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The Highlands and Islands of Scotland
Chapter III - The Land of Lorne


AMONG all the clans, the most numerous and the most powerful, in modern times, have been the Campbells, who rose on the wreck of the once predominant Macdonalds, ousting and absorbing men of other less auspicious names till the new lords were firmly seated over Argyll and a large part of Perthshire. This prosperity they owed to a knack of choosing the stronger side, whereas Highlanders have been more apt to figure as champions of falling causes. While less practically- minded stocks stood "agin the government," the Campbells usually proved ready to recognise de facto authority, to catch the flowing tide of fortune, and to turn even godliness to gain in a manner supposed to be more characteristic of the Lowland Scot. But the canniest of clans had better success in earning fear than love from their neighbours. The wilder chiefs looked on Argyll as an obnoxious good boy who pulled out plums for himself from their seething confusion. Their Jacobite sentiments came in part from an ancient respect for hereditary right, in part from preference for a sovereign in no position to enforce obedience; but often it was as much hatred of the Macallum More as love of the Stuarts that drove Lochiels and Clanranalds into unprofitable rebellion. "Fair and false as a Campbell!" is the reproach of sufferers from that pushful race that, to threats and curses, gave back their chuckling byword, "It's a far cry to Loch Awe!

Jacobite poets are of course very bitter against the line "of him who sold his king for gold"; and when the cottar goodman had "waled a portion" enumerating Job's sheep and camels, his wife might well opine, "Maybe no the same Cam'ells as at Inveraray, or I doobt there'd no be mony o' the sheep left." But in the teeth of all ill-will, "the Campbells are coming!" was the word for centuries, during which they went on serving themselves heirs to the domains of the shadowy Prince Lorne, and supplanting the sons of Somerled, more authentic Lords of the Isles. They were, in short, one of the first clans to be civilised.

Inverary Cross and Castle

I was at school with sons of this house, who were fair but not false; and if its present head robbed me of an expected prize, that was through the Campbell virtue of taking the likeliest means to attain an end. The then Duke himself once attended our prize- day Exhibition, when at the last moment it was well remembered to substitute "Wolsey, I did not think to shed a tear!" or some such stock piece of inoffensive declamation, for Aytoun's "Burial March of Dundee," in which a budding Demosthenes had else reviled to their faces "the brood of false Argyle." So the name was commonly spelt in my days of spelling; but the fashion now changes it to Argyll.

My own great-grandfather was born at Craignish, and it is not for me to speak ill of his mother's roof-tree. But if truth must be told, antipathy to the modern lords of Lorne has not been confined to alien clans. At school with us was another crew of Campbells, that prided themselves on having kept their independence of the ducal chief, their shrunken lands islanded amid his domain. They had some story which I half forget, of ancestral charters hid away safe in a tree, when their grasping overlord got into his possession those of other Campbells. What I remember noting on a holiday visit was how these boys had been taught not to pass the duke's march without throwing a stone in sign of undying enmity to the house of Argyll, a pious duty that would come easy to boys in all times, but in our degenerate age was performed with careless good humour, none of these young mountain-cats being conscious of any personal animosity. Old and new ways of life are mingled in another story of stones which I vaguely recall from a western glen. A Campbell had killed a Cameron—or it may have been the other way on—to whose memorial cairn every passing Cameron added a stone of remembrance, religiously pulled down by every Campbell. Thus the cairn stood waxing and waning by a lonely moorside track, till a Campbell was appointed postman on the beat, and his daily passage gave the monument no fair chance.

