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a mile broad, and is, as we learned, of extreme depth. The
It wes bathe hey, and lang, and braid ; murky vapours which enveloped the mountain ridges, obliged
And or thai halff it passyt had, us by assuming a thonsand varied shapes, changing their dra
Thai saw on syd thre men cummand, pery into all sorts of forms, and sometimes clearing off all to
Lik to lycht men and wauerand. gether. It is true, the mist made us par the penalty by some
Swerdis thai had, and axys als; heavy and downright showers, from the frequency of which a
And ane off thaim, apon his hals, 1 Highland boy, whom we brought from the farm, told us the
A mekill boundyn wethir bar. lake was popularly called the Water-kettle. The proper name
Thai met the king, and hailst 2 bim thar: is Loch Corriskin, from the deep corrie, or hollow, in the
And the king thaim thar hailsing yauld ;3 mountains of Cuilin, which affords the basin for this wonder
And askyt thaim qucthir thai wauld. ful sheet of water. It is as exquisite a savage scene as Loch
Thai said, Robert the Bruyss thai soucht; Katrine is a scene of romantic beauty. After having pene
For mete with him giff that thai moucht, trated so far as distinctly to observe the termination of the
Thar duelling with him wauld thai ma. 4 lake under an immense precipice, which rises abruptly from
The king said, 'Giff that ye will swa, the water, we returned, and often stopped to admire the ra
Haldys furth your way with me, vages which storms must have made in these recesses, where
And I sall ger yow sonc him se.' all human witnesses were driven to places of more shelter and
“ Thai persa wyt, be his speking, security. Stones, or rather large masses and fragments of
That he wes the selwyn Robert king. rocks of a composite kind, perfectly different from the strata
And chaungyt contenance and late;5 of the lake, were scattered upon the bare rocky beach, in the
And held nocht in the fyrst state. strangest and most precarious situations, as if abandoned hy
For thai war fayis to the king :the torrents which had borne them down from above. Some
And thoucht to cum in to sculking, lay loose and tottering upon the ledges of the natural rock,
And duell with him, quhill that thai saw with so little security, that the slightest push moved them,
Thar poynt, and bryng him than off daw.6 though their weight might exceed many tons. These detached
Thai grantyt till his spek forthi.7 rocks, or stones, were chiefly what is called plum-pudding
Bot the king, that wes witty, stones. The bare rocks, which formed the shore of the lakes,
Persa wyt wcill, by thar hawing, were a species of granite. The opposite side of the lake seemed
That thai luffyt him na thing: quite pathless and inaccessible, as a huge mountain, one of the
And said, . Falowis, ye mon, all thre, detached ridges of the Cuilin hills, sinks in a profound and
Forthir aqwent till that we be, perpendicular precipice down to the water. On the left-hand
All be your selwyn furth ga; side, which we traversed, rose a higher and equally inaccessi
And, on the samyn wyss, we twa ble mountain, the top of which strongly resembled the shivered
Sall folow behind weill ner.' crater of an exhausted volcano. I never saw a spot in which
Quoth thai, “Schyr, it is na myster 8 there was less appearance of vegetation of any kind. The eye
To trow in ws ony ill.'iested on nothing but barren and naked crags, and the rocks
Nane do I,' said he ; bot I will, on which we walked by the side of the loch, were as bare as
That yhe ga fourth thus, qubill we the pavements of Cheapside. There are one or two small islets
Better with othyr knawin be.'in the loch, which seem to bear juniper, or some such low
• We grant,'thai said, “sen ye will swa: bushy shrub. Upon the whole, though I have seen many
And furth apon thair gate gan ga. scenes of more extensive desolation, I never witnessed any in
“ Thus yeid thai till the necht wes ner. which it pressed more deeply upon the eye and the heart than
And than the formast cummyn wer at Loch Corriskin; at the same time that its grandeur cle
Till a waist housband houss ; 9 and thar vated and redeemed it from the wild and dreary character of
Thai slew the wcthir that thai bar: atter barrenness."
