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mountains that changed their face and opened something new every hundred yards, as the way turned, or the clouds passed: in short, altogether it was one of the most pleasing days I have passed these many years, and at every step I wished for you. At the close of day we came to Balloch,* so the place was called; but now Taymonih, improperly enough; for here it is that the river issues out of Loch-Tay, a glorious lake 15 miles long and one mile and a half broad, surrounded with prodigious mountains ; there on its north-eastern brink, impending over it, is the vast hill of Lawers; to the east is that enormous creature, Shekhallian (i. e. the maiden's pap) spiring above the clouds: directly west, beyond the end of the lake, Bent-more ; the great mountain rises to a most awful height, and looks down on the tomb of Fingal. Lord Breadalbane*s policy (so they call here all such ground as is laid out for pleasure) takes in iibout 2000 acfes, of which his house, offices, and a deer-park, about three miles round, occupy the plain or bottom, which is little above a mile in breadth; through it winds the Tay, which, by means of a bridge, I found here to be 156 feet over: his plantations and woods rise with the ground, on either side the vale, to the very summit of the enormous crags that overhang it: along them, on the mountain's side, runs a terras a mile and a half long, that overlooks the course of the river. From several seats and temples perched on particular rocky eminences, you command the lake for many miles in length, which tarns like some huge river, and loses itself among the mountains that surround it; at its eastern extremity, where the river issues out of it, on a peninsula my lord has built a neat little town and church with a high square tower; and just before it lies a small round island in the lake, covered with trees, amongst which are the ruins of some little religious house.
* Afr. Pennant, in his four in Scotland, explains this word " the Mouth of tire Loth."
Trees, by the way, grow here to great size and beauty. I saw four old chesnuts in the road, as you enter the park, of vast bulk and height; one beech tree I measured that was 16 feet 7 inches in the girth, and, I guess, near 80 feet in height. The gardener presented us with peaches, nectarines, and plumbs from the stone-walls of the kitchen-garden (for there are no brick nor hot walls); the peaches, were good, the rest well tasted, but scarce ripe; we had »
also golden pippins from an espalier, not ripe, and a melon very well flavoured and fit to cut: of the house I have little to say; it is a very good nobleman's house, handsomely furnished and well kept, very comfortable to inhabit, but not worth going far to see. Of the earl's taste 1 have not much more to say; it is one of those noble situations that man cannot spoil: it is however certain, that he has built an inn and a town just where his principal walks should have been, and in the most wonderful spot of ground that perhaps belongs to him. In this inn however we lay ; and next day, returning down the river four miles, we passed it over a fine bridge, built at the expense of the government, and continued our way to Logie-Rait, just below which, in a most charming scene, the Tummel, which is here the larger river of the two, falls into the Tay. We ferried over tlie Tummel in order to get into Marshal Wade's road, which leads from Dunkeld to Inverness, and continued our way along it toward the north: the road is excellent, but dangerous enough in conscience; the river often running directly under us at the bottom of a precipice 200 feet deep, sometimes masked indeed by wood that finds means to grow where I could not stand, but very often quite naked and without any defence; in such places we walked for miles together, partly for fear, and partly to admire the beauty of the country, which the beauty of the weather set off to the greatest advantage: as evening came on, we approached the pass of Gillikrankie, where, in the year 1745, the Hessians, with their prince at their head, stopped short, and refused to march a foot farther.
festibulum ante ipsum, prhnisque in faucilus Orci, stands the solitary mansion of Mr. Robertson, of Fascley; close by it rises a hill covered with oak, with grotesque masses of rock staring from among their trunks, like the sullen countenances ofFingal and all his family, frowning on the little mortals of modern days: from between this hill and the adjacent mountams, pent in a narrow channel, comes roaring out the river Turnmel, and falls headlong dowu involved in white foam which rises into a mist all round it: but my paper is deficient, and I must say nothing of the pass itself, the black river Garry, the Blair of Athol, mount Beni-Gloe, my return by another road to Dunkeld, the Hermitage, the Stra-Bram, and the Rumbling Brig; in short, since I saw the Alps, I have seen nothing sublime till now. In about a week I shall set forward, by the Stirling road, on my return all alone. Pray for me till I see you, for 1 dread Edinburgh and the itch, and expect to Tind very little in my way worth the perils I am to endure.
TO MR. BEATTIE.
Glames Castle, Oct. 2,1765,
I Must beg you would present my most grateful acknowledgments to your society for the public mark of their esteem, which you say they are disposed to confer on me.* I embrace, with so deep and just a sense of their goodness, the substance of that honour they do me, that I hope it may plead my pardon with them if I do not accept the form. I have been, sir, for several years a member of the university of Cambridge, and formerly (when I had some thoughts of the profession) took a bachelor of laws' degree
* The Marischal College of Aberdeen had desired to know whether it would be agreeable to Mr. Gray to receive from them the degree of doctor of laws. Mr. afterwards Dr. Beattic wrote to, him on the subject, and this is the answer.