The cradle of this race, so far as it is known to history, seems to have been the Loch Awe valley below Ben Cruachan and the eastward ridges about Loch Long, where the "Cobbler" had once for more poetic name "Arthur's Seat," and a rocky peninsula became playfully styled "Argyll's Bowling - Green." This country is as rich in romantic associations as in natural beauty, famed by pen and pencil, chiefly perhaps through P. G. Hamerton's Painter's Camp in the Highlands, when with his faithful "Thursday" he took up Crusoe quarters on one of the Loch Awe islands, before the solitude of its tombs was invaded by steamboats and hotels. His readers will remember how he revels in the colouring of these "changeful landscapes," the greens and golds against a background of rich heather, the velvet purples richer than any king's mantle, the rocks "plated" with thin snow, the patches of blood-red fern in autumn, the masses of sun-lit snow in winter, the stretches of calm lake reflecting green mountain slopes and tufted islets, "the delicate half calms just dulled over with faint breathings of the evening air," the threads of fire which sunset shoots between masses variously rippled that give the water a tartan pattern of crimson, grey, and violet ; the kaleidoscopic effects of sun and wind; the azure blue of the distances, the pearly grey of rising clouds, the Titianesque masses of evening gloom, the invisible vapours that even in bright sunshine soften the outlines of crest and ridge.

The type of the most enjoyable Highland weather (says our connoisseur in land and water scenery) is this:—The mountains in their own local colour, not much altered by the effect; green for the most part, and scarred with reddish, or purplish, or grey rocks, all outlines soft and tender and vague, still perfectly well defined even in their softness. The sky, a very pale lovely blue, delicately graduated; the water, if under a pleasant sailing-breeze, as intensely blue as ultramarine can get it, yet a very deep colour, not to be got out of ultramarine alone, because there are purplish browns in it produced by the play of the dark brown water with the azure sky-reflections. Lastly, if the wind freshens, all this dark blue will be flecked with snowy crests of breakers. Highland scenery is never so lovely as under this aspect.

Too often, indeed, these enchanting hues are buried in mists through which it takes a painter's eye to detect glimpses of grandeur or beauty. Mrs. Hamerton, for her part, fresh from the sunny skies of France, admits that the health of both suffered in the depressing winter, "when the wind howls so piteously in the twisted branches of the Scotch firs, and when the rain imprisons one for weeks within liquid walls of unrelieved greyness." her husband can tell how sometimes this valley may be baked by sunshine for weeks and months together, till relief comes in a cloud-burst like that of the Indian monsoon, such as he once beheld from the top of Ben Cruachan, overwhelming what Christopher North held dearest of Scottish lakes - "mountain-crowned, cliff-guarded, isle-zoned, grove-girdled, wide- winding and far-stretching, with the many-bayed banks and braes of brushwood, fern, broom, and heather.... thou glory of Argyleshire, rill-and-river fed, sea-armlike, floating in thy majesty, magnificent Loch Awe!"

Hamerton was a poet as well as a painter, who in his Isles of Loch Awe has pictured the legends that take shape in such scenes. The most striking of these is that of mis Fraoch, a Celtic version of the Hesperides story, with a modern love interest and a tragic ending. The Hercules task imposed upon the young hero Fraoch, according to one variant by his lady-love, but a more dramatic form gives this part to a jealous rival, is to fetch from the island golden apples growing there under charge of a dragon whose poisonous fangs do him to death, and the fair-seeming fruit proves no less fatal to the maid, or else she is made to die of grief. Another world-wide fancy ascribes the origin of the lake to the heedlessness of a virgin who, overcome by sleep, neglected her nightly task of sealing up a mystic fountain on Bell A romantic tale, echoing from classical story and from the banks of the Rhine, brings us into the Campbell traditions at Kilchurn Castle. Seven years had its crusading knight been absent, when in beggar's rags, like Ulysses, he came home to find his wife on the point of being forced into a hateful re-marriage. The strange wedding guest begs a cup of wine at her hands, and when he gives it back empty, the lady sees at the bottom a ring which she recognises sooner than she does her husband, who then has no difficulty in disposing of the insolent suitor. A truly practical feature is that this Scottish Penelope's task, through those long seven years, had been no futile weaving and unweaving, but the building of that sturdy pile that inspired \Vordsworth's muse as well as Hamerton's, and gave a hint for eerie fiction in Mrs. Oliphant's novel The Wizard's Son, as previously it seems to have sat to Scott in his Legend of Montrose.

