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ing as it extends to the southward, it spreads its base around the indentures and promontories of a fair and fertile land, affords one of the most surprising, beautiful, and sublime spectacles in nature.'
Walter Scott, in enumerating the qualities of Malcolm Græme, says
“Right up Ben Lomond could he press,
And not a sob his toil confess." 1 I had heard so much about the prospect from
the summit of this mountain, that I soon persuaded my companions to join me in ascending it. We procured a guide to conduct us by the easiest path, and to carry our refreshments. When we arrived at the summit, we enjoyed a scene which repayed us with interest for the fatigue of the walk. Below us we beheld Loch Lomond expanding to a length of about 30 miles; its surface sprinkled with verdant isles and its shores feathered over with the most luxuriant woodland. The horizon is bounded by a range of lofty mountains, whose shades are gradually melted into the soft tinges of the sky. From east to west, the eye successively reposes on the rich vales of Stirlingshire, the coast of Ireland and the Western Ocean. In
the midst of other beauties, the lovely lakes of 3 Perthshire present themselves gleaming in the
noon-day sun. The mountain itself affords a rich treat to the observing traveller. One side
of it presents a horrible precipice of many -yards in depth. He must be fearless indeed,
who can look down this awful brink and not "taint with fear." When you descend into the abyss, you appear lost to the outward world, and the most awful silence prevails in this solitude of nature.
“The thrill-gorg'd lark so far
Cannot be seen or beard”It has been said, that a gun fired in this concavity, returns a long and variously reverberated echo; though, from the rareness of the atmosphere on the summit, the report is there extremely faint.
In the variable weather of July and August, (says Dr. Graham,) the traveller has sometimes the awful enjoyment, of sitting in a serene atmosphere on the summit of the mountain, whilst the thunder clouds roll below, and the livid lightning flashes between him and the surface of the lake.
the lake. Caught in this situation , let him not linger long upon the summit, but retire as fast as he can from a spot where the variations of the weather are sudden, and the war of the elements far more formidable than on the plain!
This morning I left my fellow travellers in bed, and hired a boat to make an excursion on the lake, and to indulge in the Reveries of a Solitary Wanderer. The water was expanded in the most glassy smoothness,
“E sul tranquillo mar dormiapo i venti; Sol zefiro ondeggiar facea sul lito L'erbetta molle, e i fior vaghi e ridenti."* Tassoni. * The winds lay sleeping on the sea's calm breast; Soft zephyrs only breathing o'er the meads Kissed the young grass, and waved the tender reeds.
The horizon was bounded by romantic mountains, with wreathes of snow resting among their gray summits, which towered away beyond the line of perpetual congelation. As I approached the rocky banks of some of the islands, I observed cascades dashing down into the lake, in streams of wonderful clearness and beauty. The azure firmament appeared to admire its magnificence, in the bosom of the crystal mirror; and the flowers on the shores of some of the smaller isles, seemed to shoot their hues into the water, which reflected them in a myriad of dazzling colours. I often alighted froin my boat and walked to the most elevated point of some island, many of them being 300 feet above the level of the lake:) here I gazed on the diversified landscape which was spread out before me. My eye was first attracted by the bright smile of the lake which was wailing below me; while here and there flashed upward the scintillating radiance of some rivulet, whose course was soon hidden by overshadowing trees, or banks of the brightest verdure. The distant shores of the lake and the innumerable isles exhibited a surprising mixture of wild and cultivated nature; indeed there did not seem to be wanting, in this magnificent picture, a single object of interest which the imagination could conjure up in its dreams of fairy scenery; and there was such a luxuriance of beauty, as would set at defiance the powers of the most magical pencil.
As I advanced into the bosom of an island, I found myself in the midst of one of the most lovely vales ever forined by Nature. At a distance, dells overshadowed by trees, through which peeped out the chimney tops of poor huts, many of them wreathed with the richest ivy,-mounts wrapped in a glittering mantle of luxuriant foliage, the summits of groves here and there islanded in the azure atmosphere,--and far off the blue tops of a hundred hills, presented continual objects of admiration. The lake, seen through a vista of trees, shone like liquid silver; for by this time the sun rode above the horizon, but it was yet morning, and its calm still hung upon the woods. I shall never forget this enchanting landscape, while Memory holds a seat in this distracted globe.” During those pleasing reveries which pass like a glittering vision before the soul, when we wish to retire from the perversity of this stirring world to some poetical Elysium, or amid the loveliness of some imagined Tempe, when the fancy en. deavours to picture in one scene every beauteous image that the memory can supply, it would be impossible to conceive the existence of a more heavenly spot, than the one which suddenly burst upon my view. So sweet is this vale, that the winds of heaven appear to “visit its face less roughly” than the other parts of this or the other islands; they seem fondly to float over it, and to caress it with peculiar delight; even the lovers of the feath
ered kind, seem to tune their tender throats with more harmony in this fairy solitude. There is a still and delicious witchery in the tranquillity and seclusion of the place, and I was in as perfect a state of loneliness as Sancho in the Sierra Morena. From the flowers which fringed the borders of a stream that murmured along the glade, was wafted a delicious sweetness, more exquisite than the odours. of Arabia, and more volatile than the scent of the iris. I walked about in an ecstacy of admiration; and I was sometimes shrouded in the drizzling spray from a picturesque waterfall which thundered on the rocks, and then curled around their jetty fragments.
In this Elysian vale, the earth seems to adorn herself to make a nuptial bed for happy lovers; and one could have thought that it had been created as an asylum for two fond mortals, who alone had escaped the general wreck of nature.
Here might have lived in more than human bliss, lovers like Petrarch and Laura, St. Preux and Julia, whose tender sentiments have been painted in the strongest and most glowing colours, of which language is susceptible. Some secret charm would have enlivened every object, or raised their mutual transports to a more exquisite degree:
"Oh! when meet now Such pairs, in love and mutual honour joined!" When matrimony is looked upon as a means of acquiring fortune, it will be rather difficult