is excited by the perusal of a fairy tale—there was not a breath of air stirring—the " azure brow" of the lake was not wrinkled by a single furrow--so that it became like a vast mirror, and represented
the mountains, the sky and the revolving clouds so vividly, that the illusion was perfect, As I gazed on the water, the delicious blue of the firmament, and the gorgeous luminary which blazed in the meridian, seemed lying under me
- I looked down on a sky as heavenly and as splendid as that over head-and the range of mountains having one line of summit above
us, and another under our feet, seemed suspended between two ethereal firmaments!
At one moment we were hemmed in by towering rocks, whose covert of luxuriant trees perfectly excluded the rays of the sun; soon afterwards we sailed on the broad expanse of
the lake glittering in the sun beams; while its
bosom "slept in bright tranquillity.” The alpine scenery of Benvenue appears the primary object of curiosity from every position. Near its base is seen the famous Coir-nan-Uriskin, or Goblins' Cave, which overhangs the lake in solemn grandeur. Mr. Scott gives a most beautiful and striking description of this subterraneous recess, (Lady of the Lake, Canto III. st. 26.) Of its reputed occupants, the Urisks, I will give you some account in my Letter on the Highland Superstitions. The scenery of Benvenue, in all its features, seems to afford the most characteristic idea of those magnificent views which Ossian so often describes, and which he appears to be so fond of describing.
The northern shoulder of this mountain recedes from the main body, leaving a horrid
chasm, which seems to have been formed by some “primæval earthquake shock." The whole composes the most romantic and sublime prospect that can be conceived. The ima. gination, lost in astonishment, (says Dr. Graham,) is apt to picture the twin precipices, stupendous but elegant, by which it is bounded, as the avenue which leads from the “ workday world” to the abode of another and higher sphere.
The western part of Loch Katrine closes the scene, which is not so beautiful as that which we passed. Smoke is seen issuing from the Alps of Arrochar, (so the surrounding mountains are called;) and as the villages from which it issues are concealed, the spirally-ascending vapour seems to be exhaled from the rocks. In the ages of mythology, a poetic fancy might, on viewing this phenomenon, create some of those charming fictions, which have shed such fascination on the pages of the Greek and Roman bards. Thus the gigantie Enceladus, hurled to destruction “rubente Jovis dextrâ,” might be conceived to breathe forth his ineffectual vengeance from the Arrochars!
We left this beautiful lake, as the setting sun was shedding its last rays on the mountains; it seemed to leave a mournful light upon the landscape, and with regret to send its parting ray over the lake,
"Like a bride, full of blushes, when lingering to take
Never shall I forget the feeling of animated lelight with which I enjoyed this most agreeable excursion. I will love to speak of it to chose whom I love; and often and often will my romantic imagination recur to it, in those reveries when I feel a gleam of more than mortal bliss, when the soul is filled with images too exquisite to pass into utterance, and more magnificent than ever appeared in this world of dull realities!
No, ne'er did the wave in its element steep
An island of lovelier charms;
MOORE's Irish Melodies.
Tarbert, May 11, 1819. From the extremity of Loch Katrine, we walked 6 miles, and passed Loch Lomond in a boat; afterwards we proceeded a few miles on foot and arrived at this place, opposite Ben Lomond. The weather continued delightful, and, to use Ossian's language, calm and bright was the breast of the lake. As we sailed along, the expanse
of water shone like liquid silver, and the numerous verdant isles, whose bending willows and waving birches bowed their drooping branches into the stream," stooping as if
to drink," gave a character of animation and loveliness to the scene which defies all description. Loch Lomond is the largest and one of the most beautiful in Great Britain. Its banks are covered with woodland, which extends along the slopes of the mountains. Towards the southern extremity are many beautiful islands clothed with luxuriant woods, some inhabited and under cultivation, others consist. ing of pasture ground, and almost all of them glittering in mantles of coppice wood. Like the other lochs, it is perfectly transparent; its water is nourished by the streams which flow down the mountains, and fall into it, after displaying themselves in picturesque cascades. These living streams now break around rocks which they have worn smooth, now“ leap into life and sparkling woo your thirst,” now foam from crag to crag, and then dash into the wa. tery abyss. From the beautiful island I looked upon
that waste of waters which rolled in their wrath to the shores.
Proceeding down the lake, the prospect appeared to be bounded by mountains, and we seemed to sail on a basin, the edges of which were the hills, which sloped down to it like a natural amphitheatre, Permit me to add the following elegant picture from Rob Roy. “This noble lake, boasting innumerable beautiful islands of every varying form and outline which fancy can form,-its northern extremity narrowing until it is lost among dusky and re. treating mountains,-while, gradually widen