The descendants of that crusader spread northwards, displacing the Macgregors of Glenorchy, and founding the lordship of Breadalbane in Perthshire. Another cadet branch moved still farther north, long after Macbeth's time, to become Earls of Cawdor through one of those profitable marriages that have been a Campbell custom. But the main stock is the house of Argyll, which from obscure petty chieftainship rose to command five thousand claymores in 1745. Not that all the Campbells always stood shoulder to shoulder, as in 1715 Breadalbane's men fought for the Pretender, while Argyll led the bulk of his clan for King George.

One might as well undertake the census of a hornets' nest as dogmatise on the descent of a Highland clan. The Argyll house, backed by antiquaries like Skene, now repudiate the legend of a Norman adventurer, "De Campo Bello" or Beauchamp, as having wed an heiress of Loch Awe, though this origin would be quite in keeping with the family traditions. A much more ancient source is claimed for them as descendants of King Arthur, or of Diarmid, hero of Fingalian epics, a descent that might make them akin to the Irish Dermotts. The name Campbell is said to mean "Wry- mouth," as Cameron "Crooked-nose," from the same root as appears in our winding Cam rivers. About the time of the last Norwegian invasion under Haco, the clan comes to dim light in two branches, the elder Macarthurs, the younger the sons of Cohn or Calain, a name perverted into MacCallum. The elder branch went under, their tombs still to be seen on an island of Loch Awe. The younger rose through marriage with a sister of Robert Bruce, and through fighting for him against the Macdougails of Lorne. The confirmation of his sovereignty advanced this chief over confiscated estates of their common foes. For generations a run of luck or policy kept increasing the Campbells' domain till they were lords of all Argyll and part of the Islands, the conquered clans, if not exterminated or driven away, being forced to take their name, as a Red Indian tribe has often recruited itself by adoption of its prisoners or subjects. When the elder Macarthurs were condemned as traitors under James I., the sons of Cohn basked in royal favour, and in the next reign the usurping chief accepted a feudal lordship, which before long grew into the Earldom of Argyll. Thenceforth they went on rising in the world, by cunning and unscrupulousness, as their enemies put it, by prudence and enterprise, as their friends say.

The Campbells generally stood on the side of law and progress, the winning side in the long run; and it must not be forgotten how they gave their quota of martyrs to the new religious spirit that has done so much to tame the Highlands. It does not appear that they were more ruthless than their neighbours, but more considerate and more lucky. It may be that the dark hue of their tartans, blending with the green hills and grey skies of Lorne, gave some help to their survival as fittest in the Highland struggle for existence while at court their lords practised an art of mimicry that did not go the length of neglecting the interests of Scotland when these came to be threatened by English statesmen.

The worst thing that has been said about this clan is that they played police for the throne with a clear eye to profit, and were too ready to root out their own turbulent enemies in the name of law, their chiefs even accused of instigating rebellions which they themselves would be called on to suppress for a consideration. As far off as the "bonnie house of Airlie" the Campbells pushed their fire-and-sword process. Many an execution carried by them among the king's rebels is well forgotten; but one is still remembered that brought the atrocities of romantic times almost down to newspaper days. From Ballachulish and the slate quarries of Loch Leven all the tourists take coach up Glencoe, catching a glimpse of austere wilds rightly known only to those who wander on foot under the shadow of its stern "Sisters" and the "Shepherds" of Loch Etive. For Ossian there could be no fitter birthplace than this darkly famed glen. Its serrated and bristling walls "have a barren strength and steepness which remind one continually of the stone buttresses of Sinai"; yet the sunlight shows weird Arabesque colourings of purple, green, and pink, often dulled beneath a pall that seems nature's mourning for the tragedy here commemorated by a cross, and its scene still traced out by patches of green round the site of ruined huts. "Even with sunshine," Macaulay found this "the very valley of the shadow of death."