And slew fyr for to rost thar mete;
Assentyt till thair spek in hy.
Bot he said, he wald anerly 10
At a fyr; and thai all thre den were they all of evil mien,
On na wyss with thaim till gyddre be. Douen-look'd, unwilling to be seen.-P. 428.
In the end off the houss thai suld ma
Ane othyr fyr; and thai did swa. The story of Bruce's meeting the banditti is copied, with
Thai drew thaim in the houss end, guch alterations as the fictitious narrative rendered necessary,
And halff the wethir till him send. from a striking incident in the monarch's history, told hy Bar
And thai rostyt in ny thair mete; bour, and which I shall give in the words of the hero's bio
And fell rycht freschly for till ete. grapher. It is the sequel to the adventure of the bloodhound,
For the king weill lang fastyt had; narrated in Note 2 D. It will be remembered that the narra
And had rycht mekill trawaill mad : tire broke off, leaving the Bruce escaped from his pursuers,
Tharfor hie eyt full egrely. out worn out with fatigue, and having no other attendant but
And quhen he had etyn hastily, nis foster-brother.
He had to slep sa mekill will,
That he moucht set na let thar till. “ And the gude king held forth his way,
For quhen the wanys ll tillyt ar,
Men worthys 12 hewy euirmar;
And to slepe drawys hewynes.
The king, that all fortra waillyt 13 wes,
: Neck.--2 Saluted.-3 Returned their salute.-- 4 Make"Gesture or manner. --5 kil! him.--7 Therefore. There is
no neerl. - Husbandman's house, cottage. — 10 Alone. 11 Bellies.--1! Becoines.---'3 fatigued.
Saw that him worthyt slep nedwayis.
upon the estate of Alexander Mac-Allister, F.eq. of Strathaird. Till liis fostyr-brodyr he sayis;
It has since been much and deservedly celebrated, and a full • May I traist in the, me to waik,
account of its beauties has been published by Dr. Mac-Leay Till Ik a little sleping tak?'
of Oban. The general impression may perhaps be gathered * Ya, Schyr,' he said, 'till I may drey.''
from the following extract from a journal, which, written The king then wynkyt a litill wey ;
under the feelings of the moment, is likely to be more accuAnd slepyt nocht full encrely;
rate than any attempt to recollect the impressions then reBot gliffnyt wp oft sodanls.
ceived." The first entrance to this celebrated care is rude For he had dreid off thai thre men,
and unpromising ; but the light of the torches, with which That at the tothyr fyr war then.
we were provided, was soon reflected from the roof, floor, and That thai his fais war he wyst;
walls, which seem as if they were sheeted with marble, partly Tharfor he slepyt as foule on twyst.2
smooth, partly rough with frost-work and rustic ornaments, “ The king slepyt bot a litill than;
and partly seeming to be wrought into statuary. The floor Quheu sic slep fell on his man,
forms a steep and difficult ascent, and might be fancifully That he mycht nocht hald wp his ey,
compared to a sheet of water, which, while it rushed whitenBot fell in slep, and rowtyt hey.
ing and foaming down a declivity, had been suddenly arrested Now is the king in gret perilo:
and consolidated by the spell of an enchanter. Upon attainFor slep he swa a litill quhile,
ing the summit of this ascent, the cave opens into a splendid Ho sall be ded, for owtyn dreid.
gallery, adorned with the most dazzling crystalizations, and For the thre tratours tuk gud heid,
finally descends with rapidity to the brink of a pool, of the That he on slep wes, and his man.
most limpid water, about four or five yards broad. There In full gret hy thai raiss wp than,
opens beyond this pool a portal arch, formed by two columns And drew the suerdis hastily;
of white spar, with beautiful chasing upon the sides, which And went towart the king in his,
promiscs a continuation of the care. One of our sailors swam Quhen that thai saw him sleip swa,
across, for there is no other mode of passing, and informed us And slepand thoucht thei wald him sla.
