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have given it, sometimes Eilan Vow, or Eilan-a Vhu; no one whom I consulted could tell me the right spelling. In the early part of this century, the vault was the headquarters of a pedlar of the name of Macfarlane. He may have been the Hermit; and there is a story of his having been frightened by the sudden apparition of a negro, (probably the first he had ever seen), who had been ordered by his master-an English officer--to swim across for that purpose: and it is said that he never again

visited the cell.


The Pulpit Rock, also called by a Gaelic name meaning the Bull Stone, is a very large boulder, or detached rock, which is likely to 'stand' as long as Ben Lomond. In the face of it, there is an artificial doorway and recess, which at one time the Parish Minister used to occupy as a Pulpit for occasional services. The audience sat on turf seats ranged round the foot of the Rock. The pulpit was reached by a few steps cut out, I suppose, in the Rock: but it has never been used for the last twenty years. The occasional' services are now held in a neighbouring schoolroom."

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Mr. Malcolm M'Farlane, a very intelligent sheep farmer in Buchanan parish, supplies the following additional information about the Cell and the Rock :-"The 'Pulpit Rock' is a cell in the face of a large stone, blasted out with gunpowder. The proper appellation is, in Gaelic, Clach-nan-Tairbh,' literally translated the Stone of the Bulls.' It was formed about 50 or 60 years ago, the then minister of Arrochar, Mr. Proudfoot, had promised to preach in that part of his parish, on several occasions during the year, provided they would get up a place for his reception. It was capable of containing three or four persons inside, was done up with wood work, an outer and inner door, with stone steps leading to the recess. They were not formed out of the rock, but other stones got up for the purpose, and turf seats laid out for the hearers, who were all exposed to the weather, except so far as they might be sheltered by the rock. The service has been discontinued at the rock for about twenty-five years, and is now held at a schoolhouse. The doors are gone, and no portion of the wood work remains. The cell is now used only as a nightly retreat for mendicants, tinkers," etc. Wordsworth's reference, in the Fenwick note, to Burns's Holy Fair induces me to quote what follows in Mr. M'Farlane's letter:-" Open air preaching was then very general in the Highlands: the people came long distances, travelled over hills, even in inclement weather, to attend them.

An individual who kept a small inn, on the loch side opposite Inversnaid, used regularly to attend the meetings with a supply of whisky; but he remained behind the 'rock' till the services were over, when the people partook of his refreshments. Also, on the north side of Loch Katrine, the minister of Callander used to conduct services in the open air, on several occasions during the year, in that distant part of his parish. An old man, who lived near the Trossachs, whom I remember very well, regularly attended with a supply of whisky. Dr. Robertson, who was then minister, after concluding the sermon, had gone to an adjoining farm house. The people had indulged too freely, so that a fight commenced (the same thing had happened on several occasions before). The Doctor had to leave his dinner in order to get them separated, and to put an end to the battle, but he never allowed any more whisky to be brought to the place afterwards. . . . These may be irrelevant matters, but they might illustrate a chapter in Lecky's History of Morals, as there is more decorum now observed. Since writing the above, I have thought that if the pulpit-rock is mentioned in Miss Wordsworth's Tour, Mr. M'Nicol, my informant, must have made a mistake in stating the time it was made, as about 50 or 60 years ago; but it cannot have been much more than 80 years, as it is not very long since some of the people who were engaged in the operation died.


Regarding the island near the head of Loch Lomond which is termed 'Eilan (Island) Vow' in Black's Guide, and somewhat differently spelt in others, in the original Gaelic it is 'Eilan a Bhuth.' Buth is a Gaelic name for a shop, so that it is 'the island of the shop.' The English Vow has no connection whatever with the Gaelic, and is perfectly unintelligible. It is part of undoubted traditional history that the chiefs of the Clan M'Farlane, who owned a considerable portion of the adjoining lands, had their residence here. In these turbulent times islands were considered more secure, as surrounded with water. They kept a 'shop' in the island, from which they supplied the little wants of the surrounding population, so that it is perfectly clear how the Island derived its name. A good portion of the stronghold is still in good preservation. A part of the wall is about thirty feet high. It is a very old building. Mr. M'Nicol states that he had learned from his grandfather, by the tradition in the family, that it was erected between the eleventh and the twelfth century. The late Sir James Colquhoun, about twelve years ago, laid out some money for keeping the walls in preser

vation. At the bottom of the Fort, and below the level of the floor, is the 'Brownie's Cell,' several steps leading down to it, and it is partly underground. It is about twelve feet wide, and sixteen feet long, with an arched roof, the mason work being still in good repair. There is some glimmering light emitted by two small apertures formed in the walls at each end. I have been unable to obtain any specific information what purpose it served in connection with the other building. Some said that it must have been a prison, and others a store for the shop. It might have been a prison at first, and afterwards, in more pacific times, used as a store.