Glencoe

The story of the Glencoe massacre is renowned among many such deeds of cruelty which have stained the heather; but it is not always recognised how far this was a slaughter of Macdonalds by their hereditary enemies the Campbells, acting under legal authority. Historians variously apportion the guilt between the Earl of Breadalbane and the Master of Stair, a minister who had the art to make King William accomplice in the vindictive design. The innocence of the victims has been unduly heightened for the sake of dramatic effect; and patriotic rage has blindly charged the bloodshed upon English soldiers. The MacIan Macdonalds of Glencoe were a band of sturdy cattle-thieves who, like other Highland heroes of old, naturally lived in bad blood with their neighbours; and an attempt to harry their fastness might have passed as a fair exploit if not carried out with so base treachery. Heavy winter snows having delayed the chieftain from bringing in his submission to the Government by a fixed date, he was yet given to believe it accepted. A detachment of Argyll's regiment entered the glen under pretence of friendship, and were received with Highland hospitality, their commander, Campbell of Glenlyon, being connected with the Macdonalds by marriage. This worthy is said to have played at cards with the sons of the chieftain whom he had orders to murder next morning, at which time every way of escape from the glen should be closed by several companies marching up under his superior officer.

Before dawn of a winter morning the slaughter began with shooting down the old chieftain at his bedside, his wife being so brutally ill-used that she died next day. Similar scenes took place in the other homes that had unsuspiciously received such guests. The story goes that the soldiers had been loth to do their part in the butchery, but, once it was on foot, they appear to have worked themselves up into a fury of bloodshed, going even beyond their commission in killing children and infirm elders. The Macdonalds, having hidden away their arms after the submission, doubtless in hope to fight another day, found themselves in no state to offer resistance. Scattered and surprised, they were shot down like sheep, wherever the alarm did not warn them to escape. After all, the plan of extirpation failed. Nearly forty men were slain; but a larger number got away, with women and children, some of them to perish in a snowstorm, which also saved many hardy Highlanders, as veiling their flight and hindering the march of the force that should have closed the passes on that woeful morning. Their homes were burned, and from the glen were driven away five hundred horses, three times as many cows, and large flocks of sheep and goats, cattle which the Macdonalds may have come by in much the same violent manner.

Glencoe has now passed into the hands of a Canadian peer, a chief of the great British clan Smith. Till lately its sheep-walks still belonged to Macdonalds whom I knew in my youth. When news came from India that one of this line had got into trouble through killing a native, a neighbour of ours sapiently remarked, "The old massacre blood coming out!" which seemed a confusion of active and passive. A most efficient curse was that laid on the leader of the slaughterers, whose descendants are understood to be conscious of it to this day. There is a famous story, told in various forms, of one Campbell of Glenlyon, on whom fell the duty of producing at the last moment a reprieve for a condemned soldier. But in taking the paper from his pocket he unwittingly pulled out the white handkerchief that was to be signal to the firing party. Next moment the criminal lay dead, and the unhappy officer covered his eyes with a cry—"The curse of God and of Glencoe!" The brightest tradition relating to Glencoe is that noted by Scott, how when Prince Charlie's army marched by the house of Lord Stair it was thought well to place a guard over it against the vengeance of the Macdonalds, then the Glencoe chieftain proudly demanded for his own clansmen to prove their military honour by fulfilling this duty.

Glencoe, Ben Cruachan, and other outskirts of the Land of Lorne rank among the wildest scenes in Scotland. Loch Awe and Loch Etive are hardly surpassed in fame; and Loch Creran has been called "one of the loveliest and least known of Highland waters," as comes to be said of so many scenes beheld under congenial conditions. The general aspect of this region, however, seems a blending of true Highland and semi-Lowland, like the character and career of its lords. Robert Buchanan tells us how it is "fair and gentle, a green pastoral land, where the sheep bleat from a thousand hills, and the grey homestead stands in the midst of its own green fields, and the snug macadamised roads ramify in all directions from the tiny capital on the seaside, with the country carts bearing produce, the drouthy farmer trotting home at all hours on his sure-footed nag, and the stage coach, swift and gay, wakening up the echoes in summer time with the guard's cheery horn." Even its wilder nooks, as one can see from coach, railway, or steamer, have been much broken up as sites for mansions and villas, hotels and shooting-lodges; and in summer months farms and cottages in a hundred glens are packed tight with holiday-making families from the cities, whose seaside retreats threaten to turn the arms of the Clyde into a gigantic Venice.