(as indeed we partly saw by the light he carried) that the enThe king wp blenkit hastily,
chantment of Maccalister's cave terminates with this portal, And saw his man slepand him by;
a little beyond which there was only a rude cavern, speedily And saw cummand the tothyr thre.
choked with stones and carth. But the pool, on the brink of Deliuerly on fute gat he;
which we stood, surrounded by the most fanciful mouldings, And drew his suerd owt, and thaim mete.
in a substance resembling white marble, and distinguished And, as he yude, his fute he set
by the depth and purity of its warers, might have been the Apon his man, weill hewyly.
bathing grotto of a naiad. The groups of combined figures He waknyt, and raiss disily:
projecting, or embossed, by which the pool is surrounded, are For the slep maistryt hym sway,
exquisitely elegant and fanciful. A statuary might catch That or he gat wp, ane off thai,
beautiful hints from the singular and romantic disposition of That come for to sla the king,
those stalactites. There is scarce a form, or group, on which Gaiff hym a strak in his rysing,
active fancy may not traco figures or grotesque orvaments, Swa that he mycht help him no mar.
which have been gradually moulded in this cavern by the The king sa straitly stad 3 wes thar,
dropping of the calcareous water hardening into petrifactions. That he wes neuir yeyt sa stad.
Many of those fine groups have been injured by the senseless No war the armyng* that he had,
rage of appropriation of recent tourists; and the grotto ha. He had been dede, for owtyn wer.
lost, (I am informed,) through the smoke of torches, someBut nocht for this on sic maner
thing of that vivid silver tint which was originally one of its He helpyt him, in that bargaync.*
chicf distinctions. But enough of beauty remains to compenThat thai thre tratowris he has slan,
sate for all that may be lost."-J1r. Mac-Allister of StrathThrow Goddis grace, and his man heid.
aird has, with great propricty, built up the exterior entranco His fostyr-brothyr thar was dede.
to this care, in order that strangers may enter properly atThen wes he wondre will of wayn,
tended by a guide, to prevent any repetition of the wanton Quhen he saw him left allane.
and selfish injury which this singular scene has already sus His fostyr-brodyr menyt he;
The Bruce, Book v., 9. 405.
NOTE 2 K.
Vd to no sense of selfish rorongs,
Dy joy o'er Eduard's bier'.-P. 433.
NOTE 2 I.
And mermaid's alabaster grot,
The generosity which does justice to the character of an Who bathes her limbs in sunless well
enemy, often marks Bruce's sentiments, as recorded by the Deep in Strathaird's enchanted cell.-P. 431.
faithful Barbour. He seldom mentions a fallen enemy with.
out praising such good qualities as he might possess. I shall Imagination can hardly conceive any thing more beautiful only take one instance. Shortly after Bruce landed in Carthan the extraordinary grotto discoyered not many years since rick, in 1306, Sir Ingram Bell, tbe English governor of Ayr,
| Endure.--2 Bird on bough.-3 So dangerously situated.- 1 -6 Fray, or dispute.--7 Much afflicted.--8 Cursed. --· The • Had it not been for the armour he wore. –5 Nerertheless. place of rendezvous appointed for his soldiers.
engaged a wealthy yeoman, who had hitherto been a follower charges. Yet, more to mark his animosity, the dying monarch
So this continued till the said King Edward died at Berwick :
and when he saw that he should die, he called before him his " He rushed down of blood all red,
eldest son, who was King after him, and there, be all the And when the king saw they were dead,
barones, he caused him to swear, that as soon as he were dead, All three lying, he wiped his brand.
that he should take his body, and boyle it in a cauldron, till With that his boy came fast running,
the flesh departed clean from the bones, and than to bury the And said, 'Our lord might lowyti be,
flesh, and keep still the bones; and that as often as the Scotts That granted you might and poweste?
should rebell against him, he should assemble the people To fell the felony and the pride,
against them, and carry with him the bones of his father; for Of three in so little tide.'
he believed verily, that if they had his bones with them, that The king said, 'So our lord me sce,
the Scotts shonld never attain any victory against them. The They have been worthy men all three,
which thing was not accomplished, for when the King died Had they not been full of treason:
his son carried him to London."--BERNERS' FROISSART'S But that made their confusion.'"
