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ceed, precisely at eight o'clock on the morning of Thursday the 16th of October, eighteen hundred, I bid a lasting adieu to Inverness, the metropolis of the Scottish alps, in order to penetrate the wilderness of the west. Soon after I left this place, the road, such as it is, branches off to the right, and I could perceive, by the inroads the grass and moss had made on the almost trackless path, that the wretched Highlander, or curious traveller, seldom disturbed the dreary silence which reigned around. After riding about six miles my attention was suddenly attracted by a collection of large stones on my left, placed on an eminence, which, on examination, I found to be an ancient monument, perhaps sacred to the memory of some illustrious chief, the father of a warlike clan, who, impressed by his many virtues, though savage, raised this tribute to his memory. I know this was the custom in early ages of Scottish history. This stony heap was composed of two circles; the inplaced in a reclining manner towards the others. The whole bears the most evident marks of antiquity ; but as you are no antiquarian, I have perhaps tired out yo:ir patience. About a mile farther the scenery gradually assumed a ruder aspect, till ascending a rising ground, a view at once grand, awful, and terrific, burst upon my astonished sight: mountains, whose summits knew of no control; waters, whose expanse seemed to know of no boundary but the horizon; and woods, whose many-coloured robes formed a most exquisite contrast to the haggard and terrific face of the sullen, dark, and impending rocks, against whose sides the waters of this lake, for ages interminable, have dashed in murmuring hollow dissonant sounds. All these were brought together, and combined in this indescribable view. I stood at the head of Lochness, and could with delight descry my road taking its mazy directions amidst the crags and woods which adorned the sides of the mountains on my left; and I hastened with an ardour increased a hundred-fold by the magnificence of the prospect before mè, to ex
one consisted of six immense stones, placed perpendicularly, and the outer one consisted of twelve smaller stones,
plore the hidden beauties of this sequestered spot. The road it was necessary for me to take became steeper, and the ascents more abrupt, till, having pursued it about a mile among rocks, thickets, and small cascades, I found myself raised full a hundred feet above the level of the lake, perpendicularly; and on looking over a tottering wall, breast high, my delighted vision again partook of the luxurious feast, heightened by a most brilliant and luminous rainbow, which appeared purposely thrown over from the north to the south shore of the lake, in order that nothing might be wanting to render the scene perfectly enchanting. Eager to reach General's Hut, from which I was to procure my guide to the falls, I reluctantly tore myself from scenes, the influence of which on my mind was that of humility, of awe, and of gratitude. Here shut out from the cares of the world, from her follies, from her vices, and her wicked machinations, I rejoiced in my existence, uttered many a fervent ejaculation in praise of landscape painting, and hastened
The poor miserable brute, which fortune ordained as my companion on this route, shewed
evident marks of disapprobation at 'the roughness of the road; which now began to be almost impassable, as the late rains had brought down from the huge mountains on my left such showers of stones, and fragments of rocks, as almost to block up the passage; so much so, that I was obliged to dismount, almost every ten minutes, to lead the poor animal over them. She limped on with great difficulty, and to my no little dismay, lest I should be compelled to leave her to drag out her miserable existence in those regions, and be myself under the necessity of peregrinating on foot a long journey, ere I could meet with a conveyance
for own worshipful person and luggage : for here there is no traveller's rest; no habitation of joy or comfort for the stranger to be refreshed at; no bourn for the repose of the wearied pilgrim; no good Samaritan, in case of sickness or of death; but all is wild, terrific and sublime. I had already passed a few miserable huts built with a black kind of peat, without either window or chimney, consequently all the smoke remained in the cabin. You always find this
in the Scottish hamlets; and, as I am credibly informed, it is to keep the wretched inhabitants warm. Every step I took, the country grew more and more impressive, the rocks became more rugged and abrupt, and the woods, as if to screen their nakedness, grew more luxuriant. The road became a little better as I drew near General's Hut, where I arrived about one o'clock, to the no small gratification of my beast. As the situation of this hut is somewhat remarkable, and excessively beautiful, I shall describe it: It stands about one third of the way up the steep of an immense rugged mountain, of which the base is watered by the loch, and the summit generally obscured by clouds. Immediately above and beJow the hut the sides of the mountain are covered by the th ickest wood of birch, the tints of which, at this time of the year, are particularly beautiful. Just above it is a small patch of ground which serves the man and his wife as their garden and farın; it could boast of a few potatoes, a few sheaves of corn, and a little cow, at whose teats an Herculean wench was tugging when I ar.