Inveraray, of course, is the county capital, a big village picturesquely situated on a sea loch under the shade of lordly woods about the duke's castle, which in this century has for the first time undergone the indignity of being let to a Southron. An old schoolfellow of mine was once sheriff here, who, to save himself from "eating his head off" used to walk across the country to hold his court at Dunoon, its biggest gathering of houses, best filled in summer. Campbeltown is the most thriving burgh of business. But to the world the most familiar name in Argyll is Oban, that international rendezvous showing as many hotels as there are clans in the Highlands, and steam-boats more than might tow all the "lymphad" galleys of Argyll, overlooked from the heights above by two modern towers of Babel.

Oban Bay at night

At Oban the genius loci seems too much exorcised by steam whistles, and by the mob of knickerbockered and waterproofed tourists comparing notes about their tables d'hôte. Few of these easy travellers find their way into Knapdale, that long parish forming the upper part of the Mull of Cantyre, which makes a characteristic stretch of this green Land of Lorne. Happy days have I spent in youth among its low hills, ten miles from the nearest steamboat pier or village. The name of the place I cannot trust myself to spell, nor could most of my readers pronounce it; but to me it meant paradise. It made the rough Tusculum of a great Lancashire cotton-spinner, his son a schoolfellow of mine. A moor rather than a mountain of the soft west, its strong point was as a fishing quarter, having two trout streams opening into a long winding estuary that looked out on the Paps of Jura and beyond across the wide Atlantic. How we lads splashed through water fresh and salt, in those "days by distance enchanted," when no mist could cloud "the sunshine of the breast," when wet jackets and kilts seemed nothing but a joke, and one hardly cared to keep a shod foot in that damp wilderness! We did not enough appreciate our piscatorial blessings, where we might catch dozens of troutlings any idle afternoon, with the chance of a grilse or a yellow trout in the rivulet mouths, and deep-sea fishing in the loch, down to the butchery of lythe, which, trailing bright feathers on the coarsest tackle in the wake of the sunset, one hooked up as fast as they could be drawn into the boat, each as long as one's arm. How would Piscators of this generation prize such opportunities, now probably let at a pork-king's ransom!

One holiday visit stands out in memory, when my schoolfellow and I were lent the empty lodge, on condition of playing Robinson Crusoe for ourselves. What could be more inviting to youngsters than such a picnic! We took down by steamer from Glasgow an enormous round of salt beef; we laid in a stock of bread at the nearest shop, ten miles from our hermitage ; and on this plain fare, with what fish we could catch, we were prepared to live greatly independent. But the people of the hill farm close at hand would not indulge our Spartanhood. Daily they poured in upon us mutton, broth, bannocks, eggs, jam, honey, and what not, so that we were fed up like turkey-cocks; and not a penny would the goodman take for his friendly entertainment. En Ecosse, l'hospitalité se donne has often been quoted sneeringly ; but I can answer for its truth in Knapdale.

It was for the sake of my friend's father that we were so well treated, and those who knew him best will understand why; but he did not command the approval of all that countryside. For one thing, he was a hardened "Erastian," if my readers know what that means. When the Free Church proposed to set up a tabernacle and applied to him for a subscription, he growled out, "As soon as the parish church is full, I will build you a new one out of my own pocket—not a penny till then!" For Free Church students sent on awakening missions to those wilds, it was a daring adventure to tackle the profane Englishman who would stroll out on the Sabbath with a cigar in his mouth, though he did not miss attending the English service held in the parish church mainly for his benefit. One of these missioners received the crown of martyrdom at his hands, or rather at his feet, for the poor fellow had no sooner begun his remonstrance, "Sir, do you know this is the Lord's Day?" than he found himself vigorously kicked along the road. This was an arbitrary as well as an openhanded gentleman, who, as a sound Tory and master of a thousand workers, was disposed to look down on the Whig duke, so much looked up to by the natives. He little knew how his only daughter would marry a son of that duke, whose heir made a more brilliant match with a princess, as to which Punch hardly exaggerated the simple judgment of Argyll: "Wasna' the Queen a proud woman!"