Chronicle, London, 1812, pp. 39, 40.
Edward's commands were not obeyed, for he was interred in Westminster Abbey, with the appropriate inscription :
“ EDWARDUS PRIMUS SCOTORUM MALLEUS RIC EST.
Yet some steps seem to have been taken towards render
ing his body capable of occasional transportation, for it was NOTE 2 L.
exquisitely embalmed, as was ascertained when his tomb was
opened some years ago. Edward II. judged wisely in not carSuch hate toas his on Solway's strand,
rying the dead body of his father into Scotland, since he When vengeance clench'd his palsied hand,
would not obey his living counsels. That pointed yet to Scotland's land.-P. 433.
It ought to be observed, that though the order of the inci
dents is reversed in the poem, yet, in point of historical accuTo establish his dominion in Scotland had been a favourite racy, Bruce had landed in Scotland, and obtained some sucobject of Edward's ambition, and nothing could exceed the
cesses of consequence, before the death of Edward I.
NOTE 2 M.
-Canna's tower, that, steep and grey,
and children, the sad relics of the ancient inhabitants of the Note 2 N.
island, 200 in number, who were slain on the following occa
sion :-The Mac-Donalds of the Isle of Egg, a people depenAnd Ronin's mountains dark haie sent
dent on Clan-Ranald, had done some injury to the Laird of Their hunters to the shore-P. 434.
Mac-Leod. The tradition of the isle says, that it was by a
personal attack on the chieftain, in which his back was broRonin (popularly called Rum, a name which a poet may be ken. But that of the other isles bears, more probably, that pardoned for avoiding if possible) is a very rough and moun
the injury was offered to two or three of the Mac-Leods, who, tainous island, adjacent to those of Eigg and Cannay. There landing upon Eigg, and using some freedom with the young is almost no arable ground upon it, so that, except in the plen- women, were seized by the islanders, bound hand and foot, ty of the deer, which of course are now nearly extirpated, it and turned adrift in a boat, which the winds and waves safely still deserves the description bestowed by the archdean of the conducted to Skye. To avenge the offence given, Mac-Leod Isles. “ Ronin, sixteen myle north-wast from the ile of Coll, sailed with such a body of men, as rendered resistance hopelyes ane ile callit Ronin lle, of sixteen myle long, and six in less. The natives, fearing his vengeance, concealed thembredthe in the narrowest, ane forest of heigh mountains, and selves in this cavern, and, after a strict search, the Macabundance of little deir in it, quhilk deir will never be slane Leods went on board their galleys, after doing what mischief doune with, but the principal saittis man be in the height of the they could, concluding the inhabitants had left the isle, and hill, because the deir will be callit upwart ay be the tain- betaken themselves to the Long Island, or some of Clanchell, or without tynchel they will pass upwart perforce. In Ranald's other possessions. But next morning they espied this ile will be gotten about Britane als many wild nests upon from the vessels a man upon the island, and immediately the plane mure as men pleasis to gadder, and yet by resson landing again, they traced his retreat by the marks of his footthe fowls hes few to start them except deir. This ile lyes steps, a light snow being unhappily on the ground. Macfrom the west to the eist in lenth, and pertains to M.Kena- Leod then surrounded the cavern, summoned the subterra. brey of Colla. Many solan geese are in this ile.”—Monro's
nean garrison, and demanded that the individuals who had Description of the Western Isles, p. 18.