"About the beginning of this century, the Island was occupied by a very eccentric individual, who led the life of a hermit, and took up his abode in this recess. He made frequent excursions out of it, but always returned to his Island-home before the end of the week. It was not then planted with wood, so that he cultivated a part of the ground, raised some crops, kept some poultry. He trained the poultry to fly on the approach of any stranger, so that they could not be got hold of, or taken away in his absence from the Island. He also kept a curious diary, in which local events, his own doings and opinions, were recorded in great detail, expressed in very quaint language. It was by the age of the moon, and not by the days of the month, that events were entered in the diary. He also cultivated astrology, and believed in the evil influence of some of the stars. He had a firm belief in ghosts; but he never was so frightened as when the Black Man (that is the negro), who he thought belonged to the invisible world, swam to the island. Of that adventure I have not been able to obtain a more detailed account, but his landing there very nearly put him out of his wits. The grandfather of the present Duke of Montrose had, on one occasion, visited the Island; and, when landing, the Hermit addressed him, 'James Graham, the Duke of Montrose, you are welcome to come and see my Island.' . . ." There is no evidence that the ruin was once 66 a consecrated Pile," as stated in the poem. Wordsworth had evidently heard of the Hermit's writings, as mentioned by Mr. M‘Farlane. stanza vi., "guiding a pen unwearied."


In the Diary, Reminiscences, and Correspondence of Henry Crabb Robinson, there is an entry, dated January 2, 1820:— "Went to Lamb's, where I found Mr. and Mrs. Wordsworth.

Not much was said about his (W.'s) new volume of Poems. He himself spoke of The Brownie's Cell as his favourite "


(vol. ii. p. 162). In the following year Mr. Crabb Robinson himself visited Scotland, and wrote thus on the 16th September :66 Being on the western side of Loch Lomond, opposite the Mill at Inversnaid, some women kindled a fire, the smoke of which was to be a signal for a ferryboat. No ferryman came; and a feeble old man offering himself as a boatman, I intrusted myself to him. I asked the women who he was. They said, 'That's old Andrew.' According to their account he lived a hermit's life in a lone island on the lake; the poor peasantry giving him meal, and what he wanted, and he picking up pence. On my asking him whether he would take me across the lake, he said, 'I wull, if you'll gi'e me saxpence.' So I consented. But before I was half over I repented of my rashness, for I feared the oars would fall out of his hands. A breath of wind would have rendered half the voyage too much for him. There was some cunning mixed up with the fellow's seeming imbecility, for when his strength was failing he rested, and entered into talk, manifestly to amuse me. He said he could see things before they happened. He saw the Radicals before they came, etc. He had picked up a few words of Spanish and German, which he uttered ridiculously, and laughed. But when I put troublesome questions he affected not to understand me; and was quite astonished, as well as delighted, when I gave him two sixpences instead of the one he had bargained for. The simple-minded women, who affected to look down on him, seemed, however, to stand in awe of him, and no wonder. On my telling Wordsworth this history, he exclaimed, 'That's my "Brownie!"" His Brownie's Cell is by no means one of my My sight of old Andrew showed me the stuff out of which a poetical mind can weave such a web" (vol. ii. pp. 212, 213).

favourite poems.

Compare the sequel to this poem, The Brownie, in the "Yarrow Revisited and other Poems," of the Tour made in Scotland in the autumn of 1831.-ED.




-How Wallace fought for Scotland, left the name

Of Wallace to be found, like a wild flower,

All over his dear Country; left the deeds
Of Wallace, like a family of ghosts,

To people the steep rocks and river banks,
Her natural sanctuaries, with a local soul
Of independence and stern liberty.

Composed 1814.-Published 1820


[I had seen this celebrated Waterfall twice before; but the feelings to which it had given birth were not expressed till they recurred in presence of the object on this occasion.—I. F.]

LORD of the vale! astounding Flood;
The dullest leaf in this thick wood
Quakes-conscious of thy power;
The caves reply with hollow moan;
And vibrates, to its central stone,
Yon time-cemented Tower! †

And yet how fair the rural scene!

For thou, O Clyde, hast ever been


* Compare The Prelude (vol. iii. p. 139), to which may be added the following Wallace Memorials:-"The barrel, or cave, in Bothwell parish; caves in Lasswade, Torphichen, and Lesmahagow parishes; chair at Bonniton, near Lanark; cradle on hill, two miles south by west of Linlithgow; house at Elderslie, in Renfrewshire; larder at Ardrossan; leap in Roseneath parish; monument on Abbey Craig, near Stirling; oaks at Elderslie and at Torwood; seats in Biggar, Kilbarchan, and Dumbarton parishes; statues at Lanark, and adjacent to the Tweed, near Dryburgh; stone in Polmont parish; towers in Ayr town, Roxburgh parish, Auchterhouse parish, and Kirkmichael parish, Dumfriesshire; trench in Kincardine-in-Monteith parish; and well in Biggar parish."-Wilson's Gazetteer of Scotland, 1882 (article, "Wallace Memorials").-ED.

The "time-cemented Tower" of the old castle of Cora still overlooks the waterfall. Compare the Address to Kilchurn Castle in the "Memorials of a Tour in Scotland," 1803 (vol. ii. p. 400); and, with

The dullest leaf in this thick wood

Quakes-conscious of thy power,

compare the Lines written in Early Spring (vol. i. p. 268).-ED.

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