The duke has been a Campbell for time out of mind; but the silent ruins round Oban are older than the intrusion of this name. Dunollie Castle, close to the town, was lair of the Macdougalls, ancient lords of Lorne, who still hold here a remnant of their shrunken domain, and in their modest home behind the ruin have treasured that brooch their forebear won from Robert Bruce. The larger Dunstaffnage, another Macdougall stronghold, is believed to have been at one time seat of the ancient Scottish kings, shrine of that mysterious "Stone of Destiny," fabled as Jacob's Pillow, and St. Columba's, which, after many adventures by land and sea, was removed to Scone, and thence to Westminster Abbey. Gylen Castle, on the island of Kerrera, was a Macdougall eyry; Aros and Ardtornish guarded the Sound of Mull for the Lords of the Isles. Across the Firth of Lorne the island shores are haunted by Maclean legends. To the south, the castles and chapels of Cantyre are Macdonald and Macmillan monuments; and Isla, now the most prosaically prosperous of the Hebrides, shows traces of days when it was chief seat of Somerled's house. But most of those ruins, before they fell into picturesque decay, had passed to Campbells, often by deeds of fire and blood, often again by the marriages that have done so much for this family, of whom it might be said, as of another clan, that they put wedding rings on the fingers of the daughters, and dirks in the hearts of the sons. In our day, indeed, the most thriving house in Argyll seems to be that of Malcolm, whose head, it is said, can walk forty miles on his own land. The name would show his ancestor as "servant of Columba," while the misnamed "Macallum" was at one time "Gillespie," the gillie of some bishop who would be pioneer of civilisation before barons or dukes got grants from court.

Cantyre, with the adjacent Isla, appears to-day the most tamed part of the West Highlands. This peninsula was almost depopulated by the great plague of Charles II.'s reign; and to some extent became restocked by Covenanting clients of Argyll from the Lowlands. There was a time when it might be called the heart of Scotland, for here seems to have been the first foothold of the Dairiad Scots, who, passing over from Ireland, its cliffs only some dozen miles off the Mull of Cantyre, spread their power far among the wild Picts, and their name before long over the whole kingdom. Campbeltown boasts of having been their first capital, now the largest burgh of Argyll, noted for its distilleries and its fishing fleet, as for the adjacent coal-mine, which is the only one in the Highlands, and for the grand golf-links on Machrihanish Bay, another feature more frequent on the eastern side of Scotland.

But if Scotland take shame to have been colonised from Ireland, its patriotic and poetic antiquaries point back to dimmer days, when an Ossianic Conar sailed from Lorne to found a kingdom in the Emerald Isle, long before its most thriving part was authentically overrun by Scottish names. National pride has indeed little but mist from which to weave theories of romantic early history, either for Albin or Erin. The one thing certain is, that the people or peoples of these projecting shores were in close connection of peace and war with each other. If Columba carried the cross from Ireland into Scotland, Patrick had been a Scotsman who devoted himself to the conversion of Ireland. And the Isle of Man, which is said to have made part of his mission-field, long stood in near relation with the Hebrides. The whole string of western islands was formerly divided into Nordereys and Sudereys, the latter being at one time under that bishop whose mysterious title Sodor and Man is thus explained.

All these once belonged to the crown of "Norroway over the foam," even Cantyre, which, by the forced title of dragging a boat across its narrow neck, shifty King Magnus brought into his island domain. As we go farther north and out into the open sea, in place- names and other marks we shall see clearer signs of that Norse conquest, which cannot but have modified the stock of natives or previous invaders. For one point, the philo-Celt can protest that if Highlanders be no strict teetotalers, such a failing came not from the pious and sober Gael, but through ungodly Goths, notoriously addicted to wassail as to bloodshed. Then in Ireland, too, these thirsty Vikings have left some trace of their customs.

Tamed and trimmed as much of Lorne has been, no Highland region shows more variously those aspects of earth and sky, sublime, stern, sad, and anon tender, that seem reflected in the character of the people. Sir Archibald Geikie, who pushes scientific candour to the point of hinting that Bannockburn would have gone otherwise had the ground been drained, finds the Highlander's nature moulded by his rugged hills and streaming glens. The contrast between the Scottish and the Irish Gael, which some would explain by the former's stronger strain of Norse blood, this author accounts for rather by the fact of the latter enjoying a milder climate, a better soil, and more level fields, that give fairer play to the natural buoyancy, good-humour, and quick wit of the Celt.