offended him should be delivered up to him. This was peremptorily refused. The chieftain then caused his people to divert the course of a rill of water, which, falling over the entrance of the cave, would have prevented his purposed vengeance. He then kindled at the entrance of the cavern a
huge fire, composed of turf and fern, and maintained it with NOTE 2 0.
unrelenting assiduity, until all within were destroyed by suffocation. The date of this dreadful deed must have been re
cent, if one may judge from the fresh appearance of those On Scoorcigg next a warning light
relics. I brought off, in spite of the prejudice of our sailors, Summon'd her warriors to the fight;
a skull from among the numerous specimens of mortality A numerous race, ere storn Nacieod
which the cavern afforded. Before re-embarking we visited O'er their bleak shores in vengeance strode.-P. 435.
another cave, opening to the sea, but of a character en. These, and the following lines of the stanza, refer to a tirely different, being a large open vault, as high as that of dreadful tale of feudal vengeance, of which unfortunately a cathedral, and running back a great way into the rock at there are relics that still attest the truth. Scoor-Eigg is a
the same height. The height and width of the opening gives high peak in the centre of the small Isle of Eigg, or Egg. It ample light to the whole. Here, after 1745, when the Cathois well known to mineralogists, as affording many interesting lic priests were scarcely tolerated, the priest of Eigg used to specimens, and to others whom chance or curiosity may lead perform the Roman Catholic service, most of the islanders to the island, for the astonishing view of the mainland and being of that persuasion. A huge ledge of rocks rising about neighbouring isles, which it commands. I shall again avail half-way up one side of the vault, served for altar and pulpit;
and the appearance of a priest and Highland congregation in myself of the journal I have quoted. 1
such an extraordinary place of worship, might have engaged " 26th August, 1814. --At seven this morning we were in the
the pencil of Salvator." Sound which divides the Isle of Rum from that of Eigg. The lacter, although hilly and rocky, and traversed by a remarkably high and barren ridge, called Scoor-Rigg, has, in point of soil, a much more promising appearance. Southward of both lies the Isle of Muich, or Muck, a low and fertile island, and though the least, yet probably the most valuable of the three. We manned the boat, and rowed along the shore of
NOTE 2 P. Egg in quest of a cavern, which had been the memorable scene of a horrid feudal vengeance. We had rounded more
that wondrous dome, than half the island, admiring the entrance of many a bold
Where, as to shame the temples deck'd natural cave, which its rocks exhibited, without finding that
By skill of earthly architect, which we sought, until we procured a guide. Nor, indeed,
Nature herself, it seem'd, would raise was it surprising that it should have escaped the search of
A Minster to her Maker's praise!-P. 435. strangers, as there are no outward indications more than might distinguish the entrance of a fox-earth. This noted
It would be unpardonable to detain the reader upon a woncave has a very narrow opening, through which one can hardly der so often described, and yet so incapable of being undercreep on his knees and hands. It rises steep and lofty within,
stood by description. This palace of Neptune is even grander and runs into the bowels of the rock to the depth of 255 mea
upon a second than the first view. The stupendous columns sured feet; the height at the entrance may be about three
which form the sides of the cave, the depth and strength of feet, but rises within to eighteen or twenty, and the breadth may vary in the same proportion. The rude and stony bot- mity of the rault-the variety of the tints formed by white,
the tide which rolls its deep and heavy swell up to the extretom of this cave is strewed with the bones of men, women, crimson, and yellow stalactites, or petrifactions, which oc
cupy the vacancies between the base of the broken pillars 1 See note 2 G, p. 478, ante.
which form the roof, and intersect them with a rich, curious,
and variegated chasing, occupying each interstice--the cor- “ Bot to King Robert will we gang,
And othyr men off gret noblay. are circumstances elsewhere unparalleled.