In the Highlander, on the other hand, these characteristics have been replaced by a reserved, self-restrained, even somewhat sullen and morose disposition. He is neither merry nor witty, like his cousin across the Irish Channel. Yet he is courteous, dutiful, persevering; a courageous foe, an unwavering ally, whether serving in the ranks or leading his comrades where dangers are thickest. I am disposed to regard this difference in temperament as traceable in great measure to the peculiar condition of the Highlander's environment. Placed in a glen, often narrow and rocky, and separated from his neighbours in the next glens by high ranges of rugged hills, he has had to contend with a scant and stony soil, and a wet, cold, and uncertain climate. He has to wage with the elements a never-ending battle, wherein he is often the loser. The dark mountains, that frown above him, gather around their summits the cloudy screen which keeps the sun from ripening his miserable patch of corn, or rots it with perpetual rain as it lies week after week on the sodden field. He stands among the mountains face to face with nature in her wilder moods. Storm and tempest, mist-wreath and whirlwind, the roar of waterfalls, the rush of swollen streams, the crash of loosened landslips, which he may seem hardly to notice, do not pass without bringing, unconsciously perhaps, to his imagination their ministry of terror. Hence the playful mirthfulness and light-hearted ease of the Celtic temperament have, in his case, been curdled into a stubbornness which may be stolid obstinacy or undaunted perseverance, according to the circumstances which develop it. Like his own granitic hills, he has grown hard and enduring, not without a tinge of melancholy, suggestive of the sadness that lingers among his wind-swept glens, and that hangs about the birken slopes around his lonely lakes.

There is little need to point the stronger contrast between this dweller beside hungry mountains or cruel seas, and the otherwise mingled race that has grown stout, ruddy, and jovial on Lowland or Midland plains, among green pastures and still waters, where the cattle, hardly raising a head to look beyond their own hedgerows, may well be content with their lot, and the very dogs, familiar and placable, will not always trouble to wag a tail at the wayfarer. Generations of ancient peace have here tamed men's spirits, quieted their fears, and worn down their reverence to a sober respect for honesty, good-fellowship, good-nature, prudence, prosperity, all the qualities which make neighbours pleasant company and keep them from coming on the parish. They think for the most part little enough of the awful horizons of life, as they saunter through it from the christening cake to the coffin, with an eye more often on the fruitful ground than on the sky, unless for signs of the weather. A charm of homeliness rests upon churches, halls, farms, and hamlets, scattered roomily in secure confidence, where man may well nestle in the kindly lap of earth and rejoice in nature's gifts to a generation for which rough edges of peril have been blunted by use and wont. Yet when she fondles not, but scrimps their daily bread with frowns, her hardy sons love their motherland the more dearly for her rare smiles, even though the poverty of their home makes it easier for them to believe that elsewhere must be their abiding city.

Lorne would be no Highland country if it had not as many relics of devotion as of romance, some of them from days of chiefs and priests who prayed and fought long before its Christian saints and its half-Christian princes. Not any part of Scotland is more thickly set with ruined chapels, broken graveyards, caves of Columba, and Kils common as the Lians of Wales, which mark the stations of Culdee preachers. But also it abounds in cairns, barrows, and other nameless memorials ; and there is reason to suppose that many of its Christian tombs have been adapted from pagan monuments far older than the cross that consecrated them. Near Oban there is a remarkable serpent-shaped mound, headed by a circle of stones, which appears to have been a high place of superstition, kindred to that which raised similar mounds in the Mississippi basin. This is but one of many Highland examples how our shifting divisions of creed, name, and nation are now divergent, now confluent, phases of the same human nature, that out of stocks and stones, funeral piles and grave heaps, has developed its countless temples, the barn-like Presbyterian kirks of Cantyre, as well as such elaborately sculptured walls as long stood silent on Iona. But how slow is the clan of Macadam to learn from their purest faith that Christian and pagan, Scots and Irish, Celt and Saxon, Campbells and Macdonalds, have nobler duties than cutting each other's throats in the way of war or trade!


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