To Tarhart thai held thair way, Nothing can be more interesting than the varied appear- In galayis ordanyt for thair far. ance of the little archipelago of islets, of which Staffa is the Bot thaim worthyt 1 draw thair schippis thar: most remarkable. This group, called in Gaelic Tresharnish, And a myle wes betuix the seys ; affords a thousand varied views to the voyager, as they appear Bot that wes lompnyt ? all with treis. in different positions with reference to his course. The va
The King his schippis thar gert 3 draw. riety of their shape contributes much to the beauty of these And for the wynd couth * stoutly blaw
Apon thair bak, as thai wald ga,
Swa that, in a litill space,
Thair flote all our drawin was.
“And quhen thai, that in the llis war,
Hard tell how the gud King had thar The ballad, entitled “ Macphail of Colonsay, and the Mer
Gert hys schippis with saillis ga maid of Corrievrekin.” [See Border Minstrelsy, vol. iv. p. Owt our betuix [the] Tarbart [is] twa, 285,) was composed by John Leyden, from a tradition which Thai war abaysit 5 sa wtrely, he found while making a tour through the Hebrides about For thai wyst, throw auld prophecy, 1801, soon before his fatal departure for India, where, after That he suld ger 6 schippis sua having made farther progress in Oriental literature than any
Betuix thai seis with saillis ga, man of letters who had embraced those studies, he died a mar
Suld wyne the Ilis sua till hand, tyr to his zeal for knowledge, in the island of Java, immedi
That nane with strenth suld him withstand.
Wes nane withstud his bidding,
That till the King had brokyn fay, 8
War all dede, and destroyit away."
BARBOUR'S Bruce, Book x., V. 821. Up Tarbat's western lake they bore, Then dragg'd their bark the isthmus o'er.-P. 436.
The peninsula of Cantire is joined to South Knapdale by a very narrow isthmus, formed by the western and eastern Loch of Tarbat. These two saltwater lakes, or bays, encroach so far upon the land, and the extremities come so near to each other, that there is not above a mile of land to divide them. “It is not long." says Pennant, "since vessels of nine or ten
NOTE 2 S. tons were drawn by horses out of the west loch into that of the east, to avoid the dangers of the Mull of Cantyre, so dreaded and so little known was the navigation round that promontory.
The sun, ere yet he sunk behind It is the opinion of many, that these little isthmuses, so fre
Ben-Ghoil, " the Mountain of the Wind," quertly styled Tarbat in North Britain, took their name from
Gave his grim peaks a greeting kind, the above circumstance; Tarruing, signifying to draw, and
And bade Loch Ranza smile.-P. 436. Bata, a boat. This too might be called, by way of pre-eminence, the Tarbat, from a very singular circumstance related by Torfæus. When Magnus, the barefooted king of Norway, Loch Ranza is a beautiful bay, on the northern extremity of obtained from Donald-bane of Scotland the cession he Arran, opening towards East Tarbat Loch. It is well deWestern Isles, or all those places that could be surrounded in scribed by Pennant:-“The approach was magnificent; a fine a boat, he added to them the peninsula of Cantyre by this bay in front, about a mile deep, having a ruined castle near fraud: he placed himself in the stern of a boat, held the rud- the lower end, on a low far projecting neck of land, that forms der, was drawn over this narrow track, and by this species of another harbour, with a narrow passage ; but within has three navigation wrested the country from his brother monarch."— fathom of water, even at the lowest ebb. Beyond is a little PENNANT'S Scotland, London, 1790, p. 190.
plain watered by a stream, and inhabited by the people of a But that Bruce also made this passage, although at a period small village. The whole is environed with a theatre of moun. two or three years later than in the poem, appears from the tains; and in the background the serrated crags of Griananevidence of Barbour, who mentions also the effect produced Athol soar above."-PENNANT's Tour to the Western Isles, p. upon the minds of the Highlanders, from the prophecies cur-191-2. Ben-Ghaoil, “the mountain of the winds," is generally rent amongst them :
known by its English, and less poetical name, of Goatfield.
I Were obliged to.-2 Laid with trees. - Caused. - Could.
6 Confounded.-- Make.--7 Excepting.--8 Paith